Estates Records Section

Each record is separated by a gray bar. Their source is the NC Department of Archives and History, unless otherwise noted. Italicized notes in brackets are my notes for clarity. Slashes (/) indicate the end of sentences. The documents below are only pertinent transcriptions for this site and do not comprise the entire contents of any estate settlement. Please take time to read this brief article about guardianship law which you will find helpful in your estates records research.

1769 — "Bluff Hector" McNeill, Estate Settlement document, Cumberland Co., NC
1783 — John Baker, Senior, Estate Settlement document, Cumberland Co., NC
1800 — Henry McNeill Estate Settlement document, Cumberland Co., NC
1801 — Laughlin McNeill Estate Settlement document, Cumberland Co., NC
1805 — Malcolm McNeill Estate Settlement document, Cumberland Co., NC
1814 — Elizabeth McNeill Estate Settlement document, Cumberland Co., NC
1825 — John McPhaul Estate Settlement document, Robeson Co., NC
1825-41 — Daniel McPherson Estate Settlement document, Robeson Co., NC
1836 — Colin McPherson Estate Settlement document, Cumberland Co., NC

1840 — Malcolm McNeill Estate Papers, Robeson Co., NC (private collection)
1844 — Daniel McPhaul Estate Settlement document, Robeson Co., NC
1844 — Daniel Patterson and brother Malcolm Patterson Estate Settlement document, Cumberland Co., NC
1845 — Archibald Gilchrist Estate Settlement document, Robeson Co., NC
1854 — Hugh McPherson Estate Settlement document, Cumberland Co., NC
1855 — Daniel Johnson Estate Settlement document, Robeson Co., NC
1858 — Neill B. Johnson Estate Settlement document, Robeson Co., NC
1862 — Edward McPherson Estate Settlement document, New Hanover Co., NC
1904 — Mary Eliza McPherson Brown Estate Settlement document, Robeson Co., NC

"Bluff Hector" McNeill Estate Settlement, 1769, Cumberland County, NC

NOTE: Bluff Hector's estate was brought into court in January of 1799. See court minute entry.

Document 1: Details of 'Bluff' Hector's son John's suit against his uncle Duncan McNeill. Below this first document I've included the list of debtors to the estate:

To the Worshipful the justice of the County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sefsions of Cumberland County - July Sefsion 1785 -

The humble petition of John McNeil [son of "Bluff Hector" McNeill] of said County -

Humbly showeth That Hector McNeil late of Bladen County deceased was in his lifetime seized and pofsefsed of a considerable estate consisting of Lands, Negroes, Cattle, Horses, Hogs, Houshold furniture, money, other goods, etc -

That the said Hector McNeil made his last will and testament and died -

That Duncan McNeil esq. appointed executor in the said Will qualified thereto and under took the office and execution of the said will

That it appears by the said Will of the said Hector McNeil that he devised and bequeathed to your petitioner a Negro [Bob] as a legacy reference to the said Will being had will more fully appear.

That the said Duncan McNeil hath hitherto refused and still doth refuse to pay or deliver to your Petitioner the legacy aforesaid contrary to the intention and desire of the the said Hector McNeil Testator as aforesaid and contrary to law equity and justice, to the damage of your petitioner two hundred pounds lawful money of this state -

Your petitioner therefore humbly prays that by the judgement sentence and decree of this Worshipful Court the said Duncan McNeil executor as aforesaid may be compelled to pay unto your petitioner the legacy aforesaid as by law justice and equity he ought to do or pay such damages as this worshipful court according to equity and good conscience shall adjudge -

JSpeller Attrny for Petitioner                                            And your Petitioner Shall pray etc John McNeil

Document 2: Debtors to the estate in pounds, shillings and pence:

  The Estate of Ht. McNeill D. to the Extr      
    £ S P
1769 Dec 12 To Lachline McNeill as per Acct. 68 5  
  To Walter Gibson as pr Do. 11 17 4
  To Richard Blalock Isd Do. 13 19 8
  To Richard Blalock Juner 5 1 4
  To Abden Taylor 2 17 2
  To Gilbert McNaire as per Acct. 9 19 4
  To John Williams admrs of Dugald Campbell's Estate 5 1 7
1771 May 11 To Robert Cochran as per Rcept 3 11 4
  To Abraham Gidons 4    
  To William Sproule admr of James Thortons Estate   13 8
  To William Sproule [of Spouls Ferry] 4 12  
Jan sd yr To Samuel Boyd 1 2 10
  To Benbury Dea as per Acct filed 26 6 0
  To Ela Blenchfeld Do. 8 12 4
  To Richard Grove as per Note 8 19 8
  To Richard Lyon Do. 22 10 5
  To Duncan Shaw Do. 5    
  To the executors of Dushie Shaw [Bluff Hector's son-in-law] 9 1  
  To Quincees Note of hand Balance Due 74 15  
  To Wm Surviance Acct. 24    
  To Cornelious Harnet as per Acct. 48    
  To Charles Mofet Do. 5 7 9
  To John Robeson 2 2  
  To John Lakee 5 7  
  To Antone Ward 25 12 8
  To Alexr McAlester 33 12  
  By Cash Balance of Anguish Colbreath Acct. 20 2 6
  By Gilbert McNaire Note 7 15  
  By Coline Shaw Note 14 2  
  By Alexander Buchanane Note 12 15  
  By Daniel McKay Note 4 11  
  By James McKethan Note 70    
  By Benjamin Waren 3    
1771 Sept 12 By amount of Sales of the Estate 157 4  
  £ 289 9 6
  Balance over paid 141 2 7
  £ 430 12 1
  Alexr: McAleftor      
  DunMNeill }Excutors      

North Carolina Cumberland County } July Court 1771
Then was the above account with the Estate of Hector McNeill Deceased Exhibited into Court on oath by Duncan McNeill one of the executors of said Hector McNeill will and ordered to be filed. Thos.Rutherford CC


Henry McNeill Estate Settlement, 1800, Cumberland County, NC

Henry McNeill was brother of Roger McNeill, two of the sons of the Neill McNeill who died in 1764 in Cumberland County. It appears by the date of a deed that Henry moved to Moore County, NC sometime in the year 1797. Guardianship law allowed orphans to choose their own guardian once they became fourteen years of age. If under fourteen, the court appointed the guardian; once the orphan reached age twenty-one they were adults and their share of any estate due them was distributed to them. One's guardian could have been your parent or even your betrothed. I have included only pertinent fractions of the estate below, but in the final distribution of Henry's lands to his orphans in January 1806, Henry's son Neill received "108 acres of land being the lower part of the old 320 acre survey" on Danilley's Creek on the Cape Fear River. Joseph's and Catharine's parts were adjacent Neill's and included the house, while Lucy's part included 108 acres adjacent Joseph's part "opposite Gist's old ford":

Document 1

To the Worshipful the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sefsions for the County of Cumberland [September1808 written on back of this document]
The Petition of William Crawford & Catharine his Wife respectfully sheweth.

That Henry McNeill late of said County Deceased, Departed this life sometime in the year [1800, but no year is written in the original] Intestate seized and pofsefsed of a considerable Estate both real & personal leaving Mary McNeill, his widow and Joseph, Neill, Lucy and Catharine, one of your petitioners his only children, heirs at law and next of kin - That your petitioner Catharine has since, viz, lately intermarried with William Crawford, your other petitioner, who petitions with and in her right - sometime shortly after the death of the said Henry deceased Letters of Administration on the Estate of the said Deceased were granted, by the court of pleas and Quarter Sefsions of Cumberland County to one Aaron Tyler of said County - And your petitioners further show, that some time in or about the year 1801 Neill McKay Esqr. was appointed by the said Court Guardian of one of the said Children, viz, Joseph McNeill; and that Joseph Gist of said County was also at the time aforesaid and by the Court aforesaid appointed Guardian to the other three said Children, viz, Neill, Lucy and Catherine your petitioners and entered into bond with security for the faithful discharge of the duties of his said appointment, which will more fully appear reference being had to the records of said Court -

Document 2

Cumberland County } Court of pleas & Quarter Sefsions June Term 1809
The answer of Joseph Gest [signs his name as 'Gist'] to the Petition of William Crawford & Catharine his Wife.

Defendant answering saith he Admits that Henry McNeil, died without leaving any Will, and was at the time of his death pofsefsed of property both Real & Personal, and that he left a Widow [Mary] & four children Viz. Joseph, Neil, Lucy & Catherine, who are entitled with the widow to his estate, and he admits that the petitioner Catharine intermarried with William Crawford; he also admits that Aaron Tyler was appointed Administrator to the said Henry McNeil (dec'd) he further Admits that Neil McKay Esq. was appointed Guardian to Joseph McNeil, and that he this defendant was appointed Guardian to the other three ( to wit, Niel, Lucy & Catharine.

This defendant denies that he and Neil McKay ever recieved from Aaron Tyler the sum of £140.10, and good men or Notes for the further sum of £63.4.11 as stated in the petition for this defendant says that no more than the sum of £52.19 in money notes etc. ever came to his hands or to the hands of Neil McKay (as Guardian to said children to his Knowledge) from Aaron Tyler; which sum will appear Credited to his account settled by Philemon Hodges & Hector McAllester Esqrs.

