In the old times and old Country.
by Lisa Y. Henderson
State of Indiana, Marion County }
Reuben Lawhon of the age of 50 years and George Lawhon of the age of 20 years both of the County of Park and State of Indiana being duly sworn – They testify that they have been well acquainted with Primus Tyler for all the lifetime of the affiant George Lawhon also with his son Shepherd Tyler all his lifetime and with Betsey or Elizabeth Tyler in her lifetime – She was the mother of the said Shepherd Tyler – Shepherd died unmarried – He was a good and faithful son He supported his Father and Mother in her lifetime – Primus Tyler was a slave in Green Co North Carolina – his family were free and came to Indiana and raised money through the Friend Quakers to buy him – which they in 1851 when he came here to this state and leased and rented some land in the quaker settlement in Park Co Indiana for some three years or more – this said same Shepherd Tyler working for his parents during this time – Then Primus Tyler rented a small farm from Thomas Harshman which was about ten years ago – they lived on that for one year when his wife and children purchased the far – 158 acres and gave about $4000.00 for it – on which his children still owe about $1300.00 and he now lives with his children on that place – His said son gave him $100.00 Bounty when he enlisted and his son was killed before he was again paid – since which he has collected the arrears of pay and Bounty – Primus Tyler is old and feeble and has long been disabled from rheumatism — affiants have not interest in this matter. Reuben X Lawhon, /s/ George W. Lawhorn
[Witnesses] Ben D. House, William Saulsberry
State of Indiana, County of Parke }
Ephraim Cook aged Sixty years and Walden Russell aged 41 years residents of the County and State aforesaid being duly sworn upon their several oaths declare that are well acquainted with the family of Primus Tyler and were acquainted with his wife Elizabeth Tyler in her lifetime who departed this life July 6th 1861 and they further declare that the said Primus and Elizabeth Tyler were the parents of Shepherd Tyler late Co C 28th Regt US.C.T. who was killed at Chickahominy Swamp June 1864.They further declare that they personally know that the said Primus and Elizabeth Tyler were married in Green Co N.C. in the year 1827 the said Primus being at that time a slave and the said Elizabeth free and that the said Elizabeth Tyler thereafter bought the said Primus Tyler affiant’s knowledge of these matters is derived from an intimate personal acquaintance with all of the above mentioned parties and a consequent personal cognizance of the matters testified of and they have no interest in this matter. /s/ Ephraim Cook, Walden Russel
Catlin Station Ind. Mar 24th 1869
Mr Harlan Hamlin, Indianapolis
Dear Sir, Inclosed you will please find a bill of sale conveying me from Elizabeth Edwards of North Carolina to James Siler of Indiana and on the same bill under the hand of the said Siler is a writing relinquishing all claims and demands on me to Elizabeth Tyler my wife showing conclusively that the facts was known & recognized by those of that day familiar with the class With regard to living witness I don’t suppose I can produce any from they being advanced in age. I have outlived all those that was present at the time I was married according to the manor and custome of such persons in the old times and old Country which was simply to prepare a supper invite in the friends and at the proper time the groom & bride took their places at the ends of the table facing each other after supper the parties was considered duly married and was recognized by the law when not conflicting with the interest of the masters. Inclosed you please find a postage stamp with which to return the inclosed bill and I trust you will let me know immediately whether it will do any good or not if it wont do I want to know so I may look in some other direction /s/ Primus Tyler
From the file in the Pension Application of Shepherd Tyler, deceased (by his father Primus Tyler), #171234, National Archives and Records Administration.
In the 1850 census of Greene County, North Carolina: Elizabeth Tyler, 40, with children Shepherd, 11, Sally, 1, and Nancy, 5.
In the 1850 census of District 85, Parke County, Indiana: Reuben Lawhorn, 36, Eiza, 25, Oliver, 5, Alice, 2, George, 9 months, all born in North Carolina; plus George, 24, Nancy, 20, Hymerick, 18, Elizabeth, 17, Primus, 16, Avy, 14, and Moses Tyler, 13, all born in North Carolina.
