Friday, November 8, 2019

The Search for Adam Biles

During my recent endeavors to collect my Turner family roots, I recieved a message asking about a mysterious individual connected rather far from the root of my family tree. The man's name was Adam Biles, and I have not been able to find but a few faint traces of his life's path upon the soil of Stanly County, NC. But left his marks, he did, in the history and genealogy of this county.

To begin, I will start at the end, his estate file.

First, on the 31st of August, 1872, a J. R. Littleton "made application for letters of administration upon the estate of Adam Biles, neg. It is ordered that J. R. Littleton enter into bond in the sum of two hundred dollars bond.."

Signed by J M Redwine, Probate Judge.

This folder continues, " without will....value of estate $100 and that Matilda is entitled as heir(s)

The settlement was later in the Probate files under the title "Adam Biles, deceased, and Matilda Biles vs Adaline Underwood et al".

There's a number of papers, receipts, and legalise in the documents, but one that calls to mind the center of the findings was:

"Petition to Sell Lands", wherein, the Administrator, J. R. Littleton and the widow, Matilda Biles, are sued by her children, the heirs of Adam Biles, listed as:

Eliza Underwood and her husband, Jacob Underwood
Wincy Bell and her husband, John Bell
Whitson Biles, George Biles,
Rachel Bell and her husband George Bell and
Adaline Biles

" To the Superior Court of Stanly County, the petition of J. R. Littleton, as admin of Adam Biles and his widow, Matilda Biles respectfully showeth  1st that letters of administration were duly granted to him upon the estate of Adam Biles deceased on the 7th day of August, 1872. 
2nd That there was not  any personal property on hand belonging to said estate. 
3rd That his intestate owed and still owes debts to the amount of about sixty-five dollars
4th That said Biles died seized of tract of land situated in Stanly County and containing about 50 acres valued at $75. 
5th That the plaintiff Matilda Biles as the widow of said intestate is entitled to dower in said lands and that she is  willing to take her dower in money. 
6th That the defts. are heirs at law of said intestate. 

The estate was settled, the land was sold, the debts were paid, including the costs of administration and what miniscule amounts were left went to Matilda.

But the question remains, who was Adam Biles?

To start with, lets look at who the widow was, Matilda.

Matilda Biles, was known as Matilda or Tilda or Tildy, Shankle, both earlier and later in life. I first find mention of her in the Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarters Sessions of Stanly County in the year 1841. This was the year Stanly became a county, and this was only the third session of Court.

In this session, the sheriff, Eben Hearne, was ordered to bring Eliza, Whitson and Wincy, colored infant children of Tilda Shankle, to the next term of court. They were not the only children he was ordered to bring. Other children, either fatherless, orphaned, or born out of wedlock, were also ordered to be brought to court. It was a system they had set up during those years, to keep children from becoming wards of the state. And Matilda, at the time, was not considered to be legally married.

The children were brought to court and in the November 1841 session, Eliza and Whitson Shankle were bound to William Biles and Winsey Shankle was bound to Truxton Kirk.

In the 1850 census, Matilda, and various of her children, are seen living with the Biles family, probably in Harris Township, in Stanly County.

ame:Tildy Shankle
[Felby Shankle] 
Birth Year:abt 1816
Home in 1860:Stanly, North Carolina
Post Office:Albemarle
Dwelling Number:578
Family Number:582
Cannot Read, Write:Y
Household Members:
Tildy Shankle44
Eliza Shankle26
Wincy Shankle22
Whitson Shankle21
George Shankle18
Rachael Shankle16
Adaline Shankle8
John Shankle7
Mourning Shankle6
Mary E Shankle4
Nancy Shankle2
Emaline Shankle6/12

By 1860, most of Matilda's children, those who survived, were living with her. I believe that the younger ones, John, Mourning, Mary E, Nancy and Emaline, were probably her grandchildren, as they are not listed in the estate papers. Emaline appears to be the same age as Emaline Underwood, daughter of Eliza Shankle Underwood. I believe they are the same girl.

Tildy was living beside of Harvey Reed and his family, who had a boarder named William Blalock. Both Reed and Blalock were blacksmiths, and like Matilda and her children, were free persons of color.

And also like Whitson and George Shankle (Biles), Harvey Reed (also seen as Reid), served in the Civil War in the Stanly Marksmen, along with another free man of color, John Jackson.

