Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Hagans

David and Louisa Jane Mills give all.

State of North Carolina, Nash County  }

I, David Mills of the County of the State and County aforesaid, being of sound mind and memory, but considering the uncertainty of my earthly existence do make this my last Will and testament in manner and form following, that is to say –

I give, devise and bequeath to my eldest son Mingo Mills forty six and one half acres of land in said State and County. Known as the Piece of land I bought of Parsons Rackley.

I give, devise and bequeath to my son Munro Mills The Joshua Mills tract of land on the north side of the Joshua Mills Spring branch containing about seventy acres.

I give, devise and bequeath to my son Henderson Thomas Mills One tract of land containing about Seventy acres and known as the land I bought from John R. Sutton.

I give, devise and bequeath to my youngest son David More Mills One tract of land containing one hundred acres more or less and known as my home tract where I now live. My will and desire is that my son David More Mills Pay to the balance of my heirs not above mentioned the Just a& full sum of fifty dollars out of the Piece of land that I give him above mentioned. The balance of my land which is the Thomas Mills Piece containing about fourteen and one half. And a part of the Joshua Mills tract lying on the South side of the Joshua Mills Spring branch containing about ten acres more or less is to be sold and the money equally divided among the following named heirs my son Joshua Mills lawfully children which is Wm. N. Mills & Arnal Mills one share. Frances Toney wife of Joseph Toney. Julie Ann Cordel, Manda Lucust, Lahara Wilkins wife of Eevin Wilkins. Nancy King, wife of Willie King Sevarine Jones, wife of Wm. Jones Lutora Hagans, wife of Frank Hagans.

All of the above mentioned heirs shall hold the above mentioned property in fee simple at my death. Provided that they maintain my wife Luizer Jane Mills, out of said property her life time or her widowhood. The balance of my property except my household and kitchen furniture, which I hereby give to my wife Luizer Jane Mills Is to be sold and equally divide among all my lawful heirs. And lastly, I do hereby constitute and appoint my trusty son Munro Mills my lawful executor to all intents and purposes to execute this my last will and testament according to the true intent and meaning of the same and every part and clause thereof hereby revoking and declaring utterly void all other wills and testaments by me heretofore made. In witness whereof I the said David Mills do hereunto set my hand and seal this 7th day of August A.D. 1889.    David X Mills {seal}

Witnesses Jas. W. Floyd, W.W. Manning

Proved 18 May 1891. Will Book 5, page 351, Office of Clerk of Superior Court, Nash County Courthouse, Nashville. 

[Sidenote: David Mills was his brother Thomas Mills’ sole heir. See Will Book 5, page 225. Joshua Mills was their father. – LYH]


North Carolina, Nash County   }

I Luiza J. Mills of the State and County aforesaid, being of sound mind and memory but considering the uncertainty of my earthly existence do make this my last Will and testament in manner and form following — That is to say

(1)  That my executor hereinafter named shall provide for my body a decent burial, and pay all funeral expenses together with my just debts howsoever and to whomsoever owing out of the moneys that may first come into his hands as a part or parcel of my estate —

(2)  I give and bequeath to my son D.M. Mills at my death the following personal property, one bed now in his possession, one under & upper sheet one bed quilt, one blanket one pillow one bolster now in his possession one double barrel shot gun, known as his fathers gun. The balance of my household & kitchen furniture at my death is to be sold at highest bidder & money divided among the following named persons, Nick and Arnel Mills one share Amanda Lucas, one share – Lutora Hagans, one share – Lahara Wilkins, one share, Isaman S. Jones, one share – Nancy Ellen King, one share – Endy F. Toney, one share – July Ann Cordell one share.

I give & devise to my son D.M. Mills one a[illegible] named Ben now in his possession. The balance of my property if any at my death, including all notes & papers & land if any, is to be sold or collected as the case may be, and the money equally divided among my four sons which is Mingo Mills, Munro Mulls H.T. Mills and D.M. Mills.

