Other suns: Elijah and Marie Haskins Warren, Washington, D.C.

Donna Warren Davis reached out to me after discovering references to her ancestors at Black Wide-Awake. Elijah Warren, Marie Haskins Warren, and their family joined the Great Migration in the mid-1930s, landing, like so many North Carolinians, in Washington, D.C.


In the 1910 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: William Warren, 42; wife Millie J., 42; and children Ezekiel, 18, Keturrah, 17, Joseph, 14, Elijah, 13, Samuel, 11, Deborah, 9, William, 8, Millie, 5, Alchester, 3, and Edie, 2.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: widow Ada Haskins, 27, odd jobs laborer; daughter Arena, 12, born in Virginia, house servant [is this Marie?]; and lodger Alfred Williams, 32, widower, machinist.

On 21 October 1928, Marie Williams, 26, of Wilson, married Elijah Warren, 29, of Black Creek, in Wilson. Primitive Baptist church Johnie Bunch performed the ceremony in the presence of Cora W. Farmer, William Warren, and Wilson Farmer. [This was a second marriage for Marie Haskins Williams.]

In the 1930 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer William Warren, 62; wife Millie, 62; daughter-in-law Marie, 26; grandson Jerome, 11 months; granddaughter Mary, 10; sons Elijah, 32, Chichi, 23, and Sam, 30; and adopted son Richard Edmundson, 12.

In the 1940 census of Washington, D.C.: at 2816 Pennsylvania Avenue, W.P.A. laborer Elijah Warren, 38; wife Marie, 38, beauty parlor operator; step-daughter Mary Williams, 20; and children Jerome, 10, Jonathan, 9, and O’Donnell Warren, 7. All were born in North Carolina, except Mary, who was born in Pennsylvania. The census taker noted that the family had been living in the “same place” in 1935, which narrows the date of their migration to D.C. to about 1934.

In February 1942, Elijah Warren registered for the World War II draft in Washington, D.C. Per his registration card, he was born 2 April 1897 in Fremont, Wayne County; lived at 2816 Pennsylvania Avenue; worked for National Defense Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.; and his contact was Marie Warren.

The Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 21 August 1942.

The Evening Star, 11 March 1944.

In the 1950 census of Washington, D.C.: at 2816 Pennsylvania Avenue, beauty shop proprietor Marie Warren, 46; children Jerome, 20, mechanic at auto dealer, Donald, 17, and William V., 6; and mother Ada Haskins, 80, widow.

In the 1950 census of Washington, D.C.: at 1616 – 10th Street N.W., lodger Elijah Warren, 54, separated, mechanic at Navy Yard.

The Evening Star, 6 January 1954.


  • Whitelaw Hotel — designed, financed, and built by African-Americans for African-Americans, the Whitelaw was an upscale apartment hotel in the U Street Corridor neighborhood of Washington, D.C.
  • First Baptist Church of Georgetown
  • 2816 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W. — Elijah and Marie Warren arrived in Georgetown in the last decades of the long period that it was home to a sizable African-American minority. By the 1950s, gentrification was pushing Black Washingtonians out. Built about 1900, the two-story brick building at 2816 Pennsylvania Avenue now houses a high-end spirits retailer and is just down the street from the Four Seasons Hotel.

Funeral program courtesy of Donna Warren Davis. Thank you!

The death of little Bettie Askew of Whitesboro.

The death certificate of five-month-old Bettie Louise Askew caught my eye not only because of her young age, but also her birthplace — Whitesboro, the all-Black town in southern New Jersey founded by former United States Congressman George H. White and promoted by Samuel H. Vick.


Theodocia Magnolia Boykin was born in Wilson County to John Boykin and Dicy Bailey Boykin on 7 February 1884. The 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County shows house mover John Boykin, 50; wife Dicy, 44, cooking; and children Sallie, 19, cooking, James, 18, day laborer, Dotia, 14, Susia, 14, Lillie, 10, and Eliza, 7. John Askew, a native of Northampton County, North Carolina, migrated with his family to Cape May County, New Jersey, shortly after 1900.

It’s not clear where Bettie Askew’s parents met, but John S. Askew, 26, of New Jersey, and Dothia Boykin, 24, of Wilson, applied for a marriage license in Wilson County. Though the license was never returned to the Wilson County Register of Deeds’ office for registration, Episcopal church records show that they were married on 2 September 1908.

Their first child, Bettie Louise, was born in Whitesboro in 1909, but brought back to Wilson prior to her death in April 1910. The 1910 census of Middle township, Cape May County, New Jersey, shows John S. Askew, 28, a wagon wheelwright, and wife Theodothia M., 26.

A second daughter, Elsie Joanne, was born 14 April 1911. [Per her death certificate, she was born in New York.]

