Births Deaths Marriages, Newspaper Articles, North Carolina, Paternal Kin

Celebus Thompson killed.

Celebus Thompson, was killed by gunshot in December 1913, leaving his widow, the former Lillie Beatrice Artis, and two small children.

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Goldsboro Daily Argus, 15 December 1913.

The Wilmington paper’s coverage of the incident reversed the actors in its headline.

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Wilmington Morning Star, 17 December 1913.

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Celebus Thompson, 21, son of Wheeler and Ora Thompson, married Lillie B. Artis, 18, daughter of Adam and Amanda Artis, on 18 November 1908 at Adam Artis’ house in Wayne County.

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In the 1910 census of Saulston, Wayne County: on Goldsboro and Snow Hill Road, Celepus Thompson, 23, wife Lillie, 20, and daughter Jenettie, 5 months. (Next door, Lillie’s half-brother Napoleon Artis and family.]

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North Carolina, Oral History, Paternal Kin, Photographs

Treasures.

I’m in D.C. for work this week, and I was able to steal away from my conference to spend a few hours with O.H.D., my grandmother’s first cousin. Cousin O. has lived in the District since 1940 and in her Capitol Hill row house since 1945. Our conversation was wide-ranging, but I, of course, drew out stories of our family’s history. Cousin O. spoke of my grandmother Hattie, of my grandfather, of her grandmother Louvicey Artis Aldridge (from whom she received her middle name), of her uncles Johnny and Zebedee Aldridge, of C.E. “Uncle Columb” Artis, of her aunts Lula and Frances Aldridge, of Uncle Fred Randall, of Alberta Artis Cooper, of C.C. Coley (in whose restaurants she occasionally filled in as cashier and in whose convertible she rode during Howard University homecoming parades), of Lucian and Susie Henderson, and of many others. She knows me well and had set aside a tiny treasure she’d recently uncovered — a postage stamp-sized photo of her first cousin, James Earl Aldridge. Cousin Earl, born the year before Cousin O., was the son of John and Ora Mozingo Aldridge. He passed away in 1975. As always, love and thanks, Cousin O.

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James E. Aldridge Sr. (1919-1975).

 

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Paternal Kin, Photographs, Vocation

Happy birthday, Daddy!

During the school year, the rhythms of my childhood moved around my father’s coaching schedule. He assisted in football and track, but basketball was his forte. Tuesdays and Fridays were game nights from the time I was born — that first winter, students changed my diapers in the gymnasium bathroom while my mother cheered in the bleachers.

My father has been a rock and a guide to my sister and me, but he also deeply impacted the hundreds of young men who played basketball for him. He was a sternly principled coach who cared as much about their lives off the court as their production on it. Basketball had been a path to success for him, a means to get an education that his family could not otherwise have afforded. He is a great believer in “getting your books,” and he did all he could to prepare his players for college and to guide them to opportunities to play at that level.

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#7, center, C.H. Darden High School varsity basketball team, 1952.

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During his years playing basketball in the Air Force, circa 1956.

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Playing center at Saint Augustine’s College, circa 1960.

Every once in a while, some of my father’s former players will get together to take him out to reminisce over a good meal. I’m sure they all join me, my mother and sister in wishing him the happiest of birthdays!

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Photo credits: C.H. Darden High School yearbook, 1952; personal collection; courtesy of J. Battle.

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Births Deaths Marriages, Migration, North Carolina, Paternal Kin, Photographs, Virginia

Cousin Dollie.

Said my grandmother:

The house where Dollie, Cousin Min’s sister, lived, well, they had gone to Goldsboro to live.  I think.  First they were living in Mount Olive, then Dudley.  She married Yancey Musgrave. He was a brown-skinned man. And Dollie used to visit, too.  She had asthma real bad.  And she used to come home and have to sit up.   You had to take a quilt and fold it up and put it up in the bed for her to sit up on.  ‘Cause she couldn’t lay down.  She couldn’t breathe. I don’t know what become of Dollie. Her and Cousin Min’s mama was Ann Elizabeth.  Mama Sarah’s sister.  They had a brother named Daniel.  Yeah.  Daniel.  Daniel, he lived, he come to Wilson and stayed with us a while, and then went back to Goldsboro.  Got married anyway and had a whole bunch of children.  And come up to …  I believe he come up to Baltimore.  And he had a whole lot of children.

I’ve written of Daniel Simmons and Minnie Simmons Budd here. With Annie C. “Dollie” Simmons Musgrave, they were the only children of Ann Elizabeth Henderson Simmons to live to adulthood. My grandmother’s “Mama” was their aunt Sarah Henderson Jacobs Silver. Her mother Bessie was their first cousin.

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Annie C. “Dollie” Simmons Musgrave, perhaps in Norfolk.

