Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Allen line: The will of Lemuel Dunn

I obtained this will on a trip to Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky a couple of years ago.  I decided to transcribe it because although I've sent it to "cousins" who put it on their Ancestry trees, it is difficult to read. Maybe this will be a bit easier on the eyes:

This is from will book 9, page 234:

Mercer County and state of Kentucky in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty seven_I Lemuel Dunn of the county and state afroresaid do make and order [not sure I have that wording correct] the following to be and remain my last will and testament-that is to say, first of all, I give unto my beloved wife Sarah R Dunn during her life or widowhood the whole of my estate both real and personal to be and received [?] at her disposal by her the said Sarah R Dunn paying to each of my sons and daughters, David C Dunn, William H. H. Dunn, George W Dunn, Margaret J Dunn, Lemuel Dunn, Sally Dunn and Cynthia Dunn fifty dollars as they may become of age-or as much more as the said Sarah R Dunn may think proper to give to the above named. In testimony whereof I hereunto set my hand and seal this day  [and?] date above written.  Signed Lemuel Dunn Sr.

Signed in the presence of the following persons:
David G Campbell Martha H Denney
Jane Campbell, Martha Denney senr
Rosannah Campbell, J.H. Hogue

Mercer County [?} September County County Court 1829- The foregoing last will and testament of Lemuel Dunn dec'd was this day produced into court and proven by the oaths of Martha H Denney ...Denny Seniot to subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded.
Att: Thomas Allin C.C.

I also have a copy of his inventory, which is about a page long.  There were 8 head of cattle, 4 calves, 5 horses, and what I suppose would be typical farm equipment, plus a considerable number of tools.  This family was not dirt poor, because a wooden clock valued at $25 is listed, which is actually the single most valuable item on the inventory, after the horses ($138) and the waggon and gear ($100).  He also had 12 chairs, (enough to feed his whole family all at once and company, too), a watch, a looking glass, and 50 books valued at $20.  The inventory was ordered on September 18, 1829, and totalled $501.75. Appraisers were James Campbell, Stephen Stone, A.S. Robards and Benj. Curd. 

We don't know much more than this about Lemuel. His son George Washington went to Missouri, read law, and became a judge, and on-line biographies of the judge say that Lemuel's father was Michael Dunn, who fought in the revolution and was of Irish extraction.  We don't know when Lemuel was born. He married Sarah (Sally) Reid Campbell on March 14, 1809 in Madison County, Kentucky. In the record, his name is clearly written as Samuel but we have other documentation proving that this was Lemuel Dunn. We don't know when he was born, or whether this was his first and only marriage.  If he was, say, 25 when he married then he was only 45 when he died, but again, this is speculation. 

Efforts to search for Michael Dunn are ongoing. There was a Michael Dunn from Maryland who married Elizabeth Cheney, daughter of Richard Cheney of Anne Arundel, Md, and went to Wythe County, Va.  I located a Michael Dunn who was in the militia of Montgomery County, Virginia during the Revolution.  There is also a Michael Dunn who died in the battle known as St Clair's Defeat on November 4, 1791, among the 623 soldiers who were killed or captured in that horrible massacre. James Dunn, who may or may not be related, was also killed that day.  These Michael Dunns may be one and the same person, or there may be two or even three Michael Dunns in the same area at the same time, and one might be Lemuel's father.  No proof is known to exist, but we're still looking. 

I would love to learn more about Lemuel, and especially about his mysterious father.  If we find anything definitive, you can bet that we'll be doing the Happy Genealogy Dance! 

Our line is: Lemuel Dunn and Sarah Campbell
Margaret J Dunn and Archibald Allen
George Allen and Nancy McCoy
Edward Allen and Edith Knott  
Richard/Edith/Corinne/Tessora/Vernon Allen