The Will of William Love, Hardin County, Kentucky, 1834

William Love left more of a paper trail than many of Dave’s (my husband’s) ancestors, but William was only a piece of the puzzle and isn’t one of Dave’s direct ancestors. However, William has been combined with a William Love who lived in Wythe and Washington Counties, Virginia because this William also lived there at one time.

The Love family was intertwined with the Williams family of Cumberland County, Virginia because William in Washington County, Virginia married Mary Love, daughter of Samuel Williams while this William Love married as his first wife, Elizabeth Gannaway, whose family also intermarried with the Williams clan.

To complicate matters a bit more, Margaret Love who married Samuel Williams, probably in Grayson County, Kentucky about 1820, was likely the daughter of this man, but her husband Samuel was the son of William Ligon Williams and grandson of Samuel Williams of Cumberland County, Virginia. Got that?

Another complication is that the Love and Williams families moved several times after they began their westward trek. Some first settled the Virginia frontier before heading to Kentucky and Illinois. Others migrated to eastern Tennessee.

This William Love owned land in Breckinridge, Grayson and Hardin Counties at the same time. These counties border each other and it is possible that all of his land was actually one piece, but set in three counties.

The last complication is that Grayson County, Kentucky is a burned county and it appears that several marriages took place there.

William Love married (1) Elizabeth Gannaway, 21 August 1795, Wythe County, Virginia and (2) Sally Gassaway, 28 February 1814 in Breckinridge County, Kentucky. Normally, I might think that “Gassaway” was a misreading of “Gannaway,” but it is a real surname and there are other Gassaway families in the area, so I believe Sally’s surname is correct. She survived her husband.

William mentions eldest “sons and daughters” in his will, leading to the assumption that he had a minimum of at least four children – two boys and two girls – born to Elizabeth Gannaway – and likely more.

The 1810 census of Breckinridge County, Kentucky appears to confirm this idea. William Love is enumerated with one male, 26-45, one female over 45, two females 26-45 and then one male 16-26, one male 10-16, three males under ten and four females under 10 in some sort of blended family configuration.

To help untangle some of these family strands, here is the will of William Love, who died probably around May or June of 1835 in Hardin County, Kentucky, given the July 1835 probate date.

Will of William Love, 1834
Hardin County Will Book D:253-259

In the name of God Amen I William Love being at this time of sound mind but weak and feable in body do make this my last will and Testament.

In the first place it is my desire and will that all my Just debts and funeral expenses be paid – and for that purpose I desire that such of my personal property now upon my farm such as Cattle Horses Hays Sheep etc and such Household furniture as may in the discretion of my wife Sally be conveniently spared from the necessities of the be sold.

I further desire and Will that my Executors herein after named have power and authority to sell & convey for the purpose above named my tract of one hundred and twenty five acres of Land lying in this County known ly (locally?) the name of the Smith tract adjoining the land of Philip Love.

I also empower and desire them to sell and convey my interest in a tract of 500 acres of land lying near the Town of Litchfield in Grason (Grayson) County sd tract was conveyed to me by George Scott and I have since sold one undivided moiety of it to Harvey Giles who hold my obligation for a conveyance.

I wish these two tracts of land sold as immediately as possible and the proceeds appropriated to the payment of my debts. It is not my wish to have any of my slaves sold unless its (hall?) appear to my Executors that the property above set apart and the proceeds of the hire of my slaves be not sufficient to pay my debts. I therefore desire that my two slaves Bob and Simon be hired out and the proceeds of their hire approportioned to the payment of my debts in the event that the means above provided shall not prove sufficient for that purpose And if it shall be necessary from the preference of my creditors to dispose of more property than I have named above to meet my debts then I desire that Bob be first sold and if necessary Simon to pay off all claims against me that may be Just.

My debts being all paid I will and devise to my dear wife Sally all the House hold and Kitchen furniture farming utensils and all the Stock of every description upon my farm that shall not have (?) (?) (?) above desired to pay my debts Excepting two colts which I desire the one to my son Monroe and the other to my son William to be slected (sic) by them (the oldest to have the first choice) when the colts shall be three years of age or if they shall not like the present stock they may have a choice out of the next spring Colts. I also will and devise to my Wife Sally my Dwelling house and one hundred and fifty acres of land surrounding the house including the unproved land to be laid off in (?) and proper form for cultivation extending only so far towards the Elm spring as to leave a reasonable distance so that a farm may be laid off including that spring.

