Elmore Family Papers

1821-2000, undated
Manuscript Collection #262
Elmore family
Physical description
0.476 Cubic Feet, 4 archival boxes, consisting of correspondence, receipts, promissory notes, summonses, chattel mortgages, photographs, Bible records, advertisements, song ballads, poems, genealogical records, a travel journal, and miscellaneous items.
Preferred Citation
Elmore Family Papers (#262), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Papers (1821-2000) consisting of correspondence, receipts, promissory notes, summons, chattel mortgages, pictures, Bible records, advertisements, etc., related to the Elmore family of Wayne and Lenoir Counties, North Carolina, and related families.

Scope and arrangement

About one-half of the material is correspondence and the great bulk of it was written to Miss Lou M. Elmore at Seven Springs in Wayne Co., N.C. The letters date from 1881-1952 with the 1880's and 1890's being represented heavily. There is also correspondence written during World War I between two brothers in the Armed Forces and their family in Seven Springs. One brother, John R. Ivey, worked in a field hospital on the front in France. In a letter written by John R. Ivey's wife, Lottie, the conditions of war and sickness in France are provided and information about the flu epidemic of 1918 in N.C. is related. There are also letters dating from World War II written by soldiers. On the back of an envelope is written the code used by one soldier to let his family know where he was flying on his missions.

Most of the correspondence was written by women who lived on farms and wrote about the farm, visitors and visiting, outside activities, and bad health. The younger correspondents commented on school, girlfriends and boyfriends; and they exchanged pictures and poems. Church activities, picnics, fairs, and an occasional circus were their main opportunities for outside entertainment. Musical instruments were important to the people as is illustrated by the frequent mention of fiddles, accordions, and banjos in the letters. Also found throughout this collection are popular song ballads that were exchanged between friends.

Of the letters mentioning trips, fairs, circuses, and church revivals, there are several which provide some detail. These include discussions of a circus and a church revival (November 4, 1884), the Raleigh fair and the city of Raleigh (November 3, 1889), and a trip to Goldsboro (November 29, 1890). As for clothing there is one letter (September 11, 1892) describing a fancy dress possibly to be used for a wedding. Two undated letters written by Winnie Southerland and Sarah A. Glisson tell of food likes and dislikes.

Many letters refer to everyday activities, especially work on the farm. A letter dated October, 1883, illustrates how farm life makes no allowance for illness, and another one (July 1, 1886) speaks of the farm activities and the home entertainments that the family participated in during the summer. A majority of the letters make some reference to farming. In a letter dated September 21, 1886 a young woman comments on the quantity of cotton picked that day and mentions a recent earthquake and its aftershocks. C. W. Wertherington in an undated letter states the number of animals he owned and the amount of acreage he was planting that year. Two excellent letters, dated March 16, 1893 and March 13, 1900, mirror the many aspects and concerns of everyday life in the country.

In a letter of particular interest dated February 15, 1888, a young woman describes her desire to enter the new Farmer's Club and the trouble she had encountered in her attempts to join.

Some of the correspondence came from young people in school; and a letter dated November 27, 1886, gives the cost of schooling in Tuscarora, N.C. An excellent letter (October 10, 1912) written by a N.C. boy who had just arrived in Poughkeepsie, N. Y. to attend college, mentions modes of travel he used to reach Poughkeepsie, the amount of time it required to reach various destinations, and the boarding and tuition costs. There are other school related letters including one which tells of life at James Sprunt Institute in Kenansville, N.C. (February 22, 1908).

Bad health seemed prevalent among farming families; and their letters are full of references to flu, tuberculosis, smallpox, and diphtheria as well as headaches and long-lasting colds. Some of the more detailed letters dealing with ill health are dated (February 15, 1888, April 8, 1889, November 3, 1889, March 23, and September 22, 1890 and undated, 1918). Although there are few references to the use of alcohol, one letter (June 7, 1886) does mention voting on the use of liquor in Winston, N.C.; and another letter from Winston, N.C. (January 27, 1892) relates the sad effects of alcoholism on a couple.

As for prices and living conditions off the farm there is little material to be found in these letters. There is mention of wages paid for the upkeep of a fruit grove in Altoona, Florida (February 25, 1889); and the living conditions in Winston and La Grange are compared in another letter (December 14, 1890).

The collection contains a few items pertaining to the 1860's. They are primarily concerned with Richard Elmore of Wayne County, N.C. who helped construct the Ram Neuse for the Confederate Navy. Included are a note exempting Richard Elmore from duty in the Confederate Army because of health reasons; a letter from Wilmington, N.C. in care of the Confederate States Navy which mentions a month's rations; and a pass and a parole both issued to Richard Elmore on April 11, 1865.

