Civil War, Enslaved People, North Carolina, Paternal Kin

Battle possibilities.

A few weeks ago, I ran across a reference to Joel Craig and Sharlene Baker’s As You May Never See Us Again: The Civil War Letters of George and Walter Battle, 4th North Carolina Infantry (2004). George and Walter were sons of Amos Johnston Battle, a prominent (and peripatetic) Baptist minister who spent his last years in Wilson County.  I wondered if the brothers mentioned any of the family’s slaves in their letters, so when I was at home I stopped by the Wilson County Public Library to skim their copy.

I found only a single reference to a Church, presumably enslaved, who was charged with delivering certain items to the letter writer. A footnote appended to the passage states: “The boy ‘Church’ has been referred to by some as one of the Battle’s [sic] slaves. Whether this is referring to the Raleigh Battle’s or the Wilson Battle’s is unclear. However, if the Rev. Battle did own slaves in the midst of the war it might mean that he was not the abolitionist as previously thought.”

Two things struck me: (1) given Hugh B. Johnston’s confident identification of Amos Battle as the owner of my ancestor Cherry, was his possession of slaves a question? (2) “abolitionist” is a mighty strong word to describe anybody coming out of Wilson County.

First, I did what I’ve apparently never bothered to do — check the 1850 and 1860 federal slave schedules for Amos J. Battle. He appears in neither, but his wife Margaret H. Battle is listed with 32 slaves in 1860. (Hugh Johnston noted that Amos Battle’s “wife owned a small farm north of Wilson not far from the Barnes plantation.”) She is not listed in the 1850 slave schedule, and the sudden acquisition of that many slaves suggested inheritance. After figuring out her maiden name (Margaret Hearne Parker) and father’s name (Weeks Parker) I went looking for estate records.

Sure enough, Weeks Parker died in January 1844 in Edgecombe County, leaving a widow and three children. (One predeceased him.) The 88 pages of his estate file span more than a decade, and Emancipation eventually intervened to prevent a final distribution. There was this, though, a listing of those slaves apportioned to daughter Margaret H. Battle and her children, apparently dating from the late 1850s:

record-image-25

Old Ben, Old Seny, Big Hardy, Lucinda, Stephen, Turner, Hilliard, Mary, Adeline, William, Lena, Alice, William “usually called Reuben,” Little Ben, Harriet, Marina, Sally, Smith, Maria, Little Hardy, Betty, Jim, Moses, Syphax, Toney, Louis, Allen, George, Matilda, Lizzie. I was disappointed not to find a Cherry listed among them, but intrigued nonetheless. Would Weeks Parker’s will shed more light?

Yes. And no.

Weeks Parker executed his will on 31 July 1843. The document mentions his wife Sabra [Irwin Hearn]; son Simmons B. Parker; deceased son Dr. John H. Parker, who had migrated to Florida; and daughters Henrietta, wife of Benjamin Battle, and Margaret, wife of Amos J. Battle. [Benjamin Dossey Battle was Amos’ brother.]

Weeks designated son Simmons as his executor and trustee. He bequeathed certain slaves — Polly, Godwin, Old Ned, Winny, Hardy, Charlotte and her child Cintha, and Nelly —  to pass to Simmons after wife Sabra’s death, and mentioned that he had already given Simmons 14 slaves in a deed of gift. He also directed Simmons to sell the land and slaves in Florida inherited from son John’s estate. (And tweaked this last provision in a codicil.)

Weeks’ bequests to his daughters are curious though.  After Sabra’s death, Simmons was to hold in trust slaves Lucindy, Stephen, Turner, Lewis, George, Marina, Tony, Matilda, Caroline, William, Holly, Big Hardy, Ben, Cena, Moses, Syphax, Little Hardy, Jim, Lucy and Little Jim “for the sole and separate use and benefit of daughter Margaret H. Battle wife of Amos J. Battle during her natural life free from the management and control of her present or any future husband.”  Similarly, he directed that Simmons hold in trust after Sabra’s death slaves Barbara, Sarah, Luke, Ned, Sophia, Elick, Harrison, Milly, Jeffrey, Dorcas, Silas, Bill, Lou, Julia, Randal, Will and Abner for the benefit of daughter Henrietta Battle. Why the specific attempt to keep Amos Battle’s hands off his wife’s property? Was he in fact an abolitionist likely to try to free them? Or were Weeks’ concerns more prosaic?

Simmons and his mother went into court to have Weeks’ will admitted to probate, and the skirmishes began. The two sets of Battles teamed up to claim that they had not been notified prior to probate and that the will’s codicil had been made under undue influence. Simmons and the other trustees admitted that Battles may not have been given formal notice, but claimed that they knew anyway. They also charged Amos Battle with having taken a slave named Jim to Wilmington.  The Battles fired a second volley with a claim that Simmons was in “extreme bad health” and “great physical inability” and “utterly incapable of carrying out his duties” as a trustee. Simmons responded meekly, acknowledging that he had been shot in the chest many years before and had never recovered, a circumstance that sometimes completely debilitated him. He agreed to surrender his trusteeship. Nathan Matthewson, too, stepped down, and was replaced by Benjamin Oliver of Duplin County. In one of Oliver’s reports, he advised the court that he had sold for $600 a slave named Jim “in consequence of grossly bad behavior and general bad deportment.” The buyer was Wyatt Moye. With the funds received, Oliver then spent $500 to purchase Lilah from a Dr. Arrington. (She later gave birth to a son Charles.) In 1849, Oliver moved to Bladen County and resigned his trusteeship; Uriah Vaughan of Hertford County — where Margaret then lived — was appointed in his stead. In the mid-1850s, Margaret, Amos and their children moved to the town of Wilson, where Sabra Parker bought them a house and lot. In another plaintive petition for yet another trustee, submitted in September 1856, Margaret complained that she had no other property and that the family was “dependent on their own exertions for a support” as their trust fund was inadequate. The younger children were chiefly supported by Margaret’s “exertions” [she was an innkeeper], while the creditors of her husband Amos, “who is greatly embarrassed,” tried to take her earnings at every opportunity.

Another source shines light on the Battle family’s financial situation. In 1911, Amos and Margaret’s youngest son, Jesse Mercer Battle, published memoirs titled Tributes to my Father and Mother and Some Stories of My Life. In the chapter on his mother, he recalled that his “mother’s family lived in Wilson, N.C. We lived in a large house, and it was called ‘The Battle House.'” There, to her humiliation, his mother took in boarders and other passers-through to earn money for the family’s keep. His father, though “rich in lands and negroes,” gave away his wealth to the point that his younger sons’ educations were neglected. The chapter on Amos J. Battle goes further. Amid fifty hagiographic pages limning his father’s Christlike-ness, Jesse reveals that “his money, his lands, his negoes, his stocks, his bonds, his personal property of every description went as his free will offering to the Church as a whole, and to anyone of its members individually, or to those who were not members.” (This was not offered ironically, and there is no attempt to square Battle’s slaveholding with his Christian values.)

