GURKIN, Harry (d. 1994)

This obituary for Harry Willoughby GURKIN appeared in the December 13, 1994 issue (page 8A) of The Coastland Times newspaper of Manteo, NC.  Harry was the son of Luther Warren GURKIN and Margie Willoughby GURKIN. 


Will of John Newberry I (1759-1818)

IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN: I John Newberry of the county of Washington and State of North Carolina, being of perfect mind and memory thanks be to God for the same do make & ordain this my last will & Testament in manner & form following, vis:

First, I desire all my just debts to be paid and the rest of my property I dispose of as follows:

I give to my loving wife Mary one bed and furniture and chest, I lend the plantation I now live on to her life time.

I give to my loving son Stephen Newberry Thirty Dollars.

I give to my loving daughter Polly Snell one judgement that Samuel — obtained against me and Isam Snell for twenty eight dollars which is already paid.

I give to my loving son James Swain Newberry and Abraham Newberry all the land I have on the sound which I purchased of Joseph Parramore and Stephen Swain, senr. to be equally divided between them.

I give to my son Samuel Newberry the land I bought of Jnc. Freeman joining Nathan Smith.

I give to my sons John and Joseph Doctorine Newberry after the death of my wife
the plantation whereon I now live and the swamp joining the same with the lands I
bought of Gideon Alexander.

I give to my daughter Betsey & Joanna Newberry one bed and furniture each one chest each, also to my daughter Betsey one cow & yarling, and to my daughter Joanna Newberry one cow, and my said daughter Betsey I give one negro man Jinne and my daughter Joanna a negro named Barake. If in case the above negroes should die or either of them my will and desire is that they should have another if Rose has any children living, and my will and desire is that my negro man shall be hired out six year and the money converted to the use of schooling, John, Joseph and Joanna Newberry and the raising of Joanna till she is twelve year old.

I lend my negro Rose to my wife a year then my will is that my negro Rose and her increase this is not given away and negro man Jim to equally divided between my loving wife Mary and James S. Newberry, Abraham Newberry, Samuel Newberry, John Newberry and Joseph Doctorine Newberry.

My will and desire is that after my just debts being paid the balance of my property not mentioned to be sold at six months credit to be equally divided between my loving wife Mary and Abraham Newberry, Joseph Newberry and Joanna Newberry.

I constitute and appoint my loving sons James S. Newberry and Abraham Newberry whole and sole Executors to this my last will and Testament.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 11th day of October 1818.


Signed sealed & delivered
in presents of
Jno Freeman
James Freeman

Source: Washington County Genealogical Society Journal. Volume 6, No. 3. December 1998. Available online:

List of Lake Phelps Company Slaves (1803)

On November 25, 1784, Josiah Collins, Samuel Dickinson, and Nathaniel Allen, purchased land “surrounding and bordering upon” Lake Phelps. This partnership was known as the Lake Company and they renamed the land they bought to Somerset Place.  By 1865, Somerset Place was the largest plantation in the state of North Carolina and more than 850 enslaved lived and worked there. Learn more on the “Today in NC History” blog.

Linda Haas Davenport published a book of Washington County Deed Abstracts and agreed to share this 1803 listing of Lake Phelps Company slaves. This is item 232 in Linda’s book, dated 10 Nov 1803, is the list of slaves belonging to “Mess’r Collins, Allen & Dickenson,” and is signed by Tho’s Trotter.

There are two lists below: the first list includes men, women, and children and the second list includes birth dates of children along with the name of their parent.

NameGenderAge (if available)
B PeterMN/A
Q JackMN/A
C PeterMN/A
C JackMN/A
C LideFN/A
L JimM15

NameDate BornParent
Jim28 May 1787Ester
Eggy12 August 1789Ester
Robin3 June 1795Ester
Tom18 June 1800Ester
Charity18 March 1790Littice
Davie3 November 1793Littice
Jude6 October 1789Dunkey
Jullo6 October 1789Dunkey
King3 October 1788Hager
Dunbar1785C Nan
Fred14 December 1789C Nan
George10 January 1794C Nan
Sam20 August 1788Grace
Hannah9 July 1787Sally
Bett20 November 1797Sally
Murriah1 June 1800Sally
Nicea10 June 1803Sally
Will8 May 1790Fanney
Plato3 February 1793Fanney
Doll3 March 1794Fanney
York30 April 1800Fanney
Lovy15 May 1802Fanney
Eve5 October 1790Bell
Toymer23 August 1793Bell
Solomon2 November 1795Bell
Mosses12 October 1802Bell
Cloe2 May 1794Kiddy
Paldore7 August 1797Kiddy
Philladelphia3 November 1799Kiddy
Lewis4 July 1792Kiddy
Adam3 September 1793Dapheney
Lottuce30 November 1796Dapheney
Patience10 November 1800Dapheney
London12 January 1801G--yd
John1 November 1795Suck
Poll20 September 1798Suck
Scheina22 January 1801Suck
Rose15 August 1803Suck
Joe26 September 1797C Lid
Jean18 January 1793Lucy
Abigal6 May 1796Lucy
Ned6 January 1802Lucy
Ede20 May 1803Silvia
Jere16 September 1791N/A

