Tag Archives: Granville County

“Half-Bred Indian Woman” Reported Living in Hunt Woods in Granville County

 

While searching through the Granville County newspaper archives to find news stories related to the Native American community, I came across a very interesting article from 1912. It describes a series of shootings in Hunt Woods which abutted a residential neighborhood. According to the newspaper, the guilty culprit responsible for these late night shenanigans, was a “half-bred Indian woman”:

Source: Oxford Public Ledger, 15 Jun 1912, Sat, Page 1
Source: Oxford Public Ledger, 15 Jun 1912, Sat, Page 1

 

The “half-bred Indian woman” is never identified by name, so we can’t be sure exactly who she was. From the perspective of the newspaper, it was more important that she was identified by race and not by name.  And I find this very telling, because it points to a general negative attitude about Native peoples. “Miss Margarette Scott” was considered an upstanding white resident of Granville County and I found her name mentioned a few times in the society pages of the newspaper. So in this 1912 article, we have a Native American woman accused of disrupting the serenity of a quiet white residential neighborhood. And the only solution that is presented is that the Native American woman must be removed from the area. This scenario sounds like a microcosm of the relationship between indigenous peoples and settler colonialism: Native peoples must be removed from the landscape to make room for “progress”.

The Ridley Park residential neighborhood was located in the southeastern part of the city limits of Oxford. Hunt Woods was located directly to the east of Ridley Park. The Native American community was mostly concentrated directly below Hunt Woods but the families spread out in many directions including the Hunt Woods area. So it is conceivable that this unidentified “half-bred Indian woman” came from the local Native American community.

Hunt Woods
A zoomed in view of Granville County showing the city of Oxford. Hunt Woods lies immediately adjacent to the southeastern city limits. This is where the “half-bred Indian woman” was reported to have been involved in late night shootings. The Native American community was mostly concentrated in households right below Hunt Woods but families spread out in all direction including within the city limits of Oxford. Orignal map can be found here: http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/ncmaps/id/9747/rec/30

I found another article published 3 years later in 1915 which provides additional information about Ridley Park and Hunt Woods. We can see that the area is remarkable for its picturesque setting that sounds like it came out of a Bob Ross painting. There are even locations in the woods named after Native American tribes and individuals such as “Hiawatha Rock”, “Seminole Rock”, and “Cherokee Rock”. This I find ironic, given that there was no problem naming places after Native peoples but actual Natives peoples living in the woods was a problem.

 

Ridley Park
Oxford Public Ledger, (Oxford, North Carolina) 12 May 1915, Wed , Page 1

 

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Identified as “Indian” in the Newspaper

Newspaper articles have the added bonus of providing a more intimate look at the ancestor you are researching. Local newspapers especially provide an important social context that allows you to better understand the society your ancestor was apart of. This is why newspaper archives are among my favorite sources to utilize when doing genealogical research.

In this blog post, I offer a couple of examples of what can be found in the newspaper archives. Our ancestors were most commonly classified  in census and vital records with racially ambiguous terms whose definitions changed with time and location, such as “free colored”, “mulatto”, “black”, and “negro”. In a previous blogpost, I discuss the writings of local historian Oscar Blacknall who interchangeably used the terms “free negro” and “Indian” to describe the people in our community. Similar to Blacknall’s essays, we see that these newspaper articles reveal a lot more about how society racially classified our ancestors.


tom-richardson-78-indian-18-negro
The Warren Record (Warrenton, North Carolina) 12 May 1905, Fri • Page 4

From the 12 May 1905 edition of the Warren Record in Warren County, NC, is an obituary for a man named Tom Richardson who died at the age of 70 years. In the obituary, Richardson is described as being “7/8 Indian and 1/8 Negro”. How this blood quantum was calculated is unknown to me. However what we can infer from this description is that Tom Richardson was known a person who mostly “Indian” and some part “Negro”.

The Tom Richardson (1841-1905) named in this obituary is the same man commonly known as Tom Snake Richardson and Tom Hardy Richardson. He was the son of Rheese Richardson (b. 1813) and Emily Richardson (b. 1820). Rheese Richardson was the son of John Richardson (b. 1770) and Sarah Bass (b. 1777). Emily Richardson was the daughter of Hardy Richardson (1788-1855) and Dorcas Boone (1794-1871). John Richardson and Hardy Richardson were half brothers, both sons of Benjamin Richardson (1750-1809). Benjamin Richardson is the main Richardson progenitor of the Haliwa-Saponi tribe. Sarah Bass is from the Bass family I blogged about here. And Dorcas Boone is from the Boone family I blogged about here. (Tom Richardson is also the second cousin of my great-great grandmother Virginia Richardson)

Even though Tom Richardson was known as an “Indian”, in the census he is recorded as “mulatto” from 1850-1880. And in the 1900 census he was recorded as “black”, likely because “mulatto” was removed from the census that year. Tom Richardson is also listed as “colored” in his marriage records. How Tom Richardson was racially classified in the census and vital records holds true for the next two men I discuss below.


c-d-burnett-indian
The Raleigh Times (Raleigh, North Carolina) 19 Apr 1910, Tue • Page 1

This newspaper article I find quite interesting because it uses three different racial terms to describe C.D. Burnett. From the 19 April 1910 edition of the Raleigh Times, we read that a man named C.D. Burnett was held a on a serious charge. We don’t learn exactly why he’s being charged but that there was a rumor that he confessed to killing a white man. The article describes Burnett as a “half breed Indian, but passing for colored”. Though it appears the author of the article is making a distinction between “Indian” and “colored”, the author later contradicts himself. At the end of the article, we read that Burnett, “a negro appears to be from Orange county”. So even though the author states at the begging of the article that Burnett was an Indian, he later describes him with a different racial term – “negro”.

Charles D Burnett (1894-1965) was the son of William Burnett (1876-1938) and Roxanna Hester of Orange/Alamance Cos, NC. William Burnett was the son of Thaddeus Burnett (1853-1917) and Betsey Liggins (b. 1855). His family can be found among the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation.

william-burnett-and-roxanna-hester
Pictured are the parents of Charles D Burnett: William Burnett and Roxanna Hester of Orange/Alamance Co, NC. Source: John Debnam

 


 

jesse-archer-mulatto-indian
The Daily Era (Raleigh, North Carolina) 27 Jan 1873, Mon • Page 1

In this 27 Jan 1873 newspaper article, we read that Jesse Archer (“Arche”) was captured after stabbing another person. Jesse Archer is referred to as an “Indian mixed mulatto”. “Mulatto” infers that someone has a mixed race background and the article specifies that Indian is included in the mixture. But we don’t know what Jesse’s Indian background is mixed with.

Jesse Archer (b. 1840) was from Orange Co, NC and was the son of Stephen and Lydia Archer (Lydia’s maiden name is unknown). Stephen Archer (b. 1815) was the son of Jesse Archer (1780-1855) and Patsy Haithcock (b. 1775). Jesse Archer never married and had no children that I know of, but his closest living relatives can be found among the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation.


The next two articles mention “half breed Indian” women but do not give us their names so I’m unable to identify them. However the articles are interesting and definitely illustrate that Indian people were known and living in these areas.

hunt-woods-half-breed-indian-woman
Oxford Public Ledger (Oxford, North Carolina) 15 Jun 1912, Sat • Page 1

From the 15 June 1912 edition of the Oxford Public Ledger in Granville Co, we read that there is a “half-bred Indian woman” living in Hunt Woods and is to blame for a series of late night shootings. Hunt Woods lies on the southeastern outskirts of the city limits of Oxford, heading towards the Fishing Creek township. The Native American community in Granville Co was centered in Fishing Creek and then spread out in various directions, including towards the city of Oxford. Is there a connection between the “half bred Indian woman” in Hunt Woods and the Native American community? I cannot say, but it’ is something to look into.

half-breed-indian-woman-caswell-county
The Semi-Weekly Raleigh Sentinel (Raleigh, North Carolina) 24 Jun 1871, Sat • Page 3

In this 24 June 1871 article from the Semi-Weekly Raleigh Sentinel, we read that a “half breed Indian woman” who resides in Caswell County is 100 years old. The article celebrates her age but fails to mention her name, so I have no way of verifying who she is.


So these are just a couple of examples that illustrate the point that it is imperative to dig deeper beyond the census and vital records, to learn more about your ancestors. The information contained in the newspaper archives may be the missing link you need to take your research a step further.

Important Update for Willis Bass of Granville County

One of the most common mistakes found in genealogical research is conflating multiple people into a single person. In an earlier blog post about my 5th great-grandfather Sherwood Harris (son of Edward Harris and Sarah Chavis), I discussed how even the War Department conflated the records of multiple men who shared the same name: Sherwood Harris. So it is understandable that in Paul Heinegg’s massive research on all “free colored people” from colonial times in the American South, he would likely commit a few of these mistakes.

One such error comes from Heinegg’s discussion about a man named Willis Bass (b. 1792). (Heinegg suggests his birthdate is 1787 but I have records which indicate 1792). By carefully reviewing the records that Heinegg provided and finding additional records to corroborate my suspicions, I am able to update and correct important info on Willis Bass. If you are a descendant of Willis Bass or just researching him, you will definitely want to update your records after reading this blog post. Most researchers use Heinegg’s material so hopefully he will update his website with this new info that I have provided.

Willis Bass family tree.001
Family tree for Willis Bass that explains his family relationships. Records for all these individuals will be discussed below. © Kianga Lucas

 

Heingg’s Research on Willis Bass (b. 1792)

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Paul Heinegg’s section on James Bass who he proposes is the father of Willis Bass (b. 1792) of Granville Co. Note how there is not a single record of James Bass ever living in Granville Co or even North Carolina. Source: http://freeafricanamericans.com/bailey-berry.htm

James Bass (b. 1760) is who Heinegg suggests is the father of Willis Bass (b. 1792) of Granville County. Heinegg included a number of very helpful primary source documents for James Bass. We see he lived in Norfolk Co, VA for most of his life and later moved out to Tennessee where he filed a Revolutionary War pension application. What you do not see is a single record of James Bass in Granville Co, NC. Children do certainly move away from their parents at some point but to not have a single record for James Bass in Granville Co should immediately throw up some red flags. Let’s take a closer examination of the records.

We see that in the 1801 tax list for Norfolk Co, VA James Bass is listed with the names of members of his household. Included in his houshold is a Willis Bass, which is solid proof that James Bass had a son named Willis Bass. This tax list is the only record provided for the Willis Bass of Norfolk Co, VA. I do find James Bass in the Bedford Co, TN census records starting in 1820 and he is there along with several other “free colored” Bass head of households. These are most likely James Bass’ children and other close family members. If his son Willis Bass survived childhood and did move away from Norfolk Co, VA, he likely would have relocated with his family to Bedford Co, TN. So the Willis Bass of Norfolk, VA coming to Granville Co, NC just doesn’t make much sense or fit into the general trend for James Bass’ family. Let’s look at the records available for the Willis Bass of Granville Co.


 

Willis Bass (b. 1792) Apprenticeship Records

The earliest records that I found for Willis Bass are not included in Heinegg’s research. Ancestry recently made available to their members, Wills and Probate Records for North Carolina and included in the Granville County folder are also apprenticeship records. These records have been an incredible aide for me to verify or disprove genealogical relationships.

Willis Bass John Irby apprenticeship
Willis Bass, age 9 years, was bound out to John Irby on 8 May 1801 in Granville County. Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998

On 8 May 1801, Willis Bass, age 9 years, was bound out to John Irby. On the exact same day, Racey Bass, age 11 years, was also bound out to John Irby. John Irby (1780-1841) was a resident of the Abrams Plains district of Granville County. This is an important detail because Willis Bass and Racey Bass are later shown living in the Abrams Plains District after their indentured servitude was over.

Racey Bass John Irby apprenticeship
Racey (“Rasey”) Bass, age 11 years, was bound out to John Irby on 8 May 1801 in Granville County. Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998

The fact that Willis Bass and Racey Bass were bound out on the same day to the same person is strong evidence that they were siblings. Often times the courts would send out orders requesting that the children of a specific individual, be required to report to court to be bound out. But who were Willis and Racey’s parents? The Granville County court minutes, reveal that a few years earlier in May 1798, Racey Bass, was called the son of Milly Bass who was the wife of Pearson Hawley. The identified gender of Racey Bass is odd because the 1801 apprenticeship order to be bound to John Irby, identified Racey Bass as a female. However after reviewing additional primary source records, I can confirm that Racey Bass was a male.

Racey Bass 1798 Court Minutes
Racey “Raisey” Bass, age about 8 years, is called the son of Milly Bass, wife of Pearson Hawley in the May 1798 Court Minutes. Racey was ordered to be bound to James H. Smith. Source: Dr. Warren Milteer

So who was Milly Bass? According to the court minutes, Milly Bass (b. 1772) was the wife of a Pearson Hawley (b. 1770). This means that siblings Willis Bass and Racey Bass were born to Milly Bass before she married Pearson Hawley. And this explains why Willis Bass and Racey Bass were bound out because it was common for children born out of wedlock to be apprenticed out. Pearson Hawley is found in the Granville Co records beginning in 1791 and is in the 1800 census, head of a household of 5 “free colored” people. He is from the Saponi/Catawba Indian Hawley family that I previously blogged about here. The 1800 census is the last time I find Pearson Hawley in the Granville records, so I’m unsure of what later happened to him or his wife Milly Bass.

Milly Bass (b. 1772) was the daughter of Benjamin Bass (1722-1802) and his wife Mary Bass (born 1722). The Granville County bastardy bonds show that Milly Bass had children out of wedlock and that it was Jesse Chavis (1766-1840) who fathered those children. (After initially publishing this blog post, I made additional discoveries that you can read here, which reviews the evidence that supports Jesse Chavis being the father of Milly Bass’ children).

On 5 Aug 1803, Willis Bass and Racey Bass were bound out again to John Irby. I’m not sure why multiple apprenticeship orders were needed but it shows the pattern of siblings being bound out on the same date.


 

Willis Bass (b. 1792) in the Granville Co Census and Marriage Records

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This is Paul Heinegg’s discussion of Willis Bass (b. 1792). He jumps right into the Granville Co records without offering any evidence or insight as to why the Willis Bass of Granville Co was the same person as Willis Bass of Norfolk Co, VA. Heinegg includes the word “perhaps” to illustrate that he is not sure. All researchers need to pay close attention to these details. Source: http://freeafricanamericans.com/bailey-berry.htm

So if Willis Bass was bound out as a boy in Granville Co in 1801 and 1803, how could he be the son of someone who was living in Norfolk Co, VA during that time? The answer is that Willis Bass was not the son of James Bass of Norfolk Co, VA. And the apprenticeship records and court minutes of Granville Co identify the mother of Willis Bass and Racey Bass as Milly Bass.

The next time we find Willis Bass in the records was on 4 Jan 1809 when he married Olive Chavis. He was then counted in the 1810, 1820, and 1830 censuses for Granville Co. He lived in the Abrams Plains district which is a district in far northern Granville Co, immediately next to the Virginia state border. And this is the same district that he lived in when he was bound out to John Irby. Willis Bass’ 1810 household consisted of three people – himself, wife Olive, and a child. His brother Racey Bass was enumerated right next to him, head of a large household of 9 people. Willis Bass’ 1820 household consisted of 9 people (himself, wife Olive, 5 boys and 2 girls). His brother Racey Bass does not appear in the census again after 1810 and I wonder if some of the children in Willis’ 1820 household may have been his brother’s children. Willis Bass’ 1830 household consisted of 12 people (himself, wife Olive, 5 young men/boys, and 5 young women/girls).

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Willis Bass is enumerated in the 1810 census next to his sister Racey Bass. Note: the 1810 census was based off of alphabetical tax lists from each district in Granville County, so names listed next to one another are not necessarily neighbors. But names close to one another indicate living in the same district. in Source: Year: 1810; Census Place: Granville, North Carolina; Roll: 40; Page: 858; Image: 00228; Family History Library Film: 0337913
1820 willis bass
Willis Bass enumerated in the Abrams Plains district of Granville County in 1820. Source: Year: 1810; Census Place: Granville, North Carolina; Roll: 40; Page: 858; Image: 00228; Family History Library Film: 0337913

I also found that Willis Bass was twice the bondsman for marriages in Granville Co. He was the bondsman for the marriage between Joseph Peal and Jane Pettiford on 18 May 1822. Jane Pettiford was the daughter of Collins Pettiford and Polly Chavis (perhaps a family members of Willis Bass’ wife Olive Chavis). And Willis Bass was the bondsman for the marriage between Henry Bass and Eliza Hart on 26 Feb 1824. Henry Bass (b. 1800) is too old to be Willis’ son, but perhaps he was a close relative. Henry Bass relocated to Ohio, specifically Ross County which is a couple of counties over from where some of Willis Bass’ descendants relocated to.


Willis Bass’ (b. 1792) Descendants Filed Eastern Cherokee Applications

So the last time Willis Bass appears in Granville Co is in the 1830 census and we know from the size of the household that he had a large family. We next learn about what happened to Willis Bass from the Eastern Cherokee (Guion Miller) applications that his descendants filed.

If you’re not familiar with the Guion Miller roll, here is a blurb from familysearch:

The Guion Miller Roll is a list of Eastern Cherokees who applied for money awarded in 1905 because of a 1902 lawsuit in which the Eastern Cherokee tribe sued the United States for funds due them under the treaties of 1835, 1836 and 1845. Claimants were asked to prove they were members of the Eastern Cherokee tribe at the time of the treaties, or descended from members who had not been affiliated with any other tribe. Guion Miller, an agent of the Interior Department, was appointed as a commissioner of the Court of Claims to compile a list of claimants. He made an extensive enrollment of the Cherokees in 1907 and 1908.

Source: https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/The_U.S._Eastern_Cherokee_or_Guion_Miller_Roll

Even though the applications for Willis Bass’ descendants were rejected, they are full of important genealogical information about his family. I will be doing a blog post hopefully soon about why so many of our families were labeled “Cherokee” despite not being tribally Cherokee. In that blog post I will explore that phenomenon more in depth but for now you should at least be aware that “Cherokee” was often synonymous for “Indian” in the Southeast.

Descendants of Willis Bass who filed Eastern Cherokee applications: grandsons: Elijah Bass Jr (#17657) and Peter Bass (#44383); great-grandchildren: two named Alice Revels (#14050 and #14118), Charles Bass (#14052), Malissa Roberts (#16153), Delia McCann (#16156), Matilda Bostwick (#16155), Martha J Bass (#17656), Mansfield Bass (#17659), Ransom Bass (#18015), Martha Anderson (#18350), Rosa Bass (#19825), Nora Thomas (#19826), and Matilda Newville (#15670); and great-great grandchildren: William Newville (#24366), Alice Elizabeth Carman (#24379), and Charley Newville (#32952). All applicants claimed descent from Willis Bass and Olive Chavis’ son Elijah Bass Sr. I won’t discuss each application because they are quite redundant. Instead I’ll focus on a couple of applications that provide the most pertinent info.

Elijah Bass Jr and Elizabeth Arnold
Elijah Bass Jr (1835-1912) with his wife Elizabeth Arnold. Elijah Jr was the son of Elijah Bass Sr and the grandson of Willis Bass and Olive Chavis of Granville Co, NC. Elijah Bass Jr filed a (rejected) Eastern Cherokee application # 17567. Source: Ancestry, Username: Anthony DI DIO

By the time of the Eastern Cherokee roll applications in 1907, some descendants of Willis Bass had relocated from Granville Co, NC to Lawrence Co, OH and finally to Vernon Co, WI. We learn from Elijah Bass Jr’s application, that Willis and Olive Bass had the following children: Elijah Bass Sr, William Bass, Henry Bass, Racey Bass, Ransom Bass, Nancy Bass, Polly Bass, and Delia Bass. Elijah Bass Sr was the only one to relocate to Ohio, while the others continued to live in North Carolina. We have already seen the name Racey Bass from the apprenticeship records which show that Willis Bass had a brother named Racey Bass.

Fold3_Page_4_Eastern_Cherokee_Applications_of_the_US_Court_of_Claims_19061909
A page from Elijah Bass Jr’s Eastern Cherokee application (#17657). Source: NARA M1104. Eastern Cherokee Applications of the U.S. Court of Claims, 1906-1909.
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Another page of Elijah Bass Jr’s Eastern Cherokee application (#17657). Source: NARA M1104. Eastern Cherokee Applications of the U.S. Court of Claims, 1906-1909.

