Family Stories

Will of Elizabeth Berkeley

Note by Phyllis Brown:  Elizabeth Berkeley, nee Hancock, is my 6th great-grandmother.  She married William Berkeley.  Their daughter Elizabeth Berkeley married Benjamin Mason, and their daughter, Ann Nancy Mason, married Captain John Linton.  Ann Mason Linton is mentioned in her grandmother’s will.

Will – Loudoun County, January 23, 1772 – May 26, 1772

In the name of God, amen.  I, Elizabeth Berkeley of Loudoun County, Virginia,  being sick and weak, but of sound and perfect memory, blessed be God for it, do declare this to be my last Will and Testament in manner following:

Imprimis – I give and bequeath my soul to Almighty God who gave it – in certain hopes of a blessed salvation and my body to the earth to be buried at the direction of my executor hereafter mentioned and as for my worldly estate which it hath pleased God to bless withall I give and bequeath as followeth.

Item – I give and bequeath to my son John Berkeley one horse called Jumper and two cows and calves the first choice and half of my sheep the first choice and all the hogs that I have, one large iron pot and hooks, one large pitcher and basin and two chairs, one bed that’s in my loft with my linen rug and one cotton sheet with one aull table and one new hat.

Item – I give and bequeath to my granddaughter Ann Linton one young red cow and my spinning wheel.

Item – I give and bequeath to my daughter Althea Hancock all my wearing clothes to distribute as I myself shall direct her.

Item – My will is that the remainder of my house furniture with the remaining part of my sheep and my other cow which has not been yet mentioned to be equally divided between my son Rueben Berkeley and my daughter Hancock.

Item – I give unto my son John Berkeley also all the remaining part of my estate that has not been yet mentioned let it be real or personal debts or money both after my just debts are paid and also appoint him the said John Berkeley to be whole and sole executor of this my last will and testament.  In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 23rd day of January in the year of our Lord 1772.

Elizabeth Berkeley

Signed, sealed, published and declared by the said Elizabeth Berkeley as for her last will in the presence of us.  Charles Clark, Scarlett Berkeley

At a court held for Loudoun County the 26th day of May 1772.  This last will and testament of Elizabeth Berkeley, dec’d was proved by the oath of Charles Clark and Scarlett Berkeley witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded and on the motion of John Berkeley the Executor, therein appointed certificate is granted him for obtaining a probate thereof in due form, he having sworn to the same and given bond and security according to law.

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  1. This is all that I have ever been able to find of Richard Bretts will. This is what in part has kept me from grabbing William as brother to Scarlett, Susannah and Lettice. He lists Lettice, Scarlett, Ann the mother, Susaner and George

    N.d. – A paper with partial copy of Richard Brett’s will – Item: I give to Lettice Hancock all my tract of land lying between grate Rocky Sedar Run & the flat Leck after 400 acres is taken out which I have given to her brother Scarett (?) & one negroe man named Whitehaven which is to be delivered on day of Marige & one negroe woman named ted (?) which is to be del’d at her mother Catherin Hancock’s Death which sd land & negroe I give Lettice & the lawful heairs of her body and “one Defolt of Suc’h heares to fole to Ann Hancock, Susaner Hancock & George Hancock.” Copy made by John Graham, C of C.

    In Ellizabeth Berkeleys will I read bequeath to my daughter “Alethea” Hancock–you are reading this as “Martha”. Allethea was the wife of George Hancock who signed her father’s will and he was brother to Susannah who was Allethea’s sister. I had to dig out the original copy to see how we copied the same doc and came up with two different versions, easy to see. Hard to read. Because I am descended from George’s son William this is of course important to me. Thank you for all of the very wonderful material that you are putting on line.

    Millie Starr

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