Monday, May 15, 2023

The Death of Lee Roy Dancy

Lee Roy Dancy

Lee Roy Dancy was important in my research for three reasons. Well, he was probably important for many more things than that, I'm sure, but I never knew the man. The reasons are:

One, the  date he was born, March 15, 1853...all the way back then.

Two, the date he died, September 7, 1915...into the days of Death Certificates

And three, his parents, William A and Lucinda G Dancy.

The Dancy/ Solomon family and their connections is something I had picked up and laid down nearly a decade ago. In fact, I wrote the lines above this paragraph on January 16, 2014. Today is May 6, 2024. Today, I am picking it back up. Having been so long ago, I would not want to attempt to find my Dancy folder, compiled all those many years ago, boxed and stacked by someone in boxes too large for me to pick up now. So, I will go on what I can remember, and what I have access to, in order to complete this post. 

The Dancy family were a tight-knit bunch. In 1850, before the above mentioned Lee Roy was born, William Armstrong Dancy and his young family were living near his father, John and brother, Enos, and their households. 

William and his young bride, Lucy, married about 1848, were already parents to two small children, one year old John and 3 month old Mary Frances. William was Lucy's senior by 15 years. Here, he was already 35, and she was only 20. 

In my previous post, "The Forgotten", I had revealed that the 15 year old boy, Jarret Thomas, who was listed in the home of William A. Dancy's father, John Dancy, and stepmother, Francis, in the household above his, was not 'Jarrett Thomas Dancy', his name was actually Jarrett Thomas Solomon, and he would marry William's baby sister, Margaret E. Dancy, pretty soon after this census record. 

The Forgotten was about John E. Solomon, who had married another sister of William Armstrong Dancy, Eliza C. Dancy, in 1849.

So, William Armstrong Dancy married Lucy in 1848.
John E. Solmon and Eliza C. Dancy had married about 1849.
Jarrett Thomas Solomon and Margaret E. Dancy married in 1855.

William and Lucy were the first to be married. 

John Dancy and his sons, William and Enos stuck very close together. Here, in 1860, we see William, Lucy and their family, still living in Coddle Creek, next to his brother, Enos and family. One page over, their father, John and his wife, Frances, their stepmother, are listed at the bottom of the page, meaning they again led off this family group. Leroy has been born and is listed at the bottom of the page. 

A ) William Armstrong Dancy was the firstborn son of  John and Abigail Loyd Dancy, born about 1815. He married Lucinda "Lucy" Solomon of Stanly County, North Carolina

B) Phoebe Dancy Smith. Their second child was Phoebe. Phoebe had married James H. Smith, son of Jesse and Nancy Smith from Davidson County, NC. He was a widower with two small children. He and Phoebe would add another three children to the family fold, Naomi J. Wightman Charles and Harriett E. Smith, all mentioned in their grandfathers will. Phoebe would pass away before 1849 and James would remarry Annis Elliot, whose mother was a Dancy. James would move his ever growing family to Buncombe County and then to Illinois, where he was constantly on the move, working as a Carriage Maker, for the Railroad in sales, and various other careers in various fields, always professional. He would marry a fourth time and have a last son. The Smith's are a story of their own. 

C)  Wilson Dancy was the third child, born in 1818. He had married Adeline Edwards and had settled in the Mt. Ulla community of Rowan County, just a skip and a jump from where he was raised. Wilson and Adeline were in Mt Ulla in 1870, but Wilson had passed on before his father's estate was probated in 1874. It's unknown where he was buried, but he left behind a large family of orphans.

D) Enos Dancy was the fourth child, born on January 3, 1819. He married Sarah Millholland, daughter of John and Nancy Hunter Millholland of Alexander County, North Carolina, with whom he had 5 children. Enos became a widower in 1856 and did not remarry. He raised his children in Coddle Creek Township, Iredell County and died there on June 3, 1892 at the age of 73.

E) Naomi Dancy Brown, the fifth child, was born on September 18,1821. She married William Henry Brown, son of Judson and Susanna Albright Brown of Iredell County, and they raised their 8 children in the Deep Well Community of Coddle Creek Township. She died on June 21, 1900, at the age of 78 and was buried at Prospect Presbyterian Church on the Rowan/Iredell County border with a number of the other Dancy family .

