Miles Lassiter (circa 1777-1850)

Margo Lee Williams had only a handful of stories and a few names her mother remembered from her childhood about her family’s home in Asheboro, North Carolina. Her research would soon help her to make contact with long lost relatives and a pilgrimage “home” with her mother in 1982. Little did she know she would discover a large loving family and a Quaker ancestor–a Black Quaker ancestor. This story follows her research journey through records and Carolina countryside as she uncovers her roots.

From Hill Town to Strieby

From Hill Town to Strieby is Williams’ second book and picks up where her first book about her ancestor Miles Lassiter, an early African American Quaker, left off. In From Hill Town to Strieby, she provides extensive research documentation on the Reconstruction-era community of Hill Town, that would become known as Strieby, and the American Missionary Association affiliated church and school that would serve both Hill Town and Lassiter Mill. She analyzes both communities’ educational improvements by comparing census records, World War I Draft record signatures and reports of grade levels completed in the 1940 census. She provides well-documented four generation genealogical reports of the two principal founding families, the Hills and Lassiters, which include both the families they married into and the families that moved away to other communities around the country. She provides information on the family relationships of those buried in the cemetery and adds an important research contribution by listing the names gleaned from death certificates of those buried in the cemetery, but who have no cemetery marker. She concludes with information about the designation of the Strieby Church, School, and Cemetery property as a Randolph County Cultural Heritage Site.

Born Missionary

In 1879, Islay Walden, born enslaved and visually impaired, returned to North Carolina after a twelve-year odyssey in search of an education.  It was a journey that would take him from emancipation in Randolph County, North Carolina to Washington, D. C., where he earned a teaching degree from Howard University, then to the New Brunswick Theological Seminary, in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Along the way, he would publish two volumes of poetry and found two schools for African American children. Now ordained, he would return to his home community, where he would found a Congregational church (today called Strieby Congregation U. C. C. Church) and common school. Despite an early death at age forty, he would leave an educational and spiritual legacy that endures to this day. Born Missionary uses Walden’s own words as well as reports from newspapers and church publications to follow his journey from enslavement to teacher, ordained minister, and community leader. 

Showing all 3 results

Showing all 3 results