Elijah Bass Jr states that he was born on 15 Oct 1835 in Granville Co but relocated with his father Elijah Bass Sr to Lawrence Co, OH a couple of years later. This is consistent with Elijah Bass Sr first appearing in the Lawrence Co, OH census in 1840. However, Elijah Sr’s marriage record to Matilda Dutton of Pennsylvania was recorded on 20 March 1835 in Lawrence Co, OH. It seems unlikely that Elijah Sr would go all the way to Ohio to marry a woman from elsewhere, return to Granville Co where his first son was born, and then a few years later go back to Ohio. In the 1850 census, Elijah Jr’s birthplace is listed as Ohio and every other census after that it was listed as North Carolina. I wonder if Elijah Jr thought he was  born in North Carolina, when he was actually born in Ohio.

Another inconsistency is found when Elijah Bass Jr identified his grandparents as Willis Bass and Olive Stewart. We know from their 1809 marriage record in Granville Co, that Olive’s maiden name was Chavis. It’s possible that she born a Stewart, was first married to a Chavis, became widowed and then married Willis Basss. But I can find no marriage record for an “Olive Stewart”. The Stewarts were another large “free colored”/Native American family in the area, and I suspect that Olive’s mother was a Stewart and the reason why Olive was sometimes known as a Stewart. The Stewarts and Chavises intermarried a lot on both sides of the VA/NC border. Because I have not been able to identify Olive’s parents, I can’t say for certain how the Stewarts fit into her lineage.

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Elijah Bass Jr’s Eastern Cherokee application (#17657) includes a handwritten note to the commissioner. Source: NARA M1104. Eastern Cherokee Applications of the U.S. Court of Claims, 1906-1909.
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Second page of the hand written note by Elijah Bass Jr included in his Eastern Cherokee application (#17657). Source: NARA M1104. Eastern Cherokee Applications of the U.S. Court of Claims, 1906-1909.

In a letter dated 25 Feb 1908, Elijah Bass Jr writes directly to the Guion Miller commissioner to provide some additional background information about his family. There are some big inconsistencies in his narrative with what is found in the actual records. Elijah Jr states that his grandparents (Willis and Olive Bass) had to flee from Virginia into North Carolina in 1812 because they were driven out of their land by white people. And that his grandfather Willis Bass had previously lived on a (Cherokee) reservation in Virginia.

But we know from apprenticeship, marriage, and census records that Willis Bass was born in North Carolina and is in the Granville Co records before 1812. I think this misleading narrative is why Heinegg tried to force a connection between Willis Bass of Granville Co and the James Bass of Norfolk Co, VA. This is why examining the totality of all the records is vital when you have conflicting stories. I do not think Elijah Bass Jr fabricated this story completely and that there is likely some truth in there. The events that he is recalling, happened well before his was born, so that may partially account for the mistakes. But I also wonder if the story about fleeing Virginia for North Carolina was more about his grandmother Olive Chavis’ lineage. Willis Bass’ widow Olive Chavis was enumerated in the 1850, 1860 and 1870 censuses, and her birthplace is given as Virginia. And earlier on in the 1810, 1820, and 1830 censuses, Olive Chavis (counted in her husband Willis Bass’s household) lived close to Evans Chavis (1770-after 1860), Charles Chavis, and Isaac Chavis (1766-1831). These three men were from neighboring Mecklenburg Co, VA and perhaps were of some relation to Olive Chavis.

I can say with certainty that all the Basses in Granville Co all descend from two brothers: Edward Bass (1672-1750) and John Bass (1673-1732) who initially left Virginia for North Carolina in 1720 and whose descendants were in Granville Co by the 1750s. Edward and John Bass were the documented grandsons of British colonist John Bass(e) and his Nansemond Indian wife Elizabeth. If you’d like a good recap of the Bass family of Granville Co, read my previous blog post. So the Basses were well established in Granville Co before 1812.

Bass movement map.001
This map shows the movement of brothers Edward and John Bass from their Nansemond homeland in Virginia to North Carolina. All of Edward Bass’ children and three of John Bass’ children moved and settled in Granville County by the 1750s. © Kianga Lucas

When we look at Elijah Jr’s brother Peter Bass’ Eastern Cherokee application, we find some additional information. In the Guion Miller applications, there is space for respondents to write down their “Indian names”. Peter Bass lists his Indian name as “Peter Chavers” and lists his father Elijah Bass Sr’s Indian name as “Elijah Chavers”. So we can clearly see Willis Bass’ descendants were aware that they descended from the Chavers (Chavis) family, although Chavis/Chavers is not an “Indian name”.

Peter Bass
Peter Bass (1844-1922) was the son of Elijah Bass Sr and the grandson of Willis Bass and Olive Chavis of Granville Co. He filed a (rejected) Eastern Cherokee application #44383. Source: Ancestry, Username: rmcilquham1
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A page from Peter Bass’ Eastern Cherokee application (#44363). Source: NARA M1104. Eastern Cherokee Applications of the U.S. Court of Claims, 1906-1909.

As stated earlier, all of the Eastern Cherokee enrollment applications for Willis Bass’ descendants were rejected. On Alice Revels’ (#14050) application, the Guion Miller commission provided the exact reason why the family’s applications were rejected. The Willis Bass family was never listed on any previous Cherokee rolls, never lived with the Cherokees, and Granville Co was never part of original Cherokee territory.

Fold3_Page_1_Eastern_Cherokee_Applications_of_the_US_Court_of_Claims_19061909
All applications filed by Willis Bass’ descendants were rejected. The commission provided the exact reasons on Alice Revels’ application (#14050). Source: NARA M1104. Eastern Cherokee Applications of the U.S. Court of Claims, 1906-1909.
Samuel Bass and Eliza Jane Murphy
Samuel Bass (1838-1906) with wife Eliza Jane Murphy. He was the son of Elijah Bass Sr and the grandson of Willis Bass and Olive Chavis of Granville Co, NC. Samuel died just before the Eastern Cherokee application process started. Source: Ancestry, Username: SchusterL41
Elizabeth Bass
Elizabeth Bass (1840-1902) was the daughter of Elijah Bass Sr and the granddaughter of Willis Bass and Olive Chavis of Granville Co, NC. Elizabeth died a few years before the Eastern Cherokee application process began. Source: Ancestry, Username: rmcilquham1
Ransom Bass
Ransom Bass (1861-1947) was the son of Elijah Bass Jr, grandson of Elijah Bass Sr, and great-grandson of Willis Bass and Olive Chavis of Granville County. Ransom filed a (rejected) Eastern Cherokee application (#18015). Source: Ancestry, Username: rmcilquham1
Matilda Bass
Matilda (Bass) Newville (1863-1933) was the daughter of Elijah Bass Jr, granddaughter of Elijah Bass Sr, and great granddaughter of Willis Bass and Olive Chavis of Granville County. Matilda filed a (rejected) Eastern Cherokee application (#15670). Source: Ancestry, Username: deborah3311
Mansfield Bass
Mansfield Bass (1870-1945) was the son of Elijah Bass Jr, grandson of Elijah Bass Sr, and great grandson of Willis Bass and Olive Chavis of Granville County. Mansfield filed a (rejected) Eastern Cherokee application (#17659). Source: Ancestry, Username:

Addendum

In February 2016, Paul Heinegg updated the Bass section of his website with some of the corrected information I discussed above. He no longer has the Willis Bass who was the son of James Bass b. 1760 of Norfolk CO, VA and Bedford Co, TN as the same Willis Bass of Granville Co who was actually the son of Milly Bass and Jesse Chavis. Heinegg also provided additional records for the James Bass b. 1760 of Norfolk Co, VA and Bedford Co, TN so if you are a descendant of the this branch of the Bass family, it is worthwhile to revisit Heinegg’s Bass section:

http://freeafricanamericans.com/bailey-berry.htm

Freeman Howell – Ancestor of the Native American Howells of Granville, Orange, Person, and Alamance Counties

This is a special blog post for me because Freeman Howell (1777-1870) was my 4th great-grandfather. He was also the progenitor of all of the Native American/”free colored” Howells living in Granville, Orange, Person, and Alamance Cos so it is important to correctly identify all of his descendants. Freeman Howell’s descendants married into most of the Native families in and around Granville, including: Pettiford, Anderson, Evans, Curtis, Brandon, Cousins, Tyler, Day, Richardson, Goins, Bass, Chavis, Guy, Hedgepeth and more. Thus if you are also researching these families, you’ll want to keep reading.

What has recently aided me in documenting Freeman’s descendants are the new wills and probate records that are available on Ancestry.com. These records have helped me verify his family as well as add in new family members I was previously unaware of.


Who was Freeman Howell?

Freeman Howell was the son of Matthew Howell (1752-1793) and Peggy Howell (1755- after 1830, maiden name unknown) of Charlotte County, VA. I briefly discussed his father Matthew Howell and earlier Howell lineage in my blog post about the Saponi Indian cabins in Amelia (Nottoway) Co, VA. Though the Howells have Pamunkey tribal origins, this particular branch of the Howell family moved into southside VA and married into the Saponi community there.

Freeman’s father Matthew Howell died in 1793, and as a result Freeman and his siblings were bound out as apprentices in the Charlotte County courts on June 3, 1793 to William Flood (1752-1806):

On 3 June 1793 the Charlotte County court bound her (Peggy Howell) “Mulatto” children Freeman, John and Peggy Howell to William Flood

William Flood (1752-1806) was from the Native American/”free colored” Flood family and I suspect that he was Freeman Howell’s maternal uncle. Like the Howells, William Flood moved from Amelia Co, VA to Charlotte and Mecklenburg Cos, VA. Also Freeman’s brother Matthew B Howell (b. 1784) married for a second time William Flood’s daughter Mary “Polly” Flood b. 1796 which would have been a first cousin marriage – a somewhat common occurrence in the community during this time period. So this would mean that Freeman’s mother Peggy Howell was originally Peggy Flood. If I find more evidence to support this theory, I’ll be sure to update this blog post.

