Friday, December 3, 2010

A Friend of Friends Friday: African American Slaves Named in the Wills of JAMES BRUTON and his son WILLIAM BRUTON, Lawnes Creek Parish, Surry Co VA

Note: "A Friend of Friends" was a password used on the Underground Railway

JAMES BRUTON was born about 1660 in Lawnes Creek Parish, Surry Co VA.  He married MARY SEWARD.   He came from a family that has for many decades been tenant farmers and before that, indentured servants in Surry Co VA.  His family apparently did not own land.  Upon his marriage to MARY SEWARD, he acquired land and possibly slaves that were willed to MARY by her maternal uncle ROBERT CAULFIELD of Surry Co VA. 

Will of JAMES BRUTON written Feb 5, 1734, proved March 17, 1735 Lawnes Creek Parish, Surry Co VA; Left to daughter ELIZABETH 5 shillings; to daughter MARY KAE (Kea, wife of Charles Kea) one Negro girl JUDY, and her increase; and if MARY should die JUDY would go to Mary's son BRUTON KAE (Kea). To grandson JOHN KAE, one negro (not named), etc. To daughter ANN JURDIN (Jordan, wife of Wm Jordan), one Negro boy DANIEL. To son WILLIAM, two Negroes PLIMOTH (Plymouth) & STEVEN. To grandson JAMES BRUTON, three Negroes JIM, HANNAH & (illegible). To wife MARY two old Negroes for life, at her death to son WILLIAM BRUTON. To two daughters, ANN and MARY, a cow apiece. Executors son WILLIAM BRUTON & wife MARY. 

WILLIAM BRUTON, only son of JAMES BRUTON & MARY SEWARD, was born about 1690 in Lawnes Creek Parish, Surry Co VA. He was likely married twice, the second time to SARAH BINNS.
The will does not mention his son JAMES BRUTON, who may have already gone to North Carolina by 1739. Curiously,  WILLIAM's will also does not mention the land that was bequeathed to MARY SEWARD by her uncle ROBERT CAUFIELD.   

WILL of WILLIAM BRUTON/BREWTON, Wills of Surry Co VA book 9, page 57:In the name of God Amen. I, WILLIAM BRUTON of Lawnes Creek Parish in the County of Surry, Virginia, being very sick of body but of perfect mind and memory thanks be to Almighty God for the same but knowing how many ways the life of a man may be abridged h ave thought it fit to make and constitute and ordain this my last will and testament, and for that temporal estate it hath pleased Almighty God to bestow on me I dispose in formand manner following viz -
I give to my sister MARY thirty shillings credit in a store. I give and bequeath to my sister ANN thirty shillings credit in a store. I give and bequeath to my daughter SARAH three young negroes, viz STEAVEN, TOM, JENNY. I give and bequeath to my daughter MARTHA, three negroes. I give and bequeath to my daughter ELIZABETH one negro boy called ABRAHAM and the first two children my negro wench NAN shall bring and raise to the age of seven years old. I give and bequeath to each of my daughters a feather bed and furniture and six pewter dishes and six head of cattle apeace. I give and bequeath to my Dear and Loving Wife all the rest of my Estate of what nature and quality so ever and I do nominate my dear and loving wife and my good friend CHARLES BINNS to be my whole and sole executors of this my last will and testament.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 18th day of July in 1737.

THOMAS BINNS (His Mark) (note: this was likely his brother in law)
--Surry County, Virginia, Court, 16 May 1739. Will of WILLIAM BRUTON dec'd presented by SARAH BRUTON and CHARLES BINNS. Probated on the oath of Thomas Binns, one of the Witnesses.

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2010

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