Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Winborn’

The Will of Thomas Winborn

April 2, 2017

Things are convoluted these days, aren’t they?

Perhaps things have always been convoluted, and we just don’t think that times could possibly be any more difficult that the times we live in.

And that, my reader, is why we look at history and just shake our collective heads.

Consider Thomas Winborn.

He left a will in the mid-1700s.

He had several sons and daughters that are named in the will. He also names his grand-children, and his two sons-in-law. One son-in-law is Mr. William Lawton.

We researchers call him *Captain* William Lawton to distinguish him from all the other William Lawtons, not to disinclude the Wills, Willies, Bills, and Billys. There are quite a few that have accumulated over the last 260 years.

Capt. William is as far back as we can go in America. We think that he was from Cheshire, England. There’s a line of Lawtons that entered the continent into what became Rhode Island back in the 1600s, and we don’t have proof that the Northern Lawton line and the Southern Lawton line are one and the same. (We’re waiting on the Y-chromosome test results, but the lab is severely backed-up.)

Here’s where things can get convoluted: Capt. William married three times. Each wife was named Mary. Mary Clarke, Mary Winborn, and Mary Stone. It’s true.

And 3rd wife Mary Stone had a husband before and after Capt. William. Paul Grimball, William Lawton, and Samuel Fickling.

To further convolute things, Mary Stone Grimball Lawton (Fickling)’s mother Susannah Carriere Stone married again to Thomas Winborn, which was at least his 2nd marriage. Thankfully we don’t know his 1st wife’s name; it is lost to history.

Do you see what just happened here? Thomas Winborn was Capt. William’s 2nd father-in-law by Mary Winborn Lawton, and was also Capt. William’s step-father-in-law by 3rd wife Mary Stone Grimball Lawton. Plus Thomas had a daughter by Susannah Winborn named, what else, *Susannah*.

Thomas lived on Wadmalaw Island. The Lawtons lived on Edisto Island, and subsequent generations from William & 2nd wife Mary lived on James Island.  Capt. Billy died about 1757. Third wife Mary and her son Joseph went to a place near what we now call Robertville.


Let’s pop over to the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C. That’s what Akosua did. She’s researching her Beaufort, S.C., family, and is particularly interested in the United States Colored Troops pension files. She found her 4th great-grandmother Mary who filed for a pension on behalf of her son Isaiah who died as a young man during the war, without a wife or children. Mary was quite destitute, and hoped to gain some relief. Her pension application is rich and deep, just like the ones I found for Nelson Brown and Isabella Graham.

Of particular note is that her family were slaves on a plantation on James Island owned by W. W. & James Lawton. This was a lost part of her family history.

So convoluted. Who could have guessed that Akosua, who I have only met once briefly in person, and her research partner Kimberly, and I would now have a common story to research?

WinbornThomas Will P1



South Carolina./.  IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN The fourteenth day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand seven Hundred & Fifty three & in the twenty Sixth Year of His Majesty’s Reign I Thomas Winborn of Wadmalah Island in St. Johns Parish Colleton County in the said Province Planter being advanced in Years & infirm in Body but of sound & disposing mind & memory (Blessed be God) & considering the uncertainty of this Transitory Life & the certainty of Death do in & by these presents make & declare this my Last Will &
Testament & do also nominate & constitute my two Loving Sons Saml. Winborn & Thomas Winborn Executors thereof hereby Revoking & making Null and void all & every & former Wills and Testaments by me made & declared either by word or by Writing And First & Principally I commend my immortal Soul into the Hands of my Creator in & thro’ the merits & mediation of Jesus Christ my Blessed Saviour & Redeemer in which only I trust for the Pardon & Remission of my Sins & for the obtaining of Eternal Life & Salvation And my Body at Death I commit to the grave to be Interred in a decent & Christian like manner at the discretion of my said Executors in hopes of a Glorious Resurrection And as to my Worldly Estate and all such Lands & Tenements Goods & Chattels as it hath pleased God to bestow on me I will & ordain that they shall be dispos’d of as herein respectively is mentioned of for and concerning the same that is to say I Will & desire that all my just Debts & funeral charges be well & truly paid with all convenient after my Deceased ITEM I give devise & bequeath unto my beloved Wife Susanna Winborn /but only on the terms & conditions hereinafter Limitted & Expressed concerning her/ my negro Woman named Flora my Horse called Dragon her side Saddle & Bridle two Cows Two Calves two Ewes two Lambs I further confirm a Deed of Gift dated April the Eighth Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred & Fifty two wherein I have iven her one third part of all my Household Goods forever & Moreover her living in the Houses & Buildings on the plantation where I now live with Two

