Williamson

The blind Williamson singers.

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Wilson N.C.  May 6. 1887

H.D. Norton/  Capt. &c

D Sir

Enclosed herewith you have a partial report of the condition of the unfortunates among the coloured population of the County, owing to the pressures of other duties. I have not been able to give the matter that attention necessary to give a full & correct report. If a longer time can be given I will give it further attention & report again — I would say that the case of the blind chidlren herein reported is one that calls loudly for sympathy & assistance, five in one family from their birth.

Yours Very Respy &c, J.W. Davis Shff Wilson Co

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Table Showing the Number, Sex & Age of the class of ‘Unfortunates’ among the colored people of Wilson County, State of North Carolina

  • Sarah Selby, age 54
  • Wm. Williamson, age 8
  • Edward Williamson, age 12
  • Allice Williamson, age 4
  • Pauline Williamson, age 5
  • Aquilla Williamson, age 7
  • Jno. Bailey
  • Robt. Hinnant

In the 1880 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Edmund Williamson, 50; wife Thany, 44; and children William, 25, Nicie, 23, Eliza, 22, Eddie, 21, Ally, 19, Pollina, 17, Dolly Ann, 15, Isaac, 12, and Raiford, 7. The six hashmarks at right are in the column marked “Blind,” and the occupation of William, Eddie, Alice and Pauline was listed as “gives concerts.”

As described here, the Williamson siblings were educated at the state’s School for the Blind and earned a good living touring to showcase their remarkable voices.

On 12 October 1903, Edmund Williamson drafted his last will and testament. Per his wishes, his “two blind sons William Williamson and Edmund Williamson” and his “blind daughter Leany Williamson” were to equally divide a life estate in all his real estate and then to successive heirs “to remain in the Williamson family forever.” Daughter Dollie Ann Brownricks was to receive a life estate in all Williamson’s personal property, money, stock and crops, with her children Timothy, Bethania and Lizzie Seabury to receive the remainder.

North Carolina Freedmen’s Bureau Field Office Records, 1863-1872, Goldsboro (subassistant commissioner), Roll 16, Unregistered Letters Received Aug 1865-Feb 1868, http://www.familysearch.org 

Dr. John Clemon Williamson.

Winston-Salem Journal, 7 June 1914.

Winston-Salem Journal, 7 June 1914.

Born near Lucama in 1876 to Alex and Gracie Shaw Williamson, John Clemons Williamson attended Slater Industrial (the precursor to Winston-Salem State University), then Leonard Medical School. He returned to Winston-Salem to practice medicine and founded a private sanitarium in 1914.

——

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 Salem, Forsyth County, North Carolina, John C. Williamson, 24, is listed as a pupil at Slater Industrial and State Normal School.

On 14 January 1905, John C. Williamson, 28, of Winston-Salem, son of Alexander and Gracie Williamson of Wilson, married Callie S. Hairston, 22, of Winston-Salem, daughter of Robert and Catherine Hairston of Winston-Salem.

In the 1906 Winston-Salem, N.C., city directory: Williamson John C (Callie) tchr Slater Sch r[esidence] Columbian Hts

In the 1910 Winston-Salem, N.C., city directory: Williamson Callie S tchr Graded Schl [boards at] 605 Chestnut. Also, Williamson J C (Callie) student h 930 Ida Bell av, Columbian Heights

In 1918, John Clemon Williamson registered for the World War I draft in Winston-Salem. Per his registration card, he was born 19 May 1876; resided at 1326 East Bank Street; was a physician at 408 Church Street; and was married to Callie S. Williamson.

In the 1920 census of Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, North Carolina: Dr. J.C. Williamson, 43, physician; wife Callie S., 38; and daughter Plummer M., 7; niece Pearl Whitley, 22, office assistant to Dr. Williamson; and boarders John J. Green, 34, merchant; Rev. C.A. Nero, 38, of Nevis, West Indies, clergyman at Saint Stephens Episcopal Church; and nieces Liggitt Hairston, 15, of Saint Kitts, West Indies, and Catherine Hairston, 11.

The Twin City Daily Sentinel, 25 June 1920.

In the 1923 Winston-Salem, N.C., city directory: Williamson Jno C (Callie) pres Eureka Drug Co and Phys 800 N Ridge av h 1326 E Bank

John Clemon Williamson died 17 April 1927 in Winston-Salem. Per his death certificate, he was born 19 May 1876 in Wilson County to Alexander Williamson of Nash County and Grace Shaw of Wilson County, and he was a physician.

Undated and unattributed news clipping.