Source: Davenport, Linda Haas; Washington County, North Carolina: Abstracts Deed Books A-B-C (1799-1814), Self published, 2008; item 232, Deed Book B, p.175  (



DAVIS, Peter – (d. 1890)

A Boy Lost — On Monday evening a report was circulated that Peter DAVIS, a colored boy, was missing.  Search was made throughout the town, but his whereabouts could not be learned.  On Tuesday morning the little five year-old son of Jos. MITCHELL told that he and the missing boy were at play near the river on Monday and that the boy DAVIS fell in the river, and then led the anxious parents to the point where he said DAVIS fell in.  At this point was found the boy’s had, but no other evidence of his being drowned.  A party went out in boats and dragged the river for the body, but as yet it has not been found. 

The accident should be a reminder to parents both white and back, that the banks of the river is no place to allow their children to play .

LATER — The boy was found in the river on Wednesday evening, half a mile below where he fell in.

Source: Roanoke Beacon, 15 August 1890, page 3. Available online at

HOWARD, Sallie – (d. 1890)

DIED – At her home in this town on Thursday morning last, July 31st, after a short but painful illness, Mrs. Sallie HOWARD, nee PEARCE.

The deceased was the daughter of Capt. D. PEARCE, deceased, and was a native of this county. She was married on the 16th of Oct. 1889 to Mr. Charles T. HOWARD, of Norfolk, Va., who after marriage located here, where the nine months of their wedded life passed happily. The deceased was a devoted christian, a member of Grace Episcopal church, an obedient daughter and a loving and devoted wife.

While it may seem hard that two lives so young an full of promise, that have been linked together in the holy bonds of matrimony, should so soon be separated forever, yet God in his infinite mercy saw fit to take the one and leave the other.

Our heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved husband and relatives.

Source: Roanoke Beacon, 8 August 1890, page 2. Available online at

LEGGETT, Alfred – (d. 1890)

DIED — At his home, corner Main and Monroe streets, Monday night at about 11 o’clock, Mr. Alfred LEGGETT, in the 66th year of his age.

The deceased leaves a wife and several children to mourn his loss.  The remains were interred in the Baptist church-yard on Tuesday afternoon at 4 o’clock, Rev. J.F. TUTTLE officiating.  Our sympathies are extended to the bereaved.

Source: Roanoke Beacon, 8 August 1890, page 2. Available online at

GAYLORD, John (Mrs.) – (d. 1890)

Extracted from the Roper Letter column (dated August 5, 1890):

Mrs. John GAYLORD, who has been a great sufferer for several months, departed this life on Saturday last, and her remains were interred in St. Luke’s cemetery yesterday morning.  We extend to the bereaved family our deepest sympathies in their loss.

Source: Roanoke Beacon, 8 August 1890, page 3. Available online at

Creswell Academy Notice of Incorporation (1889)

The following Notice of Incorporation for Creswell Academy appeared in the August 16, 1899 issue of the Roanoke Beacon.  The individuals incorporating were A.G. WALKER, Alfred ALEXANDER, William H. HARDISON, James L. HASSELL, Johnson W. SPRUILL, Julius L. HOWELL, W.J. MERCER, D. SPRUILL, and Mathias OWENS.  The Incorporation notice is signed by T.J. MARRINER.


ARMISTEAD, Robert – (d. 1890)

DIED — At Plymouth, on the 7th inst., Mr. Robert ARMISTEAD, a respectable merchant of that place.


Source: Raleigh Register and North Carolina Weekly Advertiser, 11 November 1806

Marriage: WHITE, Warren and LONG, Lizzie (1890)

MARRIED – At the residence of Mr. J.W. BLOUNT near Mackey’s Ferry, yesterday afternoon at 3:15 o’clock, Mr. Warren W. WHITE of this place to Miss Lizzie LONG, of Mackey’s Ferry.  Rev. C.W. ROBINSON performed the ceremony in his usual solemn but grand style.  Immediately after the marriage the happy couple left for this town where they arrived at the groom’s residence on Jefferson street at 5 o’clock and were welcomed by a few invited guests.

The Beacon extends hearty congratulations to the happy couple.

Source: Roanoke Beacon, 21 February 1890. Available online at