estate

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 appears to be today’s Forest Hills Road, with directions east “To U.S. Hwy. No. 301” and west “To Road Leading to the Wilson Via of Winstead Sch.”

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

The estate of Elijah Cox.

Less than a decade after gaining freedom, Elijah Cox passed away in southern Wilson County. He had assembled a small farm in Cross Roads township, but it would not pass intact to the next generation.

Receipt for reimbursement to Ben Cox, alias Horne, for clothing purchased “for burying father.”

Dr. R.E. Cox filed a claim against the estate for medical care provided in Elijah Cox’s final illness.

In 1874, Patience Cox applied for letters of administration in Wilson County Superior Court for her husband’s estate. His heirs were named as Haywood Sauls and wife Fannie; Sherrod Cox and wife Diana; Simon Dew and wife Telitha; Jerry Everett and wife Jane; Ben Barnes and wife Hester; Ben Cox; William Horne; and Warren Barnes. His estate file reveals that Cox owned about 56 acres at his death and that his debts were estimated at $175. For her support, Patience Cox was allotted barrels of corn, shucks, fodder, cotton seed, cattle, hogs, peas, potatoes, garden tools, plows, and household and kitchen furniture, which essentially wiped out Elijah’s personal property. As a result the court ordered Cox’s land sold to create assets to pay off his debts.

Inventory of Elijah Cox’s estate.

In a final accounting after the sale, heirs received payments of about $16 in February 1876.

Request from Cox’ daughter Fannie Sauls of Fremont, Wayne County, to have her share delivered via her husband Haywood Sauls.

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In 1866, these formerly enslaved couples registered their cohabitations in Wayne County (Haywood Sauls and Fannie Newsome, 4 years) and Wilson County (Simon Dew and Litha King, 18 years, and Benjamin Barnes and Hester Barnes, 20 years.) I have not found cohabitation records for Elijah and Patience or their other children. (Sidenote: the multiple surnames used by Elijah’s children — Cox, Horne, Barnes, King, Newsome — suggests that they had different mothers or were held in slavery by several different owners.)

In the 1870 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: shoemaker Elijah Cox, 66; wife Patience, 65; and children (or grandchildren) Jerry, 11, Clara, 5, and Patience Cox, 3. Cox claimed $150 real estate.

In the 1880 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Ben Jamin Horne, 33; wife Mandy, 26; and children William Henderson, 14, Alvester, 10, Hilliard, 8, Amos, 6, and Louetta Cox, 3; and mother Patience Cox, 70.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: wagon driver Haywood Sauls, 46, and wife Fannie, 56.

In the 1880 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Simon Dew, 55; wife Lithy, 48; children Lany, 27, Peter, 25, Lucy, 23, Diannah, 21, Isaih, 20, Hilliard, 18, Hester, 16, Aarch, 14, Liscy, 12, Patience, 10, Sarah, 8, and Simon, 6; and grandchildren Zilpha, 13, Roxie A., 2, and William, 1.

In the 1880 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Benjaim Barnes, 52; wife Hester, 52; and children Ervin, 17, Rebecca, 16, Bettie, 13, Larry, 10, Thomas, 8, and Benjaim, 6.

North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

The estate of Alex Crockett.

Alexander Crockett died 22 February 1920 in Wilson. He left no will.

Crockett was unmarried, and his sister Georgia Crockett Aiken filed for letters of administration on the estate. She and their brother James Crockett were the sole heirs, and she estimated Alex’ estate value at $400.00. Aiken and E.D. Barnes posted bond.

Dr. William A. Mitchner filed a claim for $65 against Crockett’s estate, presumably for services rendered during his treatment for tuberculosis.

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In the 1880 census of Little Washington, Goldsboro, Wayne County, North Carolina: William Crockett, 35, drayman; wife Rachel, 41, seamstress; and children James, 11, Alex, 9, Georgianna, 8, and Robert, 1.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 123 Pender Street, Georgia Akin, 45, widow, livery stable manager; brother Alexander Crockett, 47, stable salesman; and roomers John Norfleet, 30, and Mose Parker, 32, both laborers. [Georgia’s husband John H. Aiken had been a partner with Crockett in Crockett & Aiken, a livery, transfer and house-moving outfit.]

Alexander Crockett died 22 February 1920 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 9 August 1875 in Wayne County to William Crockett of Chester, South Carolina, and Rachel Hill of North Carolina; was a self-employed livery and transfer operator; and was single. Informant was Georgia Aiken.

