Zilphia, also spelled Zelphia, is one of those old melodic names seldom heard any more. It was rare in it's time, akin to Sophia in nature, and the woman who bore it had to stand out among the Mary, Martha's and Lizzie's.
Derived from the Hebrew name Zilpah and meaning "Frailty", the name doesn't quite fit the woman I imagine Zelphia Cochran Davis had to have been. Little is known about her, but I've made an attempt, based on what can be found, about where her origins were and who she may have been.
The very first document Zilphia appears in is her 1875 marriage to Ben Davis of the Tyson Community in Stanly County, North Carolina. This isn't the giddy wedding of a blushing young adolescent bride and her nervous young groom . Zilphia is 46 and Ben is 62, well into middle age and the autumn of their days. While Ben knows exactly who his parents were; Ben Lee and Hannah Nance, poor Zilphia seemed to have no clue. She may have been orphaned at a very early age, I thought, or, it being only 1875, just a decade past the Civil War, Zilphia, being African American, was more than likely, like Ben, to have been born a slave. And as with many of the unhealed scars on the carcus of American history, she may have been taken away from or sold away from, her family as a small child, too young to have even remembered her mothers name. (But that is to be seen).
When you come across a document like this, and pause a minute to let it resonate, what the information, or lack of it, really means, it can open a door to understanding, in a very small way, an ocean of dispiritedness and indignation of a people whose history had been stolen from them. It's like trying to rebuild a house, when all you find are straws, but other, more fortunate people, are finding bricks.
Ben and Zilphia would have no children together, but they both had children. Ben had been married to a woman named Fannie, and together they had 6 known children; Charles, Daniel, Marvel, Elizabeth, Emaline and James Wesley, between 1841 and 1865. Zilphia also had 6 known children, but by different fathers, some unknown, between 1852 and 1865: William M. Cochran by Jacob Cochran, to whom she may have been married, Harriet Cochran by father unknown, Dilsey Cochran by Harry Randle, infamous husband in old Stanly County lore of Celia Easley, from the Cottonville Community, Stephen, or Steve, by Dock Crump, also of Cottonville origins, Calvin by William "Buck" Howell of the same area as the Crumps and Davis's, and lastly, Martha Jane Cochran, father unknown. This places Zilphia firmly in the Cottonville area for at least a good amount of time in her life.
Another clue is the fact that her oldest son, William M. Cochran, names his birthplace as Montgomery County, just across the river.
To study the African American citizens of a certain surname, it often helps to study the other people in the same area of that surname, and this is where I believe Zilphia have been before her marriage to Ben Davis.
In the very early records of Stanly County, there exists a man named Abraham B. Cochran. I've not done a wealth of research on him, but he was a man of some influence, and active in the earliest politics of the county. A. B. Cochran was born around September 22, 1802 in Montgomery County, NC and died on September 1, 1844 in the Norwood area of Stanly County, NC. Now, for those who aren't aware, Norwood and Cottonville are both located in the southern part of the county, along the Rocky River, just before it's confluence with the Pee Dee River, just below Norwood. Montgomery County is just across the Pee Dee from Stanly and they were one county until 1841.
The Cochran Cemetery near the river below Norwood. Zoom in not too clear.
A. B. has a family cemetery south of Norwood towards the Forks of the River near current Piney Point Golf Course. Here he peacefully lies, along with a daughter, Eliza E. Cochran, who died in 1841 at age 6. There are maybe 25 other people buried here, most without stones, or with illegible stones, one with MMC, another with dates of birth and death (1811-1884) and no name. It can easily be acertained that he lived close by at the time of his death in 1844. Perhaps Zilphia was there at the time. Abraham's widow at the time of this death (it seems there was possibly a first wife, too) was Mary M. Lilly Cochran, daughter of Edmund Lilly and Mary Marshall Lilly. Talk about movers and shakers, the Lilly and Marshalls were two of the most prominent families in the Stanly, Montgomery and Anson County areas, especially in the areas where the rivers, and the counties, came together, which was the active area in the very earliest years of its settlement.
Zion Church in Montgomery County where the Gaines family are the first markers on the right.
Shortly after the death of A. B. Cochran, Mary Marshall Lilly Cochran married James Lowe Gaines (1802-1862), son of James Gaines and Rebecca Lowe Gaines of Culpepper County, Virginia. They had migrated to Montgomery County, NC via the Cumberland and Moore route. Mr. Gaines was a widower and solidly within Mary's social status group in the Fork Community. They would have 5 more children together: Julia Frances, Cornelia Ann, Sarah Jane, Eliza Lilly and William H. In the 1870 census, Mary M. Lilly Cochran Gaines, is found with these and her 2 surviving youngest daughters by A. B. Cochran, Martha Louise and Mary Catherine, in Montgomery County. There is an error in the census, as (Martha ) Louisa and (Mary) Katey, were Cochrans, and not Gains.
