and Venus Farmer, Birchtown, are the ancestors of many Black
Nova Scotians. Although neither appears in the Book of Negroes with
the surname Farmer, there is a man entered as Jupiter (no last
name recorded), a "stout fellow," age 35, who worked with the Wagon-Master
General's Department of the British Army. The former owner of this
Jupiter is entered as Joseph Harmer. Jupiter likely took this name
as his own surname. Perhaps Harmer became Farmer over time, in the
same way that Wingood became Ringwood, or Dismal became Desmond.
A woman named only Venus in the Book of Negroes was described
as slender, age 28. She had come to Shelburne on the ship Ann &
Elizabeth in 1783 after escaping from William Smith of Charleston,
South Carolina. In Shelburne, Venus was indentured to Edward Hannah,
and probably lived in the Hannah household. Indenture was similar
to slavery, but for a specific number of years. With no say in the
matter, an indentured servant could be sold by one master to another.