Pitt County NC pitt county map

Memories of:

Sarah Ann Grimes Williams Howard

Our generous donor: John Bryan Grimes

  Memories of:

I. Sarah Ann Grimes Williams Howard
b. ___________
d. 24 Dec 1910

Md. 25 Aug 1868 to Mr. Thomas Harvey Blount Myers
d. 6 Mar 1906

A. Ann Howard Myers = J.W. William Charles

A1. O'Kelly Williams Myers = Marie B. Smith
b. 17 Feb 1880b. 26 Dec 1889
d. 29 Jun 1969d. 12 Oct 1951

A1a. Marie Borgia Myers = Jacques Adrien Verron
b. 20 Feb 1910b.__________

A1a(1).  Jacques Verron Jr. = married to ?????
    b. 15 May 1942
A1a(1)a. Jacques Verron III
 b. 25 Sep 1969

A1a(1)b. Bryan Edward Verron
b. 18 May 1994

A1a(2). Roger Louis Verron 
   b. 14 May 1944

A2. Ann Howard Myers  =  John William Charles
b. 18 Jul 1869 b.  4 Feb 1867
d. 12 Aug 1939 d. 14 Jul 1946

A2a. Mary Harvey Charles  =  Charles Rouse Jones
b. 7 May 1909b. ___________
d. d. ___________

A2a(1). Anne Howard Knight Jones   =  Mr. Renth
b. 18 Mar 1926   b._________
d.    d.

A2a(2). Janet Maxwell Charles Jones = Mr. Comstock
b. 11 Jun 1926   b. ________
d.    d. ________
 II.  James Edward Montford Williams Howard
	b. (circa 1841)
	d. 16 Oct 1864 in Winchester, VA with ANVA/CSA

III. O'Kelly (Willie) Williams Howard
	b. (circa 1841)
	d. 5 Oct 1886 of Cotton Gin Accident
	md. Annie Cobb
	had issue:

	1. James Williams Howard
	2. Thomas Myers Howard
	3. Richard Cobb Howard
	4. Elizabeth Grist Howard
	5. O'Kelly Williams Howard
	6. Sarah Grimes Howard
	7. Nancy Biddle Howard
 	8. Olivia Grist Howard

  General James Williams married 1st Edith (d. 1796), married 2nd Susannah (md. 1811), had issue Mary Ann Williams who married Allen Grist. General James William's son, O'Kelly Williams (it is unclear who his mother was (Edith or Susannah), married Sarah Anne (Sallie) Grimes, the daughter of William Grimes and Zilpha Anne Bryan.

  Sarah Anne Grimes and O'Kelly Williams had a son, James who died in his youth, and two daughters: 1st Mary Williams who married Sam Biddle; and 2nd, Sarah Anne Grimes Williams who married James W. Howard. It is her daughter, Sarah Anne Grimes Williams Howard who married Thomas Harvey Blount Myers that authored these "Memories".

      -: M E M O R I E S :-

  " I have a room wherein no one enters,

  Save I myself alone;

  There sits a blessed memory on a throne,

  There my life centers."

  Often when alone at the twilight hour ---

  "When the lights are low,

  And the flickering shadows softly come and go"

  I find myself dreaming dreams; not of the future, as the young do, but of the past; for the dreams of the Old are always of bygone days. The thought had presented itself, why not write some of these memories for your children; it may be a pleasure to them to have an insight into the child-hood, young lady-hood and later the married life of their mother. With this thought in view I make a beginning.

  My grandmother, Sarah Ann Grimes, was the sister of Bryan Grimes Sr., of Pitt County. She married Gen. James O'Kelly Williams of Beaufort County. To them were born three children. James died young. Mary married Col. Samuel Biddle of Craven County. Sarah Ann Grimes Williams (my mother) met, in New Bern, James W. Howard, of Jones County, on the 30th day of October, 1839. They were married at the old home a few miles from Washington, NC, known then as the Mill Place. It is now owned by Demsie Grimes.

      My father carried his bride to his country home; also owned a home in New Bern, which was sold later. A few weeks previous my Grandmother Howard died (she suffered with rheumatism) and many were the signs of her thoughtfulness and loving kindness for her son and his bride, found in the pantry and house.

