The Will of Joseph Lawton of Charleston & England, 1852

I went down a rabbit hole over the New Year’s holiday. I was browsing through some South Carolina wills, and came across this will of Joseph Lawton from 1852.

Sugar has a Joseph Lawton in his line who was born in the mid-1700s near Charleston. His Joseph, however, died about 40 years before the 1852 Joseph in what was known as St. Peter’s Parish in the Beaufort District near present-day Robertville in Jasper County.

Let’s take a look at the 1852 Joseph.



Box 95

No. 23

State of South Carolina

I Joseph Lawton of Charleston in the Said State, Merchant Make this my last Will and Testament hereby revoking all former Wills heretofore made. I give and bequeath all My Lands in East Florida to My Son William Frederick his Heirs and afsigns forever. I give and bequeath to My dear Wife Sarah Margaret Carnie the sum of Thirty Thousand Dollars to be paid Out of My Estate before and preference to any other bequest hereinafter Made. I give nd bequeath to My Natural Daughter Annie Wife of Louis Lee Janon of New York the sum of Five Hundred Dollars per annum during her life time  I give and bequeath to the St. Georges Society of Charleston Five Hundred Dollars. I give and bequeath Two Thousand Dollars towards the building of a Church Now Contemplated to be Built under the regulations of the Established Church of England Near Delph. I give and bequeath to each of my Nephews and Nieces the Sum of Five Hundred Dollars, all the rest and residue of My Estate I give and bequeath to F. F. Whitehead and John D. Whitehead of Saddleworth in England in Trust Neverthelefs for such child or Children and the Child or Children of Any deceased child as I shall leave living at the time of my death, to be divided among them if More than one, is the following Manner, that is to Say, It shall be divided into equal shares, one More in Number than the Number of Said Children including as one the children of any deceased Child, and My eldest Son shall take two Shares and each of the Other Children one Share but if there be no Son then it shall be equally divided among the Children share and Share alike. The Child or Children of a deceased child taking the Share the parent would have taken if alive. My Will is that the Said rest and residue of My Estate shall as soon after the Said Trustees receive it from My Executors, as it can be done with

Will of Joseph Lawton  Page #2

a due regard to the security of the Fund be put out at Interest on Mortgage of Real Estate in England and that the Said Trustees apply as much of the Interest on their respective shares thereof as May be Necefsary for that purpose to the Maintenance and Education of My Said Children Until they respectively attain the age of Twenty one Years when their respective shares together with any accumulation of Interest thereon shall be paid to them respectively and in Case any of My Said Children should die Under the age of Twenty one Years and without ifsue his or her Share of the Said residue Shall go to the Survivor or Survivors and be paid at the age of Twenty One as aforesaid, the Children of Any deceased Child taking the Share which their parent would have taken if alive and if all my Said Children Should die under the age of Twenty one Years and without ifsue then I give and bequeath the Said rest and residue of My Estate as follows to Wit. I give and bequeath to My dear Wife Twenty Thousand Dollars in addition to what I have hereinbefore bequeathed to her. One Thousand Dollars to the Delph day School where I received My early Education Five Hundred Dollars to each of my first Cousins residing in England at the time of My death and the residue to My Nephews and  Nieces to be equally divided among them share and Share Alike. The provisions Made by this My Will for My Wife are given to her in lieu and in bar of Dower. I constitute Nominate and appoint My Worthy Friends William Nayler and William M. Lawton the Executors of this My last Will and Testament, and I do hereby empower them to sell Such part of My Estate Real and Personal as it May be Necefsary orexpedient to Sell in Order to Carry into effect the Provisions of this My Will. In Witnefs whereof I have hereunto set My Hand and Seal this Twenty Eighth day of April in the Year One Thousand Eight Hundred and fifty two and in the seventy Sixty Year of American Independence.

Joseph Lawton (LS)

Signed, Sealed, Published and declared by the Testator Joseph Lawton as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who at this request and in his presence and in the presence

Will of Joseph Lawton   Page #3

of each other have afixed our Names hereto as Witnefses

John Graveley

Thos. P. Smith

James B. Bours.

Proved before George Buist Esq. O.C.D.  April 16th 1855

April 19th 855   Qualified William M. Lawton and William Nayler Executors therein named.

Ex. G.B.

Recorded from Will Book No. L 1851-1856  Page #344

This Joseph Lawton of Charleston & Saddleworth and his family don’t appear to intersect with the Joseph Lawton of Edisto & Robertville. However, I’ve been in contact with a Saddleworth Lawton who might be able to shed some light on a possible relationship.

Until then, I’ll be poking around There’s an excellent chance that we will never know the answer.




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