Acording to North Carolina law:
Records from 1870 to 1910
29 July 1870--Letter from J.E. West, Judge of Probate, to Africa Hymen to
appear and "bring with you one Albert Hymen, a child, aged about sixteen
years son of George & Caroline Hymen, now living with you." Also an
affidavit of Carolina Hyman which states "that her husband George Hyman
deserted her two years ago" and that she could not properly care for their
child, Albert, then 14, so she gave him to Africa Hymen "to maintain in
consideration of his labor." Caroline now wants to leave the state and wants
to retain custody of her child. The child was delivered to his mother.
25 October 1870--"To the Probate Court. Craven County, N.C. The undersigned
would respectfully request that my son Littlejohn Hooker now of the age of 4
years, 10 months, 18 days may be bound to Wm. Grant of Township No. 2,
Craven County...John Hooker." Witness: Wm. H.[?] Cooke.
5 December 1876--"In the Matter of Wm. Hill" William Lovick became master of
an orphan named William Hill on 5 November 1870. Lovick wants Hill removed
from his care and placed with Turner J. May. Judge J.E. West ruled that
William Hill's indentures with William Lovick be rescinded and that Hill be
bound to Turner J. May as an apprentice.
n.d. [filmed with 1880s]--"S. Haskett...wants the little girl now living
with Mrs. Strawberry."
29 July 1880--William Tomilson by his next friend Davis Munden vs. Thomas
Bateman: "Application by plaintiff to have indentures of apprenticeship
cancelled (this minor having been apprenticed to said Bateman May 3/79) on
the grounds stated in the affidavit of said Munden...Mr. L.J. Moore Atty for
Bateman moved to dismiss...Motion to dismiss for the want of jurisdiction is
allowed. Appeal prayed by Munden, appeal granted." The affidavit by Munded
accuses Bateman of being "a frequent visitor of houses of ill fame, has
associated with lewd women, has often drunk or taken intoxicating liquors
and has been intoxicated." The case was dismissed because Bateman had moved
from Craven County.
3 September 1880--E.W. Carpenter, Probate Judge, letter to Ellen Paton.
"Application has been made by Alex Paton to have Emanuel Paton bound to
him." Ellen is to appear with Alex before Judge Carpenter on 6 September
1880 at 10 o'clock a.m.
6 September 1880--"Application of Alexander Payton to have Emanuel Payton, a
minor of eleven years of age, bound to him, said child was begotten by said
Alex Payton by Ellen Payton about a year prior to their marriage." Ellen
objects to the binding on grounds of cruelty. "Alexander, she states, has a
violent temper & is in an unsuitable person to have the care & custody of a
child; that said Alexander & herself separated some two years since & have
not since lived together..."
9 October 1880--"Rachael Kelley (called Puss) age 14 daughter of Joseph &
Mary Kelley both deceased, Has resided with her Aunt Betsey Fonviel (a
widow) resides near the Depot in Newbern, since death of its said Mother
17 November 1881--B.G.W. Hardy of Merrimon, Craven County, desires to have
William H. Bank, an orphan born about 12 May 1875 bound to him. His parents
are dead and Hardy's wife is a cousin of Bank. "To the Honorable E.W.
Carpenter, Probate Judge of Craven County. We the undersigned Relatives
[aunts and uncles according to Hardy's letter] of the orphan child Willie
Banks desire that the said child Shall be bound [to] B.G.W. Hardy according
to the Request of his mother. Asa J. Edwards, Dorcas Simpkins, John C.
Edwards, C.A. [?] Edwards"
n.d. [but on the back of a note dated 24 February 1882]--"Isaac Sutton
(col.) of Swift Creek desires to have bound to him Alex Bryan, age 13 years
whose parents are dead. Mother Hannah Garner died in the Poor House. Father
Lewis Bryan died at Swift Creek. The Mother on her way to the Poor House in
front of Court House requested the binding of her said boy to Isaac Sutton."