Ah. So. And therein lies the motive for Weeks Parker’s determined attempt to keep his wealth out of pious Amos Battle’s hands.

Jesse Battle’s memoir also provides a peek at the family’s slaves and demonstrates that the thirty or so inherited from Weeks did not define the extent of Margaret’s holdings. “Negroes were my companions,” he wrote. “I played with them, and spent my time with them all day, till I was about seven years old, when I was started to school. I knew my alphabet and how to read a little. This start on my way to an education was given to me by a good old colored woman I called Mammy. (Her name was Dinah.) … This good woman remained with our family till 1865, when the Civil War ended, when she left us and moved down to Greenville, N.C., where her husband, whose name was ‘Shade,’ lived. After the emancipation of the slaves she said that she could never enjoy her ‘freedom’ as long as she lived with her master and mistress.”  [Three cheers for Dinah!] Jesse elsewhere mentioned that Dinah had lived with the family at a farm called Walnut Hill, “about three miles from Wilson N.C., on the railroad toward Rocky Mount.”

In the end, I still don’t know if Hugh B. Johnston was correct about Cherry Battle Barnes’ ownership, but I have confirmed that Amos J. and Margaret Hearne Battle owned slaves and that some of those slaves worked on a farm just north of Wilson, not far from where Cherry lived at the time of the first post-Emancipation census.

Will Book F, Edgecombe County, North Carolina Probate Records, 1735-1970, familysearch.org; Estate of Weeks Parker (1844), Edgecombe County, North Carolina Estate Files, 1663-1979, familysearch.org; other sources as named.

 

 

Standard
Enslaved People, North Carolina, Other Documents, Paternal Kin

Where did they go?, no. 4: Taylor.

Kinchen Taylor’s death in 1853 sent shockwaves through the community of enslaved men and women who labored on his plantation. In addition to more than 100 slaves, Taylor owned more several thousand acres of land in northern Nash County. Half of Taylor’s children were minors, and his slaves had to have known that the division and distribution of his property would wrench apart their community.

Taylor’s executors filed at least two inventories of his property, listing his slaves in no apparent order, but grouping mothers with their youngest children. My great-great-grandfather Green, about 38 years old in the 1856 inventory and valued at $750, is #30, while his wife Fereby and their oldest children Dallas, Peter and Henrietta are #88-91. Though some of Kinchen Taylor’s slaves were apportioned to Taylor’s adult children, most, including Green and his family, were placed in a pool to be later divided among the minors. Or sold for their benefit. (In the meantime, adults and older children were likely leased to nearby farmers who needed labor.) Inevitably, this estate division sundered families, and none could have known that freedom — and the chance to regather their kin — was just a decade away.

Who were the men and women that Kinchen Taylor enslaved? What became of them?  Using names culled from the estate papers, I present them here, in alphabetical order, with notes recording what I know.

——

Albert.  Valued at $1110.

Allen Sr. Valued at $1110.

  • “Allen Black” in list of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s son Benjamin Taylor. (This could be either Allen Sr. or Jr.)

Allen Jr.  Valued at $800.

Amanuel.  Valued at $870.

Amy and child Patience.  Valued at $510.

  • Amy and Patience included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s daughter Elizabeth Taylor.
  • In the 1870 census of Liberty, Nash County: at #334, Simon Taylor, 60, and wife Amy.
  • In the 1880 census of Whitakers, Nash County: Ned Taylor, 39, wife Silva, 35, and children Myra, 16, William Ann, 17, James, 12, Eddie, 5, Aron, 3, and Ernest, 1 month; plus Simon Taylor, 75, “father,” and Amy Taylor, 80, “mother.”

Ann/Anna.  Valued at $621.

  • Anna included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s son Benjamin Taylor.

Arnold.  Valued at $870.

  • In 1866 in Nash County, Arnold Taylor and Matilda Harrison registered a 20-year cohabitation, legalizing their marriage.
  • In the 1870 census of Liberty, Nash County: at #351, Arnold Taylor, 45, wife Matilda, 40, and children Virgil, 17, Alice, 16, Ida, 14, Temperance, 12, Cora, 10, General, 8, Sherman, 6, William, 2, and John, 1 month.
  • In the 1880 census of Whitaker, Nash County: at #550, Kinchen Taylor, 87, and wife Anicha, 65. At #551, Arnold Taylor, 54, wife Matilda, 47, and children Tempie, 18, Cora, 17, General, 18, Sherman, 15, William H., 12, Jefferson, 10, and Ann M., 3. At #552, Virgil Taylor, 25, wife Secie, 19, and “baby boy,” 4 months.

Berry.

  • Kinchen Taylor’s 1851 will bequeathed Sam, Cassa, Harriett, Rosetta, Berry and Daniel to daughter Winifred Taylor Rosser.

Betsey.  Valued at $200.

Bill. Valued at $1310.

Bob.  Valued at $935.

  • Bob included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s son, John A. Taylor.

Cain.  Valued at $695.

  • Cain included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s son Henry A. Taylor.

Carter.  Valued at $1230.

Cato.  Valued at $1080.

