DNA, North Carolina, Paternal Kin

DNA Definites, no. 23.

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Joseph Buckner Martin (1868-1928) is said to have been the father of my great-grandmother Bessie Henderson and her brother Jesse “Jack” Henderson. Does DNA back this up?

Sort of.

One of Bessie’s descendants (me) and three of Jack’s (J.E., L.H. and M.C.) have tested with Ancestry DNA. I match each of them as expected. But whom do we match?

Buck Martin was the son of Lewis H. and Mary Ann “Polly” Price Martin. Though Lewis and Polly had ten children, so far I have not identified matches for any of us with descendants of any of them.

Let’s back up a generation though. Lewis H. Martin was one of 11 children of Waitman G. and Eliza Lewis Martin. My close cousins J.E. and L.H. match G.A., who is descended from Lewis’ brother Henderson N. Martin.

Eliza Lewis Martin (1813-??) was the oldest child of Urban Lewis and Susan Casey Lewis. Her siblings: John Lewis, Fannie Lewis Denmark, Joel Lewis, Bethany Lewis Martin, Susan Marinda Lewis Potts, Patience Lewis Denmark, William Lewis, Elizabeth Lewis, and Mary Ann Lewis Martin. My close cousins and/or I match descendants of at least two of them, John (J.K., K.P.) and Susan (E.P., B.P.). (My father also has matches to Susan’s descendants E.G.P. and B.A.P. at Gedmatch and D.P. at FTDNA.) In addition, J.E. and L.H. match B.T., a descendant of Urban Lewis’ brother Laban Lewis. And over at 23andme, my father’s first cousin J.H. matches A.L., an Urban and Susan Casey Lewis descendant, and K.C.K., a descendant of one of Susan Casey Lewis’ siblings.

Polly Price Martin was the daughter of James and Margaret Herring Price. Polly had  sisters Margaret “Peggy” Price Williams and Susan Price Dail. M.C., J.E. and/or I match a descendant of Susan Dail and five descendants of Peggy’s great-grandson Merle Williams.

So, while we do not have matches with any of Buck’s siblings’ descendants, we do have matches to all four of his grandparents’ line — Martin, Lewis, Price and Herring. This does not exclusively establish Buck Martin as my ancestor, but it goes a long way.

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Births Deaths Marriages, North Carolina, Paternal Kin

Born this day: 1 January.

Name — Susan Casey Lewis.

Birth — 1 January 1787, Wayne County, North Carolina.

Parents — Micajah Casey and Sarah Herring Casey.

Spouse — Urban Lewis.

Death — 10 October 1860, Wayne County, North Carolina.

Relationship to me — Paternal great-great-great-great-great-grandmother.

[Hat tip to Hollie Ann Henke, relativityitsallrelative.com.]

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North Carolina, Other Documents, Paternal Kin, Photographs

Signature Saturday, no. 7: John Henry Henderson’s sons and grandsons.

John Henry Henderson (1861-1924) was the youngest of James Henderson‘s sons to reach adulthood. He married Sarah Simmons, daughter of Bryant and Elizabeth Wynn Simmons, in 1886 near Dudley, Wayne County. Census records suggest that Sarah gave birth to as many as twelve children, but only three survived — Frances “Frankie,” Charles Henry and John Henry. I have found no record of John H. Henderson’s signature, but here are those of his sons and grandsons.

John & Sarah Henderson Colorized

John and Sarah Simmons Henderson, perhaps the 1910s.

Charles H. Henderson, born about 1893, is something of a mystery. In 1900, he appears as “Charley” in the census of Dudley, Wayne County, with father John, mother Sarah and sister Frankie. There’s some uncertainty about the children’s identification, but this is a photo John and Sarah circa 1895. My best guess is that the image depicts Frankie and Charley.

John Sarah Henderson family

Charles was not living in his parents’ home in 1910, however. Nor can I find him elsewhere. In 1917, however, he registered for the World War I draft in Richmond, Virginia. He reported that he was born 21 July 1893 in Dudley; resided at 114 E. Leigh Street, Richmond; and worked as a self-employed barber. He was of medium height with a slender build, brown hair and eyes and was slightly bald. (His signature is from this draft card.) In the 1920 census of Richmond, Henrico County, Virginia, at 614 Baker Street, in Lee Ward, Charles H. Henderson, 32, and wife Maria R., 32, with Maria’s parents Henry and Mary B. Stockes, sharing a household headed by Eddie Seigel.  Charles worked as a barber and was recorded as being born in Virginia. (This and his age — he was actually about 27 — are erroneous.) It’s the last record I have for Charles Henderson.

