Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

A lot in Fayetteville to Joseph and Phillis Dennis.

John P. Leonard to Joseph & Philis Dennis.

This indenture made the twenty fourth day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and nineteen between John P. Leonard of the Town of Fayetteville and State of North Carolina on the one part and Joseph Dennis & Fillis Dennis of the Town and State aforesaid of the other part. Witnesseth that the said John P. Leonard for and in consideration of Two hundred dollars to me in hand paid by the said Joseph Dennis and Fillis Dennis and before the signing and delivery of these presents the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, have bargained, sold conveyed and confirmed and by these presents do bargain sell convey and confirm unto the said Joseph Dennis & Fillis Dennis their heirs executors administrators and assigns the one half of a certain lot of land in the Town of Fayetteville bounded as follows Beginning at James McRackins So Et corner on the West side of North Street, thence along said Street to the centre of the Lot West to the back line being 5 chains it being the upper half of a lot which I bought of Samuel Pearce containing half an acre. To have and to hold the above granted and bargained premises with the appurtenances thereof unto them the said Joseph Dennis & Fillis Dennis their heirs and assigns forever to their own proper use and behoof and against the claim or claims of any person or persons whatsoever.

In witness whereof I have set my hand and affixed my seal the day and year first above written. /s/ John P. Leonard   Test D. Smith, Samuel Brooks

Deed Book 32, Page 20, Register of Deeds Office, Cumberland County Courthouse, Fayetteville.

[Sidenote: The styling of their names suggests that Joseph Dennis and Fillis Dennis were not married, but were siblings or other kin. Though Phillis Dennis’ enslaved husband was named Joe, he could not have purchased property with her. — LYH]

Carter, Revolutionary War soldier.

State of North Carolina, Sampson County   } Superior Court of Law Fall Term 1820

On this 25th day of October 1820 Personally appeared in Open Court being a Court of Record held in & for the County of Sampson, Moses Carter (a Man of Colour) aged Sixty Nine years who being first duly Sworn, according to Law, doth on his Oath, make the following declaratory in order to obtain the Provisions made by the Acts of Congress of the 18th March 1818 and the 1st of May 1820, that he the said Moses Carter enlisted for the Term of eighteen months on the 19th of July 1782, that he served in Captain Joseph T. Rhodes Company in the first Regiment of the North Carolina line in the Continental Establishment in the time of the Revolutionary War from the first of August 1782 until the first of July 1783 at which time he was discharged, and in Pursuance of the Act of the 1st of May 1820, I do solemly swear that I was a Resident Citizen of the United States on the 18th of March 1818 and that I have not since that time, by gift, sale of in any manner disposed of my Property or any part thereof, with intent thereby to diminish it as to bring myself within the provisions of an Act of Congress Entitled “An Act to provide for Certain Persons engaged in the Land and Naval Service of the United States in the Revolutionary War,” passed on the 18th day of March 1818; that I have not nor has any Person in trust for me, any property or Securities Contracts or debts due to me, not have I any income other than what is contained in the Schedule hereunto annexed & by me Subscribed; that he has no other evidence now in his Power of his Services except what is hereunto annexed.  Moses X Carter

A Schedule of Property held by Moses Carter

3 – 2 year old hogs                                            $9.00

3 breeding sows                                                 9.00

19 year old Hoggs                                              28.50

5 Piggs                                                               2.50

2 old Pots                                                             2.00

1 skillet                                                                 40

1 old Dutch oven                                                  50

2 old Pails tubs & one Pail                                   1

5 old axes 3 hoes & 2 grubing hoes                     4

56.94            Moses X Carter


I hereby Certify that Mosses Carter is inlisted in the Continental Army for eighteen Months and has leave of absence until the first of August Next then to Join the Reg’t at Duplin Courthouse and is not to be molested by any person whatsoever   Ja’s Kenan Col    July 19th 1782

Moses Tyler testified to Carter’s service and noted that he “is old & has lost his Speech & is very feeble, is a farmer.”

From the file of Moses Carter, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives and Records Administration.

To Mary Ann Jones and her two children.

Be it remembered that I Henry S. Lloyd of Tarboro North Carolina being of sound mind and memory, but of infirm health do make and publish this my last will and Testament, hereby revoking all other Wills by me at any time heretofore made

I direct  that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid and I nominate and appoint Whitmel P. Lloyd and William Norfleet of the County of Edgecombe in the State of North Carolina, Executors and Trustees under this my last will and Testament

I authorize and empower my Said executors to carry on my farms for the term of two years after my decease, and to adopt all measures necessary for that purpose, if the same be necessary to pay my debts, and to apply the income thereon as the same may be received to the payment of my Said debts. I further authorize and empower my said Executors to sell and convey at public or private sale, all my real estate in the Town of Tarboro not Specially devised or otherwise disposed of in this my last Will and to apply the proceeds of the Said Sale to the payment of my debts and legacies

I give and bequeath to my Aunt Helen B. Slade, all my right title and interest in the farm on which she lives

I also give and bequeath to my said Aunt Helen B. Slade all my negroes on my Roanoke plantation, also all my negroes on my Edgecombe farms which I got from Martin County whether I inherited or purchased them

After the payment of my debts I give and bequeath to the two children of Mary Ann Jones, free colored woman, twenty five hundred dollars each, and I direct that the said money shall be received and held by William Norfleet in trust to apply so much of the income of the said Legacies, as he may deem necessary for the support of the Said children during their minorities; and to pay the principal, and the accumulation of interest to them, as they shall respectively, arrive at the age of twenty one years. Should either of the children die during her minority without issue, then to pay the same to the survivor, and if both of the said children should die under the age of twenty one years, and without issue, then to pay the said principal and the accumulation of interest to their mother, but should either of the said children die leaving issue, the said issue shall take his, her or their mothers share

I give and devise to Mary Ann Jones, free colored woman of the said Town of Tarboro, and to her heirs and assigns forever the lot of ground and the house thereon erected in the Town of Tarboro in which she now lives. I also give and bequeath to her the sum of one hundred Dollars a year, for and during the term of Ten years

I give and devise to the daughter of Elizabeth Bland of the County of Martin, in the State of North Carolina (the said daughter being her first child and the one the paternity of which she imputed to me) and to her heirs and assigns forever, certain tracts of Land in the said county, containing about four hundred and sixty acres more or less, being the premises which I purchased of Amileach C. Williams, as by his deed to me will more fully appear, but should the said child die during her minority without issue, then I give and bequeath the said tracts of land to her mother, the said Elizabeth Bland, and to her heirs and assigns forever.

I give and bequeath to Elizabeth Bell the sum of five hundred Dollars absolutely, and I give to her in trust the sum of one hundred Dollars to be expended by her, from time to time in the purchase of clothing for James Adams as he may need them

I give and bequeath to my friend William Norfleet my negro woman Nancy, and her two youngest children I also give and bequeath to him my buggy and two black mares

I give and bequeath to my friend Joel Lewis, my gold watch, and my bay Horse which I bought of Tom Cook

All the rest, residue and remainder of my estate, both real and personal, I give, devise and bequeath, one third thereof to my sister Mary Louise Caldwell, and to her heirs and assigns forever, one third thereof to my brother Whitmel P. Lloyd and to his heirs and assigns forever, and the remaining one third to David Barlow in trust to receive the rents, issues, profits and income thereof, and to pay the same to my brother, Joseph W. Lloyd for and during the term of his natural life, and after the death of my said brother, I give, devise and bequeath the said one third, to the Children of my said brother, who may be then alive, and to the issue of such as may be then dead leaving issue, and should all of the children of my brother Joseph be dead, at the time of his decease, without leaving issue, then I give, devise and bequeath the said one third of my estate to my said brother Whitmel and sister Mary Louisa, their heirs and assigns, and should they or either of them be then dead, the child or children of my said deceased brother or sister shall take his or her or their parents share absolutely and in fee

In testimony whereof, I the said Henry S. Lloyd the testator above named, have to this my last Will and Testament set my hand and seal, this 13th day of February Anno Domini one thousand eight hundred and sixty  /s/ Henry S. Lloyd

Witnessed by E. Barnes and Jno. Norfleet, proved at February Term 1860. Edgecombe County Will Book G, p. 181.

In the 1860 census of Tarboro, Edgecombe County: Mary Jones, 23, her daughters George A., 3, and Mary, 1, and mother Charity Jones, 42, plus Jackey Thomson, 49.

Father a slave.

At page 14 of Chi Chi Mills, “Descendants of William Mills Sr. of Onslow County,”, Eliza Ann Mills is listed as the daughter of William Mills and Nancy Whaley. Eliza Ann Mills’ son was William Kelly Mills, born 1836, who married first Anna Maria Simms, then Alvina Reeves. Eliza married Lewis Turner, but William Kelly Mills’ name carries the notation “father a slave.”

In the 1850 census of Lawrence County, Illinois: Eliza Turner, 30, born North Carolina; Kelly Turner, 13, born North Carolina; Nancy Turner, 11, born Illinois; and Mary Turner, 8, born Illinois; all were described as white.

In the 1860 census of Christy, Lawrence County, Illinois: Eliza Turner, 40, born NC; Alex, 25, NC; Kelley, 20, born NC; Nancy, 20, born Illinois; and Mary Turner, 4, born Illinois; all white.

In the 1870 census of Christy, Lawrence County, Illinois: Eliza Turner, 51, born NC; Charlotte Turner, 14, born Illinois; and William Mills, 33, born NC; all white.

