Hagans

Studio shots, no. 161: Jonathan and Annie H. Ellis and children.

Ernest Ellis, Jonathan Ellis Sr., Darlena Ellis, and Annie Hagans Ellis, ca. 1908.

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In the 1870 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: farm laborer James Ellis, 48; wife Zana, 38; and children Eliza, 14, [her son?] James, 5 months, Cora, 13, Macoid, 10, Oscar, 6, and Anna, 1.

In the 1880 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: farm laborer James Ellis, 59; wife Zana, 49; children McCoid, 18, Oscar, 17, Anna, 11, James, 10, Johnithan C., 8, and Benjiman S., 5.

Annie Hagans, 18, of Wilson township, daughter of Laurence and Mary Hagans, married Jonathan Ellis, 32, of Wilson township, son of James and Zanie Ellis, on 11 January 1905. Benjamin Ellisapplied for the license, and Primitive Baptist minister Jonah Williams performed the ceremony at Laurence Ellis’ house in Saratoga township in the presence of M.L. Newby, F.S. Hargrave, and S.H.Vick.

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Johnathan Ellis, 37; wife Annie, 23; and children Earnest, 4, Dollina, 2, and Johnathan, 1.

In the 1920 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: on Rocky Mount Road, farmer John Ellis, 47; wife Annie, 53 [sic]; children Ernest, 14, Dollena, 12, John Jr., 11, Nettie, 7, Chasey, 6, Nathaniel, 6; and sister-in-law McCordy Ellis, 50.

On 30 November 1927, Ernest Ellis, 22, of Toisnot township, son of Johnston [Jonathan] and Annie Ellis, married Virginia Bullock, 18, daughter of Alfred and Maggie Bullock in Wilson.

On 18 January 1928, Darlena Ellis, 19, of Taylors township, daughter of Jonathan and Annie Ellis, married Earlie Farmer, 21, of Taylors township, son of John and Cleo Farmer, in Wilson. 

Earlie Farmer Jr. died 10 February 1929, aged 2 months, 2 days, in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born in Nash County, N.C., to Earlie Farmer Sr. and Darlina Ellis. He was buried at Williams Chapel cemetery.

In the 1930 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: Early Farmer, 21, and wife Dailena, 20, both farm laborers.

In the 1930 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Earnest Ellis, 24; wife Virginia, 19; and son James E., 1.

In the 1940 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: farmer Early Farmer, 30, and wife Darlena, 32.

In the 1940 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Earnest Ellis, 33; wife Virginia, 28; and children James Earl, 10, Charles, 9, and Ruby Mae, 7.

Ernest Ellis registered for the World War II draft in 1940 in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 21 December 1905 in Wilson, Wilson County; he lived at Route 2, Box 274, Elm City; his contact was wife Virginia Bullock Ellis; and he worked for Morrison Webb.

Jonathan Ellis died 12 February 1944 in Toisnot township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 14 October 1875 in Saratoga to James Ellis and Zannie Applewhite; was married to Annie Ellis; was a farmer.

Photo courtesy of Cathy Thorne Bynum.

Studio shots, no. 160: Annie Hagans Ellis.

Annie Hagans Ellis.

In the 1900 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Larnce Haggan, 49, wife Etha, 44, and children Joe, 21, Augustus, 19, Oscar, 18, Charlie, 16, Annie, 13, Connie, 10, Lena, 8, Mollie, 7, William L., 4, Minnie, 3, and Pattie, 1, and Lawrence’s widowed mother Alice Hagans, 70.

Annie Hagans, 18, of Wilson township, daughter of Laurence and Mary Hagans, married Jonathan Ellis, 32, of Wilson township, son of James and Zanie Ellis, on 11 January 1905. Benjamin Ellis applied for the license, and Primitive Baptist minister Jonah Williams performed the ceremony at Laurence Ellis’ house in Saratoga township in the presence of M.L. Newby, F.S. Hargrave, and S.H.Vick.

