Myrtle Lawn Plantation



Myrtle Lawn Plantation
Warren County, North Carolina


Located at:
Inez, Fork Township
Built ca. 1858

Owned by Dr. Robert Edgar Williams (b. Sept. 16, 1817 -d. March 7, 1904) who first lived in Franklin County, NC on land left to him by his grandfather, William Williams (1760-1838), land that had previously been owned by his deceased father, Robert Webb Williams (b. Feb.27-1792-d. Nov. 15, 1822);by 1860, Robert E. had moved to Warren County to be near his widowed grandmother, Elizabeth Kearney Williams (b. May 20-1769 - d. May 22, 1863). It was during this time period that he had the plantation known as Myrtle Lawn constructed, which became his lifetime home.

Robert Edgar Williams was the son of Robert Webb Williams (1792-1822) & Harty Hodges Davis (1793-1868), who had married on October 1812. He married on October 20, 1841 in Warren Co., to Valeria Virginia Kearney (b. Dec. 7, 1822-d. Nov. 7, 1907),the daughter of William Kinchen Kearney (1785-1869) & Mariah Hardy Alston (1793-1883) who had married July 22, 1810. Robert W. Williams was the son of William Williams (1760-1838) & Elizabeth Kearney (1769- 1863): William Williams was the son of Solomon Williams (d.July 28, 1794) & Temporance Boddie (d.May 11, 1784), who married June 23, 1757, the family lived in Halifax Co., NC. Solomon Williams was the son of Samuel Williams (ca.1698-1754) & Elizabeth Alston (ca.1700-1792/1805),who married ca. 1718; they lived in Bertie Co., and later in Edgecombe. Elizabeth Alston was the daughter of John Alston (ca.1670-1758) & his wife, Mary ( After the death of Samuel in 1754 Edgecombe County, Elizabeth married on Sept. 17, 1765 to Richard Burt, their long-time neighbor, who was also a widower; Elizabeth & Richard Burt lived in Halifax Co., where he died in 1805.

Benjamin Hardy James Maria Alston (a.k.a. Mariah Hardy Alston) was the daughter of William Alston (b.Oct.7, 1747-d. July 15, 1795) & Martha Hardy (1759-d. Feb. 1823). William Alston was the son of Philip Alston (ca.1706-1784) & Winnefred Whitmel (1729-1795), who had married ca. 1745. Philip Alston was the son of John Alston (ca. 1670 -1758) & his wife, Mary ( of Chowan Co. NC. Mariah Hardy Alston was 1st cousin to George W. Alston, owner of Cherry Hill Plantation.

The owners of this plantation were also associated with the following plantations along with the surnames of their owners: Cherry Hill (ALSTON) and Tusculum (ALSTON) in Warren County; Linwood Farms (DAVIS), Rocky Hill (THORN) and Vine Hill (DAVIS) in Franklin County.


Slaves named in records from this family:

From 1795 will of William Alston to wife Martha, following slaves:

  • Sarah
  • Lettuce
  • Lucy
  • Boatswain

From 1823 will of Martha (Hardy) Alston to daughter Maria, following Slaves:

  • Allen
  • Diley
  • Easter

In the February 1824 Division of Slaves of Martha (Hardy) Alston to the children of Mariah (Alston) Kearney, (wife of William K. Kearney) that is, Whitmell A. Kearney, Mary A.E.K. Kearney, Martha H. Kearney, Mariah Kearney, Caroline C. Kearney & Valeria V. Kearney:

  • Warren
  • Sarah
  • Noell
  • Lucy Duck  (or "Duck" may have been a different individual)
  • Melvy
  • Lucy
  • Amanda
  • Johnson
  • Catherine
  • Polly
  • Peter
  • Doctor
  • Welt
  • Thomas
  • Affey
  • Harry
  • Jefferson
  • Boson

In the record entitled the 1829 Slave Book of William Kinchen Kearney note was written: Slaves to giving to my children by there Grandmother Alston:

  • Melvy, born 1804
  • Lucy, born 1820, child of Melvy
  • Hubbard, born 1827, child of Melvy
  • Delia, born 1831, child of Melvy
  • Frank, born 1836, child of Melvy

In the February 24, 1834 Division of the Slaves from the Estate of Martha (Hardy) Alston to her grandchildren, the following slaves were given to Valeria Virginia Kearney, daughter of Mariah Alston & William K. Kearney:

  • Melvy
  • Hubbard
  • Delia
  • Amanda

When Valeria married Dr. Robert E. Williams in 1841, the slaves she had inherited from her grandmother went with her.

In the 1860 Slave Schedules for Warren County, R.E. Williams had 38 slaves.

In 1836, there was a division of the Slaves that had belonged to Robert W. Williams, who had died in 1822, where his children, including Robert E. Williams, owner of Myrtle Lawn, received a portion of those slaves:

  • Guilford
  • Eaton
  • Rosetta
  • Julia
  • Eliza
  • Cherry
  • Mariah
  • Silva

See the Estate of Robert W. Williams for further details.

See further information about Myrtle Lawn & Cherry Hill Plantations, including photographs.

See also - portrait of Harty Hodges Davis


The slave named Hubbard, took the surname of Williams, and in 1848 married the slave Harriet Williams; after her death he married Julia Jane Davis in 1876, the daughter of former slaves Louis Davis & Mary Ann Pitchford of Warren County. Louis was likely a former slave from the family of Burwell Davis, who had died in 1846, and who divided his slaves between his children Samuel, Edward, & John S. Davis, Jane Powell, Sally Betty, Nancy Fleming, and daughter-in-law, Winifred Davis, widow of his son Richard.  Hubbard had children with both women, most of whom remained in the Warren County area after the end of slavery.  More can be read about the family on my family tree My North Carolina Roots

Wills & Estates of William Alston, probated August 1795; Martha Alston, probated February 1823; William Williams, probated May 1838; Burwell Davis, probated August 1846, all in Warren County. The Lucy Tunstall Alston Williams Papers and the Annie Blackwell Thorne Papers, (W. K. Kearney 1829 Slave Book, from this collection) both at the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Bible Records:
William K. Kearney, Solomon Williams, Dr. R. Edgar Williams, Williams-Polk-Davis Bibles (NCGenWeb Warren County website):


See related pages:

 Wills of William Alston-1795 AND Martha Hardy-Alston-1823




2012 to present. This website and all material on it are the property of Deloris Williams. You may use these records for personal research only, no materials on this website is to be reproduced or republished to a commercial website without the express permission of the author. Last updated 03/05/2015