Orange Co., NC Free Families of Color 1790-1840

In the article, The Jeffreys and Day Families, Cabinetmakers, we discovered that Thomas Day of Caswell County, NC was connected with the Day and Jeffreys families who lived in Orange County, NC, a group of people who were of mixed Native heritage, apparently Occaneechi, who had moved in the early 1800s from Greensville Co., VA.  Thomas himself was born to John and Mourning (Stewart) Day, a mixed race couple.  The Day family was also closely associated with the Jeffreys family whose Indian heritage is documented through court records.  These families would have been listed on the census as free people of color, not as white.

In the census returns, there are many families that include both slaves and free people of color.  The families listed below are the entries that only have free people of color, implying of course that the name listed is the head of household and that person is a free person of color.

Based on the information about the Jeffreys family and from Forest Hazel, among these families are those of Native ancestry.  This is not to imply that ALL of these families “of color” have Native ancestry.  To connect these families, one would have to perform research on marriages, deeds and land records, wills and probate records.

1790 Tax List

There is no 1790 census for Orange Co., NC, unfortunately, but there is an enumeration with a tax list replacing the census.  On that tax list, there is no Guy family but there are 4 Jeffers; Jacob, Evan, Garner and John.

The 1800 Census

The 1800 census classification for people of color was “all others.”  The Hillsborough District of Orange County shows the following in that category.  This census has been alphabetized on the actual returns by district.  It looks like all of Orange County was enumerated under the Hillsborough District.

  • Mary Woods
  • John Arthur
  • Mason Griffies
  • Black Jacob (sic – alphabetized on the tax list under Jacob)
  • Jacob Jeffries
  • Peter Jones
  • Rapes (difficult to read) Stewart
  • Sandy Burnetts
  • Edward Bowman
  • Joseph Bird
  • Thomas Bunch
  • Henry Bunch
  • Benjamin Farrington
  • John Gowing
  • Holladay Heathcock
  • Edward Husk
  • Paul Morgan
  • Paul Morgan
  • (John Moore) Morgan (sic)
  • Thomas Morgan
  • James Tinning
  • Zadock Weaver
  • Penny Weaver
  • Peggy Revels

The 1810 Census

The 1810 census for Orange County shows the Jeffreys family in the Hillsborough District of Orange County.  The 1810 classification for free people of color was “all others.”  People in the Hillsborough District under this classification were as follows:

  • Eliasabeth Williams
  • John Willson
  • Samuel Noe
  • Vines Guy
  • Rob Brook corn (sic) 6 houses from
  • Miles Scott beside
  • William Mize two houses from
  • Thomas Jeffries
  • Kinchin Chavis
  • Aaron Burnet beside
  • Nath Bell 6 houses from
  • Mathew Melton 1 house from
  • Major Brooks
  • L. Jeffreys
  • e Vrush (name difficult to read, page 51 of 123 at Ancestry, Orange County census records, below)

1810 orange co vrush

  • William Bettyford
  • Paul Morgan
  • M. Hurtgray 13 houses from
  • H. Jones
  • M. Haithcock 2 houses from
  • Isam Goins
  • G. Tatom
  • William Staggs
  • George Hormen or Horner
  • Hezekiah Revill
  • John Horsow?
  • Henry Bunch
  • S. Burnett

1820 Census

The 1820 census for Orange County included the following families who were counted as “free negroes.”

  • Mark Hammons 1 house from
  • Simon White
  • Reuben Day
  • Jacob Johnston
  • George Tatum
  • Henry Bunch
  • Henry Corne
  • Benjamin Day beside
  • Jesse Day 23 houses from
  • Jimmy(?) Corn beside
  • Samuel Craig
  • Thomas Morgan (possibly, difficult to line up with the enumeration)
  • Marmaduke Cole
  • Coy Revell 6 houses from
  • Moses Ratley
  • Cylus Shoecraft 4 houses from
  • James Shoecraft 1 house from
  • Miles Milton 20 houses from Randal Milton (who was enumerated as white but it was struck through) 4 houses from
  • Josiah Robbins (who was enumerated as white but it was struck through) 8 houses from
  • Jesse Fludd beside
  • Judah Griffis
  • Meradeth Chavous 15 houses from
  • Willis Jeffreys one house from
  • John Jeffreys 2 houses from
  • John Jeffreys 8 houses from
  • Drury Jeffreys 7 houses from
  • Littleton Jeffreys 14 houses from
  • Jesse Guy 16 houses from
  • Joshua Jeffreys beside
  • Jinney Jeffreys
  • Cresa Hudson
  • William Guy 2 houses from
  • John Evans 6 houses from
  • Jed Weavans beside
  • Major Brooks beside
  • Thomas Archer beside
  • John Boyd 2 houses from
  • Jonathan Waldin
  • James Bass 10 houses from
  • Susan Robison
  • Samuel Noe
  • Benj Day beside
  • Reuben Jeffreys 12 houses from
  • Aaron Burnett 5 houses from
  • John Artis beside
  • Aaron Wilson
  • James Bird
  • Willice Boon
  • Nathaniel Bayley
  • Major Weavans (Wevans?) 25 houses from
  • Rubin Day
  • Betsey Morgan
  • Joel Mitchell
  • Elias Jeffreys 15 houses from
  • Thomas Jeffreys
  • Fanny Evans
  • Kinchen Chavous 1 house from
  • Simon Jeffreys 3 houses from
  • William Moize beside
  • Hannah Jones 9 houses from
  • Willey Jones 4 houses from
  • Junel (Surrel?) Jones 6 houses from
  • Lewis Jeffreys 2 houses from
  • Chd Whitmore 1 house from
  • John Guy 11 houses from
  • Dixon Corne
  • William Croker?
  • Jesse Archer (started to enumerate as white but struck through)

