In a previous post, I outlined how to search for wills that are housed at the NC State Archives. In this post, I’d like to talk about another collection that is part of the NC State Archives: “The Series of Original Loose Documents of Estate Records.” This collection contains a serious of documents pertaining to the estates of deceased persons in NC. This collection is sorted by county, then alphabetical by last name.
Documents contained in these files include administrator bonds, affidavits, inventory and estate sales receipts, legal proceedings, division of assets to legatees, etc. These files can be reviewed out by filling out a call slip. The call numbers start with a 3-digit prefix assigned to the county of interest. Randolph County’s 3-digit prefix is 081. Then the next 3-digits are assigned to document type. For estates, that number is always 508. The last number of the call number is the box number that contains your ancestor’s file. This last number is left blank on the call slip. You will put your surname on the call slip instead. They will bring you the box that contains the surname for the county of interest. For example, I might find the loose documents of the estate of Abiah Godwin in Randolph County using the following call number: 081.508.5. Box 5 containing the surname Godwin.
Below is an example of documents contained in the file of Abiah Godwin, Randolph Co., NC (In order of appearance in the file):
Page 1 illustrates how much money the administrator of the estate brought before the judge, probably from the sale of items in the estate. The administrator brought in 79 pounds, 3 shillings, and 11 pence. 39 pounds, 6 shillings, and 8 pence were awarded to the administrator for his duties as administrator leaving 39 pounds, 16 shilling, and 3 pence to be divided between Abiah Godwin’s 7 legatees…5 pounds, 13 shilling, 7 pence awarded per legatee.
Page 2 is a scan of what was on the back of the first page. It reads “A settlement of the estate Abiah Godwin, Deceased.”
Page 3 is a receipt of monies owed to Samuel Godwin from the estate for his duties of administrator.
Pages 4 and 5 contain an inventory of the estate of Abiah Godwin taken on 4 Feb 1796, consisting of furniture, pots, farm stock, kitchen goods, etc.
Page 6 contains the affidavit of Samuel Godwin who presented the inventory to the courts.