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Rankin Family History Project


Last Will and Testament of John Chrysostom Watkins


Know all men by these Presents, that I John C. Watkins of the County of Perry and State of Missouri, being weak in body but of Sound and disposing will, Memory and understanding do make publish and declare this my last will and Testament in manner and form as follows (to wit):  

1st. All my just debts and funeral expenses shall first, by my Executor herein after named, be paid out of my Estate as soon after my decease as shall by them be found convenient.  

2nd. I give and bequeath to my Son Francis C. Watkins one fourth of my entire Estate.  

3rd. I give and bequeath to my son George V. Watkins one fourth of my entire Estate.

4th. I give and bequeath to my Son Thomas I. Watkins one fourth of my entire Estate.  

5th. I give and bequeath to my daughter, Mary A. Watkins one fourth of my entire Estate.  

6th. I give and bequeath to my daughter Mary M. Rankin, wife of Sanford F. Rankin, the Sum of one dollar. My reason for not willing her more is because she has been a disobedient child.  

My executor hereinafter mentioned will sell and dispose of all my personal property at public auction to the highest bidder and after paying all my just debts (as heretofore stated) and Administration will distribute the same to my heirs as herein before directed.  

And lastly I make, constitute and appoint James B. Dennis the Executor of this my last will and Testament, hereby revoking all former wills made by me.

In Testimony whereof I have hereto set my hand and Seal this 15th day of Feb. A. D. 1893.

John C. X Watkins {SEAL}
(his mark)                      

Witnesses: We the undersigned saw the Testator sign his name by mark to the forgegoing [sic] will and published the same as his last will and Testament and signed the Same as witnesses.  

Charles Vessell {SEAL}
Timmon Vessells {SEAL}

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State of Missouri
County of Perry
Missouri State Seal


Proof of Will


In the Vacation of the Probate Court.  On this 23d day of February A. D. 1893 before me Charles A. Weber, Judge of Probate within and for the County and State aforesaid, personally came Charles Vessell and Timmon Vessell who being by me duly sworn on their oaths say that they were present and saw John C. Watkins sign his name, by making his mark, to the foregoing instrument of writing, purporting to be his last will and Testament; and heard him publish and declare said Instrument to be his last will and Testament; and that at the time of signing and publishing the same, the said John C. Watkins was of sound and disposing mind; and that these deponents subscribed their names thereto as witnesses to the Same in the presence and at the request of the Testator and in the presence of each other.

Charles Vessell
Timmon Vessell



Subscribed and sworn to before me this 23d day of February A. D. 1893. In Testimony of which witness my Name and Seal of office hereto affixed at office in Perryille date above written.

Chas. A. Weber
Judge of Probate

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State of Missouri
County of Perry
Missouri State Seal


Certificate of Probate


In the vacation of the Probate Court

I, Charles A. Weber, Judge of Probate within and for the County and State aforesaid, having examined the foregoing instrument purporting to be the last will and Testament of and signed by John C. Watkins, who, as it is alledged [sic], died on the 16th day of February 1892; and having heard the evidence of Charles Vessell and Timmon Vessell the subscribing witnesses thereto in relation to the Execution of the Same, do declare and adjudge said instrument to be the last will and Testament of the said John C. Watkins, late of Perry County deceased.

In Testimony whereof I have hereto signed my Name and affixed the seal of office at Perryville in Said County the day and year last above written.

Chas. A. Weber
Judge of Probate


Recorded Feby 23d 1893;
Attest: Chas. A. Weber, Judge

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State of Missouri
County of Perry
Missouri State Seal


Executor’s Bond



We, James B. Dennis as Principal and William C. Lively and Henry A. C. Lorenz as Securities are held and firmly bound unto the State of Missouri in the Sum of Twelve Hundred Dollars for the payment of which we do hereby bind ourselves, our heirs, Executors and Administrators, firmly by these Presents, Sealed with our Seals and dated at Perryville Mo. this 24th day of Feby A. D. 1893.

The condition of the above bond is, that if the said James B. Dennis Executor of the last will and Testament of John C. Watkins, deceased, late of Perry County, Missouri shall well and faithfully execute the said last will and testament; and shall make true and faithful Inventories, acturces [?] and Settlements of accounts of the estate of the said testator according to Law; and shall moreover, do and perform all other matters and things touching the Execution of the Said last will and Testament as are or shall be prescribed by law, order (or) enjoined on him by the order, sentence or decree of any Court having competent jurisdiction; then this obligation to be void and of no effect; otherwise to remain in full force

J. B. Dennis {SEAL}
Wm. C. Lively {SEAL}
Henry A. C. Lorenz {SEAL}



Executed in my presence, approved and recorded this 24th day of Feby, 1893.

Attest: Chas. A. Weber, Judge

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State of Missouri
County of Perry
Missouri State Seal


Letters Testamentary


In the vacation of the Probate Court

The State of Missouri, to all to whom these Presents shall come, -- Greeting:

Know ye that the last will and Testament of John C. Watkins deceased, late of Perry County, Missouri, hath in due form of Law, been Exhibited, proved and recorded, in the office of the Judge of the Probate Court of Perry County, Missouri a copy of which is hereunto annexed, and in as much as it appears that James B. Dennis has been appointed Executor in and by said last will and Testament, to Execute the Laws; and to the end that the property of the said Testator may be preserved for those who shall appear to have a legal right or interest therein; and that the said last will and testament may be executed according to the request and instruction of the Testator, we do hereby authorize him the said James B. Dennis as said Executor to collect and secure all and singular he goods and chattels, rights and credits, which were of the said John C. Watkins at the time of his death, in whosoever hands or possession the same may be found; and to perform and fulfill all such duties as may be enjoined upon him by said last will and testament, so far as there shall be property and the Law charge him; and in general to do and perform all other acts which are now or may be hereafter required of him by Law.

In Testimony whereof, I, Chas. A. Weber, Judge of the Probate Court in and for said County of Perry, have hereunto signed my name and affixed the seal of said Court at office in Perryville this 24th day of Feby A. D. 1893.

Chas. A. Weber
Judge of Probate



Recorded Feby. 24th 1893;
Attest: Chas. A. Weber, Judge of Probate

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The Rankin Family History Project began in 1997 with a simple 3 generation family chart.  When our grandmother found out we were researching our family tree, she loaned us her copy of Maryland Catholics on the Frontier by Timothy J. O'Rourke which helped us discover our St. Louis & Perry County roots.  We are also doing research in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

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Updated January 2000
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