Liberty County Will – Joseph Jones

Enslaved Persons Mentioned: Alford, Amy, ?Crawford?, Delia, ??Hardtimes??, Jim, Marsha, Mina, Pulaski, Rinah, Rose, Rosetta, ?Sairy?, Suzy, Washington
Slaveholder: Joseph Jones
Year: 1844
Location: Liberty County, Georgia

Will Summary:

Testator: Joseph Jones, Liberty County, State of Georgia


  • Knowing the uncertainty of life and having a large family to provide for, I Joseph Jones being of sound mind and memory, thanks be to God, do hereby make this my last will and testament disposing of such real estate both real and personal as it hath pleased God to bless me in the following manner.”

  • 1. Gives to his two sons James Newton Jones and Edwin West Jones his plantation called The Retreat, with the improved part going to Newton and the other part to be divided among them “in the most suitable manner.” It contains four thousand five hundred and sixty acres in nine tracts of land “all adjoining in several surveys, a consolidated plat of this same [one word] from the re-surveys of Robert Hendry county surveyor and by John Stacy Surveyor; these lands lying on the waters of the South Newport Creek and Bull Town Swamp, Cypress Run and Sandy Run, adjoining lands granted to Hart now called [one word, starts with D] old field) and land granted to James Belcher and lands belonging to Moses L. Jones Estate of Col. Law, now Barnard, Roswell King John Ashmore and lands former owned by Thomas Bradwell, now in possession of Joseph B. Law.” He reserves that his wife Elizabeth S. L. Jones and any of his single daughters and unmarried sons shall have the use and privilege of planting this land until they marry or are otherwise settled. He believe there is land enough if properly managed to accommodate them, especially if they act towards each other as they have acted while their father was alive.

  • 2. Gives to his son Charles Berrien Jones “a tract of land purchased at the sales of Joseph Hargreaves containing upwards of three hundred acres more or less adjoining land belonging to the said Charles B. Jones, bought of Miller and adjoining lands belonging to the estate of LeConte or Doctr. J.B. Harden and Maybank.”

  • 3. Gives to his son Andrew Maybank Jones two tracts of land, one containing three hundred acres and one containing one hundred acres adjoining on a branch of the Bull Town Swamp adjoining lands bequeathed to him by the late Andrew Maybank.

  • 4. Gives to son Henry Hart Jones “a tract of land called Cherry Hill or Haynes Tract purchased at the sales of Major Maybank containing five hundred acres more or less adjoining lands of John Girardeau and John Dunwody’s place called Arcadia lying in the neighborhood of Midway Church.” Also gives to his son Henry his “four lots in Sunbury with the improvements situated on the bay numbers 21, 22, 23 and 24 where the late James Holmes resided.”

  • 5. Gives to his wife Elizabeth S. L. Jones his house and lot with the improvements on the Sand Hills containing nineteen acres as purchased from Mr. John Dunwody and the estate of Anderson, according to a plat made by Mr. John Stacy. Also gives his wife “eight acres of pine lands adjoining said lot purchased from the parsonage, also fifty acres of pine land purchased from Mr. Pynchon and wife, also fifty acres adjoining the same purchased from Mr. Walburg and Mr. James S. Bulloch, also the balance of a pine tract, containing upwards of one hundred acres purchased from the estate of Anderson, adjoining lands of Thomas Quarterman, running on a branch called Rattle Snake ?Gap?, part of said tract cut off and sold to the said Thomas Quarterman as per plat of Mr. John Stacy placed on the original grant. “ Also gives wife Elizabeth “a plantation near the Sand Hills called Wild Wood purchased from the McGowens, containing four hundred acres more or less adjoining lands belonging to Joseph Anderson formerly McCullough and lands of Thomas Quarterman and lands of Andrew Maybank Jones.

  • 6. Gives to “beloved daughter Mary Jones, the wife of the Reverend C.C. Jones, my two vacant lots in Sunbury situated on the Bay known as numbers 29 and thirty where the remains of my dear mother lie; I would leave my daughter more, but have already given her and titles made to the same a tract of land called Carlawter and besides she is amply provided for by a marriage settlement between myself and her deceased mother, recorded in the clerk’s office Liberty County Book ?F? Pages 134 & 135, securing certain negroes from which she has already drawn a part, and settled in a contract between her and her husband the Rev. C.C. Jones. “

  • 7. Gives to his son “the Reverend John Jones all that tract of land containing four hundred and ninety acres situated in Lowndes County known as hundred 597. I would leave my dear son more, but he has received a liberal education together with a profession and like his sister Mrs. Mary Jones, I conceive him amply provided for as stated above in Item 6 in a marriage contract securing certain negroes which he has already received. “

  • 8. Gives to his wife Elizabeth S. L. Jones and to his children by her all his bank stock, amounting at the time to three hundred shares in the Bank State of Georgia and one hundred shares in the central rail road and banking company of Georgia, share and share alike. His executor is authorized to have a transfer of script made on the respective books of the bank whenever a division of said stock is made, and if either of his children by this marriage should wish to sell their share or script, a preference must be given to the other heirs of this bank stock to make the purchase at the going price.

