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Whitfield, Snipes, and Hastings Family Papers


Families represented had roots during the 18th and 19th centuries in Caswell and Person counties, but some moved in subsequent generations to nearby Guilford and Durham counties. Most focus is on Hazel Mary Snipes Hastings (1924-2001), apparently the first in her family to attend college, and her life and her family's intertwined lives as revealed through the long run of letters home to her mother, Rosa Elizabeth Whitfield Snipes Durpree (1897-1989).Papers contain a birth and death record created in the years before 1862 of the Asa and Jane Johnson Fuller family, Person County, written on pages sown into a rebound (cloth and cardboard) almanac. Letters of particular interest were those writt ... (more below)

Title

Whitfield, Snipes, and Hastings Family Papers

Collection Number

PC.2001

Date(s)

1850-1986

Date(s)

1920-1986

Language

English

Physical Description
3.0 boxes
Abstract

Families represented had roots during the 18th and 19th centuries in Caswell and Person counties, but some moved in subsequent generations to nearby Guilford and Durham counties. Most focus is on Hazel Mary Snipes Hastings (1924-2001), apparently the first in her family to attend college, and her life and her family's intertwined lives as revealed through the long run of letters home to her mother, Rosa Elizabeth Whitfield Snipes Durpree (1897-1989).

Papers contain a birth and death record created in the years before 1862 of the Asa and Jane Johnson Fuller family, Person County, written on pages sown into a rebound (cloth and cardboard) almanac. Letters of particular interest were those written during the Great Depression, and those from Hazel Mary Snipes Hastings to her mother during her student days at Mars Hill Junior College, and subsequently while enrolled in the Watts School of Nursing, Durham.Includes a small quantity of photographs and other material, and family letters that extend to 1986.

Creator

Unknown

Repository

State Archives of North Carolina


Chronological within each series.


Available for research


Gift

Copyright is retained by the authors of these materials, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law (Title 17 US Code). Individual researchers are responsible for using these materials in conformance with copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.


Processed by Jennifer Davis, Intern, 2012, Ariel Wortham,William Peace University Intern, June-July 2012, and Fran Tracy-Walls, 2014.

Finding Aid by Fran Tracy-Walls, which incorporates some useful notes and description by Ariel Wortham.


 Family of Asa Fuller (1782- 1862) and Jane R. Johnson (d. 1855), Person County Various family trees show Asa Fuller as having been in Caswell County. Person County was formed from Caswell in 1791, and subsequent censuses in 1850 and 1860 indicate that Fuller remained in Person County until his death. The volume contained in these papers shows the following genealogical information. Asa Fuller was born 9 September 1782. He married Jane R. Johnson 30 January 1817. Children listed, presumably born to the Fuller couple were Mordecai A., born 14 April 1818; Elizabeth R. born 8 September 1821; Perthenea [Parthenia] born 3 February 1826 [?]; Eliza born 16 July 1828; William born 20 January 1837; Benjamin born 18 August 1840, Martha born 6th [?] December 1842; Joseph Sidney born 24 August 1845; John Peter born 23 December 1847; Margaret born 9 October 1849; [?] Jane born 2 September 1852. Other entries show that Ben left home 19 April 1860 and died 8 June 186[?]. Other deaths recorded were those of Margaret, died 17 July 1859 [?]; Jane R. [Johnson] Fuller 17 November 1855, and her spouse, Asa, 31 January 1862.

 Fuller and Whitfield Elizabeth R. Fuller (b. 1821- ) married John Whitfield. Their children included James E. Whitfield (1866-1934).

 Elliott Russell Whitefield (1860-1917) Elliott Russell Whitefield was born at Bushy Fork, Person County, to Esperansa Russell and Thomas Livingston Whitfield. A farmer, he was married to Rowann Hicks (d. ca. 1894) and to to Parthenia Elizabeth, around 1896. Elliot had several children by his first wife, and his children with Parthenia Elizabeth included Rosa Elizabeth, born 1897 and Lutha J., born 1901.

 Rosa Elizabeth Whitfield Snipes (1897-1989) Rosa was born at Bushy Fork, Person County, to Parthenia Elizabeth Fuller and Elliott Russell Whitefield. She was married around 1921 to Walter Fletch Snipes (1896-1948). The couple lived in Greensboro, Guilford County throughout most of their marriage. After her husband died, Rosa eventually remarried to G.L. Dupree, and they too lived in the Greensboro area.

