Enslaved People, North Carolina, Paternal Kin, Photographs

Appie Ward Hagans.

I’ve talked all around Apsilla (or, perhaps, Apsaline) “Appie” Ward Hagans here and here and here. So here she is:

Aspilla Ward Hagans

Appie and her twin Mittie Roena Ward were born 19 April 1849 near Stantonsburg, Wilson County, to David G.W. Ward and Sarah Ward, an enslaved woman. They likely spent their early years in and around this house. How and when Appie met her husband, Napoleon Hagans, who lived in northeast Wayne County perhaps 7 miles from the Ward plantation, is unknown. I have not located their marriage license. Appie and Napoleon had two sons, Henry Edward Hagans (1868-1926) and William Scarlett Hagans (1869-1946).

Appie left little trace in official records, appearing in two census enumerations and on a couple of deeds with her husband. She died 12 April 1895 and is buried near their home in northern Wayne County.

Photo courtesy of William E. Hagans.

DNA, North Carolina, Paternal Kin

DNAnigma, no. 15: Barnes?

Barnes is far and away the most common surname in Wilson County. It is the “Smith” of Wilson, so common that two Barneses who meet, without further reason, will not wonder if they are kin. It would not occur to them that they might be. My cousin has a Barnes maternal line, and a Barnes paternal line, and married a Barnes. None are connected. My Wilson County roots are neither wide nor deep, so I only have one Barnes line, and it’s a little iffy. Nonetheless, 23andme has matched my and my father’s chromosomes with W.B. and estimates that they are 3rd to 5th cousins, .58% share. (W.B. doesn’t match my cousin, despite her many Barnes lines.)

W.B.’s patrilineal line is traceable to John Barnes, born about 1860, probably in Wilson County. Shortly before 1880, John married Harriet Batts, daughter of Orange and Mary Batts. I have not found a death certificate for John, but census records indicate that he died before 1920. Is he the connection? If he is, the tie is in an earlier generation, as there is no John Barnes in my files.

W.B. also has an ancestor named Nancy Barnes Horne, daughter of Gray and Bunny Barnes and wife of Simon Horne Jr. Is she the connection? Is the connection a Barnes at all?

W.B. is a 3rd to 5th cousin to my father. I know all kinds of 3rd to 5th cousins. In real life. How can I have NO CLUE what our relationship is this one? 23andme and Ancestry DNA are wonderful tools that have been invaluable in confirming connections, but their deeper impact has been to drive home just how little I know.

Births Deaths Marriages, Oral History, Paternal Kin, Photographs

Remembering Nina F. Hardy.

My parents married in 1961. When my mother arrived in Wilson shortly after, my father took her around to meet the elders who had not been able to travel to Virginia for the wedding. Along the way, they stopped at Dew’s Rest Home. As my mother stepped through the door, Aunt Nina threw up a cautionary hand: “Wait. You ain’t expecting, is you?” My mother, mortified: “No, ma’am!” “All right. ‘Cause it’s some uggggly folks in here!”

My paternal grandmother had a thousand stories about Nina — with a long I — Frances Faison Kornegay Hardy. Though she called her “aunt,” Nina in fact was her cousin. She was born March 15, 1882, probably in northern Duplin County, to John Henry Aldridge and Addie Faison. (John H. Aldridge, born 1844, was the son of John Mathew Aldridge, and first cousin of my grandmother’s grandfather, John W. Aldridge.)  She seems to have been married briefly to Joe Kornegay in 1899 in Wayne County, but I have not found her in the 1900 census. By 1910, she had made her way 40 or so miles north to Wilson and was boarding in the household of Jesse and Sarah Jacobs as “Nina Facin.” The census also shows a “Nina Facon” living and working as a servant in the household of Jeff Farrior in Wilson. Though described as white, this is almost surely Aunt Nina, who cooked and cleaned for the Farriors most of her working life. Though she and her husband lived just outside Wilson on what is now Highway 58, she was at home only on her days off.

Said my grandmother:

Aint Nina lived up over the Farrior house on Herring Avenue.  Herring’s Crossroads, whatever you call it.  And that’s where she come up there to live.  Well, the maid, as far as the help, or whoever, they stayed on the lot, where they’d have somewhere to sleep. So Aint Nina was living on Nash Road, way down there, and when we went to see her, me and Mamie would run down there five miles. She was working for Old Man Farrior then.  When she was living out in the country, she was working for white people, and so she went up to their house and cooked for them.  And when we’d go down to her house, she’d have to come from up there and cook when she get home.  So we would go and spend a day, but it would be more than likely be on her day off.  But when we had the horse and buggy, Mama drove out there once, and we went, I went with Papa with the wagon to where you grind corn to make meal, down to Silver Lake or whatever that place was down there.  Lord, them were the good old days.  

