1870s

Accidental drowning.

State of North Carolina, Wilson County   }

Be it remembered that on the 20th day of June 1878 I, H.W. Peel one of the Coroners of said County, attended by a Jury of good and lawful men, viz S.M. Warren, Ruffin Lamm, J.H. Worrell, J.T. High, J.M. White, L.T. Raper, Frank Farmer, E. Holoway, G.W. Barefoot, Aaron Skinner, Henry Wiggins & Robt. Strickland by me summoned for that purpose according to law after being by me duly sworn and Empannelled at J. Barefoot Mill Pond in the County aforesaid did hold an inquest over the dead body of William Barnett, col and after inquiring into the facts & circumstances of the death of the deceased from a view of the corpse and all the testimony to be procured the Jury find as follows that is to say that the deceased came to his death by accidental drowning.  /s/ Frank (X) Farmer, S.M. Warren Foreman, E. (X) Holoway, Ruffin (X) Lamm, G.W. Barefoot, J.H. Worrell, Aaron (X) Skinner, J.T. High, Henry (X) Wiggins, G.M. White, Robt. (X) Strickland, L.T. Raper

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State of North Carolina, Wilson County   }

Be it remembered that on the 20th day of June 1878 I, H.W. Peel one of the Coroners of said County, attended by a Jury of good and lawful men, viz S.M. Warren, Ruffin Lamm, J.H. Worrell, J.T. High, J.M. White, L.T. Raper, Frank Farmer, E. Holoway, G.W. Barefoot, Aaron Skinner, Henry Wiggins & Robt. Strickland by me summoned for that purpose according to law after being by me duly sworn and Empannelled at J. Barefoots Mill Pond in the County aforesaid did hold an inquest over the dead body of Thos Hooks, cold & his son Al. Hooks and after inquiring into the facts & circumstances of the death of the deceased from a view of the corpse and all the testimony to be procured the Jury find as follows that is to say that the deceased came to there death by accidental drowning.  /s/ Frank (X) Farmer, S.M. Warren Foreman, E. (X) Holoway, Ruffin (X) Lamm, G.W. Barefoot, J.H. Worrell, Aaron (X) Skinner, J.T. High, Henry (X) Wiggins, G.M. White, Robt. (X) Strickland, L.T. Raper

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  • William Barnett — in the 1870 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County, Virginia-born farm laborer William Barnett, 21, and wife Rosa, 30.

Coroner’s Records, Miscellaneous Records, Wilson County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

They got into a play.

State of North Carolina, Wilson County   }

Be it remembered that on this the 28th day of July AD 1871 I, H.W. Peel, Coroner of said County, attended by a Jury of good and lawful men, (viz) W.S. Dun, John Baily, Timothy Wheeler, Jim Bass, Rober Gardner, Gray Web, George Best, Willy Ellis, J.W. Amerson, P.A. Whitley, Jos. Edmundson, Jos. Peacock by me summoned for that purpose according to Law after being by me duly sworn and Empanneled at the house of Sol Woodard in the County aforesaid did hold an inquest over the dead body of Charles King (col) and after inquiring into the facts & circumstances of the death of the deceased, from a view of the corpse and all the testimony to be procured, the Jury find as follows, that is to say that the deceased came to his death by aixdently discharge of a loaded gun of the hands of Wm Woodard. /s/ J.M. Amason Forman, W.S. Dunn, Robt. Gardner, John (X) Baily, Timothy (X) Wheeler, Wiley Ellis, James (X) Bass, Geo. D. Best, Gray Webb, J.W. Peacock, Joseph Edmundson, J.A. Whitley

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I Jas. T. Graves being sworn do testify that I examined the body of Charles King col and find that he came to his death of a gun shot wound entering his head in the left eye & penetrating the brain which was the cause of death. James T. Graves M.D.

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Raford Newsom being solemly sworn says as follows. Namely that Wm Woodard Charles King Raford Newsom & Caroline King All the above names were at work on the farm except Caroline who went down to carry Charles King breakfast her husband. While eating his breakfast Wm Woodard came along and he and Charles King got into a play with the gun and while in the play the gun went off axidentily and shot Charles King near the left eye which instily killed him Raford (X) Newsom

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Caroline King the wife of the deceased being solemnly sworn says as follows. The facts stated by Raiford Newsom as above are true the best of her understanding. Caroline (X) King

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Neither Charles nor Caroline King appears in Wilson County records, but the jurors of the inquest are listed in the 1870 census of Stantonsburg township.

