To give my heirs that has not been heard from since the Surrender time to come in.

007640343_00053

007640343_00054

I, Arch Daniel, of the County of Wilson State of North Carolina being of Sound mind and Memory but considering the uncertainty of my Earthly Existance, do make and declare This my last Will and Testament and form Following to Wit

To Say

First that my Executor Hearafter named shall provide for My Body a decent burial Suite to the wishes of my Relations and friends and pay all funeral Expenses to gather with my Just Debtes to those and to Whomsoever owing out of Monies that may first come into his hands as a part or parcel of my estate to satisfy all of Debtes at my death

Item Firste

I give and divide to my Beloved wife Learh all of my Tract of Land whear I live containing of Sixty acres more or Less I give my said wife Learh all of personal property of Each and of Every Kind to the value of five cents that I may be in possession of at my death to have and to hold the life time and widowhood

Item Second

I give and Bequeath to [her?] Bodily heirs after the Death of my Self and wife all of my real estate and All of my Personall property to be Equal devided a monge the aforesaid heirs If They can be heard from at that time It is my will that there be no division in any of my Estate less than ten years to give my heirs that has not been heard from since the Surrender time to Come in for there equal parte of my Estates

And Lastly

I Do hearby constitute and appoint my friend Thos. A. Thompson my lawful Executor to all intents and purposes to execute this my last Will and testament acording to the true intent and meaning of the Same and every part and claim There of nearby revoking and declairing utterly avoid all other wills and testaments bye me Before maid

In witness whearfore I the Said Arch Daniel hereunto Set my hand and Seal this 29th day of March A.D. 1875    Arch (X) Daniel {seal}

Signed Sealed published and Delivered bye the Said Arch Daniel and to be last will and testament In the presents of us who at his Requests and in his presents do Subscribe our naims as witnesses Thereunto    /s/ Elias Barnes, M.V. Pate

——

Arch Daniel and Leah Daniel had been married 35 years when they registered their cohabitation in Wilson County on 27 August 1866. In the 1870 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County, 65 year-old farm laborer Arch Daniel and 54 year-old wife Leah shared their home with Isaac, 12, and Margrett Daniel, 8. The children were likely their grandchildren.

Isaac Daniel, 21, married Zillah Odum, 21, on 14 March 1875 at Black Creek. Fifteen days later, ten years after Emancipation, Arch Daniel made out his will.

Margaret Daniel, 16, married Lenard Barnes, 23, on 3 May 1877 at Arch Daniel’s home. Arch died not long after, and his will was proven in court on 18 July 1877. Apparently, none of his lost children returned, and Leah Daniel and Rebecca Pate were declared his sole heirs. Leah remained on the land and is listed in the 1880 census of Crossroads township with grandson Wm. Henry Pate, 7.

Rebecca Pate, widow of Richard Pate and daughter of Arch and Lear Daniel, died in 1935 in Crossroads at the reputed (and exaggerated) age of 108.

Isaac Daniel died 1937 in Crossroads. His death certificate lists his birthday as 10 January 1857 and his parents as Archie Daniel (who was actually likely his grandfather) and Rebecca Pate. It also lists two deceased wives, Polly Ann Artis and Katherine Pace. (But not Zillah Odum.)

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

[I come across a lot of painful material in researching for this blog, but this about broke my heart. A decade after Emancipation, Arch Daniel’s will requests that his estate settlement be delayed ten years in order to give his children — lost in the slave trade — time to come home. — LYH]

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