Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The Tragedy of County Poor Homes & The Tales of Six Residents

Sarah Freeman, Columbus Whitley, Miranda Starnes, Hannah Bullard, Sarah Chapel, Jane Starnes



What did these Six individuals have in common? They were residents of a County Poor House in the year 1880.

Nearly every County in the Carolinas had them. They were established to care for paupers and the infirm, who had no family to do so. They were often the last stop on a downward spiral. Poor houses were normally attached to a prison farm, where the able-bodied poor were expected to work for their living.

Wikipedia gives the following information:"Poor farms were county- or town-run residences where paupers (mainly elderly and disabled people) were supported at public expense. The farms declined in use after the Social Security Act took effect in 1935, with most disappearing completely by about 1950."


Partial view with porch, Carteret County Home, Beaufort, Carteret County, North Carolina
View from the back at the old Cateret County Home NCSU Libraries Rare and Unique Photo Colleciton


Stanly County had one located on the Old Salisbury Road on a rise that had once belonged to my Palmer ancestors. The house has been torn down now, but still stood in the 1970's and 1980's. A cemetery that I was never aware of accompanied it. The circular drive still exists, though overgrown and hard to see in passing. A modern nursing home stands at the foot of the hill from the old County Home today.

The above list of people resided at the Union County, North Carolina home in 1880. They ranged in age from 11 to 83. They were by no means all of the residents at that time, but they piqued my curiosity by something in their description that made me want to know more about them and why or how they had ended up there. For some, there were no hints, for others, there were a few. They were our ancestors, or siblings or cousins of ancestors.

At the time, the Union County Home was ran by Mr. John A. Hargett and his wife Nancy Presley Hargett. John was 60 and his wife was 51 in 1880. His 3 sons  were grown and they hosted 11 people at the time.  His job was listed as "Steward of the Poor House". Before that he had been a farmer.


Hannah Bullard

Hannah and her fellow residents were listed twice in the 1880 census. They were enumerated on June 4, 1880 by enumerator W. J. Scruggs on a Scheudule I form. The next day, June 5, he enumerated them on the regular form.

Hannah was the oldest resident of the Poor House and she was not well. There were actually 3 elderly ladies there, ages given as 86 (Hannah), 80 (Sarah Chapell) and 75 (Sarah Freeman). There was a 65 year old man suffering from Kidney Disease. Hannah was said to have been suffering from Inflammation of the Bowels.


Name:Hannah Bullard
Age:86
Birth Date:Abt 1794
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1880:Monroe, Union, North Carolina, USA
Dwelling Number:185
Race:White
Gender:Female
Marital Status:Single
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:Virginia
Sick:Inflammation Of Fowele
Maimed, Crippled, or Bedridden:Yes
Cannot Read:Yes
Cannot Write:Yes
Neighbors:View others on page
Household Members:
NameAge
Hannah Bullard86


But who was this elderly lady? Was she someone's wife, someone's mother, someone's sister? How did she end up here?

My heart really went out to the older residents. In the 1891 Superior Court records of Stanly County, North Carolina, Fall Term, I found this heart breaking plea from the Jury to the Judge, concerning the Stanly County Poor House.

"To Judge Armfiled Presiding, 

We the Grand Jurors beg to report the Conditions of the Poor House as follows:

Need new floor in Cook Room
3 new door shutters
New bed clothing for 10 beds and we recommend that 20 new quilts be furnished
20 new sheets for said beds.
Also new warm woolen socks be furnished for 7 old ladies to keep them warm. 
6 Chamber Mugs
6 Tin dippers
6 Wash pans
6 tin buckets
10 mattresses
7 pairs Woolen Hose (Home Knit)
2 Bolts Chuck (sp?) for Clothing
2 sets of Chairs 
6 Tables
Pillows for each bed

The food is plentiful such as it is, but rough and poorly prepared. 

We remonstrate against the cruel and inhumane treatment of some of the poor by the wardens. We are informed that one poor old lady of 92 years old has been whipped for not working. 

Respectfully Submitted, 

H. C. Perry F. G. J. 

How inexusable and cruel for some woman to have lived that long to have to live her last years under such abuse.
Image result for old lady in poor house
Elderly female Poor House Residents, Google Images

From casual observation, many more women ended up in the Poor House than men did, except for those who lost everything from an acquired illness, like the gentleman with kidney disease.

So how did Hannah Bullard end up there?

Hannah was the daughter of James Bullard and wife Anna "Nancy" Ritter Bullard. Her family came from Chatham County and settled in the Bennett section of Anson County, that became Union County in 1842. She is shown living with her parents, already an old maid, in 1850.
Name:Hannah Bullard
Age:31
Birth Year:abt 1819
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1850:Union, North Carolina, USA
Gender:Female
Family Number:158
Household Members:
NameAge
James Bullard72
Anna Bullard81
Hannah Bullard31
Martha Bullard25
Ann Luton18
Her mother Nancy died in 1851 and her father in 1854. Both are buried in the Price-Tomberlin Cemetery near Monroe along with her younger sister Margaret, who married a Tomberlin.

Her sister Martha would be fortunate enough to marry a widower with 5 children, Tom Kesiah,  in 1860 after his first wife died and ended up having one child, at the end of her child-bearing years, a daughter, named for his first wife. She died in Union County in 1906. Her oldest brother Ambrose settled in Columbus County and died there in 1886. Her sister also settled with her husband Charles Shepherd in Columbus County, NC and remained childless, but adopted a young girl named Narcissa and is last seen in Georgia, where they removed to by 1870.

Name:Hannah Bullard
Age:53
Birth Year:abt 1807
Gender:Female
Birth Place:North Carolina
Home in 1860:Union, North Carolina
Post Office:Richardson Creek
Family Number:249
Value of real estate:View image
Household Members:
NameAge
Hannah Bullard53
Amy Bullard31


But Hannah remained in Union County. In 1860, she is seen living near  Richardson's Creek, supporting herself as a Weaver. Her personal property was worth $40. She shares her home with a younger woman, Amy Bullard. Amy may have been her daughter and living with another family in 1850. That I don't know. But she did live with Hannah for a few decades. Thirty-one year old Amy is listed as a Housekeeper.




In 1870, Hannah and Amy are living in or near Monroe, right next to her sister Martha and her husband, Thomas W. Kesiah. The single women may have been living in a building on the Kesiah property. There were many other Kesiah families in the area, along with Price's.

Name:Hannah Bullard
Age in 1870:70
Birth Year:abt 1800
Birthplace:North Carolina
Dwelling Number:179
Home in 1870:Monroe, Union, North Carolina
Race:White
Gender:Female
Occupation:Keeping House
Cannot Read:Y
Cannot Write:Y
Household Members:
NameAge
Hannah Bullard70
Amasy Bullard45

In 1880, Hannah, now sick with Inflammation of the Bowels, has been moved to the Poor House. Amy, a middle-aged woman herself, is living with her Aunt Martha and Uncle Thomas Kesiah. Martha is not much older than Amy and Amy is listed as a niece. Since Amy is not listed with any of Martha's other siblings, I have the feeling that Hannah was her mother.