Coroner’s Records, Miscellaneous Records, Wilson County Records, North Carolina State Archives

One-third acre on Lodge Street to Susan Mitchell.

This deed made this the 14th June 1875 by Charles Battle and wife Leah to Susan Mitchell all of the County of Wilson and State of North Carolina Witnesseth that for and in consideration of the sum of five hundred dollars in hand paid the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged the said Charles Battle and wife Leah have bargained and sold and by these presents do bargain sell alien and convey to Susan Mitchell and her heirs that certain piece parcel or lot of land in Wilson on the continuation of Lodge street beginning at Thomas Johnstons line running thence at right angles with said Lodge street and along said Johnstons line seventy yards to a stake thence a line parallel with Lodge street sixty five feet to a stake then a line at right angles with said Street seventy yds, thence with the Street sixty five feet to the beginning containing one third of one acre more or less to have and to hold the same together with the improvements privileges and appurtenances there unto belonging to the said Susan Mitchell and her heirs and the Charles Battle and wife Leah do for themselves their heirs executors administrators and assigns covenants to and with the said Susan Mitchell her heirs executors administrators and assigns to warrant the title herein made against the lawful claims of all persons whomsoever. In testimony whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names and affixd our seals    Charles (X) Battle, Leah (X) Battle

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State of North Carolina, Wilson County } In the Probate Court.

On this the 11th day of June in the year 1875 before me H.C. Moss Judge of Probate for said County, personally appeared Charles Battle and Leah Battle persons described in, and who signed the annexed conveyance, and severally acknowledged the due execution thereof for the purpose therein expressed. And thereupon the said Leah Battle being by me privately examined apart from her said husband touching her voluntary consent thereto acknowledged that she executed the same freely and without fear or compulsion of her said husband and do now voluntarily assent thereto and hereby relinquish her right of dower in said land. Thereupon let the said Deed and this certificate be registered.   /s/ H.C. Moss, Probate Judge

Received & Registered June 19, 1875

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1880 census of Town of Wilson, Wilson County.

Deed Book 11, page 35, Wilson County Register of Deeds Office, Wilson.

Natural causes.

State of North Carolina, Wilson County }

Be it remembered that on the 28th day of July 1871 I H.W. Peele Coroner of Said County attended by a Jury of good and lawful Men (viz ) W.D. Whitehead, W.J. Harris, L.D. Tomlinson, R.S. Barnes, Wm. M. Gay, A.J. Brown, S.P. Clark, B.B. Roads, I.B. Farmer, E.S. Walton, B.S. Ward, A. Bynum col’d, by me Summoned for that purpose according to Law, after being by me duly Sworn and empanelled at the house of Bally Farmer in the County aforesaid did hold an inquest over the dead body of Ruben Farmer col. and after inquiring into the facts and circumstances of the death of the deaceased from a view of the corpse and all the testimony to be procured, the Jury find as follows, that is to Say, That the sd. Ruben Farmer came to his death from natural causes unknown to the Jury. Given under our hands and seals day and date above written /s/ L.D. Tomlinson, B.B. (X) Rhodes, B.S. Ward, Isaac B. Farmer, R.S. Barnes, Allen (X) Bynum, E.S. Walton, A.J. Brown, W.D. Whitehead, S.P. Clark, W.M. Gay, W.J. Harris.

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  • Ruben Farmer — in the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Reuben Farmer, 68, wife Nancy, 71, and probable grandson Luke, 11.
  • Allen Bynum — on 25 August 1866, Allen Bynum and Gatsey Bynum registered their 16-year cohabitation in Wilson County. In the 1870 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: Allen Bynum, 30, wife Gatsey, 45, and children Adeline, 18, Ann, 16, Lucy, 12, Ethelbert, 15, Ranson, 7, and Harbert, 2.

Coroner’s Records, Miscellaneous Records, Wilson County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

Freedom’s eldest.

