Category Archives: Old Wills

1881 Will of James Theophilus Harris – Nelson County

James Theophilus Harris married Elizabeth Curry November 27, 1866.  Theophilus was born in 1812 and on the marriage certificate it says they were both of age.

The couple was married for fifteen years before Theophilus’ death in 1881.  His will leaves everything to his wife and daughter, Elizabeth and Minnie Elizabeth.

Will of James Theophilus Harris

Nelson County Will Book 19, Pages 42-43

I, James Theophilus Harris, of Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky, do make the following my last will and testament.

I give to my wife, Lizzie Harris, and my daughter, Mattie E. Harris, all my estate of every kind during their joint lives and then to the survivor of them during the life of said survivor.  And should my said daughter leave children or descendants of her body then at the death of my said daughter and the termination of the estates for life or lives above mentioned, then my estate or such as then may be on hand to go to such child or children of hers in fee as the statute would distribute to them.

But should my daughter die without descendants then one-half of my estate to pass to my brothers and sisters or their descendants and the other half to pass to such of my wife’s people as would be her heirs at law and they to take same as her heirs would take from her.

Such of my estate as my wife might think necessary to sell and dispose of, she hereby is empowered to sell and convey and to use and control the proceeds as may be required for the comfortable support of herself and the support and education of my daughter.  This power is also given her over my personal estate to use and control for the same purpose.  I hereby appoint my wife Executrix of this my last will and testament and direct that she may qualify as such without giving security as executrix on her bond.

Given under my hand this the 30th day of June 1881

J. T. Harris

Witnessed by us in the presence of testator and each other this 30th June 1881.

J. W. Muir, Joseph Brown

State of Kentucky                                       August Term

Nelson County Court                                 August 8, 1881

A writing purporting to be the last will and testament of James T. Harris, deceased, was this day produced in open Court and duly proven by the oath of J. W. Muir, one of the subscribing witnesses thereto, who also proved the signature of Joseph Brown, the other subscribing witness, both of whom signed same in the presence of each other and in the presence of, and at the request of the Testator, who then and there signed and published same as and for his last will and testament.

Wherefore said writing is ordered to be recorded as such, which is done.

Att.  William H. Rowan, Clerk, By Ansel B. Donohoo, Deputy Clerk

James T. Harris, born February 3, 1812, died July 14, 1881.  Bardstown City Cemetery, Nelson County, Kentucky.

What a beautiful sentiment on the back of Mr. Harris’ stone.

We have laid him to rest, we have folded the pale hands over the pulseless breast; closed the tired eyes; covered him over with sweet flowers, loves own offerings – and laid him away for the resurrection morn, when there shall be oh such a glad reunion of the loved and lost.’

Will of Revolutionary Soldier Thomas Moore – Mercer County

Thomas Moore, Capt. Gen. Clarks VA Regt., Revolutionary War, 1754-February 25, 1835.  Kaskaskia, Vincennes.  Old Mud Cemetery, Mercer County, Kentucky.

Thomas Moore is one of the Revolutionary War heroes buried in Old Mud Cemetery in Mercer County.   His eight children are listed in his will – sons John Moore, Samuel Moore and Thomas H. Moore; and his five daughters, Ann Worley, Polly Harrod, Isabella Bingham, Nancy Newlin and Elizabeth Bass.

