The Will of John Branson (c 1704-1770)
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September 1, 1769
Be it known to all persons whom it may concern that I, John Branson, of the County of Frederick & Colony of Virginia being under a sense of the mortality of my body do take this opportunity in weakness of body but of sound and perfect mind and memory to make and commit unto writing this my last will and testament. Utterly disannuling all others by me heretofore made do constitute, publish and appoint this to be my last will and testament. First, it is my will and I do order that all my just debts and funeral charges be paid out of my moveable estates. Also it is my will and I do order that my beloved wife, Martha Branson, shall have and keep (possible pursation ?) of the plantation I now live on and all the moveable estate. Paying the legacies hereunder mentioned, (viz?) I will and bequeath to my beloved son, Thomas Branson, five pounds. Also my wearing apparel. I have bestowed Thomas portion (befour?). I will and bequeath to my beloved daughter, Anna Shinn, the sum of Fifty Pounds. I give to Mary Duckworth, the wife of John Duckworth, the sum of five shillings sterling. I give and bequeath to my beloved daughter, Elizabeth Corder, forty-one acres of land I purchased of Joseph Baker and fifty nine acres of land adjoining the same it being part of a survey of land I obtained from the proprietors office to have the said lands their heirs or assigns forever. Item I will and bequeath to my beloved daughter Martha Fawcet one half of the plantation I now live on after the decease of my beloved wife adjoining my daughter Elizabeth's land. Also fifty acres of the remainder of the survey Elizabeth's had fifty nine acres from equally to be lived in quantity and to her and her heirs and assigns forever. Item I will and bequeath to my grandson John Branson the other half of the above plantation I now live on after the decease of my beloved wife to his heirs and assigns forever. It is my will that if my executors sees it too difficult for them to divide the said land between my Daughter Martha and my Grandson, John Branson, I request and desire Hopewell Monthly Meeting to appoint three or more persons to adjust my (Exors?) Whose judgment is to be final. By agreement with John Painter, Sen. about a survey of land that did join to both he is to have one half by paying one half of cost of survey and the other half I give to my grandson John Branson and I do make ordain and constitute my well beloved wife Martha Branson and my son-in-law Thomas Fawcett and John Lupton executors of this my last will and testament and I do hereby disallow (beroke?) and disannul all and every testament will executors by me before this time in any ways will and requested ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and testament. In witness whereof I have set my hand and seal the first day of the ninth month 1769. Signed sealed published and declared by the said John Branson as his last will and testament in presence of Mary Ellis and Andrew McKay.
Signed John BRANSON (S.S.)
At a court held for Frederick County November 6th 1770 this last will and testament of John Branson, deceased, was proved by the oaths of Mary Ellis and Andrew McKay witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded. John Lupton one of the executors therein named having refused to take upon himself the burden of the execution Martha Branson and Thomas Faucett the other executors made oath thereto and upon their motion certificate is granted them for obtaining a probate thereof in due form they giving security whereupon they together with Andrew McKay and Richard Ridway their securities entered into and acknowledged a bond in the penalty of five hundred pounds conditioned for their due and faithful administration of the said estate.
By the court, Ja Keith Cole (?)