The 1870 census of Wilson County, North Carolina, recorded 47 African-American men and women reportedly born in the 18th century. Nearly all had been enslaved and had spent 65 or more years in bondage. Forty-five reported having been born in North Carolina; two, in Virginia.

They were:

  • Archibald Artis, born 1800.

In Gardners township: Archebald Artis, 70, wife Rosa, 64, with Tamer, 23, and George Bynum, 25.

  • Harry and Rachel Atkinson, born 1788 and 1795.

In Gardners township: Rachel, 75, Harry, 82, and Isaac Atkinson, 60.

  • Hagar Atkinson, born 1795.

In Springhill township: Thomas Hinnant, 60, wife Hester, 40, and Mahala Hinnant, 4, with Hager Atkinson, 75.

  • Hannah Barnes, born 1786.

In Stantonsburg township: Toby Barnes, 56, and Hannah Barnes, 84.

  • Charles Barnes, born 1792.

In Black Creek township: Charles Barnes, 78, wife Chaney, 60, and Robert Barnes, 11.

  • Violet Barnes, born 1793.

In Stantonsburg township: Drawrey Barnes, 42, wife Violet, 35, and children Sylvia, 15, Sophia, 10, and Esther, 1; Della Edmondson, 24, and Susan, 1; and Violet Barnes, 77.

  • David Barnes, born 1796.

In Stantonsburg township: David Barnes, 74, and wife Venus, 54.

  • Archie Barnes, born 1797.

In Wilson township: Rosa Farmer, 35, with children Gray, 18, Turner, 17, Mary, 16, Thomas, 13, Daniel, 12, Leah, 10, Jefferson, 8, Louisa, 10 months, and Anna, 3, plus Arche Barnes, 73, who worked as a cooper.

  • Lucy Barnes, born 1800.

In Black Creek township: Lawyer Barnes, wife Lizzie, 28, and Lucy Farmer, 70.

  • Rhoda Beaufort, born 1800.

In Wilson township: Rich’d Beaufort, 54, Esther, 35, Rodah, 70, Richard, 14, and Spicey, 13.

  • Guilford Dew, born 1800.

In Black Creek township: Guilford Due, 70, Milbroy, 20, Amos, 22, Penny, 19, Amanda, 4 months, George, 4, William, 8, and James, 7.

In Wilson township: teamster Cally Speight, 23, Margaret, 26, and Ann Speight, 13; Abel Edwards, 84, Argen, 72, Issa, 20, Gracy, 23, and Ann P. Edwards, 5.

  • Hannah Ellis, born 1780.

In Saratoga township:  Jackson Ellis, 45, wife Margaret, 36, and children Hannah, 17, and Hewel, 11; Hannah Ellis, 90; and Lucy, 2, and Mary Simms, 1.

  • Virginia Everett, born 1794.

In Joyners township: Hardy, 55, and Selvia Farmer, 48, and Virginia Everett, 76.

  • Nancy Farmer, born 1799.

In Wilson township: Reuben Farmer, 68, Nancy, 71, and Luke Farmer, 11.

  • Dolly Fisher, born 1790.

In Stantonsburg township: Henry Newsom, 33, wife Fanny, 27, and children Caroline, 3, and Ellic, 1, and Dolly Fisher, 80.

  • Patsey Forbes, born 1800.

In Wilson township: Henry Forbes, 48, wife Louisa, 43, children Charles, 15, Georgiana, 9, and John, 21, plus Patsey Forbes, 70.

  • Abraham and Jonah Hines, born 1785 and 1800.

In Saratoga township: Abraham, 85, and wife Jonah Hines, 70.

In Springhill township: Benjamin Hoketts, 70, wife Clapsly, 60, and Haywood, 27, Daniel, 18, Cain, 16, and Sarah Hoketts, 16, plus Willie Nicholls, 8.

In Old Fields township: Willis Jones, 70, wife Sarah K., 61, and children Willis K., 23, Phaton A., 20, and Bethana, 18.

  • Cassa Jordan, born 1800.

In Wilson township: Squier Coleman, 47, wife Nancy, 36, and children Gray, 18, Mary, 16, Afonza, 9, Margaret, 4, and Thomas Coleman, 2; Cassa Jordan, 70, Riley Jordan, 7, and Thomas Jordan, 25.

  • Penelope Joyner, born 1786.

