The November 2001 issue of Trees, the publication of the Wilson County Genealogical Society, ran a piece from Hugh B. Johnston’s files about Jane Sauls, her daughters and their encounter with an alligator on their farm. The Saulses likely lived just inside the Wayne County line, but they and their families were part of the nearby Stantonsburg community. William Woodard Sr., with whom Jane was apprenticed as a child, and Calvin Woodard Jr., whom her daughter Mary nursed, lived near White Oak Swamp in Wilson County.
Jane Lane Sauls was born circa 1842 in the Bullhead area of northwest Greene County, which borders Wilson County. She was one of several children of Sylvania Artis, a free woman of color, and her husband Guy Lane, an enslaved man, but is not found in the 1850 or 1860 censuses.
In the 1870 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County, farm laborer John Sauls, 35, wife Jane, 27, and children Mary, 3, and Silvany, 1, are listed with Trecinda Barnes, 20, Jane Barnes, 7, and Edwin Barnes, 1. No marriage record for Jane and John has been located, and their relationship to the Barneses is unknown.
The 1880 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County, shows farmer John Sauls, 45, wife Jane, 36, daughters Mary, 12, Silvany, 9, Anner, 7, and Lucy, 6, plus Jane’s sister [niece?] Fanny Lane, 14.
The 1900 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County, shows John Sauls, wife Jane, daughters Mary and Sylvania Sauls, and “grandchildren” Louvenia, Henry and John Lane. [In fact, these children were probably niece and nephews.]
The 1910 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County, shows John Sauls, 76, wife Jane, 56, Mary, 38, Sylvany, 36, Anna, 33, and Snobe, 10, plus niece Louvenia Lane, 23, and boarder Freeman Swinson, 14. Anna reported that she was divorced; “Snobe” — John B. Sauls, alias Snow B. Nobles — was her son. Freeman Swinson was the son of Jane’s sister Mariah Artis Swinson.
The 1920 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County, shows Anna Sauls, 45, widowed, sharing a household with her sisters Sylvania, 46, and Mary, 49, widowed mother Jane, 76, and cousin Levenia Sauls, 28.
Jane Lane Sauls died 16 Dec 1928 in Stantonsburg township, Wilson County, of paralysis due to hypertension and cerebral hemorrhage. Her death certificate reported that she was born in 1842 in Greene County NC to Guy Lane and Sylvania Artis, both of Greene County, and she was the widow of John Sauls. She was buried 17 December 1928 at Union Grove cemetery in Wayne County by C.E. Artis of Wilson NC. (Columbus E. Artis was her cousin.) The informant for her certificate was Anna Sauls, Route 6 Box 94, Stantonsburg.
Anna Sauls died 20 December 1950 in Stantonsburg township, Wayne County, of cerebral hemorrhage. Her death certificate reports that she was a widow and was born 1 January 1878 in Wayne County to John Sauls and Jane Lane. She was buried 23 December 1950 at Union Grove cemetery. The informant was Louvenia Sauls, Route 2 Box 300, Stantonsburg.
Sylvania Sauls died 23 October 1957 in Stantonsburg township, Wilson County, of cerebral hemorrhage. Her death certificate reports that she was about 87 years old and was born in Wayne County to John Sauls and Jane Lane. She was buried 28 October 1957 in Union Grove cemetery. The informant was Louvenia Sauls.
Mary Sauls died 29 December 1960 in Fremont township, Wayne County, of cerebral hemorrhage. Her death certificate reports that she was born 3 September 1861 in Wayne County to Johnnie Sauls and Jane Lane. (And thus was 4 years old when assigned to look after Calvin Woodard Jr.) Mary was buried 3 January 1961 at Union Grove cemetery. The informant was Anna Ray, Route 2 Box 143, Fremont.