Monday, April 16, 2018

VIRGINIA, Bedford County: Peaks of Otter Church (1774-1783)

Schalene, author of Tangled Roots and Trees, contributed this post, "Peaks of Otter Presbyterian Church Petition," which named four slaves purchased by the church to support a full-time minister and then the 13 slaves owned by the church in 1783.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

ALABAMA, Clarke County: Robinson (1853)

From the Last Will and Testament of Russell Robinson of Clarke County Alabama - dated 24 August 1853:

Slave inherited by John R. Robinson: Edy (24 year old female). Slaves inherited by Tucker B. Robinson: York (40 year old male), Mary (female, woman - age not stated), Harry (70 year old male). Slaves inherited by Sarah Robinson Horn (husband Josiah Horn): Spencer (boy - age not stated), Nancy (6 months - daughter of Edy). Slaves inherited by Francis Robinson Robinson (husband John W Robinson): Jim (about 26 year old male) and Prinnes (best guess - illegible) a six year old boy. Slaves inherited by Tracy M Robinson Robinson (husband Thomas Robinson): Will (man - age not given), Eliza (woman - 9 years old). Slaves inherited by Martha A Robinson Mosely (husband Robert Mosely): Gabriel (man - 22 years old), Lotty (woman - aged 6 years old).

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

LOUISIANA, Natchitoches Parish: Hall (1857)

Trinity Episcopal Church Baptism records: 

Natchitoches, LA
Sept. 22, 1857 
James (Hall) (colored child) 
Parents: Susan Jane. 
Sponsors: John R. Williams & Emma Thompson. 
Clergy: Thomas Bacon. 

September 22, 1857 
Susan Jane (Hall) 
Sponsors: John R. Williams and Sarah Williams. 
Clergy: Thomas Bacon. 

I assume Hall is the name of the slave owner. John R. Williams had four slaves, so it is possible that these are two of the four.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

ARKANSAS, Union County: Quillan (1857)

There was a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court of Arkansas over the legality of granting slaves freedom in the future. Joshua Averiett willed his slave Phebe and 18 of her children/granschildren to be freed after 7 years service. When that didn't happen she went to court.

Phebe et al. vs. Quillan et al.

It is my wish and desire that all my slaves both in Louisiana and Arkansas or wheresoever the same may be should be set free at the expiration of seven years after my death my nephew William Jacob Averett to have charge of said slaves to receive the revenue arising from the same. 

Relying upon the above clause as a testamentary grant of freedom to them, Phebe and eighteen others, her children and grand children, on the 20th September 1857 filed their bill on the chancery side of the Union Circuit Court against William Jacob Averett and others as heirs of Joshua Averett the deceased testator and against John Quillin and Thomas AW Sledge, the last two of whom are charged to be holding them in a State of slavery with intent to make that condition permanent.  That they have divided the plaintiffs among them in some way unknown to the plaintiffs with the view of appropriating them as slaves for life to the use and disposition of themselves, the said Quillin and Sledge Sledge is charged to have the general control of the plaintiffs and under letters of administration annexed to the will although Quillin and Sledge claim the right of property in them by virtue of a purchase from William Jacob Averret who was the general legatee of the testator Joshua Averett.

The only name I can find is Phebe's but the notes of the court case can be found here.

ALABAMA, Mobile County: Robinson (1838)

Will of Tod Robinson

Attached is the will of Tod Robinson (a .txt file).  This was copied from the county court house for Autauga Co. by my grandmother in the 1930's.  A copy is also on file in Lowndes Co., AL.

Will of Tod Robinson
Feb. 2, 1838
Volume 3, page 601
Autauga Court Records 
 Prattville, Alabama

State of Alabama
Mobile County

I, Tod Robinson, Sr. of the county of Autauga, being of sound mind but infirm health and feeling the necessity of making a just and proper appointment of my property, do make and constitute and appoint this to be my last will and testament, hereby revoking all others and ordaining this to be the only true valid and general disposition of my estate real and personal.

Item.  I wish my executors hereafter mentioned to pay all my just debts.

Item.  I give to my granddaughter, Martha Ann Caldwell, a Negro girl named Jane.

Item.  I give to my daughter Hannah R. Caldwell (Polly) the plantation upon which I now reside, to her and her heirs forever.

Item.  I give to my daughter Ann Terry Robinson-Wyatt, my certain tract of land known as the Big Spring land and my family Bible, to have and to hold the same to her sole and separate use and in the wish that the same shall not be sold or altered by her in her life, than use and behalf of her body.

Item.  I give and bequeath to my son, William Robinson, and his heirs, all that tract and parcel of land situated in Autauga Co., known as the Gholson tract, and all that tract in township 16, range 15, the east side of the Alabama River near Calib Talley's and one half Quarter section of land near Hugh McCall's, in Lowndes Co.; a Negro man Pomp, a Negro woman named Mama Ary and her children with her to have and hold them same in trust for the benefit of my son, Eli Terry Robinson, but the same shall not be subject to the payment of any debt that he may owe, nor shall the rent and the profits of the land of the hire of the slaves be applicable for the same object, but the same shall be held for and during the use and the benefit of the said Eli T. Robinson and his family for and during the time of the said Eli T. Robinson's natural life and from and after his death to the use of such persons as the same may be devised and bequeathed by him, the said Eli T. Robinson, his will or wish that no will shall be made by him than to his heirs at law of the said Eli T. Robinson.

Item.  I give and bequeath to my son, William Robinson, the tract of land on Pettalla or Tallasapa Creek, situated in township 14, of range 15, containing six hundred and forty acres, more or less, to be held by him as a trust for my son, Tod Robinson, Jr., and to permit him to have and receive the rents and profits of the same but the said lands and annual rents and profits shall not be subject in the hands of the said trustee for payment of any debt that the said Tod Robinson, Jr., may now owe, and should the said Tod Robinson, Jr. make a last will and testament and devise said land, it is my wish and desire that the said Tod Robinson, Jr. 
may hold same subject to the appointment he, the said, may make and in default thereof to be delivered after his death among his heirs at law.

Item.  I give and bequeath unto my son, William Robinson, all lands which he has now in his possession of which belongs to the plantation at Lock Range, containing about six hundred and sixty acres and which is east of the Alabama River.

Item.  I give and bequeath all the rest and residue of my property, both real and personal, it is my wish and desire that it should be divided among my children.

Item.  It is my wish and desire that the part which shall be appointed to my daughter, Ann Terry Robinson-Wyatt, and Eli T. and Tod, Jr., shall be held and taken as subject to the conditions and use and reservations I have expressed in regard to the property specially devised and bequeathed to them severally, in the previous sections of this my last will and testament.  For the purpose of holding and securing the property of the said Tod, Jr., and the said Eli T. Robinson, according to the said use, I do hereby appoint and nominate my said son, William Robinson, a Trustee of the same and do hereby invest him with full power and authority over said property, and do give him ample interest in the same to exonerate and discharge and hold it free from debts.  The said Eli T. and the said Tod, Jr., may contract, and the said William Robinson in conjunction with or in conjunction with Eli T. Robinson may dispose of their respective part of the said property, when they shall think best for their interest.

Item.  I desire my executors to give a deed to my son-in-law, William Wyatt, one undivided half of four hundred acres of land situated in Lowndes County known as Lake land, he having a joint interest in the same within the said lands.  Also a deed to a fractional section of township 16, range 15, west of the Alabama River, being land I have heretofore given him, but to which I have never executed titles.

Item.  I desire also my executors to give to my granddaughter, Martha Ann Caldwell, the Negro woman Lucindy and her child.

Item.  I do hereby nominate, constitute and appoint my sons, William and Cornelius Robinson, to be executors of my last will and testament and do hereby give them full power where I have made division of lands by general description, I wish them to execute proper deeds and conveyances to my desire and to give such wish the evidences of titles in my possession in testimony whereof the said Tod Robinson, Sr., have here unto set my hand and fixed my seal this Second day of February, 1838.

       Signed Tod Robinson, Sr.

Signed, sealed and published
And declared in the presence
John a. Campbell
John P. De Jarnette
H. Harison

Codicil to the fore going last will and testament executed the third day of February, 1838, no wish revoking the same, but confirming it in all particulars except so far as mentioned by this codicil, I revoke the gift of the girl, Jane, to my granddaughter, Martha Ann Caldwell, and desire my executors to give the said girl to Jane Eliza Caldwell, my granddaughter.

Witness my hand and seal  Tod Robinson, Sr.

Signed, sealed, published
And declared in the presence of 
P. Harison
H. Harison
John Bugley

Second Codicil to the foregoing last will and testament executed this seventh day of February, 1838, the year of Our Lord, not altering the same but confirming in every respect except, in the particular herein after mentioned in the second codicil.

I desire my executors to keep all my Negroes together for five years as they are now situated.  That is to say, those on the home place to be kept, and those at the Averett place to be left there, but if my daughter, Hannah, should remove to this state, then the Negroes at the home place are to be removed to the Averett plantation.  My Executors will separate the Negroes on 
the plantation and during the year make an equal distribution of my property, made in the foregoing will.  That is to say, a sahre to each of my children:  Hannah one;  Cornelius one; to my son William, five shares, one for himself and one each for my son, Eli T. Robinson,  one for my son, Tod, Jr., and one for Ann Terry R. Wyatt in trust.

I do further desire that if my daughter, Hannah, should sell the home place and my son, William, should buy it as he promised he would, that he then should hold in trust 80 acres thereof, lying at the Camp grounds around the Spring in trust to my son, Eli T. Robinson, to be held on the same terms and conditions as in the foregoing testament.

Witness my hand and seal  Tod Robinson, Sr.

Signed, sealed, published
And declared in the presence of 
William J. Leyard
Richard Bullock
Nat W. Alexander

Recorded March 28, 1838
William Thompson, Clerk

Copied by and for the use of Mrs. E. S. Garrett, great-granddaughter of Tod Robinson, Sr., granddaughter of Cornelius Robinson, appointed as executor.
Permission given by Judge Posey, 1930, Probate Office

NORTH CAROLINA, Lincoln County: Abernathy (1820)

Found on Harbert Abernathy: 

Harbert Abernathy 8 Aug 1820, Lincoln Co., NC (Raleigh Loose Papers, CR060.801.1, Harbert Abernathy Will) 

In the name of God, Amen. I Harbert Abernathy of the State of North Carolina and County of Lincoln being of sound and perfect mind and memory do this 8th day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty make and publish this my last Will and Testament in the following manner that is to say first I give and bequeath unto my wife Susanna Abernathy certain tracts of lands whereon I now live joining each other containing two hundred and eighty acres and also a Negro man by the name of Jack and one by the name of David and another by the name of Dice and another by the name of Tald and another by the name of Cass and another by the name of Will and another by the name of Matthew and another by the name of Emberson and another by the name of Hannah & Osburn and also all my stock of every kind and household furniture of every kind & farming utensils of every kind until the youngest child become of age and then the whole shall be divided equally between the whole of my children again I so give unto my four sons John Abernathy, Turner Abernathy, Miles Abernathy Askew Abernathy all my land to be divided equally among them but my wifeSusanna Abernathy shall have the whole of all my lands building improvements thereon as long as she lives or until her marriage and also a Negro man by the name of Jack and a Negro woman by the name of Dice until her decease or marriage after her decease or marriage I give Jack leave to live with any my children he chooses but Dice and her increase then shall be divided equally between all my children. I do make and ordain my son John Abernathy andJohn Edwards executors of this my last will and testament. In witness whereof I the said Harbert Abernathy have to this my last will and testament set my hand and seal the day and year first above written. 

Harbert Abernathy Signed sealed and published and delivered in the presence of us.

James Loftin
Robert Abernathy

ALABAMA, Autauga County: Jackson (1832)


STATE Of Alabama
(Autauga County)

       In the name of God Amen. I, James Jackson of the state of afore said 
do ordain constitute and make this my last will and testament revoking all 
hereto made first I recommend my soul to the favor of that God who gave the 
Savior to me. Then let my just debts be paid if any, after which I give and  
bequeath to my beloved wife one hundred and sixty acres of land being the 
tract that I now reside on with all that appertain there unto then I leave 
to my said wife Big George and his family Big Jack and his family, also 
little George together with my riding carriage and carriage horses, all my 
cows, hogs, and sheep stock also one thousand dollars in cash all of which 
my said wife is to enjoy her natural life time and at her decease I wish an 
equal division made among my children, I then give to my Nephew, William 
Jackson , now of the state of Georgia, one Negro boy by the name of Henry, 
about 15 years old, I then give to the children minors and heirs of John 
West-- (Weststy?) deceased the availer of a note that I hold on William 
McPherson for eight hundred and fifty Dolores together with such interests 
may accrue thereon, Which said sum I wish my executors hereafter to be 
named to lay out in the purchase of Negroes having a just regard to the 
number of heirs, their ages and with a view that each child have one Negro. 
I then give to John Norris for the support and maintenance of his blind 
children one hundred Dolores after which i wish the residue of sev--- 
property as I may die possessed of to be thrown into equal shares or lots 
and equally divided among my children, with the exception of my household 
furniture which I wish equally divided between my wife and son Crawford M. 
and also with exception of four mules or horses which I separately give to 
my son Crawford M. such as he may select and in order to carry this my last 
will and testament into effect I ordain constitute and appoint Linerford
Long my two sons, Absalon and Crawford M. my true and lawful executors 
Inte--- where of I have here unto set my hand and seal, this second day of 
May in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred Thirty  Two and in 
the Fifty Sixth year the American Independence Signed and Sealed in the 
presence of the subscribing witnesses

W>W. Morris                              James Jackson  (Seal)
Paul McKeithin
L. Long
Nancy Howard