studio photograph

Studio shots, no. 123: Hilliard Ellis Jr.

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Hilliard Ellis Jr. (1865-1924).

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In the 1870 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Hilliard Ellis, 43; wife Feribee, 40; and children Caroline, 16, William, 14, George, 11, Emily, 9, Hilliard, 6, Mary H., 4, and Warren, 8 months.

In 1880 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: Hilliard Ellis, 53; wife Fereby, 50; and children Hilliard Jr., 17; Mary A., 13; Warren, 12; Phillis, 10; and Milby, 6.

On 29 November 1887, Hilliard Ellis Jr., 22, son of Hilliard Ellis and Feraby Ellis, married Cora Williams, 21, daughter of Austin Williams and Nelly Williams, in Wilson County. Samuel Rowe applied for their license, and Warren Ellis witnessed the application.

In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: blacksmith Hillard Ellis, 34; wife Cora, 31; and children Willie, 11, Floyd, 6, and Ben, 2.

In the 1910 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer Hilliard Ellis, 44; wife Cora, 42; and children Floid, 17, Benjamin, 13, Hilliard D., 9, and Cora L., 9.

Cora Lee Howard died 13 October 1918 in Taylor township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was 18 years old; married; and was the daughter of Hilliard Ellis and Cora Williams. M.S. Gilliam was the attending physician.

In the 1920 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: tenant farmer Hillard Ellis, 53; wife Cora, 52; and children Floyd, 24, Bennie, 21, Hillard, 19, and Walter M., 5.

Hillard Ellis died 20 March 1924 in Taylor township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 30 September 1865 in Wilson County to Hillard Ellis and Fabriby Rountree; was farmer working for Furney High; and was married to Cora Ellis.

Wilson Daily Times, 5 February 1948.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user tishbaldez.

Studio shots, no. 122: Hilliard Ellis Sr.

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Hilliard Ellis Sr. (1827-1900).

For posts on Hilliard Ellis, see here and here and here and here and elsewhere.

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In 1866, Hilliard Ellis and Farrebee Ellis registered their 16-year cohabitation with a Wilson County justice of the peace.

In the 1870 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Hilliard Taylor, 43; wife Feribee, 40; and children Caroline, 16, William, 14, George, 11, Emily, 9, Hilliard, 6, Mary H., 4, and Warren, 8 months.

In 1880 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: Hilliard Ellis, 53; wife Fereby, 50; and children Hilliard Jr., 17; Mary A., 13; Warren, 12; Phillis, 10; and Milby, 6.

In late 1895, a newspaper editorial offered testimony from Hilliard Ellis Sr. as evidence that Henry P. Cheatham did not enjoy widespread support among voters in North Carolina’s Second Congressional District:

The North Carolinian (Raleigh, N.C.), 28 December 2019.

In the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Hilliard Ellis, 73; wife Pharbey, 72; daughter Millie, 22; and grandchildren Walter, 8, Lizza, 10, Treasy, 7, and Arthur, 3,

Hilliard Ellis died 22 June 1900.

Hillard Ellis [Jr.] died 20 March 1924 in Taylor township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 30 September 1865 in Wilson County to Hillard Ellis and Fabriby Rountree; was a farmer working for Furney High; and was married to Cora Ellis.

Louise Rowe died 7 May 1924 in Jackson township, Nash County. Per her death certificate, she was about 62 years old; was born in Wilson County to Hillard Ellis and Feriba Roundtree; worked as a domestic for Charley Mercer; and was the widow of Samuel Rowe. Lula Toney was informant.

Adline Mitchell died 15 August 1936 in Jackson township, Nash County. Per her death certificate, she was 84 years old; was born in Wilson County to Hillard Ellis and Farby Roundtree; and was the widow of Gray Mitchell. Farby Kates was informant.

Photograph courtesy of Ancestry.com user tishbaldez.

Studio shots, no. 121: Arthur Thompson.

Young Arthur Thompson was photographed in Picture-Taking George Barnes‘ ubiquitous one-armed chair.

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Arthur Thompson (1895-1915).

