February 28, 2014

Memories of Good Hope

I feel moved to tell you that I have such wonderfully warm memories of Good Hope Baptist Church in Youngsville, NC. My parents, grandparents, and great grandparents are all buried there, along with a slew of other relations. I hope you’ll forgive my foray into my childhood memories of Good Hope. Walk with me, if you will.

When I was a child, we lived in Jacksonville, NC (daddy was a proud Marine stationed at Camp Lejeune) but we “came home” to Raleigh and the “Hurricanes” almost every weekend. If not, certainly every other weekend. Mama and I often came home to stay with my grandparents whenever daddy deployed overseas. We always attended church at Good Hope, especially on Mother’s Day when they held homecoming and at Easter.

Back then (I was born in 1959), Good Hope did not yet have indoor plumbing. I always dreaded going to Good Hope because it meant I’d have to use the outhouse. I was so afraid of that outhouse! It was far down a path into the woods behind the cemetery. I imagined it was haunted and I was sure there were snakes along the path. My father would walk me down to the outhouse and patiently wait for me. He was very sweet and sympathetic about my fears. My mother thought I was being silly. She’d used that outhouse for 40 years!

Attending church at Good Hope was an all day affair. We’d arrive early so we could visit the cemetery and place fresh flowers on the graves. We would stand over each and every grave recalling memories of the buried – some good, some not so good.  Then, there was Sunday School and Church – which always seemed to last longer than it should. We’d either stay for lunch on the grounds or go to a nearby relative’s house for lunch. There were plenty of nearby relatives to choose from. We’d stay all day so we could go back to evening services. If we had lunch on the grounds, my mother would get up with the dawn to prepare an entire meal to take….fried chicken, potato salad, green beans, a pound cake, and “rot your teeth” sweetened iced tea. You’d think we were feeding the entire congregation.

Among the long tables of food, I’d always search out my mother’s dishes. They were better than anyone else’s. Often, we’d drive all the way back to Jacksonville (about 3 hours to the southeast) after evening services. I have to admit, as a teenager, I was not particularly gracious or tolerant of these all day visits to Good Hope. But I went anyhow – my mother would never have allowed me to NOT go. Even in college, I drove the 6 hours one way to be at Good Hope on Mother’s Day with my mother or to attend family reunions at Good Hope. It was expected and I complied.

Mother’s Day was a particularly important Sunday at Good Hope. As with many churches, mothers in the congregation were recognized by the minister. We paid our respects to the oldest mother, the youngest mother, and the mother with the most children (God Bless HER!). The pastor always gave us a lesson on mothers and the sacrifices they made for us.

Each year in the spring, mama would take me to Hudson Belk in downtown Raleigh to buy a new outfit which would do double duty for Easter and Mother’s Day. I’d get the whole nine yards…a new petticoat, a PollyAnna dress, matching tights or frilly socks, patent leather shoes, handbag, and new white gloves. I even got a new Sunday hat if we could find one that went with my outfit. My mother was a southern lady to the core. Ladies always wore patent leather shoes and white gloves to church. The gloves must be white and they must have pearls on them. After shopping for what seemed like hours to a little girl – and probably was - we’d have lunch at the cafeteria on the top floor of Hudson Belk. I’ll always remember my mother’s comments, “they use real silver and china”.  Just as it should be for a country girl from Granville County who grew up dirt poor always longing for a different life.

Back then, roads around Good Hope were not paved. Between the dirt roads, the outhouse, and the red Granville County clay in the cemetery it was almost impossible for a little girl to keep her white shoes, gloves, and frilly dresses clean. I usually came home a mess. Sometimes, mama would take a play outfit for me to change into after church. That was the best and I can still recall how wonderful it felt to change into my play clothes and have the freedom to play to my heart’s content around the graves of my ancestors.

My daddy died February 11, 1997. Mom died ten weeks later on April 2, 1997 – of a broken heart, I’m sure. They were married 45 years. They had purchased a family plot at Good Hope many years prior, and that is where they are buried. My mother dearly loved Good Hope and all the people there. My father loved Good Hope simply because he loved my mother. His family was from Johnston County and he grew up in the Primitive Baptist church. I’m sure he thought the folks at Good Hope were far too liberal for their own good.

