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Poor Farm Residents

Material contributed by Marianne Nichols Ordway gives much more complete information about the County Farm system in North Carolina.

This "Welfare System" (sometimes referred to as the Poor Farm or County Farm) was administered by County Wardens to provide care for not only the poor, but also physically or mentally handicapped and aged persons.

Records specific to Bertie County are:
Records of Relief Of The Poor (1877-1932)- Bertie Courthouse

"Receipts and Disbursements of County Home for Aged and Infirm, 1917-1926.  - Bertie Courthouse

"These records ("Relief Of The Poor.") do not contain family information. The names are not listed in order.  
The ONLY thing that was written in the book was how much money was paid out to the individuals.

A person who wants to find out about any of this could write or call:  

Bertie County Register of Deeds (252)794-5309.  
Bertie County Register of Deed
108 Dundee Street.
Windsor, North Carolina  27983

Barbara Nichols Mulder talked with a clerk in the Register of Deeds Office who told her that the cost for document copies would be .20 cent a sheet.


The Poor Farm was located on County Farm Road just off of US 17 (also US13S) south of Windsor.   The road used to be called
Cashie Neck Road.

Photo Courtesy of Harry Thompson. Book Bertie Folklore - Tales from Bertie County, North Carolina Copyright 1999

Marianne has provided the portion of the Bertie County Census records which recorded the names of those living on the Poor Farm.

1870 Census
Page 221 Windsor Township, Bertie Co., 1870 Census
Residence #157:
Roberson, Jonah, 51 MW Jail Keeper
Mary, 46 FW Keeping House
Sarah C., 24 FW Farm Laborer
William, 15 MW Farm Laborer
Smith, Granville, 45 MB In Prison
Smith, Jordan, 33 MB In Prison
Stewart, William, 40 MM In Prison
Mizell, Haywood, 24 MB In Prison
Lightfoot, Signell, 28 MB In Prison

1880 Census

#285B  page 97
Alms House of Bertie County.  
Thomas J. Heckstall keeper.
Morris, C.D., W, 45
Morris, Martha, W, 40, wife
Hoggard, Elizabeth, W, 70, widowed, pauper
Baswell, Edward, W, 50, married, pauper, pneumonia
*owell, Sally, W, 45, widowed, pauper
Ruffin, Jack, B, 70, pauper

1900 Census

Windsor Township

Enumerated by me on the 26th day of June, 1900
Robb E. Tarsunton, Enumerator
Enumeration District No. 21
Sheet No. 23 Series T623, Microfilm 1183, Book #1, Page 171a

Heart, Joseph, convict, WM 3/1878, S, Farm Laborer
Boyce, Jilian, convict, WM 2/1877, S, Farm Laborer
Jones, Henry, convict, BM 3/1877, S, Farm Laborer
Smallwood, Francis, convict, BF 2/1860, M, Farm Laborer
Roader, James, convict, BM 3/1883, S, Farm Laborer
Bird, George, WM 7/1883, S, Alms House
Ward, George, WM 4/1875, S, Alms House
Baker, Mary, WF 3/1845, S, Alms House
*Mizell, Fanny, WF 2/1865, S, Alms House
Powers, Jane, BF 3/1830, S, Alms House
Bynums, Thomas, BM 2/1835, S, Alms House
Bauns, Thomas, BM 3/1840, S, Alms House
Tyler, Stephen, BM 3/1867, S, Alms House
Capehart, Dicey, BF 2/1805, Widow, Alms House
Bowen, Henry, BM 3/1880, S, Alms House

1910 Census
Windsor Township  [Part of]
Enumerated by me on the 27th day of April, 1910
Benjamin F. King, Enumerator
Enumeration District No. 9
Sheet No. 36a

…Cashie Neck Road
Phelps, J.F., head, MW,  38 years old, M13, Farmer, County Farm, *RW
Annie B., wife, FW, 35 years old, M13, 4/4, *RW
Chas., son, MW, 9 years old, S, *RW
Essie, daughter, FW, 7 years old, S, *RW
Johnnie, son, MW, 6 years old, S, *RW
Caleb, son, MW, 4 years old, S

Bachers(?), Bertie, Inmate, Pauper, FW, 67 years old, S, None
Bird, George, Inmate, Pauper, MW, 43 years old, S, None
Perry, Ellie, Inmate, Pauper, MW, 47 years old, S, None
Clark, Levy, Inmate, Pauper, MB, 58 years old, Widower, None
Whitaken, Frank, Inmate, Pauper, MB, 65 years old, Widower, None
Duoley(?), Joe, Inmate, Pauper, MB, 60 years old, Widower,, None
Cole, Amos, Inmate, Pauper, MB, 60 years old, Married, None
Whiteous(?), William, Inmate, Pauper, MB, 35 years old, Married, None
Cherry, Albert, Inmate, Pauper, MB, 25 years old, S,, None
Borden, Henry, Inmate, Con., MB, 50 years old, Widower, Laborer, County Farm
Shamock(?), Daniel, Inmate, Con., MB, 50 yrs, Married, Laborer County Farm, *RW
Reace(?), Lula, Inmate, Convict, FB, 40 years old, Single, Laborer, County Farm
Gillam, Moses, Inmate, Convict, MB, 22 years old, Single, Laborer, County Farm

[*RW = Can read and write]
[Everyone and their parents reportedly born in NC with the exception of Levy Clark listing parents place of birth as unknown.]

1920 Census

Baker, Eliza, inmate, W, 94
Baker, James, inmate, W, 88
Nicholls, Matilda, inmate, W, 68
Williams, Abbie, inmate, W, 76
Phelps, Dollie, inmate, W, 36
Moore, Donie, inmate, W, 36
Smithwick, Effie, inmate, W, 35
*evathan, Willie, inmate, W, 65
Burden, George, inmate, W, 57
Ward, George, inmate, W, 44
Castello, Henry, inmate, W, 23
Phelps, Noah, inmate, W, 70, widowed
Bazemore, Stephen, inmate, W, 62, widowed
Ward, Martha, inmate, B, 95, widowed
Bowden, Henry, inmate, B, 44
Bell, John, inmate, B, 28
Biggs, Vince, inmate, B, 78
Biggs, Lizzie, inmate, B, 34
Williams, Jonie, inmate, B, 50
Cherry, Elmore, inmate, B, 32
Smallwood, Charlotte, inmate, B, 65
Ward, Julia, inmate, M, 20
Cherry, Cliff, inmate, B, 9/12
White, Darle, prisoner, B, 39
Sessoms, T****, prisoner, B, 54
Smallwood, Frank, prisoner, M, 60
Biggs, Arthur, prisoner, B, 34
McGlauhon, Essie, prisoner, M, 18

Located on the south side of Windsor and it for prisoners who were put in jail for several months to several years. The farm was owned by the county and provided a place of work for the prisoners as well as a source of food for them and any person who was on welfare. The county jailer was furnished a home and his family resided there also.

Bertie County

Wardens of the Poor,
1838-1851; 1 volume.

Wardens of the Poor,
1838-1847; 1 reel.

This page has an awesome explaination regarding
"Wardens of the Poor" and just what was meant by
"inmate" or "outside" etc.. and gives a very good
overview of just what information is or can be on
the county reels of film titled, "Wardens of the

Webmaster: Virginia Crilley
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