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In the 1900 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farm laborer Nelson Tompson, 33; wife Melvina, 30; and children James, 9, David, 2, Auther, 3, and Walter, 1.

In the 1910 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Nelson Thompson, 45; wife Melvina, 42; and children James, 18, Arthur, 13, David, 12, Walter, 11, Mathew, 9, Addie, 7, Lillie, 5, Adrow, 4, and Arabella, 2.

Arthur Thompson died 26 December 1915 in Cross Roads township, Wilson County, of “epileptic spasms.” Per his death certificate, he was born 29 August 1895 in Wilson County to Nelson Thompson of Greene County and Fannie Barnes of Wilson County; was single; was a farmer; and was buried in Pate graveyard, Lucama.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user daricec1.

Studio shots, no. 120: Nelson Thompson.

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Nelson Thompson (1865-1938).

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On 14 October 1888, Nelson Thompson, 22, married Caroline Locus, 21, daughter of George and Elizabeth Locus, at Tony Parker‘s in Cross Roads township.

On 10 January 1897, Nelson Thompson, 30, married Melvina Farmer, 27, at Alford Jordan‘s in the presence of Junius Hayes, Grant Farmer and Benjamin Barnes.

In the 1900 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farm laborer Nelson Tompson, 33; wife Melvina, 30; and children James, 9, David, 2, Auther, 3, and Walter, 1.

In the 1910 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Nelson Thompson, 45; wife Melvina, 42; and children James, 18, Arthur, 13, David, 12, Walter, 11, Mathew, 9, Addie, 7, Lillie, 5, Adrow, 4, and Arabella, 2.

Arthur Thompson died 26 December 1915 in Cross Roads township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 29 August 1895 in Wilson County to Nelson Thompson of Greene County and Fannie Barnes of Wilson County; was single; farmed; and was buried in Pate graveyard, Lucama.

In the 1920 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Nelson Thompson, 54; wife Melvina, 52; and children Mathew, 18, Addie, 16, Lillie, 14, Nettie, 15, Ada, 13, Arabella, 11, and Ara and Alice, 9.

In the 1930 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Nelson Thompson, 64; wife Melvina, 62; and children Adron, 23, Ira, 19, and Alice, 19.

David Thompson died 3 June 1945 in Cross Roads township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 1 October 1897 in Wilson County to Nelson Thompson of Greene County and Melvina Farmer of Wilson County; farmed; and was married to Bessie Thompson. He was buried in Newsome cemetery, Lucama.

Addie Thompson died 14 February 1952 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 3 June 1903 in Wilson County to Nelson Thompson and Melvina Farmer; was married; and farmed. Lennetta Thompson was informant. She was buried in Newsome cemetery, Lucama.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user daricec1.

Studio shots, no. 119: Celester T. Jackson.

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Celester Tyson Taylor Jackson (1917-1988).

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In the 1920 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: on Delaware Street, Thomas Tyson, 44, “croper” [cropper? he reported owning his farm]; wife Armeter, 26; and children Ardella, 8, Nancy, 6, Cylester, 3, and Matthew L., 5 months; plus boarders Oscar Isarell, 26, dry goods store laborer, and Lat Blount, 20, house carpenter.

In the 1930 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: on Railroad Street, farmer Tom Tyson, 50; wife Ameta, 36; children Ardella, 18, Celesta, 13, Ethel L., 11, Hubert, 9, Larry L., 2, and Clementon, 1; and mother-in-law Ardella Barnes, 58.

On 31 October 1935, Celester Tyson, 18, of Wilson County, daughter of Thomas and Arnelia Tyson, married Moses Taylor, 21, of Wilson County, son of Albert and Annie Taylor, in Greenville, Pitt County, North Carolina.

In 1940, Matthew Lee Tyson registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 4 September 1919 in Stantonsburg; resided in Stantonsburg; his next-of-kin was sister Celester Tyson; and he worked for Civilian Conservation Corps in Chapel Hill, Orange County, North Carolina.

