James William Wood, Christian Freeman & William Moring

Sally’s great-great-great-great-Grandparents:

James William Wood 1750 -1797 | his parents
& ca 1779 Christian/Kitty Freeman 1760 – 1816 | her parents
& ca 1798 William Moring 17?? – by 1814 | his parents
of Northampton Co, NC

This is my working hypothesis – the way I see it as of this moment!!

James William Wood, son of Jonas Wood and Mary Edwards, was born 7 Jan 1749/50.
His will was signed 3 April 1795 and proved at the March Ct 1797 in Northampton County NC.
Christian Freeman, daughter of Joshua Freeman and Mary Outlaw, was born 11 November, 1760 in Bertie county near present day Colerain, NC.
Christian “Kitty” married 2nd William Moring.
She signed her will on 28 May 1814; it was proved May term 1816 in Bertie County.
She was staying with her son Dr. John E. Wood of Bertie Co at the time of her death.

Children of James Wood and Christian Freeman:
1. Mary Wood 8 Oct 1780 – 21 Jan 1846 Mebane, Alamance Co NC
married William Mebane (Orange Co) 28 Apr 1779 – 3 May 1856 Orange Co NC
2. Elizabeth Wood ca 1781 – bef 1834
married 27 Sept 1804 Thomas Howe 1775 – died bef 1813
married 2nd bef 1813 William Sutton died ca 1814
3. Freeman Wood ca 1783 – died bef 1805 without issue
4. Dr. John Edwards Wood ca 1785 – 1834 Bertie Co
married 1st Elisa Foort
dau of Sugars Foort of NH (Gammon)
married 2nd 7 Aug 1816 Mary Sutton (his Cousin)
5. Sarah Ford Wood 4 Oct 1788 – 19 Oct 1814
married 11 Apr 1811 John Wheeler of Murfreesboro, NC
6. Celia Freeman Wood ca 1790 – prob bef 1824 (died bef 1834 without living issue)
married NH 19 Nov 1812 Baldy Ashburn John E Wood Bdm.
7. Cullen Wood ca 1797- died bef 1834 without living issue
listed in 1811 div. of James Wood estate NH-(Gammon)

Child of Child of William Moring and Christian Freeman:
8. William Moring ca 1800 – 1862 ts (no issue)
married Christian Freeman
(d of William Freeman & Fruzy Leary)

will – James Wood 3 Apr 1795 – March Ct 1797
I, James Wood, being in tolerable health thanks to almighty God for the same and of sound mind and memory do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following.

Item I give and bequeath unto my Daughter Mary Wood one Negro woman named Lidia conditionally Dist. if she will be content with her in the room and stead of Hannah which I sold otherwise I give Lydia to be divided among her Brothers & Sisters she the said Mary excepted. I also give her two more Negroes Viz! One Negro man named Harry and one Negro boy named Pass one hunting Saddle & bridle now called hers One bed and furniture One pine chest painted walnut color one Horse called Mark and one Morocco leather trunk to her and her Heirs forever–

Item I give and bequeath unto my Son Freeman Wood all my tract of land lying in Bertie County except One hundred Acres lying in Powell’s pocoson I reserve for John Wood likewise three Negroes namely Son, Simon & Beth one sorrel Mare called the hipshoter filly One bridle and saddle which was given him by Cullen Wood one bed & furniture one small Squirrel Gun one small pine chest not painted One pine Buffet One round walnut Table two Sow Hoggs two Ewes & Lambs two Cows & Calves to him and his Heirs forever.

Item I give and bequeath unto my Daughter Elizabeth Wood three Negroes namely Jacob called Jack, Rachel & Silvey, One Colt my sorrel Mare called okinow is now big with, One Bed and furniture, One pine chest painted blue and one bridle and saddle to be purchased for her out of the profits of my estate that in hereafter lent my wife to her & her heirs forever.