Malcolm McNeill Estate Settlement, 1805, Cumberland County, NC

The document below lists the children of Malcolm McNeill and his wife, Mary:

Division of the Estate of Malcolm McNeill Esq dec'd among his heirs -
State of North Carolina Cumberland County} January 23d day 1805. We the Subscribers agreeable to an order of Court for the purpose of dividing the estate of Malcom McNeill Esqr decd have ___ and divided said Estate as follows_
340 Acres of Land Joining Neill Black lands
100 ... do ... Bot from Alexander Johnsons
50 ... do ... on the Lumberton Road
100... do ... adjoining the above 50 acres
10 ... do ... Including the Rockfish Mill
600 [acres]

The above Lands shown in division the heirs as follows _
Alexander Johnson for wife [Barbara McNeill],
Archd McNeill
James McNeill
Elizabeth McNeill
John McNeill
Charles McNeill
Donald McNeill

The above to pay to them that ___ drew the Buckhead Mill 70 dollars the lands belonging to the Buckhead Mill lyes as follows - 100 acres including of the above mentioned Mill and nearby adjoining known by the name of Malcom McNeills lands be the same more or lefs. -
Allotted to
Hector McNeill
Margaret McNeill
Sarah McNeill
Malcom McNeill Junr

Division of the perishable estate as follows
[the following division is essentially unreadable but provides no original information]

By the Court Ordered for Registration
Test Robinson Mumford

Neil Beard John Thames Thos Evans

Daniel and Malcolm Patterson Estate Settlement, 1844, Cumberland County, NC

The following two documents are from the Daniel Patterson estate settlement dated 1844 in Cumberland County, NC. Document 1 is the petition of the siblings of Daniel Patterson, Jr. and his brother Malcolm Patterson, both deceased at the time of the settlement. Their siblings are petitioning the court for their fair share of their two deceased brothers' property. Document 2, 3 & 4 contains excerpts from three of the five summons to collect payment for court costs from each sibling. Three of the siblings lived in other states and opted to forfeit their share of land to pay taxes due and court costs. On their three summons, the Sheriff noted that Daniel Patterson, Sr. was "Raft Swamp Daniel Patterson". By reading the 1808 will of the man known as the real "Raft Swamp Daniel" Patterson, I believe this is an error on the part of the sheriff. He perhaps meant to write "Daniel Patterson of Beaverdam" because this family was known to be called the 'Beaverdam Pattersons'. (The 1833 will of Daniel Patterson, Sr., their father, exists in Cumberland County records, listing all his children except Daniel, Jr. who died five years earlier in 1827):

Document: 1

State of North Carolina Cumberland County} Court of Pleas and Quarter Sefsions March Term 1847

To the Worshipful the Justices of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sefsions in and for the County of Cumberland

The Petition of Archibald Patterson and Angus McRae and wife Flora against James Murphy and wife Sarah, Shockley Gibson and wife Elizabeth, John S. Harrell and wife Loveday –

Humbly complaining herewith unto your Worships your Petitioners that Daniel Patteson Jr departed this life sometime in the year eighteen hundred and twenty-seven intestate / that the said Daniel Patterson Jr left situate lying and being in the county of Cumberland about two hundred and twenty five acres of land lying on the Raft Swamp / And your Petitioners further present unto your Worships that Malcolm Patterson died intestate sometime in the year eighteen hundred and thirty eight / And that he left about one hundred and fifty acres of land in the county of Cumberland situate lying and being on the Raft Swamp adjoining the lands of the said Daniel Patterson, Jr. That the said Daniel Patterson Jr and Malcolm Patterson left as their heirs at law your Petitioner their brother Archibald your Petitioner their sister Flora and the defendants their sisters Sarah, Elizabeth and Loveday / And that your Petitioner Flora intermarried with your Petitioner Angus McRae and that the female defendants have severally intermarried with the other defendants / Your Petitoners further show unto your Worships that they together with the defendants are tenants in common of the said lands left by the said Daniel Patterson and Malcolm Patterson and that they are entitled to a partition thereof for which your Petitioners pray so that they may hold their respective shares in severalty – That the defendants Harrell and wife are inhabitants of the State of Mifsifsippi and the other defendants inhabitants of the State of Georgia. To the end therefore that partition may be made of the said lands for which your Petitioners pray by commifsioners appointed according to law / May it please your Worships to order publication to the made that the said defendants appear at the next Term of this court to be held at Fayetteville on the first Monday in June next... [much legalese].

Strange for Petitioners

Document: 2, 3 & 4

"January the 22nd 1848 - There is no goods or chattels to be found belonging to James Murphy and wife, and for wont thereof I have levied on one hundred acres of land on Beaver Dam, it being Lot No. 5 in the division of the land of the late Daniel Patterson Senr (known as Raft Swamp Daniel Patterson." [Wrong. He was known as "Beaverdam Daniel" Patterson, and James Murphy and wife were not known to be associated with, nor was Sarah Patterson Murphy a daughter of, the real "Raft Swamp Daniel" Patterson.] Alexander Johnson, Shff

"January the 22nd 1848 - There is no goods or chattels to be found in my county to pay this Execution belonging to J S Harrold _ and for wont thereof I have levied on one hundred acres in two fifty acre tracts it being Lot No. 1 in the division of Daniel Patterson Senr dec'd known as Raft Swamp Daniel Patterson." [Wrong. He was known as "Beaverdam Daniel" Patterson, and J.S. Harrel and wife were not known to be associated with, nor was Loveday Patterson Harrel a daughter of the real, "Raft Swamp Daniel" Patterson.] Alexander Johnson, Shff

"January the 22nd 1848 - There is no goods or chattels to be found in my county belonging to Shockly Gibson and wife and for wont thereof I have levied on one hundred and eleven acres it being Lot No. 2 in the division of the lands of Daniel Patterson Senr dec'd known as Raft Swamp Daniel Patterson." [Wrong. He was known as "Beaverdam Daniel" Patterson, and Shockley Gibson and wife were not known to be associated with, nor was Elizabeth Patterson Gibson a daughter of, the real "Raft Swamp Daniel" Patterson.] Alexander Johnson, Shff

John McPhaul Estate Paper, 1825, Robeson County, NC

Within this estate record, John M. Johnson of Escambia, Florida, the grandson of John McPhaul, states the children of his grandfather John McPhaul:

John McPhaul of Alabama
Daniel McPhaul of Robeson County, NC
Mary McPhaul who married John McMillan and moved to Florida
Effy McPhaul who married Alexander Johnson (John M. Johnson's parents; Alexander Johnson was the son of Daniel Johnson, Esq. who died in 1799 and his wife Isabella Brown Johnson. Isabella later married John B. Currie, known in Flora Kelly's 1827 and 1855 estate settlements as "Big John" Currie.)
Angus McPhaul of Alabama
William McPhaul of Alabama
Malcolm McPhaul of Robeson Co.

Malcolm McNeill Estate Papers, 1840, Robeson County, NC (private collection; see originals, page 1 and page 2)

This Malcolm McNeill is the grandson of "Shoemaker John" McNeill of the Jobes Branch McNeills. The estate document below comes from the private collection of Ruth McArthur of Wilmington, NC (deceased), who found it with several related papers in her McNeill grandmother's trunk, including a slightly earlier version of the 1790 will of Mary McNeill widow of "Shoemaker John" McNeill. There should have been an estate settlement record for this Malcolm McNeill in Robeson County records at the NC Department of Archives and History, but no official record of his estate settlement was kept by the county and this one copy (one was sent to each of the siblings of Malcolm McNeill) was saved by a sibling, thankfully. By law, the paper lists surviving children of Neill McNeill, son of "Shoemaker John" McNeill. (Walter McNeill of Robeson County told my brother that Neill T. McNeill had a brother called "Blind John." The will of their father, Neill, does not mention a son "Blind John" McNeill, likely his oldest son, who probably died by 1840.) The surviving children listed were siblings of this Malcolm McNeill. The final outcome, however, the final division of Malcolm's property, can be found in the deeds of Robeson County.