10 April 1882--"Martha Pugh has just been taken to the Poor house sick &
destitute. She has a son about 3 or 4 years old & she told me that she
wanted it bound to Abel Pugh her Father & of course the Child's
Grandfather...the Child name Eugene Pugh...E.G. Hill."
17 March 1883--An affidavit of H.C. Whitehurst states that Hancy Willis
placed her daughter Rosanna Jarman in his charge and gave him and his wife
full control of her about 11 months prior. Whitehurst has corresponded with
Willis on Jarman's health and conduct. Jarman has not been sent to school
(at the mother's request) but has been taught at home. The mother is absent
and now employed at Uxbridge, Massachusetts, and expects to remain for more
than a year. The child is about 12 years old with no father living. The
child was enticed out of the custody of Whitehurst and he wants the court to
order her back. So ordered.
15 April 1883--"W.F. Randolph of Newbern, N.C., being duly sworn says that
he is the father of a bastard child named Della Randolph aged nine years in
May next, which child is now in his care, its mother being dead, & he being
desirous of the care, custody & control of said child..."
11 October 1883--"Frank Harrison & Mary Harrison his wife, parents of John
F. Harrison a minor child born Dec 18, 1876, came into Court & ask that said
child may be bound to Jno. Dillard...to whom James Harrison another minor
child of said parents has been bound..."
18 October 1883--"Josephine Johnson comes into court & states that she
desires to have her minor child Emma Augustus Johnson (born Aug 31/81) bound
to Mary Barbor until it is of lawful age that she Josephine has never been
8 December 1883--Annie Jarman requests her child Cicero Jarman born 30
October 1883 be bound to Cicero Merritt.
30 May 1884--Notice for Sallie A. Johnson and H.B. Duffy to appear before
Judge E.W. Carpenter. J.W. Partis has made application to have Bessie Cahoon
an infant residing with Johnson bound to him as an apprentice. Another
document reveals Bessie is about 13 years old, her mother is dead and her
father abandoned her. She has been living with Johnson about 3 years.
12 August 1884--An affidavit of E.H. Heath "says he is well acquainted with
Charles Cook a minor boy of the age of twelve years who resides at Core
Creek, N.C., that he has no father or mother living...that he has a grand
mother by the name of Sarah Jones who[se] character in the neighborhood is
bad...& that the treatment said boy receives from said grandmother is
cruel...& is now residing with H.D. Smith at Core Creek...which affiant
deems a suitable place."
6 October 1884--"It has been made to appear before me that one Emma Williams
is the mother of two Illegitimate children & that in consequence of neglect
the said children is about to die they are covered with vermin & almost
starving with hunger. I have committed the unnatural Mother to Jail. Will
you please bind one of the children to Miss Henrietta McMurray...which will
be an act of mercy & prevent the child from worse than death. E.G. Hill,
n.d. [ca. 1885]--"Elsey Walker died Thursday Sept 24/85 leaving a girl child
about 10 years of age. A woman named Matt McCoy took the child home to her
house which is in the Alley of Baptis[t] Church. Matt nursed Elsey for a few
days before she died. Decy Ann Grimes of Tin Cup Alley states that she is an
Aunt to the child's mother who was reared by Decy...the child & its mother
worked at the Central Hotel..."
28 May 1885--Liddie Davis is in possession of a child named Della Randolph,
an orphan bound to W.F. Randolph, and "is about to abscond from the county
with the child." The child was returned to Randolph.
5 April 1886--Mary Shepard is aged 13. Her parents are dead and she has been
living with Maria Wright of Pavie Town since she was 6 years old. Mary wants
to give up the child to Francis Pugh who lives on West Street. Mary has a
sister Fanny Shepard aged 16 who lives in James City and is "loose in her
5 August 1886--"Annie Waters...says that she is the Aunt of Maggie Williams
a minor child born Oct 3d/75, who will be eleven years of age Oct next; that
the mother of said child died when it was three years of age...its father
Joseph Williams, who also gave said child to Annie...that said father left
for parts unknown..." [See also 27 May 1887]
16 August 1886--"Henry & Emma Moore man & wife of James City (Emma is sister
[of] Francis Pugh) came to office...with this child Mary Shephard & asked
that the child might live with them...Francis Pugh having given the child
24 August 1886--"John Frank Storde of Beaufort County, N.C., ...says that he
is the father of a minor child, born June 14, 1879, named Henrietta Storde,
begotten in wedlock by his wife Nancy Storde born in Beaufort County...that
two years since affiant & his said wife Nancy gave said child to James H.
