Tag Archives: Old Wills

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

Peter Goatley’s 1854 Will Names All Thirteen Children – Washington County

Peter Goatley and Sinai Hickerson had thirteen children who survived their father and were named in his will.  Daughters who were married are listed with their husband’s surname.  The following is a list of their children, spouses and marriage dates if known.

  1. John Goatley – Nancy Anna Reed – April 7, 1834.
  2. Nancy Goatley – Peter Barlow – February 16, 1831.
  3. William Goatley – Matilda Toon – August 1, 1833.
  4. Thomas Goatley – Rebecca Ann Mock – October 9, 1838.
  5. Mason J. Goatley – Harriet Rebecca Dickerson – July 23, 1846.
  6. Louisa Goatley – Richard P. Toon – August 23, 1842.  He died before 1854.
  7. Savilla Ann Goatley – John T. Hardin – December 13, 1866.
  8. Robert P. Goatley
  9. Emily Jane Goatley
  10. Susan Goatley – Nathan H. Janes – January 24, 1861
  11. Julia Ann Goatley
  12. Jane Marie Goatley
  13. Elizabeth Goatley – James Thomas Hayden

Many members of this family are buried in Pleasant Grove Presbyterian Cemetery in Washington County.

Will of Peter Goatley

Washington County Will Book K, Pages 186-187

In the name of God, amen.  I, Peter Goatley, of Washington County and State of Kentucky, being of sound mind and disposing memory, do make this my last will and testament in words following, to wit –

Item 1st.  I give and bequeath unto my wife, Sinai Goatley, and my daughters, Louisa Toon and her three children and Savilia Ann Goatley and Emily Jane Goatley, Susan Goatley, Jane Maria Goatley and Julia Ann Goatley, and to my son Robert P. Goatley, all the above named heirs are at present living with me, all my land, excepting the land I purchased of John Withrow and wife, also all my slaves and their increase, and all of my personal estate excepting what will pay my just debts.  I wish it distinctly understood that the above named property, both real and personal and mixed is entirely under the control and management of my son, Robert P. Goatley, who is to have the care of the other heirs above named during their single lives and I wish it also understood they are to remain here and have their support while single, all the land, slaves and personal estate above named, after supporting my wife and daughters above named during their single life, it is to be held and owned by my son, Robert P. Goatley, by his giving to each of my daughters now single a horse, saddle and bridle, a cow and bed and six head of sheep, provided they should marry.  I give to my son John Goatley a horse, saddle and bridle, cow and calf, a bed and bedding and sheep, amounting to one hundred and fifty dollars, which property he received when he married.  I give to my son William Goatley one hundred and fifty dollars worth of property, which he received when he married.  I give to my daughter Nancy Barlow one hundred and fifty dollars worth of property, which she received when she married.  I give to my son Thomas Goatley one hundred and fifty dollars worth of property, which he received when he married.  Owing to his affliction I give the interest I hold in the Withrow land to him also.  I give to my daughter Louisa Toon one hundred and fifty dollars worth of property, which she received when she married.  I give to my son Mason J. Goatley one hundred and fifty dollars worth of property, which he received when he married.  I give to my daughter Elizabeth Hayden one hundred and fifty dollars worth of property, which she received when she married.  I also wish it understood that my daughter Louisa Toon above mentioned is only to have a home here and maintenance for her and her children during her single life.  If she should marry, Robert P. Goatley is not to give her anything after her marriage, but if her children should remain with my son Robert P. Goatley until they are of age, then my son Robert is to school them and give them a horse, saddle and bridle.  I also, as a part of my will, appoint my son Robert P. Goatley as

the Executor of my last will and testament, and wish him to act without giving bond and security to the County Court.  I also provide that if my son Robert should die before my daughters that are now single should marry, they are still to remain in possession of the property, and my son Mason J. Goatley is to manage and have the care of them and property while they remain single, provided he is living.  In testimony where of I sign, seal and deliver in the presence of                    September 19th 1854

Peter Goatley

Witnesses Murray Walker, Robert Walker, Thomas Reed

Washington County

At a County Court held for Washington County at the Courthouse in Springfield on the 21st day of February 1859, this last will and testament of Peter Goatley, deceased, was produced in court and proven by the oath of Robert Walker, a subscribing witness thereto and ordered to be recorded, which is accordingly done in Will Book K, page 186.  Given under my hand this 23rd day of February 1859.

R. S. Peters, Clerk

 

1791 Will of Daniel Brewer – Mercer County

Daniel Brewer, Pvt, Molyan’s Dragoons PA Line, Revolutionary War, July 5, 1719 – January 15, 1791.  Old Mud Meeting House Cemetery, Mercer County, Kentucky.

Daniel Brewer, a Revolutionary  Soldier, was a member of the Dutch Reformed Church, also known as the Old Mud Meeting House.  He is buried in that cemetery, and has a beautiful bronze grave site, along with the other 30 other veterans buried there.

