Old Wills

1839 Nuncupative Will of William Johnson – Pike County

Pike County is the furthest east of all Kentucky counties.  It was formed in 1821 from Floyd County, so any records before that date would be located in that county.  The first will in Pike County Will Book 1 is for William Johnson.  Ritchey and I have not visited Pike County cemeteries at this time, so I have no photos to share with you, but I did find William Johnson’s gravestone on Find A Grave.  William is buried in Frank Tackett Cemetery.  The stone appears to be recently added.  The following information is on the stone – William Johnson, Sr., 1781-1839, son of Tom and Sarah Johnson, the first man on Long Fork.  Wife, Sally Tackett, and children Polly, Robert, Payne, Nathaniel, William Jr., Nancy and Elizabeth.  Wife, Lucy Ayers, children Pleasant and Bailey.  The second wife is listed in his will, along with the two sons by her.  According to records William owned two tracts on Long Fork, one consisting of 75 acres and one of 25.

William Johnson’s will is a nuncupative will – meaning he was too ill to execute a written will.  This type of will is also known as an oral will or deathbed will.

Will of William Johnson

Pike County Will Book 1, Page 1

Memorandum that on the 30th day of August 1839, William Johnson of the County of Pike and State of Kentucky, being sick of the sickness whereof, he died on the day following, that is to say on the 31st day of August 1839 at his dwelling house in the County aforesaid, did make and declare his last will and testament nuncupative in this or words of the like substance, that is to say,

I give and bequeath unto my wife Lucy Johnson and Pleasant and Bailey Johnson, my two youngest sons, all my land and tenements together with all my household furniture and my horses and cattle, hogs and sheep for them to equally enjoy the increase thereof during the lifetime of said Lucy, and after her death the whole of all the land and other property aforesaid to belong to Pleasant and Bailey Johnson aforesaid,

These words or to the like affect, the said William Johnson declared in the presence of the subscribers with intention that the same should be his last will and testament, whereof he desired them to bear testimony which we reduced to writing this second day of September 1839.

William Tackett, Sen., Robert Johnson

Pike County Court

January Term 1840

The attorney for the County Court produced in open Court the nuncupative will of William Johnson, deceased, which being proved by the oaths of William Tackett and Robert Johnson is received and ordered to be recorded.

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