Friday, February 10, 2012

Slaves Named in 1815 Will of John Turner - A Friend of Friends Friday

This is the part of a series of transcriptions and abstracts of records involving slaves that I copied at the Library of Virginia during the summer of 2011.  Nine slaves are bequeathed by name to the children of John Turner, who died in Fauquier County, VA between the 15th of May and the 26th of June, 1815. 

In the name of God Amen, the 16th day of May 1815. I John Turner of Fauquier County, being in perfect memory, praise be to Almighty God for the same, yet recalling to mind the uncertainty of this life and the certainty of death. I do make and appoint this my last will and testament in form following. I therefore commit my soul to Almighty God, which gave me it, and my body to the earth to be buried after a decent and christian like manner according to the discrition of my executors hereafter named and as touching my worldy estate which it hath pleased Almighty God to bless me with in this life. I give devise and dispose of them in manner and form following, Viz. I therefore order that all my just debts and burial charges be fully paid and Satisfied before any part thereof is taken out of the hands and possessions of my executors hereafter named. First I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Elizabeth Turner all my real and personal Estate (after all) my just debts are paid during her natural life then to be divided in the manner and form following. I also give to my son Daniel Turner one negroe woman named Ruth. I also give to my Daughter Elizabeth Oliver, one negroe man named Jerry during her natural life then to belong to my grandson John Brown. I also give to my son John M. Turner one negroe named Lewis, one feather bed and one cow & Calf I also give to my Daughter Mary H. Turner one negroe woman named Mariah and ___ two children named Richard & Wilson and all the said Mariah's future increase and one feather bed one horse one Cow & Calf. I also give to my Daughter Hannah Smith, one negroe woman named Nancy & one named Susannah and there future increase to her during her natural life then to be equally divided among all her children. I also give to my Daughter Sally Brown one negroe Boy named Tom but to remain with my Daughter Mary H. Freeman until demanded and lastly all the residue of my real and personal Estate to be sold and the money equally divided among all my Children after all of my just debts are paid. I hereby appoint my friends Robert Green, Lewis Suddoth & Joseph Morgan my executors of this my last will and testament hereby revoking all other wills made by me. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year above written in the thirty fifth line the words the residue was interlined before signed.

Signed, sealed, published }
and declared by the above }                 his
named John Turner to be }       John  X  Turner {seal}
his last will and testament }               mark
in the presence of us who have }
hereunto subscribed our names }
As witnesses in the presence of }
the testator.
 Joseph Boteler (sp?)
 John Suddoth
 Cosson B. May (sp?)

     At a Court held for Fauquier County the 26th day of June 1815 This will was proven by the oaths of Joseph Boteler, John Suddoth and Cosson B. Day witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded and on the motion of Robt. Green Lewis Suddoth and Joseph Morgan the Executors therein named who together with John Suddoth, Geo Eastham Jr & Inman Horner their securities who entered into and acknowledged bond in the penalaty of four thousand dollars conditioned as the law directs a certificate is granted them for obtaining a probate thereof in due form.
              Teste Danl Withers CC
Notes: DNA tests suggest this Turner family is not related to the family of Edward Turner (d. 1805, Fauquier County), my 5th great-grandfather. This John Turner was also known as John Meridy Turner. For further information about this family see Gwen Boyer Bjorkman's The Descendants of John Meridy Turner (1747-1815) of Fauquier County, Virginia, (Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, 1995).

Source: Fauquier, Virginia, Will Books, 6: 123-4, John Turner; Library of Virginia, Fauquier Reel 33. 


  1. Glad you are doing this. Depressing as it is to read. Wish the descendents of the owners of my Lowndes County Turners would post something like it.

  2. I agree with Kristin. This is a gutsy post and one I'm grateful for. I'm glad that you included a copy of the original along with the transcription. It makes it so much more real.


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