Locus

The Edward and Cora Brantley Locus family.

This portrait of family members gathered for the funeral of  Edward Locus (also known as Edward Lucas) was taken in 1947 in Taylor township, Wilson County.

Front: Edward Locus’s grandson L.J. Lucas First row: children Quentin Lucas (1920-??), Lottie Lucas McKinnon (1925-1978), Kennie Lucas (1924-??), Winnie Locus Rankin (1915-1961), John Edd Locus (1918-??), Nancy Locus Farmer (1930-1973), and Frank Locus (1928-2001). Back row: daughters Redelphia Locus Pone (1916-2000), Ella Lucas (1916-??), Maggie Lucas Dew (1914-1992), widow Cora Brantley Locus (circa 1892-1962), and sister Dora Locus Battle (1872-1960).

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On 19 July 1906, Ed Lucas, 21, of Wilson County, son of John and Delphy Lucas, married Cora Brantley, 18, of Nash County, daughter of Margaret Lucas, in Nash County.

In the 1920 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Edward Locus, 37; wife Cora, 27; and children Linwood, 10, Maggie, 9, Beulah, 8, Winnie, 6, Chicken, 4, Delphy, 3, John Ed., 1, and Quinton, 6 months.

In the 1930 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Ed Locus, 47; wife Cora, 35; and children Linward, 20, Maggie, 19, Ula, 18, Winnie, 17, Alma, 16, Redelpha, 13, John E., 11, Clinton, 10, Kenny, 9, Josephine, 7, Easter, 5, Louise, 4, Frank, 3, and Nancy, an infant.

In the 1940 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farm laborer Ed Locus, 55; wife Clara, 45; and children Ella, 26, Redelphine, 23, Jhonnie Ed, 21, Qunnion, 19, Kerney, 18, Jasperine, 17, Lottie and Louise, 15, Frank, 12, and Nancy, 10.

Eddie Lucas died 14 June 1947 in Taylor township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 17 October 1883 in Wilson County to John Locus and Louise Howard; was married to Cora Lucas; worked as a farmer; and was buried in the Lucas family cemetery, Wilson County.

Photograph courtesy of Locus/Lucas family historian Europe A. Farmer.

The family of Tarrell and Minerva Locus Parker.

Courtesy of my collaborator Edith Jones Garnett comes this priceless set of photographs of several generations of a southern Wilson County family founded by Tarrell and Minerva Locus Parker. Several are accompanied by text drawn from a family history booklet, A Recorded History of the Descendants of Tarrell Parker, published, it appears, in the 1970s or ’80s.

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Tarrell Parker (ca. 1835-1922).

In the 1860 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: Terrell Parker, 23, living in the household of white farmer Elias Farrell, 40.

In the 1880 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County: farmer Tarrell Parker, 45; wife Minerva, 18; and children Trecy, 5, Jesse, 3, and Mancy Ann, 1.

In the 1900 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County: farmer Tarrel Parker, 65; daughter Nancy, 20; and her children William H., 6, Leonora, 3, Georg L., 1, and Jesse, 0.

In the 1910 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County: farmer Tarrell Parker, 74, and grandson William H. Parker, 16, farm laborer.

In the 1920 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer George Carter, 49; wife Nancy A., 40; and children Leonard, 19; Jessie, 18; Lillie, 18; Ada, 14; Ida, 12; Robie, 7; Trecie, 5; and Rosetta, 4; plus father-in-law Thomas [sic, Tarrell] W. Parker, 88.

Tarrell Parker died 23 April 1922 in Springhill township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was a widower; born 30 May 1832 in Wilson County to Treasy Parker; and worked as a tenant farmer for Wiley Williamson. William Henry Parker was informant.

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Nancy Parker Carter (1884-1959).

“Nancy Ann Parker was born May 16, 1884 to Tarrell and Manerver Parker. She was the baby girl, with an older brother named Jessie and a older sister named Trecia. She met and married George Carter as an early age. They had ten living children who are our parents, Grandparents, Great-Grandparents etc… Most of us remember her as Mama Nancy. Mama Nancy was employed at a sewing plant in Lucama and was the only black seamstress who worked there at that time. She loved and enjoyed children and helped to raise many of her grandchildren. She was a very religious person and a dedicated member of Mary Grove Baptist Church. She enjoyed reading her Bible daily, Bible study, Prayer meetings and traveling to visit her children and grandchildren. She was a beautiful woman.”

