Historical Family Collections



Archibald Davis Alston Papers - 1804-1893
Archibald Davis Alston (b. 1817, son of Thomas Nicholas Faulcon Alston and Elizabeth Crawford Davis Alston), lawyer and planter of Halifax County, N.C. Deeds, wills, gold mining accounts, tobacco sales records, notes, bills, receipts, and family correspondence of Sarah M. Alston (fl. 1840s) of Halifax County, N.C.; her son, A. D. Alston and his wife; their son, A. D. Alston, Jr. (fl. 1870s), of Warrenton and Louisburg, N.C.; and of Elizabeth Crawford Davis Alston (fl. 1834-1846). Family letters, 1843-1859, are from Ariella Alston Hawkins (fl. 1843-1859) and her family in Matagorda County, Tex., and from Edgar M. Alston (d. 1848) in Galveston, Tex. There are no Civil War letters. Business correspondence, 1874-1882, of A. D. Alston, Jr., concerns mining properties. Includes materials for Joseph John Alston and Willis Alston.


Robert Ruffin Barrow Papers: 1811-1858
Robert Ruffin Barrow (1798-1875) was a sugar planter and canal operator in Terrebonne Parish, La. Barrow was the son of Bartholomew Barrow (d. 1852), a merchant of Fishing Creek, Halifax County, N.C., and later a planter in West Feliciana Parish, La., where he settled on his estate, Afton Villa, in 1820. Robert Ruffin Barrow's mother was Ascension Slatter Barrow. The younger Barrow owned six Terrebonne Parish plantations, including Residence, Myrtle Grove, and Caillou Grove, as well as plantations in Lafourche, Assumption, and Ascension parishes and in Texas. Daybook (microfilm), 1811-1914, of Bartholomew Barrow in Fishing Creek, N.C., and journal, 1857-1858, for Robert Ruffin Barrow's Residence Plantation in Terrebonne Parish, La. The daybook includes accounts with Fishing Creek residents, including several blacks. The plantation journal, kept by Residence manager Ephraim A. Knowlton and several overseers, including Robert P. Ford, George Bucknall, N.B. Holland, and Charles Lull, contains slave Records, details of sugar production, records of daily operations, and reports of conflicts between slaves and overseers and between Barrow and his overseers, including reports of fugitive slaves. Slave records include slave lists, birth and death Records, and notes on illnesses, tasks assigned, and supplies distributed.


Branch Family Papers: 1788-1919
Prominent members of the Branch family included John Branch (1782-1863), governor of North Carolina, U.S. representative and senator, secretary of the Navy, governor of the Florida Territory, and a planter in North Carolina and Florida; his son, William Henry Branch (1823-1910), cotton planter in Florida and merchant and farmer in Georgia; and his grandson, William Horton Branch (1852-1920), also a merchant and farmer in Georgia. The collection includes scattered political papers of John Branch, including some relating to his resignation from Andrew Jackson's cabinet as a result of the Peggy Eaton affair; journals and other documentation of Wood Lawn and Live Oak, John Branch's plantations, presumabley in Leon County, Fla.; and personal and business papers of William Henry Branch, William Horton Branch, and members of their families (especially the women), relating chiefly to life in Baker, Colquitt, and Mitchell counties, Ga., including social activities, small mercantile businesses, education, farming, and local politics.


Burgwyn Family Papers: 1787-1987
The Burgwyn family of Northampton County, N.C. included such prominent family members as Henry King Burgwyn (1813-1877), planter, and his sons Henry King Burgwyn, Jr. (1841-1863), a graduate of the University of North Carolina and a colonel in the 26th North Carolina Regiment, C.S.A.; William Hyslop Sumner Burgwyn (1845-1913), who served in the 35th North Carolina Regiment, was a graduate of the University of North Carolina and Harvard Law School, and a lawyer in Baltimore, Md., and Henderson, N.C., where he also ran a bank; and John Alveston Burgwyn (1850-1898), planter, merchant, and
government official of Northampton County; and Thomas Williams Mason Long, husband of Maria Greenough Burgwyn Long and North Carolina state senator and physician who was active in the field of public health. Various family members founded banks in Henderson, Weldon, Roanoke Rapids, Rich Square, Ayden, Rocky Mount, and Jackson, all in North Carolina; owned lands in Warren County, and were proprietors of Ball Hill Mills, Odom, North Carolina, and Gee Farms, Jackson, North Carolina.


Joseph Blount Cheshire Papers: 1758-1954
Joseph Blount Cheshire (1850-1932) was Episcopal bishop of North Carolina from 1893 until 1932. Correspondence, sermons, speeches and writings, reports, financial and legal material, clippings and volumes documenting the work of Joseph Blount Cheshire. Also included are minutes and account books of diocesan organizations, 1828-1884, before Cheshire became bishop. The addition of February 2000 contains family letters from Joseph Blount Cheshire (1814-1899), Episcopal priest in Edgecombe and Halifax counties, and letters of Theophilus Parker (1775-1849) and John Haywood Parker, as well as speeches and writings by Joseph Blount Cheshire (1850-1932) and account books of attorney Joseph Blount Cheshire (1882-1961) of Raleigh, N.C.

