Bedford County Records, Book 4, Page 170
In the name of God Amen, I Barnabas Arthur of the county of Bedford being weak in body but of sound and disposing memory, calling to mind the uncertainty of life and being desirous of disposing of such property as God hath helped me with do make ordain and constitute this my last will and testament hereby revoking and annulling all others.
Imprimus: It is my will that all my debts be paid off as soon as possible after my decease.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my wife Nancy one third part of my whole estate for and during the term of my [probably should be "her"] natural life, of which then it is my will that the tract of land I now live do constitute a part.
Item: I bequeath unto my grandsons James Maxey and Barnabas Maxey the sum of five pounds each to be their full share of my estate.
Item: In consequence of long and faithful service of my negro man George and my negro woman Betty, it is my desire that they be emancipated, whenever the laws of this state will allow it and they have the tract of land I purchased of Benjamin Williamson for and during the term of their natural lives; to live upon and maintain their idiot daughter Amy and until they can be so emancipated it is my will that they shall live upon said land and maintain their said daughter and have all the profits of their labor, under the direction of my son Lewis and moreover that they be furnished with one year provision out of my estate whenever they leave it in consequence of this article and the said negroes are not to be considered or appraised as part of my estate.
Item: The residue of my estate both real and personal, after executing the above bequests together with the part left my wife, after her decease and that left to my negroes George and Betty, after their decease, I give and bequeath in equal shares unto my children John Arthur, William Arthur, Lewis Arthur, Barnabas Arthur, Caleb Arthur, Elizabeth Bowles, Fanny Pratt, Lucy Greer, and the children of Rhody White, deceased, my Staunton tract of land being first sold for the purpose of said division, deducting from each share what they have already recieved agreeable to the accounts which I have this day drawn off and signed with my hand.
Item: I request my friends John Arthur and Samuel Clayton _____ to act as my Executors of this my last will and testament. In testamony whence I hereunto set my hand and affix my seal this 2nd day of March, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Fifteen.
Signed sealed and acknowledged in the presence of J. Leftwich, James Floyd and John Clayton.
Barnabas Arthur (his mark)
Accounting of the property given by Barnabas Arthur to sundary of his children over and above what others have received:
John Arthur - 1 negro man named Bob - $100.00
Lewis Arthur - 1 tract of land - $100.00
William Arthur - Land and cash - $80.00
Lucy Greer - Cash - $20.00
Given unto my hand and seal this 2nd day of March, 1815; Teste J.
Leftwich, James Floyd, John Clayton
Signed by Barnabas Arthur (his mark)
Court held for probation of Will of Barnabas Arthur convened 24 April 1815, but was continued until the actual day of probation on July 20, 1815.
An appraisal of the personal property of Barnabas Arthur was made by John Arthur and Sam Fulton on the 24th of August 1815 and accepted and recorded by the court on November 27, 1815. His personal property appraised at $4000.16 which included among other things, 10 adult slaves and 22 negroe boys.
Submitted by Linwood Leroy Arthur, Aug 1997. Online transcription by Susan Shields Sasek
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