Goodwill Genealogists Featured Family
The Hamilton Family of North Carolina
by Gordon Hamilton
The following photographs are from the Gordon family tree, and tell something of the life of Black Americans from the western part of North Carolina: (Polk, Henderson and Rutherford Counties…) Some chose to stay and some migrated to western and northern states around the time of World War II. The Hamilton branch of my family can be traced back to Levi Hamilton b 1815 and Annie Lewis who had 7 children: Markus, Annie, John, Tabbie, Delia, Lee and Ellen Hamilton. (Markus C Hamilton (1847 – 1924) is my great-great-grandfather) They became members of communities like Rutherfordton, Cool Springs, Spindale, Chimney Rock, Gilkey, Union Mills and Green Hill North Carolina. (Levi had an 8th child Dora Hamilton born 1880 with his 2nd wife Rachael ) Our (known) history spans from the early 1800’s, through slavery, emancipation and the struggles that followed, to my own family and the success we enjoy on the shoulders of those who came before us….
The first 10 photos are of the Dalton family from Polk County, North Carolina.
Taylor Nichols “Pete” Dalton was the husband of my father’s sister, Elsie Lee Hamilton Dalton, and was known to me as “Uncle Pete”. His brother, John, served in World War II and fought in Italy where he met his wife, Jina Giovanni. Black Americans were limited in their opportunities to advance in rank so we were all proud to know that he was a corporal in the US Army. He also had a “T” patch on his arm indicating the specialty of “Sharpshooter”.
1. John Dalton stateside after World War II.
2. John Dalton in younger days.
3. John Dalton as a businessman in New Jersey
4. World War II Romance
5. John Dalton, wife and kids in New Jersey.
6. Major Dalton, raised Pete and John in rural North Carolina.
7. Pete Dalton
8. Uncle Pete Dalton. Lifetime resident of Tryon, North Carolina. Civic
and religious leader.
The remaining 7 photos are of my father, Artie Hamilton, and his father and grandmother. My father was Student Body President of University High School
in West Los Angeles in 1948. His father, Arthur, was a chef that worked
for many hotels and families in North Carolina and Los Angeles. He once
cooked for President Roosevelt at the Lake Lure Hotel in North Carolina.
(updated 29 Aug 2011)
(click thumbnails below for full views)