||November - December 2005
2005 Society Officers
Jacob Parker, President
Loretta Simmons, Vice President
Betsy Sethman, Recording Secretary
Zelda Pledger, Treasurer
Arnette Parker, Newsletter Editor
About The Society
The Genealogical and Historical Society was founded in August of 1995
to encourage the preservation and historical recording of Tyrrell County
and its families. The Society is a non-profit organization.
How To Contact Us
If you would like to contact the Society for any other
reason, you may reach us at:
Genealogical and Historical Society
Post Office Box 686
Columbia, NC 27925
Send items for the newsletter to:firstname.lastname@example.org
2006 MEETING DATES
Our Society meets on the fourth Sunday in each month
(except November and December) at 2:30 p.m. at the Senior Citizens Center
in Columbia. Mark your calendar now for our 2006 meetings.
January 22, February 26, March 26, April 23, May 28, Jun 25,
July 23, August 27, September 24, October 22
Shortly after the first of the year, you will receive a
mailing reminding you that membership dues for 2006 should be paid now. If
they are not received by February 15, you will be remove from the
newsletter mailing list. As we visit with family and friends, remember to
ask older members to tell you about stories of their life. Write it down.
TWENTY-FIVE QUESTIONS THAT COULD CHANGE YOUR
There are no right and wrong answers, as long as you're
honest with yourself. Let your thoughts guide you toward the future,
renewed in body, mind, and soul.
1. If I had an extra hour of free time a day, how would I spend it?
2. Are my personal priorities in order? What am I neglecting?
3. What are my goals for 2006? Have I taken my first step toward achieving
4. Have I given up on any dreams or goals I wish I hadn't? Can I pick up
where I left off?
5. Am I as healthy as I want to me? Do I treat my body as well as I could?
6. Who are my heroes - and why? Am I anyone's hero?
7. Is there room for more love in my life? What steps am I taking toward
8. Am I having enough fun? Do I find something to laugh at every day?
9. Do I spend too much time worrying about things I can't control?
10. Can I stand on my own two feet, or do I need someone to take care of
11. What's the best part of me that no one sees? What can I do to share
12. What's my outlook? Do I embrace new experiences, or do I avoid the
unfamiliar and stick to what I know?
13. Can I see things from a different perspective? When did I last walk in
somebody else's shoes?
14. Are there any apologies I need to make? Is there anyone I've lost
touch with and want to call? What's stopping me?
15. Do I feel valued as a parent? A spouse? An employee? A friend?
16. Do I put too much pressure on my loved ones? Do I put too much
pressure on myself?
17. Am I happy with my relationships with God? Am I as committed
spiritually as I would like to be?
18. How do I feel in my own home? Comfortable and safe, or tense and on
19. Do I hold too much anger in my heart? Are there any grudges I'm
willing to let go?
20. Have I ever been held back by fear of failure? What's the worse thing
that could happen if I act with more courage from now on? What's the best?
21. If I could live my life over again knowing what I know now, what would
I do differently? What would I not change?
22. Do I make the most of every day? Do I celebrate the little things - a
ripe orange or a sunny day?
23. Could I push myself harder at home or at work? Could I stand to ease
up a little?
24. Am I good about granting myself life's little rewards? Do I stop and
celebrate when I achieve a goal?
25. What 25 things do I want to accomplish before I die?
-Woman's Day Magazine
MARY LEVORA WOODLEY SWAIN, 95, died October 10,
2005, at Beaufort County Hospital, Washington, NC. Born in Washington
County, she was the daughter of the late Seaton M. and Luncida Hassell
Woodley. She was preceded in death by her husband James B. Swain; son Carl
D. Swain; sister Bernice Lockwood; brothers Woodrow Woodley, Caswell
Woodley, and Everett Woodley. Survivors: daughter Gloria Faye Swain of
Columbia, Evelyn J. Wilbur of Burlington, TX, Ethel M. Robertson of Rolla,
MO, and Glenda R. Cahoon of Fairfield; sons James E. Swain of Columbia and
Gene A. Swain of Creswell; sister Maxine Phelps of Roper; brothers Wallace
Woodley of Columbia, William H. Woodley of Roper, and Aubrey Woodley of
Chesapeake, VA; sixteen grandchildren; seventeen great grandchildren; nine
great great grandchildren. Arrangements by Maitland Funeral Home,
WALTER GRAHAM LIVERMAN, SR., 82, died October 17, 2005, at Pitt
Memorial Hospital, Greenville. Born in Tyrrell County, he was the son of
the late Walter L. and Bernie Dillon Liverman. He was a retired self
employed automotive technician and member of Columbia Baptist Church.
