Category Archives: Old Wills

1811 Will of George Gray Tyler – Prince William County Virginia

George Gray Tyler, son of William Tyler, of Prince William County, Virginia, was a brother to the Sarah Tyler that married John Augustine Linton in the same county.  John Augustine Linton was a cousin to my Captain John Hancock Linton.  Captain John was a grandson of John Linton and Anne Barton; John Augustine was a great-grandson. 

Occoquan Bay Area

Since they lived in the same area, the upper portion of Occoquan Bay, which is now the area known as the Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, it seems only natural that John Augustine would be an executor and manager of George G. Tyler’s estate after his decease.  This land was originally owned by Martin Scarlett, and was devised to his wife, Ann Green Scarlett, at his death, ‘To wife, Ann, land of Occoquan and Marumsco Creek.’  Land on the southmost branch of Marumsco Creek to Edward Barton.  Edward Barton’s daughter married John Linton and thus the land passed to them and their descendants. Martin Scarlett’s gravestone is on this property – he died in 1696.

John Augustine Linton Family Cemetery

George Tyler died in 1811; John Augustine Linton died eleven years later.  There are documents signed after that date by Sarah Tyler Linton concerning the estate.

This will was written September 29, 1811, and proved in court November 4, 1811.  George Tyler must have been very ill and knew he was going to die.  The will mentions children, but only one son, William Tyler, is named. 

I, George Gray Tyler, of the County of Prince William and State of Virginia, do make the following my last will and testament.

It is my wish and desire after my just debts are paid that the whole of my estate, both real and personal, should be kept together and managed as it has been heretofore by myself, and my children be educated and supported out of the profit, thereof, and as they arrive at age or get married or at any other period my Executor hereinafter named shall think proper to allot off such part of my real or personal Estate as they or a majority of them or their survivors in their discretion may judge advisable so that in a final division of my property my children shall all have an equal share.  It is my wish and desire that whenever my son William has his part given up to himself that his part of the land should be laid off so as to take in my dwelling house and other out houses belonging thereto, the new part of the dwelling house I wish to be underpinned and the chimney finished and such other parts finished as my Executor may think proper.  It is my desire that if any estate should yield more profit than will maintain and educate my children that my Executor should lay out such profit or overplus in any kind of property they may think proper for the benefit of my children.

And lastly, I constitute and appoint my brothers, Charles Tyler and William Tyler, my friend John Linton, and my son William Tyler, Executors to this my last will and testament, hereby vesting them or their survivors with the Executorship of my said Estate and further it is my wish that my friend John Linton should be the superintender and manager of my said estate until it is given up to my children.  In witness whereof I have hereunto fixed my seal and subscribed my name this 29th day of September 1811.

George G. Tyler

Acknowledged to be the last will and testament of the subscriber, George Gray Tyler, in the presence of us, G Stith, John E. Cooke, Solomon Ewelt, Jr.

At a Court of Quarterly Sessions held for Prince William County, November 4, 1811.

This last will and testament of George G. Tyler, deceased, was presented to the Court and being proved by the oath of G. Stith, is ordered to be certified.  And at a Court of Quarterly Sessions held for said County, March 2, 1812.  This said will was fully proved by the oath of Solomon Ewelt, Jr., and ordered to be recorded.

At a Court of Quarterly Sessions continued and held for Prince William County June 6, 1815

John Linton, one of the Executors named in the last will and testament of George G. Tyler, Deceased, came into Court and made oath to the same according to law and having performed what is usual in such cases certificate is granted him for obtaining a probate thereof in due form.

1790 Will of John Jones of Bourbon County

Bourbon County Clerk, Will Book A, Pages 37-39

In the name of God amen.  The sixteenth day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety, I, John Jones, of the County of Bourbon and district of Kentucky, being very sick of body but of perfect mind and memory, thanks be given to God, therefore calling unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die, do make and ordain this my last will and testament.  That is to say, principally and first of all, I give and recommend my soul unto the hands of God that gave it and for my body I recommend it to the Earth to be buried in a Christian-like and decent manner at the discretion of my executors, nothing doubting but at the general resurrection I shall receive the same again by the might power of God and as touching such worldly estate is herewith it hath pleased God to bless me in this life, I give, devise and deign in the following manner and form.

Imprimis.  It is my will and I do order that in the first, all my just debts and funeral charges be paid and satisfied.

Item.  I give and bequeath to my well-beloved son, John Jones, a young black mare and two hundred acres of land lying on the waters of Mill Creek and a rifle gun when he comes to the age of twenty-one years, and to his heirs and assigns forever.

