Monday, August 19, 2013

Evidence of Humphrey Lawrence in Bertie Co., North Carolina

Humphrey Lawrence, Jr. 
c 1726 – 1772 Bertie, NC
Son of Robert Lawrence & Elizabeth Nicholls
Wife: Ann Ashley
Children: Frederick, Reuben, David, Anne * Nathaniel

My visit to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in Charlotte, N.C. yielded many resources for my family and inspired me to search more once I returned home. Between the library & the internet I found the following evidences of my 6th great grandfather, Humphrey Lawrence.

Court Records Involving Humphrey Lawrence

1742. A list of jurors for the next Supreme Court included Humphrey Lawrence & his father-in-law, Thomas Ashley. Source: Bertie County North Carolina County Court Minutes 1740 thru 1743; 1758 thru 1762. Book II. North Carolina: 1977, page 59.

 1747. A Sale of Land from Humphrey Lawrence to his brother, George Lawrence. The land had been willed to Humphrey by his father, Robert. The sale was witnessed by his brother, William. “January 9, 1747. 7 pds. 10 sh. For 120 A. ‘…A Certain Piece of Land which was Willed to me by my father Robert Laurence…’ On SS Bear Swamp ‘…being part of the Land my Father Robert Laurence Lived on when he died…’ “ Source: Bell, Mary Best. Colonial Bertie County North Carolina 1744 - 1753. Volume V; Abstracts of Deed Book G. Windsor, North Carolina: Colonial Bertie, 1965, page 283.

1749. Humphrey Lawrence was the witness to a land sale. Source: Bell, Mary Best. Colonial Bertie County North Carolina 1744 - 1753. Volume V; Abstracts of Deed Book G. Windsor, North Carolina: Colonial Bertie, 1965, page 299.  

1753. Thomas Ashley deeded 82 acres of land  on Cashoke Swamp to his son-in-law Humphrey Lawrence, goldsmith. “ ‘…for love… we bear unto our well beloved Daughter Ann intermarried with the s’d Humphrey…’ Land on WS Cashoke Swamp. Adj. Thomas Ashbourne, to the Great Branch ‘opposite the Old Plantation’, Thomas Ashely, Henry Vanluven, Robert West, Jun. The same land which was bought of Henry Vanluven July 20, 1747. Wit: Samuel Ormes, Jane Ormes. November Court 1753. Samuel Ormes”. Source: Bell, Mary Best. Colonial Bertie County North Carolina 1753 - 1757. Volume VI; Abstracts of Deed Book H. Windsor, North Carolina: Colonial Bertie, 1968, Page 336.

1767. Humphrey Lawrence was the executor of a will. Source: Gammon, David B. Abstracts of Wills; Bertie County, North Carolina; 1722 - 1774. Raleigh, North Carolina: 1990. From the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Charlotte, North Carolina. Pages 85 - 86.

The Will of Humphrey Lawrence

The will, written 26 April 1771 & proved June 1772 names these family members:
Ann. “my dearly beloved wife, negro fellow named Ben, also the house and plantation during her life, also all--part of the household goods and stock for the said term, and after her decease to be equally divided among my children.”
Frederick. “To my dearly beloved son Frederick, I give a piece of my land which I bought of William Virgin, also an equal part of the household stuff and cattle.” 

Reuben. “To my Son, Reuben, I leave him the land which lies between David Bryan and Ben Cook, also an equal part of the household stuff and cattle. Also one Negro boy called Granvill.” 

David. “To my son David Lawrence, I give part of a still which is two-thirds belonging between my sister Elizabeth Spruill and me, also one Negro boy called Isaac, and my working tools, also my rifle.”

Ann. “To my daughter, Ann Laurence, I give one girl named ---, and an equal part of the household goods”. 

Nathaniel.  “And to my son Nathaniel, I give the Negro wench, and part of the household goods.” 

Source: Almasy, Sandra L. Bertie County, North Carolina Wills 1761 - 1780. Joliet, Illinois: Kensington Glen Publishing, 1990. From the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Charlotte, North Carolina, page 78.

The Estate of Humphrey Lawrence

An Inventory of his Estate

1 Negro man Ben, 1 Negro woman Patt, 1 Negro boy Isaac, 1 Negro boy Granville, 1 Negro girl Taylor, 1 mare, About 26 head of cattle, 16 head of sheep, Some hogs in the woods, number unknown, 3 feather beds & frames, 2 chests, 1 table & 1 trunk, A small chest of drawers, 11 chairs & 1 looking glass, 1 rifle gun, Part of a set of blacksmith tools, A part of a set of silver smith’s tools, 13 pewter plates, 3 pewter dishes, 2 dozen spoons, 2 stone jugs, 1 earthen jug, Ax & saw, 19 stone plates, 3 tea pots, 2 bowls, 1 stone pitcher, 1 earthen pitcher, 3 butter pots, 1 saddle & bridle, 2 barrels of tobacco, 1 horse cart, 1 chamber pot, 1 fire shovel & tongs, 2 candle sticks & snuffers, 8 knives, A parcel of old books, His wearing clothes, 1 pr. of money scales & weights, 1 razor, 21 L – 3- 8 in money, Some old silver, 6 small stone bowls, 2 wine glasses, 3 glass tumblers, 2 salts, 2 woolen wheels, 1 linen wheel, 1 iron skillet, 1 ink pot, 1 pr. Of old hand bellows

There were many more items but the handwriting was too difficult to read. Two pages of inventory were divided into sections labeled: Frederick, David, Nathaniel, Reuben & Ann with items & their value listed below.

This inventory was discovered on Family Search/North Carolina/Bertie County/Probate: ‘Bertie County Estate Records, indexed by Names’.

Related Posts:

Travel Tuesday - A North Carolina Treasure

Evidence of Thomas Ashley in Bertie Co., NC


  1. He had quite a household! Hogs in the woods -- how funny is that!


Thanks for stopping by my blog & for leaving a comment. It is always good to hear from visitors, cousins & fellow bloggers. Note that I do not publish anonymous comments.