Monday, March 12, 2012

Joseph Conway 1802 Will (Part 1) - Amanuensis Monday

Thanks to John at Transylvanian Dutch who originated the Amanuensis Monday meme, providing a framework (and nudge) for transcribing family records, news clippings and other treasures.

My 4th great-grandfather Joseph Conway wrote a will shortly before his death in 1802 in Cocke County, TN. The Cocke County Courthouse burnt in 1876 and all records held there were lost. A copy of the will was found, however, in the Court of Common Pleas records in Highland County, OH where Conway had owned land.

I transcribed his will and the following orders from a copy of the court record in Joseph Conway's Ancestor file at the DAR Library in Washington DC. The document was marked "Common Pleas Court, Highland Co., Ohio, Record Book A, 191-192."

Because of the length of the court record my notes and analysis will follow in Part 2.

In the name of God Amen I Joseph Conway of Coke County & State of Tennessee being week in body but of Sound & perfect memory blessed be God for this same calling to remembrance the uncertainty of this life that it is appointed for all men once to do and being desirious so to order & dispose of what estate God in his mind has been pleased to bless me with do make constitute and ordain this my last will & testament in manner & form as follows Viz  Imprimes I gave and bequeath my persons & immortal Souls to God who gave it & as to my worldly estate which God in his mercy hath been pleased to bestow on me my will & meaning is that it be so order and disposed as by this my will & testament is hereafter mentioned after all my just debts & Funeral expences are paid  Item   I give & bequeath to my dear & loving wife Sarah Conway one Third part of my real & personal estate among her natural life after that the real estate to be disposed of as is hereinafter mentioned  also  the personal estate to be agreeably divided between the Surviving heirs except the Negro girls given to my daughters in lieu of lands  Item  I give & bequeath to my son Edward Turner Conway two tracts of land lying on Knob Creek  one containing 347 acres conveyed to me from Spencer Rice & John Gooch  The other containing 70 acres adjoining the aforesaid tract taken up and Surveyed by myself also one other tract of land containing 200 acres called the Sugar camp tract Taken up also by myself
Item I give and bequeath to my son Joseph Conway one tract of land containing 300 acres whereon I now live purchased from Robert King also 400 acres as part of an other Tract of Land lying on the North side of the Ohio river on the waters of Paint creek a branch of the Sciota River called the buckskin tract
Item I give and bequeath to my son Peter Conway  Charles Conway and William Turner Conway also the child my wife is at present pregnant with if a son the remainder of the Buckskin tract of land and also one other tract of land containing 2400 acres called the Lees Creek tract a branch of this aforementioned Paint Creek to be equally divided agreeable to quantity & quality
Item I give & bequeath to my daughter Elizabeth Maree Conway and Sarah Conway also the child my wife is at present pregnant with in case it is a daughter to have each a Negro girl when the come of age or at the day of marriage the Negro girl to be picked out by the executors which shall be in leiu of their portion of land
Item I give and bequeath to my sons and daughters Edward Joseph Peter Charles & William Elizabeth & Sarah also the Child my wife is at present pregnant with all the rest of my property to be equally divided also my will and desire is that there shall be no division of the estate until my son Edward comes of age at which time there shall be a division & he runs his portion and the rest also in rotation as they come of age shall run their portion also My will and desire also is that my wife shall have the care or ________ent of the estate & children under the directions of the Executions who shall be and are hereby empowered in case they shall see the estate wanting in any respect or the children misused to take possession of the estate and apply it to the best use for the advantage of the children  Also my desire is that the children may be educated and raised in as Christians like manner as the circumstances of the Estate will admit
Finally I do constitute appoint and ordain William Scruggs Phillip Hall & Christopher Conway my whole & sole Executors of this my last will & testament in witness whereof I have set my hand & seal this twenty first day of May 1802
Attest                                                                  Jas Conway {seal}
Florence Puckett
Clary Scruggs
S  Crosby

I William Garret Clerk of the Court of {seal} Pleas & quarter Sessions for the County of Coke do certify the above to be a true copy of Joseph Conway will as rewarded & filed in my ____ in witness whereof I have hereunto Set my own private Seal having no Seal of ___ence this 23rd day of September 18__ (14?)
W. Garrett  ____

Whereupon ordered that a writ of Partition issue to the Sheriff commanding him that by the oath of James Johnson Esq.  Charles N Clifton & Reubin Brown who are appointed commissioners & Thomas N Sanders Surveyor cause to be d____d & partitioned the land mentioned  in the petition agreeably to the ____ of Petitioners and furthered ordered that the commissioners report at the next term of this Court and that the p___n & Document accompaning the same this order & report of Commissioners be one the records of the Court whereupon a writ of Partition issued in the following words & figures to wit  The State of Ohio Highland Common pleas March Term 1815  this day on motion of Beston & Jainagan & others by Wm Couch their attorney  it was ordered that the Sheriff of Highland County by the oath of James Johnson Esq.  Charles N Clifton  and Reuben Brown commissioners & Thomas M Sanders Surveyor because to be set off & partitioned the land in the Petition mentioned which is patented to Joseph Conway on Lees Creek of 2400 acres to be divided in four equal shares equal for quality & quantity that there be set apart respectively to Charles  William  & James Conway each one fourth of said tract in severally and that the remaining fourth part divided to Peter Conway now deceased be equally divided into seven equal parts or shares equal for quality & quantity and set a part in severally to Edward  Joseph  Charles  William & James Conway & to Elizabeth Conway now Elizabeth Jainagan & to Sarah Conway now Sarah Hogain brothers & sisters to the said Peter Conway deceased & it is further ordered that the Commissioners report to the next court

       In testimony that the foregoing is a true copy of the order in the {seal} case of Allen Trimble Clerk of the Court of Common please for said County have been unto set my hand & seal _____ this 6th day of March 1815
Allen Trimble

I hereby certify that the within named James Johnson Reubin Brown & Charles Clifton Commissioners & Thomas M Sanders Surveyor was qualified according to law to the duly a____'d on them by this order Given under my hand & seal this 9th day of March 1815
David  Te___ll JP

Highland, OH, Court of Common Pleas Record Books Record Book A: 191-192, Joseph Conway Will and Petition for Division of Land, 9 Mar 1815; DAR Library: Ancestor Database File for Joseph Conway (#A025212).  

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