Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

The Winn family.


Winn Family Marker, Center Street, Mount Olive.

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, March 2013.

[Sidenote: And thus, myth is codified.

There’s no question that the early 19th century Winns were a remarkable family.  However, to my knowledge, there is no definite evidence that there was an Adam Winn Sr., father of Adam Jr., Charles, Gray, Levi, and Washington Winn.  There were at least two Adams, as deduced from the dates of deeds. Though it’s not clear when the first one lived, the second was born circa 1805.  (What does the 1790 date relate to?) My research suggests that Charles Winn in fact was the son of Charles and Jinny Winn and had a brother named William Winn. The records also reveal a James Winn who bought and sold property with his kin. There are, moreover, contemporaneous female Winns, whose relationship to the “five brothers” is unaccounted for.

There is no definite evidence that Adam Winn (the one known as “Jr.”) ever married, but he had three or more sets of children. The oldest (Charles, James, Woodard, Marshall and Woodley) were born slaves to one or more enslaved mothers (one named Venus). Two other sets, the Newells and Parkers, who primarily used their mothers’ surnames, were born to white women. — LYH]

He now has a desire to travel.

Know all men by these presents that we, Charles Hinson, Solomon Williams, & John Smith are well acquainted with Samuel Conrad (free man of color) whose forefinger was cut off by accident when he was a boy & now having a desire to travel, wishes for a certificate of character from us, know therefore that we have been acquainted with Samuel Conrad for 13 years (since the year 1810) & believe him to be an honest & punctual man & just & fair in his dealings & faithful in his labors & undertakings & we do recommend him as such & do further believe that he will continue to conduct himself in good & proper manner, given under our hands & seals this 22nd day of July in the year of our Lord 1823

Deed Book U, page 545, Register of Deeds Office, Anson County Courthouse, Wadesboro. 

[Thanks to Steve Bailey, Anson County genealogist. He may be reached at]

To a poplar standing in the Cornfield Branch.

State of North Carolina, Edgecombe County   } Agreeably to an order of Edgecombe County Court February Term 1834 to us directed as commissioners appointed to [illegible] the Estate of Miles Read dec’d & to lay off and allot unto Nancy Read the Widow of said Dec’d. Such part of the Crop Stock and provisions as we may conceive necessary and adaquate for the support of her self and family for one year &c

Report – All have this day met on the premises and after viewing said Estate have alloted to the Said Widow (viz) forty Barrels of Corn, twelve hundred pounds of bacon, three thousand pounds of blade fodder – all of the wheat on hand Eight bushels of peas – Seventy five pounds of picked cotton, two hundred handfuls of flax – five gallons of brandy – all the Wool on hand – One cow – hur Choice one bed and its necessary furniture, and one wheel and pair of cards.

Given under our hands and Seals this 17th day of March 1834.  /s/ Peter Hines, John Ritter, Elijah Harrell, James Barron, Turner Bynum JP


State of North Carolina, Edgecombe County   } Agreeably to an order of Edgecombe County Court February Term 1834 Directed to the Sheriff of Said County commanding of him to Summons a Jury of good and lawfull men of his County to lay off and allot unto Nancy Read Widow of Miles Read dec’d her legal dower in the lands that her late husband died seized and possessed of in Said County of Edgecombe. All the undersigned having been summoned by the Sheriff of Said County have this day met on the premises and after being sworn agreeably law, We proceeded to lay off and allot unto the said Widow as follows (viz) Beginning at a litewood Stake in Col Hines line thence N. 11o E. 65 poles to a poplar standing in the cornfield branch; then down the various courses of said branch to the Mile Swamp then up said Swamp to the mouth of the boggy branch; then up said branch to a poplar and litewood stake in said branch then S. 1o W. 110 poles to a pine, thence round the lines of the land of the Harrel tract to the beginning containing One hundred & ninety eight acres, &c – Including the dwelling house out houses orchards, &c where the Said dec’d most generally dwelt next before his death

Given under our hands & Seals this 17th day March 1834.  /s/ John Fulton, E.R. Holland, David X Webb, Anson X Dunn, Joab Moore, John Carter, Rowland Wiggins, Thomas Stark, Jacob X Dunn, James Pender, Thos. D. Gatton, Elisha X Felton


State of North Carolina, Edgecombe County   } Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions, August term 1834

