Page 3 Dated December 30, 1809
Mediating on the uncertainties of life, I make this my last Will and Testament. I bequeath my soul to the mercy of my maker Almighty God, and bequeath my worldly Estate in the manner following:
I bequeath to my beloved brother James Amis my negro boy Frank, also what is now coming to me in the State of Kentucky. I bequeath to my dear beloved sister Nancy my negro girl Milly, and I wish my brother Haynes Amis, Exec., to settle my affairs and do bequeath Daph and Joe to him for his trouble _____________ my brother Haynes Amis and should the debts due me not discharge what I justly owe, I wish the negroes to be hired out until there is money collected to discharge the same. Given under my hand and seal this Thirtieth day of December, 1809
Wm. Amis (seal)
In presence of:
Peter Burum (?) Jurat
Jno. T. Rogers, Jurat
Page 3 Dated: February 17, 1810
In the Name of God, Amen. I William Armstrong, of Hawkins County and State of Tennessee, considering the uncertainties of this mortal life and being of sound mind and memory, do make and publish this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following, that is to say:
First. I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Abinah Armstrong all of my estate to be possessed and enjoyed by her forever, deducting the following legacies (that is): To each of my sons and daughters, I bequeath the sum on One Dollar, each which said several legacies or sums of money I will and order shall be paid to the said respective Legatees within twelve months after my decease, likewise all my just debts to be paid, and…
Lastly. As to the rest, residue and remainder of my estate of what kind of nature soever, I will and bequeath unto my said beloved wife, Abinah Armstrong, and I hereby appoint her Executrix and Thomas Jackson Executor of this my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all former wills by me made.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal. This seventeenth day of February, in the year of our Lord, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Ten.
Wm. Armstrong (seal)
Signed, sealed, published and declared by the above William Armstrong to be his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses in the presence of the Testator.
Jesse x Brown
Page 4 Dated: April 17, 1813
In the Name of God, Amen. I, John Armstrong, of Hawkins County and State of Tennessee, considering the uncertainty of this mortal life and being of sound and perfect mind and memory, blessed be Almighty God for the same, do make and publish this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following. (That is to say):
First. I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Jane Armstrong my plantation in Carter's Valley, together with all my stock of every kind--farming utensils and household furniture, deducting and reserving what is hereafter specified, likewise both my negro women Catt & Sall, and my negro fellow Spencer to be enjoyed by her during her natural life. I will and bequeath unto my daughter Jane Armstrong my negro woman named Sall, the eldest, to be freely possessed and enjoyed by her and her heirs forever. To my son Thomas Armstrong, I will and bequeath my negro man Minor to be freely possessed by him and his heirs forever. To my son John Armstrong, I will and bequeath my negro girl name Aggy, to be freely possessed and enjoyed by him and his heirs forever. To my daughter Annes Baker, I will and bequeath my negro girl named Milly, to be freely possessed and enjoyed by her and her heirs forever. To my daughter Mary Armstrong, a single woman, I will and bequeath my negro woman Nancy and her increase, to be freely possessed and enjoyed by her and the heirs of her body forever, and also a good horse and saddle, a bed and bedding, household furniture, two cows and calves, a sow and pigs, to be freely possessed by her and her heirs forever. And my will and desire is that my wife Jane may, if she chooses, sell my plantation and all my personal estate in her possession, reserving for herself such part of said personal property as she may think convenient for her use and necessity, and live with any of her children that she may think proper, and at her decease, it is my will and meaning that Spencer shall belong to my son Baker and also that Jesse and Sal shall belong to my son John Armstrong forever. And likewise, my will and meaning is that at my wife's death the residue or remainder of the amount of the sale of said plantation, personal estate, money and debts shall be equally divided between all my children, and I hereby appoint my son Thomas Armstrong and John Young Executors of this my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all former wills by me made.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this (blank space) day of (blank space), in the Year of our Lord, (blank space).
(blank space) (seal)
Signed, sealed, published and declared by the above named John Armstrong to be his last Will and Testament, in the presence of us who at this request and in his presence have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses to the same.
An Article of Agreement made and concluded on between the wife and Legateesof John Armstrong, dec'd, though not witnessed nor signed by him, the said John Armstrong, dec'd, but the wife and Legatees from different reasons believing it to be his will and desire that his estate should be divided in the manner and form prescribed by said will, and we the parties doth mutually agree to abide and stand by the said will, and that we and each of us will appear at our next County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions on the fourth Monday of May next and give our consent to have the said will recorded, and that we the under-named subscribers do ever hereafter the benefit of any other will as the laws of our country respecting the said estate of the said John Armstrong, Dec'd., and for the true performance we and each of us do bind ourselves, our heirs &C in the penal sum of One Thousand Dollars, as witness our hands and seals. This 17th day of April, 1813.
Jean x Armstrong (her mark)
Jas. Armstrong (seal)
Thomas Armstrong (seal)
Wm. Armstrong (seal)
B. Armstrong (seal)
John Armstrong (seal)
Sam'l Armstrong (seal)
James Armstrong (seal)
Page 6 Dated: May 10, 1817
Being confined to my bed in sickness, though perfectly in my natural sense, I am about to make my last Will and Testament.
