Probate of the estate of Priscilla Hunt

Law Order Book 6, Page 504
04 Jun 1822

On the motion of Thomas Hunt who made oath, and together with Larkin Herndon and Alexander McFarlane his securities entered into and acknowledged a bond in the penalty of four hundred dollars conditioned as the law directs, certificate is granted the said Thomas Hunt for obtaining administration of the estate of Priscilla Hunt deceased in due form.

Ordered that William Price, William Sample, James P. Strother and John Wilson or any three of them being first sworn before a Justice of the Peace for that purpose do apprais in current money the personal estate of Priscilla Hunt deceased, and return the appraisement under their hands signed by the administrator to this court.

Page 510
02 Jul 1822

On motion of Benjamin Gilbert by his counsel it is ordered that Jerusha Elkins, Sarah Jackson, Susanna Adison and Elizabeth Jackson be summoned to appear here on the first day of the next August term of this court to give evidence as to the non cupative will of Priscilla Hunt deceased, and that Thomas Hunt, William Hunt and Elizabeth Jackson, sons and daughter of the said Priscilla Hunt being her next of kin and those only who are within this commonwealth who could be summoned, be summoned to appear here on the first day of the next August term of this court to contest the probat of said non cupative will if they please.

Page 524
08 Aug 1822

On the motion of Benjamin Gilbert to establish a nun cupative will of Priscilla Hunt deceased - and it appearing that Thomas Hunt, William Hunt and Elizabeth Jackson sons and daughter of said Priscilla have been duly summoned pursuant to an order of the last term; and they being present in court by counsel; Jerusha Elkins, Sally Jackson and Susannah Addison witnesses introduced by the said Gilbert to prove the pretended testamentary words being first duly sworn on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God.

The said Jerusha Elkins deposed, that about two weeks before sd. Priscilla's death which took place on or about the 12th day of May last past this witness was sent for by said Priscilla who a short time after her arrival commenced a convresation with witness in regard to the disposition of some of her property, which was to the following effect: that after her death she wished Benjamin Gilbert's little daughter, Priscilla, to have the bed on which she was then lying, and clothes; his little son to have her old grey mare; William Hunt's (calling his name Buck Hunts) little girl to have her othre bed & clothes; his little son to have her young grey mare; & Thomas Hunt's daughter Priscilla a cow and calf.

This took place at her usual dwelling house in time of her last sickness; no person being there except witness.

She further stated, that decedent desired this distribution of the said property to be made after her death; and that if there should arise any disputes, she wanted witness to state this her request: decedent did not expressly say this was her will or that she wished witness to take notice of it further than above stated. Decedent also requested witness to lay her out after her decease. The said Jerusha Elkins further deposed that the said Benjamin Gilbert has two little sons, and decedent did not name the one to which she made the bequest.

Question. Was decedent in her senses at the time you have mentioned when this conversation happened?
Ans. I think she was.

Sally Jackson deposed that on the Friday before the death of Priscilla Hunt which took place on a Sunday some time last spring she desired witness to take notice that she wished Benjamin Gilbert's little son which witness understood to be his youngest son to have her old grey mare, and Buck Hunt's (meaning William Hunts) son to have her young grey mare. These words witness stated were uttered at said Priscilla Hunts place of residence in the time of her last sickness, & that no other

Page 525

person was present at the time.

Cross examined -

Question. Was Priscilla Hunt, at the time you have mentioned, capable of distinguishing one person from another, and who had been there on that day besides yourself?
Ans. Stephen Boothe, George Bishop and John Hunt had been there on that day, and I think she knew each person, and could distinguish him by his voice when he spoke to her. No other person was there to the knowledge of witness; now was either of those already mentioned present when said Priscilla spoke of the disposition of her property.
Question. Did she appear to have her senses perfectly at the time you had stated?
Answer, I think so.
Question. Did she say anything of the other property mentioned by Mrs. Elkins?
Ans. I heard her say nothing of other property; she mentioned only the two mares.

Susanna Adison deposed, that a short time before the death of Priscilla Hunt, perhaps two weeks, or perhaps more or less and during her last sickness witness was at the house of decedent, who then stated to this witness that she desired Benjamin Gilbert's little daughter, Priscilla, to have the bed she was then lying on; Buck (meaning William) Hunt to have the other bed. She also said she had given or wished John Hunt's daughter Cary to have a yearling heifer, which of the expressions witness does not perfectly recollect; and that she desired Thomas Hunt's Priscilla should have another heifer with her first calf; and stated at the same time seveal other things in regard to her property, paticularly of her horses, none of which witness remembers, and would not therefore attempt to detail them. The said Susanna also stated that Priscilla Hunt had for many years before her death resided at the place where she died.

