Ellis

In memory of Benjamin Ellis.

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Wilson Daily Times, 7 June 1995.

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In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer Joana Ellis, 27; wife Ciller, 23; and children Mattie, 2, and Benjamin, 1.

In the 1910 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: on Stantonsburg Road, Jonah Ellis, 42; wife Precilla, 38; and children Mattie, 11, Benjamin, 9, Dora, 8, Jonah, 6, James, 5, and Caroline, 3.

In the 1920 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: on Stantonsburg & Wilson Road, farmer Jonnie Ellis, 56; wife Prisilla, 46; and children Mattie, 21, Benjamin, 20, Jonnie Jr., 17, Dora, 18, James, 14, Carolin, 13, and Mary, 5.

On 6 January 1923, Benjamin Ellis, 22, of Stantonsburg, son of John and Priscilla Ellis, married Lizzie Simms, 20, of Black Creek, daughter of Reddick and Bettie Simms. Free Will Baptist minister B.F. Lofton performed the ceremony at Red Simms’ house in the presence of Ruffin Roe of Black Creek and Lonzie Bynum and George Woodard of Lucama.

In the 1930 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: Benjamin Ellis, 29; wife Lizzie, 26; and children Pauline, 6, Benjamin F., 4, Sylvester, 2, and Ruth, 10 months.

In the 1940 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Benjamon Ellis, 42; wife Lizzie S., 37; and children Pauline, 16, Benjamon F., 14, Sylvester, 12, Ruth, 10, Moses, 8, Jessie Lee, 6, Jonah, 4, and Lizzie, 1.

In 1942, Benjamin Ellis registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 31 July 1899 in Wilson County; lived in Black Creek township on the M.L. Smith farm; and worked for M.L. Smith.

Benjamin Ellis died 7 June 1976 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 14 November 1899 to Jonah Ellis and Priscilla Woodard; was a farmer; and was married to Lizzie Simms Ellis.

In the neighborhood of Watson’s land.

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Plat book 1, map 254.

This 1937 notice of sale of the property of John A. and Nannie K. Watson contains bits of information about land ownership by African-Americans in Taylors township, a few miles northeast of the town of Wilson.

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Lots 1-4 on the plat map were known as the “Ellis and Woodard tract of Kinchen Watson.” They lay about a half-mile west of the Wilson-Nashville highway (now N.C. Highway 58) and the description of their outer perimeter begins at the corner of “the old Warren Rountree lands and the Hilliard Ellis home tract.” Warren Rountree and Hilliard Ellis were half-brothers. Both were born into slavery, but became prosperous farmers and landowners within a few years after Emancipation. The irregular pentagon of Lot 1 of the tract wrapped around a two-acre rectangle belonging to the Warren Rountree heirs, and Lot 2 excluded “a parcel of land containing one-half acre called the Ellis Chapel lot upon which stands a colored church.”

Detail of lots 1 and 2 of the Ellis & Woodard tracts.

The second tract up for auction, “the Jim Howard tract,” is marked Lot 5 on the plat map at page 251 of Plat Book 1, below.

The third tract, the “Lamm tract,” consisted of Lots 1-4 of the plat map below. These properties were surrounded by tracts belonging to African-American men whose families were connected by blood, intermarriage and historical status as free people of color. James G. “Jim,” Kenyon, Jesse and Allison (not Anderson) Howard were sons of Zealous and Rhoda Eatmon Howard, and William Howard appears to have been a grandson. Charles Brantley‘s daughter Mollie married her cousin Kenyon Howard. John and Kenyon “Kenny” Locust (also spelled Locus and Lucas) were father and son, and John’s mother was Eliza Brantley Locus.

Wilson Daily Times, 29 November 1937.

Plat Book 1, Page 251.

