Thursday, February 06, 2014

James & Zilphia

On Sunday morning (Jan. 26, 2014) I published a photo of my great-grandfather on our Village Craftsmen Facebook page. Capt. James W. Howard was the first keeper of the Cedar Hammock Life Saving Station. The station was located on the north end of Ocracoke Island, at Hatteras Inlet. He served from 1883-1903. This is a picture of Capt. Jim and his wife, Zilphia, taken about 1895. Zilphia bore twelve children, eight of whom died in infancy.

One of the most dramatic shipwrecks on Ocracoke, occurred on Christmas Eve, 1899. You can read the story of the wreck of the British steamship, Ariosto, here:

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous9:30 AM

    Did the Life Saving Service members not train in methods of child birth? Poor Zilphia, she and other women, behind the the men stories of heroic deeds are told-- they too have a story i.e., eight children die in childbirth, how tragic! Any oral history as to the circumstances why the babies passed? I'm sure Dolly Madison did more than bake cookies and Mrs Benjamen Franklin had her hands full too I bet.

  2. Anonymous9:44 AM

    Philip didn't say they died in childbirth, he said they died in infancy. It was probably from diseases -- the kind we vaccinate for today.
    Ocracoke had midwives who delivered babies.

    1. Anonymous9:25 AM

      I wish all the people that resist getting their children vaccinated read that.

    2. From "Despite the hysteria and media coverage, there is no evidence linking currently popular vaccines and serious medical conditions. In fact, epidemiological evidence shows that vaccines prevent a huge burden of disease and death in the world."

    3. From ( "[A] 1998 paper in the influential medical journal The Lancet claimed that the vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella caused autism. Sixteen years and many preventable measles outbreaks later, we know for certain that the claim is wrong. Literally hundreds of thousands of children have participated in studies around the world showing no association between vaccines and autism. A 2011 Institute of Medicine review of thousands of different studies reached the same conclusion. The Lancet has withdrawn the original paper and Andrew Wakefield, its author, lost his medical license, in part because he failed to disclose that lawyers preparing to sue vaccine manufacturers helped fund his research."

  3. In July of last year I published an Ocracoke Newsletter that addressed the issue of infant and childhood mortality on Ocracoke:

  4. In August of 2012 I published an Ocracoke Newsletter about midwives on Ocracoke:

  5. Anonymous10:43 AM

    Thank you for the clarification. for all those interested in calculating the age of the children that passed away the dates on the tombstones are in the newsletter. One may be curious and seek answers. anon 9:30.