My daddy was in the US Marine Corps for 23 years. Most of that time, he was stationed at Camp Lejeune with the 2nd Marine Division. He loved his Corps as much as he loved his family. I remember him saying “God, County, Family”. He loved us in that order. Daddy saw action in Korea and Vietnam. He did two tours of duty in Vietnam. He has who knows how many awards, stripes, and purple hearts. He truly felt that doing his part for his country was one and same of doing his part for his family. He was seriously wounded in Korea and spent months in a hospital in Philadelphia. He lost his hearing in the service from too many long nights on firing ranges and far away battlefields. He lost his health in service to his country. He spent his last years suffering terribly from lung disease, crippling arthritis, and past war wounds – both physical and not physical.

I often wonder what he would say about this latest war. I’ve no doubt he would fully and completely support our President and our troops. It would never occur to him to do otherwise. He would look at the protesters on TV in disdain and shake his head. What do they know about the price of freedom?

I can still hear the young Marines playing taps and firing their guns in salute to him when we laid him to rest at Good Hope. I can even smell the gunfire.  I have the American flag they so carefully folded from his casket just before we returned him to God’s ground. They presented the flag to my son who was only 6 years old at the time. Will he truly understand and appreciate what that flag means? I do hope so. We will cherish it forever.

I have to agree with my father on many counts. After all the sacrifices my family has made for the love of enduring freedom, I also have to wonder “What do they know”?  After all, it wasn’t just my father who sacrificed for his country, although he paid a very hefty price for his commitment to God, country, and family. His family paid a price as well. I try to remember that as I watch the news at night and I hear of families struggling without deployed loved ones. They are all sacrificing for their country. That’s as it should be. If we aren’t willing to sacrifice for our country and our ideals, what are we?

I like to think that Good Hope is the peaceful and God-centered place that it is because of men like my father and women like my mother. May they rest in peace and always know the enduring freedom of God’s love.

Carla Stancil 
October 2003

February 26, 2014

William Young Stancil and Sallie Morgan

My great, great, great grandparents are William Young STANCIL and his bride Sallie MORGAN. William's middle name "Young" shows up a number of times in the family tree. I'd love to know more about that name!

William was born on 10 May 1803 in Cumberland County, NC. I believe he was born in the part of Cumberland County that later became Harnett County.  He was the third child of  parents William STANCIL and Edney MOORE. His siblings were Wealthy Jane, Alexander, and John. 

When he was 31, William married Sallie MORGAN, daughter of Jesse MORGAN and Esther ALLEN, around 1835. Sallie may have been born in Buncombe or Transylvania County, NC. I need to do a lot more work on her family.

William Young STANCIL shows up in Johnston County, NC in the 1850 census at age 44. 

William and wife Sallie had a whopping 9 children: 

  1. Elizabeth STANCIL was born about 1834.
  2. Young Allen STANCIL was born on 14 Apr 1833 and died on 03 Sep 1923 in Johnston County, NC at age 91. He married Susan Creech GODWIN on 22 Aug 1858 and another unknown spouse on 22 Aug 1858 in Johnston County, NC. Young served in the Civil War with the NC 24th Infantry.  
  3. Seviah STANCIL was born about 1837.
  4. Joseph STANCIL was born in 1840 and died about Jul 1889 in Johnston County, North Carolina, USA. He married Sarah E GODWIN on 15 Mar 1867. Sarah was the sister of his bother Young's wife, Susan.  
  5. Prudia STANCIL was born about 1841.
  6. Moses STANCIL was born on 29 Aug 1842 and died on 02 Sep 1923 in Johnston County, NC. He married Emily MASSENGILL on 11 Dec 1866. Moses was apparently a colorful character and was married 4 times. He served in the Confederate Army AND the Confederate Navy.
  7. Edney STANCIL was born about 1845.
  8. Aaron STANCIL was born about 1848.
  9. William STANCIL was the baby of the family born in Feb 1849 and died on 23 Oct 1916 in Johnston County, NC at age 68. He married Mary Ann Rebecca MASSENGILL on 05 Jan 1873. These were my great great grand parents.

William died in 1880 in Johnston County, NC. Would love to know where he is buried!  Working on that...

