It was the afternoon on Sunday before I noticed the shared post in a Wayne County, North Carolina, Facebook group:
By then, there were thousands of comments and further shares to genealogy groups — did anyone know this family? could anyone help? The finder had attached several photos from the scrapbook, and I gasped. “Josephine” was Josephine Artis Sherrod, who was both my grandmother’s great-aunt and cousin, and who presided until nearly her 101st birthday over a block of Viola Street called Sherrod Village. “Allister” was Alliner Sherrod Davis Randall, her eldest daughter.
The next few hours were an anxious scramble to contact the finder. Finally, we connected through intermediaries and, long story short, Cousin Alliner’s scrapbook has begun its journey home. I plan to scan all its photos and documents, upload them to cloud storage so they’re available to all family members, and return the original items to one of Aunt Josephine Sherrod’s direct descendants in Wilson. (And, of course, share the highlights with you!)
Josephine Artis Sherrod (1887-1988), probably 1950s.
My deep gratitude goes to Rita Elsner, who followed her gut to save these priceless documents and then to track down someone connected to them and preserve them from further damage by drying them carefully and placing them in archival sleeves. Her stewardship is exemplary.
On 10 January 1899, Lumas Cotton, 21, of Nash County, son of John and Puss Cotton, married Annie Finch, 19, of Nash County, daughter of Z.D. and Minnie Finch, in Oldfields township, Wilson County.
In the 1900 census of Bailey township, Nash County: farmer Lumis Cotton, 20, and wife Annie, 19.
In the 1910 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: farmer Lumis Cotton, 31; wife Annie, 30; and children Chester A., 10, Onnie, 8, Claudie, 7, Lillie M., 5, George W., 3, and John G., 9 months.
In the 1920 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: on Wilson and Raleigh Road, farmer Lumas Cotton, 39; wife Annie, 39; and children Arthur, 19, Ormie, 18, Claud, 16, Lillie May, 14, George W., 11, John S., 10, Joe Brandice, 8, Velmer, 6, Thelmer, 4, Maggie Lee, 3, and Minnie Ann, 1 month.
Loomis Cotton died 19 March 1924 in Bailey township, Nash County. Per his death certificate, he was born 18 March 1881 in Nash County to John Cotton of Wilson County and Charity Taylor of Johnston County; was married to Annie Cotton; and was a farmer.
In the 1930 census of Bailey township, Nash County: farmer John Z. Cotton, 21; widowed mother Annie, 52; and siblings Joe B., 19, Thelma, 16, Maggie, 13, Menda, 11, and Dosie M., 8.
In the 1940 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: laundry presser Richard Tarbor, 26; wife Doshie, 24; sister-in-law Maggie Perry, 24, widow; niece Mary Harris, 6; and mother-in-law Annie Ricks, 59, widow. The women all worked as housekeepers.
Annie Finch Cotton Ricks died 6 March 1977 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Roscoe M. Evans (1913-1993), during his Wilson years.
Roscoe Michael Evans was born 11 March 1913 in Wilson to Erastus Marion Evans of Johnston County, North Carolina, and Mamie Britt Coles Evans of Sampson County, North Carolina. His parents were married in Wilson on 25 December 1911 by Baptist minister Fred M. Davis in the presence of James Crockett and Effie Pittman of Wilson and Jery Evans of Fremont, N.C., and Joe Evans applied for the license.
In the 1912 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory Erastus M. Evans, laborer, is listed at 635 East Vance Street, as was John Evans.
Erastus M. Evans (1891-1945).
In 1917, Erastus Marion Evans registered for the World War I draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 1 June 1891 in Johnston County; lived on East Nash Street; worked as an electric lineman for the Town of Wilson; and supported a wife and child.
On 22 January 1918, the “Infant of Mamie & Rastus Evans,” a boy, died in Wilson at age four days, probably of “la grippe” [influenza.] Per his death certificate, he was buried in Wilson County by C.H. Darden & Sons.
On 1 August 1919, a stillborn male infant was born to Rastus M. Evans and Mamie Cole. Per his death certificate, he was born in Wilson by C.H. Darden & Sons.
