Will of John Swindell

John Swindellthe name of God amen the 3rd Day of April 1775 I John Swindell of the County of Hyde and in the Province of North Carolina Being vary Sick in Body But of perfect memory thanks be to God therefore Calling to mind the Mortality of the Body I therefore make and ordain this my Last Will and Testament first of all I give my Soul into the hands of Almighty God and as for my Worldly Estate I give in manner following that is I give to my Executors so much of my goods and chattles as will pay all my Debts as I doe of Right Due to any Person.

Item: I give to my son Isaac one hundred acres of Land Lying on the south side of the Lake with one horse or mare and one gun and one bed and furniture

Item: I give to my son Josiah one hundred acres of land as by Deed Directed

Item: I give to my son Jesse one hundred acres of Land as by Deed Directed

Item: I give to my son Joseph one hundred acres of Land as by Deed Directed with one cow & calf

Item: I give to my wife Rebacker the house and plantation where I now live with fifty acres of Land to be hers [I think] During her natural Life and at her Deceas to fall to my son Joel to him and his arrs [heirs] for ever with one Cow and Calf and one horse or mare.

Item: I give to my Son Jobe one Cow and Calf and one horse or mair and one gun–

Item: I give to my son John one Cow and Calf and one horse or mair and one gun

Item: I give to my Daughter Ruth one Cow and Calf and one Bed and furniture

Item: I give to my Daughter Prudence one cow and Calf and one Bed and furniture

Item: I give to Daughter Rachal one cow an dCalf and one Bed and Furniture

Item: I give my son Jonathan one cow and Calf & my Will is that all the Rest of my Worly Estate within and without Shall be Equielly Devided between my Wife and my three youngest Sons and further that my Sons Isaac and my Son Josiah Shall be my Executors and I acknowledge this to be my Last Will and Testament wherefore I have Set my hand and Seal in the Presents of us

Joab Daniels
Shadrach Morris                                                              John Swindell

Hyde County – June Term 1775
This Will was proved in Court by the oath of Joab Daniels, ordered to be Recorded
Test Geo. Barrow Clk

Transcribed Dec 4 1899
from Record of Wills and Accounts
No 1 Page 163
R. D. Harris Clk

The Discovery of Britty Swindell

In my post, Dixon Wives: Nancy Jane Daniels, I proposed that the parents of Nancy’s father, Isaiah, were Wilson Daniels and Prudence, his wife. My reasons for this were based on information gleaned from the 1850 and 1860 censuses. In 1860, the households of Isaiah and Wilson Daniels were contiguous, houses 246 and 247, respectively. Wilson, an apparent widower, was 63 and Isaiah was 38. Simple arithmetic leads one to the simple conclusion that they were father and son.


The 1850 census gives us the name of Wilson’s wife, Prudence.


Although I’ve yet to find a document that states outright the relationship between these men, it seems self-evident.  But, as it turns out, the relationship between Isaiah and Prudence may have had little to do with blood (since  I don’t know Prudence’s maiden name, I can’t  discount some sort of blood tie).  You see, my friend, Google, led me to a discovery: The John Gray Blount Papers. Mr. Blount and his brother, Thomas, were merchants based in Washington, Beaufort County. On page 429 of Volume 4 (Internet Archive), there is a letter from William Higson, in Mattamuskeet (this is in Hyde County), to John Gray Blount, dated April 12, 1825:


and further on:


I was all agog, let me tell you! Just why the boys would need a guardian when their father was still living quite baffles me. Over to FamilySearch I went to glance through Hyde County estate records. From these, I learned that Henry Williamson died sometime before December 11, 1802 when the sale of his estate was held and a year’s provision was set aside for his widow, Ann.  There were two Swindells at the sale, Jonathan and Solomon. Which, if either, of these gentlemen was the husband of Fanny Williamson? Back to Google I went. It gave me an answer: Jonathan.  Proof of this is supposed to be contained within an 1802 deed in Hyde County, bur I can’t confirm this until I’m able to see for myself.  The search results also told me Jonathan left a will, dated 1847.

