Annie Deborah Long Hobbs (1846-1913) and WorldCat

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 28

When you have a family that lived in one area for a while, it is extremely important to check the Historical Society of that place and see if they published a book on the early or important residents of that place. Through other research, I know that Annie Deborah Long and her husband James Ashley Hobbs had lived in Martin County, North Carolina most of their lives.
World Cat ( is one of the best on-line resources there is for finding books and a quick search for “Martin County North Carolina Historical Society” yielded some thousand results. Because I sorted the results by relevance, only the first ten or twenty books are probably going to be of interest. I worked through the books on the first page and found one of them was at my local county library (while I was living in Georgia). I visited the library there and gleaned a ton of information regarding many of the individuals that populated Martin County during the time of my wife’s family was there. “Aunt Hazel” who was actually a 1st cousin of my wife’s father wrote several of the articles. In the book, she highlighted
family members who she actually knew. Cool. There was even a photo of my wife’s here-to-unknown great uncle. My process for using WorldCat is really easy.
Created an account on World Cat if you don’t have one. It is free and
lets you organize all of your book requirements. Then create several folders
to help organize your books. I used:

“Search the Internet”
“Order via Interlibrary Loan”
“Visit the Library”

Then, use to find which books might be relevant. If a title is of interest, select it. I generally give the
book a tag that relates to the surname I am researching and then move it to my “Search the Internet” folder.
Later, I go through my “Search the Internet” folder and search for the book title. Sometimes the book is available online. Sometimes, an index for the book is available online. The index can really help you know if the book is one you want to see or not. I add notes regarding my searches directly to the item in my folder. These notes may be either public or private. You choose.
If the book is not available on the Internet and seems to be one I still would like to see/read, I move the book to the “Order via Interlibrary Loan” folder. I then use my local library’s inter-library loan system to order the book. Again, I make a note when I ordered it. Some libraries will let you order directly from World Cat after you have logged in via their website or proxy. Others require you fill out a local form. Interlibrary loan is great, I’ve been amazed at some of the books I’ve been able to read using it.
Finally, if the book isn’t available via Inter-library loan (not circulating), I
move the information about the book and libraries it is at to my “Visit the Library” folder. I then use Evernote to capture the information about the book and libraries and put it into a folder “Library Visits”. What is cool about that is that if I visit say the New York Public Library, the Library of Congress, or Allen County Public Library, I can just search for that library in Evernote and it brings up a list of all the books at that library that I am interested in and what I was looking for.

Annie Deborah Long Hobbs (1846-1913)

Annie was born July 7th, 1846, the oldest daughter of Samuel Aquilla Long and Martha Ann Bryan Long. In 1860, I’m sure she was a typical 14-year-old of the day; she attended school[1] and otherwise things were normal until the Civil War. Her older brother, Joe, enlisted in 1862 and her father joined up in 1863.
Stories about the war survived. In one story, related by Sara Long Johnson, “The Yankee soldiers plundered the entire house, taking
every feather bed to the yard where they cut them open and had great fun yelling, “it’s snowing, it’s snowing. They cut the feet off the chickens, geese, and young pigs leaving them in great misery. As soon as they left the animals
were salvaged as much as possible.”[2]  I can only imagine the terror and fear that a young 17-year-old Annie had as the Yankees plundered her home.
In another story, also related by Sara Long Johnson, when the war was over, Annie’s brother, Joe, was making the long trek home. After receiving much hospitality from another Long family, they placed a gold piece in his hand. He expressed his gratitude an told them that his sister [Ann Debora Long] was to be married in a short time and he would give it to her for a wedding present.[3]
And yes, shortly after the war, Annie Deborah Long married James Ashley Hobbs on 16 May 1866. A respectable 15 months later, she gave birth to her first child, a boy, Charles Leon Hobbs. She and James Ashley would have nine children in total.
Martin County Courthouse abt 1885
She kept house and maintained a close relationship with her
friends at the Primitive Baptist Church in Hamilton. In 1898, her husband was
elected to be Clerk of Court for Martin County and the family moved to
Williamston. In the new home, she still kept house and maintained a close
relationship with her new friends at the Primitive Baptist Church in
According to Hazel Armstrong Valentine, “Debbie Hobbs
was a petite little woman whose life revolved around her home and family. She was conservative by nature, frugal in her habits and very generous with her friends.”[4]
Annie’s grandson, Frank Alton Armstrong, Jr., became the celebrated WW II Colonel that the movie 12 O’clock High was patterned after. Her granddaughter Hazel’s husband, Itimous T. Valentine, Sr., was a famous judge, eventually becoming an associate judge in the North Carolina Supreme Court.
Annie died on 17 May 1913 in Williamson, N.C.[5] I am yet to find where she is buried.
Further Actions:
Find where is Annie buried?
Determine the location of their homestead from tax rolls.
List of Greats
1.    Annie Deborah Long
2.    Samuel Aquilla Long
3.    John Long
4.    Aquilla Long
[1] 1860 Census,
District 9, Martin, North Carolina; Roll: M653_905;
Page: 443; Image: 291; Family History Library
Film: 803905. Enumerated 26 Sep 1860; Accessed 8 Apr 2014.
[2] Hughes, S. J. N.,
& Martin County Historical Society (N.C.), Martin County Heritage
(Williamston, NC, Martin County Historical Society, 1980), Article # 579 – The
Samuel Long Family.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid.
[5] Hughes, S. J. N.,
& Martin County Historical Society (N.C.), Martin County Heritage
(Williamston, NC, Martin County Historical Society, 1980), Article # 418 –
James Ashley Hobbs.

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