It took a while to find that Robert Hardy was the father of my ancestor Gardner Hardy. I found when looking through some files though in the probate records that the "probate" record for Isaac Hardy is actually 20 years after his death. It was actually finding a few other documents that I found out that Robert Hardy and his brother Thomas W. Hardy sued for the same slaves in 1813 that are referenced in the testimony of 1809.
The wife of Isaac Hardy was Nancy Williams, the daughter of Major Thomas Williams and Penelope Sheppard. After the death of Isaac Hardy she married John Franks. For years the Hardy family tried to get slaves that were owed them from the heirs of John Franks.
The estate records for John Frank in Jones county include a dower portion for Nancy Frank dated January 15, 1795. The minor heirs of John Frank had the guardian of Joseph T. Rhodes (who was the common law husband of Mary Williams, Nancy's sister.). The Jones county book has an entry that the heirs of John Frank were Edward Starkey Frank, Susanna Frank who married Haskell Hatch and Penelope Frank. I believe she mistook the estate as she states James C. Bryan married Nancy the widow, but records show his wife was Penelope.
Records of Jones County, a book written by Zae Gwynn is on Ancestry.com has some of the missing information.
Deed Bk 14 (1813-1819)
107 - 23 Nov 1813.Robert Hardy of Bullock
Co., GA, but now of Jones Co., NC, appointed William McDANIEL attorney
to attend court at Raleigh and represent him in case of Robert HARDY and
Thomas W. HARDY, plaintiffs versus Haskel F. HATCH, James C. BRYAN and
These are the sons in law and son of John Franck.
Deed Book 14 (1813-1819)
120 October 20, 1813 Edward Starkey Franks - James C. Bryan and Penelope Bryan his wife to Edward Franks for $2700 227 acres, excepting the graveyard on south Tuckahoe Creek at edge of Sycamore Spring Branch at Martin Franks old patent line, runs to mouth of Rattlesnake Branch. Witnesses Ancram Averett and Sarah Whitledge.
128 November 10, 1814 Edward Starkey Franks paid $ 200.00 to Isaac Ramsey for a negro boy Hardy, upon the condition that no suit will be brought against Ramsey by heirs of Thomas Williams or by a paper given by Stephen and Sheppard (Williams) to Robert Hardy and Thomas W. Hardy against Isaac Ramsey for their share of the estate of Thomas Williams. If a suit is brought, Franks to pay the same or return the negro.
Note Isaac Ramsey was the administrator of the estate of Thomas Williams in 1804. Only found a record to that effect, no heirs listed. I can find no estate in North Carolina as of yet for this Isaac Ramsey who was the step father of Edward Starkey Franks and Robert and Thomas Hardy.
Deed Bk 15 (1819-1822)
27 November 18, 1819 Thomas Hardy and Haskell F Hatch to Starkey Franks, $400 for a negro slave.
27 February 3, 1816 ES Franks to Penelope Bryan Hatch, daughter of Haskell F Hatch and Nancy (Franks?) his wife, a negro girl in possession of Haskell Hatch.
Edward S Franks died in 1826. His will leaves land to his sister Deborah, the wife of Abraham Mitchell and to his brother Isaac Ramsey. It also leaves land to his wife and son, and to his nephew Edward Hardy. This would seem to indicate since Deborah wasn't an heir to John Franks that Edward's mother had been married after John Franks.
Abraham Mitchell died in 1841 in Onslow county, North Carolina. His widow Deborah was his administrator. In 1850 Deborah is living with the son of Edward S. Franks, she is listed as age 50. Both Isaac Ramsey and W. W. Franks purchased goods from the estate. Deborah was too young to be a child of John Franks, which makes Deborah a daughter of Nancy Williams by the Isaac Ramsey who acted as her father's administrator. She also is the mother of the younger Isaac Ramsey mentioned in Edward Starkey Franks will.
Thomas W. Hardy just may be the same Thomas Hardy who was in Jones county in 1820 with two sons under 10. I did find that an Edward Hardy born in 1818 lived in Craven. I doubt Edward Hardy is the Thomas Edward Hardy who is a son of Robert Hardy. In 1825 a Fanny Hardy signs over her rights in the land of her brother, Frederick Collins in Jones County. In 1839 an Edward Hardy does sign as a witness. There is no Hardy's in the census for Jones or Onslow in 1830-1850 and the Craven county Edward dies there in 1855.
Thus we have the following new information.
Nancy Williams the daughter of Major Thomas Williams and Penelope Sheppard had a sister named Mary who was married to General Joseph Thomas Rhodes. Nancy was married three times. With her first husband Isaac Hardy she had two sons, Robert Hardy and Thomas W. Hardy. With her second husband she had three children, Edward Starkey Franks (one son), Susanna Franks Hatch (died without issue), and Penelope Franks Bryan (who had children with James C. Bryan, found in Twiggs, unable to find further information, she was his second wife, he had children prior to their marriage.) By her third husband, she had two children, Isaac Ramsey (who died after 1847, may have lived in Cataret county, North Carolina), and Deborah Ramsey Mitchell (who died after 1850 in Onslow County, North Carolina).
Thomas W. Hardy has no estate that I have found yet. The estate of Robert Hardy isn't found in Bulloch or Jones county either, though the guardianship for his children is. I did find a newspaper article where a Robert Hardy states he is no longer responsible for his wife's debts. Both Robert and Thomas Hardy appear to have predeceased Edward Starkey Franks.