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SPEARS/MILLS FAMILY

While researching some of the the family of David Mills (1823-1891) of Nash County, I stumbled across records as to the origins of his wife, Louisa Jane Spears (1826-1900). The family were Free People of Color, and their daughter, Julia Ann Mills (1852-1950) married Richard Henry Cordell (1854-1930) the son of John Haywood Caudle & Mary Polly Evans of Warren County. These records will help members of the MILLS family in the pursuit of their family history, which I am relating here.

DAVID MILLS was the son of JOSHUA & NANCY MILLS, of Nash County, North Carolina.
LOUISA JANE SPEARS was the daughter of VIOLA SPEARS-WILKINS, wife of WILLIAM WILKINS, of Nash County. VIOLA was Apparently not married when she gave birth to LOUISA JANE, and I don't know who JANE's father was. VIOLA SPEARS was the daughter of SILVIA SPEARS, a former slave of ABRAHAM BASS, who asked to have her freed in his Nash County will which was probated in 1805. SILVIA was finally freed in 1811 by an act to emancipate her by the North Carolina General Assembly, and the following year in 1812, her daughter, VIOLA, was also emancipated since she had been born between the time period when SILVIA's freedom was petitioned and when she was granted her freedom.

 

Will of ABRAHAM BASS-1805
Nash County, North Carolina
Will Book 1, Page 157

In the Name of God Amen.
I ABRAHAM BASS of Nash County being of perfect mind and memory do this seventeenth day of June in the year of our Lord 1803 make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner an form following to wit:
Item: I give and bequeath to ANN ROSE wife of THOMAS ROSE ten pounds current money.

Item: I give and bequeath to ANN MOORE wife of COLLUM MOORE Ten pounds current money.

Item: I give and bequeath to CHARITY ROGERS daughter of ROBERT ROGERS deceased ten pounds current money.

Item: I give and bequeath to MOURNING ROGERS daughter of ROBERT ROGERS deceased ten pounds current money.

Item: I give and bequeath to ZONA ROGERS daughter of ROBERT ROGERS, ten pounds current money.

Item: I give and bequeath to my grandson JORDAN BASS one still.

Item: I give and bequeath to THOMAS HAMMILTON one Negro woman named LITTLE ROSE also one blue chest.

Item: I give and bequeath to my daughter ELIZABETH BRIDGERS one horse called Charlemain, one sadle and bride, and one bed and furniture her choice.

Item: My desire is that my Negro girl named SYLVIA shall be set free and that THOMAS HAMILTON should have the care of her until she is twenty one years of age.

Item: My desire is that all the rest of my estate both real and personal not all ready given away to be sold and after paying the above legacys and debts to be equally divided between ELIZABETH BRIDGERS and ZION BASS Heirs and JOHN BASS Heirs in the following manner to wit: the one half of the whole of the sweeping legacy to ELIZABETH BRIDGERS.

Item: The other half to be divided in the following manner between JORDAN BASS, POLLY PARKER, QUINNE BASS, ALDIN BASS, KITCHEN BASS, JOHN BASS and MOURNING FLOYD.

Item: My will is that POLLY PARKER part of legacy shall be discretionary with my executors whether they pay her or not, until the expiration of six years.

Item: My will and desire is that if FED FLOYD husband of MOURNING FLOYD ever brings a lawsuit against my self or my executors for any part of my estate his part then to be only forty shillings and balance over and above the forty shillings to be for the use of supporting the said lawsuit.

Item: I constitute and appoint WILLIAM BRIDGERS JESSE BASS and GEORGE BODDIE executors to this my last will and testament and I pronounce this to be my last will and testament and no other.

ABRAHAM BASS

Signed sealed and published in the presents of us
D. SILLS
LUCY BODDIE

Nash County
August Court 1805

The foregoing Will was duly proven in open court by the oath of DAVID SILLS subscribing witness thereto and on motion ordered to be recorded.
Attest. WM. HALL, C.C.

And is registered in obedience to the above order.
Attest. WM. HALL, C.C.

