Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday--2009 GEORGE Family Reunion

April 1930 - Dec. 8, 2010

Avis LEE & Dorothy (CULLY) LEE

Walter DODSON, Avis LEE & Cedric CARTER

J. D. BROWN & Family

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thankful Thursday--A Tribute to Librarians, Archivists and Local Historians

On June 18, 2011 I engaged in a conversation regarding a quote posted on a college chum's Facebook page:
There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration.                            =Andrew Carnegie=
The first comment stated that "The 'free' public library...[is] an institution that should either evolve with the changes of the times or its own inefficiencies will shutter its doorways."

My friend offered that "The public library of today is known by other names (Project Gutenberg, Google Books, CCEL...and my personal favorite,!)."

However, the public library is often the only resource available for local history preservation. It offers services such as Inter-Library Loan (ILL) to access books and microfilmed records from NARA and State Libraries and Archives.  But more importantly, the public library's greatest resource is PEOPLE. . .

  • children's librarians who open new worlds of exploration to our youngsters through the illustrated word,
  • reference librarians who serve on the front lines to answer the public's questions and guide them to the books, periodicals, internet sources, CDs and DVDs made available for free use by means of our tax dollars at work,
  • archivists, curators and local historians/genealogists who open a door to both the near and distant past by guiding and mentoring enthusiastic researchers,
  • and even administrators who must judge the best allocation of funding. 
Special thanks go out today to several of these dedicated 
public servants whom I feel privileged to know:

THANKS TO: Elise Bernier-Feeley, of the Hampshire Room for Local History and Genealogy at Forbes Library, Northampton, MA, who first opened the doors of genealogy to me with my initial search for my Russian Jewish ancestors, who later served as my mentor in family history research with the search for my KING ancestors and the descendants of Capt. John KING of Hartford and Northampton, and who wrote letters of recommendation for me on two applications to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Research Fellowship. . .
THANKS TO: Julie Bartlett, archivist of the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library and Museum,  and also of the Hampshire Room for Local History and Genealogy at Forbes Library, Northampton, MA, who continues to assist me in accessing information long-distance, and who advises and encourages me in preparing for a future career in archives technology, and. . .

THANKS TO: Victor T. Jones, Jr., Department Head of the Kellenberger Room at New Bern-Craven County Public Library, New Bern, NC, who opened the doors to researching Free Persons of Color in Craven County (my husband's family history: CARTER, GEORGE, HYMAN, et. al.), and who continues to guide and assist me in my research endeavors.

Presently I do not own a Nook, a Kindle, an iBook, nor a Sony Reader. . . nor do I have plans to purchase one in the foreseeable future. Perhaps if I were able to access rare and out-of-print digital books and manuscripts, textbooks, and digitized collections of local history, I might seriously consider it. But nothing will ever take the place of the public library, nor the people who enthusiastically lead us into new areas of reading and exploration.

To all librarians, archivists and local historians everywhere. . .

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday -- George S. CARTER

When my husband and I traveled to Craven County in July 2007 for the George Family Reunion, one of our cousins took us on a tour of the family cemeteries. These were unlike the traditional church cemetery found closer to Havelock, or the New England cemeteries where my ancestors were buried on the outer fringes of the town. These cemeteries began on a piece of family land recessed within a sanctuary of tall long-leaf pines.

I photographed each headstone in the cemetery even if I was unaware of the familial connection. Some say that there are four Carter families in the area; but, according to most Carter family historians, they are all connected if you search back far enough.

This headstone interested me because of the parents recorded for George S. Carter. I knew of only one other set of parents named Isaac and Sarah Carter. . . . they were my husband's 3rd great grandparents. However, they didn't have any sons named George S.

In searching the 1910 Census I found a record of Isaac & Sarah F. G. Carter living next to Garrison & Charity George, my husband's 1st cousins twice removed. Isaac (age 21) and Sarah (age 19) had been married for 2 years and had a daughter, Mattie E. (age 0). In checking marriage records for Craven County, I found that Isaac Carter had married Sarah F. Y. Fenner on February 23, 1907.

