Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Month: October, 2012

It is her wish and desire that her children should leave the state.

State of North Carolina, Onslow County }

Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions, March Term 1860

To the Worshipful, the Justices of Said Court: The petition of Omar White, humbly complaining, showeth unto your Worships that she is a free woman of color: that her Mother, Elizabeth White was born a free person of color in the County of Pitt of the State of aforesaid and removed to this the county and state aforesaid when your petitioner was born, raised and has always resided.  Your petitioner further showeth to your Worships that she is now about sixty years, is at present residing where she has resided with her family, which is numerous, for the last twelve years on the premises of of Basil M. Barry, Esquire, and with his permission: that she is the mother of thirteen children and has [blank] grandchildren, all of whom, under the age of twenty-one years, respectively. Your petitioner further showeth that, after her said children shall have attained the age of twenty one aforesaid and shall have fulfilled all the requirements of the law in such cases made and provided for Apprentices, it is her wish and desire that they shall remove from the state aforesaid and settle in a free state.  Your petitioner further showeth unto your worships that the facts set forth in this her petition are in the knowledge of many persons now living and such knowledge is the only evidence of her freedom: that she is growing old and her witnesses are also much advanced in years: that by the time he said children shall have reached the age of twenty one aforesaid, when they shall be free to emigrate from the state aforesaid, it may not be in their power to show the facts herein set forth.

To the end therefore that such testimony may be perpetuated and become a part of the record of this Worshipful Court, your petitioner humbly prays your Worships for permission for a rule to take such depositions as may be necessary to sustain the allegations set forth in this her petition.  And your petitioner humbly begs your Worships for further and such other relief as your Worships may deem necessary and proper.

And your petitioner as in duty bound shall ever humbly pray etc.    L.W. Humphrey, Attorney for Pet.

Elizabeth “Betsey” Whitehurst’s children were apprenticed extensively in Onslow County — Omy [Naomi, also called Oma, and the petitioner here] in 1806, 1811, 1818, 1819; Joshua in 1806, twice in 1811, 1816, 1818 ; Elijah in 1811; Esther in 1813 and 1830; Ann, Bill and Edward in 1817 and 1827; and Morris in 1827.  Their last name appeared as White, Whiters and Whitehurst.  See Apprentice Records, Wayne County, North Carolina State Archives.  She is probably the “Betsey Free” listed in the 1820 census of South Richlands district, Onslow County, with a household comprising four people of color.  In the 1830 census of Onslow County, she is Betsey Whitehurst with a household of seven.  In the 1850 census, she is listed in her son Edward White’s household in Cypress Creek, Jones County.

Omy White’s children also cycled through Onslow County Court as apprentices — Betsy Jane in 1827, 1835, 1839; Nancy in 1827; Sarah in 1834; Lindey in 1834; Elijah in 1835; Linda and Jack in 1844;  Edward “Ned,” Esther and Robert “Bob” in 1844 and 1849; Naomi in 1844; and Alfred in 1849.  In the 1850 census of Half Moon district, Onslow County, Omy “Ward” and four children are listed in one household (headed by B.M. Barry, a lawyer) and son Jack is in another. 

Onslow County apprentices, 1810.

The following free children of color were apprenticed in Onslow County in 1810:

Charles, Nancy and Ezekiel Chance, children of Charity Chance, to Williams Cox.

Thomas Corbett to Hardy Gregory.

Elisha, son of  Sall [no last name] to James Orril.

Rachel, Sam, Billy, Harriet and Polly Smith, children of Margaret Smith, to John Ballard.

George, son of Hannah, [no last name] to William Murrell. Father a slave of Murrell.

Apprenticeship Records, Onslow County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

Louvicey Artis Aldridge.


LOUVICEY ARTIS ALDRIDGE was born in 1865 near Eureka, Wayne County, to Adam Toussaint Artis (1831-1919) and Frances Seaberry Artis (1845-1878.)  In 1879, she married John William Aldridge (1851-1910), son of Robert Aldridge and Mary Eliza Balkcum Aldridge.

Courtesy of Lisa Y. Henderson.

Did the slave help free the free man’s slave?

The State v. Edmund, a slave, 15 NC 340 (1833).

