Will of Jonah Collins
In the name of God Amen, the 2nd day of April in the sixteenth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Second, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France & Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, & in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and forty three (1743), I, Jonah Collins of Craven County in the Province of S.C., planter, finding my bodily health declining & knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die, the time of death to every one is uncertain, & being now of sound and disposing mind & memory (blessed be Almighty God) do make and ordain this my last will & testament hereby revoking & making null & void all & every former & other will & testaments by me at any time heretofore made or declared, & ordaining this & no other to be and remain as & for my only last will & testament in manner & form following: That is to say principally I commend my immortal spirit unto the hands of Almighty God who gave it in and through the merits & mediation of Jesus Christ my Blessed Saviour & Redeemer: & my body, when dead I commit to the earth, to be buried in a decent Christian like manner at the discretion of my executor's hereinafter named: and as for & concerning my worldly estate, & such lands, goods & chattels as it hath pleased God to bestow upon me my mind & will is that the same shall be disposed of as hereinafter is mentioned & expressed, & no otherwise.
First, I will & ordain that all my just debts & funeral expenses shall be well & truly paid & discharged, with all convenient speed, after my decease.
Item I give bequeath & devise unto my well beloved wife Sarah Collins for & during all the term and time that she shall remain & continue my widow, & no longer, & upon the conditions, limitations & provisoes hereinafter mentioned & expressed of, for & concerning the same, & not otherwise, all that my home plantation or tract of land in the Parish of St. James Santee in Craven County aforesaid & in the Province aforesaid, whereon I now live, containing by estimation five hundred acres, together with all and singular the buildings and appurtenances thereunto belonging, and also the moiety or one half part of the labour & profits of the under-mentioned sixteen negroes or slaves, named Tower, Rose, August, Zariah, Great Jenny, Hestor, Jenah, March, London, Sabina, Will, Cyrus, Tom, Diana, Junor., Lizet & Patty, to me belonging, which slaves (notwithstanding) I will & appoint shall be wholy & solely imployed (during the aforesaid term) on my said plantation. Provided always & upon condition nevertheless & I do hereby expressly declare that all & singular the several legacies gifts & devises by me herein given, bequeathed or devised to my said wife Sarah are so given, bequeathed & devised unto her & are meant & intended to be in full satisfaction & Barr,(sic) & that she my said wife Sarah Collins shall & do within three months next after my decease sign seal & deliver, in due form of Law, a full absolute & effectual release to my executors hereinafter named of all such dower & interest & customary part share or thirds of my real & personal estate, which she can or may claim by any right, title or custom whatsoever, but in case my said wife Sarah shall refuse or neglect to execute & deliver such a release as aforesaid, or shall claim challenge or demand any dower, thirds or customary part or other share or interest in or out of all or any my estate real or personal (except only such part thereof & for such estate & interests as is herein given & devised & bequeathed unto her) I do hereby will, declare and appoint that all & every the devises legacies gifts and bequests to her herein given devised & bequeathed shall be void & of none effects, & in such case I give devise & bequeath the same unto my beloved daughter Elizabeth Collins, her heirs & assigns forever, under the several & respective limitations (notwithwstanding) hereinafter mentioned & declared of, for & concerning the same & no otherwise.
Item I give & bequeath unto my said wife Sarah, a good feather bedd and furniture.
Item At the death or marriage of my said wife Sarah Collins (which shall first happen) I give & devise unto my said daughter Elizabeth Collins, her heirs & assigns for ever, all that my said plantation or tracts of land whereon I now live, containing by estimation five hundred acres, as aforesaid, together with all and singular the buildings & appurtenances thereunto belonging, but in case my said daughter Elizabeth shall die before the age of twenty one years & failing heirs of her body lawfully begotten, then (at the death or marriage of my said wife Sarah, as aforesaid) I give & devise the said plantation or tract of land and premises unto John McGregor, son of Elizabeth McGregor of Craven County aforesaid & to his heirs & assigns forever: remainder to Jonah Atchison, the son of John Atchison of Berkley County in this Province, his heirs and assigns for ever.
