Monday, October 30, 2017

The Defiant Leah Caroline Fesperman Marks


The 1949 William Wyler film, The Heiress, staring Olivia de Havilland as spinster daughter Catherine Sloper, reminds me of what my 3rd great-grandmother, Leah Caroline Fesperman, must have been like. Catherine, aka Olivia de Havilland, who, at the beginning of the movie, seems to have submitted to life’s cruel fate to make her a spinster, finally falls in love. Unfortunately, it’s with a man whom her father dislikes. Somewhere towards the end of the movie, Catherine, who has finally become tired of her father’s constant put downs towards her and the man she loves, reaches deep down inside herself and pulls out a tigress that has been hiding inside her since birth. In a fire storm of tongue lashes at her father after he threatens to disinherit her if she marries this man, Catherine whips out pen and paper and begins to write herself out of her father’s will. It is epic! And it is exactly what happened to my 3rd great-grandmother.

Leah Caroline Fesperman was the fourth child born to Michael and Leah Dry Fesperman about 1823 in what was then designated as Montgomery County, North Carolina. In 1841, about ten to twelve years before Leah meets her husband, William Marks, the land west of the Pee Dee River became Stanly County, North Carolina with Albemarle as the county seat. The land east of the Pee Dee River remained Montgomery County, North Carolina with Troy becoming the county seat. The Pee Dee River is literally the dividing point between the two counties. Both Leah Fesperman and William Marks lived on the west side of the river along what is now Valley Drive and near the current Morrow Mountain State Park. However, around 1848/9 they run away together across the river, to the community of Eldorado.

Google Maps
We first see Leah on the 1840 Census listed as age 15 thru 19 living in West Pee Dee River, Montgomery County, North Carolina. Up until 1850 Census takers were only allowed to take the name of the head of the family and all other family members were just counted as male/female within a certain age group. Fast forward to today and researches must guess who the family members were based on age. It is quite frustrating. You can see my guesses in the below screen capture.

1840 Census
Thus far, I have only been able to find the following family members for Leah Caroline. There are two unknowns listed on the 1840 Census and, at this time, I do not know who they are. They may have been a brother or sister who had died from some epidemic or was killed as a young person and the documents lost forever in the court house fire in the mid to late 1800's. Philip and Paul are not showing on the 1840 Census as living in their father’s house. Both are listed on separate Census’ as heads of their own houses.

The Fesperman’s lived within a mile of Dr. Francis Joseph Kron who had migrated to America from Trier, Prussia and had settled in Montgomery County, North Carolina to make his living as the community physician. Dr. Kron lived in an area now known as Morrow Mountain (see above map) and he makes mention of Michael Fesperman in his journals dated 1835, saying, “The first inhabited plantation about a mile from my house, where one Michael Fesperman, a millwright and ingenious mechanician lives.”

Dr. Francis Joseph Kron
Stanly County Museum
Read about Dr. Kron:

In researching Michael Fesperman, (and I am nowhere done with finding tidbits of data on him) I have built a profile that tells me that he had his hand in so much that nothing he ever did could ever be fully accomplished. He was a very busy man, probably too busy. I will write more on him in the upcoming posts so; stay tuned for my Blog on the “Little Dutchman.”

Some refer to the period of time between 1830 to 1850 as the antebellum years, a Latin phrase meaning literally "before the war," while others refer to it as the Plantation era. Either way, this is the period that Leah Caroline grew up in. Her father, Michael Fesperman, as stated by Dr. Kron in his journal, was an ingenious millwright (mechanic). Leah’s family was most likely at the top end of upper middle class as her father still had to work to make a living but was probably paid very well for the work he performed. Leah probably grew up in a house similar to Dr. Kron’s, which can be seen today at Morrow Mountain State Park.

