|THOMAS ADAMS WILL
by Cindy H. Casey
Stokes County 1830 Census:
Thomas Adams m. slaves 1-24 f. slaves 1-24
Stokes County 1840 Census:
Thomas Adams: fwm 1-90 fwf 1-90 ms 1-10 1-36 fs 2-10 1-36
There was no Will found at the Stokes County Courthouse on Thomas Adams, or his wife Lucy. Nor was there
an Estate Settlement.
Forsyth County Pleas and Quarterly ---1849:
vs Caveat of a Will
Eliz Dearing et al
Sam Blackburn Ransom Phipps Matthew Crews
Philip Laughenour Michael Reed Daniel Sink
Benj. Snyder Davis Reaper David Blum
Richard Church M.L. Whicker John Kerner
Verdict: they find the paper writing offered for probate in the words and figures following to wit:
I, Thomas Adams, of the County of Stokes, & State of N.C. being of sound mind and memory, but considering in
uncertainty of my earthly existence do make & declare this my last will and testament in manner & form following;
that is to say—first that my executor (hereinafter named) shall provide for my body a decent burial, suitable to
the wishes of my friends and pay all funeral expenses, together with my just debts however and to whosoever
owing, out of the moneys that may first come into her hands as part or parcel of my estate. Item I will give &
devise to my beloved wife Lucy Adams all my estate both real & personal wheresoever it may be, to her use &
disposal forever & lastly I do hereby (Page 20) constitute and appoint my beloved wife Lucy Adams, my lawful
executrix, to all intents & purposes, to execute this my last will and testament & every part & clause thereof
hereby revoking & declaring utterly void, all other wills & testaments by me heretofore made, In witness whereof I
the said Thomas Adams do hereunto set my hand and seal this 24 day of Feb. A.D. 1840
/s/ Thomas Adams (Seal)
Signed, sealed & published and delivered by the said Thomas Adams to be his last will & testament in presence
of us, who at his request, in his presense & in the presence of each other do subscribe our names as witnesses
thereto: Ashley Swaim, Thompson Smith.
Whereas I Thomas Adams have made my last will & Testament in writing bearing date in writing the 24 day of
Feb. A.D. 1840 and have made certain divises and bequeaths according to my then existing circumstances of my
estate & I now being desirous to make an addition to the said will and testament; I do by this my writing which I
hereby declare to be a codicil to my said will to be taken & construed as a part thereof & direct & by this codicil
do hereby appoint my trusty friend Darius H. Starbuck my lawful executor to all intents & purposes to execute the
said Will & Testament of the said date above according to the true intent & meaning of the same. I do by this
codicil give and bequeath unto my executor Darius H. Starbuck after the death of my beloved wife Lucy Adams
my following slaves to wit: Syplax my negro man, Letty my negro woman and her children Syphax, Mary Addine &
Sarah Jane & the increase of the above named slave to have & hold & take into (Page 21) his possession upon
condition & for the purpose of emancipating them the above slaves as soon as the law will allow if at & upon the
death of my wife Lucy. And if I should outlive my beloved wife Lucy, then my said executor is to have and take the
above named slaves unto his possession for the aforesaid purpose of emancipation upon the Death of myself &
not till then. Signed, sealed, published & delivered by the said Thomas Adams to be a codicil or part of his last
will & testament in the presence of us who at his request & in his presence do subscribe our names as witnesses.
Thomas Wilson and Thos. J. Wilson.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand & sel: this the 15th day July A.D. 1843.
/s/ Thomas Adams (Seal)
In 1844, Stokes County, the following Deed was Registered:
DB ? pg 313/314 Bill of Sale
Know all men by these presents that I Thomas Adams of the county of Stokes and State of North Carolina for and
in consideration of the sum of eighty five dollars and twenty cents to me in hand paid by Darius H. Starbuck of
the county of Guilford and State aforesaid the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged in full have granted
bargained and sold unto said D.H. Starbuck his heirs and assigns my following negro Slaves and their increase
to wit: My negro man Syphax aged about twenty six years , my negro woman Letty aged about thirty years and
her children Syphox, Mary, Sarah, Jane, Emeline, and Lewis and their increase to have and to hold unto the said
D.H. Starbuck his heirs and assigns forever free and discharged from all incumbrances upon condition that he
will emancipate them after they shall have worked out the consideration money and interest, but nevertheless I
and my wife are to have the use and benefit of the labour of said slaves during our lives. I the said Thomas
Adams for my self my heirs executors and administrators do covenant and agree by these presents to forever
warrant and defend a full and absolute title of the aforesaid Slaves unto D.H. Starbuck his heirs executors
administrators and assignees against the claims of all persons whatsoever. In testimony whereof I the said
Thomas Adams have hereunto put my hand and seal this the 22nd day of June AD one thousand eight hundred
and forty four. Signed, Sealed and delivered in the presence of John Hasten. Signed: Tho.
State of North Carolina, Stokes County, April Term 1845 The execution of the within bill of sale was duly proven
in open court by the oath of John Hasten and ordered to be registered. Isaac Golding C of C.
