Stantonsburg township

Rufus Edmundson plantation.

The Rufus Edmundson House lies just two blocks off Stantonsburg’s main street, but at the very edge of town. Behind it stretch miles of fields and woodland.

“This antebellum house was built circa 1846 for Rufus Edmundson. … The house is similar to the William Barnes and Ward-Applewhite-Thompson Houses (both in Stantonsburg Township) and the Elias Barnes house (Saratoga township). It stands two stories high and the main block is capped with a shallow hipped roof. Unusual heavy dentils ornament the frieze and the three-bay facade was once sheltered by a double-gallery porch supported by square columns. Although the door leading to the second floor porch has been altered, the original trabeated entrance to the first floor is still intact. A single-story, hipped-roof porch with Doric columns replaced the earlier double-gallery porch in the early twentieth century. On the interior the house is divided by a wide central hall with two rooms to either side. Some original woodwork remains intact including a handsomely curved newel post.”  — Kate Ohno, Wilson County’s Architectural Heritage (1981).

——

In the 1860 census of Saratoga township [which included Stantonsburg], Wilson County, Rufus Edmundson’s reported wealth comprised $15,000 in real property and $30,600 in personal property. The 1860 slave schedule parses Edmundson’s wealth — the $30,600  mostly took the form of 34 enslaved men, women and children, aged 1 through 38, who inhabited six dwellings on Edmundson’s farm and toiled for him.

The 1870 census was the first post-Emancipation enumeration. Next door to Rufus Edmundson were Margaret and Bailum Hall and their son John, 4 months. (Balaam Hall, son of James Woodard and Liza Hall, had married Margaret Edmundson, daughter of Proncey Edmundson, on 19 July 1870 in Wilson County.) Next to the Halls was a household comprised of members of several families, including Bertha Edmundson, 20, and Winnie, 12, and Gray Edmundson, 14, who were all listed as farmer’s apprentices. Though close proximity and shared surname, as well as indenture as apprenticed labor, do not guarantee that these young people had been enslaved by Rufus Edmundson, these facts are strong evidence.

William Barnes plantation.

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“[T]he William Barnes house was built in a style which was popular in Wilson County between 1848 and 1860. Barnes was the brother of General Joshua Barnes, one of the most influential men in the area and a founder of Wilson County. Barnes was born in 1811. Like his brother, he was a planter, and by the time of his death he had accumulated over 1,000 acres. …The exterior of the Barnes house has remained basically unaltered except for the constriction of a two-story portico with Doric columns which dates circa 1914. The William Barnes House is very similar stylistically to the house of his brother. General Joshua Barnes, which was built circa 1845. The exterior consists of a plain two-story box with a shallow hipped-roof and a three-bay facade. A wide trabeated entrance, surmounted by a smaller door on the second floor, is located in the central bay. The unusual six-panel door is similar to those found on the Daniel Whitley House (also in Stantonsburg Township). The interior plan is that of a wide center hall with two large rooms located on each side. Major alterations have been made on the interior. A large two-story packhorse and small gable-roof storage building, both contemporary with the house, exist on the grounds.” — Kate Ohno, Wilson County’s Architectural Heritage (1981).


The six-paneled door.

——

In the 1860 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County, 48 year-old farmer William Barnes’ listing notes that he owned real property valued at $35,000 and personal property at $89,000. The latter, of course, largely consisted of enslaved men and women, whose crucial role on his plantation went unmentioned in the description above. The 1860 census credits him as the owner of 10 men or boys and 16 women or girls, ranging in age from 1 to 60.

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Aerial shot of the Barnes House and outbuildings at the intersection of Fairfield Dairy Road and Highway 58.

Photograph of Barnes house taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, December 2015; photo of door taken July 2017; aerial photo courtesy of Google Map.

Applewhite’s tenant houses.

