Useful Articles from Academic Journals (III)

Academic articles sometimes depict particular places.  This can be particularly useful for genealogists seeking local context for the towns, counties, or even specific plantations where ancestors lived.  The following examples come from history journals:


Georgia, Ogethorpe County

David C. Barrow, Jr., “A Georgia Plantation,” Scribner’s Monthly, Vol. 21, Issue 5, (1881), pages 830-836.

Scribner’s is not an academic journal, of course, but this article is fascinating just the same. Barrow describes the transformation of labor relations on his father’s plantation, Sylls Fork Place, in Oglethorpe County, Georgia, from Emancipation down to 1881. He describes the community, names many of the residents, gives examples of labor contracts, and tells some stories about particular freedmen. The article includes two very interesting maps of Barrow plantation, one showing the location of houses in the slave quarter and “big house” in 1860,

the other showing the location of each tenant family’s house in 1881. This case study offers some researcher an excellent opportunity to compare with the 1880 census. The article and maps have been put online at more than one website, including this one:
The maps on the websites are not scanned at high enough resolution for anyone to read the names clearly. I bought a used copy of the original magazine and scanned some high-res images that I will eventually put up at AfriGeneas.


North Carolina, Burke County

Edward W. Phifer, “Slavery in Microcosm: Burke County, North Carolina,” The Journal of Southern History, Vol. 28, Issue 2 (May, 1962), pages 137-165.

Just as the title suggests, this article describes slavery in Burke County, NC. A wonderful highlight of the article is a list of the 100 largest slaveholders in the county in 1850, and a map of Burke County with these slaveholders’ plantations or farms located on it. There is a table of census data from 1790 to 1860, showing the evolution in size slaveholdings for 51 of the county’s the largest slaveholders.


Allen McClainJuly 3rd, 2009 at 6:20 am

Great posting! I’ve used similar articles from academic journals to get further information on how my enslaved ancestors lived in a particular area. Very insightful information.

Nancy CarleyAugust 3rd, 2009 at 2:46 pm

I have doing genealogy for 2 yrs. on the Ferguson,Jones and Bunkley ancestors. It appears that most of them came from Maryland, Virginia and South Carolina then migrated to Georgia, Alabama and Texas. It would be useful to get this info without a lot of expense. The Georgia Archives charges $30. for records. I have tried biographical info. Thanks for the info on the slave naming. I am finding that the slaveowners did name their slaves after themselves and family members for the most part. I have traced most family members to 1850 slave schedules. Keep us informed with more tips.

vknAugust 11th, 2009 at 11:17 pm

Camille Killens [may she rest in peace] was a researcher of the Barrow plantation.

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