Dempsey Reid’s estate settlement.
by Lisa Y. Henderson
Inventory of the Estate of Dempsey Read dec’d taken 21st May 1850
Cash on hand at the time of his death Twenty five 85/100 dollars $25.85. One Note on Council Best for four 80/100 due the 4th April 1849. Bad debts – one note on James Mathews for $2.00 due 6th October 1847, on d’o on Stephen Pettiford for $5.00 due 18th November 1848, One account on James Pettiford for $1.50 Aug Co 1850 /s/ Jesse Coleman adm’r.
Jesse Coleman filed an account of the sale of Dempsey Reed’s property. The buyers included Tabitha Read, John Read, Wash. Read, Rhody Read, Benj. Read, Absalom Artis, Zion Read, Nelson Row, Jane Read, Dave, Dempsy Hall, Waty Locus, and a smattering of white neighbors. The sale netted $98.50. Recording Docket Book 10, pages 434-435, Office of Clerk of Superior Court, Wayne County Courthouse, Goldsboro.
In the settlement of Dempsey Read’s estate, Jesse Coleman paid Pearcy Read $2.50, plus 38 cents interest, on 16 July 1850; and $9.50, plus 57 cents interest, each to Patsey Read, Lila Read and Barna Read on 19 November 1850. Recording Docket Book 11, pp. 163-164, Office of Clerk of Superior Court, Wayne County Courthouse, Goldsboro.
In the 1850 mortality schedule of Wayne County: Dempsey Read, age 70, black, free, hatter, died in March of unknown causes.
[Sidenote: The relationships among the Reids are not clear. As reported in the 1840 census of Wayne County, Dempsey Reid lived alone. He may not have had a wife or children. Other Reid heads of household were Allen Reed, Barna Reed (the one above?), Bytha Reed, Bytha Reed and Rhoda Reed. Pearcy Reid, above, born about 1825, was the daughter of Allen and Sarah “Sally” Reid. Tabitha “Bitha” Reid was married to an enslaved man named Raiford. They had no known children Rhoda Reid’s husband, David — “Dave,” above — was also enslaved. Their children were Tabitha Reid (one of the Bythas, above, born ca. 1811), Melvina Reid Artis (ca. 1813), Zion Reid (ca. 1815), Washington Reid (ca. 1818), John Reid (ca. 1822), Martha “Patsey” Reid Hall (married to Dempsey Hall above, ca. 1824), Isaac Reid (ca. 1828) and Benjamin Reid (ca. 1831). — LYH]
I have been searching for my 3rd great grandmother’s parents. Some online sites list her father as Dempsey Reed. I don’t have any supporting documentation for that. Her name is Cornelia Reed Shumake Cole, she was born about 1822, she died between 1880-1897 in Anderson County TN. From the census records she was probably born n Tennessee so this is a long shot but I was wondering if you had come across the name Cornelia Reed in your research. Cornelia marries twice to white men, on census records she is identified as ‘white’ until 1870 then she identifies as mulatto.
Thank you very much,
Hi. Interesting conundrum you’ve got. Unfortunately, I have no evidence of any wife or children for Dempsey. Either he never married or, like his presumed sisters, married an enslaved woman. The Reids’ origins are not clear, but all in the Edgecombe/Wayne County NC area appear to be closely related. I’ll keep an eye out for anything about Cornelia.
Thank you for watching out for Cornelia, and for posting your research here. Even if these are not the folks I am looking for, their stories are interesting and moving.
Thank you so much.
Hello Ms. Henderson. My name is Gary Fuller, Allen and Sarah ” Sally ” Reid are my great grandparents x4 . Their daughter Pearsey is my great grandmother x3. I’ve been trying to find information on Pearsey husband or the father of my great grandfather x2 Berket Reid. Also I have been searching for death certificates and burial site for my ancestors. I’m a little new at this, but I have been fortunate to find information back to the 1790’s. Curious about how they obtained their freedom also. If you have any information that you can share, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.
Hi, Gary. NC did not require death certificates until 1914, so your early 18th century ancestors will not have them unless they lived exceedingly long lives. Similarly, few people (black or white, but especially black) had permanent grave markers before the early 1900s, and the locations of the tiny family graveyards that once dotted the landscape are irretrievably lost. (One of the black cemeteries in my hometown, Wilson, has been almost completely obliterated by forest and fields, though it was an active graveyard into the 1960s. It doesn’t take long.) I’m interested in anything you have dating to the 1790s. (I can reached at lisayhenderson at gmail dot com.) I have found that evidence of most eastern NC free families of color is exceedingly thin prior to 1850 in most counties. I don’t know how the Reids originally obtained their freedom, or precisely how (as seems likely to me) the various Reids in Edgecombe and Wayne Counties were related.
Hi Ms. Henderson, in doing the research on my great grandfather x 2 ,Berket Reid, I looked up his name in the 1860 cencus. To my surprise I found him. I really thought it would be a slave schedule. By calculation, my great grandmother x4 , who was listed in the household. Sarah Reid being 70 yrs of age. So I looked up the 1850 cencus and she was listed being 60 yrs of age. That would have put her being born in 1790. I found her husband Allen Reid through the information you have on Dempsey Reid estate settlement. It listed him dying may of 1850 at the age of 60.that would calculate him being born in 1790. I am assuming Allen may have been a brother of Dempsey, Tabitha and Rhoda. Not sure, but it kind of seem possible, being that Allen’s daughter, Pearcy received a small amount of money from Dempsey estate. Through the information that you have provided, I was able to find out, Allen Reid was listed head of household in the 1840 cencus, which I looked up using his wife Sarah and daughter Pearcy with no luck. At the time, I had no information on him. I also was doing research on my grandfather x2, Berket’s hoping to find out who his father my have been, once again, no luck. The family was listed as mulatto, so maybe his father may have been cucasian. Not sure if I can get any further than where I am at ,but I got much further than I anticipated. 227 yrs is not bad.
I have recently initiated research for a friend. She is a descendant of Rhody Reid. She mentioned her great grandmother Magdelean “Lena” Reid (daughter of William) was said to have been blind. No information on what caused the condition. Any information on Lena aks Maggie would be appreciated.