In “Descendants of Richard Foulke” it says that John Faulk and William Faulk bought land in 1740 south of Tar River in Edgecombe Co NC and that they were born before 1713.
In Edgecombe Co NC: on 22 Feb 1758 there was a “John Folk jr” as overseer in room of Wm Row; in Jun 1759 there was The King vs William Pugh with “Jno Faulk Jr” & Saml Grice; and on 25-26 Jan 1763 there was a deed of sale from Thomas Maples to John Faulk “junr” proved by James Grice. This John Faulk “Jr” was at least 21 in 1759 and therefore born in or before 1738 (and he was definitely not John Faulk, son of Richard Faulk).
It appears that John Faulk, son of Richard, died after 26 Jan 1763 (or the actual date of the deed, which might have been 16 Jul 1762), as there were no more references to John Faulk, Jr., after those dates (indicating there was no longer a John Faulk, Sr., around).
Then, on 12 Jan 1767there was recorded a deed from “John Falk Sr, Johnson Co, NC” to William Cohoon Jr for land in Edgecombe Co NC, and the “Jr” at that time would have had to have been at least 16, born in or before 1751, as the “Jr” and “Sr” titles were usually used when the “Jr” had become an adult.
It looks very much like there was a John Faulk I who was born before 1713 and who died after 16 Jul 1762; a John Faulk II who was born in or before 1738; and, a John Faulk III born in or before 1751. Using “Jr” and “Sr” did not always mean father and son but in this case I think it did, as the same names in records were associated with many of the John Faulks from the Johnston Co NC line.
Those names were not consistent with the names in the records of another John Faulk in Edgecombe Co NC in the 1750’s and later, the one associated with the names: Samuel L Bottoms (Longbottom); Moses Pitman; Jacob Pitman; Aaron Baker; Joel Horn; Buck Swamp; the Deloach family; and (later) the Proctor and Ruffin famies. He was a different John Faulk and he was the John Faulk below:
May 1756 Crown Docket New Prosecutions to May Qd Sessions 1756 (130) (The King) vs Saml Bolton (Bottom), Moses Pitman & John Faulk: Recg ----- ea in L20 proc __ to appr & give evidence &c (Crown Docket, Edgecombe Co NC)
That entry could only have referred to the estate of Benjamin Pitman whose will was proved in May Court 1756 and whose 1755 will showed his oldest son was Moses Pitman and suggested that his only sons-in-law were a Mr. Bottom (Longbottom), husband of Mary, and a Mr. Faulk, husband of Patience. John Faulk was recorded at least four more times with reference to the land or estate of Benjamin Pitman and he must have been the husband of Patience Pitman; and, it appearshe must have been the son of the earliest William Faulk and the father of the later William Faulk, (born 1763, died 1860). This John Faulk, proposed son of William Faulk, was at least 21 in 1756, born in or before 1735.
There was a William Folk recorded on 17 Oct 1766 on “a jury to lay off a road” who would have been at least 21, born in or before 1745; and there was a Jan 1776 deed of sale from William Fokes to John Murrah at which time William Faulk would have been at least 21, born in or before 1755. I believe this was the earliest William Faulk, born in or before 1713, and that he died after Jan 1776 (or after the date of that deed). There was also a William Folk who witnessed the deed of 22 Oct 1777, Henry Flowers, Bladen Co, NC to John Cohoon, Edge. Co, but that William Faulk could have been as young as 14 in 1777, born in or before 1763.
Finally, if we look at the Edgecombe Co NC Militia Muster Rolls it looks very much like there were two John Faulks in the 1750’s: a John Folk in Captain Aqueler Suggs’ Company with a William Frockes (Faulk?) with Benjamin Pitman and Moses Pitman; and, a John Folk in Captain Hardy Cone's Company listed with many of the names that are in the other records for the known John Faulk line which went to Johnston Co NC 1764-1767. They look like two different John Faulks in the 1750’s.
Ages under English Common Law used in Colonial times:
14 or older to witness a deed or to be as a sworn witness;
17 or older to witness a will;
21 or older to buy or sell land (unless it was family transaction or a transfer of inherited land);
21 or older to serve on a jury;
The use of “Sr” and “Jr” usually occurred when the younger man was at least 16 years old (but it did not always mean father and son). In some instances a father might give something in a deed of gift as “Sr” to a son who was “Jr” and who was only an infant, but that was as a gift.
In county records, “Sr” and “Jr” were rarely used if the father and son were not living in the same county at the same time, and rarely used after one or the other died. “Sr” and “Jr” in legal documents (marriage records, wills, court testimony, etc) almost always meant father and son. It was not unusual for a father and son with the same first name to have been recorded in the same county not using “Sr and “Jr.”
Francis-Xavier Martin's 1791 The Office and Authority of a Justice of the Peace, etc. according to the Laws of the State of North Carolina has this to say under the heading "Infant."
"An infant of seventeen shall take administration, or prove a will in his own right:for then the power of an administrator or executor during the minority ceases."
Below is the reference from Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England
Book the First : Chapter the Seventeenth : Of Guardian and Ward (in 18th century English)
“at feventeen may be an executor”
:2. LET us next confider the ward, or perfon within age, for whofe affiftance and fupport thefe guardians are conftituted by law ; or who it is, that is faid to be within age. The ages of male and female are different for different purpofes. A male at twelve years old may take the oath of allegiance ; at fourteen is at years old may take the oath of allegiance ; at fourteen is at years of difcretion, and therefore may confent or difagree to marriage, may choofe his guardian, and, if his difcretion be actually proved, may make his teftament of his perfonal eftate ; at feventeen may be an executor ; and at twenty one is at his own difpofal, and may aliene his lands, goods, and chattels. A female alfo at feven years of age may be betrothed or given in marriage ; at nine is entitled to dower ; at twelve is at yeas of maturity, and therefore may confent or difagree to marriage, and, if proved to have fufficient difcretion, may bequeath her perfonal eftate ; at fourteen is at years of legal difcretion, and may choofe a guardian ; at feventeen may be executrix ; and at twenty one may difpofe of herfelf and her lands. So that full age in male or female, is twenty one years, which age is completed on the day preceding the anniverfary of a perfon's birth q; who till that time is an infant, and fo ftiled in law.”
The Commentaries on the Laws of England by Blackstone is an influential 18th century treatise on the common law of England by Sir William Blackstone, originally published by the Clarendon Press at Oxford, 1765-1769. The Commentaries are often quoted as the definitive pre-Revolutionary War source of Common Law by US courts.