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Will of Caleb Grainger

Contributed by Nola Duffy
Source: NC Wills & Inventories - Grimes
Written: 1765

IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN. I, Caleb Grainger, of New Hanover County, in the Province of North Carolina, Esquire, being in Perfect health and of Sound and Disposing mind and Memory, but knowing the Incertainty of human Life do make Ordaine and Declare this to be and Contain my Last Will and Testament, hereby Revoking all former And Other Wills by me at any time heretofore made.

Imprimis. I give and Bequeath my Soul to Almighty God, the Giver of all things, hoping at the Last day to Inherit Eternal Life; And as to Such Worldly Substance wherewith it bath Pleased God to Bless me with, I Give, Devise, And Bequeath in Manner and form following, that is to Say:

I Give, Devise and Bequeath unto my Loveing Wife, Mary Grainger, and to her heirs and Assign's for ever, one fifth Part of all my Personal Estate after My Just Debts is Paid off and discharges, Except what or Such Part as I hereinafter give and Bequeath to my Daughter, Mary Grainger, which Fifth Part as aforesaid is for and in Lieu of Any Thirds or Dower, She, my said wife, May Claim out of My Estate herein Devised and Bequeathed.

Item. I Give, Devise and Bequeath Unto my son, Caleb Grainger, all my Houses and Lands on Smiths Creek, and the No. Et. River on the Northermost side of the Main or Kings Road that leads from Smiths Creek Bridge to Blakes Ferry, which said Land as aforesaid, I give, Devise and Bequeath unto him, my said Son, Caleb, his heirs and Assign's for Ever, But my will is that my said Son shall not sell said Land untill he arrives to or at the Age of Twenty five Years, which will be in the Year of of Our Lord One Thousand, Seven Hundred and Seventy three, on the 20th day of April.

Item. I Give, Devise and Bequeath unto my son, Cornelius Harnett Grainger, all my Houses and Lands on Smiths Creek on the Southermost side of the Main Road that Leads from the Bridge to Blakes ferry, that is to say, all my Lands between said Road and Mr. Sam'l Swanns Land on said Creek, which said Land as aforesaid, I Give, Devise & Bequeath unto my said Son, Cornelius, to him, his heirs and Assigns for Ever. But my will is that my said Son, Cornelius Harnett Grainger, shall not sell said Land Untill he arrives to, or at, the Age of Twenty five Years.

Item. I Give, Devise and Bequeath unto my son, William Grainger, all that Tract of Land on the Sound which I purchased from Charles Harrison, where I have Settled a New Plantation, to him, My son William, his heirs and Assign's for Ever.

Item. I Give, Devise and Bequeath Unto my Daughter, Mary Grainger, Two Negro Wenches and what Children they now have, or May hereafter have, the Names of which Wenches is, Little Hager and Venice, which Said Negroes as aforesaid, I give, Devise and bequeath to my said daughter Mary, to her, her heirs and Assigns for Ever. My farther Will is, that in Case either of said Wenches Hager of Vence should die before my said daughter comes to the Age of Seventeen of day of Marriage, that then, and in such Case my Executors shall replace such Negro or Negroes out of My General Stock of Negroes, and said Negro or Negroes, so replaced, to be a Breeding Wench or Wenches.

Item. I Give, Devise and Bequeath unto my Daughter, Mary Grainger, one Lott of Land in Wilmington, Containing Thirty feet front upon the Street, and the Common Debth of Lotts which I have sold upon said Street, Unto her, her heirs and Assigns for Ever; which said Lot as aforesaid my Will is shall be laid off and given to her, my said Daughter, by My Executors hereinafter Named, in Such Street or Part of the Town where they thing most Proper that is to say, where I own the Land: I also give, devise and Bequeath to my said Daughter, Mary, one Good Bed & Furniture, two Mahogany Tables, Six Mahogany Chairs, one Large Mahogany fraimed Looking Glass, and Such of my Plate as I shall leave a List of Inclosed in my Will; all which things as aforesaid shall be delivered to her at the Age of Seventeen Years, or day of Marriage.

Item. My Will is that My Exec'rs sell my House and Land at Masonborough for the Use of my three Sons.

Item. My Will is that my Bridge on Smiths Creek, be keep in repair and in Case of a New One being wanted that it be built out of my Personal Estate, and that the Money Arising by the Rent of the Same go towards the Victualing, Clothing & Educating my Children, and that my wife have her Proportion of the Same dureing her remaining My Widdow.

Item. All the rest and Residue of My Estate, both real and Personal, I Give, Devise and Bequeath, Unto and Between, my three Sons, Caleb, Cornelius (Harnett), and William Grainger, to them Respectively, and to their several and Respective Heirs and Assign's for Ever, to be Equally Devided Between them, Share and Share Alike, by my Executors or the Survivors of them, when or as soon as my son Caleb, shall arrive to the Age of (Twenty) Twenty One Years; and in Case of the death of either of My said Children, before they or either of them shall come of Age or Day of Marriage, that then, such Part of my Estate, both Real and Personal, hereby intended for such Child so dying, I give, Devise and Bequeath to the three surviving Children, to them, Their Heirs and Assign's for Ever, and in Case of the Death of any two of My said Children, before they shall come of age or Marriage that then such Part intend (that is to say of my Estate both real and Personal) for such Children dying I Give, Devise & Bequeath to the two Surviveing Children to them their heirs & Assign's for Eever; And in Case any Three of my Children should die before they become of Age, That then Any Part of my Estate, both Real and Personal, intended for such three deceased Children, I Give, Devise and Bequeath to the One Surviving Child, to him or her heirs and assigns for Ever.

