Sunday, February 26, 2012

G.E. Summerlin, cont.

-in 1930, the latest census available at this time, G.E. and Emma Aaron Summerlin are living on James Street with their daughters, Elizabeth, 21 and Pattie, 17.  George is a radio salesman - the U.S. government was so interested that it asked householders on the census whether they owned a radio - and they did.  Elizabeth is the bookkeeper in a doctors office.

George Edgar Summerlin died on March 14, 1966, at age 83, of a sudden heart attack caused by dissection of the aorta.  The physician states that this was due to generalized arteriosclerosis.  He was buried in Maplewood Cemetery in Mount Olive.  The death certificate stated that he was a retired plumber.  My grandmother had told me that he was a plumber.

Emma Aaron Summerlin died October 29, 1969, at age 84, of pneumonia caused by basilar artery thrombosis - blockage of an artery in the brain.  Another victim of arteriosclerosis.  She was buried in Maplewood Cemetery in Mount Olive.  She had been living in Guardian Care Nursing Home in Goldsboro.

They both had been living in 106 E. John Street at the time of their deaths.  I remember both of them from visits to Mount Olive to see my grandparents.  I was very young when G.E. died - about 7 - but remember him as a tall, bald man.  I remember Emma as being partially bedridden but I was never sure why.

Monday, February 20, 2012

G.E. Summerlin

3. George Edgar Summerlin, 9 Jul 1882 - 14 Mar 1966.
G.E. Summerlin, Sr. is my great-grandfather.
He was born to Oliver and Fannie Summerlin.  He was Oliver's eighth child, and Fannie's fourth.
-In the 1900 census, George is living with his family in Mount Olive.  He is 17, working as farm labor, and attended school for 10 months the previous year.  He married Emma Meredith Aaron, from Duplin County, on 22 Dec 1904.
-In 1910, G.E. and Emma were living on College Street, four doors from Ben and Katie, with their children Edgar (4) and Julia (almost 2).  He is a tinner (tinsmith/metalworker) in his own shop.
-1920 is very interesting.  G.E., Emma and their children are living in the same household with Emma's mother, Julia Aaron, her other children and sons-in-law.  The household spreads over 2 pages - NC, Wayne Co., Brogden Twp., ED 105, p.3B&4A.  The house is owned, without mortgage, presumably by Julia Aaron.

Living on James Street are:
Julia Aaron, head, F, 58, widowed
David J. Aaron, son, M, 32, single, working as telephone operator
George Marr, son-in-law, M, 46, married, b. in Delaware.  He is treasurer of the "Show".
Nellie Marr, daughter, F, 30, married.
Julia Marr, grand-daughter, F, 11
William Aaron, son, M, 28, single, no occupation listed.
Ashton Newby, son-in-law, M, 23, married, auto salesman
Pattie Newby, daughter, F, 26, married
George E. Summerlin, son-in-law, M, 37, auto salesman
Emma Summerlin, daughter, F, 34
George E. Summerlin, Jr, grandson, M, 13
Elizabeth Summerlin, granddaughter, F, 11
Pattie Summerlin, granddaughter, F, 8.

That is quite the household!

- continued -

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Children of Oliver Summerlin and Fannie Albritton

Just a reminder:  These posts are first drafts.  I have not included citations, but if you need a citation, please let me know.  P.S. Revised 2/26/12.  I left Ben out.

Children of Oliver Summerlin and Fannie Albritton

1.  Anna "Annie" Summerlin, 18 Aug 1873 - 2 Aug 1955.  She married John B. Moore on April 30, 1898.  John belonged to a farming family in Turkey, Sampson County.  In the 1900 census, they are living with John's parents, Walter and Anna.  The elder Moores have been married 31 years and have eight of eight living children.  John is listed as a house carpenter.  Their first child, Bedford Forest is six months old.  Annie and John have been married two years.  In 1910, John and Annie have been married 12 years and have three children:  Bedford Forest, b. 1900; John P., b. 1905; and Ernest, b. 1907.  John is operating a sawmill, and the own the farm where they are living.  The next household is John's parents.  John's brother, Walter L. is also working in the sawmill.  In 1920, John is working their farm, which they own.  Forest is 20, but no occupation is listed, and he is not in school.  I don't know if they are on the same farm as before or have taken over John's parent's farm.  Their neighbors are Claud Moore, Walter Moore the younger and Frank Moore.  John died of heart disease when he was 55, on 9 Feb 1928.  In 1930, Annie is living with her three sons, Forest, J.C. and Ernest, all operating the farm.  Annie died 2 Aug 1955, when she was almost 82 years old.  The cause was listed as pneumonia brought on by "general disability".

