Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Month: February, 2013

Her husband was a pensioner.

State of North Carolina, County of Granville

On this fourth day of February One thousand eight hundred and fifty six before the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions held within and for the County and State aforesaid, personally appeared Mrs. Tabitha Pettiford aged Sixty eight years a resident near Oxford in the County of Granville in the State of North Carolina who being duly Sworn according to law doth on her oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the provision made by the Act of Congress passed on the third day of February A.D. 1853 granting pensions to widows of persons who Served during the Revolutionary War that she is the widow of George Pettiford deceased who was a Private in the North Carolina Continental line in the War of the Revolution that her said husband was a Pensioner of the United States under the act of March 18th A.D. 1818 at the rate of Ninety six dollars per annum which was paid to him at the agency in Fayettville in the State of North Carolina she further states that she was married to the said George Pettiford in Granville County in the Tenth day of May 1837 by one John Mallory a Minister of the Gospel and that her name before her said marriage was Tabitha Johnson that her said husband died at his residence in the County of Granville in the State of North Carolina on the Fifth day of February in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty three that She was not married to the said George Pettiford prior to the second day of January eighteen hundred but at the time above stated she further stated that there is a Public record of her marriage and that there is no Private record of her marriage and further declares that she is now a widow and has not married since his death that she cannot file herewith her husband’s original certificate of pension from the fact that it was sent to the office of the 3d addition of the treasury to which she refers in support of this her claim.

She hereby appoints J. C. Codner of Smithfield North Carolina (irrevocably) her true and lawful attorney to prosecute this her claim for pension to receive the certificate when issued and to do all other acts necessary and proper in the premises.       Tabitha X Pettiford

L. A. Paschall Ch’mn of Granville County Court

From the file of George Pettiford, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives and Records Administration.

In the 1850 census of Oxford, Granville County: George Petterford, age 106, and wife Tobitha, 47. Next door, Edmond Pettyford, 50, and wife Rebecca, 52.

George Pettiford married Taby Johnson, 1 May 1837, in Granville County. Edmond Pettiford was bondsman, and G.C. Wiggins witnessed.

Surnames: Haywood County, 1850.

The following surnames are found among free people of color in Haywood County in 1850:


I am informed he went off with a free man of color.

Twenty-five Dollars Reward. I will give the above reward of twenty-five dollars, for apprehending and securing in jail, or otherwise, negro Isaac, so that I get him again, and will pay all necessary expences if delivered to me at my place of residence, in the county of Edgecombe, about two miles east of the stage road leading from Tarborough to Enfield, and about eight miles from the latter. Isaac is a bright mulatto; sprightly, possessing much impudence, has a bushy head, and well proportioned in his form; his size I am not prepared to say, not having seen him for near twelve months – his age I imagine about twenty. This negro, I understand, absconded from Dr. Landon Clanton, of the town of Halifax, to whom he was hired for the present year. It is highly probably, that this boy has obtained a fraudulent pass, and will endeavour to pass for a freeman; a circumstance which goes to support such a conclusion is, I am informed he went off with a free man of color, named Napoleon Cabarrus, who resides in or about Edenton, N.C. and that they have been seen together beyond Pollock’s ferry, on Roanoke. Masters of vessels and all others are hereby cautioned against harboring or carrying off said negro Isaac at their peril.  ELI B. WHITAKER, Trustee, &c. Edgecombe Co. N.C., Aug., 28, 1826.

Free Press, Halifax and Tarboro, 29 August 1826.

Where are they now?: No. 20.

T.W. was born in North Carolina in the 1940s. He is descended from the following free people of color, all of Robeson County, unless otherwise noted:

(1) Keziah Brooks [1815-1893]

(2) Hugh Chavis [1807-1862] via Effie Ann Chavis [1827-1917]

(3) Matilda Jones

(4) Mackie Jane Locklear [1845-??]

(5) Richmond Locklear via Anna Eliza Locklear [1840-??]

(6) Thomas Locklear [1780-ca1865] via Thomas Locklear [1828-1892] via Nicholas Locklear (ca1845-??)

(7) William Maynor [1805-ca1880] via Angus Maynor [1832-ca1890] via Jordan Riles Maynor [1860-1941]

(8) Bryant Oxendine [1838-ca1875]

(9) Solomon Oxendine [1831-1897] via Martha Oxendine [1862-??]

