Bryant

Willis Bryant of Indianapolis, Indiana.

Willis Bryant was among the scores of African Americans who left Wilson County for Indianapolis, Indiana, in the last quarter of the 19th century.

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Indianapolis Star, 20 March 1915.

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Probably, in the 1870 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Louiza Bryant, 30; Cornelius Harriss, 23;  Catherine Harriss, 20; Cornelius Harriss, 1; Ann Bryant, 9; Willie Bryant, 8; and Alice Ellis, 15.

Bryant probably attended the Wilson Academy. Like Samuel H. Vick ’84 and Braswell R. Winstead ’85, he received a bachelor’s degree from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania.

Catalogue of Lincoln University, Chester County, Pennsylvania, for the Academical Year 1886-87 (1887).

On 4 May 1890, Willis Bryant, 26, son of Wiley Bryant and Louisa Branch, married Ida M. Webb, 22, in Marion County, Indiana.

As were many Lincoln alumni, Bryant was very active in the Presbyterian church and helped found Senate Avenue Presbyterian Church.

Indianapolis News, 20 June 1892.

In the 1900 census of Center township, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana: at 808 Wyoming Street, coal dealer Willis Bryant, 36; wife Ida, 32; and children Ralph, 6, and Edna May, 1.

In September 1900, Wilson native Daniel C. Suggs, then teaching at Georgia State College, visited the Bryants in Indianapolis. Suggs was also a Lincoln graduate.

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Indianapolis News, 7 September 1900.

Fifteen years after he graduated, Bryant and his wife returned to Pennsylvania to attend a Lincoln graduation, then made a round of East Coast cities.

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Indianapolis News, 25 May 1901.

In 1901, Lucy Gay visited her uncle Willis Bryant in Indianapolis. In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: farmer Sam Gay, 54; wife Alice, 50; and children Charlie C., 23, Edgar B., 25, Lucy, 17, Samuel, 14, Albert and Beatrice, 10, and Lily, 4. [Alice Gay was the 15 year-old Alice Ellis listed in the 1870 census above. When she married Samuel Gay, she gave her maiden name as Bryant.]

Indianapolis News, 28 December 1901.

In October 1904, the Indiana Recorder reprinted “His Trip West,” an article by Harry S. Cummings originally posted in the Afro-American Ledger. In the chronicle of his tour of Indiana cities, Cummings mentioned Wilson native Dr. Joseph H. Ward and Willis Bryant and his father-in-law Charles A. Webb’s transportation and hauling businesses.

Indianapolis News, 22 October 1904.

In 1907, Willis Bryant and other black businessmen formed a committee to assist the city’s Juvenile Court with finding employment for “delinquent colored boys and girls.”

Indianapolis Star, 24 April 1907.

In the 1910 census of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana: at 808 Wyoming Street, Willis Bryant, 44; wife Ida M., 42; and children Ottis R., 16, Edna, 11, and Hulda M., 3.

Indianapolis Recorder, 13 March 1915.

Willis Bryant died 19 March 1915, barely a week after celebrating his 25th wedding anniversary.

Indianapolis Recorder, 18 March 1916.

His widow, Ida Webb Bryant, outlived him by decades, and was featured in this 1963 Indianapolis Recorder piece.

Indianapolis Recorder, 22 June 1963.

The obituary of Harry H. Bryant.

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Wilson Daily Times, 1 June 1946.

In the 1880 census of Smithfield, Johnston County, North Carolina: laborer Nestus Bryant, 48; wife Annie, 38; children Alice, 17, Arthur, 15, Thedo, 10, Harry, 6, John, 4, and Baby, 5 months; and mother Penny, 80.

Harry Bryant, 21, of Wilson, son of Nestus and Ann Bryant, married Julia Suggs, 20, of Wilson, daughter of Washington and Easter Suggs, on 26 September 1895 at the Methodist church, Wilson. Richard Renfrow applied for the license, and Presbyterian minister L.J. Melton performed the ceremony in the presence of Mattie Harris, L.A. Moore and Lovet Freeman.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: farm laborer Harry Bryant, 34; wife Julia, 34; and sons Leonard, 14, and Leroy, 4.

In 1918, Harry Haywood Bryant registered for the World War I draft in Wilson. Per his draft registration card, he was born 23 January 1873; lived at 132 Sugg Street; was married to Julia Bryant; and worked as a carpenter for Boyle-Robertson Company in Newport News, Virginia.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Suggs Street, Harry Bryant, 44, carpenter for construction company, and wife Julia, 41.