Name:Amie Bullard
Age:50
Birth Date:Abt 1830
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1880:Monroe, Union, North Carolina, USA
Dwelling Number:684
Race:White
Gender:Female
Relation to Head of House:Niece
Marital Status:Single
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Occupation:Housekeeper
Cannot Read:Yes
Cannot Write:Yes
Neighbors:View others on page
Household Members:
NameAge
Thomas Keziah54
Martha Keziah56
Amie Bullard50





Martha died December 9, 1906. She is buried in the Dunalp Cemetery in the Unionville Community of Union County, North Carolina.

Image result for Unionville, Union County, NC


After 1880, both Hannah and Amy disappear. Being sick, it is most likely that Hannah did not live long past the 1880 census. She could have died later that year or by 1882 at least. Her exact age is unknown. While her birth year is estimated as 1794 in 1880, I believe that is an exageration. In 1850, it is given as 1819, in 1860 as 1807 and in 1870 as 1800. The same with Amy, who was born between 1825 and 1830. Amy was likely deceased before 1900. Where either is buried is unknown.

Jane Starnes

Unlike Hannah Bullard, who was an elderly lady, Jane Starnes was still in her productive middle years in 1880. Her malady, however, that caused her entry was that she was labeled insane.
Name:Jane Starnes
Age:47
Birth Date:Abt 1833
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1880:Monroe, Union, North Carolina, USA
Dwelling Number:185
Race:White
Gender:Female
Marital Status:Single
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Insane:Yes
Neighbors:View others on page
Household Members:
NameAge
Jane Starnes47

Jane Starnes situation varied a bit from that of Hannah. She never married and was not a mother. She was left property in her father's will, but it wasn't lack of assetts that ended her up in the Poor House. In the column that listed any medical conditions a person might have, Jane was noted as being insane, but it was not alway that way. 

Margaret Jane Starnes was the daughter of Valentine A Starnes and Olivia "Leavy" Ritch Starnes. 


Name:Jane Starnes
Age:13
Birth Year:abt 1837
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1850:Union, North Carolina, USA
Gender:Female
Family Number:541
Household Members:
NameAge
Valentine Starnes50
Olney Starnes48
John Starnes21
Esther Starnes16
Daling Starnes14
Jane Starnes13
Jacob Starnes11
Brown Starnes9

Jane was the youngest daughter of 7 children with one sister and 5 brothers. She grew up in the Sandy Ridge area of Union County, North Carolina. In the 1850 census, oldest brother Adam Starnes was already out on his own.
Name:Jane Starnes
Age:22
Birth Year:abt 1838
Gender:Female
Birth Place:North Carolina
Home in 1860:Union, North Carolina
Post Office:Fullwoods
Family Number:720
Value of real estate:View image
Household Members:
NameAge
Valentine Starnes59
Olevy Starnes57
Esther Starnes26
Jane Starnes22
Jacob Starnes21

The 1860 census would be the last for sister Esther. As she didn't make her father's will, it appeard Esther passed away unmarried and young before 1870.Her mother wouldn't make it to 1870 either.

Name:Jane Starnes
Age:22
Birth Year:abt 1838
Gender:Female
Birth Place:North Carolina
Home in 1860:Union, North Carolina
Post Office:Fullwoods
Family Number:720
Value of real estate:View image
Household Members:
NameAge
Valentine Starnes59
Olevy Starnes57
Esther Starnes26
Jane Starnes22
Jacob Starnes21

My interest in Jane was piqued by her surname, Starnes, which is one of the names in my family tree. Most, if not all, of the Union, Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, and Stanly County, North Carolina and York and Lancaster County, South Carolina Starnes/Stearnes families harken back to the original Frederick Starnes families and John, Valentine and Adam Starnes, all related. Jane's father Valentine was just one of the grandsons a few generations down from these and a cousin removed a few from my F. F. Starnes.

The tragedy to hit this family was not over, not by far. The Civil War struck, and tragedy hit many families, but it hit the family of Valentine Starnes the hardest. He lost not one, not two, but every son he had, from the oldest to the youngest.

Adam Starnes (or Stearnes) b 1827 Mecklenburg, NC  d April 17, 1864 Point Lookout, St. Mary's County, MD

John Leander Starnes b Aug 8, 1829 Crooked Creek, Mecklenburg, NC d April 18, 1864 Scotland, St. Mary's County, MD Enlisted October 21, 1862 Camp French by L. R. Gibson.
Noted as Missing in Action  on Oct. 14, 1863
Captured at Bristow Station, Virginia  Transfered Oct 27, 1863 to Point Lookout
Admitted to Hospital Feb 11 1864 with Pneumonia
Died April 17, 1864 

Jacob M. Starnes  b 1839 Union County, NC d June 29, 1863
Pvt Co J 37th NC INF born Union County, age 23, Occupation: Farmer Height 5 ft 10"
Enlisted in Charlotte on Oct 22, 1961 by Harrison for a period of One Year
Jan - Feb 1862 Absent, on furlough  from Feby 27 - April 3
Mar - Apr 1862 Present. Enlistment Cont. 2 years $50.00 Bounty
Wounded at Fredericksburg December 13, 1862
Died from Wounds recieved at Chancelorville May 3, 1863 Died June 29, 1863
Settlement recieved January 25, 1864 by Valentine Starnes, father

Brown Starnes b 1841 Union Co. NC d May 31, 1863
Pvt Co I (Mecklenburg Rifles)  37 Regt NC Inf
Born Union Co NC age 21 Height 6 ft 1" Camp Mangum Term of One Year
Enlisted Jany 1 in Charlotte, NC ReEnlisted in Mar/April 1862 for 2 years $50.00 Bounty
Disease: Wounds recieved May 7 1863 Fredericksburg
Died: May 31, 1863 Chancelorville, Va
Settlement recieved by Valentine Starnes, father


The Case of Dulin Starnes

Dulin Starnes - 1835 Union County, Nc  - 15 Aug 1863

The case of Dulin Starnes was a bit more unusual, confusing and tragic than that of his brothers. He actually enlisted 3 times in three different companies at three different places, sometimes accompanied by one or more of his brothers. To understand what he did in better terms, I put it on a timeline.

1835 - Dulin Starnes born in Union County, North Carolina.
1858 - Marries Rusha (Maybe short for Jerusha) Elizabeth King, daughter of Harmon Daniel King Jr and Mary Valentina Starnes, likely a cousin.
 November 27 -1859  Emsley Valentine Starnes born. Oldest son of Dulin and Rusha.

October 4, 1861   Enlisted in Union County, by Thomas W. Redwine Co F (Redwine Beauregards) 35th Regiment, NC Infantry. Born Union County, Age 25, Occupation: Blacksmith
Height 6 foot 1".

