Hall

The apprenticeship of Nicey C. Hall.

Nicey Caroline Hall married Wyatt Lynch in Wilson in 1860 and seems to have spent the remainder of her life in Wilson County. However, she spent her childhood across the county line in northeast Wayne County.

In the 1850 census of the North Side of the Neuse, Wayne County: Lucy Hall, 45, with her children Sarah, 16, George, 15, Nathan, 13, Nicy, 10, Samuel, 3, and Esther, 6; plus Alford, 15, John, 14, Rhoda, 13, Julia, 12, and Rheuben Artis, 10; and Rufus Lane, 22. Next door: William Exum, a 25 year-old white farmer. The same year, per Wayne County apprentice bonds, Exum indentured the five Artis children to serve him as involuntary apprentices. (Lane had just aged out of his indenture too Exum.)

Under the laws governing the involuntary apprenticeship of free children of color, a mother could state her preference for the man to be named master of her bound children. When called to the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions in 1851, Lucy Hall informed the judge that she wanted her children to be bound to James Yelverton (probably Sr.) Instead, the court awarded the indentures of George, Nathan, Nicy C., Esther and Sam Hall to their neighbor, William J. Exum, on whose land they likely lived. However, the clerk neglected to record the indentures in the court minutes, and Yelverton took advantage of the oversight to have the children bound to him instead. Exum sued Yelverton, claimed that he obtained the indentures contrary to the rules of court, and the judge rescinded Yelverton’s indentures. The court then re-bound the Halls to Exum, who thereby consolidated his control over the labor of the free children of color living on his property.

The Yelvertons and Halls’ lives remained intertwined, despite the best efforts of William J. Exum. In the 1860 census of Davis district, Wayne County, James Yelverton (Jr.), 40, shared a household with Easter [Easther] Hall, 20, and her likely children Fanny, 7, and Puss, 5. Moreover, per family lore recently backed up by DNA testing, James Yelverton Jr. was the father of Nicey Caroline Hall’s first child, Susianna Frances Hall, alias Yelverton, born about 1857.

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On 5 June 1860, Wyatt Lynch married Nicey Hall in Wilson County.

In the 1860 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: plasterer and brickmason Wyatt Lynch, 30, wife Caroline, 23, and daughter Frances, 3.

As revealed in this letter, while he was away at war, Captain Ruffin Barnes arranged with Wyatt Lynch for his wife to live with Barnes’ wife and perform household chores. Nicey Caroline Lynch butted heads with Barnes’ wife, however, and Barnes advised that she be sent back home.

In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: brick maker Wyatt Lynch, 48, wife Nicey, 35, and children Harriet, 4, and John, 1.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on the south side of the Plank Road, widow Nicy Lynch, 40, children Harriot, 13, John, 11, Noah, 9, Sammy, 7, and Mary Wyatt, 3, with mother-in-law Nancy Lynch, 98.

On 24 January 1899, Hattie Lynch, 33, of Wilson County, daughter of Wyatt and Nicy Lynch, married William Young, 46, of Wilson County, son of Manuel and Caroline Young of Mississippi. Primitive Baptist minister J.S. Woodard performed the ceremony.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Stantonsburg Road, widowed farmer Nicey Lynch, 60, daughters Harriet Young, 35, and Mary Rhodes, 23, and grandson John Rhodes, 2.

On 7 May 1905, Hattie Lynch, 39, daughter of John and Nicy Lynch, married Robert Dixon, 33, son of William and Charlotte Dixon, in Wilson County. Witnesses were D.F. Scott, Mary Rhoads, and Charley Edward.

On 3 December 1907, Eddie Bullock, 27, of Wilson, son of Preacher Chanson and Andy Bullock, married Mary Rhodes, 27, of Wilson, daughter of [name not given] Linch and Nicie Lynch.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Stantonsburg Road, farmer Robert Dickson, 37, wife Hattie, 46, mother-in-law Nicie Lynch, and nephew Johnnie Rhodes, 12.

Susiannah Artis died 11 September 1931 in Nahunta township, Wayne County. Per her death certificate, she was 74 years old; was born in Wilson County to Nicy Linch of Wilson County; worked in farming; and was married to Richard Artis.

