Will of John Norman, Colleton County SC, 08 Jun 1756

WILL OF JOHN NORMAN

In the Name of God, Amen. I John Norman of Colleton County in the Province of South Carolina being infirm in Body but of Sound mind and Memory do make ordain and Ratify this my last Will and Testament hereby Revoking and disannulling all other whatsoever as followeth

I recommend my Soul to Almighty God and my Body I Commit to the Earth to be decently Buried according to the discretion of my Executors in Hopes of a Glorious Resurrection through Jesus Christ to Eternal Life, my Debts and funeral charges being first paid I dispose of all my Worldly Goods as followeth,

Impremis [sic] I give and Bequeath to my Well Beloved Wife Sarah Norman one Negroe Woman called Jene and also one New Chair when it is finished with the new harness and the choice of any two of the Horses that I have and also one Mahogany Set of Drawers with a large looking Glass and an equal Share of all my Personal Estate with the Children and the use of the House and her Living as heretofore of the Plantation as long as she Remains a Widow,

Item I Give and Bequeath to my well beloved Son John Norman one half of the Land I now Live on taking of at the West End of the said Tract Likewise One Negroe Boy called Cuger and one large Watch that was his Grand fathers and also and [sic] equal share of my Personal Estate with his Brothers and Sisters that is to say Richard Norman Sarah Norman Martha Corbin Edmund Corbin Rebeckah Norman but if he should Die before he arrives to the age of Twenty one or without Issue then the Land to Return to Richard Norman his Brother to which age he must arrive to before he Draws his Share also if he should die before he arrives to the said age that then his share of the personal Estate shall be equally divided between the surviving Children,

Item I Give and Bequeath to my well beloved Son Richard Norman the other half of my Land I now live on and one Mustizo Boy called Sam and also and [sic] equal share of my Personal estate with his Brothers and Sisters aforesaid but if he Should die before he arrives to the Age of Twenty one or without Issue then the Land to Return to his Broghter [sic: Brother] John Norman to which age he must arrive to before he Draws his share, also if he should die before he arrives to said age that then his share of the personal Estate shall be equally divided between th [sic] the surviving Children,

Item I Give and Bequeath to my well Beloved daughter Sarah Norman one Mustizo Girl called Hannah and an equal share of my personal Estate with her Brothers and Sisters aforesaid and in case that she should die before she arrives to the age of Eighteen or the day of Marriage then her share shall be equally divided between the surviving Children,

Item I Give and Bequeath to my well beloved Daughter in Law [step-daughter] Martha Corbin one Negroe Boy called Jack and an equal share of my Personal Estate with her Brothers and Sisters aforesaid and in case that she should die before she arrives to the age of Eighteen or the day of Marriage then her Share shall be equally divided between divided between [sic] the Surviving Children,

Item I Give and Bequeath to my well be loved [sic] Son in Law [step-son] Edmund Corbin one Negroe Boy called Winter and also and [sic] equal share of my personal Estate with his Brothers and Sisters aforesaid but if her [sic] should die before he arrives to the age of Twenty one or without Issue to which age he must arrive to be fore [sic] he Draws his Share also if he should die before he arrives to said Age that then his share of the Personal Estate shall be equally divided between the Surviving Children also one Watch that was his fathers,

Item I Give and Bequeath to my well Beloved Daughter Rebeckah Norman one Negroe Girl called Betty and an equal share of my Personal Estate with her Brothers and Sisters aforesaid and in case that she should Die before she arrives to the age of Eighteen or the day of Marriage then her share shall be equally divided between the Surviving Children, But in case my two Sons John and Richard Norman should die before they arrives [sic] to the age of Twenty one or without Issue then the Land to be Sold and the Money to be equally divided between the Surviving Children.

Lastly I Constitute and appoint my well Beloved Wife Sarah Norman my Executrix and my beloved Friends Brother Joseph Norman Colonel Richard Bedon and Doctor William Brisbane Executors of this my last Will and Testament to Manage and dispose of all the Worldly Estate it hath pleased God to Give me as above and within mentioned,

In Witness hereof I have Set my hand and Seal this Eighth day of June in the Twenty Ninth year of the Reign of our Sovreign [sic] Lord George the Second King Defender of the Faith, Anno Domini, one Thousand and Seven hundred and fifty Six [08 Jun 1756].

{signed} John Norman

Signed Sealed published and declared by the above Named John Norman as for his last Will and Testament in the Presence of us who have Subscribed our Names as Witnesses in the presence and at the Request of the said Testator the day and year above written.

{signed} Henry Saltus.
{signed} William Smith
{signed} Elisabeth Saltus

Proved before His Excellency William Henry Lyttleton [sic: Lyttelton] Esqr 11th November 1757 [11 Nov 1757]. At the same time Qualified Sarah Norman Executrix.

Recorded in Will Book 1767-1771.
Recorded on Page 505.

It is unclear why it took more than a year for his wife, Sarah, to probate the will. We know John Norman was deceased by 15 Nov 1756 since, on that date, Sarah's father, John Stone, in a deed of gift to Sarah's children by her first husband (Francis Corbin), called his daughter a “widow”. Sarah is said to have been buried in Charleston at Circular Congregational Church on 02 Jan 1758 (as “Sarah Corbin”…not proven and no marker has been found). This, together with the stated probate date, and the fact that John's estate inventory says his estate was “Left unadministred [sic] by his Executrix”, collectively suggest that, in late-1757, Sarah was just beginning to settle John's affairs when she herself died.

  • South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Microfilm ST0516. Wills (WPA transcripts). Series S213216, Volume 13, Pages 855-857.
  • Jacksonville Genealogical Society, Inc., Quarterly, Vol 23, No 3, Fall 1995, Pages 190-191.
  • Last modified: 2019-12-07 11:27:29