Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Saga of John Peter Winfield

According to his obituary, naming exactly how many years, months and days old he was upon the day of his death, John Peter Winfield was born on September 3, 1832 in what is now Stanly County, North Carolina, along the shores of the Yadkin/PeeDee River north of its confluence with the Rocky River and close to where the Swift Island Ferry would eventually cross. I determined the area from knowing the location of some of the neighbors of his father Peter II, son of Edward, grandson of Peter, great grandson of Edward, son of Jarvis Winfield of Sussex County, Virginia. Peter was shown in the 1830 census near the Kirks, Boysworths, William Craven Thompson and the Meltons, who lived off of what is now Hwy 24/27 between Albemarle and Troy in the Stanly County part of what was then known as the "West PeeDee" part of Montgomery County.

Peter is shown in the census as a young man with a young woman and two little boys in his house under the age of 5. This would have been his wife Mary "Polly" Goldston Winfield and two sons. It would make since that these two boys would be William Winfield, born in 1829, and John Peter. However, if John Peter was truly born in 1832, he would not have been counted in the 1830 census, so there may have been another son who died as a child.

Photo: Yadkin (Pee Dee) River Bridge opening ceremony.
The Grand Opening of the Swift Island Bridge across the Pee Dee River from Stanly to Montgomery Counties in North Carolina in December 1922, courtesy of The Federal Highway Administration. The bridge had to be demolished just a few years later due to construction of a dam downstream near Norwood, NC. 

Peter died as a young man, at the age of 27, leaving a 21 year old wife and two little boys, William and John Peter. Mary Goldston Winfield, known as many Mary's were by the cub name of 'Polly', was the daughter of Thomas Jefferson Goldston, who had been born in Chatham County where the Goldstons hived, and Lydia "Liddie" Waddell, of Randolph County. Peter was the brother of her first cousin, Mary Louise Burroughs' (Bryan Burroughs and Sally Waddell Burroughs) husband Arthur Freeman Winfield. Polly and Peter had married on November 7, 1825 in Randolph County at the tender age of 16.

After the death of her first husband, Peter, Mary married John Richardson Barber, three years later in 1833. In addition to her sons with Peter Winfield, she had 8 children with John R. Barber:

Lydia Ann Barber Mills (1834 - 1869)
Robert Barber (1836 - 1863) Civil War casualty as well.
Sarah "Sallie" Barber Briley (1838 - 1922)
Rev. James Alfred Barber (1840 - 1872)
George Barber (1842 - 1864) Civil War Casualty.
Sidney R Barber (1844 -1911) Died in Lousiana.
Walter Jones Barber (1848 - 1893)
Mary Adeline Barber (1853 - Unknown)

In the 1850 census, a 20 year old "Peter High" was also living with the family and caused the transcriber to name all of the family "High", but the children were Barbers.

Name:Mary Barber
Birth Year:abt 1808
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1850:Dumas Shop, Anson, North Carolina
Family Number:1024
Household Members:
John R Barber44
Mary Barber42
William Winfield21
John Winfield20
Peter Hight20
Lydia A Hight16
Robert Hight14
Sarah Hight11
James Hight9
George Hight7
Sydney High5
Walter High2

By 1860, J P Winfield had married Susanna Virginia Liles, daughter of Jesse Jones Liles and Eleanor Dumas McClendon. They married in 1851, at the ages of  19 and 16. Teenaged marriages were not uncommon in those days, and in fact, necessary, due to the fragility of life and lack of urgent medical care. The average lifespan was much lower than it is today and the infant mortality rate was extremely high.

Susan was a spirited young woman and from accounts from the Thomas family, of which she later became a member, very beautiful. She and John P. Winfield would have 4 sons together:

Edward Kerr Winfield 1852 -1864 Died as a child at the age of 12
William Liles Winfield 1855 - 1923 married Irana Lucy Furr , 4 children
John Goldston Winfield 1858 -1942 married Dora Caudle, 6 children
Robert Jesse Winfield 1861 -1947 married cousin Ella Davis, 7 children, married second Annie Knight, 2 children. All living Winfields in the Anson and surrounding counties are descended from the 3 sons of John Peter Winfield who lived to adulthood. Peter's brother Milton died childless and his older brothers John and Freeman migrated to Alabama and Arkansas.
John P Winfield
Age in 1860:30
Birth Year:abt 1830
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1860:Diamond Hill, Anson, North Carolina
Post Office:Wadesboro
Value of real estate:View Image
Household Members:
John P Winfield30
Susan Winfield25
Edward Winfield8
William Winfield5
John Winfield2

