The obituary of Clarissy Taylor.

Wilson Daily Times, 18 September 1922.

Zion’s Landmark was P.D. Gold’s semi-monthly newsletter chronicling Primitive Baptist sermons, testimonials, letters, obituaries, and other announcements, primarily in eastern North Carolina. It’s difficult to speculate why Clarissa Taylor might have wanted a copy in her casket. 


In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer Peter Taylor, 32; wife Classey, 37; and children Harriet, 8, Haywood, 10, William, 5, and Susan, 8 months.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm worker Peter Taylor, 32; wife Clarcey, 36; children Harriet, 17, William, 15, Susan, 10, Henry, 8, Moretta, 6, Charlie, 2; and granddaughter Clarcey, 7 months. 

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: widow Classey Taylor, 68; boarders Frank Bynum, 30, odd jobs laborer, and Sarah Mercer, 40, private cook; and nephew Earle Lane, 9.

In the 1912, 1916, and 1920 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directories, Clarissa Taylor is listed at 531 Church Street.

Clarissy Taylor of 522 Church Street, Wilson, died 16 September 1922. Her death certificate reports that she was 85 years old, that she had been born in Wilson County, and that her father had been Dempsey Cotton. Mark Cotton was informant.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

The obituary of Calvin Blount.


Calvin Blount, one of Wilson’s oldest colored people, died this afternoon at 3 o’clock, after being ill several days with pneumonia.

“Uncle” Calvin was 88 years old and had a large circle of friends, both white and colored, in Wilson, where he has spent the greatest part of his life.

Wilson Daily Times, 27 April 1916.

Blount Knight’s birthday.

Wilson Daily Times, 1 April 1946.


In the 1880 census of Walnut Creek, Edgecombe County, North Carolina: farm laborer Martha Knight, 47, and children Ellen, 22, Blunt, 18, George, 16, Moses, 14, and Haywood, 10, plus granddaughters Emma, 3, and Delia Harrison, 4.

On 16 December 1880, Blount Knight, 23, married Lucy Bullock, 20, on 29 December 1880 in Edgecombe County.

On 21 March 1884, Blount Knight, 22, married Ginnie Carroll, 16, at Martha Knight‘s home in Wilson County.

In the 1900 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: farmer Blount Knight, 42; wife Jennie, 31; and children Eddie, 17, Martha, 13, Minnie, 11, Carrie, 6, Jemmie, 4, and Mary, 9 months; plus mother-in-law Mary Coal, 68.

On 30 July 1908, Blount Knight, 50, son of Isaac and Martha Knight, of Gardners township, married Mary Ellis, 39, daughter of Frank and Sara Edmundson, of Gardners, in Saratoga township.

In the 1910 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: ditcher Blount Knight, 52; wife Mary, 41; children Minnie, 19, Jimmie, 13, Mollie, 10, and Louisa, 6; son-in-law Willie Anderson, 30, daughter Martha, 22, and grandchildren Robert, 2, and “no name” Anderson, 0, and Jennie Knight, 1.

In the 1916 Wilson city directory: Knight Blount, laborer, Harper’s Ln near Herring Av

In the 1920 Wilson city directory: Knight Blount, farmer, 1 Carolina

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Carolina Street (suburbs Wilson), farmer Blount Knight, 59, wife Mary, 42, and daughters Mary 17, and Louisa, 15, with James Blount, 38, and wife Lulu, 19.

Blount Knight died 5 July 1957 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 1 April 1868 in Edgecombe County, N.C., to Isiah Knight; lived at 920 Carolina Street; was a widower of Mary Knight; and had worked as a laborer. Mary Currie was informant.

Knight’s headstone in Rest Haven cemetery lists his birth year as 1851, which would have made him 106 at his death. The records above yield birth years between 1857 and 1862, which would have made him somewhere between 95 and 100 years old.