Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Elizabeth T Neal Yarborough


One in a succession of owners of my great-grandfather, Calvin Yarborough.
(Thanks to Luckie at http://ourgeorgiaroots.com/?p=1022 for inspiring this post.)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Did I just run into the elusive William A Green?

Although I've already posted today, I just had to come back to share my surprise and excitement over what I believe to be a completely unexpected siting of my dear, elusive ancestor, William Adam Green. I was doing a search on http://www.genealogybank.com/ to see if anyone was blogging about my Dunstan/Dunston ancestors, when I was led to this link: http://www.ncgenweb.us/ncspam/3ncsa.htm . I got there and discovered that it was a page about the 3rd NC Volunteer Infantry - from the Spanish-American War. (Please visit the page if you'd like to read the history of this regiment, and peruse the long list of names of it's members.)
Anyway, I was carefully scrolling down the list, searching for the name William Dunston, when lo and behold, there was the name, William A. Green, and sure enough, he was from Louisburg! I couldn't believe my eyes! Here's what I saw:

Green, William A.: Of Louisburg, North Carolina. Enlisted on June 23rd, 1898; mustered into service as a Sergeant on July 14th, 1898, at Fort Macon, North Carolina; mustered out of service with the Company on February 4th, 1899, at Macon, Georgia.

Could this be? Could this really be my William? Within seconds, I came to a decided conclusion. Yes. This had to be him. After all, I've not been able to account for him during the space of years between the 1880 Census, and his 1904 marriage in New York. In 1898, William would have been 25 years old - a likely age to enter into service, if he hadn't already. It also fits in that he was out by 1899, and had time to fall in love with a girl from Louisburg (Sally Lou Johnson), who he married in New York, where he'd gone to live by 1904. So, now I have a new project. I'll need to find his enlistment records to verify his parents' names (Anna and Nathaniel) and date of birth, and hopefully get additional information about, and maybe even pictures of this regiment! Whoo-hoo!

Saturday Night (well, Sunday morning) Genealogy Fun

Randy over at Genea-Musings has his Saturday night challenge up. Here are the instructions:
How old is your father now, or how old would he be if he had lived? Divide this number by 4 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your "roulette number."
Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ahnentafel. Who is that person?
Tell us three facts about that person with the "roulette number."
Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook note or comment, or as a comment on this blog post.
If you do not have a person's name for your "roulette number" then spin the wheel again - pick your mother, or yourself, a favorite aunt or cousin, or even your children!

Here's mine:
My father was born in 1924, and would have been 85 if he were still living. Therefore, my roulette number is 21, and that lands on my great-great grandmother, Anna Green, who has been the subject of many a post on my blog! Here though, are three facts about Anna:

1. Family lore says that Anna was originally a Perkins, who ran away "because the white man wouldn't leave her alone" and ended up in Franklin County. It is unknown as to how or why she took the name, "Green".
2. Anna became involved with Nathaniel Hawkins, a slave trader. He provided her a house and fathered her six children before he died in 1879.
3. Anna was put out of the house and off of the Hawkins property after Nathaniel's death. I have not been able to locate Anna in the census after 1880, and I am unsure of when or where she died.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Treasure Chest Thursday - Bible Flowers


These flowers are pressed between the pages of the Yarborough Family bible, which I believe originally belonged to my great-grandparents, Calvin and Precilla Yarborough. Of course, the bible is a treasure in itself, but there's just something special about these flowers, knowing that they were once held in the hands of one of my ancestors. I have no idea how old they are, or what special occasion they are a memento from, but I've chosen to leave them in place in the bible, just as they are, and I love just looking at them and trying imagine the occasion they represent.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Calvin R. Yarborough - Where it all began




Calvin Roy Yarborough, Sr.
b. March 1839 in TN or NC (most likely NC); d. btw 1910-1919

My great-grandfather, Calvin, was born a slave in 1839. It appears that he belonged to the NEAL family, a slave of Chloe Neal, whose husband, John, died shortly before Calvin was born. The Neals owned a large family plantation in Franklin County, NC, from which they expanded westward to lands in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas. Slaves, as well as many of the family members moved between these properties throughout their lives. Thus, it is quite possible that Calvin could have been born in TN, as indicated on his 1880 Census record, although all other records indicate that he was born in NC.

Here follows a timeline of Calvin’s life and relevant connections, as revealed during 12 years of research:

1838 – John NEAL dies in Tennessee. His slaves become the property of his wife, Chloe. Presumably, Calvin’s mother was one of those slaves.