Genealogical information is voluminous and includes copies of Bible Records which give birth, marriage, and death records as far back as 1801 for the Elmores of Saulston and Seven Springs in Wayne Co., N.C., the Elmores of Lenoir Co., N.C., and the Fields of La Grange, N.C. Several pages of compiled genealogical material pertain to the Elmore, Parks, Hinson, Smith, Summerlin, Ivey, Best and Rouse Families of Wayne and Lenoir counties, N.C. Complementing the genealogical material are pictures of members of the Elmore and Ivey families of Wayne and Lenoir counties, N.C.

There is also a variety of religious and medicinal pamphlets from the early 1900's. The religious tracts deal with cards, books, and pledges printed by the Temperance Revolution Publishing House in Chicago. One of the books advertised is Ten Nights in a Bar-Room and What I Saw There by T. S. Arthur. Medicinal products advertised include Dr. Kilmer's Swamp-Root Catopa, and the American Medical Institute's medicine to cure the "harmful effects of masturbation.

The collection contains a large number of receipts, for payment of taxes, rent, and debts owed to stores. Tax receipts (1826-1910) includes those of Richard Elmore of Wayne Co., N.C. for 1853-1906. They give a good indication of the differences in tax rates from year to year. Some of the businesses mentioned in the other receipts are the Carolina Messenger; the Transcript and Messenger; Gregory, Galloway and Company in Goldsboro; Clover Orchard Factory in Craham, N.C.; Goldsboro Mail; Goldsboro Bulletin; Wilmington and Weldon Railroad; Edgerton and Parks; Henry Lee and Co.; Smith and Yelverton (Hardware and Agricultural Implements); Seven Springs Supply Co., John H. Rouse, manufacturer of buggies, in La Grange; Simeon Wooten in La Grange; and L. Harvey and Son (Cotton, Insurance, and Fertilizer). The most interesting receipts are those from general stores (1832-1877) with the items and prices listed for cloth, molasses, rum, brandy, whiskey, coffee, shoes, sugar, buttons, shot and powder, lace, salt, snuff, hats, cotton, cigars, tobacco, socks, boots, axes, flour, coats, pork, dishes, potatoes, and shawls.

The final segment of material contains promissory notes, summonses, and chattel mortgages. The most interesting promissory notes date from the 1800's when fertilizer could be paid for with cotton at a certain price per pound. Two other notes pertain to buying a buggy (1902) and buying a bay mare and colt (1909). The chattel mortgages provide insight into the type of collateral accepted and into the use of the crop lien. The holders of the mortgages were usually individuals, or H. Weil and Brothers Store from which Richard Elmore was borrowing money or was given advances in supplies.

One item that is not related in any way to the families covered by this collection is a travel journal kept by Mrs. John F. Nichols of Hampton, Va. while on a trip to Europe around 1928 or shortly thereafter. The diary lists the books she carried with her and describes the weather, the activities in which she participated, and people she met on the trip across the ocean. Mrs. Edith Bolling Wilson was also on the ship and her dress and manner are described in the journal. Mrs. Nichol's itinerary included Glasgow, Scotland, and several cities in Germany and Switzerland. She kept a thorough journal and in it recorded the places she visited and shopped, the hotels where she stayed and her impressions of them, the items she bought and their prices, and the theatre plays she attended. She also comments on people and customs in England, Scotland, Germany, and Switzerland.

Administrative information
Custodial History

June 14, 1974, 250 items; Papers (1825-1919) of Wayne and Lenoir counties, N.C. family, including correspondence, promissory notes, receipts, legal records, and miscellaneous materials. Donor: William E. Elmore.

December 15, 1974, (addition 1), 35 items; Correspondence (1883-1912), photograph, and miscellaneous. Donor: William E. Elmore.

March 20, 1975, (addition 2), ca. 150 items; Correspondence, financial papers, and miscellaneous. Deposited by Mr. William E. Elmore, Greenville, N.C.

April 26, 1977, (unprocessed addition 3), 3 items; Bible records for Hardy, Rouse, and Barwick families. Donor: William E. Elmore.

October 31, 1977, (unprocessed addition 4), 5 pp; Uzzell family Bible records. Donor: William E. Elmore.

April 10, 1978, (unprocessed addition 5), 1 item; Elmore family Bible records. Donor: Mr. William E. Elmore.

October 16, 1981, (unprocessed addition 6), 3 items; Bible records for Hardy, Jones, and Jerman families of Lenoir County, N. C. Donor: Mr. William E. Elmore.