Thomas Moore’s Will

Mercer County Will Book 10, Pages 534-535

I, Thomas Moore, of the State of Kentucky and County of Mercer, make this writing my last will and testament.  To wit, I hereby appoint my sons John and Thomas H. Moore my executors to this my will.  I hereby give to my wife, Elizabeth Moore, during her natural life, of my tract of land whereon I now live, beginning at the orchard fence on the north of the Shawnee Run Road, thence with said fence north-west to my little meadow, thence with the fence or the little meadow, a north-east coast to my original line, to adjoin Harris, thence with said line, south-west to Overstreet’s line, thence with Overstreet to the Shawnee Run Road, thence with the Shawnee Run Road to the beginning.  My will is that my wife shall have her choice of my horses, together with three of my best cows, also twelve her choice of my stock of hogs, also her choice of my sheep, together with all my household and kitchen furniture, so long as she may continue my widow, together with the rent that may be due me on the year of my decease.  The residue of my personal estate to be sold and equally divided among the legal heirs of my five daughters.  My will is that my tract be equally divided between my three sons, John Moore, Samuel Moore and Thomas H. Moore, in consideration that each of my sons shall pay two hundred and fifty dollars to be divided equally between the legal heirs of my five daughters, that is 150 dollars to the heirs of my daughter Ann Worley, the same to the heirs of my daughter Polly Harrod, the same to the legal heirs of Isabella Bingham.  Further my will is that the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars be paid to the legal heirs of my daughter Nancy Newlin, also the same amount equally divided between all the legal heirs of my daughter Elizabeth Bass.  My will is that my plantation over my wife’s dower be rented during my wife’s life with the proceeds thereof divided between the heirs of my five daughters.  It is to be understood that the divisions of the land take place at the decease of my wife, then each son is to pay the two hundred and fifty dollars.  In testimony hereof I set

my hand and seal this 29th August eighteen hundred and thirty four.

Thomas Moore

Test.  Frederick Harris, George Dodd, Peter Stopher

Mercer County                     March County Court 1835

The foregoing last will and testament of Thomas Moore, deceased, was this day produced into court and proved by the oaths of Frederick Harris and Peter Stopher, two subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded, which is done accordingly.

Attest.  Thomas Allin

1893 Will of John Franzmann – Jefferson County

Ritchey and I had a great three-day weekend in Louisville.  Ate lots of great food, shopped, visited the planetarium – and Cave Hill Cemetery.  This cemetery is one of the largest in Louisville, established in 1846.  Filled with history there are many historic figures of the state and county buried here.  In total we spent about five hours over two days and took almost 900 photos.

Today I want to share with you the will of John Franzmann, born in Hesse Darmstat, Germany.  I cannot tell you when John came to the United States, but he met and married his wife, Louisa Loanaberger (Leuenberger) in Pennsylvania, where their two oldest children were born, but had moved to Kentucky by 1849, when their son Adam Adolph Franzmann was born.  Nine children were born to John and Louisa – John, Jr., Philip, Adam Adolph, Franklin, Caroline, Louis, Henry, Louisa and George.

This is a map of part of downtown Louisville, the west side, that shows where the property listed in John Franzmann’s will was located.  This is fairly pricey property today.

Will of John Franzmann

Volume 21, Pages 210-212, Jefferson County, Kentucky

I, the undersigned John Franzmann, of Jefferson County, being of sound mind and memory do hereby make and declare this as my last will and testament, hereby revoking all former wills made.

Item 1.  My farm of thirty- six and one-half (36 ½) acres of land situated on the Eighteenth Street Road near Louisville, shall be divided as follows:

“A” To my son Louis Franzmann, I give and bequeath and devise the northern part of said land on which is situated a brick house with four rooms and frame kitchen and containing twelve (12) acres.

“B” To my son George Franzmann I give and bequeath and devise the twelve and one-half (12 ½) acres of said land and adjoining the property described in “A” on which is situated a large brick house with about eight rooms.

“C” The remained twelve (12) acres of said tract of land I give and bequeath and devise to my son Harry Franzmann.

It is my devise that my executrix shall make deeds to the three

parties named herein giving the proper boundaries by which deeds they shall have a fee simple title to their respective shares of said property.

Item 2.  I give and bequeath to my son, John Franzmann, the eastern part of my lot of land having a front of thirty-nine (39) feet on the south side of Market Street, between 16th and 17th Streets, Louisville, Kentucky, together with all the improvements thereon and extending clear through to Congress Alley.  To have and to hold the same in fee simple.

Item 3.  I give and bequeath and devise to my son Adolph Franzmann the western part of my lot of land having a front of thirty-nine (39) feet on the south side of market Street, between 16th and 17th Streets, Louisville, Kentucky, together with all the improvements thereon and extending clear through to Congress Alley.

My executrix is directed to make deeds to John and Adolph Franzmann, conveying to them a fee simple title to said property.

Item 4.  I give and bequeath and devise to my daughter, Caroline Rosenberger, the eastern part of my lot of land and all improvements thereon having a front on the south side of Market Street, between 11th and 12th Streets, Louisville, Kentucky, of forty (40) feet and extending clear through to Congress Alley.

