Too many Williams, and Marthas for that matter. My Halifax County, North Carolina, Carter line is full of them. The purpose of this post is really for my own sanity. Perhaps a relative will stumble upon it and fill in a blank or two. Read along to enjoy and understand why family historians and genealogists sometimes go a bit cuckoo!!
I have found variations of given name practices that the English used in the 18th and 19th Century. I think my folks arrived a bit before then and went a little willy nilly with as far as naming traditions go. After much ferreting…..here we go!
William Wade Carter, my paternal 2x great grandfather, was born in approximately 1823, in Halifax County, NC. His parents were Hartwell and Jane Sayres Carter (she is a major brick wall). William Wade married Martha Ann Arrington (another major brick wall) in 1847, in Halifax County, NC. They had 4 children. Two of William Wade’s children were males, William Henry and Richard Wade (Richard Wade was my great grandfather and name a son William!) Census reports list William Wade‘s occupation as “Farmer”. There is supporting information stating that for several years around 1880, he was the Superintendent of the Poor House in Halifax county. Civil War records indicate he served the Confederacy from approximately 1861-1863, in the North Carolina Regiment, 12th Infantry. William Wade Carter died in Halifax County, NC, on November 26, 1886. His burial site is in the family burying grounds, aka unknown.
William Henry Carter, my paternal 2nd great Uncle, son of William Wade and Martha Arrington Carter, was born in 1854 in Halifax County, NC. In 1878, William Henry married Martha Jane “Mollie” Phelps in Halifax County, NC. They had 6 children (none named William!). Between 1900-1910, the family (thankfully for record purposes) moved to Richmond, Virginia. His primary occupation was farming with a stent as a grocery clerk in Richmond according to the 1910 Census. William Henry Carter died in Richmond, VA, on October 11, 1930. He is buried in Riverview Cemetery in Richmond, VA.
William Alexander Carter, my paternal great Uncle, son of Richard Wade and Harriet Frances Dickens Carter (oh don’t get me started on her….tangled web of Dickens and Carters in my family), was born in 1891, in Halifax County, NC. William Alexander married Ira Lillie Hobbs in 1913. They had 2 daughters (one named Martha!). William Alexander was a veterinarian. He died in 1949 in Halifax County and is buried in Cedarwood Cemetery.
William Esmond Carter, my paternal 1st cousin/1x removed, son of Cleveland Eugene and Mary Shearin Carter (grandson of Richard Wade, great grandson of William Wade), was born in 1912 in Halifax County, NC. He married Elsie Gwendolyn McClung in 1934, in Greenville County, VA. William Esmond followed in his father’s footsteps to run the Ice Company in Weldon, NC. William Esmond died in 1990 in Halifax County, NC. He is buried at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church Cemetery along the banks of Quankey Creek.
William Carter, my paternal 4th great uncle, is a gentleman I continue to research. I’ll not state a middle name because I am unsure of it. Bear with me because there are a slew of Martha’s here…this one might take reading twice. William was born around 1812, in Halifax County, NC, to my 4x Great Grandparents, John and Martha Weldon Carter. In 1845, William married Martha A Harper. From my best research and the 1850 census, it appears they had only one child, a daughter. It also appears that Martha Harper had been married before and had two children. Also an elder Martha Harper lived in the home with William and Martha in 1850. My best guess is she was William’s wife, Martha’s, first husband’s mother. And to confuse the matter even further, William’s father, John, stated in his will that the care of his wife, Martha, and his friend (aka mistress), Martha Vick would go to William upon John’s death. In the 1850 census, Martha Vick is living with William and the other two Marthas. William died in 1868, in Halifax County, NC. Burial unknown.
William F Carter, my paternal 1st cousin, 4x removed, was born in 1842, in Halifax County, NC, to Weldon and Henrietta Merritt Carter. He was a grandson of John and Martha Weldon Carter. Weldon and Henrietta moved their family to Limestone, Alabama between 1850-1860. The trail runs cold for William F. after that. It’s possible he moved to Florida. But too common of a name to know for sure. He’s on a list. I’ll work on him further one day. He left Halifax County, NC. For that I am thankful!!
William Theodorick Carter. It is my hypothesis that William Theodorick is my paternal 6th great grandfather. Is he or is he not is actually irrelevant when it comes to the fact that he lived in Halifax County, NC, and pops up for every William Carter search on which I embark. I will not go into great detail as I am not firmly sure of my data, but it appears that William Theodorick was born around 1742, in the Prince Edward, VA, area. He had a couple wives, none named Martha that I could find. It appears from will records that he died in 1810 in Halifax County, NC. And guess what?? He had a son named William!
William Carter. If indeed William Theodorick is my 6th great grandfather, then his son William would be my paternal 6th great uncle. I have an inkling he was born around 1760 in Halifax County, NC. I am not going to surmise with him. It’s possible he married a Mary or a Martha. It’s possible he moved to Tennessee or died young. I don’t have a trail of him in Halifax County, NC. He’s not high on my list to research. But when he pops up on the William Carter searches, at least I have an idea of where he belongs.
Now for some folks I am pretty sure are not related but act as decoys, trying to throw me off the correct trail!!
Wade Carter. My 2x great grandfather, William Wade, appears to have gone by Wade. My grandpa was born around 1823 and this Wade was born around 1841. I am unsure of his parents. To further complicate the situation….Wade married Martha Hicks. Census records state this Wade Carter to be Mulatto. Not all records indicate race. And guess what this Wade Carter named one of his sons….. This Wade Carter died after 1913.
William Henry Carter. No, not my paternal 2nd great Uncle. This William Henry is the son of the above Wade Carter. He was born in 1864. He had 3 wives and a handful of children. With his second wife he had a son named Willie. Wonder what that is short for?? William Henry died in Halifax County, NC, in 1940 and is buried in The Carter Family Cemetery.
William Carter. So the Wade Carter, two Carter’s up had a brother named Henry. Henry had a son named William. This William was born in 1849 in Halifax County, NC. William married Malinda Evans and to the best of my research did not sire a son named William. This William died after 1880.
William Carter. Another line it appears. This William identifies as Mulatto in the Census and appears to have been born around 1818. He married twice and had a handful of children. One of them named Wade. It is very possible he is the father of the above Wade Carter.
Now wasn’t that fun??