Nash County

Toney Eatmon’s sons.

Is it not clear whether Toney Eatmon ever lived in Wilson County, but his two known children did. The record is scarce, but:

In the 1850 census of Nash County, North Carolina, Tony Eatmon, 55, farmer, in the household of white farmer Theophilus Eatmon, 70. Tony was described as mulatto, and the belief that he was Theophilus Eatmon’s son is supported by DNA matching.

On 4 February 1868, Jack Williamson, son of Toney Eatmon and Hester Williamson, married Ann Boykin, daughter of John Harper and Alder Reid, at Jack Williamson’s in Wilson. [Per census records, Jack Williamson was born about 1835.]

Willis Barnes died 15 September 1914 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 73 years old; married; a farmer; and born in Nash County to Toney Eatmon and Annie Eatmon. Jesse Barnes was informant.

In short: Toney Eatmon was born free about 1795 (or perhaps a few years later), most likely in southeastern Nash County to Theophilus Eatmon and an unknown free woman of color. DNA testing suggests strongly that he was closely related to Nelson Eatmon, another free man of color. Whether he married is unknown, but he fathered at least two sons, Jack Williamson, born about 1835 to Hester Williamson, an enslaved woman, and Willis Barnes, born about 1841, to Annie Eatmon (or, perhaps, Barnes), an enslaved woman. Williamson and Barnes lived their adult lives in Wilson County. Toney Eatmon likely died between 1850 and 1860.

Bethana Jones’ community.

As shown here, in December 1852 administrator Benjamin Simpson conducted a sale of the property of Bethana Jones, a recently deceased free woman of color. At the time of her death, Jones’ land was in Nash County. Three years later, it was in Old Fields township, western Wilson County.

In the 1850 census of Nash County, Thany Jones, 78, is listed at household #537 with extended family Mary, 26, William, 10, John, 2, and Willie Jones, 17. A closer examination of the men (and one woman) who purchased items from Bethana Jones’ estate reveals the mix of close neighbors and kin, black and white, who made up her community.

  • Dempsey Harrison — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #579, Dempsey Harrison, 66, and sons Dempsey Jr., 21, Christian, 19, and Gethro, 21 [see Jethro Harrison, below].
  • Willis Jones — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #536, Willis Jones, 50, farmer; wife Sarah, 42; and children Henry, 13, Alex, 10, Noel, 8, Kingsberry, 3, and Peyton, 9 months.
  • Mabry Hinnant — in the 1850 census of District 9, Johnston County: at #34, Mabra Hinnant, 34, farmer, and family.
  • Lazarus Cook — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #526, Lazarath Cook, 67, farmer.
  • Jethro Harrison — in the 1860 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Jethro Harrison, 31, farmer and family, plus Willis Jones, 35, making turpentine, and wife Mary, 37, domestic, both free people of color. Harrison reported $400 in real property and $1400 in personal property.
  • Jacob Jones — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #521, turpentine laborer Jacob Jones, 25; wife Milly, 28; Shade, 18; and Susan Jones, 2; plus Levi Worrel, 60, farmer.
  • Amos Ellis — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #539, cooper Amos Ellis, 30, and family. (At #542, slave dealer Bartley Deans.)
  • William Jones — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #249, cooper William Jones, 35, and wife Mary, 35.
  • Isaac Williamson — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #535, farmer Isaac Williamson, 42, and family.
  • Robert Simpson — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #534, farmer Robert Simpson, 36, plus cooper Eligah Powell, 50; wife Selah, 48; and children Denis T., 22, and Henry, 21, turpentine laborers; Eligah, 19; Mary, 18; Stephen, 10; Jane, 6; Jabe, 2; and Sally, 18.
  • Asberry Blackwell — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #584, Asberry Blackwell, 25.
  • Dempsey Powell 
  • John Simpson — John Simpson was a son of Benjamin and Clara Simpson, see below.
  • Shadrach Jones — see Shade Jones, above, in the household of Jacob Jones.
  • Joseph Jones — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #538, Joe Jones, 36, turpentine laborer, and children Milly, 10, Milbry, 6, Edie, 5, Sarah, 4, Jesse, 3, Nathan, 1, James, 3 months, and Delphi, 2.
  • Andrew Cook — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #527, farmer Andrew Cook, 38.
  • Frederick Taylor — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #561, farmer Frederick Taylor, 21, and family.
  • Calvin Davis — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #531, Calvin Davis, 22, turpentine laborer, and family.
  • Jesse Simpson Sr. — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #533, farmer Jesse Simpson, 74, and family.
  • Clara Simpson — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #532, Clary Simpson, wife of Benja Simpson.
  • Benjamin Simpson — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #532, farmer Benja Simpson, 46, and family, plus Mahalah Jones, 5, a free girl of color who was likely an apprentice.

