December 11, 2014

Digital Pics: Every Picture Should Tell a Story

There's a great article from the Library of Congress on how to add descriptions to digital pictures. I seriously need to do this - very few of my digital pictures have any information beyond the filename. Things like "John Stancil Gravestone" excluding important stuff like WHERE the grave is located, etc. 

In my opinion, every picture should tell a story. There's no reason why that story can't be enhanced by metadata, right?

Take a look!



December 7, 2014

Eric Ray Stancil, 1926 - 1999

Eric Ray STANCIL was born on 14 Feb 1926 in Johnston County, North Carolina, as the third child of Jesse Bernard STANCIL and Ada Lou JOHNSON. 

He had five siblings: Jesse Roland, Macon McNair, Cecil Braxton, Edith Cavelle, and Carl Donald (my father). 

On May 11, 1944, he voluntarily enlisted in the US Navy as an Apprentice Seaman. Initially, he was assigned to Camp Perry in Magruder, Virginia and the USS Shamrock Bay. 


  • July 15, 1944: Transferred to Norfolk, VA. USS Shamrock Bay. Authorized to wear the European African Middle Eastern ARMA Ribbon.
  • Dec. 16, 1944:  Crossed the 180th Meridian at Lat 11 degrees, 20 East, qualified as a Shellrack. 
  • Dec. 21, 1944:  Crossed the equator at Long 153, 20 East, qualified as a Shellrack. Authorized to wear the Asiatic-Pacific Ribbon.
  • Dec. 31, 1944 - Jan 27, 1945: Participated in the invasion and occupation of Luzon (WW II Battle of Luzon in The Philippines) between Dec. 31, 1944 and Jan. 27, 1945.
  • Jan 4 - 18, 1945:  Lingayen Gulf Landing 
  • Jan. 8, 1945: Participated in action against the Japanese at Luzon.
  • Feb. 16, 1945 - March 5, 1945:  Participated in the invasion and occupation of Iwo Jima. Authorized to wear the star on Asia-Pacific Bar.
  • March 13 - June 27, 1945: Participated in Okinawa Operation.
  • June 30, 1945: Authorized to wear the Philippine Liberation Bar for action against the enemy on Jan 8, 1945. 
  • August 26, 1945: Authorized to wear the bronze star in the Philippine Liberation Bar for participation in Battle of Luzon. Also authorized to wear a bronze star in Asiatic-Pacific Bar for participating in the Lingayen Gulf Landing and for participation in Okinawa Operation.
  • Oct. 26, 1945: Transferred to ComAirPac for further assignment.
  • Feb 7, 1946 - March 13, 1945: Granted 30 days leave plus 4 days travel time for serving 18 months outside the continental US.
  • March 13, 1946: Reported to Norfolk, Va.
  • April 11, 1946: Transferred to Charleston, SC
  • May 13, 1946:  Transferred to naval station at Green Cove Springs, Florida.
  • May 17, 1946:  Honorably discharged from the Navy.


Summary of Battles 
Dec - Jan 1945:  Battle of Luzon
Jan 1945: Lingayen Gulf Landing
Feb - March 1945:  Iwo Jima
March - June 1945:  Okinawa

Summary of Medals
American Area Camp Medal
Eur-African-Mid East Camp Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Camp Medal, 3 stars
Philippine Liberation Ribbon, 1 star
Point System, World War II Victory Medal



When he was 33, he married his 2nd wife, Nannie Mae LEWIS, daughter of Jesse Edward LEWIS and Lillian Mae JONES, on 28 Feb 1959 in Wake County, North Carolina.

After his service in the military, Eric was employed by Coopers BBQ Stand, Pine State Creamery, Raleigh Times, Oil Company in Wake County, North Carolina, USA. 

He was counted in the census in 1930  and 1940 census in Wake County, North Carolina.

Eric was my uncle, my father's older brother. I remember him as a very happy and affectionate fellow. He was my very favorite uncle.

Eric died on 12 Jun 1998 in Wake County, North Carolina at age 72. He is buried at Mountlawn Cemetery in Raleigh, NC.

November 27, 2014

North Carolina Land Grants

The Genealogy.com message boards don't see a lot of action these days, but they are chocked full of gems. For example, last night I came across a FREE site listing all of North Carolina's land grants from 1663 to 1960. 

Very cool. Check it out.

