Births Deaths Marriages, Other Documents, Paternal Kin

The Hawaiian princess.

Toward the end of his college days at Howard University, Aldridge descendant Charles Cromwell Coley married Harriet Purdy, a native Hawaiian athlete and performer and a descendant of King Kamehameha I.

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Their only child, daughter, Laulupe Kaleilani Coley, was born in 1932 in Washington, D.C.

A post in the D.C. neighborhood blog Popville notes: “In March 1934, the Hi-Hat, a ‘smart new continental Cocktail Lounge and Cafe, styled in the modern manner,’ opened on the top floor of the Ambassador. The Post raved about its decorations: ‘The silvery iridescence of kapiz shell gives the mellow effect of moonlight on the water, and the imported blue and white mirrors trimmed in stainless steel surrounding the columns introduces a new note in modern interior decoration.’ The Hi-Hat Lounge quickly became a popular nightspot, offering top names in the nightclub circuit. Its opening act was Princess Harriet Purdy, a Hawaiian who strummed a ukulele while crooning languorous songs in her native tongue.”

Harriet and C.C. Coley divorced in the late 1930s. Their daughter was educated on the mainland, but married and settled in Hawai’i.

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Yearbook of Packer Collegiate Institute, Brooklyn, New York, 1950.

Harriet also returned to Hawai’i where she continued to preserve the island’s traditional arts and culture. In this video posted to Youtube, Harriet Purdy dances hula as Sonny Chillingworth, Myrna English and Billy Hew Len perform “Kaula Ili”:

Harriet Keonaonalaulani Purdy Kauaihilo, 96, of Kapolei, a professional hula dancer, died Aug. 26 in Kapolei. She was born in Waimea. She is survived by son Bill, daughters Laulupe K. Dempster and Harriet Clark, hanai sister Olive S. Purdy, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grand-children. Private graveside services. — Honolulu Bulletin, 11 September 2002.

HARRIET KEONAONALAULANI PURDY KAUAIHILO, 96, of Kapolei, died Aug. 26, 2002. Born in Waimea, Hawai’i. A high diver and swimmer, known as the Hawaiian Human Cannonball at Atlantic City’s Steel Pier in the early 1930s; and professional Island hula dancer. Survived by daughters, Laulupe Dempster and Harriet Clark; son, Bill; grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; hanai sister, Olive Purdy. Private graveside services. Arrangements by Ultimate Cremation Services of Hawai’i.— Honolulu Advertiser, 11 September 2002.

www.popville.com, “Streets of Washington Presents — The Ambassador Hotel, catering to ‘experienced travelers’ (Formerly at 14th and K St, NW)”

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Business, Migration, Newspaper Articles, North Carolina, Paternal Kin, Photographs

Restaurateur, litigant, race man.

I was running some random Google searches when I ran across this Howard University yearbook entry. Charles C. Coley, class of 1930, was the son of Mack D. and Hattie Wynn Coley, grandson of Frances Aldridge Wynn, and great-grandson of J. Matthew Aldridge.

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In the 1910 census of Brogden township, Wayne County: school teacher and widower Mack D. Coley, 45, and children Blonnie B., 12, Blanche U., 10, Charlie C., 7, and Rosevelt, 5, and great-aunt Kattie, 74.

In the 1920 census of Mount Olive, Brodgen township, Wayne County: on Rail Road Street, teacher Mack D. Coley, 54; wife Lillie, 40, teacher; and children Blonnie, 22, teacher; Blanche, 20;  Charley, 17; Rosevelt, 15; and Harold, 2.

In the 1930 census of Washington, D.C.: at 70 Que Street, Northwest, Charles Coley, 26, and wife Harriett, 20, lodgers in the household of Oscar J. Murchison. Charles worked as a lunchroom waiter. Harriett was a native of Hawaii. They divorced before long, and Charles married Frances Elizabeth Masciana (1920-2010), the District-born daughter of an Italian immigrant father and an Italian-African American mother.

