Last Will and Testament
John Sloan's will
Registered in Book C
IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN. I John Sloan of the County of Rowan of State of North Carolina being in health of body and of perfect mind and memory, Thanks be given unto God, calling unto mind the mortality of my body, and knowing that it is appointed for man to die, do make and ordain this my last Will & Testament. That is to say, principally and first of all, I give and recommend my Soul into the hand of Almighty God that give it, and recommend my body I recommend to the Earth, to be buried in a decent Christian burial at the discretion of my Executors, nothing doubting but at the general Resurrection I shall have the same again, by the mighty power of God. And as touching such worldly estate wherewith it pleases god to bless me in this life, I give devise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form.
First, I will that all my lawful debts be carefully discharged.
Second, I give and bequeath to Mary my dearly beloved wife, one bay mare called Phenia, and sorrel mare, three milk cows, one heifer and two mares, taking her choice of all the sheep and hogs together with all my household goods, and plantation utensils, and two thirds of the plantation while she lives unmarried allowing her to keep the children and school them, having them taught to read, right and cypher legible, but if she marries, I will the children to be put to trades, such as they may choose, under good Christian masters and mistresses, the boys to serve until eighteen and no longer, and the girls until fifteen years of age, no longer and her right to the plantation then to be void and none effect. And only one third of the sheep, hogs, household goods and plantation utensils to be her property, with her saddle and bridle, the other two thirds to be equally divided amongst the children. I also wish to her to a sixth part of my books, loom and taclings, to be her property forever.
I give to my well beloved son Archibald my lot of books in the Grammar School, and the sixth of my other books, together with the choice of the spring colts and that entry of land where James Cathey now lives, with all my clothes, a rifle gun and the new saddle and bridle when finished and one hundred pounds lawful money of this state to carry him on in his learning.
Also I give to my beloved sons John and Jeremiah my lot of books, in Fourth Creek new library with their equal part of the other books and the plantation on which I dwell, to be divided equally betwixt them, if it cannot be divided, into two places, in that case three honest men are to be chosen to value said land, at the time it falls in their hands, or John must pay Jeremiah half of the value and take all the land for his part: but if any of the boys die before their estate comes in their hands, their part shall be equally divided betwixt the surviving brothers. I give the smooth bore to John and my sword to Jeremiah, and a hive of Bees to each of them, and I give my sun dial to John.. Also, I give my well beloved daughters, Margaret and Mary the other two sixth part of my books, together with one hundred pounds each lawful money of this state, to be raised and levied out of my Estate. Also I will that the horse creatures and meat cattle, not herein bequeathed, be sold and that sum thence arising with my other Debts to repay the sums of money herein mentioned and the remainder equally divided amongst all my children. I likewise make and ordain Mary my dearly beloved wife Executrix, and Patrick and Archibald Sloan executors of this my last Will and Testament, And I so hereby utterly disallow, revoke, and disannul all and every other former Testament, Wills, Legacies, bequeaths and Executors by me in any ways before - named null and bequeath, ratifying and confirming this and not other to be my last Will and Testament.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and Seal, this Seventh Day of August in the Year of our Lord one thousand Seven hundred and Seventy-nine.
Signed, Sealed published, pronounced,
and declared by the said John Sloan,
as his last Will and Testament in the
presence of us, who in his presence, and
in the presence of each other have
hereto subscribed our names.
Added in margin:
Whatever tools of any trade I have, I allow to be divided amongst the three boys, and kept for the use of the family, until some of the boys come of age & want their part --- Excepting the loom & taclings I give to Mary, my beloved wife forever -- I also allow my watch and what gold and silver I have to be sold at public sale and divided among the children. Whatever kind of grain, feed [flax?], hay or fodder, I leave for the support of the family and stock, and none to be sold unless my wife sees fit to do so.
Will was proven Feb 1780
[NOTE: I have not seen a copy of the original will. This will was transcribed as accurately as possible from more than one transcriptions. There were many minor variances between the two previous transcriptions. I believe the transcription I now have on file is a published "cleaned up" version since there were very few misspelled words. I do not recall where I obtained this transcription, probably from Monita Horn.
Note that John was age 39 when he wrote the will, he was killed 9 months later at the Battle of Ramsour's Mill. Son Archibald was 13 at the time the will was written, and dau, Anna, was not born yet. His wife, Mary, never remarried and was blind and destitute in her later years. Frank Mitchell]