Slave Biographies


Slave Datasets Available Online

Afro-Louisiana History and Genealogy 1918-1820
Dr. Midlo Hall's extensive database on 18th and 19th century slaves in Louisiana. You can search by name, gender, origin, plantation, and racial designation. Check boxes on sub-categories allow you to further narrow your search. 

Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database
So far the most extensive database on the slave trade. The time period is from 1514 to 1866. You can narrow searches by shortening that time period, or through searching by ship, nation, voyage dates, voyage outcome, voyage itinerary, owners, captain and crew, characteristics of slaves, number of slaves, or sources. Also, graphs can be created using the above components. Funded by NEH preservation and access grant.

The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database includes the African Names Database, currently being funded by an NEH preservation and access grant:  Includes Name, Age, Height, Sex/Age, Origin, Voyage ID, Ship name, Arrival, Embarkation, Disembarkation, and Source.

African Nova Scotians in the Age of Slavery and Abolition
It showcases more than 100 documents reflecting the early African Nova Scotian experience. The exhibit focuses on the period between 1749 and 1834, dates which mark the founding of Halifax and the coming into effect of legislation abolishing slavery in the British colonies, respectively. A site of the Government of Nova Scotia. According to Gwen Hall, these materials are being databased from Australia.

AfriGeneas – African Ancestored Genealogy
Hosted at Mississippi State University.  See: Slave Data Collection  See also AfriGeneas’ Facebook page.
Related to AfriGeneas, 1619-1869 records kept by slave owners, names of slaves in their wills.

DIY genealogy comes to African-American research in this handsome home for user-submitted finds and story sharing. In Family Tree Magazine 101 Best Websites in 2010: African-American Roots.
At, we’ve been helping people discover, preserve, and share their family history for 30 years since our founding in 1983. And as an internet company, we’ve been the clear leader in online family history ever since we launched our website 17 years ago.

Digital Library on American Slavery
This new resource from the library of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro searches information culled from thousands of slavery-related county court and legislative petitions, wills, estate inventories and civil suits, filed in 15 states and the District of Columbia from 1775 to 1867. More than 150,000 individuals are named in the documents, including 80,000 slaves and 8,000 free people of color. In Family Tree Magazine 101 Best Websites in 2010: African-American Roots.

Documenting the American South
Documenting the American South (DocSouth) is a digital publishing initiative that provides Internet access to texts, images, and audio files related to southern history, literature, and culture. Currently DocSouth includes sixteen thematic collections of books, diaries, posters, artifacts, letters, oral history interviews, and songs. Sponsored by The University Library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Ecclesiastical Sources and Historical Research on the African Diaspora in Brazil & Cuba
Directed by Jane Landers at Vanderbilt University. Collaborators are Paul Lovejoy at York University and Mariza de Carvalho Soares, of the Universidade Federal Fluminense (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). Received an NEH Collaborative Research grant in 2003. Baptismal records thus became the longest, and most uniform, serial data available for the history of Africans in the Americas. At the project's conclusion in 2005, more than 120,000 images of rich, underutilized, and at-risk ecclesiastical sources for Africans and persons of African descent in Brazil and Cuba had been preserved and stored at Vanderbilt University.

English slave trade 1791-1799: House of Lords survey
From Intute: “Hosted by the History Data Service (HDS), based at the UK Data Archive University of Essex (formerly part of the Arts and Humanities Data Service - AHDS). ... The data consists of: Ship's name, tonnage, home port of ship, departure date, African port of arrival, date of African arrival, slaves taken on board (total number), slave mortality, slaves relanded before African port departure, number of slaves shipped, date of African departure, American port of arrival, date of arrival in New World, number of slaves landed, date ship left America.

Liberia*pedia - African Americans to Liberia 1820-1905
Detailed information on 15,000+ African-American emigrants to Liberia. The database includes information on birth year (where available), town/country of origin, state of origin (including "Indian Territories"), denominational affiliation, family relations among emigrants, destination in Liberia, ships on which they travelled, and year of emigration. Some pages now include genealogical links and maps showing locations where they lived, as well as other information and images (e.g., John Brown Russwurm).

Liverpool trade and shipping, 1744-1786
From  Intute: Hosted by the History Data Service (HDS), based at the UK Data Archive, University of Essex (formerly part of the Arts and Humanities Data Service - AHDS)…. A machine-readable edition of the Liverpool Plantation Registers 1744-84, and of the known voyages, masters, shipowners, and life histories of the vessels listed therein through to 1786. Key topics covered include: Liverpool overseas trade and shipping; transatlantic voyage patterns; slave trade; Liverpool shipowners and merchants; war and its impact on trade and shipping.

