On July 10th, 1788, Jonathan Godwin received two patents from the State of North Carolina for 46 and 47 acres each of land lying in Sampson County on the East side of the Little Cohera River and the East side of the Black Mingo River.
When Jonathan Godwin died in 1791, his widow, Rachel, was allowed to keep his estate in her possession. No mention, however, was made of what was contained in his estate. In 1792 Richard Godwin took an inventory of Jonathan's estate which included only one tract of land containing 50 acres. You can view the contents of his estate in The Distribution of Jonathan Godwin's Estate, part 1. No description of the land included in the inventory was provided. If Jonathan Godwin received two tracts of land, each approximately 50 acres from the State of North Carolina in 1788, but only one tract appeared in his estate records, then what happened to the other 50 acre tract of land he received from the State in 1788?
At least one of those tracts of land was identified as being sold by Nathan, Rachel, and Dred Godwin to John Dormond in 1795 (See Part 2). This tract was on the East side of the Little Cohara River. What about the 2nd tract he received on the East side of the Black Mingo River? It is not possible to search the deed records by land description. However, since Nathan, Rachel and Dred Godwin sold the first parcel of land, I thought maybe they might have sold the 2nd one as well. I started my search by looking for Nathan, Rachel or Dred as the grantor in the Sampson County Deed Records (they are on microfilm at the North Carolina State Archives). Since the land was sold after Jonathan's death in 1791, I restricted my search to records after 1791.
I found one other deed from Rachel Godwin but it was on the Beaverdam Swamp. This was land she had inherited or purchased from Thomas Bullard who was presumed to be her brother. I then moved on to Nathan. There were actually two Nathan Godwins living in Sampson County at this time and they were both buying and selling land quite often. I had to read through each deed in which Nathan was the grantor to find either 1) a description of 50 acres of land on the East side of the Black Mingo being sold or 2) land originally granted to Jonathan Godwin by patent bearing date of 1788.
I finally found one deed from Nathan Godwin to Elizabeth Bagley which satisfied both of the above requirements. The deed was for 50 acres of land lying on the East side of Black Mingo which was originally granted to Jonathan Godwin by patent bearing date of 1788! (See deed images and transcript below. Click on the image to make it bigger).
Sampson County, North Carolina
Nathan Godwin to Elizabeth Bagley
To all to whom these presents Shall come greeting know ye that I Nathan Godwin Junior of Sampson County and State aforesaid planter for and in consideration of the sum of Twelve pounds ten shillings L12.10 current money of the State to me in hand paid by Elizabeth Bagley of Sampson County and State aforesaid the receipt whereal I do hereby acknowledge that I have bargained and sold and by these presents do fully freely and absolutely give grant convey assign and set over to her the said Elizabeth Bagley forever One certain tract or parcell of land lying and being in the county of Sampson containing fifty acres of land more or less situated and lying on the East side of Black Mingo and on the North side of the Beaverdam swamp beginning at a post Oak on the side of mingo Swamp thence South 31 East 120 poles thence a pine thence South 59 West 63 poles to a pine thence North 31 West 120 poles to a Stake thence to the Beginning it being a tract of land granted to Jonathan Godwin by patent bearing date the 10th of July 1788. To have and to hold the same bargained lands and premises together with all buildings fencings houses water ___ and Improvements thereunto belonging unto it and Elizabeth Bagley her heirs, executors, Administrators and assigns forever and I disavow? Nathan Godwin Junior for himself his heirs, Executors, administrators and assigns forever the said bargained lands and premises unto the said Elizabeth Bagley her heirs Executors administrators and assigns against any person or persons whatsoever shall come and I the said Nathan Godwin myself my heirs Executors administrators and assigns will and shall warrant and forever defend the same bargained land and premises unto the said Elizabeth Bagley her heirs and assigns forever and by these presents.
In witness whereof I the said
Nathan Godwin have herunto set his hand and affixed his seal this the 26th day of January one thousand eight hundred and one 1801.
