Old Wills

1822 Will of Colonel James Woods – Garrard County

James Woods served as Colonel of a Regiment of Virginia Foot, successively known as the 4th, 8th and 12th Regiment, from about July 1777 to December 1779.  It appears that he was commissioned November 12, 1776, the date of the termination of his service is not shown by record.  He lived in Albemarle County, Virginia, until 1795/96 when he moved to Garrard County, Kentucky, where he settled on Paint Lick Creek and lived until his death, September 11, 1822, and his wife, Mary Garland, daughter of James Garland, Sr., a Revolutionary War soldier, died December 4, 1835, in the same county.  James Garland, 1722-1812, served as matross in Captain William Pierce’s Company, Col. Charles Harrison’s regiment, 1st artillery, Continental troops.  In 1783 he was magistrate for Albemarle County, where he died.  He was born in Hanover County, Virginia.  A matross was a soldier who assisted artillery gunners in loading, firing, sponging and moving guns.

Children of Colonel James Woods and Mary Rice Garland:

  1. John Woods born February 25, 1780, married Jenny Bank June 11, 1800, consent of father William Bank (per GC marriages).
  2. Samuel Woods born January 6, 1782
  3. James Garland Woods born April 23, 1783, married Betsy Brank September 16, 1807 (per GC marriages).
  4. William Woods born May 9, 1784, married Polly Reid February 25, 1811 (per GC marriages).
  5. Sarah Woods born January 1, 1786, married William Reid, October 22, 1804, bond William Woods, consent of father James Woods (per GC marriages).
  6. Anderson Woods born January 18, 1788, died October 22, 1841, married May 4, 1809 in Madison County, Kentucky, to Elizabeth Harris who died October 13, 1868.
  7. Susannah Woods born September 1, 1789, married Alexander Henderson January 12, 1813, consent of father, James Woods (per GC marriages).
  8. Rice Woods born November 6, 1790
  9. Michael Woods born January 5, 1792, married Patsy Denny, January 10, 1816 (per GC marriages).
  10. Mary Rice Woods born September 24, 1795, in Albemarle County, Virginia, died August 31, 1876, married on December 1, 1814, in Garrard County, to Overton Harris, consent by father James Woods (per GC marriages).
  11. Elizabeth Woods born June 7, 1798, married William Garland Reid, November 9, 1816, consent of father James Woods, consent of father John Reid (per GC marriages).
  12. Frances Woods born April 26, 1800, died February 11, 1836, married October 14, 1817, to William Slavin, (per GC marriages).
  13. Nathaniel Woods born August 27, 1803, died October 10, 1850, married Rachel Givins.

All of James Woods’ children are mentioned in his will.  Son Rice Woods was deceased.  John Woods, the eldest, was given nothing in the will – his share was given to his son Robert.  Perhaps he had already received his share of the estate, or perhaps there had been a falling out between father and son.  Samuel Woods receives no share of his father’s estate, but is named an executor.

Will of Colonel James Woods

Garrard County Will Book E, Pages 230-235

In the name of God, Amen.  I, James Woods, of Garrard County and State of Kentucky, being of sound mind and perfect mind and memory and in my common state of health, but calling to mind the certainty of death and the uncertainty of life, do make and ordain this my last will and testament.  In the first place I hereby bequeath my soul to God who give it and my body to the dust.  I desire that my body be decently buried in the family burying ground where my son, Rice, is buried, and several of my grandchildren.  It is my desire to be buried about the center of the graveyard, hoping that I shall have a joyful resurrection and ascend to glory through the unremitted mercy and grace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  It is my desire that my burial be conducted without much ceremony or pomp or parade, that a funeral sermon be preached on the occasion at a convenient time after my burial by an orderly preacher of the Presbyterian church and that a tombstone be placed

at the head and foot of my grave similar to that of my son Rice’s grave and that similar stones be placed at my wife’s grave if she should be buried at the same place, at the expense of my estate wherewith it has pleased God to bless me.  I will and bequeath, to wit, that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid by my executor hereafter named.

In the second place it is my will and desire that one-half acre of land, including the family burying place, be set apart as a family burying ground, and that it be kept for that use forever.

Next, I give to my beloved wife the plantation or tract of land I now live on, to be made use of as she, with the advice of my executors, shall think best until my son shall arrive to the age of twenty-one years and after he arrives to the age of twenty-one years my wife to have the use of one-half the plantation or tract of land above mentioned, including the dwelling house, garden, yard and as many of the convenient out-houses as she should have during her natural life or widowhood, and son Nathaniel to have the other half of my plantation or tract of land whereon I now live and at my wife’s decease or intermarriage I will and bequeath the whole plantation or tract of land whereon I now live to my son Nathaniel.

It is my desire that my wife keep grandson Robert under her care while in an infirm state, if practicable, and consistent with her wishes.