Stanly Marksmen 5 Jun 1861 -

The Spirit of the Age
Raleigh, North Carolina
05 Jun 1861, Wed  •  Page 2

The FPOC, (free persons of Color), community in Stanly County was not a large one, but there were several families, moving in and out of the county, during the years before the Civil War. Most were persons of mixed ancestry. Some were of mixed African and European ancestry, while others were Native Americans, remnants of tribes who were barely hanging on, and rather nomadic in existence, now known as Lumbee, Waccamaw, Sappony, Tuscarora, Cheraw, Coharie, Haliwah-Saponi. Harvey Reid was originally from Cabarrus County. The Shankle family was Stanly County born and bred. 
Matilda Shankle was a free woman of color, therefore her children were also born free. Her exact ancestry is not known, but what is known is that she was somehow connected to the George Shankle family of Stanly County. Her son George's name was no accident. Matilda and her children are always described as mulatto, or persons of mixed ancestry. I've seen in a file once that she was described as a very light mulatto, "nearly white", which means her parents, or at least her mother, may also have been of mixed ancestry. Whether she was born free or freed after birth is unknown. Rev. George Shankle was a well-respected minister and Revolutionary War soldier. He died the year Stanly became a county. The same year Matilda's children were taken from her and bound out. 
The North-Carolinian
Fayetteville, North Carolina
30 Oct 1841, Sat  •  Page 

Going by the list from the estate papers, the oldest child of Adam Biles and Matilda Shankle Biles was a daughter, Eliza. Born about 1830, Matilda would have only been about 14 or 15 when she was born.Eliza married Jacob Underwood, also seen as "Jake", on December 29, 1865, in Stanly County. 

Name:Jake Underwood
Age in 1870:60
Birth Year:abt 1810
Birthplace:North Carolina
Dwelling Number:12
Home in 1870:Harris, Stanly, North Carolina
Post Office:Albemarle
Male Citizen over 21:Y
Personal Estate Value:100
Inferred Spouse:Eliza Underwood
Inferred Children:Emaline Underwood
Miranda Underwood
David Underwood
Household Members:
Jake Underwood60
Eliza Underwood45
Emaline Underwood10
Miranda Underwood6
David Underwood3
Jacob and Eliza were actually counted twice in 1870, with a bit of a difference in children staying with them. 

Name:Jacob Underwood
Age in 1870:55
Birth Year:abt 1815
Birthplace:North Carolina
Dwelling Number:105
Home in 1870:Harris, Stanly, North Carolina
Post Office:Albemarle
Cannot Read:Y
Cannot Write:Y
Male Citizen over 21:Y

Household Members:
Jacob Underwood55
Eliza Underwood30
Joe Underwood
Emma Underwood10
Marinda Underwood6
Dovey Underwood4

Emaline might have been the Emaline Shankle living with Matilda and Eliza in 1860.  On the marriage license to his second wife, married after Eliza had passed away, and Jacob being a young man of 63, he named his parents as David and Biddy Dilamotte (or Delamothe). This gives Jacob's origins as very clear. Henry Delamothe was a Frenchman and wealthy land owner along the Yadkin/PeeDee River, primarily in Montgomery County. He founded the town of Henderson, no longer in existence, and came for the gold. It was he who had convinced his niece, Mary Catherine Delamothe Kron and her husband, the reknown Prussian doctor, Francis Kron, to settle in America, along the Pee Dee River, in the area that is now known as Morrow Mountain State Park. The slaves of Henry Delamothe had taken the surname, based upon pronunciation, of Dillamotte. So why was Jacob an Underwood?In the Stanly County, NC Register of Deeds, Book 4 and Page 1, Francis Locke gives to his daughter, Elizabeth "Betty" Underwood and her husband D. A. Underwood, "for love and affection", 3 young men named Jacob, Anthony and Prad. The date was February 17 of 1853. In another deed, Book 4 Page 10, he had also gifted Elizabeth with teenagers Sol, Mariah and Mag. In other words, Jacob had been born a slave, probably on the Delamothe estate in Montgomery County, not far from where the Uwharrie meets the Yadkin to become the Great PeeDee. At some point, he was transferred to the possession of Francis Locke, an associate of Delamothe and another wealthy, revered individual. Lastly, Jacob was given to Francis Locke's daughter Elizabeth and her husband, D. A. Underwood. It appears Eliza and Jake were in a relationship, based on the ages of their children),  prior to their legal marriage, just as her parents had been. Jacob is always seen as 'Black', not Mulatto like Matilda and her children, so not of mixed race. They appear to have been the parents of 5 children: Joseph Z "Joe" Underwood, Emaline "Emma", Miranda, Dovey, and David Washington Underwood, who moved to Tennesee. Eliza would die before 1877, when Jake married Phoebe Crump. They would have one daughter that I know of, Zellar, and Jake would died before 1889, when Phoebe would marry a Parker and have 4 more children. 

