Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: estate

I did the best I could.

North Carolina     }           In the Superior Court October Term 1897

Sampson County }

Hardy A. Brewington, Joshua Brewington, Simon Brewington, Nathan Brewington, Nancy Goodman and her husband J.B. Goodman, Lucy Strickland and her husband J.S. Strickland, Eliza Manuel and her husband Alvin Manuel, Bashaby Brewington, Mary Wheeler, Lulu Brewington and Luther Brewington heirs at law of Raiford Brewington Jr. and Allen B. Brewington by his guardian Hardy A. Brewington, Plaintiffs

Jno. R. Jacobs, Rocia Lee Brewington and her husband J.A. Brewington, Lillie B. Brewington and her husband M.L. Brewington, and Jno. R. Jacobs, guardian ad litem of Della Jacobs and Lavinia Jacobs, Defendants

The plaintiffs complain of the defendants and allege:

I.    That on the 20th day of Nov. A.D. 1890 Raiford Brewington & his wife Bashaby Brewington executed a deed to John R. Jacobs and his wife Polly Ann Jacobs for the following described tract of land to wit: Situate in Sampson County State of North Carolina and adjoining the lands of Nathan Brewington, James M. Parker and others and bounded as follows; Beginning at a stake on the lane and runs about S 550 yards to a stake at an old post oak stump the line of Jas. M. Parker & W. Royal thence west about 750 yards to a stake on the west wide of Beaver Dam swamp, thence up the edge of the swamp to a shortleaf pine at the ditch, thence East 750 yards to the beginning containing 75 acres more or less.

II.    That the deed aforesaid is duly recorded in the office of the Register of Deeds of Sampson County Book 76 p 193 a copy of which deed is marked “Exhibit A” and hereto attached and made a part of this complaint, which deed does not convey the said lands in fee simple but upon certain stipulations and conditions in words as follows: — The said Raiford Brewington & wife Bashaby Brewington excepts their life time estate in said lands and the said John R. Jacobs and Polly Ann Jacobs and their heirs are to support the said Raiford Brewington and wife Bashaby Brewington and their son Allen B. Brewington during their natural life time and furnish them with good comfortable cloths. When the said John R. Jacobs and wife Polly Ann and their heirs fails to comply with the above obligations then their right and title to the aforesaid land shall be void and a further condition in said deed is that the said Raiford Brewington & wife Bashy shall have the use of said property during their life time but shall not sell any of said property not land unless it is agreeable with J.R. Jacobs & wife Polly Ann. Neither the said J.R. Jacobs and Polly Ann shall sell any of said property nor land unless it is agreeable with Raiford Brewington & wife Bashaby.

III.     That upon the execution & delivery of said deed to wit on Nov 20th 1890 the said Jno. R. Jacobs & wife Polly Ann Jacobs went into possession of the lands described in said deed and exercised possession and full control of same until 1893 when Polly Ann Jacobs died, but during this period they did not fully comply with the conditions of said deed and Raiford Brewington & wife Bashaby were required to work and furnish their own support. After the death of Polly Ann Jacobs, her husband Jno. R. Jacobs & the heirs of Polly Ann Jacobs continued to live on the premises & exercise possession & full control of same until about Jan 1st 1896 when they quit the premises & furnished no further food or support in any way since to Raiford Brewington & wife Bashaby Brewington of their son Allen Brewington nor did the said Jno. R. Jacobs & the heirs of Polly Ann Jacobs comply with the conditions in said deed before they deserted the premises but instead wasted & used the provisions made & provided by the said Raiford Brewington & wife with whom the said Jno. R. Jacobs & family loved.

IV.     That Polly Ann Jacobs is one of the children and heirs of Raiford Brewington & Bashaby Brewington and has been fully provided for by them before said deed was executed to them. That Allen Brewington one of the children is an idiot and the only heir not provided for by Raiford Brewington, and the lands conveyed to Jno. R. Jacobs & Polly Ann Jacobs in the deed set out above was the sahe of the Raiford Brewington estate that he intended for his son Allen Brewington and for himself and wife Bashaby Brewington as long as they should live.

V.      That in January 1896 Raiford Brewington died leaving his wife Bashaby Brewington & son Allen Brewington with no one to support them, as Jno. R. Jacobs and the heirs of Polly An Jacobs had broken the conditions in said deed by leaving the premises & refusing to provide them any support.

VI.     That if said deed shall remain in full force & effect, it would be in violation of the conditions in said deed, and contrary to the will and intent, and the express declaration of the grantors therein & would leave them without any means of support.

VII.      That if said deed shall remain in full force and effect Jno. R. Jacobs and the heirs of Polly Ann Jacobs would thereby receive a double share of the estate of Raiford Brewington to wit: the share of Allen Brewington and the share of Polly Ann Jacobs which latter share had been allotted to her before the execution of said deed.

Wherefore the plaintiffs pray:

I.             That the deed referred to in Article I of this Complaint be declared null and void and that a suitable person be appointed by the court to take the title of said land and hold the same in trust for Bashaby Brewington and her son Allen Brewington and the rents and profits therefrom be applied to the feeding, clothing & support of them as long as they both shall live and the remainder to the heirs at law of Raiford Brewington.

