South Carolina roots: Mary Viola Skeeters Brockington.

Mary Viola Skeeters Brockington (1889-1973).

The decades after the emergence of Wilson’s bright leaf tobacco market in the 1890s saw thousands of African-American migrants arrive seeking work beyond the farm. In particular, families from North and South Carolina’s Sandhill counties made their way to Wide Awake’s stemmeries and factories. Among them were James and Mary Viola Skeeters Brockington, who migrated from the Florence, South Carolina, area to the Lucama area circa 1924.

In the 1910 census of Florence County, South Carolina: John Brockington, 28, farm laborer; wife Viola, 24; and children James, 8, Grace, 6, Seretha, 4, Ivym 3, and Effy, 11 months.

John James Brockinton registered for the World War I draft in 1918 in Florence County, South Carolina. Per his death certificate, he was born 9 December 1882; resided in Timmonsville, Florence County; worked as a farmer for Samuel E. Benton; and his nearest relative was Mary Brockinton.

On 8 January 1927, Seretha Brockington, 21, of Wilson, married Joe Gibson, 21, of Black Creek, in Wilson before witnesses John Brockington, William Farmer and H. Humphrey.

On 31 January 1929, James Brockington, 26, of Black Creek township, married Ida Carter, 20, of Springhill township, in Wilson. Their parents Nancy Carter, John Brockington and Mary Brockington witnessed.

In the 1930 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer John Brockington, 47; wife Mary, 47; children James, 27, Ethel, 18, Eulah Mae, 17, Irene, 14, Mamie, 13, Zollie, 10, Pearle, 8, and Bertha, 5; plus grandson John Ed Cooper, 2. All were described as born in South Carolina except Bertha (North Carolina) and John Ed (Michigan). Next door: Ivey Brockington, 21, and wife Eva, 18.

On 28 December 1931, Eula Mae Brockington, 18, of Black Creek, married J.D. Finch, 19, of Wilson, in Wilson. Witnesses were Joe Finch, Gertrude Finch and Mary Brockington.

On 26 March 1932, Ethel Brockington, 20, of Black Creek, daughter of John and Mary Brockington, married Joseph Sims, 21, of Cross Roads, son of Reddick and Bettie Sims, in Wilson in the presence of Mary Brockington, Joe Gibson and J.T. Stancil.

In the 1940 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: on a path between New Road and Smithfield Road, widowed farmer Mary Brogden, 54; children Zollie, 20, Pearl Lee, 18, and Bertha, 16; and grandson John Ed Cooper, 12. (Bertha was born in North Carolina John Ed in “Mitchion.” The others, in South Carolina.) Next door: Ivie Brogden, 30; wife Eva, 27; and children Mary Lee, 7, and Eddie, 6.

In 1940, Zollie Brockington registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 18 May 1919 in Timberville, South Carolina; his contact was his mother Mary Brockington; and he was self-employed.

In 1940, Ivie Brockington registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 27 March 1907 in Timberville, South Carolina; his contact was his wife Eva Brockington; and he was self-employed.

In 1942, Robert James Brockington registered for the World War II draft in Washington, D.C. Per his registration card, he was born 13 June 1903 in Florence, South Carolina; was married to Ida Brockington; resided at 1013-3rd Street, N.E.; and worked for Charles H. Thompkins,

Zollie Brockington died 25 December 1942 in an auto accident in Cross Roads township. Per his death certificate, he was born 25 September 1917 in Wilson County [sic] to John Brockington and Mary Sketters, both of Florence, South Carolina; was single; was a tenant farmer; and was buried at Mary  Grove.

James Brockington died 13 May 1947 in Cross Roads township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 13 June 1904 in Florence, South Carolina to John Brockington and Mary Sketters; was married to Ida Brockington; was a farmer; and was buried at Mary Grove church cemetery.

Mary Sketers Brockington died 26 February 1973 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 7 March 1893 in South Carolina to John and Magillia Sketers; was a widow; and lived at 910 East Vance Street. Mrs. Ethel Simms, 910 East Vance, was informant.

Ivie John Brockington died 21 January 1993 in Wilson County.

Eula Mae Sherrod died 27 November 2001 in Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 6 May 1911 in Sardis, South Carolina, to John Brockington and Mary Sketters.

Photograph courtesy of Ancestry.com user VAultmon.

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