DNA, Maternal Kin, North Carolina

DNA Definites, no. 24: Nicholson.

Two more Nicholson matches at Ancestry DNA.

The first is with T.L. His ancestor Moses P. Nicholson migrated to Indiana in the 1830s, long before my great-great-grandmother Harriet Nicholson was born. T.L. has no other Iredell County lines, underscoring the unlikelihood that our match is through some other line.

Nich Hint

The second is R.H., who also matches T.L. R.H. is descended from a first-cousin marriage between grandchildren of both of John S. Nicholson‘s wives, as am I.

RHuey1

RHuey2

Unfortunately, Ancestry has a hard time interpreting matching trees that involve multiple spouses and fathers and sons with the same names, and these charts are not quite right.

Standard
Births Deaths Marriages, Maternal Kin, North Carolina

John McNeely vs. John McNeely.

Okay, now I am genuinely perplexed. A couple of months ago, I wrote about finding my great-great-uncle John McNeely’s first wife, whom he married in 1899. I had just found a marriage license for John Alexander McNeely, colored, son of Henry and Martha McNeely of Iredell County, and Carry Armstrong. Prior to this, I had only known wife Laura Nesbit, whom he married in Statesville in 1912.

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 6.48.30 AM

I have not found John and Laura McNeely in the 1920 census, but in 1930 they and Laura’s daughter Marie shared a house with John’s sister and brother-in-law, Emma and Irving Houser, in Bayonne, New Jersey. In 1940, John and Laura and Marie and her husband James Watkins were living on West 19th Street in Bayonne. And when John died in 1947, his obituary noted that he was the beloved husband of Laura (Nesbitt.)

So yesterday when I found yet another marriage for John A. McNeely, son of Henry and Martha McNeely of Iredell County, I was flummoxed.

42091_334854-00956

Did John marry Laura, divorce (or otherwise leave) her, marry Jane Nichols, divorce her, then remarry Laura Nesbit? If so, where is the second marriage license for Laura? If not, who is this John McNeely? And who are the other Henry and Martha McNeely?

The only Henry and Martha McNeely in the 1900 census of North Carolina are my John’s parents, living in Statesville township. In 1880, they’re in Rowan County, and still the only couple with those names in the state. Henry died in 1906, before death certificates were kept, and Martha died in New Jersey. I have not found death certificates for any other Henry or Martha McNeely in Iredell.

As for John: John and Jane McNeely appear in the 1900 census of Statesville, my John McNeely does not. In the first decade of the century, a John McNeely pops up in the pages of the local paper for various misdeeds — shooting at a rival, having smallpox, fighting, slicing a man with a knife, shooting at a dog. I’d like to think that this is not my John, but there’s no clear way to know. And there’s no John McNeely at all in Iredell County in the 1910 census.

I’ll have to leave it here for now. I don’t have enough to know for certain whether John McNeely and John Alexander McNeely were the same man.

UPDATE, 19 June 2015: Is this a clue to the identity of John A. McNeely?

Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 8.36.03 AM

This Henry McNeely is not my great-great-grandfather Henry McNeely. He’s his nephew. Henry’s father John Rufus McNeely was, I believe, the half-brother of my Henry. Unfortunately, this Henry was born about 1863, and John A. McNeely was born about 1870. I don’t believe this Henry and Martha were the couple named on John A. McNeely’s marriage licenses.

UPDATE, 21 June 2015: Then there’s this.

Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 4.37.00 PM

This is from the marriage license of my John McNeely’s brother, William Luther McNeely, who married Mary Belle Woods in 1906 at Statesville’s Associate Reform Presbyterian Church. My great-grandparents Lon and Carrie McNeely Colvert wed there the same year. Is it just coincidence that John Alexander McNeely was also married by Rev. J.H. Pressly in this church?

Standard
Enslaved People, Maternal Kin, North Carolina, Photographs

What was.

Photographs from the Welch-Nicholson House and Mill Site National Register nomination file held at the North Carolina Historic Preservation Office, North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, Raleigh. Many thanks to File Room Manager Chandrea Burch and National Register Coordinator Ann Swallow.

My great-great-grandmother Harriet Nicholson Tomlin Hart walked these rooms.

This, of course, is all gone now. Burned to the ground one night in the 1980s.

Photos and Plan Welch-Nicholson House_Page_1

Photos and Plan Welch-Nicholson House_Page_2

Photos and Plan Welch-Nicholson House_Page_3

Photos and Plan Welch-Nicholson House_Page_4

Photos and Plan Welch-Nicholson House_Page_5

Photos and Plan Welch-Nicholson House_Page_6

Photos and Plan Welch-Nicholson House_Page_7

Standard
Births Deaths Marriages, Maternal Kin, Newspaper Articles, North Carolina, Other Documents

Aunt Ida May revisited.

Ancestry.com’s North Carolina Marriages data collection is not through demystifying my kin. A previously unknown marriage license clarified a question I had my great-great-aunt Ida’s life. If Eugene Stockton were her husband, I wondered here, why was she a Stockton in the 1910 and 1920 censuses, but referred to as his sister-in-law? In gaining an answer, I also uncovered a terrible tragedy.

