Maternal Kin, North Carolina, Photographs

Kiners, depicted.

More photographs of my Kiner cousins courtesy of their Kiner cousin, Peggy King Jorde. As set forth here, my cousin Edna Reeves (1885-1969), daughter of Fletcher and Angeline McConnaughey Reeves of Charlotte, North Carolina, married William H. Kiner and settled with him in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Their children were Addison F. Kiner (1906-1990), Carroll M. Kiner (1907), and Evelyn C. Kiner ().

William Kiner & sons Addison & Carroll

William Kiner and sons Carroll and Addison, circa 1912.

Young Evelyn Kiner Marthas Vineyard

Evelyn Kiner, Martha’s Vineyard, circa 1915.

Evelyn Kiner on pony

Evelyn Kiner on a pony, circa 1917.

EdnaKinerCentralParkNYC

One of these women is Edna Reeves Kiner, and the photo appears to date from the 1930s. This is said to be in New York City’s Central Park, but I have not been able to identify the monument.

Carroll Kiner

Carroll Kiner, perhaps the 1940s.

Carroll Kiner at Marthas Vineyard

Carroll Kiner, at right, Martha’s Vineyard, perhaps 1940s?

Evelyn Kiner at work

Evelyn C. Kiner at work, New York City, circa late 1960s.

And then there are these two photos:

Daddy Reeves 2

Believed to be “Daddy” Reeves.

Daddy Reeves

“Daddy” Reeves succumbs to pneumonia. Undated, and no page 5 story attached.

Who was “Daddy” Reeves? Certainly not Edna’s father Fletcher Reeves, who died in 1910. Nor her brother John, who died in 1915. Older brother Frank Reeves, perhaps?

All photos courtesy of Peggy King Jorde Archive.

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Maternal Kin, North Carolina, Photographs

Mr. & Mrs. Reeves.

I have written here of what I know of Fletcher and Angeline McConnaughey Reeves.  Angeline (1858-1953), daughter of Robert McConnaughey, a white man, and Caroline McConnaughey (who was owned by Robert’s kinsman), was a first cousin of my great-great-grandmother Martha Miller McNeely.

Angeline McConnaughey Reeves

And here, as best we know, is Fletcher Reeves. (Though, for a fact, this man looks older than 56, Fletcher’s age at death.)

Prob Fletcher Reeves

Many, many thanks to Peggy King Jorde, a relative of Angeline and Fletcher’s son-in-law William Kiner, for sharing these and other photos of Evelyn C. Kiner‘s family. Originals in Peggy King Jorde Archive.

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Births Deaths Marriages, Maternal Kin, Migration, North Carolina

The Boston branch.

I’ve written about Angeline McConnaughey Reeves and her family — particularly her daughter Carrie Reeves Williams. But what of her other children?

——

A short notice appeared in the 14 March 1895 edition of the Charlotte Observer:

Frank Eccles and Ada Reeves, colored, were married Tuesday night. The groom is Farrior’s man “Friday.” He is a good citizen and deserves happiness and prosperity.

Five years later, the census taker trudging through Charlotte’s Fourth Ward knocked at the door of 413 Eighth Street. Forty-two year-old Angeline Reeves likely answered the door. In response to the enumerator’s queries, she identified her husband Fletcher as the head of household and detailed the three children remaining at home — 18 year-old Frank, 16 year-old Edna, and 12 year-old John. Daughter Ada, her husband Frank and 4 year-old son Harry were probably living in Charlotte, but seem to have given the enumerator the slip.

Frank married Kate Smith in Charlotte in 1902; their ill-fated story is told here. Edna was next to wed. In 1905, at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse in Charlotte, William H. Kiner applied for a marriage license for himself, age 25, of Boston, Massachusetts, colored, son of Anderson and Agnes Kiner, and Edna Reeves, age 20, of Charlotte, colored, daughter of Fletcher Reeves and Angeline Reeves.  Robert B. Bruce, minister of the AME Zion Church, united them in matrimony on 5 April 1905 at the bride’s residence. According to Kiner family researcher Peggy Jorde, William Henry Kiner, actually a native of Staunton, Augusta County, Virginia, had come to Charlotte to study theology at Biddle University.

William and Edna’s first son, Addison F., was born in Charlotte in 1906, but by the following summer, when son Carroll Milton arrived, the Kiners were permanent residents of Massachusetts. Carroll has two birth records, one listing his birth place as Oak Bluffs, and a second listing Cambridge. On the first, William’s occupation was described as theological student.

