How interesting. Searching for Pasquotank in Google’s Blog search, I found this article.
The participation in this February's National African-American History Month throughout the Albemarle has been phenomenal, and Wednesday night's event at the Pasquotank-Camden Library was no exception. By 7 p.m. Wednesday night, the Community room of the Pasquotank-Camden Library was packed full with a diverse range people, all eagerly awaiting tales of the African-American history in their area.
The event that this group attended was the 2nd Annual Famous First Black History Month program, a tribute to all of the Albemarle area's first African-American accomplishments. Beginning last year, the library decided to recognize all the new honors and job positions that African-Americans in the Albemarle achieved. I
n the program Wednesday night, many of the new firsts were honored, ranging from the first high school wrestling coach, to the first police officer to receive a silver star for bravery. The program started strong with a portrayal of the local legend, Moses Grandy, by City of Elizabeth City Councilman, Read more ……
Thursday, March 27, 2008
How interesting. Searching for Pasquotank in Google’s Blog search, I found this article.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
If you are researching family in northeast North Carolina and haven’t joined Family Research Society of Northeastern NC (FRSNNC), you’re doing it all wrong!
I came upon FRSNNC early in 2007 when I was really getting into my family tree. I sent them an e-mail seeing if they could help me…and they did! They sent me documents helping with my search and guided me in the right direction to go forward.
The counties that they cover are Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Pasquotank and Perquimans. They know the ins and outs of those counties. They can tell you about traditions and records. They are a non profit organization and everyone that works there is a volunteer.
Membership is only $20.00 and with that, you get a quarterly newsletter (more like a book), member directory, surname lists and endless help. The newsletter is full of useful information. It has stories, obituaries and plenty of information to help you with your genealogy research. Even if you’re only researching one of the counties listed above, I suggest you join the organization.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
I began obsessively researching Alfred Ferebee. I first found Alfred and Thelma living with Alfred’s brother, William Ferebee, in Camden County, NC in 1930. It was obvious that Alfred and Thelma recently married since they had a 7 month old daughter named Vivian at the time. I knew I wouldn’t find them together in 1920. In the 1920 census, Alfred and his brother, William, were living with Julian and Ella Daniels in Camden County, NC listed as nephews. Then in 1910, I found Alfred and William living with their parents in Camden County, NC, Luther and Daisy Ferebee.
The birth index for Alfred lists his DOB as 5 April 1906 and his father as Speed Ferebee. I found another birth index for William Edward Ferebee with a DOB of 28 June 1903 and his father was Speed Ferebee. Maybe Speed was a nickname for Luther. Unfortunately, a lot of Camden County records aren’t available thru Ancestry.com like Pasquotank County. So, marriage records didn’t show a marriage between Alfred Ferebee and Thelma.
I called my uncle again and asked about the Ferebee’s and he said that he thinks we’re related to the wife, Thelma, and not Alfred. Why didn’t he tell me this the first time?? That means Thelma is a Spence, Lowry, Banks or McCoy since those are the main branches of my tree.
*Genealogical info-When a couple decides to get married, the man would apply for the license in the county the woman is from.
My McCoy line is the only one from Camden. She must have been from Camden also since there was no marriage record for a Thelma marrying anyone with the last name of Ferebee in Pasquotank.
I searched by Thelma McCoy and found one on the 1920 census living with an Everett and Maggie McCoy. Well, there’s my Maggie…possibly. In 1920, he’s listed as William E. McCoy (B: 1882). So, now who are Everett and Maggie McCoy? I was only able to go as far back as 1910. I didn’t know Maggie’s maiden name to search her on the 1900 census and William didn’t show up on that census.
I sent a letter to Camden County Register of Deeds for a copy of William E. and Maggie McCoy death certificate. When I got it back, William’s parents were Henry and Columbia McCoy. Those are my 3rd great grandparents. That means that William E. McCoy is my 4th great uncle and Thelma is a cousin (don’t to what degree). I didn’t have any record of William and since he was born in that ‘black out’ period, he was hard to know about. Oh and Maggie, well, her maiden name is Ferebee.
*Genealogical info-What I call the ‘black out’ period, is that time between 1881-1899 when most of the 1890 census were destroyed in 1921 during a fire in the basement of the Commerce Building in Washington, D.C.
When I presented this new uncle to my grandmother and great uncle, they didn’t have any idea. They knew that Alfred, Thelma and Maggie were related, but just didn’t know how.
Every time I talk to my family, they give me more and more information.
On a conversation with my grandmother about a month ago, she was telling me about a funeral home in Elizabeth City. It was owned by Dennis Stallings. She said that he was a cousin of ours. But, of course, she didn’t know how. She knew that Dennis’s mother was Betty Spence and she married Dennis Sr. The current owner of the funeral home is the son. She also mentioned another name, Oscar Spence and he was related to Betty some kind of way.
