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William R. Douglas 






Willie DouglasWilliam R. Douglas, not to confuse him with his 2nd cousin William R. Douglas, was also born and raised in the Gulledge township of Anson County and was sometimes called Bill or Willie by his immediate family. He met and married Carrie Flower(s) who was one of Wax Jr. and Julia Flower(s)' many children. William and Carrie had two daughters, Willie Clella Douglas whose name might have been Violene and Edna Glaise Douglas whose name might have been Gatha. I don't know what happened, but sometime between 1920 and 1923 William walked out on his wife and two daughters just as his father Henry did to him, his brothers and his mother Sarah. I think William left on a work crew that ended up in Bladen County NC. He changed his name to Willie Thomas and made Bladen County his home. Shortly after he met and married Sophie Jane Powell who was the youngest child of 17 children. They lived together in the Colly township of Bladen County which is seven miles north of Elizabethtown for the rest of their natural lives. The only talk that I ever heard about his first wife Carrie was that "she was a mean woman". That was only my grandfather's opinion and I don't know what his reasons were for saying this. This was heard from him by another family member who passed it on to others in the family.

After Willie started his family in Bladen County he and his family began taking an annual trip to Anson County on the second Sunday in August. The second Sunday marked the beginning of Revival at the Gatewood Station church. He started making this annual trip a few years after he fled Anson County and continued until just before his death in the mid 1970's.

My aunt Virginia's memories of these annual trips to Anson County are still very vivid. She has told me that back in the late 1920's, Willies mother Sarah Ann Clemons-Douglas and his sister Elouise made several trips to Bladen County and stayed weeks at the time. She also remembers Willie's uncle Abraham Clemons being a visitor to the Thomas homestead and she remembers very well the one and only time Willie's brother Joseph came and stayed about a month.

My uncle LeRoy Autry who married another one of Willie's daughters, Willie Mae Thomas-Autry, mostly carried Willie on these annual trips to Anson County. He knew all of Henry and Sarah's Douglas family that were living at the time and all of them knew him. He has kept up with that part of the family very well. Just the other day he was telling me about the ones who had children living in Charlotte, Greensboro, Wadesboro and West Virginia's coal mining towns. How amazing! He's an elderly man and god bless him and his family.

My grandfather and grandmother partly raised me and three other grandchildren, Ricky, Theresa and Gregory Melvin. There was never a word mentioned to us about his past life or his family from Anson County. I remember his brother Joseph from the annual trips to Anson County, Joseph's house would be the first place he would stop to after arriving in Anson. His next stop would be his brother John Frank's house, but for some reason I can't remember him. I do remember meeting uncle John Frank's daughter Laura Ethel, uncle Jay C's son James Nash Douglas of Greensboro NC and aunt Ellouise at my grandfather's funeral. Of all the bloodlines from Anson County those are the only relatives that I have personally met. I have corresponded via telephone and e-mail with my great uncle John Frank's granddaughter Vegella Douglas-Smalls and her mother Emmie Caison-Douglas, Deborah Morales who is a very dear friend of another cousin and Marjorie Kersey-Cole, a cousin that still resides in Anson County. 


Clarence Allen AKA "Allen Omega" AKA "Flick" died on Friday July 14, 2006.  The above is from his research


This article forms part of our Slave Trade series.


See also:

  • Henderson Douglas


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