During the 1930s, Great Depression be damned, Coley began to build his entertainment and culinary empires, which eventually came together under C.C. Coley Enterprises, headquartered on U Street, D.C.’s Black Broadway. He rented jukeboxes to establishments across the city and owned several barbecue restaurants and other businesses in Northwest D.C. (More than a few Wayne County home folk newly arrived to the District got jobs working in Coley businesses.) On 16 December 1939, the Pittsburgh Courier screamed “Charge ‘Sabotage’ in Music Box Scandal” over a story whose heading was longer than its column inches.

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Coley was unfazed by this dust-up. In 1942, he was able to place an ad in Howard University’s yearbook touting several of his enterprises, the Hollywood Tavern, the Varsity Grill, the New University Pharmacy, the Pig ‘N Pit, and Northwest Amusement Company Records.

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In 1942, C.C. put his financial weight behind the Capital Classic, an early fall match-up between black college football teams that anchored black D.C.’s fall social calendar. The Washington Post, in articles published 30 October 1980 and 9 September 1994, described the Classic’s genesis this way:

“Begun in 1942 by now-retired businessmen Charles C. Coley, Jerry Coward and Jessie Dedman, who were later joined by attorney Ernest C. Dickson, the Classic was a black business community extravaganza. From their offices on then fashionable U Street, the entrepreneurs founded the Capital Classic, Ltd. company to lure the interest and dollars of D.C.’s thousands of “colored” fans away from the professional teams which wouldn’t employ or seat blacks properly, and return those dollars to the black college teams.”

“The Classic offered the community, according to one of the printed programs, ‘. . . a massive arena where the radiant beauty of Negro women, who for so long, where beauty is concerned, have been in the shadows — shaded by the accepted Nordic ideal can move proudly to stage center and radiate the bronze charm that will always be the heritage of women of color.'”

Coley was also an early civil rights activist. His financial backing enabled trailblazer Hal Jackson break into D.C. radio, and an op-ed piece in the 14 April 1943 edition of the Pittsburgh Courier gave details of more direct action. Angered by the difficulty he had catching cabs in Washington, Coley contacted the Urban League with a proposal. He would pay the salary for a man to work full-time tracking instances of discrimination by cabbies. “Mr. Coley has these taxicab drivers who pass up passengers, white or colored, at the Union Station or anywhere else in the city, fighting for their licenses.” The city’s Public Utilities Commission was shamed into putting its own spotters on the street. “Discrimination is being met a knockout blow — not by what Mr. Coley said, but what he did. … This story is … being passed along for the benefit of some Negroes who, in similar situations, never think of putting their money where their mouth is.”

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Baltimore Afro-American, 13 November 1948.

Despite the photo op above, the Classic soon met difficulties behind-scenes. Coley withdrew temporarily from active promotion in 1945, and Dr. Napoleon Rivers replaced him as guarantor. Quickly, according to a federal lawsuit, Rivers began to “usurp control” and failed to pay Coley’s partners their shares. In ’47, he even set up a rival match — the National Classic — at Griffin Stadium. (For details, see the 23 October 1948 edition of the New York Age.  The National Classic, by the way, moved to Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1954 and morphed into the C.I.A.A. football championship game. See the Pittsburgh Courier, 23 October 1954.) The Classic recovered and prospered until fading away in the 1960s.

Charles C. Coley died 11 April 1986 in Washington, D.C. He is buried in Rock Creek Cemetery.

Wash Post 16 Apr 1986

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C.C. Coley’s Pig ‘N Pit Restaurant at 6th and Florida Avenue, Washington DC. This undated Scurlock Studios image is found in Box 618.04.75, Scurlock Studio Records, ca. 1905-1994, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.

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Agriculture, Newspaper Articles, North Carolina, Paternal Kin

Emancipation Day.

Gboro Daily Argus 12 31 1905 Emancipation Day

Goldsboro Daily Argus, 31 December 1905.

