October 31, 2013

Joseph Henry STANCIL and Fannie A. JOHNSON

My great grandparents, Joe and Fannie, married on September 14, 1892 in Johnston County, NC. 

It is documented in the Marriage Register of Johnston County, NC Vol II, 1881-1900, Ross. RNC 929.3756. The Justice of the Peace who married them was an AM SANDERS. 

Joseph Henry STANCIL was the son of William STANCIL and his wife Mary Ann Rebecca MASSENGILL. Fannie was the daughter of Walter JOHNSON and Parazadia (Zadie) JOHNSON. 

Both families were long time residents of Johnston County going back generations. 

In March of 1904 when Fannie was just 26 years old, she died at her father's home after becoming ill while visiting. She'd been hit by a falling tree a few years earlier and her obituary insinuates her death was related. She left behind three small children. Joseph and Fannie had been married 12 years when she died.

From family stories, Fannie was a very kind and gentle woman. Those Stancil women tend to be that way.

Six years after Fannie's death, Joe remarried Nellie PLEASANTS, a widow with one child of her own. He died 19 years later.

I think it's sweet that Fannie and Joe are buried side by side at Salem Primitive Baptist Church in Johnston County. 

Nellie lived another 40 years after Joe's death. She had a debilitating stroke and was in Howard's Rest Home in Morrisville, NC when she died in 1965. Her death certificate does not list either parent or her husband.

October 28, 2013

My Aunt Mamie

I will never forget her. My Aunt Mamie was my grandfather's sister. She was born on December 11, 1907. My birthday is December 12. She thought it was perfectly wonderful our birthdays were just a day apart. 

Mamie cared for and helped raise her six younger siblings after her mother, Elizabeth RAY ALLEN (Sissy), died in childbirth. I'm sure she did a lot more than "help" raise them - her father was a moonshiner and spent more than a few nights in jail. Mamie was 21 years old when her mother died giving birth to Marvin Eugene ALLEN. 

The family lived in the New Light area of Wake County, NC. That's just north of Raleigh and just south of the Granville County line. 

At some point, probably in the early 1940s, Mamie moved to Raleigh where she took a job in the laundry of Dorthea Dix State Mental Hospital. She and her sister Henrietta walked from Neuse (near the intersection of present day I-540 and US 401) to Dix - approximately 11 miles following the railroad track to work each way. 

Later, she became a very accomplished seamstress working for Caudle's Tailor Shop in downtown Raleigh by day and moonlighting by night to make ends meet. She lived in a small house on Bloodworth Street and then in a two story house on Pace Street, both near downtown Raleigh.

Her father Eugene was living with her in the house on Pace Street when he died. Her brother Bill - who was diabetic and was suffered from mild mental retardation- also lived with her. I never heard him speak but he always had a smile a mile wide.

Aunt Mamie was the hardest working woman I've known. She cared for her father and her siblings all her life. She had a 6th grade education and never married.  She extremely humble and devoted herself to caring for her family. 

Somewhere along the way she learned how to make the MOST FABULOUS 8-layer chocolate cake I've ever tasted. I was not allowed many sweets as a child (perhaps that explains a lot!), but Aunt Mamie would always sit me down at her little kitchen table and put a piece of cake and a big glass of orange juice in front of me as though she thought the juice would negate the cake.

Aunt Mamie died in 1982. She is buried in New Light Baptist Church Cemetery just a few miles from where she was born.

October 27, 2013

Send in the Marines...

Carl Donald Stancil sitting on the
front porch of the family home
 in Raleigh, NC. 1952
Carl Donald STANCIL devoted his life to three things:  God, Country, Family. He loved us in that order. 

In his devotion to his country, Daddy served in the United States Marine Corps for 20 years. He enlisted June 30, 1947, just one day after his 17th birthday. He retired from the Marines 20 years later on May 29, 1967.

In his 20 years, daddy served all over the world including Guam, Cuba, Japan, Puerto Rico, Korea, Lebanon, and Vietnam.   

On April 25, 1951, he was seriously wounded in Korea at the Battle of Pork Chop Hill. He took a piece of shrapnel to his head leaving a scar which ran from his eye brow to his ear. He participated in campaigns in Wonson, Hungnam, and Choisin. He told us stories of the bitter cold and the hellish heat of Korea. 

When asked about the necessary killing of other men in war, his
response was “It was kill or be killed. If I didn’t kill them, I’d never see my family again and I wasn’t about to let anyone stand in the way of that.” Such was his devotion to his family.  

