This Old House Series: the Freedmen’s Bureau Records, West Point, VA


If you are new to this series and would like to learn more, click here to read the introduction.

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands was created in 1865 “to assist in the reconstruction of the South and to aid formerly enslaved individuals transition to freedom and citizenship.”    The Freedmen’s Bureau records provide local documentation and insights not readily available from other sources. For West Point, VA, a portion of these records address the disposition of property deemed “abandoned.”

Stay tuned as we highlight each of these properties in the series individually and provide additional research!

Report of Abandoned Property, July 1865

Former  Owner


Occupant Comments
A.G. Baylor


Assistant Superintendent’s Office “Taken up as abandoned property July 24th as no one was in possession and no agent properly accredited.” In the King William Land Book 1863, A.G. Baylor is listed as owner of lot 431.


James Dungee “This property is a two storied house very much out of repair no windows no doors would recommend its sale.” Later documents identify James W. Shackleford as the owner, town lots 90 and 91, corner of 2nd and Main.
J.W. Shackleford


W.P. Taylor


Unoccupied Taken possession of for the purpose of locating Freedmen’s families thereon. Later documents discuss 9 families of Freedmen living on the property prior to restoration
Ed. T. Powell


W.J. Pillsberry “This property was taken up as abandoned as there was no agent accredited prior to January 1865 . In very good repair yet unfinished.”
Dr. Duval


Ed. Anderson “Taken up as abandoned July 29th in good repair.” Later documents and other evidence suggest this is lot 217, corner of 4th and Main

The This Old House Series, West Point, VA Edition is designed to highlight answers to a few questions, provide a preview of the extensive hours of research completed, and encourage further dialog. If you are interested in receiving additional information for a particular property, locality, family history, or court case, contact Theresa Sirles with REACH Consulting for a custom quote: (804) 843-3495, via e-mail at or by text at (804) 310-0516. 

You may also purchase full reports which include copies of all source documents and detailed footnotes. Follow us on Facebook at REACH Consulting, LLC and view snippets of local history at Three Rivers Reflections.  If you build upon what is published with your own follow up research, please mention us in the credits. It’s the Southern thing to do. 😉 Keep calm and do history.

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