1838-39 – Chloe Neal returns to Franklin County, NC with her three children, John, Leonidas, and Elizabeth Temperance

1839 – March - Calvin is born in either TN or NC on a NEAL plantation – There is further support here for the confusion about Calvin being born in TN, since John NEAL and his brother, James were settled there during the 1830’s. However, John NEAL died in 1838, and his widow, Chloe Crudop Perry NEAL returned to Franklin County with her children (and presumably her slaves) soon after that. If Calvin’s mother (name unknown) had been pregnant during that transition, it’s easy to see how and why perhaps someone may have told him he was born in TN, only for him to find out later that they were actually in NC at the time of his birth, or she may have even given birth to him on the way!

1851 – Chloe NEAL dies. Her slaves are divided into 3 lots, for her three children. 12 year old Calvin, valued at $620, is in the lot that goes to Elizabeth T NEAL.

1853 – November 28 - Elizabeth T. NEAL marries James H. YARBOROUGH

1855 – Feb. 6 – Birth of Herbert Neal YARBOROUGH, son of James H. and Elizabeth YARBOROUGH

1855 – April 10 – Elizabeth T. Neal YARBOROUGH dies. Her slaves (including Calvin) become the property of her husband, James H. YARBOROUGH

1855 – July 8 – Death of infant, Herbert N. Yarborough

1859 – June 8 - James H. Yarborough marries Arete E. Johnson (I am guessing that Arete may have also been previously married, and that her maiden name was EATON. This is due to a finding of a post-1900 will of her sister, who was never married and whose surname was EATON.)

1860 – August - James H. Yarborough dies. Calvin now becomes the property of his wife, Arete. (He and Arete had only been married for 14 months.)

1860 - December 27 – Calvin (slave) marries Precilla (slave) – The cohabitation record gives Precilla’s “maiden” name as SHAW. However, this researcher has not yet been able to verify that she was a Shaw slave. There are some positive leads, but I believe that Precilla, like Calvin, had multiple owners. They have left what I believe to be hints of these owners’ surnames in the middle names of their oldest children. The researcher believes it possible that Precilla may have also, at some point, been an EATON, WHITE, and/or KING slave. (EATON was the maiden name of James H’s second wife. It’s quite possible that Calvin met Precilla when James and Arete combined their property. KING was the maiden name of Sarah SHAW, the person I believe to have possibly owned Precilla originally. I have not yet found a WHITE connection.)

1862 – Louis (or Lewis) NEAL YARBOROUGH, Calvin and Precilla’s first child, is born. (Notice the middle name, Neal. This researcher believes that Calvin maintained an emotional (and/or perhaps more) attachment to the Neal family, into which he was born, and thus he wanted to give his son that name. Also, this is the first indicator that my great-grandparents wanted me to find and figure out some things about their/our history! I believe that all, or at least most of their 11 children were given middle names that connected Calvin and Precilla to their former owners, or perhaps maybe in some cases to people who had been kind to them. Here are the remaining children and their approximate dates of birth:

1864 - Samuel E. (believed to be Eaton)
1866 – Sarah H. (I’m not sure about the H, but the person I believe to have been Precilla’s main owner, was Sarah H. Shaw. I’ve been in touch with some of her family members, and it seems, according to the records they have, that she was much loved by her slaves. I also am suspecting a Neal slave, named Sarah (whose husband was named, Lewis), as the possible mother of Calvin, but I have nothing to verify that – it’s just a hunch.1867 – Thomas W. (WHITE?)
1872 – Henry KING
1874 – Quinea A.
1876 – Caroline B.
1878 – Josephine I.
1879 – Mattie Louise
1882 – Calvin Roy (my great-grandfather)
1884 – Eugene Carter

1863 – January 1 – Abraham Lincoln, in his EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION declares that all slaves are to be permanently freed in all areas of the Confederacy that had not already returned to federal control.

1865 – July – Final freeing of the majority of slaves under the Emancipation Proclamation. If my findings and resulting speculations are true, Calvin would have had at least four different owners during his life.


Post-Slavery Life:

I do not know exactly when or how Calvin and Precilla gained their freedom, so I go with the assumption that they were held in bondage by Arete Yarborough (widow of James H.) until 1865. My guess is that she must have treated them well, since Calvin chose to take the Yarborough surname for his family, and since he and Precilla were married under her watch. I continue to press forward to find out as much as I can about this period in Calvin’s life.

1870 – (Census) Calvin (a farmer and former school teacher), and Precilla (keeping house), are living in Louisburg. They have 3 children (Louis, Sam, and Thomas) living. A daughter, Sarah was “burned” and died that year, at age four. Addendum, added 2/5/11 - See post: Calvin Yarborough - TEACHER

1872 – Calvin is named as one of the trustees of the “Colored Presbyterian Church” in Franklin County on a Deed of Indenture between the church and J.C. Wynne (and wife). The church was buying land in Louisburg. (This is Saint Pauls United Presbyterian Church, which my aunt still belongs to.) My grandfather, Calvin, Jr., with the help of his brother, Sam, built his house directly across the street from this church.)