First. I bequeath to my beloved wife Elizabeth the plantation with all the farming implements and stock, during her natural life, and at her decease, all to fall to my son John, with the exception of a certain horse beast and a cow to my daughter Jane. Also, a horse beast and a cow to my daughter Anna. I will and bequeath to my son Thomas the tract of land whereon he now lives. I will and bequeath to my daughter Jane a certain negro girl named Lettie; and also to my daughter Ann_, a negro girl named Lyd--Lyd's oldest child, if any, to belong to Jane at her mother's decease. In case either of my three children now living with me should die without issue, their portion of the property (is) to be equally divided between the other two, and to my daughter Nancy Forgey, I bequeath Fifty Dollars at my wife's decease.
In testimony whereof I have set my hand and seal.
William Armstrong (seal)
W. T. Armstrong
N.B. At my wife's decease, all the household furniture to be equally
divided among the children of John, James & Ann_.
Page 6 December 17, 1818
I, Lucy Amis, widow of the late Thomas Amis, Dec'd., of Hawkins County and State of Tennessee, being weak in body but in sound mind and memory, meditating on the uncertainty of human events, ordain and request this my last Will and Testament.
First. I bequeath my soul to Almighty God, the giver of it, and request my worldly affairs…in the following manner. It is my desire that my son Haynes Amis have all my Estate of every description, and (for) him to pay my son James Amis and Nancy Howel the value of Milly and Joe, the two oldest children of Polly, which I consider to be worth six hundred dollars, which will be three hundred dollars to each--to be paid in two years after my death. Also, pay to Tabitha Cox, Francis Grantham, Polly Rogers, the heirs of John Amis, Rachael Hogan, Willis Amis, Alla Gordon, Lincoln Amis and the heirs of Thomas G. Amis, one dollar each. And to Lucy N. Amis youngest daughter of Lincoln Amis, I wish to have my negro boy Charles which I purchased of the said Lincoln Amis. And it is my desire my step grandson John A. Rogers act as my Executor in this my last Will and Testament, and I hereby revoke all other wills.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal. This 17th day of December, 1818.
Lucy Amis (seal)
Signed, sealed & acknowledged in presence
William E. Cocke
Page 7 August 6, 1822
This Indenture made this sixth of August, in the year of our Lord 1822. David Anderson of the County of Hawkins and State of Tennessee, being weak of body but of sound mind and memory, knowing that all men is born to die and after death to go to Judgement, do make this my last Will and Testament. In the Name of God, Amen.
I wish and devise to my son, David M. Anderson, one muly cow, a shovel plow and falling ax, and my daughter, Elizabeth Christian, I devise and leave her my Bible, and I devise and leave to all my lawful sons and daughters one dollar each, in twelve months after my decease, if applied for, and I will a(nd) bequeath to my beloved wife Elizabeth all my real and perishable property of every kind and all my household and kitchen furniture of every kind, and I hereby constitute and appoint my wife Elizabeth Anderson my Executor to this my last will. In Testimony whereof I, David Anderson, have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and date above written.
David Anderson (seal)
John F. Johnson
Page 8 Dated: December 23, 1827
In the Name of God, Amen.
I, Deborah Alexander of the County of Hawkins in the State of Tennessee, being weak of body but of sound mind and memory, do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament.
I recommend my soul to Almighty God, and as to my worldly estate, I make my youngest and beloved son Dicks Alexander my sole heir and bequeath unto him all that I possess, consisting principally of a Note of Hand on my son William Alexander for $1,248.77, on which several payments have been made, and all that my son Dicks has received on said note--which note is dated Seventh of June, 1808, and secured by a mortgage on real estate dated One July, 1808 by William Alexander. Also, a Bond executed by Amos Farquhar and Jonathon Jessop of the Borough of York in the County of York, State of Pennsylvania, for $554.00, to secure the payment of $277.375, dated September 13, 1815.
Also, a Note or Bill single executed by Jonathon Jessop of York, Pennsylvania for the sum of Fifty Pounds and dated 13 June, 1809.
And lastly. I appoint my beloved son Dicks Alexander my sole Executor. In testimony whereof I have hereto set my hand and seal this Twenty Third day of December, Year of our Lord, One Thousand Eight Hundred, Twenty Seven.
Deborah Alexander (seal)
Hu A. Walker
W. A. Walker
Page 8 Dated: January 13, 1835
I, William Armstrong, Sen'r. of the County of Hawkins and State of Tennessee, being of sound mind and memory, do make this my last Will and Testament.
First. I will and bequeath unto my daughter-in-law Rachael and her five children, Elizabeth, Mary, Joseph, Rogers, Alice Louisiana and William Pitt Armstrong, the tract of land on the south side of Holston River in the county aforesaid known as the Caldwell Place and on which she has heretofore resided--containing by estimation 350 acres--which tract I heretofore conveyed to them to be equally divided according to the provisions of said conveyance. I further give unto the said Rachael and her children above named, a negro woman slave named Rinda and her increase in lieu of certain improvements made by my son Arthur on town lots in the town of Surgoinsville. Said negro and her increase to be equally divided among Rachael and her five children before named.
2nd. I give and bequeath unto my son William Armstrong, Jr., the plantation in Carter's Valley originally owned by my father and lately sold by my son William Armstrong to J. B. Galbraith, containing by estimation 240 acres. Also one other tract adjoining the same containing by estimation 46 acres which he has also sold. Said lands being conveyed by me to my son William several years since. I also give and bequeath unto my son William a negro or mulatto man slave named Stephen, which slave he has also had in possession for some years. I also give him all stock and donations of whatever kind received by him heretofore from me.
3rd. I give and bequeath unto my son Clinton Armstrong a part of the tract adjoining the place whereon I now live and which tract my son Clinton has sold unto my son William and which I have heretofore conveyed unto my son Clinton, containing by estimation 300 acres. I also give and bequeath unto my son Clinton all the stock and other donations of whatever kind which he has heretofore received from me, and I further give and bequeath unto my son Clinton my negro man slave named Ben.