Walter Clark Papers: 1880-1920
Walter Clark (1846-1924) was born in Halifax County, N.C. He served in the Civil War with the 22nd North Carolina Regiment, 1861-1862, and 35th North Carolina Regiment, 1862-1863. He resigned in early 1863 to pursue his education at the University of North Carolina. After his graduation, 1864, he returned to fight with the 70th North Carolina Regiment. After the war,  Clark studied and practiced law. He was appointed judge of the superior and supreme courts of North Carolina, and later elected chief justice. He also sought the Democratic nomination to the United States Senate, 1912, and acted as an umpire in the National War Labor Board disputes, 1917-1918. He was married to Susan Washington Graham in 1875.

Coffield and Bellamy Family Papers: 1723-1920
Land grants, deeds, bills, accounts, wills, other business Papers, and some family correspondence of David Coffield (d. 1818?) of Edgecombe County, N.C.; his sons, Spier W. Coffield and John W. Coffield; and their Whitaker, Bellamy, Hall, and other relatives in Edgecombe, Nash, and Halifax counties, N.C. Papers after 1835 are chiefly from the Bellamy family. Included are papers of various estates; papers of Stephen W. Carney (1762-1811) relating to racehorse breeding near Scotland Neck, N.C.; Dr. John F. Bellamy's business papers in Nash County; and a daybook, 1860-1861 (480 p.) of Whitaker, Batchelor & Co., a general mercantile firm in Enfield, N.C.


Edward Conigland Papers: 1838-1921
Edward Conigland (1819-1877) was an Irish immigrant, lawyer, member of the North Carolina constitutional convention of 1865, and counsel for Governor William W. Holden at his impeachment, 1871. The collection contains, in part, microfilm versions and photocopies of primarily letters concerning politics, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and domestic life. They are from other lawyers, Roman Catholic churchman, and editors, but are mainly Conigland and Ezell family letters from Halifax county and Northampton county and Raleigh, N.C. Also included is the diary, 1861-1862, of Conigland's second wife, Mary Wyatt (Ezell) Conigland; speeches; clippings; and a biography of Conigland, literary writings, and reminiscences, 1899, by his daughter, Frances (Conigland) Farinholt.


William Richardson Davie Papers: 1758-1819
Davie (1756-1820) was a lawyer, state legislator, Revolutionary officer, member of the United States Constitutional Convention, Federalist governor of North Carolina, and peace commissioner to France, and was influential in the founding of the University of North Carolina. He moved from Halifax County, N.C., to Lancaster District, S.C., in 1805. These papers include letters to, from, and about Davie and his family. Two long narratives pertain to Davie's Revolutionary War experiences as a cavalry officer in North and South Carolina and as commissary general to Nathanael Greene. Other papers, of scattered dates, relate to Davie's varied activities and to his family and the related Crockett family, with only a few items later than 1805. Also present is a copy of a report of William Richardson, Presbyterian minister, on his mission to the Cherokee Indians, 1758. Collection is, in part, photostatic and typed transcript copies.

See Also:

Biography and portrait of Davie


William Eaton Papers: 1725-1893
William Eaton (1785-1862) was a planter of Halifax and Warren counties, N.C. The collection includes deeds, bill, receipts, letters, and other papers pertaining to the Eaton and Bell families of Warren County, N.C. Included are colonial land grants, deeds, indentures, and receipts; accounts, 1850-1857, of William Eaton; letters, 1853, to William Eaton's daughter, Ella Rives Eaton Bell, from John McGill, Roman Catholic Bishop of Richmond, Va., written while he was in Paris, France, describing the wedding of Napoleon III and referring to Levi Silliman Ives (1797-1867); letters, 1853-1856, to Ella Rives Eaton Bell from Teresa and Beatrice Orsini of Rome, Italy; legal papers, 1870-1876, of the Eaton and Bell families, including the wills of William Eaton and his wife, Martha P. Eaton; and business papers, 1880-1893, of Peter Hansborough Bell (1812-1898) and Ella Rives Eaton Bell, living in Littleton, N.C. Peter Hansborough Bell, a native Virginian, had been in Texas during its war for independence and the Mexican War. He was governor of Texas from 1849 to 1853 and served in Congress from 1853 to 1857.


Lucy Ann Hill Elliott Genealogical Papers: 1762-1939
The collection includes biographical, autobiographical, and genealogical sketches of members of the Hill family of Halifax County, N.C., and their relatives, compiled by Lucy Ann Hill Elliott (1840-1924) of Brooklyn, N.Y., daughter of Whitmel J. Hill and Lavinia Barnes Hill of Halifax County, N.C. Included is an autobiographical sketch (5 pages) of Lucy Elliott describing her life as a student at St. Mary's School, Raleigh, N.C., in the 1850s and home life in Warrenton, N.C., 1840s-1860s.
Michael Ferrall Papers: 1818-1960
Michael Ferrall (b. 1811) was General commission merchant of Halifax, N.C., and Norfolk, Va., during the mid-19th century. Included are four account books, 1845-1861, a lettercopy book, 1844-1861, and correspondence, 1830-1856, of Michael Ferrall documenting his commission business; assorted papers, 1831-1832, relating to the mobilization of the Halifax County militia during the Nat Turner rebellion; miscellaneous volumes, including the medical account book, 1865, of Dr. M. A. Wilcox of Halifax County, and the diary of Marshall Gary as a student at St. Mary's College, Belmont, N.C., 1903; and a history of the Jones, Eppes, Bond, Ferrall, and McMahon families, written in 1932 (7 p.).
F. M. Forster Papers: 1741-1783
Three land grants and indentures, 1741-1744, for land in Edgecombe County, N.C.; one land grant, 1783, to James Huckabey of Franklin County, N.C.; and a bill of sale for slaves belonging to Thomas Hill, 1766, in Halifax County, N.C. (Collected by F. M. Forster).

