|FamilySearch Historical Record Collection: South Carolina, Freedmen's Bureau Records, 1865-1872 |
Freedmen's Bureau Office or Subordinate Field Office Location
My 3rd great grandparent's names were listed on the 1866-1867 contract among the freedmen laborers on the plantation of James A. Tucker. I expected to find Henry Sims. I am still trying to determine if Sims was the surname of a previous owner. Tuckers and Sims were among several different families who moved from Virginia to Union before 1810.
It was interesting to see that Sciller (Druscilla) used Tucker for a surname. One of her children later changed from using Sims to using Tucker later in life. I plan to trace each of the Tucker freedmen to see if any of them may be related to Henry or Sciller.
This is the first evidence that I have found that Henry and Sciller lived on the Tucker plantation aside from the fact that their daughter Martha (my 2nd great grandmother) and the grandson of James A. Tucker, (George Epps Tucker) had a son after 1880.
The story as told to me by my grandmother, was that Martha was freed when she was a small child. She grew up in the household of the former slave owner where her mother was a cook. This put her in close proximity to George who was adopted by his grandfather, James, after the death of his parents.
I added this record to my source box as I mentioned earlier. I can attach this record as a source for either Henry Sims, Sciller, or James A. Tucker:
The contract gives details about
- daily tasks required
- consequences for absence from work or damaging equipment
- how crops would be divided
- furnishings provided by employer
"They are not to keep fire arms or deadly weapons or ardent spirits, no invite visitors nor leave the premises during working hours without written consent of the proprietor or his agent."It seems they still had restrictions during this period just after the Civil War. That makes me question just how free they were really. They could not have weapons to protect themselves, and they had to have permission to come and go or have visitors. I am wondering just how they felt about these restrictions and if it really felt like they had more freedom compared to what it was like being enslaved.
I realize how fortunate I am to have this documentation given the scarcity of records for African Americans during this time period. I am just elated to have found this. To learn more about this collection see South Carolina, Freedmen Bureau Field Office Records (FamilySearch Historical Records) and South Carolina, Freedmen's Bureau Records, 1865-1872. I will keep you up to date on my next discoveries. Please subscribe above so that you do not miss out.