Nelly Ramsey

Nelly Ramsey travels with her parents China Godfrey and Cato Ramsey, her younger sister Betsey and older brother James Ramsey in the Book of Negroes. China, James and the two girls were owned by Matthew Godfrey in Norfolk County. Cato was owned by Dr George Ramsey and later by his son John Ramsey. When Cato first appears in Dr Ramsey's tithables in 1757 it is in the same area of Norfolk (the South Side of Tanners Creek) as Mathew Godfrey when he first lists China in that same year.





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


The Burning of Portsmouth - Portsmouth

  • The Burning of Portsmouth 1779 -

    In May 1779 the British detached a fleet of ships under Admiral Collier with a army detachment under General Matthew to make a putative raid into the Lower Chesapeake and destoy the tobacco warehouses. This fleet was supported by a smaller fleet of privateers owned by John Goodridge. After destroying much of Portsmouth, the British took away a large contingent of runaways from the Portsmouth and Norfolk area. A group consisting of 256 men, 135 women and 127 children.




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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


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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
Master: John Richee
Port Roseway Nelly Ramsey 15 fine girl Stephen Shakespeare Formerly Slave to Matthew Godfrey, Norfolk. Left 4 years ago. Certificate from General Birch.
Remarks:[Nelly and Betsey Ramsey's entries in the Book of Negroes state that they were formerly owned by Lawrence Lounce. This is a mistake. Lounce is the name of a South Carolina slave owner who owned the people listed above the Ramseys in the BON. ]
Nelly Ramsey's Relationships


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
Nelly Ramsey 18 Captain John Coffin's Company
Nelly Ramsey's Relationships