      My Grandfather, Josiah Howard, had his English coat of arms on his carriage and always drove from town to country in his coach and four. After his death, my father was so democratic that he burned the coat of arms and other relics of "Ye olden times," saying "it was trash." (An eye witness told me this). For his children's sake, I wish he had kept them.

      My father was a member of the Legislature from Jones County several times. He was a strictly moral man; neither drank or used tobacco in any form; and while I have heard a very stern man, Col. S. Biddle said, "A man that loved a good joke and could tell one as well as anyone he ever heard." Three children were born by this marriage:- Sarah Grimes, (myself), James Edward Montford and O'Kelly Williams.

      My life heretofore had been such an active, stirring one that I spent very little time in revery or retrospect. But of late with so little that I can do, I find my mind wandering so often to the days of my child-hood, when my brothers and myself took our bread and milk early, then said our prayers at our mother's knee, had the good-night kiss and was tucked in our beds by our old colored mammy, Silvey. Oh! how that room comes up before me. I can see each piece of furniture; the big fire-place with its logs of wood giving just light enough to soothe us to sleep; and the wardrobe that my father, in playing with me, used to sit me upon. (I have it now; the only piece that I own of my parents furniture).

      My father: Yes, I remember him, and the dear old house with its end to the road a long piazza on one side and porch on the other with a wide hall between. Situated in a large grove of oaks; way down in one corner the big gin house; in another the grave yard; and yet another leading to the negro quarters, where the houses were all white-washed and the street, as we called it, kept clean. Ah! Those were happy, thoughtless days, when we sat on the lever of the gin as the mules went round and round, and ran among the grass looking for and listening to the cry of the partridge.

      Years later, while visiting a friend in New Bern, (Mrs Henry R. Bryan), one of my nephews, (R.C. Howard) and myself visited the old home. How that piazza recalled the times when our grandfather Williams used to play horse for we children, we hanging on to his long tail blue coat as he went up and down.

	"Once more around the old familiar fireside
	We sat and talked, until the night
	Descending, filled the little room,
	Our faces faded from the sight.
	Our voices only broke the gloom.
	We spoke of many a banished scene;
	Of what we once had thought and said;
	Of what had been and might have been.
	And who was changed and who was dead.
	The very tone in which we spoke
	Had something strange I could but mark;
	The leaves of memory seem to make
	A mournful rustling in the dark."

    We found many changes. The large handsome grove, save just around the house, turned into a cornfield and gin house and negro quarters gone; the house in bad condition generally. It made my heart bleed. It is owned by Mr. B.F. Anderson.

    Then came the winter we spent in Raleigh and the night before Christmas, when stockings and chair were both full. Here-to-fore we were in the country where Santa Claus could not get so many nice things. One memento of that Christmas I have; a little work box which I use as a jewelry case.

    Then the trip home in carriage to Smithfield, intending to take the boat to New Bern, but on account of my mother's illness had to stay several weeks. While there, little baby brother was born and died. My mother's health was never good after this, so she went to Philadelphia to consult a physician. We children were sent with our nurse, Silvey, to Cousin Ann Cobbs near Winston. (Your Aunt Annie's Grandmother). Well do I remember the little chair I was made to sit in by her daily and sew an allotted task on a bed quilt. While there, brother Jimmie had typhoid fever, so Father, as soon as possible, carried us to our Mother. The night we went up the Bay there was a dreadful storm. You could hear the timber creak. He took us in his lap, saying "if it had to be, we would all go down together," but we were scared. The boats in those days had only one sleeping compartment with the bunks all around. Several years afterwards, my father was taken to New Bern for treatment, where he died after an operation for piles. How well I recall the sad return home; the sorrowing face of our slaves as they met the sad procession. He was laid to rest by the side of his parents.

    After a few months came the breaking up; the sale of plantation and household effects; hiring out the fifty slaves. They seemed to dread the parting as much as we, for in those days there was a close tie between master and slaves. At least it was so with our's. Our nurse, Silvey, was kept with us.

