While perusing the November 2001 issue of Trees, the publication of the Wilson County Genealogical Society, I ran across a previously unnoticed article about Jane Sauls and her daughters and their encounter with an alligator on their farm near Stantonsburg. (“Unnoticed” in that I’d read it years ago, but not appreciated what I was reading.) Jane was a first cousin to my great-great-great-grandfather, Adam T. Artis (1831-1919).
Jane Lane Sauls was born circa 1842 in Greene County NC. She died on 16 Dec 1928 in Stantonsburg township, Wilson County, North Carolina. She was one of several children of Sylvania Artis, a free woman of color, and her husband Guy Lane, an enslaved man, but is not found in the 1850 or 1860 censuses.
In the 1870 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County, farm laborer John Sauls, 35, wife Jane, 27, and children Mary, 3, and Silvany, 1, are listed with Trecinda Barnes, 20, Jane Barnes, 7, and Edwin Barnes, 1. No marriage record for Jane and John has been located, and their relationship to the Barneses is unknown.
The 1880 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County, shows farmer John Sauls, 45, wife Jane, 36, daughters Mary, 12, Silvany, 9, Anner, 7, and Lucy, 6, plus Jane’s sister Fanny Lane, 14. (Sister? Really? I’d bet niece.)
On 30 Nov 1894, J.W. Coley applied for a marriage license for Morrison Artis of Wayne County, 50, colored, son of Guy Coley and Sylvania Coley, both dead, and Jane Farrior of Wayne County, 35, colored, of unnamed parents, both dead. (This is the only instance of Coley as a surname for Guy.) The ceremony was performed by D.F. Ormond, Justice of the Peace, on 6 Dec 1894 at John Sauls’ house.in Nahunta township, before B.W. Best, John Sauls, and J. Reid. Morrison Artis was Jane Lane Sauls’ brother. Some of the siblings adopted their mother’s surname, Artis; others used their father’s, Lane.
The 1900 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County, shows John Sauls, wife Jane, daughters Mary and Sylvania Sauls, and “grandchildren” Louvenia (Apr 1883), Henry (Oct 1885) and John Lane (Oct 1886). In fact, these children were probably the children of Jane’s brother Alford Lane.
The 1910 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County, shows John Sauls, 76, wife Jane, 56, Mary, 38, Sylvany, 36, Anna, 33, and Snobe, 10, plus niece Louvenia Lane, 23, and boarder Freeman Swinson,14. Anna reported that she was divorced; Snobe was her son. John B. Sauls, alias Snow B. Nobles, died in 1925. His father was Columbus Nobles. Freeman Swinson was the son of Jane’s sister Mariah Artis Swinson.
The 1920 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County NC shows Anna Sauls, 45, widowed, sharing a household with her sisters Sylvania, 46, and Mary, 49, widowed mother Jane, 76, and cousin Levenia Sauls, 28.
Jane Lane Sauls died 16 Dec 1928 in Stantonsburg township, Wilson County, of paralysis due to hypertension and cerebral hemorrhage. Her death certificate reported that she was born in 1842 in Greene County NC to Guy Lane and Sylvania Artis, both of Greene County, and she was the widow of John Sauls. She was buried 17 Dec 1928, Union Grove cemetery, Wayne County, by C.E. Artis, Wilson NC. (C.E., son of Adam Artis, was her cousin.) The informant was Anna Sauls, Rt. 6 Box 94, Stantonsburg.
Anna Sauls died 20 Dec 1950 in Stantonsburg township, Wayne County, of cerebral hemorrhage. Her death certificate reports that she was a widow and was born 1 Jan 1878 in Wayne County to John Sauls and Jane Lane. She was buried 23 Dec 1950, Union Grove cemetery, Wayne County NC. The informant was Louvenia Sauls, R#2 Box 300, Stantonsburg NC.
Sylvania Sauls died 23 Oct 1957 in Stantonsburg township, Wilson County, of cerebral hemorrhage. Her death certificate reports that she was about 87 years old and was born in Wayne County NC to John Sauls and Jane Lane. She was buried 28 Oct 1957 in Union Grove cemetery. The informant was Louvenia Sauls.
Mary Sauls died 29 Dec 1960 in Fremont township, Wayne County, of cerebral hemorrhage. [Did all these women really die of strokes, or was that a default diagnosis?] Her death certificate reports that she was born 3 Sep 1861 in Wayne County to Johnnie Sauls and Jane Lane. Mary was buried 3 Jan 1961, Union Grove cemetery, Wayne County. The informant was Anna Ray, Rt. 2 Box 143, Fremont NC.
2 thoughts on “Aunt Jane and the alligator.”
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