Item. It is my Will and Desire (after my Debts is Paid) that then my Executors Pay over and Deliver unto my Wife, Mary Grainger, all and every Part of my Estate herein Before given and Bequeathed unto her, and it is my Will, that my said wife have the Use of My Household goods until my son, Caleb Grainger, is of Age, she giving Security to my Executors (if required), to return the same in good Order, all that does not fall to her share, and I hereby begg and desire my Executors to take an account of my Plate, Other furniture, Stock of Cattle &c. My farther Will is, that after my Wife has had her Share of Negores and Slaves, that then the Negroes and Slaves remaining I do hereby Order, direct and Appoint shall be kept to work together or hired, wherever or which ever, my Executors shall think Most Advantagious and the Money arising from their Labour and the rent of the Bridge, I would have laid out in board, Cloathing and Education of my Children, either in this Province or wherever my Executo s May thing most Propper, and if any Overplus Remain of the Profits Arising from the Negroes Labour, & Rent of the Bridge, as afores'd, that the same shall be laid out in buying young Negroes to add to the General Stock, for my Children.

Item. It is my farther will, that my Wife have the use of My Plantation till my Son Caleb, become of Age. Provided she remains my W ddow Solong, but She is not to have it Any Longer than her Remaining so.

Lastly, I ________ Nominate, Constitute and Appoint Maurice Moore, Cornelius Harnett, Saml. A—e and Alexander Duncan, Esquires, Executors to this my Last Will and Testament, And My Wife, Mary Grainger, Executrix dureing her Remaining my Widdow; hereby revoaking all other and former Wills by me at any time heretofore made, and Acknowledge this, Containing two Sheet of Papper, to be my Last Will and Testament.

In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal this day of in the Year of His Majestys Reign and in the Year of Our Lord, One Thousand, Seven hundred and Sixty Three


Signed, Sealed Published and declaired by the Testator, Caleb Grainger, as and for his Last will and Testament in Presence of us, who in his Presence and at his request have hereunto Set And Subscribed Our Naims as Witnesses, the word (Creek) between the tenth & Elevent lines from the bottom of the first Page being first intelined and the word "Cornelius" between the Seventh & Eights lines from the bottom of same Page interlined, and the word "Harnett" between the Sixth & Seventh lines interlined from the bottom, And the Naim "Cornelius" Putt in the Margin of the Same Page. The Word "Bequeath" interlined between the fifth and Sixth lines from the bottom of the Second Page interlined, all the above before sealing.

Account of Plate Left my Daughter, Mary Grainger.
1 Doz. Table Knives & forks, Silver Handles.
1 Doz. Desart Ditto Silver Handles.
1 Silver Butter Boat,
1 Do. Tea pott.
1 Ditto Milk Pot.
1 Dz Silver Salts & Shovels.
1 Silver Salver.
1 Set of Casters with Silver Tops.
1 Soop Spoon, Silver
Half a Dozen Silver Table Spoons, Tea Spoons

August 23d, 1760



(Turn Over) As it will be of no Real Service to my Friends, the giving of Scarfs &c (I desire that I be Buried in a Decent Manner and as a Mason), with a Plain Blacked Coffin, not Covered with Cloth, And that my Dear and ever Worthy Friend Mr. Corn. Harnett have purchased out of my Estate a neat Mourning Ring which I begg he may wear in remembrance of his Sinciar Friend & Brother,

Feb'ry 16th, 1761

Be it known unto all men by these presents, that I, Caleb Grainger, of New Hanover County, in the Province of North Carolina, Gentleman, have made a declared that my Last Will & Testament In Writing bearing date the day of in the year of our Lord, One thousand and Seven hundred and sixty three to which said will, this Codicil is annexed.

I, the said Caleb Grainger, Do by these presents Codicil, Confirm & ratify my said Last Will and do give & bequeath unto the Child My wife, Mary Grainger, is now Pregnant with whether it be a Male or a female, his, or her heirs & Assigns forever, all my Moiety of the Land on Smiths Creek adjacent to the Saw Mill & Grist Mill now building by my friend, Cornelius Harnett & mysell, together with a proportionate part (with the rest of my children), of my personal Estate. It is also my Will that the said Saw mill, to wit, my Moiety, be compleated & finished by by Executors out of the Proffits of my Estate; the proffits arising from the said Mills, to go to the use of my Estate until the said child come of age or day of Marriage; and my will is that this Codicil be adjudged a part of my said Will.

In Witness whereof, I have hereunto Set my hand & seal this fifth day of October, in the Year of our Lord, One thousand Seven hundred & Sixth five.


Signed, Sealed, delivered, published & Declared, to be a Codicil to the said Caleb Graingers Last Will & Testament, (the words "his or her assigns for ever" being first interlined) in presence of:


BRUNSWICK, 31st Octb., 1765

Sir: This day personally appeared before His Honour, the Lieutenant Governor, Mr. Anthony Ward, one of the subscribing Witnesses to the Will of Caleb Grainger, dec'd, & made Oath on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, that he saw the said Caleb Grainger sign, seal and publish the said Will as for his last Will and Testament, & that the said Caleb Grainger was at the same time (to the best of His Knowledge and belief) of a sound and disposing mind Memory; & That he the said Anthony Ward, together with the other Witnesses, subscribed their names to the said Will in the Presence of the Testator.

At the same time appeared before His Honour, Miss Mary Grainger, subscribing Witness to the Codicill Annexed to the said Will, who also made Oath According to the above Meaning in Respect to the said Codicill.

Also appeared at same time Mary Grainger, Widow & Executrix to the said Will who took the Oaths by Law Appointed for her Qualification. Lett Letters Testamentary issue thereon Accordingly.

I am, Sir, Your most Obed't Servant


Copied from the Original Will, filed in the Office of the Secretary of State