    We moved to Washington, where Mr. Allen Grist became our guardian; as good and considerate of us as could be, but with no business capacity, as time proved, when it became necessary to close the estate. It is very true it was just after the war between the States, when our slaves were freed, but there were debts years prior that could have been collected and invested. For several years after we moved to Washington we boarded. Finally my mother and Mrs. Norcott (Afterwards Mrs. Shawd (sp?) Carraway) kept house together on Second Street. (The lot where Mr. Duckman now lives.) Later my mother went to housekeeping on Main Street in what was known as the Gregory house. (Next to where Mrs. Mary Tayloe now lives). While living there she went to Philadelphia to have an operation for ovarian tumor. She died a few days afterwards as quietly as a babe going to sleep. Her friend, Mrs. Sally Ann Carraway, went with her, and cousin Appie Grist, (afterwards Kennedy) took charge of keeping house for we children. Mrs. Carraway was writing a letter to we children for Ma when she complained of feeling tired and sleepy; said she would lie down and finish later. Mrs. Carraway, seeing a change, begged her to finish the letter; but she said wait until she took a nap and so she went into her last long sleep. (I have that unfinished letter) she was brought home and then carried to Jones County and laid by the side of him she loved so well.

    After that, another breaking up and sale. I boarded with Mrs. James Hoyt (who lived next door to us) so as to finish my term at school. In June I was sent to St. Mary's, Raleigh, where I remained three and one-half years. The boys were sent to Binghams. During my young lady-hood I had much leisure, having plenty of this world's goods. I traveled a good deal and enjoyed life generally. One summer we spent between New York City, Niagara and Saratoga. There were two girls in the part; (Mary Grist and Lizzie Walker); who were expected to be married that fall, so we had lots of fun getting wedding outfits. When we reached the Bay boat on our return home, a very ludicrous as well as sad accident happened. Mary's trunk of bridal finery got over-board. She was sent for to open it at once. When we viewed all those fine clothes spread round in the hold, the look on Mary's face was too much for us. While we felt for her we could not suppress our laughter. It turned out that only a few pieces were ruined, for which she was paid.

    On my return that summer a party of us went to Portsmouth, N.C. for a few weeks. The soldiers were stationed there so I had another good time. It was said the Yanks were on their way to Washington, so my guardian thought best for me to go to his daughter's (Mrs. John Hargroves in Granville County) where we never saw soldiers but once, and strange to say Cousin Jimmie Biddle was in that Company. The only place in the States where I think they did not know the meaning of the word war and were still living on the fat of the land.

    In the meantime my brother Jimmie, although but a youth, had left school and, because of friends there, joined the 3rd Alabama Regiment. He remained with them until wounded at Seven Pines. Was taken to Richmond and cared for by Mr. John Williams' family. They kindly wrote for me. I nursed my brother until able to be moved to Granville, County, where he stayed for a few weeks and then returned to the Army. Not being strong, he was put in charge of the ordnance wagon. In a diary he kept he tells of a very ludicrous accident. "We were fording the Shenandoa River. It was waist deep, the bottom very rough. I was riding on the wagon with my feet on the tongue, when, before I knew it, I was heels over head in the water and the whole Brigade in a roar of laughter". In July 1983, he was promoted into Lieutenant in Co. 94th N.C. Reg. Later he had charge of the Company as Captain (Edward Marsh) was wounded and at home. In 1864 his wound began to trouble him so he was advised to purchase a horse and ride, and it was while on this white horse, (being only too good a mark), at the Battle of Winchester, 19th of September, 1864, while Acting Adjutant, that he was wounded, left in the hands of the enemy, taken to the Union Hospital at Winchester, where on the 16th of October he passed peacefully away, having been nursed most faithfully and tenderly by the southern ladies of Winchester. General Grimes said "Lt. Howard was a very gallant and promising officer; the Regiment was much attached to him; in fact a universal favorite with all who knew him."

 		"If there be on this earthly sphere,
		A boon, an offering, Heavenly holds dear
		'Tis the last livation liberty holds dear,
		From the heart that breaks and bleeds in her cause."

    Years afterwards, Mr. Myers and I visited Winchester and had a cross erected to his memory. He rests in the Confederate cemetery, where, with his comrades, he sleeps the long sleep of the just and the brave.

    My brother, O'Kelly Williams (called Willie) was only a boy at this time at school at the V.M.I. When the V.M.I. boys were called out to join the Army he joined the 3rd North Carolina Regiment of Artillery, Badhan's Battery, Hokes Division. He was stationed around Wilmington and the only battle he participated in was Bentonville. He survived the war, married Annie Cobb, daughter of Dr. Richard Cobb of Craven County. They had ten children, eight of which survived him; James Williams, Thomas Myers, Richard Cobb, Elizabeth Grist, O'Kelly Williams, Sarah Grimes, (who now is Mrs. J.W. Jetton (spelling??) of Davidson, N.C., Mary Biddle and Olivia Grist. On October 4th, 1886 he received injuries from a cotton gin. On the 5th his arm was taken off, from the effects of which he died the same day. He was buried at La Grange, afterwards moved to the cemetery at Washington, NC.

