Births Deaths Marriages, Enslaved People, Maternal Kin, North Carolina, Oral History

Millers & McConnaugheys.

Me:  Did you know any of your grandmother Martha’s people? The Millers?

My grandmother: No, I didn’t.

Me: Did you know any of his people? Henry’s?

Grandmother: No.

Me: It was a lot of them in Rowan — it was a lot of Millers anyway. In Rowan County.

Grandmother: Rowan County? I know they all came from there.

——

In the valuation of Rowan County slaves made by a Confederate tax assessor in 1863, John M. McConnaughey listed 19 slaves.  Among them were: George, 24, $1500; John, 2, $150; Edwin, 1, $100; Margaret, 42, $850; Caroline, 23, $1200; Mary Ann, 13, $1000; Grace, 10, $500; Martha, 7, $250; and Angeline, 7, $250.

Here is the case for these seven people as the family of my great-great-grandmother, Martha Miller McNeely:

1.  George Miller described John McConnaughey as his half-brother in the 1880 census of Rowan County. George’s death certificate lists his parents as Edward Miller and Margaret Miller.

2.  Caroline McConnaughey is listed in the household of her mother Margaret McConnaughey in the 1870 census of Rowan County.

3.  Adeline Miller is listed with her eight month-old son George in the household of Mary [McConnaughey] Miller in the 1870 census of Rowan County. Her marriage license lists her parents as Edward Miller and Margaret Miller. She gave her three children – George, Margaret and Mary Caroline – family names. In the 1880 and 1900 censuses, she and her family are listed next door to Mary Ann Miller and family. In 1888, she witnessed the marriage of John McConnaughey. Her death certificate lists her parents as Ed. and Marg. Miller.

4.  In the 1870 Rowan County census, the household of Mary Ann [McConnaughey] Miller and her husband Ransom Miller included Adeline Miller and John McConnaughey. Mary Anna Miller’s death certificate lists her father as Edward McConaughey, mother unknown.

5.  Martha Miller is listed in the household of her former owner, John Miller McConnaughey, in the 1870 census of Rowan County. (She is a farm laborer, but she also attends school.) Martha’s 1872 marriage license lists her parents as Edwin Miller and Margaret Miller. Her middle name was Margaret. She named her oldest daughter Margaret, her youngest son Edward, and two daughters Caroline (as a first and then a middle name.)

6.  John McConnaughey is listed twice in the 1870 census of Rowan County. First, with  Margaret McConnaughey and Angeline McConnaughey. Then, with Mary Miller. John married four times. Each license listed one parent, Margaret McConnaughey. “John McConeyhead” was a witness to the marriage of Adeline Miller Miller’s daughter Mary C. Miller in 1876. His death certificate lists his parents as Henry McConnaughey and Margaret McConnaughey.

7.  Edwin Miller (or McConnaughey) has not been found outside the 1863 tax list. I include him because of the similarity of his first name to that of Edward/Edwin Miller, father of the above, but there’s no real evidence that he was one of Margaret’s children.

Margaret McConnaughey appears in only one census, 1870, where she is listed as 55 years old. Edward or Edwin Miller has not been found, and the two did not register a cohabitation. Their children:

George W. Miller, born about 1836. He married Eliza Catherine Kerr, probably around 1857. They had three children, Baldy Alexander Miller (1858-1942), Maria Miller (1868-1925) and Onie Jane Miller Johnson (1879-1970). In 1868, George registered to vote with his brothers-in-law Ransom Miller, Green Miller and Henry McNeely. He died 15 March 1915.

Caroline McConnaughey, born about 1842. Her daughter Angeline was born in 1858. The child’s father was Robert Locke McConnaughey, nephew of Caroline’s former owner, John M. McConnaughey.  Caroline apparently died before the 1870 census was taken. She is listed as Caroline McConnaughey (and noted as deceased) on Angeline McConnaughey Reeves’ 1875 marriage license.

Mary Anna McConnaughey, born about 1847. She married Ransom Miller, son of Edmund and Malissa Miller in Rowan County on 27 December 1866. Their children were James Douglas Miller, Florence A. Miller, Ida L. Miller, Margaret E. Miller, Spencer Miller, Lina Miller, Hattie A. Miller, Thomas E. Miller, Richmond Miller.  In 1910, the family lived on Sherrills Ford Road in Steele township. Mary Anna died Christmas Eve 1940 in Boydens Quarters, Rowan County.