The Farriors, their back porch was closed in.  It had windows.  And had a marble floor in the back, and that stairway was on, where it was closed in on the back porch, you could go upstairs, and there was a room up there.  You couldn’t go from out of that room into the other part of the house.  You had to come back down them steps then go in the house.  And that’s where Aint Nina stayed.  I said, Lord, I wouldn’t want to have stayed up there.  And then something happen … She had to come down and go down the steps, go upstairs, I mean, and come out of the kitchen, and then go up them steps out on this porch in her room.  So she stayed up there.  Lord, I wouldn’t want to stay up there.  She get sick out there, she couldn’t get nobody.  I didn’t see no – I was up in there one time, and I went up there just to look around.  Well, she had a nice room, nice bed and chair and dresser and everything.  There was a whole set in the room where she was.  That was the only time I was up there. But I wouldn’t want to stay up there.

In 2004, J.M.B., a Farrior descendant, sent me copies of several photos of Aint Nina. My grandmother had described her (“She wasn’t real short.  But she was heavy built, and she had big limbs.  But she wasn’t that fat, but she just had big limbs and had a big face.”), and I had seen a couple of pictures of her before, like this one, taken in the mid-1950s with my uncle’s children:


And this one,


[There’s a photo booth shot that I can’t find right now. But I will.  UPDATE: I found it. 1/3/2016]

But these …


… these touch me. Nina at work. Nina in a kitchen with a floured pan, perhaps making biscuits, perhaps the dumplings my grandmother relished. Nina, her own legs aching, tending to whitefolks. The columned Farrior mansion, since torn down, with Nina’s little room tucked out of sight.

In 1917, Nina married Julius Hardy in Wilson township. It is likely their house that my grandmother and great-aunt visited out on Nash Road:

They had guinea chickens.  A car run over a chicken and killed it, and it kept going.  And we, me and Mamie, was going out there, and we picked up the chicken and carried it ‘round there.  And Aint Nina poured water and scald the chicken and picked it and cooked it, and we had the best time eating it.   Wont thinking ‘bout we was going out there to eat.  And so we come walking in there with that chicken, and she wanted to know, “Well, where’d you get that?”  “A car run over it, and we picked it up and brought it on over so you could cook it.”  And she said, “Yeah, it’s good.  A car just killed it?”  And it wasn’t too far from the house.  And I reckon it was one of her chickens anyhow.  Honey, she cooked that old stewed chicken, had to put pastry and vegetables in it.  Lord, we stayed out all that time, then had to come home from way out there.  But we was full. 

And her brother, his name was James Faison, lived across the street from her, and his wife, and I think the lady had been married before because they wasn’t his children.  It was two girls.  And he worked at the express, at the station.  The place was on that side, Nash Street station was over on this side.  Baggage used to come over there.  The baggage place where’d you take off the train.  That’s where you put it over on that side at that time.  And he was working over there.

Nina was a font of information about the family back in Dudley that my grandmother barely knew. Mama Sarah was impatient with questions about the past. Nina, on the other hand …

Mama never talked about her daughter Hattie.  But A’nt Nina, she would tell everything.  Mama got mad with her, said, “You always bringing up something.  You don’t know what you talking ’bout.”  So she’d go behind — Mama wouldn’t want her to tell things.  And she never did say, well, if she said, I wouldn’t have known him, but I never did ask her, who Hattie’s daddy was.  I figured he was white.  Because she looked — her hair and features, you know, white.

Even as she waited on others, Nina struggled with her health:

But she was kind of sickly, and I went up there for something.  See ‘bout her.  Carry her something.  And then when her leg was sore, and she come to stay with us.  Oh, she stayed with us a long time ‘cause she had to go to the doctor, had to be taken to the doctor with that leg.  That leg was still big.  But it was much bigger than the other one.  But it healed over.  But it was so knotty-looking, like it’d heal up and draw up in places, and it just looked so bad, and so she’d wear her dresses long.  But she had big feet!  Oooo, she had big feet.  With those big legs … And she was the one that Mama made Mamie iron her clothes on Sunday.  ‘Fore you even got to playing, had to get her clothes.  She was at Rocky Mount in the hospital with that leg.  They had operated on that leg and Mama would go every Sunday and take her clothes, bring her dirty clothes home and wash ‘em and bring them back to her.  So, Lord, we had a time with that.  And I looked at that big leg and just said, ‘Wooo….  What in the world is that?’  Looked like it just swelled up.  And I saw a lady right here in Philadelphia.  I had passed, and I seen her, and she had a great big leg.  And so by that woman having that big leg, I said, ‘Lord have mercy, I hope I don’t get that.  I wonder what’s wrong with it?  How come the swelling won’t go down in it?’  People don’t know what they’ll have to go through….  Yeah, ‘cause we went over there, and you didn’t have — it was an open sore, and it was always running.  She had to keep her foot up and had to keep the flies from on it, and so I said, well, finally it got better, but that leg healed up, it drawed up and you could tell where the sore was all on her leg.  And that leg was much bigger than the other one.  It took a long time to heal.  It was all healed up though before she died.

