Brown, Mayo, Hopkins Family Papers, PC.2072


Brown, Mayo, Hopkins Family Papers, PC.2072


This collection contains the following items relating to the Brown, Mayo, and Hopkins families of Edgecombe and Pitt Counties, N.C.: indentures, deeds, estate records, receipts, promissory notes, Civil War parole and oath of allegiance papers, papers and maps relating to canals, genealogical materials, and documents concerning the career of Henry Brown Fountain (1917-2013).

Descriptive Summary

Brown, Mayo, and Hopkins Family Papers
Call Number
Brown family
3.00 containers, 1.00 fibredex boxes, 2.00 oversize map folders
State Archives of North Carolina

Restrictions on Access & Use

Access Restrictions

Available for research

Use Restrictions

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.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], PC.2074, Brown, Mayo, and Hopkins Family Papers, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, N.C., U.S.A.

Collection Overview

Includes indentures and deeds; estates records regarding division of land, relinquishment of title, etc., receipts for taxes, goods, school tuition, railroad stock subscriptions, school certificates, Mason membership certificates, etc.; agreements; contracts; certifications; promissory notes; permission to return home signed at Appomattox Court House for paroled prisoner (Capt. G.L. Brown, Army of N. Virginia); two oaths of allegiance to the Union, 1865; 1853 articles of agreement permitting Littleberry Brown [rights regarding] to drain into canal (Ballahack); 14 engineer-drawn profile map sections of the canal running up Little Conetoe Creek, through Juniper Swamp (July 1911); items reflecting career (sectional manager/post master) of Henry Brown Fountain (1917-2013), ca. 1975; and genealogical miscellaneous material and printed matter.

Arrangement Note

Chronological and chronological within the following series: Mayo Family Papers; Slave Pass, 1827; Hopkins Slave and Estate Papers; Manning Papers; Brown Family; Henry Brown Fountain Materials.

Biographical/Historical note

Brown, Mayo, Hopkins and other related families were early settlers in the eastern part of North Carolina, including Bertie, Edgecombe and Pitt County. David Mayo died around 1833 in Edgecombe County, and was the son of William (ca. 1740-1782) and Judith Manning [?] Mayo. One of the other earliest landowners represented in these papers was Asa Brown (b. 1772), born in Bertie County (became Edgecombe) to John Brown Sr. and Mary Little Tarver. Descendants of the Brown family remained in Edgecombe well into the 20th century.

