Reuben Berkeley wrote his will June 29, 1787. It was probated three months and a few days later. He was evidently very ill, possibly dying, when he wrote this will. Luckily for us Reuben Berkeley named his children! Burgess Berkeley, William Berkeley, Elizabeth Hutchison (wife of George Hutchison), Nancy Berkeley, Benjamin Berkeley, Moses Berkeley, George Berkeley, Susanna Berkeley, Fanna Rogers Berkeley and Catharine Berkeley. Reuben’s wife, Catharine Berkeley, is also named in the will. Reuben Berkeley is a step-uncle to my Captain John Hancock Linton. John Linton’s mother, Susanna Hancock Linton, was still a young woman when her husband, and John’s father, Moses Linton, died in 1752. After Moses death she married John Berkeley, brother to this Reuben Berkeley, and with him had two children, Scarlett Berkeley and Elizabeth Berkeley. John Linton was one of the witnesses to this will, along with Benjamin Mason – father of John Linton’s wife, Ann Mason Linton, and George Mason – brother-in-law. Benjamin Mason is also the brother-in-law of Reuben Berkeley, having married his sister, Elizabeth Berkeley. Joseph Lewis, who is named one of the executors, is married to John Linton’s sister, Catharine Linton Lewis. So, this is quite the family affair! I feel that is perhaps the way with many wills, but we may not have enough information about the parties to understand the interconnections. Many of the Linton’s, Mason’s and Berkeley’s came to Kentucky from the 1790’s to 1818.
Will of Reuben Berkeley
Loudoun County, Virginia, Will Book C, pages 301-304
In the name of God, amen. I, Reuben Berkeley, of the County of Loudoun and in the Commonwealth of Virginia, being sick and weak of body, but thanks be to God of sound and perfect understanding and being willing and desirous to settle my worldly affairs in such a manner as may prevent disputes and contentions after my death, do make and ordain this to be my last will and testament in manner and form following.
First, I give and bequeath my soul to God, nothing doubting it hoping thro the merits and mediation of my Saviour and Redeemer to have a joyful
resurrection, and as to my worldly estate, I give and dispose of the same in the following manner. I give and bequeath to my loving wife, Catharine, and to my four children, namely, George Berkeley, Susanna Berkeley, Fanna Rogers Berkeley and Catharine Berkeley, two lots of lease land which I now hold under Henry Alexander Ashton and Francis Lightfoot Lee, to hold the same in peaceable possession until the youngest of my above named children shall arrive to the age of sixteen years. But if my wife, Catharine Berkeley, should depart this life before my youngest child should arrive to the age of sixteen years, that then the above mentioned leases should be sold and disposed as shall be hereafter directed. I give and bequeath unto my son William Berkeley and my daughter Ann Berkeley my lot of lease land I bought of John Starks, to their proper use during the term of the said lease. I give and bequeath to my son Benjamin Berkeley my sorrel colt, one year old colt last spring, to his own proper use and benefit forever. I give and bequeath unto my son Moses Berkeley a bay mare four years old to his own proper use and benefit forever. My will and desire is that after this present crop is finished that all my whole estate both real and personal to be sold by giving twelve months credit and the money thence arising to be equally divided between my wife and children, viz., Burgess Berkeley, William Berkeley, Elizabeth Hutchison, wife of George Hutchison,
Nancy Berkeley, Benjamin Berkeley, Moses Berkeley, George Berkeley, Susanna Berkeley, Fanna Rogers Berkeley and Catharine Berkeley, as equally as possible. Also, my desire is that the two lots of leased land which I have given to my wife and four children to be sold after my daughter Catharine Berkeley shall arrive to the age of sixteen years, or the death of wife Catharine Berkeley, and the money thence arising to be equally divided between my wife and children that is above mentioned.
Whereas my son Burgess Berkeley, William Berkeley, Benjamin Berkeley and Moses Berkeley, and my daughter Elizabeth Hutchison, having in their hands the following sums of money, viz., Burgess Berkeley, twenty-five pounds, William Berkeley, sixteen pounds, Benjamin Berkeley, five pounds, Moses Berkeley, three pounds and my daughter, Elizabeth Hutchison, twenty-four pounds, which said sum shall be deducted out of their just parts of my estate.
Lastly, I nominate, constitute, ordain and appoint my good friends Joseph Lewis, John Berkeley and loving son, Burgess Berkeley, my whole and sole Executors of this my last will and testament, revoking all others heretofore by me made in testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this twenty-ninth day of June, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven.
Signed, published and
Declared in the presence of Benjamin Mason, John Linton, James Lewin Gibbs, George Mason
At a Court held for Loudoun County, October 8, 1787
This will was proved by the oaths of Benjamin Mason, George Mason and John Linton, and ordered to be recorded. And on the motion of Joseph Lewis, one of the Executors therein named, certificate is granted him for obtaining a probate thereof in due form giving. Security whereupon he, with John Linton and George Mason, securities, entered into and acknowledged their bond in the penalty of eight hundred pounds, conditioned as the law directs and liberty is reserved the other Executors to qualify when they shall think fit. Teste. Charles Binns, Clerk
Categories: Old Wills