marriage

The Reid-Miller marriage announcement.

Baltimore Afro-American, 12 July 1930.

James D. Reid Jr., a dentist, was born in Wilson in 1905 to J.D. and Eleanor Frederick Reid. On 7 July 1930, he married Irene Miller, whose father Kelly Miller was a renowned mathematician and sociologist at Howard University and an outspoken anti-racism intellectual.

In the 1940 census of Washington, District of Columbia — at 2826 Fourth Street, widow Annie M. Miller, 71; son-in-law James D. Reid, Jr., 39, dentist; daughter Irene Miller Reid, 39, teacher at Miner Teacher College; daughter-in-law Carlissa Miller, 39, clerk; and granddaughters Annie Mae 18, and Gloria Miller, 16.

In 1940, James D. Reid Jr. registered for the World War II draft in Washington, D.C. Per his registration card, he was born 5 January 1905 in Wilson, N.C.; lived at 2225 Fourth Street, N.W., Washington; his contact was wife Irene Miller Reid; and was self-employed, with an office at 1203 U Street, N.W. [2225 Fourth Street is now the site of Howard University’s Bethune Annex residence hall.]

Dr. Reid’s U Street office was in this building.

Photo courtesy of Google Maps.

Marriages across the freedom line.

  • Solomon Andrews and Mary Woodard
  • Solomon Andrews and Emily Woodard

Solomon Andrews was a free man of color. Andrews was a carpenter who lived and worked on the farm of slaveowner Dr. Stephen Woodard. The death certificate of Benjamin Woodard, who was born about 1838, lists Solomon Anders and Mary Woodard as his parents. Benjamin, and presumably his mother Mary, were enslaved by Stephen Woodard. In 1866, Solomon Anders [sic] and Emly Woodard registered their eight-year cohabitation with a Wilson County justice of the peace. It is reasonable to assume that Emily Woodard was also enslaved by Stephen Woodard.

Arch Artis was a free man of color. Rose and their children, who included Tamar, Jesse, John, Gray and Ned, were enslaved by William Woodard’s family in the White Oak area of Gardners township. All of the children used the surname Artis after Emancipation.

Jesse Artis was a free man of color. Several Jesse Artises lived in southeast Wilson/northeast Wayne Counties during the late antebellum period, but he was most likely the Jesse H. Artis listed in the 1850 census of the Town of Wilson. He may have died prior to 1870. In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Rebecca Rountree, 50, and children and grandchildren Henry, 20, butcher, John, 23, barber, Dempsy, 26, farm laborer, Charles, 15, Benjamin, 24, butcher, Mary, 30, domestic servant, Joseph, 9, Willie, 8, Lucy, 20, domestic servant, Worden, 2, and Charles, 1. Henry Rountree was Jesse Artis’ son.

  • Mahala Artis and Aaron Barnes

Mahala Artis was a free woman of color. She is listed in the 1860 census of the town of Wilson, with her daughter Sarah, who was not likely not Aaron Barnes’ child. In 1866, Mahala Artist and Aron Barnes registered their five-year cohabitation with a Wilson County justice of the peace. 

  • Wilson Artis, alias Hagans, and Obedience Applewhite

Wilson Artis, also known as Wilson Hagans, was a free man of color. In 1866, Wilson Hagan and Beady Applewhite registered their nineteen-year cohabitation with a Wilson County justice of the peace. Hagans and Applewhite are listed in different households in the 1870 census of Wilson County. They had at least two children — Sarah Jane Artis, whose 1930 death certificate lists her parents as Wilson Artis and Beedie Artis, and Rosetta Artis, whose 1869 marriage license lists her parents as Wilson Artice and Beedy Artice.

  • Toney Eatmon and Annie [Eatmon? Barnes?]
  • Toney Eatmon and Hester Williamson

Toney Eatmon was a free man of color. In the 1850 census of Nash County, North Carolina, Tony Eatmon, 55, farmer, in the household of white farmer Theophilus Eatmon, 70. Whether he married is unknown, but he is listed as father on the marriage license of Jack Williamson, born about 1835 to Hester Williamson, an enslaved woman, and the death certificate of Willis Barnes, born about 1841, to Annie Eatmon (or, perhaps, Barnes), an enslaved woman. 

Penny Lassiter was a free woman of color. She worked for James B. Woodard and married London Woodard, whom Woodard enslaved. In 1856, Penny Lassiter purchased her husband from J.B. Woodard. As Penny was free, all her and London Woodard’s children were also free-born. 