Charles H Henderson Sig

Eight years after Charles was born, Sarah Simmons Henderson gave birth to her last child, son Henry Lee (1901-1942). Henry married Christine Lenora Aldridge while both were still in their teens. I’ve written of their sons here, and samples of their signatures (all from World War II draft cards) are shown below Henry’s.

Henry Henderson

Henry Lee Henderson, perhaps the very early 1940s.

Henry L Henderson Sig

Horace B Henderson Sig

Aaron Henderson Sig

Johnnie D Henderson Sig

On Christmas Day 1911, Frances Ann “Frankie” Henderson (1891-1985) married her first cousin, Israel Henderson Wynn (1890-1967), son of Washington “Frank” and Hepsey Henderson Wynn. I have no sample of Frankie’s handwriting, and Israel was unable to read or write. (At least, as a young man.) He signed his World War I draft registration card with an X.

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Frankie and Israel (called “H”) had at least 11 children, including sons John Franklin (1915-1981), George Roosevelt (1918-1986), Henderson B. (1924-1981), and Lawrence (1925-??), whose World War II draft card marks or signatures are shown:

John F. Wynn DRaft

Roosevelt Wynn

HB Wynn

Lawrence Wynn

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Free People of Color, North Carolina, Other Documents, Paternal Kin, Photographs

A reunion.

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And with that introductory email began my fruitful and thoroughly enjoyable correspondence with B.H., my third cousin, twice removed. Our common ancestor was Levisa (or Eliza) Hagans Seaberry, mother of Napoleon Hagans (B.H.’s great-grandfather) and Frances Seaberry Artis (my great-great-great-grandmother). In the spring of 2010, B.H. and I entered into a mutually beneficial exchange of information about our shared family. I had little information about Napoleon beyond what I’d found in census records and deeds, I’d lost track of his sons Henry and William, and I was completely unaware of his son, the accomplished Dr. Joseph H. Ward. He cued me into William S. Hagans‘ post-migration life in Philadelphia, shared amazing photographs and documents, and lead me to “discover” Joseph Ward’s early years. In turn, I introduced B.H. to Wayne and Wilson Counties and the lives of the Haganses, Wards and Burnetts before they recreated themselves up North.

This past weekend, I traveled to Detroit for — astonishingly — the first time ever. Our primary purpose was to take in the city’s rich street art culture, but I added an item to the top of the agenda — meeting B.H. Friday night, he and his wife treated us to dinner at an old and storied restaurant near the city’s Eastern Market, and Levisa’s children came full circle.

me and Bill

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Free People of Color, North Carolina, Paternal Kin, Rights

No damages.

More times than I might have imagined, see here and here and here and here and here, members of my extended family have figured in litigation that made its way to the North Carolina Supreme Court. Here’s another such case:

William Hooks v. William T. Perkins, 44 NC 21 (1852).

In 1845, the Wayne County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions bound brothers Rufus Artis and Thomas Artis to William Hooks to serve as apprentices until age 21. At the time of their indentures, Rufus’ age was reported as 7 and Thomas’ as 18. In 1849, after the court determined that Thomas was, in fact, only 15 when apprenticed, a judge ordered his indenture amended to correct his true age. Hooks, apparently, never got around to it.  Meanwhile, William Perkins hired Thomas. Deprived of the young man’s labor, Hooks attempted to enforce the court order, and Perkins took up Thomas’ cause.  Arguing that Thomas was bound to serve him until his true age of 21 — regardless of the age listed on his indenture — Hooks sued Perkins for damages for the period from November 1848 to February 1849 during which Perkins would not turn Thomas over.  The state Supreme Court held that Hooks should have amended Thomas’ indenture to reflect his actual age at the time it expired, per the court order.  Having failed to do so, Hooks was not Thomas’ master when Perkins hired him and was not entitled to damages.

Notwithstanding the court’s findings, Rufus, 11, and Thomas Artis, 20, were listed in the household of farmer William Hooks, along with another apprentice, W.H. Hagins, 15, in the 1850 census of North Side of the Neuse, Wayne County. (William Perkins does not appear in the county’s census at all.)  Worse, by 1860, Rufus Artis had lost ground, as the census of Nahunta, Wayne County, lists him as a 17 year-old — rather than the 21 or 22 year-old he actually was — in Hooks’ household, along with Polly Hagans, 15, and Ezekiel Hagans, 13.  In other words, what Hooks could not get out of Thomas Artis, he appears to have extracted from his younger brother.

