Wilkes, Conyers families transferred land in the 1700s

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On June 29, 1744, William Hurst of Edgecombe County, by a power of attorney from Richard Grandon on Sept. 17, 1742, which empowered his to sell 640 acres patented by the said Grandon on March 8, 1742/43, sold Francis Wilkes of Edgecombe County for $9 a tract of 200 acres adjoining Benjamin McKinnie and the road crossing Steven’s Pocoson; witnessed by William Tanner and John McKiscock.

The inventory of Francis Wilkes was made by his widow Grace Wilkes on May 20, 1745. They apparently had four sons:

1. Francis Wilkes died in Wake County in 1811.

2. Isaac Wilkes moved to Bladen (now Robeson) County.

3. James Wilkes lived in Bertie County.

4. Thomas Wilkes, the eldest son.


Thomas Wilkes, son of Francis and Grace Wilkes, married about 1762 Mary Conyers, daughter of Richard and Margaret Conyers. On Jan. 11, 1757, Thomas Wilkes of Edgecombe County and Edgecombe Parish sold Nicholas Noyal for $15 current Virginia money “in gold and silver bullion” a tract of 117 acres south of Stephen’s Swamp adjoining Benjamin McKinnie, the road, Stephen’s Pocoson, and Mr. William Kinchen, it being land formerly sold “to Francis Wilkes father of the afores. Thomas Wilkes by deed bearing date one thousand seven hundred and forty four the afores Francis Wilkes being deceased the said Thomas Wilkes his son being lawful heir, “witnessed by Charles Drewery and Alexander McCulloch, Esq. Thomas Wilkes was living in 1784 in Chester County, South Carolina.

Children of Thomas and Mary Wilkes:

1. Reuben Wilkes served in the South Carolina Militia 1781-82.

2. William Wilkes

3. Perhaps others


On Feb. 20, 1767, William Conyers of Halifax County sold Henry Jones of the same place for $65 current Virginia money 300 acres adjoining said Jones and Thomas Hill, witnessed by John Woods, Harvel Flewellin and Morrea Liveram.

On Nov. 22, 1791, John Lee of Halifax County sold William Conyers of Franklin County for $500 a tract of 182 acres (bought from Robert Matthews) adjoining Ellin, Lee, Samuel Matthews and John Broom, witnessed by Joel Rosser and John Lee. On Nov. 25, 1791, William Conyers of Franklin County sold Samuel Matthews of Halifax County for $70 in “hard money” the 182 acres described above, witnessed by Isham Rosser and Rebecca Lee.


In 1760 (recorded in June Court, 1761), William Simmons of Granville County, John Simmons and Ann Simmons sold Richard Conyers of Halifax County for $27.10 Virginia money 150 acres north of Rocky Swamp adjoining Tristram Drake, House’s Branch, Henry Jones and Williams (“There is of this deed twenty feet square of land excepted to the said Wm Simmons forever to his and their own proper use”), witnessed by Charles Arrenton and John Anthony.

On Dec. 21, 1762, Richard Conyers of Halifax County sold William Conyers of the same place for $5 Virginia money 300 acres adjoining Henry Jones and Thomas Hill, witnessed by John Daniel and Randal Daniel.

On Jan. 1, 1763, Richard and Margaret Conyers sold Richard Brinkley of Nassemond County, Virginia, for $90 Virginia money 272 acres (deeded to Richard Parker Sr. on Jan. 12, 1760) adjoining William Parker, Charles Harrington and Tannt, witnessed by Robert Whitaker, John Clives and Abraham Brinkley.

On July 18, 1764, Richard (R) and Margaret (M) Conyers sold John Vinson of the same place for $57 Virginia money 150 acres north of Rocky Swamp adjoining Tristram Drake, Hayne’s Branch and Williams, witnessed by Robert Powers and Richard Fruar.

On June 20, 1769, Richard (R) Conyers and wife Margaret sold Michael Wallace for $120 Virginia money 470 acres of Bear Swamp adjoining William Parker, John Clive, Captain Brinkley, Horse Pen Branch and Captain Alston (deed to said Conyers on March 16, 1761), witnessed by Winfield Wright, William Alston, William Walles and Edward Hood.

On Sept. 30, 1778, Richard Conyers of Bute County sold William Flewellen of Halifax County for $100 Proclamation Money 277 acres adjoining Henry Jones, Miry Branch, Hill, Isaac Matthews and Francis Drake, witnessed by William May and Taylor Flewellen.


On Sept. 27, 1847, Dickinson Ruffin married Martha Ann Billups in Edgecombe County, bonded by David Allsbrook. On Jan. 28, 1868, Dickinson Ruffin owed W.W. Parker various notes and mortgaged to Amos L. Maner 109 ½ acres adjoining Jesse H. Powell and David Hinton, 5 horses, 5 cattle, 30 hogs, 125 barrels of corn, 18,000 pounds of fodder, 2 carts and wheels, buggy and harness, 1,000 bushels of cotton seed, 5 bushels of oats, 4,000 pounds of pork, 200 pounds of lard and the household and kitchen furniture, witnessed by Henry E. Odom.

On Jan. 2, 1872, Dickinson and Martha A. Ruffin mortgaged to O.C. Farror 200 acres south of Swift Creek (conveyed to said Martha on Jan. 2, 1872, by David Williams and John G. Williams) adjoining said Farror, Almon Hart, Robert Lancaster and the public road; 2 horses, 3 mules, 7 cattle, 62 hogs and the farming utensils; witnessed by George Howard. On Dec. 9, 1878, Dickinson and Martha Ann Ruffin sold O.C. Farror and W.M. Pippen for $3,800 the 200 acres where they were living south of Swift Creek “a little below Cotten’s old ford,” witnessed by H.S. Bunn.

Hugh Johnston was a Wilson County historian who wrote these historical capsules that previously appeared in The Wilson Daily Times. They are reprinted from a volume of his “Looking Backward” series of books available at the Wilson County Public Library.