4th. I give and bequeath unto my daughter Polly Amis the tract of land whereon she now lives in Carter's Valley containing 500 acres which tract has been conveyed by me some years since. I also give and bequeath unto her a negro woman slave named Fanny and her increase. Also, I give unto her all stock and other donations of whatever kind heretofore received by her.
5th. I give and bequeath unto Elizabeth Bradford, my daughter, a negro woman named Clarissa and her child Pocohontas which slaves she has received some years since with their increase younger than Pocohontas. I also give unto her all stock and other donations of whatever kind which (she) received from me as such heretofore. My daughter Elizabeth has in her possession a negro boy slave named Isaac, son of Clarissa. I will that she pay to me or my Executor &C the sum of twenty-five dollars yearly for the hire of said boy Isaac from the time he becomes sixteen years of age until my death, then said boy to be offered to her at a fair valuation and should she decline receiving at such price as he shall be valued, said Isaac is to be sold with the rest of my negroes, &C.
6th. I give and bequeath unto my son Carry A. Armstrong a certain tract or parcel of land lying on the main stage road adjoining the land of William Lyons in the county aforesaid, containing by estimation 15 acres--which tract of land was conveyed by me to him some years since. I also give unto him all the stock and other donations made to him by me heretofore. And, I further will and devise that should my son Carry return and get married within three years after my decease that he have the river plantation, including the mill, still house, Old Tavern &C as hereinafter described, but should he not return aforesaid of three years after my death and marry and settle himself, it is my will that said tract of land be sold and divided among all my other children, giving unto the heirs of my son Arthur one equal share of the proceeds of the sale of said lands and the rents that may accrue thereon.
7th. I give and bequeath unto my daughter Sally H. Hord two negroes named Nancy (and her increase), and Wiley. Also all stock and other donations of whatever kind heretofore received by her from me.
8th. I give and bequeath unto my daughter Louisiana DeWolfe two negroes named George and Linda with her increase, also all the stock and other donations of whatever kind heretofore received of her by me.
9th. I give and bequeath unto my daughter Margaret E. Cook two negroes named Eliza and Rufus, also all stock and other donations of property heretofore received by her from me. I also will that she be paid the sum of Two Hundred Dollars extra of her division.
10th. I give and bequeath unto my daughter Julia Armstrong two negroes, namely Bill and Harriett with her increase. And I further will and devise that the sum of Three Hundred Dollars be paid over to my daughter Julia extra over and above her equal share as herein provided for with her other sisters, Elizabeth, Sally, Margaret and Louisiana.
11th. I will that the tract of land on which I live be divided as follows to wit: Beginning at the Brick Spring House, running down the spring branch, thence down the mill branch to the lower end of the little meadow on the west side of the branch. Thence a straight (line) with the lower end of the meadow fence to the back line adjoining Mrs. Surgoine's land. Thence with my line to the river. Thence up the river to my son William's line. Thence with his line to where it strikes the mill branch. Thence up the same to where the road crosses opposite the Brick Spring House. Thence to the beginning which aforesaid described tract I allot to the Old Tavern which is to include the mill, still house, &C.
To the Brick House lot or division, I assign from the branch at the lower end of the little meadow aforesaid out to the back line adjoining Mrs. Surgoine's land aforesaid. Thence along the same to the line of the Long tract. Thence with the same to the northwest corner thereof near the Wolfe Spring on the Barrett Tract lately sold to Mr. Grigsby. Thence with my lines to the Meeting House lot with the lines of the same and the lines of my son William's to the branch. Then down the branch until opposite the Brick Spring House. Thence a straight line to the spring house. Thence down the spring branch and mill branch to the beginning at the lower end of the little meadow aforesaid.
11th. I will and devise that my land adjoining the above described tracts be laid off into three lots as near as may be of equal value, and that said lots of land also the tract attached to the Brick House as above described. Also my lots in the town of Surgoinesville (excepting one given to William Amis). Also a tract of land in Stanley Valley on Marshall's Creek, also all my negroes not herein otherwise disposed of, also my stock and other personal property to be sold and the proceeds thereof be divided equally among my five daughters, Elizabeth Bradford, Sally Hood, Louisiana DeWolfe, Margaret Cook, and Julia Armstrong, after having first paid all my just debts.
12th. I further will and devise that the titles for 5000 acres of land on the waters of Bear Creek from Zachariah Cox &C be divided among all my children equally providing that should any one of the heirs take on them the trouble and expense to secure the title of said lands from the Government of the U. States, I will devise to that heir two shares of said land in said division.
13th. I will that the river tract herein conditionally given to my son Cary remain in the possession of my Executors until the expiration of the three years, unless my son Cary should sooner return and comply with the conditions of this my will.
14th. I will and devise that all other property that I may die possessed of and not herein named whether real estate or personal, be sold and divided among all my children.
16th. I will and bequeath that my grandson Wm. A. Amis have a lot in the town of Surgonsville, lying opposite where Mrs. Carter lately lived, said lot lying and being on the south side of the main street. I will that the Sulphur Spring lot remain unsold for the benefit of all my children.
Lastly. I will that William Armstrong, Jr. and James Amis be made the Executors of this my last Will & Testament.
W. Armstrong (seal)
Signed, sealed and acknowledged
In presence of:
G. M. Lyons
I, William Armstrong, Sen'r. being still of sound mind and memory but weak in body do add this Supplement to the foregoing--my last Will and Testament, viz: I will that the donations in money &C heretofore given to my daughters Margaret & Julia by my wife in her lifetime be considered a part of my will, and that my daughters Margaret & Julia retain the same and I further will that my daughter Julia have a good horse in addition to what I have herein bequeathed unto her.
I further will that the dividing line between the river tract and the tract attached to the Brick House be altered and that from the lower end of the little meadow down, that the creek be the line.
Given under my hand and seal this 13th day of January, 1835.
W. Armstrong (seal)
In presence of: …
Page 13 Dated: July 27, 1847
In the Name of God, Amen.
I, Haynes Amis of the County of Hawkins and State of Tennessee, being weak in body, but of perfect mind and memory and considering the uncertainty of human life have concluded and determined to dispose of the worldly ______ with which the Lord has intrusted me in the manner hereinafter mentioned, and I do by this my last Will and Testament revoke and annul all other wills and devises of my said Estate.
To my sons, Thomas J. Amis and James H. Amis, I give and bequeath the land on which I reside included in several adjoining tracts containing 800 acres or upwards to be divided between them by the following lines, Viz: Beginning at a point in Mr. William's line on the east side of Big Creek, so that a direct line from thence through the site of the burnt smith's shop shall pass to the center of the spring, thence up a branch to a sugar tree, thence a southwest course to the western line including my dwelling house, mills and other improvements. I hereby give to my said son Thomas with the personal property owned by him and in his possession.
All of my land lying southward of said line, including the tan yard, the stock therein and other improvements on said southern portion of the land I hereby give to my said son James, together with the personal property owned by him and in his possession.
To my daughter, Lucy H. Amis, intermarried with John Hagan, I give and bequeath a tract of land of about 170 acres on which they have lately resided, a negro man named Joe about 30 years of age, and a negro woman now and for several years in their possession named Mary, about 20 years of age, and $200.00 in money.
To my daughter Martha, intermarried with John Kershner, I have heretofore given a tract of land of 150 acres which they having relinquished to my sons, it is now a part of the bequest to my son Thomas. I have also given my said daughter a negro girl for many years in her possession and I now give her $300.00 in money.
To my daughter Mary, intermarried with Lazarus Spears, I have heretorfore given a negro woman named Nancy and her three (now four) children. I also give her a negro man named Jack about 25 years of age and $200.00 in money.
To the children of my deceased daughter Sarah Amis (late wife of James M. Armstrong): To Louisiana Armstrong I give a horse, saddle & bridle worth one hundred dollars. To Lucy Ann Armstrong I give two negro girls named Francis and Harriet and $200.00 in money.
Any and all other property belonging to me at the time of my death to be equally divided between my four daughters above named and their heirs.
I hereby constitute and appoint my son Thomas J. Amis Executor of this my last Will and Testament, hereby ratifying and confirming all such lawful acts as he my said Executor shall do and perform in relation to the aforesaid Estate.
In witness of all which I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 27th day of July, 1847.
Haynes Amis (seal)
Page 14 Dated: March 3, 1849
I, Jonathon Anderson do make and publish this my last Will and Testament hereby revoking and making void all other wills by me at any time made.
First. I do direct my funeral expenses and all my debts be paid as soon after my death as possible out of any money that I may die possessed of or may first come into the hands of my Executor.
Secondly. I give and bequeath unto my two grandsons, to wit: Elen Anderson and Carter Anderson one dollar each.
Thirdly. I do give and bequeath unto my daughter Rhody Anderson as once was, but now Rhody Sizemore, one dollar.
Fourthly. I do give and bequeath unto my daughter Catherine Anderson as once was, but now Catherine Herd, one dollar.
Fifthly. I do give and bequeath unto my daughter Mary Anderson, as once was, but now Mary Smith, one dollar.
Sixthly and lastly. I do hereby nominate and appoint Beverly C. Ford my Executor. In witness whereof I do to this my will set my hand and seal. This 3rd day of March, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Forty-nine.
Jonathan x. Anderson (seal)
Signed, sealed and published in our presence, and we have subscribed our names hereto in the presenceof the Testator. This 3rd day of March, 1849.
James C. x Ford
John x Herd
Page 15 Dated: October 13, 1849
Proven: February, 1850
State of Tennessee, Hawkins County:
I, Isaac Amyx, do make and publish this my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking and making void all other wills by me at any time made.
First. I direct that my funeral expenses and my debts be paid as soon after my death as possible out of any money that I may die possessed of or may first come into the hands of my Executor.
Secondly. I give and bequeath to my son Samuel Amyx and his heirs the following boundary of land, Viz: Beginning on a white oak corner, running westwardly to the high bluff of the ridge. On then with the west side of the ridge to the cross fence and with said fence to the apple orchard, and then to a sugar tree so as not to include any of said orchard. Then southwest to the top of a spur, then with the top of the spur to the top of Clinch Mountain, and with the top of the mountain eastwardly to Samuel Amyx's line and with said line to Riley Winstead's line and thence to the beginning.
Thirdly. I give and bequeath to my daughter Elizabeth, now Elizabeth Snider, and her heirs the following boundary of land, Viz: Beginning on a dogwood, my beginning corner--running thence northeast to (a) hollow that comes down from Jones and Goodman's field opposite to the spring branch and with the same to said Samuel Amyx's boundary. Thence westwardly with said Amyx's boundary to the orchard. Thence westwardly to the War Gap road. Thence with Charles Snider's line to the beginning.
