Martha Rountree, supercentenarian.

Wilson Daily Times, 8 April 1997.

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Wilson Daily Times, 10 May 2003.

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Wilson Daily Times, 10 April 2004.

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News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.), 4 February 2005.


Richard Rountree, 25, married Feby Rountree, 20, on 6 February 1878 in Wilson County.

In the 1880 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Richard Rountree, 30; wife Feeby, 26; and children Lilly, 5, James, 5 months, and Louezer, 11 (described as stepdaughter).

In the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Richard Rowntree, 53; wife Feby, 49; and children James, 19, Loula, 11, Richard T., 10, Waren, 7, Ardenia, 5, Martha, 3, and Howard, 1.

In the 1910 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: widowed farmer Phebee Rountree, 59, and children Richard, 19, Warren, 17, Ardenia, 15, and Martha, 12.

In the 1920 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: widowed farmer Phoebe Rountree, 72, and children Richard, 26, Warren, 24, Ardena, 22, and Martha, 20.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 913 Mercer Street, Ardena Roundtree, 38, “maid of general work”; her sister Martha, 36, “does cleaning”; and son William J., 17, new worker.

In 1940, Rufus W. Wallace registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he lived at Route 4, Wilson, Gardners township, Wilson County; he was born 7 January 1904 in Robeson County, North Carolina; worked for J.W. Corbett; and his contact was Martha Rountree, 913 Mercey Street, Wilson.

In 1942, Richard Roundtree registered for the World War II draft in Baltimore, Maryland. Per his registration card, he was born 18 January 1890 in Wilson, N.C.; lived at 906 North Eutaw Street, Baltimore; worked for Dell Roofing Company, 12 Branch Alley, Baltimore; and his contact was sister Martha Roundtree, 1004 Mercer Street, Wilson.

Studio shots, no. 88: Jack Armstrong, supercentenarian.

Among the dozens of families who migrated up to Wilson County from North Carolina’s southern Sandhills area were those of Dock Roberson and Margaret Armstrong McDougal Blue. After her husband Levi Blue died in Wilson County in 1919, Maggie Blue and Dock Roberson married, and Maggie’s parents John “Jack” and Annie Murphy Armstrong briefly came to live with their blended family in Taylors township. Likely during this time, Jack Armstrong traveled into Wilson to sit for a portrait in Picture-Taking George W. Barnes‘ studio. Jack’s descendants explained that his curled fingers were the result of an injury inflicted during slavery.

John “Jack” Armstrong (ca. 1820-1932), circa 1920.


In the 1870 census of Flea Hill township, Cumberland County, North Carolina: farm laborer John Armstrong, 40; wife Anna, 38; and children Dublin, 14, Charles, 9, Penny, 8, Margrett, 7, Elizabeth, 5, Barbry, 4, William, 3, and David, 2; plus Amy Armstrong, 52.

In the 1880 census of Flea Hill township, Cumberland County, North Carolina: farmer John Armstrong, 54; wife Annie J., 43; and children Charley, 18, Margret, 16, Barbra A., 12, William J., 10, David, 8, Joe, 6, Daniel R., 4, and Rebecca, 3; plus A. Murphy, 60, mother-in-law.

In the 1900 census of Geddies Gin township, Cumberland County, North Carolina: farm laborer Jack Armstrong, 75; wife Annie, 68; daughter Janie, 15; and grandson George W. Murphy, 12.

In the 1920 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: tenant farmer Doc Robinson, 55; wife Maggie, 53; children Mary, 18, James C., 19, Virginia, 17, David, 14, Elijah, 12, and Jessie B., 3; Vangie, 32, Geneva, 17, and Addie McDoogle, 15; and Moses Robinson, 8, and lodgers Jack, 103, and Annie Armstrong, 101.

Annie Armstrong died 5 April 1920 in Taylor township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was 103 years old; was born in Johnston County to Annie Murphy and an unknown father; worked as a farmer for George Piage; and was married to Jack Armstrong. William Jas. Armstrong was informant.

Maggie Roberson died 5 April 1928 in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was 55 years old; was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, to Jack and Annie Armstrong; was married to George Roberson; and farmed for Will Carr.

Jack Armstrong died 5 January 1932 in Mingo township, Sampson County, North Carolina. Per his death certificate, he was born 11 February 1815 to John Wood and an unknown mother; was widowed; and was a farmer.

Newspapers across the state reported that Jack Armstrong had been “the oldest North Carolinian” at the time of his death.

Wilson Daily Times, 12 January 1932.

Photo courtesy of F. Cooper Jr., great-great-grandson of Jack Armstrong.


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Maggie Hinnant Barnes at age 115.

“Maggie Pauline Barnes (née Hinnant; 6 March 1882 – 19 January 1998) was a verified American supercentenarian who holds the record for the oldest verified person from the state of North Carolina. She claimed to be 117 but her age was verified as being born on 6 March 1882 (according to a family bible; the 1900 census said “Mar 1881”) and she died 19 January 1998, from gangrene infection, at the age of 115 years, 319 days. She was survived by 4 of her 15 children. She was the 3rd-oldest verified living person and the 2nd-oldest in the United States after Sarah Knauss, although she has since been surpassed by Jeralean Talley, Besse Cooper, and Susannah Mushatt Jones, among others.

“Maggie Pauline Hinnant was born in Black Creek, Wilson, North Carolina as the daughter of Louzaine Hinnant and an unknown father. She married William Orangie Barnes at Maggie’s stepfather Dread’s farm in Black Creek, Wilson 22 October 1899. The couple would have 15 children, of which eight would reach an adult age: Lillian, Clara, Gladys, Nell, Willie, Mary, Ruth and Mildred. The family moved to Kenly, Wilson, North Carolina in 1904 and Maggie spent the remaining part of her life in this area. Maggie Barnes died in Kenly, Johnston, North Carolina 19 January 1998 aged 115 years, 319 years.”


On 22 October 1899, William Barnes, 22, of Wilson County, son of Gastin and Waity Barnes, married Maggie Hinnant, 19, of Wilson County, daughter of Luzana Hinnant, at Dread Barnes‘ house in Black Creek. Joseph Farmer, Grant Farmer and C.H. Darden were witnesses.

In the 1900 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: Orange W. Barnes, 21, sawmill laborer, and wife Maggie, 18, farm laborer.

Entry and photo from