Todd Johnson
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Physical Address:
Heritage Center
241 E. Market Street
Smithfield, NC 27577
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 2709
Smithfield, NC 27577
Phone: 919-934-2836
Slave Name Index

The Johnston County Heritage Center is pleased to offer an online index to slave names registered in Johnston County.  This is a genealogical database and one of the first of its kind in the nation. 

Click Here to search the Slave Name Index

Resources used to compile this index are listed below.  For more information about this database, or to obtain a copy of an original record, or for more information about other resources available at the Heritage Center, please contact us directly at Thank you for your interest in Johnston County and our African-American history and heritage.



Kinfolks of Johnston County : Abstracts of Deeds, 1759-1865, volumes I and II, by Elizabeth E. Ross and Zelda B. Wood.  Clayton, N.C. : Ross, 1993.


Johnston County, North Carolina, County Court Minutes, 1759-1850, in 18 volumes, by Weynette Parks Haun.  Durham, N.C. : Haun, 1974-1995.


Johnston County, North Carolina, Will Abstracts, 1746-1870, revised edition (volume I & II combined), by Elizabeth E. Ross.  Clayton, N.C. : Ross, 1991.


Stealing a Little Freedom : Advertisements for Slave Runaways in North Carolina, 1791-1840, edited by Freddie L. Parker.  New York : Garland Publishing, 1994.





Baldy Sanders Papers – Private Collection 330

Records Baldy Sanders slaves and plantation operations from 1830 to 1868, with slave birth records dating to 1774.


Frances Secor Mitchener Hastings Gardner Papers – Private Collection 73

            Papers included a copy of the report from the U.S. House of Representatives regarding a war claim for damages inflicted by the Federal soldiers on April 11, 1865.


Sanders-Rose Collection – Private Collection 116

Papers kept by Ruth Sanders Rose of Smithfield associated with several branches of the Sanders family especially relating to White Oak Plantation in Cleveland Township, which was owned originally by Reuben Sanders in the late eighteenth century and by successive generations of the family until the 1930s.


Watson-Sanders Collection – Private Collection 162

Copies of a plantation account book belonging to Henry Bulls Watson.





Assessment of Slaves, 1863 Tax List of Johnston County.

In 1863, for the first time, the North Carolina General Assembly required tax listers to include slaves by name.  Records for only eight districts have survived; in the North Carolina State Archives.

Jacob A. Stevens Slave
Sale, 1858 – North Carolina State Archives

            Copy of a bill of sale from the State Archives.


Johnston County Estates (R. D. Atkinson) – NC State Archives

Copies of estate records from the State Archives regarding sales of slaves by Ruffin D. Atkinson.


North Carolina State Archives.  Johnston County Slave Trials

            Copies of court records of slave trials in the State Archives.


Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’ Project.

First-person accounts of slavery collected 1936-1938 as part of the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA).  Available at