Julia Bryant died 27 January 1929 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 23 September 1874 in Wilson to Washington Sugg and Easter Best of Greene County; was married to Harry Bryant; and resided at 618 Sugg Street.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 619 Suggs Street, meat market butcher Henry Bryant, 58; son Leon, 33; daughter-in-law Alice, 32; and granddaughter Christine, 9.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 619 Suggs Street, tobacco factory laborer Leon Bryant, 42; wife Alice, 42, tobacco factory laborer; daughter Christine, 19; and father Harry H., 68, widower and tobacco factory laborer.

Harry Bryant died 26 May 1946 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 23 July 1873 in Smithfield, North Carolina, to Nestus Bryant and Annie Bryant of Johnston County; he resided at 653 Suggs Street, Wilson; he was the widower of Julia Bryant; he had worked as a laborer; and he was buried in the Masonic cemetery. Leon Suggs was informant.

 

Saint Luke’s Christmas news; or “I will pray for the many white people who gave the tree.”

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Wilson Daily Times, 23 December 1940.

  • Rev. A. Betha
  • Ella Bryant — possibly, in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: William Bryant, 55; wife Ella, 53; and niece Willie Merrill, 23. William was a hospital cook; Ella and Willie, cooks in private homes.
  • Rev. M.C. McNeil

And, again in 1942, prayers for white people (though “a few colored contributed.”)

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Wilson Daily Times, 23 December 1942.

  • Marilla Murphy
  • Mary Robinson
  • George M. Mason
  • Rev. Muggin 

Four years later, Bryant was still thanking the Good White Folks for their generosity.

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Wilson Daily Times, 16 December 1944.

  • Rev. McIntyre
  • Mattie Poole — possibly, in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 309 Stantonsburg Street, Jim Poole, 55, and wife Mattie, 45, both tobacco factory laborers, and daughter Odell, 10.
  • Helen Mears

Saint Luke A.M.E. Church, Christmas 2018.

1012 Atlantic Street.

The eighty-first in a series of posts highlighting buildings in East Wilson Historic District, a national historic district located in Wilson, North Carolina. As originally approved, the district encompasses 858 contributing buildings and two contributing structures in a historically African-American section of Wilson. (A significant number have since been lost.) The district was developed between about 1890 to 1940 and includes notable examples of Queen Anne, Bungalow/American Craftsman, and Shotgun-style architecture. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this house is: “ca. 1930; 1 1/2 stories; gambrel-front house with two-bay facade; aluminum-sided.”

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: George Arthur H (c; Minnie B) pastor Calvary Presbyterian Ch h 1012 Atlantic.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1012 Atlantic Street carpenter/bricklayer Arthur J. George, wife Minnie, sons Arthur, Henry H., and Bryant George, lodger Rebacer Ramsy, and niece Willie L. George.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1012 Atlantic Avenue, rented for $12/month, tobacco factory janitor Bud Bryant, 52; wife Nancy, 48; nieces Louise, 17, Nannie, 15, Mary, 12, and Carleen Reid, 11; and son Frederick Reid, 34, divorced.

In 1940, Frederick Reid registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 8 September 1905 in Wilson; resided at 1012 Atlantic; his contact was mother Nancy Bryant, 1012 Atlantic; and he worked for W.B. Corbett, Waterworks Road, Wilson.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Bryant Bud (c; Nancy) lab 1012 Atlantic Av.

Nancy Bryant died 14 January 1945 at her home at 1012 Atlantic Street. Per her death certificate, she was 53 years old; born in Wayne County to Zion and Eliza Reid; and was married to Rev. Mathew B. Bryant, age 56, who was informant.

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, October 2018.

619 East Green Street.

The fifty-first in a series of posts highlighting buildings in East Wilson Historic District, a national historic district located in Wilson, North Carolina. As originally approved, the district encompasses 858 contributing buildings and two contributing structures in a historically African-American section of Wilson. (A significant number have since been lost.) The district was developed between about 1890 to 1940 and includes notable examples of Queen Anne, Bungalow/American Craftsman, and Shotgun-style architecture. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District: “ca. 1913; 2 stories; Charlie Thomas house; triple-A I house with bracketed porch posts; Thomas was a printer.”

Robert C. Bainbridge and Kate Ohno’s Wilson, North Carolina: Historic Buildings Survey, originally published by the City of Wilson in 1980 and updated and republished in 2010 under the auspices of the Wilson County Genealogical Society, provides additional details about the house: “Charlie Thomas House. This handsome turn of the century house, a classic of a type, boasts a central cross gable with a diamond-shaped louver typical of this period of construction. The three bay facade is enriched by the porch which boasts sawnwork brackets and turned columns.”

