Saturday, January 26, 2013

Life of Crime

Cornelius Seay Black (1842-1905) was the son of Charity Wilson and Abraham Black. He was born and died in Pike County Alabama. We drive thru Troy, Alabama on our way to Florida and it's usually a gas stop. I never knew anything about Cornelius Black until a cousin asked me to research him. His father was a preacher for the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Pike County but his son must have slept during most of the sermons. The only records I've found on him are not good. A parole record when he was let out of prison early for murder and a newspaper account of his death, at the hands of his son.

Alabama Parole Record

His mother, Charity Wilson, was the daughter of Godwin Wilson and apparently the sister of my great great grandfather Moses Wilson. I am sure they were related but I'm not ready to say she was his sister. She could have been a first cousin. The census, land and other records along with recent dna testing prove a family connection, I just don't know in which generation.

On November 16, 1894 Cornelius Black was sent to prison for murder. I haven't found records about the crime yet but guess it wasn't thought of as too terrible because his sentence was only 20 years and he only served 3 1/2 years before being pardoned.

Montgomery Advertiser December 23, 1905 Page 10
On the 1900 census his wife Frances listed herself as a widow even though he was living in the same community with another woman. He had married the mother of his son's wife, Julia Pool. That didn't work out too good for him because five years later there was this newspaper article in the Montgomery, Alabama "Advertiser."

It tells of his son shooting him dead during a fight over custody of the son's children. The description of Cornelius says he "has a very unsavory reputation in the county, having been in all kinds of trouble at various times." I don't know if that went on his tombstone, I haven't found one for him yet. I would hope there were other redeeming qualities, but so far they have been elusive.

No comments: