Norfolk County, Virginia Indians on 1851 Free Negro Register

In Norfolk County, Virginia court on Jan. 29, 1833 – “On the motion of Mr. Murdaugh, Resolved, That the comittee for courts of Justice be instructed to inquire into the expediency of authorizing the county courts to grant certificates to the descendants of indians and other persons of mixed blood, who are not free negroes or mulattoes, in like manner as certificates of freedom are granted to free negroes and mulattoes, which certificates shall exempt such persons from the penalties in force against free negroes and mulattoes.”

This practice remained in force in Norfolk County until 1850, at which time Indians were included in the Register of Free Negroes and mulattoes with the notation that they were Indians and were excluded from paying the tax placed upon free Negroes and mulattoes in order to fund repatriation to Africa. Understandably the American Indians, East Indians, and Gypsies had no interest in going “back” to Africa.

1851 Norfolk County Free Negro Register

# 1599 Samuel Harman – 25 yrs, 5 ft 6 – Indian complexion with a small scar near the Corner of the right eye from a cut.  How free – Indian descent – Jany 25, 1851, Jany 27, 1851 no tax

# 1600  Edward Harman – 22 yrs, 5 ft 8 1/2 – Indian complexion with a large scar….. How Free – Indian descent – no tax

# 1603 Enoch T. Bass – 21, 5 ft 9 – Indian complexion with several marks of India ink On the back of the left hand …… How Free – Indian descent – Janry 25 1851 Janry 30 1851

# 1604 Southall Bass – 22, 5 ft 8 ¾ – Indian complexion with a scar…… How Free – Indian descent

# 1620 Noah Nickens – 56, 5 ft 9” – Indian complexion with a scar under the lip…. How Free – Indian descent – Directed to be certified 22 April 1851 Registered & copied 3 May 1851

# 1621 Elvin Bass – 28, 5 ft 5 1/2” – complexion, with a small scar….. How Free: Indian descent – Ditto dates for Noah Nickens

From the work of Helen R. Rountree.


About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
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1 Response to Norfolk County, Virginia Indians on 1851 Free Negro Register

  1. Pingback: The Quarter: A Nickens Nucleus – Descendants of the Great Dismal

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