This resource has been eclipsed by the evolution of the internet and the proliferation of digital collections but it should be given a serious look.

“USGenWeb was established in 1996 by a group of genealogists who shared a desire to create online centers for genealogical research. Each of our literally thousands of web sites have been created and are maintained by volunteers. Some of the offerings you’re likely to see in these diverse and creative sites include query boards, listings of local sources for records, county and state histories, online genealogy books, research tips, maps, and links to helpful internet resources. You’ll even find transcribed records online, accessible for free from the comfort of your home. Our Special Projects, such as the nationally-recognized Tombstone Project, assist in the effort to gather these record transcriptions. The USGenWeb Archives are a major repository of data, which is provided by helpful contributors – people just like you!”

I poked around in Hyde County, North Carolina and found links to a 22-minute YouTube video about life and language in the county and a database of local newspapers (free!). Click on USGenWeb in this post or on the image above. You’ll find a map of America. Find your state and click again. A list of counties will be displayed; Virginia will list counties and cities. Click on your target locality — and behold!

Alfred Watts, Company E

The veteran’s widow asked that a longtime family friend be appointed guardian of her infant daughters after their father died in 1880. She re-married in 1883 and the family friend was appointed guardian in 1892.
Note: This pension application folder contained papers for another soldier. I reported it to staff in the Research Room.


Minor — 545,723 / 514,314, Elijah Howard, guardian


Marriage License, Peter Campbell and Jennie Watts, 18 April 1883
Hyde County, North Carolina: “Peter Campbell, of Sladesville, aged 24 years, color, col, the son of Peter Campbell and ‘unknown,’ the father now living, the mother ‘unknown,’ resident of Currituck [County], and ‘Jennie Watts’ of Sladesville, aged 24 years, color, col, daughter of Samuel Collins and ‘unknown,’ the father living, the mother ‘unknown,’ resident of Hyde County …. I, W.H. Howard, a minister of the Missionary Baptist Church, united [the couple] in matrimony on the 19 day of April 1883 at Geo. Campbell‘s house in Currituck Township … Witnesses present at marriage: Edward King, Samuel Gray, W.H. Mann [or Martin?]”


Letter of Guardianship, Elijah Howard, 15 February 1892
“State of North Carolina … Mary Watts and Martha Watts, minor orphans, are without guardians, and Elijah Howard [has applied for and been qualified as such] …”


General Affidavit, David Brown and A.M. Sawyer, 13 June 1892
[Brown] 38 years old; post-office address, Sladesville, Hyde Co., NC
[Sawyer] 46 years old; post-office address, Sladesville, Hyde Co., NC
“We have known Alfred Watts ever since the war. He lived with us. Know he suffered from a disease contracted during the war. Very offensive when near him. His breath was very bad. He could hardly see any at all  … Alfred Watts suffered very much during his death sickness.”


General Affidavit, Samuel Gray and Elijah Gray, 11 July 1892
[S. Gray] 36 years old; Sladesville, Hyde Co., NC
[E. Gray] 39 years old; Makleyville, NC
“[We] were at his burial … [Elijah Gray] was present at the marriage … [We] were neighbors of the husband and wife and have known the children as theirs ever since…”


General Affidavit, York Howard, 12 October 1892
55[?] years old; post-office address, Sladesville, Hyde Co., North Carolina “present at the marriage of Peter Campbell and Jennie Watts — the mother of the children — Martha Watts & Mary Watts daughters of the soldier Alfred Watts … The remarriage of the widow to Peter Campbell was April 19th 1883 … I was present at the marriage …”


General Affidavit, Matthew H. Freeman, 14 October 1892 
34 years old; post-office address, Sladesville, Hyde Co., North Carolina “present at the marriage of Peter Campbell and Jennie Watts. They were married in 1883 but do not know the day of the month….”


General Affidavit, Mariah Sawyer and Saml Gray, 25 August 1893
[Sawyer] 46 years old; residence, Sladesville, Hyde Co., NC
[Gray] 38 years old; residence, Sladesville, Hyde Co., NC
“Watts died 8th October 1880 … they were at his burying: and Saml Gray says he knows this to be a true as the next year he gave a mortgage to M. Makley [sp?] for a mule”


General Affidavit, E. Howard and Joseph Eason, 20 August 1894
[Howard] 49 years old; residence, Sladesville, Hyde Co., NC
[Eason] 60 years old; residence, Sladesville, Hyde Co., NC


General Affidavit, Elijah Howard, 20 August 1894
52 years old; residence, Sladesville, Hyde Co., NC “I have known Alfred Watts ever since the date of 1868. I was with him most of all the time untill [sic] he died in the year of 1880. I have also seen his discharge and to the best of my knolledg [sic] he belonged to Co. E 1st US C Calv. [sic]”


Deposition, Jennifer Campbell, 5 August 1895
about 40 years old; occupation, housekeeper; residence and post-office address, Sladesville, Hyde County, North Carolina
“I never knew him till after the war. I don’t remember the day and month that my husband died but the year was 1880. … Soldier and I were married here at Sladesville by Rev. Fortiscue. I can’t remember the date of our marriage. We had license and they are recorded at Swan Quarter, NC.  Elijah Howard and Dave Brown were present at the marriage. My name before I married soldier was Jennie Collins. … I had two children by the soldier under sixteen years of age when he died. Mary Watts born Dec 3 and Martha Ann born June 2 or 3. I can’t remember the year that either of them were born. Dr. Spencer and Bridget Gray were present when they were born, also Betty Lee. All of these people are dead …. I requested that Elijah Howard be appointed guardian of my children. ”


