Sunday, September 16, 2007

Joseph J. Whitice (1845-1851)

(click on photograph for larger image0

Above is a gravestone in the First Baptist Church of Yanceyville cemetery (Yanceyville, Caswell County, North Carolina). It is located in the section that contains some of the oldest graves in the cemetery and has for many years been a mystery. Here is the inscription:

Joseph J.
Son of
J.R. & C.M.
Aug. 31, 1851

Who were the parents, J. R. Whitice and C. M. Whitice? As this is the only Whitice buried in this cemetery, where were his parents buried?

Just this week additional information came to light. A Caswell County native whose family owns property on the County Home Road (just outside Yanceyville) informed the Caswell County Historical Association that a gravestone was located on their farm. The inscription showed:

Joseph R. Whitice
Died December 26, 1845

As Whitice was not a common Caswell County name, it appeared that this Joseph R. Whitice could be the father of the Joseph J. Whitice buried in the First Baptist Church of Yanceyville cemetery. Locating the following marriage record helped unravel the mystery:

North Carolina Marriage Collection, 1741-2004
Name: Joseph R. Whitice
Spouse: Catharine Dodson
Marriage Date: 17 Jul 1844
Marriage County: Caswell
Marriage State: North Carolina

Now we had a possible mother, Catharine Dodson Whitice. This is consistent with the gravestone inscription of the child, which showed "C. M. Whitice." For what the "M" stands is not known.

The next helpful record was:

Groom: John A. Graves
Bride: Catherine M. Whited (widow)
Bond Date: 31 May 1848
Bondsman/Witness: Jno. K. Graves, R. Y. Graves
Location: Caswell County, North Carolina
Source: Caswell County, North Carolina Marriage Bonds, 1778-1868, Katharine Kerr Kendall (1981)

It seems likely that this Catherine M. Whited (widow) actually was Catherine M. Dodson Whitice, the widow of Joseph R. Whitice. The dates work: A Catharine Dodson married Joseph R. Whitice 17 July 1844. The child, Joseph J. Whitice, was born (according to Caswell County records), 5 December 1845. Joseph R. Whitice died 26 December 1845. The widow Catherine M. Whited [probably Whitice] married John A. Graves 31 May 1848 (bond date).

Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that the parents of Joseph J. Whitice (1845-1851), whose gravestone is shown above (First Baptist Church of Yanceyville), were:

Joseph R. Whitice and Catherine M. Dodson

The second husband of Catherine M. Dodson Whitice apparently was John A. Graves. However, who was this John A. Graves? Other researchers had shown John Azariah Graves, son of William Graves (1780-1845) and Ann Lea Graves Graves, with a wife named Catherine M. D. Whittick. While not conclusive, it certainly is reasonable to conclude that this Catherine M. D. Whittick is the same person as Catherine M. Dodson Whitice. See the Yancey Family Genealogical Database.

These researchers also showed John A. Graves and Catherine M. D. Whittick having a daughter named Mary Johns Graves. The only John A. Graves in the CCHA database with a daughter named Mary Johns Graves (also seen as Mary E. Graves) is John Azariah Graves (born c. 1823). He is the son of William Graves (1780-1845) and Ann Lea Graves (b. 1794). Thus, while not satisfactorily documented, a reasonable working hypothesis is that the second husband of Catherine M. Dodson Whitice was John Azariah Graves, who was a prominent lawyer in Yanceyville, North Carolina.

And, the 1850 US Census (Yanceyville, Caswell County) helps bring all the pieces together. In 1850, James Poteat and his wife Isabella were operating the Poteat Hotel in Yanceyville, North Carolina. Listed among their boarders in the 1850 US Census were John A. and Catherine Graves (27 and 23, respectively). John A. Graves was shown as a lawyer, with both John and Catherine born in Caswell County. Apparently associated with them was one-year-old Mary E. Graves, possibly their daughter. A four-year-old Joseph J. Whitice may also have been part of their household. It is possible (likely), as explored above, that this Joseph J. Whitice was the child of Catherine M. Dodson and Joseph R. Whitice.

Much of the foregoing lacks the documentation required to form solid conclusions with respect to the familial relationships. However, the assumptions made appear reasonable. Do you know more about this family? If so, please share it here or at the CCHA Message Board.


No comments:

Post a Comment