In pulling a will to use for today’s blog I did a second take when I read the name John McMurtry. If you recall, I wrote a blog for John McMurtry’s will June 18, 2016. Needless to say I had to re-read what I had written. The John McMurtry of the 2016 blog lived in Mercer County, in the far east central part of the county, near where Shaker Village is located today. He owned a mill at the junction of the Dix (originally Dick’s) and Kentucky rivers.
The will I share with you today is for John McMurtry who lived near Cove Spring. This spring is located in the extreme south central part of Mercer County, at the border of Mercer and Boyle counties on US 127, south of Harrodsburg. When his will was written, in 1780, it was Kentucky County – or as he wrote it – Caintuckey County. By the time the will was probated in 1783, his property was part of Lincoln County. At that time Mercer County was part of Lincoln. In the will John McMurtry mentions, but doesn’t name, his father. Sons James, Alexander, Samuel and William. Other children are mentioned, but not named. His wife’s name was Mary.
I believe the two John McMurtry’s are cousins. In the September 1907 Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, it says that, ‘A cousin, William McMurtry, accompanied Captain John McMurtry.’ (the first mentioned). It is very likely the second John McMurtry was a son of this William. Another coincidence are the three men who witnessed this second will – John Hutton, James Hutton and William McMurtry. The first John McMurtry married Mary Todd Hutton. Both families, McMurtry and Hutton, were from Rockbridge County, Virginia. Quite easy for the two families to intermarry.
Lincoln County Will Book 1, Pages 35-36
In the name of God, amen. I, John McMurtry, of Caintuckey County in the state of Virginia, being in perfect health praised be God, do make this my last will and testament as followeth. I allow father his hundred acres of land in the southeast corner of my survey – with the spring called William McMurtry’s Spring. I give my son James one hundred and fifty acres of land with the buffer spring joining his grandfather’s line and extending along the south line of my survey, and a good mare bought with the money
at Holston for him. And to my son Alexander I give the Cove Spring with a hundred and fifty acres of land, joining the north line of my survey. And to my son Samuel I give an improvement towards the west line with one hundred and fifty acres of land, joining the west line. And to my son William I give the little spring with the remainder of the land. And to my wife, Mary, I give a full privilege of my son William’s land and all its conveyances during her lifetime, tho not to hinder him of a privilege of water and woodland when he comes of age, and for the movable assets I leave to my wife to school and support the children with and to distribute as she sees proper. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the 7th day of July and in the year of our Lord 1780.
Sealed and declared by the above named John McMurty, for and as his last will and testament in the presence of us, John Hutton, James Hutton, William McMurtry.
At a Court held for Lincoln County the 18 February 1783
This instrument of writing was exhibited in Court as the last will and testament of John McMurtry, deceased, and proved by the oaths of James Hutton and William McMurtry, an ordered to be recorded.
Teste. William May