Tag Archive | New Bern North Carolina

Bombing & Explosions in Craven County, North Carolina (Fear & Intimidation)

     I posted an article (below) of a bombing that occurred at a church in Vanceboro, NC.  My ancestors and family have resided in New Bern, NC which is 21 miles away from Vanceboro, but both cities are in the boundaries of Craven County.  
Seattle Daily Times
November 1, 1965
     A regular reader of my Blog raised the questions: What relevance does this have to your family research and What family of yours was left in New Bern in 1965?  They also felt I was putting out information that was negative and that it seemed as though I am showing a division between the races by not going in further detail.
     My great grandfather Ambrose Cully migrated to Worcester, MA from North Carolina in the late 1880’s, Leaving siblings, parents and many cousins with other surnames. Some resided in other areas of Craven County and at least by 1930 there were no direct line Cully’s on record based on my knowledge residing in New Bern, NC  except for some Willoughby, Carter, Whittington, Godette, Collins, Foreman relatives.
     Regardless of geographical isolation or non-isolation of Havelock, Harlowe, and Carteret, North Carolina our families were affected by the racism and acts of violence that had occurred throughout the state and states.  (Do I need to prove this in order to say that this has any historical meaning to my family?)  Well, much of my family originated and/or lived in North Carolina and still do and they lived in the times of the race struggles, so I say no I don’t have to prove, and yes it most definitely is relative to my ancestors and those still living in those days.  Apparently it was news worthy to be published in a Seattle Newspaper.   The civil rights movement and the things that occurred during this time were not isolated in just a few areas of the South.  This type of fear and intimidation tactics occurred throughout the U.S. So I say again, yes, racism and discrimination did affect my families.
     As a family historian, I believe that it is not only important to know the local history of our ancestors but also to look at other County, City, State and National News that might have relevance to their lives.  When I do my posts, I may not go into great detail as to how the information relates my family, as sometimes in research I may just take note and use the info in a greater context at a later date.
     The article below is one that occurred in New Bern before the bombing of the church in the above article. So, without doing any other research happening in North Carolina, I believe that the *Negro population as a whole were living in the shadow of intimidation and fear.  These bombings most likely were racially motivated.
Seattle Daily Times
January 25, 1965

 Then looking through Ancestry online newspapers I find in the Tucson Daily Citizen reporting the same incident with more detail and other bombings in the South

Tucson Daily Citizen
January 25, 1965
Courtesy of Ancestry.com
    History is History, be it tragic or triumphant. We all know that racism in America was present and it was blatant. I am not one to be in denial, and I know that the *Negro in America had many advocates of the European Race. This was a struggle for all freedoms and for all of us to live equally with equal access to quality education, housing, medical care, and live with the pursuit of happiness.  “We cannot be free until They are free.” The Fire Next Time-James Baldwin

     All of this is relative to me as my Uncle was a National CORE Vice President and trained those going to the South as Freedom Riders.  My father served as President of the NAACP, San Diego Branch, and was a Social Activist during the Civil Rights Movement.  When my father served the NAACP, he received calls threatening his life and of his family.  “May we live through the struggle, and may we all be triumphant.” ~ypm

*We were Negroes in the 60’s.

***Update My Cousin Michaud Robinson informed me that the founders of oscar’s mortuary were Oscar and Grace Becton Dove and not Oscar Godette as was stated in the newspaper articles.  Also Michaud informed me that Oscar is a distant cousin of his. (Thank you Michaud for the info!)

     The history of the Mortuary on the website:  Oscars Mortuary Website

Oscar’s Mortuary, Inc. was founded January 16, 1960 by Oscar Roosevelt Dove and wife, Grace Becton Dove. They founded and operated the business to provide quality service in the field of funeral service to the families served. In the early 60’s Oscar’s involvement in the Civil Rights movement resulted in the Mortuary being targeted by the Klu Klux Klan; crosses were burned and the building was bombed.
His death in 1975 and the Grace’s death in 2010 will not stop their work for it lives on in their children and grandchildren who have followed in their footsteps. The staff has been active in Civil Rights, Voting Drives, Mental Health Association, Senior Citizens Programs, Craven County Hospice, Craven County Planning and Zoning Board, Craven County Outreach Organization, YMCA Board, Chamber of Commerce, Cancer Fundraising Drives, MS Bike Tour and Planning Committee, Habitat for Humanity Board, Meals on Wheels, RCS Board, and hold memberships in the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Neuse-Pamlico Sound Women’s Coalition, Inc., the Funeral Directors and Morticians Association of North Carolina, Inc. and North Carolina Funeral Directors Association, NAACP, Knights of Columbus, Jazz Preservation Society of New Bern, George B. Willis Masonic Lodge, and Zeno Temple Elks Lodge.

