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JOHN KING (KY)

Robert Strong is a descendant of John King and the researcher and author of the life of John King of Kentucky.  The DNA results from descendants of John King of Kentucky and John King of Grainger/Jefferson County, Tennessee indicate that both branches are connected with a common ancestor.

The DNA haplotype is I2b1.

The family tree is located in our genealogy section.  Please visit Robert’s website for updates to his research.  My Line of Southern Strong


John KING
  • Born: 12 Feb 1777, Virginia 2
  • Marriage (1): 1st Mrs. John King
  • Marriage (2): Elizabeth S. PRIEST on 31 Dec 1822 in Barren County, Kentucky 1
  • Died: 7 Jan 1842, Barren County, Kentucky 2
  • Buried: King Family Cemetery, Barren County, Kentucky 2
Spouses/Children'

1.  1st Mrs. John King
  • Sarah Jane King
  • Jane S. King
  • Ann J. King
  • William G. T. King
  • Mary E. W. King

2.   Elizabeth S. Priest
  • Nancy King
  • John B. King
  • Alexander Goldsmith  King
  • Thomas  Henry King
  • Elizabeth Carrington King
  • Caroline Breckenridge King
  • Frances Marshall King  
General Notes:
John King was a wealthy farmer. In 1841, the year before his death, his taxable assets were valued at $12,246. Most of  his wealth consisted of his 34 slaves, who were valued at $8,850. His belief in the institution of slavery put a strain on his friendship with Henry Clay, the Kentucky statesman known as "The Great Compromiser." In an article that appeared in the The Glasgow Times in 1902, Dr. R. H. Grinstead wrote about an encounter between John King and Henry Clay:

"Henry Clay frequently visited Barren County in the racing season. He and John King, father of John B. King, were great friends until the Missouri Compromise came before the American people and much to the astonishment and disappointment of many of his friends, Clay favored it.

"Soon after this great statesman came down to Barren County for a visit, making headquarters at Bell's Tavern but electioneering throughout the county. He and his friend King met. Almost at once King said, 'You have turned us down for the Yankees and abolitionists. I'm through.' Very gently and tactfully, Clay reached out and took King's flint lock gun and began to examine it carefully. Then turning to King, he said, 'Is this the same gun you hit center with when we were at Merry Oaks?' A bit puzzled and a trifle impatiently, King said, 'Yes.' King turned the gun in his hand and patted it lovingly. 'Does it ever flash in the pan?' asked Clay. 'Well, yes, sometimes,' was the reply. Clay caressed the gun, then said, 'I see you didn't throw it away.' 'Of course not,' said King. 'I wouldn't swap it for the best horse in Barren County.' Hesitating for a moment, and with a droll smile hovering on his lips, Clay said, 'I flashed in the pan one time, are you going to throw me away?' With outstretched hand King said, with just a little choke in his voice, 'No, Clay, I'm going to stay with you.'"

The names of 25 of John King's 34 slaves appear in specific bequests in his will, to wit: Bob, Reuben, Sharlotte, Easter, Maria, Mary Jane, Sarah, Granville, Jane, Achales Jackson, Louisa, Fielding, Ford, Malvinia, Margaret, Isham, Andrew, James, Larkin, Emmy, Willis, Eliza, Benjamin, Allen and Amanda. Also named were Edmund and Peggy, who must have been his personal slaves for they were not specifically bequeathed and were exempted from being sold or hired out. Edmund and Peggy were allowed to remain where they had been living. Mt. Tabor Baptist Church records in 1841 pertaining to Edmund's request for a letter of dismissal identify him as the servant of Captain King.

What happened to most of the other named slaves is unknown, including whether they retained the King name. It is known that Willis, who was bequeathed to Elizabeth C. King, became Willis Sanderson after her marriage to Robert Mosely Sanderson, and that Benjamin, who was bequeathed to Caroline B. King, became Benjamin Sanderson, since Caroline lived with the Sanderson family and Benjamin worked on that farm.