George W. Carter (1877-1943).

“George Washington Carter was born in the year 1877 to Peter and Julia Carter. He was born in Rockingham, North Carolina, and had one sister named Lenora and two brothers named Andrew and Henry. His father was part Indian. Grandpa George was a member of Mary Grove Baptist Church and served on the Deacon Board until his illness. He worked as a sharecropper and did well on the farm. Grandpa George was a hard worker and a good provider for his family. However, he had a stroke and family obligations were assumed by his wife Nancy.”

George and Nancy Parker Carter.

George Carter, 25, married Nancy Ann Parker, 22, daughter of T.W. and Manervia Parker, on 10 March 1902 in Black Creek township. Willie B. Barnes, Frank Barnes and Haywood W. Sessums were witnesses.

In the 1910 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: George Carter, 39; wife Nancy A., 27; and children Lenora, 12, George L., 10, Jesse W., 8, Lilly M., 6, Ada L., 4, and Ida, 2. [Next door, on one side, Nancy’s father Tarrell Parker, and on the other the household of Wright and Sallie Barnes Creech.]

In the 1920 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer George Carter, 49; wife Nancy A., 40; and children Leonard, 19; Jessie, 18; Lillie, 18; Ada, 14; Ida, 12; Robie, 7; Trecie, 5; and Rosetta, 4; plus father-in-law Thomas [sic, Tarrell] W. Parker, 88.

In the 1930 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer George Carter, 60; wife Nancy A., 52; and children Robie, 18, and Rosetta Carter, 14, and Mary Ida Brockington, 22.

In the 1940 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Jessie Carter, 39; his wife Pauline, 31; and children Robert, 11, Flossie May, 9, Leloe, 7, and Rematha, 2; plus father George, 70; mother Nancy, 60; and brother Roby, 28.

George Carter died 31 January 1943 in Lucama, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 1877 in Rockingham County, North Carolina, to Peter and Julia Carter; was a farmer; and was buried in Williamson cemetery.

Nancy Ann Carter died 5 October 1959 at her home on Route 1, Lucama. Per her death certificate, she was born 16 March 1884 in Wilson County to Terrel Williams; was widowed; and was buried in Renfrow cemetery. Lillie Jones was informant.

Wilson Daily Times, 7 October 1959.

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William Henry Parker (1894-1972), Pullman porter.

“William Henry was born on December 26, 1894 in Wilson County, North Carolina. Henry attended gramma school and later attended Dobe School of Mechanical Drafting. He married Ora Renfrow on January 6, 1918 in Wilson, North Carolina. To this union were born five children. Clovis, Margaret (deceased), Tarrell, Dorothy and Henry (deceased). He farmed in North Carolina and worked with the school district of Wilson. He later moved his family to Philadelphia and there he worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad. Henry then went to work for the Government (Frankford Arsenal) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He had many interests and hobbies. He enjoyed reading, repairing things, traveling, shopping for antiques and inventing different things. He invented a new metal clip, and obtained a patent for it on March 24, 1964. (See below) In his later years, he operated a clock repair/antique shop. He was very well known for his workmanship. William Henry died on October 28, 1972 of a heart attack.”

William H. Parker’s patented metal clip.

W.H. Parker, 24, of Springhill township, son of Nancy Parker, married Ora Renfrow, 19, of Old Fields township, daughter of John and Margarette Renfrow, on 6 January 1918 in Old Fields. G.W. Carter applied for the license.

In the 1920 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer William H. Parker, 26; wife Ora, 21; and son Clovis, 10 months.

In the 1930 census of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: at 3905 Folsom Street, railroad porter Henry Parker, 36; wife Ora, 31; and children Clovis, 11, Tarrel, 9, Dorothy, 7, and Henry, 5.

In the 1940 census of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: at 3905 Folsom Street, Pullman Company porter Henry Parker, 45; wife Ora, 40; and children Clovis, 21, retail store porter, Henry, 18, truck driver, and Dorthy, 17.

