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Will of JAMES McGOWN

Orange Co NC November 1769

In the name of God Amen. I James McGown in the County of Orange and Province of North Carolina being weak in body but in my full senses and memory therfor calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament that is to say Principally and first of all I give and recommend my Soul unto the hands of the Almighty God that gave and my body I recommend to the Earth to be buried in a decent and Christian manner at the discretion of my Executors nothing doubting but at the gen'l Resurrection I shall receive the same again by the Mighty Power of God and as touching such worldly Estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me with in this life I give and devise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form That is to say first of all I give and bequeath to my well beloved wife my bed and all by household furniture my bald horse her saddle and bridle two cows and calves and my dwelling house during her life and her maitainance of the plantation during her life and at her decease I give and bequeath my plantation and land that I now possess being two hundred acres to my son William and the heirs of his body and the remainder of my Estate to wit my horses and cows I allow to be equally divided in five equal parts to my five children James, Mary, Susannah, Eltar, and William, Each of them to have a like This I do make and ordain to be my last Will and Testament revoking and disannulling and making void all other will or wills made before this and I do make and ordain George Tate to my whole and sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament to see it executed according to the true intent thereof in Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this day of November in the year of our Lord God 1769.

James McGown {his mark} {seal}

Signed sealed and delivered in presents of us
Robert Mebane


I don't know if this family is in my line. I'm looking for the family of Susan McGowan who married Thomas Branson, but she couldn't have been born much before 1780, and a late census suggests 1786. This Susannah, born before 1769, is a generation too early. But the sons need to be traced. Note that the date is blank in the county's recorded copy of the will, just as here, where the text reads simply November 1769.


Will of JOHN McGOWAN

Lancaster Co PA November 1775 or 1776

In the name of God Amean. The seventeenth day of October one thousand seven hundred and seventy five I John McGowan of the Township of Marlick in Lancaster county Farmer being very sick and weak in body but of perfect mind and memory thanks be given unto God therefore calling unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament that is to say principly and first of all I give and recomend my soul into the hands of Almighty God that give it and my body I recomend to the earth to be buried in decent christin burial at the discration of my Executors nothing douting but at the general Reseruction I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God and as touching such worldly esteat wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me in this life I give demise and dispose of the same in the following manor and form: And first of all I alow all my just debts to be paid out of my easteat. Imprimes I give and bequeath to Thomas McGowen my well beloved son the sum of five pounds. Iteam I give and bequeath to my well beloved sons John and Aurthur the sum of one hundred pounds each and if one of these my last mencend sons die before of eage the surviver to inherit his portion. Iteam I give to my well beloved daughter Elen the sum of sixty pounds. Iteam I give and bequeath to my well beloved daughter Elesbeth the sum of fifty pounds. Itam I give and bequeath to my well beloved daughter Jean the sum of fifty pounds. Itam I give and bequeath to my well beloved daughter Marcy the sum of fifty pounds and I do order if any of my above named daughters do die before they be of eage that the survivers shall inherit theis or their portions and further I do order that if my easteat when disposed of amounts to more then pays the above named legatees their respective sums added to these Itams that there be can [illegible, looks like 'can ada tion aded'] there to acording to there respective sums And if my said easteat be leaking and not suficient to amount to fully discharge all demands against it that abeatment be made acording to there respective sums and I do constitute make & ordain George Reed and Thomas Clark my sole Executors of this my last Will and Testament and I do hearby outterly disallow revoke and disanul all and every other former testaments and wills ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last Will and Testament in witness hearof I have heerunto set my hand and seal the day and year above written.
John McGowan {seal}

Signed sealed and prounced and declred by the said John McGowan as his last Will and Testament in the preasance of us
John McCreary
William Clark

Lancaster County
On the thirteenth day of November Anno Domini 1775 before me the subscriber personally appeared John McCreary and William Clark the two subscribing witnesses to the above and within will and on their corporal oaths did depose and say that they were present and saw and heard John McGowan the Testator above and within named sign seal publish pronounce & declare the within and above writing as and for his last Will and Testament And that at the doing thereof he was of sound and well disposing mind memory and understanding to the best of their knowledge observation & belief.
Signed Edw. Shippen D. Register

Be it remembered that on the thirteenth day of November Anno Domini 1776 the last will and testament of John McGowan late of Marlick Township in Lancaster county Yeoman deceased was proved in due form of law and and Letters Testamentary thereon were granted to George Reed and Thomas Clark the Executors therein named they being first qualified well and truly to administer the Estate of the decedent and to exhibit a true and perfect inventory thereof into the Register's Office at Lancaster on or before the thirteenth day of December next and to render a true and just account of their administration on the said Estate when thereto lawfully required Given under the Seal of the said office (Signed) Edw Shippen D Reg.


Will of WILLIAM McGOWAN

Duplin Co NC October 1792, Book A p309

In the name of God Amen. I William McGowan of the State of North Carolina and County of Duplin being sick and weak in body but of sound and perfect memory blessed be God do this fifth day of October in the year of our Lord 1792 make and publish this my last will and testament in manner and form following, viz, 1st, my will and desire is that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid by my Executors, and in order that the same may be done with the best advantage to my Estate, I do will and ordain that the Estate be kept together undivided and that my children together with the slaves belonging to me be kept at the makeing now at those(?) of my lands untill a sufficiency be made to pay said debts, Except such time as may be necessary for the said Lands to work in the E--- for the support of the family. 2s, I will and ordain that as soon as all my just debts be paid that my son John McGowan do receive into his possession my negro man slave named Will to him and his heirs forever whereof said slave so rec'd and the lands I have given to him by deed is to be his full share of all my Estate Real and personal except four thousand weight of good [cannot figure it out!] which I am in debt to him and my Executor hereby required to pay at thirty shilling each hundred weight and Spanish milled dollars at twelve shillings. 3d, I give and bequeath to my son William McGowan all that parcell of land on the grove swamp joining Andrew McIntires and John McGowens lands below James Gillespies land computed to be about one hundred and fifty acres to him and his beirs forever which said land when rec'd is to be considered as his full share of all my landed estate. 4th, I give and bequeath to my son Robert McGowan all that parcell of land on Persimmon Branch which I bought from James Evans and twenty five acres which I bought from Richard William and one hundred acres to be laid off to him by my Executors joining out the lands for which I have the States Patent to him & his heirs forever, which said lands are to be considered to him as his full share of my Estate in Lands. 5th, I give & bequeath to my son Edward McGowan a certain part of my mannor plantation bounded as follows, viz, to begin at the run of Fredericks Mill Branch at the mouth of a branch that runs on the upper side of my oldest field following the middle of said branch up to the mouth of a small drain that divides my little new ground field from my little old ground field thence up said little drain to the head thereof thence the same direction to William Fredericks line thence his line to the Mill Run and down the same as it a meanders to the first station also seventy acres of piney land joining the same to begin at or near the head of the ---- branch thence along Fredericks line southerly and to run eastwardly in such proportion as not to affect the front of the mannor plantation to be laid off to him by my Exrs which said lands are to be considered to him as his full share of my landed Estate. 6th, I will that a parcell of land in New Hanover County which I purchased from Francis Brice be offered to my brother George McGowan at seventy pounds current money which if he accepts of and pays in two years from this date my Executors or any one of them are to sign him a deed for the same and the money to applied [sic] to my other children to whom no lands are left by this will and should my brother not comply with the above terms the said land to be sold or divided for the bennifit of the children as aforesaid. 7th, I will and ordain that my beloved wife Mary McGowan do have quick and peaceable possession of my mannor plantation and all the lands joining thereto of my Estate not otherly willed during her natural life - and that at her decease it be the property of my son David McGowan and the lawfull heirs heirs of his body and should the sd David die with no lawfull [sic] I give the said lands to be the property of the next youngest brother of my children and of their heirs forever. 8th, I give and bequeath to my beloved wife one negro wench named Roze with two good feather beds and furniture to her and her heirs forever. 9th, I lend to my said wife during her natural life one negro boy named Dick and one negro girl named Nancy and at her decease to be divided amongst my children (John excepted). 10th, I will and ordain that all my other lands that are not already willed be sold or divided for the bennifit of my children to whom no lands are [illegible] by this my last will as will to my Executors appear to be just. 11th, my will is that all the negroes not already mentioned in this will together with the stock of all kinds and household and kitchen furniture be and remain with my wife for the purpose of raising and schooling my young children to be be [sic] under the direction and controul of my Executors and that no division take place untill the debts be paid and then only as the beirs arrive at lawfull age (except sooner married) also my will and desire is tbat in every division of my Estate a view be had to the heirs of my Estate that have lands left to them and that a reasonable allowance be kept back from them so as to make my other children som measure equal to them that has lands. 12th, I hereby constitute and appoint my beloved wife Mary McGowan Executrix and my son John McGowan and my brother in law James Dickson Executors to this my last will and testament hereby revoking all other and forever wills by me heretofore made in witness whereof I the said William McGowan have hereunto set my hand and seal at Duplin this 5th day of October 1792.

Signed sealed published and declared by the sd William McGowan to be his last will and testament in presence of us,
James Middleton
Jas McIntire
Joseph Dickson

State of No Carolina, Duplin County, October Term 1792.
Then was the within will proved in open Court by the oath of James Midleton and Joseph Dickson two of the subscribing witnesses thereto. And at the same time John McGowen and James Dickson the Executors named in the said Will came before the Court and qualified according to law.
Ordered that Letters issue accordingly. -
Test Wm Dickson clerk [not quite sure of the name]

I do not know if these McGowans may connect to my family, as I've gotten nowhere in my efforts to identify the parents of Susan McGowan who married David Branson. Would be very glad to hear from anyone who has sorted out some of the McGowan families of NC and VA in the Revolutionary and early Republican years.


