Welcome to the International African American Museum! Advanced timed tickets are required for all visitors. Popular dates and times may be sold out.
14 Wharfside StreetCharleston, SC 29401
Museum open 10am to 5pm (last entry 4:00 PM) Tuesday-Sunday. Closed Monday.
IAAM will challenge, illuminate, inspire and, ultimately, will move people to action.
14 Wharfside Street — Charleston, SC 29401
Sep 27, 2018
Historic newspapers are an important resource for African American genealogy. Runaway slave ads, jailor’s notices of captured runaway freedom seekers, notices of estate sales, private sales and sheriff’s sales that include the names of enslaved ancestors are all important for understanding enslaved ancestors’ experiences.
Today, we focus on advertisements for Sheriff’s sales, what those advertisements tell us, and what leads they provide for further research.
Notices for Sheriff’s sales often include a reference to a “fi fa.” What is a fi fa, and what can these words tell us in our search for enslaved ancestors?
A fi fa, or writ of fieri facias, is a writ issued by the court after a judgement in a legal action for debt or damages. The fi fa instructs the sheriff to sieze and sell property equivalent to the value of the judgement against the debtor.
In the examples shown above and below, there are two important bits of information:
Let’s go to the FamilySearch Wiki page for Noxubee County, to see which records are available for that county. We can go to the FamilySearch Home Page, hover over “Search,” then select “Research Wiki” from the drop down menu:
On the FamilySearch Wiki Home Page, we’ll type in “Noxubee County Mississippi.”
From the search results, we’ll select “Noxubee County Mississippi Genealogy.”
Let’s scroll down the Wiki page to the section on court records. Here we see that the county courthouse has records for the Circuit Court, beginning in 1834. The sheriff’s sale in the advertisement above was advertised in 1840, so the court actions that led to the fi fa may be among the Circuit Court records in the Noxubee County, MS courthouse.
As you see, the Wiki page gives us the contact information and address for the Noxubee County, MS courthouse, so we can contact or visit the courthouse.
View All Posts
Faith Based Programs