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MARMADUKE NORFLEET (1700-1774)

by Phil Norfleet

Marmaduke, son of Thomas Norfleet Jr., was probably also a grandson of the first Norfleet immigrant, Thomas Northfleete. "Marmaduke" is an English North Country name, primarily found in the Yorkshire area; the name would not ordinarily be used by people, such as the Norfleets, who were from the southern County of Kent. However, Marmaduke's mother, according to Norfleet family researcher, W. A. Graham Clark, was named Mary Marmaduke, hence the source of his Christian name.

He was a very successful planter and land speculator. He patented or purchased many tracts of land in several counties of the Albemarle Region of North Carolina. Marmaduke represented Perquimans Precinct in the North Carolina General Assembly from 1731 to 1742. He was appointed a justice of the peace for Perquimans Precinct, North Carolina in April 1735, by a commission from the Governor of the Province, Gabriel Johnston.

In 1766, he sold his principal plantation in Perquimans (1093 acres) to George Washington and Fielding Lewis (see below).  The plantation was located just south of the Virginia/North Carolina boundary line, about two miles east of the modern town of Corapeake (see map). Washington had visited the area in 1763 and had been much impressed with the land in this region.  After the sale, Marmaduke supplied wheat, oats, beef and corn for the slaves which Washington sent to work the land he had just acquired.

Since not all Norfleet genealogists know that George Washington purchased swamp land from a member of the Norfleet family, the story is well worth exploring in detail.

 

George Washington's Diary

On 15 October 1763, George Washington passed through the Corapeak area and made the following annotation in his diary:

"The main swamp of Oropeake is about a mile onwards from this, where stands the Widow Norfleet's Mill and Luke Sumner's plantations … At the mouth of this swamp is a very large meadow of 2 or 3000 acres held by Sumner, Widow Norfleet, Marmaduke Norfleet, Powell and others and valuable ground it is."

The "Widow Norfleet" mentioned by Washington was Elizabeth Riddick Norfleet, wife of John Norfleet (1699-1753). Of course, "Marmaduke Norfleet" is the subject of this essay.

 

Marmaduke Norfleet Sell Swamp Land to George Washington!

The Raleigh "News and Observer" for Sunday, October 14, 1934, published an article by Doctor Archibald Henderson of the University of North Carolina, dealing with George Washington's activities in the Dismal Swamp and his purchase of land in North Carolina. Much of the following is based upon that article.

George Washington owned land in North Carolina. In the schedule of property mentioned in his will, there is a record of 373 acres of land in Nansemond County, Virginia, which Washington valued at $2,984.

"These 373 acres of land are the third part of undivided purchases made by the deceased, Fielding Lewis, Thomas Walker, and myself, on full conviction that they would become valuable. The land lies on the road from Suffolk to Norfolk, touches some part of the waters of Nansemond River. The rich Dismal Swamp is capable of great improvement, and from its situation must become extremely valuable."

Fielding Lewis was Washington's brother-in law; and Thomas Walker, Thomas Jefferson's guardian, was for many years the leading spirit in the famous Royal Land Company of Virginia. Washington was interested, with Lewis, in purchasing other lands adjoining the Dismal Swamp Company's property, lying in North Carolina. The tract which Washington and Lewis purchased from Marmaduke Norfleet in 1766 has already been mentioned as referred to in Washington's diary, October 27, 1768:

"Went up to our plantation at Norfleet’s in Carolina and returned in the afternoon."

In Ledger A., under date of November 5, 1768, Washington entered:

"By cash paid Mr. John Gibson on Account of Mr. Reddick's order in favor of Marmaduke Norfleet for land bought of him 300 pounds."

Some years ago there was sold at auction a brief letter written to his co-partners in the Dismal Swamp Company:

"Williamsburg Dec 18, 1769

"Gentlemen

"I have drawn upon you this day in favor of Marmaduke Norfleet for One hundred pounds sterling which please pay and place to account of Mr. Geo Parke Custis.

