Captain Thomas Hemphill’s Will – page 5

This is the fifth installment in a series of nine posts in which I transcribe the will of my Revolutionary War ancestor, Captain Thomas Hemphill. In the first post, we learned that Captain Thomas’ will was contested by two of his children and a son-in-law, and that the date usually seen for his death may be wrong. The copy of the contested will as it was transcribed into the court records began on page 2. Pages three and four continued the will copy and began to explain the reasons that the will was contested.  Page 5 continues the court testimony 1 .

Click to enlarge


Subscribing witness proved Testators hand writing and also the

hand writing of Robert Logan the other witness, but Said neither

of them Signed their names, Logans and the Testators

being Subscribed when he was called up in the porch

where they were.  He Said he though the old man was in

his Senses, as much  so as he had commonly seen him.

It was in proof by Several witnesses that the old man was very

weak in body and mind he was eighty one years old and would

frequently before making his will, and after when called upon

by his acquaintances aske questions and when answered, would

aske after a short interval the Same questions again & particularly

the usual questions inquiries after the health of his absent chil-

dren, and when told how they were, would after a little while

make the Same enquiries again.  It was also in proof that the

old man Said to Sevral persons he was so blind that he could

not tell who his neighbors were.  To one witness he said that

he had lost the Sight of one eye, and the other was so far

gone that he could not tell one bank note from another.

It was also in proof that he had been within two weeks before

The date of the will sitting in the porch with his bible on his

knee and at other times, but whether he had been reading

or not, was not proven in any other way, it was also proven

that he discovered the cracks through the roof of a newly

covered house, and complained it was not well covered.

It was in proof that old Logan was a man who had lived

a great many years with the Burgan family.  That, when

he took up an opinion in favour of any one he would

have Strong feelings toward them.  That Thomas Hemphill, the

younger and principle devisee was married to the grand

daughter of his old friend Burgen with whom he lived

So many years.  That Logan had been Subject to violent

fits of the hypocondria and committed Suicide Shortly after

the will was made or within two or three months after.

It was also in evidence that he wrote the will at the house

of Mr. Burgen, the grandfather where he  lived.  The whole

of the will was in Logans handwriting.  It was further

What I Learned From This Page

This page is light on genealogical data, but it does have one valuable sentence:

“That Thomas Hemphill, the younger and principle devisee was married to the grand daughter of [Logan’s] old friend Burgin. . .”

The Thomas Hemphill referred to here is Thomas McEntire Hemphill whose first wife was Malinda Burgin, granddaughter of Pioneer Ben Burgin.  So we have some implied evidence regarding the marriage of Thomas and Malinda and also regarding Malinda’s lineage.

Other than that, this page hones in on the plaintiffs’ argument for contesting the will and the defendants’ counter-arguments.  I really love the statement describing Robert Logan as being prone to violent fits of hypochondria.

Check back next Monday for page 6 of Captain Thomas Hemphill’s will.

  1. Burke County Original Wills, Thomas Hemphill (c1824); box no. C.R. 016.801.1, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, Thomas Hemphill, 1824.
Series Navigation<< Captain Thomas Hemphill’s Will – page 4Captain Thomas Hemphill’s Will – page 6 >>

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