midwife

Nancy Staton Boykin.

Wilson Daily Times, 14 December 1946.

In the 1870 census of Deep Run township, Edgecombe County, North Carolina: farmer Jarrett Staton, 34; wife Penina, 32; and children Henry, 18, William, 15, Louisa, 12, Nancy, 10, Hoyt, 7, and Ida, 4.

In the 1880 census of Deep Run township, Edgecombe County, North Carolina: farmer Jarrett Staton, 42; wife Penina, 32; and children Nancy, 19, Hoyt, 16, Ietta, 14, Jarrett, 9, and Leander, 6. [Ietta R.H. Staton married veterinarian Elijah Reid of Wilson.]

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 713 Viola Street, midwife Nancy Staten, 52, widow; house carpenter James Jenkins, 24, and wife Annie, 19.

In the 1925 city directory of Wilson, N.C.: Staton Nancy, trained nurse 812 Viola

Nancy Staton, 55, married James Boykin, 56, on 22 December 1927 at the bride’s home in Wilson. Glenn S. McBrayer applied for the license, Christian Church Colored minister B.J. Gregory performed the ceremony, and McBrayer, Lillian McBrayer and Bettie Whitley were witnesses.

In the 1928 Wilson city directory: Boykin James (c; Nancy) carp h 800 Viola.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 900 Viola, owned and valued at $4000, practical nurse Nancy S. Boykin, 59; husband James Boykin, 44, Christian church clergyman; daughter Lila R. Boykin, 19; and two lodgers, Ines Williams, 23, and Minnie Nelson, 20, who both worked as servants for private families.

On 28 February 1937, Jarrett Z. Staton died in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he resided at 905 Viola Street; was 66 years old; was born in Edgecombe County to Jarrett Staton and Penina Thomas; was divorced; and had worked as a laborer. Informant was [his sister] Nancy Staton Boykin, 812 East Viola Street.

On 26 October 1943, Nancy S. Boykin drafted a will in which she left ten dollars to her daughter Nina Pitt; a life estate in her house and lot at 812 East Viola Street to her husband James Boykin; and a remainder interest in her real property to Pitt’s children Elisha Lane, Teddy Lane, Ethel Lane and Simon Lane. The grandchildren also received her personal property. Ivery Satcher was named executrix, and witnesses were J.P. David, Clara B. Bryan and Marjorie S. Moore. The will entered probate on 31 January 1947 in Wilson County Superior Court. [Ivory Langley Satchell, daughter of Jarrett and Mary Langley, was a relative of Nancy Boykin.]

Nancy S. Boykins died 12 December 1946. Per her death certificate, she was 88 years old; was born in Edgecombe County to Jarrett Staton and Pennina [last name unknown]; resided at 812 East Viola; was a retired midwife; and was buried in Rountree cemetery. Nina Pitts of East Vance Street was informant.

Nineteen and a half acres.

Know all men by these presents that we Thomas Stancil and Elizabeth Stancil of the said Thomas Stancil of Wilson County and State of North Carolina in consideration of the sum of one hundred and seven dollars to us paid by Benjamin Artis & Farby Artis of the County of Wilson & State of North Carolina the receipt whereof we do hereby acknowledged do hereby give grant bargain sell and convey unto the said Benjamine & Farby Artis their heirs and assigns forever a certain piece or parcel of land situated in the County and State aforesaid adjoining the lands of Gordin Thomas Penny Woodard and others and begins at a stake in Penny Woodard line and Runs S 48 W 108 po[les] with said Woodards line to a stake thence S  25 3/4 E 60 po[les] along the path to the beginning containing nineteen and a half acres More or less to have and to hold the same & the said Benjamine & Farbey Artis their heirs and assigns to them and to [illegible] and behoof forever and we the said Thomas Stancil & wife Elizabeth Stancil for our selves our heirs Executors and administrators shall warrant and defend the same to the said Benjamine & Farby Artis their heirs and assigns forever against the lawful claimes and [illegible] of all persons we hereunto signs our names and fix our seals this May the 12 day AD 1872.

Witness B.F. Briggs        /s/ Thomas Stancil, Elizabeth Stancil

——

In 1997, the Wilson County Genealogical Society published Some Black Families of Wilson County, North Carolina as part of its series, The Hugh B. Johnston Jr. Working Papers. Benjamin and Phariba Artis’ family were among those about whom Johnston left detailed notes based both on records and family and local lore.