Deposition, Ann Merrick Sawyer, 5 August 1895
about 47 years old; occupation, housekeeping; residence and post-office address, Sladesville, Hyde Co., NC
“I knew Alfred Watts for about fifteen years before he married Jennie Collins. He lived in my house before his marriage and I did his washing …. His breath was very offensive and curruption [sp?] ran from his nose. I remember the time he died but was sick and could not go to the funeral. Don’t remember the date. I have known the mother of the children since she was a little girl  ….. I saw both of the children in the week or so after they were born but I don’t remember the dates of their birth.”


Deposition, Richard Oates, 5 August 1895
about 42 years old; occupation, farming; residence and post-office address, Sladesville, Hyde Co., NC
“I knew Alfred Watts from soon after the war till he died. He staid [sic] at my father’s before he married. I have known Jennie Watts now Campbell since she was a girl. I was present when she and Watts were married, was one of the waiters  …. was at his burial  …..[He] came down here a young man and we used to court together.”


Deposition, David Brown, 5 August 1895
about 45 years old; occupation, farming; residence and post-office address, Sladesville, Hyde Co., NC
“I became acquainted with Alfred Watts soon after I came to this county in 1866 or 1867. I knew him well and worked with him often till the date of his death. … I have known Jennie Watts now Campbell since before she was grown”


General Affidavit, David Brown and Elijah Gray and Moriah Sawyer, 17 September 1895
[Brown] 38 years old; residence, Sladesville, Hyde Co., NC
[Gray] 40 years old; residence, Sladesville, Hyde Co., NC
[Sawyer] 46 years old
“Watts did die in Oct 8, 1880 instead of 1881. We found out the mistake by the death of Rev. Mr. Hill as Watts died the same season”


Affidavit, Jennifer Campbell, 2 November 1895
35 years old; residence, Sladesville, Hyde County, North Carolina
“I was born at Sladesville, Hyde Co. also lived at the same place when I first knew my deceased husband Watts. There has been no change in my post-office. I knew the soldier about 1 year before I married him. I was married Jany 13th, 1876 by Rev. Mars Fortescue.
“I was freeborn. My maiden name was Jennie Collins … first child name Mary Watts borned [sic] [illegible] 1877, second child name Martha Watts borned [sic] [illegible] 1879. I don’t know where my husband Watts was borned [sic] only that he told me he was borned [sic] in the western part of Virginia. When I first knew him he was living in Sladesville, Hyde Co., NC.


Deposition, Elijah Howard, 5 November 1895
49 years old; occupation, farming; residence and post-office address, Sladesville, Hyde County, North Carolina
“I was appointed guardian of Mary Watts and Martha Ann Watts Feby 1892 by the Superior Court of Hyde County, Swan Quarter, NC.  I gave a bond of $800. I have known these children ever since they were born. Mary was born Dec 3, 1877. Martha Ann was born June 2, 1879. I am not related to them.
“These children have been with their mother and she has had the care and custody of them since the death of her husband. I first became acquainted with Alfred Watts when he came to this county …. He said he was raised in Virginia….. He died Oct 8, 1880. There is no record of the birth of the children. Soldier and the mother of the children were married Jan 13, 1876. I was present at their wedding. I have known the mother all her life. …. Mary Watts has been married about five months. Dr. Sparrow (now dead) attended soldier during his last sickness. I got the dates of the birth of the children from Dr. Jerusha Spencer and Bridget Gray who were present. They are both dead. I got the date of soldier’s death by the death of Mr. O.H. Hill who died the same year. Mr. Hill’s grave has a tombstone and I got the date or the year from that.”


General Affidavit, Willis Warren, 25 May 1896
59 years old; residence, Edenton, Chowan County, NC
“I was acquainted with Alfred Watts for 2 years, and 8 months and that in the latter part of the winter near Christmas 1863. We both enlisted on the same day in Co. E., 1st U.S.C. Calvary [sic] at Fortress Monroe. Was with him all during the war until the end. We both were discharged in Feby 1866 at Brazsells [sic] Texas. We travelled together as far as New Orleans, La. & then we parted & have not seen him since. The Capt. of the Co. was named Emerson, 1st Lieutenant White, Col. Girard.”


General Affidavit, Elijah Gray and Richard Oates, 5 February 1897
[Gray] 39 years old; post-office address, Sladesville, Hyde Co., NC
[Oates] 39 years old; post-office address, Sladesville, Hyde Co., NC
“We were acquainted with Alfred Watts about 10 or 12 years before he died, nursed him in his death sickness, was with him when he died. …we know that he had catarrh, caused by smallpox during the war … Watts was almost blind and was totally blind in one eye caused by the bursting of a bomb shell near him. The above information we got from Alfred Watts.”