In the 1860 census of Raccoon, Parke County, Indiana: at #386, farm laborer Reuben Lohorn, 40, Eliza, 36, Oliver, 15, Alice M., 13, George, 11, Susan, 8, Alfred, 4, Martha A., 3, and Elias, 3 months. Reuben, Eliza and the oldest two children were born in North Carolina; the remaining children in Indiana.) At #387, Primus Tyler, 60, Betsey, 45, Richard, Arcada, Primus, Moses, 18, Elizabeth, 20, Shepherd, Nancy B., Sally A., Edward F., Elwood, and Matilda J. (Note: Arcada, nee Artis, was Richard’s wife. He, too, enlisted in the Union Army, and his widow applied for a pension. In the 1850 census of District 85, Parke County, Indiana: Micajach Artis, 50, Beaty, 40, Arcada, 17, Eliza, 14, Burket, 4, and Henriette, 1; all born in North Carolina except Henriette, born in Indiana. Burkett Artis gave minor testimony in support of Primus Tyler’s application. Micajah is listed as a head of household in the 1830 census of Nash County NC and the 1840 census of Wayne County NC. A Micajah Artis married Rilly Eatmon in Edgecombe County in 1826. The three counties were contiguous at the time.)
[…] Primus Tyler was a slave, bought by the Quakers and freed. You can read the whole story on Lisa Henderson’s blog, Fourth Generation Inclusive. […]
Oops. I was sleepy, and I think I published before I meant to. I need to add the source information — a pension application. I’ll get on it — and thanks for the link!
Okay — done! 🙂
The article you wrote was about the Tylers from Greene County NC. The pension application is the one I posted on ancestry.com. I am a direct descendant of that slave Primus and Elizabeth Tyler. That slave had 3 sons and 2 sons in laws that fought in the Civil War. The one son Shepherd lost his life in battle. The Tyler’s settled in Parke County In. I come from a Black settlement Lost Creek in Vigo County In. It was settle in the 1830 by Free Blacks from NC. Some of the names are Pattersons,Anderson,Roberts,Archers,Stewarts,Jasper’s,Powells,Chandlers,Chavis,Artis. The Allen County Library has data base with all the Black families that settled in Indiana in the 1800. I would like any information. About Elizabeth Tyler found in the 1850 census in Greene County NC. Was she kin to Nancy Tyler that lived in Lenoir County next to Greene County? Primus her husband went by the name Primus Shepherd before he took his wife’s last name Tyler according to court documents found in Parke In. He was sold by Elizabeth Edwards could it have been her maiden been Shepherd. Any information
Hi, Russell. I ordered a copy of both the Richard Tyler and Shepherd Tyler pension applications when I learned they had NC connections. I had ancestors who were free people of color in Greene County (included Artises) around the same time, so I am very interested in these families. Unfortunately, Greene County courthouse burned in the 1870s, and most antebellum records were lost. Please feel free to contact me directly at lyhend at aol dot com. I will keep an eye out for anything on Elizabeth Tyler. As for Elizabeth Edwards, I have run across a woman of the same name in pension records of Bailham Edwards/Speight. See my other blog, http://scuffalong.com/2014/04/08/i-know-they-were-married-by-law/ Edwards and Sheppard/Shepherd were common names in Greene County. And as for for Vigo County, I have a few posts here re FPCs who migrated from NC to that area; more to come.
Thanks for reading and commenting!
Greetings, cousin! I am also a direct descendant of Primus and Elizabeth Tyler. They were my 4th great grandparents. I descend from their son Richard, and his wife Arcaty Artis, my 3rd great grandparents.
I’ve seen a couple of conflicting genealogies for Primus, including one that has him as a descendant of one Bartlet Tyler and married to an Elizabeth Bass.
Michael, My family is very closely related to the “free colored” Tylers of Granville Co. They descend from Bartlett Tyler and his wife Sarah Anderson. Bartlett Tyler had a son named Pink Tyler who was married to Lucy Bass. This Primus Tyler who is referenced in this blog entry does not come from these same Tylers. The “free colored” Tylers have always been free, were not enslaved. This Primus Tyler was born a slave to the Edwards family and in a completely different area – Greene Co, NC. I think some researchers have falsely tried to connect Primus Tyler to the “free colored” Tylers but I see no connection.
