State of North Carolina, Wayne County
I Roday Reed of said county as this 16th day of Sept 1863 make and declare this to be my last Will & testament in manor & form following (Viz)
I lend to my daughter Patsey Hall all my lands & all my other property of all kind my money & debts all that I may have at death after my just debts & burying Expense are paid provided the the said Patsey Hall takes her Two sisters in with her Say Bytha & Vina to be supported on the land & this property sepperate & apart from their husbands at the death of the last one of my before named daughters say Bytha & Vina & Patsey I give my mare Dobie to Edmond Hall my grandson & I give all the rest of above named property to my grand children Edmund Hall & Eveline Hall to them & their heirs forever to be Eaqually divided be tween them. I also give it so my will for my husband David to be supported out of the above named property during his life. Lastly I nominate my beloved son Washington Reed to Execute this my last will & testament to all interests declaring this & no other to be my will, I or witness whereof I have unto set my hand & seal Roda X Reed
Signed & acknowledged W Thompson John Read
Rhoda Reid was a prosperous free woman of color born about 1795, most likely in southern Edgecombe or northeastern Wayne County. She and her sister Tabitha Reid married enslaved men whom they informally manumitted. Rhoda, who recorded her first deed in 1821, amassed considerable property in the Nahunta area of Wayne County north of present-day Eureka. Rhoda and David Reid’s children included Tabitha “Bitha” (born circa 1811), Melvina “Vina” Reid Artis, alias Sampson (circa 1813), Zion (circa 1815), Washington (circa 1818), Martha “Patsey” Reid Hall (circa 1824), John (circa 1826), Isaac (circa 1828) and Benjamin (circa 1831).
By the late 1800s, Rhoda’s grandchildren and great-children had begun to spread north from Wayne County into Wilson County. Several established themselves as skilled tradesmen in Wilson, and two of Washington Reid‘s sons — veterinary surgeon Elijah L. Reid and principal/hospital administrator/banker J.D. Reid — joined Wilson’s African-American elite. The town’s 1916 city directory reflects their settlement on the east side:
Members of the Reid family who have previously appeared in this blog include Washington’s son Henry S. Reid (and here); Washington’s grandsons James D. and Herbert O. Reid; and John’s great-grandson Allen T. Reid.
Wilson Daily Times, 25 April 1911.