Old Applewhite Farm Division

In 1918, the Atlantic Coast Realty Company commissioned this map of the “old Applewhite Farm” near Stantonsburg. Contentnea Creek runs along the western edge of much of the parcel, and a public road cuts across one end, creating a little pocket of land sandwiched between John Yelverton and Dr. S.H. Crocker’s holdings. The main dwelling faced the road near a ditch at a corner of the property. Across the way, encircled above, were the houses of Applewhite’s tenants, who were mostly (if not solely) African-American. Another cluster of tenant houses appears beyond a row of outbuildings on a farm road running parallel to the creek.

I have not been able to determine which Applewhite owned the property being subdivided, but based on a history of the property, it does not appear to have been William H. Applewhite.

Plat Book 1, page 72, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson County Courthouse.

Dick complains that I keep his sister’s children.

State of North Carolina }

Wilson County     }

I B.F. Briggs

The Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions hereby Certify that at October Term A.D. 1865 the Court apprenticed to Mrs Elizabeth Whitley seven children to wit – Drury age 10 years, George 16 years, Easter 14 years Turner 18 yrs Sophia 14 yrs Robert 12 yrs Adelade 16 years of age &c

Given under my hand and seal of office at office the 6th day of April A.D. 1867

B.F. Briggs, Clerk

——

Stantonsburg N.C. April 6th/67

[illegible] H.G. Norton

Goldsboro N.C.

Dear Sir

Yours of the 2 Int to hand contents noticed you stated that Dick Whitley (col) complains that I keep his sisters children without his consent & refuses to let the same return to him. I have not got the children nor have not had nothing to doe with them at all. My wife had the children bound to her at the time they were bound. We did not know whire Dick Whitley was and think that he had not been in the county for Several months, the children has in the neighbourhood, two uncles & grand mother & none of them has not complained at all in reguard to the children. Dick has not made any application for the children, nor does nothing for the support of his old helpless Mother, We are willing to doe any thing that is legal or right: in regard to them we send now a copy of the indentures, if you desire that I should come down inform me

Very Respectfully           /s/ Gray Whitley

——

Stantonsburg NC, Apr 22nd, 1867

Maj. N.D. Norton

Yours of April 20th is to hand regarding five children who are at present working with my wife. In reply I would State that your letter of April 2nd came duly to hand makeing inquiries about said children, and I wrote to you at one, acknowledgeing the receipt of said letter, but failed to address it to you officially in the envelope and suppose from this cause you have not received it. The children alluded to, are as you have been informed, orphans, having lost both parents. Their mother during her lifetime and while a slave belonged to my wife, and after the close of the war, they having no protector, my wife made application to the county court of Wilson and had them bound to her. In my former reply to your letter of April 2nd I give you a correct statement concerning the children and enclosed also the certificate of the county court clerk of Wilson to the effect that the said children had been bound to my wife, I regret that the letter and certificate have not reached you. If you desire it, I will obtain and forward to you another certificate from the clerk of the county; the children have been brought up by my wife from infancy and have living near them two uncles and two aunts, who seem to be willing that I should retain them, and theas I imagine should have some voice in the matter. They have never raised any objections to my keeping the children, and the children seem to be willing to remain with me. I think that as a majority of the living relatives of the children are willing that they should stay with my wife she having raised them and the children seems to be well contented thus far and I really think that we should be allowed to keep them. Dick has not been seen in this vicinity for 12 months which he has living near us an Old Mother almost helpless he does nothing for her nor seems to care nothing for her so I think if he had the children but little assistance they would get from [illegible] Hopeing to hear from you soon and also hope that the above explanation may be satisfactory I am

Yours truly, Gray Whitley

——

Farmer Gray Whitley, 55, and wife Bettie appear in the 1870 federal census of Stantonsburg, Wilson County. No black children are listed in their household, nor are any elsewhere with the names listed above.

Freedmen Bureau Records of Field Offices, 1863-1878 [database online], http://www.ancestry.com.

Report of vaccinations, no. 4.

