This is an interesting case. Elisha Morris’s will is abstracted and even transcribed in more than one book, but neither mentions a key item in the will. Elisha Morris first names an illegitimate son, JOSIAH MANKER, before he names his “trew and beloved” son and daughter Thomas and Sarah Morris.

I can only guess this is because there are two copies of this will. One appears to be the original, found in Beaufort County Wills 1720-1867 Vol. D, and the other is another handwritten copy that was apparently recorded sometime later.

The transcription of the original will is below and pictures of both versions follow.


In the Name of God Amen. I ELISHA MORRIS of the County of Beaufort and of North Carolina being in my proper sense and sound mind thanks be to God but calling to mind the mortallity of body Knowing that I must Die to make my Last Will and testement in manner and form follering that say prinsable I give and Renounce my soul to God and my body to the grave to be bured in a descint maner in the Name of God amen.

Know this is my Will and Desire to give my son JOSIAH MANKER one 100 acors of land being on the west End of my old pattent Land this I Give and bequeath to him freely, then all the Rest of my land to be Equally Devided between my trew and well beloved Son and Daughter THOMAS MORRES and SARAH MORRES but Excepting all the land to my trew and well beloved wife during her widowhood than to belong to my son & daughter to have as I have menshened before besides all the Rest of my property I give to my trew and well beloved wife ANN MORRES be the same more ore less lastly of this my last Will and testament I Do and apint my loving wife Ann my wife Executor and Son Thomas Morres my hole and sole Executors and Do hereby Disanull all other wills In witness wehreof I have set my hand and seal this 12 Day of November 1797

Elish Morres { Seal }

Sin’d S Sel’d in the presance of us

Edwd. Buck
Mary ( her x mark ) Cremor
Addam ( his x mark ) Muckelroy