For decades, on January 1, African-American communities formally celebrated the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. In 1905, under the leadership, in part, of William S. Hagans and Mack D. Coley, the “Educational, Agricultural and Industrial mass meeting” of Wayne County’s “colored citizens” issued an eight-point pledge:

(1) to be respectable;

(2) to endorse state policy to give all children, regardless of color, an education;

(3) to urge school attendance;

(4) to encourage teachers not only to teach, but to pay home visits and preach every manner of virtue and home improvement;

(5) to disapprove of shiftlessness;

(6) to condemn crime and encourage law-abiding conduct;

(7) to suggest that farmers carry insurance and to educate them; and

(8) to become more united as a race, to organize to buy land, and to help one another retire mortgages.

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Agriculture, Business, Land, North Carolina

“I told anybody that it was my land”; or, “Why don’t you stir it while it’s hot?”

The ninth in an occasional series excerpting testimony from the transcript of the trial in J.F. Coley v. Tom Artis, Wayne County Superior Court, November 1908.

(Tom Pig Artis’ testimony continued from here.)

CROSS EXAMINED.

I have been claiming this land all the time. I have not been listing it for taxes. Before the mortgage was given I was listing it. I have not listed it ever since 1892, ’till this last year. I listed my other property, but don’t know that listed this land. I have been mortgaging the crops on this land. I mortgaged it one year in 1893. I guess I did. To Mr. Minshew. I don’t know that I described the land in the Minshew mortgage as the land belonging to Napoleon Hagans. I don’t say I didn’t. I can’t tell the date, but I have rented some land from Hagans. Two or three years. That mortgage to Minshew was intended to cover the crops to be made on the 30 acre piece. (Defendant objects to all about mortgage.) I don’t know that I made another crop lien on that same land in 1895. I don’t remember that I made one then. I made a mortgage to Mr. Peacock in Fremont on the same land. I described the land as mine. I don’t know that I said it was known as the Hagans land. I made a crop lien to Peele & Copeland in 1906. That was to cover crops on the 30 acre piece I guess. I described it as the land known as Will Hagans land. I guess, I don’t know. I might have described it as mine. I made Peele & Copeland another crop lien in 1907 on the same land. I described it as the land known as the Will Hagans land, if its there, I expect I did. I didn’t say in that mortgage that it was my land. On April 16th 1908 I made Peele & Copeland another crop lien. I don’t know that I gave them a mortgage this year. I may have. I guess I did. If it shows it, I did. I described it as my own land. First time that I ever put a statement in a paper or that made reference to crop on this 30 acre piece, that they would be grown on my own land. On March 23rd 1908, I made a real estate mortgage on this land to Peele & Copeland for $420.00. This crop lien I made this year, and also this mortgage on this land was made after the action was made to recover the land. I rented some other land from Hagans beside the 30 acre piece. I didn’t have any of the Hagans land under rent beside the 30 acre tract last year in 1907. I had land rented off, but not the Hagans land. (This action was brought March 18th 1908.) The real estate mortgage to Peele & Copeland was given Mar. 23rd, 1908. Was served Mar. 27th 1908, and the crop lien Apr. 16th 1908.) Last year I didn’t have any of W.S. Hagans’ land rented. I cultivated only the 30 acre tract, and lived in the house on the other side. (Summons introduced by Plaintiff.) At the time Mr. Cook was negotiating about buying this land from Hagans I was cultivating the 30 acre tract, and was living across the line on the 24 acre piece. I knew that Cook was trying to buy the Calv place. I didn’t know that he was trying to buy both places then. Not until I heard from other people that he was trying to buy both places. I heard that a few days before he came up here to get the papers fixed. When I heard this news, I didn’t go see Mr. Coley. I happened to see him. I was just passing and saw him. He spoke to me first about it. He said he understood Mr. Cook was about to buy all the land about there, and mine too. He said why didn’t I let him know. He said if he had known it he would have bought some. I told him I understood they were going to fix the papers the next day. I said if he is, I am going to Goldsboro, and he said if you go, and he and Cook don’t trade, tell Hagans to send me a note. I went the next day, and I told him exactly what he told me. I carried it to him. The rumor was that he Cook was buying both places. I told Coley that if anybody got it