A register of births of enslaved children, part 2.

The North Carolina State Archives’ Private Collections holds a remarkable and exceedingly rare document within the Virginia Pou Davis Doughton Papers. A small booklet, comprised of thirteen hand-sewn pages, holds list after list of the birthdates of enslaved women and the children they bore.

The provenance of the manuscript is unclear. The finding aid describes it as “Slaves of Bynum or Farmer Family in Edgecombe or Wilson Counties, 1825-1865.” I speculated in part 1 that the booklet belonged to Turner or Robert Bynum, Virginia’s Doughton’s maternal ancestors, both of whom were substantial slaveholders. The entry below regarding Quinnie and her children confirms that. (See link for daughter Pattie, who migrated to Arkansas and, as an elderly woman, sat for an interview with a Federal Writers Project worker.) Note that some log entries continue beyond the end of slavery, suggesting that some families remained with the Bynums as sharecroppers or tenant farmers.


Catherine was born in [blank.] Laura was born in June 1852. Emily dead was born in Dec. 1860. Isabella was born 13th Dec. 1862. Alice was born Feb. 12th 1865.

Tom‘s account is $28.60.

In the 1870 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: farm laborer Samuel Bynum, 36; wife Catherine, 37; and children Laura, 17, Alice, 4, Isaac, 3, and Henry, 2.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm worker Samuel Bynum, 56; wife Cathron, 45; and children Alice, 14, Isaac, 12, Henry, 10, Patsy, 9, John, 6, Flaurence, 6, and Franklin, 2.


Quinny was born the [??] 1839. Clara her child was born Aug the 1, 1857. Pattie was born June 1859. Isaac was born Feb. 28 1861. Nannie was born Dec. 25th 1862. Leah was born Dec. 10th 1864. Dallas was born July 8th 1866. Mattie was born 1868. Carrie was born 28 Sept 1870. Delsy was born 1872. Mary Jane was born 1874. Eliza was born 1876. Charlie was born 1878.

This is the family of Quinnie Harrison Farmer, whose husband Valentine Farmer was enslaved on a different plantation.

In the 1870 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: Vance [Valentine] Farmer, 40, wife Quinnie, 30, and children Clara, 13, Patsey [Martha], 11, Isaac, 10, Nancy, 8, Leah, 6, and Mattie, 2.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Bullie [Vallie] Farmer, 50, wife Qunnia, 46, and children Patsie, 21, Isaac, 20, Nannie, 18, Lera, 16, Mattie, 10, Caroline, 8, Bettie, 6, Mary J., 4, Charles, 3, and Sarah E., 2, plus Nancy Farmer, 90.


Eliza was born in Jan. 1825. Children. George was born in 1846. Billy was born in [blank]. John was born in [blank]. Robert was born in 1858. Fanny was born 26 Sept 1860.

On 31 October 1869, George Bynum, son of Thos. Drake and Eliza Bynum, married Puss [Tamar] Artice, daughter of Arch and Rosa Artice, at Arch Artice’s.

In the 1870 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: Archabald Artis, 70; wife Rosa, 34; Tamer Bynum, 23, and [her husband] George, 25.

In the 1880 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer George Bynum, 35; wife Tamer, 30; and child Arch, 7, Roser, 6, Lesey, 4, and Robert, 3 months.

In 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer George Bynum, 59; wife Tamer, 54; sons Robert, 18, farm laborer, and Jesse, 13; daughter Leesy McCoy, 22; son-in-law Willie McCoy, 25, farm laborer; and grandchildren Joseph, 2, and Lossie, 1; and Walter Taborn, 17, farm laborer.

Slaves — Bynum or Farmer Families, Edgecombe, Wilson Counties, 1825-1865, P.C. 1981.3; Virginia Pou Doughton Family Papers, Private Collections, State Archives of North Carolina. Thanks to Jennifer Johnson for bringing this collection to my attention. 

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