It is my desire that my wife and son Nathaniel occupy the plantation jointly, unless they choose to divide it, in that case the plantation to be so divided that my wife to have the dwelling house and other convenient out-houses as hereinbefore mentioned.  Also, one-half the orchard, meadow and pasture ground and that the division to be made convenient as circumstances will admit.  If my son Nathaniel should die under the age of twenty-one years of age, or without lawful issue of his body, it is my will that the tract of land before bequeathed to him should be sold on a credit of one, two and three years after the death or marriage of my wife, whom I desire, in case of my son Nathaniel’s death before he arrives to the age of twenty-one years, shall occupy the whole during her natural life or widowhood and the proceeds

equally divided amongst my children, except son John, and I will that grandson Robert have his share instead of his father and I further will and bequeath to my wife during her life or widowhood, four of my slaves at her choice, also two beds, ? furnished as much of the other furniture for house, table and kitchen use as she thinks necessary.  Also, two work horses and one mare of her own choosing out of my stock of horses and one-third part of all my stock of every kind – that is on my place, also three pair of gears, chain log, chain stretches, three plows and tools necessary for the plantation while they continue to occupy the place together.  If a separation takes place, it is my will that my wife have the full and entire use of all as named above or the value thereof in money.  My wife may have all that is left her sold at any time she thinks proper (except the land) and the money put out at interest by my executors and the interest paid to her annually and punctually for her support.  She may use of the interest and rent of land as she thinks proper, but not the principal.  It is my will that one year’s provision shall be left on the place I now live on sufficient for the family and stock which amount may be ascertained by three disinterest persons.  I also will for the use of the place all necessary tools for the use of the place while they continue together – and if a separation should take place to be appropriated above mentioned.

I will and bequeath to my son-in-law William Reid, his executors or administrators, my Negro girl and slave named Milly, and my Negro boy slave named Frederick, them and their increase to have and to hold the same nevertheless, in trust for the sole use and benefit of my daughter Betsy Reid during her natural life and at her death the said Negroes and their increase to the heirs of her body forever.  After I give to my beloved wife my Negro girl slave named Melinda, during her natural life or widowhood, besides those already bequeathed to her being considered in an infirm state of health and my wife, at the request of my said trustee or trustees, is to exchange the said Negro Melinda for my said Negro Milly and when so exchanged which is to be the request and option of my daughter Betsy Reid, I will and bequeath my said Negro slave Melinda to my aforesaid trustee or trustees in trust for the special use and benefit of my said daughter Betsy Reid and at her death her and her increase to the natural

heirs of her and her body forever.  And I will my said Milly and her increase, if any, when exchanged, to my beloved wife in place of Melinda during her natural life or widowhood.  I give to my son Nathaniel my rifle gun, one bed and furniture and the horse he now claims as his own.

I give to grandson Robert, son of John, one bed and furniture which bed as that given to son Nathaniel is to be furnished at the discretion of my wife and executors.

I also give to grandson Robert the mare which is now called his, also one saddle when he shall arrive at the age of twenty-one.  And also, my will and desire is that my grandson Robert have at least eight months schooling.

I desire that my executors shall keep all the money that may come to my grandson Robert out at interest and that bonds with approved security be taken and further that they shall not pay over any portion of his estate more than the interest for his support to him or his guardian, if he should choose any, until he shall arrive to the age of twenty-one years, unless in case of sickness where it shall be deemed necessary for his support.

I will and desire that all the rest and residue of my estate which has not been named particular and before disposed of, both real and personal, be sold by my executors at twelve months credit upon bond and approved security and out of the money arising from the sale, after paying my just debts and former bequeaths, I give to my daughter Sally Reid one hundred dollars, to son Anderson fifty dollars, to daughter Polly Harris fifty dollars.  After those small sums are paid my children are to be considered alike entitled to their equal part of the balance of my estate in its several divisions, daughter Betsy excepted, who has her share of the first division, but shall be entitled to an equal share of the balance of my estate at the decease of my wife, also Nathaniel excepted and son John.  The land bequeathed to son Nathaniel I consider to be his share of the whole estate.  Perhaps I may pay some of those specific sums in my life time.  If I do, I shall take receipt for the same specifying the amount paid and it is to be considered in satisfaction for so much left in my will and shall be taken for as much as it shall specify and the residue of my estate

it shall be equally divided between James G. Woods, William, Anderson, Michael, Sally, Susannah, Polly, Betsy, Frances and grandson Robert, son of John.  I desire if grandson Robert should die before he arrives to the age of twenty-one years, or without lawful issue of his body, that the amount willed to him be divided, son Nathaniel and son John excepted.  I desire and will that my Negro slave Jack have the liberty of choosing his own master when sold and desire that all the rest be indulged as far as circumstances will admit.

Lastly and finally, I appoint my beloved wife Executrix and son Samuel Woods and son-in-law William Reid Executors of this my last will and testament.  In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 16th day of April one thousand eight hundred and twenty-two.

                                                                           James Woods

Signed in the presence of

Franklin McClary, Edward King, John Powell


It is my will that one hundred dollars, which I loaned to son William Woods the 12th March 1813, with the interest considering thereon shall be taken and charged to him as so much of my estate bequeathed to him and is to be charged to him in special value, given under my hand and seal this 15th day of August 1822.

James Woods

John Clark, Jacob C. Yates

Garrard County Court

I hereby certify that the forgoing last will and testament of James Woods was exhibited in court at the October County Court 1822 and was proven by the oaths of Franklin McClary and Edward King, two subscribing witnesses thereto and the codicil annexed there was proven by the oaths of Clark and Gates and ordered to be recorded and the same is timely admitted to record.

Benjamin Letcher, Clerk

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