Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Granville County

He was a soldier of the Revolution.

State of North Carolina

Granville County

On this 8th day of November 18 Hundred and Fortytwo (1842) personally appeared before James Cozart — one of the acting Magistrates and a member of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions for said County & State — Abigail Guy the widow of William Guy, a resident of said County & State, aged Eighty years, who having first 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 July 4th, 1836.

That she is the widow of William Guy, who was a Pensioner, that lived in the county of Granville NC, at the rate of Forty Dollars per annum & who was a soldier of the Revolution that served in the Virginia Continental Line that was placed on the pension roll in May 1833.

She further declares that she was married to the said Wm. Guy on the 12th day of June, 17 Hundred and Eighty, and that her husband the aforesaid Wm. Guy died on the 30th day of January 1837.  And that she has remained a widow ever since that Period as will more fully appear above to the proofs here unto annexed.

Sworn and Subscribed before me the day and date first above written before —   Abigail X Guy

James C. Cozart (seal)

The said Abigail Guy is a woman of truth and by old age & and bodily infirmity is unable to attend court to make her Declaration.  James C. Cozart

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

In the 1830 census of South Regiment, Granville County: William Guy, head of a household consisting of one free man of color.  Listed separately, “Mrs. Guy,” head of a household consisting of one 60-70 year-old white woman.

Don’t credit her.


Whereas my wife, ELIZABETH CHAVERS, has deserted my bed and board without any just cause, I hereby forewarn all persons from crediting her on my account, as I am determined to discharge no debt of her contracting.   ISAAC CHAVERS, Granville, Jan. 30, 1811.

Raleigh Minerva, 7 February 1811.

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.

A plea for the repeal of a tax on free colored wives and daughters.

To the Worshipful the Speaker and Gentlemen of the Assembly.

The petition of Sundry of the Inhabitants of the Counties of Northampton Edgecombe and Granville.

Humbly Sheweth That by one Act of Assembly passed in the year 1723, Intituled “An Act for an Additional Tax on all free Negroes, Mulattoes, Mustees and such Persons Male & Female, as now are or hereafter shall be intermarried with any such Persons resident in this Government.” Amongst other Things it was enacted That all free Negroes &c. that were or shou’d thereafter be Inhabitants of this Province Male & Female being of the Age of twelve Years & upwards shou’d be deemed Tythables and as such should yearly pay the same Levies and Taxes as other Tythable Inhabitants.

That many Inhabitants of the sd Counties who are Free Negroes & Mulattoes and persons of Probity & good Demeanor and chearfully contribute towards the Discharge of every public Duty injoined them by Law. But by reason of being obliged by the sd Act of Assembly to pay Levies for their Wives and Daughters as therein mentioned are greatly Impoverished and many of them rendered unable to support themselves and Families with the common Necessaries of Life.

Wherefore your Petitioners would humbly pray in behalf of the sd Free Negroes &c. That so much of the said recited Act as compels such of them as Intermarry with those of their own complection to pay Taxes for their Wives & Daughters may be repealed or that they may be otherwise relieved as to your Worships in your great Wisdom seem meet.

And your Petitioners as in Duty bound shall pray &c.

Granville County: Will’m Eaton, John Hawkins, Phil. Hawkins, George Jordin, Tho’s Lowe, Jno. Sallis, Patrick Lashley, Phil. Pryor, Fra’s King, Jno. Bowie, Aaron Fassol, John Jones, Tho’s Dulany, John Wade, Zack Bullock, George Cuttlor, John Williams Jun’r, Thomas Woodlief, John Gibbs, William Forkner, And’w Hampton, Marton Dickson, Moses Coppack, Amanwall Forkner, Wm. Johnson, Leopold Fallon, Jonas Parker, James Smith, Rich’d Harris, Wm. Smith, Amos Newsom, Jos. Brantley, Shurley Whatley, James Brantly, Jno. Glover, Edw. Young, John Martin.

Edgcomb County: Jos. Jno. Alston, Wm. Irby, Will’m Anderson, Joseph Strickland, Thos. Wood, Benj’n Sherrod, John Jones, Jacob Strickland, Augustin Curtis, Nathan Joyner, John Noland, Ebenezer Folsom, Benj. Nevill, Wm. Adams, John Cheney, William Richason, John Fish, Richard McKinne, James Brown.

Miscellaneous Records, Office of Secretary of State, North Carolina State Archives, as transcribed in Colonial and State Records of North Carolina,

Free Colored Inhabitants of the Town of Oxford, Granville County, 1850.

#12. Gustin Willaford, 7, and Lunsford Willaford, 5, in the household of Isaac Hester, merchant.

