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Collection Number: 04424

Collection Title: Fatima Massey Williams Papers, 1857-1929

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the section for more information.


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Size 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 180 items)
Abstract Love letters, 1858-1859, other correspondence, financial and business items, a bank account book, and other miscellaneous items of Fatima Massey Williams and her husband, William T. A. Williams (1840-circa 1912), a wheelwright of Rolesville, Wake County, N.C. The correspondence includes eleven letters to the Williamses from Fatima's brothers, Thrush and Alpheus Massey, Confederate soldiers with the 31st North Carolina Regiment near Petersburg, Va., in 1863 and 1864, concerning their health, troop movements, and army life.
Creator Williams, Fatima Massey, circa 1840-1926.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Fatima Massey Williams papers #4424, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Handwritten transcriptions of many letters available.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Ann and Gilbert L. Arthur of Morehead City, North Carolina, in June 1985.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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Fatima Massey Williams, daughter of Craton Massey and Harriet Horton Massey of Wake County, North Carolina, was born around 1840. She had one sister, Irene Massey, who never married, and two brothers, Thrush and Alpheus Massey, Confederate soldiers of the 31st North Carolina Regiment.

Fatima married William T. A. Williams, a wheelwright, in October 1859 and thereafter resided in Rolesville, North Carolina. The Williamses apparently had at least one son, Robert "Bob" S. Williams, who became the mayor of Rolesville in the 1940s. There are also references in the papers to J. H. Williams and J. L. Williams, who were perhaps brothers of William or sons of William and Fatima.

Little else is known concerning the Williamses. The poor spelling of the letters indicates that neither the Masseys nor the Williamses received much formal education.

William T. A. Williams died around 1912. Fatima Massey Williams apparently died in December 1926.

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Love letters, 1858-1859, other correspondence, financial and business items, a bank account book, and other miscellaneous items of Fatima Massey Williams and her husband, William T. A. Williams (1840-circa 1912), a wheelwright of Rolesville, Wake County, N.C. The correspondence includes eleven letters to the Williamses from Fatima's brothers, Thrush and Alpheus Massey, Confederate soldiers with the 31st North Carolina Regiment near Petersburg, Va., in 1863 and 1864, concerning their health, troop movements, and army life.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence, 1858-1874.

24 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

The earliest correspondence (1858-1859) consists of love letters between Fatima Massey and William T. A. Williams, both of Rolesville, North Carolina, written prior to their marriage. There is also a letter written to Fatima Massey in December 1859 concerning family matters from Manervia Ann Massey, her cousin in Kemper County, Mississippi.

The correspondence dated 1863-1864 consists of letters to Fatima Massey and William T. A. Williams from Fatima's brothers, Thrush and Alpheus Massey, Confederate soldiers of the 31st North Carolina Regiment stationed near Petersburg, Virginia. The letters chiefly concern their health, troop movements, and army life.

The remaining correspondence (1866-1874) consists of a few letters to William T. A. Williams from friends and a few concerning his financial affairs and employment.

Note: Much of the original correspondence is interfiled with transcriptions handwritten by Ann Arthur, great-granddaughter of the Williamses.

Folder 1

1858-1863 #04424, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1858-1874." Folder 1

Folder 2

January - March 1864 #04424, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1858-1874." Folder 2

Folder 3

April - December 1864 #04424, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1858-1874." Folder 3

Folder 4

1865-1874 #04424, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1858-1874." Folder 4

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Other Papers, 1857-1929.

About 159 items.

Arrangement: by document type.

Varied items, chiefly concerning the financial affairs of Fatima Massey and William T. A. Williams, including receipts and a bank account book. This series also contains poems and other miscellaneous items.

Folder 5

Receipts of accounts received by William T. A. Williams, 1865-1870. Many of these accounts relate to Williams's work as a wheelwright. #04424, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1857-1929." Folder 5

Folder 6

Receipts of accounts paid, chiefly to general merchants, by William T. A. Williams, 1859-1869. #04424, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1857-1929." Folder 6

Folder 7

Receipts of accounts paid by William T. A. and J. H. Williams, perhaps a son or brother, 1870-1911. #04424, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1857-1929." Folder 7

Folder 8

Wake County tax receipts of Fatima Massey and William T. A. Williams, 1862-1899. #04424, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1857-1929." Folder 8

Folder 9

Wake County tax receipts of Fatima Massey and William T. A. Williams, 1900-1924. #04424, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1857-1929." Folder 9

Folder 10

Receipts received by Robert S. Williams, 1888-1929, including several pertaining to the 1926 funeral and estate settlement of Fatima Massey Wiliams. #04424, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1857-1929." Folder 10

Folder 11

Bank account book of Fatima Massey Williams from the Raleigh Savings Bank of Raleigh, North Carolina, 1910-1927. #04424, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1857-1929." Folder 11

Folder 12

Poems exchanged by Fatima Massey and William T. A. Williams prior to their marriage, circa 1857. #04424, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1857-1929." Folder 12

Folder 13

Miscellaneous items, including a loyalty oath signed by William T. A. Williams in September 1865. Also included are a merchant's permit and a tax listing of property owned by William T. A. Williams in June 1883. #04424, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1857-1929." Folder 13

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Processing Information

Processed by: Alice Thomas, February 1990

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

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