Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Will of William Davis

The entry on the Davis Family (see Picking up the Davis line) from Howard Leckey's Tenmile Country states that the will of my 7th-great-grandfather William Davis is located in Will Book 1 for Washington County, Pennsylvania, page 104. I looked this up on FamilySearch in the Pennsylvania Probate Records, 1683-1994, and found the will beginning on page 108. A copy is available below, with a transcription.
William Davis deceased,} In the name of God amen, I William Davis of Cumberland township Washington County, state of Pennsylvania being weak in body but of perfect mind and memory thanks be given unto God, calling unto mind the mortality of my body, and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die do make and ordain this my last will and testament that is to say principally and first of all I give and recommend my soul into the hand of Almighty God that gave it me, and my body to the earth to be buried in decent Christian burial at the discretion of Executors, nothing doubting but at the general resurrection I shall receive the fame again by the mighty power of God. And as touching such worldly estate wherewith it has pleased to bless me in this life I give, devise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form.

First I give and bequeath unto my beloved son Stephen and Azariah Davis the tract of land where I and they now live known by the name of Davis's Delight and the said land to be equally divided belonging to my before mentioned sons and it to be divided as they are now settled, and after the decease of the aforesaid Stephen and Azariah the said land shall fall unto William Davis second son of Azariah Davis to him and his heirs forever and should my aforesaid son move off from said plantation and settle other lands of their own then they shall give up free possession to the said William Davis at his arriving at the age of twenty one years.

Also all my personal estate I give unto my two sons Stephen and Azariah to be equally divided after my decease between the said two I also give to my beloved daughter Tabitha the wife of John Davis the sum of five hundred pounds specy to be paid to her one year after my decease, likewise I give unto my brother James Davis fifty shillings to be paid him yearly in linen by my sons Stephen and Azariah whom I likewise constitute make and ordain the sole Executors of this my last will and testament. All and singular my lands, mesuages and tenements by them freely to be possessed and enjoyed and I do hereby utterly disallow revoke and disannul all and every other former testaments, wills, legacies, bequests, Executors by me in any ways before named willed and bequeathed, ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and testament.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty third day of August in the year of our lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty eight. William Davis {seal}. Signed, sealed, published, pronounced and declared by the said William Davis as his last will and testament in the presence of us who in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names: James Gunner, Jacob Strawn, Francis Hannahs. Washington County J {seal}
The first day of December one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.
Be it remembered that on the 1st day of December Anno Domini 1789 the last will and testament of William Davis late of Washington County deceased was proved in due form of law and letters testamentory thereon were granted to Stephen Davis and Azariah Davis the Executors therein named they being first sworn well and truely to administer the estate of the said deceased and to exhibit a true and perfect inventory thereof into the Registers Office at Washington and to render a true and just account of their said administration when legally thereunto required.

Registered this 1st day of December Anno Domini 1789     

In this will, William Davis identified his three children - Stephen Davis, Azariah Davis and Tabitha Davis, as well as his brother James Davis. It is curious that he lists William as the second son of Azariah. By my records I show William as the third son, after Azariah Davis Junior (born in 1780), and my fifth great-grandfather Henry Davis (born September 1781). The will describes his property as Davis' Delight (this is the property purchased in the land warrant in 1785). I'll have more on this property in a following post.

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