Grace Adeline Miller, born 25 June 1853. Her first child, George, was born in 1869. She married Green Miller, son of Edward and Melissa Miller, in 1871, and their children included Margaret Miller and Mary Caroline Miller Brown. She died 30 July 1918.

Martha Margaret Miller, born about 1857. She married Henry W. McNeely in 1872. Their children were Elizabeth McNeely Kilpatrick Long, John McNeely, William Luther McNeely, Emma McNeely Houser, Caroline McNeely Colvert, Addie McNeely Smith, Elethea McNeely Weaver, Minnie McNeely, Edward M. McNeely and Janie McNeely Taylor Manley. Martha and her family moved to Statesville, Iredell County before 1900. In the late 1920s, she moved to Bayonne NJ, where she died 16 June 1934.

John B. McConnaughey was born about 1861. His father likely was not Edward, but a white man. John married Minnie Barr, Romie Harris, Nora Barber and Jane Foster. He died 21 August 1931.

Standard
Births Deaths Marriages, Free People of Color, North Carolina, Other Documents, Paternal Kin, Rights

Her freedom has never been disputed.

State of North Carolina Onslow County

To all persons whom it may concern we the under Signed being called on to State what we Know concernning the Freedom of Nancy Dove formerly Nancy Henderson do certify that Nancy Ann Henderson the Mother of the said Nancy Dove was a Free born white Woman and that the Freedom of the said Nancy Dove never has been disputed given under our hands this 3rd March 1860  /s/ John Mills {seal} Nancy Parker {seal}

Test J.W. Thompson X

——

I believe that Nancy Henderson alias Dove and my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Patsey Henderson were sisters. More on that later.

Standard
Births Deaths Marriages, Enslaved People, Free People of Color, North Carolina, Other Documents, Paternal Kin

Up from slavery.

artis-solomon-williams-estate-records-dragged

Vicey Artis, a free woman of color, and Solomon Williams, a slave, had eleven children together – Zilpha Artis Wilson, Adam Toussaint Artis, Jane Artis Artis, Loumiza Artis Artis, Charity Artis, Lewis Artis, Jonah Williams, Jethro Artis, Jesse Artis, Richard Artis and Delilah Williams Exum — before they were able to marry legally.  On 31 August 1866, they registered their 35-year cohabitation in Wayne County.  Vicey died soon after, but Solomon lived until 1883.  The document above, listing his and Vicey’s six surviving children and heirs of their deceased children, is found among his estate papers.

Standard
Births Deaths Marriages, Free People of Color, North Carolina, Oral History, Other Documents, Paternal Kin

He was gon make something off the crop.

And Papa was sick, and somebody had to watch him.  He wasn’t down in the bed, but his mind was kind of off.  Now he’d listen to you, you’d talk to him, and anything he wanted, had to tell you about it.  “Naw, you can’t go there.  I got to go home.  I got to go home.”  Said he had to go home.  I said, “We are home.”  Said, “Naw, we’re not.”  That’s the way his mind worked.  Like that. 