Some of Daddy’s favorite sayings included “Once a Marine, Always a Marine”, “Send in the Marines”, and “Tell that to the Marines”.  He also used to say “nobody ever drowned in sweat” and “Marines go where others fear to tread”.  His favorite saying when watching the evening news was “The Marines invade and then go home. The Army has to do the occupying."

To the very end, Daddy maintained a “high and tight” haircut and “spit-shined” his shoes. When I went away to college, instead of living in a dorm and eating in a cafeteria, he thought I lived in a “barracks” and ate in the “mess hall”. Truly, once a Marine, always a Marine.  

After retiring from the Marines, Daddy continued to serve his country for another 20 years as a civil servant. He was willing to give his life for freedom and democracy. He proved his loyalty to his country every single day he served  – whether he was proudly wearing the uniform of the USMC or serving via civil service.  

For a man born in the depths of the depression to a poor working class family, Daddy distinguished himself in many ways having little to do with money or social prestige. He served his country proudly and fiercely for over 40 years. His belief in God was firm and unwavering. Mama used to say that every time the doors opened to First Christian Church in Jacksonville, NC, Daddy would be there. His love of family is clearly evidenced not only by the letters he wrote to his beloved mother, wife, brothers and sister, but by the legacy of love and pride he left behind.

The story goes…that Daddy so wanted to be a Marine that he fibbed about his age and joined the Marine Corps in 1946 at age 16. The Corps discovered his “secret” while still in boot camp and not so politely invited him to return to civilian life. On June 30, 1947, just one day after turning the (then) legal age of 17, he was able to enlist in the Marine Corps with his parent’s permission.

The story also goes…that Daddy was very touched by the many Korean war orphans he encountered during the war. He returned from the war and convinced Mama to adopt two Korean boys. At the time, they were stationed in Hawaii, not yet a state. The adoption was nearly complete and Daddy was prepared to travel to Seoul to pick up the boys when suddenly the adoption plans were halted. Mama had discovered that she was pregnant with me, and at that time adoption rules prevented expectant parents from adopting. Were it not for poor timing, I could have had two brothers! 

In Macedonia where Paul preached.
Daddy is the Marine to the right. 

October 26, 2013

Davis Family Bible

I attended the Family History Fair today sponsored by the NC Archives. Wonderful event!  There I learned of a project underway to collect family Bible  records. It's a great project and I intend to contribute. 

Speaking of which...here's a transcription of what's in the Davis Family Bible transcribed exactly as originally written:

Ernest Davis and Evie Allan was married the 30th of December 1913
Rolin Davis and Louie Davis was married the 14th of the September 1918
James Mitchell and Francis Davis was married June 1946


Meona Davis was born April 24, 1888
Earnest Davis was born September 11, 1890
Othea Davis was born July 14, 1892
Henry Davis was born December 23, 1894
Rowland Davis was born February 15, 1897
Mary Davis was born June 9, 1899
Beered Davis was born October 14, 1901
Cora Davis was born May 25, 1905
Ethel Davis was born December 27, 1906
Bruce Davis was born October 5, 1908
Oddse Sidney Davis was born April 28, 1911
Vera Magnolia Davis was born 21 of September 1915
Louisa Davis October 5, 1917
R. O. Davis was born September 23, 1921


Mrs. C. D. Davis
Mr. Othea Davis
Mr. Henry Davis
Mr. Beered Davis
Miss Ovie Davis died June 28, 1929
Ora Mae Davis
Baby Davis
Charlie Roland Davis died June 6, 1956
Earnest F. Davis died September 28, 1955
Otis Davis died


Meona Davis
Ovie Davis
Earnest Davis
Beered Davis
Othea Davis
Cora Davis
Henry Davis
Ethel Davis
Rowland Davis
Bruce Davis
Mary Davis
Otis Davis

(Blank page without header)

Lucindy Hall was born 1844 March 29th and died 1922 July the 12th.

Med Davis was born 1864 December the 27.

Charles Roland Davis born February 10, 1897

Louie Davis was born July 29, 1903

Roy V. Davis was born Sept. 23, 1921

Louise Davis born November 3, 1924

Nathanial Davis born June 3, 1924

Ora Mae Davis born March 3, 1930

Eula Francis Davis born July 3, 1931

C. R. Davis born November 11, 1933

Claud Everette Davis June 10, 1937

Matilda Ann Davis March 29, 1940

Judy Linda Davis born May 10, 1947

 The Bible is covered in a red fabric and is in poor condition. Many of the pages are loose and have been re-inserted incorrectly. The binding and glue on the spine of the Bible has disintegrated. These handwritten entries are on pages in the center of the Bible. Most are on pages with headers (Marriages, Births, Deaths, Names) and elaborate artwork. Only one page was originally a blank page, but it was used to record family births and deaths.

