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Montpelier Plantation

Montpelier was built by Judge John Williams (1731-1799) who was one of the first Judges under the State Constitution in 1777. John was the eldest son of John Williams Sr. (1704-1770) and his wife Mary Womack, from Hanover Co.,VA; the family settled in North Carolina around 1745 in the Granville Co area, which also included John's brothers, William Williams (1733-1775), Charles Williams (1735-1819), and Nathaniel Williams (1737-1831).  In his early life, Judge John Williams was trained to be a carpenter, and may very well have done a good deal of the construction of his own Montpelier Plantation. As an early explorer, he was among the men who were financers of the Transylvania Company, the enterprise started by Colonel Richard Henderson (1735-1785), his cousin; in 1775,together with others from Granville County that formed the Transylvania Company, Henderson bought the land from the Cherokee Nation that became the State of Kentucky and were instrumental in hiring Daniel Boone to explore that new territory. The city of Williamsboro, North Carolina, named for John Williams who donated the land upon which it was built, was the ancestral home of the Williams and Henderson families in Granville County, with both Richard Henderson and his son, Judge Leonard Henderson (1772-1833)one of the first Chief Justices of North Carolina, spending a great deal of time at Montpelier Plantation. Upon his death in 1799, Judge Williams left the land and the Plantation to his wife, Agnes Bullock Williams (ca.1720-1802), and after her death, to his Grandson, Francis Nash Williams Burton (1779-1843),son of Col. Robert Burton (1747-1825) & Agatha Williams Burton (1757-1831).


Will of John Williams

Granville County, North Carolina-1799

Will Book 5, Page 16

In the name of God Amen. I John Williams of the County of Granville and State of North Carolina do hereby make and declare this to be my last will & testament in the following manner and form. In primis I leave to my loving wife Agness Williams the use and occupation of all and every part of my estate both real and personal with all the profits thereof without any divisions the use and control of my mantion house with the use of all the out houses, kitchen dairy smoke house tree & lumber houses barns stables  tobacca houses and all other houses with all my household & kitchen furniture, stock of horses, cattle sheep hogs and every other part of my estate, to be made us of by her without control during her natural life and at he decease as she has through life made equal exe???<torn page>in getting my estate, my will and desire is that she should have her will in disposing of a part of it. She may by her will made in her lifetime give & dispose of twenty five Negroes hereafter to be named, with their future increase after the date of this, with six beds & furniture her carriage two of her choice horses, all our plate and one half of our china ware with six cows & six young cattle to and among her children grand children & great grand children with this proviso that if I should out-live her my said wife, and if she shall have willed the above enumerated her part <illegible> that case I am to keep possession of such estate during my life, <missing lines> My will and desire is that my grand son Francis Burton shall have a room assigned him in my dwelling house as his room with a bed chairs and table & that he may board in the house feed his horse or horses I have a bay assigned him to wait on him and both to be maintained out of my estate; And it is my further will & desire that if my sd grand son Francis Burton should marry while my sd wife lives that in that case she shall assign to him my plantation where Pompy lives with all the lands south of the North Side of it to ruin creek together with a half a dozzen hands three fellows & three wenches to work for him, exclusive of a bay to wait on him a few cows & calves such as she can conveniently spare with some sows and pigs or with pig in order to raise meat   And that it may be known and understood what twenty five Negroes it is that I give to my loving wife to be disposed of by her as she thinks proper after my death, by her last will or otherwise I hereby declare them to be those following (to wit) Adam, Dolly, Fanny, Milly, Anna Penny Levina  Antony, Bristor, Prisilla, John, Betty daughter of Ricy, Peggy <illegible> Lemmon James, Ned  Polly  Peter, Hannibal, Juno, Andrew, Hetty Nanny and her son Erasmus with all their future increase after signing this my last will & testament to her & her heirs & assigns for ever -

Item - I give to My daughter Agatha wife of Col. Robert Burton after the death of my loving wife the following Negroes (to wit) Yellow Sam commonly called Charlottes Sam, Dorcas, Virgil Hector, Nelly his wife Normon  Scipio <?>, Tom, Daman, Susey, Dicey, Joe Celey & Sally her daughter Kitte<???>, Betty daughter of Phillis Ransom Laury Mariah & Simon being twenty in number to her during her natural life and after her decease to such of her heirs or children as she may have living to be Equally divided among them except Francis who is provided for otherwise, together with all the future increase of the sd twenty Negroes after the day of signing this my last will & testament to her sd children as she may have living at her death to them & their assignees for ever Equally -

