Cemeteries, no. 32: Granite Point is found!

I’ve been looking for Granite Point since 2019, and last month I finally posted a query here. Two weeks later, Lisa Winstead-Stokes responded that she absolutely knew where Granite Point is — it’s her family’s cemetery!

Yesterday I met up with Lisa and her husband Cornell Stokes on Thompson Chapel Church Road, just north of Silver Lake. We crossed into a patch of woods, and I immediately saw numerous depressions in the ground indicating sunken graves. After a few minutes, Lisa spotted an old metal funeral home marker, whose paper placard had long rotted away. She wasn’t sure there were any headstones in the cemetery, but then I spied this:

Earnest Windstead d. Apr. 17, 1953 Age 85 Yrs

The woods are bisected by an open stretch that also shows evidence of grave depressions. We realized immediately that the second section, on a slope leading down to a mill pond, was the primary location of burials in the cemetery. Several small  beautifully preserved concrete headstones stand in neat rows alongside two vaults and a large granite headstone. Sadly, most mark the deaths of children within a two-year span from 1921 to 1923, when influenza and other disease struck the extended Joyner family hard.

The cemetery was established on property belonging to John S. Thompson as burial place for African-American sharecroppers and tenant farmers working his land. According to Lisa’s father, Roosevelt Winstead, who recalled attending funerals there in the 1950s, the site was open not only to family, but to anyone in the community who could not afford to be buried elsewhere. A deed search shows the land belongs to absentee Thompson heirs, but neither recent plat maps nor J.S. Thompson’s 1943 plat map mark the cemetery’s location. (Thompson owned 909 acres along both sides of Thompson Chapel Church Road stretching from Highway 58 across the Nash County border.) The cemetery lies astride the boundary of two of the five parcels making up the present day property, and the metes and bounds description of one parcel likely provides a clue as to the actual name of the cemetery. Obituaries and death certificates list is as Granite Point or Grantie Point. The Winstead family’s pronunciation of its name is something closer to Granny Pines. The parcel description notes a Moccasin Branch and Granny Branch (tributaries of Toisnot Swamp) as boundaries. The cemetery lies partially in a triangular wedge jutting out from the parcel’s eastern edge. Was the cemetery’s original name Granny Point?

Maggie Wife of Sessoms Eatmon Died Feb. 10, 1923 Age 26 Yrs. As A Wife, Devoted. As A Mother, Affectionate. As A Friend, Eternal.

Maggie Eatmon died 10 February 1923 in Jackson township, Nash County. Per her death certificate, she was 26 years old; was born in Wilson County to Henry Joyner and Margaret Winstead; was married to Sessoms Eatmon; worked in farming; and was buried in Wilson County.

Theodore Son of Henry & Margarette Joyner Born Dec. 29, 1909 Died Jan. 21, 1923. Gone But Not Forgotten.

Theordo Joyner died 2 February 1923 in Jackson township, Nash County. Per his death certificate, he was born in December 1909 in Wilson, N.C., to Wm. henry Joyner and Margret Winstead; was a school boy; and was buried in the “country.”

Martha A. Lucas Born Aug 9 1910 Died Aug 10 1921 Gone to be an angel.

Martha Lucas died 10 August 1921 in Wilson, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 8 August 1909 in Nash County to Willey Lucas of Nash County and Elizabeth Lucas of Wilson County; was a school girl; and was buried in the “country.”

Herman Son of Lem & Susie Tabron Born Dec. 29, 1920 Died May 18, 1921. Asleep in Jesus.

Infants of Sessoms & Maggie Eatmon, Born Jan. 31, 1923 Died Feb. 2, 1923. At Rest.

Infant Abert Eatmon died 2 February 1923 in Jackson township, Nash County. Per his death certificate, he was born 31 January 1923 in Nash County to Sessoms Eatmon and Maggie Joyner, both of Wilson County; and was buried in the “country.”