October 25, 2013

Last Will and Testament of Jeffrey Pearce, Franklin County, NC, 1838

Jeffrey PEARCE, my 5th great grandfather, was a plantation and slave owner in Franklin County, NC. His will is dated January 1838 and updated in 1859 to include his daughter Patsy.

It is interesting - and indicative of the times - that Jeff's children inherit money and land if their mother remarries. Seems a good recipe for a family rift; the children want her to marry so they can inherit their due, but mom doesn't want to remarry because she would lose a large chunk of change. 

Last Will and Testament of Jeffrey Pearce
Recorded in Book R, Page 399
Franklin County, NC
In the name of God Amen, I, Jeffrey Pearce of the County of Franklin, and the State of North Carolina being of sound mind and memory and knowing the uncertainty of my earthly existence do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following, that is

First it is my will and desire that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid out of the first moneys arising from my estate.

Item 1 I lend to my beloved wife Annie Pearce, living, her natural life or widowhood all my estate both personal and real for the support of herself and daughter Elizabeth now living with her so long as she may continue to live with her satisfied.

Item 2nd  I lend to my oldest daughter Elizabeth Pearce after the death or marriage of my  wife all the land on which I live herein her life or until she marries for her use and support and I leave it discretionary with my daughter Elizabeth after she may come into possession of my plantation to employ one of her brothers and no other to live with her neither rent for use it in any other way than for her support.

Item 3  It is my will that after the death or marriage of my wife that each of my children herein named shall receive eighty? Being to make them equal with them that I have given heretofore unless received before my death. Elizabeth, Enoch and James J. Pearce and Mary Winston and if at my death I shall not leave any money or other property sufficient to pay my before named children or their heirs the ? Executors to  sell one hundred acres of my track of land to give money for that purpose.

Item 4 It is my will and desire that on the death of marriage of my wife that my Negros be divided as follows first I give unto my daughter Elizabeth one Negro girl Biney and increase. Second to my son Enoch my Negro boy Joseph. Thirdly to my son James Thomas my Negro boy James, fourthly to my son Willis my woman Lady. Fifth to my son Joseph my negro man Berry, and all of the above named Negros to be valued at cash proportional and the proportionate to be paid to my children here named or their heirs.  Patsy Kearney, Mary Ann Winston, William, Henry, & Benjamin Pearce to make them equal in ? of my ?. If my daughter Elizabeth at the death or marriage of my wife be living and not married it is my will that she hold all of my land but should she die or marry then it is my will that my land and the remainder of my property be equally divided or sold as a majority may agree and the proceeds thereof be equally divided between my children here named: Elizabeth, Henry, Benjamin, William, Enoch, Joseph, Willis, and Samuel Pearce, Patsy Kearney & Mary Winston and their heirs.

Item 6 If either of my children aforesaid named shall die before such issue is to receive the parents then but if there be no issue then such share fall into the general fund to be divided among the survivors in the manner before directed.

Lastly I constitute and appoint my three sons Henry, Enoch, and James Pearce Executors to this my last will and testament in witness whereof I hereunto set my hand and seal this 27th January 1838.

Jeffrey (his mark) Pearce (seal)

Witness Wilson H. Williams, A. B. Cooke

Codicil to the above

Whereas I Jeffrey Pearce of the County of Franklin and State of North Carolina have made my last will and testament bearing seal January 27th 1838 in and by which I have given and bequeathed to my daughter Patsy Kearney an eighth share of my estate. After therein I do by this writing which I hereby declare to be a codicil to my said last will and testament and to be taken as part therein order and declare that my will is that the share or part of my estate given to my daughter Patsy Kearney herein shall be ? unto her ? and of the support of her and children upon her death to be equally divided between her children. I also appoint James Pearce as executor for my daughter Patsy Kearney and children and leave it discretionary with him to use the funds in the best way. It is my desire that this codicil be annexed and be made a part of my last will and testament as aforesaid to all interests and purposes.

As witness whereof I have signed my name and affixed my seal the 13th day of November One Thousand Eighteen Hundred and Fifty Nine.

Jeffrey (his mark) Pearce (seal)

Witness Wilson H. Williams, A.B. Cooke

October 20, 2013

Introducing Miss Alice C BARBER

Alice C. Barber Johnson
I'd like to introduce you to Miss Alice BARBER, my paternal great grandmother. 

She was born in Feb 1868 in Johnston County, North Carolina, as the first child of Absolom BARBER and Tabitha BYRD. 

