Williamson

Paul T. Williamson.

Paul Thomas Williamson (1879-1960).

Merchant-farmer Paul T. Williamson donated the land upon which the Wilson County School Board built a six-room high school to serve African-American students in southwestern Wilson County. Williamson High School, which opened in 1942, later became known as Springfield High School.

Wilson Daily Times, 18 January 1960.

Wilson Daily Times, 28 December 1960.

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In the 1880 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Elic Williamson, 44; wife Gracy, 29; and children John, 14, Lugen, 11, Joseph, 9, Jennie, 7, Mary, 6, Clem, 4, Sarah J., 2, and Pall, 1.

In the 1900 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Alex Williamson, 63; wife Gracy, 50; children Genny Whitley, 26, and Sarah, 22, Paul, 21, Daniel, 19, Henietta, 15, Edna, 15, and Katie Williamson, 12; and grandchildren Nancy, 8, Della, 5, and Pearle Whitley, 4.

On 23 November 1904, Paul Williamson, 25, son of Alex and Grace Williamson of Springhill township, married Mary Hinnant, 23, daughter of Joe and Rhoda Hinnant of Spring Hill township. W.H. Horton of the Christian denomination performed the ceremony at Thom Hinnant‘s house in the presence of  J.T. Hinnant, L.H. Horton and W.H. Shaw.

In the 1910 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Wilson & Smithfield Branch Road, farmer Paul Williamson, 31; wife Mary, 28; and children Beatrice, 4, and James C., 3.

In the 1920 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Old Clayton & Wilson Road, farmer Paul T. Williamson, 40; wife Mary, 38; and children Beatrice, 14, and James, 12.

In the 1930 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Paul T. Williamson, 51; wife Mary, 48; daughter Beatrice, 24; son James C., 23; daughter-in-law Anna D., 22;  grandson James W., 6 months; and boarder Ozie Allen, 35, a farm laborer.

In the 1940 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Paul Williamson, 61; wife Mary, 57; daughter Beatrice, 34; son James, 33, filling station operator; daughter-in-law Anna, 32; and grandchildren Jantice, 8, and Paul W., 6.

Paul Thomas Williamson died 27 December 1960 in Lucama, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 14 February 1879 in Wilson County to Alex Williamson and Grace Shaw; worked as a grocery store merchant; and was married to Mary Williamson.

Photo of Williamson courtesy of Wilson Daily Times.

The estate of Ann Williamson.

Documents in the 1822 estate files of Ann Williamson of Nash (now Wilson) County include several references to the sale or “hier” of enslaved people. Williamson was the widow of Joseph Williamson, and Bartley Deans was her executor.

Williamson had executed a will in 1807, fifteen years before her death. She listed three enslaved people — women named Pat and Rachel and a boy named Arch.

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A partial inventory in Williamson’s estate records also lists Arch, Rachel and Pat. Rachel and Pat are listed together at one place in documents and may have been mother and daughter. (Note that, as she was only ten years old in 1822, the Pat in in Williamson’s estate could not have been the Pat in her will.)

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Here, record of the sale of “Negro gal Pat” to Eatman Flowers for $353.88; the hire of Arch, first to Jesse Sillivant, then to Thomas Williamson; and the hire of Rachel to Ford Taylor. These three were hired out repeatedly.

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A receipt for partial proceeds from the sale of Jack to John Watson, executor of Luke Collins:

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Estate of Ann Williamson (1822), North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

 

 

Thursday night drunk.