Rufus Artis eluded the census taker in 1870, but he was around. On Christmas Eve 1874, he married Harriet Farmer in Wayne County. The family appears in the 1880 census of Nahunta, Wayne County: Rufus Artis, 46, wife Harriet, 30, and daughters Hannah, 13, and Pennina, 9. The family lived very near a cluster of three other sets of extended Artis families descended from Vicey Artis, Celia Artis, and Vincent Artis, none of whom were not known to have been related. (Or, at least, not closely so.) In the 1900 census of Nahunta, Rufus and Harriet, their children grown and gone, shared their home with Harriet’s mother, 73 year-old Chanie Farmer. Daughter Pennina had married Curry Thompson, son of Edie Thompson, on 11 October 1893 in Wayne County. They had two daughters, Harriet (1895) and Appie (1896). On 10 January 1917, Harriet Thompson married John Henry Artis, born 1896 to Richard Artis and Susannah Yelverton Artis. Richard, of course, was the son of Solomon Williams and Vicey Artis, and the brother of my great-great-great-grandfather Adam T. Artis.

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Land, North Carolina, Other Documents, Paternal Kin

Country roads, Nahunta.

This is a section of a 1904 topographical map of parts of Wilson and Wayne Counties, North Carolina. I am amazed at how much of the blueprint, so to speak, of Nahunta, is the same. More than one hundred years ago, kinfolk traveling from Wilson to Eureka or Fremont would have taken the same roads that I drive now. Today these roads are paved, but the paths they cut over branches and through fields across the countryside have otherwise changed little.

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1. Turner Swamp Road runs from the crossroads at the center of Eureka northwest to dead-end at Davis Mill Road (9). Jonah Williams‘ church is on this road, and his brother Richard Artis’ family were among early members.

2. Reidtown Road arcs to connect Highway 222 and Turner Swamp Road. It is named for the community formed by the Reid family, free people of color who settled here as early as the 1830s and intermarried with Artises.

3. Napoleon Road, a spur off Reidtown Road, now cuts across Aycock Swamp to meet Davis Mill Road. It remains unpaved, and the only house standing on it is the one Napoleon Hagans built in the 1870s or ’80s. I believe the speck to the left of the road’s end on this map is Hagans’ house.

4. NC 111, which runs with NC 222 northeast to NC 58 at Stantonsburg in Wilson County.

5. NC 222.

6. Black Creek Road connects Fremont (via its Old Black Creek Road spur) and the town of Black Creek in Wilson County. (Black Creek was once the northernmost section of Wayne.) The road is called Frank Price Church Road in Wilson County.

7. Lindell Road runs from Faro Road (8), just south of Eureka, east into Greene County’s Bullhead district. Much of Adam Artis‘ land lay between NC 111 and Lindell Road.

8. Faro Road, the continuation of Turner Swamp Road, runs south from Eureka toward the unincorporated community of Faro, famous as the site where two hydrogen bombs dropped when a B-52 broke up in flight in 1961.

9. Davis Mill Road arcs from Fremont as the northernmost east-west artery across Nahunta.

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Births Deaths Marriages

The Goldsboro Smiths.

As mentioned, Nancy Henderson Smith was my great-great-great-grandfather Lewis Henderson‘s half-sister, but she was closer in age to his children. She and her sisters Mollie Henderson Hall Holt and Louella Henderson King Wilson Best Laws were particularly close to Lewis’ daughter Sarah Henderson Jacobs Silver, who reared my grandmother (her sister Loudie‘s grandchild) after she was effectively orphaned.

In 1881, Nancy married Isham Smith. They settled in the Harrell Town section of Goldsboro, where Isham worked as a wagon driver, occasional blacksmith, and then an undertaker. Their children were: Annie Smith Guess (1883-1953), Oscar Smith (1884), Furney Smith (1886), Ernest Smith (1888-1918), Elouise Marie Smith (1890), Johnnie Smith (1891), Mary E. Smith Southerland (1894), James Smith (1896), Willie Smith (1899-1912), Effie May Smith Stanfield (1904), and possibly Bessie Lee Smith (1911). (Was Bessie really a daughter? Nancy was born about 1864! A granddaughter maybe?) Isham died in 1914, and Nancy married Patrick Diggs four years later. After Patrick’s death, Nancy restored her first husband’s surname. She died in Goldsboro in 1944.

Here’s what marriage licenses reveal about this family:

Smith-Guess

  • Another example of official laziness — though both Annie’s parents were living, only one is named.
  • What Methodist church in Goldsboro? A Google doesn’t turn up much, but revealed that a Rev. J.J. McIntire was an African Methodist Episcopal minister in the South Wilmington (North Carolina) circuit in 1916.
  • James Guess was a multi-faceted businessman, to say the least, with interests in barber shops, pool halls, real estate and a flourishing undertaking operation. He died in 1957 at a hospital in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  • Annie and James had two children, Elma (1905) and James Jr. (1923-1950). (That is interesting spacing, definitely.)
  • Annie Smith Guess died of heart disease 8 August 1953 at her home in Goldsboro.

