Land, North Carolina, Oral History, Other Documents, Paternal Kin, Photographs

The lots.

Said my grandmother:

And Johnnie [Aldridge], he called me, and I was working to the hospital. And he called me and told me, at least he called the hospital and wanted to speak to me: “Well, if you want to see your daddy – you said you ain’t never seen him before – come down here. He’s down here now. So, don’t let him know I told you.” [Laughs.] So, I went down – I said, well, I’m gon go down there and see Silas Cox ‘bout selling the lots where Grandma Mag’s house was on. So, I got off. So, I got Mr. Fisher to take me down there. I said, “Mm, I wanna see that man.”

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My grandmother inherited two lots in Dudley from Sarah Henderson Jacobs Silver, her great-aunt and foster mother. (Because she had been informally adopted by Sarah and her husband Jesse Jacobs, my grandmother used the surname Jacobs until adulthood, when she reverted to Henderson.)

Mama had the lot where the house was, where Grandma Mag lived. Had that house built for her. The house they was staying in was up by the railroad, was just about to fall down. Somewhere down up there by where the Congregational Church is. And she built that house down there next to Babe Winn. I don’t think it was but one room. The porch, one room, and a little shed kitchen, a little, small, like a closet almost, and had the stove in it. Then had a stove in the room where she was, one of them round-bellied stoves where you take the top off and put wood in it. I remember that. And Sis Winn, her name was Annie, and she had a daughter, and she named her Annie after her. So they called the mother Sis, and they called the daughter Annie. And they were living in the house right next to her, Grandma Mag’s house. As I can remember. And after Grandma Mag died, the old preacher stayed in there and burnt it up.

I posted a query to my cousins:

Can someone tell me if the Dudley VFD was at its present location in the 1960s? I’m trying to figure out where two lots were on a 1967 plat. The plat mentions NC Secondary Road 1120 (which seems to run east-west), Simmons Street (abandoned) and Walnut Street (abandoned). James Newkirk and William Newkirk owned land on either side of where the fire station was on 1120. Thank you!

No luck.

Dudley Volunteer Fire Department is now on Highway 117 Alternate, south of its intersection with O’Berry Road.  A Google search revealed that O’Berry was formerly known as Secondary Road 1120, so I now know that the fire department has moved around the corner.  My father recalled that his mother’s lots were just west of the intersection, behind Silas Cox’s feed silos.

Here’s an aerial view of Dudley today: dudley intersection

Other then Road 1120/O’Berry Road at (4), there’s not much of anything that matches the plat. However, with the clue about the (1) feed or fertilizer silos, I’ve identified (2) as the approximate location of Grandma Mag’s house and the lots. (3) is Highway 117 Alternate.

My grandmother finally sold her lots in the late 1960s, ending more than 90 years of land ownership in Dudley by my line of Hendersons.

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Interviews of Hattie Henderson Ricks by Lisa Y. Henderson; all rights reserved. 

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Enslaved People, Free People of Color, North Carolina, Other Documents, Paternal Kin

The husband might become a slave of his children.

To the Honorable the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina now in Session – The Petition of Lovedy Henderson a free woman of color, respectfully represents that your Petitioner intermarried some years since with a certain man of color by the name of Horace, then a slave, but with the consent of his owner. That since their marriage by care and industry, she has been enabled to purchase her said husband at the price of Eight Hundred & Seventy dollars of Hugh and John G. McLaurin Executors of Duncan McLaurin deceased. That she has paid the purchase money & has a Bill of Sale duly executed by the said Executors. That your Petitioner now has two children by her said Husband & as by possibility her husband might become the slave of her children, your petitioner is induced to ask the interference of your honorable body, as the only tribunal authorized to grant the relief prayed for. Your Petitioner would not presume to ask this indulgence in her favour, in contravention to the policy of the Laws of the Land, but from the peculiar circumstances of her case & the belief that she will be enabled to establish for her Husband such a Character as to entitle him to the favourable notice of your honorable body. For this, she relied on the certificates of highly respectable gentlemen both in Fayetteville & the City of Raleigh, where they have lived since their intermarriage. Your Petitioner therefore prays the passage of an Act, emancipating her said husband Horace Henderson, and she in duty bound will ever pray &c. /s/ Lovdy Ann Henderson