In Black Creek township: Cherry Barnes, 20, and Penelope Joyner, 84.

  • Martin Locust, born 1789.

In Old Fields township: Martin Locust, 81, in a household headed by white farmer Matthew Lamm, 28.

  • Mariah Locust, born 1798.

In Taylor township: Mariah Locust, 72.

In the Town of Wilson: Estha McGowan, 70, and Alice McGowan, 16.

  • Miles Pipkins, born 1790.

In Cross Roads township: Virginia-born Miles Pipkins, with Anna, 40, Samuel, 10, Richard, 8, and Cherry Pipkins, 6.

  • Judah Mercer, born 1780.

In Saratoga township: Jubiter Parkus, 25, wife Charlotte, 26, and children Nicy, 6, Lucy, 5, and Ida, 11 months, plus Virginia-born Judah Mercer, 90.

  • Leah Moye, born 1780.

In Stantonsburg township: James Moye, 51, wife Edith, 50, children Delsey, 18, Harriet, 16, George, 10, and Warren, 8, plus Learh Moye, 90.

  • Rachel Pitts, born 1790.

In Joyners township: Robert Pitts, 67, wife Violet, 50, children Nicey, 19, and Rinah, 14, plus Rachel Pitts, 80.

  • Caesar Pittman, born 1795.

In Gardners township: Cesar Pittman, 75, and wife Hester, 60.

  • Cherry Rogers, born 1790.

In Saratoga township: Watson Stanton, 65, wife Rosa, 53, children Richard, 15, Adeline, 13, Feribee, 8, and Louisa, 21; midwife Cherry Rogers, 80; and Hardy Barnes, 20.

  • George Rountree, born 1790.

In Taylor township: George Rountree, 70, wife Portice, 66, and children Rich’d, 23, Rose, 23, Sallie, 19, and Ellic, 4.

  • Trecy Scott, born 1790.

In Wilson township: Robert, 40, and Pennie Amerson, 55, with Trecy Scott, 80.

  • Isaac Simpson, born 1795.

In Old Fields township: Isaac Simson, 75.

  • Bryant Simms, born 1790.

In Stantonsburg township: Jeffrey Simms, 24, wife Caroline, 22, and an unnamed one month-old infant, plus Bryant Simms, 80.

  • Anaka Stevens, born 1800.

In Wilson township: Anaka Stevens, 70, and Louisa Stevens, 20.

  • America Taylor, born 1790.

In the Town of Wilson: Harriet, 35, Turner, 14, and William Battle, 53, America Taylor, 80, and Henry Epps, 10.

  • Liberty and Virginia Thomas.

In Gardners township: Liberty, 74, and Virginia Thomas, 72.

  • Abram Thorn, born 1780.

In Wilson township: Abram Thorn, 90, and wife Gilley, 67.

  • Sabra Ward, born 1800.

In Stantonsburg township: Gatlin Barnes, 31, wife Jane, 22, and children Henry, 4, and Bud, 1, Sabra Ward, 70, and Sarah Barnes, 34.

  • Dinah Whitley, born 1800.

In Stantonsburg township: Levi Barnes, 45, wife Olive, 50, and children Samuel, 19, Charles, 10, Rachel, 18, and Celia, 15; Adeline, 23, Dinah, 70, Dewry, 12, and Richard Whitley, 42.

  • London Woodard, born 1791.

In Gardners township: London Woodard, 79, wife Penelope, 59, and children Trecy, 20, Hardy, 19, Haywood, 18, William, 15, and Peninah, 13.

  • Cilla Woodard, born 1800.

In Stantonsburg township: in the household of white farmer James Woodard, Cilla Woodard, 70.

 

 

Occupations, 1870.

In 1870, the year of the first post-Emancipation census, African-Americans overwhelmingly lived in rural communities and engaged in agricultural labor. However, even small towns like Wilson offered greater opportunities to pursue different and often more skilled occupations. Though livelihoods open to them remained few, black women dominated household service positions and thus were able to bring wages into their own homes.

Here are the occupations carried out by African-Americans enumerated in the 1870 census of the town of Wilson, and the number of people working these jobs. The youngest person listed with a job were a 10 year-old domestic servant and a 12 year-old who “works about the house.” Seven of the farm laborers were inmates at the county prison.

