Thursday, December 19, 2019

The Estate of Rebecca Proctor

In looking at the families and estates of Ira Proctor, who passed away about 1809, apparently after having just arrived with his family in Perry County, Alabama, all the while leaving property in Anson County, NC, and his son John, who made it to the 1840's, I keep finding more pieces of this incomplete and misconstrued family puzzle.

There are links to other families, that are in multiple ways, tied to each other and to the Proctor's. Several of these families seem to flow like an unhindered river from Virginia to Edgecomb County, North Carolina to Anson County, NC to Perry County, Alabama. Whether by division into smaller counties or just physical relocation, some end up in neighboring counties, but Perry seems to be the gravitational center.

Certain of these families are as intertwined as Morning Glory vines climbing a fence post. Or a bunch of muscadine vines smothering an old maple tree.

We have the Lees, the Holmes, the Hinsons and a touch of Grace. And it all revolves back to the Proctor's.
While I looked into Ira, his will in Perry, his land divisions all the way back in Anson, NC and the interactions of his oldest son, John, both in Anson, NC and Perry, Alabama, the one person I had totally forgotten and accidentally found, who had also left an estate,was his wife Rebecca.

Rebecca's maiden name is yet unknown, but certain close relationships could suggest it's possibilities. Her estate was probated in Perry County in 1819 and suggests a demise in the same calendar year. Above is the first page of her estate.

Notice it names:

Ira Proctor (dec'd) husband
Heir's:. John Proctor
Mary Proctor
Penny Proctor
Nanny Proctor
Lydia Proctor

William Dismukes Adm
Richard Lee. Adm

There are 3 glaring questions to be gathered from this list either by inclusion or omission.

Why is Abner Proctor not named? As the youngest son, he was about 4 when his father passed and about 14 here. I know from his father's papers that Solomon Lee and Ethelred Allen were named as his guardians. Solomon being a son of Rebecca's Administrator and Mr. Allen his son-in-law. Abner would be the executor of his brother John's estate in 30 years to come. Why was he omitted?

Now this is the same listing of heir's from Ira's estate. Notice the names of Sarah and Abner, who are missing from Rebecca's. Anne on here, I discovered, is the same person as Nanny on Rebecca's.
But Rebecca lists John, and Ira's don't. Rebecca also lists a Penny.

Name:Ire Procter
Home in 1800 (City, County, State):Fayetteville, Anson, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - Under 10:2
Free White Persons - Males -10 thru 15:1
Free White Persons - Males - 26 thru 44:1
Free White Persons - Females - Under 10:2
Free White Persons - Females - 26 thru 44:1
Number of Household Members Under 16:5
Number of Household Members Over 25:2
Number of Household Members:7

Ira Proctor was presumably born in Edgecomb County, NC, possible son of an Abner Proctor, based on other research found online, not my own. He first appears in the 1800 census of Anson County, NC as a male between 26 and 44 with an adult female in the home in the same age group. It can be safely presumed that this is Ira and Rebecca.

There are 5 children in the home, 3 boys and 2 girls. Abner Proctor was not born until 1805, so two of the others could possibly John and Ira, Jr., the later who is mentioned in the earlier dated estate papers of Ira, Sr., but was apparently deceased by 1817, when he is no longer listed with the others.

1790 Anson County Heads of Families

Of note, a Linny Proctor is listed in the 1790 Heads of Families for Anson County, in a female-headed family of 6 females and 2 young males. Online family trees list the following family tree for Ira Proctor:

Abner Proctor: 1738-1798
Wife Sarah

Children: Ira 1760-1809
                Henry 1764 - ?

Abner Proctor is listed as the son of Joshua Proctor (1708-1769) and Mary Ellis (1711- ?). Siblings listed were: Joshua, Mary, Lydia, Rebecca, Lucy and Abigail.

This Linny could have been the wife of a John Proctor, who is said to have been born in Spotsylvania, Virginia about 1718 and married to a wife named "Leanna". He died about 1790 in Anson County. This John Proctor left a will in Anson County in 1790 and named his wife, Linny and two sons, William and Sterling. He did not name his daughters, but the 1790 census of Linny indicates they had some.

Anson County Deed Book P, Page 197 Dated November 8, 1814, lists the heirs of Ira Proctor as: John, Lydia, Ira, Ann, Sarah, Abner and Mary. By 1817, Ira is no longer included in the list.

Ira Proctor first shows up in the Deeds of Anson County on March 25, 1799 in Book FG Page 102.
He purchased 2 tracts of land from John Hattaway for 300 'Spanish milled dollars". The tracts were located on the Southwest side of Boggan's Branch of Gould's Fork. Owners of neighboring property were named as "McNatt", William May, Joshua Hodges, and Morgan Brown. The Witness was Benjamin Parrimore.

The second deed is dated September 3, 1807 and is found in Book LM on Page 273. He adds to his land on Gould's Fork by making a purchase from his neighbor, William May, the Carpenter. I suppose his occupation was named to differentiate him from another William May in the area. It was signed by William May Jr. for William May, 'Carp', and witnessed by Daniel May.

