Friday, January 20, 2012

Will of Nicholas Currell (1801 Virginia) - A Friend of Friends Friday

My husband's 5th great-grandfather Nicholas Currell of Lancaster County, Virginia died in the spring of 1801 leaving a large estate. His will named most of the slaves he bequeathed to his children and grandchildren. Those men and women who already working at his son-in-law Thomas Lee's plantation were not named.


In the name of God amen. I Nicholas Currell of Lancaster county being sick and weak of body, but praise god of sound sense and memory and knowing the uncertainty of this life, and divine appointment for us mortals to die, do constitute and ordain this my last will and testament: first I give my soul to almighty god who gave it me, hoping through the merits of christ our saviour to find eternal rest with god, my body to the earth to be buried at the discretion of my executors hereafter named, and as for what wordly goods it hath pleased God to bless me with I give and advise as follows viz:


I give and devise to my son James Currell my Kentuckey land to him and heirs forever also the following negroes, Patty and all her children, Kendall, Spencer Hanna, Rachael, Richard and Lettice and their increase forever.


I give and bequeath to my son in law Thomas Lee all the negroes that he has in his possession that formerly belonged to me, forever


I give and bequeath to my daughter Ann Ball the following negroes viz Oliver, Sarah Lavinia, Susanna, Eliza, Patty, Hiram, Ailce, Henry, Mariner, Spencer and Samuel, Henry, Daniel, Fielding, David and Agatha and their increase forever
also 1 of the best feather bed, and furniture 1 pied cow and calf 1 yoke of steers my gray horse, five silver table spoons & 1 case with bottles and 1 silver headed cane, forever,


I give and bequeath to my grand daughter Margaret Steptoe Lawson the following negroes viz: Robin Solomon and Sarah, 1 of the best beds and furniture 1 mare the second choice of a yoke of steers forever


I give and bequeath to my grand daughter Ann Currell Lee, the following negroes viz. William, Thomas and Henry, and 1 horse colt to her heirs forever


I give and bequeath to my grand daughter Margaret Steptoe Ball one negroe girl named Mary and her increase forever


It is my desire that my three old negroes named Hannar, James and Esther be free, and in case they should not be able to maintain themselves they shall be maintained out of my estate


I give and bequeath to Jane White Ford 1 heifer


All the rest of my estate not before given in three parts, one to my son one to my daughter and the other to my two grand daughters, Margaret Steptoe Lawson, and Ann Currell Lee after my Just debts are paid


And I do hereby nominate constitute and appoint my two sons in law Joseph Ball and Thomas Lee and Capt. Henry C. Lawson my executors of this my last will and testament. I hereby revoke all my former wills.


In witness whereof I have set my hand and seal this sixth day of May and of our lord one thousand eight hundred and one
Signed sealed and acknowledged                  his
in presence of Geo. Ford        Nicholas {X} Currell [seal]
                         Henry Lawson                       mark
                         Lawson Hathaway


At a court held for the county of Lancaster on the 15th day of June 1801, This last will and testament of Nicholas Currell deceased was proved by the oath of George Ford, Henry Lawson and Lawson Hathaway the witnessses thereto and ordered to be recorded --


                                                            Teste
                                                                       James Towles cler


Notes: Currell's will has been abstracted and those abstracts appear in on-line family trees and message boards. The abstracts suggest that Jane White Ford was a granddaughter and that Henry Lawson was a son-in-law. Henry Lawson was, in fact, married to Currell's granddaughter Margaret Steptoe (Lee) Lawson. I am unsure who Jane White Ford was (I suspect a goddaughter), but since the other granddaughters were clearly indicated, and her inheritance was so much smaller than the others, I believe she was not Currell's granddaughter. 


The will makes clear that Currell's wife, Margaret Steptoe Lawson Currell and daughter, Elizabeth Currell Lee had already died. 


Source: Lancaster, Virginia, Will Books, 28: 49-50, Nicholas Currell; Library of Virginia, Lancaster Reel 21. 



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