migration from South Carolina

Someone to take care of her.

Like hundreds of others, Annie Mae Lewis likely came to Wilson during the Depression to seek work in the tobacco factories. She fell sick though, far from her family, and died in the winter of 1934.

Registrar Kate C. Daniels’ note on Lewis’ death certificate: “This girl came here from S.C. & the welfare dept got this woman at 313 Manchester St to take care of her.”

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The obituary of Dorothy H. Ellis, 100.

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July 3, 1919 — Dec. 15, 2019

Dorothy Geneva Hammond Ellis, 100, of Wilson, died Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019, at the UNC Hillsborough Hospital campus in Hillsborough.

“Dorothy was a beloved retired schoolteacher who taught eighth grade at Darden High School starting in 1942. She and her husband, Coach [James C.] “Shank” Ellis, went on to teach at Coon Junior High School until they retired early in 1979. While teaching at Darden, she was asked to use her basketball skills to coach the basketball team while the men went off to fight in World War II.

“The funeral will be held at noon on Monday, Dec. 23, at Calvary Presbyterian Church, 209 Pender St. N., Wilson. The Rev. Rogers E. Randall Jr. will officiate. Burial will follow in Rest Haven Cemetery, 1717 Lane St. SE, Wilson.

“A public viewing will be 2-7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 22, in the Chapel of Edwards Funeral Home with the family visitation from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

“Dorothy was born July 3, 1919, in Cheraw, South Carolina.

“Arrangements are by Edwards Funeral Home.”

South Carolina roots: the Britton family reunion.

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Wilson Daily Times, 22 June 1977.

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In the 1910 census of Indian township, Williamsburg County, South Carolina: farmer Waders Britton, 33; wife Emma, 34; and children Prince D., 6, Eda M., 5, Elizabeth, 4, Manda A., 2, and Joseph S., 9 months.

In the 1920 census of Ridge township, Williamsburg County, South Carolina: farmer Waiters Britton, 46; wife Emma, 33; and children Prince, 15, Etta, 13, Carry, 11, Jane, 10, Florence, 8, Cora, 6, and Nettie, 2.

In the 1930 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County, North Carolina: farmer Waitren B. Britton, 50, born in Florida; wife Emma, 52, born in South Carolina; and children Elizabeth, 22, Phoebe, 20, Ruth, 18, Emma Jr., 14, Sarah, 11, and Johney, 6, all born in South Carolina; and boarder Idee Howard, 22.

Emma Britton died 29 June 1931 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 58 years old; was born in Florence, South Carolina, to James Meyers and Amanda Bostic; had been farming on the “Tillman farm” since 1928; and was married to Watus B. Britton.

Walter Britton died 4 May 1933 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was a widower; was 58 years old; was born in Florence, South Carolina, to Walter and Feebie Britton; was a widower; and worked as a day laborer. Emma Britton was informant.

Mary Ruth Lofton died 22 May 1963 at her home at 807 East Vance Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 8 August 1913 in South Carolina to Watis Britton and Emma Myers; was married. Informant was Benjamin Lofton, 807 East Vance.

On 9 November 1964, Charles Jennette, 45, twice divorced, born in Belhaven, N.C., City of Norfolk garbage collector, married Elizabeth Britton Stewart, 53, twice divorced, born in Florence, S.C., beautician, daughter of Watties Bonwell Britton and Emma Myers, in Norfolk, Virginia.

Rev. Phoebe Ann Britton Cotton died 15 December 1971 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 28 February 1916 in South Carolina to Waitis Barnwell Britton and Emma Britton; was a widow; resided at 1303 Carolina Street; and was a minister. John Cotton of Augusta, Georgia, was informant. She was buried in Jones Hill cemetery.

Elizabeth Jennette died 4 February 1980 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 5 June 1910 in South Carolina to Watis Barnwell Britton and Emma Myers; was married; lived at 1600 Lane Street; and was a beautician. Sister Sarah B. Applewhite was informant.

