User Guide for Charles Lemons Database

Table of Contents

Background

Charles Lemons, a retired curator from the Patton Museum at Ft. Knox from 1986-2011, assembled a database of Black enslaved and free people from research starting in Nelson County and expanding into other Kentucky counties over time. It includes data from censuses, wills and other legal documents, tax records, religious records, and military sources.

 

On our website at this time, we are showcasing only the records of people who were enslaved in Jefferson County. Later in 2022, we will be publishing the entirety of the Lemons database on our website.

 

The information for each person can include their name, alternate names, family code, county of residence, race, sex, birth date and location, death date, occupation, parents’ names and family codes, marriage status, spouse name, cause of death, purchase prices, baptismal information, emancipation date, physical characteristics, military service, if they were enslaved by Roman Catholic institutions/clergy, and general notes. There are up to 4 owner fields to record multiple transactions involving enslaved people.

Fields in the Lemons Database

(Spelling and descriptions in the parentheses represent what is in the database.)

LastName
FirstName
AKA 
AKALast 
FamilyCode
County 1
Color
Sex
BirthYear
BirthDay
BornIn 
BICounty 
DiedYear
DiedDate
Occup 
Owner1 
Owner1First 
Owner Code #
Owner1 AltCode 
State1
YearTransfered
TransferCode
Owner2 
Owner2First 
Owner#2 Code 
Owner2 AltCode 
State2
County2
YearTransferred2
MotherFirst 
MotherLast 
MotherFamilyCode 
FatherFirst 
FatherLast 
FatherFamilyCode 
Married 
SpouseFirst
SpouseLast
SpouseCode
MarryDate
MarryYear
Location 
Marriage Declared? 
DateDeclared
NameLast 
Died of Disease 
Cause of Death 
PurchaseYear 1
PurchaseDate 1
PurchasePrice 1
PurchaseMultiple 1
PurchaseYear 2
Removed 
RemovedTo 
Notes
Baptised 
Baptised on
Baptised at
New Name 
Religion 
1830Census 
30Count 
1840Census 
40Count 
1850Census
50Count
1860Census
60Count 
1870Census 
70Count 
Enlist 
EnUnit 
EnlistYear 
EnlistDate 
Eman 
EmanYear 
EmanDate 
Description
Height
Weight 
Skin Color 
RCProperty 
PensionRec 
PensionWidowNo 
PensionWidowCert 
PensionInvalidNo 
PensionInvalidCert 
PensionOtherNo
PensionOtherCert
InforSource 
Propriatary Info 
NewEnt 
 
 
(Alternate first name(s))
(Alternate last name)
 
 
 
 
 
 
(State born in)
(County born in)
 
 
(Occupation)
(Last Name of First Owner)
(First Name of First Owner)
 
(Alternate Code ID for owner for cross Reference)
 
 
 
(New Owner Last Name)
(New Owner First Name)
(W=White; X=Out of State Owner)
(Alternate Code ID for owner for cross Reference)
 
 
 
(Mother’s First Name)
(Mother’s Last Name)
(Mother’s Family Code)
(Father’s First Name)
(Father’s Last Name)
(Father’s Family Code)
(Yes/No)
 
 
 
 
 
(Where were they married)
(Yes/No)
 
(Adopted Name by1866)
(Did they die of disease, Yes/No)
(How did they die?)
 
 
 
(Yes/No. Price reflects multiple slaves)
 
(Removed from the state, Yes/No)
(State removed to (using modern initials) LB=Liberia)
 
(Yes/No)
 
 
(New First name (if different than Birth Name))
(Religion of baptism or owner (if known))
(Found in 1830 Census, Yes/No)
(Census County for 1830)
(Found in 1840 Census,Yes/No)
(Census county for 1840)
(Found in 1850 Census, Yes/No)
(Census county for 1850)
(Found in 1860 Census, Yes/No)
(Census county for 1860)
(Appears in 1870 Census, Yes/No)
(Census county for 1870)
(Enlisted in the Military, Yes/No)
(Unit enlisted in)
(Year Enlisted)
(Date Enlisted)
(Has this person been emancipated, Yes/No)
(Year of Emancipation)
(Date of Emancipation)
(Physical Description)
(Height in inches)
(Weight in pounds)
(As Described)
(Property of the Roman Catholic Church? Yes/No)
(Is their a pension claim, Yes/No)
(Pension Request Number)
(Certificate #)
(Pension Request Number)
(Certificate #)
 
 
(Who gave this information?)
(Credit must be given for source, Yes/No)
(New or modified entry since last download, Yes/No)

Information about Specific Fields

Color Codes

(Spelling and descriptions in the parentheses represent what is in the database)

SRColor

B
M
W
I

SRFullColor

Black
Mulatto
White
Indian

FamilyCodes

The FamilyCode is a unique identifier for each Black person, recorded as Lemons found them during his research. The first member of a family that he found receives a unique number, starting at 00001.

