Liberty County Will – John B. Barnard

Enslaved People Named: Alleck, Ally, Becky [& 7 children not named], Christina, Hannah, Letitia, Mary E., Peggy, Will
Slaveholder: John B. Barnard
Year: 1861
Location: Liberty County, Georgia

[Begin Summary]

“I John B. Barnard of the County of Liberty and State of Georgia…”

Item 1: Wishes entire estate both real and personal to be kept together and managed “with prudence and economy during the present war & until the difficulties arising therefore be passed & peace be restored.” Gives his wife Ann P. Barnard two thousand dollars annually as a maintenance allowance during that time to be paid by the executors.

Item 2: Gives to his wife “absolutely to her & her assigns” all his household and kitchen furniture of every description and wherever situated. Also gives her “my house servants or as many as she may desire to have” during the period while the estate is kept together and undivided. Gives to his wife “absolutely to her and her heirs my negro woman maid servant Hannah & her four children Christina, Ally, Alleck & Letitia, with her & their future issue & increase.” Leaves his wife his carriage & horses.

Item 3: Gives his nephew John Barnard Chisolm a gold watch and chain which the executors are to purchase for him for not more than 150 dollars. Gives to Augusta Barnard Palmer, daughter of Dr. B. M. Palmer of New Orleans, a gold watch, chain and seal of similar cost to be purchased for her. Gives to Peter W. Fleming and Augustus Fleming five hundred dollars in trust for John Barnard Law, son of the late Josiah Law, to aid in his education.

Item 4: For the rest of the estate not specifically mentioned above, he directs his executors “after the difficulties of the times from the present war shall cease to divide into three equal parts taking into account all property held by my child Nathaniel Law Barnard & the children of my deceased son John D. Barnard as gifts from me to said Nathaniel L. or John D. heretofore made or derived to them under their grandmother’s Sarah M. Law’s will & also taking into account the property derived by my wife under her mother’s will so as to make each lot equal in value.” He gives one-third part to his son Nathaniel Law Barnard, to him and his heirs forever; one-third to his wife Ann P. Barnard during her natural life and after her death to be equally divided between his son Nathaniel L. Barnard and the children of his deceased son John D. Barnard; and one-third part to his executors Peter W. Fleming, Nathaniel Law Barnard and William Augustus Fleming in trust to be sold to the best advantage and then to be reinvested in stocks or otherwise at interested to be accumulated until the children of his deceased son John D. Barnard attain their majority or marry, at which time each shall receive his or her equal share.

Item 5: When his estate is divided, he wishes that Becky and her seven children, along with any more she shall have, are to be included in the lot to Nathaniel L. Barnard and that his “old & faithful carpenter man Will” should be included in the lot to his wife “recommending him to her kindest treatment & indulgence for his past fidelity.”

Appoints as executors his friend Peter W. Fleming, his son Nathaniel Law Barnard, and his friend Wm. [William] Augustus Fleming, the son of Peter W. [Fleming]. He authorizes them to appropriate from the income of his estate two thousand dollars to “complete & carry out my designed arrangements” for his lot and improvements to it in Laurel Grove Cemetery in the city of Savannah.

Signed on 19 November 1861 by J.B. Barnard in the presence of Wm. [William] Law, W.W. Wash, Walter S. Chisholm
Recorded on 19 April 1862 by Liberty County Ordinary W.P. Girardeau

Codicil added in December 1861:

Item 1: Wishes that his beloved wife Ann P. Barnard shall have the power to dispose of by will five thousand dollars worth of the portion of his estate she is to receive as a life estate. Directs that no provisions of his will shall prevent her from exercising this power, but if she does not exercise it, the whole of her portion of his estate shall be left as directed in the will.

Item 2: Does not want his North Hampton plantation to be sold during his wife’s natural life. “The negroes which may fall to the portion of my said wife [shall] be worked on said plantation” and the trustees appointed for the children of his deceased son John D. Barnard, shall “keep and work the negroes of said children on said plantation until in their discretion they may sell said negroes, and my son Nathaniel L. Barnard shall have the right to work the negroes of his portion on said plantation if he desires it.” At the death of his wife, the plantation must be sold and the proceeds divided as directed in item 5 of the will.

Item 3: Desires that the trustees of the children of his deceased son John D. Barnard not be obliged to sell the trust estate immediately after the estate’s division but may exercise their discretion as to the time of selling and reinvesting, as directed in the will. They must sell the trust property at private sale and “must sell the negroes in families and to kind and humane masters.” If the children of his deceased son John B. Barnard die childless, then their portion of the estate shall pass to his son Nathaniel L. Barnard, if alive, otherwise to his child or children forever in fee simple.

Item 4: Gives “Peggy a mulatto woman in Savannah and her child Mary E. to my beloved wife Ann P. and my son Nathaniel L. Barnard to be allowed the use of their own time and the profits of their labor.”

Item 5: “It is my will that my negroes now in the County of Daugherty in possession of my son Nathaniel L. Barnard shall remain in his possession until my Executors shall be ready to divide that portion of my estate situate in the County of Liberty as directed in my last will & testament, my said son Nathaniel L. paying reasonable hire for half of said negroes to my estate and then said negroes shall be appraised and divided into two equal portions, and to my son Nathaniel L. Barnard to him and his heirs forever I give devise and bequeath one portion of said negroes and the other portion of said negroes to the Trustees named and appointed in my last will and testament for the benefit of the children of my deceased son John D. Barnard” in trust as directed in Item 4 of the will, and taken into account in the division of the estate as directed in item 4.

Charges his executors named in the will with execution of the provisions of the codicil.

Signed by John B. Barnard on 7 December 1861 in the presence of Joseph Law, J.R. Calder, and S.S. Barnard.

Recorded on 19 April 1862.

[End Summary]

For original copy of will, see: “Georgia Probate Records, 1742-1990,” images, FamilySearch ( : 20 May 2014), Liberty > Miscellaneous probate records 1850-1863 vol C and L > image 278 of 703; county probate courthouses, Georgia.

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