Additional Research Notes ~ Alane Roundtree:
In regard to the marriage records I can’t say I’ve run across too many records documenting “slave marriages” in the 1830s. I think those records are rare and true gems. You will notice that Davies also referred to Robert as Martha’s “husband” (bottom of page three). Very interesting. Davies may have been among the few slaveowners who allowed his slaves to “jump the broom.” Some even provided preachers for the occasion – I know JH Hammond did. But I don’t think it was commonplace. In case you think it was benevolence — don’t be fooled. Everything JH Hammond did was about total control. He even presided over a “divorce court” for his slave community although the punishment for separation was “100 lashes a piece.” His motivation, of course, was to “encourage marriage” because in his words it “insured a greater increase” (i.e. profit.) Permission to marry had to be obtained in advance and no one from the community was allowed to marry a “negro who did not belong to the master.” (Hammond’s “Silver Bluff Plantation Stock & Crop Book: Rules & Contracts”) Since the Hammond and Davies families were close, I suspect they adopted some of the same “rules for the management of negroes” on their respective plantations.
The more I read over the transcriptions again, the more I tend to believe that the enslaved individuals recorded on those pages had to have had ties to Thomas Jones Davies’ father, Thomas W. Davies. TJ Davies was born in 1830 — yet look at the dates of when many of these life events happened within the slave community. TJ couldn’t have had personal knowledge of Charles and Patience’s marriage in 1830 for example, and many of the slave births occurred when he was very young or before he came of age. The question is, did TJ inherit some of these slaves, along with his sister Harriet Davies Hammond, and then transcribe some of the marriage or slave family records from another source — his father’s bible or plantation records perhaps? It seems some answers may lie in Burke County, Georgia with Thomas W. Davies. Do you have any Burke County researchers who follow Our Georgia Roots? How about on GenealogyWise? Anyone with ties to Waynesboro? Do the plantation names “Cherry Hill” or “Waldburg” ring a bell? MCM Hammond was 16 years older than TJ Davies and also owned cotton plantations in Georgia.
[Note: published with approval – 3/9/2010]