Google images
Family tradition says that Leah and William met when Michael Fesperman, Leah’s father, hired William Marks to educate his children. I have no proof that this is true and no proof that William Marks was an educator. Census records list him as a shoe maker and I only found on one Census where he claimed he could read and write. By 1845 the youngest of Leah’s siblings would have been Mary, 7, Catherine, 15, Henrietta, 17 and John, 20. Leah was 22 in 1845 and Martin would have been 25. Perhaps Mr. Fesperman hired William Marks to educate his younger daughters. Certainly, William and Leah would have seen one another if he was coming to the house to give lessons.

One thing though is for sure, they did meet and, defying her father, Leah left with William Marks. I imagine in a firestorm that Michael Fesperman never forgot because on the 11th day of March 1870, some 25 years after that fateful day he watched his daughter leave with William Marks, he wrote in his will the following:
By 1850 we find Leah living with William Marks in Montgomery County, North Carolina. She is 27 and he is 50. They have a one year old daughter, Jane R.

1860 finds the couple in the Fork (Eldorado) community with five children, three daughters and two sons.
The Marks’ family is still living in Eldorado in 1870. The two oldest daughters, Jane and Cyrona, have married and moved out. Julia remains at home (she will marry Lee Thomas Hamilton in 1876). The two younger boys, Edward and Thomas, are missing and two females, Mary and Martha, are listed. See my Blog The King of the Uwharrie for an explanation on Mary and Martha.
The years between 1870 and 1880 saw the Marks children, as with all families, grow up, get married, leave home and start families of their own. Those joyful times of weddings and grandchildren seemed to have been overshadowed by the death of Leah’s husband, William Marks. I don’t know exactly when William Marks died but I do know it was between the dates Feb 1876, when Julia was married and the Census taken in Jun 1880.

The 1880 Census finds Leah still in Eldorado but now a widow, living alone. I can’t help but wonder what Leah saw when she looked back on her life. Was her life filled with happiness or sorrow? Was she glad that she defied her father and followed the man she loved? I suppose we will never know how Leah Caroline felt about it; however, on behalf of all her descendants, we are very glad she found the will to defy her father; otherwise, we all would have never been born.
Michael Fesperman, Leah’s father, died in Mar 1873, just three years after he wrote his will. His oldest son went to probate court to prove his father’s last will and testament but because Michael Fesperman, the busy man that he was, never got around to signing his will, the court would not prove it. Instead, the oldest son, Philip, was appointed Administrator of the estate of his father.

It would seem that not everyone in the family had disowned Leah for running off and marrying William Marks as her brother included her as a rightful heir to the estate of her father, Michael Fesperman.
Leah Caroline Fesperman Marks died after 1880. Thus far, I have not been able to find any death or burial records. Family tradition says that she is buried next to her husband, William Marks, at Prospect Baptist Church on River Road, near the Eldorado community, in an unmarked grave.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The King of Uwharrie

Tom Marks

One hundred and five years before the federal government designated the land of Uwharrie as a National Forest, my great-great-grandfather, Thomas Martin Marks, was born there. As he grew up, he roamed the hills and backwoods of this beautiful place, which, in his time, they called Flagtown or the Uwharrie Reservation. Every stream, creek and trail was Tom Marks personal playground. I am sure by the time he was 10 years old he could find his way through the endless miles of forest without getting lost; which, I suspect, is the reason I am not able to find him on the 1870 Census.

East Morris Mountain

Later in life, Tom Marks would live close to Moccasin Creek near the ‘blue hole,’ where my parents swam as children, and near to his beloved Uwharrie River, on what was then called Tom Marks Road, but is now US Service Road 544, in Eldorado, North Carolina. The older generations still call it Tom Marks Road. As far as Tom Marks was concerned, this land was his land and he loved every inch of it, so the family tradition goes. I, of course, never knew Tom Marks and neither did my parents, but my grandparents did, and the colorful and vibrant stories that they told of him are legends unto themselves.

Uwharrie River
Thomas Martin Marks was the youngest child born to William Buck and Leah Caroline Fesperman Marks. He makes his first appearance on the 1860 Census as a 2-year-old toddler. His middle initial, listed as C, has often made me wonder if the Census taker just made a mistake or if he changed his name later in life. The family has always known him as Thomas Martin. Thomas had an uncle named Martin Fesperman and I believe that Thomas was named for his uncle, Leah's brother, Martin.