2.  Matthew Oliver Summerlin, 16 Apr 1876 - 11 Jun 1934.  In 1900, Matthew is a 24-year-old young man, single, still living with his parents (the norm at the time), work in vehicle repairing with his father Oliver.  In 1910, he is newly married to Carrie Jane Sutton, 28.  They live in the household with his parents, Oliver and Fannie.  Carrie Jane dies in 1913, and by 1918, Matt has married Leslie "Lessie" Perry, 26.  When he fills out his WWI Draft Card in 1918, he lists Lessie Perry as his person to contact.  His profession is "implement and auto dealer" (Summerlin Brothers).  In 1920, they have one child, Frances P., born in late 1918.  Matt is working as a merchant in a garage.  By 1930, Matt is not working, probably due to his lung problems.  He dies in 1934.  His death certificate indicates that he has suffered from chronic bronchiolitis (bronchitis) and myocarditis (inflammation of the heart) since 1925.  He and Lessie had four children:Francis; Lessie, b.1921; Matthew O., Jr., b.1922; and Caroline, b.1925.

3. Benjamin Albritton Summerlin, 24 Apr 1878 - 11 Dec 1959.  In 1900, Ben is 22 and living with his parents.  He is "at school" on the census return, no job listed.  In 1910, Ben has been married to Katie Welle Kirby for two years.  They have a daughter, Lillian, almost 2, and a son William, almost 1. Ben is a rural carrier for the Post Office.   In 1920, they have three children - Lillian, 11;  Katie K., 7; and Benjamin Jr. 2.  I have not found out anything about William, yet.  Ben is now Postmaster of Mount Olive.  They live at 105 E. James, down the street from 206 E. James, where his younger brother G.E. is living.  In 1930, Lillian W., 21; Katie K., 18; and Ben, Jr. 12 are all still living at home and going to school.  Ben, 51, is now working in sales of auto supplies.

4.  George Edgar Summerlin, my great-grandfather.  I'll take him up in a later post.

5.  Thomas Bryan Summerlin, 1 Dec 1885 - 12 Feb 1936.  Tommie attended North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts - NC State in Raleigh - from 1907-1910.  His major was Textiles, he sang bass in the glee club.  He and Lula Williford were married in 1913.  In his 1918 draft registration, Thomas lists his occupation as Farm Implement [Sales Agent?]  In the 1920 census, there is no occupation listed, they are still living in Mount Olive, and Lula's sister Augusta is living with them.  She is a bookkeeper at the garage.  By 1930, Tommie and Lula had moved to a farm in Duplin Co.  They had two children:  Thomas Bryan Jr., b. 1915; and Oliver W., b. 1917.  Thomas committed suicide in 1936 at age 50.  Lula lived until she was 91, and died in Duplin General Hospital in 1974.  She had been living in Mount Olive during her widowhood.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Children of Oliver Summerlin

I'm having a hard time deciding what to write.  I have a lot of information, but not complete information about Oliver's children.  So for today, I'm going to summarize what I have on each child.

Children of Oliver and Elizabeth Britt
married 28 Jan 1853 in Duplin Co., NC

1.  Claudius "Claude" Summerlin, 6 Sep 1859 - 6 Aug 1927.  He was born in the Buck Swamp area of Wayne County, and died in Mount Olive, Wayne County, NC.  He took over the  blacksmith shop and buggy factory in about 1907 and it became Summerlin Brothers Buggy Factory.  At some point, Matthew O. Summerlin joined him.
    He married Flora Long about 1881.  I have discussed their lives in a previous post.  Their two living children were William Gains Summerlin, b. 1882 and Arthur King Summerlin, b. 1889.

2.  Mary Lavonia Summerlin, 6 Sep 1861 - 1 Sep 1938.  Married Edward M. Flowers in 1881.  They had ten children, six of whom were living in 1910. They moved to Wilmington between 1910 and 1920. In 1900, Edward was a horse trader; in 1910, a well driller; in 1920, in sales in Wilmington; and in 1930, again trading horses.  His son Albert lived with his grandparents, Oliver and Fannie Summerlin, in 1910.  In 1920, Albert was living in Wilmington with his parents, and was a bicycle salesman.  I have not yet researched their other children.

