William Burnett died 2 May 1881. His estate was opened in May 1881 by administrator A.K. Smedes and, at final account, was valued at $1049.84. Items removed from the rooms Burnett kept over J.N. Edwards’ store in Goldsboro included a barber chair and rest, a barber pole, four spittoons, two looking glasses, a pistol, and various items of furniture. He also had two lots on Pine Street. The estate file contains considerable information about Burnett’s family, which sued Smedes over his handling of the estate. Burnett died without a widow, children or grandchildren. Heirs were his sisters Mary Nixon, Betsy Burk, Elizabeth Burnett and Eliza Burden; nieces Delitha Burnett and Melitha Arnold, Amy Anne Stevens and Mary J. Dortch; and Susan Burnett. (Her relationship to William is not specified, and ultimately she did not receive a share of the estate.) Brothers-in-law mentioned in the documents were George A. Burden, Solomon Hill, Geo. Arnold, and Whitt Dortch. Also mentioned, William’s mother Elizabeth Burnett.
Estate Records, Wayne County Records, North Carolina State Archives.