On 30 Jan 1905, in Statesville, North Carolina, my great-great-grandfather John W. Colvert married Adeline Hampton. The marriage was performed by J.H. Pressley, the same Presbyterian minister who would marry John’s son Lon and Caroline McNeely a year later. John and Adeline had had four daughters together. Selma Eugenia, Ida Mae, Lillie Mae and Henrietta were born between 1889 and 1893, and I don’t know what kept John and Addie from marrying for so long — or finally induced them to tie the knot. Separate or apart, I’ve found none in the 1900 census.
Addie’s whole family, in fact, is elusive in enumeration records. Her marriage license and death certificate reveal that she was born about 1864 in Wilkes County, North Carolina — northwest of Iredell — to Horace and Myra Hampton. (Other death certificates report Myra’s maiden name as Russell.) In the 1880 census of Wilkes, Addie appears in Wilkesboro township with her parents, younger siblings Vance, Josephine and Henry, and nephews and niece Arthur, Horace and Emma Hampton. Ten years earlier, however, in the 1870 census, Horace and Myra cannot be found, and Addie seems to be living in a household headed by much older siblings.
The 1890 census has perished, but Horace Hampton, “the veteran bridge keeper,” appears in a brief congratulatory article in the Wilkesboro Chronicle on the prosperity and good behavior of the county’s colored people.
Wilkesboro Chronicle, 14 January 1891.
Unfortunately, the family’s next mention is an obituary for Myra Hampton, which reveals a surprising number of siblings for Addie. Most of the children were adults before Emancipation, thus do not appear in census records with their parents. Also, though Myra’s age is given as “about 80,” the 1880 census suggests that she was closer to 70 at the time of her death.
Wilkesboro Chronicle, 3 January 1900.
Just over a year later, the Chronicle mocked Horace Hampton’s efforts to reclaim his position as bridge tender on the Yadkin River.
Wilkesboro Chronicle, 3 April 1901.
In June 1905, less than six months after his next-to-youngest daughter finally married the father of her children, Horace Hampton passed away.
Wilkesboro Chronicle, 14 June 1905.
Adeline “Addie” Hampton Colvert outlived her husband by almost 20 years. She is buried next to him in Green Street cemetery in Statesville.