Category Archives: Old Wills

1788 Will of Francis Lucas Jacoby

Francis Lucas Jacoby, born in Germany, came to America about 1764 via England.  Married Frederica Lotspeich, a fellow passenger, in 1764 in London.  The family lived in Culpeper County, Virginia, during the Revolutionary War, in which Francis was part of the militia.  Moved to Kentucky after 1783.

Bourbon County, Kentucky – Will Book A, Pages 8-9

In the name of God, amen.  I, Francis Lucas Jacoby, of the County of Bourbon and State of Virginia, of sound sense and memory, do make, constitute and ordain this my last will and testament, and hereby revoke all and every will heretofore by me made or ordered to be made.  I first desire that all the debts which I justly owe to all men be faithfully paid agreed to contract.  I secondly dispose of my worldly property, both real and personal,in the following manner.  I leave in possession of my beloved wife, Frederica, during her real life, the plantation whereon I now live, with the appurtenances thereon for the purpose of raising my small children.

Item.  It is my will that my hereafter mentioned shall proceed to have all my personal estate, valued immediately after my death.  And after giving my wife her first choice of a part equal to that the estimate be equally made and that each of my following children as respectively come of age and choose shall of my Executor hereafter named the sum such valuation shall amount to provided that no such demand during the natural lifetime of my wife as it is my will that all the property she is to keep for the purpose of raising my small children, be continued in her possession, disposal at will.

Item.  It is my will and desire that my lands be equally as near as may be in value among all my children, viz., Katrina, Elizabeth,

Susanna, Ralph of ?, Frank, Henry, Frederick, Daniel, Betsey, Jacob, Rachel, John and Adam, and that after such division each legatee as they come of age may have full and free possession of such part as shall fall to their respective lot.  I further constitute and appoint as Executor, to this my will for the sole purpose of executing the true intent and meaning thereof, my beloved wife, Frederica, my trusty friends, John Grant and William Butler.  In witness whereof I have set my hand and seal this twenty-seventh day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight.

Francis Lucas Jacoby

Signed in the presence of John Hopper, Joe Mosby, Catherine Butler

At a Court held for Bourbon County at the Courthouse on Tuesday the 15th day of July 1788.

The last will and testament of Francis Lucas Jacoby, deceased, was proved by the oaths of John Hopper and Catherine Butler, witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded.  And on the motion of Frederica Jacoby, named and appointed executrix in the last will and testament of Francis Lucas Jacoby, and also John Grant, gentleman, and William Butler, who were also named executors in said will, they having agreeable to law qualified as Executors of said Jacoby, deceased, and together with John Hopper, their security, entered into and acknowledged bond in the penalty of one thousand pounds.  Certificate is granted them for obtaining Probate thereof in due form.

Test. John Edwards, Cl. B. C.

1812 Will of Henry Rhoads of Muhlenberg County

Henry Rhoads, known as the ‘Godfather of Muhlenberg County,’ was born in Germany in 1739.  He and three of his brothers came to America about 1757, and settled in Bedford County, Pennsylvania.  In 1760 he married Elizabeth Stoner of Maryland.  He fought for his adopted country under the leadership of General Muhlenberg.  After the war, he and his brothers decided to move to Kentucky.  They stopped first at Bardstown, where they left their wives and children, and headed further west to build a town.  They selected a place at the falls of the Green River and began Rhoadsville.  When the land they lived on was in dispute, and after losing their court case, they moved into Logan County, in what is now Muhlenberg County.  Here the Rhoads brothers raised their families and lived fruitful lives.

When you read the will you notice a wife is mentioned, Barbara.  She is evidently a second wife as to mentioning all the property she brought with her to the marriage, agreeable to contract.  I do find it odd that he gave her the family Bible.

In a later blog there will be more information on this family, who married into the Linton family.

In the name of God, Amen.  I, Henry Rhoads, of the County of Muhlenberg and State of Kentucky, begin weak in body but of perfect mind and memory do make and ordain this my last will and testament.

First.  I recommend my soul to the Almighty God and as touching my worldly effects wherewith he has blessed me, I give and dispose of them in the following manner.

