I received the following historical information from Charla Reece in response to my question about the Fonville's slaves in Alabama:
As I research Fonville Family history, I have made a point to include the names of slaves listed in wills, census and other documents in the event I may be able to help slave descendants identify their family members. While many slave owners never identified their slaves by names, the Fonville's did and occasionally would identify who the son or daughter was of a slave bequeathed to a relative in a will. I don't know if this will help you or not, but William Drakeford Fonville was the son of John Averette Fonville and in the 1870 Census for William D. Fonville there was an Ephraim Fonville and Calvin Fonville, ages 18 and 16 respectively, who are recorded on Ancestry.com as being white, but when you look at the actual Crenshaw, Alabama US Federal Census document, they are listed as black. Calvin Fonville was still alive in the 1940 US Federal Census. John Averette Fonville was the son of Brice T. Fonville, who was the son of Stephen Fonville, who was the son of John Fonvielle, 1700 - 1773. John Fonvielle's will from the 27 January, 1773, shows he bequeathed to both his sons and daughters land and slaves---John (slaves Tim, Simon and Rachell), William Brice (slaves Joe, Sam, and Dina), Francis (slaves Abram, Tom, and Doll), Frederick (slaves Bull, Grace, and Quacko), Stephen (slaves Robin, Jenny, and Southey) and Jeremiah (slaves Charley, Muck, Priss, and Isaac). John Fonvielle also made bequests to his daughters, Mary Hatch (slaves Sipp and Phyllis), Eliz- Hatch (slaves Amey, Will and Pegg), and Ester Fonvielle (slaves Moll, Joe, Beck, and Abram).
To his granddaughter, Elizabeth Fonviell, daughter of Frederick Fonvielle, he did not bequeath land, but a slave names Silvey who could be used by John's wife, Mary during her widowhood.
His wife, Mary, also has the use of three slaves, Dunk, Sarah, and Patience. The land she lived on would go to Frederick upon her death with the three slaves divided equally among his children or valued and sold and the money divided among his children.
I may have more information. While forever very sad that people were bequeathed from one generation to the next, I hope this helps