Friday, May 29, 2020

Friends of Friends Friday-Releasing Names from the Estate of John Cantey Thames: Charlotte, Leon, Anthony, Ben, Binkey, January, and Henry

When John Cantey Thames died intestate in Kershaw County, South Carolina in January of 1856 his estate was inventoried and items sold to pay creditors. Among those items listed as goods and chattel were the names of 5 of his enslaved.


They are
One Negro Woman Charlotte
Leon young man,
Binkey girl

A letter from the administrator of the estate sent a letter to the court informing them
"the estate is considerably in debt. In order to pay said debts, it will be necessary to sell one negro belonging to the said estate named Leon for cash."

An account page shows Leon being sold for $900 and the payment received from "hiring out of negros".

Releasing the names of  Charlotte, Leon, Sam, Anthony, Ben, Binkey, January, and HenryMay they be remembered and reunited with their families.

Sumter, South Carolina, “South Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1670-1980”, database and images, Ancestry ( 27 May 2020), image for J. C. Thames, 5 Jan. 1855, Bundle 136, package 2, images  274-279, citing Sumter Estate Records, Bundles 135-136, 1784-1960

Are you finding the names of the enslaved in records?
Please transcribe and share them.
Say their names, help connect families.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
Helping you climb your family tree,


  1. I haven't written one of these posts in a while. Thank you for the reminder. I only have a few ancestors who owned other people, but I do hope I can find wills or paperwork that will get all their names out there.

  2. I also have ancestors who owned slaves but have not found any names. If I do find names I will transcribe them and share. What a great idea, thank you so much.

    1. Getting the names out helps to make connections. Thanks so much!

  3. An important step to reuniting families. So many hidden names. Hard to think about. Glad you and other people are doing this.

  4. I don't have any slave owners nor slaves in my ancestry. I think it's so important to give them names though. :)

    1. Beth, sometimes we find their names in records that have to do with our ancestors even if they weren't the slaveholders. If you do, I am glad you understand the importance of saying their names. Thanks so much!

  5. Hello, my name is Switzon Ashe Blair II and i'm currently doing research on my family to search for my enslaved ancestors. I am so happy there are people like you out there who are sharing their information to help others, do you know if anyone else out there has a site like this where i can search for my potential ancestors?

    Thank you

    1. Yes, has many resources to help! Thanks for reading my post and leaving a message.