Contributed by Jason Statum
Note: From information compiled by Christine (Paradise) Sumner, wife of William Parks Sumner Jr. and mother of Ann Elizabeth (Sumner) Shook and John William Sumner.
Now we will go back to William and his children and give more details. The foregoing can be used as a guide to a better understanding of who we are talking about. Back to the children of William Sumner, the emigrant, who settled in Virginia about 1690-1691.
JETHRO Sumner, born about 1703, died in 1752, married Margaret Sullivan. They were the parents of Jethro Jr. the famous Brigadier General who served on the staff of George Washington in the Revolutionary War. This Jethro was the first President of the Order of the Cincinnati in North Carolina. WHEELER'S REMINISCENCES OF NORTH CAROLINA says Jethro Jr. was born in Virginia about 1730 and died in Warren County, North Carolina, about 1790 and that his father, William, came from England and settled near Suffolk, Virginia, about 1790. Another reference from the Archives in Nashville says he was Sheriff of Bute County, North Carolina, for some years...lead the Battle of Eutaw, September 8, 1781, where his charge with bayonets contributed to the success of that decisive battle. Sumner's Brigade of North Carolina Continentals..."The war being over he married a wealthy widow (Mrs. Heiss) of New Berne. They had a daughter, Mary, who married Hon. Thomas Blount (a Major Blount served under Jethro in the Revolutionary War). He is buried near Shocco Chapel in Warren County, North Carolina. The stone reads, "To the Memory of Gen.. Jethro Sumner, one of the heroes of 1776."
There is a General Jethro Sumner Chapter of DAR in Hendersonville, Sumner County, Tennessee, the county that was named for him.
Two Jethro Sumners served with distinction in the Revolutionary War and sometimes in reading the old records it may be confusing. The other Jethro was a Captain and a first cousin to Jethro Jr., being a son of Dempsey Sumner and grandson of William the emigrant. This Jethro Sumner was born March 25, 1758, died April 16, 1830, married Eliťabeth Turner. He died in Gates County, North Carolina, and his will, dated 5 October 1831, was probated at November Court 1833. He named wife Elizabeth, sons Charles E., John and Benjamin and daughters Mary Gary and Martha s. Riddick, wife of Mills Riddick. His son, Benjamin, was his administrator.
JOHN Sumner, son of William, has already been discussed.
JAMES Sumner, son of William, was born about 1708 in Perquimans County, Virginia, and died about 1752 Edenton, Chowan Precinct, North Carolina. He married Mary Blanchard. A James Sumner left will in Perquimans County, Virginia, March 26, 1759. He names sons Luke two plantations); James (3 plantations); Seth (land on Sutton's Creek); David (plantation where David Kelly now lives); Robert, William, Josiah, house and lots in Suffolk, Virginia. Daughters Mary and Penelope. Wife and Executrix, Mary. Witnesses were Thomas Hurdle and Demsey Sumner. Good impression of castle on seal on this document (Grimes, p. 365). By this James having wife Mary, he is, in all probability, the son of William I.
Another James Sumner left will in Gates County, North Carolina, in 1787, naming wife Mourning; son Luke and several daughters (Book 2, p. 72, Ray, 162).
In 1808, a James Sumner was executor of the will of Sarah Brainer. This later James died in 1824 and named son Seth (Book 3, p. 327, Ray, 162).
WILLIAM Sumner Jr., born about 1710 in Virginia, died in 1731 (or 1736) married Bridget Bullivan. No further record of him.
DEMPSEY Sumner, born about 1712 in Virginia, married about 1750, Martha Baker, daughter of who died after 1779. He was a Justice in Chowan County, North Carolina, in 1750. He was appointed vestryman of St. Paul's Church on April 3, 1738, and still held this office in 1740 and was also Church Warden. He was one of the presiding officers of the County Court of Chowan County in 1746 and again in 1750. He represented Chowan County in the House of Commons in 1744-45 and again in 1757-59; was appointed commissioner to adjust currency in 1744. In 1750 he was a member of the Assembly in New Bern and in that same year he was appointed a Justice of the Peace. He died in Gates County in 1779. His will, dated August 11, 1779, probated at the November Court of 1779, can be found in Will Book 2, page 296, Gates County, North Carolina.
Children of Dempsey and Martha (Baker) Sumner were
Dempsey Jr., William, Jethro, Edwin, James Baker, Theirsa, Martha (married Capt. James Riddick), Mary (married Dr. Thomas Petti or Peeti), Letitia, Elizabeth (married Jethro Ballard).
One Dempsey Sumner married Martha Arrington in Nash County, North Carolina 6 October 1866. (Williams & Griffin, p. 108).
A Dempsey Sumner witnessed the will of William Parker 27 December 1750 in Chowan County, North Caroline (Grimes, p. 280).