"I am Gentn, Yr Most Obedt Servt

"G. Washington"

On April 26, 1766, Marmaduke Norfleet, of Perquimans County, made a deed to George Washington and Fielding Lewis Of 1,093 acres for the consideration of 1,200 pounds current money of Virginia. This land consisted of four tracts. Marmaduke Norfleet received, according to the will of Thomas Norfleet, deceased; one being one-half of the tract which the said Thomas Norfleet purchased from William Jones, of 275 acres April 5, 1697 and the other being the tract, 40 acres, which the said Thomas Norfleet purchased from, Charles Drury, July 26, 1721. A third tract was granted to the said Marmaduke Norfleet by the Earl or Granville, July 23, 1760 for 430 acres. All the above three tracts were located at a place called the White Oak Spring in Perquimans County, North Carolina. The fourth tract, located near the above three tracts of land, lay partly is Perquimans and partly in Chowan County; and was granted by the Earl of Granville to Marmaduke Norfleet on July 23, 1760; This fourth tract evidently contained 466 acres, as the estimated area of the four parcels was 1,093 acres.

The original deed of Marmaduke Norfleet to George Washington and Fielding Lewis appears to have been drawn by the great Virginia lawyer Edmund Pendleton, for a fee of one pound. It is recorded in Deed Book H, Perquimans County records, Hertford. It was not registered in Gates County till August 2, 1910, when it was recorded in Book 64, at page 49 of the Gates County records, Gatesville, by a lumber company to carry back the chain of title, for a record in a law-suit. The deed of sale of this land to John Cowper, May, 18, 1791, was recorded in Gates County, in Book 2, page 330. This happened because the land originally lying in Perquimans and Chowan Counties fell within Gates after it was erected in 1779 from Hertford, Chowan and Perquimans.

The deed is genealogically significant because it names Thomas Norfleet as the father of Marmaduke,  The deed also states that this same Thomas Norfleet purchased land on 26 July 1721, thus indicating that he was still living as of that date.  Key phrases are reproduced in red.

Deed Transcription

This indenture made the twenty sixth day of April in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred & sixty six Between Marmaduke Norfleet of the County of Perquimans of the one part And George Washington & Fielding Lewis of the Colony of Virginia Gent. of the other part. witnesseth, That for & in consideration   of the Sum of One thousand two hundred Pounds Current money of Virginia to the s'd Marmaduke Norfleet in hand Paid by the s'd George Washington & Fielding Lewis at or before the Sealing and delivery of these Presents, the receipt whereof he doth hereby acknowledge & thereof doth release, acquit & discharge the s'd George Washington & Fielding Lewis their heirs, Executors & administrators, By these Presents he the s'd Marmaduke Norfleet Hath granted, bargained, sold, Aliened & confirmed & by these Presents doth grant, Bargain, sell, Alien, & Confirm unto the said George Washington and Fielding Lewis and their heirs & assignees for ever, Two certain tracts, Dividands or Parcels of land given unto the s'd Marmaduke Norfleet in & by the last will & Testament of Thomas Norfleet deceased & duly Proved & Recorded in the Clerks Office in the County of Nansemond being half the Tract which this Thomas Purchased from one William James for two two hundred and Seventy five acres by deed dated the 5th of April Anno 1697.  And the other the s'd Thomas Purchased from one Charles Drury for forty acres by deed dated July 26th 1721, also one other tract or Parcel of land granted unto the s'd Marmaduke by the right Honorable John Earl of Granville by deed dated July 23 Anno 1760 for four hundred & fifty acres all which s'd three Parcels of land lies situate in the County of Perquimans in the Province afores'd, at a Marsh called the White Oak Spring, also one other tract of land lying and being Situate near these three tracts of land, Partly in the County of Perquimans & Partly in the County of Chowan, granted unto the s'd Marmaduke by the s'd Earl of Granville by deed dated July the 23rd Anno 1760, all which s'd four parcels of land Situated as afores'd Contains by Estimation One Thousand Ninety three & a half acres be the same more or less according to the most Ancient and reputed bounds thereof as Mentioned in the deeds aforesaid, And all houses, Buildings, Orchards, ways, waters, watercourses, profits, Commodities, Hereditements & appurtenances whatsoever, to these Presents hereby granted, or any Part thereof belonging, or in any wise appertaining and the revision & Revisions, remains and remainders, rents, Issues & Profits thereof & also all the estate, right Title Interest, Use, Trust Property, Claim & demand whatsoever, of him the s'd Marmaduke Norfleet, his heirs, etc. of, in & to the s'd premises, And all deeds, evidences & writings touching or in any wise Concerning the same, To have & To hold the land hereby Conveyed  & all & Singular other Premises hereby Bargained & Sold, & every Part & Parcel thereof with ... their Appurtenances unto the s'd George Washington & Fielding Lewis, their heirs & assignees for ever, to the only Proper use & Behalf of them the s'd George Washington & Fielding Lewis and of their heirs & assignees by these Presents that the s'd Marmaduke Norfleet now at the time of Sealing & delivery of these Presents is seized of a good, sure, perfect and Indefeasible estate of Inheritance in fee simple of & in the Premises hereby bargained and sold, And that he hath good power and lawful absolute authority to grant and convey the same to the s'd George Washington & Fielding Lewis, their heirs & assignees in manner & form afores'd.  And that the s'd premises now and for ever hereafter shall remain  and be free & clear of & from all ... grants, bargains, sales, Dower Right & Title of Dower, Judgments, Executions, Title Troubles, Charges & Encumbrances whatsoever, made done, committed or suffered by the s'd Marmaduke Norfleet or any other Person or Persons whatsoever. The Quit rents hereafter to grow due & Payable to our Sovereign Lord the King his heirs and assignees for and in respect of the premises only excepted and ... And that the s'd Marmaduke Norfleet & his heirs all & Singular, the premises hereby bargained & sold with the appurtenances unto the s'd George Washington & Fielding Lewis, their heirs & assignees against him the s'd Marmaduke Norfleet and his heirs and every other Person or Persons Whatsoever shall Warrant & for ever defend by these presents.   And lastly, that he the s'd Marmaduke Norfleet & his heirs & all & every other Person or Persons & his & their heirs anything having a claim in the premises herein before mentioned or intended to be hereby bargained and sold shall & will from time to time & at all times hereafter, at the reasonable request & at the proper cost & charges in the same of the s'd George Washington & Fielding Lewis, their heirs or assigns, make do & operate or cause & cause to be made done or assented all & every such for this & other lawful or reasonable act & acts, thing & things, conveyances & appurtenances, for the further, better & more perfect conveying & appraising the premises afores'd with them & any of their appurtenances unto the s'd George Washington & Fielding Lewis, their heirs & assigns as by the s'd George & Fielding their heirs & assigns or their counsel learned in the law shall be reasonably devised, advised or required.  In witness whereof the s'd Marmaduke Norfleet hath hereto set his hand & seal the day and year first above written.

/S/ Marmaduke Norfleet (Seal)

Sealed  & Delivered in the Presence of:

Lemuel Riddick

Willis Riddick

Philip Alston

Mills Riddick

The above deed from Marmaduke Norfleet to Washington and Lewis was proved on May 25, 1766, by the oath of Lemuel Riddick before James Hassell. It was registered in the Registers office Of Perquimans County June 5, 1766: teste, James Harvey, Register. The witnesses to the deed of April 26, 1766, were Lemuel Riddick, Philip Alston, Willis Riddick and Mills Riddick. The following memorandum was attached to the deed, being signed by Marmaduke Norfleet and witnessed by John Washington and William Pugh:

"It is agreed by the said parties to these presents that if there shall ever happen any dispute concerning any part of the marsh land hereby sold mad conveyed between the Executors, heirs or assigns of John Norfleet, deceased, and the said Washington and Lewis their heirs or assigns that the expense of the said suit shall be borne by them, and if any part of the said marsh is recovered from them, that these the said Marmaduke Norfleet and his heirs, Extors and administrators shall pay and satisfy the said Washington and Lewis their heirs and assigns for each acre so recovered the sum of twenty-two shillings current money of Virginia"

 

Lewis - Cowper Deed (1791)

The following is a transcription of a deed, dated 17 May 1791, made by John Lewis, attorney in fact for George Washington and executor of the estate of his brother Fielding Lewis, to John Cowper for 1,093 and acres of land lying in the northeastern part of Gates County (formerly a part of Perquimans County), near the Dismal Swamp, in North Carolina. The deed was recorded in the Clerk’s Office in Gatesville in April 1792. The record of the deed is found in Gates County, North Carolina, Deed Book 2, pages 330-333.

This is the same land which was conveyed to George Washington and Fielding Lewis by Marmaduke Norfleet, by indenture dated 23 April 1766 and recorded in the Clerk’s Office in Hertford, Perquimans County, in that same year. This same deed was also recorded in Gates County in August 1910 in order to perfect the chain of title of a lumber company.