Per Google Maps, the area shown in the first plat today. At (A), Ellis Chapel Free Will Baptist Church; at (B), the approximate location of the Warren Rountree heirs’ two acres; at (C), the Hilliard Ellis cemetery, which is outside the Watson land; at (1) Aviation Place; at (2) Packhouse Road; at (3) N.C. Highway 58; and at (4) Little Swamp, which is a tributary of Toisnot Swamp.

Plat books at Register of Deeds Office, Wilson County Courthouse.

 

Snaps, no. 50: Susan Locus Simms Ellis.

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Susan Locus Simms Ellis (1890-1980).

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In the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: Johnnie Lucus, 43; wife Delpha, 51; children Kinion, 26, Nannie, 24, Edwin, 15, Sidney, 12, and Susan, 9; and grandsons Bunion, 5, and Martin L., 3.

In the 1910 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: on Howards Path, John Locust, 66; wife Delphia, 64; children Kinyan, 36, and Susie, 19; and grandchildren Bunyan, 15, Luther M., 13, and Roxie, 7 months.

On 15 May 1913, Loyd Simms, 21, of Taylors township, son of Lou Simms, married Susan Locus, 22, of Taylors, daughter of John and Delphia Locus, at the Register of Deeds office in Wilson.

In the 1920 census of Jackson township, Nash County: on Stanhope & Wilson Road, farmer Lloyd Sims, 28, and wife Susie, 27.

On 1 December 1924, Roxie Ann Lucas, 18, daughter of Susie Sims Lucas, married Asberry Blackwell, 28, son of Howard and Classy Blackwell, in Nashville, Nash County.

In the 1930 census of Jackson township, Nash County: Turner Deans, 45, wife Nannie, 52; sister-in-law Susie Simms; and nieces Gatsey Dean, 20, and Alphia Dean, 1.

Roxie Ann Blackwell died 3 September 1959 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 10 September 1910 in Wilson County to Frank Mitchell and Susie Lucas; was married to Ashbury Blackwell; had engaged in farming; and was buried in the Lucas cemetery in Wilson County.

Susie Locus Ellis died 20 August 1980 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 4 July 1890 in Wilson County to John and Delphia Lucas; was a widow; had engaged in farming; and was buried in the Lucas cemetery in Wilson County. Grandson Kenneth Blackwell was informant.

Photograph courtesy of samjoyatk.

 

Teens clear the Ellis cemetery.

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On 25 November 2018, the Wilson Times published an article about a group of teenagers working to clean and restore an African-American cemetery as a service project with the Wilson County Genealogical Society. The teens, members of a mentoring group called Gentleman’s Agreement, were curious about history of the graveyard, which was believed unidentified. I immediately recognized it as the Littleton and Judie Barnes Ellis cemetery and reached out to reporter Olivia Neeley to provide links to my September 2017 post about the overgrown burial site. I’m overjoyed to learn that it is receiving much-needed attention and look forward to Neeley’s follow-up on the project. Kudos to the young men of Gentleman’s Agreement!

Studio shots, no. 99: Harry and Luetta Brooks Ellis.

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Harry and Luetta Brooks Ellis.

In the 1900 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farmer Daniel Ellis, 40; wife Celia, 24; and children Lena, 10, William, 7, Mary E., 6, Sampson, 2, and Harry, 10 months.

In the 1910 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: on Stantonsburg Road, farmer Daniel Ellis, 50; wife Celia, 35; and children Maeliza, 13, Willie, 14, Samson, 11, Harry, 10, Robert, 7, and Jackson, 8.

On 18 May 1921, Harry Ellis, son of Daniel Ellis and Celia Ellis, married Luretta Brooks, daughter of Coy Brooks and Maggie Woodard, in Stantonsburg. Rev. E.H. Cox of the U.A.F.W. Baptist Church performed the ceremony in the presence of Henry Dillard of Wilson and John Artis and Pearl Donald of Stantonsburg.