I leave my dwelling plantation to be equally divided between my two sons, Jacob and Benjamin Jones, when they come to the age of twenty-one years, also a mare for each of them and their heirs and assigns forever.

I lease to my wife, Susanna Jones, to have her living, devising her being unmarried, on my dwelling place and to have possession of said house and plantation as long as she lives a single life, but if she should marry she is to stay no longer on the place, but if she should marry she is to have the third part of all the stock, household furniture and money, land excepted.

I give and bequeath to my four daughters, Christiana, Betsey, Susanna and Catherine Jones, my whole estate except three mares I left for the boys, such as stock, household furniture, to be equally divided amongst them when they come of age except my wife’s thirds, which is to come out of my estate.  I likewise constitute and ordain my wife, Susanna Jones, and Jacob Jones, my brother, my only and whole executors of this my last will and testament of all my lands and moveables and all and singular, every individual, and I do hereby utterly disallow, revoke and disannul all and every other testaments, wills, legacies and executors by me in any ways before this time named, willed and bequeathed, ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and testament.  In witness to hereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year above written.

John Jones

Signed, sealed in presence of us

Susanna Keison, Christopher Keison, Henry Speaks, James Creen

Bourbon December Court 1790

The last will and testament of John Jones, deceased, is as produced to Court and proved by the oaths of Henry Speaks and James Creen, witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded.

Teste. John Edwards, Clerk

Women Should Have Written Wills!

Shall I make a declaration?  Women should have written wills instead of men!  This will of Nancy Botts of Montgomery County, gives us a lovely description of the property she leaves to various siblings and their children.  It is a wonderful case example as to what was used during this time period – the will was written and proved in the fall of 1843.  The Delph dishes, plates and shallow plates, tablecloths, linen and cotton sheets and pillow slips, sugar bowl, salt and pepper cellars, tea cups and saucers of china, a hymn book and other books – which I wished she had named.  Nancy Botts lists the patterns of the quilts she gives away – wild geese (a pattern with many triangles), rising sun (envision it just the way it sounds), mountain lily (usually a flower) and a hexagon quilt.  What a vision we can behold as we see all these items laid out to give to family members.

But the most important item in her list was giving freedom to her slave girl – who really is a woman with eight children.  Susan was fifteen in the inventory of Joseph Botts in 1814 – in 1843 a woman of forty-five.  The eight children are to be hired out until the age of twenty-three and at that time they will receive their freedom.  Hired out only to ‘good and humane person’ and not to be sent out of Montgomery County.

Nancy Botts is a sister to Robert Botts, two recent posts have been his will and gravestone.  They were the children of Thomas Joseph Botts and Catherine Butler.  Nancy was a younger child, being fifteen years younger than her brother Robert.  She never married.  The sister from whom she received items at her death was Frances Botts, who married who presumably married a Smith.  Frances’ one son, Aaron Botts Smith, was named for her brother Aaron.  Frances died in 1824 when Aaron was an infant.

In the name of God Amen.  I, Nancy Botts, of the County of Montgomery and State of Kentucky, being of lawful age and sound mind, but calling to mind the mortality of body, do make and constitute this my last will and testament.

First.  My will and desire is that my servant girl, Susan, which I received of my father’s estate as my part thereof, shall be free from the slavery of any person or persons after my decease, provided she should be the longest liver.

Second.  My will and desire is that Lewis, Martha, Daniel, Jane, Zerilda, Maria, Sidney and Nancy, my servants and children of the aforesaid girl, Susan, shall be hired to good and humane persons until they arrive at the age of twenty-three years, at which age they shall be set free from slavery or servitude if my executors may think proper to do so.

Third.  My will and desire is that the aforesaid children shall not be taken out of the County of Montgomery in the State of Kentucky before they are set free.

Fourth.  My will and desire is that all of my just debts shall be paid out of the money accruing from the hire of the aforesaid Negroes, and in case the said girl, Susan, shall become disabled so she is likely to suffer she shall be relieved by reasonable allowance made out of the hire of her children.

Fifth.  My will and desire is that the balance of the money arising from the hire of the said Negroes shall be equally divided between my brother, Robert Botts, and my sister, Sabina O’Rear.

Sixth.  My will and desire is that my brother, Robert Botts, my nephew, Harrison O’Rear, and my nephew, Joseph B. O’Rear, be executors to this my last will and testament, that they have charge and care of the said Negroes until

they arrive at the age of twenty-three years and that they provide and do for them in the best manner, so they shall not be mistreated or abused.

