Will of William Epps

Record Book D 1859-1895, Clarke Court of Ordinary, Clarke County, Athens, Georgia.

Georgia Clarke County In the name of God Amen.I, William Epps, of said County being admonished by age and health impaired that I must shortly depart this life do make this my last Will and Testament, thereby annulling and making Void all other Wills by me heretofore at any time made.

Item 1st I give and bequeath to my son Joseph a certain negro girl named Destimonia aged about two years old.

Item 2nd I give and bequeath unto my Grandson Thomas Whitehead a certain negro girl named Louisa aged about fourteen months.

Item 3rd I desire that a certain part of a Tract of Land which I bought of the Estate of Williams which part I suppose contains about seventy or eighty acres to be separated from said Williams Tract by a line beginning at or about the mouth of Joseph Lees Lane beyond his house and running straight to the Oconee River said line to run so as to take in a certain piece of woodland adjoining a field on Connally's branch and said piece of land so detached to be added to the tract hereon I now live which tract with all its improvements and appurtenances I hereby give to my son Joseph provided my said son shall permit my daughters who now live in the house with me namely Jane Whitehead, Mary Epps, Lucinda Epps and Salina Epps to continue to live in the dwelling wherein I now live and occupy it as their home as long as they remain unmarried and also permit Thomas Whitehead, my grandson to continue with his mother but said daughters to exercise no ownership over the property except to occupy the house as a home.

Item 4th I give to my daughter Mrs. Elizabeth Stephens about one hundred acres and land adjoining my son Thomas N. Epps Sawmill Tract whereon my said daughter now lives.

Item 5th I hereby give to my two sons Thomas N. Epps and Patrick H. Epps jointly the remainder of all the lands of which I am possessed including a part of the Williams Tract and a part of the Stephens Tract except about two hundreds acres of the Williams Tract nearest to the Princeton factory lying below my son T. N. Epps Plantation.

Item 6th I hereby direct my Executors hereinafter named to sell the piece of land lying next to the Princeton factory which was excepted in the proceeding item and they are hereby authorized to sell either publicly or privately as they may elect.

Item 7th I desire that those of my children who have heretofore received negro property from me namely Mrs. Elizabeth Stephens, Mrs. Martha Patman, wife of Thomas Patman, Mrs. Susan Doolittle, wife of Jesse Doolittle, Thomas N. Epps and Patrick H. Epps bring the same back and make common property of the same with that which I now hold (except the two negro girls which in the first and second Items I herein gave to my son Joseph and my Grandson Thomas Whitehead) and that they divide equally among all my children. If those who have heretofore had negroes do not bring them back as above desired and put them in the Common Stock then I hereby direct that the negroes which I heretofore gave them be appraised at the highest market value and that the reminader of my children receive each and equal amount out of the proceeds of the sale of the negro property to the value of said property held by each of those who fail to bring back said negroes.

Item 8th I hereby give to all my daughters jointly being seven in number all of my railroad stock.

Item 9th I hereby give my flock of sheep to all my daughters and to my son Joseph jointly.

Item 10th I hereby direct that all of my negro property and all of my personal property not hereinbefore disposed of be sold by my Executors to the highest bidder and that out of the proceeds of the sale (therefore and of the proceeds of the sale) of the piece of land named in Item Six that my executors pay all my just debts and that they divide the remainder thereof equally among all my children.

Item 11th My negro man Jerry who has long been to me a faithful servant is not intended to be sold with other property but I hereby give him to those of my daughters who remain here to stay here and wait upon them.

Item 12th I hereby give to my son Joseph and to all my daughters jointly all of my household property.

Item 13th I hereby constitute and appoint my sons Thomas H. Epps, Patrick H. Epps and Joseph Epps my executors to execute this my last Will and Testament. Interlined before signing in the last line on second page the word "each," and in the second line on the third page "The Value of said property held by."

Wm Epps (Seal)

Signed Sealed declared and published by William Epps to be his last will and Testament in the presdece of us the subscribing witnesses who subscribed the same in the presence of said testator at his own special instance and request and in the presence of each other, this 12th day of September 1864.

William Shaw
Sherwood Wise
Lewis Eidson (His Mark)
Jefferson Jennings

Clarke County
Personaly appeared before me
William Shaw, Ehrwood Wise and Lewis Eidson

Those of the Subscribing Witnesses to the Within and foregoing Will of William Epps late of said County Decreased who on Oath declare and say that they saw said Deceased Sign and Seal said instrument and heard him acknowledge the same to be his Last Will and Testament, that at the time of so doing he was of sound and disposing mind and memory, that the affiance and Jefferson Jennings all signed the same as witnesses in the presence of each other and of the Testator and at his request.

William Shaw Sherwood Wise Lewis Eidson (His Mark)

Sworn to and subscribed Before me this 25th February\1964. Asa W. Jackson Ordinary

Whereupon it is ordered that said will of said William Epps and the probate there be Recorded in Terms of the law Regular Term 6th March 1864.

Asa M. Jackson, Ordinary

Recorded 9th March 1865

Contributed by Connie Epps Bond