Halifax County (N.C.) Miscellaneous Account Books: 1845-1865.
The collection includes ledgers of merchants in Enfield, N.C.: a ledger (136 pages), 1845-1861, of Thomas C. Hunter and William Hunter, for provisions sold, cotton received and sold, and dry goods bought wholesale and sold; a ledger (259 pages), 1859-1865, of Beavans, Vick, and Co., containing accounts for merchandise sold and an index of purchasers; and a daybook (590 pages), also of Beavans, Vick, and Co., 1860-1862.

Charles Wilson Harris Papers: 1765-1924
Charles Wilson Harris (1771-1804), originally from Concord, N.C., was a lawyer and educator of Halifax and Warren counties, N.C., and one of the first professors at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C. Papers include letters from Charles Wilson Harris to his uncle, Charles Harris, a physician, and to his brother, Robert Harris, a student at the University of North Carolina and later a merchant in Salisbury, N.C. Topics include business, foreign affairs, state politics, the University of North Carolina, and the legal and medical professions, and advising his brother on choosing a career. Additions include a 1916 publication reproducing some of Harris's letters; a history of the Poplar Tent Church, a Presbyterian church in Cabarrus County, N.C., in which the Harris family was active; and deeds, correspondence, genealogical information, and other items relating to Charles Wilson Harris and the Harris and related families.


Harrison and Smith Family Papers: 1857-2005
The Harrison and Smith family of Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina included Aristides Spyker Smith (1809-1892), an Presbyterian and Episcopal minister and principal of women's schools in Virginia and Mississippi. Smith's sons were Jonathan Reynolds (Johnnie) Smith (1836-1862) and Leonidas Wilkinson Smith (1835-1864). Also included was Smith's daughter Ellen Alice Smith Harrison (b. 1840), her husband George Harrison (fl. 1852-1875), their daughter Sarah Walton Harrison (1868?-1891) and her husband Paul Garrett (1863-1940), and their son Aristides Smith Harrison (b. 1864) and his wife Katie Wilson Curtis, a daughter of George B. Curtis (1834-1920) of Biddeford, Maine, who traveled to Colorado in search of gold and adventure (ca. 1856), returning east and settling in Enfield, N.C.


Mary Garrett Harrison Papers: 1846; 1850-1913; 1929-1966
Mary Garrett Harrison (d.1937) of Halifax County, N.C., was the daughter of Charles W. Garrett (fl. 1850-1879), a vineyard owner and proprietor of the Ringwood Wine Company of Enfield, N.C. The collection includes scattered business papers, 1850-1879, of Charles W. Garrett and personal and family correspondence, 1876-1913, of Mary Garret Harrison and her husband, Henry Spooner Harrison. Included are letters, 1877-1878, from Garrett to Henry Harrison, a traveling sales agent for Garrett's company, about marketing wine in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, and love-letters, 1877-1879, from Harrison to Mary Garrett.
Sylvester S. Hassell Papers: 1801-1928
Sylvester Hassell (1842-1928), son of Cushing Biggs Hassell (1808-1880) and Mary Davis Hassell, was born in 1842 in Williamston, N.C. His father was a Baptist preacher and merchant in Williamston, Halifax, and Plymouth, N.C. Sylvester taught school at several academies; he was also a Primitive Baptist preacher. In 1895, he bought the Gospel Messenger, a monthly religious publication, and served as its editor until his death in 1928. Correspondence, volumes, and other items, chiefly 1910-1927, relating to matters of the Primitive Baptist Church in North Carolina and to the Gospel Messenger of which Hassell was editor. Included is an 1867 letter from David Lowry Swain, North Carolina governor and president of the University of North Carolina. Volumes include Hassell's diaries, 1870- 1928; accounts and subscription lists for the Gospel Messenger; and records of the Wilson Collegiate Institute and the Williamston Academy with which Hasselll was involved. There are also some materials relating to Cushing Biggs Hassell, including notes for an autobiography, circa 1840; and a record book of Sylvester's tenure as Martin County, N.C., court clerk, 1839-1850.


Hayes Collection: 1694-1928
Johnston and Wood family members owned and operated Hayes Plantation on the Albemarle Sound near Edenton, N.C. Members of the Johnston family include Gabriel Johnston (1699-1752), royal governor of the colony of North Carolina and planter; his brother Samuel Johnston (1702-1757), surveyor-general of the colony of North Carolina and planter; Samuel Johnston's son, Samuel Johnston (1733-1816), North Carolina governor, state and federal legislator, delegate to the Continental Congress, judge, lawyer, politician, and planter; and James Cathcart Johnston (1782-1865), son of Samuel Johnston (1733-1816), planter and businessman. Members of the Wood family include Edward Wood (1820-1872), planter and businessman; his wife Caroline Moore Gilliam Wood (1824-1886); and their sons, Edward Wood (1851-1898) and John Gilliam Wood (1853-1920). The family owned several plantations, including Hayes in Chowan County, Caledonia in Halifax County, and Poplar Plains in Pasquotank County.