To the worshipful the Justices of the Court aforesaid: The petition of Arthur Read, William Read, David Read, Zachariah Bass and his wife Elizabeth, and John Ritter guardian ad litem for Elisha Read, Mima Read, Mary Ann Read and Miles Read, humbly complaining, respectfully sheweth:

That on the [blank] day of February last past Miles Read, late of the County aforesaid, departed this life intestate, seized and possessed of sundry real and personal estate, leaving Arthur Read, William Read, David Read, Zachariah Bass and his wife Elizabeth, who are of full age, and Elisha Read, Mima Read, Mary Ann Read and Miles Read, who are infants, his sole distributes and heirs at law. Your petitioners who are of full age, and John Ritter who for this purpose has been duly appointed guardian ad litem for the said minors, further represent that they are desirous of having partition made of the said real estate as in by law in such cases made and provided, but are remidiless in this behalf without the interposition of your worshipful Court.

They therefore respectfully pray that an order issue to Peter Hines, William Hines, Benj. Sharpe, Elisha Harrell, John Carter and William Jenkins directing them to go upon the premises and allot and set apart share and share alike to said heirs the said real estate and make return of their proceedings to the next term of your worshipful Court, and make such other and further order in the premises as to your worships may appear meet and proper, and your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray &c.  /s/ B.R. Hines attorney

From the file of Miles Read, North Carolina Estate Files 1663-1979, Original, North Carolina State Archives.

A grievance so oppressive.

To the Honorable the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina.

Your petitioners coloured persons citizens of this State would approach your Honorable Body with all the defference & respect due to the Character of representatives of the People

They beg leave to state that some of them whose names are assigned to this petition bore an honorable part in the seven years War which established the Liberties of their Common Country: That during that eventful period they were taught to believe that all men are by nature free & equal, and that the enjoyment of life, liberty and property aught to be secured alike to every Citizen without exception & without distinction.

With these views they need not attempt to express to your Honorable Body the deep concern with which they learned of the passage of A Law at the last Session of the Legislature by which their lives & liberties are virtually placed at the mercy of Slaves. They would ask of your Honorable Body whether their situation even before the Revolution was not preferable to one in which their dearest rights are held by so slight a tenure as the favour of Slaves and the will & caprice of their vindictive masters: for it cannot escape the notice of your Honorable Body that persons of this description are bound to a blind obedience, and know no Law, but the will of their masters:

Your petitioners will not believe that your Honorable Body will hesitate to lend a compassionate ear to their well-grounded complaints, and to redress a grievance so oppressive to them, and so wholly incongenial with the spirit of our republican government

They therefore humbly pray your Honorable Body that the Act of the last Session of the Legislature making Slaves competent witnesses against them in Criminal Cases may be repealed.

/s/ Alien Brown, John X Rutniel, William Brown Senr, William Smith, James Smith, John Stafford, Willis W. Leer, William Weaver, Wiley Cotton, Larrance Weaver, Richd Cotton, Elias X Weaver, John X Flood, Whitmill Cavers, Dannel Copland, William Weaver, Micaiah Cotton, Reubin Trumbil, James Runeals, Phillip X Jones, John Manley, Jerra Reed, Thomas Weaver, Benjamon Copeland, Samuel X Flood, David X Boon, William Known Jnr., John Weaver, Isaac C. Hall, David Milton, Deanel Garner, Moses Manly, Dempsy X Flood, John Sears, Briton X Read, Jesse Weaver, James Reynolds, John Bizzell, Alien Hall, Orren Wyott, Kinston Robbins, William Manly, Malichia Neckins, Bryant Manley, William Hirass, William Weaver, John Weaver, Natthanuel Dolby, Jesse Flood, Shadrack Reed, Charles Weaver, Harvy Washington Hall.

[At left edge: Petition of Coloured persons to Legislature]

Appended to this petition is a supporting petition signed by 84 white citizens of Hertford County.

General Assembly Session Records, November-December 1822, Box 4, North Carolina State Archives.

Ralph Freeman.