1st.  I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Barbara Rhoads all the property she brought with her after we were married, agreeable to contract and one cow, a large heifer and one iron pot, and the common cupboard and chest, my large Bible and the law post-bed bedstead, one large and one small wheel, including all the furniture we have got since we were married.  I also give and bequeath to my beloved wife, Barbary, all that is allowed to her agreeable to the courts of a bond on my son Daniel Rhoads, bearing date August 23, 1810.

Second.  I give and bequeath all my debts, dues and demands, and all the property I own in this world, except what is especially mentioned in this my last will, to my children, namely, my sons, Jacob Rhoads, Daniel Rhoads, Henry Rhoads, Solomon Rhoads

and David Rhoads, Susannah Nighmyoir, Caty Jackson, Elizabeth Vanmeter, and Hannah Jackson, all my daughters, to be equally divided among them at the discretion of my executors at my decease.

Lastly, I do hereby nominate and appoint my brothers Daniel Rhoads and Solomon Rhoads and David Rhoads, as executors of this my last will and testament, hereby ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and testament, hereby revoking all other wills by me made, as witness and seal, this the 13th day of April in the year of our Lord, 1812, and in the presence of us.

Henry Rhoads

Test.  J. W. Connell, William Sumner

Muhlenberg County, August County Court – 1813

The within instrument of writing purporting to be the last will and testament of Henry Rhoads, Sr., deceased, was exhibited into court and acknowledged by the said Rhoads (in his lifetime) to be his act and deed and ordered to be recorded.

Attest.  Charles Wing, C.M.C.

1856 Will of William Linton Lewis of Hancock County

William Linton Lewis is my first cousin five times removed.  He was the nephew of my fifth great-grandfather, Captain John Hancock Linton, the son of his sister Catherine Jennings Linton.  Catherine married William Joseph Lewis.

William Linton Lewis married Ann Winter Dunnington November 18, 1806.  Together they had nine children, and all were given the middle name Dunnington!  They were Francis (married his cousin, Hannah Ann Lewis), Hiram (who died before his father), George (married Caroline Harris), Catherine (married James E. Stone, Hancock County Court Clerk), Frederic (married Pauline Chrisler), William (who died before his father), Elizabeth, Joseph (married Mildred Willian) and Ann (married Porterfield Harrison Hodges).

Hancock County Will Book 4, Pages 32-36

Will of William Linton Lewis

In the name of God, amen.  I, William L. Lewis, of the County of Hancock and State of Kentucky, being of sound mind and disposing memory, doth make this my last will and testament, hereby revoking all former wills by me made.

First. I commit my soul to God and my body to the earth, to be buried in a decent Christian manner.

Second.  It is my will and desire and I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife, Ann Lewis, my home farm on which we live, which includes all the trace conveyed to me by William L. Boothe, trustee of N. B. Beall, except those parts thereof conveyed by me to Joseph D. Lewis and Frederick D. Lewis, and except the one hundred acres hereinafter given to my son, George D. Lewis, for and during her natural life, together with such of the necessary farming utensils, plows

wagons, horses, stock of cattle and hogs, necessary to carry the farm on.  Also, such of the house and kitchen furniture as she may select, as well as the produce of the farm that may be on hand at my death.  This desire is for the use and benefit of my said Ann and also for my daughter Elizabeth, who is to live with my wife until she should marry and until the death of my wife.

Third.  It is my will and desire at the death of my wife Ann that my daughter Elizabeth shall have the above named tract of land, given as above to my said wife, and also such of the property, stock and farming utensils, household and kitchen furniture, etc., etc., remaining at the death of my wife as she, the said Elizabeth, may select.  The land to be to her, the said Elizabeth, and the heirs of her body.  If she should die without issue, then the land to be equally divided amongst my other children and their heirs as hereinafter named.

Fourth.  I give and bequeath to George Lewis one hundred acres of land to be laid off of the tract on which I now live, on the northeast end and northeast of the tracts heretofore conveyed to my sons Joseph D Lewis and Frederick D. Lewis, and a line running from the northern corner of Joseph D. Lewis to the east corner of Frederick D. Lewi.  Said 100 acres to be laid off in one body as said George D. Lewis may request, so that it may be by a line running northeast on southeast to him and his heirs forever.