Edna Reeves Kiner was not the only one of Fletcher and Angeline’s children to pack up and move north to the Bay State. The 1910 census of Cambridge, Middlesex County, shows William H. Kiner, wife Edna E., children Addison F., 4, and Carroll M., 2, sister-in-law Ada Ecles, and brother-in-law John H. Reeves living at 8 Rockwell Street. William worked as a clothes presser in a tailor shop, Ada as a servant, and John as a hotel waiter. Ada’s husband Frank (and son Harry) are nowhere to be seen, but “Aida” Eccles appears a second time in Cambridge as a servant in the household of George W. Clapp, a self-employed chemist.

John Reeves’ stay in New England did not last long. In April of 1915, at the age of 26, he died of tuberculosis in a state hospital.

John H Reeves Death Cert

Meanwhile, it’s not clear that William Kiner was ever able to respond to his religious calling. When he registered for the World War I draft in 1918, he was working as a chipper in a foundry at Hunt-Spiller Corporation.

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Two years later, when the 1920 census of Cambridge was recorded, William was described as a chipper in a shipyard. His family, still at 8 Rockwell Street, included wife Edna E. and children Addison F., Carroll M., and Evelyn C. Kiner.  Ada Eccles and her 23 year-old son Harry Eccles, a laundry janitor, had found their own lodging and appear in the 7th Ward at 65 Grigg Street.

I have found no death certificate for William H. Kiner, but assume that he died between 1923, when he last appears in a Cambridge city directory, and 1930. In the latter year, the census taker listed his widow widow Edna M. Kiner, her children Addison F., Carrell M., and Evelyn C., plus aunt (sister, actually) Ada M. Eccles living on Essex Street in Cambridge in the household of Joseph S. Blackburn, a black Kentucky-born railroad porter, and his wife Cynthia, a beauty shop manicurist born in Maine.  Addison worked as a department store elevator operator and Carrell as a shoestore porter.

The Kiners emerged from the Great Depression decentralized. In 1940 census, Edna Kiner was over the river in Boston, Suffolk County, living in an apartment or shared house at 361 Massachusetts Avenue. Her son Carroll Kiner, a 32 year-old shoe store porter, lived in Cambridge with his Virginia-born wife Ella and three year-old daughter Caroline at 27 Pleasant Street. Addison Kiner was not captured in the census, but he seems to have remained in Massachusetts and was active in Cambridge’s small African-American social scene.

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The Afro-American, 20 June 1942.

Daughter Evelyn C. Kiner had completely escaped the Bay State orbit, however, having moved to New York City and begun work as a social worker with the Department of Welfare. She was living in the heart of Harlem at 172 West 127th Street, between Lenox Avenue and what was then Seventh Avenue. She quickly integrated into the Harlem world and over the next ten or years or so appears half-a-dozen times in the social columns of the New York Age. Evelyn’s primary social activities swirled around her membership in the National Urban League Guild, but she was also actively involved in civic outreach through the Church of the Master, a Presbyterian congregation at West 122nd and Morningside.

City directories show that Edna’s sons remained in the Boston area the remainder of their lives. She, however, moved to New York to live with Evelyn in her declining years and died there in August 1969. I don’t know exactly when Carroll died, but I’m a little haunted by how closely my path crossed with Addison and Evelyn. In the fall of 1986, I arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for my first semester of law school. My residence hall, a graceless, L-shaped brick hulk, was at the campus’ far northwest corner, at Massachusetts Avenue and Everett Street. (I lived on the fourth floor of Wyeth Hall that year. Michelle Robinson Obama lived in the suite one floor above.) Unbeknownst to me, if I had walked a mile straight up Mass Ave, turned left on Walden Street, and knocked at  No. 28, Addison Kiner would have answered the door. As far I can tell, he lived there for the three years that I was in Cambridge. He died 7 May 1990. After law school, I enrolled in graduate school at Columbia University. For the two years I was there, I lived in an apartment building on 121st Street, at the crest of the hill between Broadway and Amsterdam. Walking west down 121st led me to the edge of Morningside Park. Had I descended through it — and I didn’t in that era, which was crazy, crack-ravaged Manhattan at its nadir — I’d have landed on the plain of central Harlem just a block or two from Evelyn Kiner’s beloved Church of the Master. She died in February 2003, and the church was demolished six years later.

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DNA, Maternal Kin, North Carolina, Photographs

L2 Legacy. (And well wishes!)