Coroner’s report of the Inquest held over Dennis Williams (Col.), Dec. 19th, 1899

North Carolina, Wilson County  }

Record of the examination of witnesses at the Inquest over the dead body of Dennis Williams (col)

The examination of W.D. Crocker M.D., Arch’d Robinson, W.M. Mumford, Edmund Williamson, John Henry, Horton Wells, Jason Wells (col), Alfred Moore taken before the undersigned, Coroner of said County, this 18th day of December 1899 at the Court House in Wilson, upon the body of Dennis Williams then lying dead, to-wit Archibald Robinson, being duly sworn says:

I went down to Mr. Moore’s Thursday night a little after dark. Mr. Moore not at home, but stayed there until a little after eight, went out and hurried towards home, just as I got close to the grave yard I heard a noise sound like some one struggling, I thought at first some one was trying to scare me heard noise about 100 years from Mr. Mumfords house. Saw man laying beside road, just a got against him I turned to left but walked by his feet and look down to see if I knew him, but made no stop. I met Edmund WmSon between where man was lying and Mr. Mumfords house. Just as I crossed the bridge I met him he spoke and I spoke and I stop after I passed him to see if he could recognize him and he stop and called to me that here is a man that seemed to be drunk or hurt come back and see if we can see what is to matter with him. I came back to injured man and found that Edmond knew him and found that he was injured. I and Mr. Mumford went to the depot and let some of the [illegible] Dr. W.D. Crocker went to see him. They took him up and carried him over to a vacant house about 350 years away where the doctor dressed his wounds. The man was total unconscience and stayed so, as far as I heard. Don’t know anything more about it.    Archibald (X) Robinson

Edmund Williamson being duly sworn says:

I was acquainted with Dennis Williams. Did not recognize him that night at first, but did afterwards. There was right much blood on ground, where he was found. Do not know why he was there.   Edmund (X) Williamson.

Wash Mumford, being duly sworn says:

Dennis came up to my house drunk, Thursday night drunk, like he always came, have learn him for 20 years, came to my gate, but Dago wouldn’t let him in. I was out in yard cutting out my beef. I forbid him to come in my yard for he was drunk, he walked off to one side, leaning up against walling. About 8 or 10 minutes, talking to him self. Had some words and he walked away cursing. He was not very offensive and went off as soon as I told him to go. Went off in direction to where he was afterwards found. Heard that he was hurt about 15 minutes after he left my house. I heard him meet some one, and heard him curve some one, and heard other party say he would kill him if he cursed him, and almost immediately afterwards heard blows. Mr. Wells and my son was with me. After I found out he was hurt, took my cart, and help them carry him off and dress his would. Found a bar rail and a fence rail where he was hurt, was blood, and hair on rails.  Wash (X) Mumford

Horton Wells, being duly sworn says:

I was at Mr. Mumford, when Dennis same to his house Thursday night. I heard nothing more than Mr. Mumford testified to.  /s/ J.H. Wells

Jason Wells, being duly sworn, says:

I am barber, my business is at Lucama. Went home a little early Thursday night. I saw Dennis at depot Thursday. He was drunk. I saw him between sun set and dark, didn’t see him after I went home. Didn’t see him have any money, but heard him say he had some. I took a drink with him, some time in the day he was not drunk then. Never saw him after he was hurt.   Jason (X) Wells

Alferd Moore, being duly sworn, says:

The man was found dead about a half miles from my house.   /s/ Alfred Moore

Dr. W.D. Crocker, being duly sworn says:

I practice medicine at Lucama I saw Dennis Williams in Lucama Thursday about sun down very drunk and he spoke to me, did not know him at that time. Had him searched next morning, did n’t find any thing except some candy, When I saw him at about half past ten he was unconscience, and had one cut on head near 6 in in length, cut to skull. I couldn’t detect any fracture in skull. He had both arms broken about five in from wrist, one bone in each arm. I think the cause of his death was from the two wounds on the head. I think the wounds were made by a rail.  He was never conscience, and his pulse was very week. His folks took him home Friday and he died the next day. He also had a bruise on back of his head.  /s/ W.D. Crocker

John Henry Battle, being duly sworn, says:

I live in Lucama, work with Mr. J.L. Hays. I saw Dennis Williams, about dark Thursday night, didnt see him during day. He was going out of town, with a man called Black Jack, coming out towards Barnes cross roads. I thought Dennis was drunk. Black Jack didn’t seem to be as drunk as Dennis, but I though he was drinking, Dennis wanted to go out in the country, and Black Jack didn’t want to go. Don’t know whether he went or no, both seemed to be in good humor. Didn’t see Dennis any more until he was found hurt, and haven’t see Black Jack since.  /s/ John Henry Battle

