In the name of God Amen
December the twenty Eighth one Thousand Eight hundred and twelve. —
I James Graham of Monroe County and State of Virginia being far advanced in years and the decays of nature fast approaching but of a Sound and disposing memory do consider it my duty to regulate my worldly affairs with my Family which is in manner following, that is to say, I recommend and give my Soul to Almighty God from whom I received it, and my body to the Earth from which it was taken nothing doubting but that I shall receive them again at the general Resurrection of the Dead. —
First it is my desire that all my debts be first paid out of my Estate.
I give and Bequeath to my beloved wife Florence Graham her living on the land on which I now live during her natural life, with as much of Cattle as she shall think proper to keep, her choice of the horses for her use, and to work the land, with the mantion [sic] house and all others within the heritage thereof not to be interrupted by any person. Also my Negroe wench named Rose forever, with any of the other Negroes that she may want in time of need, while in the hands of her Children, also one half of my barn with all the household furniture to be at her disposal at her death with fifty pounds in cash.
I also give unto her my Negro Girl named cleary jr. during her natural life and then to be sold and the price divided equally among all my Children
I give unto my son William Graham one half of my black smith tools, all my wearing apparel and my doclan [?] Book having made provision for him before he is the less noticed here.
I give unto my Son David Graham my Geography and thirty pounds in cash, his plantation not being equal to those of his Brothers.
I give unto my Son James Graham one half of my Black smith tools with the History of the United States having provided for him heretofore there is no farther notice taken of him here.
I give unto my Son Samuel Graham and his Children my Negro boy Ceasor so that he is never to be sold nor ever taken from his family during his life. —
I give unto my son Lanty Graham the plantation on which I now live to him and to his heirs forever, but if he should not have legal heirs of his own body, the said land to go to his Brother James provided James Shall give up the plantation on which he now lives to be sold, and the price in such case is to be equally divided among him and his Brothers or their heirs. I give unto him also my Negro man Benjamin to be in common between him and his mother at her disposal she using a proper discretion to do equal justice between them, and after the death of his mother the Said Negro to be Lanties and his heirs for ever and not to be disposed of —
I give unto my Daughter Elizabeth Stodghill my Negro woman named Cleary Senr. with the Book Willison on the Sacrament. —
I give unto my Daughter Jane Garrad a suit of clothes from head to foot, of her own choice, to be paid out of the remainder of my Estate after the legatees are settled and my Book the power of Religion. —
I give unto my Daughter Rebeckah Graham and her children, that plantation where she now lives known by the name of Stephensons Cabbin [?] also I give unto her and her children my Negro girl named Dinah, the Land and Negro never to be disposed of out of the Family nor the increase of the Negro if any she has.
I give unto my Daughter Florence Taylor and her children, that tract of Land whereon she now lives, joining William Wood on Hungets creek to her and her Children for ever. Also I give unto her and her Children my Negro girl named Hannah which [Negro is never to be disposed of] nor her increase (if any) out of the Family.
All the before mentioned legasies [sic] thus Bequeathed to my Children I give unto them and their heirs for ever according to the way they are stated.
It is my Will and desire that my land in Kentucky in the name of my Son David and my two Lotts [sic] in point Pleasant with that survey at the mouth of the three Mile Creek on [?] be sold by my Executors in the most advantageous way that they may think proper and the money arising from the same to be equally divided among my Children or their heirs (as the case may be) but that moiety which would fall to my Daughter Jane Garred out of the above lands is to go to her the said Jane and her Children equally, her son James excepted.
Also it is my Will that my part of the Lotts and land or money now in the hands of Charles Friend be divided in the following manner to Wit.
Five pounds to William Grahams Son James & Five pounds to Davids Son James, five pounds to James’s son James, Fife [sic] pounds to Samuel’s son James five pounds to Elisabeth Stodghills Son James five pounds to Jane Garrad daughter Florence + five pounds to Rebeckah’s Daughter Florence, the remainder to be equally divided among my Children or their heirs (as the case may be) with this exception that the moiety falling to Jane Garred to be divided between herself and her children, James Excepted.
My farming tools to remain on the plantation all that arre needfull for working the farm, my cross cut and whipsaws to be kept for the use of the family in general. Whatever stock my beloved wife thinks ought to be sold is to be divided Equally as above with the same Exceptions.
Provided Lanty should die without lawfull Issue and James should not make choice of the place keft to Lanty it is then to be sold and the proceed divided in the same way as his would have been provided he had made chioce of it. —
It is my will and desire that this my will be so understood according to the plain letteral meaning thereof without straining of any part if any [?] has taken place therein my custom to the contrary notwithstanding.
I Give unto my Sons James & Samuel that tract of Land which Joins Samls lands he got of Tritt [?] with the Exception that the Sugar Camp under Samuel Geins Mountain is to go to Lanty or whoever gets the homeplace. —
I Give unto Williams Son James and Davids Son James that tract of Land known by the name of Gromes [?] place to be equally divided between them either in Money or in Land. —
If the Siers place is recovered there is forty pounds to be paid to Caperton and whatever is right to be paid to Sawyers for his part, but if my Son David thinks proper to pay Caperton his money and Lawyers [Sawyers?] his fee the balance after the determination of the said he is to have it.
It is my will that my Executors pay unto Henry Windlesleaugh five pounds out of my Estate after the Legatees are paid.
If any dispute Should arise between any of my children concerning this my Estate, it is my will and desire that each of them choose one man and if they can’t determine it let them choose another and their Judgment shall be final. And if any should arise between them and their Mother it is to be determined in the same way, and the party that refuses to stand to the award shall be cut out of their part of the thing contended for; and if the contention Should be about their whole part they are to loose their whole part, which shall be equally divided among all my children with the former Exception. —
I do appoint my beloved wife Florence Graham David Graham & James Graham Executors of this my last will and Testament revoking all other wills by me made heretofore. In testimony whereof I have hereunto Set my hand and Seal this day & year first written
Signed sealed & delivered
James Graham, Seal
In presence of
William Hinchman, Junr.
At Monroe February Court 1813
This last will and Testament of James Graham Senr. decd. was presented in Court and proven by the oaths of Jonathan Roach, William Hinchman, Jr and John Perry Junr. subscribing witnesses thereto and is ordered to be Recorded. And on the motion of James Graham Junr. and David Graham Executors named in the said who made oath and entered into Bond with Security in the penalty of Ten thousand Dollars conditioned as the Law directs, certificate is granted them for obtaining probat thereof in due form (it appearing to the Satisfaction of the Court that Florence Graham Executrix named in the will aforesaid refuses to take upon herself the Execution thereof).
Isaac Hutchison, Clerk
February 10th 1813
This day we Robert Given, Jonathan Roach and John Hinchman appointed by the worshipfull court of Monroe to appraise the person Estate of James Graham Decd have met at the Late dwelling house of the said Graham, and being first sworn have proceeded to value the following property to us shown by David Graham and James Graham Jr the two acting Executors to said Estate, to wit,
One Cart and bulching [?] 16
One Wolf trap 3
Monroe County Will Book1 , pp. 223-229, Monroe County Courthouse, Union, WV.