Georgia, Liberty County } In the name of God, Amen. I James Darsey of state and county above, being of advanced age and knowing that I must shortly depart from this world, deem it right and proper, both as respects myself and family, that I should make a disposition of the property which a kind providence has blessed me. I therefore make this my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking and annulling all others heretofore made by me.
Item first. I desire and direct that my body be buried in a decent and christian-like manner suitable to my circumstances and condition. My soul, I trust, shall return to rest with God who gave it, as I hope for Eternal salvation through the blessed Lord and saviour, Jesus, Christ, whose religion I have professed and enjoyed for fifty seven years.
Item second. I give and devise to my beloved wife Sarah with whom I have lived in the strictest quiet and love for near nine years, provided she shall outlive me, the bed and furniture of her choice, four slaves, namely Morning a woman, Sarah a woman, Rachael a woman, Leonard a man, to dispose of at her death as she may will.
Item third. I give and devise to my son William B. Darsey, the plantation on which he now lives, three slaves to wit, Monday, Soloman and Jane and her increase. [NOTE: “and Jane and her increase” was crossed out.]
Item fourth. I give and devise to my daughter Susannah Bell one lot [of] land near Syrna Church, three slaves, Sue, Cretia, Caroline. [NOTE: Syrna was written clearly, but possibly should be Smyrna.]
Item fifth. I give and devise to my daughter Ellen Rustin four slave[s] to wit, two Hartwells, Sina and Margaret.
Item sixth. I give and devise to my daughter Nancy Bradley one tract of land surveyed by John Stacy, Sandy, Margaret with her children Hagar with her children except the two oldest all slaves.
Item seventh. I give and devise to my son Benjamin Darsey the whole of my plantation with one swamp tract one pond tract and the Ginna tract and Belcony tract, two slaves Jack, James.
Item eighth. I give and devise to my grandchildren, children of my daughter Martha T. Johnson deceased one hundred and fifty acres of land near Lewis Smith’s[,] slaves to wit Henry, Siller, and her children to be kept in trust in this ?county? until the youngest child comes of age.
Item ninth. I give and devise to my grand daughter Isabel Baxter one slave to wit, Doctor, and I give to Raymond Caswell’s children one negro to wit Abram. I also give to my grandson Joseph Darsey two negroes to wit, Joshua little Sina.
Item tenth. I desire that the remainder of my property be sold, and an equal division made between the heirs Martha T. Johnson’s children in place of their father ? Isom? Johnson.
Item eleventh. I constitute and appoint my beloved son Benjamin Darsey and my grandson Benjamin Darsey executors to this my last will and testament this March 3rd 1864.
[Signed] James Darsey
Signed, sealed, declared and published by James Darsey as his last will and testament in the presence of us the subscribers who subscribed our names hereto, in the presence of said Testator and of each other, this March 3rd 1864.
Angus M. Laing
Find the original (complete) will and other papers online at Ancestry.com or FamilySearch.org. [Source name on both sites: “Georgia, Wills and Probate Records, 1742-1992” → “Liberty County” → “Wills, Alexander, E-Dorsey, J, 1864-1876”]