In his will Daniel names eight children, giving their names, as well as his daughters’ husband’s names.  Such a treasure!

Will of Daniel Brewer

Mercer County Will Book 1, Pages 49-50

In the name of God, amen.  I, Daniel Brewer, of the County of Mercer and District of Kentucky, being weak in body but of perfect mind and memory, calling to mind that it is ordered for all men once to die, do make this my last will and testament as follows.  Viz.  I give and bequeath to my eldest son, Abraham Brewer, my Bible and a cow, to him and his heirs forever.

Item.  I give and bequeath to my son, Daniel Brewer, my long gun, to him and his heirs forever.

It is further my will that the remainder of my estate, both real and personal as well as my lands in Pennsylvania, as my personal estate in Kentucky and Pennsylvania, be sold to the best and highest bidder by my executor, hereafter to be named, and the money arising there from

to be divided as followeth (viz.) To my daughter, Leah Stagg, wife of James Stagg, one eighth part to her and her heirs forever.

To my daughter, Susannah Demaree, wife of Samuel Demaree, one eighth part to her and her heirs forever.

To my son, Abraham Brewer, one eighth part to him and his heirs forever.

To my daughter, Rachel Commingo, wife of Henry Commingo, one eighth part to her and her heirs forever.

To my daughter, Mary Demaree, wife of Samuel Demaree, Jr., one eighth part to her and her heirs forever.

To my son, John Brewer, one eighth part to him and his heirs forever.

To my daughter, Phoebe Demaree, wife of Cornelius Demaree, one eighth part to her and her heirs forever.

To my son, Daniel Brewer, one eighth part to him and his heirs forever.

It is also my will that my wearing clothes be considered as excepted above and that my executor divide them equally between my sons, Abraham Brewer, John Brewer and Daniel Brewer, to them and their heirs forever.  It is also my will that my two sons, Abraham Brewer and John Brewer, and Samuel Demaree, Sr., do execute this my last will and testament.  In testimony where of I do here unto set my hand and affix my seal this fifteenth day of January one thousand seven hundred and ninety-one.

Daniel Brewer

Signed, sealed and acknowledged in the presence of us – Peter Demaree, Francis Monfort, John Demaree

At a Court held for Mercer County at the Courthouse on Tuesday, the 22nd day of February 1791

This last will and testament of Daniel Brewer, deceased, was exhibited into Court and proved by the oaths of Peter Demaree and Francis Monfort, two subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded.

Teste. Thomas Allin, CC

1844 Will of Cornelius C. Vanarsdall – Mercer County

The 12 of November 1803.  Sir, Please to grant Cornelius C. Vanarsdall license to marry my daughter, Catherine, as I have no objection from me.  Peter Huff.  To Thomas Allin Clerk of Mercer County.  Abraham Huff, Francis Waldrin.

Cornelius C. Vanarsdall is the son of Cornelius A. Vanarsdall and Janet Baird.  He married Catherine Huff, daughter of Peter Huff and Mary Brokaw, November 12, 1803, in Mercer County.  Both families were originally from New Jersey.  Both fathers were in the Revolutionary War.

Will Book 12, Page 171-172, Mercer County

I, Cornelius C. Vanarsdall, of the County of Mercer and State of Kentucky, being at this time weak in body but of perfect mind and memory, calling to mind the mortality of all living do ordain and establish this instrument of writing as my last will and testament.

1st.  I commend my soul into the hands of Almighty God who gave it, trusting alone in my Redeemer for Salvation, and my body to be decently buried by my executors to be hereafter named.

2nd.  It is my will that all my just debts and funeral expenses shall be paid out of debts due or sale of stock.

3rd.  It is my will that my wife remains in the use and occupancy of my farm and house during her natural life for the purpose of raising and educating my four youngest children and also retain all my household and kitchen furniture and as much of my farming utensils as she may need to keep in cultivation my farm and as my four youngest sons come of age severally they shall each receive three hundred dollars to be paid by my executors out of the proceeds of my farm If so much

if not out of my estate.

4th.  It is my further will that my executor shall sell all my stock of horses, cattle, hogs, sheep and other stock and personal property which may not be necessary to cultivate the farm and be necessary for food and milk for my family, to be selected at the discretion of my wife and the appraisers of my estate and out of the proceeds to pay my son, Thomas, one thousand dollars when he comes of age.

5th.  My blacks are to remain with my wife to help cultivate my farm or she may hire out any she chooses to help raise money to pay the above legacies.

6th.  In case any of my children should marry during the life of my wife she shall give each a bed and furniture, bureau, two cows and calves and sheep such as my other children who are married have received.

