Barnes

Remembering Mrs. Johnson, honoring Mrs. Richie.

Pioneering mathematician Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson passed away today at the age of 101. Mrs. Johnson’s calculations of orbital mechanics were vital to the success of the United States’ first manned space flights.

Wilson County’s own Christine Barnes Richie also worked as a “human computer” for NASA’s predecessor in the 1950s. In 2019, Mrs. Richie was selected as one of two inaugural recipients of the Salem College Trailblazer Award. Her taped acceptance speech was aired at Salem College’s 2019 commencement ceremony.

Many thanks to Patricia Freeman for sharing.

Studio shots, no. 139: Willie Barnes.

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Willie Barnes.

In the 1910 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Wright Creech, 38; wife Sallie A., 26; children Leory, 13, Richard, 12, Penny, 9, Naomie, 7, Luther, 4, Lilly, 2, and Johnnie, 4 months; and Willie, 9, and Odalia Barnes, 7 [who were described as sons-in-law, but were actually Wright’s step-children and Sallie’s children.]

In the 1920 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on New Wilson and Raleigh Road, farmer Right Creech, 48; wife Sallie, 37; and children Willie, 19, James O., 17, Maomie, 18, Luther, 14, Lillie May, 11, Alex, 9, Elizabeth, 8, Beulah, 6, Gertrude, 3, and David, 1.

On 16 December 1919, in Old Fields township, Willie Barnes, 20, of Cross Roads township, son of Sallie Creech, married Lina Rodgers, 19, of Cross Roads township, daughter of James and Fannie Rodgers.

Thank you, Edith Jones Garnett, for sharing this photo.

Another search for gravestones in Rountree and Odd Fellows cemeteries.

First: my request for the Vick cemetery survey and documentation re the decision to destroy its headstones? As yet unfilled, though the city attorney assures me it’s coming soon.

With boots and gloves and a hand pruner, I returned to Rountree/Odd Fellows/Vick cemeteries on a frosty Saturday morning to see what else there is to see.  Walking through the clear strip of Odd Fellows, I noticed immediately that someone had neatened up the stones that are usually lying higgledy-piggledy on the ground. Here, Clarence L. Carter and his daughter Omega Carter Spicer.

Picking my way toward the back edge of the cleared section, it dawned on me that this was once the main entrance to Odd Fellows. The hinges on the post to the right were the give-away. And the traces of asphalt driveway.

Standing near Irma Vick‘s headstone and looking in, I spotted this, plain as day. It’s hard to imagine how I missed it in December.

It’s the double headstone of Daniel and Fannie Blount Vick, Samuel H. Vick‘s father and mother. Daniel Vick died in 1908 (112 years to the day before my “discovery” of his grave) and Fannie Vick sometime in the late 1800s. (Is that a bullet pockmark?)

A few feet away, the headstone of Viola Leroy Vick, daughter of Samuel and Annie Washington Vick. She died as a toddler in 1897, and East Wilson’s Viola Street was named in her honor.

And then, perhaps 25 feet away, cocooned in honeysuckle and evil smilax, this monument loomed. Was it Sam Vick’s?

To my astonishment — no. The honeysuckle pulled off like a cape (after I wasted time hacking at the briars on the other side) to reveal that this remarkable marble headstone, which tops six feet, marks the grave of Wiley Oates. (More about him later.) Samuel and Annie Vick’s gravestones remain elusive.

I’d bought the cheapest hand pruners I could find, and they performed cheaply, but I got through to this gravestone and its companion, which appear to lie across the property line in Rountree cemetery.

The gravestone for Amos Batts’ wife, Jennie Batts, who died in 1945. Behind it in the left corner of the frame you can see the base of a pine whose diameter is at least two feet, which gives a measure of how long this cemetery has been neglected.

Here is the “canal” described in the Rountree cemetery deed. It’s a channeled section of Sandy Creek, and I imagine Rountree Missionary Baptist Church once performed baptisms here. I spent idyllic childhood afternoons exploring along the banks of this waterway perhaps a quarter-mile downstream. Sandy Creek is a tributary of Hominy Swamp, which flows into Contentnea Creek, which empties into the Neuse River at Grifton, North Carolina.

Here, I’m standing on the south bank of Sandy Creek looking down into the bowl that was once Rountree cemetery. I have not found any markers in this low-lying section, though there appear to be collapsed graves. Repeated flooding was one of the factors that led to the abandonment of cemetery. The undergrowth is starting to green up and, as the weather warms, soon these graveyards will be nearly impenetrable without sharper, heavier tools.