Herring Family Papers: 1882-1900
The Herring family of Scotland Neck, Halifax County, N.C., included John Robert Herring, his wife, and their children. The collection includes correspondence of John Herring and his family, especially his daughter Mattie Herring Josey; family financial and legal papers; school reports; and obituaries. The correspondence deals largely with routine family matters, but includes letters from a student at Wake Forest College in the 1890s and letters, 1889, reflecting on life in the North Carolina Insane Asylum in Raleigh, N.C., from a patient there.

Stuart Hall Hill Papers:1726-1936
Genealogical correspondence, 1921-1936, of Stuart Hall Hill (1876-1948), University of North Carolina alumnus, of Halifax County, N.C., and Brooklyn, N.Y., and his collection of original papers, 1726-1916, relating to members of the Gooch, Hall, Hill, Long, Williams, and related families of Bertie, Martin, and Halifax counties, N.C. Included are deeds, wills, contracts, letters, and miscellaneous other papers. In the early period there are colonial deeds and the will (manuscript copy, 1820) of Thomas Pollock (1654-1722), early leader of the Albemarle Colony; and a few property papers of Whitmel Hill (1743-1797), member of the Continental Congress. Also included is the political and legal correspondence of Judge Thomas Norfleet Hill (1838-1904) of Halifax County.


Historical Table of Masonic Lodges of North Carolina

A complete listing of the Masonic Lodges which founded the Grand Lodge of North Carolina.   (this is a PDF file)
Richard James Hooker Papers: 1803-1868
The collection includes unrelated family letters from all southern states, concerning real estate, health, weather, social activities, politics, travel, and business. There are no Civil War papers. Ten items relate to Maryland, including three about life at the United States Naval Academy, 1854-1855. There is also a letter each commenting on life in Tuscaloosa, Ala., 1826; a journey from Middlebury, Vt., to Natchez, Miss., 1827; watch repair work in Halifax, N.C., 1835; a Presbyterian congregation in Fayetteville, N.C., 1841; cotton trade in New Orleans, 1843; the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, 1843; the Billups family of Lagrange, Ala., 1844; a trip from Rhode Island to North Carolina, 1846; land claims in Galveston, Tex., 1847; lawlessness in Kentucky, 1847; the career of William Harrison Bissell (1811-1860), United States representative from Illinois, 1855; and the Reconstruction convention in Georgia, 1868.

(collected by Richard James Hooker, b. 1912)

R. B. House Papers: 1916-1973
Robert Burton House (b. 1892)  was executive secretary, 1926-1934, dean of administration, 1934-1945, and chancellor, 1945-1957, of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill campus; lecturer in the UNC English Department, 1957-1962; author; and public speaker. The collection includes correspondence, writings, and other materials chiefly relating to House's administrative career at UNC. Much of the correspondence centers around administrative problems, especially budgetary issues. There are also letters
in which House expressed his views on race relations, Communism in the 1950s, and other topics. Correspondents include Josephus Daniels, Harry Chase, William Umstead, singer Kate Smith, Francis O. Clarkson, R. D. W. Connor, Frank Porter Graham, Gordon Gray, Jonathan Daniels, Carl T. Durham, O. Max Gardner, Terry Sanford, Hardin Craig, and Louis R. Wilson. Also included are some family correspondence with House's Thelma, Halifax County, N.C., relatives, and letters and other materials relating to House's activities with the University United Methodist Church.
Hubard Family Papers: 1741-1907
Edmund Wilcox Hubard (1806-1878), planter, militia officer, state legislator, and U.S. Representative from Virginia, and of his family in Virginia, Washington, D.C., North Carolina, Tennessee, and Florida; the bulk of these papers concern members of the Hubard family who, at one time or another, resided at Saratoga, a plantation in Buckingham County, Va. Letters to the Hubards were often addressed to them at Saratoga and nearby locations, such as Buckingham Court House, Curdsville, May Brook, Mill Brook (also Millbrook), and Ca Ira (also Caira), which was a milling and shipping point on the Willis River, a tributary of the James River. Hubard family members included Edmund Wilcox Hubard (1806-1878), Robert Thruston Hubard (1808-1871), and Louisiana Hubard (d. 1832?). Related Eppes family members resided in Halifax County, N.C. They owned at least two homesteads or plantations, referred to (with variations in spelling) as the Grove Farm and the Wyche Farm. The genealogical charts below give further information on Hubard family members and their relatives.