Being the baby of the family, especially with three older sisters and one older brother, probably meant Thomas spent half his time being pampered by his sisters and the other half getting beat up by his older brother, who, by the way, used to be the baby, until he came along.

In 1870, Thomas is nowhere to be found; and as noted in previous Blogs, neither is his brother, Edward. I have searched relentlessly through Census records in Montgomery County as well as surrounding counties for Thomas and Edward both but to no avail. I can only guess why the two boys have disappeared in 1870, but have no concrete theories as to their whereabouts.

google image

In previous Blogs, I have stated that I do not know who Mary and Martha are on the 1870 Census, I still do not know what their relationship is to William and Leah Fesperman Marks, but I now know that Mary did exist. Finding out all I can about my family, and especially William Buck Marks, is the very reason why I chose to start this Blog. It is helpful for me to search for information in a chronological order, as I have done with the children of William and Leah Fesperman Marks, and to write that information down in the same order, as I have done in my Blogs. I have now discovered several clues that I would have normally overlooked otherwise. While searching for a marriage record for Thomas and Barbara Lefler Marks, I ran across this wonderful little nugget of information tucked away in the Marriage Register of Montgomery County, NC. At the bottom, it states NAMES OF WITNESSES: J.K. Hamilton, Mary Marks.

I quickly searched, and found, the actual marriage license and, there at the bottom, is Mary Marks signature with a notation that she, like J.K. Hamilton, is of Montgomery County, NC. I was, of course, elated to have discovered this gold nugget of information and will begin my search (again) for Mary Marks. For now, let us focus on Thomas Marks as this Blog is really about him.

On Jan 24, 1876, J.K. Hamilton applied for a license for the marriage of Thomas Martin Marks, age 20 years (his real age is closer to 18), the son of William Marks and Leah (Fesperman) Marks and Barbra Lefler, age 20 years, the daughter of Daniel Lefler and Sallie (Walker) Lefler. Both sets of parents are living and residents of Montgomery County. I knew from my previous Blog about Julia that William Marks was alive when she married Lee Thomas Hamilton on Feb 24, 1876 so; it is no surprise to find William Marks alive when Thomas married a month prior to Julia.

Thomas Marks and Barbra Lefler are united in matrimony by Justice of the Peace, L. Dennis, on the 26th day of January 1876, at the residence of William Marks. J.K. Hamilton and Mary Marks of Montgomery County signed as witnesses present at the marriage.

Who exactly is this Barbara Lefler who is to become my great-great-grandmother? Born Barbara Elizabeth Lefler on 10 Oct 1856 (according to her gravestone) to Daniel Lefler and Sarah ‘Sally’ Walker; Barbara is the oldest of nine children. She has five brothers and three sisters. I am a little sketchy as to where Barbara was born as I have not been able to find a birth record for her as yet. Neither am I able to find a Census record for 1860 for her. At this point in time I am hesitant to say she was born in Montgomery County or that she was living there as a young child. I will, of course, continue to search. Once I find the record I will update the Blog.

The year 1870 finds the Lefler family living in Eldorado. Daniel lists his occupation as a farmer, typical for 1870, with a personal estate of $100 (about $1800). Barbara looks to be going by her middle name, Elizabeth. She is listed as 11 years old and ‘at home’ meaning she is not attending school. She has three younger siblings, John (9), Thomas (5) and Sarah (2). There is also listed a sick boarder, John Steed (26).

1880 finds the Lefler house filled to the brim, it would seem. Not only has Daniel and Sarah (Walker) Lefler added four more children to their family, George (10), Fannie (8), Crissie (5) and McClane (2), but Barbara is back home with her own child, Lucy Marks (2). I find it curious that Barbara is listed as Lefler, rather than Marks, as she and Tom were married in 1876. I have no explanation as to why Barbara is living with her parents. I do know that she must have been pregnant though as her second child, Jarvis, would be born around 1880.

