As I work on my family history, I have spoken to a few people. One of my cousins in particular says she would not do a family history because she did not know what she would find. Well, most of the worst of what we know has already been revealed. We know that our ancestors were slaves. We know that they were sold into slavery by people who looked like them. These are just facts of my and millions of people's past. I am still coming to terms with it. It has been difficult.
I am at a point in my research where the paper trails are beginning to thin out. My great-great grandparents were born slaves and then freed after the Emancipation Proclamation. My great-great-great grandparents were slaves. I have not determined yet whether they were born slaves of if they were sold into slavery. I think I might have found my great-great-great grandfather on the 1850 US Federal Census Save Schedules (from ancestrylibrary.com).
The (excerpted) record reads:
1850 U.S. Federal Census - Slave Schedules
NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION
Because your ranked search did not include a name, we are showing you exact
match results instead. Exact match searching generally returns more relevant
results than a ranked search when a name isn't included.
Nam/Home in 1850/(City,County,State)
Saml R Ireland/Northern Division, Sampson, North Carolina
The 30-year-old black male might have been my great-great-great grandfather. On the 1870 census, my great-great-great grandfather was listed as 50-years-old. This makes him 30 in 1850.
In order to prove this, I have to do a "process of elimination" by viewing all of the slave owners with this last name (Ireland) in Sampson County in this year. If I find more than one 30-year-old black male, I have to elimate by city (if possible).