WinbornThomas Will P2


Hundred Acres of Land lying Nothermost & adjacent to it & the use of my Negro man Cato & my Negro Woman Dauphny whilst she shall live my Widow & no Longer And Likewise the use of my Negro man Prince two Negro boys to wit May & Simon & my negro Girl Rose for and during the Natural Life of my said Wife & no Longer she providing for maintaining & paying all Incident charges of the said Slaves for & during the Respective Terms for which she shall have the use & profits of them & each of them But I do hereby declare that the said Several Legacies Gifts & Devises together with the said Deed of Gift by me herein given to my said Wife are so given & bequeathed unto her and are by me ment & intended to be in full satisfaction Recompence and bar of all such Dower Interests thirds share or customary part of my Real and Personal Estate which she can or may claim by any Right or Title or custom whatsoever And in case my said Wife shall claim challenge or demand any Dower thirds share Interest or Customary part in of to or out of all or any of my Estate Real and Personal Except only such part thereof & for such Estates & Interest as is herein given bequeathed and devised unto her) I do hereby Will declare and appoint that all & every the devises Legacies Gifts & bequests to her herein given devised and bequeathed shall be void & of none Effect And in such case I give devise and bequeath the same in such manner respectively as hereinafter mentioned (that is to say) such part thereof as it Intended her for her Life or Widowhood Respectively to go as if she had been Dead or Married ITEM I give devise & bequeath to my said Son Samuel Winborn his heirs & Assigns forever the Southernmost moiety or half part of my Tract of Land where I now Live containing about Four Hundred Acres with the Apurtenances thereunto belonging my Negro Slave man Cyrus Negro Boy Bacchus Muster Jemmy Negro Woman Judith & her future Issue a Young Horse called Bembow Two Calves Two Ewes two Lambs & also my Negro Man Cato Saving only my said Wifes Term & use of & in the said Negro man Cato as herein before mentioned ITEM

WinbornThomas Will P3


I give devise and bequeath unto my said Son Thomas Winborn his heirs & Assigns forever my two Negro men London & Hereford my Negro Woman Cloe & such Issue and offspring as shall be Born of her after my Death my Negro Woman Moll & her future Issue & Offspring two cowes Two Calves & also my present dwelling House with the Northermost half Tract of Land containing about Four Hundred acres with the Appurtenances thereunto belonging & my said Negro Woman Dauphny & her future Issue & Offspring SAVING only my said Wifes use & Term of and in the said Dwelling House Northernmost moiety or half of the tract of Land & appurtenances & negro Woman Dauphney & her future Issue & Offspring as herein before mentioned or Intended. ITEM I give & bequeath unto my Loving Daughter Susannah Winborn by my said present Wife/ for & during her Natural Life or until she shall have Issue of her Body Lawfully begotten & no Longer if that shall happen first he use of my Negro man Hercules & of my Negro Woman Doll & of all her Issue & offspring & also of my Negro man Prince aforementioned & of my said two Negro Boys May & Simon & of my said Negro Girl Rose & her future Issue & offspri8ng Saving only my Wifes Use & term of & in the said Negro man Prince two Negro boys May & Simon a Negro Girl Rose & her future Issue and Offspring as herein before mentioned or Intended But in case she my said Daughter Susanna Winborn shall have Issue of her body Lawfully begotten /then & not otherwise/ I do further bequeath and give unto her my Said Daughter Susanna Winborn forever my said negroes Hercules Doll & her Issue & offspring Prince Simon May Rose & her Issue as aforesaid But if she my said Daughter Susanna Winborn shall Dye without any Issue of her Body Lawfully begotten /then and not otherwise/ I do further give & bequeath /to be delivered at the decease of her my said Daughter Susanna Winborn/ without Issue as aforesaid /the said negroes Hercules Doll and her Issue Prince Simon May & Rose & her Issue Saving only my — said Wifes use and Term Of & in the said Prince May Simon Rose & her Issue as aforesaid unto and among my said two Sons Samuel Winborn & Thomas Winborn equally to be shared & divided between them or if either

