Original Source: Mercer County, Ky, Will Book 7 – Pages 197-200; Mercer-Jefferson County KyArchives Wills.....Cowan, John May 28, 1819 Intermediate Source:USGenWeb, transcribed by Jean Meaney
Written: May 28, 1819
In the name of God, Amen. I John Cowan of Mercer County, being old and infirm
but of sound mind and memory calling to mind the uncertainty of life and the
certainly of death do make and declare this to be my last will and testament.
First I give and devise my wife during her natural life sixty acres of the
tract of land whereon I reside thirty acres in the western & thirty in the
eastern half each to be laid off in such form, manner & place as she may choose
to include the dwelling houses on each half, I also give to her a Negro man and
two Negro women all of whom she may select from my whole number of Negroes as
she thinks proper. I also devise to her during her natural life Negro Boys
Doctor and Jack. I also devise to her two horses & gears & plough for cows of
her choice from my stock of cattle. Some sheep, hogs and all of my household
and kitchen furniture.
I give, devise and bequeath to my sons William C. Cowan
& Henry J. Cowan the tract of land whereon I now live to be Equally divided
between them by a line drawn running north & South.
To son William I give and
devise negroes Frank, Adam & Lewis and at the death of my wife he is to have
Negro boy Jack.
To my son Henry I give and devise negroes Moses, Ned & Willis?
And at the death of my wife he is to have Negro Boy Doctor.
To my sons William & Henry I give & bequeath all my stock of horses, cattle, and hogs as the same is now 28th day of May 1819 divided between them subject however to the foregoing provisions in favor of my wife.
To my daughter Betsy I give and
devise Two hundred acres of Land in Jefferson County adjoining Reynolds and
Greenuss? now Taylor.
To my daughters Sally and Mary I give & devise all the
land owned by me in Jefferson County which is within the following bounds to
wit bounded by Ledford’s line of one side by Jones on the opposite side and by
Tenants line on one side and by a line to be run from Taylors most Northern
corner to intersect Ledford’s line at right angles on the other my said
daughters to have all the land included in the above boundaries to be equally
divided between them
The remainder of my land in Jefferson County not included
in the foregoing devises to my Daughters I give & devise to my sons William and
Henry to be equally divided between them.
I give devise and confirm to my son
John Cowan all the land and property which I have heretofore given him with
negroes Sam and Dave. But I do not hereby release my said son from the claims
which I have against him for monies which I have paid for him but those claims
shall remain good against him if I do not in my lifetime release him from the
same all my claims against him are not for money but some of them are for
articles of property and for negroes hire.
To my son James I give and devise
all my right title and claim to one thousand acres of land on tigers creek the
patent for which I have delivered to him.
To my son David Cowan I have
heretofore given what I consider his share of my Estate.
To my son William I
give and devise my negro woman Eve my said son paying to my wife during her
life a moderate hire for said Eve.
To my son Harry I give and devise my negro
man Baker my said son paying to my wife during her natural life a moderate hire
for said Baker.
It is my wish and Desire that my old negro woman Chloe shall
be employed in working for my wife, Son William or Son Harry as my wife shall
choose to direct. My wife having signified her intention to choose Nelly as one
of the negroe women in this will allotted to her. It is my will and desire that
the increase which said Nelly now has or may hereafter have shall be subject to
the disposal of my wife as herein after directed except negro boy Jack who is
disposed of, in the will all my Estate real or personal which I may die
possessed of and not hereby disposed of I give and devise to my wife during her
natural life hereby giving my wife full possession and authority to dispose of
the same to such child or children as she may think proper either in her
lifetime or at her death in such manner & upon such items as she may direct.
I hereby charge my sons William & Henry with the payment of the debts which I
may owe at the time of my death to be paid by each of my said sons in the
proportion that my said sons Hand inventrd.? to me at this time 28th day of May
It is my will & desire that each of my Negroes shall have at my death a new
suit of clothes to be furnished by my Executors & paid out of my estate not
specially devised away.
I hereby constitute and appoint my Sons William C. Cowan and Henry J. Cowan Executors of this my Last Will & Testament Testimony whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name and affixed my seal the twenty eight day of May 1819.
I John Cowan do make & publish this writing as a codicil to my Will which bears
date 28 day of May 1819 Whereas I have in my said Will devised to my sons
William & Henry the remainder of a tract of land in Jefferson County after
certain devises to my Daughters I have now ascertained that there is not as
much lands when laid off & Divided as mentioned in my will as I intended for my
Daughters Sally and Mary now therefore I do revoke that last devise to my sons
William & Henry of the remainder of the lands aforesaid and do give & devise
the claim to my said daughters Sally & Mary to be equally divided between them
in addition to what I have given them in my will aforesaid. Given under my
hand and seal this twentyseventh day of July, Eighteen hundred and nineteen.
Mercer County May Court 1823