Old Wills

1831 Will of Henson Coulter – Orange County North Carolina

Henson Coulter is my 4th great-uncle. He is brother to Mark Coulter, my 3rd great-grandfather, who moved to Mercer County, Kentucky, from whom I descend, and Isaiah Coulter, who moved to Washington County, Kentucky, and raised his family. All three were sons of Thomas Coulter of Orange County, North Carolina.

March 7, 1785, Henson Coulter married Tabitha Partin, bondsman was her father, William Partin, with witness S. Benton. Tabitha died before May 1815, as that is when Henson Coulter married Eliza Dawson. Henson had children with both wives, and according to his will, with another woman that produced a daughter, Eliza Coulter.

The probable sons of Henson Coulter and Tabitha Partin were Anderson, Charles, Thomas (deceased before his father), Henson, Allen, Asa, Ashley. Daughters were Jane Fan, Molly Pendergrass, Jenny Pendergrass and Milly Coulter. Accordingly to the bequests it would seem that Charles, Thomas, Henson, Jane, Molly and Jenny were married and already had their bequests since they were given 50 cents each. Of the older children I believe the following to be unmarried – Allen, who received $125, Asa, who received $150 and Ashley, who received $125. I can’t say why Asa was given an additional $25. Milly Coulter received $200 plus one bed and furniture – for her dowry.

The illegitimate daughter known as Eliza Coulter received $200 plus one bed and furniture, the same as her half-sister Milly.

Five slaves were to remain on the property, with their increase, to help with the farm for wife Eliza Coulter and her three sons, Shirley, Bartlett and Fanning Coulter. These three sons were given the plantation and all land, slaves, etc., after the death of their mother.

The will was written June 7, 1831. and was witnessed by Henry Thomson, John Sparrow, Charles B. Yancey and Ashley Coulter. William Barbee and Thomas H. Taylor were listed as executors.

The will was probated in Orange County, North Carolina at the August term 1832. With it being so late in the year I think Henson Coulter died in 1832, rather than the 1831 that is shown in many records.

Henson Coulter, Sr.  1831 Will

Orange County, North Carolina Will Book E, Page 280-282

State of North Carolina, Orange County

In the name of God, amen.

I, Henson Coulter, Senior, of the county and state aforesaid, being weak in body but of sound and disposing mind and memory, doth make and publish this my last will and testament.  Viz. in manner and form following.

After first commending my soul to almighty God who gave it, and paying my funeral expenses and other just debts, if any owing at the time of my decease.

In the first place, I give and bequeath unto my son Charles Coulter the sum of fifty cents and also unto my deceased son Thomas Coulter, or his heirs, the sum of fifty cents and also unto Henson Coulter (my son) the sum of fifty cents and further unto my son Allen Coulter one hundred and twenty-five dollars and also unto my son Asa Coulter one hundred and fifty dollars, and also unto my son Ashby Coulter the sum of one hundred and twenty-five dollars and also unto my daughter Miley Pendergrass the sum of fifty cents and also unto my daughter Jenny Pendergrass the sum of fifty cents and likewise unto my daughter Milly Coulter the sum of two hundred dollars and further one bed and furniture, and also I give unto my illegitimate daughter, now bearing and known by the name of Eliza Coulter, the sum of two hundred dollars and the further property of one bed and furniture and further it is my will and desire that my executors, in case there should be funds on hand at my decease, should pay out of the same immediately the foregoing legacies and if not a sufficiency of funds to accomplish said purposes, he is specially required to pay over to said legatees out of such funds the full amount thereof as far as practicable at the time and the residue of the legacies to be paid as soon thereafter as my executor may be enabled to do from monies arising from the sale of my personal property.

It is likewise my will and desire that one half of the personal property, with the exception of all the Negroes but two, viz. my Negro man Willis and my Negro woman Rose, shall be sold on a credit of twelve months, out of which sale and the proceeds thereof, the foregoing legacies are to be paid on the contingency of my

executor not having otherwise at my decease, funds on hand to discharge or to  pay over respectively the legacies herein named and the surplus of the same.  I do hereby require and direct shall be paid over to my three last sons, Viz. Shirley Coulter, Bartlett Coulter and Fanning Coulter.

The balance of my personal property, including Negroes, Viz. Anthony, Grace, Sindah, Isaac, Harriet and all their increase.  It is my will and desire that they, the said Negroes, shall be equally divided by valuation if practicable, or otherwise sold as may be deemed most advisable and then out of the sale and proceeds thereof, my three sons already named to share and share alike.

It is further my will and desire that the aforesaid Negroes, Viz. Anthony, Grace, Sindah, Isaac and Harriett, with all their increase, together with the residue of the other half of the personal estate, with the exception of the said Negroes Willis and Rose (which are already directed to be sold) shall remain on the plantation where I now reside and kept together there for the support and maintenance of my dearly beloved wife, Lizzy Coulter, and children Viz. Shirley Coulter, Bartlett Coulter and Fanning Coulter, and also that she, the said Lizzy Coulter and children shall enjoy the same unmolested during her widowhood.

It is further my will and desire that in case of either marriage or death of my said wife, Lizzy Coulter, or when either contingency happens, that the said property Anthony, Grace, Sindah, Isaac, Harriet and all the interest, right and title thereof, shall immediately thereafter vest or revert to my said children, Viz. Shirley, Bartlett and Fanning or their heirs forever.

It is further my will and desire that all my lands should, after the death or marriage of my said wife, Lizzy Coulter, be equally divided between my said three sons, Viz.

Shirley Coulter, Barlett Coulter and Fanning Coulter or in other words that the last mentioned three sons should share and share alike.

I do hereby nominate and appoint my trusty friends William Barbee, Senior, and Thomas H. Taylor, my Executors to execute this my last will and testament.

Signed and sealed in the presence of us, this 7th day of June 1831

Henson Coulter

Henry Thomson, Junior, John Sparrow, Charles R. Yancey, Junior, Ashley Coulter

Orange County, August Term 1832

The Execution of the foregoing last will and testament to Henson Coulter, deceased, was duly proved in open court by the oaths of Henry Thomson and Charles R. Yancy, two of the subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded.  At the same time William Barbee, one of the Executors therein named appeared in open court and qualified accordingly.  Test.

Henson Coulter must have had something to do for his country during the Revolutionary War. He was given a pay voucher, No. 649, State of North Carolina, Hillsborough District, from the Auditor’s Office, February 11, 1782. ‘This may certify that Hanson (Henson) Coulter exhibited his claim and was allowed six pounds two shillings specie. John Nicholas

Test. J. Watts, Clerk

And another the next year, No. 4079, State of North Carolina, August 20, 1783. Hillsborough Auditors Office. This is to certify that Hanson Coulter exhibited his claim and was allowed five pounds, four shillings specie.

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