 Walter Fletch Snipes (1896-1948) Walter Fletch Snipes was born in Person County to Loula O'Briant and William F. Snipes. He registered for the draft, World War I, and served for a period of time during that era. By the 1920 census he was living in Akron, Ohio as a boarder working in the rubber industry as a tire treader. In Akron he boarded with and worked with Robert A. Whitfield, of Person County, a cousin of his wife-to-be. He was married in the following year or so to Rosa Elizabeth Whitfield, whose family had roots also in Person County. Together they had three children: Wilda, Hazel, and Russell. He worked as a factory foreman, and lived with his family in the Greensboro area until his death in 1948.

 Hazel Mary Snipes Hastings (1924-2001) Hazel Snipes was born in Virginia March 30, 1924, but grew up in Greensboro, N.C. She attended Mars Hill Junior College, circa 1941-1943. This was a college established by Baptist families in 1856, about twenty minutes north of Asheville. Following graduation, Hazel moved to Durham and attended Watts Hospital School of Nursing. According to a letter in the collection she left the school late in 1944, apparently because of her recent marriage to James Alton Hastings. At that time no nurse and certainly no nurse-in-training was allowed to be married. When a friend of Hazel's had married earlier, she had wondered why her friend chose not to keep her marriage a secret like some other girls they knew so that she could stay in school. (Apparently Hazel decided against the course of action she seemed to wish her friend had taken.) She and Alton had only one son, James (Jimmy) Alton Hastings, Jr., and for the first part of Jimmy's life she was a homemaker. When he got older, however, she became a substitute teacher at an elementary school, and later worked as a mimeograph machine operator and as a switchboard operator for the county.

 James (Jimmy) Alton Hastings, Jr., b. 1945. Born in Durham March 10, 1945, Jimmy was an only child. When he got older he played in the school band and eventually attended Western Carolina in the 1960s. By 1971 he had married Barbara, a teacher, and was at school pursuing further education. In 1975, their first son Christopher (Chris) was born.


[Identification of item] in PC.2001, Whitfield, Snipes, and Hastings Family Papers, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, N.C., U.S.A.


Jim Hastings, Durham, N.C., 2010


Additional information on topics found in this collection may be found in the Manuscript and Archives Reference System (MARS)  http://mars.archives.ncdcr.gov/BasicSearch.aspx


The collection contains a family birth and death record created in the years before 1862 of the Asa and Jane Johnson Fuller family, Person County, and consisting of pages sown into a rebound (cloth and cardboard) almanac. Contains a small quantity of photographs and other material, including printed matter, receipts (one with a recipe for banana pudding jotted down on the reverse side), and a Memorial Day program from 1932, Greensboro, that lists white and "colored" veterans who had died since the last Memorial Day.The papers include correspondence that touch on a variety of topics, some with at least some passing references to many 20th century events, indicating a degree of first-hand knowledge. The correspondence dates from the early 1920s to the late 1980s, and is primarily penned by Hazel Mary Snipes Hastings to her mother and family, though there is a portion by other people, including relatives, to her mother, Rosa.

Letters written to Rosa Snipes dating from around 1922 to 1940 are primarily gossip exchanged between family and friends (such as the news of a mutual acquaintance marrying a man who eventually ended up in prison for forgery and bigamy), but also includes information of greater historical value. One writer in 1922 mentions having a brother who was killed in France, while another mentions a desire to see Billy Sunday while he is in Lynchburg. Most notable, perhaps, though, is the correspondence of a tenant of the Snipes family, who writes in request of a rent negotiation in 1931, as her husband and sons have been laid off, and the bank used by the relative who sends them money failed. The tenant writes that she generally makes extra money selling chicken eggs, but even that has failed to bring in as much of a profit, and as often as not, she gives the eggs away to those who have nothing. The letter writer states, "hard times has struck everybody...27 men in this neighborhood are without work." In addition to such insights as these into life during the Great Depression, there is also brief discussion concerning the tobacco industry, and birthdays among the Snipes' three children.

The majority of the correspondence, however, was written by Hazel Mary Snipes (eventually Hazel Hastings) between the years 1942 and 1986 -- which follows her through college, marriage, and family, including having a child, watching the child grow up, and becoming a grandmother. By the end of the correspondence, Hazel Hastings has an eleven-year-old grandson and is about 62 years old. The first few years covered by the correspondence deal with her college life, both at Mars Hill Junior College, 1941-1943, and at Watts Hospital School of Nursing. Her correspondence topics include college life, such as the state of cafeteria food, celebrations, revivals, and events, including May Day. When she moves on to Watts Hospital School of Nursing, the subjects tend towards her classes, her work in the hospital wards, the standards the students have to follow socially and professionally and so on. Also brought up during her stay at both schools are references to World War II and to friends and family who are involved in the war.