  • In the 1870 census of Liberty, Nash County: at #332, Cato Taylor, 30, and wife Sarah, 22.
  • In the 1880 census of Whitaker, Nash County: Cator Taylor, 43, wife Sarah, 28, and children George, 10, Lee, 8, Peggie Ann, 6, Lucinda, 4, Cicero, 2, and Nero, 4. [Next door: Sip, 55, and Harriet Taylor, 50. There’s no Sip or Scipio listed among Kinchen Taylor’s slaves, but was he related to Cato? The family shows a penchant for classical Roman names.]
  • In the 1900 census of North Whitaker, Nash County: Cato Taylor, born March 1837; wife Sarah, born Jan 1849; and children Lee, 32, Cicero, 23, Blanche, 20, Mary, 15, Pink, 13, Indiana, 8, and grandsons Arthur, 8, and Clifton, 5. Sarah reported 8 of 11 children living.
  • In the 1910 census of North Whitakers, Nash County: Kato Taylor, 70, wife Sarah, 60, children Blanche, 26, Mary, 21, and India 17, and grandchildren Lizzie, 13, Vinnie, 12, and Arthur, 19. Next door: Lee Taylor, 41, wife Mattie, 24, and children Roy, 5, Brisco, 2, and Dan, 3 months. Cato reported having been married twice; Sarah, once, and 10 of her 11 children were living.
  • Mary Taylor Hilliard died 22 February 1914 in Nash County. Age 24. She was born in Nash County to Cato Taylor and Sarah Taylor. Informant, J.H. Cutchin. 
  • Lee Taylor died 11 March 1918 in North Whitakers, nash Ciunty. He was about 50 years old, born in Nash County to Cater Taylor and Sahrah [last name unknown]. Informant, Lumilia Hill. Buried Edgecombe County.
  • In the 1920 census of North Whitakers, Nash County: Nick Wright, 40, wife Endie, 23, and daughter Jennie, 4, with mother-in-law Sarah Taylor, 56, and father-in-law Cator Taylor, 58. Next door: Arch Wright, 39, wife Blanche 33, and children Bertha, 11, and Marion, 4.
  • Kater Taylor died 11 February 1922 in North Whitakers township, Nash County. Married to Sarah Taylor. Born 1830 to unknown parents. Informant, Nick Wright.
  • Sarah Taylor died 21 January 1924 in North Whitakers. Widow of Kater Taylor. Born 1834 to Nathan and Sindie Ricks. Informant, Nick Right.
  • Essix Taylor died 10 November 1931 in Whitakers, Nash County. He was born 15 November 1854 in Nash County to Kater Taylor and an unknown mother. Informant, Lumilia Hill. Buried Edgecombe County.

Ceasar.  Valued at $1080.

  • Kinchen Taylor’s 1851 will bequeathed Jane, Caesar, Harriett, Rosetta, Berry and Daniel to daughter Winifred Taylor Rosser.
  • Caesar included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s son Benjamin Taylor.
  • In the 1870 census of Liberty, Nash County: at #334, Simon Taylor, 60, and wife Amy; #335, Caesar Taylor, 34, wife Ann, 22, and daughter Amy, 3; #336, Edward Taylor, 32, wife Sylva, 23, and children Almira, 4, and James, 2.

Chaney.  Valued at $150.

  • Chaney included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s son Henry A. Taylor.

Chapman.  Valued at $900.

  • Chapman included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s son Henry A. Taylor.

Clara.  Valued at $300.

  • Kinchen Taylor’s 1851 will bequeathed Big Tom, Little Tom and Clary to wife Mary Blount Taylor.
  • Clara included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s widow, Mary Blount Taylor.
  • In the 1870 census of Liberty, Nash County: at #352, Clara Taylor, 72, in the household of Mariah Wheless.

Daniel.

  • Kinchen Taylor’s 1851 will bequeathed Sam, Cassa, Harriett, Rosetta, Berry and Daniel to daughter Winifred Taylor Rosser.

Dawson.  Valued at $195.

  • Dawson included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s daughter Caroline Taylor Knight, wife of William H. Knight.

Doctor.  Valued at $1020.

  • Doctor included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s son Henry A. Taylor.

Old Dred.  Valued $370.

  • Dred included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s son John A. Taylor.

Edmon.  Valued at $780.

  • Edmond included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s daughter Lucy H. Taylor Harvey, wife of John H. Harvey.

Eliza.  Valued at $640.

Elizabeth.  Valued at $70.

  • Elizabeth included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s son Henry A. Taylor.

Ella.  Valued at $535.

  • Ella included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s daughter, Lucy H. Taylor Harvey, wife of John H. Harvey.

Ellick.  Valued at $846.

  • Kinchen Taylor’s 1851 will bequeathed Isham, “Fany’s child Sandy,” and Simon “now in his possession” to son Kinchen C. Taylor. (Sandy and Ellick are nicknames for “Alexander.”)
  • Ellick included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s daughter Elizabeth Taylor.

Elvira and children Joe, Faulcon and Ann.  Valued at $1100.

Emily.  Valued at $720.

Eveline and children Willie/Wiley, Caroline and Isham.  Valued at $1100.

Eveline and children included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s daughter Elizabeth Taylor.

Fanny and children Margarett, Lucy, Leah and Jolly.  Valued at $1490.

  • Fanny and children included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s son Henry A. Taylor.

Feriby and children Dallas, Peter and Henrietta.  Valued at $1230.

  • In the 1870 census, Lower Town Creek, Edgecombe County: Green Taylor, 52, wife Phebe, and children Dallas, 19, Christiana, 14, McKenzie, 13, Mike, 9, and Sally, 1.  
  • In the 1880 census, Lower Town Creek, Edgecombe County, Green Taylor, 64; wife Phoebe; daughters Christiana, Kinsey, and Sarah; four granddaughters, Nannie, 5; Carrie, 1; Lizzie, 8; and Louisa, 5; and one grandson, Isaiah, 2.
  • Mike Taylor died 8 Jan 1927 in Wilson NC.  About 68 years old.  Widower of Rachel Taylor.  Born Wilson County NC to Green and Faraby Taylor.  Buried 9 Jan 1927, Wilson NC.  Informant, Roddrick Taylor.

Frances and children Della, Carter and George.  Valued at $1250.

  • Frances and children included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s daughter Caroline Taylor Knight, wife of William H. Knight.

Green.  Valued at $750.

  • In the 1870 census, Lower Town Creek, Edgecombe County, Green Taylor, 52, wife Phebe, and children Dallas, 19, Christiana, 14, McKenzie, 13, Mike, 9, and Sally, 1.
  • In the 1880 census, Lower Town Creek, Edgecombe County, Green Taylor, 64; wife Phoebe; daughters Christiana, Kinsey, and Sarah; four granddaughters, Nannie, 5; Carrie, 1; Lizzie, 8; and Louisa, 5; and one grandson, Isaiah, 2.
  • Mike Taylor died 8 Jan 1927 in Wilson NC.  About 68 years old.  Widower of Rachel Taylor.  Born Wilson County NC to Green and Faraby Taylor.  Buried 9 Jan 1927, Wilson NC.  Informant, Roddrick Taylor.

Haley/Hilly and children Hasty, Amy and Glasgo.  Valued at $1310.

  • Kinchen Taylor’s 1851 will bequeathed Haley, Hasty, Amy, Glasgow, Alfred and Susan to daughter Caroline Taylor Knight.

Handy.  Valued at $780.

  • Handy included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s son John A. Taylor.

Hanna.  Valued at $625.

  • Hanna included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s son John A. Taylor.

Cooper Henry.  Valued at $340.

