Tuesday's mail delivered a copy of the will of Richard Thornhill from the Hamblen County Archives in Tennessee. Richard was the older brother of my 4th-great-grandmother Elizabeth Thornhill Jones, and first born of Joseph Thornhill and Sarah Sally Westall. I was hoping that his will might contain some useful information, or perhaps a connection to Joseph and Sarah.
Richard was born in Culpeper County, Virginia in October 1805 (either 2 or 22 October). He lived a long life in the area of northern Jefferson and later Hamblen County, Tennessee. He married Margaret Cline in Jefferson County on 19 November 1825. Richard passed on 15 December 1876 in Hamblen County.
Last Will and Testament of Richard Thornhill
State of Tennessee, Hamblen County:
I, Richard Thornhill of said County and State, being weak in body but of sound disposing mind and [unsure of word] calling to mind the uncertainty of life and that it is appointed unto all to die, do make and desire this as my last will and testament hereby revoking and unwilling all wills by me made in manner and form follow now to wit:
First and perpetually, I will my body to the dust from where it is taken, to be decently buried in a plain Christian-like manner and my soul to almighty God who gave it, and as to my worldly goods it has pleased God to bless me with, I will them to be divided, distributed and apportioned in the manner and form following to wit:
Item 1st, as to my lands that I now own, I will them to be apportioned and divided as I now direct. It is my will and desire that my beloved wife Margaret Thornhill shall have my house farm of one hundred and seventeen acres, including all of the dividings and appurtenaments thereto also including the lands purchased by me from M. H. Skeen set forth in said deed, to have full control of the same during her natural lifetime.
Item 2nd, what I have or may have at death of personal property, I will to be disposed of as follows: I desire my wife Margaret Thornhill to have my yellow mare and one other horse of her own choice of my horse stock, two cows and calves of her own choosing if she desires them.
I also will that she have all my household and kitchen furniture or, so much of it as she may desire, to have full control of the same during her lifetime and at her death provided she remains in her senses and [unclear] to dispose of all or any of the same as she may desire. Whatever of the same she does not desire to retain at my death, together with all my other personal property of every description consisting of hogs, cattle, horses, sheep, farming tools, and implements except to the property heretofore bequeathed to my wife and [unclear] that I desire her to have and control one two-horse wagon and harness for the same, farming tools and implements sufficient to carry on and cultivate the farm of one hundred and seventeen acres before specified.
The remainder of my personal property I desire sold at public sale and the proceeds of the same disposed of as hereafter mentioned. Should my wife from age or other infermity become [unclear] and of disposing mind previous to her death all the household and kitchen property left and remaining [unclear] I wish divided between the girl children of Margaret E. Bowers.
Further more it is my will and desire that A. L. Cline and C. C. Cline have the land conveyed to them by me sometime previous and set forth in deeds of conveyance to them upon the following named conditions that they are not to sell or put any persons in association of said lands during my natural lifetime without my consent. The remaining portion of my lands I wish disposed of as follows to wit:
Item 1, I will to Margaret E. Bowers all my lands not otherwise disposed of the interest I have in the land belonging to Mill property also all interest in the Mill that I have as many of my[unclear] together with all the lands I have at the time of my death and that I have maintained and described.
Item 2nd, I will and it is my desire that Elizabeth Bowers shall have the one hundred and seventeen acres of land afore mentioned and described with the appurtenances thereunto by her complying with the following named stipulations and requirements. Should she marry a man not competent to take care of and control said land it is to belong to Margaret E. Bowers, her mother and Elizabeth Bowers to share equal with the rest of the children of Margaret E. Bowers.
Item 3rd, it is my will and desire that my beloved wife Margaret Thornhill have and control the one hundred and seventeen acres before mentioned and described during her natural lifetime, that to Elizabeth Bowers if she complies with the conditions and stipulations in every [unclear] as above stated.
Furthermore it is my will and desire that all of my personal property not heretofore disposed of be sold at public sale, the money collected together with all my money on hand and debts due me collected the same to create a fund in the hands of my Executor or Administrator for the following named purposes to wit: Item 1st for the payment of funeral expenses and all my first debts. Item 2nd for the support of my wife Margaret Thornhill should she need to use any of the service so she may not [unclear] for the comforts of life while she may live and for any necessary expenses after her death. 3rd the remainder of money in the hands of my Executor or Administrator to be put in interest with the interest collected annually added to the general fund furnishing a new service to be expended in the following manner Equally in educating the children of Margaret E. Bowers with the exception of Elizabeth Bowers who has been heretofore provided for. Item 4th I desire that at the time the youngest child of Margaret E. Bowers arrives at the age of twenty one years that the land willed by me to Margaret E. Bowers together with all the money and debts in the hands of my Executor or Administrator be equally divided between the children of Margaret E. Bowers with the exception of Elizabeth Bowers which has heretofore been provided for.
In testimony whereof I have signed the same this the 31st day May one thousand eight hundred and seventy six and acknowledge it to be my act and for the purposes therein contained in the presence of W. H. Howell, Thomas Thornhill and called on to witness the same.
Richard Thornhill [Seal]
Signed in the presence of
W. H. Howell [x]
Thomas Thornhill [x]
Margaret E. Thornhill was the daughter of Richard Thornhill and Margaret Cline Thornhill. She married William A. Bowers in Jefferson County on 10 October 1861 (as referenced by Kate Livingston in her diary). Elizabeth Bowers was their first child. Margaret and William were living in Witts Foundry, Jefferson County, Tennessee in the 1870 US Census, not far from Madison Line.
Margaret provided an affidavit of support for Mary Gass Thornhill's mother's pension in her case following the death of Captain John Thornhill.
In the diary of Kate Livingston, she wrote that her father bought wheat and beef from "Mr. Thornhill" in early October 1862, which may have been Richard Thornhill. Kate knew the Thornhill family well, along with the Bowers.