Item I give and bequeath unto my Son John Edwards Wood all my tract of land lying in Northampton County containing three hundred and seventy two acres more or less except one third part of said Land & Plantation I lend my wife after John Edwards Wood arrives to full age if she does not marry and before the said John Edwards Wood is of full age I lend my wife the whole tract of Land to raise her children on provided she continues my widow otherwise to be appropriated to the use of my Son John as aforesaid I likewise give my Son John E Wood One hundred acres of Land lying in Bertie County to be laid off by my Executors in Powell’s pocoson it being part of a tract of land I purchased of Martha Page and my Hunting Gun Bridle and saddle which I desire may be held for him until he comes of age to him and his heirs forever.–

Item After all my just debts are paid I lend my wife all the residue of my estate that is not before given away to Boards School Cloath and raise the children gratis Dist Freeman Wood, Elizabeth Wood, John E Wood, Sarah Wood, and Celia Wood and any other child or children which may be born of my wife which is mine this lent to extend no further than during her widow-hood otherwise if she my wife shall continue a widow until John E Wood arrives to mature age then my desire is that all my estate not before given away shall be equally divided between John E Wood, Sarah Wood, and Celia Wood and any other or others which may be born to my wife as aforesaid my wife having one third of John E Wood’s legacy during her widowhood or life and not otherwise, so likewise when Sarah Wood shall arrive to mature age or marry one third of her legacy to be alisted to my wife she continuing my widow or during her life and not otherwise. Likewise at full age or marriage of Celia Wood my wife continuing a widow I desire one third of her legacy to allotted to my wife for and during her widowhood or life and not otherwise. the . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. ..

And further I desire that if either of my four daughters Mary, Elizabeth, Sarah & Celia should die without lawful issue that the surviving Brothers & Sisters have the deceased legacy equally divided amongst them

In Witness whereof I have here-unto set my Hand & Seal the 3rd day of April 1795 and acknowledge this my last Will and Testament I constitute and appoint my wife Christian Wood , Jacob Freeman, and Jonas Wood my Executors of this Will to ——

James Wood & a Seal

Test: John Norsworthy; Abednigo (x) Rutland Northampton County / March Court 1797

1816 John E Wood guardian of Celia Sutton orphan of Thomas Sutton
1816 John E Wood guardian of Mary Howe orphan of Thomas Howe

Book 2 1792-1808 will 336 p 91 Cullen Wood 7 May 1792 June St 1792 to my brother James Wood; to Freeman Wood son of James; to my brother Lawrence Wood; wife Sarah Wood. Ext. friend Joshua Freeman & brother James Wood.

will – Moring, Christian May 28, 1814; May Term 1816 Bertie County.
Son William, son John E Wood and Baldy Ashburn Exrs. Test: Wm. Mebane
In the name of God Amen. I Christian Moring of Northampton County and State of North Carolina being sick and weak in body but of Perfect Sound Mind and Memory. Thanks be to the Almighty God for the Same and calling to mind the Uncertainty of this Present life and that all flesh must yield unto Death when it shall please God to Call them do make my last Will and Testament in manner and form following.
First I commit my soul into the hands of Almighty God who gave it hoping through the — of Jesus Christ my redeemer to receive pardon for all my Sins and My body to the Ground to be buried in a Christian like manner at the Dicrestion of my Executives herafter Named. and touching Such Temporal Estate Goods and Chattles As it hath pleased the Almighty God to bestow on Me I Give in Manner and form following
Item: I give and Bequeath to my Son William Moring Nine Negroes namely- Kader, Isaac, George, and Willis, Judah, Betty, Betsey, Shillan, Mourning of Sheba. also Fifty acres of Land which I purchased from William Horn and joining the lands on which Ansen Jeffreys lives and at present and the Lands of Fredrick Lawrence. to him and to his heirs and assigns forever.
I give and bequeath to my Son William Moring after my Just Debts being paid the Residual or Whole of my property consisting of Stocks of Different kinds, Household and Kitchen furniture. plantation Utensila to the only proper Use and behalf of him the Said William Moring his heirs and assigns forever.
Lastly I do herby Constitute, appoint and ordain my son John E Wood together with my Friend Baldy Ashburn whole and Sole Executors of this my last Will and Testament Revoking and Disannulling all former Wills heretofore made by me and shall acknowledge this only to be my last Will and Testament in Witness whereof I hereunto set my hand and fix my seal the 20th day of May 1814.
Signed and acknowledged in the presence of (none) Christian Moring and her wax seal.
Bertie Co Feb Ct 1816–William Mebane stated that he believed that the will was signed by the decease Christian Moring and was ordered recorded by the Ct. Sol. Cherry, Clk.

Found this will of Wm. Moring-half brother of Sally Wood–dated 1856 which sheds some light and raises some questions in my mind?