  • Cooper Henry included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s son John A. Taylor.

Long Henry.  Valued at $60.

  • Long Henry included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s daughter Lucy H. Taylor Harvey, wife of John H. Harvey.

Yellow Henry.  Valued at $780.

  • Yellow Henry included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s daughter Elizabeth Taylor.

Ida.  Valued at $740.

  • Ida included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s son John A. Taylor.

Isaac.

  • Isaac included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s daughter Lucy H. Taylor Harvey, wife of John H. Harvey.

Isabella and children Henrietta, Lucy and Joe.  Valued at $930.

  • Isabella included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s son John A. Taylor.

Jack.  Valued at $450.

  • Jack in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s son Benjamin Taylor.

Jane.  Valued at $640.

  • Kinchen Taylor’s 1851 will bequeathed Jane, Caesar, Harriett, Rosetta, Berry and Daniel to daughter Winifred Taylor Rosser.
  • Jane included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s widow, Mary Blount Taylor.
  • In 1866 in Nash County, Jane Taylor and Jack Earl registered their 4-year cohabitation, legalizing their marriage.
  • In the 1870 census of  Liberty, Nash County: at #327, John Earl, 25, Jane, 22, and children John H., 5, and Conner, 1.

Jefferson/Jeffrey.  Valued at $770.

Jim Sr.  Valued at $333.

  • Jim included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s son Caroline Taylor Knight, wife of William H. Knight. (This may be Jim Sr. or Jr.)
  • In the 1870 census of Liberty, Nash County: at #329, James Taylor, 60, and wife Chaney, 65.

Jim Jr.  Valued at $580.

Joe.

  • Joe included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s son John A. Taylor or to son Benjamin Taylor.

John Sr. Valued at $1025.

  • John included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s daughter Lucy H. Taylor Harvey, wife of John H. Harvey.

John Jr.  Valued at $670.

  • A second John included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s daughter Lucy H. Taylor Harvey, wife of John H. Harvey.

Julia/July Ann.  Valued at $200.

Old Kinchen.  Valued at $360.

  • “Old Kinchen” included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s widow, Mary Blount Taylor.
  • In the 1870 census of Liberty, Nash County: at #360, Kinchen Taylor, 70, and wife Bettie, 70, in the household of Kinchen Burtin, 32.
  • In the 1880 census of Whitaker, Nash County: at #550, Kinchen Taylor, 87, and wife Anicha, 65. At #551, Arnold Taylor, 54, wife Matilda, 47, and children Tempie, 18, Cora, 17, General, 18, Sherman, 15, William H., 12, Jefferson, 10, and Ann M., 3. At #552, Virgil Taylor, 25, wife Secie, 19, and “baby boy,” 4 months.

Levinia and children Thadious and Frank.  Valued at $1000.

  • Levinia and children included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s daughter Elizabeth Taylor.

Big Lewis.  Valued at $40.

Lucinda and children Ella, Olive and Angeline.  Valued at $1240.

  • Kinchen Taylor’s 1851 will bequeathed Lucinda, Jane, Washington and Ellin to wife Mary Blount Taylor.
  • Lucinda and children included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s widow, Mary Blount Taylor.
  • In 1866 in Nash County, Thomas Taylor and Lucinda Taylor registered their 35-year cohabitation, legalizing their marriage.

Lucy Sr. and child Turner.  Valued at $640.

  • Lucy and Turner included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s son Henry A. Taylor.
  • Perhaps, in the 1870 census, Liberty, Nash County: at #359, William Taylor, 24, and Lucy Taylor, 52.

Lucy.

  • Lucy included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s son John A. Taylor.

Margarett.  Valued at $790.

  • Margaret included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s daughter Elizabeth Taylor.

Mariah.  Valued at $770.

  • Mariah included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s daughter Caroline Taylor Knight, wife of William H. Knight.

Matilda and child Calvin.  Valued at $405.

  • Matilda and children Calvin, Lucy and Violet included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s son Benjamin Taylor.

Moll and child Martha.  Valued at $640.

  • Molly and Martha included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s daughter, Lucy H. Taylor Harvey, wife of John H. Harvey.

Mourning.  Valued at $290.

  • Mourning included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s widow, Mary Blount Taylor.
  • In 1866 in Nash County, Mourning Taylor and Jacob Ing registered their 20-year cohabitation, legalizing their marriage.
  • In the 1870 census of Formosa, Halifax County NC: Jacob Ing, 70, and wife Mourning, 65.

Ned.  Valued at $990.

  • In the 1870 census of Liberty, Nash County: at #334, Simon Taylor, 60, and wife Amy; #335, Caesar Taylor, 34, wife Ann, 22, and daughter Amy, 3; #336, Edward Taylor, 32, wife Sylva, 23, and children Almira, 4, and James, 2.
  • In the 1880 census of Whitakers, Nash County: Ned Taylor, 39, wife Silva, 35, and children Myra, 16, William Ann, 17, James, 12, Eddie, 5, Aron, 3, and Ernest, 1 month; plus Simon Taylor, 75, “father,” and Amy Taylor, 80, “mother.”
  • Miry Gunter died 16 April 1919 in Whitakers, Nash County. Widow. Born about 1865 in Edgecombe County to Ned Taylor of Nash County and Sylvia Bridges of Edgecombe County. Informant, Ed Taylor. Buried Whitakers.
  • Frank Taylor died 31 March 1923 in North Whitakers, Nash County. Married to Pearlie Taylor. Born 16 August 1881 in Nash County to Ned Taylor of Nash County and Sylvia Bridget of Edgecombe County. Informant C.W. Williams. Buried Edgecombe County.
  • Annie Parker died 23 April 1951 in Rocky Mount, Edgecombe County. Born 8 December 1871 in Nash County to Ned Taylor and Sylvester Williams. Informant, W.E. Parker.
  • Mary Ella Hunter died 12 October 1959 in Whitakers, Nash County. Born 1 May 1889 in Nash County to Ned Taylor and Sylvia Taylor.

Nick.  Valued at $795.

  • Nick included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s son Henry A. Taylor.

Penny and children Carter Jr., Mary and George.  Valued at $1300.

  • Penny and children included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s daughter, Lucy H. Taylor Harvey, wife of John H. Harvey.

Pink.  Valued at $830.

  • Pink included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s widow, Mary Blount Taylor.
  • In 1866 in Nash County, Pink Taylor and Abel Earl registered their 4-year cohabitation, legalizing their marriage.

Rosetta.

  • Kinchen Taylor’s 1851 will bequeathed Sam, Cassa, Harriett, Rosetta, Berry and Daniel to daughter Winifred Taylor Rosser.