In 1942, William Henry Parker registered for the World War II draft in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Per his registration card, he resided at 3905 Folsom Street; was born 26 December 1894 in Wilson County, North Carolina; worked for the Pullman Company, P.R.R. 30th Street Station, Philadelphia; and his contact person was Mrs. Ora Parker.

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Lenora Carter Barnes (1897-1988) and children Willie, Lenetta and Clinton, circa 1920.

On 10 December 1916, Elijah Barnes, 22, son of Joe and Cherry Barnes, of Springhill, married Lena Carter, 20, of Springhill, daughter of George and Nancy Carter. Missionary Baptist minister Robert Crockett performed the ceremony at Mary Grove Baptist Church in the presence of Guilford Ellis, Lannie Sutton and J.H. Battle.

In the 1920 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: Elijah Barnes, 26; wife Lenora C., 22; and children Wilie, 5, Lenetta, 2, and Clenon, 1.

In the 1930 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Middlesex Kenly Road, farmer Elija Barnes, 36; wife Lenora, 32; and children Willie G., 15, Lenetta, 12, Joseph C., 11, Eliza, 10, Nancy V., 7, James F., 5, Andrew, 3, and Mary E., 1.

In the 1940 census of O’Neals, Johnston County: farm renter Elijah Barnes, 46; wife Lenora, 43; and children Willie, 23, Clinton, 21, Elijah Jr., 17, Varnell, 18, George, 17, Floyd, 15, Andrew, 14, S.L., 12, Genetta, 9, Odessia, 8, Blonnie, 5, and Sarah, 2.

Lenora Carter Barnes died 17 September 1988 in Johnston County, North Carolina.

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George Leonard Carter (1899-1971).

George Leonard Carter registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 3 February 1900; resided at Route 3, Lucama; and was a farmer for George Carter, Springhill township near Rock Ridge.

On 14 October 1920, George L. Carter, 21, of Springhill, son of George and Nancy Carter, married Elvira Boykin, 19, of Springhill, daughter of Troy Boykin, in Oldfields township. G.W. Carter applied for the license.

In the 1930 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer George L. Carter, 31; wife Roxia A., 24; and children Mittie M., 8, George W., 4, Thelma, 3, and Josephine, 2.

Leonard Carter registered for the World War II draft in Washington, D.C. Per his registration card, he was born 3 February 1899 in Wilson County; resided at 709-6th Street, N.E.; worked for Charles H. Tompkins of Charles H. Tompkins & Co., contractors, at 907-16th Street, N.W. His contact was Roxie Carter.

Rev. Leonard Carter died 17 May 1971 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 3 February 1899 to George and Nancy A. Carter; was a minister; was married to Lydia Freeman; and resided at 627 Suggs Street. He was buried at Mary Grove church cemetery.

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Jesse Warren Carter (1900-1962).

On 27 December 1920, Jesse Carter, 21, of Springhill township, son of George and Nancy Carter, married Mary Jones, 18, of Oldfields township, daughter of Jesse and Sally Jones, in Cross Roads township. Baptist minister Emerson Hooks performed the ceremony.

In the 1930 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: Jesse Carter, 29; wife Mary, 26; and children Williard, 8, and Robert L., 1.

On 16 May 1936, Jesse Carter, 36, of Lucama, son of George and Nancy Carter, married Pauline Coley, 27, daughter of Thomas and Alice Coley, in Smithfield, Johnston, County.

In the 1940 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Jessie Carter, 39; his wife Pauline, 31; and children Robert, 11, Flossie May, 9, Leloe, 7, and Rematha, 2; plus father George, 70; mother Nancy, 60; and brother Roby, 28.

In 1942, Jessie Warren Carter resgistered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 5 June 1900 in Wilson County; resided at Box 252, Route 1, Lucama, Wilson County; and was employed by Mrs. Sallie Williamson, Lucama.

Jesse W. Carter died 19 September 1962 in Middlesex, Drywells township, Nash County. Per his death certificate, he was born 3 June 1900 in Wilson County to George Carter and Nancy Parker; was a farmer; was married to Pauline Carter; and was buried at Mary Grove cemetery.

