I Samuel Duff of Russell County do hereby make my last will and testament in form following that is to say, 1st. I desire that all the perishable part of my estate be immediately sold after my decease and out of the monies arising then from all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid and that my estate not be appraised but that my executor herinafter named return an inventory only. 2ndly. I give to my son Rees Bowen Duff one dollar in addition to what I have already given him in full of all I intend to give to him of my estate as I think all I would give him would be wasted as he appears to be improvident. 3rdly. I give all my land and slaves to my grandchildren John Graham Duff, Elizabeth Duff, and Samuel Adams Duff the children of my son Rees B. Duff and such other children as he may have the division of the land and slaves to be made as soon as my oldest grandchild shall arrive to the age of twenty one years by my executor herein named or such of them or shall undertake to serve to be enjoyed by them and their heirs and assigns forever. Should it so happen that the slaves cannot equally be divided the deficit of either lot to be made up with money guardianship to continue over the other until they arrive to the age of twenty one years. And as I have the entire confidence in the persons hereinafter named as executors if they are a majority of them with the approbation of my son Rees I think it would be advisable to sell any land or any part of it or the slaves or any of them and purchase other land and slaves, I do authorize and empower them to do so and they may assign any small part of my land to my son Rees as they may think without rent if they choose and lend him tools to farm with at pleasure and if they do sell my land or any part of it or any of my slaves they are to purchase other lands or slaves for my said grandchildren and all to come under the same kind of arraingement as is herein prescribed in case no sale takes place. 4thly. I do hereby appoint my executor hereinafter named or such of them as shall serve guardian to my grandchildren herein named or intended to be named and that they do immediately after my decease rent out my lands and hire out my slaves on the best termsthat they can and lay out the money to the best advantage in educating and raising my grandchildren in a respectable manner. 5thly. All the rest of my estate both real and personal of what nature or kind soever it may be not hereinafter particularly disposed of, I desire maybe equally divided among my several grandchildren now in being or hereafter to come of my son Rees Duff which I give to them their heirs executors administrators forever. And lastly I do herby constitute and appoint my friend Henry Bowen of Tazewell County, Harry Smith, John T. Smith and Henry D. Smith Executors of this my last will and testament hereby revoking all other or former wills or testaments by me heretofore made. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this seventh day of February in the year One thousand eight hundred and twenty nine.
/s/Samuel Duff LS
Signed Sealed published and declared as and for the last will and testament of the above named Samuel Duff in presence of us.
John Witt Sr.
John Witt Junr.
Joseph (X) Keen
Thomas (X) Chambers
Jesse (X) Law
At a court
continued and held in Russell Co on the 9th day of April 1829.
This writing purporting to be the last will and testament of Suamel Duff deceased, was established in Court for probate: to the establishment and admission to record of which Rees B. Duff the son of the testator objected by his counsel whereupon by consent of the parties interested the contest about the said will is continued until next term and on the motion of the said Rees B. Duff the court awards him summonses for such witnesses as he may desire to have summoned to the next term: and it is ordered that John L. Smith be appointed a curator to take charge of the slaves and personal estate of the said decendant during the contest about said will, and thereupon the said John T. Smith with Harry Smith his securities entered into and acknowledged a bond in the penalty of $1500 conditioned as the law directs, and took the oath prescribed by law.
At a Court continued and held for Russell County on the 3rd of June 1829. This writing was again exhibited in court, by John T. Smith one of the executors named therein for probate, and again ____ Rees B. Duff, Harvey Smith named therein as an executor and who is also one of the subscribing witnesses was swore on the_____ ______ and the court, from his answers being of opinions that he was a disinterested witness, he and Joseph Keen, John Witt Sr., and Thomas Chambers, subscribing witnesses to said writing and _______ other persons were sworn to give testimony in relation to the execution by the testator of said writing and the state of his mind. The said Harvey Smith after giving his testimony stated in court, and it was requested by the party desiring to establish said writing, to be entered of record, that he the said Harry Smith refused, in the event of the establishment of said writing, to act as executor, or guardian for any of the devisers or to be concerned in any way whateven in the management of the estate, and the courts having heard and considered the testimony of the witnesses and the arguments of counsel in opposition as well as in favour of the establishment of said writing as the will of the Testator, it seems to the court that the said writing is executed as a will of Real & Personal estate according to the Act of Assembly, in that case made and provided, and that the Testator at the time of making and executing said will was of sound mind and disposing memory. Therefore it is ordered that the said writing be established and recorded as the last will and testament of the said Samuel Duff deceased. From which decision of the Court is establishing said will, the said Rees B. Duff prayed an appeal to the Superior Court of Law for this county which is granted on his giving bond and security according to law in the sum of one hundred dollars.
At a Court continued and held for Russell County on the 9th day of May 1832. It appearing to the Court that the order of this Court made on the 3rd day of June 1829. establishing this writing then contested to be the last will and testament of Samuel Duff deceased, from which Rees B. Duff appealed to the Superior Court of Law and Court of Appeals, has been affirmed by said Courts respectively, It is therefore ordered that the said writing be recorded and on the motion of Henry D. Smith, one of the executors therein named (the other Executors refusing to act) who made oath and entered into bond in the penalty of $22000.00 conditioned as the law directs, with Dale Carter, Harvey Gray, Thomas Dickenson and James M. Hanson his securities, certificate is granted the said Henry D. Smith for obtaining probate of the said will in due form.
Teste James P. Carrell CRC