March 7th 1852

Last Will and Testament of Robert Hairston

This being my last will and testament, which revokes all other wills and testaments by me made.

1st Item: I will my body to its mother dust to be directly buried and my soul to my father Almighty God.

2nd Item: I will Chrimbeel be made free according to power of the state of Mississippi.

3rd Item: It is my will that she the said Chrimbeel posses all my estate both real and personal me belonging.

In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand seal

Robert Hairston

Teste: S. R. Thompson, Thomas S. Gilmer, James A. Harvey, and D. H. Gilmer

 

The State of Mississippi, Lowndes County               

 Probate Court April Term 1852

Personally appeared in open court Thomas S. Gilmer, Daniel H. Gilmer, Samuel R. Thompson, three of the subscribing witnesses to the amended instrument of writing purporting to the last will and testament of Robert Hairston dec’d who being duly sworn in open court who deporth and say that they swearlly saw Robert Hairston now demand, sign seal and publish said instrument of writing to be his last will and testament. And that they the said Thomas S. Gilmer, Daniel H. Gilmer and Samuel R. Thompson and Joseph A. Harvey the other subscribing witness signed their names to the same as witnesses in the presence and at the request of the said Hairston and in the presence of each other, and that on the date of the said instrument to wit: the seventh day of March 1852 the said Robert Hairston was not of sound disparaging mind, memory and understanding and not capable of making said last will and testament, appeared believing that said Hairston was too far gone to dispose of his property by will.

Thomas S. Gilmer

D. H. Gilmer 

S. R. Thompson

 

Also came Joseph A. Harvey the other subscribing witness to said instrument of writhing and being duly sworn say that he was present at the execution of said writing by said Robert Hairston to wit and the day and date thereof the 7th day of March 1852 and that he did witness above named witnesses and at the request of dec’d and in his presence and in the presence of said witnesses sign his own name as a witness to said instrument of writing, and that the said Hairston did there and at that time signed and publish said instrument as his last will and testament, and that therefore David other witnesses with himself signed their names as witnesses thereto in the presence of the testor, and the said Harvey further says said Robert Hairston was to all appearances at the time of said signing, sealing and publishing of sound mind and disparaging memory and understanding and more than twenty one years of age.

Jos A. Harvey

Sworn to in the open Court and sustained-April 7th 1852, David Williams, Clerk

 

In the matter of the proof of the will of Robert Hairston dec’d, answers taken down by the court upon cross examination:

Thomas S. Gilmer sworn-I was with dec’d but a few minutes before being called upon to witness this instrument I wrote at his request and at his dictation. I had no conversation with dec’d on that day on any subject previous to being called on by him to draw up the writing, except that perhaps I had asked him what he wanted. He seemed to recognize me and asked me if I would write him a will in reply to my ascent to these stated in substance what is set down in the instrument in question. After it was written he requested it should be read. I read it aloud he then requested to sign it and after signing it requested me to sign it as a witness and requested others to sign it as witnesses which was done, witness further says by way of explaining more fully that after [illegible] the first sentence of the will to wit that inspecting the revocation of former wills, the dec’d had became insensible as asleep and had to be raised up to say what should not be written and so on until the whole instrument was completed and that after it was finished he had to be informed of the fact and decided when to sign his name and that he made three or four attempts to do so, not seeming to know where to sign it. I am not positive but think his hand was directed where to sign, deceased was extremely low in his health and I rather consider him as dying and he did died some 8 or 9 hours after that. Stayed with him until he died was in the room but little think he remained in a stupor after the time alluded to above. That is after the signed of the writing.

 

Daniel H. Gilmer being duly sworn said I was with deceased some twenty hours before being called upon to witness the above writing. I considered him dying at the time the will was written, and he was lying in a state of stupor had nothing to say to any unless moved up think that the will was executed between 11 o’clock and 12 o’clock AM and that he died about 4 o’clock PM. Deceased had sent for Mr. T. S. Gilmer that morning about breakfast time by a Negro boy-was not present at the time that said D. S. Gilmer arrived or rather when he came into the room asked deceased several times during the morning before the will was written, how he was getting angry and he invariably replied naturally. I think however that he was visibly declining and had declined considerably after he started the boy for Mr. T. S. Gilmer.

