It appears as if you may already have a copy of James Dowdell, Sr.'s 1855 will in which he names slaves as parts of his bequests to his children--including the daughter Louisa (aged 15 in 1855) from whose slaves are descended some of your family.If you don't have that will, I have a copy and would be happy to send it to you by snail mail. (It's in a 1930's era typescript which would not scan very well.)I found it in the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH), Chambers County reference shelves, as "Chambers County, Alabama, Wills, Vols. 1-3, 1818-1861."I'll look again in the same source when I go back to the ADAH and see if there is a will for Louisa Dowdell, particularly, but I suspect that the communal property laws of the day mean that her slaves became her husband's--if she married.She may also have recorded a will after 1861, a date beyond which this resource does not extend.I may be able to find out if she did indeed marry and to whom in my family records.The bequest to her is combined with that to a younger brother, Luther Martin Dowdell, who would have been only 12 years old in 1855.
Here are the names of the slaves inherited by Louisa as I can best decipher them from the irregularly punctuated lists.To Louisa I. (or J.?) Dowdell, he specifies "twenty two [slaves] in number," but I can't get the numbers to come out the same because of confusing punctuation, most likely.I get twenty-one:
Ellick and his wife Mary and their children: Chancy, Lorick, Asberry, Jim, Clarisey, and Selva (8 total);
Dick and his wife Silla and her children: Alfred, Lewis & Susan (5 total);
Shadrick and his wife Lucinda and their children: Eliza Jo, Henry & Lilas (5 total; if "Eliza" and "Jo" are names for two people, you can get the number to come out to the 22 specified in the will);
Dilley Ann & her two children: Freeman and an infant child (3 total?)
I'm a descendant of Louisa's sister, Susan Dowdell, my great-great-grandmother.