Note by Phyllis Brown: An interesting will from Loudoun County, Virginia. Evidently Mrs. Evans didn’t care for her one room with the addition of a shed! I always find old documents, and especially wills, fascinating!
will of Joshua Evans
Loudoun County, Virginia, Will Book B, pp. 77-80
In the name of God, Amen. I Joshua Evans of the County of Loudoun being sick and weak but of sound sense and memory calling to mind that it is appointed unto all men once to die, do hereby make and ordain this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following. Imprimis, first of all my desire is that Executors hereafter named pay all my debts and funeral expenses. Item I give and bequeath unto my loving wife Martha Evans during her natural life (provided she keeps my widow) one room in the house I now live in which is called her room, my desire also is that my executors build for her a shed room adjoining her room fourteen feet by twelve in the clear with a brick or stone chimney and to finish the whole in a decent manner also to pay her six pounds as soon as it can be had after my decease and twelve pounds yearly and every year afterwards. She is also to have her choice of the milk cows now in the yard and should that cow die by accident my executors out of my estate is always to keep her up one good cow. She is to be paid yearly and every year twelve bushels of wheat, twelve bushels of rye and twelve bushels of Indian corn, one hundred pounds of good beef and one hundred and fifty pounds of good pork and two bushels of salt. She is also to have my bed and furniture, the corner cupboard and walnut table, three chairs, all my pewter and Delph ware, my small pot and small kittle, my chest and clock. She is also to have her firewood brought to the door, the use of the old garden and the liberty of a yard and outlet. She is also to have my riding mare which my executors, together with the milk cow, is to fodder, etc., and keep in good order for the uses intended. She is also to have the liberty of the orchard on the plantations so far as she will want for her own use.
Item. I give to my sister’s son, William Thomas (to receive them when he shall arrive to the age of twenty-one years) all my blacksmith’s tools. Item. I give to my brother William Evans all my wearing apparel also (during his natural life) my large family chest and after his decease my desire is that his son John Evans shall have it, likewise my bother William Evans my wagon and gears.
Item. I give to my brother David Evan’s widow in Pennsylvania to assist her in raising and schooling her children all the debts due me there by bond note or open account. Item my desire is that the remainder and residue of my estate be sold at public sale at the discretion of my executors and the money arising by the sale together with what shall be raised from outstanding debts and the rents of my land be put at interest is to be divided yearly equally between my brother William Evans and my sisters Emmet Thomas and Mary Gardner during their natural lives and upon the death of either of them still to be divided between the survivors and so to continue to the longest liver and the principle after their decease I give to my brother’s son John Evans.
Item. I give and bequeath to my brother’s son John Evans all my real estate to him and the heirs of his body lawfully begotten forever.
Item. My desire is that in case my wife should marry after my decease and that she shall only have her cow, bed, table and pewter and three pounds instead of twelve yearly. Item. Whereas I am empowered to receive the rents of the lands belonging to my brother David Evans children in Pennsylvania and after my decease the tenants may be at a loss who to pay their rents to I direct that my executor receive them yearly and remit them to the widow and executor of my brother David deceased in Pennsylvania.
Item. My desire is that my executors do not make either of my servants, John Burns and Thomas Robinson, pay for their runaway time or any of the expenses attending their being brought home. My desire and request is that Richard Spurr, Robert Fryar, Roger Wigginton and my wife Martha Evans as executors of this my last Will and Testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal, this 30th day of September in the year of our Lord 1773. Joshua Evans
In the presence of John Moss, Robert Scott, William Harper
At a court held for Loudoun County the 9th day of November 1773.
This last Will and Testament of Joshua Evans, deceased, was proved by the oath of William Harper and Robert Scott, two of the witnesses thereto and the widow of the said decedent personally appearing renounced all advantage of the provision made for her by the said will and prayed of the court in lieu thereof to assign her her Dower of her said Husband’s estate. Whereupon it was ordered that William Evans, the heir at law, should be summoned to contest the validity of the said will and at a court continued and held the 10th day of November 1773 on the motion of Robert Fryer and Richard Spurr, two of the executors therein named, certificate is granted them for obtaining a probate thereof in due form they having sworn to the same and given bond and security according to law and at another court held for the said county April the 14th 1774 this said summons was discontinued and the will was ordered to be recorded.