In the 1880 census of Sumner, Lawrence County, Illinois: Kelley T. Mills, 43, plasterer, born NC; wife Alvina E., 30, born Illinois; and children Eliza A., 7, Laura M., 6, and Elura B., 2. Alvina was described as white; Kelley and the children as mulatto.

In the 1900, 1910 and 1920 censuses of Christy, Lawrence County, William “W.K.” Mills, NC-born plasterer, is described as mulatto. He died in Lawrenceville, Illinois, on 1 April 1927. Wm. Kelley Mills’ death certificate noted that he was born 25 August 1836 in New Bern NC to Eliza Mills.

[Sidenote: Eliza Mills Turner’s cousin, Nancy Mills Parker, and brother John Mills testified in 1860 to the free status of Nancy Henderson Dove, my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Patsey Henderson‘s sister. Their mother was a white woman. – LYH]

He was conscripted into the Pioneer Troops.


Joseph Owen, being duly sworn, deposes and says that he was a soldier in the Confederate army and was conscripted into the service of the pioneer troops in the summer of 1864, and that he was a soldier in said service of North Carolina State troops from about the first day of June, 1864 until the surrender in April, 1865, and that he did service in the Confederate army in making breast-works at Fort Caswell, in Brunswick County, and was in the Confederate service at Wilmington, N.C. and at Goldsboro, and in moving the Confederate forces between Wilmington and Goldsboro;

That this affiant is 76 years of age, the 14th day of last January, and by reason of his infirmities from old age and from rheumatism he is totally disable from performing any manual labor. He further states that he is and has been for twelve months immediately preceding this application for pension a bona fide resident of North Carolina; that he holds no office under the United States, or any State or County, from which he is receiving the sum of $300.00 as fees or as salary annually; that he is not worth in his own right, or the right of his wife, property at its assessed value for taxes to the amount of $500, nor has he disposed of property of such value by gift or voluntary conveyance since the 11th of March, 1885; that he is not receiving any aid from the State of North Carolina or under any other statue providing for the relief of the maim, blind soldiers of the State; that this affiant has always been a free man and a citizen of McDowell County, and the State of North Carolina; that this affiant did faithful service in the army for the Confederate States as above set forth, from the time he was conscripted in June 1864 to the surrender in April 1865.   /s/ Joseph X Owens

Sworn to and subscribed before me, this the 26th day of July, 1915.  /s/ Thos. Morris, Clerk Superior Court


[Handwritten] “Will see about this” “Disallowed”

James L. Cowan of Dysartville, McDowell County testified that he had known Owen all his life, that Owen was a “colored man who was free before the War”; that Owen was conscripted to labor in the Pioneer troops; and that Owen was a man of good character and good standing in his community.

From the file of Joseph Owen, North Carolina Confederate Soldiers and Widows Pension Applications 1885-1953, Original, North Carolina State Archives.

To Minta, reserving for Itey a life estate.

In the name of God Amen,

I, James M. McDuffie being of a sound and disposing mind and memory, blessed be God, though weak and infirm in body make and constitute this my last will and testament

Item 1st  It is my will and desire that my Executor hereinafter named shall have my body decently interred after my death in the old family grave yard in the county of Cumberland and after paying all my just debts to dispose of the residue of my Estate as follows.

Item 2nd I will and bequeath unto Minta Bryant the tract of land on which Itey Simmons now lives, reserving to said Itey a life estate in said land, which tract contains about fifty six acres, adjoining the lands of Pollock, Glisson & others to have and to hold said land with its appurtenances to and her heirs forever;

Item 3rd I will and bequeath all the balance of my property of whatsoever kind or description both in possession and in action real and personal to my brother Malcom J. McDuffie to use occupy and possess the same to dispose of it in whatever manner he may deem fit and proper (due regard being paid to what slaves I may own or leave at my death) to have and to hold the same to him and his heirs forever;

Item 4th I hereby constitute my said brother Malcom J. McDuffie Executor of this my last will and testament and do revoke all wills and testament by me heretofore made,

In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand and affix my seal this the Twenty first day of May 1862.    /s/ Jas. M. McDuffie

Signed and sealed in the presence of W. Vernon, Wm. W. Fulghum

Proved August Term 1862. Wayne County Will Book R13, page 462, North Carolina Probate Records 1735-1970, Original, North Carolina State Archives.

In the 1860 census of Indian Springs, Wayne County, Minta Bryant, 23, and her children Mitchel, 4, Edith, 6, and Rufus Bryant, 2, all mulatto, lived in the household of James McDuffee, 41.

[Sidenote: Was McDuffie the father of Bryant’s children? He purchased the land from Itey Simmons’ son David in 1855, subject to Itey’s life estate. After Itey’s death, Minta Bryant was forced to sue to recover the property.]