I'm interested in the people/families mentioned in the wills of Joseph COTTON (d. 1794/5, Halifax Co., NC) and his son Henry (d. 1785, Halifax Co., NC).
Joseph COTTON's will lists the following individuals: daughter Lucy RUSSEL; Elizabeth JACKSON, daughter of Joseph's last wife (whose name is unknown -- anyone?); sons Richard and John COTTON; grandson John SIMMONS; John and Richard [CLAYBOURN], sons of Joseph's last wife and brothers of Sarah CLAYBOURN SIMMONS [his step-daughter *and* former daughter-in-law]. Witnesses were Penelope WHITAKER, James JONES and Miles CROSS. Executors were Cary WHITAKER, Robert WARD and John CARTER (son of Joseph's last wife). Yes, the familial relationships are murky.
Henry COTTON's will lists the following individuals: daughter Elizabeth; wife Sarah [the Sarah CLAYBOURN SIMMONS mentioned in Joseph's will above]; James and Jeremiah WESTON; and brother James COTTON. Witnesses were Bart BARNES and Lucy BISHOP. Executors were Thomas DAVIS, Shadrack RUTLAND and John BISHOP.
I'm descended from Sarah CLAYBOURN and her second husband Zadock SIMMONS, through their son John who is mentioned as grandson in the will of Joseph COTTON above.
Would be more than happy to exchange information on these families.