One of the most revealing deeds for Thames’s – 1779

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This deed stands out because it reveals more than a simple transfer of property. It tells us a few things. It’s a bit cumbersome, so I’ll take the liberty of breaking it up into paragraphs.

7 Aug 1779 – Bladen County DB 19 p 418-419 – No. 24, Joseph Themes to William Themes – This Indenture made this 7th day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred & seventy nine, between Joseph Themes of Bladen County & Province of North Carolina, Planter, of the one part, & William Themes of the Province aforesaid, of the other part, Witnesseth, that the said Joseph Themes for & in consideration of the sum of One Hundred Pounds current money of North Carolina…hath granted…the piece & parcel of land containing one hundred & forty acres be the same more or less,

One piece lying & being in the County & Province aforesaid, One Piece on the South West side of the N. West River between Gray’s & Dunn’s lines, being a part of a tract patented by Heenry[sic] Sim’s, bearing date Anno Domini 1753 & was by him conveyed to John Stevens, & by the said Stevens to Jesse Themes & by the said Jesse Themes conveyed to Joseph Themes & is now conveyed by the said Joseph Themes to William Themes & his heirs & assigns forever Begins at a white oak on the River bank, Gray’s upper line & runs thence So. 70 W. 20 chs to John Newberry’s line & with it No. 20 W. 15 chs & 18 lks Dunn’s line & with it the river & down the river to the first station containing forty acres let the same be more or less.

The other piece of land lying & being in the county aforesaid on the South West side of the North West River of Cape Fear, a small distance below Themes Creek [previously and subsequently referred to in deeds as Dunn’s Creek], Beginning at a stake by the River side, thence No. 80 Wt 116 chs, thence So. 40 W. 10 chains then So. 80 Et 116 chains to the River, thence the various courses of the River to the first station containing one hundred acres more or less being part of a tract of land Granted to Jon Dunn by Patent & by John Dunn conveyed to Richard Dunn & by Richard Dunn conveyed to Robert Dunn & by Robert Dunn conveyed to Thomas Themes in his last Will gave the same to his son Samuel Themes & he dying under age, it became the property of the aforesaid Jesse Themes as by Record may appear, the said Jesse Themes being thus lawfully possessed of the above mentioned lands conveyed them to Joseph Themes & is now conveyed by Joseph Themes to William Themes…[and the rest is legalese]

Signed, Joseph Themes (his mark) and Martha Themes (her mark). Witnesses: David Hallaway, Sherwood Fort, Themes [sic, should be Thomas] Themes. Proved November Term 1781 by David Hallaway.

Looking back at Thomas Thames’s 1758 will, recall that his wife Prudence was to receive a life estate in the homestead, and then it was to go to Samuel.

This deed confirms that the land in question was indeed the 100 acres purchased from Robert Dunn in 1750.

Samuel died under age. But Prudence must have died at the same time, or before Samuel, or she would have continued to enjoy her life estate in the property and at her death it would have reverted to the next legal heir.

It appears that the next legal heir would have been the eldest son, Cornelius.* However, it seems that Cornelius must have died as well, because the land went to Jesse Thames, who was probably Cornelius’s eldest son. This is further discussed under the chapter entitled Two Early Jesse’s?

*Cornelius not only witnessed the 1750 deed when his father purchased 100 acres from Robert Dunn, but he was also named co-executor of Thomas’s will by Thomas, in 1758, along with Thomas’s wife Prudence.

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