Liberty County Will – William Thomas Dunham

Enslaved People Named: Betsey, Celie, Charlotte, Eliza, Fanny, Frances, ?Garrison?, Hannah, Juno [or June], Mary, Nancy, Ned, Phoebe [2], Pompey, Rosanna, Sam, ?amah
Slaveholder: William Thomas Dunham
Year: 1862
Location: Liberty County, Georgia

[Begin Summary]

“Georgia, Liberty County } In the name of God Amen. I William Thomas Dunham of said state and county…” Desires to be buried by his father’s side in the Jones Creek Cemetery.

Item 1: Wishes his debts to be paid without delay so as not to delay his creditors’ rights since there is no need to do so.

Item 2: Gives to brother John Dunham all his land on Jones Creek in Liberty County, containing 1200 acres more or less, about 130 acres of which are cleared and in cultivation, along with all rights and appurtenances to said lands, free of any charge or limitation whatever with the full power to dispose of the same at any time. Also gives his brother the farming utensils belonging to said plantation, along with all his horses, mules, stock of cattle and hogs, all corn and fodder, and household and kitchen furniture.

Item 3: Gives to brother John Dunham and his children “my negro man Sam known as my carpenter his wife Phoebe and her future increase my negro man Pompey and my negro girl Fanny and her infant (Nancy) together with future increase.” If his brother John Dunham dies without children, then the aforementioned “negroes” shall be equally divided between his sisters Sarah Jane Crawford and Mary Esther Hart or their issue, share and share alike.

Item 4: Gives to his brother Andrew J. Dunham and his children “my negro girl Hannah and her future increase Juno [or June] and her future increase and Phoebe daughter of my servant Mary and her future increase. If his brother John Dunham dies without children, they will be equally divided between his sisters Sarah Jane Crawford and Mary Esther Hart, share and share alike, or their issue.

Item 5: Gives to his sister Sarah Jane Crawford, wife of Samuel H. Crawford, and to her children by her present or any future husband “free from the disposition of her present or any future husband my negro woman Mary and her four children Eliza Betsey, ?Garrison? and Ned,” with their future increase. Appoints his brother in law Sam’l H. Crawford trustee for the property bequeathed to his sister Sarah Jane Crawford and her children.

Item 6: Similarly gives to his sister Mary Esther Hart, wife of Dr. Edw’d [Edward] H. Hart, and to her children by her present or any future husband free from the disposition of her present or any future husband his “negro woman ?amah my negro woman Celie and her two children, Charlotte & Frances together with their future increase.” Appoints his brother-in-law Dr. Edw’d Hart trustee for his sister’s property.

Item 7: Gives to his friend Mary Elizabeth Miller, wife of Joseph N. Miller, and to her children by her present or any future husband free from the disposition of her present or any future husband “my negro girl Rosanna.” Appoints his friend W.P.M. Ashley trustee for Mary Elizabeth Miller’s portion. If she dies without children then the property bequeathed her shall go to his sister Mary Esther Hart. Makes this bequest to his friend Mary Elizabeth Miller “as a slight testimonial of my appreciation of her uniform kindness to me in my affliction.”

Item 8: Appoints his beloved brothers John Dunham and Andrew J. Dunham as Executors of his will.

Signed by Wm. Thos. Dunham in the presence of H.C. Parker, B.P. Harrington, S.M. Chapman, W.P.M. Ashley on 1 November 1862

Codicil added on 1 November 1862. Codicil noted that names of witnesses to the will were Hampton C. Parker, Bryan P. Harrington, ?Shelon? [could be Shelton or Sheldon] M. Chapman. Gives to his brother John Dunham “all monies notes accounts and cotton which I may have at the time of my death upon the same conditions as are contained in my said will relative to the property therein given to my said brother John Dunham and his children.” Signed in front of the same witnesses as the will, with one slight alteration in name: Wm. P. M. Ashley.

Probated by H.C. Parker and B.P. Harrington before Liberty County Ordinary W.P. Girardeau on 20 April 1863.

John Dunham swore oath to fulfill duties as executor on 4 May 1863

Recorded 5 May 1863 before W.P. Girardeau, Liberty County Ordinary.

[End Summary]

For original copy of will, see: “Georgia Probate Records, 1742-1990,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L93T-XYV6?cc=1999178&wc=9SB7-6T5%3A267679901%2C268014801 : 20 May 2014), Liberty > Miscellaneous probate records 1850-1863 vol C and L > image 305 of 703; county probate courthouses, Georgia.

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