Survivors: Barbara Hughes Liverman of Columbia; daughter Kay L. Gibbs of
Columbia; son W. Graham Liverman, Jr., of Chaptico, MD; four
grandchildren; seven great grandchildren. Arrangements by Maitland Funeral
KATHY LORRAINE ETHERIDGE, 47, died October 22, 2005, at Pitt
Memorial Hospital, Greenville. Born in Tyrrell County, she was the
daughter of the late Jessie A. and Margie Ainsley Etheridge and was
preceded in death by brother Al Etheridge. She was a home health assistant
and member of Sound Side Free Will Baptist church. Survivors: daughter
Summer Nicole Etheridge, Columbia; sisters Delene Johnson of Edenton, and
Darlene Etheridge of Asheville. Arrangements by Maitland Funeral Home,
JAMES MARSHALL "JIMMIE" HOPKINS, SR., 77, died October
26, 2005, at his residence. Born in Tyrrell County, he was the son of the
late Chester L. and Vera Bateman Hopkins and was preceded in death by
brother Chester L. Hopkins, Jr. He was a retired farmer, U.S. Army veteran
of World War II, and member of Creswell Baptist Church. Survivors: wife
Frances Peal Hopkins, Creswell; daughters Lynne H. Barnes of Goldsboro;
Ann H. Woodley of Edenton; son James M. "Jimmie" Hopkins, Jr.,
of Nags Head; sister Theda H. Hatfield of Tahlequah, Oklahoma; brother
Joseph L. Hopkins of O'Fallon, III; three grandchildren. Arrangements by
Maitland Funeral Home, Creswell.
WAYNE STEVEN "STEVE" GIBBS, 52, died November 2005.
Survivors: son Danny Gibbs; daughter Leslie Gibbs of Virginia Beach; two
grandchildren; father William James Gibbs, Sr., and mother Jacqueline
Selby Gibbs of Columbia; brothers Billy and Barry Gibbs of Columbia; and
Nick Gibbs of Dover, DE; sister Karen Gibbs James of Virginia Beach. He
was preceded in death by a daughter, Linette Gibbs. Arrangements by Kellum
Funeral Home, Boney Chapel Road, Virginia Beach, VA.
ALBERT RAY WARD, 68, died November 5, 2005, at Albemarle Hospital.
He was born in Chowan County to the late Dorothy Louisa Williams and
Marvin Aubrey Ward. He was preceded in death by sister Joyce McCarter. He
was a former Jaycee, volunteer with Edenton Fire Department for 21 years,
4-H volunteer, member of First Presbyterian Church where he served as
treasurer, an Elder, and a Deacon. Survivors: wife Fran McCaskill Ward;
sons Albert B. Ward and wife Ann of Manteo, and Brian Ward and wife Alison
of Edenton; sister Evelyn Ward White and husband Charles of Morresville,
brother Robert Holton Wiley and wife Sandra of Edenton; five
grandchildren: Jennifer Ward, Christopher Ward, Andrew Ward, Scott
McLaughlin, Jason McLaughlin; great grandchild Hunter Mason Ward. Evans
Funerals and Cremations in charge of arrangements.
MYRNA KAY OWENS SAPONE, 59, died November 7, 2005, at her home in
Wanchese. Born in Norfolk, Va, she was the daughter of the late William
Anderson Owens and the late Iva Bill Tillett Owens. She retired from Dare
County Public Schools. She was a member of Bethany United Methodist Church
and attended Wanchese Assembly of God and was "mom to many and sister
to all." Survivors: husband Nick F. Sapone; daughters Lorie
Fitzgerald and Jill Sapone, both of Wanchese; son Nicholas O. Sapone of
Wanchese; two grandchildren. A brother William Conrad "Pug"
Owens preceded her in death.
DOROTHY TAYLOR GARDNER, 70, died November 10, 2005, at Chowan
Hospital in Edenton. She was born October 31, 1935, in Tyrrell County to
the late James and Cora Rhodes Taylor. She was also preceded in death by
sister Betty Davenport. She was a homemaker and member of Sound Side
Missionary Baptist Church. Survivors: Dan Reynolds of Columbia; son
Herbert E. Gardner and wife April of Edenton; daughter Patricia Wheeler of
Edenton; and five grandchildren Misty Biggs, Jessica Slades, Channing
Gardner, Nathan Gardner, and McKinley Gardner. Smith and Austin-Walker
Chapel, Columbia, in charge of arrangements.
IDA GIBBS GWYNN, 83, died November 16, 2005, at her home in
Columbia. She was born June 24, 1922, in Tyrrell County to the late Samuel
and Indiana Gibbs. She was a retired secretary with Trans Freight Lines
and member of Columbia Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She was
preceded in death by her husband James Gwyn. Survivors: sister Grace
Miller of Nashville, TN; several nieces and nephews. Smith and
Austin-Walker Chapel in charge of arrangements.