October 22, 1861 Enlisted in Charlotte, NC by Captain Harrison for a period of 12 months.
                               Pvt. Co J 37 Regt NC Infantry. Brother Jacob M. Starnes also enlisted this day.
November 6, 1861 Camp of Induction near Raleigh. Remarks: Deserted

Jan. -Feb, 1862  Noted as Absent - On Furlough. (*Conception Period of Dulin Jr.).
Feb 22 1862 - March 29 1862 On Furlough from Co J 37th Regiment
March - April Muster 1862 Present Co J 37th Regiment. Enlistment Cont. for 2 years $50 Bounty.
June 30 - Oct 31 1862 Muster Roll: Co J 37th Regiment. Last paid by R. M. Oates on April 30
July 5, 1862  Remarks from above Muster Roll "Desterted July 5".

Roll of Honor Co J, 37th Regt County Union, Date of Entrance into Service: Oct 22, 1961 Age 25, Conscript, Remarks "Shot to Death by Order of Court Martial for Desertion". 

Oct 22, 1862 Conscript  Co D 52nd Infantry, at Camp French by D. R. Gibson 3 years or duration of War. Brother John Leander Starnes also enlisted this day at the same place.

November 1, 1862 - March 1863 - Absent from Co D 52 Inf. noted Absent, Paroled Prisoner (been exchanged).

December 18, 1862 Date of Parole

Roll of Honor  Co D 52 Inf  County: Union    Rank: Private Remarks: "Shot for Desertion".

August 15, 1863 Dulin Benson Starnes I shot to death, Virginia, USA

October 1, 1863 Dulin Benson Starnes II born second son of Dulin, Sr. and Rusha.



Notes attached to Paperwork of Co F, 37th Regiment.
" The name Dulin Benson Starnes has not been found on the file of any Confederate State. For the Records show that one Dulin Starnes 35 Regt. enlisted  Oct 4, 1861 in Union County by Capt. Thomas W. Redwine on a muster roll of the Co dated Camp of Induction near Raleigh Nov. 6, 1861. He was reported deserted. No later record as a member of this Company has been found. 

The records also show that one Dulin Starnes whose name is also found as Dulin Stearnes Pvt. Co J 37 Regt. enlisted Oct 29, 1861 at Charlotte for 1 year. Age 25 years Occupation Blacksmith Height 6' 1" , born in Union County. Enlistment for Two year. The January -February Muster Roll shows he deserted on July 5, 1862.

Dulin Starnes Pvt. Co D 52 Regt. NC Infantry Enlisted on Oct 21, 1862 at Camp French. Union Records show he was captured between New Bern and Goldsboro, NC and paroled December 17, 1862. 

On a roll covering the Period to March 1863 he was reported "Absent, Paroled Prisoner" Had been Exchanged. Residence shown as Union County, NC. 

State: Virginia   Captain William Long, 1st Liet. Andrew J. Thompson, 2nd Liet. Clinton K King, 2nd Liet. John L. Myers. "

Somehow, Dulin Starnes appeared to not understand that he could not go from one company to another at will. It cost him his life.


As a side note on Adam Starnes. Some state that he was the Adam Starnes who went to Indiana with his wife and raised a large family, not the one who died at Point LookOut. He, nor any children of his was mentioned in his father's will of 1875. Either the Union County, NC to Indiana Adam Starnes was the wrong one, or he lost touch entirely with his family and his father thought him deceased.

So in the decade between 1860 and 1870, Margaret Jane Starnes had lost her mother, her older sister Esther, and all 5 five of her brothers, 4 at least, to the tragedy that was the Civil War.

 - Married, in Union county, on the 22nd inst., by...
The Daily Standard
(Raleigh, North Carolina)
25 May 1870, Wed  • Page 3


Then on May 22, 1870, her 69 year old father, Valentine A. Starnes married 40 year old Margaret T. Query, a woman only a few years olders than Jane herself.
Name:Valentine Starnes
Age in 1870:69
Birth Year:abt 1801
Birthplace:North Carolina
Dwelling Number:237
Home in 1870:Sandy Ridge, Union, North Carolina
Race:White
Gender:Male
Occupation:Farmer
Male Citizen Over 21:Y
Household Members:
NameAge
Valentine Starnes69
Margaret Starnes40
Margaret J Starnes39
James Starnes19


The 1870 census found Valentine with his new bride, his only child left, Margaret Jane and his 19 year old grandson, James, son of John Leander Starnes, living in Sandy Ridge.

The Will of Valentine Starnes

Valentine Starnes wrote his will as he felt his aging body giving way. He wrote in a clear and reverent script, hinting at a sound and thorough education, a strong faith in God, and a poetic tendancy. It was written on February 18, 1875. Skipping the fluid prose and legalese, the basics of his will were thus:

1) He will his lands and all property to his wife, Margaret T. Starnes "so long as she remains my widow and no longer". And at her death or second marriage to be divided as such.

2) A portion from a Hickory to Stillwell's corner to Robinson's Corner to be will to grandson Emsley V. Starnes (son of Dulin).

3) The property on the southside, along with his house and all household and kitchen furniture to daughter Margaret Jane Starnes "to be hers permanently".

4) One red heifer to daughter Margaret Jane Starnes.

5) Bed and Bedstead to Granddaughter Francis Starnes (daughter of John Leander)

6) All remaining property, along with Gold Mine and "all be sold and its proceeds, along with my notes, and money be equally divided between my 5 grandchildren: Dulin B. Starnes, and Francis, and James L. and Jerusha, and Joanna and Sarah J. Starnes, the children of my two sons, Dulin and John Starnes, deceased.  (*If you noticed, that is more than 5 and Emsley, mentioned before was left out, so there was 6.  (Jerusha and Joanna was one girl, Jerusha Joanna Starnes.)

7) Supplement " I will that my wife Margaret have and hold all the property that she fetched here and all that she may make hers after and dispose of it as she pleases." (Anyone else see a sign of hen-pecking from a young(er) wife in this addendum?)

Signed Valentine Starnes.
Franklin Starnes (A. F. Starnes in probate) assigned as Executor.

Witnesses: S. N. Stillwell and W. H. Phifer

Valentines estate was probated in 1884. His Gold Mine was sold on Feb. 4, 1880 for $250. His estate papers were 35 pages long. A. Franklin Starnes had been replaced by C. W. Simpson as Administrator of the Estate. Heirs mentioned were Dulin B. Starnes, Jerusha J. Dempster, Frances M. Sharpe, Sarah J. Wright. The clerks handwriting looks like waves in the sand, but the following information can be deciphered.

"James L. Starnes, deceased, having died since the death of one said V. Starnes".  

His sisters were pleading with the court to divide James L. Starnes portion of their grandfather's estate among them. Grandson Emsley Valentine Starnes, widow Margaret and daughter Jane were not mentioned in the estate papers.