So, as a genealogy freak, I was searching Ancestry.com as I was holding the phone w/my grandmother.
After about 20 minutes of searching, this is what I was able to find:
- Betty Spence’s real name is Dorothy Elizabeth Spence.
- She married Dennis Stallings in 1950.
- Dennis was the son of Cader Stallings B: 1885 and Ella Bright B: 1892.
- Betty was the daughter of James A. Spence B: 1891 and Bettie Temple B: 1896.
- James and Betty also had a son named Oscar.
DING DING DING. There is my Oscar and Betty Spence connection. They’re siblings. But, how are they related to me? *happy dance subsided*
Well, I don’t know. I do know that James and Betty married in 1912. So, in 1910, James would be listed either alone or living with his parents. He would only be 19 at that time. DAGNABIT, there is no James Spence in 1910. Maybe he’s off working somewhere. But, in 1900, I did locate him. Living with his parents Moses Spence B: 1846 and Louisa Turner B: 1855.
This takes me back to the possible slave owner, Thomas B. Williams. He owned a male slave in 1860 that was age 12. Maybe Moses is a sibling of my ancestor Aaron Edward Spence.
But, what I will be doing to verify this is.
- Order a copy of Betty Spence’s birth, marriage & death certificates
- Order a copy of Moses Spence death certificate
- Order a copy of Moses and Louisa’s marriage certificate
- Order a copy of Oscar Spence's birth, marriage & death certificates
Luckily Moses died after 1913, how morbid but we genealogy freaks love when ancestors die AFTER records are kept. Which in Pasquotank, it was after 1913.
Am I the only one that wished family kept records knowing we're going to research this later?!?
Monday, March 24, 2008
Today’s family profile is of Aaron Edward Spence. Based on his death certificate, he was born 29 September 1853 in Pasquotank County, NC. I suspect he was born into slavery considering that his parents, Enoch Spence and Susan Williams are not listed on the 1860 census. Nor is he or his parents listed on the 1870 census. Black folk shied away from government people in those days.
I believe that Aaron and his parents were owned by slave owner named Thomas B. Williams. Now this is a guess based on the fact that Susan’s last name was Williams and Thomas’s wife, Ellen, was the neighboring white family in 1880 when Enoch and Susan finally showed up on the census. It’s possible that the family remained serving the Williams family even after emancipation. I know that Thomas owned slaves in 1860. Enoch would have been abt 53 in 1860 and Susan would have been abt 47. I’m ordering the estate records from NC state archives to verify this.
In 1877, Aaron had married Hester Riddick of Pasquotank County, NC (B: 1856), daughter of Edward and Sophia Riddick. Neither Aaron nor Hester shows up on the 1880 census. It’s possible that Hester died in childbirth because by 1888, Aaron had remarried. Dineppa (Dinah) Bogues/Boague of Pasquotank County, NC was his 2nd wife. They both were on their 2nd marriage. Dineppa was previously married to Oliver Foreman. I suspect that Oliver passed away and she remarried. However, she too also passed away. I haven’t been able to find record of that, but divorce was not something that was very common. In 1892, Aaron married for a 3rd time to Cora McCoy of Camden County, NC (B: 1871, D: 07 Oct 1922). That union yielded 9 children. Berna B: 1893, Enoch B: 1894, Herbert B: 1896, Clyde Lee B: 1898, Blariche/Blanche B: 1900, Pearl B: 1902, Mabel B: 1904, Aaron Edward B: 1906 and Charlie Mack B: 1909.
I believe Aaron to have been the youngest of his siblings or the youngest living. By 1900 census, his mother Susan was living with him. She’s listed as 86 years old at the time. She’s also listed on the census as having 6 children and 4 living.
These are possible siblings that I have to research further. Excuse the roughness of this, these are my notes.
- Enoch Spence born abt 1825. Only shows on 1870 census married to Prissy. By 1880, Prissey is a widow.
- Joseph Spence born abt 1830. Living near Enoch Spence on 1870. Married to Tilley.
- John Spence born abt 1832. Living in Pasquotank 1870 married to Winney--oldest son Anderson. Living nearby is a Williams (white) family by 1880, John died and Winney/Vinney is a widow.
- Jennie Spence. Married Edmund Sawyer 1873. Possible sister.
- Martha Ann Spence married Jacob Moore 1880. Possible sister. There's a Martha L. Moore living with Hardy Measels in 1880 listed as widow and sister in law. Meaning she's Hardy's wife (Fanney) sister. Fanny maiden name was Temple. Married Hardy in 1871. May not be the same.