Follow Friday & Those Places Tuesday on Saturday: Come with me and Visit New Bern, North Carolina

I am dedicating this blog post to my genealogy friend and Colleague Andrea Kelleher of How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey  I was swept in by her recent post Those Places Thursday on Sunday: Donnell Hyde Farm, NC

I thought that her idea of using Youtube video’s was a wonderful idea in sharing the history of the towns that our Ancestors lived.  I really wanted to follow her lead and decided to do the same. I am attaching a few  videos of New Bern, North Carolina that I thought was very informative as my family has had deep roots within this historical community.

This first video tells a little  bit about the firsts of Historic New Bern and takes you to the historic homes and buildings within the area.  The video also shares background information of each home and who were the original owners.

This next film is of a Battle of New Bern Reenactment. This battle is reenacted every year. The Union Troops subdued the Confederate Troops early on.

For more information of New Bern, NC history go to this link as a starting point. New Bern North Carolina History

Amanuensis Monday: Daddy of Forty-Seven, Not My Daddy…

     I am spending my days reading newspapers from 1790-1960’s, and looking at the historical attitudes and happenings of the days in the areas of Massachusetts and North Carolina.  I came across this article and was kinda shocked at the number of children this man procreated.

25 March 1922
Charlotte Observer
Charlotte, North Carolina

NEW BERN, March 24-

A.S. Shields, a negro preacher who is the father of 47 children, celebrated his 72nd birthday today with a fair gathering of his children around him.  All but five of his children are living.  He married a second time 18 years ago and has had 17 children by this marriage.  Shields was a slave in a family of which representative Claude Kitchin and former Governor W.W. Kitchin are members.  He preaches his sermons  in a church he owns himself.


Document Day: Izora "Whittington" Martin Carter

 “Document Day” is a daily post for any day of the week.  I have a large saved collection of Shoebox Documents from Ancestry.com to be evaluated over time as I am building my family tree.  I felt it necessary to share  and post what I have so that it might be helpful to myself and to those who might be searching the same surnames in the same locale.  

     Izora “Whittington” Carter was my Great Grand Aunt’s daughter, making her my 1st cousin 2x removed.  Sarah F. Cully/Culley (1860-1922) was her mother and Allen Whittington (1853-1932), was her father.  Izora had been married twice.  Her first husband was Jacob Martin and her second husband was Sylvester Wallace Carter, and she was widowed when she passed.
      According to the attached North Carolina State Death Certificate Izora was born on May 25, 1884 in Craven County, NC and died on July 31, 1974 @ 8:15 pm at her home in Havelock, Craven, NC.    She was dead on arrival at the Craven County hospital and pronounced dead at 10:25 pm. The informant was her daughter Mrs. Maude “Martin” Fields. 
     Izora was buried at Hyman Chapel Church Cemetery in Havelock, NC.
Izora “Whittington” Martin Carter


The material, both written and photographic on these pages is the copyright of Yvette Porter Moore unless stated. Material on this site may be used for personal reference only. If you wish to use any of the material on this site for other means, please seek the written permission of Yvette Porter Moore
© 2010-2011

Document Day: Sylvester W. Carter Death Certificate

     Sylvester Wallace Carter was born on May 15, 1880 and died according to his North Carolina Certificate on June 2, 1943 at 6:00am of a cerebral hemorrhage.  The River Funeral Home provided its services of care. He was buried next to his second wife Olivia W. Martin at Evergreen Cemetery in New Bern, NC On June 4, 1943.
     At the time of Sylvester’s death, he was married to his third wife Izora (Whittington) Carter who was my 1st cousin 2x removed.  Sylvester’s parents are listed as Henry & Harriett Carter.  The informant was Sylvester’s son Caswell M. Carter from his second marriage with Olivia W. Martin. 
Sylvester W. Carter Death Certificate

Sylvester W. Carter
Evergreen Cemetery, New Bern NC

Treasure Chest Thursday: Remnants of a Slave Name Hannah "Nelson-Singleton" Gilliam

Stories and facts about our families are handed down through written and oral history.  With today’s methods of online access to records, it has made it easier for family historians & researchers to find some documents without having to leave the comfort of one’s home.  With the documents discovered, it allows the researcher to confirm and collaborate that the stories told are accurate.

