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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Create Portraits of Your Ancestors with Probate Inventories – Part II

Probate Inventory for John Giddens – 1802 

John Giddens was my 4th great-grandfather (great-great-great-great-grandfather).  He was the father of my 3rd great-father, Mitchell Giddens, and was the grandfather of my great-great-grandfather, George L. Giddens, of North Carolina.

John Giddens died, in Wayne County, NC,  sometime before November 1802; the first date found in his probate record.  The probate went on for years; however, his possessions were inventoried and sold within a month or two. John had at least 1,000 acres of land. I have always assumed that he was a farmer. According to early census records, John Giddens did not own slaves. 

In Probate Inventories: A Window to Your Ancestor’s World, Patricia Law suggests to carefully study tools and farm implements, look for items related to occupations and items out of the ordinary.  This inventory has items that relate to several occupations.  John had a large amount of livestock, some farm tools, shoemaker and hatter tools, a trumpet, some books, and a good variety of household items.  

Was he a farmer?  Was he well off? He must have been comfortable. John Giddens had a wife and eight children when he died.  This accounts for the 10 pewter plates, 11 earthen plates, and 12 spoons.  I don’t know his occupation; however, if I were to guess, I would think that John Giddens might have been a dairy farmer and/or pig farmer.  Look at his inventory below. What do you think?

Inventory of the Estate of John Giddens Deed taken the 12th of Nov. 1802

1000 Acres land
2 qt bottles.  5 jugs.  2 chest
8 head of horses
1 table 7 chairs
23 head of Cattle
9 cider barrels
116 head  of   hogs
11 kegs 2 old hogheads
17 head of  sheep
3 pair cards
4 feather beds & furniture
1 loom, 3 old barrels
some loose feathers
2 slip & harness
3 iron pots
2 smoothing irons
1 iron   kettle
1 pot trammel 1 griddle
1 copper tea kettle
3 augers  3 chisels
1 frying pan  1 skillet
2 handsaws  1 drawing knife
2 pewter dishes
2 tubs    1 pole   2 Riggins
3 pewter Basins
2 decanters      4 tin cups
10 pewter plates
1 meal sifter     1 wheat riddle
12 pewter  spoons
1 shot gun   1 churn
11 earthen plates
11 gimlets 1pr c_______
1 Doz tea cups & saucers
1 iron square  1 candle stick
1 tin coffee pot
1 pair steel yards, steel trap
1 lantern
1 hone     1 Razor    10 books
1 grater
1 iron ladle  2 tumblers
1 trumpet
1 small desk    2 ink stands
3 wool wheels
1 case Knifes & forks
2 linen wheels
1 pair shears    1 pr scissors
1   hackle
1 pair chest hinges
1 wheat sieve
1 do  iron wedges    1 Fraw
3 bar plows
2 Scythes & cradles
11 hooks
1 carrying knife    1 curry comb
5 grubing hoes
6 Bells   1 tray   3 bridles
6 weeding hoes
2 foils   1 cowhide
2 hammers    1 cart
1 womans saddle
1 grind stone
80 barrels corn   20 bushels wheat
1 Set of hatter implements
20 bushels potes
1 set shoe makers tools
3 pair plough gier
2 cans and bottles
2 cooper’s adze
5 axes  2 hatchets

3 bolts_______

2 sides leather

10 geese  7 ducks

1 note av James Solly for two hundred  ___  pork

1 note for £3. 6
1 note vs Wm Broadhurst for £1
1 note vs Tho Brown 5 pence
1 note vs Christopher Brown 10                                                                          pence
1 note vs Ann Reeves 10 pence
1 note vs Mary Moore £2.4.6
1 note vs Henry Hobian 1.15
1 note vs John Reeves 10
60 dollars in Cash
3 pewter tankards
1 ___________
1 Slate
2 ____ ladders
2 plains
2 jointers
Some fodder


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