II.            For cost and general relief —   Lee & Butler attys for the plaintiffs.

Hardy A. Brewington being duly sworn according to law says that he has read the foregoing complaint or heard it read and that he knows the contents thereof to be true except such matters and things as are set out on information and belief and those he believes to be true.

Subscribed & sworn to before me this the 29 day of October 1897   /s/ H.A. Brewington

——

The file also contains notes from trial testimony:

Hardy Brewington — am son of Raiford Brewington – he had twelve children – Polly Ann Jacobs is my sister – My father gave her Polly Ann $300 in money & $100 in other property – My father never gave Allen Brewington anything – He is an idiot – 48 yrs old never did any work – My mother is living is 86 or 87 yrs old – not able to work – Allen lives with her – Jacobs & wife came into possession at date of deed They lived on the land with my mother 5 yrs – Polly Ann died about ’93 – Jacobs lived there 2 ½ yrs after death of wife – Jacobs went to Dudley in Wayne Co & has lived there ever since – My father was then living on the land – he died at 85 yrs – Jacobs provided very poorly for the old man wife & son provisions were poor & not plenty of it. Jacobs was liable to drink & will go off & leave them unprovided for in food & fuel. Land tolerably good when Jacobs took possession, pretty poor when he left He always had plenty to eat & good clothes – The Heirs of Polly Ann Jacobs left the old people neglected – Jacobs could have remained on the land & made them more comfortable – He cut timber & carried to Wilmington – and wasted the money – Myself & son have supported the old people since Jacobs my married defnts daughter – Jacobs has done nothing for them since ’95 – Have heard old man complain of being hungry – cold &c. – Raiford Brewington & wife did not consent to the mortgage didn’t know of it until six or eight months after – He said Jacobs had given a mortgage & he didn’t know what wd become of him – My father died in ’96 – My mother & Idiot have no means of support except this land – Whitney Royal wrote the deed – Jacobs moved from Dudley down on this land – Jacobs married 2nd time after about 1 ½ yr after wife’s death – Jacobs got money from Parker $30 & my father said he would see it paid. – Note given about 12 mos before mortgage

Jim Strickland — Live 2 ½ miles from place – I married Raiford Brewington’s daughter – He gave her $200 – Jacobs didn’t give them enough to eat – at all times – his clothes were common – Jacobs has done nothing for them since ’95 – Place was better when he came than when he left – Land not worth much now – Brother Hardy & son Arthur have been supporting them since Jacobs left

Arthur Brewington – Am son of Hardy Brewington Jacobs staid on the land about 5 years – The food was pretty poor like the most of us meat & bread – Before Jacobs went there could get as good a meal as anywhere – he wd leave land neglected – Drank every week – Raiford put me there after Jacobs left – Me & my father have been supporting the old people – They complained of want of food & fuel – I did the best I could under the circumstances – Jacobs could have done better than he did.

J.R. Jacobs – Am one of Defn’ts – When I went there but little provisions – fence gone down pretty much – I made a crop next I put 2000 [illegible] the spring I went there & clean out ditches I did the best I could – all eat at same table – He complained some like old people will do – Neither of them suffered for food or fuel I cut timber & carried to Wilmington – no profit – My wife lived about 4 yrs after I went there – I did the best I could – Arthur seemed to be their choice – We bargained for Arthur to go there & take my obligation with consent of old people – I was in debt in Clinton – I went to Parker to get the money – Old man helped to get up money – Old Man was present – gave boundaries &c — $35 note was to pay for guano – I owed Vann $25 for corn – I carried it home he carried it [illegible] – All of it was for money used on the place & for mule worked on place. Raiford [knew] all about it – I gave a lien on crop that year – The $35 mortgage was included in the $125 mortgage Raiford Brewington only once came here – The $125 mortgage was made on the plantation & he knew about it, and was willing to it – Judgmt agst me for Parker – 40 acres of cleared land on the place – Raiford Brewington asked me to cancel the deed I told him I didn’t [think] it right to do so. This was after my wife died.

J.L. Brewington – Raiford Brewington was my father – Hard to please he wanted something to drink He had a heap to feed – people & stock – Jacobs did the best he could The old man grumbled all the time – but had plenty to eat –

Jonathan Goodman – Live about ½ miles from the place – I saw the old man frequently – He lived as good as most any farmer – While Jacobs lived there – he lived as well as common run of people that had no more – Jacobs drank some – It seemed as if Jacobs wished to please him – he was off at times –

Mary Eliza Brewington – Raiford was my husbd father – I lived ½ mile from him I heard Raiford say it was a just debt as far as he [illegible] and he wanted Parker paid – The old people got along as well as one could expect

J.R. Parker – The $35 mortgage Raiford & Jacobs came to me & wanted to borrow some money – Raiford proposed to meet him in Clinton & make up the papers – which we did – I let Jacobs have some corn & bacon – This was cancelled to make up the $125 mortgage – The cash that I gave Jacobs – and the note for $35 with the money due me makes up the $125 – I know that Raiford knew of the $125 note & mortgage — $35 was all money – how much more I don’t know – over half of it – There was an indictment agst Jacobs for passing counterfeit money. Raiford came to me & didn’t say he would or wouldn’t sign the $125 –

Marshal Newman – Was J.P. – at time mortgage was made – Parker & Jacobs got me to write this mortgage – it was made at Nathan Brewington’s house Raiford was not present, and never said anything to me about it. Nathan Brewington’s was convenient to Jacobs –

Hardy Brewington (re-called) – We knew nothing about $125

——

Judgment for Hardy Brewington et al. The judge found that John and Polly Ann Jacobs had not complied fully with the terms of the deed and ordered that (1) the deed from the Brewingtons to the Jacobses be declared null and void; (2) Hardy Brewington be appointed trustee of the land for the sole use and benefit of Bashaby and Allen Brewington during their lifetimes; (3) after the deaths of Bashaby and Allen, Hardy was to be discharged from his trusteeship, and (4) John Jacobs and the Parkers were to pay court costs.

