Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Short Stories: Finding Fanny

Stock photo of  Young Girl from Vintage photos of Civil War Era

At the moment, I have been indulging myself in the reading of old Superior Court records from Stanly County, North Carolina that were just beyond the realm of the book published in 1991 by the Stanly County Genealogical Society and abstracted and edited by Helen Lefler Garner, covering Stanly's first nine years, 1841-1850.

The C. D's that I have acquired from the NC State Archives, have gaps in the years, but this particular one that I am reading now, covers those first nine years and then goes beyond. I have not yet reached the end of the C. D. and while much of it is repetitive and not informative, here and there, valuable trinkets of information can be found along the way.

In the minutes of the May Session of Court, in 1852, the judge ordered the Sheriff to bring in Louvina and Fanny Honeycutt, children of Susannah Honeycutt at the next term of court for the purpose of binding them out.

NameFanny Robins
Birth Yearabt 1846
Birth PlaceNorth Carolina
Home in 1860Stanly, North Carolina
Post OfficeAlbemarle
Dwelling Number48
Family Number48
Household members
Susy Huneycut55
Sylva L Huneycut18
Fanny Robins14

And in the 1860 census, I found them, and they were very familiar. Not just familiar, they were family.

Susannah "Susie" or Susan Huneycutt was my 4th Great Grandmother. She had appeared in the court records sometime earlier, bringing other children to court, one of them, Mary Anna Burris, or Huneycutt, as the courts made note of, who became my 3rd Great Grand mother. Mary Anna had been bound to the John Honeycutt family, and would marry their son Charles McKinley Honeycutt. And there were others, two sons, Joshua and John, son of Susannah, and older than these two, who had been ordered to court to be bound out a decade earlier.

The surprise here was that Louvenia, whose full name was Sylvia Louvenia Huneycutt, is shown as a Huneycutt, but Fanny was a Robins, or Robbins. Then it all came together.

Within the last year, I had been researching the Robbins family, and coming across this Fanny, as their were others, I wondered who she was. 

At first, I expected her to be the daughter of Elizabeth Robbins. Here is a link to my post on Elizabeth:

Elizabeth Robbins' Demons

Elizabeth Robbins was a single woman, she had been brought to court and ordered to reveal the name of the fathers of her two sons. Twice, she had to do this. The men listed on the Bastardy Bonds were John Honeycutt (Jr.) and Sam Coley. There had been two sons born to her, Green and Lindsey, why not a daughter? There were gaps in the old court records.

The list above in a clip from the 1860 census of Stanly County. It begins with the name of Charles Cagle, and being neighbors, there were interactions between the Cagles and this group of Honeycutts. Next is the household of my ancestor, John Honeycutt (or Huneycutt, even Hunnicutt), his wife Syliva (aka Sylvania), and some of their younger children, as their family had been large. Next was the household of an elderly Fanny Robbins, her daughter, Betsy, the Elizabeth Robbins mentioned above, and Elizabeth's (Betsy's) two sons, Lyndsey, 11, and Green., 7. Following Fanny Robbins, 80, is Susy (Susannanh or Susan) Huneycutt, 55, Sylvia L. (Louvenia) Huneycutt 18, and Fanny Robins (Robbins), 14. Lastly, there's Edmund Huneycutt, 22, and his family. Looks like a family grouping, huh?

So, now I know who Fanny Robbins, aged 14 in 1860 and living with Susy Honeycutt, was. Susy's daughter, and therefore, my 4th Great Aunt. 

The question remains, who was her father? Why was her last name different? That now made sense, too.

The Sins of Solomon Robbins

In the Bastardy Bonds of North Carolina, which can be found on Family Search, 


Solomon Franklin Robbins had been brought to court on a charge of bastardy, or fathering a child out of wedlock, but no mother had been mentioned. Add to that fact that Solomon F. Robbins was the only living male Robbins old enough to have sired a child at that time and there you go.

Mystery solved.

It's of value and interest, to me anyway, to mention that the oldest daughter of John and Sylvia Honeycutt was named Frances 'Fanny' Caroline. She was born in 1827, and died in 1903. She married Isaiah Coley and had 7 children.

As well, the oldest daughter of Solomon Franklin Robbins by his first, and probably only legal, wife, Sarah Hinson, was named Frances Caroline (or Clarinda) Robbins. She was born in 1850 and died in 1902. She married Robert Lindsey Cagle and had 7 children of her own. In the 1860 census, she is a 9 year old in the home of her parents as 'Caroline'. She and Fanny were not the same people, though I've seen them merged.

NameCaroline Robbins
Birth Yearabt 1851
Home in 1860Stanly, North Carolina
Post OfficeAlbemarle
Dwelling Number1084
Family Number1099
Attended SchoolY
Inferred MotherSarah Robbins
Household members
Sarah Robbins32
William Robbins11
Caroline Robbins9
Martha Robbins7
Franklin Robbins4
Sarah Robbins2
George Robbins5/12

The other  sister mentioned in court that day was Louvenia. Her full name was Sylvia Louvenia Honeycutt/Burris. 

