Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The Treasure Chest

A page from the Turner Family Bible

The most wonderful thing about blogging, in fact, THE most wonderful thing about blogging, is that it allows people to find you.

Since I've began, I've been contacted by multiple distant cousins, whom I never knew personally, who've discovered we have common kinship. 

From these contacts, I've made wonderful lifelong friends, and tremendous discoveries. 

Robert James Turner, brother of of Great Great Grandfather, William A. Turner

Sometimes, I knew things they didn't know, and they are excited to find out. And they know things I didn't know, and am extactic to find out. 

I've been contacted by descendants of those siblings of my ancestors who had migrated away, taking information from them. 

I've been contacted by a descendant of my Grandmother's grandmother from her legitimate children who knew the identity of the father of her firstborn son, who was born out of wedlock when she was very young. This was a fact I don't believe my grandmother ever knew. 

I've been contacted by individuals who had or had seen documents, journals, family bibles and such, that cleared up a few mysteries, or gave extra information. 

George Samuel Turner and wife, Maggie Crawford Turner

Recently, I recieved the blessing of being contacted by another one of these distant cousins. She had came across posts concerning my research and digging on my Turner family line, the family of my maternal Great Grandmother, Penny Wayne Turner Davis. 

Penny's father had died young, and I never knew a great deal about him or his family. Several people had already "done" the Turner tree, and I had found some excellent information (or so I thought), at the Anson County Historical Association. By my little addendum, it was accurate for actual descendants of "Wrong George", but not for me, or my line of Turners. 

The above page says:
James Turner (illegible word) on the 12th day of August 1843.
Susan Turner wife death occured on 3 (could be an 8) of May 1843.
The next two lines are the same thing, lighter, like before it faded all the way out, someone had written in darker, just above. Thank you unknown Turner family member. 

George W Turner son of G. W. Turner died the 15th of August 1862. (This was a son who died as an infant that I did not know about. In the cemetery, between the stone of G. W. Turner  - Sr- is a small unmarked grave, with three childrens graves out to the side. This may be the grave of tiny George. 

Mary Turner died May the 21 1881 
aged about 84.

This made perfect sense as the last census record Mary appeared in was in the 1880 census. 

The biggest treasure, to me personally, in this page, is the naming of the wife of James Turner as Susan. I have been tracing a neighboring family of James Turner around in my research, as they lived on the same little creek at the same time, and he named his firstborn son the last name of this family. Also, children of this surname end up being raised in the home of Reddick Drew, who married his daughter, Martha. So many ties to this name. I chased them back to their origins in Edgecomb County, and their father to Isle of Wight County, Virginia before that. In this grouping, a sister of these neighbors, named Susannah or Susan for short, married a James Turner. Of course, there were dozens of James Turners in NC, even in that day and time. But due to all of the connections, I thought that this might be our James. Knowing his wife's name was Susan, just corroborates my suspicions. 

The above page from the Turner Family Bible says"

W. A. Turner son of G. W and E. W. Turner was bornd March the 21 1869. (This is my line)

Sus. V. Turner daughter of G. W. and E. W. Turner was bornd March 31 1871. (This was Susan Vashti Turner)
E. M. Turner son of G W and E W Turner was  (arrow up) born  October 31 1872 (Ellerson Mallory or Maldred Turner)

Sarah Chancey Turner daughter of G. W. and E. W. Turner was bornd January 12 1875 ( Also seen as Sallie Chonsie).

Lillie Virginia Turner daughter of G. W. and E. W. Turner was bornd August 21 1880.

This were in the younger group of children of George Washington Turner and wife, Elizabeth Wincy Morton Turner, excluding the very last, Thomas Jefferson Turner. 

The back of the Tombstone of Elizabeth Wincy Morton Turner

There is a short poem etched into the back of the tombstone of Elizabeth Wincy Morton Turner, my 3rd Great Grandmother. I can't make out but a few words. One day, I'm going to have to go down with some shaving cream and a sqeegie and see if I can render it more legible.  What I can make out is " ? ? are past her war? done.
And she is  fully? blest
She's fought the fight the 
victory won
? entered  into rest"

Anyone else have any ideas about what it may say?

