Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Reid

An heirloom wart cure.


Wilson Advance, 26 December 1895.

In the 1850 census, North Side of the Neuse, Wayne County: farmhand Washington Read, 28, wife Pennina, 25, and daughter Lewiser, 2 months.

Floating in the river.


The body of Hilliard Reid, a free mulatto, who had been employed on board the Railroad Company’s Steamer, was found this morning floating in the North East River, just above the Company’s wharves. We learn that when last seen, he was quite drunk, and the probability is, that he fell into the River and got drowned while in a state of intoxication. –Jour. of Thursday.

Weekly Commercial (Wilmington), 9 April 1852.



Napoleon Road is a bent elbow of a dirt lane running north west of Eureka in Wayne County. At its southern end, it debouches into Reidtown Road, so named for the free colored Reid family who lived in the area as early as the 1830s.  Napoleon Road is no longer than a mile or so, and there is one house on it. Napoleon Hagans built that house.

Rural roads did not have formal names until the county implemented its 911 system perhaps 20 years ago.  It is a testament to Napoleon Hagans’ stature that, nearly one hundred years after his death and three-quarters of a century after his descendants left the state, the majority landowner along what had been his road chose to memorialize him permanently.

Each shall have possession during his or her lifetime.

Be it remembered that I Zion Reid of Wayne County in the State of N.C. being of sound mind and memory, but being well aware of the uncertainty of this life, do hereby make this my last Will and testament

After the payment of my just debts and funeral expenses I bequeath and devise as follows. My wife Lucy Reid should she be the longest lived shall have full control of my property during her life and then all my land shall be equally divided among my children or their lawful heirs: provided that Billie and Zion Jr. shall each have eight acres of Land lying around the home and then an equal division with the other of the remainder. Of my other property in whatever it may consist Billie and Zion Jr. shall each have $150.00 Julius $100 and Bryant Smith $50.00 and James $10.00 after this each one of my children except Julius shall share equally in the remaining that I further devise that no one of the children have power to sell or in any way encumber any prt or parcel of said land. That each shall have possession during his or her life then the same shall be held only by his or her lawfull heirs during their life &c. James shall only be subject to hold that part allotted if his family be agreeable to the other children and neighbors. I further direct that my son Isaac and E.E. Smith shall be administrators of the estate.    /s/ Zion Reid

Signed in the presence of us who at his request and in his presence do hereby subscribe our names as witnesses thereto  Witness J.F. Dobson, J.A. Washington.

[Proved 3 December 1890.] Will Book 1, page 539. Office of Clerk of Superior Court, Wayne County Courthouse, Goldsboro.

Dempsey Reid’s estate settlement.

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]

To a poplar standing in the Cornfield Branch.

State of North Carolina, Edgecombe County   } Agreeably to an order of Edgecombe County Court February Term 1834 to us directed as commissioners appointed to [illegible] the Estate of Miles Read dec’d & to lay off and allot unto Nancy Read the Widow of said Dec’d. Such part of the Crop Stock and provisions as we may conceive necessary and adaquate for the support of her self and family for one year &c

Report – All have this day met on the premises and after viewing said Estate have alloted to the Said Widow (viz) forty Barrels of Corn, twelve hundred pounds of bacon, three thousand pounds of blade fodder – all of the wheat on hand Eight bushels of peas – Seventy five pounds of picked cotton, two hundred handfuls of flax – five gallons of brandy – all the Wool on hand – One cow – hur Choice one bed and its necessary furniture, and one wheel and pair of cards.

Given under our hands and Seals this 17th day of March 1834.  /s/ Peter Hines, John Ritter, Elijah Harrell, James Barron, Turner Bynum JP


State of North Carolina, Edgecombe County   } Agreeably to an order of Edgecombe County Court February Term 1834 Directed to the Sheriff of Said County commanding of him to Summons a Jury of good and lawfull men of his County to lay off and allot unto Nancy Read Widow of Miles Read dec’d her legal dower in the lands that her late husband died seized and possessed of in Said County of Edgecombe. All the undersigned having been summoned by the Sheriff of Said County have this day met on the premises and after being sworn agreeably law, We proceeded to lay off and allot unto the said Widow as follows (viz) Beginning at a litewood Stake in Col Hines line thence N. 11o E. 65 poles to a poplar standing in the cornfield branch; then down the various courses of said branch to the Mile Swamp then up said Swamp to the mouth of the boggy branch; then up said branch to a poplar and litewood stake in said branch then S. 1o W. 110 poles to a pine, thence round the lines of the land of the Harrel tract to the beginning containing One hundred & ninety eight acres, &c – Including the dwelling house out houses orchards, &c where the Said dec’d most generally dwelt next before his death