It was my belief that Zilphia Cochran and possibly Jacob, were slaves of Abraham B. Cochran and then moved with Mary and her little girls, across the river to Montgomery County. The household from Agga Gains, down to Henry Shankle are named as "Household Servants" and by race are black. However, Zilphia Cochran is not in this list. She's not to be found in 1870 at all. It can be readily known that Agga, Susan, Lucinda, Martin and Jane Gains had been slaves of James Gaines. Henry Shankle was probably from the "Shankletown" area of the Forks neighborhood south of Norwood and had been hired on as farm labor.
Backing up, in 1850, James L Gaines is listed in the family, with some of his children by his first wife; stepdaughters Martha Louisa and Mary Catherine Cochran listed with their proper names and their correct surname; and the oldest three of his five children with Mary M. Lilly Cochran Gaines.
In 1860, the family is listed as being in "Zion", which is some miles out of modern Mount Gilead, within the area of the Montgomery house and not very far from the Deberry House. Edmund L. Deberry was enumerated near the Gaines in 1850. So was Joseph Melton, who was from a Stanly County family, and we also know the area of Montgomery County where he lived, so it gives me a general area of where the Gaines family were located.
1860 neighbors were Ballards, Lilly's and Mortons, including the familiar names of Dominic Morton and George Washington Thompson.
James Lowes Gaines died on September 29, 1862 at the age of 60. Because of his status in the upper echelons of society, we know not only when he died, but what from and where he was buried.
Col James Lowe Gaines
Moore County, North Carolina, United States of America
29 Sep 1862
Montgomery County, North Carolina, United States of America
Zion Methodist Cemetery
Burial or Cremation Place:
Mount Gilead, Montgomery County, North Carolina, United States of America
Buried at Zion Methodist Church, that puts him squarely in the neighborhood known as "Pee Dee". He had attained the rank of Colonel and was by trade an attorney, and this awarded him a very loquacious and excessively adulating obituary.
Lord Have Mercy, I need a sweet tea, a church fan and a settee ready after that one.
Estimated Birth Year:
North Carolina, USA
Cause of Death:
Peedee, Montgomery, North Carolina, USA
Mary Lilly Cochran Gaines died of Consumption in 1880. She, too, had earned a complimentary obituary in the statewide newspapers, yet notice the subtle differences. James's focused on his career and public service, Mary's focused on her piety and who her family was.
So Colonel Gaines died of Palsy, or a paralysis, and Mrs. Gaines died of Consumption, or tuberculosis, yet, I can find no clue of what Zilphia Cochran died of or where she is buried. There is no documentation of where she was before her marriage to Ben Davis. Yet, if she followed Mary M. Lilly Cochran Gaines to Montgomery County, might she have been mentioned in the estate papers of Col Gaines? The War had just begun.
So, I endevoured to look into the estate files of Colonel Gaines, wherein I found a number of familiar names. First that of G. W. Seigler, who I had recently posted on, born in Anson County and who would later migrate south to Arkansas and Texas. He bought $400 worth of sheep and $179 in corn from the state, among other things. vCol. Gaines held notes on my G. Great Uncle, Edward Winfield Davis of Stanly County, along with several other Stanly County citizens like Stephen Crump and Baldy Henderson Carter.
Precisely in the middle of Colonel Gaines' nearly 40 pages of Probate papers I found the 'Division of Negros', where the human chattel of the Gaines estate had been given a value and divided into lots, with the lots divided equitiably among his heirs; his older children by his first marriage and his widow and her young children. No matter how many times I've come across such documents, it chills me to the bone to think a price can be put on a human being, however, these documents are all we have sometimes to determine who these people were, and to try to approximate their ages. The monetary labels seem to be assigned based on 'work equity'. Young healthy people were the most valueable, older people with health problems lost value, young children had future value, but a high risk of succombing to a host of childhood diseases and accidents, younger women had a higher value of being able to create more children. As distasteful and upsetting as the thought of it is, history must not be destroyed, but used to understand the past, and not to repeat it. Such were the times they lived in. As can be detracted from his Obituary, Colonel Gains was not an evil man, he was considered a great man of his time, a well-respected man. He was simply a wealthy man, a man with lots of property, and in this era, a man with lots of property needed lots of people to work it. Wealthy people still today, use poorer people to build their wealth, but now, instead of just providing meager clothing, food and shelter, and not being allowed to leave, the individual is given meager wages, and is allowed to leave at any point, at their own risk of not having food or shelter.
