Old Wills

1808 Will of John Byrd – Muhlenberg County

It was quite a surprise to find nothing about John Byrd in my History of Muhlenberg County.  Evidently he didn’t live there long enough to become a part of the early history.  His birth was about 1778, making him a young man of thirty at his death.  In many places it says he married wife Rebecca in North Carolina, about 1798.  If he moved to Kentucky shortly after this marriage, he lived there less than ten years.  John and Rebecca’s five children are listed in his will – Polly, Anne, Sally, John and Nathan.

Will of John Byrd

Muhlenberg County Will Book 1, Pages 98-100

In the name of God, amen.  I, John Byrd, of the State of Kentucky and County of Muhlenberg,

being weak in body but of perfect mind and memory do make and ordain this my last will and testament.  And as to my worldly effects, I give and devise in the following manner.  That is to say,

Item 1st.  My will and desire that all my just debts be paid.

Item 2nd.  I give and bequeath to my beloved wife, Rebecca, my Negro man Curt and all my household and kitchen furniture for and during her natural lifetime.

Item 3rd.  I give and bequeath to my three daughters, Polly, Anne and Sally, my negro woman named Phebe and her two children, Philes and Tony to them and their heirs forever.

Item 4th.  I leave to my two sons, John and Nathan, the tract of land where I now live, containing two hundred acres to be equally divided between them, to them and their heirs forever.  Likewise, my Negro girl Aggy to be equally divided between them.  By my executors my will is that my stock and farming utensils be kept together for the support of my wife and family.  It is also my will that my lots in Lewisberg and such property as my executors may think can be spared best without injuring my family (should it be thought necessary by them) as will be sufficient to paying just debts until my youngest child comes of age and during my wife’s widowhood, it is my will that my family reside on the

farm that I now live on.

I do by these presents appoint my beloved wife, Rebecca, and Leroy Jackson, executors of this my last will and testament, hereby ratifying and confirming this to be my last will and testament, revoking all other wills by me made.  In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 22nd day of June 1808.

John Byrd

Teste.  R. D. McLean, Jacob Casebier

Muhlenberg County                                                 May Court 1809

The last will and testament of John Byrd, deceased, was exhibited into court and proved by the oaths of Robert D. McLean and Jacob Casebier, subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded.

Att. Charles F. Wing

October 15, 1808

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