This is just one connection yet to be discovered.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Amanuensis Monday--Deeds which prove parentage

When I first started as Co-Historian for the George Family Reunion Committee of North Harlowe, Craven, NC back in 2005, the progenitors were believed to have been Emanuel and Matilda George. I was told that this bit of information had been found on some notes jotted down by the late Wilfred Lee Moore; however, the original version of "Our Family Tree" (1989) did not record any parentage for the first Georges linked to the family by the founders of the George Family Reunion Committee. Instead, the elders began with the following group of siblings, their marriages and offspring:
  1. Emanuel and Hepsie George,
  2. James Bland and Harriet (Kates) [sic] George, 
  3. Nathaniel George,
  4. Martha Ann (George) and Isaac Carter, 
  5. Nancy (George) and Esaw Godette.
I continued researching the ancestry of my husband's line, descendants of Isaac and Martha Ann (George) Carter for two years before my husband and I were able to attend the 2007 George Family Reunion. During that visit we made our first trip to the Kellenberger Room at New Bern-Craven County Public Library, where librarian Victor T. Jones, Jr. found the marriage records for my grandfather-in-law on microfilm.

He also showed me a book which proved to be very valuable in my research. Now available online, Paul Heinegg's Free African Americans of Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, proved an interesting piece of information. At that time, however, I had no idea how the Carters, Canadays and Georges fit into the puzzle; but I held onto it for future use.

Also during that visit, we spent nearly a whole day at the Craven County Register of Deeds where I recorded all the old deeds for every Carter and George in the Index Books. I photocopied each one and began inspecting them for clues as soon as we got back to the Hampton Inn in Havelock. 

One in particular stood out from the rest as proving the father of our original siblings:
     KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS: that we, Roberson B. Godette, James Godette, James George and Sarah Jane, his wife, Isaac Carter and Martha Ann, his wife, Theophilus George, William George, Eran Godette and Ann, his wife, the heirs at law, of the late Theophilus George of the State of North Carolina, County of Craven, for and in consideration of the sum of Five Dollars to us in hand paid by Emanuel George, the receipt wherof is hereby acknowledged, have bargained, sold and delivered, by these presents do bargain and deliver unto the said Emanuel George, the following described peice [sic] or parcel of land lying and being in the County of Craven, State of North Carolina, on the South side Neuse River and West side of Clubfoot's Creek, butted and bounded as follows:--
[Deed Book 190: page 114]

Here the paternal relationship is clearly stated, that the father of these siblings was Theophilus George. Marriage records show that Theophilus George's first wife was Mary Elizabeth Morris (md. 21 May 1831), with whom he fathered five children: Emanuel (b. 1832), Abijah (b. 1836), Deborah (b. 1838), Betsey (b. 1841), and James (b. 1846). His second wife, Sarah "Sally" Harkley, gave him seven more children: Martha Ann (b. 1849), Theophilus (b. 1850), Nancy (b. 1852), William (b. 1854), Edmond (b. 1856), Eliza (b. 1858), and Nathaniel (b. 1860). The children and their dates of birth were determined from Census records.

The following is one of the George deeds which records the sale of a tract of Heir Land divided and granted to my grandfather-in-law, Hezekiah Carter.  In this deed are named three of the siblings of Hezekiah's mother, Martha Ann (George) Carter: Emanuel, Thelophilus and Nancy.