John K. Ruffin, Coroner

——

  • Dennis Williams
  • Jason Wells — Jason Wells, 47, of Cross Roads, married Rena Reaves, 22, of Cross Roads, on 19 October 1897 in Lucama. Witnesses were Henry Odham, Joseph Newsom, and Linsey Wells. In the 1900 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County: day laborer Jason Wells, 51, wife Arrena, 30, and children Joseph E., 16, Johnie H., 11, Shelly, 2, and Carlton, 9 months. Jason Wells died 18 October 1934 in Cross Roads township. Per his death certificate: he was born in 1851 in Nash County to Dennis and Nellie Wells; was married to Rena Reaves Wells; worked as a farmer until 1931; and was buried in Lamms cemetery. Rena Reaves Wells was informant.
  • Edmund Williamson — in the 1900 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County: Edmund Williamson, 50, wife Thaney, 44, and children William, 25, Nicie, 23, Eliza, 22, Eddie, 21, Ally, 19, Pollina, 17, Dolly Ann, 15, Isaac, 12, and Raiford, 7.
  • John Henry Battle — in the 1900 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County: day laborer Columbus Battle, 24, wife Minnie, 20, and brother, John H., 23, also a day laborer.

Coroner’s Records, Miscellaneous Records, Wilson County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

Cemeteries, no. 8: Rocky Branch church cemetery.

Established in 1870, Rocky Branch United Church of Christ is one of the oldest African-American congregations in Wilson County. The older section of its cemetery sits literally in its front yard. The newer section is on a plain just above the church, reached by crossing a footbridge over a tannin-stained branch. A small placard mounted at the bridge reveals that it was built by church members and dedicated to Seth Thomas Shaw Jr. (1895-1981) and Eugene Spells (1924-1988).

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In the 1870 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Celia Thompson, 40, and children Courtney, 17, Chany, 14, and Columbus, 7.

On 16 December 1880, Aaron Barnes, 23, and Chany Thompson, 23, both residents of Wilson County, were married at the residence of Ruffin Rose. Witnesses were Simon Barnes, Willis Hooks, and Grey Newsome.

In the 1900 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County: Aaron Barnes, 42, wife Chanie, 37, and sister-in-law[?] Tempie Peacock, 15.

In the 1910 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County: Aaron Barnes, 54, wife Chainie, 45, and mother-in-law Celia Thompson, 86.

In the 1920 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County: Aaron Barnes, 63, and wife Chanie, 62.

In the 1930 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County: Aron Barnes, 72, and wife Chanie, 72.

Arron Barnes died 6 October 1930 in Lucama. Per his death certificate, he was born in 1852 in  Wilson County to Arron Barnes Sr. and Elvie Barnes of Wilson County, was married to Kannie Barnes, and worked as a farmer. He was buried in Pollie Watson graveyard. Chanie Barnes died 26 March 1936 in Lucama. Per her death certificate, she was born 1856 in Nash County to George Thompson and Celia Thompson of Nash County, was the widow of Aaron Barnes, and had resided on Main Street, Lucama.

  • George Cooper and Estella Smith Cooper

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On 24 February 1877, George Cooper, 21, married Estella Smith, 19, in Wayne County.

In the 1880 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County: George Cooper, 23, wife Estella, 21, sister Mary, 17, brother Mose, 13, and children Philipp, 4, Ritta, 3, and Marchal, 2.

In the 1900 census of Fremont township, Wayne County: George Cooper, 46, wife Stellar, 40, and children Aretter, 22, George B., 16, Juley, 14, James, 12, Mary, 10, Maggie, 7, Bessie, 4, and Royal, 3. Next door, Philipp Cooper, 23, wife Florence, 26, and Earl, 3 months.

