Raymond Cornelius Cone (1888-1947)

Son of Willis C Cone and the former Sarah Eatman

Undated photo

For reasons I shan’t get into now, I’ve become fairly obsessed figuring out the history of Raymond Cornelius Cone. He was likely born on 16 November 1888 in Wilson, Wilson County, North Carolina. I found references of him born as early as 1884 (unlikely) and as late as 1890.

His father was Willis C Cone, born in August 1837 in Nash, NC. Willis was the son of people identified only as Jacob and Charlotte. Raymond’s mother was the former Sarah Eatman, born in November 1850 in North Carolina. Willis and Sarah were married either in 1865 or, more likely, 26 October 1869 in Nash, NC. Willis died on 20 November 1918, Sarah on 5 February 1935, both in Wilson, NC.

Raymond has several siblings listed, although I don’t entirely trust the spellings. Kindred Cone(1871), Kincaid Cone(1873), Junius Cone (1875), William Cone (1877), female Joseph I. G. Cone(1880), Gertrude Lillie Cone (1885–1976), Jimerson Cone (1886–1963), male Avon Cone(1892), Willie M Cone (1893–1960), daughter Armincie (Amancy?) Cone (1897–1974), and male Rader (1899?).


Raymond Cone married Alina Hagans (b. 1891) on 1 Feb 1908 in Wilson, NC. The variations on the spelling both her first and last names is enormous: Allena Haggens, e.g. They had four children: Lessie (often shown as Leslie, b 1909 or 1910), Mary, Albert and Carl Lorenzo (b. 1915).

Allena Haggens died in 1918. In the 1920 Census, the kids were living with their maternal grandparents, Lawrence and Mary Haggens. The house also had other adult children, a son-in-law, and at least five other grandchildren. The house was in Gardner, Wilson County, North Carolina.

Off to Virginia

Where was the widowed Raymond Cornelius Cone, now 31 years old? In Norfolk Jefferson Ward, Norfolk (Independent City), Virginia on Chartworth Street. He was a lodger. His occupation: Solicitor in the photography industry. Household Members were Sarah J Quetrell, 60, Helen J Quetrell, 29, William James, 21 and Elsie L James, 21.

The 1930 U.S. Federal Population Census shows a surprising twist. Raymond Cone is shown to be married. His wife was Anna Petters, 33, her first trip down the aisle. They were married 26 August 1929 in the District of Columbia. They had a son, Billie Cone, who was 10 years old. Except for this Census, I can’t find Anna or Billie again.

They are living at 136 Washington in Delaware, Delaware County, Ohio. The record shows he was 29 at the age of his first marriage, which makes no sense. He would have been 20 or 21 when he married Allena. Raymond could read and write. He and his parent were born in North Carolina. He was now a minister in the A M E Church.

Skyscrapers and everything

The U.S. World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 for Raymond Cornelius Cone shows his residence as 163 Morningside Ave, New York, NY. Age 52. Born: Wilson, NC, Nov 18, 1888. Employer: Heard Memorial A.M.E. Church, 163 Morningside Ave. Person who knows where he is: Lessie McCain, 79 W 141st St NYC. That would be his oldest child, now also living in Manhattan.

The Manhattan, New York, City Directory, 1946 confirms the pastor’s information. Rev. Raymond C Cone. Street address: 163 Morningside Ave. It even had his phone number: MOnument 2-4533.

The front page of The New York Age, a black weekly, had a startling headline on its 13 December 1947″ Minister Found Dead In Church.” “Arriving for services Wednesday night, members of Heard Memorial Church… were nonplussed to find the doors locked.”

“However, knowing their pastor, the Rev. Raymond Cornelius Cone, 60, had been recently on a lecture trip in the South, they decided that he must have gone away again.

Call the cops

“Returning Sunday for the 11 o’clock services, the communicants found the doors still locked. They began thinking that something was wrong and summoned the police from the West 152nd Street station. A side door was forced and the minister was found dead in the rear of the church. “police said his death was due to a heart attack and that he had been dead several days. He was last seen alive by a parishioner on Monday.”

