Byhalia, Marshall County, Mississippi Slave Records





Transcribed by Tom Blake, February, 2002

PURPOSE. Published information giving names of slaveholders and numbers of slaves held in Marshall County, Mississippi, in 1860, is either non-existent or not readily available. It is possible to locate a free person on the Marshall County, Mississippi census for 1860 and not know whether that person was also listed as a slaveholder on the slave census, because published indexes almost always do not include the slave census.

Those who have found a free ancestor on the 1860 Marshall County, Mississippi census can check this list to learn if their ancestor was one of the larger slaveholders in the County. If the ancestor is not on this list, the 1860 slave census microfilm can be viewed to find out whether the ancestor was a holder of a fewer number of slaves or not a slaveholder at all. Whether or not the ancestor is found to have been a slaveholder, a viewing of the slave census will provide an informed sense of the extent of slavery in the ancestral County, particularly for those who have never viewed a slave census. An ancestor not shown to hold slaves on the 1860 slave census could have held slaves on an earlier census, so those films can be checked also. In 1850, the slave census was also separate from the free census, but in earlier years it was a part of the free census.

African American descendants of persons who were enslaved in Marshall County, Mississippi in 1860, if they have an idea of the surname of the slaveholder, can check this list for the surname. If the surname is found, they can then view the microfilm for the details listed regarding the sex, age and color of the slaves. If the surname is not on this list, the microfilm can be viewed to see if there were smaller slaveholders with that surname. To check a master surname list for other States and Counties, return to.

The information on surname matches of 1870 African Americans and 1860 slaveholders is intended merely to provide data for consideration by those seeking to make connections between slaveholders and former slaves. Particularly in the case of these larger slaveholders, the data seems to show in general not many freed slaves in 1870 were using the surname of their 1860 slaveholder. However, the data should be checked for the particular surname to see the extent of the matching.

The last U.S. census slave schedules were enumerated by County in 1860 and included 393,975 named persons holding 3,950,546 unnamed slaves, or an average of about ten slaves per holder. The actual number of slaveholders may be slightly lower because some large holders held slaves in more than one County and they would have been counted as a separate slaveholder in each County. Excluding slaves, the 1860 U.S. population was 27,167,529, with about 1 in 70 being a slaveholder. It is estimated by this transcriber that in 1860, slaveholders of 200 or more slaves, while constituting less than 1 % of the total number of U.S. slaveholders, or 1 out of 7,000 free persons, held 20-30% of the total number of slaves in the U.S. The process of publication of slaveholder names beginning with larger slaveholders will enable naming of the holders of the most slaves with the least amount of transcription work.

SOURCES. The 1860 U.S. Census Slave Schedules for Marshall County, Mississippi (NARA microfilm series M653, Roll 601) reportedly includes a total of 17,439 slaves which ranks as the fourth highest total in the State and the twentieth highest in the U.S. in 1860. This transcription includes 96 slaveholders who held 40 or more slaves and 1 who held 31 slaves in Marshall County, accounting for 5,936 slaves, or 34% of the County total. The rest of the slaves in the County were held by a total of 1,198 slaveholders, and those slaveholders have not been included here. Due to variable film quality, handwriting interpretation questions and inconsistent counting and page numbering methods used by the census enumerators, interested researchers should view the source film personally to verify or modify the information in this transcription for their own purposes. Census data for 1860 was obtained from the Historical United States Census Data Browser, which is a very detailed, searchable and highly recommended database that can found at . Census data on African Americans in the 1870 census was obtained using Heritage Quest's CD "African-Americans in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census", available through Heritage Quest at .

FORMAT. This transcription lists the names of those largest slaveholders in the County, the number of slaves they held in the County, the Township and Range shown and the first census page on which they were listed. For holders found on page 43 and lower, no Township and Range or other local district was shown. The page numbers used are the rubber stamped numbers in the upper right corner of every set of two pages, with the previous stamped number and a "B" being used to designate the pages without a stamped number. Following the holder list is a separate list of the surnames of the holders with information on numbers of African Americans on the 1870 census who were enumerated with the same surname. The term "County" is used to describe the main subdivisions of the State by which the census was enumerated.

