Antigua and Barbuda Slave Returns 1742-1863
This is the second batch that i've tried to index that has an extraordinary number of names in the Increase / Decrease columns. Many of the names appear to be duplicates of the names of enslaved persons on the register, but scattered throughout are names that do not appear anywhere on the detailed register.
In these columns there are also notations regarding births or deaths of particular individuals who may or may not appear in the detailed register.
Since the instructions tell you to index every unique name, I'm feeling a little uneasy about leaving these names unindexed, even though many appear to be duplicates, but at the same time there is no other data to index (gender, race, age, etc)
The first batch I indexed I added over 50 additional lines so that I could index all the names, but now I'm concerned that this is not the correct way to index registers with so many additional names in the the side column.
There are no examples on how to handle this type of record.
Melissa S Himes ✭✭✭✭✭
I have been working on this project too and found that indexers are missing the names in the increase/decrease column.
I agree with you that we should index all the names in the columns, even if they are also in the list of Slaves in Possession because the instruction is:
- Index each unique name. Some names may be duplicated. When names are exact duplicates, meaning that all required fields are the same, index only the first instance of the name listed. Skip the other exact duplicates and then index the next unique name. Unique names include names with different middle initials and different name spellings or where the other required fields are different.
and as you said, they are not exact duplicates because they don't list age, gender, race. If we miss those in the decrease column, it could be tragic for researchers, especially since many of these slaves have died or have been sold to other proprietors.
The 4th example does have an example of how to handle this type of record, but it is slightly wrong. Joe Dawson was a slave, not a proprietor. He is listed on the Slaves in Possession list too. But, John Stewart and Dr Gillan* are most likely proprietors who returned Joe Dawson and Charles. The note on that example is also incorrect. It does say that entries will need to be added for all proprietors and enslaved persons listed on this register. But, those names are not all proprietors!
Please Note: Entries will need to be added for all proprietors and enslaved persons listed on this register. Names listed under the "Increase" and "Decrease" columns were proprietors.
I reported the inconsistencies a few days ago, but, the instructions and the example have not been changed.
*A Dr Thomas Gillan was a slave-owner in Antigua who died in 1828.1
I have been coming across these as well. I cannot list names as proprietors when I am certain they are enslaved peoples. I have also found names of slaves who "abandoned" in the written oaths that are signed by the proprietor. I am making sure to index those names as well. I have only seen it a handful of times. But I am sure these are also being missed since we are not told to look through the oaths for names of enslaved.2