The above tombstone is that of William A. Turner, my 2nd Great Grandfather. He lived to be 36, nearly 37.  I have yet to find his cause of death. 

One day, I decided to look again at my Turner line. This happened after I gave a tour of Davis lands and burial places to some distant Davis cousins who had came in to research.  We were looking for the John Lee cemetery where our ancestor, Henry Davis was buried.  Henry Davis was the grandfather of William Hampton Davis, my Great Grandfather, who had married Penny Wayne Turner. 

During this search, what we found instead, was the old George Turner cemetery, which was, by description, not far from the John Lee cemetery. George Turner is not far removed from the Davis family, because there are Davis's buried in his cemetery, his daughter Elizabeth Turner Davis, and her toddler daughter, Rebeth Davis. Elizabeth Turner, daughter of George, had married Marriott (sometimes seen as Merritt) Freeman Davis, a brother of Henry Davis. 

I'd always heard that Penny Wayne Turner Davis was a niece of this Elizabeth and that this George was our ancestor. That is when I decided to take a closer look at my Turner line. 

This is the tombstone of Robert James Turner and his wife, Hyla Pope Turner.
Robert James Turner was the brother of my William A. Turner. He lived in the Turner Homestead I had the pleasure and opportunity to tour. 

Penny Wayne Turner was clearly the daughter of William A. (taken as Alexander) Turner. William A. Turner was clearly the son of one George Washington Turner. 

The problem was, I could not connect George Washington Turner to the George Turner family in anyway. I researched the George Turner family up one side and down the other. What I determined was that all the Turners descended from George in this area were descended from his son Wilson Pinkney Turner. He had another son who migrated west and left only one son, and that grandson has descendants in Tennessee. George Turner did have a daughter named Mary, but that Mary never married and never had children. She owned property and left a will. She died some time before our Mary. George Turner himself was the son of a Jaspar Turner. 

Other descendants of my George Washington Turner, in their quest to hook our G. W.  to George's family wagon, had somehow blended two Mary's into one, and since they knew we came from a James, had even renamed Jaspar Turner, "James Jaspar Turner", when I have NEVER seen a document or anything to suggest Jaspar was a James. His correct name was "Jaspar Melchor Turner", and we are not descended from him. Only the Davis descendants of Marriott Freeman Davis and Elizabeth Turner Davis's only son, Millard Filmore Davis, are descended from this Turner line. 

Tombstone of Joseph Atlas Turner, another son of G. W. and E. W. Turner. 

What I found, as told in other posts, was that George Washington Turner, my accurate ancestor, was the son of a Mary Turner, and she was the daughter of a James Turner who had died and left a will in 1843 in Anson County.

Tombstone of George Washington Turner

The distant cousin who contacted me via this blog, was an actual researcher who had traced her lineage systematically, with documentation. Not like so many who had just copied someone else's tree off of ancestry, someone who had made the jump from George Washington to George without a bridge. She had discovered the same facts that I had, that George Washington was the son of a Mary Turner, who was the daughter of a James Turner. 

But she knew things that I did not. She had toured the old homeplace. She had seen portraits of several family members, including George W. Turner and his wife Wincy. She had seen.....The Family Bible. 

A painting of the Old Red Hill Baptist Church which sat to the left of the current one, by Hyla Pope Tuner. 

Treasure. A Family Bible is one of those rare documents that are hard to find and can help a great deal with family trees. Anyone who holds these treasures should copy them and give copies to hold on file in county history rooms, libraries or museums, so other descendants can share in this treasure. This inheritance belongs to us all. 

George Washington Turner was one of the founding members of Red Hill Baptist Church. His father-in-law, Samuel Parsons Morton, who was once a cleric in Stanly County, and was a roving minister to several local churches in both Stanly and Anson counties, was integral in its conception. 