In the winter of 1902, doctors in Wilson County commenced a vaccination campaign to counter the spread of smallpox across North Carolina. Physicians in the county were paid ten cents per resident inoculated and sent in lists of patients to justify their fees. Dr. S.H. Crocker practiced in the Stantonsburg area. What follows is a list abstracting all patients he described as “colored.”

Moyton, N.C., _________190_

Jan. 10

Ann Mercer, female, age 60

Henrette Applewhite, female, age 31

Annie         “   , female, age 4

Marvin       “   , male, age 2

Jane Ellis, female, age 60

Henretta Ellis, female, age 18

Jemima   “    , female, age 16

Chery     “      , female, age 15

Norfleet   “     , male, age 10

Hardie     “      , male, age 9

Ed           “       , male, age 8

Kansas     “      , female age 22

Jan 11 1902

Jennett Barnes, female age 6

Amos Ellis, male, age 42

Cherry  “  , female, age 40

Lena     “     , female, age 8

Lizzie   “       , female, age 15

Mack   “        , male, age 6

Sam     “         , male, age 17

James  “        , male, age 9

Dick Hall, male, age 21

George Wynn, male, age 19

Jim Hall, male, age 19

Louis Barnes, male, age 16

Robt Barnes, male, age 13

Fannie McCowen, female, age 21

Elizo Barnes, male, age 18

Ivey     “       , male, age 14

Nora   “        , female, 8

Ed       “       , male, age 10

Mamie  “       , female, age 9

John     “         , male, age 19

Sarah   “          , female, age 42

Jan 12 190_

Emma Artis, female, 15

Hallie Artis, female, 11

Lillie Artis, female, 8

Marcellus Artis, male, 6

Ed Artis, male, 10

Jan 14 1902

Sherard Ellis, male, 29

Henry Falk , male, 35

Willie Ellis, male, 8

Robt     “     , male, 6

Lizzie “        , female, 4

Maggie    ”  , female, 3

John Mayo, male, 38

Jan 18 190_

Emma Sauls, female, 16

1/19 1902

Connie Artis, male, 5

Amond   “     , female, 30

Lucy Batts, female, 8

John Applewhite, male, 22

Henry Burnie, male, 40

1/25 1902

Charlie Ruffin, male, 23

Alma Lucas, female, 20

Ralf     “       , male, 5

Ed       “        , male, 1

Joe     “      , male, 25

Florance  “       , female, 20

Columbus  “      , male, 14

Elvin   “      , male, 1

Hannah Burrus, female, 48

Lillie Applewhite, female, 23

Robt. Farmer, male, 7

Ida       “     , female, age 13

Kattie    “   , female, age 11

Harriette   “  , female, age 9

Jan 28 [illegible] to Date

William Hall, male, age 51

1/31 1902

John Sherrod, male, age 26

Zillie Howard, female, age 9

Mary Jane Lane, female, age 24

Charlie       “      , male, age 6

Leoroy       “        , male, age 4

 

Cemeteries, no. 3: Bethel Church cemetery.

Like many small rural churches, the early members of Stantonsburg’s Bethel A.M.E. Zion were drawn largely from a group of related families. At their core was the large extended family of William Henry Hall, whose family plot in the church cemetery was profiled here.

The cemetery, about a mile from the present location of the church, is set along a slight rise above the cut of Peacock Bridge Road, just south of the Norfolk & Southern railroad. It is lovingly tended despite its isolation, with most of the graves lying in sandy bays extending back from the unpaved road. Foxgrape vines and sassafras saplings edge the clearings, and rose bushes have naturalized among the trees.