LowCountry Africana
Welcome to Lowcountry Africana, Dedicated to Exploring, Discovering and Learning About the Hidden Lives in the Lowcountry. Lowcountry Africana, sponsored by the Magnolia Plantation Foundation of Charleston, South Carolina, is entirely dedicated to records that document the family and cultural heritage of African Americans in the historic rice-growing areas of South Carolina, Georgia and extreme northeastern Florida.

Monticello Plantation Database
A database pertaining to the slaves residing in Monticello. While the site seems a bit short of finished, it does or will contain maps, photographs, and family trees interconnected to the larger database of people who worked under Thomas Jefferson. 

Runaway slaves: rebels on the plantation, by John Hope Franklin, Loren Schweninger
Includes data from the following states: Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Louisiana.   The John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger database was entered in SAS and seems to be designed for statistical studies only.

Slave compensation claims
This database has been compiled from official British government returns of people who received compensation following the 1833 emancipation act which freed slaves in the British colonies in the Caribbean, Bermuda, Belize, Guyana, Mauritius and Cape Colony (South Africa). It currently contains searchable records for individuals who were former slaves in Antigua and Barbados.

Slave Manifests Filed at New Orleans, Louisiana, 1807-1860 Forms
An Ancestry World Archives Project, with data entered by volunteers from online digitized documents. Not yet live on

Slave Movement During the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
This site provides access to the raw data and documentation which contains information on the following slave trade topics from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: records of slave ship movement between Africa and the Americas, slave ships of eighteenth century France, slave trade to Rio de Janeiro, Virginia slave trade in the eighteenth century, English slave trade (House of Lords Survey), Angola slave trade in the eighteenth century, internal slave trade to Rio de Janeiro, slave trade to Havana, Cuba, Nantes slave trade in the eighteenth century, and slave trade to Jamaica.

The Slave Rebellion Website
A database of records of slaves in the United States, focusing on insurrections and revolts. Includes images, records, population database, and maps.

Slave Registers of former British Colonial Dependencies, 1812-1834
Part of the United Kingdom site of  The database may be searched by region. Entries include name of slave, owner, gender, and nationality. Records are taken from the Office of Registry of Colonial Slaves and Slave Compensation Commission. Has free index to users who register.

Slave Trade Movement between Africa and the Americas, 1817-1843
From Intute: Dataset hosted by the History Data Service (HDS), based at the UK Data Archive University of Essex (formerly part of the Arts and Humanities Data Service - AHDS). The data is available to order from the HDS as a tab delimited text file or a Microsoft Excel 2000 file. From this Web page you may download a PDF of images of the study documentation. To make use of this dataset you must first register with the HDS… The data consists of: Ship's port of arrival, date of arrival, type of vessel, tonnage, master's name, number of guns, number of crew, national flag, number of slaves, port of departure, number of days of voyage, mortality.”

Slavery era insurance registry
Compiled as a result of a law adopted by the California legislature. Includes Name of Slave County (or Parish), State Other Identifying Information Slaveholder County (or Parish), State, and name of Insurance Company from which the record came. It includes names of over 600 slaves and 400 slave owners. PDFs of original documents are available at several libraries in California.

South Carolina Historical Society (scanned records – not yet a database)

Texas Slavery Project
Database on the spread of slaveholders in Texas from 1836 to 1845. Information can be searched by county, population of slaveholders, population of slaves and number of slaves owned by slaveholders. Additional maps and graphs of the period to highlight activity over time.

USF Africana Heritage Project
A powerful search engine at this University of South Florida Africana Studies Department website makes it simple to search Bible records, WPA slave narratives, plantation journals, wills and probates, church records and other records of “slaves, freedpersons and their descendants.” You’ll also find a virtual library and reading room with historical and how-to articles. Our research mission is to rediscover records that document the names and lives of slaves, freepersons and their descendants, and share those records on our free Internet site.

Virginia Runaways
A digital database of runaway and captured slave and servant advertisements from 18th-century Virginia newspapers. Offers full transcripts and images of all runaway and captured ads for slaves, servants, and deserters placed in Virginia newspapers from 1736 to 1790. In addition to the database itself, a searchable compilation of the ads that can be browsed or searched, this web site contains other material (including primary documents) intended to help the user understand the context of slavery and servitude in eighteenth-century Virginia.

Online Project with Digital Content about Slaves and Slavery

This list is very incomplete.

The Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Americas:  A Visual Record
A database of images of slave life in the Americas. The images were scanned and sent from various academic and government organizations. The website acknowledges its limitations, stating "that little effort is made to interpret the images and establish the historical authenticity or accuracy of what they display." The pictures are displayed with their source and a short comment about the piece.

