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Submitted by Jo Church Dickerson, 28 Sep 2006.


RE-TRANSCRIBED BY Jo Church Dickerson - August, 2003.

I wrote a number of years ago in my first, and I’m afraid poor transcription of this will, that the date and witnesses were torn off. It is clear from a closer, more careful examination of the original will that there was probably never a date, and there were never any signatures of witnesses.

Transcribed from the original will and from all other original documents in the estate file of Benjamin Harrelson. This original will was filed in Marion County Courthouse, Office of Judge of Probate, Roll #351; it is currently housed in the Marion County Archives and History Center. The original will is very fragile, not in very good shape, and shows marked signs of deterioration. It is torn in several places, parts of the right hand margin missing, and some misguided soul in the past applied cellophane tape which has discolored the old paper. Part of pages are torn or crumbled along the right hand margin, so some words are lost (though they were included in the will book). This will is recorded in Marion County Will Book 1, page 22-24. It is included on page 23-25 in the WPA transcript which was typed in the 1930s from the old Will Books. The original recorded will, and the WPA volume of typed transcripts at the Marion County Library were consulted, and a copy of the original will was checked carefully against the typed transcript. This produced several of the words that had been lost, as well as confirming my own translation of several "iffy" words and spellings. I found the 1930s transcript to be extremely accurate.

There is no date and there are no witnesses to either the will proper, or to the codicil that follows in Benjamin's own hand. It is possible that Benjamin added a date immediately after his signature - there seems to be something there in the tiny space between his signature and the margin - but whatever may have been written there is completely illegible now. Nor is anything shown in the will book, so if there, it was lost at an early time.

I believe it is of some interest to most Harrelson researchers to note that in these documents Benjamin Harrelson and his son Lewis Harrelson appear to have almost always used the spelling "Harralson" whenever they wrote or signed the name. But when others, including contemporary officials wrote it, they seem to have most usually spelled it "Harrelson." Also, please note that on the second page, Benjamin devised his tools and crockery to "all my Beloved Children that is to say Lewis Harralson Benjamin Harralson Patiance Norton Selah Bethea Mary Shuter Abigarl Grice & Lucy Harralson…" (emphasis added). That should close the book on speculation about a son Henry who was "forgotten".

I have retained the original spelling, punctuation and capitalization to the best of my ability. My comments are in [brackets]. Words that are missing in the original but discovered in the typed transcript are in {curly braces}. I have used a double 's' to indicate the archaic "long s" that looks like 'ff' in the old script. Interlined words are shown as /superscript/.