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Ellis Harry (c; Louetta) mill hand h 631 Lincoln

Nathaniel Ellis died 1 July 1929 of bronchopneumonia at his home at 801 Everlyn[?], Wilson. He was a year and eight months old; was born in Wilson to Harry Ellis of Stantonsburg and Louetta Brooks of Wilson County; and was born in Rountree cemetery.

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Harry Ellis, 28, farm laborer; wife Luetta, 24; and children Lenora, 6, Harry, 4, and Ruth, 3 months.

In the 1940 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Harry Ellis, 38, farmer; wife Luetta, 34; children Lenora, 15, Harry L., 13, Ruth L., 11; stepmother Maggie Ellis, 55, widow; and sister Mattie Ellis, 15.

In 1944, Harry Lee Ellis registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 15 January 1926 in Wilson County; his contact was Harry Ellis; he lived at Route 3, Box 269, Wilson; and he worked as a helper on the farm of W.A. Batts.

Louetta Ellis died 14 August 1983, and Harry Ellis died 28 December 1988, both in Wilson.

Harry Ellis, probably in the mid-1980s. (Sidenote: I love everything about this photo.)

Photos courtesy of Ancestry user Nortonsapple.

The obituaries of Fannie G. Ellis and John Henry Moore.

Wilson Daily Times, 6 December 1949.

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In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Wiggins Mill Road, farmer Bryant Ellis, 40; wife Mary Jane, 39; and children Pinkey, 17, General, 15, Gusten, 13, Bryant, 11, Thomas, 9, Sonnie, 7, Ronnie, 5, Sylvester, 3, and Mary Jane, 10 months.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Bryant Ellis, 53; wife Mary, 50; and children Daisy Sarah Herring, 28, and Gustus, 24, Bryant Jr., 21, Thomas, 19, Sonie, 17, Visor 12,  Mary, 11, William, 9, and Minnie Ellis, 5; and grandchildren Lizzie, 2, and Carry Gray, 1.

On 27 May 1937, Thomas E. Ellis, 35, of Winston-Salem, son of Bryant and Mary Jane Ellis of Wilson, married Fannie Gilmer, 27, of Winston-Salem, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

In the 1940 census of Winston-Salem, Forsyth County: Lafayette Cook, 24, teacher; wife Beatrice, 25; and son Lafayette Cook Jr., 1; with lodgers Thomas Ellis, 35, insurance agent, and wife Fannie, 30, tobacco factory stemmer.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Ellis Thos E (c; Fannie F) mgr Winston Mut Life Ins Co h 616 E Green

In 1942, Thomas Elder Ellis registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 25 February 1902 in Wilson; resided at 302 North Vick Street, Wilson; received mail at Post Office Box 93, Wilson; his contact was Short Barnes, 616 East Green Street; and he worked for Winston Mutual Life Insurance Company at its branch office in Wilson.

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Ellis Thos E (c; Fannie G) mgr Winston Mut Life Ins Co h 1307 Atlantic Av

Fannie Goosby Ellis died 3 December 1949 at Wilson County Sanatorium. Per her death certificate, she was born 5 November 1907 in Davie County, North Carolina, to Horace Goosby and Mary Ann Lash; was married to Thomas Ellis; resided at 1307 East Atlantic Street; and was buried in Ellis Cemetery, Wilson County.

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In the 1912 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Moore Jno H shoemkr 526 E Nash h 137 Pender

In 1918, John Henry Moore registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 6 October 1884; resided on Atlantic Street, Wilson; was a self-employed shoe repairer with a shop at 513 East Nash; and his nearest relative was wife Armensie Moore.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Atlantic Street, James [sic] H. Moore, 36, laborer; wife Mary, 23; and children Robert, 6, Lenard, 3, and Carl, 1.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1113 Atlantic Street, owned and valued at $2000, shoe shop cobbler John H. Moore, 45; wife Annie, 31; and children Lena, 13, Carl, 11, John, 9, Anna G., 7, Odessia B., 3, and Ruth, 16 months.