In the 1930 census of Baltimore, Baltimore County, Maryland: Rastus Evans, 39, ship stevedore, described as a widower, headed a household of roomers at 807 Franklin Street. However, at 1502 Pennsylvania Avenue, also described as a widow, was Mamie E. Ivans, 34, lunch room manager; her son Roscoe, 17; brother Owen Pope, 30; and sister-in-law Leonie, 24. [Widowhood was a euphemism for divorce.]
Mamie Britt Cole Evans (1892-1979), probably in her early Baltimore days.
Erastus M. Evans died 4 April 1945, Mamie C. Evans died June 1979, and Roscoe M. Evans died 25 February 1993, all in Baltimore.
Photographs of the Evans family courtesy of Ancestry.com user TheresaSandra.
In the 1900 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Kisseah Boykin, 41; children Polly, 19, James, 18, John, 16, and Charley, 9; and niece Nannie Potts, 10.
Ernest Deans, 25, of Taylors township, son of Alfred Rice and Amanda Deans, married Polly Boykin, 22, of Taylors township, daughter of Joe Boykin and Kissy Boykin. Hilliard Ellis Jr. applied for the license, and a justice of the peace performed the ceremony in Wilson.
In the 1910 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Wilson & Raleigh Road, farmer James E. Deans, 33; wife Pollie, 29; and children James T., 6, and John H., 3.
In the 1920 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County: farmer Earnest Deans, 43; wife Pollie, 39, and children Tommie, 15, Johnnie, 13, Clarence, 10, Naomi, 9, and Clenon, 5.
Clarence Deans died 10 March 1926 in Crossroads township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 27 August 1907 in Wilson County to Earnest Deans and Pollie Boykin; was single; and was a tenant farmer for E.B. Capps.
In the 1940 census of Baltimore, Baltimore County, Maryland: Sarah Powell, 50, widow; her daughters Ruth, 19, and Anna Powell, 16; and niece Polly Deans, 55, widow. All had lived in Wilson, North Carolina, in 1935, and Sarah and Polly worked as domestic servants.
Clinton Earnest Deanes registered for the World War II draft in 1940 in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 12 October 1914 in Wilson County; he resided in Baltimore, Maryland; his contact was Polly Deanes; and he was employed by U.S. Construction Company.
Polly Deans died 24 March 1962 in Crossroads township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 6 July 1883 in Wilson County to Joseph Barnes [sic] and Kizzie Barnes and was widowed. Informant was Johnnie Deans. She was buried in Rocky Branch cemetery.
In the 1910 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Raleigh Road, Edmond Williams, 53; wife Gracy, 53; and children Emma, 24, and John, 14. [Next door to James and Missouri Lucas, by the way.]
John Edmond Williams registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born in 1896 in Johnston County, North Carolina; was a farmer; and was single.
In the 1920 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on School House Road, farmer Edmon Williams, 63; [second] wife Casanda, 42; and children John, 24, Frank, 19, Abston, 17, and Eddie, 4.
On 8 January 1922, John Williams, 26, son of Edmond and Grace Williams, married Daisy Pate, 21, daughter of James and Hettie Pate in Lucama. Freewill Baptist minister A. Bynum performed the ceremony in the presence of Benjamin Bynum, R.B. Pate and David Thompson.
In the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: John Williams, 35; wife Daisy, 28; and children Clovis, 7, James, 5, Eddie [Hettie], 3, and Hattie, 21 months.
In the 1940 census of Baltimore, Baltimore County, Maryland: W.P.A. project laborer John Williams, 45; wife Daisy, 39; and children Clovis, 16, James W., 15, Hattie, 13, Hattie, 11, and John Jr., 9.
In 1942, John Edmond Williams registered for the World War II draft in Baltimore, Maryland. Per his registration card, he was boron 8 March 1895 in Wayne County, North Carolina; resided at 549 West Lafayette Avenue, Baltimore (marked through and replaced with 1126 North Carey Street); his contact was Daisy Williams; and he worked for the Public Buildings Administration in Washington, D.C.
John E. Williams died 4 November 1992 in Annapolis, Maryland.
The Daily Press (Newport News, Va.), 8 January 1998.
