The Wake County Register of Deeds Office and Shaw University are working together on a major project. The Enslaved Persons Project is an effort to unlock the secrets of dozens of deeds in Wake County, in order to reveal the human stories of slavery, and allow descendants to find the history of their families.
Enslaved people’s records are rarely found in birth or death certificates, but, rather, in property deeds and bills of sale.
The Enslaved Persons Project is part of a larger effort by the University of North Carolina Greensboro Libraries and North Carolina Division of Archives and Records to create a database of information about formerly enslaved people in all 100 counties of North Carolina.
When it’s complete, everyone will have access to search these documents and images. The database will be an important resource for genealogists, historians and family members.
Where is Wake County in the process? They’ve scanned the deed books. They are now asking for help from students and volunteers to extract the names and information from the deed books so that the data can be indexed.
Eventually people will be able to search for records for their ancestors.
Historic Oak View County Park, 4028 Carya Drive, Raleigh, which is a former plantation, is hosting the launch event on Thursday, August 26th, 2021, at 6 p.m.
This kickoff ceremony will include historians and educators. Learn how the records are helping to piece together the histories of the people who were enslaved in North Carolina.