A will for JAMES ELLIS, dated Aug. 10, 1724, shows him to be a carpenter of Charleston, SC. His wife
must have predeceased him as his will includes her "waring Cloaths." He mentions five children, four
sons and a daughter.
How did JAMES ELLIS arrive in Charles Town?
We know that JAMES ELLIS's son THOMAS was born at James Island, SC about 1684. That was only fourteen
years after the area was settled, and was before the time of the first New England arrivals to Charles
Town, so it is likely that JAMES ELLIS came directly from England. Most of the immigrants from Europe to
Charles Town came via the West Indies.
Early Charles Town (settled in 1670)
In 1663, King Charles II of England granted the Carolina territory to eight of his loyal friends,
known as the Lords Proprietors. Seven years later (1670) the area was settled, on the west bank of the
Ashley River (across the river from present day Charleston, SC). This new settlement was called Charles
Town, in honor of the king.
South Carolina became the third area, in America, settled by the English. First there was Jamestown in
1607, then Plymouth in 1620, and finally Charles Town in 1670. There are several reasons why Carolina
was settled directly from England and not an expansion from New England or Virginia. It was (1) too far
from New England by land and (2) too difficult from Virginia by land. And, it was (3) too dangerous by ship,
from either location, because of Cape Hatteras.
Furthermore, the Proprietors were promoting immigration through offers of land grants to Irish and French
families who were willing to settle in Carolina. Finally, in 1696, the first settlers from New England arrived.
A group from a Congregational Church in Dorchester, Massachusetts, with their minister Rev. Joseph Lord,
settled about twenty miles from Charles Town, and named their new home, Dorchester.
Charles Town was occupied by the British during the American Revolution. After they left, the city's name was changed to Charleston in 1783.
Will of James Ellis
Charlestown, South Carolina
James Ellis decd Will ... (vide Bundle) GG No 7.
August the 10th 1724.
IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN, I James Ellis of South Carolina,
Carpender, In Charlestown being sick and Weak in Body, but
Sound in mind and Memory, blessed be God for the same, doe
make this my last Will and Testament in manner and form
following and first I give and bequeath my body to the earth from
whence it came, to be buried in decency, as my executors
hereafter mentioned shall think fitt, and my Soul to God
that give it in hopes to be raised at the Last-day according
to the Scriptures, and as for what Worldly goods the Lord
has been pleased to posses me with I give in manner and form
Imprs I give and Bequeath to my Son John Ellis twenty three
foot measure frunt (of the land I now Injoy) and see downwards
proportionable thereunto, at the Corner of my said Land,
to him and His Heirs forever.
Imprs I give and Bequeath to my aforesaid Son John Ellis
my Negro Boy named Sizer to him and His Heirs forever.
Imprs I give and Bequeath to my Son James Ellis my house
which is Thirty foot in length and Land Proportionable all the
way downwards as aforesd
As I gave to my eldest Son John Ellis (his) front and back
Imprs I give and Bequeath to my aforesaid Son James Ellis
my Negro Boy named Isaac To Him and His Heirs forever, and
also I give to my said Son James Ellis my Gun & c[ase?].
Imprs I will and Bequeath unto my Daughter Elizabeth my
Chest, My Best Bead and Cloathing thereunto, also one Gold
Ring, one Girdle Buckle Silver and Peace of Eight and all
the Silver that is found at my decease to my Daughter
Elizabeth Ellis, to her and her Heirs for ever.
Imprs I give and bequeath unto my Son[s?] William [and?] Thomas and my
Daughter Elizabeth all and Singular my Lands and Premises be
sides what was mentioned befor to be equally devided amongst
them as my aforesaid hereafter mentioned Executors
shall think fitt.
Imprs I give and Bequeath unto all my afore mentioned Children
aforesaid to be Equally Divided amongst all my aforementioned
Children, and (also) that my Negro Woman named Nanny with
her issue and increase to be Equally devided Between my Youngest
Children Elizabeth Ellis, William Ellis and Thomas Ellis to
them and their heirs for ever &c.a
Imprs I give and Bequeath all my Wife's waring Cloaths to be
given unto my Daughter Elizabeth Ellis, to her and Her Heirs
Imprs Lastly I Will and desire that my trusty friend Mr William
Elliot and John Brown and my aforementioned Son John Ellis to
be my Executors of this my Last Will and Testament, as
Witness my hand and seal this tenth Day of August Anno Domini Seventeen
hundred and Twenty and four.
|James Ellis |
Recorded in original Will book 1724-1725. on Page 45.
Sept 11th. 1724 By Charles Hart Secty.
[source: Charleston Public Library, Main Branch, 2nd Floor]