I have helped a few people research slavery but in no way would I call myself an expert on the subject. I learned about slavery as I was helping other people.
Many records in general are missing. What I have learned to do on just researching my own ancestors is study their behavior. My family in Wilkes lived in a very tight community amongst certain surnames. They all knew each other and related in some way. Just for example. Everyone of my patriarchs in Wilkes county are ROGUE. 3 of my male lines came to Wilkes all by themselves with no proof of parents or siblings. We have no proof these men knew each other outside of Wilkes county. Riddle came from Rowan/Salisbury/Davidson County, Moore from Orange County and Tudor from Granville County. My Riddle on top of it does not match his surname on DNA and matches no one at this time. Riddle and Moore came from areas that were documented Saponi villages and a moment in time. They could have had something to do with the Saponi but there is no record proof. My Moore ancestor who lived in Hawfields orange NC. He stayed in Orange 8-9 years, sold his land and moved to Rowan/Davie. Stayed in Rowan/Davie about 15 years and moved to Wilkes. Bought land in Wilkes and then around the time of Indian removal started 18 teens-early 1820's( we know our Moore is not Cherokee) he sold all his land to his son-in-law and did not buy any land again until 1833. He bought 100 acres for $1 on a rocky mountain side, this was not good land. Willed 50 acres to his son 3 years later and sold the other 50 acres to his Riddle son-in-law. Riddle being the one who does not match his surname on DNA did not take his Moore wife (no marriage record) until he was in his 30's and did not own any land until after Indian removal. I should say he had land but did not enter the land until 7 years after Indian removal. My Tudor's of Granville are the ones signing petitions on behalf of the free people of color in Granville. Our Tudor's were white and on Jury but who their wives may have been is a whole other story. I don't know if we are signing these petitions because we are sympathizers or are there FPC in these lines. Missing records and no marriages. Then there is my Reed.I have over 800 on my tree I have been working on for years and he is the only Reed on my tree. No proof of parents or siblings but he had 2 wives at the same time. Not just 2 wives but Sisters from my Riddle line! I told you how Evil our church was and here is my Reed in the middle of the bible belt out in the open being a polygomyst (sp?) with 2 sisters and no one bothered him????? My Reed left a will in 1890 so this is all documented with census, death records and the will. I don't know what to make of them but they are driving me nuts!
I do not teach history. I was an Insurance underwriter/investigator for many years. Same skills aply when doing genealogy.