Name:Selina Shankle
Birth Year:abt 1831
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1850:Freemans, Stanly, North Carolina, USA
Family Number:163
Household Members:
Isaac Biles66
Martha Biles58
Starling Biles25
Edward Biles22
Truxton Biles19
Selina Shankle19

A 19 year old mulatto girl named Selina Shankle, living in the home of Isaac Biles in 1850, where Adam Biles was at the time, (more on that later),  could also have been a daughter of Adam and Matilda, and the second child. She is not seen again, so may have died.
Wincy Shankle Bell and her husband, John Bell were the next. John Bell and his family were from Randolph County, NC. Like Matilda Shankle and her children, they were free people of color, shown in the pre-Civil War census records as mulattos. John was the son of Peter and Harriett Bell, lived in the Science Hill area and worked as a well-digger. Randolph County had one of the lowest population of slaves in the state, but one of the highest populations of free people of color. This was likely due to its significant population of Quakers, who were traditional abolutionists and participated in the Underground Railroad. Many worked to free slaves before it became illegal, and nearly impossible to do, after 1826.  The name Bell is also a common one associated with several different pockets of "Tri-racial isolates", groups of persons of mixed Indigenous, African and European ancestry, who kept to themselves and did not fit comfortably in with other, larger ethnic groups, like the Lumbee of North Carolina, the Melungeons of Eastern Tennesee and Kentucky, and the Red Bones of South Carolina.

Name:Winay Bell
[Wincy Bell] 
Age in 1870:33
Birth Year:abt 1837
Birthplace:North Carolina
Dwelling Number:190
Home in 1870:Asheboro, Randolph, North Carolina
Post Office:Science Hill
Occupation:Keeping House
Inferred Spouse:John Bell
Inferred Children:Sarah J Bell
Household Members:
John Bell33
Winay Bell33
Sarah J Bell13

Wincy Shankle Bell must have passed away before 1880, because her husband John is seen then, living with his parents and listed as a widower. John, himself, lived a long life. He remarried to a lady named Nancy and died in 1919, at the age of 86, in Randolph County.  His death certificate said he died of dropsy and "very old" and listed his father as Peter and his wife as Nancy. 

The Courier
Asheboro, North Carolina
25 Jun 1914, Thu  •  Page 5

The next child was Whitson Shankle, and he deserves a post to himself.  Whitson was a very impressive man. He married Lucinda Sophia Scott and moved from Stanly to Cabarrus County, where he raised his family. The newspapers were full of stories of his ventures, pursuits, sucesses and tragedies. He was a very well-respected farmer and businessman. 

Name:Whitson Shankle
Birth Year:abt 1840
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1850:Freemans, Stanly, North Carolina, USA
Family Number:159
Household Members:
Thos Biley50
Elizabeth Biley43
Matilda Shankle16
Whitson Shankle10

Whitson first shows up in the 1850 census of Stanly County, at age 10, living in the home of Thomas Biles and his wife, along with a 16 year old named Matilda Shankle. Matilda could have been one of several persons. She could have been his mother, Matilda, and someone got the age wrong. She could have been a sister who passed away within the decade, or, she could have been Wincy, whom I was not able to find in 1850, whose name may have been Wincy Matilda or Matilda Wincy. 

Obituary of Whitson Shankle -

I will not dwell on Whitson, as at some point, I want to do a separate post on this fascinating man of his time. He died in Cabarrus County in 1903, leaving a large and fruitful family of descendants behind. 
Next was the second son, George D. Biles, who followed in the footsteps of his brother, Whitson, quite closely. Like Whitson, he fought in the Civil War, and also like Whitson, he moved to Cabarrus County. He served on the Board of the Cabarrus Colored Fair, that Whitson organized and created, and held the Chair of. But George was not quite Whitson. He had, in his time, a little bit of trouble, something Whit never had.  But it appears to be before he moved to Cabarrus County and settled down. 

 - The Pee Dee Herald
Wadesboro, North Carolina
09 Aug 1876, Wed  •  Page 2
In Cabarrus, on his older brother's coattails, George gained some respectibility and a bit of luck. 

The Standard
Concord, North Carolina
02 Mar 1888, Fri  •  Page 3
George Shankle married into the Reed family, as I had mentioned previously concerning Harvey Reed, who were also, historically free persons of color. These families remind me of the stories of the "Black Bourgeoisie", as written about in his book of the same name, by E. Franklin Frazier, and in her own autobiography, "Lena", by Lena Horne. Middle-class, property and business owners, and skilled craftsmen, they belonged to clubs, churchs and organizations. They were active socially,  educated, well-dressed, well-spoken and members of their own little subculture during the turn of the century and early years of the 1900's. They had came from freeborn persons of mixed race and seemed to have lived a very different existence than those who had not. The prevalence of the Reed family in the area near Mt. Pleasant where the Reeds and Shankles settled, was even referred to as "Reedsville". 

The Concord Daily Tribune
Concord, North Carolina
09 Sep 1907, Mon  •  Page 1

George was first married to an Adeline, maiden name unknown, and she was living with him in the 1870 and 1880 census. They seem to have had a daughter named Loudema and Adeline may have been from Stanly County. Adeline died between 1880 and 1882.

Name:Caroline Reed
Birth Year:abt 1860
Marriage Date:6 Sep 1882
Marriage Place:Cabarrus, North Carolina, USA
Father:Wash Reed
Mother:Martha Swinson
Spouse:George Shankle
Spouse Gender:Male
Spouse Race:Colored (Black)
Spouse Age:42
Spouse Father:Adam Biles
Spouse Mother:Tilda Shankle
Event Type:Marriage
Saint Peters Lutheran Church Cemetery
Photo added by TMcManaway

He then married Caroline M Reed, daughter of Washington Reed and Martha Jane Swinson Reed on September 6, 1882. They had one son, Millard in 1884.Then George married her little sister, Amanda, on August 2 1896. Three children were born of this marriage, Harley, Napolean and Chassie. The youngest, Chassie Shankle Reed, was born in 1905 and Amanda shows up as a widow in the 1910 census, putting the death of George between 1904 and 1910. Amanda lived until 1931 and is buried at St Peter's Lutheran Church in Cabarrus County. George may have been buried there, too. There's a large number of Reeds buried in this cemetery, which leads me to believe the cemeteries location may have been in what was considered Reidsville.  It's near the Cabarrus Arena, not far from Highway 49 and the Cold Water area and just southwest of Mt. Pleasant. 

Name:George Bell
Birth Date:Abt 1845
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1880:Cedar Grove, Randolph, North Carolina, USA
Dwelling Number:75
Relation to Head of House:Self (Head)
Marital status:Married
Spouse's name:Rachael Bell
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Cannot Read:Yes
Cannot Write:Yes
Household Members:
George Bell35
Rachael Bell32
Rachel Shankle was the next child, and following in the footsteps of her sister Wincy, she married the younger brother of her brother-in-law, John Bell, George W. Bell. Rachel and George W. Bell appear to have had no children. Rachel passed away in 1906 and George married a second wife, Bessie. He passed away in 1925.
 George W. BellGeorge and Rachel were buried at Saint Mark's United Methodist Church near Mechanics Road and the community of Farmer not far off of Hwy 49 on the western end of Randolph County. 
The last child of Adam Biles and Matilda Shankle, named in the estate file, was Adaline Shankle. Adaline married in Montgomery County, to Brazilla Ingram, son of Randall and Jennie Ingram, in 1874.

Name:Brazilla Ingram
Race:Colored (Black)
Birth Year:abt 1853
Marriage Date:19 Nov 1874
Marriage Place:Montgomery, North Carolina, USA
Father:Randle Ingram
Mother:Jennie Ingram
Spouse:Adaline Shankle
Spouse Gender:Female
Spouse Race:Colored (Black)
Spouse Age:22
Spouse Father:Adam Shankle
Spouse Mother:Matilda Shankle
Event Type:Marriage
In 1880, they too, lived in the New Hope area of Randolph County. The family of Brazilla Ingram shows up in Randolph County in the 1870 and 1880 census, too. 

