Births Deaths Marriages, Maternal Kin, Newspaper Articles, North Carolina, Oral History, Photographs

It was our aunt, screaming and crying.

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Hattie Hart Dead.

Hattie Hart, colored, wife of Alonzo Hart, died Thursday night at 9:30 o’clock at her home, death occurring at the age of 63 and resulting from a stroke of apoplexy.  The funeral took place at the Center Methodist Church at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.  — The Landmark, Statesville NC, 2 Jun 1924.

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This is how my grandmother recalled the death noted above:

“She was subject to high blood pressure, and she had this attack on this day, and we all had to go out there.  It was me — Louise was in Jersey — and it was Launie Mae, Mama and Papa.  And I think Golar went, too.  Anyway, I know we all went out there, and she was sick for a few days and then she died.  But the day that she died, we had gone to the store.  Some old country store, and we had to go a long ways, but we could see down the road, you know. So we went on down the road and when we came back, there were some people who lived across the pasture in some houses that belonged to Mr. Hart.  (That was the step-grandfather — stepfather of Papa.) He owned all these houses, and we saw these people running across the street, and Launie Mae said, “Lord, there’s something happening!” and I said, “There sure is.”  And the closer we got, the more we kept hearing this noise, you know?  And it was our aunt, screaming and crying, you know, ‘cause Grandma had passed.”

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Photo of Harriet Nicholson Tomlin Hart in collection of Lisa Y. Henderson.

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DNA, Enslaved People, Maternal Kin, North Carolina, Virginia

Walker’s people.

Amelia.  Anthony.  Caroline.  Charles.  Daniel.  Eliza.  Frank & his wife Charlotte & their children Townsend, Jere, Little Frank, Lewis & Ellen.  George.  Harry.  Jane.  Mary.  Little Mary.  Patty.  Rachel.  Robert & his wife Milly & their children Easter, Jack, Reuben, Edmund & Rachel.  Sarah.  Siller.  Winny.

These are the men and women and children with whom my great-great-great-grandfather Walker Colvert lived in 1823, the year their master Samuel Colvert died and his Culpeper County, Virginia, estate was divided.  Walker and Amelia were sent 300 miles south to Samuel’s son John Alpheus Colvert in North Carolina.  Was Amelia Walker’s mother?  His sister?  No kin at all?  Was he an orphan, or did he leave his parents behind?  Who among these 30-odd slaves claimed Walker as their own?

Until I learned recently that I share DNA with descendants of Leonard Calvert, the first governor of colonial Maryland, it had never occurred to me that Walker might be blood-kin to his master, also a Calvert descendant.  The news set me wondering.  Not so much about which Colvert was Walker’s father, or maybe grandfather, but about Walker’s family in general.  I’ve long known that four years after his arrival in North Carolina, John Colvert died, and Walker was hired out until John’s son William was old enough to control him.  I know that Walker was married at least twice, and had at least four children, but age and circumstances suggest that he fathered even more.  Who were they? Where did they go?

Genealogical DNA testing may yield answers to some of these questions. I have learned already that I am distantly related to those Calvert descendants through my father’s family, not my mother’s, and thus Walker was probably not related to his owners at all. I’m still looking for Walker’s children.

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