General Affidavit, Elijah Howard, 13 October 1898
“I also sent the affidavits of Benj. Burr of Greenville, Miss. and Willis Warn of Edenton, NC to George E. Lemon and if you will look over your papers I think you will find them.”
[NOTE: George E. Lemon was an attorney with offices in Washington, DC — Leslie]


Memo from Geo. W. Brown, Register of Deeds,  Hyde County, North Carolina, 17 December 1900
“This is to certify that Edward Delahanty and Mary Watts were married on the 18th day of April 1895.”


Memo from Geo. W. Brown, Register of Deeds, Hyde County, North Carolina, 17 December 1900
“This is to certify that James Blunt and Martha Ann Watts were married on the 25th day of Oct 1896.”

Nat Turner’s Bible, 1831

This Bible was donated to the National Museum of African American History and Culture by descendants of Lavinia Francis, a slaveholder who survived the rebellion.

“On the evening of August 21–22, 1831, an enslaved preacher and self-styled prophet named Nat Turner launched the most deadly slave revolt in the history of the United States. Over the course of a day in Southampton County, Turner and his allies killed fifty-five white men, women, and children as the rebels made their way toward Jerusalem, Virginia (now Courtland).”
Patrick H. Breen. “Nat Turner’s Revolt (1831),” Encyclopedia Virginia


Nat Turner’s Bible: History, Heritage, and Healing: A Family Story
(1:03:19) NorfolkTV, 15 September 2017
Mark Person and Wendy Creekmore Porter, descendants of a slaveholder who survived the rebellion, presented a program at Slover Public Library in Norfolk, Virginia. They described how the Bible came to them and their decision to donate it to the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). They also described meeting Dr. Rex Ellis of NMAAHC and Nate Parker who wrote and directed “The Birth of A Nation.”
[Note: Dr. Ellis is from Southampton County, Virginia. Nate Parker was born in Norfolk, Virginia — Leslie]


Revolt and Repression: Reconsidering the Nat Turner Slave Revolt
Patrick Breen delivered the Virginia Museum of History & Culture Banner Lecture.
“On August 21, 1831, seven men launched what would come to be known as the Nat Turner Revolt. The rebels swept through Southampton Country recruiting slaves to their rank and killing nearly five dozen whites, more than had ever been killed in any slave revolt in history of the United States. Within two days, whites reestablished control over Southampton County. Examining the terrible choices faced by slaves and also the deep disagreements among whites about how to respond to the rebels, this lecture will discuss new ways of thinking about Nat Turner, his revolt, Southampton County, and even American slavery itself.”
(1:00:36) Virginia Museum of History & Culture, 10 November 2016


Gettysburg Civil War Institute Conference: Nat Turner’s Rebellion
“Author Patrick Breen discussed his book, The Land Shall Be Deluged in Blood: A New History of the Nat Turner Revolt, at the Gettysburg College Civil War Institute’s annual summer conference.”
(1:03:06) C-SPAN, 15 June 2019

Albert Shelley, Company B

The soldier referenced his birth date as close to the time of “Nat’s War” in Southampton County, Virginia.


Invalid — 985,510 / 946,450


General Affidavit, James R. Worrells and J.B. Sugars,  20 November 1893
[Worrells]  22 years old; post-office address, Newsoms, Southampton Co., Va.
“has known Shelley for six years … He lived about 2-1/2 miles from my resident [sic] and moved about 5 miles away and stayed two years and then moved about seven miles further …
[Sugars] 43 years old; post-office address, Worrells, Southampton Co., Va.


General Affidavit, James Robert Worrells and Peter Walter Blow, 1 April 1897
[Worrells] 25 years old; post-office address, Worrells, Southampton Co., Va.
[Sugars] 42 years old; post-office address, Worrells, Southampton Co., Va.
“They have known Albert Shelley the claimant … for ten years …”


General Affidavit, Jacob Sugars and Howell Jones, 5 April 1897
[Sugars] 64 years old; residence, Worrells, Southampton Co., Va.
[Jones] 55 years old; residence, Worrells, Southampton Co., Va.
“We were Privates in Company I … and knew Albert Shelley who was a member of Co. B …. We were stationed at Brazos Texas and Shelley was taken sick which was sometime the first of the year 1866 and he was in the barracks hospital … and while there attended by Dr. Gray. He was in the hospital, helpless for several weeks. We knew Shelly before he enlisted. He went from the same county, Southampton, Va. as us. He was a strong, healthy man before enlistment but since his discharge has been crippled and incapable of much manual labor. But for his relatives & friends he would not be able to live without becoming a charge on the public.”


General Affidavit, James Robert Worrell and Peter Walter Blow, 28 April 1897
[Worrell]  25 years old; post-office address, Worrells, Southampton Co., Va.
[Blow] 42 years old; post-office address, Worrells, Southampton Co., Va.
“We have known Albert Shelly the claimant for many years … Worrell for 12 years …. Blow for 30 years … and during that time he has never been addicted to any vicious habits … In fact he is a sober, quiet, and well-behaved man. Keeps good hours and is steady and regular in all his habits.”