Freeman Howell’s niece Betsy Howell (1814-1912) relocated her family to Gallia Co, Ohio where their descendants are “core” families of the Saponi Nation of Ohio and Midwest Saponi Nation. Betsy’s son Wesley Howell (b. 1843) was a know medicine man:

Wesley Howell medicine man Source: Midwest Saponi Nation
Wesley Howell (b. 1843) great nephew of Freeman Howell, was a medicine man
Source: Midwest Saponi Nation newsletter

Over the next few years, Freeman Howell appears in the tax lists for Charlotte County. He then appears in the tax lists for neighboring Mecklenburg Co, VA. It is there that he likely marries his wife  Susan (Maiden name unknown) 1777-1870. Regrettably, I have not been able to locate their marriage record so I cannot say for certain what year they married or have confirmation of Susan’s maiden name. I have speculated in the past that Susan may have been the Susan Brandon who was the daughter of Thomas Brandon (1746-1834) and Margaret Evans/Walden (b. 1753, she used both surnames) of Mecklenburg Co, VA. Freeman Howell appears on the same tax lists as his potential father-in-law Thomas Brandon in Mecklenburg Co. He is counted in the 1820 census for Mecklenburg Co, VA, head of a household of 8 “free colored persons”. However, I am still looking for more solid documentation on Susan, so these connections aren’t solid yet.

In the 1820s, a number of Saponi families including the Howells, Brandons/Branhams, Guys, Cousins and Chavises living in Mecklenburg Co, VA moved just a couple of miles across the border to Granville Co, NC. There may have been a particular historical event that precipitated this move because I don’t think it was a coincidence that all these families moved into Granville’s Native community in the 1820s. The first records for Freeman Howell in Granville County are in 17 Jan 1824 and 2 Feb 1824, when he received $150 and a land deed from Robert Cousins (b. 1796). Robert Cousins was the brother of Freeman’s son-in-law Nelson Cousins (b. 1794). Nelson Cousins was married to Freeman’s daughter Julia Howell (1797-1870).

Freeman Howell’s household, which included his wife Susan and children, appears in the Granville County census in 1830, 1840, 1850 and 1860. By 1870, Freeman was deceased but he did not leave a will. And this is where the estate records help identify Freeman’s heirs, so let’s take a look.


Freeman Howell’s Estate Records

Lewisford A. Paschall (also known as Lunsford Paschall and L.A. Paschall), Granville County’s clerk was assigned as administrator of Freeman Howell’s estate on 19 Nov 1870. As administrator, he was responsible for selling Freeman’s assets which included 100 acres of land and any personal property. After paying off any outstanding debts, the remaining balance was to be divided among Freeman’s living heirs. On 2 Oct 1871, Freeman’s 100 acres of land was sold to his white neighbor John Greenway for $499 cash.

Lewisford A Paschall named as administrator of Freeman Howell'e estate. Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998
Lewisford A Paschall named as administrator of Freeman Howell’e estate.
Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998
Freeman Howell's land sold for $499 to John Greenway on October 2, 1871. Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998
Freeman Howell’s land sold for $499 to John Greenway on October 2, 1871.
Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998

After paying off Freeman’s debts with the $499 received for the land sale, administrator L.A. Paschall had a remaining balance of $117.17 to be divided among Freeman’s heirs. A white woman named Milly Wilkerson (1810-1879) received a judgement of $210.82 against Freeman Howell’s estate which accounted for most of Freeman’s debt. I’m unsure of Milly’s exact relationship to Freeman, but in the 1850 census she was residing in his household. Milly Wilkerson was a single woman, but she had children with Native American/”free colored” men from the community. I know one man was Burton Cousins because he paid for her “bastard bond” in Feb 1835, but maybe she was also involved with a Howell. After all the debts were paid, an additional $25.60 was paid to county clerk Calvin Betts which brought down the remaining balance further.

Each of Freeman Howell’s children received $9.45. His son James Howell received $10.08 and I’m unsure why he received slightly more money. Because Freeman Howell lived to be almost 100 years old, he outlived many of his children. So the shares for his deceased children were divided among their living heirs. For example, Freeman Howell’s son John Howell was deceased but had 11 living children, so each child received 1/11 of $9.45 which equaled 85 cents.

Some of Freeman Howell’s children signed over their shares to pay off outstanding debts, and this included the estates of some of Freeman Howell’s deceased children. For example, Freeman’s daughter Elizabeth (Howell) Fain who was still living, signed over her $9.45 to A.H. Bumpass. And the estate for Freeman Howell’s deceased son William Howell signed over his share to James Amis.

Freeman Howell's daughter Elizabeth (Howell) Fain, widow of James Fain, signed over her share to A.H. Bumpass. Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998
Freeman Howell’s daughter Elizabeth (Howell) Fain, widow of James Fain, signed over her share to A.H. Bumpass.
Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998

What also further complicated the distribution of Freeman Howell’s estate was that many of his heirs had relocated to other counties and to the state of Ohio where many other Saponi descendants had resettled. Today they are the Saponi Nation of Ohio and the Midwest Saponi Nation. As a result, administrator L.A. Paschall was required to publish in the newspaper the names of Freeman Howell’s heirs who had moved away to alert them of the land sale. For example:

Source: 18 May 1871 Raleigh Daily Telegram
Source: 18 May 1871 Raleigh Daily Telegram

In the account book for the Freeman Howell’s estate, we can see that his heirs who were still local received their cash share from the sale of his land. It also appears that those who had moved away and lost contact did not receive their shares. Here is the account for Freeman Howell’s estate:

First page of Freeman Howell estate's account. Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998
First page of Freeman Howell estate’s account.
Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998
Second page of Freeman Howell estate's account. Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998
Second page of Freeman Howell estate’s account.
Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998

Freeman Howell’s Descendants:

In the following sections, I will provide an overview of Freeman Howell’s descendants. This is a chart of Freeman Howell’s children, more detailed charts are included in the sections below.

Freeman Howell's children and their spouses
Freeman Howell’s children and their spouses. Please note that the maiden name of Freeman Howell’s wife Susan has not been confirmed. 

1. Julia Howell (1797 – 1870)

Julia Howell's family chart that shows her children and their spouses.
Julia Howell’s family chart

Julia Howell was the wife of Nelson Cousins (b. 1794). Nelson appears in the 1820 census for Mecklenburg Co, VA next to his father-in-law Freeman Howell. In 1830 and 1840, Nelson is counted in the Granville Co census. And by 1850, the family moved next door to Person Co, NC.

Starting in the 1860s, several of Julia Howell and Nelson Cousin’s children relocated to Ross Co, Ohio. And Julia Howell herself joined her children in Ohio because her death was recorded in Ross Co, OH on April 15, 1870.

Julia
Julia “Judith” (Howell) Cousins death record.
Source: Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001

Julia (Howell) Cousins’ children who relocated to Ohio were: John Cousins (1820-1891), Edmund Cousins (1824-1886), Robert Cousins (1830-1907), Elizabeth (Cousins) Day (b. 1832), Wiley Cousins (b. 1836) and William Cousins (b. 1838). The children who remained in North Carolina were: Frederick I Cousins (b. 1817), Emily (Cousins) Day (b. 1827), and Nelson Cousins Jr (b. 1844).

Because Julia predeceased her father, her share was divided among her heirs and her three children who remained in North Carolina each received a share of $1.33 of Freeman Howell’s estate. $9.45 divided by 7 shares, is $1.35. This indicates 7 living heirs of Julia (Howell) Cousins and according to my records, Elizabeth (Cousins) Day and William Day were deceased by 1870. And that would leave 7 living heirs.

Each heir who received a share of Freeman Howell's estate had to sign a receipt of payment. Because most people were semi literate, they signed with an
Each heir who received a share of Freeman Howell’s estate had to sign a receipt of payment. Because most family members were semi literate, they signed with an “x”. However Nelson Cousin Jr. (b. 1844) signed his own name.
Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998

Son Edmund Cousins (1824-1886) lived long enough to file a Civil War pension in 1881 and his widow Julia Cousins filed one in 1890. If you’re a descendant of his, you’ll want to order the file from the War Department.

Edmund Cousins Civil War pension file number. Source: National Archives and Records Administration. U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000. Original data: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. T288, 546 rolls.
Edmund Cousins’ Civil War pension file numbers.
Source: National Archives and Records Administration. U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000.
Original data: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. T288, 546 rolls.
And son John Cousins (1820-1891) also fought in the Civil War and filed a pension in 1879 and his widow Martha (Hansberry) Cousins filed in 1892.

John Cousins Civil War Source: National Archives and Records Administration. U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000. Original data: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. T288, 546 rolls.
John Cousins’ Civil War pension file numbers.
Source: National Archives and Records Administration. U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000.
Original data: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. T288, 546 rolls.

2. Elizabeth Howell (1801- about 1874)

Elizabeth Howell's family chart
Elizabeth Howell’s family chart

Elizabeth Howell was the wife of James Fain (b. 1789), a man who was born enslaved but became emancipated in 1822. There is likely no official record of their marriage because of James Fain’s enslaved status, but any children born to them would be free because Elizabeth Howell was a free-born woman. James Fain’s brother was Jacob Fain (1775-1837) and a transcription of his emancipation record in 1805 can be found here. Jacob Fain’s widow Sally Fain, named James Fain as her husband’s brother in her 1814 will that was proved in 1854. A transcription can be found here.

From the census records it appears Elizabeth (Howell) Fain and her husband James Fain resided in Jacob and Sally Fain’s household in 1820, 1830, and 1840. In the 1850 census, Elizabeth Howell and her husband James Fain resided next to their sister-in-law Sally Fain. By 1870, Elizabeth (Howell) Fain was widowed and residing in Person Co, NC. She died in 1879, when her estate was administered by A.H. Bumpass. This is the same man who Elizabeth signed over her $9.45 share from Freeman Howell’s estate to several years earlier. Elizabeth’s estate was divided among James H Cousins, Fanny (Cousins) Davis, William A Cousins, and Sally Ann Cousins.

Estate of Elizabeth (Howell) Fain Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998
Estate of Elizabeth (Howell) Fain
Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998

Because Elizabeth Howell and her husband James Fain resided with their brother/sister-in-law Jacob and Sally Fain, I’ve had difficulties differentiating their children. There’s a strong possibility that James Fain and Elizabeth Howell’s son was William Fain (b. 1824) who married Arabella Wilkerson (b. 1832) on 8 Nov 1848 in Granville Co. Freeman Howell’s son Alexander Howell 1811-1881) paid the bond. Arabella Wilkerson was a daughter of the previously mentioned Milly Wilkerson, a white woman who lived with Freeman Howell.