Mary Wyatt Ellis died 10 October 1943 in Wilson township. Per her death certificate, she was born 16 May 1876 in Wilson County to Wyatt Linch and Nicie [last name unknown]; was married to Ruben Ellis; was a farmer; and was buried on the Lynch farm.

Harriet Hattie Dixon died 16 January 1958 in Wilson township. Per her death certificate, she was born 27 July 1865 in Wilson County to Wyatt Linch and Nicie [last name unknown]; was widowed; was a retired farmer; and was buried in a family cemetery. Hattie Anderson was informant.

Susanna Frances Yelverton Artis, daughter of Nicey C. Hall Lynch.

Documents detailing the proceedings in Exum v. Yelverton are found in Box 6, Apprentice Bonds and Records, Wayne County Records, North Carolina State Archives; photo of Susannah Artis courtesy of Teresa Artis.

507 Church Street.

This heavily modified shotgun house on Church Street is not located in the East Wilson Historic District. Nor was its single block included in the Wilson Central Business-Tobacco Warehouse District, though it lies just behind East Nash and Pettigrew Streets. Once densely packed with working-class housing, Church Street is now empty. Only three houses stand on the block, none occupied, and 507 is the last house remaining on the north side of the street.

The 1928 and 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directories list Lucy Sherrod at 507 Church. Also in 1930: Hall Lonnie (c; Mamie L) laborer 507 Church

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 507 Church, renting for $16/month, Lonnie Hall, 34, odd jobs laborer, wife Mamie, 34, hotel maid, and daughter Elsie, 2; nieces and nephews Estha, 16, Christine, 13, and lodgers Lucile Sherif [sic], 30, widow, hotel maid, Lucile Sherif, 14, and Jack Sherif, 17, odd jobs laborer.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 507 Church, renting for $12/month, laborer Will Rogers, 28, and wife Sally, 30, odd jobs. Both seemed to be Arkansas natives — he, from Pine Bluff, and she, from Fayetteville.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Rogers William (c; Sallie) yd mn 507 Church

As the Central Business Historic District survey map shows, as recently as 1984, Church Street was filled with houses. 507 is encircled.

Google Maps shot this image of 507 Church in 2012. It appears that, at that time, the house was occupied.

The last will and testament of Bettie Battle Taylor Hall.

On 10 July 1917, Judge H. Hall, 30, of Wilson, son of Edwin and Avie Ann Hall, married Bettie B. Taylor, 34, of Wilson, daughter of Henry and Mary Battle of Nash County, in Wilson. A.L.E. Weeks, a Missionary Baptist minister, performed the ceremony in the presence of C.L. Darden, W.H. Burton, and Lee A. Moore.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Atlantic Street, house carpenter Judge Hall, 34, wife Bettie, 37, and roomer Lossie Hooks, 22.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 901 Atlantic Street, carpenter Judge Hall, 42; wife Bettie, 42; son John W., 4; and a lodging family, cook Ellen Battle, 35, and Margrette, 15, Etta, 12, Minnie, 7, Julious, 10, and Norma Battle, 3.

Bettie Hall died 15 September 1939 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was married to Judge Hall; resided at 901 Atlantic Street; worked as a tobacco factory worker; and was born about 1889 in Wilson County to Henry Battle of Nash County and Margarett Lucas of Wilson County. Informant was Ellen Battle.

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Two months before she died, Bettie Hall made out a will. Interestingly, she left nothing to her husband Judge, instead designating as her sole heirs her daughters Ellen Battle and Margaret (no last name listed.)

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

901 Atlantic Street.

The eighth in a series of posts highlighting buildings in East Wilson Historic District, a national historic district located in Wilson, North Carolina. As originally approved, the district encompasses 858 contributing buildings and two contributing structures in a historically African-American section of Wilson. (A significant number have since been lost.) The district was developed between about 1890 to 1940 and includes notable examples of Queen Anne, Bungalow/American Craftsman, and Shotgun-style architecture. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District: “#901. Ca. 1930; 1 1/2 [stories]; Judge Hall house; bungalow with clipped-gable roof and dormer, engaged porch; aluminum sided; Hall was a carpenter.”

