Monday, April 24, 2017

Monday Is for Mothers: Martha Stapp (About 1715 - After 1770?)

Martha's father Joshua Stapp (or Stepp) didn't mention her by name when he signed his will in Northampton County, North Carolina, on November 2, 1759, but he did leave one shilling to her husband Thomas Mathews. His other son-in-law also received one shilling, with all the rest of his estate going to his son Joshua Jr. No provision was made in case the younger Joshua died without legal heirs.*

[A compleat map of North-Carolina from an actual survey; John Collet & J. Bayly. Published in London by Samuel Hooper, 1770.
Source: Library of Congress, Washington D.C.]

[Detail of above, showing general location of Northampton County south of the Virginia border..]

["North Carolina Probate Records, 1735-1970," images, FamilySearch ( cc=1867501&wc=32L6-3T5%3A169791301%2C170254301 : 21 May 2014), Northampton > image 78 of 273;
county courthouses, North Carolina.]

Martha and Thomas's first child was born in about 1839 so presumably they were married sometime before then. My direct ancestor, Claiborne Mathews, was their second child.


As is to be expected, given the times, the only mention we have for this maternal 6th great grandmother are in the wills of her men-folk. Here is how Thomas referred to her in his will dated April 20, 1761, wherein he left his property to her (during her widowhood) and also named her his executor.

[North Carolina Probate Records, 1735-1970, Family Search]

This will was presented for probate in 1770 in Northampton County and I'll take a closer look at it on Friday. Unfortunately none of the other probate records from this time period seem to exist.

There's no indication in the surviving records of Martha's date of death.

*Joshua Sr. died in 1765 and his son acted as his executor.

© 2017 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

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