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.

Snaps, no. 43: Mattie Taylor.

The genealogies of African-American families are often complex in ways that may surprise us. The fact that many African-Americans had white male ancestors in the 18th and 19th centuries does not raise eyebrows. That many also descend from white female ancestors who lived in that time period is less well-known. The descendants of Elizabeth Taylor are one such family.

Taylor was born about 1815, probably in southern Nash County, North Carolina. She had at least five children, some of whom were white and others mixed-race, including daughter Abi Taylor.

Mattie Taylor (ca. 1877-1971), daughter of Abi Taylor.

In the 1850 census of Nash County, North Carolina: Elizabeth Taylor, 35, and children Mary Ann, 14, Hilliard, 12, Abi, 6, Bryant, 4, and Harry, 1 month. Abi and Harry were described as mulatto; the others white.

In the 1860 census, Kirbys district, Wilson County: Elizabeth Taylor, 42, farm laborer, and children and grandchildren Abia, 18, Bryant, 14, Jackson, 12, Kinchen, 10, and McDaniel, 7.  All were described as white except Abia, Jackson and Kinchen, who were mulatto.

In the 1880 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County:  Abi Taylor, 35, and children James, 20, Levi, 14, Mike, 12, Sallie, 7, Martha, 3, and Richard, 1.

John Sharpe married Sallie Taylor on 20 April 1889 in Wilson County.

Mike Taylor, 20, of Gardners township, Wilson County, married Estella Pender, 18, of Toisnot township, Wilson County, on 18 January 1890 at Amos Pender‘s.

In the 1900 census, Gardners township, Wilson County: John Sharpe, 32; wife Sallie, 26,  and children Lossie, 7, Suckie, 5John, 2,  and Jennie, 5 months, plus Sam Sharpe, 20.

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on the Elm City Road, John Sharp, 43, wife Sallie, 37, and children Lossie, 16, Mathosie, 14, Johnnie Jr., 12, Geneva, 9, and George, 7.

In the 1910 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: on Rocky Mount Road, Mattie Taylor, 36, and children Gray, 14, Benjamin F., 8, Lee R., 7, Mary, 6, Annie, 2, and Hilliard, 6 months.

In the 1920 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County:  Mattie Taylor, 30, and children Levy, 14, Mary, 13, Annie, 12, Hilliard, 10, Archie, 7, Joseph, 5, and Marvin, 3, plus Abi Taylor, 75.

In the 1920 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: on New Wilson and Raleigh Road, farmer John Sharp, 53; wife Sallie, 48; and children Sardie, 24, Johnie, 22, Eva, 19, and George, 16, and daughter-in-law Mollie, 26.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Mike Taylor, 46, wife Estella, 35, and son James, 20.

On 12 December 1928, Mike Taylor, 57, married Elizabeth Evans, 45, in Wilson.

On 5 December 1929, Lee Taylor, 26, of Saratoga township, son of Mattie Taylor, married Sallie Barnes, 22, daughter of Cornelius and Maggie Barnes, in Wilson.

