Old Wills

Matthew Jeffries’ Will Written In Mercer County Virginia – Four Years Before Kentucky Became A State

In this will of Matthew Jeffries, he lists his wife, Isabelle, his sons, William and John, but only  one daughter – Agnes.  If only our ancestors had only known how desperately we would be searching for them they would have left better records!  In 1807 an Elizabeth Jeffries married Isaac Sutton.  It lists the bride’s parents as John and Isabelle Duley.  Most likely Isabelle Jeffries married at some point after Matthew died.  She did have young children to raise.  A William Jeffries married Nancy Smith August 30, 1786.  I can’t say for sure that these two are the children of Matthew and Isabelle Jeffries, but it is highly possible.

Mercer County Kentucky Will Book 1, pages 63-65.

jeffries-will-1In the name of God amen.  I, Matthew Jeffries, of the County of Mercer, Virginia, being sick of body but of perfect mind and memory, but knowing that it is ordained for all men once to die, do make this my last will and testament in manner and form following.  (Viz.) After recommending my soul to God, who gave it, and my body to the earth from whence it came, to be interred in decent Christian burial, do give and bequeath to my beloved wife, Isabelle, during her natural life the tract of land and plantation whereon I now live, together all my household and kitchen furniture, also our brown mare, one pied cow and their increase, together with my stock of hogs and sheep to enable her to raise and support my children in their minority.

I give and bequeath to my two sons, William and John, the rest of my stock of horses and cattle in the manner following, Viz., the one half to William at his lawful age, the other half to John at his lawful age, and until which periods the whole to remain to the common use and support of my wife and family.  It is further my will that all the remaining part of my lands or any other estate shall be subject to the payments of my just debts in the manner my executors may think right and best, and should there be more here

jeffries-will-2appropriated to that purpose than may be found necessary the same, to be reserved and applied to the support of my children during their minority.  It is also my will that the estate reserved to my wife during her life time shall at her death be equally divided amongst all my children, together with any other of my estate that may remain unappropriated.  It is also my will that a red cow given to my daughter Agnes by Mr. Hinkston, together with her increase, be divided to her at the time she arrives to full age (or at the time of her marriage should that happen sooner).  It is further my will that my executors, if they find necessary for the use of my wife and family, shall dispose of ten acres of the tract of land whereon I now live to adjoin John Bovel’s line so as not to exceed fifteen poles in width on his line.  It is also my will that my son, William Jeffries, Captain John Smith and Thomas Allin be executors of this my last will and testament.  In witness where of I have hereunto set my hand and applied my seal this twenty-third day of December in the year of our Lord Christ One thousand seven hundred and eighty eight.

Matthew Jeffries

In presence of Thomas Berry, Nathaniel Hart, Horatio Petty

Mercer County – June Court 1791

This last will and testament of Matthew Jeffries, deceased, was exhibited into court and proved by the oaths of Thomas Berry and Horatio Petty, two subscribing witness thereto and ordered to be certified.

A copy teste.  Thomas Allin, County Clerk

jeffries-will-3Mercer County – August Court 1791

This last will and testament of Matthew Jeffries, deceased, was fully proved by the oath of Nathaniel Hart, a witness thereto, and ordered to be recorded.

Teste. Thomas Allin, County Clerk

3 replies »

  1. My 4x’s great grandfather is William Jeffries who married Nancy Smith (1768-1820, daughter of Rev. James Smith and Magdalen Woods). I have not found William’s parents and I hope this lead is the answer!! Thank you for all you do and for sharing the results of all your labor!
    Mari (McConathy) Collins

  2. I found a marriage record for William Jeffrys and Nancy Smith, Aug 30, 1786, and the co-signer is Thomas Jeffrys. Have you seen it? Any thoughts? I see this will is dated 1788 so Matthew would have been alive at the time. I also noticed that the will mentions a Capt. John Smith. Definitely more to sort through! Sometimes I think the more I find the more confused I get! I will keep you posted.

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