Will of Joseph Johnston
Desoto County, MS, Probate Record, June 1845, p. 476-480
Transcribed by Nancy Denty Breidenthal



This day the last Will and Testament of Joseph Johnston deceased was presented in open court and being duly proven was admitted to Probate and ordered to be recorded.


WILL

In the name of God Amen. I Joseph Johnston of the County of Desoto and State of Mississippi being mindful of my mortality do this 29th day of December in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and forty two make and constitute this my last will and testament in manner following:

1st I desire when I die to be decently buried and all my just debts paid. 2nd, If my wife Polly Johnston should outlive me I desire that she have my whole Improvement with their appurtenances in Section Thirty five of Township Two Range Seven West, being the houses and plantation whereon I now live and the use and benefit of the whole section except a part of the North East quarter of said section which I conditionally promised or sold to William Denty and a child's part of all the balance of my estate forever, and one year's provisions. 3rd, I desire that my son Stephen D. Johnston be my Executor and that he shall take out letters of Executorship and take orders to sell, that no doubt may exist in Title to any lands that I may own except Sec 35; if my wife outlives me or not it is not excepted and also to sell anything else that cannot be divided, but I wish my negroes particular divided as near equal as it can be done and any other property or all other property may be divided that can be divided without a sale, the division to be equal and in accordance with what follows. 4th, As all my children have had some portion of my estate I desire that those that have received less be made equal to those that have more and then share equal afterward and in valueing the negroes hereafter for a division I desire that the valuation shall be made in accordance or proportion to the valuation of those that have been given away heretofore & which the following Items will more fully show.

Witness my hand and seal.

Joseph Johnston (Seal)

Samuel Johnston

Stephen D. Johnston

B. H. Dockery

Jesse Johnston

1st My eldest child a daughter Elizabeth by name married John K. Wilburn June 1825. Shortly after I gave a negro girl to them, Caroline five years old not smart at $175.00 & at sundry times up to the 2nd of January 1839 I gave to them including the negro girl sixteen hundred and seventy two dollars $1672. 1844 March 9th then gave to John K. Wilburn five hundred dollars through Jesse Johnston.

2nd A son Stephen D. Johnston 1833 October 1 then gave to my son Stephen D. Johnston one thousand dollars and at sundry times up to the 26th day of January 1838 including in the whole sixteen hundred and fifty one Dollars $1600.00 1844 March 30 then gave my son Stephen D. Johnston five hundred dollars partly in notes.

3rd Son Samuel November 27 1834 one thousand dollars and at sundry times including in the whole up to January 26, 1838 six hundred & fifty dollars. 1844 March 30 then gave my son Samuel Johnston five hundred dollars partly in notes $500.

4th A son James H. Johnston September 1838 then added up several sums of money which had been given to my son John F. Johnston which amounted to eighteen hundred dollars $1800. December 26th 1843 & in June 1844 then gave F. five hundred Dollars $500. $2300.

5th A Daughter Nancy who was married to Jacob M. Prewitt January 28th 1836. Feb 10, 1836 then gave to them my negro woman Lucy an able bodied negro woman but not smart about 30 years old and 2 children Reuben and Lavina, Reuben 4 years old and Lavina 28 months old likely at nine hundred dollars for the three and at sundry times up till January 26th 1838 amounting in the whole to sixteen hundred and forty dollars $1640. August 24, 1840 then gave Jacob M. Prewitt in a note for Thompson & Frey Saunders & Cash.

6th A Daughter Matilda who married John R. Denty September 1st 1836. October 19, 1836 then gave to them a small negro woman Biddy, lazy but honest, about 32 years old, Brister a small boy 10 years old, Milly & Elbert small children not likely, the four at one thousand dollars and at sundry times up to January 1st 1839 amounting in the whole to six hundred and thirty eight dollars $1638 January 1st 1842 then permitted John R. Denty to settle on the North West quarter of Section Thirty Six in Township Two of Range Seven West whereon he now lives and I do by these presents give the said quarter section of land to my daughter Matilda and her children forever as seven hundred dollars to be deducted from her share on a final division of my estate. January 1st 1845 then received back the above named quarter section & paid John R. Denty six hundred dollars for his Improvement on the same, a short time before the arrangement was made I then gave J.R. Denty five hundred dollars & took a bill of sale to his negro woman Lizzie and I made a deed of gift of Lizzie to Matilda & Denty not being willing to have property belonging to his wife and not him, he proposed to pay therefore Lizzy and I took his note for thirty Dollars a year hire if I called for it which I do not intend to do but intend that Matilda shall have Lizzy forever & that John R. Denty shall have no power to sell or otherwise dispose of Lizzy making the amount given to Matilda first $1638 & five hundred dollars which is $2038.

