James H. Ramsey
The State of Alabama
submitted by Betty Ramsey
I, James H. Ramsey of the county and state above written being in good
sound disposing mind and memory, calling to mind the uncertainly of human
life, and being desirous of settling my worldly affairs and directing how
the property with which it has pleased God to bless me with shall be disposed
of after my decease, do make and publish this my last will and testament,
hereby revoking and making null and void all other wills and testaments
by me heretofore made. And first I commend my immortal being to him who
gave it, and my body to the earth to be buried by my Executor hereinafter
named. And as to my worldly estate and all the property real, personal
or mixed, of which I shall die seized and possessed, I desire, bequeath
and dispose thereof in the manner forthcoming to wit:
First: I hereby constitute and appoint my two sons Thomas M. Ramsey and James P. Ramsey to be sole executors of this my last will and testament directing my said executors to pay my just debts and funeral expenses as soon after my decease as shall be by them found consistent.
Secondly: After the payment of my said debts, and the said funeral expenses, I give devise and bequeath all the residual I shall die seized and possessed unto my children to wit: Thomas M. Ramsey, Sylvia Coleman, James P. Ramsey, Francis M. Ramsey, Phaedra Thompson, Minerva Lett and Rebecca E. Todd, in the manner following: to wit 1st To my son Thomas M. Ramsey my son, I give a Negro boy named George. Second, I give to my daughter Sylvia Coleman, now the wife of Thomas Coleman a Negro Boy Jim. 3rd, I give unto my son James P. Ramsey a Negro boy named Sam. To my son Francis M. Ramsey I give a Negro girl named Julia. To my daughter Minerva Lett, now the wife of Robert P. Lett, I give a Negro boy named Jessy and a Negro girl named Amanda. To my daughter Rebecca E. Todd, now the wife of Burton Todd, I give a Negro boy named Tom and a Negro girl named Carian. To have and to hold to my beloved daughter Rebecca E. Todd aforesaid and her heirs and assigns forever for her sole and separate and exclusive use and benefit.
Third, the above named negro slaves I will and bequeath to my above named sons and daughters respectively at their true and proper valuation, and should either of my a forenamed sons or daughters die without a lawful heir, then, in that case the Negro or Negroes given as above, is to be [can’t read] back to and be equally divided among the surviving heirs, share and share alike.
Fourth To my daughter Phaedra Thompson a forenamed, I will and bequeath an equal share with the rest of her above named bothers and sisters, and her share to be paid in cash, after deducting a note I paid as security for L. B. Holeman. The said note calls for one hundred dollars with a credit on the back of fifty dollars, and two school tuition receipts which I hold also, and her account as she stands charged on my memorandum book for provisions and sundry articles of merchandize (sic).
5th York a man, and Rachel his wife slaves, for and inconsideration of their faithfulness, I will them the privilege of choosing who of my above named heirs they are willing to go to and be the property of by paying their valuation, to which they may be appraised, also their increase if any I devise and bequeath them to either of my heirs who may be able and willing to take them at their proper valuation as they may be appraised, and not to go out of the family. The rest of my servants, I will them to be put up and sold to the highest bidder at public out cry.
Sixth It is my will and desire that my executors sell the rest of the property of every nature of which my die seized at public outcry on a credit of twelve months and should my decease take place before or previous to the end of the present year. I will and desire my said executors to sell the cotton crop that my be made this present year as soon as consistent after gathered, for cash and out of the proceeds if sufficient, to pay the amounts of the notes given for a boy Jacob and all other debts. If there be cash sufficient that may be by me unsettled or contracted for the use of the family.
Seventh. I will and devise my said executors to sell my lands either at public outcry or privately as they may think best. The lands are as follows viz: The East half of section five and west half of section four in Township eighteen and range twenty. Also the southwest ¼ of section thirty three in township nineteen and range twenty.
In testimony where I have hereunto set my hand and seal and publish and declare this to be my last will and testament, in the presence of the witnesses named below, this 28th day of March A. D. 1856.
James H. Ramsey (seal)
Signed, sealed, and published and declared by the said James H. Ramsey,
as, and for his last will and testament, in the presence of us who in his
presence, and in the presence of each other and at his request have subscribed
our names as witnesses hereto.
Joseph B. Ledbetter
James H. Nichols
State of Alabama Probate Court Register
Term July 14, 1856