I would rather him get it, for I didn’t think that I could get along with Mr. Cook. I didn’t have any reference to my place. I didn’t tell Coley that I didn’t mean the 30 acre piece. I told him myself. I told him I understood Mr. Cook was trying to but all the land down there, trying to buy the 30 acre piece and the 24 acre piece. I told him I was coming to Goldsboro, he asked me to speak to Hagans. I told him if anybody had to have it, I had rather for him to have it than Cook. I came and saw Hagans. I didn’t ask Hagans not to sell it to Cook. I didn’t ask him to let Coley have it. I didn’t tell him I would get along better with Coley than Cook. I didn’t say that. I don’t remember that I told Hagans I could get along better with Coley than Cook. I don’t swear, but I never told him that. I told Coley. I told Hagans what Coley said, if he and Mr. Cook didn’t trade to send him a note. Hagans and Coley did trade. They went to my place. I got in the buggy with him. Rode over to Mr. Coleys. They were talking but I don’t know what they were talking about. They were around the house. I didn’t hear a word except that Hagans would see him later, maybe some other things were said, I don’t remember. I didn’t hear how much Coley was to give him for it, not until he had bought it. Mr. Coley came, but I don’t know if he came to see me. He just passed by. He didn’t say anything about renting it. He said he never knew where these lines were, and he said he wanted me to go around and show them to him. I don’t know whether he had any deed for it or not. I went all around and showed him the lines between his and mine too. There was a fence off the line a little. He told me to take the fence and put it around the pasture. He didn’t say he wanted me to. I didn’t move the rails of the fence, because Mr. Cook saw me with my cart. He said that fence was on the line of the 30 acre place, and told me not to move it. I didn’t because Cook said it was on the line. I went to move it. This fence was on the line between the 30 acre place and Cook’s line, not between the 30 and 24 acre pieces. Mr. Coley came back at another time, and talked about renting the land. Never reached any agreement. He said Uncle Tom aren’t you going to rent it. I said “No, I never rented my land.” I told him all the time it was my land, when I was showing him the corners etc. He was Now was the time to stir while it was hot. I told him I didn’t have to rent my own land. I told anybody that it was my land. I don’t know when I told Coley first it was my land. He knew I suppose that it was my land. I told him before I went to see Hagans that it was mine. I offered to buy from Hagans an acre along the 24 acre piece. He asked me if I couldn’t get somebody else to buy the rest of it. I told him I didn’t know. I never offered to buy the 30 acre piece, in presence of Reid or anybody else, nor offered to pay any on the mortgage, but I told him I could take up the mortgage. I told him that this year, and told him so last year. This last winter. I made a mortgage to H.J. Harrell in 1895. It was intended to cover crop on the 30 acre tract. I described it as the Hagans & Ward land. I tended some land on the Ward place, the other was on the 30 acre piece. That was on the 11th of May, 1908. (Book 18, Page 180) Reason I didn’t move the fence was because Cook stopped me. I didn’t go to see Coley and tell him what Cook said. I told him about about it. I don’t remember where I told him, but I told him. I said Mr. Coley Mr. Cook said you gave him these rails, and he said no he didn’t. Cook had done moved the rails. I was aiming to have the line run. I went to have the lines turned out. I knew the fence was off the line for maybe 25 years. I never have had it run. I didn’t advise Mr. Coley to have it run. I showed Mr. Coley lines and corners, because he asked me to go around with him. I told him at the time it was my land. I didn’t tell Coley he would get Cook’s tobacco barn. I told him the line would strike the tobacco barn. It was on my side. There had been a division since then. He had alreday told me that Hagans had sold him the land, he wanted to know the land between me and him. He said, “Let’s go all around and we went with two more men. I told him it was my land. He asked me why didn’t I stir it while it was hot. He said not to let it get cold, do it now. I gave Peele & Copeland a lien on this land for $420. for supplies etc. I owed for supplies last year and for now. I have a statement of how much I owed him. He had crop lien as security last year. I paid him some. I owed him about $300 together with the mule claim and cow, they amounted to about $200 or $300. I gave him a note for $420. I bought the mule from Mr. Pat Coley. He stood for me. That was put in the Peele & Copeland mortgage. They took up my claim for Mr. Pat Coley. I gave them a mortgage for $420.