In the 1930 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: three households in a row on an “improved dirt road,” Emmit Taylor, 30, and wife Clauddie 27; Arthur Taylor, 21; Hillard Taylor, 53, wife Annie, 48, and children Walter, 24, and Moses, 14; Lee Taylor, 26, wife Sally, 23, widowed mother Mattie, 56, her children Archie, 16, Joe, 15, and Marvin, 12; and widowed grandmother Abbie Taylor, 91.

In the 1930 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: John Taylor, 65, wife Sallie, 59, and boarder Monroe Whitley, 45.

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Mike Taylor, 60, wife Elizabeth, 41, and son Carlie, 12.

Abie Taylor died 24 October 1930 in Saratoga township, Wilson County.  Per her death certificate, she was 94 years old; was born in Nash County to unknown parents; and was the widow of Rutherd Taylor. Informant was Hilliard Taylor. [There is no evidence that Abie Taylor ever married, though she is sometimes listed as a widow in census records.]

Mike Taylor died 6 March 1932 in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 May 1870 to Archie Taylor and Abie Taylor and was married to Elizabeth Taylor.  Informant was Mazie Taylor.

Hilliard Taylor died 24 August 1944 in Saratoga township, Wilson County.  Per his death certificate, he was 65 years old; was born in Wilson County to Wash Powell and Avie Taylor, both of Wilson County; and was married to Gussie Taylor. Informant was Walter Taylor.

Sallie Sharpe died 4 March 1955 at her residence at 314 South Goldsboro Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 1 May 1874 in Wilson County to Cage Archey and Abby Taylor and was buried at New Vester cemetery, Wilson County. Informant was Mrs. Lossie Mitchell, Lucama, N.C.

Mattie Taylor died 11 October 1971 at 129 Narroway Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was a widow; was born 15 August 1876 to an unknown father and Abbie Taylor, and was buried in Rest Haven cemetery.  Informant was Mrs. Mary T. Bynum.

Photograph courtesy of Ancestry.com user ________.

The obituary of Sarah Cone.

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Wilson Daily Times, 9 November 1935.

On 7 August 1868, Willis Cone and Sarah Glover were married in Nash County, North Carolina.

In the 1870 census of Springfield township, Nash County: farmer Willis Cone, 30, and wife Sarah, 18.

In the 1880 census of Jackson township, Nash County: farmer Willis Cone, 40; wife Sarah, 28; and children Kindred, 9, Kincaid, 7, Junius, 5, Willie M., 3, and Joseph I.G., 1 month.

In the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Willis Cone, 62; wife Sarah, 49; and children Willie M., 23, Lillie, 17, Jamerson, 13, Romane(?), 11, Aven, 9, Armencia, 5, and Rada, 1.

In the 1910 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: on County Line Road, farmer Willis C. Cone, 75; wife Sarah A., 61; and children Avon, 17, Amincy, 13, and Rader, 11.

In September 1912, Willie Cone registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 6 April 1877; resided in Wilson; worked as a cook for W.R. Marlow, Railroad Cafe, Nash Street; and his nearest relative was his mother, Sarah Cone.

Willis Cone died 20 November 1918 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 85 years old; was married to Sarah Cone; was a farmer; and was born in Nash County. Raymond Cone of Wilson was informant.

Sarah Cone died 5 February 1935 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 98 years old [more likely about 85]; was born in Nash County to Lessie Glover; was the widow of Willis Cone; and resided at 1113 East Atlanta [Atlantic] Street. Willie Cone was informant.

Studio shots, no. 85: John and Margaret Lewis Maryland.

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John Maryland (ca. 1872-1947)

In the 1880 census of Rocky Mount, Edgecombe County: farmer John Maryland, 58, born in Maryland; wife Melvel, 40; and children Haywood, 17, who was deaf; Schofield, 16; Walter, 10; Mary, 9; John, 7; Hattie, 6; Primas, 4; and Jonas, 2.

In the 1880 census of Upper Town Creek, Edgecombe County: farmer Handy Lewis, 38; wife Jane, 40; children Wash, 16, Joshua, 12, Margarette, 8, Caroline, 6, Tiney, 4, and Robert, 2; and step-daughter Nicey, 16.

