1817 Will of William Lindsey, Nash Co., NC

I just sent another Lindsey researcher my transcription of William Lindsey’s Nash County will, dated 16 Feb 1817 and proved in May 1817. After hitting “send,” it occurred to me that other Lindsey researchers might like to see that will, so I’m including it in this post.

I made the transcription from the original will, which is available to the public at the NC Archives in Raleigh. The original will is contained in a file box numbered CR.069.801.6 and labeled “Nash Co. Wills 1778 – 1922, Keith – Owen.” The box contains a manila folder labeled “William Lindsey 1817” in which the will is filed. My transcription is verbatim from the original, including spelling errors.

It is a charming will, not least because of the spelling errors – although they are undoubtedly the fault of whomever actually put William’s wishes on paper. The will clearly reveals a man who cared deeply for his children, concerned that the young ones “mind thare stepmother” and be kept out of all “dissepated cumpany.” He also wanted them to receive enough education to at least allow them to read the Bible for themselves. His signature is a big quavery – he was apparently sick – but it features a large “W” and “L,” suggesting to me a man who was comfortable in his own shoes.

To take out the mystery, the will names William’s wife “Polley” (there is no evidence of her maiden name) and seven children, including three daughters and four sons. Polley was his second wife. The evidence, although not conclusive, suggests that William’s first wife and the mother of all or most of his children may have been a Miss Longbottom or Long Bottom, given name unknown. There are many myths on the web (including some misnamed “vital records” available at Ancestry.com) about William Lindsey’s family of origin, but I will save that issue for another day.

Here are the names of William’s children and a little bit about them. The names leave no doubt whatsoever that William Lindsey was a serious Methodist. In fact, he had been ordained by John Wesley himself. Also, he owned no slaves, which wasn’t uncommon among Methodists. Good for him.

  1. John Wesley Lindsey, b. abt. 1794, Nash Co., NC, d. between 1850-1860, Leake Co., MS. Wife Zany Rogers, daughter of Robert and Ann Rogers. John Wesley and Zany left Nash after November 1830, when he last appeared in the Nash records, acknowledging a deed for the sale of his land. He had appeared in Leake County by 1835.
  2. Asbury Lindsey, b. abt. 1796, Nash Co., NC, d. 1854, Nash Co., wife’s name unknown. Lived in Nash his entire life.
  3. Jerusha Lindsey, b. abt. 1798, Nash Co., NC, no further record.
  4. Elizabeth “Betsy” Mary Fletcher Lindsey, b. between 1798-1800, Nash Co., NC. No further record.
  5. Wiliam Ray Lindsey, b. between 1802-1804, Nash Co., d. abt. 1827, Nash Co. He never married and had no children, although some Lindsey researchers have confused William Ray with another William Lindsey in Nash who married Nancy Pridgen and had children named Bennett Lindsey and Nancy W. Lindsey. The latter William died in 1825 and was the son of Jeptha Lindsey. The estate records for Jeptha conclusively prove that Bennett and Nancy were not the children of William Ray Lindsey. Rather, they were Jeptha’s grandchildren and were the children of Jeptha’s son William. The confusion about the children’s father is understandable: at one time, the NC Archives estate records for William Ray, son of William, were mixed with those for William, son of Jeptha — and the guardian records for Bennett and Nancy W. were mixed in with both of them. I think the archivists have now sorted out those files.
  6. Mary “Polly” Mintz Lindsey, b. 24 Aug 1805, Nash Co., NC, d. 30 Jul 1880. Married Hudson Finch. Lived her entire life in Nash County.
  7. Edward Buxton Lindsey, b. 1811, Nash Co., d. Jan 1883 in Claiborne Parish, LA. Edward was my ancestor. He left Nash County about 1830 for Pike/Barbour County, Alabama (Barbour was created from Pike), where he married my ancestor Elizabeth Jane Odom, daughter of Jacob and Nancy Stubbs Odom. Edward and Elizabeth Jane moved to Drew Co., AR, where she died in 1854, after having 9 and probably 10 children. Edward soon married Ruth Belle Crook, wife #2. They divorced. Edward then moved to Claiborne Parish, LA, where he married wife #3, Elizabeth J. Marshall. Edward and Elizabeth moved to Tyler Co., TX, where Elizabeth died after having one child. Edward next married wife #4, Permelia Dean. They divorced, and Edward moved back to Claiborne Parish about 1870 with a small son in tow. There is a longish article about him titled “Edward Buxton Lindsey: one of my family legends” on this website.

With that preamble, here is William Lindsey’s will:

“In the name of God amen I William Lindsey of the county of Nash and State of North Carolina cawlling to mind the near aproch of death but of disposing mind and memory blessed be God do make and ordain this my Last will and Testament In manner and form following to wit I render my Sole to God that gave it and body to be buried in usual manner –

First my will an desier is that all my Just debts be paid out of my bonds open accoumpts and personal Estate.