To be continued.

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Births Deaths Marriages, Enslaved People, North Carolina

Collateral kin: Winnie Coley.

I’ve talked about her here and here, but now I’m a little uncertain. Were there actually two Winnie Coleys? Were the mothers of Cain and Caroline Artis and William M. Coley and Patrick, Philip and John Revis Coley different women? Here’s what I know — and conjecture — about her:

  • In 1863, North Carolina’s Confederate government levied a tax on slaveholders across the state. Tax lists survive for only a few counties. (Most deliciously for me, Rowan is one.) I have not been able to find Wayne County’s anywhere, but fortuitously — and a little suspiciously — they were abstracted in Martha Ellis Will’s Wayne County North Carolina Court House Records Four Books 1780-1896. The 1863 tax list of Davis District, shows John Coley, Administrator of Estate of W.W. Lewis, with five taxable slaves. It’s the first record of Winnie and her children:  Winey, age 29; Cane, age 9; Caroline, age 7; Pat, 4; and Nathan, 2. [Who was W.W. Lewis? Coley himself is not listed with slaves, but the 1860 slave schedule tells a different story. There he reported owning 114 men, women and children. And where were Winnie’s other children?]

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  • At #272 of the 1870 census of Pikeville, Wayne County, the unmarried 55 year-old John Coley heads a household of possibly related white folks. In every direction, there is evidence of his toppled fiefdom — African-Americans bearing the surname Coley. Were they related to him? To each other? How? (And the non-Coleys in the neighborhood — who among them were also John’s former slaves, men and women who’d disdained his name?) For now, a few. At #270, Trecendia Coley, 36, with Peter, 5, and Dallas Coley, 5. At #273, Winney Coley, 41, with John R., 17, Phillipp, 11, and Mack Coley, 5. At #276, Peter Coley, 50, Harret, 44, Devrah, 16, Delliah E., 15, Napolian, 14, Nicholas, 12, and Thomas V. Coley, 7. At #281, Thomas Coley, 35, Charlotte, 27, Branton, 8, Bealie, 6, Trecendia, 4, Harriett, 1.
  • On 5 May 1872, Patrick Coley, son of Peter Coley “sen.” and Winney Coley, married Debby Coley, daughter of Peter Coley and Hannah Coley in Greene County. [The 1870 mortality schedule of Wayne County records the death of 52 year-old black farmer Peter Coley of Pikeville. Was he Peter Sr.? Also, though no ages are listed on the marriage license, the 1880 and 1900 censuses show Patrick’s birth year as 1849, which is not consitent with the “Pat” listed in the 1863 tax list.]
  • On 2 Oct 1878, Richard Baker applied for a marriage license from the Wayne County Register of Deeds for Madison Artis of Wayne County, 22, colored, son of Calvin and Serena Artis, father living, mother dead, and Caroline Coley of Wayne County, age 24, colored, daughter of Adam Morris [sic, Artis] and Winny Coley, both living.  The ceremony was performed by Fred G. Becton, Justice of the Peace, on 3 Oct 1878 at Winnie Coley’s in Nahunta, before E.L. Becton, Thomas Artis, and Jonah Williams.  [Thomas Artis, son of Celia Artis, was Madison Artis’ uncle. Jonah Williams was Caroline’s uncle, Adam Artis’ brother.]
  • In the 1880 census of Pikeville, Wayne County, Winnea Coley, 71, is listed with sons Jack R., 26, Phillip, 20, and grandson Dallas Coley, 15. [71?!?! This is the same Winnie Coley listed in 1870, but her age is inexplicably 20 years off.]
  • On 5 November 1881, in Wilson County, Winnie Coley, 50, married Alex Barron, 57. The ceremony took place at minister Jessie Baker’s house in the presence of Mary Ellis, Peter Coley and Red Barnes. [Is this our Winnie? If so, she never appears elsewhere with this husband. Which Peter Coley was this?]
