Rev. William Henry Cully: Probate Record #5

It has been since June 2012, since I have written on the probate records of my 2x Great Grandfather William Henry Cully.  He passed away in 1902 and he left no will requiring the courts to approve an administrator of the estate.  My Great Grand Uncle George W. Cully was appointed the administrator when his mother Nancy forfeited that role as it was customary for a male child to handle the affairs of their father.

If you are interested in seeing prior posts of the probate records, you can go to these links WHC Probate Record #1, WHC Probate Record #2, WHC Probate Record #3 &4

Below is a page showing what the court case is pertaining to and who is the administrator and where the case is filed.


W. H. Cully, Decd,

Geo. W. Cully, Administrator

Filed Sept 29, [?] 1902

O & D, Book P

Folio 171


North Carolina, Estate Files, 1663-1979, Craven County, C-Cully, W H (1902) Image 6 of 25,, accessed 3/27/2014 updated



I have spent so much time searching for information on the lives of my Cully line, so for me to find this document, it is revealing.  I have known through Census records that my 2x &3x Grandfathers owned land in North Carolina and through family stories handed down.  I just had no proof on paper per se’.   This page below shows the location of land and the amount owned by William H. Cully.  What I found even better was that the document noted where I could find the deeds and the folio they were filed in.

I will be ordering these soon from the North Carolina, Craven County Recorder of Deeds.


North Carolina, Estate Files, 1663-1979 Craven County C-Cully, W H (1902) Image 7 of 25, as last accessed 3/27/2014 update


North Carolina
Craven County
W. M. Watson, Esq

Geo. W Cully, Administrator
Of estate of
W. H. Cully, dec’d

To The Court:
Geo. W Cully, administrator of the estate of W.H. Cully, deceased respectfully returns the following as a just, true and perfect inventory of all the real estate, goods and chattels of his intestate, which have cause into his hands, or into the hand of any person for heir, as such administrator, since the oath of his qualifications.
Real Estate
One tract of land in No. 5 township, Craven County, N.C. containing 300 acres, being land conveyed to W. H. Cully dec’d by deed recorded in Book 74 Folio 92 office of Register of Deeds. {400.00}
One tract of land in No 6 township Craven County, N.C. containing 290 ½ acres, being land conveyed to W.H. Cully, dec’d by deed re- in Book 85 Folio 500 said record.

The next page I will be presenting in the next post is an inventory of personal property of William…I was even more thrilled with all the things that were listed on the inventory sheet as the document revealed what type of farming my ancestors did.

[My Thought]  A Negro family with property between 1800-1902 was a rarity in North Carolina, but not uncommon at the same time.  There were Negro/Native American families that owned land such as the Carter’s, Doves, George’s Goddette’s , Whittington’s, etc.  
It makes me wonder if these people of color still had to struggle and deal with racism in their community regardless of their economic standing in New Bern.  Were they the exception as long as they stayed where they were?  Of course I am thinking that they had to deal with racism and they had to deal with hate crimes or at least be on guard with the fear that they may fall victim to such a crime.
William’s death announcement stated that he was a well respected colored man.  Was he respected by the Whites because he stayed in his place?

The Genealogy of Shober Hairston, Jr.-Part #1

The Hairston Branch of my tree is one of the least branches that I personally know anything about.  I am unsure how each branch of the tree connects, other than what is told in The Hairston’s: An American Family in Black and White by Henry Wiencek and The Cooleemee Plantation and It’s People by Peter W. Hairston.  It is always said and believed, that we are all family and enough said.  As a genealogist, I want to know more.

The first time I became aware of the “Hairston” name was when I came across it on my Great Grandmother’s Death Certificate. Her mother was listed as Martha Hairston and her father was J.W. Wilson.  As I do with most things that come to my attention, I Google.  This opened up a big wide door for me…one initially for the Hairston Clan, but also for the Wilson Family.

Without going through every detail that led me to begin researching the Hairston’s…Let’s just say that it has allowed me to connect with some of the White & Black Hairstons online and on facebook.  The Hairston’s to this current day are a multi-ethnic group of people.

I am very interested in finding how and where on the tree Martha Hairston is connected to the Hairston family of Martinsville, Virginia.  I realized in order for me to find my connection, I would need to study and research the Hairston’s within the Virginia and North Carolina, in hopes of discovering my Maternal Roots.

With that said, I have been communicating with Pat Hairston-Young, who wanted more genealogical research done on her father’s paternal side, so that she could fill in the gaps of the stories that were handed down to her as a child and young adult.

So the first things I asked of Pat was to supply me with the name of her father and her grand parents, and her great grandparents and any other vital information on the Hairston line that was known to her.  This allowed me to have a reference point while I was doing an initial search.  From there I began to look up records to see what I could find.

I didn’t receive all the information at one time, but this is what Pat sent me.

My roots are from Beckley/Raleigh W.VA…(Caol Mines) My grandfather (killed blast of @ 1942 I believe); My Father worked in mines, we moved to PA in 1952).  Grandfather name: Charles Joseph Hairston/Grandmother name: Mary Mae Hairston: my Father name: Shober Hairston/Mother name: Efelda Slaughter Hairston.  Much of my Father’s family are in Martinsville, VA, Mother’s family in/@ Richmond, VA.

Well, Well…

What did I find?

Until Next time….


Rev. William Henry Cully: Probate Record # 3 & 4

A probate record can be a very revealing document as we have an opportunity to peer into the lives of our ancestors. We find out about the people close to them, the things they owned and many times we may find information that will break down brick walls.

This is a continuance of my Maternal 2x Great Grandfather’s probate file.  If you are just joining my blog and want to see the beginning to catch up, the archives are to the right of this post.  You can start here:


State of North Carolina,
Craven County

I, George W. Cully, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I believe W.H. Cully died without leaving any last will and testament: and that I will well and truly administer all and singular, the goods and chattels, rights and credits for the said W.H. Cully and a true and perfect inventory thereof return as provided by law; and all other duties appertaining to the charge reposed in me; I will faithfully and honestly perform with the best of my skill and ability.  So help me God.

Sworn and subscribed before me, this 29th
Day of September 1902 }

WM Watson C.S.C         }         George W Cully

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, }  Before the Clerk of the Superior Court.
Craven County.
IT BEING SATISFACTORILY PROVEN To the undersigned, Clerk of the Superior Court for Craven County, that W.H. Cully late of said County, is dead, without having made and published a Will and Testament and it appearing that George W. Cully is entitled to the Administration of the estate of said deceased, and having qualified as administrator according to law:
          NOW, THESE ARE THEREFORE TO EMPOWER the said Administrator to enter in and upon all and singular, the goods and chattels, rights and credits of the said deceased, and the same to take into possession whatsoever to be found, and all the just debts of the said deceased, to pay and satisfy, and the residue of said estate to distribute according to law.
          WITNESS, my hand and the seal of said Court, this the 29th day of September 1902
WM Watson Clerk Superior Court.

Now after these two documents, we are going to see more about the life of William H. Cully, and what he owned and how he lived.

Memories of My Grandmother Helen Bunn- Part #2

This is a continuum of Memories of my Grandmother Helen Bunn, Part #1.  Go here  if you would like to follow my train of thought.

My brother and I used to call my grandmother Helen “Granny”, and she seemed to fit that name perfectly.  Some of my memories of her:

  1. She loved to watch wrestling on Television.  I could never figure out what made her like it so much, but she would laugh and cheer her favorite wrestler on.  I swear it was comedy!  I don’t know if it was so much comedy watching these men wrestling with masks and tight underwear on as much as it was watching my grandmother have a ball laughing at them.  She really got into it.  Sometimes she would try to put a move on me, by putting me in a head lock…and she would just laugh as I would be yelling for her to let me up…lol
  1. Another pastime was my grandmother loved to watch the Roller Derby.  Since she lived in Los Angeles, her team was the Thunderbirds.  She was always rooting for Gwen Miller aka “Skinny Minney”; she was always doing a stunt and skating under someone else’s legs.  It was a special treat when we would go to the Los Angeles Olympic Auditorium to see our favorite skaters.  Of course, I always had to have cotton candy when we went.
  1.   So you see, my grandmother liked Wrestling, she liked Roller Derby, and she loved the “Hee Haw” show.  I spent many a day watching this show with her.

Helen was a church going woman and a leader in her church.  I spent every summer at her home and every Sunday we were at church.  Going to church was a weekly ritual when I lived at home, but the type of church I went to at my grandmothers was the African American Episcopal (AME) Church.  What I liked most about attending her church, was the music. They had the soulful gospel music and the old-time spirituals.  The tambourines, foot stomping and clapping and raising of hands excited me, something I was not accustomed to as I was brought up in a Presbyterian  and Methodist church, whose musical style came off as pious and self-controlled.

When I reflect back on my childhood, I can picture my grandmother’s bedroom and on her dresser sat an offering box that was shaped like a church.  This is where I would withdraw some funds to take to church and give for offering.  She told me that it was important to give tithes and offerings as this is what God would want us to do.

So, if you read my last post, you see, I had a grandmother whose father was a sharecropper, and Helen picked many a day of cotton.  She loved tobacco, and I learned this firsthand.  She ran off the farm to ensure that my father got an education; which was well worth the run as he earned a Ph.D, became an educator himself, and had two SD City Schools named after him.

My grandmother loved the rough and tough type of entertainment and she was a very soulful individual.  I can remember everyday tunes that she would sing around the house such as “Go Tell It on The Mountain, and Amazing Grace.”

There is so much more to this woman I called “Granny.”  I have good memories of these formative years of my life at my grandmother’s home and there are more memories to share such as the old health remedies, community activism, and discipling….follow me next time to part #3.

Fearless Females Blog Post-March 4-Marriage Records

Once again, in honor of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month. March 4 — Do you have marriage records for your grandparents or great-grandparents? Write a post about where they were married and when. Any family stories about the wedding day? Post a photo too if you have one. I have not gone beyond finding marriage indexes of my grandparents and great-grandparents. I haven’t had much success with online searches as I believe I will need to order the certificates. I have no wedding photo’s of any grandparent ancestors. I am surprised that there are no wedding photo’s in my possession as my Grandmother Agnes in later years made wedding dresses for many of the who’s who.  What I do have is an insert of my mom’s journal discussing her parent’s union.
The Union of Agnes Mae Cully and Charles Irving Peters

Agnes and Charles fell in love and decided to marry. Mother had a dear friend who lived in Brooklyn, New York.  Her name was Louise Bryant.  Her husband was a composer, Fred Bryant.  They lived in a beautiful brownstone house in Brooklyn. (My father’s home state was West Virginia, so they were both in Florida temporarily.)  When they decided to wed, they agreed they wished to leave the South.  Mother had promised “Aunt” Louise that no matter where she was when she found her true love, she would be married in Louise’s house in Brooklyn, as Mother and Dad bid farewell to people and places in Florida, took the train to Brooklyn and were married in a beautiful ceremony in this lovely, beautifully appointed house. When I was growing up, one didn’t call older people by their first names, so close adult friends became “Aunts and uncles”, as a result, there were quite a few adults whom I addressed and spoke of in this manner, although they were actually not relatives. My mother said her first “inkling” that she was going to have trouble with Daddy was when he took her to Atlantic City for their honeymoon.  Evidently, he put her up in a fine hotel.  It was very romantic for her!  However, when the bill came due, Daddy didn’t have the money to pay it.  In Mother’s fury, she tore the wedding ring off her finger and threw it out the window.  She threw her clothes into her bags and went to the train station, but it was too late to get a train leaving the city.  Feeling totally stranded, she returned to the hotel.The next day, after they made-up, she crawled around in the grass and hunted until she finally found her wedding ring! As punishment for not paying the bill, Mother and Dad had to work out their indebtedness at the hotel.  I don’t know what he did, but she made the beds!

(Copyright 1970-2012 by Yvette Porter Moore, No form of publication without permission given.)