The Will of Mary Anne Cowper of Georgia

While tracing the family tree of Basil Cowper, I found his two daughters Mary Anne and Margaret.

Margaret married a Mr. McQueen. Mary Anne married no one.

She writes her last will and testament in a bold fashion. I’ve transcribed it below. Take a look and you will see what I mean.

CowperMaryAnne P1

 In the name of God Amen 

This is the last Will and Testament of Mary Anne Cowper of the City of Savannah in the County of Chatham and State of Georgia Spinster 

I May Anne Cowper, being in health of body & of sound & disposing mind and memory, commending my soul at death to God, who gave it, in the hope of a happy resurrection through the atonement and mediation of our blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Do make publish and declare this to be my last Will and Testament hereby revoking all and every other will or wills heretofore by me made, in manner and form following that is to say – 1st I desire that all my just debts be paid by my executors hereinafter named, as soon after my decease as can be conveniently done. 2d I give devise and bequeath the sum of Four thousand dollars for the benefit of Seamen visiting the Port of Savannah. The same to be paid by my executors hereinafter named in such way and manner as in their judgment will most conduce to the benefit of said. Either paying said sum of Four thousand dollars over to such society or societies as they may select for the purpose of building or aiding in building a Sailors Home or Homes or for any other purpose, or investing the same in good and sufficient securities and paying the annual dividends or interests derived thereupon as a salary to a seamans preacher or in any other way which they may consider most conducive to the end in view. 3d I give and bequeath to William and Robert Mackay all that Lot of Land in the City of Savannah known as Lot No one, second tything Reynolds Ward & the improvements thereon as tenants in common and not as joint tenants to them the said William & Robert Mackay and their heirs forever – Which Lot was obtained by my grand father, when that part of the town was laid off, he having come over to this county in company with Genl Oglethorpe on his second voyage and said Lot has since his death remained in possession of his descendants. 4th I give and bequeath to Catherine and Sarah Mackay the two unmarried daughters of Mrs. Eliza Mackay, all that Island known as Oatland Island, situated in Chatham County State of Georgia with all its appurtenances of Hammocks and marshes etc and also all my cattle and stock of every kind on the said Island being at the time of my death to them the said Catherine and Sarah as tenants in common and not as joint tenants, equally to be divided between them, to them respectively and their heirs forever to their sole and separate use and not subject to the debts contracts or control of any future husband, and in case of the marriage of either the said Catherine or Sarah Mackay I direct that this property be settled in trust for their sole and separate use. 5th I give & bequeath to Mrs. Mary Anna Stiles, wife of Benjamin Edward Stiles all my plantation situated lying and being in Houston County in the State of Georgia together with all the Stock and appurtenances or every kind /excepting negroes/ that may be on said Plantation at the time of my death /and excepting the crop then growing or gathered, which crop is to be sold and the amount received therefor to go into my general estate and the negroes belonging to said Plantation are to remain on the same at work until the said crop is sent to Market/ to have and to hold the said Plantation Stock and appurtenances to her the said Mary Anna Stiles for her sole and separate use and 