North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

Louisa S. Perrington estate.

This notice of sale signaled the dissolution of the estate of Louisa Perrington, who died 26 January 1936 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, Louisa Virginia Perrington was born 1 April 1857 in Wilson to Sylvester Scarboro and Annie Adams, both of Greene County; resided at 702 East Nash Street; and was the widow of Weldon Perrington. Annie Marshall was informant.

Wilson Daily Times, 25 September 1933.

Perrington’s heirs were Annie Marshall, John Perrington, Morris Ellis and Camilous E. Ellis. The city plot up for auction was a half-acre on Nash Street  (at what is now 702 East Nash) bordered by John H. Clark‘s land, “the Daniel Vick homeplace,” and Boston Parker. The same lot had once been owned by John Kersey.

In the East Wilson Historic District nomination form, the two-story house on this lot is described as the “Louisa Parrington house; hip-roofed Colonial Revival dwelling with simple detail typical of houses of this middle-class design in East Wilson; builder was local carpenter Louis Thomas.”

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In the 1870 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Anna Scarborough, 35; children John, 17, and Louisa, 14; and boarder Henry Blackman, 19.

In the 1880 census of Wilmington, New Hanover County: butler Weldon Perrington, 27; wife Louise, 23, and daughter Ardena, 2.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 614 Gold Street, widow Louise Perrerrington, 48; daughters Annie, 22, and Omma, 23, both cooks; son John, 17; and grandchildren John, 2, and Virginia Glastor, 4.

Morris M. Ellis, 25, and Ometa Sylvia Perrington, 22, daughter of Louisa Perrington, all of Wilson, were married 10 August 1910 at Saint John A.M.E. Zion church. Rev. D.L. Maultsby performed the ceremony in the presence of Floyd Mitchell, Dr. W.A. Mitchner and Chas. H. Darden.

On 28 February 1912, John Marshall, 21, married Annie Perrington, 21, in Wilson in the presence of A.N. Darden, Joseph Baker and William Baker.

Morris Weldon Ellis Jr. was born 16 February 1914 to Morris M. Ellis and Ometa S. Perrington.

John Perrington registered for the World War I draft in Wilson in 1917. Per his draft registration card, he was born 22 November 1894 in Wilmington, North Carolina; worked as a barber for Morris Ellis in Black Creek; and had “weak eyes.”

Morris McKenny Ellis registered for the World War I draft in Wilson in 1918. Per his draft registration card, he was born 29 July 1884; resided at 324 South Spring; was married to Ometa Silvy Ellis; and worked in his own barbershop in Black Creek.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 324 South Spring Street, Morris Ellis, 35; Ametra, 34; son Morris Jr., 5, and daughter Linnai, 2; mother-in-law Louisa Perrington, 63, and her granddaughter Inez Perrington, 14.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Hines Street, auto mechanic John Marshall, 32; wife Annie, 32; and children Glascoe, 12, Louise, 6, Bessie, 3, and Herman, 1.

On 22 November 1921, John W. Perrington, 27, of Wilson, son of Weldon and Louisa Perrington, married Nannie E. Frazier, 21, of Smithfield, daughter of Leslie and Amanda Drew, in Wake County.

Camillus Edward Ellis was born 25 February 1925.

Ometa Ellis died 3 May 1928 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was married to Morriss Ellis; resided at 702 Nash Street; was 42 years old; and had been born in Wilmington, North Carolina, to Weldon Perrington of Wilmington and Louisa Scarborough of Wilson. Louisa Parrington was informant.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 706 East Nash, widow Louisa Perrington, 76, a nurse; grandsons Comelius, 5, and Morris Ellis, 6; and roomer William L. Gardner, 25, a servant.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 507 Hines Street, widow Annie Marshall, 42, cook; and children Louise, 16, Bessie M., 13, Herman, 11, Margrette, 9, and Gretchen G., 1.

In the 1930 census of Portsmouth, Scioto County, Ohio: at 1409 Union Street (owned and valued at $3500), North Carolina-born barber John Perrington, 35; wife Nannie, 29; and stepsons John, 14, and James, 13.

Annie Mariah Marshall died 12 October 1937 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 50 years old; was born in Wilson to Weldon Perrington and Louise Scarborough; resided at 703 East Nash; and was widowed. Informant was Herman Marshall.

John W. Perrington died 29 November 1927 and, as a veteran of World War I, was buried at Dayton National Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio.