Name:Margret Sterns
Age:54
Birth Date:Abt 1826
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1880:Sandy Ridge, Union, North Carolina, USA
Dwelling Number:229
Race:White
Gender:Female
Relation to Head of House:Self (Head)
Marital Status:Widowed
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Occupation:Keeps House
Neighbors:View others on page
Household Members:
NameAge
Margret Sterns54

In the 1880 census, his widow, Margaret T. Query Starnes was living alone in the Sandy Ridge area, where she was in 1870, but right next to a James Harvey Query, who was probably a relative of hers. Another neighbor was James T. Ross, who was mentioned in the estate papers as having bought a portion of the lands in question.


So imagining Jane, her last stronghold, her father, is deceased. Her young stepmother with the right, and probably the will, to sell all the property that would go to Jane, away, leaving her only with that red heifer. Her siblings all gone, her brothers lost in that pernicious war. No husband to provide. No marketable skill. Only a handful of nieces and nephews left and her sweet young John L, who moved in to help her father, gone.

She lost her mind. And by 1884, had also lost her life. I would not rule out suicide in her case. No records, but a high probability. As a side note, there were 4 Jane Starnes in the area within a decade of her 1880 given year of birth, but with the hint that she was a single woman, and born a Starnes, it narrowed down to this Jane being the only possible candidate for the Jane Starnes in the poor house.

Miranda Starnes

Miranda Starnes was of interest because of her name, Starnes and her age, only 24. Why would a young woman, in the prime of life, be contained in a Poor House?

Sadly, the only real information I could find on her was in the two 1880 censuses in which she appeared.
Name:Ransy Starnes
Age:22
Birth Date:Abt 1858
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1880:Monroe, Union, North Carolina, USA
Dwelling Number:1
Race:Black
Gender:Female
Marital Status:Single
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Occupation:Servant
Insane:Yes
Cannot Read:Yes
Cannot Write:Yes
Neighbors:View others on page
Household Members:
NameAge
Ransy Starnes22

The one record tells us that she is a black female, 22 years of age. She is single, and insane. She can neither read nor write, and she and both of her parents were born in North Carolina.


Name:Miranda Starnes
Age:22
Birth Date:Abt 1858
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1880:Monroe, Union, North Carolina, USA
Dwelling Number:185
Race:Black
Gender:Female
Marital Status:Single
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Insane:Yes
Cannot Read:Yes
Cannot Write:Yes
Neighbors:View others on page
Household Members:
NameAge
Miranda Starnes22
The second census has basically the same information, but has her name as Miranda, instead of Randy, which I suppose was a nickname. But it also gives one disturbing bit of information not mentioned in the previous one. "Confined in Cell". Miranda was so disturbed, they thought she had to be locked away.

Because of her race, it was likely that Miranda had been born a slave. Still, I had hopes that I might find her in the 1870 census, which was the first in which all African Americans were listed by name, not just the free ones. Looking for Starnes females fitting her description in Union County in 1870, there was one, the daughter of William and Alcy Starnes. Her name was Cornelia, which was a far cry from Miranda, but could have been her.

Wondering if perhaps Miranda died in 1880 as well, I took a chance on the Mortality Schedule for Union County that year. There were a number of Starnes that passed away that year in Union County.

V. M. Starnes, 88, died suddenly.
Charles Starnes, 82, died of Catarrahl Fever, which typically was a livestock disease.
John Starnes, 81, died of dysentery
Elizabeth Starnes,84, died of Old Age
Valentine Starnes, 81, died of a Rupture. This was Jane's father. He had lived 5 years past writing his will.

Name:John Starnes
Gender:Male
Race:Black
Marital Status:Single
Estimated birth year:abt 1876
Birth Place:North Carolina, USA
Age:4
Death Date:Mar 1880
Cause of Death:Burned to Death
Census Year:1880
Census Place:Monroe, Union, North Carolina, USA
Enumeration District:210
LINE:14

But the entry that tore at my heartstrings the most was that of John Starnes, aged 4 and William Starnes, aged 2, two little boys, both black and from Sandy Ridge. Both with the cause of death as "Burned to Death". Did this have anything to do with Miranda? Would I find anything in the newspapers?  I did.


 - tested and showed worthlOO per Monroe Express :...
The Daily Review
(Wilmington, North Carolina)
19 Apr 1880, Mon  • Page 4

No mention of Miranda, but were they related? Yet, sometimes, you have to read multiple articles on the same story to get the whole picture.


 - foretelling the weather. - Monroe Expret ;...

The Observer
(Raleigh, North Carolina)
20 Apr 1880, Tue  • Page 2

"According to Miranda's story, she had built on a large fire in the fire place, which caught the building, when she went out after a bucket of water to extinguish it, closing the door after her, and when she returned, it was too late to rescue the children."

So, this was probably Miranda's family. She wasn't alone in the world.

The first step, or the easiest first step, was to find James G. King, and then find a Starnes family that lived near him.

ousehold Members:
NameAge
Violet Starnes45
Josephine Starnes22
Pollie Starnes16


And that I did. Violet Starnes age 45 and her daughters Josephine 22, and Polly 16, living right next door to James G. King with whom a 12 year old boy named James Starnes, lived and worked as a servant. It would not be hard to assume that James was also the son of Violet and that Josephine, was "Josy" in the article, mother of William, the two year old.

Having found Violet in 1880, I could now find her in 1870, as her name was not a common one. And that I did. I found her living in the home of a 70 year old man, John Starnes, who may have been her father. Not a husband, as her name did not come next. The home was full of children, including Josephine and by their ages, Miranda was probably "Jane", making her name Miranda Jane Starnes. Pollie was "Ann" in 1870 as her name was Mary Ann and her nickname Pollie.

This family was surrounded by other Starnes households. One, Emalina, was a 30 year old African American woman with a house full of children, too. The other households were white Starnes and I hoped that could take me one step further in the search for Miranda's past.

Two of the closests homes, that of Jackson Starnes and a widow named Jane Starnes, led to a very long and extensive family tale of land records and court records that I will probably look at later, but had nothing to do with Miranda. Jackson was Andrew Jackson Starnes and Jane was widow of his brothe M. L. Starnes. Both were sons of Moses Starnes, who had died in 1843, leaving a great deal of property, but owning no slaves.

The other nearby Starnes was Thomas, son of a John Starnes and this led to a small bit of information. In the 1850 and 1860 census records, a schedule was attached at the end called the Slave Schedules. It only listed the names of the owners of the slaves, and listed the slaves only by age and gender. In 1850, there were 3 Starnes who owned slaves: Daniel, who only had a man and woman, Charles, one 13 year old boy, and John the most, 8,which appear to be a family, a man, a woman and 6 children. By 1860, Daniel appeared to have the same man and woman in his household, now joined by two young boys. A William P. Starnes had taken in a one year old male infant listed as a slave.
Charles Starnes seems to have had the same young man, now an adult of 22 instead of a 13 year old boy. Thomas Starnes appears with a young woman of 25 and 4 young children. John Starnes now has 9 in his household: 3 adults, 3 teenages and 3 young children.

