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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Mareda Sigmon Cobb and Carrie Sigmon Yelton, June 16 and 18, 1979. Interview H-0115. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Though her unwed pregnancies were unusual, Yelton is glad she kept her children

While still a young unmarried woman, Yelton had several children. She discusses how her family and community reacted to that. She ends by asserting that she was glad that she never gave her children up for adoption or decided to have abortions.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Mareda Sigmon Cobb and Carrie Sigmon Yelton, June 16 and 18, 1979. Interview H-0115. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

Were people supportive of you or did you feel and disapproval from your family ... [END OF TAPE 2, SIDE B] [TAPE 2, SIDE B] [START OF TAPE 3, SIDE A]
CARRIE SIGMON YELTON:
You know, people's going to talk. I don't care if you're good or if you're bad, they're going to talk. And one girl said, "Why, Carrie's got more friends than I've got, and she's had two children." They said, "Well, Carrie's just Carrie, and she's friendly and she loves everybody, and that makes a difference." [Laughter]
JACQUELYN HALL:
But your mother didn't get upset or anything?
CARRIE SIGMON YELTON:
Naturally she did, but she was good to me. She helped me raise them and kept them while I worked.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Were you scared about trying to support kids by yourself? Did you feel confident that you could do that?
CARRIE SIGMON YELTON:
Yes, I did. That's the reason I went to work, and that's what I said today, that the girls that had them and they say they can't support them, if they go to work they can support them. But I'm thrilled, too, over that one thing this day: it's more girls keeping their babies than [giving them up for] adopting, and I think that's real nice of them to do that. Because, you know, back then, oh, adopt them, give them away.
PATTY DILLEY:
Is that what ?
CARRIE SIGMON YELTON:
Yes. Well, shoot, I wouldn't give mine away. I loved them. [Laughter]
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did anybody try to persuade you to put your kids up for adoption?
CARRIE SIGMON YELTON:
No. It was one family said of my oldest little boy that they'd love to have him. He was so sweet, they loved him so much. Said oh, they'd love to have him. Said, "Won't you give him to us?" I said, "No way." But they loved him anyway.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did people have abortions in your day?
CARRIE SIGMON YELTON:
Yes, I had a friend who had one. But she almost died. But she never did tell nobody, and I never did either. But she got over it.
PATTY DILLEY:
Where would they go?
CARRIE SIGMON YELTON:
It wasn't public like it is now. I forget the name of the doctor that did it. He did it illegally; it was illegal back then. But I had mine. I didn't want no abortion. And now I'm glad. They're just as sweet, grown up and got children of their own.