Mildred Fain (1853-1930) was a daughter of William Fain and Arabella Wilkerson. William Fain may have been a son of James Fain and Elizabeth Howell. Mildred Fain was married to William Pettiford Source: Ancestry, Username: t4phillips
Mildred Fain (1853-1930) was a daughter of William Fain and Arabella Wilkerson. William Fain may have been a son of James Fain and Elizabeth Howell. Mildred Fain was married to William Pettiford
Source: Ancestry, Username: t4phillips

3. William Howell (1804- before 1860)

William Howell's family chart
William Howell’s family chart

William Howell married Margaret Pettiford (b. 1805) on 22 Mar 1828 in Granville Co, NC. Burton Cousins was the bondsman. William Howell appears in the 1830 and 1840 censuses for Granville Co. In 1850 his household was in Caswell Co, NC. With Magaret Pettiford, William Howell had three children: Freeman Howell b. 1830, John Howell b. 1834, and Margaret Howell b. 1838. His wife Margaret died sometime before 1858 because on 30 Dec 1858, William Howell remarried Parthena Cousins b. 1833 in Person Co. With Parthena Cousins, William Howell had one additional son: Asa Howell (1860-1929).

William Howell died around 1860, so he predeceased his father Freeman Howell. William Howell’s estate received the $9.45 share and signed it over to James Amis:

William Howell's estate collected the $9.45 payment from Freeman Howell's estate and signed it over to James Amis. William Howell predeceased his father Freeman Howell. Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998
William Howell’s estate collected the $9.45 payment from Freeman Howell’s estate and signed it over to James Amis. William Howell predeceased his father Freeman Howell.
Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998

William Howell’s son Freeman Howell (b. 1830) lived in Hillsboro, Orange Co and Pleasant Grove township, Alamance Co among ancestors of the present day Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation tribal members. He was married to Eliza Simmons (b. 1820) who was originally from Fayetteville, Cumberland Co and had been previously married to Henry Goins. After Goins death, Eliza and her three daughters relocated to Alamance Co and she married Freeman Howell.

Siblings George Goins (1877-1935) and Daisy Goins (1882-1938) of Hillsboro and Durham, NC. Their mother Josephine Goins was the step-daughter of Freeman Howell (b. 1830) Source: Ancestry, Username: seanyancey1968
Siblings George Goins (1877-1935) and Daisy Goins (1882-1938) of Hillsboro and Durham, NC. Their mother Josephine Goins was the step-daughter of Freeman Howell (b. 1830)
Source: Ancestry, Username: seanyancey1968

William Howell’s son John Howell (b. 1834) also lived in Pleasant Grove township, Alamance Co among ancestors of the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation. John Howell does not appear to have ever married or had children. He last appears in the census in 1900.

That's John Howell (b. 1834), son of William Howell and Margaret Pettiford, residing in the household of John Hutson Jeffries and wife Mary Jane Jeffries. The couple are buried at Martin's Chapel Cemetery. Source: Year: 1900; Census Place: Pleasant Grove, Alamance, North Carolina; Roll: 1180; Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 0011; FHL microfilm: 1241180
That’s John Howell (b. 1834), son of William Howell and Margaret Pettiford, residing in the household of John Hutson Jeffries and wife Mary Jane “Polly” Jeffries. The couple are buried at Martin’s Chapel Cemetery.
Source: Year: 1900; Census Place: Pleasant Grove, Alamance, North Carolina; Roll: 1180; Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 0011; FHL microfilm: 1241180

And William Howell’s youngest son Asa Howell (1860-1929) lived most of his life in Fishing Creek township, Granville Co. He was married three times: Dora Norwood (b. 1860), Virginia Crews (b. 1875) , and Nancy Howell (1871-1949).

A page from Asa Howell's estate records which indicate how his estate was to be divided. Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998
A page from Asa Howell’s estate records which indicate how his estate was to be divided.
Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998

4. Edward Howell (1805-1874)

Edward Howell was not married and did not have any children. He appears in the 1850 and 1870 censuses for Pleasant Grove township, Alamance Co, NC which is where the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation is located. He received his $9.45 share of his father Freeman Howell’s estate. Edward died in 1874 and because he did not have any children, his estate was divided among his siblings and their living heirs. The administrator of Edward Howell’s estate published a notice in the newspaper regarding the estate.

Edward Howell died without a spouse or children, so his estate was divided among his siblings and their heirs. Like Freeman Howell's estate records, Edward Howell's estate records are a good source for documenting the Howell family. Source: The Alamance Gleaner, 11 Jan 1876, Tue, Page 4
Edward Howell died without a spouse or children, so his estate was divided among his siblings and their heirs. Like Freeman Howell’s estate records, Edward Howell’s estate records are a good source for documenting the Howell family.
Source: The Alamance Gleaner, 11 Jan 1876, Tue, Page 4

5. John Howell (1805-1867)

John Howell's family chart
John Howell’s family chart

John Howell married Jane Harris (1817-before 1900) on 5 Aug 1836 in Granville Co. He then appears in the census for Granville Co in 1840, 1850, and 1860. John died around 1867 and so he predeceased his father Freeman Howell. Jane (Harris) Howell continued to live in Fishing Creek, Granville Co and assisted in raising her grandchildren.

John Howell and Jane Harris had 11 children: Julia Howell (b. 1838), James E Howell (1840-1912), Indiana Howell (b. 1842), Polly Ann Howell (1844-1914), Harvey  Howell (b. 1846), Christopher C Howell (1848-1920), Sally Howell (1850-1923), Missouri Howell (1851-1918), Joanna Howell (b. 1852), Ida Howell (1855-1928), and Lucy Virginia “Jennie” Howell (b. 1858). Each of John Howell’s 11 living heirs received a share of the $9.45 payment which came to 85 cents but not all came to collect their shares.

Julia Howell (b. 1838) was married to Henry Chavis (1815-1882) and continued to live in Fishing Creek, Granville Co. James E Howell (1840-1912) was my 2nd great-grandfather and he was married first to Betsy Ann Tyler (1851-1869) on 6 Apr 1867 but she died soon after. He next married my 2nd great-grandmother Virginia “Jinnie” Richardson (1850-before 1880) on 11 Nov 1869 in Warren Co and they had three children: Edward Brodie Howell (1870-1942), Francis Ellen Howell (1872-1923), and Lucy J Howell (1873-1952). Virginia “Jinnie” Richardson Howell died and James E Howell remained a widow until he remarried Mary McGlemdon on 9 Aug 1887 in Granville Co and had one additional son William Isaac Howell (b. 1891). James E Howell spent his entire life in Fishing Creek, Granville Co and was once nominated as county coroner on the Radical Republican ticket.

James E Howell (1840-1912) called
James E Howell (1840-1912) called “Jim Howell” here, was paid for transporting bodies and burying graves. His experience in this field is probably why he was nominated for county coroner the following year.
Source: The Torchlight, 13 Dec 1881, Tue, Page 3
In 1882, the Radical Republican part nominated James E Howell as county coroner. His first cousin James A Howell was nominated for a House seat. However the following week, both James E Howell and James A Howell were replaced on the ticket. Source: The Torchlight, 10 Oct 1882, Tue, Page 4
In 1882, the Radical Republican party nominated James E Howell as county coroner. His first cousin James A Howell (1846-1934) was nominated for a House seat. However the following week, both James E Howell and James A Howell were replaced on the ticket.
Source: The Torchlight, 10 Oct 1882, Tue, Page 4
Dr. Edward Gaylord Howell was the grandson of James E Howell and Virginia Richardson. Source: Christie Carter Lynch
Dr. Edward Gaylord Howell (1898-1971) was the son of Edward Brodie Howell, and the grandson of James E Howell and Virginia Richardson.
Source: Christie Carter Lynch
Beatrice Howell (1901-1967) was the daughter of Edward Brodie Howell, and the granddaughter of James E Howell and Virginia Richardson. She was married to Dr. Ledrue Turner. Source: Christine Carter Lynch
Beatrice Howell (1901-1967) was the daughter of Edward Brodie Howell, and the granddaughter of James E Howell and Virginia Richardson. She was married to Dr. Ledrue Turner.
Source: Christine Carter Lynch
Beatrice Turner Source: Christine Carter Lynch
Beatrice Turner (1923-1969) was the daughter of Beatrice Howell, the granddaughter of Edward Brodie Howell, and great-granddaughter of James E Howell and Virginia Richardson. She was married to James Young Carter.
Source: Christine Carter Lynch

Indiana Howell (b. 1842) was married to William Kersey (b. 1939) and lived in Townesville on the current Vance/Granville Co border. All of their children relocated to Brockton, MA by 1900. Polly Ann Howell (1844-1914) was first married to Aaron Curtis (1842-1883) and had a son named Harvey Curtis (b. 1885) who moved to New Haven, CT. She became widowed and second married John Green (1850-1915).

Harvey Howell (b. 1846) moved up to Danville, VA and married a woman named Sallie Burnett (b. 1848). Christopher C Howell (1848-1920) married Harriet Goins (b. 1850) and lived his whole life in Fishing Creek, Granville Co. He owned an insurance company named Masonic Insurance and most of his children relocated to Brockton, MA and New Haven, CT.

Christopher C Howell's will. Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998
Christopher C Howell’s (1848-1920) will.
Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998

Sally Howell (1850-1923) was first married to Lunsford Williford (b. 1847) and second married James Berry Cousins (1854-1926). She lived in Granville Co her entire life. Missouri Howell (1851-1918) was not married but had two daughters Plummer Howell (1880-1930) and Mittie Howell (b. 1888) born out of wedlock.

