Amason

The estates of Barnes and Roderick Amason.

It’s not a common surname in Wilson County anymore, but in the early 1800s a prosperous extended family of Amasons (Amersons) 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 third in a series featuring documents from Amason family estate files.

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Roderick Amason was appointed administrator of his brother Barnes Amason’s estate soon after Barnes’ death in April 1844.

On 25 October 1844, at Joshua Wilkinson’s store, John A. Tyson testified in a deposition that on 10 June 1844 that he “happend in company with Roderic Amason & General Moye at Daniel & Rountrees store in Stantonsburg and that Mr. Gill had presented his account against Barnes Amason ….” Amason had run up credit with Andrew E. Gill, but a number of credits reduced the debt. For 1840, that credit included the  “Hire of 2 Hands” on December 22 for 80 cents. For 1843 and 1844, Amason’s credits included the hire of an enslaved man named Jerry to Gill.

At November Term of Edgecombe County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, Roderick Amason filed a petition for division stating that “the slaves belonging to the estate of … Barnes [Amason] will not be required for the purpose of paying the debts of said intestate, there being ample personalty besides them for that purpose. That of them, there are fifteen as follows — 1 Frank 2 Mourning 3 Stephen 4 Jack 5 Solomon 6 Jerry 7 Richmond 8 Lucy 9 Jinny 10 Hilliard 11 Judy 12 Rosa 13 Dyer 14 Patsy & 15 Sally,” and they should be divided among Barnes’ heirs, who consisted of his siblings and their children.

Roderick himself died in December 1844, however. Wyatt Moye — state senator and slave dealer — took over as administrator of both estates. His stewardship of both estates was contentious.

In October 1845, B.B. Bell complained to Edgecombe County court that Moye owed him $63.21 from the estate of Roderick Amason.

A justice of the peace sided with Bell and noted that Moye claimed that he had paid out sums greater than the cash at hand, but noted “there is four negroes yet to be sold.”

At August Term, the heirs complained to the court that Wyatt Moye was still holding on to Barnes Amason’s estate and had refused to make full distribution, a charge Moye denied.

I have not been able to determine the fates of the enslaved people held by Barnes and Roderick Amason.

Estate of Roderick Amason, North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

The estate of Benjamin Amason Jr.

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 second in a series featuring documents from Amason family estate files.

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Benjamin Amason Jr. married a woman named Mary Ann in 1815. Amason was a widower with a young daughter, Nancy Matilda Amason. The marriage quickly failed, and Amason left Edgecombe [later, Wilson] County for Fairfield County, South Carolina. There, he fathered a son, Washington Amason, out of wedlock.

Amason died in South Carolina about 1823. A few years prior, he transferred to his children his interest in several enslaved people belonging to the estate of his father Benjamin Amason Sr. Mary Amason sued, claiming that the deed of gift had been made to defraud her of her dower right.

A set of referees agreed. Their 7 March 1829 decision named the enslaved people at issue as Cherry, Henry, Tamar, Pheby, Spencer, Jinny, and Polly, and ordered that they be sold.

The account of sale notes that Polly was Cherry’s daughter. They were sold out of the family to Ephraim Daniel, while Roderick Amason bought Henry and Tamar. Asa Amason bought Phebe; Josiah R. Horn bought Spencer; and Jinny went to Jonathan Ellis. In total, the sale raised $1325.00 for the estate.

When Roderick Amason died just months later, Henry and Tamar went on the block again. Two days before Christmas, they were “taken and resold by Josiah R. Horne” in what appear to be various trades in forgiveness of notes owed to Roderick Amason’s estate. Reddick Barnes came away with Henry; Tamar went to Blake Little.

Estate Files of Benjamin Amason Jr., North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

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 family estate files.

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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], http://www.ancestry.com.