Sarah Addie Britton Applewhite died 12 November 1986. Per her death certificate, she was born 28 April 1919 in South Carolina to Watis Britton and Emma Myers; was widowed; worked as a belt operator at Export Tobacco Company; and lived on Lane Street Extension. Daughter Janifer A. Burns, Chesterfield, Virginia, was informant.

South Carolina roots: the Wilsons.

John and Lula Stokes Durant Wilson were among many South Carolina migrants to Wilson in the early 20th century. Rest Haven cemetery, June 2019.

In the 1900 census of Sammy Swamp township, Clarendon County, South Carolina: farmer William Stokes, 57, farmer; wife Ann F., 36; and children DeWit, 15, Euleda, 13, Lula, 11, Hallie, 8, Estell, 7, Marion, 5, Talmage, 4, and Eva, 5 months.

In the 1920 census of Sammy Swamp township, Clarendon County, South Carolina: farmer William Stokes, 76, and wife Annie, 60; Lula Durant, 27, widow; Talmage, 19, and Bennie Stokes, 16; Almot, 5, Clarence, 4, and B.J. Durant, 1.

In the 1930 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farmer John Wilson, 65; wife Lula, 32; children Annie D., 6, John W., 3, and Mamie and Ruth, 2; and step-children Clarence, 16, B.J., 11, and Luke Durant, 7.

In the 1940 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County: John Wilson, 76; wife Lula, 47; and children Luke, 20, Annie Dell, 18, John William, 15, Mamie, 13, Ruth, 11, and Council, 8.

John Wilson died 19 October 1959 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 25 December 1887 in South Carolina to Ardelia Wilson; was a fireman; was married to Lula Wilson; and lived at 1108 Queen Street. [John Wilson’s gravestone, shown above, lists his birth year as 1857. Census records suggest that he was born circa 1864.]

Lula Wilson died 13 December 1962 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 25 May 1902 in South Carolina to Billie and Annie Dell Stokes; and lived at 1108 Queen Street. Informant was Luke Durant, Baltimore, Maryland.

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, June 2019.

The obituary of Rev. James Wesley Holiday.

Wilson Daily Times, 10 March 1977.

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In the 1920 census of Concord, Clarendon County, South Carolina: farmer Wesley Holiday, 29, farmer; wife Caroline, 22; and children Erlier, 5, Cecil, 4, Manyard, 3, and Eddie, 2.

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Holiday Wesley (c; Rosa) tob wkr h 709 Cemetery.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 612 East Suggs, rented for $12/month, tobacco factory laborer Westley Holiday, 40; wife Rosa, 30; and children Earlise, 12, Edward, 11, Deborah, 9, Lula M., 6, Earnest, 4, and Joseph, 1.

Rosa M. Holiday died 31 January 1938 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 5 months old; was the daughter of Wesley Holiday and Rosa Brown, both of Sumter, South Carolina; and resided at 312 Spruce Street.

In 1946, Joseph Holliday registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 16 September 1928 in Wilson County; lived at 648 Cemetery Street; was a student; and his contact was his father Wesley Holliday, 648 Cemetery.

Rosa Holiday died 8 December 1951 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 18 September 1899 to Payrow Brown; was married; and lived at 648 Cemetery Street. Rev. W.H. Holiday was informant.

James W. Holiday, 69, married Lona Tillery, 47, in Wilson on 23 October 1958.

Lonia Tillery Holiday died 15 November 1972 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 57 years old; was married to James Holiday; was the daughter of Mary Sanders; and had worked as a maid.

James Wesley Holiday died 8 March 1977 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born January 1900 in South Carolina to unknown parents;

1119 East Nash Street.

The fifty-fourth in a series of posts highlighting buildings in East Wilson Historic District, a national historic district located in Wilson, North Carolina. As originally approved, the district encompasses 858 contributing buildings and two contributing structures in a historically African-American section of Wilson. (A significant number have since been lost.) The district was developed between about 1890 to 1940 and includes notable examples of Queen Anne, Bungalow/American Craftsman, and Shotgun-style architecture. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

This house appears to be misnumbered in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District. The entry for 1119 describes a two-story gable-front house, which this clearly is not.  However, the description for 1117:  “ca. 1922; 1 story; L-plan cottage; original brick veneer; builder was Nestus Freeman; contributing auto garage.”