Hyla Pope Turner, wife of Robert James Turner, was a very talented artist. She painted the above picture of the original Red Hill Church. Her art hangs in the homes of her descendants. 

The above portrait was drawn, and not a camera portrait. It's very old. We believe it was possibly the portrait of Mary Turner, mother of George Washington Turner. 

The cousin who contacted me got me in touch with the Anson County Turner cousins, whom have access to the homestead and to the genealogical treasure. 

I made arangements to meet up with them. What a wonderful day! We toured the homestead, the lands where George Washington Turner farmed, which were right at Red Hill. We toured the Red Hill cemetery and two other cemeteries where Turner relatives were buried, Union and Brown Creek. 

I was in genealogical heaven!

Robert James Turner. I can say, he favored the Morton side of the family greatly. 

The beautiful and talented Hyla Pope Turner, wife of Robert James Turner.

Elizabeth Wincy Morton Turner

Wincy was the wife of George Washington Turner, and my Third Great Grandmother. 
She was the daughter of Rev. Samuel P Morton and his first wife, Vashti Calloway Morton. 
Samuel P. Morton is also buried at Red Hill Baptist Church. He lived with George and Wincy in his last days. 

George Washington Turner

The above is my 3rd Great Grandfather, George Washington Turner. He appears to me to be wearing his uniform, as he was a Confederate soldier and injured multiple times. He was very handsome as a young man, in my opinion. 

William A. Turner

The above is my Second Great Grandfather, Will, son of G. W. and Wincy. This portrait is not with the others, I just added it for comparison. I believe he looks more like his father than some of his brothers, but he definately had his mother's dark, deep-set eyes. 

The Turner Homestead I toured was not the original homestead. It was the home of Robert James and Hyla, not George and Wincy. Theirs was located on the land that George farmed near Red Hill, which is still in the Turner family. The cousin who gave me the tour stated that recently some deer hunters they leased the property to had came across an old chimney. The chimney probably belonged to the original homeplace. 

A painting of the Turner Homestead in its Hey Day by the talented Hyla. 

The Mill as painted by Hyla Pope Turner.

I didn't know Wadesboro was on a hill until I drove down to meet my Turner cousins. But it obvious is. 

The above is remaining outbuildings from the Homestead. 

Hyla Pope Turner in her older days. Fashion changed a great deal in her lifetime.

Upon arriving I met some of the nicest and warmest distant cousins I have ever met. I intend to stay in touch with them. They are wonderful people with a wonderful family. 

A different painting of the same Turner place.

Portrait of one of the Turner Children. We don't know who she was, exactly, but possibly one of the ones who passed as a child. 

Another page from the Turner Bible

The above document says:

G. W. Turner the son of Mary Turner was Bornd in the year of our Lorde March the 29 1835.
E. W. Turner was bornde in the year of our Lord January the 22 1839.

Then it repeats the line about G. W. Turner.

It also repeats the line about E. W. Turner, but adds that she was the daughter of Samuel P Morton and J. Q. V. Morton. I know that she was Vashita "Vashti" Calloway Morton, but I do not know what the J and Q stand for. That's something to look into.

The left side, which is cut off on this shot, is written:

"G. S. Turner son fo G. W. and E. W. Turner was bornd in the year of out Lord April 6 1856.

James Stevenson Turner son of G. W. and E. W. Turner was bornd in the year of our Lorde August 10 1858.
Robert J Turner was born Decr 7 1859.

George W Turner son of  G W and Wincy Turner was born the 19th of June 1862.

Jos A Turner son of G. W and E. W. Turner was born the 4 of November 1864.

Mary Elizabeth Turner the daughter of G W and E W Turner was born the 15 of October 1866."

The above is the written copy of the Will of James Turner, grandfather of  George Washington Turner. He mentions his grandson, Washington Turner, son of his daughter Mary, in his will. 

