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Will of William Stafford IV
Transcribed by Robert Larry Akin
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 Christ,
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 Elizabeth likewise.

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 them living.

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 us               
John Alexander Willey
Charles Hollingsworth
William W. Stafford (seal)
(his mark)

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.

Jno Burgwin
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 Testamentary accordingly.
Jno Burgwin

©2009 Natasha Miles