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1119 East Nash Street, valued at $2000, teacher Julia Harold, 37; Clara Thomas, 39; brickmason Loyd Thomas; teacher Louise Thomas, 22; and Deloris R. Thomas, 9.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1119 East Nash Street, valued at $3000, Julia Harrell, 44, schoolteacher at Vick Elementary, of Florence, South Carolina; her brother-in-law, bricklayer Loyed Thomas, 44, of Lynchburg, Virginia; her sister Clara Thomas, 54, of Florence; and her nieces Louisa Cherry, 31, of Florence, and Deloris Robins, 19, of Wilson.

Clara Edna Thomas died 18 June 1956 at her home at 1119 East Nash. Per her death certificate, she was born 30 March 1892 in Palmetto, South Carolina, to Dozier W. Davis and Jeanette Edwards; and was married to Lloyd Thomas. Louise C. Sherrod was informant.

Julia Burnette Harrell died 30 January 1959 at her home at 1119 East Nash. Per her death certificate, she was born 28 January 1894 in Florence, South Carolina to Dozier W. Davis and Jeanette Edwards; was widowed; and was a teacher with Wilson County schools. Louise C. Sherrod was informant.

Lloyd Cheatam Thomas died 9 February 1968 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 June 1890 in Forest, Virginia, to James Thomas and Amanda (last name unknown); was married; was a retired brick mason; and lived at 1119 East Nash. Informant was Louise C. Sherrod, 1119 East Nash.

Photograph taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, December 2017.

Studio shots, no. 56: Ethel Cornwell Hines.

Ethel Cornwell Hines (1894-1983).

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In the 1900 census of Columbia, Richland County, South Carolina: at 1711 Pulaski Street, barber John Cornwell, 28; wife Hattie, 21; and children Ethel, 6, Aylwal, 3, and Vivian, 1; plus sister-in-law Belle Ellis, 19, school teacher.

In the 1910 census of Columbia, Richland County, South Carolina: at 1713 Wayne Street, barber John R. Cornwell, 39; wife Hattie A., 31; children Ethel, 16, Aylwood, 14, apprentice barber, Vivian, 12, Geneva, 9, Hattie May, 7, and John R. jr., 6; and boarder Chester Adams, 21, barber.

Ethel Cornwell and William Hines were married 18 November 1914 in Columbia, South Carolina.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 614 East Green, barber William Hines, 35, wife Ethel, 25, and children Delores, 4, and William, 2.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: barber William Hines, 46, wife Ethel L., 36, and children Deloris L., 14, and William Jr., 11.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 615 East Green Street, barber shop operator William Hines, 56, wife Ethel L., 46, and children Delores L., 24, and William C., 21.

Ethel C. Hines died 6 January 1933 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 17 February 1894 in Columbia, South Carolina, to John Cornwell and Hattie Ellis.

Wilson Daily Times, 7 January 1983.

Photograph courtesy of Adventures in Faith: The Church at Prayer, Study and Service, the 100th anniversary commemorative booklet of Calvary Presbyterian Church.

South Carolina roots: the Handy brothers.

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Jesse Douglas Handy (1900-1979), James Archie Handy (1905-1961) and Neal Alexander Handy (1886-1967).

In the 1900 census of Red Bluff township, Marlboro County, South Carolina: wood cutter George Handy, 36; wife Mary, 30; and children Neill A., 12, George, 8, Simeon, 5, Iola, 2, and Jessee, 2 months.

In the 1910 census of Stewartsville township, Scotland County, North Carolina: farmer George Handy, 55, and children Neill, 20, George, 18, Sim, 15, Iola, 12, Jessie, 9, Mary, 6, and Archie, 4.

Neil Handy registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County in 1918. Per his registration card, he lived at Route 6, Wilson; was born 30 May 1886; was a farmer for Jesse Barnes; and Nellie Handy was his nearest relative.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Black Creek Road, George Handy, 60, and children Douglass, 18, Arch, 12, and Mary Sudie, 14.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Black Creek Road, Neal Handy, 33, farmer; wife Nellie, 27; and children Susanna, 7, and Bubber, 4.