Fourthly. I give and bequeath unto my daughter Polly Amyx 20 acres of land on the upper end of my farm joining Polly Pearson's land.
Fifthly. I give and bequeath to my daughter Prissilla, now Prissilla Davis and her heirs a boundary of land as follows: Beginning at the above named Amyx & Snider boundary near the orchard: thence southeast with Samuel Amyx's boundary to the top of the Clinch Mountain. Thence westwardly with the top of the mountain to Samuel Amyx's line. Thence northwardly with said line to Wm. Drinnen's line. Thence with said line to Charles Snider's line. Thence with said line to War Gap Road and thence with said Snider's line to the beginning.
Sixthly. I direct that my wife Mary Amyx shall have a decent maintenance from the said Samuel, Elizabeth & Prissilla Amyx during her life, and I further direct that in one year after the death of my wife Mary Amyx that the aforesaid Samuel Amyx, Elizabeth Snider & Prissilla Davis shall pay to the following named heirs $500.00 in good, current bank notes according to the value of each of their boundaries of land aforenamed, Viz:
To Elenor, now Elenor Drinnon, $100.00
To Nancy, now Nancy Lawson, $100.00
To Lucinda, now Lucinda Drinnon, $100.00
To Susannah, now Susannah Jones, $100.00
To Sarah, now Sarah Davis, $100.00
(It is to be understood that the improvements on the aforenamed boundaries of land are not to be valued).
Seventhly. I give and bequeath to my wife Mary Amyx all of my household and kitchen furniture to dispose of as she may think proper.
Eightly. I direct that all my personal property be sold on twelve months' credit and the proceeds equally divided between all of my above named children.
Lastly. I do hereby nominate and appoint my son Samuel Amyx my Executor. In witness whereof I do to this my will set my hand and seal. This 13th day of October, 1849.
Isaac Amyx (seal)
Signed, sealed and published in our presence, and we have subscribed our names hereto in the presence of the Testator. This 14th day of October, 1849.
Witnesses: Rial Johns, James Johnson, W. C. Wilder
Page 16 Dated: August 13, 1855
Proven: December Term, 1855
We the undersigned John Bagley & John Templeton, both of Hawkins County--the first named of the age of forty-nine years: the last named of the age of twenty-three years, state that on the first Wednesday in August, 1855, being the first day of said month, we being present at the house of Aaron Anderson who was then lying sick and who being made aware of the probable approach of death, in contemplation of his decease which took place on the Sunday following, said Anderson called upon us to remain with him while the company retired, and when left alone with us, John Begley mentioned to him the subject of death on which he stated he was not afraid to die but was ready to go at any moment. He then said all the property that he had--land, negroes, and other property--everything he possessed in the world, he wanted Bitha, his wife to have during her life, to dispose of as she pleased. At the death of his wife he wanted William Stapleton's eldest child Solomon Stapleton to have the two fields in the possession of William Stapleton, where said Wm. Stapleton has been tending the last five or six years, and to include with said fields the land from the field to the back line of the tract running with the fence westwardly to the lane that runs by said Anderson's house and with said lane from the corner of said field southeastwardly as far as the lane goes. Then the same direction to the back line of the said tract of land on the mountain. He said he thought the said land would make the little boy a right good home if he lived.
He then said that Henry Bart had lived with him tho' he said Anderson had raised him pretty much: that he was poor and had for him, said Anderson, (done) many days hard work and that he thought it right to do something for him. He said he wanted Henry and his two negroes Alfred and Betty to have his land after his wife's death, and provided the law would allow the negroes to be free and stay on it, but if it would not, they were to belong to his wife, to dispose of as she pleased. In case the said negroes could not be freed, he said he wanted Henry Hart to have half the land after his wife's death to be so divided as (to) give water to each part and his wife to dispose of the balance.
He further said he did not want his people to have a dollar that he had worked for…that they had always been against him from the time he was a boy, and that his wife had helped him work for it and he wanted her to have it, and he wanted it fixed so that his people could not trouble her after his death.
He then said this is my will--the way I want my property disposed of after my death. If I have two or three days I will have it put in writing.
At the time of the above, the said Aaron Anderson was in his senses and of sound and disposing mind and memory, in full possession of all his faculties.
In testimony whereof we have hereto set our hands this 13th day of August, 1855.
Page 18 Dated: May 29, 1857
Proven Sept., 1857
In the Name of God, Amen.
I, William Altom of the County of Hawkins and State of Tennessee, being of sound mind and memory and considering the uncertainty of this frail and transitory life, do therefore make, ordain, publish and declare this to be my last Will and Testament. That is to say:
First. After all my lawful debts are paid and discharged, the residue of my estate I give and bequeath as follows, to wit:
To my beloved wife, the land and appurtenances on which I now live during her natural life, and to have the rents and proffits on the land on the east end of s'd lands to a cross fence running from the back of Cloud's Creek north toward Stone Mountain, on the east side of my son John's house in which he now lives. Together with fifty dollars cash and all my household and kitchen furniture which I may die in possession of--one red cow with a white face and her calf and one brindle heifer, one white spotted sow and four chaised hogs, also all the corn, bacon and wheat that I now have on hand.
Secondly. I give to my son John the west end of my farm after the death of my beloved wife, running north and south crossing Cloud's Creek, a straight line with a cross fence east of son John's house in which he now lives, above fifty or sixty yards of said house, to have possession of said lot of land now free from rents but the not to be invested in him until after the death of my wife, then to have title to said lot of land.
Thirdly. My will is that after the death of my wife the remainder of my land to be sold and the proceeds arising from sale of said lands to be equally divided between my two daughters (to wit): Mary Elkins and Sarah Carpenter share and share alike.
Fourth. I give and bequeath to my grandson John Carpenter my brown colt in which I am now in possession.
Fifth. My will is that if it should be the will of the Almighty God to call me from the walks of society before the crop to which I now have on hand, my will is that the balance of my personal property be sold at public sale but not to be sold until the present crop is made and the proceds arising from said sale be equally divided between wife wife and three children, share and share alike. Likewise, I make, constitute and appoint my son John Altom and S. D. Brooks to be my Executors of this my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all former wills by me made.
In witness whereof I may hereunto subscribed my name and affixed my seal. Ths 29th day of May in the year of our Lord, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Fifty-seven.
William x Altom (Seal)
The above written instrument was subscribed by the said Wm. Altom in our Presence, and acknowledged by him to each of us, and he at the same time published and declared the above instrument so subscribed to be his last Will and Testament, and we at the Testator's request and in his presence have signed our names as witnesses hereto.
R. M. Bishop
Page 19 Dated: July 11, 1859
Recorded: Jan. Term.1878. p-3
Proven: Jan . 7, 1878
I, SethArmstrong of the County of Hawkins in the State of Tennessee, do make and publish this my last Will & Testament in manner and form following, hereby revoking and making void all former wills by me at any time made. And as to such other worldly goods as it has pleased God to entrust me with, I dispose of as follows:
First, I direct that all my just debts and funeral charges be paid as soon as possible after my decease out of any money that may come to the hands of my Administrator from any portion of my Estate, real or personal. I further will and bequeath to my daughter Milly M. Hicks and to her heirs one half of my tract of land in Hawkins County in the State of Tennessee, on the waters of the Holston River, adjoining the land of George Arnold and Thomas Marshall, also on half of a tract known as the Mountain Tract, contaqining by estimation, 104 acres, and the first mentioned tract contains by estimation 146 acres, together with all the issues, rents and proffits arising therefrom to have and to hold said lands during her natural life, and then to her heirs, to her own separate use, benefit and behoof—free from the control of her husband, Thomas Hicks, and free from all the debts, liabilities and judgements which now exist or may hereafter exist against her said husband. I further will and bequeath to my daughter Milly M. Hicks one-half (interest?) in three negroes—one negro man called Ben about 60 years and one negro woman Pagey aged about 60 years, and one negro Leis about 19 years, to be divided equally between my two daughters, share and share alike as may be agreed upon by themselves, together with their increase during her natural life, to her own separate use free from the control of her husband Thomas Hicks, and free from all his debts, judgements, liabilities of any kind whatsoever, but at the death of my said daughter, should she have no children living, I wil that all the Estate herein created shall fall back to my other daughter.
I further will and bequeath to my said daughter Ann half of all money that I may be possessed of at my decease, or that may come into the hands of the Administrators, arising out of the sales & otherwise from any portion of my Estate to her own separate use and benefit, free from the control of her husband and free from his debts, judgements and liabilities of every kind—to be paid to my said daughter upon her separate receipt upon ?___? examination.
I further direct that my beloved wife Elizabeth Armstrong (if I should die first), shall have a child’s part of my estate during her natural life or widowhood, but in case she shall marry a second time, then my will is that she shall have and be governed by the law of Dower then existing in this State, and she shall be governed by the same.
I further will to my grand daughter Dorothy An_ Hicks one sorrel horse called Jim, to be from the date of the delivery thereof her own, for her own use and the entire right of said horse is hereby vested in her. I also give to my daughter, Sarry Catherine, a horse of equal value to the horse above mentioned.
I further will and bequeath to my daughter Sarry Catharine the other half of my estate, share and share alike with the before-mentioned daughter Milly M. Hicks in every particular and to her heirs. But in default of heirs of my said daughter Sary Catharine, then I will and direct that the estate herein created shall fall back and go to my other heirs then living by the rules of descent of this state then existing.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 11th day of July, 1859, by making his mark, being unable to write his name.
Seth x Armstrong (seal)
William Mullinx; Stephen x Hicks
Page 21 Dated: Oct. 10, 1859
Proven Dec 3, 1860
(Recorded P. 418)
In the Name of God, Amen.
I, John K. Arnold, do make this my last Will and Testament.
First. I will and bequeath to Almighty God my soul, who gave it.
Secondly, It is my will that my wife Martha Arnold have my plantation whereon I now live during her natural lifetime to do with as she pleases while she lives. I also will that my wife have all the household and kitchen furniture and all the stocks on hand, any horses, cattle, hogs and sheep, and all the crop or grain that may be on hand at the time of my death.
Thirdly. I will that my two sons William and Andrew J. Arnold have at the time of the death of my wife the entire plantation that I have willed to my wife, and that my two sons, William and Jackson Arnold pay to each of my children Five Dollars apiece, that is to say: John Granville, Thomas Greenberry, Eliza, George, Alfred, Sarah, Juliann and Harvey Arnold.
Fourthly. It is my will that my wife Martha pay all my debts and funeral expenses as soon as she can after my death out of any property or money that I may die possessed of. This the 10th day of October, 1859.
John K. x Arnold
( his mark)
Page 21 Dated: July 29, 1860
Proven: Aug 6, 1860
(Recorded P. 389)
I, William M. Arnolt, being of sound and well disposing mind but in feeble health do make and publish this as my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking and making void all other wills by me made at any time.
First. I will that my funeral expenses and all my just debts be paid as soon as possible after my death out of any money that I may die possessed of or may first come into the hands of my Executor.