From the file of Polly Ann Jacobs, Sampson County, North Carolina Estate Files 1663-1979, https://familysearch.org. Original, North Carolina State Archives.

In the 1860 census of Honeycutts, Sampson County: Raiford Brewington, 48, farmer; wife Basheba, 45; and children Thomas, 21, Ann E., 17, James, 15, Hardy, 13, Joshua, 11, Raiford, 9, Simon P., 8, Polla A., 6, Allen B., 4, and Nathan, 1; all mulatto.

They are non-residents.

State of North Carolina,

EDGECOMBE COUNTY.

Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions,

AUGUST TERM, 1853.

Obedience Lassiter vs. Silas Lassiter

Morrison Artis and wife Sally

and others,

Petition for Dower.

IT appearing to the satisfaction of the Court, that Morrison Artis and his wife Sally are non-residents of this State: It is ordered by the Court that publication be made in The Southerner, for six weeks, notifying them to appear at the Court House in Tarboro’, on the fourth Monday of November next, then and there to answer said petition, or the same will be taken pro confesso and heard ex parte as to them.

Witness, W.S. Pitt, Clerk of said Court, at office, the fourth Monday of August, A.D. 1853. W.S. PITT, Clk.

The Southerner (Tarboro), 5 November 1853.

——

The Lassiters and Artises were heirs of Hardy Lassiter.

Daniel Artis’ will and estate.

Daniel Artis was born about 1820, probably in Greene County, and died in early 1905. He married an enslaved woman (or women) whose name is unknown, and his children were born in slavery. Daniel recorded two wills in short succession in Greene County. The first, dated 15 January 1905, was recorded in Will Book 1 at page 514; the second, dated two days later, at page 524. The legatees are the same, but the gifts are packaged differently:

Item 1. Page 514 — to daughter Clary Edwards, wife of Henry Edwards, his interest valued at $172 in the tract of land on which Clary and Henry live. The tract was purchased from Debro Cobb with money advanced from Henry Artis. If $172 is more than the other’s children’s share, Clary is to make them even, and vice versa. Page 524 — to daughter Clara Edwards, wife of Henry Edwards, his interest valued at $172 in the tract of land purchased from Debro Cobb. His agreement with Henry Edwards has not been recorded.

Item 2. Page 514 — to son Henry Artis, 1/4 interest in his real estate. Page 524 — to son Henry Artis, 40 acres, including the house in which Daniel then lived.

Item 3. Page 514 — to the children of his son Lodrick Artis (Anna Randolph, Frank Artis, Lula Forbes, Madison Artis, Marcellus Artis, Ernest Artis, Dicey Batts and Hannah Artis) 1/4 of his estate. Page 524 — to the children of Lodrick Artis and his wife Mandy, 40 acres (land Lodrick resided on at the time of his death) and all buildings thereon.

Item 4. Page 514 — to the children of his daughter Prior An Thompson (Isaac Sauls, C.D. Sauls, Maria Edwards and Clara Lane), 1/4 of his estate. Page 524 — to Prior An Thompson’s children and their heirs, 40 acres that Willis Thompson lives on.

Item 5. Page 514 — $50 to daughter Mariah Swinson, wife of Jesse Swinson, to be paid from the shares of the others in the amount of $12.50 each. Page 524 — a committee to be appointed to assess value of shares and make Clara Edwards’ share equal to the others, difference to be paid within seven years.

Item 6. Page 514 — none. Page 524 — Each lot to be taxed $12.50 to pay daughter Mariah Swinson, wife of Jesse Swinson.

Grandson Isaac Sauls was appointed executor in both, Daniel Artis signed each with an X, and both were proved on 21 March 1905.

Whatever his intent at clarification, things did not go well with Daniel’s estate. A Notice of Sale ran four weeks from December 1923-January 1924 in the Greene County weekly The Standard-Laconic announcing the sale of “a certain tract or parcel of land devised to Henry Artis by Daniel Artis by his last will and testament, … containing 40 acres.” The sale was advertised pursuant to a judgment in Greene County Superior Court in the matter of Frances Hall; Bennett Hall; Bessie Woodard, infant; and Alice Woodard, infant, by their next friend Amos Woodard v. J. Settle Artis and Roumania Artis. Settle Artis, who was Henry Artis’ son, had purchased the parcel at a courthouse sale the previous July. Frances and Bennett Hall were Settle’s sister and brother-in-law, and Amos Woodard was another brother-in-law, widower of Settle’s sister Dillie.

