Births Deaths Marriages, Maternal Kin, North Carolina, Photographs

Family cemeteries, no. 3: Boyden Quarters.

I doubled back through Iredell County on I-77 and exited on US-70. I crossed into Rowan County on backroads, cresting rolling hills on my search for the lands on which my McNeelys and Millers lived and worked. I came out just east of Mount Ulla, the hamlet that gave its name to the entire district. Finding nothing much to see, I headed toward Bear Poplar and Salisbury on NC-801, also known as Sherrills Ford Road. From the corner of my eye, I spied a cluster of church signs pointing up a side road. “Thyatira Presbyterian” I recognized from histories of early Scots-Irish in Rowan County. And “Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Boyden Quarters” — Boyden Quarters!!! That’s the area that many of my Miller-McConnaughey kin lived in in the early 20th century.  I’d thought they were AME Zions, but decided to have a look anyway. And there they were:

Image

Mary Emma McNeely Leazer, daughter of Joseph Archy McNeely and Ella Alexander McNeely. This stone faces into, and has been overgrown by, a cedar.

Image

Right next to it is a double stone for Mary McNeely Leazer and her husband George H. Leazer.

Image

Addie Brown Sifford was the daughter of William C. and Mary Caroline Miller Brown. Her grandmother was Grace Adeline Miller Miller.

Image

Sarah Ellis Sifford was the daughter of Callie McNeely Ellis and granddaughter of Joseph Archy McNeely.

IMG_4631

James W. McConnaughey was the son of James R. McConnaughey and Mary Leazer McConnaughey (sister of George H. Leazer, above) and grandson of John B. McConnaughey.

Standard
Births Deaths Marriages, Maternal Kin, North Carolina

North Carolina death certificates: MILLER & McCONNAUGHEY.

Death certificates of Margaret McConnaughey‘s children and grandchildren:

George Miller and children —

George Miller.  Died 18 March 1915, Salisbury, Rowan County, of cerebral hemorrhage.  Black.  Widow.  Farmer.  Born March 1835, Rowan County, to Edward Miller and Marget Miller.  Buried “Oakelm” cemetery.  Informant, Margrett Miller.

Maria Miller.  Died 28 July 1925, Salisbury, Rowan County.  Born about 1879 to Geo. Miller and Eliza Scott, both of Rowan County.  Married to Robert Karr.  Buried Oakdale cemetery. Informant, Onie Miller.

Baldy Alexander Miller.  Died 16 Jan 1942, Mount Ulla, Rowan County, of carditis with decompensation.  Negro.  Married.  Tenant farmer.  Born 1 Jan 1858, Rowan County, to George Miller and Eliza Carr.

Onnie Miller.  Died 2 May 1970, Salisbury, Rowan County, of hypertensive cardiovascular disease. Widowed. Negro. Born 1 June 1870 to George Miller and Eliza Miller. Buried Oakwood cemetery. Informant, William F. Miller, Salisbury.

Child of Caroline McConnaughey —

Fletcher Reeves.  Died 4 Sep 1910 in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, of Brights disease.  Resided 411 E. 8th St, Charlotte.  Born 5 July 1854, Salisbury NC to Henry Reeves and Fina Overman.  Married.  Hostler.  Buried Pinewood Cemetery, Charlotte.  Informant, Rufus Williams.

Angeline E. Reeves. Died 25 Mar 1953, aged 99, at 1120 Church Street, Charlotte NC.  Found dead in bed. Widow.  Born 3 Jun 1843 [sic] in Salisbury NC to Bob McConahey and Caroline [last name unknown]. Buried Pinewood Cemetery, Charlotte. Informant, Mrs. Carrie Williams, Charlotte.

Mary Anna McConnaughey Miller, husband and children — 

Ransom Miller.  Died 3 March 1917, Barber, Steele, Rowan County, of “heart condition.”  Black. Married. Farmer. Born 11 May 1843, Rowan County, to Edmund Miller and Malissa Miller. Buried Boyden graveyard. Informant, Richard Miller, Bear Poplar NC.

Hattie McCorkle.  Died 21 November 1919, China Grove, Atwell, Rowan County, of bronchial asthma. Married to Lee Roy McCorkle. Farmwork. Born 1891 near China Grove to Ransom Miller and Mary Miller.  Buried Oakland or Boyd cemetery, Rowan County. Informant, Sam McKee.