She had eight siblings: 

William R.
Ida F.
Etta Florence
Mary Elizabeth
Baldy Denny
When she was 17, Alice married William Jarrett JOHNSON on 03 May 1885 in Johnston, North Carolina. Incidentally  May 3 is also my parents anniversary. I just love coincidences like that!

Alice regularly shows up on the US Census:

  • 1880: Lived in Elevation, Johnston, North Carolina at age 12.
  • 1890:  This census was lost in a fire in 1921, but it's pretty cool that this was the first census tabulated by a machine. 
  • 1900: Lived in Smithfield, Johnston County, North Carolina at age 32 married to the head of household, William JOHNSON. 
  • 1910: Lived in Smithfield, Johnston County, North Carolina at age 41, married to head of household, William JOHNSON.
William Jarrett JOHNSON and Alice C. BARBER had a slew of children:
  1. William Lester JOHNSON was born 06 March 1903 in Cumberland County, North Carolina. He died on 23 Aug 1971 in Washington, Beaufort County, North Carolina. My daddy used to take me to "Little Washington" to visit Lester.
  2. Robert L. JOHNSON was born in Aug 1889 in Johnston County, North Carolina. He died in Apr 1910 in Johnson County, North Carolina.
  3. Elmond JOHNSON was born in Feb 1892 in Johnston County, North Carolina. He died at Rex Hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina. My son was born at Rex. Both of my parents died at Rex. My breast cancer was largely treated at Rex. A lot of family connection there!
  4. Almond JOHNSON was born in Dec 1893 in Johnston County, North Carolina. He died in Oct 1949. He married Ila SPENSE on 17 Oct 1915.
  5. Ada Lou JOHNSON was born on 16 Nov 1894 in Johnston County, North Carolina. She died on 04 Jan 1963 in Wake County, North Carolina at age 68. She married Jesse Bernard STANCIL on 18 Nov 1917 in Johnston County, North Carolina. These are my grandparents!
  6. Mattie Florence JOHNSON was born on 17 Feb 1896 in Granville County, North Carolina. She died on 21 May 1954 in Garner, Johnston County, North Carolina. I wonder what in the world Alice was doing in Granville County when she gave birth to Mattie? 
  7. Sister JOHNSON was born in Apr 1900 in Johnston County, North Carolina.

What was Alice and William thinking when they named two of their sons Elmond and Almond? I can't find a family connection to those two names. 

Alice died on 10 Aug 1920 in Johnston County, North Carolina of uremia - the old term for kidney failure. I've always wondered what caused her kidney failure. She was 52 years old. One year younger than me. 

October 19, 2013

We were born here, most died here

I recognize that I am hugely fortunate that I live in the land of my ancestors. By and large, my "people" were born, raised, and buried within a 50 mile radius of where I now live. 

I live in Raleigh, NC. That's Wake County on the map to your left. My ancestors - about 95% of 'em - are from the surrounding counties of Granville, Franklin, Johnston, Harnett, Cumberland, Orange, and Durham. 

There are roads named for my family within blocks of my very modern townhome. Cemeteries dating back to the late 1700s and filled with my ancestors are within a 10 - 30 minute drive, depending on who you're looking for. 

It's not that I haven't traveled and lived other places. So did my parents. But somehow we always came home. I didn't set out to settle here. It just happened. Serendipity. Or maybe not...maybe it was the pull of family.

I am an only child. I was well-loved and gently raised. Both of my parents have gone to live with Jesus. I've read that only children become very curious about their families once their parents are gone. My obsession began long before that, but I did feel a spike in the interest once they were gone. 

My North Carolina Boy
I have an only child. One son. He doesn't live around here; he's a college student (Lord, please...not for much longer!). He has traveled internationally and just this past summer worked in Wyoming and California. 

It did my heart good to hear him say "If I ever get home, I'm never leaving North Carolina again...". He had a good  hard taste of home sickness. He missed his mom, but moreover, he missed his HOME.

Isn't that wonderful? He was homesick. I just LOVED that!  

October 17, 2013

Come to the Family History Fair on Oct. 26, Raleigh, NC

If you're in the area, be sure to stop the Family History Fair at the NC Archives on Oct. 26.  

The fair is part of the celebration around Archives Week - so declared by the sitting governor of North Carolina who to date has...well, let's just say he's had a colorful few months. 

The fair includes presentations, vendors, 1:1 sessions with professional genealogists. 

Join us!  9am - 1:30pm

October 16, 2013


Atlas ALLEN and Ethel DAVIS ALLEN - my maternal grandparents - were married in New Light, Wake County, North Carolina on October 14, 1926.

