Will of James Stephens -1798
Loudoun County, Virginia, Will Book F
In the name of God, Amen, I James Stephens, being sick of body but of sound memory, thanks be to God calling to mind the uncertainty of this transitory life, knowing that all flesh must yield to death when it shall please to God to call, do make, constitute, ordain and declare this to be my last will and testament, hereby revoking and annulling all and every will and testament by me heretofore either by word or writing and this only to be taken and none other.
And first being truly penitent and sorry from my heart for all my past sins do most humbly implore forgiveness of the same from my much offended Creator, expecting pardon alone from the merits of the Christ Jesus my Redeemer, do commend my soul to God who gave it, and commit my body to the ground from whence it was taken in humble confidence that at the general resurrection of the Great day it shall be raised and being reunited with my soul, shall through the merits of Christ's passion inherit the Kingdom of Heaven prepared for his faithful elect children.
I will that my body be decently interred at the discretion of my beloved wife Hannah Stevens whom together with my son Henry Stevens I appointing by executors. I also will that my Executors above name shall pay and adjust all my debts which are justly due to any son or persons whatever, and for the settling of my temporal estate which it hath pleased God in mercy to bestow upon me far, far beyond my deserts. I give and bequeath the same in manner and form following, Viz:
First, I will a certain tract of land containing fifty acres left to her by her father that is my beloved wife Hannah Stevens be disposed of by her as it may to her seem prudent.
Secondly, I will my land whereon I now live containing seventy-five acres more or less, be equally divided between two sons, James [Stevens] and Hezekiah Stevens. The line that may divide said land to be drawn in such a manner as to give each of the above mentioned legatees equal number of acres, James Stevens to have the part of land where my dwelling house stands and apple, cherry, peach, and every kind of orchards; Hezekiah Stevens the half of the land adjoining Craven.
Thirdly, I will be the one-third of all my personal or moveable property belong to my wife Hannah Stevens, during her natural life. At her decease the same to be equally divided between my three children, namely, Henry Stevens, George Stevens, and Alice Brooks, wife of Aaron Brooks.
Fourthly, I bequeath to my son and to his heirs, Zachariah Stevens, one shilling.
Fifthly, I give and bequeath to my daughter Ann Fouch, one schilling. Both to be paid within convenient time after my decease by my Executors before mentioned.
Sixthly, I will that the remaining part of my personal and movable property, after the one-third is therefrom taken for the use of my wife Hannah Stevens, be equally and impartially divided between my children, namely, Benjamin Stevens, Elizabeth Ward, William Stevens, and Henry Stevens, Alice Brooks, wife of Aaron Brooks, and George Stevens, likewise Reuben Stevens Homan, Hannah Homan, Mary Homan, Matthew Homan and Mark Homan, children of Elizabeth Homan which five children are to be ... in proportion, namely the children above mentioned born of Elizabeth Homan compose eleven equal shares
and further I will that the portion coming to the five children above mentioned born of Elizabeth Homan be deposited in the hands of Elizabeth Homan until said children shall come to full years. If a division should take place before they arrive to that state when Elizabeth Homan's children is of age, their mother is to impart the portion falling to them at her discretion.
And further I will that the portion that may come to my daughter Elizabeth Ward be issued to her at the discretion of my son Henry Stevens who is before myself appointed my Executor.
To this my last Will and Testament,
In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand a seal
this eighth day of July in the year of our Lord, one thousand and seven hundred ninety-eight.
James Stevens (His seal)
Signed Sealed and Delivered in the presence of:
Solomon Littleton, Jenkin Oxley and Hugh Lester.
At a Court held for Loudoun County, August 13, 1798, this Will was proved by the Oaths of Solomon Littleton and Jenkin Oxley, two of the subscribing Witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded and on the motion of Henry Stephens and Hannah Stephens the Executors therein named, who made Oath thereto according to Law and together with Jenkin Oxley and Moses Coldwell their Securities entered into and acknowledged there bound in the penalty of eight hindered dollars with condition as the Law directs certificate is granted them for obtaining a probate thereof in due form.