When the Confederate Army was formed in 1861, John Peter Winfield met the call to service, along with all of his Barber half-brothers with the exception of William Jones Barber, who was only 13. Even 16 year old Sidney joined up. JP Winfield, along with Robert and George, would loose their lives in the war. Older brother, William Winfield, would die in 1864 of typhoid fever and is buried in the Brown Creek Baptist Church cemetery with his mother and stepfather. Surviving brother James Alfred Barber, would become a minister there later. 
Location of Brown Creek in comparison with other creeks and counties. 

Excerpts from the "Wadesborough Argus": 1862 -1863

Thurs. July 10, 1862 List of Killed and Wounded in Co. C 14th Regiment, as far as known: Killed - Daniel McKay, Frank McLendon, mortally wounded, Jesse Sibley, since dead.
Casualties, in PeeDee Wildcats, J P Winfield, in arm, severely. 

May 30, 1864  Corp. George Barber, Co K, 43rd NC Reg. of Brown Creek. To be buried. 

NC Argus, Thursday, Feb. 3, 1863 (Wadesborough, North Carolina)
Killed: At Rawls Mill, Martin County, NC, 2nd November, 1862
John P Winfield of Anson County, aged 32 years, 2 months and 29 days. He was a private in Capt. J McLauchlins  Co. K, 26th Regiment of NC troops. In May last, he bid adieu to friends and relatives to go forth in defense of country and loved ones at home. After spending a few weeks in peace and quietude on the tented field, the company had an engagement with the enemy in which engagement he was instantly killed by a shell. He leaves a wife and four children besides many other friends and relations to mourn his untimely loss. I would say to them, weep not, believe that he has changed a world of wars, for one of eternal bliss. In August of 1836, he made a public profession of religion, joined the church and was baptized. He was a consistent member up to the day on which he was killed. We all have reason to believe he was nearly a pure Christian as this earth affords. And I doubt not that he is to-day on the peaceful shores of eternal happiness, singing praises to God, with those who have gone before him. May those left behind prepare to meet him. 
Signed  A Friend

The following link is from a story on the PeeDee Wildcats:

Excerpts from the PeeDee Wildcats:

The Story of Company K 26th North Carolina Infantry
Transcribed from the NC Argus Newspaper by
David M. Edwards
Military Order of the Stars & Bars
Captain Henry C. Grady Chapter 296
Wadesboro, NC


Killed Geo. Bowman
S.F. Gathings, slightly wounded in the breast.
J.P. Winfield, in arm severely. H. Willoughby, in head severely. Corporal W.H. Dabbs, in arm,
severely. P.W. McGugan, arm, severely. J.T. Henly, bruised in the side by a limb cut from a
tree by a shell. E. Hildreth is missing, but it is thought will come up yet.
 The 26th was in some of the hottest of the fights. In Company K Cap. McLauchlin, was
wounded in the head, while gallantly leading his men against the foe, but still remains with his

Wild Cats at Seven Pines
North Carolina Argus
Thursday, July 10, 1862
Banks Chickahominy, July 4, 1862

One of our company was killed
instantly, George Bowman. J.P. Winfield and H. Willoughby, were wounded slightly.

List of Casualties in 26th NC Regt in the Battles near Richmond, Va, from 25th
June to 4th July
North Carolina Argus July 31, 1862
Com K - Private George Bowman killed; Capt. J.C. McLauchlin, Corpl W.H. Cabbs and privates
S.F. Gathings, J.F. Hienly, W.J. Horn, P.W. McGougan, H. Willoughby, and J.D. Windfield
The regiment suffered 8 killed, 61 wounded, 5 missing, 3 wounded have since died.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Solomons, Birds, Wilkersons, Meltons and Hedgepeths, Oh My!

The deeper I dig into the Melton/Milton family of Stanly and Montgomery Counties, the more the family weaves in to other families and the more the color lines of the 19th and earlier 20th century are blurred. Some of the family lines seem to be timeworn and well-established Virginia families that made their way to Granville, Person and Franklin Counties, in NC, before dropping into the lap of Stanly. Others are more intangible.

