Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Babies’ daddies.

The following bastardy bonds involving free people of color were entered in Wayne County during the period 1852-1860:

In 1852, Zilpha Artis named William Artis as the father of her child.  Artis and Daniel Aycock posted security for the child’s support.

In the 1860 census of Davis, Wayne County: Simon Pig Artis, 70, farmer, wife Celia, 70, son Thos., 23, daughter Zilpha, 30, and grandchildren Lumiza, 17, and Penninah, 11. [Sidenote: Penninah may be the child above. – LYH] 

In 1852, Rachel Munday named Henderson Mitchell as the father of her child.

In the 1860 census of Indian Springs, Wayne County: Henderson Mitch, 30, wife Margrett J., 30, and children Virginia, 11, Elizabeth, 8, Silvany, 6, Wm., 4, and John, 1.

In 1853, Sally Burnett named David Proctor as the father of her child.  Proctor and J.J. Bradbury posted security.

In the 1850 census of North Side of Neuse, Wayne County: Sarah Burnett, 27, her children Delity, 9, Micagah, 6, and David, 1 month; Zilpha Wilkins, 45, David Proctor, 26, brickmason; and James Turnage, 28, brickmason, his wife Ann, 20, and their children Henry, 5, and Allis, 4. [Sidenote: it seems likely that one-month-old David Burnett is the child above.]

In 1854, Polly Newel named David Simmons as the father of her child.  Simmons, Harris Barfield and Calvin Dail posted security.

In the 1850 census of South of Neuse, Wayne County: Ity Simmons, 40, and sons David, 22, and George, 20.  Also, Celia Newell, 60, daughters Peggy, 30, Polly, 24, Ann, 19, and Margarett, 1; all white. In the 1860 census of Buck Swamp, Wayne County: Celia Newell, 50, Margarett, 25, Polly, 30, and Margarett A. Newell, 13, all white.  Next door: Jesse Brinson, 65, farmer, wife Ita, 50, and Mary Newell, 7; all mulatto. [Sidenote: Ita Brinson was formerly Ita Simmons. Mary Newell is her son David’s child. Also, per her marriage application, the father of Polly Newell’s daughter Margaret was Quin Young, a free man of color. – – LYH]

In 1854, Jane Artis named Bryan Capps as the father of her child.  Tabitha Mitchell and Kenan W. Langston provided security.

In 1855, Jane Artis named Wilson Hagans as the father of her child.  Hagans was not found in the county and could not be served with the action.

In 1855, Jane Artis named Bryant Capps as father of her child.  Capps and Willie Roe provided security.

In 1855, Elizabeth Burnett named Henderson Ganzy as father of her child.  Ganzy was not to be found in the county.

In 1856, Anna Newell named William Winn as father of her child.  Winn, Washington Winn and David Simmons provided security.

In 1857, Wayte Locus named Calvin Hagans as father of her child.  Hagans, H. Woodard Lewis and William Thompson provided security.

In the 1870 census of Nahunta, Wayne County: Raiford Coley, 70, Waity Locus, 55, Dewitt, 15, Candus, 12, and Wiley, 10. [Sidenote: The child was Candis Locust. – LYH]

In 1858, Sallie Simmons named Washington Winn as father of her child.  Winn, William Vernon and Wait G. Martin provided security.

In 1860, Eliza Winn named John Newell as father of her child.  Newell, Jesse Brinson and Charles Winn provided security.

Bastardy Bonds, Wayne County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

He knew his great-grandfather, and he was a coal-black negro.