The above is one page of the pension application of George W. Turner for benefits, from his injuries he recieved in the Civil War. It states, "Gunshot Wound of the Head, the ball entered behind the right ear, came out beneath right eye, partial blindage and discharge from nasal cavity. "

Wow, are we lucky to exist. I'm amazed he survived this. 

Making contact with other descendants and being able to share information is vital in our researched. I am blessed that this blog has allowed me to do this, and I'm triply blessed to have met my distant Turner cousins in the process. 

Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Search for Adam Biles Part II: Rowan

Image result for long twisting dirt road

I recently posted concerning a man who had died in Stanly County, North Carolina in 1872 by the name of Adam Biles. I had been contacted by someone, a descendant of his, who was up against a brickwall, and had found him in my family tree. At the time, I had very little information on Adam, so I tried to find more, to help this descendant out.

Adam's story was atypical, and not what a searcher would expect to find, and his descendant was also a little confused about how he ended up in my family tree. The truth of it all ties into the history of America itself, which is not cut and dried, and which, after you dig into it awhile, you discover is a little more complicated and ensnarled than one might imagine.

Adam Biles came in to my family tree by way of his marriage to Matilda Shankle. Adam Biles, you see, was born a slave and was a slave of the Biles family who were founders of the town of New London.


The first mention I find of him in Stanly County was in the will of Thomas Biles Sr. (Stanly County Sr, as in Rowan County, this Thomas Biles becomes Thomas Biles Jr, as his father, John Thomas Biles, was also known as Thomas. Adam was willed to Tabitha Marbury Biles by her husband Thomas. She lived but a few years longer than Thomas and at that time, Adam passed to their oldest son, Isaac Biles and his wife Martha Moss Biles and eventually, Adam was freed by the Emancipation Proclaimation. He began farming on his own and legally married his wife, whom he had been in a committed relationship with for quite some time, and had fathered a large family with her. When Adam passed away, and his own estate was settled, his wife Matilda was named in the probate records along with daughter Eliza and her husband, Jacob Underwood, daughter Wincy and her husband, John Bell, daughter Adaline, who was not yet married, sons Whitson and George Biles and daughter Rachel, and her husband George W. Bell.

Seems simple, but it wasn't. While Adam was a slave, his wife and children were not. Matilda Shankle was a free woman of color, and was of mixed race, being described as a "very light mulatto".  Being free, her children with Adam were also born free, as they took the status of their mother. I personally have members of a "triracial isolate group" in my own family tree, or persons from remnant East Coast Virginia and Carolinas Indigenous Groups, or as they were known back then, "Indians", who had intermarried with the other ethnicities around them until they became biologically tri-racial. Some of these members of my family, descendants of one of my direct ancestors siblings, had moved to Cabarrus County, as did certain of Matilda and Adam's children, and there intermarried with the Biles/Shankle family, and that is how Adam Biles ended up in my family tree.

Image result for rowan county

I had gone as far as I could with the search for Adam Biles in Stanly County. Being formed in  1841, just a few years before Thomas Biles passed away, there was not much to go on. Knowing that the Biles family originated in Rowan, that was the next place to look.

Stanly was part of Montgomery before it became Stanly, but there was not much there to see, and no mention of Adam in any land records, which sometimes also held slave transactions.

Related image
davidrumsey.com Historical map collection, Rowan County

But I had to still look first at Thomas Biles.

Name:Thomas Beles
[Thomas Biles] 
[Thomas Biles, Jr.] 
Home in 1840 (City, County, State):West Pee Dee River, Montgomery, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - 10 thru 14:1
Free White Persons - Males - 40 thru 49:1
Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 14:3
Free White Persons - Females - 15 thru 19:1
Free White Persons - Females - 30 thru 39:1
Free Colored Persons - Males - Under 10:1
Free Colored Persons - Females - Under 10:2
Free Colored Persons - Females - 24 thru 35:1
Persons Employed in Agriculture:4
Free White Persons - Under 20:5
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49:2
Total Free White Persons:7
Total Free Colored Persons:4
Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves:11

The last census Thomas Biles appeared in was the 1840 census of Montgomery County, NC, which was one year before Montgomery was split by the PeeDee River and the western part became Stanly.

There were 7 free white people in his household and 4 free colored persons, one being a female between 24 and 35, two little girls under 10 and one male under 10. These were very concievably Matilda Shankle, and three of her children.

Name:Thomas Biles
Home in 1830 (City, County, State):West Side Pee Dee River, Montgomery, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - 15 thru 19:1
Free White Persons - Males - 20 thru 29:1
Free White Persons - Males - 70 thru 79:1
Free White Persons - Females - 60 thru 69:1
Slaves - Males - Under 10:3
Slaves - Males - 10 thru 23:2
Slaves - Males - 24 thru 35:1
Slaves - Males - 55 thru 99:1
Slaves - Females - 10 thru 23:1
Slaves - Females - 24 thru 35:1
Slaves - Females - 36 thru 54:1
Free White Persons - Under 20:1
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49:1
Total Free White Persons:4
Total Slaves:10
Total - All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored):14

Ten years earlier in 1830, he had 10 slaves. I've not seen anything that gives an estimate of Adam's birth. His oldest daughter was born in 1830. His wife was born around 1816. He was probably a few years older. In 1844, he was the third most vauluable of the Biles slaves, meaning, he was probably still in his prime, or skilled, but not the best, so perhaps in the later years of his prime, not his twenties, but perhaps 35 to 40, so I am going to estimate his year of birth as probably being about 1805 to 1810. He might have been one of the males aged 10 to 23 in 1830, or the one 24 to 35. Living until 1872, I would not place him any older than that.

Name:Thomas Biles
Home in 1800 (City, County, State):Montgomery, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - Under 10:3
Free White Persons - Males -10 thru 15:3
Free White Persons - Males - 16 thru 25:2
Free White Persons - Males - 45 and over:1
Free White Persons - Females - Under 10:3
Free White Persons - Females - 26 thru 44:1
Number of Slaves:1
Number of Household Members Under 16:9
Number of Household Members Over 25:2
Number of Household Members:14

In 1810, he had 5 slaves and in 1800, he had only 1. In 1790, he was still in Rowan County.  So, it appears Adam was either born in Stanly County, or purchased after Thomas Biles arrived here, or perhaps he came from one of the other Biles family members in Rowan County.

There are a few dots that connect.

Name:Sherfsey Biles
Age in 1870:42
Birth Year:abt 1828
Birthplace:North Carolina
Dwelling Number:75
Home in 1870:Harris, Stanly North Carolina
Post Office:Albemarle
Cannot Read:Y
Cannot Write:Y
Disability Condition:Y
Male Citizen over 21:Y
Inferred Spouse:Hager Biles
Household Members:
Sherfsey Biles42
Hager Biles45

The above is a couple from the 1870 census of Stanly County. The transcribers really messed up that first name, because looking at the actual document, it clearly say "Sharper", with  a little dip on the end of the "R" at the end. Someone's fancy handwriting. Sharper is an unusual name and I can verify that it is Sharper because there is a deed in Stanly County, Book 11  Page 547, where a Sharper Biles has taken a mortgage from a company called "Ivy and Biles". Knowing one of Thomas Biles daughters married Benjamin Ivy, I can only assume this was a family business. Like Adam Biles, several of the former Biles slaves mortgaged a tract of land through Biles and Ivy after emancipation, and farmed their own land, though mortgaged.

I'd seen the name Sharper one other place while digging up in Rowan County.

In August of 1784, The will of Thomas Biles Sr, or  John Thomas Biles, the father of the Stanly County Thoma Biles Sr., was proved by one Thomas Frohock. Elizabeth, Charles and Thomas Biles qualified as executors. So there was an association with some Frohocks.