In this section of map from the, you can see the path from Virginia, through Granville and Person, into Franklin and then southwest, probably through Chatham and Orange, before ending up in the Stanly and Montgomery County areas.

I will be getting into it in later posts, but found that John Melton, born in Virginia and raised in Granville County, married Margaret "Peggy" Wilkenson, daughter of David Wilkenson (or sometimes seen as Wilkerson) and Sarah Pettypool. The name Pomfreit (or variations of it), an odd name, runs through the early Meltons, John having a brother named Pomfriet Melton (or Milton). They were sons of Henry Melton of Granville and as I mentioned, I will cover all of that in a later post. David Wilkerson was a Jr., son of David Wilkerson, Sr. He had a brother named William, who married Martha "Patsy" Pettypool, daughter of John Pettypool and Sarah Sanford. A descendant of William, Joseph Pomfrey Wilkerson, born in Granville, also married into the Pettypools by taking Martha, dauther of Stephen Pettypool and Margaret Haliburton as his wife.

All this is to lead back to Joseph D. Melton, Sr. Joseph was definately a son of John Melton, Sr. as proven by land records. His first wife was named Clementine. They are shown together in Montgomery County in 1850, then Joseph disappears and Clementine is shown living in Albemarle near James R. Melton in 1860, with their two youngest sons. Where were Joseph and the older son?

Clementine must have died before 1868, because a marriage record exists in Stanly County for September 3, 1868 between Joseph D Melton, son of John and Margaret, and Polly Ann Solomon, daughter of Elizabeth Solomon, no father mentioned, but the service performed by William Solomon.

Joseph D and Mary Ann (or Molly or Polly, as she is alternately seen), have their own family in Montgomery County. They lived not far from the Stanly County line and the forks of the Yadkin and Rocky Rivers, in between the present towns of  Norwood and Mt. Gilead, as Joseph donated a portion of his farm for a church in 1876 and the the church still exists.

The marriage of Joe and Polly was not the only interaction between the Solomans and Meltons. A James and Fannie Soloman were neighbors of some of the Meltons in the Swift Island area and their land was bought out by Joseph's brother Henry H. Melton in  1851.

A young man named John Soloman was living with John Milton, Jr. in 1850.

John E. Soloman of Rowan County, Gold Hill, bought and sold some land on the Yadkin River to James F. Kirk. He was probably the same John E. Solomon who was ordered to be brought to court in 1841 in Stanly County, and was described as a colored boy 'now living with Edmund Lilly'.

Several Meltons ended up moving to Gold Hill. One of them was Nancy Boysworth Melton, the widow of John Melton, Jr. Another was Elbert, son of Charlotte Melton, who was also ordered to be brought to court in the early days of Stanly County. Elbert was also described as 'colored', while his mother, who is found living with James R. Melton in Albemarle in 1860, and very close to Clementine and her sons, is enumerated as white. Then there is Harris Melton, who is found living with Ann Bird in Gold Hill in 1850. This couple is sited in a Stanly County lawsuit that made it to the Federal Courts, their marriage being described as illegal, as Ann Bird was white and Harris Melton is described as not, however, they sued because they said the law did not apply to Indians and that Harris Melton was part-Indian, not black, and the court determined after evidence was presented, that he was indeed and Indian. All of this deserves further investigation, that is to come, but the point was that a number of members of the Melton family had relocated to Gold Hill.

Mary Ann "Polly" Soloman was much younger than her husband. Her marriage license lists no father.

In 1850 in Stanly County, a bastardy bond was taken out against James Middleton for the maintenance of a baseborn child begot on the body of Elizabeth Soloman.

In 1850, Mary was 2. She is shown in the household of Nancy Soloman born 1786 in Virginia, with Elizabeth, 35, a John W. Soloman 21, Henry Clay Soloman 10, James A. Soloman 9, and then Mary.

In 1860, Nancy 75, born in North Carolina, 1785, Betsy 41, Henry 21, Allen 19 (James Allen Solomon), John 31 and Mary 11.

Mary Ann Solomon Melton died on September  19, 1916 in Montgomery County, NC. Her death certificate states that she was born in 1851 in Stanly County (but she was in the 1850 census as 2), and that she was the daughter of John Solomon and Elizabeth Wilkerson.

Her husband Joseph was the son of Margaret Wilkerson Melton and Mary Ann was the daughter of Elizabeth Wilkerson Solomon. Were they related?

