The following is a transcription of the will of Garrett Nelson of Beaufort County, dated 15 May 1856. I don’t descend from Garrett (that I know of), but I have seen far more children attributed to him on Ancestry, although I suspect some of that is in error. 

Garrett Nelson named the following children in his will:

  • Garret Jr.
  • Abner
  • George
  • Berry
  • Alethea (m. John Carney)
  • Ginnet (m. Shade Downs) Children are:
    • Olivia Downs (b. 1835) m. Johnson Carney
    • Jamesie Downs (1836–1911) m. William M. Lewis
    • Susan Downs (b. 1839) m. Caleb Williams
    • Eliza Downs (1841–1906) m. Frederick F. Taylor
    • Rev. Lacy Norman Downs (1846–1924)
  • Eliza (m. Weston Lewis, moved to Posey County, Indiana)
  • Nancy

 

I, Garrett Nelson, of the County of Beaufort & State of North Carolina, being of sound mind and memory but mindful that it is appointed unto all men to die do make and declare this to be my last will and testament in manner and form following that is to say

First I will that my Executor hereinafter appointed shall pay my funeral expences and all my just debts of every nature and kind.

Second I loan to my wife Easter during her widowhood or natural life as the case may be the tract of land on which I now live containing two hundred acress 200 together with all the buildings & other privileges turpentine Boxes Lightwood & utensils & two beds and their furniture her first choide 2 Cows & calfs two sows & pigs her first choice 1 one four year old Stear & all the sheep I own at my death I also lend her as above my horse all so half of my stock of Bees

Third I give to my sons Berry & Abner a tract of land lying in the County of Craven containing three hundred and fifty 350 acres known as my old place the tract to be divided equally in value between them and in such way that abner shall get the land on which he has built houses and of which he has cleared a small portion Abners improvements are not to be considered in the division for their are the fruits of his own labor also I give to Berry & Abner one hundred and fifty 155 acres of land in Mauls neck each to have an equal interest or one half of the tract. Allso I give Abner & Berry each one hundred 100 acres of land being part of the land I bought Benj Blacklidge lying in the Pocosin and deeded to me by John Gray Blount

Fourth I give to my sons Garet & George each one hundred 100 acres of land being part of the land I bought of Benj Blacklidge lying in the Pocosin & deed to me by John Gray Blount Allso I give to Garret a tract of land containing one hundre & fifty 150 acres granted to me and adjoining the tract on which I now live Also I give to Garrett the tract of land on which I now live upon the marriage or death of my wife Easter Allso I give to Garret my shot gun Allso I give Garret one hundred dollars out of money or notes that may come in to the hands of my Executor at my death.

Fifth I give to my son George a tract of land containing one hundred & twenty five 125 acres given to my Father and lying about a mile above Jim Edwards Bridge near Chocowinity Creek.

Sixth I will all the parrishable property left to my wife I wish sold on her death or marriage and the proceeds divided equally among my four sons & four daughters

Seventh I give to my wife Easter fifty dollars to be paid to her by my Executors out of any money or notes that may come into theare hands at my death

Eight I give to my Daughter Nancy one bed & furniture not before given nor lent Allso I give to my four daughters viz Alethra the wife of John Carney, Ginnet the wife of Shade Downs, Eliza the wife of West Lewis & Nancy all the property I am possessed of at my death not hereinbefore given nor lent to be sold and the net procees to be divided equally amongst them I do not intend to include in this gift my Bonds notes or money but hereby give all my Bonds notes & money not given before to my four sons as well as my four daughters all above named equally share & share alike.

Ninth I give to my grand daughter Annie the wife of John Edwards one dollar.

Tenth The kitchen furniture & crocerware I lend to my wife Easter as above to be disposed of as the first said is

And lastly I hereby constitute and appoint my sons Garret & Abner my lawful executors to all intents and purposes to execute this my last will and testament according to the true intents & meaning of the same hereby revolking & annulling all other wills and testaments heretofore made by me In witness whereof I the said Garret Nelson do here unto set my hand and seal this 15th day of May A.D. 1856

Garret { his X mark } Nelson { seal }

Signed Sealed by the said Garret Nelson, to be his last will and testaement in the presence of us:

Samuel T. Carrow
John W. Carrow