Old Wills

Peter DeMott Will – Mercer County

Monday I posted photos taken at the Bonta – DeMott Family Cemetery on US127 at the Mercer/Boyle County line.  Today we will discuss the family of Peter DeMott and his wife Mary Terhune.  Peter DeMott came with his father, Lawrance DeMott from Somerset County, New Jersey, after the Revolutionary War, in which Peter served.

A marriage bond for Peter DeMott and Mary Terhune is dated December 14, 1796, with bondsman Lawrence DeMott.  The bride’s father was Garrett Terhune.

Peter lived a long life.  He was born April 19, 1756, in New Jersey, and died October 15, 1834.  He wrote his will two years before his death, naming many of his children and two grandchildren.  Mary Terhune DeMott, 24 years younger than her husband, lived another 28 years.  In the 1850 census of Mercer County she is living with granddaughter Paulina DeMott Terhune, daughter of son Lawrance DeMott.  Rufus and Paulina were married May 1, 1847.  Mary DeMott was 70.  Two of her daughters also lived in the household, Martha, 30; and Lucinda, 27.  Ten years later she is still living with her granddaughter’s family, at the age of 81.  Some of Peter and Mary’s children moved to Marion County, Indiana, where he owned property, which he devised to his children in his will.

Marriages of some of Peter and Mary DeMott’s children listed in Mercer County records:

  • Catherine DeMott married Simon Smock, October 21, 1817
  • Sarah DeMott married Daniel Stock, November 20, 1828
  • Margaret DeMott married Abraham Vannice, June 27, 1836
  • Dorothea DeMott married Henry Banta, March 25, 1826


Will of Peter DeMott

Mercer County Will Book 9, Pages 511-513

I, Peter DeMott of Mercer County, State of Kentucky, of sound mind and memory make, publish and declare this to be my last will and testament in manner and form following, to wit.  I give and bequeath to my beloved wife, Mary DeMott, the tract of land on which I now live in Mercer County, together with the appurtenances, also all my household and kitchen furniture, also all my plantation and farming utensils, wagons, horses, cattle and stock of every description, also all the grain, hay, forage and meat that may be on hand at the time of my death, also my Negro man, Sam, and two quarter sections of land lying in the State of Indiana, to wit, the east half of the southwest quarter of section twenty-five in township fifteen of range three and the west half of the southeast quarter of section of the same quarter of section, township and range during her life or widowhood, also one hundred dollars to be paid to her at my death.  But should my said wife marry again I direct then that her lawful dower in the above described estate to be assigned to her and the residue to be distributed between my children in the manner herein directed.

To my sons Peter and John and my daughters Peggy, Patsy, Anny and Lucinda, I give and bequeath to each of them one quarter of section of land in the State of Indiana, for which land I hold the patents in my own name, also as much money to each one of them as I have given to each of my other children who have married and left me, but whose

notes I have taken and now hold for the same, which notes I desire to be given up to them without interest for such are made payable on demand, but such as draw interest from the date the interest is to be charged so as to make them all equal, except my daughters Margaret and Dorothea, to each of whom I give one hundred dollars more than the rest.  I therefore direct that the note I have taken from Dorothea’s husband and endorsed entry on it be given to him and not considered as a part of her equal portion.  To my granddaughter Paulina, daughter of my son Lawrence, I give one hundred dollars.

It is my will that my executors, with the consent of my wife, may sell any of my stock or other personal estate that they may think advisable or that may be subject to waste and the amount of such sales, together with all monies, bonds, notes or accounts on hand at my death after paying my just debts and funeral expenses and paying one hundred dollars to my wife, one hundred dollars to my daughter Margaret, one hundred dollars to my granddaughter Paulina and making my younger children equal to my elder in the manner above directed is to be equally divided among all my children.

At the death of my wife I direct that the whole of my estate then on hand, both real and personal, except my Negro man Sam, be sold on a reasonable credit and the proceeds to be equally divided among all my children, or if either of them should die before my wife and leave a child or children, such child or children are to take their parents’ portion.  It is my will, and I expressly direct, that the portion of my daughter Sally, both at the time of my death and after my wife’s death, be retained in the hands of my executors and put to interest for her benefit or at their discretion applied to her particular use, at such time and in such ways as they may think most advisable for the benefit of her and her children during the life of her husband, Daniel Stock, and at his death whatever there is remaining and coming to her, my said daughter Sally, is to be paid to her or the heirs of her body if she leaves any, but if she should die before her said husband, Daniel Stock, without leaving heirs of her body, then so much or her portion as may be in the hands of my executors at that time is to be equally divided amongst all my children as my other estate is directed to be.

It is my will that after the death of my wife, my Negro man Sam have the privilege at all time to live with either of my children he may chose and if by misfortune, or old age, he becomes unable to support himself by his labor, he is to be taken care of by my executors and comfortably supported out of my estate, each of my children paying annually where he lives, their equal portion for his support.

Lastly, I nominate and appoint my beloved wife and my son Lawrence and my cousin-in-law Simon Smock, Thomas Henderson and Henry Banta executors, hereby vesting them or such of them as may qualify according to law with the complete power to execute and carry into effect this my last will and testament, signed this 3rd day of October 1832.  Signed, Peter DeMott [this last portion was difficult to read, unable to see signatures of witnesses]

Mercer County, November County Court 1832

The foregoing last will and testament of Peter DeMott, deceased, was this day produced into court and proved by the oaths of Edward Worthington, William Verbryke and John DeMott, three subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded.

Attest.  Thomas Allin, CC

5 replies »

  1. Does anyone know how John Gritton and family came to be buried in this cemetery? I haven’t found a connection yet.

    • Lisa, in Volume II of Mercer County Cemetery Records, John Gritton is listed as buried in the DeMott or Bonta Cemetery on the Cove Springs farm near the Mercer/Boyle County line. Two stones additional stones were found in 1955 by Mrs. B. F. Norfleet when she visited the cemetery, those of Lawrence DeMott and John Gritton. These stones were not found when another list was made in August of 1967. I have read elsewhere that John Gritton was buried at Cove Springs. I suppose he owned land there? His son Jesse Gritton is buried in the cemetery. The more I learn about these families the more questions I have!

      • My family and I visited there a couple of years ago while visiting my brother. It was so sad that the cemetery was in such bad shape. As overgrown as it was, there could easily be graves that are completely covered up. I wish I’d had more time to spend there looking, but the chiggers were really really bad so we left fairly quickly.

        I also noted that John Gritton wasn’t listed on the plaque for revolutionary soldiers living in Mercer County…..was it because he wasn’t from Mercer County to begin with I wonder….that he was actually in the PA Militia?

        When I visited the library in Harrodsburg, the Gritton family file was empty….the librarian was really upset because at one time the file apparently had a lot of information in it. I copied and left a few things that I had discovered.

        Dad always said there were two separate Gritton families in Mercer County, but I discovered that we are actually all related after all. In fact, I swear we’re kin to everyone in Mercer County!!!

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