Old Wills

Abram Kephart Will – Henry County

Kephart Family Graveyard, Henry County, Kentucky.

In the small Kephart family graveyard there are about 30 stones.  Many are very difficult to read, having been there 175-200 years.  The cemetery is located off Hwy 22 in Henry County, just across the Shelby County border.  As you head north on 22, just outside of the small town of Pleasureville, turn right onto Brawner Lane, and the cemetery is right there, easy to see.  Today I share with you the will of Abram Kephart, 1787-1864.  Most of his children died before him; he was at the age of 70 when he wrote his will, and died seven years later.

Background information for Abram Kephart’s family:

Abram Kephart was the son of Jacob Kephart and Mary Hansel.  Abram married four times:

  1. Rebecca Swift, 1784-1818, married October 14, 1809, daughter of Thomas and Frances Swift.
  2. Frances Swift, 1797-1845, married December 29, 1818.
  3. Elizabeth Blackwell Slaughter, 1794-1844, married November 17, 1842.
  4. Matilda Neale, 1807-?, married November 28, 1846.

Abram Kephart and Rebecca Swift had the following children:

  1. Amy Kephart, born November 1, 1810, married Henry Adams, died November 28, 1842, in Indiana.
  2. Jacob Kephart, born December 8, 1813
  3. Thomas Kephart, born June 20, 1815, married first Lydia O’Bannon, and second Mary Elizabeth Shockney, died June 8, 1864.
  4. Frances B. Kephart, born December 1, 1817, married Mr. P. Johnston and Mr. J. Kelly.

Abram Kephart and Frances Swift had the following children:

  1. John Kephart, born May 27, 1824, married Margaret Ann Adams, died April 27, 1854.
  2. Elizabeth Kephart, born September 15, 1825, married William S. Hall, died November 8, 1855.
  3. Mary Kephart, born March 1, 1827, died March 27, 1837.
  4. William Franklin Kephart, born August 8, 1832, married Elizabeth Frances Russell, died August 15, 1907, in Clay County, Missouri.
  5. Amanda Kephart, born June 14, 1834, died October 3, 1858.

Abram Kephart, January 15, 1787 – May 21, 1864.  Rebecca, his wife, born 1784 – July 3, 1818.  Kephart Family Graveyard, Henry County, Kentucky.

Will of Abraham Kephart

Henry County Will Book 12, Pages 507-508

In the name of the Lord, amen.  I, Abraham Kephart, of Henry County, Kentucky, being some what advanced in the years allotted to man here and knowing that I must die, and being possessed of disposing mind and memory as to the affairs of life, do make and publish this, my last will and testament, hereby revoking all others.  Viz.

First.  I desire my debts paid and my body decently buried.  I hope in the resurrection.

Second.  I give to my beloved wife, Matilda, one third of all my estate at my death, to her during her life and at her death to return to my estate.

Third.  I will to Abram Adams, son of my daughter Amy Adams, two hundred and fifty dollars.  To Rebecca Adams the sum of two hundred and fifty dollars.  To George Adams the sum of two hundred and fifty dollars to be paid to them severally when they arrive at lawful age.  I do not give to Jacob anything as I gave to him a short time ago the sum of two hundred and fifty dollars.

Fourth.  I will to Jacob Kephart five hundred dollars.

Frances Kelly, wife of P. Johnston and J. Kelly, December 1, 1817 – January 2, 1902.

Fifth.  I will to Frances Kelly five hundred dollars.

Eliza, wife of Wm. S. Hall, born September 15, 1825, died November 8, 1855.

Sixth.  I have heretofore given to my sons Thomas and

John Kephart, born May 27, 1824, died April 27, 1854.

John Kephart and Eliza Hall, wife of William Hall, sums equal to fifteen hundred dollars each and therefore do not give to them any specific devise as above.

Thomas Kephart, born June 20, 1815, died June 8, 1864, (died18 days after his father).

I had also given to Amy Adams about five hundred dollars, to Jacob Kephart about one thousand dollars and to Frances Kelly, one thousand dollars whereby it will be seen that I have equalized the children above named as near as I can or as I desire.

Seventh.  I give to William Kephart the sum of fifteen hundred dollars.

Amanda, daughter of Abram and Frances Kephart, born June 14, 1834, died October 3, 1858.  (Amanda died after her father’s will was written, but before his death.)

Eighth.  The balance of my estate (I do not mean the part devised above to my wife Matilda) I will to my afflicted daughter Amanda to be held however in trust by my sons John and Jacob Kephart for her sole use and benefit during her life and the benefit of any children she may have.  But if she should die without leaving child or children at her death, then the said estate hereby willed to her is to return to my estate and to be equally divided among all of my children.  The grandchildren, children of each of my children being considered one class (?).  If either of the trustees should die the survivor may act in all things.

Mary, daughter of Abram and Frances Kephart, born March 1, 1827, died March 27, 1837.

Ninth.  I will at the death of my wife the estate hereby devised to her during her life shall be equally

divided amongst all of my children, the grandchildren of each of my children being considered one class or to take one child’s part.

Tenth.  Lastly, I appoint Thomas Kephart and John Kephart and Jacob Kephart or either of them executors of this last will and testament and in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 14th day of March 1857.

A. Kephart

Signed, sealed and delivered in presence of us who were called upon by testator, E. P. Thomas, Albert B. Rees

Henry County Court, May 30th 1864

A writing purporting to be the last will of Abraham Kephart, deceased, was on this day presented to the court for probate and was proven to be the will of said decedent by E. P. Thomas and Albert B. Rees, two subscribing witnesses thereto, and there upon the will is ordered to record and recorded and stamped legally.

Attest.  M. B. Pearce, Clerk

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