This will of John Neal, of Boone County, was written April 11, 1818. In it Mr. Neal states that he is in good health, but being of advanced years. In the year 1818 I’m not sure what would be considered ‘advanced.’ But the gentleman lived another 13 years! Evidently his wife is still living at this time, as a codicil for the will was written March 3, 1831, which states that the land has been conveyed to his children, but the rest of the will stands as is. I’m sure he would have mentioned the death of his wife if she had pre-deceased him. The will was proved three months later. Every will always has some interesting points!
In the name of God amen. I, John Neal, of the County of Boone and State of Kentucky, being in health and of perfect mind and memory, but being advanced in years and calling to mind approaching mortality, do make and ordain this my last will and testament and first I give and recommend my soul to God who gave it, and my body to the earth from which it was taken, to be buried in a decent and Christian-like manner – and as touching the worldly property wherewith it has pleased God to bless me, I do hereby dispose of it in the following manner, that is to say, I give and bequeath to my beloved wife, Agnes Neal, my whole estate (not otherwise specially disposed of) during her natural life, viz., about one hundred twenty-five acres of land whereon I now live, all my household furniture, stock, farming utensils and one Negro man named Frank, who at her death or mine, in case I should outlive my wife, is hereby emancipated and set at liberty, and the land aforesaid at my wife’s death to be equally divided between my children John Neal and Anna Ruddell and all my personal estate after the death of my wife to be equally divided between my children Benjamin Neal, Sarah Shackleford. Also I give and bequeath to my son Matthew Neal the sum of five shillings to be raised out of my personal estate.
To my son William Neal I give and bequeath the tract of land on which he now resides containing fifty-six acres and twenty-two perches of which he has a plat land of by Moses Scott, October 16, 1817.
Also to my son Thomas Neal I give and bequeath the tract of land whereon he now resides containing about seventy acres, more or less, as surveyed and laid off by Moses Scott on the date above, a plat of which has been given him.
Also I give and bequeath to my daughter Elizabeth Hodges the tract of land on which she now resides containing about seventy acres, more or less, as surveyed and laid off by Moses Scott on the date above, during her natural life, and then to her children, the heirs of her body. And moreover I do hereby nominate, constitute and appoint my son William Neal sole executor of this my last will and testament. In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 11th day of April in the year of our Lord, 1818.
Signed, sealed and acknowledged the last will and testament of John Neal before us – Moses Scott, Elijah Nyle, Joseph Hawkins
Codicil – The land as described in this will is this day disposed of according to the provision of the foregoing will by deed of conveyances respectively therein named or their representatives, therefore the will so far as it relates the land is hereby declared void. But as it relates to other matters it is hereby again ratified and confirmed. Witness my hand and seal this 3rd day of March 1831.
In presence of Moses Scott, Robert Piatt, John Piatt
Boone County Court, June Term 1831
This last will and testament of John Neal, deceased, was produced in court, examined and proven by the oaths of Moses Scott and Robert Piatt, two subscribing witnesses thereto which are ordered to be recorded and accordingly recorded. Willis Graves, Clerk.
Book C, Page 2