Saturday, January 21, 2012

Will of Johann George Eppard (1780-1869)

The following is a transcription of my 4G grandfather's will. When I first read this will, I thought he was giving preferential treatment to his son Wesley allowing him to buy the land while leaving practically nothing for the other children. However, I found in the 1860 Rockingham County, Virginia Census that Wesley and his family were living in George's house and running the farm. Therefore, it makes sense to allow him and his family to remain. George specifically mentions bequeathing money to the children from two of his sons who preceded him in death.  Since he mentioned no one else, I at first assumed they were left out.  But after reading the will many times, I realized I had been MISreading all along and that the other children indeed would be getting a share from the sale of the other lands. In 1860, George's property was worth $7,000, which must have been a sizeable sum back then.

Transcribed from Will Book No. 4, page 8, Rockingham Co, VA (without corrections, changes, or additions)

I George Epard of the County of Rockingham and State of Virginia do make and publish this as my last will and testament hereby revoking and declaring void all the other wills by me heretofore made.  First, I direct and will that my land be divided as follows:  Beginning one pole above the “head gate” where the “race” comes out of the Creek and running down Naked Creek to Huffmans Corner thence S. 15°W 48 poles to a pine by a path, thence S 2°W 76 poles to a White Oak, Black Oak & Hickory, thence N 74 1/4° E 214 poles to “two pines” near a road, the said courses being the outside lines of my land as far as they go; and from said above last named corner a straight line to the “mill-race” at a point where the fence now makes an angle about twenty-five poles above the house in which Mary Epard, the widow of my son James now lives, thence up the south side of said race to the “head gate” at Naked Creek and thence up the Creek to the beginning.  The said boundary to include the exclusive privilege and use of the water from the dam in the creek.  The said boundary of land I will to my son Wesley Epard by his paying to my estate the sum of $20.00 per acre in four equal payments.  The first payment to be made in 60 days from the date of admitting this my will to record and the balance in three equal annual payments from said day.  Second:  The residue of my land should I not dispose of the same before my death I wish to be sold at public sale by my executor, hereinafter named, on such terms and time as they may think most advisable.  Third:  The proceeds of the above sales together with all the rest of my effects, after all of my just debts and funeral expenses are paid I wish to be equally divided among all my children.  The children of my two Sons, John and James, who are dead:  I wish to receive respectively the shares that would have come to their fathers had they been living that is, the children of John Epard to receive one moiety and the children of James Epard one moiety.  Fourthly:  I constitute and appoint my friend John C. Walker my executor.  In testimony whereof I the said George Epard have to this my last Will and Testament signed and subscribed my name this day of March in the year of our Lord 1866.

Signed, acknowledged and published by George Epard

George (x) Epard    X His Mark

County Court of Rockingham:  August Term 1869

The last will and testament of George Epard deceased was presented in Court and proven by the oath of John Ainip and John P. Huffman, the subscribing witnesses thereto, and ordered to be recorded.  And on motion of John C. Walker Executor therein named who made oath according to law and together with SPH Miller his Security who justified as to the sufficiency entered into and acknowledged a bond in the penalty of one thousand dollars conditioned as the law requires.  A certificate is granted him for obtaining probate of said will in due form.

A.L. Lindsey Clerk, Rockingham Court

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