Brick Walls: Dewitt Sumberlin/Sumrell

by | May 9, 2019 | 0 comments

Dewitt Sumrell was born circa 1825 in Lenoir County.  This date is a guessimate based upon the birth dates of his two known sons in the mid to late 1840s.  The place, though, comes from the death certificate of his son, James Henry Sumrell.  According to James’s son, the informant, both James and Dewitt were born in “Lanor” County.

Henry Atlas Sumrell did not, apparently, know the name of his grandmother.  However, other documents, such as James’s marriage record, give her name as Matilda.  Dewitt and Matilda are also listed on the marriage and death records of my 2nd great-grandfather, Joseph Franklin Sumrell.  I would presume that they married in about 1845.  None of these people appear on the 1850 census.  Anywhere.

Connections to the Sumrells of Contentnea Neck?

In 1860, in the household of William S. and Argent Sumrell, there lived James and Frank.  At 17 and 11, respectively, they are too old to be their children.

Back in 1850, William was living with his, probable, brother, Washington Thomas Sumrell and his wife, Nancy. Both Nancy and Argent were daughters of Peter Philips. And it is thought that Washington was the son of James Sumrell and Nancy King, daughter of Brittain and Celia King. Could they, also, have been Dewitt’s parents?

By the time of the 1870 census, our James was living in Craven County with his future in-laws, Freeman Waite Stilley and Mary Toler Stilley.  He and their daughter, Margaret (who was, probably, the natural daughter of Mary Toler and Wiley Daw), married in November of that year.  Franklin, however, was still in Lenoir County, living with Peter Philips Sumrell.  Peter was the son of Washington and Nancy.

Peter and Nancy would, a couple of years after this, have a son named James Franklin.  Another point of interest is that one Peter’s brothers was Atlas Edgar.  Remember that our James’s son was Henry Atlas.

Pamlico County and the Puzzle of the two Franks

Joseph Franklin Sumberlin married Margaret Ann Dixon 20 Apr 1873 in Pamlico County.  At the time, he was living at Bay River.  This makes me wonder if he’d moved in with James.

I have no proof that Dewitt Sumrell was the son of James and Nancy King Sumrell.  But circumstantial evidence seems to be pointing to that conclusion. 

One more thing.  There was another Frank Sumrell living in Pamlico County at the same time as Joseph.  I don’t know how, or even if, he connects to my Sumrells.  According to his death certificate, he was the son of Charles Sumrell and Mary Meeks.  Here is his certificate:

and the one for my Frank:

Isn’t it weird?  They were the same age.  Both lived in Alliance and they died at about the same time.  To add to the spookiness, notice the informant for the other Frank.  Will Summerell.  My great-grandfather was called Willie, short for William.  Also, my Frank’s oldest son was named Charles Allen.  If these guys are not related, then this is all one doozy of a coincidence!

What do y’all think?



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