Harrison Co., KY

Contributor: Tarney Sandifer Smith.  Thanks, Tarney!

Last Will and Testament of John Duncan

Will Book B, p. 119
Harrison County, Kentucky
Written March 30, 1818
Probate October Court, 1822

I, Joseph Duncan of Harrison County and State of Kentucky being now seventy-six years of age but of sound mind and memory do constitute this my last will and testament hereby revoking and annulling all former wills or testamentary dispositions of my property to all intents and purposes—first it is my will and desire that all my just debts be paid out of such of my personal estate as shall not be otherwise herein appropriated; secondly—it is my will and desire that all my slaves be set free after my death under terms and provisions hereinafter mentioned my slaves now consist of Nancy and her children Sally Lewis & George Preston, Lavinia and her children Rachel and Charles Bowen, and my faithful and trust man Garrard, and I have heretofore made a gift of the girl Sally to my son-in-law Claiborne Collier which is now recorded in the Nicholas County Court which donation I do hereby confirm and give said girl to my said son-in-law and her increase to him and his heirs forever as his entire and full portion of my estate: and whereas I have also executed an instrument of writing in the nature of a device which is now of record in the Harrison county Court the object of which to manumit my said Negro Man Garrard, but as said instrument of writing is defective in not containing all the terms of my intention.  I do revoke it – and it is now my will and desire that said Negro man Garrard shall be manumitted after my death from slavery upon his paying my executors hereinafter named the sum of two hundred dollars, and for this purpose he shall be a liberty to enjoy the product of his own hire or services from and after my decease to enable him to enable him to discharge that sum and upon the payment thereof it shall be the duty of my executors or one of them to give said Negro man a receipt or acquittance and a certificate of his freedom under this will; and as to the Negro woman Nancy and her children Lewis and George Preston and her future increase it is in like manner my will and desire that from and after my decease a true and accurate account of the profits of said Negroes shall be taken by my executors, and when a sum equal to four hundred dollars shall be made by their hire or services, my executors aforesaid—in like manner it is my will and desire that from and after my decease the hire and profits of the Negro woman Lavina and her children aforesaid and all future increase shall be accurately estimated and received by my executors until they shall make the sum of six hundred dollars at which time my executors or someone of them shall give to each of said slaves certificate of freedom as aforesaid, and it shall be the duty of my executors to have the care and protection of said slaves and provide for their clothing, taxes, medical attendance or whatever else shall be necessary for their comfort until they shall respectively obtain their certificates of freedom aforesaid after which period said slaves and their increase shall forever be manumitted from slavery.

          It is my further will and desire that the sum of twelve hundred dollars thus raised from the hire and profits of said slaves shall be divided into six equal portions, whereof one portion to be paid to the children and heirs of my son James Duncan, deceased, one portion to my son Washington Duncan.  One portion to my daughter Lydia Mizner, one portion to my daughter Nancy Harris, one portion to my daughter Charlotte Parker and one portion to my daughter Susanna Whitely.

          And where as about the year 1810 I inconsiderately and without being in a proper state of mind executed an instrument of writing to my son James Duncan in the nature of a title bond for the land whereon I now reside containing 162 acres, in which it appears a consideration of fifty pounds is expressed when in fact I received no consideration whatever, and even thought pressed when in fact I received no consideration whatever, and even thought myself imposed upon by it and that said bond is of no force.  It is therefore my will and desire that my son Archibald Duncan shall inherit and his heirs and assigns forever.

          I bequeath to my granddaughter Lydia Duncan a feather bed and bed furniture a sorrel mare with blazed face a saddle and bridle a young cow and my weaver loom and the apparatus thereunto belonging.

          I constitute my sons Archibald Duncan and Washington Duncan and my son-in-law, Claiborne Collier, executors of this my last will and testament and charge and strictly enjoin them to cause the provisions of this will be carried into effect, and as to the residue of my estate not here enumerated or devised I give my said executors full power, over to see or distribute specifically, taking care to make an equal distribution among my living children after all debts and demands against me are satisfied.

          In testimony whereof I do hereunto set my hand and seal this 30th day of March 1818.

Signed Joseph Duncan


Test: J. Taylor prove
James Watson
Wm. Watson


J. Duncan to C. Collier

THIS INDENTURE, made this 14th day of March in the year One Thousand Eight Hundred and Sixteen between Joseph Duncan of the County of Nicholas and State of Kentucky of the one part and Claiborn Collier of the County and State aforesaid of the other part, witnesseth that the said Joseph Duncan in order to provide for his daughter Matilda Collier the lawful wife of said Claiborn Collier for and in consideration of the respect that said Duncan hath for his daughter Matilda Collier, for her obedience and being his lawful daughter, doth by these presents bargain and give, alien and confirm unto the said Claiborn Collier his heirs and assigns forever, all his right to a certain Negro girl named Sally, with her future increase, nevertheless it is understood by contracting parties that the said Joseph Duncan is to have the use of said Negro during his natural life and at the decease of said Joseph Duncan the said Negroes Sally and her future increase to revert of the said Claiborn Collier his heirs and assigns as before mentioned.  In testimony whereof, the said Joseph Duncan hath hereunto set his hand and affixed his seal the day and year above written.

Back to Main Menu

penink.gif (2209 bytes)Back to Kentucky Wills