It is my belief that Violet was the 25 year old in the home of Thomas and the children included her oldest daughters, Miranda and Josephine. Both the estate of John and Thomas were settled far after the end of the Civil War, so their slaves were freed before their deaths, so therefore, not named in any estate records. A closer look at any deeds, conveyances or any other interaction between father and son in the records of Union County might determine if my hunches were true.

Violets daughters, Josephine and Pollie married brothers, Thomas and John Barrett, sons of John Barrett Sr. and wife Harriett. They can be traced, and Josephine died in Guilford County in 1952. Only Violet as her mother, is listed in Josephines's marriage and death records, while Pollie gives her father as Burk Richardson. But there is no more record of Miranda. She must not have made it 1900. She may not have regained her sanity. But I take heart in knowing, at least a bit of her story, and a hint at who she was.

Columbus Whitley

Columbus Whitley was interesting because it was a very Stanly County sounding name and because this Columbus was so very young. Again, the two census records give us a tad bit difference in information.

Name:Columbus Whitley
Age:11
Birth Date:Abt 1869
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1880:Monroe, Union, North Carolina, USA
Dwelling Number:1
Race:Black
Gender:Male
Marital Status:Single
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Occupation:Servant
Cannot Read:Yes
Cannot Write:Yes
Neighbors:View others on page
Household Members:
NameAge
Columbus Whitley11
The first one gives us the basic information of his age, and what he did at the poor house. He was only 11 years old and working as a servant. The second one gave the exact same information, with one exception, it included the words "bound boy."

Binding was an 19th century institution slightly like todays foster home system. It was intended to provide care for orphaned, abandoned, illegitimate, or neglected and abused children, provide them with workable skills, and the family to which they were bound with the labor of the child. The guardians were required to provide the child with basic nessessities and an education, while teaching them a particular trade, or knowledge of husbandry. It cut across color lines, so had no relation to the fact that Columbus was African-American, except to the fact that destruction of those families had taken place for decades, many marriages disallowed or informal, so at the time of Columbus's birth, just a few years after the end of the Civil War, black women who had children without also having a marriage license, often had those children taken away and bound out, in a fashion, still enslaving those children until they reached the age of majority.
Image result for servant boyBeing 11, Columbus should have been about a year old during the previous census, in 1870, but I could not find him. His parents names, given on his documents, were Henderson Whitley, from Union County, and Sarah Robertson, from Mecklenburg County. I could not find Henderson Whitley, but I did find a Sarah Robertson in Mecklenburg County, with the unusual profession of "Fortune Teller". She was too old to have been Columbus's mother, but perhaps she was his grandmother, or other relative.

But Columbus Whitley's life did not lie behind him, it lie ahead. He was the first of my studied so far to have made the twenty year jump to 1900. During this 20 year period, he had grown up, married Sarah E. Sellers from Cheraw, South Carolina and the two had settled in Chesterfield County, SC to raise a family.

Market Street in Cheraw, SC about 1909


Name:Columbus Whitley
[Columbus ??A] 
Age:35
Birth Date:Mar 1865
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1900:Court House, Chesterfield, South Carolina
Sheet Number:2B
Number of Dwelling in Order of Visitation:38
Family Number:38
Race:Black
Gender:Male
Relation to Head of House:Head
Marital Status:Married
Spouse's Name:Sarah Whitley
Marriage Year:1890
Years Married:10
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Occupation:Farm
Months not employed:1
Can Read:No
Can Write:No
Can Speak English:Yes
Farm or House:F
Neighbors:View others on page
Household Members:
NameAge
Columbus Whitley35
Sarah Whitley32
Mary Whitley10
Carry Whitley6
Green Whitley4
Sarah Whitley2
Perl Homer33


Related image

Pearl Homer was a servant. Columbus was farming. They were living amongst several white Sellers families, which may have been where Sarah grew up. She could read and write, and she was noted as the mother of 7 childdren, with only 4 having survived. The child motality rate was incredibly high at that time. Sarah's was nearly 50%.



Name:Sarah Whitting
[Sarah Whitter] 
Age in 1910:46
Birth Year:abt 1864
[abt 1870] 
Birthplace:South Carolina
Home in 1910:Cheraw, Chesterfield, South Carolina
Race:Black
Gender:Female
Relation to Head of House:Wife
Marital Status:Married
Spouse's Name:Columlus Whitting
Father's Birthplace:South Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:South Carolina
Native Tongue:English
Occupation:Farm Laborer
Industry:Day
Employer, Employee or Other:Wage Earner
Able to Read:No
Able to Write:No
Years Married:25
Number of Children Born:6
Number of Children Living:6
Out of Work:N
Number of weeks out of work:0
Neighbors:View others on page
Household Members:
NameAge
Columlus Whitting45
Sarah Whitting46
Mary Whitting20
Carrie Whitting18
Grenn Whitting16
Leon Whitting14
Ellen Whitting12
Sarah Whitting10
Jack Whitting1
 


1910 The family is still in Cheraw, Chesterfield County, SC. Columbus, Sarah, and all of the older children are working as farm labor. The children can read and write. To his credit, Columbus Whitley looked to be steadily improving the lives of his children and descendants. Oddly, Sarah claims to be the mother of 6 children and 7 are listed. Despite the 9 year age gap between Jack and Sarah Jr., he is listed as a son. I wonder, if instead, he was actually a grandson, and the child of one of the older daughters.

Image result for cheraw, sc, 1910
Cheraw, SC 1912

He was part of what refer to as the first of the mobile generation. No longer was it a major move to go to another county or state. Jump a train and the world was your oyster.




Cheraw, SC when the Whitley's lived there.






By 1917, Columbus had moved his family to Raleigh, North Carolina, a larger, more progressive and rapidly growing town. Cheraw, South Carolina, sittling just below the North Carolina border along the PeeDee River, was a quintessential Southern town, especially in these early year. Not saying that Raleigh was not. But the Raleigh-Durham area was becoming a center for tobacco factories, and newly expanding technologies. The transportation system was more modern and the opportunity was greater. I can imagine Columbus hearing about the opportunities and thinking it a better place for his family than working as farm labor.

In 1917, Columbus shows up as a Laborer, and living at 1127 S Person St in Raleigh. His daughter Carrie was listed as a domestic.

Image result for pellagra
A Child in 1914 with Pellagra

Sadly, before leaving Cheraw completely, the family suffered a major loss. The Death Certficate of oldest daughter, Mary E. Whitley shows she died at age 24 of Pellegra. Pellagra is a horrific disease caused by Niacin deficiency. It can be charactorized by horrifically inflamed skin, dirahhea, mouth sores, and later, dementia, followed by death. The death of Mary may have been the catalyst for the 3 hour move northeast. Better opportunities, more jobs, better nutrition. It can derive from a number of issues, like a natural lack of the ability to absorb Niacin and Trytophan, but most often from alchoholism or a diet dependent mainly on corn.

