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Currituck County Wills

Branson C. Bell
July 22, 1885 - Aug. 16, 1886
Currituck Co. Will Book 5; pg. 134-137
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I BRANSON C. BELL of the County of Currituck & State of North Carolina, being of sound mind & memory but knowing the uncertainty of my earthly existence do make and declare this my last will & testament in the manner & form following that is to say:

   Item 1st That my executors hereinafter named shall provide for my body, a decent burial & pay all funeral expenses together with all my just debts, out of my monies that may first come into their hands as part of my estate.

   Item 2nd I lend to my beloved wife Louisa for & during her widowhood or as long as she chooses to live on said farm, the farm whereon I now reside, at Snowdens station on the east side of the rail road containing one hundred acres more or less except the storehouse located upon said farm, which said storehouse is to be rented out during the widowhood of my wife by my executors & the rents divided as hereinafter mentioned and my desire is that the well of water in the enclosure of the yard is to be used by any one who occupies the storehouse for the benefit of said house. I also leave my beloved wife Louisa all the household & kitchen furniture that may be used at my death, in the house & premises where I now live for her use & convenience, also the lop? buggy & horse cart.

   Item 3rd I give to my daughter Sopha (wife of Robert BERRY) & her heirs forever the farm I purchased of said BERRY called the “Sheppard farm” in Camden Co. which I value at thirty five hundred doll[ar]s & having in my life time given her fifteen hundred doll[ar]s in cash making her interest & advancements amount to five thousand dollars.

   Item 4th I lend to my son Charles my “Home farm” containing one hundred & ninety acres & which I value at five thousand Doll[ar]s in which is included a pine thicket of about nine acres & at the death of my son Charles I give the same to his heirs in fee simple.

   Item 5th I lend to my daughter Sarah Ellen wife of T.P. HALL during the term of her natural life the “Caleb BELL” farm containing about sixty acres, also the tract of wood land I bought of John BARNARD SR. containing about seventy five acres adjoining the FEREBEE farm & running along the canal to the Ginnea road, & I value both the above tracts at three thousand dollars.

   I also lend to my daughter Sarah Ellen during the term of her natural life, the property I purchased of W.C. STONE located on the A & C canal at the bridge in said County which I value at twenty five hundred dollars making a total valuation of real estate loaned Sarah Ellen fifty five hundred dollars and at the death of my said daughter Sarah Ellen I give & bequeath the above described property in item 5th to her heirs in fee simple forever.

   Item 6th I lend to my grand daughter Bettie DOZIER daughter of Thomas DOZIER, during the term of her natural life, the “AYDLETT farm” containing about two hundred acres & which I value at five thousand doll[ar]s & at her death I give the same to her children in fee simple, if she should die without children my will & desire is that the AYDLETT farm shall be equally divided among my heirs except Fanny De CORMIS daughter of Jason BELL & my will is that she Fanny De CORMIS shall not share one dollar of my estate.

   Item 7th As the land devised to Charles, Sarah Ellen & Bettie DOZIER drains down the old “John WILSON” canal my will & desire is that they shall keep said canal from the creek to Alex WILLEYs line, each one to pay one third expense of cutting & keeping said canal in order, and the line fence between Charles & Sarah Ellen is to remain where it now is & to be kept jointly between them to the AYDLETT farm, from AYDLETT farm Bettie DOZIER is to keep the line fence to the rail road and the line fences are to remain where they are now placed and the road to be kept open, to be used for the benefit of Charles, Sarah Ellen & Bettie DOZIER farms.

   Item 8th I lend to my grand daughter Sarah SNOWDEN daughter of Jason BELL during the term of her natural life all that part of the “FEREBEE farm” lying on the east side of the road which leads to the house now occupied by Alfred DOZIER and at her death I give the same to her heirs in fee simple and the part of the FEREBEE farm given to Sarah is to be taxed with one half the expense of cutting out the leads to said farm.