The deed is important because it provides additional evidence that Thomas Norfleet was the father of Marmaduke Norfleet (1700-1774).   Passages considered to be of genealogical significance have been highlighted in red.

 

Transcript of the Lewis - Cowper Deed

This indenture made this seventeenth day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety one Between John Lewis attorney in fact of George Washington and Executor of the Last Will and Testament of Fielding Lewis dec'd of Fredericksburgh in the State of Virginia of the one part and John Cowper of the County of Gates in the State of North Carolina of the other part.

Whereas the aforesaid George Washington & Fielding Lewis did receive a Deed conveying the premises hereinafter mentioned, to them jointly in Fee Simple, the title whereof it is conveyed hath devolved to the said George Washington in severalty by virtue of survivorship which title he does not desire or choose to exert as appears by his letter of attorney wherein he authorized the said John Lewis to sell and convey the premises to the said John Cowper in fee simple & whereas the said Fielding Lewis by his Last Will and Testament which is duly recorded in the records of the Court of the County of Spottsylvania did constitute the said John Lewis his executor and therein devised that he should have power to sell and convey the said premises or at least his right thereto & whereas the said John Lewis by virtue of the power aforesaid hath sold the said lands and remises to the said John Cowper in fee. Now this Indenture witnesseth that the said, John Lewis attorney and executor as aforesaid for and in consideration of the sum of one thousand ninety pounds current money of Virginia to him in hand paid by the said John Cowper at or before the sealing and delivery of these presents the receipt whereof he doth hereby acknowledge and thereof forever exonerate acquit and discharge the said John Cowper, his executors and administrators, hath granted bargained sold released exposed and confirmed and by these presents doth grant bargain sell alien expose and confirm unto the said John Cowper and his heirs and assigns forever two certain tracts dividans or parcels of land which were given to Marmaduke Norfleet by the last will and testament of his father Thomas Norfleet which is proved and recorded in the records of Nansemond County Court, being half the land which the said Thomas purchased from one William Jones for two hundred and seventy five acres by deed dated the 5th of Sept anno 1687 and the other the said Thomas Purchased from one Charles Drury for forty acres by deed dated July 20, 1725, also one other tract which was granted to the said Marmaduke Norfleet by the Right Honorable the Earl of Granville by deed dated July 23, anno 1760, for four hundred and fifty acres all of which said three tracts are situated in the County of Gates formerly Perquimans in the State North Carolina at the place called the White Oak Spring, also one other tract of land being situated near the said three tracts aforesaid which was granted as aforesaid by deed dated July 23 anno 1760, all of which aforesaid four tracts or parcells of land situated as aforesaid contain by estimation one thousand and ninety three and a half acres more or less [emphasis added by the editor] agreeable to the bounds more particularly described in the deeds aforesaid being the same four tracts of land which the aforesaid George Washington & Fielding Lewis purchased of the said Marmaduke Norfleet as will more fully appear by his deed to them bearing date the twenty sixth day of April 1766 which said dead is duly recorded in the records of the County of Perquimans in the State aforesaid and all houses, ways, marshes, woods, waters, water-courses, profits, commodities hereditaments and appurtenances whatsoever to the same belonging the reversion & reversions remainder & remainders rent & gains thereof and all the estate right title interest claims & orders of the aforesaid George Washington and the representatives or devisees of the said Fielding Lewis of In and to the same, to have and to hold the said lands & premises with the appurtenances to the same belonging or in any wise appertaining unto him the said John Cowper his heirs & assigns & the said John Lewis by virtue of the power of attorney aforesaid and also by virtue of the last will & testament of the said Fielding Lewis doth hereby covenant & agree to and with the said John Cowper his heirs & assignees forever that he may enter, have hold use occupy possess & enjoy the premises aforesaid with the appurtenances against the lawful claims of the said George Washington & his heirs as well as against the claims or demands of the heirs representatives or devisees of the said Fielding Lewis and of all and every person or persons whatsoever and that the same for them jointly and severally respectively by virtue of the power aforesaid he shall and will warrant and forever defend by these presents.

In witness whereof the parties hereto have interchangeably set their hands and seals the day and year first-above written.

/S/ George Washington, by John Lewis (Seal)

/S/ John Lewis (Seal), Executor of Fielding Lewis, Dec’d

Sealed and delivered in the presence of us

Demsey Copland

Riddick Hunter

Thomas Mann

Arthur Jones (his mark)

Suffolk, Virginia May 17, 1795, there received payment as within mentioned

/S/ John Lewis

Witnesses

Riddick Hunter

Demsey Copland

State of North Carolina, Gates County, May Court of Pleas 1792

The within deed and above receipt was in open Court duly proved by the oath of Riddick Hunter one of the subscribing witnesses thereto and on motion was ordered to be registered.

Test

Law. Baker

/S/ Christopher Riddick P R


Mention of Marmaduke Norfleet in Letters of George Washington

Marmaduke Norfleet was mentioned, many years after his death, in two letters of George Washington written in 1794. These two letters pertain to the land Washington acquired from Marmaduke in 1766 and are transcribed as follows:



1. Letter from George Washington to John Cowper, March 9, 1794:

[From: The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799. John C. Fitzpatrick, Editor.--vol. 33]


Philadelphia, March 9, 1794.

Sir: After waiting several months from the time your bond, dated the 18 of May 1791, for 146.13.4. became due, to see if (without reminding you thereof) you would make payment, I hardly expected, when application was made, to learn that I was yet to wait many months more for the money. As this, however, is the case, and you ask," whether I choose the payment to be made in Philadelphia, should you be as late as the last of June next in making it," my answer, and wish is, that this may be the case, unless you have other advice from me in the meanwhile.

I never heard, before the receipt of your letter, of the claim of Jethro Ballard Esq: to any part of the land [in Dismal Swamp] which was bought of Mr. Marmaduke Norfleet; nor can I easily conceive that such a claim is founded in equity. For I recollect well that all the disputable part of it, which was known to him, was given up. My opinion therefore is, that before any more of it is relinquished, he, or his heirs ought to be consulted; as they are certainly liable for any loss that may be sustained.

It appears a little extraordinary, that a claim of this sort should not have been known by Mr. Norfleet; nor by Colo. Lewis and myself, whilst we had possession of the plantation, was shown, and always viewed the contested spot as part of the premises, if Mr. Ballard was the proprietor thereof in virtue of an elder patent, especially as I am very confident the lines and corners comprehending it, were ascertained to us by Mr. Norfleet at the moment he announced a dispute in another part, which, as I have before mentioned, was given up with his consent, rather than embark in a contest.

It is, however, the business of Mr. Jno. Lewis (from whom you purchased the land or rather with whom you made the agreement) to examine into this matter; for I have not time, nor will my situation allow me to do it, and further because the land was disposed of contrary to my judgment, and given into, merely to accommodate the demands on his father's Estate.

I am etc.

/S/ George Washington


2. Letter from George Washington to John Lewis, September 8, 1794:

[From: The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799. John C. Fitzpatrick, Editor.--vol. 33]


Philadelphia, September 8, 1794.

Dear Sir: The enclosures of letters from me to Mr. John Cowper, and from him to me, &ca. occasioned by his Bond to you, assigned to me; will shew you that it was not until Tuesday last that I received any part of the contents of the said Bond; and his reason for not discharging the whole of it.

To hold the bond any longer, under these circumstances, would be nugatory; as he means, I perceive, to delay paymt. of it until a final settlement for the land, takes place; and for a variety of reasons this settlement cannot be adjusted with me; amongst others, because I am unacquainted with the agreement you entered into, but principally if it was, my situation and public duties would render it impracticable for me to attend to this business.

I therefore return the Bond to you, that whatever may be due thereon at the final settlement, may be received and carried to the credit of our joint concern. In the mean while, that concern will have credit for Two hundred and two pounds six shillings and five pence half paymt. received Oct. 6th. 1792. and One hundred and forty pounds recd. from Mr. Cowper the fourth instant.

Mr. Cowper, as you will perceive, is very desirous of having this matter settled; nor ought it to be less desirable on our account; for delay will work more against us, than him. Let me beseech you therefore to take prompt and efficacious measures to bring the business to an end. One or two claims, of which. I never had any knowledge or even suspicion, have already appeared; and others may start up, if the matter lies open any longer.

I am perfectly satisfied that we ought not to lose any thing on account of any claim set up since the purchase of old Marmaduke Norfleet, and not known at the time of this purchase; at least that the heirs to that Gentleman are liable for all discoveries; but whatever you shall do after a full investigation, advice, and consideration, with respect to such claim or claims, I will abide by.

So soon as you shall have brought this business to a close, be so good as to transmit a state of it to me.

I am your etc.

