This will of John Hardin is the first will listed in the Washington County, Kentucky, will books. If you will notice, it was written in 1788, while still a part of Nelson County, Virginia! Kentucky became a state in 1792, and Washington County was formed from Nelson that same year. The will was probated in April, 1793. The land mentioned was close to the Texas area of Washington County, east of the city of Springfield.
do make and ordain this my last will and testament, revoking all other. As for my worldly goods I bequeath in the manner following that is to say I devise to my beloved wife, Jane, three hundred acres of land to be taken out of my plantation, including the plantation where on I now live, binding on the North and West line, and not to extend further up Pleasant Run than where the Spring Branch empties. Also I give to my beloved wife one Negro man named Peter and one Negro woman named Carrie, but not her future increase, one feather bed and furniture, and her choice of all the horses I have. I devise to my son Martin four hundred acres of land, binding on the south line and west line on my plantation to include the Salt Licks and Mill seated on the Pleasant Run. I devise to my son Mark five hundred acres of land to be taken out of a fifteen hundred acre survey adjoining my plantation, to be laid out of at East end. I devise to my son David five hundred acres of land adjoining my son Mark on the West, it being one third of fifteen hundred acre survey. I devise to my daughter Sarah three hundred acres of land to be laid of . . . my plantation. I devise
to my daughter Mary two hundred and fifty acres of last part of five hundred acre tract joining my plantation on the east to including all the Beach Fork that lies in that survey. Note, I give to John (blank) two hundred fifty acres of land in consideration for Negro George to be laid of on the south of the above mentioned five hundred acre tract. As my beloved wife is likely to have another son or daughter I devise to it five hundred acres of land, part of my fifteen hundred acre survey adjoining my son David, devised land on the north and all other lands that I may be hereafter possessed with. I devise to the above mentioned children to be equally divided amongst them also Negroes George, Bob and Bet and the future increase of Carrie, to be equally divided among them in like manner and all my horses, cattle, household furniture and other estate, to be equally divided between my beloved wife and above mentioned children. Should any of the within mentioned children decease before such part of the estate herein mentioned is given into their possession it shall be divided equally among the living brothers and sisters.
Lastly I do constitute and appoint my beloved wife Jane, executrix and my brothers, Mark Hardin and Martin Hardin, my executors to this my last will. I devise they will collect all debts due and pay all my lawful demands in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty second day of July anno domine one thousand seven hundred and eighty eight.
Signed, and sealed in the presence of Samuel Robertson, John Hardin, Mary Robertson
Note the words hundred in the twenty-fourth line underlined on the other side and words and other estate are mentioned in third line on this side was underlined before signed. Samuel Robertson, John Hardin, Mary Robertson
At a court held for Washington County the 1st day of April, 1793
This will was proved by the oaths of Samuel Robertson, John Hardin and Mary Robertson, witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded and on the motion of Jane Hardin, Mark Hardin and Martin Hardin, the executrix and executors . . .