2nd. I will to William A. Charles my nephew have 100 acres of land to be run off of the lower end of my farm where it joins the lands of Wiley A. Grigsby and Thomas Moore.
3rd. I will to my father William Arnolt all the rest of my land embraced in the deed made to me by my father, by him given up the bond dollars, conditioned for the maintenance of himself and mother, together with the note that I executed to him on the same date of the bond for ________ dollars.
4th. I further will and bequeath to my beloved wife the 22 1/2 acre tract of land known as the Wax Tract, during her lifetime or widowhood, and at her death or marriage, said land to go to my brothers and sisters and their heirs, and that she further have all the property and household furniture that she had when she and I were married, and one cow, (she to choose), and the sorrel blazed faced filly and three hundred dollars in cash, all the increase of the stock on hand of the stock she had when she came to live with me, and to have two-thirds of the corn crop that is on hand, one-third of the oats that is on hand, half of the hay that is now made, and is to have my Bureau during her lifetime or widowhood, and at her death or marriage, the Bureau to be sold and the proceeds be equally divided between my brothers and sisters or their heirs &c.
5th. I further will that my father William Arnolt have all the grass on hand that is now uncut, and half the hay that is now made, all the wheat on hand, one-third of the corn crop, two-thirds of the oats on hand.
6th. I will that all the rest of my personal property be sold and that the proceeds be equally divided between my brothers and sisters or their heirs, my wife Sally being made an heir with them, except fifty dollars that I will my niece Isabella Rader is to have.
7th and lastly. I appoint James Hearick as my Executor to this my will. Whereunto I do set my hand and seal to this my will. This the 29th July, 1860.
William M. x Arnolt
Signed, sealed and published in
our presence, and we have subscribed
our names in the presence of the Testator
on this 29th day of July, 1860
James H. Walker
Page 23 Dated: Feb 16, 1860
Proven: Sept. 3, 1860
(Rec'd Page 392)
Hawkins County, State of Tennessee
I, William Armstrong, considering the uncertainty of this life, and being of sound mind and memory do make and publish this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following (that is to say):
1st. I give and bequeath to my son Henry C. Armstrong a negro slave named Moses, which I consider worth Four Hundred Dollars.
2nd. I will and bequeath to my daughter Mary E. Powel, wife of Sam'l Powel two negro slaves named Rhoda and Riceton which I consider worth Four Hundred Dollars, also one town lot in Rogersville--said lot conveyed to me by William Dick Alexander as a trustee of James Bradley: also the Military Land Warrants containing 120 acres, (The town lot and Land Warrants I consider worth Three Hundred Dollars). The above bequest amounting to Eleven Hundred Dollars.
In addition to those bequests I have paid to my daughter Mary E. Powel and her husband Samuel Powel $1,550.00, all of said payments amounting to $2,600.00 they have received from me. I further will that the further sum of $1,850.00 be paid to Mary E. Powel before or after my death.
4th. I will and bequeat to my son William L. Armstrong, one negro slave, David, my land lying and being in the County of Hawkins and State of Tennessee, on the north side of Holston River, in 8th Civil District. I divide in the following manner (to wit): Beginning on a small willow box elder and sycamore on the Holston River at low water mark, running thence about eighty-two and one-half degrees, west seventy poles to a small double sweet gum at the foot of the rise of the bottom: thence north 10 west twenty poles to a maple at the foot of a stony bottom; thence north seventy-two (a) half. West sixty-eight poles to a mulberry, the upper side of the old orchard field. Then south fifty, west sixteen to a sycamore at the creek back of the old stable. Thence north to west up the creek as it meanders one hundred and twenty poles to a large, flat rock in said creek about three poles below where the sawmill dam now is. Thence north forty-two degrees and east twenty-seven poles to a white oak oak corner of the N. Providence Church lot. Thence along the south west end of said church lot to a black oak corner of same, it also being the corner of the teacher's lot. Then along the line of the teacher's residence lot to a small ironwood sapling near the creek corner of said lot; thence north seventy-eight, west forty-six poles to a stake. Thence north 73, west 92 poles to a poplar near the spring known as Wolf Spring. Thence north 48, west 73 poles to a stake in the branch (Larkin's Branch) west of where an old cabin now stands. Thence 65 west of Larkin's Branch, 74 poles to a poplar and beach corner - corner of a tract of land formerly owned by my father, a part of which was sold to Baker Armstrong. The above described line I make to divide my land, making two tracts of the same. My tract of land I dispose of in the following manner:
1st. I consider my land worth $12,000.00 and I give and bequeath to my son Harry C. Armstrong $4,000.00 which sum he has already received of me when he started…and moved to Missouri. This amount I consider due him for his interest in my land.
2nd. I give and bequeath to my son Alfred Armstrong, his heirs and assigns, all that part of my land north and east of the dividing line adjoining and bounded by the lands of the heirs of Baker Armstrong, dec'd., Dr. Robert Johnson and the heirs of William Bradley, dec'd., along the lines of same to a black walnut on the river bank and two sycamores corner of William Bradley's heirs and my corner at low water mark. Thence down the Holston River to the willow box elder and sycamores (beginning of the dividing line), him to have and to hold with all appurtenances thereto belonging &c, with this incumbrance. The said Alfred Armstrong is to pay me or my Executor $1,500.00 toward my son Henry's interest in my land, $1,278.00 of which he has paid to me as will appear from my receipt to him.
