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Will of Daniel L Russell

Contributed by Bill Gibson
Source: NC State Archives - Raleigh
Written: 1871
Recorded: August 5, 1871

I Daniel L Russell being in feeble health but of sound mind and knowing that it is appointed unto all men to die, revoking all former wills do make and ordain this my last will and testament:

Item 1. To my son Thomas I give my plantation and all my lands in the county of Robeson to him and his heirs forever – also all the horses, mules, cattle, hogs and other stock and all the utensils, household and kitchen furniture and all other personal property belonging to the plantation.

Item II. To my wife, Olivia, I give my house and lot in the City of Wilmington, all the household and kitchen furniture, of every description belonging to the same, my carriage and horses and silver plate – to have during her natural life and at her death to my daughter Mary absolute and in fee simple; but if my said daughter Mary should not survive her mother then to such of my children by the said Olivia as may be living at her death equally.

Item III. All the rest of my property of every description, being such as may be in the hands of my executors after the payment of my debts I wish to be managed and disposed of as follows: I desire my executors to use and manage such residue for the support and maintenance of my wife Olivia and her youngest son David and they are hereby constituted trustees for such purposes, my purpose and desire being that they shall so manage the said residuum as to afford a support and maintenance to my said wife and son such as they have heretofore ### and that they shall do this without diminishing the principal, if possible, and for this purpose I authorize them to invest according to their judgment any monies that may be in their hands for the bendfit of my said wife Olivia and son David – but if a decent and proper support cannot be afforded them without diminishing the funds then I wish my Executors upon her demand to pay over to my wife Olivia so much as may be necessary not to exceed, however, one third of the whole of such residuum. Upon the death of my wife Olivia I wish such residuary part of my estate to be divided among my children, Thomas, Mary, and David so as to make them equal in the shares which they may have in my estate – that is to say, that it shall be divided among the three, charging any advancements or specific devises or bequests to each share so as to make them equal not in the residuary part but equal in the whole which they may devise [the word may be “devise” or “devine”] from my estate.

Item IV. I hereby constitute and appoint my son, Thomas B Russell and William J H Bellamy, husband of my daughter Mary, executors to this my last will and testament. I do not appoint my son, Daniel L Russell Jr, because being the principal debtor to my estate, he did not wish to act as executor.

Item V. I authorize my executors to sell any personal property not specially bequeathed by me.

Danl L Russell {seal} [his signature]

Court of Probate
New Hanover County

Before me, J C Ma?, Judge of Probate for the County of New Hanover, personally do appear Thomas B Russell and William J H Bellamy who being by me duly sworn do depose and say that they are the persons named as executors in the last will of Daniel L Russell of said county lately deceased which said will they do now exhibit in this court and ask that the same may be admitted to probate according to law: That said testators property consisted mainly as follows: one house & lot in the city of Wilmington and furniture therein worth about nine thousand dollars – a plantation in the County of Robeson contaning in the whole tract about one thousand acres and worth about five thousand dollars, also eight ? [may be “mules”] & stock worth about ten hundred dollars - the obligations of Daniel L Russell Jr for the sum of twenty seven thousand dollars the same being a balance unpaid on the purchase of the lands of said Testators in the County of Brunswick: That the devisees & legatees under said will are Olivia wife of said Daniel L Russell so deceased who resides in the city of Wilmington, Mary, wife of W J H Bellamy one of these affiants, who also resides with her husband in the city of Wilmington, Thomas B Russell, the other of these affiants, who resides in the County of Robeson, and David S Russell, an infant of the age of nineteen years who is now in the county of Brunswick and who has no guardian but whose property so devised to him by his f? [probably “father’] is under the control of the executors to said will.

Thos B Russell [signature]
WJH Bellamy [signature]

Subscribed and sworn to
before me August 5th 1871
? [signature]

State of North Carolina       
New Hanover County
In Probate Court August 5th 1871

Before me is this day exhibited the annexed paper writing, purporting to be the last Will and Testament of Daniel L Russell deceased, and at the same time personally appeared, Daniel L Russell (late Junior) William J H Bellamy and Thomas B. Russell, who being severally sworn, say, each for himself as follows ?: I am well acquainted with the hand writing of Daniel L. Russell, having often seen him write, and that the name of the said Daniel L Russell, subscribed to the said paper writing was in the own proper hand writing of the said Daniel L Russell deceased. And the said W H J Bellamy [his initials transposed here] says that the said Daniel L Russell deceased, acknowledged the due execution of the said paper writing; and the said Thomas B Russell says the said paper writing was found among the valuable papers of the deceased.
It’s therefore considered by the Court, that the said paper writing and every part thereof, is the last will and testament of the said Daniel L Russell deceased, and the same is ordered recorded and filed.
And thereupon William H J Bellamy [his initials transposed] and Thomas B Russell the executors therein nominated, came into Court and are duly qualified as Executors according to law.
J  [signature]
Probate Judge

Additional Comments:
Daniel Lindsay Russell, Sr was the son of Thomas Russell and Obiah Ward of Onslow County. He was born in October 1803 and died at the end of July 1871.

He and his brother William Jarvis Russell, after the death of their father, took their inheritances and headed to Mississippi. Along the way, they “lost” their monies. At this time, the brothers parted company. William Jarvis Russell travelled on to Texas, where he became a prominent figure in the Texas Revolution, and later a political leader.

Daniel Lindsay Russell returned to North Carolina, but instead of coming back to Onslow County, he found himself in the Brunswick area. Seeing the abundant resources of the pine forests and the potential for easy trade afforded by the Brunswick port, he made a bold statement, “If I had $20 and a team of oxen, I could make a fortune.” He was heard by Mr. Alfred Galloway, who next day, found him and gave him $20 with a promise to provide the team of oxen. Twenty years later, Daniel Lindsay Russell, Sr was one of the wealthiest men of North Carolina, having made his fortune in naval stores and turpentine distilling.

His first wife, Caroline Elizabeth Sanders, was the daughter of David Ward Sanders and Alice Mitchell of Onslow County. They had one child, Daniel Lindsay Russell, Jr born in 1845 and a few months thereafter Caroline Elizabeth died.

About 1847, Daniel, Sr remarried to Olivia Grist. They had three children: Thomas B (born Nov 1848), Mary Williams Russell (born 13 jan 1850) and David S Russell (born 27 Jan 1852).

Mary Williams Russell married William James Harriss Bellamy, a Wilmington physician.