Family Stories

Will of Edward Hagan

Note by Phyllis Brown:  Edward Hagan was the father of Mary Polly and Nancy Hagan who married Moses and William Linton – two brothers from Nelson County, Kentucky.  In reading the will I believe son Henry to be from a previous marriage – he is not listed as the son of Mary Hagan.  What do you think?

Will of Edward Hagan – Nelson County, Kentucky

In the name of God, Amen.  I, Edward Hagan, of Nelson County and State of Kentucky, being in a weak and low state of health, but of sound and perfect mind and memory, do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament.

First, as to my Earthly remains to be decently interred at the Holy Cross Church and my soul to my creator from who I received my being and temporal goods and as to my worldly possessions it is my will and decision that all my just debts be paid out of the money due me by note.  I then will and bequeath to my three
children, namely, my son James, my daughter Polly and my daughter Nancy a good bed and furniture then to such as I now have to each child, and further more to my son James my little grey mare.

Secondly, to my loving wife Mary Hagan I will and bequeath all the balance of my Estate – both real and personal for her use and benefit during her single life or widowhood, reserving a home and maintenance for my three above mentioned children with my loving wife, their mother, it being my will and desire that they remain and labor under the control of their mother during their single or unmarried state of life.  It is further my will that my two daughters should receive a moderate and suitable education, not charged to them as a portion of their estate.  But in case my loving wife Mary Hagan should hereafter marry, it is then my will that she have the third part of my Estate as tho I had died intestate, and furthermore thereto my Negro girl Lucinda during her life, and then at her death my Estate thus willed to her to return to my heirs and be divided as hereafter expressed.  And whereas I have heretofore given to my son
Henry Hagan three hundred dollars, it is my will that each one of my other three
children namely James, Polly and Nancy, receive the same amount of money out of my Estate, and then the residue thereof to be equally divided among my four children, Henry, James, Polly and Nancy.  And lastly I constitute my loving wife Mary Hagan and my son Henry Hagan joint executors of this my last will and testament.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal in the presence of the subscribing witnesses this 14th day of November 1830.

Edward Hagan

Attest.  William Hayden, Mary Hayden

At a County Court began and held for Nelson County at the Courthouse in Bardstown on the 9th day of May 1831, this last Will and Testament of Edward Hagan, deceased, was produced in court and proved by the oath of William Hayden a subscribing witness thereto and also that Mary Hayden, the other subscribing witness thereto subscribed her name in his presence and at the request of the Testator, whereupon the said will is ordered to be recorded.

Attest. Nathaniel Wickliffe, Clerk

1 reply »

  1. While it is possible that the son, Henry, was from a previous marriage, it is equally (or perhaps more) likely that he was the only one of the four children that was already grown and had left home. If that was the case, it is likely his father had already gifted or sold him a portion of the family estate to settle (or that he had settled on land similarly obtained from the family of his wife). The three hundred dollars that Henry already received from his father might have been a leaving-home gift, which is why his father chose to reference and promise that amount to the three younger children.

    Further, the provision that the daughters be educated suggests they are at or below school-age at the time the will was written. Regardless, the will notes that James, Polly, and Nancy still live at home. In that same portion, it neglects to name Henry as the child of Mary, but if he did not live at home that section would not apply to him, so this would seem a completely normal exclusion.

    That Henry has been appointed co-executor of the will also suggests that he is both the eldest son, and legally an adult.

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