Ida Little.  Died 16 March 1931, Unity, Rowan County, of carditis (contributory cause: abscess teeth). Resided Cleveland, Rowan County. Negro. Married to G.B. Little.  Farmer.  Born 17 February 1883, Rowan County, to Ransom Miller and Mary Miller. Buried Oakland cemetery, Cleveland NC.  Informant, G.B. Little.

Ammie Miller. Died 28 May 1938, Cleveland, Rowan County of unknown causes. Negro. Married to Douglas Miller. Age 46. Born Rowan County to Henry Philips and Jennie McEmhord. Informant, Douglas Miller.

Mary Anna Miller.  Died 24 Dec 1940, 6:30 p.m., Boydens Quarters, Rowan County NC of senile degeneration.  Widow of Ransom Miller.  Born 14 May 1840, Rowan County, to Edward McConaughey and unknown mother.  Informant, W.K. Miller, Concord Rd., Box 320, Salisbury.  Buried Oakland Cemetery, Rowan County NC.

Richard Miller.  Died 8 June 1944, Mount Ulla, Rowan County, of cardial decompensation.  Negro. Married to Lockie Miller.  Farming.  Born 16 September 1876, Rowan County, to Ransom and Mary Ann Miller, both of Rowan County.  Buried Oakland cemetery, Rowan County.  Informant, Lockie Miller.

Florence A. White Knox.  Died 27 November 1950, Salisbury, Rowan County, of gastrointestinal hemorrhage. Resided Cleveland, Rowan County.  Colored.  Married.  Born 1888, Rowan County, to Ransom Miller and Mary Miller. Buried Cameron cemetery, Elmwood NC. Informant, Forrest White.

Lockie Miller.  Died 10 December 1957, Salisbury, Rowan County of coronary occlusion.  Born 8 May 1875, Mecklenburg County to unknown parents. Widow of Richard Miller.  Buried Oakland Pres. Cemetery. Informant, Mrs. Mary Leazer, Salisbury NC.

Lina Miller Neely.  Died 26 October 1969, Salisbury, Rowan County of broncho-pneumonia. Widowed. Born 18 February 1885 to Ranson Miller and Mary (last name unknown). Buried Oakland Church cemetery. Informant, Mrs. Ethel Miller.

Grace Adeline Miller Miller and children —

Grace Adeline Miller.  Born 25 Jun 1853, died 30 July 1918, daughter of Edward and Margaret Miller.  Informant: Mary Brown.

Green Miller. Died 12 January 1923, East Spencer, Rowan County, of influenza and bilateral bronchopneumonia. Resided 714 Shaver Street, East Spencer. Colored. Married. Farmer. Born 28 September 1845, Rowan County, to Edward Miller and Malissa Miller.  Buried Shady Grove. Informant, Mary Brown.

William Cass Brown.  Died 10 March 1933, Steele, Rowan County, of cerebral apoplexy. Negro. Married to Mary Caroline Brown.  Farmer.  Born 9 January 1871, Rowan County, to Thomas Brown and Ellen Brown.  Buried Millers Chapel cemetery.  Informant, W. Ray Brown, Salisbury.

Mary C. Brown.  Died 26 May 1951.  Resided RFD 6, Salisbury NC.  Negro.  Widow.  Born 18 July 1874 to Green Edward Miller and Adeline McConneighey.  Informant: Ray Brown.  Died of cerebral thrombosis. Buried 29 May 1951 at Miller’s Chapel cemetery, RFD 2, Salisbury.

Children of Martha Margaret Miller McNeely.

Lizzie Long.  Died 28 Sep 1950, Bingham Street, Statesville, Iredell County, of accidental burning.  (“Dwelling destroyed by fire due to heater exploding with kerosene.”)  Born 18 Jun 1896 in Rowan County NC to Henry McNeeley and unknown mother.  Housewife.  Informant, John Long.

