Jasper County, Georgia
23 May 1845
In the name of God Amen, I, Joel A. Reeves of said county and state being of advanced age, and knowing that I must shortly depart from this world, admit (?) right and proper both as respects myself and family. That I should make a disposition of the property with which a kind providence has blessed me. I therefore make and ordain this my last will and testament, hereby revoking and annulling all others heretofore made by me.
Item 1st - I desire that my body be buried in a decent and Christian like manner suitable to my circumstances and conditions, my soul I trust shall return to rest with God who gave it, as I hope for eternal salvation through the blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Item 2nd I desire and direct that all of my just debts be paid with out delay by my Executors herein after named, as I am unwilling my creditors shall be delayed of rights especially as there is no necessity for delay.
Item 3rd - I give and bequeath to my beloved wife, Nancy Reeves (with whom I have lived for many years, in comfortable union) during her natural life, the following property, wiz., all the land on which I now live (except the mill lot, consisting of 400 acres, more or less, four slaves, a sufficiency of stock such as horses, cows, hogs, sheep, etc.; and provisions of every description to support her family, also all the household furniture, and kitchen furniture, and a sufficiency of plantation tools, of every description, and whatever else may be thought necessary for her comfort and convenience, by my executors, to hold and use the said property during her natural life, and at her death to be disposed of as hereinafter directed.
Item 4th - I direct that if there should be any money, in my possession, at my death, or if there should be any perishable property, than will conduce to the comfort of my wife that it should be sold by my executors and the money arising thereform, together with any already on hand, as any debt be paid due to be loaned and kept as a fund for the support of my wife, should she need it during her lifetime.
Item 5th - To my eldest daughters, Mary M. Hurd and Jane B. Heard I think I have given a sufficieny hither to, and now I leave them one dollar each to show that I did not forget them in this testament.
Item 6th - To my daughter, Elizabeth Jeffries, wife of Burkett N. Jeffries, I give an equal share of my property as that of my wife and divided as hereinafter directed, and the part given above to my daughter, Elizabeth Jeffries, to belong to her and her children that survive her death.
Item 7th - I give to my son Joseph Reeves, two negro slaves (viz.) Joshua (a boy) and Moses (a boy), one bed and furniture and one half of the land willed to my wife during her natural life and the said land is to be given to him after her death.;
Item 8th - I give to my daughter Martha C. Reeves' children that survive her death, one negro slave Ann (a girl), also a horse bridle and saddle and furniture and a cow and calf. I direct that until she marries she be permitted to remain on the plantation of my wife and be boarded on the proceed of the property given to my wife.
Item 9th - I give to my son Pleasant W. Reeves two negro slaves (viz.) Jordan (a Boy)and Danny (a boy), a horse, bridle, and saddle, cow and calf, bed and furniture and also one half of the land which I willed to my wife. If they cannot agree, then three disinterested to divide the land for them. This tract includes all the land I now live on except the mill lot. The plantation is to stay with his mother with its proceeds given to my wife. The labor of the slaves be given to him when he becomes 21 years of age
Item 10th - I give to my grandson Joel Reeves , elder of John W.L. Reeves one negro slave (vis.) Pickney (a boy) also the mill lot of land containing 30 acres more or less, and also the mill and all the appurtenances thereof.
Item 11 - I desire and that my three grandchildren Thomas Reeves, John Reeves, Cinthia Reeves, the children of my daughter Sarah P. Reeves be supported from the property given to my wife until the youngest reaches of age, (if my wife should live until that time at the division as herein after directed to receive their mother's share would have received had she lived, the above support to be given provided they live on the plantation with my wife.
Item 12- I desire and direct that all the property given to my wife during her natural life as described in item third (except the land) and all the increase thereof at her death be sold and equally divided between Elizabeth J. Jeffries, James M. Reeves, Nancy S. Terrell, John W.L. Reeves, and my three grandchildren: Thomas, John, and Cinthia Reeves, the children of my daughter. Drawing one share on the part of their mother would have drawn had she been in life.
Item 13- I give to my daughter Cinthia L. Osburn, wife of Matthew Osburn five dollars in money to be paid soon after my decease as possible.
Item 14- I hereby appoint my two sons James M. and Joseph Reeves and my friend and kinsman Leroy Wilson executors on this my last will and testament giving them discretionary power in any manner that does not violate the intention of the foregoing testament
In witness whereof I, Joel Avory Reeves have hereinto set my hand and seal the 23rd day of May 1845.
Joel A. Reeves
Signed, sealed, delivered and published by Joel A.Reeves as his last will and testament in the presence of the subscribers who subscribe our names herunto in the presence of the said testor and each other.
May 23, 1845
George T. Wiley
William A. Whitfield
Mark L. Newton
File contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by:
Robert Jeffries rjeffres at charter.net 8 Oct 2004