In the 1920 census of Springhill district, Wilson County: Tack House and Moores School Road, George Cooper, 65, Stella, 55, and children [or grandchildren] Maggie, 25, Stella, 13, and Irene, 9.

Estella Cooper died 17 July 1931 in Springhill township. Per her death certificate, she was 74 years old and born in Wayne County to Jacob Smith and Littie Whitley, both of Wayne County. She was married to George Cooper Sr. and worked in farming. James Cooper was the informant.

George Cooper died 25 October 1940 at his home at 910 Mercer Street in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 90 years old and born in Duplin County to Warch and Warshell Cooper. He was buried at Rocky Branch. Informant was James W. Cooper, Wilson.

James William Cooper died 12 February 1967 at his home at 110 Fourth Street in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 24 July 1887 in Wayne County to George Cooper and Estelle Smith; worked as a fireman for James I. Miller Company; was a World War I veteran; and was married to Alberta A. Cooper.

  • Thomas Rice and Julia Watson Rice

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In the 1870 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Alfred Rice, 40, wife Amy, 30, and son Thomas, 13, and Gray Bailey, 24, all farm laborers.

In the 1880 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Alfred Rice, about 52, wife Amy, about 35, and son Thomas, 22, a laborer, plus Thomas Pettiford, 2.

Thomas Rice and Julia Watson were married on 24 November 1881 in Johnston County.

In the 1900 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Thomas Rice, 43, wife Julia, 43, children Siddie, 19, Annanias, 16, Savanah, 14, John, 12, and mother Amy, 60.

In the 1910 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: hired man Thomas Rice, 53, in the household of white farmer Charles O. Hinnant. He reported having been married 27 years, but his wife is not listed with him.

In the 1920 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Springfield and Red Hill Road, Tom Rice, 56, and wife Julia, 50.

Julia Rice died 25 July 1925 near Kenly in Springhill township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 15 July 1859 in Johnston County, was married to Tom Rice, and was buried in Rocky Branch graveyard. Tom Rice died 3 February 1927.

  • Louvenia Williamson Devine Bizzle

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In the 1880 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: Elic Williamson, 44, wife Gracy, 29, and children John, 14, Lugen, 11, Joseph, 9, Jennie, 7, Mary, 6, Clem, 4, Sarah J., 2, and Poll, 1, all of whom had whooping cough.

On 22 November 1893, Alex Devine, 49, of Springhill township, married Louvenia Williamson, 24, of Springhill township.

Gracy Williamson died 14 September 1916 in Springhill township of pulmonary tuberculosis. Per her death certificate, she was born 28 May 1903 to Louvenia Williamson and Alex Vines.

On 23 October 1923, Washington Bizzle, 40, of Wrightsville, Georgia, married Louvenia Williamson, 42, of Crossroads township, at the courthouse in Wilson.

Louvenia Williamson Bizzle applied for a social security number in January 1938. Her application listed her birthdate as 5 May 1869 and her parents as Alec Williamson and Gracie Shaw.

  • Katie Freeman

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On the 1880 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Lewis Freeman, about 55, wife Katy, about 25, and Violet Eatman, about 70.

On 16 December 1891, William R. Robinson, 20, of Old Fields, son of Katie Freeman, married Sallie W. Earp, 19, of Old Fields, daughter of Sidney and Nancy Earp at Sidney Earp’s residence.

In the 1910 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Wilson and Raleigh Road, widow Rachael Robinson, 71, and her daughter Katie Freeman, 52.

In the 1920 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Old Raleigh Road, widow Rachael Robertson, 80, and her daughter Katie Freeman, 61, also a widow.

Katie Freeman died 29 November 1931 in Springhill township. Per her death certificate, she  was a 78 year-old widow born in Wilson County to Virgen Deans and Rachel Robinson. Informant was Wm. Ruffin Robinson, Rock Ridge, North Carolina.

  • Sylvia Boykin

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On 12 February 1893, Harriett Boykin, 20, daughter of Henry and Sylva Boykin, married Samuel Taylor, 26, son of Peter and Zilla Taylor, at Henry Boykin’s residence.

