Friday, November 03, 2023

When a Named Executor Refuses to Qualify--Benj. Cooke's Will

The probate files for Benjamin Cooke of Granville Co NC were well worth the read.  I knew that an executor named in the will could refuse but seeing how things played out when that happened were enlightening.  When a named executor refused, someone would be appointed by the court who would be an administrator rather than an executor. This was confusing to me because I had always associated the term administrator as what you have when someone dies without leaving a will.  That is not the case.  An administrator is anyone appointed by the court to handle an estate.  This can happen when someone dies without a will, doesn't name an executor in their will or when the one named declines to be the executor.

Below is my attempt at transcribing Benj. Cooke's will and list of purchasers at his estate sale.

Digital Copy of Granville Co NC Will Book 7  pg. 494 & 495
North Carolina, U.S., Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998
Granville  > Wills, Vol 7, 1808-1816 > 515 of 710

I Benjamin Cooke of Granville County & State of North Carolina
being of sound mind but ___?__ with the uncertainty of human
life do make and ordain this to be my last will & testament  Item
The first it is my will & desire that all my just debts shall be justly
and honorably paid and my executor hereafter named is authorized 
and impowered to sale such part of my property as he may think 
most expedient to affect that object.  Item the second I give and 
bequeath unto my sister Salley Cooke my molly long legs filly
and my watch I wish her to keep as remembrance 
her life time and to descend to her eldest son  should she ever have
one at her death.  Item the third I give & bequeath unto my
sister Martha my Harry Long legs colt.  Item the fourth I give and
bequeath unto my brother John my Rifle.  Item the fifth it is my
will and desire after my debts and the above legacies are paid that all
my remaining property shall be equally divided between my two sisters,
Salley and Martha thinking fit at the same time to declare that this disposition of my property is and ought not to be considered as evidence of my feeling a particular partiality for those of my relations who are to share my beneficences over and above those who are not,
my intention being to give to those I considered most needy.  Lastly
I appoint Woodson Daniel Executor of this my last will
& Testament in witness whereof I have hereto set my hand & seal
this 11th day of December 1814
signed & acknowledged in the presence of 
John C Courtney
Thomas P Downey            Benjamin B Cooke (Seal)
State of N Carolina
Granville County
February Court 1815

The execution of this will of Benjamin B Cooke dec was duly proved in open court by the oath of John C Courtney and Thomas P Downey the two and only subscribing witnesses thereto and ordering to be recorded Woodson Daniel the only person named in said will as an executor came into court and refused to qualify. As such Samuel Dickins is appointed administrator with the will annexed who after giving bond in the sum of seventeen hundred & fifty pounds with William Dickins and William Robard his sureties by law his qualification as such 
Witness Step. Sand Clerk
Digital Copy of Granville Co NC Will Book 7  pg. 494 & 495

North Carolina, U.S., Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998
Granville  > Wills, Vol 7, 1808-1816 > 542 of 710

Estate Sale 17th February 1815
The inventory lists items as well as purchasers.  I have included a list of the purchasers below. Please consult the digital image for full details as to which items were purchased by each person. Several of the purchasers names are listed multiple times and I have listed them as shown but am unsure if this is two separate persons by the same name or an additional listing.

Thomas Pool
Wm Smith
John Cuth
Absalom Kimbro
Woodson Daniel
Joseph Sneed
Wm Griffin
Joseph Norwood
Wm Norwood
Robert Norwood
Dudley Mingy
Wm Smith
John Elliot
Absalom Hunt
Wm Robards
Wheeler Grissom
Morris Smith
Allen Morgan
Salley Cooke
Saml S. Downey
Martha Cooke
Wm Mallany
James Hunt
Patsey Hunt
William Bullock
William Stovall
John Burriss
Thos B Littlejohn
Jesse H. Cobb
John Cuth
Howel Satterwhite
Mat Nichols

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