Name:Brazilla Ingram
Birth Date:Abt 1854
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1880:New Hope, Randolph, North Carolina, USA
Dwelling Number:65
Relation to Head of House:Self (Head)
Marital status:Married
Spouse's name:Adline Ingram
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Cannot Write:Yes
Household Members:
Brazilla Ingram26
Adline Ingram26
Matilda Biles' last known location was in Randolph County, NC. She had followed her daughters there.

Name:Tilda Shankle
Birth Date:Abt 1820
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1880:Concord, Randolph, North Carolina, USA
Dwelling Number:68
Relation to Head of House:Self (Head)
Marital status:Widowed
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Occupation:Keeping House
Household Members:
Tilda Shankle60
Lou Shankle6

She had a little granddaughter named Lou living with her.

So, now that the children have been accounted for, still, who was Adam Biles? To look, we have to switch over from the Shankle family to the Biles family. 
The quaint little town of New London, situated at the highest elevation of Stanly County, NC, started out being called Bilesville.   A man named Thomas Biles, from Rowan County, had settled there and a community had begun.

Handdrawn map of the village of Bilesville from the NC State Archives

Thomas Biles, Sr. was born about 1752 in Monmouth County, New Jersey. He arrived in North Carolina in the latter half of the 18th century, along with his parents, John Thomas and Elizabeth Biles, and silbings, and they settled along Second Creek in Rowan County, near the frontier town of Salisbury. Thomas would marry his lifelong spouse, Tabitha Marbury (sometimes seen as Mabry, Mayberry, etc. ) on March 8, 1783, in Rowan County. At some point, he would move his young family to a high spot in what was then Montgomery County, south of Rowan, into what became the northern part of Stanly County. A community would grow up around his plantation and would be known as Bilesville by the 1830's. The nearby church was known as Bethel along the route to the Yadkin River that led to the Narrows and the Great Falls of the Yadkin. At some point, gold would be found in the area and the name of Bilesville would be changed to New London, in an attempt to attract British investment, or changed by one of the investors in honor of his home. Which ever story rings true, the name was changed because of the gold. 
Thomas Biles wrote his will in 1844 and did not live a great time longer after that. And within I found Adam, as I though I would. In the will, Adam is left to Thomas's wife Tabitha, along with "Tony, Ben and Bitta". 

Thomas Biles named his wife, Tabitha in his will, along with his "six sons Isaac, Alexander, Daniel, Thomas, Francis and William D", including the ones who predeceased him. He did this to include the heirs of his deceased sons in the inheritance, that their heirs, his grandchildren, should recieve a portion of their deceased father's share of the estate. He also mentioned his daughters, Sarah Rogers, Udocia Crowell and Lucinda Crowell, and his daughter's in law, Martha, the wife of Isaac and Dovey, the wife of Alexander.  He also reveiled the location of some of his grandchildren by including the statement, "son William Biles's children who are now in the west). 
Tabitha Biles would pass away 7 years later in 1851. A C Smith, in drawing up the estate papers would wrtie, "being called upon by certain of the Legatees of Thomas Biles, sr, decd' to value, allot, and divide certain negros bequeathed by the last will and testament of the said Thomas Biles decd to Tabitha, widow during her natural life and at her death to descend to certain legatees. '
In the estate records, Adam is listed as the third most valuable., at $550. His age is not given, but he must have been a young adult and in his prime at this time. 