Dollie Simmons Musgrave died in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1946 after a battle with cervical cancer. (She apparently had remarried to a Green — she and Yancey divorced? — but I do not know who, where or when. Her death certificate erroneously lists her mother as Annie Green, rather than Henderson.)

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Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

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Births Deaths Marriages, Other Documents, Paternal Kin

The Hawaiian princess.

Toward the end of his college days at Howard University, Aldridge descendant Charles Cromwell Coley married Harriet Purdy, a native Hawaiian athlete and performer and a descendant of King Kamehameha I.

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Their only child, daughter, Laulupe Kaleilani Coley, was born in 1932 in Washington, D.C.

A post in the D.C. neighborhood blog Popville notes: “In March 1934, the Hi-Hat, a ‘smart new continental Cocktail Lounge and Cafe, styled in the modern manner,’ opened on the top floor of the Ambassador. The Post raved about its decorations: ‘The silvery iridescence of kapiz shell gives the mellow effect of moonlight on the water, and the imported blue and white mirrors trimmed in stainless steel surrounding the columns introduces a new note in modern interior decoration.’ The Hi-Hat Lounge quickly became a popular nightspot, offering top names in the nightclub circuit. Its opening act was Princess Harriet Purdy, a Hawaiian who strummed a ukulele while crooning languorous songs in her native tongue.”

Harriet and C.C. Coley divorced in the late 1930s. Their daughter was educated on the mainland, but married and settled in Hawai’i.

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Yearbook of Packer Collegiate Institute, Brooklyn, New York, 1950.

Harriet also returned to Hawai’i where she continued to preserve the island’s traditional arts and culture. In this video posted to Youtube, Harriet Purdy dances hula as Sonny Chillingworth, Myrna English and Billy Hew Len perform “Kaula Ili”:

Harriet Keonaonalaulani Purdy Kauaihilo, 96, of Kapolei, a professional hula dancer, died Aug. 26 in Kapolei. She was born in Waimea. She is survived by son Bill, daughters Laulupe K. Dempster and Harriet Clark, hanai sister Olive S. Purdy, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grand-children. Private graveside services. — Honolulu Bulletin, 11 September 2002.

HARRIET KEONAONALAULANI PURDY KAUAIHILO, 96, of Kapolei, died Aug. 26, 2002. Born in Waimea, Hawai’i. A high diver and swimmer, known as the Hawaiian Human Cannonball at Atlantic City’s Steel Pier in the early 1930s; and professional Island hula dancer. Survived by daughters, Laulupe Dempster and Harriet Clark; son, Bill; grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; hanai sister, Olive Purdy. Private graveside services. Arrangements by Ultimate Cremation Services of Hawai’i.— Honolulu Advertiser, 11 September 2002.

www.popville.com, “Streets of Washington Presents — The Ambassador Hotel, catering to ‘experienced travelers’ (Formerly at 14th and K St, NW)”

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Migration, North Carolina, Paternal Kin

Citizenship.

Were the Henderson-Simmonses American or Canadian?

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I have not been able to find naturalization records for any, and the evidence available points in conflicting directions. One by one:

Montraville Simmons, Sr. — Despite what the 1910 census enumerator recorded, Montraville was certainly born in the U.S. to American parents. It is also likely that he “immigrated” back into the U.S. long before 1895, and it is not clear why he would have naturalized, unless he renounced his citizenship as a young man. (Canada was a British colony until 1867.)

Anna Henderson Simmons — As the evidence consistently reflects, Anna was born in NC. She was American. Her obituary stated: “Mrs. Simmons was … born in North Carolina. For fifteen years she lived in Canada, where her five children were born.” That is likely inaccurate.

Elizabeth Simmons — This daughter only appears in the 1881 Canada census. She was born about the same time as daughter Moncy and, though the names are not the least similar, may in fact be the same person.

Moncy Simmons Bassett Palmer — Moncy is not listed in the 1881 Canada census in which Elizabeth appears. In U.S. censuses, her birth place is generally consistent, with 1910 as an exception. She provided no information about immigration or naturalization to censustakers.

Doctor T. Simmons — Dock was born in Ontario and consistently provided Canada as his birthplace in records. However, there is conflict about when he immigrated, and neither 1874 nor 1880 seems accurate. If he naturalized in 1917, where is the record?

Susan Simmons Bassett — Susie consistently is described as U.S.-born.

Montraville Simmons, Jr. — Montraville Jr. was also born in Ontario.

James R. Simmons — This son only appears in the 1900 census, was born about the same time as Edward, and was probably, in fact, Edward.

Edward R. Simmons — Edward was also born in Ontario. His World War I draft registration card notes that he gained citizenship when his father was naturalized before Ed turned 21. The 1930 census states that he immigrated in 1900, but that is surely wrong. His obituary says that he lived in Kokomo from the time he was seven years old, which implies that he arrived in the U.S. about 1890.

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