1877 – August - Calvin purchases land (for himself) in Franklin County near the grave yard on the Louisburg and Newport Road for $75.00.

1880 – (Census) Calvin, a farmer, and Precilla now have eight children living (Louis, Samuel, Thomas, Henry, Quinea, Caroline, Josephine, and Mattie). Just a few doors down lives the renowned, John H. Williamson, with whom Calvin is connected via the church, and who was a pioneer in Negro education in the Franklin County area. Calvin's circle of friends and fellow trustees included several educators, such as Williamson, Moses Hopkins, and George C. Shaw.

1888 – September 15 - Calvin is again named as a trustee on a Deed of Indenture between E.N. Dent and the Colored Presbyterian Church, this time for $100.00.

1890 – GRRRRRRRR….akdfnasdfinaksdfasdfand!!!

1896 - Apparently, Calvin was in a Union, or was a Mason or something. I have a handwritten receipt, which was in the Yarborough Family Bible at my grandparents' house, which states, "Recd of Calvin Yarborough 38.63 for a pymt for Mr. Levitt from the colored union (or mission) meeting this the 21st day of December 1896."

1900 – Calvin and Precilla, now 61 and 56, respectively, have been married for 40 years. Several of their adult children live in the home with them. Sam, Quinea, Carrie, Jacqueline, Mattie, Calvin (18), and Eugene (16) are all still single! (What was wrong with my ancestors – were they ugly or something???) Sam is a carpenter, and both Quinea and Josephine are school teachers (which probably explains why they weren’t married).

1910 – 71 year-old Calvin is now widowed. (Precilla died sometime before October of 1903, when Mattie got married.) Sam, also widowed, lives with his father, as do Quinea (Clennie in the census, which was probably for “Quennie”), Caroline, and Josephine (“Joe”), who is also widowed, although her married name (Lane) is not noted in the census. Neither Josephine, nor Quinea are still teaching. Most likely, Joe had to stop when she married, since teachers back then were require to be single. Caroline is a cook for a private family. Sam is still a carpenter, his trade until he died in 1922.

Calvin Yarborough, Sr. died sometime after 1910, but before 1919, when his son (my grandfather), Calvin Roy Yarborough, Jr. married my grandmother, Anna Beatrice Green. To date, I’ve identified close to 300 of his and Precilla’s descendants, spanning five generations. Unfortunately, out of the 20 or so cousins I’ve had contact with, none seemed to know, or have any additional information about Calvin and/or Precilla, nor has anyone shared pictures of them or either of their children with me. (I’m very blessed to have a picture of my own grandfather, Calvin, Jr., which was supplied to me by his daughter.) The search for more information continues. The ancestors want me to know…

This concludes the known (to this researcher) history of Calvin R. Yarborough, Sr., and, coincidentally, all that is known to this researcher about his wife, Precilla Shaw.
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Questions:
1. Who were Calvin's parents? Who were Precilla's?
2. Where did Calvin teach, and when? Why didn't he continue as a teacher?
3. Why is it that Calvin didn't seem to rise to the level of prominence of so many of his cohorts?
4. Was Calvin one of the founding members of the "Colored Presbyterian" Church? If so, why don't they have this in their history? Why doesn't the current church recognize that this Colored Presbyterian Church is them? (I have had conversations with the church historian and the current pastor. They only have the story of the White missionary ladies who came from up north to start the church, but they were not aware of the names or interactions of the early trustees, who secured the land, etc. for the church. This is important to me to try to establish while my 89 year old aunt, an elder in the church, is still living. Also, my late uncle, Calvin Yarborough, III, was a deacon, trustee, and elder and played a prominent role in the day to day funtions of this church prior to his demise in 1997. They both deserve to get their props as still-active descendants of the church's founding members! (In retrospect for my uncle, of course.) 5. What was Calvin doing from 1880 until his death (other than obviously serving the church)? How can I find more records on him? Is there any hope that I might ever find a picture?
6. What union was Calvin a member of?
7. What was Calvin's date of death? Did he die of tuberculosis, like so many of my family members did between 1910 and 1929?
8. Is there any chance that there is a marker for Calvin's grave? I'm sure he has to be buried "on the hill" in the Colored Cemetery. But where?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Vital Stats from Educational Records - Who'd Have Known?

I just wanted to share something quickly that might be of help to others out there. Today I received the four-page "record" of my great-uncle, William Lawrence Greene, from his time as a graduate student at Cornell in the 1920's. (Now before my faithful followers get too excited for me, this is not the elusive William Green who moved to NY and lived as White. This is the Wm who added the "e" to the surname, and whose descendants are the only ones in our family who use that spelling.) I ordered the documents in an attempt to determine exactly when Uncle Bill began to use the new spelling of his name, and found that he was, indeed, using it at that time.

