Snaps, no. 98: Jimmy Forbes and his grandfather.

James T. Forbes recently celebrated his 85th birthday. Here he is, circa 1939, with his grandfather Joseph McCoy on the front steps of Bill Hines’ home on East Vance Street.


In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer George Bynum, 59; wife Tamer, 54; sons Robert, 18, and Jesse, 13; daughter Leesy McCoy, 25; son-in-law Willie McCoy, 22; grandchildren Joseph, 2, and Lossie, 1; and lodger Walter Taborn, 17.

In the 1910 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farmer Will McCoy, 34; wife Leesie, 32; and children Joe, 11, Lossie, 9, Nancy, 8, Robert, 4, and Mary, 3.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Saratoga Road, farmer Willie McCoy, 47; wife Leecy, 45; and children Joe, 21, Nancy, 16, Robert, 15, Arena, 13, and Eddie, 10.

Joseph McCoy, 25, married Mittie Forbes, 25, on 17 October 1927 in Wilson. Oscar Reid applied for the license, and Free Will Baptist minister E.S. Hargrove performed the ceremony in the presence of Tom Joyner, Annie Hargrove, and Purl Hodge.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1110 East Nash Street, paying $16/month, barber Joe McCoy, 30; wife Mittie, 29, laundress; and roomer Sarah Wood, 45, widow, laundress.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 307 Reid Street, paying $14/month, barber Joe McCoy, 40, and wife Minnie [Mittie], 49, laundress; paying $4/month, Willie Forbes, 22, truck driver for Boykin Grocery Company, wife Goldie, 21, private cook, and son Jimmie, 3; also daughter Emma McCoy, 16, housekeeper; and roomer Elton Thomas, 17, tobacco worker. 

In the 1941 Wilson, N.C., city directory: McCoy Jos (c; Mittie) barber John B Barnes h 307 N Reid.

In the 1950 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 923 Atlantic Street, hotel bell hop Willie Forbes, 32; wife Goldie, 32, theatre cashier; and son James, 12.

Many thanks to Dawn Forbes Murphy for sharing this wonderful image. Happy birthday, Mr. Forbes!

Toney Robbins’ side: “Please send me a paper so as I can get them.”

In August 1867, John J. Pender complained to the Freedmen’s Bureau that Toney Robbins was harassing him about Pender’s apprenticeship of three children who Robbins claimed were his grandchildren. Pender asserted that Robbins had no children, much less grandchildren. The Bureau apparently sided with Pender, as the children were with him in 1870 when the census taker passed through.

Here is one of Robbins’ letters pleading for the Bureau to intercede on his behalf.

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Joyners Depot Wilison Co NC   August 5th 1867

Freedmen Bureau

I ha [written] 2 or 3 letter to Maj Crompto a Bout 3 of my grand Children nor [illegible] Eny Anser then wrote to General Every at Raleigh he said go to the Freedmen Bureau at Rockey Mount in Edgecone County the children is in Wilison County he told me to write to you it was out of his Power as it was in Wilison County

Thy or not Bound By law, So Plese Send me a Paper So as I can get them thy ar living With John J. Pender of Wilison Co

I wait an Anser [illegible] with Respets Tony Robins

North Carolina Freedmen’s Bureau Field Office Records, 1863-1872, Goldsboro (assistant subassistant commissioner), Roll 17, Letters received, Jul-Sep 1867,