  • Baker/bakery worker — 2.
  • Barber — 2.
  • Blacksmith/blacksmith apprentice — 4.
  • Brickyard worker — 1.
  • Carpenter — 4.
  • Chambermaid — 2.
  • Hotel cook — 1.
  • Domestic servant/servant — 88.
  • Farm laborer/farm worker — 40.
  • Furniture shop worker — 1.
  • Gardener — 2.
  • General laborer — 1.
  • Hotel servant — 7.
  • Housekeeper — 1.
  • Iron foundry worker — 1.
  • Porter, general, hotel and store — 4.
  • Railroad station worker/railroad worker — 4.
  • Schoolteacher — 1.
  • Shoemaker — 2.
  • Teamster — 2.
  • Washerwoman/washer — 11.

 

One acre, more or less.

This Indenture made and entered into this the 28th day of Sept., A.D. 1877 between R.J. Taylor and wife Sallie A. Taylor of the first part and Daniel Vick  of the second part all of the County of Wilson & State of North Carolina Witnesseth, that for & in consideration of the sum of four hundred dollars the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, hath bargained, Sold & by these presents the party of the first part does give grant bargain sell and deliver to the party of the second part his heirs & assigns a certain piece of land near the Town of Wilson and the Barefoot road beginning on said road at Spencer Gays corner then with said road to the Peter Taylor lot owned by G.W. Blount Est. Say 328 feet then with said Blount Lot to the old Edwin Barnes line then South with said Edwin Barnes line to Ester McGown line say 248 feet then with Ester McGown & Spencer Gay lines to the beginning containing one acre more or less To have and to hold to the party of the Second part his heirs and assigns forever.

And the party of the first for themselves their heirs & assigned warrant and defend the title to above lot forever Given under our hands and seals the the … /s/ R.J. Taylor, S.A. Taylor

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This deed is Daniel Vick’s first recorded purchase of property.

The 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County, shows several of the families named above in close proximity “south of the plank road,” which is above called the Barefoot road and is now Nash Street. It’s hard to say precisely where Daniel Vick’s property was, but it safe to bet that it was just east of modern Manchester Street, an area then well outside of city limits.

1880

Spencer Gay, son of Anthony and Catherine Gay, married Adeline Barnes, daughter of Baalam and Jinny Barnes, on 9 August 1868 in Wilson County. Spencer is listed in the 1880 mortality schedule for Wilson, Wilson County, having died of consumption that February. He was a brick yard laborer.

Peter Taylor and family are listed next door to Washington Suggs in the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County. Peter seems to have died before the 1900 census was taken, but his wife Clarissa lived well into the next century. Clarissy Taylor of 522 Church Street, Wilson, died 16 September 1922. Her death certificate reports that she was 85 years old, that she had been born in Wilson County, and that her father had been Dempsey Cotton. Mark Cotton was informant.

Deed Book 22, page 439, Wilson County Register of Deeds Office, Wilson, North Carolina.

No. 2738.

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When Aaron Bess opened an account at the Freedmen’s Bank in New Bern, he reported that he had been born and raised in Greene County, resided at the Widow Bess’ in Greene County, and farmed for Heywood Bess. He and Evelina Bess had been married 26 years and had eleven children: Orpheus, Harper, Jane, Mary (deceased), Argent, Cherry, Alice, Nancy, Samuel Lincoln, Hattie and Hope. His parents were Abel Edwards (deceased) and Argent Edwards, who lived in Wilson County, and his siblings were Richard, Margaret, Harriet, Gracie and Justina.

In the 1870 census of Wilson, Wilson County: teamster Cally Speight, wife Margaret, 26, and Ann Speight, 13, a domestic servant. Sharing their household were Abel Edwards, 84, Argen, 72, Jssie(?), 24, a hotel chambermaid, Gracy, 23, a domestic servant, and Ann P. Edwards, 5.

In the 1880 census of Moseley Hall, Lenoir County: laborer Aaron Best, 62, wife Eveline, 48, children Nancy, 18, Harriet, 12, Hopewell, 9, and Mariah, 4, and grandchildren Eugenia, 8, and Frances Joyner, 3.

Freedmen’s Bank Records, 1865-1871 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com