3.  Alice E. Summerlin, 7 Nov 1886 - 8 Jun 1837.  Although I can find no evidence of a marriage, Alice did have children.  In 1910, she was living in Mount Olive with her children Bessie (17), Fred T. (16) and Jessie E. (13).  She was working as a seamstress from her home in 1910, 1920, and 1930.  In the 1910 census, she declares she has had four children and four are living.  I have not yet looked for the one that is not living with her in 1910.  On his NC death certificate, Jim Walker of Duplin Co. is listed as Fred T. Summerlin's father.  However, I have not confirmed that Walker is the father of the other children or whether he and Alice were ever married.  I cannot locate census records from 1900, and there is a lack of information for 1890.  She listed herself as Alice Summerlin, single in the three censuses, 1910-1930.  It remains to be seen what the real story is.

4. Margaret Summerlin, b. in 1869.  She is a child of one in the 1870 census and fails to appear again.  Her mother, Elizabeth, also dies after 1870 and before 1872, when Oliver remarries.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Update, Writing Challenge

It's becoming clear that I have to give the writing challenge higher priority if I'm really going to accomplish anything.  The "problem" is that my Aunt, who is downsizing, is shipping me much of her genealogy material.  A large box arrived Thursday full of albums of photos of my grandparents, great-grandparents, houses they lived in, etc.  It's so fun!  I felt like I need to begin scanning them immediately and getting them online to be seen by the rest of the family.  However, I think I will slow down, get some archival boxes, albums, etc. before I start.  Then when I scan a set, they can then be inserted into their archival storage.

I believe there are some daguerreotypes - nope, they're tintypes - included.  I'll have to do some research to know what to do with them.

So, today, photo archiving research.  Tomorrow, back to the Oliver Summerlin family.

Happy Searching  ~

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Claudius and Flora Long Summerlin

Heard some talk about birth control in the news today.  Whatever you believe, here is a story about a couple in the 1880-1900 time frame that illustrates the need for birth control in certain situations.

Claudius Summerlin and Flora Long married about 1881.  Their first child was born 19 Aug 1882, named William Gaines.  He grew up to marry Maggie - they were living in Mount Olive on Center Street in 1930.  The next child was James.  He was born in May 1885 and died in Aug the same year.  The third child (that I know of) was Arthur K born Aug 1889 and lived until 1961.  The next child was Floyd.  He was born in June 1891 and lived until  August.  Next born was Claudius, who lived 15 months, from November 1892 until February 1893.  Claudia lived about 1 month, in Jan-Feb 1892.  Another little girl was born 30 May 1896.  She was Fannie Isabel and lived 3 months.  Then came Eugene, who lived almost exactly one month, May - Jun 1904.  Flora was 45 years old when Eugene was born.  The evidence for the dates of the above children is their headstones in Maplewood Cemetery.  They are scattered around the Summerlin plot, probably being fit in between some of the adults.

In the 1900 census, Flora stated that she was the mother of 10 children, with 2 living.  In 1910, she was the mother of 13, with 2 living.  Since my information only includes 8 children, another five were born who did not live.  Since Flora had had 10 children by 1900, she lost another four between her marriage and 1900.  She had had three more children by 1910, all three of whom must have died.

My assumption is that there was some genetic or congenital abnormality which kept these children from surviving.  Claude and Flora were lucky to have the two boys live to adulthood.

Claude Summerlin is my step-great-granduncle.  [He is the son of the first wife of my g-g-grandfather.]

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The following is from a narrative started in 2010.

Oliver Summerlin, 1830 - 1911

Oliver Summerlin was born 1 June 1830, to Thomas and Annie Summerlin in the Summerlin Crossroads area of Duplin County.

We first see Oliver Summerlin in the 1850 U.S. Federal Census, age 20, in the household of  William Jackson in the north division of Duplin County.  He was working as a farm laborer at the time.  On 28 Jan 1853, he married Elizabeth Britt (1829-bef. March 1872).  He started a blacksmith shop in Mount Olive in 1858.  Their son, Claudius “Claude” Summerlin was born 6 Sept 1859.

"In 1858, Mr. Summerlin came to Mount Olive and started a blacksmith shop."
(Claude Moore, The Summerlin Buggy Factory, )

In the 1860 decennial census, Oliver is working as a “carriage repairer”, has real estate worth $510 and personal property worth $400.  Other members of the household are Elizabeth, age 30; Baby [Claude], age 8 months.  A 16-year-old boy named Elias Holmes and a 13-yr-old girl named Mary C. Newel are also living with the Summerlins.  I have not been able to identify them as relatives or neighbors.  Presumably they are household help.  Elias is listed as having gone to school during the previous year.  They are living in the Buck Swamp District of Wayne Co. NC.  Buck swamp is NW of Goldsboro.

