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

DNAnigma, no. 2.1: Another Armwood.

I seldom check FTDNA, but last night I moseyed on to study the new My Origins feature. A glance in the corner of the screen showed a  new high match, an estimated 2nd to 4th cousin whom I’ll call L.A. I emailed him, and he quickly responded. We immediately identified Sampson County, North Carolina, as a potential point of commonality, and I asked his grandparents’ names. I looked them up and found that one was the offspring of John Wesley Faircloth and Laura Wynn (or Simmons). A little further research — and consultation with Stephen Maynor, my point man for all things Sampson County — revealed that Wesley Faircloth, born about 1856, was the son of Nancy Armwood. Again with these Armwoods!

Nancy was the daughter of John and Susan Armwood, and her sister Louisa (or Eliza) was my great-great-great-great-grandfather James Henderson‘s second wife. Am I an Armwood though?

While refreshing my recollection about this family — which has always frustrated my efforts to track them properly — I discovered a previously unnoticed tangle of intermarriages between and among the Armwoods, Wynns, Simmonses and a few Hendersons in northern Sampson and Duplin Counties and southern Wayne County.

The base couples:

  • Major Armwood (~1798-??) and wife Eliza [last name unknown] Armwood (~1806-??).
  • Richard Armwood (1832-??) and wife Mary Faircloth Armwood.
  • John Armwood (~1800-??) and wife Susan [maiden name unknown] Armwood (~1820-??).
  • James Simmons (1798-1860) and wife Winnie Medlin Simmons (??-1902).
  • Gray Winn (~1815-1850) and wife Sarah Greenfield Winn (1816-1909).

And the marriages and other relationships that flowed therefrom:

And this is just a generation or two of intermarriage. I’ve asked A.G., my other Armwood match, to test with 23andme so I can compare our matches and see if she matches my known Hendersons. Stay tuned….

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

Either of us do promise to pay.

G Winn Note_Page_2

On demand the first day of January 1848 we or Either of us do promise to pay John Lewis the Admr for ayres of urban Lewis decd it being for the Sum of thirty dollars and fifty cents it for Rent of the land belonging to W. Husted lying on the East side of the Railroad Joining James Kelly this January 29th 1847   Gray X Winn, Levi Winn, Adam X Greenfield  Test Obed Brock

This promissory note is listed in John Lewis‘ inventory of his father Urban’s perishable and personal property. Via Joseph Buckner Martin, Urban Lewis of Wayne County is my great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather. (He was Buck’s father Lewis Martin‘s mother Eliza Lewis Martin‘s father.) Gray Winn, Levi Winn and Adam Greenfield were prosperous free men of color and the ancestors of many of my Henderson cousins, though not my own.

 

 

 

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

Perhaps even the custom.

A Social Note: Miss Florence [sic: should read “Frances”] Ann Henderson married her first cousin, Israel H. Wynn. This relationship was very common in her youth, perhaps even the custom, she believes. Rev. R.B. Johns officiated at her marriage on December 12, 1908 in her parents’ home. Many friends and relatives attended including Val Simmons, Milford and Freddie Carter, Mrs. Eva Kornegay, and Mrs. Tina Hagans. In fact, there were so many guests that the floor of the house gave way under the weight of the people.

— from the souvenir booklet commemorating the 100th anniversary of the First Congregational Church, United States of Christ, Dudley NC, 1870-1970.

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Israel & Frankie

Frances Ann “Frankie” Henderson was the daughter of John H. and Sarah Simmons Henderson. Israel Henderson Wynn was the son of John’s sister Hepsie Henderson and her husband, Washington F. “Frank” Wynn.  Marriages among descendants of Wayne County’s free families of color were certainly the custom in the 50 years or so after the Civil War, and cousin marriages (if not first cousin) were concomitantly common.

Copy of photograph in possession of Lisa Y. Henderson.

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

Edward & Susan Henderson Wynn.

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Edward James Wynn (1838-1922) was the son of Gray Winn and Sarah “Sallie” Greenfield Winn.  His wife, Susan Henderson Wynn (1854-1907), was the daughter of James H. Henderson and Louisa Armwood Henderson. They are buried in a small family cemetery near Dudley in southern Wayne County.