1830 Census

The 1830 census of the North District or Orange County, NC shows an entire group of families, free people of color, enumerated together, possibly living adjacent.  It’s also possible that the enumerator simply listed all of the “free colored” together at the end of the census.  Please note that the writing is difficult to decipher in some cases.

Orange Co NC 1830 census

Orange Co NC 1830 census 2

  • Joshua Jeffreys
  • Miller Jeffreys
  • Wharton Jeffrys
  • Newel Jeffrys
  • Littleton Jeffrys
  • Abner Burnet
  • Dixon Corn
  • Mark Hammonds
  • Sam Truman
  • William Truman
  • Lucretia Rollen
  • John Artus
  • Anor (or Amos) Fords
  • Nathan Allen
  • Rhoda Rotteth(?) or Rottesh
  • Joel Mitchel
  • Lucy Peters
  • Hetty Tinnin
  • Jerry Day
  • Betsey Morgan
  • Rachel Morgan
  • Jolly Revils
  • Reuben Day

If anyone can help with these family names that are difficult to decipher, I would be very appreciative.

The 1840 Census

The 1840 census for the Northern District of Orange County is not enumerated with these families together, but they are listed as follows.

  • Jane Corn enumerated beside
  • Elias Jeffreys
  • Thomas Pettiford
  • Dickson Corn
  • Hawky Wadkins one house from
  • Drury Jeffreys 6 houses from
  • Dickson Corn beside
  • Joshua Jeffreys 15 houses from
  • Richardson Corn beside
  • John Jeffreys beside
  • Willis Jeffreys 16 houses from
  • Andrew Jeffreys one house from
  • Littleton Jeffreys
  • Nat. Rebel
  • Allen Day 14 houses from
  • William Day 3 houses from
  • Neverson Stewart 13 houses from
  • Reuben Day 20 houses from
  • Thomas Jeffreys
  • Elijah Jones beside
  • Sally Heath beside
  • Betsey Guy beside
  • Abner Burnet 13 houses from
  • James Smith
  • Lucretia Rolins
  • Meredith Chaves
  • Enoch Jones
  • Ransom Jeffreys 11 houses from
  • Renico (or Lenica?) Day
  • Rachel Robeson beside
  • Cullen Bass 5 houses from
  • Wilie Chaves 3 houses from
  • Anderson Taburn beside
  • Edmund Taburn beside
  • George Day 13 houses from
  • William Bookman 2 houses from
  • Wilie Johnston beside
  • David Mitchel 16 houses from
  • Chesley Bass
  • Thomas Chaves 4 houses from
  • Benjamin Day
  • Jesse Whitmore

In 1849, this portion of Orange County became Alamance County, Va.

About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
This entry was posted in Census, North Carolina, Ocaneechi. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Orange Co., NC Free Families of Color 1790-1840

  1. Nancy Crutchley says:

    I am convinced that in the 1830 Orange Co. census the names are Samuel and William Freeman, not Truman.

  2. Marshall Spencer says:

    Hello Roberta, do you have a valid email address for Forest Hazel? I’ve tried to contact my cousins in the Occaneechi-Saponi Nation & received no genealogy information or help at all from them. If anyone knows a valid email address for Forest Hazel, please contact me at

    Thank you

    Marshall Spencer

  3. Doug Stephens says:

    Under the 1840 census entry, the note at the end referencing an Alamance county VA is in error.
    There is an Orange county VA, in north central VA. Alamance county NC was formed in 1849 from Orange county NC.

  4. Betty Eidenier says:

    John Blackfeather Jeffries is featured in the Durham Morning Herald today, September 3, 2018, with contact information. He knows Forest Hazel.

  5. Emily says:

    I am a Woods/Berry descendent of North Carolina, Orange County. Would anyone happen to have any information on these families by chance?
    Many thanks,

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