migration to Philadelphia

Studio shots, no. 90: Edna E. Gaston.

Per an eBay listing for a reproduction of this photo: “Photo. North Carolina. Black girl and doll carriage. The girl’s name is Edna Earl Gaston. She was the niece of John Clark who was a founder of St Mark’s Episcopal Church. He was also the first Black mail carrier in Wilson, North Carolina. 1925.”

In fact, Edna Earline Gaston was the daughter of Albert Sessle Gaston of Wilson and Annie House Gaston of Moore County, North Carolina. John H. Clark was her great-uncle, brother of Albert Gaston’s mother Ella Clark Gaston.

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In the 1900 census of Town of Wilson, Wilson County: Ella Gaston, 30, divorced, with sons Ralph, 10, and Albert, 2. [Also in the 1900 census of Town of Wilson, Wilson township, North Carolina: 44 year-old barber John Gaston, [second] wife Sabrina [Sattena] 22, and children Theodore, 13, Cicero, 10, George, 8, and Caroline, 2 months. John A. Gaston was Albert Gaston’s father.]

In 1918, Albert Gaston registered for the World War I draft in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Per his registration card, he was born 16 August 1897 in Wilson, N.C.; resided at 2105 Nassau Street, Philadelphia; worked as a longshoreman; and his nearest relative was Anna Gaston.

In the 1920 census of Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania: at 2105 Nassau Street, building laborer Albert Gaston, 22; wife Anne T., 23; daughter Edna E., 1;  lodger Harry Jenkins, 19, a laundry laborer; and “mother” Hellen Hunton, 53. All were born in North Carolina.

Shortly after the census, the Gastons returned to North Carolina, where they took positions in Annie H. Gaston’s home county. On 28 April 1921, The Moore County News of Carthage printed principal Albert Gaston’s address to the Shady Grove colored school.

By October 1921, Gaston had take over as head of the struggling Addor school. Per this 1997 National Register of Historic Places nomination report, the Gastons began an energetic campaign to raise money for a Rosenwald School, and the Lincoln Park school near Pinebluff was the result.

Albert Sessel Gaston registered for the World War II draft in 1942 in Raeford, Hoke County, North Carolina. Per his registration card, he was born 15 August 1897 in Wilson; was employed by the Board of Education in Raeford; and his contact was Annie L. Gaston, 119 Lincoln Street, Hampton, Virginia.

Annie Lillian Gaston died 2 June 1952 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 17 July 1896 in Moore County to John House and Maggie Gunter; was a schoolteacher; and was married. Albert Gaston was informant.

Per the Social Security Death Index, Albert Gaston died November 1979 and Edna Gaston Coles died 25 July 1999, both in Philadelphia.

Joseph S. Jackson family.

Joseph S. Jackson, Annie Horton Jackson, and children John Burns, Mary Elsie, Paul and Joseph S. Jackson Jr., 1920.

Joe Jackson came to Wilson about 1890. He went to work for Charles Fleming at Imperial Tobacco Company, where he eventually became foreman. The Episcopal church was across the street, and Jackson took night classes to learn to read and write and to study music with Rev. Perry (first name not stated).

After additional study, Jackson was ordained a minister in the A.M.E. Zion church.

In 1895, Jackson married Annie Horton of Smithfield, Johnston County, North Carolina. The family made its home at 618 East Green Street, and four of seven children lived to adulthood.

Mary Elise Jackson, born 1901, attended Wilson Graded School, Claflin College and Livingston College. She taught in High Point, N.C., until she married Dr. Leroy H. Jenkins, a dentist, and settled in Philadelphia.

Joseph Sylvester Jackson Jr., born 1904, attended Wilson schools, Livingstone College, New York University and University of Chicago.

Paul Jackson, born 1907, attended Wilson schools, Livingstone College, University of Pennsylvania and Temple University.

John Burns Jackson, born 1910, attended Wilson schools and Livingstone College. He worked for North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance in Goldsboro, N.C., before migrating to Maryland.

Joseph Jackson Sr. died in 1942, and Annie H. Jackson in 1962.

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On 27 December 1894, Joseph Jackson, 22, of Wilson, son of Andrew and Rosa Ann Jackson of Granville County, married Annie L. Horton, 20, of Johnston County, daughter of Samuel Horton and Mary J. Woods.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: teamster Joseph Jackson, 27; wife Annie L., 25; and son Joseph, 1.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Joseph Jackson, 37, minister; wife Annie, 45; and children Eloise, 8, Joseph, 5, Paul L., 2, and John, 2 months.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 616 Green Street, Joseph S. Jackson, 48, minister; wife Annie H., 45; and children Mary E., 18, Joseph S., Jr., 15, Paul L., 11, and John B., 9.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 618 Green Street, valued at $8000, Joseph H. Jackson, 60, preacher; wife Annie H., 54; and boarder Bettie Marten, 54, widowed cook.

