Old Wills

1869 Will of Hugh D. Smyth – Ballard County

Ballard County Courthouse, 132 Fourth Street, Wickliffe, Kentucky.

Ballard County was formed from Hickman and McCracken counties in 1842.  The first courthouse for the county was in the city of Blandville.  This courthouse burned February 17, 1880, and most records were destroyed.  The present courthouse, in Wickliffe, was built 1900-1905.  Jerome B. Legg, the architect, designed the building with an octagonal cupola, Ionic porticos over three entrances and a central pavilion on each side.

County Named 1842 for Captain Bland Ballard, 1759-1853.  Born in Virginia.  Came to Kentucky in 1779.  Devoted life protecting frontier.  Scout for George Rogers Clark’s Ohio expedition, 1780, ’82; Wabash campaign, 1786.  In the battles of Fallen Timbers, 1793; Tippecanoe, 1811; River Raisin, 1813.  In Kentucky Legis. five terms.  Legis. directed burial in the Frankfort Cemetery.  County from McCracken, Hickman.

As in many situations such as this, family members were encouraged to bring in copies of records that could be added, giving some history that was lost.  The following will is one of those cases.  It was written in 1869, and probated in 1876.  In a family bible owned by John D. Smyth, son of Hugh and Nancy, are the death dates for his parents.  Hugh D. Smyth died April 14, 1876, aged 77.  Nancy Smyth died March 19, 1876, aged 76.

Will of Hugh D. Smyth

Ballard County Will Book A, Pages 9-10

March 4th 1869

Ballard County, Kentucky

I, H. D. Smyth, of Ballard County, do hereby make my last will and testament in manner and form following, that is to say, I give and bequeath to my wife, Nancy Smyth, as such of my lands and also my perishable property as she may wish to keep without security being exacted.

I will to my children equal shares in my estate after all the debts and funeral expenses are paid.

My son, Daniel Smyth, being dead, his two children, George and Rufus, will inherit his part equally divided, I will that it full to them in Woodland.

I will that my daughters Melvina Jane Preston, Mary Minerva Lovelace, Nancy Martha Smyth, Tabitha Ann Hutchinson, lands they inherit at my death be theirs and not subject to their husband’s will as debts, unless their own contracts.

I will that any other property, exclusive of the lands, be subject to their individual benefit and at the death of my wife, if there is property left, I will it to be distributed equally between my children, and at their disposal as the above named.  I will that at the year eighteen hundred and sixty-three my son, J. H. Smyth, pay no interest on any debt he owes me.

My son David Smyth, being in my debt one hundred and thirty dollars, I will that each of

my children receive the same before the division of my estate.  If any of my heirs die leaving no children, I will that their part of the estate fall back to their brothers and sisters.

I will that those owning lands, if they wish to have their choice of lands joining them, and to be divided equal among them according to quantity and quality by two or more disinterested men chosen by themselves unless they disagree, then to be chosen by the court.

This being my last will and testament, revoking all other former wills or testaments by me heretofore made.  In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 4th day of March in the year 1869.

H. D. Smyth

Signed, sealed and published and declared as and for the last will and testament of the above-named Hugh D. Smyth in presence of us – Melvina Jane Preston, Tabitha Ann Hutchinson

A copy attest

T. L. Glover, C.B.C.C.

State of Kentucky

Ballard County

I, T. L. Glover, clerk of Ballard County Court, do certify that the foregoing copy of the will of Hugh D. Smyth, was on the 2 day of October 1880 lodged in my office for record and the same with this certificate, has been duly recorded in my office.  Witness my hand this 2 day of October 1880

T. L. Glover, C.B.C.C.

By George R. Armistead, D.C.

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