Subsequent generations are counted with letters after that number. Birth order is recorded by counting alphabetically from A.

For example:
Rose Abell is identified as 00003.
Her children Jerry, Mary, and an unidentified child are 00003A, 00003B, and 00003C.
Though none are yet identified, Rose’s first grandchild fathered by Jerry would be 00003AA, and the first grandchild born to Mary would be 00003BA.

Owner Codes

The Owner Code is a unique identifier for each enslaver that Lemons recorded. The Owner Code highlights many generations as extended family networks repeatedly willed enslaved people between relatives.

Prefix codes:
W
SD
X
Z
 
White (but also applied to free people of color)
Slave trader
Unknown
Contraband
Suffix:
XX 
 
Out of state

Kentucky County Codes

Spelling represents what is in the database.

ADAdairGVGravesMOMonroe
ALAllenGYGraysonMNMontgomery
ANAndersonGRGreenMGMorgan
BLBallardGUGreenupMUMuhlenberg
BNBarrenHCHancockNENelson
BABathHAHardinNINicholas
BOBooneHLHarlanOHOhio
BBBourbonHRHarrisonOLOldham
BDBoydHTHartONOwen
BYBoyleHNHendersonOWOwsley
BRBrackenHEHenryPEPendleton
BEBreathittHKHickmanPYPerry
BKBreckenridgeHOHopkinsPIPike
BUBullittJAJacksonPOPowell
BTButlerJEJeffersonPUPulaski
CDCaldwellJSJessamineRCRockcastle
CACallowayJOJohnsonRWRowan
CMCampbellKEKentonRURussell
COCarrollKNKnoxSCScott
CTCarterLRLarueSHShelby
CSCaseyLALauralSISimpson
CHChristianLWLawrenceSPSpencer
CKClarkLTLetcherTATaylor
CLClayLELewisTOTodd
CIClintonLILincolnTRTrigg
CRCrittendenLVLivingstonTBTrimble
CUCumberlandLOLoganUNUnion
DVDaviessLYLyonWRWarren
EDEdmondsonMDMadisonWAWashington
ESEstillMFMagoffinWNWayne
FAFayetteMRMarionWEWebster
FMFlemingMAMarshallWHWhitley
FLFloydMSMasonWLWolfe
FRFranklinMKMcCrackenWOWoodford
FUFultonMLMcLean  
GAGallatinMEMeadeXX Out of state
GDGarrardMCMercer  
GTGrantMTMetcalfe  

Transfer Codes

Spelling represents what is in the database.

TransferCode

Transfer

Explanation

ALAlimonyOwnership transferred by court order of alimony
APApprenticed 
COChange of ownerOwner’s legal name changes as a result of marriage, or property transfers back to a woman’s ownership as a result of the death of her husband (property was originally willed or given to the woman prior to or during marriage)
DODowerTitle transferred by legally recorded act of Dower
DTDeed of TrustTransfer of ownership by a legal and recorded Deed of Trust
EMEmancipatedFreed, either by will, declaration of an individual, or by court order.
ENEnlistedSlave enlisted or drafted into Federal Military Service
EXExchangedExchanged for property – no cash involved normally.
GDGuardianshipSlaves held by third person who is responsible for a minor child, to whom the slave ultimately belongs.
GTGiftTransfer of ownership by gift
INIndentured 
LNLoanUsually a family operation – long term loan of slaves to family members
LSLeaseLong term lease with no actual transfer of ownership
MGMarriageTransfer of legal responsibility of a slave from wife to Husband under state law.  Ownership normally returns to the wife upon the husband’s death by use of Dower rights.
PAPublic AuctionAny transfer of ownership by sale, either public or private
RARun AwayRan away from owner
RTReturnedNot common – a return of property to an estate in order to gain rights under a will
SZSiezedSiezed by court order or for debts – arrested for a crime
TRTransferredNot common – results from a legal transfer from one government body to another
WIWillOwnership transferred as a result of a written or oral will. This will also include divisions ordered by courts to comply with a last will and testemate

“User Guide for Charles Lemons Database” reprinted by permission of the Filson Historical Society, Louisville, Kentucky, with special thanks to Hannah O’Daniel McCallon and Jennie Cole.