In the Name of God Amen I Benjamin Harralson Snr. of the State of So. Carolina
Georgetown District Being thro the abundant Marcys & goodness of god tho weak in Body
Yet of a Sound & parfect understanding & Memery do Constitute this my Last will
and testament & desire it may be Recived by all as such first I most Humbly Bequeath
My Soul to god my maker Beseaching his most gratious Exceptance of it through {the all}
Sufficiant Merrets & medeations of My most Compassionate Redeamer Jesus Christ
who gave himself to be an atonement for my sins & is able to save to the uttermost
all that Came unto god by him seing he Ever Liveth to intersesion for them &
who I trust will not Rejict me a returning pinetant siner when I com to
him for marcy In this hope & Confidence I Render up my soul with Comfort Humbly
Beseaching the most Blessed & glorious Trinity one god most Holy most marcyfull &
gratious to prepare me for the time of my Desolution and then to take me to himself
into that peace & Rest & Incompareable felisety which he Has prepaired for all that
Love & fear his Holy name Amen - Blessed be god I give my body to the Earth
from whence it was taken in full assurance of its Reserection from thence at the
Last day, as for my Burial I desire it may be desent without Pomp or state
at the descretion of My dear wife & my Executors hereafter Named who I
Doubt not will mannage it with all requsit Prudance As to my worldly
Estate I will & Posetifly ord that all my Debts be paid ) First I give to
My dear & Loving wife Ruth Harralson for the Tirm of hir Life the house
wherein I now dwell with three Hundred /fifty/ acres of Land Liing a Round it
Being part of two three hundred acres tracts Bounded together & Devided by a
dviding Line begining at a white pond on a pine Corner being a station on [the?]
Back Line & north Side of one of said tracts from thence Southward by a lin{e}
of Blased trees to a water oak station nue marks in the back swamp of the Lo{ng}
Branch from thence to a sweet gum Corner in said swamp from thin{ce}
SW by a line of Blased trees to a sweet gum /Crnr/ up the Run or stree/m/ of said Swam{p}
from thence Southward by a Continued Line of Blased trees to a Litewo{od}
stake corner on Lewis Harralsons Land on Bucks Swamp back o{f}
pine Ilant )  I also give to my beloved wife one fether bed & firniture for
tirm of her Life, [line crossed out and completely illegible]
[line crossed out and completely illegible]
[line crossed out and completely illegible] & I also give & M{y}
desire is that all my Slaves be valewed & maid up with Part of my
{/E/Stastt/E/} in Equeal Portions & devided between my Beloved Children Lewis
Harralson Benjamin Harralson Patiance Norton Silah Bethea Mary
Suter & Lucy Harralson Resarving only to the use & Benefit of my
Belove wife for the tirm of her Life one Negro wench to be fixt on by
My Executors I will also one Hore [Hors?] to the valew of teen pounds starling
to my beloved Daughter Abigal Grice in a separate potion My desire
is that the Residue of my stock of all kinds Be Equeally devided
Between my Beloved Children Benjamin Harralson Pation Norton
Selah Bethea Mary Shuter Abigal Grice & Lucy Harralson at the
Desease of My beloved wife ) My desire is that My dear & Lovin wife
May have use & freely Injoy all the Rest of My house hold firniture
and the Plantation Tools for the Tirm of her Life And than my
Desire is that the said Household firniture be Equaly Devided -

[page 2]
Between my Beloved Children Benjamin Patiance Selah Mary
Abigarl & Lucy and My Plantation tools & Crockerry ware & all
My other worldly good not allready mentioned to be Equeally dvided
Between all My Beloved Children that is to Say Lewis Harralson
Benjamin Harralson Patiance Norton Selah Bethea Mary
Shuter Abigarl Grice & Lucy Harralson ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
And I do Constitute and appoin My Beloved Son Lewis -
Harralson & Jesse Bethea /Jacob Grice/ Executors of this my Last will &
Testamen and trustees for my wife & Children ------------------ {Seal}
                                        Benjn: Harralson [Snr? or date? torn]
In witness whereof I have Hereunto set my hand & seal -

[The following is on the same page but in a different hand and ink, coarser than the above. It is in the hand of the same person who signed the will: Benjn. Harralson. Also see oath, below. -jcd]

I Have thought fat to Revoke In Two Lines and peace of this
my will and Hav Rubed them out and olter as follows
and that is to Say my Desire/is/that the Hous and plantation
that I Now Live in & opon with the other plantation ajoin
ing which/two/Plantation/s/Contains three Hundred & fifty
acors Both and I Do will and Desire that the Same at my
Death Be for the Uase of my Loving wife During
Hur Life then at Hur Deseas to Be Sold & the
money [Ecaly?]/{Early} Devided Betwine my Loving {Children}
Patione Norton Lewis Harralso[n?] mary Shuter [Celia?]
/ Benjn Harralson ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ / [this name is interlined]
Jesse Betha Abegil Grise & Lucy Hearng and
for ther use & the uses of them and there ares
forever the marks & Boundrys are [Specifyed?]/{Speafyed} above
and I Do Constetute and apoint my Beloved Sons
Lewes Harralson Jesse Betha Jacob Grise Executors of
this my Last will & Testament and Trustees for
my wife & Children In witness Whareof I Have
Have Hearunto Set my hand & Seal this -

[The remainder of the page is blank and it is not torn. There is lots of room for a date and/or witnesses. There is no date, and no witnesses ever signed. -jcd.]