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Charlie Thomas, 49, laborer for printing office; wife Sarah, 44; and children Elton, 20, Lizzie, 18, Louis, 15, Hattie M., 11, Mary, 5, and Sarah, 1 month. [Though no address is listed in the census, by the identity of the Thomases’ neighbor, it is reasonably clear that the family was living at what is then 616 East Green and now 619 East Green.]

In the 1912 Wilson, N.C., city directory, all residing at 616 East Green: Thomas Charles pressman P D Gold Publishing Co Inc; Thomas Elton lab; Thomas Lizzie laundress; and Thomas Louis carp.

In the 1916 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Thomas Charles pressman P D Gold Publishing Co Inc h 616 E Green.

In 1917, Clarence C. Dawson, husband of Elizabeth Thomas Dawson (and son of A.D. and Lucy Hill Dawson), registered for the World War I draft in Wilson. He listed his home address as 616 East Green Street and noted that he worked as a cashier for William Hines (who owned a barber shop and was his nearby neighbor.)

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Clarence Dawson, 23, barber; wife Elizabeth, 22; and daughter Eris, 2; widower father-in-law Charley Thomas, 59; brother-in-law Clifton Venters, 24, his wife Hattie, 20; and in-laws Elton, 29, Marie, 15, Sarah, 10, and Beatrice Thomas, 8.

The 1922 Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson, N.C., shows that 619 was originally 616B East Green Street. (The house that had been numbered 619 was renumbered 618.)

In the 1928 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Thomas Chas (c) prsmn P D Gold Pub Co h 619 E Green

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 619 East Green Street, printing office laborer Charlie Thomas, 65; daughter Elizabeth Dawson, 32; son-in-law Clarence Dawson, 31; and grandchildren Eris Dawson, 11, Naomi, 9, Clarence, 7, and Thomas V. Dawson, 3; and daughters Sarah, 19, theatre ticket seller, and Beatrice Thomas, 17.

Lizzie Dawson died 16 Janaury 1937 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 10 July 1894 in Wilson to Charly Thomas of Nash County and Sarah Best of Wilson, and was married to Clarence Dawson. Informant was Charly Thomas.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 619 Green Street, Charlie Thomas, 74; daughter Sarah Bryant,29, movie theatre cashier; her husband Willie, 29, bicycle shop repairman; and children Jean, 6, and Fay G., 5; daughter Beatrice Neal, 29; her husband Willie, 28, retail grocery delivery boy; and grandsons Clarence Dawson, 17, and Thomas Dawson, 13.

In 1940, Willie Baby Bryant registered for the World War II draft in Ward 4, Wilson. Per his registration card, he lived at 619 East Green Street; was born 4 August 1910 in Tarboro, North Carolina; his contact was wife Sarah Virginia Bryant of 619 East Green; and he was employed by S.H. Moss of Moss Bicycle Shop. Also, that year Willie Neal registered in Ward 4. Per his registration card, he lived at 619 East Green; was born 2 May 1911, his contact was wife Beatrice Neal of 619 East Green; and he worked for Moss and Co., 134 South Tarboro Street, Wilson.

In 1942, Elton Henry Thomas registered for the World War II draft in Newark, Essex County, New Jersey. Per his registration card, he was born 15 August 1894 in Wilson, North Carolina; resided at 109 Sherman Avenue, Newark; his contact was Charles Thomas, 619 East Green Street, Wilson; and he worked for Julius Rose, 327 Amherst Street, Orange, New Jersey.

Charles Thomas died 22 August 1945 at his home at 619 East Green Street, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was a widower; was 86 years old; was born in Wilson County to Sarah Thomas; was a retired printer; and was buried in Rountree cemetery. Lewis Thomas, 715 East Green Street, was informant.

Photograph of 619 East Green Street published in Bainsbridge and Ohno’s Wilson, North Carolina: Historic Buildings Survey. The small stucco attachment at right housed Beatrice Thomas Neal’s Bea’s Flower Shop. It has been demolished.

Photograph at top by Lisa Y. Henderson, December 2017.

Studio shots, no. 46: Beatrice O. Bryant.

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Beatrice O. Bryant (1914-1982).

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 596 Wainwright Street, tobacco factory laborer Isham Bryant, 27; wife Rossie, 21; and children Beatrice, 5, Bertha, 4, and Inez, 1.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 805 Roberson Street, Isom Bryant, 37, factory laborer; wife Rossie, 32, public school maid; and daughters Beatrice, 15, Bertha, 14, and Inez, 11.