In the photo above, taken in her last years at the rest home where she protected my young mother from a disastrous maternal impression, Nina smiles her same sweet smile despite ailing legs wrapped and swollen feet encased in split loafers.
N Hardy Death Cert
Aint Nina died 20 March 1969, just five days after her 86th birthday. Frances Sykes Goodman, granddaughter of Nina’s aunt Frances Aldridge Wynn, was the informant on her death certificate. She was buried in Rest Haven, Wilson’s black cemetery. (I’ve walked that graveyard and never seen her stone. Is her grave unmarked? If it is, and I can find it, it won’t be.)
Enslaved People, Land, North Carolina, Other Documents, Photographs

Dr. Ward’s house. And me.

After my recent rediscovery of a Confederate map that revealed the locations of several plantations significant to my genealogical research, I began searching for more information about John Lane, Silas Bryant and David G.W. Ward‘s landholdings. Pretty quickly, I found a link to a copy of a nomination form for the National Register of Historic Places Inventory, submitted for the Ward-Applewhite-Thompson house near Stantonsburg, North Carolina. This Greek Revival house, dating back to about 1859, was owned and occupied by several of the area’s leading planters — including “country doctor” D.G.W. Ward, who purchased it in 1857 — and it and its outbuildings are little changed from their antebellum forms.

As I read the detailed architectural description of the house and its setting, a tiny kernel of recognition began to form in the back of my mind. A big, white, two-story house? Set well back from the road? Just outside Stantonsburg? Could it …?

I scoured the maps attached to the nomination form, trying to lay them over the current topography. State Road 1539 … that would be Sand Pit Road today …  just east of a fork in the road and just north of the Norfolk & Southern Railroad (which was not there in Ward’s time) … and there it is, just like I remember.

sand pit road

Yes. Like I remember.

I’ve BEEN in this house. Many times, though long ago.

Growing up, my sister and I were very close to my father’s sister’s daughters. Our local family was quite small, but my cousin’s father came from a big family with deep Wilson County roots. Her grandmother had nearly a dozen siblings — whom we also called “aunt” and “uncle” — and we were often invited to attend their family gatherings. I remember best the delectable Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners gathered around tables groaning with food, but there were also the annual 4th of July family reunions at Aunt Minnie’s out in the country near Stantonsburg. The Barneses were tenant farmers for an absentee landowner and rented his large two-story house. We’d pull off the road into a sandy circular drive and park under the trees alongside cars with New York and New Jersey plates. I vividly remember my cousin’s great-uncles and cousins tending a barbecue pit in which a split pig roasted, chickens strutting among them.  A screened side porch protected platter after platter of home-grown, home-cooked goodness.  My memories of the interior of the house are vague: a central staircase, two large front rooms, the kitchen in back. (The staircase I remember mostly because, carefully tending a tall glass of lemonade, I missed a riser and slid down their length, smacking my ribcage against the steps and knocking the wind out of myself.)

I couldn’t believe it. It is exciting enough to identify D.G.W. Ward’s house and find that it is still standing, but to realize that I knew the house at which Appie and Mittie Ward had lived and worked as the enslaved children of their own father was uncanny.

IMG_4960Ward-Applewhite-Thompson House today.

Photo taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2014.

Births Deaths Marriages, Enslaved People, North Carolina, Paternal Kin

Finding the Wards.

This is what we knew:  Joseph Henry Ward, born circa 1870 in or near Wilson, North Carolina, was the son of Napoleon Hagans and a sister of Napoleon’s wife, Apsilla Ward Hagans.  I couldn’t find him in the 1870 or 1880 censuses, but by 1900 he was listed in Indianapolis, Indiana, working as a physician.

The hunt for Joe Ward’s people thus began.

In the 1910 census of Indianapolis, a nephew, Augustus Moody, born about 1893, is listed in the Ward household. I searched for Augustus in 1900 and found him in Washington DC in this household: William Moody (born 1872), wife Sarah S. (1876) and children Augustus (June 1894) and Crist (1896), plus sister-in-law Minerva Vaughn (1890), mother-in-law Mittie Vaughn (1854), and mother Fannie Harris (1854) — all born in North Carolina.  Soooo …  Augustus’ mother was Sarah S. Moody, and Sarah’s mother was Mittie Vaughn.  Okay, and how was Joe Ward related to these folks?