State of North Carolina, Laws of the State of North Carolina
1803-1816, Chapter XCVII, Pg. 38
1811. An act to emancipate a Negro called SILVIA
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That a certain Negro girl named SILVIA, belonging to the estate of ABRAHAM BASS, late of the County of Nash, be, and she is hereby emancipated and made capable of taking, holding and possessing property of every kind, and of enjoying all such priveleges as all other free persons of color.
And be it further enacted that the above named girl shall be known and called by the name of SILVIA SPEARS: Provided always, that this act shall not affect the right which any person or persons may have to the service of and property in said girl SILVIA, except such person or persons as may claim by, from or through the said ABRAHAM BASS.
And be it further enacted, that nothing in this act contained shall be construed so to authorise the emancipation of the said girl SILVIA, until THOMAS HAMILTON shall have entered into bond with sufficient security, in the sum of two hundred and fifty pounds, make payable to the Chairman of the County Court of Nash and his successors in office, to be void on condition that the said SILVIA will never become a charge or burthen to any of the counties of this State.



Chapter LXL, Pg. 24
1812. An act to emancipate a Negro girl named VIOLET.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, that a certain Negro Girl named VIOLET, late the property of ABRAHAM BASS, late of the County of Nash, daughter of SILVIA, who was emancipated by an act of the Legislature at its last session, be, and she is hereby emancipated and made capable of taking, holding and possessing property of every kind, and enjoying all such privileges as all other free persons of colour.
And be it further enacted, that this act shall not affect the right of which any person or persons may have to the service of, and property in said Girl VIOLET, except such person or persons as may claim by, from, and through the said ABRAHAM BASS, deceased.
And be it further enacted, that nothing in this act contained shall be so construed as to authorise the emancipation of the said VIOLET, until THOMAS HAMILTON shall have entered into bond with sufficient security in the sum of two hundred and fifty pounds, made payable to the Chairman of the County Court of Nash, and his successors in office, to be void on condition, that the said VIOLET never become a charge or burthen to any of the Counties in this State.
And be it further enacted, that the above named Negro Gil called VIOLET, shall be known and called by the name of VIOLET SPEARS.

===============================================
(Digital Library on American Slavery)
State: North Carolina Year: 1812

Location: Nash County

Thomas Hambleton of Nash County reports that he petitioned for the emancipation of “a negroe girl called Silvey” in order to carry “the Will of Abraham Bass into Execution” and that his prayer was granted at “the last Session Past.” Hambleton reveals that “unfortunately between the time of my petitioning to your Honourable Body and the passage of the Law the said negroe Girl Silvey was Deliverd of a Girl Child.” The petitioner therefore prays that Silvey’s daughter Violet be emancipated, placing her “on the same footting which in your Wisdom have thought proper to place her Mother in.”

Result: granted

 

Will of DAVID MILLS-1889
Nash County, Will Book 5, Pages 351-353

State of North Carolina
Nash County
I, DAVID MILLS of the State and County aforesaid, being of sound mind and memory, but considering the uncertainty of my earthly existance do make the my last will and testament in manner and form following, that is to say-
First- I give, devise, and bequeath to my eldest son MINGO MILLS forty Six and one half acres of land in said State and County known as the Piece of land I bought of PARSONS RACKLEY.
I give, devise and bequeath to my son MUNRO MILLS the JOSHUA MILLS tract of land on the north side of the JOSHUA MILLS Spring branch containing about seventy acres.
I give, devise and bequeath to my son HENDERSON THOMAS MILLS one tract of land containing about Seventy acres and known as the land I bought of JOHN R. SUTTON.
I give, devise and bequeath to my youngest son DAVID MORE MILLS One tract of land containing one hundred acres more or less and known as my home tract where I now live. My will and desire is that my son DAVID MORE MILLS pay to th balance of my heirs not above mentioned the just & full sum of fifty dollars out of the piece of land that I give him above mentioned. The balance of my land which is the THOMAS MILLS Piece containing about fourteen and one half. And a part of the JOSHUA MILLS tract lying on the South side of the JOSHUA MILLS Spring branch containing about ten acres more or less, is to be sold and the money equally divided among the following named heirs my son JOSHUA MILLS lawfully children which is WM. N. MILLS & ARNAL MILLS one share, FRANCES TONEY wife of JOSEPH TONEY, JULIE ANN CORDEL, MANDA LUCUST,LAHANA WILKINS wife of EVIN WILKINS, NANCY KING, wife of WILLIE KING SEVARINE JONES, wife of WM. JONES LUTORA HAGANS, wife of FRANK HAGANS.
All of the above mentioned heirs shall hold the above mentioned property in fee simple at my death. Provided that they maintain my wife LUIZER JANE MILLS, out of said property her life time or her widowhood. The balance of my property except my household and kitchen furniture which I hereby give to my wife LUIZER JANE MILLS is to be sold and equally divide among all of my lawfu heirs. And lastly, I do hereby constitute and appoint my trusty son MUNRO MILLS my lawful executor to all intents and purposes to execute this my last will and testament according to the true intent and meaning of the same and every part and clause thereof hereby revoking and declaring utterly void all other wills and testament by me heretofore made. In witness whereof I the said DAVID MILLS do hereunto set my hand and seal this 7th day of August A. D. 1889.
DAVID MILLS ("X" his mark)

Witnesses:
JAS. W. FLOYD
W. W. MANNING



State of North Carolina
Nash County

In the Superior Court

A paper writing purporting to be the last will and testament of DAVID MILLS deceased, is exhibited before me the undersigned Clerk of Superior Court for said County by MUNROE MILLS executor therein mentioned and the due execution thereof by the said DAVID MILLS is proved by the oath and examination of JAS. W. FLOYD & W. W. MANNING the subscribing witnesses thereto; who being duly sworn doth depose and say, and each for himself deposeth, and saith that he is a subscribing witness to the paper-writing now shown him purporting to be the last will and testament of DAVID MILLS that the said DAVID MILLS in the presence of this deponent, subscribed his name at the end of said paper writing now shown as aforesaid, and which bears date of the 7th day of Aug. 1889.
And the deponent further saith that the said DAVID MILLS the testator aforesaid did at the time of subscribing his name as aforesaid, declare the said paper-writing so subscribed by him and exhibited to be this last will and testament and this deponent did thereupon subscribe his name at the end of said Will as an attesting witness thereto and at the request and in the presence of the said testator. And this deponent further saith that at the said time when the said testator subscribed his name to the said last will as aforesaid, and at the time of deponents subscribing his name as an attesting witness thereto, as aforesaid, the said DAVID MILLS was of sound mind a memory, of full age to execute a will, and was not under any restraint to the knowledge, information or belief of this deponent. And further these deponents say not.

JAS. W. FLOYD
W. W. MANNING

Severally sworn and subscribed this 18 day of May 1891, before me
S. E. EURE
Clerk Superior Court
 

Will of LUIZA JANE MILLS-1900
Nash County, North Carolina
Will Book 6, Pages 121-123

North Carolina
Nash County

I LUIZA J.MILLS of the state & County aforesaid being of sound mind and memory but considering the uncertainty of my earthly existence do make and declare this my last will and testament in manner and form following - That is to say
1) That my executor hereafter named shall provide for my body a decent burial and pay all funeral expenses together with my just debts howsoever and to whomsoever owing out of the moneys that may first come into his hands as a part or parcel of my estate.
2) I give and devise to my son D. M. MILLS at my death the following personal property, one bed now in his possession, one under & upper sheet one bed quilt, one blanket one pillow, one bolster now in his possession one double barrel short gun, known as his father's gun. The balance of my household & kitchen furniture at my death is to be sold at highest bidder & money divided among the following named persons; NICK and ARNEL MILLS one share, AMANDA LUCAS, one share. LUTORA HAGANS, one share. LAHARA WILKINS, one share, ISAMAN S. JONES, one share - NANCY ELLEN KING one share. ENDY F. TONEY, one share. JULY ANN CORDELL one share.
I give and devise to my son D. M. MILLS one as named Ben now in his possession. The balance of my property if any at my death, including all notes & papers & land, if any, is to be sold or collected as the case may be and the money equally divided among my four sons which is MINGO MILLS, MUNRO MILLS, H. T. MILLS and D. M. MILLS.
And lastly, I do hereby constitute & appoint my trusty son, MUNRO MILLS my lawful executor to all intents & purposes to execute this my last will & testament according to the true intent and meaning of the same and every part and clause thereof hereby revoking and declaring utterly void all other wills and testaments by me heretofore made. In witness whereof I the said LUIZER J. MILLS do hereunto set my hand and seal. This 28ths day of Feby. A.D. 1898.
LUIZA J. MILLS ("X" her mark)


Signed sealed published and declared by the said LUIZA J. MILLS to be her last will & testament in the presence of us at her request and in her presence do subscribe our names as witnesses thereto,
J. W. FLOYD
J. L. FLOYD