February 20, 2014

Jesse Bernard Stancil in World War I

Draft Registration Card of Jesse Bernard Stancil
My paternal grandfather was a veteran of World War I, though he did not leave US soil and served less than a year. 

Draft Registration Card:
Name:  Jesse Bernard Stancil
Age:  21
Wilson's Mills, Rt. 1, North Carolina
Date of birth:  Oct. 16, 1895
Race:  Caucasian
Roll:  1765685
Draft board:  2
Trade:  farming
Tall, stout, brown eyes, black hair

Dated June 5, 1917

Sadly, his service records did not survive the fire of July 1973 at the Military Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri.

The good news is we've been able to piece together parts of his service.

United States Army from July 22, 1918 to May 15, 1919
- Enlistment period of one year
- Honorable Discharge at a Private on May 15, 1919
- Stationed at Camp Lee, VA
Company B, Conv. Cr. T
- Given travel pay from Fort Lee, VA to Selma, NC of $6.90 on July 22, 1918
- Paid a total of $1273.38

He did strike a handsome pose in uniform, no?

February 19, 2014

The Mary Jones's of the World

So of the ten most common last names in the US, 7 of them are the last names of direct line ancestors. Sigh.

A bigger sigh when you consider my 6th great grandmother is Mary Jones. Walter Johnson is my great great grandfather. Martha Williams is my 4th great grandmother.

It's harder to find information on women than men. Especially when you are Mary Jones born in 1710. 

Really makes me appreciate some of the more unique names in my line: Utoka Violet Pearce or Argyle Johnson Stancil.

February 18, 2014

Cornelia Dillard Davis, 1838 - 1924

My very beautiful great great grandmother, Cornelia DILLARD, was born on 07 Mar 1838 in Granville County, North Carolina. 

She was the third child of Israel F. DILLARD and Mahalia BAILEY, who had six other children: 
Elijah H

Cornelia attended Beaver Dam School in Granville County in the 1840s with her siblings Narcissa and Elijah.

When she was 22, she married Jonathan F. DAVIS on 24 Jan 1861 in Granville County, NC.  Jonathan was the son of Jonathan DAVIS and Tildanthe BAYLEY, also of Granville County, NC.

She shows up on all the expected censuses:

1850: Age 12 in Beaver Dam district of, Granville County, NC. 
1860: Age 22 in Beaver Dam district of Granville, NC
1870: Age 33 in Brassfield, Granville County, NC
1880: Age 42 in Wake County, NC
1890: Census burned. Shucks.
1900: Age 62 in Grissom, Granville County, NC
1910: Age 72 in Brassfield, Granville County, NC
1920: Age 81 (widowed) in Brassfield, Granville County, NC living with her grandchildren.

Jonathan and Cornelia DILLARD DAVIS had the following children:

  1. Lucy who died in 1920.
  2. Mary born in Granville County
  3. Leonia born in 1850 and died in 1878 at age 18 in Granville County
  4. Matilda born in 1861 and died in 1871 at age 10 in Granville County
  5. Genetta born in 1863 in Granville County. She died age age 73 and 11 months on 25 May 1937 in Durham, NC. She married James Bernice WILSON about 1883.
  6. Luvinia born in 1863.
  7. Augusta born on 07 Jul 1865 and died on 23 Mar 1937 in Granville County. She married William Andrew HASWELL on 28 Dec 1886 in Granville County.
  8. Hampton born in 1867.
  9. Arammenta born on 18 Sep 1869 and died on 11 Aug 1962 in Granville County. She married John Daniel PLEASANTS about 1886.
  10. Cordelia Ann born on 11 Nov 1872 and died on 07 Jul 1949 in Granville County of stomach cancer at age 76. She married Sidney Irvin DAVIS in 1888 in Granville County. These are my great grandparents. 
  11. Serephana DAVIS born on 26 Jan 1874 in Granville County. She died on 03 Dec 1905. She married Jim H. INSCORE about 1891.
  12. Laurence Commodore DAVIS born on 24 Jun 1875 and died on 09 Mar 1919 in Granville County.
  13. Cora DAVIS born on 30 Apr 1884 in Granville County. She died on 17 Dec 1968 in Wake County, NC at age 84. She married Henry Sanford POWELL on 20 Mar 1909 in Wake County.