 

Sander R. Thompson being duly sworn-said I was with dec’d in company with D. H. Gilmer during the previous night. I was not strictly in attendance upon dec’d but was after in the room where he was when Mr. T. S. Gilmer came in and did not go in until sent for to witness the instrument when I got into the room dec’d evidently knew me and asked me [illegible] to sign the will as one of the witnesses. I considered him dying at the time the will was executed.

 

J. H. Harvey being duly sworn-says I had been sent for and came to the house of dec’d found Mr. T. S. Gilmer writing, after he had made a draft of the will, he then copied it out fairly statement compared with first witness as to calling upon dec’d at the close of each sentence of the will to know what should be next [illegible] statement corresponds also with that of first writings as to the manner of signing [illegible] with this difference that when Gilmer told deceased that it was all ready he asked to be raised up. That he was raised up and had written the first part of his name “Robert” and then he seemed to become blind and asked for a pair of spectacles, and that Gilmer handed him his, with which he tried to see and made two attempts to write but desisted, asking for his own spectacles (deceased) and which upon being adjusted witness pointed to the proper place and shaking, deceased directed his pen to the place and completed his signature by writing the word Hairston.

 

 

I Nathaniel E. Goodwin judge [illegible] do hereby certify that the foregoing cross-examination was had in open court and the answers taken down by me. The witnesses being all duly sworn, and the answers afterwards read to the witnesses respectively, and corrected as appears. Given under my hand and seal this 7th day of April 1852.

 Nathaniel E. Goodwin

Judge of Probate

 

Probate Court, Lowndes County, April Term 1852

Upon examination of the foregoing instrument of writing as well the proof therewith submitted direct and cross it is considered that at the time of the execution of said paper. The said Robert Hairston was of sound mind and dispensing mind. It is therefore directed decree enter committing said instrument to probate as the original last will and testament of said deceased so far as the same relates to the revocation of all former wills. Set the same with the proof be recorded and filed.

 

 Nathaniel E. Goodwin

Judge of Probate

Endorsed on the back

Recorded in book 7 pages 456 and 457, April the 19th 1852

 

Probate Court, April Term 1852, The Estate of Robert Hairston

A certain instrument of writing purporting to be the true and original last Will and testament of Robert Hairston late of this County deceased was this day probated to the court. On taking the testimony (direct) as well as cross-examination of Thomas S. Gilmer, Daniel R. Gilmer, Samson R. Thompson and Joseph A. Harvey, the subscribing witnesses thereto. It is considered that at the time of executing said instrument that said Robert Hairston was of sound and despairing mind. It is therefore ordered and adjudged and decreed that said instrument of writing be admitted to probate as the true and original last Will and testament of said deceased so far as the same relater to the revocation of all former wills, and the said Will is ordered to be recorded and filed.

 

And it is further ordered that George Hairston be and his duly appointed administrator with the said will amended of Robert Hairston deceased and the said George Hairston came into court and accepted the office and to wit, and entered into bond in the sum of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Conditioned as the law directs with security approved by the court, and took the oath prescribed by law. It is therefore ordered that letters issue, and said bond is ordered to be recorded and filed.

 

The State of Mississippi, Lowndes County

I David Williams Clerk of the probate court of said county do hereby certify that the foregoing pages contain a true and correct transcript of the last will and testament of Robert Hairston deceased, also the depositions of the several witnesses as appear upon record and file in my office, and the order admitting said will to probate and appointing the administrator.

                Given under my hand and seal of said court at Columbus this the 3rd day of     November AD 1852.

David Williams, Clerk

 

The State of Mississippi, Lowndes County

I Nathaniel E. Goodwin, Judge of probate in and for said county state aforesaid do hereby certify that Daniel Williams, the maker of the next foregoing certificate and where genuine signature and official seal as thereto affixed is and was at the date thereof the clerk of the probate court aforesaid, duly commissioned and qualified according to law, and further that such court is a court of record, and that such authentication is in due form of law.

Given under my hand and seal this 3rd day of November AD 1852.

Nathaniel E. Goodwin

Judge of Probate

 

 

 

 

George Hairston VS Ruth S. Hairston

The following defendants were taken in the house of Samuel N. Taylor in Danbury on the 14th September 1854, General J. T. Morehead Solicitor for the Plaintiffs and John A. Gilmer, Esq. Solicitor for Defendants.

