April 15, 2014

The Five Williams

Stancil Family Crest
I try to remind myself how lucky I am to live in the area where my family has resided for over 366 years. That's over 9 generations. Wow!

But it gets really complicated when I'm trying to sort out the William Stancils of the world. There are SO MANY OF THEM!

For example, my 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th great grandfathers are all named William Stancil.  And they all live within a four county radius of each other. 

My William Stancils are in addition to many many OTHER William Stancils from different branches of the same tree. There are literally hundreds of them in a four county area. Cumulatively, of course. Not all at the same time.

All were very talented farmers and land owners. One was a Patriot. At least two were slave holders. All fathered large families. Between them, they had 6 wives and 27 children who they really liked to name John, Godfrey, Peter, and of course...William. The same names, over and over. 

It is all very confusing to a simple gal like me.

A prolific bunch, they were!

April 13, 2014

Where in the world is Mezie Huskey?

My great great grandmother is a mystery to me. Mezie HUSKEY was born about 1860 in Granville County, NC. She died about 1910. 

When she was 20, she married Henry A. ALLEN, son of George Benjamin ALLEN and Mary THOMPSON, about 1880. Henry would have been about 40 years old. An older man.

Henry and Mezie had four children, best as I can tell. 

Their son Eugene (nickname Bud) was my great grandfather. He was born on 03 May 1880 in Wake County, NC. He had 3 sisters Adie, Ester, and Iowa.  Eugene's death certificate lists Mezie and Henry as his parents. 

I've found tons of information on Henry. Not so much on Mezie. I've heard her last name could be Husketh, Huskie, or Husky. Mezie may be a nickname. Perhaps her real name is Lauronieca, Armeda or Arillda. 

I'll continue to search for Grandma Mezie, but in the meantime, if you see her please let me know!  Tell her I love her and I'd like to meet her.


April 9, 2014

Delayed Birth Certificates in North Carolina

Births were not officially recorded in North Carolina until about October of 1913. Even then, many births were not registered as they often took place at home and without a physician attending. This is particularly true for rural births. 

There is no federal law requiring birth certificates which are generally kept at the state or local level. As far as I can tell, birth certificates are not required by law. Registration of a birth is voluntary, but you cannot get a social security number without a birth certificate and the parents cannot claim a child as a dependent without same. So...

Many folks got "delayed" birth certificates so they could conduct whatever business that required a social security number. It is very interesting to me to look at the documentation that was required for proof of idendity. There are clues in them 'dar documents! 

In both my Davis and Stancil lines, mention is made of family Bibles on delayed birth certificates. A gold mine of information!  And marriage certificates, personal knowledge, insurance policies...

Delayed birth certificates offer far more family details than regular birth certificates. Love that!

April 8, 2014

Pearce Family of Franklin County, NC

Martha Hawkins Pearce
1872 - 1953
 According to family lore and scanty documentation, the Pearce family migrated into Franklin County sometime prior to 1780 via Northhampton County, NC, Isle of Wight, Virginia, and Bristol, England. Although the family and descendants spent many years in Franklin County (about 1780 – about 1840), family members after 1840 migrated back and forth among Franklin, Wake, and Granville Counties. This was likely due to the shifting county lines and that the family lived very near the “3 corners” where the three counties share a common boundary line.

Jeffrey Pearce was born about 1780 in Franklin Co., NC, and died after 1860 in Franklin Co., NC. He married his first wife, Anna Dent, 13 Sep 1808 in Franklin County, NC. Anna, born about 1790, was the daughter of John Dent and Sarah Hutchinson. Upon Anna’s death, he married Adaline Falkner 23 Dec 1840 in Franklin Co., NC. Jeffrey and Anna raised a large and prosperous family in Franklin County. Their 11 children included John, Martha (Patsy) Kearney, Mary Ann, Elizabeth, Enoch, Henry, James Thomas, Benjamin, Joseph, Willis, and Samuel.

Jeffrey’s marriage to Anna is mentioned in her mother’s will. Probated in Franklin County on 16 December 1824, Sarah Dent leaves all of her property – including cattle, hogs, household, and kitchen furniture - to “Jeffrey Pearce and his wife Anne for the purpose of maintaining my daughter Mary and after the death of Mary my will is that the above property shall go to above said Jeffrey and his wife Anna and their Heirs”.

Jeffrey’s will dated 27 January 1838 recorded in Franklin County is very generous to his family and clearly delineates his place in society as a plantation owner. He leaves all his real and personal property to his “beloved wife” Annie Pearce to support herself and their daughter Elizabeth. On the death of her mother, Elizabeth will inherit all his land and plantation. He leaves money as well to Elizabeth, Enoch, James, and Mary. He asks that his slaves be divided among Elizabeth, Enoch, James, Willis, and Joseph. Children Patsy, Mary Ann, William, Henry, and Benjamin each inherit a sum equivalent to the slaves’ cash value. He names Henry, Enoch and James as executors. On 13 November 1859, Jeffrey signs a codicil leaving 1/8 of his estate to his daughter Patsy and her children, presumably because she was widowed.