Here's a transcription of their marriage certificate found in the Wake County Register of Deeds in Raleigh, NC on page 26D:

Date Issued:      Oct. 14, 1926 
Date Married:     Oct. 14, 1926 
Husband's Full Name:  Vater A. Allen 
Bride's Full Name:  Ethel Davis 
Husband's Residence:  Neuse, Rt. 2 
Bride's Residence:  Youngsville, Rt. 3 
Husband's Age:  22 
Bride's Age:  21 
Name of Title of Person performing marriage:  J.G. Davis, Baptist Minister 
Place of marriage:  New Light Township 

Witnesses:  Onnie Davis, Bruce Davis, --- Pleasant 

Of the witnesses, Bruce DAVIS was Ethel's brother. I don't know who Onnie DAVIS is or the unknown Pleasant. 

The minister, yet another DAVIS, was probably a family member but I have no idea which one.  

They married in New Light, which isn't really a town. It's a "township" without a town, according to Wikipedia. Really.

The fellow looking so lovingly at Grandma Ethel in the picture to the right isn't her husband. He was - before she married, of course - her beau of one time, Luther Lowery.

October 14, 2013

Baldness is Golden

I realize this may seem a bit of a stretch, but I thought we'd celebrate Be Bald and Free Day here on Diggin' for Clues. Walk with me, and I'll explain.

This time last year I was totally bald. I'd just finished treatment for breast cancer and I was marching toward a bi-lateral mastectomy. I can personally attest that baldness is freeing in many ways. Now, a year down the road, I'm recovering quickly and putting the ugliness behind me.

However, I've been struck by how many of my ancestors died from cancer. Talk about running in the family!  If simply having a family history of cancer of any sort put me line for breast AND ovarian cancer, then I came by it honestly.

  • My mom, Ann Gladys ALLEN STANCIL, had stomach, lung, liver, and kidney cancer. 
  • Her sister, Grace Elizabeth ALLEN LEE, had breast cancer.
  • My first cousin, Brenda GLOVER MARCOM, died from ovarian cancer.
  • My maternal grandmother, Ethel DAVIS ALLEN, died from pancreatic cancer.
  • My paternal grandmother, Ada Lou JOHNSON STANCIL, died from ovarian cancer. 
  • My great aunt, Meona DAVIS, died from thyroid cancer.
I am sure there were many more, perhaps undiagnosed or misdiagnosed in the time before modern medical practices. 

An important point here is around genetic testing. BRCA1 gene mutation points toward a ridiculously high opportunity for breast and ovarian cancer. BINGO!  Along with my grandmother's silk nightcap and my dad's Purple Heart, I inherited my breast and ovarian cancer. Gee, thanks, mom and dad.

Along with memories and quirky personality traits, our families can leave us with very serious health issues that - luckily - can be discovered via genetic testing and early diagnosis. I'm sitting here this morning writing this blog post thanks to both. That's genetic testing and early diagnosis, of course. Certainly no quirky personality traits here! Right.

If you have a family history of ANY SORT of cancer, please please consider getting the test to diagnose BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations. A BRCA1 mutation leaves you with a whopping 75% chance of developing breast cancer in your lifetime. And a 50% chance of ovarian cancer. If you have a family history, it's likely your insurance company will pay for the test. It's a simple blood test. Better to know than not know to make informed decisions. 

Unlike my great aunt Meona. She could not have known she would develop thyroid cancer in 1964. Good thing we live in the 21st century where we can document our family's story on a computer AND discover if we are next in line for cancer.

So while we are busy doing our DNA tests to determine our ancestry, be sure to do the test that could ensure your future. Your great grandchildren will thank you.

October 13, 2013

Jesse B Stancil Family on the US Census

Jesse Bernard Stancil, 1895 - 1976 (My Paternal Grandfather)

1900 Federal US census, Wilders Township, Johnston County, NC

  • Stancill, Joseph, head, born Nov. 1873, age 26, married 7 years
  • Stancill, Fannie, wife, born Jan 1878, age 22
  • Stancill, Jesse, son, born Oct 1895, age 4
  • Stancill, Pearl, dau, born Jan 1898, age 2

1910 Federal US census, Wilders Township, Johnston County, NC

  • Joseph Stancill, head, age 36, farmer, owned farm
  • Jesse Stancill, son, age 14, farm laborer, could read, write, attended school

1930 Federal US Census, Raleigh, Wake County, Swift Creek, NC

  • Jesse Stancil, head of household, age 34, share farmer, tobacco
  • Ada Stancil, wife, age 34
  • Jesse R, son, age 7
  • Macon Mc, son, age 5
  • Erric C, son, age 4 1/2
  • Cecil B , son, age 2 10/12
  • Edith, daughter, age 1

1940 Federal US Census, Raleigh, Wake County, NC

  • JB Stancil, head of household, age 44, truck driver sanitation department
  • Ada Stancil, wife, age 44
  • Jessie, age 16
  • Macon, son, age 15
  • Erick, son, age 14
  • Cecil, son, age 12
  • Edith, daughter, age 11
  • Carl, son, age 9

October 10, 2013

Land Grants in Cumberland County before 1748

Take a look at this very cool map showing families who received land grants in early Cumberland County, NC (previously part of Bladen County). 

