Friday, February 15, 2019

It's an Eye-opener: Slaves in New England

William C. Nell, The American Revolution with Sketches of Several Distinguished Colored Americans
(Boston: Wallcut, 1855), page number not supplied; New York Public Library

NERGC 2019 Lectures To Include Janice Lovelace, Ph.D., on
Slavery in New England and the Black Experience in the American Revolution

It only happens once every two years. It takes two dozen genealogy societies, acting in tandem, to put on the NERGC conference, an event with as many genealogy learning opportunities as a national genealogy conference. But NERGC is always in New England, often close enough for many of us to commute rather than incur the travel and hotel expenses that come with the national conferences. NERGC 2019 runs April 3rd to 6th in Manchester, New Hampshire.

My specialty is New England research in the colonial period, specifically Connecticut and Massachusetts. About 25% of my ancestors come from that time and place. (The other 75% are Swedish, Danish, English, Irish, Scottish, and Belgian, with a tiny bit of Spanish.) That small quarter of my heritage has been a huge research task with many years invested in tracing people back.

One of those people was an enslaver in 1790. When I found this, I carefully counted the number of slave owners in Stratford, Fairfield County, Connecticut. It turns out that