So after Mamie got married in Greensboro, I come on back to Wilson, and then, after I come back, I hated I’d come back ‘cause I had to – Papa’s mind was bad, and I had to stay home.  To keep him.  He’d go ‘way from the house and couldn’t find his way back. And he was ruptured from the time I can remember. And so at that time Mama was working in the factory, and school wasn’t open, but when school opened, I had to stay home and look out for him.  And then, so finally, when he died.  He was supposed to have an operation.  He was ruptured, and Carrie, she claimed she didn’t know it.  And I said, now, I was the youngest child was there, and I knowed that all that stuff that was down ‘tween his legs was something wrong with him.  He went up to Mercy Hospital for something, probably his rupture – I know he had to go to the hospital for treatments or something.  Anyway, the last time, Carrie came down and she was fussing about if she’d known Papa had to have an operation, she’d have come down and he’d have had it.  Instead of waiting until it was too late.  Now the last week they wasn’t expecting him to live.  But, no bigger than I was, I knew he had it.  And she was grown, old enough for my mother, and then she talking ‘bout she didn’t know he was ruptured?  Well, all his tubes was, ah –  And he always had to wear a truss to hold hisself up.  And when he’d be down, I’d be down there sweeping at the school, and he’d be out there plowing a field he rented out there, and he’d come up, lay down on the floor and take a chair and he’d put his legs up over the chair like that, and I’d wet the cloths from the bowl where was in the hall, some of the old dust cloths, and hand them to him, and he’d put them down on his side, and you could hear it ‘bluckup’ and that thing would go back there.  But see it had got, his intestines, that tissue between there had bursted, and the doctor told him he needed an operation.  So he was gon get it, but he didn’t have money enough to get it.  Didn’t save up money enough to have the operation.  So none of the children – all of them know, as large as his – but leastways he couldn’t hide himself, ‘cause even from a little child, I could see that for years, and I wondered what it was.  ‘Cause I know everybody didn’t have it, at least didn’t have all that in their britches ….  And Carrie come down there, and she fuss Mama out about him not having the operation and this kind of stuff.  And she said, “Well, we never had the money to get the operation.”  We tried to go and get it, and we’d pay on it by time.  But, naw, he wanted, he was gon make something off the crop, and he’d pay.  Pay it and have it then.  But he never got the chance.  So when they put him in the hospital and operated on him, say when they cut him, he had over a quart of pus in him.  I think it was on a Thursday, and he lived ‘til that Tuesday.

NorthCarolinaDeathCertificates1909-1975ForJessieAdamJacobs——

Oh, this breaks my heart. (And she was absolutely right. July 6, 1926, was a Tuesday.)

Excerpts from interviews of Hattie Henderson Ricks by Lisa Y. Henderson; all rights reserved.

Standard
Education, Maternal Kin, North Carolina

Morningside School.

Statesville’s Morningside School had its beginnings in the two-roomed Colored Free School, which opened in 1891. Maggie Sellars and Alma J. Carter shared teaching duties. The following year and additional room was added, and the instructional staff expanded to five. In 1915, a mysterious fire consumed the original building, and for the next six years children attended classes in nearby churches and fraternal halls. In 1921, a new eight-classroom facility on Green Street near Garfield opened, with Charles W. Foushee as principal. This building was known as Morningside School. Within two years, booming enrollment demanded expansion to seven elementary grades and two high school. Tenth and eleventh grades were added in 1928, and the school was accredited in 1930. After desegregation in 1965, Morningside became an elementary school and, in 1971, its name was changed to Alan D. Rutherford School.

Margaret at school 002

Margaret at school

These photographs were probably taken shortly before the Colored Free School burned down. In the first, my grandmother is second from right on the second row from the top. Her sister Launie Mae is first in the third row from the top. In the second photo, my grandmother is seated last on the third row from the top.

Text adapted from materials produced for Morningside Alumni Association — 2002 Reunion, Statesville NC, 31 August 2002. Photos in the collection of Lisa Y. Henderson.

Standard
Births Deaths Marriages, Maternal Kin, North Carolina, Oral History

William. And William.

Me: There was something I was going to ask you …. Now, I knew — I found out that she had a brother. Named William.

My grandmother: Who?

Me: Nicholson. Ommm, Harriet.

My grandmother: He was a white man, honey.

Me: Her real brother.

Grandmother: It was her half-brother. He was a white man that owned the undertaking business.

——

Harriet Nicholson Tomlin Hart had two brothers named William. One black, one white.

The first, with whom she shared a mother, was William H. Nicholson, born Christmas Day 1842. After her husband Abner’s death, Harriet and her youngest son Golar went to live with him in Charlotte, North Carolina, about 35 miles south of Statesville. In 1900, the censustaker recorded the family at 611 E. Stonewall. William worked as a plasterer, and Harriet is designated as his sister. She acted as informant on his death certificate, filed a few days after he died 17 December 1909, naming his parents as Burwell Carson and Lucinda Cowles. I have found no other references to his life.

