Will of William McGuffey Rives of Warren County, North Carolina, 24 Nov 1836

I am currently researching my 5th great-grandfather, William McGuffey Rives, father of “Captain” William Rives. I have quite a bit of information on him, and so am posting this lengthy will separately. It is somewhat interesting in that it reveals that he produced cloth on his plantation. I also wonder if the 1200 hundred pounds of “polk” are pokeweed, for poke sallet and dyeing fabric?

Rives also makes a special bequest to his daughter, Susan Rives. This is likely because she was married earlier in the same year, to George Cunningham. The bequest (which included a girl named Rose) was a late wedding present. Women were often given a enslaved girl or young woman upon marriage: it was one form of wealth that could not be automatically controlled by their husbands.

William McGuffey Rives, born about 1767 in Amherst County, Virginia, spelled his name Reeves, Reaves, and Rives. His children all seemed to settle on Rives. His wife was Mary Catherine Turner, the Major Stephen Turner named as executor is almost certainly her brother.

Images first, transcription below.

Warren County, North Carolina, Record of wills, accounts, inventories, and settlements, 1764-1964 at Family Search

Warren County Will Book 34
P 244
Image 489/677

In the name of God amen. I William Reaves of the County of Warren State of North Carolina, do make publish and declare the following to be my last will and Testament.

1st I devise to my beloved wife Mary Reaves during her life the tract of land on which I now reside containing about two hundred and twenty eight acres. I also give to my wife during her life my loom with its appurtenances and the following negroes (viz:) Fanny, Ansel, Frank, and Sarah.

2nd I also bequeath to my wife Mary Rives one press, one cupboard, one flax wheel, one wheel and cards, one walnut table, one pine table, one pine chest, one old trunk, one new side saddle, all necessary kitchen furniture, one dozen cups + saucers, one dozen plates, three dirks (knives?), half dozen sitting chairs, one horse bench (?) and old mare Fanny, forty barrels of corn, twelve barrels of corn, twelve hundred pounds of polk, all my ? hogs except a sow + pings (pigs?), all necessary plantation utencils, all sufficient quantity of brown sugar or twenty pounds of coffee (to be chosen by herself), two bedsteads, two beds, and furniture, also to be chosen by her.

3rd I bequeath to my daughter Susan J Rives three hundred dollars to be paid her as hereinafter directed, a large new trunk now in her use, my mare Diamond, a side saddle and bridge now called hers, one bedstead, one bed + furniture (to be chosen by her) two bed quilts made by her, one cow + calf, her choice, one sow and pings (pigs?) also her choice, and a negro girl called Rose.

4th My will and desire are that my Executor hereinafter named (and he is hereby empowered accordingly) sell and dispose upon a credit of nine month all the residue of my estate and whatever description and apply the proceeds when collected first to the payment of the legacy given above to my daughter Susan J Rives of three hundred dollars and that he also pay to my Grand Children Frances Ann Watkins and James Rives Watkins one hundred dollars each which I bequeath to my said Grand Children.

After the payment of said Legacies, I direct and require that the residue arising from said Sale be distributed in the following manner viz: one ninth part thereof to the surviving children of my son Stephen Rives + the other eight ninths be equally divided between my children Thomas Rives, William Rives, Robert Rives, Nancy Mabry, Sally Moss, Rebecca Southall and Susan J. Rives.

5th My Will is also that after the death of my wife Mary all the property given her for life by the first clause of this will be also sold by my Executor on a credit of nine months and the proceeds when collected, be distributed in the following manner, viz: one ninth part thereof to the surviving children of my son Stephen Rives and the other eight ninths to be equally divided between my children Thomas Rives, William Rives, Robert Rives, James Rives, Nancy Mabry, Sally Moss, Rebecca Southall, and Susan J Rives. I hereby bequeath the said shares to them respectively.

Lastly, I nominate and appoint my friend Maj. Stephen Turner (?) Executor of this my will and in case he declares acting I thin (?), appoint my friend John Hilliard Executor Hereto.

In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty-fourth day of November and in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-six.

William Rives

Signed, published and declared in presence of Howel B. A .Taylor, Thos. P. Paschall

Warren County Aug Court 1839
The last will and testament of William Rives, dec’d, was exhibited in open Court for probate and the executor thereof having been duly proved by the oaths of Howell B. A. Taylor and Thomas P. Paschall subscribing witnesses thereto on motion it is ordered to be recorded.

Thereupon Stephen Turner on of the Executors named in said Will came into court and renounced his right to qualify as Executor to the same + therefore John Hilliard the other Executor named in said will came into Open Court and Qualified according to Law.

Test. Edw. W Best, Clk

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