My niece turned 18 today. She’s the only one of my grandmother Margaret Colvert Allen‘s great-grandchildren to carry her mtDNA haplotype — L2d1a. I’m feeling some kind of way about that, and I shared my wistfulness with a group of researchers with whom I’m fortunate to co-administer a Facebook genealogy group. J. immediately replied that I should consider taking an mtDNA Full Sequence test at FTDNA. Though in the immediate sense the test is of limited genealogical use, as she wisely pointed out, the mtDNA database will never grow if none of us contributes to it.

Arising approximately 90,000 years ago, L2 is one of the oldest of the matrilineal haplogroups and is the most common African lineage.  L2d1a, however, is a relatively rare subclade. Google it, and three of the top five references are to this blog. I have no children and will not pass along Martha M. McNeely‘s matrilineage in that way. However, I can contribute to the understanding of its history and keep Martha’s legacy alive otherwise. Stay tuned, and Happy Birthday, S.D.J.!

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Martha Margaret Miller McNeely’s L2d1a progeny — my grandmother, my sister, my niece, my mother, 1998.

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Enslaved People, Maternal Kin, North Carolina, Photographs, Religion

Roadtrip chronicles, no. 6: Western Rowan County churches.

In Church Home, no. 9, I wrote about Back Creek Presbyterian, the church that my great-great-great-great-grandfather Samuel McNeely helped found and lead. I wanted to see this lovely edifice, erected in 1857, for myself:

IMG_6157

And I wanted to walk its cemetery. I didn’t expect to see the graves of any of its many enslaved church members there, but thought I might find Samuel McNeely or his son John W. Dozens of McNeelys lie here, many John’s close kin and contemporaries, but I did not find markers for him or his father. (I later checked a Back Creek cemetery census at the Iredell County library. They are not listed.)

IMG_6163

Within a few miles of Back Creek stands its mother church, Thyatira Presbyterian. This lovely building was built 1858-1860, but the church dates to as early as 1747. There are McNeelys in Thyatira’s cemetery, too, and this is the church Samuel originally attended.

IMG_6155

Just up White Road from Thyatira is Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church. I visited its cemetery in December 2013 and took photos of the the graves of descendants of Joseph Archy McNeely (my great-great-grandfather Henry McNeely‘s nephew), Mary Caroline McConnaughey Miller and John B. McConnaughey (siblings of Henry’s wife, my great-great-grandmother Martha Miller McNeely.) Green Miller and Ransom Miller’s lands were in the vicinity of this church.

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Photos taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2015.

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Maternal Kin, North Carolina

Speechless.

My head is spinning. I’m watching a documentary on PBA, Klansville USA. The film focuses briefly on a 1965 Klan march in Salisbury, North Carolina. A commentator appears on screen, a black man who was a police officer at the timePrice Brown Jr. I have never met him, or his mother or father or siblings or children, but I recognize the name immediately. He is my third cousin, once removed, the great-great-grandson of my matrilineal ancestor, Margaret McConnaughey.

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Education, Maternal Kin, North Carolina

Colored children of school age.

 

McNEELY -- School records_Page_1

McNEELY -- School records_Page_2

Thirty-five years after Emancipation, the Miller-McConnaughey and McNeely families were still clustered in western Rowan County, working small farms that they owned or rented. Education was a prized advantage, and many children in the neighborhood completed at least a few years.  This school census, taken in 1900, lists all school-aged children in a household, though there is no way to tell if the children actually attended.

The six youngest children of Ransom and Mary Ann McConnaughey Miller are listed: Florence A., Ida L., Margaret Lina, Spencer Lee, Hattie A., and Thomas Eddie Miller.

Green and Grace Adeline Miller Miller‘s household included Walter, 10, and Bertha, 7. Both children were listed as the couple’s grandchildren in the 1900 census. Bertha Todd was the daughter of Green and Adeline’s daughter Margaret Miller and Alfred Todd. I don’t know who Walter Kerr’s parents were, but it seems likely that his mother was either Margaret or Mary Caroline Miller.

George Miller, by then in his mid-60s, is listed with a 13 year-old boy named Ernest. This appears to be the Earnest Hilliard listed in his household in the 1900 census and described as a grandson. Was he Maria Miller’s son?

Finally, Arch McNeely, nephew of Martha Miller McNeely‘s husband Henry W. McNeely, is listed with four of his children, Ann J., Callie, Julius L.A., and Mary E. McNeely.

Copy of document from School Records, Rowan County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

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