I went back to the 1880 census of Wilson County and found: Sarah Darden (57, mother), Algia Vaughn (23, son-in-law), Mittie (22, daughter), Joseph (8), Sarah (6), and Macinda (5 mos.), the last three Sarah’s grandchildren.  From this I deduced that Mittie Vaughn, daughter of Sarah Darden, had at least two children, Joseph and Sarah, before 1880.  I then located young Sarah’s marriage license to William Moody, which listed her maiden name as Ward.  So Joseph and Sarah were listed in the 1880 census in their stepfather’s name, not their mother’s, and “Joseph Vaughn,” son of Mittie Vaughn, is in fact the Joseph Ward I was looking for.

How did I know Algernon was a stepfather? He was only 22 years old when he married Mitty Finch,  27, in Wilson on May 6, 1879.  (Finch?!?!?! That’s an as-yet unexplained anomaly.) I also found a cohabitation registration for grandmother Sarah Ward and Sam Darden, dated 12 July 1866. This registration, which formalized the marriages of ex-slaves, noted that they had been married five years, well after the births of Sarah’s children Mittie and Appie. If Sam was not their father, who was?

The first clue: in 1902, when William S. Hagans (son of Napoleon and Appie Ward Hagans) registered to vote in Wayne County, North Carolina, under the state’s grandfather clause, he named “Dr. Ward” as his qualifying ancestor. I didn’t know what to make of that — I couldn’t find a Dr. Ward in Wayne County — so I laid it to the side for a bit.

Then I found a reference to Appie and Mittie’s previously unknown brother. On 16 June 1870, Henry Ward, son of D.G.W. Ward and Sarah Darden, married Sarah Forbes in Wilson, North Carolina.  If we assume that Henry, Appie and Mittie had the same father, who is this D.G.W. Ward? Was he the “Dr. Ward” that William claimed as his qualifying ancestor under the grandfather clause?

In the 1860 census, D.G.W. Ward (45) and wife Adline (19) appear in Speights district, Greene County, which borders Wilson County to the southeast. Ward reported owning $26,500 in real property and a whopping $112,000 in personal property! (As the 1860 slave census shows, this wealth largely consisted of 54 slaves.) He was one of the, if not the, wealthiest men in the county. And he was a physician. Here, indeed, was Dr. Ward.

David George Washington Ward was married twice — perhaps circa 1840 to Mariah H. Vines, who died after having one child; then to Emily Adeline Moye in 1859. Between those marriages, he fathered at least three children with Sarah, an enslaved woman.

DNA, North Carolina, Paternal Kin

DNAnigma, no. 13: high-school classmates?

Over the weekend, I did one of my infrequent checks for matches at Ancestry DNA. I found a new match to C.B., an estimated 5th-8th cousin. Heaving a sigh, I idly checked his family tree — and immediately recognized many of his surnames as common to Wilson County, my birthplace. I looked a little more closely at his profile, and … I’ll be damned. His daughter was my high school classmate! How in the world are we connected?

M.W. is the second Beddingfield High School grad that I’ve matched in Ancestry or 23andme. The other was a classmate of my sister. I have no clue how we match M.R. either.

I can assume the C.B. match is on my father’s side, as is M.R. I also assume that it is through an Anglo ancestor. What throws me is that I don’t know of any white ancestors from Wilson County or northern Wayne or southern Edgecombe Counties, from which Wilson was created. Clearly, I have one, or some, though, as these and a couple of other Wilson County matches attest. The most likely conduit is through my Artis-Seaberry-Hagans, who had obvious Euro ancestry about which I know nothing and who lived in northern Wayne County.

An initial exchange of messages with M.R. has fallen silent, but I’m hoping a collabo with M.W. will get me somewhere.

Births Deaths Marriages, North Carolina, Paternal Kin, Photographs

The Home of Personal Service.

Columbus Estell “C.E.” Artis was born in 1886 near Eureka, Wayne County NC to Adam T. Artis and his fourth wife, Amanda Aldridge Artis. Census records and city directories show that he tried his hand at a number of businesses, including grocery stores and “eating houses.” The 1915 directory of the town of Wilson NC described him as an undertaker, but it’s not clear for whom he worked or if he owned his own business at that time. He spent several years in Washington DC during and after World War I, but a 1922 newspaper article makes references to Batts Brothers and Artis as local undertakers, and the 1925 Wilson city directory carries this entry:

ARTIS & FLANAGAN (CE Artis, WE Flanagan) funeral directors 563 E Nash phone 1183

Here’s Artis’ business  described in 1979 in National Register of Historic Places Inventory — Nomination Form for  “East Wilson Business Area,” Wilson Central Business and Tobacco Warehouse Historic District:

One of only two black funeral directors in Wilson, Columbus Estelle Artis (1886- 1973) had this modest, one-story, three-storefront building [at 567-571 East Nash Street] erected in 1922. His funeral business occupied the 571 store until the mid 1950s when he retired and closed his business; the other two stores have always been used for rental purposes, except for a brief period from ca 1945 until ca 1951 when Artis expanded his funeral home into the 569 store. The stuccoed brick structure has narrow stores at 567 and 569 that contain a simple door and a large adjacent display window, both of which have transoms of clear glass. The store at 571 East Nash Street has a central door with flanking display windows, also with transoms. Unfortunately, all of the windows and three of the window transoms have been boarded up. The blind northwest elevation originally abutted the drug store occupied by Darcey D. Yancy during the 1940s and 1950s; this building was razed in the mid 1960s. The rear elevation of the Artis building has a one central door per store. The southeast elevation wall is adjacent to the Jackson Chapel First Missionary Baptist Church, which has maintained offices of the Artis building since 1980.