Sam.

  • Kinchen Taylor’s 1851 will bequeathed Sam, Cassa, Harriett, Rosetta, Berry and Daniel to daughter Winifred Taylor Rosser.
  • Sam included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s daughter Elizabeth Taylor.

Simon.  Valued at $465.

  • Kinchen Taylor’s 1851 will bequeathed Isham, “Tany’s child Sandy,” and Simon “now in his possession” to son Kinchen C. Taylor.
  • Simon included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s daughter Elizabeth Taylor.
  • In the 1870 census of Liberty, Nash County: at #334, Simon Taylor, 60, and wife Amy; #335, Caesar Taylor, 34, wife Ann, 22, and daughter Amy, 3; #336, Edward Taylor, 32, wife Sylva, 23, and children Almira, 4, and James, 2.
  • In the 1880 census of Whitakers, Nash County: Ned Taylor, 39, wife Silva, 35, and children Myra, 16, William Ann, 17, James, 12, Eddie, 5, Aron, 3, and Ernest, 1 month; plus Simon Taylor, 75, “father,” and Amy Taylor, 80, “mother.”

Susan.  Valued at $800.

  • Kinchen Taylor’s 1851 will bequeathed Haley, Hasty, Amy, Glasgow, Alfred and Susan to daughter Caroline Taylor Knight.

Tom.  Valued at $570.

  • Kinchen Taylor’s 1851 will bequeathed Big Tom, Little Tom and Clary to wife Mary Blount Taylor.
  • “Big Tom” included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s widow, Mary Blount Taylor.
  • In 1866 in Nash County, Thomas Taylor and Lucinda Taylor registered their 35-year cohabitation, legalizing their marriage.
  • In the 1870 census of Liberty, Nash County: at #323, Thomas Taylor, 62, wife Lucinda, 50, and children Vinah, 20, Augustine, 18, and Jackson, 8. (Kinchen Taylor’s son Kinchen C. Taylor and family lived at #328, in this house.)

Tom Jr.  Valued at $820.

  • Kinchen Taylor’s 1851 will bequeathed Big Tom, Little Tom and Clary to wife Mary Blount Taylor.
  • “Little Tom” included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s widow, Mary Blount Taylor.
  • In the 1870 census of Liberty, Nash County: at #323, Thomas Taylor Jr., 35, wife Caroline, 25, and children George, 2, and John, 6 months. 
  • In the 1880 census of Whitaker, Nash County: Thomas Taylor, 36, wife Caroline, 30, and children George, 13, Mack, 11, Rosella, 6, Eddie, 5, Cindy, 3, and Fannie, 4 months.
  • Lucinda Arrington died 26 February 1933 in Rocky Mount, Nash County. Married to W.E. Arrington. Age 40. Born in Nash County to Thomas Taylor and Carolin Taylor. Informant, W.E. Arrington.
  • Lena Taylor died 19 July 1946 in South Whitakers, Nash County. Married to John Taylor. Born 31 December 1883 to Thomas Taylor and Carolina [last name unknown.] Buried Jerusalem cemetery.
  • Rose Ella Williams died 26 November 1960 in Nashville, Nash County. Resided Whitakers. Married to Robert Williams. Born in Nash County to Tom Taylor and Carolyn [last name unknown.] Informant, Thomas W. Williams. Buried “Jewrusalem,” Edgecombe County.

Toney.  Valued at $980.

Virgil.  Valued at $750.

  • Virgil in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s son Benjamin Taylor.

Washington.  Valued at $990.

  • Kinchen Taylor’s 1851 will bequeathed Lucinda, Jane, Washington and Ellin to wife Mary Blount Taylor.
  • Washington included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s widow, Mary Blount Taylor.

William Henry.  Valued at $750.

  • William Henry included in lot of slaves distributed to Kinchen Taylor’s son John A. Taylor.
  • Perhaps, in the 1870 census of Liberty, Nash County: at #339, William Taylor, 21, wife Hannah, 23, and son Cato, 5; or, at #359, William Taylor, 24, and Lucy Taylor, 52.

——

Some preliminary thoughts: there were several unrelated white Taylor extended families in antebellum Nash County, North Carolina (not to mention bordering counties) and, while Kinchen may have been the largest among them, many owned slaves. Some of men and women listed died before freedom came or were sold away. Even taking these fates into account, surprisingly few African-Americans Taylors registered cohabitations in 1866 or were enumerated in the county in 1870. No doubt, many freedmen elected some other surname or moved a few miles away into adjoining counties. Women and small children may have adopted the surname of a husband (alive, dead or otherwise absent) or father (ditto). Moreover, as older children were not grouped with their mothers in the inventories, the relationships among members of the community are obscured. Naming patterns and living arrangements disclosed in censuses hint at such connections. Tracing Kinchen Taylor’s slaves has been frustratingly difficult, but I don’t quit.

Sources: the file of Kinchen Taylor (1853), Nash County, North Carolina Estate Files 1663-1979, https://familysearch.org, original, North Carolina State Archives; Nash County Cohabitation Records, North Carolina State Archives; federal censuses.

 

Standard
Civil War, Enslaved People, Free People of Color

What’s in a name?

When James Barnes’ will was probated in 1848 in Edgecombe County, North Carolina, and its provisions carried out, ownership of Howell, an enslaved man, transferred to McKinley Darden. In the 1870 census, Howell Darden, his wife Esther, and their children appear in Black Creek township in Wilson County, North Carolina. Howell had adopted the last name of the family that had owned him most of his adult life. His choice, however, was the not only one available to freedmen. Unbeknownst to slaveowners, many enslaved people claimed surnames even during slavery, though these names were not recognized legally. Some former slaves cemented links to kin by taking the surnames their mothers or fathers used. Others adopted the name of their last master, or reached back to earlier owners, perhaps from their childhood. Still others declined to acknowledge their former bondage altogether, and took names related to a skilled trade, a physical feature, a famous figure, or some other personal idiosyncracy.

Researchers attempting to trace African-American family lines often hit a brick wall at 1870. Having identified an ancestor reported in that census, they invariably ponder the question: how can I find the parents and siblings of this newly freed person? Answering these questions requires flexibility and a willingness to consider indirect sources. Marriage and death records may reveal close familial relationships among people with different surnames. For example, Vicey Artis, a free woman of color, and her enslaved husband Solomon Williams lived separately in the area of northeastern Wayne County and southwestern Greene County, North Carolina. Vicey appears in the 1850 and 1860 censuses with several children named Artis. Vicey and Solomon recorded their cohabitation in 1866, when most of their children were adults. Examination of marriage and death records reveals that some of Vicey and Solomon’s children (who were all free-born) assumed their father’s last name after his emancipation and others (especially the older ones) retained their mothers’. While nothing immediately obvious links Jonah Williams of Wilson and Adam Artis of Nahunta, vital records and other documents establish that they were brothers.