Clicking back to FamilySearch, a quick browse through the Beaufort County will books nets me the will of Johnathan Swindle:

Jonathan Swindell

July the 28 1847
this is my last will and testament
Britty daniels one dollar
my son isaac swndell one dollar
megattin swindell 50 acres of land begining on lintons line runing to [word that’s smudged but looks like] my middle bay gineing [joining?] Jerome Spain
Johnathan Swindell 50 acres of land begining on lintons line runing to middle bay gining gattin swindell
my daughter salina my house and plantation gining land 50 akers
the balance of my land to tomouse defoe [I think] swindell my grand Child
50 dollars to my son Joel Swindell is to Come out of my property
Joel Swindell execter to my property and Josiah Lupton

Johnathan Swindell [signed with a mark]

J. B. Spain
Stephen Mason [signed with a mark]

If you’ll remember, Isaiah had a daughter named Britannia who was called Britty. Can we get a Eureka!?

The will was probated in December 1847 by the oath of J. B. Spain and Joel Swindell qualified as Executor. There is an Estate folder for Jonathan in the CRX boxes in Raleigh. Maybe, one of these days, I’ll get around to viewing them. They’re not the only papers in those boxes I want to see, trust me.

So, we have Britannia “Britty” Swindell, daughter of Jonathan Swindell and Fanny Williamson married Wilson Daniels, probably about 1818 or 1819, in the Goose Creek area of Beaufort County.  Wilson Daniels appears on a tax list for the first time in 1819, in this area, with 1 white poll taxed at $0.55.  Britty’s father, Jonathan, also appears on this list with 50 acres valued at 50 with one white poll taxed at $0.66.

I have more about the Williamsonses and Swindells that I’ll post later.  Henry Williamson was an intriguing character!

If You Want to Follow Your Roots, Follow the Land

And that is one of the first rules of genealogical research. It can be tedious, exhaustive, and extremely boring work, but when you really find something, the golden rush of Eureka! is priceless. Though, sometimes, it leave you scratching your aching head!

The best place to search the land records is the register of deeds. And there are a handful of counties where you can do this from the comfort of your own home through their websites.

Keep in mind that county boundaries were not static and new counties were formed all the time. An excellent resource for the genealogical researcher in North Carolina to have is The formation of the North Carolina counties, 1663-1943 by David Leroy Corbitt, which can be accessed at the Internet Archive.

I eagerly await the launch of such historical record searches in Beaufort and Hyde Counties. And it would be really awesome if something similar could be done for extinct counties like Albemarle, Bath, and Dobbs. That last isn’t likely, I know, seeing as how most of the relevant documents went up in flames on at least two occasions. But one can dream.

Another source of historical land records is the website North Carolina Land Grant Images and Data. Many original land grants can be read from scanned images of the patent books. Just click “Query” and enter your search parameters. Also, some grants are available through the Register of Deeds and through Ancestry.com.

Now, for some really old records, you can search the Library of Virginia Online Catalog. Select the “Images & Indexes Tab” then double click “Virginia Land Office Patents and Grants in the “Select Database(s) to Search” box.

Yum! – Blood Orange Shortbread Cookies

Salem Banking Company

These are so good! Light and buttery with just a hint of sweet citrus.  At almost $6.00 a bag, they’re not exactly cheap, but shouldn’t we all indulge ourselves on occasion?  There’s also a lemon flavor I want to try.  I love lemon cookies.

Alice Faye Sumrell

I know I’ve vanished into the Blogosphere these last few months, and I’m sorry for that, but real life interrupted in a very big way.  My mother lost her fight with cancer in January.  You see, back in late June/early July, her back started hurting her really bad.  A visit to her doctor determined it was, probably, a pulled tendon or ligament.  He prescribed a muscle relaxer and some stronger pain medication.  But the pain did not go away and, for some unknown reason, she was growing weaker.

At first, a gastrointestinal bleed was the suspect, but, just when she was about to undergo an endoscopy, she admitted that the bleeding was vaginal.  This had been going on for a while and she told no one for no other reason than that she didn’t like getting Pap tests.  I cannot describe how angry I was with her about that.  In fact, I’m still angry.