(Historic designation notwithstanding, Jackson Chapel tore down the buildings in the 1990s to make way for a church expansion and parking lot.)

C.E. Artis’ distinctive, wide-nibbed, angular cursive — r’s slashed diagonally — appears on hundreds of Wilson and Wayne County death certificates.  Like James Guess in Goldsboro, with whom he competed to some extent, C.E. Artis was often called upon to bury his kin, including several of his siblings. Among the funerals he conducted were:

Vicy Aldrich, 13 Feb 1927.  Buried Aldrich cemetery, Dudley NC.  Daughter of Adam and Frances Seaberry Artis, Vicey Artis Aldridge was C.E.’s half-sister.

+ Baby Jacobs, 22 Apr 1928.  Buried Rountree cemetery, Wilson. Unnamed stillborn son of Hattie Mae Jacobs, who was the granddaughter of Vicey A. Aldridge.

+Napoleon Artis, 9 Sep 1928.  Buried family cemetery, Wayne County.  Son of C.E.’s half-brother Walter S. Artis, who was son of Adam and Frances Seaberry Artis.

Jane Sauls, 16 Dec 1928. Buried Union Grove cemetery, Wayne County. Daughter of Sylvania Artis Lane, who was sister of C.E.’s grandmother Vicey Artis Williams.

+ Mable Barnes, 18 Apr 1929.  Buried family cemetery, Wayne or Wilson County. Daughter of C.E.’s brother Robert E. Artis.

+ Ivery Artis, 24 Jul 1930.  Buried Wayne County. Son of Morrison Artis, who was first cousin of C.E.’s father Adam T. Artis.  Also, Morrison’s first wife, Jane Artis, was Adam’s sister.

+ Alberta Artis, 9 Jun 1931.  Buried Wayne County.  Granddaughter of C.E. Artis’ paternal aunt Delilah Williams Exum.

+ Lucinda Artis, 23 Jun 1931.  Buried Wayne County.  Widow of C.E.’s uncle Jesse Artis.

+ Susiannah Artis, 11 Sept 1931.  Buried Wayne County.  Widow of C.E.’s uncle Richard Artis.

+ Leslie Exum, 4 Jul 1934.  Buried Wayne County.  Grandson of C.E.’s half-brother Jesse Artis, son of Adam and Frances Seaberry Artis. Leslie’s wife Beulah Artis Exum was daughter of C.E.’s half-brother, William M. Artis.

+ Malinda Artis, 5 Mar 1936.  Buried Wilson County.  Second wife of C.E.’s brother Robert Artis.

malinda artis

+ Sarah Jacobs Silver, 8 Jan 1938. Buried Wayne County [in fact, in the Congregational Church cemetery].  Silver’s great-niece Hattie Henderson (alias Jacobs) was the granddaughter of C.E.’s half-sister Louvicey Artis Aldridge.  Silver also lived on Elba Street in Wilson NC, around the corner from C.E.’s Green Street home.


+ Viola Artis, 1 Feb 1938.  Buried Wayne County.  Granddaughter of C.E.’s brother Henry J.B. Artis.

+ William Wilson, 5 Mar 1939.  Buried Wilson County. Grandson of C.E.’s aunt, Zilpha Artis Wilson.

+ Delilah Exum, 18 Jul 1939.  Buried Wayne County.  C.E.’s father’s sister.

+ Julius Artis Jr., 18 Dec 1939. Buried Wilson County.  Grandson of C.E.’s brother Henry J.B. Artis.

+ Katie Artis King, 22 June 1940.  Buried family cemetery, Wayne County.  C.E.’s stepmother, his father Adam’s last wife.

+ John G. Reid, 29 Dec 1941. Buried Turners Swamp cemetery, Wayne County.  Husband of C.E.’s first cousin, Emma Artis Reid, daughter of Richard Artis Sr.

+ Ada Dixon Sauls, 28 January 1945. Buried Baptist church cemetery, Snow Hill. Wife of C.E.’s cousin, Cain D. Sauls.

+ Liberty P. Artis, 10 Jul 1945.  Buried family cemetery, Wilson County.  Son of C.E.’s brother Robert.

+ William Artis, 28 Sep 1945.  Buried “family (Seabury)” cemetery, Wayne County.  C.E.’s half-brother, son of Adam T. Artis and Frances Seaberry Artis.