I recommend Kentucky African American Griot's at http://www.rootsweb.com/~kyafamer/Barren/barren.htm, to anyone researching their Barren County, Kentucky African American history. Let me know if you establish a connection to any of the King slaves. 3 4 5

Research Notes:
There was an earlier John King in Barren County, who was originally thought to have been our John King. The earlier John King first appeared on the 1799 tax list for Barren County, Kentucky. He owned 200 acres of land on Beaver Creek, which had been entered, surveyed and patented to him. Other Kings appearing on the 1799 tax list, who were apparently related to him, were Johnston, William, Francis and Benjamin, with the name Solomon also mentioned in survey records. This earlier John King appears on the tax lists through 1807, at which time he appears to have moved to Bedford County, Tennessee, as evidenced by the fact that on 17 Sep 1814, John King of Bedford County, Tennessee, sold 200 acres on Beaver Creek in Barren County, Kentucky to Samuel Renick (Barren County, Kentucky Deed Book E:169). John's wife, Nancy, relinquished her dower rights. Per Peggy Hill, the metes and bounds for the 1799 tract per its survey and the tract sold in 1814 are nearly identical.

Although Peggy Hill initially thought John King of the early Barren County records and later Bedford County records may have been our John King, who appears in the 1817 and subsequent tax lists for Barren County, I was skeptical since the children of our John King born before 1812 were born in Virginia. I believe the cited source demonstrates the earlier John King was a different person. According to that source, the earlier John King of Barren County and later Bedford County was born 11 Feb 1770. He married Nancy Brandon in Buncombe County, North Carolina. He is reported to have died of typhoid fever in Bedford County on 18 Aug 1811. His wife was born 11 Dec 1772 and died 21 Aug 1841. Their children were John, Jennie, Sallie, Charles Brandon, Polly, Jefferson and America.

It appears as though the cited source has the wrong date of death for John King of Bedford County, Tennessee, perhaps the result of a typographical error. The sale of his Barren County, Kentucky property indicates he was alive as of 17 Sep 1814. Another deed by the executors of his estate, dated 28 Apr 1818 (Bedford County, Tennessee Deed Book J:68), establishes he died before that date. 6

Burial Notes:
The King Family Cemetery has been registered with the South Central Kentucky Historical Society. It is located on the east side of Rt. 685, about 1.2 miles south of Stovall.

Noted events in his life were:
1. Land Grant: 1816, Barren County, Kentucky. 7

John King, 50 acres, Surveyed 15 Oct 1816, Barren County, Kentucky

[Although this is presumed to be the John King who owned 50 acres in the 1817 Tax List, note that the Tax List shows said 50 acres to have originally been entered in the name of Neal Chapman.]
2. Tax List: 1817-1819, Barren County, Kentucky. 8

1817, Switzer's Co., King, John:
400 acres Class 3 land; Barren Co; Barrens [waterway]; originally entered, surveyed and patented to Athens Academy;
50 acres Class 3 land; Barren Co; Barrens [waterway]; originally entered, surveyed and patented to Neal Chapman;
1 white male 21+; 1 black 16+; 7 blacks total; 2 horses;
Total value, $2112.50.

1818 [missing]

1819, King's Co., King, John:
400 acres Class 3 land; Barren Co.; Beaver Cr [waterway]; originally entered WJ Bush; surveyed and patented to seminary;
50 acres Class 3 land; Barren Co.; Beaver Cr [waterway]; originally entered Chapman;
1 white male 21+; 1 black 16+; 8 blacks total; 2 horses;
Total value, $3,400.

[Note that beginning in 1819, John King apparently Captained the militia for his area.]
3. Census: 1820, Barren County, Kentucky. 9

John King:
1 male under 10, 1 male over 45; 1 female under 10, 2 females 10-16
[Slaves: 3 males under 14, 1 male 14-26; 2 females under 14; 1 female 26-45]

[John King would be the male over 45. William was presumably the male under 10. Ann was presumably the female under 10. Sarah and Jane were presumably the two females 10-16.]
4. Tax List: 1820-1829, Barren County, Kentucky. 8

1820, King's Co., King, John:
400 acres Class 3 land; Barren Co.; Barrens [waterway]; originally entered to Siminary;
50 acres Class 3 land; Barren Co.; Barrens [waterway]; originally entered to Neal Chapman;
1 white male 21+; 1 black 16+; 8 blacks total; 2 horses;
Total value, $3400.