State of North Carolina)
                Craven County)                                This Deed, made this 6th day of
January A.D. 1900 by Nathaniel George & Julia his wife
Theophilus George & Hepsey his wife & Nancy Godett of Craven
County and State of North Carolina of the first part to
Hezekiah Carter of Craven County and State of North Car-
lina of the second part, Witnesseth: That said party of the
first part in consideration of Thirty dollars to us paid by
Hezekiah Carter the receipt of which is hereby acknowled-
ged have bargained and sold and by these presents do
bargain sell and convey to said party of the second part
and his heirs the following land in Craven County
State of North Carolina adjoining the lands of Gilbert
Falls, Jesse Godett and others and others, bounded as
follows viz: On the North by Jeremiah Godett on the
East by Jesse Godett & Gilbert Falls on the south
Martha Ann Carter and Jim George and on the West
by William George. Containing by estimation Fifteen
acres be the same more or less. This land has been
recently laid off & lines all marked & corners placed
or marked but the notes of the survey were lost.
To have and to hold the aforesaid tract of Fifteen acres more or less
and all privileges and appurtenances thereto belonging to the said
Hezekiah Carter and unto his heirs and assigns
in fee simple forever. And the said party of the first
part for ourselves & our heirs, executors and admin-
istrators covenant with said party of the second part his
heirs and assigns that we are seized of said premises
in fee and have right to convey the same in fee simple
That the same are free and clear from all incumbrances and that we
will warrant and defend the said title to the same against the claim
of all persons whatsoever. In testimony whereof the said party of
the first part have hereunto set our hands and seals the day
and year above written                              his
                                                                Nathaniel George            seal
                                                                Julia C. George                  seal
                                                                Theophilus George         seal
Attest:                                                  Hepsey E. George            seal
John S Morton                                                               mark
                                                                Nancy Godett                    seal

While some family members, including the other historian whose father had inscribed the names of Emanuel and Matilda George as the parents of the five siblings, refused to readily accept this connection as proof, further investigations only substantiate my claim as supported by other researchers from various branches of the family. Sometimes we attach sentimental value upon a loved one's suppositions that we find difficult to relinquish. . . . but accurate research must be verified by the artifacts and documents left behind, leaving a trace of their existence and contribution to a way of life deemed foreign to us today. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sorting Saturday--emails, timber companies, deeds and the AMEZ

I don't know about you, but when I'm on the search for information, I set out a barrage of investigations from every source I can think possible. I start out with the facts at hand and then email as many of my research contacts to see if they have anything that might answer the question at hand.

While I'm waiting for responses, I plunge into my own investigation of online sources, as I did with this bit of collateral research on timber companies and the formation of Piney Grove AME Zion in North Harolwe, Craven, NC. Recently I noticed that my pile of emails, reprints of online books and articles was piling up. So, the sorting began.

Actually, I started out with one topic: lumber companies in North Harlowe, Craven, NC at the turn of the 20th century, and ended up having to group my materials into four catagories: Timber, Church, Family & Farming. As the emails were sorted by category and then again by date, new patterns began to emerge which led to more serious reading.

The History of Piney Grove African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church: 1864-1992, by Eilatan, notes that the arrival of Rev. James Walker Hood to New Bern in 1864 led up to the the organization of our ancestral church's establishment in 1865. The church's first structure was built on land purchased from Mr. John George. The original church building was destroyed by fire somewhere between 1911-1913, and on "February 14, 1914, the trustees of Piney Grove Church. . . purchased and secured from the Tolson Lumber Manufacturing Company, certain properties totaling $444.21."

That led me further into my timber companies research. I was already aware of the J.B. Blades, John L. Roper,  Neuse, and Munger & Bennett Lumber Companies, and now Tolson was added to the list of operations in North Harlowe. Even now, after the preliminary sorting of emails, I find that the one from Craven County Register of Deeds concerning Tolson Lumber was misfiled into the "Family" section, rather than the "Timber" or "Church" sections.

It seems that Tolson Lumber, according to Michelle L. Toth, Assistant Register of Deeds, Craven County, NC, "was in bankruptcy proceedings around this time because I can find other parcels ordered to sell. . . You may be able to find something filed with the court around this time if they were in bankruptcy. . . ." 