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: brickmason Neal Handy, 40; wife Nellie, unknown age; children Susanna, 16, Alexander, 15, and Robert Lee, 5; and brother Archie, 22, laborer.

Jarvis Sherrod. 24, of Wilson, son of Solomon and Josephine Sherrod, married Susanna Handy, 21, of Wilson, daughter of Neil and Nellie Handy, in Wilson in October 1933. Missionary Baptist minister R.A. Murphy performed the ceremony at the bride’s home in the presence of Nellie Handy, Leonard Sherrod and Doretta Davis.

On 15 September 1934, James A. Handy, 29, of Old Fields township, son of George and Mary Handy, both deceased, married Patia Moore, 22, of Old Fields, daughter of May and Hattie Virginia Moore, in Wilson in the presence of J.H. McNeal, Raymond McIntosh, and Simon Fort.

In the 1940 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Raleigh Road, bricklayer on school projects Neal Handy, 52; wife Nellie S., 42; and son Robert L., 15.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 402 Spring Street Alley, odd jobs laborer Adam Graham, 34, wife Pearley, 35, and mother Flora Williams, 50; and Douglas J. Handy, 50, wife Evan, 28, and daughter Mary Jane, 12. Douglas worked as a brickmason and Evan, as a laundress in a steam laundry.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 527 Church Street, paying $6/month, carpenter Alexander Handy, 25; wife Daisy, 21, tobacco factory laborer; and children Betty J., 2, James A., 3, and Nellie J., 3; and $4/month, William Bailey, 32, and wife Lillie, 36.

Nellie Handy died 22 November 1941 in Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was 40 years old; married to Neal Handy; and born in Robeson County to Eli Sutherland and Annie Barnes.

Jessie Dugles Handy registered for the World War II draft in Wilson in 1942. Per his registration card, he was born 14 April 1898 in Marion County, South Carolina; resided at 404 South Spring Street Alley; worked for Jones Brothers Construction on Lodge Street; and his contact was brother, Neal Handy, a brickmason.

James Archie Handy registered for the World War II draft in Wake County. Per his registration card, he was born 14 April 1905 in Scotland County, North Carolina; lived at Route 1, Zebulon, North Carolina; his contact was wife Pacie Louise Handy; and he worked for G.A. Broughton, Zebulon.

Robert Lee Handy died 2 February 1953 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 18 March 1925 to Neil Handy and Nellie Southerland; was single; and worked as a chauffeur.

James Archie Handy died 11 December 1961 in Zebulon, Little River township, Wake County. Per his death certificate, he was born 14 April 1905 to George Handy and Mary Murphy; was married to Pacia Handy; and worked as a service station attendant.

Allie McNair Handy died 24 April 1966 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 27 March 1900 in Pitt County to John and Annie Coburn; worked as a secretary; resided at 108 Manchester Street; and was married to Neil Handy.

Neil Alexander Handy died 7 March 1967 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 30 June 1888 in South Carolina to George Handy and Mary Murphy; resided at 108 Manchester Street; and was a brickmason. Alexander Handy was informant.

George Handy died 8 April 1967 in an auto accident in Eure, Hall township, Gates County. Per his death certificate, he was born 25 November 1890 in Florence, South Carolina to George Handy; lived at 700 Edwards Street, Wilson; and his informant was Alonzo Handy.

Jessie Handy died 19 August 1979 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 14 April 1900 in Cumberland County, North Carolina, to George and Mary Handy; resided at 107 South East Street; worked as a brick mason; and was married to Levan Wilkins Handy.

Photograph courtesy of Ancestry.com user JeffreyMacLean5046.

Dr. Joseph F. Cowan.

Wilson Daily Times, 19 July 1985.

In the 1900 census of Abbeville, Abbeville County, South Carolina: farmer Edward Cowan, 43; wife Harriet, 41; and children Edward, 22, Governor Moses, 17, Lawyer Squire, 15; James, 13, Hattie, 11, Johnnie, 6, and Effie [Joseph Franklin], 4.