Searching old Newspapers is a great way to find out what your ancestors were up to in their day. Little did I know the infamy of my great-great-grandfather until I ran across an article in the Carolina Watchman (Salisbury, NC) dated Dec 8, 1883. The article noted that Thomas Marks, the “Redmond” of Montgomery, illicit distilling activities had caught up with him and Deputy Milton (or Melton), a Revenuer, along with a local posse, arrested him at his work place. Tom talked the deputy into taking him home to clean up and tell his family goodbye before going to jail. I am still not exactly sure what “Redmond’ means but am pretty sure it is some derogatory slang word that was used back in the day to describe someone that the public thought was a troublemaker. If anyone out there knows what ‘Redmond’ means or who the mysterious X.Q.L. is that wrote the article, please leave a comment.

The 1890 Census records were destroyed in 1921 when the building they were housed in caught fire. If interested, you can find more historical details at the Archives website:

By 1900, the Marks family has settled down in Eldorado and Thomas is working as a Day Laborer. Two other children, Lucy Amelia, whom we saw on the 1880 Census, and Jarvis, whom I believe was born around that same time, have already married and left home. Lucy married C.M. Turner on Dec 20, 1898. Jarvis married Ida Mitchell on Sep 2, 1900. Six more children have been added to the Marks family, Will (Tero) (16), Phrona (15), Lillie (11), Charlie (9), Fannie (6) and Sallie (4).

By the year 1910, the Marks family has moved from Eldorado, Montgomery County to Albemarle, Stanly County. Tom Marks lists his occupation as a fisherman. Only Fannie (17) and Sallie (14) are still at home. Will Tero married Eula Carter on May 24, 1903. At this time I am unsure who Saphronia married. I believe it may have been a Chapman but I have yet to find solid proof. Lillie Mary married Travis Nathaniel Morris on May 15, 1905. Charlie served time in the military although I have not found the specific dates.

By 1920, Thomas is back in his beloved Eldorado with wife Barbra. Their son, Charlie (20), is living with them. Fannie married Charles Clayton Loftin on Dec 14, 1915 and Sallie married Roscoe Franklin Brock on May 2, 1917.

The year 1930 shows that Thomas and Barbra are now living in Uwharrie. Charlie married Cora Brock on Jul 24, 1921.

On Aug 10, 1931, Barbara Elizabeth Lefler Marks, age 73, died. She was buried at Uwharrie United Methodist Church in Montgomery County, North Carolina.

My grandmother remembers that after her grandmother, Barbra Lefler Marks passed away, family members went to the cabin where her grandfather, Tom Marks, lived and made him come home with them. They believed him too old to be by himself in his cabin in Uwharrie. On Dec 18, 1932, at the age of 77, Thomas Martin Marks, my great-great-grandfather, died. His death reported by his son, Charlie Marks.

Tom Marks was buried, next to his wife, at Uwharrie United Methodist Church in Montgomery County, North Carolina.

I am not sure when the article “Old Tom Ruled the Wild Narrows” was written as I have never found a date on it; but I know it was written by Fred T. Morgan of the Stanly News and Press (SNAP); it would seem that Tom Marks’ infamy remained well after he died.

Stanly County Museum

Read more about Fred T. Morgan here:

Read the article “Old Tom Ruled the Wild Narrows” here:

While searching for information on Tom Marks, I happened by an article written by a lady that I would discover is related to me. We both share Tom Marks as our great-great-grandfather. Her through his son, Jarvis, and me through his daughter Lillie (as well as his son Will Tero - my father's side). I found it amazing that even though we had never met we had heard the same stories about our great-great-grandfather.  You can read her article, "Was Tom Marks ‘The King of Uwharrie’?" here:

My grandmother told the last tale, from her generation, about Tom Marks on 27 Dec 2015. She was almost 13 years old when he died in 1932. She remembered going to his funeral at Uwharrie United Methodist Church. Tom would have been her grandfather, the father of her mother, Lillie. She remembered Tom Marks as a tall man, who loved to play his fiddle, talk to his honeybees and paddle her and her siblings across the river on his raft. My grandmother died this year at the age of 97. To my knowledge, she was the last person alive who held a real memory of the legend that we, his descendants, call The King of Uwharrie.

