Today's offering comes directly from my data base, along with some notes about the transcription. At the bottom of this post, I will have a limited amount of family information on the slave owners, in hopes it will assist researchers. So, lets begin, please note my credits to Mabel Van Dyke Baer and James Otis Wight. I will highlight in bold font the slave names:
John's will was transcribed by Mabel Van Dyke Baer in work done for James Otis Wright, in 1965. Mabel's compilation, "Darden-Lassiter Lineage of Isle of Wight and Nansemond Counties, Virginia" filled in much of the Darden lineage of this compiler. Her transcription of his will follows, as of May 2005, compiler does not have a copy of the original.
Will of John Darden, 20 December 1809, Isle of Wight County, Virginia, Will Book 13, 1809-1815, Pages 87-88. NOTE: all words, not legible in the typed version will be represented by ?? marks. Mable also could not read all of the orignal and she has (?) marks, which I will include.
I John Darden of the count of Isle of Wight and State of Virginia do make this my last will and testament in manner and form following first, I leave to my beloved wife, Molly Darden, during her life or widowhood the one half of the plantation that I now live on which said half is to include all my houses except the new house that is not finished, also the following negro Slaves, ?? (?) , R??, Liddy, Simon and Peter, also four Cows and Calves, one joke of oxen her choice, also one mare, also my Geese and poutley, also six head of sheep her choice, also two feather beds and furniture, my ?? and fear with the warping bars and boxes, one Cedar Chest, ten flag chairs, two cotton wheels and one flax wheel, two pots and frying pans and one Iron tea-kettle, and all my pewter and knives and forks, also the use of my (?) kettle, cap and (?)
2ndly I give to my wife to dispose of as she may think proper one thousand weight of (?) fodder one ?? of top fodder and ?? her choice, twenty five barrels of Corn one thousand weight of bacon, three hundred weight of cotton, also twenty five ?? and two cows, also one negro girl Hannah, I give it to her and her heirs forever - 3rdly I give to my daughter Betsey Hall my negro girl named Esther and one dollar, which is is now in her possession also negro woman Rady. I give said negro to her and her heirs forever - 4thly I give to my son Thomas Darden one negro boy Deek and forty five pounds I give it to him and his heirs forevr - 5thly I give to my daughter Ann Darden one negro woman named Judy and one negro boy Abram and one negro girl Eady on one negro boy Munday also thirty five pounds of feathers to her and her heirs forever - - 6thly I give to my daughter Polly Darden one negro woman Bridget and her child Chaney also a negro girl Cinthy, also thirty-five pounds of feathers. I give it to her and her heirs forever. 7thly I give to my son Charles Darden the use of the other half of the plantation that I live upon, also the land that I purchased from Robert Heath, also the other half of my plantation at my wife's death, also one negro boy Seinour, one Filley, also my desk and bookcase, also one Bed and furniture, I also give him all my Coopers tools, with what timber is already got my will and desire is that if my son Charles should have an heir or heirs lawfully begotten of his body that he shall have a fee simple right in the above property and dispose of it as he may think proper, but if he should die without such heir or heirs then and in that event the said land and negroes to be equally divided amongst all my children.
8thly I give to my daughter Patsey Darden one negro woman named Lous and one negro boy named Sigh, and one negro Girl named Aley, also one feather bed and furniture, I give it to her and her heirs forever -
9thly I give to my son Charles Darden all the bricks that I have ready made to finish the new house that is unfinished -
10thly the rest and residue of my estate not heretofore given I desire may be sold to the highest bidder and out of the sales to pay to my son Thomas Darden the forty-five pounds and the overplus if any to be equally divided to all my children -
11thly After my wife's decease, the property lent to her (except the land) I desire may be equally divided among all my children; I do hereby appoint my son Thomas Darden guardian to my son Charles Darden and take care of his estate until he arrives to the age of twenty-one years, and Charles may have the liberty of working for himself.
12thly I do hereby appoint my son Thomas Darden executor of this my last will and testament.
IN WITNESS whereby I have hereunto set my hand and seal the 29th day of December 1809.
Signed Sealed & Acknowledged
In presence of
At a Court held for Isle of Wight County the 6th day of March 1810, The foregoing will was presented in court by Thomas Darden the executor therein named who ?? oath ?? according to law and the same being proved by Thomas Smally one of the witnesses thereto who also made oath that he saw William Ragnall sub? his name as a witness and ordered to be recorded - and on the motion of the said executor who together with Henry Joyner and Daniel Joyner his securities entered into and acknowledged their bond in the penalty of ten thousand dollars with condition as the law directs certificate is granted him for allowing probate thereof in due form.
Teste Nathl. Young GC
Brief outline of this slave owners family group:
John Darden, birth data unknown, death by March 6, 1810, most likely Isle of Wight County, Virginia. John's wife is known only by her given and/or called name of Mary or Molly.
John and Mary/Molly had the following children:
- Thomas, ca 1773 to 1852
- Betsey, ca 1781 to 1787, married Thomas Hall
- Ann or Anna, born 1783, died 1851, never married, was deaf
- Mary or Polly, born 1786, died 1982, married George Hall
- Patsey Darden, nothing more than her name is known at this time.
- Charles Darden, born between 1773 and 1788, died ca 1848 in Isle of Wight County, Virginia, married Ms. Dews
Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence.