Wills & Estates

The last will and testament of Simeon Wooten.

Simeon Wooten‘s 1948 will left all his property, including cash on deposit at Wilson Industrial Bank, to his cousins James Russell Deans, Walter Thomas Deans, Lawyer Theodore Deans, Dixie Bell Deans Carr, and Sallie Mack Deans Smith, children of James T. and Mary McCalop Deans.

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In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: widow Clauda Wooten, 37, son Sidney, 18, farm laborer, and brother Irdel, 35, day laborer.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Goldsboro Street, widow Clauda Wooten, 47, laundress, and son Sim, 28, wagon factory laborer.

In 1918, Sim Wooten registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 26 January 1882; lived at 305 Hines Street, Wilson; worked as a machine operator for Hackney Wagon Company; and his nearest relative was Claudie Wooten, same address.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 512 South Lodge, Claudie Wooten, 57, widow, and son Sim, 37, wagon factory laborer.

On 11 July 1920, Sim Wooten, 38, of Wilson, son of John and Claudia Wooten, married Lula Dew, 26, of Wilson, daughter of Jeff and Jane Dew, at Jeff Dew’s residence. Daniel A. Crawford applied for the license, and Primitive Baptist minister C.H. Hagans performed the ceremony in the presence of Moses Dew, J.C. Lassiter, and John P. Battle.

In the 1925 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Wooten Sim (c) lab h 510 S Lodge

Lulu Jane Wooten died 7 November 1927 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 11 May 1892 in Wilson County to Jefferson Dew and Jane Weaver; was married to Simeon Wooten; lived at 510 South Lodge, Wilson; and was a dressmaker.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 510 South Lodge, owned and valued at $1000, widow Claudia Wooten, 67, and son Sim, 48, widower, carpenter at Hackney Wagon.

Claudia Wooten died 9 August 1935 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 73 years old; was born in Nash County to Henry Shaw and Jane Shaw; was a widow; and lived at 510 Lodge Street. Informant was Sim Wooten, 510 Lodge.

In the 1950 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 510 South Lodge, Simm Wooten, 68, widower, “swepts Atlantic Christian College.”

Simeon Wooten died 12 November 1950 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 4 November 1882 in Nash County, N.C., to [unknown] Wooten and Claudia [unknown]; and was buried in Rountree Cemetery. Informant was Walter Deans, 514 South Lodge.

 

 

 

The last will and testament of Annie Gunn.

Annie Gunn‘s will, drafted three years before she died in 1919, reveals unusual wealth and interesting family dynamics.

To her husband Daniel Gunn, Annie Gunn bequeathed the use and enjoyment of a room in their house (clearly, her house) on Lodge Street, specifically, the room next to the adjoining grocery store. Daniel Gunn was to live in the room, not rent it, and if he did not want to live there, the provision was moot. Annie Gunn also left her husband an interest in the store building for the duration of his lifetime, as long as he paid taxes, insurance, and made necessary repairs. Last, Daniel Gunn was to receive all his wife’s “wearing apparel” and her kitchen and household furnishings, except her clock, “machine,” and piano. Anything he didn’t want, he could “distribute among [her] own people as he may deem best.”

To nephew Thomas Deans, Gunn bequeathed her house at 514 South Lodge Street, the adjoining store, the piano, and the clock.

514 and 512 [now 510] South Lodge Street, with the grocery store between them, as drawn in the 1913 Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson. (Is the small building behind the grocery the “room” bequeathed to Daniel Gunn?)

To Claudia Wooten, Gunn bequeathed a life interest in the house and lot at what is now 510 South Lodge and a sewing machine. At Wooten’s death, the house was to be sold to pay off debts, expenses, and inheritance taxes and to pay out these bequests:

  • to friend Mrs. Vene Davis, Greenville, N.C., $100
  • to Davis’ daughter, Mrs. Lourine Skinner, Greenville, N.C., $100
  • to friend Mrs. Minnie Cobb, wife of John Cobb, $50
  • to nephew Henry Battle, $50
  • to Charles Barnes, $50
  • to niece Fatina Battle, $50
  • to brother Isaac Matthews, $50
  • to Clara Ann Viverett, Bryant Winstead, and Ned Winstead, her sister’s children, $50
  • to Cora Gunn, $50
  • to Braswell Winstead, $50
  • to trustees of A.M.E. Zion Church of Wilson, $50
  • to Belle Holden, $50

Almost twenty years after Annie Gunn died, the house she left Claudia Wooten went up for auction. The notice of sale mentioned that the lot was a portion of the land Gunn (then Barnes) had purchased in 1897.