On 17 September 1948, in Norfolk, Virginia, Celester Tyson Taylor, 31, born in Stantonsburg, North Carolina, to Thomas Tyson and Armetia Barnes, married Andrew Edward Jackson, 31, born in Baltimore, Maryland, to John William Jackson and Susie Wyatt.

Celester T. Jackson died 3 June 1988 in Richmond, Virginia.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user dunta.

Studio shots, no. 118: Milly Ann Lassiter Strickland.

Milly Ann Lassiter Strickland (1861-1921).

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In the 1860 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Silas Lassiter, 38; wife Orpie, 34; children Sallie, 12, Mary, 11, James, 9, John, 7, Elizabeth, 5, Penina, 4, Hardy, 3, Silas, 1, and George, 2 months; and Delpha Simpson, 14.

In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer Silas Lassiter, 47, and children Ophelia, 25, Mary, 20, Elizabeth, 16, Handy, 14, Penninah, 15, Silas W., 12, Milly, 8, and Jerusha, 4.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Silas Lassiter, 56; wife Orpa, 50; and children Pennina, 24, Pharaoh, 20, Milly Ann, 19, and Gerusha Ann Lassiter, 14; plus daughter Sally Barefoot, 32, and her children Mary, 9, George, 6, and Warren Barefoot, 5.

On 11 February 1891, Henry Strickland, 42, son of Miles and Mourning Strickland, married Milly Laster, 28, daughter of Silas and Orphie Laster, in Taylor township.

In the 1900 census of Wilson  township, Wilson County: Henry Strickland, 54; wife Millie A., 36; and son Jessie, 11. [This was Millie Ann’s son, Jesse C. Lassiter.]

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Henry Strickland, 57, farmer; wife Millie, 40; and son Jessie, 21.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Raleigh Road, farmer Henry Strickland, 70, and wife Anna, 55.

Millie And Streckley [sic] died 25 June 1921 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 57 years old; and was born in Wilson County to Silas Lassiter and Sarah Lassiter. J.C. Lassiter was informant, and Batts Brothers & Artis handled her burial.

Many thanks to Bernard Lassiter for the photograph.

Studio shots, no. 117: Lillian Whitfield Stokes.

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Lillian Whitfield Stokes (1914-2003).

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 715 Stantonsburg Street, house painter James Whitfield, 27; wife Lizzie, 25, hotel cook; children James Jr., 8, Lillian, 5, and Helen I., 5 months; and father Andrew Whitfield, 69.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1004 Washington Street, valued at $3000, building painter James Whitfield, 34; wife Lizzie, 31, laundress; children James Jr., 18, Lillian, 15, and Hellen, 12; and father Alleck Whitfield, 81.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1004 Washington Street, valued at $3500, house painter James Whitfield, 37; wife Elizabeth, 45; and daughters Lillian, 27, and Helen, 22.

On 8 March 1943, Donald C. Stokes, 34, of Wilson, son of Sidney and Sallie Stokes, married Lillian E. Whitfield, 28, of Wilson, daughter of James and Elizabeth Whitfield in Wilson. A.M.E. Zion minister William A. Hilliard performed the ceremony in the presence of Charles James, James Whitfield and Edra M. Hilliard.

Donald Collins Stokes, Jr., was a native of Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

Lillian Whitfield Stokes died 7 July 2003 in Parkville, Maryland.

Photos courtesy of Ancestry.com user Doniellestokes.

#FamilyPicturesUSA

Tonight I’m getting my whole entire life watching Family Pictures USA, which explores North Carolina stories in Episode 1. (Shout out to Jaki Shelton Green, fellow Taller Portobelo ’06 alum!) Many of my favorite posts in Black Wide Awake feature snapshots and studio portraits of African-American men and women in or of Wilson, and I so often wish I knew more about their lives than the bare bones of census records and vital statistics. Family Pictures USA, airing on PBS, amplifies this impulse in ways that made me laugh and caught in my throat.