Cornelia died on 07 Feb 1924 in Granville County, NC at age 88. She is in Bailey Family Cemetery, Youngsville, NC. 

Here is a transcription of her will: 

Last Will and Testament of Cornelia Davis located in the North Carolina Archives, December 2003.

State of North Carolina
County of Granville

I, Cornelia Davis, of the County of Granville, State of North Carolina, being of sound mind and memory, do make, publish and declare this to be my last will and testament, in words following, that is to say:

1. I wish that my body may be given decent burial and that all my just debts be paid by my executor hereinafter named out of any funds belonging to my estate coming into his hands. 
2. I direct that all the land which I own in fee simple shall after my death be divided into seven shares, or into as many shares as there shall be children of mine, or children of deceased children per ?? living at my death, and I give and devise to each of my daughters Genetta Wilson, Augusta Haswell, Araminta Haswell, Cordelia Davis, and Cora Davis one share of my said land, to each of them for the term of their natural lives and after their death to the child or children of said daughters in fee simple, but if either of my said daughters shall die without issue living at the time of their death, then the share herein devised to such daughter shall revert to and vest in my heirs at law in fee simple. And I give and devise to my son Lawrence Davis one share in my real estate in fee simple. And to my grandchildren Hubert and Lucy Inscore, children of my deceased daughter Sarafina Inscore, I give and devise one share in my said real estate in fee simple.
3. It is my will that the said lands devised in the preceding paragraph shall be actually partitioned and not sold for division.
4. Whereas my only son Lawrence has been faithful in taking care of me and looking after the farm, and has in the course of such employment purchased and added to the live stock, machinery, and tools, now therefore in order that there may not be any dispute as to whom these belong, I devise and bequeath to my said son Lawrence Davis all my interest and right, if I have any, in and to the horse, mules, oxen, farming tools and all machinery of whatever nature which are now or may be at the time of my death in use on my said farm lands or on that in which I have a life estate coming from my deceased husband Jonathan F. Davis.
5. I name as the executor of this my last will and testament my son Lawrence Davis, who shall not be required to give any bond.

Cornelia Davis (her mark X)

Signed, sealed, published, and declared to be her list will and testament by Cornelia Davis, who signed the same in our presence, we being requested by her to act as witnesses thereto and who signed the same as witnesses thereof in her presence and in the presence of each other. This the 24th day of November 1908.

W. A. Davis
L. F. Smith

This note was attached to the will:

To the Clerk of Superior Court of Granville County, We the undersigned heirs of Mrs. Cornelia Davis estate do recommend that H. S. Powell be appointed as the administrator of the estate.


Herbert Inscoe (his mark X)
Genetta Wilson
Cordelia Davis
Gussie Haswell
Cora Powell
Airmenta Pleasants

February 17, 2014

Women's Lib in 1731

I've always thought prenup agreements were a product of the greedy 20th and 21st century. Apparently not.

My 6th great grandparents must have been savvy business people. They had a prenup. Signed in 1731 in Bertie County, NC.  

I'm thinking it was associated with (or the same as) the March 14, 1731 "marriage contract" made between William Stancil and Africa Smithwick (sometimes her last name is shown as Smith). It involved the ownership of a "negro girl", aka slave, Jane. 

Africa was apparently quite involved in the family business. Her name appears on a number of land deeds with her husband over the years. 

The Stancils were a wealthy family holding a good deal of land and slaves. Good thing they were also smart.

February 16, 2014

Will of Joseph Matthews, January 1791

Will of Joseph Matthews
Jan. 1791

NC State Archives

Cumberland County, N Carolina
In the name of God, amen I Joseph Matthews of Cumberland County and state of North Carolina being very sick but of sound mind and good memory and knowing it is appointed for all men to die I do make and ordain this as my last will and testament revoking all other wills heretofore by me maid.

Item my will and desire is for all my just debts and funeral expenses be first paid and discharged.

Item I give and bequeath to my son Jacob Matthews five shillings to him and his hers for Ever.

Item I give and bequeath to my Daughter Martha Smith five shillings to her and to herrs for Ever.

Item I give and bequeath to my son Joseph Matthews five shillings to him and to his herrs for Ever.

Item I give and bequeath to my Daughter Hester Johnson five shillings to her and to herrs for Ever.

