Craig, John Wilkie

I am trying to find obituaries and wills for John Wilkie Craig and Elizabeth Mary Gillespie who are probably my 2nd great grandparents.  They lived and died in McDowell County in Marion Township.  I believe they lived about 4 miles northwest of Marion near Tom’s Creek.  They are buried in the Craig Family Cemetery that is (at least in 1995) located near where their farm was located on Tom’s Creek. Following is info about them:

John Wilkie Craig (b. 8 May 1797 in Burke (now McDowell), Co. — d. 23 Nov 1884 in McDowell, Co)

Elizabeth Mary Gillespie (b. 6 May 1799 in Burke (now McDowell) Co. – d. 3 Sep 1877 in McDowell County, Co.)

I am also trying to prove that Martha Caroline Craig (b. 1820 in McDowell County – d. 27 Dec 1892 in Fremont County, CO) was their daughter.

I would appreciate any information about how to obtain obituaries and wills or other information about this family.  If I can arrange it, my wife and I may travel to McDowell County in the next year or so for research, but for now I was hoping I could obtain this information on the Internet or by mail.  Thanks for any help.

Thank you, Stan Walker                     Walnut Creek, CA

Sullivan, William

We are researching William H Sullivan and Wife Elizabeth Ernest. Sullivan, William married Elizabeth Ernest in Marion, McDowell July 19, 1845, the “bondsman” was Edward Sullivan. I would love to know if this is our William H. Sullivan and who Edward was, a brother a father? Any suggestions? We have no other back records only forward ones from Louisiana where William and Elizabeth lived.  We are not even sure Elizabeth Ernest is the correct name of William’s wife, but records do indicate he lived or was born in North Carolina

Contact Sylvia Tucker

Post with three pictures

Last October, I received this email from Joe and I am posting this just as it was written. This great information, Joe , I thank you for sharing.

All of these folks were from McDowell County. Attached you will find three pictures and some text for each as was provided to my by Jim Padgett (deceased) of McDowell County. If you have any questions please give me a holler and please feel free to forward this information to anyone and everyone. I hope someone can identify more of the people in these photos. At some point, I will send you my file on my Mode/Dover/Padgett material.

Picture 1: According to Jim Padgett, this picture is of Jacob G. Padgett, who served in Co. B, 22nd Regiment, North Carolina

Jacob G. Padgett
Jacob G. Padgett

Troops, C.S.A. When Jacob G. Padgett volunteered for the Civil War, a discription of him was written on his enlistment papers. He was 6′ tall, with black hair and dark eyes. This is Margaret Padgett Dover’s brother. His cousin, James Albert Padgett, was listed as being 6′ 1″ tall with black hair and dark eyes. Jacob married Julia Ann Chapman. He died in 1879 in the hospital of valvular heart disease.

Padgett Kinfolk
Padgett Kinfolk

Picture 2: Jim Padgett said that, “Nobody can identify these men. This was a tin-type photo. This photo came out of my great aunt’s belongings after she died, so I know they are kin. One of these men is in the big family group picture with Lemuel Padgett and Margaret McFarlan.

Lemuel Padgett-seated-2nd wife Margaret E. McFarlanPicture 3: According to Jim Padgett of Marion, McDowell County, North Carolina, the only two people that he could identify in this picture are the two sitting down. They are Lemuel Padgett and his second wife, Margaret E. McFarlan. Margaret only had one

Martha. The man with the hat on the left is in another picture that I will post. This was a tintype photo and was made before 1870 as Lemuel died in 1870. Jim said the other people could be Dovers, Modes, or Padgetts. This photo is Margaret Padgett Dover’s father and step-mother.sister,

When Margaret McFarlan Padgett filed for Lemuel’s pension for the War of 1812, she put down that he was 6′ tall with black hair and dark eyes and so it carried down to my grandfather who was 6’2″ tal, dark hair, and to my father who ws 6′ tall with dark hair and dark eyes, to me (Jim Padgett) who was 6’6″ tall.

From Jim Padgett came a letter with this explanation: This was written to my Grandfather (Daniel Padgett) He was Jacob G. Padgett’s son. Jacob Padgett was Margaret Padgett’s brother, their mother and father were Susan Ricketts and Lemuel Padgett. The man who signed this letter was A.G. Higgins. His father was a commander in Co. B, 22nd Regiment of North Carolina, C.S.A. Jim says, “This letter is how I came to find that Margaret had married William Dover.” The line that says “Your mother knew Aunt Margaret” The mother was the mother of Daniel Padgett. She was Jacob’s wife, Julia Ann Chapman Padgett. The John Dover in this letter married Naomi? They had a daughter named Jane Dover who married Robert H. Garden or Gordin.

The letter says:
Mr. Dan Padgett,
R.D. 4 Marion, N.C.