We Hugh McLaurin & John C. McLaurin Executors of Duncan McLaurin dec’d unite in soliciting the passage of an Act for the emancipation of Horace Henderson as prayed for by his wife and we are free to say that we have long known said Horace who is a Barber and a boy of unexceptionable good character and of industrious & moral habits. /s/ H. MacLaurin for himself and John C. MacLaurin

We the undersigned citizens of Fayetteville freely unite in soliciting the General Assembly to pass an Act emancipating the negro man Horace, that we have known said Horace as a Barber & a Boy of good character, industrious habits and as we believe of the strictest integrity. /s/ J.H. Hooper, John MacRae, John Kelly, Thos. L. Hybart, [illegible] Cochran, John Lippitt, D.A. Saltmarsh, Chas. B. Jones, [illegible] Hawley, William S. Latta, Jas. Huske, Duncan Smith, Henry W. Ayer

We the undersigned citizens of Raleigh freely unite in soliciting the General Assembly to pas an Act emancipating the negro man Horace, that he has lived in the place for the last three or four years as a Barber, and has conducted himself with the utmost propriety, that in his deportment he is humble & polite, free as we believe from any improper intercourse with slaves, industrious & honest. /s/ M. Stokes, R.M. Saunders, Jo. Gales, B.W. Daniel, Geo. Simpson, J. Brown, John Primrose, Hazlett Wyle, Richard Smith, S. Birdsall, Jno. G. Marshall, A. Williams, Fabius J. Haywood, Robert Staniroy

Ninety years after this petition was filed, a Horace Henderson was born into my extended family, but I know no connection between my Hendersons, who were originally of Onslow County, and Lovedy Ann Henderson.

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General Assembly Session Records, November 1832-January 1833, Box 5, North Carolina State Archives.

This family is found in the 1850 census of Greensboro, Guilford County: Horace H. Henderson, 40, barber, and wife Love, 39, both born in Fayetteville; children James, 18, farmer, Mary Ann, 17, and Timothy, 14, born in Raleigh; and Albert, 10, Sarah, 8, Thomas, 4, and Alexander, 3, born in Greensboro; all mulatto.

 

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Births Deaths Marriages, Civil War, Enslaved People, Military, North Carolina, Other Documents, Paternal Kin

They would not have taken them in church.

Part II of Bailham and Hannah Sauls Speight’s pension application file arrived today, and here are some extracts from witnesses deposed 4 June 1904:

  • Hannah Speight – “I claim pension as the widow of Bailham Speight but who served during the Civil War in the U.S. Army under the name of Bailham Edwards.” His brother Lafayette Edwards “lives at Bull Head which is eight miles from Goldsboro.” “I was born on Appletree Swamp near the town of Stauntonberg, Greene County. N.C. and was a slave; was owned by Lawrence Brown. I am the daughter of Rosetta Sauls. My father was Sheppard Sauls. I was known as Hannah Sauls prior to my marriage to Bailham Speight. … [A]fter our marriage we lived as husband and wife till he died December the 21st 1902.” “My husband was born and raised in Greene County. He was about six years older than I was still I knew him before he was grown….” “After his discharge he went to Georgia and was there just twelve months I do not know in what part of Georgia he was. No, I guess it was South Carolina where he went for he went away with Capt. Bill Taylor to work turpentine. … I married my husband about four years after the close of the war and we were married in the month of November in Snow Hill….” Married at Rebecca Bess’ house. She is deceased, as are witnesses Martha Sheppard, Luke Sheppard, and Charles Moseley. Maria Lofton did not witness, but could testify to marriage. She lives on Dr. Parrott’s plantation near Falling Creek. Amos Ellis, Lafayette Edwards, and Violet Edwards would have heard of the marriage, as would Isaac Lynch. … “My husband was raised five miles from Snow Hill on the Betsey Edwards place.” “My husband had a woman before the was. She might be called a slave wife and her name was Jennie. My husband told me she died in Newbern about the close of the war.” “At date of death of my husband I had one child under 16, viz., George Speight and he was fourteen on the 26th of last September. I never had George’s age set down by I remembered it all the same and I have always celebrated the twenty sixth of September as being his birthday and I am absolutely sure that he is now fourteen going on fifteen.” Midwife Mariah Moore lived one mile from Kinston in Harveytown. “After my marriage I lived for twlve months on the place of Dr. John Harvey and then I moved down here; moved here in the Fall of 1870 and have been here ever since. Everybody both white and black know me around here.” Deposition A.
  • Hannah Speight — Sixty-one years of age and lives four miles from Kinston. “I have had eleven children – ten by Bailham Speight and one by Loderick Artist. I never lived with Loderick Artist for during the time he came to see me I was living in the house with my mother and father. We were engaged to be married but after he got me in trouble he went and married another woman. He married her before I married Bailham Speight. He married a woman named Mary and lived with her till he died ten years ago. He died in the neighborhood of Speights Bridge. No, I never went under the name of Artist nor was I ever known as his wife and never lived with him a day. Our relations were all of a secret nature.” Deposition B.
  • Rosetta Sauls – “I think I am 85; I can do no work and live with my grandson.” “Hannah Speight is my daughter.” … “I did not see her married because she married in Snow Hill and I was living in the country but Bailham come and got her from her my house and took her to Snow Hill where they were married and then they came right back to my house where they lived some three or four months and then they moved in a house to themselves.” “No, my daughter was never married to Loderick Artist and they never did live together but he was the father of her oldest child. He deceived my daughter and got a child by her and then went and married Mandy. All the time he was keeping company with my daughter she was living with me. My daughter never went under the name of Artist nor did she ever go under any name except Sauls and Speight. …” “Bailham Speight and Hannah were both members of the Baptist Church and had they been living improperly and not regularly married they would not have taken them in church.”
  • Lemon Speight – “On the 27th of last April I was 37 years of age.” Farmer four miles from Kinston. “Hannah Speight is my mother. I am the son of Loderick Artist who died ten years go. He never married my mother and I am the only child she ever had except those belonging to Bailham Speight. My father had a wife and her was Mandy.” “I was married December the 12th 1889 and my brother George was born September the 26th 1889.”

And a letter dictated by Bailham Speight himself:

February 11th 1896, Kinston N.C.

Mr. I.S. Kurtz       Dear Sir, Relative to my age and the way that my name has been spelled. Now I wished to informs you that I used to belong to the old man kames Edwards before the war (white) Therefore I enlisted in the Military Services of the United states. I enlisted by the name of Bailham Edwards and I answered at roll call. Bailham Edwards. But the Yankees, they called the name some what like this. Balum Edwards. But however you is speaking to the same man after all. …” [The letter is written in very florid hand, and the signature does not show "his X." However, other documents reveal that Bailham Speight could not, in fact, read or write.]

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Births Deaths Marriages, North Carolina, Oral History, Paternal Kin, Photographs

Remembering Uncle Jesse.

My grandmother’s second boy. Smooth. Dapper. Slick. Artistic. A chef. A painter. A hustler. A beloved uncle.

Happy birthday, Jesse Adam Henderson (17 April 1929-5 August 2005)!

ImageLucian and Jesse Henderson, circa 1932, Wilson NC.

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 Jesse, circa 1938, Wilson NC.

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 Circa 1944, Wilson NC.

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 With wife Jean and my grandmother, probably in the late 1950s, perhaps at the Jersey Shore.

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Always “clean,” posted at the bar, 1960s.

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One of my favorite photos of my uncle, with my niece, who adored him. Philadelphia, 2001.

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Births Deaths Marriages, North Carolina, Paternal Kin, Photographs

In memoriam: Joseph F. Barfield (1933-2014).

 JFB

Joseph Franklin Barfield, son of Walter and Katie Kornegay Barfield, died 12 April 2014 in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Cousin Joseph was born in 1933 near Mount Olive, Wayne County, North Carolina, and served honorably in the United States Army. He is survived by his wife and loving children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as a sister and brother.

joseph & alton

Joseph F. Barfield and Alton H. Barfield, who passed almost exactly one year before his older brother.

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Top photo courtesy of Richard J. Barfield; bottom photo courtesy of Jerilyn James Lee, with thanks to Alicia Barfield.

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Births Deaths Marriages, Other Documents, Paternal Kin

Misinformation Monday, no. 7.