Burial Database Project of Enslaved African Americans
The mission of the Burial Database Project of Enslaved African Americans is to identify, document and memorialize burial sites of the enslaved, most of which are abandoned or undocumented.

Captive Passage: The Transatlantic Slave Trade and the Making of the Americas
An online exhibit of the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, VA funded by NEH. This exhibition examines the transatlantic slave trade and seeks to increase understanding of this maritime epic and its legacies in the modern world.

Caribbean views: the full collection
The website "Caribbean Views: the full collection," which is part of the Online Gallery made available by the British Library, presents digitized images of sources relating to the history of the British West Indies in the 18th and early 19th centuries. The sources have been gathered from the British Library's collections, which are rich in material covering the English slave trade in particular. The image collection includes: views and illustrations; maps; manuscript accounts; and many printed texts. These present a variety of perspectives on life in the Caribbean, including those of British plantation-owners and abolitionists, in addition to the experiences of slaves themselves.

Civil War Washington
Database identifies people, places, organizations, documents, events, and relationships among them. Interactive maps presenting location-based data in both geographic and temporal dimensions.  Photographs, lithographs, drawings, and other visual representations.

Harriet Tubman Institute, York University
The Harriet Tubman Institute is dedicated to capturing, studying, and telling the story of the migration of African peoples around the globe, from centuries ago to the present day. We search the world for materials that help us know and understand this history – from official and personal documents to photographs, interviews and maps. Whenever possible, we digitally preserve and make these accessible to anyone with an interest in seeing and learning from this rich store of information.

Legacies of British Slave-ownership
Legacies of British Slave-ownership is the umbrella for two projects based at UCL tracing the impact of slave-ownership on the formation of modern Britain: the ESRC-funded Legacies of British Slave-ownership project, now complete, and the ESRC and AHRC-funded Structure and significance of British Caribbean slave-ownership 1763-1833, running from 2013-2015.

New York Public Library Africana and Black History Collection
There are 533 digital objects with the search term “slave.” Several thousand items ranging from historical documents and rare visual materials to contemporary photo-journalism, relating to the entirety of African American history from the 16th century to the present.

Slaves and the Courts 1740-1860
This site contains the full-text of over 100 pamphlets published between 1772 and 1889, trial reports and eye witness accounts. Topics covered include: slave law and the movement towards emancipation. Famous figures featured include: Dred Scott, John C. Calhoun and John Quincy Adams. The site is part of the American Memory Collection of the Library of Congress.

Slave Archival Collection
The following alphabetical extract of slave data was generated from a campaign to collect names of enslaved ancestors from living descendants across the country.  This is an ongoing project to preserve slave genealogy and history for future generations.

UNESCO Slave Trade Archives Project
The Slave Trade Archives Project, initiated by UNESCO, is concerned with the access to and preservation of original archive materials relating to the slave trade. The project, which is funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD). The countries foreseen as participating in the project at this stage are: Angola, Benin, Brazil, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Mozambique, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Senegal, and Togo.

Unknown No Longer: Virginia Historical Society
 This database is the latest step by the Virginia Historical Society to increase access to its varied collections relating to Virginians of African descent. Since its founding in 1831, the VHS has collected unpublished manuscripts, a collection that now numbers more than 8 million processed items.


Family Tree Magazine’s African-American Heritage Research Guide ($4.00)
The genealogical tips and tools in the African-American Heritage Research Guide will help you discover your family's history. Includes “Essential Web sites, books and other tools recommended by our editors and experts” 

Slave Datasets Not Online

Laird Bergad
Slaves in Matanzas and in Minas Gerais Brazil

Laird Bergad, Fe Iglesias Garcia, and Maria del Carmen Barcia - Cuban slave sales.

Douglas B. Chambers (University of Southern Mississippi) has a database about runaway slaves in Jamaica which includes ethnicity designations.

Manolo Florentino (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro), Brazil.  Aside from his old and recent work on trans-Atlantic slave trade voyages to Brazil, he has a database of individual slaves to study family formation in Rio and surrounding areas.

Linda Heywood and John K. Thornton (both at Boston University) refer to their slave database in early Dutch and British documents in the Americas with slave names from which they extrapolate ethnicity designations and conclude they were almost all West Central Africans.

Paul Lachance (University of Ottawa) – Paul LaChance has details about all the estates inventoried in New Orleans after 1805. He stresses material culture and fiscal values of all property including slaves.  He has also studied and maybe databased wills in New Orleans from the 18th thru the nineteenth centuries and published a distinguished article from that research.