Fifth.  I have given to my son Joseph D. Lewis one hundred acres of land and to my son Frederick D. Lewis one hundred acres of land per deeds executed to them.

Sixth.  I give, desire and bequeath unto my beloved wife Ann Lewis, for use and benefit of my daughter Elizabeth Lewis, to hold, govern, manage and use as she, the said Ann may think best, except that she is not to sell any during her natural life, such of the slaves that I have or may have at hand to assist her and Elizabeth and carry on the said home place and farm given to her above.

Seventh.  As respects the slaves of mine that now are in possession of my children.  It is my will that they

remain in their possession if they see fit to keep them, and my wife Ann may deliver to the other children to keep such of those slaves as she may not wat to keep, as above sixth, division and named, my said children to hold the said slaves and use them for their benefit until the death of my wife.

Eighth.  It is my will and desire that at the death of my wife that all my children then living and the children of these that may be dead to have a general division of my real estate and salves, as well that which hath been heretofore advanced to each respectively, but what may be in this will devised once all be made equal.  The children of those that may be dead taking the share of their parent and to be charged with the advancements their parents have received.

Ninth.  As to the personal property that may not be taken and necessary to be used for the benefit of my wife and daughter Elizabeth in the second devise herein and all other property not herein named, to be sold by my executor and the proceeds applied to the payment of my debts.  If not sufficient then such other property as may best spared.

Tenth.  It is my understanding that those of my children who have had the use of any of my slaves or who may have the use of any under the seventh devise herein and shall not have paid for their services to me during my life are to account in the general settlement for a reasonable value for the services of such and in the equal division contemplated in the either devise above a fair value is to be put on the slaves and land in such way as may be deemed right by my executors, to carry out the intentions therein expected to make all my children equal.

Lastly, I appoint George D. Lewis, Frederick D. Lewis, without security, my executors of this my last will and testament.

In witness whereof, I have set my hand and seal this first day of February A.D. 1856.

William L. Lewis

Done and published as the last will and testament of the testator by him in our presence who subscribe our names

in his presence and in the presence of each other on the date above.

Teste.  Will. S. Bates, T. P. William

Codicil.  In explanation of my intentions respecting the land given to my wife Ann and my daughter Elizabeth, if they choose they may have the lines of the home tract extended back from Joseph D. Lewis’ north corner and Frederick D. Lewis’ east corner as much as twenty poles northeast, and then connected by a line parallel to the northeast line of the tract and then for George D. Lewis to have his 100 acres laid off as in the foregoing will is named, but giving a right of way for my wife and daughter Elizabeth from the home tract to any part that may not be included in said George D. Lewis’ 100 acres, which is devised to them – done and signed this 10th day of February A.D. 1856 by the testator in the presence of us, Will S. Bates, Thomas Morgan

William L. Lewis

State of Kentucky, Hancock County

At a Court held in and for the County of Hancock aforesaid at the Courthouse in Hawesville.  On Monday the 22nd day of October 1860, the instrument of writing purporting to be the last will and testament of William L. Lewis, deceased, and the codicil proved by the oath of William S. Bates, one of the subscribing witnesses to the will and also to the codicil, said Bates testifying on oath that the testator did sign, seal, publish and declare that said instrument to be his last will and testament in presence of said Bates and Thomas P. William, that the said Bates and William subscribed their names as witnesses in presence of the testator and in the presence of each other.  Said Bates also testified that the testator also signed, sealed and published and declared the codicil thereunder written to be a part and parcel of this said last will and testament, in the presence of the said Bates and Thomas Morgan.  That the

said Bates and Thomas Morgan, subscribed their names as witnesses to said codicil in presence of the testator and in presence of each other.

That at the time of the publishing of said will and codicil, the testator, William L. Lewis, was, as he believed, of sound and disposing mind and memory, whereupon the said instrument of writing and codicil thereunder written were established as the last will and testament and codicil of said William L. Lewis, deceased, and ordered to be recorded.

