Andersons of Colonial N. Carolina

meant what they said, said what they meant

Henry Anderson d.1801

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My buddy Holmes has contributed some fascinating insights to the Henry Anderson conundrum… fortunately my ego is not so fragile that I can’t fail to laugh my ass off when he takes his genealogy scalpel to my wild theorizing.  The post below this one concerns the mystery Town William and may help to explain some of my errant writing…

He nonchalantly asks this question…

“Hmmmm….. based on that Lavina Anderson deed, her brothers William, Allen, and Frederick all died intestate by 1815  and without issue.  So if the William left two daughters in Lenoir County, he cannot be brother of Lavina.    Whatcha think?”      … that’s when I knew I was in trouble…


Well, in cases like this we have to go back to an original will or something that directs us.  And we go from there.  Let’s look at 1802 Henry Anderson’s will.

The will of Henry Anderson who died 1802 leaves a life estate in half his personal property and a life estate in half his land to his wife Charity.  Only cash is left to the daughters Polly (Mary) and Lavina.  (He does not specifically state what happens to the other half of the land, but since the wife’s half is going to the sons, we presume they got the other half as well.)

All five sons were apparently living in 1802 at the time of Henry’s death, because several subsequent references state that they all inherited the land.  Yet, in 1803, the cash from the estate was divided between Charity, Polly, Levina, John, Henry, and Frederick.  This tells us William and Allen had died between the probate of the will (1802) and 1803.  Yet, the land was not divided, most likely because some or all of those sons were still underage.

In 1807, the  estate of 1802 Henry Anderson gets divided between Charity Gatling and the children of the deceased.  I take this to mean she had married Benjamin Gatling about that time.  Remember that the will of Henry Anderson left her half of everything for her lifetime or widowhood – so her widowhood was over when she married again.  Or, it could be that the Gatling marriage had taken place much earlier, and maybe some of the children were now of age in 1807 and wanted their share.  Widows with young children tended to get married fairly quickly – waiting five years would be a bit unusual.  And if everybody was happy and underage, there was no need to go to court to have things divided.

So at the death of ANY of those sons without issue, their undivided share of the father’s land would go to ALL the surviving siblings or their heirs.  This is when Lavina and Mary/Polly get in on the act, even though their father Henry did not leave them any land.  And as it happened, THREE of the sons had died without issue by 1815 — William and Allen by 1803, and Frederick sometime between 1803 and 1815.  And still the land was not divided, and I still believe this to be because there were minor heirs.

Let’s look at the acreage.  It seems that the entire tract of land that Henry Anderson had owned contained 259 acres.  If it went to five sons, each would have 1/5 or about 51 or 52 acres.  This means that the total acreage of William, Allen, and Frederick would have been anywhere between 153 and 156 acres.  (we multiply three times 51 or 52.  Now at the death of Frederick you have four siblings remaining  — John, Henry, Mary/Polly, and Levina.  Let’s see what they owned:

John – his original 51 or 52 acres plus a fourth of 153 or 156, or 38/39 acres  (total about 89 or so acres)

Henry – his original 51 or 52 acres plus a fourth of 153 or 156, or 38/39 acres  (total about 89 or so acres)

Mary/Polly – her one-fourth of the 153 or 156, or 38/39 acres

Levina – her one-fourth of the 153 or 156, or 38/39 acres

Look at the deeds I abstracted below.  There is Mary Anderson, now of Craven County, bold as brass, selling exactly 39 acres, God bless her.  The 1815 deed from Levina does not state 38 or 39 acres, but it would have been the same.

So when we see that 1815 deed from Henry Anderson to Isaac Norfleet (below) we must presume it was for 89 acres or so.

…have the reference.

Note that everyone is selling to Isaac Norfleet .  We can’t account for John, but I suspect he also sold to Norfleet, because all the shares were undivided, and it would have been very messy otherwise.

All this to say that William (son of 1802) Henry was dead by 1803, and without issue.  And I suspect he was underage.    We have several references to prove this William died without issue by 1803 – so the Town William is someone else.

DB 15/425       29 Dec 1815

Henry (X) Anderson to Isaac Norfleet

For $276, 259 acres, which was the bequest of Anderson’s late father Henry Anderson, deceased, at the death of his three brothers William, Allen, and Frederick Anderson.  This was an undivided tract of land on the west side of the Tar River adj. James Garrett, said Norfleet, Henry Shirley, James Waller, Josiah Pender, Sterling Waller, and JosiahFreeman.

Wit.  Rhetorick Lawrence, H. Austin

DB 16/64        3 Feb 1818

Mary (X) Anderson of Craven County to Henry Anderson of Edgecombe

For $100, 39 acres, being part of the lands of Henry Anderson, deceased,. Given by the said Henry to his then living sons, and this land fell to Mary by the death of three of his sons.  Mary Anderson is sister of the grantee Henry Anderson.

