Father a slave.
by Lisa Y. Henderson
At page 14 of Chi Chi Mills, “Descendants of William Mills Sr. of Onslow County,” www.ncgenweb-data.com/onslow/family, Eliza Ann Mills is listed as the daughter of William Mills and Nancy Whaley. Eliza Ann Mills’ son was William Kelly Mills, born 1836, who married first Anna Maria Simms, then Alvina Reeves. Eliza married Lewis Turner, but William Kelly Mills’ name carries the notation “father a slave.”
In the 1850 census of Lawrence County, Illinois: Eliza Turner, 30, born North Carolina; Kelly Turner, 13, born North Carolina; Nancy Turner, 11, born Illinois; and Mary Turner, 8, born Illinois; all were described as white.
In the 1860 census of Christy, Lawrence County, Illinois: Eliza Turner, 40, born NC; Alex, 25, NC; Kelley, 20, born NC; Nancy, 20, born Illinois; and Mary Turner, 4, born Illinois; all white.
In the 1870 census of Christy, Lawrence County, Illinois: Eliza Turner, 51, born NC; Charlotte Turner, 14, born Illinois; and William Mills, 33, born NC; all white.
In the 1880 census of Sumner, Lawrence County, Illinois: Kelley T. Mills, 43, plasterer, born NC; wife Alvina E., 30, born Illinois; and children Eliza A., 7, Laura M., 6, and Elura B., 2. Alvina was described as white; Kelley and the children as mulatto.
In the 1900, 1910 and 1920 censuses of Christy, Lawrence County, William “W.K.” Mills, NC-born plasterer, is described as mulatto. He died in Lawrenceville, Illinois, on 1 April 1927. Wm. Kelley Mills’ death certificate noted that he was born 25 August 1836 in New Bern NC to Eliza Mills.
[Sidenote: Eliza Mills Turner’s cousin, Nancy Mills Parker, and brother John Mills testified in 1860 to the free status of Nancy Henderson Dove, my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Patsey Henderson‘s sister. Their mother was a white woman. – LYH]