The next suit over Daniel’s estate — filed in 1930 — was Isaac Sauls; Walter Sauls; Luby Sauls; Edward Sauls; Hattie Speight and her husband Walter Speight; Mariah Thompson; Lillie May Sauls, minor, George Sauls, minor, Sarah Sauls, minor, Lillie Lee Sauls, minor, Walter Sauls, minor, appearing by their next friend, Luby Sauls; and Nettie Sauls; Henry B. Lane; Lillie Maud Best and her husband Alex Best; John H. Lane and Carrie D. Lane, a minor, children and heirs at law of Clara Thompson; Penny Edwards, Silas Edwards, Prior Edwards and the Henry Pettaway children as follows: Hadie Pettaway, minor, Willie Harrison Pettaway, Georgia May Pettaway, minor, Minnie Clyde Pettaway, minor, grandchildren of Mariah Edwards, by their next friend Henry Pettaway v. C.D. Sauls and Duffrey Edwards. In other words, a fight among the heirs of Daniel’s daughter Prior Ann Artis Sauls Thompson. The crux of the matter is set out in paragraph 10:

10. That the plaintiffs, heirs at law of Isaac Sauls, Mariah Edwards and Clara Thompson are the owners of three fifths of the land devised by Daniel Artis in Item 4 of his will to the children of his daughter Prior Ann and are entitled to have the defendant Cain D. Sauls declared to have the same held in trust for them and are entitled to an accounting of the rents and profits of the same from the date of his purchase in 1908.

Instead, they alleged, C.D. Sauls had been keeping hundreds of dollars of rent for himself and, in 1928, had sold the parcel to Duffrey Edwards for $3000, with full knowledge by Edwards that Sauls was trustee for his relatives. C.D. denied all, of course. In 1937, his daughter and son-in-law, Willie Sauls Burgess and W.D. Burgess, were added as defendants after C.D. and his wife Ada allegedly tried to fraudulently transfer the disputed property to her. In 1939, the clerk of court entered a non-suit judgment noting that the parties had reached an amicable settlement. No details were included. The matter was over.

Her brother has the deed, unless he destroyed it.

State of North Carolina, To the Sheriff if Wayne County   } Greeting – You are commanded to summon Wm. Burnett to be and appear before the Judge of Probate of Wayne County at the Court House in Goldsboro on Friday the 17th day of September 1875 at 11 A.M. and testify under oath, upon the hearing of a motion now pending in the Probate Court of said County, made by Mary Lynch Ex parte – And also to bring with him the said Wm Burnett and produce at the time and place aforesaid a certain deed or paper writing executed by the late Wm Smith to the late Himerick Lynch, conveying to the said Lynch a lot of land in the town of Goldsboro, at the Southwestern corner of West Centre and Elm Streets – or conveying to him an interest [illegible] – And that he also bring and produce as aforesaid any paper in his possession relating to said land or the title of the said Lynch thereto. Herein fail not under the penalty prescribed by law.

Witness W.T. Yelverton Judge of Probate for Wayne County the 16th day of September 1845. /s/ W.T. Yelverton Probate Judge

—–

North Carolina, Wayne County   }

Mary Lynch Ex parte } In the Probate Court

Mary Lynch swears that she is the widow of Himerick Lynch deceased, who died during the year 1865 seized of a lot of land in Goldsboro on the Southwestern Corner of West Center and Elm Streets which had been conveyed to him by Wm. Smith now decesed – that before the death of the said Himerick he had left said deed in the hands of Wm Burnett, who now has the same in possession if it has not been destroyed. Affiant further swears that she has never had dower, or homestead assigned to her out of said land or any other land of the said Himerick Lynch and that she is advised that she is entitled thereto, and has an interest in said land, and that said deed has never been proven and Registered.  Mary X Lynch

Sworn to before me Sept 16th 1875 W.T. Yelverton

Estate Records, Wayne County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

In the 1850 census of North Side of Neuse, Wayne County: Himerick Lench, 32, painter, wife Mary, 32, and Susan Burnet, 10.

An equal share being $8.75.

State of N. Carolina, Warren County   }

In obedience to an order to us directed from the worshipful the County Court of Warren November Term 1844, we the undersigned commissioners appointed to divide the lands of Matthew Evans Dec’d have divided the same according to the prayer of the Petitioners in the following manner to wit, Lot No 1 drawn by Fanney Toney containing seven Acres valued $1.50 cts per Acre making the sum of $10.50 his Equal Share being $8.75 he is to pay to Lot No 2 $ 1.75 cts the Boundary of which can be seen by refference to the surveyors report.

Lot 2 Drawn by Moses Evans containing seven Acres valued at $7 his equal share being $8.75 he is to receive from Lot No 1 $1.75 the boundary of which can be seen by refference to the surveyors report.

Lot No 3 Drawn by Isaac Evans and containing seven Acres valued at $1.25 cts per Acre making the sum of $8.75 which is his equal share the Boundary of which can be seen by refference to the surveyors report.

Lot No 4 Drawn by Henry Evans valued at $1.25 cts per Acre and containing seven Acres making the sum of $8.75 which is his equal Share.

Lot No 5 Drawn by Crecy Green and valued at $1.50 cts per Acre and containing seven Acres making the sum of $10.50 his equal share being $8.75 cts he is to pay to Lot 7 $1.75 the Bound of which can be seen by referance to the surveyors report.

Lot No 6 Drawn by Nancy Green and valued at $1.50 cts per Acre and containing seven Acres making the sum of ten dollars and fifty cents She is to pay to Lot No 8 one dollar and seventy five cents her equal share being only eight dollars and seventy five cents.

Lot No 7 Drawn by Cely Toney and valued at One dollar per Acre making the sum of seven dollars her equal share being eight dollars and seventy five cents. She is to receive from Lot No 5 one dollar and seventy five cents the Boundary of which can be seen by referance to the surveyors report.

Lot No 8 drawn by Patience Martial and valued at one dollar per Acre making the sum of seven dollars his equal share being eight dollars and seventy five cents. He is to receive from Lot No 6 one dollar and seventy five cents the Boundary of which can be seen by referance to the surveyors report.

All of which is respectfully submitted.   /s/ W. C. Williams, Miles Bobbitt, David D. W. Dowtin

Estate Records, Warren County, North Carolina State Archives.

In the 1850 census of Warren County: Isac Evans, 45, farmer, wife Winny, 44, and children Isac Jr., 21, Mathew, 17, Drucilla, 16, Henry, 13, Crockette, 10, Winny, 9, Elizabeth, 8, Doctor, 6, Nancy, 5, and Moses Evans, 2. Also, Allen Green, 60, Pitts Green, 15, Creasy Green, 55, and John Green, 4. In Warrenton, Warren County: James Green, 73, painter, wife Nancy, 53, and son James, Jr., 15.

Dempsey Reid’s estate settlement.

Inventory of the Estate of Dempsey Read dec’d taken 21st May 1850

Cash on hand at the time of his death Twenty five 85/100 dollars $25.85. One Note on Council Best for four 80/100 due the 4th April 1849. Bad debts – one note on James Mathews for $2.00 due 6th October 1847, on d’o on Stephen Pettiford for $5.00 due 18th November 1848, One account on James Pettiford for $1.50    Aug Co 1850   /s/ Jesse Coleman adm’r.

Jesse Coleman filed an account of the sale of Dempsey Reed’s property. The buyers included Tabitha Read, John Read, Wash. Read, Rhody Read, Benj. Read, Absalom Artis, Zion Read, Nelson Row, Jane Read, Dave, Dempsy Hall, Waty Locus, and a smattering of white neighbors. The sale netted $98.50.  Recording Docket Book 10, pages 434-435, Office of Clerk of Superior Court, Wayne County Courthouse, Goldsboro.

In the settlement of Dempsey Read’s estate, Jesse Coleman paid Pearcy Read $2.50, plus 38 cents interest, on 16 July 1850; and $9.50, plus 57 cents interest, each to Patsey Read, Lila Read and Barna Read on 19 November 1850. Recording Docket Book 11, pp. 163-164, Office of Clerk of Superior Court, Wayne County Courthouse, Goldsboro.

In the 1850 mortality schedule of Wayne County: Dempsey Read, age 70, black, free, hatter, died in March of unknown causes. 

[Sidenote: The relationships among the Reids are not clear. As reported in the 1840 census of Wayne County, Dempsey Reid lived alone. He may not have had a wife or children.  Other Reid heads of household were Allen Reed, Barna Reed (the one above?), Bytha Reed, Bytha Reed and Rhoda Reed.  Pearcy Reid, above, born about 1825, was the daughter of Allen and Sarah “Sally” Reid. Tabitha “Bitha” Reid was married to an enslaved man named Raiford.  They had no known children Rhoda Reid’s husband, David — “Dave,” above — was also enslaved. Their children were Tabitha Reid (one of the Bythas, above, born ca. 1811), Melvina Reid Artis (ca. 1813), Zion Reid (ca. 1815), Washington Reid (ca. 1818), John Reid (ca. 1822), Martha “Patsey” Reid Hall (married to Dempsey Hall above, ca. 1824), Isaac Reid (ca. 1828) and Benjamin Reid (ca. 1831). — LYH]

The partition of Robert Aldridge’s estate.

On 4 July 1902, dower laid off and partition made of Robert Aldridge‘s land as follows:

Dower — Eliza Aldridge received 53 acres on a run of Stoney Run Branch.

Lot No. 1 — Mathew W. Aldridge received 100 acres on Stoney Run and Hurricane Branches, excluding the Agustus Church and free school house lots.  Interest Mathew bought from his father included in the described tract.  Residue valued at $200.

Lot No. 2 — George W. Aldridge received 42 acres on Stoney Run and the county road, valued at $200.

Lot No. 3 — Joseph Aldridge received 53 acres on Stoney Run and the county road, valued at $200.

Lot No. 4 — David Aldridge received 80 acres on Stoney Run and the county road, valued at $200.

Lot No. 5 — Robert Aldridge received 41 acres on a prong of Stoney Run and the Spring Road, valued at $200.

Lot No. 6 — John W. Aldridge received 50 acres on Stoney Run Branch below the mineral spring and the Spring Road, valued at $285.

Lot No. 7 — Frances Locust received 33 acres on Stoney Run and the Spring Road, valued at $200.

Lot No. 8 — Talitha Brewington, Hattie Brewington, Elijah Brewington, Mattie Brewington, Lundy Brewington, and Toney Brewington jointly and subject to the life estate of Joshua Brewington, received 33 acres on W&W Railroad, valued at $193.

Lot No. 9 — Louetta Aldridge received 32 acres on Stoney Run Branch, valued at $193.

Lot No. 10 — Lizzie Aldridge received 32 acres on the W&W Railroad and Stoney Run Branch, valued at $193.

Lot No. 11 — Louetta Artis, Robert Artis, Columbus Artis, Josephine Artis, J. Scott Artis, J.B. Artis, Lillie Artis, Annie Artis and Elberta Artis, jointly and subject to the life estate of Adam Artis, received 32 acres at the mouth of a ditch on the run of Stoney Run and the railroad, valued at $193.

Submitted by Sam C. Casey, Walter C. O’Berry, Ira W. Hatch.

The margins of this document contain notations and signatures acknowledging receipt of moneys due to balance the lot values, including signatures of Lizzie Aldridge, Tilithia King, J.W. Aldridge, Joseph Aldridge, Hattie Brewington, Columbus Artis, Elijah Brewington, Tony C. Brewington, Robert Aldridge, Lundia Brewington, and June Scott Artis, and Eliza Artis’ mark.

John Aldridge, owner of Lot No. 6, paid $7 each to the owners of Lots 8-11, and $57 to the Clerk of Superior Court for costs of the division.

Louetta Aldridge’s share was divided among her siblings “the owner of said amount now being dead this day Aug 22=1904.”

Abstract from document in the file of Robert Aldridge, Estate Records, Wayne County Records, North Carolina State Archives.  [Sidenote: Robert Aldridge, born circa 1819, was my great-great-great-grandfather. Bits of his land remain in family hands. The Brewingtons were children of Robert’s daughter Amelia, who died a few years before he did. The Artises were children of his daughter Amanda, who died about the same time. Frances Locust and her husband changed their surname to Randall. — LYH]

And rapacious, to boot.

Superior Court, Edgecombe County

Fred Philips Administrator of Wright Locust

Against

Augustus Locust, Primmy Washington, Charity Battle, Isham Locust, Harry Locust, Martha Ann Woodley, Mourning Jones, George W. Locust, Jo Anna Locust, Zaney Barnes, and Eliza Daniel.

The Petition of Fred Philips the above named Plaintiff respectfully shows

1. That on the 8th day of October 1881 Wright Locust died intestate and on the 12th day of October 1881 he was appointed administrator and duly qualified as such upon his estate.

2. That from the best information and knowledge which he has been able to obtain the outstanding debts of the said estate amount to about One hundred and seventy five dollars

3. That the value of the personal estate is Forty nine 46/100 dollars, and consisted of household furniture and carpenters tools which have been sold. That the sum of Forty four 25/100 dollars has been expended in paying some of preferred debts of the estate. That the intestate died seized and possessed of the real estate hereinafter described to wit “A certain piece or parcel of land situate in the town of Tarboro and County of Edgecombe and being the North Western half of the lot designated in the plan of said town as lot no 132. The said half lot being about 150 by 75 feet and containing one fourth of an acre. The same being the land the said Wright Locust resided upon at the time of his death and which was purchased by him from John Norfleet on the 1st day of Nov. 1858, and is estimated to be worth four or five hundred dollars.

4. That the defendant Augustus Locust is a child of the said Wright Locust, and claims to be the only heir at law and entitled to all his estate after paying the debts. But your petitioner has been informed and believes that Wright Locust and Tempy his wife the Father and Mother of the said Augustus were never married until the year 1866, many years after the birth of the said Augustus and that in Law he is a bastard and he has never been legitimized.

5. That the defendant Primmy Washington claims that the illegitimate brothers & sisters of the said Wright are his only heirs at law, and at the time of the death of said Wright Locust, he had no brothers or sisters living except herself and that she is the sole heir of the said Wright, and is entitled to all his estate after paying the debts.

6. That the defendants Charity Battle, Isham Locust, Harry Locust are the children of Mourning Locust, a sister of the said Wright who died in Nash County about 26 years ago. That the defendants Martha Ann Woodley, Mourning Jones, and George W. Locust are the children of Emanuel Locust who was a child of the said Mourning and died several years ago. That the said Charity, Isham, Harry and Martha Ann, Mourning, and George W., the children of Emanuel claim that they as representatives of Mourning Locust a sister of the said intestate are entitled to a share of intestates estate after paying the debts.

7. That the defendant Jo Anna Locust is the only surviving child of one Nancy Locust who died in March 1871 and who was the only child of Uny Locust a sister of the said Wright and who died many years ago in or near Nashville NC. That the said Jo Anna Locust claims that she as representative of Uny Locust is entitled to a share of intestates estate after paying the debts.

8. That the defendants Zaney Braswell who married [blank] Barnes and Eliza Braswell who married [blank] Daniel are the only surviving children of Jenny Locust who intermarried with one Jordan Braswell and died about 50 years ago. That the Defendants Zaney and Eliza claim that they as representatives of Jenny Locust a sister of the said intestate are entitled to a share of intestates estate after paying the debts.

9. That the said Wright Locust had other brothers and sisters to wit – Smith, Clem, Patience and Moriah but they are all dead and without issue as your Petitioner has been informed and believes.

Your petitioner represents that the personal estate is wholly insufficient to pay the debts of the said intestate and the costs of administering the estate and that a sale of said land is necessary to enable him to pay the debts of his intestate and the charges of administration. To the end that the said land may be sold by your petitioner under advice of this Court on such terms as the Court may direct, and that the proceeds of the sale may constitute assets in his hands for the payment of debts and charges your petitioner prays that a summons be issued to each of the above defendants to appear and answer and how their respective claims for any surplus after paying the debts judicially determined by a decree of this Court.       H.L. Staton Jr. Atty for Petr.

Algood Locust and Polly Locust, children of Mariah Locust, eventually joined the action as defendants. Documents in the file show that Wright Locust owned chickens and a pig and received rental income from unnamed sources. His debts included medical bills owed to two doctors; $1.00 owed to a druggist; $2.00 owed to Charlotte Bells for washing; $16.50 owed to Jenny Jackson and $10.50 to Hilliard Locust for nursing him in his last illness; and $3.00 to Harry Redmond for digging his grave. His town lot was sold for $585.

Augustus Locust’s Answer to the action filed by the administrator of the estate of his father, Wright Locust, included these paragraphs:

“2nd. That he denies that he is a Bastard – because he has been informed and believes that his father, the said Wright Locust, and his mother, Tempy Jones, free persons of color, were lawfully married in Halifax County before the birth of this defendant; but at this distant period (defendant himself being now in the 57th year of his age) is it difficult if not impossible to obtain proper evidence of said Marriage, owing to the loose and negligent manner in which the record of all marriages was kept, and the death or removal of them who might have been personal witnesses. Nor does defendant think that the remarriage of the said Wright and Tempy in the year 1866 in the County of Edgecombe, was a denial of the validity of the first marriage, for in this they, in the extreme ignorance of their condition and color, were merely misguided imitators of other colored people who at that time were marrying, after having cohabitated as husband and wife in slavery, under a law the provisions of which were intended to apply only to those who had formerly been slaves and incapable of contracting marriage – but which free people of color might mistake as applying to their class also.

3rd. That it is an undeniable fact that both in the counties of Halifax and Edgecombe the said Wright and Tempy openly and notoriously lived and cohabited together as husband and wife and hesitated not to avow the marital relationship existing between them, long before the birth of this defendant; and that, subsequently thereto, and up to the time of their deaths, they continued so to live & acknowledge each other, in the Town of Tarboro, where they owned Real Estate, and remained unmolested by the laws against fornication and adultery, — which in law is presumption of defendant’s legitimacy and capacity to inherit. And the fact that these parties were only ignorant colored people, tends to render the presumption only the more violent; and, if better proof of marriage were required, it is doubtful if it could be given in one case out of a hundred, where the marriage is alleged to have taken place sixty years ago. For himself Defendant further avows and is ready to verify that he has often heard both his said parents say that they were married in Halifax, and that his birth took place after their removal to the Town of Tarboro. …”

Locust went on to argue that Wright Locust bought his property and paid for it by the labor of “his own hands, assisted also by [Augustus’] mother,” from whom, even if he were illegitimate, he could inherit; that his parents had promised him repeatedly that the land would be his alone after their deaths – he was their “only child.” As to the other defendants, Augustus knew little except what was in the petition, i.e. that they were all “bastard collateral relations” of his father, and “rapacious” to boot.

Several men testified to their knowledge that Wright and Tempy Locust lived together as man and wife; that Augustus was their child; and they were free negroes. The court ruled in favor of Augustus Locust, and he was declared his father’s sole heir.

From the file of Wright Locust, North Carolina Estate Files 1663-1979, https://familysearch.org. Original, North Carolina State Archives.

In the 1830 census of District 1, Edgecombe County: Wright Locus headed a household that included two males under age 10; one male aged 24-36; one female under age 10; and one female aged 24-36; all free people of color. In District 8: Clem Locus headed a household that included two white females under age 10; one white female aged 24-36; one white female aged 70-80; and one colored male aged 24-36.

In the 1850 census of Edgecombe County: Right Locust, 45, carpenter, Temperance, 37, and A. Locust, 14. In the 1860 census of Tarboro, Edgecombe County: Wright Locust, 50, Tempy, 45, and Hillard Locust, 3.

In the 1860 census of Winsteads, Nash County: Algood Locus, 23, farm laborer, Lizzey, 25, Jane, 10, Larkin J., 9, and Manda, 4.  In Coopers, Nash County: Mourning Locus, 50.  In Nashville, Nash County: Nancy Locus, 50, Uny L. Locus, 70, and Joanna Locus, 18.

 

 

To a poplar standing in the Cornfield Branch.

State of North Carolina, Edgecombe County   } Agreeably to an order of Edgecombe County Court February Term 1834 to us directed as commissioners appointed to [illegible] the Estate of Miles Read dec’d & to lay off and allot unto Nancy Read the Widow of said Dec’d. Such part of the Crop Stock and provisions as we may conceive necessary and adaquate for the support of her self and family for one year &c

Report – All have this day met on the premises and after viewing said Estate have alloted to the Said Widow (viz) forty Barrels of Corn, twelve hundred pounds of bacon, three thousand pounds of blade fodder – all of the wheat on hand Eight bushels of peas – Seventy five pounds of picked cotton, two hundred handfuls of flax – five gallons of brandy – all the Wool on hand – One cow – hur Choice one bed and its necessary furniture, and one wheel and pair of cards.