1821, King, John (Capt):
400 acres Class 3 land; Barren Co.; Bever Cr; originally entered, surveyed and patented to Seminary;
50 acres Class 3 land; Barren Co.; Bever Cr; originally entered, surveyed and patented to N Chapman;
1 white male 21+; 2 blacks 16+; 7 blacks total; 3 horses;
Total value, $3288

1822, King, John:
264 acres Class 3 land; Barren Co.; Barrens [waterway]; originally entered to Seminary;
50 acres Class 3 land; Barren Co.; Barrens [waterway]; originally entered to N Chapman;
1 white male 21+; 2 blacks 16+; 8 blacks total; 4 horses;
Total value, $3580.

1823, 2nd Dist, King, John:
[land was apparently not taxed this year]
1 white male 21+; 2 blacks 16+; 9 total blacks; 5 horses;
Total value $2850.

1824, Dist 4, King, John:
200 acres Class 3 land; Barren Co.; Barrens [waterway]; original entry unknown;
1 white male 21+; 2 blacks 16+; 8 total blacks; 5 horses;
Total value, $4450.

1825, Hall's Co., King, John:
197 acres Class 3 land; Barren Co.; Barrens [waterway];
250 acres Class 3 land; Barren Co.; Barrens [waterway];
1 white male 21+; 2 blacks 16+; 9 blacks total; 5 horses;
Total value, $5188.

1826, ??? Co., King, John:
194 acres Class 3 land; Barren Co.; Sinking Cr;
250 acres Class 3 land; Barren Co.; Sinking Cr;
1 white male 21+; 3 blacks 16+; 10 total blacks; 6 horses;
Total value, $4200.

1827, Dist 5 (Ford's), King, John:
250 acres Class 2 land; Barren Co.; Sinking Cr; originally entered to Thos McClure;
190 acres Class 2 land; Barren Co.; Sinking Cr; originally entered to J Butler;
1 white male 21+; 4 blacks 16+; 11 blacks total; 6 horses;
Total value, $4420.

1828, Dist 2 (Curd), King, John:
190 acres Class 2 land; Barren Co.; Barrens [waterway]; originally entered to King;
240 acres Class 2 land; Barren Co.; Sinking Cr;
1 white male 21+; 4 blacks 16+; 12 blacks total; 9 horses;
Total value, $3860.

1829, Loch Co., King, John:
181 1/2 acres Class 3 land; Barren Co.; B Creek; original entry unknown;
220 acres Class 3 land; Barren Co; B Creek;
1 white male 21+; 4 children 4-15; 4 blacks 16+; 13 blacks total; 8 horses;
Total value, $3628.
5. Deed: 1821, Barren County, Kentucky. 10

Dated 16 Apr 1821, Recorded 16 Apr 1821, Vol. I:22
Robert Bird and Rachel his wife to John King, 400 acres for $500. Metes and bounds legal description references William Murphy.
6. Deed: 1822, Barren County, Kentucky. 10

Dated 22 Aug 1822, Recorded 21 Oct 1822, Vol I:433
John King to Joseph G. Cockrell, $382.50 for 127 1/2 acres. Metes and bounds legal description references William Murphy's corner. Witnessed by John Foster Snr and Ro___ Foster.