Wit.  Austin (X) Andleton

DB 16/90        24 Feb 1818

Henry Anderson to Isaac Norfleet

For $125, 39 acres , being the land that formerly belonged to Henry Anderson, deceased, which fell to Mary Anderson at the death of three of the sons of the said Henry Anderson.

Wit.  Starling Waller


So all this throws some serious doubts on the speculation of the son of Henry Sr d.1801 (Henry Jr) moving to Georgia around 1804  (as I have in my “Page” on Henry).

I also speculate that son John may have served in the war of 1812….. all of which can now be re-examined… ya gotta love this hobby…


Inventory of Ann Gatling in 1814….Edgecombe

This is the mother of Benjamin Gatling who married Charity Anderson (relict of Henry Anderson d.1801)

Note the buyers… this places them in Edgecombe in 1814…

Mary Anderson

Lavina Anderson

John Anderson

Benjamin Gatling

(I don’t see a Henry Anderson)

source:   Probates, Edgecombe County, 1814
abstract of above…
GATLING, ANN, inventory taken by Isaac Norfleet, exr., no date, Nov. Ct. 1814. Account of sale held Sept. 1, 1814. Benjamin Gatling, John Anderson, and Lavena Anderson were the principal buyers, Nov. Ct. 1841. Account current with the exr. A bed and furniture were given by will to Nancy Anderson. An account was due the estate from the estate of Edward Gatling.
This is Benjamin and apparently his mother Ann selling land…
Edge. Co. Db 14, page 386, deed date 10 Feb 1812, recorded May Ct
1813, Benjamin Gatling and Ann Gatling, both of Edge. Co. to Isaac
Norfleet, county aforesaid for $267 a tract of land on both sides of
the road called the Georgia Road leading from Tarborough to Town Creek
Bridge beginning at a pine stump standing on the (Tea?) Road James
Garretts corner then running along said Garretts line, it being a line
of marked trees to pine standing in the line of the land of Henry
Anderson, dec’d then along his line to a red oak the corner of the land
of James Walton dec’d then along a line of marked trees north 50 west
to a stake standing on the aforesaid (Teak) Road then down the road to
the first station, containing 76 acres, signed Benjamin Gatling (X),
Ann Gatling (X), wit (Starling Waller), William A. (    ). Abstracted
4-22-04, NCA film C.037.40011, CTC.
1814 Will of Ann Gatling (mentions “illegitimate” (yes it says that) granddaughter Nancy Anderson…
source:   Edgecombe Probates Vol. 4

Since all the sons are accounted for except John and Henry Jr, I have to speculate even with Holmes lurking about and sharpening his scalpel (its what I do)…

Noted in the Will of Henry Sr d.1801 are 2 “executors” …
Edgecombe County Will Abstracts 1793-1823 by David Gammon

(7) HENRY ANDERSON 24 Nov 1801 Feb Ct 1802 O D/137

“…being very sick…”

wife CHARITY ANDERSON – lend half of my land of my personal estate for her lifetime or widowhood. At her death or marriage her share shall be divided between my five sons WILLIAM ANDERSON, ALLEN ANDERSON, JOHN ANDERSON, HENRY ANDERSON and FREDERICK ANDERSON.

Sixty dollars of my estate shall be kept out, to be shared by my daughters VINEY ANDERSON and POLLY ANDERSON.



The term “friends” is used and it is “plural”…. does that mean that this John is not a son but a friend? The sale of the Estate is “executed” by Drury May(o) and John Anderson.

Another thought I have is that these two sons (John and Henry Jr) obviously appear to be of age (at least 21) and since the other sons who are demonstrably deceased seem to be underage perhaps the wife Charity was not the mother of these 2?

I have a blurb showing that a John Anderson of Edgecombe served in the War of 1812 (on my Henry 1801 Page)… other than that I have nothing else.

With the time spans involved it also seems unlikely that the Henry Anderson who wound up in Georgia (on my Page) is related.

DB 8-686 SARAH ANDERSON, wife of HENRY ANDERSON was formerly SARAH COX, widow of ROBERT COX, dec’d., Aug. 6, 1796.

Edgecombe Co. N.C. Deeds Vol. 5: 1794-1798 by Stephen E. Bradley Jr
680-(686) Henry Anderson & his wife Sary (Sarah) of Edgecombe Co to Jesse Knight of same. 6 Aug 1796. £20. A tract which sd Sarah Cox now the wife of Henry Anderson has as right of dower at the death of her former husband Robert Cox dec’d. Wit: Allen Hardy, Frank Knight.

