Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Jacobs

Frances Jacobs Carter.


FRANCES JACOBS CARTER was born about 1861 in Sampson County to Jesse Adam Jacobs (ca1820-1902) and Abigail Gilliam Jacobs (ca1820-?). She married Marshall Archie Carter (1860-1922), son of William and Mary Carter, and died in 1937 in Wayne County. Jesse A. Jacobs, Jr., was her brother.

In the 1870 census of Sampson County: Jessey Jacobs, 50, farmer; wife Abigiel, 50; and children John R., 20, Martha, 17, Soloman, 15, Jessey, 13, Abigiel J., 11, and Margett F., 9; all mulatto.

Enos & Matilda Goodman Jacobs.


ENOS JACOBS (1842-1925) and ALMIRA MATILDA GOODMAN JACOBS (1847-1927) of Sampson County. Enos was the son of Archibald Jacobs and Temperance Manuel Jacobs.  Matilda was the daughter of Timothy Goodman and Nancy Maynor Goodman.

The expert testifies, “He is mulatto.”

State v. Asa Jacobs, 51 N.C. 284 (1859).

Asa Jacobs was indicted in Brunswick County, as a free negro, for carrying firearms.

In the lower court, the State called a certain Pritchett to give an opinion on Jacobs’ ancestry.  He testified that he had known Jacobs a long time, but had never seen any of Jacobs’ ancestors, and knew nothing of them by reputation. Jacobs’ lawyer objected that Pritchett’s lack of actual knowledge disqualified him from rendering an opinion on whether Jacobs was a free negro. The court ruled that Pritchett could answer questions to establish whether he was qualified to testify as an expert.

Pritchett then stated that he was a planter and had been an owner and manager of slaves for more than twelve years; that “he had paid much attention to and had had much observation of the effects of the intermixture of negro or African blood with the white and Indian races;” and that from such attention and observation, he was well satisfied that he could distinguish between the descendants of a negro and a white person and the descendants of a negro and Indian; and further, that he could also say whether a person was full African, or had more or less than half African “blood” in him, and whether the cross or intermixture was white or Indian.  On this basis, Pritchett was admitted to testify and stated his opinion that Jacobs was a mulatto – that is, half African and half white. Jacobs’ counsel excepted to the admission of this evidence, and upon Jacobs’ conviction, appealed to the Supreme Court.

The Court noted that even a common observer can detect, from outward appearance, the “intermixture of the white and black races;” it is not a matter of science or skill. Nonetheless, it by no means follows that the ability to ascertain the extent of “negro blood” is not so. “On the contrary, we believe that it would often require an eye rendered keen, by observation and practice, to detect, with any approach to certainty, the existence of any thing less than one-fourth of African blood in a subject.” North Carolina law defined a free negro as one who is “descended from negro ancestors to the fourth generation inclusive, though one ancestor of each generation may have been a white person.” He may, therefore, be a person who is only a sixteenth African. The ability to detect “the infusion of so small a quantity of negro blood in one, claiming the privilege of a white man, must be a matter of science,” and, therefore, subject to the testimony of an expert. Pritchett, the court determined, proved that he possessed the necessary qualification to testify as such.

They took a mule.

John Chavers filed claim #17736 with the Southern Claims Commission.  Chavers, age 72, a farmer, lived in Richmond County near Rockingham.  He was born in Brunswick County. The Union took a mule, corn, bacon and tobacco from him in 1865.

Harrett Jacobs, age about 30, corroborated the theft of Chavers’ property.

Allowed: $145.00.

Where are they now? No. 14.

B.M. was born in Queens NY in the early 1960s.  He is descended from:

(1) Raiford Brewington [1812-1896, Sampson County] via Polly Ann Brewington [-1890, Sampson/Wayne County]

(2) Millie Hale [1755-1855, Sampson County]

(3) Sion Hardin [1775-1850, Sampson County] via Zilphia Hardin [1794-1860, Sampson County]

(4) Jesse A. Jacobs [1822-1902, Sampson/Wayne County] via John R. Jacobs [1850-1922, Sampson/Wayne County]

(5) Nicholas Manuel [1750-1835, Sampson County] via Shadrach Manuel [1781-1860] via Bathsheba Manuel [1812-??, Sampson/Wayne County]


Dock Jacobs.

ImageDOCK JACOBS, son of Jesse A. Jacobs Jr. (1856-1926) and Sarah Bridgers Jacobs (1866-ca1895).

See also “Jesse & Sarah Henderson Jacobs.”

Original in possession of Lisa Y. Henderson.

One horse was taken from a graveyard while we were burying a man.

William Jacobs filed claim #301.  He was 75 or 76 years old and had lived near Rockingham in Richmond County for about 27 years.  He was a farmer.  He was born free in Brunswick County, and his grandfather was free.

“About twelve months before the close of the war a United States soldier came to my place nearly starve he had made his escape from a stockade over in South Carolina about 18 miles from my place.  I have forgotten his name he said he was from Tennessee.  I kept him at my place some 8 or 10 days until he [illegible] up some.  I then sent him to Fayetteville NC in a wagon carried him through Fayetteville in the night.  I sent some relatives of mine in the neighborhood of Fayetteville by the name of Edmon and William Chavers.  They put him over the Cape Fear River near Fayetteville he was making his way to the union lines, the Chavers gave him a map.”

“My farm is about 5 miles from Rockingham.  I own 110 acres about 15 acres cultivated about 40 acres woodland and the rest wasteland.”

William McPherson, William Jacobs’ son-in-law, testified that he was 36 or 37 years old and had lived near Rockingham since 1862.

Anderson Jacobs, age 22, was William Jacobs’ grandson.  “I was present when the horses was taken I saw them taken by united states soldiers one was taken from my father’s place about 1/4 mile from my grandfather’s … then the other was taken from a grave yard while we were burring a man about 3/4 miles from my grandfather’s place.

Where are they now? No. 9.

W.C. was born in Washington DC in the early 1960s.  He is descended from:

(1) Robert Aldridge [1819-1899, Duplin/Wayne County] via John W. Aldridge [1851-1910, Wayne County]

(2) John Armwood [ca1800-??, Sampson County] via Louisa Armwood [1830-??, Sampson/Wayne County]

(3) Vicey Artis [1810-ca1868, Greene/Wayne County] via Adam T. Artis [1831-1919, Greene/Wayne County]

(4) Mary Eliza Balkcum [1829-1924, Duplin/Wayne County]

(5) Michael Carter [1824-??, Sampson County] via Marshall Carter [1850-1922, Sampson/Wayne County]

(6) Sarah Greenfield [Wayne County]

(7) Patsey Henderson [ca1795-??, Onslow County] via James Henderson [1815-ca1890] via John H. Henderson [1861-1924]

(8) Jesse Jacobs [1822-1902, Sampson/Wayne County] via Frances Jacobs [1859-1937, Sampson/Wayne County]

(9) Winnie Medlin [ca1810-ca1905, Wayne County]

(10) James Simmons [ca1798-ca1860, Sampson/Wayne County] via Bryant Simmons [1832-ca1900, Wayne County] via Sarah E. Simmons [1862-1930, Wayne County]

(11) Gray Winn [1818-1850, Wayne County] via Elizabeth Winn [1836-??, Wayne County]

Jesse & Sarah Henderson Jacobs.

ImageJESSE ADAMS JACOBS JR. and wife, SARAH HENDERSON JACOBS SILVER.  Jesse was born in 1858 in Sampson County to Jesse A. Jacobs and Abigail Gilliam.  His first wife was Sarah “Sally” Bridgers.  His second wife, depicted above, was born in 1874 in southern Wayne County to Lewis and Margaret Balkcum Henderson.  After Jesse’s death in 1926 in Wilson NC, Sarah married Rev. Joseph Silver (1857-1958) of Enfield, Halifax County.  Sarah died in 1938 in Selma NC.

Sarah’s father, Lewis Henderson, was born in 1836 in Onslow County to James Henderson and an unknown free woman of color whose surname was probably Skipp.  He, his father and siblings migrated to Sampson County in the 1850s and Wayne in the 1860s.  He died near Dudley in 1912.

Original in possession of Lisa Y. Henderson.