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Lillie Mae Carter Knight Jones (1903-??).

In the 1930 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: Lillie Knight, 26; and children Carter L., 7, Lissie M., 5, Ratha E., 4, and Daisy M., 1. [Husband Jim Knight, 27, appears in the enumeration of the Wilson County stockade.]

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Ada Lee Carter Lucas (1905-1986) and Mary Ida Carter Brockington (1908-??).

On 22 December 1921, Ada Lee Carter, 18, daughter of George and Nancy Carter, married Carl Locus, 20, son of Sanford and Ada Locus, in Wilson.  Jesse Carter applied for the license, and he, S.B. Locus and Jim Knight witnessed.

On 31 January 1929, James Brockington, 26, of Black Creek township, married Ida Carter, 20, of Springhill township, in Wilson. Their parents Nancy Carter, John Brockington and Mary Brockington witnessed.

In the 1930 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: Carl Locas, 28; wife Ada, 24; and children Nancy M., 8, Paul D., 6, Alice V., 4, Helen O., 2, Neom C., 1, and Carl R., 0.

In the 1940 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: Carl Locus, 38; wife Ada, 33; and children Nancy, 16, Paul D., 15, Allice, 14, Helen, 12, Florence, 11, Carl Rowland, 10, Leona, 8, Cristine, 6, and Grady, 4.

In 1942, Robert James Brockington registered for the World War II draft in Washington, D.C. Per his registration card, he was born 13 June 1903 in Florence, South Carolina; was married to Ida Brockington; resided at 1013-3rd Street, N.E.; and worked for Charles H. Thompkins (see Leonard Carter, above).

James Brockington died 13 May 1947 in Cross Roads township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 13 June 1909 in Florence, South Carolina, to John Brockington and Mary Skeeter; was married to Ida Brockington; and was buried at Mary Grove.

Per the Social Security Death Index, Ada Lucas died December 1986 in Washington, D.C.

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Robie Carter (1911-1942).

“Robie was born January 1, 1911 in Wilson County, North Carolina. He too attended Williamson Elementary School. He never married, but had one son, James Willis Graham, who is also deceased. At an early age, Robie moved from Wilson, North Carolina to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and later to Washington, D.C. Prior to his death he was employed at the Sheraton Hotel. He died in 1942 when he was thirty-one years old from a heart attack.”

Roby Carter registered for the World War II draft in 1940 in Washington, D.C. Per his registration card, he was born 1 January 1912 in Wilson, North Carolina; resided in Washington, D.C.; and his next-of-kin was sister Lillia Jones.

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Trecia Carter Renfrow (1913-1939) and Rosetta Carter Jones (1914-).

James and Trecia Carter Renfrow.

“Trecia Carter Renfrow was born May 18, 1913 in Wilson, North Carolina. She grew up and attended school there. Trecia met and married James Plummer Renfrow in 1928. They later moved to Hampton, Virginia for a short while. Between the year 1934/35 Trecia and Plummer ventured to Washington, D.C. making that their new home with their three children, James born December 1, 1929, Rudolph born May 10, 1931, and Mabel born November 3, 1933. Trecia had a short but wonderful life, always smiling, caring, being the lovable person she is well remembered by; and although she never got to see her three children become adults, Trecia was blessed with an offspring of thirteen (13) grand children and twenty (20) great-grandchildren. Our mother, grandmother, great-grandmother Trecia Carter Renfrow left us on May 31, 1939 at 2:10 A.M. at the age of 26 years.”

On 25 June 1927, James Plumer Renfrow of Kenly, 21, son of John and Mary Renfrow, married Tracie Carter, 18, of Kenly, daughter of George and Nancy Carter, in Smithfield, Johnston County.

In the 1930 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer James P. Renfrow, 19, wife Trecy E., 17, and son Levie J., 3 months.

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Levi and Rosetta Carter Jones on their wedding day.

On 22 November 1935, Levi Jones, 21, of Wilson County, son of Ernest and Lillie Jones, married Rosetta Carter, 19, daughter of George and Nancy Carter, of Wilson County, in Nashville, Nash County.