Will of PATRICK McGOWEN

Proved in Lancaster Co PA 22 Feb 1828

I Patrick McGowan of Manor Township in the County of Lancaster, and State of Pennsylvania being weak in body but of sound mind memory and understanding, praised be God for the same, and considering the certainty of death, and the uncertainty of the time thereof, do make this my last will and testament, in the manner following, to wit, First, and principally of all, I commend my soul into the hands of God who gave it, And as to such worldly estate wherewith it has pleased God to entrust me, I dispose of the same as follow, to wit Item, It is my will and I do hereby order and direct that all my just debts and funeral expences be paid as soon as conveniently can be after my decease, and that I be decently interred by my executor herein after named. It is my will and I do hereby order and direct that as soon as conveniently can be after my decease, my executor hereinafter named, shall sell my house and lot of ground, situate in Washington, in Manor township, Lancaster county, for the best price that can be gotten for the same, and I hereby empower him to make a sufficient title to the purchaser thereof in fee simple, And out of the proceeds thereof all my debts and funeral expences, and other lawful charges are to be deducted, and the residue I bequeath to my half sisters Susanna, Bridget, and Ellen, and my half brother Daniel, share and share alike, excepting that Bridget is to have six dollars more than any of the rest, and Daniel is to have my watch when he comes of age. I further empower my said executor, to collect all monies and legacies due or owing to me, and to divide it among my half brother and sisters in equal shares as aforesaid. And lastly, I hereby nominate and appoint my friend James Sweeney, executor of this my last will and testament, who is to put a head and foot stone at my grave to be paid for out of my estate. In witness whereof I the said Patrick McGowan have unto this my will set my hand and seal, this twentieth day of February, Anno Domini, one thousand eight hundred and twenty eight, 1828.
Patrick McGowan

Signed, sealed, published, pronounced and declared by the said testator in the presence of us, as witnesses
George Ziegler
Barnard Maginis

Lancaster County
On the 22nd day of February, Anno Domini 1828. Before me the subscriber personally appeared George Ziegler and Bernard Maginis, the subscribing witnesses to the within will, and on their corporal oaths, according to law, did severally depose and say, that they were present and saw Patrick McGowen, the testator therein named, make his mark thereto, and heard him publish, pronounce, and declare the same, as and for his last will and testatment, and taht at the time of the doing thereof he was of sound and well disposing mind, memory and underatnding, according to the best of their knowledge, observation and belief. F.A. Muhlenberg Reg.tr


Will of WILLIAM McGOWEN

Proved in Duplin Co NC July 1860

State of No Carolina, Duplin County. In the name of God, Amen. I Wm McGowen of the County and State aforesaid being weak in body but of sound mind & memory thanks be to God for the same knowing that all must die do make & ordain this my last will & testament in manner & form following. Item 1st, I bequeath my sould to God who gave it & my body to be buried in a Christian like manner at the discretion of my loving friends. Item 2nd, I give and bequeath to my son Wm McGowen Jr fifty acres of the tract of land I now live on including all his improvements where he now lives to him & his heirs forever. Item 3rd, I give & bequeath to my daughter Zelpha McGowen sixty dollars in money to be raised out of my estate when sold also one bed & furniture her choice, one own & calf her choice, two sheep her choice also all the poultry on the farm to her and her heirs forever. Item the 4th, I give & bequeath the rest & residue of my estate real & personal not already given in this my last will & testament to be sold on a credit of six months and after all my just debts & funeral expenses are paid to be equally divided between all my children now living & the children of my son Joseph McGowen dec'd in accordance with law, viz, Catharine Sheffield [as I read it], Zelpha McGowen, James McGowen, Nancy Shouly(?), Susan Hale, Wm McGowen Jr, Mary Sloakin(?) & the children of Joseph McGowen dec'd one share, share & share alike to them & their heirs forever. I now appoint James & Wm McGowen Jr Executors to this my last will & testament in testimony whereof I hereunto set my hand & affix my seal this 24th Sept 1853
Wm McGowen [seal & mark]

Attest J Pearsall
J.W. Murray

Wm McGowen's will Recorded July Term 1860. State of North Carolina.
Duplin County Court, July Term 1860.
This paper writing purporting to be the last will and testament of William McGowen Sr deceased is exhibited in open court for probate, by William McGowen Jr, one of the Executors therein named and it is thereupon proved by the oath of John W. Murray that James Pearsall one of the subscribing witnesses thereto is now dead: And the due execution of the foregoing paper writing by the said William McGowen Sr as and for his last will and testament being also proved by the oath and examination of the said John W. Murray one of the subscribing witnesses thereto and the handwriting and signature of James Pearsall the other subscribing witness being proved by the oath of J--. Pearsall. It is therefore considered by the court that the said paper writing and every part thereof is the last will and testament of the said William McGowen Sr deceased and the same is ordered to be recorded and filed. And it appearing to the satisfaction of the court that James P. McGowen one of the Executors therein named is now dead, William McGowen Jr the other Executor duly qualifies as such by taking the oath required by law. Test. John P. Whitehead clerk

This is too late a will to connect closely - if at all - to my lines. I have no further information on these families.