 

Col. Henry Marshall being duly sworn deposeth and saiyh as follows: That he lived in some eight miles of the Saurtown Plantation, that he knew Major Peter Hairston and Robert Hairston, that he often saw Robert Hairston there after Peter Hairston’s death acting as the proper owners of the property; that Robert Hairston his wife often came and for awhile mentioned this. Sworn and sustained before me this 14th Sept. 1854.

Signed:

[illegible]

J. Davis CM 2

 

George Wilson being duly sworn defendant and saith as follows: I was in the employment of Peter Hairston an overseer at the time of his death in 1832, that after his death Robert Hairston took possession and control of the plantations in Stokes county; that he Robert continued him as overseer on the plantation. I lived on Colled Pugran Hill for two years, he then employed me to take charge of a plantation called Muddy Creek where I remained as overseer for three years. He then employed me to take charge of the plantation in Leatherwood in Henry County Virginia where I remained in his employment for ten years. About three or four years after the death of Peter Hairston, Robert sent a parcel of his slaves from his Leatherwood plantation in Virginia and carried about a hundred Negro’s little and big from the Stokes plantation over to Leatherwood and then continued at Leatherwood as long as he remained in his employment.

 

Peter Hairston had eight plantations in the Stokes County on some of which he had Negro overseers. After Robert took possession he consolidated in some instances two plantations into one, dispensed with Negro overseers and employed white overseers on all the places except the Sauratown. The home house which was kept under the direction of the Negro called Tinker, who had control of the same for some time but how long he doesn’t remember. Sometime after I went to Leatherwood, he placed Tinker under me as a cash hand in Leatherwood where remained until about twelve months after Robert Hairston left Virginia the last time, when Samuel Hairston took him away and said that he was going to place him as superintendent over two of Robert Hairston’s wagons which were engaged in hauling produce from Robert Hairston’s plantations in Virginia and North Carolina. I frequently saw said Negro with Robert Hairston’s wagons engaged in hauling off produce.

 

Question by Plaintiffs: How were the plantations in Stokes County supplied with houses during your stay there?

Answer: They were supplied by Robert Hairston who purchased a good many and kept the places stocked during his stay in this section of the county. I think there were sixty-five to seventy on all the plantations in Stokes County. After Robert took possession the number was increased. Robert Hairston Paid me for my services as overseer in Stokes County after the death of Major Peter Hairston and I accounted to him for the produce sold and money received as long as he remained in this county.

 

About three years after Major Peter Hairston’s death, Robert Hairston built a mill on the Sauratown tract on Dan River.

 

Robert Hairston made some three trips to the Southwest before he left the last time. The first trip in 1834 or 1835, the second in 1835 or 1836 when he sent a parcel of hands by Nelson Goolsby to the southwest. Some two or three years thereafter he sent out by Creed T. Rouland a parcel of hands and sometime thereafter went himself and returned in the following spring and remained in Virginia and North Carolina until about the year 1841, when he complained and seem to be in bad health. He told me he was going to travel for his health. He left home and I have never seen him since.

 

My last conversation with him was about the month of August. I wished to know of him about arrangements for the next year, he told me to continue on as I had done before so I did. Robert Hairston lived in Virginia before Peter Hairston did; afterwards he was about as much in North Carolina as in Virginia. After the death of Peter Hairston, the furniture was kept in his house as it was in his lifetime as long as I lived in Stokes County, and I have passed several times since when things seemed to remain as they were when I left. I saw the same house servants about the place. I remained at Leatherwood about six years after Robert Hairston left the last time and the household and kitchen furniture and the house servants remained when I left, as they were when I went.

 

Crossed Examined

After 1841, I never saw any thing more of Robert Hairston in Virginia or North Carolina. I knew the slave Sally Blagg, she was an old favorite family servant. She and her descendants so far as I know lived with Peter Hairston at his home place called Sauratown in Stokes County. Gilblass and Gilchrist or Tinker were as understood grandchildren of Sally Blagg.

 

Questions by Plaintiff:

Is the Tinker above alluded to the same that was carried to Leatherwood by Robert Hairston and placed under age?

Answer: Yes, but he has since returned to Sauratown.

