Cumberland County, Kentucky, was formed in 1798 from portions of Green County, and named for the Cumberland River. It shares the border with Tennessee. Cumberland County is actually larger than my home county of Mercer, but much smaller in population – about 22 people per square mile. It is a lovely county, much farmland, and we found the small Alexander/Davis Cemetery just south of Hwy 90 on Hwy 100.
Buried there is Revolutionary War veteran John Alexander and his family. John was from Goochland County, Virginia, and was a captain in Lee’s Continental Troops. John moved his family to Cumberland County about 1805.
John Alexander’s will was written in 1825, and he died five years later. His wife, Lucy, died in 1815. Eleven children and two grandsons were named in his will. Given the amount of slaves he owned he must have been a wealthy man. He died October 17, 1830.
Cumberland County Will Book B Page 427-428
I, John Alexander, of the county of Cumberland and state of Kentucky, being weak in body but of a perfect and sound mind, do make this my last will and testament. After my just debts being paid I do hereby dispose of all my worldly goods in the following manner. To wit, I give to my son Thomas Alexander, two Negroes named Isaac and Polly. I give to my son John M. Alexander, two Negroes named Jacob and Lewis. I give to my daughter Sarah C. Barton, two Negroes named Agnes and Jarret, one feather bed and furniture and bedstead. I give to my son Ingrum Alexander, one Negro man named Peter. I give in trust to my son John M. Alexander and Reuben Alexander, for the use and benefit of my daughter Elizabeth Smith, one tract of land whereon she now lives containing one hundred and twenty-five acres, more or less, and two Negroes named Jim and Jack Jr., and one featherbed and furniture and one bedstead, and at the decease of Thomas Smith, and his present wife Elizabeth, the said land to be equally divided between his two sons, John M. Smith and Thomas Smith. I give to my son Robert Alexander, two Negroes named David and Bayson. I give to my daughter Obediance Gearheart, one Negro man named Jack, Sr., and thirty-five dollars in lieu of one feather bed and furniture. I give to my son Reuben Alexander, one Negro man named Patrick, and that part of my tract of land whereon I now live, that lies on the upper or west side of the creek that divides the plantation, and my family Bible, and one fourth part of my stock of cattle and one third part of my stock of sheep and one third part of my stock of hogs, in quality. I give to my son Joseph Alexander, one Negro man named Adam, one cow and calf now in his possession and two hundred dollars in the hands of J M P V R Alexander. I give to my son Philip Alexander, one Negro man named Valentine and all that part of my tract of land that lies on the south end side of the creek that runs through the plantation whereon Robert Alexander formerly lived. I give to my daughter Susanna Hall, one Negro woman named Suda, her two children, with all her future increase during her natural life, and at her death to be equally divided amongst the heirs of her body,
one cow and calf, and two ewes, or the value thereof, and two feather beds and furniture, now in her possession. It is my will and desire that the Negroes hereafter to be devised should not be sold out of the family, and if there should be any money due from one legatee to another in the divisions, the money so coming from one legatee to another shall have the indulgence of the payment thereof eighteen months, and the balance of my estate that is not given away in this instrument of writing shall be equally divided so as to make all their proportions equal with what they have had, equally amongst the following named persons – Thomas Alexander, J. M. Alexander, Sarah C. Barton, Ingrum Alexander, Obediance Gearheart, Susan W. Hall. It is my will and desire that all the within named legatees should be in harmony amongst themselves, but if any of them attempts to overset or destroy this my last will and testament, he or she or anyone for them, that legatee so attempting shall forever forfeit his or her legacies given them in the above instrument and the same shall be equally divided amongst those peaceful legatees. I do hereby appoint John Wash, Sr., and James Baker and John M. Alexander to execute this my last will and testament in every part and particular thereof or any two of them, witness my hand this fifteenth day of February one thousand eight hundred and twenty-five.
Test. Isaac McBee, John Wash, Sr., Longston Pace
Kentucky, Cumberland County
I, Milton King, Clerk of the county court for said county, do certify that the foregoing last will and testament of John Alexander, deceased, was produced in open court at the November term, 1830, proven by the oaths of the two subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to record, and the same is truly copied of record in my office in Will Book B, Page 427. Given under my hand this 6th of January 1831.