Hannah Gilliam or sister Jane B. Collins
(Gail Cully Middleton Collection)

     My mother shared with me that my Great Great Grandmother’s name was Hannah Gilliam, and she had been born into slavery.  She also shared that she was very fair complected, and that her father had been the slave owner (This has yet to be confirmed).

Hannah had helped care for her daughter Nora’s children, as Nora had many and was continuously trying to recover from one pregnancy to the next.  It was not difficult for me to find information about  Hannah during this time period (1900-1910) as she was residing in her daughter Nora’s and Son-in-law Ambrose Cully’s home in Worcester, MA.  I even made a trip to Worcester, MA to get more information on Hannah such as her place of rest.

Cemetery where Hannah and many family members are buried
Worcester, Massachusetts
     My online treasures for Hannah Cully was her death Certificate, and a Freedman’s Bank Record as they were all revealing.
     Hannah was born December 3, 1842 and died February 23, 1914.  She was married to Daniel Gilliam, and I have no idea what happened to him.
     Since I did not know what Hannah’s maiden name was, this death certificate helped me with the information that I needed.  Hannah’s father was listed as Benjamin Nelson and her mother was listed as Zara Humphrey.  I took note of Hannah’s mom’s first name as the name Zara has been handed down from every other generation.  Now that I know that Hannah’s last name is Nelson, I had further research to conduct.
     Knowing that Hannah had been born into slavery, I knew that there was a possibility for other surnames that she was connected to, and that there was a possibility that her parents had other surnames connected to them, depending on who their slave owner was.
     One day I came across information from Freedman Bank Records:  This is what I found.
Freedman Bank Records Jane B. Collins,
Hannah Gilliam’s sister
     I knew that my Great Great Aunt’s married last name was Jane B. Collins as she was the one who cared for my Great Uncle Raymond Mansfield & Nora Jane Cully when their mother died.  I had found this information in a Census Record of 1920, Worcester, MA.
     This Freedman Bank Record helped me confirm information I knew and also gave me some more info by which to research.
     My Great Great Aunt Jane was married to Joseph A. Collins.  What I found interesting is that Jane & Hannah’s parents had two other surnames I had not seen before.  Zara had the last name “Jones”..I am not sure if this was a maiden name, slave master’s surname or a married name, as I did not know if Zara remarried and carried the last name of her last husband.
     I also noticed that Jane & Hannah’s  Father Benjamin had a different surname of Ellis.

     I have listed Singleton as one of the Slave Owner’s surname’s as I have found in other documents as Hannah being listed as a Singleton.

Researching on FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com, I have been able to find documents by inputting surnames and locals without adding a first name. This is one way I have discovered relatives such as children, cousins, and siblings.  The document below is one I found on FamilySearch by using this method.

     I discovered Hannah had a son by the name of Joseph Daniel Gilliam and that he married a Mary Frances Boswell.  It is possible they had children, and will do further investigation so that I could possibly locate their descendants, and my cousins.

     It is to my knowledge that Hannah Gilliam never remarried and she was widowed by or before 1880.  This link “Recollections of my Slavery Day-By William Henry Singleton.” which gave me some hints and or clues that it is possible that my Great Great Grandmother Hannah had been a Singleton slave.
     Quoted from Link above, “ When a plantation changed owners the slaves changed their names. Our plantation had formerly been owned by a Mrs. Nelson, a widow. The slaves were then known as Nelson’s slaves. When Singleton married Mrs. Nelson he succeeded to the plantation and all of the slaves, including my mother, were called from that time on Singleton.”

     It is possible that my family pretty much held on to the surname Nelson and then at times used the surname Singleton.  A further investigation will be ensued.

     I feel excited that I may be one step closer in documenting My Great Great Grandmother’s life in slavery.  I hope to in the near future to go to New Bern, North Carolina for further investigation.

The material, both written and photographic on these pages is the copyright of Yvette Porter Moore unless stated. Material on this site may be used for personal reference only. If you wish to use any of the material on this site for other means, please seek the written permission of Yvette Porter Moore
© 2010-2011