Old Wills

1824 Will of Jeremiah Burns – Lawrence County

The following is the second will in the Lawrence County books.  Jeremiah Burns, born October 26, 1752, in Bedford County, Virginia, son of James Patrick Burns and Mary Davidson,  was a Revolutionary War soldier who enlisted in Bedford County, Virginia, serving until after the battle at Yorktown.  He married Elizabeth Rowland March 20, 1794, in Franklin County, Virginia.  Children of Jeremiah and Elizabeth Rowland Burns named in his will are as follows:

  1. Rowland Tierman Burns, 1796-1833, married 1821 Catherine Kayser.
  2. Jeremiah Burns, Jr., 1798-1882.
  3. Nancy Reed Burns, 1802–1855, married John Gitthens.
  4. Jane Hannah Burns, 1804-1837, married a Mr. Rice.
  5. Amanda Burns, 1806-1862.
  6. John Lewis Burns, 1809-1899.
  7. Charles Cameron Burns, 1811-1880.
  8. James Patrick Burns, 1813-?
  9. Juliann Burns, 1816-?

It was interesting to read the list of books given to Elizabeth Burns and son Rowland Burns, names of horses, etc.

Will of Jeremiah Burns, Sr.

Lawrence County Will Book 1, Pages 2-3

In the name of God, amen.  I, Jeremiah Burns, of Lawrence County and State of Kentucky, being of sound mind and judgement, but knowing that it is appointed for all men to die, do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following.  I recommend my soul to almighty God, the disposer of all things, and my body to be buried in a decent and Christian-like manner at the discretion of my surviving friends hereafter mentioned.  And as to my worldly goods that it’s pleased God to bless me with, after my funeral expenses are paid, I dispose of in the following manner, to wit.  I give and bequeath to my wife, Elizabeth Burns, the place that I now live on for which I hold a title bond on David L. Ward, for one hundred acres of land, being a part of William Grayson’s 70,000-acre survey.  Also, two horse beasts, a mare named Canary and our two-year-old filly named Phenix.  Also, the cow beasts which consist of three cows, a three-year-old heifer, also two young calves.  And ten head of sheep.  Also, fifteen head of hogs and twelve geese and poultry of every description.  The household furniture consisting of three beds with their covering, cooking utensils with the table furniture.  The barn with its tackle and shoulder plough and one set of drawing gears, two axes, three hoes with all the farming utensils.  The Bible, hymn book, the letter writer, and Scots lessons, also two spinning wheels, one little wheel and one big wheel and two large sugar (?) kettles, two augers and drawing knife and if there should be any part of my pension that should be in arrear, that is to be for her use.  And the balance of my books I give and bequeath to my son Rowland Burns.  What consists of the first volume of Blain’s Sermons, the fourth volume Wesley’s Sermons, Milton’s works, Paradise Lost.  I also give and bequeath to my son John L. Burns one horse beast called Nudley and a rifle gun, but he is not at liberty to dispose of them

until he comes of age.  And the within named property granted to my wife Elizabeth Burns is to be hers for her lifetime to dispose of as she thinks best if she remains a widow.  But if she should marry, she is only to have her thirds and the balance of the estate to be equally divided amongst my children, to wit, Rowland Burns, Jeremiah Burns, Nancy Gitthens late Nancy Burns, Jane Rice, late Jane Burns, Amanda Burns, John L. Burns, Charles C. Burns, James P. Burns and Juliann Burns.  And if she remains a widow, at her decease whatever remains of the estate to equally be divided among the above-named Rowland Burns, Jeremiah Burns, Nancy Gitthens, late Nancy Burns, Jane Rice, late Jane Burns, Amanda Burns, John L. Burns, Charles C. Burns, James P. Burns, Juliann Burns.  Lastly, I constitute and appoint my son Rowland Burns and son-in-law John Gitthens executors of this my last will and testament, notifying it to be such in witness whereof I have set my hand and seal this 16th day of May 1824.

Jeremiah Burns, Sen.

Signed, sealed and acknowledged in presence of Samuel White, Elijah Rice, Jun.

State of Kentucky, Lawrence County

I, Joseph R. Ware, Clerk of the county court aforesaid, do hereby certify that the last will and testament of Jeremiah Burns, Sen., was produced in open court on the day of 1825, and the same was truly proven by the oaths of Samuel White and Elijah Rice, Jr., two subscribing witnesses thereto, and ordered to be recorded which has been accordingly done.

Joseph R. Ware, Clerk

In the next few days we will learn more about Jeremiah Burns experiences during the war.


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