Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Free-Issue Death Certificates: POWELL.

Elijah Powell.  Died 5 Apr 1914, Wilson township, Wilson County.  Black. Married.  Farmer.  Age 84.  Born in Nash County to Elijah Powell and Seathie Powell.  Buried Wilson County.  Informant, T.A. Jones.

Nineteen year-old farmer Eligah Powell is listed with his parents, Eligah and Selah Powell, in the 1850 census of Nash County.

Dolison Powell.  Died 23 Dec 1915, Wilson township, Wilson County.  Colored.  Married.  Farmer.  Born 5 Apr 1840 in Wilson County to Steven Powell and Sintha Powell, both of Edgecombe County.  Buried Wilson County.  Informant, Howard Powell.

“Dolly” Powell, age 7, is listed in the household of his parents, Stephen and Synthia Powell, in the 1850 Nash County census.

Mary Ann Powell.  Died 5 Apr 1921, Jackson township, Nash County.  Widow of Ickibuck Powell.  Colored.  Age 74.  Born in Wilson County to Silas Lassiter & Orpie Lassiter, both of Wilson County.  Buried Powell gtaveyard.  Informant, Henry Powell.

Mary Lassiter, age 11, is listed in the household of her parents, Silas and Orpie Lassiter, in the 1860 census of Wilson township, Wilson County. 

Show cause why the indentures of apprenticeship should not be rescinded.

North Carolina

To the Shiriff of Wayne County Greeting

You are hereby commanded to make known to Nathan Edgerton to produce into court at the next term to be held for said County at the Court House in Goldsboro on the third Monday of May next, Mary, Raeford, Louisa, Amelia, Devereux, Narcissa, Olif & Sarah Carroll, Children of Margaret Carroll, then & there to Show cause if any he has why the Indentures of Apprenticeship to him should not be recinded — herein fail not, & have you then & there this writ

Witness Benj Aycock clerk of said court at office the third Monday of Feby A.D. 1856

Issued 23rd April 1856                  Benj. Aycock  Clk.

Nathan Edgerton indentured nine Carroll children, aged 1 to 15, in 1855.  Their mother Margaret Carroll, who lived in Johnston County, protested the indentures without apparent success: Sarah, Louisa, Amelia, Olivia and Narcissa Carroll appear in Nathan Edgerton’s household in the 1860 census of Wayne County.

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

Give and grant all my right over said children.

This indenture this 16th day of August 1823 between Celia Artis of the County of Wayne and state of North Carolina of the one part, and Elias and Jesse Coleman of the other part (witnesseth) that I the said Celia Artis have for an in consideration of having four of my children raised in a becoming [illegible], by these presence indenture the said four children (to viz) Eliza, Ceatha, Zilpha, and Simon Artis to the said Elias and Jesse Coleman to be their own right and property until the said four children arives at the age of twenty one years old and I do by virtue of these presents give and grant all my right and power over said children the above term of time, unto the said Elias and Jesse Coleman their heirs and assigns, until the above-named children arives to the aforementioned etc., and I do further give unto the said Elias and Jesse Coleman all power of recovering from any person or persons all my right to said children — the [illegible] of time whatsoever in whereof I the said Celia Artis have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year above written,    Celia X Artis.

Deeds, Register of Deeds Office, Wayne County Courthouse, Goldsboro.

[Sidenote: Celia Artis (1800-1879) was a prosperous free woman of color whose husband, Simon Pig, was a slave.  (She purchased and eventually freed him, and he adopted her surname.)  Because Celia was not legally married, her children were subject to involuntary apprenticeship.  This deed records her determination to guard her children from uncertain fates by placing them under the control of men she trusted.  Despite the wording of the deed, it is likely that the children continued to live with their mother after their indenture.  By mid-century, Celia Artis was one of the wealthiest free women of color in Wayne County, having amassed 750 acres of land in northern Wayne County. — LYH]


When the upstir was about the Negro rising I readily delivered my gun.

State of North Carolina     }  To the worshipful — the Court of pleas and

Wayne County                }       quarters sessions August Term 1841

From the observance of an act of Assembly Ratified 11th Jany, 1841 prohibiting Negroes &c from Carrying fire Arms at Page 61 and Chapter 30.