And lastly I do hereby constitute & appoint my trusty son, Munro Mills my lawful Executor to all intents & purposes to execute this my last will and testament according to the true intent and meaning of the same and every part and clause thereof hereby revoking and declaring utterly void all other wills and testiments by me heretofore made. In witness whereof I the said Luizer J. Mills do hereunto set my hand and seal, This 28th day of Feby. A.D. 1898    Luiza J. X Mills

Signed sealed published and declared by the said Luiza J. Mills to be her last will & testament in the presence of us who at her request and in her presence do subscribe our names as witnesses thereto.  J.W. Floyd, J.L. Floyd

Proved 27 October 1900, Will Book 6, page 121. Office of Clerk of Superior Court, Nash County Courthouse, Nashville. 

David Mills married Jane Spears on 12 August 1847 in Nash County.  In the 1860 census of Mannings, Nash County: David Mills, 57, farmer, wife Jane, 34, and children William J., 12, Frances, 10, Julia, 8, Amanda, 6, Lahary, 3, and Minger, 2. [Sidenote: Louisa Jane Spears was a daughter of Silvia Spears. In summary, David and Louisa Jane’s children were William Joshua Mills, Frances Mills Toney, Julia Ann Mills Cordell, Amanda Mills Locust, Laharia Mills Wilkins, Mingo Mills, Isaman Sevarine Mills Jones, Munro W. Mills, Henderson Thomas Mills, Nancy E. Mills King, Lutora F. Mills Hagans, and David More Mills. – LYH]

Napoleon Hagans.

ImageNAPOLEON HAGANS‘ grave marker stands about one hundred yards west of his house near Fremont, Wayne County. His wife Apsilla is memorialized on the other side of the stone. Hagans was born in 1840 to Louisa Hagans (ca1824-ca1875) and reared with the help of Louisa’s mother Leasy Hagans (ca1800-ca1855) and husband Aaron Seaberry (1818-ca1905), whom she married circa 1844. Hagans was a prosperous farmer and landowner.

Photo taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, December 2010.

Napoleon Hagans house.

ImageNapoleon Hagans (1840-1896) built this house near the south bank of Aycock Swamp, near Fremont in northern Wayne County, between 1870 and 1885. “The house, a single-pile center-hall-plan dwelling, has retained much of its charming original hip-roofed front porch, now supported by replacement square columns. Windows are surmounted by moulded peaked arch surrounds. … One original single-shouldered exterior end chimney was plastered; the other was replaced by a concrete-block flue. …” A stone monument marking the graves of Napoleon and his wife Apsilla Ward Hagans stands in a cornfield about one hundred yards west of the house.

Detail from J. Daniel Pezzoni and Penne Smith, Glimpses of Wayne County, North Carolina: An Architectural History (1998).

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, December 2010.

I am but illy able.

To the Worshipful Court, Feby Term 1833

I beg leave to request that you would take into your wise consderation and bind my Son Sherard unto Exum Pike, as the said Exum has agreed to find & furnish me something towards my support for his labor, as I am but illy able now to support myself without assistance.  Druzilla X Hagans  Feby 18, 1833

Witness Nathan Davis       N.B. Sherard is about 17 years of age.

[Sidenote: Sherard Hagans was already a father when he was bound to Exum Pike. He and Nancy Hall eventually had nine or ten children. The oldest four — Mozana, Samuel, Winifred and Benjah Ann Hall, small children during their father’s term of indenture — were repeatedly bound until they reached adulthood.  When Sherard Hagins, age 63, married Serena Jackson, 35, on 26 September 1878 in Wayne County, their license listed his parents as Sam and Zilla Hagins. — LYH]

I worked for it.


NAPOLEON HIGGINS, colored, sworn and examined. By Senator Vance:

Question: Where do you reside? – Answer. Near Goldsborough. I don’t stay in Goldsborough, but it is my county seat. I live fifteen miles from town.

Q. What is your occupation? – A. I am farming.

Q. Do you farm your own land? – A. Yes, sir.

Q. How much do you own? – A. Four hundred and eighty-five acres.

Q. How did you get it? – A. I worked for it.

Q. Were you formerly a slave? – A. No, sir; I was a free man before the war.

Q. What did you pay for it? – A. I believe I paid $5,500; and then I have got a little town lot there that I don’t count; but I think it is worth about $500.