Deposition, Edmund Matthews, 4 June 1913
88 years old; occupation, farm work; post-office address, Drewryville, Va.
“I have known Albert Shelley a long time, ever since the war. … I believe that he is all of 10 years younger than I am. …”


Deposition, Albert Shelley, 4 June 1913
87 years old; occupation, farm work; post-office address, Drewryville, Va.
“I was born in Southampton Co., Va. on the farm of Chas. Urquhart who was my master on May 20, 1826. If anyone wrote it May 5th
“Q.  How do you know that you were born on May 20, 1826?
A.  After the war my old master gave me my age. He had it on a long book, a list of all the slaves he owned. He gave it to me on a strip and I had it put on my Bible bur my Bible got burned when my house was burned down. … I know that I am over 80 years old. I was five years old in Nat’s War” that was 1830 or 1835
“Q. What has become of your master’s record?
A.  I don’t know. He, his wife, and all of his sons are dead.
Q.  Who knows about how old you are?
A.  All the old people I knew, mighty near all of them, are dead.  I don’t know of but one and he is Hartwell Brown. He lived in Norfolk Co. somewhere 9 or 10 years ago but I have no idea where he can be found. He was about my age, belonged to Mr. Urquhart … the last I heard from him he lived in Princess Anne Co., Va.

Q.  Are there not some old people in this county somewhere who are sure about your age?
A.  …Old man Edmund Massey, he is about my age. He has known me for some years. There is Peter Daughtry since I think of it. He ought to know more about my age than anyone else living. He has known me from a boy and is a little younger than I am. … My master has some grandchildren but I don’t know their names or where they live. I have been anxious to find some of them.

“I was not married til the second year after the war. Then I married Anna Marie Blow who is now living with me. We were married in Southampton Co. by ——- forget the preacher’s name. She was never married before.”


Deposition, Peter Doughtry, 4 June 1913
near 70 years old; occupation, farmer; post-office address, Drewryville, Va.
“I have known Albert Shelley near my whole life. … He is a full piece older than I am….. I don’t know my own age but I don’t think I am less than 70.  In 1866 I was registered for 21. I think that it was in 1866”


Deposition, Mrs. Rebecca M. Dillard, 19 June 1913
72 years old; no occupation; post-office, Waverly, Va.
“Albert Shelley belonged to my father Chas. Urquhart of Southampton Co. All my father’s records relative to his slaves have been lost or destroyed. I don’t know the exact age of Albert Shelley. I thought that he was between 65 and 70 but I now recall that he was a little older than I am. He was between my age and a brother two years older. He, Albert Shelley is now about 73 years of age. I don’t know the month of his birth….He is not 87. He is mistaken if he thinks he is. I was born in 1841 and he was probably born in 1840. I am sure that he was not born in 1826  …”


Questionnaire (Form 3-389), Albert Shelley, 24 April 1915
[birth place/birth date] May 20, 1826
[post-office at enlistment] Hampton, Va.
[married] Anna Maria Shelley, Anna Maria Black
[when, where, by whom] don’t know date, by Chas. Urquhart, Southampton Co., Va.
[record] no
[previously married] no
[wife living] yes, living with her
[names, birthdates of children] Rosa Shelley (dead), Robert Shelley (dead), Martha Ann Shelley (dead), Harry Shelley (dead), Norfleet Shelley (dead), Anna Shelley (living near Anna Worrell), Louvenia Shelley (living near Louvenia Howell), Susanna Shelley (living near Susanna Eppes), Albert Shelley, Jr. (living), Edward Shelley (living) — dates of birth lost owing to family bible being burned”

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Portsmouth, Independent Cities, Virginia, Sanborn Map Company, February 1898

Seaboard Airline R. R. Station and Main Offices, Portsmouth, Va. (postcard, circa 1930-1945)


“The Seaboard Coastline Building, a prominent landmark situated on the Portsmouth waterfront, has stood for nearly a century as a major symbol of rail transportation and land-and-sea commerce to the harbor city of Portsmouth, Virginia. Erected in 1894-95 and enlarged in 1914, the structure served as the northern terminus and office headquarters of the Seaboard Air Line until 1956. The significance of the railroad and, in particular, this northern terminal, to the commerce and industry of the region is indisputable: The Seaboard Air Line Railroad transported much of the vast southern cotton crop to the Portsmouth terminal, exchanging for fertilizer and other manufactured products from the north. The railroad provided access to the rich coalfields of West Virginia, the steel industry as far south as Birmingham, Alabama, and the fruit and produce groves of Florida. The strategic siting of the terminal and warehouses along the Portsmouth harbor provided a critical link to the north-south internal shipping route extending from New York to South Carolina, as well as a familiar landmark to the passenger ferries approaching from the neighboring harbors of Norfolk and Newport News.”
National Register of Historic Places — Nomination Form — Seaboard Coastline Building — Portsmouth, Virginia — 124-0053

Simon Everett, Company I

The soldier was born in Murfreesboro, North Carolina. He had a family with Emma in Suffolk, Virginia and later a family with Grace in Philadelphia. The second family moved north to Providence, Rhode Island where the daughter became a kindergarten teacher. Several witnesses for the widow’s application were Virginians who migrated to northern cities. One of the witnesses testified that the soldier worked for Seaboard Air Line in Portsmouth.

Invalid — 993,623 / 706,875
Widow — 968,396 / 915,743, Grace Everett

General Affidavit, Simon Everett, 23 December 1907
71 years old; post-office address, 2055 Pemberton St., Philadelphia, Pa.
“He declares that he is unable to get a public or bible record of his birth. That he was born on farm of Jack Everett in Hertford Co., North Carolina as his mother told him on March 4, 1836, that he was born a slave, and knows there is no christening record in existence.”

General Affidavit, David Copeland & George H. Clark, 31 July 1911
[Copeland] 61 years old; post-office address, 1013 S. Bouvier St., Philadelphia, Pa.
[Clark], 51 years old; post-office address, 1825 Lombard St., Philadelphia, Pa.
“That they have known the above named soldier for 54 years and 34 years, respectively; and the above named claimant for the past 40 years and 30 years.”

Deposition, Grace Everett, 4 January 1912
54 years old; occupation “going out and washing, ironing, cleaning and anything that I can get to do”; post-office address, 90th Street and Laycock Ave., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
“My maiden name was Grace Smith. I was born in Suffolk. My parents were Peter and Harriet Smith. Both are dead. I have no sister, and one brother is Mark Smith. I have not heard from him in 15 years and then he was in South Carolina somewhere.
“I lived in Suffolk, Va. until I was about twenty-two years old and then I came to Philadelphia, Pa. and lived here until three years ago when I went to Providence, R.I. and lived there until the death of my husband.
“I had been living here about five years when I was married to the soldier.
“I have been married once and once only. I was married to the soldier on September 20, 1883 in Philadelphia, Pa. by Rev. H. Whalen, a colored Baptist minister who was pastor of Zion Church, 13th and Melon Sts.
“I have the original marriage certificate which he gave me and I have had it ever since. It is a large certificate and I have it in a frame.
[The Special Examiner transcribed the certificate which included signatures of two witnesses: George H. A Co Clarke and Sarah L. Wright. — Leslie]

“Q. I see that the name of the man you were married to, as shown by this certificate, was named Simon Brownie. How was that?
A. My husband was a slave. His owner was Mr. Everett. He was called Simon Everett after his owners. His father’s name was Brownie. I forget the Christian name of his father. When I first met him he was called Simon Brownie. He had a younger brother here named John Brownie and when Simon came him here he took the name of Brownie. He has always been known as Simon Brownie here. I have always been known as Mrs. Brownie, ever since I was married to him.
“His brother, John, is dead. He has no brother living. None at all. He has one sister living, i.e. Henrietta Joyner. Joyner was the name of her first husband. He is not living with her and she is married to Daniel Crenshaw and lives at 7 Wheaton St., Providence, R.I.
“My husband enlisted under the name Simon Everett. He was born in Murfreesboro, N.C. I do not remember the name of his father. His mother was named Dinah Everett, she went by her owner’s name. I did not know him until I came to Philadelphia. I was born a slave also. My parents were both slaves. I had five children by the soldier, only one is living i.e. Matilda Brownie. She is not married and lives with me. I keep house. I have roomers. I have a little girl, seven years old, who stays with me. I live in a six room house, but have been unfortunate and have not been able to get any roomers. I have lived there since last June. We came home last June from Providence. We lived in the same house before we went to Providence. I do not own the house. We pay rent.

“. . .  I have a tintype of him taken before we were married. I will loan it to you. I want it returned to me when it has served its purpose….
“I had known the soldier about two years when we were married. We went to Providence, R.I., three years before he died and lived at the home of his sister. My daughter was there with him and took care of him and he died there. I went out to work. I worked in Providence. I always went home to his sister once a week and sometimes oftener. He was so sick all that time that he was not able to earn a five-cent piece.
“I was married to the soldier at the parsonage of Mr. Whalen on Poplar Street. George Clark and Sarah Louise Gibson (now living) were present at our marriage. I cannot name anyone else, now living, who were present at our wedding …. There is a record in the City Hall.”
“Q.  By whom can you prove that you were never married prior to your marriage to Simon Brownie?
“A.  Mary Medford and David Copeland knew me down south and have known me ever since I have been in Philadelphia and know that I was never previously married. ….
“Q.  [Was the solder married before marrying you?]
” A.  Yes, sir. I think the name of his first wife was Emma. I really do not remember the maiden name of his first wife. I do not know where they were married…. I do not known when he was married. They had one child. His name was Willie Everett. I saw him. He came on here to visit his father. He first came on here about eight years ago and then again six years ago. He was here twice. He died about a year and a half before his father died. His aunt, Henrietta, raised him in Providence….
“The soldier married Emma under the name of Simon Everett….
“At the time I was married to him, I did not know that he had a wife…. I did not hear that he had every been married until we had been married about five years and them some friend of his came on here to visit him and I overheard a conversation between them … [My husband] said that he had got a divorce. He said he got the divorce because his wife was not true to him. He never showed me the divorce papers and I did not ask me to allow me to see them. I can read but I do not write. ….
“I never heard that Emma tried to get a divorce from Simon Everett after he was married to me…. Emma is dead. I do not know when she died. … We lived in Philadelphia, Pa. until three years before his death and for the three years prior to his death we lived in Providence, R.I.
“David Copeland, Louise Gibson, Mary Medford, Francis Cole, 1012 S. 7th St. and Barbara Frisby, 1848 Woodstock St. have known me since I was married to the soldier.
Adda Jones, 30 South Court, Mrs. Fannie Phillips, 72 Meeting Street, and the sister and nephew of the soldier, all of Providence, R.I. …
“When we were first married we lived at 1707 Olive St. for about five years and then moved to 1735 Beechwood St. and lived there for about four years and we were living there when we first applied for a pension.”
[Note: This deposition is signed with an “X” over ‘Grace Brownie.” — Leslie]

Deposition, Matilda Brownie, 4 January 1912
25 years old; “My occupation is teacher in the kindergarten”; residence, 10th and Laycock Ave., Philadelphia, Pa.
“I am the only living child of Simon and Grace Brownie. I have always lived with my parents. They have always lived together ever since I can remember… They always lived in Philadelphia except the last three years of his lifetime and they lived in Providence, R.I. My father died there on Oct. 19, 1910.
“I first heard that my father had been previously married when my half brother came on the visit us when I was seven or eight years old. I may have been older than that but I was not a young lady yet. I know that I was but a small girl and I heard Willie say that his mother was dead….
“The first time that I heard he was not divorced from his first wife was when I was at the office of Mr. Sickel and he told my mother and me. That was just this last summer and after the death of father….My half brother was called William Everett.”

Deposition, Frances Cole, 6 January 1912
49 years old; widow and keep house at 1012 S. 17th Street, Philadelphia, Pa.
“I was born and raised about three miles from Suffolk, Va. I left there when I was about 15 years of age and lived around Norfolk, Va. for four or five years and then came to this city and have lived here since 1877.
“Yes, I know Grace Brownie: I knew her when she was a child; she is a little older than I am. I have known her ever since I have lived here. She was not married when I first came to Philadelphia. She was here before I was.”

Deposition, Mary Medford, 6 January 1912
49 years old; “I am the wife of Alonzo Medford with whom I am not living”; residence, 202 S. Quince St., Philadelphia, Pa.
“I was born and raised in Suffolk, Va. and lived there until I was 13 years old and then came north to Camden, N.J. I was there a year or two and came over to Philadelphia, Pa. and have resided here since.

“I knew Grace Brownie in Suffolk, Va. Her maiden name was Grace Smith. She came to Philadelphia a few years after I did, as I remember it. It was about 1881 that I first saw her here. But I know that my sister sent her to look for me as my sister did not know where I was at….
“[The claimant] has one daughter living who is Maud.”

Deposition, Sarah L. Gibson, 6 January 1912
47 years old; “I am a widow and keep house at 86th and Lukens Ave., Philadelphia, Pa.”
“My maiden name was Sarah Louise Wright. I was born in Camden, N.J. and have lived in Camden and Philadelphia all my life.
“I knew Simon Brownie and his wife, Grace. I first met him a year or two before he was married to the claimant. They way I met him was that he came to the home of my mother to board on Cameo St. It was 627 Andress St then but it’s name has been changed to Cameo St.
“I do not know where he came from. I knew that he worked in a livery stable while he was boarding with us, for my father got him that job. He was a single man at that time. …
“He was married to Grace Smith in the house of my parents. I think I am mistaken about that: He was married in the home of the minister: I was her bridesmaid. I forget the name of the minister…. They were married some 27 or 28 years ago.

“I never knew his brother John. I never heard him say that he had a brother here…I have heard him speak of a sister in Providence, R.I. … The claimant is a splendid, nice, respectable woman.”

Deposition, David Copeland, 8 January 1912
59 years old; occupation, cleaning Pullman cars; post-office address, 1013 S. Bouvier St., Philadelphia, Pa.
“I first knew [Grace] in Suffolk, Va. … She came here when she was a young woman. I did not see her again until 1894 and then she was the wife of Simon Brownie. … I first met [Simon Everett] in Portsmouth, Va. He was working there in the Air Line House transferring freight. I worked in the same gang with him. .. He told me that his owner was Everett and his father was Brownie. … He told me he was raised in North Carolina. .. ”
“It was soon after the war that I met him in Portsmouth, Va. and I worked with him there about four years ago.

Deposition, Geo. H. Clark, 13 January 1912
47 years old; occupation, master of housework; address, 750 Dorrence St., Phila., Pennsylvania
“Yes, I know Grace Brownie. I knew her first, about a year or two before she was married to Simon Brownie, and I knew him too about the same time. We were all friends and associates at that time.
“I was the groomsman and Sarah Louisa Wright (now Gibson) was the bridesmaid. I witnessed the marriage ceremony.”

Questionnaire (Form 3-442), 13 June 1912

Name    Post-Office Address
Oscar Jubilee    98 Henry St., Norfolk, Va.
Wm. Purnell    59 Pine St.,Norfolk, Va.
Chas. Jones    12 Smith St, Norfolk, Va.
Peter Richardson    RFD #1, Norfolk, Va.
Wm. Reed    Soldiers’ Home
Ruffin Turner    415 E.R.R. Ave., Petersburg, Va.
Jacob Sugars    Felts, Southampton Co., Va.
Henry Smith           RFD #2, Hickory, Norfolk Co., Va

Deposition, Henrietta Joyner Cranshell, 8 March 1912
about 54 years old; post-office address, 7 Wheaton St., Providence, Rhode Island
My first husband was J.M. Joyner. He got a bill from me and my present husband Daniel Cranshell. I had a brother Simon Everett who I think was born in Va. His first wife was Emma Everett and they were married in Portsmouth, Va. about a year after the war. They were married at mother’s home and I was at home and saw them married. I think they were married by the Baptist colored minister John Gordon. After their marriage they were together in in Portsmouth, Va. about ten years then they broke up housekeeping and came to Providence, R.I. After they had been here some two years I came to Providence, R. I. and they were living together here. They had two children from in Portsmouth, Va. Willie and Charlie. Charlie died before they came to Providence, R.I. and Willie came here with them and died here some three years ago. My brother Simon Everett and his first wife lived together her some two years then they had some falling out and he left her and went to Phila.”

Deposition, Hardy Everett, 8 March 1912
about 55 years; occupation, coachman; post-office address, 321 N. Main St., Providence, R.I.
“I had an uncle Simon Everett, my mother’s brother. I was born in North Carolina, Murfreesboro or near there. I went to Portsmouth, Va. and lived some eleven years. When  I went to Portsmouth, Va. my uncle Simon Everett just married Emma Riddick. After I had lived in Portsmouth, Va. for some eleven years I went to New London, Conn. and enlisted in the U.S. Navy where I served some ten years. I didn’t see Uncle Simon Everett during those ten years. I did not see him again until Providence, R.I. the last time with his wife Grace. I lived in same house with him on Wheaton St., with my aunt his sister up to the time of his death.”

Deposition, Amelia A. Jones, 7 June 1912
49 years old; wife of Rev. Chas. W. Jones; post-office address, Box 31, Suffolk, Va.
“I recognize the picture you have shown me as a picture of Simon Everett. I have a picture like it, have had it 35 or 40 years.
“Said Simon Everett was the husband of my sister Emma (Riddick). … My mother and father were named Ned and Sophia Riddick…. He deserted [Emma] some years before she died….Simon Everett was never known as Simon Brownie while I knew him.”

Hampton National Cemetery

“In addition to interments made from the military hospitals at and near Fort Monroe, cemetery burial records in 1868 indicated that remains had been brought to the Hampton National Cemetery from the military posts of Fort Monroe; Big Bethel in Elizabeth City County (now the city of Hampton); Newport News in Warwick County; Jamestown in James City County; Craney Island, Deep Creek, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Blackwater in Norfolk County; Smithfield in Isle of Wight County; Suffolk in Nansemond County and Cherry Stone in Northampton County.” This text is from the  National Register of Historic Places – Final Nomination Form – Hampton National Cemetery – Hampton, Virginia – #114-01480, page 14.

“The great number of sick and wounded soldiers during the Civil War resulted in numerous military hospitals being set up near battle sites. A 1,800-bed military hospital was established at Fort Monroe, near Hampton. Although the Fort Monroe hospital was better staffed and organized than many Civil War hospitals, the mortality rate was high. Consequently, burials at Hampton National Cemetery included many soldiers who died at Fort Monroe and other military hospitals in the vicinity. Although burials began at the cemetery in 1862, it was not classified by the U.S. Government as a national cemetery until 1866. The legal transfer of 4.749 acres for the cemetery did not occur until 1868.”
National Cemetery Administration: Hampton National Cemetery


Was your person of interest buried in a national cemetery?
Try grave locator on the National Cemetery Administration website. This database includes all national cemeteries.

Was your person of interest buried at Hampton National Cemetery?
Find A Grave volunteers have photographed 95% of the gravestones at Hampton National Cemetery.

See also the website Lest We Forget: African American Military History by Historian, Author, and Veteran Bennie McCrae, Jr. for “United States Colored Civil War Veterans and A White Officer.” It’s a database of burials at Hampton National Cemetery.  Mr. McCrae is an Associate Member, Sargeant Elijah P. Marrs Camp #5, Department of Kentucky, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.  He edited and posted images of gravestones that were photographed, researched and submitted by John Hall, Graves Registration Officer, Colonel James Brady Camp #63, Department of Maryland, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Enter “Hampton National Cemetery” in the search box on his website’s main page and you can access each segment within the database.

Interested in other burial grounds?
Scroll to the bottom of Mr. McCrae’s website and click on “Resting Places” for more sources.


Keep in mind, these are just some of the possibilities. Veterans were buried in local cemeteries, churchyards and family property. Those who died sick and destitute were buried in hospital and almshouse graveyards. I’ve come across one burial at sea. It’ll be posted soon.

Anderson Toyan, Company D

The soldier was born in Norfolk, Virginia, enlisted in that city in December 1863, and died of cerebo-spinal meningitis in Portsmouth, Virginia on January 31, 1865. He was buried at Hampton National Cemetery.

— Compiled military service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served with the United States Colored Troops [microform]: 1st through 5th United States Colored Cavalry, 5th Massachusetts Cavalry (Colored), 6th United States Colored Cavalry (1997). Reel 0014 – 1st United States Colored Cavalry: Tines, Archer – Wheldon, Charles M. (online at  https://archive.org/details/compiledmili0014akesunit/mode/2up). Anderson Toyan’s CMSR can viewed at (n112 – n116).


Mother — 454,805 / 463,669, Lucinda Toyan


Declaration for Mother’s Pension, Lucinda Loyan, 18 July 1890
60 years old; residence, Perquimans Co., North Carolina; post-office address, Belvidere, Perquimans Co., N.C.
“He left neither widow, child nor children, but a dependent mother — Lucinda Loyan who received his bounty under Certificate 289,351 on August 5, 1873 at Fort Monroe, Va.”


