Old Wills

1844 Will of William Davis – Marshall County

From the following will of William Davis we read that no children are listed.  Perhaps he and Nancy had no children, or they died before this will was written.

Very interesting, his slaves are named in this will, and he frees them at the death of he and his wife.  John, David and wife Polly, Judah, Prince, Charley, Rosanna, Jim, Enoch and Jerry are all freed.  Each is given money or land or other property.  But later in the will he gives Rosanna, the child of Judah, to Eliza Miller.  That seems a bit odd.  Mr. Davis does not designate who Eliza Miller is – a niece?

Another interesting fact about this will, the original was burned in the fire occurring February 29, 1847, at the Marshall County Courthouse.  I believe copies of earlier wills were brought in for record keeping.

Will of William Davis

Marshall County Will Book 2, Pages 3-5

In the name of God, amen.  I, William Davis, being of perfect sound disposing mind and memory, and calling to recollection that it’s appointed unto man once to die, and knowing from hence that great propensity and necessity of being prepared for such an event, do hereby make, ordain and publish this my last will and testament in the following words and figures following:

First, after the payment of my just debts and funeral expenses, I desire the following disposition to be made of my property wherewith it has pleased God to bless me with:

Two.  To my beloved wife, Nancy Davis, should she survive me, I give and bequeath the use of my farm and home tract of land and plantation, which is to include all my land adjoining my farm tract with all the appurtenances thereunto belonging, household and kitchen furniture, and all my stock of horses, cattle and hogs and sheep and farming utensils and all the money and notes which I may have on hand at my death, also all my slaves I give and bequeath to my said wife, Nancy Davis, to provide for and comfortably support her during her natural life, and after her death I wish the following disposal to be made of my estate, to wit:

Three.  It is my wish and desire that my faithful slave, known by the name of John, after our deaths to be set free and to have a horse and fifteen dollars in money to buy himself a saddle.

Four.  It is also my wish and desire that my faithful slaves, namely David and his wife, Dolly, and Judah and increase for the future, and

Prince and Charley and Rosanna and Jim and Enoch and Jerry and their increase to be free at my death and the death of my beloved wife, Nancy Davis.

Five.  It is also my wish and desire that my faithful slave, David, have two horses and both of my wagons and gear and plows and farming utensils and four hundred acres of land, to include my house and plantation and it is my wish and desire that Charley and Prince both have a horse and gear apiece, and if there is any money left, David and his family is to have the one half and the other half is to be equally divided between the above named slaves, Charley and Prince.

Six.  I also give and bequeath to Eliza Gain Miller my slave Rosanna, the child of Judah, and her increase.  I also give and bequeath to nephew, James Davis, one dollar, Lucinda Thompson, one dollar, and Thomas Davis one dollar, John Davis, one dollar and Elizabeth Jones, one dollar, and I also will to Patsey McIntosh, one dollar, and Thomas Davis, the brother of James Davis, one dollar.

Seven.  I also will and bequeath to all my brothers’ children one dollar, as I don’t recollect all their names apiece.

Eight.  I also wish my faithful slave, Diner, to be set free at my death if she should survive me and my beloved wife, Nancy Davis, and to have ten dollars.

Nine.  I also wish and desire that Manir Brewer shall have my cupboard with the lights in it, and the flat-topped bureau and the eight-day clock.

Ten.  I also wish and desire that Nancy Miller have the other bureau and looking glass.

This, my last will and testament, hereby revoking all others.  In witness whereof the said William Dais have hereunto set his hand and seal this 10th day of September 1844.

William Davis

J. Gilbert, David Pace

State of Kentucky, Marshall County

I, Henry Hand, clerk of the county court for the county aforesaid, do certify that on Monday, the 7th day of September, the foregoing last will and testament of William Davis, deceased, was produced in open court and legally proven to be such by the oaths of Joel Gilbert and Daniel Pace, the two subscribing witnesses thereto, and was thereupon ordered to be recorded.  Whereupon the said will and this certificate have been and now stand truly recorded in my office.  Given under my hand the 8th day of September, 1846.

Henry Hand, C.M.C.C., by W. J. Miller, D.C.

A Copy, attest, Henry Hand, C.M.C.C.

Said copy is also endorsed as was the original – ‘Signed, sealed and published in presence of John Jones, Christian Miller, William Mathis

State of Kentucky, Marshall County

I, Henry Hand, clerk of the county court within and for said county of Marshall, do certify that on the 3rd day of July this copy of the last will and testament of William Davis, deceased, was produced to me and lodged in my office for record, to supply the place of the original, destroyed by fire in and with the office of the clerk of said court on the night of the 29th of February last.  In testimony of which and that said copy, with the certificate and endorsement thereon, and this certificate have been and now stand

truly recorded in my office, I hereto set my hand the 10th day of July, 1848.

Henry Hand, C.M.C.C.

Any thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s