Two years later, on November 3, 1809 is when in Book NO Page 195, appears "Rebecca Proctors Thirds or Dower", wherein 109 3/8 acres is set aside for Rebecca Proctor, widow and relict of Ira Proctor, deceased. The dower is mentioned as meeting the lands of William Dabbs and a Mr. Teal.

Then on Nov 8, 1814, the 'Division of Ira Proctor's Land"  is found in Book PQ Page 197 of Anson County and names John, Ira, Abner, Lydia, Nancy, Sarah and Mary. It was signed by J. Holmes, Joseph Newsome and John Grace.

By 1830, John Proctor and William Lee and his wife, Lydia Proctor Lee, were giving Power of Attorney concerning their shares of Ira Proctors land in Anson County to Abner Proctor, and stating that they lived in Perry County, Alabama and most certainly in the 1830 census of Perry County, a William 'Lea" is living right next door to John Proctor.

Rebecca Proctor seems to have passed away in 1819. By all reason, she should appear in the 1810 census of Anson County. The estate records of Rebecca, Ira and oldest son, John, all appear in Perry County, Alabama, but none of them show up in the census records there until 1830.

Three of the daughters of Ira and Rebecca Proctor were married in Anson County, North Carolina, between 1820 and 1830. These years may be approximate and incorrect.

 Anson County, NC

         County Index to the North Carolina Marriages Database.

 735. Holmes, John              Proctor, Nancy              1831         
 736. Holmes, Theopholis        Proctor, Mary               1820  
 895. Lee, William              Proctor, Lydia              1830   

This file was contributed for use in the USGenWeb Archives by
Marceline Beem <>

Instead, in 1810, the only Proctor I found in Anson County was an Amy or Amey Proctor, with 4 children. She's living near my ancestors Stark Ramsey and Ludwell Carpenter, whom I know lived in the Burnsville area of Anson County.

Name:Amey Proctor
Home in 1810 (City, County, State):Anson North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - 10 thru 15:2
Free White Persons - Males - 16 thru 25:1
Free White Persons - Females - Under 10:1
Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 15:1
Free White Persons - Females - 26 thru 44:1
Number of Household Members Under 16:4
Number of Household Members Over 25:1
Number of Household Members:6

Who was Amy? At first I thought Amy might have been Rebecca. I've seen women, especially, go back and forth between their first and last names. But then Amy shows up again in the 1820 census, and I know Rebecca has deceased by then, in Perry County, Alabama, no less.

Name:Amy Procter
Home in 1820 (City, County, State):White, Anson North Carolina
Enumeration Date:August 7, 1820
Free White Persons - Females - 16 thru 25:1
Free White Persons - Females - 45 and over :1
Free White Persons - Over 25:1
Total Free White Persons:2
Total All Persons - White, Slaves, Colored, Other:2

Amy Procter is over 45 in 1820 with another young woman in her home. Also listed in "White" is a young man, Brinkley Proctor. He could have been her son.

Name:Brinkley Procter
Home in 1820 (City, County, State):White, Anson North Carolina
Enumeration Date:August 7, 1820
Free White Persons - Males - 16 thru 25:1
Free White Persons - Females - 16 thru 25:1
Number of Persons - Engaged in Agriculture:1
Total Free White Persons:2
Total All Persons - White, Slaves, Colored, Other:2

But, interestingly enough, they are not the only Proctors in Anson County, NC in 1820.

Name:William Pructer Lee
[William "Lee" Proctor ] 
Home in 1820 (City, County, State):Allen, Anson North Carolina
Enumeration Date:August 7, 1820
Free White Persons - Males - Under 10:1
Free White Persons - Males - 26 thru 44:1
Free White Persons - Females - Under 10:2
Free White Persons - Females - 26 thru 44:1
Number of Persons - Engaged in Agriculture:1
Free White Persons - Under 16:3
Free White Persons - Over 25:2
Total Free White Persons:5

In Allen, there is a William, but transcribed rather confusedly, because on the actual document, it gives his name as "William Proctor alias Lee", indicating he was known as both William Proctor and William Lee. That's a very, VERY interesting entry. But interestly yet more to me was the fourth Proctor living in Anson County in 1820.

Name:Penny Prester
[Penny Proctor ] 
Home in 1820 (City, County, State):Cash, Anson North Carolina
Enumeration Date:August 7, 1820
Free White Persons - Females - Under 10:2
Free White Persons - Females - 26 thru 44:1
Number of Persons - Engaged in Agriculture:1
Free White Persons - Under 16:2
Free White Persons - Over 25:1
Total Free White Persons:3
Total All Persons - White, Slaves, Colored, Other:3

Penny Proctor, a young mother with two daughters. I know the names of those two daughters, and that is another post yet to come.

Now recall, in the land division of Ira Proctor, 7 heirs (children) are named: John, Ira, Abner, Sarah, Lydia, Mary and Ann or Nancy.

In the estate records of 1817, all those are listed with the exception of Ira, Jr.