Infant Son of Jarmon & Lula Eatmon. Born & Died June 25, 1921. Asleep in Jesus.

Vault cover of Tempie Scott’s grave, stamped Cofield Services.

Tempie Tabron Scott died 2 December 1968 in Halifax, Halifax County, North Carolina. Per her death certificate, she was born 30 June 1886 to Larse Tabron and Elizabeth [maiden name unknown]; was widowed; and was buried in Tabron family cemetery, Nash County, by Cofield Funeral Home, Weldon, N.C.

Annie B. Tabron Dobie May 6, 1927 Dec. 6, 1952

One of perhaps a dozen funeral home metal markers found in the cemetery.

Two Lisas on a chilly, almost-spring day.

Lisa Winstead-Stokes is exploring the logistics of clearing Granny Pines/Granite Point cemetery of years of overgrowth. If you have relatives buried or simply are interested in helping, please comment here with contact information!

Johnson burned to death.

Wilson Daily Times, 21 February 1921.


  • Nathan Joyner
  • Roderick Johnson — There is no death certificate for Roderick Johnson. However, on 20 February 1921, Rudolph Johnson died in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born in Jacksonville, N.C., to unknown parents; his age was unknown; he was single; and he worked as a sawmill helper for sawyer W.W. Sims Company. Under “cause of death”: “No further information obtainable.”

Seeking Granite Point cemetery.

Do you know where Granite Point (or is it Grantie Point) cemetery is?

Detail from death certificate of Henry Joyner, who died 13 June 1944 in Jackson township, Nash County, N.C.

We know Granite Point cemetery was generally in the area of Silver Lake on N.C. Highway 58 just a mile or so from the Nash County line.

These men and women are known to have been buried there: George Bryant (1868-1941), Nathaniel Bryant (1910-1959), Henry Joyner (1866-1944), James A. Joyner (1932-1954), Maggie Joyner (1925-1949), Margaret Joyner (1867-1944), Ruth Joyner (1929-1969), Floyd Rand (1900-1962), and Ernest Winstead (1878-1952).

Studio shots, no. 207: Laura Joyner Bullock.

Laura Joyner Bullock (1897-1959).


In the 1910 census of Speights Bridge township, Greene County, North Carolina: farm laborer Connor Bullock, 28; wife Pennie, 28; and children Laura, 9, Ceif, 8, Bert, 6, Gatsey, 4, and Sarah, 9 months.

On 27 December 1930, Jesse Joyner, 35, of Greene County, son of Charles and Linda Joyner, married Laura Bullock, 24, of Greene County, daughter of Connie and Pennie Bullock, in Snow Hill, Greene County.

In the 1930 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farm laborer Jessie Joyner, 35; wife Laura, 25; and children Clara, 14, Daisy B., 11, John V., 7, Girtrue, 5, Douglas, 3, and Minnie L., 2.

In the 1940 census of Chinquapin township, Jones County, North Carolina: farm operator Jesse Joyner, 49; wife Laura, 45; children Daisy B., 19, John, 16, Gertie, 15, Douglass, 13, Minnie L., 12, Pattie M., 9, Agnes, 7, and Shirley R., 1; niece Ethel Bullock, 14, and nephew Jesse Bullock, 3.

Jessie Joyner died 10 December 1941 in Chinquapin township, Jones County. Per his death certificate, he was born in 1892 in Wayne County, N.C., to John Joyner and Laura Bulard; was married to Laury Joyner; and worked in farming.

Laura Joyner died 15 October 1959 in Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 3 September 1897 in Greene County, N.C., to Paul Speight and Pennie Bullock; was widowed; and lived near Stantonsburg, Wilson County.

Photo courtesy of user belinda1joyner.

G.W. Joyner tells what he saw.

Wilson Daily Times, 17 October 1911.

That was on page 2. On page 8 of the same edition:

Wilson Daily Times, 17 October 1911.

George Washington Joyner came forward with eyewitness testimony that a white boy, rather than a Black man, had thrown a bottle that injured another white boy at a carnival.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Tragedy in Elm City.