[The lack of any statement by the clerk regarding the waiver of dower rights by the spouse of the grantor is a further indication John was a widow by the date of this deed.]
7. Deed: 1823, Barren County, Kentucky. 11

Dated 17 Oct 1823, Recorded 17 Oct 1823, Vol. J:296
John Butler and his wife Ann to John King, $800 for 194 1/2 acres. Metes and bounds legal description references corner of Thos. McClure's survey and line of Thos. McClure.
8. Deed: 1824, Barren County, Kentucky. 11

Dated 20 Aug 1824, Recorded 25 Sep 1824, Vol. J:510
Isaac Faris and his wife Polly to John King, $1,125 for 300 acres on Sinking Creek. Metes and bounds legal description references William Chapman's line, corner of John Butler's survey and a "sink below the old mill." Witnessed by Jacob Smith and Lemender(?) Smith.
9. Court: 1824, Barren County, Kentucky. 12

Circuit Court Sept Term 1824, Vol. 4:390
William Adams vs. John King -- In Covenant Broken
Jury found for the plaintiff in the amount of $133.29 plus costs.
10. Court: 1826, Barren County, Kentucky. 13

Circuit Court March Term 1826, Vol. 5:15
John Butler vs. John King -- Upon a Petition and Summons
Cause continued until next court.

Circuit Court June Term 1826, Vol. 5:51
John Butler vs. John King -- Upon a Petition and Summons
Defendant failed to appear and so Court awarded plaintiff $100, the debt mentioned in the petition, with interest at 6% per annum from 16 Oct 1825 until paid. Defendant was credited for $10 paid 16 Jan 1826, per endorsement on the note. Note was given for specie on 1 Jun 1824.
11. Deed: 1827, Barren County, Kentucky. 11

Dated 18 Jul 1827, Recorded 18 Jul 1827, Vol. K:408
John King and his wife Elizabeth to John B. Preston, $1,100 for 272 1/2 acres. Metes and bounds legal description references Cockrills corner. No witnesses, acknowledged before clerk.
12. Census: 1830, Barren County, Kentucky. 14

John King:
2 males under 5, 1 male 10-15, 1 male 50-60; 1 female 5-10, 1 female 10-15, 1 female 15-20, 1 female 40-50.
[Slaves: 5 males under 10, 3 males 10-24, 1 male 24-36; 3 females under 10, 2 females 10-24, 1 female 24-36]

[John was presumably the male 50-60 and Elizabeth was presumably the female 40-50. John B. and Alexander were presumably the male children under 5 and William was presumably the male 10-15. Nancy was presumably the female child 5-10, Mary was presumably the female age 10-15, and Ann was presumably the female 15-20. Jane was presumably elsewhere because she married in 1829. Query where Sarah was, since she did not marry until 1833. It's possible Ann was married by the date of the census and that Sarah was mistakenly put in the 15-20 age bracket instead of the 20-30 age bracket.]
13. Tax List: 1833-1836, Barren County, Kentucky. 8 15

[1830-1832 tax books missing]

1833, King, John:
670 acres Class 2 land; Barren Co.; Barrens [waterway];
1 white male 21+; 7 blacks 16+; 17 blacks total; 8 horses;
Total value, $5540.

1834, King, John:
192 acres Class 3 land; Barren Co.; Barrens [waterway]; originally entered to J. Butler;
230 acres Class 3 land; Barren Co.; Barrens [waterway]; originally entered to Thos McClure;
130 acres Class 3 land; Barren Co.; Barrens [waterway]; originally entered to J. Murphy;
1 white male 21+; 7 blacks 16+; 19 blacks total; 8 horses; 10 cattle;
Total value, $5086.

1835, King, John:
192 acres Class 3 land; Barren Co.; Barrens [watercourse]; originally entered to J. Butler;
230 acres Class 3 land; Barren Co.; Barrens [watercourse]; originally entered to Tho. McClure;
130 acres Class 3 land; Barren Co.; Barrens [watercourse]; originally entered to John Murphy;
1 white male 21+; 7 blacks 16+, 19 blacks total; 8 horses; cattle, $10 (value over $50);
Total value, $6156

1836, King, John:
192 acres Class 3 land; Barren Co.; Barrens [watercourse]; originally entered to J. Butler;
230 acres Class 3 land; Barren Co.; Barrens [watercourse]; originally entered to McClure;
130 acres Class 3 land; Barren Co.; Barrens [watercourse]; originally entered to Murphy;
1 white male 21+; 7 blacks 16+, 20 blacks total; 8 horses; cattle, $10 (value over $50);
Total value, $6656