TERMINOLOGY. Though the census schedules speak in terms of "slave owners", the transcriber has chosen to use the term "slaveholder" rather than "slave owner", so that questions of justice and legality of claims of ownership need not be addressed in this transcription. Racially related terms such as African American, black, mulatto and colored are used as in the source or at the time of the source, with African American being used otherwise. The term "County" is used to describe the main subdivisions of the State by which the census was enumerated.

PLANTATION NAMES. Plantation names were not shown on the census. Using plantation names to locate ancestors can be difficult because the name of a plantation may have been changed through the years and because the sizeable number of large farms must have resulted in lots of duplication of plantation names. In Mississippi in 1860 there were 481 farms of 1,000 acres or more, the largest size category enumerated in the census, and another 1,868 farms of 500-999 acres. Linking names of plantations in this County with the names of the large holders on this list should not be a difficult research task, but it is beyond the scope of this transcription.

FORMER SLAVES. The 1860 U.S. Census was the last U.S. census showing slaves and slaveholders. Slaves were enumerated in 1860 without giving their names, only their sex and age and indication of any handicaps, such as deaf or blind Slaves 100 years of age or older were supposed to be named on the 1860 slave schedule, but there were only 1,570 slaves of such age enumerated, out of a total of 3,950,546 slaves. Though not specifically looking for such named slaves, the transcriber did not notice any such information on the enumeration of the transcribed slaveholders. Freed slaves, if listed in the next census, in 1870, would have been reported with their full name, including surname. Some of these former slaves may have been using the surname of their 1860 slaveholder at the time of the 1870 census and they may have still been living in the same State or County. Before presuming an African American was a slave on the 1860 census, the free census for 1860 should be checked, as almost 11% of African Americans were enumerated as free in 1860, with about half of those living in the southern States. Estimates of the number of former slaves who used the surname of a former owner in 1870, vary widely and from region to region. If an African American ancestor with one of these surnames is found on the 1870 census, then making the link to finding that ancestor as a slave requires advanced research techniques involving all obtainable records of the holder.

MIGRATION OF FORMER SLAVES: According to U.S. Census data, the 1860 Marshall County population included 11,376 whites, 8 "free colored" and 17,439 slaves. By the 1870 census, the white population had increased about 14% to 12,917, while the "colored" population had dropped about 5% to 16,499. (As a side note, by 1960, 100 years later, the County was listed as having 7,264 whites, about 36% less than 100 years before, while the 1960 total of 17,239 "Negroes"was about the same as what the colored population had been 100 years before.) It should be noted however, that in comparing census data for 1870 and 1960, the transcriber did not take into consideration any relevant changes in county boundaries.

Where did the Marshall County freed slaves go if they did not stay in the County? Orleans County in Louisiana saw an increase in colored population of almost double between 1860 and 1870, growing to over 50,000, so likely that is where some went. Lowndes and Warren Counties in Mississippi saw increases of 6,000 and 8,000, but no other Mississippi County showed such a significant increase. Between 1860 and 1870, the Mississippi colored population only increased by 1%, about 6,000. States that saw more significant increases in colored population during that time, and were therefore more likely possible places of relocation for colored persons from Marshall County, included the following: Georgia, up 80,000 (17%); Texas, up 70,000 (38%); Alabama, up 37,000 (8%); North Carolina, up 31,000 (8%); Florida, up 27,000 (41%); Ohio, up 26,000 (70%); Indiana, up 25,000 (127%); and Kansas up from 265 to 17,000 (6,400%).


