Will of John Swan – 1780 – Lincoln County

This will of John Swan, written July 12, 1780, while Kentucky was a county of Virginia, gives us quite a bit of information about his family.  He has three sons, John, Joel and Thomas; two daughters, Elizabeth and Lettice; and his wife (who is not named) is big with child.  John Swan bequeaths 1,600 acres of land to his children, several slaves and 3,000 pounds.  His wife has all the money except this 3,000 pounds, so he must have been rather wealthy!  Another interest to me is that he had three women witness his will.  Enjoy!

Will Book 1, Pages 11-12, Lincoln County, Kentucky

swan-will-1In the name of God, amen.  I, John Swan, of Kentucky County, being sound in body and perfect memory, blessed be God, on this day it being the 12th of July in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty, make this my last will and testament in manner following, that is to say first I give and bequeath to my son John the choice of three hundred acres out of nine laying on the North fork of Elkhorn with the mill seat, mill stones and mill irons.  Also I give and bequeath to my son Joel the next choice of three hundred acres of nine hundred

swan-will-2acres.  Also I give to my son Thomas three hundred acres which make up the nine hundred acres of land, and two hundred acres I give and bequeath to my son or daughter that my wife is big with if born, and if not born the two hundred acres to be equally divided among the three boys.  Also I give to my daughter Elizabeth two hundred and fifty acres of land that John May leases out to the house, laying on Salt River waters and one Negro girl Hanner, also I give to my daughter Lettice two hundred and fifty acres of land that John May leases out to the halves, lying on the waters of Salt River and one Negro girl Judy.  Also I give to my wife one Negro woman named Beth, and her rising generation to my boys shall be equally divided and all my creatures I give to my wife to raise my children, and my money I give all to my wife but three thousand pounds to my three sons above mentioned.  I make, ordain my wife, Richard Swan, Jacob Vanmeter, Executrix and Executors of this my will in trust for the intent and purpose in this my will contained, and make my loving friends overseers of this my will to take care and ensure the same, performed according to my intent and meaning, in witness whereof I, the said John Swan, as witness I set my hand and sign, sealed and delivered in the presence of you all by me.

John Swan

Mary M. Hinton

Rebekah Rowlings

Margaret Haycraft

At a Court held for Lincoln County the 18th of February 1783

This instrument of writing was exhibited in Court as the last will and testament of John Swan, deceased, and proved by the oaths of Mary Hinton and Margaret Haycraft and ordered to be recorded.

Teste. William May Clerk

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