Caswell County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions
January Court 1797
Caswell County, North Carolina Will Book C, pages 197 and 198
In The Name of God Amen, I John Rice of the County of Caswell and State of North Carolina, being in low State of health, but of perfect sence and Memory, thanks be to God for the blessings, calling to mind the Mortallity of my Body and Knowing that it is appointed unto man to Die, do make and Ordain this my Last Will and Testament in Manner and form following, to Wit, I commend my soul to God who Gave It hoping through the Mediation of Jesus Christ to be received of him, my body to be decently buried at the discretion of my after named Executors, Hoping Its resurection through Jesus Christ to Eternal Glory at the last Day. And to what Worldly Goods It hath pleased God to endow me with, I will and bequeath them in Manner and form following, to Wit, I lend unto my beloved wife Lettisha during her life or widdowhood, the land and plantation whereon I now live except thirty acres, together with three feather beds and furniture, Four Cows and their Yearlings, her Choice, Ten Head of Sheep, three Horses, to Wit, a Gray Mare and Brown baldfaced Mare and Coult, and all the Household and Kitchen Utensils together with the Stock of Hogs.
Item I lend to Susannah Rice, widow of my son John Rice Decd, thirty acres of land Including the the Improvement whereon she now lives in the Most convenient Manner to be Occupied and enjoyed by her during her Widdowhood.
Item I also lend unto my beloved wife during her life or Widdowhood my Two Negroes, to Wit, Will and Agness.
Item, I also lend unto my Daughter Anna Williams my Negroe woman Frank which she now has in her possession during her life and at her Death, I leave the said Negroe woman Frank and her Increase to be equally Divided among the surviving Children of my Daughter Anna Williams to them their Heirs or Assigns forever.
Item I will and Desire that the residue of my estate not lent or given before except the plantation tools, which I also lend unto my beloved wife, be sold and the Money be applied to use of paying my Debts, and the balance if any to be Kept in the Hands of my Executors for purposes hereafter to be Mentioned.
Item my will and Desire further is that after the Death or Intermariage of my Wife that all the estate that to her both real and personal be sold, and out of the Money arising therefrom, I Give and bequeath to my son Thomas Rice Thirty Pounds Virginia Money and likewise to my Daughter Mary Rice Thirty Pounds Virginia Money, and likewise to my son William Rice Thirty Pounds Virginia Money, and likewise to my son Nathaniel Rice Thirty Pounds Virginia Money to them their Heirs or assigns forever and the balance I leave to be equally Divided among the whole of my Children or their Heirs or assigns forever.
Item, I also leave that part of my estate which is lent to Susannah Rice at her Death or Intermariage to be sold and the Money arising therefrom to be in like Manner equally Divided among the whole of my Children or their Heirs or assigns forever.
Lastly I nominate and appoint my son William Rice and my Son Nathaniel Rice and my Son in law John Rice executors of this my last will and Testament to be performed. In Witness whereof I hereunto set my hand and seal this fourteenth day of November one thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety Six.
Signed Sealed Published and Declared in presence of:
Robert Mitchell (Jurat)
John Henslee (Jurat)