Patricia Melvin Earp wrote: " This will was found in the Cumberland County courthouse in a small book of handwritten wills, none of which I found to be indexed. This book of wills was found in the same vault, but not located with the other will books. I found the book, quite by accident, and was thrilled to find that this will was one of the very first in the book. I have a photocopy of this will and have transcribed if from the photocopy - thus some words were illegible".

This could be just the will you have been waiting for. Thanks, Pat!
Myrtle Bridges.


In the name of God Amen - I JOHN BEARD of Cumberland County of North Carolina, being of sound and perfect mind and [memory Blessed be] God do this 17th day of July in the year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine make and publish this my last will and testament in manner following that is to say — and bequeath unto my daughter MARY BEARD one negro wench - Pete, also one little sorrell mare about 7 years old - with a reserve — colt that the mare raises to the age of 6 months, to my daughter MARTHA BEARD. Also I give to Mary Beard one bed and — and one cow and two year old heifer that was formerly —

[I give] and bequeath unto my daughter MARTHA BEARD, one negro — Pall forever. It is my will also that is either of my daughters die before they come to the age of 21 years, the other to — in case that she leaves no bodily heirs of her own. If — of the negroes should die before Martha Beard comes to the age of 21 years, the surviving, part of each negroes to be divided between them.

[I give] and bequeath unto my 2 sons NEILL BEARD and JOSEPH BEARD — of land that Neill Beard now lives on, containing three hundred acres,also I give to my son Neill Beard one negro boy named Dick to his heirs forever. Also I give to my son Joseph Beard one negro named Frank to him and his heirs forever, also I give to Neill Beard and Joseph Beard the 2 youngest yoke of oxen and one timber cart and timber chain, also one saw mill and — on Wilbur's or Swannn's Creek and all the lands that was — and one half of all the sawmill lumber that is now. — my will also that my 2 sons Neill Beard and Joseph Beard — that is due to JOSEPH THAMES for said mills and also one half — just debts, and if they should fail in payment of such debts —hereafter named, to sell any part of this property to satisty — and make sufficient rites to said property as if I was in —

I give and bequeath unto my sons WILLIAM BEARD and JOHN — plantation where on I now live containing 250 acres, joining the river, also 200 acres lying on the long branch — of the afoursaid land, 70 acres of land lying between — and Swanns Creek, also half of a saw mill on Gray's Creek — to JEFRE THAMES, SAMUEL THAMES — the other half of saw mill also sixty acres of land lying in a Loggett off road between the head of the long Branch also 82 acres of land in that Samuel Thames now lives on, also 2 negroes named — and Sharlot, also my household furniture and a yoke of oxen, yokes, one timber cart and timber chain, also some old —, one half of all the saw mill lumber that is now saved. — that my sons WILLIAM BEARD and JOHN BEARD shall pay my just debts accepting the debts that is due to Joseph Thames paid in payment of just debt for my executor to do with this — I before mentioned with others. Also I give to my son John — sorrell mare about 10 years old for — and my worthy friend JOSEPH THAMES executor of this my last will and testament. In witness where of I the said John Beard, — will and testament at my hand and seal this day and year above.
[signed] John Beard Exc. John Thames
William Thames
proved and admitted January Term 1800
(?) Thames                                                           R. Mumford

Copyright © 1999 by Patricia Melvin Earp

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