Wayne County, North Carolina
Written 30 Oct 1790
Recorded - April Court 1793
The original will is in the North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh
In the name of God Amen
I William Reaves Planter of the County of Wayne and State of North Carolina, Being in Health of Body, and of Sound and perfect Mind and Memory thanks be to Almighty God for the same. But calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all Men once to die do Constitute, make and ordain this my last Will and Testament in the Following manner and form, Viz. Principally and first of all I bequeath and recommend my Soul unto the hands of God that gave it, and my Body I Recommend to the Earth to be decently Buried at the discretion of my Executors hereafter named - and as touching such worldly Estate as it hath pleased Got to bless me with in this life, I do give and dispose of the same in manner and form as Followeth . . .
Imprimis /First my Will and disire is that all my Just debts and Funeral Charges be cleared and paid . . . . . . .
Item) I lend to my Beloved Wife Elizabeth Reaves during her natural life the land and plantation whereon I now life and also for her to have the care of the land which I give to my two youngest sons Lovit, and Lee 'till they come of Age or Marry, also I lend unto my said wife Elizabeth all my stock of every kind Household Goods & Plantation Tools, except their might be more than would be necessary for her support and the raising my younger Children or than can be well taken care of on the plantation in which case my desire is that the said Surplus if any be made money of to be put to Interest till otherwise disposed as shall be hereafter mentioned which I submit to the discretion of my Executors. . . . . . .
Item) I give and bequeath to my son Stephen Reaves one Hundred and Seventy Acres of land more or less Joining my Son Williams land and lying between that and the flax (?) hole Branch being part of the same tract of William's land and held by patent granted to me in Governor Caswells time. to him and his Heirs for ever.
Item) I give and bequeath to my son Lovett Reaves one Hundred and fifty Acres of land more or less lying on Brook's Swamp Beginning at the mouth of Maple Branch and coming up the said Branch with my son John Reaves' line and lying between his line and first Branch above being part of it old patent land I bought of Andrew Bass and the rest containing about seventy-five Acres of New patent land joining it, to him and his Heirs and Assigns forever . . . . . .
Item) I give and bequeath to my son Lee Reaves one Hundred and fifty Acres of Land lying between Stephens and Lovetts, being part of the plantation I live on and including the Houses after his mothers decease and not for her to be interupted by any construction laid on any former Clause in this Will To him and his heirs forever. . . . .
Item) I also lend to my wife Elizabeth Reaves my Three Negros Mingo, Midth (?) and her daughter Hannah during her natural life and after her decease they and their Increase and all the rest of my personal Estate be sold and Money arising from such sale with any that may be raised in in (sic) consequence of a former Clause be disposed as follows......
And in order to set all my children as near on a footing as I can, I desire to State an account of what I have given each one that has left me and for that to stand as part or all the portion as the case may be in the division......
My son Adam Reaves I allow I have Given to the to the (sic) amount of Eighty pounds. And my son John Reaves In the amount of Eighty five pounds. And my son Jesse Reaves to the amount of Ninety Pounds. My son William Reaves to the amount of Eighty Pounds. My Daughter Liddy Slocomb to the amount of Twenty two pounds. My son Stephen to the Amount of Sixty pounds. My son Lovitt Reaves to the amount of Twenty five Pounds. and my son Lee Reaves the amount of Eighty Pounds. My two daughters Elizabeth & Peggy has not Reciev'd anything . . . . . .
My son-in-law Joel Sasser to the amount of Twenty Pounds and my will is that he have no further Claim on my Estate.
Now my further will and disire is that out of the money arising from the sale of my personal Estate after the decease of my Wife that each of my Children to wit Adam, John, Jesse, William, Liddy, Stephen, Elizabeth, Peggy, Lovett and Lee be made equal that is the lowest to be made equal to the Highest and those who have had none to be made equal to the Highest and Then if any thing Remains to be Equally divided among them all Share and Share alike.
Item) I hereby appoint my loving Sons, John Reaves and Jesse Reaves and my _ Friend Francis Oliver to Execute this my last Will and Testament. . . . . And I do hereby Utterly Revoke disannul and make Void every other and former Will, and Wills, heretofore by me made Ratifying and Confirming this and no other to be my Last Will and Testament.
In Witness whereof I have here unto set my hand and affixed my Seal this 30th Day October in the Year of our Lord one Thousand Seven hundred and ninety.
Signed Sealed declared & pronounced by the Testator as his last Will and Testament In presence of us who in his presence and the presence of each other have subscribed their names:
John Charles Slocumb
William Reaves Junr