Daffodils are not native to eastern North Carolina and would not ordinarily be found blooming in the middle of the woods. This thick drift has naturalized from bulbs perhaps more than one hundred years old. Daffodils were commonly planted in cemeteries to symbolize the death of youth or mortality.

My exit strategy failed at the edge of barricade of wild blackberry twenty-five feet deep between me and Lane Street. I had to scramble back through the woods to gain egress at the ditch dividing Rountree from Odd Fellows. All this battling ate up my time, and I wasn’t able to explore the far end of Odd Fellows, next to Vick. Peering through the fence, though, I did see this marker for Lizzie May Barnes, daughter of H. and L. Barnes, who died in 1919.

——

  • Amos Batts died 24 March 1937 in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was 61 years old; was born in Wilson County to Thomas and Mariah Batts; was married to Jennie Batts; worked as a common laborer; and lived at 1202 East Nash Street. Informant was Jennie Batts.
  • Jennie Batts died 25 December 1945 at her home at 1202 East Nash Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was the widow of Amos Batts; was 58 years old; was born in Wilson County to unknown parents; and was buried in Rountree cemetery. Eddie Batts was informant.
  • Lizzie Barnes died 3 April 1919 in Taylor township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 11 August 1918 in Wilson County to Henry Barnes and Lena Woodard.

Studio shots, no. 138: Alexander Barnes.

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Alexander Barnes (1879-1938), in Picture-Taking Barnes’ one-armed chair.

In the 1880 census of township, Wilson County: farmer Elias Barnes, 36; wife Margaret, 35; and sons Franklin, 6, and Alexander, 6 months.

In the 1900 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Elias Barnes, 60; wife Margarette, 60; and children Alexander, 20, and Sallie A., 17, both farm laborers. Living nearby, Wright Creech, 27; his first wife Lucy, 22; their children Leonora, 3, Richard, 2, and Pennina, 1; and servant Daisy Green, 8.

On 23 March 1916, in Wilson County, Alex Barnes, 36, of Old Fields, son of Elias and Margarette Barnes, married Dicy Deans, 21, of Nash County, daughter of Wiley and Mariah Deans.

In 1918, Alexander Barnes registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 28 December 1879; lived at R.F.D. #3, Lucama; his nearest relative was wife Dicey Ellen Barnes; and he farmed on C.E. Brame’s land.

In the 1920 census of Spring Hill township, Wilson County: on Smithfield and Red Hill Road, Ellic Barnes, 40; wife Dicy, 26; and children Grover T., 3, and Bessie M., 1.

In the 1930 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: Alex Barnes, 50, widower, farm laborer.

Alexander Barnes died 26 October 1938 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. per his death certificate, he was born 1880 in Wilson County to Laris and Margreat Barnes; lived at Route #2, Wilson; was married; and worked as a laborer. Luther Creech was informant.

Thanks to Edith Jones Garnett for sharing this photo.

Studio shots, no. 137: James O. Barnes.

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James Odella Barnes (1903-1962).

In the 1910 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Wright Creech, 38; wife Sallie A., 26; children Leory, 13, Richard, 12, Penny, 9, Naomie, 7, Luther, 4, Lilly, 2, and Johnnie, 4 months; and Willie, 9, and Odalia Barnes, 7 [who were described as sons-in-law, but were actually Wright’s step-children and Sallie’s children.]

In the 1920 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on New Wilson and Raleigh Road, farmer Right Creech, 48; wife Sallie, 37; and children Willie, 19, James O., 17, Maomie, 18, Luther, 14, Lillie May, 11, Alex, 9, Elizabeth, 8, Beulah, 6, Gertrude, 3, and David, 1.

On 5 January 1925, Jas. Barnes, 21, of Cross Roads, married Emma Sanders, 20, of Cross Roads, in Wilson.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: James O. Barnes, 26, farm laborer, and wife Emma, 25.

In 1942, James Odella Barnes registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 2 June 1901 in Goldsboro, N.C.; lived at 426 Spring Street, Wilson; his contact was Sallie Creech, R.F.D. #2, Wilson; and he worked at the Marine Base, New River, N.C.

James O. Barnes died 6 September 1962 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 2 June 1903 to Earnest Barnes and Sallie Barnes; was married to Bessie Barnes; and worked as a self-employed carpenter. Informant was Luther Creech, 701 Cemetery Street, Wilson.

Thanks to Edith Jones Garnett for sharing this photo.