  • On 16 February 1882, Phillip R. Coley, 22, son of Peter Coley (dead) and Winnie Coley (living), married Ann Exum, 18, in Pikeville, Wayne County, in the presence of witnesses Christopher Coley, Gard Coley and Olin Coley. [“Grad” Coley appears in the 1870 census in household #279 as the son of Howell and Amy Coley. In 1886, Gard married Ollin Coley [Sr.]’s daughter Miranda. Their witnesses were Philip R. Coley, Dennis Coley and Christopher Coley. Christopher appears in the 1870 census of Pikeville, Wayne County, as the son of Lafayette and Julia Coley. Philip R. Coley witnessed Christopher’s 1885 marriage to Sarah Powell. Ollin Coley Jr. married Christopher’s sister Imogen in the presence of Philip R., Dennis and Christopher Coley in 1885.]
  • On 11 Apr 1888, Charles Battle applied for a marriage license for Cain Artis of Wayne County, age 35, black, son of Adam Artis and Winny Artis, both living, and Margaret Barnes of Wilson County NC, age 38, black, daughter of Sherard Edmundson, dead.  P.D. Gold, minister of the gospel, performed the ceremony on the same day at Margaret Barnes’ home in Wilson before H.G. Phillips, Henrietta Clark and Mary J. Davis.
  • On 26 February 1891, William Coley, 22, son of Napolion Hagans and Winney Hagans, of Gardner’s Township, Wilson County, married Minnie Woodard, daughter of Alfred and Sarah Woodard of Taylor’s township, Wilson. Cain Artis applied for the license and stood as a witness.
  • In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Willie Coley, 30, wife Minnie, 30, children Effie M., 8, and James M., 6, mother Winnie Coley, 65, and sister Zilley Coley, 38. [Where was Zilley in previous censuses? Or was she, in fact, Minnie’s sister?]
  • On 21 July 1909, in Wilson, Wilson County, William Coley, 42, son of Pole Hagans and Winnie Coley, married Mary Mercer, 34, daughter of Sam and Julia Mercer. Jonah Williams, Primitive Baptist Minister, performed the ceremony at the home of W.M. Coley in Wilson.
  • Winnie is not found in the 1910 census or beyond and presumably died between 1900 and 1910.
  • On 23 March 1917, farmer Cain Artis died in Wilson County of pulmonary tuberculosis.  His death certificate reports that he was born March 1851 to Adam T. Artis and Winnie Coley, both of Wayne County NC.  Informant for the certificate was W.M. Coley of Wilson NC.
  • On 15 December 1920, Phil R. Coley died in Nahunta, Wayne County, of stomach cancer. His death certificate reports that he was born around 1861 to Peter Coley and Winnie [no last name], both of Wayne County. J.A. Coley was informant.
  • On 26 January 1928, William Coley died in Wilson County of pulmonary tuberculosis. His death certificate reports that he was born about 1867 to Pole Hagans and Winnie Coley, both of Wayne County.  Informant for the certificate was Mary Coley of Wilson NC.
  • On 3 September 1934, Jack Revis Coley died in Nahunta, Wayne County, of bladder and prostate cancer. His death certificate reports that he was born about 1850 to Peter Coley and Winnie Coley, both of Wayne County.  Informant for the certificate was Philip E. Coley of Fremont NC.
  • In summary, Winnie Coley was born about 1830 and died 1900-1910. Her children included Cain Artis (circa 1851-1917); Caroline Coley, born about 1854; John Revis “Jack” Coley (born in the early 1850s-1934); Philip R. Coley (circa 1860-1920); Patrick Coley (??-??); and William M. Coley (circa 1867-1928); and possibly Nathan Coley (circa 1861-??) and Lafayette Coley (circa 1842-1913).
  • Fun facts: Philip R. Coley’s son Philip Elmer Coley married Genetta Thompson, daughter of Celebus and Lillie Beatrice Artis Thompson. Lillie was a daughter of Adam T. Artis and a half-sister of Cain Artis. Genetta, then, married her half-uncle Cain’s half-brother’s son.
  • Fun facts, 2: William Coley’s father Napoleon was the half-brother of Frances Seaberry, who married Adam Artis. Thus, William’s half-brother Cain was also his first cousin by marriage.
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Births Deaths Marriages, Newspaper Articles, North Carolina, Paternal Kin

