Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Estate of Job Tison, Late

One thin sheet of paper, insufficient to prevent the ink from bleeding through to the other side, contained the three columns listing all the "several goods and chattel" belonging to the estate of Job Tison. It was drawn up and presented by the appointed appraisers to the court at Glynn County, Georgia, on October 25, 1824.

While there were plenty of entries for jugs, jars, pots, and even a waffle iron, the main point of interest—both for us and, apparently, for the appraisers, who gave this category top listing on the flimsy page—were the names and values of the persons once enslaved on the Tison plantation. Eighteen in all, their names were given as John, Jack, Sam, Harry, Jim, Rose, Caty, Mary, Mary Ann, Charlotte, Amy, Phoebe, Hannah, George, "Alick," Moses, Dick, and Anak.

None of those names in the inventory had appeared in Job Tison's will, which had called out specifically certain slaves intended for individual children. This, perhaps, provides an answer to my question yesterday about how many slaves in total Job had held. I tend to think—though not yet having made my way through the entire (and messy) probate file—that there might have been more slaves than were provided in this listing. Still, adding yesterday's thirteen names to the eighteen here, the total amounts to more than the twenty five slaves indicated in the 1820 census. Hopefully, the rest of the probate documentation will provide the missing names.

We can't, however, presume that all those named in this inventory were to be summarily sold. Some of those names I already recognize from other communications in the probate file. One, in particular, was mentioned repeatedly as each Tison child signed a note indicating receipt of his or her portion of the father's estate. That one slave was Mary Ann. Whether I can discern what the story was behind the particular care taken to remember Job Tison's request by calling her out in his will is yet to be seen, but that there was a story to be known is a hint too broad to ignore.


  1. Fascinating detective work. I see how you are circling back around to the King Stockton story. I look forward to the daily reports on your progress.

    1. Thanks, Lisa. Of course, I never know what the outcome will be, but I'm hoping to tie up some disconnected details regarding these two families--if the proof can be found.


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