F) John LeRoy Dancy, the sixth child, was born on December 9, 1823. He migrated as a young man to DeSoto County, Mississippi and married there in 1848 to Margaret Harriett Scott, daughter of James Scott and Mary "Polly" Rumple Scott, of Rowan and Cabarrus Counties in NC, whom he probably migrted to Mississippi with. the Scotts were in Cabarrus County, NC in 1840 and in DeSoto County, MS in 1850. They raised 8 children and John LeRoy Dancy died on May 16, 1984 in Tate County, MS at the age of 70. Lucinda and William A. Dancy's son, LeRoy, was probably named for this brother who moved away.

G) Eliza C. Dancy was the seventh child, born June 30, 1830. She married John E. Solomon of Stanly County about 1849. His parents are unknown, but he was orphaned between 1836 and 1840. They lived in Gold Hill, Rowan County, for a few decades before moving to Iredell County and lived near her family. She died on November 25, 1909 and was buried at Prospect Presbyterian Church on the Rowan/Iredell County border. They had no children.

H) Margaret E. Dancy, the eighth child, was born in October of 1832. She married Jarrett Thomas Solomon of Stanly County in 1855. They first lived in Iredell County, before settling in the Mount Ulla Community of Rowan County. They spent their latter years in Cabarrus County. They had 5 children and Margaret died on May 23, 1907 in Cabarrus County at the age of 74.

I) Hannah E. Dancy was the ninth and final child, having been born on May 3, 1836. In 1854, she married Silas A McNeely, son of David and Ann Nichols Lowrance McNeely of Rowan County. In 1850, Hannah had been living with her sister Naomi. Silas and Naomi settled in Mt Ulla with most of the other family and raised 4 children. Hannah died between July of 1880, when she's counted alive and well at 57 in the census, and June of 1881 when Silas remarried to Louisa Elizabeth Shinn. She may have been buried at Prospect with a now illegible or crumbled marker.

I had discovered Jarrett Thomas Solomon after researching John E Solomon, but it was because of the death of Leroy Dancy, and his death certificate naming his mother as Lucinda Solomon, that I found the third Dancy/Solomon marriage. 

I later discovered that William A. Dancy and Lucinda "Lucy" Dancy had six children who lived long enough for a death certificate.
Besides LeRoy, who died in 1915, there was Mary Frances, who died in 1910, Margaret Ann, who also died in 1910, Eliza Jane, who died in 1944, Sarah Hugh, who died in 1931, and  William Edward Dancy, who died in 1919. William Edward was the nephew that John E.and Eliza Dancy Solomon had taken under their wing, so to speak. 

NameWilliam A Dancy
Age in 187054
Birth Date1816
BirthplaceNorth Carolina
Dwelling Number81
Home in 1870Barringer, Iredell, North Carolina
Post OfficeAmity Hill
Male Citizen Over 21Yes
Personal Estate Value150
Real Estate Value400
Inferred SpouseLucy G Dancy
Inferred ChildrenJohn C Dancy; Mary F Dancy; Winfield S Dancy; Margaret A Dancy; Rebecca P Dancy; Lizzie J Dancy; William E D Dancy; Sarah H Dancy
Household members
William A Dancy54
Lucy G Dancy39
John C Dancy21
Mary F Dancy19
Winfield S Dancy18
Margaret A Dancy16
Rebecca P Dancy11
Lizzie J Dancy9
William E D Dancy6
Sarah H Dancy4

Sometimes, if a name, usually an out of the ordinary name, is passed down to younger generations, it can help lead you, forward or backward through the generations, but not so with the Dancy's.

NameWilliam Dancy
Birth DateAbt 1815
BirthplaceNorth Carolina
Home in 1880Barringers, Iredell, North Carolina, USA
Dwelling Number151
Relation to Head of HouseSelf (Head)
Marital StatusMarried
Spouse's NameLucy Dancy
Father's BirthplaceNorth Carolina
Mother's BirthplaceNorth Carolina
NeighborsView others on page
Household members
William Dancy65
Lucy Dancy49
Liza Dancy18
William Dancy17
Ula Dancy4

William and  Lucy would have about 9 children as what I can obtain between records and the census. Not all of them made it to adulthood, as was tragically common for the times. Of those who did, a few stayed local while others took off south and west, to make their fortunes and  spread their seed into the growing country.

William's last appearance in records was the 1880 census, as shown above, at 65. The two of the youngest children who grew up, William and Eliza, are still in the home, as is 4 year old granddaughter, 'Ula'. Eula Vandora King / Donaldson Goodman, born in 1876.

1) John C Dancy, born about 1848, is shown with his parents in 1850, 1860 and 1870. He made his way to Dallas, Texas, where he worked as a Barber,  and married a Mollie Nutley of Louisiana. They had three daughters, Mae, Markleata and Sadie. John died on February 22, 1911, in Dallas. he was 63.