John C. Williamson left a straightforward will leaving all his property to his wife. Probate but anything but smooth though, as creditors disputed Callie Williamson’s handling of her husband’s estate and petitioned for her removal as executrix for mismanagement. The doctor’s $12000 estate was illusory, as his real property was encumbered by deeds of trust and his accounts receivable proved uncollectible. In 1929, Callie Williamson pulled up stakes and moved to Harlem with her daughter and infant granddaughter.

In the 1930 census of Manhattan, New York County, New York: at 196 Edgecombe Avenue, rented for $150/month, Callie Williamson, 48, widow; daughter Plummer, 17, domestic; and grandchild Jacqueline, 11 months, born in North Carolina; plus 13 roomers.

Callie Williamson died 27 May 1930 in Manhattan.

Signature from Williamson’s World War I draft registration card.

Toney Eatmon’s sons.

Is it not clear whether Toney Eatmon ever lived in Wilson County, but his two known children did. The record is scarce, but:

In the 1850 census of Nash County, North Carolina, Tony Eatmon, 55, farmer, in the household of white farmer Theophilus Eatmon, 70. Tony was described as mulatto, and the belief that he was Theophilus Eatmon’s son is supported by DNA matching.

On 4 February 1868, Jack Williamson, son of Toney Eatmon and Hester Williamson, married Ann Boykin, daughter of John Harper and Alder Reid, at Jack Williamson’s in Wilson. [Per census records, Jack Williamson was born about 1835.]

Willis Barnes died 15 September 1914 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 73 years old; married; a farmer; and born in Nash County to Toney Eatmon and Annie Eatmon. Jesse Barnes was informant.

In short: Toney Eatmon was born free about 1795 (or perhaps a few years later), most likely in southeastern Nash County to Theophilus Eatmon and an unknown free woman of color. DNA testing suggests strongly that he was closely related to Nelson Eatmon, another free man of color. Whether he married is unknown, but he fathered at least two sons, Jack Williamson, born about 1835 to Hester Williamson, an enslaved woman, and Willis Barnes, born about 1841, to Annie Eatmon (or, perhaps, Barnes), an enslaved woman. Williamson and Barnes lived their adult lives in Wilson County. Toney Eatmon likely died between 1850 and 1860.

Cemeteries, no. 26: the Alex and Gracy Shaw Williamson cemetery.

The Alex and Gracy Williamson cemetery lies adjacent to the Hardy H. Williamson cemetery off N.C. Highway 42 in Spring Hill township. Hardy Williamson (1807-1858) was a white farmer who owned property in parts of Johnston and Nash County that became Wilson County after 1855.

A view of the Alex Williamson cemetery from the western edge of the Hardy Williamson cemetery.

  • Alex Williamson

Alex Williamson died May 6, 1921 age 84

On 9 September 1869, Alex Williamson, son of Samuel Bass and Silvy Williams[on], married Grace Shaw, daughter of Thomas Narron and Katty Williamson, at Thomas Shaw‘s in Wilson County.

In the 1870 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Ellic Williamson, 33; wife Gracy, 24; and children Ellic, 4, and Eugenia, 1.

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 and Smithfield Branch Road, farmer Alexander Williamson, 72; wife Gracy, 62; widowed daughter Jennie Williamson, 38; daughters Sarah, 20, and Henrietta, 26; and grandchildren Nancy, 18, Della, 17, Hattie, 15, and Pearle Whitley, 14.

In the 1920 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Old Clayton and Wilson Road, farmer Alexandria Williamson, 83; divorced daughter Janie W. Williamson, 37; granddaughter Dezell Bailey, 4; and stepson [son-in-law?] McKinley Bailey, 28, house carpenter.

Alexander Williamson died 6 April 1921 in Springhill township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born in 1837 in Wilson County; was the widower of Gracy Williamson; was a farmer; and was buried in the Williamson graveyard.

  • Gracy Shaw Williamson

Gracy wife of Alex Williamson born  Jan 19, 1850 died June 28, 1912.

  • Mary Williamson

Mary Williamson Feb 21 1874 Sept 2 1899 Resting till the resurrection morn.

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.

  • Henrietta Williamson Kent

Henrietta Kent wife George S. Kent Born Sep. 4 1883 Died Sep. 14 1912 She fought the good fight she kept the faith and is safe in the arms of Jesus.

The Masonic emblem suggests that this stone was originally intended for a male decedent.

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 6 April 1911, George Kent, 28, of Nash County, married Henrietta Williamson, 27, of Spring Hill township. Missionary Baptist William H. Mitchiner performed the ceremony at the bride’s father’s house in the presence of J.T. Hinnant of Spring Hill, Paul Williamson of Lucama and Sallie M. Barbour of Wilson. (George Samuel Kent was a son of Ned and Lydia Barnes Kent.)

