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How Steve Bailey Opened Franklin County, NC for Me

Summoned to Anson County Historical Society, Robin Foster inspects a document as Steve Bailey looks on. Photo by Ellis McClure, 6 September 2021.

I am going to attempt to explain how Steve Bailey, of the Anson County Historical Society in Wadesboro, NC got me to come there on Labor Day. It all started over Facebook Messenger last Wednesday afternoon.


"Good Afternoon Robin, Are you & Ellis busy on Labor Day Monday? If not then please come over to take a look at this interesting Nelms Family document...Two weeks ago a ton of history & genealogy material was donated to our Anson County Historical Society.

One interesting item that I discovered when I opened one envelope was this document concerning the Nelms Family. is a brief summary of the contents of this very fragile & original document that is contained in two pages; Franklin County NC Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions – The petition of Gideon Glenn, Administrator of the estate of John Booth deceased & also as Administrator of Winifred Ingram deceased, stating that Eben Nelms died about the year 1839 in Franklin County NC having first made his Last Will & Testament & the next of kin being Presley Nelms, who was a brother of the deceased & Presley Nelms of Anson County, but who has died since Testators death. I searched the ancestry website for Eben Nelms of Franklin County NC in 1839 & located his estate papers & one page I copied that mentioned the enslaved individuals of Eben Nelms of Franklin County by the names of Baldwin, Perry, Barbara, Hester & Handy."


"Wow! That's great! That's the family of Presley Nelms who died in Anson County in 1841. Presley Nelms came from Franklin County. I am familiar with Franklin County. That is where Presley's father was from. I will talk to Ellis about coming there."

How grateful I am that Steve remembered me and took the time to let me know about this huge break in my research. I will not be able to tell you in just one blog post where this is taking me. My mind is travelling in so many directions. I am going to just going to share the petition of Gideon Glenn. The excerpt of the estate record of Eben Nelms in 1839 will be in my next blog post.

Petition of Gideon Glenn

Franklin County NC Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions

The first thing I did was I took each name and organized them according to where they living and how they were related. I discovered that most of the people can be found on the census, in wills, and in estate records.

1. Presley Nelms of Anson County: Son of Presley Nelms of Franklin County. He was the enslaver of my family.


2. Ebben (sp) Nelms: Deceased 1839 in Franklin County

Presley Nelms: Father of Presley Nelms of Anson County

Winifred Ingram: J (sp) Ingram - husband; Presley Nelms of Anson County married Anne Ingram

Elizabeth Davis: Wiley (sp) Davis, husband; Mississippi

Ann Booth

3. John Booth

Polly Booth

George Booth: Tennessee

Samuel Booth: Tennessee

Sumner Booth (sp)

4. Levi White: Tennessee

Sally O. White: Tennessee

5. Richard Edwards

Nancy Edwards: Tennessee

6. Richard Ward

7. Gideon Glenn

It became apparent to me that I now have a portion of the family of Presley Nelms of Anson County. I knew who his father was. His sons had travelled to Mississippi and Tennessee, but they were not alone. They had aunts or uncles in those places too.

In the next post, I will talk about the estate record of Eben Nelms.


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