But the deadly disease Pellagra was not finished with the Whitley family. On October 4, 1919, Columbus and Sarah lost another daughter. Millie Ellen Whitley listed as living at 1125 South Person Street, Raleigh, is listed as dying of Pellegra on October 4, 1919. She was 18 years, 1 month and 22 days old. Young women, in the prime of their life.

Millie's death certificate suggested another reason for the families move to Raleigh. The Hospital.

Other information on her death certificate: Occupation: Housekeeper  Birthplace: Cheraw S. C.
Father's name: Columbus Whitley Birthplace: Monroe N. C. Mother's maiden name: Sarah E. Sellers Birthplace: Cheraw S. C.   Informant: Sarah E. Whitley.

The doctor's notes were telling. "I hereby certify that I attended the deceased from June 1, 1918 to November 25 1918."  D. E. Caldwell M. D.

Maybe after losing Mary on December 22, 1917, Columbus sought treatment for Millie Ellen in Raleigh.

Little Jack also disappeared. Perhaps he also died of Pellagra before they began to start issuing death certificates around 1913.

mthope

While Mary's Death Certificate only states that she was buried in Cheraw, Millie Ellen's state that she was buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in Raleigh, a cemetery opened in 1872 for the African-American community in Raleigh.


The move did not seem like a blessing to the family in these latter years of the early Nineteen-teens. The birth, then death of a grandchild got Sarah E. Whitley on the wrong side of the law, propably a case of ignorance of that law.


 - FINED FOR FAILURE V TO REPORT A BIRTH Colored...

News and Observer
(Raleigh, North Carolina)
23 Jul 1919, Wed  • Page 11

Image result for south person street raleigh nc
An historic Raleigh home on South Person Street


The 1920 census shows the family at 1125 South Person St. Raleigh, still, with 6 surviving children.

Name:Columbus Whitley
[Colunbus Whitley] 
Age:49
Birth Year:abt 1871
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1920:Raleigh Ward 3, Wake, North Carolina
Street:S Person Street
House Number:1125
Residence Date:1920
Race:Black
Gender:Male
Relation to Head of House:Head
Marital Status:Married
Spouse's Name:Sallie Whitley
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Able to Speak English:Yes
Occupation:Laborer
Industry:public wk
Employment Field:Wage or Salary
Home Owned or Rented:Rent
Able to Read:No
Able to Write:No
Neighbors:View others on page
Household Members:
NameAge
Columbus Whitley49
Sallie Whitley37
Carrie Whitley21
Sarah Whitley16
Lemuel Whitley15
Charlie Whitley11
Marie Whitley6
Greene Whitley22


This would be Columbus Whitley's last census. He is shown as a Laborer, Sallie appears to be a Stay-at-Home-Mom. Carrie and Sarah Jr. both are working as Laundresses and oldest son Green is working as labor for the Public Works.


Name:Columbus W Whitley
Residence Year:1921
Street address:217 Lee
Residence Place:Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
Occupation:Driver
Publication Title:Raleigh, North Carolina, City Directory,


The next year would be a better one for the Whitley family. According to the City Directory, they had all moved to 217 Lee Street. Columbus had acquire a job as a driver and Green was working as a Packer at the Capudine Chemical Company. Lee Street intersects with South Person, so the move was not a far one. One runs East -West, the other North - South. It's a historically black neighborhood just south of Shaw University. Mt. Hope cemetery towered in the distance on a westward hill.

Image result for Lee Street, raleigh, nc

This is a photo of  214 Lee Street. It is probably typical of the bungalow style home that the Whitley's occupied. Their small burst of good luck would not last long, however.

On May 19, 1922, a third daughter, Sarah Jr., aged 19 died of Pellagra. She was noted as having been born in Cheraw and being a laundry worker. She was buried at Mount Hope.


Columbus W. Whitley died on August 1, 1922. His wife was Sarah Whitley and his place of birth, Monroe, N. C. His father was listed as Henderson Whitley born in Monroe and his mother's maiden name was Sarah Robertson, born in Meckleburg County, NC.  He also died of Pellagra and heart failure, contributing factors, diareaha and mental symptoms. He had been suffering with Pellagra for 4 years. His occupation was given as a farmer and oil mill worker and laborer. He was buried at Mount Hope Cemetery with his daughters,


Sarah E. Sellers Whitley outlived her husband by 15 years. She passed away on March 7, 1937 at the age of 74. She is also buried at Mount Hope.

Columbus W.  Whitley and Sarah E. Sellers Whitley had the following children:

1) Mary Whitley b Oct. 1889 d Dec 22, 1917 Both in Cheraw, SC

2) Carrie Whitley Saunders. B July 23, 1893 Cheraw, SC. D June 24, 1966 Raleigh, Wake, NC
    Married Percy McLean Saunders, Sr.

3) Green Whitley b June 10, 1894 Cheraw, SC D Oct 14, 1970 Wake County, NC
     Married Bertha Turner.

4) Sarah E. Whitley b July 1897 Cheraw, SC D May 19, 1922 Raleigh, NC

5) Millie Ellen Whitley b Aug 12, 1901 Cheraw, SC D Oct 4, 1919 Raleigh, NC

6) Lemuel Whitley b April 6, 1904 Cheraw, SC Ded 2, 1978 Carolina Biblical Garden, Garner, Wake Co. Married Gladys Duncan

7) Charles Columbus "Charlie" Whitley b Aug 31, 1908 Cheraw, NC D Dec 30, 2006 Raleigh, NC
     Married Eunice, Married Daisy Thomas

8) Marie Whitley B 1914 Cheraw, South Carolina.

Below is the obituary for Charles Columbus Whitley, the youngest son of Columbus Sr. He died less than a decade ago. To imagine, his father was born just after the end of slavery in America. That is how close we still are to it. Just a few generations.

A quick study of the known descendants of Columbus W. Whitley show a collection of well-educated and sucessful individuals. His move to make a better life for his descendants worked. They probably have no idea what they owe to Columbus, his hard work, his trials and tribulations, his suffering. I am sure he is proud and happy of the family he has left behind.

Charles C. Whitley

Death notices - 1
News & Observer, The (Raleigh, NC) - Thursday, January 4, 2007
RALEIGH -- Bro. Charles Columbus Whitley, born Aug. 31, 1908, to Mr. Columbus and Mary Whitley, Cheraw, SC, departed this life on Saturday, Dec. 30, 2006.

He was preceded in death by his parents; former wife; sister; and brothers.

The funeral service will be at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 4, at Rush Metropolitan AME Zion Church, preceded by a 10:30 a.m. visitation, with burial to follow at Carolina Biblical Gardens.