Similarly, upon Emancipation, two of the children of Margaret McConnaughey and Edward Miller, formerly enslaved in Rowan County North Carolina, chose the surname McConnaughey and three, Miller. Margaret and her children had been owned by a McConnaughey. Death certificates, marriage records, and close examination of households in census records provide the clues that establish this family’s connections.

Researchers should also pay attention to groupings of first names.   Like whites during the era, former enslaved people often fortified the ties between generations by naming children after relatives. Thus the recurrence of certain given names among a group of families sharing the same surname could indicate kinship. For example, the fact that Benjamin Barnes’ son Calvin, born about 1836, named two sons Redmond and Andrew could indicate a sibling relationship between Benjamin, Redmond and Andrew Barnes, all born circa 1820 and listed near one another in the 1870 census of Wilson County. That the elder Redmond also had a son named Calvin further supports the possibility. In addition, when comparing documents, keeping an eye out for familiar first names may help identify freedmen who changed their surnames, perhaps rejecting one that had been chosen too hastily or that had not chosen for themselves. For example, the Isom, Guilford, Robert, Jackson, and Lewis Bynum who registered cohabitations in Wilson County in 1866 appear in the 1870 census and after as Isom, Guilford, Robert, Jackson and Lewis Ellis.

Also remember that freedmen who shared a surname and common former owner were not necessarily kin. A grouping of one hundred enslaved people may have comprised a dozen or more — many more — unrelated families. For example, Mack Coley of Wayne County, North Carolina, was the grandson of Winnie Coley and of Sallie Coley Yelverton. Several of Winnie Coley’s children were fathered by Peter Coley. Trying to understand how these Coleys — all of whom appear to have belonged to a single former master — relate to one another (or don’t) is a daunting task.

Civil war pension records are another rich source of evidence about naming choices and family ties. Consider this passage from the Confederate pension application of Jim Ellis Dew of Wilson County, North Carolina:

“It was at the time we were making ‘sorgum’ that I was sent to the war. I belonged to my master Mr. Hickman Ellis who married a Miss Dew. You know missus, the white folks are not as strong as the niggers and Mr. Jonathan Dew, brother to my missus, was not very well, and they let him draw a man to go in his place and they drew me. I was sent to Fort Fisher and went to work throwing up breastworks. … We stayed on the island for while. After a while, I came home. While I was in the war I was known as Jim Dew, but when I came back from the war I was called by my old name “Jim Ellis” because I belonged to my missus.”

Similarly, the file containing the Union Army pension application of Baalam Speight’s widow Hannah Sauls Speight reveals that Baalam had enlisted as Baalam Edwards, his owner’s surname, but later adopted his father’s surname Speight. His brother Lafayette, on the other hand, had kept Edwards as his name. A witness named Lewis Harper testified that he had a brother named Loderick Artis. (Artis, born enslaved, had taken his free father’s surname.)

Though researching enslaved ancestry is almost always difficult, creative consideration of the available evidence often yields surprising rewards. Marriage records for people born into slavery often show surnames for both parents that are different from the child being married. Cross-reference siblings, and you’ll often find a completely different set of surnames. Be careful when trying to match former enslave people to their kinfolk and their masters. Reasons for choosing names were varied and inscrutable, and people tried on different identities for a few years. Empowering for them — maddening for us!

(For a more in-depth analysis of slave naming practices and patterns, see Eugene D. Genovese’s Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made.)

Standard
Enslaved People, Maternal Kin, North Carolina

McNeelys enumerated.

Perhaps he ticked them off on his fingers: “One female, aged 24 to 36. … One female, under ten years of age. … Three males, all under ten….” The enumerator for the 1840 federal census of Rowan County dutifully recorded the information that Samuel McNeely provided, inking in  small numerals in the appropriate column under “SLAVES.” The adult female was Lucinda. The female child was her daughter Alice, and two of the males were her sons John and Julius. It is likely that the third boy was also Lucinda’s, as Samuel was not likely to have purchased a small child and Alice was too young to bear children.

Samuel died in 1843 and, under the terms of his will, son John W. McNeely inherited slaves Lucinda and her offspring. In the 1850 slave schedule, John reported owning eight slaves: a 34 year-old black female [Lucinda]; a 19 year-old black female [Alice]; a 17 year-old black male [John]; a 14 year-old black male [the third boy above, name unknown]; a 12 year-old black male [Julius]; a 9 year-old mulatto male [Henry, Lucinda’s son by John W. McNeely]; a 2 year-old mulatto male [Joseph Archy, Alice’s son]; and a 1 year-old black female [probably Alice’s daughter Mary].

In 1860, John W. McNeely reported only seven slaves: a 44 year-old black female [Lucinda]; an 11 year-old black female [Mary]; a 22 year-old black male [Julius]; a 19 year-old mulatto male [Henry]; a 12 year-old mulatto male [Archy]; a 9 year-old black male [Alexander “Sandy,” who was probably Alice’s son]; and a 7 year-old black male [John Stanhope, who was probably Alice’s son.]  The same seven appear, by name finally, in the 1863 Confederate tax valuation. [A vexatious question: Where was John Rufus in 1860 and 1863? When he married in 1866, he reported John W. McNeely as his former owner. Had he in fact spent his final years of servitude under a different master?]

And then came freedom. In the 1870 census of Atwell township, Rowan County, at household #294: Lucinda McNeely, age 54, domestic servant; Henry McNeely, 29, school teacher; Joseph A. McNeely, 22, farm laborer; and Elizabeth McNeely, 13, “attends school.” [According to my grandmother, this Elizabeth was Henry’s daughter, abandoned by her mother at his doorstep.] At #295: Julius McNeely, 32, farm laborer; wife Mary McNeely, 25, “keeps house”; and nephews Alex’r McNeely, 17, farm laborer; and John S. McNeely, 18, farm laborer. [On the other side, at #292: John W. McNeely, 63, and wife Mary, 63, and at #293: Henry W. McNeely, 35; wife Nancy E., 24; and children Margaret, 3, and John W., 1. This Henry W. McNeely, son of James H. McNeely, was John W.’s cousin, though the exact relationship is unclear.]