On 18 February 1931, Beatrice O. Bryant, 17, daughter of Isham and Rossie Bryant, married Jos. F. Haskins, 19, son of James Haskins and Martha Pitt, in Wilson. Rev. J.T. Douglas of Calvary Presbyterian Church performed the service at Isham Bryant’s house with Judge Mitchell and the Bryants as witnesses.

In the 1940 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Isham Bryant, 49, machinist at tobacco factory; wife Rossie, 43; daughter Inez, 22, tobacco factory laborer; and granddaughter Bobbie Haskins, 8 [Beatrice B. Haskins’ daughter Barbara].

In the 1940 census of Brooklyn, King County, New York: on DeKalb Avenue, house painter Joseph Bryant, 32; wife Beatrice, 28; and children Joseph, 8, Ida Mae, 7, Donald, 5, and Dorothy, 1. Joseph and Beatrice were born in North Carolina; the children, in New York. [This is Beatrice’s second husband.]

Beatrice O. Bryant died 12 December 1982 in Jamaica, Queens, New York, and was buried in Rest Haven cemetery, Wilson.

Beatrice Bryant’s daughter Barbara Ann Haskins (1931-2001).

Photographs courtesy of Ancestry.com user jkbryant3142.

The obituary of Bertha H. Carroll, 102.

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Bertha Bryant Hawkins Carroll (1915-2017).

Mrs. Bertha H. Carroll, age 102, of Spring Hill, Florida and formerly of Wilson, NC, died Monday, October 16, 2017. Funeral services will be held on Monday, October 23, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. at Tabernacle Temple of Jesus Christ, Inc., 1601 Lane Street in Wilson, NC with Bishop Staccato Powell officiating. Burial will follow in the Rest Haven Cemetery. Public viewing will be on Sunday, October 22, 2017 from 2-7 pm at Edwards Funeral Home Chapel and the wake will be from 5-7 pm. The family will assemble at 12:00 noon on Monday at her residence for the processional to the church. Direct condolences to edwardscares.com. Professional and personal services are entrusted to Edwards Funeral Home, Inc., 805 Nash Street East in Wilson, NC.

Adapted from the funeral program:

Quietly and peacefully on Monday morning, October 16, 2017 at home in Spring Hill, Florida, Mrs. Bertha Bryant Hawkins Carroll transitioned from this earthly life into eternity with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

She was born in Wilson, North Carolina and was the middle daughter of Isham and Rossie Underwood Bryant. In this community, Bertha received her formal educational and Christian values. She graduated from Wilson Colored High School, now known as Charles H. Darden High School in 1933. Bertha continued with her formal education by attending and graduating from Livingstone College, Salisbury, North Carolina with a degree in Education. Following college she moved to Brooklyn, New York and worked as a social worker for the City of New York. Social work was her passion and her life’s work, and in 1960, she continued this passion when she returned to Wilson, she retired from the Wilson County Department of Social Services.

Upon returning home, Bertha united with St. John AME Zion Church where she remained a devoted member until she moved to Spring Hill, Florida with her son and daughter in-law. At St. John, she was the Church Clerk for over thirty years and well as the writer of the church resolutions.

Never one to be idle, she lived a very active and fulfilling life in Wilson. Among her many community activities, she was a member of the following organizations: Wilson Book & Garden Club, St. John AME Zion Church Conference Workers, Eastern Star Starlight #259, Wilson Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Darden Alumni Association, Mary McLeod Bethune Women’s Civic Club, The Red Hot Society, Inc., OIC, Good Timers Senior Bowling League at Westview Lanes, and she was the founder of the Wilson Loyal Leisure Club. Bertha was also a Wilson Medical Center volunteer.

Bertha was a loving and devoted wife to Dewitt Hawkins and to this union two sons were born, and she lovingly reared a step-daughter. After the death of Dewitt, she later married Daniel Carroll, who was a prominent business man in Wilson and lovingly raised another step-daughter.

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In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 596 Wainwright Street, tobacco factory laborer Isham Bryant, 27; wife Rossie, 21; and children Beatrice, 5, Bertha, 4, and Inez, 1.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 805 Roberson Street, Isom Bryant, 37, factory laborer; wife Rossie, 32, public school maid; and daughters Beatrice, 15, Bertha, 14, and Inez, 11.

Bertha Bryant married Dewitt Hawkins on 8 September 1942 in New York City. Hawkins died 21 October 1956. Per a Report on Interment, he served in 3294 QM Svc. Co. QMC from 1942 to 1945 as a private first class and was buried in Long Island National Cemetery. His next of kin was Bertha Hawkins, 183-48 Dunlop Avenue, Saint Albans, New York — “Widow Bertha to be buried in the same grave.”