Given under our hands and Seals this 17th day of March 1834.  /s/ Peter Hines, John Ritter, Elijah Harrell, James Barron, Turner Bynum JP

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State of North Carolina, Edgecombe County   } Agreeably to an order of Edgecombe County Court February Term 1834 Directed to the Sheriff of Said County commanding of him to Summons a Jury of good and lawfull men of his County to lay off and allot unto Nancy Read Widow of Miles Read dec’d her legal dower in the lands that her late husband died seized and possessed of in Said County of Edgecombe. All the undersigned having been summoned by the Sheriff of Said County have this day met on the premises and after being sworn agreeably law, We proceeded to lay off and allot unto the said Widow as follows (viz) Beginning at a litewood Stake in Col Hines line thence N. 11o E. 65 poles to a poplar standing in the cornfield branch; then down the various courses of said branch to the Mile Swamp then up said Swamp to the mouth of the boggy branch; then up said branch to a poplar and litewood stake in said branch then S. 1o W. 110 poles to a pine, thence round the lines of the land of the Harrel tract to the beginning containing One hundred & ninety eight acres, &c – Including the dwelling house out houses orchards, &c where the Said dec’d most generally dwelt next before his death

Given under our hands & Seals this 17th day March 1834.  /s/ John Fulton, E.R. Holland, David X Webb, Anson X Dunn, Joab Moore, John Carter, Rowland Wiggins, Thomas Stark, Jacob X Dunn, James Pender, Thos. D. Gatton, Elisha X Felton

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State of North Carolina, Edgecombe County   } Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions, August term 1834

To the worshipful the Justices of the Court aforesaid: The petition of Arthur Read, William Read, David Read, Zachariah Bass and his wife Elizabeth, and John Ritter guardian ad litem for Elisha Read, Mima Read, Mary Ann Read and Miles Read, humbly complaining, respectfully sheweth:

That on the [blank] day of February last past Miles Read, late of the County aforesaid, departed this life intestate, seized and possessed of sundry real and personal estate, leaving Arthur Read, William Read, David Read, Zachariah Bass and his wife Elizabeth, who are of full age, and Elisha Read, Mima Read, Mary Ann Read and Miles Read, who are infants, his sole distributes and heirs at law. Your petitioners who are of full age, and John Ritter who for this purpose has been duly appointed guardian ad litem for the said minors, further represent that they are desirous of having partition made of the said real estate as in by law in such cases made and provided, but are remidiless in this behalf without the interposition of your worshipful Court.

They therefore respectfully pray that an order issue to Peter Hines, William Hines, Benj. Sharpe, Elisha Harrell, John Carter and William Jenkins directing them to go upon the premises and allot and set apart share and share alike to said heirs the said real estate and make return of their proceedings to the next term of your worshipful Court, and make such other and further order in the premises as to your worships may appear meet and proper, and your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray &c.  /s/ B.R. Hines attorney

From the file of Miles Read, North Carolina Estate Files 1663-1979, https://familysearch.org. Original, North Carolina State Archives.

The partition of Isaac Dove’s land.

STATE OF NORTH-CAROLINA.  To the Sheriff of Craven County, GREETING:

You are hereby commanded to summon Hardy L. Jones, James T. Jones Esqr., Gideon Jones, Joseph Davis & Benjamin Borden to meet at such place and at some time before the next Court, to be held for your County, on the second Monday of February next, as you shall seem fit, then and there to make partition of that part of the lands (which were formerly held in common between Isaac Dove and Anthony Brown) which belongs to the heirs of Isaac Dove and are situated in Craven County on the east side of Spring Branch between George Carter & Sukey his wife. Stephen Godett & Mary his wife. Gambo Fenner & Deborah his wife who own the lands on the east side of Spring-Branch, heirs at law of Isaac Dove deceased, in severalty. Herein fail not and return the proceedings of said Commissioners in this behalf to our Court of pleas and Quarter-Sessions to be held on the second Monday of February next, together with this writ.

Witness, JAMES G. STANLY, Clerk of our said Court, at Newbern, the second Monday of November in the 50th Year of our Independence,   A.D. 1825.  /s/ J.G. Stanly

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In obiediece to the Annexed order we the undersigned commissioners have made partition of the Lands heretofore held in common between Isaac Dove and Anthony Brown we find two Hundred and thirty four acres which we divide Eaqually No 1 drawn by Isaac Doves heirs Begins at the patent corner pine and runing So 9 E 203 poles to a Stake thence N 75 W 218 pole and thence to the Beginning Cont’ing One Hundred and seventeen acres No 2 by Anthony Brown or William and Jacob Dove Begins at a poplar the corner of the patent and runing thence No 54 E 90 poles to the corner of No 1 thence along the line So 73 E 218 poles to the corner stake thence So 7 E 45 pole to the patent corner thence No 85 ½ W’t 278 poles to a white oak on Cohoque Creek then down the creek to the Beginning Containing 117 acres In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands and seals this 4th day of February 1826  /s/ Hardy C. Jones, Gideon Jones, James T. Jones, Benj. Bordin

From the file of the estate of Isaac Dove, Craven County. North Carolina Estate Files 1663-1979, https://familysearch.org. Original, North Carolina State Archives.