Before the Division, it was noted that 3 people were currently in the home and in the care of the widow, Mary Lilly Cochran Gaines; "Two old and diseased negros named Bill and Jesse and one negro woman named Pinky". Mary seemed to be concerned with and wanted in her care, the two elderly men. Pinky was not described as old, and may have just been particularly close to Mary over her life. Perhaps Pinky was a "Lilly", having followed Mary from her parents home.
Lot One in the Gaines probate consisted of "Rob $1100. Lydia and child $1200, and Mary $250". These were alotted to James elder son, Edmond. Just from this, it appears Rob was a young man in his work prime, probably less than 25, Lydia a young woman in her childbearing years, with and infant, and Mary, a little girl, probably Lydia's daughter. Not too long ago, I had read an article by a journalist who had access to the journals of a large antebellum plantation, that had kept note of the births and deaths of all of the people on the plantation. It was surprising how many young men died in their prime, many accidental deaths, many injured by equipment, even 'kicked in head by mule'. Twenty-five seemed to be an average life expectency. Children died of 'teething' and childbirth took many a young woman. Also to be noted was the injection of 'by his own hand', or suicide.
Lot 2) Martin $1200, Jenny $750 and Ben $650.
Lot 3) Jim $1200, Rosetta $550, Calvin $450, Austin $350 - to Harriett, a daughter of James Lowe Gaines by his first wife, Sarah Shaw Gaines.
Lot 4) Martin $1000 (another Martin), Lucinda $1200, Becca $250, Malinda $100.
Lot 5) Chris $1000, Nancy and child $1250, Delphia $400 - to lot added Jesse, infirm and diseased, $200 deducted for maintenance of Jesse.
Here, we see Jesse, as not valued, but to a negative amount, to provide for his medical care and doctor visits.
Below is the census listing for Christmas "Chris" Gaines in 1880, which gives his year of birth as 1834. In 1863, he would have been 29 years old. His wife's name was Sallie Ann Christian. There were Christians who lived in the same general area of the county as the Gaines.
Lot 6) Ralph $1100, Lean and child $1200, Wash $350 - to lot is added Bill, infirm and diseased, $200 deducted for his maintenance and care.
Lot 7) Mason $1200, Ellen $500, Lewis $750.
Below is another look at some of the people listed in these lots. This is the Rev. Mason G. Gaines just 7 years later in the 1870 census. He was 25 years old when he was evaluated at $1200. His wife Lucinda was in Lot 4 and was valued at $1200 at age 21, his daughter Delphia was in Lot 5, valued at $400 at 5 years old, daughter Patsy would be listed in Lot 8 at $300, around 3 years old.
Rev. Gaines is an example of the meteoric rise some people made after slavery. Just 10 years later, 17 years after he is listed as a $1200 slave, Rev. Gaines is in neighboring Moore County as an "Ambassador".
He dies in Lee County, NC in 1927 of pnuemonia at the age of 86 and left an enduring legacy. When you think about it, some of our Grandparents were born around 1927. It's 2021, there are people still living born in 1927. They could have known people born into slavery. This reiterates how recent this really is , just a few generations. The scars have not healed.
Mason outlived his wife Lucinda. He remarried in 1891 to Caroline Smith Allen. He named his parents, old "infirm" Jesse and Becca, mentioned in Lot 4 at $250, an old woman, no doubt. Could Jesse even have imagined the respected and status his son would attain? I doubt it.
Lot 8) Willie $850, Lucy and child $1300, Patsy $300.
Lot 9) Adam $1100, Cora $750, Henry $500, Dill $100.
But no Zelphia. I wondered if Delphia could have bee Zelphia, but no, she was an entirely different person. I wondered if some of them were Zelphia's children Was Willie, William? Was Dill, Dilsey? It was possible, but since Zelphia was a Cochran, maybe she wasn't considered part of the Gains estate. The estate was settled by Mary Gaines, John A. Lilly, (who had been the executor of A. B. Cochran), J. H. Montgomery, W. J. Bruton, and D. R. Cochran, (any relation?).
Backing up, I revisited A. B. Cochran in 1840, the last census before his death.
Abraham B Cochram[Abraham B Cochran]
Home in 1840 (City, County, State):
East Pee Dee River, Montgomery, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - 30 thru 39:
1 A. B. Cochran
Free White Persons - Females - Under 5:
Free White Persons - Females - 20 thru 29:
2 Mary M. Lilly Cochran
Slaves - Males - Under 10:
Slaves - Males - 10 thru 23:
Slaves - Males - 24 thru 35:
Slaves - Females - Under 10:
2 Zilphia age 6?
Slaves - Females - 24 thru 35:
Persons Employed in Agriculture:
Persons Employed in Commerce:
Free White Persons - Under 20:
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49:
Total Free White Persons:
Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves:
In 1840, only one of his 4 children had been born and she would died 2 years later and is buried in the Cochran Cemetery. And he had 10 slaves. Zilphia, born about 1834, would have been 6.