While I waited to hear from the Register of Deeds, I began reading about Rev. James Walker Hood. I started with UNC's University Library's Documenting the American South Collection; then, a short biography in the African American Registry, and The North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. After reading Sandy D. Martin's book, For God and Race, my questions about Rev. Hood as a missionary and pastor in New Bern and Craven County only increased. I noted that Professor Martin had used sources found at Livingstone College and decided to contact them.

An email, which took ten days to receive a response, encouraged me to contact Rev. Armstrong of the Historical Society Office. Unfortunately, they do not hold the old records. . . they are kept at Livingstone College. Rev. Armstrong encouraged me to contact President Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr.; but, when I called, he was in  a meeting, and his secretary told me that Heritage Hall, the archive which housed the documents I desired, was closed for repairs and that the volunteer archivist had left for other employment. She recommended I contact Dr. Gwendolyn Peart, the Library Director, to see if they had any non-archived materials. I am still waiting to receive a response to that email.

In the mean time I caught an early Summer cold, which has zapped the energy right out of me and left me with no desire to read at any length. I find, as I sit down at my computer, that there is still a pile of papers on top of the printer, and another on top of my file box. . . .a deed, some and Facebook message print outs, more emails. . . .

It seems the filed piles are merely replaced by new ones which seem to spring up spontaneously. Perhaps after this head cold clears I will continue to wade through the remaining piles, and create some new ones. New piles = new info. That can only be a good thing . . . unless I can't find what I need when I want it.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Follow Friday--Several new blogs I'll be keeping an eye on

What is it that catches your eye, or sparks your interest when looking for new blogs to follow? For me there are several elements I search for:

  • an interesting and clearly readable layout,
  • a common interest connection,
  • creative storytelling,
  • shared documents and photos,
  • and regularity in posting.
This week I took a look at sites posted on the GeneaBlogger Blog List and found four new or new-to-me blogs that caught my attention.

On the listing for new blogs in June, I found How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey. Immediately, I found a Craven and Carteret County, NC connection. The author's posting series, Dave Sampson A True Riverdale Character, made good use of newspaper clippings from the New Bernian, and had received help from my good research friend, Victor T. Jones Jr. at the Kellenberger Room, of the New Bern-Craven County Public Library.

Another blog on that listing for June was Southern Tier Cemeteries. This blogger connects me to my paternal roots in Southern Tier New York State...where the NEWTON family settled on their western migration from central Massachusetts.

GeneaBlogger also lists blogs by category. I found Beaufort, NC--The Town and Why It's Unique on the North Carolina list. Her post on the Garbacon Plantation grabbed my attention as author David Cecelski had told me about this plantation when I was researching the origins of the BECTON family in Craven, Carteret, Jones and Lenoir Counties, NC. We still have cousins living in Beaufort, and I look forward to reading more about the area's history.

Conversations With My Ancestors, written by the author of Georgia Black Crackers, was also found in the North Carolina listings at GeneaBlogger. I enjoy Mavis' style of uncovering and disclosing information, using documents and lists to illustrate her discoveries.

I hope you'll stop by for a visit to these blogs. I think you'll find them interesting as well.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thriller Thursday -- Finding Truth in a Family Legend

Between the gaps in the timetable dates lay a family legend . . . one that gave me an uneasy feeling right in the pit of my stomach.

For some time I had heard, from various family sources, that Hezekiah Carter killed a man over a woman. My insatiable curiosity plunged me headlong into a search for the truth. A cousin and fellow family historian reported that 
Hezekiah somehow found out about John Carter coming to his home. Hannah would lean out the side window and flirt with him. The roads were packed dirt, and there were foot paths and cart paths through the forest. Hezekiah happen to be home that day when John came strolling by. He told his wife to call John to the window, of which she did and Hezekiah shot him. They say John left a blood trail from that window, on the cart path, all the way home, where he died. I think he bleed to death.

