The lots.

Said my grandmother:

And Johnnie [Aldridge], he called me, and I was working to the hospital. And he called me and told me, at least he called the hospital and wanted to speak to me: “Well, if you want to see your daddy – you said you ain’t never seen him before – come down here. He’s down here now. So, don’t let him know I told you.” [Laughs.] So, I went down – I said, well, I’m gon go down…

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The husband might become a slave of his children.

The husband might become a slave of his children.

To the Honorable the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina now in Session – The Petition of Lovedy Henderson a free woman of color, respectfully represents that your Petitioner intermarried some years since with a certain man of color by the name of Horace, then a slave, but with the consent of his owner. That since their marriage by care and industry, she has been enabled to purchase…

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They would not have taken them in church.

They would not have taken them in church.

Part II of Bailham and Hannah Sauls Speight’s pension application file arrived today, and here are some extracts from witnesses deposed 4 June 1904:

  • Hannah Speight – “I claim pension as the widow of Bailham Speight but who served during the Civil War in the U.S. Army under the name of Bailham Edwards.” His brother Lafayette Edwards “lives at Bull Head which is eight miles from Goldsboro.” “I was…

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Remembering Uncle Jesse.

My grandmother’s second boy. Smooth. Dapper. Slick. Artistic. A chef. A painter. A hustler. A beloved uncle.

Happy birthday, Jesse Adam Henderson (17 April 1929-5 August 2005)!

ImageLucian and Jesse Henderson, circa 1932, Wilson NC.



Jesse, circa 1938, Wilson NC.


Circa 1944, Wilson NC.


With wife Jean and my grandmother, probably in the late 1950s, perhaps at the Jersey Shore.



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She has actually performed some surprising cures.

She has actually performed some surprising cures.

To the worshipfull Court of Perquimans

we the Subscribers pray your worships that Negro Phillises freedom may be Established for Merritorious Services by the Court

She first being Purchased by her Husband Doctor Tom& actually paid for also being verry Serviceable in the neighbourhood both as a Midwife and Doctress & has acktually Performed Some Surpriseing Cures, & we your Petitioners as in Dutty…

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In memoriam: Joseph F. Barfield (1933-2014).

In memoriam: Joseph F. Barfield (1933-2014).


Joseph Franklin Barfield, son of Walter and Katie Kornegay Barfield, died 11 April 2014 in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Cousin Joseph was born in 1933 near Mount Olive, Wayne County, North Carolina, and served honorably in the United States Army. He is survived by his wife and loving children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as a sister and brother.

joseph & alton

Joseph F. Barfield and Alton…

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Misinformation Monday, no. 7.

Misinformation Monday, no. 7.

The seventh in a series of posts revealing the fallability of records, even “official” ones.


How does this even happen?

This is Minnie Simmons Budd‘s death certificate:

SIMMONS -- Minnie Budd Death Cert

Difficult to read, but here are the pertinent details: Born 7 May 1892 (actually, some years before, but okay); in Dudley NC (check!); to Hillary Simmons (check!); and Ludie Henderson — SCREEEEEECH!


My grandmother spent…

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Cousin Red McNeely … or Smith.

Cousin Red McNeely … or Smith.

So, was he James Garfield Smith or James Garfield McNeely?

Addie Lucinda McNeely married Daniel Smith in Statesville NC on 2 October 1902. Their daughter Ardeanur Smith was born the following February, and son James Garfield Smithon 11 April 1906. I have never found the family in the 1910 census and do not know how long Addie and Daniel remained together. When her uncle Julius McNeely’s estate…

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It is better to get something than nothing.

Goldsboro Messenger, 30 March 1885. Apparently, Napoleon Hagans was a big believer in insurance. The Insurance Press…

It is better to get something than nothing.

Goldsboro Messenger, 30 March 1885. Apparently, Napoleon Hagans was a big believer in insurance. The Insurance Press…

Where we worked: healers and helpers.

Where we worked: healers and helpers.

Margaret Balkcum Henderson, Dudley NC – midwife, 1870s?-1900s?

Louvicey Artis Aldridge, Dudley NC – midwife, 1890s?-1920s?

Sarah Henderson Jacobs Silver, Dudley NC – midwife, 1890s.

Joseph H. Ward, Indianapolis IN – doctor, circa 1900-1950s.

Harriet Colvert, Wilson NC – nurse, 1910s-1960s?

J. Thomas Aldrich [Aldridge], Saint Louis MO – doctor, circa 1930-1968.

Worth A. Williams, Charlotte NC –…

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