Releasing Slaves of John F. Williams, 1814, Hardin County, KY

While looking for probate records for various branches of my husband’s Williams family in Hardin County, Kentucky, I came across the 1814 will of John F. Williams, unrelated to his clan, as far as I know.

The two page will was ordered to be recorded during the July 1814 court term.

Will of John F. Williams
Source: FamilySearch
Will Records 1810-1816, Volume B:131-132

In the name of God Amen. I John F. Williams
of the County of Harden being Intirely possessed
of my reason do make this my last will and
Testament in manner and form following
It is my will that my beloved wife Nancy
Shall Have the following Negroes (Viz) One negro
woman named Canietta (?)
and her Increase also
One Negro Boy named Isaac also One Negro
Girl named Gilly One Negro Boy named James
so long as She lives or during her widdow hood
Also to my beloved son Charles I Give One Negro
Boy named Spencer
also the tract of Land the
said Son now lives on. Also my son Philip I
Give One Negro Boy named Charles Also the place
where he now lives Also my Daughter Linia(?) to have
hir maintainance (sic) during her life Also my Daughter
Elizabeth I give One Negro Girl named Franny
Also my son John One Negro Boy named Philip
And One Small Colt. Also my son Thomas One Negro
named Milly
Also my Daughter Mary One Negro named
Maria Also my son Elisha One Negro Girl named
Melvina Also I give my Daughter Nancy an Equal
part of her mothers part of said Negroes all said
property to be given to my said Children when they
come to the years of maturity or marry. I likewise
give my plantation and all my stock of Horses
Cattle Hogs and Sheep and plantation untencils (sic)
House hold and kitchen Furniture during her life
time or widdow hood and it is my wish that my
wife shall give all my children a good Horse saddle
and Bridle and a good Feather Bed at the age of
twenty One or marry and after the death of my
said wife Nancy See the said Property and Increase
to be Equally divided Between my said children & Also
Give my little Neffew Jack One Hundred and
Fifty Dollars and a good Horse Saddle and Bridle
at the age of twenty one years. As witness my
Hand and seal this 16th day of March 1814-

In the presents of us             John F. (X) Williams, Seal
John H. Gibbs                             his mark
Hez Stovall
William Scott
Walter Mudd

At a county Court began and Held for Hardin County
at the Court House in Elizabeth Town on Monday the
11th day of July 1814, The within Instrument of
writing purporting to be the last Will and Testament
of John Williams deceased was produced in Court
And proven by the Oaths of John H. Gibbs Walter
Mudd and William Scott and Ordered to record

Atteste Samuel Haycraft Jr. DCHlel (?)


Back Up, Back Up and Back Up!

You never know when it might happen.

Before we left on our recent trip, my computer was beginning to act up. It would freeze for no apparent reason and my screen started to display what used to be called “snow” on old TV screens. By the way, my computer was five years old – certainly not new, but not horribly ancient for a home computer.

When we returned and I got back to my desktop, the freezing and snow issues increased with each day. I’d complain to my husband, who would come check out the problems. His take on the situation was that the hard drive was in the midst of dying!

I was not a happy camper since that meant I was restricted to a laptop or iPad. However, I was NOT worried.

I belong to many online genealogically oriented groups and I am amazed to keep reading messages that begin with “I should have known better. . .” or “My computer crashed. . . how do I. . . . ” or “I’ve heard about backing up my computer, but I never got around to it and now. . .”

Now, here I was, faced with the prospect of a hard drive crash. What did I do? I turned off the computer so that if we needed to access it for whatever reason, there might be a chance that it had a bit of life still left in it. Next, my hubby got busy ordering me a new computer. I was most impressed that it was ordered on a Tuesday, promised to arrive before the next Tuesday and it showed up at our door on Friday.

For the last three days, we turned the old computer back on and worked at transferring all my files and programs to the new one. It involved tracking down key codes and licenses and such, but the process moved along quite smoothly. I am happily working away on my new computer this very minute.

BUT – what if my old computer had actually died and it couldn’t be started up one last time? I believe in backing up – on a flash drive, to Dropbox, to an external hard drive and to both Backblaze and IDrive. Maybe I am a bit paranoid, but better safe than sorry!

Thomas MacEntee has written about the 3-2-1 Back Up Plan:

Have at least 3 different back ups, using at least 2 different media and at least 1 back up off site.

I wasn’t the least bit worried about losing one iota of my work. If just one person reading this post decides that now is the time, not later, to begin backing up his/her work, then I have done my job. Don’t delay!

Back Up, Back Up and Back Up!

David and Ann (Beeson) Lewis, NC and SC

Today’s post about the family and descendants of David Lewis and Ann Beeson of Guilford County, North Carolina and Pendleton District, South Carolina will be a bit like the Sturgell family post I did a couple of months ago as I am hoping some descendant out there finds my blog and can help contribute documentation to cement together these three generations.

