Tag Archives: Old Wills

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.

1735 Will of Alexander McKee

Alexander McKee is Ritchey’s seventh great-grandfather, originally from Ireland.  He emigrated to the colonies, to Pennsylvania, in the early part of the 18th century.  Ritchey descends from his son, Thomas McKee, who was prominent in the years before the Revolution.

Will Book A, Page 45, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Will of Alexander McKee

In the name of God, Amen, the twenty-seventh day of May, in the year of our Lord 1735, I, Alexander McKee, of Donegal, in the County of Lancaster, Gentleman, being very sick and weak of body, but of perfect mind and memory, thanks be to God, therefore calling to mind of 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 direction of my Executor, nothing doubting but that at the general resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God.  And as touching such worldly estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me in this life, I give, devise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form.

Item.  I give to my well beloved son, Thomas McKee, whom I likewise constitute, make and ordain, my only and sole executor of this my last will and testament, all my worldly substances by him freely to be possessed and enjoyed by him, his heirs and assigns forever, and I do hereby utterly disallow, revoke and disanull all and every other former testament, 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 whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year above written.

Alexander McKee

Signed, sealed, published, pronounced and declared by the said Alexander McKee as his last will and testament in the presence of us the subscribers, viz., John Mitchell, Samuel Chambers, Lazarus Lourey, Thomas McKee

Lancaster County, May the twenty-sixth Anno Domino 1740

Then personally appeared Lazarus Lourey and Thomas McKee, two of the witnesses to the within written will and on their, oath did declare they were present and saw and heard Alexander McKee, the testator within named, sign, execute and pronounce the within will to be his last will and testament and that at the time thereof he was of sound and disposing mind, memory and understanding, to the best of their knowledge.

Before Sa. Blunston, D. Reg.

Be it remembered that on the 26th day of May Anno Domini 1740 the last will and testament of Alexander McKee, deceased, was proved in due form of law and probate and letter testamentary were granted unto Thomas McKee, having first sworn well and truly to administer the said deceased’s estate and bring an inventory thereof into the Register’s Office in Lancaster County, on or before the 26th day of June next, and also to render account when thereunto lawfully required given under my seal of the said office.                               Sa. Blunston, Deputy Register

 

Blake Arnold’s 1872 Will

Yesterday I introduced you to the family of Blake Arnold, who is buried in the Old Union Baptist Cemetery in Boyle County, Kentucky.  Today I would like to share his will, written March 19, 1872, and proved at the June 1872 Court.  Evidently he knew the time of his death was drawing near.  Nine of his ten children are listed in the will – daughter Permelia died in 1867.

I, Blake Arnold, of the County of Boyle and State of Kentucky, make this my last will and testament, revoking all others by me made.

First.  I devise to my wife, Martha Arnold, my home tract of land, about one hundred and sixty acres, during her natural life.  Five hundred dollars in cash, all of my household and kitchen furniture, one bay horse, Swiss, and duo branded gray horse, one choice cow and calf, one choice sow and pigs, one large plough and two shovel ploughs, two pair of harness, also, provisions for eighteen months after my death, six yearling ewes and buck, the cash to be paid at my death.

Second.  To my son, John Arnold, eighteen hundred dollars above all allowance, he to account out of the same for a note held against him of six hundred dollars with its interest made payable one day after date, the balance payable to hi six months after my death.

Third.  To my daughter, Mary Harmon, five hundred dollars above all previous allowances payable six months after my death.

Fourth.  To my daughter, Patsy Holland, one thousand dollars to account out of the same for a note I hold against her husband, Robert Holland, with its interest, the balance to be paid to her six months after my death.

Fifth.  To my daughter, Nancy Crain, fifteen hundred dollars above all allowances heretofore made to her, payable six months after my death.