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Not subject in any manner to the debts contracts or control of her present or any future husband. I also give and bequeath to Mrs. Mary Anna Stiles all that half Lot of Land in the City of Savannah known as the Western half of Lot No two, Second Tything Anson Ward with all the improvements on the same to have and to hold the said half Lot to her the Said Mary Anna Stiles for her sole and separate use as above/ not subject in any manner to the debts contracts or control of her present or any future husband. And after the death of the said Mary Anna Stiles, I give and bequeath the said Plantation in Houston County and said half Lot of Land in the City of Savannah to the children of Said Mary Anna Stiles in such form and manner and to such individuals as she may designate by Will. 6th The following negro Slaves I desire shall be sold by my Executors for the benefit of my Estate, Namely Young Jack /Carpenter/ Mulatto George /Carpenter/ Harriett and her daughter Pricilla and daughter Lavinia and Lavinia’s husband Smart and their children now seven in number and Oliver. Giving them and each of them the privilidge of selecting a master, and when they shall have been sold, each grown person shall receive from my executors the sum of fifty dollars, and ten dollars shall be spent or used for the benefit of each child so sold and when Oliver shall have been sold I desire that besides the fifty dollars paid to himself, the sum of fifty dollars shall also be paid by my executors to his mother Sophy. And I further desire that if an occasion shall arise making it necessary for either of my heirs to sell any negro or negroes bequeathed by me, that in such case each grown person sold shall receive the sum of fifty dollars, and ten dollars shall be  used for the benefit of each child, the payment of which sums must be satisfactorily proved by my executors or I declare such bequest to be null and void. 7th I give and bequeath to Mrs. Eliza Mackay my two negro Slaves Isaiah and Michael to her the said Mrs. Eliza Mackay and her heirs forever. 

8th I give and bequeath to Catherine and Sarah Mackay the two unmarried daughters of Mrs. Eliza Mackay the following fourteen negro Slaves, Namely Old Maurice and Judith his wife John Blacksmith and Daphne his wife. These four I desire shall be permitted to remain at Oatland and have comfortable homes there as long as they live Flora Stephen Elsey and Lucind, these four together with the preceeding four I desire earnestly shall be permitted all such privilidge and indulgences and freedom as are not inconsistant with the Laws of the State of Georgia. Johny Young Maurice Polly Mark Samual and Jane To them the Said Catherine and Sarah Mackay and their heirs forever to their Sole and Separate use, and not subject to debts contracts or control of any future husband, and in case of the marriage of either the said Catherine or Sarah Mackay, I direct that his property be settled in trust for their sole and separate use  9th I give and bequeath to Mrs. Mary Anna Stiles wife of Benjamin E Stiles the following negro Slaves Namely Rachel and any children she may have, Jemmy /Carpenter/ Dimpson Daphne and any chidlren, Nelly Maiba and Sue / which three last are now in the possession of Mrs. Stiles Adam /Nelly’s Son/ Davy Luce’s husband Old Prince Radcliff, and Nigger to her the said Mary Ann Stiles for her sole and separate use and not subject to the debts contracts or control of her present or any future husband, for and during the term of her natural life, and from and immediately after the death of the said Mary Anna Stiles – I give & bequeath the said negro Slaves to the daughters of the said Mary A. Stiles, the child or children of any decd daughter to stand in the place and take the shares to which its decd parent would have been entitled if in life. 10th I give and bequeath to Sarah Mackay daughter of Mrs Eliza Mackay – the following negro Slaves – Namely Sancho & Milley /Sancho’s mother/ to her the said Sarah Mackay for her sole and separate use, and not subject to the debts contracts or control of any future husband, and in the case of the marriage of the said Sarah I direct thtat this property be settled in trust for her sold and separate use 11th I give and bequeath to Margaret Elliot, wife of Dr Rulpa E Elliot the following negro Slaves, Namely Molley and Abram (which two are now in her possession) Harry Blacksmith Bella and any children she may have Mary, Marshall Betsy Old Lyddy and Peggy. To her the said Margaret Elliot for her sole and separate use and not subject to the ebts contracts or control of her present of any future husband for and during the term of her natural life, and from and immediately after the death of the said Margret Elliote, I give and bequeath the said negro Slaves to the daughters of the said Margaret Elliott, the child or children of any deceased daughter to stand in the place and take the share to which its decd parent would have entitled if in life 12th I give and bequeath to Eliza A Stiles wife of William Henry Stiles the following negro Slaves Namely Hesta Jonathan Jane / Sue, which last is now in possession of Mrs Stiles Harry Abel, Ben child the last three being the children of Chloe decd / and Sam Bryan, namely Sam Bryan is not to be required to up the country against his will 