In the 1940 census of Washington, D.C.: at 513 G Street. N.E., construction laborer Alfred Jones, 27, wife Lily, 33, and children Carter L., 15, Melissa, 13, Relphel, 12, and Daisy, 11; plus cafe busser Levi Jones, 24, wife Ruth, 22, a maid, and [brother?] Sylvester Jones, 22, a restaurant dishwasher; plus James Renfro, 29, and children David J., 10, Rudolph, 8, and Mable, 7; plus Lenard Hinnant, 23. All except Hinnant indicated that they had been living in Wilson in 1935. [This household, of course, comprised Lillie Carter, her children and her second husband; Lillie’s sister Rosetta (erroneously called Ruth) and her husband; and their sister Trecia’s widowed husband James and their children.]

In 1942, Levi Jones registered for the World War II draft in Washington, D.C. Per his registration card, he was born 3 June 1915 in Wilson; resided at 513 G Street, N.E.; was married to Rosetta Jones; and worked for Mrs. Fordson at the Government Printing Office.

No justice for Lee Locus.

On March 31, 1939, farmer LeviLee” Locus was shot to death by a policeman in his own bedroom in Oldfields township, Wilson County. Though the outcome of the officer’s trial was predictable, newspapers called for justice, and black folk took some satisfaction in watching Chief T.T. Autry brought to trial.

4 7 1939

Burlington Daily Times-News, 7 April 1939.

5 27 1939

Pittsburgh Courier, 27 May 1939.

12 23 1939

Pittsburgh Courier, 23 December 1939.

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In the 1910 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: farmer John Locus, 37; wife Annie, 31; and children Flonnie, 9, Floid, 8, and Levy, 3.

In the 1920 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: farmer John Locus, 43; wife Annie, 39; and children Floid, 17, Levi, 14, and Wiley, 4.

On 23 September 1922, Levi Locus, 21, of Simms, son of John and Annie Locus, married Lilly Jones, 18, of Bailey, daughter of Jesse and Sallie Jones, in Wilson. Witnesses were Eli Barnes, of Simms, and Ernest Batts and Fenley Davis of Bailey.

In the 1930 census of Oldfields, township, Wilson County: farmer Leevie Locus, 23; wife Lillie, 23; and children Lillie M., 7, Leevie Jr., 6, Johnnie B., 5, Freddie L., 3, Annie R., 1, and Queen E., 3 months.

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The last will and testament of Luther Locus.

Luther Locus left gifts of $50 to Saint John A.M.E.Z. Church, his aunt Gertrude Horton and  sister Frances Faison; $25 to aunt Mary Mitchell; a piano and a ’36 Buick to sister Lessie Knight; property to wife Eula Locus; and $1000 to son Robert Locus. Rev. J.A. Everette, Ethel Everette and D.C. Yancey witnessed the execution of the document.

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Perhaps, in the 1900 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: farmer John W. Locus, 27, wife Liddie, 26, and children Stillie, 9, Luther, 7, and Rolley, 8 months, and sister Lula, 17.

In the 1910 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Buckhorn and Kenly Road, farmer John A. Pearce, 41; wife Frances, 37; and children Thomas E., 19, Madie, 17, Lenore, 14, Geneva, 12, John H., 9, Odester, 1, and James, 5 months; boarder Luther Locus, 17; and hired hand Rucian Joyner, 30.

On 15 April 1916, Luther Locus was a witness to the marriage of Lonnie Staton, 22, and Lessie Locus, 20, at 514 East Green Street, Wilson. Church of God minister Joseph Lancaster performed the ceremony in the presence of Lessie’s brother Luther, L.A. Moore and Joseph Johnson.

On 5 June 1917, Luther Locus registered for the World War I draft. Per his registration card, he was born 6 November 1892 in Kenly, N.C.; resided on Wainwright Avenue, Wilson; worked as a chauffeur and mechanic for T.W. Tilghman in Wilson; and was married with a child. He signed his name ‘Luther Locust’ in a clear hand.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Wainwright, butler Luther Locus, 27, wife Eula, 23, and son Robert, 6.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1108 Wainwright, cook Luther Locus, 37, wife Eula, 37, also a cook, and son Robert, 16.

