By: Caroline Benavides
Willie Hunter was born May 31st, 1892 in Norfolk, Virginia to Martha and George Hunter. He grew up a family of 10 including himself, with 4 sisters, 3 brothers, and 2 nephews in Norfolk. By age 17, Willie was the man of the house, working as a longshoreman at Old Dominion S.S. Co. Around October 18th, 1918 Willie enlisted into the Navy, where he served food to officers and crew as a 3rd class Mess Attendant at Hampton Roads, Norfolk, VA. Willie got married to Earletta Wilson who was 16 years old, on April 8, 1919 and was then discharged on July 17, 1919, and continued to be a longshoreman. Around his 30’s Willie worked as a dock laborer at stevedoring until his death at 37. Willie died on November 7th, 1929 because of an abscess of the left upper lung. No records shown of Earletta Hunter remarried.
“United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MPL4-CTW : accessed 3 May 2021), Willie Hunter in household of Martha Hunter, Norfolk Ward 4, Norfolk (Independent City), Virginia, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 45, sheet 11A, family 297, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 1637; FHL microfilm 1,375,650.
“United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GYT2-9HXW?cc=1968530&wc=9F47-7M9%3A928355001%2C1071496102 : 22 October 2019), Virginia > Norfolk City no 1; Barnes Robert D.-M > image 4328 of 5843; citing NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
“Virginia Marriages, 1785-1940”, database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XR97-XC5 : 29 January 2020), Willie Hunter, 1919.
“Virginia, Death Certificates, 1912-1987,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89GL-18PW?cc=2377565&wc=H9HJ-5LT%3A1505091601%2C1506098102 : 20 August 2018), Norfolk County > 1929 > image 2863 of 3413; from “Virginia, Marriage Records, 1700-1850,” database and images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : 2012); citing Virginia Department of Health, Richmond.