    Just at the close of the war, I came back to my guardian's (Mr. Allen Grist), near Washington. Was in time to witness from the garret window the second fire Washington had, when our church and the eastern portion were burned. The first fire was by the Yanks. The second, shortly afterwards, was supposed to have been by carelessness of one of the citizens burning up old papers. The Yanks gave us a parting salute in the shape of a cannonading from the forts in Washington. One ball went through the window of my bedroom, breaking bowl, pitcher and wash stand. After that, Uncle Grist thought it time for us to be leaving, so after ordering Sabe (??? spelling) and her brats (as he called them) to go into the potato house for protection (she was one cook which had not left with the others) we took to the woods. The shells followed us. When we heard them coming Uncle Grist would say "Fall down Sall" and Sall would fall down, then up and run again. Finally we went to a neighbors where we stayed until afternoon. Thankful enough our lives were spared and the house still standing. Before this, one night while all was quiet such a rattling at both front and back doors; Uncle Grist went to the front door and there stood a company of Yanks, said "sent to search the house as heard Mr. Grist's sons were at home." Well, the officers came in; very little searching they did. When they got to the garret steps we could not induce them to go up; they were afraid a trap might be set for them; and the boys hid there," and so left with many apologies for "being obliged to obey orders." Once more one beautiful bright afternoon, while sitting on the porch, a crowd of soldiers rode into the lot where the stables and barn were. Uncle Grist's horse was hitched nearby so he called to a boy to jump on and go for his son, James (who, to get away from town, had moved to the Sam Grist or Williams place nearby); but the boy hardly mounted before there was a pistol at his head and he was ordered to get, which he did in a hurry. Then Uncle Grist went to the lot to see what was wanted. They told him to have their horses fed and were so insolent that they refused, and a good many words and shaking of pistols passed, when I saw Uncle go up the steps and sit in front of the door. Seeing times were getting so lively I thought it time for me to go. Got there to hear Uncle say they would have to walk over his dead body and cursing them for all he was worth. So I thought it time to have a say. I inquired the trouble; heard what they had to say then made my little speech in regard to shooting an old gray headed man; that if they had been polite about it, etc., I knew he would not have refused them. I tried to work upon their feelings by speaking of their mothers at home whose mighty prayers I knew were of their soldier boys, etc. It took effect, for the one in charge said "put up your pistols boys, and we will be much obliged if the old man will let us have feed and water for our horses, and we have come a long way." So a boy was called to attend to them and all was peace once more. They said they were from Tennessee, but we thought deserters from both armies -- their clothes indicated such.

    That fall Uncle Grist died; the house was broken up and Allen and his wife moved across the river and lived with Wiley Grist, (his brother). I boarded with Mrs. William Rodman, who was glad to have me, as Mr. Rodman was away at the farm so much. I stayed there until taken sick, when Dr. Tayloe Sr. proposed my going to Mrs. Fannie Grist, who kept a boarding house, where I could have attention and a nurse. I shall always remember with pleasure the kindness of Liv Gallagher and Sallie Midyette. While at Mrs. Rodman's they stayed at night with me; kept up fires, etc. I was very ill. My friends thought I would never be up again. Dr. Tayloe thought my left lung effected (sic) but I know it was my mind; having lost my slaves and bank stock; knew I had to find something to do but I knew not which way to turn and had no one to help me. Neither had I been educated with any such object in view, as so many girls are now days. But the Lord provided a way. That summer I was invited to spend between Cousins Williams and Bryan Grimes families in Raleigh. In the fall I went to New Bern to visit friends. While there, through the influence of friends, I got a position in the school taught by Mr. Neal. Miss Lyn Custers was also a teacher. Boarded with Mrs. Sally Ann Carraway, where I found a pleasant home. Mrs. Carroway proved indeed a mother to the orphan girl.