It's my generations turn now, to keep the family tradition going.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Mysterious Disappearance of Edward A. Marks

google images

Edward A. Marks took a lesson from his father, William ‘Buck’ Marks, and pulled a mysterious disappearing act right after the 1860 Census. It would seem that he just up and left the planet, without a trace. What happened to him? Why is there no record to be found of him? Did aliens snatch him? Did he die and no one report his death? Or, did he just not want to be found? Did he really even exist at all? This blog will explore what might have happened to Edward after 1860; but first let us establish what we do know about him.

Edward A. makes his first and only appearance on the 1860 Census in Fork (Eldorado), Montgomery County, North Carolina. He is the fourth child born to William and Leah Fesperman Marks and the first-born son; born about 1855, he is 5 years old. Edward is not yet old enough to attend school with his sisters, Jane, Cyrona and Julia and he is three years older than his brother, Thomas, the baby of the family, and my direct ancestor.

1860 Census
So, where is Fork, Montgomery County, NC anyway? Today, Fork is known as Eldorado and is located in the Northwestern corner of Montgomery County, NC. It is bordered by Ophir and Uwharrie and Badin Lake is located within its boundaries. Montgomery County was formed in 1779 from Anson County. In 1961 the Uwharrie National Forest was formed and Montgomery County is situated right in the midst of the national forest. Troy is the county seat. In 1841 the land was divided west of the Pee Dee River to form Stanly County. In 1895 Eldorado had a population of 41 people with a Post Office and no railroad. I can only imagine there is a lesser population in 1860. There is only one Marks’ family listed, my ancestors.

wiki maps
By 1870 Fork had changed its name to Eldorado. The Marks’ family is still listed on the Census but Edward (and Thomas) completely disappear from the 1870 Census and in their place are listed Mary (18) and Martha (15). The age of Martha would certainly fit for Edward, as he would be 15 in 1870. Mary, listed as 18 years of age would not fit for Thomas, as he would only be 12 years old in 1870. It is certainly true that the boys could have been in school on the day the Census was taken and just not counted. Or perhaps they were at the creek fishing. Or just out in the woods hunting or playing. I suppose it is also possible that the Census taker just messed up and wrote down the wrong information.

Perhaps the Marks family deliberately told a falsehood to keep the boys from being discovered. The Civil War had just ended in 1865 and at least Edward would have been old enough in a year or two to be drafted into another war. Maybe William and Leah did not want the government to know they had male children and were just trying to protect the boys. Leah’s sister, Hettie, had lost her husband, Green Carter, in the Civil War in 1863, and I am sure William and Leah had neighbors and friends who had also lost their children. Then again, perhaps the boys were just playing a prank and thought it was funny to trick the Census taker.

1870 Census

If Edward and Thomas were at school or fishing in the creek and not counted in the 1870 Census, then who are Mary and Martha? Since both of the girls are listed with the surname Marks, I know they cannot be related to Leah, her maiden name is Fesperman, so the girls do not belong to her brothers and her sisters would have taken their husbands names. I know that none of Leah's sisters married a Marks. The girls would have to be related to William Marks somehow. Perhaps they are his nieces and are just visiting. 

So, what could have happened to Edward A. Marks? The first thing that comes to mind is that he must have passed away sometime between 1860 and 1870. That is the logical conclusion here; especially since he is not to be found on any future records. However, for many years I believed that Edward’s sister, Jane R, had died too because I could not find her on any records. As more and more records became available to the public I was finally able to locate her. I hope this will be the case with Edward too. So far, I have not been able to find a death record or a grave so there is a good chance he did grow up and I will find him just as I found Jane.