Bertha Bryant Hawkins returned to Wilson and later married Dan Carroll, who owned a popular Nash Street pool room.

Daniel Carroll died 27 November 1990 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 April 1905 in Henderson, Vance County, to Daniel Carroll Sr. and Lina Coppedge; owned a billiard parlor; resided at 715 Elvie Street; and was married to Bertha Bryant.

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Bertha and Daniel Carroll.

Top photo courtesy of Wilson Daily Times; bottom photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user MichaelJ379.

Snaps, no. 25: Isham and Rossie Underwood Bryant.

Isham and Rossie Bryant.

In the 1900 census of Hall township, Sampson County: farmer Joseph Bryant, 51; wife Carrie, 37; and children Louiza, 11, Elijah, 8, Isham, 6, Minnie, 5, Josiah, 5, and John, 7 months.

In the 1916 Wilson city directory: Isham Bryant, lab, h S Reid nr Robinson.

Isham Bryant registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 14 March 1893 near Clinton, North Carolina; resided at 213 Reid Street, Wilson; worked as a laborer for Will Coley, contractor; and was married with two children.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 596 Wainwright Street, tobacco factory laborer Isham Bryant, 27; wife Rossie, 21; and children Beatrice, 5, Bertha, 4, and Inez, 1.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 805 Roberson Street, Isom Bryant, 37, factory laborer; wife Rossie, 32, public school maid; and daughters Beatrice, 15, Bertha, 14, and Inez, 11.

On 18 February 1931, Beatrice C. Bryant, 17, daughter of Isham and Rossie Bryant, married Jos. F. Haskins, 19, son of James Haskins and Martha Pitt, in Wilson. Rev. J.T. Douglas of Calvary Presbyterian Church performed the service at Isham Bryant’s house with Judge Mitchell and the Bryants as witnesses.

In the 1940 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Isham Bryant, 49, machinist at tobacco factory; wife Rossie, 43; daughter Inez, 22, tobacco factory laborer; and granddaughter Bobbie Haskins, 8.

Isham Bryant died 6 September 1961 at 915 East Nash Street, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he lived at 414 North Vick Street; worked as a mechanic for Wilson Tobacco Company; was born 14 March 1894 in Sampson County to Joe Bryant and Carrie Hobbs; and was married to Roxie Bryant.

Rossie Bryant died 22 July 1984 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 1897 in Sampson County to Charlie Underwood and Rosetta Boykins; resided at 705 Edwards Street; and had worked as a tobacco factory hanger.

Rossie Underwood Bryant.

Photographs courtesy of Ancestry.com user michaelj379.

The obituary of Alice Bryant Gay.

Wilson Daily Times, 25 October 1938.

Sam Gay, son of Amos Thigpen and Harriet Gay, married Alice Bryant, daughter of Louisa Bryant, on 10 February 1870 in Wilson. P.E. Hines performed the ceremony.

In the 1870 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Samuel Gay, 24, wife Alice, 20, and brother Albert, 21.

In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: farm worker Samuel Gay, 27, wife Allice, 25, and children Blanch, 8, Louizah, 7, Edgar, 4, Charlie, 3, and Mamie, 1 month.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: farmer Sam Gay, 54; wife Alice, 50; and children Charlie C., 23, Edgar B., 25, Lucy, 17, Samuel, 14, Albert and Beatrice, 10, and Lily, 4.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Samuel Gay, 65, wife Alice, 55, and children Albert, 20, and Lilly, 15.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: widow Alice Gay, 45; daughter Beatrice, 26; grandson Jerome Wood, 11; granddaughter Gereddine, 10; son Albert, 30; daughter-in-law Anabell, 24; grandsons Albert Jr., 4, and Jesse, 2; son-in-law Fredrick Bolling, 35; daughter Lillie, 23; and grandchildren Delma, 4, and Fredrick, 2.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 623 Green, widow Annie B. Gay, 30, a laundress; husband Albert, 40, a bellboy; mother-in-law Alic, 73; and children Albert Jr., 14, Jessie, 11, Hal, 8, Samual, 6, Mirrian, 4, and Ralph, 2.

Alice Bryant Gay died 24 October 1938 in Wilson. Per her death certificate: she was born 1 January 1854 in Wilson County to Lousie Bryant of Goldsboro, North Carolina; was a widow; and resided at 402 North Reid Street, Wilson. Lucy Lewis of Newark, New Jersey, was informant.

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