Here are Johnston’s notes, with my comments in brackets:

The Old Picture of Benjamin and Phariba Artis

This picture, taken at Wilson about 1895, portrays two former slaves who became highly respected citizens of Gardner’s township in Wilson County. I borrowed the picture from my cousin Robert Edwin Stott of Wilson County. [Unfortunately, no copy of the photo is included.] Benjamin “Ben” Artis (1824-October 2, 1905) was a native of Greene County, it is said. About 1849 he married Phariba Woodard, daughter of London and Venus Woodard who were slaves of James Bullock Woodard. After “freedom” the Rev. London Woodard became the founder and first pastor of London’s Primitive Baptist Church which still exists on the eastern outskirts of Wilson. The two Artises were longtime members of the Oaken Grove Primitive Baptist Church. Ben’s parents were probably Solomon Williams and Vicey Artis. [No, they were not his parents. This appears to be a conjecture based on information I provided Johnston in 1988 about my ancestor, Adam T. Artis, who was in fact Solomon and Vicey’s son. As there is no evidence of Benjamin Artis’ freedom prior to 1866, I believe that he was born to an enslaved mother and a free father from whom he took his surname.]

“Aunt” Phariba was a “granny woman” or midwife and was greatly beloved by both whites and blacks. She was born in 1828 and died on September 30, 1905. She and her husband were buried in the London Woodard graveyard on land that was purchased before the Civil War by a free woman of color [Penny Lassiter] who became the second wife of the Rev. London Woodard.

“Aunt Phariba” assisted not only the colored families in the neighborhood but also a number of the best white families in Gardner’s township. Her services were frequently required in nursing, and she was in much demand where there was a need of domestic help of superior quality. She lived a long and useful life and died much lamented by her numerous family and friends.

——

In the 1870 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: Benj’n Artis, 46, farm laborer; wife Phebee, 42; and children and grandchildren Mary, 2, Julia, 6, Sarah, 17, Debby, 18, and Benjamin, 20. Benjamin reported owning $100 in real estate and $125 in personal property.

On February 1870, Benja Artis, son of Benj. Artis and Ferebee Artis, married Ferebee Barnes, daughter of Silas and Rosa Barnes, at Silas Barnes’. [Yes, Ben and Fereby Artis’ son Benjamin Jr. married a woman named Fereby.]

In the 1880 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: Benn Artis Sr., 54; wife Pheraba, 45; daughters Judia, 18, and Mary, 14; and grandson John, 1. Next door: Benn Artis, Jr., 31, Pheraba, 3o, and Harett, 1.

In the 1900 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: Benjamin Artis, 76, wife Faber, 74, and grandson Wylie, 10. Fereby reported that only five of her 15 children were living.

The neighbors referred to in the deed were Jordan Thomas and Fereby’s step-mother Penny Lassiter Woodard.

Deed Book 6, page 255, Wilson County Register of Deeds Office, Wilson, North Carolina.

 

This Book was give to Sarah Jacobs.

I possess a Bible left to my grandmother by her great-aunt Sarah Henderson Jacobs Silver. There are three inscriptions inside the front cover. “This book was give to Sarah Jacobs from Ganny Caroline 1920 of Wilson NC” — that’s my grandmother’s handwriting. Then, faintly: “Present by Mrs Caroline Vick of Wilson N.C. present in May 18th year 1904.” Then: “Gladys OKelley book give to her by Charity Pitt keep as long as I live no one to take it a way from me year 1913 Dec 23.”

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Carolina Williamson Vick was born in Newton County, Georgia, in 1844. How or why she came 425 miles north to settle in Wilson, North Carolina, may never be known, but a clue might lie in her maiden name. “Williamson” was a prominent southwest Wilson County family that included slaveholders. Did some migrate — or sell their slaves — South? Carolina was in Wilson by 1880 when she is listed in a household headed by 28 year-old Robert Vick. They are married and have three children, Alice, 18, Willie, 15, and Cora Vick, 3. (It appears that the older two children were Carolina’s children and Robert’s step-children.) By 1900, Carolina was living in the 700 block of Green Street. She spent the reminder of her life living with a rotating series of children, grandchildren, in-laws and lodgers and serving as a midwife to women in the community. “Granny Caroline” died in July 1925.

carolina-vick

The Bible’s frontispiece introduces another owner:

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Unfortunately, her name is too common for identification.

The “Births” page introduces another family. Or maybe families. Gladys O’Kelly is there, and there are two Carolina Vick entries.

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The others seem to be members of an extended family found in the 1880 census of Hillsboro, Orange County, North Carolina: Yank Strayhorn (45), his wife Patsey (36), son Isaac (18), son-in-law Louis Pitt (25) and daughter Charity Pitt (23), children Rose (24), Jane (17), Henry and Reuben (13), Sandy (23) and Clara (21), and grandchildren Richard (3), Adeline (12) and Margaret (9). (Lewis Pitt married Charity Strayhorn in Edgecombe County in 1872 and moved to Wilson.) Gladys O’Kelly seems to have been the daughter of Rose Strayhorn’s daughter Gatsey and her husband, Reubin O’Kelly, both of Orange County.

In Memoranda, there are Madison Perry, son of Carolina Vick’s daughter Cora and Isham Perry, and the Shiverses:

img_4934

I’ve been unable to find all the Shiverses, and what I have found doesn’t align cleanly with the dates inscribed here, but this appears to be a family that lived in Greenville, Pitt County, at the turn of the 20th century.