Tony was valued at $400 and drawn by Daniel Biles.Adam was valued at $550 and drawn by Isaac Biles.Ben was valued at $700 and drawn by Thomas Biles (Jr.).Betty was valued at $600 and drawn by Alexr Biles. (This must have been "Bitta" from the will). Caleb was valued at $225 and drawn by T. D. Kirk "one of the heirs of F. Biles", (the deceased son Francis). Caleeb was not mentioned in the will as being left to Tabitha, so was very likely a child born to Betty during the years between Thomas's 1844 will and Tabitha's 1851 decease. Other people found in the Will and Estate records of Thomas Biles were named in a few pages. In his will, he had left a woman named Mourning to his daughter, Sarah Biles Rogers. To his daughter "Udosia Crowell", (Theodosia Biles Crowell 1799-1868),he left a woman named Winny and to his daughter, Lucinda Biles Crowell, he left a woman named Jule (perhaps Julia). In the Estate papers, there was a list of the money earned by the hiring out of the servants of the estate. "10th March 1845 The following is the valuation of the negros of The Estate of Thomas Biles Sr Decsed (sic) not those left with the widow- but the hier (sic) of them - not left with the widow untell (sic) the 1st day of October next." . George, Jack - viller + close (this was written after Jack's name and I am not sure of it's meaning or purpose), Daniel, Jacob, Saul, John, Nancy, Jane + two children paid to keep...$500, Eliza, Delily, Rachel. In a separate area to the right was written "one negro woman....Deduct five dollars for Jane's two children."And then:Price per heir-Tony $18.00Adam $20.00Benjamin $20.00Bettie $11.00___________$69.00 
And on another page, a separate list and valuation, which may give hints to the ages of the individuals kept in servitude by the Biles family. "Divison of the Negros belonging to the estate of Thomas Biles Senr. We the undersigned, proceeded by request on the 30th of Sept 1845 to the value the estate of Thos Biles Senr decd and value them as follows. George at $312.50            Lile at $400.00Nancy at   300.00             Lise at 400.00David at    500.00            Rachel at 400.00Jacob at   500.00            John at    3??.00Jane at     300.00            Julia at     175.00Saul at     425.00             Jordan at  125.00
They were divided to the heirs of Thomas Biles Senior in the second half of this page;To Thomas Jr. : Daniel and Lile (I believe Lile refers to 'Delily' or Delilah, on the other page.To Daniel Biles: Jacob and Lisa (Lise in the evaluation above and Eliza in the previous document). To Isaac Biles: George and RachelTo Alex Biles: Nancy and JohnTo Franklin Biles heirs (Francis?) : Saul and Julia (As Julia wasn't named in the previous document, I believe she was one of Jane's children just mentioned as "children" in the document. To William Biles heirs: Jane and Jordan (I believe Jordan to be the second of Jane's children. 


So, Adam was now in the household of Isaac Biles and his wife Martha Moss Biles. This situation did not last long either, as Isaac Biles passed away on June 25, 1856, just 4 years after his mother, at the age of 72.
Isaac Biles grave

He and his wife Martha Moss are buried in the cemetery of Badin Baptist. The church and cemetery predate the town of Badin, however, by nearly a century and was once known as Ebenezer Baptist, constituted in 1836. Isaac died intestate, but his estate primarily became the possession of his wife Martha. Martha died in 1862, near the beginning of the Civil War. It is unknown what Adam did or where he lived during those days, but it appears he remained in Stanly County, legally married his wife, Matilda and obatined 50 acres of his own to farm, and died and left his own estate in 1872.
Looking at slave transactions in Stanly County involving the Biles family, in Deed Book 1, Page 69, Thomas Biles (Jr or Sr unknown) bought a woman named Tweeny and her child from Benjamin New in 1842.In deed Book 1 Page 291, In 1845, the heirs of Thomas Biles were in a debate over whether a woman's increase, or children born after the will, would pass with their mother to whomever the heir was that had been assigned the mother. In Deed Book 1 Page 338 Thomas Biles was given power of attorney over the slaves of Jacob Marberry. Recall Thomas Sr. married Tabitha Marbury. In Book 2 Page 11, Thomas Biles had bought from Truxton Kirk, Jane, Jordan and Saul and then, on the same page, Thomas and Daniel Biles, executors of Thomas Sr. sold Jane and her child to Truxton Kirk in 1847.In Book 2 Page 88 Thomas Biles bought of Rowland Forrest, a girl named Eliza. No more mention of Adam. To find out more about Adam, we would have to go to Rowan County and look at the records there. But that is another post for another day. In summary, the tragic love story of Adam and Matilda Biles was one that probably played out many times over in the hazy and hard days of the 17th and 18th century, even in the ancient Uwharrie hills. This was a couple whose descendants likely number in the thousands today. People who deserve to know as much about their history as possible and who are left, like we, to imagine the tremendous love of the slave, Adam Biles and his freeborn wife, Matilda Shankle. 

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