Luther Locus died 17 September 1944 at his home at 1108 Wainwright Avenue (owned and valued at $1500.) Per his death certificate, he was born 6 November 1892 in Wilson County to Elie Locus and Mary Pierce, both of Wilson County; worked as an auto mechanic at a filling station. Eula Locus was informant.

On 22 January 1949, Lessie Locus, 45, married Jessie B. Knight, 45, in Wilson. Thomas J. Moore and R.R. Batts witnessed.

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

The last will and testament of Asa Locus.

NORTH CAROLINA, WILSON COUNTY

I, ASA LOCUS, of Wilson County, North Carolina, DO MAKE, DECLARE and PUBLISH this to be my last WILL and TESTAMENT, hereby revoking and declaring utterly void all other wills and testaments by me heretofore made:

(1) FROM the first monies coming into her hands MY EXECUTRIX hereinafter named shall be all debts owing by me at the time of my death, including burial expenses and the costs of an appropriate grave stone.

(2) AFTER the payment of all my debts aforesaid, I GIVE and BEQUEATH unto my daughter, EVA HESTER the sum of Twenty Five dollars ($25.00) and to my daughter, ADA HESTER the sum of Twenty Five dollars ($25.00).

(3) AFTER the payment of all of the items set forth in Paragraph One and Paragraph Two hereof, I GIVE , DEVISE and BEQUEATH unto my beloved wife ANNIE LOCUS, all of my property, both real and personal, tangible and intangible, of every kind and description and wheresoever situate, to have and to hold unto my said wife ANNIE LOCUS for and DURING THE TERM OF HER LIFE, provided, however, my said wife ANNIE LOCUS shall have full power and authority to dispose of any of the PERSONAL PROPERTY bequeathed to her FOR LIFE but she have no power to dispose of any of said real estate.

(4) UPON the death of my beloved wife, ANNIE LOCUS, I GIVE and DEVISE unto my two sons, JOHN LOCUS and PAR LOCUS, share and share alike, all of my real estate of any and every kind and description and wheresoever situate heretofore devised to my beloved wife, ANNIE LOCUS for the term of her life to have and to hold unto my said sons, JOHN LOCUS and PAR LOCUS for and during the term of their lives only, and at the death of each my said sons, JOHN LOCUS and PAR LOCUS his share in said real estate shall vest in his children in FEE SIMPLE, provided, however, if either of said sons shall die without children, or issue of children, then his share shall vest in the other of said sons, subject to the same limitations hereby imposed.

(5) I HEREBY constitute and appoint my beloved wife, ANNIE LOCUS as the EXECUTIRIX of this will and she shall be required to execute on bond.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I, ASA LOCUS, Testator, as aforesaid have hereunto signed my name and affixed my seal this the 6th day of May, 1939.     Asa (X) Locus

Witness K.J. Herring

Signed, sealed, published, and declared by the said Asa Locus, Testator, as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us, who at his request, and in his presence, and in the presence of others have signed our names as attesting witnesses.  K.J. Herring, David W. Isear

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In the 1880 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: Nelson Eatmon, 66; wife Eliza, 50; [Eliza’s children] Amanda, 18, Mary J., 14, Asa, 10, and Lougene Locus, 4; and Margaret Howard, 21, and Harriet Howard, 2.

Also, in the 1880 census of Fishing Creek, Warren County, North Carolina: Levi Richardson, 25, wife Temy, 16, and cousin Acy Locus, 10.

On 17 June 1895, in Brinkleyville, Halifax County, Asa Locus, 23, of Halifax County, married Annie Eaton [sic], 18, of Halifax County.

In the 1900 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Asa Locus, 27, wife Anna, 22, and children Larry, 5, Johney, 4, and Kniver, 1.

In the 1910 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: on Nash Road, farmer Acy Locust, 40, wife Annie, 33, and children Larry, 15, John, 13, Eva, 11, James, 8, Ada, 6, and Paul, 3, and mother-in-law Wilmur Eatman, 68.

In the 1920 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Asa Locus, 49, wife Annie, 40, daughter Ada, 14, and son Paul, 12.