Geo. W. Davis

 

Sworn to and sustained before me this 14th Sept. 1854

J. M. Davis

 

Edmund Baker being duly sworn depost and saith as follows: I was employed by Robert Hairston as an overseer on the plantations in Stokes County about six years before he went away and managed the same under his inclusive control and direction He supplied the plantation with houses and all things necessary. After Robert left the county, which was about 1841, I continued six years as overseer being continued by Samuel Hairston and Peter W. Hairston who spoke of Robert’s returning frequently. The dwelling house, furniture and house servants remained during Robert’s stay in this county as they were in the life time of Peter Hairston and so continued until some few years ago.

 

On compensation he states substantially the same that Mr. Wilson stated on his compensation, except he thinks Sally Blagg died some time before he went there as overseer In Chief.

 

The evening before Robert Hairston left the last time he requested me to the next morning at the Sauratown and takes some bonds from him for collection given for produce raised on the plantation, which I had sold. I went but he was gone before I got there. He gave me no special instructions.

 

The last expressions objected to and the debating being admissible.      X- his mark

                                                                                                             Edmund Barker

Sworn to and sustained before me this 14 Sept. 1854    J. M. Davis 

 

William Fallin being duly sworn deposth and saith as follows:

In 1841, I applied to Samuel Hairston for an overseers place. He said that all his places were filled up but if he did not hear from his brother Robert in nine days he would employ him to come to the Sauratown. He said his brother had written to him and he expected another letter. He afterwards did employ me and I lived at the Sauratown.

 

Cross examined:

Tinker came back to Sauratown in 1841 or 1842. Tinker and Gilchrest’s family never were moved over to Virginia. When he came back in 1842, he was superintending the wagons in which employment he continued until 1844 when he settled permanently at Sauratown.

William Fallin

 

Sworn to and sustained before me this 14th Sept. 1854 - J. M. Davis

 

IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN

I Peter Hairston, of the County of Stokes, state of North Carolina, being in a bad state of health, but in sound mind and memory. Thanks be to God for the same, and calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men over to die, do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following:

 

[Illegible]: I give and bequeath to my daughter Ruth S. Hairston all my whole estate both land and Negroes, stocks of every kind, together with all my household property of every description, also Gilblass’ daughter his with her mother Nelly at the Yadkin, Sophia to be brought home to be with her relations.

 

I say my whole estate of every description both real and personal in the county to have and to hold during her natural life, then should she die without [illegible], then over half of all the above named, I mean if she should die before her husband Robert Hairston then the half of all above named, to be equally divided between Robert Hairston and my grand daughter Agnes J. P, Hairston’ children, the other half should Robert Hairston be the longest liver, to remain in his possession as long as he may live, now after his death, to go together with my daughter Ruth S. Hairston as above named, then the whole and every part thereof above named to go to my grand daughter Agnes J. P. Hairston’s children to be equally divided between them. Now in order that it would be the better [illegible] I mean my whole estate both personal and real in this county except the following: [illegible] The place called Davie [illegible] 200 acres and [illegible] Bennett’s 200 acres, then two [illegible] I give and bequeath to Gillblass and Gilchrist for their use and benefit forever. I also give to my grand daughter Agnes J. P. Hairston all my Pittsylvania estate both personal and real to be hers forever. Then I also give to my grandson Peter W. Hairston all my Yadkin estate both real and personal, further I positively request and forbid that there should be no sale whatsoever of any kind of my property, as I am not in debt to any person whatsoever, in conquences of which there is no necessity of any sale, further it’s my [illegible] wish and desire that Sally Blagg nor none of her children be separated but to remain and be with my daughter Ruth S. Hairston so long as she may live, then after her death to go to my grand daughter Agnes J. P. Hairston as above named.

 

And I hereby make, ordain and appoint my daughter Ruth S. Hairston, Robert Hairston, Agnes J. P. Hairston and Samuel Hairston my Executors and Executives of my last will and testament.

In witness whereof I have set my hand and seal this 20th day of February AD 1832

Peter Hairston

 

 

IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN

I Robert Hairston being sick of body but of perfect mind and memory do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following: First, I recommend my soul to God who first gave it me and my body to be buried at the discretion of my executors and touching my worldly goods which it has been please God to bless me with I give and bequeath in manor and form following:

Item: I give and bequeath to my loving son George Hairston five shillings starling unto him and his heirs forever.

Item: I give and bequeath unto my loving son Peter Hairston one Negro boy Will to have after his mother’s death to him and his heirs forever.

Item: I give unto my beloved son Samuel Hairston five shillings starling to him and his heirs forever.