Item - I give to my Grand son John Williams Burton now youngest son of Robert Burton & Agatha Burton his wife Negroes (to wit) Hannah daughter of Judy with her daughter Jinny <torn> increase from <torn>day, the wench and her increase to be <partially cut off> and the boy Cato when he the sd John shall have arrived at the age of sixteen years <line missing> Such time he is to remain in the possession of my wife if she lives so long;  <portion appears to be missing>  the possession of my grand son Frank N.W. Burton; who as one of my executors is hereby requested to give to my  grand son John Wms Burton a regular University education at the University of North Carolina at the expence of my estate -

Item - I give to my grand son Francis Burton otherwise Francis Nash Williams Burton after the decease of my sd wife Agness Williams the following articles (to wit) the land and plantation whereon I now live with all the lands I have therat adjoining between the Hico road & Ruin creek with all dwelling houses out houses orchards appertinances & profit thereunto in any wise belonging: I also give to the Sd Francis N.W. Burton son of Col. Robert Burton my tract of land of seven hundred acres as estimated called Clantons place or Will place on the waters of Flat & Ruin creeks in Granville county, I also give to the sd Francis N.W. Burton My two lots in the City of Raleigh, together with my tract of Land containing 404 acres lying on the ledge of rocks on the south of Tare River in Granville County with all the rights and appertinances to belonging to him the sd Francis his heirs and assignees ??? <illegible> several the tracts of lands & lots in town as I myself hold & possess them.

Item - I give to my sd grandson Francis the following Negroes (to wit) Minor, Davy, Jack, Long Sam, Gabril, Doctor, Pampy <or Pompy>, Strap, Will, Beavar Hannah wife of Doctor, Edey, Eliza Rachel Sally daughter of Hannah King Suckey, Isaac Francis, Harvey, Cuffy, young Minor Philis Patty, Lucy, Rose George, Silva, Ben Delia and every other Negro or Negroes which I now possess not heretofore disposed of with their future increase to him & his assigns for ever after the decease of my wife.

Item - I give to my sd grand son Francis Burton after the death of my wife such household furniture as she may leave at her decease and not heretofore disposed of together with all the kitchen furniture of all kind my books of every sort my still tub & worm black smiths, carpenters, cowpers tools, My waggons carts, plows, hoes axes and plantation utensils of all kinds together with all my stock of horses, cattle sheep  ??? other stock not heretofore disposed of to him the sd Francis & his assignees for ever

Item - I give to my son in law Col. Robert Burton all my lots ??? in Williamsborough except the lower one on the south side of the road which I have disposed of Leonard Henderson but not yet conveyed which lot together with the church ??? no longer be made use of as a house of worship to stand on I give to the sd Leonard Henderson his heirs & assignees for ever - The residue of my lots in WmsBorough I give to my son-in-law Col. Robert Burton to him his heirs & assigns for ever, I also give to my son-in-law my large still & worm to him & his assignees for ever -

Item - All the rest & residue of my estate both real & personal of every kind whatever I give to my sd grand son Francis N.W. Burton his heirs & assignees forever - And I hereby appoint my loving wife my executrix alone during her natural life with only the aid of my executors where she requests & where I desire they shall give it her and I appoint my son-in-law Col. Robert Burton & my grand son Francis N.W. Burton my executors to take upon them the full executorship after her my wifes decease - And it is to be noticed that tho I have given to my wife which & how many Negroes and have pointed out the same which Negroes she may dispose of at her death to ??? her children and grand children and great grand children as she may think proper yet it is to be understood that she is nowise constrained from disposing of them or any of them sooner than her decease if she should think ??? nor is she restrained from disposing of more cattle than the number prevesely named, butt she may in her life time if she pleases dispose of as many cattle sheep or hogs as she thinks she can with justice do to herself & children without being called upon by any person whatever to answer for it - Nor is any person or persons authorised nor shall any persons be authorised in any wise whatever in the management of the estate if it be do ??? retains her understanding if it should happen otherwise then the ???<illegible> of my appointment will take upon themselves the management of my estate, and I do hereby pronounce & declare this to be my last will & testament hereby revoking and disavowing all former wills by me hereafter made and declaring this one to be my last will & testament <torn> publish & declare it to be such this 15th day of <torn page> 1799

Jno Williams In the presence of  ???<illegible>
Joseph Booker
B Bullock
The above will was proven in Granville County, November Court, 1799.


2010 by   Deloris Williams for the NCGenWeb Project.  No portion of  any document appearing on this site is to be used for other than personal research.  Any republication or reposting is expressly forbidden without the written consent of the owner. Last updated 10/25/2015


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