7th A Son Jesse. December 1842 then gave to my son Jesse Johnston who is now about nineteen years old sixty dollars in cash and a saddle worth thirty five dollars making ninety five dollars, also in May 1843 twenty dollars sent to Tennessee, also August 8th 1840 sent to Tennessee by request fifty dollars in all amounting to one hundred and sixty five dollars $165. November 9th 1843 then gave fifty dollars $50.00. January 2nd 1845 then gave to my son Jesse Johnston my negro man Angus at six hundred dollars & my bay filly at one hundred dollars $700. And in notes and cash eleven hundred & eighty nine dollars 86 cts $2004.86 A cent is interlined. [sic]

8th A Daughter Sarah who married Benjamin H. Dockery in February 1842. March 25th 1842 then gave them two hundred and fifty dollars and at sundry times till December 1842 in the whole including the two hundred and fifty the sum of five hundred dollars $500.00. 1843 January the 1st then gave Washington a negro boy, honest and well disposed, about fifteen in June next at five hundred and fifty dollars & Jane a negro girl thirteen in April next likely and honest at four hundred fifty dollars.

$550.00

450.00

1845 March 14 then gave in a Bed & Covering 1,500.00

a Saddle and Bridle 20

4 Barrels Corn $7 & 593 lbs Fodder 11.44 3/4

509 lbs of Bacon @ 5 1/2 Cents 33.49

55 lbs of Lard @6 3.90

Cash thirty dollars 30.00 128.84 1/4

1843 May 1 young Cow & Calf 12.00

1640.84 ¼

October 25, 1844 then my daughter Sarah Dockery died, leaving a son named Alfred who was born December 26th 1843. Benjamin H. Dockery then gave me his son Alfred to raise & educate and gave back to me again Washington & Jane and all the property that I had given to him except the five hundred dollars given to him. I have adopted Alfred as one of my own children & just and equal heir except the above named five hundred dollars & I promise to educate Alfred while I live and give Benjamin H. Dockery the preference in becoming Alfred's Guardian when I die.


The State of Mississippi, Desoto County Probate Court

June Term 1845. This day the foregoing last Will and Testament of Joseph Johnston deceased was presented in open court and being proven in due form of law was examined, allowed and probated and ordered to be recorded as the law directs. Given under my hand and seal this June 2, 1845.

John T. Moseley (Seal)
Judge of Probate


[Pgs. 480-482: Bond of $32,000 signed by Stephen D. Johnston, Samuel Johnston, B.H. Docker, Jacob M. Prewitt, and Jesse Johnston. Letters of Administration recorded.]


Desoto County, Mississippi, Probate Record, p. 562-568

Stephen D. Johnston, Executor of Jos Johnston dec'd, this day returned an inventory of said estate of $16,459.38, which was examined and ordered to be recorded.


[4 Aug 1845: Inventory by appraisers William Gray, Lemuel Banks, James M. Tait.]


In pursuance of an order of the Probate Court of Desoto County directed to us Commissioners, we have proceeded to appraise the following property as rendered by Stephen D. Johnston, Executor of Joseph Johnston, deceased.

