Month: April 2020

Studio shots, no. 152: Albert F. Hinnant.

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Albert Franklin Hinnant (1909-1988).

In the 1930 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Atlas Hinnant, 47; wife Hattie, 43; children Albert, 18, Cleo, 15, Mary, 13, and Paul, 9; plus mother Haley Lane, 62, widow.

In 1940, Albert Franklin Hinnant registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 23 March 1909 in Wilson; lived at R.F.D. #1, Lucama, Wilson County; his contact was mother Hattie Hinnant, R.F.D. #3, Kenly, Wilson County; and he worked for Walter Kirby, Lucama. He was described as 6’5″, 205 pounds.

On 28 December 1972, Albert Franklin Hinnant, single, born 23 March 1911, married Lillie Mae Brown, divorced, born 23 June 1915, in Portsmouth, Virginia.

Albert F. Hinnant died 5 May 1988 in Hampton, Virginia. Per his death certificate, he was born 23 March 1911 in Wilson, N.C., to Atlas Hinnant and Hattie Pierce; was married to Lillie M. Hinnant; lived in Portsmouth, Virginia, and was a retired merchant seaman. He was buried in Hampton National Cemetery, Hampton, Virginia.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry user jmt1946808.

Volunteers in the Spanish-American War.

The Third North Carolina Volunteer Infantry was a black regiment formed for service in the Spanish-American War. The officers and one thousand enlisted men of the regiment included these residents of Wilson, North Carolina.

In Company A, formed in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina; mustered into service 12 May 12 1898, at Fort Macon, North Carolina; mustered out of service 2 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia:

  • Barnes, Spencer — enlisted and mustered into service 23 June 23rd 1898; mustered out of service 2 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia. [In the 1880 census of Wilson, North Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Mark Barnes, 31; wife Annie, 30, a hotel cook; and nephews Peter, 10, and Spencer Barnes, 8, who shared a household with Esther Taylor, 65, and her nephew Iredel Taylor, 16.]

In Company H, formed in Franklin County; mustered into service 14 July 1898 at Fort Macon, North Carolina; mustered out of service 4 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia:

  • Hahn, Joseph — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 4 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia. [Was “Hahn” actually Hines?]

In Company I, formed in Cumberland County; mustered into service 14 July 1898 at Fort Macon, North Carolina; mustered out of service on 8 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia:

  • Allen, James I., 2nd Lt. — commissioned 23 June 1898; mustered into service as Second Lieutenant 14 July 1898 at Fort Macon, North Carolina; mustered out of service 8 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia. [In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: farmer West Allen, 33; wife Harriet, 33; children Boston, 15, Susan, 12, Cornelius, 10, James I., 7, John, 6, Lettice, 3, and Effie, 1 month; and mother Harriet, 65.]
  • Clayton, Patrick C. — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia. [In 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: tobacco stemmer Patrick Clayton, 47; wife Sarrah, 37, washing; and children Ellex, 15, tobacco stemmer, Tom, 11, tobacco stemmer, and Georgia, 9. Patrick C. Clayton died 6 September 1929 at National Soldiers Home, Elizabeth City County, Virginia. Per his death certificate, he was 65 years old; married to Lela Clark Clayton; was a laborer; and his birthplace and parents were unknown. He was buried in Hampton National Cemetery.]

Patrick C. Clayton, like Willie Gay, died in the veterans’ hospital in Hampton, Virginia. He was buried at Hampton National Cemetery.