John S. Askew apparently died around 1911, probably in New Jersey.

The 1912 Wilson city directory lists Theodosie Askew, music teacher living on Viola on the corner of Vick.

On 20 December 1913, Ezekiel Warren, 22, of Black Creek, married Thedore [sic] Askew, 30, of Wilson, in Wilson.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Nathan W. Boyett, 69, carpenter, widower; nieces Therorshia Warren, 36, Elsie J. Askew, 9, and Elenzie C. Askew, 3; and roomer Lucy Wethers, 64. [Elenzie Cathleen Warren was Theodocia Askew Warren’s daughter with Ezekiel Warren.]

In the 1930 census of Newport News, Virginia: on Shoe Lane, Jesse Faulkland, 40, brickyard laborer; wife Eliza M., 37; children Rachael R., 16, Ethel M., 14, Jesse A., 10, Margaret C., 7, and Coynetta M., 4; nieces Elsie Askew, 18, and Cathleen Warren, 12; and lodger Coy Jones, 52, shipyard laborer. [Eliza Boykin Faulkland was Theodocia Magnolia Boykin Askew Warren’s sister.]

On 31 August 1931, Curtis Wiggins, 23, of Whalleyville, Virginia, son of Robert Wiggins and Cora Ford, married Joann Askew, 21, of Buckingham, Pennsylvania, daughter of John Askew and Magnolia Boyd, in Newport News, Virginia.

In the 1940 census of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: at 4431 Brown Street, William Ricks, 25, cook and waiter at cafe; wife Anna, 26, hotel maid; and aunt and lodger Magnolia Henry, 56, widow.

In 1941, Curtis Wiggins registered for the World War II draft in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Per his registration card, he was born 15 October 1908 in Whaleyville, Virginia; lived at 1255 South 18th Street, then 902 North Sartain, Philadlephia;his contact was wife Joanna Wiggins, 1255 South 18th; and he worked for Merchants & Miners Transportation Company, Philadelphia.

Elsie Wiggins died 27 January 1941 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Per her death certificate, she was born 14 January 1911 in New York to John Askew and Magnolia Boykin; was married to Curtis Wiggins; and lived at 902 Sartain, Philadelphia.

In the 1950 census of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: at 741 45th Street, Magnolia Henry, 66, widow; nieces Ella Davis, 25, and Victoria Drain, 11; nephew Thomas Heath, 28, and his wife Geneva, 25, and son Thomas Jr., newborn; and lodgers Ruth Mines, 26, Nancy Mines, 4, Kenneth Mines, newborn, Flax Graves, 42, Susan Graves, 45, and Beatrice Graves, 15.

Magnolia Henry died 30 April 1951 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Per her death certificate, she was born 7 February 1884 in Wilson, N.C., to John Boykin and Dicy Bailey; was a widow; and lived at 741 North 45th Street, Philadelphia.

They filled up with bug juice.


Wilson Advance, 17 September 1891.

  • Hood Phillips — in the 1880 census of Tarboro, Edgecombe County: minister H.C. Philips, 37, wife Emma, 34, and children Louisa, 12, Hood, 9, Walton, 6, and Cornelius, 3. On 18 May 1893, Hood S. Phillips, 22, of the town of Wilson, son of H.C. and E.E. Phillips, married Phillis Gay, 24, of the town of Wilson, daughter of Wiley and Catharine Gay. Rev. H.C. Phillips performed the ceremony at the A.M.E. Zion church. Witnesses were Annie Mincy, Annie Thorn and Alex Warren. Hood Phillips is listed as a barber living at 623 Viola in the 1908 Wilson City directory. He died 22 February 1919 in Wilson.
  • James Grant Taylor — in the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: railroad worker Jordan Taylor, 35, wife Jane, 22, and children James Grant, 7, Manora Ann, 4, General Washington, 3, and Lilly Green, 1.
  • Alex Warren — in the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: laborer Pompee Warren, 54, wife Della, 26, and sons John, 12, and Alexander, 2. In 24 December 1896, Alex Warren, 23, married Ida Davis, 22, in Wilson. Baptist minister W.T.H. Woodard performed the ceremony in the presence of Emma Burton, Mary Davis and Isaac Thompson. In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 367 Spring Street, ice factory blocker Alex Warren, 34, wife Ada, 36, and son John, 19, the latter two, factory workers. Alexander Warren died 4 January 1948 in Wilson. Per his death certificate: he was born about 1879 in Wilson County to Pompie and Della Warren; had worked as a laborer; resided at 403 E. Walnut Street; and was buried at Rountree cemetery. His neighbor John Parks of 405 E. Walnut was informant.
  • Chas. Yellock
  • Thomas Ellis

“Bug juice” was a slang term for low-quality whiskey.