In previous posts, we presented affidavits concerning the free status of John L. And James Francis, sons of Hagar, a Free Person of Color emancipated by Steward Lamboll/Lambol in 1799, and Sarah Houston and Rose Buckmyer, who were nieces of John L. Francis.
Today, we present an affidavit concerning the freedom of another of Hagar’s grandchildren, Hagar Gardner, who was also the niece of John L. Francis. Today’s affidavit was made on the same day, April 18, 1848. The same witnesses testified who testified on behalf of John L. and James Lawton.
There is first a certified copy of the manumission certificate made by Steward Lamboll in 1799, then testimony from Wm. Fraser that he saw Steward Lamboll sign the certificate of manumission freeing Hagar Gardner’s grandmother Hagar.
Eliza Kohne, who previously testified that Lamboll purchased Hagar from Kohne’s father John Neufville in 1799 and subsequently freed Hagar, testifies that Hagar Gardner is the grandchild of Hagar and the niece of John L. Francis.
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Suggestions for Further Research
If you find documentation for a free African American ancestor in Charleston, there are several record sets you can consult to pick up a further document trail. Here are some starting points:
- If your ancestor was free, you should be able to find them in census records for census years after their emancipation.
- The South Carolina Department of Archives and History has microfilmed records of the State Free Negro Capitation Tax, a tax free people of color were required to pay annually. The twenty-nine books in this publication list names of many free blacks who lived in Charleston between 1811 and 1860.
- You may be able to locate your free ancestor in city directories. Ancestry.com has digitized Charleston’s city directories in the collection “U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.” You can view print copies of Charleston city directories in the South Carolina Room at Charleston County Public Library.
- Your free ancestor(s) may have owned property. You can check the Register of Deeds in your county of research interest.
- You can browse the free FamilySearch collections “South Carolina Probate Records, Bound Volumes, 1671-1977” and “South Carolina Probate Records, Files and Loose Papers, 1732-1964” for probate records such as wills, estate inventories and estate accounts for free black ancestors. These will be interfiled with probate records of free white citizens. Note that these collections are not indexed, so you will need to browse the index pages of individual volumes to see if your ancestor’s name is listed. If you find your ancestor’s name, note the page number and browse to that page number on the microfilm.
Affidavit Concerning the Freedom of John L. Francis and James Francis, Charleston, SC, 1848.
Affidavits Regarding the Free Status of Sarah Houston and Rose Buckmyer, Charleston, SC 1848
 South Carolina, Secretary of State, Miscellaneous records, 1771-1868,v. 6A-6B 1844-1849, Affidavit and Certificate Concerning the Freedom of Hagar Gardner, https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSLV-29BB-L?i=361&cat=476811, frame 362 of 567, accessed 12 Sep 2017.
 South Carolina, Secretary of State, Miscellaneous records, 1771-1868, v. 6A-6B 1844-1849, Affidavit and Certificate Concerning the Freedom of Sarah Houston, https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSLV-291W-D?i=359&cat=476811 , frame 361 of 567, accessed 12 Sep 2017.
 South Carolina, Secretary of State, Miscellaneous records, 1771-1868, v. 6A-6B 1844-1849, Affidavit and Certificate Concerning the Freedom of Rose Buckmyer, https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSLV-2919-Z?cat=476811 , frame 361 of 567, accessed 12 Sep 2017.