The following is a transcription of the Will of Moses Prescott of Carteret County (1751).

There are several interesting things about this family, but one that is not revealed in this document is that Moses’s wife, Mary Russell, was the daughter of William Russell and Margrett Bell. Margrett Bell’s brother William Bell is the only person documented in the Colonial Records of North Carolina as having gotten into a personal altercation with the infamous pirate Blackbeard.

The back side of the will is not transcribed, but the image is included below.


In the Name of God Amen I Moses Prescott of Carteret County & Province of North Carolina being sick & weak in Body but of Sound and Perfect Memory (thanks be given to God for the same) And calling to mind the uncertainty of this Life on Earth and being Willing to Settel things in order do make this my Last Will and Testament in manner and form following that is to say First and principally I give and bequeath my soul to God who gave it And my Body to the Earth from which it was taken in Sure and Certain Hope that I shall receive the same when it Shall be raised again at the General Resurrection of the Mighty Person of Christ for whose Death and [illegible] I hope to have full pardon & Remission of all my Sins and Touching such Wordly Estate the Lord in Mercy has been pleased to Lend me My Wife and [illegible] is that the same should be disposed of in manner and form following And first I do by those present, disanull, frustrate[?] and make void each and Every will or Wills, Testaments or Testament heretofore by me made Either by word or writing And do ordain and [illegible] in this Solely and only to be my Last Will and Testament.

Item I give and bequeath until my Loveing Son Willis Prescott his heirs and assigns for Ever one Plantation and tract or Parcel of Land Containing by Estimation one Hundred Acres of Land Lying and Being in the County aforesaid & Province of North Carolina on Bouge Sound and the same that he the said Willis now Dowells on and the current[?] lines and bounds to be and remain as they are already laid out or of To gather with all profits and Priviledges thereunto belonging

Item I give and bequeath unto my Loveing Son William Prescott his heirs and assigns forever one half of the one Hundred and fifty acres of Land which I now Dowell on that is to say half of the Plantation with Seventy five acres of Land Contained in and to the Same and I allow my said Son to have his first Choice when it is Divided according to the following Rule (that is to say) to Divide the Breadth of the front of the Sound Side into two Equal parts and so Running back that it may or that said Course or Line may Divide the Said Hundred and fifty acres into Two Equal parts Memor-andum if his parts should have all the house and orchards on it than he shall make Satisfaction or pay half the value of Said houses and Orchards to my Son Moses, Thomas, and Russell Prescott that is the above said value to Equally Divide between them three and I Do hereby give full power and authority to my Said Son William Prescott to sell[?] and Convey the other half of said Land and Plantation or half plantation with Seventy five acres of Land for the Greatest or Best price he can get and as same as Reasonably he can and one third part of what said Seventy five acres and half Plantation is sold for I do hereby Give and Bequeath unto my Loveing Son Moses Prescott he first give Bond and Good Security to said William that if their Should Come any old or right and Take away said Land from them or him to whom Said William [?] Sell and Convey the same and if the said William should be forced to make Good the Same to this Buyor out of his person [illegible] and [illegiblel] got by virtue of Law from Habkk Russell or others that than the said Moses as [illegible] will [?] prices of aforesaid Land back to said William

Item I give and bequeath unto my Loveing Son Thomas Prescott one third of the price of the above said Land which  said William Sell and Convey Thomas give Security after the same manner that Moses is obliged to do

Item I give and bequeath one third to Russell Prescott my Loveing Son he giving security as aforesaid

Item I Give and bequeath unto my Loveing Son Thomas Prescott one Dark bay Horse branded with a sort of an X and also my smooth-bored Gun which I commonly Shott with

Item I Give and Bequeath to my Loveing Son Moses Prescott on Black Mare Branded with a sort of a hook upon Condition that he Let Russell have the first fold [foal] or Colt and the Next or Second he Let Thomas Prescott

Item I give and Bequeath to my Loveing Son Moses Prescott Two Pounds Ten Shillings Sterling Levied out of my Moveable Estate and the remainder of my Estate I give and Bequeath unto my Loveing Sons and Daughters Viz: To William, Moses, Thomas, & Russel Prescott, Mary Prescott and Sarah Purdue to be Equally Divided Between them after my Loveing Wife Mary decease or Day of Marage

Item I Give and bequeath the use of my Moveable Estate to my Loveing Wife Mary Prescott During her widdowhood or if she do not Marry again until her decease and I do appoint my Loveing Son William Prescott Whole and Sole Executor of this my Last Will and Testament in Witness hereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this Eleventh Day of February anno Dom on Thousand Seven hundred and fifty [?] fifty one

Moses { his mark } Prescott { Seal }

Sign’d Sealed and Delivered

in Presents of us —

Tho Austin
Martha Prescoatt
George McKean