Martin County, NCGenWeb

An NCGenWeb/USGenWeb Project


Case of the Deserted Wife

Over on Google Books, I located the following story of Ollie Roberson in a 1915 publication titled “The Lawyers Reports.” It is a listing of court cases from across the country.  The entire book is freely available and can be downloaded as a PDF.

On page 691 begins a description of Nevada vs. Ex Parte George Oliver Roberson for “extradition — abandonment of wife– act not within jurisdiction.”  The legal proceeding was for a writ of habeus corpus to secure his release from custody after being taken in on an extradition warrant.  The application was filed June 5, 1915.  Roberson stated that he was unlawfully imprisoned by two Nevada policeman and Sheriff J.C. Crawford of Martin County, NC Sheriff Crawford was there to pick him up as a Martin County jury had determined that in 1913 “Ollie” unlawfully and willfully abandoned his wife, Lucy, and their child.

However, Lucy testified that the marriage never really worked out and they’d both made plans to leave each other apparently.   She testified that they were married the morning of June 30, 1913 in Martin County. That same day, the took the train to Raleigh where they lived together until December 17, 1913.  On that day, Ollie went to Hamlet NC and the next day Lucy returned back home to her parents.  Lucy testified that her mother had sent her money a week before Ollie left because it was her intention to return home, and Ollie had secured a physician for her since she was expecting a child.  Ollie would end up in Nevada for school where he was enrolled as a student.  Both were young during all this, the report stating that Ollie was a minor when they married.

The writ was issued.  Check out the report – it’s quite interesting.


Southern Claims Commission @ Footnote

One of the collections on Footnote are the Southern Claims Commission records; these are records of people who had items taken by the U.S. government during the civil war and more than 20,000 claims were filed nationwide.  As of today, there were only three claims from individuals in Martin County:

  • Henry Churchill Hardison 
  • Alfred Jordan 
  • Nancy C. Padgyett


Henry Churchill Hardison of Williamston

Living in Williamston, at the time of his claim in 1872, Henry was 40 years old and had been residing in Martin County for 20 years.  Among the items taken from him included fodder,  over two thousand pounds of pork, and “one good horse”


From his testimony, I learned that Henry had a brother in the Confederate army.  His witnesses for his claim were

  • his neighbor L.A. Ray, age 32, who lived 175 yards away from him
  • James H. Ellison, age 39 
  • Miss Mary E. Layman, his sister
  • John Watts, age 58 
  • John S. Harrell, age 38
  • John R. Lanier, age 47
  • William Wyatt, age 65
  • W.F. Crawford, age 40


Nancy J. Padgyett of Jamesville

Her taken property included pork, chicken, sweet potatoes and cooking utensils.  It was taken by Col. Franklin of Plymouth.  She was 43 at the time of the claim.  



From her claim,  it states that her husband died in August of 1863 and they had 4 children whose ages were between 7 and 15. 

Her witnesses were


  • Alexander Brown, agd 39
  • Harmon Modlin, age 58
  • Ashly Modlin
  • John W. Gardiner, age 21
  • H.S. Cooper 
  • Sarah Modlin


    Alfred Jordan of Williamston

    Alfred was 53 at the time of his claim.  He was from Williamston, but right around the time of the war lived in Bertie County for 4 years and in Washington County for 2 years.  He was born in Chowan County, NC.   The names of Alfred’s witnesses is difficult for me to read, but names mentioned in his claim include Simon Swain, Stephen Jordan (no relation),  F.C. Miller,  John G. Mitchell, William S. Ward, Alfred’s wife, Fanny Jordon, and Alfred’s son Joseph C.  Jordan.  His property taken included turkeys, chickens, sweet potatoes, corn, a young horse, and a hog.



    These claims commissions are interesting records to check out!