  • Cross, Joseph — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia.
  • Currin, Thomas — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia.
  • Daniel, William — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia.
  • Ellis, James — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899, at Macon, Georgia.
  • Gay, Willie, Corporal — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service as a corporal 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899, at Macon, Georgia.
  • Hart, Duncan — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia.
  • Jackson, Benjamin F. — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899, at Macon, Georgia. [Perhaps: Ben Jackson, 22, married Rena Brinkley, 19, at the residence of James Ellis in Wilson. Free Will Baptist minister C. Best performed the ceremony in the presence of H.T. Phillips, G.W. Joyner, and Edgar Gay.]
  • Jones, Peter — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia.
  • Killibrew, William — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia.
  • Lewis, Edward — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia.
  • Mack, William — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia.
  • Moore, Alexander — enlisted on 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia. [Perhaps: on 13 September 1894, Alex Moore, 23, married Martha Barnes, 18, at the A.M.E.Z. church in Wilson. L.B. Williams performed the ceremony in the presence of S.H. Vick, A.C. Smith, and S.A. Smith. Alex Moore died 28 December 1928 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 60 years old; was a widower; lived at 108 Manchester; worked as a common laborer; and was born in Wilson to John and Sallie Ann Moore of New Bern, N.C. Charles Moore was informant.]
  • Thomas, Charles — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia. [This was most likely, newspaper employee Charles Thomas, born in Wilson to Sarah Thomas, not barber/insurance agent Charles S. Thomas.]
  • Thomas, Robert — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; killed 15 December 1898 at Macon, Georgia. [Two members of the 3rd N.C. were shot and killed in Macon. I am searching for additional details.]

Wilmington Morning Star, 16 December 1898.

  • Utley, Turner –enlisted on 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia. [On 12 September 1901, Turner Utley, 22, married Mariah Williams, 24, at J.W. Rodgers’ residence in Wilson. Missionary Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in the presence of Irene Miller, Minnie Rogers, and Bettie Davis. Turner H. Utley died 20 July 1928 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 52 years old; was born in Wake County to Ellen Utley; was married to Mariah Utley; worked as a cook; and was buried in Rountree cemetery.]
  • Warren, Lewis — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia.

A Roster of the 3rd North Carolina Volunteer Infantry, http://www.spanamwar.com; U.S. National Cemetery Interment Control Forms 1928-1962, ancestry.com.

Cards of thanks.

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Wilson Daily Times, 30 April 1943.

  • Lizzie Battle — Lizzie Battle died 14 April 1942 at 709 East Green Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 9 September 1913 in Wayne County,N.C., to unknown parents; was married to Willie Battle; resided at 908 East Nash; and was buried in Greenleaf cemetery, Wayne County.
  • Willie Battle
  • Annie Elizabeth Weeks
  • Marie Weeks

In the  1910 census of New Bern, Craven County, North Carolina: at 176 George Street, pastor Alfred L. Weeks, 34; wife Annie, 34, a teacher; daughter Marie E., 4; and sister Bessie, 20.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson township, Wilson County: Alfred Weeks, 44, a minister; wife Annie, 44; daughter Marie, 14, and sister Bessie, 26.

In the 1940 census of Salisbury, Rowan County, N.C., public school teacher Marie Weeks, 34, is listed as a lodger in the household of Isaac and Hattie A. Miller at 1008 West Monroe Street.

Annie Elizabeth Marie Weeks died 3 March 1962 in Salisbury, N.C. Per her death certificate, she was born 4 July 1905 in New Bern, N.C., to A.L.E. Weeks and Annie E. Cook; was never married; and worked as a teacher.

Annie E. Cook Weeks, Alfred L.E. Weeks, and A.E. Marie Weeks. A.B. Caldwell, ed., History of the American Negro and His Institutions, North Carolina Edition (1921).

Shot at from a mystery car.

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Wilson Daily Times, 6 October 1943.

  • Prince Kornegay — in the 1940 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer Prince Kornegay, 46; wife Molly, 43; and children Eddie, 21, Otis, 16, Elizabeth, 16, Ramon, 14, Prince Jr., 10, H.B., 7, Bernice, 5, and Richard, 2.
  • Wavis Reid
  • A.Z. Ray

Willie Gay’s headstone found in Odd Fellows cemetery.

Jeff Barefoot had read my blog and was passing through Wilson. Curious about Rountree, Odd Fellows and Vick cemeteries, he stopped by, poked around in the woods a bit, and hit the jackpot — the headstone of Willie Gay! Not only had I missed Gay’s marker on my forays into Odd Fellows, his is the only one I’ve seen for a Spanish-American War veteran in these cemeteries.

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WILLIE GAY  CORP.  3 N.C. INF.  SP.AM.WAR

——

In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Emma Gay, 35; children Charlie, 15, a steam-mill worker, Mary, 11, Etheldred, 8, and Willie, 6; plus a boarder Fannie Thompson, 19, cook.

On 8 January 1894, Willie Gay, 18, and Mary Bunn, 21, were married at the groom’s house in Wilson. Presbyterian minister L.J. Melton performed the ceremony in the presence of W.T. Phillips, L.A. Moore, and C.C. Williams.

In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: day laborer William Gay, 26, widower, living alone.

On 29 October 1902, Willie Gay, 27, son of Charles Gay and Emma Rountree, married Mary Johnson, 22, daughter of Edmund Johnson and Bertha Johnson, at Henry Johnson‘s. H.S. Phillips applied for the license, and Missionary Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in the presence of Cain Artis, Charles S. Thomas, and Robert E. Artis.

On 23 March 1906, William Gay, 33, son of Charles and Emma Gay, married Augustus McNeil, 30, daughter of Peter and Emily Patterson, in Wilson. Missionary Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in the presence of J.E. Farmer, Robert Strickland, and Charlie Farmer.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: railroad laborer Will Gay, 34; wife Susia, 34, cook; children Paul, 17, railroad laborer, Charlie, 10, Emma, 4, and Georgia, 2; brother-in-law Peter Johnson, 20, hotel waiter; nephew Jessie Lewis, 22, boarding house proprietor; and lodger Nathan Jenkins, 30, oil mill laborer.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 717 Stantonsburg Street, railroad brakeman William Gay, 48; wife Gertrude, 43; and roomer Oscar Magotte, 26.

In the 1920 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Gay William grocer 717 Stantonsburg Rd

On 27 December 1922, William Gay, 52, son of Charlie and Emma Gay, married Gertrude Magette, 45, daughter of Jerry and Lucy Magette, in Wilson. Missionary Baptist minster A.L.E. Weeks performed the ceremony in the presence of J.A. Parker, 211 East Spruce Street; Mary L. Moore, 314 South Stantonsburg Street; and Annie E. Weeks, 500 Hadley Street.

In the 1940 census of Kecoughtan, Elizabeth City County, Virginia: at the Veterans Administration facility, Willie Gay, 66, born in North Carolina.

Willie Gay died 25 May 1940 at the Veterans Administration hospital in Kecoughtan, Virginia. Per his death certificate, he was born 10 February 1874 in Wilson, N.C., to Charles Gay and Emma Byrum, both of Greene County, N.C.; was divorced; was a veteran of the Spanish American War; was a railroad worker; and lived at 526 Smith Street, Wilson.

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On 13 June 1940, Howard M. Fitts applied for a military headstone for Willie Gay. The application for an upright marker noted that Gay had served from 23 June 1898 to 8 February 1899 in Company I, 3rd N.C. Infantry; and achieved the rank of corporal. Gay was to be buried in Rountree (actually, Odd Fellows) Cemetery in Wilson.

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Photo of Gay’s marker courtesy of Jeff Barefoot and published at Findagrave.com. Thank you!

Edwin Barnes house.

Per Kate Ohno’s Wilson County’s Architectural Heritage (1981):

“Edwin Barnes was born in 1816 and received training as a doctor. He married Elizabeth Simms, daughter of James Simms. Dr. Barnes’ practice extended from Stantonsburg too Wilson. Josephus Daniels described Dr. Barnes in the first volume of his autobiography, Tar Heel Editor. ‘He was the leading physician in Wilson, universally beloved. He never had an office. There were no telephones to call him when his services were needed. If he could not be found at home, he was usually at his favorite drugstore — favorite because interesting people gathered there to swap experiences and tell stories … Dr. Barnes never sent a bill to a patient of failed to respond to a professional call from those he know could not pay him. He was the model country-town doctor, responding to any calls, day or night, to distant country homes over bad roads.’ Dr. Barnes’ commodious house is situated in a grove of old trees between Wilson and Stantonsburg. The house was designed in the Greek Revival style and is one of the most outstanding examples of this style in Wilson County. Built circa 1840, the house stands two stories high and boasts two front doors, a common feature of Wilson residential architecture before the Civil War. Molded window and door surrounds with square cornerbacks are used throughout and the full-width shed porch is supported by graceful, flared, fluted columns. On the interior, the house has been minimally altered. The woodwork is original throughout, as is the floor plan. The two front doors lead to two front rooms joined by a connecting door. An enclosed stair with flat panel wainscot leads to the second floor. Both double-panel and eight-panel doors are used in the house and flat panel wainscoting with a molded chair rail enhances the main rooms. The vernacular mantels feature the use of narrow reeded boards.”