In the 1910 census of Abbeville, Abbeville County, South Carolina: on Vienna Road, widow Hattie Cowan, 49; children Edward, 27, James, 22, John, 16, and Effie, 13; and grandchildren Lillie, 14, Ernest, 8, and Samuel Ware, 7.

Joseph Franklin Cowan registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County in 1918. Per his registration card, he lived in Blue Hill, Abbeville County, South Carolina; was born 28 September 1899; was a picker hand at Abbeville Cotton Mills; and his nearest relative was his mother Harriet Cowan.

As the annual city directory shows, Dr. Joseph Franklin Cowan arrived in Wilson as early as 1928 to set up practice at Mercy Hospital.

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Shortly thereafter, he delivered an address at Calvary Presbyterian on “social hygiene,” i.e. sex education with an emphasis on prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and related topics.

Wilson Daily Times, 9 November 1929.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: medical doctor Joseph Cowan, 42; wife Annie, 35, receptionist in doctor’s office; and son Joseph Jr., 12; plus Julia Green, 59. Cowan was a native of Abbeville, South Carolina.

In 1942, John Franklin Cowan registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his draft registration card, he lived at 1115 East Nash Street; was born 27 September 1898 in Abbeville, South Carolina; was a self-employed medical doctor; and his contact person was Edward Cowan, Abbeville.

J.F. Cowan died 17 September 1985 in Wilson.

South Carolina roots: the Delaneys.

George and Maria Richburg Delaney were among the families who migrated north from South Carolina to settle in Wilson County in the first quarter of the 20th century. The Delaneys arrived from Clarendon County, South Carolina, about 1923, apparently having followed George’s brother William Mitchell Delaney.

George Allen Delaney Sr. (1894-1957).

Maria Richburg Delaney (1901-1982).

In the 1900 census of Concord township, Clarendon County, South Carolina: farmer Wash Delanie, 30; wife Maggie, 25; and children Larcy(?) M., 8, Geo. Allen, 6, Saml. H., 4, and William M., 2.

In the 1910 census of Concord township, Clarendon County, South Carolina: Was Delaney, 43; wife Maggie, 35; and children Luther, 18, George, 17, Samuel, 13, Mitch, 12, Henry, 9, Bertie, 8, Isiah, 4, Gusssie L., 2, and Orene, 11 months.

In the 1910 census of Santee township, Clarendon County, South Carolina: William Richburg, 35, farmer; wife Josephine, 35; and children Florence, 12, Charlotte, 9, William Jr., 7, Annie Lee, 3, and Brooks, 2; and Beauregard Cummings, 17.

George Delaney registered for the World War I draft in Clarendon County in 1917. Per his card, he lived in Davis Station, South Carolina; was born 11 October 1894 in Manning, South Carolina; worked as a farmer; and had a dependent wife and two children.

On 24 November 1923, Mitchell Delaney, 24, of Wilson, son of Wash and Maggie Delaney, married Willie Mae Clark, 19, daughter of Lee and Josephine Clark. Both sets of parents were from South Carolina. Missionary Baptist minister A.L.E. Weeks performed the service in Wilson in the presence of Essie Smith, Annie E. Weeks and Clara B. Cooke.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: bricklayer George Delaney, 34; wife Maria, 31; and children Esther, 14, Watson, 13, George Jr., 10, Harry L., 8, Willie L., 7, and Joyce, 2. The youngest two children were born in North Carolina; everyone else in South Carolina.

George Allen Delaney died 3 August 1957 at North Carolina Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill. Per his death certificate, he was born 11 October 1894 in South Carolina to George Delaney and Maggie Tyndall; worked as a brickmason; and was married to Maria Richburg.

Maria Richburg Delaney died 2 March 1982 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 7 March 1901 in Clarendon, South Carolina, to Willie Richburg and Josephine Sumpter; was widowed; and lived at 1402 Carolina Street.

Photos courtesy of Ancestry.com user Michael Delaney.