Eunice Riddle

Tennessee, USA
Death unknown
Madison County, North Carolina, USA
Burial Allegheny, Madison County, North Carolina, USA
Memorial ID 138466241 · View Source
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NOTE: Eunice Riddle's burial site is unknown. I added this memorial to this "cemetery" when it was previously titled "Shelton Laurel Massacre".

Eunice/Unus Riddle was one of the women tortured during the time of the Shelton Laurel Massacre for not revealing the whereabouts of the menfolk.

From "Blood and War at my Doorstep, Vol II" by Brenda Chambers McKean: “Mrs. Unus Riddle, a Tory, was robbed, whipped, and “hung until almost dead” by secesh troops because she refused to tell of the hiding places”.

From "War of Vengeance: Acts of Retaliation Against Civil War POWs" By Lonnie R. Speer:
“Apparently Allen (my note: Colonel Allen of 64th NC Regiment), decided those rules no longer applied now that he was in North Carolina. His troops rode up to the home of sixty-eight year old Unus Riddle and began asking questions. When she refused to answer some of their inquiries, they dragged her out into the yard and whipped her. When she still refused, a rope was thrown over her head and draped over a nearby tree branch and she was hoisted into the air repeatedly. While this “interview” was taking place, other soldiers searched her house and robbed her of a considerable amount of money.”

Virtually nothing is known about Eunice Riddle’s early life, her parents, or if the name Riddle was her maiden name or a married name. According to census records, she was born approximately 1795 in Tennessee or NC (says both on different censuses). She first showed up in the 1830 census for Greene County, TN.

Eunice Riddle and her family were deeply affected by the Shelton Laurel Massacre. Two of Eunice’s grandsons were among the ones murdered, William (age 21) and Azariah Shelton (age 17), sons of Eliphaz "Lifus" Shelton and Sarah Riddle, Eunice's daughter.

Eunice’s children were:

Sarah “Sally” Riddle, born 1816 (m. Eliphaz/Eliphas “Lifus” Shelton, son of David Shelton-Catherine Miller)
Father unknown

Margaret “Peggy” Riddle/Shelton , born 1818 (m. Hackley Norton)
Per "The Shelton's" by Clay Hensley, Peggy’s father was David Shelton, son of Roderick - but to my knowledge this has not been proven. Other sources indicate she went by Peggy Riddle or Peggy Shelton. Peggy Riddle Norton is listed as James Riddle’s sister in his estate records dated 1867, indicating that Eunice is her mother.

Rebecca Riddle, born 1819 (m. Simon Peter Presley);
Father unknown

Nancy Riddle, born 1820 (m. Alexander Shelton, son of David Shelton-Catherine Miller);
Father unknown

James Riddle, born 1830 – died 1866/1867
Father unknown

Margaret “Peggy” Emeline Riddle, born 1833
I believe she was Eunice’s grand-daughter, although I have seen her mother listed as Eunice in various places. It is my opinion that Emeline Riddle was the daughter of Sarah Riddle, Eunice’s daughter. I doubt Eunice would have named 2 daughters "Margaret Peggy" and Emeline shows up in census records living with Sarah and Lifus.

**Note: DNA Testing seems to have proven that Chloe "Riddle" who was thought to be the daughter of Eunice Riddle is not the case. MTDNA testing indicates that Chloe is the daughter of Nancy Stanton Shelton; Martin Shelton's estate records indicates he is her father.

Eunice Riddle in the census records:
1830 Greene County, TN
1840 Clay County, KY (Alexander Shelton was nearby). Eunice was listed as a “free person of color” in this census record.
1850 Yancey County, NC (before it became Madison County, NC) living with her son James
1860 Madison County, NC living with her son James

I believe Eunice died somewhere between 1863 and 1867 in Shelton Laurel, Madison County, NC.
If anyone has any pertinent information to contribute to Eunice's bio, please contact me.

Note: I am searching for a female to female, etc. descendant of Eunice to do an MTDNA test - this may help in determining Eunice's female line/ethnicity. A male descendant of Eunice would also work, but his mother would have to have all female ancestors leading up to Eunice.

Family Members



In their memory
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  • Created by: Deborah Carter
  • Added: 8 Nov 2014
  • Find a Grave Memorial 138466241
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Eunice Riddle (1795–unknown), Find a Grave Memorial no. 138466241, citing Judith Shelton Cemetery, Allegheny, Madison County, North Carolina, USA ; Maintained by Deborah Carter (contributor 47624180) .