In the 1940 census of Clarksville, Montgomery County, Tennessee: on Quarles Street, medical foot specialist Morris M. Ellis, 55, and wife Minnie, 56.

Morris McKinley Ellis died 16 December 1952 in Clarksville, Montgomery County, Tennessee. Per his death certificate, he was born 18 July 1885 in North Carolina to Huel Ellis; was widowed; resided at 107-10th Street, Clarksville; and worked as a chiropodist. Camillus E. Ellis of New York, New York, was informant.

Camillus E. Ellis died 19 February 1968 in New York.

Morris Weldon Ellis Jr. died 26 November 1997 in Wilson.

 

The last will and testament of Henry Jones, alias Barnes.

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In May 1903, Samuel H. Vick swore in Superior Court that he had witnessed Henry Jones, alias Barnes, make his mark on will. Because Walter Hulin was deceased, his widow Hattie Hulin swore to the validity of his signature on the document.

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In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer Henry Barnes, 35, and wife Milah, 30.

In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: farm laborer Henry Barnes, 52; wife Mila, 40; son Amanuel Robins, 22; and boarder John Hardy, 20.

On 2 August 1899, Walter B. Hulin, 21, married Hattie Artis, 18, at the Artis home in Wilson. Rev. W.B. Perry, Episcopal, performed the ceremony in the presence of James Artis, Irine Winstead and Mrs. Barnes.

Mily Barnes died intestate in the late summer of 1909. Dr. F.S. Hargrave applied for letters of administration for her estate, estimated at $100 value.

 

North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

Milly Jones’ probate.

Milly Jones, widow of Henry Jones, passed away 21 November 1877 in Wilson.

She had executed a detailed will in August 1877, directing, among other things, that:

  • her son A.W. Jones receive “the shop lot” on Nash Street located beside her residence and measuring twelve by twenty feet;
  • the remainder of her land to be sold “to some member of the family” and the proceeds divided equally among her children;
  • enough of her personal property be sold to pay off her debts and funeral and the remainder divided among her children by two neutral people;
  • and son Kernel M. Jones act as executor.

Kernel [Colonel?] Morris Jones, with his youngest brother’s help, had some immediate tasks to address:

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  • four dollars paid by son A. Wilson Jones to casketmaker Charles H. Darden for a coffin:

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  • one dollar and thirty-two cents to Anthony Nadal for handles and other hardware for the coffin:

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Having carried out his mother’s wishes, in February 1878, K.M. Jones filed with the court an account of the distribution of her estate. After debts, including those above, were paid out of the three hundred dollars secured from the sale of her lot, each child — K. Maurice Jones, Mac Jones; Sarah Best, wife of Noah Best; Harry Martin Jones; and A.W. Jones — received just over $42.

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In the 1870 census of Wilson, Wilson County: shoemaker Henry Jones, 55; wife Milly, 50; and sons Morris, 19, a bakery worker, and Wilson, 11. [A. Wilson Jones later married — and murdered — Samuel Vick’s sister Nettie Vick.] Daughter Sarah Jones, 15, was listed as a domestic servant in the household of grocer John A. Crofton.

North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

 

 

The estate of Ann Williamson.

Documents in the 1822 estate files of Ann Williamson of Nash (now Wilson) County include several references to the sale or “hier” of enslaved people. Williamson was the widow of Joseph Williamson, and Bartley Deans was her executor.

Williamson had executed a will in 1807, fifteen years before her death. She listed three enslaved people — women named Pat and Rachel and a boy named Arch.

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A partial inventory in Williamson’s estate records also lists Arch, Rachel and Pat. Rachel and Pat are listed together at one place in documents and may have been mother and daughter. (Note that, as she was only ten years old in 1822, the Pat in in Williamson’s estate could not have been the Pat in her will.)

ann-w-12-1821-inventory

Here, record of the sale of “Negro gal Pat” to Eatman Flowers for $353.88; the hire of Arch, first to Jesse Sillivant, then to Thomas Williamson; and the hire of Rachel to Ford Taylor. These three were hired out repeatedly.

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A receipt for partial proceeds from the sale of Jack to John Watson, executor of Luke Collins:

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Estate of Ann Williamson (1822), North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

 

 

Ayers found dead in his yard.

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Wilson Advance, 2 February 1883.

The “old man” was William Ayers, who appeared in the 1880 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County, as a 46 year-old farmer. Though he was marked married, he is listed as the only person in his household.

William’s wife, Rose Ayers, quickly moved to open his estate in probate court, relinquishing her right to administer his estate to Thomas J. Rowe.