On 17 December 1897, James Boykin, 21, son of Henry and Silvy Boykin, married Mary Jane Kent, daughter of Ned and Liddie Kent.

In the 1930 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: Foster Boykin, 22, wife Ella, 18, and children James R., 2, and Alma, 1; sister-in-law Lily Whitley, 22; mother Silva Boykin, 81; and niece Eula M. Whitley, 3.

Sylvia Boykin died 12 January 1939 at her home at 507 Warren Street in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 90 years old, born in Wilson County, and her father [sic, probably meant to indicate husband] was Henry Boykin. She was a widow who had worked as a tenant farmer.

  • Spencer “Fox” Shaw and Tabitha Shaw

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In the 1870 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: Thomas Shaw, 36, wife Katy, 37, and children Frances, 16, Eliza, 14, Fox, 12, David, 11, Martha, 4, and Mary, 2.

In the 1880 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: Fox Shaw, 21, wife Bithal, 18, and daughter Mary, 2 months.

In the 1900 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: Spencer Shaw, 40, wife Tabitha, 41, and children George A., 17, James R., 11, Hattie, 9, Joeseph G., 6, Seth T., 5, and Albert S., 2.

In the 1910 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Wilson and Raleigh Branch Road, Spencer Shaw, 51, wife Bitha, 49, and children James R., 21, Joseph T., 16, Seth T.,14, Albert S., 11, Merlin S., 9, Willie H., 7, and Alice M., 5.

In the 1920 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Shaw Avenue on Springhill Road, farmer Spencer S. Shaw, 60, wife Bitha, 60, and children Albert, 22, Marlie, 19, Willie, 16, and Alice, 14. Next door: Grocil Shaw, 26, wife Nettie, 16, and children Rosa, 2, and Grover C., 1

In the 1930 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Buckhorn [illegible] Road, Spencer S. Shaw, 70, wife Bytha J., 70, sons William H., 24, and Seth T., 34, daughter-in-law Georgeanna, 24, and grandchildren Alice M., 4, Seth T., 2, and Franklin S., 6 months.

In the 1940 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: Seth T. Shaw, 44, wife Georgiana, 34, mother Bitha, 79, and children Alice M., 14, Seth T., 12, Franklin G., 10, George C., 7, Daisy May, 5, and James C., 3.

Bitha Shaw died 25 August 1957 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 30 June 1877 [actually, circa 1860] in Wake County, North Carolina. She was buried at Rocky Branch. Informant was Hattie Boykins.

Cemeteries, no. 6: Sane Williams cemetery.

On Saint Rose Church Road in western Wilson County, very nearly across from the Saint Rose United Holy Church, is the Sane Williams cemetery. It contains about 60 identifiable graves, including these:

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  • Spicey Williamson

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In the 1870 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: 45 year-old farm laborer Patrick Williamson, wife Spicy, 40, and children Katy, 15, Gracy, 13, Turner, 10, Mahalah, 7, Elijah, 4, and Henry, 1.

In the 1880 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: 54 year-old farmer Patrick Williamson, wife Spicey, 46, and children George T., 20, Mahalah J., 17, Eligh, 14, Henry S., 11, Eli T., 8, and Edney E., 6.

  • Martha Williamson

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  • Geneva Williamson

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Martha and Geneva Williamson were two of the three wives of Henry Singletary Williamson, son of Patrick and Spicey Williamson.

On 12 July 1891, Henry S. Williamson, 22, of Old Fields, son of Patrick and Spicey Williamson, married Martha Jones, 22, of Old Fields, daughter of William and Jane Jones. Witnesses were Thomas A. Jones, J.F. Marsh[illegible], and J.H. Jones.

In the 1900 census of Old Fields, Wilson County: farmer Henry Williamson, 31, wife Martha, 32, and son William, 11.

On 8 April 1908 (less than three months after Martha’s death), Henry S. Williamson, 39, married Jeneva Thompson, 33, in Old Fields in the presence of John A. Jones, John Lucas and H.I. High.