Sally Long Jarman Papers: 1826-1945
Sally Long Jarman (b. 1887) was a genealogist of Halifax County, N.C. The collection includes genealogical data and ancestral papers gathered by Sally Long Jarman, the bulk of which are typed transcriptions of legal and Episcopal church records pertaining to the Mason, Gray, Long, Amis, and related North Carolina families. Papers of Nathaniel Mason of Summit, N.C., include an order to assemble his militia company to suppress a rumored slave insurrection, 1831. Materials related to Mason's son, Thomas Williams Mason (1839-1921), include his writings while a student at the University of North Carolina in the 1850s, including an essay about his life as a student; four letters he wrote as a Confederate cavalryman on the staff of General Robert Ransom in North Carolina and Virginia,about his military experiences from S. W. Arrington, a soldier in the A.E.F. in England and France, 1918-1919. Among other family papers are a notebook, ca. 1814-1815, kept by Richard A. Jones at Princeton College, and love letters, 1839-1841 and 1859, from Andrew Joyner to his wife, Sarah Jones Burton Joyner, in Weldon, Halifax County, N.C.


Robert A. Jones Account Book: 1817-1828
Robert A. Jones was a resident of Halifax County, N.C. The collection includes personal accounts of Jones of Halifax County, N.C.; accounts for his ward, Jones served as guardian for Willie W. Jones, who was possibly his nephew. Willie was the son of Mrs. Mary Montfort Jones, for whom Robert Jones acted as estate administrator after her death in 1825.; and accounts he kept as treasurer for the county poor wardens, 1820-1822.


William W. Kitchin Papers: 1880-1968
William Walton Kitchin (1866-1924) was a landowner, lawyer, United States representative, 1897-1909, and governor of North Carolina, 1909-1913. Personal, political, and professional correspondence concerning Kitchin's legal and political careers and his interests in the Kitchin family farms and property in Halifax County, N.C. Correspondence includes letters from Kitchin's father, William Hodge Buck Kitchin, and his brothers, Sam, Claude, Arrington, and Paul, that provide detailed accounts of the Kitchin family farming enterprises and the financial arrangements among the brothers. There is correspondence between Kitchin and Musette Satterfield at Greensboro Female College, 1890- 1891. Material concerning Kitchin's law practice includes an account book, 1889-1901, and four lettercopy books, 1893-1900. Also included are speeches, miscellaneous genealogical and biographical materials, and photographs. Volumes include account books and lettercopy books, three small diaries containing brief daily entries, February-November 1886, while Kitchin was in Chatfield, Tex.; notebooks containing clippings and notes for speeches; and an indexed volume of excerpts from the Congressional Record.


Willie Jones Long Family Papers: 1828-1915
MICROFILM ONLY. Papers of ancestors of Willie Jones Long (b.1892), including letters and papers of various members of the Burton, Joyner, Mason, and Gray families and their connections. The largest part of the collection is the correspondence, 1828-1870, of Sarah Jones Burton Joyner, who married Andrew Joyner of Halifax County, N.C., in 1839. There is little material pertaining to Mrs. Joyner's first husband, North Carolina governor Hutchins Gordon Burton (1774-1836), although letters of Burton's children are intermingled. Notable among these are business papers and letters, 1850s, of Thomas Burke Burton, farming in Halifax County, N.C., and elsewhere, and letters, 1860s, to and from Mary Burke Alston. Also included is correspondence of Mrs. Joyner's sister, Martha Jones Eppes, with her relations, among them members of the Hubard family on their plantation in Buckingham County, Va., 1860-1870. These family lettters concern deaths of friends and relations, crops, labor, post-Civil War poverty, and property matters. Later items are chiefly scattered letters and other personal, legal, and business papers of William Henry Gray and of Thomas Williams Mason (1839-1921), both of Northampton County, N.C.

Moore, Blount, and Cowper Family Papers: 1834-1990
The Moore, Blount, and Cowper families of North Carolina were active chiefly in Wake, Franklin, and Halifax counties. Moore family members included B.F. Moore, an anti-secessionist lawyer and North Carolina attorney general, 1848-1851; his daughter Lucy Catherine Moore Henry Capehart and sons Bartholomew Figures Moore, Van Boddie Moore, and James Moore; and his grandson Bartholomew Figures Moore, who was married to Olivia Blount Cowper Moore. Other Cowper family members included Olivia's paternal grandparents, Pulaski Cowper and Mary Blount Grimes, and maternal great grandparents, Bryan Grimes and Lucy Olivia Blount. The collection consists of correspondence, legal papers, volumes, pictures, family history, family bibles, slavery records and other materials documenting the Moore, Blount, and Cowper families, as well as the Boddie, Coapman, Gatling, Grimes, Keeble, Ruffin, and Williams families of North Carolina.


See Also:
Slavery and the Making of the University - Includes archived copies of letters from B. F. Moore regarding slavery transactions.

North Carolina Land Grants and Deeds:  1711-1861; 1901
The collection includes miscellaneous land grants from the Carolina Proprietors and royal and state governors, legal certificates of alterations in land grants, and deeds from individuals, chiefly in the colonial period and for lands in eastern North Carolina. Counties represented include Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Caswell, Chowan, Craven, Cumberland, Davie, Dobbs (1758-1791), Edgecombe, Greene, Halifax, Johnston, Lincoln, Martin, Mecklenburg, Orange, Perquimans, Rowan, Tyrrell, and Wilkes.

