|"Power of Words" b y Antonio Litterio,|
Each will or probate record of an ancestor who owned slaved provides the opportunity to learn the names of enslaved individuals. This was definitely true when examining the records for William Brooks Willingham who died in 1838 in Walton County, Georgia.
William's will is not presented in the online records, but the probate records for his estate provide a great deal of information. The inventory of his estate recorded in September of 1838 listed 12 slaves.(1) The inventory was especially informative as it provided the name, sex, and age of each of Willingham's slaves. Records from the 1839 sale of these slaves provides information as to where they moved as the estate was settled.(2) The information provided in these two lists has been combined and is recorded below. These individuals were each listed in the 1838 estate inventory. There was one girl, however, a girl named Lucretia, aged 15 months, who was listed in the estate inventory but whose name did not appear in the 1839 sale. One possible reason might be that she was the unnamed one-year-old child who went to Mary Willingham. The ages given are those recorded in the 1839 sale.
- Charles, a man age 45, to John T Pool
- Mary, a woman age 35 and child age 6 months [not listed in the estate inventory], to Wm Lacky
- Eliza, a girl age 4, to Wm Lacky
- Henry, a boy age 3, to Charles Huff
- Sarah, a woman age 36 and child 1 year of age, to Mary Willingham [wife of William Brooks Willingham]
- Rose, a woman age 19 and child 2 months of age, to R S Willingham [son of William Brooks Willingham]
- Allen, a boy age 2, to R S Willingham
- Sanday, a girl age 15, to Jessee Moon [brother-in-law of William Brooks Willingham]
- Ebeline, a girl age 3, to Jessee Moon
- Sally, a girl age 5, to Louis S Moon, Jr
- Sam, a boy sold by the Sheriff to Jessee Moon in October 1838
(1) Georgia, Will and Probate Records, 1742-1992, Walton County, Estate Papers, 1820-1915, image 1194 of 1295, estate of William Brooks Willingham; accessed on www.ancestry.com.
(2) Ibid, image 1207 of 1295; accessed on www.ancestry.com