Old Wills

1822 Will of Martin Smith – Greenup County

Martin Smith lived in Kentucky only a short time before his death September 1, 1822.  His obituary is listed in the September 16, 1822, issue of The Lexington Reporter.  However, I could not find an online copy of that newspaper.

Martin was born in Prince Edward County, Virginia, 1754, a son of Martin Smith.  He married Nancy Price about 1775.  In the 1810 census of Prince Edward County, Martin is listed as 45+ years of age, as well as his wife Nancy, with four sons and two daughters.  By 1820 he and his family, or a portion of, had moved to Greenup County, Kentucky.

Martin Smith wrote his will August 21, 1822, and died eleven days later.  He knew he was dying and made his will very specific according to his wishes.

Not only are Martin’s children listed in the will, but also some of his grandchildren, and his father-in-law, Pugh Price, is mentioned.

Will of Martin Smith

Greenup County Will Book 2, Pages 1-3

I, Martin Smith, of Greenup County of the State of Kentucky, being of sound sense, disposing mind and memory, but mindful of my mortality do make and publish this my last will and testament in manner following, to wit.

First, I desire to be decently buried in a plain coffin, also I desire that all my just debts be paid.  Also, I give and bequeath to my son Bird Smith ten shares of my stock in the State Bank of Kentucky for the purpose of making the lands given him by his grandfather equal in value to the lands given to some of my other children.  I also give and bequeath to my son Bird my Negro man, Tom Potter, now in Lexington, to have and to hold from and after the death of my beloved wife, also all my interest in the one thousand acres of land in the State of Ohio, which has descended from my father-in-law, Pugh Price.  Also, I give and bequeath to my son, Robert Smith, one dollar in money.  Also, I give and bequeath to my son Martin P. Smith one dollar in money.  Also, I give and bequeath to my son Creed T. Smith my Negro man Titus, my Negro boy Hercules and my Negro girl Judy.  Also, seventy-five shares of my stock in the State Bank of Kentucky, one feather bed and furniture, three milk cows, ten head of young cattle, my shot gun, the horse now called Cresly and the sorrel Phillip.

Also, I give and bequeath to my son John W. Smith my Negro man Ned, my Negro boy Tony and my Negro girl Mary, the remaining twenty-five shares of my stock in the State Bank of Kentucky, one feather bed and furniture, three milk cows, ten head of young cattle and the bay Philly.

Also, I am entitled to two shares in the Appomattox Company, one of which I give and bequeath to my daughter Betsey.  Also, I give and bequeath to my daughter Nancy the remainder share in the Appomattox Company and five hundred dollars in cash.  Also, I give and bequeath to the children of my son Robert M. Smith in bank notes of the Bank of the Commonwealth of Kentucky or notes of the State Bank of Kentucky, out of the monies of that description now on hand as following, to wit.  To Beverly, Frederick and Charles, each five hundred dollars and to Martha three hundred dollars and it is my desire that my son Bird receive the aforesaid Bank notes and with them purchase lands for the said children in the southwest part of this state, that my said son Bird to take control of said lands and rent them out, protect them from being misused because a just division of them to be made, assigning to each of said children, his order as above children shall arrive at full age or marry.

Also, I give and bequeath to my beloved wife during her natural life the use of the plantation on which I now live with all and singular the appurtenances thereunto belonging.  Also, during her natural life, the following Negroes and other property, to wit.  Thomas, Tom, Patter, Pleasant, Booker, Pitt, Archey, Daphney, Dicey, Milly, Hannah and Fanny, and their increase, all my stock of horses, cattle, sheep and hogs not otherwise disposed of.  Also, all the household and kitchen furniture and farming utensils.

Also I give and bequeath to my executors hereinafter to be named or such one or more of them as shall see proper to take upon him or them the execution of this my last will and testament and to the survivor or survivors of them, all my lands of every description in trust however that he or they will proceed as soon as convenient after the disputes respecting the titles thereto shall have been settled and adjusted to sell the same excepting the place whereon I now live which is not to be sold until within a convenient time after the death of my beloved wife and that my said executors or such of them as shall take upon them the execution of this will and the survivor or survivors of them shall sell my lands at the times above mentioned in such manner as he or they shall think most conducive to the interest of the estate also sell and devise that within a convenient time after my decease my executors or such of them as may seat as such shall proceed to sell my Negro man Shadrack, my carriage and all my other property not hereby otherwise disposed of upon such terms as he or they shall see proper and that within a reasonable time after the decease of my wife my said executors or such one or more of them may see proper to act as such and the survivor or survivors of them shall proceed to sell the plantation and lands whereon I now live and all the Negroes and other property hereby given to my beloved wife with its increase in such manner as he or they shall think for the best interest of the estate.

Also, it is my will and desire that the proceeds of the sales of my lands and other property above devised to be sold and all the debts due to me be divided into nine equal parts after the payment of my just debts and specific legacies and that my son Samuel Smith have and devise one

equal half of one of the said nine equal parts and that the children of my son Robert Smith receive one equal eighth part of the residue to be equally divided amongst them or the survivors of them, as they shall severally arrive at the age of twenty-one or marry and in the mean time that the same be kept on interest by my executors or such of them as may act in that character from the time the same shall be left him or them received until the happpening of such contingency and that the rest and residue of said sums of money be equally divided amongst my seven children to wit, Bird, William, Woodson, Betsy, Nancy, Creed and John.

Also, it is my desire that my Negro man Jim be free immediately upon my decease and that my executors or such of them as may act in that character take measures immediately for protecting his freedom if any such measure be necessary.  And lastly, I do hereby constitute and appoint my son Bird Smith and my friends John Hockaday, Leven L. Shreve and John M. McConnell executors of this my last will and testament.  In testimony where of I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 21st day of August 1822.

Martin Smith

Signed, sealed, published and delivered by the said testator, as and for his last will and testament in our presence, who, at his request and in his presence have subscribed our names as witnesses thereto – George W. Koung, J. W. Shackleford, Benjamin Chinn and Andrew F. Price

At a county Court held for Greenup County at the Courthouse on Monday the 11th day of November 1822

This will and testament of Martin Smith, deceased, was produced in open court and proven to be the last will and testament of the said Martin Smith by the oaths of Benjamin Chinn, George W. Koung and John H. Shackleford, subscribing witnesses thereto and that they subscribed their names as witnesses to said will with the consent and in the presence of said Martin Smith and that they believed him to be of sound mind and disposing memory, and the same is ordered to be recorded, which is done.  Attest.  John Hockaday

 

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