+ Scott Artis, 6 Apr 1947.  Buried Red Hill cemetery, Wayne County. Son of  Morrison Artis, son of Sylvania Artis Lane, who was C.E.’s grandmother’s sister.

+ Bettie Reid, 2 Dec 1947.  Buried family cemetery, Wayne County.  Elizabeth “Bettie” Wilson Reid was C.E.’s first cousin.  Her mother, Zilpha Artis Reid, was Adam Artis’ sister.

+ Solomon Shearard, 6 Feb 1948.  Buried Rest Haven cemetery, Wilson.  Husband of C.E.’s sister Josephine.  Name generally spelled “Sherrod.”

+ Annie Marie Cooper, 16 Oct 1948.  Buried Rest Haven cemetery, Wilson.  Daughter of C.E.’s youngest sister Alberta.

+ Annie C. Best, 4 Jan 1949.  Buried Rest Haven cemetery, Wilson. Daughter of C.E.’s half-brother Jesse.

+ Minnie Belle Artis, 4 Apr 1950.  Buried family cemetery, Wilson County.  Daughter of C.E.’s brother Robert.

+ Walter Scott Artis, 25 Jun 1951.  Buried Fort cemetery, Wayne County.  C.E.’s half-brother, son of Adam and Frances Seaberry Artis.

+ Noah Artis, 16 May 1952.  Buried family cemetery, Wilson County.  C.E.’s half-brother, son of Adam and Lucinda Jones Artis.

Pages from index

The Carolina Times, 19 September 1942.

Births Deaths Marriages, North Carolina, Other Documents, Paternal Kin

North Carolina death certificates: ALDRIDGE, part 1.

North Carolina did not require death certificates until 1914. The following abstracts relate to the first three generations of Aldridges whose deaths were recorded by law.

Wife of Robert Aldridge (1819-1899):

Eliza Aldridge.  Died 29 Jan 1824, Brogden, Wayne County, of influenza. Colored. Widow of Robert Aldridge.  Born 29 February 1829, Duplin County, to unknown father and “Nancy ?” Buried near Dudley.  Informant, Joseph Aldridge.

Children of George W. Aldridge (1851-??), son of Robert and Eliza Balkcum Aldridge:

Prince Albert Aldridge.  Died 15 May 1953, Wilson, of terminal uremia. Negro. Married. Plasterer. Born 11 January 1902, Wayne County, to George Aldridge and Dora Green. Buried family cemetery, Wilson County. Informant, Mrs. Annie Aldridge.

Blanchard Aldridge.  Died 4 February 1965, Fremont, Wayne County, of organic brain syndrome. Negro. Never married. Barber.  World War I veteran. Born 1 July 1897 in NC to George Aldridge and Dora Green. Buried Fremont. Informant, Reka Morrisey.

Wife and children of John W. Aldridge (1853-1910), son of Robert and Eliza Balkcum Aldridge:

Vicy Aldrich.  Died 13 Feb 1927 at 8:30 a.m.  Doctor noted “Only saw her one time, the day before she died.  Probably apoplexy.”  Colored.  Born 30 Sep 1862 in Eureka, Wayne County, to Adam T. Artis and Frances Hagans of Wayne County NC.  Widow of John Aldrich.  Buried 14 Feb 1927, Aldrich cemetery, Dudley NC.  Undertaker: Artis & Freeman, Wilson NC.   Informant,  John J. Aldridge.

Amanda Newsome.  Died 6 November 1918, Great Swamp, Wayne County, of influenza and pneumonia “contributing pregnancy & childbirth.” Colored. Married. Born 23 December 1891, Wayne County, to John Aldridge and Vicy Aldridge. Buried Dudley. Informant, Lonnie Newsome.

Lulu Aldridge.  Died 16 November 1919, Brogden, of “exhaustion from mania.” Colored. Single. Born 1884. Worked “on farm of her father.” Born Brogden township to J.W. Aldridge and Vici Artis. Buried Dudley. Informant, J.J. Aldridge.

John Aldridge.  Died 13 April 1964, Goldsboro, of acute myocardial infarction. Indian. Widower of Ora Aldridge. Retired farmer. Born 14 December 1887, Wayne County, to J.W. Aldridge and Vicy Artis. Buried Congregational cemetery. Informant, Cecelia Saunders.

Ora Bell Adridge. Died 26 April 1961, Goldsboro, of cerebral thrombosis “secondary to removal of infected gallbladder.” Colored. Married to John Aldridge. Born 22 February 1895, Wayne County, to James L. Mozingo and Bettie Johnson. Buried, church cemetery. Informant, John Aldridge.

Francis Newsome.  Died 14 March 1961, Dudley, of cerebral hemorrhage. Negro. Widow of Lonnie Newsome. Born 14 May 1887, Wayne County, to John Aldridge and Luvicey Artis. Buried New Aldridge cemetery near Gold Park Lake. Informant, Mrs. Lenora Henderson.