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Johnathan Ellis, 37; wife Annie, 23; and children Earnest, 4, Dollina, 2, and Johnathan, 1.

Frederick Douglas Ellis died 8 September 1918 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 8 December 1917 in Wilson County to Jonathan Ellis and Annie Haggans.

In the 1920 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: on Rocky Mount Road, farmer John Ellis, 47; wife Annie, 53 [sic]; children Ernest, 14, Dollena, 12, John Jr., 11, Nettie, 7, Chasey, 6, Nathaniel, 6; and sister-in-law McCordy Ellis, 50.

In the 1930 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Jonathan Ellis, 51; wife Annie, 43; children Jonathan J., 21, Nettie, 18, Chasie, 17, Nathaniel, 15, Macordie, 5, Leroy, 3, and Pattie M., 2; and boarder Mcordie Ellis, 58, widow.

In the 1940 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer J.C. Ellis, 67; wife Annie, 52; children Macordia, 12, Larry, 13, and Pattie May, 12; and sister Macord Ellis, 75.

In 1940, Jonathan Ellis registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 30 January 1909 in Wilson; lived at R.F.D. 2, Box 273, Elm City; his contact was mother Annie Hagans Ellis; and he worked for Morrison Webb, Elm City.

Jonathan Ellis died 12 February 1944 in Toisnot township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 14 October 1875 in Saratoga to James Ellis and Zannie Applewhite; was married to Annie Ellis; was a farmer.

In 1944, Leroy Ellis registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 17 November 1926 in Nash County; lived at Route 2, Box 261-A, Elm City; his contact was mother Annie Ellis; and he worked for Rosa Watson, Washington, D.C. “rent the farm.”

Thanks to Cathy Thorne Bynum for contributing this photo of her grandmother!

He was waylaid and shot to death.

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Wilson Daily Times, 10 July 1923.

To compound tragedy, the 8 July 1923 homicide of Jim Guess was a family affair. Accused murderer Gray Reid was married to Mary Hagans, daughter of James and Hannah Hagans. (And Gray’s brother Elijah Reid was married to Mary’s sister Ida.) Jim Hagans was Jim Guess’ first cousin; his father Lawrence Hagans was brother to Margaret Hagans Guess.

  • Jim Hagans

In the 1880 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: Laurence Hagans, 30, wife Mary, 24, and children James, 6, and Elizabeth, 3.

James Hagans, 20, of Gardners, son of Lawrence and Mary Hagans, married Hannah Bynum, 19, of Gardners, daughter of Joe and Hazel Bynum, on 20 November 1895 at Joe Bynum’s in Stantonsburg in the presence of Alber Bardin, Moses Woodard, and Joe Hagans.

In the 1910 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: Jim Haggans, 30; wife Hannah, 30; and children Ida, 13, Tom, 12, Mary, 8, James, 6, Alice, 5, Charles, 3, Etta, 2, and twins Jonas and Joe, 3 months.

Elijah Reid, 21, of Gardners township, son of Gray Reid, married Ida Hagans, 18, of Gardners, daughter of James and Hannah Hagans, on 13 January 1915 on the Old Whitehead farm. Witnesses were Robert Hilliard, Lawrence Hagans and J.B. Owens.

In the 1920 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: James Hagans, 45; wife Annie, 40; and children James, 17, M. Allice, 13, Etta, 11, Joe and Jonah, 9, Nelia, 7, Haggar, 6, and Lawrence, 4; and cousin Will Coley, 25.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: James Hagans, 53; wife Nora, 50; sons John, 18, Joe, 18, and Laurence, 16; daughter Etta, 21; grandchildren Elizabeth, 15, Sudie M., 13, Leeoma, 10, David, 5, Bessie M., 3, Lillie M., 1, and Charlie Reid, 4; and daughter Ida Reid, 32.