January 12, 1982, (unprocessed addition 7), 13 pp; Transcripts of Bible records of Alonza L. and Hettie S. Strickland, James Bizzell Elmore, Richard Elmore, Jeremiah P. and Mary S. Elmore, and Jacob and Fannie E. Sasser all of Wayne County, N.C., and of Benjamin F. Sutton, Joel Hardy Elmore & Fannie Rouse Elmore, and Oscar and Essie A. Uzzell Hardy all of Lenoir County, N.C. Donor: Mr. William E. Elmore.

May 27, 1993, (unprocessed addition 8), 13 items; Birth, marriage, and death records (undated). Photocopies. Rec'd 5/27/1993. Donor: William E. Elmore.

August 19, 1993, (unprocessed addition 9), 4 items, 0.072 cubic feet; Clippings, (undated). Rec'd 8/19/1993. Donor: Mrs. Jean McKendrick.

January 26, 1995, (unprocessed addition 10), 1 item; Research notes concerning the descendants of Robert Meeks, compiled by Colin B. Sims, Jr. Donor: Mr. William E. Elmore.

November 4, 1997, (unprocessed addition 11), 5 pages; Elmore family Bible records. Donor: Mr. Joseph E. Elmore.

August 20, 2007, (unprocessed addition 12), 1 item, 0.05 cubic feet; Invitation (3-5 June 1928) to attend Emory University, 87th Annual Commencement, from the faculty and senior class, in Atlanta, Georgia. Pamphlet. 6" (h) x 4.5" (w). Received 11/10/2006. Donor: Mr. William E. "Mickey" Elmore.

August 20, 2007, (unprocessed addition 13), 13 items, 0.25 cubic feet; Genealogical research papers, documents and files (1862-2000, undated) pertaining to the history of the Elmore family of Wayne County and Lenoir County, North Carolina, by William E. "Mickey" Elmore. Photocopied documents and typescripts. See preliminary inventory. Received 7/18/2007. Donor: Mr. William E. "Mickey" Elmore.

January 16, 2016, (unprocessed addition 14), 0.054 cubic feet; Photocopies of Bible records for Thomas Onestrus Elmore and Effie Leigh Morris Elmore of Wilson, NC, Jeremiah Onestrus Elmore of Saulston, Wayne Co., NC, William Malachi Fields and wives Jennie Fields and Mary Dora Elmore Fields of LaGrange, Lenoir Co., NC, T. W. Uzzell (Wayne Co.) and Bettie A. Parks Uzzell (Lenoir Co.), and John W. Gay (Greene Co., NC) and Alice S. Elmore Gay (Wayne Co.); photocopy of Cradle Roll Certificate for Joseph E. Elmore (Wilson, NC); handwritten estate sale accounts for Myrtilla C. Rouse Elmore (Lenoir Co.); Recitation Program (1913?) from Moss Hill School (Lenoir Co.); and a photograph of WWII "Hot As Hell" B-24 airplane and crew (including Elmore family member Alfred Howard "Pete" Gerrans, Jr.) in India. Donor: William E. "Mickey" Elmore.

August 25, 2020, (unprocessed addition 15), 0.05 cubic feet; Photocopy of a genealogical research paper titled "An Elmore Odyssey" written by William Edward "Bill" Elmore of Florissant, Missouri, in 1983. It was paper #6 in a series of papers written about the Elmore family. Donor: William E. "Mickey" Elmore

Source of acquisition

Gift of Mr. William E. Elmore

Gift of Mrs. Jean Elmore Mckendrick

Gift of Mr. Joseph E. Elmore

Gift of Ms. Lynn Johnson

Processing information

Processed by M. Elmore, December 1976

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Key terms
Family Names
Elmore family
Agriculture--North Carolina--Wayne County
World War, 1914-1918--Personal narratives--History and criticism
World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives--History and criticism
Europe--Description and travel
North Carolina--Social life and customs--19th century
North Carolina--Social life and customs--20th century

