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Dec 27, 2017

African American Genealogy: Finding Clarence and Helen Chick

Robin at gravesite

In “Our Fathers’ Fields – A Southern Story Tells Part of the Story,” we showed how Elizabeth had my 2nd great grandfather, Anderson Chick, and a appeared on the 1870 US Census in Goshen Hill, Union County, South Carolina as 11 years old. By 1900, he was 40 years old, and married to Elenia Coleman Chick, and they had the following children:

Chick Family Group Sheet


Now, I am so excited! I have selected Clarence Adam Chick (1896-1966), my great uncle. He ended up going to Virginia, District of Columbia, and Spartanburg, but the last place he lived I was able to flesh him out!  While living in Fayetteville for three months, I researched a good bit of his life.

Earlier this year, I went to Fayetteville State University Archives where I was shown a few things including:


Clarence Chick yearbook at Fayetteville State College Archives
Clarence Chick in Fayetteville State Teachers College Yearbook


Fayetteville State Teachers College Title Page
Fayetteville State Teachers College Yearbook


In the Fayetteville State Teachers College Yearbook, the first two entries on this page are Clarence Chick and his wife, Helen Thomas Chick:

Fayetteville State Teachers Clarence Chick


The Fayetteville State College Archives also had a painting that Helen had painted:

painting by Helen Chick
Painting by Helen Chick at Fayetteville State Teachers College


Helen was a Home Economics teacher. I fully intend to go back soon and search for more as well as document what I got so far. I was with my husband Ellis, my daughter Adrianne and Brielle, my new grandbaby. I had only 30 minutes to stop, and time was well spent. 

I was able to find were Clarence and Helen are buried at Rockfish Memorial Park in Fayetteville.

Headstone, Clarence Adam Chick (1896-1966)
Headstone, Clarence Adam Chick (1896-1966)
Helen T. Chick (1906-1997)
Headstone,Helen T. Chick (1906-1997)


Buried just behind them is Clarence A. Chick, Jr. He is the son of Clarence Sr. and Alice. This is proof Helen was not the first wife of Clarence Sr. This is first physical evidence for Clarence Jr. He was in the navy.

Clarence A. Chick, Jr. (1929-1997)
Headstone,Clarence A. Chick, Jr. (1929-1997)


Robin at gravesite


So far, I had made great efforts to make Clarence feel real to me. I knew there would be so much more to find. My journey would take me to the county library. I wanted to see want they had.

Cumberland County Public Library
Cumberland County Public Library


The Local & State History is on the 2nd floor, of the Headquarters Library
300 Maiden Lane
Fayetteville, NC 28301-5000
Email: [email protected]
(910) 483-7727, ext. 1359

Fayetteville library Shelves


The City Directories are kept on an enclosed bookshelf starting the 3rd shelf up from the bottom on the first row. I really wanted to know where he stayed near the time of his death. According to “Documenting Your Ancestor After 1940,” his address should have been 1875 Broadell Dr. Did he leave his wife anything?

I located him in 1965:

Clarence Chick City Directory
Clarence Chick in 1865 Fayetteville, NC City Directory


His wife, Helen was widowed at 1857 Broadell Dr. in January of 1966:

Helen Chick in 1966 Fayetteville, NC City Directory
Helen Chick in 1966 Fayetteville, NC City Directory


I left the library to go and locate the home my uncle had left. It was very near Fayetteville State College.

1875 Broadell Drive, Fayetteville, NC, Home of Clarence and Helen Chick.
1875 Broadell Drive, Fayetteville, NC, Home of Clarence and Helen Chick.

This was just too exciting. Born the first generation after enslavement, Clarence Adam Chick (1896-1966) had made something of his life.

I was not finished yet. I wanted to look for a funeral program, and a probate record. I will tell about those in my next post.

My first introduction to Uncle Clarence was through family member back in 2005. I wrote a blog post about him because I was really impressed with him. I learned about the true principles of freedom from him: “Vital Speeches of the Day.”

Sharpen the Saw

Can you take a relative and research him or her back? Then, select a child to research forward.  Share everything you find with us on our Facebook Group