James Hagans died 27 June 1936 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born in Wilson County to Lawrence Hagans and Mary Gray; was married to Nora Hagans; and was a farmer. Oscar Hagans, 1114 Atlantic Street, was informant.

  • Grey Read — Gray Reid.

In the 1900 census of Otter Creek township, Edgecombe County: farmer Gray Read, 47; wife Lucy, 37; and children Joseph R., 18, Nancy L., 7, Elija, 5, Mart Eva, 4, Jona, 3, and Lucy, 5 months. [Gray Reid Jr. is missing from this household.]

In the 1910 census of Otter Creek township, Edgecombe County: on Tarboro and Wilson Road, Amos Reid, 64; lodger Gray Reid, 57, widower, and his children Gray, 18, Eligh, 15, Margrett, 13, and John, 12.

On 14 February 1915, Gray Reed Jr., 23, of Gardners township, son of Gray Reed and Lucy [last name not given], married Mary Hagans, 18, of Gardners township, daughter of James and Hannah Hagans, in Stantonsburg, Wilson County. Primitive Baptist minister Ruffin Hyman performed the ceremony at John H. Morgan‘s in the presence of Morgan, Hilliard Reed of Wilson, and John Thomas Reed of Stantonsburg.

In 1917, Gray Reid registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born July 1891 in Edgecombe County; lived in Elm City; worked on the Wilson and Grantham farm near Wilson; had a wife and one child; and had an injured leg.

In the 1920 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Ruff Reed, 28; wife Mary, 19; and daughters Enice, 3, Hannah, 1, and Runcie, 1 month.

In the 1940 census of Burgaw township, Pender County, North Carolina: at North Carolina State Prison Camp, Gray Reid, 48, inmate #29137, who lived in Macclesfield, Edgecombe County, in 1935. [This was evidently pursuant to crime subsequent to the murder of Jim Guest.]

Gray Reid died 11 March 1950 in Wilson, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 22 November 1891 in Edgecombe County to Gray Reid and Lucy Joyner; was a widower; and worked as a laborer. Elijah Reid, 300 South Reid Street, Wilson, was informant.

  • Jim Guess

On 23 April 1922, James Guess, 49, of Gardners township, married Allice Davis, 46, of Gardners township, in Stantonsburg, Wilson County. Ruffin Hyman, Primitive Baptist minister performed the ceremony in the presence of Emma Hyman, George Hagans, and Bennie Guess.

James Guess died 8 July 1923 in Saratoga township, Wilson County, of “Homicide by Gunshot wound. No doctor in attendance. He was waylaid & Shot to death.” Per his death certificate, he was born about 1879 in Edgecombe County to Luke Guess of Edgecombe County and Margarett Hagans of Wilson County; was a farmer for Albert Harrell; and was married. Alice Guess was informant.

“He was waylaid & Shot to death”

Poisoned liquor.

The end of Prohibition in December 1933 did nothing to stem the flow of bootleg liquor in Wilson (or anywhere else). Home brew could be dangerous though, and, in the new year, Charley Singletary and John Hagans died in back-to-back months from poisoned alcohol.

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“Found dead in Bed supposed to have drank poison liquor No Sign foul play.”

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“Supposed from drinking poison whiskey”

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  • Charley Singletary

Charlie Singletary registered for the World War I draft in Florence County, South Carolina, in 1917. Per his registration card, he was born in 1896 in Olanta, South Carolina; lived in Lake City, South Carolina; was a farm laborer; and was married with a child.

In the 1920 census of Lake township, Florence County, South Carolina: Charlie Singletary, 22; wife Josephine, 20; and son Wallace, 3.

Charlie Singletary, 23, son of Simp and Mollie Singletary, married Elizabeth Singletary, 19, daughter of Sam and Mary Singletary, on 17 March 1925 in Wilson.

In the 1930 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: Charley Singletary, 33; wife Lizabeth, 23; and children Fred, 4, J.B., 2, Gilbert, 1, and Evon, 2 months. Charley and Lizabeth were born in South Carolina.

