Will of David Crawford

One of the suggestions for breaking down a brick wall is to go back thru one’s previous research. I can’t say that I’ve broken thru my brick wall, but I can say that this review process is helping me learn about other Crawford families in the area.

So, last night, I continued the process when I found my handwritten notes from the book, Index to the Recorded Kentucky Wills to 1851: The Testators. It appears that I transcribed the information for all of the Crawfords. Curious about the contents of some of these early wills, I used FamilySearch to locate the 1805 will for David Crawford.

This will names the children, gives the married name of the daughters, identifies some slaves and identifies several pieces of land. Based on the information in the will, I believe this will is for David Crawford IV whose FamilySearch ID is L55C-CW6.

Jefferson County Kentucky
Will Books
FS Film 9043 DGS 7637316

David Crawford IV L55C-CW6
Children Named

  • son David Crawford
  • son Reuben Crawford
  • son Nathan Crawford
  • daughter Sally Cocke
  • daughter Elizabeth Davis
  • daughter Nancy Jones
  • son Charles Crawford
  • son Nelson Crawford
  • son William Crawford

Book 1 page 161
Image 91

I David Crawford of Amherst County
and State of Virginia being of sound
mind and recollection at this time
and wishing to dispose of all my worldly
Estate do constitute and make this my
last will and testament in writing
in four manner and substance vise
I desire that all my just and verified
debts if ny there be honestly paid by
my executors herein after mentioned out of
the first money that comes into their hands
belonging to my Estate
I give unto my son David Crawford
one Negro boy named Frank one feather

page 162
bed and furniture and half the land I own
the fork of herods Creek in the State of
Kentucky to him his heirs and assigns for
I give unto my son Reuben Crawford one
negro boy named Jacob one bed and furniture
and the other half of my land in the fork
of herods Creek in the State of Kentucky
to him his heirs and assigns forever
I give unto my son Nathan Crawford all
that tract of land which I wond in Shelby
County state of Kentucky lying in the
fork of Bearshe[uses] Creek containing
fifteen hundred acres be the same more
or less and on which he now lives to
him his heirs and assigns forever
I give to my daughter Sally Cocke
a negro boy named Adam and eighty 
pounds in money to her his heirs and
assignes forever which Negro boy she has
already received in possession as also
the eighty pounds
The property which I have heretofore
given to my daughter Elizabeth Davis &

image 92
page 163

Nancy Jones and which they have had
in possession thereby ratify and confirm to
them their heirs and assigns forever
I give and bequeath unto my son [Croel]
Crawford that tract of land I purchased
of Richard Taliaf[ero] & on which he
now lives containing three hundred
and ninety five acres be the same
more or less but with the variation
(vise) all the said tract of land
lying immediately on the west side of the 
road now passing through the gap of the
tobacco Mountain and running to Elias
Wills’s Rode and so much of my former
tract of land as may be on the west side
of the road which is to be his Eastern
Boundary to him his heirs and assigns
I give unto my son Nelson Crawford the
sum of fifty pounds current money
with legal interest theron from
the year one thousand seven hundred
and eighty six until it shall be
paid it being to make the balance

page 164
of two hundred pounds for the land he
now lives on to make it equal in value
to the land which I have given to my
son John Crawford & now bequeath unto
my son Charles Crawford to him his heirs
and assigns forever provided never the less
that in my life time I should pay my said
son Nelson the afsd sum of fifty pounds
with interest as aforesaid or give my bond
payable for the same in that case this 
bequith to be null and voide
I give and bequeth unto Wm Crawford
all that tract of land lying on and adjoining
the buffaloe Ridge in the County of Amherst
containing two hundred and sixty two acres
be the same more or less and granted by
patent bearing date the 17th of May 
1789 to him his heirs and assigns forever
Thence to my beloved wife the land I now
live on also one hundred and ninety four
acres adjoining which I purchased of
Robert Johnston also fifty acres adjoin
ing which I took Up & surveyed as also
the land I purchased of Wm Haynes
for her use and comfortable support
during her natural life & after her

image 93
page 165

decease to be sold by my executors to the
best advantage either for ready money
or on such credit as shall be agreed on
by a majority of such my legatees on the
summons of them or their legal representa
tives as may be Interested therein its then
my desire that five hundred pounds of
purchase money  be paid by my executors 
to each of my sons Reuben and David Crawford
then the remainder of the purchase money
to be equally amongst all my children male or
female or their legal representatives share &
share alike excepting my two sons Reuben and 
David Crawford & who are to have no part
I also lend to my beloved wife during her
natural life all my slaves and other person
nal Estate of every kind whatever except such
slaves and other personal Estate already
disposed of and after her death such slaves
and personal Estate with their Increase
equally divided between all my children 
or their legal representatives vise my
sons John William Nelson Charles Nathan
Reuben and David Crawford and my daughters
Elizabeth Davis, Nancy Jones & Sally Cocke