WinbornThomas Will P4


of them should then happen to be Dead having any Child or Children of his body Lawfully Begotten such deceased Fathers share thereof shall go to and be equally amongst his surviving children divided & shared And I nominate & constitute my said Wife Susanna Winborn during her widowhood & no longer Guardian of my said Daughter Susannah Winborn during her minority & after the marriage or Death of my said Wife Susanna which shall first happen I further nominate & Constitute my said Executors Guardians of her my said Daughter Susanna Winborn as aforesaid hereby impowering & directing her said Guardian & Guardians to maintain Cloath & Educate her in the best manner that the use and merits of her said Legacy & portion Will afford without diminishing the Principal ITEM I give & bequeath unto my son in Law Mr. William Lawton Five pounds current money of South Carolina ITEM I give and bequeath to my son in Law Mr. John Gibbons the sum of Five Pounds current money of South Carolina ITEM I will that my said Executors deduct and take out of my Estate the sum of Four Hundred Pounds current money of South Carolina & put out the same to Interest on good Security Yearly & every Year for the use of my Four Grand Children that is say Winborn Lawton, Mary Lawton, Susanna Gibbons & John Gibbons or the Survivor of them during the Respective Minoritys & so to improve the same & to pay over the said Principal & all Interest that shall accrue thereon as Hereinafter mentioned that is to say one Quarter or Fourth part unto my said Grandson Winborn Lawton at his arrival to the age of Twenty one Years one Quarter or fourth part unto my said Grand Daughter Mary Lawton at her arrival at the age of Twenty one Years or day of Marriage /which shall first happen/ one quarter or fourth part unto my said Grand Daughter Susanna Gibbons at her arrival to the age of Twenty one Years or day of Marriage & the Last Fourth or Remaining Quarter part unto my said Grand Son John Gibbons at his arrival at the age of Twenty one Years & if either or any of them should Dye before the time so appointed for Receiving such share above mentioned

WinbornThomas Will P5


respectively then & in such case the said Deceaseds Share shall go to the Survivors of them at the Respected Days above limited And in Case of the Deaths of all four of them my said Grand Children before the Respective times herein above Limitted for the Payment thereof to them then the whole shall go & be equally paid & divided  between them my said two Sons Samuel Winborn & Thomas Winborn or if either of them should be then Dead leaving any Child or Children of his Respective Body Lawfully begotten such deceased Fathers share thereof shall go & be Equally shared & Divided to and among his respective Surviving Children & I do Give and bequeath the same accordingly And Lastly for the Readier performance of this my Last Will and Testament I ordain that all the Rest Surplus and Residue of my Estate be sold off at Publick Auction & after all Debts Legacies & charges are paid or deducted I give devise and bequeath the Balance or Remaining part thereof unto my said Two
Sons Samuel Winborn & Thomas Winborn Equally to be shared  & divided them to them their Heirs & Assigns Respectively forever In Witness whereof I the said Thomas Winborn to this my Last Will and Testament have set my hand & Seal the day and Year first above written./.  Thomas Winborn (L S)

Sealed & Published & declared by Thomas Winborn as & for his Last Will & Testament in the presence of us who in the Testators presence & at his request have witnessed it.

James Marsh

Thomas Roybould

James Edes

This Will was proved before the Ordinary the 23d January 1756 & at same time Saml. and Thomas Winborn Qualified Executors thereof

This will was proved January 23, 1756. Capt. William Lawton died the following year. I wonder what he did with his five pounds left to him by Thomas Winborn…