Q. How much cotton do you raise? – A. I don’t raise as much as I ought to. I only raised fifty-eight bales last year.

Q. What is that worth? – A. I think I got $55 a bale.

Q. How many hands do you work yourself? – A. I generally rent my land. I only worked four last year, and paid the best hand, who fed the mules and tended around the house, ten dollars; and the others I paid ten, and eight, and seven. … I gave them rations; and to a man with a family I gave a garden patch and a house, and a place to raise potatoes.

Q. How did you start [your farm]? – A. I rented a farm and started on two government horses. I went to the tightest man I know and got him to help me. I rented from Mr. Exam out there.

Senate Report 693, 2nd Session, 46th Congress: Proceedings of the Select Committee of the United States Senate to Investigate the Causes of the Removal of the Negroes from the Southern States to the Northern States, Washington DC, beginning Tuesday, 9 March 1880.

Napoleon Hagans (not Higgins) testified before a Senate Select Committee investigating the migration of hundreds of “colored people” from the South to Indiana in the late 1870s.  Hagans testified about the source of his relative wealth (above), as well his opinion of the political climate for colored men in his part of North Carolina.

Napoleon Hagans, 6, was apprenticed in 1845 to William Thompson.  Apprenticeship Records, Wayne County Records, North Carolina State Archives. In the 1850 census of  North of Neuse, Wayne County, Aaron Seaberry, 32 year-old black farmhand, with wife Louisa, [stepson] Napoleon [Hagans], daughter Frances, and 17 year-old Celia Seaberry. In a duplicate listing, also North of the Neuse: Leacy Hagans, 55, with probable grandson Napoleon Hagans, 10.  


How Napoleon recouped.

In the 1850 census of the North Side of Neuse, Wayne County: Aaron Seaberry, 32, farmhand, wife Louisa [Eliza], Napoleon, Frances and Celia Seaberry.

On 18 Jan 1860, in Wayne County, Bryan Minshew sold Eliza Seaberry a certain parcel of land for $109.37, beginning at a stake “in the run of a small branch in the new road and runs with the run of the same to a small whortleberry” then to the stake, measuring 3 1/2 acres.  The parcel was conveyed in the presence of James M. Gardner and Martin Sauls, but the deed, found at Book 27, page 255, was not registered until 1862.

On 13 Feb 1867, Aaron Seaberry filed a mortgage deed conveying to Napoleon Hagins [his stepson, see above] a “tract of land lately conveyed by Bryant Minshew to Louisa Seabery, wife of Aaron, all interest therein, also one grey mare, four head of cattle, nine head of hogs, all household and kitchen furniture … and 12 barrels of corn, about one thousand two hundred pounds of fodder & about nine hundred pounds of pork, one wagon & cart,and all the farming implements of every description of the said Aaron Seaberry” for $500.  “The condition of this deed is such that whereas, the said Aaron Seaberry is justly endebted to the said Napoleon Hagins in the sum of one hundred & seventy dollars with interest from the first of February 1866, money paid by the said Hagins to William J. Exum for the said Seaberry and at his request and also the sum of two hundred dollars, loaned by the said Hagins to the said Seaberry, the precise date whereof is not remembered, but which the said Seaberry thinks was about eighteen months prior to the date hereof, and whereas the said Seaberry is justly indebted to the said William J. Exum as agent for J.M. Caho in the sum of thirty six dollars & twenty some cents, with interest from 1st January 1861 due by open account & also in the sum of sixty one dollars and thirty eight cents, due by note, the date of whereof is not now remembered by the said Seaberry, but supposed to have been given about two years ago…”  The deed carried a condition that Hagans sell the conveyed property to pay off Seaberry’s debts, with the balance to be paid to Seaberry.

 Federal population schedule; Deeds, Register of Deeds Office, Wayne County.

Where are they now? No. 16.

