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Re-post Peter SMITH will, Caswell cty NC

Re-posted here from post at with permission from the author:

Peter Smith 1793 will -- Caswell Co NC

In 1909, my great-grandfather William Monroe McGhee made a copy of his great-great grandfather Smith's 1793 will. The will, by Peter Smith of Caswell Co NC, was copied in 1992 by John P. "Jack" McGhee, my father's brother.

Jack McGhee is the younger son of Virgil Floyd McGhee (1897-1974) and Mary Muriel Thompson (1896-1992.) Virgil and Mary's elder son William James McGhee (1917-1987) married Lucille Andreano ad had two children: James V. (initial only) and Eloise M. McGhee.

The line of descent from Peter Smith is:

Peter Smith (1793 will)
George Smith (dates? spouse?)
Peter Smith (1810-1870) mar Matilda Montgomery (1808-1874) Posey Co IN > Franklin Co IL
Lucinda Smith (1846-1866) mar June 4 1863James W. (William) McGee (1841?-1867?)
William Monroe McGee/McGhee (1864?-1930) mar Laura Alice McFetridge (1865-abt 1952)
Virgil Floyd McGhee (1897-1974) mar Mary Muriel Thompson (1896-1992); (Virgil's brother Cecil McGee --- no 'h' -- had no issue)
William James McGhee (1917-1897) mar Lucille Andreano (1913-2002)

James V. McGhee (1948 -)

Eloise M. McGhee (1951 -)
John P "Jack" McGhee (after 1917-?) mar Jane (last name?)


John (died age 16-17, car wreck)

WILL OF PETER SMITH -- 1793, Caswell Co NC

In the name of God, Amen:

I, Peter Smith of Caswell County, State of North Carolina, for divers good causes and considerations me hereunto moving, have made, constituted and appointed this my last will and testament, in following manner --

Item first -- I give to my daughter Elizabeth, her heirs, etc., a certain negro woman named Jane, a horse, saddle, bridle and feather bed, etc., now in her and her husband's possession.

Next, I give to my daughter Martha a horse, saddle, bridle, feather bed and furniture --

Next, I give to my son Jesse, a negro boy named Lewis --

Next, I give to my son Moses, a negro boy named Edmond --

Next I give to my son Aaron, a negro girl named Fanny --

And I will that all my other property and estate, consisting of land, negroes, stock, household furniture, etc., be equally divided between the rest of sons [sic] to-wit: James, William, Prestley W., George, John B., Elias and Elijah, except my negro man Anthony, who although not absolutely free, I will that he have liberty to have his own free choice, from time to time, to serve which of my children he shall choose and not be confined to one particular, but if ill treated by one, to have free liberty to go to another as hs shall think fit, and not be sold to any other person --

In testimony whereof, I have set my hand and seal this 18th day of April, Seventeen Hundred and Ninety-Three, 1793, and I appoint John Windsor, Richard Hornbuckle and my son William M. Smith executors of this my last will and testament.

Signed -- Peter Smith, SEAL

Attest: [no first name given] Rice,

Henry Terrel,

James Grant.

. . . . . . [1909 transcriber's note]:
Copy of the Will of my mother's, Lucinda Smith McGee, Great Grandfather and my Great-Great-Grandfather. [signed] William M. [Monroe] McGhee Nov. 23, 1909
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Transcriber's note, May 2003: Tucked in a box of my parent's World War II letters, I found this document sent me in 1992 by my uncle Jack McGhee. I have reproduced it from Jack's copy, which included William Monroe's 1909 note. Items in square brackets [ ] are my additions. Jack's document contained the dashes ( -- ) which I have included; I hope they don't represent missing text. I hope this will be of use and interest to other researchers, and I would welcome any missing details. Eloise M. McGhee, May 2, 2003.

Final note: Shortly after I began this family research, I realized that at some point I would have to face the fact that some of my ancestors were slaveholders. This document is the first hard evidence I have found that someone whose blood flows in my veins held people enslaved and willed them like chattel. This reality grieves me deeply, and I ask all who read this to join with me in praying that true peace, true freedom, and true respect will flow into this world and heal the wounds of oppresion.

Messages In This Thread

Re-post Peter SMITH will, Caswell cty NC
Peter SMITH will, Caswell cty NC
Re: Peter SMITH will, Caswell cty NC

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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