My paternal 5th great-grandfather, Cullen Conerly, was born c. 1745 in Craven County, North Carolina and died c.1811 in Duplin County, North Carolina. He was the son of John Connerly and Keziah Herring. Family history states he was a Revolutionary War soldier, enlisted in Captain Kenan's and Captain Bowden's companies of North Carolina. He married Letitia (Telisha) Ward, the daughter of Luke Thomas Ward and Bridget Draughon. She was born 04 April 1746 in Bertie County, North Carolina and died 26 August 1846 in Duplin County, North Carolina.
Cullen Conerly's will was dated 11 November 1811 and proven in court January 1812:
Will of Cullen Conerly: IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN, The eleventh day of November in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Eleven-
I, Cullin Connerly of the State of North Carolina and County of Duplin being now advanced in age and just recovering from a severe illness, but of sound disposing mind and memory and reflecting on the uncertainty of life and the certainty of death have now determined to settle my worldly affairs for which purpose-
I make and ordain this to be my last will and testament in manner and form following (that is to say)
First, it is my will and desire that all my just debts and funeral charges should be duly paid by my executors herein after named, out of such part of my estate as they may think proper and the residue to be distributed in the following manner (to wit)
And secondly, I lend to my beloved wife, Telisha Connerly the plantation and house where I now live and all working tools thereunto belonging and three mares and two colts and six cows and calves and stock of sheep together with the following negroes, viz: Major, Easter, Jim, Charles, Cisar, Willis, Bob, Tena and Clary during her natural life or widowhood and then to be distributed as is hereinafter mentioned.
And thirdly, I give and bequeath to my son John Connerly all my lands lying on the North side of the Poly Bridge Branch together with the one half of a tract of land purchased of John Blount lying above the fork of said branch, only reserving such part of said lands as Mill Overflows, I also give him the privilege of grinding his own grain in said mill, toll free as long as he helps to keep said mill in repair, and also one bed and furniture one cow and calf one horse bridle and saddle and two head of sheep to him and his heirs forever.
And fourthly, I give and bequeath to son Owen Connerly the four hundred and fifty dollars I paid towards the lands he now lives on and one horse bridle and saddle one bed and furniture one cow and calf and two head of sheep to him and his heirs forever.
And fifthly, I give and bequeath to my son William Connerly all that tract of land I purchased of Samuel Stanford one horse bridle and saddle one bed and furniture one cow and calf and two head of sheep to him and his heirs forever.
And sixthly, I give and bequeath to my son Luke Connerly all my lands on the South side of the Poly Bridge Branch including the lands I bought of Robert Byrd and also the one half of a tract I purchased of John Blount, it being the half of the tract I bequeath to my son John Connerly lying above the fork of said Poly Bridge Branch one horse bridle and saddle one bed and furniture one cow and calf and the Blacksmith tools and also my still and two head of sheep to him and his heirs forever.
And Seventhly, I give and bequeath to my daughter, Polly Guy, one Negro woman named Dinah one bed and furniture two cows and calves one woman's saddle and two head of sheep to her and her heirs forever.
And Eightly, I give and bequeath to my daughter Tibitha Laws one negro woman named Rose one bed and furniture one woman's saddle two cows and calves and two head of sheep to her and her heirs forever.
And Ninthly, I give and bequeath to my daughter Frances Dunkin one negro girl named Ginny one bed and furniture two cows and calves, one woman's saddle and two head of sheep to her and her heirs forever.
And Tenthly, I give and bequeath to my daughter Susan Page one negro girl named Lucy one bed and furniture two cows and calves one woman's saddle and two head of sheep, to her and her heirs forever.
Eleventhly, I give to my daughter Chelly Blount one negro girl named Rachel one bed and furniture two cows and calves two head of sheep and fourteen dollars in lieu of the woman's saddle to her and her heirs forever.
Twelvthly, I give and bequeath to daughter Betsey one negro girl named Doll and also at my wife's death one other negro girl named Tenah one bed and furniture two cows and calves one woman's saddle and two head of sheep to her and her heirs forever.
And further it is my Will and desire that after my wife's decease, that my son John Connerly shall have my Negroman Jim and my son Owen Connerly my Negro boy Charles and my son William Connerly my Negro boy Cesar and my son Luke Connerly my Negro man Moses which said four negroes I give and bequeath to them forever only reserving four hundred dollars from my four sons above mentioned for my six daughters to be divided between them share and share and it is further my will and desire that after the death of my said wife all the rest of my negroes and all the rest of my property that has not been herein disposed of should be equally divided among my said six daughters share and share only reserving one third part of all the sixth part that is bequeath to my daughter Polly Guy after her mother's death for the use and benefit of her two children she had by her first husband William Bennit and that third part to be equally divided between them that is to say between Letha Bennett and John Bennet which I give and bequeath to them and their heirs forever, and it is further my will and desire that my four sons pay the above mentioned four hundred dollars in proportion to the value of their negroes herein bequeathed at the time they receive them.
And lastly I do by those present ordain, Constitute and appoint my beloved sons, John Connerly and Luke Connerly my Executors to this my last Will and Testament hereby revoking and disannulling all other Wills or Testaments by me heretofore made declaring this and this only to be my last Will and Testament. (Seal made by Cullen Conerly). Signed, sealed pronounced and declared by the Testator to be his last Will and Testament in the presence of D. Wright, Alfna Beek, Lewis Dickson.
January Term 1812 Then the within will was produced in Court, by John Connerly & Luke Connerly, the executors named in said will and proved in due form of law, by the oath of David Wright and Lewis Dickson two of the subscribing witnesses thereto, that the same time John Connerly one of the executors, named in the said will came forward and qualified by taking the oath of an executor according to law.
Ordered that letters issue accordingly. Test- Wm. Dickson, CC
Above information from "Descendants of John Connerly and Cullen Conerly NC To The Present 1986", Lampton, William A. and Irma, Marion County Public Library, 929.2L, pages 1-58.
i. John Conerly (1775-1839), married Susannah Newton
ii. Owen Conerly (1777-1849), married Mary Wilkinson
iii. Mary "Polly" Conerly (1779-1845), married (1) William Bennett (2) Jesse Guy
iv. Tibitha Conerly, born c. 1781, married John Laws
v. Frances Conerly (1782-1860), married (1) Jacob Cullen Duncan (2) Elijah Jackson Turnage
vi. Susan Conerly (1784-1850), married Joseph Page
vii. Chelley Conerly (1786-1857), married Needham Blount
viii.William Conerly (1788-1848), married Sarah Brown
ix. Elizabeth "Betsy" Conerly (1790-1860), married Isaac Newton
x. Luke Conerly (1792-1859), married Rebecca Wilkinson