2) Mary Frances Dancy's birthdate is given as March 7, 1852 on her death certificate, however, she is shown as being 5 months old on the 1850 census, taken on the 10th day of October in 1850. It appears at some point, she adjusted her year of birth to make herself appear younger. Women did that quite often back then. She remained in North Carolina, mostly in the Mount Ulla area and married a Beam.

Mary Frances was one of the first people in Cabarrus County to receive a death certificate. She spent her last years there with her brother, LeRoy, who had moved to Concord. Mary Frances died on March 25, 1910. She was 58 years old, married, but separated, apparently, and had been suffereing from asthma and general edema for a period of about 3 months. She had been born in Iredell County, (spelled 'Irdle' on the form) as had her father, William Armstrong Dancy. Her mother, Lucy Solomon (spelled 'Sallomon') was born in Stanly County (with an 'e' inserted, a common error). The informant for the death certificate information was her brother, Leroy Dancy and she was buried at Oakwood Cemetery, an enormous old Concord cemetery located just outside the center of the heart of the historic district.

Here the birth order becomes a little skewed, because the later dates of birth given do not line up with the ages the children were in the 1870 census. So, I'm going to follow that list, which had Winfield as 7, Margaret as 5 and LeRoy as 3. 

3) Winfield Scott Dancy was born about 1853. He lived in Iredell County until the 1890's when he and his wife, Rosanna, moved to Cabarrus County. Scott died on February 21, 1905 in Cabarraus County, leaving one known child, Emma, despite his obituary stating he left several.

4) Margaret Ann Dancy was born on October 16, 1854. At 17, she married Elisha Leander Sherill in 1871. They had two daughters, Alice Gibson Sherill in 1872 and Frances Adella Sherrill in 1875. The couple splits up either before or after they remove to Alabama. Sherill, a physician is in Pope County, then moves to Emporia in Volusia County, Florida, where he dies in 1910. Margaret remarries to a James William Alexander from Mecklenburg County, NC and they settle in Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama, where they raise 6 more children; Edward Toy, William Hogan, George B., Walter Charles, Lillian G. Alexander Kinnett and Arthur Little Alexander. Margarett died on December 6, 1910 at the age of 56 and was buried in Pratt City, Jefferson County, Alabama. Her second husband James, lived until 1939 and also died in Florida, this time, Miami

5) LeRoy P. A. Dancy was next. More information on him forthcoming. 

6) Rebecca D. Dancy is shown as a 10 year old in the 1870 census. She doesn't appear in the 1880 census with her family. No more information. She may have either married and I haven't found her, or she may haved died young. She would have been 20 by 1880 and in that time, could have been married. 

7)  Eliza Jane Dancy was born June 8, 1860, according to her tombstone, but she is shown as 9, younger than Rebecca in the 1870 census and as 18 in the 1880 census. She had an interesting life and was married at least twice, possibly as many as 4 times. However, she only had one child, daughter Eula Vandora King Goodman. Eliza married at least a King and later a White. She may have married more than one White and also possibly a Donaldson, however, one or two of those may have also been one of her missing sisters. More research to be done. Eliza Jane lived in Iredell, Lincolnton and Rowan Counties. She died on February 9, 1944 in Rowan County and was buried at Saint Lukes Evangelical Lutheran Church at Mount Ulla. 

8) William Edward Dancy was born on Halloween, 1863. What a time to come into the world. He was favoed by John E. Solomon and wife, Eliza C. Dancy Solomon. He married Theresa Roxanna Petchel and recieved an inheritance from her family, financing their move from Cabarrus County, where they lived in 1888 and at least until 1900, to Dallas, Texas, where they are found in 1910. W. E. and Theresa would have a family of seven children: Elam or Elmer Hoover,  Mary Lou, Leroy Smoot, Lacy Love, Gilbert Edward, Fleeta and William E. Dancy, Jr. William Edward Dancy died on January 20, 1919 in Jonesville, Harrison, Texas. His wife, Theresa Petchell Dancy followed their  son, Elmer to Lousiana and died there in 1957.

William E. Dancy in Texas

9) Sarah Hugh Dancy was born July 8, 1864. Sarah was the youngest child. She married George Maxwell Wilson on Juy 15, 1880 at the age of  17. Sarah and George raised their family of 10 children in Cabarrus County. They were living in Kannapolis in 1930, and Sarah died in Alamance County in 1931 of apoplexy, so she probably died in the hospital. They had 9 sons and one daughter whom she named Lucy, for her mother. Most of their sons served in World War I. There was James, William Robert, Floyd Monroe, Claude, John , Walter Franklin, Lonnie Winford, Lucy J, Charlie and George Brazel Wilson. Her youngest son was the informant on her death certificate and name his grandmother only as Lucy Dancy.