Whereupon the same hath been truly recorded in my office.

Attest.  James E. Stone, Clerk, Hancock County Court

1808 Will of James Cunningham of Breckinridge County

Breckinridge County, Kentucky

Will Book 1, Pages 3-4

Will of James Cunningham

In the name of God, amen.  I, James Cunningham, of the County of Breckinridge and State of Kentucky, being sick and weak in body but of sound mind and memory, but growing old in age, and well knowing the uncertainty of life and the certainty of death, do make this my last will and testament.  First of all, my soul I leave to the mercy of God, my body to the earth from whence it came.

Item.  The land whereon I now live, containing two hundred acres by survey, I leave to the support of my well beloved wife, Jany Cunningham, should she survive me, and during her widowhood and should she survive me, at her death it is my will and desire that the above land to be divided in the following manner between my two sons, Matthew Cunningham and John Cunningham.  To Matthew Cunningham I leave that part of the above two hundred acres of land included in the following bounds to wit.  Beginning at the mouth of a spring branch that breaks out on the south ride of the ridge that divides the two improvements of said land and

returning up the said spring branch to the head, including the spring and running on to the top of the ridge and then with the top of the ridge to the lower line of said land.  The residue of said two hundred acres of land I leave to John Cunningham and should John or Matthew Cunningham die without issue it is my will and desire that my son William Cunningham should have the part of the land I have given to them.

Item.  My personal estate I divide in the following manner after paying all my just debts and paying my funeral expenses, it is my will and desire that it be equally divided among my surviving children at my death or the death of my wife should she survive me.  My personal estate, should my wife survive me, is to remain in her possession during her life or during her widowhood.  I do nominate, constitute and appoint my son, Andrew Cunningham, Joseph Cunningham and William Levi my executors and revoking all other wills do make this my last will and testament.  In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty-sixth day of March eighteen hundred and eight.

James Cunningham

Teste.  William Levi, John Tharp, Christopher Stone

At a County Court held for Breckinridge County on Monday the 15th day of May 1809.

The within writing purporting to be the last will and testament of James Cunningham, deceased, was proven by the oaths of John Tharp and Christopher Stone, witnesses thereto and sworn to by William Levi, executor and ordered to be recorded.

Attest. John Allen, Clerk

John Yates 1816 Will – Washington County

John Yates is my 4th great-grandfather.  I am unsure about his parentage.  He married Henrietta Cambron,, daughter of Henry Cambron and Margaret Harbin, November 6, 1798, in Washington County.  John’s will was written only three weeks before probate; evidently he knew he was on death’s door.

In the name of God, Amen.  I, John Yates, of Washington County and state of Kentucky, being infirm of body, but of perfect and sound memory, thanks be to God for it, and calling to mind the uncertainty of this life, knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die, do make and constitute this my last will and testament in the manner and form following.

First, I recommend my soul into the

hands of God that gave it me, hoping that the merits of my Blessed Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, to receive the same again at the general resurrection, and my body to the earth, to be buried in decent form according to the direction of my Executrix or Executor, hereafter named.

Second.  After my just debts are paid I will and bequeath unto my beloved wife, Henrietta, all my estate, real and personal, during her natural life on condition hereafter named.  It is my will she should school my children, those that have not any schooling, to have two years, and whenever any of my children arrives at age 21 or marries, to have one of my estate, one horse for use, one cow and bed furniture and after the death of my wife, the residue of my estate, real and personal, to be equally divided amongst all my children.  And lastly, I do hereby nominate and appoint Henrietta, my wife, and Henry Fenwick, Executrix and Executor to this my last will and testament, revoking all other wills made by me, given under my hand and seal this twenty-fourth day of April in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixteen.

John Yates

Signed and acknowledged in presence of William Wright, Robert E. Yates, James Austin.

At a County Court began and held for Washington County on Monday, the 13th day of May 1816.  This last will and testament of John Yates, deceased, was proven by the oaths of William Wright and James Austin, two of the subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded and on the motion of Henry Fenwick, the Executor therein named, he having executed and acknowledged bond as the law directs, in the sum of seven thousand dollars and certificate is granted him and a probate thereof in

due form.  Henrietta Yates, the Executrix therein named appearing in court in person and refusing to qualify.