Abram B. Cochran had lived in Stanly County upon his death. By visiting his cemetery, I could tell that A. B. Cochran had lived in Allenton, one of the earliest towns in the county, that is now primarily under water, due to the daming of the river. What was his property is now a lakeside community, some permanent residents, others vacation homes. You can see the water from the cemetery in between the houses. The estate file for A. B. Cochran in Stanly County is meager and doesn't offer up a lot of information. There is mention of the widow, and John A. Lilly and James M. Lilly, but not much more. Remember, Mary was a Lilly, so these were her brothers.
That is when I decided to look at D. R. Cochran, who was mentioned in the Gaines file. Turns out, he was David Randolph Cochran, Abram's younger brother. I actually took a quick dip into the whole, well-documented Cochran gene pool.
The Montgomery County Cochran Dynasty was began by one Abraham Cochran, born in 1757. The son of Jacob Cochran (Cockerham) and wife, Mary Ingles Cochran, he appears in the 1784 census of Montgomery County, NC. The family supposedly originated in Brunswick County, Virginia, but deeds mentioning Joseph, Jacob, William and Thomas Cockerham in Anson County, along features that exist in Montgomery County, as early as 1758 and 1759. So Abraham very well could have been born in Montgomery County.
He married Tamar Bruton, daughter of Samuel Bruton and Mary Branch, the Brutons being another prominent and dominant family in the Mount Gilead area of Montgomery County. Tamar was also born in Virginia about 1757, so they were both 20 when they married around 1777.
This couple had 3 children who made it to adulthood (known children): Mary Sarah , who married James Poer, Elizabeth, who married William B. Coggins, and David, who married Catherine Butler. These 3, though few, were very prolific. David, the only son, had 10 children. Abram (or Abraham) Bruton Cochran was the eldest.
Abraham Cochran, the first, died in 1818 and his son David died the next year in 1819. The children of Davis and Catherine were:
1802-1844 Abraham B. Cochran - married Mary M. Lilly.
1803-1893 Joshua Butler Cochran - married Sarah McNeil, was a banker in Charlotte, NC, moved with McNeils to Tennesee, then Missouri, then Angelina, Texas.
1804-1859 Terry Emily Cochran- married Archibald Munroe, moved to Clay County, Alabama.
1806-1864 William Bryant Cochran - Died in Franklin County, Tennesee.
1808-1891 Tamar Cochran =-married 1st Samuel David Pemberton, married 2nd, Spencer Haltom.
1810- ? George W. Cochran - married 1st Elizabeth, married 2nd Julia, moved around quite a bit, Tennessee, Missisppi and lastly in Lonoke County, Arkansas.
1812-1864 David Randolph Cochran, never married, Moved around out west, came home and died in Montgomery County, NC.
1814-1892 Louisa Cochran - Married Neil Bethune Gillis.
1815-1882 Patrick Jackson Cochran aka "PJ", married Mary Elizabeth Thomapson. Died in Angleina, Texas.
1817-1885 Calvin Jones Cochran- Married Mary Ann Tomlinson, remained in Montgomery County, NC.
1919-1864 Atlas Jones Cochran - Married Mary Harriett "Polly" Allen, Died in Gordonsville, Virginia.
The Cochrans lost several sons, including their youngest, to the Civil War. Atlas was born the year his father died. Catherine was left with a full family of small children. Atlas's widow remained in Montgomery County.
David Randolph Cochran seems quite the character. He was said to have had wild red hair, much like that of his Grandfather, Abraham Cochran. Red hair must have ran in the Cochran line. From the Family History by Rose Cochran McLean, published long before I was ever born, comes this tidbit of history, David Randolph Cochran "went to the southwest and spent his early years fighting Indians. He came home at the beginning of the Civil War, enlisted as an Officer, had a row with his Commanding Officer - a fight. David resigned from his Company, came home and organized a Company. He was put in command of Camp Shaftner near High Point, NC. He was Captain of the 34th Regiment, Co. K. Dr. Whit Brookshire of Pekin was one of his men, and he told me many tales of his fiery red-headed Captian. He said that David Cochran loved to fight- the hotter it got, the better he liked it- said his men adored him and would follow him to the ends of the earth. He died in 1864 and is buried in the Cochran cemetery four miles north of Troy. He never married."
Below is a page from the estate files of D. R. Cochran. His heirs were his siblings, his nieces and nephews, the children of his dead siblings.
