Sharpe

Willard Sharpe gets married in New York.

Wilson native Willard C. Sharpe married Mildred C. Putnam in Syracuse, New York, on 21 September 1926.

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In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Mack Sharp, 43; wife Katie, 29; and children Harvey, 12, Williard C., 10, Earnest, 8, Samson, 6, Nellie B., 3, and Elexander, 18 months.

In 1918, Willard Clarence Sharp registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 1 August 1900; lived at the corner of Robeson and Reid Streets; and was a laborer for Export Leaf Tobacco Company. Katie Sharp was his nearest relative.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: widow Katie Sharpe, 37, and children Harvey, 21, Willard, 19, Ernest, 17, Samson, 15, Gladys T., 15, Nellie, 13, Alexander, 11, Kathryn, 9, Mack, 6, and John, 4.

Entry in Episcopal church records for the September 1926 marriage of Willard C. Sharpe and Mildred Catherine Putman.

In the 1931 Syracuse, N.Y., city directory: Sharpe Willard C (Mildred) laborer res 618 Harrison

In the 1931 Syracuse, N.Y., city directory: Sharpe Willard C (Mildred) chauff h 518 E Adams

Syracuse Herald, 29 June 1937.

In the 1940 census of Attica State Prison, Wyoming County, New York: Willard C. Sharpe, 38, married, born in South [sic] Carolina; resided in Syracuse, Onondaga County in 1935. [Mildred Sharpe is listed in her mother’s household in Syracuse.]

In 1942, Willard Clarence Sharp registered for the World War II draft in Erie County, New York. Per his registration card, he was born 1 September 1900 in Wilson, N.C.; lived at 236 North Div[ision]; worked for S.W. Minor, Oldsmobile Motor Company, Buffalo, New York; his contact was Mrs. Smith, 236 North Div.; and he had a scar on the left side of his face.

New York, Episcopal Diocese of Central New York Church Records, 1800-1970, ancestry.com.

Update: identifying the Hines-Sharpe-Batts family.

One of the great benefits of blogging is the insight and information contributed by readers. In October 2019, I wrote of an 1866 custody dispute referred to the Freedmen’s Bureau by John B. Batts, former owner of a woman named Penny and her children. (The 1860 slave schedule of Gardners township, Wilson County, lists John B. Batts with seven slaves — a 55 year-old man; a 21 year-old woman; boys aged 9, 8, 7, and 6; and a 2 year-old girl.) The children’s father, Abram, was seeking to take them, and Batts and Penny contested his claim. Batts did not name the children in his petition, nor did he give surnames for Penny and Abram.

Isabelle Martin cracked the mystery on the basis of information provided in Nash County marriage license applications filed in the 1870s. Penny Hines was the mother, Abram Sharpe was the father, and the children were Alexander, Adline, Amanda, Gandy, Joshua, and Peter Batts (and maybe others.) That the children adopted J.B. Batts’ surname, rather than that of their mother or father suggests (but does not prove) that they remained with him well after slavery, and demonstrates the folly of making assumptions about relationships among freedmen on the basis of their last names.

Here’s what I now know about the family:

  • Abram Sharpe

We’ve already met Abram Sharpe here. He was enslaved by Benjamin W. Sharpe and named in Sharpe’s will. Abram Sharpe, son of Church Bynum and Thana Sharp, married Caroline Hines, daughter of Allen Hines and Harriet Hines, on 12 January 1869 in Wilson County.

In the 1870 census of Joyners township, Wilson County: farm laborer Abram Sharp, 30, wife Caroline, 19, and son John, 9 months.

In the 1900 census of No. 13 Cokey township, Edgecombe County: farmer Abram Sharp, 64; wife Caroline, 62; children Willie, 15, Mamy, 14, and Richard, 8; grandchildren Fred, 7, Nathan, 4, and Liza, 2; and widowed mother-in-law Harriett Hines, 77.  But also, in the 1900 census of No. 10 township, Edgecombe County: farmer Abrom Sharp, 55; wife Caline, 50; and children Mamie, 8, Willie, 7, and Hattie, 30.

  • Penny Hines

In the 1880 census of Cooper township, Nash County: Penny Hines, 40, hireling. [On either side, son Red Batts and daughter Amanda Batts Hargrove. All appear to have been working for white farmer Wiilis Eason.]

On 31 December 1883, Alice Batts, 19, daughter of Penny Hines, married Daniel Parker, 21, at Redman Hines’ in Nash County. [Is this another of Abram and Penny’s children? Or just Penny’s?]

[Was Penny a Hines because she remarried? Was her next husband Redman (or Reddin) Hines, called “Red”? Red Hines hosted or witnessed the marriages of three of the Batts children. In the 1880 census of Stony Creek township, Wilson County: ditcher Reddin Hines, 40; wife Penny, 40; and children Alice Ann, 15, Margaret, 12, Jno., 7, Calford O., 6, Charles B., 4, and Joe and Ida, 1.]

  • Alexander Batts

On 20 December 1874, Alex Batts, 19, married Mariah Daniel, 24, at Red Hines’ house in Nash County.

In the 1880 census of Stony Creek township, Nash County: ox driver Alex’r Batts, 23; wife Mariah, 26; and children Bettie, 4, Jno. Rich’d, 1, and Mary, 3 months.

In the 1900 census of Rocky Mount township, Nash County: farmer Alex Batts, 46; wife Maria, 45; and children Johnnie, 22, Joseph, 14, Laurence, 12, Mancy, 11, Lula B., 9, Rosco, 8, and Roy, 4.

  • Adline Batts

On 26 December 1871, Adline Batts, daughter of Abram Sharp and Penny Batts, married Jerry Davis, son of Doctor O. Bunn and Harriet Davis, at Red Hines’ in Nash County.

  • Amanda Batts

On 4 November 1875, Charles Hargroves, 35, of Nash County, married Amanda Batts, 18, of Nash County, daughter of Abram Sharpe and Penny Hines, in Cooper township, Nash County.

In the 1880 census of Cooper township, Nash County: next to Red Batts, 23, hireling, and Penny Hines, 40, hireling, hireling Charles Hardgrove, 46, and wife Amanda, 18, hireling.

In the 1900 census of Township No. 14 Upper Town Creek, Edgecombe County: farmer Charles Hargroves, 63; wife Amanda, 38; and children John C., 16, Mance H., 13, Maggie, 11, Cora, 10, Bessie, 8, Ether, 5, and Ella, 1.

Manda Lane died 10 June 1914 in Township #12, Edgecombe County. Per her death certificate, she was about 53 years old; was married; and was the daughter of Abram Sharp and Pennie Forehand. Mance Hargrove was informant.

Ether Bryan died 11 June 1916 in Rocky Mount, Edgecombe County. Per her death certificate, she was born August 1894 to Charles Hargrove and Amanda Hines; and was married. Flora Hargrove was informant.

Mance Hargrove died 5 May 1945 in Rocky Mount, Nash County. Per his death certificate, he was born 22 June 1886 in Nash County to Charles Hargrove and Manda Batts; was married to Florida Hargrove; lived in Rocky Mount, Edgecombe County; was a merchant in a grocery store; and was buried in Unity cemetery, Rocky Mount.

Lillie Williams died 26 December 1947 in Sharpsburg, Rocky Mount township, Edgecombe County. Per her death certificate, she was born 15 March 1907 in Nash County to Charles Hargrove and Mandy Lewis; was married to Mandonia Williams; and was buried in Unity cemetery, Rocky Mount.

  • Gandy Batts

On 23 May 1878, Gandy Batts, 24, of Nash County, son of Abram Sharp and Penny Hinds, married Emily Whitley, 18, daughter of John and Crensy Whitley, in Rocky Mount, Nash County. Red Hines was a witness.

In the 1880 census of Stony Creek township, Nash County: farm laborer Gandy Batts, 26; wife Emily, 21, and son Balaam, 1.

In the 1900 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer Gandy Batts, 48; wife Emma, 40; sons Bailey [Balaam], 21, and Allen, 15; and cousin Charley Hines, 24.

Gandy Batts is buried in Elm City Colored Cemetery. His broken headstone, made in the anchor-and-ivy style, states: Gandy Batts died Sept. 22, 1908 Age 53 Yrs. Gone to a brighter home Where grief can not [come.]

Ballam Batts died 25 March 1952 at his home at 1000 Roberson Street, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 October 1886 to Gandy Batts and Emily Whitley; was married to Clara Batts; worked as a farmer; and was buried in Elm City [Colored] Cemetery.

  • Joshua Batts

On 10 May 1873, Joshua Batts, 20, of Nash County, son of Abram Sharp and Penny Hines, married Silvia Whitaker, 25, of Nash County, daughter of Gray Whitley, at John Joyner’s plantation in Coopers township, Nash County. Peter R. Batts applied for the license and was a witness.

In the 1880 census of Stony Creek township, Nash County: farmer Joshua Batts, 26, farm laborer; wife Sylvia, 28; and children William, 15, Fountain, 10, Ella, 6, Helen, 5, Ella, 2, and Mindy Ann, 1 week.

In the 1900 census of Morehouse Parish, Louisana: farmer Josh Batts, 54; wife Silvie, 52; and daughter Elvie, 15.

  • Peter Reddick “Red” Batts

On 27 July 1878, Peter Reddick Batts, 22, of Nash County, son of Abram Sharp and Penny Hines, both of Wilson County, married Harriet Whitaker, 20, of Nash County, daughter of Jacob Whitaker, at Charlie Hargro’s in Cooper township, Nash County. Joshua Batts was a witness.

In the 1880 census of Cooper township, Nash County: Red Batts, 23, hireling, and Penny Hines, 40, hireling.

Peter R. Batts died between 1880 and 1885. On 5 January 1885, his widow Harriett Batts married Charles Farmer at the Wilson County Courthouse. Farmer adopted her and Red Batts’ infant son, Edward, and the family migrated to Arkansas.

In the 1900 census of Ellis township, Pulaski County, Arkansas: farmer Charles Farmer, 53; wife Harriett, 48; and son Claudis, 13, all born in North Carolina.

Edward Berry Farmer died 13 July 1938 in Brodie County, Arkansas. Per his death certificate, he was 62 years old; was born in North Carolina to Red Bats and Hattie Whitaker; and lived near Little Rock. Ida Taylor was informant.

Ida Taylor Parker died 17 January 1962 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Per her death certificate, she was born 11 March 1880 in North Carolina to Red Bats and Harriette [maiden name not given]; was a widow; and was buried in Mount Zion cemetery. Bernice Joyner, Oakland, California, was informant. [Taylor and Parker were married names. Presumably, Ida’s maiden name was Batts.]

The obituary of Mary Jane Barnes.

Wilson Daily Times, 5 November 1920.

  • Mary Jane Barnes — in the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: widower Sampson Sharp, 57, and children Mary J., 19, Earnes, 17, Frankling, 15, and Eva, 13. Jacob Barnes, 25, of Wilson, son of George and Silvia Barnes, married Mary J. Sharp, 21, of Wilson, daughter of Sampson and Ella Sharp, on 8 April 1903. Missionary Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in the presence of S.E. Dortsch [future wife of Walter S. Hines] of Goldsboro, Annie F. Connor of Charlotte, and Geneva Battle of Wilson. Mary J. Barnes died 27 October 1920 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 6 April 1881 in Edgecombe County, N.C., to Samptson Sharpe and Lillie (maiden name unknown); was married to Jake Barnes; and lived at 814 Nash Street. 
  • Jake Barnes — in the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Nash Street, Jake Barnes, 40; wife Mary J., 38; and children Gretchard, 14, Fred O., 11, Walom E., 8, Eva F., 6, and Mattie G., 3; and brother-in-law Frank Sharpe, 34.
  • Masonic cemetery
  • Rev. Chas. T. Jones — Charles T. Jones.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Studio shots, no. 166: Wilbert Sharpe Sr.

Wilbert Sharpe Sr. (1952-2015), probably late 1940s.

In the 1940 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Larry Sharpe, 62; wife Bessie, 42; and children Edward, 17, Marie, 16, Lucinda, 13, Larry Jr., 12, Wilbert, 8, Aurther Lee, 8, Juanita, 3, and James E. Sharpe, 1, and Debbie Barnes, 19.

Photo courtesy of LeRoy Barnes.

 

An example worthy of following.

The Special Collections Research Center of North Carolina State Libraries has digitized several annual reports submitted to the state’s Cooperative Extension Service by Negro County Extension Agent Carter W. Foster. Below, part 1 of a series revealing the 1942 report.

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“… I have attempted to give you an insight of the major activities carried on by Negro farmers in the county during the year.” Foster credited farm families, county officials, home economics extension agent Jane A. Boyd, the extension staffs at North Carolina State A.&T. and North Carolina State Universities, and members of the Negro school systems for the year’s successes.

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Foster named Mark Sharpe the Outstanding Man of the Year.

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Sharpe was born and reared on the farm he was buying. His father, a life-long tenant farmer, lived with him. Their landlord had made a standing offer to sell the farm for $6000 years before. “Not being satisfied with the manner in which his father was living,” Sharpe decided to buy. He happened upon an article about Farm Security Administration loans for low-income tenants. Within days he was approved. The farm was on Highway 42 on the Wilson-Edgecombe border, and about 40 of its 51 acres were suitable for farming.

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The house was in fairly good condition at purchase, but was upgraded with screens, paint and a pump on the back porch, and Sharpe constructed a laying house, a smokehouse and an outhouse.

