Will of Winifred Perry Darnall, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, 31 August 1929

Winifred Perry Darnall was my 6th great-grandmother, and wife of Joseph Darnall. Some of the slaves that were bequeathed to her by her husband in 1812 appear in her 1829 will. An estate record shows who bought them after her death.William Darnall, Elizabeth Smith, and Joseph R Darnall were all Winifred's children. The deceased Jane … Continue reading Will of Winifred Perry Darnall, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, 31 August 1929

Will of Joseph Darnall, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, 12 August 1812

I am still working on my Rives line, and yet more wills and estate records have popped up. Joseph Darnall was my 6th great-grandfather, born in 1741 in Culpeper County, Virginia. His daughter, Jane or Jennie Darnall, married Nathaniel Cunningham. Joseph died in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina in 1812. Joseph's wife and Jennie's mother, Winifred … Continue reading Will of Joseph Darnall, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, 12 August 1812

Will of Nathaniel Cunningham of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, 26 Oct 1830

Nathaniel Cunningham was my 5th great-grandfather. I have actually posted his will before, however, that was transcribed from a barely legible copy in a court record. Recently, I found the original will, which is not only easier to read, but differs slightly from the copy. This version makes clear that Nathaniel effectively put his property … Continue reading Will of Nathaniel Cunningham of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, 26 Oct 1830

Reconstructing an Enslaved Family from Court and Probate Records

Slaveholding families held much of their wealth in human capital. And so, they often argued about slaves. When they did, they left court records which provide a lot of information about both themselves and the enslaved people that they were arguing about. David Neal's family is a case in point. In his will, dated 4 … Continue reading Reconstructing an Enslaved Family from Court and Probate Records

Will of David Neal, Amelia County, Virginia, 4 June 1775

I am still unearthing more Virginia ancestors, and finally got "back to the boat" on this one. My 7th great-grandfather, David Neal, was an Irish immigrant. His daughter, Eleanor, married William McGuffey Rives. The grandchildren listed in the will are her children, William Rives, my 5g grandfather, and his sister Joanna Rives Turner. David Neal … Continue reading Will of David Neal, Amelia County, Virginia, 4 June 1775

William Hamner of Albemarle County, Virginia: Fact and Fiction

William Hamner, my 7th great-grandfather, lived in Albemarle County, Virginia for most, if not all, of his life. On the one hand, it's kind of fun to read a tax list and see Thomas Jefferson's name on it. Yes, that Thomas Jefferson. But on the other hand, perhaps because of this proximity to notable Americans, … Continue reading William Hamner of Albemarle County, Virginia: Fact and Fiction

List of Slave Births, Stephen Turner Bible, Warren County, North Carolina, 1835-1864

I was recently delighted to find the Bible of my 6th great-grandmother, Susanna Hamner Turner, wife of Stephen Reuben Turner, at the North Carolina Digital Archives. In it, she had recorded the births of all her 12 children, along with marriages and deaths. After Susanna's death, her Bible was inherited by her son, Henley Turner, … Continue reading List of Slave Births, Stephen Turner Bible, Warren County, North Carolina, 1835-1864

Will of William Hamner, Albemarle County, Virginia, 25 December 1787

On the one hand, I hit the mother lode when I started researching my paternal Rives line. These folks, unlike most others in my tree, had money and left a substantial paper trail. They were also from Virginia, which has better-preserved records than some other states. I can see I'm going to be working on … Continue reading Will of William Hamner, Albemarle County, Virginia, 25 December 1787

Will of Stephen Reuben Turner, Warren County, North Carolina, 14 October 1799

Stephen Reuben Turner was my 6th great-grandfather, son of Terisha Turner and father of Mary Catherine Turner Rives. There are two copies of his will out there: this¬† transcription is from a copy found in North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998 at Ancestry.com. I believe this version to be the more accurate because it … Continue reading Will of Stephen Reuben Turner, Warren County, North Carolina, 14 October 1799

Will of “Ancient” Terisha Turner, Amherst County, Virginia, 7 May 1793

Terisha Turner was my 7th great-grandfather. His granddaughter, Mary Catherine Turner, my 5th great-grandmother, was the wife of William McGuffey Rives. Amherst County, Virginia records are unfortunately not available online, for the most part, so I have not been able to view the original will. However, there are several transcriptions floating around on the internet. … Continue reading Will of “Ancient” Terisha Turner, Amherst County, Virginia, 7 May 1793