The piece notes that he was an AME minister and noted the four children that he had in North Carolina. At least three of them, including his two sons, made it to New York City as well. Carl Lorenzo Cone married Aurthetta Marie Baldwin in 1944 in NYC. He died in 1992 in Bronx, NY.

Would Raymond Cornelius Cone have ever left Wilson County had Allena Haggens lived longer? No way to know. Information gleaned from Ancestry.com, Archives.com, and Newspapers.com. And I’m not finished looking.

Migration is important to the United States

“Unless American birthrates pick up suddenly and expand the work force — an unrealistic assumption given that the country just set a record for low fertility… the United States will be staring at real G.D.P. growth of less than 1.6 percent per year in less than a decade, all else remaining equal.”

migrationMigration to the United States is a volatile issue, you’ve likely read. Yet “a growing number of Americans say immigration levels should remain the same or increase.”

This word comes from the the latest data from the General Social Survey — “a widely respected poll that has measured trends on American attitudes since the 1970s. The 2018 survey, released in March 2019, shows 34 percent of Americans want immigration levels to be reduced, down from 41 percent in 2016…

“That’s compared with 23 percent of Americans who want more immigration, up from 17 percent in 2016. Forty-one percent say they want immigration levels to stay the same. It’s the first time since the survey question was first asked in 2004 that more Americans want immigration to remain the same than to be reduced.”

Perhaps it’s the realization that the numbers show that we need more migration to the United States, not less. “By any reasonable metric, the idea that America is experiencing mass immigration is a myth. The reality is that we desperately need to pick up the pace of immigration to maintain our work force and economic health.

“A good yardstick for whether a country is admitting too many or too few immigrants — beyond the political mood of the moment — is its economic needs. If America were admitting too many immigrants, the economy would have trouble absorbing them.”

“In fact, the unemployment rate among immigrants, including the 11 million undocumented, in 2016, when the economy was considered to be at full employment, was almost three-quarters of a point lower than that of natives. How can that be evidence of mass immigration? The truth is that America is a low-immigration nation. Demographic trends in America point to a severe labor crunch that’ll become a huge bottleneck for growth unless the country opens its doors wider.” (Source: https://www.fl-ilc.com/inmigracion/)

Yet the federal government has made legal immigration more difficult, even adding regulations to H1B visa applications, the ones that restrict the type of applicants to those with “special” skills. It has also reduced the overall numbers, banning people from certain countries.

“It has long been clear that the dropping fertility rates of native-born white Americans meant that the generations coming after the millennials were on track to be much smaller. From 2015 to 2035, the number of working-age Americans with domestic-born parents is expected to fall by eight million. Furthermore, the Census Bureau in 2017 quietly revised downward its population forecast for 2050 by a whopping 50 million people from its 2008 estimates…”

The government has also regularly employed mass deportation efforts against legally registered immigrants, removing Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for the most vulnerable. These are usually people escaping war and violence in their own countries and now being solid contributing residents here.

“Unless American birthrates pick up suddenly and expand the work force — an unrealistic assumption given that the country just set a record for low fertility… the United States will be staring at real G.D.P. growth of less than 1.6 percent per year in less than a decade, all else remaining equal.”

Experts suggest that America should be admitting a million MORE migrants moving to the US per year — more than double the current number from now until 2050. “This still won’t add up to mass immigration because it would put America’s foreign-born population that year at around 26 percent, less than Australia’s is today.”

Also, the Dreamers, the children who came here as minors, need a path to citizenship. They know no other home save for the US and have contributed mightily, going to college, and/or serving in the armed forces. Even DJT said to the Wall Street Journal in January 2018: “I have great feeling for DACA. I think that we should be able to do something with DACA. I think it’s foolish if we don’t.”

Here’s a video showing where people came to the US from.

For ABC Wednesday

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