DAR Patriots Index Dempsey Sumner, born 1725, died November __1779, married Martha Baker, continental soldier, North Carolina.
Nothing is known of Barsheba, daughter of William I.
Will of JOSEPH SUMNER SR.
An original copy of this will was obtained by Christine Sumner from the North Carolina Library and Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina, September 3, 1976. It was taken from Edgecomb County, North Carolina Wills 1768 to 1830, Vol. IX, p. 57
In the Name of God Amen, I, Joseph Sumner of Edgecomb County and State of North Carolina, being of perfect Mind and Memory, thanks be to God for the same, and calling to Mind that it is appointed for all Men once to die, do constitute, make and ordain this to be my last Will and Testament and touching such worldly estate as it hath pleased God to bless me with I give demise and dispose of in the following Manner.
____My Will and Desire is for all my just Debts to be paid.
Item. I give and bequeath to my Wife Anna Sumner two Negroes (vis) Hagar and Dick. Also two feather Beds and Furniture, four Cows and Calves, two Sows and Pigs, and one steer three years old, the black Mare, a Side Saddle and bridle, the clock (Real?), three turned chears, one chest, and half of my Pewter and iron Pots, to her, her heirs and assigns forever. I also lend to her the Plantation I now live on and Land which I purchased of Abraham Odom during her life. I also lend to her during her Widowhood as much of the land on the River which I had of Jesse Green, as She may think Proper to sow flax on for her own use,
Item. I give and bequeath to my son John Sumner, all the Negroes, their Increase and other Things which I have given into his possession, also my Land and Plantation on tar River which I had of Jesse Green, except the Privilege of sowing flax lent to my wife during her widowhood to him, his Heirs and assigns forever.
Item. I give and bequeath to my Son Joseph Sumner all the Negroes, their increase and other things, which I have given into his Possession, and also all the remaining Part of my Lands which lie in Edgecomb County, to him his Heirs and Assigns forever, only that my Wife is to have the use of this Part lent to her as above.
Item. I give and bequeath to my Daughter, Charlotte Sumner, all the Lands which I hold in Nash County, also two Negroes (vis) Harry (Mary?) and Siller, a young Mare fit for use, a Side Saddle and Bridle, two feather Beds and Furniture, one Chest, three turned chears, half of my Pewter and iron Pots, four Cows and Calves and one three year steer and two Sows and Pigs, to her, her Heirs and Assigns forever.
Item. I give and bequeath to my grandson Duke William Sumner, one Negro named Pompey, to him, his Heirs and Assigns forever.
Item. I give and bequeath my Still and all the remaining part of my Estate, to my Wife Anna Sumner and my three children (vis) John Sumner, Joseph Sumner and Charlotte Sumner to be equally
divided amongst them (but not to be sold) to them, their Heirs and Assigns forever. I do also
nominate and appoint my Son Joseph Sumner and Jacob Battle to be whole and sold Executors of
this my Last Will and Testament. In Witness whereof I do hereunto set my Hand and Seal this
11th Day of January 1783
Joseph Sumner (Seal)
Signed, Sealed, Published and Declared by the said Joseph Sumner, as his last Will and Testament in the Presence of us, who were present at the Time of the
Signing and Sealing whereof
Elisha Battle X
Edgecomb County, May Court 1785. The within will was produced in Court proved by the Oath
of Elisha Battle the (same?) were at the same time qualified & the will ordered to be recorded
Note It is very significant to note that the above Joseph Sumner names his GRANDSON Duke William Sumner proving that the later Joseph Sumner (who names his SON Duke William Sumner) is Joseph Jr.
The maiden name of the wife of Joseph Sr. is not known and nothing is known of his children John and Charlotte, but Joseph Jr. also left his will in Edgecomb County and it is known that he was the ancestor of the Sumners of Jackson County, Alabama.
Will of JOSEPH SUMNER JR.
This will is recorded in Edgecomb County "wills, 1758-1830, volume IX, page 58. A photostatic copy was obtained from the North Carolina Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina, by Christine Sumner, September 3, 1976.