This deed seems to place Henry Anderson Jr still in Edgecombe in 1845…

Edge. Co Db 23, page 570, date of deed 17 Jan 1845, date recorded Feb
Ct. 1845, Isaac Norfleet estate to his wife, Christina Norfleet by
order of Nov. Ct. 1844, commissioners lay off to Christina Norfleet,
her legal dower in the land her late husband died seized and possessed
of, beginning at the fork of the road near the Garret House then south
59 east (305) poles to some small oaks in Josiah Pender’s line then
along said line north 71 poles to a pine Pender’s corner then north 80
east 120 poles to a pine Pender’s corner then north 41 poles to a black
oak then north 45 east 30 poles to a pine stump then north 12 ½ west 8
poles to Foxhall’s line then north 85 west 19 ½ poles to a stake then
north 13 west 78 poles to the creek then up the creek to the center of
two pines then north 22 west 37 poles to Eli Porter’s corner a white
oak and black oak then north 79 west 100 poles to a pine on the road
then along the road 56 poles to a branch then up the various courses of
said branch to the dam at some bay stumps Henry Austin’s corner then
along said Austin’s line north 117 ½ poles to a pine on the south side
of the pocoson then north 87 west 15 poles to a stake Austin’s other
corner then south 48 west 89 poles to two small pines Austin’s other
corner then north 132 poles to a pine L.C. Pender’s corner in Austin’s
line then along Pender’s line south 51 west 150 poles to a small
persimmon tree on the east side of Teat’s Road Pender’s other corner
standing in a small branch then along the various courses of said road
298 poles to the first station on the Raleigh Road, containing 661
acres, including dwelling houses, outhouses and where the said dec’d
most generally dwelt next before his death, signed Wm. S. Baker, L.C.
Pender, Robert Johnson, Amos Walston, David Hollon (D), Joseph Statting
(mark), Thomas Griffin (mark), Henry Anderson (mark), James Edge, R.B.
Sasnett, Henry Morgan, (L.W. Walker). Abstracted 4-10-02, Copy from
deed book, CTC.

And since Henry was associated with Isaac Norfleet I checked the Estate papers of Norfleet and Henry shows up once as a buyer…

I would shout from the rooftops at this point that lo and behold, the Henry Jr mystery is SOLVED!… except that there is another known Henry in Edgecombe at the same time (1845) so I can’t rule out that this is not him.    Plus, Holmes has me gun-shy with my theories.   He can be brutal.


a tidbit…   I suspect this may be the possible Henry Jr…  the other Henry at this time is Henry R. Anderson which may be my line.  This deed prompted me to look at the Estate papers of David Holland mentioned in the deed.  Henry served on the jury concerned with the disposition of some estate matters.  This Henry has a signature mark “A” which I will show below.

Edge. Co. Db 24, page 542, date of deed 16 Nov. 1848, date recorded

Nov. Ct. 1848, David Holland estate to Patsy Holland, by commissioners,

her dower in the lands her husband died seized and possessed of,

beginning at a black gum in the long branch then north 35 east 98 poles

to a small pine Richd. Harrison’s corner then along Harrison’s line

south 81 ½ east 66 ½ poles to a small post oak in or near said

Harrison’s line then south 35 west 105 poles to a black gum in the long

branch then down the various courses of said branch to the first

station, containing 40 acres, William W. Armstrong, L.L. Dancy, Henry

Lloyd (MI either L or S), William Peel, Henry R. Johnson, William T.

Bryan, Thomas Norfleet, James Sherrod (X), Josiah Walston (X), William

Lodge (X), Henry Anderson (X), D.W. Bullock, wit. H. Hyman, Dpy

Sheriff. Abstracted 5-1-02, NC State Archives film C.037.40018, CTC.

source:  Edgecombe Estates  1848


Bingo!…  I found another signature to compare…

This is from the 1849 Estate papers of Reuben Johnston and his widow Elizabeth. This is Henry R. Anderson:      (source:, Estate Papers, Reuben Johnston, 1849)

Below are other papers from the Reuben Johnston estate to add more info… Henry R. Anderson was an adjoining landholder…

So… my thoughts are these signatures match (the capital A in both) and Henry R. Anderson is the only guy left standing in regard to the 1845 Isaac Norfleet deed, the 1848 estate of David Holland, and the 1849 estate of Reuben Johnston.

Henry Anderson “Jr”, the son of Henry d.1801 has apparently disappeared after this 1818 reference:

DB 16/90 24 Feb 1818

Henry Anderson to Isaac Norfleet

For $125, 39 acres , being the land that formerly belonged to Henry Anderson, deceased, which fell to Mary Anderson at the death of three of the sons of the said Henry Anderson.

Wit. Starling Waller
See my Page “George Anderson (b.1756) Edgecombe property” to get a map reference on the Henry R. Anderson and Reuben Johnston referenced above. This is why I think he was connected to the William Anderson d.1789 family. I cannot place him convincingly however. The son of 1789 William (the Henry who married Lovey Staton) seems to have died around 1830 but details are still sketchy and not worked out.

Written by anderson1951

September 13, 2012 at 4:11 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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