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To her the said Eliza A Stiles for her sole and separate use, and not subject in any manner to the debts contracts or control of her present or any future husband for and during the term of her natural life, and from and immediately after the death of the said Eliza A Stiles I give and bequeath the said negro Slaves to the daughter or daughters of the said Eliza A Stiles the child or children of any deceased daughter to stand in the place and take the share to which its decd parent would have been entitled if in life  1th I give and bequeath to Robert Mackay the following negro Slaves Names, Charlotte and her two son, Richard and Mag in together with any other children she may have and Bob Charlotte’s brother to him the Said Robert Makay and his heirs forever. 14th I give and bequeath to William Mckay the following negro Slaves – Namely April and Comba his wife together with their three Sons and any other children they may have, Jenny (Comba’s mother) Willoughby Hartwell and John Baptist to him the said William Mackay and his heirs forever  15th I give & bequeath to Eliza Williamson the two following negro Slaves Namely Betsey & Young Isaac to her the said Eliza Williamson and her heirs forever for her sole and separate use and not subject to the debts contracts or control of any future husband, and in case of the marriage of the said Eliza Williamson, I direct that this property be settled in trust for her sole and separate use. 16th I give and bequeath to my Cousin Mrs. Andrew Murray of Kircudbright in Scotland an annuity of three Hundred Dollars, during the term of her natural life, payment of the same to cease at her death, for her own sole & separate use absolutely, which sum is to be remitted to her annually by my executors as interest or dividends shall be collected 17th I give and bequeath to Miss Sidney Anderson of Bristol England an annuity of two hundred dollars during the term of her natural life, payment of the same to cease at her death to be remitted to her annually by my Executors 18th I give and bequeath to Mrs. Harriet L Wardrobe of Exeter, England and to the two Misses Bailie now living with Mrs Wardrobe the sum of two thousand dollars to be equally divided between them, share and share alike and in case of the death of either Mrs. Wardrobe or either the Misses Bailie, I give and bequeath the said sum of two thousand dollars, to the survivor or survivors. I also give and bequeath to John Leopold Abel of Dennington Terrace Vaux hall London, the sum of one thousand dollars and in the case of the death of the said John L Abel then the said sum of one thousand dollars to be equally divided among his children. I also give and bequeath to Mrs Ann Ker daughter of William McQueen and wife of William H Ker of Texas, the sum of Fifteen Hundred dollars. I also give & bequeath to Mary Cowper Stiles, the daughter of William H and Eliza A Stiles the Sum of five hundred dollars 19th I nominate constitute and appoint Catherine and Sarah Mackay my residuary Legatees, the same to be for their sole and separate use and not subject to the debts contracts or control of any future husband, and in case of the marriage of either the said Catherine or Sarah hen I desire that whatever property they may receive from my Estate, whether directly or by reversion, whether real or personal shall be settled in trust for their sole and separate use. Lastly I nominate constitute and appoint William Duncan & William Mackay both of the City of Savannah in the County of Chatham and State of Georgia Executors of this my last Will and Testament. In witness whereof I the said Mary Anna Cowper, have to this my Said last Will and Testament, contained in this and the six preceeding pages set my hand and Seal this 23d day of April 1852. 

Mary Anne Cowper  LS 

Signed sealed published & declared by the said Testatrix Mary Anne Cowper as and for her last will and Testament in the presence who in her presence and in the presence of each other, have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses. 

James Rhind 

And Low 

Wm Thomas Williams 

I I C C C 

I see relatives in Scotland and England! And who is the grandfather who came over with Oglethorpe?

Another mystery!

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One Response to “The Will of Mary Anne Cowper of Georgia”

  1. John Smith of South Carolina, Georgia, and England | Ruthrawls's Blog Says:

    […] might be a stretch. I don’t for a fact that John Smith came from England. I do know that his granddaughter Mary Anne Cowper said in her will that her grandfather came over with Oglethorpe on the second voyage. She was parceling out […]

    Liked by 1 person

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