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 Norfleet and Elizabeth (Garrett) Perry

Submitted by: Peggy Ackerman
© 2004


Norfleet Perry died intestate on July 27, 1833, at 40 years of age. He was survived by his wife Elizabeth Garrett Perry and seven children, all underage. The Sumner County Court appointed Jesse Garrett and John B. Walton as the administrators of Norfleet's estate. Timothy Garrett was named as their security.

Norfleet was the son of William and Sarah Hunter Perry, natives of Bertie County, NC, who moved to Sumner County about 1790. William's parents are not known for sure. Sarah's parents were Hardy and Rachel Hunter, who remained in Bertie County. Both have wills on record there. (Read Hardy Hunter's Will.) Norfleet had one documented brother, Roundtree, who owned land in Sumner County prior to moving to Williamson County, IL, about 1830.

Norfleet and Roundtree were heirs of Hardy Hunter, their grandfather, and Rachel Hunter, their grandmother, presumably because their mother died prior to Rachel Hunter's death in 1808 in Bertie County. (Read William Perry - Guardian for Roundtree & Norfleet Perry, 1808)

Elizabeth, Norfleet's wife, appears to be the daughter of Jesse and Bathsheba (Barshiba, Barshabe) Perry Garrett. Timothy Garrett was Jesse's brother. All were natives of Bertie County. These families moved to Sumner County between 1810-1820.

John B. Walton, one of the administrators of Norfleet's estate, was the son of Sumner citizens Isaac and Catherine (Christian) Perry Walton, who were also natives of Bertie County. Catherine was the sister of Bathsheba Perry Garrett. John B. Walton was married to Charity Perry in 1828. Thus, he likely had more than one family connection to Norfleet and Elizabeth.

Jesse Garrett and John Walton, as administrators, presented to the court a list of the household belongings and farm equipment and animals owned by Norfleet Perry. They also submitted a list of over 50 notes (loans due) belonging to the estate, 25 of which were marked "bad." Most of the remainder were long overdue. Among those to whom Norfleet had lent money were John B. Walton and Timothy Garrett. The total value of all the notes was listed as $1050. No slaves were listed by the administrators, but a subsequent document shows Norfleet owned fifteen slaves (including mothers and children). In May, 1837 (?), Jesse Garrett and John Walton responded to an order of the court to present a statement of the Norfleet Perry estate. This document lists amounts of cash paid to the estate by various persons, presumably on notes that had been issued by the administrators on behalf of the estate. Subtracting expenses, the administrators reported to the court that the balance for the estate was $1265.91. They listed bad notes totaling $219.50.

Elizabeth Perry petitioned the court for her dower share of the estate, and in April, 1834, she was awarded 181 acres, which included the dwelling. (Read Elizabeth Perry - Dower, 1834.) The total amount of land in the estate was calculated at 553 acres, all seemingly of a piece, in the Mansker's Creek area of Sumner County.

Elizabeth Garrett Perry became ill in 1839 and wrote her will, mentioning only her three daughters by name: Susan Jane, Mary Jenkins, and Sarah Frances. Elizabeth died on November 9, 1839. She was a few weeks shy of 40 years old. (Read Elizabeth Perry's Will.)

Norfleet and Elizabeth are buried in the Patton cemetery near Goodlettsville. Also buried there is a child named Barshby C. Perry (Jan 11, 1833-Sept 1, 1834), presumably their youngest child and possibly named for her grandmother, Bathsheba (Barshiba) Perry Garrett.

The next court reference to the Norfleet Perry estate came in 1844, when Hardy H. Perry and his five minor siblings, of whom he had become guardian, brought suit against Jesse Garrett, John B. Walton, Timothy Garrett, and William Walton. Hardy H. Perry was the oldest son of Norfleet and Elizabeth and had come of age by 1844. He alleged that the administrators of his father's estate had not provided the court with evidence of income that had come to the estate and had not accounted for how these monies were spent and how much might be in the estate currently. The five minor Perry siblings listed in the suit were Sarah F., William M., James G., Mary J, and Susan G.

The next court reference was in 1846, and John B. Walton and Timothy Garrett were ordered to pay $425 to the complainants, Hardy Perry and the five minor siblings of the 1844 suit. Jesse Garrett had by then died and no decree was asked against his estate.

The remaining court documents recovered have mainly to do with yearly accounting of the guardianships of Sarah F. and William M. Perry. Family sources record that both of these children of Norfleet and Elizabeth Perry were deaf and dumb and that they required guardians past their coming of age.

Presumably, up until the time Hardy H. Perry came of age and filed the lawsuit of 1844, the administrators of Norfleet's estate (Jesse Garrett and John B. Walton) had been the guardians of all the minor children, except that John W. Garrett was named to supervise Sarah Frances's fund ($300) in Elizabeth's will. But, none of these men had filed guardian's reports with the court regarding the management of the children's accounts, thus prompting Hardy Perry's intervention.

In June, 1847, Hardy H. Perry, as guardian, swore to having in hand $1500 belonging to the five minor heirs. His report to the court showed each minor credited with $300, against which expenses were listed and new balances for each child given.

Some time later in 1847, James Whitworth became Sarah's guardian. In March, 1848, he submitted a report to the court, showing the balance in Sarah's account as $570.51. In February of 1849, Mr. Whitworth again submitted a report to the court, which stated the balance in Sarah's account to be $655.50. Then, in 1853, there were several entries in the county court minutes challenging John W. Garrett's guardianship of Sarah, saying he had never made bond to be her guardian. Why John W. Garrett was considered Sarah's guardian is not clear. As noted above, he was asked in Elizabeth's will to supervise Sarah's $300 fund. Sarah (Sally) was listed in the James B. and Mary Elizer household in the 1850 Sumner census. Mary Elizer was John Garrett's sister and Sarah's aunt.

In August of 1853, Hardy H. Perry made bond to become Sarah's guardian. There followed yearly reports on her account up until 1859, when the balance was $1607.38.

John Clendenning became the guardian of William and James Perry in 1847, and he reported to the court on April 3, 1848, and again on March 22, 1849, accounts of the receipts and disbursements in their funds. He then filed yearly for William the next several years. His last recovered report, filed in 1856, showed William's account with a balance of $1651.90.

In December of 1855, the court appointed James G. Perry as William's guardian, and in January of 1856 James reported to the court the amount (not given) he had received in William's fund. James then filed a report to the court in 1857, when William's fund had $1599.81. In 1858, James listed a balance of $1495.33 in the fund, and in 1859, William's balance was $1387.54.

Read Loose Record's transcriptions:
Perry, Hardy H. Report, 1844 - Petition For Division of Slaves
Perry, Hardy H. et al vs. Jesse Garrett et al, 1844
Perry, Hardy H. & Others vs. John B. Walter et al, 1845
Perry, Hardy H. vs. John B. Walton & Timothy Garrett, 1846

James G. Perry died in 1865. He named Hardy H. Perry and Abner T. Shaw as executors. (Read James G. Perry's Will.)

No further documents have been recovered.

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