Seventh.  I give and bequeath unto my sister, Sabina O’Rear, my bed, yarn, counterpane and blankets.

Eighth.  I give and bequeath unto my nephew, Aaron B. Smith, the following articles which were given me by his mother, one bureau, two toilets, five tablecloths, six towels, one pair of cotton sheets, one pair of cotton pillow-slips, one pair of linen pillow slips, two quilts, one bed stead, six silver tea spoons, three pitchers, three bowls, three salt cellars, two waiters, one canister, three cream pots, one sugar bowl, five tea cups and saucers of china, five cups and saucers of Delph, two pepper boxes, one cruet, pot, one set of deep plates, one set of blue shallow plates, sixteen blue-edged shallow plates, seven butter plates, one sugar box, one looking glass, one hymn book, three finger rings, one ear ring, one little basket, which I want him to recollect was once his dear mother’s property.

Ninth.  I also give and bequeath unto my nephew, Aaron B. Smith, my toilet waters, rising sun counterpane, hexagon quilt, two pair of cotton pillow slips, two pair of cotton sheets, ten red flowered plates, two white plates, six glass tea plates, two large glass tumblers, two little gilt cups, one pitcher, two trunks, and five towels, one mountain lily quilt, one wild goose quilt, one tea kettle, one brass skillet, one smoothing iron, two brass candlesticks and all of my books.

Tenth.  I give and bequeath unto Sarah Butler all the rest of my property to do as she may think best with.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this thirty-first day of October one thousand eight hundred and forty three.

Nancy Botts

Witness James R. Botts, Amy G. Botts

State of Kentucky, Montgomery County                               November Term 1842 [1843]

A writing purporting to be the last will and testament of Nancy Botts, deceased, was this day produced in open court and proven by the oaths of James R. Botts and Amy G. Botts, witnesses thereto, to be her act and deed, which was examined by the Court, approved and ordered to be recorded, which is accordingly done.

ATT. James Howard, Montgomery County Clerk

Will Book E, Pages 81-82

Robert Botts Will – Montgomery County

Robert Botts was born in Virginia November 25, 1779.  He married Elizabeth Tollson July 9, 1809, in Montgomery County.  Together their had eight children, all of whom are named in the will.  Robert died November 25, 1779, of apoplexy. 

Montgomery County, Kentucky – Will Book F, Pages 22-23

Will of Robert Botts, written May 3, 1852, proved October 1855

Memorandum of advancements made by me to my children in my lifetime, to wit,

To Benjamin T. Botts, a boy named Jeff, said boy estimated to be worth the sum of four hundred dollars, $400.00.  Also, a horse, bridle, saddle, bed and furniture without any price named.  Also, one hundred dollars in chase.  $100.

To Nancy Wells, one girl named Anna, estimated to be worth the sum of four hundred dollars, $400.00.  Also, horse, saddle, bridle, bed and furniture as above.  Also, three hundred dollars in cash, $300.00

To Joseph Botts, a boy named Robert, estimated to be worth the sum of four hundred dollars, $400.00.  Also, horse, saddle, bridle, bed and furniture as above.  Also, one hundred dollars in cash, $100.00.

To Amy G. O’Rear, one girl named Amanda, estimated to be worth the sum of four hundred dollars, $400.00.  Horse, saddle, bridle, bed and furniture as above.  Also, one hundred dollars in cash, $100.00

To James R. Botts, one girl named Jane and her child, estimated to be worth four hundred dollars, $400.00.  Also, one hundred dollars in cash, $100.00.  Horse, saddle, bridle, bed and furniture as above.

To Catherine Botts, saddle, bridle, bed and furniture as above.  Also, one hundred dollars in cash, $100.00

To Elizabeth Botts, saddle, bridle, bed and furniture as above.  Also, one hundred dollars in cash, $100.00.

To George N. Botts, horse, saddle, bridle, bed and furniture as above.  Also, one hundred dollars in cash, $100.00

Should I make no further advancements to my children during my life.  My intention is that the three last named children shall each receive a servant of equal value with those I have given the first five, having reference to age, sex and health, and time of giving.  Also, that Catherine and Elizabeth each have a horse agreeing in value as near as can be to those already given by me, and each child’s part be made equal to the largest advancement made by me during my life before other distributions be made.

Should my wife, Elizabeth Botts, be my survivor, my desire is that she be amply provided for during her natural life out of my remaining estate, agreeable to her own desire.  But should she not wish to retain the whole of it my desire is that so much thereof as she may not think proper to retain for use and behoove, may be equally divided among my eight children, and at her death, I wish an equal and amicable division to be made among them.