The death certificate of the infant son of Geo. Ferguson.

North Carolina did not mandate death certificates statewide until 1914, but some towns and cities implemented the requirement earlier.

Wilson’s first death certificates date from late 1909. As the record below shows, in the early days there was sometimes confusion about who was to fill in what blanks. It appears here that the family took a shot at writing in personal information about the decedent, a duty that should have fallen to the undertaker. The result, however, is a fascinating collection of details that would otherwise have gone unrecorded.

The basic facts: George and Bettie Ferguson‘s infant son was still born (or died the day after he was born). The family lived at 505 Spring Street, Wilson.

The facts as entered:

  • The baby’s name — was it Stephen?
  • His sex? “Nov. 24” — apparently his birthdate, though this date should match his death date, which was recorded by Dr. W.A. Mitchner.
  • His color? “Color.”
  • His age? “No” years, which was true, as the boy was stillborn.
  • Father’s birthplace? “22 bone 1887 Nov 7.” This was George Ferguson’s age and birthdate.
  • Mother’s birthplace? “Mother bone 1888 August 10.”
  • Occupation? “Stem tobacco.” This, of course, was the occupation of one or both of the baby’s parents.
  • Informant? Charles Darden, though Darden did not serve as undertaker. Quinn-McGowan Firniture Company did.

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George Ferguson, 20, son of Sam and Mary Ferguson, married Bettie Barnes, 18, daughter of Aaron and Margaret Barnes, in Wilson on 12 July 1909. W.H. Neal of Saint James Holy Church performed the ceremony in the presence of J.A. McKnight, Annie Pitt and Edmonia Perrington.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: George Ferguson, 21, factory worker, and wife Bettie, 18.

Bettie Ferguson died 24 July 1918 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 10 August 1890 in Wilson to Aaron Barnes and Margarett Blount; was married to George Ferguson; lived at 117 Wiggins; and worked as a stemmer at “Emperial Tobacco Co.” She was buried in Wilson by C.H. Darden & Sons.

George Barnes Ferguson registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County in 1940. Per his registration card, he was born 8 October 1914 in Wilson County; lived at 1120 East Nash Street, Wilson; his contact was wife Wilhelmina Ferguson; and he worked for R.B. Carroll Grocery.

Georgia L. Barnes died 3 June 1945 in Goldsboro, Wayne County. Per her death certificate, she was born about 1913 in Wilson to George Furgerson of Edgecombe County and Betty Barnes of Wilson County and was married.

An account of the sale of Negroes.

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On 3 January 1859, administratrix Mahala Barnes sold two families belonging to her deceased husband Elias Barnesestate. Elias’ brother Joshua Barnes purchased Axey and her two children for $1321 and Rachel and her child for $1105 on behalf of the estate of Jesse Barnes Sr., who was Elias and Joshua’s late father.

Estate of Elias Barnes (1856), North Carolina Wills and Estates 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

State vs. Felix Godwin.

In January 1867, a Wilson County justice of the peace examined Linda Barnes (colored), who was unmarried, and determined that she had delivered a child whose father was Felix Godwin of Johnston County.

I have not found Linda Barnes in Wilson County records.

However, on 23 January 1867 — 11 days after this warrant issued — Phelix Godwin married Aurelia Smith in Boon Hill township, Johnston County. In the 1880 census of Boon Hill township, Johnston County: farmer Felix Godwin, 52; wife Arena, 28; and children Jane E., 11, and Preston, 8.

Bastardy Bonds-1866, Miscellaneous Records, Wilson County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

Cemeteries, no. 28: the Bynum-Williamson cemetery.

I searched unsuccessfully for this cemetery a couple of years ago — it was the wrong time of year. In summer it’s hidden from the street by tobacco or corn or whatever tall crop is growing, but it’s readily visible in December. (The thick growth just behind the graves shelters Cedar Creek, a tributary of Black Creek.)

The oldest marked grave is that of

  • Moses Bynum

Moses Bynum 1825-1885 Gone but not forgotten

  • James Grice

James Grice Born 1850 Died Sep 23 1925 Gone but not forgotten

In the 1870 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: James Grice, 17, farm apprentice in the household of Thomas Woodard, 38.

In the 1880 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: James Grice, 30; wife Leatha J., 34; and children Mary, 11, Loney W., 8, and Joseph, 4.

In the 1900 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: James Grice, 50, farm laborer; wife Jane L., 49; and children Mary, 35, Lonney, 28, Sarah A., 17, and James L., 12.

