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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

52 Ancestors 52 Weeks: #7 Mary Vick

I love mysteries and by researching my family history, I have found lots of mysteries. One in particular is connected to my great-great grandmother Mary Vick. 

Mary was born around 1865 in Wayne County, North Carolina.  Her parents were Easter and Thomas (Tom) Vick and Mary had nine siblings: Sam, Cora, Emma, John T., Susan, Charlie, Willie, Fannie and Lela.

She never married but she had children; her only daughter, Hattie Vick Fuller (1880-1916) was raised by Mary’s mother, Easter.  Hattie’s father was Amos Newsome.  Mary’s  two sons were raised by their father’s family but we only know the name of one son, Richard Edmundson (1882-1926). The second son; I know nothing about. I don’t even know his name but I do know that family history says he met an ugly fate; he was lynched. Unfortunately, no one alive knows when or where he was murdered.

Just like her second son, Mary has been an enigma to me.  I say that because she left her 3 children when they were toddlers. To me, Mary was so different from most African American women of her time. Abandoning your child is not a trait that you hear about in our family, nor in women during that time period. 

Sadly there are no pictures of Mary and the only records I have related to her are two census.  On the 1870 census Mary was a toddler living with her parents, her brother Samuel and her sister Cora in Wayne County, North Carolina.[1]  
 1870 Census: Nahunta, Wayne, North Carolina
The next and last time we find Mary was on the 1880 census. She’s 15 years old and her family was still living in the Nahunta area of Wayne County, North Carolina.  Mary was the oldest daughter and the second oldest child.[2] 
 1880 Census Place: Nahunta, Wayne, North Carolina
After her children’s birth in the 1880s, Mary disappeared.  My question is what became of Mary and why did she leave her children? Did she marry and have more children or did she suffer a horrible fate like her son?

At a family reunion a cousin once said that during the reconstruction time  that flyers were posted proclaiming that the “West” was the place to be and the flyers read “The land of milk and honey where money indeed grow on trees.” I always wondered if my relatives who disappeared, like Mary were one of those folks who went in search of the land of milk and honey and money growing trees.

Until this mystery is solved, the search for Mary continues.






[1] Year: 1870; Census Place: Nahunta, Wayne, North Carolina; Roll: M593_1165; Page: 176A; Image: 355; Family History Library Film: 552664.
[2] Year: 1880; Census Place: Nahunta, Wayne, North Carolina; Roll: 986; Family History Film: 1254986; Page: 658D; Enumeration District: 301; Image: 0902.

Monday, February 10, 2014

52 Ancestor 52 Weeks: #6 Mary Verneace Fuller Becton

Today marks my Mom’s 89th birthday. My brothers and I are so bless to still have her with us. Although this birthday will be mark with sadness because my sister passed away this past August, I know Mom is happy to celebrate her birthday.

Mom was born and raised in Fremont, North Carolina to Lester and Classie Pate Fuller aka Dafull and Mafull.
Mom and Mafull

Mafull did not allow my Mom to have a lot of idle time, instead she made Mom read the bible or “her lesson” aka homework.  Mafull's persistence paid off because Mom was promoted twice: in her primer class (kindergarten) and in first grade.  Ironically, another teacher wanted to promote her a third time but Mafull said no.

Her 9th grade graduating class had 22 students.

Her high school graduating class had 13 members. That's her in the second row, second from the right.

In 2002, the remaining classmates met at a birthday party for Mrs. Annie Frances Wilder Henderson. Seating from the left are Mrs. Annie and Mom. Standing is Mrs. Mary Jane Ray Jackson. 

The picture on the left is Mom (far right) with some classmates on the grounds of Winston Salem Teachers College, now know as, Winston-Salem State University. The picture on the right is Mom (second from the right) with her friends in Fremont.

After high school, Mom went to Winston Salem Teachers College (Winston Salem State University) where she stayed for 3 years.  Because her boyfriend returned from the “War,” she left school and they got married in South Carolina, that boyfriend was Sylvester Artis.

Although the marriage ended in divorce, Mom and Sylvester had 4 children:  LaVonchia, Mercedes Avatna, Dwight Sylvester and Michael Owen.

Mom (left  and lower right), Mom with LaVonchia, Mercedes and Dwight.

In 1964, Mom married her second husband, my father, Robert Lee Becton.
This was taken right after they got married in Rockville, Maryland.

Mom submitted her DNA to and 23andme. Below are her results.

My mom’s 23andme ancestry results


Mom’s results

23andme provided some unexpected results such as the countries of origin.  Besides Africa and Ireland, Mom shares DNA with people from Jamaica and Brazil.  During the 1700s, the Carolinas were importing slaves from the Caribbean and Africa.

23andme - Country's of Ancestry Results

Happy Birthday Mom!