State Georgia. In the name of God Amen. I Sarah M. Law of the county of Liberty and state aforesaid, widow, considering the uncertainty of this mortal life and being of sound and perfect mind and memory do make and publish this my last will and testament in manner & form following that is to say:
First. I give and bequeath unto John B. Barnard of the county of Liberty the following negro slaves Matilda, Adeline, George, Amey, Charles, Martha, together with the issue of the female slaves and as many others of my negroes as will, when fairly appraised, constitute one half of my negro property, with the exception of the three following slaves viz: Shem, Abbey, and Nero to hold the said negro slaves in trust for my daughter Ann P. Barnard and her lawful issue (wife of said John B. Barnard) and my three grandsons John D. Barnard, Nathaniel L. Barnard, and Timothy R. Barnard, share and share alike, children of John B. Barnard by a former marriage.
Second. I give and bequeath unto my daughter Ann P. Barnard absolutely all the furniture, of every description which I own. It is my wish and desire that she have the control of this property during her life. After her death I give the same to my three grandsons, John D. Barnard, Nathaniel L. Barnard, and Timothy R. Barnard, children of John B. Barnard.
Three. It is my wish and desire that the remaining half of my negro property, excepting the three slaves Shem, Abbey and Nero be sold to Mrs. John B. Barnard if he is willing to purchase them, otherwise to some humane master the the proceeds of said sale invested in good stock or bonds which said stock or bonds I give and bequeath to William Law of the city of Savannah and the Rev’d Josiah S. Law of Liberty County and to the survivor of them and the heirs, executors and administrators of such survivor in trusts that they the said William Law and Josiah S. Law and the survivor of them and the Executors and administrators of such survivor, do and shall pay and apply the dividends arising from said stock or bonds to the support of my son Edmund L. Law. Having given to my daughter Sarah E. Mell all the property that was her father’s a house & lot in Riceboro, the value of three negroes Shem, Abbey and Nero held by me independent of my late husband Nathaniel Law and given her the entire proceeds of the sale of my interest in North Hampton plantation as well as various sums of money from time to time, I do hereby further order and direct that after the death of the said Edmund L. Law, should he die without lawful issue of his body living at the time of his death, tha the said stock or bonds (if it be deemed advisable to invest in such manner) be under the control and direction of John B. Barnard in trust for my three grandsons, John D. Barnard, Nathaniel S. Barnard and Timothy R. Barnard share and share alike.
Four. Whereas I have purchased from my son Edmund L. Law a tract of land situate lying and being in Liberty County and state aforesaid drawn by him in the division of his father’s estate I wish and desire that the same be sold [and that] the proceeds of said sale be applied to [word covered] for the benefit of my said son Edmund L. Law under the like trusts and considerations and in the same manner as expressed in the foregoing clauses provided I do not dispose of the same before my death.
Five. I give and bequeath unto William H. Mell of Fulton County in this state the three following negroe slaves viz: Shem, Abbey and Nero in trust for the sole and separate use of my daughter Sarah E. Mell provided nevertheless the said slaves are willing to leave the low-county. If otherwise then to be sold to Mr. John B. Barnard at a fair valuation and the proceeds of said sale to be invested in Bank stock, which bank stock I give unto the said William H. Mell in trust as aforesaid for my daughter Sarah E. Mell.
Six. I give and bequeath unto the said William H. Mell my house and lot in Riceboro Liberty County and state aforesaid in trust for the sale and separate use of my daughter Sarah E. Mell.
Seven. I give and bequath the whole of my stock of cattle sheep horses & mules etc, of which I may die possessed to my son in law John B. Barnard.
Eight. And whereas by the will of my deceased sister Mrs. Ann Pray of Bryan County and state aforesaid I became possessed of a life estate in twenty shares of the United States Bank stock, which said stock at my death vested in and became the property of my two children Martha (since deceased) and my son Edmund L. Law and whereas I have purchased the absolute title to one half of said stock from John B. Barnard lawful husband of my daughter the said Martha; and whereas I have heretofore given the whole of the said twenty shares of the said Bank stock to my daughter Sarah E. Mell wife of the before mentioned William H. Mell now therefore this is my desire and will that the above bequests be considered and they are hereby given in lieu and in full satisfaction of all right, title, claim, or interest whatsoever which either of my said children or their representatives may have upon the said twenty shares of the said Bank stock or any part thereof and in case either of my children or their representatives shall claim any part, interest, or title in said Bank stock, all legacies herein contained in this my will to them shall be void and shall vest in the parties not claiming.
Nine. And lastly I do hereby constitute and appoint my son in law John B. Barnard and Capt Peter W. Fleming both of Liberty County the executors of this my last Will and Testment hereby revoking all former wills by me made.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this Twenty Eighth day of January in the year of our Lord Eighteen Hundred & Forty Eight.
Signed, sealed, published and declared by the above named Sarah M. Law to be her last will & testament in presence of us who at her request and in her presence have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses to the same.
[Initials unclear] King
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, Deen, Thomas-Miller, E.C. 1925-1957”]
Find another copy at: “Georgia Probate Records, 1742-1990,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-993T-XY4R?cc=1999178&wc=9SB7-6T5%3A267679901%2C268014801 : 20 May 2014), Liberty > Miscellaneous probate records 1850-1863 vol C and L > image 42 of 703; county probate courthouses, Georgia.