According to the Extracts of Franklin Co., NC Court Minutes, 1838-1839, Jeffrey served on a jury in an apparent criminal trial of Thomas E. Yarborough et al, who was charged with Affray (modern day assault). The jury found the defendants not guilty and ordered that the prosecutor in the case pay all costs.

The family appears on the 1840 and 1860 US Federal Census in Franklin, NC. The 1860 Slave Schedule shows five slaves as belonging to the family ranging in age 9 to 53.

John Pearce, son of Jeffrey Pearce and Anna Dent, was born 1812 in Franklinton, Franklin County, NC, and died 08 Mar 1882 in Wake County, NC. He married Martha Williams 19 Jul 1831 in Franklin County, she was born 1810 in Wake County, NC, and died 1858. John and Martha appear on the 1850 and 1860 federal census in New Light District of Wake County, NC, which is just across the Franklin County line. He is listed as a farmer and carpenter. Their children all born in Wake County include James, Marcellus, John, Angeline, George, Sarah, and Vandelia. Son Marcellus served in the Civil War with Co I, 1st NC State Troops, was taken prisoner at Spotsylvania Court House in May 1864 and was released from the infamous Elmira Prison a year later.

George Wesley Pearce, son of John Pearce and Martha Williams, was born Jan 1843 in Wake County, NC, and died 1916 in Wake County, NC. He married Elizabeth Caroline Perry 14 Feb 1866 in Wake County, NC, daughter of William Perry and Delia Harrison. She was born 27 Mar 1831 in Wake County, NC, and died 16 Aug 1903 in Wake County, NC. George served in the Civil War with Co. D, 23rd Reg. NC Troops. George and Elizabeth had 6 children: Martha Hawkins, Dillithea, John, George, Annie, and Joseph.

Martha Hawkins Pearce, daughter of George Wesley Pearce and Elizabeth Caroline Perry, was born Sep 1870 in Wake County, NC. She married Allan H. Ray 03 Dec 1885 in Wake County, NC. Their children included Elizabeth, Loretta, Mary, and James.

Elizabeth Ray, daughter of Martha Hawkins Pearce and Allan Ray, was born 24 Dec 1886 in Wake County, NC. She married Eugene Narron Allen 02 Jul 1904 in Wake County, NC. Eugene (Bud) served in World War I. Elizabeth (Sissy) and Eugene had seven children: Vada Atlas, Mamie, Lois, Henrietta, Lucie, John, and Eugene. Sissy died in childbirth with Eugene on 18 Apr 1928 in Wake County.

Ethel Davis Allen and
Vada Atlas Allen
Vada Atlas Allen, son of Elizabeth Ray and Eugene Allen, was born 27 Jun 1905 in Wake Co., NC, and died 21 Oct 1964 in Raleigh, NC. He married Ethel Davis 14 Oct 1926 in New Light Township, Wake County, NC, daughter of Sidney Davis and Cordelia Davis. She was born 27 Dec 1906 in Granville Co, NC, and died 30 Jun 1965 in Raleigh, NC. At various points in their life together, they lived in Granville, Franklin and Wake Counties. Their oldest daughter, Ann Gladys, was born in Franklin County. Additionally, they had two other daughters, Elizabeth (Lib) Grace and Mary Joyce.

Ann Gladys Allen, daughter of Vada Atlas Allen and Ethel Davis, was born 01 Jul 1929 in Franklin County, NC, and died 13 Apr 1997 in Wake County, NC. She married Carl Donald Stancil, son of Jesse Stancil and Lou Ada Johnson, 03 May 1952 in North Street Baptist Church, Raleigh, NC. He was born 29 Jun 1930 in Wake Co., NC, and died 02 Feb 1997 in Wake Co., NC. 

Sources: Census Records, Court Records, Wills, Clerk of Courts,

Marriage Records, Military Records, NC Archives Records,

Family Information. 

This article was originally composed by Carla Stancil for inclusion in the Franklin County Heritage Book.

April 7, 2014

Charles Roland Davis Obituary, 1956

News and Observer, Raleigh, NC
July 7, 1956

C.R. Davis

YOUNGSVILLE, July 7 - Charles Roland Davis, 59, of Rt. 1, Youngsville died tonight at the Veterans Hospital in Durham after a short illness.

He was a native of Granville County and had lived in Franklin County for the past 10 years.

He was a member of the Good Hope Christian Church where funeral services will be held Sunday at 3:30 pm conducted by the pastor, the Rev. E.M. Carter. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.

He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Louie D. Davis; four daughters, Mrs. William H. Shields of Augusta, Ga, Mrs. James Mitchell of Rt. 1 Youngsville and Matilda Ann Davis and Judy Davis of the home; four sons, Roy V. Davis of Franklinton, Nathanial P., C.R. Jr., and Claude E. Davis of the home; five sisters, Miss Meona Davis of Rt. 1 Franklinton, Mrs. Quince Lowery of Rt. 1 Youngsville, Mrs. Cora Perry, Mrs. Ethel Allen and Mrs. Mary Allen of Raleigh; two brothers Bruce Davis of Rt. 3, Wake Forest, and Otis Davis of Rt. 1 Youngsville; and six grandchildren.

April 6, 2014

All God's Creatures...

Jack Stancil, 1999 - 2014
Pets are a huge part of our families. They are as much a part of our history as grand parents, great grandparents, and so on. 

I lost my beloved cocker spaniel last night. He was old and slow, but he lived a quality life that included his very own bed in nearly every room, far too many treats every day, and even his own back scratcher. Me. It was his time. 

Jack was a part of my daily life for 15 years. How can pets not be considered part of our heritage?

Carl, Carla, Gladys and Peanuts Stancil
Growing up, we had a Chihuahua named Peanuts. Peanuts was given to us by my grandfather, who adored his Chihuahua, Tiny. 

Peanuts was devoted to me and was sweet as sugar. She died when I was in college. 

 I come from a long line of animal lovers. Loving a pet is part of what makes us who we are.

Atlas Allen and his Best Friend
John and Dillie Pearce Allen (with their little buddy)

All God's creatures, great and small....

April 3, 2014

Lucinda Davis Hall, 1839 - 1922

My great great grandmother, Lucinda Davis Hall, is one of those ancestors who seems to tug at me. I'm not sure why that is, and in spite of all my research, I don't feel I've gotten to know her very well beyond the well documented facts. 

Lucinda was born between 1839 and 1844 in Granville County, NC. She was the daughter of Jonathan Davis and Tildanthe Bailey/Bayley. Her brother was Jonathan was also my great great grand grandfather.

There was a significant age difference between her parents. John would have been 65 if Lucinda was born in 1840, which certainly isn't impossible and it's hard to know precisely when Lucinda was really born. Families often gave conflicting information to census takers or were sometimes confused as to their own ages or birth year. 

Her death certificate indicates she was born in 1840, yet the various censuses give varying years between 1839 and 1844. Her gravestone says she was born in 1844.  Folks in her part of Granville County were generally suspicious of outsiders, and regarded census takers as the next best thing to a thief. They didn't always report the truth when it came around to a stranger asking a lot of questions, particularly if that stranger is associated with the government.

Grandma Lucy shows up in the 1850 Census at age 11 living with her parents, John and Matilda in the Beaver Dam area of southern Granville County along with her siblings Mary, Priscilla, Sally, Allen, Elias and Elizabeth. 

On Jan 5, 1859, Lucinda married John Ruffin Davis in Granville County. She would have been around 17 - 19 years old. A number of family members have told me Lucinda and Ruffin were not married, but clearly their marriage license says otherwise. The snippit below is from North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979:

So it makes sense that in the 1860 census, she is living with John R. Davis, age 35. Lucinda is now age 20, or so she says. Also in the household is Francis Allen, age 30 as well as John and Lucinda’s daughter Indiana, age 6 months. They are living in the Beaver Dam area of southern Granville County. I have no idea who Francis Allen is. Do you?

I cannot find Lucinda on the 1870 census. 

John Ruffin must have died sometime between 1850 and 1880 when Lucinda married Simon Hall. It is possible John Ruffin died of illness from the civil war in 1863, although he died in Granville County. The problem with this theory is that two of Lucinda's children, James Medicus and Charles were born after 1863, so maybe he died later. Still working on that one.

On the 1880 census, Lucinda was 38 years old and living with husband Simon Hall, age 32. Simon was a farmer born in Orange County, NC around 1835. Also living with them was Sidney (age 19), Medicus (age 13), and Charles (age 10) Davis - all sons of Lucinda and Ruffin. The census lists all three of them as “son-in-law” in spite of ages. How can a 10 year old be a son-in-law? Most likely, Simon was providing information for the census taker and he misunderstood that they were Simon's step sons. Or maybe he didn't know the difference between a son-in-law and a step-son.

On the 1910 census, Lucinda says she was born in 1840. She is listed as 70 years old, living in Youngsville with son Medicus, age 42.

Lucinda’s death certificate indicates she died of burns she received in a house fire on July 22, 1922. She was 82 years old. She was buried at Good Hope Baptist Church in Youngsville, NC the same day she died. 

I've scoured the local papers but can't find a news report of the fire. But back in 1922, perhaps the local fire department didn't respond and they just let the house burn itself out.

An elderly family member claims to have Lucinda's wedding ring that was taken from her finger after her death. Although a grisly image, I'd sure love to have that ring, if only we could verify it's origin. You know how family stories go!