Together with a sufficient quantify of rail timber to be taken from the Groves within the survey of 1100 acres which include the 150 = to be enjoyed by her during her natural lifetime – I further devise to my wife Sally my four young slaves to wit Ned, Jess, Harriet and Daphne to be retained and used by her in the following manner to wit:  Harriet and Jess she is to keep during her life time and the other two Ned and Daphne until my dughters (sic) Elizabeth & Martha shall marry – Elizabeth at her marriage is to have Daphne and Martha at her marriage is to have Ned – I also devise to my wife Sally during her lifetime my Negro woman Fan and at her death devise sd. Fan to my daughter Elizabeth and also to Elizabeth at the death of her mother I devise Jess and to Martha I devise Harriet To my Daughter Sally Coke and her three children To wit, Elizabeth Mary Jane and John I devise the following tract of land containing two hundred and sixty four acres being aprt of a tract of 500 acres within Philip Philips survey of 1000 acres and bounded as follows to wit: Beginning at two post oaks & two black oaks running thence N 60 W 320 poles to a stone and hickory thence S 30 W 140 poles to a take and stone thence S 60 E 50 poles to a Black oak and post oak thence S 30 W 16 poles to three small post oaks & Black oak thence S 60 E 72 poles to two black oaks & hickory & thence N 30 E 34 poles to a post oak and three black oaks, thence S 60 E 198 poles to four small black oaks. thence N 30 E 122 poles to the beginning Containing 264 acres = to the use and enjoyment of my sd. Daughter Sally Coke during her natural life time and at her death to descend and be divided between her three children above named in equal parts- their heirs and assigns forever.

To my five sons to wit: Allen, Perry Monroe William and Rowan I give and bequeath the residue of my home tract which was conveyed to me by Benjamin Stith & B R Young by deed of Record in the office of the County Court of this County containing originally 1000 acres that is to say the residue after deducting 92 acres heretofore sold by me and 150 acres hereby divised (sic) to my wife and son Also to the above named five sons I give and devise the residue of the tract of 500 acres in Philip’s claim after taking out the tract of 264 acres hereby devised to my Daughter Sally and children making in the whole hereby devised to my five sons 1094 acres to be divided among them share and share alike and as each one shall become of age or marry his proportion shall be allotted to him by two disinterested persons whom I desire may be appointed by the County Court of this County to divide my Land above described among my five sons – It is further my will and desire that should either one or any of the above named Boys die before he or they become of age or marry without heirs not having previously disposed of his or their share of the land then his or their proportion (?) devised shall be divided among those who shall survive. To them their heirs and assigns forever.

My eldest sons and Daughters not named here being all Married and provided for I have nothing more to give them but a Fathers wishes and a fathers blessing –

To my daughter Elizabeth I give and devise my two young Slaves Jess and Daphne subject to the limited devise made of them as above to my wife to her the said Elizabeth her heirs and assigns forever.

To my daughter Martha I give and devise my two other young slaves to wit Harriet and Ned subject to the limited devise made of them as above to my wife to her the (?) her heirs and assigns forever.

In relation to my two Slaves above named Bob and Simon – should my Executors not find it necessary to sell them for the payment of any debts It is my will and desire after my debts are paid and Estate settled that the two slaves above be continued to be hired out and the proceeds of their hire appropriated under the discretion of my wife to the Education of my little children.

To whom I devise her to act as Guardian and when they shall have provided for their Education then I give Bob as a further devise to my daughter Elizabeth her heirs and assigns forever.

And Simon I give as a further devise to my daughter Martha to her heirs and assigns forever.

My other lands not yet devised to wit. 150 acres in Breckinridge County conveyed to me by Joseph Allen 200 acres in Grayson County to which I hold Thomas Slaughters obligation for a title and 150 acres more which said Slaughter has agreed to convey to me – and another traced supposed to contain 100 acres sold to Charles Langleys sd. Slaughter has also promised to convey to me Also, the residue of 900 acres pattented to Andrew Lewis and by Lewis conveyed to my lying in Grayson County say about 200 acres unsold and clear of interference with Thomas Slaughter.

These lands I devise may be disposed of by my Executors for the payment of my debts should these lands not be sold I devise the whole or so much as shall be left after the payment of my debts to my six son named above to wit, Allen Perry, Monroe, William Rowan and Isaac and my two daughters, Elizabeth & Martha to have and share alike, to them their heirs & assigns forever.

To my daughter Rhoda Horton now residing in Tennessee I give and bequeath one hundred dollars to be paid by my Executors in two years after my demise to herself her heirs and assigns forever.

I hereby appoint my son Philip Love and my freind (sic) Dr. Bryant R. Young to act as my Executors of this my last will and testament giving to them distinct and several powers to sell and convey any part or all of my land hereby devised to be sold for the payment of my debts and individually and severally to make (?) where I have given lands for deeds and to complete my contracts for the sale and conveyance of land And to act in other matters whenever it shall be necessary with full power severally and independantly (sic) of each other but on all occations (sic) when conveniently. I would desire them to assign and consult together an act in concert and relying with confidence in their freindship (sic) and integrity – I hereby desire and will that they qualify as my Executors of this my last will & testament without given security – In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 14 day of Nov. 1834.

William Love (seal)

In presence of
John B. Morgan
Isaac Daugherty

At a Court began & held for the Hardin County Court at the Courthouse in Elizabeth Town on Monday the 20th day of July 1835 the foregoing Instrument of writing purporting to be the last will & testamanet of William Love decd was produced in court & proved by the oaths of John b. Morgan & Isaac Daugherty the two subscribing witnesses thereto as the law requires & thereupon the same was established as the ture last will & testament of said William Love and ordered to be recorded as such.

Whereupon I have truly recorded the same this 29th day of August 1835.
Saml Haycraft Clrk






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