Roanoke Beacon: Back Issues Now Online

I cannot speak enough goodwill about the team of  I have been such a fan of their online digitization efforts since they started and I’m always finding good treasures there.  I’ve used the yearbooks they’ve been digitizing to create the NCGenWeb Yearbook Index and I’ve culled through newspapers abstracting information for the NC People in the Papers site.  But, last month they sent me absolutely over the edge when I received a notice that they were adding back issues of the Roanoke Beacon online!

You see, my maternal grandmother was from Plymouth and she and her family history are one of the main drivers behind why I am doing genealogy in the first place.  When I first got online in 2005 to start my family history research, Washington County is where I started.  I received so much help from the work posted on this NCGenWeb site that I knew I had to give back.  One way for me to do that was to begin indexing the Roanoke Beacon.  So, I ordered microfilm, paid to have some issues digitized in PDF form, and then began the index.  Along the way, I secretly hoped that I’d find tidbits about my ancestors and so  far, I have found one!

But now, in cooperation with the Washington County Library, issues from 1889-1918 are online at the website! That’s almost 20 years of turn-of the-century issues – whoo hoo!

So, you can expect the index to grow and more entries from Washington County to be added to the NC People in the Papers database, as well as to the Washington County, NCGenWeb site.  Newspapers contain such valuable information so take some time to explore the paper and see what you find.  Your ancestors just may be lurking among those pages somewhere. 🙂

DAVENPORT, Mary M. (d. 1848)

The following death notice appeared in the February 12, 1848 issue of the Raleigh Register newspaper. Mrs. Mary M. DAVENPORT was the wife of Doctrine P. DAVENPORT.

BEASLEY, John M. (d. 1900)

Gone to His Reward

After a lingering illness, from a complication of diseases, Capt. John M. BEASLEY, a well and favorably known citizen of this town, died on Saturday afternoon last, aged about 74 years.

The deceased had been married three times, and leaves a widow and several children, by his former marriages, to mourn his departure, there being no children by his last marriage.

Capt. BEASLEY had been for many years a consistent member of the M.E. church; his lief was blameless in the sight of his fellow men, and we truly believe if any man’s spirit went straight from earth to heaven his did so, and that he is now singing hozannas with his God he loved so well.

We sympathize with those left behind, but they have the blessed assurance that their loss is his eternal gain.

The remains were interred in the Jackson burying ground, near this town, on Sunday afternoon.

Source:  Roanoke Beacon, 26 Oct 1900

ALEXANDER, W.A. (d. 1900)

A Sad Death

Our community was greatly shocked on Wednesday evening when it learned that Mr. W.A. ALEXANDER was dead. 

Mr. ALEXANDER went to his mill on Wednesday morning in seemingly usual health. About 11 o’clock it was thought he had fainted and the physicians of the town were summoned, who soon pronounced it hemmorhage of the brain, and recovery impossible. At 5 o’clock that evening he died at his office, it not being thought best to carry him home during his suffering.

Mr. ALEXANDER was well known in this county, being a native of Creswell, where he was interested quite extensively in farming , but of late years he has resided in Plymouth, he being manager and part owner of the Plymouth Milling Co. 

The deceased was 48 years old and leaves several brothers, a wife and four small children to mourn their loss. He was a consistenct member of the M.P. Church, a loving and kind husband and father and a good citizen.

The remains were taken to Creswell yesterday morning and interred in the family burying ground.

We join their many friends in extending to the bereaved ones our heartfelt sympathy in their deep distress. Surely an upright man has gone to his reward.

Source: Roanoke Beacon, 5 Oct 1900

GAYLORD, J.H. (Mrs.) – (d. 1900)

Died — at her home in this town on Tuesday night last, Mrs. J.H. GAYLORD. Mrs. GAYLORD was taken ill only a few days ago, with typhoid fever, and grew rapidly worse until death ended her sufferings.

She leaves a husband, sister and brothers, besides seven children, two of whom are married, the other five being little ones, to mourn their loss.

We deeply sympathize with the bereaved ones in their hour of darkest affliction.