Item I give and bequeath to my son Hardy Matthews the whole of my carpenter tools and likewise the brandy that he is owing of me to pay my just debts out of  and what remains to be for his own use to him and to his hirss for Ever.

Item I give and bequeath unto Daughter Pleasant Thomas five shillings to her and to her hers for Ever.

Item I give and bequeath unto Matthew Jinks one filley and to his and to his hers for Ever.

Carried over
Item I give and bequeath to my Dear and well beloved wife Ann Matthews one bed and furniture thirteen head of hogs, six head of cattle, five head of sheep, one chest, and churn, one saddle and bridle, and one pr. of sheep shears, one hundred and fifty acres of land lying and being in the county of Cumberland and adjoining Solomon Parke's line and Simon Johnston and the line formerly called Hart's line, all the aforesaid articl above mentioned

I give unto my wife during her natural life or widowhood and after her death or marriage, then to be equally divided between her four sons, Joseph Jinks, Matthew Jinks, Burrell Jinks, and John Jinks to them and to their heirs forever.

Solomon Parck (+) Joseph (HM) Matthews
Henry Knight (seal)
Francis (+) Dorton

Joseph Matthews' Will
January 1791

February 10, 2014

NC Online Historical Newspapers

This database lists the name of the newspaper, the city and county where it was published, the years available online, and the online resources where available (and whether it is paid or free). 

Dates range from 1751 to 2011.

February 9, 2014

Last Will and Testament of Ary Parrish Johnson

Last Will and Testament of Ary Johnson

I, Ary Johnson of Johnston County North Carolina, being of sound mind and memory, but uncertain of my earthly existence, do make this my Last Will and Testament in the following manner and form:

Item 1st.
I will and bequeath to each of my children, to wit:  Susannah ???, Walter Johnson, Margaret Johnson, Martitia Jones, Edwin Johnson, Richard Johnson, D. C. Johnson, James Johnson, Sallie Wallace, one dollar each as heirs ?? of my property. 

Item 2nd.
I will and bequeath to my beloved son Nazareth Johnson, all the property that I may own at my death except that mentioned in Item 1st of this my Last Will and Testament which I desire to he his during his natural life.

Item 3rd
It is my desire that my son, D. C. Johnson act as Executor to this my last Will and Testament and see that the same is carried out according to law and in the event the said D. C. Johnson shall die or otherwise fail to act, it is my desire that some available person shall be chosen by my children to act as Executor to this my Last Will and Testament and see that the same is duly carried out according to law.

Item 4th
If my son Nazareth Johnson shall die without any living issue, it is my desire that the portion of property herein bequeathed to him shall be equally divided among my children mentioned in Item 1st of this my Last Will and Testament after having dedicated fifty dollars from his share of my daughter Sallie Wallace, which she has already received from me.  This 27th day of January 1891.

Ary Johnson (mark)

J.A. Jones
A.L. Coats


Order for Probate issued in Johnston County, North Carolina by D.C. Johnson on July 4, 1896.  Certificate of Probate and Executors Oath issued on the same day.

Application for Letters Testamentary issued on July 4, 1896. Lists property worth about $500.00:
- 50 acres of land in Pleasants Grove Township
- 2 beds
- 5 steads
- furniture and other household kitchen furniture
- hogs and farm implements

These parties are entitled to said property:
- Susanna Coats
- Nazareth Johnson
- Walter Johnson
- Margaret Johnson
- Richard Johnson
- D.C. Johnson
- James Johnson
- Sallie Wallace
- all of full age and residents of Johnston County, North Carolina and the children of Martitia Jones (dec'd), Edwin Johnson Dec'd, Nella Jones, Sam Jones, Jimmie Jones of full age. Bettie Jones, Eddy Jones, Cassie Johns, Josephus Jones, minors. Jimmy Johnson of age, Ruffin Johnson, Edwin Johnson, Louisa Johnson minors. No guardian for any after ?? and all residents of Johnston County. 

