List of Free African Americans in the American Revolution by Paul Heinegg: Book Review

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purposes of review and I have received other books from Genealogical Publishing Company, also for review. However, my opinions are my own and not influenced by outside sources.

Paul Heinegg is a prolific researcher and compiler of African American records, which are invaluable to family historians.

His latest book has a very long title, which fully details the amazing amount of biographical information contained within:

List of Free African Americans in the American Revolution: Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, and Delaware (Followed by the French and Indian Wars and Colonial Militias)

Lacking a pension, it is often difficult to prove Revolutionary War service for anyone, especially if there were two or more men of the same name living in a neighborhood. Proving war service of African Americans is even more difficult.

Mr. Heinegg has compiled 160 pages of biographical data covering five states and has extended his research to reach back to earlier colonial times.


Abbreviations and Notes on the Text
Other Possible Virginia Soldiers
Virginia Indians
North Carolina
South Carolina
Colonial Virginia and North Carolina
Colonial Delaware

Biographical entries are in alphabetical order by location. Here are examples of the kind of details to be found:

James McKoy – free mulatto farmer in Westmoreland County, Virginia in 1801. Applied for a pension for war services of 15 months, including Yorktown. Stated he was born in St. Mary’s County, Maryland and that he moved to Virginia with his father when he was about 8 years old, etc.

Talbot/Talbert Thompson – purchased his freedom after his master,  Alexander McKensie, moved to England. Petitioned Virginia for his freedom in 1761. Many details about the purchase of his wife, Jenny, from her master. He also owned a slave, himself, named Joseph. Loyalist during the Revolution and died in April 1782 in New York just before his family left for Canada, etc.

Samuel Hansor, aged 24, listed in muster of Captain John Wright’s Delaware Company in the French and Indian War on 11 May 1759. Married Comfort Hanzer before 15 April 1770 when daughter Ann was baptized at St. George’s Chapel, Indian river Hundred, Delaware.

Who wouldn’t love to find an ancestor or two in such a well documented book?

As with earlier works, Paul Heinegg has assembled a book of fascinating and invaluable details about the lives of African Americans in early American history.

For anyone doing early African American research, this is an excellent book to have on the reference shelf of your home library.

This is a new publication by Clearfield Company, Baltimore, Maryland and can be ordered online from Genealogical Publishing Company for $25.00.



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