: In Search Of Rodger 1992 to 2016
by bill smith
The "In Search of Rodger 1710-2003" book, got started in 1992
at the 1991 family reunion,when I asked Aunt Nana why the
family history was so short?
Indiana Jones was my aunt, she asked me to help do the family
history for the next family reunion. For as long as I could remember
Aunt Nana, had been doing the family genealogy
for the Family reunions. So I agreed to do some research,,
since I was retired and had some time between my fishing trips.
Little did I know at the time that it would end up being
a 24 year journey, that is 24 years and counting.
I started out trying to find out who my great grandfather and mother were?
Were they enslaved? Or were they free? The answer to these and other
question has lead me on a 24 plus year genealogy journey.
I have been to every Courthouse, library, and college within a six county radius,
Hyde, Craven, and Pamlico Counties. Also Lenior, Beaufort, and Carteret
Counties. In Hyde County where my family was first found.
I walked on the same dirt roads and fields they slaved in. I went to the
slave holders homes and checked their personal files on micro film, and
the court archives. I trace them through the census, Bill of sales, Wills, Deeds
and other court papers. I looked in every nook and cranny I could
think of. Some times it drove me to tears, but I kept on looking,
I kept on searching. I had to know the answer to all my questions,
and the more I learned the more I wanted to know. How much did they
sell for? Who brought them? How old were they? Who were their
parents? Where in Africa, and from what tribe did they come from?
What was the name of the slave ship, and who owned it? And on an
on an on. As you can see this can go on and on until it becomes a complete
obsession, all consuming. I'm sure you have realized by now it can be
very expensive. I have not bothered to even try to add up the cost,
but I know it's in the thousands. Thank God for the computer and the Internet,
without them I could not have found as much information as I have.
I have to also thank God that our ancestors were so valuable,
the slave holders kept very good records of their property.
Every transaction was well documented, all nice and legal.
As I was looking at the old records I would be hoping that the owner
of my family would sale them or put them in their Wills,
because then they would be listed by names and some times age,
and if I was lucky their would be a description of them. How tall,
weight, complexion etc..,It was at these times that I would pause
at the micro film page and visualize my ancestor, and who in the
family they would look like. These were the most tearful times,
it was at these times that I knew why I was doing the research,
and that it would never end. I could not stop until
I brought them back to life,each and everyone of my family.
My finding them and telling the family about them gave them new life,
it made them real. They were no longer lost in the dusty pages of history,
now their story could be told. Now their children, children,
children will know them, and their stories.
My search for Rodger has lead others to research their families roots.
I hope it will be an inspiration to you to start your search.
Your family is waiting to be discovered by you.
Bill Smith Sr.
The year was about 1710, some where is South America, Maricay was
born. Maricay is the oldest one of our relative that I have been
able to trace so far. In my search for Rodger Smith's father and mother,
I discovered that David Pain/Midyett was Rodger Smith father, and Louisa
O'Neal/Credle was his mother. David Pain/Midyett parents was America and Kitty
Midyett. America was called America because he was born on the fourth
of July, in 1776. This was the year and date that the United States
America father was Charles Midyett, his mother was Elizabeth Jennette
she was said to have been on the English slave ship "Good Intent".In
1767 the Good Intent carrying about 300 Africans was shipwreck off
of Cape Hatteras. The Name of the captain of the ship was "Capt. Copland"
The ship's Human cargo ended up in Hyde Co. NC. Elizabeth
was trace to this ship. I believe that other members of our family
also came from that ship.
As of now I have yet to find our where in Africa the ship came from,
but my search continues.