In the 1930 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Ace Locus, 60, wife Annie, 50, and granddaughter Teanestus Locus, 10.

In the 1940 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Ace Locus, 72, and wife Annie, 68.

Asa Lucus died 14 July 1955 at Park View Hospital in Rocky Mount, Nash Carolina. His residence was Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born October 1860 in Wilson County to Martin Lucus and Liza Brantley. He was buried in a family cemetery in Wilson County.

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Asa Locus (circa 1870-1955)

Photograph courtesy of Europe A. Farmer. North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

Fenner Brantley and the color line.

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Records related to Fenner Brantley suggest a life spent straddling the color line. Though Kenyon Howard, the “trusty friend” he appointed as executor, was African-American, Fenner died 6 February 1924 as a white man.

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What of his father though? Charlie Brantley, who reared him and cared for him during his battle with tuberculosis? In the 1920 census of Taylor township, Wilson County:

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Fenner Brantley, age 26, black, is listed as the servant of Charlie Brantley, 48, white, who was named in his will as his father. Wiley Howard, 21, mulatto, rounds out the household. Was this an brutally awkward attempt to work around a socially unacceptable relationship?

In mid-1917, Fenner Brantley registered for the World War I draft. The registrar first recorded his name as “Fenner Howard,” then marked through Howard to write “Brantley.” His racial designation? “African,” which was standard for anyone of any degree of African descent.

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It seems that prior to 1920, both Fenner and his father were consistently regarded as African-American. Here’s Fenner’s 1914 marriage license:

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And the 1910 census of Taylors township, Wilson County, on Howards Path: Charlie Brantley, mulatto, his son Fenner Locust and daughter Mena Locust. (Fenner’s death certificate listed his mother as Margaret Lucas. Many Locus/Locusts in western Wilson County shifted the pronunciation and spelling of their surname to Lucas.) Brantley lived next door to his elderly father, Henderson Brantley, who appears in antebellum Nash County census records as a free person of color.

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In the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: Zack Locus, 69, wife Emley, 59, daughter Margret, 29, and five grandchildren Mattie, 14, Hattie, 11, Fenner, 7, Ellen, 4, and Mena,  5; all described as mulatto.

It’s hard to know what conclusion to draw from all this. Fenner Brantley, ne Locus, was born into families deep-rooted in Nash County’s mixed-race free antebellum community. These families were well-known in the larger community and, regardless of their physical appearance, would not have been “mistaken” for white by anyone from the area. As seen here, though, contemporary mores did sometimes allow for certain fluidity in racial identification, and Fenner and Charlie Brantley seemed to have floated at that edge.

Still, when Charlie Brantley died in 1948, 24 years after his son succumbed to tuberculosis, he was a “colored”man.

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North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com; death certificates and federal census records also at ancestry.com.

 

Eating was just as necessary.

WDT 4 10 1911 Henry Locus

Wilson Daily Times, 10 April 1911.

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In the 1850 census of Nash County, North Carolina: Delany Locust, 28, with Lucy, 25, Nathan, 12, Henry, 8, Goodson, 6, Nelly, 4, and Mary J. Locust, 3.

In the 1860 census of Winstead, Nash County: Delany Locus, 43, with Nathan Locus, 22.

Captain Jesse Sharpe Barnes organized the Wilson Light Infantry  in 1861. When the company was mustered in the United States Confederate Army, it became Company F, Fourth Regiment, North Carolina State Troops. Barnes died in battle on 31 May 1862 at Seven Pines, Virginia.

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Capt. Jesse S. Barnes.

Photograph held in Liljenquist Family Collection, see Prints and Photographs Online Catalog, Library of Congress

Five country negroes in a free fight.

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Wilson Advance, 15 April 1897.

Asa “Acey” Locus (1860-1858) was the son of Martin and Eliza Brantley Locus. Kenyon “Kennie” Eatman was the brother of Acey’s wife Annie. Their parents were Wilmouth Eatman and Hackney High. The Eatman family and Locus families lived in western Wilson County in Old Fields and Taylor townships.

I have been unable to identify the Harrises or Jude Strickland.