7th.  My three oldest sons, Abraham, Peter and Simon, have each received one thousand dollars which they aided in making which together with the three hundred dollars willed to my four youngest sons has allowed them over and above the equal division provided for in the next clause of this writing.

8th.  After the above legacies are provided for and after the decease of my wife, all my estate both real and personal, including blacks, are to be sold and equally divided between all my children, including grandchildren who are to take per stirpes their parents’ shares.  The land may be sold by my executors or the survivor or survivors of them in one or more tracts or such reasonable credit as they may choose and they or either of them are hereby authorized to convey the same in fee simple to the purchaser or purchasers as soon as paid for.

9th.  It is my wish and intention that my unmarried children shall live on my farm in my house with their mother as they have heretofore done and the household furniture, kitchen furniture and farming utensils, horses, cattle, hogs and sheep which may be necessary to cultivate the farm and furnish food for the family to be set apart by my wife and the appraisers, shall be in her hands to provide for my young unmarried children and aid in her support and help pay the legacies to my four youngest boys.

10th.  It is my wish that out of the proceeds of my farm, my wife and executors shall send my granddaughter, Kiturah, to school and clothe her until she is well educated, and I hereby desire that my son Abraham

shall attend to this business as her guardian.

11th.  I hereby appoint my sons Abraham and Peter my executors of this my last will and testament.  Witness my hand and seal this 7th day of September 1844.

Cornelius C. Vanarsdall

Signed, sealed and acknowledged in the presence of John A. Tomlinson, Thomas Clelland, Robert B. McAfee

Mercer County, October County Court 1844

The last will and testament of C. C. Vanarsdall, deceased, was this day produced into court and proved by the oaths of Thomas Clelland and Robert B. McAfee, two of the subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded.

Attest.  Thomas Allin, C.C.

1846 Will of William A. Jones – Livingston County

William A. Jones is the fourth great-grandfather of my husband.  Unfortunately, I do not know the name of his first wife.  Ritchey descends from his son Thomas who married Rachel Margaret Walker.

This is a fantastic will because it names all the children – and tells us the wife, Mariah Jones, is a second wife.  Why didn’t everyone be so thoughtful?

Livingston County Will Book B, Page 117

In the name of God, amen.  I, William A. Jones, of the County of Livingston and State of Kentucky, being sick and weak in body, but of sound mind and disposing memory, for which I thank God, and calling to mind the uncertainty of human life and being desirous to dispose of all such worldly estate as it has pleased God to bless me with, I give and bequeath the same manner following, that is to say I give –

1st.  I desire that so much of my perishable property to be immediately sold after my decease and out of the money arising therefrom all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid.

2nd.  After the payment of my debts and funeral expenses, I give to my wife, Mariah Jones, the balance of my perishable property after the above named debts being paid and the tract of land I now live on I give to my wife during her natural life or remains my widow, and at her death or marriage the said tract of land to be equally divided between David Jones and Patsy Allen and Sarah Jones, James Jones and Isaac Jones, Edmond Jones and Elizabeth Jones, all of the above being the children I have by my last wife.

3rd.  I give to Thomas Jones and Jesse Jones and Joshua Jones and Fanny Gazaway and William W. Jones and Olive Barr, six hundred acres of land lying in Trigg County in this state, near the mouth of Little River.

And lastly, I do hereby constitute and appoint my son Thomas Jones and my son David Jones executors of this, my last will and testament.  I do not request my executors to give security, hereby revoking all other or former wills or testaments by me heretofore made.  In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this the 27th day of December in the year 1846.

William A. Jones

Signed, sealed and published and declared as the last will and testament of the above-named William A. Jones, in presence of us.  Witness, Jesse Wills, Jonathan McCandless, Elisha Biggs.

Kentucky, Livingston County

I, James S. Dallam, Clerk of the Court for the County aforesaid, hereby certify that the foregoing last will and testament of William A. Jones was on this day produced in open court and proven by the oaths of Jonathan McCandless and Elisha Biggs, two subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded.

Thereupon I have truly recorded the same and this certificate in my said office.  Given under my hand this 1st day of February 1850.

James S. Dallam

William A. Jones, born June 17, 1784, died December 29, 1847.  Landrum Cemetery, Livingston County, Kentucky.

Bequest In Will Becomes Ryder’s Cemetery In Lebanon

This old will has a gem of a piece of information.  In it Augustus Ryder gives money to buy land for a cemetery and its upkeep.  But it is also the first will written in the new Will Book 1 after the Marion County Courthouse burned when General John Hunt Morgan came to town July 5, 1863.  The original will was included in those books that became ashes on that date.  In many counties that suffered the loss of a courthouse it was very common for copies of wills, and other records, to be brought in and added to the new books to have those records on file.