A Collection of various Students from the University of North Carolina who served in the Civil War including Ruffin Thomson, Wesley Lewis Battle, Junius Cullen Battle, Thomas Whitted, J. T. Morehead, Isaac Erwin Avery, Richard Henry Smith, and Iowa M. Royster.

Francis M. Parker Papers: 1861-1949
Francis Marion Parker (1827-1905) was born in Tarboro, N.C., in 1827. He was educated in schools in Greensboro and Raleigh, N.C. At 19, he returned to Tarboro and took charge of the family farm. In 1853, Parker moved to Halifax County, N.C., and continued to farm. Parker was one of the founding members of a volunteer military company named the "Enfield Blues," formed in 1859. In 1861, this group became the 1st North Carolina Volunteers, Company I. By October 1861, Parker was elected colonel of the 30th Regiment, North Carolina Troops. He served in this position until a wound in May 1864 left
him ineligible for active duty. During the war, Parker saw action in several battles including the Battles of Sharpsburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Spotsylvania. After the war, Parker continued to manage his plantation and his family until his death in 1905.

Person Family Papers: 1728-1907
Person family members included Thomas Person (1733-1800), North Carolina Revolutionary leader, born in Brunswick County, Va., but resident from infancy in Granville County, N.C. He became a surveyor for Lord Granville, and, over the years, he acquired a large estate in North Carolina and Tennessee. He became a justice of the peace in 1756, sheriff in 1762, and was representative in the Assembly in 1764 and frequently thereafter. Thomas Person married Johanna Thomas of Granville County; they had no children. Thomas Person became a surveyor for Lord Granville, and, over the years, he acquired an estate of more than 82,000 acres lying in Granville, Halifax, Warren, Franklin, Orange, Caswell, Guilford, Rockingham, Anson, and Wake counties in North Carolina and in Davidson, Sumner, and Green counties in Tennessee. Thomas Person's brother was William Person Jr. Eliza Person Mitchell, wife of Warrenton, N.C., merchant Peter Mitchell, was probably his granddaughter. The collection includes letters, bills, receipts, deeds, land grants, slave birth records, as well as papers concerning Thomas Person's estate, and many other papers. 


See Also:
Settlement of the Estate of Thomas Person: Distribution of Slaves


John Raymond Shute Papers: 1765-1951
John Raymond Shute (born 1904) was a Monroe, N.C., businessman, state legislator, and active member of many masonic orders. The collection includes correspondence, 1930-1939, clippings, articles, and other papers of Shute relating to his interest in the history and lore of masonry. The papers include copies of minutes, constitutions, letters, and other papers, 1765-1927, relating to masons in North Carolina; and Shute's correspondence concerning the American edition of Gould's History of Freemasonry, and his own membership in various masonic groups. Masonic organizations represented in the collection include, among others, the Grand Lodge of North Carolina; Royal Arch Grand Chapter; Unanimity Lodge, Edenton, N.C.; Royal White Hart Lodge, Halifax, N.C.; Roanoke Royal Arch Lodge 4; Eagle Lodge, Hillsboro, N.C.; St. John's Lodge, New Bern, N.C.; Concord Lodge 5, Tarboro, N.C.; Kilwinning Lodge, Wadesboro, N.C.; and Warren County Lodge.

Solomon Slatter Papers: 1798-1852
The collection includes scattered bills, receipts, and accounts for purchases, schooling, blacksmith work, and other business of Solomon Slatter (1798-1852) Scotland Neck, Halifax County, N.C.; and one family letter from Slatter, 1848.

Peter Evans Smith Papers: 1738-1944
Peter Evans Smith (1829-1905) of Halifax County, N.C., civil and mechanical engineer, inventor, surveyor, cotton planter, and railroad employee. The collection includes personal and business correspondence, business Papers, and various other records of Smith and his relatives. Some items concern Smith's work on the Confederate ironclad Albemarle; navigation on the Roanoke River; planting and lumbering before, during, and after the Civil
War; relations with African Americans as slaves, tenant farmers, and laborers; his work with the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad; his interests in Vine Hill Academy and the Episcopal Church in Scotland Neck, N.C.; and many other matters. There is also material relating to Smith's daughter Lena, a schoolteacher who established the Cottage Home School in Scotland Neck after her deafness caused her to lose her teaching job. The collection also includes scrapbooks and commonplace books, photographs, clippings, bills, receipts, genealogical notes, and historical sketches, mostly of Civil War incidents and including regimental histories of the 1st and 3rd North Carolina Cavalry, by Smith and others. Also of note is a series of letters written during World War II from a woman missionary in China.


Stuart Hall Smith Collection: 1862-1976
Correspondence, notes, writings, clipppings, charts, and other items collected by Archibald Stuart Hall Smith (b. 1876), relating to genealogical studies and to historic sites in and around Halifax County, N.C. The genealogical material centers on the Smith family of North Carolina and other closely allied families and is chiefly the work of Claiborne Smith, Jr. The historical material includes files on Old Trinity Church (Episcopal) in Scotland Neck, Halifax County, and other sites in Scotland Neck. Also included is an autograph album signed by students and professors at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in the 1860s.


