AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
William COUSINS Granville NC
I was researching the WEBB family and located the will of Alexander Smith WEBB (1804-1849) of Oaks (now Mebane) Orange (Now Alamance) county NC. His will contained the following paragraph referencing a William COZENS:
"If in two years after my death Wm Cozens, a free man of colour in the County of Granville, N.C. shall have discharged + paid his bond ^now in my (illegible) then, or upon the payment of said bond of an earlier date, it is my will that my executor make him a title to his wife Sally + her children: and if he shall not pay said bond in two years, then it is my will that my executor sell one or more of the children, so as to pay the debt, + make him a title to the residue."
William COUSINS is listed in the 1850 census of Granville, NC 45y.o. Black house carpenter, wife Sally 35 Mulatto, and five children (all Mulatto) children William 10 M, Stetlty 8 F, Mit or Nit 6 F, Roberta 4 F, and Little Girl 1 F
William COUSINS Sr. died in 1852, and an abstract of his will can be found in "Abstracts of the Wills and Estate Records of Granville County, North Carolina 1846-1863" by Zae Hargett Gwynn and Trudie Davis-Long, Heritage, 2008. It reads:
"107- July 7, 1852- proved, Aug. court 1852
We don't know if the eldest son mentioned is William COUSINS Jr. (1840) or another older son whose name we don't know. However, since AS WEBB died in 1849, and his will stipulates a two year period for William COUSINS Sr. to pay the bond, no children should have been sold until 1851, the year after the family appears in the Granville County census. Further, the will of William COUSINS mentions five children, the same number appearing in the 1850 census, although it could always be possible that there were six (5 from the census and one older child sold to John WEBB) and one child died between the 1850 Census and William COUSINS Sr's death in 1852. That case seems less likely, but we can't rule it out.
There are 3 John WEBB's in AS WEBB's family in 1852. The first is AS WEBB's son, too young (4) to be the one referenced. The other two are his Uncle and Cousin (from the same Uncle), both John WEBB of Granville NC. The elder John Webb died in 1853, the younger the following year, but I haven't been able to track down their wills online.