Elizabeth Williams Estate Files 1814

I collected wills and estate records of the Caswell County, North Carolina WILLIAMS family members. The call number of the file box that had loose papers of estate records was:
C.R. 020.508.102.

The first folder I pulled was labelled: “Elizabeth Williams, 1814.”

I believe this folder contains estate records of two separate Elizabeths, one who died in 1813 and one who died in 1816. The following information is a summary of the pages enclosed in the folder.

(1) Elizabeth Williams, 1814:

Administrators bond, Nathan WILLIAMS 10 January 1814:
Nathan WILLIAMS, John HENSLEE, and Quintonn ANDERSON are bound onto Solomon GRAVES, chairman of the county court of Caswell in the sum of four hundred pounds to be paid to said chairman Solomon GRAVES, sealed this 10th day of January 1814.

Nathan WILLIAMS has been appointed administrator of all the singular goods and chattels, rights and credits of Elizabeth WILLIAMS dec’d, do make and cause to be made a true and perfect inventory of all singular goods and chattels, rights and credits of the deceased which have or shall come to the hands or possession of the said Nathan WILLIAMS…promises to make a true account and administer according to law…signed and sealed by Nathan WILLIAMS, John HENSLEE, Q. ANDERSON; test A. MURPHEY Clk.


An inventory of the estate of Elizabeth WILLIAMS, decd, returned to January court 1814, on oath by the administrator, Nathan WILLIAMS, and ordered to be recorded in book F, folio 395 by A. E. MURPHEY, clk:

An inventory of property Elizabeth WILLIAMS Decd leased and purchased of the 15th October 1813:

Two Negro men Viz: Sampson and Jacob
one bed and furniture
two cows and calf
two yewes and lambs
one pewter dish
two pewter basons
1/2 dozen pewter plates
one earthen dish
two earthen pans
two earthen mugs
one black walnut chest
one woman’s saddle
one iron pott and one iron skillet
fifty pounds that was willed but not received
returned by me Nathan WILLIAMS, admr.

A list of a sale of the estate of Elizabeth WILLIAMS decd on the 24th day of January 1814, (Ordered to be recorded in book F folio 418, Test A. E. MURPHEY, Clk, April court 1814):

To Elizabeth WILLIAMS:
iron pot, $1.61
iron scillett, $0.71
earthan dish, $0.33 1/3
earthan pan, $0.11
mug, $0.41
walnut chest, $6.00
2 ewes? of lambs, $3.60
cow and calf, $13.30
Negro man Sampson, $101.53
$127.60 1/3

To Charles BROOKS: (Elizabeth WILLIAMS’ son in law)
1 earthen pan, $0.15
1 pewter bason, $2.00
1 pewter bason, $1.00
1 womans saddle, $2.00
1 bed and furniture, $29.00

To James GRAVES:
1 small mug, $0.10
1 countepin? $4.00
Cow and calf, $10.25

To Zachariah NEAL: (Married Rebecca RICE, dau of Susannah WILLIAMS Brooks and Wm H. RICE)
1 bed quilt, $6.75

To Nathaniel L. RICE:
1 pewter dish, $1.10
Sheat?, $2.50

1/2 dozen pewter plates, $3.40

1 Negro boy Jacob, $513.10

Total: $702.95 1/3 by Nathan WILLIAMS, Administrator
The following documents were included in the same file, but probably from another Elizabeth WILLIAMS, possibly the same Elizabeth who purchased items from the estate of Elizabeth WILLIAMS in 1814. This woman died between Jan 1814 and Jan 1816.

(2) Elizabeth Williams, 1816:

Administrators Bond, 8 January 1816, Nathan WILLIAMS, Henry WILLIAMS, and William LEA, bound unto Solomon GRAVES, chairman in the sum of five thousand pounds, in the county of Caswell, this 8th day of January 1816…Nathan WILLIAMS is appointed administrator of the singular goods and chattels, rights and credits of Elizabeth WILLIAMS, decd. Signed and sealed by Nathan WILLIAMS, Henry WILLIAMS, William LEA; A. E. MURPHEY, clk.

Sales estate 12 Jan 1816, (not included in the estate file) of Elizabeth WILLIAMS returned to April Court, 1816 and recorded in Book G, p. 179: Buyers were Henry WILLIAMS, Nathan WILLIAMS, etc., 12 Jan 1816 (Katherine Kerr Kendall’s Abstracts of Caswell County Will Books, p. 11).

Sales estate 29 Jan 1816 (not included in the estate file) of Elizabeth WILLIAMS returned to April Court 1816 and recorded in Book G, p. 180, Sales to: George Brooks, William H Rice, Nathaniel L Rice, Sally Brooks, Samuel Fielder, James Shepherd, John Penix, Williamson Rice, Devreu Hightower, Christopher Brookes, etc… 29 Jan 1816 (Katherine Kerr Kendall’s Abstracts of Caswell County Will Books, p. 11-12).

Inventory of Property, 7 Apr 1816 (not included in the estate file) of Elizabeth WILLIAMS, decd by N. WILLIAMS adm. returned to April court 1816, and recorded in Book G, p. 168: A memo on Nathan WILLIAMS; bonds on George Brooks, Susannah Rice, Henry WILLIAMS, Benjamin Spencer (this bond is doubtful). 7 Apr 1816 (Katherine Kerr Kendall’s Abstracts of Caswell County Will Books, p. 11).