William Ruffin Smith Papers: 1770- 1959
William Ruffin Smith (1803-1872) lived in Halifax County, N.C. His father was William Ruffin Smith (1779-1846); his father-in-law, Peter Evans (1781-1852); and his granddaughter, Lena Smith. The collection is chiefly business papers pertaining to debts and estates, especially the estate of Charles Shields, which included a plantation in Lowndes County, Miss., that was managed by William Ruffin Smith through an overseer. Account books and Estate materials deal with miscellaneous accounts of members of the Smith, Spruill and other families with which the Ruffins were connected. There are also materials relating to William Ruffin Smith's business affairs, including a list of birthdates of his slaves from 1775 to 1849, and the accounts of Vine Hill Academy, for which Smith served as treasurer; also included are newspaper articles written by Lena Smith about Halifax County and family history; items about the construction and destruction of the Confederate ironclad ship Albemarle; an 1868 marriage certificate for two freedmen; and two brief essays by Claiborne Smith (1893- ), one about freedmen and the other about his grandmother, Adelaide Maria Evans Smith (1819-1909), who lived in Halifax County.

John Francis Speight Papers: 1795-1906
John Francis Speight (1804-1860) was a Methodist clergyman, president of the North Carolina Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church, trustee of Jamestown Female College, and farmer of Edgecombe County, N.C. The collection includes correspondence, bills, receipts, and other financial materials of the Reverend John Francis Speight, his wife Emma Lewis Speight, and their descendants, relatives, and Lewis family connections. Materials prior to 1893 include papers of Emma Lewis Speight's father Exum Lewis II. John Francis Speight travelled extensively in central and eastern North Carolina, and his correspondence, 1832-1860, with his family and with fellow itinerant ministers reflects a variety of church affairs. Emma Lewis Speight's extensive correspondence includes letters exchanged with her numerous relations, particularly her sisters and brothers, in Edgecombe and Halifax counties and other places in North Carolina and in Alabama, Mississippi, and Iowa. There are also letters from Confederate soldiers serving in Virginia and eastern North Carolina, 1861-1863. Postwar items include correspondence of students at the University of North Carolina and the University of Virginia, and in medical training at the Baltimore Infirmary, 1867-1870.

Annie Blackwell Thorne Papers: 1769-1965
Papers collected or created by Annie Blackwell Thorne (born 1878) include correspondence, legal and financial materials, genealogical papers, and other items of the Alston, Harriss, Kearny, Thorne, Williams and related families, chiefly of Warren and Halifax counties, N.C; multi-generational collection includes documentation of the buying and selling of slaves, slave books detailing slave births and marriages of the slaves of William K. Kearney. Also included is Thorne family material largely from Saint Martin Parish, La. Correspondence pertains chiefly to personal matters, but also deals with business affairs. Included are two letters, 1831, from Thomas Whitmell Harriss (1810-1890) ; a few letters relating to the Civil War in Virginia and Louisiana; and letters, 1890s, to Annie's sister, Tempe Williams Thorne (born 1874), from family members and friends. Financial items include slave bills of sale and materials concerning tobacco sales in the 1850s. Legal materials include items, 1866-1869, relating to cases handled by John Davis Thorne (1834-1900), justice of the peace in St. Martin Parish, La.

Absalom Benton Whitaker Papers: 1814-1845
Absalom Benton Whitaker (1787-1845) was a cotton planter with plantations in Halifax County, N.C., and Leon County, Fla. The collection includescattered letters, receipts, and accounts relating to Whitaker's cotton plantations near Enfield, Halifax County, N.C., and Miccosukee, Leon County, Fla. Also included are items relating to the estate of John Whitaker (fl. 1800), of which Absalom Benton Whitaker was co-executor with James Whitaker (d. 1829).
Cary Whitaker Papers, 1798-1930
Cary Whitaker was born on 1 January 1832 in Halifax County, N.C. He was a student & a teacher at the University of North Carolina, and a lawyer; he was captain, then acting colonel, and a judge advocate, C.S.A. during the Civil War. He died 20 April 1865 as a result of wounds received in battle. The collection consists of a diary, 1864, written while Whitaker was captain of Company D, 43rd North Carolina Infantry Regiment, serving in Virginia, recounting camp life, battles, and hospital experience; Whitaker's notebook containing model statements for indictments or convictions for crimes, most involving slaves or free blacks, 1859; an inventory of property of J. S. and Cary Whitaker, 1865, and other entries; Civil War documents, 1862-1865; and scattered Whitaker family papers, including a few family and business letters from Halifax County, N.C., 1798-1980.