  • Bettie Boykin

Bettie dau. of J.R. & Mary Boykin Born Oct 5, 1876 Died Apr 25, 1913 Weep not, she is not dead but sleeping.

In the 1880 census of Spring Hill township, Wilson County: farmer John Boykin, 42; wife Mary, 29; and children Dock, 19, Dick, 15, Turner, 7, Troy, 5, Betty, 3, and John, 1.

  • Edna Williamson Barnes

Edna wife of J. H. Barnes born Jan. 19, 1885 died June 13, 1914.

In the 1900 census of Spring Hill 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 18 November 1906, James H. Barnes, 25, of Spring Hill township, son of Joe and Chaney Barnes, married Edna Williamson, 22, of Spring Hill, daughter of Alex and Grace Williamson.

In the 1910 census of Spring Hill township, Wilson County: on Wilson & Smithfield Branch Road, James H. Barnes, 28, and wife Edna, 25.

Edna Barnes died 10 June 1914 in Spring Hill township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 32 March 1884 to Elex Williamson and Gracie Bailey in Wilson County and was married. James Barnes of Lucama was informant.

  • Katie Williamson

Katie Williamson Aug 10 1887 Just when we began to love her God called her back

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.

  • Annie Williamson

Annie Williamson Aug. 8, 1886 Oct. __, 1886 Our loved one is gone to be an angel

  • Mary Kent Renfrow

Mary Wife of I. Renfrow Born June 30, 1868 Died Sept. 30, 1914

In the 1870 census of Spring Hill township, Wilson County: farm laborer Elbert Kent, 25, wife Rebecca, 23; and daughter Mary, 1.

In the 1880 census of Spring Hill township, Wilson County: Elbert Kent, 36, farmer; wife Rebeca, 29; and children Mary, 10, Rufus, 9, Saraha, 7, Flournes J., 6, Martha M., 4, and Pharrow, 1.

On 8 August 1886, Isaac Renfrow, 25, married Mary Kent, 20, at Buck Horn, Wilson County.

In the 1900 census of Spring Hill township, Wilson County: farmer Isaac Rentfrow, 38; wife Mary E., 29; and children John M., 11, Hettie B., 9, and Qweenie V., 2.

In the 1910 census of Spring Hill township, Wilson County: farmer Isaac Rentfrow, 48; wife Mary, 40; and children Victoria, 12, and Isaac, 9, plus Rebecca, 14, Joseph, 12, Lutory, 6, and Joseph Barnes, 2.

Mary Renfrow died 30 August 1914 in Spring Hill township. Per her death certificate, she was born 30 June 1868 to Elbert Kent and Mary Barnes and was a farmer’s wife. Isaac Renfrow was informant.

Detail of the exquisite three-dimensional carving on Mary Renfrow’s headstone. The hand pointed upward symbolized the hope of Heaven. The veined stone is unusual in Wilson County markers.

  • Isaac Renfrow

Isaac Renfrow Born July 5, 1862 Died Mar. 5, 1915

In the 1870 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farm laborer Penelope Renfrow, 29, and sons Jacob, 16, Esaw, 13, and Isaac, 10.

On 8 August 1886, Isaac Renfrow, 25, married Mary Kent, 20, at Buck Horn, Wilson County.

In the 1900 census of Spring Hill township, Wilson County: farmer Isaac Rentfrow, 38; wife Mary E., 29; and children John M., 11, Hettie B., 9, and Qweenie V., 2.

In the 1910 census of Spring Hill township, Wilson County: farmer Isaac Rentfrow, 48; wife Mary, 40; and children Victoria, 12, and Isaac, 9, plus Rebecca, 14, Joseph, 12, Lutory, 6, and Joseph Barnes, 2.

Isaac Renfrow died 6 March 1915 in Spring Hill township. [Six months after his wife’s death.] Per his death certificate, he was born 1861 to Harry and Pennie Renfrow of Wilson County; was married; and was a farmer. Johnnie Renfrow was informant.

  • Abbie and Lidia Barnes

Abbie dau of J & C Barnes 1886 1909 At rest

Lidia dau of J & C Barnes 1880 1910 At rest

In the 1900 census of Spring Hill township, Wilson County: farmer Joseph Barnes, 48; wife Chana, 44; and children Lydia, 20, James H., 18, Edgar F., 16, Abbey A., 14, Minnie, 12, Lula, 9, Eliza, 6, Joseph, 2, and Sarah, 2 months.

