Who Was Anny Foster

Transcription of Warrant issued in Wilkes County, North Carolina dated June 1866

Trial Testimony

Map used during Tom Dula's Murder Trial

Tom Dula's murder trial transcript names Anny's mother as "Carlotta or Lotty Foster." Lotty was born about 1820 and was known as Lotty Triplett in 1850, 1860 and 1880 census records. Only in the 1870 census was Lotty identified as Lotty Foster. Her children, including Angeline P. Triplett (Anny Foster) were also identified as Triplett children. The trial transcripts gave Anny's age 23, Laura's age 22 and and Tom Dula's 22. Lotty Triplett-Foster also had a son named Thomas and a son named Pinkney. It has been written in more than one place that while Tom Dula was away at war, Anny married James Melton. That is definitely a myth that someone may have thought romantic. In reality, Anny Foster married James Melton in 1859 and Tom Dula went to war in 1862.

Anny Foster (aka Angeline Pauline Triplett) was born about 1843 and married James Melton in 1859.

1850 Federal Census Wilkes County, NC
Letty Triplett age 30
Pinkney Triplett 8
Angeline Triplett 7
Thomas Triplett 7 mos

Lotty Triplett was probably born about 1819 or 1820. and was living with the James Brown family in 1850 when she was still a young woman with what appear to be her illegitimate children.

1860 Federal Census Wilkes County, NC
Lotty Triplett 41
Pinkney Triplett 18
Thomas Triplett 11
Martha 6
Lina 3
Triplett 1

1870 Federal Census Wilkes County, NC
Lotty Foster 49
Martha 15
Linny L. 12
Marshall 7

1870 Federal Census
James G. Melton
Ann P. 26
Jane M. 9

Identified as Caroline Triplett
1880 Federal Census, Elk Creek, Watauga Co., NC
District 198, Image 6 of 7
Carlotta Triplett
living with her son Marshall
Ellen Triplett, age 16 identified as sister to Marshall. Is she also a daughter of Lottie's?
In addidtion,there is a female named Betsy, age 9, who is identified as the niece of Marshall's? Is Betsy another child of Ann Melton? Who is Betsy's mother? Civil War records reveal that Pinkney A. Foster enlisted on 12 June 1861 at the age of 20 in Co. C., 26th NC Reg. I believe he is Pinkney Triplett/Pinkney Foster. Pinkney Foster is included in the 1880 Wilkes Co., NC census living with his wife Lucinda C. (Walsh). Lucinda either had a child out of wedlock or had a child from a previous marriage by the name of Rufus Dula. Rufus Dula was born about 1862.

How could Lotty be identified at the trial as a Foster and at the same time be identified in census records as Lotty Triplett? In 1859 when Anny married James Melton, she used the name Anny Foster. Some stories say that Lotty was married to a Foster and that she killed him. I have not found any evidence to support this story.

On 27 March in 1820, Wilkes County, NC Martin Triplett married a Nancey Brown. John Dula was the Bondsman. Record # 02 244, Bond # 00167703. On Ancestry.com, a family record was found that included a Nancey Brown, daughter of James Brown and Nancy Brookshire. It was also noted in this record that Nancey died young but had Triplett children. Mrs. Edith Carter of Ferguson, NC and confirmed that Martin Triplett divorced Nancy Brown Triplett. By 1822 Martin Triplett married his second wife, Mary Winniford (Polly) Hall.

If my theories are correct, the Laura Foster who was murdered in 1866 was a 4th cousin to Anny Triplett/Foster Melton.

Faye Jarvis Moran

Updated March 26, 2004 and March 15, 2005

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