  • 9. Gives to his son Charles Berrien Jones “a negro boy called Jim, already received by him, and to my son Henry Hart Jones a negro boy called ? Crawford ?, to my son James Newton Jones I give and bequeath a boy called Washington. To son Andrew Maybank Jones “a negro girl called Amy and her issue.” To son Edwin West Jones “a wench called ? Sairy ? and her children.” To daughter Evelyn E. Jones “a negro woman named Suzy and her children as already received by her.” To daughter Emma “a wench called Mina and her future issue.” To daughter Augusta “a young girl called Rose and her future increase.” To daughter Elizabeth Caroline “a negro girl called ? Rinah ? [or Kinah] and her increase.” To daughter Helen Louise “a little girl called Marsha and her issue.” To daughter Laura Matilda “a little girl called Rosetta and her issue.”

  • 10. “The rest of my negro slaves, and any others I may die in the possession of shall be equally divided between my wife and my children by her, with the exception of five negroes from the ages of ten to twenty to be selected from the gang before division and reserved to each of my youngest daughters, Elizabeth Caroline, Helen Louise [or Louisa] and Laura Matilda over and above their due proportion in consideration of their being my youngest children.”

  • 11. “The fellow Alford and his wife Delia and the wench ?? Hardtimes ?? and the wench Rinah a seamstress I desire to belong particularly to my wife Elizabeth S.L. Jones, but that the said negroes shall be considered a portion of the property that would fall to her on the division of my other negroes and shall be appraised as such, and it is my will that my faithful servant and old Driver Pulaski and his wife remain on the Retreat Plantation, and said Pulaski to act as senior driver on the same, for the benefit of those of my children and wife who have a planting interest at the retreat and that the said Pulaski and his wife shall not be thrown into the division or appraisement of my other negroes but belong to that joint concern; and it is my further desire that the said Pulaski receive an extra suit of warm clothing and six dollars annually from the joint planters of the retreat.”

  • 12. Gives to sister Eliza G. Robarts four hundred dollars to be credited on her note he holds against her, if said note is not paid before his death. If paid, then this legacy is to be null and void and if her debt is unpaid and less than four hundred dollars, then the note “merely shall be given up.”

  • 13. Gives to his nephew Joseph W. Robarts four hundred dollars to be “credited on his and his mother’s joint bond to me,” if said note is not paid before his death. If paid, then this legacy is to be null and void and if his debt is unpaid and less than four hundred dollars, then the note “merely shall be given up.”

  • 14. Gives to his niece Elizabeth Maxwell two hundred dollars and to “my friend” her husband Col. William Maxwell, two hundred dollars, making four hundred dollars between them to be credited upon “their joint bond to me, if said note is not paid before my death.” If paid, then this legacy is to be null and void and if his debt is unpaid and less than four hundred dollars, then the note “merely shall be given up.”

  • 15. Gives to each of his grandchildren one hundred dollars to be paid out of any ready money in hand or from the collection of any debts due to his estate.

  • 16. Gives to nephew Charles C. Jones one hundred dollars and to his niece Susan M. Cumming one hundred dollars and to his two nieces Mary and Louisa Robarts each one hundred dollars to be paid as is specified in item 15.

  • 17. Gives wife Elizabeth S.L. Jones all of his household and kitchen furniture, beds, bedding, and plate, “but granting at the same time the general use of my furniture beds bedding and plate to all of my children while they remain single at home as asylum for them including my library.”

  • 18. Gives and bequeaths to his wife his carriage horses and gigs, stock of cattle and sheep, oxen ploughs, gins and plantation utensils of every kind reserving at the same time the use of them jointly for all of his children while they remain single and have their interest at the retreat.

  • 19. “The rest of my estate, whether it consist in lands negroes stocks bonds notes judgements mortgages or ready money, and all and every other description of property, I give and bequeath to my wife and children by my present marriage, as I hope to be clear of debt it is my will that no appraisement shall be made of my household and kitchen furniture, that being an unpleasant part to a bereaved family but that these things shall remain sacred and not exposed to public view.”

  • 20. Wills that his wife claim no dower from his estate, since the property already bequeathed her is more than would be her right to a dower.

  • 21. Wills that his “dear old mother Mary Hart shall be provided a home and comfortably supported out of my estate while it may please God to spare her valuable life.”

  • 22. “It is my will that such of my children by my present marriage as have already received a portion of negroes shall still hold the same, and that the same be considered a part of their proportion of my estate and be appraised as such, anything to the contrary notwithstanding.

  • 23. Appoints his wife Elizabeth S.L. Jones executrix, and desires that his children shall have as good an education as his estate can allow.

Executor: wife Elizabeth S.L. Jones

Date signed: 29 February 1844

Witnesses: Wm. [William] P. McConnell, Thos. [Thomas] S. Mallard, James B. Mell

Probated by Wm. P. McConnell on 2 November 1846

Codicil: Changes item 4 to give his son Henry H. Jones a tract called Lodebar adjoining lands of Delegal[,] Busby, Jos. Jones, and Dorchester formerly owned by William Maxwell containing eight hundred acres more or less, instead of the tract of land called Cherry Hill or Haynes tract and the four lots in Sunbury.

Also revoked and changed item 9, which had given his daughter Emma “a negro woman called Mina and her issue” and “in place thereof bequeath to her five dollars with the will and intent that she shall not inherit any more of my property real or personal, on account of clandestinely at night running away with and marrying S.N. Harris contrary to my will, wish and advice.”

[NOTE: For the unfortunate consequence of disinheriting Emma, please see The Dwelling Place, by Erskine Clarke, pp 390-391.]

Date signed: 17 June 1846

Witnesses: E. Chapman, James B. Mell, T. W. Quarterman

Probated by E. Chapman, James B. Mell and Thos. [Thomas] W. Quarterman on 2 December 1846

Recorded 5 November 1846

See original will at:

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