Were Walter “Wat” and Nancy Carter the step-father and mother of Joseph and Jasper Holmes? Here is the evidence:
- Per my great-aunt, Julia Allen Maclin, her grandfather Jasper Holmes and Joseph R. Holmes were brothers.
- According to historian Luther Porter Jackson, Joseph had a brother “Watt,” who was a shoemaker like Joseph.
- Jasper Holmes and Joseph Holmes were born in Charlotte County, Virginia, circa 1838 and 1841.
- In 1867, Watt Carter registered to vote at Clements’ in Charlotte Court House, as did Joseph Holmes.
- About 1867, Jasper Holmes named a son Walter. (Another son, born in 1874, was named Joseph. And both Jasper and Joseph had sons named William.)
- Joseph’s death certificate, issued in 1869 in Charlotte County, lists his parents as Payton and Nancy Holmes. Neither Payton Holmes nor Nancy Holmes have been found in the 1870 census or any other record.
- In the 1870 census, Joseph Holmes’ children Payton, Louisa and Joseph, and possibly his widow, appear in the household of Wat and Nancy Carter in Charlotte County. Wat and Nancy have a son also named Wat.
- In the 1870 census, Jasper Holmes and family are listed in Charles City County, some 100 miles east of Charlotte County. (Why Charles City County? What was the pull to that particular place?)
- On 14 June 1873 in Charles City County, Lotsey Carter, age 22, born in Charlotte County to Walter Carter and a mother whose name is illegible, married Claiborne Booker, born in Chesterfield County and residing in New York.
- On 10 January 1874, Lettie Booker opened account #6605 at the New York branch of the Freedmen’s Bank. She stated that she was 22 years old; born in Richmond, Virginia; and resided at 28 Cornelia Street. She was light brown in complexion; worked washing and ironing; and was married to Claiborne Booker. Her father was Watt Carter of Keysville [Charlotte County], Virginia; her mother was named Nancy; and her siblings were Watt, Eliza and Louisa.
- In the 1880 census of Queens, Queens County, New York: living on premises, Claiborne Booker, 39, headwaiter in a hotel; wife Lettie, 28, laundress in hotel; and Walter Holmes, 12, “nephew.” All were born in Virginia.
- On 23 October 1883 in Charles City County, Walter Carter, age 28, shoemaker, born in Charlotte County to Walter and Nancy Carter, married Alice Christian, 22, of Charles City County, at Shirley.
- Watt Carter died 3 May 1885 in Charles City County at age 72. His death certificate states (probably erroneously) that he was born in Charles City County.
- Nancy Carter, age 75, died 18 June 1884 in Charles City County. Her death certificate states that she was born in Charlotte County and was single (widowed?)
- And possibly: “Claiborne Booker has been appointed guardian for the estate of the late Louisa McKie and in his custody her children, Wm. McKie and Clarence McKie, have been placed by the surrogate court of New York county.” New York Age, 16 March 1905.
My conjecture: Nancy [last name unknown] married first Payton Holmes in Charlotte County and had at least two children, Joseph and Jasper. Nancy then married Walter “Wat” Carter in Charlotte County. Their children included Louisa, Lettie, Walter Jr. and Eliza. Between 1867 and 1870, perhaps in response to his brother’s murder, Jasper moved his family to Charles City County. Between 1870 and 1873, Wat and Nancy Carter and family also moved to Charles City County. Lettie Carter Booker married and settled in Queens with her husband. For some period, her nephew Walter Holmes, son of Jasper, lived with them. The fortuitous capturing of this stay in the 1880 census cements these relationships for me, as it is a direct connection between Jasper and his half-sister.
Sources: federal census records; Charlotte County VA death records; Charlotte County voter register; Charles City County VA birth, marriage and death records; Freedman’s Bank records.