Item: I give and bequeath unto my beloved daughter Elizabeth Rowland one Negro girl Cintha to be put and kept in the care of George Hairston to make what profit he can for the support of her and her heirs of her body forever.

Item: I give and bequeath unto my beloved daughter Mary Smith one Negro girl Delph also one Mare and Colt also ten head of cattle one feather bed and furniture unto her and her heirs forever.

Item: I give and bequeath unto my beloved daughter Ruth Hairston one Negro girl Cate also one named Darling, one dark Bay Mare and Colt, one feather bed and furniture also seven head of cattle, one chest and trunk to her other heirs forever.

Item: I give and bequeath unto my beloved daughter Agness Hairston two Negro girls Rosa and Dessey also one feather bed and furniture, one Mare, seven head of cattle, one desk and trunk to her and her heirs forever.

Item: I give and bequeath unto my beloved granddaughters Elizabeth Hairston Roland and Martha one Negro woman Chloe and child Charlot also a feather bed and furniture to be equally divided with their increase whenever they both come of age to them and their heirs forever.

Item: I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Ruth Hairston one Negro Juley also Jude, Peggy, Richard, Cussey, Thomas, Sal, Ester, Jude, and Anthony. Likewise the hole of my lands, stocks of all kinds, household and kitchen furniture with all plantation utensils during her life and after disease to be equally divided between her six daughters: Vaz, Martha, Hunter, Elizabeth Roland, Mary Smith, Ruth Hairston, Irmy Rintfro, Agness Hairston.

Item: I leave my beloved Ruth Hairston Executrix and George Hairston Executor of this my last will and testament in writing whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 26th day of May 1790.

Robert Hairston

Witness: Will B. Price, Brell Stovall, and Jimmy James

 

At a court held for Franklin County on Monday the 3rd of August 1791, the will and testament was produced in court by George Hairston and Ruth Hairston Executor and Executrix therein named and proved by the oaths William B. Price, Brell Stovall and Jimmy James witnesses thereto submitted and ordered to be recorded and on the motion of the said Executor and Executrix who made oath thereto certificate is granted them for obtaining probate thereof on the form.

Teste

James Calloway

Wills

Robert Hairston Will 1852

Peter Hairston's Will

 IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN 

I Peter Hairston, of the County of Stokes, state of North Carolina, being in a bad state of health, but in sound mind and memory. Thanks be to God for the same, and calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men over to die, do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following: 

[Illegible]: I give and bequeath to my daughter Ruth S. Hairston all my whole estate both land and Negroes, stocks of every kind, together with all my household property of every description, also Gilblass’ daughter his with her mother Nelly at the Yadkin, Sophia to be brought home to be with her relations. 

I say my whole estate of every description both real and personal in the county to have and to hold during her natural life, then should she die without [illegible], then over half of all the above named, I mean if she should die before her husband Robert Hairston then the half of all above named, to be equally divided between Robert Hairston and my grand daughter Agnes J. P, Hairston’ children, the other half should Robert Hairston be the longest liver, to remain in his possession as long as he may live, now after his death, to go together with my daughter Ruth S. Hairston as above named, then the whole and every part thereof above named to go to my grand daughter Agnes J. P. Hairston’s children to be equally divided between them. Now in order that it would be the better [illegible] I mean my whole estate both personal and real in this county except the following: [illegible] The place called Davie [illegible] 200 acres and [illegible] Bennett’s 200 acres, then two [illegible] I give and bequeath to Gillblass and Gilchrist for their use and benefit forever. I also give to my grand daughter Agnes J. P. Hairston all my Pittsylvania estate both personal and real to be hers forever. Then I also give to my grandson Peter W. Hairston all my Yadkin estate both real and personal, further I positively request and forbid that there should be no sale whatsoever of any kind of my property, as I am not in debt to any person whatsoever, in conquences of which there is no necessity of any sale, further it’s my [illegible] wish and desire that Sally Blagg nor none of her children be separated but to remain and be with my daughter Ruth S. Hairston so long as she may live, then after her death to go to my grand daughter Agnes J. P. Hairston as above named. 

And I hereby make, ordain and appoint my daughter Ruth S. Hairston, Robert Hairston, Agnes J. P. Hairston and Samuel Hairston my Executors and Executives of my last will and testament. 

In witness whereof I have set my hand and seal this 20th day of February AD 1832 

Peter Hairston 

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