James A. (Albert) Padgett was the son of Margaret Padgett Dover, a half-brother to Guss (Augustus C. Dover) and John Dover. Your aunt knew him before she married Mr. Dover (William Dover) He (James A. Padgett) as a young man, 19, joined my father’s Company B, 22nd Regiment (North Carolina-C.S.A.) as a volunteer. Went to Virginia and was killled by a mortal wound in the thigh at Seven Pines battle in Virginia May 31, 1862. This stone is just to be put up as a memorial stone. He was buried in Virginia on the battle field. Your mother knew Aunt Margaret and Guss and John Dover. Kindest regards to you and your family. A.G. Higgins (On letterhead of A.F. Newton-Register of Deeds of Cleveland County- Shelby, North Carolina)

The Guss Dover (Augustus C. Dover) mentioned in this letter married my great great grandmother, Mary Jane Mode, circa 1870 and they had a number of offspring in McDowell County before removing to Cocke County, Tennessee. Mary Jane Mode Dover had my great grandfather, John Thomas Mode, in 1867 in McDowell County. We believe he was illegitimate and DNA tests have revealed that his father was most likely a Rogers and possibly a Clay.
August was the son of William and Margaret Padgett Dover.

Davis, Lydia & Martha

I am trying to find some information about the McDowell County poor Farm/Alms house. It may have been in Higgins Township. I am looking for their cemetery or death information on their residence.

I am interested in a Lydia & Martha Davis that lived there in 1900. Martha also lived there in 1910. Her deth record states she died in 1913 & is buried at the Poor farm.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,  Norman Davis


  • June 23, 1900 Census, McDowell Co., NC, Marion, County poor home, House 262-263
  • Lyda Davis, Pauper, F, W, March 1835, 65, Single, NC, NC, NC; Martha Davis, Pauper, W, F, May 1855, Single, NC, NC, NC
  •  April 29, 1910 Census, McDowell Co., NC, Higgins Twp., Page 139, House 46-47
  • Martha Savis, F, W, 47, Single, Pauper, NC, NC, NC.
  • Note: Living in the McDowell County Poor home.
  •  Death Certificate: Martha Davis, b. age 50, d. Dec. 28, 1913, Higgins, McDowell Co., NC. Residence: Inmate of County Home. Burial: County Home. Father: Logan Davis. Mother not listed. (Female, White) Informant: Joseph England, Marion, NC. Recorded: March 27, 1914. Note: There was another death certificate that was not complete with death as Dec. 28, 1914.

McEntire, Susan

I have been looking for my great-great grandma for a long time and cont’ find her grave or who her parents are. Any help would be appreciated.

Her name is SUSAN McENTIRE

She married JAMES TURNER, son of Samuel and Fanny Turner.

She was born about 1830

I think they lived in the area of McDowell County, that was once Burke County, Old Fort is where i believe they lived.

Her husband and son are buried in Pleasant Gardens Cemetery, along with other relatives.

She had a sister Malissa McEntire, who married Johnathan Duncan, that’s the only family I know of.

A. Hewitt


I recently found your contact information on the Mcdowell County, NC Genealogy website in regards to the Brooks surname.  My family and I have been searching for information regarding my Great Grandfather Stanley Thomas Brooks.  He was born May 1st, 1898 in McDowell Co, NC.  But, we have been told that his last name was not Brooks at birth.  Stories have been told that the original last name of Stanley Thomas was Hanie.  However, we have never been able to prove it.

The “family story” is that Stanley Thomas Brooks’ father killed a man in NC.  Stanley was sent to an orphanage along with a sister.  He was taken from the orphanage by his grand father.  They moved to South Carolina and changed their last name to Brooks.  There is no information about the sister.

I recently obtained a copy of his Death Certificate and it lists his father’s name as Thomas Brooks and no mother’s name.  The only other “reference” I have for him is a WWI draft card that states that his father was born in McDowell Co, NC.

Being that Madison County is not far from McDowell Co, and you have information about Brooks families, I’m hoping you may be able to help.  I have no other information regarding our family.  Below is a list of pertinent information for Stanley Thomas Brooks.

Stanley Thomas Brooks

Born: 5/1/1898 McDowell Co, NC

Died: 9/29/1965 Pickens Co, SC

Spouse: Bettie Mae Gilstrap (born 1899 Easley, SC)

Children: Edward Stanley Brooks, Joe C Brooks, Charles Stanley Brooks, Claudie Clifton Brooks, Thomas Brooks


Amery Brooks

African-American Research

The NCGenWeb is dedicated to free genealogy research. They are currently collecting resources on African-American genealogy.

Check out the following sites that are filled with rich information:

NCGenWeb site on African-American Special Projects.

Tom Blake’s Slave Data is one of the largest list of slave holders in 1860 and census for 1870

If you have African American research specific to McDowell County, please consider sharing with others.

Email and I will help you get your desired information online.