[1837-1839 tax books missing]
14. Deed: 1834, Barren County, Kentucky. 16

Dated 28 Aug 1834, Recorded 28 Aug 1832(?), Vol. N:380
Thompson Gardner and his wife Jesmima to John King, $570 for 130 acres situated in the "Barrens part of John Murphy's head right." Metes and bounds legal description references no names. No witnesses, acknowledged before clerk.
15. Deed: 1837, Barren County, Kentucky. 17


Dated 30 Nov 1837, Recorded 21 Mar 1839, Vol. P:285
John King to Thomas Bird, $1 for 50 acres. Metes and bounds legal description references "50 acres survey made this day in the name of Wm T. Bush," line of Julius Bailey, Breedings line and D. Curd corner. Warranty of title references Elizabeth, his wife, but she did not sign the deed nor was she privately examined by the clerk regarding her dower rights. No witnesses, acknowledged by John King before the clerk.

[The nominal consideration suggests this was a gift conveyance. However, the only known connection between John King and the Bird family was his 1821 purchase of land from Robert Bird.]
16. Court: 1838, Barren County, Kentucky. 18

March Term 1838, Vol. 8:18
John King vs. William H(F?)eland -- on a petition
Defendant having failed to appear, the Court ordered plaintiff recover $71.32 from the defendant, the amount set forth in the petition, with interest thereon at 6% per annum from 25 Dec 1837 until paid, plus plaintiff's costs.
17. Court: 1839-1840, Barren County, Kentucky. 18

March Term 1839, Vol. 8:285
John King vs. Isaac Faris -- In Debt
Cause continued until next court.

Sept Term 1839, Vol. 8:396
John King vs. Isaac Faris -- In Debt
Defendant filed a plea.

Sept Term 1839, Vol. 8:406
John King vs. Isaac Faris -- In Debt
Defendant withdrew his plea and the cause was continued until next court, with plaintiff to recover costs.

March Term 1840, Vol. 8:461
John King vs. Isaac Faris -- In Debt
Suit dismissed by agreement of the parties, with costs to be paid by defendant.

June Term 1840, Vol. 9:6
John King vs. Isaac Faris and Neal Hall -- Upon a petition
Defendants having failed to appear, Court ordered plaintiff recover $105.1875, the amount set forth in the petition, with interest thereon at 6% per annum from 17 Mar 1840 until paid, plus plaintiff's costs.

[Query whether the defendant was Isaac Henderson Farris, John King's son-in-law, or Isaac Farris, father of George Washington Farris, another son-in-law.]
18. Census: 1840, Barren County, Kentucky. 19

John King:
1 male 5-10, 2 males 10-15, 1 male 20-30, 1 male 60-70; 2 females under 5, 1 female 5-10, 1 female 15-20, 1 female 40-50.
[Slaves: 9 males under 10, 4 males 10-24, 3 males 36-55; 6 females under 10, 4 females 10-24, 2 females 24-36, 1 female 36-55]
[John was presumably the male 60-70 and Elizabeth the female 40-50. Thomas was presumably the male 5-10, Alexander and John B. were presumably the males 10-15, and William was presumably the male 20-30. Frances and Caroline were presumably the female children under 5, Elizabeth was presumably the female 5-10, and Nancy was presumably the female 15-20.]
19. Tax List: 1840-1841, Barren County, Kentucky. 15

1840, John King:
230 acres, Barren Co., Sinking Cr [watercourse], $920;
192 acres, Barren Co., Sinking Cr [watercourse], $520;
145(?) acres, Barren Co., Sinking Cr [watercourse], $600;
115 acres, Barren Co., Sinking Cr [watercourse], $50;
1 white male 21+; 10 slaves 16+, 30 slaves total, $7750;
5 horses, $250; 7 mules, $270; 25 cattle, $130 (value over $50); equalization value, 4;
Total value, $11,265

