Births Deaths Marriages

The golden anniversary of Colon and Christine Artis Currie.

Wilson Daily Times, 17 November 1982.


In the 1920 census of Fountain township, Pitt County: Fred Artis, 33; wife Mattie, 23; and children Christine, 5, and Fred, 4.

In the 1920 census of Saint Pauls township, Robeson County: Worth Currie, 34; wife Bell, 33; and children David, 15, Katie, 14, Blanch, 13, Colon, 10, and Rossie B. Currie; daughter Snodie Mc[Ilwain?], 20, and her daughter Lee E., 1.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 101 Reid Street, school janitor Fred Artist, 56; children Christine, 16, and Mildred, 11; and lodger Suddie Brown, 22.

On 1 November 1932, Colon Currie, 23, of Wilson, son of Worth and Isabel Currie, married Christine Artis, 18, of Wilson, daughter of Fred and Mattie Artis, at the bride’s home. Missionary Baptist minister R.A. Murphy performed the ceremony.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Coleman Curry, 31, Williams Lumber Company laborer, and wife Christine, 25, cooking.

In 1940, Colon Franklin Currie registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 29 January 1919 in Robeson County, N.C.; lived at 1202 Wainwright Avenue, Wilson; his contact was wife Christian Currie; and he worked for Williams Lumber.

In the 1950 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1208 East Nash, Colon Currie, 39, truck driver for local lumber company, and wife Christine, 35, practical nurse at local T.B. hospital.

Christine A. Currie died 9 October 1984. Colon F. Currie died 28 October 1993.

Research tip: the fallibility of records.

A caution: even “official records” may contain erroneous information. Late into the twentieth century, birthdates could be guesstimates; parentage c0uld reflect informal adoptions, rather biological fact; names, both first and last, could shift or change, and spellings fell to the whim or talents of the inscriber. Oral history can be helpful when sifting through competing versions of facts to arrive at (or get reasonably close to) truth.

Here’s an example:

The “true facts” — Jesse Henderson was the son of Loudie Henderson and Joseph Buckner Martin. He was born about 1893 near Dudley, in southern Wayne County, North Carolina, and moved to Wilson as a teenager. There, he was nicknamed “Jack” by Jefferson D. Farrior to distinguish him from Jesse A. Jacobs Jr., the uncle with whom he lived and worked at Farrior’s livery stable.

On 3 Dec 1914, Solomon Ward applied for a marriage license for Jesse Henderson of Wilson, age 21, colored, son of Jesse Jacobs and Sarah Jacobs, both dead, and Pauline Artis of Wilson, age 18, colored, daughter of Alice Artis.  They were married later that day.

Sarah Henderson Jacobs was Jesse Henderson’s maternal aunt. She and her husband Jesse A. Jacobs Jr. were Jesse Henderson’s foster parents and were very much alive in 1914.

In November 1936, Jesse Henderson, using the name Jack, applied for a Social Security number.

By reporting his first name as “Jack” rather than Jesse to the Social Security Administration, Jesse Henderson essentially effectuated a name change. (It was so effective that few of his descendants would remember the name he was given at birth. He was Jesse in the 1910 and 1920 censuses and when he registered for the World War I draft, but Jack in the 1930 census and thereafter.)

The names Jack provided for his parents on this application are both inaccurate and puzzling. Lewis Henderson was, in fact, his grandfather. “Ludy” (or Loudie) was his mother’s first name, but she was Loudie Henderson, not Jacobs. As noted above, Jacobs was the surname of the uncle and aunt who reared him after Loudie died in childbirth.

In a further inaccuracy, note Jack’s birthdate: 16 Sept 1892. The 1900 census lists Jack Henderson’s birth month and year as February 1892, and his draft registration card only as 1893, month and day unknown.

Finally, when Jack Henderson died in 1970, one of his daughters provided information for his death certificate, naming his parents as an unknown father and “Lucy (?) Henderson” (and his birthdate as 21 April 1898.)

“Lucy” certainly was Loudie. My grandmother Hattie Henderson Ricks remembered her great-grandmother’s name variously as “Loudie” or “Lucy,” but a church record and a single census entry, in 1880, confirm that it was Loudie. God only knows Jack’s birthday, but the year was probably 1892 or 1893, as reflected in the 1900 census and on his Social Security application.

The death of Julius Finch of Whitaker, Pennsylvania.

