The last will and testament of Hilliard Ellis.

In the name of God, Amen,

I, Hilliard Ellis, of the County of Wilson, and State of North Carolina, being of sound and disposing mind and memory, but considering the uncertainty of human life, and the certainty of death, do hereby make and declare this, my last will and testament in manner and form as following, to wit:

Item 1st I direct that, after the payment of all my just debts, and costs of administration, including the costs of my funeral and burial expenses and a proper tombstone, appropriate to the value of my estate, to mark my last resting place, all of my estate real and personal, go to, and I hereby devise and bequeath the same, to my beloved wife, Fereby Ellis, to have and to hold by her during her natural life or widowhood, and when or after she shall or may die or marry, then as hereinafter provided

Item 2nd After the death or marriage of my said wife, I direct that all my estate, real and personal, go, and I hereby devise and bequeath the same, to all my children now living or who hereafter may be born, before or after my death, share and share alike, subject to all such advances as I have made or may make during my life to any of said children, and excepting from the benefits, devises and bequests of this item my daughters Louisa and Adeline (hereinafter provided for) to have and to hold to my children and their heirs share and share alike in fee simple and absolutely with power and authority to sure for division all of said property after their mother’s death if a majority of said children should deem such sale necessary for a fair division thereof.

Item 3  I give and bequeath to my said daughters Louisa and Adeline Twenty-five dollars each to be out of and constitute a charge on first, any personal property and secondly any real estate, left and on hand after the death or marriage of my said wife.

Item 4  I give and bequeath to my daughter Mary Anne (afflicted by the visitation of God and therfore needing special provision) one hundred dollars in money to be paid after the death or marriage of my said wife, to be a charge first on the personal and then on the real estate herein before disposed of and existing at the death or marriage of my said wife.

Item 5  I desire that my said wife shall have to her own use, after the payment of all of my debts and burial expenses, all such personal property left by me at my death as would be consumed in its use, and I hereby bequeath the same to her absolutely to that end.

Item 6  It is my further will and desire, and I hereby direct, that all sums of money or property of any description, which I have given or loaned, or may hereafter give or loan, to any of my children shall be deemed and taken as so much advanced or paid them in satisfaction of their shares under this my will any excess over their proportionate share of the personalty to be charged upon and deducted from their shares of the realty and vice versa, this provision not to extend to the specific shares to my daughters Louisa, Adeline and Mary Anne.

For the present, I shall not appoint any executor or executrix to this, my last will and testament, but shall leave the administration of my estate to such person or persons as the law may select or as I may see proper to hereafter appoint by a codicil to this instrument. Witness my hand and seal this Nov. 3rd, 1883.  Hilliard (X) Ellis {seal}

Signed sealed and delivered and published this 3rd day of Nov. by said Hilliard Ellis, who made his mark thereto in our presence, we affixing our signatures as witness hereto in his presence and in the presence of each other.   /s/ G. Fulghum, B.J. Cobb

I have made advancement to three of my children as follows: to William Ellis $70.00, to George Ellis $50.00, and to Phillis Ellis $40.00, and I charge them 6% interest on the advancements from date.  This March 21st 1893   Hilliard (X) Ellis     Witness: J.D. Bardin


Hilliard Ellis married Fereby Rountree circa 1848 and registered their 18-year cohabitation in Wilson County on 11 August 1866. As culled from census, marriage and death records, their children included: Louisa Ellis Rowe (1850-1924), Adeline Ellis Mitchell (circa 1853-??), Caroline “Carrie” Ellis Coleman Woodard (1854-1914); William Ellis (1856); George Ellis (1859-1941); Emma Ellis Bunn (1861-1937); Hilliard D. Ellis (1865-1924); Mary Anne Ellis (1866-??); Warren Ellis (1869-??); Phillis Ellis Barnes Hagans (1870-??); and Millie Ellis Smith Hunt (1874-??).

Hilliard Ellis died in 1900, and Hilliard Ellis Jr. was appointed executor of the estate. Here’s his inventory of his father’s personal property:



Ellis Jr. sued for partition of the real property:




Hilliard Ellis’ acreage, once several miles northwest of Wilson, is now inside city limits. The approximate location of his holdings is marked below:

map H Ellis

North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998 [database on-line],



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