24 Sep 1843
Updated March 17, 2016
In the name of God, Amen!
I Richard N. Gilliam of the county of Southampton of sound and disposing mind and memory do make and constitute this my last will and testament in manner and form following:
In primis I desire that all my just debts be paid
Item for the purpose of paying my debts it is my will and desire that my executors shall break up my plantation and sell the crops, stock, plantation utensils, and household and kitchen furniture on such terms as may deem best.
Item it is my Will and desire that my executor do sell all my land on such terms and is such mode and selling it entire only dividing it into smaller tracer as he may deem most advantageous for my estate and the deficiency if any in paying my debts from the sales of my perishable property and monies due me I wish made up out of such slaves of my land. I also direct that a portion sufficient to pay to my half brother James Cooper, the legacy given him by my decd brother Joseph shall be invested instate stock or placed_____ and the interest annually collected and invested for the purpose of paying said legacy.
Item I direct that my Negro woman Fanny and child be sold and that my executor sell my slaves as he may deem best.
Item I give to my beloved wife, Caroline, for her use during her life one third of my negroes and as ____ of the interest which may annually accrue form any monies which may belong to my estate after payment of debt and the sales herein directed in lieu of her right of dower in my estate.
ItemI give to my two children all the rest of my estate with the reversion of the property given my wife and if cone of them shall die under age and without issue, then I give the share of such dec’d child to the survivor and if both shall so die unmarried under age and without issue I give one third of the property so given to them to my wife in absolute property and the other two thirds to my half brother James Cooper.
Item it is my will and desire that my executor out of my estate shall support and educate my half brother James Cooper at an expense not exceeding two hundred dollars a year, until he is twenty-one years of age.
Item I give to my wife Caroline Gilliam, my barouche and _____, two beds and bed clothes of her choice and any other articles of furniture which she may select.
Item I hereby appoint my friend John Y. Mason testamentary guardian to my two children Rosa and Joseph and I hereby nominate and appoint him executor of this my last will and testament.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 24th day of September in the year one thousand eight hundred and forty three.
Sig: Richard N. Gilliam
Signed, published and acknowledged in our presence and by us attested in his presence at the testator’s request
Wit: Thomas S. Turner, Thos Payne
Codicil. I Richard N. Gilliam do make the following codicil to my foregoing will as a part thereof. It is my will and desire that my half brother shall die leaving no child, I give to my wife Caroline all the property which he may have derived form the death of my children as it is my intention that no part of my estate shall go into his hands and descend to his father or his relations on the part of his father.
September 24th 1843.
Sig: Richard N. Gilliam
Witness: Thos. S. Turner, Thos. Payne
At a court held for the county of Southampton on the 20th day of November 1843
The last will and testament of Richard N. Gilliam decd and the codicil thereto annexed was proved by the oaths of Thomas S. Turner and Thomas Payne, the subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded. And on the motion of John Y. Mason the executor therein named who made oath and together with Nathaniel F. William and James D. Massenburg his securities entered into and acknowledged a bond in the penalty of fifty thousand dollars conditioned according to law. Certificate is granted him for obtaining a probate of the said Will in due form.
L. R. Edwards, CC
[Richard N. Gilliam is the son of Joseph Gilliam and Araminta, his wife. After Joseph’s death Araminta married 8 May 1827, James Cooper. Araminta and Cooper had a son James Cooper, Jr., whom Richard remembers in his Will. Richard married Caroline J. Gilliam, the daughter of Henry Reese Gilliam and Charlotte Turner, on 10 Dec 1839 in Sussex County, VA. Richard and Caroline have a son and a daughter, Joseph Simmons Gilliam and Rosa Araminta Gilliam. After Richard’s death Caroline marries Dr. Thomas B. Powell.
[In 1849 James W. Cooper sues in Southampton Chancery the executor of Richard N. Gilliam.]
- Southampton County, VA, Will Book 13, page 150-151
- Brantley Association. http://www.brantleyassociation.com/southampton_project/gallery/will_bk_13/index2.html