(10) Clarissa Sweat [1814-1897]

(11) Emily Terry [1848-1919, Cumberland/Wayne]

(12) Charles Winn [1817-1892, Duplin/Wayne] via William Winn [1835-??, Wayne/Robeson]

(13) Martin Woodell via Patsey Woodell [1837-1880]

(14) Elender Young [1800-ca1865, Duplin/Wayne] via America Young [1820-1900, Duplin/Wayne]

Faithful, humble and obedient.

To the Hon.ble the Judge of the Superior Court of Law, for the County of Craven;

The petition of William Hollister respectfully sheweth unto your Honour that he is now the owner of two slaves by the name of Thomas, commonly called Tom Hollister, aged between forty six and fifty years, and another by the name of Mary aged about 28 (wife of Richard Smith a mulatto), that he is desirous of emancipating said slaves for their meritorious services and he shews unto your Honour that the said Thomas has served him faithfully in various capacities for near twenty years, that during that time he had made several voyages to the West Indies & New York where he might have easily obtained his freedom by absconding from his service – that he has been always obedient, humble & respectful in his deportment towards the whites. – that the slave Mary has been the property of your petitioner for fifteen or sixteen years, that she has been much trusted in the management of his household, and as nurse to his children, and has proved herself to be faithful, humble & obedient – She had now been living to herself for five or six years as free, and has maintained a good character for orderly & decent conduct, and industrious habits.

In consideration of the premises your Pet’r. prays your Honour that he may be permitted to emancipate said slaves agreeably to act of Assembly &c.

And your Pet’r. &c.     Jn. H. Bryan for Pet’r.

In the 1830 census of Craven County, Thomas Hollister is listed as a head of a household that included six free people of color and one slave.

Miscellaneous Records, Craven County, North Carolina State Archives.

Free-Issue Death Certificates: BURNETT.

Bettie Alford.  Died 7 September 1916, Smithfield, Johnston County. Colored. Widowed.  Dressmaker. Born 1 June 1856, Goldsboro, Wayne County, to Thomas Waters and Dolly Burnett. Buried Smithfield NC.  Informant, India Hicks, Smithfield.

In the 1860 census of Goldsboro, Wayne County: Dolly Burnett, 20, sewing, with Polly, 18, Betsy, 5, and William An Burnett, 3.

John Henry Burnett.  Died 2 June 1921, Seventy-first, Cumberland County. Colored. Married to Lula Smith. Farmer. Age 72. Born to David Burnett and unknown mother. Informant, J.S. Hughes.

In the 1860 census of Western Division, Cumberland County: David Burnett, 42, farmer, wife Jane, 30, and children Mary, 12, Elizabeth, 10, Sarah, 9, John, 4, and Laura, 4 months.

Sarah Elizabeth Burnett. Died 13 February 1915, Stewarts Creek, Harnett County. Black. Married. About 60 years old. Born in NC to Evan Chance and Eliza Chesnut. Buried Harnett County. Informant, Mathew Burnett.

In the 1850 census of Eastern Division, Cumberland County: Evans Chance, 48, Louisa, 26, Nixon A., 11, Biddy E., 9, Mary A., 7, William A., 6, Henry E., 5, Joseph, 4, Sarah E., 2, and Curtis, 1. In the 1860 census of Cumberland County: Evans Chance, 57, cooper, children Rhoda E., 19, Jos., 14, Curties, 12, Sarah E., 12, Jno., 6, Dicey J., 4, and Jane, 3, plus Hanibal E. Corbin, 1, and A.W. Chance, 1.

Sarah Smith. Died 21 March 1921, Selma, Johnston County. Colored. Widowed. About 80. Born Cumberland County to John Burnett and Hannah Burnett. Buried Col. Selma cemetery. Informant Gus Smith, Selma.

In the 1860 census of Cumberland County: John Burnett, 47, wife Hanna, 46, and children Guilford, 22, Sarah, 13, Betsy J., 11, Mathew J., 7, Jno. W., 3, and Martha Burnett, 7 months.

Free-born Delegates to North Carolina’s 1868 Constitutional Convention.

Parker David Robbins.

In the 1850 census of Gates County: John Robbins, 55, wife Mary, 37, and children Parker, 16, laborer, Augustus, 8, and Maranda, 4. In the 1860 census of Bertie County: Parker Robbins, 26, mechanic, wife Elizabeth, 18, and brother Augustus, 18.

Parker D. Robbins. Sgt. Maj., 2 Reg’t U.S. Col’d Cav. Field and Staff Muster Roll. Joined for duty, 1 Jan 1864, Fort Monroe, Virginia, for 3 years.

Parker David Robbins.  Died 1 November 1917, Magnolia, Duplin County. Colored. Married.  Born 1834 in Duplin County to John A. Robbins and an unknown mother.

For more about Parker Robbins:

On January 16, 2012, the North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program unveiled a marker in Duplin County dedicated to Robbins.

Cuffie Mayo.

In the 1820 census of Warren County: Cuffie Mayho listed as head of household of 4 free colored people.  In the 1840 census of Granville County: Cuffie Mayho listed as head of household of 7 free colored people.  In the 1850 census of Tar River, Granville County: Cuffy Maho, 35, blacksmith, wife Glatha, 35, and children Mary, 21, Parthenia, 14, Angeline, 12, Sarah, 6, Randelia, 4, and William, 3. In the 1860 census of Oxford, Granville County: Cuffee Mayo, 57, painter, wife Juliann, 36, and children Sarah, 16, and Ludelia Mayo, 15, plus Thomas Hawley, 19, farm laborer.

James Henry Harris.

In the 1850 census of Tabs Creek, Granville County: Charles T. Allen, 28, wife Elizabeth, 28, and children Benjamin, 8, Julia, 7, and Virginia Allen, 4, plus James Callahan, 12, Thomas Avery, 7, and James Harris, 17.

For information about all of North Carolina’s free-born and freed delegates:

Lurking amongst the free negroes.


Raleigh Register and North Carolina Weekly Advertiser, 22 April 1826.

Free-Issue Death Certificates: GRINTON and HARRIS.

Mary Ellen Grinton. Died 27 June 1920, Wilkesboro, Wilkes County. Colored. Single. Housekeeper for John Stevedson. Born 1 August 1844, Wilkesboro, to Allen Grinton and Nancy Rooling. Informant, Andy Grinton.

Robert L. Grinton. Died 9 January 1929, Wilkesboro, Wilkes County. Black. Married to Ellen Grinton. Farmer. Born 10 December 1848 to Allen Grinton and unknown mother. Buried at “Damaskas.” Informant, R.L. Grinton.

In the 1860 census of Lower Division, Wilkes County: Allen Grinton, 45, day laborer; wife Nancy, 35; and children Mary, 15, Thomas, 13, Robert, 9, and Phoebe, 3, all mulatto.

Lewis W. Harris.  Died 5 September 1931, Wilkesboro, Wilkes County. Black. Married to Nancy Looper Harris. Farmer. Born 30 November 1852, Wilkesboro, to Jordan Harris and Rachel Grinton, both of Wilkes County. Informant, Joseph Harris.

Andrew Harris. Died 18 March 1932, Wilkesboro, Wilkes County. Black. Married to Lura Harris. Farmer. Born 28 April 1854 in Wilkesboro to Jordan Harris and Rachel Grinton, both of Wilkes County. Informant, J.C. Harris, Wilkesboro.

Jourdan Harris. Died 22 October 1916, Wilkesboro, Wilkes County, of “falling in the fire & being severely burned on the body.”  Colored. Widower. Farmer. Born 1 January 1822, Wilkes County, to Jahue Harris and Claircy Chafer, both of Wilkes County. Buried in Harris burying ground. Informant, John Peton.

In the 1860 census of Lower Division, Wilkes County: Jordan Harris, 38; wife Rachel, 36; and children Lewis, 9, Andrew, 8, and John, 2.

Mary Ann Anderson. Died 13 December 1913, Wilkesboro, Wilkes County. Black. Widow. Born October 1843 in Wlkes County to John Evans of Guilford County and Lila Harris of Wilkes County. Buried Harris cemetery. Informant, J.P. Anderson.

Fannie Roxie Ann Ferguson. Died 22 June 1932, North Wilkesboro, Wilkes County. Black. Widow. Born 17 August 1838, Wilkesboro, to Jhue Harris and Clarisia Shaver. Buried Pleasant Hill. Informant, Charlie C. Harris.

Nathan Harris.  Died 8 May 1914, Wilkesboro, Wilkes County. Colored. Married. Farmer – “very industris.” Born 6 May 1860 in Wilkes County to Wesley Harris and Mary Chavers, both of Wilkes County. Buried family cemetery.

In the 1860 census of Upper Division, Wilkes County: Wesley Harris, 37, farmer; wife Mary, 33; and children Joshua, 9, Lucindy, 7, Claricy, 4, John, 2, and James, 2 months, plus Nathan Bailey, 20.

Surnames: Yancey County, 1850.

The following surnames are found among free people of color in Yancey County in 1850: