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.
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.
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.