But I noticed something strange when looking in the Montgomery County Estate files for Cochrans. There were two files for A. B. Cochran, one dated 1847 and the other dated 1867. Having familiarized myself with the Cochran crew, I knew A. B. Cochran was Abram B. Cochran, so I looked...and I found Ziliphia. Not only Zilphia, but her mother and siblings - listed as her mother and her siblings. Zilphia would have known who her mother was. Not only that, her mother was alive when she married Ben Davis.
242 Deed Book 14
James L. Gaines to A.B. Cochran
State of N Carolina, Whereas, in a certain petition depending in the court of equity for the county of Montgomery, wherein Abraham B. Cochran, David Cochran, William Cochran & other heirs at law of David Cochran Sr. Dec’sd, were petitioners for the sale of the said David Cochran Sr. dec’sd lands, of Spring Term 1835 of sd court a decree of sale was made (as by reference to the records of the sd court will fully and at large appear) of the following tracts or parcels of land, situated and bounded as follows, the first tract lying in Montgomery County as are all the following tracts on the East side of Little River on both sides of Howard’sbranch Beginning on a white oak Joseph Parsons’ corner & runs with his line North 70 deg. East 80 poles to a stake then So 87 deg. East 112 poles to a hickory then No. 2 deg. West 124 poles to a small hickory David Cochran’s corner then with sd Cochran’s line So 64 deg. W 267 poles to the beginning containing sixty six acres more or less. The third tract beginning at a hickory near Wm Bruton’s line on the E side of a branch & on the North side of Big Creek & runs thence So 33 deg. E 32 poles to his corner then So 57 deg.-- 160 poles to a white oak, then So 33 deg. E 30 poles to Will Bruton’s line, then E with & beyond sd Bruton’s line 130 poles to WillCupples’ line, then No 45 deg. E 40 poles, then E 172 poles then No 27 deg. W 184 poles, then south 81 deg. W 160 poles then So 40 deg. W 26 poles to the beginning containing two hundred & fifty acres. The third tract comprising several tracts the first beginning at Aaron Poer’s line on the So side of Ridges Creek & runs down the various courses of sd creek to the till oak, and then a due west to the river, then down sd river a south direction to the mouth of Ridges Creek & then a south direction to the corner on a Spanish oak the beginning corner of the old hundred acre survey on the bank of Little River below the mouth of Ridges Creek, then So 73 deg. E 46 poles, then No 53 deg. E to Ridges Creek containing one hundred & fifty acres & second tract adjoining the above beginning in Henry Humble’s line and runs thence No 17 deg. E 61 poles to a post oak, then So 80 deg. E 20 poles to DavidPoer’s line, then So 51 deg. E 20 poles to his corner, then No 53 deg. E 231 poles to Thompson’s line, then with his line So 64 poles, then So 64 deg. W 267 poles to the beginning containing fifty acres the last mentioned tract containing two hundred acres, one half acre excepted at the graveyard, (this is the Cochran & Poer Graveyard) The fourth tract comprising several tracts, the first on both sides of Ridges Creek beginning at a post oak on the top of a hill and runs E 127 poles 243 to a pine, then So 127 to a corner, then W 127 poles, then No 127 poles to the beginning containing one hundred acres. The 2nd adjoining the above beginning at a post oak in his line beginning corner of his 100 acre survey and runs with his first line E 43 chains to a pine amongst two pine pointers then No 48 deg. E 22 chains & 50 links to a white oak, amongst one red oak & two hickory pointers, then No 22 deg. W 9 chains, then So 65 deg. W 31 chains & 50 links with JamesButler’s line to the beginning containing fifty acres. The third tract adjoining the above beginning at the second corner of his old survey on Ridges Creek at a dog wood and runs South 121 poles to Wm Ozier’s line. With and beyond his line E 40 poles to Haywood’s & Cupples’ line of their big survey, then No 210 poles, then W 36 poles, then So 22 deg. E 36 poles, then South 48 deg. W 88 poles, then W 40 poles to the beginning containing one hundred and fifty acres, the 4th tract adjoining the above beginning at a red oak on the W side of a big hill and on the E side of Big Creek and runs No 15 deg. W 20 chains & 36 links to a pine, then No 28 deg. E 8 chains to a red oak. Then No 63 deg. W 16 chains to a pine sd to be James Gibson’s line, then South 70 deg. W 30 chains, then So 22 Chains & 60 links then E 41 chains & 90 links to the beginning containing one hundred acres, the 5th tract adjoining the above beginning at a pine Wm Ozier’s old line and runs South 39 deg. W 80 poles to Wm Bruton’s line, then with his line South 120 poles, then No 39 deg. W 80 poles then No 120 poles to the beginning, containing fifty acres, the last above mentioned five tracts containing four hundred & fifty acres. The 5th and last tract lying on the half-mile branch of Ridges Creek beginning at a Spanish oak Sampson Seller’s corner & runs with sd Seller’s line No 65 deg. E 130 poles to Joel Green’s corner, then No 30 deg. E 108 poles to a stake, then Sough 42 deg. E 78 poles to KatherineCochran’s old corner of a 50 acre survey granted to Henry Frazer, with the last and known line of sd survey So 67 deg. W 267 poles to the beginning containing thirty acres, and in pursuance and (illegible) to sd decree Jas L. Gainey clerk and master of sd court having advertised time & place of sale, as required by the decree aforesaid did on the 30th day of April 1835, upon the aforementioned tract-or parcel of land to sale when and where Abraham B. Cochran became the purchaser by being the last & highest bidder therefore, at the sum of seven hundred and thirty dollars this indenture Witnesseth that the sd James L Gaines clerk & master in equity as aforesaid for and in consideration of the aforementioned sum of seven hundred & thirty dollars to him in hand paid by sd Abraham B. Cochran, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged doth hereby 244
Bargain & sell, alien (?), convey and confirm the above described premises with all and singular the hereditaments thereunto belonging or in any way appertaining to him the sd Abraham B Cochran, his heirs and assigns forever to have and to hold to his and their only proper use and be hoof and the sd James L. Gaines clerk & master in equity as aforesaid doth hereby covenant and agree to and with the sd Abraham B. Cochran that he will warrant and forever defend the title to the land herein before described with its appurtenances to him the sd Abraham B. Cochran his heirs and assigns forever, so far as he is enables to do selling and conveying under the decree of the court of equity as aforesaid & no further. In witness whereof the sd James Gaines clerk and Master in Equity as aforesaid hath hereunto set his hand and seal the 29th day of June A.D. 1837 - sealed and delivered in
James L. Gaines
Clerk & Master in Equity
For Montgomery County
Montgomery County Court, January 1840, then the deed was acknowledged and registered in the court.
Nat Knight, Clerk
It seems the James Lowe Gains and Cochran connection was extensive, and A. B. Cochran, despite having moved to Allenton, had extensive ancestorial holdings in Montgomery still.
The 1867 file was just referring to the children who were now adults. The 1846 file was where the meat was.
" 1846 A B Cochran of Montgomery County, NC... John A. Lilly, Admin. vs
James M. Lilly & James C. Andrews
Court of Pleas and Quarters Jany 1846
James L. Gaines and wife Mary, Mary Catherine Cochran and Martha Louisa Cochran
Ex Parte - Petition for Division of negroes...viz Jesse, Beck and her 4 children viz Martin, Mason, Jones and Ralph. Aggy & her four children viz Wallace, Zilphia, Tony and Sarah. Maria and her two chlidren, Jimmy and Sam. Calvin W. Wooley administrator.
G.L. Barringer, John LIvingston, and Thomas B. Scarboro be appointed as freeholders to divide... MC and ML Cochran infants under 21. John A. Lilly appointed Guardian Ad litem.
Another page added values to the names, as in the Gaines estate files: Some of the names being the same people, just 16 years younger. Rebecca $295 (wife of Jesse and mother of Maritn and Mason, $245 in 1862),
Martin $150, Mason $290,Jones $225, Ralph $100 & Jesse $150 (he must have had an ailment already), Aggie $335 (Ziphia's mother), Zilphy $360 (age 12), Tony $350, Sarah $190, Mariah $375, Jinny $225, Sam $125, Wallace $450 Total; $3620.
Time to back up again and look at the documents I had already came across, like the 1870 census with Mary Lilly Cochran Gaines in it.
In the above census, I now know that Agga Gains is actually Aggie Cochran, Lucinda is Lucinda "Sinda" Cochran, one of two daughters Aggie had after the death of A. B. Cochran. Jane, who is shown as one in the actual census, was the daughter of Susan. Martin was a Gains, and the son of old Jesse and Becca, brother to Rev. Mason G. Gaines. We know what became of poor Martin. Susan was Aggie's daughter, too.
This was 1870, the year we do not find Zilphia. Aggie's other 3 children mentioned in the A.B. Cochran probate papers, Wallace, Toney and Sarah, were not to be found in 1870, or 1880. Toney may have migrated away, or died, as life was dangerous and short in the mid-1880's, especially for enslaved people, and especially for men. Sarah probably had married, but to whom?
The only child of Aggie's born before 1844, besides Zilphia, that I find any trace of, was Wallace. He had a daughter.
Adeline Lilly had been born about 1854. She was the daughter of Wallce Cochran and Sophia Lilly, both seemingly dead by 1870, and most definately dead before 1876, when she married at age 22. She names both parents as deceased.
In 1870, Adeline Lilly was living with the Martin Lilly family as a housekeeper. In 1876, she would marry him and become the mother of the house. They lived right next to James M. Lilly, the brother of Mary Marshall Lilly Cochran (Gaines). Martin Lilly and Adelines's mother, Sophia, had been slaves of James M. Lilly.