The other brother, with whom she shared a father, was William Thomas Leonadas Nicholson, one of two sons of James Lee Nicholson and Martha “Mattie” Colvert Nicholson. (The other was John Walter Lee Nicholson.) William was a boy of 7 when Lee Nicholson died in 1871, and he was reared with his mother’s family in northern Iredell County. (She was the daughter of William I. Colvert, former owner of Walker and John W. Colvert. The latter fathered Harriet Nicholson’s oldest child.) In 1878, the Nicholson family “began to make and sell caskets at the general store they operated [in] northern Iredell County. As was common in the late 1800s, many undertakers were also furniture makers, and the Nicholsons continued to sell caskets and conduct funerals in their furniture store when they moved to Statesville. At the time, a casket’s price was based on the wood used and its size—probably between $25 and $35 for an adult casket. W.T. Nicholson moved the funeral home into its current location in 1920, and he remained its owner until his death in 1951.” William T. Nicholson handled preparations for his sister’s burial — whether he acknowledged her or not — as well as John W. Colvert. Nicholson Funeral Home, at 135 East Front Street, Statesville, remains in operation.

Standard
North Carolina, Oral History, Paternal Kin, Photographs

She raised 13.

My father’s mother said:

Every day she needed, had to eat some fish.  ‘Cause she couldn’t eat pork.  Good as she loved ham and stuff, and Papa always raised a pig every year.  She had a bad heart.  And so she wasn’t supposed to eat no pork.  And so that’s what she had, fish.  Fish and beef.  Fish and beef. … Well, she raised chickens.  But she got to put the chicken in a coop.  Even if it was running ‘round out there in a bigger pen.  She put it one of them little coop places where was built up like that, and let it stay a week, cleaning it out.  That’s what she said to do.  I reckon you let ‘em run ‘round in the yard eating dirt, so she was gon clean ‘em out. She would get her about five or six biddies out the bunch, and she just put them in that coop, and by them being out there in the back yard fenced in that part, picking up all the gravel and everything else they want … Put ‘em in that coop, let ‘em stay a week, clean ‘em out.  So, I said to Mama, “Why you got to take ‘em out the yard and put ‘em in a pen?  And then feed ‘em nothing but corn in there?”  She said that cleans ‘em out.  At the time, when she was telling me, I didn’t know what cleaning ‘em out was.  Wonder, “Why she talking ‘bout cleaning ‘em out?”  I wanted to ask her again, but she would scold at you.  She done called herself telling you what to do.  But she didn’t tell you the whole thing.  So I’d just hush.  And then go and try to get it out of somebody else.

She weighed 200 pounds.  She was fat.  But she wore dresses longer than what they’re wearing now.  Just like, that one up there, that skirt she had on, she made that.  And she, it was blue silk.  And then she made a ruffle, that ruffle that was ‘round that skirt, she took and sewed all ‘round it…. Her hair was shoulder-length, but she always rolled it, always turned it up and pinned it back there and had this part that come around.  She didn’t never cut it real short.  And it didn’t, I don’t never remember seeing it when it was real long.  But she was always tucking it in and trying to make a ball back there.

Image

She didn’t have but one child.  But she raised 13.  Papa’s children, and then my mama Bessie and Jack, and me and Mamie.  Her own child was named Hattie Mae, too.

Sarah Daisy Henderson Jacobs Silver was my great-great-grandmother’s sister.

——

Photo of Sarah Henderson Jacobs Silver in the collection of Lisa Y. Henderson. Interview of Hattie Henderson Ricks by Lisa Y. Henderson; all rights reserved.

Standard
Land, Maternal Kin, North Carolina, Oral History

Land along the railroad.

Me: What did, why did Grandpa Henry come to Statesville? Was he a farmer? What did he do?

My grandmother: I don’t know. I really don’t know.

Me: He was from Rowan County.

My grandmother: He certainly didn’t have no farm in Statesville. It seems to me he had a big, big lot  of land where they had this house. Where they built this house. But it was near a railroad, and trains — cinders from the trains fell on the house and burnt it.

——

On 21 Dec 1903, G.M. Austin and wife J.A. Austin sold H.W. McNeely of Iredell County a parcel bounded as follows: “Beginning at a stake 300 feet from Bettie Van Pelts S.E. corner and 50 feet from the center of Rail Road, and running N. 10 degrees E. 200 feet to a stake then S. 11 W. 200 feet to a stake 50 feet N of the center of the Rail Road, then N 79 degrees W. 100 feet to the beginning also 1/2 acres adjoining the above lot, and known as the J.V. Houston land it being same land sold for taxes by M.A. White by deed from T.Y. Cowper.” McNeely paid $164.

Extract from interview of Margaret C. Allen by Lisa Y. Henderson; all rights reserved.