NC Robeson County } County Court of Pleas & quarter Sefsions February Sefsions 1840 -

To the Worshipful the Justices of said Court
The Petition of Archd McNeill Wm McNeill and David McNeill & Daniel McNeill by their Guardian William McNeill [William Peterson McNeill was made the guardian of both David and Daniel who were both declared incompetent.] Respectfully represents that sometime in the year [A blank is drawn where the date should be, but it was in 1836 or'37. January 1, 1838 is the date of official documents concerning Malcolm's death.] Malcolm McNeill died intestate and without isfue seized & pofsefsed of 400 acres of land situate in the County of Robeson on the South West side of McPhauls Mill Swamp, adjoining the lands of John Gilchrist, and others that your Petitioners are the brothers of the Intestate and that, Hector McNeill and Neill McNeill and Rosa now the wife of Richard Gregory, and Mary now the wife of Neill Brown are also the brothers & sisters of the Intestate on whom the said lands & hereditaments descended at the death of Intestate that, Archd McNeill one of your Petitioners purchased of the said Neill McNeill & Rosa the wife now of said Richd Gregory their shares in the said inheritance by Deeds of Conveyance Sufficient to pafs a fee simple Estate therein -
Your Petitioners further represent that tho there is on the premises a very excellent plantation and Convenient houses, yet the inheritance is unprofitable to the heirs by reason of the opposition & interruption interposed by Hector McNeill & Neill Brown above mentioned to any occupancy therein and your Petitioners have no hope of making their Interest in the inheritance productive so long as the same is Held in Common -
To the end therefore that Justice may be done in the premises & that Each tenant, in Common may hold his share Severally Your Petitioners pray that five Commissioners by appointed to allot to Each tenant the share or shares to which he is entitled that is to say to allot to William David Daniel Hector & Mary the wife of Neill Brown each one eight part of the inheritance and to Archd McNeill three eights and that a copy of this petition with the States Writ of Subpoena be served on said Hector McNeill and another copy & Writ be served on Neill Brown and wife Mary requiring them to appear at next Term of this Worshipful Court to be held on the 4th Monday in May next and shew cause by their pleadings wherefore partition be not made in the premises agreeable to the above representation & they as in duty bound will etc.
John Gilchrist attorney for Petitioners
A copy from the original filed in my office given under my hand at office the 8th day of April 1840

Daniel McPhaul, Sr. Estate Settlement, 1844, Robeson County, NC

From the Daniel McPhaul estate settlement dated 1841 in Robeson County, NC, I have found two interesting pieces of information. Document 1 is a deposition by John McAlester of Richmond County concerning McPhaul land around Centre Presbyterian Church wherein he says that John Campbell and Flora Patterson McPhaul were half siblings. Document 2 is the deposition of Catherine McPhaul McArthur with her account of her father Neill McPhaul's death during the Revolution:

Document: 1

Pursuant to a commisfsion to us John C. McLaurin and Daniel D. Morrison two of the Justices of the peace in and for the County of Richmond from the Superior Court of Robeson County empowering us to take the deposition of John McAlester Senr, to be read in a certain matter of controversy pending in the Superior Court of Robeson County between the Heirs of Daniel McPhaul Lefsors of the Plaintiff and John Gilchrist defendant we have caused the said McAlester to appear before us at his own dwelling place in Richmond County on the 1st day of October in the present year [1846]. Who being duly sworn as a witnefs in the said cse deposeth as follows Viz –-

Question 1st. Were you called upon by James McQueen and James Stewart many years ago to survery the one thousand acres of land in Robeson County known as the White-Oak and who were the owners thereof

Ans. Yes I was called on by McQueen and Stewart to survey said tract but do not recollect whether they had bought or were about to purchase

Ques 2nd. Did you have the grant or a copy of the grant and did you run according to the its courses and distances

Ans. Yes I did

Ques 3rd. By reference to said Grant of said tract I perceive that one of the lines runs from the beginning corner of John Campbells 70 acre survey North 52 East with his line 23 chains and 50 links to a stake in McPhauls line and did you run out and measure that line and if you did where did you strike the McPhaul line

Ans. Yes I run out and measured said line but can not particularly describe where I struck McPhauls line, McPhaul was present and showed his line I think 25 links short of the distance of the Grant by our measurement

Ques 4th. What McPhaul was present and showed you his line

Ans. Daniel McPhaul who married John Campbells half sister [referring to Flora (née Patterson) McPhaul, daughter of John Patterson and Catherine McPherson Patterson of Cumberland County. Catherine McPherson Patterson's second husband was Archibald Campbell of Cumberland County who removed to Campbell's Bridge on Drowning Creek in Bladen (now Robeson) County after 1771 but before 1785, the year the Campbell family licensed the bridge in their name. Archibald's name is found as executor in extant Bladen wills as late as 1778, and Bladen County court records show a man with his name identified as a Tory in the Revolution; he may have been killed in the war because Catherine appears as head of household in county tax lists of the mid 1780s. Archibald Campbell and the widow Catherine McPherson Patterson had one child known: John Campbell born 1772 and who died about 1846.]

Ques 5th. After reaching McPhauls line which was did you run next

Ans. with his line North 3 East forty chains to his corner

Ques 6th. Was there any dispute among these parties at that time about the mode you ran these lines

Ans. Not a word all friendly and appeared reconciled

Ques 7th. do you believe that you would be able to go to Lumberton to attend Superior Court next week

Ans. From the state of my health I know I can not

Cross Examined by plaintiff

Ques 1st. Are you certain that McPhaul shewed you his line

Ans. Yes he was present and was the only guide I could have any faith in

Ques 2nd. Did he McPhaul have his Grant along with him

Ans. I do not recollect

Ques 3rd. Was John Campbell present

Ans. I believe he was present

Ques 4th. Was John Campbell and Daniel McPhaul with you at the Beginning and who showed you the Beginning Corner

Ans. I believe John Campbell did but I am not positive whether McPhaul was at the Beginning or not but I am positive McPhaul was present when I reached his line

Ques 5th. Did you strike the White Swamp in Running the line North 3 East 40 chains to his corner

Ans. I do not believe I did yet I might and the reason that I do not think I did is that I made no representation of it on a plot I have now in my pofsefsion

Ques 6th. Could you not go to Robeson in an easy carriage

Ans. My situation is such that I could not undertake it for any thing else but to save my life –-

Document 2:

State of North Carolina
Robeson County. We Hector Currie and Patrick McEachin two of the Justices of said County at this day proceeded to take the Deposition of Catharine McArthur at the instance of Archibald Smith Agent at Law for the heirs of Daniel McPhaul dec'd, to be read in evidence in a case now pending in the Superior Court in the County of Robeson wherein Archibald Smith Agent at Law for the heirs of Daniel McPhaul dec'd is Plaintiff and John Gilchrist Defendant it appearing that due notice has been given to the opposite party –- The parties being present –- the said Catharine McArthur being sworn in due form of law deposeth & saith

By Plaintiff
Question 1st. How long since your father died

Ans. I don't recollect but that he died in Charlestown & my Brother John was with him when he died

Ques 2nd. Was it before or after the Revolutionary War he died

Ans. It was after peace was proclaimed

Ques 3rd. How long was he dead before you were married

Ans. Three years

Ques 4th. How long were you married before your first child was born

Ans. One year & a half

Ques. What year was your oldest child born

Ans. (blank line drawn in record)

Ques 6th Was Daniel McPhaul, your Brother, Neill McPhauls oldest son

Ans. He was the oldest son my father had

Crofs Interrogations
Question 1st. Mrs McArthur do you know what occationed your father's death

Ans. He died with the bowel complaint and lost the use of one side / his head was nearly split open with a sword by Rutherfords men near the Brick House near Wilmington /then he was carried to Wilmington put under charge of a Doctor / having understood they were going to take Wilmington he sailed round to Charlestown [The battle at the Brick House took place 15 November 1781.]

Ques 2nd. Mrs McArthur was he an officer in the war

Ans. He was Capt of the Tories

Certifited under our hands & seals this 7 day July 1845.
P. McEachin J.P.
H. Currie J.P.

Catharine McArthur her X mark

Laughlin McNeill Estate Settlement, 1801, Cumberland County, NC

From the Laughlin McNeill estate settlement; date of administrator's bond is 14 July 1801. Laughlin McNeill was born after 1739; he was stated to be a minor in a Cumberland County deed (James McNeill to Lachlan McNeill ) dated 1755 and thus was under the age of 16 that year. He died between Sept 1800 and July 1801, and was the oldest son of Turquill McNeill of the Argyll Colony. Flora McNeill (Laughlin's widow), Daniel McNeill, and Archibald Graham are named executors in the bond which I did not transcribe but can be found here. In the 1805 document below Laughlin's children, Mary, Hector, Elizabeth and Daniel are likely minors -- close to their majority, however -- although Elizabeth married James Graham in December 1805. The various spellings 'Lauchlin', 'Laughlin', 'Donald' and 'Daniel' and various other words in this estate document below are frequent (and generally interchangeable) as there was little standard spelling up to this time.

It should be noted here that Edwin Purcell, in his book Lumber River Scots, page 193, claims that Mary McNeill ("consort of Archibald Graham") and her sister Elizabeth McNeill Graham Gilchrist both were direct descendants of "Black Neill" McNeill, leader of the Argyll Colony. The transcribed document below proves that their father was Laughlin (or Lachlan) McNeill, and through deeds and wills we know Laughlin/Lachlan was in fact the son of Turquill McNeill of the Argyll Colony. There is no proof, and very unlikely, that Turquill was a son of Black Neill McNeill, and nothing at all to indicate that Turquill's unknown wife (claimed by genealogist Jonathan Butcher to have been one Mary Bethune) was descended from Black Neill. That leaves the possibility that Laughlin's wife Flora, born c. 1750-55, was somehow a descendant of Black Neill McNeill; however, there is no hint as to her maiden name anywhere.

The Daniel McNeill on the administrator's bond signed his name "Danold McNeill". The only Daniel McNeill who consistently made such a signature was the son of James McNeill of Rockfish Creek who had been a close friend and/or relative of Laughlin McNeill. Administrators were Flora McNeill, Daniel ("Danold") McNeill, and Archibald Graham who was the husband ("consort of") of Flora's daughter Mary.

The following document is dated 3 May 1805, nearly four years after the administrator's bond, likely because at his death Laughlin's youngest children were not of majority age to be divisees of the estate. But, luckily, the document does name Laughlin's wife and children:

State of North Carolina Robeson County. We John MacAlister Alexander Graham, Daniel Smith Duncan Smith and Daniel Patterson, being Summoned and duly qualified as Commifsioners, to lay off and distribute agreeable to law, the Landed property of the late Lauchlin McNeill, among his heirs and legal Representatives, and having duly examined the premises, have unamimously agreed on the following report, (Viz) We find that the deceased in his life time, had given to his son James MacNeill, a tract of Land containing one hundred acres, to the value of two hundred dollars, being about one hundred and twenty three dollars, more than his distributive share of the Landed property would amount to, in said County. [I believe this James McNeill is named after James McNeill of Rockfish who was close to—and very likely related to—Laughlin McNeill of this estate record; James of Rockfish sold land on Cape Fear River to Laughlin as a minor in 1755. Little is really known of this young James McNeill, though he lost these 100 acres in a court judgment causing it to be offered at public auction in January 1803. James' mother, Flora, bought the 100 acres at the public auction and gave it to her son Turquill in exchange for her room and board with him and his family in Marion County, SC. It's possible this James moved with his brother Duncan and their uncle Turquill McNeill to Georgia, from where it is claimed James moved to Cuba where he died.]

We likewise find that he gave to his Son Turquill 150 acres, worth about 250 dollars, being about 173 dollars more than his distributive share as aforesaid would amount to. [The fact that Laughlin gave land to his sons indicates the existence of deeds of gift in county records but none have been found. Though he's listed second in this document, this Turquill Jr. (his grandfather being the elder Turquill Sr.) was probably the oldest of all these siblings if the old Scots naming pattern was used in this family. Cumberland and Robeson County deeds show that this Turquill Jr. and his family moved to Marion District, South Carolina and, per their legal agreement that Turquill, Jr. care for her for the remainder her life, Turquill Jr.'s mother Flora moved with them.]

We also find that his Son Duncan received from the deceased aforesaid fifty five acres equal to 110 dollars in value, being about thirty three dollars, more than his distributive share of his fathers lands in the county aforesaid would amount to. [Three months prior to this estate document on 22 February 1805, while living in Columbia County, Georgia, this Duncan McNeill sold 100 acres of his father's estate to Archibald Patterson of Cumberland County. Did he go to live with his father's brother Turquill McNeill who also lived in Columbia County, Georgia?]

We then proceeded to distribute the intestates lands lying in the said county of Cumberland [This statement indicates that the lands of sons James, Turquill and Duncan listed above were in Robeson County, originally Bladen County the records of which burned three times.], of which he died seized and pofsefsed of, containing two hundred and three acres, (including the Lands of which Mrs MacNeill, relict of the deceased, had a right of Dowery, but which she this day in our presence and under her hand & seal did relinquish and give up into her childrens hands hereinafter named) Among ___ four heirs (viz) Mary, Hector, Elizabeth and Donald [Daniel] as follows;

We alotted unto Mary Graham consort of Arch'd Graham fifty acres, including the mill on Buffalow [Buffalo Creek], as by Patent No.97 — granted to Arch'd Beaton [or Bethune]. He Archibald Graham, paying to Elizabeth aforesaid, or her proper guardian according to Law the Sum forty three dollars and thirty eight cents [She is the consort (wife) of Arch'd Graham, so is she underage here having Archibald Graham as husband and guardian? Legal age at this time was 21, so perhaps she is not quite of legal age yet. According to her obit of 1835, her death at 55 puts her birth at 1780. She married first to Archibald Graham in 1796, and secondly in 1812 to Reverend John McIntyre, and had at her death 7 children; she died late May 1835.] —

We have alotted unto Hector MacNeill Son of the Deceased aforesaid [To date, absolutely nothing is known of this Hector McNeill.], twenty nine acres lying on the west side of Buffalow, being the remaining part of forty five acres purchased from John Dickson [land speculator in Cumberland County, NC] that was not lost by intersection with older line, likewise forty three acres lying on both sides of Dyers Branch joining Daniel Pattersons lines. Also four dollars and sixty two cents to be paid unto him or guardian by Daniel [the 'Donald' above] his Brother aforesaid or guardian.

We have alotted to Elizabeth, Daughter of the intestate aforesaid, forty four acres lying on both sides of the Buffalow, including the most part of the Mill pond, as also the said sum of 43 dollars and 38 cents to be paid unto her by the said Archibald Graham, as likewise eleven dollars and 26 cents to be paid to her by Daniel, hereafter named. [Elizabeth "Betsy" McNeill was, according to the 1850 census 63 years old that year, so she wass born very close to 1787. She died in 1850 in Lowndes County, Alabama while living with her son James and his family there. She first married James Graham in December of 1805. Her second marriage was to Angus Gilchrist in 1813, by whom she had three children. They lived in Richmond County, NC. Younger than her sister Mary who has a guardian, it is interesting that Elizabeth is not stated to have had a guardian.]

We have allotted to Daniel, younger son of the deceased, thirty seven acres including the dwelling house and out houses, as also the greater part of the improvements, on the west side of the Mill pond. He by himself or guardian paying to his Brother Hector the sum of four dollars and sixty three cents, and to his sister Elizabeth the sum of eleven dollars and twenty six cents according to Law to them or proper guardians. [This Daniel McNeill was a silversmith by 1816, and sold all his lands to "Duncan McNeill Esq.", ("Long Duncan McNeill") in 1824. It is said Daniel went to Alabama and died there. The 37 acres allotted to him here was a tract entered in 1787, surveyed in 1788, granted in 1789 and entered into Cumberland deeds in 1790 by Turquill McNeill; whether it was Turquill Sr. or his son Turquill Jr. (who moved to Georgia by 1804) is unknown.]

Given under our hands the twenty third day of May, one thousand eight hundred and five.

Alexr Graham
Danl Smith
Duncan Smith
Daniel Paterfon [either "Beaverdam Daniel" Patterson or "Buffalo Daniel" Patterson]

I Flory MacNeill relict of the late Lauchlin deceased do relinquish and surrender unto my four children Mary Hector Elizabeth and Daniel all my right of Dowry to my Deceased Husbands Lands, and also cheerfully, acqueised in the allottments this day made by the foregoing Commifsioners

Witnefseth my hand and seal the 23rd day of May 1805.

Flory \. MacNeill
her mark

Witness Present
A Gilchrist [Angus Gilchrist]

Elizabeth McNeill Estate Settlement, 1814, Cumberland County, NC

Elizabeth McNeill (1739-1814) was the widow of James McNeill of Rockfish Creek (1732-ca. 1805). Her estate contains no descriptions of land to divide, only household items. But the record does show that her son was Daniel McNeill who signed his name as "Danold McNeill". This particular signature follows him through original records until his death in November of 1828, and separates him, intentionally or otherwise, from other Daniel McNeills in the region at the time. When he applied for administration on his mother's estate in the county court, the clerk not only spelled his name 'Donald' in the record but stated that he was Elizabeth's son. Also of note: The estate sale of auctioned items in Elizabeth's household show that only one woman attended the sale, Jennet Graham. This was Jennet McNeill who married John Purcell Graham. In 1835 they moved to Alabama. I have DNA matches to Jennet's living descendants from our common ancestors, James McNeill of Rockfish Creek and his wife Elizabeth (née McNeill) McNeill.

Daniel Johnson Estate Settlement, 1855, Robeson County, NC

Daniel Johnson estate settlement, dated 1855. Because this Daniel Johnson died in 1799 and his heirs his surviving children and some of his grandchildren wanted their share (some wished to move south), his property had to be settled amongst those heirs in 1855. This is NOT the same Johnson family from whom W.D. Johnson, P.P.D. Johnson and Rev. Angus Johnson descend. There are other papers, deeds and divisions of land that take the family back to their ancestor, "Big John" Johns(t)on on Great Marsh (Daniel's father). The following record is from the North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC:

State of North Carolina

Robeson County }

In Equity
To Spring Term 1855

The petition of Henry L. [Lucien] Johnson, Washington S. [Scott] Johnson, Harriet [Jane] Johnson, Gilbert G. [Gilchrist] McPherson and wife Sophia [Sophia Flora Johnson]


Joshua James and wife Mary, Mary McEachin, Malcom McIntyre and wife Susan, Anna S. Johnson, Frances Johnson, and John M. Johnson, shew to your honor that Daniel Johnson late of the County of Robeson died many years ago intestate, seized and possessed of a tract of land lying in said county on both sides of the Lumberton Road adjoining the lands of Daniel Smith, Alexander H. Currie, Catherine Brown and Jane Currie, containing about 130 acres [The lands in question border the original lands of Old John McPherson on the Raft Swamp just west of today's McLeod's Crossing.]; leaving surviving him widow Isabella and his children _
Archibald who is since deceased leaving surviving him Mary his widow, who has since married Joshua James_
Neill B. Johnson since deceased leaving surviving him your Petitioners Henry L. Johnson, Washington Scott Johnson, Harriet Johnson and Sophia who has since married Gilbert McPherson_
Mary Johnson who married Edward McEachin since deceased, leaving surviving him his said widow Mary_ [Edward and Mary had six children but none are mentioned in this document.]
John B. Johnson since deceased leaving surviving him Susan who married Malcom McIntyre – Anna Sophia and Frances his children_ [His wife is unknown.]
Alexander Johnson since deceased who left surviving him his son John M. [Alexander married Effy McPhaul. Their only child, John M. Johnson, was living in Warrenton, Florida in 1855 and may have been living in Escambia, Florida in 1860.]