LEAROLEAN SAWYER BRICKHOUSE, 80, died November 16, 2005, at
Washington County Hospital, Plymouth. Born in Chesapeake, VA, she was the
daughter of the late Walter and Dessie Overton Sawyer and was preceded in
death by husband Kenneth O. Brickhouse; son Gaius O. Brickhouse; sister
Lillian Davis and brother Eugene Sawyer. She was a member of Sandy Acres
Free Will Baptist Church. Survivors: daughters Wanda Phelps, Mary Ambrose,
and Alicia Davenport of Creswell; sons Edward Brickhouse and David
Brickhouse of Columbia; sisters Marjorie McPherson of Virginia Beach, VA,
and Audrey Hebert of Chesapeake, VA; brothers Leon Sawyer and Lionel
Sawyer of Elizabeth City; Bobby Sawyer of Smiths, AL; Gilbert Sawyer of
Concord, NC; Everett Sawyer of Shawboro, NC, and Darrell Sawyer of
Chesapeake, VA; fourteen grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren.
Arrangements by Maitland Funeral Home, Creswell.
LENA MARRIAH HASSELL, 90, died November 23, 2005, at her grandson's
resident in Richmond, VA. Born in Washington County, she was the daughter
of the late Ernest L. and Maybell Phelps Hassell, and was preceded in
death by her husband James McCoy Hassell; sisters Etta Ayers, Ellar
Ambrose, and Lucinda Hassell; brothers Andrew Hassell, William Hassell,
John Hassell, David Hassell, Carson Hassell, and Thomas Hassell. She was a
homemaker and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Survivors: daughters June Stinsman of Richwood , NJ and Vickie VanAntwerp
of Brevard, NC; sons Larry D. Hassell of Queenstown, MD and John M.
Hassell of Washington; thirteen grandchildren, twenty-one great
grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild.
CHRISTEEN CHAPLIN DAVIS died November 25, 2005. She was preceded in
death by her husband H. Edward Davis, Sr., and is survived by her children
Faye D. Crumpler of Cary, NC; H. Edwards Davis, Jr., of Columbia; Dale D.
McDuffie of Gatesville; Ann D. Smith of Kitty Hawk; and Lory Lee Davis of
Apex. Arrangements by Maitland Funeral Home, Creswell.
ERVIN CHESLEIGH AMBROSE, SR., 95, Creswell, died November 29, 2005,
at Washington County Hospital Plymouth. Born in Washington County, he was
the son of the late Milton and Victoria Godwin Ambrose. He was preceded in
death by his wife Emma Jane Phelps Ambrose, daughter Iris Jane Biggs; two
brothers Daston Ambrose and Phillip Ambrose. He was a retired building
contractor and member of Philippi Church of Christ. Survivors: three sons
Horace Lee Ambrose and Ervin C. Ambrose, Jr., both of Creswell, and James
E. Ambrose of Myrtle Beach, SC; thirteen grandchildren, twelve great
grandchildren, four great great grandchild.
ESTHER MAE ALEXANDER MCCOY, 93, died December 6, 2005, at Pitt
County Memorial Hospital, Greenville. She was born in Tyrrell County on
August 12, 1912, the daughter of the late Matharia and Ellen B. Alexander.
Survivors: son John McCoy of Columbia, daughters Betty Murray of Columbia,
Janie Cary of Washington; seventeen grandchildren; forty-three great
grandchildren; and fourteen great-great-grandchildren.
LINDSEY RESPASS, 88, died December 9, 2005, at Washington County
Hospital, Plymouth. Born in Tyrrell County, he was the son of the late
Lemuel and Maggie P. Respass. He was a retired auto mechanic. Survivors:
brother Austin Respass of Columbia; sisters Dora Thompson of Durham and
Florence Hull of NJ; foster son Lindsey McCleese of NY; foster daughters
Edith Daughitry of NJ; Vera Sykes of Creswell; Lynnette Melton of Edenton.
Arrangements by Rowsom Funeral Home,
LEONA PHELPS DAVENPORT, 88, died December 13, 2005, at Britthaven
Nursing Center, Edenton. Born in Washington County, she was the daughter
of the late Dewey and Estelle Ambrose Phelps and was preceded in death by
her husband, Ernest G. Davenport, Sr.; son Gary Hall Davenport, and
brother Reginald Denny Phelps, Sr. Survivors: sons Jimmy S. Davenport of
Roper and Ernest G. Davenport, Jr., of Hertford; sisters Mattie Jane Burns
of Creswell and Ada P. Moreland of Palm Beach, FL; brother William T.
