In A Mother’s Name: Analyzing the Possessive-Prefix Name Form in Plantation Records

Date(s) - October 25, 2020
2:00 PM
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Presented by Hampton National Historic Site

In this talk, Dr. Camee Maddox-Wingfield, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at University of Maryland, Baltimore County, will discuss the important challenge of analyzing possessive-prefix name forms found in plantation records as an approach to understanding and reconstructing kin networks of those historically enslaved at the Ridgely Plantation. Research at the Hampton National Historic Site has presented a unique opportunity to develop a methodology for uncovering mother-child dyads and family relationships when working with partial, discrepant, and/or duplicate names recorded in ledgers, wills, inventories, and other archival records. It has also encouraged a reconsideration of the function of possessive-prefix names beyond mere recordkeeping for what they reveal about the emotional and affective labor of enslaved Black women. This approach allows us to challenge a commonly held assumption that family life under slavery must remain obscure due to the seemingly unreliable nature of incomplete records. By presenting a set of compelling examples from Hampton’s historical family groupings, Maddox-Wingfield will provide insightful commentary on naming traditions, recordkeeping practices, and enslaved women’s reproductive labor under American slavery.

Participation will be limited to the first 100 people that log into Zoom (see information and link below). The event will be recorded and shared at a later date.

Hampton Zoom is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting on Sunday, October 25th at 2pm…

Meeting ID: 831 7705 7348
Passcode: 197623


This project was made possible by a grant from Maryland Humanities, through support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Maryland Historical Trust in the Maryland Department of Planning, and the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this Lecture Series do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Maryland Humanities, Maryland Historical Trust, Maryland Department of Planning, or the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. 

Maryland Humanities is a statewide, educational nonprofit organization that creates and supports educational experiences in the humanities that inspire all Marylanders to embrace lifelong learning, exchange ideas openly, and enrich their communities.
Maryland Humanities
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Baltimore, Maryland 21201-4565
(410) 685-0095
(410) 685-0795 fax
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