In the 1910 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: on West Railroad Street, James Grice, 59, farmer; wife Eliza, 52; daughter Mary,; and granddaughter Hattie,

In the 1920 census of lack Creek township, Wilson County: Eroy A. Grice, 40; wife Clyde, 33; James, 69; Hattie Wood, 40, and Walter Wood, 12.

James Grice died 23 September 1925 in Black Creek township. Per his death certificate, he was born in 1850 in Wilson County to James Grice and Thanney Keen; was a tenant farmer for Johnson Daniel; and was the widower of Litha Grice. Eroy Grice of Black Creek was informant.

  • Turner Williamson

Father Tunner Williamson Born Jan. 18. 1860 Died Oct. 22, 1937 Gone but not forgotten.

See here.

  • Turner Williamson, Jr.

Turner Jr., husband of Bessie Mae Williamson May 13, 1902 June 14, 1945 A light from our household is gone

Turner Williamson died 14 June 1945 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Per his death certificate, he was born 13 May 1902 in Wilson to Turner Williamson and Margaret Barnes; was married to Bessie Williamson, age 37; worked as an auto mechanic; lived at 601 North 53rd Street, Philadelphia; and was buried in Wilson.

  • James White

James White  Feb 8, 1877 Apr 4, 1950 At rest

Jim White died 4 April 1950 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 73 years old; was born in Craven County, N.C., to Rennie White; was married; worked as a carpenter; and was buried in Bynum cemetery. Effie White was informant.

  • Chaney Brooks

Chaney Brooks died Nov, 12, 1941 Age 66 Yrs. Gone But Not Forgotten

Chanie Brooks died 12 December 1940 in Black Creek township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was 78 years old; was born in Wilson County to Bryant Barden and Annis Barden; was married to Walter Brooks; and was buried in Bynum’s cemetery near Lucama. Informant was Tom Dawson.

  • Olive Bynum Braswell

Mother Ollie Braswell Dec. 2, 1870 Mar. 7, 1950 Gone But Not Forgotten

In the 1880 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Calvin Bynum, 31; wife Pherabe, 28; and children Olive, 9, Fannie, 7, Martha Ann, 5, Joseph, 2, and Benjamin, 3 months.

Luther Braswell, 20, of Wilson County, son of George and Adline Braswell, married Olive Bynum, 21, of Wilson County, daughter of Calvin and Ferebe Bynum, on 10 April 1894 at Calvin Bynum’s in Cross Road township. Witnesses were Gray Newsome, Henry Dudley and [illegible] Newsome.

In the 1900 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County: Luther Braswell, 27, farmer; wife Oliff, 28; Lewis, 5, Frank, 3, and Luther, 10 months.

In the 1910 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Luther Braswell, 37; wife Olif, 38; and children Lewis, 15, Frank, 12, Luther, 10, Oscar, 8, Gertrude, 6, Victoria, 2, and Calvin, 11 months.

In the 1920 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: Luther Braswell, 47; wife Ollie, 48; and children Oscar, 18, Gertrude, 15, and Victoria, 12. Next door: Luther Braswell Jr., 20, and wife Estella, 20. Also, Lewis Braswell, 24, wife Chany, 28, and children James, 2, and Carry, 8 months. Also, Frank Braswell, 22, and wife Etta, 19.

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Luther Braswell, 30; wife Estell, 26; mother Olif, 57; and sister Victoria, 22.

Olie Braswell died 7 March 1950 at 604 Spring Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 2 December 1870 in Wilson County to Calvin Bynum; was widowed; and was buried in Newsome cemetery, WIlson County. Victoria Messick of Wilson was informant.

  • Willie Newsome

Father Willie Newsome May 17, 1959 Gone But Not Forgotten

On [illegible] October 1926, Willie Newsom, of Cross Roads, son of Amos and Martha Newsom, married Mittie Taylor, 20, daughter of Frank Taylor and Hattie Joyner. Elder Robert Edwards performed the ceremony in the presence of Jethro Dickerson, Benjamin Bynum and Geo. Sutton.

In the 1940 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: Willie Newsome, 48; wife Mittie, 32; and children Lessie, 11, Hattie, 9, Mattie, 7, and Yvone, 2.

Willie Newsome died 17 May 1959 at 1312 Washington Street, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 18 April 1895 in Wilson County to Amos Newsome; was married to Mittie Newsome; was a farmer; and was buried in a family cemetery in Lucama.

  • William L. Barnes

William L. Barnes June 16, 1889 Feb. 17, 1941