But back to John W Solomon, who was he? And how was Elizabeth related to the head of household, Nancy?

Also, in 1841, a John W Soloman was ordered to be brought to court to be bound out, but unlike John E. Soloman, he was not described as colored.

In the Stanly County marriage records, in 1869, John Solomon, son of John Bruster and Nancy Solomon, marries Martha Tolbert, daughter of Thomas and Nancy Tolbert.

The next census, 1870, shows John Solomon, 35 and Martha Solomon, 26 living in Stanly County, having been married in July.
(Note: Since this post was published in July, a descendant has came forth and objected to my referring to John W. Solomon as illegitimate, so I have removed this statement.  Let it stand that the marriage document states only that John Bruster was listed as the father of the groom and Nancy Solomon was listed as the mother of the groom. Both living and that Thomas and Nancy Tolbert were given as the parents of the bride. John W. Solomon went by his mother's surname. Also, a John W. Solomon was ordered to be brought to court to be bound out in 1841. The John  Solomon who married Martha Tolbert would have been about 6 or 7 in 1841, which was the typical age for this to happen, according to a historian I have spoken with. Also, that John E. Solomon, the other John Solomon living in Stanly County between 1840 and 1850, was living in Rowan County by 1850 and married to "Eliza". He and Eliza were together in Rowan in 1850 and 1860 and moved to Iredell to be together in the 1870 and 1880 census. They do not appear to have had any children. John E. Solomon could not have been the John to marry Martha Tolbert in 1869 as he was already married to Eliza  and was still with Eliza in 1870 and 1880,)

 In 1850, there was also a James (44) and Fanny Solomon and William (48) and Tabitha Soloman living in the same area of the county as Nancy.

Granville County marriages show a Benjamin Solomon and a Nancy Hide marrying on May 20, 1819. While  William Solomon married Penny Bird  on January 11, 1804.

Could that be  Nancy of the Yadkin River, Montgomery and Stanly County area?

Was Elizabeth living with Nancy, Elizabeth Wilkerson Melton and had she been married to a John Soloman at some point? There was a gap between the ages of the two sons, Henry Clay Solomon and James Allen Solomon, so I decided to look into them to what I could find.

Takes me back to my research on Albert Murray, son of Mariah Murray, his marriage certificate listed his fathers name as a Henry Wilkerson, and the only known Wilkerson in the county at that time, as an adult head-of-household was Jonathan. Albert Murray and his siblings also balanced precariously on the color line.

Also, a William Soloman marrying a Penny Bird, was not the only connection between the Solomans and Birds as well. A 20 year old BF Bird was living with David Melton in 1860 and Henry Bird was the Melton's neighbor along the Yadkin for several decades.

Both Henry Clay Solomon and his brother, James Allen Solomon, served in the Civil War. After that, their paths parted, and took them both into strange territory. Henry Clay Solomon's last census proved a puzzling piece to an already unfamiliar web.
ame:Henry C Solomon
Age in 1910:71
Birth Year:abt 1839
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1910:Pee Dee, Montgomery, North Carolina
Relation to Head of House:Father
Marital Status:Wd
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Neighbors:View others on page
Household Members:
James Christian39
Margaret A Christian33
Robert Christian17
Emanuel Montgomery28
Henry C Solomon71
George Ridenhour15
Henry Thomas17
Jonas Roper28

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Melton's Come of Age: 1841

I ended the last post with the Melton's who were shown in the 1840 census of Montgomery County, North Carolina: John the elder, John the younger, Joseph the elder, Joseph the younger, and Henry, making his first appearance as' Head of Household'. Betsy, who was in the previous two census records, and most likely a widow, had disappeared.

In 1841, the part of Montgomery County that had been known as "West PeeDee" became Stanly County.
Between 1840 and 1850, a great deal had happened in the Melton family. Members of the younger generation had reached the age of majority and the older ones had passed away. Land and court records can help clarify some of this change.

A road order was issued during the August 1841 Session of Court in the newly formed county. "Ordered by the court that Quisenberry Kirk be appointed overseer of the road from George Kirks' ferry to the Russell('s) old field and Jonathan Bell and hands, William Rush and hand, Gilbert Noble, James Melton, Jesse Pritchard, Henry Melton, Joseph Melton, Jr., Thomas Biles Senior hands, Thomas Biles, Jr. & Pleasant Biles work on said road. ".

