The last will and testament of Long John Webb.

“Long” John Webb, so-called because his height distinguished him from several contemporaries of the same name, lived in a section of southwest Edgecombe County that is now northeast Wilson County. His will, drafted in 1845, entered probate in August 1853 and included these provisions:

“I, John Webb, of the State of North Carolina and County of Edgecombe, being of sound mind and perfect memory blessed be God do this 19th day of October in the year of our Lord, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Forty-Five, make and publish this my last will and testament in the following manner:

“First:  I give and bequeath to my son John Webb one Negro man by the name of Prussian; also one by the name of Jim and a Negro woman by the name of Maci and one by the name of Anaky and a Negro boy the name of Peter.

“Second:  I give and bequeath unto my son David Webb one Negro girl by the name of Bet and one Negro boy by the name of Harry, one Negro boy by the name of Elie.

“Third:  I give an bequeath unto my son Nathan Webb one Negro woman by the name of Nance and her daughter Silvy, and one other by the name of Mary Lettie, her child.

“Fourth:  I give and bequeath to my son Orman Webb one Negro boy by the name of Tom, also one Negro boy by the name of Ephraim.

“Fifth:  I give and bequeath to my son Willis Webb one Negro boy by the name of Dennis, also one Negro girl named Gatsy.

“Sixth:  I also give and bequeath unto my daughter Anna Webb one Negro boy by the name of Miles and one Negro girl by the name of Anna.

Seventeenth:  And lastly I do hereby make and ordain my worthy friend David Williams my executor to this my last will and testament, revoking all other wills by me made or cause to be made.

…”

Will transcribed at ncgenweb.us.

2 comments

  1. From what I can tell, since Long John remarried and had more kids after the will was written, that the will wasn’t executed exactly as this.

    This transcript leaves out a part I’ve found, although part of this is blanked out.

    Fifteenth: I also give and bequeath unto my son David Webb my ___ _____ _____ which I had of my son Willis Webb. ” I imagine this referred to a child father by Willis Webb. I wish I had a copy not blanked out.

    Willis traveled to Tennessee in 1840. The will was written in 1845 and Long John didn’t die till 1853. So, the child by Willis (if that is what the blanks indicate) would have been born before Willis moved to TN in 1840.

    In 1850 Willis Webb was in Madison County TN.

    1850 Slave schedule for Willis Webb in Madison Co. TN shows he owns a mulatto woman 26, and two mulatto males 14 years and 8 months (could the 14 yo be fathered by Willis as possibly referred to by Long John?) I lose track of Willis Webb after that. He was married in 1850 with two sons ages 16 and 10.

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