Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Allen: Transcription of will of James Allen

In the name of God I James Allen of the County of Mercer and State of Kentucky being weak in Body but of perfect mind & memory do make this my last will and Testament.  First it is my will and desire that all my Just debts be paid & as regards the residue of Estate with which I am possessed. It is my will and desire that my Executor hereafter named collect such Estate both real and person which belongs to me in Virginia & appropriate so much of the same to the purchase of a piece of land in Kentucky at the selection (X) discretion of my Executor for my wife to live on during her life. It is further my will and desire that the personal properrty I may die possessed of after my debts are satisfied remain in the use of my wife in such manner as my executor may approve of for the support of my wife and Education of my children and after her death the the property be equally divided amongst any children hereafter named, to wit, James Allen Jr, Isaac Allin, Moses Allin, John Allin, William Allin, Archibald Allin & my daughter Eliza Vandaviers Children making her childrens portion should she have any equal to one seventh of my Estate.  I do hereby nominate and appoint my friend Jolly S Parish Executor to this my last will & Testament hereby revoking all former wills by me in any wise made given under my hand this 21st day of March 1820. It is my disire that my Executor give no Security for his Executorship herein.

James Allin (seal)


J Robards
Henry Robinson
John Robinson

Mercer County Set (?) April County Court 1820
The foregoing last will and Testament of James Allin Dec was this day produced into Court and proved by the oaths of Henry Robinson & John Robinson two Subscribing (can't read) thereto & ordered to be recorded. Attes: Thomas Allin, C.C.

The appraisal of his personal property was completed and reported to the November Court in Mercer County. His farm related personal property was valued at $343 and household goods at $159. He had several cattle, horses and pigs, various farm tools and implements, and not a lot of household goods. There were 6 chairs, which means the family must have eaten in shifts. There was a looking glass for the use of his wife, presumably, valued at $4.50. The most highly valued items were his horses, saddles and saddle bags, and a rifle with shot bag and powder horn, indicating he probably hunted to supplement the farm income.  There were no books listed, which makes it the more remarkable that he wanted his children to be educated.

James Allen was the father of Archibald Allen who was the father of George R Allen who was the father of Edward F Allen who was the father of Richard, Edith, Corinne, Tessora, and Vernon Allen.  The reference to property in Virginia was land from his father, James Allen, that was in the possession of James Senior's wife (Sarah Crowdas) until she died. That estate wasn't settled until 1829, per records in the possession of the Library of Virginia.  The James Allen who wrote this will was married to Tabath or Tabitha Parrish, and Jolly Parish who was the Executor was some sort of cousin to her. 

Typing this will out pointed out one thing to me that I hadn't noticed before. Most of the spellings of Allen in the will are Allin. I don't know whether that is because the Clerk of the Court spelled his name Allin, or whether they truly were more Allin than Allen at this time period.  There is a whole list found on Ancestry of James Allen(s) from Kentucky who were involved in the war of 1812. I have so far not been able to verify whether any of them are ours. James was  born March 28, 1769 so he would have been under 45, the general cut off for service.  He died shortly before April 4, 1820, so would have been just 51 at the time of death.  I haven't found death records for Tabath yet, but she was alive in the 1830 census and living in the Shaker Heights census district, Mercer County, Ky.

I must thank my cousin, Mary Ellen, who obtained this will and inventory for me. I had visited "The Vault" in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, but I didn't copy what I thought I'd copied, and I was very pleased that she was able to get the "right stuff" for me, to share with you.