The Two Wills of William Jones, 1722, Chowan County, North Carolina

William Jones was my 9th great-grandfather. His daughter, Jane (or Joane) Jones married Henry Liles, who is also named in these wills. They were Kinchen Liles‘ grandparents.

William was illiterate, as evidenced by his signing with his initials. He dictated two wills, one in January of 1722, and another in May of that year. He names five grandsons, all somewhat hilariously named William, perhaps in hopes that they might inherit. (And this is why genealogy is hard!)

Both wills are quite detailed, revealing that William had cooper’s (barrel-making) tools, as well as carpenter’s tools. He enumerates several houshold items as well: beds and their “furniture,” iron pots, pewter dishes, and a looking glass. He also names one enslaved man, Tony. Transcription below, with no corrections of spelling or grammar.

In the name of God Amen I William Jones of Chowan Precinct province of North Carolina: this 9th day of January 1722. Being of sound and perfect memory do make and ordaine this my Last will and testament utterly revoking and disannulling all other will or wills testaments or  by me made either by word or willing & this to be my Last will and testament and other other and for ye of my worldly Goods I give ye as followeth ——

Item: I give to my son John Jones ye Land and plantation whereon he now Lives at ye rich thickett during his naturall Life and after his decease to his Son William Jones and ye Heires Lawfully begotten of his one body and allso I give and bequeath unto him ye sd John one hundred acres of Land out of ye tract whereon I now Live it being one ye head of ye deep run known by ye name of ye plantation where one my son Henry Jones now Lives. I give ye same to him dureing his naturall Life and after his decease to his son William and his hares Lawfully begotten of his one body and farther I give unto my son John Jones one negrow named Tony and one half of my tooles both Carpender and Cooppers tooles

Item: I give unto my son Henry Jones the plantation with one hundred acres of Land where one I now live dureing his natural Life and after his decease to his son William Jones& his heirs lawfully begotten of his body and also I give Henry ye other half of my tooles my hand and Crosscott Saw and Ironwedges.

Item: I give unto William Lisle ye plantation cauled Phillip Waltons and __ with one hundred Acres of Land to it to him and his Lawfully begotten of his own body.

Item: I give unto my son Charles Jones a parcel of Land Laying one Deep run Swamp beginning at ye mouth of ye sd deep run and running up ye _____ Swamp to ye mouth of Chandlers Vale and up ye Vale to ye head of another deep Vale ye makes out of ye deep run and ye sd Vale to ye deep run swamp and down ye Swamp to ye mouth. I give ye same to him dureing his naturall Life and after his decease to his son John and his Heirs lawfully begotten of his body.

Item: I give ye land Layes Between my sons John and Charles Land one ye deep run Swamp to my grand son William Jones son of Thomas Jones Deceased to him and ye heirs lawfully begotten of his own body.

Item: I give unto my Daughter Jane Lisles my mare bonney.

Item: I give my hors prince to Henry Lisles Senr.

Item: I give my Tenant Saw Henry Lisles Jun.

Item: I give unto my Grand Daughter Dorothy Lisles my bead where on I Lay with all its furniture to it as it now stands and one Iron pott of about three gallons and one brass Ladle and Lucking Glace whichever cauled my wife’s Glace and ye trunk ye was Cauled my wife’s trunk and one puter dish it is ye deep dish and one puter plate

Item: I give the rest and residue of my Estate in what kind of ____so Ever unto my five Grand Sons Viz: William Lisles son of Jane Lisles, William Lowse son of Elizabeth Spiers. William Jones son of Henry Jones, William Walton son of Dorothy Walton and William Jones son of John Jones to be Equally Divided amoungst them and for a sertainty of this being my Last will and testament I have here unto sett my hand and seall.

William WJ Jones (his mark)

Signed sealed ad acknowledg’d in presense of

Thamer T Howcott (her mark)
Hannah H Luten (her mark)
Thos. Luten Junr.

The second will was written in May of 1722. The main purpose seems to have been to name Thomas Luten as executor instead of William’s two sons, John and Henry. As Thomas Luten was able to sign his own name to the first will, this may have been because he was literate and more able to handle administering the estate. (John and Henry Jones may not have even been able to read the will.) The land bequests are also outlined in more specific terms. It is unclear to me at this point who actually ended up administrating the estate. Transcription below.

In the name of God Amen I William Jones of ye Precinct of Chowan and County of Albemarle in ye Province of North Carolina This Forth day of may in ye yeare of our Lord one thousand Seven hundred and twenty two Being Sick and weak of body but of Sound and perfict memory thanks be to Almighty God I doe make and ordaine this my Last will testament utterly revocking and dissanulling all other will or wills testament or testaments by me made Ether by word or writing and this to be taken for my Last Will Testament and no other: And for ye Selling my temperit Estate and Such things as it hath pleased God to bestow upon me above my deserts I give and dispose ye Same in manner and form as followeth ~ ~ ~

Item: I give and bequeth unto my Son John Jones all that my plantation and tract of Land Laying and being Nigh ye rich Thikitt in Virginia whereone he ye sd John Jones now Lives for and durring his naturall Life and after his desese I give ye sd Land and plantation to two of his Sones Viz John and James Jones to Them and ther heirs for ever Lawfully begottten of ther one bodys and all So I give and bequeth unto him ye sd John Jones one hundred acres of Land out of ye tract whereone I now Live begining at ye mouth of ye Deep run Swamp and runing up ye Creek Swamp to ye mouth of Chandlers vale for breadth and up ye Deep run Swamp for Length for and during his ye sd John’s Naturall Life and after his Desese to his two Sones David and William Jones to them and theire heirs for ever Lawfully begotten of ther one bodyes and farther I give unto him ye sd John Jones one Negroe man named Toney.

Item: I give and bequeth unto my Son Henry Jones my plantation whareon I now live with one hundred Acres of Land to be for and Durring his Naturall Life and after his Desese to his Son William Jones to him and his heirs for ever  Lawfully begotten of his body. I give unto ye Sd Henry my hand mill my Cros Cutt Saw and my Iron wedges.

Item: I give and bequeth unto William Lysle one hundred Acres of Land it being part of ye Dividen of Land whereon I now Live begining at ye moth of Chandlers Vale and runing up ye Crek Swamp for breadth and out into ye woods for Length it being ye place Caled and Known by ye name of Philip Waltons ould field To him and his heire Lawfully begotten of his body.

Item: I give and bequeth unto my Son Charles Jones one hundred acre of Land It being part of ye dividen of Land whereone I now Live It being formely Caled Branches ould field begining at ye mouth of a branch one ye west Side of ye ould field runing up ye branch for wedth and Esterly to head Line To him and his Heires Lawfully begotten of his body and farther I give unto him ye sd Charles one Iron pott one frying pan all my Shoemakers and tanners tooles and one feather bead.

Item: I give and bequeth unto my Daghter Joane Lysle my Son John Jones my Daghter Elizath Spiers my Daghter Dorathy Walton and my Son Henry Jones all ye rest and reasidue of my personall Estate of what kind and Speacy So Ever to be Equelly divided amongst them by my Executor hereafter named.

Item: I Make Thomas Luton Junr my whole and Sole Executor of This my Last will and testament.

The words Lawfully begotten of his and ther one bodys put in and ye words for Ever eraced out

Before Signed

William WI Jones (his mark

Signed Seal’d and Acknowledg’d in psce of

Robert RF Fullerton (his mark)
Mary M Fullerton (her mark)
Mary X Droace (her mark)

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