James Barbour was a native of Orange County, Virginia, and belonged to an old English family. His father was Ambrose Barbour, a soldier of the Revolution. James’ wife, Letitia, was born in Lincoln County, Kentucky, and was a daughter of Willis Green, the first Clerk of the United States Courts for Kentucky, and his wife Sarah Reed.
Boyle County was formed in 1842 from portions of Mercer, Lincoln and Casey counties. James Barbour evidently wrote his will very shortly before he died. The will was signed August 10, 1843, and the will was proved in the September 1843 Court. Letitia Barbour’s will is very similar, written August 31, 1844, and proved in the October Court of that same year.
From Letitia Barbour’s will we find the name of their children: Catherine, Martha, Ambrose, Lewis and James.
Will of James Barbour
Boyle County Will Book 1, Page 12
I, James Barbour, of the Town of Danville in the State of Kentucky, being weak in body, but of sound mind and disposing memory, knowing the great uncertainty of life and the certainty of death, do make and publish this my last will and testament. It is my wish first that all my just debts shall be paid. Secondly, I do give, devise and bequeath to my beloved wife, Letitia Barbour, all my estate, real, personal and mixed, which shall remain after the payment of said liabilities, to have and to hold to her own only proper use and behoof.
Third, I do hereby constitute and appoint Dr. William Craig, John Barkley and my son, James Barbour, my executors. In testimony whereof, I do hereto set my hand and seal this 10th day of August 1843.
In the presence of David Bell, William Pawling
Boyle County Court – September term 1843
This writing purporting to be the last will and testament of James Barbour, deceased, was exhibited in Court and proved by the oaths of David Bell and William Pawling, subscribing witnesses thereto, whereupon the same is ordered to be recorded. And thereupon William Craig, John Barkley and James Barbour, executors therein named came into Court and took the oath prescribed by law and entered into bond with Thomas Barbee their security in the penalty of twenty thousand dollars, conditioned as the law directs. Therefore, a certificate of probate thereof is granted them in due form.
Attested. Duff Green, C.B.C.C.
Will of Letitia Barbour
Boyle County Will Book 1, Page 23
I, Letitia Barbour, of the Town of Danville, Kentucky, being firm in body but of sound mind and disposing memory, do make and publish this my last will and testament.
I advise and bequeath unto my sons James and Ambrose Barbour, my whole estate, real, personal and mixed to be held or disposed of by them, as my executors, at public or private sale as they or the survivor of them may think best, and when sold to be distributed as follows.
First. To my daughters, Catherine and Martha, each the sum of three thousand dollars, $3,000.
Second. To my son Ambrose, the sum of one thousand dollars, $1,000.
Third. To my son Lewis the sum of two thousand dollars, $2,000.
Fourth. To my son James the watch which his father, my deceased husband, wore in his lifetime.
Fifth. The rest of my estate I wish to distribute equally amongst my aforesaid children. August 31, 1844.
Signed, sealed and published in our presence and attested by us at the request of the division.
Teste. William Craig, Peachy Johnston, George P. Bergen, William B. Craig.
State of Kentucky, Boyle County
I, Thomas B. Nichols, Clerk of the Boyle County Court, do certify that this instrument of writing, purporting to be the last will and testament of Letitia Barbour, deceased, was produced in Court at the October term 1844 and proved by the oaths of William Craig and William B. Craig, subscribing witnesses thereto, to have been duly executed by the said Letitia Barbour, and the same thereupon was ordered to be recorded.
Att. Thomas B. Nichols, Clerk.