/S/  George Washington

Move to Northampton County

After the sale to Washington, Marmaduke removed to Northampton County where he purchased from Thomas and Priscilla Hunter, by indenture dated 27 December 1766, a total of 535 acres of land called Rich Square. Marmaduke established a trading center there consisting of a general store, a blacksmith shop, and a grist mill.  Marmaduke spent the rest of his life in Northampton County, dying in the latter part of 1774 or the early part of 1775.

Wives and Children

Marmaduke was married twice: first, to Elizabeth Gordon by whom he had two sons, Marmaduke, Jr. and Reuben, and, second, to Judith Rhodes by whom he had two daughters, Sarah and Judith (see family chart).

Will of Marmaduke Norfleet

The original of the will of Marmaduke Norfleet (1700-1774), son of Thomas Norfleet, Jr., has been lost. Only a copy, found in the records of Northampton County, North Carolina, still exists. The will dated 28 June 1774, was proved at the March Court of Northampton County in the year 1775. My transcription of the copy found in the Northampton County records at Will Book ___, pages 120-123 is as follows:

In the name of God, Amen. I Marmaduke Norfleet of the Province of North Carolina and County of Northampton, being upwards of seventy four years of age and being in perfect sound sense and memory and calling to mind the mortality of all mankind, am willing to settle all my temporal affairs. My sincere prayer is to Almighty God to receive my soul after death and that my body may be buried in a decent Christian like manner at the discretion of my executors whom I shall hereafter appoint, my just debts being paid and truly satisfied. I do dispose of the remainder of my estate in form and manner as follows:

Imprimus: I give and bequeath to my son Reubin Norfleet several parcels of land and tenements lying on the North side of Roanoke river and joining each other and lying in both Northampton County and Bertie County being the land which I bought of Thomas Williams, Benjamin Foreman & Reubin Norfleet & Richard & John Whitaker, likewise the land on the South side of Roanoke River that I have already made over to my son Reubin Norfleet by a Deed of Gift. I do acknowledge it to be a free gift. All the above mentioned land I give to my son Reubin, and to his Heirs forever. I likewise give to my son Reubin Norfleet a parcel of Negroes that he has had in possession for some time past that is to say one Negro man called Harvey, one Negro man Daniel, one Negro man called Abram and one Negro wench called Hagar, and all her children excepting one Negro girl called Venus. Likewise I give him one Negro wench called Rose and all her children. I likewise give him one Negro man called Toney, likewise I give him one Negro wench called Old Nanny. I likewise give to my son Reubin Norfleet all my stock of cattle and hoggs that is under the care of Mills Young and the work horses & ploughs belonging to that plantation whereon Mills Young lives and a young mare, Dennis. Imprimus: I give and bequeath to my son Reubin Norfleet several parcels of land and tenements lying on the North side of Roanoke river and joining each other and lying in both Northampton County and Bertie County being the land which I bought of Thomas Williams, Benjamin Foreman & Reubin Norfleet & Richard & John Whitaker, likewise the land on the South side of Roanoke River that I have already made over to my son Reubin Norfleet by a Deed of Gift. I do acknowledge it to be a free gift. All the above mentioned land I give to my son Reubin, and to his Heirs forever. I likewise give to my son Reubin Norfleet a parcel of Negroes that he has had in possession for some time past that is to say one Negro man called Harvey, one Negro man Daniel, one Negro man called Abram and one Negro wench called Hagar, and all her children excepting one Negro girl called Venus. Likewise I give him one Negro wench called Rose and all her children. I likewise give him one Negro man called Toney, likewise I give him one Negro wench called Old Nanny. I likewise give to my son Reubin Norfleet all my stock of cattle and hoggs that is under the care of Mills Young and the work horses & ploughs belonging to that plantation whereon Mills Young lives and a young mare, Dennis.

Item: I give and bequeath to my daughter Judith Baker the land and plantation wherein Joshua Fletcher now lives on the east side of the Cypress swamp being the land that I bought of William Roundtree, lying and being in Edgecombe County. I say I give it to her and her heirs, but if she should die without an heir begotten of her body, my will is that it should fall to my son Reubin Norfleet and to his heirs. Item: I give and bequeath to my daughter Judith Baker the land and plantation wherein Joshua Fletcher now lives on the east side of the Cypress swamp being the land that I bought of William Roundtree, lying and being in Edgecombe County. I say I give it to her and her heirs, but if she should die without an heir begotten of her body, my will is that it should fall to my son Reubin Norfleet and to his heirs.