The other part of my land I give and bequeath to my wife Mary Armstrong, with all its appurtenances thereto belonging, or in anywise appertaining, during her natural life. At her death, I will and bequeath the same to my son, William L. Armstrong, the lands being bounded as follows, to wit: By the dividing line before mentioned, thence along my lines to the corner between the heirs of Baker Armstrong and Dock Larkins. Thence with said Larkins to John Young's. Then ce along said Young's to Wm Lyon's. Along his to Conrad Fudge's lines. Thence to Surgoin's and others to David Lyon's; along his to Wesley A. Phills' line to his ash and Lyon's corner on the Holston River; thence to low water mark. Thence up the river to the willow box elder and sycamore near low water mark, the beginning corner of the dividing line. To my son William L. Armstrong, I bequeath the same to him to have and to hold with all the appurtenances threunto belonging, to him and his heirs and assigns subject to the encumbrance--that he pay me or my Executors the sum of $2,500.00, that being the amount I paid for him to my son Henry for his interest in my land.
I give and bequeath to my wife Mary Armstrong my negro slaves not otherwise herein disposed of, namely (to wit): Stephen, Betty, Jefferson, Arthur and Sidney and her three children, Harriet, Lousanna and Jane--her to have and to hold them during her lifetime, and at her death I will that they be divided among all my heirs--my son Alfred L. Armstrong to have Jefferson, my son William L. Armstrong (to have) Stephen, Betty & Arthur. I allow my wife Mary Armstrong to divide Sidney and her children in the way and manner she may think best. It is my will that my two old servants Stephen & Betty be well provided for and made comfortable while they live. I give unto my wife Mary Armstrong what money I have--notes & other evidence of debt, all my stock consisting of horses, cattle, hogs, and sheep; also all my farming utensils, household and kitchen furniture, her to have and hold the same and to be at her disposal in any manner she may see proper, she being responsible for the payment of all my just debts, funeral expenses and all other necessary and contingent expenses.
The division is as follows: I consider all my land worth $12,00000. I divide my land between my two sons Alfred and William L. Armstrong--they to pay me $4,000.00 which sum I paid to my son H. C. Armstrong when he moved to Missouri which will appear from his receipt to me for the same, bearing date the ______. To my son, H. C. Armstrong, in money and negro, $4,400.00. To my son Alfred Armstrong in land and negro, $4,400.00. To my daughter Mary E. Powel two negroes and sundry other ______ made and to be paid, $4,400.00. To my son William L. Armstrong, land and negro, $4,400.00.
The rest of my property, if any, I wish divided equally among all my legatees.
I hereby appoint my wife Mary Armstrong my Executrix and my son Alfred Armstrong my Executor of this my last Will and Testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this sixtenth day of February, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Sixty.
Jesse M. Lyons
Jos. B. Galbraith
Page 26 Dated March 22, 1861
Proven Feb 3, 1862
(Recorded p. 526)
I, Charles D. Alvis, senior, of Hawkins County, State of Tennessee, being in good health and in my right mind do make and publish this my last Will and Testament hereby revoking and making void all other wills by me at any time made.
1st. I bequeath my soul to God who gave it.
2nd. I direct that my funeral expenses and all my debts be paid as soon as possible after my death out of any money that I may die possessed of, or may first come into the hands of my Executor.
Third. I do will and desire that my well beloved wife Susannah Alvis have the use of my mansion house and a comfortable support of ten the proceeds of my farm. Also William Henry a yellow boy slave twenty-two years of age; also Sharlot a black girl slave twenty-one years of age during her natural life or widowhood--if she remain_ in the state. I will and desire that my slaves that I have willed to my well beloved wife be set free at her death or leaving the State or marriage.
Fourth. I do will and bequeath to my son Charles D. Alvis, Jr., my mansion house and ten acres of land running with James Brooks' line to James T. Brice's line, thence round so as to square ten acres.
Fifth. It is my will and desire that the balance of my land and property be equally divided between my three children, Charles D. Alvis, Jr., Mary Ann Susan Klepper and Joseph H. Alvis and their children after their deaths.
Sixth. I do will and bequeath to my son Elias H. Alvis Fifty Cents. To my son William A. Alvis, Fifty Cents. To my son George W. Alvis, Fifty Cents. To my son Thaddeas J. Alvis, Fifty Cents. To my son Thomas J. Alvis, Fifty Cents. To my daughter Virginia Rebecca Johnson Fifty Cents. To my son John M. Alvis' heirs, Fifty Cents.
Seventh. I do will and bequeath to my well beloved wife, in addition to the third item of this will, all of my household and kitchen furniture and necessary property for farming consisting of one horse and set of farming tools, one yoke of oxen, two cows and calves, pork sufficient to meat her one year, or hogs to make it. Two sows and pigs or shoats, thirty barrels of corn and twenty bushels of wheat and twenty bushels of oats, an also my wife Susannah Alvis is to have my three slaves above named during her natural life or widowhood or stay in the state. After her death, the aforesaid slaves and the increase of Sharlot is to be set free during life.
Eighth. I reserve a square at the graveyard for burying ground forever.
Lastly. I do hereby nominate and appoint Charles D. Alvis, Jr., my Executor. In witness whereof I do to this my last Will set my hand and seal. This 22nd day of March, 1861.
Charles D. x Alvis. Sr. (seal)
Signed and published in our presence and we
have subscribed our names hereto in the
presence of the Testator. This 22nd day of March, 1861.
Barney M. Klepper
N B: I appoint Charles D. Alvis, Jr., to attend to my beloved wife and to manage for my slaves as laid down in this will.
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