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WILL OF JAMES GAY, probated 17 Feb 1819, IREDELL COUNTY, N.C.

In the Name of God Amen. I James Gay of Iredell's County and State of North Carolina. Being in perfect Health of Body and so far as I can understand myself of sound Mind & Memory thanks be to God for all his mercies daily and hourly bestowed on me. Yet, calling to mind the mortality of my Body and believing that it is appointed for all men once to die, Do make and Ordain this to be my last will and testament. That is to say as follows viz.

First and principally I give and recommend my soul to Almighty God that _______ and my Body I recommend to the Earth to be Buried in decent Christian manner at the discretion of my Executors hereafter to be named nothing doubting but that I shall receive the same against the general Resurrection by the mighty power of God. As to such worldly property as it may please God to Bless me with in this Life, I give devise and dispose of the same in manner and form following viz.

First it is, my will that all my lawful and just debts be paid & funeral expenses also paid out of my estate or effects left if there be any to do it with. And what remains I Bequeath as follows

First, to my Son John, one Cow & Calf, his choice of Cattle or a Steer, if he so chooses. Also one Bed & Bedstead and all its furniture, say the Bed I commonly lie on, also the Best one of my hats, two of the Best of my Jackets, one of the Best of my fine shirts and one half of my Pamphlets and small Books and one Barn Share [?] Plow and (Chains ? Chairs ? ???).

Secondly I give and Bequeath to William Gay bequeathed also Household Furniture ________ (Wheats and Reeds ? Cubboard Dressar) [???] furniture, knives, forks, spoons, cups plates dishes only one chest to John Gays oldest daughter she to have her choice also William all the remander of my Books and Pamphlets

As to John B. Mays as I have already given him considerably at or soon after his marriage with my daughter Rachel and he having made bad use of it I do not at this time or any time after allow him to enjoy any more of my estate only two Dollars may be given him by my executor after my death But I wish to give to his oldest Son when he comes of age the value of One Hundred Dollars to be paid in Land or Horses or Some good Saleable property or if they cannot agree on prices he must get at least six months to make money or perhaps 12 months and get his money and to each of his other 4 brothers that were Born in Iredell County fifty Dollars each (on the same time?) as they come of age to be paid by my Executors But never suffered to go into their Fathers hands. as I forgot to dispose of my negroe man (Murray ?) If alive at my death and not sold he is to be the property of John Gay and his heirs and also to William Gay Sythes and Sickles Bags and Pots &c.

And I will & bequeath to Eliza Gay John Gays oldest daughter____________, the Second choice William Gay to receive or first choice and She the next If do not give her one in my lifetime But if I do She gets no more

And to Abner Gay Williams oldest Son I bequeath one Horse or mare the third choice if he does not get one in my lifetime and also to Abner Gay a tract or parcel of land adjoining that whereon he now lives on the South and east sides it being 70 acres as a Deed among my papers Registered in Iredell Registers office for that quantity will show if I do not convey it to him in mv lifetime provided the said William Gay does not Bring any charge against my estate for rent of the land that I now live on or if He doth he is not to get the said 70 acres and it is to be sold to pay said rents if any be charged on a Bond that puts it in his power But I think he will not charge as he hath had so much work of mv negroes also I bequeath to William Gay all the property hereafter named to him namely one negroe woman named Jude if not Sold by me in my lifetime only her (offspring ?) I retain in My Power to will or give to whom I please all that are Born in my lifetime But if I do not sell her in my life She and the children Born after my Death are the property of William Gay his heirs &c. &c.

Also to William Gay I give the Horses that are not otherwise bequeathed and Hogs and the Waggons if any there be at the time of my death and Guns [?] that are not otherwise bequeathed and also to Sheep that are not otherwise bequeathed and to him Farming tools such as Plows (Chains ?) (Guns (Mattocks ?) axes Hoes spades Shovels Dung-forks and Barn tools such as Pitchforks Rakes (Cutting -Bord ??) (Flax-Break ?) Barrels tabs and finally all plantation tools that are not otherwise...

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three Good reputable householders to value and provide the same return John Gay and William Gay or their heirs If any of them should be dead, only William Gay is to have the Carpenter tools and John Gays son Hiram is to have the Gun that his Father now has and Abner William Gays son is to have the Gun that William Gay nor hath and lastly I hereby appoint nominate and ordain my two well beloved Sons John Gay and William Gay to be my trusty and faithful Executors of this my last will and testament And I hereby disannull all former wills by me made or bequeathments made therein as null & void declaring this and non prior to it to be my last will and Testament.

In Witness whereof I have hereunto on the other side of this paper and in confirmation of all the above bequeathments set my hand and seal this 8th day of May in the Year of our Lord God 1818. Of the american Independence XLIIth
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NB. As I have sold my negroe wench and child that was willed to William Gay I give unto him my Bank stock in the North Carolina Bank. And to his son Abner my watch if not sold in my lifetime said property to be theirs as if willed to them in the Body of ____ will.

[Note: the following is a rough abstract of the codicil to the will; especially the part pertaining to James Gay Mays] Jude's next child, if any to go to Eliza Gay; -the next, if any, to James Gay Mays; the fourth to William Gay's daughter Peggy. Land unsold at time of death: Hiram Watson Gay receives 200 (acres ?) first choice Abner Gay, William's son, 200 acres second choice and if any more is unsold James Gay Mays is to have 200 acres the third choice

Any leftover cash from sale of land, etc., to go equally to male and female grandchildren not given any special bequeast. "To prevent any misunderstanding respecting the date of the Body of the will being altered from 1816, the time it was originally written, to 1818, the time of my writing the Codicil respecting the leaving of my Bank Stock to my Son William in the place of the negroe woman & child whom I have sold to Mr. James Irwin Merchant of Statesville and leaving of my watch to my Grandson Abner, I do hereby in presence of the witnesses above and below confirm the before written will & codicil.

Signed Sealed and acknowledged

James Gay

Published and pronounced by me the said James Gay on the 5th of September 1818 As my last will & testament in the presence of us who with presence of each other have thereunto set our names as witnesses

George Hall
James D. Hall
Margaret M. Hall

Source: -----------

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