I took this photo on Christmas in 2010.  One of my presents that year was a digital camera.

Myriad doctors and tests later, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer.  Initially, it was staged as a 2b or 3a, but the PET Scan (this is a CAT Scan where the patient is, first, injected with radioactive glucose that serves to highlight the cancer cells) results brought it to a 4.  It wasn’t just the cervix/vagina/uterus involved, but her liver, a handful of spots in the lungs and at least one of the pelvic lymph nodes.  The cervical tumor was also pressing against the urethra draining her left kidney, making a nephrostomy (a tube inserted into the back that drains the kidney into a bag) necessary.  With all of this, along with her age and overall health, a cure was no longer the goal of treatment, just the alleviation of pain and stoppage of the bleeding.

This takes us into late October, early November.  The rest of November and most of December was taken up with treatment and home care which was given by myself and my older sister.  There were also a couple of hospital stays due to blood loss and a persistent urinary tract infection.

Finally, in mid-December, Mom decided she could not endure any more treatments.  After that, the decline was rapid.  And, on January 10, she died at home. My sister and I were with her.  In many ways, it was a relief.  She wasn’t hurting anymore.

In the aftermath, my sister and I were left devastated and drained.  Add to all of that Hurricane Matthew and the floods that followed in October and November, and the fact that the car died at a Walmart gas station, leaving us without reliable transportation, and an explosion of family drama over the funeral arrangements and….  All of that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  Whoever said “when it rains, it pours” knew what they were talking about.

So no car, no job (remember, full time care?) and, now, we are having to deal with the companies with which Mom did business.  Most of them have been extremely kind and understanding.  Others have not.  For example, there’s one that actually sent a bill for premature termination of contract.  Excuse me?  She DIED for crying out loud.  I think we got that one straightened out.  But, if they send one more bill, I’m sending it back with the address to the cemetery and the plot number!

Anyway, that’s why I haven’t posted for so long, and my posts are liable to be sporadic for a while longer.

Mom needs help! by Becky Sumrell – GoFundMe

via Mom needs help! by Becky Sumrell – GoFundMe

America’s Favorite Halloween Candy by State


Okay, it’s clear that me and my taste buds need to move to Montana.  Love me a Kit Kat bar.  Or maybe West Virginia.  I don’t think I ever got Oreos while trick-or-treating.  I feel deprived.  Why anyone likes candy corn baffles me.  My state’s choice?  Butterfinger.  Other than Kit Kat, my favorite candies are Almond Joy, Reese’s Cups, and Peanut M&Ms.  I don’t think I’ve ever had Toblerone or Swedish Fish.  Not all that sure I’d like Toblerone since I’m not a big fan of honey.

via America’s Favorite Halloween Candy State By State | Influenster

There is now light!

The power finally came back on yesterday evening.  Now I have the fun task of cleaning out my fridge and freezer. The storm left a lot of sticks in my yard and one mid-sized tree limb.  So, not bad there.  The ground still squishes a bit when you walk on it, though.  Fortunately, there’s no rain in the forecast for the next week.

I don’t live in a flood-prone area, so that’s something.  Around here, the gauge for the last seventeen years has been “If it didn’t flood after Floyd, it probably won’t”.  In some places, that’s being thrown out the proverbial window, but the rivers and creeks closest to me are not forecast to exceed Floyd levels.

Hurricanes are strange

Have y’all seen the latest GFS model?  And I thought yesterday’s European model was strange.

Okay, according to the GFS, Matthew will move up the east coast of Florida, right along the edge, then Georgia a bit further off shore, then make this sharp, easterly turn off of South Carolina.  Then, this is where it gets weird, it makes a loop and goes back to the Bahamas and ends up off of Miami, again!, next week.  This is extremely good news for me, but not so much for Florida and the Bahamas.  Remember, yesterday’s European model had it do something very similar.  Nicole has put a really big spanner in the works just by its existence to the east of Matthew.  Because of Nicole, Matthew can’t just go east and out to sea, it has to go south.  Very bizarre.

And it keeps getting worse…