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Births Deaths Marriages, North Carolina, Paternal Kin

James Henderson’s children, part 2: Eliza Armwood.

Around 1851, as his oldest set of children moved into their mid-teens, James Henderson married Eliza (sometimes noted as “Louisa”) Armwood, daughter of John and Susan Armwood. They reared their ten children in the tri-county area formed by the meeting of Sampson, Duplin and Wayne Counties:

Anna Jane Henderson, born in 1852, married Montreville Simmons, son of Calvin and Hepsey Whitley Simmons in 1871 in Duplin County. The Simmons family had migrated to Ontario, Canada, in the 1850s, and after the death of his young first wife, Montreville journeyed home to find a second. The family is found in the 1881 census of Chatham, Kent, Ontario: Montreville Simmons, 40, farmer; wife Annie, 29; and children Elizabeth, 8, Doctor T., 7, Susan M., 4, and Montreville, 2. All were born in the US except the two youngest children, and the family was Baptist. They returned to the US in the 1890s, and in 1900 are found in the census of Eel, Cass County, Indiana. Annie Simmons died 16 June 1906 in Cass County.

Susan and Hepsie Henderson, born 1854 and 1856, married brothers Edward J. and Washington F. “Frank” Wynn and raised their families near Dudley.  Susan H. Wynn’s children were Elizabeth Wynn Simmons, Sallie Wynn Manuel, Fannie Wynn Price, William H. Wynn, Arthur Wynn, Eddie Wynn, Minnie Wynn Greenfield, Cora Wynn Bennett, Jessie Wynn and Danzie Wynn. She died 6 January 1907 and is buried in a family cemetery near Dudley. Hepsie’s children were Alice Wynn, George Wynn, William Wynn, Sallie Wynn, James Wynn, Richard G. Wynn, Dock Wynn, Georgeanna Wynn and Israel Henderson Wynn. Hepsie died circa 1895.

Alexander Henderson, born 1860, was the only one of James’ sons to leave farming.  In 1900, he, his wife Mary Odom Henderson and children were living near Mount Olive, but by 1910, Alex had moved his family to James Street in Goldsboro.  Alex and Mary Odom Henderson’s children were William Henderson, Mary Jane Henderson Wooten, Theodore Henderson and Connie Geneva Henderson Smith. He died 13 June 1919 and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Goldsboro. Inexplicably, his death certificate lists his father as “Stephen Henderson.”

John Henry Henderson, born 1861, married Sarah E. Simmons, daughter of Bryant and Elizabeth Wynn Simmons, in 1886 at the Congregational Church in Dudley.  John and Sarah’s three surviving children were Charles Henry Henderson, Frances Henderson Wynn and Henry Lee Henderson.  At John’s death on 8 August 1924, he was the last of James Henderson’s sons.  John’s son Charles Henderson moved away to Virginia, but “Frankie” and Henry remained in Dudley and are the forebears of a great many of our present-day Hendersons, some of whom still live on ancestral land.

Nancy Henderson, born 1865, married Isham Smith, son of Milly Smith.They lived in Goldsboro, where Isham worked as a wagon driver.  Their children were Annie Smith Guess, Oscar Smith, Furney Smith, Ernest Smith, Elouise Marie Smith, Johnnie Smith, Mary E. Smith Southerland, James Smith, Willie Smith, Effie May Smith, and Bessie Lee Smith. Nancy’s second husband was Patrick Diggs. She died 11 December 1944.

Betty Henderson and Edward Henderson, born 1867 and 1874, appear in one census record each, and nothing further is known of them.

Julia Henderson, born 1872, known as “Mollie,” married Alex Hall in Wayne County in 1889. They had two daughters, Lula and Sadie. In 1902, Mollie married Walter Holt, son of George W. and Martha Holt, in Randolph County. (How — and why — did she get from Wayne County to Randolph?) By 1910, they were living in Greensboro NC.  She died circa 1929.

Louella Henderson, born 1876, married first a man whose last name was King, then one named Wilson. (According to my grandmother.) She may have died in Bessemer NC.

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