Given under our hands & Seals this 17th day March 1834.  /s/ John Fulton, E.R. Holland, David X Webb, Anson X Dunn, Joab Moore, John Carter, Rowland Wiggins, Thomas Stark, Jacob X Dunn, James Pender, Thos. D. Gatton, Elisha X Felton


State of North Carolina, Edgecombe County   } Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions, August term 1834

To the worshipful the Justices of the Court aforesaid: The petition of Arthur Read, William Read, David Read, Zachariah Bass and his wife Elizabeth, and John Ritter guardian ad litem for Elisha Read, Mima Read, Mary Ann Read and Miles Read, humbly complaining, respectfully sheweth:

That on the [blank] day of February last past Miles Read, late of the County aforesaid, departed this life intestate, seized and possessed of sundry real and personal estate, leaving Arthur Read, William Read, David Read, Zachariah Bass and his wife Elizabeth, who are of full age, and Elisha Read, Mima Read, Mary Ann Read and Miles Read, who are infants, his sole distributes and heirs at law. Your petitioners who are of full age, and John Ritter who for this purpose has been duly appointed guardian ad litem for the said minors, further represent that they are desirous of having partition made of the said real estate as in by law in such cases made and provided, but are remidiless in this behalf without the interposition of your worshipful Court.

They therefore respectfully pray that an order issue to Peter Hines, William Hines, Benj. Sharpe, Elisha Harrell, John Carter and William Jenkins directing them to go upon the premises and allot and set apart share and share alike to said heirs the said real estate and make return of their proceedings to the next term of your worshipful Court, and make such other and further order in the premises as to your worships may appear meet and proper, and your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray &c.  /s/ B.R. Hines attorney

From the file of Miles Read, North Carolina Estate Files 1663-1979, Original, North Carolina State Archives.

Free-Issue Death Certificates: MISCELLANEOUS, no. 13.

Gray Reid. Died 8 January 1936, Tarboro, Edgecombe County. Colored. Widower of Lucy Reid. Age 87. Farmer. Born Edgecombe County to unknown parents, Informant, Jonah Reid, Macclesfield.

In the 1860 census of Edgecombe County: Bryant Read, 33, farmer, wife Betsey A., 26, Lucinda, 30, Saunders, 23, mechanic, Arthur, 13, Wright, 12, and Gray Read, 10.

Henrietta Smith. Died 21 November 1933, Cedar Fork, Durham County. Resided Morrisville. Widowed. Age 80. Born Wake County to Felin Evans and unknown mother. Buried Guess cemetery. Informant, son Charlie Smith.

In the 1850 census of Lower Regiment, Chatham County: Fielding Evans, 38, laborer, wife Marthany, 25, and children Henry B., 10, Olly, 5, Mary, 3, and Henrietta, 2.  [Sidenote: next door, Richard Evans, 74, farmer, wife Lucy Evans, 73, Granderson Evans, 26, mechanic, and Abby Evans, 12; then, Anson Evans, 30, farmer, wife Viny, 27, and children Andrew, 14, Richard, 11, James, 8, Anson, 6, and Laurina Evans, 3. Fielding and Anson may have been sons of Richard and Lucy Evans. – LYH]

Jessy Lacewell. Died 19 May 1918, Whites Creek, Bladen County. Mulatto. Single. Common laborer. Born Bladen County to unknown parents. Buried Mitchell graveyard. Informant, Ben Chance, Elkton NC.

Even Lacewell. Died 2 July 1915, Whites Creek, Bladen County. Mulatto. Married. Farmer. Born 1855 in Bladen County to unknown father and Delphy Lacewell. Buried “Mitchell G.Y. (Columbus Co.)” Informant, Willie Shaw, Clarkton NC.

In the 1860 census of White Creek, Bladen County: James Lacewell, 38, turpentine, wife Delphia, 38, and children John, 13, Charity, 11, Jesse, 8, Even, 6, Martha, 5, and Mary Lacewell, 2.

James A. Lacewell. Died 25 June 1936, Acme, Carves Creek, Bladen County. Negro. Farmer. Married to Agness Lacewell. Born 9 February 1856 in East Arcadia, Bladen County, to Mike Lacewell and Betsey Graham. Informant, Agnes Lacewell.

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]

A grazing cow and vegetables.

Asbury Reid filed claim #4303 with the Southern Claims Commission.  He was born free and raised in Gates County and was a 43 year-old farmer.  A cavalry unit took a cow grazing in the field and vegetables from his garden.  An infantry unit took bacon, poultry and hogs.  Alonzo Green, 28, and W.O. Green, 32, a farmer-mechanic, testified on his behalf.

Thirty-two year-old Asberry Reed is listed in the 1860 census of Gatesville district, Gates County, with C. Reed, 22, William Reed, 3,  John Reed, 2, and George Reed, 6 months; Conelius Price, 11, Charles Price, 11; and William Reed, 12. 

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.