In the estate records of 1819, for Rebecca Proctor, in Perry County, Alabama, the following heirs are listed.: John, Mary, Nanny (aka Ann, aka Nancy), Lydia and Penny.  So, again, why wasn't Penny listed among Ira's heirs? Why was Abner and Sarah not listed as an heir of Rebecca Proctor? Could Ira Jr. have been old enough to have married at the death of his father -to Penelope, aka Penny and left her a widow in Anson in 1820?

Penny Proctor would marry Asa Henson/Hinson in January of 1823, in Perry County, Alabama. Together, they would have 3 children in addition to the ones she already had. Asa Henson was included in a Quitclaim Deed dated December of 1831 in Anson County, NC along with Benjamin and Moses Holmes and Solomon and David Lee, all of Perry County, Alabama, transfering their interests -as heirs of Ira Proctor- in a tract of land formerly belonging to Ira Proctor, deceasd , 'for love and affection- to Abner Proctor, youngest son of Ira Proctor.

It must be noted and reminded at this point that two daughters of Ira Proctor, Mary and Nancy, married Holmes, Theophilus and John, respectively. It must also be noted that Solomon Lee, or A Solomon Lee, was named as guardian of the minor, Abner Proctor after the death of his father. It must also be noted that Solomon Lee and David Lee both married Holmes as well, Martha and Haran, respectively.

In addition, in must be recalled that Solomon Lee and David Lee were brothers and sons of Richard Lee, administrator of both the estates of Ira Proctor and Rebecca Proctor.

The estate records of Rebecca Proctor would clear up at least one of these questions. 
Rebecca Proctors estate owed money for the services of a Physcian, Dr. William Mendenhall. 

Her account stated she was treated in February of 1818 with 'sundry visits and medicine' for herself for $24.25.
In May of 1818, for "Sally" for $1.25 and in November of 1818 for Nancy. 

"North Carolina, This day William Mendenhall personally appeared before Jeremiah Benton, Esq and made affirmation that the above account $24.25 against the estate of Rebecca Proctor, deceased, $12.50 against the estate of Sallie Proctor, deceased and Three dollar and fifty cents for Nancy Proctor is true to the best of his knowledge.....Jan 4, 1819."

So Rebecca, Sarah aka Sallie, and Nancy Ann aka Nanny, all fell ill in 1818 and were treated by Dr. Mendenhall. Rebecca and Sallie passed away, ie why Sarah is not listed in Rebecca's estate records. Nancy survived the illness and married John Holmes. 

Page 4 of the Estate of Rebecca Proctor is a receipt from John Grace for the purchase of wheat and bacon. Signatures were that of John Grace and A. Caraway, JP. I remember from land records that John Grace was a neighbor of the Proctors on Gould's Fork in Anson. 

Page five deals with a man named Martin Pickett and Rebecca Proctor, wherein Rebecca promises to pay Labon Caraway. 

The next section brings in Penny Proctor once more. 

"On or before the 1st day of July next I do promise to pay Richard Lee, admin of Rebecca Proctor deceased .80 cents being for value recieved witness one hand and seal." 

Dated July 25, 1818 
Signed Penny  x  Proctor

Signed by and attested to by Labon Caraway. 

The inventory of the estate was simple, domestic and agricultural. The buyers of most of it being Penny, John, Mary and Nanny Proctor with a few purchases by Pleasant Little and Joseph Newsome. 

Rebecca's estate record only answered one question and that was the fate of daughter Sallie Proctor. It left me with more, like why she did not list Abner as an heir and also, if Penny Proctor was her heir, why wasn't Penny an heir of Ira in 1809-1814 estate records?

So far, this is what I do know:

Heirs of Ira and Rebecca Proctor combined:

1) John Proctor born between 1790 and 1808 according to the 1830 and 1840 censuses. Name of first wife unknown. Oldest child, Ira, born in 1825. Married second, Mary Thompson in Perry County, Alabama in 1841. No children with her. Died in 1843. His widow remarried James Palmer. 

2) Penny Proctor born about 1793 in NC. Oldest child born in 1814. Married Asa Henson in 1823 in Perry County. Died prior to December 1857 when Asa married Emaline Elkins. 

3) Mary Ann Proctor, born about 1804, married Theophilus Holmes in Anson County, NC. Died in 1872 in Louisiana. 
4) Sarah aka "Sallie" Proctor, birth unknown, probably between 1800 and 1808. Died of an illness in Anson County, NC in 1818. 
5) Nancy, Nanny, Ann Proctor. Married John Holmes in Anson County NC. 
6) Lydia Proctor, married William Lee in Anson County, NC, grandson of Richard Lee. Relocated to Perry County, Alabama. 
7) Abner Proctor born about 1808, died in 1880 in Leon County, Texas
8) Ira Proctor, Jr. , alive in 1814, deceased by 1817. 

May the digging continue. 


  1. I wonder if the William Dismukes who was Adm of Rebecca’s estate is the same William Dismukes from Chatham County NC who witnessed a land deed for Charles Morgan in 1802

  2. Yes, William Dismukes relocated to Alabama. He died in Augusta County, AL around 1840.