Josiah Askew: 1818 Will and Probate Records

Josiah Askew, Sr.’s will and probate records can be found in the North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998 for Edgecombe County.  It is located in Volume E, 1810-1823 on pages 207-208.

Wills and probate records are always the equivalent of a migraine pain to read.  The quality of the documents combined with the script can be overwhelming on the eyes and the brain.

From what I have been able to decipher, Josiah Sr. gave Pegga Barron (the daughter of his 2nd wife, Constance Mercer Barron) one heifer.  Constance, his widow received two cows, two calves, and first choice of two sows, and two pigs.

I hope this is not a misinterpretation, but it appears Josiah Sr. requested that his stocks, household furniture, and farming “eutentials” be sold to pay off any debts that he owed. 

Josiah, Sr. also requested that a tract of land that his home was on, and a tract of land in the Piney Woods be sold to the highest bidder in a public sale.  The proceeds from the sale were to be distributed as follows:  William, his 7th and last child, to receive $300 (worth $5,882.35 in 2019); Josiah, Jr., his namesake and 4th born, to receive $50 (worth $980.39 in 2019); Uriah and David, his 1st and 2nd-born sons, to receive ten shillings each (worth $47.06 in 2019). 

His 5th-born son, Eli, received one feather bed and furniture, and his 3rd-born son, Enos, received the same, and one gray horse.

Why did Eli and Enos not receive any money from the proceeds of the sale?

Josiah Sr.’s will was witnessed on October 10, 1818 and presented in court in November 1818.  I am assuming that Josiah Sr. died after October 10th, but before November court. 

I couldn’t help but notice that Josiah Sr.’s signature was a simple mark.  Could he not read nor write?

Inflation calculations done with the help of Dave Manuel’s Inflation Calculator 2020.