Naturally, most lands were on the banks of the Cape Fear River. The map largely covers the Rockfish Creek area.

There are several very early DAVIS and LOWERY families shown on the map, but I don't think these are my lines. 

There are a few other interesting names, such as CAMPBELL (today's Campbell University is nearby) and BUIES (Campbell Univ is located in Buies Creek, NC). Just speculating and day-dreaming here. There may not be any connection at all.

My MATTHEWS and MOORE families were in this area at this time. 

By the way, Cumberland County has a great US GebWeb page

October 9, 2013

Jesse and Lou Ada Johnson Stancil

Jesse Bernard STANCIL and Lou Ada JOHNSON married on November 17, 1917 at the home of her brother, Almond JOHNSON, in Smithfield, NC. 

I've often wondered if Jesse and Lou Ada married when they did knowing the war was coming and he would be called to serve. 

His draft registration card is dated June 5, 1917, just 2 months after the US entered the war and 5 months before he married. He was drafted July 22, 1918, a year after his draft form was completed and 9 months after he married.

At a time when most married in their late teens and immediately started a family, Jesse and Lou Ada waited. Ada married just two days after her 22nd birthday. Jesse was also 22. Their first child, Jesse Roland STANCIL, wasn't born for another 5 1/2 years, when Lou Ada was 27 years old. That was OLD in those days to have your first child. She was 36 when her youngest child was born, my father Carl Donald STANCIL. So once she started having children, they came quickly. She had 6 children in 9 years! Whew...that makes me tired!

Jesse and Lou Ada were married 46 years when she died of ovarian cancer in 1964. 

Among some of the more unflattering things my mother would say to me was the comment "you are ALLEN coming and STANCIL going", meaning that the back of my head was pointy and my behind "generous"...just like my grandmother Lou Ada. Thanks, mom.

October 7, 2013

Just where did those Stancils come from?

At 10 years old, my genealogical research started with the STANCIL family of Johnston County, NC. They are my father's family. Thankfully, STANCIL is a somewhat unique name unlike the rest of my family (DAVIS, ALLEN, JOHNSON). That makes the research process just a little easier, although central and eastern North Carolina is nearly overrun with STANCIL descendants, 99% of whom descend from our immigrant ancestor, John STANCIL.

More on John another time. Right now, I'm interested in looking at the origin of the STANCIL name. The name is spelled a myriad of ways - STANCILL, STANSEL, STANSELL, etc. I've even run across a branch of Yankees who spell it STANZEL, though these folks are not born of our STANCILs. After all, they're Yankees.

Surnames didn't exist until about 1000 years ago. They just weren't considered necessary. The world was a much less crowded place and most folks didn't venture more than a few miles from where they were born.  During the Middle Ages, as families got bigger, it became necessary to distinguish between the umpteen Johns in the neighborhood.

Surnames were largely drawn from the father's name: John Peterson, or rather, John the son of Peter.

Or from the father's occupation:  John Shoemaker

Or - in our case - from a particular locale: John Stancil (John from the village of Stancil)

The first written evidence of the 

STANCIL name is found in the Domesday Book, which was a census of England and Wales ordered by the King of England in 1086 AD so he could be sure to properly tax the land held by our ancestors. Here we find reference to "John of Stanchil (the "H" was silent), a Saxon."  

Some three or four hundred years later, we find references in old tax lists and censuses to  the STANSHALL family, mostly in Yorkshire. Romans occupied the area but headed out around 479 AD. The Saxons moved in about 40 years later. Most houses then were made of mud and straw. But the Saxons found something interesting in Yorkshire - a house made of stone, likely built by the Romans.

It is written that this stone house was the basis for the name given to the village. Stone house evolved into "Stone cell" and eventually even later into Stanshall, whereby the village was named.  To shorten this story a bit and make it a little less dry, it is thought that the name Stanshall developed from this ancient stone house in Yorkshire. This village still exists today as the village of Stancil. 