“Family Pictures USA is a documentary-style magazine show, filmed before a live studio audience, that journeys through a rapidly changing landscape where the foundations of a familiar and idealized “AMERICA” are being transformed. As ordinary Americans begin to discover their hidden family histories, stashed in boxes in dusty attics or on old floppy disks and new smartphones, they will unpack more than artifacts and ephemera. They will re-meet their relatives and old friends —fascinating characters, brought back to life by images and stories —giving them a new home in our collective consciousness, and introducing us to a more nuanced and diverse story of our common history, shared present and evolving future. Family Pictures USA will mine this rich treasure trove of personal narratives to reveal roots, connections, and provocative parallels that will surprise us and illuminate the path toward a new America for a 21st Century.

“Like StoryCorps, Family Pictures USA guides participants through a personal narrative in a short interaction with a host/producer, but using photographs and images as the primary medium of the story. Like Antiques Roadshow, Family Pictures USA travels to different locations within a given community, town or region and the surprise is in uncovering little known and unusual personal stories and connecting them to a larger narrative that better contextualizes a particular locale. The value revealed is in how these images inform our larger understanding of the culture, beyond mere family memoir.

“Each episode [of FamilyPictures USA] will illuminate connections among and between individual family narratives to create an inclusive new Digital American Family Album, exposing threads of history that enrich and enlarge our understanding of our nation and its diverse people and expanding our ideas of who we are as a people. It continues the work of the series’ award-winning Executive Producer, Thomas Allen Harris, to bridge inter-generational and cross-cultural differences and bring communities closer together by transforming strangers into family.”

Tune in!

Studio shots, no. 115: Charles Eugene Freeman.

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Charles Eugene Freeman (1926-1960), probably in the 1940s. 

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In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1113 Washington Street, owned and valued at $3000, brickmason Julious F. Freman, 42; wife Hattie [Pattie], 31; and children Julious, 10, Doloris, 9, Robert P. and Richard P., 8, John C., 6, Charles E., 4, Patricia E., 3, Mary E., 1, and Rubey, 2.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1114 Washington Street, owned and valued at $3000, brick mason Julius Freeman, 52; wife Pattie, 40; and children Julius L., 20, Doris, 19, Robert and Richard, 18, John, 16, Charles, 14, Eunice, 12, Mary, 11, Ruby, 10, Tom, 9, Dan, 8, Lillian, 6, and Henry, 2.

Charles Eugene Freeman registered for the World War II draft in 1944:

32892_620303988_0062-03517

On 20 April 1944, Charles Freeman, 18, son of Julius and Pattie Hagans Freeman, married Carrie Lee Hardy, 15, daughter of Cornelius and Carrie Hardy, in Wilson.

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Wilson Daily Times, 21 March 1960.

As a World War II veteran, Charles E. Freeman received a military headstone. His mother, Pattie H. Freeman, submitted the application for the marker.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry user Delwyn Eugene Caniglia; Headstone Applications for Military Veterans, 1925-1963 [database on-line], Ancestry.com.

Studio shots, 114: David Lucas.

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David Lucas (1903-1941).

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In the 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: tenant farmer Henry Locus, 36; wife Ida, 30; and children Minnie, 12, Joseph, 11, Lou, 9, Davis, 7, and Willie, 5.

In the 1920 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: on Rocky Mount Road, farmer Henry Locus, 48; wife Ida, 39; and children Joseph, 23, David, 17, and Willie, 15.

On 26 November 1927, David Locus, 24, of Toisnot township, married Thelma Winstead, 20, of Nash County, in Wilson County.

In the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer David Locas, 27; wife Thelma, 24; and daughter Erma D., 2 months.

In the 1940 census of Upper Fishing Creek, Edgecombe County: on Highway 44, farmer David Lucus, 37; wife Thelma, 33; and children Irma, 11, Ruby Morris, 9, Evellar, 6, Thurman, 5, Yvonne, 3, and Mae Clee, 3 months.

David Lucas died 1 January 1941 in Tarboro, Edgecombe County. Per his death certificate, he was born 1 March 1903 in Wilson to Henry Lucus of Nash County and Ida Pender of Wilson County; was married to Thelma Lucus; worked as a farmer; and was buried at Williams Chapel, Wilson County.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user cclemmiles.