This is the first appearance of James the younger in records. He was apparently not head of his own household yet in 1840. This also shows James working in conjunction with Henry and Joseph the younger, whom I know were brothers. In the Rowan County public library, in the family folders, I came across a flowery and boastful family tree of a descendant of James R Melton of Stanly County. He had his ancestor, the son of James, correct, and had the correct parents, James R. and his wife Mary Ann Kirk, but after that, this gentleman had went off into outerspace with James R having no connection to the local Meltons and descending instead from a Revolutionary War soldier named Thomas and to the poet Milton and other grandiose claims. While I can not dispute that the Stanly County Melton/Milton family may have biological connections to the poet, I do know that they also have much closer relations to each other.

This road order also refers to Joseph as Joseph, Jr. , meaning Joseph the elder was most likely still alive in 1840, and so they referred to Joseph D. Melton as "Jr.". To those unfamiliar with genealogical research, it may seem like the term "Jr." should mean "son of". It does now, but 'back in the day', it simply meant 'the younger' and not necessarily 'the son of'. The younger man could be a nephew, a cousin, a grandson, or simply no relation at all, just residing in the same general area with an older man of the same name.
The Milton/Melton family (the name is shown interchangeably in early records) also show a close interaction to the Bosworth (later Boysworth) and Forrest families, and to some extent, the Biles and Kirks.

The 1841 tax list records the following Meltons and where their properties were located.

John Melton Sr.      100 acres on Mountain Creek, no poll
John Melton Jr.        75 acres on Vickory Branch, one poll
Henry Melton      no property mentioned, just one poll
Joseph Melton    no property mentioned, just one poll.

James was apparently not old enough yet to qualify as a poll. John Senior was too old., and by the time the tax man came around, Joseph Sr. had apparently deceased.

There was an older James Melton who lived in Montgomery County, before she was split in half in 1841 as evidence by land transactions: Montgomery County, NC Land Warrants and Surveys 1833-1950

4612  Sally (Sarah) Curtis 25 acres warrant 7263 issued Jan. 16, 1815 by Will Stone to Sally Curtis......joins Moses Curtis, deceased and includes part of William McGregor's old place on Yadkin River, entered October 15, 1814, surveyed by D. Cochran for Sarah Curtice, on West Side of Yadkin River; border begins at William McGregor deceased's upper corner willow oak of "the" old "plantation" tract on the river bank and joins Bennett Soloman; Bennett Soloman and James Melton chain carriers.
Now, here is where a working knowledge of the history of the county might help a little bit. If I am not mistaken, the William (or Willm) McGregor referred to in the above reference, was probably the Rev. McGregor whom the reknown Dr. F. Kron from Prussia, whose home is restored in Morrow Mountain State Park, purchased his property from. The Rev. McGregor founded a very early church in these parts called "The Mouth of the Uwharrie Baptist Church". According to legend, Rev. McGregor is buried still on the property now known as the Kron place, in Morrow Mountain State Park, and passed away about a decade before this land transaction took place.

The name Bennett Soloman is also an important one, as Soloman's pop up in Melton records later on. I have not nailed it down yet, but I believe a Melton daughter married a Soloman son.

4748 James Melton 12 acre warrant 7800 issued May 7, 1818 by D McRae to David Miller for 12 ac joins Moses "Kertis" & Thomas Huckabee; entered Feb 7, 1818; 12 ac surveyed Oct 23, 1818 by D. Cochran, on Yadkin River border; begins at William McGregor deceased's upper corner willow oak on the river bank and joins Thos Huckabee; Parham Kirk & Stephen Kirk, chain carriers;

This transaction was 3 years after the Sarah 'Curtice" transaction and seems to be in the same area, the Rev. McGregors willow oak. But James Melton did not show up in the census records.... More acutely, he did not show up in the 1810 census, but was here or nearly an adult, by 1815. There was no 1820 census for Montgomery County. It was destroyed. He probably would have shown up in it. There was an 1830 census with John, Joseph and a female head-of-household, Betsy. In all likelihood, but without possibly any proof due to the series of Courthouse fires, Betsy (Elizabeth), was the widow of the elder James Melton.
Courthouse fires have been the scourge of researchers for centuries. 
What will the 1850's hold for the Melton family and will records shed light on who is who and how they got there?