The Last Will & Testament of James Sowers
See James' family record.
In the name of God Amen. I James Sowers of the County of Clarke in the State of Virginia: Calling to mind the uncertainty and mortality of the mortal life: and the certainty of Death: And being now of sound mind and disposing memory do make this to be my Last Will and Testament: hereby revoking and annulling all former Wills by me at any time heretofore made.
First and Principally. I recommend my soul to God and my body to the Earth, to be buried in a Christian like manner at the discretion of my Executor herein named and appointed.
Second. I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Elizabeth Sowers for and during the time of her natural life, this farm on which I now reside called Greenway, for the use and benefit of herself and my daughter Matilda Sowers who it is my wish and desire is to live with her mother as long as her mother shall live. I also give and bequeath to my beloved wife To Have And To Hold the same during her natural life the following slaves by name Lucy, Harriet and George and my riding carriage, the goods here with all the house hold and kitchen furniture that may be in the house at the time of my Death.
Third. I give and bequeath to my daughter Matilda Sowers, for her own absolute use, One clear annual sum of One Hundred and fifty Dollars, to be paid to her by half yearly payments, during any year of her natural life the first payment thereof to be give six months after my decease. I also give and bequeath to my said daughter the choice of a horse-saddle and bridle and such of the house hold furniture as claims as her own.
It is further my will and desire that after the death of my dear wife, my daughter Matilda shall live and reside with my son John W. Sowers, and that he will extend to his sister a guardian care and protection during her life.
Fourth. I direct that as soon as is convenience after my Death my Executor shall sell at public auction all the rest and residue of my personal property, Except my slaves who I direct my Executors to hire out annually to the highest bidder: but of my Executors shall desire it most expedience and of most advantage to my Estate, I give him the priviledge to sell apart of the said Slaves for the payment of my debts.
Fifth. I direct that all of my land Lying on the road leading to the White Post and adjoining the lands of George Kerfoot and Fielding L. Sowers, containing about two hundred acres: shall be sold by my Executor at public auction to the highest bidder, so soon after my death as my Executors shall them ........upon the following terms. Namely, One forth part of the purchase money to be paid in cash, and the balance in three equal annual statement with interest to thereon from the date of the sale. I also direct that my Executor shall sell upon the same terms the black-smith Lot near Bethel Meeting House, containing about Eight acres. I authorize my Executor to sell the above Lands either together or separately as shall be of most advantage to my Estate. And I appropriate the proceeds of such sale to the payment of my debts and after they shall be satisfied and discharged to be distributed as I shall hereinafter direct.
Sixth--I direct that my farm called Rosemount, containing about two hundred and sixteen acres, which is now under a lean for the term of four years, beginning in the autumn of 1847 shall remain unsold until the expiration of the said Lean, and that the rents shall be collect by my Executor and applied to the payment of the debt due for the purchased of said farm, so far as the said rent shall pay the same. And after the expiration of said Lease, I direct that the said farm shall be sold by my Executor and the proceeds of sale applied first to the payment of my debts and afterwards to be distributed as shall hereinafter be prescribed.
Seventh--I direct that the Land Lying in the Blue-ridge mountain on the East Side of the Shenandoah river, shall be sold by my Executor Either at private sale or public Auction as shall be assume most advisable by him, and I direct that the proceeds of sale of said Land may be appropriated in the said manner as is provided for in the sale of the other land.
Eighth--In regard to the sale of all as any of the above Lands I invest my Executor with full and complete authority either to dispose of them or not in the way or manner as herein before designed, if in his opinion there would or might be an unnecessary sacrifice in so doing.
Ninth--It is my will and desire that after the death of my beloved wife My Greenway farm shall be sold, by my Executor upon such terms as he shall think will best promote the interest of my Estate, and the proceeds of such sale shall be appropriated in the manner which I shall hereinafter direct.
Tenth--I charge my sons with advancements I have made to them the amounts of which to each one of them, may be as contained by reference to my Little Square book, labeled on back: Book of accounts with all my children and direct that such amounts with which they are charged, shall be deducted from such share or part of my estate as I shall hereinafter give to them and each of them.
Eleventh--It is my will and desire that after such disproportion of all my Estate as hereinfore directed is made and the payment of the annuity to my daughter Matilda is provided for and after all my debts shall have been paid, That all the property monies arising from the sale of the Land, Bonds due or which may be due for the sale of said Lands: including the slaves and the .....in the property give to my dear wife shall be divided into three parts or shares so as to make, each share with the advancements which are charged as before specified equal and share alike. I give and bequeath to John W. Sowers and .... ..... .... part of the said property monies to be ...... as before directed and to hold the same with the interest to accrue there on to for and upon the several sales and purposed hereinafter ..... that is to say upon best, for .....and separate use of my son Daniel A. Sowers for and during his life and I direct that the same shall not be subject in any manner to his debts or to be .....or disposed by the said Daniel A. Sowers for any purpose whatsoever: and from and immediately after his decease upon trust to Hold the Land property and to pay the interest accruing thereon to the support and maintenance of the children of the said Daniel A. Sowers until they principally attain the age of twenty one years being sons, or being daughters the said age or previous marriage: at and when they shall respectfully attain such age being sons or being daughters their said age or previous Day of Marriage, the said property or monies shall be paid by the said Trustee to the said children or the survivors of them, in equal shares and proportion. I also give and bequeath to the children of my son George K. Sowers Dec'd One full and equal third part of the said property Monies and to be as certain as before directs. To Have And To Hold the same to them or the survivors of them the said children of my said Son G.K. Sowers Dec'd and their heirs forever. Be it is my express wish and Will, that if I am or my Estate is ever obliged to pay any monies on account of the Administration of Mrs. Frances E. Sowers, the mother of the said children upon the Estate of her husband the said G.K. Sowers dec'd in my Estate....I do further include in the benefit of this .......for my own safety--my son John W. Sowers who is justly bound with me as security in the administration bond of the said Mrs. Frances E. Sowers I further give and bequeath to my son John W. Sowers the remaining full and equal third part of the said property--monies to be ascertained as before direct. To Have And To Hold the same to him the said John W. Sowers and his heirs forever.
Lastly--I do hereby nominate and appoint my son John W. Sowers to be Executor of this my Last Will and Testament and desire that no security shall be required of him for the faithful discharge and performance of his duties as Executor.
In Witness where of I have to this last Will and Testament written upon two sheets of paper--set my hand and affixed my seal this 14th day of April in the year of our Lord 1849.
James Sowers Sen.
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