Kianga, I don’t recall ever hearing that Primus Shepherd/Edwards/Tyler “came from” the free colored Tylers. Merely that he married one and took her name. Elizabeth Tyler was most certainly a free woman of color, hence her ability to “purchase” Primus and accounts for their children being born unenslaved. Again, I’ve never heard of any researcher connecting Primus to the free colored Tylers other than through his wife. Any of their descendants with whom I’ve spoken are well aware of this.
Yes, Kianga, you are absolutely right that Greene and Granville Counties are some distance apart. Whether Primus Tyler was born a slave to the Edwardses is not set forth in the documents, but he certainly was enslaved by them during his lifetime. As did many enslaved men who married free women of color, Primus appears to have adopted his wife’s surname when he was freed. Thus, if anyone is related to the Granville Tylers, it would be Elizabeth, not Primus.
Paul Heinegg states in his research that Barbra Tyler was the mother of Bartlett Tyler and Elizabeth Tyler. Elizabeth Tyler can be found in 1800 census in Lenoir County and her son Moses Tyler can be found in the 1810 and 1820 census in Lenoir County. Lenoir County is adjacent to Greene County. My 2nd grandfather was Primus (Shepherd) Tyler the Slave. I am proud to be his descendant Being a slave did not make him less human. This man had three sons that fought in the Civil War. Richard, Himebrick and Shepherd. He also had three son-laws that fought in Civil War Reuben Lawhorn, William Gibson and Albert Carter. All but Himebrick fought with the 28th Infantry Regiment USCT out of Indiana. Himebrick fought with 102 Infantry Regiment USCT out of Michigan. Shepherd lost his life fighting to make sure people like his father would not be slaves. The farthest I can research on my 2nd great grandmother is the 1850 census in Greene County NC, she is free Mulatto with Shepherd, Nancy and Sally Tyler. There were free people of color named Tyler’s in Lenoir County from 1800. In 1800 census was Elizabeth, in 1810 Moses spelled Tiler and 1820 Moses spelled Tilor. Whether or not they were kin to the Granville never a slave Tyler’s I don’t know. I have been to the Tyler Reunion of the Granville Tyler’s and was accepted as kin by most of them, but you could tell of Primus’s influence on me. If anybody has some useful information whether or not my 2nd great grandmother Elizabeth Tyler was kin to the Grandville Tyler’s please let me know. If you consider yourself African-American and if you can trace your ancestors antebellum you will find a slave. Having slave ancestors or being Black does not make you less than unless you think so. Why do some Blacks think being Indian or white makes greater than being Black.
I’m not sure toward whom you are directing your remarks, Russell. I am African-American. I am descended from enslaved people and free people, black and white. NOWHERE in this blog do I assert that having slave ancestors makes anyone “less than.” Nor do I assert that being Indian or white is better than being black. My point was that Primus Tyler, as an enslaved man, was not the son of two free people in Granville County or anywhere else. As I noted, if anyone in this family was related to the Granville Tylers, it was Elizabeth.
Pertaining to your last sentence: SLAVE MENTALITY
Is the Granville Bartlett Tyler the same Bartlett Tyler that shows up on the 1800 and 1810 Warren County NC censuses? Related in some way?
I do not know, Scott. I do not research in depth the families in these documents unless they are my own lines.
Thanks for the quick reply, Lisa. I was asking the question of Kianga but maybe I misdirected it. But if there is anyone else on thi site that can answer the question, I would appreciate it.
Ahh. Gotcha. Kianga may indeed be able to help. She has a blog, too; I’ll find the name and post a link. Otherwise, there is no one else at this site but me. 🙂
I would appreciate that. I descend from a Bartlet Tyler, born ca. 1795, who appears on both the 1830 and 1840 Sullivan County TN censuses as a FPC. He may be related to the Bartlet Tyler on the 1810 and 1820 Warren County censuses and maybe to the earlier Granville Bartlet Tyler. I’d just like to find someone who knows something about either of those Bartlet Tylers.