Of all Lewis and Mag Henderson‘s children, descendants of only Ann Elizabeth and Loudie walk this earth. Loudie had just two children in her brief life, Jack and Bessie, but their collective offspring number in the hundreds. Ann Elizabeth did not live long either, but her children Daniel and Dollie ensured her legacy. I have talked about Loudie’s children here and introduced a purported photograph of Ann Elizabeth here. Now, more about Ann Elizabeth’s life.
Ann Elizabeth Henderson was born about 1862, probably in northern Sampson County. Her sister Isabella J. died early, leaving Ann Elizabeth the oldest girl in her family. The 1870 census of Brogden, Wayne County, North Carolina, shows Lewis Henderson, farmer, with wife Margarett and children James L. [known by his middle name, Lucian], Ann E., Caswell, and Mary S. [called “Sudie.”] On 21 January 1879, William Freeman applied at the Wayne County courthouse for a marriage license for Hilery Simmons, of Wayne County, age 24, colored, son of George Simmons and Axy Jane Simmons, both living, and Ann E. Henderson, of Wayne County, age 17, colored, daughter of Louis Henderson and Margret Henderson, both living. Hillary’s brother, R[iley] H. Simmons, a Methodist minister of the AME Zion Church, married the couple on two days later at Ann’s father Lewis’ home in Dudley. Hillary’s father G.W. Simmons (or maybe his brother General W. Simmons,) Hatch Brooks, and Ann’s brother Lucian Henderson officially witnessed the ceremony.
In the 1880 census of Brogden township, Wayne County, 28 year-old tenant farmer Hillory Simmons, his 17 year-old wife Ann Elizabeth, and 7 month-old daughter Abraskry shared a housheold with Ann’s sister nine year-old Sarah Henderson and 22 year-old brother Lucian Henderson. [“Abraskry”?!? Should that have been “Nebraska”? Was she named for a new state much in the news during the previous decade’s battles with Cheyenne, Pawnee, Sioux and other Natives?] The bulk of Ann Elizabeth Henderson Simmons’ life played in the two decades bracketed by the 1880 and 1900 censuses. We can assume that she was enumerated in 1890 with her husband and young children, but that record does not survive.
More intriguingly, the entire family is missing from the 1900 census, most likely the result of oversight but doubly unfortunate because she died around that time. In between, there are just a few glimpses of Ann Elizabeth in membership rolls of the Congregational Church of Dudley and in the deeds by which she and Hillary repeatedly mortgaged their 28-acre farm. In 1900 — 1901, at the latest — Ann Elizabeth Simmons died. She is surely buried in Congregational Church cemetery, perhaps next to her husband’s grave, or maybe with the Hendersons. Wherever she is, her grave is unmarked. Only children Minnie, Daniel and Annie C. “Dollie” survived her. In June 1902, Celestial Manuel Kemp, herself newly widowed, stepped into Ann Elizabeth’s shoes. Her first child with Hillary was born in 1904, the same year that H.B. Simmons applied for a marriage license for Jesse Budd of Wayne County, age 20, colored, son of John and Lou Budd, and Minnie Simmons of Wayne County, 17, colored, daughter of H.B. Simmons and Annie Simmons (he living, she dead). Rev. W.H. Mapp, a Pentecostal Holiness minister from Norfolk, Virginia, performed the ceremony on 27 May at H.B. Simmons’ residence in the presence of Edie Hunter, Cora Budd, and Sarah Jacobs, all of Wayne County. Sarah Henderson Jacobs, Minnie Simmons’ aunt, was the little girl who lived with Ann Elizabeth and Hillary just after they married, as recorded in the 1880 census.
Minnie and Jesse Budd’s first child, Jesse Manuel Budd Jr., was born 27 February 1905. Shortly after, the family moved to Philadelphia, where William Edward Budd was born in October 1906. Eddie died at home at 1652 North Darien Street at the age of nine months. Jesse Jr. died in Goldsboro of complications from an appendectomy in August 1916. Her own children lost, Minnie sought to adopt my grandmother Hattie Mae, her first cousin’s child, who was being reared by Sarah Henderson Jacobs. Sarah, however, would not separate Hattie from her sister Mamie.
Minnie Simmons Budd, perhaps the 1940s.
In 1910, the censustaker found Hilory Simmons, wife Zalista, and children Daniel, Dollie, John, Susan A., Charles and Kajy living in Brogden township. The family remained in the Dudley area, and Hillary B. Simmons died 25 October 1941. On 24 Dec 1912, Hillery Simmons applied for a marriage license for Yancy Musgrave of Wayne County, age 21, colored, son of Alford and Pollie Musgrave, both living, and Annie C. Simmons, 17, colored, daughter of Hillery and Annie E. Simmons (he living, she dead). Riley Simmons (now described as a Freewill Baptist minister) performed the ceremony the same day at Annie Simmons’ home in Dudley in the presence of Minnie Simmons of Dudley, Dave Budd of Mount Olive, and Liddie Winn of Dudley. Dollie’s children were Yancy Oliver (1913), Alfred Rudolph (1916), Bruce M. (1917), Marie Estelle (1920), Muriel (1922), Rossie Lee (1923), Ruth (1924), and Ralph Mordecai Musgrave (1926). Four months after Dollie’s marriage, on 10 April 1913, Daniel Simmons married Annie Irene Hogans, daughter of James and Annie Watson Hogans, in Goldsboro.
The couple’s first two children, James Daniel (1914) and Hettie Louise (1915), died in infancy. The family then moved briefly to Rocky Mount, North Carolina, where daughter Harriet Latta Simmons (1916-1970) was born. Daniel and Annie Irene Simmons moved to Richmond, where a second James Daniel (1919-2001), Anna Bell (1921-2000) and twins Mary (1924-2004) and Martha (1924-2012) were born; then to Philadelphia, where Hillary Bunn II (1926-2010), Stanley Armstead (1928-2000), and Matthew Dallas (1930-2009) were born; and finally Brooklyn, where twins Clement and Clifton (1931) died within a day of their birth. Annie Irene H. Simmons died soon after.
Top: Anna Bell, Mary, Daniel, Martha and Harriet. Bottom: Stanley, Dallas and Hillary.
Daniel Simmons at left, an unidentified man, and possibly his stepmother Celestial and father Hillary B. Simmons, perhaps late 1930s, Dudley, North Carolina.
Photo of Minnie S. Budd in collection of Lisa Y. Henderson; photos of Daniel Simmons and family courtesy of D. G. Campbell.