Mattie Howell Miller was the daughter of Plummer Howell, granddaughter of Misssouri Howell, and great-granddaughter of John Howell. Plummer Howell moved up to Bucks Co, PA. Source: The Bristol Daily Courier, 27 Jan 1961, Fri, Page 19
Mattie Howell Miller (1905-1961) was the daughter of Plummer Howell, granddaughter of Missouri Howell, and great-granddaughter of John Howell. Plummer Howell moved up to Bucks Co, PA.
Source: The Bristol Daily Courier, 27 Jan 1961, Fri, Page 19

Joanna Howell (b. 1852) received a share of her grandfather Freeman Howell’s estate but I’m not sure what happened to her after that and if she married and had children. Ida Howell (1855-1928) married James Mayo (1847-1910) on 22 Dec 1874 and continued to live in Granville Co. Lucy Virginia “Jennie” Howell (b. 1858) received a share of her grandfather Freeman Howell’s estate but I’m certain if she married and had children.


6. Matthew Howell (1806 – before 1860)

Matthew Howell's family chart
Matthew Howell’s family chart

Matthew Howell married Mary Pettiford (b. 1807) on 29 Mar 1831. He appears in the 1850 census for Alamance Co with his wife and children. Matthew died before the 1860 census, and his children are found spread among Orange Co, NC, Guilford Co, NC, Danville, VA, And it appears they became disconnected with the rest of the Howell family because although Freeman Howell’s estate published their names in the newspaper, none of Matthew Howell’s children came back to collect on their share of the estate.


7. James Howell (1810 – before 1870)

James Howell's family chart
James Howell’s family chart

James Howell married Ann Troler b. 1810 (also spelled Toler) on 14 Aug 1834 in Granville Co. He was counted in the 1850 and 1860 censuses for Granville Co and died sometime before 1870 so he predeceased his father Freeman Howell. As a result, James Howell’s estate was granted his share of Freeman Howell’s estate which was $10.08, slightly higher than the $9.45 that the rest of Freeman’s children received.

James Howell and Ann Troler’s children were: Minerva Howell (b. 1836), Louisa Howell (b. 1845), Margaret Howell (1849-1915), William Howell (1852-1926), Mary Eliza Howell (1856-1926), and Juda Howell (b. 1858) who continued to live around the Sassafras Fork/Oak Hill area of Granville Co.


8. Alexander “Doc” Howell (1811-1881)

Alexander Howell's family chart
Alexander Howell’s family chart

Alexander Howell married Betsy Ann Anderson (b. 1825) on 4 Jul 1839 in Granville Co. Alexander was a preacher and resided in Fishing Creek, Granville Co for his entire life. He was still living when his father Freeman Howell passed away, so Alexander received his $9.45 share of the estate. He had a large family that included 10 children and his family often appears living adjacent to the family of his brother John Howell (and wife Jane Harris).

Daughter Polly Ann Howell (b. 1840) was not married but had a son named Ben Howell (1867-1949). Son Elijah Howell (b. 1841) was first married to Harriet Evans (b 1847) and second to Eveline Watkins (b. 1854). Daughter Frances Howell (b. 1842) was married to Civil War veteran of the 54th Regiment Varnell Mayo (1837-1900) whom I previously blogged about here.

Son Freeman Howell (b. 1844) was also a preacher and was married first to Nancy Ash (b. 1849) and second to Mary Cowell (b. 1866). Son James A Howell (1846-1934) was first married to Emily Evans (b. 1853), second married to Mary Eaton (1865-1887), and third married to Sally Pettiford (1856-1934). Son Junius Thomas Howell (b. 1848) was married to Pantheyer Brandon (1851-1934).

James A Howell's (1846-1934) will. Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998
James A Howell’s (1846-1934) will. He was the son of Alexander “Doc” Howell and Betsy Ann Anderson.
Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998
Nancy Howell (1871-1947). Daughter of Junius Thomas Howell and Pantheyer Brandon. Granddaughter of Alexander
Nancy Howell (1871-1947). Daughter of Junius Thomas Howell and Pantheyer Brandon. Granddaughter of Alexander “Doc” Howell and Betsy Ann Anderson. Married to Herbert Junius Anderson and later married to Asa Howell. Nancy was a lifelong resident of Fishing Creek, Granville County.
Source: Ancestry, Username: Christopher Williams
Nancy Howell (1871-1947), daughter of Junius Thomas Howell and Pantheyer Brandon, is shown here again with one of her sons from her first marriage to Dennis Anderson. Fishing Creek, Granville Co, NC. Source: Christopher Williams
Nancy Howell (1871-1947), daughter of Junius Thomas Howell and Pantheyer Brandon, is shown here again with one of her sons from her first marriage to Herbert Junius Anderson (b. 1864). Fishing Creek, Granville Co, NC.
Source: Christopher Williams

Daughter Mickins Howell (b. 1850) does not appear in the records again as an adult. Daughter Judith Howell (1852-1924) was married first to Nehemiah Mayo (b. 1850) and second married to John Hedgepeth (b. 1860).

Claude Eugene Hedgepeth (1891-1962) was the son of Judith Howell and John Hedgepeth the grandson of Alexander Howell and Betsy Ann Anderson. Source: Ancestry, Username: hedgepeth_richardson
Claude Eugene Hedgepeth (1891-1962) was the son of Judith Howell and John Hedgepeth and the grandson of Alexander Howell and Betsy Ann Anderson.
Source: Ancestry, Username: hedgepeth_richardson
Ethel Mae Hedgepeth (1913-1981) was the daughter of Claude Eugene Hedgepeth, granddaughter of Judith Howell, and great-granddaughter of Alexander Howell and Betsy Ann Anderson. Source: Ancestry, Username: Iris Grant
Ethel Mae Hedgepeth (1913-1981) was the daughter of Claude Eugene Hedgepeth, granddaughter of Judith Howell, and great-granddaughter of Alexander Howell and Betsy Ann Anderson.
Source: Ancestry, Username: Iris Grant

Son Henry Howell (1857-1916) was married to Amanda Brandon (1858-1922) and lived in Fishing Creek, Granville Co and Kittrell, Vance Co. And daughter Adeline Jane Howell (b. 1858) was married to Dennis Stanley Hedgepeth (b. 1852).

Adeline Jane Howell (1858 - after 1900) Daughter of Alexander
Adeline Jane Howell (1858 – after 1900) was the daughter of Alexander “Doc” Howell and Betsy Ann Anderson.
Source: Ancestry, Username: Christopher Williams
Carrie Hedgepeth (1894-1960) was the daughter of Adeline Jane Howell and Dennis Stanley Hedgepeth. Source: Ancestry, Username: Christopher Williams
Carrie Hedgepeth (1894-1960) was the daughter of Adeline Jane Howell and Dennis Stanley Hedgepeth.
Source: Ancestry, Username: Christopher Williams

Alexander Howell died on June 15, 1881 and his obituary appeared in the newspaper:

Obituary of Alexander Howell (1811-1881) Source: The Torchlight, 21 Jun 1881, Tue, Page 3
Obituary of Alexander Howell (1811-1881)
Source: The Torchlight, 21 Jun 1881, Tue, Page 3

9. Mary Ann Howell (b. 1815)

Mary Ann Howell's family chart
Mary Ann Howell’s family chart

Mary Ann Howell married Owen Hart (1810-1881) on 18 Sep 1832 in Granville Co. By 1850, the family was residing in Person Co, NC and by 1860, the family relocated to Pike Co, Ohio. Their children were: Susan Hart (b. 1845), Nancy Hart (1845-1869), Abigail Hart (1849- before 1880), Lorenzo Hart (1857-1870), and Robert Owen Hart (b. 1862).

Mary Ann (Howell) Hart was still living when her father Freeman Howell died but she had relocated to Ohio, so her name was published in the paper to alert her of the land sale. It does not appear Mary Ann received her $9.45 share of the estate likely because she had moved away.


10. Additional Howell Descendants

These are additional descendants of Freeman Howell who received a share of his estate but their exact lineage is unknown.
These are additional descendants of Freeman Howell who received a share of his estate but their exact lineage is unknown.

There are a few Howells that I know directly descend from Freeman Howell (1777-1870) because they are named in the estate files, but I have some questions about exactly how they are related to Freeman Howell.

Allen Howell (1820-1850), married Malinda Parrish (b. 1827) on 12 Mar 1847 in Granville Co, NC, James Floyd bondsman. They had one daughter together – Elizabeth Howell (b. 1850) but Allen Howell died the same year. Allen Howell’s sister Eliza Howell (b. 1825) married James Floyd on 6 Sep 1845 in Granville Co, NC. This is the same James Floyd who was the bondsman for his brother-in-law Allen Howell’s marriage. James Floyd and Eliza Howell had two children: William Floyd (b. 1847) and Willie Ann Floyd (b. 1849) but James Floyd died in 1850. You can find the widowed sister-in-laws Eliza (Howell) Floyd and Malinda (Parrish) Howell living together with their children in the 1850 census:

Eliza (Howell) Floyd is showing widowed and living with her children, and sister-in-law Malinda (Parrish) Howell who was also widowed. Source: Year: 1850; Census Place: Oxford, Granville, North Carolina; Roll: M432_631; Page: 101B; Image: 202
Eliza (Howell) Floyd is shown widowed and living with her children, and her sister-in-law Malinda (Parrish) Howell who was also widowed.
Source: Year: 1850; Census Place: Oxford, Granville, North Carolina; Roll: M432_631; Page: 101B; Image: 202
Malinda Parrish (b. 1827) was first married to Allen Howell (1820-1850) and second married to Dennis Anderson (b. 1813). Source: Ancestry, Username: Waniehol
Malinda Parrish (b. 1827) was first married to Allen Howell (1820-1850) and second married to Dennis Anderson (b. 1813).
Source: Ancestry, Username: Waniehol

Malinda (Parrish) Howell remarried Dennis Anderson (b. 1813) on 18 Jun 1852 and had additional children with him. Dennis was a preacher and presided over many marriages for people in the community. I don’t know what happened to Eliza (Howell) Floyd. When Freeman Howell passed away, Allen Howell and Malinda Parrish’s daughter Elizabeth Howell (b.1850) received $1.58 for her share of the estate. And Eliza (Howell) Floyd’s daughter Willie Ann Floyd b. 1849 (she was called “Willie Ann Howell” in the estate records), received $1.05 for her share of Freeman Howell’s estate. So we know Allen Howell and Eliza Howell Floyd were related to Freeman, but I’m unsure if they were his children or grandchildren. I’m also unsure of how their shares of Freeman Howell’s estate were calculated.