Besides William Hall, among the earliest marked burials are:

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Dick Barnes married Quilla Joyner on 10 February 1870 in Wayne County, North Carolina. (The county line is just a few miles west of Stantonsburg.) In the 1880 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Richard Barnes, 38, wife Aqulla, 33, and children Edward C., 9, William H.M., 8, Lewis H., 6, Maryland, 5, and Corneleous, 4. In the 1900 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farmer Richard Barnes, (second) wife Gracey, 23, and children Peter, 23, Cornelius, 21, Mary S., 18,  Geneva, 16, John H., 14, and Barnie, 7, and boarder Addison Fort, 17.

S123_141-1939

and William M. Hardy, who lived a few miles away over the Greene County line.

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The Sauls sisters meet an alligator.

The November 2001 issue of Trees, the publication of the Wilson County Genealogical Society, ran a piece from Hugh B. Johnston’s files about Jane Sauls, her daughters and their encounter with an alligator on their farm. The Saulses likely lived just inside the Wayne County line, but they and their families were part of the nearby Stantonsburg community. William Woodard Sr., with whom Jane was apprenticed as a child, and Calvin Woodard Jr., whom her daughter Mary nursed, lived near White Oak Swamp in Wilson County.

pages-from-november-2001

Jane Lane Sauls was born circa 1842 in the Bullhead area of northwest Greene County, which borders Wilson County. She was one of several children of Sylvania Artis, a free woman of color, and her husband Guy Lane, an enslaved man, but is not found in the 1850 or 1860 censuses.

In the 1870 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County, farm laborer John Sauls, 35, wife Jane, 27, and children Mary, 3, and Silvany, 1, are listed with Trecinda Barnes, 20, Jane Barnes, 7, and Edwin Barnes, 1. No marriage record for Jane and John has been located, and their relationship to the Barneses is unknown.

The 1880 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County, shows farmer John Sauls, 45, wife Jane, 36, daughters Mary, 12, Silvany, 9, Anner, 7, and Lucy, 6, plus Jane’s sister [niece?] Fanny Lane, 14.

The 1900 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County, shows John Sauls, wife Jane, daughters Mary and Sylvania Sauls, and “grandchildren” Louvenia, Henry and John Lane. [In fact, these children were probably niece and nephews.]

The 1910 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County, shows John Sauls, 76, wife Jane, 56, Mary, 38, Sylvany, 36, Anna, 33, and Snobe, 10, plus niece Louvenia Lane, 23, and boarder Freeman Swinson, 14. Anna reported that she was divorced; “Snobe” — John B. Sauls, alias Snow B. Nobles — was her son. Freeman Swinson was the son of Jane’s sister Mariah Artis Swinson.

The 1920 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County, shows Anna Sauls, 45, widowed, sharing a household with her sisters Sylvania, 46, and Mary, 49, widowed mother Jane, 76, and cousin Levenia Sauls, 28.

Jane Lane Sauls died 16 Dec 1928 in Stantonsburg township, Wilson County, of paralysis due to hypertension and cerebral hemorrhage.  Her death certificate reported that she was born in 1842 in Greene County NC to Guy Lane and Sylvania Artis, both of Greene County, and she was the widow of John Sauls. She was buried 17 December 1928 at Union Grove cemetery in Wayne County by C.E. Artis of Wilson NC.  (Columbus E. Artis was her cousin.)  The informant for her certificate was Anna Sauls, Route 6 Box 94, Stantonsburg.

Anna Sauls died 20 December 1950 in Stantonsburg township, Wayne County, of cerebral hemorrhage. Her death certificate reports that she was a widow and was born 1 January 1878 in Wayne County to John Sauls and Jane Lane. She was buried 23 December 1950 at Union Grove cemetery. The informant was Louvenia Sauls, Route 2 Box 300, Stantonsburg.

Sylvania Sauls died 23 October 1957 in Stantonsburg township, Wilson County, of cerebral hemorrhage.  Her death certificate reports that she was about 87 years old and was born in Wayne County to John Sauls and Jane Lane. She was buried 28 October 1957 in Union Grove cemetery.  The informant was Louvenia Sauls.

