Maternal Kin, Newspaper Articles, North Carolina, Vocation

The colored fire company.

Members of the colored fire company of Statesville left yesterday for Oxford to attend the State tournament. Among those who went were F.F. Chamber, vice president of the State association; J.P. Chambers, first foreman and J.H. Gray second foreman of the local company; J.A. Brown, Clarence Carlton, W.G. Kimbrough, Jim Dalton, Luther McNeely, J.W. Byers, S.Y. Allison, J.P. Murphy and Smith Byers.

Statesville Landmark, 20 August 1912.

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Uncategorized

Epiphany, no. 1.

Fairly early in the game, I noticed that in some feminine names, I’s that are now pronounced IH or EE were once pronounced EYE. For example, Cousin Nina Aldridge Hardy was NYE-na.  Cousin Tilithia Brewington Godbold was Ta-LYE-thi-a.  Cousin Beathina Henderson Hargrove was Be-THY-na.  I also noticed — or so I thought — that sometimes the names Eliza and Louisa were interchanged in records and assumed that this was because “Louisa” was once pronounced “Lou-EYE-za,” which, maybe, could have been misheard as “Eliza.”  Example: Louisa/Eliza Hagans Seaberry.

But then: today while looking at Louisa Seaberry’s entry in the 1850 census of Wayne County way enlarged, I noticed that … there was no loop in the first vowel. I looked up and down the page. The censustaker’s other O’s all featured a distinct loop. This, now that I was really looking at it, seemed to be an  E. And the U rather like V. So, not Louisa, but LEVISA? But what about definite references in the 1870 census and deeds to “Eliza”? A mispronunciation? A middle name? In 1865, her daughter Frances Seaberry Artis named her twin daughters Louvicey … and Eliza. Were they both named after their grandmother? Frances’ daughter Georgianna Artis Reid also named a daughter Levicy. I’m onto something….

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Newspaper Articles, Paternal Kin, Politics, Rights

Uncle Caswell makes a fine point. … And then ….

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Colored American, Washington DC, 20 June 1903.

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(1) Who knew Caswell C. Henderson was “one of the best known Republicans in the County of New York”?

(2) Uncle Caswell worked at the United States Custom House, where positions were highly sought-after. In other words, they were patronage jobs. Now I understand the path the farmer’s son from North Carolina took to get one.

(3) It appears that Caswell wasn’t a white man at work after all. He was merely one when below the Mason-Dixon line.

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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.

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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.

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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

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

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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.

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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.

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