Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Wilkes County

The worm turns, no. 2.

A WHITE MAN MURDERED BY A FREE NEGRO. – The Murderer Hung. – We learn by a private letter from Wilkesboro that on the 1st instant a number of men in Wilkes county attempted to press a free negro by the name of Fletcher into the army as a servant. The negro fled, was pursued and caught. He then drew a pistol and shot his capturer, a Mr Carrender, through, killing him instantly. He was then carried to Wilkesboro and lodged in jail. On the following Thursday, the 3rd, an excited crowd gathered at the jail, and took the negro out and hung him until he was dead. – Raleigh Register.

The Charlotte Democrat, 22 October 1861.

She was delivered of a colored child.

To the Hon’bl the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina –

The memorial and petition of John Fugate of the County of Wilkes respectfully represents that he intermarried with one Patsey Johnson on the 8th day of May 1823, and that on the 8th day of the ensuing July the said Patsey was delivered of a coloured child – That at the time of the intermarriage of your petitioner, he had no knowledge of the pregnancy of the said Patsey, and that as soon as the facts came to his knowledge, and the child was discovered to be a coloured one, he immediately abandoned the said Patsey, and has had no kind of connection with her since – Your Petitioner further represents that he is extremely poor and not able to make application to the Superior Court for relief, even if his case was cognizable by that authority, of which he is informed there are some doubts – He therefore prays that your Honorable Body will take his case into consideration and pass an act absolving him from the bonds of matrimony with the said Patsey, and he as in duty bound will ever pray.   /s/ John Fugate Dec’r 20th 1826

[A supporting affidavit signed by 14 friends and neighbors is attached.]

General Assembly Session Records, December 1826-February 1827, Box 4, North Carolina State Archives.

The generosity of a free colored woman.

WILKESBORO’, N.C., Nov. 17, 1861.

Mr. HOLDEN: I am sure that you will esteem worthy of notice in the columns of your valuable paper, the generosity of a free colored woman, Ann Grinton, living in the family of Dr. Calloway, towards the soldiers of this country, to whom is repeatedly sending article of apparel and food, which the soldier must appreciate – and seldom an opportunity passes that she does not largely contribute. I subjoin a list of articles that she contributed towards a box, the packing of which came under my supervisions, recently.

Respectfully, H.P.C.

1 bed quilt, 1 bed tick, 3 pair socks, 1 pillow case, 1 pound feathers, 4 pair woolen gloves, 8 linen towels, 3 bottles brandy, 3 bottles blackberry wine, 1 parcel of red-pepper, 4 boxes prepared mustard, 1 bottle R.R. Relief, 2 bars turpentine soap, jar of butter 10 ¾ pounds, 2 bottles sweet pickle, jar of quince preserves, 2 large pound cakes, ginger-cakes, loaf of rusk, 2 loaves of light bread, 2 bushels apples, 1 bushel chestnuts, 1 peck of onions, a parcel of dog-wood, cabbage and wild cherry.

Weekly Standard, Raleigh, 4 December 1861.

In the 1860 census of Upper Division, Wilkes County: Ann Grinton, 25, Phebe Grinton, 3 months, and Roxan Harris, 21, in the household of Jas. Callaway, physician.

North Carolina Certificate of Death: Ann Grinton. Died 5 June 1925, Wilkesboro, Wilkes County. Colored. Divorced from Sag Hampton. Born 1830 in Wilkes County to unknown parents. Buried Harris G.Y. Informant, Jim Williams. 

Free-Issue Death Certificates: MISCELLANEOUS, no. 7.

Jane Tidline Fletcher.  Died 11 April 1943, Edwards, Wilkes County. Negro. Married to Geo. Fletcher. Born about 1853 in Wilkes County to Alfred Tidline and Margaret Valentine, both of Wilkes. Buried Sandy Creek cemetery. Informant, R.B. Gwyn.

In the 1860 census of Upper Division, Wilkes County: John A. Tydline, 24, day laborer; wife Margret, 22; and daughter Elmira, 4, plus Littleton Valentine, 30, carpenter, and George Grinton, 24, carpenter.

Nancy Calloway.  Died 6 November 1926, North Wilkesboro, Wilkes County. Widow. Black. Born 6 November 1847, Wilkes County, to B. Valentine and Pressie Valentine, both of Wilkes County.  Buried Woodlawn. Informant, Ben Calloway.

In the 1860 census of Upper Division, Wilkes County: Abedegoe Valintine, 65, farmer; wife Prissilla, 55; and Matterson, 32, Jack, 19, Nancy, 11, Sally Ann, 25, and Judia Valentine, 6.

