Ellis Family Papers, 1789-1906

Manuscript Collection #261

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: Ellis Family Papers
Creator: Ellis family
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Papers (1789-1906) including correspondence, financial papers, legal records, public school registers, newspapers, promissory notes, receipts, copy of marriage and birth, etc.
Extent: 0.221 Cubic feet, 153 items , consisting of correspondence, financial papers, legal records, public school registers, a newspaper, and miscellaneous.

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Accessions Information

May 1, 1974, ca. 150 items; Pitt and Lenoir Counties, N.C., family papers (1789-1906), including correspondence, financial papers, legal records, public school register, a newspaper, and miscellaneous.

October 24, 1974, 4 volumes; Public school class registers (1878-1904) for Pitt County, N.C., white schools. Deposited by Mrs. Bruce Ellis Boyd and Miss Lottie Ellis of Winterville, N.C.

August 1, 2008, (unprocessed addition 1); 3 items, 0.001 cubic feet; Papers (1862, 1867) including portraits of Miss Bettie A. McGlohorn [or McGlohon], of Ridge Spring, P. O., Pitt County, North Caolina, taken shortly before her marriage to John Pierce and after the birth of her oldest child Mary Pierce & an illuminated letter from an unknown suitor, possibly Lt. Richard Oliver Smith, 27th Regiment North Carolina Infantry. Donor: Marjorie Ellis Boyd Dunn

Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Copyright Notice

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

Preferred Citation

Ellis Family Papers (#261), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Mrs. Bruce Ellis Boyd
  • Gift of Miss Lottie Ellis
  • Gift of Marjorie Ellis Boyd Dunn

Processing Information

  • Processed by C. Harrison, January 1975

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services


Biographical / Historical Note Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

The Ellis family of Calico Precinct in Pitt County has been active in agricultural and educational pursuits since the early nineteenth century. In 1886, Oliver Ellis established the Ellis Carriage Works in Kinston for the construction of buggies, surreys, and hackabouts. This business operated until automobiles replaced the buggy as the major means of transportation.

Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Correspondence for the Civil War period is written by several Confederate soldiers to Miss Bettie A. McGlohorn. The most frequent correspondent was one Richard Oliver Smith, a lieutenant in the 27th N.C. Regiment commanded by Colonel G. E. B. Singletary of Greenville. Included are letters from New Bern, Raleigh, Wilmington, Richmond, Petersburg, and Charleston in which comments touch upon camp life, battles, attitudes toward officers, and Union activities in eastern North Carolina. One letter (1861) refers to a school in Pitt County operated by Mrs. Ellis.

Post-war correspondence is concerned primarily with family matters, farming, and the carriage business. Letters (1883-1885) from relatives in Tennessee, Texas, and Alabama describe living conditions, crops, and weather conditions in these states, particularly in the area of Jackson, Tennessee. Of particular importance are letters (1886-1894) pertaining to the operation of Ellis Carriage Works in Kinston. Information concerns the financial condition of the business, indebtedness, prices of carriages, and competition with Hackney buggies, which were sold in the same town.

Financial records include general merchandise accounts, promissory notes, and receipts. Of particular note are accounts with the Greenville firms of Caleb Cannon & Company (1853-1860), Alfred Forbes (1872-1882), John S. Congleton & Company (1881-1886), and Harry Skinner & Company (1887-1888).

Of particular significance are materials related to public education in Pitt County. Included are four Public School Registers, a School Committeemen's Book, and two North Carolina Teacher Certificates (1892, 1894). The Public School Registers (1878-1906) contain school census records, yearly and monthly reports of teachers, grade statistics, attendance records, records of teachers' salaries and texts used, plus general statistics concerning students and their guardians.

Also of note are deeds, land grants, and land surveys for property in the Swift Creek area of Pitt County plus two records of the hiring of slaves (1825, 1858).

Miscellaneous materials include a copy of marriage and birth records taken from the Ellis family Bible, an advertisement for Latham's Cotton Planter (1870), and a brochure for Ellis Carriage Works. Oversize materials include a diploma from Empire State Teacher's Class (1891) and a copy of The Kinston Free Press (Sept. 3, 1898).

Subject Headings Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Preliminary Inventory Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Below is material taken from a preliminary inventory and represents content from the collection that is unprocessed.

  • Box 2#0261.2
    • Folder a#0261.2.a
      Register of Common School in District No. 17 County of Pitt, White Race, State of North Carolina (1878-1892) Julia McArthur, Etc., Teachers. Printed form volume. 1 vol.
    • Folder b#0261.2.b
      Register of Common School in District No. 16 County of Pitt, White Race, State of North Carolina (July-August 1884) Used by Mrs. Mary Ellis. Printed form volume. 1 vol. 5 p. used out of 36 p.
    • Folder c#0261.2.c
      Register of Common School in District No. 7 of Contentnea Township, Pitt County, White Race, State of North Carolina (October 1903-November 1904) Printed form volume. 1 vol. 20 p. used out of 29 p.
    • Folder d#0261.2.d
      Committeemen's Record Book District No. 7, White Race, Contentnea Township, Pitt County. (Undated) Printed form volume. Unused. 1 vol. 0 p. used out of 18.
    • Folder e#0261.2.e
      North Carolina Public School Register [District No. 7, White Race, Contentnea Township, Pitt County] (Nov. 1905-March 1906) Printed form volume. 1 vol. 20 p. used out of 22 p. Note: Includes Teacher's Monthly & Teacher's Final Report.
  • Box 3#0261.3
    • Folder a#0261.3.a
      • Portrait of Miss Bettie A. [Elizabeth Ann] McGlohorn (ca. 1867) shortly before her marriage to John Pierce. Photocopy by donor of photographic print. 1 item.  (item #1)
      • Portrait of Miss Bettie A. [Elizabeth Ann] McGlohorn Pierce (ca. 1867) shortly after her marriage to John Piercem holding her first child, Mary, who was born in January 1867. Photocopy by donor of photographic print. 1 item. Note: Mary Pierce later married Herbert Ellis.  (item #2)
      • Illuminated letter (ca. 1862) received by Miss Bettie A. [Elizabeth Ann] McGlohorn Pierce, Ridge Spring P. O., Pitt County, North Carolina from an unknown suitor, possibly Lt. Richard Oliver Smith, 27th Regiment North Carolina Infantry. Holograph with envelope. 1 item. Note: Mary Pierce later married Herbert Ellis.  (item #3)
Oversize Folder os1#0261.os1
Oversized materials folder (1832-1898), including diploma; newspaper, 9/3/1898; letter 4/4/1887; ledger page, 1885-1886; ledger page, 10/9/1888; Grant Frederick Mills 2.2.1832; Promissory note. 7 items.

Online access to this finding aid is supported with funds created through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). These funds come through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. This grant is part of the North Carolina ECHO, Exploring Cultural Heritage Online, Digitization Grant Program.

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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Special Collections Department, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. The materials described here are physically available in our reading room. None of the original documents in this collection are digitally available online at this time.
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