Can you tell I’ve taken special interest in the FORNES family now? 😀

After all, I’m trying to learn all I can about the family of my 5th great-grandmother Elizabeth FORNES (?), wife of Emanuel EDWARDS of Beaufort County. (You’ll notice I have the question mark after her name only because I’m basing my assumption on this deed I just found a few days ago.)

This is not a comprehensive list of every mention of Fornes in Weynette Parks Haun’s Craven County Court Minutes series, for instance, there are multiple times when Thomas FORNES is empaneled to be on a jury, but this list does include many items that seem to reveal something about times and relationships.

FORNES researchers already know that by 1785, it appears that all of the brothers in that family were dead except Thomas — and I’m assuming he was a brother, although I’m guessing the Thomas who appears in the 1765 court item below may actually be the father of all of them.

I’ve learned that Thomas, himself, was a private in the Continental Army when he inherited the lands that were due to John, Jonathan, and William FORNES. To appear as a juror in 1765 would mean he would’ve been born in the 1740s… and I’m thinking that would make him a little long in the tooth to be a Private. Here’s a example of one of the land grants he received (that were intended for one of the other FORNES boys).

The grant begins, “Know ye that we have granted unto Thomas Fornes a private in the Continental line of said State Six hundred and forty acres of land in our County of Davidson.”


July 1765

[187]-165-folio 24


A Deed of Sale from Joshua STAFFORD and Martha his Wife to Frans. BUCK for two Hundred Acres of Land in Craven County was Acknowledged in Open Court agreeable to Law by the Oath of Thos. FORNES and Ordered to be Registered.

A Deed of Sale from William MORRIS to Samuel PAYN (note: looks like Jas. & Samuel over written. wph) for forty? five Acres of Land in Craven County was Proved in Open Court ____ble to Law by the Oath of George PUGH and Ordered ___ ___ ______tered.

Sep 1774

[289]-44-folio 23


Mary SURLE an Infant by John GRIFFEN her next Friend and Guardian a. David DUNN: Issue. 1. Mathew STEVENSON, 2. William HARRISON, 3. Benjn. GILBERT, 4. Gabriel PICKREN, 5. John KOONCE, 6. Robert GRIMES, 7. Thomas FORNS, 8. Thomas BATEMAN, 9. Samuel HOOVER, 10. Bazel SMITH, 11. Shadrack FULSHER, 12. Thomas WINGATE. The above Jury impannelled and Sworn find their Verdict that hte Defendant did assume and assess £13:10: Damages for the Plaintiff and 6d. Costs.

Dec 1781

[123]-222-folio 33


Ordered that Thomas FORNS have Administration on the Estate of John FORNS Deceased, at the same time he Entered into Bond with John FONVIELLE and James GATLIN Esqrs. his Securities in the Sum of £200 Specie and Qualified as Administrator according to Law, Ordered that Letters Issue accordingly.

Mar 1782

[140]-230-folio 37


Account of Sales of the Estate of John FORNES Deceased Returned by the Sheriff and Ordered to be filed.

Mar 1785

[340]-folio 7


A Deed of Sale from Shadrack GATLIN to Thomas POLLARD was proved by the Oath of Thomas FORNES one of the Subscribing Witnesses thereto and Ordered to be Recorded.

[343]-16-folio 8


A Deed of Sale from John ROOK to Sarah FORNS was proved by the Oath of Lovick JONES one of the Subscribing Witnesses & Ordered to be Registered.

[347]-18-folio 9


Letters __d. Ordered that Thomas FORNES have Administration on the Estate of Jonathan FORNES Decd. he Giving Bond with Wm. B. FONVIELLE & Thos. WILLIS in the sum of £500.

Letters Isd. Ordered that Thomas FORNES have Admn. on the Estate of William FORNES Decd. he Giving Bond and Security as in the above admn.