Will of James McNeil
Fayette Co KY October 1864, Will Book Y, page 741
I, James McNeil of Fayette County in Kentucky, being of sound mind but in feeble health do make this my last Will and Testament for disposing of all the estate to which I shall be entitled at the time of my death. I hereby emancipate and let free all my slaves, to wit: Delia, Linda, Docia, & her daughter Amelia Bell, Lucy, Frances & her son Scott, Amanda, Sam, George, Daniel, Randall, Anthony, Mark Anthony, Little Anthony, Morton, Stepney, Andrew & LaFayette; and I direct that the proper steps be taken for carrying this emancipation into full effect pursuant to law. And I give to the above named slaves equally to be divided between them, (including LaFayette but not including Andrew), the following portions of my tract of land on which I reside viz: the Kidd tract, bought of Kidd's Estate containing about 250 acres; the parcel bought of Wm Baxters Estate containing about 10 acres; the parcel bought of Dr. John Robinson off of the Broaddus land containing about 33 acres; and all that remains of the parcel of about 49 acres (adjoining the last) which I bought off of the Broaddus tract from Morton Perry; after cutting the 21 acres herein after designated for LaFayette. This portion of my farm containing about 312 acres, his at the Eastward of it, adjoining the land of Mrs. Robinson, the Smiths, George Baxter, Morton Perry & others. In case the laws of Kentucky will not allow _____ to whom I have given the above land to remain here as free person. I direct that the shares of all such as cannot remain be sold and the proceeds invested for them in other lands in some free State where they will be allowed to remain. As Andrew has been recently bought, I make in gift to him except of his freedom; but I direct that he be hired out for two years after my death for the best price that can be got which shall belong to my estate, and that he shall not go free till the end of those two years. I have in my possession a mulatto woman named Martha (the mother of LaFayette) aged about 45 years, and her two children Lizzie Perilla aged 9 & Laura Emmons aged 3, both of very light color. I hereby acknowledge and direct that Martha was bought as a free person that would be entitled to freedom, and that she has been free for at least twenty four years though living with me as a servant; and that he said three children LaFayette, Lizza Perilla & Laura Emmons have been entitled to freedom their _____; and I direct that the proper steps be taken for manifesting & securing to them their freedom. But lest there should be any dispute or difficulty about this, I hereby emancipate & set free Martha and her said two daughters Lizza Perilla & Laura Emmons, (as I have for the same reason herein before done for LaFayette) from all bondage or obligation of any sort of servitude to me or my heirs, distributors or personal representatives.
I give the balance of my farm, and all the rest of my property & Estate of every kind to the said Martha, Lizza Perilla & Laura Emmons, equally to be divided between them; and if either of them should die leaving no lawful issue, her share shall pass to ___ survivors or last survivor, but this ____ctation shall not prevent them from receiving their shares without security of them. I direct that their share of my farm shall be kept together, & managed or rented out by my representative for the use of the three divisees of it, except the dwelling & a suitable portion of ground reserved for the occupancy of Martha & her two daughters. As each daughter comes of age or marries, her share sall be alloted to her & delivered to her; and when the last comes of age or marries Martha's share shall be allotted to her also. But if by the laws of Kentucky, they cannot remain here, I direct that all their portion of my farm be sold, and the proceeds, with such part of the personal fund as may be requisite be applied to by for them farms in some free State where they can live, the title to which much be taken subject to the same ____ as are herein prorated in case of death without issue. I direct that there shall be cut off 20 acres from the 49 acres of the Broaddus land before mentioned, to be laid off adjoining my old line as follows, viz: beginning at George Baxter's ___ running then with my old line to Morton Petty's line near a pump or well, thence an Easterly direction down Perry's line, towards Mrs. Robinsons far enought to include Twenty acres in rectangular shape by running back to George Baxter's line. I direct that LaFayette be allowed to cultivate & have the proceeds of this 20 acres of land as long as he shall live with his mother & be a help & protection to her & her daughters. But, where as he ceases to do this, or his mother no longer desires heim to do so, or in case the land has to be sold, his right to the use of this parcel shall cease, and it shall pass with the rest to Martha & her daughters. The said two daughters must be suitably supported & educated out of the income of their shares till they receive them. What I herein give LaFayette is in full of all claims upon my estate of any nature whatsoever. I desire all the directions of this will to be carried into effect by such persons as the County Court of Fayette shall appoint my administrator, or by such other persons as may be lawfully appointed for that purpose. In testimony of which I subscribe my name this 8th day of October 1864.
Signed & published by the testator in our presence & attested by us in his presence & at his request after erasures & _______
George W. Baxter
John X Smith
John J. Baxter
Fayette County October Court 1864
At a County Court held for the County aforesaid, on the 31 day of October 1864, the foregoing writing purporting to be the last Will & Testament of James McNeil, Dec'd, was produced in open court for probate, and proved by the oath of Jos. Marshall, Geo W. Baxter & John Smith three of the subscribing witnesses thereto, who also proved the signature of Jno J. Baxter the other subscribing witness to the same, and ordered to be recorded, as the true last Will & Testament of said decedent. Whereupon the same had been truly recorded in my office.
Att Emiel Brennan Clk.
This is not a surname of mine; the will was provided by Karen King Scales, 4th great-grandniece of James McNeil, who would like to correspond with anyone reseaching descendents of James McNeil and Martha. She notes that James McNeil was born 19 January 1800 in Fayette Co., KY and died 24 October 1864 in Fayette Co., KY. He is buried in the McNeil - Smith family cemetery located on Jack's Creek Pike in Fayette Co., KY. He was the son of Archibald McNeil and Sarah Chandler who came to Fayette Co., KY in October 1789 from Orange Co., VA. James McNeil was married to a Sarah ______ (see 1850 Fayette Co., KY census). Contact Karen at Karen King Scales.