This was an indictment of Edmund in New Hanover County for violating the Act of 1825, chapter 22, i.e. concealing a slave on board a vessel for the purpose of conveying her beyond state limits and helping her escape.  Edmund was a slave, the property of a Mr. West of Virginia, who had absconded years before, passed as a free man and served as a steward aboard the brig Fisher.  Nathan Green, the alleged owner of the concealed slave, was a free man of color, “a dark mulatto,” and a North Carolina resident.  Edmund was convicted of the offense and appealed his death sentence on the bases that (1) as a slave, Edmund was not a person within the meaning of the Act and (2) Nathan Green, as a free man of color, was not a citizen of the state.  The Supreme Court ordered a new trial on the alternate ground that the indictment was defective.

Free colored farmers, no. 1.

These free people of color were listed in the 1850 agricultural schedule of Wayne County:

John Artis.  30 improved acres, value $150. Implements valued at $15. 1 horse. 1 ox. 15 sheep. 75 swine. 250 bushels, Indian corn. 50 lbs., wool. 50 bushels, Irish potatoes.

Vincent Artis.  30 improved acres, value $150. Implements valued at $15.  1 horse. 1 ox. 12 sheep. 75 swine. 250 bushels, Indian corn. 50 lbs., wool. 50 bushels, Irish potatoes.

Celia Artis.  50 improved acres, 700 unimproved acres, value $600. Implements valued at $25. 2 horses. 1 ass or mule. 1 ox. 21 other cattle. 40 sheep. 500 swine. 500 bushels, Indian corn. 100 lbs., rice. 2 lbs., tobacco. 100 lbs., wool. 100 bushels, peas and beans. 200 bushels, sweet potatoes.

Calvin Simmons.  130 improved acres, 173 unimproved acres, value $800. Implements valued at $40. 2 horses. 4 milch cows. 2 other cattle. 8 sheep. 155 swine. 720 bushels, Indian corn. 10 lbs., wool. 15 bushels, peas and beans. 40 bushels, Irish potatoes. 3 bushels, sweet potatoes.

Polly Simmons.  110 improved acres, 100 unimproved acres, value $300. Implements valued at $25. 2 horses. 3 milch cows. 27 oxen. 11 other cattle. 40 sheep. 330 swine. 600 bushels, Indian corn. 25 bushels. oats. 20 bales, cotton. 25 lbs., wool. 5 bushels, peas and beans. 50 bushels, Irish potatoes. 100 bushels, sweet potatoes.

Levi Winn.  150 improved acres, 236 unimproved acres, value $1500. Implements valued at $60. 3 horses. 4 asses or mules. 6 milch cows. 12 oxen. 11 other cattle. 15 sheep. 300 swine. 200 bushels, Indian corn. 15 bushels, oats. 30 bales, cotton. 25 lbs., wool. 10 bushels, peas and beans. 50 bushels, Irish potatoes. 100 bushels, sweet potatoes.

Free-Issue Death Certificates: REID.

Zannie Reid.  Died 21 May 1914, Fremont, Wayne County. Negro.  Widow.  Born 28 Aug 1829 to [blank] Hagans and Nancy Hagans, both of NC.  Buried Reid graveyard.  Informant, John G. Reid, Fremont.

Edwin Hall.  Died 22 Jan 1915, Fremont, Wayne County.  Negro.  Married.  Farmer.  Age 66.  Born to Dempsey Hall and Patsy Reid.  Buried “in country.”

Christian Coley.  Died 6 Sep 1915, Pikeville, Wayne County.  Married.  About 66 years old.  Born in NC to Washington Reid and Pennie Reid.  Buried Reid graveyard.  Informant, Henry Coley, Pikeville.

David Reid.  Died 27 Oct 1915, Great Swamp, Wayne County.  Colored. Married.  About 70 years old.  Born in NC to Jacob Coley and Bitha Reid, both of NC. Buried Fremont cemetery. Informant, Isler Reid.

Winnie Reid.  Died 15 Aug 1918, Pikeville, Wayne County NC.  Colored.  Widow.  80 years old.  Born Wayne County to Bill Hall and Nancy Hagans, both of Wayne County.  Informant, Burrell Reid, Pikeville.