Information about Darius Starbuck
“Hon. Darius H. Starbuck was born in Guilford County, NC in 1818 and died in 1887 [Forsyth County, NC]. He
was graduated from New Garden, Now Guilford College and then began the study of law with John A. Gilmer and
was admitted to practice in 1840. In 1868 he was elected Judge of the superior court, but resigned the office.
Prior to this, however, in 1866, he was appointed US Attorney for the district of NC, and held that office until
1872. He served as a delegate to the secession convention at Raleigh in 1860 and was a delegate to the
constitutional convention which met at the same place in 1865. He was a man of magnificent attributes and rose
to marked distinction in his profession”. (Source: Cyclopedia of Eminent and Representative Men of the
Carolinas of the 19th Century, Vol. II; pg 153)
1840 - Admitted to practice law
1843- Executor of Thomas Adams of Stokes County
1843- Quakers at the Dover Monthly Meeting of Guilford County dismissed Darius from their faith. The date was
1843,3,30. On a side note, his brothers were also disowned...
Uriah dis mou 1841,5,27; Elihu dis 1850, 8 29; Clarkson rpd mou 1858, 5,29
1844- Purchased from Thomas Adams of Stokes County for $85.20 the following slaves:
Negro man Syphax age about 26; negro woman Letty age about 30 years and her children
Syhpox, Mary, Sarah Jane, Emeline and Lewis and their increase on the condition that he will emancipate them
after they shall have worked out the consideration money and interest...
In 1849 he became a citizen of Salem.
1850 Forsyth Census- Salem Township- D.H. Starbuck listed as lawyer, age 30 living with Adam Butner. (D.H.
Starbuck owned 1 slave m-age 37.; Adam Butner owned 4 males slaves)
1856 married in Lancaster, Pa
1860 Forsyth Census- Salem District- listed as lawyer age 41, wife Ellen (m.n. Blickenderfer) age 25, ch: Mary S
age 4 and Ella age 1.
(Adam Butner owned 4 female and 3 male slaves)
1870 Forsyth Census - Salem District- listed as U.S. Dist. Attorney, wife Ellen, ch: Mary F, Ellen, Henry R., Anna
Hege age 7 and Jane Fulk age 19 domestic servant and Jacob Blickenderfer age 25, paymaster on RailRoad.
D.H. Starbuck never registered his Will with the Clerk of Court’s office. On June 2 1887 his wife Ellen presented
the following to probate court:
WB3/36 W-401 page 495- Forsyth Co., NC.
In the probate Court, in the matter of the will of D.H. Starbuck
Before C.S. Hauser, Judge of Probate
Ellen Starbuck being duly sworn doth say That D.H. Starbuck, late of said county, is dead, having first made and
published his last will and testament and that she is the executrix named therein and at the majority of her son
Henry now a minor he is appointed executor with his mother. That the property of the said D.H. Starbuck
consisting of Houses and Lots in Winston & land in the country, Bank Stock & other stock notes & orders on
individuals is worth from $50 to $60,000, so far as can be ascertained at the date of this application and that
Mary Theodora Ebert, [wife of Eugene Ebert], Ella Montague [wife of Dr. S.J. Montague] and Henry Starbuck all
residing in Winston Salem are the parties entitled under said will to the said property.
Sworn and subscribed before me this 2nd day of June 1887. C.S. Hauser, Probate Judge
State of North Carolina
A paper writing with all a subscribing witnesses purporting to be last will and Testament of D.H. Starbuck,
deceased is exhibited for probate before me C.S. Hauser, Clerk of the Superior Court, by Ellen Starbuck, the
executor therein named and it is therefore proved by the oath and examinations of J.E. Gilmer and ____ that the
said Will was found among the valuable papers and effects of the said D.H. Starbuck after his death. And it is
further proved by the oath and examination of three competent and credible witnesses to wit: Thomas Wilson, J.
E. Gilmer and D.P. Mast that they are acquainted with the handwriting of the said D.H. Starbuck....etc.
Starbuck, Judge Darius Henry, May 26, 1887, at his home in Winston. His parents were Reuben and Mary
Beeson Starbuck. They were both connected, as had been their ancestors with the Society of Friends. The
deceased was born Sept. 15, 1818. He read law with the late John A. Gilmer, Jr. of Greensboro and was
admitted to the bar in 1841, so that very nearly fifty years of his busy life were spent in this honorable profession.
His first office was clerk and master in equity for Forsyth County, to which he was appointed by the late Judge
Thomas Settle, which office he held from 1850 to the late war. After the war he held the office of U.S. district
attorney for eight years. During this period of service he was elected judge of the superior court, which office he
declined. In 1849 he became a citizen of Salem. At a somewhat later period he took up his residence in Wniston,
where his home has for years been a familiar landmark. He was deeply interested in the prosperity of the
community and to the very close of his life was engaged in official business connected withits growth. On Jan 1,
1856, he was married at Lancaster, Pa., to Miss Ellen Blickenderfer. Their marriage was blessed with three
children, who, with their widowed mother, survive him. On March 24, 1872, he became a member of the Moravian
Church of Salem and was ever afterward an earnest and faithful member of the communion. His age was 68
years, 8 months and 12 days. The remains were interred in the Moravian “God’s Acre.” (6-2-1887) (Source:
Death Notices of the People’s Press by Robert Topkins, page 348)
The following is the possible ancestory of Darius Starbuck...more research needs to be done.