Sixth.  The balance of my land adjoining the land allotted to my wife, about two hundred and forty acres more or less, held in common by my five sons, Samuel Arnold, James Arnold, Woodson Arnold, Robert Arnold and William Creed Arnold, until the youngest arrives to the age of twenty-one years, then to be equally divided among the said Samuel, James, Woodson, Robert and William Creed Arnold, together with all other lands and others I may possess to be equally divided among them.  When William Creed arrive at the age of twenty-one years or to sell as they may think proper, their interest to be equal in rents from my death until William Creed arrives at lawful age.  Also, the home farm at the death of my wife to be equally divided between them the said Samuel Arnold, James Arnold, Woodson Arnold, Robert Arnold and William Creed Arnold, to have out of my estate one horse worth one hundred dollars, one cow, one bed and one saddle to be worth as much as the horse, cow, saddle received by James and Woodson without charge against them in settlement of my estate.  Samuel has received his bed and cow, but no horse.

Seventh.  The residue of my estate, consisting of stock notes and cash to be converted into cash and the proceeds divided equally after paying expenses and other charges between my sons Samuel, James, Woodson, Robert and William Creed Arnold.

Eighth.  I hereby constitute and appoint my sons Samuel and Woodson Arnold and my friend William Scraggins my executors to this my last will, fully authorizing them to carry all its provisions into effect.  Given under my hand and seal this 19th day of March 1872.

Blake Arnold

Test.  S. P. Burton, S. E. Bottom

Boyle County Court

June 18 Term, 1872

I, Jonas B. Nichols, Clerk of the Boyle County Court, do certify that the forgoing will of Blake Arnold, deceased, was proven to Court at the above term and duly proven by the oaths of S. P. Burton and S. E. Bottom, the subscribing witnesses thereto, and ordered to be recorded, which is now done.

Given under my hand this 18th day of June 1872.

Jonas B. Nichols, Clerk, by R. J. Nichols, Deputy Clerk

Daniel Dicken 1790 Mercer County Will

Another early will from Mercer County.  Notice that Mr. Dicken lists himself as of the Commonwealth of Virginia, District of Kentucky, and County of Mercer.  I believe the ‘trusty friends’ listed in the will are actually Daniel’s older brothers.  He gives his estate to his younger brothers and sister, so evidently there were older siblings.

In the name of God, amen.  I, Daniel Dicken, of the Commonwealth of Virginia, District of Kentucky, and County of Mercer, being of sound mind and memory, do make, declare and publish this to be my last will and testament.  I will all my estate, real, personal and mined to be equally divided between my three younger brothers and sisters, Charles Dicken, Winifred Dicken and Lot Dicken, after my just debts are all paid.  I do hereby appoint and nominate my trusty friends, Christopher Dicken and Isaac Dicken to be executors of this my last will and testament.  In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 4th day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety.  Signed, sealed and published in presence of:

Daniel Dicken

William Dicken, Joseph Dicken, William Batton

At a Court held for Mercer County at the Courthouse on Tuesday the 28th day of February 1792

This last will and testament of Daniel Dicken, deceased, was exhibited into Court and proved by the oaths of William Dicken and Joseph Dicken, witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded.

Test.  Thomas Allin, C. C.

Catherine McMurtry Receives Portion of Bequest from Father’s Will

Captain Lewis Rose, born October 11, 1749, and died February 20, 1829, left a will naming several children.  He married first Barbara Thair, and, secondly, Mary Todd Hutton McMurtry, her first husband being Captain John McMurtry.

At the Historical Society in Harrodsburg, Mercer County, there are filing cabinets full of pieces of paper the county clerk was going to get rid of.  Thank goodness the society realized the importance these papers would be to genealogists!

I used this particular one today since it concerned his daughter, Catherine Rose, who married her step-brother, Joseph McMurtry.  Many of the Rose family members are buried in a family cemetery in the little town of Burgin, also in Mercer County.  Catherine is buried in Spring Hill Cemetery in Harrodsburg.

Catharine, wife of John McMurtry and daughter of Captain Lewis Rose, born November 21, 1780, died September 1, 1867.  Spring Hill Cemetery, Mercer County, Kentucky.

Little scraps of paper can be very important and give little clues about our families.  My great-grandmother was diligent about saving old tax receipts and other pieces of family information!

Received of Robert B. McAfee, Executor of Lewis Rose, deceased, five hundred dollars in part of my share of the price of his land sold by said Executor according to the directions of his will.  Witness my hand this 14th day of May 1842.

                                                          Catherine McMurty

Test.  A. H. Alexander

NB $200 of the above said money from the land.