On 5 June 1917, Judge Hall of Vick Street, Wilson, registered for the World War I draft. Per his registration card, he was born 29 May 1888 in Wayne County; worked as a carpenter for Cleveland, Glover in Wilson; was single; and was thin and of medium height with brown eyes and black hair.

On 10 July 1917, Judge H. Hall, 30, of Wilson, son of Edwin and Avie Ann Hall, married Bettie B. Taylor, 34, of Wilson, daughter of Henry and Mary Battle of Nash County in Wilson. A.L.E. Weeks, a Missionary Baptist minister, performed the ceremony in the presence of C.L. Darden, W.H. Burton, and Lee A. Moore.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Atlantic Street, house carpenter Judge Hall, 34, wife Bettie, 37, and roomer Lossie Hooks, 22.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 901 Atlantic Street, carpenter Judge Hall, 42; wife Bettie, 42; son John W., 4; and a lodging family, cook Ellen Battle, 35, and her children Margrette, 15, Etta, 12, Minnie, 7, Julious, 10, and Norma, 3.

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Bettie Hall died 15 September 1939 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she resided at 901 Atlantic Street; was married to Judge Hall; was 50 years old; worked as a tobacco factory packer; and was born in Wilson County to Henry Battle and Margarett Lucas. Ellen Battle was the informant.

Judge Hall died 9 March 1954 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he resided at 901 Atlantic Street; was married; worked as a carpenter; was born 28 May 1886 in Wayne County to Edward and Arie Hall; and was buried at Turner Swamp cemetery, Wayne County. Bertha Hall was informant.

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2017.

 

 

Cemeteries, no. 3: Bethel Church cemetery.

Like many small rural churches, the early members of Stantonsburg’s Bethel A.M.E. Zion were drawn largely from a group of related families. At their core was the large extended family of William Henry Hall, whose family plot in the church cemetery was profiled here.

The cemetery, about a mile from the present location of the church, is set along a slight rise above the cut of Peacock Bridge Road, just south of the Norfolk & Southern railroad. It is lovingly tended despite its isolation, with most of the graves lying in sandy bays extending back from the unpaved road. Foxgrape vines and sassafras saplings edge the clearings, and rose bushes have naturalized among the trees.

Besides William Hall, among the earliest marked burials are:

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Dick Barnes married Quilla Joyner on 10 February 1870 in Wayne County, North Carolina. (The county line is just a few miles west of Stantonsburg.) In the 1880 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Richard Barnes, 38, wife Aqulla, 33, and children Edward C., 9, William H.M., 8, Lewis H., 6, Maryland, 5, and Corneleous, 4. In the 1900 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farmer Richard Barnes, (second) wife Gracey, 23, and children Peter, 23, Cornelius, 21, Mary S., 18,  Geneva, 16, John H., 14, and Barnie, 7, and boarder Addison Fort, 17.

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and William M. Hardy, who lived a few miles away over the Greene County line.

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Cemeteries, no. 2: the William Hall family.

Eliza Hall was a free woman of color born about 1820, probably in what was then the heel of southwest Edgecombe County. How she met James Bullock Woodard, a prosperous white farmer and slaveowner, is unknown, but by Eliza’s early 20s they had begun a relationship that would last at least a decade. A sympathetic relative of Woodard’s recorded the births of James and Eliza’s children William Henry (1844), Patrick (1845), Margaret Ann (1847), Louisa (1849), and Balaam Hall (1851) in his family’s Bible.

In the 1850 census of Edgecombe County: Eliza Hall, 26, “free,” with children Wm., 6, Patrick, 4, Martha, 3, and “girl,” 1. Judging by their proximity to the listing of Orpha Applewhite, the family lived close to Stantonsburg.

In the 1860 census of Wilson County, Eliza Hall and her children are enumerated in the household of Joseph Peacock, who had been her neighbor in 1850: Jos. B. Peacock, 25, Sarah C. Peacock, 18, Sarah Peacock, 68, with William, 15, Patrick, 14, Margaret, 13, Lou, 12, Balum, 11, and Eliza Hall, 45.