Flimflammed?

Wilson_News_10_26_1899_Wm_COley_flimflam

Wilson Daily Times, 26 October 1899.

The whole sorry story appeared in the 27 October 1899 edition of the paper. William Coley was Napoleon Hagans‘ oldest (perhaps) son, born about 1867 in Wayne County to Winnie Coley, and I originally thought that he was the one bamboozled. With closer reading, though, I noticed that this William Coley was still living in Wayne County in 1899 and was described as an “old negro.” Napoleon’s son was in his early 30s and living in Wilson at the time, so I’ve revised my opinion.

While I’m at it, though, here’s what I know about “my” William Coley:

I can’t find him in the 1870 census, but in the 1880 census of Nahunta, Wayne County, Winnie Coley is listed with sons Nathan, 19, and Willie, 12.

On 25 Feb 1891, Cain Artis applied for a marriage license in Wilson County for William Coley, son of Napoleon Hagans and Winney Coley, both living, and Minnie Woodard, daughter of Alfred and Sarah Woodard.  The marriage was performed on 26 Feb 1891 by Presbyterian minister George Carson, with Cain Artis and Hilliard Ellis as witnesses.  Cain was William’s half-brother; his mother was also Winnie Coley.  Further, Cain’s father, Adam Artis, married Napoleon Hagans’ half-sister, Frances Seaberry.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County, Willie Coley, 30, is listed with wife Minnie, 30, children Effie M., 8, and James M., 6, mother Winnie Coley, 65, and sister Zilley Coley, 38.

William seems to have been missed again in the 1910 census. Sometime between 1900 and 1920, his wife Minnie died, and he married a woman named Mary. It also seems likely that son James died during this period, as there is no World War I draft registration for him. Daughter Effie Mae married Arthur McCarter on 27 February 1910 in Wilson.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County, living on Roberson Street: Will Coley, 50, wife Mary, 47, and granddaughters Ruth and Nannie Coley. Will worked as a public house mover. Minnie Ruth and Nannie Mae were actually McCarters, daughters of William’s daughter Effie (also known as Ethel) Coley McCarter. As I have not found Effie or her husband in the 1920 census, they may have died early as well.

Cain Artis died 23 March 1917 in Wilson County of pulmonary tuberculosis.  His death certificate, for which William “W.M.” Coley provided information, noted that Cain was colored, was born March 1851 to Adam T. Artis and Winnie Coley, was married, and was a farmer.

William Coley himself died 26 Jan 1928 at the age 61 of the same dread disease that killed his brother Cain. His wife Mary Coley informed the registrar that he was the son of Pole Hagans and Winnie Coley, was a farmer, and resided at Route 3, Wilson.

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Education, Newspaper Articles, North Carolina, Paternal Kin

School districts. (Colored.)

 

Gboro Messenger 11 19 1885 school commr

Goldsboro Messenger, 19 November 1885.

Phillip R. Coley, son of Winnie Coley, was the half-brother of Napoleon Hagans‘ son William M. Coley and Adam T. Artis‘ children Cain Artis and Caroline Coley Artis. Richard Artis was Adam T. Artis’ brother, and Simon Exum was his brother-in-law, husband of Delilah Williams Exum. Peter Coley may have been Phillip Coley’s father.

 

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