John Desha Will written 8 August 1831 proven 3 October 1831 Will Book J, page 6
In the name of God Amen. I John Desha of Bourbon County and State of Kentucky do make ordain and declare this instrument to be my last will and testament revoking all others heretofore made. Done this eights day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundren and thirty one.
First to my dearly beloved wife Rebecca Desha at my death I give and bequeath so much of my land whereon I now live as will amount to her dower guantity. So to be laid off as to include the houses and orchard also the following named negro Slaves (viz) Tom and his wife Nimba, Billy, Little Tom (a called) Samuel and old Violet likewise the following horses (viz) Draggon, Blaze, Dave. I will Susan a roan mare and her calf and a young mare called Eliza. Also her choice of Seven milch cows and calves and two steers or dry cows for beef. Also the one half of all the farming utensils and all the household and kitchen furniture which is not otherwise disposed of by this my will. To have and to hold all the foregoing land and property during her natural life at which time it is to be disposed of as herein after directed and specified.
To my daughter Elizabeth Graves I give and bequeath a negro woman Dinah with her two youngest children (viz) Sarah and Warren also Sophia and her chilld during her natural life and at the death of my daughter Elizabeth Graves they are to descend to the heirs of her body to my grandson Desha Graves I give and bequeath a negro boy Basil about fourteen years of age to my grandson David Graves. I give and bequeath a negro boy Jesse about twelve years of age to my grandson Thomas Graves. I give and bequeath a negro boy named Hiram about eight or nine years of age and to my granddaughter Polly Graves I give and bequeath a female child named Mary. Basil, Jesse, Hiram and Mary are all children of Dinahs and Desha Graves. David Graves, Thomas Graves and Polly Graves to whom they are left are all children of my daughter Elizabeth Graves and the above named legacies to those four children are to remain in the possession of my daughter Elizabeth until
the legatees, her children may either marry or become of age at which time they are to be put in possession of said legacies. I also give and bequeath to each of my grand children as named above one hundred and fifty dollars to be paid to them whenever they marry or become of age by either my wife or my son John out of any money or property which may be on hand or undivided at that time. To my daughter Rebecca at my death I give and bequeath the one half of all my land which lies on the south side of the Ironworks road which will be to her about seventy five acres. I also give unto her a negro man named Abram a girl named Charlotte and a girl three years old by the name of Polly also a mare called Phill and her yearling colt, one bedstead, bed and furniture. To have and to hold the same during her natural life and should she died without children the land is to descend to my daughter Phoebe Mariah and the other property in like manner to my son John. To my daughter Phoebe Mariah I give and bequeath the one half of my land which lies on the south side of the Ironworks and which will be to her about seventy five acres that and including the Smith house. I also give unto her the following negro slaves (viz) Samuel a man, Jacob a boy, Cynthia a girl, Leonard a small boy and a small girl Betsey a child of Nimbas also a mare called Darky and her colt also two bedsteads beds and furniture and I also bequeath unto her seventy five dollars in money to be paid to her when she requires it to purchase articles of household furniture by either my wife or son John and should my daughter Rebecca die without children then I give to Phoebe Mariah that part of my land which I have herein bequeathed to my said daughter Rebecca and should my daughter Phoebe Mariah die without children then the property herein bequeathed to her and that which may descend to her by virtue of this will all to descend in that went to my son John. To my son John Desha I give and bequeath all my land lying on the north side of the Ironworks road not included in the bequest to my wife which will be to John about eighty four acres and at the death of my wife I give and bequeath to my son John all that part of my land herein bequeathed to my wife during her natural life which will then be to John about two hundred acres including all the land I now own on the north side of the Ironworks road. I also give and bequeath to my said son John the following negro slaves (Viz) Charles a Man, Notley a boy, Perry a boy, Layfayette a boy, Winny a woman with her child or children also the following horses to wit old ball and her three colts also the one half of all the farming utensils it is however expressly understood that John is not to be put in possession of any of the foregoing property until he arrives to the age of twenty one except the horses or until his mothers death and it is my wish that he should live on the farm with his mother and manage and attend to it for her and the benefit of her and those of my children who may continue to live on the farm with her and should my son John die without children then the
property which I have herein bequeathed to him to go to my daughter Phoebe Mariah and to the heirs of her body. It is to be expressly understood that my daughter Phoebe Mariah is not to be put in possession of any of the property herein bequeathed to her until she marries or arrives to the age of twenty one years. It is my wish and will that should my daughter Elizabeth Graves out live her husband John Graves or in any wise become entirely separated from him then in either of those events happening I leave in my wifes hands four hundred dollars to be paid to her to be appropriated to her own use and that of the heirs of her body but should she continue as she now is with her husband John Graves until her death then the four hundred dollars is to be paid to the living heirs of my daughter Elizabeths body. I further give and bequeath unto my son John a negro man Samuel at the death of my wife and the balance of my property which is not herein bequeathed. I leave in my wifes possession out of which I request and direct the foregoing cash legacies to be paid as heretofore directed (viz) one thousand dollars to my daughter Elizabeth and the heirs of her body and seventy five dollars to Phoebe Mariah to be more special. I would again recapitulate that out of the property and valuables of which I may are possessed and which is not otherwise and particularly disposed of by this my last will and to which I have left in the possession of my wife I wish and direct the sum of six hundred dollars To be raised to be paid as herein before specified to the four children of my daughter Elizabeth Graves also the four hundred dollars which I have bequeathed to my daughter Elizabeth Graves under certain circumstances which has already been detailed as to the living heirs of her body at her death and the cash legacy of seventy five dollars to my daughter Phoebe Mariah. It is my wish that my wife should pay all my debts collect all that may be due me and to settle all my business of whatever nature it may be which I may leave unsettled and to take into her possession management and control all my property & of which I may die possessed and which is not disposed of particularly by this my last will and use the same as her judgment may direct to enable her to comply with this my last will and for her own benefit and that of the children who may continue to live with her and at her death all the property which may be on hand after complying with the bequests and paying or reserving sufficient to pay the cash legacies herein before directed as to be divided between my son John, Phoebe Mariah and Rebecca or such of them as may be living at the time or their descendants. It is my wish not to have any administrator or executor that my wife share in no wise be required to give security
all I request of the court is to have this my last will recorded and at the death of my wife my son John is requested and directed to have the provisions of this my last will carried into full effect. Signed, Sealed and acknowledged this day and year first above written. The words "To be paid as heretofore directed" interline before. Signed
Witnesses Jno Desha (Seal)
Wm P Payne
John C Wilson
Jackey S Hitt
Commonwealth of Kentucky Bourbon County to wit:
I Thomas P Smith clerk of the County court for the County aforesaid
Do certify that his last will and testament of John Desha deceased was proved in open Court by the oath of William P Payne, Joseph Wilson and John C. Wilson Subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded. Whereupon the same hath been duly admitted to record in my office. Given under my hand this third day of October 1831.
Tho: P. Smith
By Robt E. Rankin DC
Transcribed by Sharon Goetz, Monkton, Maryland
John Desha married Rebecca Overfield on 1 July 1790 in Mason County, KY.
Elizabeth Desha d/o John & Rebecca Desha married John Graves 03 May 1819 in Bourbon County, KY. Both John & Elizabeth Graves died in Lafayette Co., MO.
John Desha was the son of Robert Desha who died leaving a will in Sumner County, TN in 1816 and his wife, Eleanor Wheeler.