Johnston County

The last will and testament of Ephraim Watson.

In the Name of God amen I Ephraim Watson of the County of Johnston in the State of North Carolina being of sound and perfect mind and memory thanks be to almighty God for the same and calling to mind the mortality of my body and the uncertainty of this transitory life

Do make and ordain this my last Will and testament in manner and form following that is to say

I lend to my beloved wife Nanny Watson two hundred and thirty Acres of Land including the plantation whereon I now live bounded by James Watsons, Jesse Sillevents, Jacob Barnes’s and Stephen Watson’s lines and also by the fence of the plantation where I formerly lived which runs a North and South course from the Swamp to the Myrtle Branch continues the course to during her natural life or widowhood and at her second marriage or decease I give the said land and premises unto my son Amos Watson.

I also lend to said wife one Mare with foal the colt I give to to my son Amos if it comes living also two Cows and one feather bed and furniture also one Negro Woman named Becky and one Negro boy named Bobb ten year old hogs four head of sheep also all my household and kitchen furniture, except three feather beds with their furniture, and all my Plantation Tools, which property I lend during the natural life of my sd wife or widow hood as aforesaid and at her decease or marriage I give the above mentioned Negros to my Daughter Patsey and the remainder of the above mentioned property I give to be Equally divided between my Daughter Beady and my son Jesse and my son Amos and my Daughter Patsey

Item I give to my son Stephen Watson one Negro girl named Pheribey and one shot gun

Item I give to my Daughter Priscilia Sillivent one Negro girl named Sarah

Item I give to my Daughter Beady Watson one Negro boy named Jerry one three years old heifer and two head of sheep one feather Bed and furniture

Item I give to my son Jesse Watson one Negro Woman named Hannah my will is that the first living child said Hannah has should belong to my son Amos Watson I also give to my said son Jesse one hundred and fifty three Acres of including the old plantation where I formerly lived it being the remainder of my land one two year old colt one three year old heifer of a red colour no horns two head of sheep and one sow and pigs and one feather Bed and furniture

Item I give to my son Amos Watson one four year old heifer and one yearling two head of sheep one feather Bed and furniture one sow and Pigs

Item I give to my Daughter Patsey Watson one Cow one three year old Heifer and one two year old steer

Item I give to my grand son Willis Watson twenty dollars and one cow which Stephen Watson has now in stock

Item I leave one Bay Horse to be sold to the highest bidder and the value thereof to be equally Divided amongs all my living Children

Item I give to my two sons Jesse and Amos one pair of Mill Stones

And all the remainder of my property which I have not above mentioned I Desire should be Equally divided amongst all my Children that is living at this time

And I do hereby Constitute and appoint my trusty friends Henry Sasser and my Son Stephen Watson Executors to this my last Will and Testament hereby revoking disanuling and making voyed all former Wills and requests by me made and declaring this only to be my last will and testament in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 25th day of December in the year of our Lord 1815      Ephraim (his mark “G”) Watson {Seal}

Signed Sealed in presents of us James (X) Watson, Amos Watson, Tobias (X) Watson


Ephraim Watson’s land was in what is now southwestern Wilson County.

North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998 [database on-line],

Young boy taken in.

A Google search turned up this photo on a family reunion website,

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According to the site, the boy encircled was Jim Batey, “a young boy who was picked up in Wilson, N.C., and taken in by the Stancil family.” The photograph was taken at a Stancil family reunion in 1902. (The reunion still meets annually.) Per, “Missouri and Sam [Samuel and Mary Missouri Howell Stancil] were at the first Reunion. Missouri was unhappy, that in the large group photo, Sam stood next to the Negro boy, Jim Batey.”

In a Public Member Story at, I found this mention of Jim posted by member “cathyabrams”:  “George [Stancil] needed a farm hand. George and Alvin [Stancil] bought a farm, the Haywood Hales’ Place together. Alvin, George, Eva, Effie, Emmette and Ashley [Stancil] moved in about 1904. This farm was large enough for Alvin and George and one tenant. Years earlier, Alvin had taken an orphan Negro boy, Jim Batey, to his parents’ home. Now that Alvin was living with George and Eva, he brought Jim over to help work. The two extra hands were important in a day when so much manual labor was necessary.”  

Beyond this, I have found no record of the orphan (or not) Jim Batey in Wilson or Johnston County records, including the 1900 census, when he was presumably living with the Stancils.