In the 1920 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: on Jones Hill Road, Henry S. Williamson, 53, wife Jeneva, 40, laborer Mary Lizzie Jones, 13, niece Zilphia Deadman, 41, great-niece Addie Deadman, 15, and laborer Dave Powell, 48.

On 11 February 1925, Henry S. Williamson, 57, married Irene Mary Greene, 24, in the presence of Dock High, Alvin Howard, and Sallie High.

In the 1930 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Henery S. Williamson, 62, and wife Marry I., 24.

Henry Singletary Williamson, a farmer, died 28 March 1939 in Old Fields township of organic heart disease. He was born 7 November 1868 in Wilson County to Parriot and Spicie Williamson of Wilson County. Informant was Sylvester T. Jones.

  • Mary Alston 

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  • Henry Alston

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Henry and Mary Alston are somewhat elusive in the record, and I have not found them  together in any census records. Nor have I found their marriage license. However, Mary Alston died 1 September 1933 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson of an intestinal obstruction due to massive umbilical hernia. She was 58 years old and the widow of Henry Alston. She was born in Wilson County to Daniel Taylor and Lucinda Renfrow.

He is a suitable person to have custody.

NORTH CAROLINA, WILSON COUNTY           }             IN THE SUPERIOR COURT

IN THE MATTER OF SARAH WILLIAMSON AND AMY WILLIAMSON            }             APPLICATION FOR HABEAS CORPUS

TURNER WILLIAMSON, first being duly sworn, says:

That he is a resident of Wilson County, North Carolina, sixty years old, and has lived in Wilson County all of his life; that on the 18th. day of November, 1914, the affiant and Leacy Williamson were married to one another in Wilson County, North Carolina, and lived together until March 5th. 1920, when the said Leacy Williamson, without cause or legal justification, separated herself from the affiant, and has lived separate and apart from him since that date; that prior to the said separation, there had been born of the marriage two children, viz: Sarah Williamson, now six years old, and Amy Williamson, now two years old; that at the time Leacy Williamson separated herself from the affiant, she took with her both of the said children and has had them with her continuously since said date; that she has refused to surrender the custody of the said children to this affiant, their father, and has refused to permit the said children to visit the said affiant or to permit the affiant to visit his said children; that the affiant is, in every way, a proper and suitable person to have the custody of the said children; that he owns eighty-seven acres of valuable Iand in Cross Roads Township and in addition thereto has sufficient personal property to meet the requirements of his said farm and of his family; that the said Leacy Williamson although of correct character, is not a suitable person to have the custody of the said children by reason of her temperament, her lack of estate and her physical inability to provide for the said children the necessities of life, and to educate them.

The affiant has repeatedly endeavored to have his wife return to his household and bring with her his children that he might support and educate his said children, but because of the antagonistic influence of the brothers and sisters of the said Leacy Williamson, she has refused and still refuses to return to his household or to surrender to this affiant the custody of his children, or to permit him to exercise any paternal care or authority whatsoever over his said children.

WHEREFORE, the affiant prays that by proper Writ of this Court the said Leacy Williamson be required to have the said children, Sarah Williamson and Amy Williamson before the Court at such time and place as may be designated by the Court that the custody of the children may, by the Court, be awarded, and for such other and further relief as may be proper in the premises.

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Sworn to and subscribed before me this 31st. day of October, 1921. /s/ J.D. Barden CLERK SUPERIOR COURT

——

On 17 December 1914, Turner Williamson, 55, married Leecie Dew, 35, both of Cross Roads township. [Turner was the son of Patrick and Spicey Williamson.]

In the 1920 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: Turner Williamson, 62; wife Margarett B., 52; and children Bessie, 25, Effie, 23, Monte, 19, Turner, 17, Anne, 15, George, 13, Sarah, 4, and Amie, 8 months. A couple of odd points: (1) Turner Williamson married Margaret Barnes on 8 October 1891 in Wilson County, but, per her gravemarker, Margaret Barnes Williamson died in 1908 (and Turner is listed as a widower in the 1910 census); (2) if, per the petition, Turner and Leacy Williamson lived together until 20 March 1920, why was she not listed as his wife when the censustaker enumerated their household on 28 January 1920?