Elder Ralph was a colored man, and at first a slave belonging to a man in Anson county, N. C. Soon after making a profession of religion and being baptized, it was discovered that he had impressions to preach; he was licensed by the church of which he was a member. His owner proposed to sell him, and the brethren bought and gave to him his freedom. Soon after this, he was ordained to the work of the ministry. He travelled and preached a great deal in the counties of Anson, Montgomery, Moore, Randolph, and Davidson. He became a good reader, and was well read in the Scriptures. He was considered an able preacher, was frequently called upon to preach on funeral occasions, was appointed to preach on Sabbath at the association, and frequently administered the ordinance of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. He was of common size, was perfectly black, with smiling countenance, especially in the pulpit while speaking. He was very humble in his appearance at all times, and especially when conducting religious services. Great personal respect was always shown him by the brethren whom he visited in his preaching excursions. Elder Joseph Magee, a Baptist minister, became his warm friend, and travelled and preached with him. Such was their attachment for each other, that they agreed that the surviving one should preach the funeral of the one that died first. Elder Magee moved to the West, and died first. Upon his deathbed, he bequeathed to Ralph his riding horse, overcoat, Bible, and fifty dollars in cash, and requested his family to send for Ralph to come and preach at his funeral. In company with a white brother, Ralph went to the West and preached the funeral sermon from a text the deceased had selected. The brother that went with Ralph stated to Elder N. Richardson that he never before saw so large a congregation. At the conclusion of the sermon, Elder Magee’s brother stated to the congregation what provision his deceased brother had made for Ralph, and added, if any of you would like to give him any amount, it would be thankfully received; the congregation soon made up fifty dollars, which was given to him. While this contribution was being made, a Methodist came up and handed to Ralph one dollar. A Presbyterian, who observed it, said to him, He was singled out by a legislative act that forbade him from preaching to Black congregations. You ought not to give Ralph anything. “Why not?” said the Methodist. “Because,” said the Presbyterian, “he has torn your system all to pieces.” The Methodist replied, “I believe he has preached the truth, and I will give him the dollar.”

Ralph was able in illustrating and unfolding the doctrines of grace. Elder N. Richardson (to whom we are indebted for this biographical sketch), has baptized a number of persons who dated their convictions to the preaching of Ralph.

When the anti-mission party was formed, we have been told that Ralph became an anti-missionary.

When the legislature passed the law prohibiting colored men from preaching, Ralph was greatly mortified and had the sympathy of many brethren. Ralph was, no doubt, a truly pious and humble Christian, he had the confidence and esteem of thousands, and died in the full assurance of a blessed immortality.

From Elder George W. Purefoy, The History of the Sandy Creek Baptist Association (1859).

Ralph Freeman‘s headstone: RALPH. Died about 1838/ He was a Primitive Baptist/ Preacher of much force and /usefulness./ His freedom was/ purchased by the/ Bear Creek Association/ Erected 1907.

Photo courtesy of

Timothy Goodman and family.



The subject of this sketch is now 76 years old and resides in Honeycutts Township, Sampson County. His wife, now dead, was Dorcas Maynor. Their children and grandchildren attend the Indian school in Herrings Township. Jonathan Goodman’s father was Timothy Goodman and his mother was Nancy Maynor. The records in the Register of Deeds’ office of Sampson County show that Timothy Goodman was a large land owner before the Civil War, and after his death his widow, Nancy Goodman, was assigned dower in this land in Sampson County, according to these records. She was a typical Croatan Indian and showed no traces of negro blood. Jonathan’s grandmother was Nancy Revell, and the Revell family are now prominent Croatans in Robeson County.


Timothy Goodman is the founder of this particular family in Sampson County. He is said to have represented in features and general appearance the Indian race, he having straight black hair, and his complexion being of reddish hue. His mother was one Sallie Hobbs. His father unknown. He married Nancy Maynor, a woman who was an excellent specimen of the Cherokee Indian race. Jonathan Goodman is the son of the above Timothy Goodman, and we are sure, judging from his general appearance, that he is at least three-fourths Indian, with only one-fourth white. His first wife was one Dorcas Maynor, Indian, daughter of Morris Maynor. Many sons and daughters were born to this couple, after which the first wife died, and he married his present wife, Lucy Faircloth, who was the daughter of a white woman by the name of Mary Faircloth. Her father being unknown to the writer. Mary E. Brewington is the daughter of Lucy Goodman, her father being an Indian. Mary E. Brewington married James Brewington, a son of Raford Brewington. They also have several sons and daughters.

From George E. Butler, “The Croatan Indians of Sampson County, North Carolina. Their Origin and Racial Status. A Plea for Separate Schools,” (1916).

Five times no.



