marriage

A swarm of Locus(t)s.

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Wilson Advance, 16 March 1883.

Though Register Barnes’ snarky comment suggests otherwise, cousin marriages were not uncommon in the 19th century. The Locus/Locust/Lucas family was one of the largest free families of color in eastern North Carolina. Most Wilson County Locuses had roots in neighboring Nash County.

James and Missouri Locus Lucas.

In the 1870 census of Springfield township, Nash County: Zachariah Locust, 47; wife Emily, 47; and children Blurdy, 12, Margaret, 9, Zerry, 4, and Willie, 7.

In the 1880 census of Jackson township, Wilson County: Zachariah Locus, 53; wife Emily, 49; and daughters Margaret A., 18, and Missouri N., 12.

James Locus, 24, married Miszura Locus, 19, both of Nash County, on 14 March 1883 at the Wilson County courthouse. Zelus Howard, Wash Barnes and B.J. Barnes witnessed.

In the 1900 census of Beulah township, Johnston County: James Lucas, 43; wife Missouri, 35; and children Frederick, 16, Sallie A., 15, Louzetta, 12, Victoria, 7, Effie, 5, Mattie, 2, and Johnnie, 8.

In the 1910 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on path leading to Raleigh Road, James Lucas, 54; wife Missouri, 41; and children Louzetta, 19, John, 17, Victoria, 15, Effie, 13, Mattie, 11, Emma, 7, Bettie, 5, and Maoma, 7 months.

In the 1920 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: James Lucas, 63, farmer; wife Missouri, 49; and children Bettie, 13, Naomi, 10, and Lucile, 3.

Missouri Lucas died 22 March 1926 in Springhill township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was about 55 years old; was married to James Lucas; was the daughter of Zachariah and Emily Lucas; and was buried at New Vester cemetery.

James Lucas died 12 April1928 in Old Fields township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 1859 to Jane Taborn; had been married to Missouri Lucas; was a farmer; was buried at New Vester cemetery. John Davis of Simms was informant.

Luzettie Lucas Creech died 28 June 1969 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 4 July 1893 to James Lucas and Missouri (last name unknown); was a widow; resided at 500 Hadley Street; and was buried at New Vester. Roberta Creech Spells was informant.

Victoria Lucas Kent died 2 July 1973 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 1 September 1900 to James Savannah Lucas and Missouri Taylor; resided at 611 Benton Street, Wilson; and had worked in farming. Informant was Janie Richardson, 611 Benton Street.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user HVByrd.

Reverend Silver comes to Wilson.

Hattie Henderson Ricks remembered:

… Mama’d make us go to Holiness Church and stay down there and run a revival two weeks.  And we’d go down there every night and lay back down there on the bench and go to sleep.  … Mama’d go every night.  And they’d be shouting, holy and sanctified, jumping and shouting.  

Mr. Silver, he had a bunch, he had 11 children, and his son had a whole bunch of ‘em.  Joseph Silver.  …  When Mama got married there on Elba Street, there at the house.  Yeah.  He come up there …  He was a little short brown-skinned man, and he was a elder and the head of the church where was down there in Halifax County.  

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On 31 August 1933, Sarah Henderson Jacobs of Wilson married Rev. Joseph Silver of Halifax County at her home in Wilson [303 Elba Street]. The ceremony was performed by Holiness minister J.H. Scott and witnessed by S.B. Thomas, Eleanor Hooker and W.M. King. Silver helped establish the Holiness church in North Carolina, and Jacobs was a Holiness evangelist.

Sarah Silver died 8 January 1938. Five years later, on 8 September 1943, Rev. Silver married Martha C. Aldridge in Goldsboro, Wayne County. Rev. Silver had performed the marriage ceremony for Martha, nee Hawkins, and her second husband, Joseph Aldridge, in Wilson on 16 December 1925. C.E. Artis applied for the license, and William A. Mitchner, Hattie Tate and Callie Barnes were witnesses.

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REV. JOSEPH SILVER DIES AT HIS HOME AT 100 YEARS OLD

Reverend Joseph Silver, Sr., well known and highly respected Negro minister, died Tuesday at his home in the Delmar community, on Enfield Route 3.  He celebrated his 100th birthday anniversary last July 22 at a large gathering of friends and relatives. Rev. Silver had been in poor health about four years and had been confined to his bed for the past four months.