It's the simple things that make me happy. And grateful.

November 9, 2014

Wake County Genealogical Society December Meeting

Please join the Wake County Genealogical Society for our holiday presentation, “Family Holiday Traditions and Recipes, and the Stories and Photos that Go with Them” on Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 7pm at the Olivia Raney Local History Library, 4016 Carya Drive, Raleigh, NC  27610. WCGS volunteer Jennie Gunther will coordinate the discussion.

Everyone is encouraged to bring food, recipes, photos, and stories of traditions to share, and to learn engaging ways of preserving and passing on these traditions to family members.

Meetings are free and open to the public, and are for all levels of family historians and genealogists, whether or not you are researching in Wake County. Come share some holiday cheer genealogy style!  It's a wonderful opportunity to step away from the computer to socialize with others who enjoy the same hobby—you might even meet a new cousin.

November 5, 2014

Dillard-Davis Family Cemetary

The Dillard-Davis Family Cemetery in Granville County is rich in family history for me. My great grandparents, Jonathan Davis and Cornelia Dillard Davis are buried there, along with many of their ancestors and descendants. 

The cemetery is located on Woodland Church Road in Granville County very near the Wake County line. I've been there several times. It's in a wooded area near a home with a viscous looking pooch chained up in the front yard. It's very overgrown with brush. There are only a handful of engraved stones, and some graves are marked with just a rock. I imagine there are plenty of unmarked graves, likely those of distant family members or possibly slaves.




Gladfry Bailey 
Born 1790 
Died 1867



William Bailey 
Born Dec 10, 1791
Died Dec 18, 1861
My notes: WPA records show death date as 15 Dec 1861. I haven't really figured out all these William Baileys, but I think this fellow was my 1st cousin 5 times removed.





Cornelia Davis
Wife of Jonathan F. Davis
Born March 7, 1838
My notes: My great grandmother who, along with her husband, owned the property across the road and likely the property hosting the cemetery, at one time.

Jonathan Davis
Born Dec 18, 1829 
Died July 22, 1900
My notes: Cornelia's husband. Jonathan owned a great deal of land as well as slaves. There is a Freemason symbol at the top of his gravestone.


Davis, L.  (b. 8 Nov ? - d. 25 Nov 1863). This may be Luvinia Davis. I believe she died a few weeks after birth. She is the daughter of Jonathan and Cornelia. She appears on the census of Cemetery Census, but not on the census of Find-A-Grave.

Davis, L. B. (b. 11 Aug 1834 - d.). I'm not sure who this is. He appears on the census of Cemetery Census, but not on the census of Find-A-Grave.



Davis, Mary A.  
Born Jan 13, 1827 
Died Sept 30, 1910
My notes: I think this is Mary Ann Davis, daughter of Jonathan Davis and Tildanthe Bailey. Jonathan's (the son of a Jonathan and husband of Cornelia) sister. She shows up on the school census for Granville County Beaver Dam School. The census is undated, but probably is from sometime in the 1840s.

Seraphno Davis (b. 17 Jan 1874 - d. 9 Dec 1903). Daughter of J.F. and C. Davis. I'm not sure why they put her maiden name on her gravestone, but Seraphno was married to Jim Inscore. I'm not sure if Jim died shortly after his wife or if he ran off, but his in-laws, Jonathan and Cornelia, raised his two children Lucy and Hubert.

Susan A. G. Davis
Sacred to the memory of 
Susan A. G. wife of Wm D. Davis
Born 1832 
Died Sept 10, 1861

W. D. Davis 
Died August 18, 1891
My notes: Probably the husband of Susan, above. He died just before his 43rd birthday, possible in the Civil War. There is a Freemason symbol at the top of his gravestone.

Whitman Davis
In memory of
 (b. 28 Apr 1862 - d. 19 Dec 1882). WPA records death date as 19 Dec 1888.

Dilliard, E. H. (b. 17 Feb 1831 - d. 2 Nov 1851). I think this is Elijah H. Dillard, son of Israel Dillard and Mahalia Bailey. Brother of Cornelia.

Dilliard, H. C.(b. 31 Dec 1843 - d. 13 Apr 1882)  WPA records birth date as 31 Dec 1818 and death date as 13 Apr 1887. This might be Henry Dillard, son of Israel Dillard and Mahalia Bailey. Brother of Cornelia.