The Orderly Life of Julia Ann Marks Hamilton

google images
I have to admit that it has taken A LOT of pondering on my part to determine what to write about Julia Ann Marks Hamilton. Other than not knowing her own age, Julia’s life seemed so straight forward and orderly. All the i’s were dotted and all the t’s crossed as if there was a plan for everything and everyone followed the plan. I know, I could be totally off base, but as I research an individual I tend to build a personality for them, of how I imagined them to be and I imagine Julia was a planner and a goal setter. The interruptions in her life seemed to be neatly packaged and wrapped up; everything done right and proper. I imagine her as the kind of person who just took care of business.

Julia, like her sisters, Jane R and Cyrona, is my third Great Aunt and the third daughter of William Buck Marks and Leah Caroline Fesperman. According to the 1860 Census she was born in the year 1851 in Eldorado, Montgomery County, North Carolina.

On the 1860 Census, Julia is seven years old. She has two older sisters and two younger brothers and that means she was stuck in the middle. Being a middle child is pretty tough, even in today’s world, but I imagine that Julia handled it quite well.

1860 Census
The 1870 Census was a bit confusing as Julia seems to have aged 3 years. The 1860 Census showed her as age seven but the 1870 Census, which should have showed her as 17, now showed her as 20. I did not expect to see Julia’s sisters, Jane and Cyrona on the 1870 Census as I believe Jane R married Lindsay Loflin (or someone else) prior to the 1870 Census and Cyrona married Joseph K. Hamilton on June 11, 1869; thus just missing the 1870 Census with her parents.

Two new people, Mary (18) and Martha (15), were showing though. I do not know who Mary and Martha are. They never appear again. Perhaps the Census taker was totally confused or tried to complete the fields later from memory and got it all wrong. I have no answer for it although I do have some thoughts about it that I may present in a later blog.
On 16 Feb 1876, Lee Thomas Hamilton applied for a marriage license for himself and Julia. Lee is listed as 20 years old and Julia, 23. Lee is the son of William Hamilton (b: Abt. 1790 d: Bef. 1876) and Mary “Polly” Morgan (b: Abt. 1813 d: Bef. 1870). Both are listed as deceased on the marriage license. Lee is also the brother of Joseph K. Hamilton (Cyrona’s (Julia’s sister) husband).

Julia, of course, is the daughter of William Buck Marks (b: Abt. 1800 d: Aft. 16 Feb 1876) and Leah Caroline Fesperman (b: Abt. 1823 d: Aft. 1880).

Note: I now have another clue in my search for William Buck Marks. He died after 16 Feb 1876 because he is listed as ‘living’ on Julia’s marriage license.

Julia and Lee were married by L. Dennis, Justice of the Peace, at the home of John Chandler in Eldorado Township, on 24 Feb 1876. Witnesses present at the marriage were Gaston Hearne, John Chandler and J.K. Hamilton (Lee’s brother, Joseph (Cyrona’s husband). It looks like Cyrona did attend her sister’s wedding as her husband signed as a witness.
Lee Thomas Hamilton was born in May of 1854 and makes his first appearance on the 1860 Census as a five year old. He has two older sisters, Sara and Polly (Palestine Jane, called Palley) and two older brothers, Joseph (married Cyrona, Julia’s sister) and William.
1870 found a 15 year old Lee Thomas Hamilton living in Uwharrie with his father and his older brother, William, who is now 20. His mother, Polly, is not listed and I presume she has passed away. Lee’s brother, William, would marry Angeline Harris in 1873.
By 1880 I find it very interesting that the Hamilton family is living in Center, Chatham County, North Carolina as this is, supposedly, the area where William Buck Marks is from. I was curious to know why Julia and her family moved to Chatham and even more curious to know if they had any Marks relatives there that they may have been in contact with. Perhaps Lee needed work and a family member in Chatham County offered him a job. We will never know for sure but it is interesting to note that if Lee was looking for work, why not explore opportunities in counties that were closer to him? Why Chatham County?