Mary Sauls died 29 December 1960 in Fremont township, Wayne County, of cerebral hemorrhage. Her death certificate reports that she was born 3 September 1861 in Wayne County to Johnnie Sauls and Jane Lane. (And thus was 4 years old when assigned to look after Calvin Woodard Jr.) Mary was buried 3 January 1961 at Union Grove cemetery.  The informant was Anna Ray, Route 2 Box 143, Fremont.

A lazy indolent virago.

Stantonsburg July 8 1867

Mr J F Allison

Sir, Yours of July 1 has been received for several days. I have delayed answering it to get all the particulars concerning Lenard Forbs & Serena‘s his wife case. I have inquired of both white and colored persons living on the farm and from the information that I can gather She left Lenard. I understand that she has been threatening leaving him for some time & she has not cooked or washed for him in some time although she lived in the same house with him. Lenard has been sick for a month & I understand that she would neither cook nor wash for him during his illness. I understand that she goes off at any time & stay sometime for a week without his knowledge or consent & the last time she went off & returned she swore that would never cook or wash for him again. Although Lenard tried to persuade her to go home and chore herself. I am personally acquainted with the dispositions of Lenard & Serena. Lenard is a good natured fellow & is willing to get along in any way without a fuss but Serina is a lazy indolent virago compounded with saltpeter & brimstones. She has not earnt ten dollars since she became free. Lenard has her clothes to perchase from store & Lenard has carried to his house this year 200 lbs N[illegible] Mess Pork 174 lbs G[illegible] pork & he raised a hog weighing 102 lbs & I understand that she has made way with all except one p[illegible] weighing (20 lbs) twenty pounds. She has been suspicious of caring his provisions off to other parties. I think Lenard would live with her again provided he could make her stay at home and attend to his domestic affairs & if you wish any more information conserning the case I will furnish you with all that I can or you can find out all about them from the Col men living on the farm which I will  give you any information you may want &c. Hoping that this will give you the necessary information concerning this I remain yours truly  J.B. Stallings

To Luit J.F. Allison, Goldsboro N.Car.

——

Junius B. Stallings, 39, farmer/physician, appears in the 1870 census in Stantonsburg township, Wilson County. Neither Lenard nor Serena Forte appears in the county.

Freedmen Bureau Records of Field Offices, 1863-1878 [database online], http://www.ancestry.com. Original documents in Records of Field Offices, State of North Carolina, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen & Abandoned Lands 1865-1872 (National Archives Microfilm Publication M1909, Record Group 105, National Archives, Washington, D.C.)

His wife is in South Carolina.

$50 REWARD.

RUNAWAY NEGRO.

RANAWAY FROM THE SUBSCRIBER, last February, Willie, a bright mulatto about 30 years old, about five feet, six inches high, wore when he ran away long platted hair; by trade a cooper, has a wife in the Georgetown district, (S.C.); has a down look when spoken to, he is supposed to be now lurking about Wm. or Jonathan Ellis’ near Stantonsburg where he has relatives. The negro belongs to Miss Cynthia A. Ellis. All persons black or white are hereby forewarned under penalty of law, not to harbor said negro.   ROB’T. BYNUM, Ag’t.

Southern Sentinel (Wilson, N.C.), 15 November 1861.

 

 

 

The heritage of Theodore and Edith Barnes Ellis.

Benjamin Barnes was born about 1819, probably in southern Edgecombe County or northern Wayne County, areas that later became Wilson County. Circumstantial evidence, largely in the form of naming patterns and proximity, suggests that Benjamin had at least two brothers, Andrew Barnes, born perhaps 1815, and Redmond Barnes, born about 1823. On 21 April 1866, Benjamin Barnes and Violet Barnes, born about 1817, registered their cohabitation at the Wilson County Courthouse. Their registration did not list the length of their marriage during slavery. Ben and Violet’s only certain child was Calvin Barnes, born about 1836, though they probably had several more.

