Today marks one month since my beloved father passed from labor to reward. We remain heartbroken, but are grateful for the time we had with him, for the impact he made in the world, and for your continual expressions of care and concern.
In June of this year, the Henderson family lost an extra-special cousin to COVID-19. Today would have been Reginald J. Henderson Sr.‘s 76th birthday. By happenstance, I ran across his high school yearbook online today and found his senior portrait.
We miss you, Cousin Reggie!
The Tiger (1962), G.W. Carver High School, Mount Olive, N.C., digitized at DigitalNC.
In June 1923, my grandfather Roderick Taylor vouched for his first cousin Howard Willis Barnes when Barnes applied for a license to marry Elmer Pentecost Wright in Greensboro, North Carolina. Taylor was still spelling his first name with two D’s and no E at the time. His mother, Rachel Barnes Taylor, and Howard’s father, Ned Barnes, were siblings.
Handwritten on the rear: “To Jas. Battle from Roddrick Taylor.” The photo likely dates from about 1905.
My great-great-great-grandfather Lewis Henderson was selected to serve as a Superior Court juror in Wayne County, North Carolina, in 1877.
Goldsboro Messenger, 20 August 1877.
Henderson Family Reunion 2018, Atlanta, Georgia.
Family over Everything.
Edgar J. “Buddy” Artis (1914-1988) and James Broady Artis (1912-1963), sons of June S. and Ethel Becton Artis, circa 1919.
The Artis brothers were my double cousins. My great-great-great-grandfather Adam T. Artis was their paternal grandfather, and my great-great-great-aunt Amanda Aldridge Artis was their paternal grandmother.
The 1920 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County, recorded the family right around the time the boys posed for this portrait: on Stantonsburg & Wilson Road, farm manager June S. Artis, 30, wife Ethel, 26, and children James, 7, Edgar, 5, Manda Bell, 3, and farm laborer Edgar Exum.
Many thanks to my cousin Adam S. Artis, Edgar J. Artis’ grandson, for sharing this photo.
Milford Elmer Carter Jr. recently celebrated his 95th birthday. Born in Wilson in 1923 to Wayne County natives Milford E. and Beulah Aldridge Carter, he and his family boarded briefly in Cora Miller Washington‘s home at 701 East Green Street, around the corner from the Elba Street home of Milford Carter Sr’s uncle, Jesse A. Jacobs Jr. and, per the 1922 city directory, lived at 905 East Vance Street. The family soon migrated to Pennsylvania, then New York City. M. Elmer Carter Jr. is a veteran of World War II.
Photos courtesy of Carla Carter Jacobs.
The Record (Statesville, N.C.), 10 December 1937.
- For an overview of the Petty family, see here.
- Jacolia Hall was the daughter of Kermit C.J. Hall and Marjorie Petty Hall.
- Delia Macheree Walker was the daughter of Gilmer and Eva Petty Walker (and thus Jacolia’s cousin, not niece.)
- James Edward Walker was Macheree’s brother.
- Delia Petty was Eva Petty Walker’s mother.
- Eva Petty Walker was the daughter of Lon W. Colvert and Delia Petty.
Louise Holt Tisdale (27 April 1925-5 April 2018)
My great-aunt Mamie‘s eldest daughter, Louise Holt Tisdale, passed peacefully earlier this month after a short illness. Her memorial was held yesterday, on what would have been her 93rd birthday. The family’s great beauty, “Sister” was as lovely within as without, always ready with a warm smile, a hearty laugh and an open door.
High school graduation, circa 1943.
My favorite photo of Sister.
Unless it’s this one.
Sister with her mother, left, and aunt, my grandmother.
As detailed here, Edmond Petty was Eva Petty Walker‘s grandfather. Petty was born enslaved in the 1830s, probably in Wilkes County, North Carolina (Iredell County’s northwestern neighbor). On 26 April 1865, he enlisted in Company H, 40th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry, in Greeneville, Tennessee. Intentionally or accidentally, his name was recorded as “Edward Pedy.” (Greeneville is about 120 miles from Wilkes County over the Blue Ridge Mountains through what is now Cherokee National Forest. This is tough terrain even today.)After mustering out in February 1866 at Chattanooga, Edmond Petty returned to Wilkes County, married and reared a family. In poor health and finally straitened, in 1883, Petty applied to the United States government for an invalid’s pension. He claimed disability as a result of suffering a sunstroke while drilling with his regiment.Petty’s disability affidavit provides rich details of his life. Prior to enlistment in the Army, he had lived “with B.F. Petty to whom I belonged in Wilkes County, State of North Carolina. I was there a slave.” (Benjamin F. Petty, who reported owning 23 enslaved persons in 1850, was one of the largest slaveholders in Wilkes County.) Since the war, he had lived in the Fishing Creek area of Wilkes County and had worked as a farmer when he was able. Petty claimed that his diminished eyesight and rheumatism were the result of sunstroke suffered while on duty at Greeneville and that, because of his condition, he was barely able to work.Edmond Petty’s file comprises 84 pages of testimony by his fellow veterans, neighbors and doctors about Petty’s medical condition and its causes, as well as his ability to support himself. Said H.M. Wilder, for example, “I found him hauling wood in a small one horse wagon to the town of Statesville earning a meagre living.” In the end, he was awarded eight dollars a month for three-quarters disability due to rheumatism and one-quarter to heart trouble.The Record & Landmark published a sarcastic piece about Petty’s appeal of his initial pension award in an article that was reprinted across North Carolina’s Piedmont. The piece insinuates that Petty had done nothing to warrant his stipend, but more importantly reveals that Petty was the agent of his own emancipation. When Stoneman’s Raid passed through Wilkes County in late March 1865, capturing Wilkesboro, Petty escaped the Petty plantation and fell in with Union troops as contraband, following them all the way to Tennessee, where he enlisted to fight the Confederacy.Record & Landmark (Statesville, N.C.), 18 March 1898.U.S. Colored Troops Military Service Records, 1863-1865 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com; File #471,881, Application of Edmond Petty for Pension, National Archives and Records Administration.