This is the second volume of a two-volume set containing meticulous transcriptions of 900 of the earliest wills in North Carolina. With the exception of a handful of wills that were previously published in J Bryan Grimes’ North Carolina Wills and Inventories (1912, reprinted by Clearfield Company in 2005), none of these transcriptions has ever appeared in print before. The wills are part of the North Carolina Secretary of State papers, and they encompass the entire period before North Carolina became a royal colony. (A number of the wills in this collection, we should note, come from Nansemond and Warwick counties, Virginia.) With the exception of the Grimes wills referred to above, these wills are neither transcribed nor referenced in the North Carolina will titles associated with Grimes, Fred Olds, Thornton Mitchell, or Stephen Bradley.
The wills themselves are arranged in alphabetical order according to the surname of the testator. Since Mr. Brayton has transcribed the will–and not merely abstracted it–researchers are privy to every detail; in other words, not only the names and relationships of all persons identified but also disposition of property, locations, proximity to water courses and landmarks, and so on. Each volume contains a complete name index, an index to locations, and a separate slave index.
This volume contains a number of corrections to the first volume and includes a few wills subsequently discovered by the compiler whose testators fall within the alphabetical sequence of Volume I.