Friday, October 16, 2020

The Will & Estate of Moses Hollis, 1793 SC

Moses Hollis

1728 VA - 1794 SC

son of John & Esther Hollis

Husband of Rosannah Berry Hagan

Moses is my 6x great grandfather.

There are several values in finding a will & estate papers for an ancestor. First, we can discover names of family members. Moses' will names Rosanna as his wife; Elijah, John, Berry & Nancy as children. The sale of his estate lists more Hollis family members, most likely more children & others. Unfortunately, the will also shows that Moses was a slave owner. Leaving out that information would be altering history. Reading through the items in his estate sale gives us a glimpse into his life. Many of the items relate to his farm: produce, livestock & tools. Household items are also mentioned: trunk, chairs, table, cupboard, pewter tableware & a frying pan. 

 The Will of Moses Hollis, 1793 SC


In the Name of God. Amen. This 9thday of April one thousand and seven hundred and ninety three. I Moses Hollis of the State of South Carolina and County of Fairfield being very sick and week but of perfect mind and memory, thanks be to God, but calling to mind the mortality of my body, and that is appointed all men once to die do make this my last will and Testament. Imprimis my Soul I give to God who gave it to me, and my Body to the Earth from whence it was taken to be buried in a decent Christian like manner at the discretion of my executors hereafter mentioned. 


Item. I give and bequeath to my dearly beloved wife Rosanna Hollis all my House and Household furniture, Also my Negro Girl Abe, my Horse Gruberty, Bridle and Sadle, [sic] two cows as long as she lives or remains a widow, and after that the Negro goes to my son Moses Hollis to his heirs and assigns forever.


Item. I give and bequeath onto my son Elijah Hollis one Negro boy Tony, wherein his assigns forever. 


Item. I give to my son John Hollis one Negro fellow Pad, to his heirs and assigns forever.


Item. I give and bequeath to my son Berry Hollis my Negro boy to him his heirs and assigns forever.


Item. I give and bequeath to my daughter Nancy Gladden my featherbed to her and her heirs and assigns forever.


Item. I give and bequeath to my granddaughter Catherine Paterson four head of cattle to her, her heirs and assigns forever.


Item. I have on Negro fellow Ned, and one Negro boy Glasco, also five head of horses and eleven head of cattle and working tools to be sold on my Death, debts paid with the money and the remainder to be equally divided between all my children.


Lastly I nominate and appoint Zachariah Cantley and my soon John Hollis and my son Elijah Hollis executors of this by last will and Testament hereby disannulling all others hereto fore by me made. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal, the day and year above written.


Signed and sealed and acknowledged. Thomas Goodram, Edward Tidwell, Berry Hollis, Moses Hollis                      Proved 17 July 1794


Source: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, South Carolina Will Transcripts, Series S108093, Reel 11, Frame 100; digital image ( accessed Sept 2020) Moses Hollis, Fairfield Co.

The Estate of Moses Hollis, 1794 SC


Papers relating to the estate of Moses Hollis have been saved in South Carolina. The papers are of various sizes and are worn around the edges. The handwriting is faded and difficult to read. The papers include his will and the “Sale of Home Goods of Moses Hollis, Senr., deceased.” The following is a list of items from his estate and the people who purchased them after his death. It is not complete because it is not all legible. The estate was settled in December 1794. 



John Hollis                  one log chane [sic]

Isabell Littleton           one Lot of pewter

Wm Evans                   eight bushes of Rye

James Hollis                three bushels of oats

Elijah Hollis                one Lot of hogs

Berryman Hollis          one Lot of hogs

Peter Patterson             one stack of fodder

Thos Hughsone           Rifle gun

Peter Patterson            one Lot of corn

Berrel Gibson              one Lot of corn

Dit Tidwell                  one Lot of corn

Isabell Littleton           one Lot of corn

Thos Hughsone           one Lot of corn

Wm Hollis                  one hand mill

Samuel Pen                  one still

Jesse Gadden               one horse

Hugh Brown                one gun

Susannah Hollis           one horse

Wm Edwins                 one cow

Dit Tidwell                  too [sic] cow

George Lott                 one horse

Edward Tidwell           one cow

Samuel Owens             one Bull

John Hollis                  one heffer

Moses Hollis               one heffer

Charles ?                      one french musket

Moses Hollis               one rifle gun

Moses Hollis               one Lot of working tools

Wm Hollis                  one plow

Moses Hollis               one hand mill

Berryman Hollis          one chest

Berryman Hollis          one bed

Nancy Hollis               one trunk

Elijah Hollis                one glass

Abner Smith                too [sic] chairs

Susannah Hollis           one saddle

Susannah Hollis           one wheel

Widow Hollis              one cupboard

Widow Hollis              one churn

Widow Hollis              one tub

Widow Hollis              one oxen

Nancy Hollis               one table

Nancy Hollis               one frying pan

Berryman Hollis          one sow

Peter Patterson            seven head of hog

Moses Hollis               one boar



Source: South Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1670 – 1980; digital image, Ancestry ( accessed Sept. 2020) Moses Hollis.

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