Old Wills

Elijah Harlan’s 1843 Will – Boyle County

Elijah Harlan was the son of James Harlan and Sarah Caldwell, born April 5, 1792, in Lincoln County, Kentucky, and died November 26, 1843, in Boyle County.  It is quite probable that Elijah lived on the same land his entire life.  At one time Lincoln was one of three counties of Kentucky – consisting of 1/3 of the state.  Mercer County was carved from Lincoln in 1786, and part of Mercer was used to form Boyle County in 1842.  Therefore, the Harlan farm could have remained the same, just becoming a part of three counties during the formation years.  Elijah married Sarah Lawson Moore November 7, 1814, in Mercer County.  Sarah was the daughter of Lawson Moore and Elizabeth Rochester.  She was born March 19, 1795 in Westmoreland County, Virginia, and died August 31, 1856, in Mercer County.  She was buried beside her husband on the farm where they lived in Boyle County.

Children of Elijah Harlan and Sarah Lawson Moore:

  1. Elizabeth, born August 13, 1817, in Mercer County; died May 31, 1852, in Mississippi; married William Shannon, of Boyle County, 1832; second, William Gray, of Bourbon County, 1838; third, William Walker, of Mississippi, 1848.
  2. Mary, born May 5, 1819, in Mercer County; died there, 1833, unmarried.
  3. Sarah, born July 9, 1821, in Mercer County; died August 18, 1876,in Hinds County, Mississippi; buried there  She married 1840, John B. Hughes of Warren County, Mississippi, and Morrall Hodgdon, of Hinds County, Mississippi.
  4. Catherine, born in Mercer County, and died there “aged 12 months”
  5. Martha, died June 10, 1863, married Andrew Grafton, 1843.
  6. Isabella, born December 18, 1824; married William C. Payne, January 29, 1846.
  7. Emeline, born in Mercer County, April 5, 1826; died in Hinds County, Mississippi, June 30, 1872; married there, 1846, George Grafton, living, 1890, in that county.
  8. James L., born December 26, 1828; married Letitia Maxwell, June 5, 1855.
  9. Sophia, born July 4, 1833; married Jesse S. Taylor, January 15, 1852.
  10. John R., born in Mercer County, July 14, 1834; died in Texas, 1866-1867; married November 5, 1860, Julia Wallace.

Elijah Harlan’s eight living children in 1843 are listed in his will.

Elijah Harlan Will

Boyle County Will Book 1, Pages 14-15

In the name of God.  I, Elijah Harlan, being at this time weak in body and conscious of the uncertainty of human life, but being of sound mind and disposing memory, do make and publish this my last will and testament, hereby revoking all others. 

First.  It is my will and desire that all my just debts be paid out of the debts which may be due to me.

Secondly.  It is my will and desire that my wife, Sally Harlan, and all my unmarried children, namely Emeline, Isabella, James, John and Sophia, and also my daughter, Elizabeth Gray, so long as she may live separate from her husband, shall all live on and enjoy in common the farm and its proceeds on which I now reside and for this purpose I will that there shall be a sale of my Negroes, neither of my other personal property, but will that all shall remain as at present.  Those above named enjoying the proceeds so far as may be necessary for their comfort and should there be more money made than will support them, then the surplus to be loaned out at interest for the benefit of all my children.  I also will that in case there should be at any time more servants than shall be needed, for the use of the farm or any that are not desired to remain on the farm by my wife, such one or more shall be hired out for the use of my family and in the event of the marriage of my wife, she shall then take her thirds of my estate, and the remainder of my land to be rented out for the use and support of my unmarried children, and also the remaining Negroes to be hired out and all the remaining personal property to be sold for their benefit.  And should any of my children now unmarried marry previous to the death of my wife, such child or children so marrying to receive as near one thousand dollars as may be should the condition of my estate permit at the time, such portion to be in Negroes, money or other personal property as may be most succinctly spared.  My children that are now young and have not completed their education to be educated equal with the older ones and the expense paid out of the proceeds of the farm and at the death of my wife it is my will that my farm, Negroes and all other property be sold on such terms and such time within a reasonable time, as my executor may think best and the whole then to be equally divided among all my children who may then be alive, but any daughter who married are to be charged as follows.  Sally Ann, who married John B. Hughes, has received and is to be charged with twelve hundred dollars.  And Martha C., who married Andrew Grafton, has received and is to be charged with the sum of nine hundred dollars, and in the event of

ttthe death of either of the above-named married daughters, Sally Ann or Martha C., neither of their husbands or their children of the one who may have died are to receive any more of my estate.  But should they be living at the distribution of my estate after the death of my wife, they will receive an equal portion after being charged as above.  My daughter Elizabeth, who has married Gray, and with whom she cannot live, shall be supported so long as she remains in her present condition as my unmarried children and not be charged and I do hereby will that my friend J. T. Hopkins shall receive an equal portion of my estate with my other children, in trust for my said daughter, Elizabeth, and her child, to be held in trust by him so long as she shall remain in her present relation to Gray.  Said Gray never to receive one cent of my estate.  I also will that at any time Elizabeth shall desire it, the trustee above named shall take choice of my Negroes to be appraised by three disinterested men, her portion to be charged with the amount in the equal division.  And for the purpose of conveying into effect all the provisions of this my last will I do hereby appoint my friends Andrew W. Kyle and Thomas Pitman my executors.  Given under my hand and seal this 19th day of November 1843.

                   Elijah Harlan

Witness, William Pauling, S. W. Caldwell

Commonwealth of Kentucky, Boyle County Court – December Term 1843

This instrument of writing purporting to be the last will and testament of Elijah Harlan, deceased, was produced in court and proven to have been duly executed by the oath of Samuel W. Caldwell and William Pawling, subscribing witnesses thereto, whereupon the said will is ordered to be recorded.

Test. Duff Green, C.B.C.C.

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