Alexander Rayner and Mary Winifred Rayner were married 24 October 1860.
They made their home in the old Rayner home one mile from
Powellsville, NC- with his bachelor brother Marcus J Rayner, grand-mother Penelope Drew
and several unmarried aunts and uncles.
John Alexander Rayner, son of William Rayner and Eliza C. Drew, was born 31 July 1837. He
enlisted at Windsor in Bertie County, N. C. at age 24, August 9, 1862 for the war. as a
private with Co F 4th Reg NC Cavalry. which later was Co F 59th Reg NCT.
The home burned
one night about 1896, James Moore writes I remember my grandfather, Raynor
Moore, telling me that Aunt Nell was spending that night at Uncle Marc's. Grandpa forgot
this and went back into the house and fought his way to her room. He found it empty and
then remembered where she was. He was badly burned on the face and hands.
Eunice Sessoms Waters wrote My Grandma told how one night she woke up
in the middle of the night and her house was full of smoke and fire -
and before she and my grandpa could get the chairs and tables and beds
out it was burning all over - and my grandpa got his eyes burned too,
burned so bad he had them tired up and could not see how to walk for a
long time. (The home
was rebuilt as it had been I'm told.)
John Rayner died at his home, the new old Rayner
home 22 Dec., 1901.
"Molly" Mary Winifred Rayner, daughter of James Rasco Rayner and his wife
Frances Florentine Lawrence, was born 3 Feb 1840 on a raining, freezing
cold day. Her mother died 20 Dec, 1847; her father
remarried 2 April, 1850; then he died 27 Sept 1852 and the step-mother had died by 1855.
The children were placed among various relatives and friends--Molly went to live with J O
Askew (1860 census), merchant. Molly attended the school conducted by Mr Alfred Darden at his plantation
"Elm Grove" at Mapleton. Molly died of
"uremia" on the 26 April, 1925 at the home of her daughter Beulah Sessoms.
Eunice Waters wrote My Grandma had read the Bible through many times more than I
thought possible. I never asked her a question about the Bible
that she did not answer and then told me in which Book and
Chapter I could find it. She had a very good voice and could sing from
memory Hymns, old Irish & English Ballads - Folk songs - all of
Stephen Foster's - and Lullabies. She rocked her grand children
and great grandchildren to sleep as she sang. She sang as she knitted
stockings for the grandchildren - and she sang at Twilight - Songs and
Hymns she had learned as a child and young girl. She did not have much
formal schooling - as she did not go to College though her sisters did.
Her mother died when she was very young - and her father married the
widow Mebane who had several children so she went to live with her
Aunt Mary. She did attend a Young Ladies School in the Home of Miss
Anna Darden, who was her teacher. (She was Lil Sumner's great aunt) -
My Grandma must have been a joy to Miss Anna - Her English, oral and
written was very nearly perfect. So was her spelling. Her memory was
perfect. She could recite long poems, chapters from the Bible. Things
she had learned as a child, she remembered perfectly. She never failed
to correct our English. She would quote rules to us and then say
"There are exceptions to all rules - So just say words over and
see if they sound right."
"Richer than I, no one could be, I had a Grandma who read to
Molly Rayner and her daughters:
Johnnie Moore, Beulah Sessoms and Nell Myers
Molly Rayner in her hat