Posts Tagged ‘1839’

The 1839 Will of Sarah Lawton

April 19, 2017

Sarah Lawton died on October 6, 1839, according to a remembrance written by her grandson that I posted here on the blog about “Our Grandmother”.

I started to title this post: “The Will of Sarah Lawton”, and then realized that the title might make her sound “willful”. She might have been just that, because she was a strong influence on her children and grandchildren, according to the writer of the remembrance, Joseph Thomas Robert, in 1878. 

There are new online references being added what seems like every day. But the closer I get to the end of my life, the faster time seems to fly. I’m afraid that I will run out of time before I’m satisfied. 

Recently I discovered Sarah Lawton’s will on ancestry.com. It is a typewritten copy of the original which is at the Caroliniana Library in Columbia, SC. I can see, in my mind’s eye, someone hunched over a manual Royal typewriter, making the original document legible and available to us. 

I also discovered that page 4 is missing from the ancestry collection. This might mean that a trip to the library is in order. 


Ah, whoever did the transcription also included a breakdown of the descendants. 


Identification of the legatees follows. 

The 22nd is Martha Amanda Lawton, and I wrote about her in a separate post as Amanda M. Miller.


The body of the will is so different from that of a man’s perspective. She leaves personal items, clothing, textiles, and household goods to her granddaughters. She rarely mentions a male unless it is in reference to a female, except for Alexander James Lawton. She also mentions by name the three Mosse sisters that married the three Lawton brothers.  

She also leaves some of her slaves to her descendants, and this makes me wonder if I can match these people to the list of slaves enumerated by Alexander James Lawton in his plantation journal. 

Sarah lived another 24 years after the death of her husband Joseph Lawton. She did not wither nor die without leaving her legacy on the family. 

And that is the will of Sarah Lawton. 

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