Item I give and bequeath unto my said daughter Elizabeth Collins, the other moiety or half part of the profits of the above named sixteen Negroes or slaves, subject to be made use of , applied & expended, from time to time, during her minority & non age, to & for her better & more handsome maintenance & education.
Item I give and bequeath unto my said daughter Elizabeth Collins, one good feather bed with bolster, two pillows two pair of sheets or suit of curtains, & other bed furniture also one moiety or half part of my stock of horses & cattle under the care of Mcc- Hay at Black River in Craven County aforesaid the other moiety or half part of which stock I lately sold to the above named John Atchinson(sic). Fifty head of sheep, out of what I have left unsold on Bulls Island & the whole stock of sheep & the remaining part of my stock of horses & cattle on the aforesaid plantation where I now live (the eighty head of cattle & ten head of horses, which I also sold the said Atchison & eight cows with their calves which I have hereinafter given & bequeathed unto Samuel Smith the son of Susannah Smith of Craven County aforesaid, being first taken out) also at the death or marriage of my said wife Sarah Collins which shall first happen I give & bequeath unto my said daughter Elizabeth Collins all & singular the above named sixteen negroes or slaves, together with their issue & increase. Always provided & it is my will & mind that in case my said daughter Elizabeth Collins should happen to dye before she shall arrive to the age of eighteen years or be married, then & not otherwise (at the death or marriage of my said wife Sarah, as aforesaid) I further give & bequeath the said horses, cattle, sheep and slaves herein before mentioned to be given & bequeathed unto my said daughter Elizabeth unto the above named John McGregor, the son of the said Elizabeth McGregor, if the said John McGregor should be living at the time of my said daughter Elizabeth's so dying as aforesaid, or otherwise to the above named Jonah Atchison his executors administrators & assigns any thing herein before contained to the contrary notwithstanding.
Item I give and bequeath unto Jonah Collins an infant, of Craven County aforesaid, my silver hilted sword and a belt, as also one feather bed with bolster pillows two pair of sheets a suit curtains & other bed furniture
Item I give and bequeath unto Mary Collins & Sarah Collins, both of Craven County aforesaid, infants, that is to say, to each of them, one feather bed with bolster, pillows, two pair sheets, a suit curtains, & other bed furniture.
Item I give and bequeath unto my executors hereinafter named, all my wearing apparel, & I desire them to bestow the same upon such of my children or otherwise, as they shall in their discretion think fit & convenient.
Item I give and bequeath unto Jonah Woodbery, the son of Margaret Woodbery of Craven County aforesaid, at his arrival to the age of eighteen years, all that the stock of horses & cattle of me the said Jonah Collins at Waccammaw, in Craven County aforesaid, at present under the care of William Holder as also all those nine negroes or slaves named Jupiter, Caper, Diana Sen., Abram, Silvia, Andrew, Cuffee, Cupid, & Ben and the one moiety or half part of all that the stock of horses and cattle of me the said Jonah Collins near Lynchs Creek in Craven County aforesaid, at present under the care of James McDaniel, but in case the said Jonah Woodberry should die before he shall attain to the age of eighteen years, then I give and bequeath the said horses, cattle and slaves unto and amongst his mother the said Margaret Woodberry and all his brothers and sisters that shall be born of the said Margaret Woodberry, equally to be divided between them & the survivors & survivor of them, share and share alike, and for failure of them, and every of them, then to the said Samuel Smith, son of Susannah Smith his executors, admors. and assigns for ever.
Item I give & devise unto the above named Jonah Woodberry, his heirs and assigns for ever, all that the one moiety or half part of a tract of one thousand acres of land containing thereunto belonging or appertaining, the other moiety or half part of which tract of one thousand acres of land, containing five hundred acres, I lately sold and conveyed unto the aforesaid John Achison, which five hundred acres so sold & conveyed was next adjoining to another tract or settled plantation of five hundred acres of land, which I likewise lately sold and conveyed to the said John Atchison, but in case the said Jonah Woodberry should die before he should attain to the age of twenty one years and without issue of his body lawfully begotten, I give and devise to the said Jonah Woodberry (sic) to the said Margaret Woodberry her heirs & assigns for ever. Remainder to the above named Samuel Smith his heirs and assigns for ever.
