I am sorry to hear that your ancestors were slaves. Man's unkindness to man is so terrible.
My wife's mother's line traces back to James Dowdell through Luther Martin Dowdell. I have a copy of a will that may interest you as it lists by name the slaves on the Dowdell plantations.
I can, in some way (either online or to an address), send you a copy if you don't have one. Otherwise, you can find it on file in Lafayette, Alabama, in the Chambers County Courthouse. It is "the will for James Dowdell dated 28 April 1855 and proved 10 March 1856". In the will, the spelling of the name is Doudell, but it has to be a variation of the spelling for the dates and names of the descendants all match up to our family's records.
Best of luck to you,
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