Sparrow & wife who reside in Craven County..." The father wants to bind the
child to Sparrow, who is an uncle to the child. The wife, Nancy, is "a
dissipated & lewd woman unfit to have control of said child." John and Nancy
separated in 1881.
1 December 1886--"Having this day bound a minor child to Gatsy Williams by
the name of Hepsey Ward by the written consent of its mother...which child
is now in the possession of Annie Rowe." A note on the back of the document
reads "Child not obtained for Gatsey who gave up the idea of having a child
bound to her."
11 March 1887--Holland Jarvis applied for an indenture to have her Grandson
Frank Morris, aged 8 or 9 years, raised by her. The mother of the child,
Katy Dooley, is Jarvis' daughter and is deceased. The father of the child is
Frank Morris and is living with another woman, named Ann Morris, and is
cruel to the child. Holland and her husband, Jesse Jarvis, want to keep the
child. On 23 March 1887, Harry Gaskins, the uncle of the child, applied for
the child and the grandmother is willing for him to have the child.
29 March 1887--"Julia Neal...says that she is the Grandmother of Corral
Jones a minor fourteen years of age (born July 31/72) that said child was
born in her house & is a bastard child; that said child was given to her by
its Mother Annie Jones..."
14 April 1887--"Ruthy Nelson...says that on the 18th of Feb/87 an infant
child named Chas Nathan Nelson was given to her by Mr. Alex Sears the
Superintendent of the Poor House, where Nilley Morgan its mother died who
was unmarried & that said child has no legitimate father living; that said
child was born Oct 6/86...[signed] Rutha Nelson."
27 May 1887--In the Matter of Maggie Williams [see also 5 August 1886]:
"Annie Waters...says...that she is the aunt of Maggie Williams an infant
about the age of eleven years, that the mother & father of said child gave
her to affiant when the child was three years old at which time her mother
died. That said child was greatly afflicted at that time so that for six
years she was unable to turn herself and that one of her eyes was also
greatly afflicted so as to need constant care..." The father, Joseph
Williams, promised to provide for the child. The mother of the child, who
was Waters' sister, died 11 October 1878 and on 1 March 1879 Joseph left and
failed to support the child until 4 or 5 months ago. Joseph Williams has
remarried and took Maggie to James City to live. The stepmother would not
return the child to Waters. Waters wants the child returned to her to
fulfill the indenture of 1886. On 11 July 1887, the indenture of Margaret
"Maggie" Williams was cancelled. Another document indicates that Caroline
Williams was the mother of Maggie. Joseph Williams denies that he consented
for Annie Waters to keep and raise the child and he also indicates that he
did provide for the child.
7 January 1888--"Harriet Spruell...says that she has had the care custody &
control of a boy named James Spruell who is now nine years of age, which
child was given to her by its mother when two years old...its mother Rose
Butler [or Butter] is dead..."
3 August 1888--Joseph P. Voliva state that "about the middle of July 1888 he
was talking with Jno. H. Burgass in his shoe shop in Newbern when a woman by
the name of Julia Ann McIntosh came to the door of said shop with a little
girl some four & a half years of age, who mother & child appeared to be in
destitute circumstances. Said Voliva made some remarks about the little
child when Mr. Burgass said you having no children Mr Voliva you ought to
take that child as your own or words to that effect whereupon its mother
said I would be very glad if he would, as she desired to have the child
raised as it ought to be...that she had an infant & could not take care of
both children." Voliva told the mother if he should raise the child, the
mother must give the child absolutely, but he had to first consult with his
wife. On 26 July, Voliva went to McIntosh's house & told her in front of
Kate Gray that he would raise the child if she would give it to him, which
she did. He took the child home and named her Nettie Voliva.