Item I give & bequeath to the above named Samuel Smith the son of the said Susanna Smith, all that the other moiety or half part of my stock of horses and cattle near Lynchs Creek as aforesaid and at present under the care of the said James McDaniel also eight cows and their calves, to be taken out of the said stock of cattle on the plantation where I now live, as above mentioned, and all the rest and remaining part of my stock of sheep on Bulls Island aforesaid, that shall be found over and above the one hundred head of sheep which I lately sold to the said John Atchison and the above mentioned fifty head bequeathed to my daughter Elizabeth as also all those my eight negroes or slaves named Bella, Dick, Hanah, Peter, Sabina, Linda, Primus and Rina, but in case the said Samuel Smith should die before he shall arrive to the age of eighteen years then for failure of brothers & sisters & every one of them, of the said Samuel Smith born of his said mother Susanna Smith, to have and take the distribution thereof equally among them, as my mind and will is, and not otherwise, I give and bequeath the last above bequeathed horses, cattle, cows, calves, sheep, eight negroes or slaves to Daniel McGregor, Junr. The son of the said Elizabeth McGregor of Craven County aforesaid his executors, administrators and assigns
I give and bequeath unto Mary McGregor, the daughter of said Elizabeth McGregor of Craven County aforesaid all that the one moiety or half part of the stock of horses and cattle at Waccamaw aforesaid, now or lately under the care of William Simpson, the other moiety of half part of which stock of horses & cattle, likewise, sold unto the said John Atchison, I also give & bequeath unto the said Mary McGregor, all these my nine negroes or slaves named Cudjo, Dick , Amsterdam, Jenny, Hannah, Judy, Jemmy, Amoretha & Eve.
Item I will & ordain, authorize & impower my executors hereinafter named & the survivor & survivors of them, and the executors & administrators of such survivor, absolutely to sell & dispose of all the rest & residue of my estate real or personal, wheresoever & whatsoever, not hereinbefore given, bequeathed & devised, to the best advantage, to such person or persons as he or they shall think fit, his, her, or their heirs & assigns forever, and all the moneys arising therefrom (after the payment of my debts, funeral charges & before mentioned legacies) I give and bequeath unto and do hereby will & ordain shall be equally paid & devised amongst the aforesaid Jonah Woodberry, Samuel Smith, & Mary McGregor & the survivors & survivor of them, share and share alike,
Lastly, I do hereby nominate constitute authorize and appoint the above named Jonah Collins & also William Bohannan of this province, planter, to be executor of this my last will and testament, contained in two sheets of demy-Royal Paper In witness whereof the said Jonah Collins (the testator) have to the two pages of the first sheet set my hand and to this page of the second sheet set my hand and seal the day & year first above writtten................JONAH COLLINS (SEAL)
Signed, sealed, published & declared By the said testator Jonah Collins, as & for his Last will and Testament in the presence of us Who at his request & in his presence have hereunto Set our names as witnesses
John Fraser, Jacob Motte, Joseph Pickering
This will was proved before his Excy the 5th May 1749 by the oath of Jacob Motte Esq. & William Bachman & Jonah Collins Exors. Were qualified at the same time.
MEMORANDUM That I desire my executors named in my last will to divide all the slaves which I have in custody of Mr. John Woodberry to and amongst the children begotten of the body of Margaret Woodberry share and share alike and also all the slaves which I have in the custody of Mr. John Clark I desire my executors to divide them to and amongst the children begotten of the body of Mary Clark share and share alike as witness my hand this 21st day of April 1749..
JONAH COLLINS (SEAL)
Witness: Alex. Parris, John Parris, David Batchellor
This codicil was proved before his Excy the 12th day of May 1749 by the oath of Alexander Parris one of the witnesses to the within codicil
Recorded in Charleston County Will Book 1747-52; pages 127 - 134
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