Tag Archives: Old Wills

Will of Thomas Woolfolk of Ballard County

Thomas Woolfolk, originally from Virginia, married Nancy Jennings December 24, 1820, in Gallatin County, Kentucky.  He is noted as ‘Col.’; she is listed as the daughter of Jonathan Jennings.  In the 1850 Ballard County census Thomas is listed as 68, a farmer with $3500 worth of real estate, and was born in Virginia.  This census lists the other members of the family by initial only, but since we have Thomas’ will to go by we know their full names.  Wife Nancy is 48.  Children listed are Augustine, 25; John, 16; Frances Mosby, 23, a married daughter living with her parents; Susan Frances Mosby, an infant of nine months, granddaughter mentioned in Thomas’ will.  Daughter Ann Eliza, 26, is married to William Webb, 28, and together they are listed in their own household with their children:  Thomas, 9, who died October 1, 1852, of typhoid fever, according to the death records for that year; Catherine, 7, listed in her grandfather’s will; and Henry, 2.

Ballard County was formed from portions of Hickman and McCracken counties in 1842.  When I first read the following will I was heartily confused with a just quick scan of this will, because it was written in 1858, mentioned slaves in the bequests, but was listed in Will Book A, 1879-1924, pages 3-5.  With a little research I found that the Ballard County Courthouse was destroyed by fire on February 17, 1880, along with most of the early records.  Persons living in the county were most likely asked to bring in copies of records that went up in flames, adding these to the will book as they were brought in.

Will of Thomas Woolfolk

I, Thomas Woolfolk, of the County of Ballard and State of Kentucky, being of sound mind and disposing memory, calling to mind the certainty of death and the uncertainty of life, I therefore deem it expedient to make some disposition of the goods of this life that it has pleased God to give me, under these considerations, I do make this my last will and testament, revoking all others previously made by me, either verbal or written.

First.  I give my soul to God who gave it and recommend my body to be buried in a decent Christian like manner, nothing doubting upon the part of my executor.

Second.  I wish all of my debts paid.

Third.  I wish my beloved wife Nancy to have my home farm containing 200 acres and my three grown slaves, Cook and Killy and Sophia, to have the use of to use as she may think proper, during her natural life and after her death to return to my estate.  It is further my wish that

that all of my perishable property be appraised, and my wife Nancy shall be entitled to take one third of that at the appraisement.

Fourth.  It is my will that my daughter Ann Eliza Webb have the land which she now lives on, containing 250 acres.  I also give my daughter Ann Eliza Webb my Negro girl Minty.

Fifth.  I give to my granddaughter Catherine Webb 150 acres of land lying on the east side of the tract that I gave to Ann Eliza Webb and joining of Killgore, also one Negro girl named Fanny.

Sixth.  I give to my son Augustine Woolfolk the tract of land on which he lives or as has possession joining the land on the west of the tract that his house is on, containing 160 acres; also, a Negro boy named Charles.

Seventh.  I give to my daughter Frances Violet two promissory notes that I hold against Dr. J. D. Clardy, for eight hundred dollars, each one due the 25th day of December 1858, the other due the 25th day of December 1859; also, one Negro girl named Harih.

Eighth.  I give to my son John Woolfolk 150 acres of land lying west of the tract of land on which I now live one and joining of the land on which P. R. Jennings lives on, also one Negro boy named John William.

Ninth.  I give to my granddaughter Susan Frances Mosby 50 acres of land adjoining the 200 acres that I gave my wife on the west side to be laid off between that and the 190 acres that I gave to my son John.

Tenth.  I appoint my son Augustine Woolfolk my executor to this my last will and testament whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name this 9th day of October 1858.

Thomas Woolfolk

Attest.  G. W. Martin, John Paine, Glenn Jennings

I, J. Corbett, Clerk of the Ballard County Court, in the State of Kentucky, do certify that the foregoing last will and testament of Thomas Woolfolk, deceased, was presented in open court on the 22nd day of November 1858 and fully proven by the

Oaths of John Paine and Glenn Jennings, subscribing witnesses thereto to be the last will and testament of said testator, that he was of sound mind and memory at the time of signing and thereupon said will was established, filed and ordered to be recorded, whereupon the same, together with this certificate stands truly recorded.  Given under my hand this 25th day of November 1858.

  1. Corbett, Clerk

State of Kentucky, Ballard County

I, T. L. Glenn, Clerk of Ballard County Court, do certify that the foregoing copy of the will of Thomas Woolfolk was on the 27th day of May 1886 lodged in my office for record and the same with this certificate and that of J. Corbett, Ex. Clerk, has been duly recorded in my office.

Witness my hand this 27th day of May 1886.  T. L. Glenn, CBCC by Geo. R. Armistead, D. C.

