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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
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Deposition of Thomas Ryan concerning land grants in North Carolina
Ryan, Thomas
Volume 04, Pages 1123-1126

Thomas Ryan of Bertie County being of full age and sworn upon the Holy Evangelists to the first Interrogatory saith

That he obtained a Warrant to survey a Tract of Land beginning at the mouth of the horse Pen branch in Bertie county to contain five hundred acres which tract of land was immediately after the date of the said Warrant surveyed but this Deponent says that upon the Deputy surveyors offering to return the said Warrant he was prevented by George Gould Esqre then Surveyor General Pretending to this Deponent that the same was not Right done but that he the said Gould would

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set it to Rights or words to that purpose says he never could obtain a pattent for the same but that some time afterwards upon stating and settling some accounts between this Deponent and the said Gould he the said Gould charged this Deponent with fifteen pounds ten shillings Currt Bill money of this Province for the above Warrant and that after that the said Gould made a second charge upon this Deponent for the sum of nineteen pounds Bill money aforesaid Fees for a Warrant to survey the aforesaid Tract of five hundred acres of Land which was Fees due to the Govr as Gould told this Deponent and for surveying the same and then delivered to this Deponent a second Warrant for said Tract which as this Deponent believes was of a far later date than the first warrant by which the said land was surveyed this Deponent doth not know neither does he believe that there was any former or prior Entry on said Tract of Land by any person whatever but says that sometime after said Tract of land was surveyed for this Deponent the aforesaid Mr. Gould had the same surveyed to his use and privately and unknown to this day obtained a patent for the same and by that means this Deponent was not only deprived of his land but of the aforesaid sum of fifteen Pounds ten shillings and the said sum of nineteen pounds Bill money aforesaid being of equal value of three Pounds nine shillings sterling.

To the second Interrogatory said Deponent swears that John Hollbrook of Bertie County aforesaid being considerably indebted to this Deponent amounting in the whole to the sum of one thousand nine hundred and Twenty three pounds currt Bill money of North Carolina equal to one hundred and ninety two pounds six shillings sterling and dying intestate this Dept applyed to his Excellency the Governour for letters of admn of said Hollbrooks estate as chief or principal Creditor and not only offered to give sufficient security such as the Law required but also to give any other security such as his Excellency should approve of to indemnify his Excellency for granting admn to this Deponent that his Excellency then requiring whether there was any heir or other person of Kin to the deceased this Deponent told him there was one Margaret Jones aunt to the defunct who lived on Tar River which was all the Kin this Deponent knows of to which his Excellency replyed that she had the Right of admn in case she claimed the same that the Deponent having so considerable a sum of money at Stake went immediately to the house of the said Margaret Jones and there agreed with her for her Right and obtained an Instrument in Writing in the nature of a Renunciation to said admn and thereby she agreed that this Deponent should have the letters of admn granted to him this Dept yet his Excellency the Governour notwithstanding the Promises refused granting admn to this Deponent and at

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the same time admn was granted of said estate to one Capt James McDowall who pretended also to be a Creditor of said Hollbrook but for a far less sum than was due to this Deponent not exceeding as this Deponent believes Twenty or Eighty Pounds Bill Money aforesaid. That the said Margaret Jones being as this Deponent heard advised to go to the Governour this Dept went with her and being asked by his Excellency what she wanted told him she wanted her Right if she had any his Excellency told her he had granted letters of admn to said James McDowall of said Estate but the said Margaret Jones declaring her dislike to said McDowall having anything to do with said Estate declared he would joyn with him in said admn Coll: West which this Deponent believes he did not said West never acted as admr by means whereof this Deponent suffered much and that to this day there is behind and unpaid of the debt due by the said Hollbrook to the Deponent the sum of seven hundred pounds Bill money aforesaid.

To the third Interrogatory this Deponent says that Richard Smith of Northampton County was indebted to this Deponent in the sum of one hundred and forty three pounds twelve shillings currt Bill money of this Province for which as security he the said Smith gave this Deponent a Mortgage on a Tract of land at a place called Pea Hill in the said County which Tract was entered Warrant granted to survey the survey made and return thereof and upon Petition as usual a Grant for a Pattent ordered as this Deponent heard and believes (together with all his the said Smiths Stock of cattle horses and household goods &c: which said deed of Mortgage was acknowledged and recorded in Bertie Court in the due form of Law and that some time after the said Smith was convicted of Burglary and executed for the same and after the Execution notwithstanding his Excellency well knew of the Mortgage to this Dept he afterwards as this Deponent heard and believes giving out in Speeches that said Mortgage to this Dept was fraudalent Granted Letters of admn of said Smiths Estate aforesaid to one John Watts Esqre (a person much in favour with his Excellency) to the use of one then oversear to said Watts who quarrelling with said Watts afterwards was turned off and said Watts possessed himself of said Smith's estate and sold the same for a much greater sum than was pretended to be due to said Oversear which said Watts always kept till his death without ever rendring any account as by Law he ought to do or ever paying this Deponent one Farthing of his said just Debt and also Robert Forster or William Eaton Esqrs or one of them was afterwards admitted to enter the said Land at Pea Hill and thereby deprived of any manner of Remedy whereby he might recover his said just Debt and this Deponent swears that the said Smith Justly

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Really and Bonnafide owed him the aforesaid sum of one hundred and Forty Three pounds Twelve shillings Bill Money at the time of his death.

THO: RYAN.