Database Fields

The following are definitions of the database fields. The dataset is designed to document information about slave owners, enslaved persons and general census information about slavery in a single dataset. In this way we can see records of slave owners along with records of the people they enslaved.

  • Type: Slave Owners (Owner) or Enslaved Persons (Slave) or Census (Census)
    • A census record lists the number of enslaved persons in a locality for a particular year, along the the total population for the locality when it exists.
    • When a record contains slave and owner information it is recorded as a slave record. All slave records include the owner identification when it exists.
  • RecYear: The year of the information in the record
  • O_code: A unique code for the slave owner
  • O_last: Last name of the Owner
  • O_first:First name of the owner
  • O_born: Year of birth of the owner
  • O_died: Year of death of the owner
  • A_last: Last name of an advocate for the enslaved persor
  • A_first:First name of an advocate for the enslaved person
  • A-born: Year of birth of an advocate for the enslaved person
  • A_died: Year of death of an advocate for the enslaved person
  • D_last: Last name of an early descendant of the enslaved person
  • D_first:First name of an early descendant of the enslaved person
  • D_born: Year of birth of an early descendant of the enslaved person
  • D-died: Year of death of an early descendant of the enslaved person
  • CountyBoro: The County or Borough of the owner. When county identities and boundaries have changed, if possible we code the current county of the locality not the historical county.
  • Locality: The town or city
  • Place: A street address, place name or ship name.
  • Slaves: The number of slaves of the owner, typically from a census
  • Sm: The number of adult male slaves
  • Sf: The number of adult female slaves
  • Smc: The number of male child slaves
  • Sfc: The number of female child slaves
  • Scode: A unique code to identify the slave
  • Slast: Last name of the slave. When the last name is not capitalized, this is the last name of the slave owner and the slave was not originally documented with a last name.
  • Sfirst: First name of the slave
  • Sborn: Birth year of the slave
  • Sdied: Year of death of the slave
  • GenPop: The number of people in the area of a census report. This field is only used for census records.
  • Document: The source document for the record. We have a bibliography which provides more information about the source document.
  • URL: A website address for more information, or for access to the document referenced.
  • Comment: Additional information about the record
  • Tags: These are codes that, when used in a search, identify a special circumstance or issue. For a list of the tags see the instructions on the main menu.

The same record format is used for all types of information, and the relevant fields are completed based on the information available.