The estate of William Felts (1854).

William Felts (Phelps?) made out his will in Greene County in 1853 and died early the following year in Edgecombe County. Jonathan Ellis was appointed guardian of Felts’ minor children and in that capacity handled the estate the children inherited . For the next few years, Ellis filed with the county court (first Edgecombe County, then Wilson after its founding) accounts of the moneys received for the lease and sale of Felts’ property. When Ellis died in December 1856, Ellis’ administrator Reuben Bynum carried out his duties to the Felts’ heirs.

On 23 March 1854, the account showed that Garry P. Felts hired from the estate a man named Frank, a boy named Joe, and a girl named Allie, and was credited for taking care of a woman named Elvy and her two young children. (Though this document is titled “an account of sale,” the prices of both the land and the enslaved people establish these were prorated annual lease prices.)

On 1 January 1855, Ellis hired out Elvira and her three children, Joe, Alley, and Ben to [Garry] Patrick “Felphs.” Frank was not mentioned. Ben’s hire rate suggests that he was very young, but able to be of some use.

On 1 January 1856, Ellis rented out a girl and two boys, whom he did not bother to mention by name.

On 1 January 1857, the estate paid Garry P. Felts $28 to keep Elva and her four children, and Felts in turn paid the estate $91 to hire Ben, Allie, and Joe. (Notice that Elvy was giving birth to a child every year during this period.)

On 7 March 1857, Ellis (Bynum?) held another sale — or, judging by the rates — rehire. William Felts’ son-in-law Richard Edmundson picked up the leases of the children.

I have not been able to trace forward Frank, Elvira, or her children Ben and Allie.

However, in the 1880 census of Speights Bridge township, Greene County: Joseph Phelps, 48, farmer; wife Yeaster, 30; and children Lou, 12, Patrick, 10, McDallis, 4, and George W., 3.

On 24 May 1890, Joseph Phelps, 55, of Speights Bridge township, married Margaret Speight, 35, daughter of Penny Speight, at Joseph Phelps’ house near W.A. Darden’s in Greene County.

On 16 June 1891, Patrick Phelps, 20, and Mandy Burney, 18, applied for a marriage license in Greene County, but did not return it.

In the 1900 census of Speights Bridge township, Greene County: farmer Joe Phelps, 60; wife Margaret, 30; and sons Patrick, 30, ditcher, and Mack, 25, and George, 20, farm laborers.

On 16 January 1901, Mack Phelps, 24, married Mary Woodard, 22, in Greene County.

Lula Edwards died 12 November 1929 in Gardners township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was 66 years old; was born in Greene County to Joe Phelps of Edgecombe County and Easter Speight of Greene County; was the widow of Ben Edwards; worked in farming; and was buried in Herrings Cemetery. Lacy Edwards was informant.

On 11 March 1930, Mack Phelps, 54, of Greene County, son of Joseph and Easter Phelps, married Monora Ruff, 39, of Greene County, daughter of David and Litha Smith, in Snow Hill township, Greene County.

George Phelps died 13 December 1937 in Bull Head township, Greene County. Per his death certificate, he was 56 years old; was born in Greene County to Joe Phelps; was the widower of Alice Strawberry Phelps; and was a farmer.

Mack Phelps died 27 February 1964 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 5 October 1889 in Greene County to Joe Phelps and Easter Speight; lived at 1510 Atlantic Street Extension; was a widower; and was buried in Rest Haven Cemetery. True Miller Artis, Wilson, was informant.


William Felts Estate Records (1854), Wilson County, North Carolina Estate Files 1663-1979, http://www.familysearch.org