Lenora Christine Henderson. Died 29 November 1961, Goldsboro, of cerebral embolism. Resided Dudley. Negro. Widow of Henry L. Henderson. Born 22 August 1903, Wayne County, to John William Aldridge and Luevicey Artis. Buried Congregational cemetery. Informant, H.B. Henderson.

Matthew Aldridge (1857-1920), son of Robert and Eliza Balkcum Aldridge, and children:

Mathew Aldridge.  Died 6 May 1920, Goldsboro, of cerebral apoplexy. Colored. Married to Fanny Aldridge. Age 64 years, 2 months, 28 days. Merchant “for his own benefit.” Born Goldsboro NC to Robert Aldridge and Liazzy Borkins, both of Wayne County. Buried Elmwood cemetery. Informant, Levi Kennedy.

Daisy Williams Couch.  Died 2 Jan 1954, at home at 63 Madison Avenue, Asheville NC, of coronary thrombosis due to myocardial infarct (chronic nephritis contributing).  Negro. Married to J.C. Couch.  Born 28 Sep 1890, Goldsboro NC, to Matthew Aldridge and Fannie Kennedy.  Buried Goldsboro NC.

Children of Amanda Aldridge Artis (1860-1899), daughter of Robert and Eliza Balkcum Aldridge:

Annie Deliah Sauls. Died 1 October 1957, Stantonsburg, Wayne County, of “evidently a heart attack – had been having trouble for past twelve months with angina – she worked all day slipped off of chair and was dead when I got there.” Negro. Married to William Sauls. Born 19 July 1897, Wayne County, to Adam T. Artis Sr. and Mandy Aldridge. Buried Forte cemetery, Wayne County. Informant, Adam T. Artis.

Columbus Estelle Artis. Died 18 March 1973, Wilson, of generalized arteriosclerosis. Negro. Married to Ruby Barber. Retired undertaker. Resided 611 E. Green Street. Birn 28 August 1886 to Adam T. Artis and Manda Aldridge. Buried Rest Haven cemetery, Wilson. Informant, Mrs. Ruby B. Artis.

Lillie B. Pridgen.  Died 27 May 1935, Jason, Greene County NC, “acute dilatation of heart” secondary to “old heart disease, mittral stenosis, pregnancy, acute nephritis.”  Spouse of Chester Pridgen.  Residence, R#1, Lagrange NC.  “Housework in own home.”  Born 10 Feb 1894, Wayne County NC to Adam Artis and Amanda Aldridge.  Informant, Chester Pridgen.  Buried Greene County 29 May 1935.

June Scott Artis. Died 2 June 1973, Stantonsburg, Wilson County, of chronic myocarditis. Farmer. Black. Married to Ethel Becton. Born 23 November 1895 to Adam Artis and Mandy Aldridge. Buried Artis cemetery, Wayne County. Informant, Mrs. Ethel B. Artis.

Robert Aldridge Jr. (1866-1940), son of Robert and Eliza Balkcum Aldridge, his wife and children:

Robert Aldridge.  Died 29 August 1940, Dudley, Wayne County, or “uremia chronic nephritis.” Colored. Widower of Polly Aldridge. Age 70. Farmer on his land. Born Wayne County to Robert Aldridge of Sampson County and Eliza Baucam of Wayne County. Buried Brogden township. Informant, Paul Aldridge.

Polly Aldridge. Died 12 March 1928. Brogden, Wayne County, of arterial hypertension and valvular heart disease. Colored. Married to Robert Aldridge. Age 58. Born Wayne County to Neddham Grantham and Lucy Grantham, both of Wayne County. Buried Augustus Chapel. Informant, Robert Aldridge.

Paul Aldridge. Died 8 June 1947, Brogden, Wayne County, of pulmonary congestion and tuberculosis. Colored. Married to Eliza Aldridge. Farmer. Born 16 May 1913, Wayne County, to Robert Aldridge and Pollie Aldridge, both of Wayne County. Buried Aldridge cemetery, Wayne County. Informant, Mrs. Eliza Aldridge.

Lula Aldridge Smith.  Died 8 Apr 1966, cerebral vascular accident, NC Memorial Hospital, Chapel Hill, Orange County NC.  Resided 205 Caldwell Street, Chapel Hill NC.  Born 20 Feb 1895, Wayne County NC to Robert Aldridge and Polly Grantham.  Married to James Smith.  Buried 11 Apr 1866, Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery.

Joseph Aldridge (1869-1934), son of Robert and Eliza Balkcum Aldridge, and children:

Joseph Aldridge.  Died 6 September 1934, Goldsboro, of cardiovascular renal disease. Resided 208 Bright Street, Goldsboro. Colored. Married to Martha Aldridge. Farmer. Age 64. Born Wayne County to Robert Aldridge of Wayne County and Eliza Barkins of Sampson County. Buried Brogden township. Informant, Allen Aldridge.

