Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Their father bound them out, but wanted them back.

Haywood Musgrove v. Wm. J. Kornegay, et al., 52 NC 71 (1859).

On a writ of habeas corpus, Simon and Lucretia Musgrove, colored children, were brought into Wayne County Superior Court upon the petition of their father, Haywood Musgrove.  William J. Kornegay, in his defense, presented a deed that Musgrove had executed to Kornegay, purporting to bind the children to him as apprentices.  It appeared that Simon was over twelve years old at the time of the transaction; assented to the binding, but did not sign the deed; and served Kornegay three or four years.  However, Lucretia was only three or four years old at the time and did not assent to the binding in any way.

The court ordered Simon and Lucretia returned to Kornegay, and their father appealed.

The Supreme Court: “A father is entitled to the services of his child until he arrive at the age of twenty-one.” He has a right of property in the child’s services, may enforce them by reasonable correction, and if the child absconds or is taken away, may recover custody by habeas corpus.  However, a father cannot assign this interest to a third person, unless the child is old enough to enter a contract (age twelve at the time) and assents to the assignation by executing the contract with his father. In this case, Lucretia was too young to be sign a contract and should be returned to her father.  And though Simon was more than twelve years old, he did not sign the deed, “the proper order is to discharge the infant and permit him to go where he pleases. Order below reversed. This order will be entered, and judgment against Kornegay for costs.”

Surnames: Macon County, 1850.


Onslow County Apprentices, 1823-24.

James Henderson and Bryan Henderson were bound to Jason Gregory at February term, 1823.

Betsy Henderson was bound to James Glenn Jr. at February term, 1823.

Betsy, Nancy and Appie [no surnames] were bound to David Mashborn in 1823.

Miranda Henderson, James Henderson, Martha Henderson and Bryant Henderson were bound to James Glenn at February term, 1824.

Miranda Henderson was bound to Elizabeth Williams at August term, 1824.

William Henderson was bound to Lemuel Williams at May term, 1824.

James Henderson and Bryan Henderson, “the baseborn children of Patsey Henderson,” were bound to James Glenn Sr. at August term, 1824.

James Jarman, son of Charlotte Jarman, was born to 1824.

Amos Pittman, son of Sally Pittman, was bound to Edward Erwin in 1824.

Betsy Henderson and Gatsey Henderson, daughters of Nancy Henderson, were bound to Lewis Mills at August term, 1824.

Gatsy Pittman, daughter of Sucky Pittman, was bound to Jesse Humphrey in 1824.

In the 1860 census of Half Moon, Onslow County: Edmund Marshall, 25, cooper, and wife Martha, 20, “serving,” Gatsey Pittman, 45, domestic, and D.R. Ambrose, 23, merchant.

Needham Potter, son of Alice Potter, was bound to Charles Cox in 1824.

Patsy Henderson was bound to Amos Askew at November term, 1824.

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

[Sidenote: All these Hendersons are my kin.  My great-great-great-great-grandfather James Henderson and his brother Bryan/Bryant were sons of Patsey Henderson.  Miranda and Martha “Patsey” Henderson probably were their sisters.  I believe Nancy Henderson was Patsey Henderson the elder’s sister, and her children above were Betsy, Gatsey and, possibly, William.  Apprentice records show a dozen or so free colored Henderson children in Onslow County in the first quarter of the nineteenth century.  It seems likely that they were from one extended family, but proof is thin. — LYH]

Surname swap, no. 2.

In the 1850 census of Wayne County, North Side of Neuse: Nancy Morgan, 30, Nero, 9, Caroline, 8, Gaston, 7, Dinah, 5, and Oomey, 2

But in the 1860 census of New Hope, Wayne County: Nancy Whiter, 40, Nero, 19, Gaston, 17, Primas, 12, Amos, 10, Sam, 8, Eliza, 4, and Morris, 2.