I have since found the names of some of my ancestor's slaves, from his probate records (inventory and sales), but unfortunately that's as far as I've gotten. It hasn't helped me find out what happened to them after slavery was abolished, because they didn't have surnames as slaves and I have no idea what surname they may have taken when freed. If they took my ancestor's surname - Wood - it's a fairly common name and would make them difficult to find. Of course, after Wood's death, his slaves were sold to his son and son-in-law's but the in-law's were ...(wait for it)... Wright and Smith! So Wood, Wright, and Smith were the owners when they were freed - talk about impossible to research.
These are the slaves:
Negro Boy Peter
Negro Boy Jerry
Silvia Negro Woman
Negro Edy & Child
The list of items sold includes the following:
1 Yellow Woman Child - to M H [Milton Henry] Wood for $875.50
1 Black Man Peter - to S R [Simon R] Wright for $680.50
1 Black Man Jerry - to R H [Robert Hawkins] Smith for $810.50
1 Black Woman - to M H [Milton Henry] Wood for $0.10
I've had a look for Silvia Wood, Edy Wood, Peter Wright, and Jerry Smith in 1870 Kentucky or even more specifically Christian County, Kentucky - but there's nothing conclusive. Didn't find any Silvia Wood or a female Edy Wood in all of Kentucky. There's one black Peter Wright in Kentucky (not Christian County) but I have no idea if it's the guy I'm looking for or not: http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1870usfedcen&a...
There's a ton of black or mulatto Jerry Smith's in Kentucky - none in Christian County, but one is in the adjacent county of Todd - but again, no way of knowing whether that's the guy I'm looking for or not: http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1870usfedcen&a...
Why did my ancestors have to have such common surnames?!
Worth noting is that in Milton's probate record from 1867 it listed a Jerry Smith (who would have been free by that point - it appears to be a list of insolvent notes?).