Dilliard, I. F. (b. 11 Sep 1811 - d. 7 May 1888). WPA records death date as 7 May 1886. This is Israel Dillard, Cornelia's father and my 3rd great grandfather.

Dilliard, M. C. W. (b. 3 Nov 1839 - d. 12 Nov 1869). WPA records birth date as 3 Nov 1832 and death date as 12 Nov 1860.

Dilliard, W. I. (b. 15 Mar 1842 - d. 23 Oct 1862). This is probably the son of Israel and Mahalia. He died at age 20, I'm guessing an early casualty of the Civil War.

Loyd, Nasada B. (b. 29 Jul 1896 - d. 27 Jan 1906)

Moore, W. H. H. (b. 16 Jan 1841 - d. 8 Feb 1895)

Ray, Lucy (b. 1 Apr 1859 - d. 12 Dec 1920). Daughter of Seraphno and Jim Inscore, married to Mark Ray.

Here's a link to a census of the cemetery. It even provides directions. Here's Find-A-Grave's site - it differs a bit from the above link so be sure to look at both.

October 22, 2014

Agnes Belle Stancil Sauls, 1900 - 1969


John Exum Sauls and
Agnes Belle Stancil Sauls
Agnes Belle STANCIL, my great aunt on my father's side, was born on 15 Jul 1901 in Johnston County, North Carolina as the youngest child of Joseph Henry STANCIL and Fannie A. JOHNSON. 

She had two siblings; my grandfather Jesse Bernard, and Mary Pearl. 

When she was 19, Aunt Belle married John Exum SAULS, son of Leonard Jefferson SAULS and Dizzie JOHNSON, on 14 Dec 1919 in Johnston County, North Carolina.

The 1930 census found Aunt Belle and her family in Durham County, North Carolina. She was 29 years old. She also appears on the 1940 census.

Aunt Belle and husband John Exum SAULS had 5 children:

1. Agnes Louise SAULS, born on 26 Feb 1921 in Granville County, North Carolina. She died in Jan 1969 and married Unknown FALCON on 25 Jun 1943.

2. John Exum SAULS was born on 25 Aug 1922 in Granville County, North Carolina, USA.

3. Joseph Willard SAULS was born on 14 Jun 1925 in Orange County, North Carolina. He died on 27 Jun 1940 in Hoke County, North Carolina.

4. Herbert Hoover SAULS was born on 17 Jan 1928 in Archer Lodge, Johnston County, North Carolina. He died in Nov 1928.

5. Garland Linwood SAULS was born on 03 Mar 1932 in Durham County, North Carolina.

I have been told Aunt Belle had Type II Diabetes and was blind. She died on 27 Jan 1969 in Johnston County, North Carolina at age 68.




Mrs. Agnes Sauls
Rites are Slated

Mrs. Agnes Sauls, 68, of Route 2, Clayton, died Monday in Johnston Memorial Hospital following a long illness.

She was a native of Johnston County. Her parents were the late Joseph H. and Fannie Johnson Stancil.

A graveside service will be held at 2 o'clock Wednesday afternoon in Woodlawn Memorial Park in Durham, The Rev. Ronald Creech will officiate.

She is survived by her husband, John E. Sauls; one daughter Mrs. Agnes Sauls Falcon of New Orleans, LA, two sons, John E. Sauls of Littleton, CO., and Garland L. Sauls of Durham; 10 grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.

October 21, 2014

Jesse Pleasants and Maude Haswell: Married Dec. 30, 1919



Wake County Register of Deeds, Raleigh, NC
Certifcate of Marriage: 1919, Page 94
Groom:  Jesse Pleasants, age 26, resident of Wake Forest, R-3, NC
Parents:  J.D. Pleasants and Almetta Pleasants, both parents living and residents of Youngsville R-3, NC
Bride:  Maude Haswell, age 25, resident of Wake Forsest, R-5, NC
Parents:  Wm. A. Haswell and Gussie Haswell, father deceased mother living and resident of Wake Forest, R-5, NC
Date of Marriage:  Dec. 30, 1919
Place of Marriage:  New Light Township, Wake County, NC
Officiating Officer:  W.J. Simpson, Justice of the Peace
Witnesses:  G.M. Little of Youngsville, R-3, NC, W.J. Simpson, Jr. of Wake Forest, R-1, NC, W.L. Simpson of Wake Forest, R-1, NC