Item: I give and bequeath to my daughter Judith Baker all my stock of cattle and hoggs, and work horses and ploughs and a young mare all belonging to the above mentioned plantation. Item: I give and bequeath to my daughter Judith Baker all my stock of cattle and hoggs, and work horses and ploughs and a young mare all belonging to the above mentioned plantation.

Item: I give and bequeath to my daughter Judith Baker several Negroes that she has now in her possession, namely one Negro wench called Lucey, and the children that she hath with her which are called by the name Cate, Ben, Hinny and Clarissa. Likewise I give to my daughter three Negro men called Tobey, Jack and Dial, that she has now in her possession and I likewise give to my daughter Judith two Negro men called Jacob and Dempsey which she has not yet had in her possession. Item: I give and bequeath to my daughter Judith Baker several Negroes that she has now in her possession, namely one Negro wench called Lucey, and the children that she hath with her which are called by the name Cate, Ben, Hinny and Clarissa. Likewise I give to my daughter three Negro men called Tobey, Jack and Dial, that she has now in her possession and I likewise give to my daughter Judith two Negro men called Jacob and Dempsey which she has not yet had in her possession.

Item: I give and bequeath to my daughter Judith two feather beds and the furniture belonging to them. Item: I give and bequeath to my daughter Judith two feather beds and the furniture belonging to them.

Item: I give and bequeath to my daughter Sarah Jeffreys the law and plantation whereon I now live which I bought of _____, lying in Northampton County with the land and plantation wbereon Amos Parker now lives. I say I give it to my daughter Sarah Jeffreys and to her heirs begotten of her body, and if she should die without an Heir begotten of her body my will is that it should fall to my son Reubin and his heirs. I likewise give to my daughter Sarah all my stock of hoggs and cattle with the work horses ploughs & harrows belonging to the same plantation and one young riding mare called Polley. Item: I give and bequeath to my daughter Sarah Jeffreys the law and plantation whereon I now live which I bought of _____, lying in Northampton County with the land and plantation wbereon Amos Parker now lives. I say I give it to my daughter Sarah Jeffreys and to her heirs begotten of her body, and if she should die without an Heir begotten of her body my will is that it should fall to my son Reubin and his heirs. I likewise give to my daughter Sarah all my stock of hoggs and cattle with the work horses ploughs & harrows belonging to the same plantation and one young riding mare called Polley.

Item: I give and bequeath to my daughter Sarah sundry negroes namely one Negro man called Old Jack, one mulatto man called Dick, one Negro man called Jimmey, one Negro man called Caesar, one lad called Julius Caesar, one wench called Merrico, one wench called Sall, one girl called Celia. I say I give the above named Negroes to my daughter Sarah them and their increase during her life and after her death to be equally divided amongst her children, but if she should die without [heirs], I say the above named negroes I give to be equally divided amongst my son Reubin's children. Item: I give and bequeath to my daughter Sarah sundry negroes namely one Negro man called Old Jack, one mulatto man called Dick, one Negro man called Jimmey, one Negro man called Caesar, one lad called Julius Caesar, one wench called Merrico, one wench called Sall, one girl called Celia. I say I give the above named Negroes to my daughter Sarah them and their increase during her life and after her death to be equally divided amongst her children, but if she should die without [heirs], I say the above named negroes I give to be equally divided amongst my son Reubin's children.

Item: I give and bequeath to my daughter Sarah Jeffreys all my household furniture except four featherbeds and the furniture thereunto belonging. Item: I give and bequeath to my daughter Sarah Jeffreys all my household furniture except four featherbeds and the furniture thereunto belonging.

Item: I give and bequeath unto James Norfleet the son of Phillissia Norfleet, grandson to my brother James Norfleet the land and plantation whereon Henry Spikes now lives, lying in Bertie County on the east side of one branch of the head of Curshy swamp, being the land that I bought of William Robertson. I likewise give unto the above named James Norfleet all the stock of Cattle belonging to the above said plantation. Item: I give and bequeath unto James Norfleet the son of Phillissia Norfleet, grandson to my brother James Norfleet the land and plantation whereon Henry Spikes now lives, lying in Bertie County on the east side of one branch of the head of Curshy swamp, being the land that I bought of William Robertson. I likewise give unto the above named James Norfleet all the stock of Cattle belonging to the above said plantation.