David Mayo, Edgecombe County, was a son of Judith and William. Judith's maiden name may have been Manning, or she may have married a Manning after William's death, after 1782. Members of the Mayo family eventually settled in the Little Conetoe Creek section where members of the Brown and Hopkins families also lived. A document in this collection dated 10 October 1834 shows that William D. Hopkins was executor of the estate of David Mayo. Sarah Mayo, his widow, agreed to a relinquishment of Mayo property, and in return accepted an annual allowance from Hopkins to begin in 1836. Daniel Hopkins was thought to have been born in Edgecombe County. He married Elizabeth, whose maiden name and parents are unknown. Their daughter, Harriet Hopkins (1812-1865) married Jesse Stancill (Stancell) (1808-1886). A daughter of Harriet and Jesse Stancell, Harriet Marina, later married a Brown descendant, Gray Little Brown (1831-1907). Another child of Daniel and Elizabeth was William D. Hopkins (ca. 1800-1841) who married Julia Best in 1830, Edgecombe County. When William D. died intestate in 1841, William C. Leigh was the administrator of the estate. The 1860 U.S. Census shows a James Manning , farmer, husband of Elizabeth, with a family of several children, living in Williamston, Martin County. It is uncertain if this is the same James Manning represented in this collection. According to the donor's family research, John Brown Sr. (ca. 1754-1792), was born in Bertie County, in an area which became Edgecombe County. His wife was Mary Little Tarver, also born in Bertie County. They had several children including sons, Asa ( b. 1772); Denson; William, and John, Jr. Asa, married firstly, Mary (Polly) Pippin (ca. 1775-aft. 1805); and secondly, Rebecca Pippin. Asa's sons by his first wife include Littleberry Brown (1793-1873). Littleberry (also known as Little Berry, Bary) was born to Mary (Polly) Pippin and Asa Brown, at Conetoe, Edgecombe County. He was around 21 when he served in the War of 1812. As a result of his service, Littleberry was granted 80 acres of land. He was married 23 May 1821 to Lydia Luella Cobb (1789-1852), daughter of Patty [Unknown] and William Cobb. The couple had at least five children, including Rebecca (1822-1900); Martha (1823-1912); Lydia (b. 1826); Jospeh Henry (1828); and Gray Little Brown (1831). Gray was born to Lydia Luella Cobb and Littleberry Brown on 11 December 1831 at Conetoe, Edgecombe County. His death was 05 June 1907 at Ballyhack Farm, Conetoe, Edgecombe County. Gray married at the age of 35 in 1867 to Harriett Marina Stancell, seventh child of Harriett Hopkins and Jesse Stancell. He was a farmer and a teacher, in a school known as the Brown School. Copies of receipts in the papers indicate that he was being paid to teach area children by 1860, 1861, or possibly before.At the age of thirty Gray enlisted 1 May 1861 in Co. G., 3rd N.C. Regiment, later changed to the 13th, also known as Edgecombe Rifles, Scales Brigade, CSA, which became part of Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. (See Genealogical/Historical file compiled by Martha Fountain Johnson for an overview of his war record.) Along with his company Gray was in numerous battles. According to Muster Rolls, he was wounded a Williamsburg and again at Chancellorsville, 31 May 1863. He was taken prisoner at Gettysburg, 1-3 July 1863, and was later sent to the Lincoln USA General Hospital. Apparently he was part of a prisoner of war exchange, because muster rolls indicate was eventually transferred to General Hospital, Petersburg, Va. And later to Chimorazo Hospital No. 2, Richmond, Va., both Confederate facilities. He was back in the ranks about nine months later, and by 8 August 1864 was made Captain. He was at Appomattox when General Lee surrendered and was paroled at Appomattox Court House, 10 April 1865. (See Prisoner of War Pass signed at Appomattox that allowed him to go home safely though hostile troops.) After the war Gray returned to farming and teaching in Edgecombe County. In 1867 he married Harriet Marina Hopkins Stancil, and eight children were born to this union. In 1883 Gray became a certified teacher when the state began to set minimum standards for teachers. Gray's strong commitment to education is reflected in the fact that he sent three daughters to the State Normal and Industrial School, Greensboro, later the Woman's College (predecessor to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Fountain was a son of Walter R. Martha Knight Brown Fountain (1882-1945), and a grandson of Gray Little and Harriet Marina Brown. He attended college for one year, but the economic hardships of the Great Depression required him to leave and seek a job. He was soon hired at the Post Office as assistant to the janitor, with duties including the cleaning of spittoons. He worked his way through the ranks of mail carriers to become supervisor, and was later appointed postmaster by President John F. Kennedy. Subsequently he became the postmaster, Greensboro, then the Sectional Center manager. He retired after thirty-nine years of service in 1975.

Contents of the Collection

1. Mayo Family

Scope and Content:

The earliest original document is an indendture, Pitt County, 6 April 1774, William and David Mayo.

2. Slave Pass,1827

3. Hopkins Slave and Estate Papers

4. Manning Papers,1843-1865

5. Brown Family

6. Henry Brown Fountain Materials

Subject Headings

  • Atkinson, Amos
  • Brown, Gray L.
  • Brown, Littleberry
  • Mayo, David
  • Brown family
  • Hopkins family
  • Mayo family
  • Prisoners of war
  • Schools--North Carolina
  • Teachers
  • Edgecombe County (N.C.)
  • Pitt County (N.C.)
  • Contracts
  • Indentures
  • loyalty oaths
  • Maps
  • promissory notes
  • receipts (financial records)
  • Acquisitions Information

    Gift of Martha Fountain Johnson, Rocky Mount, N.C., 2013.

    Processing Information

  • Processed by Fran Tracy-Walls
  • Finding Aid by Fran Tracy-Walls