Will book D Page 163, Rowan County, NC  18 Sept. 1781, Probated in 1784. Thomas Biles, Wheelwright, wife Elizabeth to have home plantation which then goes to son John.  Son Joseph to have tract on Dials Creek. Sons Daniel and Thomas to have tract on North side of Dials Creek. Sons Thomas and Charles to share meadowland. Sons Jonathan and John to have remainder of two surveys. Daughters Deborah Biles, Dosey Biles, and Ann Biles mentioned. Executors, wife Elizabeth and sons Charles and Thomas. Witnesses, Thomas Frohock and Joshua Storie.

Related image
Historic Map of Rowan County, UNC Charlotte Urban Institute. 

The above map shows the location of Frohock's Mill. Two years after the will of Thomas Biles (Rowan Sr) was probated (Note: Thomas Biles Jr of Rowan becomes Thomas Biles Sr of Stanly), is the will of John Frohock in Will Book C Page 224 dated 10 Sept. 1786.

"Brother William to have the tract where he now lives called Carter Place, my home tract called Drakes Place where I now have a negro quarter, the tract on Haw River I bought from Edward Hughes, all my lands in the forks of the Yadkin with grist and saw mills, a 400 acre tract on the north side of the Tarr River and 200 acres called Pattersons Place, 550 acres on Wolf Pitt Crrek and a lot in Halifax near the Court House"  - This guy owned property all over the map - "and negros Tom, Bengy, Annokee, her daughter Bett, Vilett, Tomey, Rose, Nell, Anny, Bob, Bett (Hunter), Luke that I bought of Magoune, Patt, Venus, Cato, Roger and Jude. Brother Thomas to have a tract on Grants Creek bought from  Colo. Alexander McCulloh with grist and Saw mills, a tract adj.  the town land of Salisbury called Hayes Place, my house in Salisbury and lots in town and a tract on the south side of Tarr River where my uncle Robert Parker formerly lived, also a tract on Taylors Creek and a tract on Betey's Creek known as Mulberry Great Low Grounds, and a tract on Second Creek bought from George Magoune and a tract bought from James Andrews on Second Creek and my right to Morby's Place and a tract up the Yadkin bought from Francis Locke and Negros Sharper, Jesse, Mary Ann, Bett, Bill, Sharper Jr., Jacob, Absolom, George, Dick, Sarah, File, Polly, Luke, Abram, Peg, Samuel Jr, Davey, Dinah, Frank, Peter, Sall, and Old Sam. The rest of the land in Virginia, Carolina and elsewhere to be sold and divided between my two brothers. The negro, Absolom, a waiting man, to be schooled one year and given his freedom. Aunt, Mary McManus, to have $200. Alexander McCullough's daughter, Miss Mary, to have $200. Mr. Hamilton to have $10 annually. Executors, my two brothers. Witnesses: John Mitchell, Max Chambers, Elizabeth Mitchell. 

The above note is a receipt stating 'Recieved Salisbury January 24,1864" - the END and I mean near the END of the Civil War - "from Thomas Biles ESQ" (This would be Thomas Biles III or known in Stanly County as Thomas Jr.) - $2950- and also fifty dollars and cash and his own slave Jim in exchange for two slaves, Sharper and Hagar. The right and title of the said slaves are guaranteed and likewise warrant them sound".

Then, Sharper and Hagar Biles show up in the 1870 census of Stanly County, NC.

Then there is the Deed, Book 11 Page 547:

"Sharper Biles to Biles and Ivey"  

Sharper Biles of Stanly County, NC owed $20 to this partnership, Biles and Ivy, who held a note against him dated October 29th of 1877.  In turn he mortgaged "one red & white spotted cow and calf, one red & white spotted steer & one red & white spotted ox, age 7". 

Sharper signed with his mark and the document was witnessed by W M Ivy.

So, it looks like Sharper Biles may have lived in Rowan County and could have been the Sharper Jr. mentioned in the will of Mr. Frohock, a very wealthy individual who owned land all over the state, and in Virginia, as well as in Rowan County.