On my first reading I thought perhaps Augustus Ryder was a soldier of the Civil War, who intended to take care of his sister Julia (she is the only family member named in the will) and use the rest of his estate for the betterment of the community – a new cemetery.  Augustus Ryder was civic minded, but I don’t believe he served during the war.  He was a German immigrant, born in 1812.  I can’t say when he came to this country, but in the 1850 census he is living in Marion County with John and Sally Yowell, aged 40, born in Germany and listed as a merchant.  John Yowell was a bookkeeper, aged 53, his wife, 57.  In 1860 Augustus is 47, a bookkeeper, living with Michael S. Ray.

My great-grandmother Mary Elizabeth Crow Coulter Alford is buried in Ryder’s Cemetery.   The cemetery is located on a hill on Highway 68, Main Street, in Lebanon, halfway between Sulphur Spring Road and Woodlawn Avenue.

 

Will Book 1, Page 1, Marion County, Kentucky

I, Augustus Ryder, of Marion County, Kentucky, do make and ordain this to be my last will and testament.

1st.  It is my will that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid.

2nd. I will and bequeath to my sister Julia Ryder three thousand dollars and also my gold watch.

3rd. I will all the balance of my estate to be laid out in the purchase, enforcement and ornament of suitable cemetery grounds in the vicinity of Lebanon, for a funeral place for all denominations, Catholic and Protestant.

4th.  I appoint John Shuck and Thomas C. Woods, Executors, of this my last will and testament, this 30th day of November 1862.

  1. Ryder

Attest. James M. Fogle, N. J. Ray

The above is the substance and as near the form as I can remember of A. Ryder’s will drawn by me.

John Shuck

State of Kentucky, County of Marion

I, James M. Fuller, Clerk of Marion County Court, certify that the above and personal substances of the will of A. Ryder, deceased, was on August 10, 1863, presented to Marion County Court and proven by the oath of James M. Fogle, and N. S. Ray, subscribing witnesses thereto, to be the substance of the original will of Augustus Ryder, deceased, which was received in the County Clerk’s office and burned on July 5, 1863, which fact also attested by the oath of John Shuck.

Thereupon it is ordered that said substance of will marked in order form A is received as the last will and testament of Augustus Ryder, deceased.

Whereupon the same and this certificate are truly received in my office this August 31st, 1863.

James M. Fuller, Clerk

1824 Will of George Scott – Daviess County

Daviess County, Kentucky – Will Book A

Pages 3-4

Know all men by these presents that I, George Scott, of Daviess County, Kentucky, this day have made my last will.  Respecting the distribution of my small portion of my earthly property in the manner as followeth.

To wit.  First my lawful debts to be paid and secondly I will to my daughter, Sarah Mullican, son Elisha and son William, son Asa, son George, son Elijah, daughter Jenna, daughter Matilda and grandson Milburn, one dollar each.  Also I will my interest in a judgement obtained in the General Court at Frankfort against Hicks & Campbell Richmond for thirty-three and some other hundred dollars unto the above named Sarah, Elisha, William, George, also Elijah, Jenna and Matilda and whereas there is some sales made on Judgement they are equally interested in them as if sales had been made in Judgement.

I also will to son Elijah 75 dollars in stock property valued at commonwealth paper.  To my daughter Matilda a young mare.  I will the plantation on which I now live to son Abner and James B. Scott.  I will that my daughter Polly shall have one hundred and fifty dollars instead of the land to be counted out of my estate afterward, all and singular of property belonging to me I will to Polly Scott, Abner and James B. Scott, both Negroes, horses, cattle, hogs, sheep and household plunder and all these to my three youngest children, but that there should be no mistake I will that my wife Susannah be carefully maintained out of the property willed to her children and that the property afore mentioned be left with her and her children during her lifetime or until her children come of age except such as to discharge debts or to purchase necessary or that appears to be a surplus for to be disposed of as occasion may see fit.

I hereby appoint Warner Crow as trustee over my estate to assist until the children come of age or otherwise to buy, sell, direct, collect debts, to pay off and to act as he thinks just according to the afore mentioned will for on behalf of my wife and her children.

In witness I have set forth my hand and seal this 1st day of November 1824.

George Scott

G. Calhoun, Samuel Calhoun

Kentucky

At a County Court began and held for the County of Daviess at the Court House in Owensboro on Monday the 13th day of June 1825, this will was exhibited in Court and duly proved to be the act and deed of the within named George Scott, by the oaths of George and Samuel Calhoun, subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded and Warner Crow, the executor therein named made oath to said will and executed bond agreeable to law and a certificate for obtaining a probate thereof in due form was granted the said executor which will is duly recorded in said Court.

Attest. George Hanley, Clerk Daviess County Court

State of Kentucky, Daviess County Court, June Term 1867(?)

The above containing the above foregoing will having been destroyed it is now ordered that the same be re-recorded.  Witness my hand this 10th day of June 1867.

Thomas C. Jones, Clerk