An inventory of account of bonds and cash (Jan Court 1817) found in possession of Elizabeth WILLIAMS dec’d at her death, by Nathan WILLIAMS, adm., returned to court on oath by the administrator and ordered to be recorded, Test Azariah GRAVES, Clk, January Court, 1817. Recorded in book G p. 354, Test A. GRAVES, clk:

Cash on hand: $55.72
one bond on Henry WILLIAMS due 21 Nov 1807, $7.75
one bond on Nathan WILLIAMS due 25 Dec 1815, $89.75
one bond on George BROOKS and Nathan WILLIAMS due Mar 1810 for $200.00
one bond on Susannah RICE due 25 Dec 1815 for $60.00
one account on Benjamin CANTRAL for $2.50
One account on Nathan WILLIAMS for $164.84 & 1/4; total of $580.56 & 1/4;

One note on Benjamin SPENCER due on demand dated 26 Dec 1794 for the sum of 26 pounds, 3 sh., 10 3/4 pence; considered of no value in consequence of insolvency and non residence;

One note on Daniel WILLIAMS due on demand dated 17 Dec 1787 for the sum of 7 pounds considered of no value in consequence of being ______ long since;

The above statement I hereby certify contains all cash bonds and account which I found in the possession of Elizabeth WILLIAMS, decd. Sworn to Nathan WILLIAMS, adm.



John GRAVES (c1715-1792), Caswell Co., NC

In my previous post I mentioned John Graves, a mill owner, and one of the earliest settlers of Caswell Co., NC. John Graves was born about 1715, and died 18 Jan. 1792 in Caswell Co., N.C. John Graves married Isabell Lea, the daughter of a big landowner, James Lea. I am descended from this John Graves and Isabell Lea through the following:

1. John Graves, b. abt 1715, d. 18 Jan 1792, md. Isabell Lea
—–Mary Graves, b. 26 Jan. 1754, d. 22 Feb. 1831, md. John Kerr, b. 29 Jan. 1753, d. 22 Feb. 1816
———Isabella Kerr, b. 12 June 1790, d. 1851, md. Christopher Williams Brooks, b. 1781, d. 1840
————-Iverson Lea or Lee Brooks, b. Feb 1829, d. 1876, Monticello, Drew Co., AR

From the research I’ve done in the past couple of weeks, it looks like I’m descended from at least 3 families who were some of the first settlers to Caswell Co., NC — WILLIAMS, LEA, & GRAVES; My BROOKS line has been more elusive, however.

Source: The Graves Family Association website, The Descendants of Captain Thomas Graves by Ken Graves, http://www.gravesfa.org/gen270.htm.

GRAVES family of Caswell County, NC

Last week I subscribed to the North Carolina Caswell County Historical Association yahoo group hoping to learn more about the History of Caswell Co., NC. An email came through the group about the History of Graves Mill. This caught my attention as I recently started investigating (again) the history of Mary Graves’ (married John Kerr) family.

I printed off the article which was entitled “A Brief History of Graves Mill: An Archaelogical site on Country Line Creek, Caswell Co., NC” which was written by Jerry L. Cross, February 24, 1982. It described the history of the Graves Mill which was originally built by my ancestor, John Graves who came to NC about 1755 and who was married to Isabella Lea, the daughter of James Lea. The mill survived several generations of Graves families and many of John’s descendants were outlined in this article. I copied a lot of this information into my family tree file to be used as a reference. The author referenced William S. Powell’s “A History of Caswell County” which I had borrowed from the library but did not get to finish reading because it was requested by another reader. (I have since purchased my own personal copy of this title).

I got stumped on the children of John Graves because I could not locate a will for him. I did have an inventory report abstracted by Katherine Kerr Kendall from Caswell Co., NC will book B, p. 459, (see below), but I cannot find a copy of his original will. There is a will filed in Granville Co., NC by John W. Graves, 1789 listed in Mitchell’s Will Index – This is for John Williams Graves, son of Henry White Graves of Granville Co., NC.

Today I posted messages regarding the will of John Graves of Caswell County. I also browsed several rootsweb files to see if anyone had a copy of the transcribed will; but did not find any.

Caswell County, NC Will Book B, p. 459, March court 1792, Inventory of the estate of John Graves Sen. taken at his dwelling house 20 Mar 1792. A riding chair and horse were given to the widow by consent of all legatees; also one smiths anville and bellows given Bazilla Graves by consent of legatees. Legatees: Isbell Graves, Azariah Graves, Thomas Graves, Bazilla Graves, John Kerr, Ann Yancey, John Graves, Thomas Slade, Solomon Graves. Inventory of that part of estate left to widow and of part not yet divided. By Azariah, Solomon, John and Thomas Graves. (Source: Caswell County, NC Will Books 1777-1814 (Abstracts) by Katherine Kerr Kendall, p. 39)

It cannot be determined for certain, if these “legatees” are children or grandchildren. In the mill article, Cross wrote that John Graves had 8 children, 5 sons and 3 daughters, however, 9 legatees were mentioned in the will book inventory entry. The first legatee mentioned, Isbell Graves, could be either a daughter or his wife; I need his will to know for sure.

In summary, I spent most of my free time this weekend (when I wasn’t doing home improvement) reading and investigating the family of John Graves, a gristmill owner in Caswell Co., NC. I also looked through the Graves Family Association website (http://www.gravesfa.org/) to see who were the ancestors of this John Graves. I hope to be able to get back to working on my Brooks and Williams lines soon.