The Stanshalls of Yorkshire moved into other parts of England, and by the 1500s, you can find a large concentration of 'em in Derbyshire - where our family can be traced. Church and Parrish records of the Church of England contain a number of recorded births, marriages, and deaths of individuals named Stansall.

So there you have it. No doubt about it - we're English. Pass the crumpets, please.

October 6, 2013

Franklin County, NC: In search of.....

Families I want to know more about in Franklin County, NC:

Dent (1712 - 1790)
Fuller (1625 - 1750)
Hutchison (1700 - 1824)
Pearce (1720 - 1872)
Williams (1800 - 1858)

Good Hope Baptist Church Cemetery

Good Hope Baptist Church in Youngsville, NC maintains a cemetery on church property. It holds 117 marked graves. Many of our direct DAVIS ancestors are buried at Good Hope. 

The earliest grave is that of Joseph D. Davis on August 21, 1907, although there are several graves with no date of death inscribed. Perhaps these graves were moved from elsewhere. Many graves were moved when Falls Dam was built and the area was flooded.

The following information is taken from FindAGrave.com. Most, but not all, the information has been confirmed.

Date of Birth
Date of Death
Sherron, William G.
Davis, Joseph D.
March 12, 1849
August 21, 1907
Sherron, J. Newman
February 20, 1915
Sherron, Coy S.
March 24, 1880
March 15, 1915
Davis, James Ennis, Jr.
August 28, 1918
February 28, 1919
Davis, Laurence C.
June 24, 1875
March 9, 1919
Hall, Lucinda Davis
July 18, 1922
Woodlief, William Everette
October 24, 1924
April 18, 1925
Haswell, B. Grady
December 2, 1927
December 3, 1927
Pleasant, Joyce Maxine
July 14, 1928
July 15, 1928
Davis, Ora M.
March 3, 1930
March 16, 1930
Choplin, Ollie
June 24, 1930
Choplin, Daughter of Ollie and Meta
July 20, 1934
July 22, 1934
Catlett, Milton H., Jr.
March 1, 1935
March 15, 1935
Sherron, James Frank
February 10, 1868
November 12, 1936
Haswell, Augusta Davis
July 7, 1865
March 23, 1937
Mangum, Pugh Miller
Janurary 15, 1873
July 18, 1937
Davis, Vassar N. Sherron
February 19, 1896
June 22, 1938
Pearce, Sallie A. Lindsay
July 4, 1867
November 7, 1938
Choplin, Henry
March 20, 1881
June 4, 1939
Pearce, Jenadius A.
February 14, 1867
March 9, 1941
Davis, Sidney Irvin
May 30, 1861
March 3, 1944
Pleasants, John D.
June 15, 1864
February 7, 1946
Pleasant, Linda Fay
March 28, 1946
April 22, 1946
Allen, Dillie P.
April 8, 1867
April 1, 1947
Allen, John H.
July 29, 1867
August 19, 1947
Privette, Joan
January 13, 1949
Davis, Annie Woodlief
December 10, 1882
March 30, 1949
Davis, Cordelia Dillard
November 12, 1872
July 7, 1949
Davis, Odell S Pleasants
December 28, 1910
December 9, 1949
Davis, Elwood Pettis
May 24, 1878
December 20, 1952
Davis, Ernest Foster
September 9, 1890
September 28, 1955
Woodlief, Nola S.
October 20, 1880
March 25, 1956
Davis, C
February 15, 1897
July 6, 1956
Ray, Iva Estelle Woodlief
October 12, 1878
April 21, 1957
Davis, H. Clellan
September 25, 1883
May 16, 1959
Pleasants, Joseph J.
June 10, 1960
Catlett, Ruby Lois Pearce
July 15, 1909
August 20, 1960
Davis, Annie Bailey
May 26, 1878
November 22, 1961
Pleasants, Airmeta
September 18, 1869
August 11, 1962
Davis, Almus F.
July 12, 1937
March 19, 1963
Davis, Meona
April 24, 1888
April 15, 1964
Allen, Vada Atlas
June 27, 1905
October 21, 1964
Mitchell, Hubert R
April 14, 1905
December 7, 1964
Matherly, Thomas Fritz Jr.
October 3, 1893
April 21, 1965
Allen, Ethel Davis
December 27, 1906
June 30, 1965
Pleasants, Oris Lawrence
