(2) IN SEARCH OF RODGER
Henry Moses Smith Family Tree
on the Abbott farm, Dr. Delon Henry Abbott was a former union
who founded Venemere in the 1870"S. He purchased 3000 acres of
farm and timber land. He was called a carpet bagger, by the
Co. natives. He entered politics on a larger scale. He became a
of the NC General Assembly, serving as Senator for the Second
District for two years, 1895-1897.
Dr. Abbott owned the steam powered saw mill across the
river at Vanemere and the men would string their logs together and
float them across the river from "The lumber landing" to the saw mill.
Rodger Smith purchased 3, acres of land from Stephen and George
Credle for $ 55,00 on November 18, 1902.Rodger and his oldest son
Henry Moses built their first home on this land. It was a 3, room
house consisting of a sitting room with 1, bed that Rodger and
used and one bedroom with two beds where the girls sleep, and the
loft were the boys slept. The kitchen was separated from the
and Mahalia had 13 children (10 lived).By the 1910 census only 6,
of their children were still alive.Rodger had died some time between
1902, and 1910. The precise date can not be determined from
records, because birth and death records were not keep in North
until, 1914. The 1910 census shows Mahalia as the head of the
hold, she had 4, children living at home Abbie, William, Louisa, and
John and his wife Fanny Kenyan. Moses had married his first wife
Ann Eliza Balance, the daughter of James Edward T. Balance, and
Jo Anna Clark or (Grandma Jo the name she was known by).
Joanna was the daughter of Spencer Clark and Sally Clark. Edward
Balance was the son of Benjamin and Grace Balance of Hyde Co.
and Ann Eliza had 5, children Mitchel, Moses, Odell, Benjamin, and
Zulener. Ann Eliza died one day before her 34, birthday August 17,
1914.This left Moses a widower with 3, children with ages ranging
from 3, to 9 years old. Ann Eliza told her husband Moses, he should
marry the girl that they had working for them if anything was to
to her, she felt that she would make him a good wife and mother for
his children. That girl was 20 years younger then he was , her name
was Ida Mae Gibbs. Moses married Ida Mae Gibbs on Oct. 3,
1914. Moses was to busy
working to apply for his marriage license so he had his bother John
to apply for it for him. This was not unusual because James Linton
applied for his license to marry Ann Eliza in 1897. They were
by Adam O'Neal at Missionary Baptist Church in Mesic North
witnesses present at the marriage were Edward Balance,
and B. Fortisque. When Moses married Ida Mae they were married
by W.K. Jones a Justice of the Peace, at the Missionary Baptist
Church in Mesic North Carolina. The
witnesses were Joshua Jones and Roy Carvan. Moses and Ida
11, children. Eula Mae, Gertrude, Helen Elizabeth, Indiana, (William
Rodger who died before his first birthday). William Rodger, Annie
Lodica, Brevia Lee, (Correatha who died before her 4, birthday
the 1919 flu epidemic). and Geneva. Ida Mae died on Dec. 27,
2 days after Christmas and Moses died April 22, 1949 five years
When it came to moving about,ones own two feet were the surest
of getting there. Sun shining brightly or raining or snowing our
people walked. Teams of oxen were their first means of
but as time passed, almost every family had a mule and cart.
Improper care of farm animals, neglecting chores, or quarreling with
your brothers or sisters, was a sure way to get a whipping, with a
belt or a swish (small tree branch), and oh!! boy if you disrespect
your elders, by talking back or voicing your opinion you would find
yourself getting up off the floor. During the 1890's and early 1900's
Rev. Burrus was the only black person registered to vote in Pamlico
County. This was attributed
to the fact that he was the only black person able to pass the
stiff and unfair literacy tests for voting.
NEW BERN BECOME A MECCA FOR FREEDOM
There has always been free blacks living in New Bern, dating all the
way back to Colonial days. The 1850 census of Craven and
Counties, indicates that approximately (1,536) free blacks lived in
this area. In March of 1862, many of the blacks in eastern North
that a great change was about to occur in their lives. Rumors had
reached them from Roanoke Island that the Yankee soldiers were
to set them free. Union forces under General Ambrose E. Burnside
had indeed landed a Roanoke Island only a month before and were
in route to New Bern. In the spring of 1862, black refugees who
into federal lines in North Carolina did not yet enjoy the legal
status of freemen, but it was the policy of many union commanders,
including General Burnside, to provide refuge for blacks who fled
to territory held by the Union Army, and to used many of them as
Although, the Emancipation Proclamation was still month in the
future, a policy
of treating escaped blacks as freemen had already been effectuated
by the Union Army. As the war continued, additional United States
offers in the south began safeguarding the freedom of fugitive blacks
and utilizing their labor. Some did this as a war measure to aid
the Union effort, others because they felt that human bondage was
morally wrong. After a brief battle with confederate defenders, the
federal seized New Bern, and on March 14th 1862, the blacks in the
area turned out to greet their liberators with shouts of jubilation.
According to the James, annual report of the superintendent of
affairs in NC. 1864, there were 8,591, freemen (blacks) living in
federally occupied New Bern North Carolina. One year later in
1865, there was 10,782, and by the end of the Civil War there were
350,000 freed blacks living in North Carolina.
In 1866 blacks were required to register there marriages, if one or
both of the partner were a former slave. They started coming into
the Craven County court house, on June 2, 1866 Thur August 31,
THESE ARE THE MEMBERS OF OUR FAMILY WHO
CAME IN TO REGISTER THEIR MARRIAGES.