In Deed Book 18 Page 921 In Rowan  County, Thomas Biles (Whether Jr. or Sr, however, John Thomas, the Rowan Sr., is deceased, so I am assuming this to be Thomas the Second, a Jr in Rowan and Sr. in Stanly.) lets John Turner have 141 acres on the south side of Second Creek neighboring the properties of Gill, James Kincaid, Hulin and Dent for $220. It was witnessed by Thomas H. Dent and Stephen Biles (a brother of Thomas) and was proved in Feb. of 1804. It was notated that this deed was part of a tract from Alexander Frohock (brother to John Frohock, Esquire) to Thomas Biles.

The very next deed, Book 18 Page 922 Thomas Biles of Montgomery County (recall that Stanly was part of Montgomery at this time.) to George Monrow (sp), 200 acres next to John Howard, Beard, Mashick Pinkston on Laurel Branch for 250 pounds.  It was witnessed by Daniel Biles.

There was no Adam listed in the papers of John Frohock, but who did have an Adam?

In the will of ond Thomas Munroe (a relation of the above George Munroe perhaps?) , dated June 22 1805, he left to his wife Amelia, his plantation on the Yadkin River and negros Jack, Sunday, Peter, Phimia, Lenah, and Phebe. He left to his daughter Rebecca Reagen Munroe, a plantation and mill on Sandy Creek and negros, Rachel, Sal, Delia, Hannah, Bett, Adam, and Nat. Executors were his friend Charles F. Bagge and his wife, Amelia. Witnesses were W. Chambers, Naptaly Durham and Jere Durham.

So, we found an Adam in Rowan County, but was our Adam even born in 1805? And I can't find any transactions of Thomas Biles purchasing a slave named Adam.

There were several other transactions involving Thomas Biles buying slaves, or hiring bound children. The below document is a contract between one Harriett Austin and Thomas Biles, dated February 5, 1867, wherein she hired out her son, Allen, to Thomas Biles in exchange for "2 winter sutes, (suits), two sumer sutes, 2 par shoos, (pair of shoes), 1 hat," among other item, including "20 dollars in currency".  Harriett is named as a 'freed woman' in the document. She requires Thomas Biles to treat her son humanely and to correct him when needed. She also requests Thomas Biles to take her son William, "to give him his borde + three sets of close for his laber until the 25 of December".  She also requests that William be treated humanely and kind and to be corrected as needed.

And I did find another document mentioning Adam, but it was after Thomas and Tabitha Biles had passed and involved their son, Isaac.

This document provided for the dividing of the slaves of Thomas Biles II (Sr. in Stanly, Jr. in Rowan), fairly for the children of Francis and William Biles, sons of Thomas whom had predeceased him, leaving heirs. Archibald C. Smith, Johnathan Bell and Arthur F. Atkins had been called upon to evaluate the slaves left to the widow, Tabitha Biles. It states, "whereas Adam, one of the negroes has been valued by the said commissioners at the sum of $550". Isaac Biles settled in cash with his nieces and nephews over the value of Adam, and another man, Jack. 

While I found transactions naming slaves between Thomas Biles and Benjamin New, Francis Locke (this name appears in both Rowan and Stanly County documents, maybe not the same man, but most likely related as Francis Locke was an influential and historical figure here in those days), and Truxton Kirk, no one named Adam appears. He may have even originated with the Marbury family, as slaves are mentioned, but not by name, and came through the family of Tabitha Marbury Biles. 

In ending, I do not know if Adam Biles was born into the household of Thomas Biles, or if he was purchased from another slave holder, perhaps in Rowan County. I can only place him in the household of Thomas Biles. 

While genealogy for anyone this far back can be frustrating for anyone, and trying to find documentation that just may no longer exist, it's particualarly difficult for anyone with African American roots. Sometimes, this is as far as it can ever go.