When the Daily Times reported the shooting of Ephraim Joyner on 18 August 1896, several days after the fact, it noted “the wound would probably result fatally.”

Wilson Daily Times, 28 August 1896.

Raleigh’s News and Observer got the story out a day earlier, but gave conflicting information about Joyner. The headline screams “murder” and speaks of searches for the “murderer,” but concedes Joyner was alive when the article went to press.

News and Observer (Raleigh, N.C.), 27 August 1896.

Did Ephraim Joyner die after all?

It’s not clear. No death records exist for the period, and I have found no further news articles about this incident. However, there is evidence of a man named Ephraim Joyner living in the Elm City area after 1896. If he is the same man, not only did Ephraim Joyner survive the shooting, he lived a good, long life. His son Marvin Ransom was not as fortunate.


In the 1880 census of Cooper township, Nash County, N.C.: brothers and hirelings Ephram, 22, and Dallas Joyner, 16. Also, in the 1880 census of Rocky Mount township, Nash County: Harrett Joyner, 42, and sons Ephram, 21, Dallas, 16, Ballie, 15, and Lon V., 1.

On 9 January 1888, Ephraim Joyner, 25, married Mary Ann Cooper, 22, in Nash County.

Marvin Ransom died 17 June 1928 in Township #1, Edgecombe County, N.C. Per his death certificate, he was born in 1899 in Edgecombe County to Ephram Joyner of Wilson County and Jennie Shaffer of Halifax County, N.C.; was married to Dicy Ransom; was engaged in farming; and was buried at Cherry Place. Jenny Shaffer was informant.

“Gunshot wound of abdomen wounding intestine in several places. Gunshot wound of perineum & scrotum. Homicide.”

In the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: widower Eph Joyner, 80, farm laborer and widower, living alone.

Studio shots, no. 200: Hattie Sutton Taylor Joyner.

Hattie Sutton Taylor Joyner (1877-1957).


In the 1880 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Calvin Sutton, 25; wife Silvania, 26; children Hattie, 3, and twins Joel B. and Josephin, 1; mother Dolly, 55; brothers Dallow, 18, and Henry, 16; and sister Mary, 12.

On 20 December 1899, Frank Taylor, 21, of Wayne County, son of Alfred and Pleasant Taylor, married Hattie Sutton, 22, daughter of Calvin and Sylvania Sutton, at Calvin Sutton‘s house in Spring Hill township, Wilson County. Rev. W.H. Horton performed the ceremony in the presence of R.R. Braswell, A.B. Braswell, and L.H. Horton.

In the 1900 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Frank Taylor, 19;  wife Hattie, 23; and nephew Alfred, 7.

In the 1910 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Upper Black Creek Road, farmer Calvin Sutton, 54; wife Sylvania, 58; daughter Hattie Taylor, 33; and grandchildren Olivia, 9, Viola, 7, Lillie M., 5, Georgiana, 4, and Mittie, 2; plus adopted grandson Frank McNeal, 16.

Olivia Barnes died 28 October 1918 in Cross Roads township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born in 1899 in Wayne County, N.C., to Frank Taylor and Hattie Sutton; was married to Rossie Barnes; and was buried in Pate graveyard.

In the 1920 census of Selma township, Johnston County, N.C.: farmer Icm J. Joyner, 52; wife Hattie, 40; and children Viola D., 17, Lillie M., 15, George A., 14, Mittie L., 12, Lizzie, 7, Annie, 3, Zalista, 2, and James I., 5 months.

In the 1930 census of Beulah township, Johnston County: farmer James I. Joyner, 59; wife Hattie, 50; and children Lillie, 24, Lizzie, 18, Annie, 12, and James I., Jr., 10.

In the 1940 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farm laborer Isom Joyner, 67; wife Hattie, 61; daughter Annie, 23; son James, 20; daughter-in-law Victoria, 20; and granddaughter Lenis Atkinson, 5.