  • John Hagans

John Hagans registered for the World War I draft in Oldfields township, Wilson County in 1917. Per his registration card, he was born 25 December 1889 in Rock Hill, South Carolina; lived in Rock Hill; worked as a stone quarry laborer for Harris G[ranite]. Co., Neverson, Wilson County; and was married.

In the 1920 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: on Neverson Stone Quarry Road, stone quarry laborer John Hogan, 31, and wife Mattie, 23.

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Highway 91, widow Mittie Lucas, 40, laundress; her sons Otis, 19, and Maryland, 14; and roomers John Hagan, 38; Carder, 19, and Mandy Walker, 17, all of South Carolina.

The estate of William L. Farmer.

William L. Farmer’s hefty estate file contains multiple references to both enslaved people and free people of color.

From an inventory of assets, a list of enslaved people hired out in 1857 and 1858 — Samson, Blunt, Joshua, Jane and Clarkey.

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A 25 November 1856 inventory of the debts owed to William L. Farmer highlights the web of financial relationships that characterized the largely bankless antebellum South. For many, after land and slaves, their greatest assets consisted of I.O.U.’s.

Green Lassiter (and his sister Rachel Lassiter?) seems to have been one of the largest debtors.

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Terrell Parker‘s $11.32 debt to Farmer was declared “bad,” i.e. uncollectible.

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As were those of many others, including Gray Boseman …

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… another of Green Lassiter’s …

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… the $1.25 Silas Lassiter owed …

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… the $7.50 John R. Locus owed …

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…  the $3.25 Warren Artis owed …

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… debts by Timothy Howard, Lawrence Hagans, Zealous Howard, and James Howard …

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… and another $5.57 owed by Warren Artis.

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Benjamin Thorn hired out Joshua for a year. Jane went to Archibald Roes, and Sampson to Henry Armstrong. The estate paid Evins Baker five dollars to care for Clarky.

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“They are to have 3 soots of Cloths & three pair of shoes one of woolen one hat & one Blanket” Henry Crumpley hired out Daniel for the year, and W.G. Sharp hired Ben. Though both were described as “boys,” their hire prices suggest they were young men in their prime.

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On 6 April 1860, “negro Ben” required a visit to Dr. James G. Armstrong.

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This remarkable document, the only one of its kind I’ve seen, is a receipt for the late fall purchase of goods for Farmer’s slaves — seven blankets, seven pairs of shoes, five wool hats, 18 and-a-half yards of osnaburg, five yards of linsey, one pair of coarse boots, and 29 years of kersey. Osnaburg was a coarse, stiff fabric woven from flax or jute and commonly used to make garments for enslaved people. Linsey (or linsey-woolsey) was another coarse cotton and wool fabric. Kersey was a dense woolen fabric.

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In 27 August 1856, shortly before he died, Farmer gave Rachel Lassiter a note for $15.59, which could have represented money borrowed or more likely services rendered or goods sold.

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On 14 July 1857, Farmer’s administrator, Augustin Farmer, paid Green Lassiter $16.42 to settle a debt.

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William L. Farmer Estate File (1856), Wilson County, North Carolina Estate Files, 1663-1979, http://www.familysearch.org.

Studio shots, no. 148: Cleora H.H. Barnes.

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Cleora Hodge Hagans Barnes (1922-1999).

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In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 809 Mercer Street, Alphonso Hodge, 26, cook at Taylor cafe; wife Lula, 24; and daughter Cleora, 7.

Charles Hagans, 21, son of Isaac and Essie May Hagans, and Cleora Hodge, 18 [actually, she was 14], daughter of Alphonso and Lula Hodge, married 24 October 1936 in Nashville, Nash County. Witnesses were Wilfred McCray and Lula Hodge.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1002 Mercer Street, drugstore delivery boy Charles Hagans, 21; wife Cleora, 19; and daughters Therrol, 3, and Lula Mae, 7 months.