Funeral services will be held from the Plumbline Holiness Church, Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. The body will lay in state at the church an hour before the funeral. The Rev. L.G. Young, of Henderson, will preach the funeral and burial will be in the family plot.  Among those expected at the final rites are Bishop M.C. Clemmen of Richmond, Va., and Bishop H.B. Jackson of Ayden.

Rev. Silver began preaching in 1893 when he he organized and built Plumbline Church.  Among other churches built by his ministry are ones at Ayden and Summitt, near Littleton. He was an organizer of the United Holiness Church of America and served on the board of Elders until his death.

Rev. Silver was married three times; first to Felicia Hawkins, who died in 1931, then to Sarah Jacobs of Wilson, who died in 1938; and last to Martha Aldridge of Goldsboro, who survives.  In addition to his wife, Rev. Silver is survived by five sons N.D. and Samuel Silver, of Washington, DC; Gideon, of Pittsburg, Pa.; Joseph, Jr., of Halifax and A.M. Silver of Route 3, Enfield; three daughters, Epsi Copeland and Roberta Hewling, of Enfield, Route 3, and Emma Goines, of Pittsburg, Pa. Eighty grandchildren, 109 great-grandchildren, and 17 great great grandchildren also survive.  [Newspaper clipping from unnamed source, 10 January 1958.]

Shortly after Rev. Silver’s death, his widow Martha wrote Hattie Henderson Ricks a letter, addressing it to her workplace, the Eastern North Carolina Sanatorium:

P.O. Box 193 Nashville

N.C.   c/o Brake

Feb. 2, 1958

Dear Hattie –

You heard of Rev. Silver’s death Jan. 7th although I didn’t notify you as I was sick and still is sick but not confine to bed.  Sarah had some things in the home.  A bed which I am sure you wouldn’t care for and a folding single bed which I am going to get but my main reason for writing you she has an oak dresser and washstand that Rev. Silver told me you wanted and said he told you you could get it if you would send for it so it is still there and it is good material if you want it.  Amos has already seen a second hand furniture man about buying it.  The Silver’s will “skin a flea for his hide and tallow.”  The Aldridges holds a very warm place in my heart and always will.  If you wish to do so you may write to Rev. Amos Silver Route 3 Box 82 Enfield and ask him if your mother Sarah’s furniture is still there.  There is also a carpet on the floor in the living room you need not mention my name.  I am very fond of Johnnie Aldridge of Dudly.  Come to see me whenever you can I think you might get with Reka at Fremont some times, she and Luke come to Enfield to see me occasionally  I am going to write Reka next week.  I married your great uncle Rev Joseph Aldridge write me

Your friend and great aunt by marriage.

M.C. (Aldridge) Silver

——

  • J.H. Scott — John H. Scott died 18 November 1940 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 February 1874 in Halifax County to Alex Scott and Cathrin [no last name]; was married to Sarah Ann Scott; resided at 311 Lane Street; and was a Holiness preacher.
  • S.B. Thomas — Sarah Best Thomas.
  • Eleanor J. Hooker — Eleanor J. Farmer Hooker.
  • W.M. King — In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: redrying plant janitor William M. King, 67; wife Annie, 64, washwoman; daughter Mary Lucas, 28, laundress; and son-in-law Herman Lucas, 26, redrying plant day laborer.
  • C.E. Artis — Columbus E. Artis, an undertaker. [Note: Artis’ mother Amanda Aldridge Artis was Joseph Aldridge’s sister.]
  • W.A. Mitchner — William A. Mitchner, a physician.
  • Hattie Tate — Hattie Pearce Tate.
  • Callie Barnes — in the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Barnes Paul (c; Callie) mgr Lenora Dixon h 306 Elba [Dixon operated an East Nash Street billiard hall.]

Oral interview of Hattie H. Ricks by Lisa Y. Henderson, all rights reserved; newspaper clipping and letter in the possession of Lisa Y. Henderson.

Marriages at Saint Mark’s, no. 2.

Patrick M. Valentine’s The Episcopalians of Wilson County: A History of St. Timothy’s and St. Mark’s Churches in Wilson, North Carolina 1856-1995 (1996), features several invaluable appendices that illuminate Wilson’s tiny African-American Episcopalian community. Valentine credits Cindy and Jeff Day with compiling them, and this post is the second in a series annotating the marriage list.

