Liberty County Will — Sarah Persiana Maxwell

African-Americans Mentioned: December, Christina, Betty, Peggy, Nancy, Flora, Stephen, Dorcas
Slaveholder: Sarah Maxwell
Year: 1809
Location: Liberty County, Georgia

Will Summary (published 1964)

Sarah Persiana Maxwell of Hester’s Bluff, Liberty County. Last Will and Testament dated July 4, 1809; probated December 10, 1810. Gives to her son, William Maxwell, the 250 acres on Satilla River that was granted her deceased mother, Mrs. Persiana Lockerman, and devised by her will to testatrix; to be said William’s for his lifetime and then to go to her grandson, John James Lachlan McIntosh Maxwell, son of said William and Frances Scott Maxwell. The reversionary interest in Hester’s Bluff tract bought of her son, Richard William Maxwell, she devises to her son John Maxwell and after his death to Sarah Ann Maria Maxwell, daughter of said William and Frances Scott Maxwell, son, John to have her slaves but if he dies without issue, then same to go to her granddaughter Mary Persiana McIntosh, daughter of Maj. Lacklan [sic, Lachlan] and Mary Persiana McIntosh. To granddaughter Sarah Ann McIntosh, she gives a certain slave girl. Reversionary interest in certain slaves she gives to her said granddaughter P. McIntosh, and Sarah Ann McIntosh, and to her granddaughter Mary Persiana Maxwell, daughter of William and Ann Maxwell. Residue of estate to be divided agreeably to will of her deceased husband, Thomas Maxwell. Executors: Granddaughter, Sarah Ann McIntosh, and friends, John Elliott and John Dunwoody [alt: Dunwody]. Witnesses: John Dunwoody, Anne Bulloch, Thomas Nelms J.P. Codicil, undated, and probated same time, adds Thomas Bourke Maxwell (a grandson) and Louisa Caldwell (a granddaughter), daughter of son William and son, William, as legatees to certain property. Will probated on testimony of Ann Powell, who says she was formerly Ann Bulloch before marriage.

Slave names left out of the original summary:

To son John Maxwell: “[he] shall have the full use, and immediate possession of my negroe Slave December, for his sole benefit, during his natural life, but he the said Negroe Slave December shall be subject to no debts…” [continues with provision that December be given to granddaughter Mary Persiana McIntosh if son John dies without issue] [NOTE: Original abstract appears to mistakenly refer to “slaves” in this case, but that will actually specified one slave, December.]

To granddaughter Sarah Ann McIntosh: “my negroe girl Christ??? [possibilities: Christina, Christian, Christiana] to her and her heirs forever, with all the increase of Christ???…”

To granddaughter Mary Persiana McIntosh: “my two Negro Wenches Betty & Peggy, with all their issue, to her and her heirs forever. “ [Continues that Betty and Peggy may be hired out and the resulting earnings be applied to Mary Persiana’s support and education while she is a minor.]

To son John Maxwell: “my negroes Nancy, Flora, Stephen & Dorcas” as long as he continues to reside at Hester’s Bluff. If he chooses to live elsewhere, then they may be hired out and the money from this is to be “particularly appropriated” to clothing him.

At son John Maxwell’s death, Flora was to become the property of granddaughter Mary Persiana Maxwell. Nancy, Stephen and Dorcas were to be equally divided between granddaughters Sarah Ann and Mary Persiana McIntosh and become the sole property of one at the death of the other. [NOTE: See change to this provision in the codicil below.]


In codicil: “It is also my will and desire that my Negroes Nancy, Dorcas, Flora and Stephen, instead of being disposed of as is mentioned in the body of my Will after the death of my son John Maxwell, be divided equally between my two granddaughters, Mary Persiana and Louisa Caldwell, daughters of my son William Maxwell, to them their heirs and assigns forever.”

Find the original (complete) will online at:

“Georgia Probate Records, 1742-1990,” images, FamilySearch ( : 20 May 2014), Liberty > Wills, appraisements and bonds 1790-1850 vol B > image 107 of 689; county probate courthouses, Georgia.

1964 Summaries From: “Georgia Court-House Records – Liberty County,” 1964 quarterly issues of The Georgia Genealogical Magazine, Folks Huxford, Editor. Published Under the Auspices of The Wiregrass Georgia Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.

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