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:

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

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

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

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

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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.

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

Jule McNeely leaves a toehold.

I did not doubt that Henry and Julius McNeely were brothers, but here is proof-positive: Julius died widowed, childless and intestate, and his sole heirs were Henry’s children.Image“Jule” McNeely’s thin estate file, opened in 1913 in Rowan County Superior Court, is devoted to the distribution of his tiny plot of farmland to John, Luther, Emma, Addie, Carrie, Ed, Litha, Janie, Lizzie and Minnie McNeely as tenants in common. When Addie died in the middle of matters, a guardian was appointed for her children, “Ardenia” [actually, Ardeanur], 14, and James Smith, 9. At issue: “Beginning at a stone on D.S. Cowan’s line, and runs S. two degrees W 7.10 chains to a stone thence; N. 85 degrees W. 3.50 chains to a stone, thence; N. 2 degrees E. 6.50 chains to a stone on Cowan’s line, thence; E. to the beginning, containing two and a half acres more or less.” “The above land is the old Jule McNeely place, lying just east of Mount Ulla in Rowan County, and” — despite its tininess — “is a very desirable lot.” The heirs’ attorney petitioned for the sale of the lot, noting that it was too small to be advantageously divided or to justify continued possession by so many heirs, all of whom lived in Iredell County except Emma and her husband Ervin Houser of Bayonne, New Jersey. The petition was granted, and at auction on April 21, 1917, Carrie’s husband Lon W. Colvert placed the highest bid at $80.

[Sidenote: Before I found this file, I did not know that (1) Lizzie McNeely was first married to Watt Kilpatrick; (2) when Addie McNeely Smith died; or (3) Lon Colvert owned property in Rowan County, much less property that had belonged to his wife’s late uncle.]

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