The obituary of Pernelpa “Neppie” Battle Maryland — centenarian?

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News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.), 26 August 1919.

It seems unlikely that Pernelpa (or Penelope) Battle Maryland was actually 106, or even 100, at the time of her death. Earliest records show that she was born about 1840. (Further, her father Primas Battle, per census records, was born about 1812 — just a year before her alleged birth year.) A resident of Rocky Mount most of her life, Neppie Maryland was living with son John Maryland Jr.‘s family near Elm City in Wilson County at the time of her death.

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In the 1870 census of Rocky Mount, Nash County: John Maryland, 47; wife Penelope, 30; and children Sidney, 13, Henry, 12, Maron, 10, Noah, 8, Haywood 6, Scoffield 4, and Walter, 1.

In the 1880 census of Rocky Mount, Edgecombe County: farmer John Maryland, 58, born in Maryland; wife Melvel, 40; and children Haywood, 17, who was deaf; Schofield, 16; Walter, 10; Mary, 9; John, 7; Hattie, 6; Primas, 4; and Jonas, 2.

In the 1900 census of Rocky Mount, Nash County: day laborer John Marland, 77, born in Maryland; wife Pernelope, 67; and Jonas, 19, Claud, 12, and Jesse Marland, 7.

Walter Maryland died 20 August 1917 in Sharpsburg, Edgecombe County. Per his death certificate, he was born 5 May 1868 in Edgecombe County to John Maryland and Pernelphia Battle; was married; and was a tenant farmer.

Pernelpa Maryland died 20 August 1919 in Toisnot township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born in 1813 in Edgecombe County to Prymas Battle and Mary Battle, both of Edgecombe County. Informant was George Wright of Sharpsburg, N.C. She was buried in Nash County.

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Haywood Maryland died 8 April 1923 in Rocky Mount, Nash County. Per his death certificate, he was 71 years old; was born in Edgecombe County to John Maryland of Maryland and Panella Battle of Edgecombe County; was a carpentry laborer; was married to Tarnettia Maryland; and lived at 800 South Church Street, Rocky Mount.

Sida [Sidney] Jones died 27 June 1936 at Douglass Farm in Township No. 11, Edgecombe County. Per her death certificate, she was 80 years old; was born in Edgecombe County to Albert Grant and Neppie Maryland and was a widow. Turner Battle of Rocky Mount was informant.

Primus Maryland died 13 May 1959 in Norfolk, Virginia. Per his death certificate, he was born 23 May 1885 in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, to John Maryland and Penelope Maryland; was retired from Norfolk & Western Railroad; and was never married.

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