Atteste.  John Hughes

Peter Carrico’s 1764 Will – Charles County Maryland

You have no idea how happy I am to have a copy of this will!  Peter Carrico is my 5th great-grandfather.  My mother was a Carrico and her line goes directly back to Peter through her father.   Through her mother’s line she is also descended from Peter Carrico – Martha Ann Carrico (a descendant of Peter) married William Peter Montgomery in 1862, making Peter Carrico also my 6th great-grandfather.

Notice the large name of the deceased above the will – and the county written at the top of the page.  Very easy to find a particular will.

Charles County Maryland Will Book 5, Pages 320-321

Peter Carrico Will

In the name of God, Amen.  The 14th day of April, I, Peter Carrico, of Charles County, planter, in the province of Maryland, being in health and of sound and perfect memory, thanks be to almighty God for it, and calling to remembrance the uncertain state of this transitory life and that all flesh must yield unto death when it shall please God to call, do make, constitute, ordain and declare this my last will and testament in manner and form following, revoking and annulling by these presents all and every testament and testaments, will and wills, heretofore by me made and declared either by word or writing and this to be taken only for my last will and testament and none other, and first being penitent and sorry, from the bottom of my heart for my sins past, most humbly desiring forgiveness for the same, I give and commit my soul unto almighty God, my savior and redeemer in atone and by the merits of Jesus Christ, I trust and believe assuredly to be saved, and to have redemption and forgiveness of all my sins and that my soul, with my body at the general resurrection shall rise again, with joy and through the merits of Christ’s death and possess and inherit the kingdom of heaven prepared for his elect and chosen, and my body to be buried in such place and where it shall please my friends, hereafter named, to appoint my  loving wife Margaret, my loving son John, my loving son Thomas Ignatius, my loving son James, my loving son Bartholomew, my loving son Bazil.

Item.  I give and bequeath unto my loving wife, Margaret Carrico, all that tract of land called Maidstone during her natural life and when she is dead to be equally divided among

My four sons, that is to say, John, Thomas Ignatius and Bartholomew and Bazil.

Item.  I give and bequeath to my loving wife Margaret a tract of land called Carrico’s Hope during her natural life and when she is dead to my loving son James.

In witness herein I have set my hand and fixed my seal this 14th day of April in the year of our Lord 1764.

Peter Carrico

Test.  John Yates, John Armstrong

On the back of the foregoing will was endorsed.

Charles County 18th October 1765, came John Yates and made oath on the holy Evangelists of Almighty God that he saw Peter Carrico, the testator, sign and seal the within will and heard him publish and desire it to be his last will and testament and that at the time of his so doing was, to the best of his apprehension, of sound and disposing mind and memory and that he, together with James Armstrong, the other witness severally subscribed as witnesses to the said will in the presence of the testator and at his request.

D. Jenifer, D. C.

1919 Will of Matilda Barnett Tinsley

Matilda E. Barnett was the wife of Captain Woodbury Tinsley, of Ohio County.  The daughter of Joseph C. Barnett and Frances Bennett, Matilda was born December 16, 1842.  She and her husband, who was a captain in the Civil War, raised four children – Elmer, Orlistis, Wilburn and Etta.  Captain Tinsley died May 16, 1907, and his wife survived another eighteen years.

The local newspapers give lovely accounts of Mrs. Matilda Tinsley.  In December of 1911 a short notice reads, ‘A number of Mrs. Matilda E. Tinsley’s relatives gave her a very agreeable surprise last Saturday in honor of her 69th anniversary.  By arrangement the relatives all met at her residence on Walnut Street about noon with everything good to eat and many useful presents.  Everybody had a most pleasant time and Mrs. Tinsley was overjoyed.’

In November of 1919 there is a note about her trip south, ‘Mrs. Matilda E. Tinsley, accompanied by her son, Mr. E. E. Tinsley, left Tuesday for Decatur, Alabama, where they go to visit Mrs. Tinsley’s daughter, Mrs. S. E. Bennett and Mr. Bennett and family.  Mrs. Tinsley will remain two months or more, while Mr. Tinsley will return the first of next week.’