#15. Lethia Anderson, 32, Robert Anderson, 21, and Eliza Anderson, 25.

#22. Amelia Vaughan, 26, and Dunbar Vaughan, 2.

#29. Anderson Chavors, 30, and Harriet Chavors, 45.

#33. Cherry Maho, 33, and child Harriet Maho, 4.

#35. Matilda Vaughan, 6, in the household of Lyman Lathan, blacksmith.

#43. Wesley Mitchell, 35, Isham Dew, 18, and Polly Bass, 35, in the household of Daniel A. Paschall, inn keeper.

Otherwise he will be dealt with as the law directs.

NOTICE. TAKEN UP AND COMMITTED TO THE COUNTY JAIL of Franklin county, North-Carolina, a mulatto man of medium brightness, about, from his appearance, twenty years of age, about six feet high, has a down look when spoken to, and not very intelligent.  No particular mark or marks on his person known of by which he might be otherwise described other than the above, with the exception of some fresh marks of the lash on his back.  He says he is a free man, by the name of Henry Valentine, was raised in the county of Granville, near Henderson, N.C., and left there to N.M. Harris’s in Nash county, where he remained until some few days since, when he came to Franklin.  He says the reason of his leaving Nash is, that the Volunteers were going to carry him to the war.  He has no free papers, and is badly clad.  His owner, if any, is requested to came and pay charges and take him away before the time limited for such, otherwise he will be dealt with as the law directs.  E.A. Gupton, Sh’ff.  June 24, 1861.

Weekly Standard, Raleigh, 3 July 1861.

Jail break.


SOLOMON, the property of John Lockhart, deceased – He is about five feet eight inches high, black, no marks on his person recollected, aged 35 years.

WILLIS, the property of Capt. J.W. Latta, about six feet high, slender built, black, aged about 27 years.

ALEX HARRIS, a free boy, about five feet five inches high, mulatto, has been living about Raleigh.

Solomon was convicted for the murder of John Lockhart, and was detained for a new trial.  I will give for his apprehension two hundred dollars, and fifty dollars each for the two others, or their confinement in any jail so that I can get them.  H.B. GUTHRIE, Sheriff.  Hillsborough, N.C., May 22, 1863.

Weekly Standard, Raleigh, 27 May 1863.


$500 REWARD.  ESCAPED FROM THE JAIL OF GRANVILLE County, in Oxford, on the night of the 27th instant, BALDY KERSEY, a free negro, very bright color, and hair nearly straight, stout made, and about five feet eight inches high, about 45 years old, impudent appearance and quick speech.

Also, JOEL, a slave of T.B. VENABLE. Joel is a dark mulatto, about 5 feet 10 or 11 inches high, and rather spare built, though strong and likely, he is about 35 years of age.

Kersey was sentenced at September term of Granville Superior Court to six months imprisonment, and there are still pending against him five indictments for larceny.

Joel was committed for house breaking and an attempt to commit rape.

I will give the above reward for the apprehension and confinement of both, so that I get them again, or $200 for either.  The belief is that they are making towards the Eastern part of the State.  I wil give $500 for the apprehension and delivery, with evidence sufficient to convict those or anyone of those who assisted from the outside and broke the jail so as to release said prisoners.  W.A. PHILPOTT, Sheriff.  October 6, 1864.

Weekly Standard, Raleigh, 26 October 1864.

Was Jones’ Old Field Jones’?

Jones v. Ridley, 4 NC 280 (1816).

A dispute over land ownership in Granville County.  Vinkler Jones produced a grant for the land from Earl Granville to Joseph Davenport, dated 1756, and several deeds thereafter.  He also produced to prove actual possession of the land over a period of time.  “[S]ome time after the expiration of Jones’s possession, a free man of color, by the name of Henry Smith, lived on the land” for two years with Jones’ permission. Some time after that, another free man of color, Hardy Artis, lived there.  “It appeared that an old field on the land had been for many years called Jones’s Old Field.”  Judgment for defendant.

Trafficking in corn.

The State v. Nelson Cozens, 28 NC 82 (1845).

Nelson Cozens, a free negro, was indicted in Granville County Court for buying a peck of corn on 11 Feb 1837 from a slave named Lewis, the property of Fleming Beasley. He was found guilty by a Person County court and appealed to the state Supreme Court, apparently on a challenge to the wording of the indictment. Appeal denied.

In the 1850 census of Person County, Nelson Cozens, 57, is listed with wife Judy, 53, and children Robert J., 21, Willis, 14, William, 12, and Nelson, 6, plus Izarary Mitchel, 7, and Jerome Collins, 23.