The seventh in a series of posts revealing the fallability of records, even “official” ones.

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How does this even happen?

This is Minnie Simmons Budd‘s death certificate:

SIMMONS -- Minnie Budd Death Cert

Difficult to read, but here are the pertinent details: Born 7 May 1892 (actually, some years before, but okay); in Dudley NC (check!); to Hillary Simmons (check!); and Ludie Henderson — SCREEEEEECH!

What?

My grandmother spent considerable time with Minnie, who wanted to adopt her after her mother Bessie died. (Minnie’s two children, boys, did not survive childhood.) Bessie‘s mother was Loudie (or Ludie) Henderson. Minnie’s mother, on the other hand, was Loudie’s much older sister Ann Elizabeth Henderson.

Could I be mistaken? (“I” really meaning my grandmother.) Was Minnie some sort of secret love child of Loudie Henderson and her sister’s husband Hillary? And, if so, why would Minnie’s husband Jesse Budd blow up this fallacy in her death certificate? (Jesse was also from Dudley and presumably not only knew his mother-in-law’s name, but knew her personally in his youth.)

The answer, with as much certainty as I can muster absent DNA tests, is no. The biggest stumbling block to Loudie-as-Minnie’s mother is Minnie’s birth year. As noted above, Minnie was not actually born in 1892. The 1900 and 1910 censuses would be most helpful for pinpointing her age, but I can’t find her in either. Still, she married Jesse Budd in 1904 and most certainly was not a 12 year-old bride. In fact, their license lists her age as 17 (and her mother as Annie Simmons.) That would push her birth year back to 1887. The 1920 census yields 1884. Whether 1884 or 1887 or between, Loudie is unlikely to have been Minnie’s mother as Loudie was not born until 1874.

As ever with misinformation enshrined in vital records, there is no ready explanation for Jesse’s provision of Loudie’s name as Minnie’s mother. The confusion occasioned by grief is as good a guess as any. Moreover, Jesse was an elderly man himself and would live just six more years after his wife’s death.

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Births Deaths Marriages, Maternal Kin, Newspaper Articles, North Carolina, Other Documents

Cousin Red McNeely … or Smith.

So, was he James Garfield Smith or James Garfield McNeely?

Addie Lucinda McNeely married Daniel Smith in Statesville NC on 2 October 1902. Their daughter Ardeanur Smith was born the following February and son James Garfield Smith on 11 April 1906. I have never found the family in the 1910 census and do not know how long Addie and Daniel remained together. When her uncle Julius McNeely’s estate opened, Addie Smith with her siblings was listed as one of the heirs. Unlike her married sisters, however, her husband’s name does not appear alongside hers. In 1917, mid-proceedings, Addie died — I’ve never found her death certificate either — and her name was struck through and was replaced by that of her children, “Ardenia” and James Smith.

I have not located James again with any certainty before 1942. (There’s a “James McNeelly” of the right age listed in the 1930 census of High Point NC, but he had a wife, which my James allegedly never had.) When he registered for the World War II draft, James gave his name as “James Garfield McNeely.” Why the shift from “Smith,” which he apparently never used as an adult? Though his birth year appears to be off by one year, this is clearly our man. He was born in Statesville, and Janie McNeely, his mother’s youngest sister, is named as his contact. (The neighborhood in which he lived and worked is now part of the Washington Street Historic District, and Club Carolina merited a brief mention in the application for historic status.)

James G McNeely

Cousin James disappears from the record again until his death certificate was filed. He was working at a pool room and living at the Kilby Hotel when he died. Ardeanur Hart of Jersey City NJ was informant and gave her brother’s name as James Garfield McNeely.

James G McNeely Death Cert

Here’s his obituary:

James G McNeely 21 October 1960 HP Enterprise

High Point Enterprise, 21 October 1960.

And a note of acknowledgment from his family. (Who in the world were the Martins and Griffins?):

JG McNeely HP Enterprise 11 13 1960

High Point Enterprise, 13 November 1960.

[Sidenote: The physician who signed James' death certificate? Dr. O.E. Tillman? His son and I met in high school and became good friends in college. He married A.B., my roommate and closest college friend, and I was in their wedding. Dr. Tillman is now retired, but remains active in High Point civic affairs.]

 

 

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