——

In the 1840 census of District 4, Edgecombe County: Edwin Barnes is listed as the head of a household that included one white male aged 20-29; one white female aged 15-19; one white female under five; and one white female aged 60-69. He also reported 14 slaves — two males under ten; one aged 10-23; one male aged 36-45; one male aged 55-99; one female under ten; four females aged 10-23; one female 24-35; and one female aged 36-54.

In the 1850 census of Edgecombe County: farmer Edwin Barnes, 32; wife Elizeth, 24; and children Louisa, 9, and Franklin, 6. Barnes reported $6500 in assets.

In the 1850 slave schedule of Edgecombe County, Edwin Barnes reported owning 32 enslaved people.

In the 1860 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: farmer Edwin Barnes, 43; wife Elizabeth, 36; and children Lou, 20, Franklin, 15, Edwin, 9, and Dora, 4. Barnes reported $14,000 in real property and $56,780 in personal property (most in the form of enslaved people.)

In the 1860 slave schedule of Saratoga district, Wilson County, Edwin Barnes reported holding 48 enslaved people (who lived in only five houses). He also reported holding another 15 enslaved people “in trust for four minor heirs.”

The estate of Henry Horn.

Henry Horn owned several tracts of land in the Black Creek area, which was once part of Wayne County. He drafted his last will and testament on 25 January 1830 with very particular instructions. First, he directed his executor to “sell one Negro boy by the name of Arnold ….” Then, “to my wife Edah nine Negros Lige, Patience, Fanny, Warren, Dinah, Jim, Winny, Abram & Linnet … until my daughter Sally shall arrive to the age of fifteen years, then it is my desire that one half of the above named negroes be equally divided between my daughters Nancy Barnes, Sally, Zilly & Rebeckah …” The other half would remain with wife Edith during her lifetime, then be distributed among their children as she saw fit.

Horn died in 1838. The inventories his executor prepared on 21 September 1838 and 30 November 1839 note that his estate held fifteen enslaved people. The 1839 inventory carried this addendum:

“Since the taking of the first Inventory of the above dec’d one negro woman by the name Winny is deceast and Two children has been born one the child of sd. Winny and the other the child of Fanny”

Pursuant to an order of Wayne County Court at July Term 1840, Horn’s executors divided his enslaved property among his legatees. Widow Edith Horn drew Lot No. 1: Lije ($850), Linet ($600), Patience and child Hilard ($700), Will ($300), Litha ($350), and Jeffry ($125). Lot No. 2, to be split among their children: Jim ($800), Warren ($650), Fanny and child Henry ($750), Pearcy ($350), and Jo ($300). With adjustments paid to equalize shares, Rebecca Horn received Jim; Jonathan Barnes and wife Nancy Horn Barnes received Warren; James Newsom and wife Sally Horn Newsom received Fanny and Henry; and Zilla Horn received Pearcy and Jo.

Horn’s youngest children, Mary Ann and Elizabeth, were born after he made his will in 1830, and he never updated it to include them. Thus, the 1840 court ordered that they receive the shares they would have gotten had he made no will at all. Accordingly, Abram ($750), Diner ($400), Esther ($400), and Hester ($375) were set aside for the girls, who were about seven and four years of age.

Henry Horn Will (1830), Henry Horn Estate Records (1838), Wayne County, North Carolina Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

The obituary of Cora Artis.

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Wilson Times, 20 November 1925.

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In the 1880 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Jessie Artis, 34; wife Patsey, 35; and children Adeline, 15, Dora, 12, Lornce, 7, Barney, 4, Jane, 2, and Corah, 2 months.