Z.L. was born in the late 1970s in Chicago, Illinois.  She is descended from:

(1) Arthur Locklear [1831-??, NC/Indiana] via Andrew Locklear [1854-??, Ind.]

(2) Leasy Hagans [ca1800-ca1855, Nash/Wayne County] via Louisa Hagans [ca1824-ca1875, Wayne County] via Napoleon Hagans [1840-1896, Wayne County]

Where are they now? No. 15.

R.R. was born in Wilson NC in the early 1960s.  He is descended from:

(1) Vicey Artis [ca1805-ca1868, Greene/Wilson County] via Zilpha Artis [1828-ca1885, Greene/Wayne County]

(2) Benjamin Hagans

(3) Nancy Hall via Mozana Hall [ca1829-1914, Wayne County]

(4) Rhoda Reid [ca1795-ca1865, Wayne County] via John Reid [ca1826-ca1890, Wayne County] via William Reid [1851-1926, Wayne County]

(5) John Wilson [1821-ca1890, Wayne County] via Elizabeth Wilson [1864-1947, Wayne County]

Free-Issue Death Certificates: REID.

Zannie Reid.  Died 21 May 1914, Fremont, Wayne County. Negro.  Widow.  Born 28 Aug 1829 to [blank] Hagans and Nancy Hagans, both of NC.  Buried Reid graveyard.  Informant, John G. Reid, Fremont.

Edwin Hall.  Died 22 Jan 1915, Fremont, Wayne County.  Negro.  Married.  Farmer.  Age 66.  Born to Dempsey Hall and Patsy Reid.  Buried “in country.”

Christian Coley.  Died 6 Sep 1915, Pikeville, Wayne County.  Married.  About 66 years old.  Born in NC to Washington Reid and Pennie Reid.  Buried Reid graveyard.  Informant, Henry Coley, Pikeville.

David Reid.  Died 27 Oct 1915, Great Swamp, Wayne County.  Colored. Married.  About 70 years old.  Born in NC to Jacob Coley and Bitha Reid, both of NC. Buried Fremont cemetery. Informant, Isler Reid.

Winnie Reid.  Died 15 Aug 1918, Pikeville, Wayne County NC.  Colored.  Widow.  80 years old.  Born Wayne County to Bill Hall and Nancy Hagans, both of Wayne County.  Informant, Burrell Reid, Pikeville.

William Reid.  Died 27 Jan 1926, Black Creek, Wilson County.  Colored.  Married to Bettie Reid.  76 years old.  Born in Wayne County to John Reid and Zannie Reid, both of Wayne. Buried in the Wilson graveyard.  Informant, Pinkney Reid, Fremont.

Henry Reid.  Died 28 Sep 1930, Goldsboro NC.  Colored.  Widower of Georgeana Reid.  70 years old.  Born in Wayne County to John Reid and Zania Hall.  Informant, Frances Newsome.

Auther Reid.  Died 23 Feb 1929, Township #9, Edgecombe County.  Negro.  Single.  Born 18 Nov 1842 in Edgecombe to Miles Reid and Martha Febury Reid.  Buried near Macclesfield.

Gray Reid.  Died 8 Jan 1936, Township #10, Edgecombe County.  Resided “Hal Farm.” Colored. Widower of Lucy Reid.  Born 1844 in Edgecombe to unknown parents.  Informant, Jonah Reid. Macclesfield.



Where are they now? Nos. 6, 7 and 8.

P.M. was born in the mid-1960s in Wilson NC.  She is descended from:

(1) Rhoda Reid [ca1795-ca1865, Wayne County] via John Reid [1826-ca1890, Wayne County] via Isaiah Reid [1853-??, Wayne County]


S.T. was born in the early 1960s in Wilson NC.  She is descended from:

(1) Celia Tabourn [??-??, Nash County] via Lemon Tabron [1837-ca1895, Nash/Wilson County]


S.B. was born in the early 1960s in Wilson NC.  He is descended from:

(1) Richard Hagans [1828-ca1890, Edgecombe County] via Lawrence Hagans [1850-1826, Edgecombe/Wilson County]

(2) Alice Ann Faithful [1829-??, Edgecombe County]