In the name of God Amen. I William Gilmore Senr. of the County of Russell in the State of Virginia sensible of the increasing infirmities of old age and calling to mind the solemn truth that it is appointed unto all men once to die, and being now of sound mind and disposing memory, do make and declare the following as and for my last will and testament in the words and figures following to wit:
Item first. First I commend my soul to Almighty God who gave it, and my body to the earth, according to the usual rites and ceremonies of the christian church to which I belong.
Item 2. It is my will and desire that before my disposition or division of my property shall be made, that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid.
Item 3. I have already provided for and given to my children by my first or former wife to wit, to Margaret, Samuel, James, Cummings, William, Isaac, Westley, Mary, and Martha, all that I intend to give them, because I think I have provided for them, as well if not better, than my present estate, will enable me to provide for my younger children of my second marriage.
Item 4. It is my will and desire that the real estate which I now hold shall be divided as herein after directed, between the children of my last marriage, that is, by my present wife, that is to say: I have already laid off and divided the tract or parcel of land whereon I now reside into nine divisions or parcels by partition lines which I have marked, with the view, as near as I could, to nine equal divisions thereof, and have allotted thereof, one to my son Charles H., another to my daughter Jerusha, wife of James Gibson, and whereon each of them now resides, and a third parcel I have allotted to my son Axley, being that whereon the old Estill house is situated, and which said parcels it is my will and desire that they and their heirs shall have and enjoy forever.
Item 5. It is my will and desire that the other parcels as I have divided them, shall remain as at present, under the management and control of my wife and and my sons Charles and Axley, as a home for my wife and younger children, for their benefit, and maintenance and for the rearing and necessary education of those of my young children who are yet uneducated until my next oldest child shall arrive at the age of twenty one years, at which time, another parcel of my land shall be by my executors herein after named, allotted to such child, if he or she shall desire it, or sooner, if in the discretion of my executors they shall think proper to permit any one of my children to improve and cultivate his or her parcel of my said land, and then, that the remainder shall remain as aforesaid, under the management and control of my executors for the common benefit of my wife and young children as aforesaid, untill, the next oldest, shall attain to lawful age, when he or she shall receive from my executors, possession of the parcel, to be by my executors allotted to him or her, and so on respectively in this way, untill all the said nine divisions or parcels of land shall be allotted to my nine oldest children, by my last or present wife. And if my said executors, shall think it prudent to do so, they are in their discretion permitted to allot and give up to any one of my nine oldest children by my present wife, one share each of my land, in parcels as laid out by me and shown to my said executors at such time before they arrive at twenty one years of age, as my said executors shall think proper.
Item 6. If at the time that the last of the said nine parcels of my land shall be allotted to my children any one of my children now born or which may hereafter be born to me of my present wife shall be living and unprovided for, then it is my will and desire, that my executors shall provide for, and pay to such child or children, out of my personal estate, so as will make up to such child or children, full equal shares, with those already provided for, including as well the advancements of personal estate, as the value of land herein devised. This part of my will, I desire still more fully to explain. Since the division was made by me of my land into nine parts aforesaid, another child has been born to me of my present wife, which makes the number of my children by my last wife now living, ten; and it is my will and desire if any one of the children older than the last shall die without issue, that, the youngest shall succeed to the share or parcel of such deceased child, just as if there were in fact but nine children, to be in all things, pertaining to my estate real and personal equally provided for.
Item 7. If any one or more of my said children by my last wife shall die without issue, then it is my will and desire that their respective shares shall be equally divided between the surviving brothers and sisters of the whole blood.
Item 8. It is my will and desire that no appraisement shall be made of my personal estate, and that the same shall remain under the control or be disposed of according to the discretion of my executors for the benefit and maintenance of my wife and younger children, which said personal estate including all debts which may be owing to me, and all my personal property of every kind whatsoever, it is my further will, shall constitute a common fund for the mutual benefit of my said wife and younger children, together with such of the said nine parcels or divisions of my land as may remain unallotted or unaportioned, during the ___ of my children, to be used and enjoyed just as it now is, and as in the descretion of my executors the wants and comforts of my wife and young children may from time to time require, or render necessary.