Signed by D.C. Johnson

Johnston County Will Abstracts
Ary Johnson, January 27, 1891, Probated July 4, 1896
Children:  Susanna C. Coats, Walter Johnson, Margaret Johnson, Martitia Jones, Edwin Johnson, Richard Johnson, D.C.  Johnson, James Johnson, Sallie Wallace - $1.00 each as their portion. Son Nazarath Johnson - all of the property I may own at my death. If son Nazarath Johnson should die without heirs, that portion of property to be equally divided among my children. $50.00 to come from share of Daughter Sallie Wallace, she has already received. 
Executor: D.C. Johnson, son
WitnessesL  J.A. T. Coats, A.L. Coats
Ary (x) Johnson

February 7, 2014

Obituary of Elizabeth Flowers Godwin, 1810 - 1895

The Smithfield Herald
January 2, 1896

An Aged Mother Gone

After a painful illness of about four weeks, Mrs. Lizzie Godwin departed this life on the night of December 25, 1895, at the home of her son in law, Mr. J. B. Davis, in Wilson's Mills township. She was born Feb. 23rd, 1810, and lived to be eighty-five years, ten months and two days old. She was the wife of Stephen Godwin, who died thirty-three years ago. She was the mother of twelve children, ten of them yet living to mourn their loss. She had forty-eight grand-children and sixty-eight great-grand-children living at the time of her death.

She was buried at the side of her husband at the Simon Jones burying ground in Clayton township. She was a consistent member of the Primitive Baptist church and ever ready to do the will of her Heavenly Master.

She bore her sickness with much patience and often said in her sickness that she was ready and willing to go.

We extend our sympathies to the sorrowing family in their sad bereavement. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord.


February 5, 2014

Hand Colored Photography

Back in the day, photographers would "hand color" black and white photographs to give them dimension and interest.  A variety of methods was used - dyes, crayons (seriously?), water colors, oils. 

I am fortunate enough to have a number of these types of photographs. Some are pretty obvious that they've been colored (read: someone didn't color within the lines) and others are down right beautiful.

Ann Gladys Allen Stancil
Here's a colored photo of my mother. I suspect this was taken in Hawaii in early 1958. 

Stancil Family

This is the Stancil family. I suspect the photo was taken in Raleigh, NC since the family was living in Raleigh when my father was born and he is the youngest in the picture (colored in pink...the photographer must have through he was a girl).

The boy in blue is Macon McNair (little Joe) who died in his teens from diabetes.  The child on the right in pink is Edith. The three boys in the middle are Roland (killed in WW II), Eric, and Cecil. Grandma Lou Ada Johnson Stancil is in the back.

This is my maternal grandmother, Ethel Davis Allen. It's odd that there is a palm tree in the back ground since I'm not sure Ethel ever left the state of North Carolina. 

These are beautiful photographs and I am very pleased to have them. My next to-do is to research how best to preserve them. I'm open to ideas!

Mary Ann Flowers Harper, 1798 - 1850ish, Johnston County, NC

My 4th great grandmother, Mary Ann FLOWERS,  was born just before the turn of the century -  about 1798 - in Johnston County, NC. She was the 7th of 15 children of Jacob FLOWERS and Pheriba JOHNSON. Her siblings were: 

  1. Winifred
  2. Edney
  3. John
  4. Michael
  5. Emily
  6. Winnie
  7. Sally
  8. Pherebe
  9. Emily
  10. Harriett
  11. Tempy
  12. Martha
  13. Jacob
  14. Elizabeth
That's a lot of kids! It's little wonder then that she married at age 14 Reddick HARPER on 01 Mar 1812 in Johnston County North Carolina. They had nine children:

  1. Ammy who married Aaron W. MASSENGILL on 12 Aug 1851 in Johnston County.
  2. Bryant. Don't know much about him.
  3. Wilsie HARPER, born in 1819 and died about 1881. She married Aaron MASSENGILL on 25 Mar 1846 in Johnston County. These are my 3rd great grandparents. 
  4. Elizabeth Emily born in 1827. Elizabeth may have been named for Mary Ann's youngest sister.
  5. Susan Maria born in 1829 and died in 1907 - both events in Johnston County. Her mother, Mary Ann, was living with her on the 1850 census. 
  6. Nancy Wiley born in 1835 and died on 24 Feb 1910 in Johnston County. She married Aaron W. MASSENGILL on 18 Mar 1855 in Johnston County.
  7. Jacob was born in 1837. He married Willy Jane ATKINSON on 15 Jan 1861 in Johnston County.  Jacob may have been named for Mary Ann's youngest brother.
  8. William was born in 1841 in Johnston County.
  9. George Robert was born in 1844. He died on 23 Feb 1916 in Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina. He married Phereby SMITH on 10 Dec 1866 in Johnston County.  His mother Mary Ann was in her mid-40s when George was born. She had her 9 children over a 25 year range!