    On August 25th, 1868, at Christ Church, New Bern, NC by the Reverend Edward Forbes, I was married to Mr. T.H.B. (Thomas Harvey Blount) Myers of Washington, NC. After a short trip to Philadelphia where some of his father's family lived, an Aunt Mrs. Perkins and her children, we returned to Washington. Lived until January with his family, then went to house-keeping right here, where all of our eleven children were born. Five we laid to rest while they were little and have never wished them back for they have been spared so much. Kate and Julia died in three weeks of each other with diphtheria; Julie three years old; Kate nearly ten.

    My married life has been a very quiet and uneventful one; children came fast, so I had very little time for society, but looked forward to the time when the children, being able to care for themselves, the links of broken friendship would be once more renewed; but man proposes and God disposes.

    Up to 1900 I was a strong, healthy woman. Then I began to suffer with rheumatism which attacked my lower limbs. After a while I suffered so that I walked with a stick; finally took to crutches, which were painful. In May, 1902, my son, Harvey, gave me a rolling chair, which I have used constantly ever since. It has been the greatest comfort I ever had. I know and feel that I am gradually growing more helpless, but I hope "Our Heavenly Father" will call me home before I become too much of a care for others and that he will give me strength to bear all he puts upon me.

    My children, all of them are thoughtful and dear to me; better, no one ever had. God has been merciful enough to let us raise six; all grown and able to care for themselves. But of Sallie, my name-sake and baby, must I say particularly a kind word, for to her lot it has fallen to have the entire charge of poor old afflicted Mother, and well has she discharged her duty, and of her it can be truly said -- "Well done thou good and faithful servant."

    And now, in conclusion, let me say the dreary, deserted aspect of the home recalls to my mind those lines of Charles Lamb's quaint "Old familiar faces" --

	"How some they have died, and some they have left me,
	And some are taken from me; all are departed."

	And now Father and Mother stand on the brink of the river,

Waiting --

	"To be led with a gentle hand
	Into the land of the great departed,
	Into the silent land."

Washington, NC
	December 21st., 1905

    Since writing the above the Good Lord has seen fit to call your father home. He crossed the river and was led into the silent land on the 6th of March, 1906. So peaceful and calm he looked, we feel he must be at rest.

	"They never quite leave us; our friends who have passed
	   Through the shadows of death to the sun light above,
    	A thousand sweet memories holding them fast
	   To the places they blessed with their presence and love."

March 27, 1906

Copied from the original by Lucy Myers, July 24, 1940.

Sarah Grimes Howard Myers 
   (called Sallie)

Grandmother Myers died 24 December 1910.


  Re-transcribed in Microsoft Word Perfect, by John B. Grimes in October of 1994. Grymes

  Demsey Grymes of Scotland (spelled his name Y as did the family there) had a son William who married a Bryan. His son Bryan married Nancy Grist, 1816, the daughter of Richard Grist and Ann Zilpha Bryan.

  Bryan II married first Miss Alston. Their daughter Bettie married Hayward (sic?) of Raleigh. Second wife was Charlotte Bryan, daughter of Jno. Bryan of Raleigh and their children were Alston, Bryan, Charlotte (Mrs. Alfred Williams of Raleigh), Mary (Mrs. Hackett of Wilkesboro), Demsey (married Willie Skinner of Oxford), June (J.D.) (married Ida Wharton of Salem), Theodora (Mrs W.C. Rodman), Sallie Grimes daugther of Wm & Miss Bryan, sister to Bryan Sr., married O'Kelly Williams and their 2 children were Mary wife of Col. Sam Biddle of Craven - she married Dr. James Bryan of Kinston and had 2 daughters, Laura (Mrs. Griswold of Durham) now dead, and Helen (Mrs. Walter Williamson of N.Y, a widow with no children). Sarah Anne Grimes, 2nd daughter of O'K. Williams, married James W. Howard of Jones Co. Their children were Sarah Grimes, James Montford and O'Kelly W. (called Willie).

  (This Mr. and Mrs. James Howard are your grandmother Myer's father and mother).

  Gen'l James William's. father of O'Kelly, first wife was Edith, (died 1796), 2nd wife Susannah (in 1811). She had a large family. Mary Anne married Allen Grist, thats where the Grist and Hoyts are kin.

  Who was this written by and for whom? The original handwritten copy was received on Oct 8, 1994 at the Grimes Family Reunion by John B. Grimes from Mrs. Mary Harvey Charles Jone, currently of San Antonio, TX.

  did: jones.doc

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