Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Virginia

Unlawfully did migrate, no. 2.

State of N Carolina, Chowan County   } Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions Aug’ts term 1859

The Jurors for the State upon there oath present that on the first day of January 1859 a free negro named Peter Cain did migrate & move from the State of Virginia into the County of Chowan in the State of North Carolina and from that time up to the time of taking this inquisition has continuously resided in the said County of Chowan State aforesaid Contrary to the form of the Statute in such case made & provided & against the peace & dignity of the State.   /s/ Ms. S. Hawks Sol.

Records of Slaves and Free Persons of Color, Chowan County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

Free Colored Inhabitants of the Town of Murfreesboro, Hertford County, 1850.

#47. Hester Artis, 19, servant, born in Hertford County, in the household of Ann M. Neal.

#48. Dempsy Ely, 36, sailor; wife Frances Ely, 30, day laborer; Cordelia Weaver, 18; Walter Weaver, 7 months; and Jno. Weaver, 20, brick mason; all born in Hertford County.

#49. Bridget Weaver, 64, day laborer; Ann Weaver, 29, day laborer; all born in Hertford County.

#50. Peggy Weaver, 78, day laborer; born in Hertford County.

#51. Margaret Boone, 28, servant, born Southampton County VA; in the household of John Hart, clerk.

#53. Jno. Boone, 13, servant; born in Hertford County; in the household of Ely Carter, merchant.

#55. Rachell Reynolds, 40, servant; Elizabeth Reynolds, 25, day laborer; both born in Hertford County; in the household of E.J. Jester.

#57. Henry Vaughan, 59, day laborer; wife J.A., 30; and children J.W., 2, and Henry, 1; Henry born in Northampton County, the others in Hertford.

#58. Patsy Boon, 55, day laborer, and Viney Boon, 57; both born in Hertford County.

#65. Warren Britt, 50; Lucy Britt, 45; Thos. Reynolds, 17, day laborer; Mariah Boon, 14, servant; and Eliza Woodson, 6. Warren, Thomas and Eliza were born in Hertford County; Lucy in Nansemond County VA; and Mariah in Southampton County VA.

#66. Jno. Chavious, 38, in the household of Holloway Ballance, farmer; born in Hertford County.

#68. Emma Bowser, 43; Sarah, 23, Wm., 19, M.T., 3, and M.A. Bowser, 3 months; all born in Hertford County. Emma, Sarah and William worked as day laborers.

#69. John Main, 25, field laborer; Nancy Main, 14; Ely Scott, 22; Wm. Weaver, 20; all born Northampton County; in the household of Jno. G. Wilson.

#70. Charles Simmons, 58, and Patsy Simmons, 56, both born in Northampton County.

#78. Phillip Weaver, 56, farmer, born in Southampton County VA; Hester Weaver, 40, born in Hertford County; Jane Askew, 16, day laborer, born in Northampton County; Elizabeth Beatman, 12, born in Northampton County.

#82. John Main, 24, day laborer, and V.S. Main, 33, born in Hertford County; in the household of Jesse J. Yeates, lawyer.


He was in no battle, being a colored man.

Virginia, Powhatan County, to wit;

On this 15th day of June 1820, personally appeared in open court in the county court of Powhatan, in the state aforesaid, being a court of record, Reuben Bird, aged about fifty six years, according to the best estimate that can be made, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the provision made by the acts of Congress of the 18th March 1818 and the 1st May 1820, that he, the said Reuben Bird enlisted for and during the war of the American Revolution in April or May in the year 1780 in Hillsborough in North Carolina in the Company commanded by Captain James Gunn in the Regiment of Dragoons commanded by Col’o White of Virginia; that he continued to serve in the said Corps until the peace came, when he was discharged from service in Culpepper county, in the state of Virginia: that he was in no battle, he being a colored man, and kept as a Bowman, although he was very near the ground where several were fought; and that he has no other evidence now in his power of his said services except the certificates of Benjamin Sublett and Larkin Self herewith exhibited:

And in pursuance of the act of the 1st of may 1820, the said Reuben Bird solemnly made oath that he was a resident citizen of the United States on the 18th of March One thousand eight hundred and eighteen, and that he has not since that time, by gift, sale, or in any manner disposed of his property, or any part thereof, with intent thereby to diminish it as to bring himself within the provision of an act of Congress, entitled “An act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land and naval service of the United States in the Revolutionary War,” passed on the 18th day of March One thousand eight hundred and eighteen, and that he has not, nor has any person in trust for him, any property or securities, contracts, or debts due to him; nor has he any income, other than what is contained in the Schedule hereto annexed, and by him subscribed to wit: Real and personal property, none; he is by trade a Bricklayer, and is not very able to pursue his trade in consequence of a Rupture, which obliges him to wear a Truss of Steel; his family consists of his wife, who is about 37 years old, and one child, a female about seven years old; his wife is healthy, and by her industry somewhat contributes to support the family.  Reuben X Bird.

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

In the attached affidavit, Benjamin Sublett swore that he was a sergeant in Captain William Mayo’s company at the time of General Gates’ defeat at Camden, South Carolina, and “in the same company a mulatto boy appeared to be about the age of 16 or 17 years by the name of Reuben Bird,” who enlisted at “Hilsbury” in about May 1780.

Having the desier to travel to Virginia to seek better imployment.