That Neill B. Johnson in his lifetime purchased of Edward McEachin and his wife Mary and of John B. Johnson and of Alexander Johnson their entire interests in said estate by deed duly executed by the said parties repectfully which said deeds your Petitioners have ready to produce as this Humble Court may direct.

And your Petitioners show that as children and heirs at law of said Neill B. Johnson and by purchases made of said Neill B. Johnson of said Edward McEachin and wife and of said John B. and Alexander they are entitled as tenants in common in four shares. That your Petitioners and all said Defendants are Tenants in common in the share (one fifith) of said Archibald deceased subject to the Dower Estate of said Mary wife of said James Your Petitioners further show that one Neill Brown, late of said county by his last will and testament bequeathed to Isabella the wife of said Daniel Johnson during her lifetime a negro slave named Chaney remander over to the heirs of said Daniel Johnson. That your Petitioners and said Defendants are children and grandchildren of said Daniel as before stated and entitled to the said slave as next of kin under the statute of distribution and remander under said will and tenants in common of said slave.

That Joshua James and wife are citizens of the State of Mississippi_ That Anna S. Johnson is a citizen of Alabama_ That John M. Johnson is a citizen of Florida and said Frances is a ___ resident of this state

Your Petitioners further show that they desire to have partition of said land and slave, but owing to the number of parties in interest, the size of said Tract and there being but one slave that it is improbable that actual partition can be made and further it is to the advantage of all parties that the same shall be seen

The Petitioners pray your Honor to order a sale of the said land and slave upon such terms as your Honor may deem right and proper and the proceeds may be divided according to the respective interest of the parties_ That subpoenas and a copy of this petition issue to Mary McEachin, Malcom McIntyre and wife Susan and that publication according to law be made for John M. Johnson, Anna Sophia Johnson, Joshua James and wife Mary and that your Petitioners may have such other and further relief in the premises as to your Honor may deem correct and your Petitioners will ever pray etc

NA McLean
Solr for Petitioners

A true Copy RS French G&M Esq

Archibald Gilchrist Estate Settlement, 1845, Robeson County, NC

Undated letter of deposition taken of John W. Davis, from the 1845 estate papers of Archibald Gilchrist (born c.1777, and died August 1839, son of John Gilchrist, Sr., and Effie McMillan of Mill Prong in Robeson County, NC); North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC:

[The following letter concerns the orphans, Sarah Ann McPherson and Daniel McPherson, their boarding with their guardian Archibald Gilchrist. The letter is very difficult to read.]

Emen Parker and wife et.al vs John Gil [John Gilchrist] adm. etc

John W. Davis swears -

That he was at Archibald Gilchrist's house at the time Emen Parker married Sarah Ann [McPherson; she married Emen Parker in 1839 at Archibald Gilchrist's home on Drowning Creek in Robeson County.]. That in a conversation had with the said Archd the morning after the wedding, he stated to deponent that he was glad the young Lady was married. That she had been a prudent good girl. That she had lived with him for a number of years; but that he did not intend to charge her for board, as he considered her labour for him equivalent to her board; and that he had heard said Gilchrist say nearly 12 months before the above time, that he did not intend to charge Sarah Ann McPherson any thing for Board, and that her services was with her board.

He [John W. Davis] also says he was present when said Archd sold a Horse to Daniel McPherson [Sarah Ann's brother and only sibling], one of the Petitioners, for seventy five Dollars, which horse he considered not worth more than forty dollars; and which horse the said Gilchrist had offered to him in part payment for work he had done for him at fifty dollars. He further admitted that at that time there was some money due to Daniel, after getting the horse for him but not as much as he owed Sarah Ann.

John W. Davis [signature]

[on back side] Davis further deposes, that the said Daniel went to the western Country about the year 1835 or '36, and that he was absent until after the death of Archd Gilchrist. [This Daniel McPherson who went west in 1835 or '36 returned to Robeson County, NC, in 1841 for further litigation in the division on his grandfather's, father's and uncles' estates. After that date, he disappears. He had a first-cousin named Daniel McPherson who married Mary Ann Munroe in Robeson County about 1842 after which they moved to Alabama. The two Daniels are NOT the same man and should not be confused with one another.]

John W. Davis [signature]

Another document from the 1845 estate papers of Archibald Gilchrist, Robeson County, NC; North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC:

North Carolina
Robeson County
Superior Court of Law
Fall Term 1845
To the Honorable the Judge of Superior Court –
The petition of John Gilchrist, Daniel Gilchrist, Angus Gilchrist, Sir Sidney Gilchrist [Purcell states in Lumber River Scots that Sidney and his wife Catherine were probably related--they were. Sidney married his third-cousin, Catherine McPherson (1819 - c.1851), daughter of John McPherson and Sarah "Sallie" Black McPherson. John McPherson was the son of Alexander McPherson who was son of John McPherson of the Argyll Colony. Sallie Black was the daughter of Archibald and Margaret (nee Black) Black. Sidney Gilcrhist's mother, Mary McPherson Gilchrist was the daughter of Daniel McPherson and Marian McNeill McPherson. Daniel McPherson was the son of John McPherson of the Argyll Colony.], John McKay and wife Flora, Archd & wife Margaret respectfully represent that the four former & the wives of the three latter are the children & Heirs at law of Archd Gilchrist decd

Your Petitioner would show unto your honor that in the year 183– the said Archd Gilchrist died Intestate leaving besides the above named children & Heirs at law two other Heirs viz John Archd McKay a grandson by his daughter Catharine who has since died & John Archibald Rice Henderson another grandson by his daughter Sarah who is also dead both of whom are minors the latter resides in the State of Mifsifsippi & the former in the county of Robeson – Your Petitioners further show that the said Archd Gilchrist died seized & pofsefsed of sundry tracts of land, in the counties of Robeson and Richmond situate on Lumber River and near the Ten Mile Swamp estimated at two thousand one hundred and thirty acres out of which the Widow's dower [Archibald Gilchrist married Mary McPherson in 1802 (Source: Mary McPherson deposition from the Daniel Buie estate, 1824, Robeson County), daughter of Daniel McPherson and Marian McNeill. Daniel McPherson was the son of John McPherson of the Argyll Colony and Marian McNeill is believed to have been the daughter of "Shoemaker John" McNeill of Bladen County, NC.] hath been assigned by known boundaries & now about fourteen hundred and twenty acres remain to be divided between the children and Heirs at law of the said Intestate to whom the said lands descended as tenants in common. Your Petitioners pray that your honor will duly consider the premises & appoint five Commifsioners unconnected with your Petitioner to divide and appropriate the said lands among your Petitioners in severalty, Share & Share alike in equal and equitable dividends Your Petitioners do further pray that a guardian be appointed to the said minors; that a copy of this petition & supeona be served on John Archd McKay & that publication be made for said John Archd Rice Henderson to appear at the next term of this Court to plead etc And your Petitioners do further pray that your honor will from time to time make such other & further orders & decrees & grant such other & further re___ in the premises, as to justice & equity may pertain

Your Petitioners will ever pary

John Gilchrist
Atty for Petitioners

Daniel McPherson Estate Settlement, 1825-41, Robeson County, NC

Gilbert Gilchrist's response to the petition of Catherine McPherson Brown against him in the settlement of her grandfather's, father's and brother's estates. The following document proves the familial relationship of the McPhersons of Cumberland County and the McPhersons of upper Robeson County. It further establishes that Old John McPherson of the Argyll Colony removed from Cumberland County to upper Bladen County. Gilchrist also states that he himself removed to Alabama in 1835. Dated December 1836; from the estate papers of Daniel McPherson, Robeson County, NC; North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC:

The Answer of Gilbert Gilchrist to the Petition of Catharine Brown & Alexr McPherson praying partition in a portion of the lands of which John McPherson [Old John McPherson of the Argyll Colony, who died on his plantation on the Juniper Branch of the Raft Swamp in Robeson County in January 1791], Daniel McPherson [died at the same place on Old John's plantation in December 1803] and Colin McPherson [also died on Old John's plantation, in 1823] the Father, Son & Grandson died seized and pofsefsed.