page 166
In the following manner that is to say as
the slaves which I possess have been mostly
raised and brought up by myself and to
whom I am attached from long and personal
guidance and direction
I wish them not sold out of the family or
owned by any but my sons who bear my name
and therefore direct that their intrinsic
value with their increase be ascertain ed
[by] three judicious and discreet men chosen by
a majority of all my children or their legal
representatives that  may attend for that
purpose they and each of them having six mon
ths previous notice thereof and after such
alotment or division of my slaves amongst my
sons or their legal representatives my afsd
three daughters Elizabeth Davis, Nancy Jones
& Sally Cocke to receive their afsd equal share
& proportion of their value in money also
the other remaining personal estate after
the death of my beloved wife to bee equally
divided amongst all my children male or
female or their legal representatives share
& share alike & if my said children or their
legal representatives should not agree
to the mode or manner of specifically dividing

image 94
page 167

The said property then it shall be sold by
my executors for cash or credit and the money
equally divided as aforesaid
If the whole or majority of children or legatees
should think it expedient they may assign
unto my beloved wife any one of my negroes to be
disposed of at her death as she may think
proper and it is my further will and desire
that the whole of the estate both real and
personal which I have lent unto my beloved
wife for her comfortable support and maintain
ance during her natural life shall be under
the guidance management & direction of my
executors but so as to not abridge impair or
lessen her future use and enjoyment of the 
I desire that each of my children or legatees
at the final distribution of my Estate pay
to my son Nathan Crawford five pounds in
money as some compensation to him for not
receiving all that assistance support in 

page 168
setting out in life in a remote and distant
country which my other children may have
[received] I also remit to him the increase of the
money which he owed me until the same be paid
Whereas I have my son JOhn’s bond in the 
penalty of ten thousand pounds to make me
a fee simple right and title to all the lands
which he located or surveyed in his own name
for me on the western waters and State of 
Kentucky and whereas I have by this my
will bequeathed unto my sons Nathan
Reuben and David Crawford part of the
afsd lands as herein before mentioned
particularly described and dis[egorated]
land have also given unto my three daugh
hters Elizabeth Jones Mary Jones  &
Sally Cocke one other tract of the sd land
containing one thousand acres be the same 
more or less to be equally divided among
them or their legal representatives which
said land and gift Thereby ratify and com
firm to them their heirs and assigns for
ever [?] will & direction that my said son John

image 96
page 169

do convey and warrant the fee simple right
& title in & to afsd mentioned tracts of
land (or any of the afsd lands not here in
mentioned) from the claim of himself
or any other person claiming through or
under him agreeable and in conformity
to the disposition which I have made
of them in this my will or the laws of
this country may direct the tract of
land which he sold to Thomas [Luens]
and has conveyed is exempted from this
It is my will and desire that if any of
my above children should die without
lawful issue or children begotten of their
bodies before the receive their  respective
proportions that then the legacess to
remain annexed to the bulk of my estate
to be divided amongst my surviving children
& legatees agreeable to this my will
The crops which I may have on hand unsold
and the debts and monies which may be
own me I direct to be applied to the

page 170
payment of my debts if any in the first
place and the balance to be divided amongst
all my children unless my executors or a
majority of my children should think it
necessary and advisable to to lend the
whole or any part thereof to my beloved w
ife for her immediate use & accommo
dation to be repaid by her from the profits
of the estate which I hve lent during life
I request & direct that if any difference or
dispute should arise respecting the me
aning of this my will the bond ending
parties or party shall choose each then man
and the a third  person & their opinion in
writing of the intention of my will shall
be obligatory and binding as if determined
in a court of law
I appoint my son John Wm  B
Nelson and Charles Crawford executors of
this my last will and testament hereby
revoking all others heretofore made
trusting to their zealous fidelity to execute
the same with integrity & upright to [usness]

image 97
page 171

Thereby promoting harmony peace & happi
ness of my family It is times my whereof
I have here unto set my hand and seal
this 14th day of December one thousand eight
hundred and one
David Crawford
Signed Sealed & acknowledged
in presence of use the undersigned
Wm Pryor
John (his mark) Pryor
Stetta Sullivan
Article to the within will the 216 acres of lane ment
ioned in my will given to my
son William to be sold the money to be equally 
divided amongst my legatees
After my death should there be more stock
than is necessary to support my wife or
any surplus whatever it may be sold to
pay any debt I may owe
It is my will that my son John to have 
the management of all my plantation affairs
It is my desire that my sons David and
Reuben be furnished with all those
Necessaries equal with the rest of my

page 172
children that has gone off if it is not
done in my lifetime
Witness my hand this
14 day of march 1802
David Crawford
WB the negroes left my wife are Mirgo and
Dillay his wife Nead and Charity his wife
& Daphney & their increase Gabriel and
Sarah all of which to be equally div
ided amongst my legatees
Wm Pryor
John Pryor
Stella (her mark) Sullivan
At a court held for Amherst County
the 20th day of Sept 1802 this will
with the codicil was proven by the oaths
of Wm Pryor and John Pryor two subscri
bing witnesses thereto & ordered to be reco
rded & certified for obtaining prove at there
in due form is granted to john Crawford
Wm Crawford Nelson Crawford 7 Charles
Crawford the executors in said will named
they having made oath & given bond with
Charles Taliafarro Danl Wanwich 

image 98
page 173

Nelson Anderson & Wm Pryor the security
in the penalty of forty thousand dollars
amount money conditioned as the law
Test L Garland D.C.
A copy Test L garland D C
At a County Court held for Jefferson
County on Monday 4th March 1805
The transcript of David
Crawfords will on the motion of Nathan
was produced in open court & ordered to
be recorded
Worden Cope