"Bettie" Elizabeth Lowe was my maternal great-grandmother; i.e., the mother
of my mother's mother. She was born in 1859 and died about 1908. Below
is a photograph of Elizabeth Lowe with her second husband, William W. Suis.
Records of Elizabeth Lowe include the 1880 and 1900 US Census, Hertford
County NC Marriage Register records of 1877 and 1881, and the 1909 will of
her mother, Martha V. Lowe. Family oral history confirms that her surname
was Lowe, but no family memory of her seems to have been passed down. The
two marriages caused some confusion to some researchers into the family history.
From microfilm, the following marriage records from Hertford County, North
Carolina were copied.
On September 9, 1877, Frank L. Morris, age 24, and Bettie E. Lowe, age 21,
both of Hertford County, were married in Winton by W.C. Overton, Baptist
minister. In fact, Bettie was 18 years old.
On January 20, 1881, Bettie E. Morris is married by the same minister to
William W. Suis. Bettie is again listed as 21 years old, which is correct.
Other than the single marriage record, nothing is known of Frank L. Morris,
Bettie's first husband. Because the same minister performed both marriages,
it is likely that Frank Morris died between 1877 and 1881.
In the 1880 US Census:
1880 US Census - CD ROM
Film 1254968 T9-0968 page 459B
Winton Township, Hertford County, NC
Martha V. Lowe 55
Mary E. Lowe 25
Frank Lowe 23
Ulala Lowe 11
Sarah Lowe 13
Elizabeth Morris 21 listed as DauL (daughter in law?)
Elizabeth Lowe Morris is living in the household of her mother (not mother-in-law
as the census taker inferred,) and therefore, Frank Morris probably was dead
before the summer of 1880.
In the 1900 US Census:
Hertford County, Winton Township, Volume 34, ed 56, sheet 3, line 88
William W. Suis listed as farmer, rents home.
7 living children, 9 total children
William W. Suis March 1858 all born in North Carolina
Betie E. wife August 1859
Lillian D. October 1881
Julia M. Sept 1883
Charlton son Oct 1888
Martha V. Oct 1891
Alida Oct 1893
Mary E. 1895
Marlon dau April 1898
Martha Lowe M. March 1825 "M" stands for mother
Martha Lowe listed as mother (of Betty Elizabeth Lowe
Suis probably). Martha Lowe listed as having 4 children, all living in 1900. Both
her parents were born in North Carolina
The mother of Elizabeth Lowe Morris Suis, Martha V. Lowe, is living in the
household of WW Suis and Bettie. It is believed Martha actually had seven
- Mary E. Lowe born about 1854
- Frank Lowe born about 1856
- Ulala Lowe born about 1858
- Elizabeth Lowe born about 1859
- Daniel Lowe born about 1860
- Sarah Lowe born about 1866
- T.G. Lowe birth year unknown.
In 1909, WW Suis remarries in May and Martha Lowe writes a will mentioning
the heirs of daughter Bettie Suis, so Bettie died before 1909.
The will of Martha V. Lowe does not mention her children Frank, Ulala, and
Mary Lowe. It is presumed they died before 1900.
Sarah E. Lowe Paris (or Parish) was married before 1893 and lived in Chicago
much of her adult life. She is party in a law suit around 1893. Sarah made
several gifts to Bettie; these gifts included a blue bowl now owned by my
sister. Below is a picture of Sarah Lowe Parish.
One brother of Sarah and Bettie Lowe, Daniel Lowe, has living descendents
known to us. They were close to my mother and her sister growing up in northern
Bertie/southern Hertford Counties.
By Michael J. Manning, January 2003.