This Indenture made this Twenty eighth day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred & forty six Between James Tomlinson of the county of Edgecombe & State of N. Carolina of the one part & Hardy Lasiter of County & State aforesaid of the other part. Witnessesth that I the said James Tomlins[on] for & in consideration of the sum of Two hundred & fifty dollars & fifty cents to me in hand paid before the sealing & delivering of these presents the receipt whereof I do hereby acknowledge & myself feeling satisfied contented & paid have bargained sold & delivered unto the aforesaid Hardy Lasiter his heard & assigns forever one tract or parcel of land lying & being in the county of Edgecombe & the East side of Homony Swamp & bounded as follows (viz) Beginning at a pine in Benjamin Simms line then running with his line to the mill swamp then down the various of said swamp to said Simms line again & then nearly west with his line to an oak & pine then N. 8″ west to the beginning containing by estimation 81 acres To have & to hold the above land & premises with all the appurtenances thereunto belonging to him & his heirs forever. And I the said James Tomlinson do for myself my heirs & assigns warrant & forever defend the right & title of said Land & premises unto the said Hardy Lasiter his heirs & assigns forever. In witness whereof I the James Tomlinson have hereunto set my hand & seal the day & date above written James X Tomlinson [witnesses] Edwin Barnes, Lewis Ellis
In the 1850 census of Edgecombe County: Hardy Laster, 73, wife Beady, and children Mathew and Silas, 26, Green, 25, Hardy, 21, and Rachel, 20.
In 1851, Lassiter executed a will whose first provision bequeathed “unto my son Silas Laseter all that tract of Land where he now Lives known by the name of the Tomlinson tract containing Eighty one acres more or less adjoining the Lands of Benj Sims ….” I have not been able to identify the precise location of this property. Hominy Swamp arises near the Wilson airport and runs southeast through present-day Wilson into Contentnea Creek about a mile southwest of Beddingfield High School. Lassiter’s parcel was likely somewhere between Hominy Swamp and Toisnot Swamp north of present-day Raleigh Road.
Deed book 24, page 203, Edgecombe County Register of Deeds Office, Tarboro, North Carolina.
I’ve written here of Rev. John W. Perry, the Episcopal rector who served both Tarboro’s Saint Luke and Wilson’s Saint Mark’s for more than a decade beginning in 1889.
I was headed out of Tarboro back toward Wilson yesterday when a sign at the edge of a somewhat shabby cemetery caught my eye — it was Saint Luke’s graveyard. The cemetery was established in the 1890s and likely contains many more graves than its headstones would indicate. Rev. Perry, his wife Mary Pettipher Perry, and several of their children are among the burials.
The Perry family plot lies in the shadow of this impressive light gray granite marker.
Rev. John W. Perry 1850-1918 He served St. Luke’s Parish for 37 years with honor to his Maker and himself.
Mary Eliza Pettipher Wife of Rev. J.W. Perry 1854-1929 Our lives were enriched because she lived among us.
In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 411 Wiggins Street, city pipe fitter Benj. Mency, 38; wife Mattie, 37, tobacco factory worker; and children Benjamin J., 11, Mildred, 7, Maddison, 5, and John, 3 months.
In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 656 Wiggins Street, valued at $800, town of Wilson plumber Benjamin Mincy, 48; wife Mattie, 49; and children Benjamin Jr., 23, Briggs Hotel cook; Madison B., 16; Mildred, 17; and John H., 11; and roomer Andrew P. Sugg, 59.
On 13 October 1935, Madison Mincey, 25, of Wilson, married Lalla Rook Barnes, 25, in Wilson. Missionary Baptist minister Charles T. Jones performed the ceremony in the presence of Frank Davis, Frank Barnes, and Anna Barnes.
In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: hospital orderly Madison Mincey, 25; wife Lalla Rook, 22; and children Elizabeth E. and Robert E., 3; Johnny M., 1; and Luther, 5 months.
In the 1950 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 803 East Green Street, Elois Parker, 29, widow; her sons William T., 11, Jessie, 6, and Ralph, 3; brother-in-law Madison Mincey, 36 collect garbage at city garbage department; nieces and nephews Elizabeth, 13, Luther, 10, Mildred, 9, Madison, 8, and Fredrick Mincey, 6; mother Mary Barnes, 71, widow; and cousin Hallie Ward, 27, private servant.
I’ve been looking for Granite Point since 2019, and last month I finally posted a query here. Two weeks later, Lisa Winstead-Stokes responded that she absolutely knew where Granite Point is — it’s her family’s cemetery!