Matthew Cary Whitaker Papers: 1728-1883
Matthew Cary Whitaker (1801-1873) was a physician and planter of Halifax County, N.C. The collection contains family correspondence and other materials, 1728-1870. Included are letters received by Whitaker when he was studying medicine in Baltimore, Md., 1823-1824, and bills, receipts, accounts, and business papers related primarily to plantation operations, including records of slave transactions.Items relating to the Fort family (Hilliard Fort of Halifax), including letters, deeds & accounts, and concerning plantations in Lawrence County, Alabama. Letters to Matthew Whitaker from his brother, Spier Whitaker, and other family members discuss family news, Halifax County political news, opinions of presidential candidates, monetary and other changes made by President Andrew Jackson, and the rising price of grain due to scarcity in Europe. The Addition of 2006 contains correspondence between Whitaker and Fort family members and friends. Topics include family news, Halifax County news, plantation matters, and politics. Included is an 1864 letter from Jefferson Davis to Mrs. Ransom, a Whitaker family friend, discussing the whereabouts of her husband, Major General Robert Ransom Jr.
Whitaker and Snipes Family Papers: 1780-1889
Whitaker and Snipes families, planters of Halifax County, N.C., and Hinds County, Miss. The collection includes scattered correspondence, financial records, and other materials. Most slave-related items appear to be from Mississippi. Correspondence includes letters from relatives in Leon County, Fla., Webster County, Ky., and Person County, N.C., Civil War materials include a Confederate soldier's letter describing the Battle of Fredericksburg, 1862; A mother's 1865 letter to her daughter concerning the turmoil in North Carolina near the end of the Civil War; and other letters describing financial and family losses on the homefront. Nearly all of the financial records, chiefly bills and receipts, relate to Anderson Snipes in Mississippi. Included are records about cotton growing; farm and labor records relating to freedmen; medical receipts; promissory notes, including notes for the hiring out of slaves; materials relating to the purchase, medical care, and death of slaves; and tax receipts. Miscellaneous materials include two 1865 oaths of allegiance; an 1865 summons to appear before the Provost Marshal of Freedmen; an 1867 voter registration; photographs of William Dunn Moseley and of Live Oak Plantation, probably located in Florida; and a few other items.
Edmonia Cabell Wilkins Papers: 1782-1949
Edmonia Cabell Wilkins (1865-1949) was a genealogist. Members of her family included Edmonia's greatgrandfather, planter William Wyche Wilkins (1768-1840); William's twin brother, planter and lawyer John Limbrey Wilkins (1768-1850); and William's son, planter and lawyer Edmund Wilkins (1796-1867) The family lived chiefly in Greensville and Brunswick counties, Va., and Northampton County, N.C. The collection includes personal and business correspondence, financial and legal papers, genealogical materials, and other papers of several generations of the Wilkins family. Financial and legal materials, 1782-1909, include bills and receipts concerning property, plantation affairs, and investments in several Virginia and North Carolina railroads; a few documents relating to the purchase and upkeep of slaves; lawyers' accounts and trial dockets from Halifax and Northampton counties, N.C.; and other legal and business papers. Plantation papers relate chiefly to the Belmont and Meadows plantations in Northampton County. Also included are account books for a shoemaker, a blacksmith, and the Gaston Hotel in Gaston, N.C. Other papers include notebooks of law students at the Litchfield Law Academy, Litchfield, Conn., ca. 1817-1819, and of a medical student at the University of Pennsylvania, 1851-1860. About half the collection consists of items relating to the genealogical activities of Edmonia C. Wilkins, 1920-1949.
William H. Wills Papers: 1712-1921
William H. Wills was a general merchant, Methodist Protestant minister, and cotton planter of Halifax County, N.C. His wife was Anna Wills (1817-1893), and his children included Reverend Richard H. (1836-1891); George Whitaker (1842-1864); Mary (1848-1941); Lucy (b. 1844); and Edward (b. 1846). Other prominent Wills family members were Dr. Cary Whitaker (1782-1858) of Enfield, N.C., and Jackson County, Fla.; Capt. Cary Whitaker (d. 1865); Joseph S. Norman (d. 1864) of Plymouth, N.C.; and Robert Snell (fl. 1816-1841) of Washington County, N.C. The collection includes family, religious, plantation & slavery records and business papers, chiefly 1803-1882, of Wills family members in Halifax County and relatives in Washington and Edgecombe counties, N.C. conflicts with Seminole Indians in Florida; camp and home life during the Civil War; and women teachers in the postbellum period. There are letters from students at Chowan Female Institute, Warrenton Female College, and Baltimore Female College, and from teachers in several locations, including the Oxford Orphan Asylum.


Lucy Tunstall Alston Williams Papers:  1827-1979
Lucy Tunstall Alston Williams was the daughter of Jane Elizabeth Crichton (1840-1891) and Philip Guston Alston (1839-1924), a farmer and Confederate Army captain, of Warren County, N.C. She married Archibald Davis Williams, a planter in Franklin County, N.C. The collection includes personal and business correspondence of the Alston, Williams, Crichton, and Tunstall families of Warren, Halifax and Franklin counties, N.C. The bulk of the collection consists of personal correspondence, including Civil War letters. Miscellaneous items include leaflets, church bulletins, concert programs, poetry, cards, and invitations, school records, genealogical records, wills, pamphlets, and autograph albums.



From the North Carolina Digital Collection

Colonel Joseph Williams Family Bible (of Panther Creek)

William Samuel Long Bible

Hooker-Brown Family Bible

John L. Michaux Family Bible

Fred & Alma Harris Family Bible

Harris-Wiggins-Sills Family Bible

Peter R. Hines Family Bible Lavender Family Bible

Morecock Family Bible

Ousby Family Bible

Bass Family Bible

Robinson Family Bible
William Williams Thorne Family Bible  





2010  to present by Deloris Williams, the NCGenWeb Project, Inc., and/or individual contributors.  No portion of this or any document appearing on this site is to be used for other than personal research..  Last updated 01/02/2017