Northern Virginia Slavery Database
Record Search

Search for Records

• To perform a record search, enter the information you know.

• Limiting the information you enter will generate more hits.

• Entering only a slave owner's name will generate a list of records for his/her slaves.

• Slave owner first names are often abbreviated. Searching only the owner's last name will find more records.

• Use % as a wildcard string. For example, entering M% in the "Enslaved Person: First Name" field will return records for all enslaved people with a first name beginning with M.

• A few enslaved individuals are listed in the records with middle names, so entering the first name followed by % will return all records with that first name regardless of middle name.

• Dates are in YYYY-MM-DD format. Often the day is not known and only YYYY-MM is shown.

Search for Families

• If you are searching for a family, try entering the first names of two family members to find slave owners who were associated with both names.

• Select Search, and if there is a slave owner associated with both names, then enter the owner's last name in the Record Search for a list of all slaves associated with owners with that last name.