The Wills of James & John McCord of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina

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1763-1790 (1749-1790)



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Mecklenburg County was formed in 1763 from Anson County. At its formation it had no western boundary and an indeterminate southern boundary. It was bordered by Rowan County on the north and Anson County on the east. It therefore included the present North Carolina counties of Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Union, Lincoln, Gaston, Rutherford and Polk (and other western counties not yet settled at the time) and all or part of the South Carolina counties of Spartanburg, Cherokee, Union, Chester, York and Lancaster. In 1764, the South Carolina border was surveyed east of the Catawba River, but the border west of the Catawba was not surveyed until 1772. In 1769, Tryon County was formed from the western part of Mecklenburg. (Tryon County was abolished in 1779, and Lincoln and Rutherford counties created).

Fortunately, most or perhaps all of the Mecklenburg county wills survive. The wills abstracts in this volume date from 1749-1790. In addition the extant returns of the Secretary of State (S.S. 884) of wills and estates probated are included. The testate and intestate estate papers are extant as well for Mecklenburg county, but it was not feasible to include these here since it would entail going through one hundred forty boxes of such papers. For the wills, both recorded copies and originals have been consulted, and where two copies exist, both references are given. The recorded copies appear to have been made much later than the originals, and have no order, chronological or alphabetical. As stated above, Mecklenburg County was not formed until 1763. Those wills prior to that year included here at first glance are perplexing. They are wills written when the territory was still Anson County, but probated or recorded after Mecklenburg was formed. These wills occasionally give clues as to former residence, especially Pennsylvania and Ireland. Unfortunately, many of these wills have no recording or proving dates. Those which we have are included, with the exception of some which might be found in the minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions. A few wills were undated and those which lack also a recording date for this period of necessity were omitted.

This volume of abstracts should be used in conjunction with other published records of Mecklenburg County, particularly the “Mecklenburg County, N.C. Deed Abstracts 1763-1779” (published by Southern Historical Press). The records of Anson County and Tryon County will be useful in tracing many persons mentioned in these abstracts. These are available also in published form from Genealogical Publishing Company (Baltimore, Maryland) and Southern Historical Press respectively.

Brent H. Holcomb, C.A.L.S.

Columbia, South Carolina

January 1, 1980

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Will of JAMES McCORD of the County of Mecklenburg being very sick … to my beloved wife [Catherine] the full third of my personal estate & to have the benefit of the land during her natural life, the choice of all my horses with her saddle, household furniture; to my daughter Jane, (pound sterling) 50 hard money over & above her half of my personal estate; to my son William the remainder of my personal estate with all my land at my wife’s death; my wife sole Extx…

5 Nov 1781

James M’Cord (1) (Seal)

Wit: John McCord, John Moore, William M’Leary

Proved January 1782

Wil Book B, p. 126

C.R. 065.801.20


Will of JOHN McCORD of the County of Mecklenburg, being in my ordinary health of body; to Robert Allison & John McRee, all my lands and improvements to sell and distribute the proceeds; to wife Mary McCord, one moiety or the full half; to John McCord, son of William McCord, (pound sterling) 10; to Robert McCord, one other son of sd.

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Wiliam McCord, (pound sterling) 200; to John McCord, son of the above Robert McCord (pound sterling) 30; to John McCord, son of John McCord, Junr., (pound sterling) 5; to John Moore son of Garon (?) Moore; (pound sterling) 10; to Mary Ritchey, daughter of John Ritchey, (pound sterling) 10; to Agness Kennedy daughter of David Kennedy, (pound sterling) 3; to Isabella Diller (?) my wifes sisters daughter, (pound sterling) 10 she living in Kentuck; friends Robert Allison, & John McRee, exrs..  11 Sept 1786

John McCord (Seal)

Wit: William Huston, Jurat

Mary Huston

N. B. my negro man Dublin shall not be sold, but shall remain in my wifes possession….

Will Book B, pp. 127-128

C.R. 065.801.20

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