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Annie Blackwell Foreman Sparrow Lewis
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Birth: Sep. 26, 1847
Beaufort County
North Carolina, USA
Death: Oct. 30, 1917
Wake County
North Carolina, USA

Annie Blackwell Sparrow was born 1847 in Washington, Beaufort County, NC, the 3rd of 7 known surviving children (2 boys/5 girls) born to attorney and CSA Major Thomas Sparrow, Jr. and his wife, Ann Marie Blackwell.

She is descended from prominent families on both sides of her family tree. Her father, Thomas Sparrow, Jr, was really the 3rd Thomas in his line, but as his grandfather was dead, he was known as Thomas Jr., and his memorial here reflects this.

Annie was the paternal grandchild of Thomas Sparrow Sr. (1783-1863) and distant relative, Jane Jannett Sparrow (1788-1856); and gr-grandchild of Thomas Sparrow I (1751-1822) and Theresa "Rhesa" Delamare, all of Smith's Creek in Craven County. She is descended from this family's patriarch George Sparrow of England (ca. 1700) who came to Virginia where he established himself in the shipbuilding business, a trade that was passed down through the next several generations of Sparrows. His son, Smith Sparrow (ca. 1724) came to Craven County, NC with several of his brothers. The Sparrow family were were well known in the shipbuilding business and were shipwrights, ship carpenters; shipowners, ship chandlers, ship masters, sea captains and seamen. On her mother's side, she was the maternal grandchild of wealthy NY merchant/ship owner John Blackwell and his NC wife, Ann Selby.

Annie traveled with her family when they briefly moved to Arcola, Douglas Co, IL, in about 1858-1859, where her parents had joined the Blackwell family in relocation. However, the family returned to North Carolina in the Spring of 1861, when Civil War broke out and her father enlisted with the Confederate States Army.

When her mother and siblings had to evacuate their home in Washington after the Union army captured New Bern, they were given shelter at "Greenwreath" Plantation in nearby Pitt County. Greenwreath was the home of John Lawrence Foreman who had died in 1844. His widow, Martha Elizabeth Hoskins, married (2nd) Richard Henry Lewis of Pitt County, and was living in Tarboro, Edgecombe County, during the War. She had 2 sons in service, Pvt. William Joseph Foreman, who was serving with Annie's father in the NC 1st Artillery; and Ivey Foreman who was serving with the Confederate Navy and would be killed in 1864. William Foreman -- Annie's future husband -- was with her father when the unit was captured during the 2nd Battle of Fort Fisher in January, 1865.

It is not known how long the family stayed at "Greenwreath", but after the war ended, Annie married William Joseph Foreman, the only surviving son of John Lawrence Foreman, who had inherited "Greenwreath" when his father died. The couple were married in the end of January or early February 1865 (dates found vary) when Annie was about 17 years old, and William about age 26.

Annie and William settled into post-war farming at "Greenwreath" and would become parents to one known child, Ivey Foreman (1865-1919).

Annie was widowed in 1869 when her husband of just under 5 years died at age 33 from tuberculosis. Upon his death, her 4-year old son, Ivey Foreman, inherited the plantation. Some sources indicate Annie stayed at "Greenwreath" until Ivey became of age, but census data for 1870 and 1880 shows her and her son living with her parents in Washington, Beaufort Co., where she had taken up teaching.

After 28 years of widowhood, Annie Blackwell Sparrow Foreman married again, becoming the (3rd) wife of Dr. Richard Henry Lewis of Raleigh. They married on October 27, 1897 when she was 49 years old, and he 46 years old. They were not related, but were connected through family ties, as Dr. Lewis was the son of her mother-in-law, Martha Elizabeth Hoskins, who married Richard Henry Lewis when John Lawrence Foreman died.

Annie and Dr. Richard H. Lewis resided in Raleigh where she became stepmother to his 4-year old daughter, Cornelia "Nell" Battle Lewis, born to Dr. Lewis and his 2nd wife, Mary Long Gordon; as well as stepmother to his 4 children by his 1st marriage to Cornelia Viola Battle. Her son, Ivey Foreman, by then an adult, later joined the household.

Annie Blackwell Sparrow Foreman Lewis died in Raleigh in 1917 at 70. Her body was interred in Oakdale where her parents, and later son were buried. After Annie died, her widowed sister, Margaret (the widow of Rev. Charles M. Payne) and her daughter, Annie, moved in with Dr. Lewis in Raleigh to keep house for him. Margaret Sparrow Payne died in 1920 and Dr. Lewis was once again on his own.

Dr. Richard H. Lewis, her husband of 20 years survived her 9 years, passing in 1926 at age 75. He is buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Raleigh, with his first two wives.

Her only child, Ivey Foreman [Memorial #41900085] married Mary D. Spilman, daughter of Judge Edward Martin Spilman & Eliza Cummings Day of Fauquier Co, VA. He and his wife died one day apart from each other in August, 1919, and are both buried here.

What little evidence this researcher found on Ivey Foreman was not flattering. A close relative described him as "the alcoholic psychopath". As the sole inheritor of his paternal family's fortune, it appears he did little with it, and may have spent no time at all managing "Greenwreath" Plantation. He and his wife were last found (1910) working as an accountant in Raleigh, and living with his mother and her husband, Dr. Richard H. Lewis, in Raleigh. When Ivey Foreman died in 1919, he left "Greeewreath" to Dr. Richard Henry Lewis of Raleigh. The house and farm was leased to various tenants until 1948 when the Lewis family sold it to W. H. Wooten of Falkland.

Annie Blackwell Sparrow Foreman Lewis penned a brief memoir describing the war years spent with her family in Washington that appears in the book, "Washington and the Pamlico" by Ursula Fogleman Loy, published in 1976. It is worth reading.

Family links: 
  Thomas L. Sparrow (1819 - 1884)
  Ann Marie Blackwell Sparrow (1822 - 1901)
  Richard Henry Lewis (1850 - 1926)
  William Joseph Foreman (1837 - 1869)*
  Annie Blackwell Foreman Sparrow Lewis (1847 - 1917)
  Margaret Justice Sparrow Payne (1853 - 1920)*
  Elizabeth Sparrow McCord (1855 - 1945)*
  Caroline Sparrow Dalton (1858 - 1934)*
  John Blackwell Sparrow (1860 - 1943)*
*Calculated relationship
Oakdale Cemetery
Beaufort County
North Carolina, USA
Created by: pbfries
Record added: May 29, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 70548196
Annie Blackwell Foreman <i>Sparrow</i> Lewis
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