The last will and testament of John Nicholls filed in 1697 revealed the fact that he had emanicipated a mulatto boy as well as his female slaves. At the time of Nicholls' death the boy was serving an apprenticeship to a blacksmith family in Nansemond County. To the girl, he devised 200 acres of land in fee simple and to the boy, 310 acres of land, cattle and other goods. Source: Records of Lower Norfolk County, orig. vol. 1695-1703, p. 96.