Standard
Births Deaths Marriages, Maternal Kin, Military, North Carolina, Oral History

We the 3rd N.C. regiment soldiers.

And again:

My mother’s brother went to World War I. Not Uncle John and Uncle Luther.  Oh, they were old.  Old men.  They went to the Spanish-American War.

Image

Image

 

In response to President William McKinley’s call for volunteers, the 3rd Battalion of North Carolina Volunteers mustered in on 12 May 1898 at Fort Macon, North Carolina. Seven companies — including Company G of Iredell County — joined them in July, forming the 3rd North Carolina Regiment.  The Regiment moved west to Knoxville in September, then to Macon, Georgia in January 1899. Though the 3rd NC was alerted to prepare to ship out to Cuba, the war ended before it saw action in battle.

The following letter is reported to have been sent to Secretary of War Alger by members of this regiment. The names of those who signed the letter were not given to The Journal and Tribune reporter with the copy of the letter.

Third North Carolina Regiment 
(All companies) Sept. 23, 1898,

To the Secretary of War:

Dear Sir:–We the undersigned many soldiers, heard that you had been instructed that we wanted to stay in service as garrison duty, but my dear sir, we are now pleading with mercy and deny any such report as there had been reported and we feel that our superior officers has treated us wrong to hold us in service without we knowing anything about it.

We the undersigned did not join the service for garrison duty. We only sacrificed our lives and left our homes simply for the honor of our flag and the destruction of our country and families as the war was going on at that time, but now the war is over and we do feel that we might be mustered out of service because we are getting letters from our families every day or two stating the suffering condition, and oh my God, the way that we are treated. We have to drill harder than any other regiment on the grounds and after drilling so hard, we have to work so hard. We have to cut ditches, sink holes and fill up gullies, put in water pipes. We, the 3rd N.C. regiment soldiers has not had but one pair of pants, one coat, two undershirts, one top shirt. We are in a box fit. Our food is not fit to eat, and oh my dear sir, we are bound up in a little place about 400 feet long 3 feet wide. Just think of the confinement we are under just because we volunteered freely to fight for our country.

We the undersigned many soldiers did not volunteer for garrison duty and we do not think that our honorable government will take the advantage of willing and faithful men who came to the rescue of the flag, stars and stripes. We have a great deal more to tell you but we can not express ourselves like it ought to be done.

Down at Fort Macon we was misled. The question was asked who wanted to stay in the service and go to the front if necessary, called upon them to raise hands, but the question never was asked if we wanted to do garrison duty. If they had of asked that question we never would have been in Knoxville today. Why don’t you know as a good thinking man that we don’t want to leave our wives and families to go on garrison duty. Why if so you would have had more applications in the white house than the mail box would have helt.

You know that these officers is getting a very good salary and they would go in three miles of hell after that dollar, but we who are brave men did not come for the sake of that $15.60, but we gloried in the flag and come to hold it up by the balls and shells. So as we did not get a chance to do so we hope that you will consider this matter. Look it over, give us the judgment of justice and if you do we will go home to our families who are in a suffering condition, so we will not write any more.

We the undersigned await your earliest reply. Many soldiers of the Third North  Carolina regiment. We want to go home. 

Journal and Tribune, Knoxville, 5 October 1898.

U.S.HeadstoneApplicationsforMilitaryVeterans1925-1963ForJohnMcNeely

U.S.HeadstoneApplicationsforMilitaryVeterans1925-1963ForLutherMcNeely

Standard
Maternal Kin, Newspaper Articles, North Carolina, Rights

Julius weathers Reconstruction and maintains his political life.

County Affairs.

The County Commissioners met, as usual, on first Monday in the month. The usual routine business was transacted. $45.50 was allowed to the out-door paupers of the county. The keeper of the poor reported an average of 17 paupers for the month of August – 8 white and 9 negroes. An itemized statement of expense for said month amounted to $39.08. A number of accounts were ordered to be paid, for various expenditures. D.E. Leonard, of Lexington, was granted to sell liquor at C.E. Mill’s old stand.

JUDGES OF ELECTION.

Oak Dale: Jno K Goodman, A E Sherrill, Jno T Goodman, Julius McNeely, (col).

The Carolina Watchman, 9 September 1886.

Standard