4 August 1888--George A. Manly states that he is the father of a bastard
child by Lizzie Kane "a Colored woman whose mind is so affected at times
that she neglects to properly care for said child which is...eight months
old on the 7th inst." Requests custody of child, which is granted.
8 September 1888--Samuel Cook of Newbern is an uncle of Claud and Benjamin
Cook, aged 18? and 16 "as near as he can remember." The children are
currently living with W.H. Watson at Core Creek and are being cruelly
treated. Cook wants the children placed in his care. On 10 September 1888,
the children stated they wanted to stay with their uncle Amos W. Cook, who
is willing to take them. Samuel Cook consents.
8 November 1888--Abadeen McMillan "of Slocumb Creek near J.H. Hunter" states
that he and his wife have raised Susan Manny since she was about 8 years
old. In February 1887, Susan gave birth to a bastard child named Lilla
McMillon. In October 1888, Susan left, leaving the child with McMillon. The
wife of Abadeen is Eliza. The child is to remain in the care of McMillon.
28 December 1888--Charles Sutton states he is the father of Mary E. Sutton
about 3 years old. He gave the child to Harriet Murrill at Thurman during
her life. Harriet recently died and Sutton has recently married again and
wants the child, who was a child by his first wife. Granted.
30 August 1889--"Hannah Mourning...says that she is the Aunt of a minor
child named Lina Mumford whose parents are dead..." Hannah is the child's
4 November 1889--Bertha Shiver, 5 years old born on 14 December 1884, bound
to Lizzie Banks. Another document says Bertha's mother is Martha Banks,
20 November 1889--Nero Gibbs, 9 years old born on 3 March 1880, bound to
John Warren. Emmer Gibbs also signed the indenture [usually indicating the
name of the mother].
n.d. [but in the 1890s folder]--Hancy Willis, a cook at William G. Bryan's,
says she is the mother of a boy named Edward "some 10 or more years of age
born on Little Swifts Creek slim built ginger bread color." Hancy is not
married to the boy's father, "who is not here." She gave the child to Jacob
Wiggins near Pettipher Ferry four years ago and wants the child back.
n.d. [but in the 1890s folder]--"Moses & Jno. age 9 & 11 Aunt Causey Barns
Newbern desires to bind these children Rev Frank Sutton of Pamlico P.O.
Children are orphans & with Washington Spruell in Country near their
Grandfather Moses Herring."
3 January 1890--Henry Warren, 12 years old born in September 1877, bound to
John Warren and wife Mary. Another document indicates John Warren, Jr., is
"the putative father of the said Henry Warren, and have always recognized
him as my son." The mother of Henry is dead, and John and Mary Warren
received the apprenticeship. John Jr. wants the indentures rescinded so he
can raise the child. Other documents indicate the child's mother was Ella
Butler. A petition to legitimate Henry Warren is included. Mary Warren is
the mother of John Warren Jr. [John Sr. appears to be the stepfather of John
17 February 1890--"Dinah Williams...says she is the Aunt of Walter Williams
now an inmate at the Poor House whose mother June Williams died at said Poor
[House] on the 11th inst., leaving no other children." Dinah does not think
that New Bern is the proper place to raise a child and wants to take the
child in her custody at Cicero Green's plantation "where he can be brought
up to work & be free from the temptations of a city."