42091_343600-00624

  • This was a short-lived marriage. In 1910, the census of Goldsboro showed Carrie Smith living at home with her parents, Furney and Clara Wooten, her siblings, and her not quite two-year-old daughter Pauline Smith.  In the 1920 census, Carrie Smith is described as a widow, and she and Pauline remain in Clara Wooten’s home.

Smith-Kornegay

  • And again, Isham is named, Nancy is not, though both were living.
  • This time, the Methodist Episcopal church. A search for John H. Isham doesn’t yield anything.
  • Alberta Paschall was soon to be the wife of Johnnie’s brother Ernest Smith, see below.
  • Elma Guess was the 12-year-old daughter of James and Annie Smith Guess. (Or was there another Elma Guess? Twelve seems awfully young to be an official witness.)
  • Five months after he married, Johnnie registered for the World War I draft. His draft card stated that he resided at 100 Smith Street in Goldsboro (his parents’ house); was 22 years old; worked as a laborer for Isaac Cohnes of Goldsboro; was married; and was of short height and medium build with brown eyes and black hair.
  • Sylvia Kornegay Smith gave birth to a stillborn son in 1920, then to a son Herbert in September 1922 who died at age six moths.  Son Russell Smith was born in 1925 and appears to have been Johnnie’s only living child. The family appears together in the 1930 census of Goldsboro, at which time Johnnie worked as a carpenter and Sylvia as a laundress. They split before long, however, as the 1940 census of Goldsboro showed Johnnie and his siblings Bessie and Jimmy living with their mother Nancy Smith. I have not found Johnnie’s death certificate.
  • As late as 1959, Johnny Smith is listed in the Goldsboro city directory living at the Smith “home house,” 309 Smith Street. However, I have not found his death certificate.

Smith-Paschall

  • Nancy, as here, was sometimes called “Nannie.”
  • A Missionary Baptist minister performed this ceremony. Alberta’s church, perhaps?
  • Ernest’s sisters Effie Mae and Annie were witnesses.
  • Ernest and Alberta had had a child together, a stillborn girl, born 1914 in Goldsboro, Wayne County. They had no others.
  • Ernest, a barber, died 5 October 1918 of lobar pneumonia in Goldsboro — five months after he married.

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  • Nancy’s second marriage, which ended with Patrick Diggs’s death before 1930.
  • The family appears in the 1920 census, Goldsboro, Wayne County: on Smith Street, Patrick Diggs, tinned at W.A. Works; wife Nancy; stepdaughter Bessie Lee Smith; and widowed “stepdaughter-in-law” Alberta Smith, a cook.

Smith-Stanfield

  • Surprise, surprise. My great-aunt Mamie was not the only relative to follow Mollie Henderson Holt to Greensboro.
  • Nancy is listed with her second husband’s name.
  • This is my last sighting of Effie Mae. I have not found death certificates for her or her husband, but neither seems to appear in subsequent census records. And in the 1930 census, their seven-year-old daughter Vivian Stanfield was living with her grandmother “Nannie” in Goldsboro.

nannie smith 1930

And what of Nancy’s remaining children?

  • Furney Smith is elusive. He appears in exactly one census record with his parents (1900) and seemingly none on his own. Perhaps because:

F SMith

Goldsboro News Argus, 27 January 1906.

Gboro_Daily_Argus__23_Feb_1907_Furney_Smith_arrest

Goldsboro News Argus, 23 February 1907.

  • Elouise Marie Smith is listed as “Alerwese” Smith in the 1900 census in her parents’ household. I have no trace of her after. A “Mrs. E. Hall” of the home, 309 Smith Street, was the informant on Nancy Smith’s death certificate. Was that Elouise? (Or maybe Effie?)
  • Mary E. Smith Southerland is listed as an informant on the delayed birth certificate of her sister Effie Mae Smith. I have not found a record of her marriage to a Southerland.
  • James “Jimmy” Smith was born 18 April 1896. When he registered for the World War I draft in 1917, he reported that he resided at 100 Smith Street in Goldsboro NC; that he was born in Goldsboro; that he worked as a bottler as a bottling company; that was single; that he was of medium height and weight; and that he had black eyes and hair. He likely was not the James Smith that married Lou Pearl Moses on 15 November 1916 in Goldsboro. He is last seen in his mother’s household in the 1940 census of Goldsboro.
  • Twelve year-old Willie Smith died of kidney disease (“nephritis”) on 29 June 1912.
  • Bessie Lee was born about 1911. If Nancy were her mother, she’d have been in her late 40s when Bessie was born. Not impossible, but perhaps unlikely. Still, she is consistently referred to as daughter, rather than granddaughter, so I’ll leave it there for now. I have no record of any marriage for her, and she and two brothers appear in their mother’s household in the 1940 census.
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