NORTH CAROLINA (WSPA) – Buncombe County’s Register of Deeds has added 50,000 names to the Slave Deeds of Buncombe County Project research database.

Buncombe Co. officials said this was possible because of a partnership with UNC Greensboro and a $294,000 grant.

The database shows the deeds of slaves in 13 counties of N.C. from 1776 through 1865 and it is meant to help African Americans learn more about their past.

 “It’s an amazing resource for African Americans trying to find their ancestral stories. It’s always going to be difficult for African Americans to do this challenging research, but hopefully this tool will make it easier for those who want to.”

Drew Reisinger, County Register of Deeds

According to Buncombe Co. officials, after the success of the initial cataloging of Buncombe Co. slave deeds, Reisinger partnered with the North Carolina Office of Archives and History and UNC Greensboro to secure a National Archives grant that would further this groundbreaking and important work.

The grant not only expanded the project’s research but also helped secure the database within the state-based Digital Library on American Slavery.

Reisinger said the discovery of the additional 50,000 names would not be possible without thousands of hours of research from UNC Greensboro students and faculty as well as volunteers from across the State of North Carolina.

You can search thousands of slave deeds and their images via the Digital Library on American Slavery by clicking here. For more information on the initial Buncombe County Slave Deeds Project, click here.