Merry Webb, 1778-1864

Merry Webb, 1778-1864, at the Myers Cemetery in Townsend, Tennessee. The building in the background is a welcome center.

Merry Webb had property in Tuckaleechee Cove in Blount County, Tennessee.  He was married two times, and had a large family. 

He died in Blount County, Tennessee, on September 23, 1864.  He left a will dated January 11, 1857. 

Tuckaleechee Cove was so remote that it wasn’t even on this map in 1895. 

BigBroBob, awesome researcher guy that he is, sent me a copy of Merry’s will.  If you’ve ever read an old will, it usually has flowery language that addressed the person physical andmental condition.  Many of the old wills that I’ve read all begin so similarly that it makes me wonder if there was a form letter, of sorts, that the will maker just filled in the blanks. 

For instance,

In the name of God Amen  I Silas Malcom of the County of Blount and State of Tennessee being Sick and weak of body but of Sound mind and disposing memory for which I thank God and calling to mind the uncertainty of human life and being desirous to dispose of all such worldly Substances as it hath please God to bless me with I give and bequeath the Same in manner following that is to say 1st I desire that all my debts in this country if any there are Should be paid together with my funeral expenses  2dly  I give to my wife Mary Malcom all my estate of whatever it May consist except as hereinafter Specified…

Here’s Merry’s will.  The transcription will follow.

State of Tennessee  Blount County  I Merry Webb do make and publish this as my last will and Testament hereby revoking and making void all other wills by me made at any other time  First I direct that my funeral expenses and all my just debts be paid as soon after my death as possible out of any moneys that may be on hands or that may first come into the hands of my Executors  Secondly I give and bequeath unto my wife Fanny all my household and Kitchen furniture and also all the land along the land that is running South at or near where L. P. Dunn now lives including the dwelling house I now live in with the other out buildings on Said lot in as much as the widow and minor heirs can cultivate and if any land that they cannot cultivate is to be rented out and the proceeds to go to said widow and minor heirs and also all my small notes and money on hand to be give to my wife and minor heirs  3dly I give and bequeath to my two daughters (to wit) Jane and Emeline when they become of lawful age or marry to have a good bed and fixtures each also one horse and Saddle each to be worth one hundred dollars also one good cow and calf each also eight dollars each for furnishing their houses  4thly I also give and bequeath my black girl Hannah to my two sons Robert and David the use of Said girl to my wife and Minor heirs until they shall arrive at the age of twenty one years together with the increase of said Hannah if any  5thly I direct that my black boy John be held under the same restrictions of Hannah until the death of my wife or change of widowhood then said boy to be sold to highest bidder  6thly I give and bequeath to my four sons and Son Lynches heirs Merry Henry Robert David and Lynchs heirs all my land in Blount County to be equally divided when my son David arrives at the age of twenty one years if the above named parties can agree  If not to be submitted to referces (referees?) all my land below the land to the first cross fence to be occupied by my son Henry and from the cross fence down to be occupied by my son Merry  East lot to run south with the said land and cross fence to said Mountain so as to give each one access to timber

            Also my farm that said Lynch lives on which I have given him the liberty of occupying said farm for the benefit of his lawful heirs  I further direct that my three sons (to wit) Merry Lynch and Henry pay the Taxes on said land annually and Keep up the fences in good repair on the premises  7thly I further direct that all my horses with two good milch cows be brought to sale to the highest bidder the horses and cows above named to go to the use of my wife and minor heirs also my stock hogs and sheep to also go to the use of my wife and minor heirs  8thly I further give and bequeath to my daughter Rachel three hundred dollars and to my daughter Wionnefred two hundred and Seventy five dollars also to my daughter Anna one hundred and fifty dollars also to my daughter Elizabeth one hundred dollars and fifty to be paid as her wants may demand also to my daughters (to wit) Jane and Emeline three hundred each I further instruct that the balance of my money of eight hundred dollars with the interest coming together with the Sale of my negro boy John to be equally divided between my Six daughters to wit Rachel Nancy Sarah Winnafred Jane and Emeline  I also give and bequeath to my son Merry one hundred and twenty five dollars as a compensation of a certain Gray mare to be paid when David arrives at the age of twenty one years  I further instruct that two hundred dollars be deducted out of the eight hundred that I have above bequeathed to my six daughters to be expanded for two horses and Saddles each to be worth one hundred dollars each for the use of my two Sons Joint Robert and David also my wagon and all my farming tools to go to the use of my wife and Minor heirs  I hereby nominate and appoint my two sons Merry and Henry Webb and George Snider Executors of this my last will and testament in witness whereof I do to this my last will  Set my hand and seal this 11th day of January 1857

Attest  (George Freshour                                     his

              (Jacob Freshour                            Merry  X  Webb (Seal)

                                                                                    Mark

 

[This will was probated in 1864.  There was another will that was never probated, probably a previous will that he makes mention of in the beginning of this will.]

*****

Merry gets right down to business in his will.  No reference to his mental or physical state.  No reference to the glory of God.  He’s agitated about something.

*****

My grandmother’s father was Lynch Delisha Webb, a doctor.  In 1860, he was 4 years old.  His father was also named Lynch Webb, who was in the Civil War although he was roughly 40 years old.  My mother used to have a miniature Confederate flag on her kitchen table.  One day she received a copy of Lynch the Soldier’s Pension file.  He was in the GAR.  She was horrified when she found out that the GAR was the Grand Army of the Republic, not the Confederacy.  I’m grateful that she was already deceased when BigBroBob found that another of Mother’s ancestors, this one a Packett, was also in the GAR.  Finding that out might have just killed her. 

 

Lynch's age is incorrect, probably due to a transcription error from a faded census. He is most likely 39, not 29. His son Merry, age 11, is Francis Marion Webb. His son Lynch is my great-grandfather. My grandmother told me that when her father was a little boy, just tall enough to look out the window, he saw the Union soldiers march by. I said, "Oh, they were the bad guys, right, Grandma?" She said, "Not really."

Here's Lynch the Doctor with his mother-in-law Ruth Gamble Collins and her youngest daughter Ivy Collins Coker, circa late 1800's.

Merry makes it clear that he has no use for his son, Lynch the Soldier, except for Lynch to pay the taxes on the land, and Merry refers to “Lynch’s lawful heirs”.  That sounds to me like Lynch had at least one illegitimate child.  Merry is so agitated about it that he wrote his second will in 1857, and cut Lynch out of the will.  No copy of his first will has been found.

Lynch (L. D. Sr.) Webb, Co. B 2nd Tennessee Cav, Vols McTeer Post #39 GAR, 3/15/1825-12/18/1893. Sarah rests to his right.

Sarah (Couch) Webb, wife, 4/9/1824-7/13/1906. Gone but not forgotten.

The graveyard is to the right, behind the church, Prospect Baptist, where Lynch and Sarah are buried.

From the Tennessee State Library and Archives, I received the following on December 24, 1999, an early Christmas present:

Apparently things are a bit resolved by the time Lynch dies in 1893, which only took about 30 years. This copy comes from the Microfilm Roll No. June 10, 1891 - February 14, 1895, Book - December 20, 1893, Page 1, Column 3, of the Blount County Newspaper, the Maryville Times. F.M. Webb is Lynch the Soldier's son, Francis Marion Webb, who served in Lynch's place for 3 years. By the time F.M. Webb left the service of the Union Army, he wasn't even old enough to have legally enlisted at age 18.

Left-click to read Sarah Webb’s obituary.

Time heals all, or at least suppresses it enough until a genealogist digs it up again and publishes it on the internet.

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