On 29 October 1905, Lydia Barnes, 26, of Spring Hill, daughter of Joe and Chanie Barnes, married Thomas Hinnant, 26, of Spring Hill, son of Tom and Martha Hinnant, in Wilson County.

In the 1910 census of Spring Hill township, Wilson County: farmer Thomas Hinnant, 32; wife Liddie, 37; and children Claude, 9, Alonzo, 7, Viola, 4, and Chana, 2; plus sister Louzetta Hinnant, 39.

  • Sallie Powell

Sallie Powell Dau of K Freeman Age 22 At rest

  • Lorenzo Freeman

Husband Loranzie Freeman 1849-1895 At rest

On 25 September 1885, Lourenza Freeman, 28, married Katey Deans, 26, at Meeksville, Wilson County.

  • Anonymous grave

Hand-hewn natural rock markers were placed at the head and foot of this grave.

  • Williamson grave

This small, badly weathered stone was also hand-cut. The name Williamson is barely visible among the hand-cut letters on its face.

  • Rachell Roberson

Mother Rachall Roberson 1837-1925 At rest

In the 1870 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farm laborer Guilford Robinson, 35; wife Rachel, 34; and children Katy, 15, Henry, 14, and Lucy, 12.

In the 1880 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Gilford Robinson, 53; wife Rachal, 36; and children William, 9, and Sally, 8.

In the 1900 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Guilford Roberson, 69, and wife Rachel, 57.

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

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

Rachal Robinson died 19 July 1925 in Spring Hill township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was 98 years old; was a widow; worked on a farm; was born in Wilson County to Mary Dawson and an unknown father. W.R. Robinson of Simms was informant.

  • Phillip Allen

Phillip Allen North Carolina Pvt Co D 333 Svc Bn OMC World War I April 11 1894 October 20 1962

On 14 March 1920, Phillip Allen, 26, of Spring Hill, married Daisy Creech, 22, of Spring Hill, in Old Fields township.

Phillip Allen died 20 October 1962 in Lucama, Spring Hill township. Per his death certificate, he was born 20 October 1894 in Wilson County to William Allen and Charlotte (last name not given); was married; and was a laborer. Daisy Allen was informant.

  • Martha Field Creech

Mother Martha F. Creech June 15 1879 Sept 10 1961

Martha Field Creech died 10 September 1961 in Lucama, Crossroads township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 4 February 1888 in Wilson County to Wash Field and an unknown mother and was widowed. Daisy Allen was informant.

Remnants of fencepost and wire fence around the cemetery.

I’ve driven up and down Highway 42 a half-dozen times looking for this cemetery. Many thanks to Brian Grawburg for the tip that lead me straight there.

Williamson buys a wagon.

On 1 October 1898, Alex Williamson purchased a two-horse wagon from Hackney Brothers for $22.50 on credit.

Meeksville was an unincorporated area of Springhill township with a post office from 1878 to 1901.

——

On 9 September 1869, Alex Williamson, son of Samuel Bass and Silvy Williams, married Grace Shaw, daughter of Thomas Narron and Katty Williamson, at Thomas Shaw‘s in Wilson County.

In the 1870 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Ellic Williamson, 33; wife Gracy, 24; and children Ellic, 4, and Eugenia, 1.

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. Hortonof 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 and Smithfield Branch Road, farmer Alexander Williamson, 72; wife Gracy, 62; widowed daughter Jennie Williamson, 38; daughters Sarah, 20, and Henrietta, 26; and grandchildren Nancy, 18, Della, 17, Hattie, 15, and Pearle Whitley, 14.

In the 1920 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Old Clayton and Wilson Road, farmer Alexandria Williamson, 83; divorced daughter Janie W. Williamson, 37; granddaughter Dezell Bailey, 4; and stepson [son-in-law?] McKinley Bailey, 28, house carpenter.

Alexander Williamson died 6 April 1921 in Springhill township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born in 1837 in Wilson County; was the widower of Gracy Williamson; was a farmer; and was buried in the Williamson graveyard.

Deed book 46, page, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson.

A closer look at the 1872 map of Wilson.

In a post about the 1872 E.B. Mayo map of Wilson, I erroneously stated that Lemon Taborn‘s barber shop was the only African-American landmark depicted. A close look at a clearer image of the map revealed two others.

Tilman McGowan‘s house was on Vance Street northwest of Pine Street. McGowan was the long-time jail keeper in Wilson. His house and the lot on which it was situated were sold at auction after McGowan’s death.

On Tarboro Street, west of Barnes, there is a reference to “Jack Williams Black Smith Shop,” which is likely to have been the workshop of blacksmith Jack Williamson.

