I’m always excited to see the will of a woman back in the early days! From her gravestone, located in the Duncan family cemetery in Nicholasville, we know that Ann was the wife of James B. Duncan. At the time of her death in 1849, Ann has three children, Charles, Julia who married a Brown, and Margaret Ann, unmarried. Notice there is no date on the will – an unusual fact. I love the descriptions of silver table spoons, tea spoons, tongs, dessert spoons, etc. This gives an idea of the type of life this family led. When Ann Duncan talks about securing these items ‘with the property’ I suppose she means they must be handed down as family heirlooms, and not sold.
Feeling myself daily declining and believing that my end is near I wish to make some distribution of the little worldly goods I possess. After my just debts are paid I give to my second daughter, Margaret Ann Duncan, a piece of land containing about fifty acres, lying in Mason County, four miles from Maysville on the Flemingsburgh Turnpike, and also the hire of my old man Billy while she remains single. She is to have the whole benefit, but if she marry, then it is to be divided in three equal parts and entailed on their posterity made secure so that they cannot spend it. I also wish that at my death a division of my bed clothing and furniture. I have already given to Charles Duncan and Julia Brown a share of each, therefore I wish Margaret Ann to have the largest share in this last division. I also give her my bed stead, my dressing bureau and a pair of poster tables that are now in my house. I give Charles Duncan a half dozen silver table spoons, a half dozen silver tea spoons, they are to be secured with the property so that he cannot spend them. I give Julia Brown my silver cream spoon, she now has a half dozen silver table spoons of mine in her possession. I wish them also to be secured with the balance. I give Margaret Ann Duncan, my daughter, a half dozen silver dessert spoons, a half dozen silver
tea spoons, a pair of silver sugar tongs, two salt shakers(?), one mustard spoon, one silver soup spoon, two silver butter knives, all to be secured as spoken of before. I also give Margaret Ann, my daughter, my gold watch in consideration of her kindness and attention to me during my illness. I had omitted to mention that I have four hundred and fifty dollars in the hands of Mr. Ely Anderson, living in Maysville, which will be due the second day of June; that I also give to Margaret Ann my daughter, and wish it secured with the rest.
Attest – J. Asline, William Duncan
State of Kentucky Jessamine County April Court 1848
I, Daniel B. Price, Clerk of the County Court for the County of Jessamine, do certify that this writing was at the court aforesaid, produced and proven in open Court according to law by the oaths of William Duncan and J. Asline, the subscribing witnesses thereto, to be the last will and testament of Ann Duncan, deceased, and ordered to be recorded and a certificate of probate granted, whereupon the same together with this certificate has been duly entered of receipt in my office.
Attest. Dan B. Price
Will Book G, Pages 415-416 – Jessamine County Clerk’s Office