Elizabeth Howell (b. 1850) daughter of Allen Howell and Malinda Parish, received a share of Freeman Howell's estate. Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998
Elizabeth Howell (b. 1850) daughter of Allen Howell and Malinda Parish, received a share of Freeman Howell’s estate.
Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998
William Ann Howell/Floyd (b. 1849), daughter of James Floyd and Eliza Howell received a share of Freeman Howell's estate. Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998
Willie Ann Howell/Floyd (b. 1849), daughter of James Floyd and Eliza Howell received a share of Freeman Howell’s estate.
Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998
Napolean Bonapart Tyler (1916-1986) was the son of John Henry Tyler, the grandson of Elizabeth Howell and Benjamin Tyler, and the great-grandson of Allen Howell and Malinda Parrish. Source: Darrin Norwood
Napolean Bonepart Tyler (1916-1986) was the son of John Henry Tyler, the grandson of Elizabeth Howell and Benjamin Tyler, and the great-grandson of Allen Howell and Malinda Parrish.
Source: Darrin Norwood

There was a Margaret Owen who received a share of $3.15 of Freeman Howell’s estate. That is 1/3 of the $9.45 that was distributed to Freeman Howell’s children which suggests that this Margaret Owen was one of three siblings, who were grandchildren of Freeman Howell.

A Margaret Owen received a share of Freeman Howell's estate. The amount of $3.15 suggests that she was one of three siblings who were grandchildren of Freeman Howell. Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998
A Margaret Owen received a share of Freeman Howell’s estate. The amount of $3.15 suggests that she was one of three siblings who were grandchildren of Freeman Howell.
Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998

There was a Lucy Chavis who received a share of $1.58 of Freeman Howell’s estate. This is Lucy (Howell) Chavis b. 1843 who married Lawson Chavis (b. 1833) on 20 Nov 1865 in Person Co, NC. I’m not sure who Lucy Howell’s parents were because the first time I find her in the census she’s living in the household of Nelson Cousins (b. 1794) and Julia Howell (1797-1870). So we know Lucy Howell is definitely a descendant of Freeman Howell. It’s also worth mentioning that both Lucy (Howell) Chavis and the previously discussed Elizabeth Howell (b. 1850) received $1.58 each, suggesting a close (sibling?) relationship between the two.

Lucy (Howell) Chavis (b. 1843) received a share of Freeman Howell's estate. Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998
Lucy (Howell) Chavis (b. 1843) received a share of Freeman Howell’s estate.
Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998

And finally there is an Elizabeth Haithcock who received a share of 85 cents from Freeman Howell’s estate. Her husband William Haithcok signed the receipt for her and stated that his wife Elizabeth’s maiden name was Howell. I found a William Howell (a blacksmith) and Bettie Howell in the 1860 census in Granville Co and they seem to fit. But this same William Haithcock appears in the 1870 and 1880 census as a blacksmith with a wife name Isabella Haithcock. Also Elizabeth (Howell) Haithcock received 85 cents which is the same amount that the children of John Howell and Jane Harris received. However there is no record of John Howell and Jane Harris having a daughter named Elizabeth. So I’m also not sure what to make of this.

Elizabeth (Howell) Haithcock received a share of Freeman Howell's estate and her husband William Haithcock signed the receipt on her behalf. Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998
Elizabeth (Howell) Haithcock received a share of Freeman Howell’s estate and her husband William Haithcock signed the receipt on her behalf.
Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998

Defining the Boundaries of the Tuscarora “Indian Woods” Reservation in Bertie County

In 1717, after the conclusion of the Tuscarora War, the colony created a reservation for King Blount’s “friendly Tuscarora” in what is now Bertie County. The reservation became to be known as “Indian Woods”. The “friendly” Tuscarora who resided there did not take up arms against the colony, so they were rewarded for their neutrality. Some of the Native American families in Granville County have Tuscarora tribal roots from “Indian Woods”, so this reservation plays an important role in the history and genealogy of the community. My goal in this blog entry is to document the boundaries of the reservation through historical records and maps.

In her blog Native Heritage Project, Roberta Estes cites the research of Fletcher Freeman who describes the boundary of Indian Woods as follows:

In 1717, the NC Council created the Indian Woods Reservation for the Tuscarora in a Treaty with Chief Tom Blount. It consisted of “all the land lying between Mr. Jones’ lower land on the North side of the Moratoc River (Roanoke) to Quitsana Swamp” Two towns were created, one of which was “Resootska” or King Blounts’s Town. This reservation was approximately 60,000 acres. It was not specifically defined until 1748 at which time it was delineated from Quitsana Swamp north to Rocquist Swamp, west to Falling Run Creek/Deep Creek and south to the Roanoke River and back to Quitsana.

Though Freeman says the reservation land was about 60,000 acres, I found more records that indicate the land was 53,000 acres so that is the estimate that I’m working with. 53,000 acres is approximately 84 square miles.

I also found an additional reference to the layout of the reservation in another blog entry from Roberta Estes, which includes the following information:

1752: When Moravian missionaries visited the Indian Woods reservation, they noted “many had gone north to live on the Susquehanna” and that “others are scattered as the wind scatters smoke.’ Bishop August Gottlieb Spangenberg of the Moravian Brethren visited among the Tuscaroras in Bertie Co. while trying to secure land for the Moravians. He finds them to be “in great poverty.” At that time their land was about twelve miles long and six miles at its greatest width.

1752 is just a few decades after the reservation was created, and you already see a reference to many of the Tuscarora families moving North (to join the Haudenosaunee Confederacy) as well as many families scattering to surrounding areas. This means that early on in the history of the reservation, we know that the Tuscarora in North Carolina were not bounded by the Indian Woods reservation. This important and crucial detail is essential in documenting Tuscarora families that remained in North Carolina through to the present.

The observations of this Moravian missionary are very telling because he indicates that the reservation is twice as long as it is wide. 12 miles by 6 miles is 72 square miles, which is 12 square miles less than the original 84 square miles set aside in 1717. So we also know that also within a few decades, some of the reservation land was lost, most likely due to encroachment by colonists.

So knowing that the reservation was bounded by the Roanoke River, Quitsana Swamp, Roquist Creek, and Deep Creek and that it was a rectangular shape, I went to various maps to draw out the border.

Roanoke, Quitsana, and Roquist I found easily, but no Deep Creek! I found Deep Creeks in neighboring Hertford County and Northampton County but those Deep Creeks were too far out of the way to create a realistic border for Indian Woods. All of this lead me to realize that what was called “Deep Creek” back in the 1700s, is likely called by another name today. I’ve come across numerous waterways that underwent name changes over the years, so this was not out of ordinary. And my suspicions were confirmed when I found this reference:

Indian Creek:  rises in NW Bertie County and flows S into Roanoke River. Creek was the N boundary of the Tuscarora Indian property in Indian Woods Township. Mentioned in local records as early as 1723. Appears as Deep Creek on the Collet map, 1770. See also Resootskeh.

So the Deep Creek that was referred to as a boundary of Indian Woods, is today known as “Indian Creek”.  And by using all of the above information, I present to you my initial map of the original boundary of the Tuscarora “Indian Woods” reservation:

Map of Bertie County showing the boundaries of the Tuscarora “Indian Woods” reservation. Circled are the closest major municipalities: Windsor, Woodville, and Lewiston. Source: http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/ncmaps/id/7753/rec/12
Map of Bertie County showing the boundaries of the Tuscarora “Indian Woods” reservation. Circled are the closest major municipalities: Windsor, Woodville, and Lewiston.
Source: http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/ncmaps/id/7753/rec/12

After posting this blog, Forest Hazel, historian for the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation provided me with the 1748 land plat for Indian Woods. The plat follows the waterway borders: Roanoke River, Indian Creek (“Deep Creek”), Roquist Creek, and Quitsana Swamp:

Tuscarora
Tuscarora “Indian Woods” land plat from 1748.
Source: Forest Hazel

However as was also pointed out to me, the Collett Map of 1770 and the various versions of the Mouzon map of 1775 found here and here, show the Indian Woods reservation with a slightly different border that followed the Roquist Creek to the very end past Quitsana Swamp. This additional land includes a peninsula known as Conine Island:

The Collett map of 1700 showing the Tuscarora
The Collett map of 1770 showing the Tuscarora “Indian Woods” reservation. Circled in blue is the additional peninsula known as “Conine Island”
Source: http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/ncmaps/id/467/rec/1

If you will recall from earlier, the Indian Woods reservation was first created in 1717 but without a defined border. It was simply referred to as the land between the Roanoke River and Roquist Swamp (Creek). However in 1748, the reservation’s borders were defined, placing Deep Creek as the Northwestern border and Quitsana Swamp as the Southeastern border. This is why the land plat for Indian Woods from 1748 does not include this additional land known as “Conine Island”. So with that in mind, here is my update version of Indian Woods showing both sets of boundaries:

Updated map of the Tuscarora
Updated map of the Tuscarora “Indian Woods” reservation showing the 1748 boundaries defined in the land plat, in addition to the Collett and Mouzon map boundaries which likely reflect the original 1717 land.
Source: http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/ncmaps/id/7753/rec/12

Rethinking William Chavis’ Granville County Land Tract

So now having drawn out the boundary of the Indian Woods reservation, something about it looked very familiar to me – William Chavis’ original Granville County land tract!

As you’ll recall from my earlier blog post where I discuss local historian Oscar W. Blacknall’s writing about the Native American community, Blacknall described William Chavis’ land as being situated on the Tar River and going upstream for about 16 miles bordered by Lynch Creek and Fishing Creek, and then going 5 miles inland. Here is the boundary that I drew of William Chavis’ land:

Granville County's Native American community founder William Chavis originally owned land that stretched from Lynch's Creek 16 miles upstream to Fishing Creek and went 5 miles inland from the Tar River. This is approximately 80 square miles or 51,200 acres of continuous land. This was the land base for the community. © Kianga Lucas
Granville County’s Native American community founder William Chavis originally owned land that stretched from Lynch’s Creek 16 miles upstream to Fishing Creek and went 5 miles inland from the Tar River. This is approximately 80 square miles or 51,200 acres of continuous land. This was the land base for the community.
© Kianga Lucas

Both William Chavis’ land and Indian Woods were situated on two of North Carolina’s major waterways: the Tar River and the Roanoke River, respectively. These rivers have always played a crucial role in the lives of Native Americans in North Carolina, before and after colonization. Both land tracts were rectangular, bounded by creeks and both went inland for 5-6 miles. Blacknall suggested that William Chavis received this land directly from John Cateret, 2nd Earl of Granville, because it was such a large amount of continuous land with natural waterway borders.

