Will of William Hobbs of Wake County, North Carolina, 27 May 1788

William Hobbs was my 5th great grandfather on the Cole side. The John Cole mentioned in this will is another 5th great grandfather: his son Loyd married Hobb’s daughter, Betsy, and moved to Benton County, Tennessee to found an enormous clan of Coles.

I’ve left the original spelling in this will because it shows how William Hobbs talked: “widder” for widow and “Hanner” for Hannah being two examples. This is how my great-grandmother Cole still talked 200 years later in rural Tennessee.

One of Hobbs’ sons, James, appears to have been disabled as the will obligates his brother, William II, to care for him.

Hobbs was also a slave holder, bequeathing Pen, Hannah, and Dinah to his wife, Mary Hobbs.

In the name of God amen the twenty seven day of May in the year of our Lord 1789 [1788] I William Hobbs of Wake County and State of N. Carolina being in perfect mind and Memory thanks be to God for the same and calling to mind the Mortality of my body knowing that it is appointed for All men once to die I do make and ordain this my Last Will and Testament.

That is to principally and first of all I Give and Recommend my Soul into the hands of God that gave all and for my Body I Recommend to the Earth to be Buried in a Decent and Christian Like manner at the decree of my Executors nothing Doubting but at the General Resurrection I Shall Receive the same Again by the mighty power of God and as touching such world Estate ware with it hath Pleased God to Bless me with in this Life I give and Devise and dispose of the same in manner and form following that is to say in the first place—

I lend to Mary Hobbs my Dearly Beloved Wife the plantation whereon I now do live.

Likewise I lend her three negroes Pen and Hanner [Hannah] and Diner [Dinah] and there Increase.

Likewise I Lend her all my Stock consisting of horses, Cattle, hogs and Sheep and all my house Hold furniture, good and Chattles [Chattels] Dureing her natural life or widderhood [widowhood].

I give to my Son William Hobbs after the death or marriage of his mother Mary Hobbs the Plantation where on I now live bounded as follow: Beginning at the mouth of my spring Branch thence up the Branch to the Cart path thence the corse of the sd. path to a ? pine thence along the old line to a corner pine in Mooney Branch down the sd. Branch to the Creek Down the Creek [crossed out: “ to the first station likewise I give him fifty acres of land”] to my old line along sd. line to the Creek down the sd. Creek to the first station.

Likewise I give him fifty acres of land joining John Cole’s line and Daniel Martin’s line Beginning at a post oak in my own line to him his heires for Ever.

Likewise I give my son William Hobbs all my Land above Mooney Branch ? for him to Maintain my son James Hobbs in a dessent [decent] Like manner as long as James Hobbs Liveth and if William Hobbs my son dieth before his Brother James sd. William Hobbs must and shall Convey sd Land to the use of his brother James Hobbs for the use of his maintenance.

I give to my son John Hobbs all the Land Below the Spring Branch and the remaining part of the Buffalo track to him and his Heirs for Ever.

I give to my daughters Sarah, Unnety [Unity], Polley, Betsey, and Winney and Beckey after the Deth or marriage of their Mother Mary Hobbs the negroes, horses, cattle, hogs and Sheep and household furniture to be Equally devided between six Daughters above named.

I do hereby Disavow Revoke all and Every other former testament Will and Legacy Bequest and Ex’to by me in any Wise. I Like wise Constitute, Make and ordain David Hobbs, William Hobbs, and Willis Howard Executors of this my Last Will and Testament Before this time named willed and Bequeathed ? this and Confirming This and no other to be my Last Will and testament in witness where unto I set my hand and seal the Day and year above written.

Sined, published, ?, and Declared by the sd. William Hobbs is his Last Will and testament in the presents of us

Willis Wilder (Jurat)
Wm. T. Wilder (Jurat) X his mark
Williams Hobbs X his mark

Wake County Sep.r Term 1788
The Execution of the within Will was duly proved in open Court by the oaths of Willis Wilder & William Wilder Witnesses thereto & ordained to be Recorded.
H. Lane C.C. [Clerk of the Court]

Recorded in the Clerk’s Office of Wake County in Book C and page (80) the 7th day of October 1788.
H. Lane C.C.

2 thoughts on “Will of William Hobbs of Wake County, North Carolina, 27 May 1788

  1. I have Cole in Benton County- Minerva or Minervy Cole but have no idea on her parents .. granny told stories her fathers name was Jerdon Cole – but he left when she was young.
    By chance hoping you had any info or stories of a Cole husband that left family and moved to Arkansas.


    1. I don’t know of any stray Cole husbands in Arkansas, or any Minerva Coles. But I can tell you that the Coles and Jordans were neighbors back in Wake County, NC. John Cole’s daughter Barbara married James Jordan. Also his grandson Willis Howard Cole (son of Loyd Cole) married Marilda Jordan. So, your Jordan Cole could be a child or grandchild of one of those couples.


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