Tag Archives: Raleigh

Another Brother – Jefferson Davis Askew

His name should give you a clue about when and where he was born. Jefferson Davis Askew grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. He was born shortly after the attack on Fort Sumter, during the first days of the Civil War. It was with some difficulty that I tracked him down, finally, in Terre Haute, Vigo County, Indiana. Here is an excerpt from a book of Vigo County biographies, where I found some important clues. Because the information contained in these types of books is often secondhand, I take it all “with a grain of salt.”

jdaskew copy

Stay tuned – there is more to this story!


Posted by on February 25, 2013 in Askew, Genealogy Lessons, Uncategorized


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The Askews and the North Carolina State Fair

As the North Carolina State Fair ends today, it seemed fitting to post this tidbit regarding the Askew family and the history of the fair.

William F. Askew, my great-great-great-grandfather, served on the Executive Committee of the North Carolina Agricultural Society in 1873, when the State Fair moved from its original location to its second site in Raleigh, across from NC State University. It occupied approximately 55 acres along Hillsborough Road from Brooks Avenue to Horne Street, according to the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources Highway Marker Number H-34. The Agricultural Society ran the fair until 1927 when the Agriculture Department took over and the Agricultural Society disbanded. It moved to its present location in 1928.

Here is an excerpt from the North Carolina Agricultural Almanac 1873, published by L. Branson. You will find William F. Askew’s name listed in the Executive Committee.

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Posted by on October 21, 2012 in Askew, Uncategorized


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Weekend Reading: The History of Alamance

Want to know more about the friends and neighbors of our ancestors and the lives they led? The History of Alamance, by Sallie Walker Stockard tells their stories. (Note: the colored text is a link that will take you to the free Google ebook which you can read online.) In her book, she mentions several of the rivers and creeks we find in the deeds for land owned by our ancestors: Sandy Creek, Stinking Quarter Creek, Deep River. It includes an interesting account of the Regulator Movement, which was a precursor of the American Revolution, led by some residents of Alamance County, North Carolina. At the end of the book, she includes detailed family histories of some of her ancestors.

While reading the book, I found myself struggling to remember which sides of the fight the “whigs” and “tories” were on. (My American history classes were such a long, long time ago.) For those of you in the same boat, here are the definitions:

  • Whig: supported American independence from Great Britain during the Revolutionary War; later became the Republican Party in opposition to Andrew Jackson and the Democrats.
  • Tory: supported the British Crown against the colonists who sought independence.

The author, Sallie Walker Stockard, made history in 1898 as the first woman to earn a degree from the University of North Carolina. She wasn’t allowed to attend the commencement ceremony with her male peers, and wasn’t included in the class photograph. The University commemorated her achievements 100 years later. The press release about the event makes note of the difficulties she faced as a student, such as not being allowed to enter the library to study or borrow a book. It also says:

Stockard represented the independence of her generation of college women by marrying, having two children and eventually separating from her husband and taking back her maiden name, “a subject of no little controversy,” according to Gladys Hall Coates’ book.

As Stockard stated, “I have supported myself and brought up two children from birth without help. I am under no obligations to any man for the use of his name. . . . Shall I have to be cremated to keep that man’s name off my tombstone? Wooden headed tradition!”

I found this book by coincidence while researching a person in our family tree, Henry Jerome Stockard, who turns out to be Sallie Walker Stockard’s first cousin, once removed. Henry Stockard married Mildred Holding, who was Col. William F. Askew’s grand-daughter. Henry and Mildred are buried in the Holding/Askew family plot in Oakwood Cemetery, Raleigh, NC. Incidentally, the book is dedicated to General Julian Shakespere Carr, also in our family tree – more on him in a future post!

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Posted by on April 13, 2012 in Askew, Weekend Reading


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Finding My Charles T. Askew, Part 2

It was one of those EUREKA moments that happens every now and then, when poking around leads to finding that missing piece of the puzzle that makes everything fall into place. It makes the hair on your arms stand up, as anyone who has ever done genealogy research will attest.

I had left my search for Charles Thompson Askew and moved on. The questions remained unanswered until one day, with some time on my hands and my laptop at the ready, I tried a Google search using “Charles T Askew” and paper mill. The first result was a free Google ebook, called The Paper Mill and Wood Pulp News, Vol. 22. It listed Charles T. Askew or the Ulster Paper Mills of Saugerties, NY. Farther down the list of search results was Husted’s Oakland, Alameda and Berkeley Directory, 1907 listing Charles T. Askew at Merriam Paper Company. Several additional results, which I will detail in a future post, traced his work history from Baltimore, to New York, to California. This was all news to me.

Apparently I had never put his name together with the words ‘paper’ and ‘mill’ in a Google search before. There are two lessons here:

  1. Don’t restrict a search to just the person’s name. Include terms that describe things that you know about the person, like their occupation or hobby.
  2. Repeat searches from time to time. As more information comes online, new results will appear.

All of this information was interesting, but none of it was definitive until I saw this:


This article was published in The Atlanta Constitution on January 14, 1923. It has been digitized and can be found on the website

The key piece of information is in paragraph 4. Colonel William F. Askew of Raleigh, manufacturer of paper at the Falls of Neuse, is my great-great-great-grandfather. I have found Charles.

Now, what about Leila Dodson, the widow?


Posted by on April 10, 2012 in Askew


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Finding My Charles T. Askew, Part 1

Charles Thompson Askew was born in 1859, married Leila Dodson in Baltimore, Maryland on December 19, 1882, and died before 1900, or so I thought.

His birth year was calculated using census data. His marriage to Leila was suggested by a notation in legal documents pertaining to his father’s estate and confirmed by a notice on page 4 of the Raleigh News and Observer, published on December 24, 1882. The notice states that Charles T. Askew was married “last Tuesday evening” in Baltimore to Leila Dodson by the Reverend AC Dixon. Furthermore, the R. L. Polk & Company Baltimore City Directory for 1899 lists a Charles T. Askew in the paper business at 1804 Bolton Street. I know he learned the paper business from his father, who owned a paper mill in Wake County, North Carolina. In the 1900 census for the 2nd Precinct of Baltimore, Maryland, Leila Askew is listed as a widow with her daughter, Bertie, born in July of 1883. So, Charles must have died some time before the 1900 census.

It all made sense, until I found this listing in the Alumni History of the University of North Carolina:


From Raleigh; New York, N. Y.; b. Nov. 30, 1858; d. Sierra Madre, Cal., Dec. 31, 1923; s. 1875-78; paper manufacturer 1878-80; merchant 1880-1923.

Was this the same person? The 1910 census for Los Angeles, California lists a Chas. T. Askew of approximately the correct age, but from South Carolina, living with Edith, his wife of 13 years, and son Charles E. His place of business is a paper house. His name, age and occupation suggest he is the same man who lived in Baltimore. The state where he was born doesn’t fit, though. Who is Edith, and what about Leila and Bertie??

Could there be two different men of the same age, both named Charles T. Askew, and both in the paper business? If so, which one belongs in my family tree?

After more than four years of searching, I believe I have the answer!

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Posted by on April 9, 2012 in Askew


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