Christian Bortles was my fifth great grandfather in Burke County, North Carolina. Curiously, I know that my third great grandfather Jacob England of Burke County was Christian's grandson. But I do not know who Jacob's parents were. In fact, I don't even know if one of Christian's daughter's married an England man or if one of Christian's sons had an out-of-wedlock child with an England woman. Or there may be other possibilities that I haven't thought of.
The Last Will
and Testament of
filed but no order or action
taken upon it by the Court
April 1843. I I E
page 1 State of North Carolina Burk (sic) County I Christen Bortals of the County and State aforesd (sic) do make and publish my Last will and Testament hereby revoking and making voyd (sic) all former wills by me made at any time Heretofore made and first I direct that my body be Decently interred in the burying house grounds at the Hunting Creek meeting house in Said County of Burk (sic) in A desent (sic) and Christen (sic) Like manner and That my funeral be conducted in a manner corresponding with my Estate and Situation in Life and as To Such worldly Estate is it hath been pleased God to bless me with I dispose of The Same. First I Direct that all my Just debts and Funeral Expenses Shall be paid as soon after my decease as posoble (sic) out of the first moneys (sic) That Shal (sic) Come unto The hand of my Executors From and portion of my estate real or personal. I also Direct that a fair valuation or apprasement (sic) be made by three judicious nabors (sic) of all my Said Estate Encludy (sic) my Said house hold of furniture and after being assured with their Names that a copy of the Same Shall be given to Each of my Executors. I also will and Bequeath To my Loving wife Catharine Bortals all my Land and Stock of all description also all my house hold and kitchen Furniture Together with all my Farming Tools during her Natrel (sic) Life and if my Grand Son Jacob England Should live with my wife and his grand mother and She Live until he Comes of age Then and in That Case to be provided for in the Sum of Fifty Dollars if Consistent with my Estate. I also will That if Sarah Laughrage Should Live Longer Then (sic) my wife Catherine That She Shall use The Siad (sic) Estate for the use of the family During his (sic) Naturel (sic) Life under the Directions of my Executors. If any there should be
There is much creative spelling in the will. I tried to render the spellings as closely as possible to the original.
Christian's wife was Anna Catherine (Catherine) Anthony. I do not know if it is more correct to spell her given name in the modern style of "Catherine" or in the more old fashioned style of "Catharine" as it appears in this will.
Christian's grandson Jacob England was born about 1825, and would have been about 15 years old when the will was made in 1840. I don't know for sure if he would have come to age at age 18 or at age 21, but it would have been a few years later in any case. The 1840 census entry for the Christian Bortles household included a male age 10-14 who was too young to have been Christian's son, and I wonder if the male might have been Jacob and if Jacob was already living with his grandparents at the will was made.
Sarah Anthony (Sallie) Bortles who married Samuel David Laughridge was Christian's daughter, and it was she who was designated to have the use of the property after the death of Christian's wife, rather than either of Christian's sons.
land I also will that if any of my worldly Estate after
The Deth (sic) of Sarah Laughrage Then and in that Case all The
Ballance (sic) of my Estate to be taken in possession by my Executors
and be Disposed of by a publick (sic) Sale and Then be Disposed of
To David Laughrage and Jacob England
and I also will at the deth (sic) of Catharine my (sic word "wife" missing") and Sarah
Laughrage that then and in that Case all my Lands
Estate shall be Equally Devided (sic) Between my two grand
sons David Laughridge and Jacob England
and I also will That my Sons Frederick Bortels and
John Bortels Shall receive no further portions of my Estate
Them nor their Heirs than twelve pence Sterling Each
and I do herby (sic) make and ordain my
Neighbors Mark Brittain and John Roper Estemed (sic) Executors to This
my Last Will and Testament given under my hand and seal
the 2d Mar 1840.
Guidian ????? seal
(appears to be a lawyer's name,
but I cannot make it out)
The will continues along in a somewhat redundant fashion. It is very clear that Christian is willing everything first to his wife, second to his daughter, and third to his two grandsons and that he is cutting his two sons out of his will. It is not clear if there was some estrangement with his sons, or if maybe they had already received their inheritance during Christian's lifetime.
The rather creative spelling continues on the second page of the will, and even the spelling of the Bortles surname changes between the first page and the second page. Neither of the spellings in the will are the way the name has come down the family line to modern times.
This page last edited on 25 Apr 2017.