Elias may be the Elias H. Holmes who enlisted in the Co C, 2nd Infatry Regiment, North Carolina on 17 Jun 1861.  He is listed as being 19, but could have lied about his age.  Several other men from the area enlisted at the same time.  If so, he died in Castle Thunder Prison in Richmond on 2 Sep 1864.  Since he does not seem to be related, I do not plan to pursue this line of research.

In April, 1861, the Civil War begins when Southern troops fire on Ft. Sumter in SC.  NC secedes on May 20, 1861.  Much of Eastern NC is occupied by Northern troops throughout the war.

Oliver is now 30, and does not immediately join the Confederate Army.  He does not join until it is too late, in Oct 1864.  By this time Sherman has taken Atlanta and will soon begin his March to the Sea.  Men were joining or being conscripted at this time in the hopes they will be allowed to defend their home counties.

In North Carolina the Civil War was over almost as soon as it began. By August 29, 1861, Fort Hatteras on the North Carolina coast had surrendered to Federal forces, and from this beachhead, Gen. Ambrose Burnside was able to establish a base of operations from which to control most of eastern North Carolina by late Spring 1862. Some towns changed hands several times, forcing many residents to flee inland to places such as Chapel Hill, Hillsborough, and Pittsboro to escape the fighting. North Carolina's soldiers, in the meantime, were seeing action primarily in Virginia. Many blamed the Confederate government for deploying North Carolina's troops to defend other states and for providing an inadequate force to drive Federal troops out of eastern North Carolina.  (, accessed 12/11/2010)

On October 18, 1864, Oliver was formally enlisted in the Confederate Army. He and several other men from Wayne County joined Company E of the 20th NC Infantry at Camp Holmes in Raleigh.  An explanation appears in History of Company E , 20th North Carolina Infantry (1905).  He was with the company when they surrendered to Grant at Appomatox Court House (VA).
Reunion of the 20th Regiment of the North Carolina State Troops of Duplin County.  Oliver is kneeling on the far right. [date?]


Oliver Summerlin married Elizabeth Britt on 28 Jan 1853 in Duplin County.  She was born in 1829.  Their first child, Claudius (Claude), was born 6 Sep 1859 in Wayne County.  Mary Livonia was born 6 Sep 1861, also in Wayne County.  The next child, Alice E. was born 7 Nov 1866, after the end of the Civil War.  Another daughter, Margaret, was born in 1869.  Sometime between the 1 Jun 1870 (date of official census) and 1872, Elizabeth died.  Margaret probably also died - she is not listed in the 1880 Census.
Oliver and his family are living in Brogden Township, near Mount Olive in 1870.

Oliver married Frances ("Fannie") Elizabeth Albritton on 7 Mar 1872 in Wayne County.  She was the daughter of Matthew and Mary A. Albritton, and was born 25 Aug 1842 (age 30 at the time of marriage).  They have five children:  Anna "Annie", b 18 Aug 1873; Matthew Oliver, b 16 Apr 1876; Benjamin "Ben" Albritton, b. 24 Apr 1878; George Edgar (my ancestor) b. 9 Jul 1882; and Thomas Bryan, b. 1 Dec 1885.

[In the 1900 census, Fannie says that she is "mother of 6 children" and 5 are living.  They must have lost a child.]

That's it for today!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Day 3 of Family History Writing Challenge

I skipped yesterday - very busy catching up on necessary stuff after suffering the local virus for a week.  However, I plan to double my output tonight - or possibly tomorrow if necessary.

Tonight, I wish to discuss the Summerlin Buggy Shop - Summerlin Brothers Buggy Factory

As we know, Oliver Summerlin was listed as Carriage repairer in the 1860 census, when he was 30 years old. He was subsequently listed in the census as Carriage Maker (1870), Buggy Manufacturer (1880), and Vehicle Repairman (1900).

From Claude Moore, history professor at Mount Olive College, and great grandson of Oliver, grandson of Annie Summerlin Moore:

"His wife died and in 1872 he married Frances 
Albritton, the daughter of Matthew Albritton (1813-1893) who was a carriage 
maker at old Waynesborough [Goldsboro] and later moved to Mount Olive."

In the 1891 American Carriage Directory, "Summerlin, O (light)" is listed for Mt. Olive under Carriage and Wagon Makers (p.415).  In 1903, "Summerlin, C. (rep.)" is listed  under Carriage and Wagon Makers and Repairers in Mount Olive (p.273).