BENSON, E. M., 40 slaves, T3 R4&5, page 56

DAVIS, E. N., 114 slaves, T3 R3, page 46

DAVIS, Hugh, 61 slaves, T1 R1&2West, page 91

MCGOWAN, Catharine, 76 slaves, T6 R2, page 125

STANBACK, E. W. & P. N. (Click link to view picture of Presley Stanback), 43 slaves, T3 R5, page 71B

STANBACK, P. N. (Click link to view picture of Presley Stanback), 48 slaves, T2 R5, page 64B

WOOD, F., 43 slaves, page 20B


(exact surname spellings only are reported, no spelling variations or soundex)

(SURNAME, # in US, in State, in County, born in State, born and living in State, born in State and living in County)

BENSON, 733, 98, 17, 68, 59, 9

DAVIS, 13725, 1397, 42, 1038, 743, 22

MCGOWAN, 144, 32, 8, 28, 16, 2

STANBACK, 49, 13, 0, 6, 6, 0

WOOD, 2672, 179, 4, 133, 97, 3


Will of George Stanback, Father of Presley Stanback, Husband of
Elizabeth Stanback who took Blacks to Byhalia, Mississippi


Shared by Lydia Sides -- January 11, 2002

In the name of God Amen. I George Stanback of Richmond County and State of North Carolina, being weak in
body, but a sound and perfect mind and memory, considering the uncertainty of this mortal life and being
of a sound mind and blessed be Almighty God for the same do make and publish this my Last Will and Testament
in manner and form following (that is to say).

First I lend unto my beloved wife Elizabeth Stanback the whole of my Estate until my eldest son Presley,
arrives to the age of twenty one years old to rase (sic) the children or except she should marry then
in that case she shall only have the third part of my land including the dwelling house where I live her
natrial (sic) life.

I give and bequeath the other two thirds of my lands to my two sons Presley and Thomas Francis, only they
shall at the division of my property which will be my desire not to take place until my son Presley is
twenty one years old then they shall pay one third of the value of the lands left to them to their sisters
Jane, Winney and Charlotte in money or other property by the time my son Thomas Francis becomes of age all
the rest of my property I desire to be equally divided among my five children Jane, Presley, Winney,
Charlotte & Thomas Francis when my son Presley arrives at the age of twenty one years old as before

I also give and bequeath that part of my land lent to my wife her life after her death to my two sons
Presley & Thomas Francis in the same manner as the other. I also desire if either of my two sons should
die without lawful issue the land should go the survivor of the two sons. If any of my children should
marry before the division, it is my will and desire that my Executors hereafter mentioned should lend
such property as they may think proper untill the devision.

It is also my will and desire that whatever is coming to me from my fathers estate either real or personal
property should be divided among my five children in the same manner as my other estate.
It is also my will and desire, that whatever income of my property should arise by my farm over and above
raising and schooling of my children, should be put out to the use of my children to the best advantage
and benefit at the discretion of my executors and hereafter mentioned.

I also appoint my beloved wife Elizabeth Stanback, Jeremiah Ingram & David Stanback my Executors of this
my last will and testament, in witness where of I set my hand and seal this 11th day of March in the year
of our Lord 1818.

Geo. Stanback (seal)

Jas. Ingram Sr.
Lemuel Ingram
Dempsey Massey

State of North Carolina, Richmond County. December Term 1818
The within will was proven by Dempsey Massey a subscribing witness thereto ordered to be Recorded.

M.D. Cranford C.C.C.



Note: Martin Stanback (See Census records)

Martin (52) & Adline (55) Stanback

According to the 1880 US census, they were both born in North Carolina and were both Black.  Sallie was the only Black child, all others were mulatto, the granddaughter was Black.

Sallie female 20
Henry male 19
Agnee female 10 or 19
Shed male 12
M.A. female 9
(This is probably Mary who married Sye Boggan)
Addie female 7
James male 5
Mary female (granddaughter)


Henry (40) & Charlotte (45) Stanback

According to the 1910 census, both were born in Mississippi; they were married December 26, 1889.  They were mulatto and all the children were mulatto.  Henry's first wife was Laura Boggan who bore Clint Stanback.  (Click here to view Census Records)  From the lineage of Martin Stanback came the Stanback, Davis & Benson families.

Edward male 14
Clifton male 18
Clyde male 18
Abner male 16
Claud male 16 (?)
Clair male 15
Mary female 13
Alberta female 11
Adline female 9


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