In the name
of God, Amen. I, William Stafford, of New Hanover County in the
Province of North Carolina being sick in body but of perfect mind &
memory, thanks be to Almighty God for it, but being well assured as it
is appointed for all men to die, therefore, I do order, make &
dispose this my Last Will & Testament in manner following, viz.
I resign & recommend when it shall please God to call my Soul into
the hands of Almighty God my Creator hoping to attain to everlasting
life through the pursuits & mediations of my blessed Savior, Jesus
as to my Body, I desire that some convenient time after my death
according to the discretion of my Executor hereafter named it may be
committed with Christian burial to the earth & also as touching the
worldly goods & Estate which it has been pleased God to bless me
with, I give & dispose of in [page torn] following –
In ?, I leave to my loving wife, Elizabeth Stafford, the plantation I
now live on & all the Negros [sic] during her widowhood.
Item. I give & bequeath to my two Daughters, Mary May [&] Ann
Forbes one shilling sterling a piece.
Item. I give & bequeath to my Daughter, Prudence Stone, ten pounds.
Item. I give to my son, Richard Stafford, one shilling sterling.
Item. I give to my Son, William Stafford, & my son, John Stafford,
a [page torn] of land joining to George St. George & Benjamin
Gusley(?) to be equally divided between them & two Negroes - Sambo
to William Stafford & Ned to John Stafford.
Item. I give & bequeath to my Son Samuel Stafford a plantation in
Pitt County lying on the Sam’l Tison’s branch. One hundred &
eighty acres & one Negro Boy Gabriel.
Item. I give & bequeath to my Son Seth Stafford the plantation now
live on after the decease of my Wife cont.g Twenty five acres & one
Negro boy called Merica.
Item. I give & bequeath to my Daughter Elizabeth Stafford one Negro
girl called Phillis.
Item. All other of my moveable Estate which I have not yet disposed of
I leave to my Loving Wife, Elizabeth Stafford, during her natural life
& after her decease, my desire is it may be equally divided amongst
my four sons, William, John, Samuel, & Seth & Daughter
Two Plantations – one lying on the South side of the meadow Branch
containing one hundred & eighty acres of land. And the other
lies on Lightwood [or Sightwood] north Swamp cont.g three hundred &
eighty acres of land which I desire should be sold by my Executor
hereafter mentioned & the money equally divided among my five
Children above mentioned viz. William, John, Samuel, Seth, &
Elizabeth & if other of these should decease without their lawfully
begotten, then & in that case the part of the deceased to fall to
I constitute & appoint my sons, William Stafford & John
Stafford to be my full & sole Executors of this my Last Will &
Testament hereby revoking & making void all other Wills declaring
this to be my Last Will & Testament.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand & Seal this 31st
day of August in the year of our Lord 1765.
Signed, Deal’d & Delivered in the Presence of
John Alexander Willey
William W. Stafford (seal)
North Carolina Wilmington
District October Supervisors Court
I hereby certify that the Will of William Stafford bearing date the
31st day of August v/65 of which the writing contained on the two
preceding pages is a true copy was proved in open court by the oath of
Charles Hollingsworth, one of the subscribing Evidences thereto who
swore that he did see the Testator sign, seal, execute, publish and
declare the same to be his last Will and Testament in the presence of
this witness, and of John Alexander Willey who likewise signed at same
time as a concurring witness to the said Will in the presence of &
at the request of the Testator and the said Charles Hollingsworth
likewise swore that he verily believed that the Testator was in sound
mind & memory at the publication & execution of the said will.
Clerk of Courts
To the Secretary of the Province of North Carolina
I hereby certify that William Stafford, one of the Executors named in
the aforementioned Will, qualified as such by taking the oath of an
Executor agreeable to law. You will, therefore, issue letters