“Appendix J: Marriages, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church” shows these marriages between 1906 and 1910:

  • James Taylor to Mamie Spicer, 26 April 1906

On 25 April 1906, James Taylor, 22, married Mamie Spicer, 22, at the bride’s residence in Wilson. Rev. Robert N. Perry performed the ceremony in the presence of D.J. Barnes, Elmer Stokes, and John H. Clark.

  • D.S. Farmer to Janie Lewis, 7 October 1908

License applied for for D.S. Farmer, 46, and Janie Lewis, 35, but not returned to the Wilson County Register of Deeds’ office.

  • John S. Askew to Thedotia Boykin, 2 September 1908

License applied for for John S. Askew, 26, of New Jersey, and Dothia Boykin, 24, of Wilson, but not returned to the Wilson County Register of Deeds’ office.

  • Dorsey Powell to Georgia Ella Hinell, no date.

License applied for for Dorsey Powell, 27, and George Ella Hines, 25, on 28 October 1909, but not returned to the Wilson County Register of Deeds’ office.

  • Ezekiel McKoy to Jane Ford, 15 November 1909.

License applied for for Ezekiel McKoy, 34, and Jane Farmer, 37, but not returned to the Wilson County Register of Deeds’ office.

  • William Dawson to Bessie Body, November 1910.

License not found.

Marriages at Saint Mark’s, no. 1.

Patrick M. Valentine’s The Episcopalians of Wilson County: A History of St. Timothy’s and St. Mark’s Churches in Wilson, North Carolina 1856-1995 (1996), features several invaluable appendices that illuminate Wilson’s tiny African-American Episcopalian community. Valentine credits Cindy and Jeff Day with compiling them, and this post is the first in a series annotating the marriage list.

“Appendix J: Marriages, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church” shows the marriages between 1895 and 1905:

  • Richard Norwood to Celia Hill, 27 February 1895

On 28 February 1895, Celia A. Hill, 22, daughter of H. and H[enrietta]. Hill, married Richard Norwood, 21, son of B. Norwood of Chatham County, in Wilson. Episcopal minister J.W. Perry performed the ceremony at Saint Marks in the presence of John H. Clark, B.R. Winstead and S.A. Smith. Cecilia Anna Norwood died 27 June 1944 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 14 February 1879 in Washington, North Carolina to Edward Hill and Henrietta Cherry; resided at 205 Pender, Wilson; was widowed; and was a teacher. Informant was Hazel Covington of Wilson.

  • Robt. Norwood to Lydia Freeman, 26 January 1899

On 26 January 1899, Robert Norwood, 24, of Wilson County, son of Harris and Rebecca Norwood of Bynum, North Carolina, married Lydia Freeman, 21, daughter of Julius and Eliza Freeman of Wilson. Episcopal priest W.B. Perry performed the ceremony at Julius Freeman’s in the presence of William Kittrell, William Barnes and John Williams. Robert Norwood died 20 October 1916 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was married; was born in 1880; and worked as a cook in a cafe. Informant was Julius Freeman.

  • James Roach [sic] to Jane Tyson, 24 May 1899

James Branch, 29, of Wilson County, married Jane Tyson, 30, on 24 May 1899. J.C. Palmer applied for the license; Rev. W.B. Perry performed the ceremony at the home of Mrs. J.C. Palmer in the presence of J.C. Palmer, Mrs. J.C. Palmer and Robert Norwood. In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: tobacco packer James Branch, 28; wife Jane C., 31, cook; and stepsons Carrol C. Tyson, 12, house servant, and Caborn C. Tyson, 8.

On 2 August 1899, Walter B. Hulin, 21, of Wilson County married Hattie Artis, 18, of Wilson, at “Mrs. Artis’ home” in Wilson. Rev. W.B. Perry, Episcopalian, performed the ceremony, and James Artis, Miss Irene Winstead and Mrs. Barnes witnessed. [W.B. Perry, in contravention to Jim Crow norms, appears to have been deliberate about his use of the honorifics “Miss” and “Mrs.” for his African-American congregants.]

  • Spincer Barnes to Annie Petyford, 4 December 1899

On 4 December 1899, Spencer Barnes, 26, of Wilson County, married Anna Pettiford, 25, of Franklin County, daughter of Manlis and Frances Pettiford. Rev. W.B. Perry, Episcopalian, performed the ceremony, and Mr. McDonald, Miss Irene Winstead and Mrs. James Branch witnessed.

  • Junius M[illegible] and Jin [illegible], 14 August 1899

Junius Munk, 26, son of Dudley and Pheomy Munk of Magnolia, North Carolina, married Jennie Strickland, 24, daughter of Jim and Neomy Strickland, of Wilson on 14 August 1899. Rev. W.B. Perry performed the ceremony at the bride’s home in the presence of Howard Strickland, John Coleman and Archie Hunt.

  • Dr. Frank Welleston and Done Battle, 17 September 1905

On 17 September 1905, F.O. Williston, 24, of Wilson, son of Henrietta Williston of Fayetteville, North Carolina, married Doane Battle, 19, daughter of Charles Battle of Wilson. F.S. Hargrave applied for the license, and Rev. Robert F. Perry performed the ceremony at James Jenkins‘ home in the presence of F.S. Hargrave, James Jenkins and William Dawson.

  • Colie Barnes and Leaha Barnes, 27 December 1905

Wilson County marriage records do not reflect a marriage between Colie Barnes and Leaha Barnes. However, on 27 December 1905, Colie Barnes, 20, married Ella Taylor, 19, in Wilson.

The last will and testament of Dollison Powell. (Plus pre-nup.)

North Carolina, Wilson County.

I, DOLLISON POWELL, desiring to make disposition of my property in the event of my death, do make, declare and publish this last will and testament:

ITEM I. After my death, my children and my wife, if I have one living then, shall see to it that I am decently buried and see to it that all debts that I owe, including burial expenses are paid.

ITEM II. Whereas, there is a marriage contemplated to take place between me and one Julia Taylor, and desiring to make provision for her in the event said marriage takes place, and int he event she lives longer than I, I give unto the said Julia Taylor for her life,the lands which I now own, being about two and one-quarter (2 1/4) acres, which were sold unto me by S.H. Vick by deed dated November 19, 1908, which deed is recorded in Book 81, at page 406 Wilson County Registry. At her death, I give the said lands unto my son, Howard Powell. I give unto the said Julia Taylor, all the personal property which I may own at my death, to be by her used as long as she lives, and if, at her death there is any left, I give the same to my son, Howard. The provisions which I have herein made for Julia Taylor are not to take effect unless I shall marry her, and she shall be living at my death. The said provisions are made for her with the distinct understanding, as shown by her agreement, hereto attached, that she will take such provisions in full satisfaction of any and all rights by which she may have in and to my property after my death, either by way of dower, year’s support or otherwise.

ITEM III. I give to my son, Howard Powell, the land which I bought from Charles Battle, containing six (6) acres, more or less, and being the lands which were conveyed unto me by deed of Charles Battle, dated October 25, 1902, and recorded in Book 65, at page 174, Wilson County Registry.

ITEM IV. I convey unto my son Dossey Powell, about nine (9) acres of land which were sold to me by Edward Moore by deed dated February 21, 1901, and recorded in Book 58, at page 12, Wilson County Registry. I have borrowed for Dossey Powell about $1,000.00 and have given a mortgage to secure it on the lands which I have herein devised unto him. He is to be charged with the payment of this $1,000.00 and the lands which I have devised unto him is to be charged with the payment of this $1,000.00, such charge to be as an advancement against the said lands, and the lands which I have given to my son Howard, are not to be responsible for this money unless the land which I have given Dossy won’t sell for enough to pay it, after exhausting his own property which is mortgaged for the $1,000.00.

ITEM V. Any debts which I may owe at my death for doctor’s bills, funeral expenses or otherwise, are to be paid from the crops which may be on hand or any other personal property on hand.

ITEM VI. Except as herein provided in the event, I shall die while there is a crop being made, I want the crops on the lands to go the persons to whom the land is given.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal in the presence of witnesses whose names are hereto subscribed as attesting witnesses, this July 26, 1916.   Dollison (X) Powell {seal}

Signed, sealed and declared by the said Dollison Powell as his last Will and Testament, in our presence, and we at his request and in his presence and in the presence of each other, have hereunto set out hands as attesting witnesses to the same, This July 26, 1916.   /s/ H.G. Connor, F.W. Connor

NORTH CAROLINA, WILSON COUNTY.