I hated to think of my grandfather-in-law as such a calculating man, and so the search began.

John Carter's death certificate stated his cause of death as "Homicide--gun shot wound, arm;" and contrary to  the legend, he died at St. Luke's Hospital.  I contacted Victor T. Jones, Jr. at the Kellenberger Room. Were there any related homicide cases in the Superior Court Minutes?

The Sun Journal reported over two days that [John] Henry Carter "died from blood poisoning after the arm had been removed in an attempt to save him." The follow-up story expounded on the evidence which uncovered the motive for John Henry Carter's visits. . . the attempted theft of  "about $175 in cash" collected upon the sale of some hogs.

While "Hezekiah Carter, Harlowe negro, and said to be a well to do farmer, was arrested," he was released with no charges pending.  Sheriff Lane stated that his investigation indicated "that the shooting was justified in every respect."

I'm sure some people will always hold on to their family legends, passed down through generations. Perhaps there may be more to the story than what was reported to the local Sheriff, but with a lack of living eye-witnesses, I'll hold on to the evidence.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday -- Hezekiah CARTER Homeplace

Hezekiah Carter Homeplace
Township 5, Craven County, NC

From Pension Files to Occupations to Lumber Companies

The 1900 U.S. Federal Census for Township 5, Craven County, NC showed me that Hezekiah Carter was a laborer, hauling logs. I decided to determine how many other relations in that area also held that occupation and discovered that four of his brothers worked at a saw mill.

By 1910, however, Hezekiah was recorded as a farmer...but then, in 1912, he bought two tracts of land: one on the South side of the Neuse River and West side of Clubfoot Creek, the other on the South Side of the Neuse River and East of King's Creek, with one stipulation: "Subject to timber rights and rights of way: original owners maintain ownership of all timber above 10 inches in diameter for 20 years [until March 1932]. They can build tram roads and railroads across the land and run locomotives and rafting to remove said timber."

This opened a whole new avenue of exploration. I started out with trying to locate any information on the Grantors: C.W. Munger and his wife, Martha A. Munger of Craven County, and K.E.Bennett and his wife, Grace G. Bennett of Camden, NJ.

I began by looking for C.W. Munger in the 1910 Census. Chauncey W. Munger was living with his wife and three daughters at 173 Middle Street, New Bern, NC. His death certificate indicated that while he was buried in New Bern, he died in Asheville, Buncombe, NC on July 30 1912. . . .just less that four months after the land was deeded to my grandfather-in-law. According to The National Register of Historic Places, Chauncey W. Munger House in Black Mountain, Buncombe, NC has been preserved in the Dougherty Heights Historic District.

George Prowell wrote in History of Camden County, New Jersey (1886),  "George A. Munger & Bro. are manufacturers and wholesale dealers in North Carolina pine lumber. Their planing-mill in Camden is on North Delaware Avenue. George A. and Chauncey W. Munger, the members of this firm, began in 1883, the business of planing and preparing North Carolina pine lumber for the market.... (Part 2, Chapter 7)."

Also in this chapter is a report on Volney G. Bennett, owner of a lumberyard. It goes on to state, "On July 27, 1864, he was married to this marriage he has five children, Killam Edgar (who is associated with his father in the lumber business....." That was the same K.E. Bennett stated as the Grantor for the second tract of land purchased by by grandfather-in-law.

I then started emailing fellow researchers to see if they knew anything about early lumber companies operating  in Township 5 at that time; and while waiting for replies, I began looking through other deeds involving lumber companies in the area...checking the employers recorded on WWI Draft Registration papers for men from Township 5...and my list of lumber companies in the area began to grow.

That led me to research the timber culture of the area...

...and in the midst of waiting for responses to emails, I read a book: The Grace of Silence, by Michele Norris, which led me to ask myself some tough questions regarding family legends hiding within the spaces between entries in the timeline....

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Where Do I Go From Here?