My husband’s ancestor Joseph Hendricks married Mary Lewis, probably in Simpson County, Kentucky around 1813. Mary is said to be the daughter of Joab Lewis and Catherine Leonard. Joab was living in Simpson County in 1830 and was aged 60-69 at that time, if his age was recorded accurately. I’ve seen numerous places that give his date of birth as 23 December 1773, but have seen no source for that date. If the census if correct, then Joab was born no later than 1770.

Notice that a much younger man named James Hendricks is living next door to Joab in 1830. It is very possible that this James Hendricks is a brother or cousin of Joseph Hendricks, who married Joab’s daughter.

His reputed daughter Mary Hendricks died after the 1880 census, probably in McLean County, Kentucky, where she was living with her daughter’s family. The birthplace of her parents is given as South Carolina on that census.

There are few early records for Simpson County and no proof of the death date of Joab Lewis, except for the census indicating he was living at the time of the 1830 census.

I am assuming for the moment that Mary is the daughter of Joab and his (unproven) wife, Catherine Leonard, who, according to that same 1830 census, was born 1780-1789.

With that assumption, I have researched the family of David and Ann (Beeson) Lewis, at least as best I can from home. Yesterday, I shared the discrepancy between the abstract and the original of David Lewis’s will, which named twelve of his children. If he had others, as some state, then they died young without issue.

David Lewis married Ann Beeson, who came from a staunch Quaker family. Her parents were Benjamin Beeson and Elizabeth (reputed to be Hunter), who married on 14 June 1738 at the Hopewell Monthly Meeting in Frederick County, Virginia. Ann was likely born in Frederick County.

Her parents were likely not happy that she married out of the Friends community and a formal note of the marriage was made on 30 January 1768 in Quaker New River Meeting minutes and she was excluded from the group. David and Ann Lewis likely married either very late in 1767 or in January 1768.

I have seen exact dates of birth for all of the Lewis children, but have had no luck in determining from where those dates came. I do see a listing for Bible records for David and Ann Beeson in the DAR Library online index, but they aren’t digitally available online. This Bible record is likely the origin of all the birth dates.

I also have no marriage records for any of these children, although spouses are known for most. Many ladies have joined DAR under David Lewis, a soldier of the American Revolution, serving from Guilford County, North Carolina, and descendants of six of the Lewis children are or have been DAR members. For the moment, I will assume that the birth dates and spouses are correct.

His children, with first wife Ann Beeson, are:

NOTE: Isaiah and Priscilla were likely born in Rowan County, North Carolina and the other children in Guilford County, which was formed from Rowan in 1771.

The Lewis family was enumerated in Randolph County, North Carolina (formed in 1779 from parts of Rowan and Guilford Counties) in 1790 so their mass migration happened between 1790 and 1800, when they were enumerated in Pendleton District, South Carolina.

Isaiah, born 3 September 1769; died before 25 January 1837, Vigo County, IN; married Nancy Julian
Priscilla, born 4 September 1770; died after her father’s will was written; married Thomas Field
Jacob, born 14 March 1772; died between the 1830 and 1840 censuses, as “Alcy” is head of household in 1840 and a widow in 1850; married Ailsie Leonard
Joab, born 23 December 1773; died between the 1830 and 1840 censuses, probably in Simpson County, KY (a burned county); married Catherine Leonard
Neriah, born 25 June 1778; died 1843, Macoupin County, Illinois; married Mary Moss, daughter of Samuel Moss and Rachel Julian
Benjamin, born 26 May 1781; died after his father’s will was written; wife unknown
Elizabeth, born 21 September 1783; died after her father’s will was written;  married Micajah Alexander
Cozby, born 13 July 1785; died after her father’s will was written; married John Woodall
Tarleton, born 11 August 1787; died after his father’s will was written; no further information
Hannah, born 2 October 1789; died 22 July 1869, Johnson County, Missouri; married (1) Ezekial Harlan (2) Silas Perry. Silas died in 1844 and is buried in Madisonville, Monroe County, Tennessee.

David’s likely children with Penelope, who he may have married c1813:

David, born c1814, Anderson County, South Carolina; died after his father wrote his will in 1822
Rosannah, born c1816, Anderson County, South Carolina; died after her father wrote his will in 1822

No further information has been found about Penelope and no documents give any clue about her maiden name. A quick search of the 1850 census shows a Penelope, wife of Bennett Hyde, born about 1790, who is living in Pickens County, South Carolina. Some of David’s family lived in the same county. Perhaps this Penelope is David Lewis’s widow.

If anyone can share any more documentation on this family, I would love to hear from you. Because of the loss of records in Simpson County, Kentucky, I may never have more than preponderance of evidence that Mary Lewis who married Joseph Hendricks was the daughter of Joab and Catherine (Leonard) Lewis.