Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Criminal conversation with a negro man.

Elizabeth Walters v. Clement H. Jordan, 34 NC 170 (1851).

Elizabeth Walters petitioned for a year’s allowance out of the estate of her late husband, Hardy Walters, who died intestate. Hardy “seduced” Elizabeth and “lived in adultery” with her before marrying her.  Both were white.  After the marriage, Elizabeth “had criminal conversation with a negro man” and got pregnant. Hardy ordered her to leave his home.  She did, but, with his permission, moved into another house on his property. There she gave birth to a mulatto child.  Hardy died soon after.

“Whatever cause this woman may have given her husband for taking steps to have the marriage dissolved, and thereby protect his estate from her claims. it is sufficient for this case, that he did not such thing, but did leave her as his widow and under no bar to her claims, as such, on his property.”

Where are they now? No. 16.

Z.L. was born in the late 1970s in Chicago, Illinois.  She is descended from:

(1) Arthur Locklear [1831-??, NC/Indiana] via Andrew Locklear [1854-??, Ind.]

(2) Leasy Hagans [ca1800-ca1855, Nash/Wayne County] via Louisa Hagans [ca1824-ca1875, Wayne County] via Napoleon Hagans [1840-1896, Wayne County]

Herring, Union soldier.

Hillary Herring enlisted in the 37th Colored Troops in 1864.  At the time, he was 23 years old, 6 feet 1/2 inches tall, light-complexioned, with black eyes and dark hair.  He was born in Onslow County and worked as a farmer. Herring was discharged from the army on 11 February 1867.  After a two-year acquaintance, he married Kizzy Dudley on 18 December 1869 in Burgaw, Pender County. Rev. Elisha Boon performed the ceremony. It was Hillary’s first marriage, but Kizzy had married John Herring in 1863 and was left a widow when he died in August 1866.  Hillery Herring died 30 June 1876 in Bentonsville, Johnston County, of “disease of lungs.” Dr. Martin Harper attended him during his final illness.  Lewis Hood furnished his coffin and served as undertaker, and Rev. John James Harper, a white man, preached the funeral sermon.

At the time of her application, Kizzy Herring lived in Lonoke, Lonoke County, Arkansas. Many of her witnesses had known her in North Carolina and had also migrated West.  She was poor and little able to support herself.

Abstracted from “#563,970. Claim of Kizza Harring, widow of Hillary Harring, Co. A, 37 U.S.C.T., for Widow’s Pension.”

In the 1850 census of the South Side of the Neuse, Wayne County: John Herring, 50, wife Charity, 40, and their children John Green, 18, Solomon, 16, Daniel, 14, Hillery, 12, James, 10, Outy, 7, Harriet, 4, and Doctor, 0.

[Sidenote: On 21 November 1872, my great-great-great-grandparents, Lewis and Margaret Henderson, and Hillery and Keziah Herring sold two tracts totalling about 80 acres to John P. Cobb and Jesse Hollowell, these being tracts purchased from William R. Davis.  There was no deed recording the purchase from Davis. Both Lewis and Hillery were born in Onslow County.  Were they related?  If not, why did they buy land together? — LYH]  

Free-Issue Death Certificates: MISCELLANEOUS.

John Lassiter.  Died 15 Jan 1915, Wilson, Wilson County. Colored. Married. Age 63. Born in NC to Silas Lassiter and Ophie Simpson, both of NC. Informant, Henry Lassiter, Wilson NC.

In the 1860 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Silas Lassiter, 38, Orpie, 34, Sallie, 12, Mary, 11, James, 9, John, 7, Elizabeth, 5, Penina, 4, Hardy, 3, Silas, 1, George, 2 months, and Delpha Simpson, 14.

William Henry Hall. Died 23 June 1925, Saratoga, Wilson County. Black. Married, Lucy Hall. Born 15 Aug 1946, Wayne County, to unknown father and Exaline West of Wayne County. Buried Bethel cemetery. Informant, Sue Batts.

Louisa Johnson.  Died 15 Jan 1934, Wilson, Wilson County. Resided 503 Warren Street. Colored. Widow of Henry Johnson. Age 78. Born in NC to John and Julia Kersey. Informant, Gertrude Jones, 309 Elba Street, Wilson.

In the 1860 census of Wilson, Wilson County: John Kerney, 37, wife Julia, 31, and children Louisa, 9, Dellah, 6, John, 5, and William, 1.

Harriet Hattie Dixon. Died 16 Jan 1958, Wilson, Wilson County. Widow. Born 27 June 1865, Wilson County to Wyatt Lynch and Nicie [last name unknown.] Farmer. Informant, Mrs. Hattie Anderson.

In the 1870 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Wyatt Lynch, 48, wife Nicey, 35, and children Harriet, 4, and John, 1.

Council Ayers. Died 1 Dec 1915, Spring Hill, Wilson, Wilson County. Born Dec 1830 to Sampson Ayers and unknown mother. Buried Boyette NC. Informant, William Ayers.

In the 1860 census of District #9, Johnston County: Council, 11, and Henry Ayres, 9, in the household of 48 year-old white merchant James Faulk.

Henderson Brantley. Died 2 Dec 1916, Taylor’s, Wilson County. Negro. Widow. About 80 years old. Born Nash County to unknown father and Bettie Brantley. Informant, Chas. Brantley.

In the 1850 census of Nash County: Betsy Brantly, 50, with children Kimbrell, 25, Henderson, 14, and Guilford B. Brantley, 12.

Surnames: Cabarrus County, 1850.


North and back: an odyssey.

On 20 September 1865, Montreville Simmons, 22, born in NC, residing in Chatham Township, Kent County, Ontario, Canada, son of John C. and Hepsie Simmons, married Victoria Brown, 16, born in Indiana, daughter of John and Mary Brown.  Witnesses: Edwin Simons and C. Moore.

In the 1850 census of the South Side of the Neuse River, Wayne County: Calvin Simmons, 42, wife Hepsey, 46, and children Harriet, 13, Susan, 11, Montrival, 9, Jno. R., 7, Margaret, 5, Dixon, 3, and Geo. W. Simmons, 1, plus Robert Aldridge, 26, hireling.

In the 1861 census of Chatham and Gore townships, Kent County, Ontario: John C. Simmons, 50, wife Hepsy, 55, and children S.M., 16, Montreville, 15, John R., 14, Margaret A., 12, Dickie, 10, and George Simmons, 9.  All reported being born in the US, and all were Baptist.

By 1870, Calvin Simmons and his youngest sons had returned to North Carolina, and are listed in Brogden township, Wayne County: Calvin Simons, 63, and Montville, 29, John R., 26, Dickson H., 21, and George W. Simmons, 20.  On 3 March 1871, in Duplin County, Montville Simmons, son of Calvin Simmons and Hepsey Whitley, married Anna Henderson (1852-1906), daughter of James Henderson and Louisa Armwood.

By 1881, Montreville Simmons (40, farmer), wife Annie (29) and children Elizabeth (8), Doctor T. (7), Susan M. (4) and Montreville (2) are listed in the census of Chatham, Kent, Ontario. All were born in the US except Doctor and Montreville jr., who were born in Ontario, and all were Baptist.  By 1900, the family was back in the United States, and are found in the census of Eel, Cass County, Indiana:  on Park Avenue in Logansport, farmer Montville Simmons (Apr 1850), wife Anna (Mar 1861) and children James R. (Dec 1879), Montville (Jun 1881), and Dock (Dec 1879).  Montville and Anna were born in NC; their sons in Canada.  Montville and Anna had been married 28 years and reported 5 of 5 children living.

Marriage Registers, Kent County, Ontario, Canada; Canada census records; marriage register, Register of Deeds, Duplin County NC; US population schedules.


Carrying Nat Turner in their little carts.

To the Honbl the General Assemby of N. Carolina

Your memorialists respectfully shew unto your Honorable Body: That the County of Lenoir has been for many years regularly visited on all public occasions, by free negroes & slaves hiring their time, from the adjoining Counties, & particularly from the Town of Newbern.  The ostensible object of these persons has been to retail cakes, tobacco & spiritous liquors.  The good citizens of the County have always believed that the [illegible] and within the last five years have been firmly convinced, that the visits of such characters, have not only produced serious loss & inconvenience by the temptations which are thus held out to their slaves, to steal lambs, pigs & poultry to barter with them, but is calculated to do a far more serious and incalculable injury by the facilities offered for the [illegible] among their slaves.  Enjoying the privilege of travelling in their little carts from one County town to another, these black pedlars have it within their power to distribute, without suspicion, in any nook & corner of the Country, the pamphlets of [illegible] as well as communicate verbally the murderous plans of a Nat Turner. The acquaintances your memorialists have with these characters, completely satisfies them that they are fit instruments for such purposes.

An application has heretofore been made to your Honourable Body for relief on the subject & a remedial act had been passed which your memorialists to believe was intended to meet this case, but which unfortunately was so farmed as to prove entirely nugatory.

That act authorized the slaves & free negroes of Newbern to trade on Lenoir County, under a license taken out in Craven.  As the tax imposed by the late law does not amount to a prohibition, its chief consequence is to enlarge the revenue of Craven  without affording any relief to to Lenoir.  In tender consideration of the previous, Your memorialists to earnestly request of your Honourable Body, that you will further legislate on this matter, and authorise the County of Lenoir to exclude all coloured retailers of cakes, spirits &c. from its limits, but such as may be licensed by the Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions, or impose a prohibitory tax & if [illegible] of these modes of restraint shall seem fit, that you will adopt some measure which will annihilate the grievance.  /s/ Matthew H. Carr, John B. Kennady [and others]

Chapter 111. An Act Concerning Slaves and Free People of Color.

Section 50.  All negroes, Indians, mulattoes, and all persons of mixed blood, descended from negro and Indian ancestors, to the fourth generation inclusive, (though one ancestor of each generation may have been a white person) whether bond or free, shall be deemed and taken to be incapable in law to be witnesses in any case whatsoever, except against each other.  In all pleas of the State, except where the defendant may be a negro, Indian or mulatto, or person of mixed blood, descended from negro or Indian ancestors, to the fourth generation inclusive, (though one ancestor of each generation may have been a white person,) whether such defendant be bond or free, the evidence of a negro or negroes, Indian or Indians, mulatto or mulattoes, and of all persons of mixed blood, descended from negro or Indian ancestors, to the fourth generation inclusive,) though one ancestor of each generation may have been a white person,) whether the person or persons, whose evidence is offered be bond or free, shall be admissible and the witnesses competent, subject nevertheless to be excluded upon any other grounds of incompetency which may exist.

“Negro stealer”?

William Edgar, a free mulatto and negro stealer, was shot in North Carolina on the 8th ult. while engaged in his avocation. 

The Ohio Repository (Canton, Oh.), 15 April 1824.

Confederate cousins.

Solomon Oxendine filed claim #21329 with the Southern Claims Commission.  He was 40 years old and lived in Robeson County.  He owned 154 acres, 30 of which were cultivated.

“I had several cousins in the Confederate army they went in from South Carolina.”

Neill Revels, 44, cousin Hugh Oxendine, 42, and daughter Margaret Oxendine, 19, testified for him.