Skip to content
November 1, 2018 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County: Benjamin Bartley, Free By Birth

Benjamin Bartley. Free Negro Registration. Courtesy Library of Virginia.

The Fall 2018 issue of Central Virginia Heritage included Jean L. Cooper’s transcription of the 1808 description of Benjamin Bartley in the Free Negro Registration. This rare document was found in Prince Edward County records and can be viewed at Lost Records Localities Digital Collection, Library of Virginia.  Dated November 16, 1808, it reads:

Benjamin Bartley a free mulatto is duly registered & numbered 17 in a book kept by me for registering free negroes & mulattos, aged twenty two years, of a yellowish complexion, five feet eight inches high, has a small scar on each arm and no other apparent mark or scar on face head or hand, a free man by birth.
Rolfe Eldridge jr. DC Buckingham County,

The foregoing register upon a comparison of the same with the person therein described being found by the Court to be correct the same was ordered to be so certified by the Clerk of Court.
a Copy Teste R. Eldridge jr DC

A search of the 1810 census for Benjamin Bartley produced a Ben Bartley (FN) in Charlotte County.
The list, “Other Free” Heads of Household in the 1810 Virginia Census,” includes the free African-American Beverly family in Buckingham County. They had been paying taxes in the county since  1782.

Beverly, Betty
Beverly, Charles
Beverly, Jenney
Beverly, Jonathan
Beverly, Priscilla
Beverly, William
Beverly, Jonathan

If a Slate River Ramblings reader recognizes Ben Bartley or the Beverly family, please comment.


Leave a Comment
  1. Tony / May 27 2021 5:04 pm

    I descend from the Beverly family of free African Americans. They appear to have been an amazing family with deep roots in Buckingham County.

    • Joanne Yeck / May 28 2021 6:40 am


      Thanks for adding this comment about the Beverly family.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: