Below, I have transcribed the last will and testament of John O. Morris (1807-1868).

John Oliver Morris was the son of Laban MORRIS and Caroline “Kitty “WILLIAMS of Craven County, North Carolina. He married Elizabeth (Last name unknown) sometime before 1832 and they had the following children:

  • Mary Morris – b. 1832 (Craven County); married Thomas Ward 29 April 1848. (I’m researching the possibility that they may have moved to Tennessee and later Texas.)
    Children:

    • Caroline Ward – b. 1849 (Craven County)
  • Margaret Morris – b. 1834 (Craven County); d. 1897 (Leon County, Florida), married George Edward Jarrell, son of Alexander Wiggins and J. Louvina Jarrell of Craven County
    Children:

    • Alice Jarrell 1854–
    • Ellen Jarrell 1856–
    • William Walter Jarrell 1860–
    • Martha Jarrell 1866–
    • George Allen Gerrell 1868–1942
  • Jesse John Oliver Morris – b. 1838, may have married Mary (Last name unknown) if he is the same John Morris who appears on the 1860 census in Chocowinity.
  • William Morris – b. 1839
  • J. Turner Morris – b. 1845 (Craven County); d. 15 March 1884 (Leon County, Florida), married Sarah Ennah Stephens, daughter of Benjamin M. Stephens (of NC) and Mary Louisa Barrow (of SC)

In the name of God, Amen!

I John Morris being of sound mind & memory & understanding, do make & publish this my last will & testament — hereby revoking & making void all former wills by me at any time heretofore made —

And first ~ I direct that my body be buried in a plain & Christlike slyte [sic – “style”]

Secondly ~ I give & bequeath unto my beloved son Turner Morris all of my property of every kind, consisting of all real, personal & mixed that I own at the time of my death

Thirdly ~ I desire that my executor to be named hereafter in this wil that he pay to each one of his brothers & sisters the sum of ten dollars & should they attempt to break this my will, they are to have nothing. It is my earnest wish that my executor shall pay all of first & honorable debts as soon as possible

Fourthly ~ I do hereby constitute & appoint my beloved son, Turner Morris, my executor of this my last will & testament.

In witness wehreof I John Morris, the Testator, have to this my last will & testament set my hand & seal this second (2d) day of February A.D. one thousand eight-hundred & sixty-six.

Signed sealed published & declared
by the above named John Morris as
& for his last will & testament in the
presence of us, who have hereunto set-
subscribed our names at his request
as witnesses thereto in the presence
of the testator & of each other —

M.D. Page
Sampson ( his X mark ) Page
Ed. M. West

State of Florida }
County of Leon }

Personally appeared before me J.T. Burnard Judge of Probate for the county aforesaid. Ed. M. West one of the subscribing witnesses to the foregoing paper writing who being duly sworn decare & says that John Morris did in his presence sign seal & publish the foregoing paper writing as & for his last will & testament: & that he the said witness signed the same as a subscribing witness at the special request of the said testator: & that the said testator signed said paper writing in the presence of M. D. Page & Sampson Page who likewise signed said paper writing as subscribing witnesses in the presence & at the request of said Testator & also in the presence of this affiant & that he verily believes said paper writing to be the true last will & testament of said testator —

Ed. M. West

Sworn to & subscribed before me
this 24th day of April A.D. 1869
J. T. Bernard
County Judge

State of Florida }
County of Leon }

County Court —
The last will & testament of John Morris having been proved before me in due form of law by Edwd. M. West one of the subscribing witnesses thereto. It is ordered that the same be allowed as proved & admitted to record —
J. T. Bernard
County Judge

A true record made this 24th day of April A.D. 1869
J. T. Bernard — County Judge