Cross examined -

Was this conversation about disposing of her property her general conversation, or did she request you specially to take notice of it?
Ans. She did not request me to take notice of it as her will it was merely her conversation at the time.

An inventory of the property sold by the administrator of said Priscilla Hunt on a 12 months credit was also produced before the Court and admitted by the parties as evidence of the value of the property referred to in the foregoing depositions, and is as follows:

1 cow and calf $9.00; 1 old grey mare $21.75; 1 young grey mare $30.51; 2 bed & furniture $16.00 each; and the further investigation of testimony is continued till tomorrow.

Page 526
09 Aug 1822

On the motion of Benjamin Gilbert to establish the non cupative will of Priscilla Hunt; Thomas Hunt William Hunt who oppose the establishment of said will, introduced John Hunt as a witness who being first duly sworn deposed, that he was at the house of Priscilla Hunt on the Friday preceding her death, and that the only white person he saw there was Sally Jackson.

Page 527

Question - Did Mrs. Hunt appear to be perfectly in her senses, and was she of disposing mind and memory?
Answer - She appeared to be asleep when this witness arrived; Witness asked her how she was, to which she replied she was bad enough. He asked her if she knew him, to which question she made no reply but shook her head. A negro girl who was sitting by stating to Mrs. Hunt witnesses name and asking her if she knew him, she knodded her head.
Q. Were you frequently at the house of Priscilla Hunt during her last illness?
Ans. Perhaps three times; once shortly after she was taken ill, another time perhaps between 8 & 12 days before her death and the third time on the Friday above stated.
Question. What appeared to be the state of her mind at those times?
Ans. The first time witness was there she was sitting up in her bed, he had some conversation with her, and his impression is that she was sensible. The second time he did not see her.
Question. Had you much conversation with her at your first visit?
Ans. He only asked her a few questions about her health

Cross examined -

Question. When you saw your grandmother Priscilla Hunt on the Friday before her death, did she see you?
Ans. She opened her eyes and looked at witness.

William Hunt one of the sons of decedent and one of her heirs at law, and who is one of the defendants in this case being introduced as a witness by the plaintiff, was sworn -

Question. Were you frequently with your mother during her last sickness?
Answer - I was generally there - I was there last on the Friday preceeding her death, which took place on Sunday.
Question - What was the state of her mind at the several times you were there?
Answer - She was sometimes in a state of mental derangement, at other times she retained her senses.
Question - What was the state of her mind on the Friday you have mentioned?
Answer - I was there on the evening of that day and enquired af Sally Jackson how she was, who answered that she was so poorly that she could not tell how she was; that she had lately given her some drops since which she appeared to be some easier. I went into the chamber where she lay; She was lying with her back next me - seemed to breath with difficulty. Whether she was asleep or awake I did not know, and did not speak to her.
Question. Did she at any time during her last illness converse with you of the diposition of her property?
Ans. In some small matter, but being an heir at law and interested I claim the privilege of refusing to answer in chief to

Page 528

this question.

The Court supporting witness in his refusal to answer the counsel for the plaintiff excepted. And on motion of the plaintiff and for reasons appearing to the court it is ordered that the investigation be continued till the next term; to which the counsel for the defendants excepted.

Common Law Order Book 1, Page 341
10 Sep 1822

The record and proceeding of the County Court of Russell to establish the nun cupative will of Priscilla Hunt dec'd on the application of Benjamin Gilbert; were this day dent and certified hither by one of the justices of said court, in puruance of a writ of certivrare awarded by the Judge in vacation, upon the complain of Thomas Hunt & William Hunt.

Page 344
12 Spe 1822

Thomas Hunt and William Hunt plaintiffs against Benjamin Gilbert defendant

On a writ of Cirtivrare to remove hither from the County Court of Russell the record and proceedings of said County Court to establish the nun cupative will of Priscilla Hunt deceased.

This day came the parties by ther counsel: whereupon the defendant moved to dismiss the said writ as having been improvidently awarded; and the said motion being argued, it is sustained by the Court, but no costs are awarded against the plaintiffs.

Law Order Book 7, Page 15
07 Nov 1822

Benjamin Gilbert, Plaintiff
against
Thomas Hunt and William Hunt deft's.

On an application to establish the nun cupative will of Prscilla Hunt deceased by consent of the parties it is ordered that this case be dismissed.


This file contributed by: Michael A. Dye


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