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The court duly appointed Rowe, estimated the size of Ayers’ estate at $250, and named Rosa, Jesse and Joseph Ayers as his heirs. The latter two, presumably, were his sons (or descendants of deceased children.)

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By late February, William Ayers’ personal property had been sold at auction, yielding a little more than $200. The account revealed that, in addition to carpenter’s tool, household furnishings and clothing, Ayers owned a fiddle and a single bottle of cologne.

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On 22 November 1883, commissioners laid off Rose Ayers’ dower, granting her twenty acres of her late husband’s 80 acres in Cross Roads township, representing one-third value of the land. In December 1883, commissioner F.A. Woodard placed a series of notices in The Wilson Advance (Josephus Daniels’ first newspaper), presumably advertising the sale of Ayers’ land.

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Estate records show that Edwin Barnes was the highest bidder at $430 for Ayers’ property on 7 January 1884. (The commissioners’ report also lists another heir, Council Ayers.)

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  • Rose Ayers — Rose Ayers, 45, married Nash Horton, 50, on 5 December 1888 at Meeksville post office, Spring Hill township. James G., I., and Guilford Wilder were witnesses.
  • Jesse Ayers — probably,  in the 1880 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: 28 year-old farmer Jesse Ayers; wife Elizabeth, 28; and children Ida, 8; Harriet, 6; Howard, 5; and Hubbard, 2; all described as mulatto.
  • Joseph G. Ayers
  • Council Ayers — In the 1870 census of Beulah township, Johnston County: Council Ares, 52, wife Mary, 33, and William Smith, 3. However, this man was older than William and could not have been his son. (He died 1 December 1915 in Spring Hill township, and his death certificate lists his father as Sampson Ayers.) Similarly, the Council Ayers, age 21, who appears in the 1910 census of Spring Hill township with wife Beadie, 25, was born after William Ayers’ death.

North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

Studio shots, no. 15: Redden Sanders Wilkins and family.

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Redden S. Wilkins and daughters Hattie Margaret and Mary Della.

Redden S. Wilkins, 28, of Wilson, and Mary Blount, 31, of Wilson, were married 20 January 1889 by Methodist minister J.H. Mattocks at Peter Rountree‘s in Wilson. Witnesses were Samuel B. Parker and Samuel H. Vick of Wilson and W.E. Palmer of Washington D.C. [Mary Blount may have been a close relative of Samuel Vick, whose mother was Fannie Blount Vick.]

In May 1897, the Wilkinses, who were living in a house owned by Samuel Vick’s father Daniel Vick, suffered a devastating house fire.

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Wilson Times, 20 May 1897.

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Wilson Advance, 21 May 1897.

As posted here, Mary Wilkins, 43, died 27 March 1899, of an “internal tumor.” Undertaker Wootten & Stevens’ register notes that “Mary was wife of Redmond Wilkins, was in bad health for a long time, was a good woman.” She was buried in the “colored cemetery.”

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: teamster Redding Wilkins, 35, a widower, and his widowed mother Iserbella Battle, 85. [His children were not listed in the household.]

On 28 January 1903, Redden S. Wilkins, 33, of Wilson, married Mary [Hines] Boddie, 26, of Edgecombe County, at Haret Hines’ in Township No. 14, Edgecombe County. Witnesses were E.L. Reid, A.S. Henderson and John A. Gaston, all of Wilson.

The 1908 Wilson city directory lists Redmond Wilkins, laborer, at 414 South Lodge Street.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at Lodge Street, Redmond Wilkins, 42, odd jobs laborer; wife Mary, 35; and daughters Hallie, 4, Mary B., 23, a cook, and Isabell, 1. [Mary B. was Redden’s daughter with Mary Blount Wilkins. Hallie and Isabell, in fact, were named Hattie Margaret and Mary Della.]

Redden S. Wilkins died 7 October 1915 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was found dead of a lung hemorrhage. He was born in 1861 in Edgecombe County to Ephram Wilkins and Margaret Battle, both of Edgecombe; was married; and worked as a drayman. Mary Wilkins was informant. Per findagrave.com, he was buried in Hines/Bullock cemetery (his second wife’s family graveyard), near Pinetops, Edgecombe County.

On 6 November, Mary Wilkins applied in Wilson County Superior Court for letters of administration for his estate. She listed his assets as a house and lot valued at about $800.00, money in the bank at $145.00, and house and kitchen furniture at $50.00. As heirs at law, she listed only herself and her daughters, though at least one of her step-daughters — Redden’s oldest child, Lula Wilkins Brown — was living.

