Thursday, March 23, 2017

Last Will and Testament

In 1849 William Howard (1776-1851, grandson of William Howard, colonial owner of Ocracoke Island) made his last will and testament. His bequests provide some insight into his life and circumstances. They are as follows (recipients in parentheses):
  • The eastern part of the ridge where he lives, including his dwelling house and kitchens, stables, and other out houses. (to his wife Agnes)
  • Kitchen furniture,work horse, horse cart, cattle & sheep (Agnes)
  • Wild cattle & wild horses (to his son, William, and son-in-law Job)
  • One canoe and one drag net (Agnes)
  • One schooner, the remainder of his canoes, nets, & boats (William & Job)
  • Wind mill (Agnes)
  • Bank stock in Merchants Bank in Newbern, NC (Agnes)
  • Money on hand (Agnes)
  • Notes & bonds (William & Job)
  • The tract of land where he lives, along with all houses, out houses and "envolments" [?] (to William at the death of Agnes)
  • 28 acres of land (to Job after the death of William Howard's daughter, Nancy)
  • All of his land on the banks, not including Ocracoke (William & Job)
  • 1/4 interest in the schooner Paragon (William & Job)
  • Negroes: Doll, Hannah, Delila, June & Susan (Agnes)
  • Negro: Harry (William)
  • Negro: Betsey (Job)
  • Negroes: Old Hagen, Young Hagen & Mary, Lewis, Jack & Lem, and his interest in Negro woman Phoebee & her children (William & Job)
  • Negros: Kent & Cloe (to daughter Nancy; at her death to William & Job)
  • $30 cash (to his grandchildren by his daughter Thursa Chase, who with her husband Elisha Chase left the state)
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the Ocracoke Water Tank Caper. This is the link:


  1. Debbie Leonard9:09 AM

    I'll have to say that the fact he could leave people to other people is still shocking to me.

  2. Anonymous7:25 AM

    When reading history, we should put our self in their time, not put them in our time