This will is interesting in several ways. First, the will is written while Kentucky is still a part of the state of Virginia; also, at this time the area that would later become Hardin County is still a part of Nelson County. When Kentucky was comprised of only three counties, think how far it might be to come to court for a will to be recorded, get a marriage license and bond, sell land, etc.
Edward Rawlings had four daughters. The first three are married – Elizabeth Hart, Ann Hart, Lettice Fairleigh. Daughter Rebekah must be single since no last name is given for her, and since she receives the old home place after the decease of both parents.
In the name of God, Amen. I, Edward Rawlings, of Nelson County and district of Kentucky and state of Virginia, being weakly in body but of perfect mind and memory calling to mind the mortality of body and uncertainty of human life, do make, ordain and appoint this my last will and testament. Principally and first of all I recommend my soul unto God that give it and my body to the earth to be buried in a Christian-like manner at the direction of my Executors, and for worldly estate, wherewith it hath pleased the Almighty to bless me with in this life, I give and dispose in the following manner.
To wit. I give and bequeath unto my Rebekah, my well-beloved wife, all my household furniture, a certain mare, bridle and saddle, and one cow.
Secondly, I bequeath unto Elizabeth Hart, my oldest daughter, six pounds specie.
Thirdly, I give and bequeath unto Ann Hart an Entry of Land adjoining my tract, containing one hundred acres and four acres out of the old survey, beginning at the mouth of a small drain at the fording place, up to a small mulberry tree.
Fourthly, I give and bequeath unto my daughter Lettice, a part or parcel of land adjoining Stephen Rawlings line, beginning at a sugar tree near an ironwood sapling, from thence an elm, from thence to a straight line with the places not infringing on my old improvement till it strikes my north line.
Fifthly, I give and bequeath unto my daughter, Rebekah, after my decease and my wife decease, my old survey, except the four acres before mentioned to Ann Hart, and the parcel contained above to Lettice Fairleigh.
And also, my personal estate after my decease it is to be sold and equally divided between my four daughters, and I do hereby appoint and constitute my wife, Rebekah, to be my Executrix, and Stephen Rawlings, my other Executor, and I do hereby acknowledge this to be my last will and testament, revoking and disannulling all other wills by me heretofore made by me. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this day
Signed, sealed and acknowledged by the said Edward Rawlings to be his last will and testament in the presence of Isaac Hynes, John Swank and Margaret Garrard
At a Court held for Hardin County on Tuesday, the 26th day of July 1796.
The foregoing will of Edward Rawlings, deceased, was proved by the oaths of Isaac Hynes, John Swank and Margaret Garrard, three subscribing witnesses thereto and was ordered to be recorded.