Item I give and bequeth to my loving wife Polley Lindsey hole of the property that she pursest before our marriage which part in money was severnty dollars, I also give to her all the bacon and lard and all the corn and small gran for the seport of her and the family that continue with her – and my desier is that my Eldest Son John Wesley Lindsey see that thay mind thare Stepmother and thare larning bisness and are kept out of all dissepated cumpaney and also to have sum chance of schoolling at least to know how to read the word of God,

I also lend to my wife Polley the house and plantation on which I live beginning at a lightwood stump in the midle run? thence a west corse to the middle branch to a popler, then down the meanders of sd branch to the run of? Saponey Creek to a Large corner cypres on the bank of sd creek then up the sd creek to Pridgen Manning’s line then south along sd Manning line to Nathan Joiners line a corner lightwood stump thence East sd Joiners line to a corner pine, thence south a long said Joiners line to Christipher Taylors line a corner pine in John Bisets line thence an east corse along sd Bissets line to Jacobs Swamp to a corner maple Joran Shurods line, then up sd swamp Sherods line to a corner pine thence a north corse along a line of markt trees to the road then up the road west to a hickrey thence along the path as the fence goes to the mouth of the long lane then down sd lane to the first station containing Two hundred acres more or less, during her natrel life or widow hood.

I also give to my beloved Wife Polley one gray horse Dimant and her riding saddle and one cow and calf or yearling Two yoes and lambs choice Two sows and piggs – my will and desier is that my son William Ray Lindsey shold continue with my wife five years and to go Equal in the proffits of the orchard and land on which thay live and his own land that I shall here after give to him, It is also my will that my wife Polley Lindsey and Edward Buxton Lindsey as soon as connvenent thay are to pay one hundred and fifty dollars for the purpose of paying of my land contracts. Now the land that I have above lent to my wife Polley after her death or marrige, I give to my Beloved son Edward Buxton Lindsey to him and his heirs for ever.

Item I give and bequeth to my beloved son John Wesley Lindsey the tract of land that I Bought of of Nathan Lindsey and part of a tract that I bought of Amos Hatcher Beginning at Jephtha Lindsey’s corner a cypres on the Sapony Creek thence up the various corses of sd creek to a corner cypres then up the midle branch to a corner poplar thence along the middle lane to a corner lightwood stump thence a long the long lane to the mouth then along the path and fence to the road a corner hickrey then down the road East to a pine then south along a line of markt trees to a corner pine Jurdan Sherods line then east to a corner pine sd Sherrods line then North to a corner pine Jepthah Lindseys corner then along sd Lindseys line to the first station containing one hundred and eighty acres more or less to him and his heirs for ever and also one bay mare Pol? bridle and saddle one cow and calf and two yoes and lambs and one bed and furnture to him and his heirs for Ever on conditions he pays three hundred dollars towards the lands that I am in debt for.

Item I give and bequeth to my beloved son Asbury Lindsey the tract of land I bought of Edward Ballard all lying on the North side of the road and one horse named doctor one cow and calf two yoes and lambs and one bed and furniture, to him and his heirs forever, upon condition he pays one hundred and fifty dollars twoards the land I am now in debt for.

Item I give and bequeth to my beloved son William Ray Lindsey all the ballance of my lands that I have not heartofore given away two hundred acres more or less and one gray mare called Spinnet and one saddle and bridle one cow and calf two yoes and lambs one sow and piggs and one bed and furniture to him and his heirs for ever – upon condition he pays one hundred dollars towards the lands that I am now in debt for.

Item I give and bequeth to my beloved daughter Jerusha Lindsey one bed without any furniture only a sted one cow and yoe and lamb and she furnished with cotton and wool soficent cloth her bed to her and her heirs for ever.

Item I give and bequeth to my beloved daughter Polley Mintz Lindsey one bed and furniture and fifteen dollars in money to her and her heirs forever

Item I give and bequeth to my beloved daughter Betsey Mary Fletcher Lindsey one bed and furniture and fifteen dollars in money to her and her heirs for ever.

Now my will and desier is that if either of my four sons to whom I have given my land shold dy with out a lawfull heir that the land to them given shold be equally divided between those that survive.

Now all the ballance of my Estate undevsd I leave to be sold for the purpose of paying my debts, now if thare shold not be as much money needed as I have left above for my sons to pay they are to pay in purportion to those sums above named.

And I do hereby nominate and appoint my beloved son John Westley Lindsey and Richard Holland executer to this my last will and testament signed and seled in present of us this 16th of February 1817.

William Lindsey

Barn Tucker [and] Nelson Bone [witnesses]

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