Margaret Lewis Maryland (ca. 1872-1965)

John Maryland, 21, of Nash County, married Margaret Lewis, 19, of Edgecombe County, daughter of Handy Lewis, on 8 April 1894 in Edgecombe County. Haywood Maryland applied for the license.

In the 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: John Maryland, 40, farmer; wife Margaret, 30; children Cora, 15, Mandonia, 15, Robert, 13, Della, 10, Charlie, 6, Richard, 4, Percy, 2, and William T., 1 month.

An unnamed baby was stillborn 10 July 1914 in Toisnot township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born prematurely in Wilson County to John Maryland and Margaret Lewis, both of Edgecombe County. John Maryland, R.F.D. 1, Elm City, served as both informant and undertaker. The child was buried in “burying ground – Wesley Williams farm.”

William Maryland died 19 September 1919 in Toisnot township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was 23 years old; a farmer; married; born in Wilson County to John Maryland and Maggie Lewis; and buried in Nash County.

In the 1920 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer John Maryland, 50; wife Margritt, 40; children  Robert, 24, Della, 22, Charley, 18, Richard, 16, John P., 14, William, 13, and Primas, 11; nephew Walter, 14, and niece Hellen, 12; daughter-in-law Ether, 19; and grandchildren Maggie, 7, and Cuba, 2 months.

In the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: on Rocky Mount-Town Creek Road, John Maryland, 58, farm laborer; wife Maggie, 49; son Richard R., 23, farm laborer; daughter-in-law Mamie, 23; and grandchildren Daisy L., 6, and Willie C. Maryland, 4.

In the 1940 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer John Maryland, 67; wife Maggie, 65; and grandchildren John, 17, and Martha Maryland, 12.

Per his grave marker, John Maryland died 23 June 1947.

Maggie Margaret Maryland died 27 February 1965 in Sharpsburg, WIlson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 3 September 1885 in Nash County to Handy Lewis; was a widow; and was buried in Wesley Williams cemetery. Robert Maryland, Sharpsburg, was informant.

Robert Maryland died 14 October 1971 in Rocky Mount, Edgecombe County. Per his death certificate, he was born 4 July 1903 to John Maryland; was married to Estella Bunn; lived at 720 Brooks, Rocky Mount; and was a retired janitor at Morgan Motel. Willie Lee Maryland was informant.

Photographs courtesy of Ancestry.com user ElijahDoby.

Studio shots, no. 65: Dockery Eatmon.

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Dockery “Dock” Eatmon (1896-1952).

In the 1900 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer Reuben Eatman, 34; wife Elizer, 35; and children Jinne, 16, Elizabeth, 13, Grill S., 12, Siddie A., 10, Henry G., 8, Casanda, 6, Dock, 5, and Ada, 3.

In the 1910 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer Reuben Eatman, 45; wife Eliza, 45; and children Henry, 17, Casandra, 15, Dockery, 13, and Ida, 11.

On 5 July 1914, Dock Eatmon, 19, of Nash County, son of Reuben and Eliza Eatmon, married Mettia Belle Smith, 20, of Nash County, daughter of Tom and Alsie Smith, in Old Fields township, Wilson County.

In 1918, Dock Eatman registered for the World War I draft in Farrells township, Nash County. Per his registration card, he was 21 years old; was born in January 1896 in Wilson, North Carolina; was a farmer; and supported a wife and child.

In the 1920 census of Farrells township, Nash County, North Carolina: farmer Dock Eatmon, 24; wife Mattie, 26; and children Ruthy, 3, and William R., 1 month.

In the 1930 census of Newport News, Warwick County, Virginia: at 715-22nd Street, rented at $12/month, shipyard laborer Dock Eatmon, 35; wife Nettie, 37; and children Lillian, 8, Reuben, 6, and Lindsey, 5.

In the 1940 census of Newport News, Warwick County, Virginia: Doc Eatman, 47, laborer at N.N.S.D.Co.; wife Mattie, 47; and children Lillian, 18, Ruben, 15, and Lincie, 12.