Item 9. If my said wife should depart this life before the youngest of my said children shall arrive at lawful age, then I appoint my executors herein after named their testamentary guardians, and it is my will is such case that they my said executors, shall make such dispositions of what ever property may remain upon hand, as in their discretion and judgement, would be most beneficial for all my said children by my present wife then living, and in all things, that my said executors shall provide for and take care as well of my infant children, as of such estate as it hath pleased Divine Providence to enable me to leave them when I shall depart this life.
Item 10. I have emancipated heretofore a part of my slaves, and would, if the law permitted it now emancipate the remainder of them, but it does not permit them, to remain in the state. Those of my slaves to which I refer are, Sus or Susan, and her children, Luce or Lucy and her children, and a man named Will, all of which said slaves and their increase it is my desire to restore to liberty and freedom, if I can do so, without endangering their future happiness by having them again sold into slavery. It is therefore my will and desire that if the said slaves and their increase can or shall be permitted by the Legislature of Virginia to remain in this state as free persons of Colour, that the said slaves and their increase shall be forever free and emancipated. Or if the said slaves and their increase, or any, either of the said slaves or their increase shall choose to emigrate to and shall emigrate to any other of the United States, where by the laws of such state they the said slaves can and shall be permitted to remain as free persons of colour, then and in that case also, it is my will and desire, that the said slaves and their increase shall be forever free and emancipated - and full power and authority so to emigrate and remove, is hereby given to the said slaves and their increase. If however the said slaves and their increase, or any of them, can neither be permitted to remain as free persons of colour in the State of Virginia, and do not withing rh time prescribed by the laws of this state, emigrate and remove to some other sate in the United States, when by the laws of such state the said slaves and their increase will be permitted to remain as free persons of colour, and whereby the said slaves and their increase would forfeit their right to freedom in the State of Virginia, and become liable to be again sold again into slavery, and might fall into the hands of hard and cruel masters, and be seperated from each other, then and in that case, and in that case only, it is my will and desire, that the said slaves and their present and future increase, be kept together under the management and control of my executors until the youngest of my children by my present wife shall arive at lawful age, and be then equally divided between all my children by my present wife, with the last injunction upon, and admonition to my said children and each of them, to show themselves in their treatment, of the said slaves worthy of a father, who would if the law had permitted it, have made the said slaves free.
Item 11. Lastly. I do hereby onstitute my wife Elizabeth and my sons Charles and Axley executrix and executors of this my last will and testament, hereby revoking all other or former wills or testaments, by me heretofore made, and do utter, publish, declare, sign and seal this my last will and testament. In testimony whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name and affixed my seal this 2d day of October in the year of our Lord 1836.
Willianm Gilmore (Seal)
Signed, sealed published and declared as and for the last Will & Testament of William Gilmore and attested by us at the request, and in the presence of the said William Gilmore
E. D. Kernan
Charles C. Dickenson
I William Gilmore Senr. do hereby make, publish and declare that the following is a schedule to my last Will and Testament, made on the 2d day of October in the year 1838, which it is my will and desire be taken for and considered as part of my said last Will and testamentthat is to say, that it is my will and desire that the division or alotment of my lands, whereon my dwelling house and other contiguous buildings and improvements are situated, shall remain in the quiet and peaceable possession of my present wife during her natural life, for the mutual benefit of herself and that one of my children to whom the same may be allotted in the partition of my said lands, and after her death to the said child and his or her heirs forever. In testimony whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name and affixed my seal, the 2s day of October 1838.
William Gilmore (Seal)
Signed, sealed, published and declared as and for the scedule to the will and testament of William Gilmore and attested by us at his request and in his presence
E. D. Kernan
Charles C. Dickenson
At a Court of quarterly session held for Russell County at the Courthouse, on Tuesday the 2d day of November 1841.
This instrument of writing and the schedule thereto annexed were exhibited in Court as and for the last will and testament of William Gilmore Senr. deceased, and proven by the oaths of E. D. Kernan, Wm. Johnson and Daniel Williams three of the subscribing witnesses thereto, and ordered to be recorded. And on the motion of Charles H. Gilmore and Axley Gilmore executors therein named who made oath, and together with Dale Carter, Jacob Owens and Charles Carrell Jr. their securities, entered into and acknowledged a bond in the penalty of $5000 conditioned as the law directs, certificate is granted the said Charles H. Gilmore and Axley Gilmore for obtaining probat of the said will in due form.
James P. Carrell, C.R.C.