I searched the Census to see if the Hamilton’s lived near the Marks’ and I found that George and Mary Marks Thomas also live in Center Township at this time. I could not help but wonder if the girls knew of each other. They would have been close to the same age with Mary born in 1847 and Julia born in 1851. Mary Marks is one of the lines I am researching to find a connection to the Montgomery County Marks line.

Read more about George and Mary Marks Thomas here:
Sometimes…you just get lucky – George A. and Mary E. Marks Thomas of Chatham County, NC

wiki maps
Note: I am currently working on a project to piece together the Marks family from Chatham County in an attempt to connect them to the Marks' in Stanly, Rockingham and Montgomery Counties. Hopefully, this research will bring to light how these families are related to one another.

Back to Lee and Julia..

Lee and Julia have one daughter, Sarah Ann (6), and two sons, Alexander (4) and Wesley (6 months). The 1880 Census shows Lee has listed his occupation as farming and Julia is keeping house.
Julia’s father, William Buck Marks, passed away between 1876 (after her marriage to Lee) and 1880 (as he was not on the Census for that year) and I wonder if Julia was already in Chatham County and able to travel back to Montgomery County to attend the funeral or if her father died before she left for Chatham. Is it possible that Julia and Mary Marks Thomas met at William Buck Marks funeral? This is just speculation and curiosity on my part.

Unfortunately, the 1890 Census was destroyed by fire in 1921 and the records lost forever. I am unable to track the Hamilton family for this year.

I believe in 1892, Julia’s sister, Jane R, passes away.

Read more about Jane R here:
Searching for Clues on Jane R. Marks

By the year 1900 the Hamilton family has moved to the Oakland District of Chatham County just south of Center. Lee still lists his occupation as farmer. Sarah Ann, now 26, had married Charles Minter Poe in 1889. Alexander, now 24, was also out of the house and married to Maggie Hollingsworth. Wesley is now 10 and three children have been added to the Hamilton family; Lue V (16), Nora L (15), and Gina A (9).

It is believed that Julia’s mother, Leah Caroline Fesperman Marks, passed away in Montgomery County, NC between 1880 and 1900. I wonder if she ever got to see her grandchildren (again, just curiosity on my part).
Around 1900, Julia’s daughter, Sarah Ann, also passes away in Chatham, NC.

1910 shows the family has moved again; this time to Alamance County, Thompson District, near Burlington, North Carolina. I imagine, as with most family moves, it is to find work. Farming seems to be something of the past and America has moved into the Industrial Revolution era.

wiki maps

Only one child, Adelaide, age 17, is living at home.
In reviewing the 1910 Census further, I found that at least two of Julia’s children also are in Alamance County, NC and only live a few doors down from her. Alexander Hamilton and his sister Vinnie Hamilton McCann are shown as Family numbers 219 and 220 – literally next door neighbors. Lee and Julia are shown as Family number 222. All look to be working at the Cotton Mill.

1920 finds Lee and Julia still in Alamance County but in the Burlington area. Lee is still working at a cotton mill while Julia is at home. Adelaide has married Ernest McCann and no longer living at home.

wiki maps
At some point between 1920 and 1922, Lee and Julia move back to their hometown of Eldorado, NC. Julia died on May 8, 1922 in Eldorado and was buried at Lanes Chapel in Blaine, NC.
Lanes Chapel is a beautiful building with its tin roof and simplistic, yet functional, design. The cemetery is located across the street. My sister and I recently visited Lanes Chapel to look for Julia’s grave but we had no luck in finding it. There are many old graves at Lanes Chapel and most of them have been worn away over time making it impossible to read the names on the stones. 

As I wandered around, looking at the graves, I couldn’t help but think about the time when Julia was buried there. What a sad time for such a beautiful setting, certainly, but, knowing Julia, it probably didn't even rain.

From one middle child to another, rest in peace, Julia.

Lanes Chapel

Lanes Chapel Cemetery
Lee Thomas Hamilton, Julia's husband, died 18 Dec 1936 and is buried at the Historical Montgomery County Home Cemetery in Montgomery County, N.C.