Sharpe was a young man — just 29 years old. He was the father of five, a member of the Negro Farmers Advisory Committee, and a Neighborhood Lender. “He is an example worthy of following by many tillers of the soil.”

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Sular Sharpe celebrates her 102nd birthday.

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Wilson Daily Times, 15 December 2006.

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In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Tarboro Road, John Sharp, 46, farmer; wife Patience, 37; and children Roscoe, 8, Sula, 4, and Chas, 2.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 318 Pender Street, rented for $14/month, Sula Sharpe, 35, servant; son Russell, 19, chauffeur; and brothers Roscoe, 38, deliveryman for retail coal dealer; Charlie, 30, farm laborer; Frank B., 27, deliveryman for retail ice plant; and Johnie, 25, and Leon, 23, both ice plant laborers.

In 1942, Rosco Sharpe registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 2 September 1902 in Wilson County; lived at 318 Pender Street, Wilson; his nearest relative was Sular T. Sharpe; and he worked for Independent Ice Company, Wilson.

In 1942, Adrick Russell Sharpe registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 14 February 1921 in Wilson County; lived at 318 Pender Street, Wilson; his nearest relative was Sular T. Sharpe; and he worked at the Marine Barracks, New River. The card contains this hand-written notation in red: “Dead 9-9-43 Cancelled/ Reported Oct. 5-43.”

Russell Sharp died 9 September 1943 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 14 February 1921 in Wilson County to Ross Cherry and Sular Sharp; was married to Blanche Sharp; was a laborer; and lived at 318 Pender Street.

Roscoe M. Sharpe died 26 December 1964 at his home at 318 Pender Street. Per his death certificate, he was 63 years old; a widower; a laborer at A.C. College; was born in Edgecombe County to John Sharpe and Patience [maiden name not given]; and the informant was Sudie [sic] Sharpe.

Sular T. Sharpe died 24 November 2008, aged 104.

The estate of Wilson Sharpe.

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Wilson Sharpe died without a will in late 1900, and the Court appointed Samuel H. Vick and Braswell R. Winstead to assist as commissioners in the handling of his estate.

Sharpe’s sole heir was his widow Cherry Sharpe, who was entitled to an immediate portion of his assets for her support. There was not much; she received an old buggy and harness, an old gun, some cart wheels, and pile of old tools. This being insufficient, on 15 January 1901 the commissioners reclaimed property that T.R. Lamm had taken, presumably to settle a debt — a forty-dollar mule, eight hogs, and $25 worth of corn and fodder.

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In the 1870 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farm laborer Wilson Sharp,42, and wife Cherry, 27.

In the 1880 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Wilson Sharp, 52; wife Cherry, 45; nephew Jerry Bynum, 6; and James Mitchel, 47, with wife Rosa, 33, and son James G., 11.

In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Wilson Sharp, 65; wife Cherry, 40; and children Willie, 16, Eva, 9, and Besse, 2 months. [These were likely foster children.]

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Tilman’s Road, widowed farm laborer Cherry Sharp, 65, living alone.

Images of estate documents available at North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

Snaps, no. 46: James Sharpe.

James Sharpe (1872-1961).

In the 1880 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Oren Sharp, 26; wife Debby, 25; and children Lary J., 2, Thomas, 4 months, and James, 8. [The order of listing of the children suggests that James was Debby’s son and Orren’s stepson.]

On 18 May 1892, James Sharp, 19, married Annie Gear, 15, both of Gardners township, in Gardners township.

On 24 November 1897, Jim Sharp, 24, son of Bill Thomas and Deby Sharp, married Bettie Bullock, 21, daughter of Josh Batts and Harriett Bullock (resident of Arkansas), both of Gardners, at the house of Lottie Bullock, Gardners township.

In the 1900 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer James Sharpe, 28; wife Bettie, 25; and children Sarah, 7, Minnie, 4, Sonnie, 2, and Yetta, 7 months.

In the 1910 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: on the Plank Road, farmer Jim Sharp, 38; wife Bettie, 35; and children Sarah, 15, Sunny, 13, Etta, 12, Mary, 10, Mahala, 9, Jimmie, 7, Della, 5, Bettie, 3, and Annie, 2.

In the 1920 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: on the Tarboro Road, farmer James Sharp, 47; wife Bettie, 40; and children Sonnie, 21, Effie, 18, Mahaly, 17, Jimmie, 15, Dolena, 14, Annie, 13, Bettie, 12, and Willie, 7.

