Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Aim to Preserve Slave Records

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro has undertaken a research project entitled “People Not Property.” The goal of the project is to digitize slave deeds in 26 counties across North Carolina. These deeds contain information about the slaves’ names, age, family, and skills.

Project organizers note that some counties have lost their records from before the Civil War due to fires, floods, and other national disasters and they want to digitize remaining records to preserve the history of enslaved Africans.

Richard Cox, a digital technology consultant for University Libraries at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro who is participating in the project, stated that “the more these unnamed people that we actually can give not only names to, but families to, will I think hopefully open up a conversation about slavery and the history of North Carolina more broadly. There’s something about attaching a name to a person that builds up even more humanity for them.”

Cox hopes to expand the effort to other states once the three-year North Carolina project is completed.

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  1. My name is Mary Ann Worthington (African-American)-born in Como, NC (Hertford County). My father’s name is David Matthew Worthington. His parents are Charlie, Sr. and Bertha Bynum Worthington. Charlie’s parents are possibly Moriah and Elton Worthington. I am looking for resources other than to further my research. Any help would be appreciated.

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