Slave deeds in Randolph County, NC

This is a project to review the deed books of Randolph County, North Carolina before 1865, which were handwritten, to find references to slavery. It is a work in progress, as we are still reading old deeds to make sure no slave deeds were missed; see the progress below.


Here you can also view the Randolph County Slave Census for 1850, 1860 (Western divison), and 1860 (Eastern division). Unfortunately, the names of the enslaved persons are not listed, only slave owner names, and the age, sex, and color of the enslaved persons.

Slave deeds found

See the list of 614 slave deeds we have found so far. These represent needles in the haystack of land and property transfer deeds in Randolph County from 1779 to 1865.

Many deeds record the sale of more than one enslaved person. We plan to compile a count of enslaved persons mentioned when we are finished reviewing all handwritten deeds.

Not all sales of enslaved persons were recorded in deeds. Therefore this work necessarily gives an incomplete glimpse of the true extent and impact of slavery in Randolph County.

Five of the deeds that mention slavery appear to be associated with emancipation of enslaved persons: b12p196 b12p225 b13p183 b16p208 b18p190. Three of these specifically mention the Society of Friends (Quakers).


Randolph County was created from Guilford County in 1779. Slavery existed in the United States from its beginning until the Civil War of 1861-1865 led to abolition.

In 1860 enslaved people made up about 10% of the population of Randolph County. Although this is believed to be lower than in surrounding counties, likely due to the influence of Quakers, slavery was integral to Randolph County's economy until emancipation.


There are 12,755 handwritten deed pages from the relevant time period. A total of 11,483 pages (90.0%) have been manually reviewed; 614 slave deeds on 546 separate pages have been found.

Browse deed books

BookApproximate datesPagesReadSlave deedsNotes
Book 11779-1794224224 (100%)1Original page numbers diverge from the online index around p200
Book 21782-1785257257 (100%)0
Book 31785-1789362362 (100%)0Missing page 341
Book 41789-1791131131 (100%)0
Book 51791-1794179179 (100%)1
Book 61795-1796226226 (100%)10
Book 71796-1798371371 (100%)14
Book 81798-1805550550 (100%)45
Book 91796-1802480480 (100%)6Mix of preprinted forms and handwritten deeds
Book 101802-18224760Exclusively real estate deeds using a preprinted form
Book 111804-1810443443 (100%)35
Book 121807-1814344344 (100%)36
Book 131813-1819558558 (100%)64
Book 141819-1827544544 (100%)49
Book 151822-19172390Exclusively real estate deeds using a preprinted form
Book 161824-1826429429 (100%)26
Book 171826-1828465465 (100%)17Missing page 100
Book 181829-1831457457 (100%)29Missing page 257
Book 191833-1834530530 (100%)23Missing pages 434-443
Book 201835-1837525525 (100%)11Missing pages 288, 450-451
Book 211836-1838547547 (100%)12Missing page 288
Book 221839-1841629629 (100%)35Missing pages 330-339
Book 231839-18632450Exclusively real estate deeds using a preprinted form
Book 241841-1842384275 (72%)19
Book 251842-1843302216 (72%)26
Book 261843-1845468316 (68%)37Missing pages 410-449
Book 271845-1848539361 (67%)23
Book 281848-1852565381 (67%)25
Book 291852-1855506338 (67%)4
Book 301855-1857533345 (65%)24
Book 311857-1860531369 (69%)21
Book 321860-1863533488 (92%)13
Book 331863-1866143143 (100%)8Missing pages 1-27, 47. Only deeds recorded before April 1865 (up to page 170) are considered

Go to book and page

Book Page


This project is not affiliated with the Randolph County Register of Deeds. It is an individual effort without using any grants or funding. It is dedicated to the better understanding of the history of Randolph County.


This project was inspired by the above-mentioned People Not Property - Slave Deeds of North Carolina and those who contributed to it.

Thanks also for the encouragement and support of the Randolph County/Asheboro NAACP and its President, Clyde Foust; Chuck Egerton; Ty Brueilly; and Jane Braswell.


This project is made by Wil Mahan. Email with any comments or questions.

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