William J. Watkins. Died 18 July 1923, North Wilkesboro, Wilkes County. Colored. Married to L.C. Watkins. Born 20 May 1852 to John Watkins of Davie County and Fannie Chavers of Wilkes. Buried Fair Plains NC. Informant, John Wadkins.

In the 1860 census of Lower Division, Wilkes County:  John Wadkins, 35, wife Fanny, 43, and children Laura, 13, Jordan, 11, Lucy, 9, Wm., 7, and Alfred, 3.

Jordan Harris and sons, Lewis and Andrew.

ImageImageImageJordan Harris (1822-1916) and his sons Lewis Harris (1852-1931) and Andrew Harris (1854-1932) of Wilkes County.

For more about the Harris family, see

Photos found at 

Free-Issue Death Certificates: GRINTON and HARRIS.

Mary Ellen Grinton. Died 27 June 1920, Wilkesboro, Wilkes County. Colored. Single. Housekeeper for John Stevedson. Born 1 August 1844, Wilkesboro, to Allen Grinton and Nancy Rooling. Informant, Andy Grinton.

Robert L. Grinton. Died 9 January 1929, Wilkesboro, Wilkes County. Black. Married to Ellen Grinton. Farmer. Born 10 December 1848 to Allen Grinton and unknown mother. Buried at “Damaskas.” Informant, R.L. Grinton.

In the 1860 census of Lower Division, Wilkes County: Allen Grinton, 45, day laborer; wife Nancy, 35; and children Mary, 15, Thomas, 13, Robert, 9, and Phoebe, 3, all mulatto.

Lewis W. Harris.  Died 5 September 1931, Wilkesboro, Wilkes County. Black. Married to Nancy Looper Harris. Farmer. Born 30 November 1852, Wilkesboro, to Jordan Harris and Rachel Grinton, both of Wilkes County. Informant, Joseph Harris.

Andrew Harris. Died 18 March 1932, Wilkesboro, Wilkes County. Black. Married to Lura Harris. Farmer. Born 28 April 1854 in Wilkesboro to Jordan Harris and Rachel Grinton, both of Wilkes County. Informant, J.C. Harris, Wilkesboro.

Jourdan Harris. Died 22 October 1916, Wilkesboro, Wilkes County, of “falling in the fire & being severely burned on the body.”  Colored. Widower. Farmer. Born 1 January 1822, Wilkes County, to Jahue Harris and Claircy Chafer, both of Wilkes County. Buried in Harris burying ground. Informant, John Peton.

In the 1860 census of Lower Division, Wilkes County: Jordan Harris, 38; wife Rachel, 36; and children Lewis, 9, Andrew, 8, and John, 2.

Mary Ann Anderson. Died 13 December 1913, Wilkesboro, Wilkes County. Black. Widow. Born October 1843 in Wlkes County to John Evans of Guilford County and Lila Harris of Wilkes County. Buried Harris cemetery. Informant, J.P. Anderson.

Fannie Roxie Ann Ferguson. Died 22 June 1932, North Wilkesboro, Wilkes County. Black. Widow. Born 17 August 1838, Wilkesboro, to Jhue Harris and Clarisia Shaver. Buried Pleasant Hill. Informant, Charlie C. Harris.

Nathan Harris.  Died 8 May 1914, Wilkesboro, Wilkes County. Colored. Married. Farmer – “very industris.” Born 6 May 1860 in Wilkes County to Wesley Harris and Mary Chavers, both of Wilkes County. Buried family cemetery.

In the 1860 census of Upper Division, Wilkes County: Wesley Harris, 37, farmer; wife Mary, 33; and children Joshua, 9, Lucindy, 7, Claricy, 4, John, 2, and James, 2 months, plus Nathan Bailey, 20.

Runaway bound boys.

FIVE CENTS REWARD – Ranaway from the subscriber, living in the county of Wilkes, a bright mulatto boy, named James Carter.  Said boy was bound to the subscriber by the county court of Wilkes.  I will give the above reward for the delivery of said boy to me, but no other charges paid.  J.E. SAINTCLAIR.  Wilkes county, May 2d, 1844

Carolina Watchman, Salisbury, 11 May 1844.

$5 REWARD.  Ranaway from the subscriber in the 12th ultimo, James C. Russel, a bound mulatto Boy, about 17 years old.  Said boy is spare built and about 5 feet 6 or 8 inches high.  The above reward will be given to any person that will bring him to me, or confine him in some jail so that I get him again.  ISAAC N. RICH.  Davie County, Feb. 20, 1850

Carolina Watchman, Salisbury, 6 Mar 1851.

In the 1850 census of Davie County: James C. Russel, 17, laborer, mulatto, in the household of white farmer Isaac N. Rich.  In 1860 Mocksville, Davie County: Jas. Russel, 26, wagoner, wife Caroline, 20, and son John C., 7, plus Sam Kent, 14.