07 June 2010

Amanuensis Monday - John Dorn's Will

The South Carolina Department of Archives and History have placed some great genealogically relevant documents online. One collection that's especially helpful is "Will Transcripts 1782 - 1855." I've found a number of wills for my ancestors, including one for John Dorn Sr, my 6x Great-Grandfather. It is probably the most interesting will that I've found so far and greatly helped my research. Here's the transcription:
Will of
John Dorn

State of South Carolina \
Edgefield District /

In the name of God, amen.
I John Dorn, Sen., of the District & State aforesaid, being of sound and disposing mind and memory, but weak in body & calling to mind the uncertainty of life & being desirous to dispose of all such wordly Estate as it hath pleased God to bless me with, do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament in manner following, that is to say:
1. I give and bequeath to my children as follows, viz, William B. Dorn, Robert Dorn, John Dorn, Rebecca Smith, Benjamin Dorn, James Dorn, Mary Turner, Densely Dorn & Soloman Dorn, all my estate both real & personal, Equal Share & Share alike, except that portion that shall hereinafter be otherwise disposed of.
2. It is my desire, that immediately after my Death, my Executors cause all my Slaves to be loted out into Nine parcels as nearly Equal as possible, by some three compotent disinterested men, to be chosen by them, and by said three, to be valued to the best of their abilities; and immediately after allottment & valuation, my said children to draw, each one for themselves, one lot or share aforesaid; except my sons Densely & Benjamin, who shall be drawn for by my Executors.
3. I desire that immedaitely after my Death my Executors after giving a reasonable notice, expose all the remainder of my Estate both real & personal, to public sale to the highest bider, on such terms as they may deem expedient.
4. I loan to my wife Sarah Dorn one thousand dollars, with one year provisions, & such house furniture as my ex'rs may think proper; to be held in trust by them, or either of them, for her use and benefit, so long as she may live; and at her Death, any of said funds that may exist, be equally divided between my children aforesaid , or their heirs.
5. After all my Funeral expenses & just Debts be paid, out of the proceeds of the sale of my Estate aforesaid & other funds that I may be in possession of, I desire that my Executors make an equal distribution of all my estate as aforesaid, amongst my children aforesaid their heirs or assigns, taking in consideration the valuation of the different lots of slaves aforesaid.
6. In consideration of the deranged situation of my Sons Benjamin & Densley aforesaid, it is my desire that my son Soloman Dorn take the charge & care of my said son Benjamin first giving a sufficient bond to my son-in-low, Robert M. Smith, binding himself, his heirs and assigns, for the good & faithful Care-taking of my said son Benjamin so long as he shall live; and that Solomon aforesaid, in consideration of saud incumbrance, Shall have and hold for the use of himself & his heirs forever, all the Estate herein bequeathed to the said Benjamin; provided Said Benjamin Shall live more than Fifteen years after my Death; but should the said Benjamin Die before the expiration of fifteen years aforesaid, then the said Solomon Dorn, shall be fully compensated for all the trouble & expense he may necessarily be at in the Care-taking of said Benjamin aforesaid, and the remainder of said Benjamin's estate be equally devided among my children afresaid, their heirs or assigns and that my son-in-law Robert Smith take the charge & care of my said Son Densley Dorn, first giving sufficient bong to my Son Solomon Dorn, binding himself, his heirs & assigns for the good and faithful Care-taking of my said son, Densley Dorn, so long as he shall live, and that Robert Smith aforesaid in consideration of said incombrance shall have and hold for the use and benefit of himself, his heirs and assigns forever, All the Estate herein bequeathed to the son Densley Dorn, provided ----------- the said Densley Dorn Shall continue insane and live over fifteen years From my Death; but provided the said Densley, should at any time during his life be restored to his proper mind, he is to have the control of his estate, by paying said Robert M. A reasonable charge for his trouble in the care taking of him the said Densely aforesaid; but should said Densley, Die before the expiration of the fifteen years from the time of my Death, then the said Robert M. To be fully compensated for all the trouble and expense he may necessarily have been at in the care-taking of the said Densley, and the remainder of his estate aforesaid to be equally devided amongst my children aforesaid, their heirs or assings.
7. I constitute and appoint my sons, Robert Dorn & Solomon Dorn, Executors of this my last Will and Testament, by me so made; Revoking all other wills by me heretofore made. In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and afixed my seal, this third day of Feb. A. D. One thousand eight hundred & forty-six, & of American Independence Seventieth signed, sealed, Published & declared, as & for the last will and Testament of the above named John Dorn, Sen. In the presence of
John Quattabum John Dorn (seal)
John Lendrum
Marchel Cornolly (Note- Four words interlined before assigned)

Recorded in Will Book "D" pages 285-6-7-
June 16, 1846, J. Hill, O.E.D.
Box 54-pkg-2249

dorn_j1 dorn_j2 dorn_j3

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