In 1940, Charles Hagans registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 4 August 1919 in Wilson; his contact was wife Cleo Hagans; he lived at 1002 Mercer Street; and he worked for Herring Drug Store, 211 East Nash Street.

Raymond Barnes, born 10 May 1923 in Wilson County to George Barnes and Pattie Williams, married Cleora Hodge Hagans, born 12 July 1922 in Wilson County to Alphonso Hodge and Lula Hunt, both residents of Wilson County, married 30 October 1964 in Nashville, Nash County.

Alfonza Hodge died 11 March 1965 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, Hodge was born 25 December 1902 in Wilson County to Lenwood Hodge and Nannie E. Young; was a widower; lived at 1009 Railroad Street, Wilson; worked as a cook at Star Cafe. Informant was Cleora Barnes, 206 North East Street, Wilson.

Cleora Barnes died 19 April 1999.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user PHILLYEVANS44.

The negro refused, and hell broke loose.

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Wilson News, 6 April 1899.

  • Kainit — a trade name for a kainite, a potassium salt used in the manufacture of fertilizer.
  • Isaac Hagan

In the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Charles Haggans, 39; wife Charity, 39; and children Martha, 18, Louis, 16, Joney, 14, Isaac, 13, Lou R., 10, and Charles, 1.

On 27 November 1907, Isaac Hagans, 21, of Toisnot, son of Charles and Charity Hagans, married Ezzie M. Farmer, 18, of Wilson, daughter of Jeff Farmer and Blanch Farmer. Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony at Jeff Farmer’s in the presence of Chas. S. Thomas and others.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Viola Street, Bryant Mill laborer Isic Haggins, 23; wife Essie May 19; and son Alton, 1.

Alton Hagans died 8 September 1921 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 24 June 1908 in Wilson to Isaac Hagans and Ezziemay Farmer; was a grocery delivery boy; and lived on Hines Street.

Essie May Hagans died 27 December 1928 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 38 years old; was married to Isaac Hagans; resided at 708 East Green Street; and was born in Wilson County to Jeff Farmer and Blanch Gay.

Gonnell Wallice Hagans died 10 November 1930 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 5 October 1928 in Wilson to Isaac Hagans and Essie Mae Farmer. Blanch Farmer was informant.

Turner Gray Hagans died 26 April 1945 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 24 March 1916 in Wilson to Isaac Hagans and Ezzie Mae Farmer; was single; lived at 807 East Viola Street; worked as a cook; and was buried in Rountree cemetery.

Edward Hagans died 20 July 1948 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 23 April 1913 to Isaac Hagans and Essie Mae Farmer; was married to Daisy Hagans; and lived at 555 East Nash.

Isaac Hagans, 57, son of Charles and Charity Thomas Hagans, married Mary Barnes, 55, on 28 April 1947 in Wilson. Missionary Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in the presence of Ophilia Adams, Grace B. Black and Beatrice Holden.

Isaac Hagans died 13 September 1948 at his home at 313 Hackney Street, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 16 July 1891 in Nash County to Charles Hagans and an unknown mother; was married to Mary Hagans; was a shoestore laborer; and was buried in Rountree cemetery.

Charles Preston Hagans died 12 October 1971 at the VA Hospital in Durham, N.C. Per his death certificate, he was born 4 August 1919 to Isaac Hagans and Essie Farmer; was divorced; lived at 310 North Ward Boulevard; and did yard work.

A lot in Rest Haven.

Ed and Daisy Hagans purchased a plot at Rest Haven cemetery for twenty-five dollars on 26 July 1948. Such a sale constitutes a real estate transaction, and the Haganses’ transaction was recorded in Deed Book 357, page 413, at the Wilson County Register of Deeds Office.