Container list
Box 1 Folder a Correspondence, 1881 - 1884
Box 1 Folder b Correspondence, 1885 - 1886
Box 1 Folder c Correspondence, 1887 - 1889
Box 1 Folder d Correspondence, 1890
Box 1 Folder e Correspondence, 1891 - 1892
Box 2 Folder a Correspondence, 1893 - 1905
Box 2 Folder b Correspondence, 1912 - 1952
Box 2 Folder c Correspondence, undated
Box 2 Folder d Miscellaneous, 1800's
Box 2 Folder f Bible Records
Box 2 Folder g Photographs
Box 2 Folder h Robert Meek's Descendants
Box 3 Folder a Items from the 1860's
Box 3 Folder b Receipts, 1826 - 1875 (not the 1860's)
Box 3 Folder c Receipts, 1876 - 1899
Box 3 Folder d Receipts, 1900 - 1942
Box 3 Folder e Notes for Money Owed, 1821 - 1909, Promissory Notes (not the 1860's)
Box 3 Folder f Summonses and Chattel Mortgages 1842 - 1906
Box 3 Folder g Store Receipts - Items & Prices Listed 1832 - 1877
Box 3 Folder h Copies of Obituaries (1923, undated) for Jesse and Betty Fields of Lenoir Co. N.C. , Photographs (undated) of Thomas O. Elmore, Hilliard C. Elmore Sutton of eastern North Carolina, 5 Items
Box 3 Folder i Obituaries (undated) for James R. Elmore and Louise M. Elmore of LaGrange, N.C.,, Clippings about Lou Elmore of Seven Springs, NC, 1948, 1951, 1952, 5 Items
Box 3 Folder j Typescripts of Bible records for Families of Wayne and Lenoir counties, N.C., 5 Items
Box 3 Folder k Item 1 Ella May Rackley, Saulston, Wayne County, NC Letter (3/2/1896) to her fiance, Jeremiah Onestrus Elmore of Bucklesberry, Lenoir County, NC Photocopy Mss. 1 item. 4 p. Note: Original owned by James Wilborne ("J.W."), Sutton, Franklin County, NC. In Jan. 2000
Box 3 Folder k Item 2 Jeremiah Onestrus Elmore, Bucklesberry, Lenoir County, NC Letter (1/18/1896) to his fiance Ella May Rackley, Saulston, Wayne County, NC. Photocopy Mss. 1 item. 3 p. Note: Original owned by James Wilborne ("J.W."), Sutton, Franklin County, NC. In Jan. 2000
Box 3 Folder k Item 3 Jeremiah Onestrus Elmore, Bucklesberry, Lenoir County, NC Letter (3/24/1896) to his fiance Ella May Rackley, Saulston, Wayne County, NC. Photocopy Mss. 1 item. 5 p. Note: Original owned by James Wilborne ("J.W."), Sutton, Franklin County, NC. In Jan. 2000
Box 3 Folder k Item 4 English Origins: An Elmore Family Working Paper (February 1989) by William E. Elmore ("Bill" of Florissant, Missouri) Photocopy typescript. 1 item. 13 p
Box 3 Folder k Item 5 Shaking the Trees in Caswell County, North Carolina: A Genealogical Study of Some Elmore Families: A Working Paper (January 1989) by William E. Elmore ("Bill" of Florissant, Missouri) Photocopy typescript. 1 item. 18 p
Box 3 Folder k Item 6 Some Early Elmores in the Northern Neck of Virginia: A Genealogical Study (January 1989) by William E. Elmore ("Bill" of Florissant, Missouri) Photocopy typescript. 1 item. 23 p
Box 3 Folder k Item 7 Together Again: A Genealogical Working Paper (12/17/1999) by William E. Elmore, 122 Beaujolais Drive, Florissant, Missouri 63031 (314) 838-3257) Photocopy typescript. 1 item. 5 p. Note: pertains to the relationship of 17th century immigrants Thomas & Peter Elmore
Box 3 Folder k Item 8 Elmore History (6/11/2000) Family History of the Elmore family, 1615-1870, by Larry R. Kraus, Lark Communications, 4900 Marlborough Way, Durham, NC 27713. Page printed 2/17/2001. 1 item. 15 p. Note: Available online (7/18/2007) at: http://www.larkcom.us/ancestry/elmore/
Box 3 Folder k Item 9 The Origins of Thomas Elmore (March 2000) by William E. Elmore of Florissant, Missouri. Photocopy typescript. 1 item. 6 p
Box 3 Folder k Item 10 Civil War Records (1862-1865) of Joel Elmore, Pvt., Co. A., 40th Regiment North Carolina Troops (3rd Artillery), 1862-1865, recording their service in the Army of the Confederate States of America. Photocopied printed forms. 1 item. 10 p
Box 3 Folder k Item 11 The Elmores in Early North Carolina (1980-1981) by William E. Elmore ("Bill" of Florissant, Missouri) Photocopy typescript. 1 item. 49 p
Box 3 Folder k Item 12 The Trunk of an Elmore Family Tree (n.d.) by William E. Elmore. Advertisement. Photocopy typescript. 1 item. 2 p
Box 3 Folder k Item 13 Travis Elmore genealogy (n.d.), 1743-1816. Photocopy typescript. 1 item. 2 p
Box 3 Folder l Genealogical Research Paper: "An Elmore Odyssey" by William E. "Bill" Elmore of Florissant, Missouri, 1983.
Box 4 Folder a Invitation to attend Emory University's 87th Annual Commencement of 3-5 June, 1928.