The timeline really helped me to get out of my dead, where did I go from there?

Right off the bat I began to wonder about Hezekiah's father, Isaac, who had been a Civil War Pensioner. One of our cousins had recently received his ancestor's pension file and the discoveries were fascinating. Not only did it give information about his ancestor, but it told about what life was like for a Civil War Veteran, their "comrades," family and neighbors who testified on their behalf. The price was a bit daunting at $75 for the first 100 pages and then sixty-five cents per each additional page...but it was worth it!

If you follow the link, click on the Order Reproductions button. On the following page, click on Military Service and Pension Records. For the complete file, click on the heading for form NATF 85D. You can receive it in either a CD/DVD or Paper Format. . . .I opted for the paper format.

The copies from microfilm were in good, readable condition on legal sized paper; but, there is a notice they send which states that the file sent was the best possible copy they had. I imagine that in some cases the copies may possibly not be in as good condition.

After selecting the format you desire, click on Add To Cart. The site will ask for your NARA User ID & Password. Don't worry if you don't have one. . . .click on New User and you can register. I recommend that you write this info down for future use.

Once you've logged into the NARA site, you will come to the application page. It is important to fill out each section of the application carefully and completely. You can obtain the numbers required for the Pension File Number from or If you do not have a subscription to, check with your local library to see if they have a subscription to Ancestry Library Edition. Here you can see the two similar, but different forms I found for Isaac and Martha Ann Carter: Civil War Pension Files Civil War Pension Files

When finished click on Proceed to Pay. You will need a credit or debit card to complete your transaction, and it will not be billed until the documents are located and shipped. NARA is very good at keeping you informed via email.

You can also obtain your ancestor's Civil War Service Records at

So, if you haven't yet looked for any of these military records, I would encourage you to do so. It will help you gain a glimpse of life after the Civil War up to the time of the Pensioner or his widow's death.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Timelines Create Perspective: Part 2

The following is the current shape of my timeline. As you will see, I have focused on one generation, that of my grandfather-in-law's household; and, the only major world events included are ones which have directly affected the family group. 

Hezekiah Carter Family Timeline

1874, March 29: Hezekiah Carter born, the third child of Isaac (35) & Martha Ann (George) Carter. His father was a Civil War Pensioner.
1896, October 22: md. Stella Canady (both age 25) in No. 6 Township by Rev. A. F. Mitchell. Witnesses: M.F. [illegible], GW Cully, CC Godett.

1898, June 10: Bert Carter born

1899, June 13: Jesse Carter born

1900, January 6: 15 acres Hezekiah bought land from Nathaniel George & Julia his wife (his uncle & aunt), Theophilus George & Hepsey his wife (his uncle & aunt), and Nancy Godett (his aunt)“in consideration for Thirty dollars”: “adjoining the lands of Gilbert Falls (wife: Cassie Jane Carter: no blood relation established), Jesse Godett (Jr: wife: Eliza Ann Fenner: no blood relation established) and others and others, bounded as follows viz: On the North by Jeremiah Godett (Jeremiah M., son of George Godette IV and Elizabeth Harkley: no blood relation established) on the East by Jesse Godett & Gilbert Falls on the south Martha Ann Carter (his mother) and Jim George (James: wife: Harriet A. Copes; his uncle & aunt) and on the West by William George. Containing by estimation Fifteen acres be the same more or less.”

1900, June 8:
1900 Census: Hezekiah (b. 1874, age 26), Stella (b. 1874, age 26), married 4 years, 2 children born, 2 children living; Birt (b.1898, age 2), Jesse (b. 1899, age 1).
Occupation: Laborer, hauling logs.
Isaac, his father, was a Pensioner (Civil War).
Hezekiah’s brothers Malachai, William Henry, Elijah and Joshua all worked at the Saw Mill.
Neighbors: Uncle Gideon George (mother’s brother; John & Vina Becton family, William & Eliza Becton family; Jerry & Emerline Becton family.

