State v. Hilliard Barnes and Nancy Baker.

On 7 January 1880, the clerk of Wilson County Superior Court issued a writ of capias directing the county sheriff to arrest and detain Hilliard Barnes and Nancy Baker, who had missed a court date to answer charges of fornication and adultery. Edwin Barnes agreed to post bond with Hilliard Barnes, and Wright Newsome and Gray White were called as witnesses to the relationship.

Two days before posting bond, the couple had perfected their defense to the charges by getting married. On 16 February 1880, Hilliard Barnes, 30, and Nancy Baker, 25, were married by a justice of the peace at Edwin Barnes Sr.’s house. Wright Newsome, G. Bryant and Ed Sims were witnesses. In the 1880 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: Hilliard Barnes, 30; wife Nancy, 28; and Edmund Taborne, 3.

  • Hilliard Barnes — Hilliard Barnes died 6 January 1944 in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was about 100 years old; was born in Wilson County to Gray Barnes and Bernie Barnes; lived at 705 Woodard Line; and was married to Fannie Barnes, age, 70.
  • Nancy Baker
  • Gray White — in the 1880 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County, Gray White is listed as a 32 year-old white laborer in the household of Edwin Barnes, below.
  • Wright Newsome — in the 1880 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County, Wright Newsome, 26, farm laborer; wife Mary, 25; children Walter, 3, Willie, 2, and Puss, 8 months; plus Mary Ellis, 13, farm laborer. [The Newsomes were next-door neighbors of Edwin Barnes and White.]
  • Edwin Barnes — white farmer Edwin Barnes, 62, listed in the 1880 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County.

Adultery Records-1880, Miscellaneous Records, Wilson County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

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