Thursday, August 22, 2013


In the new, National Geographical Channel series TV show "Diggers", it features two men, "King George" Wyant and Tim "Ringy" Saylor, who have fun with metal detectors and get crazy excited when they find an old coin, or other valuable treasure. When the detector signals a significant object, they call it "juice".
George Wyant pretending to punch Tim Saylor  at the Big Hole location.
National Geographic Channels "Diggers", Wyant and Saylor.
While researching, when I find something, a document or other item, which may lead to answers to some unsolved questions, I call that "juice."

Recently, in my Melton research, I came across some 'juice' while pouring thru records on, the Mormon Church, Utah site, which is full of ancestral treasure.

It's the case of  The State of North Carolina vs Melton & Bird and its an 1852 court case from Stanly County. I had came across the case already, and had read about its outcome and its historical significance. However, I had not yet read the details of the case, the testimony or the players.

I found these summons:

State vs. Harris Melton and Ann Bird

Supoena for defendants, Rowan County:
James Morphis, D W Honeycutt, John Melton, Charles Reeves and Michael Swisegood to Sept Term 1851. Executed on the 25th of July 1851
note: but D. W. Huneycutt is not to be found in my county. 

To the sheriff of Stanly County:

Commanded to summons: Joshua Hearne, James Boysworth, Jarrett Russell, Fanny Russel, Catherine Kirk, Frances Kirk, Charlotte Melton, William Solomon.

Later another supoena of the same list with the name Aaron Saunders added.

Arrest warrant for Ann Bird, Fall Term 1851. Bonded out by James R Melton

March, 1851, Arrest warrant for Harris Melton, Bond signed by Harris Melton and James R. Melton. 
   An odd date of June 4, 1837 added on near the bottom of this document, near the signatures.

Another Stanly County summons with the names: Henry Marshall, Eben Hearne, and Nelson Hathcock. All of those men were important players in the early politics of Stanly County, serving in offices and general 'movers and shakers' of the community.
Already, I am excited about the juice, awaiting the arrival of original documents from the archives in Raleigh. Just the summons tell me a few things.

1) John Melton, Jr. and wife Nancy Boysworth Melton are found in the 1850 cenus of Stanly County. By 1860, Nancy and her daughter Laura J Gill, are living in the town of Gold Hill in Rowan County.

In land records, Nancy Melton is mentioned twice. Once in the division of lands of Jonathan Boysworth, wherein 7 children are named: Almond, Mary, William, Caswell, John, Elizabeth, all Boysworths, and Nancy Melton. Later, sister Mary will marry David Melton. David is one of the sons of John Melton, Sr.

The second time she is mentioned is in a land record dated January 11, 1878, where Nancy Boysworth  and surviving daughters, Laura J. Gill and Missouri Forrest of Rowan sell their share of the lands, 'including the residence of John Melton, deceased, 78 acres on the West side of the Pee Dee adjoining  Winnie Forrest, Louiza Kirk, J T Forrest and others.

J. T. Forrest, or Jesse Tatum Forrest, was the husband of Missouri. Descendants have her as Missouri Bosworth Forrest, because her name is on a document as such. Bosworth, or Boysworth, was her middle name, apparently, as she was the daughter of John Melton and Nancy Boysworth Melton.

This supoena means that John and Nancy had moved to Rowan County by 1852, and took a few of the sons of Charlotte Melton with them, as well as one of the John Solomon's. Elbert Melton (sometimes shown as Edward), was one of them, as well as a "Calvin". Harris Melton and Ann Bird were living together in Gold Hill in the 1850 census.

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