PADGETT, Ellen – (d. 1890)

The grim angel of death has again visited us, filling our hearts with sadness and bearing to her eternal rest one of our dear friends, Mrs. Ellen PADGETT,  who died on Wednesday, May 18th after a few hours illness.  The deceased was a sister of Mr. W.F. MORRIS of this place, and leaves two children, besides a number of other relatives and friends to mourn their loss, but we mourn not as those who have no hope, for we feel that our loss is her eternal gain.

Mrs. PADGETT was for many years a resident of this county, but removed with her daughter’s family to Beaufort county, near here, where the last four months of her life was spent.  She was a faithful member of the Freewill Baptist Church for several years, and was honored and esteemed by all who knew her throughout her long and useful life, and of her it could not be said that she was other than a faithful servant, as her life seemed one long struggle to do her duty and aid and comfort the suffering ones around her.

The funeral services were conducted by Mr. H.S. GURGANOUS at her residence, after which her remains were laid by the side of her husband in the graveyard of her old home.  We extend to her sorrowing relatives our heartfelt sympathy.  Weep not friends, but remember though it is indeed hard to consign those we love to the tomb, that our blessed Saviour doeth all things well, and let us pray to be worthy to meet our loved ones in that home prepared for the final faithful, where no storm cloud of sorrow can disturb our perfect peace, or most of tears dim our vision; let us pray that we may be among those thrice blessed ones of whom it is said “They shall walk with Him, in white, for they are worthy.”

With the best of wishes for the success of the Beacon I will close with the promise to write again ere long. — Wild Rose

Source: Roanoke Beacon, 6 June 1890, pg 2. Available online at

More WCGS Back Issues Added

Just an update to let everyone know that I’ve added more back issues of WCGS Newsletter to the website. You’ll now find more than 65 issues spanning 1990-2007 on the WCGS News page. The newsletters contain a wealth of data about the county – from cemetery transcriptions, family stories, obituaries, land records, bible records, and more.

I’ve also added several issues of WCGS Journal that you can find here.

I’ve got more to add, so will let you know next time I make another update. Enjoy!

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Plymouth & Washington County Book Is Released

I am a huge fan of the Images of America book series; I even collect them and have a Pinterest map to track the locations of the books I own.  So, imagine my delight to see a new one dedicated to Plymouth!


The book is written by Willie Drye.  Drye is a journalist and blogger who lives in Plymouth and collected numerous pictures to help tell the historical story of the area. I can’t wait to add this book to my collection! You can learn more about the book on the Arcadia Press website.

For Those 90 Years Young

What a great concept! The Tyrrell County Genealogical and Historical Society is planning an event this summer to honor all citizens and natives of the county, aged 90 and older.  The society is seeking to interview such individuals and develop a publication.  Cathy Roberts, the TCGHS President, shared the following to post on the Washington County NCGenWeb site:

In 2011, Ray McClees came before the Tyrrell County Genealogical and Historical Society and told us about an idea he had, named the November Group.  His idea was that this group would be composed of TyrrellCounty citizens who were at least 90 years old.  McClees felt that the Society or other volunteers could interview the Group members, and that the Society could publish the interviews in one of their publications.  McClees also wished there to be a yearly reception to honor the Group members, and he urged the Society to vote to take the November Group on as a project.  

The Society members agreed, and plans were put in motion to start doing interviews.  Then Mother Nature interfered with a hurricane, and all planning for the interviews and reception kept getting pushed back and back and back.  This year though, things will finally get started.  The Society is planning on holding the first November Group reception, and it is hoped that this will be the first of many.  It will be held in place of our meeting on July 27, 2014, at a place yet-to-be-determined. 

The Society is asking people to send us the names, birth dates and contact information of TyrrellCounty natives and residents who will be 90 this year, or who are already over 90.  If you know of someone who meets the criteria, then please send that information to us at P. O. Box 686, Columbia, NC, 27925, or you can e-mail it to us at 

The Society is also looking for volunteers to help with the planning of the reception, and you do not need to be a member of the Society in order to help out, but it would be helpful if you came to our meetings so you could discuss plans with our reception committee members.  If you wish to volunteer, please contact us either by mail or e-mail. We’re all looking forward to July, and the opportunity to honor our older citizens.

If you know anyone who is eligible, please contact the society as per the information in the notice above.  Washington County was formed from Tyrell so there is bound to be some overlap.  Be sure to give it some thought. 

Description of Creswell Follow-up (1889)

Excerpt from the “Our Creswell Letter” column:

We notice an article in your last issue copied from the Washington Gazette, in which the writer in his description of Creswell, seems to give Mr. Alfred ALEXANDER of our town credit for being the prime mover in the building of our Academy.  Now, while Mr. ALEXANDER has done his part in the matter, many others have done equally as well, and if any one man deserves special mention in connection with the organization and building of said academy, it is our worthy President of the Board of Trustees, Mr. D. SPRUILL, ex-Sheriff.

But for his efforts and untiring zeal, we would have had no Academy built yet.  He is on hand promptly at each weekly meeting of the stock holders, and takes an active part in all measures pertaining to the school.  We cannot say as much for Mr. ALEXANDER.  He came promptly until he took unto himself a “better half.”  Since then he has been present at the meetings only once or twice, but we presume he is excusable as he has lived the life of a batchelor for 48 years, until very recently, and of course can’t leave his bride long enough to attend to Academies. We fear that our President would also be found lacking at some of our meetings were he to follow Mr. ALEXANDER’s example – in taking a “better half.”