Yesterday I met up with Lisa and her husband Cornell Stokes on Thompson Chapel Church Road, just north of Silver Lake. We crossed into a patch of woods, and I immediately saw numerous depressions in the ground indicating sunken graves. After a few minutes, Lisa spotted an old metal funeral home marker, whose paper placard had long rotted away. She wasn’t sure there were any headstones in the cemetery, but then I spied this:
The woods are bisected by an open stretch that also shows evidence of grave depressions. We realized immediately that the second section, on a slope leading down to a mill pond, was the primary location of burials in the cemetery. Several small beautifully preserved concrete headstones stand in neat rows alongside two vaults and a large granite headstone. Sadly, most mark the deaths of children within a two-year span from 1921 to 1923, when influenza and other disease struck the extended Joyner family hard.
The cemetery was established on property belonging to John S. Thompson as burial place for African-American sharecroppers and tenant farmers working his land. According to Lisa’s father, Roosevelt Winstead, who recalled attending funerals there in the 1950s, the site was open not only to family, but to anyone in the community who could not afford to be buried elsewhere. A deed search shows the land belongs to absentee Thompson heirs, but neither recent plat maps nor J.S. Thompson’s 1943 plat map mark the cemetery’s location. (Thompson owned 909 acres along both sides of Thompson Chapel Church Road stretching from Highway 58 across the Nash County border.) The cemetery lies astride the boundary of two of the five parcels making up the present day property, and the metes and bounds description of one parcel likely provides a clue as to the actual name of the cemetery. Obituaries and death certificates list is as Granite Point or Grantie Point. The Winstead family’s pronunciation of its name is something closer to Granny Pines. The parcel description notes a Moccasin Branch and Granny Branch (tributaries of Toisnot Swamp) as boundaries. The cemetery lies partially in a triangular wedge jutting out from the parcel’s eastern edge. Was the cemetery’s original name Granny Point?
Maggie Wife of Sessoms Eatmon Died Feb. 10, 1923 Age 26 Yrs. As A Wife, Devoted. As A Mother, Affectionate. As A Friend, Eternal.
Maggie Eatmon died 10 February 1923 in Jackson township, Nash County. Per her death certificate, she was 26 years old; was born in Wilson County to Henry Joyner and Margaret Winstead; was married to Sessoms Eatmon; worked in farming; and was buried in Wilson County.
Theodore Son of Henry & Margarette Joyner Born Dec. 29, 1909 Died Jan. 21, 1923. Gone But Not Forgotten.
Theordo Joyner died 2 February 1923 in Jackson township, Nash County. Per his death certificate, he was born in December 1909 in Wilson, N.C., to Wm. henry Joyner and Margret Winstead; was a school boy; and was buried in the “country.”
Martha A. Lucas Born Aug 9 1910 Died Aug 10 1921 Gone to be an angel.
Martha Lucas died 10 August 1921 in Wilson, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 8 August 1909 in Nash County to Willey Lucas of Nash County and Elizabeth Lucas of Wilson County; was a school girl; and was buried in the “country.”
Herman Son of Lem & Susie Tabron Born Dec. 29, 1920 Died May 18, 1921. Asleep in Jesus.
Infants of Sessoms & Maggie Eatmon, Born Jan. 31, 1923 Died Feb. 2, 1923. At Rest.
Infant Abert Eatmon died 2 February 1923 in Jackson township, Nash County. Per his death certificate, he was born 31 January 1923 in Nash County to Sessoms Eatmon and Maggie Joyner, both of Wilson County; and was buried in the “country.”
Infant Son of Jarmon & Lula Eatmon. Born & Died June 25, 1921. Asleep in Jesus.
Vault cover of Tempie Scott’s grave, stamped Cofield Services.
Tempie Tabron Scott died 2 December 1968 in Halifax, Halifax County, North Carolina. Per her death certificate, she was born 30 June 1886 to Larse Tabron and Elizabeth [maiden name unknown]; was widowed; and was buried in Tabron family cemetery, Nash County, by Cofield Funeral Home, Weldon, N.C.
Annie B. Tabron Dobie May 6, 1927 Dec. 6, 1952
One of perhaps a dozen funeral home metal markers found in the cemetery.
Two Lisas on a chilly, almost-spring day.
Lisa Winstead-Stokes is exploring the logistics of clearing Granny Pines/Granite Point cemetery of years of overgrowth. If you have relatives buried or simply are interested in helping, please comment here with contact information!