Hazel Snipes left Watts Hospital School of Nursing in order to marry James Alton Hastings in 1944; nurses and nursing candidates were expected to remain single. Correspondence in the early part of 1945 deals heavily with the war, as her brother Russell joined the Marines. Hazel discusses rumors of Hitler's death, V-E Day, and atomic bombs among other things with her mother during her first year being a wife, but subsequent letters through the rest of the decade and the next deal more with personal topics as she has her first (and only) child and deals with personal and family illness. Also discussed, however, are such things as news of electric appliances being made and sold to the public, the couple purchasing their first telephone, buying a new house, and dealing with inheritance issues. Union strikes, tobacco crops, and the couple's son Jimmy going to college and getting married and having a family of his own, also see their share of discussion through the sixties and seventies. Race relations in Durham are a subtle, yet recurring theme through several of Hazel's letters as she tells her mother about the help and difficulties selling their house because of the number of blacks moving into the neighborhood.

While there may be many letters in the collection dealing with personal news that perhaps only family would find of interest, there is also much in the way of historical references, news, and topics of contemporary interest. In the former category, for example, there are two letters from family members in 1947, including Aunt [Ella] Lee Snipes (1893-1981), a sister of Walter F. Snipes's father, who did not marry and remained in Person County, but continued to connect with family who had moved.


North Carolina Death Certificates, 1909-1975; United States Federal Census, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.


  • Sunday, Billy, 1862-1935
  • Hastings family
  • Snipes family
  • Whitefield family
  • Whitfield family
  • Mars Hill College.
  • Mars Hill Junior College - Students--Social Life and Customs
  • Watts School of Nursing--History.
  • Medicine and health
  • Memorial Day Celebrations
  • Tobacco
  • Veterans
  • Danville (Va.)
  • Durham (N.C.)
  • Greensboro (N.C.)
  • Person County (N.C.)
  • Raleigh (N.C.)
  • Richmond (Va.)
  • Roxboro (N.C.)
  • Great Depression, 1929-1939.
  • Manners and customs--History--20th century
  • May Day--North Carolina--Mars Hill
  • Mothers and daughers
  • Nursing students--North Carolina

Includes birth and death records of family of Asa Fuller (1782-1862) m. Jane R. Johnson (d. 1855); and printed matter, including almanacs, receipts, program.

Box: PC.2001.1  
Genealogy of Family of Asa Fuller (1782-1862) m. Jane R. Johnson (d. 1855)

Scope and Content

Pages of the birth and death record sown into a rebound (cloth and cardboard) pronunciation guide and almanac.

Box: PC.2001.1  
Primer, Reader belonging to James Whitefield, ca. 1880

Box: PC.2001.1  
Memorial Day Program, Greensboro, N.C.
1932, May 30

Scope and Content

Includes Roll of Honor of veterans ("White and Colored" listed separately) deceased since the last Memorial Day. Primary sponsor, Henry K. Burtner Post No. 53, American Legion, and Auxiliary Unit; Carolina Theatre; and Green Hill Cemetery.

Box: PC.2001.1  
Primer, Reader belonging to Rosa Whitefield, ca. 1897.

Box: PC.2001.1  
Student Composition Notebook of Rosa Whitefield, ca. 1910.

Scope and Content

Reflects some of academic work of Rosa, Rt. 1, Roxboro, N.C., at Bushy Fork High School.

Box: PC.2001.1  
N.C. Farmers Union, Receipt Card, and Misc. Receipts for E.R. (Elliott Russell) Whitefield, Bushy Fork, N.C.
ca. 1915

Box: PC.2001.1  
Almanacs
1925, 1927

Scope and Content

Birthday Almanac, 1925; Birthday Almanac, 1927, featuring Patent Medicine

Box: PC.2001.1  
Almanac, Dr. Miles Patent Medicine, including a weather almanac
1926

Box: PC.2001.1  
Receipt, Oil- Mrs. [Rosa W.] Snipes, with Recipe for Banana Pudding on reverse
1926

Box: PC.2001.1  
Receipts, West End Grocery, 3021 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, N.C.
1926-1927

Scope and Content

The proprietor was W. A. Knight. Customer was Mrs. Walter Snipes.

Box: PC.2001.1  
Daily Devotional Book, with message to Hazel Mary Snipes

Box: PC.2001.1  
Book Receipts and School Reports

Small quantity of photographs of Whitfield/Whitefield, Snipes Families, including some extended family and friends. Some examples of the photos are:

Navy friend, M. Heaton, of W. F. Snipes, Portsmouth, N. H., Navy Yard, ca. 1917. Photo post card.

Graduation celebration, Jamie Bunnell Broach, University of North Carolina, June 15, 1921. Two photos including Rosa Whitfield/Whitefield and Zelia Whitfield/Whitefield, Person County. Also includes Samuel Broach.

