Ross County, Ohio Records of African Americans

Source: American Historical Association. "A Preliminary Report on the Ohio Archives ". Washington, D.C. American Historical Association, 1908. p. 193-4.

Records of Court of Common Pleas, Clerk's Office

Two volumes, Records of Negroes.

In volume 1, page 1, ....., Thomas Hicks entered the following:

"Toby Bias, aged forty. Rachel Bias, aged thirty-five. Eli Bias, aged two and one-half. Eva Bias, aged four months. Charles Adkinson, aged twenty-one."

On May 31, 1804, a black man named Lewis Cook entered himself.

.Bourbon County, March Court, 1804

An instrument of writing under the hand and seal of Jess Hitt emancipating a negroo (sic) man named Harry was produced in court and acknowledged by the said Jess Hitt as his act and deed, hand and seal, in the following words and figures, which were ordered to be recorded, to wit:

Being convinced of the injustice of holding in the state of slavery our fellow creatures, I do hereby emancipate and set free a black man by the name of Harry, and do for myself, my heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns, relinquish all right title and claim to the said Harry from this nineteenth day of March as witness my hand and seal.

Jess Hitt [seal]

I do certify that the foregoing deed of manumission from Jesse Hitt to negroo Harry is a true copy from the records in my office. In testimony whereof I hereunto set my hand and affix the seal of my office this twenty-eighth day of March, eighteen hundred and four.

William Garrard, Jr. C.B.C.

[Bourbon County Seal]]

Received and recorded in my office on the second day of July, 1811.

Humphrey Fullerton


[p. 194]

Volume II covers records from 1810-1855.

Deeds of manumission from the founder of Chillicothe:

To all whom these presents may be presented, That whereas Clerander, a black girl, was in the year 1800 brought into this State an infant by me and since has arrived at the age of eighteen, which by law of this State has entitled her to her freedom, these are therefore to certify that the said Clerander, now known by the name of Clerander Green, is entitled unto her freedom agreeable to the laws of the State. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand at Chillicothe in the County of Ross and State of Ohio this fourth day of September, eighteen-hundred and eleven.

Nathaniel Massie

Another from the same hand:

Chillicothe, June 10, 1811.

I do hereby certify that the bearer hereof, Mike, was raided by me from his infancy and that I brought him to this County. During residence with me he was honest and never thought a willful lye nor have I ever lernt since he left me that he was charged with either and I do also certify that he came with me to this State then the North West Territory in the year 1792 and been absent but a short time.

N. Massie.

Entered according to the act, entitled, " An act to regulate black and mulatto persons."

Entries similar to these ran on to August 21, 1855.


WPA. Ross County Inventory, 1936? Clerk of Courts. Misc. Records.

Records of Manumissions, 1804-1855

2 vols. discontinued.

Records of slaves being freed by their owners on settling in Ohio, showing date and names of owner and slave.

Arranged chronologically by date of entry. No index, hdw, average 150 pp. 12 x 8 x 11/4

BTW the Genealogy Section of the Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library has a typescript document titled: " Registration Records of Emancipated Negroes / Probate Court Ross County, Ohio 1842-1856". Also includes the photostatic reproduction of the originals in part #2.

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