Source: Roanoke Beacon, 21 Sep 1900

Marriage: LYNN, S.O. and Modie HARRISON (1900)


There was a pretty home marriage at the home of the bride’s mother, Mrs. Sabra HARRISON, near this town on Wednesday morning last at 6:30 o’clock, the contracting parties being Mr. S.O. LYNN, of Suffolk, Va., and Miss Modie HARRISON, one of Washington county’s most charming young ladies.  The ceremony was performed by Rev. N.H. HARRISON, and the wedding march rendered by Miss Adelia SKITTLETHARPE, of Plymouth.  The attendants were, Mr. Milton RIDDICK, of Suffolk,  and Miss Eunice LYNN, sister of the groom, and Mr. Joe VAIL and Miss Pauline HARRISON, both of this town. 

Directly after the ceremony Mr. and Mrs. LYNN left for an extended trip to Raleigh, Washington City, and other points of interest, after which they will go to Suffolk, the home of the groom, to reside in future.  They were accompanied as far as Edenton by Mr. Joe VAIL and Miss Pauline HARRISON. 

The BEACON joins their many friends in best wishes for the continued happiness of this newly wedded couple. 

Source: Roanoke Beacon, 31 Aug 1900

CHESSON, Lonnie (d. 1900)

Those who knew him were greatly shocked on Friday last to hear of the sudden death of Mr. Lonnie CHESSON, of Mackey’s Ferry. Mr. CHESSON was taken with appendicitis and died while undergoing a surgical operation.

Source: Roanoke Beacon, 20 Jul 1900

Marriage: CARTER, E.A. and Leila LAWRENCE (1900)


Inadvertently we failed to note in our last issue the marrige of our esteemed townsman, Mr. E.A. CARTER, which happy event took place at the home of the bride, Miss Leila LAWRENCE, in the city of Raleigh, on Wednesday morning of last week, at 10 o’clock.  Mr. CARTER is a well known and highly respected citizen of this town, and his bride, having filled a position as teacher in Plymouth Academy during the past session, is a lady greatly appreciated by her friends here who extend to her a most cordial welcome.

Source: Roanoke Beacon, 6 Jul 1900

AUSBON, Priscilla N. (d. 1900)

In Memoriam

Mrs. Priscilla N. AUSBON was born January 24, 184? and died at her home in Plymouth, N.C., March 1, 1900. 

For many years she was a worthy and consistent member of the M.E. Church, South, being at the time of her death one of the oldest members on the church roll. So long as her health would permit she was always a <…> attendant upon the ordinances of her church , and showed a willingness to make any sacrifice to advance the cause of Christ.

She was indeed a devoted and sweet spirited Christian, and those who were intimate with her felt uplifted by the influence of her godly life.

Her latter days were times of great suffering, but while she knew that death could not be far off she was still patient in her afflictions, for she “endured as seeing him who is invisible.” The Death Messenger found her ready and willing to obey the summons hence, and the tradition from this world of suffering to that of peace and joy was for her a happy change.

“Therefore are they before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters, and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” Rev. 7: 15-17.

Among the surviving loved ones are an aged sister and two sons. Her husband, Mr. W.J. AUSBON, who was a brave soldier in the civil war, preceded her to the other shore just 30 years.

A large concourse of friends attended the funeral services held by her pastor from the church of her communion, and then her mortal remains were carried to the grave to await the hour “in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice and shall come forth, they that have done good unto the resurrection of life.” — J.L. Romley

Source: Roanoke Beacon, 2 Mar 1900

DAVENPORT, Haywood (d. 1900)

Capt. Haywood Davenport Dead

The death of Capt. Haywood DAVENPORT on Tuesday morning last sent a thrill of grief throughout this town. He had been in ill health for a year or more, and his seeking relief under the treatment of the best medical men was of little avail.

He recently came to Plymouth to make his home once more where his early years were spent; he contracted a deep cold which terminated in pneumonia, causing his death seven days later. There never lived a truer man; kind-hearted, sympathetic, and generous to a fault. Those who knew him best loved him most.

He leaves two children, a son and daughter, a sister and other relatives as well as a host of friends to mourn his death. 

His remains were laid to rest in family graveyard under the shadow of the M.E. Church, to which he belonged, on Wednesday.

The writer, who if possible, loved him better than the rest, join all in heartfelt sympathy. — FLETCHER

Source:  Roanoke Beacon, 2 Mar 1900