Carrie Colbert Taylor.  Died 18 Dec 1957, Iredell Memorial Hospital, Statesville, Iredell County, of cerebral hemorrhage (1st CV accident in Oct 1957).  Resided 515 Fall Street, Statesville.  Born 22 Jun 1882, Rowan County NC to Henry McNeeley and Martha Miller.  Husband, Charles V. Taylor.  Informant, Louise Renwick.  Buried Belmont Cemetery, Statesville.

Eletha Weaver.  Died 19 Oct 1922, Statesville, Iredell County, of pulmonary tuberculosis.  Married to Archie Weaver.  Age 33 years, 10 months, 12 days.  Born Rowan County to Henry McNeely and Martha Miller of Rowan County.  Cook, S.L. Parks. Informant, Archie Weaver.

John B. McConnaughey.

John B. McConnaughey.  Died 21 Aug 1931, Steel, Rowan County, of nephritis and heart disease.  Farmer.  Age 72. Married to Jennie McConnaughey. Born Rowan County to unknown father and Margaret McConnaughey. Buried in Oakland Cemetery.  Informant, Jennie McConnaughey.

 

 

Standard
Births Deaths Marriages, Enslaved People, Maternal Kin, North Carolina, Oral History

Millers & McConnaugheys.

Me:  Did you know any of your grandmother Martha’s people? The Millers?

My grandmother: No, I didn’t.

Me: Did you know any of his people? Henry’s?

Grandmother: No.

Me: It was a lot of them in Rowan — it was a lot of Millers anyway. In Rowan County.

Grandmother: Rowan County? I know they all came from there.

——

In the valuation of Rowan County slaves made by a Confederate tax assessor in 1863, John M. McConnaughey listed 19 slaves.  Among them were: George, 24, $1500; John, 2, $150; Edwin, 1, $100; Margaret, 42, $850; Caroline, 23, $1200; Mary Ann, 13, $1000; Grace, 10, $500; Martha, 7, $250; and Angeline, 7, $250.

Here is the case for these seven people as the family of my great-great-grandmother, Martha Miller McNeely:

1.  George Miller described John McConnaughey as his half-brother in the 1880 census of Rowan County. George’s death certificate lists his parents as Edward Miller and Margaret Miller.

2.  Caroline McConnaughey is listed in the household of her mother Margaret McConnaughey in the 1870 census of Rowan County.

3.  Adeline Miller is listed with her eight month-old son George in the household of Mary [McConnaughey] Miller in the 1870 census of Rowan County. Her marriage license lists her parents as Edward Miller and Margaret Miller. She gave her three children – George, Margaret and Mary Caroline – family names. In the 1880 and 1900 censuses, she and her family are listed next door to Mary Ann Miller and family. In 1888, she witnessed the marriage of John McConnaughey. Her death certificate lists her parents as Ed. and Marg. Miller.

4.  In the 1870 Rowan County census, the household of Mary Ann [McConnaughey] Miller and her husband Ransom Miller included Adeline Miller and John McConnaughey. Mary Anna Miller’s death certificate lists her father as Edward McConaughey, mother unknown.

5.  Martha Miller is listed in the household of her former owner, John Miller McConnaughey, in the 1870 census of Rowan County. (She is a farm laborer, but she also attends school.) Martha’s 1872 marriage license lists her parents as Edwin Miller and Margaret Miller. Her middle name was Margaret. She named her oldest daughter Margaret, her youngest son Edward, and two daughters Caroline (as a first and then a middle name.)

6.  John McConnaughey is listed twice in the 1870 census of Rowan County. First, with  Margaret McConnaughey and Angeline McConnaughey. Then, with Mary Miller. John married four times. Each license listed one parent, Margaret McConnaughey. “John McConeyhead” was a witness to the marriage of Adeline Miller Miller’s daughter Mary C. Miller in 1876. His death certificate lists his parents as Henry McConnaughey and Margaret McConnaughey.

7.  Edwin Miller (or McConnaughey) has not been found outside the 1863 tax list. I include him because of the similarity of his first name to that of Edward/Edwin Miller, father of the above, but there’s no real evidence that he was one of Margaret’s children.

Margaret McConnaughey appears in only one census, 1870, where she is listed as 55 years old. Edward or Edwin Miller has not been found, and the two did not register a cohabitation. Their children:

George W. Miller, born about 1836. He married Eliza Catherine Kerr, probably around 1857. They had three children, Baldy Alexander Miller (1858-1942), Maria Miller (1868-1925) and Onie Jane Miller Johnson (1879-1970). In 1868, George registered to vote with his brothers-in-law Ransom Miller, Green Miller and Henry McNeely. He died 15 March 1915.