1850 was the first US census to enumerate women, so Mary Ann shows up then living in District 3 of Johnston County at age 52 living with her daughter Susan. She does not show up on the 1860 census, so she may have died within the decade. 

You should note that some of these facts are documented but others are not. I won't list all the sources here, but if you want to know if I have a source for a particular fact, feel free to drop a note!  Otherwise...do your own research. 

February 3, 2014

Allen H. Ray, 1859 - 1936, Wake County, NC

My 2nd great grandfather on my maternal side, Allen H. RAY was born on 11 Nov 1859 in Johnston County, North Carolina, as the fifth child of James A. RAY and Martha Sarah (Sallie) GREEN. I'm curious to know how be got from Johnston County to the north end of Wake County in New Light, NC.

He had at least six siblings:

  1. Sadus/Sardi
  2. John
  3. Wesley G
  4. James Wiley
  5. William Aaron
  6. Sarah A.
When he was 26, Allen married Martha Hawkins PEARCE,daughter of George Wesley PEARCE and Elizabeth Caroline PERRY, on 03 Dec 1885 in Wake County, North Carolina. Their first child, Elizabeth, was born about a year later.

Allen shows up on all the right census records:

  • 1860: North Western District, Wake County, age 9 months.
  • 1870: New Light, NC at age 10 
  • 1880: New Light, NC at age 20. He was still single and living with his parents.  
  • 1890:  Census burned. Bummer.
  • 1900:  New Light, NC at age 40. This time he shows up with a wife and kids.  
  • 1910: New Light, NC at age 50. 
  • 1920: Apparently the family moved on down the road to Brassfield in Granville County, NC. He was 62. 
  • 1930: He had moved back to New Light, age 70. 

Allen H. RAY and Martha Hawkins PEARCE had five children:

  1. Elizabeth RAY, born  24 Dec 1886 in Wake County. She died on 18 Apr 1928 in New Light at age 40 in childbirth. She married Eugene Narron ALLEN on 02 Jul 1904 in Wake County. These were my great grandparents. 
  2. Mary Frances RAY born 13 May 1889 in Wake County. She died 14 Dec 1939 in Youngsville, Franklin County, NC. She married Johnnie O'NEAL in 1908 at her father's home.
  3. James Arthur RAY born 11 Oct 1893 in Wake County. He died on 22 Jan 1957 in Wake County.
  4. Arthur I RAY born about 1895 in Granville County. He died on 22 Jan 1957 in Wake County.
  5. Loretta Jessie RAY born on 30 May 1907 in Wake County. She died on 07 Feb 1992 in Wake County at the age of 84. She married William Graham O'NEAL on 11 Jan 1926. 

Grandpa Allen worked all his life as a farmer. He probably spent a life time farming someone else's land however, I can't find any record that he ever owned land in Granville or Wake County.

Allen died on 26 Oct 1936 in New Light at the age of 76 of heart failure. His wife was 64 when Allen died. She lived another 17 years without him.

Allen is buried in the Smith-Perry Cemetery (also called the Smith Family Cemetery) in Wake Forest, NC. It is located at the corner of Purnell Road (SR 1909) and Hinton Road (SR 1916).  His son James and wife Beulah are also buried there with their son Woodrow, who died in infancy in 1918. 

February 2, 2014

Who knew FaceBook could actually be useful?

I'm a long time member of FaceBook. I enjoy it because it enables to stay in touch with friends. But I just recently discovered that it can actually be useful. Something more than a brainless time suck. 

Don't know why this is just now a revelation to me, but there are lots of great genealogical resources on FaceBook. My favorites of the moment are pages devoted to locales where I have ancestors. The Franklin, Granville, Vance, and Warren County page is devoted to local history and genealogy. So is the Wake, Harnett, and Johnston County page. Folks on these sites have been great about answering questions and brainstorming. 

Even Cyndi's List blog talks about how to use FaceBook in genealogy. It's a good read. Check it out!