Phelps of Charlotte; five grandchildren; three great-grandchildren.
Arrangements by Maitland Funeral Home, Creswell.
(Written for the Christmas Issue of The State Magazine ,
OLD CHRISTMAS AT RODANTHE
Thousands of children in all parts of the world will soon
realize the day to them as the happiest of the year. The gifts of which
they have talked for many months and which they so keenly desire will at
last be theirs. Happy memories will remain with them for years to come,
because of some particular thing which will rejoice their hearts.
Doubly happy, then, will be the children of Rodanthe. For
in this little fishing village on the North Carolina coast, gifts are
received twice within two weeks. The 25th of December will be celebrated
there as Christmas and on the 5th of January, twelve days later, Old
Christmas will be observed. Children and adults alike exchange gifts on
Old Christmas, sometimes, known as Little Christmas,
Twelfth Day, or Epiphany, is a celebration taking place on the twelfth day
after Christmas, counting Christmas as the first day, and here, as in old
England, marks the end of the Christmas holidays. As far as can be
ascertained, Rodanthe is the only place in North Carolina where the custom
of celebrating Old Christmas is continued; and this is traditional with
the inhabitants there, the custom having been handed down from English
ancestors who settled years ago on that lonely strip of shore. At
Rodanthe, a tiny village of gleaming white houses on the South Banks of
Dare County, with its citzenry of upright, intelligent fisher folk, the
old English custom of celebrating the end of the Christmas season on this
continues today as it has for generations.
Rodanthe is made up of two neighborhoods, North and South
Rodanthe, about a mile apart. In modern days, of course, it is quite easy
for the people of one neighborhood to see people from the other
neighborhood frequently, but for many years, it was only once in a while
that they had an opportunity to get together. Out of this geographical
separation grew the custom of celebrating both the Christmases. On
Christmas Day, the inhabitants of one neighborhood visited the inhabitants
of the other; and on Old Christmas, the program was reversed.
Early in the morning of Christmas day, one would be
awakened by the sound of faint, eerie music. One visitor who was once
fortunate enough to be there on Old Christmas has said, "When I awoke
very early that morning, I heard music like a fairy piper. As it drew
nearer, I found it to be serenaders with fife and drum. The early morning
atmosphere lent a peculiar sweetness." The serenaders were
accompanied by members of the Sunday School, who marched in rows, as they
did every Sunday, from one end of the community to the other holding
prayers in each house as they went along. By noon, they had reached a
central point and at that place, a big table was spread in picnic stye
will all the good things that are customary at Christmas time. Everyone
from four or five miles around had gathered for the big picnic dinner and
afterwards, the homes which had not been visited in the morning were
visited for prayers. Before night, every home in the community had had
Late in the afternoon, the excitement quickened; and the
entire population gathered at some one person's home, deriving much fun
from masquerading in true old English style. Both children and grown-ups
dressed themselves in old clothes, and covering their faces with dark
stocking, went about jostling each other in the crowd. The climax of the
evening's entertainment came with the appearance of "Old Buck",
a comical apparition typical of festive celebrations. "Old Buck"
was in reality the bony structure of a cow's head, including the horns,
through which a pole was run, with blankets thrown over the pole, and two
men underneath providing the walking power for the monster. Another man
rode the beast, giving orders which "Old Buck" obeyed, such as
"Caper, Buck" upon which order "Buck" would caper from
one place to another, the bell around his neck ringing merrily. Hilarity
reigned during the evening, the fife and drum being present to furnish
music for the occasion.
According to "Uncle Eb" Midgett, one of the old
time residents of Radanthe, the fifes in those days were excellent and
were made from reeds grown close to their homes. One of the most famous of
the fifers was John Thomas Payer, while B. S. Payne was for the years the
outstanding drummer. The drums were also made at home, a sheep being
killed and hide tanned for use in making the instrument.
In former days, all the men and boys of the community got
together for weeks before the Christmas season and played ball, that being
one of the favorite sports connected with the seasons. Another favorite
sport was shooting the bull's eye, the winner of which contest was
rewarded with a chicken, duck, or other similar prize.
These sports were for the men and took place during the
day, but the sport in which boys and girls took part and from which they
derived immense enjoyment was the neighborhood "candy bilin". A
number of people would get together and boil either molasses or sugar
candy, and the fun that ensued from the pulling would be hard to describe,
to say nothing of the games they played while the candy was cooling.
While many things have changed at Rodanthe in the past few
years, Old Christmas will be celebrated this year much as in former years.
-Catherine D. Meekins
The Coastland Times - Thursday, January 8, 2004