Signed sealed and Delivered in the presence of
Nathan Godwin Junior (seal)
State of North Carolina
Sampson County, Feburary court one thousand eight hundred and one then was the within deed from Nathan Godwin to Elizabeth Bagley was proved in open court by the oath of Micajah Godwin and ordered to be registered.
H Holmes, Clk
State of North Carolina Sampson County then registered this third day of April Anna Domino one thousand Eight hundred and one
O Holmes Regr
There are several important pieces of information included in this deed:
1) This land was located on the East Side of the Black Mingo and contains 50 acres. This is the exact description given of one of the tracts of land that Jonathan Godwin received from the State of North Carolina in 1788.
2) This land was granted to Jonathan by patent bearing date July 1788, thus further confirming that this is the same tract of land Jonathan received from the State in 1788.
3) Nathan Godwin is the sole grantor on this deed. However, Micajah, Nathan, and John Godwin were listed as witnesses. It is possible they were relatives of Nathan.
4) Nathan is listed as "junior" in this deed. At first this threw me off because I was surmising that this Nathan Godwin was the son of Jonathan Godwin. However, many new researchers make the common mistake of believing that someone listed as "junior" is the the son of someone with the same name. This is not necessarily true. More likely, there was another man with the same name who was older, thus he was probably called "Senior" and this younger Nathan was therefore called "Junior." I mentioned earlier that there was another Nathan living in Sampson County at the same time. He was older; probably around Rachel and Jonathan's age. This Nathan was also called "Junior" in the 1795 deed he sold along with Rachel and Dred to John Dormond as discussed in Part 2 of this post series.
In this series of blog posts, I discussed Jonathan Godwin's Estate which was inventoried by Richard Godwin in Sampson County, North Carolina in 1792 and the land grants which he received prior to his death and their subsequent distribution by his heirs.
According to the land grants, Jonathan Godwin received two patents of 50 acres each from the State of North Carolina for lands lying on the East side of the Little Cohera River and on the East side of the Black Mingo River.
When he died in 1791, his widow was allowed to keep his estate in her possession. In 1792, only 50 acres of land was inventoried in his estate. In 1795, Jonathan's widow Rachel, Nathan, and Dred Godwin sold 50 acres on the Little Cohera, land that was originally patented to Jonathan Godwin in 1788, to John Dormond. In 1801, Nathan Godwin sold the 2nd tract of land containing 50 acres lying on the East side of the Black Mingo River to Elizabeth Bagley. This land was also originally patented to Jonathan Godwin in 1788. Therefore, both tracts of land that were originally granted to Jonathan Godwin in 1788 were accounted for and sold by his heirs in 1795 and 1801 respectively. This was determined by using original deed and estate records found at the North Carolina State Archives.
Because Jonathan's widow Rachel was allowed to keep his estate in her possession following his death in 1791, I can assume that the Rachel Godwin who sold the 50 acres of land on the East side of the Little Cohera in 1795 was his widow. I am also surmising that because Nathan and Dred Godwin were listed on the deed as well (actually Nathan was the grantor and Rachel and Dred were co-signers), that the three of them were co-owners of the land and therefore heirs of Jonathan. More specifically, I believe Nathan and Dred were both sons of Rachel and Jonathan Godwin. This belief is further supported by Nathan Godwin selling the 2nd tract of land originally granted to Jonathan Godwin in 1788 lying on the East side of the Black Mingo to Elizabeth Bagley in 1801. Although there is no deed (that I could find) in which Jonathan sold this land to Nathan, I believe Nathan inherited it from his father, Jonathan Godwin either shortly before or after he died in 1791.
By using original estate and deed records, I am able to hypothesize that Nathan and Dred Godwin were sons of Jonathan and Rachel Godwin.
Can this be proved?
Possibly...maybe a DNA test can provide me with more information? What do you think? Have I provided a good enough case to convince you that my family structure is correct?
The Distribution of Jonathan Godwin's Estate, Part 2
The Distribution of Jonathan Godwin's Estate, Part 3