Claimant’s Affidavit, Lucinda Loyan alias Twine, 17 April 1896
“The claimant states that her correct name is Lucinda Twine & that her son’s name should be Anderson Twine. She states that she cannot read or write herself. [When she received Certificate 289,351 and her son’s bounty at Fort Monroe] and when her application for pension was wrote, she did give that certificate to the man who wrote it …. said that the man who enrolled her son must have made a mistake and put his name Loyan instead of Twine for the name on the certificate was Lucinda Loyan so he made out her application for pension by that name”


General Affidavit, Josephus Riddick, 18 July 1896
post-office address, Nicanor, Perquimans Co., N.C.
“I was not in the same company but I was in the same Reg’t and in Co E.
“We were raised near together and I knew him well.”


General Affidavit, Benjamin Hurdle, 13 April 1897
54 years old; post-office address, Belvidere, Perquimans Co., NC
“I was acquainted with Anderson Twine …”


General Affidavit, Dempsey Elliott, 26 May 1897
post-office address, Suffolk, Nansemond Co., Va.
“I was a Sergnt. in Company D, 1st Reg USCC  and I knew Anderson Twine who was a member of said company and Reg. I knew that he was sick and died in Portsmouth, Va. in the winter time of 1864.”


General Affidavit, Lucinda Twine, 12 June 1897
“To the Hon. Commissioner of Pensions, Washington, DC — Sir, I beg to state that I, Lucinda Twine, the above named claimant has from this day changed my post-office address from Belvidere, Perquimans, North Carolina to Dewight, Perqs Co., N.C. hoping if there should be any mail matter sent to me at any time from the department that it may be sent to that office & oblige your humble servant.”
[The scribe wrote “Dewight” but it’s “Dwight, Perquimans County, North Carolina” — Leslie]


General Affidavit, Acwell Jones, 22 March 1897
post-office address, 723 Blunt Street, Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va.
“I was acquainted with Anderson Twine and was in the same Company and Regiment …. I waited upon him during the sickness that brought on his death. I was 3d duty sergeant at the time of his death … and saw his body after death and recognized it.”

The widowed veteran was almost twenty years older than his second wife. Both were born in York County, Virginia. He was buried at Hampton National Cemetery.

— Compiled military service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served with the United States Colored Troops [microform]: 1st through 5th United States Colored Cavalry, 5th Massachusetts Cavalry (Colored), 6th United States Colored Cavalry (1997). Reel 0003 – 1st United States Colored Cavalry: Casey, Thomas – Davenport, John J. (online at http://www.archive.org/details/compiledmili0003akesunit).  Cheesmans’s CMSR can be viewed at n287-n310.


Widow — 1,022,930 / 776,313, Elizabeth Cheesman


Marriage License, William Cheesman & Elizabeth Fitchett, 21 February 1884
Elizabeth City County, Virginia
ages, 45 years old and 27 years old, respectively; husband’s and wife’s condition, widowed and single; birthplace, York Co., Va.; residence, Elizabeth City Co., Va.; husband’s parents, Sambo Cheeseman & Phillis Cheeseman; wife’s parents, Joseph and Ann Fitchett; occupation, farmer


Questionnaire, William Cheesman, October 1897
[married] I am a married man, Elizabeth Fidget, maiden; now Elizabeth Cheesman
[when, where, by whom] about 1875 in York County, Va.; Rev. Nash, pastor of Bethel Church, York County, Va.
[marriage record] by licenses filed in Elizabeth City County
[previously married] blank
[living children] Noveller Cheesman, two years old; Esteller Cheesman, five years old; Albert Cheesman, eight years old; Howard Cheesman, fifteen years old; Edward Cheesman, twenty-one years old


Notarized Statement, Elizabeth White & Ella Carter, 18 April 1914
55 and 51 years old, respectively; both reside in Elizabeth City County, Va.; both post-office addresses, Hampton, Va.
“They were personally acquainted with Nancy Cheesman, deceased, wife of William Cheesman, deceased, and that they attended her funeral; that she was buried by undertaker Andrew Toliver, and was buried at the grave yard on Frazier’s Farm in the County of Elizabeth City, Virginia, that said William Cheesman was married once before he was married to Elizabeth Cheesman, the applicant, and that his former wife Nancy Cheesman, died before his marriage to the claimant, that the claimant lived together as husband and wife, from the time of their marriage until the death of the soldier, William Cheesman, and that the claimant has never re-married since the death of the soldier.”


Notarized Statement, Laura Brown, 18 May 1914
47 years old; residence, York County, Va.; post-office address, Box 88, RFD No. 2, Hampton, Virginia
“That she has known Elizabeth Cheesman, the claimant since she was a small girl, before she became of marriageable age, that she went to school with her and has lived near her nearly all of her life. That the said Elizabeth Cheesman was never married before she was married to the soldier, William Cheesman, having known him since she was a very young girl. That when she first became acquainted with him he was married to Nancy Cheesman, his former wife, that the said Nancy Cheesman died over thirty years ago; that said Elizabeth Cheesman lived with said William Cheesman until his death as his wife; that said Elizabeth Cheesman has not re-married since the said of the said William Cheesman.”

“First Monday” features an extra sketch or sidebar.
Today’s posts include William Cheesman, Company C; Anderson Toyan, Company D; and Hampton National Cemetery.

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