1 Stock of Hogs $ 200. 00

2 Mules, 1 bay $40, 1 Dark $55 95. 00

2 Mules, 1 Gray $45, 1 Bay $45 90. 00

1 Mule Crippled 15. 00

1 Mare Mule Colt 40. 00

1 Roan Horse 55. 00

1 Two Year old mule Colt 35. 00

1 Bay Colt 3 years old 50. 00

3 yoke of Oxen 90. 00

1 Carry Log & 4 Chains 70. 00

8 Cows & Calves, $10 each 80. 00

28 head Cattle 196. 00

1 old Wagon 60. 00

1 New Wagon 100. 00

1 Stock Sheep 60. 00

1 Horse Cart 15. 00

1 Carry Log & Crews 4. 00

2 prs Harnes & old Irons 9. 00

1 Double tree 1. 00

1 Lot of Coal 5. 00

4 Chop Axes, 4 Broad Axe 5. 00

3 Foves & 4 Augers 5. 50

4 hand Saws 3. 00

5 Drawing Knives 3. 00

Cooper's tools, woodfiles gounges & c 2. 50

2 Crop Cut Saws 8. 00

1 Lot plough timber & mallet 1. 50

1 Chest Carpenter's tools 23. 00

1 Screw Cutter, 1 Sett draws, 1 oil stove 2. 00

1 Grist Stone, 2 Iron Squares 6. 00

1 Lot spokes and fellows 6. 00

1 " weeding hoes 4. 00

1 " Grubbing Hoes 16. 00

1 " of Axes 3. 50

1 " Spades & Shovels 3. 00

2 " Scythes & cradles & reap hook 8. 00

1 Whip Saw 5. 00

5 Spinning Wheels 3. 00

3 Digging Irons 3. 00

1 pair balances 15. 00

1 Saddle (man) 7. 00

1 Safe & Trunk 2. 00

1 Large trunk 12. 00

1 Bureau . 50

1 Small Candlestand 20. 00

1 Bed Stead & Clothing 30. 00

1 Large " " 10. 00

1 Small " " 4. 00

4 Sets Knives & Forks 2. 00

[$1792. 50]

1 Dish, Pitcher & Waiter 9. 00

1 Lot Stone Jug & Jars 4. 00

1 " Table Ware, tea spoons & Glass 35. 00

1 Clock & 4 Candlesticks 7. 00

Gunblets and Files 3. 25

1 Rifle & Shot Gun 15. 00

1 Side Board 25. 00

1 Table with 2 side tables 6. 00

1 Writing desk and small chest 16. 00

__ Common Chairs 12. 00

7 Windsor " 12. 00

1 Candle Stand 3. 00

1 Bureau & 2 looking Glasses 10.00

1 Bed, Bedstead and Clothing 30. 00

2 Maps & Geography 13. 00

1 Lot of Books 30. 00

1 Bed Stead & Clothing 30. 00

1 " " " 30. 00

1 Large table 10. 00

1 Bedstead & 1 Carpet 26. 50

1 Cypress Table 1. 00

2 Buckets & bawls 2. 00

2 pr Shovels, tongs & Irons 1. 00

2 " Steelyards & Brick moulds 2. 50

7 Iron Wedges 4. 00

1 Lot Tin Ware 5. 00

1 " Cast iron Cooking Utensils 15. 00

1 " Trays and Coopers Ware 3. 00

1 Spice Mortar & 2 Bells 1. 00

1 Side Saddle & 3 Bridles 18. 00

6 Regs and half bushels 4. 00

6 pairs andirons 6. 00

1 Brass Kettle 4. 00

2 Cast Iron Jars 5. 00

1 pr Scales & Jug 2. 13

1 Barouch 150. 00

1 Negro woman Mourning 5. 00

1 Negro Man Isam 100. 00

[$2433. 38]

1 Negro Man Ben 400. 00

1 Negro Man Davy 400. 00

1 " " Redick 500. 00

1 Negro Man Kenard 450. 00

1 Negro Man Bradford 550. 00

1 Negro Man Freeman 600. 00

1 " Man Bird 625. 00

1 " " Essex 625. 00

1 " " Jefferson 550. 00

1 " " Jacob 600. 00

1 " " Washington 550. 00

2 woman & child Army 350. 00

1 Girl Octavia 150. 00

1 " Violet 200. 00

1 " Martha 250. 00

1 " Louisa 300. 00

1 Boy Henry 350. 00

1 " Benton 350. 00

1 " George 400. 00

2 Woman & Child Army little 500. 00

2 " & " Army large 525. 00

1 Boy Aaron 400. 00

1 Girl Milbry 300. 00

1 Boy Napoleon 250. 00

1 " Preston 250. 00

2 Woman & Child nitz 475. 00

1 Boy Jim 200. 00

1 Girl Susan 200. 00

1 Boy Bradford 150. 00


We the undersigned appointed to appraise the property of Joseph Johnston dec'd do certify the above is a true inventory of appraisement of said estate.
Lemuel Banks (Seal)