- Martha J Spence married Daniel Godfrey 1894.
- Nancy Spence married Alfred Ferebee jr. 1902. Possible sister. –Side Note, this is also the same Alfred Ferebee that could be a possible half brother to William Lowry. CORRECTION 08/04/08-Her maiden name is Griffin. She married Moses Spence then married Alfred. Not a true Spence.
- Sarah E. Spence married Henry Murden 1894. 1910 Henry Murden living in Pasquotank w/wife Anna. Then moved to PA.
Aaron died in 1920 and Cora died 2 years later in 1922 in Pasquotank, NC. Their death certificates state that they were buried at Hinton BG. However, I haven’t been able to locate that. My grandmother said that it’s located further down on Mill Pond Road. The same road my grandmother and great grandmother has lived for years.
Off to do more research.
Friday, March 21, 2008
One thing I learned researching my family tree is names carry on from generation to generation. Knowing these family names helps make connections.
For example: My Great Grandfather is Aaron Edward Spence (B: 1906). His brother was Enoch Spence (B: 1894). Their father was Aaron Edward Spence (B: 1853). His father was Enoch Spence (B: 1807, D: 1880-1900).
I found this on Ireland naming patterns. My family is far from Irish, but some of these patterns seem to ring true with African-American ancestry.
I was able to make these connections by names alone. But to prove it, I ordered marriage and death certificates. But it proved, at least in my family, the names of your ancestors can help you make family connections.
For the sake of blogging, I’m only going to use one variation of the last name.
William M. LOWRY was born abt 1871. When I was researching him in the beginning, I only found him on the 1900 Census living with his wife Harriett (BANKS) and their children, Annie P (B: 1892), Maggie (B: 1893), George T. (B: 1894), Rosa J. (B: 1895), Martha A (B: 1899). I knew he had to be on earlier census that listed William. So, I did what any good amateur genealogist would do. I searched Ancestry.com by soundex.
That’s when I came across a William LOWERY and his wife Ann in Newland, Pasquotank, NC on the 1880 Census. This LOWERY was born abt 1820 in VA and I knew he couldn’t be the LOWRY I was looking for. He was much too old. In their home were grandsons of Issaac BOYKIN (B: abt 1868), William BARKER (B: abt 1871) and Alfred FEREBEE (B: abt 1875).
I started researching this William LOWERY and his wife Ann. On the 1870 Census, he’s listed as Wm LOWRY (B: abt 1817). In his home is his wife Annie (B: abt 1816), daughter Martha (B: 1852) and son James L (B: 1854).
With help of FRSNNC, I was able to make some connections. William BARKER listed on the 1880 census with his grandfather William LOWERY, is probably my William LOWRY. They are the same age. Considering that the elder LOWERY had a daughter old enough to have a child of his age. I began to think of the term ‘throw away baby’ and maybe my ancestor was the product of that. It’s possible that by the time he married, he decided to take the last name of his grandparents.
What I have been able to confirm is:
- My great aunt said that William Lowry (B: 1871) had a younger sister named Cora that married Jordan Thornton. Was able to find a marriage certificate for Cora Alphenia HOWARD age 69 and Jordan THORNTON age 71. Her parents are listed as James HOWELL and Martha LAURY Howell. (NOTE: I did the genealogical happy dance when I got this death certificate!)
- My aunt also told me that Cora lived in Washington DC when she met her in the 40’s or 50’s.
- Martha LOWRY married James HOWELL about 1877. I know this b/c in 1880 she’s living with her husband and children. The oldest being 3.
Cora is the link to help with this line of my family. Now, I'm looking for a death certificate.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
This is my great-grandmother Bessie Lowry (B: 12 Feb 1911, D: 3 May 1998). She passed away on May 3, 1998. Just 12 days before my daughter was born. Since then I have been interested in my family tree. However, I didn’t start researching it til 2006. Then I really got addicted in 2007 when I got a ‘picture’ book my great aunt did. The book didn’t have a family tree. Just pictures and names. I would ask my grandmother who they were and she had no clue. Just would say, ‘they’re your cousin, just don’t know how’.
My family is what you would call double related as I think most African American families are if you go back far enough. See, my Great Grandmother Bessie Lowry and her older sister Rosa Lowry (B: 1895, D: 1958) married bothers. Bessie married Aaron Edward Spence (B: 1906, D: 1972) and Rosa married Enoch Spence (B: 1894, D: 1935). This has always been the family story. 2 sisters married 2 brothers. But, no one knew past that story. No one knew anything else. The sad part is that this is what happens in black families, no one really talks about their ancestors.
This is my purpose of the blog. To talk, document and keep record of my family tree, even if no one else will. I’ve dubbed myself as family historian.