March 21, 1921
November 7, 1968
Kearney, Alva M. Pearce
September 10, 1906
April 29, 1969
Davis, James Ennis
July 19, 1886
June 11, 1970
Sherron, Duncan Mangum
April 1, 1908
September 6, 1973
Mitchell, Owen Meredith
October 15, 1906
September 11, 1973
Davis, Evie Allen
August 9, 1893
September 17, 1975
Allen, Joe
October 25, 1899
April 2, 1976
Choplin, Ollie Jr.
March 26, 1946
May 23, 1976
Mitchell, Viola Vee
September 3, 1882
November 30, 1979
Jones, Lee G.
September 14, 1914
December 4, 1980
Davis, Dallas Clyde
August 6, 1891
December 23, 1981
Lee, John Henry
August 6, 1927
January 2, 1982
Davis, Erma Hockaday
April 7, 1897
December 1, 1982
Sherron, Maynetta Davis
May 12, 1901
June 21, 1983
Davis, Lena
January 6, 1907
July 27, 1983
Davis, Charles Rowland, Jr.
November 11, 1933
December 6, 1984
Sherron, Reba V.
January 20, 1906
February 25, 1985
Davis, Otis S.
April 28, 1911
April 26, 1986
Davis, Louie D.
July 29, 1903
May 9, 1986
Bullock, Clabon, B.
May 26, 1921
December 13, 1986
Foote, Mary ANN
August 20, 1932
June 24, 1988
Leftwich, Gars Blaine "Rocky"
February 19, 1990
Mitchell, James Owen
July 14, 1923
March 12, 1990
Allen, Alma Davis
May 26, 1903
April 23, 1990
Matherly, Nancy Edwards
May 2, 1898
September 4, 1992
Davis, Annie Lou
July 10, 1920
February 27, 1993
Pleasants, Nina Ray
February 10, 1932
April 30, 1993
Davis, Vivian Vassar
September 1, 1907
July 19, 1993
Mitchell, Eugenia Allen
December 15, 1903
April 27, 1994
Davis, Jewel Mitchell
June 5, 1928
August 9, 1994
Nall, Ellie Christine
January 24, 1979
September 6, 1994
Nall, Felicia Jeanne Hyde
January 18, 1960
September 6, 1994
Nall, Tracy
September 6, 1994
Nall, Tracy Eugene
July 30, 1954
September 6, 1994
Mitchell, Betty Matherly
June 29, 1934
May 25, 1995
Pleasants, Addison Mitchell
July 6, 1934
August 2, 1995
Strickland, James Ashley, Sr.
May 19, 1945
April 25, 1996
Stancil, Carl Donald
June 29, 1930
February 1, 1997
Stancil. Gladys Allen
July 1, 1929
April 13, 1997
Mitchell, Homer Valton
July 27, 1926
Davis, William George
January 30, 1921
October 22, 1999
Davis, William "Buss"
January 31, 1921
November 22, 1999
Davis, William Curtis
March 26, 1947
August 12, 2000
Davis, Joseph Dallas
April 28, 1911
January 15, 2001
Currin, Candace Tatsey
June 15, 1937
May 27, 2001
Pleasants, Coy M, Jr.
March 1, 1942
November 21, 2002
Jones, Luzella C.
July 20, 1924
February 13, 2003
Bullock, Lyda H.
October 22, 1924
April 10, 2003
Mitchell, James
November 19, 1958
May 18, 2003
Privette, Joseph Clifton
May 21, 1917
July 7, 2003
Hamm, Mary Alice Privette
May 14, 1950
July 12, 2003
Mitchell, Alice Pleasants
April 25, 1914
April 24, 2004
Nall, Sylvia Diane Evans
March 10, 1956
January 3, 2005
Pleasants, Fleming "Buddy"
March 16, 1939
June 2, 2005
Pleasants, J. Foster
July 31, 1925
July 1, 2005
Privette, Mattie Pleasants
February 11, 1917
July 6, 2005
Gentry, Marvin Revester
March 31, 1940
February 14, 2006
Lowery, Ovie Mae Davis
February 16, 2006
Mayton, Shirley Ann Pleasants
April 17, 1937
June 10, 2007
Davis, Grace Rachel Privette
May 3, 1926
November 1, 2009
Denton, Grave Rachel Privette
November 1, 2009
Davis, Gen James Ennis "Jay", Jr,.
June 9, 1928
August 28, 2010
Savage, Donald Richard, Sr.
January 26, 2011
Lowery, Donald S "Bill"
June 30, 1938
October 25, 2011
Davis, Charlie Hunter
May 29, 1929
September 21, 2012
Davis, Vera M.
May 20, 1915
Janurary 1, 1981
Davis, Amanda Dillard
Sept. 18, 1850
May 30. 1938
Davis, J. M.
Sherron, Lizzie
Sherron, Valeria
Davis, Mildred Powell
January 5, 1930