In the 1870 census of Saratoga, Wilson County, Violet is described as a midwife, and three young girls, Elvy (1859), Ailcy (1862) and Spicy (1863), live with her and Benjamin. Given Violet’s age, it seems likely that these are granddaughters. Violet Barnes died sometime before 13 November 1879, when Benjamin married Mary Bynum in Wilson County. [N.B.: The Benjamin Barnes, son of Isaac and Judia Bynum, who married Lucy Barnes in 1872 in Wilson County is a different man.] Benjamin and Mary’s appearance in the 1880 census of Saratoga is their first and last. Benjamin listed his father’s birthplace as Virginia, but provided no additional information. He died before 1900.

Benjamin and Violet’s son Calvin Barnes and Sealie [Celia] Barnes registered their five-year cohabitation in Wilson County on 17 July 1866. Celia’s parents are unknown. In the 1870 census of Saratoga, Wilson County, Calvin and family were living next door to his parents Benjamin and Violet. Calvin and Celia’s children were Benjamin (1864), Spicy (1865), Jesse (1866), and Peter (1869). Also in the household were 20 year-old Dora Ebon (Calvin or Celia’s sister?) and her likely children Louisa (1866) and Mary E. (1869).

In 1880, in Saratoga, Wilson County: Calvin headed a household that included wife Celie and children Peter, Drue, Redman, Lizzie B., and William. In 1900, the family was listed in Stantonsburg township. Calvin was farming, and Celie reported 10 of 13 children living. Only four — William, Mary S., Laura and Celie Barnes, plus Mary’s daughter Dora Barnes — were at home. Son Peter was nearby with his wife Jane and children John R., General, Annie and Sallie, as was son Redmond with wife Genett [Jennette] and their first child Dora. Celia died prior to 1909, when Calvin married Cherry Brown Tart. The marriage was her third, and the 1910 census found them living in the town of Wilson on Stantonsburg Street. Ten years later, they are living at 610 Stantonsburg Street and both employed were in a private home. Calvin Barnes died 21 February 1923 in Wilson.

Calvin and Celia’s son Redmond Barnes was born 3 May 1873 near Saratoga or Stantonsburg. In 1898, Redmond married Jennette Best on W.H. Applewhite’s farm, where the Barneses were either sharecroppers or tenant farmers. (Applewhite’s grandson, James, is a celebrated poet whose writing often draws on the world of his childhood in Wilson County.) Their children included Dora Barnes Weaver Ward (1899-1994), Fred Barnes (1901-1968), Mary Estelle Barnes (1903-1989), Minnie B. Barnes Barnes (1905-1985), Edith Bell Barnes Ellis (1907-1984), Betty Lee Barnes Bullock (1909-1992), Nora Lee Barnes (1911-2001), Alice Jennette Barnes Smith (1914-2011), Lula Mae Barnes Speight (1916-1996), Redmond Barnes Jr. (1918-1989), John Harvey Barnes (1920-1994), and Jennette Barnes, who died in infancy.

barnes-redmond-jenette-barnes-headstone

Rest Haven cemetery, 2014.

Jennette Best was born about 1880 near Stantonsburg. Her marriage licenses lists her parents as Sam Best and Edy Strickland. However, in the 1870 census of Stantonsburg, Wilson County, “Edy Strickland” appears as Edith Winstead, age 10, in the household of Isaac Winstead, 52, and wife Jane, 35, whose other children were Robert, 7, Amanda, 3, and Aneliza, 1. The 1880 census of Stantonsburg, shows “Ada Best” in a household with her stepfather Isaac Winstead, mother Jane, half-siblings Manda, Ann, Charlie, Major, Lucy and Levi, brother Rob Farmer, and likely children Sam, 3, and Mary Best, 1. Sam Best is not listed in the county and may have died or have deserted his family just before Jenette was born. I have not found him in any census or vital record. Nor have I found any other mention of Edith Best or Strickland.

