Maynard & all,
Below is a re-posting of a message I put on our Poythress List back on
3 Jun 2007, re-copied from our List's Archives, which is searchable on
specific words/dates/subject matter at
Barbara Poythress Neal
= = =
From: Barbara Neal
Subject: [POYTHRESS] Will of Joshua Poythress of PG Co, Va in Jan 1739/40
Date: Sun, 03 Jun 2007 17:26:50 -0600
Back in Dec 2000 on our List, Lou Poole wrote (during a discussion we
were having about a 1741 court suit Poythress et al vs Harrison), that
he then only had a copy of the abstract of Joshua's will from Weisiger's
"Prince George County, Virginia, Records 1733-1792" p.174.
At that time, Lou further quoted from another book indicating that Mr.
Richard Dunn of Richmond, Va's had, in July 1952, given to the Archives
a copy of the will, dated 17 January 1739, of Joshua Poythress I of
Flower de Hundred which he had found among the papers of his late
father, Dr. William Wilcox Dunn (1870-1952) who was the last descendant
of Joshua Poythress to own Flower de Hundred.
While in Richmond last month for the NGS Conference, I examined that
copy of the will. Below is the transcription of the will, maintained by
the Library of Virginia as their Accession #23849.
Notes: Since this will was dated 17 Jan 1739 old style, or 17 Jan
1739/40, the testator died after 17 Jan 1739/40. In the left margin the
numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4 are written largely, in a manner unrelated to the
various Items of the will. It appears that those numbers were added
later by someone to clarify the order of the four sections of the paper
since the various sections either had already fallen apart at the fold
lines, or were in danger of doing so. The number "4" on the bottom
fourth of the page is written over a "3." The parenthetical markings are
actually straight vertical lines in the original document, unlike any
I've seen before.
My own clarifications are in square brackets. As noted at the bottom
here (and in Lou's earlier message), the labeling on the outside of the
document indicates that this particular handwritten copy of the will was
one made for a Chancery Court case.
Barbara Poythress Neal
= = =
In the name of God, Amen. January the Seventeenth, One thousand seven
hundred thirty nine. I Joshua Poythress of the Parish of Martins Brandon
in the County of Prince George [,] being sick and weak, by [sic; should
be "but"] in my perfect senses and memory (for which I glorify god) and
being willing to settle my affairs and dispose of my Estate do make
constitute and append this to be my last Will & Testament in [the?]
manner and form following Impremis.
["1" in left margin, though no paragraph break here in original] I
commit my Body to be decently [interred?] and my Soul into the hands of
my Almighty God, hoping for salvation & thro' the Merits of that
Immaculate Lamb my Savior Jesus Christ the Righteous.
Item [in left margin] I give and devise my Lands on which I now
live which I bought of Mrs. Elizabeth Duke & Capt. John Hardyman [,] to
my Sons Joshua Poythress & William [torn away is "Poy"]thress to be
equally divided between them when my Son William co["mes" is torn away]
["2" in left margin] to lawful Age & to their Heirs forever, & if
of my said Sons dye [sic] be["fore" is torn away] they come to Age, then
I give and devise the whole Lands to the Survivor and to his Heirs forever.
Item [in left margin] I give and devise to my said two Sons and to
their Heirs for ever to be equally divided between them as afsd
[aforesaid] all my Land lying at Notaway in Surry County -- the Survivor
to take the whole if either of them dye before they come to lawful age.
Item 3 [in left margin] I give and devise to my said two Sons, and
to their Heirs forever my L["ands" worn away at the fold] which lye on
white Oak & Tom-heaton my Son Joshua to make Choice of the Tract of Land
which he best likes and my Son William To have the oth[er]
Item [in left margin] After the Decease of my Wife (to whose Use I
give all my Stock of Sheep [,] Cattle and Hogs) I direct that the said
Stocks be equally divided between my said Sons William and Joshua,
unless she Think proper to let them have them sooner.
Item [in left margin] I give to my Grandaughter Harwood fifty
Pounds to be paid her by my Executor when she comes to Age or is married.
Item [in left margin] I give to my Son Littlebury Twenty Shillings
my Intent and Will being that my two Sons Joshua & William shall
maintain and keep him during his life decently at their joint and equal
Exp["ense" is partly worn away at the fold].
Item [in left margin; below this word is where the "4" in the left
margin is written over another "3"] All the remainder of my Estate both
real and personal I give and devise to my loving Wife ["my loving" is
underlined] and my sons Joshua Poythress [,] William Poythress [,] and
to my Daughters Ann Poythress, Elizabeth Poythress, and Mary Poythress,
to be equally divided ["to be equally divided" is underlined] between
them when my son Joshua shall come to Age and to ["when my son Joshua
shall come to Age and to" is underlined] prevent all disputes and
Differences which may possibly arrise on such Division I do desire and
direct that my Brothers Robert Poythress [,] William Poythress & my
Friends and Relations, Richard Bland, Thomas Poythress and John Woodlief
or the Survivors of them make a Distribution & Division of The said &c
to be between my Wife & my said five Children. And I do order that no
Appraisem["ent" worn away at paper's edge] or Inventory be made of my
[continued on back of top section of the sheet]
Item [in left margin] I revoke and make Null & void all Wills
heretofore by me made.
Item [in left margin] I constitute and appoint my Brother Robert
Poythress and my Cozen Thomas Poythress Executors of this my last Will
and Testament. In Witness whereof I have here unto set my hand & affixed
my Seal the Day and year first above written. Joshua Poythress Sealed
with black Wax
Signed sealed published
& closed in Presence of
= = =
[on the back of section 3 of the sheet is written the following two
labels, in two different handwritings, likely indicating that this
handwritten copy was one made for a Chancery Court case:]
Joshua Poythress Will [in same handwriting as the document itself]
[and the below 2nd label, in a larger handwriting, with a large "X"
to the left of the following label]