I, Julia Taylor, hereby agree that in the event I shall marry Dollison Powell, and shall be living at his death, that I will accept the provisions made for me in the foregoing will, in full satisfaction of any and all rights which I may have in and to his property as his widow, whether by day of dower, year’s support or otherwise, and I hereby agree that the said provisions shall be considered as a marriage contract made between us for my benefit.

In Testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal, this the 26th day of July 1916.  Julia (X) Taylor  {seal}

Witnesses: H.G. Connor, F.W. Connor

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In the 1850 census of Nash County: 47 year-old turpentine laborer Stephen Powell; wife Synthia, 36; and children Gray, 9, Queen Anne, 8, Dolly, 7, Crockett, 3, and Moab, 1.

In the 1860 census of Winsteads township, Nash County: 50 year-old Stephen Powell; wife Cyntha, 45; and children Gray, 21, Dollerson, 17, Queenanah, 13, Crocket, 12, Matchum, 10, and Frances, 8.

In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: 60 year-old farmer Stephen Powell; wife Cinthia, 53; and children Dolison, 27, and Washington, 20; plus Julia Amerson, 15; Mary Taylor, 21; Louisa Powell, 5; and Charles Powell, 1.

On 2 January 1877, Dollison Powell, 34, married Sarah Simms, 30, in Wilson County.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Stephen Powell, 80; wife Cynthia, 60; sons Dollison, 37, Washington, 26, and [grandson?] Charles T., 10,; plus boarder Wilson Hagans, 65.

On 24 February 1882, Dollison Powell, 38, married Sallie Barefoot, 34, at the home of Waity Lynch in Wilson County. Ward Lynch witnessed.

In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Dolison Powell, 58; wife Sallie, 50; and children Dorsey, 15, Wiley, 13, and Howard, 12.

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County, on Saratoga Road, Dolison Powell, 68, wife Sallie, 62, and son Wiley, 24. Son Howard Powell, 21, lived nearby with wife Geneva, 24, and children Savannah Lee, 19 months, and Sallie V., 1 month.

On 26 July 1916, Dollison Powell, 74, married Julia Taylor, 64, in Wilson County. Rev. B.P. Coward performed the ceremony.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County, on Saratoga Road, Dolison Powell, 78, and wife Julia, 67.

Dolison Powell died 23 December 1925.

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107 year-old groom: “I never paid more than $3 for a woman in my life.”

Ex-Slave Takes His Fourth Wife.

Man, Aged 107, and Bride, Aged 75, are Happy Newly-Weds

A 107 year-old Wilson colored man and a 75 year-old woman joined hands in Holy matrimony this week, bringing to a total four trips to the altar for this aging former slave.

Beaming with connubial happiness, the ancient colored man recalled that he was outlived three wives and five children. His last children died [illegible] years ago at the ripe old age of 75.

William Henry Pellan and his bride, Matilda Andrews, both of Wilson will make their home on Spruce street in Wilson.

Obtains License

Pellan obtained his marriage license in the Register of Deeds office in Wilson. Confronted with the $5 fee always charged for a license, Pellan balked. He said, “I never paid more than $3 for a woman in my life, and this is my fourth one.”

Pellan credits his outstanding age to what he terms clean living. He says he never dissipated and was always in bed before 10 o’clock at night.

He was sold three times as a slave prior to Civil War days, once for $700, once for $859, and once for $1000. He says that he remembers clearly Sherman’s march through North Carolina. Working on a large plantation in Washington county, Pellan was just turning 18 when the War between the States broke out.

Holds Numbers of Jobs

He has worked on Mississippi steamboats, at sawmills, as a farm hand, as a fireman on a train and has preached for a number of years.

Now he has settled down to enjoy life, he says, Still very active although he walks with the aid of a cane, he has a loud booming voice and an exceptionally good sense of humor.    — Wilson Daily Times, 22 April 1949.

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Hat tip to Will Robinson.

 

Married 55 years.

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New York Age, 9 January 1937.

John Perry married Susan Hodge on 28 December 1881 in Stantonsburg. J.H. Applewhite, a wealthy farmer and justice of the peace, performed the ceremony. His brother William H. Applewhite and Susan’s parents Jack and Gillie Hodge were witnesses.

Perry-Hodge marr

It is likely that the Hodges were tenant farmers on Applewhite land, as suggested by the 1880 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County:

Perry-Hodge