1794 Will of Thomas Burbridge of Scott County

The first will in Scott County Will Book A is that of Thomas Burbridge.  Evidently Thomas is not married as he gives all his estate to his brothers and sisters – and they are all named!  His sisters are listed by their married name, and then most of their husbands are listed as executors along with Thomas’ two brothers, Lunsfield and George.  What a find for those researching this family!

Will Book A, Pages 1-2, Scott County, Kentucky

I, Thomas Burbridge, of Scott County, and low of body, but of sound and disposing memory, do ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following.  I give my soul to God that gave it and my body to be buried in a Christian-like manner at the direction of my Executors.

Item.  I will that all my just debts and funeral charges be first paid and discharged by my executors herein after named.

Item.  I give and bequeath all my estate, both real and personal, to be equally divided amongst all my brothers and sisters that are now living and the heirs of their bodies forever.  Namely, Lunsfield Burbridge, George Burbridge, Mildred Robinson, Sarah Elley, Frances Smith, Elizabeth Branham and Mary Bullitt.  Lastly, I constitute and ordain my brother, Lunsfield Burbridge, my brother George Burbridge, my brother-in-law Henry Elley, my brother-in-law Robert Smith, my brother-in-law Benjamin Robinson, my brother-in-law Taviner Branham, executors of this my last will and testament, this 27th day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-four.

Thomas Burbridge

Test.  Edward Elley, Matthew Gale Sr., William Wood, Thomas Elley, Henry Elley

Scott County, January Court 1795

This will was this day presented in Court by Lunsfield Burbridge, George Burbridge and Henry Elley, three of the executors in named and proved by the oaths of Edward Elley, Thomas Elley and Henry Elley, three of the witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded and executors the oath and gave bond as law.

Know all men by these presents that we, Lunsfield Burbridge, George Burbridge, Henry Elley, Benjamin Robinson, Thomas Branham and Daniel Sinclair are held and firmly bound unto John McHatton, John Payne, Toliver Craig, Gentlemen Justices of Scott County in the sum of five thousand pounds current money to be paid to the aid justices or their successors, the payment whereof well and truly to be made.  We bind ourselves and each of us our heirs, executors and administrators, jointly and severally, firmly by these presents, sealed with our seals and dated this 26th day of January 1796.

The condition of the above obligation is such that if the above Lunsfield Burbridge and executors of the last will and testament of Thomas Burbridge, deceased to made or cause to be

made a true and perfect inventory of all and singular the goods, chattles and credits of said deceased which have or shall come to the hands possession or knowledge of them, the said executors, or any other person or persons for them and the same so made do exhibit unto the said county court of Scott at such time as they shall be thereunto required by the said Court and the said goods, chattles and credit do administer accordingly to law by rendering a just and free account of their acting and therein pay the legacies in the said will mentioned as far as the goods, chattles and credits will thereunto extend and the law shall charge them the above obligation to be void, otherwise to remain in full force and virtue.

Lunsfield Burbridge, George Burbridge, Henry Elley, Benjamin Robinson, Daniel Sinclair, Thomas Burbridge

In open court test.  John Hawkins

1782 Will of Zephaniah Blackford of Jefferson County

So many interesting things about this will!  Fort Nelson became Louisville, Kentucky.  In 1781 Colonel George Rogers Clark was stationed there where he led expeditions against the Shawnee Indians.  Zephaniah Blackford evidently knew him well enough to purchase land from him.  

Since no wife is mentioned, Zephaniah Blackford was not married, so he chose the daughters of his brother Reuben to receive his legacies, as well as his brothers and sisters.  The mention of his nursery on Fish Creek, and the number of apple trees he gives make me want to call him an early Johnny Appleseed!  Fish Creek is off Nolan River, now located in Mammoth Cave National Park, in Edmonson County. 

Zephaniah must have been a religious man, setting aside $200 for the use of the Baptist Society to preach the gospel ‘where none but darkness to be found.’

The land purchased of Captain George Rogers Clark on the mouth of the Kanawha is now located in West Virginia.  Fort Jefferson was constructed upon instructions by then Governor of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson, he putting Clark in charge.  After the fort was built a small settlement by the name of Clarkville had some settlers make it their home, but the Indian raids caused the fort and settlement to be a disaster.  It was to have been built at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, today near the town of Wickliffe, Kentucky, in Ballard County.