In the 1902 North Carolina Year Book (pub. by Raleigh News and Observer), under blacksmith shops in Wayne County (p.563), O. Summerlin and C. Summerlin are listed.

In the 1912 North Carolina Year Book, Summerlin Bros. is listed under Plumbers (p.545)

Photo of Summerlin Bros Buggy Factory, 1907, courtesy of the NC Archives.  Originally published in Mount Olive Tribune Industrial Ed. 1907

One of Mount Olive's Leading and Representative Industries, Manuufacturers of Buggies, General Repair Business, and Dealers in Machinery

A busines firm that has rapidly won the affection and regard of the people of the Mount Olive section is that of Summerlin Bros. This popular concern is composed of Messrs. Claud and M. O. Summerlin. For many years

they conducted business separately in Mount Olive, but about three years ago the old Summerlin building on E. Centre street was torn away and replaced by the present handsome and imposing two-story brick structure, and since that time the enterprise has rapidly grown and prospered. Summerlin Bros. manufacture first-class buggies, finding ready sale for them throughout a large territory in Eastern North Carolina. They do a large repairing business, and handle Mowers, Rakes, Hay Presses, Gasoline Engines, Cultivators, Harrows, Stalk Catters, Dise Plows etc., including everything in agricultural implements and farm machinery.

This firm succeeded in business their father, the venerable Mr. Oliver Summerlin, who is the oldest citizen of Mount Olive to-day, and a man who is respected and revered by everybody. The old Summerlin building, that was replaced by the new building, was one of the few old landmarks of the town.

It is seldom that you find men more genial, courteous and clever, or more broad-gauged than Messrs. Claud and M. O. Summerlin. They are gentlemen of broad business ideas and ample experience, and have administered the affairs of this enterprises in an able and progressive manner and richly deserve the success that has been their portion.

So I'm still behind with the writing because I started trying to look up more information online.  I'll try again tomorrow (Feb 5)


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Family History Writing Challenge - Feb 2012

Family History Writing Challenge - Feb 2012

I'm joining the Family History Writing Challenge.  My goal is 250 words per day--not that much, but it'll get me started, I hope.  I'm going to write here in the blog.  I am not including full citations at this time.  If anyone needs a full citation, please email.

My subject is Oliver Summerlin (1830-1911) of Mount Olive, NC.  He was born and presumably raised on a farm in the Summerlin Crossroads area of Duplin County.  In the 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Oliver is found working as a laborer on a farm in Duplin County.  In 1860, he was living on a farm in the Buck Swamp district of Wayne County, with his wife Elizabeth Britt and their 8 month old baby, Claude (or Claudius).  His profession is listed as carriage repairer.

On October 18, 1864, Oliver was formally enlisted in the Confederate Army.  He and several other men from Wayne County joined Company E of the 20th NC Infantry.

About the time Gen. Early's command left the valley to
rejoin Gen. Lee at Petersburg, twelve men from Wavne
County that had heretofore been exempt from military duty
were sent to recruit the Company. They were John B. Bowden,
James Grady, Geo . W . Kornegay, C. F . R. Kornegay,
John H . Loftin, John C. Price, Oliver Summerlin, Nevil
Walker, James Williams, H . J . Williamson, Charles Denning
and Addison Fields.  (Regimental history, 1905)

I can only infer that Oliver did not join or was not conscripted until near the end of the war because he was older.  It is also possible that his occupation of wagon repairer was useful to the army.  (An analysis of the local conditions during the war is planned.  Much of Eastern NC was occupied by Federal troops during the war.)

After the war, in 1870, he is living in Brogden Twp., Wayne County, probably in the town of Mount Olive. He is the described as "carriage maker", possibly the owner of a buggy shop - see his real estate and personal estate values.  In the household are still Elizabeth, with children Claudius, Mary L., Alice, and Margaret.  There is also a 28-year-old domestic servant, Mary M? [I cannot interpret her surname].

Several of Summerlin's neighbors also had "working in buggy shop" listed in 1870.

According to several business sources, including this North Carolina Business History website [scroll down to Mount Olive],  Summerlin operated the buggy shop from 1877 to 1907, when it was renamed Summerlin  Brothers, and operated by Matthew and ?.  It's clear that the shop existed at least in 1870, but it is not known at this time whether Summerlin was the owner at that time.

This is a good place to stop, and I think I have at least 250 words.