Ida May Colvert‘s first marriage license was so hard to find because she married under her mother’s maiden name, as Ida May Hampton. The license lists her parents as John and Adline Colvert, but they did not marry until 1905, just over a month after Ida married Dillard Stockton on 27 December 1904. (Ida’s age is listed as 21 on the license, which is almost surely too high. Her birth year as recorded in various documents varies widely, but averages about 1885.) Dillard’s parents were listed as Henry and Frances Stockton, which seems to indicate that Dillard and Ida’s second husband Eugene shared a father and were half-brothers. (Eugene’s mother was Alice Allison [or maybe McKee] Stockton.)

42091_334850-01124

Ida was a Stockton Stockton then. But what happened to her first husband, Dillard? A quick Newspapers.com search turned up the awful story:

Statesville_Record__amp__Landmark_3_12_1907_Dillard_Stockton_killed

Statesville Record & Landmark, 12 March 1907.

A little over two years after they married, Dillard Stockton and five other African-American men were crushed by a cascade of soil and scaffolding in a Statesville ditch. [Surely my grandmother knew this story?]

Race STreet

The stretch of Race Street in which the cave-in occurred.

For all the breathless detail of the initial report of the tragedy, greater Statesville soon moved on. As reported in the local paper, within two months, the city had settled four of the deaths with payments of $750 (roughly $19,000 today) and were close to settling with the remaining survivors, including Ida May Colvert.

Carolina_Watchman_5_15_1907_Dillard_stockton_sett

Dillard Stockton is buried in Statesville’s Green Street/Union Grove cemetery. I snagged this photo from findagrave.com. I don’t recall seeing it during my recent visit and don’t know if it’s near the Colvert graves.

91759891_133944306122

A horrifying post script:

W_S_Union_Republican_5_12_1907_Harry_Stockton__039_s_death

Winston-Salem Union Republican, 12 May 1912.

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

Elvira.

I knew Rebecca Colvert was my great-great-grandfather John W. Colvert‘s stepmother. Until now, though, I’d seen his mother Elvira Gray‘s name listed only on his death certificate.

On 30 January 1905, six days before his father Walker‘s death, John married Adeline Hampton, mother of his four daughters. I’d seen the marriage register entry for their union, but not the actual license. Here it is, and there is the second reference to Walker’s first wife.

42091_334850-01229

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

Uncle John’s first wife?

I am clearly getting my whole life in these marriage records, but I have to wonder. What in the world have I been doing? Why have I missed so many of these records? Have I just assumed that what was on the shelf or on-line was all that was available? Fie.

Here’s another.

42091_334849-01098

Lots about this license says it relates to a previously unknown first marriage for my grandmother’s uncle, John McNeely. First, the parents are named correctly, and they were the only Henry and Martha McNeely in Iredell County at the time. Second, the church is right, as the McNeelys were Presbyterians. (Except when they were being Episcopalians.) Third, that middle name, Alexander — the first I’ve heard of one for John! — is a family name, borne first by Alexander “Sandy” McNeely, son of Henry McNeely’s sister Alice. In fact, the only thing that throws me is John’s age. Uncle John was 27 in 1899, not 21. That’s a curious error, but not critical enough to trump the other details. I’ll update my tree to include John’s middle name and his first wife.

McNEELY -- John McNeely young w cigarette

John A. McNeely as a young man. (I think. Even as I post this, something is worrying me about the timeframe of this photo….)

Standard
Births Deaths Marriages, Maternal Kin, Newspaper Articles, North Carolina, Other Documents

Investigation of death.

A coroner’s inquest is an official inquiry into the manner and cause of an individual’s death. Conducted by a county coroner when a cause of death is unknown, violent or otherwise suspicious, this legal inquiry is performed in public and often before a jury. The coroner does not establish why a death occurred, but rather determines who the deceased was and how, when and where death occurred. Here’s a link to a post about coroner’s reports in the North Carolina State Archives, where I obtained the documents below.

I searched Iredell County’s reports looking, in particular, for the inquest into the death of my great-grandmother’s sister, Elizabeth McNeely Kilpatrick Long, who burned to death in a suspicious fire. I was disappointed not to find one. However, I did find these for two men who died unexpected, but ultimately natural, deaths:

Coroners Reports_Page_1

My grandmother’s half-brother, John Walker Colvert II. (One would expect an inquest to get the spelling of a surname right. Or at least consistently wrong.) Here’s his obituary in the 16 April 1937 edition of the Statesville Record & Landmark.

Sville_Rec__amp__Landmark_4_16_1937 WColvert Obit

(“Schoolmate”??? Simonton Sanitary Shop? This obituary sets forth some interesting facts that I intend to explore elsewhere.)

And then there was the notorious William “Bill Bailey” Murdock, husband of my grandmother’s aunt Bertha Hart Murdock. He died just over a year after her conviction for shooting a white man in the leg in their restaurant.

Coroners Reports_Page_2

Standard