A sad coda: Amy Williamson died 25 March 1926, just short of her eighth birthday, of acute pericarditis and tonsillitis.

Marriage Records, Office of Register of Deeds, Wilson County; Death Certificates, Vital Records, Office of Register of Deeds, Wilson County; Child Care Records, Miscellaneous Records, Wilson County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

Musical blind children of Wilson County.

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The Voice: An International Review of the Speaking and Singing Voice, vol. 7 (1885).

MUSICAL BLIND CHILDREN.

For several days past there has been a remarkable family of negroes in Atlanta. Their name is Williamson, and they came from Wilson county, North Carolina. There are three brothers and four sisters, all of whom have been totally blind from birth. They are the children of black parents who were slaves and ordinary field hands. Unto them were born fourteen children, seven of whom had sight, while seven were blind. The blind children were not only hardier and healthier, but their mental endowments are superior to those of their brothers and sisters who could see. They went to Raleigh to the state blind asylum and were there well educated. Every one of them developed a remarkable talent for music, and on leaving the asylum they organized themselves into a concert company and began to travel through the South. The oldest brother married a smart negro woman, who acts as guide and business manager of the party. They have been all over the South giving entertainments, which have paid them handsomely. They sing and play on various instruments with remarkable skill. All of them have good voices, which have been well trained.

Their most remarkable performances are the exhibitions of their powers of mimicry. They imitate a brass band so perfectly, that a person outside the hall in which they are humming would almost invariably be deceived. Their imitation of the organ is equally perfect. Each of the singers makes a peculiar noise and carries his or her own part of the performance, and the combined result is a deep music very like to the pealing of a grand organ. These are two of their many tricks. They are constantly adding to their repertoire, and perfecting themselves more and more in their curious arts.  They have educated the sense of touch to a remarkable degree. By feeling of a person’s face and head, they can give an accurate description of his or her appearance; and one of the sisters claims that she can tell the color of the hair by touching it. The seven will stand with joined hands and any object can be placed in the hands of the oldest brother at the end of the line; while he holds it, he claims that the magnetic current which passes through the entire line will enable any one of his brothers and sisters to tell what he has in his hand. At any rate, some remarkable guesses of this kind are made.

The blind negroes have given a series of entertainments in various negro churches in the city, and have created a great sensation among the colored population. It is said they take great care of their aged parents, who still reside on the old homestead in North Carolina, in the same cabin where they lived as slaves, and where their fourteen children were born.The blind singers have bought the place and presented it to their parents. The brothers and the wife of the eldest manage the financial affairs of the combination so successfully that they accumulated a snug property. The oldest brother is about twenty-eight and the youngest sister about sixteen years old. Various efforts have been made by professional managers to secure the control of this remarkable family, but they prefer to take care of their own affairs. They are all  intelligent and remarkably well posted on matters in general.  — Atlanta Constitution.

45 acres more or less.

I, Patric Williamson of the County of Wilson, and State of North Carolina, being of sound mind and memory, but considering the uncertainty of my earthly existance do make this my last will and testament, and declare the same in manner and following, that is to say

First That my executor (hereinafter named) shall provide for my body a decent burial, suitable to the wishes of my relations and friends, and pay all funeral expences, together with my just debts, howsoever and to whomsoever owing, out of the moneys that may first come into his hands as a part or parcel of my estate.

Item 1st  I give and bequeath to my daughter Edney Ellen Williamson, that portion of my land lying between the land leading from near my house west to the new road, the line between me and the widow Aby Flowers, then south along said road to T.R. Lamm’s line, then East with said T.R. Lamm’s line to the Avanue leading from the Raleigh road north to the ende of the lane, the beginning, containing by estimation forty five acres more or less, to have and to hold, to her and her heirs, if any, if no bodily heirs, then to go back to her nearest of blood kin.

