Virginia Untold provides digital access to records that document some of the lived experiences of enslaved and free Black people in the Library of Virginia’s collections. Please help improve the discoverability of these sources by transcribing two of the project's many record types, bills of sale and deeds.
Bills of sale are written agreements which convey title of property, such as an enslaved person, from seller to buyer. Bills of sale record the name of the seller, the names of enslaved persons being sold and their price, and the name of the buyer. Given that they involved a property transaction, bills of sale were commonly recorded and filed with deeds in the local court. Deeds are written agreements which convey title of property, such as an enslaved person, from one individual to another. The type of deed predominantly found in Virginia Untold involves the voluntary transfer of enslaved people between family members with no financial transaction involved. Deeds record name(s) of the grantor(s), grantee(s), and enslaved people. Deeds were proved and recorded in the local court.