Old Wills

1797 Will of Matthew Wakefield of Ireland – Nelson County

Matthew Wakefield was born in Ireland, and married Bridget Banks before emigrating to America before 1783.  The couple settled in Pennsylvania when they first arrived and later moved to Nelson County, Kentucky.  His will is dated December 13, 1797 and was probated in court two years later.  All his living children are named in the will, as well as his daughters’ husbands.  Son John Wakefield married Elizabeth Alexander; Matthew married Ruth Brown; and William married Abigail Huston.  Many members of the Wakefield family are buried in the cemetery of Big Spring Presbyterian Church, on Hwy 55 north of Bloomfield, very near the Spencer County border.

Will of Matthew Wakefield

Will Book A, Pages 365-367

In the name of God, amen.  I, Matthew Wakefield, of the County of Nelson, State of Kentucky, being weak and sickly in body, but of perfect mind and memory, thanks to God, calling unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die, do make and ordain this my last will and testament.  That is to say, first of all I give and recommend my soul to God that gave it, and my body to the earth to be buried in decent Christian burial at the discretion of my executors, nothing doubting but at the general resurrection I shall receive

the same again by the power of Almighty God.  And as touching such worldly estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me in this life I give, devise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form.

Item.  To my dear and well-beloved wife, Bridget, I give her bed and bedclothes and body clothes and the third of my household furniture to be at her disposal at her decease, and so long as she liveth, and a sufficient, decent maintenance of the plantation whereon I now live, in form as I shall hereafter order in this my will.

Item.  To my well-beloved daughter, Mary, or Robert Samuels, her husband, I give the sum of six shillings.

Item.  To my son John I give the sum of six shillings.

Item.  To my daughter Elizabeth or Robert Kennedy, I give the sum of six shillings.

Item.  To my daughter Margaret or John Bell, her husband, I give the sum of six shillings.

Item.  To my daughter Jean and James Russell, her husband, I give the sum of six shillings.

Item.  To my son Matthew I give and bequeath the part of my land whereon he now lives to extend seven rod in this side of the partition fence of the field, next to the house I now live in, to run upon a straight line across my tract as agreed upon before my son John, to the proper use of him the aforesaid Matthew, his heirs and assigns forever.

Item.  To my son William I give and bequeath the

other part of my land whereon I now live, to the only proper use of him, the aforesaid William, his heirs and assigns forever, with all my other personal property.

Item.  I will that my sons Matthew and William shall keep my wife Bridget in a good milk cow with bread and meat and all other necessaries for a comfortable sustenance and a horse to ride when she sees cause, so long as she shall live, and the aforesaid Matthew and William to be equal in paying my debts and funeral expenses and in paying the sums left to my other children, and I do hereby appoint, constitute and ordain my son John, sole executor of this my last will and testament and I do hereby utterly disannul all other wills and testaments by me made, ratifying and confirming this to be my last in testimony or witness hereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this thirteenth day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-seven.

Matthew Wakefield

Signed, sealed and delivered in presence of us, John Huston, James McClaskey, Samuel Huston

At a County Court held for Nelson County on Tuesday, the 13th day of August 1799

This last will and testament of Matthew Wakefield was proved by the oaths of John Huston and James McClaskey, subscribing witnesses thereto and sworn to by John Wakefield, the executor therein named and ordered to be recorded.

Teste.  Benjamin Grayson, County Clerk

Big Spring Presbyterian Cemetery, Nelson County, Kentucky.

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