Updated April 24, 2013.




March 26, 2013. Jim Waterfield: George Waterfield was a decoy carver, but his carving was cut short when he shot and killed 17 year old Bertha Ansell and shot and maimed her lover Willie Tatem. His boat and a skeleton were found on Ferebee Island months later. After viewing the skeleton, my father said it was too short to be Uncle George!

Jimmy Cason: I remember the story now. My Dad use to tell it. He also said the rumor was that someone had seen George after the boat with the body was found. Although the way he told it George wound up in FL. Who knows what the truth really is ? It always made for an interesting story though. Allegedly George shot Willie and the woman with a double barrel shot gun. After which Willie lay on the ground still alive but holding his breath pretending he was dead. At which point George walked over to his body and said; "You SOB if knew you weren't already dead I'd give you the other barrel."
The topic of this page is a prime example as to why the history of KI exists. Although tragic this is a story I have heard many times in my life. Willie Tatem was on my Grandma Cason's side of the family.

Jane Brumley: Yes, I started to write that story too as I heard it talked about by my family many times. Seems some folks thought his mother helped him escape. Also, some said they saw him alive later in Norfolk. He apparently had red hair so it was hard to disguise. There is no record of his grave in the Currituck County Cemetery Book. Ferebee Island is across from the Flyaway at Morse Point near the center of the Intracostal Waterway. It used to be full of trees and now it is shrinking and will soon be totally washed away.

Louise Doxey Falconer: At the age of 8 (1926), she remembers a body being brought to the boat house at MacKay Island. It was said to be George Waterfield alleged to be the killer of Bertha Ansell and shooter of Willie Tatem. Louise said her mother always wished she had looked at the body as it was believed not to be George Waterfield. The tale was told that a grave plot had been dug up for a body. George Waterfield was supposedly “spotted” in Norfolk after this.

April 9, 2013. Joe Lewark said George Waterfield lived on what is now Lands End Rd close to South End Road. Izola Bonney said her grandfather lived down in the South end area and she, among others, were afraid George would come back and shoot them while down there visiting. They both said it was a small house.

April 4, 2013. ALBEMARLE GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY NEWSLETTER article written by Dorothy Hocutt. Excerpt. William Tatem was my grandmother’s brother, the story I remember hearing was that Uncle Willie was ‘messing around’ with someone he shouldn’t. Uncle Willie and Ms. Ansel would walk most evenings by Waterfield’s home when Mrs. Waterfield would come out and join them in their walk supposedly to meet further down the road with her lover. Was Uncle Willie sweet on Ms. Ansell or perhaps Mrs. Waterfield?
Well, I decided to look at this from a genealogist’s angle. I found the death certificates for Bertha Ansell and George Waterfield. Nothing unusual about Bertha Ansell’s certificate –white, female, single, 16 years 1 month and 5 days old, names both father and mother, date of death - July 13, 1926. Cause of death – Homicide (Death due to gun shot wound in neck, right side. Instant death.). Informant was her father Charles T. Ansell.
George Waterfield Certificate – White, male, married, 41 years 9 months 21 days old, names mother and father, date of death – supposed to July 14, 1926, cause of death - self-inflicted gun shot wound. The Informant was his mother Julia A. Waterfield. The strangest thing about this certificate to me is it stated he was married but it did not give the name of his wife Blanche Waterfield. There is no grave marker on Knotts Island with George Waterfield’s name on it.
The 1930 census has Blanche Waterfield, living in Norfolk in her father’s, Orry Bailey, household; she is 23 years old, widowed, and her son James is 6. The 1940 Census has James, 16, living with his grandfather Orry Bailey. I also saw on someone’s ancestor chart where Blanche had married a Smith. Too many of them for me to want to search further!! I came to my own conclusion. I could be right, I could be wrong, but it was fun investigating.

April 24, 2013. Melinda Lukei: The 1910 census says that Julia Smith Waterfield was born Sept 1858. She was not listed in the bible record nor was she listed with the James and Letitia Grimstead Smith Family on the 1860 Knotts Island, Currituck Co., NC. She is on the 1880 census being 20 yrs old and married to C. J. Waterfield. He has two sons listed with them on that census. John age 16 and George age 12. George must have died because the George that we are speaking of was born May 1885 according to the 1910 Knotts Island, Currituck Co., NC census. I found the marriage record for Joachium Jones and Arseneth Smith. They got their license in Dec 1879 and were married 4 Jan 1880 at Knotts Island, NC. I also found Caleb J. Waterfield and Julia Smith's marriage licenses. They were married 12 May 1880, just before the 1880 census taken in June or July 1880. Her parents were not James or Letitisha Grimstead Smith. Her parents were listed as Major Smith and her mother Sally. Major and Sally were on the Princess Anne County on the 1860 census, where Julia appears with her parents and is 1 yr old. Her father was 50 yrs old and her mother 40 yrs old. She had a brother Thomas 12 yrs old and a sister Frances H. 4 yrs old on that census. Just wanted to get the record straight.

March 16, 2013. From Maryanne Blankenship.
Bertha Ansell killed by George Waterfield
Elizabeth City News, Wednesday Evening. July 14, 1926.

The Bee, Danville, VA
Gastonia Daily Gazatte

March 30, 2013. From Maryanne Blankenship.
From the Daily Advance Thursday Evening July 15, 1926.