State of North Carolina, Bertie County. In the name of God amen. I William Moring of the above state and County of Sound mind and memory do hereby make declare and publish this as my last will and Testament revoking all others.
First. I wish all my debts paid.
Secondly. With no feeling of unkindness toward Doctor Godwin C Moore or his wife I nevertheless hereby exclude them and each of them from taking any part of my estate real or personal. I hold a note of two or three hundred dollars against said Godwin C Moore which I do not wish collected amt. of him but give up to him and after this is done neither he nor his wife singlely or together are to inherit ar take any portion of my estate real or personal.
I would after this exclusion as before go in and give my whole estate specifically and by description to certain other relatives of mine but it is too tedious and irksome to me. I therefore wish and hereby direct that my whole estate real personal and mixed shall go descend and be divided according to the law of North Carolina on the subject of descent and distribution to and among them my relatives just as the said estate would go were I to die intestate without any relationship or connection with said Godwin C Moore or his wife.
In testimony of the foregoing I have hereto set my hand and seal This 14 day of March 1856. William Moring seal
Signed sealed declared & published in presence of us who attest this paper in the presence of the testater at his request–P H Winston, Jas. Hunter, Wm A Ferguson.

Grandchildren of James Wood and Christian Freeman:

Mary Wood & William Mebane of Mason Hall, Orange Co, NC had:
1. Dr. Alexander Wood Mebane 1800 – 5 Feb 1847 age 47
married 27 Jan 1824 Mary E Collins Howe 1805 – 29 Oct 1855 age 50
From Moore’s History of NC Vol II, p16- Concerning the Legislature of 1829 “Among the new members of this year was Dr. Alexander Wood Mebane of Bertie. He was reared in Orange, but had married his cousin Mary Howe of the Hermitage on Chowan River and dwelt at that noble homestead.

hermitage-1 hermitage-2
photos of the Hermitage, Bertie Co NC
by James Moore ca 1970
photos of the Hermitage, Bertie Co NC
by James Moore ca 1970

He was a man of large endowments. A devotion to the Democratic policy did not interfere with large and successful financial schemes. He was one of the leading fishermen in the broad waters of the Albemarle country. This business had received an enormous impetus since 1815. At that time, two Northern men had introduced a long seine, worked by windlasses and horse power, at Lawrence’s Point on the Chowan, six miles below Colerain, and soon others were put in, two thousand yards in length, requiring six horses and fifty men and women in their handling. Prior to this time the spring catch had always been effected by means of short float nets and weirs.”

from tombstones at the Hermitage.
a. John E. W. Mebane Sept 1828 – 14 April 1835 age 6yrs 7 months
died from Scarlet Fever
b. William A Mebane 23 July 1829 – Jan 1878
c. Julius A Mebane ca 1832 – 18 Nov 1853 21 years old
d. John Thomas Mebane 13 April 1838 – 15 Nov 1867
married Julia Wheeler dau of S J
i. Lucinda Howe Mebane 2 Oct 1866 – 23 Nov 1866
ii. John Wheeler Mebane 25 July 1867 – 25 July 1867
she married 2nd 17 Nov 1871 Dennison Worthington lived Martin Co
e. Mary Elizabeth Mebane
married 15 Dec 1857 John Pool
i. John Pool bapt Aug 30 1863
ii. Mary Howe Pool
f. Alexander Wood Mebane 1841 – 30 Nov 1871
g. Thaddeus Mebane died 1845
2. John Howe Mebane 15 Aug 1806 – 16 March 1875 Fayette Co TN

Home built in Fayette Co TN by John Howe Mebane
home was sold after the Civil War
for other pictures of his home inside and out & cemeteries see

married 9 Feb 1837 Ann Graves 8 Feb 1809 – 28 June 1848 Bertie Co
dau. of Capt William item from Hillsborough Recorder 10 March 1837
buried in the cemetery at the Hermitage, Bertie Co
a. William G Mebane 4 June 1838 – 2 Dec 1882
taken prisoner at Kennesaw Mtn 18 June 1864
married 2nd Emma ca 1842 –
i. Nannie Mebane ca 1868 –
b. John Wood Mebane 18 Feb 1840 – 18 June 1864 ts
killed at Kennesaw Mtn in GA

c. Bettie Mebane 1844 – 1856
d. Cordelia Mebane ca 1844 –
e. Martha Mebane ca 1846 –
married ca 1849 2nd Henrietta W. 15 March 1816 – 27 July 1872 ts
a. Mary Mebane ca 1850 –
b. Henrietta Mebane 2 Feb 1853 – 18 July 1870 ts
3. William Grandison Mebane 8 Aug 1808 – 6 Oct 1881 ts
removed to Fayette Co, TN
4. Elizabeth [Eliza] A Mebane 7 Nov 1810 – 24 Feb 1883 ts
married Green D Jordan
removed to Fayette Co, TN
5. Mary Frances [Fannie] Mebane ca 1821 –
married John W Bond removed to Ark.