This all makes me wonder if perhaps the Saponi living in Granville County were situated on some sort of recognized land base. As I discussed in this blog post on the colonial records of Saponi Indians in Granville County, it was documented many times that the Saponi were living on lands next to Col. William Eaton who had a trade relationship with them. And that is the precise location of William Chavis’ large land tract. I have not recovered any records to indicate that William Chavis’ land was recognized as a reservation or was communally owned, but clearly more research into his land records needs to be done.

To be continued…

Help Me Locate the Descendants of the Siblings of my Great-Grandfather Edward B. Howell

My great-grandfather was Edward Brodie Howell (1870-1942). He was the son of James E Howell of Granville County and Virginia “Ginny” Richardson of Warren/Halifax Cos. He was born and raised in Granville County’s Native American community in Fishing Creek township. I am looking to get in touch with any descendants of his siblings:

1. Frances Ellen Howell (1872-1923), 2.  Lucy J Howell (1873-1952), and 3. William Isaac Howell (1891-?)

I have not successfully found any living descendants, so I’m hoping the readers of this blog will be able to assist in any way. Please share this blog post!

Some background information:

Edward Brodie Howell was born in late September 1870 in Granville Co, NC to James E Howell and Virginia Richardson. James E Howell had first married Betsy Ann Tyler-Kersey, daughter of Baldy Kersey and Frances Tyler. They were wed in 1867 but Betsy Ann died soon after their wedding and they had no children together.

Next, James E Howell married Virginia “Ginny” Richardson, daughter of Nancy Richardson and an unidentified father. Virginia was from the Haliwa-Saponi Richardson family. They wed in 1869 and Virginia moved to Granville County where she gave birth to three children:

1. Edward Brodie Howell (1870-1942) – my great-grandfather

2. Frances Ellen Howell (1872-1923) – my great grand aunt

3. Lucy J Howell (1873-1952) – my great grand aunt

Sadly Virginia (Richardson) Howell died young, leaving her husband James E Howell to care for three very young children on his own. By 1880, James E Howell was listed as “widowed” in the census and had moved into his mother Jane (Harris) Howell’s home. Jane helped raise her grandchildren and the family remained in Granville County’s Native American community in Fishing Creek township.

Later, James E Howell married for a third time – Mary (maiden name not confirmed). They wed in 1887, and had one son together:

4. William Isaac Howell (1891 – ?) – my great grand uncle

James E Howell died in 1912, but by that time his two sons – Edward Brodie Howell and William Isaac Howell had relocated to New Haven, CT and his two daughters Frances Ellen Howell and Lucy J Howell relocated to Washington, D.C.


This is what I know about my great-grandfather’s 3 siblings:

Frances Ellen Howell (1872-1923).

By 1900, Frances relocated to Washington, D.C. where she worked as a nurse. And by the following year she married John B Loftus (1870-1955) who had also moved from Granville County to Washington, D.C. John worked as a policeman in Washington, D.C and the family lived at 1514 Kingman Place. John and Frances (Howell) Loftus had one daughter together: Ruth Loftus (1901-1996).

John B. Loftus, Frances (Howell) Loftus, and Ruth Loftus enumerated in Washington, D.C. in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census Source: Year: 1910; Census Place: Precinct 2, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T624_149; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0029; FHL microfilm: 1374162
John B. Loftus, Frances (Howell) Loftus, and Ruth Loftus enumerated in Washington, D.C. in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census
Source: Year: 1910; Census Place: Precinct 2, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T624_149; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0029; FHL microfilm: 1374162

Frances (Howell) Loftus died young in 1923. Her widow John B Loftus married again to a woman named Essie. John Loftus died in 1955.

John and Frances (Howell) Loftus’ daughter Ruth Loftus (1901-1996) remained in Washington, D.C. Ruth was a public school teacher and was married to Fred Jolie (1886-1979). Fred was from a Louisiana Creole background and worked as a clerk in the War Department. The couple lived at 325 T St and as far as I know they did not have any children. Fred Jolie died in 1975 and Ruth (Loftus) Jolie died in 1996. I hope that I am mistaken about them not having any children and I would welcome any additional information anyone has about John and Ruth.

As Ruth grew older and perhaps lonelier she would regularly send poems to the newspaper in honor of her parents. For example:

Ruth (Loftus) Jolie, daughter of John Loftus and Frances Howell writing a poem in honor of her deceased parents. Source: The Washington Post, 1982.
Ruth (Loftus) Jolie, daughter of John Loftus and Frances Howell writing a poem in honor of her deceased parents.
Source: The Washington Post, 1982.

Lucy J Howell (1873-1952)

Lucy Howell relocated to Washington, D.C. in 1902 and that same year she married William Sanford (1865-1928). William worked as a clerk in the Post Office and Lucy was a dressmaker who owned her own shop. The couple lived at 1316 U Street. I have no records of William and Lucy having any children. William died in 1928 and Lucy died in 1952.

William Sanford and Lucy (Howell) Sanford enumerated in Washington, D.C. in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. They have quite of number of boarders who are living in their home. Source: Year: 1910; Census Place: Precinct 8, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T624_153; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0145; FHL microfilm: 1374166
William Sanford and Lucy (Howell) Sanford enumerated in Washington, D.C. in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. They have quite of number of boarders who are living in their home.
Source: Year: 1910; Census Place: Precinct 8, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T624_153; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0145; FHL microfilm: 1374166

William Isaac Howell (1891-?)

William Isaac Howell was my great-grandfather’s youngest sibling, and he was biologically his half sibling because William had a different mother. There was also a 21 year age difference between the two brothers, so I’m not sure how close they were growing up. But William did move to New Haven, CT which is where my great-grandfather also relocated. William was in New Haven by 1910 and was married to a woman named Margaret (maiden name not known). William and Margaret had two children together: James Howell (1913-?) and Theda Howell (1919-?).The family resided at 53 Foote St and 1411 Chapel St.

William Isaac Howell, Margaret Howell and children James and Theda Howell are listed in the 1920 census in New Haven, CT. They also have a boarder living in their home. Source: Year: 1920; Census Place: New Haven Ward 9, New Haven, Connecticut; Roll: T625_191; Page: 21A; Enumeration District: 362; Image: 212
William Isaac Howell, Margaret Howell and children James and Theda Howell are listed in the 1920 census in New Haven, CT. They also have a boarder living in their home.
Source: Year: 1920; Census Place: New Haven Ward 9, New Haven, Connecticut; Roll: T625_191; Page: 21A; Enumeration District: 362; Image: 212

By 1932, William Isaac Howell and Margaret had separated/divorced and William relocated to New York City and Margaret remained in New Haven at 866 Grand Ave. Their son James Howell later followed William to New York City.

The last verified record for William Isaac Howell was from 1942 when he filed a WW2 draft card. His address is listed as 104 West 132nd St. His son James Howell is listed as next closest living relative. Source: The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; State Headquarters: New York
The last verified record for William Isaac Howell was from 1942 when he filed a WW2 draft card. His address is listed as 104 West 132nd St. His son James Howell is listed as the next closest living relative.
Source: The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; State Headquarters: New York

As previously mentioned, William’s son James Howell also moved to New York City but I have no idea what happened to him. I do not know if James was married, if he had children or when he died. I also have no idea what happened to William’s daughter Theda Howell. I do not know if she remained in New Haven, moved to New York City, or even moved elsewhere.

However I do know that all 4 Howell siblings were still close and visited each other frequently in addition to visiting their home roots in Granville County, North Carolina. Going from a rural indigenous community where everyone was kin to moving to major urban areas with people from diverse backgrounds must have been quite an adjustment for them. I found several newspaper articles to verify this.

Lucy (Howell) Sanford visiting her home in North Carolina in 1925. Source: The New York Age, 29 Aug 1925, Sat, Page 9
Lucy (Howell) Sanford (1873-1952) visiting her home roots in Granville County, North Carolina in 1925.
Source: The New York Age, 29 Aug 1925, Sat, Page 9
Frances (Howell) Loftus and daughter Ruth Loftus visiting my great-grandfather Edward B. Howell and family in New Haven, CT in 1908. Source: The Washington Bee, 19 Sep 1908, Sat, First Edition
Frances (Howell) Loftus and daughter Ruth Loftus spent the summer visiting my great-grandfather Edward B. Howell and family in New Haven, CT in 1908.
Source: The Washington Bee, 19 Sep 1908, Sat, First Edition
Lucy (Howell) Sanford visiting my great-grandfather Edward B. Howell and family in New Haven, CT in 1910. Source: The Washington Bee, 2 Jul 1910, Sat, First Edition
Lucy (Howell) Sanford visiting my great-grandfather Edward B. Howell and family in New Haven, CT in 1910.
Source: The Washington Bee, 2 Jul 1910, Sat, First Edition
My great-grandfather Edward B. Howell bringing his two oldest children Edward and Beatrice to visit his sister Lucy (Howell) Sanford in Washington, D.C. in 1910. Source: The Washington Bee, 17 Sep 1910, Sat, First Edition
My great-grandfather Edward B. Howell bringing his two oldest children Edward and Beatrice to visit his sister Lucy (Howell) Sanford in Washington, D.C. in 1910.
Source: The Washington Bee, 17 Sep 1910, Sat, First Edition
My grand uncle Dr. Edward Gaylord Howell (1898-1971)  accompanied his father Edward Brodie Howell (1870-1942) to visit family in Washington, D.C. Source: Yale University archives
My grand uncle Dr. Edward Gaylord Howell (1898-1971) accompanied his father Edward Brodie Howell (1870-1942) to visit family in Washington, D.C.
Source: Yale University archives
My grand aunt Beatrice Howell (1901-1967) also accompanied her father Edward Brodie Howell to visit family in Washington, D.C. © Christine Moore Lynch
My grand aunt Beatrice Howell (1901-1967) also accompanied her father Edward Brodie Howell (1870-1942) to visit family in Washington, D.C.
© Christine Carter Lynch. Do not reproduce