Mary Sue Vernon, with husband and two small children, ca. 1925. .

Two little girls, neighbors of Snipes, ca. 1930. Lived next door to Snipes [?] at 803 Spring Garden St., Greensboro, N.C.

M. Scott, Ms. Richardson, and me [Rosa W. Snipes?] at Sadie's [trailer or cottage] at the beach, ca. 1935 . 2 photos. One includes the three women, at the end of a trailer, with a net on the side. One holding a broom, and another standing in a bucket.

Town square (unidentified) with Monument, and two early cars in street. Ca. 1920.

Contains a variety of correspondence topics, indicating first-hand knowledge of various 20th century events. The correspondence dates from the early 1920s to the late 1980s, and is primarily penned by Hazel Mary Snipes Hastings to her mother and family, though there is a portion by other people, including relatives, to her mother, Rosa, along with some letters to Walter F. Snipes.

Box: PC.2001.2  
To Rosa W. Snipes from various friends and family
ca. 1922-1940

Box: PC.2001.2  
From Hazel Mary Snipes, Watts Hospital School of Nursing, to Mother and Family
Nov. - Dec. 1943

Box: PC.2001.2  
To Walter F. Snipes from friend and Hazel Mary Snipes
ca.1925-1942

Box: Box.2001.2  
From Hazel Snipes Hastings to Mother and Family
Jan. - Dec. 1945

Scope and Content

Includes a letter from Beulah (Mrs. B.E.) Williams

Box: Box.2001.2  
From Hazel Snipes Hastings, to Mother and Family
Jan. - Oct. 1946

Box: PC.2001.2  
Get well cards to Walter F. Snipes from various friends and family
1938

Box: PC.2001.2  
From Hazel Snipes Hastings, to Mother and Family, inc. letter from Mida Whitfield Royster
Jan. - Dec. 1947

Box: PC.2001.2  
From Mars Hill College to Snipes, includes business and misc.
1942-1943

Box: PC.2001.2  
From Hazel Mary Snipes Mars Hill College, to Mother and Family
1942

Box: PC.2001.2  
From D.D. to Hazel Mary Snipes
1942

Box: PC.2001.2  
From Hazel Mary Snipes Mars Hill College, to Mother and Family
1943

Box: PC.2001.2  
From Hazel Mary Snipes to Mother, Fragment, page two of undated letter
ca. 1941-1944

Box: Box.2001.2  
From Watts Hospital School of Nursing, to Mrs. W. F. Snipes
21 Nov 1944

Box: Box.2001.2  
From Lessie [?] of Durham, N.C.
23 Apr 1945

Box: Box.2001.2  
Christmas Cards to Snipes Family
1946

Box: PC.2001.3  
Get well cards and letters to Rosa Snipes
November 1947

Box: PC.2001.3  
Christmas cards and letters (Hazel S. Hastings and Aunt Lee [Snipes]) to Rosa Snipes
December 1947

Box: PC.2001.3  
From Hazel Snipes Hastings to Mother
1951

Box: PC.2001.3  
From Hazel Snipes Hastings to Mother
1952

Box: PC.2001.3  
From Hazel Snipes Hastings to Mother
1954

Box: PC.2001.3  
From Hazel Snipes Hastings to Mother
1955

Box: PC.2001.3  
From Hazel Snipes Hastings to Mother
1956

Box: PC.2001.3  
From Hazel Snipes Hastings to Mother
1960

Box: PC.2001.3  
From Hazel Snipes Hastings to Mother
1961

Box: PC.2001.3  
From Hazel Snipes Hastings to Mother
1964

Box: PC.2001.3  
From Hazel Snipes Hastings to Mother
1965

Box: PC.2001.3  
From Hazel Snipes Hastings to Mother
1967

Box: PC.2001.3  
From Hazel Snipes Hastings to Mother
1971

Box: PC.2001.3  
From Hazel Snipes Hastings to Mother
1972

Box: PC.2001.3  
From Hazel Snipes Hastings to Mother
1974

Box: PC.2001.3  
From Hazel Snipes Hastings to Mother
1975

Box: PC.2001.3  
From Hazel Snipes Hastings to Mother
1977

Box: PC.2001.3  
From Hazel Snipes Hastings to Mother
1978

Box: PC.2001.3  
From Hazel Snipes Hastings to Mother
1979

Box: PC.2001.3  
From Hazel Snipes Hastings to Mother
1980

Box: PC.2001.3  
From Hazel Snipes Hastings to Mother
1981

Box: PC.2001.3  
From Hazel Snipes Hastings to Mother
1982

Box: PC.2001.3  
From Hazel Snipes Hastings to Mother
1983

Box: PC.2001.3  
From Hazel Snipes Hastings to Mother
1986