Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Free-Issue Death Certificates: ARMWOOD

Penny Armwood.  Died 27 Apr 1925, Little Coharie township, Sampson County.  Resided 4 miles south of Roseboro.  Widow of Henry Armwood.  Black.  Born 1 Sep 1829 in Sampson County to Richard Armwood and Mary Faircloth, both of North Carolina. Buried W.R. McKenzie Col. Cem. Informant, James Armwood.

Penny’s husband Henry appears as a 16 year-old in the household of John and Susan Armwood in the 1850 census of the Northern Division of Sampson County.

Martha Armwood.  Died 7 May 1927, Faison, Duplin County.  Colored.  Widow of William Armwood.  Born 16 May 1831 to Jim Simmons and Winnie Medley, both of NC.  Buried in Sampson County.  Informant, Everett Armwood, Faison.

Eleven year-old Martha Simmons appears in her parents James and Winney Simmons’ household in the 1850 census of Northern Division of Sampson County.

Kilbey Armwood.  Died 2 Feb 1855, Faison, Duplin County.  Colored.  Widower.  Farmer.  Born 5 Feb 1855 in Sampson County to William Armwood and Martha Brewington. Buried family cemetery in Faison.  Informant, Almond Armwood, Faison.

William (26) and Martha Armwood (21) appear in the 1860 census of Turkey township, Sampson County with children, including Mary Ann (1).

William Armwood.  Died 23 Oct 1926, Faison, Duplin County.  Colored. Age 97 years, 6 months, 7 days. Married to Martha Armwood.  Farmer.  Born in Sampson County to Major Armwood and Liza Armwood.  Buried in Duplin County.  Informant, Wilsy Armwood, Faison.

In the 1850 census of the Northern Division of Sampson County: Major (53), Eliza (42) and William Armwood (14).

Polly Ann Simmons.  Died 5 July 1940 at Duke Hospital, Durham.  Resided in Clinton, Sampson County. Indian.  Widow of Cisroe Williams Simmons. Born 1 May 1856 in Sampson County to William Armwood and Mattie Simmons.  Informant, E.J. Simmons, Clinton.

Treated and regarded as free.

David Jarman v. L.W. Humphrey, 51 NC 28 (1858).

The case was brought to try the question of L.W. Humphrey’s right to hold David Jarman as a slave.  Jarman was once the slave of Edward Williams and is Humphrey’s slave, unless he has been legally emancipated.  Benjamin Jarman filed a petition in Onslow County Superior Court attesting that he had been the slave of John Jarman and had been lawfully manumitted by the court for meritorious services; that, while a slave, he fathered a child named David, who was now about 30 years old; that David’s master, Williams, had been offered a large sum of money to free David but had refused and had, instead, sold David to his father Benjamin for a reduced price.  Williams attested that he had owned David about 30 years; that he reposed unusual confidence in David; and that he had refused higher sums in order to sell David to his father.  At September term, 1822, the Onslow County Superior Court entered a judgment that David was liberated, and he had conducted himself as a free man since.  However, Humphrey asserted that Benjamin himself was a slave at the time he petitioned for David’s emancipation and therefore could neither have owned nor freed him.  State Supreme Court held that Williams’ acquiescence in and recognition of David’s freedom demonstrated that the transfer of title had been valid and as “he and all other persons had treated and regarded [David] as free for more than thirty years, every presumption ought to be made in favor of his actual emancipation.”

See also State v. William Patrick, 51 NC 308 (1859), a Brunswick County indictment for carrying firearms: “It is clearly settled that it is evidence in favor of a negro, in a suit for his freedom, that he is generally reputed to be free, and has always acted and passed a free man. …  If such evidence be admissible to establish the fact of a negro’s being free, when it is to operate in his favor, it seems to us, that it must equally be so when it is to operate against him.”