Delaney Locus was a free woman of color. Alex Taylor was enslaved by Henry Flowers and William Taylor. In 1866, Alex Taylor and Laney Locus registered their seven-year cohabitation with a Wilson County justice of the peace. In the 1870 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: Ellic Taylor, 34, farm laborer, and wife Lainy, 45; Nathanel Locust, 33; and Malvina, 11, and Duncan Locust, 4.

  • Gaines Locus and Zana Williams

Gaines Locus was a free man of color. On 9 August 1866, Ganes Locus and Zana Williams registered their seventeen-year cohabitation with a Wilson County justice of the peace. In the 1870 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: Ganes Locust, 40; wife Zana, 35; and children Penny, 15, Hasty, 12, James, 9, Julius, 5, Sarah, 4, and Amanda, 1.

  • Patsey Locus and Harry Taylor

On the basis of her surname, Patsey Locus likely was a free woman of color. Harry Taylor was the brother of Alex Taylor above. In 1866, Harry Taylor and Patsey Locus registered their eighteen-year cohabitation with a Wilson County justice of the peace. In the 1880 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: Harry Taylor, 51; wife Martha T., 45; and hireling Margrett Locus, 21, “working out.”

  • John Pettiford and Catherine Hinnant

On the basis of his surname, John Pettiford likely was a free man of color. In 1866, John Pettiford and Catherine Hinnant registered their ten-year cohabitation with a Wilson County justice of the peace. 

Henrietta Thomas, daughter of Jordan Thomas below, was born free. She and Warren Rountree had at least one child, Charity Thomas.

  • Jordan Thomas and Rosa Woodard

Jordan Thomas was a free man of color. Rosa Woodard, daughter of London Woodard, above, and his first wife Venus, was enslaved by James B. Woodard. They had at least one child together, Peter Thomas.

Moore-Mitchell marriage.

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Wilson Daily Times, 23 February 1919.

  • Ernest Moore

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: merchant Lee Moore, 36, wife Louisa, 32, and son Ernest, 12.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Nash Street, life insurance agent Lee Moore, 40; wife Mary, 36; and son Earnest, 19.

In 1917, Ernest Andrew Moore registered for the World War I draft in New York, New York. Per his registration card, he was born 8 March 1888 in Wilson, N.C.; lived at 257 West 111th Street; worked as an elevator operator for Frank Mull, 257 West 111th; and was single.

Ernest Moore, 31, of Wilson married Esther Mitchell, 21, of Wilson on 18 July 1919 in Wilson. A.M.E. Zion minister B.P. Coward performed the ceremony, and Dudley Bynum and Oleonia Bynum witnessed.

On 17 November 1927, Louise and Thelma Moore, children of Ernest and Ethel Mitchell Moore, were baptized at Riverside Hospital. Louise was born 28 October 1924, and Thelma, 15 July 1926. New York, Episcopal Diocese of New York Church Records, 1767-1970, [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

  • Ethel Mitchell — actually, Esther Mitchell.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Atlantic Street, barber Douglas [Dudley] Bynum, 29; wife Ora, 28; and roomer Ester Mitchell, 21.

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

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Wilson Daily Times, 22 April 1949.

[Note: A death certificate was filed for William Pailen, son of Jupiter Pailen and Lucretia Martin. Per this record, Pailen was born 12 May 1868 in North Carolina and died 23 May 1913 in Edenton, Chowan County, North Carolina. Curious.]

The Latham-Farmer marriage.

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Wilson Daily Times, 8 March 1948.

The Daily Times‘ 8 March 1948 edition announced the marriage of Nelson T. Farmer and Almeter L. Latham. Their marriage license gives a few more details (and the correct spellings of attendees’ names.)