In the name of God, I Joseph Sumner of the County of Edgecomb and state of North Carolina, being Sick and weak in Body but of Sound Mind and Memory, thanks be to God, and knowing that it is appointed for all Men to die, do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament, and Dispose of my Estate in the following Manner, and Form (viz)
First I lend unto my loving Wife Martha Sumner three hundred acres of Land lying between
Beach (Runn?) Swamp and the Purchase Patent Line, including the Plantation whereon I now
live, which I lend to her during the Time She remains my Widow. I also lend to her during her
Widowhood, one Negro Woman, named (Judoff?) and one Boy Named Jim;
I give unto my loving Wife one Negro Woman named Seal, and one Boy named Luke to her and her heirs forever. I also give her one mare called Soup, th a Saddle & Bridle, and one Horse called Damon, and my Riding Chare and Harness, three cows and calves, six Ewes and lambs, three Sows and Piggs, one four (Grass?) Steer, two Beds and Furniture & Bedsteads, two Chests, half a Dozen Knives and forks, half a Dozen Pewter Plates, two Basons, two Dishes, one large Iron Pott and hooks and Rack one Flax & one Wollen Wheel and Buch other Part of my houshold Furniture and Plantation Utensills, as my Executors hereafter named Shall think Proper for her Support; also I give unto my beloved Wife the fourth Part of my Cotton and Flax and Corn and Meat for her Familys use and one Half of my Wheat, as also Corn Foddow, etc., to Support her Stock. It is my Will and Desire that all my Land, except what I have lent my Wife, be rented out by My Executors untill my Son Duke William Sumner arrives to lawful age or if not living, the next (best?) and then to be Equally divided as near as may be between my five sons, viz; Duke William Sumner, Tobias Bumner, Joseph Sumner, EXUM Sumner and Jacob Sumner; Provided that if my Wife Should die or Marry before that Time it is my Desire, that the Land I have lent her be also Divided. It is also my Will and Desire that my Executors Sell all my Estate except Land and Negroes and what I have given and lent to my Wife, and I hereby empower my (SQ?) Executors to Sell at their own Discretion without the assistance of the Sheriff, it is also my Will and Desire that my Execut. (hire?) out my Negroes untill my aforesaid son Duke William, shall arrive to Lawful Age or if not living my next oldest child, and then the Negroes, together with the (Hire?) and rent of the Land and all my other Estate after being sold, paying my Just Debts, and Raising, Schooling and Supporting my Children, be Equally divided as near as may be between my Sons & Daughters (viz) Duke William Sumner, Tobias Sumner, Joseph Sumner, EXUM Sumner, and Jacob Sumner and Sarah Sumner Provide that if my Wife should Die or Marry before the aforesaid Time that the Negroes I have lent her be also divided it is also my (wish?) and Desire that my Executors should rent out my Land and hire out my Negroes at their Discretion;
Lastly I do appoint my Friends, Etheldred Philips, Jacob Battle and Demsey Battle Executors of
this my last will and Testament Revoking all other Wills by me made. In witness whereof I have
hereunto set my Hand & Seal this 7th Day of December 1793.
Joseph Sumner (Seal)
Signed Sealed Published & Declared in
Williamson Barnes X
Jacob Battle qualified
Edgecomb County May Term 1795. The within will was duly proved in open court by the Oath of
Williamson Barnes an Subscribing Witness thereunto...The Executor was at the same time Qualified and the will ordered to be recorded.
Edward Hall C. C.
Edgecomb County, North Carolina, August Court, 1795, Joseph Sumner, deceased. Inventory taken by Jacob Battle, executor. September 1, 1795. Accounts of sales by the executor, June 23, August 8, September 22, November 22 and December 17, 1795 and April 9, 1796, February Court 1797.
Expenses were paid for Jacob Sumner, Duke William Sumner, Tobias Sumner, EXUM Sumner and Salley Sumner. Said Joseph Sumner, deceased, was guardian to the estate of West Pope.
Martha Sumner was paid for boarding and part clothing six white children and two black ones, February court 1797. Account current with the exr., February Court 1798. Additional account current with the exr. Items were purchased for Jacob, Sally, Joseph, Exum, Duke Wm. and Tobias Sumner.
Funeral expenses were paid for the burial of son Joseph, February Court 1799. Account current with the exr., November Court 1799. Account current with the exr., November Court 1799.
Division of personal estate among the children of said decd., namely, Duke W. Sumner, Tobias Sumner, Salley Sumner, Exum Sumner and Jacob Sumner, December 30, 1799, August Court 1800. Account current with Jacob Battle, exr., November Court 1807.
Joseph Sumner, deceased. Inventory taken by Joseph Sumner, exr., April 18, 1785, May Court 1785. Account current with Joseph Sumner, Junr., exr., February Court 1787.
DAR Patriots Index
Joseph Sumner, born 1761, died December 30, 1827, married Mary Knight, soldier, Georgia. (I don't know who he belongs to. A descendant says he was from Edgecomb County, North Carolina and she is sure he is of the same line as Joseph who married Martha Philips).
DAR Patriots Index
Joseph Sumner, born about 1748, died April, 1795, married Martha Philips, soldier, North Carolina (ancestor of the Jackson County Sumners).
Also in the Index Thomas Sumner, born___ died December 22, 1791, married Anna Baker, soldier, Georgia. (I don't know who he was but listed here for others in the future).