Patrick Hall married Mary Ann Farmer in 1867 in Wilson County. They had at least six children: Alice (1869), Cora (1870), Dora (1874),  Frank (1873), Maggie (1875), and Frederick Hall (1878).

Balaam Hall married Mary Edmundson in Wilson County in 1871, Chelsey Hodge in Wayne County in 1876, and Mary Ann Herring in Wayne County in 1895.

William H. Hall lived and farmed near Stantonsburg, Wilson County, most of his life. He was married three times — to Lucy Barnes, Annie E. Smith and Mamie Artis — and had at least nine children with them and at least one other woman, Sarah Jane Artis. In 1890, William Hall sold to trustees the quarter-acre of land upon which Stantonsburg’s Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church was founded. More than a hundred years later, the Hall family remain at the core of Bethel’s membership. William H. Hall spent his last years living in his son Robert Hall’s household and died 23 June 1925.

The William H. Hall family plot lies in the Bethel A.M.E. Zion church cemetery on the west side of Peacock Bridge Road between Stantonsburg and the Greene County line.

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“Beloved father, farewell.”

Children born to free mulatress.

“These are names of slaves born to free mulatress ages of the children of Eliza Hall

William Henry Hall was born Feb the 11th 1844

Patrick Hall was born October the 6th 1845

Margaret Ann Hall was born Feb the 12th 1847

Louiser Hall was born April the 9th 1849

Balam Hall was born Feb 7th 1851″

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These entries (the first sentence in a different hand) were inscribed in the Bible of Lewis Ellis (1794-1854) of Edgecombe County.  Ellis’ good friend, James Bullock Woodard (1793-1863), was the father of Eliza Hall’s five children.  (Who were, of course, as free as their mother.)  The 1850 census of Edgecombe County lists Eliza Hall, age 26, with her children Wm., 6, Patrick, 4, Martha [sic], 3, and “girl,” 1.  In 1860 (after the formation of Wilson County), the Halls are listed in Saratoga district, Wilson County. The Bible remains with descendants of the Ellis family.

I’m sorry that Mrs. Lynch is trying to be so large.

This partial letter is excerpted in Hugh Buckner Johnston, Jr., ed., “The Confederate Letters of Ruffin Barnes of Wilson County,” North Carolina Historical Review, vol. XXI, no. 1 (January 1954):

Camp near Kinston

Feby 22d 1864

Dear wife,

Your letter by Tom has been Read. I am glad to hear that you are all well. I am well & hearty. I am sorry that Mrs. Lynch is trying to be so large. I think the best way you can manage is for her to stay to herself. I want you to let her go Back to her house & stay there. If you & she can’t get along, there is no use trying to stay together. You may give her all that you think you can spare. I told Lynch when he came I could let him have what you could spare. You may tell Lynch that I had rather she would stay in her House as you & she can’t agree. I don’t see why she made such a bargain & then flew from it so quickly. The Best way you can do is to attend to your own Business. I think you will be better satisfied. I want you to tell Lynch that our Bargain shall all be right. I told Lynch his wife could have corn from my House & all the Bacon I could Spare. I left that to you to say what you could Spare & he & I were to settle that ourselves. You may tell Lynch that all will be right with me & him & tell his wife I rather she would not stay as one of the family. I think you had best attend to your own Business than to be run over by a negro. You know already she will not do to depend upon.

[The remainder of this letter has been lost.]

Footnotes to the letter: “Caroline Lynch was a free Negro woman born in 1837.” “Wyatt Lynch, an illiterate free Negro, was born in 1830. He was a plasterer and brickmason by occupation.”

In another letter written 23 May, 1864, Captain Barnes told his wife, “Tell Lynch he must make my colt gentle.”

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In the 1860 census of Saratoga, Wilson County: Wyatt Lynch, 30, wife Caroline, 23, and child Frances, 3. However, in the 1870 census, Lynch’s wife is named Nicey. Lynch married Nicey Hall on 5 June 1860 in Wilson County. It appears that Nicey and Caroline were the same woman. Nicy was the freeborn daughter of Lucy Hall, who is listed in the 1850 census of North Side Neuse, Wayne County with her children.