Item 2nd I give and bequeth to my son Henry Singler Williamson all the balance of my land to have and to hold to him and his bodily heirs born in wedlock if any, if no such heirs, then to go back to his nearest of blood kin.

Item 3rd I also give and bequeath to my son Henry S. Williamson my two horse farm waggon, my double barrell gun and one half of my kitchen furniture to be his and at his disposal forever after my death.

Item 4th I also give and bequeath to my daughter Edney E. Williamson all of my farming tools, one clock, her two choice feather beds, and furniture one fourth of my crop and provisions on hand, together with one chest one bureau one truck and the other half of my kitchen furniture not disposed of to have as her own right in property after my death, and it is also my will and intention that Edney E. Williamson have the free use of my houses during her single life.

And lastly I do hereby constitute and appoint my trusty son Henry S. Williamson my lawful executor to all intents, and purposes to execute this my last will and testament, according to the true intent and meaning of the same, and every part and claus thereof hereby revoking and declaring utterly void all other wills and testaments by me heretofore made.

In witness whereof I the said Patrick Williamson do hereunto set my hand and seal, this the 14th day of May A.D. 1896.    Patric (X) Williamson {seal}

Signed sealed published and declared by the said Patrick Williamson to be his last will and testament in the presance of us who at his request and in his presance do subscribe our names as witnesses thereto.  /s/ Stephen D. Boykin, Hilliard W. Boykin

——

In the 1870 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: 45 year-old farm laborer Patrick Williamson, wife Spicy, 40, and children Katy, 15, Gracy, 13, Turner, 10, Mahalah, 7, Elijah, 4, and Henry, 1.

In the 1880 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: 54 year-old farmer Patrick Williamson, wife Spicey, 46, and children George T., 20, Mahalah J., 17, Eligh, 14, Henry S., 11, Eli T., 8, and Edney E., 6. (A.S. and Abi Flowers are listed next door to this household.)

WDT 5 29 1896 P Wmson

Wilson Times, 29 May 1896.

Patrick and Spicey Williamson are buried in Saint Rose Holiness Church cemetery on Saint Rose Church Road, southeast of Sims in western Wilson County. Saint Rose Holiness Church is across the road. Old Raleigh Road, mentioned in Item 1, runs just south of the church.

North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998 [database on-line], Ancestry.com.

Division of Williamson slaves.

WILLIAMSON -- Division of Slaves

To the worshipful Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions of Wilson County   January Term A.D. 1864

In obedience to an order of the Worshipful Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions issuing from October Term A.D. 1863 to us directed me J.M. Taylor Willis Deans & Stephen D. Boykin the commissioners in the said order named have on this the 4th day of January A.D. 1864 proceeded to divide the slaves named in the order between Isaac Williamson & Eli Williamson the petitioner therein named & to allot to each is share in severalty. We have allotted & assigned to Eli Williamson the slaves Reuben, Margaret & her child Riney, Hittie & Elias; and to Isaac Williamson the slaves Harry, Jacob, Priscilla and Wesley and assigned to each of them the said slaves in severalty.

In making the division as above we have allotted to Eli Williamson two hundred dollars in money out of the share of Isaac Williamson to make the division equal.

Respectfully submitted, /s/ J.M. Taylor, S.D. Boykin, Willis Deans, commissioners

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Eli and Isaac Williamson were the youngest children of Isaac Williamson (1804-1855). The enslaved people subjected to this division probably represented their share of the elder Isaac’s estate, distributed as they reached adulthood.

This household, listed in the 1870 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County, may show some of the people listed above, newly freed. Elias Williamson is probably the boy distributed to Eli Williamson, Margaret Baker may be the Margaret given to Eli, and Priscilla and Wesley Baker may be the children given to Isaac.

1870 Williamson

Records of Slaves and Free People of Color, Wilson County Records, North Carolina State Archives.