Fold side [Original Will]:
Benjn. Harrelsons will.
South Carolina }
Marion District } Hugh Giles Esqr. Ordinary
Personally appeared before me John Ford, Preserved Ford
and Robert Moody who being duly sworn on the Hololy
Evangelist of Almighty God doth make oath and say
That the Signature to the within Instrument of
Writing is the hand writing of Benjamin Harr-
elson decd. to the best of their knowledge and that
the writing following the Signature aforesaid
is also to the best of their knowledge and belief
the true and proper hand writing of the said
Benjamin Harrilson dec'd. - Given
under our hands this 2d. day of March In the
year of our Lord 1802.

                                        John Ford
                                        Preserved Ford
                                        Robert Moody

Sworn to before me
this 2d day March 1802
Hugh Giles Ordy.
[Rec'd?] 3 [illegible]


South-Carolina, Marion District} By Hugh Giles, Esquire, Ordinary [printed form]
These are to authorize and empower you, or any three or four of
you, whose names are hereunder written, to repair to all such parts and
places within this State, as you shall be directed unto by Lewis Har=
-relson & Jesse Bethea and Jacob Grice Exor

/and Jacob Grice/ [this name s interlined]
of all & Singular the Goods Rights & Credits which
ware of Benjamin Harrelson Esqr.

late of the said district, deceased, wheresoever any Goods and Chattels of
the said deceased are, or may remain within the said parts and places, and
which shall be shewn unto you by the said Lewis Harrelson and
Jesse Bethea and Jacob Grice
and there view and appraise all and every
the Goods and Chattels, being first sworn on the Holy Evangelist of Almighty
God, to make a true and perfect Inventory and Appraisement thereof, and to
cause the same to be returned under your hands, or any three or four of you,
to the said Lewis Harrelson Je Jesse Bethea & Jacob Grice
on or before the 20th day of May now next ensuing.

                                        Dated the 20th day of February
                                         Anno Domini 1802 and in the 26th
                                        year of American Independence.

To: Preserved Ford
Charles Moody Snr &
Major Robert Moody

Memorandum [handwritten]
This fiftinenth day of March - 1802 Personally
appeared before me Jesse Bethea - one of the Justices
assigned to Keep the peace in Marion District
Preserved Ford Charles Moody Snr & Richard Moody - Junr -
being three of the appraisers appointed to appraise the
Goods & Chattles of Benjamin Harrelson Deceased; who being
duly Sworn made Oath that they would make a Just &
true appraisment of all & Singular the Goods & Chattles (ready
money only Excepted) of Benjamin Harrelson of Little
Pee Dee, Marion District deceased as Shall be produced
by Lewis Harrelson & Jesse Bethea & Jacob Grice -
at the Estate of the said Benjamin Harrelson deceased
& that they would Return the Same Certified under their hands
under the Said Lewis Harrelson and Jesse Bethea
/and Jacob Grice/ [this name is interlined - jcd]
within the time prescribed by Law. ---
Sworn to before me this 15th day of -
March 1802                   Preserved Ford
Jesse Bethea JP            Charles Moody
                                    Robert Moody

[Fold side blank]
State of So: Carolina } To Hugh Gile Esqr Ordinary Etc.
Marion District } The Humble Petition
of the Executors of the Estate of Benjamin
Harralson Esqr late Deseass -
Humbly Sheweth That
Where as there is perishable artickels of Said Estate=
Requires Ceare We therefor Pray a
Permision for a Devition or Saile of said
Estate & your Petitioners will Ever Pray
March 2d 1802                   L. Harralson Extor.
                                        Jesse Bethea
                                        Jacob Grice

[Fold side blank]
State So: Carolina } To Hugh Giles Esquire Ordinary for Said district
Marion District       } the Humbly petition of the Legatees of the --
Estate of Benjamin Harralson late Desest
Humbly Sheweth that the Deseast --
Left Divers artickels & property whitch
will & is likely to be Damaged & Lost
with out a Sale or Devetion of the Same
We therefore Humbly pray your Honour
to take the Case into Consideration and
Grand us an order for a Devetion of
Said Estate &c and your petitioners
as in duty bound will Ever Pray
March 6th 1802 - For the above Legatees --
      L. Harralson Exctor.

