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First, I Give to my dear and well beloved Wife Rebecca Elgin the use of my Estate both real and personal during her natural life in order to enable her the better to bring up my Children and support herself and after her Decease my Will is following -
Secondly I Give and Devise to my Sons Gustavus Walter and Francis the Lands I now am possessed of Loudoun County to be equally divided among them according to Quantity and Quality the Eldest to have the first choice.
Thirdly I Give and Devise to my other children, to wit, Elizabeth Ignatius, George, Jessey, Nancy, William, Margaret and Rebecca (after the Decease of my said Wife) all my Slaves and Personal Estate to be equally divided among them and should any of the said Children depart this life without lawfull issue of their Bodies then such Child's part to be equally divided among the Survivors accepting the first named, to wit, Gustavus, Walter and Francis -
Fourthly But if it should happen that if either or all of my said Sons Gustavus, Walter and Francis should depart this life without lawful issue of their Bodies that then my Will is that the Lot of Land belonging to such Son shall descend to my son Ignatius and in case of his Death to my Son George, and so down in case of Death, and if by such means my Sons Ignatius, George etc. should become possessed of a part of the Land and another of my Sons should depart this life without issue as aforesaid, who by this Will claim a part of the Lands aforesaid that such part shall not Decend to him that already has a part better, the Eldest Son that has no Land and in which case if either of my Sons Ignatius George Jesse and William should become possessed of a part of the Land that then such Sons part of the Slaves and personal Estate shall immediately be divided among the other children that have no Land left them by this Will.
Fifthly And for the better understanding of this Will my Will ? is that no one of my Sons shall possess two parts of my Lands before devised while ever there be enough alive to keep it in three Divisions and also that no one of my Sons who Own a part of my said Lands shall be entitled to any part of the Slaves and personal Estate. And I do Constitute and appoint my said Wife, Rebeccah Elgin, Executrix and my Son Gustavus to be my Executor of this my last Will and Testament revoking all others. In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my Hand this 19th day of December 1776.
Sealed Signed and pronounced
Francis Elgin (Seal)
by the said Francis Elgin to be his last Will and Testament
in presence of.....
In Court held for Loudoun County June the 10th 1782 - This Will was proved by the Oath of Benjamin Shreve a Witness thereto and Ordered to be Certified. And on the Motion of Rebeccah Elgin and Gustavus Elgin the Executors therein named who made Oath according to Law Certificate is granted them for obtaining a probate thereof in due form given Security Whereupon the said Rebeccah and Gustavus ? John Alexander and Alexander McMahin their Security is entered into and acknowledged Bond in the penalty of One thousand pounds conditioned as the Law directs. And at another Court held for the said County, to wit, the 12th day of August in the Year aforesaid the said Will was fully proved by the Oath of Stephen Hurst another Witness thereto and Ordered to be Recorded. Teste Charles Binns, Clk. [Note from Betty Frain: Please note the order in which the children are listed. This order is always the same, giving us the first hint as to the order of birth.] Elgin, Francis et al v. Elgin, Gustavus 1820 Folder M 2653 Francis Ellgin Walter Ellgin Suit filed 1813 to divide land left by Francis Elgin, Sr. to his wife Rebecca in life estate, then to be divided by Francis, Walter, and Gustavus. [Note from Betty Frain: In the above will, Francis Sr.'s land was to be divided between Gustavus, Walter, and Francis Jr., the oldest to have first choice, then the second oldest, the youngest to have the remaining 1/3. This court case contains a plat of the land showing Gustavus being awarded the first choice, Walter the second, and Francis Jr. the third. This gives us the birth order, Gustavus, Walter, Francis.]