Sunday, December 6, 2015
John Wesley Green
I was looking something up about my great-grandfather, John Wesley Green, and I realized that today marks exactly 88 years since his death on December 6, 1927 so I decided to do a post about him. I wish so much that I had a picture to share, but I've never seen his likeness. I'm still hoping and praying that perhaps someone will discover a (verified) picture of him, and share it with me. :)
Here's a little about John Wesley Green.
John Wesley GREEN was born in July 1864 , to Nathaniel Hawkins (white) and Anna Green (mulatto). He married Susan Georgiana DUNSTON on January 23, 1886, Franklin County (Louisburg), NC. John and Susan lived Franklin and Wake Counties, and had six children over 18 years. He was a barber, who owned his own business (possibly with a partner). He died on December 6, 1927, in Louisburg, at the age of 63, and was buried there in the Louisburg City Cemetery, or what we know today as "The Cemetery on the Hill".
I'm including a few of the documents I've have uncovered over the years, which have helped me to learn more about my great-grandfather, and to further my research. The first is from a 1925 publication, put out by the Masons, called, "Proceedings of the Fifty Fifth Communication of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge F.A.A.M". It shows John as a dues-paid member of the lodge. (This document was an enlightening find for me, because it also shows my grandfather, Calvin R. Yarborough, and his brother, Eugene, as members of the lodge. It allowed me to see that there was a relationship between my grandmother's father, and her husband, Calvin. I wondered if maybe Grandpa John introduced the two of them, since my grandfather had been widowed, and was raising three children alone. It's just a hunch, but it does seem likely, since they were "brothers" and my grandmother was already 28 years old when they married, indicating that perhaps her father was afraid she was going to become an "old maid".)
The next document is the marriage application and license for John Green and Susan Dunston. The application was made on January 23, 1886, and they were married two days later, on the 25th. As is typical of these documents, there are errors in spelling, etc., but it is rich in genealogical information, and helped to confirm parentage and ages for both of my great-grandparents, early in my research. (The NB Hawkins is an error: It should be NM Hawkins.)
The third document is from the 1899-1900 Raleigh City Directory. It shows John W Green (colored) of "Green & Matthews" living at 9 McKee Dr. I haven't yet confirmed that this is my ancestor, but I believe it to be. I just haven't ever heard the Matthews name, in connection with him, nor did I know of him having a partner. I'll be doing more work on this. :)
The last document I'll attach here is Grandpa John's 1927 Death Certificate, showing that he died at home (my grandmother's house in Louisburg) of "cerebritis", which is an infection of the brain that leads to deadly inflammation. Thanks to the letters from John's son, WL to his wife, Georgia (which were shared with me by my cousin, Kelly), we know that Grandpa John was losing his ability to care for himself in the period before his death, and that he may have been having trouble recognizing his family members. When I was reading the letters, I thought it sounded like Alzheimer's; but this document gives a more direct diagnosis,although it probably wasn't clinically determined, since the doctor states that he'd only attended to John Green on the day of his death. Also, although we can't always read too much into these documents (because there is almost always human error), it struck me that William didn't know, or maybe wasn't able to recall the name of John's father, Nathaniel Hawkins, who would have been his own grandfather. This let me see that (sadly) the trend of not sharing family history/stories started from the beginning in our family.
I will close with this picture of the only three children of John and Susan's children who lived to adulthood. I've been told that John Green was a stocky man with white hair and blue eyes, and that he looked like a white man; however, until we see pictures of him, or of Susan, we can only try to imagine what they may have looked like, as we gaze at the faces of these three, Anna (my grandmother), William, and Mabel.
Thanks for reading! As always, I welcome your comments, questions, suggestions, and ideas. Please do share this post with your networks. Perhaps someone will read it who knows something about my people! :)
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Labels: Barber, City Directory, colored cemetery, Dunston, franklin county, free blacks, Free People of Color, Green, John Wesley Green, louisburg, Masons, Pride of Louisburg, Yarboro, Yarborough
Educator, Family researcher, Mother, Daughter, Sister