list of Mebane siblings from Wheeler’s Reminicences and 1866 Power of Attorney
NCGSJ Vol 3 page 11 power of attorney
Mebane, John H.; William G. Mebane, Sr; and Green D. Jordan and his wife Eliza., -all of Fayette co, Tn and Mary F. Bond of the State of Arkansas, 20 Mar 1866, appoint William A Mebane of Bertie Co, NC their attorney to sell a tract of swamp land (1,037 acres in all) in Martin Co., NC which descended to them from William Moring, deceased, in common with others, or was bequeathed by the last will and testament of said Moring, their interest being 4/5 of their 1/2 of the said land, which consisted of the lower Dunstan Patent, the Spruill & Morse Tract. the Peter Roscoe Patent #1 and #2 and the William Jordan Patent.

Elizabeth Wood & Thomas How(e) had:
1. Mary Elizabeth Collins How(e) 10 Dec 1805 – 29 Oct 1855
married 27 Jan 1824 Dr. Alexander Wood Mebane 1800 – 1847
Neal, Vol 2. Mebane: married lately at Dr. J. E Wood’s in Bertie County,
Dr. Alexander W. Mebane to Miss Mary E. C. Howe,
dau of Thomas Howe, dec. of said county,

appeared Fri 5 Mar 1824 RRsw
married 2nd April 2, 1850 James Rascoe Rayner 1807 – 1852

Elizabeth Wood & William Sutton had:
1. John A Sutton bef 1818 –
Feb 1839 John A Sutton sells his share of the Late John E Wood’s lands to A W Mebane

married Esther Tayloe Bond dau of Lewis
a. William Moring Sutton ca 1837 – 1884 ts farmer 1880 clerk of inf. court
married 22 Feb 1860 Mary Elizabeth Folk 1840 – 1867 ts
i. Annie Bond Sutton 1864 – 1947 ts bapt 17 Mar 1878 –
ii. William Moring Sutton Jr. 1867 – 1930 ts
married 1869 Martha [Pattie] White Perry 1847 – 1918 ts
i. Lillian [Lillie] White Sutton 1871 – bef 1930 bapt 7 May 1871 –
ii. John Bond Sutton 1872 – 1874 ts
iii. James Sutton 1875 – aft 1930
iv. Hugh Lee Sutton 1879 – bapt 7 Sept 1879 –
v. Clarence Lynwood Sutton 1882 – 1890 ts
b. Lewis Bond Sutton 1840 – 1907 ts
married 22 June 1865 Sallie A Cooper 1844 – 1868
conf. 1867 St. Thomas Episcopal Ch, Windsor, NC
i. Mary A Sutton ca 1866 –
married Mary Catherine ? 1849 – 1928 ts
ii. Esther Bond Sutton 1871 – 1962 ts
married Goode
iii. Mary C Sutton ca 1873 –
iv. Lewis B Sutton ca 1875 –
v. Alice L Sutton 1876 – 1881 ts
Elizabeth Wood’s step children: William Sutton and 1st wife had:
1. William S. Sutton dec’d bef 1823
2. Eliza A Sutton ca 1802 –
married ca 1820 Alfred M Slade
a. Agnes A Slade ca 1821 –

Sarah Ford Wood & John Wheeler had:
1. Julia Munro Wheeler
married 1832 Dr Godwin Cotton Moore

Celia Freeman Wood and Baldy Ashburn had:
1. Adaline Ashborn bef 1824 – bef 1834
Adaline Ashborn dau of Baldy is given a bequest in 1824 will of Wm. Freeman.
She does not enter into the division of Dr. John E Wood estate indicating to me that both she and her mother had died before this time.

Dr John Edwards Wood & Elisa Foort had no issue:
Dr John Edwards Wood & Mary Sutton had no issue:

We the undersigned met and valued the Negroes of Dr John E Wood Decd. and divided and allotted to the heirs above stated shares as follows:
Lot #1 to William Mooring; half-brother
Lot #2 to William Mebane; husband of sister Mary
Lot #3 to A W Mebane and John A. Sutton, jointly; heirs of sister Elizabeth
Lot #4 to Godwin C Moore. husband of Julia, heir of sister Sally
In witness whereof we here unto set our hands and seal. This the 18th day of February 1835.
J V Reed, Willie J Gilliam, ? Roulhac

William Moring & Christian Freeman dau of Wm & Fruzy had no issue

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