Liberty County Will – William Tanner

African-Americans Mentioned: Mentioned but not named
Slaveholder: William Tanner
Year: 1826
Location: Liberty County, Georgia

Will Summary:

Testator: William Tanner, Liberty County, State of Georgia


  • “First, it is my will that my estate be all kept together, and worked on one of my tracts of land, at the discretion of my executors, under the direction of three of the Judges of the Inferior Court…”

  • “Secondly, it is my will, that after my negroes are clothed, and taxes are paid, if there shall be an overplus of money on hand to school or educate my grandchildren, then, at the discretion of my executor and the Court, they may educate them.”

  • “Thirdly, it is my will that my negroes shall be carried to my land on the Chatahoochee River in Early County, and there build, clear and fence, and plant, and rent to the highest bidder. Then remove my negroes to my other land in Early County, there build, clear, and fence, and plant, and rent, as my executor may think proper, or as the Court in that County may think proper. The Inferior Court shall and are authorized to discharge any executor, and appoint another in their room to execute my will for the benefit of the poor old man or woman that shall or may be in the County of Liberty or Early, after my negroes are well provided for.”

  • “Fourthly, it is my will, that Matthew Jones and his present wife, and Miss Temperence Whidden, shall be given all the assistance the profits of my estate will admit of, and after the marriage of Miss Whidden her portion shall cease and be null and void. And it is my will that two of my plantations be rented out to the highest bidder to answer all those above purposes. (And my negroes shall be worked on the most profitable plantation, at the discretion of my brother Samuel Tanner, who is now in possession of them. It is my will that he he shall, while he is living, keep charge and take care of all my property both real and personal, so long as he shall live, and record in the Probate Office all his proceedings at the Examination of Court, and should the Court find by his management that he is wasting or misusing my estate, the Court in the County where he shall reside shall take it out of his hands and appoint one in his room to act for the benefit of my grandchildren in their education.”

  • “My estate shall be kept together for the above purpose for the space of ninety and nine years, at the discretion of the Courts, as they shall arise in office, for the benefit of the real poor. After my brother, and M. Jones and wife be all dead, it is my will my executors shall buy and breed sheep for a profit, and hire a shepherd to mind the sheep, that out of the profits they may do much good in supporting the real poor, and the support of my negroes, whom I hope they will work to an advantage, and not let one of them suffer with hunger or cold.”

Executor: Brother Samuel Tanner, as long as he shall act with the opinion of the Courts.

Date signed: not given

Witnesses: L.? Reynolds

William Johnson

Thomas Underwood

Codicil: “N.B. I likewise give unto my granddaughter Mary Ann ?D’clias?, formerly D’ Wolf, one third of the profits that result from my estate annually, this 22 January A.D. 1826.”

Witnesses: John Delbos, Ezekiel Stafford, Jesse Copeland

Probated by John Delbos on 3 July 1826.

Recorded: 7 September 1826

See the original will at:

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