Standard
Enslaved People, Land, North Carolina, Other Documents, Photographs

Dr. Ward’s house. And me.

After my recent rediscovery of a Confederate map that revealed the locations of several plantations significant to my genealogical research, I began searching for more information about John Lane, Silas Bryant and David G.W. Ward‘s landholdings. Pretty quickly, I found a link to a copy of a nomination form for the National Register of Historic Places Inventory, submitted for the Ward-Applewhite-Thompson house near Stantonsburg, North Carolina. This Greek Revival house, dating back to about 1859, was owned and occupied by several of the area’s leading planters — including “country doctor” D.G.W. Ward, who purchased it in 1857 — and it and its outbuildings are little changed from their antebellum forms.

As I read the detailed architectural description of the house and its setting, a tiny kernel of recognition began to form in the back of my mind. A big, white, two-story house? Set well back from the road? Just outside Stantonsburg? Could it …?

I scoured the maps attached to the nomination form, trying to lay them over the current topography. State Road 1539 … that would be Sand Pit Road today …  just east of a fork in the road and just north of the Norfolk & Southern Railroad (which was not there in Ward’s time) … and there it is, just like I remember.

sand pit road

Yes. Like I remember.

I’ve BEEN in this house. Many times, though long ago.

Growing up, my sister and I were very close to my father’s sister’s daughters. Our local family was quite small, but my cousin’s father came from a big family with deep Wilson County roots. Her grandmother had nearly a dozen siblings — whom we also called “aunt” and “uncle” — and we were often invited to attend their family gatherings. I remember best the delectable Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners gathered around tables groaning with food, but there were also the annual 4th of July family reunions at Aunt Minnie’s out in the country near Stantonsburg. The Barneses were tenant farmers for an absentee landowner and rented his large two-story house. We’d pull off the road into a sandy circular drive and park under the trees alongside cars with New York and New Jersey plates. I vividly remember my cousin’s great-uncles and cousins tending a barbecue pit in which a split pig roasted, chickens strutting among them.  A screened side porch protected platter after platter of home-grown, home-cooked goodness.  My memories of the interior of the house are vague: a central staircase, two large front rooms, the kitchen in back. (The staircase I remember mostly because, carefully tending a tall glass of lemonade, I missed a riser and slid down their length, smacking my ribcage against the steps and knocking the wind out of myself.)

I couldn’t believe it. It is exciting enough to identify D.G.W. Ward’s house and find that it is still standing, but to realize that I knew the house at which Appie and Mittie Ward had lived and worked as the enslaved children of their own father was uncanny.

IMG_4960Ward-Applewhite-Thompson House today.

Photo taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2014.

Standard
Births Deaths Marriages, Enslaved People, North Carolina, Paternal Kin

Finding the Wards.

This is what we knew:  Joseph Henry Ward, born circa 1870 in or near Wilson, North Carolina, was the son of Napoleon Hagans and a sister of Napoleon’s wife, Apsilla Ward Hagans.  I couldn’t find him in the 1870 or 1880 censuses, but by 1900 he was listed in Indianapolis, Indiana, working as a physician.

The hunt for Joe Ward’s people thus began.

In the 1910 census of Indianapolis, a nephew, Augustus Moody, born about 1893, is listed in the Ward household. I searched for Augustus in 1900 and found him in Washington DC in this household: William Moody (born 1872), wife Sarah S. (1876) and children Augustus (June 1894) and Crist (1896), plus sister-in-law Minerva Vaughn (1890), mother-in-law Mittie Vaughn (1854), and mother Fannie Harris (1854) — all born in North Carolina.  Soooo …  Augustus’ mother was Sarah S. Moody, and Sarah’s mother was Mittie Vaughn.  Okay, and how was Joe Ward related to these folks?

I went back to the 1880 census of Wilson County and found: Sarah Darden (57, mother), Algia Vaughn (23, son-in-law), Mittie (22, daughter), Joseph (8), Sarah (6), and Macinda (5 mos.), the last three Sarah’s grandchildren.  From this I deduced that Mittie Vaughn, daughter of Sarah Darden, had at least two children, Joseph and Sarah, before 1880.  I then located young Sarah’s marriage license to William Moody, which listed her maiden name as Ward.  So Joseph and Sarah were listed in the 1880 census in their stepfather’s name, not their mother’s, and “Joseph Vaughn,” son of Mittie Vaughn, is in fact the Joseph Ward I was looking for.

How did I know Algernon was a stepfather? He was only 22 years old when he married Mitty Finch,  27, in Wilson on May 6, 1879.  (Finch?!?!?! That’s an as-yet unexplained anomaly.) I also found a cohabitation registration for grandmother Sarah Ward and Sam Darden, dated 12 July 1866. This registration, which formalized the marriages of ex-slaves, noted that they had been married five years, well after the births of Sarah’s children Mittie and Appie. If Sam was not their father, who was?

The first clue: in 1902, when William S. Hagans (son of Napoleon and Appie Ward Hagans) registered to vote in Wayne County, North Carolina, under the state’s grandfather clause, he named “Dr. Ward” as his qualifying ancestor. I didn’t know what to make of that — I couldn’t find a Dr. Ward in Wayne County — so I laid it to the side for a bit.

Then I found a reference to Appie and Mittie’s previously unknown brother. On 16 June 1870, Henry Ward, son of D.G.W. Ward and Sarah Darden, married Sarah Forbes in Wilson, North Carolina.  If we assume that Henry, Appie and Mittie had the same father, who is this D.G.W. Ward? Was he the “Dr. Ward” that William claimed as his qualifying ancestor under the grandfather clause?

In the 1860 census, D.G.W. Ward (45) and wife Adline (19) appear in Speights district, Greene County, which borders Wilson County to the southeast. Ward reported owning $26,500 in real property and a whopping $112,000 in personal property! (As the 1860 slave census shows, this wealth largely consisted of 54 slaves.) He was one of the, if not the, wealthiest men in the county. And he was a physician. Here, indeed, was Dr. Ward.

David George Washington Ward was married twice — perhaps circa 1840 to Mariah H. Vines, who died after having one child; then to Emily Adeline Moye in 1859. Between those marriages, he fathered at least three children with Sarah, an enslaved woman.

Standard
Births Deaths Marriages, Enslaved People, Maternal Kin, North Carolina, Other Documents

Where did they go?, no. 3: more McConnaugheys.