Charles mother and father was Hannah and Maricay Midyett. Maricay
was a mestizo (a Indian) from a place in Venezuela called Maracay.He
probably belonged to one of the hunting and gathering tribes of that
area. Maricay and Hannah was freed by Daniel Midyett in 1808.They
are the first members of our family to be free that I could find documents
The second oldest of our relative that I was able to trace was Tamer
She was born about 1760, 16 years before the thirteen Colony declared
their independence from England and 27 years before the declaration
of Independence as signed. Tamer was born in Hyde Co. North Carolina,
she was owned by the William Gibbs family of Engelhard NC. She was
first found in Black beard the pirate, chart book, called Teach's book. All
of the names of the Gibbs family, along with their birth and death
records were keep there. The names of the black people they owned
were keep there also. The records said that Tamer was born August
18, 1770. I believed when She was about 30 years old she was sold
to Archibald McCotter. In 1800 her son Samuel was born in North Craven
Co. or PamlicoCo. (Pamlico Co. did not become a county until 1872).We
next findTamer in the last will and testament of Archibald McCotter, where
he leaves her to his son Burney McCotter is 1833.The last documented
proof of Tamer is on the l870 census. She is living with her son Samuel
McCotter, he was 70 years old and Tamer was 110 years old. Samuel
was the father of Oscar McCotter, Oscar McCotter was the father of
Rachel McCotter, Rachel Married William Adam Gibbs. Their first child
was William Gibbs or Willie Gibbs the name he was better known by. Willie
Gibbs married Indiana Moore, their last child was Ida Mae Gibbs, who
married Henry Moses Smith.
Henry Moses Smith father was Wm. Rodger O'Neal/Smith, his mother was
Mahalia Selby/Greene, Mahalia father was Elijah "Lizy" Greene and her mother was
Tamer Greene. Rodger O'Neal/Smith father was David Pain/Midyett his mother was
Louisa O'Neal/Credle. Aunt Louisa says that her mother wanted to name her
Ola but her father wanted her to be named after his mother Louisa. She
says that her mother had one brother name Larry Green, her mother told her
that when she was about 3 years old and her brother was 2, years old. Her
mother died, and her father had remarried. His new wife was mistreating
her and her brother so a rich white lady took them and raised them.
Aunt Louisa says her mother came from Beaufort in Carteret Co. I
was unable to document this, but we first fine documented proof of
Rodger and Mahalia on their marriage license 1873, and the
1880- census of Hyde Co. in Swan Quarter
township. They had 3 children, Inna who was 5 years old Moses was
3, and Rosella was 5 months old. According to the census Rodger was
30 years old and Mahalia was 22, both Roger and Mahalia parents were
born in North Carolina.
HOW OUR FAMILY CAME FROM HYDE CO.
After the Civil War was over, some time in the late 1860's.Old man
Jacob McCotter needed farm hands to work his farms, so he hired a
large boat to bring some of our ancestors from Hyde Co. this boat
landed in Lowland. Rodger and his family migrated to Pamlico Co. in
the early 1880's. They also came by boat and landed in Lowland.
The roads were not improved as they are today. They would walk miles
and miles on dirt, sand and muddy roads. Their pilgrimage sometimes
took weeks it required three days for them to travel the distance that
we now commonly make in three hours. When the members of our family
decided to move to Pamlico Co. they would meet at some stated time
and place and travel together. Some had mules and carts, some had
none. All could not ride, they would put all their belonging in their
carts, along with food for themselves and their animals, only the
driver would ride. Sometimes when a person had become unable to walk
without rest, he or she was persuaded to get up and ride. The driver
would dismount and walk. Often when the Caravan had hiked about thirty
miles, or a days journey, and they were not near some village, town
or other public place, they would camp out on the roadside that night,
eat and sleep until the next morning. Everyone did not sleep at
the same time, some kept watch while the others slept.
Like the self sufficient pioneers who settled this country, our families
built their homes, made their clothes, planted and harvested crops,
and proved for their every need. Resorting to the general store only
for things that couldn't be produced at home. In contrast with todays
prices, most food could be brought for pennies, like flour, lard, and
meat, costing three, five and seven cents a pound respectively. This
money was made by working cleaning white people homes or toiling
in the cotton fields. For forty or fifty cents day,those meager
wages along with the money received from selling farm produce, made
up the family total income, just enough to pay bills.
Aunt Louisa said, "That plenty of work and little play was the motto
by which they lived by."She would rise at the crack of dawn, do
her chores and then trot off to school, if it was in session, since
it was only in session for two months of the summer and two months in the winter.
The schools were one room school houses, crudely finisher and heated
with wood burning stove.
They worked on the area farms, clearing farm land digging drainage
canals and in the lumber camps. They worked heard from sun up to
sunset and saved what they could so that they could buy land and build
their homes. NEXT
(1) IN SEARCH OF RODGER