This defendant saving and reserving to himself now & at all times hereafter all & all manner of benefit & advantage of Exception to the insufficiencies uncertainties & other imperfections & defects of the said petition for answer Thereunto or unto so much thereof as this defendant is advised is any way material or necefsary for him to make This defendant answereth & saith He admits that his wife Nancy [At this time Nancy has been dead about 13 years. Supposedly she died around 1827 or '28, though it is more likely that Nancy died in 1823 since Gilbert Gilchrist's first child by his second wife, Mary Currie, was born in 1825. It is likely that Nancy McPherson Gilchrist died at the same time—and in the same household—as her brother Colin McPherson on the Old John McPherson land on the north edge of Raft Swamp east of Red Springs, and both likely died by a common affliction of that time, perhaps typhoid, one disease among others which could decimate a household. Colin's death left one McPherson brother, Alexander, from whom all the later McPhersons of Robeson County descended.] Mrs Flora Buie the widow of Daniel Buie decd Mary Gilchrist the wife of Archd Gilchrist Hugh McPherson decd Colin McPherson decd and the two Petitioners are the children and Heirs of Daniel McPherson decd who was the son of a John McPherson decd but whether the said Nancy Flora etc are the Children and Grandchildren of the Daniel and John McPherson named on the petition remains to be proven in as much as the said descendants have not attained that more than Antedeluvian longevity ascribed to them in the petition / This defendant also admits that the said Flora Nancy Mary Hugh & the two petitioners are the brothers & sisters of Colin McPherson decd who died intestate & without children but denies the time of his death to be correctly stated in the petition / He also admits that Daniel McPherson & Sarah McPherson [Sarah Ann McPherson married Emen Parker at the home of Archibald Gilchrist in 1839.] are the children of Hugh McPherson decd / This defendant also admits that Alexander McPherson [of Cumberland County, died 1801] was the brother of Daniel McPherson the father of Petitioners and that they were the Sons of John McPherson but denies positively that the said Alexr or thro him his son Colin [of Cumberland County, married Nancy Campbell] or daughter Mary Buie [wife of John Buie of Cumberland County] mentioned in petition ever inherited a foot of land from Daniel the brother and uncle for the petitioners Themselves claim to be children of Daniel & capable of inheriting his lands. Neither could the said Alexr nor Thro him his son Colin & daughter Mary Buie have inherited any of the lands of their father & Grandfather John McPherson as this defendant is advised because the said John McPherson some short time preceeding his death duly made & published his last will & Testament in writing & in form to pafs lands which was duly admited to probate in the County Court of Robeson / In that will the Testator devises all his lands, and the only & mighty boon given to Alexr and for which the Petitioners make such a scramble is one Crown Sterling / It is believed it can be established by the declarations of Colin himself that he never claimed any of his Grandfathers or uncles lands / the same may be said of Mary Buie. If therefore the said Colin & Mary Executed any conveyance for lands in Robeson (which has not accompanied the petition tho promised) it must have been to arrest the vexatious Importunity of a Restlefs and Teasing woman [referring to Catharine McPherson Brown] / The claim which is pretended exists in the Children of John [A reference to children of John McPherson, Jr. and Sallie Black of Cumberland County. John, Jr. was son of Alexander McPherson and was the oldest brother of Colin McPherson and Mary Buie wife of John Buie.] has the same baselefs fabrick with the claim thro Colin & is forced upon their Guardian [Martin McPherson of Fayetteville, NC] in spite of his Blushes by a Special Command to the Sheriff of Cumberland / The Clauses in the will of Old John McPherson by which he devises his lands are as follows "3rdly I likewise give and bequeath to my Grandson Neill McPherson one hundred and sixty acres of land on the Juniper & one hundred acres of land lying at the upper end of the Bear pond Joining McBrydes land it being a part of a survey of 200 acres to be his & his heirs forever – 4thly I likewise give & bequeath to my Grand Son Archd McPherson one hundred acres to wit, the plantation I now live upon together with One hundred Acres below me in two surveys & likewise One hundred above me being the Other half of the above 200 Acres likewise fifty Acres lying between the bear pond and the Raft Swamp to be his and his heirs forever" / The said Neill & Archd are the sons of Daniel McPherson as mentioned in another part of said will / The said Devisees died intestate & without children and without having disposed of any part of said lands in their lifetime. Daniel the Father of Petitioners Continued to live on some part or other of the above devised premises untill his death in 1802-3 [December 1803, as is determined in these documents; a division of his estate occurred in March of 1804.] with the exception of some short interval as this defendant is informed & believes / He died seized of Certain Other land in the vicinity of the above as this defendant is informed and believes / And the land which his seven children above mentioned claimed to Inherit at his death thro him & the two Devisees (their brothers) already named was between seven & eight hundred acres / In the fourth day of July 1798 Robert Hailles Conveyed to Hugh McPherson & Colin McPherson 1120 Acres of land in fee lying between and around the above devised premises & perhaps between some other tracts [It is interesting to note here that Hugh and Colin were only five and three years old respectively in 1798, so the 1120 acres must have been purchased by their father Daniel for them and in their names.]. After the death of Hugh the said tenancy in common was divided into moieties between said Colin and Daniel McPherson & sister Sarah heirs of Hugh already mentioned / And in July 1815 Angus Gilchrist conveyed to said Colin 150 acres in fee lying all in the Raft Swamp by a deed dated the 21st day of August 1822 Colin McPherson conveyed to his defendant in fee all that piece and parcel of land that is within the enclosure of McPhersons Old plantation which is estimated to be about 95 acres / This piece was considered as a part of his moiety of the 1120 Acres Conveyed by Robert Hails already mentioned with the exception of the above 95 acres / the said Colin died intestate & without children seized of the balance of his moiety of the 1120 Acres, seized of the 150 Acres purchased of A Gilchrist and the whole of his inheritance of the Seven or Eight hundred Acres above mentioned which descended from his Father and the two Devisees his brothers / In the year 1823 April the 8th this Defendant purchased of Archd Gilchrist and Mary his wife and of Daniel Buie and Flora his wife their claim to 450 acres belonging to the old plantation Also their claim of 100 acres called Goodson land likewise their inheritance in the real estate of Colin McPherson decd their brother / At the time of this purchase it was understood and believed by the contracting parties that the four daughters of Daniel McPherson decd were the sole Coparceners or Tenants in Common of the 450 Acres above mentioned and of the 100 Acres called the Goodson land, and this defendant believed he was purchasing one half thereof, that is one half of 550 Acres. This Opinion was said to be given by some Gentleman of the bar (perhaps Genl Davis) / On this Ground that as the daughters of Daniel McPherson were the only children of his living at the death of the survivor of their two deceased brothers Neill and Archd the devisees named above they were the sole heirefses and the contract was made with this view / How far their deeds of Conveyance which will be Exhibited to this court will be the better judges / this defendant in virtue thereof claims one half as already mentioned / he also claims by virtue of the said purchase the shares which descended to them by the death of their Brother Colin of his inheritance in the seven or eight Hundred Acres aboved stated also their inheritance in the moiety of the 1120 Acres purchased of Hails after taking therefrom the ninety five Acres this defendant purchased as stated above & their shares in the 150 Acres bought of A Gilchrist / This defendant further states that he took pofsefsion of the premises in 1820 and kept pofsefsion uninterruptedly untill March 1835 when he removed to the State of Alabama leaving Alexander Currie (son of Randal Currie and Nelly Johnston) in pofsefsion as his Tenant, who is still living there / All this while he cultivated the Old Clearing & soon after purchasing the claims of Flora & Mary & their respective husbands he Extended the improvements by Clearing woodland / In the years 1825 and 1827 he cleared two pieces together making about forty acres adjoining the old plantation & cultivated them every year afterwards and in the winters of 1831 and 1832 cleared two other pieces together making about forty acres more and put them in cultivation / This defendant further claims in right of his wife Nancy the several shares of the real estate which descended to her by the death of her two Brothers Neill and Archd the devisees above named and by the death of her Father Daniel McPherson / Also her inheritance in the lands which decended to her by the death of Colin her brother. Without that there is any other matter or thing material or necefsary for this defendant to make answer unto & not herein well & sufficently answered unto confefsed or avoided traversed or denied is true all of which matters and things this defendant is ready to verify & prove as this worshipful Court shall direct & humbly prays to be hence defmifsed with his Reasonable Costs and Charges in this behalf most wrongfully sustained
Robeson County
Personally appeard before me Peter McEachin one of the Justices in said County Gilbert Gilchrist who being duly sworn saith that the matters of fact stated in the foregoing answer as of his own knowledge & true & the rest he believes to be true. He also states that he is informed & believes that Old John McPherson the testator above named had three daughters who were married and had children some of whom are at this time living & who he believes have never made any claim to any part of the real estate of said Testator [No proof exists for Gilchrist's claim that Old John McPherson had three daughters and the claim is in error; only two daughters are known through estate records and had there been another daughter with children they would have been included in estate settlement proceedings. However, one of Old John's two daughters, Catherine, was married twice: first to John Paterson around 1753, then to (Archibald?) Campbell around 1770.] and that Catharine Brown the petitioner is subscribing witnefs to the purchase within mentioned made with Flora Buie and Mary Gilchrist and their respective husbands sworn to & subscribed before me this the 12th day of December 1836.

Gilbert Gilchrist
P. McEachin J.P.