At an early age he was affectionately called to and embraced the Christian faith. Later he became a member of Rush Metropolitan AME Zion Church, Raleigh. He was a member of the Steward Board, and a member of the Usher Board for 40 faithful years until his health failed.

He worked for the Railroad Express for many years. After which, he joined the US Navy and received an honorable discharge. He was a member of Widow's Son Lodge @#4, Boyer Consistory @#219.

On Sept. 7, 2002 Charles was united in holy matrimony to Daisy Thomas Whitley.

He leaves to cherish his memories, a loving and devoted wife, Daisy; son, Charlie Roberson; daughters, Cynthia Greene and Daisy Hicks; nieces, Ruth Carter (Howard), Raleigh, Shirley Nelson, Columbia, SC, Mary Evans, Raleigh, June Taylor, Laurel, MD, Delane Pretty (Milton), Capital Heights, MD, Brenda and Collette Judd, both of Raleigh; a nephew, Michael Judd, Rocky Mount; a host of other relatives and friends; and a very special caregiver, Sharlon Crudup.

Arrangements by Haywood Fu-neral Home, 2415 S. Wilmington Street, Raleigh, NC 27603, (919)832-2835, 


Sallie Freeman

Sarah Freeman's story was quick, uncomplicated, simple, but none the less sad. Her maiden name is unknown. In the 1880 census records we learn three simple facts about her alone.

She is a widow. She was born around 1805,  in North Carolina and so were her parents. And she was suffering from a malady called "Old Age". The second 1880 census gave no differing information.

Sarah was the widow of a man named George Freeman. He was born about 1803, probably in the section of Mecklenburg County that became part of Union in 1842. It appears he had a brother named Charles Freeman who died about 1843, other than that, his family is unknown. It is possible that Sarah was a Simpson.

Name:Geo Freeman
Home in 1830 (City, County, State):Mecklenburg, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - 20 thru 29:1
Free White Persons - Females - 20 thru 29:1
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49:2
Total Free White Persons:2
Total - All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored):2

George and Sarah probably married in the 1820's. He first shows up in the 1830 census. He and Sarah are in their 20's.
Name:George Freeman
Home in 1840 (City, County, State):Mecklenburg, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - 40 thru 49:1
Free White Persons - Females - 30 thru 39:1
Persons Employed in Agriculture:1
No. White Persons over 20 Who Cannot Read and Write:1
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49:2
Total Free White Persons:2
Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves:2


A decade later, no changes, just a decades older. Still just the two of them.

Name:George Freeman
Age:47
Birth Year:abt 1803
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1850:Union, North Carolina, USA
Gender:Male
Family Number:1115
Household Members:
NameAge
John C Burnet25
Mary Burnet34
Frances C Burnet0
George Freeman47
Sarah Freeman45


1850. Sarah is named in this one. The two are in their forties living with with a young family, John C Burnett and his wife Mary Stancil Freeman. John C. Burnett has a little property and George has found work as a Farm Laborer working for him. In 1856, John C. Burnett dies, leave an estate, a widow and three children. Robert Simpson is the Administrator of the estate, just as Simpsons were involved in George's brother Charles's estate. That is why I think Sarah might have been a Simpson.

So now, George is out of work.

Name:George Freemen
Age:60
Birth Year:abt 1800
Gender:Male
Home in 1860:Union, North Carolina
Post Office:Monroe
Family Number:817
Value of real estate:View image
Household Members:
NameAge
George Freemen60
Sally Freemen60


1860 George is 60. His Property is worth $50.00 dollars and his personal estate $5.00. He's working as a Farm Laborer and living next to a Dr. Caldwell, Physician. Sarah is a domestic.


Name:Sarah Freeman
Age in 1870:50
Birth Year:abt 1820
Birthplace:North Carolina
Dwelling Number:119
Home in 1870:Goose Creek, Union, North Carolina
Race:White
Gender:Female
Occupation:Keeping House
Household Members:
NameAge
Sarah Freeman50


1870 Sarah is all alone. George has apparently died during the preceeding decade and he and Sarah never had any children. No children, no husband, no apparent relatives, no property and few options.



Image result for old lady alone in rocking chair


1880 again. Sarah is now an old lady, alone, no family. George never aquired any property, just ecked along. Probably died of a heart attack in his sixties working like a younger man. Sarah's only option was the poorhouse.

It wasn't just the lifelong poor who ended up in the Poor House. Hence, this story of a man who had been considered a prominent member of his community. He becomes old, weak, unable to work and eventually ends up in the poorhouse, all his wordly possessions sold and gone.


 - ItT Fredericktbwr t'Va.) Nexot relates the case...



The Raleigh Register
(Raleigh, North Carolina)
07 Apr 1852, Wed  • Page 


Sarah Chapel

Sarah Chapel's story was similar to that of Sarah Freeman's. She was an elderly lady. She probably had dementia as she was noted as insane. She was in both 1880 census's and both gave the same information.


Name:Sarah Chapel
Age:80
Birth Date:Abt 1800
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1880:Monroe, Union, North Carolina, USA
Dwelling Number:185
Race:White
Gender:Female
Marital Status:Widowed
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Sick:Old Age
Blind:Yes
Idiotic:Yes
Insane:Yes
Cannot Read:Yes
Cannot Write:Yes
Neighbors:View others on page
Household Members:
NameAge
Sarah Chapel80

Her ailment was old age. She was widowed, blind and insane. But how did she get there?

Name:Daniel Chappel
Home in 1830 (City, County, State):Mecklenburg, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - 20 thru 29:1
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49:1
Total Free White Persons:1
Total - All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored):1


Sarah was the widow of one Daniel Chapell. Just like George Freeman, he shows up first in the 1830 census of Mecklenburg County, as Union was included there until 1842. In this one, he is a single man in his 20's.

Name:Daniel Chappel
Home in 1840 (City, County, State):Mecklenburg, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - 5 thru 9:1
Free White Persons - Males - 30 thru 39:1
Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 14:1
Free White Persons - Females - 30 thru 39:1
Persons Employed in Agriculture:1
Free White Persons - Under 20:2
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49:2
Total Free White Persons:4
Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves:4

By 1840, he has picked up a wife, Sarah, and two children, a boy and a girl.

Name:Daniel Chapel
Age:47
Birth Year:abt 1803
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1850:Union, North Carolina, USA
Gender:Male
Family Number:491
Household Members:
NameAge
Daniel Chapel47
Sarah Chapel47
Elizabeth C Chapel20
Wm Chapel18


By 1850, we find out the names of the wife, Sarah, and the children, Elizabeth and William. Daniel is a Farm Laborer and the neighbors include a lot of Finchers and Finleys as the previous two did.

And then, their fortunes changed. Between 1850 and 1860, the two men in the family disappeared. They can't be found anywhere. Of course, they may have trekked west to try to find a better life with the intentions of fetching the women later, but they either didn't make it, or just both passed away sometime during the decade.

