- Captain Thomas Hemphill’s Will – page 1
- Captain Thomas Hemphill’s Will – page 2
- Captain Thomas Hemphill’s Will – page 3
- Captain Thomas Hemphill’s Will – page 4
- Captain Thomas Hemphill’s Will – page 5
- Captain Thomas Hemphill’s Will – page 6
- Captain Thomas Hemphill’s Will – page 7
- Captain Thomas Hemphill’s Will – page 8
- Captain Thomas Hemphill’s Will – The Last Page
Captain Thomas Hemphill is the ancestor who really got me interested in genealogy, but I’ve had his will sitting in my inbox ever since it arrived in the mail from the North Carolina State Archives in 2009. Yes, almost three years. Why has it been languishing, you ask?
Well, it’s not just a will – it’s a contested will – and all the court papers are included, so this little packet is 9 pages of legal-size paper that needs to be transcribed. I needed something to motivate me to tackle this project and I can thank Valerie Elkins, my partner-in-crime in US-Records Study Group for assigning us to transcribe a will as part of our Familiar Records Practices chapter. As soon as I saw the assignment, I knew that the time had come to pull Captain Thomas out of the inbox.
Since it is nine pages, I’m going to transcribe and post it one page at a time as a series. Here’s page one 1.
State of North Carolina
Burke County } At a Court of pleas and quarter
Sessions formed and held for the County aforesaid at the
Court House in Morganton on the fourth Monday in
July AD 1824
The following issue was made up and entered on the record of the Said County Court in the case to wit.
Thomas Hemphill & Polly Hemphill
Legatees & Devisees in Support of the
Will of Thomas Hemphill deceased
James Hemphill & Moses Whitesides & wife} Devisavit Vel Non
On the aforesaid fourth Monday in July 1824 Came the Said
Thomas Hemphill & Polly Hemphill by their Attorneys D. F.
Coldwell and A. L. Ervin Esquires. Then also came the said
James Hemphill & Moses Whitesides & wife. This case between the
Parties had continued over from Court to Court until July
Sessions of the Said County Court 1826. When Came the parties
aforesaid by their Attorneys aforesaid and also a Jury to try
the truth of the issue, to wit,
1 [???]by Young 5 Samuel Bowman 9 William Caswell
2 Joseph Burnett 6 Lazirus Philips 10 Zachariah Downs
3 Seth Bradsher 7 Reddick Trumau 11 James McK Onail
4 Henry Paine 8 Larken Hartley 12 John Rutherford
The Jury finds the paper writing produced is the last
will of and Testatment of Thomas Hemphill deceased. From
which verdict the Said James Hemphill & Moses Whitesides prayed
an Appeal which was granted to Burke Superior Court to be
held at the Court House in Morganton on the fourth Monday
in September next, having entered into bond with approved
James Ervin Clk
The above record now secured and filed in the office of the
Clerk of the Superior Court September 25th 1826
What I learned from this page:
There is not much of genealogical significance to be gleaned from the first page, but it does confirm some information found in other, derivative sources. There is also one piece of crucial information implied that conflicts with other sources. I will need to read the remaining pages to be sure I’m correct, but. . .
Parties to the case:
- Thomas Hemphill & Polly Hemphill – this would be Thomas McEntire Hemphill, Captain Thomas’ youngest son (and my ancestor), and Mary Hemphill, an unmarried daughter.
- James Hemphill & Moses Whitesides & wife – James is either the oldest or second oldest son (Samuel is not proven; he may not be a son or if he was, he likely died before Captain Thomas). Moses Whitesides is a son-in-law, having married Elizabeth Ann Hemphill (two of Moses’ brothers married two of Elizabeth’s sisters, so there are three Whitesides sons-in-law – just to keep things confusing).
Date of Captain Thomas Hemphill’s death:
- I have his death date as 4 May 1826 and the source is his tombstone inscription. HOWEVER, this particular stone was placed by the SAR in the 1990’s. His original marker is completely weathered and illegible.
- James Hemphill, Moses Whitesides & wife originally brought suit over the will in July 1824. They would not have done this unless Captain Thomas was deceased, would they?
- The case continued over until July 1826. I think the death year on the tombstone has been picked up from this court document incorrectly and that it is really 1824; we’ll call this a hypothesis for now.
Stay tuned for more of this estate file in upcoming posts.
- Burke County Original Wills, Thomas Hemphill (c1824); box no. C.R. 016.801.1, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh ↩