Old Wills

1799 Will of Rev. John Gano – Franklin County

Continuing our research on Rev. John Gano, today I share his will. It was written in 1799 and he mentions hope that his health will be restored. He must have recuperated since it was another five years before his death in 1804. His first wife, Sarah Stites, died in 1792. The wife Sarah that is mentioned is his second wife. According to the will she came from ‘Carolina’ since the Reverend mentions she is to be given ‘a horse and good new saddle’ if she wants to return there. John Gano and Sarah Hunt Bryan, a widow, were married April 15, 1793, in North Carolina.

Along with his wife, his executors were his trusted friends Daniel Gano, Col. Baker Ewing and Governor James Garrard, Kentucky’s second governor.

Another interesting feature of the will is he calls his home the mansion. I can’t say I’ve seen that before.

The early Franklin County will book that includes Rev. Gano’s will was in bad shape. It went from page 14 to, I believe page 33 (hard to distinguish between a 3 or a 5) and 34. Twenty pages missing – whose wills are lost?

Will of the Reverend John Gano

Franklin County Will Book Pages 33-34

In the name of God, Amen.  I, John Gano, of the County of Franklin and Commonwealth of Kentucky, being weak in body but of sound mind (blessed be to God), do this twenty-ninth day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-eight, make and publish this my last will and testament in manner following, (that is to say) I commit my body to the dust and my soul to God who gave it, hoping for acceptance only through the merits of Jesus Christ (and wish to be interred without any ostentation at the direction of my friends).

I will that the mansion in which I now live may be completed by carrying up the chimney and furnishing the second story in the same order of the first story for the payment of this expense and of all my just debts, I will that my executors sell my property in the town of Frankfort and a piece of land to be taken off the east end of the tract of land on which I now live.

In lieu of my wife’s right of dower, I give and bequeath to my relict, Sarah Gano, every species of property which she possessed at the time of our union or marriage, to be at her entire and sole disposal and I also give her the use of the mansion tract of land (except so much as I have directed to be sold) stock of every kind, household furniture and farming utensils and indeed the use of all my property both real and personal (except my books) so long as she shall choose to reside on said farm, but should she choose to remove or go to Carolina, I then request my executors to furnish her with her choice of my horses and a good new saddle.

I will that if my children, Daniel, Morgan, Stephen, John, Sarah, Isaac, Richard and Suzanne choose to divide my books and take them they are at liberty to do so.

On the death or removal of my widow I will that my executors make the best sale they can of my property and divide it equally

Among my children above named, or should they or any of them be dead before the division, the share allotted shall be apportioned to his or her descendants.  And whereas I have begun and in some measure completed a sketch or narrative of my life, whether it should please God to retore my health so far as to enable me to finish it or not, I will and request that it be (immediately after my death) put into the hands of my son Stephen Gano to be by him transcribed, corrected and edited and that one third of the first edition be for the use of my widow and the other to be the property of said Stephen, and I make and ordain Sarah Gano, my wife, an Executrix, also Daniel Gano, Col. Baker Ewing and Governor James Garrard, Executors, and trust my loving friends above named will take care and see this, my will, performed according to its true intent and meaning.  In witness whereof, I, the said John Gano, have to this my last will and testament, set my hand and seal the day and year afore written, hereby revoking all former wills by me made. 

John Gano

Signed, sealed and delivered by the said John Gano as for his last will and testament in the presence of us who were present at the signing and sealing thereof.

Codicil.  It is my wish that my wife and Stephen Gano furnish my children and grand children with a copy of my narrative each.

John Gano

Turner Richardson, John Hunt, Margaret Hunt

At a court held for Franklin County on Monday the 21st day of January 1805.

A writing containing the last will and testament of John Gano, deceased, was produced in court and proven by the oaths of John Hunt and Margaret Hunt, subscribing witnesses thereto, which is ordered to be recorded.

Daniel Weisiger, Clerk

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