In 1944, Ozzie Moore registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 1 September 1926 in Wilson; resided at 1113 Atlantic Street, Wilson; his contact was his father, J.H. Moore; and was employed by J.H. Moore at 517 East Nash Street, Wilson.

John Henry Moore died 4 December 1949 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 6 October 1894 in Pitt County, North Carolina, to Samuel Moore and Caroline Bullock; was married to Armecie Moore; resided at 1113 Atlantic Street; and operated a shoe shop.

John H. Moore’s headstone in Rest Haven cemetery. Both it and the family marker were engraved by Clarence B. Best.

The wind was terrific.

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Wilson Times, 14 July 1911.

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Perhaps, in the 1910 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: Rheubin Ellis Jr., 34, wife Annie, 33, and children Ida, 13, and Albert, 12. Or, next door, Rheubin Ellis, 76; wife Clarkie, 72; daughters Henretta, 23, Joemima, 22, and Cherrie, 19; and grandchildren Amie, 14, Ashley, 12, Rheubin, 11, and Lucy, 11 months.

Littleton Ellis’ land division.

Littleton Ellis‘ land was surveyed, divided and platted in the spring of 1942, several decades years after his death between 1900 and 1910. The road slicing across the middle of the plat map appears to be today’s Forest Hills Road, with directions east “To U.S. Hwy. No. 301” and west “To Road Leading to Wilson Via of Winstead Sch.”

Plat book 2, page 175, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson.

Littleton Ellis Jr.’s crop lien.

As adapted from Wikipedia and NCPedia: the crop-lien system was a credit system widely used by cotton and tobacco farmers in the South from the 1860s to the 1930s. Sharecroppers and tenant farmers, who did not own the land they worked, and even cash-strapped landowners, obtained supplies and food on credit from local merchants. The merchants held a lien on the farmer’s crop, and the merchants and landowners were the first ones paid from its sale. What was left over went to the farmer. Merchants routinely, and lawfully, marked up prices, and country stores rapidly proliferated across North Carolina and the South. Abuses in the crop lien system reduced many tenant farmers to a state of debt peonage, as their debts to landlords and merchants carried over from one year to the next.

On 1 January 1910, Littleton Ellis Jr. gave F.S. Davis a $140 lien on his crop in order to purchase fertilizer from Farmers Guano Company. Ellis promised to raise cotton and corn on the land on which he lived (and likely owned as his share of his father’s property) and also pledged a black mule, Rhodie, and a yellow mule, Katie, as security.

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In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Littleton Ellis, 73; wife Judy, 55; and children Lucy, 21, Littleton, 18, Sarah, 16, Maggie, 14, Nettie, 12, and Minnie, 10.

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Wiggins Mill Road, farmer Littleton Ellis, 27; his mother Judie, 62; and sisters Lucy, 30, Sarah, 24, Maggie, 23, and Lettie, 21.

Littleton Ellis registered for the World War I draft in 1918. Per his draft registration card, he was born 30 August 1882; lived at Box 75, R.F.D. #2, Wilson; was a farmer “on his own land next to R.P. Watsons”; and his nearest relative was mother Juddy Ellis.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Judie Ellis, 80, widow; children Lucy, 32, Litt, 30, and Maggie, 25; and granddaughter Manerva Barnes, 22.

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Littleton Ellis Jr., 47; widowed mother Juddie, 82; and divorced sister Lucy Cooker, 49.

Littleton Ellis died 24 March 1934 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 30 August 1882 in Wilson to Littleton Ellis and Judia Barnes; Bryant Ellis was informant.

Deed book 72, page 562, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson.

Obituary of Mamie Ellis.

Wilson Daily Times, 6 December 1949.

Per her death certificate, Mamie Ellis died 4 December 1949 at her home at 117 Ashe Street. She was born 31 January 1893 in Wilson to John Ellis and Mary Daniels; was a widower; and had worked as a laundress. She was buried in Rest Haven cemetery, and Lula Foster, 925 Washington Street, Wilson, was informant.