Redmond Barnes’ brother Peter Barnes (1869-?) married Jane Ruffin in 1891 in Wilson County. Their children included John Redmond (1892-1970), General (1895), Annie (1897), Sallie (1899), and Albert (1900-1924).

Redmond’s brother Andrew “Drew” Barnes (1871-1945) married Estella “Stella” Williams in 1892 in Wilson County. [Not to be confused with Andrew Barnes, son of Andrew and Amy Williford Barnes — possibly Calvin Barnes’ first cousin — who married Stella Battle in 1870.] Their children included John (1890), Wade (1894), Frank (1895), James (1897), Lula (1898), and Andrew Jr. (1900).

Redmond’s sister Elizabeth “Lizzie” or “Betty” Barnes (1873-?) married W.T. Sherrod Ellis, son of Reuben and Clarky Ellis. Their children: Willie (1892), Robert (1895), Mary E. (1896), Maggie D. (1899), Sallie (1900), Joseph (1904) and Mamie Ellis (1906).

Redmond’s sister Mollie Barnes married Floyd Ellis. Their children included Floyd Theodore (1907-1981), Columbus (1909), John Adam (1916-1965), Mary Rebeckah (1919) and Leathie Charlotte (1922).

——

Isom (or Isham) Ellis was born about 1807 in southern Edgecombe County. The will of William Ellis Sr., proved in Edgecombe in 1813, declared in part, “I leave unto my said wife Unity Ellis, the following negroes, To wit, Arthur, Jonas, Isom, Belford, Lisle, Pat, Mimah, Treasy & Hester.” It seems probable that this listing is a reference to Isom Ellis.

Unity Ellis died in 1817, before her husband’s estate settled. “Pursuant to the annexed order to us directed we the commis’rs met on the 19th March at the late dwelling house of William Ellis, dec’d, and thought proper to divide the negroes between the heirs instead of selling them, after [illegible]ing the negroes belonging to the Estate of said dec’d [Unity Ellis] a draw was made as followeth:

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Isom/Isham thus passed to Willie Ellis’ ownership in 1818, when he was about 11 years old. He appears to have remained with Willie until Emancipation.

On 24 July 1866, Isom Bynum and Patience Bynum registered their 40-year cohabitation in Wilson County. Several other men — Guilford, Robert, Jackson and Lewis — also registered as Bynums, but are listed with the surname Ellis in the 1870 census. For this and other reasons, including proximity and naming patterns, I believe these men were all sons, or close relatives, of Isom Ellis.

Lewis Ellis, born circa 1834, first married Dossie Best, by whom he had one son, John Ellis (1853). He then married Millie Thompson (1832-?), who gave birth to Daniel (1860-1938), Mary (1863), Adeline “Addie” (1865), Martha (1868), Cora (1870) and James Ellis (1874). Neither Lewis nor Millie appears in the 1900 census.

Lewis and Milly’s son Daniel Ellis first married Rosa Barnes, by whom he had a daughter, Lena (1890-1928). He then married Celia Lewis (1872-1912), daughter of Furney and Eliza Lewis on 29 August 1893 in Wilson County. Their children were William (1894), Maeliza (1897), Samson (1898-1918), Harry (1900-1988), Jackson (1901-1918), Robert (1904-1968), Louetta (1906), Orran (1910-1918) and Theodore Roosevelt Ellis (1912-1979). After Celia’s death in or just after childbirth, Daniel married Maggie Woodard in 1914. Their children were Mack (1916), John Henry (1919-1963), Mattie (1922) and Jem (1925). Daniel Ellis died 10 October 1938.

tobe_and_edith_bell_ellis

Top, Fannie Hardy Ward, Theodore R. Ellis and Edith Barnes Ellis. Bottom, Eloise Ward and T. Roosevelt Ellis Jr., probably near Stantonsburg, Wilson County, circa 1939.

Photo courtesy of Monica E. Barnes.