William Reid.  Died 27 Jan 1926, Black Creek, Wilson County.  Colored.  Married to Bettie Reid.  76 years old.  Born in Wayne County to John Reid and Zannie Reid, both of Wayne. Buried in the Wilson graveyard.  Informant, Pinkney Reid, Fremont.

Henry Reid.  Died 28 Sep 1930, Goldsboro NC.  Colored.  Widower of Georgeana Reid.  70 years old.  Born in Wayne County to John Reid and Zania Hall.  Informant, Frances Newsome.

Auther Reid.  Died 23 Feb 1929, Township #9, Edgecombe County.  Negro.  Single.  Born 18 Nov 1842 in Edgecombe to Miles Reid and Martha Febury Reid.  Buried near Macclesfield.

Gray Reid.  Died 8 Jan 1936, Township #10, Edgecombe County.  Resided “Hal Farm.” Colored. Widower of Lucy Reid.  Born 1844 in Edgecombe to unknown parents.  Informant, Jonah Reid. Macclesfield.



Caswell County Will Books: D

In Book D, at October Court, 1800, Alsey Hudson, an orphaned female child of colour, aged 2 years, bound to Zephaniah Tait.

In Book D, at October Court, 1801, Armsted Phillips, a mulatto boy, age 5 years and 6 months, bound to Epp’s Stone.

In Book D, at October Court, 1801, Nancy Phillips, a mulatto girl aged 8 years old on 15 March next, bound to Eppophroditus Stone.

In Book D, at April Court, 1802, Allen Caswell, a mulatto boy aged 19 years old January last, bound to Henry Atkinson.


Surnames: Chatham County, 1850.


He was a good farmer, industrious and thrifty.

Dissey Snelling filed claim #13204 on behalf of her deceased husband, William Snelling.  She did not know her age.  She had lived in Houses Creek township, about 5 miles from Raleigh, since 1861.  William had died intestate in August 1873.  There had been no administration of his estate or division of his property.  “All that he left remains in my hands.”

Dissey and William had seven living children: Curtis (35), Marsy Ann (24), Wm. Acquilla (22), Araminta (18), Nancy (16), Lizzie (14) and Silvetia Snelling (7).

William had been born in Wake County, and his farm contained 171 acres, 50 in cultivation.  “He was a free colored man, he was never a slave.”  He was about 66 years old when he died.  Dissey, too, had never been a slave.

Union troops took two horses, seven head of cattle, ten goats, 15 sheep, eight hogs, two wagons and two saddles. The troops were camped on Beaver Dam less than a mile from the Snellings’ house.

Curtis Snelling testified that he resided in his mother’s house, that he was William’s son, and that he had been born free.  “I was taken away from here at Raleigh under guard and taken to Wilmington, where I was put to work loading vessels.  I never received any pay for that work.”

Willis R. McDade testified that he lived about 6 miles north of Raleigh.  He asserted that William Snelling’s farm was well-stocked.  “He was a good farmer, industrious and thrifty.  He carried a two-horse farm.”

In the 1850 census of Western Division, Wake County, William Snelling, age 38, is listed with wife Dissy (25), son Curtis (4) and Dissy’s relatives Mary F. (7), John (33), Martha (31), Rhoda (2) and Martha Evans (5).  In 1860, the family is listed in North West District: William Snellings (50), wife Desdimonia (30) and children Curtis (15), Martha (12), Roxana (10), William (2) and Arometta (1).  William reported owning $500 personal property and $500 real property.

Where are they now? No. 10 and 11.

L.D. was born in the mid-1960s in Kinston NC.  She is descended from:

(1) William Dove? [ca1748-??, Craven County] via Simon Dove [??-ca1820, Craven/Onslow County] via Durant Dove [1810-ca1890, Onslow County] via Lewis J. Dove [1831-ca1905, Onslow/Lenoir County]

(2) Nancy Henderson [ca1790-ca1875, Onslow County]

(3) Elizabeth Whitehurst [ca1780-??, Pitt/Onslow/Jones] via Ann Whitehurst [Onslow County]

R.B. was born in the early 1960s in Tarboro NC.  He is descended from:

(1) James E. O’Hara [1844-1905, NY/Wayne/Edgecombe/Halifax/Craven]