Monday, August 9, 2010

Sampson County NC Deed of Jonathan Godwin to Abigail Lee

Last week I posted about the estate records of Jonathan Godwin, 1791, from Sampson County, North Carolina. According to the inventory taken from his estate, he had 50 acres of land in his possession when he died. I'm going to talk about this mysterious tract of land in a later post.  

For today's post, I want to highlight a tract of land containing 150 acres of land that Jonathan Godwin purchased in 1771 from John Strickland and sold in 1787 to Abigail Lee. I have included a copy of the deed below and a transcript of the deed itself. 

Scan of Sampson County deed from Jonathan Godwin to Abigail Lee, 7 July 1787, from the Sampson County Record of Deeds, 1774-1792, Volumes 5-8 (Microfilm call no. 087.40002) from the North Carolina State Archives, 109 E. Jones Street, Raleigh, NC. 

The following is the transcript of the deed:

North Carolina
Sampson County

To all people to whom these presents shall come know ye that I JONATHAN GODWIN at the county and province aforesaid Know ye that I the said JONATHAN GODWIN for and in consideration of the sum of Sixty pounds specia money to me in hand paid by ABAGAIL LEE of Sampson County and province aforesaid Planter the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged myself hisword truly satisfied contented and paid and have given granted bargained sold conveyed and enforced confirmed assigned and set over unto the said ABAGAIL LEE her heirs and assigns forever.  A certain tract or parcel of land containing one hundred and fifty acres of land lying and being in the county of Sampson and province of North Carolina on the East side of Black Mingo Beginning at a Red Oak thence South 05? East 115 poles to a Black Oak thence North 40 East 155 poles to a pine thence North 50 West 155 poles to a pine on the Swamp side thence the courses of the swamp to the beginning including MATTHEW STICKLAND's improvements it being a tract of land that was granted to TIMOTHY LEE bearing date the 23 day of April in the year of our Lord and was conveyed by deed from TIMOTHY LEE to JOHN STRICKLAND and from JOHN STRICKLAND to ABAGAIL LEE to JONATHAN GODWIN and from GODWIN to ABAGAIL LEE to have and to hold the said tract or parcel of land together all orchards gardens Jenning’s timbers and trees thereon standing or growing all woods waters much all proffits and other things unto the same belonging or in any manner of ways appertaining unto the said ABAGAIL LEE her heirs and assigns forever for and clear form all in cumbrances whatsoever and the said JONATHAN GODWIN for himself his heirs executors administrators doth covenant promise grant and agree to and with the said ABAGAIL LEE her heirs and assigns in manner following that is to say the said JONATHAN GODWIN at the sealing & delivering of these presents that a good sufficient Right and title and estate of inheritance in the premises and that in full power and lawfull and authority do bargain and sell the same in manner as aforesaid unto the said ABAGAIL LEE her heirs and assigns forever and the said JONATHAN GODWIN for himself his hears Executors and administrators doth further promise and warrant that the said land and promises is free from the lawful claim and demands of any pursuant persons whatsoever and the same will warrant secure and forever defend the aforesaid lands and premises unto the aforesaid ABAGAIL LEE her heirs & assigns forever the Quit Rents due to the State Executed.
I on witnesses whereof I the said JONATHAN GODWIN have hereunto set my hand and seal this the Seventh day of July one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven 1787.

Signed sealed and
delivered in the presence of
NATHAN GODWIN
WILLIAM GODWIN
John Fields

             JONATHAN GODWIN {Seal}
Then the deed was proved in open court and recorded by the County Clerk:

State of North Carolina
Sampson County August Term One thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty seven 1787 then was the within deed from JONATHAN GODWIN to ABAGAIL LEE was proved in open court and ordered to be registered.
State of North Carolina
Curtis Ivey Clk Court
Sampson County represented in the Registers Office of the aforesd county in Book letter M Pages 16 and 17 the 16th day of April Anno domini 1789.  April 10, 1789.  By Owen Holmes Register

This deed provided me with a lot of valuable information. However, first I want to point out what I believe to have been a recording error. The deed mentions that the land was conveyed from Timothy Lee to John Strickland to Abigail Lee then to Jonathan Godwin. There is NO record of this land ever going to Abigail Lee prior to Jonathan selling it to her in this deed in 1787. In fact I can tract the ownership of this land easily through Land Grants and Deed Records. Update: upon further scrutiny, I can see that Abagail Lee was actually crossed out in this copy of the deed. 


The deed says this tract of land was originally a land patent granted to Timothy Lee, 23 April.  I used the NC State Archives online catalog system - MARS - too look up the original land patent going to Timothy Lee.  I found a land grant given from "The Crown" to Timothy Lee, 23 April 1763 for 150 acres on the East side of the Black Mingo, joining the swamp, including Matthew Stricklin's improvement, in what was at that time considered Duplin County, North Carolina. 


On the 17th of February, 1770, Timothy Lee sold this tract of land to John Strickland for 10 pounds. James Godwin and Duct Dees witnessed the deed. 


This tract of land came into Jonathan Godwin's hands in October of 1771, when John Strickland sold the same 150 acres on the East side of Black Mingo to Jonathan Godwin, of Edgecombe County. William Godwin and James Godwin witnessed the deed. That Jonathan Godwin was from Edgecombe County in 1771 was an important piece of the puzzle. This places him in an entirely different familial group and possibly distinguishes him from the Sampson County Godwins. I'm not sure what he did with this 150 acres of land in Duplin/Sampson County. He might have given it to a family member for them to build and live on, or he might have just sat on it. Unfortunately, I have found record of a Jonathan Godwin in both Edgecombe and Sampson Counties from the time he bought this land in 1771 to the time he sold it in 1787. I need to compile my findings into a spreadsheet and see where the overlap is in order to distinguish between the two men, if they are, in fact, two different men. 


This leads us to the land transfer described in the deed above in 1787 when Jonathan Godwin of Sampson County sold this 150 acres on the East side of Black Mingo to Abigail Lee on 7 July 1787. This deed was witnessed by Nathan Godwin and William Godwin. This tract of land was sold right before Jonathan died (his estate was settled in 1791). 


The two 50 acre tracts of land that Jonathan Godwin was granted in Sampson County in 1788 and what happened to them when he died are discussed in the following posts:

The Distribution of Jonathan Godwin's Estate, Part 1
The Distribution of Jonathan Godwin's Estate, Part 2
The Distribution of Jonathan Godwin's Estate, Part 3

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