None of the children or grandchildren of Lucinda G. Solomon Dancy were named in anyway to give hint to which Solomon they might have descended from. They all held overly common or 'trendy for the times' names.

NameLeroy P. Dancy
Birth DateAbt 1858
BirthplaceNorth Carolina
Home in 1880Davidson, Iredell, North Carolina, USA
Dwelling Number12
Relation to Head of HouseSelf (Head)
Marital StatusMarried
Spouse's NameDelia E. Dancy
Father's BirthplaceNorth Carolina
Mother's BirthplaceNorth Carolina
Cannot ReadYes
Cannot WriteYes
NeighborsView others on page
Household members
Leroy P. Dancy22
Delia E. Dancy21

Now back to LeRoy. After leaving his parents home, LeRoy or Lee Roy, was next found in the town of Davidson in north Iredell. He had married a woman named Delia E. Morris. He and Delia assumed the lives of a quiet farming family. They couldn't have children of their own, and at some point adopted a daughter named Essie, who was born in 1881. They, too, like most of the children of Will and Lucy who didn't move to Texas, settled in Cabarrus county.

In 1896, LeRoy, who went by "Lee", had his barn struck by lightning in a storm, causing a fire. He suffered a considerable loss, not only of the structure itself, but of farming implements, and worst of all, two mules had burned to death in the fire. This would not be the only loss Lee would suffer before the turn of the century. 

Lucinda Solomon Dancy was several years younger than her husband, William, and logically outlived him. It appears she has taken up residence with her son, Lee. 

Lucy died on July 6, 1899. She was just 68 years old, not 80 as the newspaper suggested. Five documents gave her year of birth as 1831.

The turn of the century finds the family on King's Creek, in Cabarrus and Leroy is working as a 'Well Boger' and has a hired hand living with them.

I've got to admit, I don't know what a "Well Boger" was, but I can imagine it was akin to a well digger, or perhaps someone who used divining and other skills to locate a good location for a well. The word is not a transcription error. This census also introduces their adopted daughter, Essie, who was working in the Cotton Mills as a spinner, and boarder Matherson Hall, a carpenter. The 1900 census also reported that Delia had never had children.

A newspaper report of the visit of some Enochville friends, revealed that Lee and Delia were living on West McGill Street in Concord. McGill Street is off of the Enochville Road, and just a skip and a hop from the little town itself.

Lee was living on the Cabarrus/Rowan County line. 

Shown is a typical McGill house that would date to that era. 

It wouldn't be long and Lee would also lose his dear wife, Delia. She would pass away on April 8, 1908, at the age of 50. She just missed having a death certificate, so we don't know why she passed away at such a young age. The paper was mistaken that she left no children. She may have had no biological children, but they had Essie.

Leroy had lost so much in such a short time. His grief may have put him in the state of mind that a change of scenery was needed.

The papers reported that Leroy was leaving on a trip to Texas, where his brothers, John C and William E Dancy had moved to, in order to see if the area suited him.

Texas must not have worked out for Leroy, because we find him back in Concord in the 1910 census, working as a carpenter, and boarding with an Atwell family. 

1910 would be Leroy's last census. He passed away on September 7, 1915 at the age of 62. He died of Arsenic poisoning and Brights disease with arterialosis were given as contributing factors. The informant for his death certificate was John F. Dayvault, his son-in-law. John knew his parents were William Dancy and Lucy Solomon, but not where they were born. He guessed Iredell for both. 

Leroy's estate was settled the very next year, 1916. His only heir was daughter, Essie Dancy Dayvault. Essie remained in Cabarrus County, becoming the mother of four children, three who survived to adulthood. She died in 1956 at the age of 75.

While Lucinda G Solomon Dancy was the mother of nine children, six who lived into the years when death certificates were beginning to be issued, it was the death records of her son Leroy which led me to discover that not one, not two, but three of John and Abigail Dancy's children from Iredell County NC had married Solomons from Stanly County.  The Solomons were more than likely siblings. Perhaps one day the descendants of Jarrett Thomas Solomon and Lucinda G Solomon Dancy can compare DNA to confirm this. 

Yet the mystery remains, how did these two groups come together, why, and who were their parents.

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