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Last Will and Testament of Isaac Daniel James (November 1840)
Bedford County, Virginia Will Book 15, Pages 80-81

     Isaac Daniel James (1770-1853) was the son of Elias James (1744-1789) and Anna Matson (1746-1827) of Upper Merion Township, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania who migrated with his father’s half-brothers Daniel James (1750-1817) and Jonathan James (1751- ) to Bedford County, Virginia following the Revolutionary War.  In his last will and testament Isaac identifies six children:  Elias, Anna West, Susannah Wright, Elizabeth “Betsy” Howell, Matson and Isaac.  See Children of Isaac Daniel James (1770-1853) & Mary Elizabeth “Polly” James (1774-1864). Although not mentioned by name, Isaac does make reference to his wife Mary Elizabeth “Polly” James who was the daughter of his uncle Daniel James (1750-1817) and aunt Susanna Bealert.

Page 80

I Isaac James of the County of Bedford & State of Virginia being some affected in body but of perfect mind & memory thanks be given unto God for the same & calling to mind the mortality of my
body & that it is appointed for all men once to die.  I therefore recommend my Soul to Him that gave it & do ordain this my last Will & testament in manner and form as followeth.  

1st Item.  I will that all my just debts & funeral charges be paid & discharged by my executors hereafter named.  

2nd Item.  I will that all the negroes that I may be in possession of or have any interest in at my decease shall as soon as it conveniently can be done sold at publick sail.  Say in less than six or eight months.

3rd Item.  I give & bequeath unto my son Elias James ten dollars for his full legacy.  

4th Item.  After paying the above charges & legacy I give unto my son Elias James' children after the law making provision for my wife all of them that may be alive at my death to have equal share of one sixth part of my estate except six hundred dollars to have one equal share among them all, except the six hundred dollars before mentioned:  equal to Anna West one share:  to Susannah Wright one share:  to Betsy Howell one share:  to Matson James one share:  to Isaac James one share:  these five last children named to have equal shares of all my estate.  Only what is otherwise mentioned & all of Elias James children to have six hundred dollars less than one share of the five named, that is, Anna, Susannah, Betsy, Matson, & Isaac.  My Wife has the law on her side & I am glad of it for it can make better provisions for her than I can at present.  I also nominate constitute & appoint my trusted sons
Matson James, and Isaac James to be my Executors of this my last Will and testament & do hereby revoke disannul & utterly make void all former Wills by me in any wise made ratifying & confirming this and no other to be my last Will & testament in Witness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand & Seal this [blank] day of November 1840.  Signed Sealed published & declared        

Isaac James {Seal}

by the Said Isaac James the testator as & for his last Will and testament in the presents of us
who have Subscribed our names for Witnesses thereto in the presence & at the request of the Said testator.

At a court held for Bedford County the 23rd day of Jany 1854 This Writing purporting to be the last Will and testament of Isaac James deceased bearing date the [blank] day of November 1840 was produced in Court and said Writing proved to be wholly in the hand writing of the said Isaac James deceased by
oath of Thomas J. Bush and William Gish and the said Writing was ordered to be recorded as the last Will and testament of said decedent.   And on the motion of Matson James and Isaac James the Executors in said Will named who made oath and together with William Gish, Samuel S. Stewart, James H. Nowlin, Williamson Burnett, Washington Howell, William

Page 81

Gwaltney and Isaac L. James their Securities entered into and acknowledged bond in the penalty of thirty five thousand dollars conditional according to law certificate was granted them for obtaining a probat of said will in due form


A. A. Arthur  CBC