In 1942, Doc Eatmon registered for the World War II draft in Newport News, Virginia. Per his registration card, he was born 7 June 1893 in Wilson County; lived at 4213 Roanoke Avenue, Newport News; his contact was W.C. Smith; and he worked at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company.

Dock Eatmon died 17 November 1952 in Warwick County, Virginia. Per his death certificate, he was born in 1895 in Nash County, North Carolina, to Reuben and Liza Eatmon; resided at 4310 Roanoke Avenue, Newport News, Virginia; was separated; worked as a gardening laborer; and was buried in Pleasant Shade cemetery, Newport News. Informant was Mattie Eatmon.

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Dock Eatmon.

Photographs courtesy of Ancestry.com user faithbridges19.

Studio shots, no. 51: John Walter Jones.

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John W. Jones (1890-1978).

In the 1910 census of Manning township, Nash County, North Carolina: farmer Washington Jones, 54; wife Elizabeth, 45; and children James, 23, Mary E., 21, John W., 19, Gertrude, 18, Willie, 16, Lily A., 14, Addie, 12, Edie, 11, and Carrie, 8.

In the 1920 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: on New Wilson and Raleigh Road, farmer Less Barnes, 24; wife Edna, 30; daughters Lillie Ruth, 2, and Mary L., 1; widowed mother Elizabeth Jones, 52; brothers-in-law James, 32, and John, 29; and sister-in-law Carrie Jones, 18.

In the 1930 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer John Jones, 37; wife Hattie, 25; and children Oscar, 9, Minnie L., 5, and James W., 1.

In the 1940 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer John Jones, 49; wife Hattie, 35; children Oscar, 19, Minnie L., 14, James W., 12, Willie, 9, Emma L., 7, John, 5, Lizzie B., 3, Annie L., 1, and Anna M., newborn; and granddaughter Genlia Jones, 1.

Hattie Jones died 16 February 1946 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 7 June 1904 in Wilson County to Bud Jones and Emma Hinnant; was married to John Jones; and was buried at New Vester cemetery.

John Walter Jones died 1 June 1978 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he resided in the Spring Hope, Nash County, area; was born 14 November 1890 in Wilson County to Washington Jones and Elizabeth (last name unknown); was widowed; and was buried in New Vester cemetery.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user bkjones88.

 

Harboring.

The solicitor of the 1860 fall term of Wilson County Superior Court presented to the grand jury a charge against Delitia Eatmon for harboring a slave, Violet, who was owned by Berkley Cone.

In the 1860 census of Sullivants district, Nash County, Berkley Cone was a 45 year-old farmer whose household included a 10 year-old mulatto boy named Richard Locus, who was probably an involuntary apprentice. The 1860 slave schedule of Nash County lists Cone as the owner of a single enslaved person — a 15 year-old mulatto girl. Who was reported as a fugitive from the state. It’s reasonable to assume that Violet was the runaway.

Delitia (or, more likely, Selitia) Eatmon was born about 1810 in what was then Nash County. She and her children are listed in her parents’ household in the 1850 census of Nash, but by 1860 she headed her own household in Oldfields township, Wilson County. She, too, owned enslaved people as reported in the 1860 Wilson County slave schedule. Five, who appear to have been an elderly woman, her daughter, and that daughter’s three children.

Who was Violet to Selitia Eatmon? Why would Eatmon have kept and concealed Violet from Berkley Cone? Were Eatmon’s slaves Violet’s family? Had she been with Eatmon the entire six months between the census enumeration and the grand jury panel? Longer? Had she run because she missed her family? To avoid Cone’s close attention to her teenaged body? To thwart sale?

Berkley Cone and J. Calvin Narron appeared before the grand jury to offer testimony. Whatever they swore to, it was not enough. “Not a true bill,” said the jury. No indictment.

Harboring a Slave, Slave Records, Wilson County Records, North Carolina State Archives.