1841, King, John:
227 acres, Barren Co., Barrens [watercourse], $910;
192 acres, Barren Co., Barrens [watercourse], $796;
138 acres, Barren Co., Barrens [watercourse], $650;
50 acres, Barren Co., Barrens [watercourse], $150;
115 acres, Barren Co., Barrens [watercourse], $230;
1 white male 21+; 8 slaves 16+, 34 slaves total, $8850;
8 horses, $200; 5 mules, $190; 20 cattle, $150 (value over $50);
3 children age 7-17; equalization value, $120;
Total value, $12,246

[William ? King, presumably John's oldest son, made his first appearance on the tax books in 1841, which means he was 21 by then.]
20. Land Grant: 1840, Barren County, Kentucky. 20

John King, 36 acres, Book 7, Surveyed 29 Aug 1840, no watercourse listed.
21. Deed: 1840, Barren County, Kentucky. 17

Dated 28 Sep 1840, Recorded Circuit Ct. 29 Sep 1840, Recorded County Ct. 29 Jul 1841. Vol. Q:225
Richard Garnett, commissioner of the Circuit Ct. for the Estate of James Allen, Dec'd, to John King, $605 for 144 acres and $51 for 115 acres. The 144 acres consisted of two tracts: (1) 72 acres, which had been conveyed to James Allen by William Allen and (2) 72 acres, which had been conveyed to James Allen by Elijah Allen. The metes and bounds legal description of the first 72 acre tract references the corner of John Allen, Decd, and Jordans line. The metes and bounds legal description of the second 72 acre tract references the corner and line of James Allen and Jordans line. The 115 acre tract was conveyed to James Allen by Matthias Lair. The metes and bounds description of the Lair tract references "post lick trace," Simeon Lewis, Elisha Allen and John Kirtly.

[In light of the subsequent litigation against the Estate of John King, Dec'd, some more background on the above transaction will be helpful. Elijah Allen brought suit in chancery in the Circuit Court for Barren County against Robert Bird and others. The court at its June 1838 term ordered the land and slaves of James Allen, Dec'd, to be sold at public auction. John King was appointed commissioner to make such sale. At the September 1838 term, John King reported that he himself had bought the 144 acre tract and the 115 acre tract. Accordingly, the court at its March 1840 term appointed Richard Garnett as commissioner to make the conveyance to John King.]
22. Court: 1841, Barren County, Kentucky. 18

March Term 1841, Vol. 9:198
Flemming Bibb vs. John King -- Upon a petition
Cause continued until next court.

[No further proceedings have been found.]
23. Estate Administration: 1842-1860, Barren County, Kentucky. 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Will of John King

Dated 13 Jun 1841, Recorded Jan Term 1842, Will Bk 3:189
[The following represents the best efforts of Peggy Hill and me (I played a supporting role) to render an exact transcription of the will as it appears in the Will Book, except that the names of the children receiving bequests are in bold print. We can only hope that the clerk who transcribed the original will into the Will Book was as diligent. I suspect he was not.]