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In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 507 Vance Street, widow Mary Wilkins, 45, cook, and daughters Margaret, 13, and Della, 10.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 506 Vance Street, rented for $12/month, cook Mary Wilkins, 47; daughter Della Mary, 18; lodgers Ethel Adkins, 20, a divorced teacher, and Henretta Smith, 53, widow; and nephew Paul Bullock, 21.

On 5 July 1932, Hattie M. Wilkins of Detroit, 24, born in North Carolina to Reden Wilkins and Mary Hines, married Abraham Butler of Detroit, 28, born in South Carolina, a factory worker.

In the 1940 census of Cairo, Alexander County, Illinois: physician Urbane F. Bass, 30, a native of Virginia, and wife Mary Della, 28, a North Carolina native. Urbane reported that he had been living in Saint Louis in 1935; Mary Della, in Wilson, North Carolina. [Urbane was the son of Dr. Urbane Francis Bass Sr., an African-American doctor and first lieutenant in the United States Army who was posthumously  awarded the Distinguished Service Award for his actions in World War I. See also entry for “Urbane Francis Bass” in W. Douglas Fisher and Joann H. Buckley, African American Doctors of World War I: The Lives of 104 Volunteerswhich touches upon Urbane Jr.’s practice in Cairo, which he abandoned several years after his and Mary Della’s home was firebombed in 1952 by segregationists. The family relocated to Los Angeles.]

In the 1940 census of Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan: at 1505 Labelle, Abraham Butler, 37, auto plant laborer; wife Hattie, 34; children Gibson, 6, Mary, 4, and Hattie, 2; and mother Josephine Butler, 69.

Per findagrave.com, Mary Della Wilkins Bass, born 2 February 1909, died 10 February 1988. She was buried in Rest Haven cemetery, Wilson.

Per the U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index, available at http://www.ancestry.com, Hattie Margaret Wilkins Butler Franklin, daughter of Redden Wilkins and Mary Ann Hines and born 9 March 1906 in Wilson, North Carolina, died in August 1993 in Highland Park, Wayne County, Michigan.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user laviemsvie.

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[Personal note: for a brief period in the spring of 1998, I corresponded prolifically with Deborah Moore Vles, a descendant of Redden S. Wilkins and his first wife, Nelly Bynum Wilkins. Deborah shared with transcripts of letters Redden wrote in 1912 and 1915 to his eldest daughter, Lula Wilkins Brown — his “dear baby” — who had left Wilson for Missouri before 1910. In the letters, tender testaments to a father’s love for his child, Redden asks about his grandchildren, frets about his failing health and laments the distances between their far-flung relatives. I have been unable to find current contact information for Deborah and hope that she will somehow find this post. — LYH]

Narrow escape.

A Narrow Escape from Death.

Gray Coleman, colored, had a narrow escape from being burned to death on Friday night last. He had retired leaving the fire burning to assist in keeping out the cold, but hardly to the extent that the result proved. Some time in the night he awoke to find to find the house ablaze. After he had gone round the room to wake his children he only had time to get out before the building fell in. The entire house and contents were destroyed with the exception of one trunk which Coleman seized as he made a wild dash for the outer air. Coleman is much distressed over his loss, and especially the death of his four faithful dogs who were burned with the building.

Wilson Advance, 21 February 1895.

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In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer Squier Coleman, 47, wife Nancy, 36, and children Gray, 18, Mary, 16, Afonzo, 9, Margret, 4, and Thomas, 2, plus Cassa Jordan, 70, Riley Jordan, 7, and Thomas Jordan, 25.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Gray Coleman, 28, wife Harriet, 26, and children Henrietta, 4, Lea, 2, and Eddie, 9 months, plus Molly Strickland, 7.

In the 1900 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: widower farmer Gray Coleman, 51.

On 1905, Gray Coleman, 56, married Cary Woodard, 45, in Old Fields township.

In the 1910 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: on County Line Road, farmer Gray Coleman, 63, wife Caroline, 58, daughter Mamie, 17, and step-grandson Clarence Barnes, 2. The surrounding households: farmer Alfonzo Coleman, 45 Squire Justice Coleman, 24,

Gray Coleman apparently died after 1910 and before about 1914, when the state began to require death certificates. His undated estate contains an inventory of his personal property and his widow Carrie’s dower.

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North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.