State of Georgia, Liberty County } In the name of God, Amen. I, Valentine Grest of said county and state, being of sound and disposing mind and memory, and being desirous to settle my worldly affairs while I have strength to do so, do make and publish this my last will and testament, hereby revoking all wills by me at anytime heretofore made out. First I commit my soul to God who gave it and my body to the earth in the hopes of a glorious Resurrection, and my worldly estate I dispose of as follows.
1st It is my will, and I do hereby direct that all my just debts, should I have any, be promptly paid by my Executors hereinafter named.
2d. I give, devise and bequeath to my nephew Josiah Grest the Isle of Wight in said county and state and which constitutes my plantation on which I am now living together will all the horses, mules, cattle, sheep, hogs that may be on said plantation at the time of my death, also plantation tools, implements, and utensils to have and to hold said property above mentioned and described to him the said Josiah Grest his heirs and assigns forever in fee simple. On this condition nevertheless that my beloved wife Mary F. Grest shall [have] the right and privilege of living on said plantation in the family of said Josiah Grest free of all expense or liabilities for board, and shall also be allowed the use of a horse and buggy so long as she may see fit to live on said plantation with the said Josiah Grest, and if she should at any time desire to leave said plantation, and take up her residence elsewhere then that my said nephew Josiah Grest shall pay her annually so long as she shall reside elsewhere the sum of one hundred dollars, and she shall have the right to return to and resume her residence on the plantation whenever she shall be pleased to do so, and the said Josiah Grest shall be bound to receive her free of all liabilities for board.
3d. I give, devise, and bequeath all the rest and residue of my Est. both real and personal consisting of land, notes, bonds, mortgages, bank stock, railroad stock, and whatever else I may die seized and possessed of to my beloved wife Mary F. Grest for and during the term of her natural life the whole income to be paid to her by my executors to be used and disposed of by her in such manner and for such purpose as she may think proper, but it is my wish and I hereby request my said wife to apply to the use and comfort of old Toby, who has been a faithful servant, but is now bound over with age and infirmities the sum of twenty-one dollars annually so long as she shall live.
4th. I hereby authorize my executors, whenever they shall think it for the interest of my estate to sell and dispose of the whole or any part of my estate, my wife consenting thereto, and to reinvest the proceeds in other property without incurring the expense of applying to any court for permission to do so, paying the rents, interest or income arising and accruing from such investment to my said wife, Mary F. Grest, to do with as she may think proper.
5th. Upon the death of my said wife, and not before, I hereby direct that my executors shall pay the following legacies:
To John Stark of Thomas County the husband of Sarah V. , niece of my wife, the sum of five hundred dollars.
To Charles Grest Stark, son of said John and Sarah V., the sum of five hundred dollars.
To James L. Kottman of Thomas County, one hundred dollars.
To Ursula ?Lowe? formerly Grest of Wisconsin, one thousand dollars.
All left after payment of these legacies to Josiah Great.
6th. I hereby constitute and appoint John Stark, Josiah Grest, and James L. Kottman, executors of this my last will and testament. In witness I have signed, and sealed, and published and declared this instrument as my last will and testament on this 25th day of Nov 1871.
[Signed] V. Grest
Wm. W. Gordon
Inventory taken 4th day Dec 1872.
John S. Andrews
Amt. $16,513.05 + 183.33 = $16,696.38
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”]