If we have her lineage correct Feriby was very young when her father John Sowell died in 1755. In his will, written in 1750, John directed that she and her four sisters were to be given their "Potions" when they were fifteen.
[Ancestry.com. North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: North Carolina County, District and Probate Courts.]
Item My will and Pleasure is that the Rest of my
Esttate after all Charges is Paid to be equally
Divided Between my Beloved wife Anne Sowell
and my four Daughters my beloved wife have
ing her first choys and firther I desire that
my four Daughters may have their Potion Deli
vered to them when they com to the age of
fifteen years old
ticles above written to Mary Elisbeth Feriby
Ann and their heirs forever
I haven't found any record of her marriage to Thomas Ward, a widower with four small children, but her first child was born in 1768 when Feriby would have been about 18. My direct ancestor Elizabeth Ward was the fifth of her seven children.
By the time of the first federal census in 1790, only three daughters seem to have been living in the household with Thomas and Feriby, along with 16 enslaved persons.
[Ancestry.com. 1790 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: First Census of the United States, 1790 (NARA microfilm publication M637, 12 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.]
Thomas Ward died in 1796 leaving a will drawn up a year earlier. It's getting late here in France* so I'll be covering that later this week along with records from Feriby's probate in 1813.
*Nine hours ahead of San Diego.
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