JOHN SMITH - Will of 1753
Settlers by the Long Grey Trail
A contribution to: The History and Genealogy of Colonial Families of Rockingham County, Virginia
by J. Houston Harrison C. J. Carrier Company Harrison burg, Virginia 1975
"It has been well said that the Harrisons of Rockingham were intimately connected with the Smiths. Reference here is to the family of the immigrant Capt. John Smith, some account of whom has been given, and the accidental finding of whose will among the unindexed records at Staunton has been noted. (See pp. 8, 37, 86, 141). This will, in the original, was written on a single sheet of paper on the back of which occurs the notation: "John Smith Senr. Will," is dated May 7, 1753, and reads as follows-
"IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN-
I John Smith of Augusta County and Colony of Virginia being very Sick in Body but in my perfect Sences do make this my Last will and testament first of all I Leave to Margaret my well beloved wife all my Stock of Horses and Cattle Household Goods and all my Movables Whatsoever She shall also make Choice of any one Tract of Land that I have which She is to hold During her Life and at her Death the sd. Land to fall to my daughter Louisa I also Constitute and appoint Daniel Harrison Silas Hart and my son Abraham Smith to be my Executors and it is my will that they Shall Sell all or so much of my Land Excepting the above Tracts as will Pay all of my Debts and funeral Charges and what Ever of my Land Remains un sold to pay of my Debts to be Divided Equally between my sons William Joseph David Jonathan and James Jordan my Executors to Pay five Shillings Each to my Sons Abraham Henry Daniel and John & I Do hereby Revoke make null and void all other wills made by me before this Date and hereby Pronounce and Publickly Declare this to be my Last Will and Testament in Witness whereof I have Hereunto Set my hand an Seal this Seventh Day of May on Thousand Seven Hundred & Fifty Three- "In Presents of James Patton, Robt. Renick, Humphrey Madison
"Jno. Smith (seal)
(See original wills, Box 3, Staunton, Virginia) [Note: John Smith had at least 2 wills. This one dated 1753 and a final one dated April 26, 1779.]
"The signature of Capt. Smith is in a very bold hand.
The seal is of red wax bearing embossed on it the figure of a "horn of Plenty," out of which pours a "fleur-de-lis", and water (?), onto a sprig, or branch of a vine, placed underneath, and a curved as an inverted rainbow. The fleur-de-lis was the Royal emblem of France, and is also the same for a species of iris. Probably the vine of the seal alludes to the latter, particularly as the iris of mythology was associated with the rainbow. In one way or another the fleur-de-lis occurs frequently in the arms of Smith families. Its significance pouring from a horn of plenty would seem to be evident. On the Arms of Richard Smith, the Smithtown, Long Island, immigrant, the fleur-de-lis was a prominent figure. (See p. 37)….
Note from Guy Smith-the seal is reversed in this image.
"The will is interesting, in that it mentions more children than appear to have heretofore been credited to Capt. Smith. At the proving of his importation at Orange (see p. 8), he included his wife Margaret, and sons Abraham, Henry, Daniel, John, and Joseph. Of these Abraham, b. in Ulster, Ireland, 1722, m. Sarah Caldwell, of Augusta County; Daniel, b. in Ulster, 1724, m. about 1751, Jane, the daughter of Capt. Daniel Harrison; Henry, b. 1727, m. Camey ___ [Amy/Amey/Amelia-various spellings from land records]; John Jr., born 1730, was killed at Ft. Vause, June 25, 1756; and Joseph, born 1734, in Chester County, Pennsylvania (?), was captured with his father at Ft. Vause, June 25, 1756, and died a prisoner on the way to [Canada]. A daughter, Margaret, (according to Boogher p. 330) b. 1741, married Hugh Reece Bowen, who died October 7, 1780. The will names a daughter, Louisa, probably Margaret Louisa, and adds sons William, David, Jonathan, and James Jordan. The last may have been named for his mother's family. Evidently these five were the youngest children.
[Note from Guy Smith: Very few Jordan in records of Augusta Co. No James Jordan.]
The seal and signature are from Guy R. Smith historian for the Col. John Smith Society.