[Fold side blank]
Permission is Granted unto the Executors of
the Estate of Benjamin Harrelson of Marion
District to dispose of the Perishable part
or articles of said Estate, either by division or
sale; If by Sale on the 5th day of April next
If by Division among the heirs, as soon as
may be, within the above time Given under
my hand & seal this 13th day of March 1802
      Hugh Giles Ordy
      Marion District

INVENTORY Enclosure #6
[Fold side blank]
A true and perfect inventory of
all the goods, Chattels, and personal
estate of Benjamin Harralson /Esqr./ late of
Marion District, deceased, made by us
whose names are under written
This 15th day of March Anno Domini 1802

Six Negroes Viz 
1 Negro man named Will150
1 Ditto named Jack500
1 Boy named Harry400
1 ditto named George400
1 Wench named Cate150
1 Ditto named Sarah500
his Apparel123.75
Horses & furniture274
Horned Cattle156
Sheep  10.50
Swine  63.75
Plates & other household Goods489.44 [sic!]
Ploughs & implements of husband132.50
other working tools  74
Corn & other produce  75
Rent not [or now? rubbed through] Due125
Lightwood & timber  50
Debts owing to* the dec about 25 Cts

Apprais’d by us the
day & year above written
           Robert Moody Juner
           Charles "M" Moody Sen
           Preserved Ford

[*Looks like "by" originally, then overwritten with "to".]

RETURN Enclosure #7
Recorded 9 March 1841 in return Book
No 1 page 196 E. B. Wheeler, Ordy MD

Marion District, 13th January 1804 }
I have this day Examined the Within Account and find that it agrees with
the Different Vouchers. Saml. Cooper, Ordy M.D.
Return to the Ordinary
[Return - Enclosure. #7, Con’t
The Return of the Estate of Benjamin Harralson Eqr Dest
this 13th day of January 1804 by L. H. Harralson [sic!]
No 1 Contains a note on Mclennan for Rent 125$
Whitch he has got Recpts from the diferant
Legatees for ther Equal part But detains them
No 2 Contains a Recpt from Jesse Bethea Esqr
for 120$ as part of his portion of Land
No 3 Contains a Recp of taxes 4/11
      L: Harrlson
No 4 Contains a Recpt
from the ordinary - 26/10

EXPENDITURES     Enclosure #8
of the Estate
of Benjamin
Recorded 9 March
1841 in return Book
no 1 page 196.
E. B. Wheeler, ordy M.D.
This 18th Feby 1803 I have Examined the
Within Account and find the Voucher’s
to Agree With the Same
Saml. Cooper, Ordy M. D.

Expenditures of the Estate of Benjn. Harralson As per Recpts -
No 1 - Recpts of Legasys as per No x 2 -
No 3 - paid Dugal Cirmical L1=16=6
No 4 - paid Edward Shuter - 0=9=4
    by fathers Contract, per Recpt
No 5 - ordenares feas for sitation L=2=6 [or 0=2-6?]
No 6 = paid Preserved Ford 0-15-2
No 7 = paid Peter McKinzy - 0-7-0
No 8 = paid Lewis Harralson 2=6=8
No 9 - paid Richard Godfrey - 0-4=11
No 10 - paid John Ford - 0=9=4
No 11 - paid Osburn lane 0=14-0

South Carolina } By Hugh Giles Esquire, Ordinary
Marion District } John Ford, Preserved Ford & Rot.’ Moody Personally appeared before me - who being duly sworn on the holy Evangelist of Almighty God, doth make Oath and say, that the Signature to the within Instrument of Writing is the hand writing of Benjamin Harralson decd. To the best of knowledge and Knowledge and that the writing following the signature aforesaid is also to the best of - knowledge and belief the true and proper hand writing of the said Benjamin Harralson decd. Given under my hand this ___ day of ___ in the year of our Lord ___.

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