The best part about yesterday’s lawsuit details was naming Benjamin, Robert, William and Charles W. Williams as brothers and sons of William Williams Sr., who died in Marshall County, Tennessee in 1840, smack in the middle of the time frame of the business deal leading to the lawsuit and the 1844 case before the Tennessee Supreme Court.
William Williams’s 1840 will was easily found in the Marshall County, Tennessee probate records:
Marshall County, Tennessee, Will Book A: 90-92
The following is the last will and Testament of William Williams Sr.
State of Tennessee Marshall County
In the name of God amen, being in my wright mind I make this my Last will and testament. 1st that is to Say I give my beloved wife Elizabeth Williams the plantation whereon I now live containing one hundred and seventy acres also three negroes namely Amos Winny & Lucy their youngest daughter also one good farm horse three cows and calves and hogs enough for her use for one year and the household and kitchen furniture or so much of it as she wants also five hundred dollars in money out of the money arising from my estate also one years provision of the crops on hand also she is to have the benefit of half the (ceder?) land that remains of the Kirkman place say the south half for timber
2nd I give to my daughter Nancy McRory $600 or six hundred dollars and two negroes namely Amy and her son Henderson thirteen is worth $600 or six hundred dollars also one tract of land whereon she now lives which land is worth $2400.00 or two thousand four hundred dollars the whole making $3600.00 all of which She has had I also give her one negro gal named Anney worth six hundred dollars $600.00
3rd I give to my son Benjamin Williams $1000.00 one thousand dollars in money and one tract of land whereon he now lives worth $2350.00 two thousands three hundred and fifty dollars all of which he has had I also give him one negro boy named Robert worth $600.00 six hundred dollars
4th I give my son Robert Williams $100.00 (sic) one thousand dollars in money which he has had and the tract of land that I bout of Robert Adams Esqr containing one hundred and fifteen acres also the tract of land that I Bought of John Carpenter containing one hundred acres also twentyseven acres that I got of Alexander Adams
which deed was made to Robert from Adams also a small lot of land to be taken off that whereon I now live that is today beginning on a white oak now James Adams Esqr South west corner of a tract of land that he bought of Robert A. Patterson running thence south so as to strike D & J Ramseys north boundary line about where the south west corner of Carpenters tract stood so as to make the carpenter tract up to one hundred acres the Hole of the land to be worth $2500.00 two thousand five hundred dollars I also give him one negro boy named Jack worth $350.00 three hundred and fifty also the north half of the cedar land belong to me on the Kirkman place worth $100.00
5th I give my son William Williams three thousand dollars in money $3000.00 also one hundred acres of land worth $700.00 seven hundred dollars all of whic. he has had I also give him one negro man named Peter worth $400.00 Four hundred dollars
6th I give to my son C. W. Williams $3000.00 Three thousand dollars in money also $700.00 seven hundred dollars in money all of which he has had I also give him one negro boy named Elijah worth $450 four hundred and fifty dollars
7th I give to my daughter Sarah Nowlin one negro gall named mary worth $600.00 Six hundred dollars also $1400.00 one thousand four hundred dollars in cash also two hundred acres of land worth $1000.00 one thousand dollars all of which she has had also I give her one negro gall named Harriett worth three hundred dollars
8th I give to my son John Williams 640 acres of land lying Tishomingo County mississippi being section No. 2 in township No. 4 four in range NO. 7 seven East of the (Biser Meandering?) of the (? ?) worth $3500.00 three thousand five hundred dollars I also give him one negro boy named Sam worth two hundred dollars $200.00 Also one horse least worth one hundred dollars
9th I give to my son Alfred Williams 320 acres of land it being half of setsion 14 fourteen in Township 9 R 1 east it the west half of said section also 160 acres it being the N.E. quarter of section 15 fifteen T 9 nine R 1 one also 160 one hundred
One hundred and sixty acres it being S.E. section 11 eleven 9 R 1 all ajoining together which make 640 acres worth $3000.00 three thousand dollars I also give him one negro boy named George worth $150 (sic) one hundred dollars and one horse best and saddle worth $125.00 one hundred twenty five dollars when he is twentyone years of age after all I have said is complyed with I want all my children to be made up Eaven with the highest ones out of the money that may arise from my estate not named in this will as half the store of R and W Williams is mine and one half section of land also also three quarter section in Mississippi and same in this county not willed all to be sold and Equeal Division made with all the heirs this is my will & wish and when this is done it will all be wright I leave my two oldest sons Benjamin & Robert to act as Administrators and Executors to this my last will and testament written with my own hand and sealed with my own pen this 3rd day of may 1840
Wm Williams (seal)
P B I want Peter about to as many of the tools out of the shop as he fetched hire through (????) but mine would have been Bust had not been there. (This doesn’t make a lot of sense.)
State of Tennessee Marshall County
County Court October term 1840
Personally appeared in open court James Adams (Towell yowell?) Shadrach Musteen and John Miller who being first sworn here i open court say that they are acquainted with the hand wrighting of the testator and said that they believe he wrought every part of said will with his own proper hand It is therefore ordered by the court that said will be entered of Record.
Witness my hand to (?) this 5th day of october 1840
MW Oakley clk
Next, I will piece together this family and try to determine where they lived before settling in Tennessee.