Births Deaths Marriages, Free People of Color, North Carolina, Paternal Kin, Photographs

Family cemeteries, no. 4: the Exums.

Solomon Williams and Vicey Artis‘ youngest daughter, Delilah Williams, married Simon Exum around 1870. The couple settled on a farm near both of their families and reared seven children: Ora Exum Artis (1871-1933), Patrick Exum (1873-??), Mollie (1875-??), Alice Exum Finlayson (1877-1961), Alice Exum (1879-??), Loumiza Exum (1879), William Exum (1881-??), and Simon Exum Jr. (1884-1963).

Last summer, I drove up and down Highway 222 searching unsuccessfully for this family’s graveyard, which should have been just up the road from both Delilah’s brother Adam Artis’ grave and the larger Exum cemetery containing the remains of Simon’s parents, John and Sophronia Exum. Later, using GPS coordinates, I found it in the backyard, more or less, of a house whose occupants erected a six-foot fence to block the view. I returned yesterday and, across a plowed-under field, immediately spotted several stones, including:


Delilah Williams Exum (1851-1939), and


Simon Exum (1842-1915).

Other kin buried in this cemetery: grandson John Brogdus Artis (1903-1979), son of Ora Exum Artis; Emma E. Exum (1884-1978), wife of son Simon Exum Jr.; Estelle Exum (1910-1988), daughter of son Simon Jr.; Simon Exum Jr. (1884-1963); and daughter Alice Finlayson (1875-1961).


P.S. After posting this, I found this obituary in the 10 July 2009 edition of the Goldsboro News-Argus:

WASHINGTON D.C. — Simon Devon Exum, 59, formerly of Wayne County, died Tuesday at Washington Center Hospital.

His life will be celebrated Saturday at 11 a.m. at St. James Christian Church in Fremont, with minister James Earl Bunch officiating. His mortal remains will be laid to rest in the historic John C. Exum I Cemetery in Eureka.

Warm memories are cherished by his siblings, Larry Exum and Timothy Exum of Upper Marlboro, Md., Ray Exum and Brenda Mills of Goldsboro, Diane Exum of Chicago, Carol Packer of Eureka, Sherla Exum of Fremont and Gloria Exum of Wilson.

He will lie in state Saturday from 10:15 a.m. until the funeral hour at the church.

The family will receive friends at the home place, 3073 NC 222 East in Stantonsburg, where they will also assemble in preparation for the funeral procession.

John C. Exum was Simon Exum Sr.’s father. John and “Fraunie” Exum’s gravestones note that they were born free, but I’ve found no evidence of either pre-Civil War.  3073 NC 222 East is directly across the street from the house in front of the Simon Exum cemetery (which is probably now closed to burials,) and Simon Devon Exum was a son of M.R. Cornell Exum, son of Simon Exum Jr.  3073 caught my attention as I pulled my car off the road; it has recently been reduced to a pile of rubble.


12 thoughts on “Family cemeteries, no. 4: the Exums.

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  5. Helen Larson says:

    I am researching for the tree of Tupak Shakur and he is connected to these Exums. I have not found all the pieces to put it together but he has Exum in his family tree also from Nahunta, Wayne County. I am working on it at His gggg grandfather Jack Sherrod married Cassie Exum if I have it right without having to go back and look.

    Right now I don’t have it figurd out but I wanted to put it out there in case any of you know anything or want to pursue it.


  6. Thank you so much for your research. You’ve helped me find Rachel Exum-Coley’s parents. Rachel Exum married Peter Coley. Did you happen to take a photo of the grave for John C Exum and his wife Sophronia?

  7. keshalm01 says:

    I have a picture of my gggg grandparents’ gravestone. I actually took it today. I’m not sure how to post it here though.

  8. keshalm01 says:

    I have a picture of my gggg grandparents’ gravestones. I actually took it today. I’m not sure how to post it here though.

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