ANSON GIBBS & ROSETTE BLUNT: Stated that they
had been living together as husband and wife for three years
on August 27, 1866.
SAMUEL McCOTTER & ROSE JONES: Stated that they
had been living together as husband and wife for one year, on
August 30, 1866
FAMILY MEMBERS THAT CHANGE THEIR NAMES
DAVID MIDGETT Was found on the 1870 census listed as DAVID
RODGER SMITH When he got married in 1873 listed himself as
RODGER O'NEAL/SMITH, MAHALIA GREEN Was listed as
MAHALIA ANN SELBY.
LOUISA O'NEIL is listed on the 1880 census as LOUISA CREDLE.
Her daughter LUCRETIA also became a LUCRETIA CREDLE.
THE MEMBERS OF OUR FAMILY THAT WERE HELD IN
MARICAY MIDYETT: Was owned by Thomas Midyett who left him
wife Hannah to his wife Bethaney. Bethaney Midyett gave them to
Midyett Who freed them in 1808.
CHARLES MIDYETT: The son of Maricay was owned by Bethany
who gave him to her son Banister Midyett.
AMERICA MIDYETT: The son of Charles Midyett was owned by
Midyett America Midyett Sr. died in about 1849 and is buried in the
Nathan O'Neal Cemetery at Mount Pleasant (Hyde Co. NC.)
DAVID PAIN/MIDYETT:The son of America Midyett was
owned by Banister Midyett.
WM. RODGER O'NEIL/SMITH:The son of David Midyett was
owned by Peter Spencer.
MAHALIA SELBY/GREENE:The wife of Rodger Smith was owned
by Calib Spencer
who died in 1859, the blacks he owned was divide among his
was valued at $ 250.00 and given to Peter Spencer.
TAMER McCOTTER: Was owned by William Gibbs who sold her to
McCotter. In 1833 she was left to Burney McCotter by his father
and Burney are the Great grand father and grandfather of Dr. St.
SAMUEL McCOTTER: The son of Tamer was owned by Archibald
ANSON GIBBS:Was owned by Benjamin M. Gibbs, In 1859 he left
to his four youngest children.
ADAM GIBBS:The son of Anson was owned by Benjamin M. Gibbs
him to his son William H. Gibbs.
LORY SLADE: Was owned by John Bell who left her to Henry
Asa P.Slade in 1846. In 1856 Henry died and left her to be sold
to pay his debts. On May 16, 1856 she was sold at Public auction
in Sladeville NC. to Asa P. Slade, for $ 674.00.
JO ANNA WARNER: the daughter of Lory Slade was owned by
who left her to Sarah and Mary Moore, in 1846
SPENCER CLARK: The son of Keizah Eborn was owned by
who died in 1806, and left him to his daughter Polly Clark.
EDWARD BALANCE, ARBELLA MIDYETT,
JO ANNA CLARK, FANNY MIDYETT,
JAMES GRIMES MOORE, MORGAN MIDYETT,
JIM WARNER, SALLY CLARK,
HENRY MOSES SMITH CHILDREN
MOSES JR.:was born in 1905 and died in 1991. He married Daisy
in 1925, they had 5, children Marie, Mary Eliza, William Bradford,
Mahue, and Billy C
Moses was a fisherman, he owned a commercial fishing boat. He
was a farm foreman, and the first black deputy sheriff at Faison
in Oriental. Moses and Daisy were married for 66 years until his
death in 1991.They had 21 grand children, 40 great grand children
and one great great grandchild.
ODELL: was born in 1907 and died in 1956.He was married to Ida
Mae Jarvis in 1929, Odell was one of the first blacks to owned an
automobile in Pamlico Co. He lived in New Bern, it has been said
he was a bootlegger and owned lots of land. He had one son
ZULENER: was born in 1911, she married Sulton Credle when she
16 years old in 1927, they had 4 children, Otis Lee (died in early
childhood). William Earl, Wadell, and Verna. Zulener and Sulton
married for 54 years until his death in 1986.They have 18 grand
children 27 great grand children and ?great great grand children.
Zulener and Sulton both worked and retired from Cherry Point
Base. After the death of Ann Eliza Henry Moses married Ida Mae
Gibbs on October
3, 1914, he was 38 years old and Ida Mae was 18 years old. She
the same age as Moses baby sister, Louisa. Ida Mae was the
of Willie Gibbs and Indiana Moore, who was the daughter of James
Moore and Joanna Warner.
MOSES SR. AND IDA MAE HAD 11, CHILDREN
EULA MAE: was born in 1918 and died in 1980 she was the first of
Moses Smith children to finish college, she decided to go to New
City in 1939.She was later followed by her sister Lodica, Brevia,
and Annie Marie. She attended Bible college and became a
and traveled to Egypt, Jerusalem, and Africa. She Married Iron Clad
Oliver who was 10 years her senior, in 1948 at Mount Olive Baptist
Church in New York City. They had one child Gwendolyn who they
as an infant. Eula and Iron Clad were married for 32 years until
her death in 1980. Iron Clad died 12 years later in 1992.
GERTRUDE: was born on the 4th of July in 1919, She died in 2002,
she was named after her mother sister Annie Gertrude Gibbs.
She married Walter Rhodes when she was 19 years old and moved
to New Bern, because she couldn't stand living in the country
They had one child Audrey and moved to New York City when
was 3 years old. Gertrude worked at Metropolitan Hospital in N.Y.C.
until she retired, she has 3grand children.