James M. Tait (Seal)

William Gray (Seal)


A list of money notes and accounts belonging to the estate of Joseph Johnston, dec'd, and by his executor rendered in the Probate Court of Desoto County, Miss.

__________________­_________CASH_______________________________ $475. 00

When Due     NOTES SUPPOSED TO BE GOOD

March 1st, 1846     J. E. Williams $136. 87

May 25th, 1846     Jas K. Morse Credited $10.00 18. 67

Dec 25th 1841     James Norfleet Balance 1. 60

Feby 28th, 1846     W.B. & B. Morris, Thos Maxwell et al 75. 00

March 11, 1846     C. Christopher 583. 00

      "     1st     "     Henry Burns interest & c 3. 00

Dec 25th 1845     John R. Denty 225. 00

    "    "    1844    Jno P. Lemay, Jas B. Henley interest & c 25. 00

Feby 1, 1845    William Denty 40. 00

Jany 1, 1846    Samuel Johnston 628. 69

Dec   " 1844    John P. Robertson 20. 00

Jany 1, 1846    John R. Denty 216. 00

    "    "    "    Obid Nicholson Secured by Mortgages 55. 00

Dec 25th, 1845    Stephen Mathews 75. 00

July 29th 1844     Samuel Dickes 5. 00

May 18th,    "    Jas B. Henley, credit of $20 24. 30

Jany 1st 1846    Interest from Mar 20th, 1844 64. 80

Dec 25th, 1842     John W. Vance 78. 68

    "    "    1844     James & Jno Nichols Int from Feby 12 '44 10. 00

Jany 1st, 1845     John & J.M. Cowan 52. 25

Dec 25th, 1842     Roland Gatewood balance 12. 00

                             [$593. 03]

April 16, 1843     Stephen Nowles 15. 50

Aug 1st, 1843     Stephen Nowles 15. 75

Jany 1st, 1845     James Nowles 10. 00

Dec 25th, '44     John M. Adams 89. 20

Jany 1st, '45     James Maney of Tenn Credits 25. 80

Baker & Henley order from H. Thompson 12. 16

Jany 2nd, '44     Saml M. King, W.H. Cobb Balance 30. 00

    "     27 '44     J.L. Atkinson Balance 4. 00

Dec 26 '45     Saml Bell, Jonathan Forrest 125. 00

Cash found among whitsets believed to belong to the estate 60. 00

Joseph Robbins supposed to belong to $3212. 21

Ruffin Coleman not known whether Good or bad 480. 00

County claims to this amount 52. 00

                    $532. 00

NOTES THOUGHT TO BE DUE DOUBTFUL

Mar 1st, 1845     William Ham $ 52. 31

Feby 1st, 1846     Wilie B. & Bradford Morris 18. 91

May 1st, '44      B. Perryman 0. 20

July 23rd '42     H. Cowen int from Jany 1st 1844 25. 00

Mar 25th 1840     Wm Gregory 17. 70

Mar 25th 1840     Samuel M. King 5. 00

              $139. 12

A LIST OF ACCOUNTS THOUGHT TO BE GOOD

Mar 25th 1844     Wade H. Cobb $ 17. 13

Feby 24th '44     Mrs or Thos Manning 2. 19

George Elles in the form of an order 3. 00

Dec 25th '45     Senior Douglass 11. 62

Jany 1st 1845     Stephen D. Johnston 4. 62

Aug 22nd '44     James Riley 6. 16

Jany 1st '44     John R. Adams 14. 14

              $58. 86

ACCOUNTS THOUGHT TO BE DOUBTFUL

M. Christopher Tavern Keeper 11. 50


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