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This is somewhat confusing, as Edward Hagans died 20 July 1948. Per his death certificate, he was born 23 April 1913 in Wilson County to Isaac Hagans and Essie Mae Farmer; was married to Daisy Hagans; lived at 555 East Nash Street; worked as a laborer; and was buried in Rest Haven on 22 July 1948.

Edward and Daisy Hagans’ daughter Gloria Devetta Hagans died at home on 28 July 1948 of pulmonary tuberculosis (as had her father.) Per her death certificate, she was born 25 November 1934 in Wilson to Edward Hagans and Daisy Melton; was a student; lived at 536 East Nash; and was buried at Rest Haven.

Per Joan Howell’s Cemetery, Volume 5, Edward, Daisy and Gloria Hagans, plus Albert Hagans, are buried in Section 3 between rows L and M.

Remembering Mrs. Johnson, honoring Mrs. Richie.

Pioneering mathematician Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson passed away today at the age of 101. Mrs. Johnson’s calculations of orbital mechanics were vital to the success of the United States’ first manned space flights.

Wilson County’s own Christine Barnes Richie also worked as a “human computer” for NASA’s predecessor in the 1950s. In 2019, Mrs. Richie was selected as one of two inaugural recipients of the Salem College Trailblazer Award. Her taped acceptance speech was aired at Salem College’s 2019 commencement ceremony.

Many thanks to Patricia Freeman for sharing.

The estate of Moses Hagans.

Moses Hagans died early in the spring of 1873. His wife Theresa Lassiter Hagans, unlettered and unfamiliar with the workings of probate, signed over her rights to administer her late husband’s estate to Larry D. Farmer, a public administrator.

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Farmer filed in Probate Court for letters of administration, estimating the value of Hagans’ estate at $200 and naming his heirs as widow Theresa Hagans and Lucinda Hagans Brantley, who was Hagans’ daughter.

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On 12 April 1873, Farmer filed an inventory of Hagans’ personal estate, which consisted of meat and lard; household kitchen furniture; “old plunder in & around the houses”; a small amount of lint cotton; corn and peas; a cart and a crosscut saw; fodder; poultry and dogs; a horse and farming implements; sows and pigs; and a garden of greens. All of it was allotted to “Trecy” Hagans for her support while the estate was in probate.

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It was a meager showing, insufficient to meet the $300 minimum required for a year’s support.

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In the 1830 census of Edgecombe County, North Carolina, Moses Hagans was head of a household of four free people of color.

In the 1840 census of Edgecombe County, North Carolina, Moses Hagans was head of a household of nine free people of color.

On 10 February 1846, Moses Hagans, “now of Edgecombe,” paid Thomas Hadly of Wayne County $328.50 for 164 1/4 acres on Little Swamp in Nash County. The transaction is recorded in Deed Book 18, page 331. (A mortgage for the purchase is recorded at book 18, page 325.) Little Swamp is now in Wilson County. It rises near Old Raleigh Road; flows south between Radio Tower and Flowers Roads; crosses under Interstate 95 near its junction with N.C. Highway 42; then flows east to join Contentnea Creek.

In the 1850 census of Nash County, North Carolina: Moses Hagans, 48, farmer; wife Pitty, 38; and son Gray B., 19, farmer. Also: Thomas Brantley, 28, turpentine worker, and wife Lucinda, 23.

On 25 October 1857, Moses Hagans applied for a license to marry Trecy Laciter in Wilson County.

In the 1860 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Moses Heggins, 60, farmer, and wife Theresa, 48. Moses claimed $125 in real property and $115 in personal property. [Hagans’ estate records do not mention real property.] Also, Thomas Brantley, 52, farmer; wife Lucinda, 35; and children William, 9, and James W., 6. Thomas claimed $800 in real property, $200 in personal property.

In the 1870 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Moses Hegans, 70; wife Trecy, 50; and James R. Locust, 12, farm laborer. Also: farm laborer Thomas Brantly, 57; wife Lucinda, 39; and son Willie, 15, farm laborer.

Estate Records of Moses Hagans, North Carolina Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.