   Item 9th My will & desire is after my death that part of the FEREBEE farm lying on the west side of the road leading to the house now occupied by Alfred DOZIER & that part of the CHERRY farm lying on the west side of the railroad be rented out by my executors & the proceeds equally divided between my children Sopha BERRY, Sarah Ellen HALL, Charles BELL & my grand daughter Bettie DOZIER & their heirs but if my executors become of opinion that a sale of the said lands in this item will be of more interest to my estate, than a yearly rental of same my will is that they proceed to sell said lands in this item on whatever terms may seem best to them for my estate, and the proceeds to be divided among my children & my grand daughter Bettie DOZIER as above stated & their heirs.

   Item 10th My will & desire is after the marriage or death of my wife Louisa or if she chooses to leave the farm heretofore mentioned & loaned to her that the farms & the storehouse be rented out by my executors & the proceeds equally divided between my children Sopha BERRY, Sarah Ellen HALL, Charles  & my grand daughter Bettie DOZIER but if at any time my executors become of the opinion that the said land & store house can be sold to better advantage then they shall have full power to sell same & divide the proceeds of such sale as above stated in this item.

   Item 11th My will & desire is that all the residue of my estate of whatsoever nature, after taking out all the legacies & devises above mentioned, shall be sold & the debts owing to me collected & the surplus if any after paying my debts be divided as follows: to my daughter Sopha &  heirs one fourth part to my daughter Sarah Ellen & her heirs one fourth part, to my son Charles & his heirs one fourth part & to my grand daughter Bettie DOZIER & her heirs one fourth part; and lastly, I do hereby constitute & appoint my son in law Robert BERRY & my son Charles BELL my lawful executors to all intents & purposes to execute this my last will & testament according to the true intents & meaning of the same and every part & clause thereof hereby revoking & declaring void all other wills & testaments by me heretofore made.

In witness whereof I Branson C. BELL do hereunto set my hand & seal this the 22nd day of July 1885

    /s/ B.C. BELL seal

Signed, sealed & declared by the said Branson C. BELL to be his last will & testament in the presence of us who at his request & in his presence & in the presence of each other do subscribe our names as witnesses thereto
    P.H. MORGAN
    J.E.C. BELL

  North Carolina                         In Superior Court
Currituck County                       Before H.B. ANSELL, Clerk

         In Re Estate
                 of                             Order for Probate of Will
B.C. BELL deceased
   A paper writing purporting to be the last will and testament of B.C. BELL dec’d is exhibited in open court for probate by Robert H. BERRY, Charles M. BELL , executors therein named; and the due execution thereof by the said B.C.BELL dec’d is duly proved by the oath and examination of P.H. MORGAN and J.E.C. BELL subscribing witnesses thereto; and it is further shown to the satisfaction of the court by said witnesses that the said B.C. BELL was at the time of making said will of sound mind and memory of full age to execute a will and under no restraint to their knowledge, information or belief.
   It was thereupon considered, adjudged and decreed that said proof is sufficient and according to law and that said paper writing is and contains the last will and testament of B.C. BELL dec’d and on motion it is ordered that said will be admitted to probate and recorded in the Book of Wills of Currituck County and as such filed as provided by law in the office of the Clerk of Superior Court of said County.
   It is further ordered that said ROBERT H. BERRY & CHAS. M. BELL be allowed to qualify as executors as provided by law and enter upon the discharge of the duties imposed by said trusts said executors qualified this day by taking the oath prescribed by law and letters testamentary granted them with will annexed.

Dated this the 16th day of August 1886
   
/s/ H.B. ANSELL, Clerk of Superior Court

This will was contributed by Judy Merrell Brickhouse.  No part of this document may be used for any commercial purposes. However, please feel free to copy any of this material for your own personal use and family research. If you find anything in these records that pertains to your families, it is strongly suggested that you look at the original record on your own to check for errors or possibly other additional and helpful information. Thank you!

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