                1901, April 10: Hannah Jane Hyman md. Charley Fisher
                1901: Harrison David Fisher born
1901, September 1: Gertrude Carter born

1902, February 14: Superior Court February Term 1902; No.13 I.D.
Estelle Carter vs. Hezekiah Carter} Order
It appearing to the Court, that the onjured complaint and petition in the above entitled, cause have [unreadable] lostor misplaced and cannot be found. On motive it is the [unreadable] order that the plaintiff be she is hereby authorized and allowed to supplement or file additional or new papers in lieu of the missing or lost paper. [signed] Francis D. Weinstore, Judge Presiding. J.E.R. O’Hara, Atty for Plft.
Wm. W. Clark, Atty for Defs.
1905, December 30: md2. Hannah Jane (Hyman) Fisher

1907: Moses Carter born

1909: Hosea Carter born

1910, December 7: Chester Carter born

1910,  April 23: 1910 Census: Hezekiah Carter (md.2, 5 yrs), Hannah J. (md.2, 5 yrs, 3 children, 3 living), Bert (12), Jesse (10), Gertrude (9), Moses (3), Hosea (1), Harison D. Fisher (9), Mary Martin (72), aunt. Neighbors: Isaac & Martha Carter (parents), William H. & Josephine Carter (brother), Isaac & Warneta Carter (cousin), Jacob & Leah Martain, Malachar & Emma Carter (brother), John & Emma Yates, Jacob & Affie Parker,  Alexander & Maggie Martain, Siddie Hyman, Jeremiah Godett; living on Clubfoots Creek

1910, April 21: 1910 Census: Stella Carter, patient, Fork, Wayne, NC: Eastern N.C. Insane Asylum (State Hospital at Goldsboro): Female, Mulatto, Age 33, Married

1912, March 5: DEED: Grantor: C.W. Munger and his wife, Martha A. Munger of Craven County, NC, and K.E. Bennett and his wife, Grace G. Bennett of Camden, NJ. Grantee: Hezekiah Carter of Craven County, NC. Purchase of 2 parcels of land: Tract 1: South Side of the Neuse River, and the West Side of Clubfoot Creek, each 100 acres. Tract 1 Neighbors: John Whitehead (see deed: Book 78, p. 79, Alex Mitchell to Sylvester Gaskill, May 30, 1860). Tract 2: South Side of Neuse River and East Side of King’s Creek (conveyed by Alonzo J. Whitehead to Isabella Willoughby, to Sylvester B. Gaskill’s (see deed: Book 145, p. 122. Sylvester B. Gaskill by Henrietta Bright, Ma Elizabeth Borden, and Joseph Godwin).
NOTE: Subject to timber rights and rights of way: original owners maintain ownership of all timber above 10 inches in diameter for 20 years (March 1932). They can build tram roads and railroads across the land and run locomotives and rafting to remove said timber.

1915, December 22: J. Smallwood Carter born/died

1916, December 3: Martha Ann Carter [daughter] born

1916, December 21: Martha Ann Carter [daughter] died

1917, April 6: U.S. enters WWI

1918, September 12: WWI Draft Registration      

1918, October 4: Hezekiah’s father, Isaac Carter, dies.

1920, February 24: 1920 Census: Hezekiah (45), Hannah (35), Bert (22), Gertrude (18), Moses (13), Hoses (11), Chester (9). Neighbors: Martha Ann Carter (mother), Jacob Martin, Eliziah & Jenettie Carter, Bill & Lizette Hoyt, George & Sarah Jane Moore, Isaac & Sarah Carter, Eugene Frazier, Nathaniel George (E. F.’s nephew), Shelemiah & Rachel Godette, Robert & Martha Ann Fenner, Edd & Fanny Willoughby, Willie & Sophia Carter, John & India Sparrow, Mary Becton (& son Harrison).

