Last Will and Testament
State of Mississippi
In the Name of God, Amen!
I, John Ford, feeble in body but in my usual strength of mind, calling to mind that man is mortal and must die, do make this my Last Will and Testament.
- My soul, I recommend to God who gave it, my body to be buried in a plain, usually way.
- 2. As respects my worldly goods it has pleased God to bless me with, I give and bequest them as follows:
- I wish all just debts paid out of any of my property that my Executors shall think most perishable.
- I confirm the right of the following property to the legal heirs of Hugh Erwin, that is to say, my daughter Ann Griffin and her two children, Margaret and Hugh Ervin. I give them the following Negroes: Will, Anthony, Jacob, Dal and Semanthy with their increase and seven cows with their increase now in their possession. It is expressly understood that the above named Negroes are Ann griffin’s agreeably to the decision of the Court of Probate in the division of Hugh Ervin’s estate, it being one third of his personal estate.
- I give to my son John Ford, one Negro man named Jim and seven cows and their increase now in their possession. I loan the following Negroes (Viz) John, Fanny, Sophy, Ellie and Marian with their increase to John Ford and Hannah Ford, his wife, during their life and at their death to be equally divided among their lawfully begotten children.
- I give unto Miles Harper one Negro woman named Amerik and seven cows and their increase now in his possession. I loan to Samantha Harper the following Negroes with their increase (Viz) Abram, Miss Bob Giles and Alford during her life time and at her death to be equally divided among her lawfully begotten children, also the increase of Amerik.
- I give to John Ervin seven cows and their increase now in his possession, also relinquish to him post claim of six hundred dollars which I hold against him for a Negro man sold to Hangar. I discharge him fully for he said amount.
- I give to my son, Thomas Ford, the following property with their increase (Viz) Ben, Jacob, Susan, Jane and Fanny, also seven cows now in his possession, Also one hundred and sixty acres of land patented by Miles Harper, also three hundred and fifty acres patented by John W. Harvey and Sampson E. Ball. I reserve unto myself, my heirs or executors the privilege of cutting any canals or making any embankments through or on said lands.
- At the death of my wife, Catherine Ford, I give unto the heirs of my daughter, Asenath Ervin (that is) Hugh Ford and Thomas Griffin Ervin, the following Negroes, (Viz): Issac, Dorcas, Chaney, Tamer, Ben Mahala, Jane, John and Asenath, with their increase.
- I reserve unto myself as my own legal property, the following Negroes: (namely): Daniel, flora, Moses, Marge, Millie and Daniel with their increase to be managed under the direction of my executors until my son, Elias Ford’s debts (five hundred and eleven dollars with interest) with Ebenezer Ford is paid and my estate entirely exonerated from all difficulties and embarrassment occasioned by a lawsuit with said Elias Ford and Isaac A. Miles or anything relative to the same, then to be delivered to Elias Ford and his wife Ruth Ford as a loan during their lives and at their death to go the Elias Ford’s lawful child or children.
- I wish the remainder of my property both real and personal to remain in a consolidated body until just debts are paid and the estate entirely relieved from embarrassments; Then if the heirs and executors agree as the following heirs arrive to the age of majority (Viz): my sons, David Ford, Joseph Ford, Washington Ford, Samuel Ford and daughter Catherine Ford; they can divide the remainder of my estate equally among the five last named children and my beloved wife, Catherine Ford. At the death of my wife, Catherine Ford, I whish her part to go to the five last named children or those of them who may survive.
- As difficulties frequently arise from executors having power to sell at public sales alone, it is my will that my executors shall have the power of selling at private sales, either real or personal estate.
- I constitute and appoint David Ford, Sen. John Ford, Jr. David Ford, Jr. and Joseph Martin Ford, my legal executors to execute my will.
Given under my hand and seal this 25th January, A.D. 1826.
Signed, sealed, published and declared to be of
my last will and testament in the presence of:
W. H. Wilson
Francis A. Abott
Rev. John Ford 1767 - 1826