Wilson Daily Times, 1 June 1938.

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  • Annie Gunn

On 17 September 1895, Geo. Bynum, 40, of Wilson, son of Amos Pitt and Lucy Bynum, married Annie Barnes, 35, of Wilson, at Fan[?] Johnson’s residence. A.M.E.Z. minister L.B. Williams performed the ceremony in the presence of Berry Bynum, Ella Allen, and Howell G. Bynum.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: widow Annie Bynum, 40; Maggie Eanox, 24, widow, her children Addie M., 9, and Joseph Eanox, 7, and sister Bertie Eanox, 17; and boarder Mary Corbett, 24.

On 22 May 1901, Daniel Gunn, 40, of Wilson County, son of Ruffin and Lizzie Gunn, married Annie A. Bynum, 42, of Wilson County, at her residence in Wilson. Free Will Baptist minister Crocket Best performed the ceremony in the presence of Cora Beckwith, Mary Thorne, and Debsel [Delzelle] Beckwith. [The Beckwiths were Annie Gunn’s next-door neighbors.]

In the 1908 and 1912 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directories: Gunn Anna (c) clothing h 514 S Lodge

Annie Gunn died 30 January 1919 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she lived at 514 Lodge Street; was 68 years old; was born in Nash County, N.C., to “Dr. Shaw, white” and an unknown mother; and was married to Daniel Gunn.

  • Daniel Gunn

In the 1908 and 1912 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directories: Gunn Daniel (c) grocer 512 1/2 S Lodge h 514 S Lodge

In the 1916 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Gunn Daniel (c) lab h 514 S Lodge

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 514 Lodge Street, school principal James T. Deans, 53, wife Mary, 34, and children Rosevelt, 16, James Jr., 9, Walter, 5, Therodore, 3, and Dixie, 2 months, and boarder Daniel Gunn, 57, a tobacco factory worker.

In the 1922 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Gunn Daniel tob grader 512 S Lodge h 514 S Lodge

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Gunn Daniel (c) lab h 514 S Lodge

Daniel Gunn died 25 May 1929 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 68 years old; was a widower; was born in Danville, Virginia; lived at 514 Lodge Street; and worked as a tobacconist (grading). Addie E. Hall was informant.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: widow Clauda Wooten, 37, son Sidney, 18, farm laborer, and brother Irdel, 35, day laborer.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Goldsboro Street, widow Clauda Wooten, 47, laundress, and son Sim, 28, wagon factory laborer.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 512 South Lodge, Claudie Wooten, 57, widow, and son Sim, 37, wagon factory laborer.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 510 South Lodge, owned and valued at $1000, widow Claudia Wooten, 67, and son Sim, 48, widower, carpenter at Hackney Wagon.

Claudia Wooten died 9 August 1935 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 73 years old; was born in Nash County to Henry Shaw and Jane Shaw; was a widow; and lived at 510 Lodge Street. Informant was Sim Wooten, 510 Lodge.

  • Vene Davis and Lourine Skinner

Lavenia Blount Davis (1854-1942) and her daughter Laurine Davis Skinner (1881-1959) were Wilson natives. That they were white is signaled by the inclusion of an honorific before their names. I do not know Annie Gunn’s relationship to them or why she would leave them such large sums of money.

  • Minnie Cobb — Minnie Warren Cobb (1884-1964), either.
  • Henry Battle
  • Charles Barnes
  • Fatina Battle
  • Isaac Matthews

In the 1870 census of Chesterfield township, Nash County, North Carolina: Clara Matthews, 55, and son Isaac, 19, farm laborer.

On 12 April 1871, Isaac Matthews, son of Stephen Powell and C. Mathews, married Sidney Powell, daughter of Calvin Powell and Penny Lucus, in Wilson County.

In the 1880 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: in the household of white farmer Mark M. Matthews, 40, hirelings Charly G. Howard, 24, Isaac Matthews, 28, George Locust, 50, and Calvin Powell, 50, and his son Thomas, 14.

  • Clara Ann Viverett —

In the 1870 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: d[omestic] servant Anna Oats, 28; Milly Winsted, 16, d[omestic] servant, Ned Winsted, 13, farm laborer, and Clara Winsted, 12, d[omestic] servant; and John Batts, 22, white, liquor dealer.

Henry Viverett, 42, of Toisnot township, Wilson County, married Clara Winstead, 30, of Toisnot township, on 19 March 1896.

In the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Henry Vivrett, 47; wife Clory, 34; and children Isabella, 18, Arthur, 14, Willie, 10, Ella, 6, Victora, 3, and Henry, 1.

In the 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: Henry Viverett, 56; wife Clara, 46; and children Ella, 17, Victoria, 13, Henry, 10, and Troy, 5.

In the 1920 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer Henry Virrett, 55; wife Clara, 53; and son Willie, 15.

  • Bryant Winstead

In the 1870 census of Joyners township, Wilson County: Bryant Winsted, 18, Jack Hardy, 22, and Matilda Hardy, 20, all farm laborers.

In the 1880 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer Bryant Winstead, 30; wide Blessing, 28; grandmother Millie Batchelor, 83; and niece Ellen Heggins, 12.

In the 1900 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer Bryant Winstead, 49, and wife Blessing, 45.

In the 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: tenant farmer Bryant Winstead, 54, and wife Blessing, 48.

In the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer Bryant Winstead, 65, and wife Blessing, 65.

Bryant Winstead died 2 October 1933 in Elm City, Toisnot township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was

James H. Holden, 35, of Wilson, son of Rachel Holden, married Isabell Deans, 25, on 25 January 1900 in Wilson. Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in the presence of J.T. Deans, Cora Beckwith and Goodsey Holden.

N.B. Annie Barnes Bynum Gunn is not to be confused with Annie Barnes Gunn (1874-1973), whose husband was Moses Gunn.

I am not yet clear on Annie B.B. Gunn’s birth family. Her marriage licenses do not list her parents. Her death certificate lists only her father, a white physician named Shaw. Bryant, Clara, and Ned Winstead are described as Annie Gunn’s sister’s children; records name their mother variously as Iseley and Essie Winstead. (They had different fathers.) Claudia Wooten is not described as Annie Gunn’s relative, but her parents’ surnames are listed as Shaw on her death certificate. Braswell Winstead, son of Riley Robbins and Malissa Winstead, is not described as Annie Gunn’s relative, but have been. J. Thomas Deans, son of Sarah Deans, was described as her nephew. Isaac Matthews is described as her brother, but his mother was Clara Matthews. Henry and Fatina Battle are described as her nephew and niece.

The obituary of Ardelia Nunn.

Wilson Daily Times, 27 June 1947.

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In the 1880 census of Clayton, Johnston County: Essex Blake, ; wife Clara, ; children Della, Robert, Sallie, Benjamin, James, Halsey, Antney, Timothy, Ardelia, and Jerry, 5; and granddaughter Narcissie, 6.

In the 1900 census of Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina: minister of the gospel Essex Blake, 70; wife Nancy, 59; daughter Ardelia, 26, trained nurse; and Ellen Ransom, 60, seamstress.

In the 1910 census of Raleigh, Wake County: Ardelia Blake, 35, sick nurse, and “sleepers” Joanna Taylor, 42, and Harriett Davis, 65, both children’s nurses.

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Nunn Ardelia (c) 1100 E Nash

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Sallie Barbour, 85, widow, and lodgers Ordelia Nunn, 66, and James Pettiford, 47, barber at Hines barbershop.

Sallie Minnie Barbour died 22 April 1942 at her home at 1100 East Nash Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 71 years old; was born in Wake County to Essex Blake and Clara Hodge; was a widow; and was a schoolteacher. Ardelia Nunn, 1100 East Nash, was informant.

Ardelia executed a will on 24 June 1946 in the presence of D.C. Yancey and C.E. Artis. Nine months later, she signed a codicil adding provision. The first provision bequeathed to Wesley Rogers her house at 1100 East Nash Street provided he care for her if she became disabled. Second, she bequeathed $100 to her sister Ordie J. Jones. Third, to her cousin Maud Hobbs, her interest in a house at 306 South Street, Raleigh, that had been willed to her and her sister Sallie Barbour. Per the codicil, Nunn bequeathed various sums of money to Maud Hobbs, Rebecca Farmer, and Vernecia Moore.

Ardelia Nunn died 25 June 1947 at Mercy Hospital. Per her death certificate, she was 70 years old; was born in Wake County, N.C., to Essex Blake and Clara Hodges; was a widow; lived at 608 North Carroll Street; and was buried in the Masonic Cemetery. Informant was Caroline Dismond, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III; Ardelia Nunn Will, North Carolina Wills and Probate Records 1665-1998, ancestry.com.

The obituary of Zillie Woodard Howard.

Wilson Daily Times, 7 June 1943.

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In the 1880 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Alfred Woodard, 50; wife Sarah, 45; children Florence, 28, Mary, 22, Howell, 18, Sarah E., 16, Zilly A., 17, Lundon, 13, Minnie, 12, Willie, 10, Josephine, 7, and Evvy, 4; and grandchildren Elizabeth, 7, Robt. B., 5, and John H. Bynum, 4.

On 5 June 1901, Jesse Howard, 33, of Black Creek, son of Delius [Zealous] and Rhoda Howard, married Zillah Woodard, 32, of Taylor township, daughter of Alfred and Sarah Woodard, at Sarah Woodard’s in Wilson County. Willie Rountree registered for the license, and Missionary Baptist minister E.P. Pearsall performed the ceremony in the presence of Rountree, Phyllis Hagans, and Sarah Woodard.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: farm laborer Jessee Howard, 45; wife Zilla, 40; and children Henry, 25, florist, Marenda, 19, public school teacher, Lena, 17, Kensey, 15, farm laborer, Leaola, 13, and Jessie Jr., 1.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: laborer Jesse Howard, 54; wife Zillia, 54; and children (or grandchildren) Cleo, 21, Ella M., 14, William, 7, and Samuel, 4.

In the 1925, 1928, and 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory, Zillie Howard is listed at 934 Carolina Street.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 934 Carolina, owned and valued at $2000, Zellia Howard, 40, widow, maid, and grandsons William, 17, shoe shop cobbler, Oliver, 15, and Samuel Howard, 12, and Howard Artist, 4.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 934 Carolina, valued at $800, widow Zilla Howard, 75; her sister Nora Hinton, 64, divorced; also, paying $4/month, Helen Ford, 22, and Lydia, 5; grandson Sammie Howard, 22; and, paying $2/month, Annie Jenkins, 69.

In 1940, Oliver Lee Howard registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 12 August 1914 in Wilson; he lived at 934 Carolina Street; his contact was his grandmother Zillie Woodard Howard; and he worked for Imperial Tobacco Company, Barnes Street, Wilson.

In 1940, Buster Howard registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 1 September 1924 in Wilson; he lived at 934 Carolina Street; his contact was his grandmother Zillie Howard; and he worked for R.P. Watson & Company, Lodge Street, Wilson.

Zillie Woodard Howard died 6 June 1943 at her home at 934 Carolina Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 29 April 1865 in Wilson to Alfred Woodard and Harriett [last name unknown] and was the widow of Jessie Howard. Oliver Howard of the home was informant.

On 30 October 1944, . Howard had left all her property to her sister, Nora Hinton, and named John M. Barnes as executor. Almus A. Lovett and Letitia H. Lovett witnessed.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

The last will and testament of James Artis.

James Artis‘ February 1930 will was devoted primarily to paying his debts to those who cared for or helped him during his final illness.

He directed that Dr. Matthew S. Gilliam be paid from insurance proceeds for “rendering me medical service, furnishing me medicine, paying my room rent, boarding me and furnishing me what ever I need as long as I live.”

Artis then directed that Julia Johnson‘s bill for “cooking, washing and looking after me” be paid, but only after his burial expenses were paid and lawyer Glenn S. McBrayer was paid $50 for handling his affairs.

If there was any money left, he directed that his unnamed daughter receive two dollars, and anything after that was to go to his unnamed wife.

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In the 1870 census of Goldsboro, Wayne County: Louisa Artis, 21; husband James, 25, works on street; and children Adeline, 5, and James, 1 month.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: James Artice, 39, laborer; wife Louzah, 26; and children Adeline, 13, James, 10, Isadora, 8, Effie, 2, and Minnie, 1.

On 10 October 1902, James Artis, 29, of Wilson County, son of James and Louisa Artis, married Armelia Speight, 30, of Wilson County, daughter of Rufus Speight and Tempsy Speight [she, alive and living in Peterburg, Virginia]. Richard Renfrow applied for the license, and Missionary Baptist minister F.M. Davis performed the ceremony at Jane Branch’s residence in Wilson in the presence of C.R. Cannon, H.S. Phillips, and Jane Branch.

Blount Artis died 24 April 1916 in Boon Hill township, Johnston County. Per his death certificate, he was about 16 years old; was born in Wilson County to Jim Artis and Amelia Artis; was single; and worked as a clerk in a drugstore. Charles Gay was informant.

Amelia Artis appears in the 1912, 1916, 1928, and 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory. James Artis is listed in none. Amelia Artis worked variously as a laundress, cook, factory hand, and domestic, and lived at 121 Ash Street, 512 South Street, 117 North East Street, and 810 East Nash Street. [The couple seems to have separated early in the marriage, though they reunited long enough to appear in the same household in 1920.]

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 121 Ash Street, barber Jim Ardis, 30; wife Amelia, 28; and daughter Amelia, 14. [Jim and Amelia’s ages are off by twenty years.]

James Artis died 5 March 1930 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 50 years old; was born in Wilson to James Artis of Wilson County and Louise Faison of Duplin County, N.C; was married to Amelia Artis; and lived at 210 Manchester. He was buried in Rountree [Odd Fellows] cemetery. Amelia Artis, 112 East Street, was informant.

Amelia Speight Artis’ broken grave marker in Odd Fellows Cemetery.

I found the headstones of Amelia Artis, Blount Artis (also known as Rufus Artis), and Amelia’s mother Tempsy Speight in a pile with two dozen other headstones in Odd Fellows cemetery. The locations of their graves are unknown. I have not found a marker for James Artis, though he is surely buried there.

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, March 2022.

The last will and testament of Lula Speight.

In a will dated 5 August 1943, Lula Speight left all her personal property and real estate to her son, James T. Speight. Witnesses to the document were Jesse T. McPhail and Dave Graham.

  • Lula Speight

On 13 February 1914, Albert Speight, 35, of Greene County, son of Gray and Julia Speight, married Lula Ruff, 25, of Greene County, daughter of Louis Edwards, in Carrs township, Greene County.

In the 1920 census of Carrs township, Greene County, N.C.: on Snow Hill and Stantonsburg Road, farmer Albert Speight, 40; wife Lula, 29; and son James T., 9.

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Speight Albert (c; Lula) prop Brown’s Filling Sta 1216 E Nash

Albert Speight died 7 July 1929 at Saint Agnes Hospital, Raleigh, N.C. Per his death certificate, he was 50 years old; was born in Greene County to Gray Speight and Julia Williams; worked for himself as a merchant; and was married to Lula Speight. He was buried in Wilson.

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Speight Lula (c) gro 209 Finch h do [ditto]

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 209 Finch Street, owned and valued at $1000, widow Lula Speight, 34, drink stand proprietor, and son James T. Speight, 19, bank porter. Renting from Speight for $8/month, William Hodge, 25; wife Sarah, 23; and children Eva R., 6, and William Jr., 1.

On 15 October 1934, Louis Jones, 35, of Wilson, son of Louis Jones and Beatie [last name unknown], married Lula Speight, 36, of Wilson, daughter of Louis Edwards and Emma Edwards. A.F.W.B. minister R.A. Horton performed the ceremony at his home in Wilson in the presence of Mary J. Horton, Flossie Johnson, and Ethel Parker.

Lula Speight died 22 September 1948 at her home at 209 Finch Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 12 August 1894 in Wayne County, N.C., to Louis Edwards and Lou Thompson; worked as a domestic; and was widow. She was buried in Washington Branch cemetery, Greene County, N.C. James Artis of Greensboro, N.C., was informant.

  • Jesse T. McPhail
  • Dave Graham — David Graham died 31 July 1966 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 16 September 1890 in South Carolina to Jim Graham and Nora Bradley; worked as a male nurse; was a widower; and lived at 622 New Street, Wilson.

The last will and testament of Millie Bryant.

On 3 August 1936, Millie Bryant made her mark on a will leaving all her property to her niece Cecelia Norwood. Bryant died ten weeks later. Her house was at 608 East Green Street, and Norwood held the property until she died though she lived around the corner on North Pender.

Hardy Lassiter’s estate sale.

Hardy Lassiter died in Wilson County in the spring of 1853. On 16 August 1855, as the settlement of his estate wound down, administrator William L. Farmer sold off Lassiter’s personal property to two of his children Rachel Lassiter and Green Lassiter. The sale account offers a singular look at a free Black man’s most intimate effects — his clothing.

The sale netted $17.44 for one lot of old clothes; twelve other old clothes; five pairs of pants; a lot of clothes; two coats; a lot of stockings; four handkerchiefs; an overcoat; five more coats; a cravat; two brushes; a knife and razor; a razor strop; two hats; one pair of shoes; one umbrella(?); a satchel; one “pocket & pas”; a watch; and a stick.

Hardy Lassiter, North Carolina, U.S. Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998, http://www.ancestry.com.

The last will and testament of Hardy Horn.

On 25 January 1830, Hardy Horn of Wayne County dictated a will that included these provisions:

  • sell one Negro boy by the name of Arnold
  • to his wife Edah “nine Negros LigePatienceFannyWarrenDinahJimWinnyAbram & linnet” and their future children until his daughter Sally reached age 15
  • at that time, half of the named enslaved people were to be divided among his daughters Nancy Barnes and Sally, Zilly, and Rebeckah Barnes, and half their increase were to remain with his wife Edah during her lifetime
  • at Edah’s death those enslaved people were to be divided among the children as she saw fit

Horn’s estate entered probate in Wayne County Fall County 1839. After setting aside two-eighths of the enslaved for later distribution to two children born after Horn made his will, on 14 April 1840 commissioners divided the group as follows:

  • widow Edah received Lije ($850); Linnet ($650); Patience and child Hilard ($750); Will ($300); Litha ($350); and Jeffrey ($125)
  • Rebecca Horne received Jim ($800); Jonathan Barnes and wife Nancy Horne Barnes, Warren ($650); James Newsom and wife Sally Horn Newsom, Fanny and child Henry ($750); and Zilla Horn, Pearcy ($350); and Jo ($300)

In a separate transaction the same day, Horn’s youngest children, Mary Ann and Elizabeth, received their joint share — Abram ($750), Diner ($400), Esther ($400), and Hester ($375).

Horn lived between Great Cabin Branch and Black Creek in what is now Wilson County.

Estate of Hardy Horn, Wayne County, North Carolina Estate Files 1883-1979, http://www.familysearch.org.

The auction of Harry, Violet, Eliza and child, Ben, Dan, and Edy.

Per court order, on 25 December 1856, Gatsey T. Stanton, administratrix of the estate of her husbandWashington M. Stanton, registered the outcome of her auction of seven enslaved people — Harry, Violet, Eliza and child, Ben, Dan, and Edy. The Stantons’ son George W. Stanton was the highest bidder, offering $800 for Harry; $350 for Violet; $875 for Eliza and her child; and $182 for Ben (who was either very young, or very old, or disabled.) G.W. Stanton received a credit of $112 for taking Dan and Edy, who were likely past their working years. This transaction was recorded in Deed Book 1, page 174, Wilson County Register of Deeds office.

The same day, G.W. Stanton sold the same lot of enslaved people back to his mother for what he had paid — $2095.

Deed Book 1, page 259, Wilson County Register of Deeds Office. 

Know all men by these presents that I, G.W. Stanton for & in consideration of the sum of two thousand & ninety five Dollars the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged have given granted bargained & sold & doth by these presents give grant bargain & sell unto Gatsey Stantonsburg Negroes Harry, Violet, Eliza & child, Ben, Dan & Edy to have & to hold unto the said Gatsey Stanton her executors administrators & assigns in fee simple forever.

In testament whereof the said G.W. Stanton doth set his hand & seal this the 25th day of December 1856.    G.W. Stanton {seal}

Notwithstanding his status as a slaveowner, George W. Stanton was a staunch Unionist and in 1868 delivered an incendiary address to the state legislature that some claimed incited freedmen murder and burn the property of white people. (More of this later.)  In 1871, Stanton filed a claim with the Southern Claims Commission for reimbursement for property seized by the Union Army. One of the witnesses on his behalf was 48 year-old Harry Stanton of Greene County, N.C. — surely the Harry noted above. To read Harry Stanton’s detailed testimony, see here. (George W. Stanton’s claim was disallowed. The Commission acknowledged his Union sympathies, but determined that his service as a justice of the peace and in the Home Guard — even if done to avoid active military duty — disqualified him as a loyalist.)