Ten years after, she is 28, still living with her mother, Susan, now 65. The family listed ahead of them in No. 11, is that of the Perry's. Caswell Perry, 34, is of Note. No. 12, is Susan and Sylvia Huneycutt.

The house listed after them, No. 14, on the next page,  is that of C. M. Honeycutt, son of John Honeycutt, and his wife, "M. A." , or Mary Anna, oldest daughter of Susannah Honeycutt.

The next year, on March 2, 1871, neighbor Caswell Perry married 'Laviney' Honeycutt. She named her parents as Joshua Burris and "Sukey" or "Susey" Honeycutt. The script was smeared at her name. They appeared to have gotten married at the Courthouse in Albemarle in the Clerk's Office.

Caswell and Lavinia Perry would have three daughters; Mary Ann (1872), Sarah Elizabeth (1876) and Syliva Samira (1879), a name that ran in the family and was also the first and middle name of one of John Honeycutt's daughters, and his wife, at least the first name, Sylvia, as I don't believe I have seen her middle name in a document.

Sylvia Lovenia Honeycutt-Burris Perry passed away on July 26, 1915 of Dropsy. She was buried at Running Creek Baptist Church Cemetery. The names is this cemetery reflect the surnames of families who had lived in this area for two hundred years, if not more. There are lots of Allmans and Almonds, one family, two speillings, if you go back far enough. Also, Burris's, Lamberts, Eudy's, Pages, Tuckers, Whitley's  Furrs, Harwoods, Hatley and Honeycutts, both with a 'U' and an "A".

Albemarle, North Carolina • Page 1

The Enterprise

Her husband, Caswell, joined her just a few months after, on September 23, when he died at aged 85 of paralysis.

Susan/Susie/Susannah Honeycutt is not seen after 1870. Born about 1805, she had probably died before 1880. It is not known where she is buried. But what of her other children?

Mary Anna, born on November 14, 1833 lived in the western part of Stanly County her entire life, with her husband Charles McKinley "Kin" Honeycutt. They had six children together, Ellen, Eva L., Adam E., C. M. Jr,, and Ephraim E. She died sometime between October 23, 1882, when she is recorded as living when her son C. M. married Roxanna Burris and September 23, 1889, when she is recorded as deceased when her son Ephraim married Evy Almond. Her husband outlived here, but was gone between 1900 and 1903, when his property was sold and it noted that he had passed away. The property adjoined that of Caswell Perry.

Joshua, was ordered to be brought into court, along with sister Mary Anna, in the February 1844 Session of Court. It was noted in the Court Record that the children went by either Burris or Honeycutt. In May of 1844, Joshua was bound to George Cagle, Jr., who gave bond. 

In the 1850 census, Joshua is seen still living with the George Cagle, Jr., family. His age is given as 15, or a birth year of 1835. In this record, he is listed as a Honeycutt.

John A., was ordered to be brought into court and in the February Session of Court, 1848, was bound out to James W. Hartsell.

In 1850,  John is found still living with the James Wiley Hartsell family, in household 707. Worthy of note, in the house listed before him, 706, is the Charles Cagle family? Remember where Susie and John Honeycutt lived in  1860, although Susie and the younger two girls, Lavina and Fanny, were missed in the 1850 census? Next to the Charles Cagle family. In Household 705 is the Perry family, with Margaret Melton Perry, at the time, as a bound out, orphaned child herself, living with them. John is listed as a Honeycutt and his age is 14, or a year of birth around 1836.

This brings the total of Susanna Honeycutt's children to 5.

Mary Anna abt 1833

Joshua abt 1835

John A. abt 1836

Sylvia Lovina abt 1842

 Fanny abt 1846.

Mary Anna married Charles McKinley Honeycutt.

Sylvia Lovina married Caswell Perry.

But what about the other three?

I believe Fanny and Joshua died young. I think I might even know where they are buried. There's an abandoned Honeycutt Cemetery and at least some of the people buried there belonged to the John and Sylvia Honeycutt family. It's where the others came from and the child not buried there.

I've found family trees that have the one census, 1850, that John appears in Stanly County in, linked to a John A. Honeycutt in another county. Is it one and the same? He doesn't appear in the 1850 census there. I can't say where because I am still trying to uncover it. The origins of others buried in the old cemetery I just mention just may corrobate the possibility. 

All of Susanna's children went by both the Burris and Honeycutt names at some point, except for Fanny. Fanny was a Robbins. Most likely named for her grandmother, Fanny Whitley Robbins. Could Fanny have been buried as a Burris, since her siblings were Burris's? It's out there, but feasible. 

If Fanny is the person I believe is buried in this grave, she died in 1863 at the age of about 17. She is buried next to the person I believe is her brother, Joshua Honeycutt/Burris who would have died in 1853 at the age of 18. The cemetery contains members of the Honeycutt family that they lived with and near. The search continues.

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