Yancey County Record of Wills
Volume # 1, page 69
Microfilm # C.107.80001
Last Will and Testament of Thomas Ray, senr.
State of North Carolina
Court of Pleas & Quarters Sessions
July Term 1843
William Ray & Henry Ray the Executors of the last will and Testament of Thomas Ray, senr. decd. presented the same to the court for probate which was admitted to probate by order of the court upon the Oaths of William J. Lewis and Calvin Edney the subscribing witnesses thereto and the Executors William Ray & Henry Ray were duly sworn as such & the court orders that Letters Testamentary Issue to the said Executors. The will is in the words and figures following towit.
In the Name of God Amen
I Thomas Ray, Sen. of the County of Yancey and of the state of North Carolina being Sick and Weak of body but of Sound and disposing mind memory and understanding considering the certainty of death and uncertainty of the time thereof. To the end that I may be the better prepared to leave this world when it shall please my God to call me hence ------ now determine to direct what dispossion shall be made of my property after my decease and after ------- considering the circumstances and condition of all those among whom as my heirs at law or the objects of gratitude or affection in my Judgment my Estate ----- ----- ----- . I do make publish and declare this to be my last will and testament hereby revoking and making null and void all former last Wills and Testaments by me heretofore made.
And my will is First that after my decease my body shall be decently buried without ostentation or unnecessary expense and that my Funeral charges and just debts shall be paid by my Executors hereinafter named and as to the residue of my Estate and Property with which God has Blessed me & which shall not be required for the payment of my debts Funeral Charges and the Expenses in and about the execution of this my will and the Administration of my Estate I give divide and dispose thereof as follows, towit,
ITEM I give and devise to my Eldest son James Ray the lands on which he now lives likewise one other tract on which Robert Austin now lives adjoining the lands on which James Ray now lives likewise two fifty acre tracts and one thirty acre tract the three last including the improvements where John Wheeler formerly lived likewise including the sugar camp and extending up to the low Gap likewise one other Fifty Acre tract adjoining his own lands and on the Pigpen Branch likewise one other Tract known as the Gilbert Place on the waters of Crabtree to have and to hold to him and his heirs in Fee Simple forever.
ITEM I give and devise to my second son Joseph Ray the tract of land whereupon he now lives Likewise one other tract on which Charles McPeters holds a lease adjoining the first named Tract likewise Two other small tracts adjoining the last named tract and extending up to the lands bequeathed to Jesse Ray Likewise one other thirty two acre tract adjoining the lands divised to him & James Ray and lying on bolens Creek to have and to hold to him the said Joseph Ray and to his heirs in fee simple forever.
ITEM I give and devise to my third son Jesse Ray the lands whereon William Ray & Henry Ray now lives likewise one other tract known by the name of the Beegum flat Tract likewise one other tract known as the sugar cove tract all of which to have and to hold to him the said Jesse Ray and to his heirs in Fee simple forever.
ITEM I give and devise to my fourth son William Ray a portion of the Greenlee Tract of land where I now live that is to say that portion lying West of Hintons Mill Creek and on both sides of Cainey River Likewise one other tract known as the Anglen Tract and joining the last named tract likewise the lands I purchased of Joseph Shepherd and joining the said Greenlee tract all of which to have and to hold to him the said William Ray and to his heirs in fee simple forever.
ITEM I give and devise to my fifth son Henry Ray that portion of the Greenlee Tract whereon I now live lying South of Caney River and East of Hintons Mill Creek and including the Improvements here I now live likewise two tract adjoining the same and known as the Barnett tract or Mill Place to have and to hold to him the said Henry Ray and his heirs in fee simple forever.
ITEM I give and devise to my youngest son Hiram Ray all my Lands on the cattail Fork & Rocky Fork Branches of Caney River Likewise one fifty acre tract a portion of which Samuel McPeters is now cultivating Likewise two other Fifty acre tracts all joining each other and joining the first named Fifty acres a Portion of the named two tracts are in cultivation by Leander Ray to have and to hold to him the said Hiram Ray and his heirs in fee simple forever.
ITEM I give and devise to my only Daughter Rhoda Wheeler the wife of John Wheeler the tract of Land on which the said Wheelers now live containing three hundred twenty or twenty five acres Likewise one Large Tract adjoining the above named Tract & on the waters of the Elk Fork of Cainy River containing two thousand acres likewise one other Tract of one hundred acres and adjoining the large Tract all of which land I give & Bequeath to my said beloved Daughter Rhoda the wife of John Wheeler and to her bodily Heirs that is to say Lucinda the wife of Nathan O. Allen, Thomas Ray Wheeler, Elizabeth Elvira Wheeler, Joicy Caroline Wheeler, Susan Wheeler, Clarissa Wheeler, John Henry Wheeler, Sarah Pauline Wheeler and Minerva Jane Wheeler to have and to hold to them in fee simple forever.
ITEM I give and bequeath to Nathan Boon Alias Nathan Ray a Bound Boy to me Thomas Ray senior until he arrives at the age of twenty-one years who is now about the age of sixteen years one Fifty Acre Tract of Land on the Waters of Cainey River adjoining the newman place and the lands of Hiram Ray to have and to hold to him the said Nathan and to his heirs forever.
ITEM and whereas the above named Nathan Boon alias Nathan Ray will not be of Full age until the 20th day of August in the year of Our Lord one Thousand Eight Hundred and forty Eight now therefore my will and desire is that my son William Ray is hereby constituted and appointed guardian of the foregoing named Bound Boy Nathan Boon Alias Nathan Ray to have and to hold the custody and guardianship of his person and Estate until the said Nathan shall arrive at the full age of twenty-one years.
ITEM I give and bequeath to my sons James Ray, Joseph Ray, Jesse Ray, William Ray and Henry Ray all my Negroes to be equally divided among them share and share alike and if they cannot agree as to the portion themselves my will is that they jointly select some two or more persons to divide them equally between the same to be theirs and at their disposal forever.
ITEM I give and devise unto my three sons James Ray, Joseph Ray and Jesse Ray all of the residue of the lands belonging to me that is not heretofore disposed to be equally divided among them to have and to hold to them the said James, Joseph & Jesse and to their heirs if fee simple forever.
ITEM My will and desire further is that all the residue of my Estate after taking out the various portions heretofore set apart for the Legatees and person therein named consisting of Horses cattle Hogs sheep with all the notes Bonds and accounts belonging to me shall be equally divided share and share alike between my sons, towit, James Ray, Joseph Ray, Jesse Ray, William Ray and Henry Ray to have and to hold to them and their heirs forever.
And lastly I do hereby constitute and appoint my two sons Wm. Ray and Henry Ray my lawful Executors to all intents and purposes to execute this my last Will and testament according to the true Interest and meaning of the same and every part and clause thereof hereby revoking and disclaming utterly void all other wills and testament heretofore by me make. In witness thereof I the Said Thomas Ray Senr. do hereunto Set my hand and seal this sixth day of July AD 1843.
Thomas Ray, by his mark (T)
Signed Sealed Published and declared by the said Thomas Ray Sen. to be his Last Will & Testament in the Presence of us who at his request and in his Presence do subscribe our names as witness thereto
Wm. J. Lewis