In the 1880 census of Brogden township, Wayne County, North Carolina: farm laborer Burkead Evans, 48; wife Julia, 37; and children Harrit, 19, Ann E., 16, James D., 13, Will F., 12, Marcillus, 9, Martha A., 7, Randall, 6, Allecy, 4, and Jasper, 1.
In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: day laborer Randolph Evans, 25; wife Victoria, 26; and children Cora, 12, Mamie, 6, Victoria, 2, and Charles, 8 months.
In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 325 Spring Street, Randall Irvin [sic], 36, lumber mill laborer; wife Victoria, 38, laundress; children Mamie, 16, factory laborer, Charlie, 10, Beatrice, 8, Sylvester, 7, Eva, 4, and Beulah, 1; and mother-in-law LillieTucker, 65, widow.
In 1917, Sam Owens registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 2 March 1892 in Clinton, N.C.; resided at 207 Reid, Wilson; worked as a laborer for R.G. Lassiter & Company; and he was married. He signed his card with an X.
In 1918, Randall Evans registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 25 August 1873; resided on R.F.D. 6, Wilson; worked as a laborer for Imperial Tobacco Company Limited; and his contact was wife Victoria Evans. He signed his card with an X.
On 10 November 1919, Samuel Owens, 27, of Wilson, son of Allen and Caroline Owens of Clinton, N.C., married Mary [sic] Evans, 25, daughter of Randal and Victoria Evans of Wilson. Elder W.H. Maynor, a Seventh Day Adventist pastor, performed the ceremony in the presence of E.S. Koonce, Arthur McIntyre, and Helena Freeman.
In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Manchester Street, Sam Owens, 26, and wife Mamie, 22, tobacco factory laborers.
In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Elliotts Street, Randall Owens, 47, unemployed; wife Victoria, 48; children Charlie, 20, tobacco factory worker, Sylvesta, 16, and Eva, 14; granddaughter Victoria, 15; children Bulah, 10, Paul, 7, and Mary, 6; and roomers Allen, 16, tobacco factory laborer, Fleming, 10, and Jasper Humphrey, 8; M.B.Smith, 28, school teacher; and Myrtle McIntyre, 20, tobacco factory laborer.
In the 1930 census of Newport News, Virginia: at 1208-29th Street, rented for $10/month, shipyard riveter Samuel Owens, 35; wife Mamie L., 34; and daughter Olee, 13, all born in North Carolina.
In the 1930 census of Baltimore, Baltimore County, Maryland: at 327 Schroder, rented for $40/month, sugar refinery cooper Randall Evans, 56; wife Victoria, 58; and sons Charlie, 30, contractor laborer, and Paul A., 17; son-in-law Albert Brooks, 27, contractor laborer; daughter Eva M., 24; grandsons Charles S., 6, and Paul A. Brooks, 5; son-in-law Walter Stanley, 22, contractor laborer; daughter Beulah, 20, laundress; and sister-in-law Hattie Brooks, 72.
On 27 June 1936, Earl Holloway Briggs, 22, born in Wilmington, N.C., son of Peter Briggs and Nellie Holloway, and residing at 752-18th Street, Newport News, married Olee Juanita Owens, 18, born in Wilson, N.C., daughter of Samuel Evans and Mamie Evans, and residing at 1042-37th Street, Newport News, in Richmond, Virginia.
Mamie L. Owens died 3 April 1966 at Whittaker Hospital in Newport News, Virginia. Per her death certificate, she was born 10 April 1894 in Wilson to Randall and Victoria Evans; was married to Samuel Owens; and resided at 2723 Jamestown Avenue, Hampton, Virginia. Informant was Mrs. Olee Briggs.
The Daily Press (Newport News, Va.), 7 April 1966.
Samuel Owens died 1 October 1968 at Whittaker Hospital in Newport News, Virginia. Per his death certificate, he was born 2 March 1892 in North Carolina to Allen Owens and Caroline (maiden name unknown); was a retired shipyard laborer; was married to Mamie Owens; and resided at 2723 Jamestown Avenue, Hampton, Virginia. Informant was Mrs. Olee Briggs.