Item: I give and bequeath to the above said James Norfleet two young negroes namely Davey and Celia. My will is that if the above named James Norfleet should die without issue or before he arrives to the age of twenty one years, then the above Land, Negroes and Stock to be sold to the best bidder & the money arising from the sale of the Land, Negroes & Stock to be equally divided amongst my three children namely Reubin Norfleet, Judith and Sarah or to their Heirs. Item: I give and bequeath to the above said James Norfleet two young negroes namely Davey and Celia. My will is that if the above named James Norfleet should die without issue or before he arrives to the age of twenty one years, then the above Land, Negroes and Stock to be sold to the best bidder & the money arising from the sale of the Land, Negroes & Stock to be equally divided amongst my three children namely Reubin Norfleet, Judith and Sarah or to their Heirs.

Item: I give and bequeath unto Eusebeous Stone the land and plantation whereon Ephraim Adams now lives with the stock and cattle belonging to the same plantation. I say I give the aforesaid Land and Stock of Cattle to him and his heirs and if in case no such person can be found, then my will is that his sister Susannah or her heirs should inherit the land and Stock of Cattle and if in case there is no such person as Eusebeous Stone or his heirs or his sister Susannah or her heirs to be found, then the above mentioned land and plantation and Stock of Cattle shall be sold to the highest bidder and the money arising from the Sale of the said Land and Stock of Cattle to be equally divided amongst my three children, namely Reubin, Judith & Sarah. Item: I give and bequeath unto Eusebeous Stone the land and plantation whereon Ephraim Adams now lives with the stock and cattle belonging to the same plantation. I say I give the aforesaid Land and Stock of Cattle to him and his heirs and if in case no such person can be found, then my will is that his sister Susannah or her heirs should inherit the land and Stock of Cattle and if in case there is no such person as Eusebeous Stone or his heirs or his sister Susannah or her heirs to be found, then the above mentioned land and plantation and Stock of Cattle shall be sold to the highest bidder and the money arising from the Sale of the said Land and Stock of Cattle to be equally divided amongst my three children, namely Reubin, Judith & Sarah.

Item: My will is that Thomas Brown should have the use of the Land and plantation and Stock of Cattle as he has had heretofore during his life. That is to say to raise cattle for the one fourth part & my will is that after his & my death, the land & plantation and my part of the Stock of Cattle shall be sold to the highest bidder and the money arising from the sale of the said Land and Stock of Cattle to be equally divided amongst my three children, namely, Reubin, Judith and Sarah. Item: My will is that Thomas Brown should have the use of the Land and plantation and Stock of Cattle as he has had heretofore during his life. That is to say to raise cattle for the one fourth part & my will is that after his & my death, the land & plantation and my part of the Stock of Cattle shall be sold to the highest bidder and the money arising from the sale of the said Land and Stock of Cattle to be equally divided amongst my three children, namely, Reubin, Judith and Sarah.

Item: The Negroes that I let my son Marmaduke Norfleet have the use of in his life time, my will is that, as his daughter Abseley Bell has the one half of the aforesaid negroes, that his daughter Ann Norfleet should have the other half when she arrives to the age of eighteen or marries. Item: The Negroes that I let my son Marmaduke Norfleet have the use of in his life time, my will is that, as his daughter Abseley Bell has the one half of the aforesaid negroes, that his daughter Ann Norfleet should have the other half when she arrives to the age of eighteen or marries.

This I make as my last Will and Testament making void all other wills made heretofore by writing and I do hereby ordain and appoint my trusty and well beloved son Reubin Norfleet and my very good friend William Baker and my approved friend James Hogan to be my true and lawful executors to see this my last Will and Testament exhibited and fulfilled according to the true intent and meaning of the above written Will and Testament. Signed, sealed and acknowledged this twenty-eighth day of June in the year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and seventy four.

/S/ Marmaduke Norfleet (Seal)

In the presence of

Amos Parker

Daniel Jackson

Samuel Parker

Phillissia Norfleet

Northampton County

March Court 1775

Then this will was duly proved by the Oath of Daniel Jackson & Phillissia Norfleet at the same time Reubin Norfleet, William Baker & James Hogan was duly qualified as Executors thereof, Ordered to be Certified and recorded.

Test

/S/ Willie Jones 

 

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