In the 1930 census of Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania: at 2346 North 25th Street, Leroy Jenkins, 33, doctor of dentistry; wife Mary E., 28; and brother Augustus Jenkins, 21, inspector at automobile works.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 618 Green Street, valued at $3000, fruit store owner Joe Jackson, 73, born in Oxford, and wife Annie, 71, born in Smithfield.

Joseph Sylvester Jackson died 22 October 1942 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 16 September 1870 in Granville County, North Carolina, to John Jackson; was married to Annie Jackson; resided at 618 East Green Street; was a laborer and merchant; and was buried in Rountree cemetery.

Text adapted from article in and photo courtesy of History of Wilson County, North Carolina (1985).

In loving memory of Ernest F. McCoy.

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FP Ernest F McCoy Philadelphia PA_Page_2

In the 1910 census of Ingrams township, Johnston County, North Carolina: laborer Russell McCoy, 22, and wife Ommetter, 18.

On 5 June 1917, W.R. McKoy registered for the World War I draft in Harnett County, North Carolina. Per his registration card, he lived at Route 1, Dunn; was born 12 August 1888 in Harnett County; and farmed on land owned by Lovitt Warren. He signed his card with an X.

In the 1920 census of Mingo township, Sampson County, North Carolina: on Godwin Road, Russell McCoy, 30, farmer; wife Ometa, 25; and children Alice G., 4, and Ernest F., 2.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1012 Stantonsburg Street, farm laborer Russell McCoy, 40; wife Ometa, 34; and children Alice, 15, Earnest, 13, Catherine, 8, Cle O., 6, and Mary E., 3.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Russel McCoy, 2, laborer; wife Ometa, 44, tobacco factory laborer; and children Alice, 24, Earnest, 22, Catherine, 18, Creed, 15, and Mary, 13.

In 1940, Ernest Franklin McCoy registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 30 June 1917 in Sampson County; he resided at 212 Finch Street, Wilson; he worked for Imperial Tobacco Company, Barnes and Lodge Streets; and his nearest relative was his mother Effie Ometa McCoy.

Effie Ometa McCoy died 25 October 1942 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 47 years old; was born in Dunn, North Carolina, to Creed Smith and Mary Williams; and was married to William R. McCoy. Informant was Alice McCoy, 212 Finch Street.

William Russell McCoy died 5 August 1945 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 56 years old; was born in Lillington, North Carolina, to Henry McCoy and Jennie McClain; resided at 212 Finch Street; and worked as a laborer. Alice McCoy was informant.

Funeral program from collection of Hattie Henderson Ricks (whose son Lucian Henderson married Ernest McCoy’s sister Mary Etta McCoy.)

Obituary of Paul L. Jackson, Philadelphia dentist.

Dr. Paul L. Jackson G’33, Philadelphia, a retired assistant clinical professor at the Temple University School of Dentistry who had maintained a practice in West Philadelphia for 28 years; Jan. 17. Following discharge from the U.S. Army after service in the Second World War, he taught dentistry at Howard University in Washington before setting up practice in Philadelphia in 1947.

The Pennsylvania Gazette, July/August 2002.

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In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Joseph Jackson, 37, minister; wife Annie, 45; and children Eloise, 8, Joseph, 5, Paul L., 2, and John, 2 months.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 616 Green Street, Joseph S. Jackson, 48, minister; wife Annie H., 45; and children Mary E., 18, Joseph S., Jr., 15, Paul L., 11, and John B., 9.

In the 1930 census of Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania: at 1304 Carpenter Street, North Carolina-born Paul Jackson, 23, laborer on wharves, listed as a nephew of Thomas and Louise Duncan.

In the 1940 census of Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania: at 5222 Race Street, Paul Jackson and wife Catherine, both public school teachers.

In 1950, Paul Jackson applied for bonus compensation paid by Pennsylvania to honorably discharged veterans. He identified Annie H. Jackson, 618 East Green Street, Wilson, as his only living parent.

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Paul Lawrence Jackson died 17 January 2002. On the 24th, the Philadelphia Inquirer ran his obituary:

Paul L. Jackson, 94, a dentist in West Philadelphia for 28 years, died last Thursday of pneumonia at Stapeley Hall, a retirement home in Germantown. 

Born and raised in Wilson, N.C., Dr. Jackson received a bachelor’s degree from Livingstone College in North Carolina. He received a master’s degree in zoology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1933. He received his dental degree from Temple University in 1943, and then served in the Army during World War II. 

After his discharge, he taught dentistry at Howard University in Washington before establishing a practice at his home in West Philadelphia in 1947. In addition to his private practice, Dr. Jackson was an assistant clinical professor at Temple University School of Dentistry. 

He was a member of the New Era Dental Society, the Philadelphia County and American Dental Associations, and the Omega Psi Phi and Chi Delta Mu fraternities. He was active in the Boy Scouts and was a former trustee of Alleyne Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church in West Philadelphia. 

He is survived by his wife of 11 years, Margaret Trummell Williams Jackson; his first wife, Catherine McCaine Jackson, to whom he was married for 56 years, died in 1990. 

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Feb. 9 at Stapeley Hall, 6300 Greene St. Burial arrangements are private.