Free Willis Petitions your worships that he be allowed to keep and use a shot-gun and Ammunition at his home as usual

As it may pleas your worships I have ever been permitted to Keep a shot-gun and ammunition and no charge has Ever been against me for any injury done thereby — And when the upstir was about the Negro rising I readily delivered my gun to Mr Henry Sasser who Kept it Untill the stir was all over and then gave it to me again   August 17th 1841   Willis

Willis lives at one End of my plantation and as I apprehend no danger in his Keeping his gun and ammunition and as he does me some benefit by destroying the Vermin around my fields I would rather he could retain his gun     Benajah Herring

Benajah Herring’s petition to Wayne County Superior Court secured Free Willis’ freedom in the 1830s.  The “Negro rising” referred to probably was Nat Turner’s Rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia, and/or an aborted slave revolt in Duplin and Sampson Counties, NC, both with took place in the late summer of 1831.  Willis Herring appears, immediately adjacent to Benajah Herring, as a head of household in the 1840 census of Wayne County.  He lived alone.

Records of Slaves and Free People of Color, Wayne County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

We know nothing against his character.

State of North carolina Wayne County

To the Worshipful Court of please & Quarter Sessions at May Term 1854 Stephen Evans A Free Man of Couler Wishes the Court to grant him the privilege of Hunting With a Gun For the purpose of killing Game For Twelve months We the undersigned Subscribers has Bein Well a Quainted with Stephen Evans For the Last two years & Know Nothing Against his character

M.G. Harrell

George Flowers

Solomon Rouse

W.G. Martin

Stephen Evans, age 27, appears in Nathan Evans’ household in the 1850 census of Wayne County, north side of the Neuse.

Records of Slaves and Free People of Color, Wayne County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

A coloured apprentice.

State of No Carolina }     Court of Pleas & Quarter

Wayne County        }            Sessions — Nov Term 1837 —

Mr Henry Best Sir You are hereby notified to produce on Monday of Feby term of this court next a coloured apprentice named Vincey Seabery on penalty of forfeiting your bond given for the forthcoming of said negro.

Nov 28th 1837          Jno A Green clk

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

[Sidenote: Melvina Seaberry was seven years old in 1824 when apprenticed to Best, who had indentured her brothers Rufus and James Madison Seaberry in 1820.  Best bound another sibling (or cousin), Raleigh Seaberry, in 1837, and yet another, Harriet Seaberry, in 1837.  Melvina was closing in on 21 years of age in 1837, and her indenture was expiring, which may be the reason for Best’s summons. — LYH]

A small boy of Culler.

March the 29th 1831

Beet known to the onerable Cort of Wayne County that I had a small boy of Culler Bound to me Two or three years ago I am going to the Westan Contry and I have Left the boy with Stephen Woodard and I Wish the Cort to Binde the Same to sd Woodard and releas me and my Secureety     — Woodard Daniel

Only one indenture involving Woodard Daniel survives, that for 12 year-old Lewis Artis in 1824.  However, records show that Stephen Woodard bound 9 year-old Willie Hagans in 1831, and we can assume that this was the child that Daniel gave up.  Woodard bound 8 free children of color between 1820 and 1831.

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

Artis was borned.

Mary Artis was borned 24 day of April in the year 1846

Penninah Artis was borned the 3rd day of August 1848

Lewis Artis was borned the 12th day of December in the year 1850

William G. Artis was borned the 10th July in the year 1853

Benajy C. Artis was borned the 22nd January 1859

make indentures                James Scott surety

These children appear in the household of their parents, Asa and Pherebe Artis, in the 1860 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County.  When were they indentured?  Why?  Were they suddenly orphaned?

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

Children Ages

Elizzey Jones Children Ages

Saram Jones was Born on the 12 of August 1845

Penny Jones was Born on the 5 of Apirul 1847

Wiley Jones was Born on the 1 Day of January 1849

This undated note is found among apprenticeship records for Wayne County at the North Carolina State Archives.  Eliza Jones’ children were bound to blacksmith Barden Jones at August Term, 1849 of the Wayne County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions.  The 1850 census of Wayne County shows that the children’s mother, Eliza Jane Jones, lived with them in Barden Jones’ household.  In 1857, they were re-apprenticed to Joseph M. Caho.  The 1860 census shows Sarah and Wiley with steam miller Caho, but Penny with a neighboring farmer, Bryant Minshew.  “Elizabeth” Jones and her younger children, Terence, Nancy and Eliza, are listed in a household adjacent to Caho’s.