Will of Thomas Violet
Woodford Co Kentucky Will Book C p. 285
In the name of god Amen, I Thomas Violet, do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament hereby revoking all wills or appointments heretofore made viz: 1. It is my will and desire that my executors herein after mentioned do first pay all my debts out of any monies that may come into their hands. 2. I give unto my sons Henson, Thomas, John, Ashford, Edward, William, Augusta, and my daughter Elizabeth each six shillings. 3. I give my daughter Nancy South my Negroes Peter, Andrew, and Sally, until they the said Negroes severally arrive to the age of twenty-five years old. Peter, now aged about eleven years old, Andrew, nine years old, and Sally five years old and when the said Negroes, Peter, Andrew, and Sally attain the age of 25 years old, they and their increases to be free on condition nevertheless that should my said daughter, Nancy South, or her heirs or any other person claiming the said Negroes in the right of my daughter sell the said Negroes or either of them, they the said Negro or Negroes shall be free from the date of such sale or should the said Negroes either of them be sent out of the state or should their be an attempt made by my said daughter or any other person claiming them under her the said Negroes in like manner shall be entitled to their freedom as they would have been had they remained in the possession of my said daughter, her heirs, until the said Negroes had severally attained the age twenty five years old and in addition to the Negroes above mentioned, I give my said daughter Nancy a bed and furniture. 4. I give unto my daughter Milly and her heirs the plantation whereon I now live together with my household and kitchen furniture and farming utensils and stock of every kind and also all my money whether it be in cash on hand at my death or due by bonds, notes, or in any other manner, whatever on condition that my said daughter Milly do annually give my daughter Exilinda ten dollars a year for twenty years. I also give my said daughter Milly my Negroes George, aged about twelve years old, Maria, aged about eight years old and Ellender about three year and a half years old until the said Negroes severally attain the age of twenty five years old and also my Negroes Cealia, aged eighteenth months, Patience, now twenty one years old, Hetty, Hannah, and James, Hetty now sixteen years old, Hannah, six years old, and James, four years old, all of my said Negroes to serve my said daughter until they severally attain the age of twenty five years old and then they and their increase they may have at the several times of my said Negroes herein mentioned attaining their age of twenty five years old shall also be free. My will is that all after born children of my said Negroes shall be at the time their mothers are free whether such child or children is born before of after the several times of service of my said Negroes, but it is nevertheless my intention and on no other condition whatever shall my said daughter Milly hold the said Negroes but under the like restrictions, forfitures and conditions as is mentioned in this my will as to the Negroes given my daughter Nancy South. 5. It is my will and I do hereby set free at my death my Negroes, Sylvia, Cain, Jack, Susan, and Eina and I do hereby direct my executors herein after mentioned to take such steps as may be necessary in law to set my said Negroes last mentioned free at my death it being my desire that the said Negroes shall be free and their increase at my death. Lastly, I do appoint my daughter Milly Violet, Preston W. Brown, and George Walker my executors. In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 27th day of July 1809. Thos. Violet.
Acknowledged and published in the presence of Thomas Poor, Thomas W. Sellers. John Sellers.
State of Kentucky Pct
I do hereby certify that the within will of Thomas Violett deceased is by the judgment of the court of appeals rendered at the last October Term of the said court in a cause between Preston W. Brown and others plaintiffs and Thomas Violett and other defendents directed to be admitted of record in the Woodford County Court as fully proved before the said Court of Appeals as will appear by the aforesaid judgment accompanying herewith att: Achilles Sneed ccd. Dec. 30, 1809.
Woodford County Pct---February Court 1810
This the last will and testament of Thos. Violet dec’d was produced in court and in pursuance of the following opinion of the court of appeals is ordered to record.
Teste: John McKinney Jr.
State of Kentucky Pct
Court of Appeals October Term 1809
Preston W. Brown, George Walker and Milly Violett, Exec of Thomas Violett dec’d, Plaintiffs against Thomas Violett, Henson Violett, John Violett, Ashford Violett, Edward Violett, Wm. Violett, Augustus Violett, John Scott and Elizabeth his wife, John Kirby and Valinda his wife, Zedekiah South and Nancy his wife, who except the said Scott Kirby and South are with the plaintiff Milly Violett heirs of Thomas Violett deceased and the Woodford County Court, defendents.
Upon a writ of error to reverse a judgment of the Woodford County Court.
The court being now sufficiently advised of and concerning the premises delivered the following opinion to wit: The principal instrument purporting to be the last will and testament of Thos. Violett deceased has been testified by the subscribing witnesses as duly published according to the forms of Law by the said Violett as his will and testament. But it has been supposed by some that the testator was of mind insane or too imbecile to act efficiently and some witnesses have proved that he acted at times with whimsical and ridiculous levity. These are accounted for and are rightly attributable
to his fits of intemperance in the use of distilled liquors. None have so testified as to induce a belief that he laboured under derangement or fixed imbecility of mind. On the contrary, it is well established by the subscribing witnesses that he was at the time of the publication and attestation in his cool and sober senses. It appears clearly that he was a man of retentive memory and of sound disposing mind even to his last moments. He appears long before his death to have fixed and continued his attention against intestary and to have formed a determination as to the particular disposition of the bulk of his estate. In the framing and execution of this his last will and testament, he appears to have acted throughout with a firm, collected, and efficient mind. He sent for Mr. George Walker, a gentleman of the profession of the Law and of known integrity. He directed Mr. Walker what dispositions to make. When the instrument was drawn he heard it read distinctly more than once. He took advice as to the mode of attestation which he afterwards strictly conformed to and having so done, enclosed it to Mr. Walker for safe keeping with a letter requesting to know as an answer whether he had received it. The very act of passing by nearer neighbors with whom he had formerly some bickering and going to those more remote to get their attestation , the manner in which he folded it so as to present little else than his name to the subscribing witnesses, the surprise he showed when one for whom he had not sent to attest it entered the room, the caution which he used to conceal the particular dispositions he had made, all evidence showing a retentive, a healthy recollection, and a judgment keenly exercised upon the workings of human passions and prejudices. In fine, there is the most abundant testimony that his mind was sufficiently hale to entitle him to the right of disposing by last will and testament and that he has legally and efficiently exercised it.
Therefore it is considered by the court that the judgment of the county court rejecting the probate of the said last will and testament of Thos. Violett deceased be reversed, that
the said Will and Testament be here recorded as fully proved and the original transmitted to the said county court of Woodford to be there admitted to record as fully proved in this court and thereon to proceed as the law directs in like cases, that the codicils appear to have been executed at a time when the testator was of competent mind, but that the subscribing witnesses were not examined in this court, therefore that the said County Court do hear the testimony of the subscribing witnesses to the several codicils respecting the publications and attestation thereof and thereupon do make such order of and upon the premises as to them shall seem meet and further to act in this behalf according to Law. Which is ordered to be certified to the said County Court.
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