And in June of 1921, ‘Mrs. Matilda Tinsley had as her guests for dinner last Saturday, at her home on Walnut Street, quite a number of her relatives, including her daughter, Mrs. S. E. Bennett, of Decatur, Alabama, and two sons, W. S. Tinsley, city, and O. R. Tinsley, of the Washington community.’

Don’t you love small town newspapers that give peeks into the everyday lives of our ancestors?

Alexander Cemetery, Ohio County, Kentucky.

Matilda Tinsley made her will at the end of 1919 but lived another six years.  Son Elmer was deceased by this date.  She was buried in Alexander Cemetery, but unfortunately we did not take a photo of her gravestone while visiting the cemetery last October.

Ohio County Will Book E, Page 205

Whereas I, Matilda E. Tinsley, of Hartford County, Kentucky, deeming myself mentally capable and desiring to make complete and final disposition of my property, after death, do make and publish this instrument as my last will and testament.

First – It is my will and desire that my body receive the usual and customary burial, and that a monument, the exact duplicate in so far as possible and practicable, shall be erected at my grave as that marking the resting place of my deceased husband, Woodbury Tinsley, and that all expenses incident to any sickness, my burial and for the monument erected, be first fully settled.

Second – I will, devise and bequeath all of my property, both real and personal as well as mixed, to my four children, viz., Elmer E., Orlistis R. and Wilburn S. Tinsley, and to Etta M. Bennett, share and share alike.  To have and dispose of in any manner as seemeth best in their judgment, after division shall have been made.

Third – It is my desire except as my said four children may otherwise mutually agree, that the four Liberty Loan U. X. Government bonds which I possess in the sum of $50.00 each to be divided one to each beneficiary herein named.

Fourth – Deeming it best perhaps that such of my personal effects as bedding, household and kitchen furniture, and kindred articles be sold, and the proceeds be divided, I make that direction except, however, in case my Executors, whom I shall hereafter name, and who shall qualify unanimously agree otherwise.

Fifth – It is my express desire and I hereby empower and clothe my Executors with full authority to transfer, sell and convey any and all real estate of which I may die seized or possessed, making the title absolute and as lawful as I myself could if living.

Sixth – I hereby nominate and appoint my three sons, Elmer E., Orlistis R. and Wilburn S. Tinsley as Executors of this my will, especially directing that they serve without the execution of bond and that no appraisement of any of my property to be made other than that which the said Executors may wish to make themselves, or have made under their direction out of Court, neither shall there be any sort of report made in or to the Court.  I further direct that in case something should arise to keep either of the above named from serving as executor, that the remaining two shall act, or in case it should be utterly impossible for any two to serve, that the remaining one shall serve and act doing that which the three might have done.

I designate my three sons for the reason that my beloved daughter and her husband reside in another state and quite a long distance from my place of residence, and for that reason do not wish to entail the hardship and expense upon either of them of coming here to attend to any of the small business necessary to be transacted.

In case either of the beneficiaries hereinfore named should die before my estate is administered upon, I direct that settlement with legal or statutory representative be made in lieu thereof.

In testimony whereof, I hereunto set my hand, this 21st day of November, A.D. 1919.

Matilda E. Tinsley

The foregoing instrument of writing was signed by the Testator therein, Mrs. Matilda E. Tinsley, in our presence and by her request was signed by us in her presence and in the presence of each other.

Witness our hands, this the 21st day of November 1919.

McDowell A. Bogle, Ramey E. Duke

The foregoing instrument of writing purporting to be the last will and testament of Matilda E. Tinsley, deceased, was this day produced in open court and upon the sworn testimony of Ramey E. Duke, one of the subscribing witnesses thereto and the other witness being absent, the handwriting of the said Matilda E. Tinsley was proven to be genuine by Wilburn S. Tinsley, and upon such testimony it was proven to be the last will and testament of the said decedent, and was probated and ordered to record as such, which is now done accordingly.

Given under my hand this April 6, 1925

Guy Ramey, Clerk