Item 5.  I give and bequeath and devise to my daughter Louisa Franzmann, the western part of my lot of land together with all the improvements thereon, in Louisville, Kentucky, situated on the south side of Market Street, between 11th and 12th Streets, having a front of forty (40) feet and extending clear through to Congress Alley.

My executor is directed to make deeds conveying to each of my two daughters twenty (20) feet front and extending through to Congress Alley.

Item 6.  I give and bequeath and devise to my granddaughter, Emma Franzmann, daughter of my son Frank Franzmann, deceased, my two (2) acres of land situated on the south side of Fountain Ferry Road near 29thth Street, and I also request my executrix to expend the sum of fifteen hundred dollars ($1500.00) in the erection of a house on said two acres of land in favor of my said grandchild, Emma Franzmann.

Item 7.  I give and bequeath and devise to my son, Philip Franzmann, twenty (20) shares of Falls City Hall Market Company stock and also the sum of fifteen hundred dollars ($1500.00), and it is my desire that my executrix shall keep said stock and money for seven years after my death, and when said seven years have expired and nothing has been heard from my said son Philip, of whom I have not heard for nearly twenty years, that then in that event, the above stock and money shall be divided among my other children and my grandchild, Emma Franzmann.

Item 8.  All the rest and residue of my entire estate of every nature and description and wheresoever situated, I give and bequeath and devise to my wife Louisa Franzmann, with power on her part to dispose of same by will or deed.

Item 9.  I hereby appoint my wife, Louisa Franzmann, as executrix of this my last will and testament and as guardian for my grandchild Emma Franzmann, without requiring bond or security and empower my said executrix to make deeds for the different pieces of property devised to my children and grandchild named herein and the share of my daughters and the share of my grandchild shall be held as their sole and separate estate, free from the claim or control or debts of any husband they or either of them now have or may hereafter have, with power to dispose of same by will or deed as if they were unmarried.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal to this my last will and testament this 13th day of March 1893.

John Franzmann

Signed and acknowledged by said John Franzmann as his last will and testament in our presence and signed by us as witnesses in his presence and in the presence of each other.

George L. Everbach, C. M. Lasater

State of Kentucky

At a County Court held for Jefferson County at the Court House in the City of Louisville on the 22nd day of April 1897, the foregoing instrument of writing purporting to be the last will and testament of John Franzmann, Deceased, late of this County, was produced in Court and prover by the testimony of George L. Everbach, one of the subscribing witnesses thereto, who also proved the attestation of C. M. Lasater, the other subscribing witness thereto, whereupon the same was established by the Court to be the last will and testament of said testator and ordered to be recorded and is recorded in my office as Clerk of said Court.

Attest.  William P. Johnson, Clerk

John Franzmann, from Wollstein Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany.  April 20, 1820 – April 11, 1897.  Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky.

1814 Will of Thomas Lewis – Nelson County

I think we need a little background on Thomas Lewis.  He was a son of John Lewis and Elizabeth Brown, born in Loudoun County, Virginia, about 1772.  His siblings were John Lewis, who moved to Hancock County, Kentucky; Daniel and Vincent Lewis who settled near Bloomfield in Nelson County, as did Thomas; and a sister Rebecca Lewis, not sure where she lived.  Daniel and Vincent Lewis are named as Thomas’ executors, and each receive ¼ of his estate.  Brother John died in 1813, and his children received ¼ part.  Sister Rebecca is given 1/8 of the estate, as is her daughter, Thomas’ niece, Rebecca Machan.  I can find no marriage for Rebecca Lewis, but that must be her married name.

Thomas was considered the chief business advisor for his family.  His death was a tragedy for his family in many ways.  From approximately mid-1819 to the first years of the 1820’s Kentucky was in an economic panic.  The great acres of land that Thomas left his family were possibly a curse rather than a blessing, since during this time the value of land was less to nothing, and yet property taxes still had to be paid.

Thomas Lewis married Ann Langley, the widow of John May.  At her death he received half of her husband’s estate, the other half going to her two children, John Langley and Mary May.  Thomas did not have children.  My Captain John Hancock Linton is an uncle of Thomas Lewis.

Thomas Lewis’ Will

Will Book A, Pages 129-131, Nelson County, Kentucky

I, Thomas Lewis, late of the town of Petersburg and State of Virginia, now in the State of Kentucky, being in good health and sound mind, do make this my last will and testament in manner following.  To wit, I hereby give and devise the whole of my estate (both personal and mixt rights and credits to me in anywise belonging, held either in my name or in the name of others for my use and benefit) unto my brothers Vincent Lewis and Daniel Lewis, their heirs, executors, etc., in trust for the following purposes.  First to pay all my just debts and secondly (after retaining to themselves a reasonable compensation for their trouble in settling my business) to divide the balance into eight equal parts and to retain in their hands two eighth parts for the use and benefit of the said Vincent Lewis and his heirs forever.  Two other eighth parts for the use and benefit of the said Daniel Lewis and his heirs forever, one eighth part for the use and benefit of my niece, Rebecca Machan; one eighth part for the use and benefit of my sister Rebecca Lewis and her heirs forever; and the other two eighth parts for the use and benefit of the children of my brother John, deceased; provided however if my said trustees should think proper they may within three years after they shall have qualified and undertaken said trust, put out one thousand dollars upon good security upon interest for the use and benefit of my said niece, Rebecca Macham or retain the same in their own hands, paying interest thereon each and every year to the said Rebecca or to some other person for her maintenance in place of the said eighth part of my estate, for and during her natural life and then to pay on the said one eighth or one thousand dollars (which ever they shall first elect to pay) to such of the relations of the said Rebecca Machan as they may think proper, provided it be not to them, the said Vincent and Daniel, or either of them or either of their descendants, and provided also that if my father shall by his will, give the plantation upon which he lives to my sister Rebecca, then in lieu of the one eighth of my estate, my trustee shall pay her the sum of five hundred dollars only, with interest.  Thereupon from two years after they shall have qualified to act or if my father should give her any part of said plantation less than the whole, then my said trustees may either pay to her the one eighth part of my estate or one thousand dollars within three years after

They shall qualify to act as aforesaid at their option, and as to the two eighths part devised in the first for the use and benefit of the children of my deceased brother, John, my desire is that the same shall be considered as a part of my said brother’s estate and to go to his children precisely as directed by his last will and testament.  And his executrix and trustee, heirs, etc., to have the same power over it as the other part of the said decedent’s estate.  It is my will and desire that my said trustees do settle the business of my estate as soon as practicable with convenience to themselves and in order to enable them to do so they are hereby authorized to enter into compromises for the adjustment of titles to all my lands and land clams where the same shall in any manner be disputed to enter into arbitration respecting the same and finally to do and act with the said lands as well as with all part or parts of my estate, rights and credits as if the property was their own and they were acting for themselves.  And in order to ascertain the amount of my said estate as soon as possible I would advise them to sell my lands and land claims from time to time, whenever in the opinion they can get what they are or shall be worth and upon such credits as they may think best and most to the advantage of my said estate and from time to time divide the proceeds of the said lands as well as of the slaves and other property, first deducting a reasonable compensation for their trouble, and all expenses attending the business from time to time.  And I hereby further empower my said trustees to make sale of all my slaves in the State of Virginia if they should think proper to do so hereby appointing my said brothers Vincent and Daniel, Executors of this my last will and testament, and hereby declaring all others by me at any time heretofore made wills void.  In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand seal this twenty-seventh day of April in the year of our Lord Christ, 1814.

Thomas Lewis

At a County Court held for Nelson County on the 20th day of December 1819

The above writing purporting to be the last will and testament of Thomas Lewis, deceased, being exhibited in Court and proved by the oaths of Vincent Davis, Richard Rudd and

General James Cox, all of this county, to be wholly in the handwriting of the said deceased and ordered to be recorded and on the motion of Vincent Lewis and Daniel Lewis, the executors therein named, they having given bond with Vincent Davis, Hezekiah Murphy, Thomas Duncan and James Allan, their securities in the penalty of $10000, conditioned as prescribed by law, and having taken the oath of the law in such case directs, it is ordered that a certificate of probate of said will be granted them.

Test. Ben Grayson, County Clerk

1786 Will of William Vancleave – Mercer County

Will of William Vancleave

Mercer County Will Book A, Pages 75-76

In the name of God, amen.  I, William Vancleave of the District of Kentucky and County of Mercer, being very weak and low in body, but in good and perfect memory thanks be to God, do make and constitute this my last will and testament.

First, I desire my body to be buried in a Christian-like manner, my funeral expenses and my lawful debts being paid, the rest of my estate to be disposed of in manner following.

Item – I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife, Abigail Vancleave, the thousand acres preemption land lying on Paint Lick Creek for her to dispose of as she sees cause to use in behoof of my beloved children – Elizabeth, Jane, Mary, John, Ebenezer and William.  Likewise, the three hundred acres purchased from Evan Hinton by virtue of a bond given by him, said Hinton, likewise two hundred and fifty acres purchased from Squire Boone during his residence in Carolina, he giving lawful bond for the same.  All the above mentioned land for the use above mentioned and their heirs forever.

Item.  I give and bequeath unto my beloved son Jonathan, two thirds of five hundred acres of land which falls to him by the death of his sister Sarah, deceased, being her own by a gift and now to be his and his heirs forever.  Also, I give and bequeath unto my son Jonathan, one black cow with a white face, marked with a crop in the right ear, and an underbite in the same ear, and a slit in the left ear and one coat to be his.

Item.  I have and bequeath unto my daughter Phoebe Harris, not heretofore mentioned

in my will, two hundred acres of land lying in Jefferson County, due to me from said Boone by virtue of a warrant that the said Boone laid for me.  I likewise give and bequeath unto my wife Abigail the full possession of all my personal estate book, debts, bonds, etc.

I likewise appoint my well-beloved friend, William Crow, and my beloved wife Abigail my lawful executors and this to be my last will and testament as witness my hand this second day of September in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-six.  Sealed and delivered in presence of us, underlined before signed.

William Vancleave

Teste.  Thomas Gilmore, William Gilmore, Rachel Vancleave, Kathrine Anderson

Mercer County, February Court 1788

This last will and testament of William Vancleave, deceased, was exhibited into Court and proved by the oath of Catherine Anderson, one of the witnesses thereto.

Teste.  Thomas Allin, C.C.

Mercer County, March Court 1792

This last will and testament of William Vancleave, deceased, was fully proved by the oath of Rachel Vancleave, another of the witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded.

Teste.  Thomas Allin, C. C.

1812 Will of James Haydon – Henry County

James Haydon Will

Henry County Will Book A, Pages 25-29

In the name of God, amen.  I, James Haydon, of Henry County and State of Kentucky, being weak in body but of sound mind and memory, blessed be almighty God for the same, do make, publish and declare this my last will and testament in manner and form following.

Item 1st.  I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife, Elizabeth Haydon, during her natural life, the houses and plantation on which I now live, including all the lands and appurtainances, that’s appertaining only those hereafter excepted which said lands, tenements and appurtainances together with the household and kitchen furniture, farming utensils, stock of horses, cows, sheep, hogs, poultry, etc.  I grant, give and bequeath to the said Elizabeth Haydon, to her only use and behalf during her natural life, and upon her deceased to descend as follows:

The plantation to descend (upon the decease of the said Elizabeth Haydon) to my son, John Haydon, and his heirs or representatives, in fee simple, forever.  The stock, household and kitchen furniture, farming utensils, etc., as above described, to be divided among my legal representatives, in such a manner as to the said Elizabeth Haydon, upon her decease may deem proper and expedient.

Item 2nd.  I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife, Elizabeth Haydon, during her natural life one Negro man called Moses.

One Negro woman called Rachel and one Negro woman called Judah and her child, Harriett.  It is to be distinctly understood, and it is my will and pleasure, that the last-mentioned Negro woman and child (Judah and Harriett) shall descend to and belong to my said son, John Haydon, with their increase forever, to him and his legal representatives.  The other Negroes, Moses and Rachel, I leave and direct to be disposed of as my wife, Elizabeth Haydon, may appear expedient upon her decease, among my legal representatives, together with all and singular the stock, household, kitchen furniture as before described and disposed of.

Item 3rd.  I give and bequeath unto my son Francis Haydon forty shillings, to be raised out of any remaining property not otherwise appropriated.

Item 4th.  I give and bequeath unto my daughter Nancy Bryant and her children forever, to them and their only proper use and behoof, one Negro woman named and called Lucy, with her increase forever, and I further declare all sales or transfers of every nature utterly void which may tend to disinherit the said Nancy Bryant or her heirs of the said slave Lucy or her increase, which property is in addition to that already delivered I consider her equivalent of my estate.

Item 5th.  I give and bequeath unto my daughter Sally Forbes, one Negro girl called Lydia at the value of one hundred dollars paid to my daughter Elizabeth Edson, one Negro man called Charles (supposed at the value of five hundred dollars) which Negro Charles is designed for my said daughter Elizabeth

upon her husband’s (John Edson) paying over to Isaac Forbes, husband of my said daughter Sally and such a deduction of his value as will make the said Lydia equal in value to that of Charles, within three months after actual possession of said slave.  It is directed. and I do declare it my pleasure, that in addition to the value of Lydia, no more money is to be paid by said Edson that will make the said slaves of equal value, which property in addition to what I have already advanced I think equivalent of my estate.

Item 6th.  I give and bequeath unto my daughter Martha Slaugher Roberts, one Negro girl called and known by the name of Priscilla, and her increase, to the said Martha and her lawful heirs forever, to the only proper use and behoof, and I do further declare all sales or transfers of the property aforesaid out of her possession to the said Martha and her children utterly void which property, in addition to what already bequeathed I think an equivalent of my estate.

Item 7th.  I give and bequeath unto my son, James Haydon, one certain tract or parcel of land, lying and being in Henry County, situated and bounded as follows, beginning at a beech and sugar tree, in a line of Boone’s 2000 acre survey, thence south 45, east 184 poles to two sugar trees and a beech.  Thence north 45, east 74 poles to a hickory, walnut and elm.  Thence up a small branch north 22 west 34 poles.  Thence north 15, west 64 poles, to an ash and dogwood.  On the south side of the road leading from New Castle, thence north 78, west 40 poles to three beeches on the north side of the road.  Thence north 88 west 90 poles to a hickory in Boone’s line, thence with said line south 45, west 26 poles to the beginning, continuing by survey one hundred and nine acres which said tract or parcel of land I bequest to him and his assigns forever.  Also, in addition, to the aforementioned property I give and bequest him one Negro boy, Bert, to have and to hold forever.  Also, one feather bed and furniture and two cows and calves, which property in addition to that received I think an

equivalent of my estate.

Item 8th.  I give and bequeath unto my son, Cary Allen Haydon (infant) one certain tract of land lying and being in Henry County, situated and bounded as following, beginning at three beech trees on the north side of the road leading to New Castle, thence north 88, 30 west poles to a hickory in the line of Boone’s 2000 acre survey, thence with said Boone’s line north 45, east 200 poles to a dogwood, black oak and sassafras, thence south 45, east 64 poles to a stake thence south 45, west 140 poles to the beginning, containing by survey seventy acres, which said tract or parcel of land I bequeath to him and his assigns forever.  Also, in addition to the aforementioned property, I give and bequest him one negro boy, called Scipyear, to have and to hold forever, also one feather bed and furniture and two cows and calves, also one horse, bridle and saddle, which property, so soon as he arrives to the age of twenty-one years.  I request and direct the executors of my estate afterward to be named and appointed to deliver over the land at the age aforesaid, the property aforesaid and will all profits and emoluments therefore in any way arising at which time the said property with all and singular its appurtainances, profits and emoluments to him and his assigns forever.  I give and bequest, I direct that the boy Scipyear mentioned in the foregoing item remain without charge in any way, with my wife, Elizabeth, until the legatee, Cary Allen Haydon, arrives to the age of twenty-one years.

Item 9th.  I bequest to my grandchildren, James Hancock, Mariah Hancock and John Bartlett Hancock, one hundred dollars each, to be severally paid them upon their arrival at lawful age in good and property at a fair valuation.

Lastly, I constitute and appoint to the end that my devises may be carried into full execution, my beloved wife, Elizabeth Haydon, Executrix, and my son, James Haydon, Isaac Forbes and John Edson, Executors of my whole estate, and they are hereby charged and invested with full and complete power to act, distribute and divide all and singular the goods, personal and real, mentioned in the preceding items.  To the legatee’s therein mentioned and particularized, in conformity to the tenor of each devisee.  In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this thirtieth day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twelve.

James Haydon

Signed and sealed in presence of Thomas Stringate, Elijah Vandigrith, Will Neale and Hannah Bryant

Henry County, March Term 1813

This last will and testament of James Haydon, deceased, was produced in court, proved by the oaths of William Neale and Thomas Swingate, subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded.

Att.  Rowland Thomas

Will of William L. Martin – Larue County

William L. Martin was featured in an earlier post – so much information was on his gravestone!  William was the son of Hartwell Martin and Sallie Porter.  The family was from Charles City County in Virginia.  William L. was born there May 26, 1782, on the banks of the James River. 

In 1807 William Martin married Sarah Shofner, daughter of Henry Shofner and Cloe Hart.  Henry was a veteran of the Revolutionary War. 

William and Sarah had only one child – Henry Martin – born March 22, 1808.  He married Mary Dearen on December 24, 1828, and had many children, including seven listed in their grandfather’s will – William D., Harriet A., Henry P., James W.,  Paschal W., Sally A. and Corrintha C. Martin.  William D. must have been the oldest.  He lived with his grandparents in 1850, where the census of Larue County lists him as 20, and as a student.

William L.’s wife, Sarah, was the recipient of his entire estate.  She died in 1886 at the age of 94 years.  After her death her son and grandchildren received their inheritance.

Will of William L. Martin

Larue County Will Book 1, Pages 83-84

In the name of God, amen.  I, William L. Martin, being feeble in body but sound in mind and memory feel it to be my duty to dispose of my worldly effects that the good Lord hath seen cause to bless me with, do therefore make and publish this my last will and testament in the following words and forms.

It is my will and desire that all of my just debts be paid and that my body be decently interred after my death and that the residue of my estate be disposed of in the following manner.

First.  I will and bequeath all that I am possessed of consisting of all my lands, Negroes and perishable property and cash rates of money to my beloved wife Sarah Martin for and during her natural lifetime and in the event she should marry again she is only to have one third of my estate for her natural lifetime and further more she is to have the right to sell any of the property and convey the same at anytime she may think proper.

Second.  It is further my will and desire that my beloved grandson, William D. Martin, have, and I do hereby give to him my farm, the one on which I now live in the County of Larue in the State of Kentucky, he to have possession of the same at the death of my wife, and I also give to him my black woman Malvina, my girl, Martha Jane, the boy John, the boy Tam and the boy Davy, and my said grandson named aforesaid is to have possession of the Negroes named above at the death of my wife.

Thirdly, it is my will and desire that my beloved son, Henry Martin, have and I do hereby give and bequeath to him the farm and tract of land on which he now lives, situated on the Little South Fork of Nolin, Larue County, Kentucky, and also four hundred dollars in money to have the possession of property and money at the death of my wife.

Fourth.  It is my will and desire that my three granddaughters, Harriett A., Sarah A, and Corrintha C. Martin, have at the death of my wife and I hereby give to each of them one hundred dollars.

Fifthly.  It is further my will and desire that at the death of my wife that all of the residue of my property not disposed of above be sold and the proceeds after same and the residue of my money

or evidence of the same not disposed of above be equally divided between and I hereby give the same to my three grandsons, Henry P, James W. and Paschal W. Martin.

Sixth.  Lastly, I hereby appoint my beloved grandson, William D. Martin, and my beloved wife, Sarah Martin, my Executrix and Executor to carry this, my last will and testament into effect, and if the court will permit them it is my desire that they qualify as such without giving security.

Given under my hand this the 30th day of August 1855.

William L. Martin

Signed in the presence of W. B. Reade, J. H. Rodman, E. R. Burba

At a County Court began and held at the courthouse in Hodgensville, on the 26th day of October 1857, the foregoing instrument of writing purporting to be the last will and testament of William L. Martin, deceased, was produced in Court by William D. Martin, one of the executors therein named and offered for probate, the same was duly provided by the oaths of W. B. Reade and E. R. Burba, two of the subscribing witnesses thereto, whereupon the same was established and ordered to be recorded and I have on this 2nd day of December 1857 thus accorded the same.

E. R. Burba, Clerk