Enslaved People, Land, Maternal Kin, North Carolina

38 acres.

So, I found this deed today on the Iredell County Register of Deeds’ site:

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A number of things strike me:

  • John Walker Colvert never registered a deed for this or any other property. Neither did his father Walker Colvert.
  • The property bordered that of John Greenberry “J.G.” Colvert, a son of William I. Colvert, who had been Walker and John Walker’s master.
  • “For further description and title, see deed of G.W. Mullis to G.B. Morgan. Also see will of Walker Colvert — Will Book 6 at page 483.” George W. Mullis was the father of Daniel A. Mullis, one of the witnesses to Walker’s will.
  • Though the deed was not registered until 1904, Mullis sold the 38 acres for $250 to Gabriel B. Morgan on 2 April 1863. Lying in the northeast corner of the Richardson tract on Hunting Creek, the parcel was bounded as follows: “Beginning at a hickory thence South (58) fifty-eight poles to a stone thence near south [sic] a conditional line 114 (one hundred & fourteen) poles to two oaks near a branch, then north to Beatys line thence East with said line to the beginning containing thirty eight acres more or less….” (Deed Book 30, page 234)
  • In the 1870 census, Walker reported owning $100 of real property. It is not clear when he bought the 38 acres, presumably from Morgan.  He is listed in Union Grove township, just west of Eagle Mills township in Iredell County. His close neighbor is Beeson Baty, presumably of the “Beaty’s line” named in the deed.
  • Walker made his will in 1901; it was probated in 1905. Walker’s widow Rebecca was his primary beneficiary, but everything passed to John after her death in 1915.
  • As an aside, Walker and Rebecca’s daughter Elvira married Richard Morgan, son of Richard Madison and Hilda Morgan, in 1874. Had Richard and his mother belonged to G.B. Morgan?
  • P.P. mentioned that D.A. Mullis lived in the vicinity of Mullis Road and Zion Liberty Road. I’ve marked that intersection with the left-most arrow on the map below. As the deed described, this area is near Hunting Creek, which crawls across the middle of the image, and is at the eastern edge of Union Grove township. The second arrow marks the point at which I photographed the creek from the Eagle Mills Road bridge. The third points in the direction of Nicholson Mill. As the crow flies, the map depicts an area no more than a couple of miles wide.

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Births Deaths Marriages, Free People of Color, North Carolina, Paternal Kin, Photographs

On the Stoney Run Branch and Wilmington & Weldon Railroad.

On 4 July 1902, dower laid off and partition made of Robert Aldridge‘s land as follows:

Dower — Eliza Aldridge received 53 acres on a run of Stoney Run Branch.

Lot No. 1 — Mathew W. Aldridge received 100 acres on Stoney Run and Hurricane Branches, excluding the Agustus Church and free school house lots.  An interest Mathew had bought from his father was included in the described tract and the residue was valued at $200.


Lot No. 2 — George W. Aldridge received 42 acres on Stoney Run and the county road valued at $200.


Lot No. 3 — Joseph Aldridge received 53 acres on Stoney Run and the county road valued at $200.

Lot No. 4 — David Aldridge received 80 acres on Stoney Run and the county road valued at $200.

Lot No. 5 — Robert Aldridge received 41 acres on a prong of Stoney Run and the Spring Road valued at $200.

Lot No. 6 — John W. Aldridge received 50 acres on Stoney Run Branch below the mineral spring and the Spring Road valued at $285.

Lot No. 7 — Frances Locust received 33 acres on Stoney Run and the Spring Road valued at $200.


Lot No. 8 — Talitha Brewington, Hattie Brewington, Elijah Brewington, Mattie Brewington, Lundy Brewington, and Toney Brewington jointly and subject to the life estate of Joshua Brewington, received 33 acres on W&W Railroad valued at $193.

Lot No. 9 — Louetta Aldridge received 32 acres on Stoney Run Branch valued at $193.

Lot No. 10 — Lizzie Aldridge received 32 acres on the W&W Railroad and Stoney Run Branch valued at $193.

Lot No. 11 — Louetta Artis, Robert Artis, Columbus Artis, Josephine Artis, J. Scott Artis, J.B. Artis, Lillie Artis, Annie Artis and Elberta Artis, jointly and subject to the life estate of Adam Artis, received 32 acres at the mouth of a ditch on the run of Stoney Run and the railroad valued at $193.

Submitted by Sam C. Casey, Walter C. O’Berry, Ira W. Hatch.

The margins of this document contain notations and signatures acknowledging receipt of moneys due to balance the lot values, including signatures of Lizzie Aldridge, Tilithia King, J.W. Aldridge, Joseph Aldridge, Hattie Brewington, Columbus Artis, Elijah Brewington, Tony C. Brewington, Robert Aldridge, Lundia Brewington, and June Scott Artis, and Eliza Artis’ mark.

John Aldridge, owner of Lot No. 6, paid $7 each to the owners of Lots 8-11, and $57 to the Clerk of Superior Court for costs of the division.

Louetta Aldridge’s share was divided among her siblings “the owner of said amount now being dead this day Aug 22=1904.”


Robert Aldridge, my great-great-great-grandfather, was born circa 1819, probably in Duplin County NC, and died about 1899. He appears as a hireling in the 1850 census in Sampson County in the household of Calvin Simmons. By 1860, he and his wife Mary Eliza Balkcum Aldridge were living in southern Wayne County with their youngest children. His accumulation of property is something of a mystery, as his recorded deeds do not yield the acreage distributed in his estate.  Bits of the land remain in family hands.

There is a Stoney Run in Wayne County today, but it courses several miles northwest of the area in which Robert Aldridge is known to have owned land. I suspect that the waterway referred to above is now known as Yellow Marsh Branch, which has been dammed to form Durhams Lake. Robert owned a brickyard in the vicinity. “Agustus Church” is now Augustus Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, and the current edifice stands on the original land as what is now 599 Durham Lake Road, Dudley. The church celebrated its 145th anniversary in 2012. The Wilmington & Weldon Railroad is now owned by Atlantic Coast Line. My best guess for the “county road” is the road now known as the Old Mount Olive Highway, which runs alongside the railroad.

Abstract of document in the file of Robert Aldridge, Estate Records, Wayne County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

Photos of Mathew Aldridge, George Aldridge and Frances “Fannie” Aldridge Locust, alias Fannie Randall, in the collection of Lisa Y. Henderson.