Will of Jacob Van Metre, Hardin County, KY 1798: Manumitting Danise, Mark, Isaac & Delilah

The Vanmetre family was related to the Williams family of Cumberland County, Virginia by marriage as William Ligon Williams married Catherine Vanmetre, who is likely the daughter of Abraham Vanmetre mentioned in the will, as his second wife.

This will is unusual, as Jacob mentions his four slaves, Danise, Mark, Isaac and Delilah, and grants them freedom when each reaches the age of thirty if Jacob’s wife Letty is still living or before the age of thirty if she has died.

Will of Jacob Vanmetre, 1798, Hardin County, Kentucky, A:80-83
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In the name of God Amen

I Jacob Vanmetre being inferm in health but of sound and perfect mind Calling to mind the mortality of the Body and that it is appointed for all men once to die do make and ordain this my Last will and testament and first of all I give and recommend my soul to the hands of Almighty God that gave it and my Body to be buried in a decent and a Christian like manner at the discretion of my Executor Nothing doubting but the General resurrection I shall receive again by the mighty God that Gave it and do as touching Such worldly affairs where with it pleased God to bless me with I give and dispose of in the following manner. That is to say I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Letty Vanmetre all and singular my Household furniture to enjoye and dispose of at her discretion and at her death if any part there of should be remaining I make no doubt here but as she has decided her affections amongst her Children but she will Equally divide the residue of her Legacy with them as she thinks they severally Stand in need –

I also allow my said wife Letty the following priviledges to be enjoyed by her at her discretion during her natural life time (Viz) the dwelling house and Garden adjoining the (cain?) which I now occupy also one young mare Called poll with her saddle and and bridle for her proper use and behoof together with one half the orchard and medow and Cleared Farming Land of which she is to have the benefit of one half of the production and she is to support and assist in labour and meterials in keeping the said farm in repair and procuring the said production and I do further allow her to have one half of the benefit of the Grist mill dering her life and to be at an Equal Expence together with all buildings and appurtenance belonging to said farm in keeping keeping (sic) the same in repair  also I give and bequeath unto my wife Letty one Equal third part of all the remainder of my personal Estate during her life after all my Just debts are paid and after her death the remaining part of her third to be distributed amongst my Children as She may think most Expedient I also allow my Letty wife the full benefit of all my Negroes during her life (to wit) Danise Mark Isaac and delilah but if Either or any of them before mentioned should arise to the age of thirty years old before the death of my wife Each or Either of them shall be wholy set free from servitude without serving any person whatsoever and if my wife should depart this life before the arise to the age of thirty it is my Will that they then be Set from from servitude.

Also it is my will that the other two thirds of my personal Estate I allow to be Equally divided amongst my Children Such as has not received thier Legacy before my death and if any of my Legatees shall be dead be it understood that their heirs shall receive it.

I also leave to my son Jacob the plantation on which I now live with whatsoever Land I may obtain adjoining the sd. plantation Except that part which I have given to my son John Vanmetre which will appear from agreement line to be bounded as followeth to begin at the Lower end of a (plan fer it?) above the Mill dam and to run across the whole of the three surveys on the same direction of the uper line which is to be for his use and his heirs forever the residue of my Plantation and what ever Lands shall be remaining together with all and singular (xxx) appurtenances together with one half the Grist Mill and after the death of my wife letty the whole of the Mill to be for the use and behoof of my son Jacob and his heirs and his heirs (sic) for eve by his paying unto the other Legatees after the death of my wife one half of the Valuation of the Mill the same to Valued by persons chosen by the Legatees that is to say the Value of building the same —

Also the residue of my land I leave and bequeath unto my sons Isaac and John to be Equalle divided Equally in quantity and quality Except one hundred and fifty acrres unto Samuel Haycraft as a Compensation for a Location of Land of four hundred acres the said 150 acres to be laid off for said Haycraft upon the Lower End of a five hundred acre survey on (Cany?) if the same shall be procured from other Claims if not where the Legatees shall agree also the same number of acres that my son John has surveyed to him off of my Plantation tract as before mentioned to be Laid off for the use of my son Jacob and his heirs for Ever the whole of the residue of my Land that Shall be processed after the foregoing Exceptions to be Equally divided between my sons Isaac & John and their heirs forever. Exceptions what Land is taken and Laid of for my son Jacob on (Cancy?) is to be reducted from the lands to be Divided for my son John before a Dividend takes place between the Legatees also it is my will that my son Abraham’s Heirs do receive three pounds each for their use and behoof to wit Cathrine Sarah Letty & Elizabeth also that my Daughter Peggy Receive five pounds and also twelve poounds exclusive of the Division for a Compensation — I do also appoint my son Jacob Vanmetre and Samuel Haycraft and my son Isaac to be my sold Executors to se to the proper a distribution of this my last will and Testament and I do hereby Revoke all others and Ratify and Confirm this my last will and Testament In witness where of I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my Seal this 11th Day of November 1798.

Jacob Vanmetre (Seal)

Signed in presence of Teste
Robt Mosley
Chrisr Jackson
Moley Ann (her mark) Flood

Hardin County, December 1798 The foregoing will was proved by the oath of Molley Ann Flodd and was ordered to day for further proof
Teste John Paull

Hardin County Sd July Court 1799 The foregoing will will was proved by the oaths of Robert Mosley & Christopher Jackson Jackson subscribing Witnesses there to and was ordered to be Recorded the same being proved by the oath of another witness thereto—

Teste John Paul Clk.

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