Isom Joyner died 3 June 1943 in Spring Hill township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 28 July 1875 in Wilson County to Mary Barnes; was married to Hattie Joyner; was a farmer; and was buried in Polly Watson.

Hattie Joyner died 4 August 1957 in Spring Hill township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 26 January 1878 in Wilson County to Calvin Sutton and Sylvania Simmons; was the widow of Isom Joyner; was a retired farmer; and was buried in Polly Watson cemetery. Annie Edwards was informant.

Photo courtesy of user Regan Crump.

The obituary of Maggie Joyner.

Wilson Daily Times, 31 May 1949.


In the 1930 census of Jackson township, Nash County, North Carolina: sawmill laborer Herbert Joyner, 36; wife Laura, 36; and children Mary L., 7, Maggie, 4, and Herbert Jr., 3.

In the 1940 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: farmer Hurbert Joyner, 44; wife Lauria, 44; and children Lizzie, 17, Maggie, 14, Hurbert, 13, James, 10, Clee E., 7, and Theodo, 1.

Maggie Leona Joyner died 30 May 1949 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 23 May 1925 in Nash County to Herbert Joyner and Laura Chissel [Chisolm]; was single; lived in Sims; and worked as a farm laborer. She was buried in Granite Point cemetery. [Whose location I am still trying to determine.]

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

The estate of Melissa Winstead.

Braswell R. Winstead was a close associate of Samuel H. Vick, attending Wilson Academy and Lincoln University, teaching at the Colored Graded School, helping establish Calvary Presbyterian Church, and working as assistant postmaster and political ally.

Winstead was born about 1866 in Wilson County to Riley Robbins and Melissa Winstead. Melissa Winstead died about 1880, leaving three heirs — adult daughters Jennie Smith, wife of Charles Smith, and Eliza Joyner, wife of Joe Joyner, and minor son Braswell Winstead (whose name is first listed as John Braswell.) Two of the children filed in Wilson County Superior Court to have their mother’s lot in Wilson township partitioned into equal parts. There was a problem though — the lot was too small to yield useful thirds. Accordingly, the Smiths and Braswell Winstead were petitioning for the sale of the property with six weeks’ notice in the local paper for the benefit of the Joyners, who lived in Georgia. The petition was granted.


  • Charles and Virginia Smith

In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Roberts Winstead, 26, farm laborer; Caleshea, 28; Eliza, 15; Virginia, 13; Barnwell [Braswell], 7; Caroline, 19; Simmons, 17; Prince, 14; Frank, 7; and Harret Winstead, 7. [The relationships between the members of this household are not clear. Eliza, Virginia “Jenny,” and Braswell were siblings, but I am not sure about the others.]

On 28 August 1874, Charly Smith, 22, married Jennie Barnes, 17, in Wilson County.

In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Pettigrew Street, minister Charles Smith, 26; wife Virginia, 22; and children Arminta, 7, John T., 3, and Charles H., 1; and brother-in-law Braswell Winstead, 20, teaching school.

  • Joseph and Eliza Winstead Joyner

In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Roberts Winstead, 26, farm laborer; Caleshea, 28; Eliza, 15; Virginia, 13; Barnwell [Braswell], 7; Caroline, 19; Simmons, 17; Prinnce, 14; Frank, 7; and Harret Winstead, 7.

On 3 June 1879, Joseph Joyner, 24, and Eliza Winstead, 23, were married in Wilson County by A.M.E. Zion minister R.B. Bonner in the presence of A. Lindsay, Joseph Hinton, and Jas. Harriss.

In the 1880 census of Wayne County, Georgia: Robert Roberson, 30, and wife Hattie; Joseph Joyner, 25, and wife Eliza, 22; and Jacob Dove, 30, and wife Susan, 25. All were born in North Carolina, except Susan Dove, who was born in Florida. All the men worked turpentine.

Wilson Advance, 10 September 1880.