Will of Mary Johnston
Desoto County, MS, Will Book #1, p. 299-301
Transcribed by Nancy Denty Breidenthal
I Mary Johnston of the County of Desoto and State of Mississippi being well assured from advanced age of my liability to die and having formed in my mind the manner in which I wish my Estate divided when I am gone do make and publish the following as my last will and testament.
1st. As the last tribute of respect to my body, I wish a tombstone erected on my grave similar to the one that has recently been placed on my late husband's.
2nd. In the event of my death before that of my negro woman Mourning I wish Five Hundred Dollars of my Estate in money left in the hands of my son Stephen D. Johnston to support her during her lifetime and at her death I wish said sum, or whatever part of the same may be left, equally divided between my children now living or their lawful heirs and my Grand Daughter Mary S. Denty.
3rd. I wish all of my children at some convenient time after my death that can conveniently do so to meet together in the spirit of friendship and divide my Estate in the following manner: I wish my son James F. Johnston to have my negro man Bird and my son Stephen D. Johnston to have my negro woman Marshall at a valuation by disinterested persons (and in valuation of Marshall I wish that no extra qualification which she may have over common servants be considered in pricing her) and the respective sums paid by each of them for said negros, together with all the balance of my Estate not disposed of as above named, I wish equally divided among my children now living or their legal heirs and my Grand Daughter Mary S. Denty.
4th. I have let each of my children now living have property or money to the amount of Eight-Hundred Dollars for which I hold their notes and at different times I have given Mary S. Denty small sums of money or goods which amount in all to Forty-Two Dollars. Now in the division of my estate I wish said notes estimated but without interest and the same rule carried out with regard to the sum that I have let Mary S. Denty have or to any amount which I may hereafter let her have.
5th. Should I die before the marriage of my Grand Daughter Mary S. Denty I desire the property hereby willed to her to be kept and managed by my son Stephen D. Johnston for her until her marriage, and should she die without a living child I desire all the property hereby given her be equally divided between my children now living or their legal heirs. Given under my hand and seal this December 13, 1854.
Attest: Mary Johnston LS
I have this day given to my Grand Daughter - Mary S. Denty - a gold watch and chain worth One Hundred Dollars with which I wish her charged in the division of my Estate.
April 25, 1855
The State of Mississippi, Desoto County
An instrument of writing purporting to be the last Will and Testament of Mary Johnston deceased was this day produced in open court and J.G. Lauderdale, John Cup and A. Crossett witnesses thereto appearing on their several oaths declared that the same was signed, sealed and published and declared by said Testatrix on the day the same bears date as and for her last will and testament before them and at her request by them in her presence and in the presence of each of each other was duly attested by them that said Testatrix was more than twenty-one years of age and of sound disposing mind and memory at the time and a resident of said County.
Sworn to and Subscribed before me, January 25, 1862
J.M. Biggs, CLK
DeSoto County Coordinator: Tim Harrison
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