Colin McPherson Estate Settlement, 1836, Cumberland County, NC

Documents from the 1836 estate papers of Colin McPherson (1763-1835, son of Alexander McPherson, Sr.), Cumberland County, NC; North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC:

North Carolina
Cumberland County
Court of Equity
Special Term 1857
To the Honorable the Judge of Said Court –
The petition of John McPherson Gilchrist [married Mary Ella McDonald], Mary Gilchrist [married John McDougald II] and Daniel A. Gilchrist [never married] infants of tender years by their father and next friend S Sidney Gilchrist [son of Archibald Gilchrist and Mary McPherson of Robeson County, NC] respectfully sheweth unto your Honor that Colin McPherson late of said county died intestate many years ago seized in fee simple of a tract of land in said County, leaving him surviving a widow, one sister, and four children of a deceased brother his only heirs at law – That the dower of the widow was assigned to her and the rest of the land was divided among his heirs at law, that S Sidney Gilchrist named one of the four children of the deceased brother, Catherine by name and had issue three children your present petitioners – That their mother the said Catherine Gilchrist died in the lifetime of the widow of Colin McPherson – That some time since the said widow died leaving the dower land to be divided among the heirs of her husband Colin McPherson, that your petitioners received one fourth of one half the said land in right of their mother the said Catherine being Lot no. four in the division between the four children of John McPherson the deceased brother– That said Lot consists of one hundred and twenty acres lying in Cumberland Co on the waters of Buckhead adjoining the lands of Owens, Mary McPherson [this Mary McPherson is believed to have been the widow of John McPherson who lived on 280 acres on Blounts Creek and died in the mid-1820s. This John McPherson may have been John, the son of Malcolm McPherson, Sr. and Christian Downie McPherson] and Colin McPherson [This Colin is Catherine Gilchrist's youngest brother who went to Kaufman County, Texas, to live with Catherine's McDougald grandchildren and who died there in 1894]. That no part of it is under cultivation, and is valuable only for the timber and turpentine. That many persons are trespassing upon the land and it having become known that your petitioners would endeavor to have said land sold. The trespassing upon the land has greatly increased and it is likely to become greatly impaired in value – Your petitioners further show that they are now inhabitants of the State of Florida, and their being greatly removed in distance from the land are unable to hold it without great disadvantage. They therefore pray your Honor to order a sale of the land on such terms as your Honor shall deem just and reasonable and that the proceeds of the sale may be placed in the hands of their guardian or disposed of as your Honor shall deem best for their interest. And your petitioners in duty bound will ever pray – BR Huske Solicitor for Petitioners


Letter from the Colin McPherson estate, 1836, Cumberland County, NC.

E.L. Winslow, Esq.
February 25, 1854
Dear Sir;
Your note of the 13th last has been recd in which you request me if I can to put you on the tract to find the land which formally belonged to Malcom Buie. I see from your note that you have been tracking about, but you have never got fairly on the right tract. You were sometimes on the Malcom Buie land and sometimes on the Duncan Buie land. I will give you the best information I can from memory. John Buie Father of Malcom owned a tract of land on Wt Side of Cape Fear imediately opposite the Bluff Church, after his death it was divided among his heirs, Malcom drawing a part, after the death of Colin McPherson Malcom administered on his estate [Colin McPherson was the brother of Malcolm's mother, Mary Buie McPherson who was the wife of John Buie]. John McNeill and myself went on his administration Bond. He managed the Estate badly, the heirs complained that he was wasting the property, we the Securities had him brought to a Settlement, the Clerk of the County Court took the account when it was found that he was in arrears to a considerable amt. he was removed as administrator and I was appointed in his place. I obtained a judgement against him for the deficiency. Shff Johnson levied on and sold all his property Real and personal. It was believed that John McNeill and myself would suffer some loss but we determined to run the property and make it pay the debt or bid it in, consequently a considerable amt of the property fell on our hands, the land was bid off by John McNeill, he willed it to his son John. his lands lying in Cumberland was dived [divided] among his heirs last fall, If you will look on a plot made by F. Mason and attacht to the report of the commissioners you will find one lot composed of the Buie land and McLeran land and assigned to John Hodges and wife, there I believe you will have it. You say in your note that it seems that John McNeill and myself were appointed Trustees for Malcom Buie and made sale of the land. No such assignment was ever made. If you will examine you will find that John McNeill got a Sheriffs deed for the land, the land you were trying to feret out and left in the hands of Rev E. McNair belonged to Duncan Buie and was sold by execution I believe in favor J & T. Wadell and fell into the hands of Angus Ray and I think is still claimed by his heirs.
Yours respectfully,
Jas. McKethan

Neill B. Johnson, Esq., Estate Settlement, 1858, Robeson County, NC

Documents from the 1858 estate papers of Neill B. Johnson (1793-1831), Justice of the Peace of Robeson County, North Carolina State Senator 1829; North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC:

State of North Carolina
Robeson County August 6th 1858
We the undersigned commifsioners appointed by the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sefsions of Robeson County at May term 1858 to apportion and divide the lands belonging to the estate of Neill B Johnson from the clerk and master in Equity of Robeson County formerly the property of Archd B Johnson [Brother of Neill B. Johnson; Archibald Johnston, Jr.—while no more than 5 years old, perhaps even the youngest son—bought for nine dollars 45 acres immediately following the death of his father, Daniel Johnston, in 1799. The deed was proved in court in 1805, presumably around the time of the death of his grandfather, John Johnston, Senior, aka "Big John" Johnston.] dec’d and sold by decree of said court and purchased by the said H L Johnson [Henry Lucian Johnson, son of Neill B. Johnson] as common stock among the heirs of Neill B Johnson dec’d among his heirs as prayed for in a petition filed by H L Johnson W S Johnson [Washington Scott Johnson, son of Neill B. Johnson] and Milton Baxter [Milton Baxter, son of Flora Currie Johnson Baxter, the widow of Neill B. Johnson who remarried to Malcolm Baxter] at May term 1858 Met on the premises on the Sixth day of August AD 1858 and after being duly Sworn according to law proceeded to apportion and divide the lands belonging to the estate of said Neill B Johnson dec’d together with the Forty acres above alluded to among the heirs of Neill B Johnson dec’d in the following manner     

Viz Lot No 1 containing one hundred and fifty seven and one fourth acres known as the Martin place in three different surveys the courses of which will more fully appear by reference to the original grants (which were granted to John McBryde) also the one half of a fifty acre tract joining the lands belonging to the minor heirs of Angus R Currie dec’d on both sides of Lumberton Road the courses of which will fully appear by reference to original grant granted to Daniel Johnson dec’d [father of Neill B. Johnson, NC State Senator in 1829 and Robeson County Justice of the Peace] this tract sustains a lofs of Eight acres by an older grant consequently 42 acres are only counted this lot is allotted to the legal representatives of Harriet J Johnson dec’d [daughter of Neill B. Johnson; she died in 1856 during a epidemic of "the bloody flux" in the Antioch community according to Diary of Reverend Hector McLean] and receives from lot No B three hundred and three dollars 40 ½ cents.

Lot No 2 containing one hundred and fifty acres in one survey known as the residence of the late Neill B Johnson dec’d adjoining the lands of Catherine Brown [Catherine McPherson Brown, widow of Rev. Daniel Brown who died in 1815 and daughter of Daniel and Marian McNeill McPherson] and others the courses of which will fully appear by reference to the original grant which was granted to Daniel Johnson dec’d, together with the other half of the fifty acres named and described in Lot No 1 this lot is allotted to Henry L Johnson and receives from lot No 3 Twenty five dollars and Sixty nine cents and from lot No 4 Seventy four dollars and forty six cents

Lot No 3 one hundred and Sixty nine and three fourths acres in two surveys known as the residence of John B Currie dec’d [second husband of Isabella Brown Johnston, the widow of Daniel Johnston], the first a tract of forty five acres joining Catherine Brown and minor heirs of Angus R Currie dec’d beginning at a pine the upper corner of one hundred acres granted to Big John Johnson dec’d [Careful examination of grants and accompanying warrants and plats prove decisively this nickname was given to John Johnston, Senior, the father of Daniel Johnston of this record.] and runs north McPhersons line north 28 west 10 chains to a stake by two oak trees then north 62 east 45 chains to a stake near the marsh then south 28 east 10 chains to a take by a pine then a direct line to the beginning the second piece or tract containing one hundred and twenty four and three fourths acres being a part of a tract of 150 acres Beginning at small pine near McPhersons improvement and runs south thirty degrees east twenty six chains and ninety five links to a stake in a large pond by a small cypress then north 60 east 44 chains and 84 links to a stake by pine pointers then north 30 west 26 chains and ninety five links then sought 60 west 44 chains 84 links to the beginning this tract contains 124 ¾ acres This lot is allotted to W S Johnson by paying lot No 1 $303 40 ½ cent and to lot No 2 twenty five dollars sixty nine cents

