From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Floyd County (KY) Enslaved, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870

Floyd County, located in eastern Kentucky, was formed in 1800 from portions of Fleming, Montgomery, and Mason Counties, and is surrounded by five Kentucky counties. The county was named for John Floyd, a land surveyor and early explorer. Prestonsburg, once named Preston's Station, is the county seat, named for its founder John Preston from Virginia. Preston, a land surveyor, was also a member of the Virginia Legislature. Prestonsburg is the oldest settlement in the Big Sandy Valley.

The 1800 county population was counted as 478 in the Second Census of Kentucky: 447 whites and 31 slaves. The population increased to 6,241 in 1860, according to the U.S. Federal Census, excluding slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 42 slave owners
  • 110 Black slaves
  • 39 Mulatto slaves
  • 0 free Blacks
  • 0 free Mulattoes

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 185 slave owners
  • 105 Black slaves
  • 42 Mulatto slaves
  • 4 free Blacks 
  • 0 free Mulattoes 

1870 U.S. Federal Census

  • 58 Blacks
  • 81 Mulattoes
  • About 4 U.S. Colored Troops listed Floyd County, KY, as their birth location.

For more see the Floyd County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; The Big Sandy Valley, by W. R. Jillson; Slave Narratives, Volume 7, by Projects, A Work Projects Administration; and Floyd County, Kentucky History, by the Floyd County Bicentennial History Book Committee.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Floyd County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Preston's Station, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Prestonsburg, Kentucky in Wikipedia.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: "Second census" of Kentucky, 1800; a privately compiled and published enumeration of tax payers appearing in the 79 manuscript volumes extant of tax lists of the 42 counties of Kentucky in existence in 1800
NKAA Source: The Kentucky encyclopedia
NKAA Source: The Big Sandy Valley; a regional history prior to the year 1850. Boone Day address, 1922, Kentucky State Historical Society
NKAA Source: Slave narratives: a folk history of slavery in the United States from interviews with former slaves, volume 7 - Kentucky narratives
NKAA Source: Floyd County, Kentucky history

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Floyd County (KY) Enslaved, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed January 27, 2023,

Last modified: 2023-01-10 21:13:25