Volume 8, Number 7, Spring 1984


The Will of John Langston

Greenville County, South Carolina 1 March 1782 to 11 November 1790

Submitted by Ruth Asher


At a court held for the County of Greenville, August Term, AD, the following Last Will and Testament of John Langston, dec’d, was produced in open court and proven by the oaths of Joshua Smith and John White and ordered to be recorded which was done this 11th Nov 1790.

In the name of God Amen, I John Langston of South Carolina an worthy member of the church being through the abundant mercy and goodness of God tho weak in body yet of a sound and perfect understanding and memory do constitute this my Last Will and Testament and desirest may be received by all as such.

IMPRIMIS: I most humbly bequeath my Soul to God my maker beseeching his most gracious acceptance of it through the all sufficient merits and mediation of my most compassionate redeemer Jesus Christ who gave himself to be an atonement for my sins and is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them and I trust will not reject me a returning penitent sinner when I come to him for mercy in this hope and confidence I tender up my Soul with comfort humbly beseeching the most blessed and gracious Trinity, one God most Holy most Merciful and Glorious to prepare for me the time of my dissolution and then to take me to himself in that peace and rest and incomparable felinity which he has prepared for all that love his Holy Name, Amen.

ITEM: I give to my son James one negro named Harry, to him and his heirs.

ITEM: I give to my son Solomon one negro named Lamkin, to him and to his heirs.

ITEM: I give to my grandson Asa at marriage if he lives until then, if not to his brother Will’m (William), but my wife to have the use of him her life and after her decease Jechonias until such marriage afores’d, one negro named Ben. I also give Jechonias that piece of land he lives on, to him and his heirs.

ITEM: I give to my daughter Molly Smith one negro named Venus, but if Feb brings one more for that to go to Molly and Venus to fall to her mistress.

ITEM: I give to my daughter Becka Will’ms (Williams) one negro girl named Ede, to her and her heirs after my wife’s decease.

ITEM: I give to my daughter Fanny my negro boy named Tim.

ITEM: I give to my daughter Sally Smith one negro boy named Peter.

ITEM: I give to my son Samuel one negro man named Hippoh after my wife’s decease.

ITEM: I give to my daughter Elizabeth Spaun one cow and calf.

ITEM: I give to my two sons Joseph and Jesse ten shillings sterling each; also to my daughter Patta McVey the same. Since old records seem to indicate that John Langston (1700-1790) was the third in line to bear the given name of, ‘John! one cannot help but wonder why we do not find that a son of his also was named, ‘John,’ to carry on the tradition. Little things that are mentioned in old records seem to point to there having been a son John. Perhaps he died as a young man before he arrived at an age for his name to appear in those old records along with the names of his father and other brothers.

Since the only clue we have from that father’s will to indicate the full name of John’s daughters, a list of their husbands as furnished by one of a team of researchers headed by Mrs. Joyce H. Ellis, Rte 9 Crestview Drive, Greenville, S.C. 29609. The line up makes no attempt to name the daughters in accordance with their estimated year of birth, but rather lines them as they appear on their father’s will:

1. Molly (Langston) Smith married Joshua Smith
2. Becka (Langston) Williams married Thomas Williams
3. Fanny Langston married James McElroy (after 1782)
4. Sally (Langston) Smith married Aaron Smith
5. Elizabeth (Langston) Spann married Moses Spann

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In a Company commanded by Captain Daniel Harris are found the names of Absolom Langston. James Langston, and Solomon Langston. Also in a Company commanded by Captain Andrew Hampton, we find the name of Joseph Langston.

In his will dated 1 March 1782 and proven for probate on 11 November 1790, John Langston names his children. Three of his sons bear the names, James, Solomon and Joseph.