Lot No 4 containing one hundred and sity nine and three fourth acres in three different surveys the 1st being a part of the 150 acres described in lot No 3 beginning at a stake in a large pond the 2nd corner of the 2nd tract of No 3 and runs south 30 east 6 chains and fifty links to a stake by cypress trees then north 60 east 44 chains and 84 link to a stake in Tricky pond then north 30 west 6 chains and fifty links to a stake by pine pointers the 3rd corner of the 2nd tract in No 3 then south 60 west 44 chains and 84 links to the Beginning (containing 25 ¼ acres) the 2nd tract of 50 acres joining the above Beginning at 2 pines __ded in the 2nd line of the above 25 ¼ acres and runs east 17 chains thence south 16 chains thence west 46 chains thence north sixty east 33 chains to the begining  the 3rd tract containing originally 100 acres on south side of great marsh beginning at a stake above tricky pond and runs east 37 chains and 34 links to a stake by a pine then north 26 chains 78 links to a stake by two small pines and an oak in the north east edge of the marsh then west 37 chains 34 links to a stake then south 26 chs 78 links to the beginning this last tract sustains a lofs of 5 ½ acres by lot No 3 is allotted to Gilbert G McPherson [grandson of Daniel McPherson and Marian McNeill] during his lifetime and his heirs afterwards viz Mary Jane McPherson and Ann Flora McPherson [daughters of Gilbert G. McPherson and Flora Sophia Johnson; Flora Sophia died during the typhoid epidemic in the Antioch community in 1856] by paying to lot No 2 Seventy four dollars and forty six cents all of which is Respectfully Submitted to your Worship and under our hands and seal
Angus McDonald {Seal}
W.C. McNeill {Seal}
Archd Campbell {Seal}
Gray E Cobb {Seal}
David Bethune {Seal}

Mary Eliza McPherson Brown Estate Settlement, 1904, Robeson County, NC

Document from the 1905 estate papers of Mary Eliza McPherson Brown (1828-1904), Robeson County, NC; Robeson County Courthouse, Lumberton, NC:

G.G. McPherson Admr of estate of Mrs. Mary Eliza Brown decd [nee McPherson, daughter of Alexander and Nancy Dallas McPherson] –


I. Sarah McPherson, Martha Jane McPherson, Tillitha McPherson and other heirs of Daniel McPherson [son of Alexander and Nancy Dallas McPherson] unknown to Plaintiff and supposed to reside in the State of Mississippi [they were wrong about the state – it should read Alabama. Also 'Tillitha' should be 'Lalitha.' It is clear that the information provided in this document is inaccurate and probably stated through memory.].
II. Duncan McPherson, Martha McPherson, and other heirs of Hugh McPherson [Hugh married Catherine Ray of Cumberland County, NC, daughter of Duncan Ray; Hugh was the son of Alexander and Nancy Dallas McPherson], unknown to Plaintiff and supposed to reside in the State of Texas.
III. Mary Ann Lytch, Flora Catherine Lytch, Sarah Margaret Lytch, Neill A. Lytch, Duncan Lytch and Malcom Eliza Lytch, heirs of Mrs. Sarah Lytch [Mrs. Sarah Lytch is the daughter of Alexander and Nancy Dallas McPherson, wife of Malcolm Lytch (or Leach). The heirs listed are probably grandchildren, or children stated through memory.] and supposed to reside in the State of Alabama.
IV. Jefferson D. McPherson, Willie McPherson (residing in Robeson County) John A. McPherson and Hector G. McPherson, residing in the State of Florida, and all heirs of John McPherson [son of Alexander and Nancy Dallas McPherson].
V. Mrs. Annie Jane Buie, residing in Robeson County [daughter of Alexander and Nancy Dallas McPherson and wife of John Buie son of Daniel Buie and Flora McPherson Buie].
VI. Ann Eliza Buie, Duncan Patrick Buie, N.B. McArthur and wife Flora McArthur heirs of Mrs.Catherine Buie decd [daughter of Alexander and Nancy Dallas McPherson and wife of Daniel McPherson Buie son of Daniel Buie and Flora McPherson Buie].


John Baker, Senior Estate Settlement, 1783, Cumberland County, NC

Paper from the John Baker Estate, 1783, Cumberland County, NCDocument 1 of 2 [not shown]:

The Subscribers being appointed to settle between the Admrs of John Baker and the orphan John Baker Junr do report that it appears to us and such is our report and award, that there is of the estate of said decd in the hands of Elizabeth McPherson the sum of £11.5.7. and in the hands of Danl Baker the sum of £58.4.6. including the whole of the interest on the principal to this date, which sums the said Elizabeth McPherson & Daniel Baker are liable and accountable to the said John Baker for
Given under our hands and Seals this 9th of Augt 1803 –
P Haden? {seal}
xxxxxxxxx John Dickson {seal}
Neill Munroe {seal}
xxxxxxJohn Munroe {seal}


Document 2 of 2 [shown at right]:

Fayetteville Octr 29th 1783 This is a just & true Inventory of the estate of my deceased husband, which has come to my knowledge...
Sworn before mexxxxxxxxxxxxxhisxxxxxxxxxxxxxher
Jal Burges JP xxxxxxxxxxDaniel X BakerxxxElizth X Baker

["Elizth Baker" was Elizabeth Murray Baker, widow of
John Baker of this estate paper. She remarried around 1784-85 to
Alexander McPherson of Jura.

Hugh McPherson Estate Settlement, 1854, Cumberland County, NC

The following is a sworn statement by Neill McPherson, tailor, of Fayetteville in Cumberland County, NC, hastily recorded by his attorney in 1877 detailing Neill's immediately family structure. In this account, Neill does not name his father, but Cumberland County deeds show definitively that Neill's father was Alexander McPherson of Jura and his mother was the widow Elizabeth (neé Murray) Baker.

Neill's wife was Martha Lumsden. She was from Fayetteville and they married in 1839. I believe from county records and census records that she and Neill were estranged. Neill's brother Martin McPherson [husband of Elizabeth McRacken] was a prominent citizen of Fayetteville in the early to mid 19th century, and it is within Martin's and Elizabeth's son's [Hugh McPherson who died in 1854] 1877 Cumberland Co. estate settlement that Neill's sworn account may be found.

There was another Martin McPherson family in Moore County, and similar given names were used within that family; however, the two Martin McPherson clans do not appear to be closely related, if at all. I have much more information on subsequent generations of this clan.

In the Matter of the Administration of the Estate of Hugh McPherson [who died in 1854 and was son of Martin and Elizabeth McRacken McPherson]
In Probate Court
Neill McPherson being duly sworn says

I was the Uncle of Hugh McPherson & that Martin McPherson was my brother / John McPherson, Hugh McPherson Alexander McPherson were also my brothers / Margaret Flora & Mary McPherson were my Sisters / Martin McPherson is dead / his children John & Hugh both who died unmarried. Martin left no daughters — John McPherson is dead. he left Flora Hugh & Isabella — (his children) Flora McPherson is living & the one served with notice. Hugh McPherson John McPhersons son is living about six miles from Fayetteville on M Rail Road. Isabella married Thos Munroe, both of them are living near Manchester in Cumberland Co.[and are both buried at Longstreet Presbyterian Church cemetery in Cumberland Co., NC] Hugh McPherson my brother died in Mifsifsippi long before the war / Alex McPherson my brother is living 5 miles from Fayetteville / My sister Margaret is dead / She married Thomas Rhodes Sr. She lived & died in Moore County some six miles from Carthage [Margaret and some of her children are buried near Carthage in Moore Co., NC] / She left Children — David, Thomas, Martin and William, daughters Nancy, Lucretia Elizabeth. David & Lucretia & Elizabeth live in Moore County about 6 miles from Carthage / Nancy Thomas & William are dead / Martin Rhodes is living near Maysville South Carolina / My sisters Flora & Mary both dead / they never married

I have two children named John Henry & Mary. Mary is married to Dr. J.C. Allred, they live in Florida, they have lived there since 1867 or 1868.

Hugh McPhersons mother [son of Martin and Elizabeth McRacken McPherson] was Elizabeth McRacken [daughter of James, Sr., and Margaret McRacken]. James, Robert, Thomas & John McRacken were brothers of Elizabeth McRacken. She had no sisters / they are all dead, James McRacken he left children — Ann, Robert & William. William McRacken died unmarried, Robert McRacken I believe is living in Columbus County [NC] / Ann McRacken married Dillon Jordan & moved to Florida a number of years ago / they had children, Edward, Dillon, William / I do not know the name of the daughter / they are all nonresidents / all the brothers of Elizabeth McRacken died without issue but James McRacken.

Neill McPherson [signature]
Sworn and subscribed before me this day
Jany 26 1877
A. McPherson Jr., Judge of Probate

[Note: A. McPherson, Jr., Judge of Probate, was the son of John McPherson and Sarah Black McPherson, and no family relationship has been established between that of Martin McPherson of Fayetteville and A. McPherson, Jr.]

Edward McPherson Estate Settlement, 1862, New Hanover County, NC

The Edward McPherson in this estate is the son of John McPherson and Sarah "Sallie" Black of Cumberland County, NC. Edward went to NYC in 1854 after selling to his siblings, Catherine, Alexander and Colin, all his lands inherited from his father and his mother's dowry land. What Edward did between his life in New York City in 1854 and his death in 1862 is unknown, but in this estate settlement, he has married a woman named Margaret (Davis?) who apparently was a native of New Hanover County, NC, and lived with her on their plantation, 'Renfrew'. Renfrew was previously owned by a Thomas J. Davis and known as 'Rose Hill', and was located on the east side of the Cape Fear River above Wilmington. Edward and Margaret had no children since none were named in his estate.