Martin shows up in the 1900 and 1910 census records as a widower, living on Blalock Ferry Road in the Pee Dee Community of Montgomery County. He dies in 1914 and is buried at the Mount Zion AME Zion Church, which is located near the Old Zion Church where the Gains family and other prominent names in the community are buried. In all likelihood, Adeline Lilly Lilly is buried there as well. She has descendants, therefore so did Wallace, from this one child.
I looked to the 1870 and 1880 cencus records of Montgomery and Stanly Counties to see who remained in the area in the Gains and Cochran familes. Many had died, and many in both the white and black Cochran and Gains familes had migrated off.
Starting in PeeDee Township, Swift Island Post Office, we have the widow Mary Gaines ( Mary M. Lilly Cochran Gaines, her two Cochran daughters, now in their 20's, and her 5 Gaines children. Living with them are Aggie Cochran, her daughters Lucinda and Susan and her Granddaughter, Jane. Also Martin Gaines, son of Old Jesse and Becca, and a man named Henry Shankle. Martin dies of Typhoid Fever in 1879. Not too far away is the Mason Gaines family, Mason who moves east and becomes a very well respected Minister of the Gospel. He is 32, his wife Lucinda, 28, and their 3 children, Delphia, Patty and James. Delphia was mentioned in the 1866 estate papers of James Lowe Gains. Mason and Martin were brothers.
Also in the neighborhood is Nelson Christian, 45. Nelson ends up later marrying Sallie Ann Gaines, a daughter of Mariah Cochran and Warren Marshall., Mariah being one of the 3 'Mothers' in the Probate records of Abraham B Cochran, besides Rebecca and Aggie. Mariah will be mentioned several times in this discourse. Nelson is living with his first wife, Jane aka Joice, and their many children, but also in the household are several Gold Miners, Including 3 young Cochran boys, Calvin, 20, Reuben, 13 and Dick, 14.
Now, both Zilphia and Mariah had sons named Calvin. The moniker "Cavin Jones" ran in both the white and black Cochran families. He must have been a worthy figure back in the family line somewhere. Zelphia's Calvin was born in 1861 and would marry Mary Ella Threadgill. Mariah's Calvin was born in 1853 and would marry Sarah Christian. As Zephia's Calvin would only be 9, and most likely living with her, and she was missed in this census, this is probaly Mariah's Calvin. At 17, he wuld be much more likely to be mistaken for 20. Reuben and Dick, there are no more records of. As Mariah was born in 1830, these were probably her sons, as well. Mining was intensely dangerous. These poor young boys probably died in an accident, if not of disease.
In Mount Gilead Township is the Adam and Sarah Gains family and their 6 children. Also, in Mount Gilead is Mariah Cochran, now 40, and her younger children, Harriett, Sidney and George. Harriett and Mariah's daughter Sallie Ann Gains Christian, were also daughters of Warren Marshall, making them whole sisters of Calvin. Mariah's Harriett, not to be confused with Zilphia's Harriett, married James Haywood. Son Sidney, son of Wade Ledbetter, married Pattie Barringer and youngest son, George,son of Ben Bruton, married Adeline Dillamonte, whose parents had been slaves of old Henry Dillamothe, a French prospector and Land Baron. Mariah, herself, would marry later in life, past her child-bearing years, to Addison Boggan, and on the marriage certificate, named her parents as Samuel and Sarah Wilson. It's unknown where Mariah was born or how she ended up in the Cochran household.
The only Cochran family in Troy Township was that of C. J. Cochran. Calvin Jones Cochran, Sr., the last surviving son of old David Cochran, was the next to the youngest. He had survived the Civil War, when his younger brother, Atlas, had not. David lost several sons in the Civil War era, and others had migrated West. Only C. J. remained. At 53, he had gained a young wife, Mary and had two small sons, John H. and Calvin Jones, Jr.
One of the family of former slaves of James Lowe Gain, that of James and hsi wife, Lydia, had moved across the river into Stanly County and were living in Center (Norwood) Township. They were in the company of several Deberry and Snuggs families, all freedmen.
But the most telling, in terms of the life of Zilphia Cochran was the presence of Louis Gaines, age 17, in the household of James Davis, My 5th Great Uncle. Zilphia would marry Ben Davis, a slave of James Davis's father, Job Davis, whom I believe had ended up in the household of James Davis before emanicipation. Also near the James Davis household was that of Harry Randle, who would become the father of one of Zilphia's children. Might Zilphia have followed Louis Gaines into Stanly County?