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——

  • Mr. and Mrs. James Lathan — James H. Latham, 21, son of Moses Latham and Fannie [maiden name unknown], married Marzella Jones, 19, daughter of Daniel H. and Lillie J. Jones, at the bride’s home in Wilson on 5 October 1924. Free Will Baptist minister E.W. Hagans performed the ceremony in the presence of Peller Chambers, William Uzzell, and James Brady. In the 1930 census of Williamston, Martin County: on State Highway No. 90, farmer James Latham, 24; wife Marzella, 24; daughter Almeta, 5; and sister Carrie, 15.
  • Almeter La Verne Lathan
  • Nelson Thomas Farmer — Nelson Thomas Farmer registered for the World War II draft in 1942. Per his registration card, he was born 10 November 1925 in Wilson County; his contact was father John Robert Farmer, Elm City; and he worked for S.S. Daniel, Elm City.
  • Mr. and Mrs. John Farmer — in the 1940 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Jhon R. Farmer, 53; wife Clee, 46; and children Robert, 22, Ruth, 19, Willie, 16, Nelton, 14, Marshall, 12, and Mary Ann, 10.
  • Rev. P.J. McIntyre
  • Jennette Cooper — Jeanette Cooper.
  • Dan H. Jones — in the 1920 census of Rocky Point township, Pender County, North Carolina: widowed farmer Daniel H. Jones, 40, and children Ellis, 17, Lottie, 14, Marsella, 13, Daniel H. Jr., 11, Minnie, 9, Alexandra, 7, and Pembrook, 6. In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 700 East Suggs Street, tobacco factory laborer Daniel H. Jones, 49; wife Lou H., 48; children Lottie, 23, Daniel Jr., 21, Alexand, 16, and Pembroke, 15; roomers Alexander, 23, and Minnie Yarborough, 20; grandchildren Hattie L., 16, David, 13, Marian, 24, and Etta Lewis, 21, James Maloyed, 6, and Mattie L. Lewis, 3; and roomer Willie Windley, 30.
  • Alice Jones
  • Rhody Jurify — Rhoda Jones Purefoy died 12 September 1969 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 11 November 1895 in Virginia to Dennis Jones and Sarah Eliza Miller; was a widow; and lived at 104 South Vick Street. Informant was Thaddeus Purefoy of the home.
  • Bert Farmer
  • Morris Farmer — in 1945, James Morris Farmer registered for the World War II draft. Per his registration card, he was born 4 June 1927 in Wilson County; his contact was John R. Farmer; and he worked “farming with father.”

Cohabitation register, part 1.

In March 1866, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an act establishing a means for formerly enslaved people to ratify their marriages.  Such persons were to appear before justices of the peace, who would collect certain details of their cohabitation during slavery and record them in the County Clerk’s office. Freedmen faced misdemeanor charges if they failed to record their marriage by September, 1866, a deadline later extended to January 1, 1868.

Wilson County’s original cohabitation register is said to be held in the Register of Deeds office, but I have not found it there. Brooke Bissette, Director of Exhibits at Wilson’s Imagination Station, recently found that East Carolina University’s Joyner Library has a copy of the cohabitation register on microfilm and is creating a print volume to be shelved in the Local History and Genealogy Room at Wilson County Public Library’s main branch.

I present the register in series, with transcription:

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A marriage in 1848.

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Ed. Powell and Thomas Mercer gave bond for a marriage license for Ed. Powell and Mary Jones on 14 August 1848 in Nash County. The couple likely lived in a section of Nash that would be incorporated into Wilson County in 1855.

Nineteen years later, on 10 October 1867, John Allen Jones, son of Edwin Powell and Mary Jones, married Susan Simpson, daughter of Sallie Simpson, at Margarett Simpson‘s house in Wilson County.

In the 1870 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farm laborer Jno. A. Jones, 22; wife Susan, 19;  children Thomas, 2, and Jesse B., 7 months; and Rosett Boykin, 10.

In the 1880 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Dempsy Powell, 52, farmer; wife Sallie, 46; daughter Susan A. Jones, 27, and her husband John A. Jones, 34; their children Thomas A., 13, Jessee B., 11, James A., 7, Celia C., 5, Sallie C., 4, and John A., 1; and W.D. Lucus, 21, laborer. [Sallie Simpson married Dempsey Powell in Wilson County in 1855. The family appears in the 1860 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: turpentine worker Dempsey Powell, 30; wife Sallie, 28; and Susan Simpson, 9.]

Many thanks to Edith Garnett Jones for this copy of the Powell-Jones marriage license.

Efficient, painstaking and polite superintendent marries.

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Wilson Mirror, 19 November 1890.

Frank Oscar Blount married Nettie Amanda Steward in Philadelphia in 1890.

Nettie S. Blount of 926 Lombard Street, aged about 30, died 2 April 1892 in Philadelphia. She was buried in Philadelphia’s Lebanon Cemetery.

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.