Portis Families in the 1870 Census

Compiled by A.R. Portis, Jr.

The 1870 Census was the first time both “white” and “black” families were enumerated. But in comparing the 1870 results with both the 1860 and 1880 censuses, it is clear the some Portis’ were missed in this census. There is also a problem of spelling of the family name, which was generally decided by the census taker because a large number of people could not read or write. Therefore I have included some name variations in this analysis and indicate (by parenthesis) where the name is clearly misspelled, according to other other historical records.

Overall, in this census there were 426 people, of which 180 were “white” and 246 were “black or mulatto”. Both “heads of household” are generally listed along with the birth year and place of the first person. In some cases the individual was either single or a minor living with another household or group. Portis names appear in ten states with 80% in just four states: AL, MS, NC and TX. By the 1940 Census there were about 760 people with 75% in six states: AL, TX, NC, MS, IL, and OH.

1870 Alabama Census


Note: In the 1860 Alabama Slave Schedule the following owners are listed with 202 slaves:

Name Place Number
Edmond Portis Clarke with 24
J W Portis Clarke with 35
T J Portis Dallas with 17
B P Portis Sumter with 37
Epsey Portis Washington with 3
D H Portis Wilcox with 27
S W Portis Wilcox with 30
Name Birth State Place Race Number
Clara Portis 1844 AL Clarke B 4
Dennis M Portis 1827 AL Clarke W 1
George and Mahaly Portis 1818 AL Clarke B 3
E A and Martha Portis 1843 AL Clarke W 3
E M and Elvira Portis 1821 AL Clarke W 8
Jack and Sarah Portis 1830 AL Clarke B 3
John W Portis 1819 NC Clarke W 6
B 7
Kit Portis 1825 AL Clarke B 5
Lewis Portis 1825 AL Clarke B 3
Lewis Portis 1848 AL Clarke B 1
Millie Portis 1830 AL Clarke B 8
Jack and Fannie Portis 1840 VA Dallas B 5
Sheppard and Adline Portis 1842 AL Dallas B 3
Joe and Mollie Portess 1835 AL Lauderdale B 6
Eli and Indianna Partis 1835 AL Lawrence B 7
Pleasant Portess 1841 AL Limestone B 1
Peter and Dinah Portus 1825 AL Mobile B 5
R Portis 1814 SC Monroe W 3
Rachel Portis 1795 NC Monroe B 1
Salina Portis 1805 SC Monroe B 5
Samuel and Lucyan Portis 1837 AL Monroe B 5
Sandy and Fena Portis 1820 AL Monroe B 9
Isaac and Matila Portis 1828 AL Selma B 2
Martha and Emma Portis 1830 AL Selma W 3
B 3
Ann Portis 1815 NC Sumter B 3
Benj P and Susan Portis 1822 AL Sumter W 7
Charlotte and Renshaw 1806 NC Sumter B 5
John and Nancy Portis 1835 AL Sumter B 2
Kit and Chaney Portis 1805 NC Sumter B 3
Mark and Adline Portis 1843 AL Sumter B 6
Ned and Vana Portis 1832 AL Sumter B 8
Araminta Portis 1843 AL Wilcox B 6
Benjamin D and Lucy Portis 1843 AL Wilcox W 4
Charles and Silvia Portis 1829 AL Wilcox B 7
Clayton and Esther 1819 NC Wilcox B 6
Hillery and Ellen Portis 1842 SC Wilcox B 2
Hilliard and Dinah Portis 1843 AL Wilcox B 4
John and Elmira Portis 1845 AL Wilcox B 4
Mary Portis 1825 AL Wilcox B 5
Morris Portis 1830 AL Wilcox B 7
Rena and Joseph 1820 SC Wilcox B 4
Robin Portis 1825 AL Wilcox B 5
Soloman W Portis 1809 NC Wilcox W 2
Stephen and Clara Portis 1822 AL Wilcox B 4

1870 Mississippi Census


Note: In the 1860 Mississippi Slave Schedule, D M Portis in Clarke is listed with 18 slaves.

