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African-Americans in Worcester County, Maryland Court Records 1742 - 1800

by​ Kimberly A. Chase (2022)


This is a targeted compilation and transcription of county court records. Originally referred to as Deeds of Conveyance but later archived as Land Records, the archival set includes records such as Articles of Agreement, Bastardy Bonds, Bills of Sale, Certificates of Slave Importation into the State of Maryland, Deeds of Conveyance, Deeds of Gift, Deeds of Manumission, Deeds of Mortgage, Deeds of Release, Depositions, Indentures, Receipts and Schedules of Goods, Chattels, Rights, and Credits.

The original records were traditionally indexed by the names of the grantors (the "givers") and the grantees (the "receivers") with no mention of WHAT or WHO was being bargained, sold, gifted, moved, or mortgaged. The obvious exceptions to that were deeds of manumission. The inconsistency of identifying surnamed African-Americans by race or ethnicity unintentionally added further confusion.

.                                                                                          This compliation is intended to be a reference aid to overcome the brick wall of .                     .                                                                             African-American genealogical research and history in Worcester County,      .             .                                                                                         Maryland and all surrounding counties prior to 1870.

.                                                                                          Paperback $47.99 (limited time sale $39.99) to purchase, click here.


James Lee Purnell Jr. : Memories of Struggles and Progress in a Segregated Worcester County, Maryland      by James L. Purnell Jr. and Kimberly A. Chase (2017)


James Lee Purnell Jr. grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Berlin, Worcester County, Maryland in a time when Jim Crow reigned. The love of family and neighbors sustained him during those difficult times, and he followed in the entrepreneurial footsteps of his parents. 

Worcester County was slow to evolve, even after the passage of the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act. Seeking to spur change in his neglected and put-upon community, he joined with neighborhood organizations, as well as the local and state NAACP for the biggest fights of his life – and won.

Looking forward, he shares his concerns about milestones not yet reached and the possibility of society slipping back into the days of old.

Hardcover $30.00 to purchase, click here.

Paperback $20.00 to purchase, click here.

Ebook PDF $7.99 to purchase, click here.


In Their Own Words: The Abernathy (Eason, Rivers, and Tarpley) Slaves of Giles County, Tennessee

by Kimberly A. Chase (2014)

In the summer of 1863 at the height of the U.S. Civil War, Federal troops fanned across Tennessee and emancipated its slaves.  By July they reached Giles County and the slaves belonging to the extended family of the Abernathys, Easons, Rivers, and Tarpleys. 

While many chose to continue on at those plantations, at least 59 of their slave men enlisted in the Union Army.  They were divided among 6 colored regiments, provided essential services, participated in 12 battles and skirmishes, and were mistreated by the Confederates for 9 months as prisoners of war.

Herein their stories of slavery, family ties, bravery, suffering, love, and loss are revealed.  This book honors the lives of these former slaves and is a must-have for their descendants.

Paperback for $13.99 to purchase, click here.



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