1920: 2nd house built: 4 rooms, 2 bedrooms. No central heat. Electric. Foundation: Piers-Open. Roof Type: Gable. Floors: Single wood board floor. One Story. Lap siding exterior, and metal-seamed enamel roofing. No basement. Dimensions: Porch: 16x6; Base: 16x29.
It is unclear if this house was built before or after the Census was taken in February; but we do know that it was built following the fire which destroyed the large two-story house across the street, with the store. There is conflicting information, however, as to the location of the store. It is hard to image, however, 5 children living in one bedroom.

1921, May 28: Hezekiah’s mother, Martha Ann (George) Carter, dies.

1922: Bert marries Motoaka Cully.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Timelines Create Perspective

In my search for a starting point, I reviewed the notes I had taken from our last meeting with Cousin Hattie after the 2009 George Family Reunion. During our visit, in the midst of my interview, she began asking me questions about my life with her favorite cousin's youngest son. By the time we were ready to leave, she made me promise to write a book. . . but where should that book begin?

I started looking at family legends and soon a story began to take shape. In order to better analyze family relationships of those who are now gone, leaving no record but bits of memories entrusted to their children, I started a timeline with the census, birth, marriage and death information I had obtained through, obituaries, and land documents from the County Registry of Deeds.

Each piece of information was given it's own place on the timeline. The next step was to find what historical events occurred during that period. I found an interesting and easy to use timeline generator called, Timeline.

Soon I began to see gaps that needed exploration . . . .

Friday, June 10, 2011

George/Carter Family Reunion Plans for 2011 Abandoned

The last George Family Reunion held in North Harlowe, NC may have been the last...

Many events precipitated this decision, including the deaths of many of our senior family members who were instrumental in past reunion planning...including six siblings:

Richard William CARTER: b. 20 Oct 1923; d. 19 Aug 2009.
James Prester CARTER: b. 1925; d. 15 Sep 2009.
Hattie (CARTER) BECTON: b. 1918; d. 8 Mar 2010.
Mattie Genora CARTER: b. Oct 1910; d. 10 Mar 2010.
Learn CARTER: b. 1920; d. 20 Mar 2010.
Hester (CARTER) BELTON: b. 28 Sep 1908; d. 9 Apr 2010.
Demika Darlene MOORE: b. 27 Sep 1985; d. 23 Jul 2010.
Eula Mae (MOORE) FRAZIER: b. Apr 1930; d. 8 Dec 2910.
Cleveland CARTER: b. 1915; d. 20 Apr 2011.
Thomas "Tommy" Lee MOORE: d.. 18 May 2011.

Following the death of the three sisters (Hattie, Mattie & Hester) and cousin Eula Mae, a deep sense of loss was replaced with gratefulness for the chance to have visited with them following our last family reunion. We truly do not know when our last opportunity might be to spend time with our loved get to know Cousins of a prior hear the stories of family before they go to the grave...

While there are some things we may never know, the loss of family led me to a period of questioning about my genealogical research. No longer am I researching in the capacity of a reunion committee historian. What I do from here on out must take the shape of something useful and compelling to future generations.

When I die, what will my legacy be to my children and grandchildren...a room full of binders containing Census, birth, marriage and death records...or could I possibly focus on a portion of the family...that which is closest to us, and find a meaningful way to tell the story?

In the days to come, you will see the results of this questioning unfold...and hopefully, the steps I am taking in my own research may help you in yours.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Return from Hiatus

Looking Glass Falls, Blue Ridge Pkwy
I wonder if life doesn't sometimes come in such waves of activity and responsibility that all bloggers, at some point, might feel exhausted... overwhelmed... put to the test to present new material for their audience.

With new challenges at work, my blog went on hiatus. During that time of regrouping, I set out on a new approach toward my research and writing efforts...some of which have proved costly and filled with long periods of waiting...and waiting...and waiting...

In the days to come I hope to share with you the results of some of these efforts.