Simon, 57, $200 (rheumatism). Ceasar, 54, $400 (“crip.”). Perry, 45, $300 (“bad rupt.”). Isaac, 36, $1400. Charles, 32, $1450. Nelson, 32, $1450. Edward, 32, $1450. George, 31, $1450. Ellick, 26, $1500. Henry, 17, $1500. Thom, 14, $1200. Giles, 14, $1200. Dallas, 7, $400. Alfred, 4, $300. John, 25, $1500. Juber, 24, $1500. Nancy, 36, $1000. Ritta, 32, $1100. Harried, 23, $1200. Liza, 23, $1200. Laura, 11, $650. Louisa, 8, $400. Jennie, 4, $250. Ellen, 5 mo., $100. Allice, 3 mo., $200.

As did his brother John M. McConnaughey, James C. McConnaughey was required to pay taxes on the slaves enumerated by a Confederate tax assessor canvassing Rowan County, North Carolina, in 1863. James reported owning the 25 people listed above, whose total value was just over $23,000.  What were their links to one another? What were their links to John M. McConnaughey’s slaves?

Cohabitation records shed some light. In 1866, North Carolina afforded freedmen the right to legalize marriages made during slavery by appearing before county justices of the peace to register their relationships. Rowan County cohabitation registers not only record the names of the parties and the length of their marriage, but the former owners of each party. Listed below are registrants who named one of the McConnaugheys (John, James, or James’ son Joseph) as an owner:

George Hall (Dr. Joseph McConnaughey) and Mary Cowan (N.N. Nixon). 3 years.

Simon Hall (James C. McConnaughey) and Nancy McConnaughey (James C. McConnaughey). 20 years.

David Litaker (Elizabeth Litaker) and Hagar McConnaughey (John M. McConnaughey). 13 years.

Abram McConnaughey (John M. McConnaughey) and Eliza Barger (John Barger). 6 years.

Charles McConnaughey (James C. McConnaughey) and Lucinda Kerr (Dr. [illegible] Kerr). 15 years.

Edward McConnaughey (James C. McConnaughey) and Loretta McConnaughey (James C. McConnaughey). 4 years.

Nelson McConnaughey (James C. McConnaughey) and Martha Graham (James C. McConnaughey). 11 years.

Isaac McCorkle (Dr. Joseph McConnaughey) and Ann Kerr (George C. Barnes). 14 years.

George Washington Miller (John M. McConnaughey) and Eliza Catherine Kerr (John M. McConnaughey). 9 years.

Hezekiah Mitchell (Lueco Mitchell) and Louisiana McConnaughey (John M. McConnaughey). 6 years.

Except Martha Graham, the seven freedmen and women who named James C. McConnaughey as their former master are readily identifiable in his 1863 tax assessment. The two who named Joseph (George Hall and Isaac McCorkle) also appear to have been listed with James’ slaves in 1863. (There was no tax listing for Joseph McConnaughey, who did not inherit slaves from his father until 1864.)

Later Rowan County marriage records also disclose family relationships among McConnaughey’s bondsmen. These documents reveal that Simon Hall (who also used the name McConnaughey) and Nancy McConnaughey’s children included the 17 year-old Henry, 14 year-old Giles, 8 year-old Louisa, and probably 4 year-old Jennie listed in 1863. Further, when Jupiter “Juber” McConnaughey married in 1870, he listed his parents as Simon Hall and Cynthia McConnaughey. The age gap between Simon and Nancy suggests that she was his second wife, and Cynthia McConnaughey may have been first.

Perry McConnaughey was named on a marriage license as the father of Thomas McConnaughey, perhaps 14 year-old Thom above. If so, where was Thomas’ mother Rockey, who was also named as the mother of Alexander “Ellick” McConnaughey on an 1883 marriage license?  (Alexander gave his father as Toby McConnaughey.) Perry himself named his parents as John Henderson and Pricilla McConnaughey when he married in 1867. Alex and his first wife Judy share a household — no children — in the 1870 census of Atwell township, Rowan County.

Isaac appears twice in the 1870 census — once as Isaac McConeehugh, age 45, with wife Ann, 35, and sons Thomas, 4, and Edmon, 2, then a few households later as Isaac McCorcle, 45, with wife Ann, 42, and son Thomas, 4. (A reminder of the vagaries of the United States federal census.) Neither boy was born at the time of the 1863 tax list. Isaac and Ann married about 1852. Were there older children? Are they among those name in the tax list?

Both John M. McConnaughey and James C. McConnaughey owned slaves named Charles. The whereabouts of the Charles McConnaughey who formerly belonged to John are discussed here. The Charles in the 1863 list above would appear to be the Charles McConnaughey, 40, listed with wife Phillis and ten children in the 1870 census. Who, then, is the Charles who reported a 15-year marriage to Lucinda Kerr in 1866? Is Phillis Lucinda? If so, I have not found any other reference to her by that name, though there are plenty of references to “Phillis.”

Dallas McConnaughey named Edward and Ritta McConnaughey as his parents when he married in 1876, ten years after they registered their cohabitation. Sadly, Loretta “Ritta” may not have enjoyed freedom long. She does not appear with her husband and son in the 1870 census, when they are listed in the household of John M. McConnaughey in Mount Ulla, Rowan County.

Though Nelson and Martha McConnaughey’s cohabitation certificate seems to indicate that both were enslaved by James C. McConnaughey, evidence suggests that in fact, Martha and their children had a different owner. Neither Martha nor their oldest children David, born about 1859, and Maria, born about 1861, are  listed among James’ human property. (As an aside: Abram McConnaughey presided over the marriage of Nelson and Martha’s son David McConnaughey in 1879. Was he a relative?)

Harriet McConnaughey appears in the 1870 census of Locke township, Rowan County, with R. McConnaughey, a 55 year-old male, Mary McConnaughey, 35, and Hiram McConnaughey, 4. Harriet’s age is consistent with the “Harried” listed in 1863, but the other adults do not appear on that list, and relationships among them are indeterminate.

There’s a seven year-old Alice McConnaughey listed in John M. McConnaughey’s household in the 1870 census among an assortment of his and James’ former slaves. She is listed under Eliza McConnaughey’s name, as if her daughter. (This Eliza appears, at 23, too young to be the Eliza listed above, but in 1880 is listed as 39, so….)

In summary: in 1863, James C. McConnaughey’s 25 enslaved laborers comprised at least two intact families (Simon, his wife Nancy, their children, and his son; Edward and Ritta and their son); a father and son (Perry and Thom); at least three men married to women who were enslaved elsewhere (Isaac, Charles, Nelson); two apparently unmarried women (Harriet and Eliza); three possibly unmarried men (Caesar, George and John); and three or four children whose relationship to the others cannot be determined (Alfred, Laura, Ellen and Alice.)

Standard