What I hadn't anticipated was the gold mine of family information that was contained on just one of the four sheets of paper - a sheet labeled, "Vital Statistics". I'd never really thought of finding so much information about the parents of a student in that student's records, but take a look at the text of an email that I just sent out to all of my Greene cousins to share what I'd found out with them:

Hi Greene Cousins,

Just wanted to share a little information with all of you. Perhaps you may already know all of this, but I got some new-to-me tidbits (gems, really) of information today that I want to pass on.

I recently ordered William L Greene's records from the Archives Department at Cornell, in an attempt to pinpoint when he began to use the "e" on his name. I did find that at the time of his application to Cornell, he was already using the e. (I knew it was on his diploma, which is hanging at 2101, but I wanted to see if he used it before that.)

I was thrilled to also find out the following information from Uncle Bill's "Vital Statistics" sheet from Cornell.

1. The actual dates of his first child's birth and death were confirmed.
William Lawrence Greene, Jr. was born 2/9/1928 in Garysburg, N.C., and died there on 8/1/1928.

2. John W. Greene was born in Oxford. I had not previously been able to locate his place of birth.

3. WL's mother (our great-grandmother)'s middle name was Georgiana! (I'll bet that doubles the reason Uncle George got his name!) Susie Georgiana Dunstan Greene died in Rolesville, 12/4/1907. (I have been trying to find her date of death for TEN YEARS. I'd assumed she died in Franklin County, but now I know it was Wake. Those few miles make a big difference!)

4. WL lists the date of birth for his father (our great-grandfather) as July 18, 1865. I won't change this just yet on the tree, because everything I've had prior to this has been July,1864. However, it's great to have the exact day in July on which he was born (the 18th). I hope I can verify this one way or the other though, because, as the oldest child of Anna Green and Nathaniel Hawkins, it would change some things in my research to find out that their first child (John) was actually born pre-Emancipation.

5. Uncle Bill uses 927 South Main Street as his permanent address. (This was my grandmother's house - his sister, Annie.) He also lists my grandmother as his next of kin and first reference. I called Aunt Sue to tell her about all this, and when I told her that, she said that she recalled that Uncle Bill did live there for a short time, but I don't know the circumstances.

6. William and Georgia were married on June 10, 1927 in Oxford.

Well, that's all folks. Just keeping you informed about your fam-bi-ly! :)

As you can see, I racked up! I had no idea I'd find out all of that just from getting Wm's graduate application! There was more, but I only sent things that were news to me in the email. So, folks, if your ancestors attended college at any time, you might want to consider getting those records! Who knows what great information you'll find!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Another NATHANIEL siting! :)


Today I received further confirmation of Nathaniel Hawkins being my great-great grandfather. I think I have enough evidence now that I don't need to second-guess it anymore as to whether or not I have the correct name. I've received in the mail the death certificate of my great-aunt, Annie B. Green, and there on her death certificate is the given name of her father, NATHANIEL HAWKINS. So, there you have it. I now have two sources from two different locations for two different people, both of which name NATHANIEL HAWKINS as the father of Anna's children. (The first was the marriage bond for their oldest son, John W. Green, in Franklin County, NC).


Annie was the second daughter of Nathaniel Hawkins and Anna Green (although the informant on the death certificate gave the name as, Annie B. - the same as the deceased). She died in 1952 in Jacksonville, FL, where she had been living with her daughter, Jessie Patterson, and her husband, who I believe may have been a doctor. It was Jessie who served as informant on the death certificate. I've heard a few stories about Annie, all of which had one common theme -- She was MEAN! Also, according to my dear cousin, Florine, Annie looked white, and so did most of her children. I also know that several of her children did "pass" and disconnected themselves from the family back in Louisburg.


As thrilled as I am to have received this death certificate, it also raises a few questions. Annie is listed as a widow, yet I don't know of her being married, and even though it says this, there is no married name given. Also, the date of death is listed as 3-23-1952, but then the doctor says he last saw her at 3 a.m. on 3/24, so I'm not sure which is the actual date of death (although I think it's probably 3-24). The other thing is that Jessie gives her mother's date of birth as 12-20-1875, but everything I have has her born in 1871. She was 9 at the time of the 1880 Census, so I'm thinking that she was a bit older than Jessie thought she was, but I'll need to follow up on that.


Anyway, I'm more sure than ever now about Nathaniel Hawkins being my ancestor. He's still hiding from me, but I won't give up on finding out more about him, no matter how long it takes!