Ellen Marie (Fulcher) Cloud. Photo courtesy of Friends of Portsmouth Island.
Ellen Marie (Fulcher) Cloud. Photo courtesy of Friends of Portsmouth Island.

Ocracoke native Ellen Marie (Fulcher) Cloud, 76, of Morehead City, died Saturday, Dec. 3, in Carteret Health Care.

A celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30, in the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center, 1785 Island Rd., Harkers Island, NC.    

Born and raised on Ocracoke, Ellen lived in Morehead City, and previously was a longtime resident of Williston and Atlantic, Carteret County.

Ellen graduated from Ocracoke School in 1958. Her passion in the 50s was dancing and listening to the ole time rock and roll of the Outer Banks. 

A self-made historian, her passion later was for genealogy and history of the Outer Banks.   She was active with the Ocracoke Preservation Society, Friends of Portsmouth Island and the local history study group in Atlantic and Harkers Island. 

Ellen helped countless of Portsmouth descendants research their family ties.  Her knowledge from years of genealogy research has helped many people across the globe find their roots. 

Other passions were painting and writing, which have been reflected over the years in her books and local art, whether it be driftwood washed up on the beach or on canvas. 

Tribute photo to Ellen F. Cloud by Gregory Gilgo.
Tribute photo to Ellen F. Cloud by Gregory Gilgo.

 “I want people to remember me with laughter,” she always said.  If you knew Ellen, you have a story. 

Rosanne Penley, president of the Friends of Portsmouth Island, said she was a dear friend and noted that Ellen is probably best known for her relentless research of Ocracoke and Portsmouth history. 

“She has helped many families over the years discover their genealogical ties to both places and loved being able to make that connection,” Penley said in an email.  “She was a long time FPI member and served on the board for several years.  She co-leased the McWilliams/Dixon house next to the church and spent as much time as she could there until the Park lease ran out. 

“She was instrumental in locating items to furnish the Portsmouth post office and was active in Portsmouth projects such as clearing the Straight Road and locating lost cemeteries and graves at Portsmouth.  Her knowledge of Ocracoke and Portsmouth history  will be sorely missed.”

Ruth Toth, outgoing president of the Ocracoke Preservation Society and longtime friend, also noted Ellen’s passion and knowledge of the history and genealogy of Ocracoke and Portsmouth Islands.

 “She was very involved in establishing and setting up the OPS Museum,” Toth said and recounted the story of how a contractor who was doing restoration work on the lighthouse took out the original windows and planned to replace them with new ones.

“Ellen saved the old windows from being thrown away and then started making calls to complain about the situation,” Toth said. “Because of her interest and efforts, our lighthouse has its original windows.  Ellen was later invited to speak to a conference on lighthouses and historic restoration in Washington, D.C.”

Ellen is survived by her daughters, Simona Rae Spickett, wife of husband David, and Deidra Cloud Ramsey, wife of Jody; grandson, Allen Davis; brother, Laurie Fulcher; sisters-in-law, Ada Fulcher and Vicki Fulcher; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, Elmo Murray “Capt. Elmo,” who was captain of the Ocracoke mailboat Aleta, and Lillian (Jackson) Fulcher; and brother, Murray Fulcher.  

Memorial donations may be made to Friends of Portsmouth Island, P.O. Box 2303, Morehead City, NC 28557. 

Arrangements are by Munden Funeral Home & Crematory, Morehead City, NC.  

Online condolences may be made at www.mundenfuneralhome.net

Ellen Marie (Fulcher) Cloud on Portsmouth Island.
Ellen Marie (Fulcher) Cloud on Portsmouth Island.

Here is a bibliography of Ellen Marie Cloud’s publications. Several of her books received the North Carolina Society of Historians William Parker Peace History Book Awards.

Ocracoke Lighthouse (Island History, 1) (1993)
Portsmouth The Way it Was (Island History Volume III) (1996)  (currently being republished)
Old Salt (1995)
Ocracoke Dialect: Sayings and Superstitions (1994)
The federal census of Ocracoke Island, 1790-1910 (1995)
Abstracts from miscellaneous newspapers published in Beaufort, NC, 1876-1893 (1995)
The Federal Census of Portsmouth Island 1790-1900 (1995)
Custom Records Port of Ocracoke, NC 1815-1866 (1995)
From Whence We Came: The History of the Original Ocracoke Names (1995)
The Federal Census of Ocracoke Island, NC 1790-1910 (1995)
Cecil Remembers Portsmouth
The slave inhabitants of Hyde County, 1860 (1989)
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