I found the above will in the Lewis Stirling Family Papers, archived at the Louisiana State University. The Stirling family, wealthy Louisiana planters, owned my third great-grandmother, Eliza Burton. I’ve been scrolling through the microfilmed documents hoping that they will include some information about her. The Stirlings kept receipts for everything from purchases at their favorite New Orleans clothing store to ferry trips across the bayou. So far, Eliza hasn’t turned up in their voluminous records but scores of other enslaved people have. Here are slave names included in Alexander Stirling’s 1808 will:
Betsy, mulatto child of my negro woman Sarah
Lucy and Nan were to be left to Alexander’s daughter, Anne. Old Kitty was to be freed upon Alexander’s death and Hercules and Tennance would be freed when Alexander’s son, John turned 21. For “(his) own reasons,” Alexander puts the mulatto child, Betsy and her mother, Sarah under his son, Henry’s care. (Sarah could also be under her son John’s care if she wants, but her daughter, Betsey will have to be under John’s will). I can’t help but wonder what that’s all about. But more importantly, I can’t help but hope that this information can be helfpful to someone searching for their ancestors.
I’ll keep posting any slave names I come across as I go.