In the 1940 census of Whitaker township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: Julius Finch, 34, W.P.A. worker, born in North Carolina, and wife Emily, 28, born in Georgia.

In 1942, Julius Finch registered for the World War II draft in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Per his registration card, he was born in Wilson, North Carolina; his contact was Emily Finch; and he worked for the Eighth Street Foundry in Braddock, Pennsylvania.

In the 1950 census of Whitaker, Allegheny township, Pennsylvania: at 1214 River Road, upstairs, Julius Finch, 55, supplyman at electrical appliance manufacturer, and wife Emily C., 39.

Pittsburgh Press, 10 December 1974.

Per his application for military headstone, Julius Finch was buried in Homewood Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was born in 1895 and died in 1974 and served as a private in the United States Army during World War I.

Leslie F. Brooks, shoemaker.

Leslie Brooks’ occupation surprised me. A shoemaker … in 1918? Though shoe repair, or cobbling, was still a viable trade, shoemaking was almost completely mechanized by the end of the 19th century.


On 23 December 1881, David Brooks, 20, married Henrietta Peacock, 17, at A.G. Brooks’ resident in Black Creek township, Wilson County. They were Leslie Brooks’ parents. I can find little evidence of his life, however.

Leslie Freeman Brooks registered for the World War II draft in 1918 in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 16 June 1875; lived in Black Creek; was a self-employed shoemaker; and his nearest relative was sister Minnie Williams.

Leslie Brooks died 12 October 1918 in Black Creek township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born in 1881 in Wilson County to David Brooks and Henrietta Peacock; was single; worked as a shoemaker; and was buried in Brooks Cemetery.

Ruffin Woodard dies of burns.

Ruffin Woodard fell asleep while smoking, dropped his pipe, and set his clothes afire. Suffering burns on his side, back, and arm, Woodard died within hours.


In the 1900 census of Great Swamp township, Wayne County, N.C.: Ruffin Woodard, 45, fireman on stationary engine; wife Sarah, 30; and son Luther, 7.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Stantonsburg Street, Ruffin Woodard, 45, sawmill laborer; wife Sarah, 43; and son Luther, 18.

Ruffin Woodard died 24 February 1919 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 45 years old; was born in Wilson County to Rosa Woodard; was married to Sarah Woodard; lived at 118 Wiggins Street; worked as a wagon driver at a lumber mill; and was buried in Wilson [probably Vick Cemetery.]

The obituary of Julius Rountree.

Wilson Daily Times, 19 February 1948.


In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Manchester Street, Isaac Tarboro, 48, sawmill laborer; wife Emma, 48; children Emma L. Roundtree, 22; John E. Tarbro, 15; Viriginer Tarbro, 13; and Richard Tarbro, 10; and grandson Julius L. Roundtree, 2.

Bigamy on bigamy.

Wilson Daily Times, 14 March 1944.


  • Dorothy L. Hopkins

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 619 South Railroad, widow Eva Hopkins, 30, farm laborer; children Ethel, 14, Eva M., 13, Lonnie, 10, Onnie, 9, Dorathy L., 6, and Mary M., 2; and roomer James Wells, 30, A.C.L.R.R. flagman.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Willie Huggins, 42, railroad company laborer; wife Eva, 22, tobacco factory laborer; mother-in-law Eva Hopkins, 45, widow, tobacco factory laborer; nephew Billie, 10, Mary, 11, Dorthy, 16, and Sherley, 1.

  • Andrew McGuire
  • C.L. Bailey

The obituary of William J. Howell, fireman.

Wilson Daily Times, 10 November 1939.

William J. Howell was an early member of the Red Hot Hose Company, Wilson’s African-American volunteer fire department.


In the 1922 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Howell Wm J lab 525 Stemmery 

In the 1925 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Howell Wm J lab 525 Stemmery 

On 8 March 1929, W.J. Howell, 58, married Henrietta King, 50, in Wilson. Baptist minister B.F. Jordan performed the ceremony in the presence of George W. Coppedge, Eva M. Hines, and Willie Faulkland.

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Howell Wm J lab Hackney Wagon Co 106 W Gold

William J. Howell died 8 November 1939 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 67 years old; was born in Cumberland County, N.C., to Rachel Barnes; was married to Henrietta Howell; worked as a laborer; and lived at 517 Church Street.