Page created: July 18, 1998

Page updated: January 9, 1999 (Pridgeon Family Web site)

Last Will & Testament of John Thomson

Halifax County, NC - 1760

In the name of God, Amen, I John Tomson of the County of Halifax and Province of North Carolina do this twenty second day of January in the year of our Lord 1760 make and ordain this my last Will & Testament in manner and for following Viz... I lend to my Wife Mary the use of all things, which I possess or claim during her natural Life and what Horses, Cattle, & Sheep and household Goods to be Found, at the Death of my Wife Mary, I desire to be equally divided by the Executors amongst my three Daughters, Sarah Tomson, Elizab'h Tomson, and Annys Tomson.

Item, I give to Pridgeon Tomson, my eldest son the Plantation whereon I now live, containing two hundred acres to him and his Heirs forever and in case the s'd Pridgeon die without a Lawful heir the Land to be sold to highest Bidder and the money arising therefrom to be Equally divided amongst the other five children

Item I give to Rich'd Thomson a parcel of Land containing two hundred acres known by the name Winters Place to him and his heirs forever.

Item, I give to William Tomson a parcel of Land joyning to the Lands of William Roan(?) containing one hundred & forty acres to him and his heirs forever.

Item, I give to Jno Lewis one hundred acres of land where on he now dwells to him and his heirs forever.

Item, I hereby ordain that the afores'd Pridgeon Tomson who hath a title to two hundred acres of Land pay and make to Sarah Tomson the sum of ten pounds at the day of her marriage or at the age of eighteen years.

Item, I hereby ordain that the afores'd William Tomson pay to Annys Tomson the sum of Ten pounds at the day of mariage or at the age of eighteen years.

Item, I hereby ordain that the afores'd Richard pay to Elizabeth Tomson 10 pounds at the day of her marriage or at the age of eighteen years.

Item, in case the afores'd Pridgeon, Richard & William Tomson's should refuse to pay the s'd sums afnes'd to the afs'd Sarah, Elizabeth, and Annys Tomsons my will and desire is that the Executers immediately when the s'd sums becomes due take the s'd Land afnes'd & sell the same to the highest Bidder and pay the s'd Sums & return the Residue to the proper owner.

Item, I do hereby nominate and appoint my trusty friend, John Lewis and Peter Bruce Jun'r Ext'rs to this my last will and testament.

Signed, Sealed and acknowledged by the John Tomson as his last Will & Testament in presence of

Daniel Duncan, Jr.
Henry Ewing
New'l Goldesburgh
James I Randol Jr. John Thomson
(his mark) (his mark)
Halifax September Court 1760

This Will was in open court exhibited and proved according to Law by the oaths of Daniel Duncan and James Randol, two of the subscribing witnesses: at the same time the exo'r was qualified for that office. Ordered s'd will recorded

Lest. Jno. Montfort C. Cr.

The copy above was revised July 18, 1998. I corrected a few of the names which I believe were transcribed in error in one of the copies I received from another researcher.

What can be learned from this will?

  1. John Thompson had six children, his three daughters seem to be minors. They were apparently born after 1742. That's based on the will being written in 1760, and the three girls all being under 18 -- was that in fact the age of majority for women?
  2. John's wife was named Mary, and was living in 1760.
  3. John Thompson seemed especially close to John Lewis. He left him land, called him his close friend, and John was living on property that John owned.

A few comments about the above will:

  1. I do not know how many "generations" the above text is removed from the original will. I received it re-typed from another Thompson family researcher, and I do not know what her source was. Just thought I should enter that disclaimer concerning any potential variations from the orginal.
  2. There may be a paragraph missing from the will.
    The paragraph that I had thought was missing shows up in an alternate copy of the will I received in July, 1998
    In the will's eighth paragraph, John states that his three sons must complete the previously declared payments to his three daughters. It's clear in this copy of the will that the payments are specified for the daughters Amy and Sarah. This copy of the will though doesn't include a specific payment for Elizabeth. So I don't know whether a paragraph for Elizabeth has been lost in the transcriptions, or whether it was just a mistake made when the will was originally written. I'll need to check other copies of the will to figure that out.
  3. It's not clear from the transcriptions of the will I have whether one daughter's name is Amy in Anness.
  4. One son's name in the will appears to be "Pridgeon". This individual has always been a puzzle for me. Until recently I had never run across the name anywhere else and thought that the name transcribed in the will may have been an error. In January, 1999 though I came across a web site focusing on the Pridgeon family. (This web site seemed to no longer be on the Internet in 2005). And it turns out that a couple of the family lines lived in the same area of eastern North Carolina that this Thompson family lived in. Maybe there's a connection between the families which explains the name???

Things "TO DO" based on the content of this will:

  1. Who is John Lewis?
    Based on the statements in this will, it appears that John Thompson regarded John Lewis highly. There may be something to be learned about the Thompson family by looking for other information about John Lewis in other Halifax County records.
  2. What can be learned about "Winters Place"?
    Since this piece of property had a "name", I'll research Halifax County records for other references to the same piece of property. It's possible that other family relationships or other useful information could be revealed in subsequent transactions involving this land.

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If you have questions, comments or better yet answers, please get in touch with me GlenGallagher