Liberty County Will — Hepworth Carter

African-Americans Mentioned: Abram, Beck, Chloe, Clarinda, Fanny
Slaveholder: Hepworth Carter
Year: 1812
Location: Liberty County, Georgia


Will Summary (published 1964)

Hepworth Carter. Last Will and Testament dated July 23, 1812; probated May 1, 1815. He devises to his daughter, Elizabeth, wife of James C. Bowles [sic, believe it is Bowler]; to his daughter, Mary, the wife of Joseph Hayden; to his daughter, Margaret Hepworth, wife of John Stewart; and to son, John Michael Carter when he is 20 years of age or marries. Executors: Son-in-law, John Stewart, and friend, Alexander Forrester. Witnesses: Charles West, Thomas M. Kallender, E. Baker.

Slave names left out of the original summary:

Complete transcript of will done by Joan Doughty, and included on page with additional information about Hepworth Carter and his family: https://gw.geneanet.org/cousinjeanne?lang=en&pz=joan+marie&nz=gross&ocz=0&p=hepworth&n=carter

July 21, 1812 WILL OF HEPWORTH CARTER [transcribed by Joan Doughty from copy of the original]

“Georgia. God’s will be done! I Hepworth Carter of the county of Liberty and State aforesaid being of sound mind, memory and understanding, bless God, but knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die, do hereby make and ordain this to be my last will and testament in manner and form following: My soul I recommend to God that gave it: My body I recommend to the Earth, to be buried in a decent manner at the discretion of Executors herein after named, and that in the Masonic Order if it can be conveniently done. It is my will and desire that my funeral expences and all and every my just and lawful debts to be paid and satisfied; and as to what worldly estate it hath pleased God to bless me with, I give, devise and bequeath the same in manner following: First I give, devise and bequeath unto my beloved daughter Elizabeth Bowler the wife of James C. Bowler, one negro woman slave named Fanny together with her issue, to her and the heirs of her body lawfully begotten, but should she die without issue, and should the said James C. Bowler survive, then I leave the said wench Fanny and her issue to the said James C. Bowler, for and during his natural life and after his decease the said wench Fanny with her issue to revert and become the right and property of the survivors or surviving of my children or grandchildren to them their heirs and assigns forever.

“Second, I give devise and bequeath unto my daughter Mary Hayden, the wife of Joseph Hayden, one negro slave named Clarinda to her and the heirs of her body forever.

“Thirdly, I give devise and bequeath unto my daughter Margaret Hepworth Stewart the wife of John Stewart, one negro woman slave named Chloe together with her issue to her and the heirs of her body, but should she die without issue and should the said John Stewart survive, I leave the said wench Chloe and issue to the said John Stewart for and during his natural life and after his decease the said wench Chloe to revert to and become the property of the survivors or surviving of my children or grand children to them their heirs and assigns fo rever.

“Fourthly, I give devise and bequeath unto my son John Michael Carter all and every my [real?] Estate which I may die possessed of, to which I may be entitled at the time of my decease; also one negro woman slave named Beck with her issue and one negro Boy named Abram to him and his heirs forever but with this provision; should he the said John Michael Carter die before intermarry or attaining to the age of twenty years, then and in that case such and every estate so given devised and bequeathed to revert to and be equally divided between the survivors or surviving of my children or grand children the same to him her or them his hers or their heirs and assigns forever.

“Fifthly, It is my will and desire that all my slaves not herein named or bequeathed shall be sold to the best advantage and after paying my funeral expences and my lawful debts the overplus and remainder to be equally divided amongst my then surviving children share and share a like.

“Lastly, I do hereby nominate constitute and appoint my son-in-law and friend John Stewart and my friend Alexander Forrester Executors of this my last will and testament in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this twenty first day of July in the year of Our Lord One Thousand Eight hundred and Twelve and of American Independance the 37th.

“Signed sealed published and declared by the testator as in and for his last will and Testament in the presence of us who in his presence and the presence of each other (and at his request) have subscribed our names as witnesses to the due execution thereof. (Signed) Charles West, Thomas M. Kallender, E. Baker [Signed] H. Carter [Seal]

“Georgia, Liberty County. Thomas M. Kallender being duly sworn, saith that he is a subscribor [&?] witness to the within last will and testament that he saw the within last will named Hepworth Carter duly sign and seal the same in the presence of Charles West & Elijah Baker and that the said testator appeared to be in his proper sences at the time. Sworn to before us this 1st May 1815. John Dunwody, John A. Cuthbert, William Fleming. T. M. Kallender, recorded 2nd May 1815 by E. B aker C.O.L.C.

“Liberty County, Georgia: I do hereby certify that the above and fore going is a true copy of the last will and testament as found recorded in office purporting to be the last will and testament of Hepworth Carter of this county. Given under my hand and seal of office this 24th day of November [1856 ?] [Signed] W. P. Girardeau O.L.C. [Seal of Office]” [Probate Court, Hinesville, GA, Will Record A p198-200 , 9/18/1998, Courtesy of William McIntosh III]

Find the original (complete) will online at:

Ancestry.com:

https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/8635/005759431_00001?backurl=https%3a%2f%2fsearch.ancestry.com%2fsearch%2fdb.aspx%3fdbid%3d8635%26path%3d&ssrc=&backlabel=ReturnBrowsing#?imageId=005759431_00123

FamilySearch.org:

“Georgia Probate Records, 1742-1990,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G93L-P9VW?cc=1999178&wc=9SYT-PT5%3A267679901%2C268032901 : 20 May 2014), Liberty > Wills, appraisements and bonds 1790-1850 vol B > image 123 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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