Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Will of John Booher

In looking at the Sullivan County, Tennessee land records (see yesterday's post), the deeds show my 7th-great-grandfather John Booher was a large land owner on Sinking Creek. John's will, written 26 November 1820 and proven on 10 December 1820 in neighboring Washington County, Virginia, describes his land in Tennessee. The will also includes two other familiar names as witnesses - George Burkhart and Wallace Willoughby. Both men were regularly involved in land transactions with John's son Jacob Booher.

This is a transcription from the will:

In the name of God Amen, I John Booher of Washington County, State of Virginia, being weak and sick in body, but of sound and disposing mind, memory and understanding, considering the certainty of death, and the uncertainty of the time thereof, and being desirous to settle my worldly affairs, do therefore make and publish this my last will and testament and form following that is to say:

First and principally, I commit my spirit unto the hands of the Almighty God, and my body to the earth. After my just debts and funeral charges are paid, I devise and bequeath the following:

Item First: I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Barbara Booher during her natural life the tract of land whereon I now live with the appurtenances thereunto belonging, and at my wife's decease it is my desire that my son Isaac Booher shall have the above tract of land with all appurtenances thereunto belonging to him or his heirs, it is my further desire that my son Isaac Booher shall maintain my son Henry Booher during his natural life, and further desire that said tract of land shall not be sold during my son Henry's life.

Item: I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife, Barbara Booher, my negro woman Polly, also her child Celia and her infant child during her natural life. It is also my desire that my wife shall have choice of two horses also two cows and one heifer also choice of four sheep and one breeding sow - it is further my desire for my wife to keep all my household and kitchen furniture.

It is my further desire for my wife to keep all my grain now on hand either growing or gathered, and at her decease, it is my desire that all the moveable property and also the three aforesaid negroes with their increase shall be sold at public sale on a credit of twelve months and the profits arising from said sale to be equally divided amongst all my children.

Item: I give and bequeath unto my son Henry Booher my negro boy Jefferson, and it is my desire that my son Isaac shall act as guardian for my son Henry and apply the proceeds of said negro boy for the benefit of my son Henry.

Item: I give and bequeath unto my son Isaac Booher him and his heirs the aforesaid tract of land at my wife's decease with the appurtenances thereunto belonging.

Item: I give and bequeath unto my daughter Elizabeth Booher, my negro girl Teressa. Also my bay mare called Phillis provided she marries consentably to her mother.

Item: It is further my desire that all lands in Sullivan County, State of Tennessee, shall be sold twelve months after my decease, to the best advantage by my Executors hereafter mentioned and the money arising therefrom to be equally divided between Jacob Booher, Polly Booher, wife of John Booher, William Booher, Benjamin Booher, John Booher and Frederick Booher, them and their heirs.

And lastly I do hereby constitute and appoint my son Jacob Booher and my son Benjamin Booher to be the sole Executors of this my last will and testament. In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affix my seal this 26th day of November 1820. John Booher {seal}

Signed, sealed, published and declared by John Booher Sr. the above named testator as and for his last will and testament in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses thereunto. Joseph Gray, Henry Mumpower (X his mark), George Burkhart, Wallace Willoughby

The last will and testament of John Booher, deceased was exhibited in Court and proved by the oath of Joseph Gray and Henry Mumpower two of the witnesses thereto and ordered be recorded. And on the motion of Jacob Booher and Benjamin Booher the executors therein named who took the oath of an executor prescribed by law, and entered into and acknowledged their bond in the sum of five thousand dollars with Joseph Gray, Jacob Zimmerlie and Henry Mumpower their securities conditioned as the law directs a certificate is therefore granted them for the probate of the said will in due form.
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According to the Grantor-Grantee Index for Sullivan County, the Executors of John Booher sold 10 acres on Sinking Creek to Jacob Miller on 2 April 1824. Wallace Willoughby transferred a tract on Sinking Creek to the estate of John Booher on 22 February 1825. Much of the estate was transferred to the other Booher heirs in 1825. John Booher Jr acquired 425 acres on Sinking Creek. In 1827 John Thomas acquired 80 acres on Sinking Creek from the estate.

While I look into land and probate records for Washington County, Virginia, there is a bit more in the story for John Booher's children. I will pick this up next before we turn to the Hampton family in Sullivan County, Tennessee.

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