In testimony, whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 3rd day of May one thousand eight hundred and fifty-two.

Robert Botts

State of Kentucky, Montgomery County Court, October Term 1855

A writing purporting to be the last will and testament of Robert Botts, deceased, was this day produced in court and was proved by the oaths of Joseph B. O’Rear and B. J. Peters to be wholly in the handwriting of him, the said Robert Botts, that they had seen him write and knew his handwriting.  There being no subscribing witnesses to said instrument, upon which proof said writing was ordered to be recorded as the last will and testament of Robert Botts, deceased.

 

James Berry Will – Lincoln County

I, James Berry, of Lincoln County and state of Virginia, being weak in body, but of sound mind and memory, do make and dispose this my last will and testament. First, I recommend my body to the Earth to be buried in decent order, and my spirit I recommend to God that gave it, nothing doubting but I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God, and touching such worldly estate

wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me with in this life, I give and devise in manor following, first of all I give to my daughter Elizabeth, two hundred acres of land being the half of a four hundred acre tract I have lying on Gilbert’s Creek, the other two hundred acres I give and bequeath to my beloved wife, Christina, during her life and if no other heirs at her death belonging to James Berry, my daughter Elizabeth is to possess the whole four hundred acres.  My roan horse I give and bequeath to my beloved wife, Christina, one third part of all my other movable state, excepting my sorrel horse, saddle and bridle, and that I give and bequeath to my step-son John Wilson.  And I appoint my beloved wife Christina Berry and Ebenezer Miller and John Smith, withall, executors of this my last will and testament, confirming this and none other to be my last will and testament.  In witness I have set my hand and seal this 10th of March 1781.

James Berry, Christina Berry, Ebenezer Miller, John Smith

Teste.  John Kearnel, Samuel Dennie, Thomas Dinton

At a Court held for Lincoln County the 16th January 1782

This instrument of writing was exhibited in Court as the last will and testament of James Berry, deceased, and proved by the oaths of Samuel Dennie and Thomas Dinton and ordered to be recorded.

Teste.  William May, Clerk, Lincoln County

Will Book 1, pages 9-10

Will of Hugh McKee

Hugh McKee is Ritchey’s fifth great-grandfather.  He lived at McKee’s Half Falls, Pennsylvania.  He was a liasion between George Washington and the Shawnee Nation. 

Hugh was the son of Captain Thomas McKee and possibly one of the daughters of an Indian chief.  Hugh married Mary Nesbitt.  Nine children are listed in the will below.  Ritchey descends from son James McKee.

In the name of God Amen. I, Hugh McKee, of Peters Township, Franklin County, and State of Pennsylvania, Being weak in body but of sound memory, Do this Eighteenth day of November in the year one Thousand seven Hundred and ninety four, make and publish this my last Will and Testament in manner following Viz. It is my will and desire that my just debts and Funeral charges be paid out of my estate by my Executors hereafter named. And first I will and Bequeath unto my beloved wife Mary and her heirs the sum of one Hundred and Twenty pounds, and likewise a bed and Furniture and a Horse and Saddle. Also I give to my Daughter Martha and her heirs Fifty Pounds. Also I give to my Daughter Ann and her heirs Sixty pounds. Also I give to my son James and his heirs one Hundred pounds. Also I give to my son Andrew and his heirs one Hundred pounds. Also I give to my Daughter Mary and her heirs one french crown. Also I give to my Daughter Isabel and her Heirs Fifty pounds. Likewise I give unto my daughter Elizabeth and her heirs Fifty pounds and a Horse and Saddle with a bed and furniture. And I also give to Mary Wilson and her heirs five pounds or a saddle. And likewise it is my will and desire that my executor to sell and dispose of that plantation or Tract of Land on which I now live (if possible it can be done to good advantage) in the course of the first year after my decease. But if no convenient opportunity offers they may postpone the sale until the course of the second year after my decease but no longer and also it is my will and desire (if the sale be accommodated the first year) that my Executor do out of my real estate pay the Legacies above mentioned to all and every one of my heirs respectively in four equal payments the first payment to be made agreeable to the above mentioned accommodation of the sale of the Land, Viz if the land be sold the first year. The first payment is to be made one year after my decease the second two years after my decease the third three years, and the fourth and last payment four years after my decease. But and if the Land be not sold until the second year, the first payment is not to be made until two years after my decease, the second payment three years as above specified, etc. And I do will and bequeath unto my son Thomas his heirs & assigns the one half of my Real Estate with all my personal property after my just debts and the Legacies above mentioned are paid. Likewise I do will and Bequeath unto my son William and his heirs the other half of my Real Estate after my just debts and the above mentioned Legacies are paid, to be paid to him in the following manner. After the first mentioned yearly payments are made to the above mentioned Legacies Viz, the one half of the Surplus or Remaining cash accruing yearly from the sale of the Land to be paid to him (my son William or his heirs) yearly by my Executors. And lastly I do Nominate ordain and appoint my son Thomas and my son-in-law George Dickey to be the sole Executors of this my last Will and Testament

to see that the same be duly Executed according to the intent thereof. In witness whereof I the said Hugh McKee have to this my last Will and Testament set my Hand and Seal, the day and year above written.

Hugh McKee Mary (x) McKee

Signed sealed and acknowledged by the said Hugh McKee as his Last Will and testament in presence of us Alex Glendining, Walter McKinnie, Adam Rusk

On the 22nd day of May 1795 Alexander Glendining, Walter McKinnie and Adam Rusk, the witnesses to the foregoing writing appeared before me the subscriber register for the probate of wills and letters for Franklin County, and on their solemn oaths, desposeth and saith that they were personally present & saw and heard Hugh McKee, aforesaid now deceased, write his name unto and seal and publish the foregoing writing as and for his last will & Testament, and that at the time of the doing thereof he, the said Hugh McKee, was of sound mind & memory according to the best of their knowledge & belief, And that also their names signed thereto is of their own hands writing done at the same time. Alex Glendining Walter McKinnie Adam Rusk sworn and subscribed before Edward Crawford register a true copy taken from the original remaining in the register’s office at Chambersburg Edward Crawford register. Both executors sworn to file inventory on or before first July and settle in one year or when legally required 22 May 1795

1792 Will of Edward Rawlings – Hardin County

This will is interesting in several ways.  First, the will is written while Kentucky is still a part of the state of Virginia; also, at this time the area that would later become Hardin County is still a part of Nelson County.  When Kentucky was comprised of only three counties, think how far it might be to come to court for a will to be recorded, get a marriage license and bond, sell land, etc.

Edward Rawlings had four daughters.  The first three are married – Elizabeth Hart, Ann Hart, Lettice Fairleigh.  Daughter Rebekah must be single since no last name is given for her, and since she receives the old home place after the decease of both parents.

In the name of God, Amen.  I, Edward Rawlings, of Nelson County and district of Kentucky and state of Virginia, being weakly in body but of perfect mind and memory calling to mind the mortality of body and uncertainty of human life, do make, ordain and appoint this my last will and testament.  Principally and first of all I recommend my soul unto God that give it and my body to the earth to be buried in a Christian-like manner at the direction of my Executors, and for worldly estate, wherewith it hath pleased the Almighty to bless me with in this life, I give and dispose in the following manner.

To wit.  I give and bequeath unto my Rebekah, my well-beloved wife, all my household furniture, a certain mare, bridle and saddle, and one cow.

Secondly, I bequeath unto Elizabeth Hart, my oldest daughter, six pounds specie.

Thirdly, I give and bequeath unto Ann Hart an Entry of Land adjoining my tract, containing one hundred acres and four acres out of the old survey, beginning at the mouth of a small drain at the fording place, up to a small mulberry tree.

Fourthly, I give and bequeath unto my daughter Lettice, a part or parcel of land adjoining Stephen Rawlings line, beginning at a sugar tree near an ironwood sapling, from thence an elm, from thence to a straight line with the places not infringing on my old improvement till it strikes my north line.

Fifthly, I give and bequeath unto my daughter, Rebekah, after my decease and my wife decease, my old survey, except the four acres before mentioned to Ann Hart, and the parcel contained above to Lettice Fairleigh.

And also, my personal estate after my decease it is to be sold and equally divided between my four daughters, and I do hereby appoint and constitute my wife, Rebekah, to be my Executrix, and Stephen Rawlings, my other Executor, and I do hereby acknowledge this to be my last will and testament, revoking and disannulling all other wills by me heretofore made by me.  In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this day

 of July anno domini, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two.

Edward Rawlings

Signed, sealed and acknowledged by the said Edward Rawlings to be his last will and testament in the presence of Isaac Hynes, John Swank and Margaret Garrard

At a Court held for Hardin County on Tuesday, the 26th day of July 1796.

The foregoing will of Edward Rawlings, deceased, was proved by the oaths of Isaac Hynes, John Swank and Margaret Garrard, three subscribing witnesses thereto and was ordered to be recorded.