Looking Back; William Crow created a will before his death

Published 5:33 pm Friday, April 5, 2019

William Crow was one of the members of the original company of 31 people who came into the wilderness of Kentucky in 1774 with Colonel James Harrod.

He spent much of his time in Stephen Fisher’s Garrison while cultivating his farm on what is now Lancaster Road. William built a stone house where he and his second wife, Patience Owsley Bledsoe Crow lived.

He was born in 1751 in Virginia and died in 1821, and was a son of Walter Crow (1717-1789) and Anne Miller Crow (1720-1811).

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William and his first wife Sarah Lawrence Crow (1760-1782) whom he married in 1781 are buried on the farm. Slabs of sandstone mark the graves.

Will names beneficiaries

About a year before William died he made a will to provide for his wife and family.

He left his wife Patience 118 acres of land in Garrard County, the same which she claimed under her former husband’s will.

She also got three slaves, Sal, Adam and Dice; one brood mare and suckling colt; a choice of four cows; a feather bed and furniture; and all the furniture she had when she married William; and one young horse, known as Colonel. She also got a quantity of cupboard and kitchen furniture.

The will also left Patience a young slave, Lewis, during her life. After she died, he was to be sold and the proceeds be divided between William’s daughters or their heirs.

His wife was to get stock, stills, wagon and farming utensils together with the plantation whereon he lived, also all the slaves and any of the property she needed would be hers for two years or until she could build a house on the land she owned in Garrard County.

Sons Walter and James Crow got the balance of William’s preemption not sold and lying on the south of his settlement of about 382 acres. Also, 118 acres was to be taken off the south of his settlement to extend the full length of the settlement line and run parallel to the land and was to be equally divided between his two sons. They were to have a contract for 80 acres willed to James when William was alive. Walter was to get the 80 acres in the will.

James, who had borrowed $2,000 from his father, was to pay the money within two years, and if not paid, part of James’ land was to be sold and the proceeds applied towards the discharge of the two debts, and any money was left was to be given to James.

The will stipulated that the third son, Benjamin was given land on the western boundary and a slave named Ben.

His eight daughters and their heirs were given money: Elizabeth Pierce and Rachel Hamilton, each got $1,300; Ann Givings, $700; Mary Moore, $1,000; and Sarah Cook, Margaret Hopper, Mariah Bledsoe and Matilda Letcher, each got $600.

William stated that as soon as his debts were paid, the remainder of his personal property and slaves were to be sold along with land not willed to his sons be sold.

His African American woman, Horace, was to be free and “enjoy all the liberty and privilege of free people of color” in Kentucky and William’s executors were directed to retain in their hands so much of the estate as will be sufficient to support Horace or at least to prevent her from becoming a charge of the county.

William’s sons-in-law, George Givings, Samuel Moore, William Cook, Thomas Hamilton, Joseph Hopper, Willis Bledsoe and Stephen Letcher were appointed executors.

Dr. Ephraim McDowell and Joshua Barbee were witnesses to the will

signed September 16, 1820.