State v. Whitmel Dempsey, 31 NC 384 (1849)

Whitmel Dempsey was indicted as a free man of color for carrying arms without a license.  A state’s witness testified that he had heard an old man named Barnacastle say that he knew Dempsey and his family and that Dempsey’s great-grandfather, who was called Joseph Dempsey alias Darby, was a coal-black negro.  The Bertie County Superior Court received this evidence over Dempsey’s objection.  Dempsey then gave evidence that Joseph Dampsey’s mother was a white woman; that Joseph was a reddish, copper-colored man with curly red hair and blue eyes; that Joseph’s wife was white; that Joseph and his wife had a son named William; that William also married a white woman and had a son named Whitmel; and that that Whitmel married a white woman, who was Whitmel the defendant’s mother.  The court found that, assuming that Joseph Dempsey was half-negro, Whitmel, being his great-grandson and therefore within the fourth generation from black ancestors, was a free person of color.  After a treatise on the scope and definition of the term, the Supreme Court upheld Dempsey’s conviction.

The 1840 census of Bertie County listed six Dempsey heads of household, including a Whitmel.  All were classified as free people of color.  Bertie County records show that a Whitmell Dempsey married Anna Bowen on 17 June 1806.

Person binds five.

Ordered that Bitha Reed now of the age of Ten years, Vinia Reed now of the age of Eight years, Sion Reed now of the age of Six years, Washington Reed now of the age of Three years, and also William Hagans not of the age of Six Years, all of Colour be bound unto Thomas Person untill they arrive at Lawful age

November Term, 1821, Wayne County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions

They intended to come beat me.

William H. Haithcock, age 56, filed claim #20604 with the Southern Claims Commission.  He lived in Fayetteville and worked as a carpenter.  Haithcock testified that he was born in Johnson [sic] County and moved to Fayetteville about 1850.  He lived in Fayetteville up to 1863; then in the country 4 miles from Fayetteville, where he had a farm; then, in 1864, to another plantation one mile from Fayetteville, where he made another crop.  He was living there when the United States Army came through.  He moved back to Fayetteville after.  He worked his trade as a carpenter until he went into farmer.

When he was living on the east side of the Cape Fear River, the Confederates took corn, fodder, chickens and other property.  He was living on the west side of the river when the Union army came.  His house was robbed once by Confederate deserters.  “I talked about it, they sent me word that they intended to come beat me and take what money I had but they never came.  Some of the white men up the river above me.  I understood that I should not make another crop at the place I was living and that I ought to be in the war.”

Lucien Bryant, age 50, testified to Haithcock’s loyalty.  Bryant was a farmer and lived in Fayetteville.  Others who testified were: William S. Taylor, 58, painter; Jonathan Revels, 52, farmer; and son James Haithcock, 19, a farmer and wood hauler.

Surnames: Nash County, 1860.

The following surnames were found among free people of color in the 1860 census of Nash County:


Her mother took her away.

THREE DOLLARS REWARD.  Ranaway from the subscriber on Friday night the 14th inst., an indented bright mulatto girl about 15 years old, slender made, with straight black hair, by the name of MARY ANN BOWEN.  It is supposed that she is in the neighborhood of Goodwin Bowen, a free man of color in Bladen county, on the Wilmington road, about 6 miles below the Westbrook Post Office, as her mother, Polly Bowen, who took her away, declared when she was hiring a horse and Carryall for that purpose, that she was going to Goodwin Bowen’s, in Bladen county.  The above reward and all reasonable charges will be paid for returning said girl to me, or putting her into any Jail in this State and giving information through the Post Office, so that I can get her again.  All persons are cautioned against employing, harboring, or entertaining said girl in any way, as I shall prosecute them rigorously according to law.     JOSEPH AREY     March 22, 1845

Fayetteville The North Carolinian, 3 May 1845.

Margaret Balkcum Henderson.

ImageMARGARET BALKCUM HENDERSON, “Mag,” born 1836 in Sampson County, died 1915 near Dudley, Wayne County.  She was probably the daughter of Nancy Balkcum, a white woman.  She married Lewis Henderson (1836-1912) circa 1855, most likely in Sampson County.

Original tintype lost.  Copy in possession of Lisa Y. Henderson.

In the 1860 census of Westbrooks, Sampson County: Lewis Henderson, 25, mulatto, turpentine laborer, wife Margaret, 26, and children Lewis T., 4, James L., 3, and Isabella J., 4 mos.