Allen Aldridge.  Died 21 November 1969, Goldsboro, of cerebrovascular thrombosis. Negro. Married to Ida Bell Evans. Resided 509 Bunche Drive. Chef. Born 2 September 1908 to Joseph Aldridge and Luberta Manley. Buried Aldridge cemetery. Informant, Mrs. Ida Bell Aldridge.


Enslaved People, Land, North Carolina, Paternal Kin, Photographs

Where we lived: north of Wilson, near the railroad.

Thanks to Marion “Monk” Moore and Joan Howell Waddell, I’ve been able to identify the approximate locations of several of the white farmer-landowners listed near Willis and Cherry Battle Barnes in the 1870 census.  If the family remained in the general area in which they had been enslaved, Hugh B. Johnston’s speculation is correct.


Toisnot Reservoir, a dammed stretch of Toisnot Swamp, today lies on the northern edge of the city of Wilson.  Joshua Barnes, Alpheus Branch, Ceborn Farmer, Isaac Farmer and Jesse Farmer’s farms all lay north of the swamp and south of present-day Elm City in a corridor now defined by London Church Road, the CSX Railroad (then the Wilmington & Weldon) and US Highway 301. The Barneses lived somewhere in this area. In the photo above, the diagonal running top to bottom is the railroad, London Church Road bows to the left, and numbers mark the approximate locations of farms and modern landmarks: (1) Isaac Farmer land; (2) Seborn Farmer land; (3) Alpheus Branch land; (4) Joshua Barnes land; (5) Toisnot Reservoir; and (6) the Bridgestone-Firestone tire plant.


In a letter dated 11 January 2007, Waddell included a map of Wilson County with the above properties marked. Many thanks to her and Monk Moore.


Update, 23 June 2015: Joshua Barnes’ house is not only still standing, it’s been continuously occupied since the 1840s and was on the market just a few years ago. It’s located at 3415 London Church Road.

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Births Deaths Marriages, North Carolina, Paternal Kin


On 7 Aug 1897, “Michiel” Taylor witnessed the marriage of Jordan Taylor Jr. and Eliza Taylor in Wilson NC.  Was one or the other Taylor related to Mike?

After I typed this today, I did quick searches on Jordan and Eliza – and thereby put the lie to “The Disappearing Taylors.”

There. Eliza Taylor Taylor’s death certificate. She died 25 May 1934 in Rose Hill, Duplin County. She was described as 47 years old (in fact, she was at least 10 years older), married to Jordan Taylor, and born in Wilson County to Green Taylor and Kenzie Taylor, both of Wilson County. Kenzie Taylor, Mike Taylor’s older sister, as Eliza’s mother does not give pause, but Green Taylor as her father? Green was Kenzie’s father. Was this a simple mistake (I’ve seen similar ones before) or a frank acknowledgment of incest (which seems improbable)?

Eliza was either the 8 year-old Lizzie or the 5 year-old Louisa listed in Green Taylor’s household in 1880 Wilson township, Wilson County. Her mother Kinsey was there, too.

In 1900, in Wilson township: Jordan Taylor (born March 1876), wife Eliza (August 1874) and son Greemond (June 1897) shared a household with Sallie Taylor (July 1872) and her son Rufus Taylor (Sept 1895). (This is surely Mike and Mckenzie Taylor’s sister.) Next door: Jordan’s father Jordan Taylor (May 1850) and his wife of 5 years, Matilda (January 1860).

In 1910, in Wilson township: odd jobs laborer Jordan Taylor Jr., 31, wife Eliza, 30, laundress, and son Greeman, 12, with Mary Parker, 69, widow, whose relationship to Jordan was described as “proctor.”

Jordan Taylor registered for the World War I draft on 12 September 1917. He reported his address as RFD#6, Wilson, and his birthday as 15 December 1875. He worked as a ditcher for Sid Clark, his nearest relative was Eliza Taylor, and he signed his card with an X.

In 1920, at 304 Stantonsburg Street in Wilson, Jordan Taylor, 48, wife Eliza, 37, son Greeman, 22, and son Dave, 13. (Where did Dave come from?) Jordan worked as a warehouse tobacco worker, Eliza as a tobacco factory worker, and Greeman as a street boot black.

On 24 March 1922, Greeman Taylor of Stantonsburg Street, Wilson, died of consumption. He was born 2 June 1898 in Wilson to Jordan and Eliza Taylor. He was single.

I have not found the family in the 1930 census.

Jordan Taylor, widower, died 29 April 1957 near Dunn in Johnston County. His informant Ethel Sander reported his birthday as 15 March 1874, and his parents as Jordan Taylor and Frances Smith. He was buried in Wilson.