The estate of Isaac Amason.

It’s not a common surname in Wilson County anymore, but in the early 1800s a prosperous extended family of Amasons lived in the Stantonsburg area (in what was then Edgecombe County, North Carolina). They owned extensive real property and considerable slaves, and often left estates that spent years in probate as family members bickered, and heirs and administrators died.

This post is first in a series featuring documents from Amason (Amerson) family estate files.


Isaac Amason was born about 1755. When he died in 1828, several of his children were young minors, resulting in a drawn-out estate settlement. At November term, 1843, the Clerk of Edgecombe County Court ordered finally ordered that notices be placed for the thirty days around the county, advertising the sale of enslaved people belonging to Amason’s estate “on a credit of six months, with interest.”

Lemuel DeBerry filed a report with the court detailing his activity pursuant to the order. He posted notices “both in and out” of the county (likely because Amason lived close to the borders of Greene, Wayne, and Pitt Counties) for more than thirty days informing the public that the sale would take place in the Town of Stantonsburg on 27 January 1844. At auction, Isaac Amason’s son David Amason paid $25.50 for “One Old Negroe Man by the Name of Lewis” and $553 for “a Young Woman & Child by the Names of Exelina & her Child,” and son Isaac U. Amason paid $7 for “One Old Woman by the Name of Phillis.”

Note that in the 1820 federal census of Edgecombe County, the last in which Isaac Amason was enumerated, he reported owning three enslaved boys under age 14; one enslaved man aged 14-25; one enslaved man aged 26-44; and one enslaved woman aged 26-44.

In the 1830 federal census, Isaac’s widow Delona [Delana] Amason reported one enslaved man aged 36-55; one enslaved girl under the age of 10; and one enslaved woman aged 36-55. It seems likely that these three people were Lewis, Exeline, and Phillis.

Delana Amason made out a will on 4 September 1841 in which, among other items, she bequeathed to her daughter Jemmima Amason “one negro man named Ned.”

I have not been able to trace forward Ned, Lewis, Phillis, or Exelina and her child.

Estate File of Isaac Amason, Edgecombe County, North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line],

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