Name:Sarah Chappel
Age:55
Birth Year:abt 1805
Gender:Female
Home in 1860:Union, North Carolina
Post Office:Stevens Mill
Family Number:712
Value of real estate:View image
Household Members:
NameAge
William Fincher50
Esther Fincher30
Sarah Chappel55

Elizabeth Esther Chapell like many young women in the desparate years of the 1860's, found herself an older man to marry. And boy, did she find herself a sorry one. She may have been better off without one at all. She married one William Fincher, twenty years her senior. He came to live with them at Steven's Mill, and worked as a Day Laborer, with neither any property or personal estate. I bet the court records are full of his debts, but I have no copies of those.

Name:Wm Fincher
Age:45
Birth Year:abt 1805
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1850:Union, North Carolina, USA
Gender:Male
Family Number:1410
Household Members:
NameAge
Daniel Snead47
Martha Snead44
David Snead23
Jemima Snead13
Soloman Snead11
Elizabeth A Snead6
Danl J Snead9
Elder Ocain78
John Slean73
John Phillips74
Wm Fincher45
Phane Hemby45

So where was this William Fincher in 1850? Did he have a family? A farm? No! He's listed as a Pauper living in the PoorHouse! And did he improve the situation of his family? Let's jump forward to 1870.

Name:William Fincher
Age in 1870:60
Birth Year:abt 1810
Birthplace:North Carolina
Dwelling Number:42
Home in 1870:Monroe, Union, North Carolina
Race:White
Gender:Male
Occupation:Pauper
Cannot Read:Y
Cannot Write:Y
Disability Condition:Y
Male Citizen Over 21:Y
Household Members:
NameAge
John E Jenkins46
Mary Trull40
Picty Gibson74
C Mcquistion75
Elizabeth Harmon65
Moses Porter75
Lewis Griffin20
Margaret Cuthbertson19
Melinda Haler30
Sarah Chapel60
Esther Fincher40
William Fincher60
James Fincher7

We find William Fincher, with wife Esther, and mother-in-law Sarah Chappell all in the Poor House, and now they have a 7 year old son James. William is noted as being idiotic.


Name:William Fincher
Gender:Male
Race:White
Marital Status:Single
Estimated birth year:abt 1817
Birth Place:North Carolina, USA
Age:63
Death Date:Jan 1880
Cause of Death:Dementia
Census Year:1880
Census Place:Monroe, Union, North Carolina, USA
Enumeration District:210
LINE:20
But William has one more yahoo.

He outlives his younger wife and dies in 1880, making the Mortality Schedules, and dies of dementia. Somehow, I envision him as an alchoholic, or one addicted to some ancient pain killer. I really question why E. E. Chapell would marry him.



And of course, Sarah is alive and living in the  Poor House in 1880. Like Sarah Freeman, she lived most of her life hand to mouth, the wife of a laborer, and then a widow. Unlike Sarah Freeman, Sarah Chapell was a mother. She had two children, which is a normal family this day and time, but a very small family for the day.

The reason for that was the high mortality rate, not only for children, but adults as well. Sarah lost her son as a young man. Her daughter lived long enough to marry and had one child. But did Sarah's line end there? No, it did not. Young James lived on.


Name:James Fincher
Age:24
Birth Date:Abt 1856
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1880:Jackson, Union, North Carolina, USA
Dwelling Number:1
Race:White
Gender:Male
Marital Status:Single
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Neighbors:View others on page
Household Members:
NameAge
James Fincher24

In 1880, while his grandmother was still in the Poorhouse, young James went on to pursue a career as a miner.

Name:James H Fincher
Gender:Male
Residence Year:1897
Street address:315 E Hill i CD
Residence Place:Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Occupation:Miner
Spouse:Emma Fincher
Publication Title:Charlotte, North Carolina, City Directory, 1897


About 1890, he married Emma Jane Long, daughter of William Jesse and Adeline Sims Long. For a few years, they lived in Charlotte, NC. In quick sucession, they had 3 sons:

1894 - James Frank Fincher
1895- John Blake Fincher
1896- William Long Fincher

But John H. Fincher was not destined to live a long life. The only grandchild of Sarah Chapell lived long enough to leave a few heirs, and died at the young age of  36.

Died of Consumption
Mr. James Fincher, an employee at the Stratton gold mine near White Bind, died Monday morning after a protracted illness of consumption. He was about 40 years of age, and leaves his wife and three children surviving him. His remains were interred yesterday at Pleasant Plain church. His father-in-law, Mr. W.J. Long of this place, went down to Plain to attend the funeral.
The Lancaster Ledger, March 1, 1899

His widow, Emma, still a young woman, remarried to William Thomas Ligon and had 12 more children. She also died young, at the age of 43.

The sons of John and Emma were part of  War Years Generation.

James Frank Fincher was a veteran, married Nettie Lavendar, and had 3 children, James Jr., Jack and Phyllis. He pursued a career as a Pipefitter and Plumber and lived in Alabama for awhile, returning to South Carolina. He died in Rock Hill on February 21, 1947 at the age of  52.



FINCHER,JAMES FRANK  OBIT  THE STATE  23 FEB 1947  PG 2A


Middle son John Blake Fincher was the first to go. He married a young lady named Cordelle Creighton and they had one little girl, Emma Marcelle Fincher Atkins (1920-2003).

John Blake Fincher went to serve and returned, but did not return whole. He suffered from his injuries for many years. He was at the Hospital in Johnson City, TN in 1924 and passed away at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington DC in 1924 at the age of  31.

Youngest son William L. Fincher joined the Navy. He was working in the Shipyards in Maryland in 1920. In 1924, he married a widow from Oklahoma, Pearl May Hutchinson Pidcock, who had a daughter. Together, they had 5 more daughters: Madge Marie, Emma Lee, Wilda Jean, Virginia Ruth and Margaret Ann and settled in Contra Costa, California.


William Fincher's Seaman Card and Photo

William Fincher died August 1, 1939 at the age of  43.


So  everyone ended up in the Poorhouse in a different manner. Some older ladies never married. Others married, but had no children. Others had small families and still others had health and mental issues. It seems the Poor Houses were a catch all for multiple needs, acting as part hospital, part orphanage, part senior care home, part mental institutions.

The below clipping is from Anson County concerning a family that had no other options after their father died.


 - 3y co. order no. 115, H D Parker and Eiias Ash...
The Messenger and Intelligencer
(Wadesboro, North Carolina)
03 Jan 1889, Thu  • Page 1



The county paid for transportation and coffins.


 - By co. order, no 228. Frank Watkins. coffin for...

The Messenger and Intelligencer
(Wadesboro, North Carolina)
03 Jan 1889, Thu  • Page 1


 - By co. order no. 123, N McCor-mac, McCor-mac,...


It was never a good place to end up.