In the 1930 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Jim Sharp, 57; wife Bettie, 52; children Sunny, 30; Bettie M., 18, and Willie, 15.

Darlena Hillard died 9 June 1934 in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was 27 years old; was married; and was born in Wilson County to Jim Sharp and Bettie Bullock.

Bettie Sharpe died 17 July 1935 in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was 60 years old; married to James Sharpe; and was born in Edgecombe County to Joshua Batts of Wilson and Tillie Faison of Faison, N.C.

Sunny Sharp died 31 October 1937 in Elm City, Toisnot township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, married to Lizzie Sharpe; was 40 years old; was a farmer; was born in Wilson County to Jim Sharpe and Bettie Bullock. Informant was Effie Ruffin of Wilson.

Etta Braswell died 26 March 1939 in Elm City, Toisnot township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was about 40 years old; was born in Wilson County to Jim Sharp and Bettie Batts; was married to Frank Braswell; and was engaged in farming.

Annie Lee Batts died 5 November 1961 in Elm City, Toisnot township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 1 June 1921 [sic] in Wilson County to James Sharpe and Bettie E. Batts and was married to Josh Batts.

James Sharpe died 20 October 1970 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 2 February 1906 to James Sharpe Sr. and Betty Elizabeth Bullock; was married to Ruth Tilman; resided in Elm City; and was a farmer.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user GeraldNelson31. Per his family tree, James Sharpe died in 1961. I have not found a death certificate.

The obituary of Ada Harris Reid Sharpe, 101.

Ada H. Sharpe, of Charlotte, born December 5, 1908 in Wilson County, NC, died peacefully at Sunrise Senior Living Facility, August 21, 2010 – just 3 1/2 months short of her 102nd birthday. A graduate of Fayetteville State teachers College, she taught primary grades in several of Wilson County’s two-room Rosenwald Schools and the first of its three Black consolidated high schools, Speight, for over 39 years. Moreover, she was active in numerous civic organizations, a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority and volunteered at OIC and Wilson Memorial Hospital for over 12 years after retirement.

God blessed her marital union in 1933 with Willie Gorham Reid, Sr. (died 1963), a successful barber, with 1 son, Rev. Dr. Willie Gorham Reid, Jr., a Presbyterian minister, who preceded her in death in 1990. In 1972 she married a successful farmer, entrepreneur, financier and well-known civil rights activist Mark B. Sharpe (died in 2009 at age 98); from this union she gained 9 adopted children – Barbara, Rudolph, Eugene, Trumilla, Dorothy, Earnestine, Betty, David, and Gail, who died in 1995. It was providential that she taught Mark’s 7 older children in primary school and had the joy of also nurturing and mothering them in their adult life. A praying and deeply spiritual servant-teacher for God, she was the oldest living member of Jackson Chapel Baptist Church, having been baptized there over 73 years ago by Rev. B.F. Jordan. In 2005 when she and Mark moved to Sunrise Assisted Living in Charlotte, they chose to become members of Indian Hill A.M.E. Zion Church, and their daughter, the Rev. Dr. Dorothy Sharpe Johnson, became their pastor. Other living relatives include a nephew, Theodore (Estelle) Artis; a niece, Minister Jacqueline (Earl) Hill; many cousins, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Sharpe’s memorial service will be held at Long and Son Mortuary Chapel, 2312 Beatties Ford Road, Wednesday, 7-8 p.m. The funeral will be held at Jackson Chapel Baptist Church in Wilson, corner of Nash and Pender Streets, Thursday, with her pastor, Dr. Dorothy S. Johnson, preaching the eulogy. The visitation hour will be from 11-12 noon and the burial will be in Rest Haven Cemetery.

Published in Charlotte Observer, 23 August 2010. Obituary online here.

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In the 1910 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: Leander Harris, 24, wife Lucy, 27, and daughter Ada, 1.

In the 1920 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: Leander Harris, 33; wife Lucy, 35; and daughters Ada, 11, Rosa, 9, Daisy, 7, and Ida, 5.

In the 1930 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Leander Harris, 44; wife Lucy, 48; and daughters Ada E., 21, schoolteacher, Rosa, 20, Davie, 18, and Ida, 15.

On 30 November 1933, Gorham Reid, 30, of Greene County, son of Bill and Bettie Reid, married Ada Harriss, 25, of Black Creek, daughter of Leander and Rosa Harriss. Elder Primitive Baptist minister Paul Bunch performed the ceremony at L.H. Harriss’ in the presence of David Bynum, G.S. Woodard and S.L. Woodard.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: barber Willie Reid, 36, and wife Ada, 31, schoolteacher.