Craven Co. (NC)

In Memorium: Cora Cox Lawhorn

Cora Cox Lawhorn, my great-great grandmother was born approximately March 3, 1876 and died November 23, 1949. As yesterday was the anniversary of her death, I thought I would write a post about her.

I do not know any personal details about Cora in regards to her personality, however, my paternal grandmother, and a first cousin of my grandmother’s, were both named after their grandmother Cora.

Cora was born in North Carolina, likely right in Craven County where she lived, to Robert and Amanda Cox. From census records, I know that she had at least 4 siblings – Moses, Robert Jr., Joseph, and Edward. Cora’s first husband was Samuel Becton Lawhorn whom I am guessing she married around May 28, 1899. Their marriage date is listed in the Lawhorn Family Bible as the last sunday in May of 1899 and that was the date of the last Sunday. Furthermore, this matches very closely to their number of years married in the 1910 census.

Cora and Samuel would have five children that I know of – Samuel Jr., Ida, William, Phelton and George. Family information states that Samuel sr. died around 1916 and in the 1920 census, Cora is in fact widowed. Living next door to her is a man named Will Morton, whom she would eventually go on to marry on December 24, 1924. Cora outlived two of her children (Sam Jr. & Phelton) and upon her death would have known about 13 or so of her grandchildren.

Cora is buried in the family church cemetery, Alum Springs Church, in Dover, Craven County, North Carolina.

As I write this post and review my records, I see that I have not yet located Cora & Sam in the 1900 census, so off I go to look for that.

William “Bill” Hew Lawhorn 1910-1981

This is a day late, but I want to still post it anyway.

Yesterday was anniversary of the death of my great-grandfather, William Lawhorn. He was born August 12, 1910, one of five children of Samuel Becton Lawhorn and Cora Cox Lawhorn in Craven County, North Carolina. He married my great-grandmother, Pearlie Mae Kilpatrick in 1931 and they had eight children – my grandmother Cora was their second child and eldest daughter. He was a deacon in the church and a member of the local Masonic Lodge.

From what my father and grandmother have told me, I know that he was a very tough-mannered man. My father described him as downright mean. My grandmother told me that he was indeed very strict and she felt quite restricted growing up and not given much freedom. However, to hear Kalonji tell it, he’s going to be just as tough with Kaleya! I also understand though that in his later years he did mellow out and was kind. My mother in fact remembers him as being quite kind.  At my grandmother’s funeral, I learned even more about him and how he interacted with his family. Apparently, he liked to be the man in the area with the “first” of everything – for example, he had the first black man to own a television in their community.

I do not have but a few pictures of him, but this one is how I remember him in my one memory of him. I was only six years old when he died, but I have one memory of going to visit and he took me to the store and bought me one of those really big Peppermint Patties. As I was talking to my grandmother’s brother the day of her funeral, I told him that story and he smiled – he said his father used to do that with all the kids. I am glad I learned that because it provides me another glimpse into his character.

William died from injuries sustained after he fell off of a ladder while at work. I understand that it was a very trying time for the family, as they sued his job because he had no business being on a ladder at his age (71). I actually have some of the court documents that my grandmother gave to me about 10 years ago.

Since sharing some of the family history online, I have come in contact with descendants of his sister Ida, so I hope to be able to in time, learn even more about his family and theirs. This is what is so nice about the internet, those connections to extended family members that are made possible!

Ft. Barnwell

I learned today about a new database – it’s a database of historical signposts that you see all around the place. I decided to make my first search the one for Ft. Barnwell. I remembered having seen this sign there everytime we would go visit when I was younger. And, I found it! I don’t remember seeing it when I was there last in March for my grandmother’s funeral, but looking at the picture, I know now exactly where it is — there is only one Citgo in that place :-) I used to go there all the time with my cousin when we would spend summers there.

The site gives the text of what the sign says and also some more history – this is the first paragraph from the essay that accompanied the sign..
“John Barnwell emigrated from Ireland to South Carolina in 1701. By the time of the Tuscarora War (1711-1713), he was a trusted official in the colony. Meanwhile, in North Carolina, in response to the establishment of a Swiss colony at New Bern, the Tuscarora Indians massacred settlers in that area. On September 22, 1711, over 130 colonists lay dead and even more were wounded or captured. When North Carolina called on its neighbors for aid, South Carolina sent Colonel John Barnwell. In January of 1712, he led a militia of thirty soldiers and 500 friendly Indians to attack the Tuscarora fort, Narhantes (also known as Torhunta), on the Neuse River. According to Barnwell, Fort Narhantes was the Tuscarora’s largest and most warlike village. Despite several casualties, Barnwell took the fort on January 30, 1712.”

Then, I had to look up the UNC one that I would see practically EVERY DAY while I attended library school there. This sign is on Franklin Rd.

Information for the essay about this sign was taken from a work written by Kemp Battle, a former university president. I’ve posted about this before, but Kemp may in fact be a slave owner of one of my ancestors. I do hope that one day I can learn if this is true or not!

Have I found a 5th Great Grandparent?

I have a census entry that puzzles me. One of my ancestors, Robert Cox is listed in the 1880 census with his family. In his household it lists an Affie named as his mother and a woman named Phoebee Benders, age 90 listed as his grandmother. However, I don’t know if this is Robert’s mother’s mother (I guess so as his mother also lives with him) or his father’s mother. Yet, if she is his paternal grandmother why is the last name different? I wonder if I have a case here where after slavery ended parts of the family took on different last names. I may never really know, but it sure will keep me looking for awhile!

Compounded to this is that there is also two young nieces living with him whose last name is also Benders. So, that makes me wonder if Phoebee is Robert’s wife’s grandmother. Who knows? But, for now, I have placed Phoebee is Robert’s maternal grandmother. Maybe I’ll get to find her real position one day. But in any case, she is either Robert or his wife’s grandmother, so that makes her my furthest back ancestor! (born abt. 1790).