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Grandpa & Grandma Feature Title

A Tribute to Robert & Nannie Williams “Our Black History”

Submitted by Deloris Williams

Robert J. WILLIAMS born 18 Sep 1885 in Warren County, NC
Nannie SNEED Williams born 19 May 1892 in Halifax, NC

Robert Williams was the son of former slaves, Hubbard Williams and Julia Davis. He was born in Warren County in Fork Township, on 9/18/1885. He had at least 5 siblings and two half- siblings

Robert's Mother: Julia Davis was a young dark skinned African American who grew up in North Carolina just at the end of slavery times. She met and fell in love with Pilot Green, who lived one house from her family at the time. But due to Judy's mother's, Mary Ann, opposition to a relationship with a much lighter skinned person, Pilot who was also born a free person of color, she was not allowed to marry him. Also during that time, there were laws in the state that forbade marriages between free blacks and slaves, and this would have been something engrained in Mary Ann's thinking. Judy left home and married a much older man, Hubbard Williams, who was a former slave who also lived in the neighborhood. She & Hubbard stayed together and raised a large family until his death shortly after 1900. At about the same time, Pilot's wife, Ann, also died, thus clearing the way for Pilot and Judy to finally marry. They spent their final years together in Warren County.

Roberts Father:  Hubbard Williams was a slave originally owned by William K. Kearney. Family legend says he was given to Mr. Kearney's daughter, who eventually sold him to a (Dr.) Ed Williams of Warren County, in I (Deloris Williams, granddaughter) have found that Hubbard's mother, Melvy, had been owned by Martha (Hardy) Alston, and was the mother of Mariah (Alston) Kearney, who married William Kearney in 1810. Martha gave Melvy and her children to the Kearneys at some point. William & Mariah's daughter, Valeria Virginia Kearney, married Robert Edgar Williams in 1841 in Warren County, and apparently Hubbard went with her to the marriage. Hubbard lived next door to Ed, also known as R.E. Williams in the Census, for the rest of his life. He apparently had a previous marriage where at least two sons were born: Milton and Luke. He was a lot older than Julia Davis when they married and had: LulaBelle (China), Eddie, Frank, and Robert Williams.

Nannie Sneed was the child of two people who were themselves products of mixed heritages. Her father had a total of at least 3 wives;

Nannie’s Mother: Mary Frances Green was from the Green family in Warren County in an area which later became known as Greentown in Fork Township. Her father was James Thomas Green and her grandfather was William "Billy" Green of Warren County. Her mother was Penny Copeland, daughter of Ben Copeland of Warren County. She married Walter Van Sneed and they had 3 children together: Nannie Sneed, Estella Sneed and Georgiana Sneed. She died when she was 28 years old while living in Warren County. NC.

Nannie’s Father:  Walter Sneed was born into slavery, June 16, 1852 on the Sneed Plantation, at Granville (now Vance Co.) North Carolina. (Although, he apparently thought he was born about 1843, as listed in most of his census records). He was the son of the then owner of the land, William Morgan Sneed, son of Dr. Richard Sneed. His mother was the slave named Nancy who was born December 10, 1822 in Granville,(now Vance) of the slave named Matilda.

Story by Nannie Wiliams

"A family story follows, as told to Nannie, and related here by Samuel Snead Williams.”  My Mother always said that Grandpa Walter told them time and time again that Bill Sneed was his father. Grandpa told of how Bill Sneed used to take him on most of his local trips, as soon as he was old enough to go. He became his chauffeur (buggy or surrey driver) and took him everywhere he went. The black people in the community, mostly because they were jealous, encouraged Grandpa to leave "that old white man" because he wasn't going to give him anything, he was just being used. Grandpa, being just 18, young and foolish, listened, and ran away from his father, in Granville County, and ended up in Halifax County, never to see his father again. He said that people told him later that Bill Sneed inquired about his whereabouts and asked if anyone saw him, tell him to come back, he wanted to give him his share of the property (a Grist Mill and 200 acres of land.) Bill

died not ever seeing Grandpa again. Grandpa Walter always felt sorry for what he did and didn't talk about it very much, but let his children know from whence he came.

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This page was last updated on 11/19/06