In the name of God, Amen.  I, Zephaniah Blackford, Conductor of Military Store in the Interior Department, now residing at Fort Nelson, being of sound and disposing mind and memory and understanding and considering the certainty of death and the uncertainty of the time thereof, I do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner following.  First and principally I resign my soul to God Almighty, and hope for salvation thro the merits of my blessed redeemer Christ.  As to my temporal estate I dispose thereof as follows.  I do name and constitute my brother, Reuben Blackford, to be my sole executor.  I will that all my just debts and funeral charges must first and immediately be paid.

Imprimis.  I give my Birth Right and all my property of whatever kind in East Jersey unto my brother and sisters that may be in that provenance at my decease be equally divided between them in quantity and quality to them.

Item.  I give unto my brother, Reuben Blackford, my wearing apparel and surveying instruments and all my bills and receipts from the state of Virginia and also here my settlement and presumption at Fish Creek and the six hundred acres of land I have up the Kanawha that was bought of John Savage, and two town lots I bought of Captain George R. Clark at the mouth of Big Kanawha and all rights to two town lots and appurtenances that was Jacob Shillings at Clark Ville, Fort Jefferson, to him and his heirs and assigns for him or them to sell or dispose with at phases, my just debts to be paid out of the same and two hundred dollars for burial and likewise for the use of a Baptist Society that may for future years be used in the Illinois Country and in support of the Gospel where none but darkness to be found, if demanded five years from the present date.

Item.  I give unto my niece Hannah Ruth, daughter of brother Reuben Blackford, it is my desire to use her as if she were my own daughter, I give unto her my land that is known by the falls of Blackford Manor on the Wabash River two leagues at Vincennes consisting of fourteen hundred and forty acres and appurtenances and land as entered in that office by the name of Levi Blackford, William Blackford, Oliver Blackford, George Blackford,

Richard Blackford, Moses Blackford, Isaac Blackford and Henry Blackford, to remain her and her heirs of blood forever.  I give unto her five hundred apple trees to plant on the above land out of my nursery at Fish Creek of the second choice, she to take possession of all the lands at eighteen years of age.

Item.  I give unto my niece, Phoeby, the second daughter to my brother Reuben Blackford, as a token of my friendship to her, land opposite to the town of St. Vincennes over the Wabash, containing three hundred and sixty acres of land entered in that office by my name and forty acres of this being what I bought of John Cardinne, to remain her and her heirs of blood forever.  I give unto her five hundred apple trees for the use of the said land out of my nursery aforesaid, the third choice, she may take possession at the age of eighteen years.

Item.  I give unto my niece Elizabeth, the third daughter of my brother, Reuben Blackford, as a token of my friendship to her, my land I bought of Randall White and one lot of my father, John Blackford, entered in that office, the whole containing three hundred and twenty acres of land to her and her heirs of blood forever.  I give her five hundred apple trees, of the fourth choice.  She may take possession of the premises at eighteen years of age.

Item.  I give unto my friend, Yates Conwell, as a token of the friendship I always had for him, seven hundred apple trees of my nursery at Fish Creek, the first and best choice of the said nursery.

I do deny all wills, testaments, legacies, before this time and this only do I maintain to be my sole will and last testament.  Perhaps I may add one or more codicils to this hereafter, but the rest and residue of my real and personal estate whatsoever after payments of my debts, funeral charges and legacies, I give to my brother, Reuben Blackford, his heirs, executors, administrators and assigns forever.  In witness where of I hereunto set my hand and seal the 12th day of May in the year of our Lord 1782.  Amen.

Zephaniah Blackford

Signed, sealed, published and declared by the said Zephaniah Blackford, for his last will and testament in the presence of us who have hereunto set our names, as witnesses, in his presence at his request and in the presence of each other.

Buckner Pittman, William Pritchet, George Shepherd

 

Jefferson County, April Court 1784

The last will and testament of Zephaniah Blackford, deceased, was proven by the oath of William Pritchet, one of the subscribing witnesses and being also proven by the oath of George Walls to be the handwriting of said decedent, was admitted to record.

Teste.  Will Johnston, Clerk Jefferson Court

Jefferson County Will Book 1, Pages 3-4