24 January 1890--William Shiver, 2 years, 5 months, 24 days old born on 1
August 1887, bound to its father Levy Shiver. Mary Needs [also Reeds],
mother of the child, consents. Another document indicates the child's
grandmother is Margaret Reeds. Also the father lives at "Yeomans place" near
19 March 1890--"Mary Lewis...says she is the mother of Missouri & James
Lewis aged nine & seven years...that she has been divorced from their father
Stephen Lewis who resides at Adams Creek who now has possession of said
children; that he has remarried & that said Stephen & wife treats said
children very cruel & neglects to properly feed & clothe them..." Other
affidavits detail the mistreatment of the children. The children were placed
in the care of the mother and the father was "restrained from exercising any
further control." On 4 June 1890, Stephen Lewis swore an affidavit asking
that Missouri and James Lewis be bound to their grandfather, Hasty Ives,
which was done [see below].
23 April 1890--Burkhead Stanly, 9 years old born on 24 October 1890 [sic],
bound to Furney Moore. An affidavit states: "Sally Stanly is the mother of
Burkhead Stanly aged 9 years Oct 24, 1881, whose father Wm. Stanly is
4 June 1890--James Lewis, 8 years old born on 13 May 1882, bound to Hasty
Ives as a farmer. [See also 19 March 1890]
4 June 1890--Missouri Lewis, 10 years old born on 20 June 1880, bound to
Hasty Ives as a housekeeper.
8 July 1890--Harriet Williams, 5 years old born on 6 May 1885, bound to
Louisa Williams as a housekeeper. An affidavit states: "Louisa Williams aged
45...residing on Mrs. Judge Manly's premises...states that Jennie Long decd.
who died July 6/90 left surviving her a little daughter named
Harriet...which child she gave to affiant a short time before her, Jennie's,
death & requests that said child be bound to affiant in the presence of her
son Dallas Long..."
16 August 1890--Joseph Duncan, Jr., 4 years old born on 4 March 1886, bound
to Joseph Duncan. An affidavit with the indenture reads: "Cora
Duncan...being duly sworn says that she is the mother of a bastard child
named Joseph Duncan, Jr., aged four years old born March 4/86 that she
desires to give said child to her father Joseph Duncan who desired to adopt
16 August 1890--Wm. Henry Guion and Bessie Guion, 6 and 2 years old born 25
December 1884 and 1888 bound to Joseph Duncan. An affidavit states that
"Alice Guion, decd., died about the last of Dec/89 leaving two minor
children named Wm. H. Guion & Bessie Guion aged 6 & 2 years...Whose father
Moses Mason (not married to said Alice) died prior to the death of said
Alice, that said Alice was a sister to said Joseph Duncan's wife Susan."
25 August 1890--Carrie Holt Jones, 1 year old born May 1889, bound to Mary
Jones. An affidavit stated: "Ann Bryan alias Ginie Ann being duly sworn says
she is the mother of a bastard child named Carrie Holt Jones born May 1st,
1889, which child she desires to give to Mary Jones of Newbern, N.C.,
who...desires to adopt & rear said child as her own."
25 November 1890--Elizabeth Johnson of Newbern aged 20 is the mother of a
bastard child by Charles Kennedy of Havelock. The child was born 14 July
1888 and is named Oliver R. Nelson. Elizabeth wants to give the child to its
grandparents, Eli and Maria Barrow.
5 August 1895--"Noah Powell...says That he has in his care and custody one
Minnie B. Powell, a colored female child of the age of about four and one
half years; that he has had the care of said child for about two years and
over." The child is illegitimate, the father unknown and the mother
abandoned child and left the state. Noah is a grand uncle. Another document
indicates the child was born in April 1891.
December 1895--"John Dillard...says that John Francis Harrison was Born on
the 18th day of Dec 1876 and bound to him Oct 11, 1883 until he came 21
years of age...That said apprentice has left the care and custody of his
said Master...and is now at the house of his father Frank Harrison." The
child was delivered to Dillard's custody.
n.d. [around 1909]--Lizzie Woolard failed to appear in court to have an
infant [two or three months] apprenticed. The child was ordered to be sent
to the North Carolina Children Home Society in Greensboro.
January 1910--Rosa Ricks "a woman of bad character" is the mother of a child
about 1 year old. Ordered to court to have the child apprenticed