Submitted by Nerissa Williams
Transcribed from original documents at the NC State Archives. Nerissa is descended from slave Harriett mentioned in the will. She is one of the slaves named in Francis’ will. Francis willed Harriet to one of his daughters without specifying which one. Presumably, Harriet ended up with Francis’ daughter Margaret C. Williams, who willed Harriet to her nephew, Charles Francis Williams. As Francis Williams’ son, C. F. Williams served as one of two executors of his father’s will. The other executor, Francis’ brother Harper Williams, renounced himself.
Because of his connection to Harper Williams, Nerissa believes Francis Williams was the oldest son of Duplin County’s Robert Williams. Margaret Williams’ 1861 Will, identifies all of the brothers and sisters.
Documents on this page include:
- the will written in 1854 (see original images)
- the will probated in 1868 (see original images)
- the examination of his witnesses by the probate judge 1868 (see original images)
- the renunciation of executorship by his brother, Harper Williams, 1868 (see original images)
Francis Williams – Will
North Carolina, Duplin County
In the name of God Amen – I Francis Williams of the State and County aforesaid being of sound mind and memory. And in good health, but knowing that the time which is once appointed for all To die, will soon come, and that the time therefof is uncertain, do hereby make pub-lish and declare this my Last will and Testament hereby reclaiming and revoking all former wills and testaments, made prior to this date, January the 3d day AD 1854
- Item 1st I give and bequeathe to my daughters, Margaret C Williams, Sarah A. Williams Parmelia Williams & Rosa P. Williams My Dwelling Home, wherein I now live together with Two hundred Acres of land adjoining and surrounding it – with the privilege of cutting timber to repair the same, also for firewood fencing and all other plantation purposes – on all my lands. I also do give to my said daughters Margaret C, Sarah A, Parmelia and Rosa P‐all my Household and Kitchen furniture. Plantation and farming tools and Stock of every Kind – which together with my Home and two hundred acres of land I give to them jointly(?) and severally to them and their Heirs in fee simple and forever. And in case either of my said daughters shall die unmarried it is my wish that her share in the same survive to her remaining sisters, or sister living and unmarried and to my son, C.F. Williams
- Item 2d I give to my son Charles Francis Williams all the ballance of my lands of whatever kind or location to him and his Heirs forever
- Item 3d I give to my daughters Margaret C. Sarah A. Parmelia and Rosa P Williams the following negroes viz Treacy, Caroline, George, Joseph, Lucinda, Virginia, Markes, Exerline, Dilsey, Ransom, Julia, Harriet, Maria, Zilpha, Dick, Crocket, Daniel, and their legal increase to them and their Heirs forever. And if Either of my said daughters in the above clause mentioned shall die before marriage it is my will that their or her share so dieing(?) shall go to and be divided her said single sisters surviving – share and share alike
- Item 4th I give to my son Charles F Williams, my negroes Moses, Violet and Lucy and their legal increase ‐to him and his Heirs forever
- Item 5th I give to my daughter Mary I. Draughon my negroes Judith, Shade, Amanda, Margaret, Senia and my boy Friday together with all their legal increase –
- Item 6th I give lend to my daughter Emily Cox wife of Blackman Cox for the terms of her natural life – the following negroes, viz. Mary, Henry and John and after her death it is my will that said negroes, and their lawful increase be equally divided between the children of my said daughter, surviving her
- Item 7th I leave to be sold my negroes, Allen, Linda and Squire, and after the payments of my Just debts, if I leave any, I desire the ballance of the proceeds of said sale to be equally divided between all my children, surviving, and their legal representatives
- Item 8th, I lastly hereby nominate and appoint my son Charles Francis Williams and my brother Harper Williams Executors to this my last will and Testament – which I hereby publish declare and execute this and date above written and in presence of these Fr Williams (signature & seal)
Issac B. Kelly
Francis Williams — Last Will & Testament – Admitted to probate 27th Octr 1868
State of North Carolina
In the Probate Duplin County Court
- 1st That he is one of the Executors named in the last will of Francis Williams deceased,
- 2nd That the personal property of said deceased is worth about Four hundred dollars & the land is worth about thirteen hundred dollars
- 3rd The following persons are mentioned as legatees in said Will, vz. Chas F. Williams, Rosa P. Williams, Eliza Williams, Pamelia Williams Sarah Williams & Emily Cox of Duplin County. And Mary J. Draughen of Sampson County who is now dead leaving her surviving the following children vz. Buck Draughon, Walter Draughon, James Draughon, Ann Draughon, Eliza Draughon, & Rosa Draughon, a minor all of Sampson County, her brother Buck Draughon managing her business
Witnesses to Francis Williams
Examination of I. B. Kelly & Kedar Bryan
Witnesses to Francis Williams’ Last Will & Testament taken before J. D. Southerland
Probate Judge of Duplin County the 27th day of Octr 1868
Issac B. Kelly being duly sworn says he saw Francis Williams sing a paper writing bearing date 3rd January 1854 declaring it to be his last will & Testaments- which said paper writing is now offered for Probate. And that this deponent attested the said paper writing in the presence of said Francis Williams & at his request. And at the time of its execution this deponent believes the said Francis Williams was of sound and disposing mind & memory.
Sworn & subscribed before Isaac B. Kelly(signature)
me this Oct 27th 1868
Kidar Bryan — being duly sworn says he saw Francis Williams sign a paper writing bearing date 3rd January — 1854, declaring it to be his last will & Testament which said paper writing is now offered for Probate & that this deponent attested the said paper writing in the presence of said Francis Williams & at his request, and at the time of its execution this deponent believes the said Francis Williams was of sound & disposing mind & memory.
Sworn & subscribed before me this Oct 27th 1868
J.D. Southerland Probate Judge of Duplin County Personally appeared before me, this October 27th 1868 Harper Williams one of the Executors mentioned in the Last Will and Testament of Francis Williams Dec’d and renounces all right to qualify as such Executor.
Harper Williams (signature)