1825 Will of James Downey, Senior – Anderson County

James Downey, Sr., was evidently a resident of Mercer County, but in the area that would be Anderson County in 1827, when the county was formed.  Marriage records from Mercer County confirm the marriage of his children.  William Morris married Martha Downey October 15, 1804.  James Downey, Jr., married Mary Riley July 30, 1805.  Joel Downey married Sally T. Adams December 22, 1807.  John Downey married Nancy Wingate December 20, 1824.  Nancy Downey married David Owts (possibly Oats) April 5, 1825.  Since James, Sr., made his will less than two months after Nancy’s marriage, he evidently had his opinion of his new son-in-law, leaving land strictly for the personal use of his daughter, ‘free from the control of her husband’, and naming son James as trustee for his sister.

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

In the name of God, Amen.  I, James Downey, Senior., of the County of Mercer and State of Kentucky, being of sound mind and memory, and knowing that it is appointed for all men to die, do make and ordain this writing to be my last will and testament.  It is my will that my just debts and funeral expenses be first paid, and that my executor make sale of one cow, upon reasonable credit, and the money arising from such sale shall be equally divided between my sons Joseph A. Downey, John Downey, James Downey, Jr., and my daughter, Martha Morris, which is to be in full of all I intend for them.

Second.  It is my will and desire that my wife, Martha Downey, shall enjoy the peaceable and uninterrupted possession of my land, houses, stock and household furniture, to dispose of as she thinks properly, as long as she lives, except my daughter Nancy Owts is to have her horse, bed and furniture and clothes, and at the decease of my said wife Martha, it is my will and desire that all that part of my tract of land which lies on the northeast side of Fox Creek, where I now live and the one eighth of an acre, including a spring I use water site of, on the south side of the said creek, to be laid off in a square, making the said creek the base line, shall be, and the same is hereby vested in my son James, as trustee for my said daughter Nancy and her heirs, to be applied solely to her use and benefit, free from the control of her husband.  But it is to be understood, that my said daughter Nancy, with the consent of her said trustee, may sell the said tract of land and the proceed thereof shall be laid out in such way as my said son James may direct, to the sole use of my said daughter, and her heirs forever.  And in case my said son James should die, the County Court of Mercer, in their discretion, may appoint another trustee, who shall have all the power vested in my said son, James.  Also, my daughter Nancy, at the decease

Of her mother, is to have all my stock and personal property to her and her heirs forever, that is to say, such of it as remains undisposed of by my said wife, who is to have the same at her absolute disposal as long as she lives.

Third.  The balance of my land on the southwest side of Fox Creek, shall after the decease of my wife, Martha, it is my will that the same shall go to my son Joel and his heirs forever.

Fourth.  It is my will that my son James shall be my sole executor of this my last will and testament, who is to see the same faithfully carried into execution.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 31st day of May 1825.

James Downey

Signed, sealed and acknowledged before Robert B. McAfee, Susan J. Boyce, Sally C. McAfee

Anderson County Court – September Term 1827

I, Nelson C. Johnson, Clerk of the County Court for the County aforesaid, do certify, that his last will and testament of James Downey, Senior., deceased, was this day produced in open court, and proven by the oaths of Robert B. McAfee and Sally C. McAfee, two of the subscribing witnesses to said will, and ordered by the court to be recorded.  Whereupon, the said will, together with the foregoing certificate hath been duly admitted to record in my office.  Given under my hand this 3rd day of September 1827.

N. C. Johnson, Clerk


Is the Death Date Correct?

Oswell B. Dorsey, born January 15, 1818, died March 22, 1854.  Machpelah Cemetery, Mt. Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky.

I believe most of us would conclude when looking at an ancestor’s gravestone, that the death date listed would be a good indication of when our loved one died.  Today while looking through photos taken at Machpelah Cemetery in Mount Sterling, Montgomery County, I found that not quite the case.  Not daily, but quite often I add a gravestone photo on my Kentucky Kindred Facebook page.  I chose the stone of Oswell and Virginia Dorsey since, according to the dates on the stone, both died in 1854, about six months apart.  Very unusual for a young couple to pass away so soon after the other.  The detective wheels started turning.

Virginia M., wife of O. B. Dorsey, born February 24, 1824, died September 28, 1854.

I put the two names in ancestry, with the dates of birth and death for Oswell Dorsey.  The first item I looked at was Montgomery County deaths for the year 1854.  Now this is when it got interesting.

According to their gravestone, Oswell died March 22, 1854, and wife Virginia died September 23, 1854.  Looking at the death records that was not the case.  They both died in July of 1854, both of fever and they were cared for by Dr. Benford.  There were quite a few deaths during the month of July – fever, flux and cholera listed as causes of death.  This changed their death dates from six months apart to a few days, possibly the same day.

