any cursive scrawl readers up for reading a will? Chesnutt family text? New slave owner county in NC category is red

+1 vote
The profile for this person has very limited sourcing on FamilySearch. Interestingly, a couple more sources come up for his wife (I've only attached one - so far - when I first saw the slave schedules, I wanted to further validate before attaching them as confirmed matched sources).

Anyway, the will has some issues (though it, sadly, does confirm slave ownership - apparently the first to be recorded on WikiTree for Duplin, North Carolina) such as the date and who is actually named in it. It is the worst cursive scrawl that I've seen in a while. (Somebody didn't want to pay for an attorney, apparently; although many attorneys performed a foul service to legibility.)

According to a user report at FamilySearch, citing the Chesnutt text, the birth year is 1746 (but I don't know if Chesnutt is a reliable source), and apparently Chesnutt agrees with the 1784 death year. (Maybe the probate documents can make it clear - the people at FamilySearch who indexed the source say 1782. . .)

Lastly, don't know if it is possible to tell if Hollingsworth might have had property in more than one county.
WikiTree profile: James Hollingsworth
in Genealogy Help by Porter Fann G2G6 Mach 5 (59.0k points)

3 Answers

+5 votes
Best answer
That's not a will, it's an estate inventory. Text on the first page: "An inventory of the personal estate of the late Mr James Hollingsworth, dec'd, taken this 31st day of December 1782". Estate inventory follows, then "The above inventory contains the whole of the estate of Jas Hollingsworth as far as have come to hand this April term 1783, duly sworn, etc (signed) Elizabeth Hollingsworth, her mark". (Inventory doesn't mention property outside the county, by the way; it's an inventory of only personal property, not real estate.)

On edit: probate records and estate inventories in county will books and county probate records will have been written by the county clerk or county register of wills, or by a justice of the probate court or orphans' court, and not by an attorney.
by C Handy G2G6 Pilot (158k points)
selected by Dianne Hood
Starting on the 3rd page of written material, that looked like a will of sorts.
division of personal property may be what I thought was his will (3rd page)?
Nope, that's part of the estate settlement; he apparently died intestate if he died in Duplin County (I had a look out of curiosity, only one Hollingsworth in the Duplin County will book, Jacob, d. 1790).
+2 votes
There are two James Hollingsworth named on the profile. So birth date range is extended up to about 1750 and probably a merge is likely needed.
by Marion Poole G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
Great catch! I see the next generation where I had a few details had been entered on the duplicate that's completely unsourced.
+1 vote
Here's what I can tell:

Inventory occurred 31 Dec 1782. A division of personal property occurred in April 1783. Vendue (sale) of the house occurred on 5 June 1783. Division of the estate occurred in Oct 1783.

Slaves (7): Jupiter (man), Fanny (woman), Rose (young woman), Toney (boy), Patt (girl), George (boy), Silvia (girl)

Widow: Elizabeth/Elisa Hollingsworth. Signed her mark with a cursive E, so was likely literate.

10 Children total.  (Five not of age), only 7 named in the probate as "orphans".

William Hollingsworth,

Sarah/Salley Hollingsworth,

Mary Hollingsworth,

Jacob Hollingsworth

Rachel, not yet the wife of Benjamin Larsur/Lancir (betrothed it would seem)

Ann, wife of Kidah Harrel

Hannah, wife of Andrew Cox

The widow received slaves Rose and Toney, whom she sold.

Five oldest heirs received Jupiter and Fanny.

Slaves Pat, George and Silvia ordered by court to remain undivided and unsold for five youngest heirs.
by Jana Shea G2G6 Mach 3 (30.1k points)
Any chance Ann's husband is Carrol (see duplicate, pending merge)?

Thanks for laying out the important details. Some cursive I look at just makes my eye cross.
John Carroll (1770–1826) and Ann Hollingsworth had a child named Laban...

No chance. It is definitely an H in the surname, not a C or even a K (comparing handwriting to given name).

And as further evidence, there is a Kedar Harrel found in both the 1790 and 1800 census in Duplin County.

You may want to check if you can find a pension record for him. There may be more info on the marriage in such a record.

Thanks so much for that!. Now I have to figure out which daughter married John Carroll. . . I thought it was "Nancy Ann" (as did a previous researcher here at WikiTree) but from the data in the inventory, her being married at the time of the inventory was really prohibitive, anyway. Daughter Charity was described as both herself and her sister Nancy Ann having married John Carroll on FindAGrave (I know - not a source, but sometimes a lead).

So it's time for me to double-back and see who all can be sorted out and who can be verifiably placed with their proper family, if mismatches occurred, and hopefully at least a description of the proper spouse can be determined.

Were all of the children named, or am I correct in surmising that only a group of them? It would seem the younger ones would be the most important to name for guardianship, although I suppose they could be grouped as "the orphans," because all of the adults took a distribution (which seems rather rude to me; not that we're talking about a huge estate in land and material, except onerous "ownership" of slaves). 

Thanks again.

From matching data at FamilySearch (sources TBD):

John Carroll (ca. 1770-1826) married two daughters of James Hollingsworth, in succession:

* Elizabeth (ca. 1797-1802)

* "Nancy Ann" (ca. 1778-1861)

Other factoids in development cross-checking between the estate list and FamilySearch:

* Rachel Hollingsworth, b. 1761, who m. a Benjamin Sasser (perhaps that's the read of Larsur/Lancir?); although FamilySearch does put their marriage at c. 1781.

* Hannah (ca. 1760-1793) Hollingsworth's husband, Andrew Cox (b. c. 1753) - this Hannah was in FamilySearch, but with a different set of parents, which I have corrected; not all ten of James' children are aligned, so the missing ones might be attached to the other James who married a different Elizabeth, but who was a couple decades older.

This gives good headache.

And just for tracking purposes, the false parents mentioned above from which other children of James Henry Hollingsworth and Elizabeth Betsy Merritt might need to be: James Hollingsworth (ca. 1720-1782) farmed. Complicating matters is the apparent death year that the two James' share in common.


My transcription should have read that only seven children were named. The other unnamed three may have been the "orphans" noted in the division (top of page), though this is not completely clear. 

There would likely be guardian(s) assigned to the children not of age - so I would look for those records.

Only the eldest son (or his heir) would have inherited the real estate, according to intestate law at the time of James Hollingsworth's death. Two years later this law changed that only the sons inherited - equal shares.  The next decade this law changed again so that both sons and daughter inherited equal shares. Not sure if this would have applied to the widow's third of the estate, but it may have if she lived past 1795.

So you may also want to see if you can find records pertaining to the real estate - land grants and deeds prior to James Hollingsworth's death (what were his holdings at time of death and where); then see how the land was divided after widow's death. 

I'm revisiting all of this, as I got an update about the FindAGrave profile on him...

On digital page/Image 16, I see "a Boy Named Toney," or could it be "Fancy?" Also on that page are several other bequeathals of slaves, which I am not sure is what you had found before, or some other discussion(?).

North Carolina Estate Files, 1663-1979;

I am still struggling to understand whether the two children that are attached to his DAR record (please see profile) are in fact placed correctly... 

  1. Ann (Hollingsworth) Carroll (who married John Carroll)
  2. Charity (Hollingsworth) Swinson (who married John Swinson)

It seems that a probability of mixed data has occurred, but I have made other updates that hopefully at least make what's present coherent.

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