Name Birth State Place Race Number
Charles Portis 1845 AL Clarke B 1
Coon and Rachel Portus 1840 MS Clarke B 4
Dennis M Portis 1827 AL Clarke W 1
Lewis and Hanah Portis 1825 AL Clarke B 3
Millie Portis 1830 AL Clarke B 8
Nancy Portis 1848 MS Clarke B 3
Susan and Sarah Portis
(living with mother May Newton)
1860 MS Clarke W 2
Clinton and Manda Portis 1825 NC Neshoba W 6
Elijah G and Martha Portis 1804 NC Neshoba W 2
James W and Mary J Portis 1842 TN Neshoba W 4
John C and Margaret 1837 TN Neshoba W 4
Kit Portis 1825 AL Neshoba B 5
J P and Sarah Portis 1801 NC Tippah W 5

1870 North Carolina Census


Note: In the 1860 North Carolina Slave Schedule, no Portis owners appear. However other historical sources show that John Portis (abt 1770 – 1849) owned many slaves that worked on his goldmine in Franklin and Nash counties.

Name Birth State Place Race Number
John and Frankey Portis 1837 NC Edgecombe W 5
Lafayette Portis 1856 NC Edgecombe B 1
Lewis and Lucinda Porter 1831 NC Edgecombe B 7
Ralph and Celia Portis 1843 NC Edgecombe B 2
Rebecca Portis 1787 NC Edgecombe B 1
Mary Portis 1847 NC Franklin M 5
Elizabeth Portiss 1817 NC Guilford W 1
Bert Portis 1865 NC Halifax B 1
William and Emeline Portis 1823 NC Halifax M 2
Robert and Margaret Portis 1832 NC Martin M 5
Uriah and Priscilla Portis 1810 VA McDowell W 4
John L and Jane Portis 1820 NC Nash W 2
John W and Anne Portis 1851 NC Nash W 6
Elizabeth Portis 1821 VA Surry W 3
Lilas (Silas) and Rachael 1806 NC Surry W 2

1870 Texas Census


Note: In the 1860 Texas Slave Schedule, D (David) Y Portis in Austin is listed as having 11 slaves and Epsey Portis in Washington is listed with 3.

Name Birth State Place Race Number
William and Catherine 1830 TX Austin B 5
Sarah Portes 1824 KY Dallas B 4
James and Leala Portes 1817 SC Freestone B 6
Andrew and Jane Portes 1836 AL Freestone B 7
Josiah Portice 1829 NC Lampasas W 3
Henry Portes 1849 TX Panola B 1
David and Rebecca Portis 1822 NC San Antonio W 2
Creuse and Alburna Portes 1844 MO Smith B 3
Lily Portis 1830 LA Washington B 1
Samuel M and Deliah Portis 1835 AL Washington W 8
Richard S Portis 1839 TN Washington W 1

1870 Kentucky Census

Name Birth State Place Race Number
Sam D and Manerva Portis 1834 NC Marshall W 7
B M Portis (Porter?) 1814 KY Laural W 9
Joseph and Sarah E Portis 1829 NC Graves W 9

1870 Virginia Census

Name Birth State Place Race Number
Allen and Sarah Portice (Portis) 1795 NC Patrick W 2
James and Julia Portice (Portis) 1833 NC Patrick W 7
Ira Portis 1818 NC Wythe W 8

1870 Tennessee Census

Name Birth State Place Race Number
J Portis 1806 NC Hardeman W 10
Harry and Easter Portis 1844 TN Hardeman W 3
J F and T Portes (Portis) 1842 NC Hardeman W 3

1870 Missouri Census

Name Birth State Place Race Number
W J and Rachel Porter (Portis) 1812 GA Atchison W 6
Robert and Anna Portis 1832 VA (NC) Johnson W 3

1870 Arkansas Census

Name Birth State Place Race Number
J M and Mary 1831 NC Jefferson W 4
W M and Mattie 1835 NC Jefferson W 3

1870 Louisiana Census

Name Birth State Place Race Number
Nath and Letha Portice 1835 VA Bienville B 4