In the 1900 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Jessie Artis, 55; wife Patsie, 58; and children Larnce, 27, Bonnie, 24, James, 22, Cora, 20, and Emma, 17.

In the 1910 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Jessie Artis, 55; wife Patsie, 58; and children Larnce, 27, Bonnie, 24, James, 22, Cora, 20, and Emma, 17.

In the 1920 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Jessie Artis, 69; wife A. Patsy, 64; and daughter Cora, 30.

Cora Artis died 17 November 1925. Her death certificate belied the newspaper’s claim of the heroic efforts of four physicians to save her life, noting her cause of death as “pneumonia stated to us no Doctor.”

Hart Island Project.

I knew, of course, that New York City has a potter’s field. That knowledge, however, did not blunt the impact of drone footage of laborers burying in long trenches the plain wooden coffins of coronavirus victims. The pine boxes, startlingly pale against the dark slash of subsoil, stacked edge to edge, two deep.

More than one million New Yorkers have been buried on Hart Island since the late 1860s. In early April 2020, as hundreds, then thousands, died a day from Covid-19, the city began to bury unclaimed bodies, at least temporarily, on the island.

Hart Island Project, a nonprofit group that has pushed for more public access and awareness regarding the island, published the drone video. The Project has created database (with map) of burials on Hart Island since 1980 and Traveling Cloud Museum, an interactive storytelling platform that provides information about each person, including “a clock that measures the period of time they have been buried in anonymity until someone adds a story, image, epitaph, sound or video.

Hart Island Project’s work and website are powerful models for what might be done to restore to memory the dead of Rountree, Odd Fellows, and Vick Cemeteries.

For more regarding initial efforts to identify Hart Island’s dead, please see “Finding Names for Hart Island’s Forgotten,” a story by Cara Buckley published 24 March 2008 in the New York Times:

“For her part, Ms. [Melinda] Hunt believes that Hart Island should allow public visits, at least once a year, though Stephen Morello, a spokesman for the Department of Correction, said security would be a concern because inmates work there. Ms. Hunt also said the need was urgent for Hart Island’s burial records to be available in a centralized database, an expense that Mr. Morello said the Correction Department did not have the resources to cover. Thousands of records, handwritten in ledgers, were lost in a fire in the 1970s. Ms. Hunt said she would be applying to a state arts foundation for money to post the records online, and to collect the stories behind them.

‘People have the right to know where their family members are buried in the city,’ she said. ‘I’m trying to show a hidden part of American culture that I think is important, that I think is overlooked. These are public records. They belong to the people of New York.’”

Hat tip to Renee Lapyerolerie.

Studio shots, no. 151: Matilda Roberts Battle.

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Matilda Roberts Battle (1902-1954).

In the 1910 census of Suffolk, Virginia: furniture salesman W.M. Roberts, 37; wife Sally, 32; and children Leroy, 12, Matilda, 7, Sally A., 4, and Bessie May, 2, all born in North Carolina.

In the 1920 census of Suffolk, Virginia: William Roberts, 46, furniture salesman; wife Sallie, 40; and children Sallie Jr., 15, Leroy, 21, Matilda, 17, Bessie M., 12, Elizabeth, 9, Annie L., 4, and Rebecca F., 1. All the children after Matilda were born in Virginia.

In the 1930 census of Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania: at 222 Plum, rented for $25/month, sewer pitman Wesley C. Battle, 27, restaurant porter; wife Matilda, 27; and four lodgers.

In the 1940 census of Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania: sewer pitman Wesley Battle, 37; wife Matilda, 37; and children Alice, 10, James, 8, Evelyn, 7, Bessie, 3, and Sarah F., 1; and lodger John Majet, 43, roadwork laborer.

Matilda Battle died 28 April 1954 in Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania. Per her death certificate, she was born 29 August 1902 in Wilson, N.C., to William Roberts and Sallie Kaytes; was married; lived at 362 Tulpehocken Street, Reading; and Bessie James was informant.

Photo courtesy of Beverly Hines-Wright.