Caroline McConnaughey, born about 1842. Her daughter Angeline was born in 1858. The child’s father was Robert Locke McConnaughey, nephew of Caroline’s former owner, John M. McConnaughey.  Caroline apparently died before the 1870 census was taken. She is listed as Caroline McConnaughey (and noted as deceased) on Angeline McConnaughey Reeves’ 1875 marriage license.

Mary Anna McConnaughey, born about 1847. She married Ransom Miller, son of Edmund and Malissa Miller in Rowan County on 27 December 1866. Their children were James Douglas Miller, Florence A. Miller, Ida L. Miller, Margaret E. Miller, Spencer Miller, Lina Miller, Hattie A. Miller, Thomas E. Miller, Richmond Miller.  In 1910, the family lived on Sherrills Ford Road in Steele township. Mary Anna died Christmas Eve 1940 in Boydens Quarters, Rowan County.

Grace Adeline Miller, born 25 June 1853. Her first child, George, was born in 1869. She married Green Miller, son of Edward and Melissa Miller, in 1871, and their children included Margaret Miller and Mary Caroline Miller Brown. She died 30 July 1918.

Martha Margaret Miller, born about 1857. She married Henry W. McNeely in 1872. Their children were Elizabeth McNeely Kilpatrick Long, John McNeely, William Luther McNeely, Emma McNeely Houser, Caroline McNeely Colvert, Addie McNeely Smith, Elethea McNeely Weaver, Minnie McNeely, Edward M. McNeely and Janie McNeely Taylor Manley. Martha and her family moved to Statesville, Iredell County before 1900. In the late 1920s, she moved to Bayonne NJ, where she died 16 June 1934.

John B. McConnaughey was born about 1861. His father likely was not Edward, but a white man. John married Minnie Barr, Romie Harris, Nora Barber and Jane Foster. He died 21 August 1931.

Standard
Civil War, Maternal Kin, North Carolina, Other Documents, Rights

The first registration.

voter reg

Rowan County, North Carolina, 1866. The war is over. The 14th and 15th Amendments have not yet passed, but the county’s hopeful freedmen have come out en masse to register to vote, perhaps under the auspices of the Freedmen’s Bureau. Among them, my great-great-grandfather Henry W. McNeely, his half-brother Julius McNeely, and his future in-laws Ransom, George and Green Miller. Henry’s father John W. McNeely, Confederate allegiance renounced and U.S. citizenship restored, was also there — his world upside down.

Standard
Enslaved People, Maternal Kin, North Carolina, Oral History

Henry W. McNeely.

My grandmother said he looked a bit like a poet. Or so she was told:

See, I never did know Grandpa Henry. I didn’t know him.  He died just as Louise was born. Mama had just had Louise, and it was real hot and all, and they told her she couldn’t go to the funeral because it was so warm and she would take cold.  But I didn’t know him. 

And:

Mama said he looked just like Walt Whitman.  You know, he was, his father was white. I don’t know who his mother was. I don’t know if she was mulatto or what.  But anyway, he was really light.  And he lived on the same farm as his daddy.  And he provided him, he provided for him as if he was his own child.

White child, that is.

Henry W. McNeely was 22 years old the year his father reported to the tax assessor that he was worth $1500. The tax list is his first named appearance in the record, and documentation of his life is relatively scarce thereafter. He registered to vote in Rowan County in 1868 and appears in his mother’s household in Atwell township, Rowan County, in the 1870 census.  (He was described as a schoolteacher. Had his father taught him to read while he was enslaved? Or was he a quick learner in a Reconstruction school?) In 1872, he married 18 year-old Martha Miller and, in a daring gesture, named Wilson McNeely as his father on the license. The register of deeds did not blink and dutifully noted that all parties, except Wilson, were colored.
Image

[Sidenote: “Louise” was Mary Louise Colvert Renwick, my grandmother’s sister, born in 1906. — LYH]

——

Interview of Margaret C. Allen by Lisa Y. Henderson; all rights reserved.

Standard