94 acres, more or less.

Just two years into freedom, Patrick Williamson paid $163 to purchase his first real property at auction. According to his descendants, some of the land remains in the family’s hands:

This Indenture made the 28th day of January 1868 between Thomas Lamm administrator of Martin R Thorn deceased of the County of Wilson State of North Carolina of the first part & Patrick Williamson of the county & State aforesaid of the second part, Whereas at the Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions held for the County of Wilson on the fourth Monday in October 1867 it was ordered by the said court in a said cause then pending in said court wherein Thomas Lamm administrators petitions that the land mentioned in the petition in this case be sold  on a credit of six months &c and Thomas Lamm in pursuance of said order did on the 22nd day of October 1867 sell at public auction the tract of land hereinafter described having first been given lawful notice of the time & place of sale by advertisements at which sale the land was struck off to Patrick Williamson for the sum of one hundred & sixty three dollars that being the high bid for the same & whereas said party of second part having complied with the terms of said sale & whereas the said Williamson hath fully paid off said purchase money together with all Lawful Interest, Now Therefore the Indenture witnesses that the said Thomas Lamb administrator had granted bargained sold & conveyed to the said party of the second part his heirs & assigns The tract of land in the county of Wilson known as the Martin R. Thomas tract adjoining the lands Wilie Lamm Ransom Thorn et al containing ninety four acres more or less to have & to hold the same to him & his heirs forever      Thomas X Lamm

A Barnes

The Execution of the foregoing deed was duly acknowledged before me by Thomas Lamm the subscriber this 29th day of Dec 1868 Let the same be registered.    A Barnes Probate Judge

Deed book 2, page 568, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson, Wilson County.

The life and times of Jack Williamson, blacksmith.

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Wilson Advance, 26 March 1880.

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Wilson Advance, 16 November 1883.

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Wilson Times, 30 June 1899.

——

On 4 February 1868, Jack Williamson, son of Toney Eatmon and Hester Williamson, married Ann Boykin, daughter of John Harper and Alder Ried, at Jack Williamson’s in Wilson.

In the 1870 census of Wilson, Wilson County: domestic servant Robert Vick, 19, and wife Spicy, 18; Anna Williamson, 25, washerwoman, children Jena, 10, Charles, 5, and Ann I.M., 2, and husband Jackson Williamson, 45, blacksmith.

In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Tarboro Street, Jack Williamson, 55, blacksmith; wife Ann, 30; and children Eugina, 20, cook, Charles 16, blacksmith shop worker, Tete, 14, and Lea, 4.

On 6 January 1887, Charles Williamson, 21, son of Jack and Ann Williamson, married Clara Vick, 18, daughter of Nelson and Viney Vick, in the Town of Wilson. Amanda Vick applied for the license, and A.M.E. Zion minister H.C. Phillips performed the ceremony in the presence of S.H. Vick, H.C. Rountree and Daniel Vick.

In the 1908 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Ann Williamson and Lugenia Williamson, both laundresses, listed at West Walnut Street near Henry Street.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 558 Spruce Street, widow Ann Williamson, 70, laundress, daughter Jane, 38, and grandchildren Bell Williamson, 13, Henry Bell, 14, and Paul Bell, 7.

In the 1912 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Ann Williamson and Lugenia Williamson, both laundresses, listed at West Walnut Street near Tarboro Street.

In the 1916 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Anne and Eugenia Williamson, both laundresses, 123 West Walnut.

Williamson v. Williamson, 57 N.C. 272 (1858).

This case was filed in Wilson County Court of Equity by Garry Williamson and Jesse Fulgham, executors of the will of Thomas Williamson, concerning the distribution of certain enslaved people for whom Williamson claimed ownership. The principle question posed to the North Carolina Supreme Court was whether enslaved children, born before Williamson died, passed with their mothers to the designated legatees. “The general rule is clearly settled that the bequest simply of a female slave and her increase passes the mother only, and not the increase which she may have had before the will was executed, or between that time and the death of the testator.” An exception would be where the testator’s intent to include the children can be inferred from a reference to the enslaved woman having previously been in the possession of the legatee. Otherwise, the children become part of the “residue,” i.e. property to be liquidated and the proceeds equally divided among legatees.

The chart below summarizes the fates of 26 of the enslaved people — all women and children — that Thomas Williamson owned. It is a stark encapsulation of the devastating impact of slavery on African-American families. And where were their men? An examination of Williamson’s will, drafted in August 1852, reveals further separation. Thomas Williamson had separately bequeathed Turner, Patrick and Dennis to his wife Keziah Williamson, and Jack to son Garry Williamson.