State of North Carolina
Nash County
In the Superior Court

A paper purporting to be the last will and testament of LUIZA J. MILLS, deceased, is exhibited before me the undersigned, clerk of the Superior Court for said County by MUNRO MILLS, the Executor therein mentioned and the due execution thereof by the said LUIZA J. MILLS by the oath and examination of J. W. FLOYD and J. L. FLOYD there subscribing witnesses thereto; who being duly sworn doth depose and say and each for himself deposeth and saith that he is a subscribing witness to the paper writing now shown him, purporting to be the last Will and Testamant of LUIZA J. MILLS that the said LUIZA J. MILLS in the presence of this deponent subscribed her name at the end of said paper-writing which is now shown as aforesaid, and which bears date of the 28th day of February 1898.
And the deponent further saith, tht the said LUIZA J. MILLS the testatrix aforesaid, did at the time of subscribing her name as aforesaid declare the said paper-writing so subscribed by her and exhibited to be her last will and testament, and this deponent did thereupon subscribe his name at the end of said will, as an attesting witness thereto and at the request and in the presence of said testatrix. And this deponent further saith that at the said time when the said testatrix subscribed her name to the said last Will as aforesaid, and at the time of the deponents subscribing his name as an attesting witness thereto, as aforesaid, the said LUIZA J. MILLS was of sound mind and memory, of full age to execute a will and was not under any restraint to the knowledge, information or belief of this deponent. And further these deponents to say not.
J. W. FLOYD
J. L. FLOYD

Severally sworn and subscribed this 27 day of Oct. 1900 before me.
T. A. SILLS
Clerk Superior Court



North Carolina
Nash County
In the Superior Court

It is therefore considered and adjudged by the Court that the said paper-writing and every part thereof is the last Will and Testament of LUIZA J. MILLS, deceased. Let the said Will, together with the probate, be recorded and filed.
This 27 day of October 1900.

T. A. SILLS
Clerk Superior Court

Will of THOMAS MILLS-1885
Nash County, North Carolina
Will Book 5, Pages 225-226

I THOMAS MILLS of the County of Nash and State of North Carolina being sick in body but sound of mind and disposing memory do make public and declare this to be my last Will and Testament in the following manner. That is to say my Executor herein after mentioned shall provide for my body a decent burial suitable to the wishes of my relatives and friends and pay all toward expenses, together with my just debts and whomever owing out of the first money that may first come into his hand or part or parcel of my estate I give to DAVID MILS my brother al of my estate, land, household and kitchen furniture at my decease, also my farming utensils. I do hereby appoint my trusty friend DAVID MILLS my lawful Executor to all intent and purpose this my last will and testament according to the meaning of the same, whereof I THOMAS MILLS herunto set my hand and seal this the 21st of August 1885. I declare this to be my last will and testament. I subscribe our hand as witness hear to
THOMAS MILLS ("X" his mark)

Attest
W. W. MANNING
JOHN E. MANNING

State of North Carolina
Nash County
In the Probate Court

A paper purporting to be the last Will and Testament of THOMAS MILLS deceased, is exhibited before me, the undersigned, Judge of Probate for said County the Executor therein mentioned and the due execution thereof by the said THOMAS MILLS by the oath and examination of W. W. MANNING and JOHN E. MANNING the subscribing witnesses thereto; who, being duly sworn, doth depose and say, and each for himself deposeth and saith that he is a subscribing witness to the paper writing now shown him, purporting to be the last Will and Testament of THOMAS MILLS that the said THOMAS MILLS in the presence of these deponents subscribed his name at the end of said paper writing which now shown as aforesaid and which bears date of the 21st day of August 1885 and the deponents further say that the said THOMAS MILLS the Testator aforesaid, did, at the time of subscribing his name as aforesaid, declare the said paper writing so subscribed by him and exhibited, to be his last Will and Testament, and these deponents did thereupon subscribe their names at the end of said Will as attesting witnesses thereto, and at the request and in the presence of the said Testator and these deponents further say that at the said time, when the said Testator subscribed his name to the said last Will as aforesaid, and at the time of deponents subscribing their names as attesting witnesses thereto as aforesaid, the said THOMAS MILLS was of sound mind and memory of full age, to execute a Will, and was not under any restraint to the knowledge, information or belief of these deponents; and further these deponents say not.
W. W. MANNING
JOHN E. MANNING

Severally sworn and subscribed this the 2nd day of November 1885 before me
JNO T. MORGAN
Probate Judge

(Thomas Mills and his brother, David Mills, were sons of Joshua & Nancy Mills of Nash County)

 

 

 

 

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