Some researchers believe that Absolom Langston was actually the eldest son of John Langston (1710-1790). If so, he very definitely was not named as a son in John Langston’s will. Absolom Langston did marry Christian Bennett, a sister to Sarah Bennett, the wife of Solomon Langston, son of John. Whether it was this brother-in-law relationship, or an actual kinship which kept Absolom Langston in the vicinity of the John Langston family is only speculation. Absolom could easily have been a son of Thomas Langston found witnessing a deed with John Langston (Jr.), on 26 November 1739, in Chowan County, N.C., but no proof exists on which to base this relationship. Absolom Langston did make a move to South Carolina in time to receive a Colonial Land Grant there on 21 May 1772, but he settled in Craven District where it is said that he was living at his death, and the John Langston family settled in Old 96 and Darlington Districts.

From: "The DAR Patriot Index", we find the following Langstons, formerly of North Carolina, receiving credit for Revolutionary War service as residents of South Carolina:
James Langston b. c 1750 - pensioned 1791 Soldier SC
John Langston b. 1710 - d. 1790 Soldier SC m. Agnes MaughanlMangham, or Mangum
Laodicia Langston b. 1759 - d. 1837 PS m. Thomas Springfield (saw RW Ser)
Solomon Langston b. 1732-33 - pensioned 1810 Lt. SC m. Sarah Bennett (Believed dau of William Bennett)
William Langston b. 15 Apr 1762 - d. 7 Dec 1852 Private SC

(Page 33) 19 June 1751, Granville Co., N.C., Deed Book B, pp 42-43.

William Mangum deeds to William Walker, for 55 pounds, 350 acres of land on both sides of Milton’s Creek. WITNESSES: Jno. (John) Langston, Joseph Persons and Samuel Mangum.

(Mangum apparently should be spelled ‘Mangham’ - William and Samuel Mangum/Mangham are believed to be of the family of the wife of John Langston, born 1710 and died 1790. Several members of John Langston’s descendents have entered the DAR with the name of John Langston’s wife spelled ‘Maughan’, which is believed to have been a misinterpretation to the name spelled ‘Mangham’)

(Page 37) 29 May 1752 - Granville Co., N.C., Deed Book B, pp 80-81.

John Mutloe and Charles Thompson, for 4 pounds 10 shillings, deeds 150 acres of land in Granville Co., N.C., at the mouth of Buffelow (Buffalo) Branch at Bennet’s line.

WITNESSES: John Langston and Samuel Mangum. (Page 75)-- Granville Co., N.C., Deed Book C, p. 91.

John Langston deeds to John Williams, for 5 shillings, 105 acres of land on both sides of Tar River, on Williams’ line.

WITNESSES: Daniel Weldon and Richard Henderson.

(Page 127) 2 November 1759 - Granville Co., N.C., Deed Book D, p. 18.

John Langston of Granville Co., N.C., deeds (deed of gift) to George Thompson of the same place, for certain amount (no amt. specified), 374 acres of land on south side of Tar River, in Granville County, N.C., at McCulloch’s and John Adcock’s lines.
WITNESSES: Joseph Langston and Absolom Langaton.

(In his will, John Langston, names a son Joseph Langston. Absolom Langston is not mentioned in John Langston’s will, and their relationship is unknown.)

(Page 142) 20 December 1760 - Granville Co., N.C., Deed Book D, p. 175.

[17]

John Langston deeds to his son James Langston, for love, by deed-of-gift, 150 acres of land in Granville Co., N.C., on both sides of Tar River, on John William’s line.
WITNESSES: Solomon Langston and Peter Rusel/Russell.

(In his will, John Langaton names a son James; James Langston was either the eldest or second oldest son. We also find the name ‘Williams’ cropping up here, a daughter of John Langston, married Thomas Williams. Also note the last above deed to George Thompson - Lucia, a daughter of John Langston, married Thomas Williams. Also to be noted is that Solomon Langston was either the eldest or second oldest ton of John Langston).
(Page 149) 15 August 1760 - Granville Co., N.C., Deed Book D, p. 242.

John Langston gives (deed of gift) to his son, Solomon Langston, 160 acres of land in Granville Co., N.C., on both sides of Tar River, at Ephriam Merritt’s line, on Mountain Creek.
WITNESSES: Joseph Langston and David Ross.

[18]


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