North Carolina Perq’s County }  This may Cartefy that the Bearer Hereof a Negro man named Ben is a free Negro who formerly belonged to Mr. Jonathan Sharrod Deceased who having Many Slaves & no Children alive not Desiering his Slaves Should Serve another Master Did in his will Generously give them freedom Which if Disputed may be found on Record in the Court of the Said County aforsaid & the aforenamed Negro Man having a Desier to travel to Virginia to Seek better imployment we the Subscriber Do Cartefy that the Said Negro is a free man has Ever Sence his working for himself behaved Very honest ther fore we the Subscribers Do Recommend The Said to Such Gentlemen as Shall imploy him.

Witnes our hands this 21 Januy 1774   /s/ Richard Ratlieff

[On reverse] Benj’a Sanders’ man Taffeys Certificate

Records of Slaves and Free Persons of Color, Miscellaneous Records, Perquimans County, North Carolina State Archives.

Caswell County Will Books: H

At April term, 1817, Daniel Phillips, orphan boy of colour, age 8 years, bound to Edwin Rainey.

At July term, 1817, William Howel, a boy of colour age 12 years last September, bound to William Kennon.

At January term, 1818, Henry Logan, boy of colour age 14 years the 10th of March next, bound to William Sawyer.

At January term, 1818, Betsy Logan, a girl of colour age 12 years the 5th of April next, bound to Anderson Morton.

At April term, 1819, Luscinda Gillaspy, child of colour age 6 years the 20th May next, bound to Chandler Wilkins.

At April term, 1819, Anosha Gillaspy, child of colour age 3 years the 29th July next, bound to Frances Smith.

At January term, 1820, Dilcey Phillips, a girl of colour age 15 next September, and Frederick Phillips, a boy of colour age 12 years next March, bound to Polly Evans.

At January term, 1820, Matilda Garrott, a girl of colour age 12 in April next, bound to John N. McNeil until she attains 21 years of age.

At January term, 1820, John Robinson of Lynchburg, Virginia, desirous of rewarding a black by name of Jacob Thomas, who was raised by Bartlett Bennett of Orange County, Virginia, and was purchased by Robinson on 1 October 1808 from Thomas Jones of Campbell County.  (Said Jacob’s father being a free man of the same name.)  For $900 paid by Jacob Thomas, Robinson does hereby emancipate him and bestow upon him all the rights of a free man of colour in rhe Commonwealth of Virginia. 

At October term, 1820, Bob Kean, a boy of colour age 10 years the 25th of December next, bound to Thomas Brinefield.

At January term, 1821, Robert Gwyn and Ransom Gwyn, orphan children of colour age 7 and 11 years, bound to Azariah Graves. 

Unlawfully did migrate.

State vs William Mayhoe, Sophy Mayhoe, Theophilus Cyprus, Armen Cyprus, Mary Cyprus and Anthony Seward.  Indictment Missdemeanor.  Witnesses Stephen H. Turner, Austin Newman, H.R. Moss

State of North Carolina, Warren County    } Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions August Term 1858.  The jurors for the State upon their oaths present that William Mayhoe, Sophy Mayhoe, Theophilus Cyprus, Armen Cyprus, Mary Cyprus and Anthony Seward, all free negroes late of the county of Warren, on the first day of June AD 1856, at and in the county aforesaid, unlawfully did migrate into the State of North Carolina and that the said William Mayhoe, Sophy Mayhoe, Theophilus Cyprus, Armen Cyprus, Mary Cyprus and Anthony Seward, from that day up to the day of the finding of this inquisition have continued to remain in the county and State aforesaid Contrary to the form of the Statute in such case made and provided and against the peace and dignity of the State.

Miscellaneous Records, Warren County Records, North Carolina State Archives. 

In the 1850 census of Nutbush, Warren County, Sophia Mayho, 30, is listed in the household of Edward Harris, 38, blacksmith; wife Mary, 35; and children Francis, 9, James, 7, Mary, 5, and John, 2; plus Jesse Gains, 65, blacksmith.

In the 1850 census of Nutbush, Granville County: Theodore Cypress, 36, ditcher, headed a household that included Arma Cypress, 40, and Ann, 19, Robert, 16, William, 15, and Mary Kearsey, 12.

Despite our natural inclinations….

William Mayho, by his next friend, v. Edward Sears, 25 NC 224 (1842).

On 23 July 1805, John Moring of Surry County, Virginia, executed a deed of manumission for his slaves. Hannah, Patrick, Cherry, Jordan and Charlotte were to be freed immediately.  Isabel, Carter, Polly, Burwell, Maria and Willis were to be set free over the next 19 years, according to a set schedule. Thereafter, Moring moved to Orange County, North Carolina, bringing Polly with him. Prior to 1 April 1814 (her scheduled date of manumission), Polly gave birth to a daughter, who gave birth to plaintiff William Mayho in about 1830.  After 1 April 1814, Polly, her daughter and grandson lived by themselves and acted in every respect as free persons.  They were regarded as free people of color by their neighbors and recognized as such by Moring, until 1838, when he sold Mayho to Edward Sears.

The question before the North Carolina Supreme Court was whether Mayho’s mother was free at birth, or became so prior to his birth.  “There is a natural inclination in the bosom of every judge to favor the side of freedom, and a strong sympathy with the plaintiff, and the other persons situated as he is, who have been allowed to think themselves free and act for so long a time as if they were; and, if we were permitted to decide this controversy according to our feelings, we should with promptness and pleasure pronounce or judgment for the plaintiff.  But the court is to be governed by a different rule, the impartial and unyielding rule of the law; and, after, giving to the case an anxious and deliberate consideration, we find ourselves obliged to hold, that in the law the condition of the plaintiff is that of slavery.”  In other words, applying the laws of Virginia, Polly was still a slave when her daughter was born, making the daughter a slave, and Mayho a slave in turn.