Maria/Nancy [Shepperd]

Maria is the ten year old child or grandchild of Thomas and Lucy Shepperd. In the Birchtown muster she is listed as being aged twelve and called Nancy. It is assumed they are the same person and that this name change is an error. It is unclear whether her real name was Nancy or Maria.
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7/ Nov

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Lord Dunmore's Proclamation - Norfolk

  • John Murray, Lord Dunmore -

    John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore (1732 – 25 February 1809), was the  colonial governor of Virginia at the outbreak of the American Revolution.

Source for this event: Lord Dunmore's Proclamation


British Invasion of Philadelphia - Chesapeake

  • The campaign for Philadelphia -

    On July 23 1777 the British fleet left from Sandy Hook, New York carrying more than 15,000 soldiers and headed into the Atlantic before turning south to enter the Chesapeake in August and sail up the bay to its northern extremity to set the troops ashore at the head of the Elk River on August 25.




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Treaty of Paris - Paris France

  • Treaty of Paris -

    In November 1782 a provisional peace treaty was hammered out between the British and the Americans in Paris.

Source for this event: Treaty of Paris


Evacuation of New York - New York

  • Evacuation of New York -

    In April 1783 the first evacuation fleet left for Nova Scotia. A week later  the British Commander, Sir Guy Carleton, sailed up the Hudson River to Orangetown for a conference with General Washington to discuss the evacuation. As the victorious commander, Washington opened the meeting by reiterating the resolution of Congress regarding “the delivery of all Negroes and other property.”

Source for this event: The Book of Negroes
Vessel Names and their Commanders Where Bound Names Age Description Names of the Person in whose Possession they now are Remarks
L'Abondance - July
Master: Lt. Philips
Port Roseway Maria 10 Fine girl Formerly Slave to Robert Barron, Norfolk. Left 5 years ago. Certificate from General Birch.
Remarks:[Maria's former owner's name is recorded as 'Robert Barrett' in the Book of Negroes, however the records indicate that no Barretts have tithable property in Norfolk in this period. 'Barrett' is a mistake for 'Barron'. Robert Barron appears in the Norfolk Tithables in 1778 for the first time and lists a 'Lucy' among his slaves, we believe this is Lucy Shepperd, who is probably Maria's mother. His last appearance is in 1780 and Lucy is no longer listed, which fits with the date she gave for absconding.]
Maria 's Relationships
Assumed to be traveling in the Book of Negroes with:


Birchtown Muster - Birchtown

Source for this event: Birchtown Muster of Free Blacks
Name Age Occupation Families they lived with Companies they belong to Remarks Company They Are Now With
Nancy Shepherd 12 Col. Blucke
Remarks:['Nancy' here is around the same age as 'Maria' in the Book of Negroes, and we believe them to be the same person, daughter of Lucy Shepperd.]
Nancy Shepherd's Relationships