For years, I have been puzzling over the will abstract of THOMAS BONNER Sr of Chowan/Bertie Co North Carolina, written 1755, proved 1757. In the will, he calls one of his daughters "ESTHER MORE". And ARTHUR MOORE, my great x 5 grandfather, witnessed the will.
My first instinct was to say that ESTHER BONNER was likely the 1st wife of ARTHUR MOORE, who later married ELIZABETH STANLEY (although I've never been able to prove her maiden name).
So for years I've showed this marriage in my family tree, not certain whether or not it was actually correct. I could find no other records to prove or disprove a marriage between ARTHUR & ESTHER.
Fast forward to earlier this month, when a researcher sent me an email, asking questions about the MOORE family of Chowan/Bertie Co North Carolina. Because of the questions he asked, I was required to go back & review all my initial research.
One of the documents I looked at was the actual full transcription of the 1755 will of THOMAS BONNER Sr. Fortunately, I had a copy in my files and also attached to my online tree. And this is what I found:
"--3'ly. I Give to my well beloved Dafter (daughter), ESTHER MORE, two hundred ackers of Land, to her and her heirs, bounded by the (Cashy) road and Hintons' Line and Blithehenden (Blitchenden) Line."
Land!!! THOMAS BONNER left his daughter ESTHER land!! And not only that, the land's location was very specifically described!!
This meant that I could look through land deeds and tax lists and see if ARTHUR MOORE or any other MOORE from Bertie Co was listed as owner. Perhaps I'd even get lucky and find a land deed showing the sale of this particular piece of land, with ESTHER signing away her dower rights.
What I have found so far is this:
--On the 1757 tax list, BENTON MOORE (head) was living with son ARTHUR MOORE and CHARLES JONES Jr (both over age 21, but not land owners); they lived next door to AMOS HINTON.
-- Jan 1759, CHRISTOPHER HOLLOMAN & AMOS HINTON of Bertie Co sold to THOMAS WALKER of same; 200 ac adjacent BENTON MOORE & the Cashy road. Witnessed: BRYAN HARE, AR. MOOR, WILLIAM WILLIFORD.
This deed suggests that BENTON MOORE was owner of the land that was bequeathed to ESTHER BONNER MOORE!
Since there were NO deeds showing a sale of this particular piece land previously to 1759, one can only assume that BENTON MOORE was indeed the husband of ESTHER, and would be considered legal owner of the property. ESTHER would have had to sign away her dower rights, if the land had been sold.
Unfortunately, the area in which they lived became Hertford County in 1759, and I have not been able to trace further deeds. Apparently the Hertford Court House burned twice, so haven't been able to locate a will for BENTON MOORE or ESTHER BONNER MOORE, either.
The latest record I've found for BENTON MOORE is the will of RICHARD WASHINGTON, dated Sept 1764 Hertford Co North Carolina. BENTON was co-executor with RICHARD's wife PATIENCE. ARTHUR MOORE & MOSES MOORE were witnesses.
It is my belief that PATIENCE was BENTON MOORE's daughter. She could not have been BENTON's sister, as she was much younger than RICHARD WASHINGTON at the time of his death. In fact RICHARD notes in his will that if she should bear a child after his decease, then part of the estate would go to that child.
PATIENCE may have married 2nd to another older man, CHARLES JONES Jr, and moved to Edgecombe Co North Carolina, as per this deed:
June 24, 1765 Edgecombe Co NC; CHARLES JONES, Junr. and wife, PATIENCE of Edgecombe Co. to JACOB ROBINS of same, for £20 VA money a tract of land on the south side of Little Mill Swamp adj NATHAN HICKMAN, it being the plantation where JOHN ARTESS lived.
So, in my estimation, here are three of the children of BENTON MOORE & ESTHER BONNER. There may have been more, of course.
--PATIENCE MOORE (named after ESTHER's sister, PATIENCE BONNER?) born about 1720 Chowan/Bertie Co NC; m 1st by 1740 RICHARD WASHINGTON; 2nd (unverified) by 1765 CHARLES JONES Jr of Bertie & Edgecombe Co NC
--MOSES MOORE (named after ESTHER's brother, MOSES BONNER?) born about 1730 Bertie Co NC; m 1st by 1750 MARY POLLY RUTLAND; m 2nd, about 1810, very late in life, SARAH Unknown. In his will dated Nov 1, 1817, MOSES states: " I give and bequeath to my beloved wife SARAH MOORE all the property real and personal she possessed at our Marriage after paying her just debts out of the same".
--ARTHUR MOORE born about 1733 Bertie Co NC; m before 1858 ELIZABETH STANLEY (maiden name unverified). Will dated 1821 Franklin Co TN.
Lots more work to be done. But I believe I am on the right track here!
Have a great day!
© Betty Tartas 2016