Home in 1880:
Tysons, Stanly, North Carolina, USA
Relation to Head of House:
Zilphia, now 46, had married Ben, 62, in 1875. Here they are, above, in the 1880 census, Ziphia's first.
Back in Montgomery County, in Pee Dee, was Mary Catherine Cochran, as head of household, daughter of A. B. Cochran and Mary M. Lilly Cochran Gaines. She and her sister, Martha Louisa were still unmarried, although in their later 30's. Half-sisters, Julia Frances Gaines, Sarah J. and Eliza L, also lived with them. 19-year-old Mary Gaines lived with them as a servant, with her infant daughter, Hattie. Next to them was the James and Lydia Gaines family, who had move back across the river from Norwood, perhaps to help the sisters take care of the estate.
On the next page is Zilphia's siser, Susan Gaines, her 10 year old daughter, Jane, and a 5 year old child named Mary Lilly, identified as a cousin. I do not know who Mary Lilly's parents were, but a number of Lillys lived nearby.
Going on ahead, we find Calvin Cochran, 25, his wife Sallie, 24 and son, Samuel, 2. This is the older Calvin, son of Mariah Cochran and Warren Marshall. Closeby to Calvin is Frank Stacy, who in two years will father a son with Aggie's youngest daughter, Zilphia's sister, Lucinda. not far away is the Christmas/Christian Gaines family, aka "Chris" or "Chico".
Near Chris is Aggie Cochran, now 71 and being named as a 'Cochran', and not "Gaines". Living with her is her daughter, Lucinda, now 22. These are Zilphia's mother and youngest sister.
Still in Pee Dee, we find Culpepper Watkins, a white landowner. He and his wife, Sarah, have 7 children, all boys, but also in the home are 7 servants and among those are Dill Cochran and Calvin Cochran. These two are children of Zilphia. On the next, and last, page, we find Malinda Gaines, 65, mentioned in the estate files, but missed in 1870, aged 65. Next to her is Charles Robinson, aged 22, white and in his home is 10 year old Travis Gaines.
In Mount Gilead Township, nearby to Pee Dee, we find Sidney Cochran, now 35, with his wife Patsy, 30 and their 3 month old son, Charlie. Also living with him is his mother, Mariah, 60. Two houses down the list we find George Cochran, said to be 14, living with Laura Barringer.
The descendants of David Cochran in Montgomery County, were dwindling. In Hill Township we find two of his grandsons, David Calvin Cochran and his family, and George Cochran, 30, and his family. In Hill Township is 56 year old Mary H. Cochran, widow of Atlas Jones Cochran, and her two children Wincy Ann and Atlas Jones Cochran, Jr. Besides the unmarried daughters of Abraham, that was all who were left by 1880 of the white Cochrans.
The Turn of the Century
The twenty years between 1880 and 1900 seem to have been peaceful ones for Zilphia's family. Chilren were raised, grnadchidren came along, and Ben Davis and Zilphia led a simple farming life in Cottonville, as they grew older.
But Zilphia is not the only one to live to see the dawn of a new Century. Her mother, Aggie Cochran also lived to see the new millenium arrive, as old as she was.
Aggie had joined Zilphia across the river, in Stanly County. She and her youngest daughter, Lucinda, had taken up residence in Center Township, and Lucinda had given birth to a son, her only child, and named him Wallace, after her oldest brother. Aggie is listed as havng had 8 children with 4 livng. We know she was the mother of Wallce, Zilphia, Toney, Sarah, Susan and Lucinda, that's 6, but who was her other living child?
Zilphia and Ben lived not too far away, in Tyson Township. Neither of them would make the 1910 census. Ben, 85, most likely died within a year or two of this census. I say that because when a payment was made by the county for Zilpha's coffin, as a part of expenditures for paupers, she was referred to as 'Zilphia Cochran' and not Davis. Because of this expenditure, we know that Zilphia, herself , died in April of 1908.
Ben and Zilphia were both probably buried in the Cottoville AME Zion Church cemetery at Cottonville, NC, because so many close to them or involved in thier lives were. Remember the Gaines Probate papers mentioning Old Jesse, Old Bill and a girl named Pinky going to James Lowe Gains's widow, Mary M. Lilly Cochran Gaines? Pinky lived a very long life of 108 years and is buried in this cemetery.
The rest of Zilphia's story can be surmised by looking at the lives of her children and siblings. That will be another tale.
She had six known chilren:
1852: William M. Cochran
1854: Harriett Cochran Crump
1859: Dilsie Cochran Brooks
1860: Steve (Cochran) Crump
1861: Calvin Cochran
1865: Martha Jane Cochran Davis Gould
Zelphia was the daughter of Aggie Cochran (Gains) and father unknown. She had 5 known siblings and 2 unknown: Wallace, Toney, Sarah, Susan and Lucinda.