Reuben Starbuck (d. Oct 4, 1880 and Mary (d. 7-17-1840)
Melinda b. 11-17-1812 d 12-12-1846
Uriel (or Urieh) b. 7-3-1814 Uriah dis mou 1841,5,27
Elihu b. 3-30-1816 Elihu dis 1850, 8 29
Darius b 9-15-1818 d. 1887 Darius dis 1843,3,30
Lewis b 2-9-1822 d. Aug. 28, 1879 1869, 5, 29 (See his obituary )
Lewis, s Reuben & Mary, dec. Guilford Co m. Mary E. Blair
1870,3,9 [Mary] Elizabeth w Lewis gct Dover MM
Benjamin b. 8-30-1827
Clarkson b. 4-1-1832 Clarkson rpd mou 1858, 5,29
Matilda b 1-14-1834 d 7-14-1844
(Deep River )
1811,12,28 Reuben gct Deep River MM to m.
1812,2,12 Reuben s Gayer & Rachel, Guilford Co. m Mary Beeson
1812,2,12 Mary, dt Benj & Rachel, Guilford Co m. Reuben Starbuck
1812,6,11 Mary Starbuck (form Beeson) gct New Garden MM
1812,10,31 Mary rocf Deep River MM dated 1812,6,1
1849,8,1 Reuben s Gear & Rachel, Guilford Co. m. Rachel Standley
Is this a second marriage?
1849,8,26 Rachel & ch gct Dover MM
1774,12,31 Gayer & w rocf Nantucket MM, New England, dated 1774,9,25
1788,8,30 Rachel gct Nantucket MM
Gayer Starbuck d 3-21-1814 Rachel d. 8-30-1842
Ruth, dt Gayer & Rachel, Guilford Co. m. Andrew Kingh (Knight) 1801,9,10
1812,2,12 Reuben s Gayer & Rachel, Guilford Co. m Mary Beeson
See Appendix A for more information on the Gayer/Starbuck/Coffin connections
1860 Forsyth Co. Census Broadbay Dist. (Adams' ex-slaves)
Silas (Syphax) 58 m freedman day laborer
Lettie 55 f freedman
(per Mel: 1st husband in the 1830's was Jerry, "quasi free")
Sifox, Louise J. 25 f freedman b. 1825?
(per Co-Hab Records listed as Louise Sipar. Per Mel she was Joseph Lemly's
2nd Wife mar. 12/27/1865. Lemly's 1st wife was Mary E. belonging to the Shepherd Family.)
Mary Magdeline age 22 freedman (b. May 8, 1837 d. 1864, Bapt. 1861
1st wife of Lewis Hege, mar. 1861 St. Phillips Church. Hege's 2nd wife was
Nancy Adeline age 19 freedman (hus. Hiram Wheeler co-hab 1858 Reg. 8/30/1866)
(Per Mel: Baptized Oct 1857, recorded in records as "Belonged to Darius
Starbuck as far as known to me" Pastor Geo. Bahnson)
Sally/Sarah Jane age 15 freedman
Lewis age 11 freedman ( It is believed that he married Mariah Wheeler Jan
10, 1867. Is she related to Hiram Wheeler? See "Somebody Knows My
Name..." by Barnetta White.
Daniel 9 freedman (Could be a grandchild--not listed in Bill of Sale)
Lucy 6 freedman (Could be a grandchild)
In the preceeding Bill of Sale, Syphax was listed as 26---he would have been born in 1818 . Based on his age of
58 as listed in the 1860 census he would have been born in 1802.
Lettie would have been born in 1814 per the age given in the Bill of Sale--The census age of 55 would have her
born in 1805.
It is recorded that Nancy Adeline co-habitated with Hiram Wheeler in 1858. As Hiram was still a slave this could
account for her residing with her parents.
Syphax mentioned as a child in the Adams Will married Mary Mitchell Adams who belonged to T. Mitchell. They
Co-habitated from 10/15/1844 and Registered in 1855. If he was cohabitating in 1844, why was he mentioned as
a Child in the 1844 Bill of Sale? Mel White's records show he was born ca. 1800 and d. after 1870. Mary was
born ca. 1820 and d. aft. 1870. He and his family were listed in the 1870 Forsyth County Census.
There is a strong possibility that all of the children mentioned above (with the exception of Louise J. and Daniel)
are the children of Jerry “quasi free”. It has been proven that this Jerry came to be known as Jerry Stockton who
died in 1887 at age 85. On his headstone in the second colored cemetery is written: ...”fond remembrance of
these whose love this date is erected by his children: Lucy, Lewis, Sallie & Lettie.” Jerry’s second wife was Betsy
(m.n. unknown) pg. 60 Cohab Records
Per Mel: Adeline Adams Wheeler was born ca. 1838. That would make her 4 years old at the time of the Bill of
Sale. She was not mentioned as one of the children. Hiram Wheeler was a slave at the time of their marriage in