Marble headstones are both heavy and fragile, and Foster uses site-built equipment to safely lift them.
The style of Oscar Mincey’s headstone suggests that it was placed shortly after his death in 1906. Prince Mincey’s engraving, however, appears to be machine-cut, suggesting manufacture and placement well after he died in 1902.
Though their grave markers have not yet been found, it seems likely that Prince Mincey’s wife Susan Minceyand Ben Mincey’s wife Mattie Barnes Mincey are buried in the family plot as well.
In the 1900 census of Wilson town, Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Prince Mensey, 60; wife Susan, 52; children Ben, 19, Emma, 19, and Oscar, 12; and niece Rosetta Mensey, 7.
Josiah Vick died in Nash County circa 1846. This detail from an “acct. of sale & Hire of Negroes” prepared by Vick’s administrator Benjamin H. Blount shows that Joshua Barnes purchased several enslaved people — Simeon; Lettice, her children Hines and Madison; and Jane — from Vick’s estate.
The connections between large slaveowners in Nash, Edgecombe, and (later) Wilson Counties formed a dense web, with surprising echoes decades later among Wilson’s African-American elite:
Josiah Vick’s daughter Susan Margaret Vick married John Routh Mercer of Temperance Hall in Edgecombe County. Mercer likely enslaved a child named Della and her mother Callie; Mercer is believed to have been Della’s biological father. Della Mercer Hines‘ first two sons were William Hines and Walter S. Hines, neighbors and business contemporaries of Samuel H. Vick. In 1894, Della Hines married David Barnes, who had been enslaved in childhood by Joshua Barnes. Dave and Della Barnes’ youngest son Boisey O. Barnes was a prominent physician in Wilson.
Daniel, Fannie, and Samuel Vick, and Della and Dave Barnes are buried in Odd Fellows Cemetery, which was established around what was originally the Vick family cemetery. Benjamin Mincey, famed leader of the all-Black Red Hot Hose and Reel volunteer firemen, is also buried in Odd Fellows. Madison Barnes, sold as a boy to Joshua Barnes, was Ben Mincey’s father-in-law and the namesake of Madison Ben Mincey, who worked for decades to keep the cemetery clear.
Lettice and her sons Hines and Madison
On 9 September 1868, Madison Barnes, son of Ephraim Booses and Lettice Parker, married Mariah Strickland, daughter of Henry Strickland and Frances Strickland, at the Wilson County Courthouse.
In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Hines Barnes, 30, farm laborer.
Ben Mincey, 21, of Wilson, son of P. Mincey, and Mattie Barnes, 20, of Wilson, daughter of M. and Mariah Barnes, were married on 12 January 1904. Berry Williams applied for the license, and Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in his home in the presence of Harry Mercer, W. Aken, and E.M. Davis.
On 6 June 1907, Madison Barnes, 50, son of Eaton Booze and Lettice Harper, married Caroline Stewart, 40, in Wilson. A.M.E. Zion minister N.D. King performed the ceremony in the presence of Charles Thomas, Alfred Dew, and Eugene Canady.
On 7 September 1908, Lula Barnes, 17, of Wilson, daughter of Madison Barnes and a deceased mother, married William Donnell, 22, of Stantonsburg, son of Hamp Donnell, at the bride’s residence.
On 24 December 1919, Madison Barnes, 64, applied for a license to marry Dollie Barnes, 54.
In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Saratoga Road, farm laborer Madison Barnes, 70; wife Dollie Ann, 53; and granddaughter Annie V. Vick, 8.
Madison Barnes died 18 September 1934 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 90 years old; was born in Nash County to unknown parents; was a widower; and had worked as a laborer. Lillie Mitchell was informant.
Lillie Mitchell died 11 January 1936 in Wilson township. Per her death certificate, she was 42 years old; was born in Wilson to Madison Barnes and Mariah Barnes; was married to Henry Mitchell; and worked as a farmer.
Edward Barnes died 20 February 1945 in Wilson township. Per his death certificate, he was 49 years old; was born in Wilson County to Madison Barnes and Mariah Strickland; was married to Lula Barnes; was engaged in farming; and was buried din Roundtree cemetery.
Mattie Barnes Mincey died 9 February 1960 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 15 December 1886 in Wilson to Madison Barnes and Mariah [maiden name unknown]; was a widow; lived at 706 Wiggins Street; and was buried at Rountree Cemetery. [If she is buried with her husband and his family, Mattie Barnes Mincey is actually buried in Odd Fellows.]