Source: Roanoke Beacon, 26 July 1889.  Available online at

Creswell (1889)

One of the most progressive little towns in North Carolina is Creswell, in Washington county.  A few years ago it was a growing forest, and now the hustle of business and the hum of machinery give the pretty little burg much the air of a city.  Situated on the Scuppernong river, at the head of navigation, just five miles from the picturesque lake Scuppernong, its site could not have been better chosen for beauty or commercial advantage.  There are now eight merchantile [sic] establishments, a large steam saw and grist mill, a handsome Missionary Baptist church, and several other churches in prospect.  The streets are broad, and regularly laid off, and every part of the town presents the air of neatness, order and thrift.  The town is backed up by a fertile country and well to do men.  

Along with the idea of business and of making an honest living, turning every dollar to account, the intellectual men, and among them Mr. Alfred ALEXANDER, who is a brother to Mr. David ALEXANDER, the distinguished representative from Tyrell, is a leading spirit, have united their energies and have built one of the handsomest and best equipped academies in East Carolina, and are determined to have the best teachers to be found, a man trained for the profession who does not make teaching a stepping stone to something else, is desired.  There are now five handsome residences growing up, and several more under construction.  Four steamers a week touch at Creswell’s wharf, and the business will likely demand more transportation ere long.  The outlook for no young town is better, more bright and substantial, and we bid the place Godspeed.  - Washington Gazette. 

Editorial note: This article has a follow-up article here.

Source: Roanoke Beacon, 19 July 1889.  Available online at

New Book: It’s In the Genes

We are pleased to share the news that Washington County area family history & genealogy researcher Terri Fagan Mitchell has published a new book! “It’s In The Genes: The Cymera Rosella Moore Story” documents the life story of Terri’s grandmother.  You can order the book online, or use this order form.



It’s always nice to see researchers publish their stories. Many congratulations to Terri on her accomplishment!

Marriage: PENDER, Thomas and Sarah CARSTARPHEN (1835)

MARRIED — In Edgecombe county, 10th ult., Mr. Thomas PENDER of Plymouth, to Miss Sarah CASTERPHANE.

Editorial Note:  This bride’s name is likely Sarah CARSTARPHEN.

Source: North-Carolina standard. (Raleigh, N.C.), 14 Jan. 1836. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <>

Beacon Flashes – August 24, 1900

The following items appeared in the Roanoke Beacon newspaper in the “Beacon Flashes” section.

  • Mr. R.A. KNIGHT of Washington, NC was in the city this week.
  • Mr. T.J. NORMAN spent last Sunday with his family at Edenton.
  • Miss Kate RALPH of Creswell is visiting her sister, Mrs. C.V.W. AUSBON.
  • Miss Donnie WARD, of Winton, is visiting our town as the guest of her uncle, Hon. H.S. WARD.
  • Misses Annie MIZELL and Blanche BARDEN left on Tuesday morning last for a sojourn at Asheville.
  • The charming Miss Mattie WILLIFORD, of Rocky Mount, is in the city this week as the guest of her brother’s family, Mr. A.L. WILLIFORD.
  • After a pleasant visit of two weeks to her friend, Miss Vonnie LEGGETT, of this town, Miss Clara WEEKS returned to her home at E. City on Monday.
  • Mrs. Jas. I. BRUER and children, of Mackey’s Ferry, and Mrs. W.O. DAVIS and little daughter of Creswell, spent the day in town yesterday as the guests of their sister, Mrs. C.V.W. AUSBON.
  • Mr. W.M. CHESSON, a well known and prosperous farmer of the Mackey’s Ferry section, was in our town this week, for the first time in several years.  He was the guest of his daughter, Mrs. T.J. LEWIS. 
  • Mr. W.T. NURNEY and wife has moved to Roper.  We regret to lose this estimable couple from our midst, but trust the change will be of benefit to them.  We heartily commend them to the good people of Roper.


Beacon Flashes – August 3, 1900

The following items appeared in the Roanoke Beacon newspaper in the “Beacon Flashes” section.

  • Mrs. C.A. MOORE and children left on Tuesday last for Ocracoke.
  • Mr. and Mrs. L.L. OWENS returned home from Nag’s Head on Wednesday.
  • Mr. Antone MARRINER, of Mackey’s Ferry, made our office a call while in town this week.
  • Little Miss Helen PATTERSON, of Wilson, is here again, visiting her aunt, Mrs. A.L. WILLIFORD.
  • Mr. C.D. LOANE and family left Monday for Hatteras, where Mr. LOANE is engaged in the milling business.
  • Mr. A.L. BRATTEN, who holds a position with the Basnight Lumber Co., Tunis, N.C., is at home this week.
  • Our sympathies are with Mrs. Jos. TUCKER who had the misfortune to fall and break a sinew in her foot last week.
  • We sympathize with Mrs. J.L. SAVAGE who met with the misfortune to fall out of doors on Tuesday and sprain her arm.
  • Mr. T.T. GARDNER and family returned home on Tuesday evening from a two week’s sojourn by the sea-side at Ocracoke.
  • Mr. T.J. NORMAN has moved his family to Edenton.  We regret to give this family up, but commend them to the good people of Edenton.