Studio shots, no. 189: Izzie Mae Campbell Cowdery.

Gigi Best shared this photograph with the caption: “My mother, Izzie Mae Campbell, born 1927 in Stantonsburg, Black Creek, Wilson, NC, a descendant of the Bunch family, pic taken Circa 1949. Great granddaughter of Mack Bunch and Caroline Simms Bunch.”

Izzie Mae Campbell Cowdery (1927-2020).

Izzie Mae Campbell’s father Arthur Grice (1902-1944) was the son of Lonnie Grice and Fannie Bunch Grice, and grandson of Mack Bunch and Caroline Simms Bunch, who were married 8 August 1872 in Wilson County. Her mother Eldora Campbell (1907-1936) was the daughter of Lester Campbell and Pearlie Mae Brown Campbell.

Thank you!

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

The last will and testament of Theophilus Grice.

Theophilus Grice made out his will on 18 April 1823; he died six months later. Per Elton Cooke, who contributed a transcription of the will to, “The Grices, Deans and Cooks owned large tracts of land along Contentnea Creek, Hwy. 42 W and the Old Raleigh Road west of Wilson and east of I 95. References to Poplar Spring branch and Shepard’s branch are frequently seen in Cook and Grice deeds of the period. The area, known as the Old Fields (various spellings) district was taken from Nash County in 1856 [sic] to form a part of the new County of Wilson.”


“In the name of God Amen. I Theophilus Grice of the County of Nash and State of North Carolina Being Weake in body but Sound in Mind and Memmory blesed be God for his goodness do this Eighteenth day of April in the year of our lord one thousand Eight hundred and twenty three Ordain and Make this My Last Will and Testament in Manner following to wit

“After My death and being buried and all My just debts is paid I lend to My Wife Polley Grice doring hur lifetime or Widowhood the home plantation and the Jacob Row field and after inclooding the said Row field thence two and along the Grass fence below the orched to the ford of the Contenney Creake at My old place all the lands adjoining above the said ford of the Creake is allotted for hur I also lend My negro Man Sesar to hur during hur natrel life or widowhood I allso give to hur one negro Man named Hardy and it is My desier that he be Hired out and the Money arising from His hire to be aplied to the seport of My Wife and hur Children that lives With hur I give hur three Cows and Calves and twenty hed of hogs Such As She Chooses out of My Stock and five hed of Sheep and one bay mare Called pidgin One plow frame two Cutting hoes one ax one grubing hoe I lend to My Wife one pot one Dutchoven one gridiron one boilar during of hur natrel life or Widowhood I give hur one bed and furniture one Whele and Cards One lume and gun one bridle and Saddle one burch table one pine table & Six Chiers one pale one pigin two tubs one Case of knifes and forks one meal sifter one bred tray I lend to My Wife during hur natrel life or Widowhood two puter basons one dish six plates and six table spoons and one Chest to hur and hur ares forever

Item I give to My Sun John Grice the blumery land that is to say the lots bought of Dred Deberry and his Wife and Irvin Ricks lying on both sides of the blumery pond also another tract of land lying in the afore said County Beginning at the ford of the Creake about one Hundred and fifty yards from the house at My old place on the Johnston line thence down the Manders of Said Creake to the Row Corner on Said Creake thence with the Row line & Grice line between Theopolis Grice and Christen Row unto the Raley Rode to a corner pine thence West With the Rode to Nichols line thence South With Nichols line to Theopolis Grices line thence East With his line until they get below the Jacob Row feld and down the Branch to the fork thence up the other branch nearly West to the head of said branch thence nearly South to the first beginning at the ford of Contenney Creake to him and his ares forever

Item I give to My Sun Thomas Grice all of My land lying in Johnston County Except three Akers lying at the Mill Called the Cobb Mill also I give him another tract of land lying in Nash County Called the boykin land adjoining Jesse Simpson to him and His ares forever also all the ballance of My land that is not Willed away I leave to be Sold at a twelve Month Credit

Item I give to My daughter Salley Cook two negros garls and their Children that is now is their puseson also one bed and furniture two Cows and yearlins one desk one Chest to Hur and hur ares forever.

Item I give to My Suns and daughters that is to Say John Thomas Rodey and Tempey fifteen negros to be Eakeley divided between them that is to Say Pris and hur three Children and Sal and hur fore Children and Darkis and hur fore Children and all of their increase that Shal Come hereafter and one Small garl named Morning to be divided at the time that My Sun John think proper to take his part of them to them and their ares forever and it is My desier that all the Rest of My Negros be Sold at a twelve Month Credit Namely Phillis Phareby Rode Anddy Patianc Fortin and Child Joe Nance and hur Child Art Jes Mill Zil

… I also nominate and apoint Bartley Deans and My Sun John Grice My Hole Sole Executor to this My Last Will and testament Whereof I Theopolis Grice have herunto Set My hand and afixed My Seal the day and year first above Written   /s/ Theophilus Grice

Signed in the presence of us and Sealed in the presence of us  /s/ John L. Lyons  James Deans


In a nutshell, Theophilus Grice left his wife Mary “Polly” Harrison Grice a life interest in Caesar and directed that Hardy be hired out to support Polly and their children. He left his daughter Sarah “Sally” Grice Cook two unnamed young women and their children, who were already in her possession. For his four remaining children — John, Temperance Ann, Rhoda and Thomas Grice, who were all minors — he directed that 15 enslaved people be divided equally among them. The fifteen were Pris [Priscilla?] and her three children; Sal [Sally or Sarah] and her four children; Darcus and her four children; and Mourning, “a small girl” (who, presumably, was orphaned.) To equally distribute 15 people among four heirs likely required that one or more mothers be separated from their children. Grice further directed that Phillis, Phereby, Rhoda, Andy, Patience, Fortune and her child, Joe, Nancy and her child, Art, Jess, Mill, and Zil be sold.

On several days in over the year after his death, Grice’s executors held sales to liquidate his property per the terms of his will. On 4 December 1923, they sold Phillis, Phereby, Rhoda, and Fortune and her child Bedy to Polly Grice; Andrew, Jess and Ace, Zill and Milly to John Grice; Joe, Arthur and Nancy and her child Piety to John Cook; and Patience to Harris Horn.

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At February 1824 term of court, Grice’s executors filed an inventory that listed all 37 of his slaves, including those sold above:

Philis, Phareby, Rody, Andrew, Patience, Fortune and child Beedy, Joe, Nance and child Piety, Arthur, Jes, Mill and Zill (twins?), Sarah, Ace, David, Chaney, Henry, Eliza, Priss, Richmon, Daniel, Ann, Darcus, Litha, Wiley, Charity, Dempsey, Mourning, Caesor, Hardy, Beed, Cussey and her three children.

In December 1828, the guardians appointed to oversee minor Thomas Grice’s inheritance filed an income and expense report with the court showing, among other things, that they had paid Mary Grice thirty-seven dollars for “the expense” of feeding and clothing the enslaved people Thomas had inherited, and Josiah Horn seven dollars and fifty cents for “doctoring his Negro woman.”


On 7 February 1829, Polly Grice sold some of the property she had inherited, including Caesar, whom her son John Grice purchased. (Note the credit to the account of seven dollars for the balance of the six-month period Caesar had been hired out to Peter C. Davis.)


In this December 1838 account of Rhoda Grice’s inheritance, Bartley Deans reported income from the hire of enslaved people Wiley, Charity, Jim, Caroline and Elbert.


Estate of Theophilus Grice, images available at North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line],