Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Each shall have possession during his or her lifetime.

Be it remembered that I Zion Reid of Wayne County in the State of N.C. being of sound mind and memory, but being well aware of the uncertainty of this life, do hereby make this my last Will and testament

After the payment of my just debts and funeral expenses I bequeath and devise as follows. My wife Lucy Reid should she be the longest lived shall have full control of my property during her life and then all my land shall be equally divided among my children or their lawful heirs: provided that Billie and Zion Jr. shall each have eight acres of Land lying around the home and then an equal division with the other of the remainder. Of my other property in whatever it may consist Billie and Zion Jr. shall each have $150.00 Julius $100 and Bryant Smith $50.00 and James $10.00 after this each one of my children except Julius shall share equally in the remaining that I further devise that no one of the children have power to sell or in any way encumber any prt or parcel of said land. That each shall have possession during his or her life then the same shall be held only by his or her lawfull heirs during their life &c. James shall only be subject to hold that part allotted if his family be agreeable to the other children and neighbors. I further direct that my son Isaac and E.E. Smith shall be administrators of the estate.    /s/ Zion Reid

Signed in the presence of us who at his request and in his presence do hereby subscribe our names as witnesses thereto  Witness J.F. Dobson, J.A. Washington.

[Proved 3 December 1890.] Will Book 1, page 539. Office of Clerk of Superior Court, Wayne County Courthouse, Goldsboro.

Runaway bound girl may try to pass.


ALL persons are forbid harboring my bound girl SUSAN, as the law will be enforced against all such. Susan ran away on Saturday evening last, the 10th inst; she is a bright mulatto, about 13 years old, and may try to pass for white. I expect she is making towards Raleigh.  WM. McLEOD.

Goldsboro’, Sept. 14, 1853.

New Era, Goldsboro, 27 October 1853.

I ordain that my wife and seven children shall be free.

In the name of God, amen, I Abraham Jones of the County of Anson in the State of North Carolina, farmer, being very Sick and weak in body, but of Perfect mind and memory, thanks be given to God; calling unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die do make and ordain this my last will and Testament; that is to say, principally and first of all, I give and recommend my Soul into the hand of Almighty god that gave it, and my body I recommend to the earth to be buried in decent Christian burial, at the discretion of my executors; nothing doubting but at the General Resurrection, I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God, and as touching such Worldly estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless, me in this life, I give, demise, and dispose of in the following manner.

And first of all as my wife Lydia was the purchase of my money: lest any person should after my death take advantage of my family to indeavor to bring them into bondage, I do hereby will Ordain and Establish that my wife Lyddia, and Seven Children which she hath had by me which she hath had by me which I own as the offspring of my body, viz Isaac, Jacob, John, Thomas, Abraham, Lewis, and Sucy Shall be free from any slavery servitude bondage or any incomberance whatsoever as touching anything that might arise from the adore sd purchase of my wife Lyddia, and I do hereby release relieve and diliver them and each of them, from any claim or demand whatsoever of any person or persons claiming under any right or title from me  ___ otherwise giving them their freedom and that forever. And as to the division and distribution of Lands and other property I demise in the following manner.

I will and bequeath to my son, Isaac the sum of thirty Shillings Sterling, money of South Carolina, I will and bequeath unto my son Jacob fifty Acres of land where he now lives to be so laid off as not to cross the Big branch it to include his house where he now lives.

I will and bequeath to my daughter Suckey one horse of the value of twenty pounds N.C. Currency a side sadle, and one Cow and Calf to e delivered to her  in two years after my death.

I will and bequth unto my beloved wife Lyddia, all my moveable property, together with the use and full possession of the remaining Part of my land, to wit 200 acres (to have the sole command of all my Real and personal Estate) after my Lawful debts are paid) during her life or Widdowhood

I will and bequth unto my Children, viz John, Thomas, Abraham, Lewis, and Suckey, at the death or marriage of my wife, an Equal division of all my moveable Estate, and the land to be divided equally amongst my sons, John, Thomas, Abraham and Lewis, and lastly I appoint, my wife and my trusty friend Stephen Thomas as my sold Executrix and executor, establishing this my last will and testament disannulling all other wills and bequests whatsoever                  Abraham X Jones

Signed pronounced Sealed and established in the presence of us

Frame Woods, John X Martin, Benjamin X Thomas


State of North Carolina

Anson County          July Court 1805

Then the within will was duly proved in open court by the oath of Benj. Hinson one of the witnesses thereto and Ordered to be recorded    Ted Robinson Clk

Will Book 2, page 77-78. Office of Clerk of Superior Court, Anson County Courthouse, Wadesboro.

Abraham Jones appears in the 1790 census of Anson County as the head of a household of nine free people of color.

He was formerly a slave and wants to free his wife.

To the Worshipful the Justices of the Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions for the County of Craven

The Petition of Robert Lisbon humbly sheweth. –

That your Petitioner was formerly a slave, and in consequence of his meritorious services was on the petition of his master emancipated under the license of this worshipful Court. Your Petitioner further sheweth that being married to a negro woman slave the property of John C. Osborn usually named Venus, your Petitioner purchased the said Venus and is now in law her master. Your Petitioner sheweth that the conduct of the said Negro woman Venus has been highly meritorious and exemplary and that your Petitioner is anxious to be permitted to emancipate her. He prays that your Worships on being satisfied of these facts will graciously accord him a licence to set her free. And your Petitioner will ever & gratefully pray.  Robt Lisbon by Will: Gaston

[Judgment granted.]

Records of Slaves and Free Persons of Color, Craven County Records, North Carolina State Archives.