On this 24 day of July, A.D. 1912, personally appeared before me W.F. Sessoms, C.S.C. in and for the State and County aforesaid, Enos Jacobs, age 67 years, and a resident at Clinton post-office, in said County and State, and who, being duly sworn, makes the following declaration in order to obtain the pension under the provisions of an act entitled “An act for the relief of certain Confederate Soldiers, Sailors and Widows,” ratified March 8, 1907; that he is the identical Enos Jacobs who enlisted in Co. F, 2nd Reg., N.C. State Troops Bat, on or about the [blank] day of [blank], 1863, to serve in the armies of the late Confederate States, and that while in service at [blank] in the State of [blank], on or about [blank] day of April, 1863, he received a wound or wounds, etc. [description] I was a colored work hand at Fort Caswell and Cameron during the war. I threw up breast works rolled sand and dug up turf to put over the sand to keep it from blowing away. I remained in the war until the close. I am old and need help. I can’t get about to do anything scarcely.

He further states: that he is, and has been for twelve months immediately preceding this Application for Pension, a bona fide resident of North Carolina; that he holds no office under the United States, or any State or County, from which he is receiving the sum of three hundred dollars as fees or as salary annually; that he is not worth in his own right, or the right of his wife, property at its assessed value for taxation to the amount of five hundred dollars ($500), or has he disposed of property of such value by gift or voluntary conveyance since the 11th of March, 1885; and that he is not receiving any aid from the State of North Carolina or under any other statue providing for the relief of the maimed and blind soldiers of the State.   Enos X Jacobs

Sworn and subscribed to before me, this 24 day of July, 1912.  /s/ W.F. Sessoms

Also personally appeared before me B.S. Peterson, who resides at Clinton post-office, in said County and State, a person whom I know to be respectable and entitled to credit, and being by me duly sworn, says he acquainted with Enos Jacobs, the applicant for pension, and has every reason to believe that he is the identical person he represents himself to be, and that the facts set forth in this affidavit are correct to the best of his knowledge and belief, and that he has no interest, direct or indirect, in this claim. /s/ B.S. Peterson

Sworn and subscribed to before me, this 24 day of July, 1912.  /s/ W.F. Sessoms

Also personally appeared before me Dr. John A. Stevens a physician in good standing in said County and State and being duly sworn, says that he has carefully and thoroughly examined Enos Jacobs, the applicant for pension, and finds such disability for manual labor as described below, by reason of wounds received while in the discharge of his duty as a soldier or sailor of North Carolina in the service of the late Confederate States. I find it is with great difficulty that he can walk at all. He is a great sufferer with chronic rheumatism. He looks to be much older than herein stated, and shows that he has been a great sufferer from pain. There is a spinal trouble also. The right leg is shrunken & partly paralyzed.   /s/ John A. Stevens, Signature of Physician.

Sworn and subscribed to before me, this 25 day of July, 1912.  /s/ W.F. Sessoms


Enos Jacobs’ application was disallowed: “Negro Worked on Breastworks.” He applied again on 18 July 1913, stating “I was in the war from 1862 till 1865 the cease of the war. I was a cook Jim Strange of Fayetteville was my capt. I am now old and cant do much work.” A different doctor testified to his rheumatism and a marked “aortic systolic” problem, but noted that he had not been injured in the war. Application disallowed: “Was a Cook.” He applied a third time on 1 July 1918: “Applicant was not wounded, but during this service he caught a cough from which he has never recovered. I was cook for Mr. Walter Draughon and Mr. Buck Peterson.” His doctor noted that he had chronic bronchitis, cataracts in both eyes, and marked arteriosclerosis. Disallowed. He applied a fourth time on 19 June 1915: “I was not wounded in service but I am now old and cant do but very little work. I have Rheumatism badly at time and am blind in one eye. My work in the war was cooking for and waiting on soldiers. I was in service about two years.” Jacobs returned to Dr. Stevens, who itemized his disabilities and added “He is certainly deserving of assistance.” Disallowed. Jacobs applied for the fifth and final time on 11 July 1916: “I was not wounded in the war. I helped throw up breastworks, cut turf and rolled sand, and was sent to the salt works at top sail sound and assisted in making salt for the government. I waited on the white folks generally in the war and cooked some. I am now old and cant do but very little work.” Hardy A. Brewington vouched for his identity, and Dr. Stevens again pled his infirmities. Disallowed: “Not in Army but at Salt Works.”

File of Enos Jacobs, North Carolina Confederate Soldiers and Widows Pension Applications 1885-1953, Original, North Carolina State Archives.