Other information in the death records gave us the name of their parents.  Oswell was born in Fleming County, the son of John and Nancy Dorsey.  He was a merchant.  Virginia, born in Montgomery County, was the daughter of Edward and Mary Stockton.

Hm.  Next, I checked for a will for Oswell Dorsey.  His will was dated March 22, 1854.  The date on his gravestone.  Since the will wasn’t probated until the October 1854 term of court, it isn’t likely Oswell died the day he wrote it.  According to the will, everything was ‘to be managed and controlled by my friend and brother-in-law, George J. Stockton, for the exclusive use, enjoyment and benefit of my beloved wife, Virginia Dorsey.’  Of course, by the time the will was probated, Virginia Dorsey was dead.

One other reference on Ancestry was made to Genealogies of Kentucky Families Volume I.  I checked my copy and found the Dorsey’s came from Calvert County, Maryland, one group of whom settled in Flemingsburg, Kentucky, which was at that time called Stockton Station.  Larkin Dorsey, whose grandfather was in the Revolution, came to Kentucky with Major George Stockton, founder of Stockton Station.

‘Larkin Dorsey, who came to Kentucky with Major George Stockton, married Elizabeth Ingram, in 1780 at Hagerstown, Maryland.  He was born August 24, 1784 [must be 1748], and died February 22, 1822, in Flemingsburg, Kentucky.  He was a cadet in the 9th company of Light Infantry, January 3, 1776.  Commissioned Ensign in Army, June 18, 1778.  His children were:  Edward, John, Joshua, Rachel, Sarah, Robert, Amelia and Joseph.

‘John Dorsey married Nancy Spiers, Edward – Juliet McDowell, Joshua – Nancy Williams and Milly Alexander, Rachel – C. V. Anderson, Sarah – Thomas Wallace, Robert died in infancy, Amelia – Thomas Andrews and Joseph married Mary Wheatley and Ann Threlkeld.

‘The children of John Dorsey, who was born April 19, 1783, and died November 5, 1847, were – Oswell Burns Dorsey, Elizabeth Ingram Dorsey, Martha Ann Dorsey, Thomas Andrew Dorsey, John Edmondson Dorsey, Rachel Anderson Dorsey, Robert Stockton and Jeremiah Spiers Dorsey.’

Virginia Stockton Dorsey was a descendant of Major George Stockton, in whose company Larkin Dorsey came to Kentucky.  George Stockton married Larkin Dorsey’s sister, Rachel Dorsey; their son Edward Stockton married Mary Allin Jouett (of the Mercer County families of those names).  George Jouett Stockton and Virginia Margaret Stockton were two of their children.

In conclusion we can say the dates on the gravestone for Oswell and Virginia Stockton Dorsey are incorrect – but why?  If we look a little closer to the death records for Montgomery County for 1854, we find that George J. Stockton is listed just under the name of Virginia Dorsey.  George is listed as 40, a merchant (were he and Oswell Dorsey business partners as well as brothers-in-law?), parents were Edward and Mary Stockton (same as Virginia) and he died of cholera, cared for by Dr. Nelson.  Under his name is William Stockton, 14, son of George and Gusta [Augusta] Ann Stockton, who also died of cholera.  And below his name is Gusta A. Stockton, 36, daughter of Francis Somersall, who died of fever.  Oswell and Virginia Dorsey had no children.  George and Augusta Stockton had four – William Edward who died in 1854 with his parents, Robert Henry, Mary Somersall Stockton and Augusta George Stockton, who was born in February of 1854, a babe of five months when her parents died, and who lived just until the age of three.  With so many deaths in one family, it was quite likely several years before gravestones were purchased.  This could have led to the mix-up in death dates.  Always check several sources, if possible.

1812 Will of Henry Rhoads of Muhlenberg County

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Henry Rhoads

Test.  J. W. Connell, William Sumner

Muhlenberg County, August County Court – 1813

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

Attest.  Charles Wing, C.M.C.

1856 Will of William Linton Lewis of Hancock County

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

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

Hancock County Will Book 4, Pages 32-36

Will of William Linton Lewis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

William L. Lewis

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

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

Teste.  Will. S. Bates, T. P. William

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

William L. Lewis

State of Kentucky, Hancock County

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

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

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

Whereupon the same hath been truly recorded in my office.

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

1808 Will of James Cunningham of Breckinridge County

Breckinridge County, Kentucky

Will Book 1, Pages 3-4

Will of James Cunningham

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

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

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

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

James Cunningham

Teste.  William Levi, John Tharp, Christopher Stone

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

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

Attest. John Allen, Clerk

John Yates 1816 Will – Washington County

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

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

First, I recommend my soul into the

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

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

John Yates

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

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

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

Atteste.  John Hughes