"In the name of God amen I John King of the County of Barren and State of Kentucky do make constitute and ordain this my last will & testament and being of sound mind & Memory do give & dispose of my property goods and chattels in the following form & manner viz -- after all my just debts are paid I lend unto my beloved wife during her life & widowhood the following property viz one negro man named Bob, one by the name of Reuben, one woman named Sharlotte one named Easter one named Maria and one named Mary Jane with the tract of land I now live on also the tract called Buler tract and the tract called Jamesons tract with one half of the stock of hogs & one half of the stock of sheep Six choice Milch Cows three mares & two mules with all the crop on hand also all that is now cribbed with all the bacon & all other contents of the Smoke house with the house hold & Kitchen furniture one yoke of oxen with the cart and all the plantation tools & farming utensils of every description -- Item I lend to my daughter Sally J. Barry one negro girl named Sarah & one negro boy named Granville during her life & then I give said negroes unto the children of my said daughter to be equally divided amongst them -- Item I lend unto my daughter Jane S. Overby one negro girl named Jane & one boy name Achales Jackson which negroes are to be hired out by my son William G. T. King whom I appoint trustee for her, and the money arising from the hire of said negroes to be applied to her special use in cloathing for her and her daughter. The balance of the money arising from the hire of said negroes to be put to interest untill her death & then with the negroes to be equally divided amongst all her children -- Item I give unto the children of my daughter Ann Faris one negro girl named Louisa & one boy named Fielding with the exception of my daughter using them during her life. Item I give unto my son William G. T. King the tract of land whereon he now lives and a negro girl named Izabella -- Item I deposit in the hands of my son William G. T. King two negroes named Ford and the other Malvinia for the use and benefit of my daughter Mary E. W. Faris children at some future period, the negroes being now Small & for her to have a part of the money arising from said negroes when they get large enough to be hired which money is to be laid out in wearing apparel for her. I also give her one dollar as her full share of my estate -- Item I lend unto my daughter Nancy King one negro girl named Margaret & one boy named Isham during her life & at her death to the heirs of her body if no such heirs to return to my estate and to be disposed of in like manner wtih my other property that is to be equally divided amongst her brothers & sisters -- Item I lend unto my son John B. King a negro boy named Andrew and give unto him the tract of land called Jamesons -- Item I lend unto my son Alexander G. King one negro boy named James and the tract of land called the Butler tract with all the appendages I have taken up about it also the tract called the Knob with the exception of a part or boundary hereafter explained -- Item I lend unto my son Thomas H. King one negro boy named Larkin and the tract of land whereon I now live with a part of the Knob tract beginning at or near Jesse Smiths corner a black oak corner which I made & now stands on the side of the path and is a corner to sd Smith & Robert Freeman running a straight line to the McClure line near the Sandy bottom -- I loan unto my daughter Elizabeth C. King one negro girl named Emmy and one negro boy named Willis for and during her life and at her death to her children in case she has any if none to be equally divided amongst her brothers & sisters -- Item I lend unto my daughter Caroline B. King one negro girl named Eliza and one boy named Benjamin during her life & then to her children if any in case she has none said negroes to be equally divided amongst her brothers & sisters -- Item I lend unto my daughter Fanny M. King one negro boy by the name of Allen & one negro girl by the name of Amanda for & during her life & at her death to be equally divided among her children if any & in case she has none the said negroes & increase of the female to be equally divided amongst her brothers & sisters -- The balance of my slaves I leave in the hands & management of my son William G. T. King to be hired out untill the death of my wife or untill the money arising from the hire of said negroes with the interest thereon make each of my eight daughters estate amount to fifteen hundred dollars, after that sum is obtained they may be still hired out or sold as the said slaves may desire in either case I wish them to be hired or sold to good masters provided they behave well. Edmund & Peggy may remain where they now live & not be hired out provided they behave well -- Item and be it further understood that whereas my last children are young & some of them very small it is my will & desire that in case any of the negroes should die before the owner or owners of said negroes becomes of age that in each such case they are to be made equal with the rest of my said children, that is they are to have the choice little negro belonging to my estate if any and if there is none, there is one to be purchased it or them as the case may be. The balance of my estate I leave to be sold which consists in a tract of land called the Lairs tract which I ask two hundred dollars for & may be sold on twelve months credit except a small yoke of Steers which is to go to the Green river farm for the benefit of said farm -- Also it is my will & desire that all money arising in anyway from my estate to be put to interest to solvent men with good security. Lastly I appoint my friend and neighbor Jesse Smith the executor to this my last will and testament ratifying & confirming this to be my last will & testament: provided my wife stands to this will in case She does not stand to the will & chooses to take her thirds, in that case it is my will and desire that five parts out of Seven of my whole estate be first set a part for my first children as they now have it and to be under the same management and controls as before directed, and then my wifes dower to be laid of the other Seven parts of my estate & the balance of said estate after the dower is taken out I dispose of to my other seven children to be equally divided amongst them in manner and principle as before described, in this case I ratify this to by my last will & testament In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal this 13th day of June 1841.

Signed sealed & acknowledged in presents of John King (seal mark)

[no witnesses]

Barren County Ct January Term 1842
The foregoing writing purporting to be the last will & testament of John King decd was produced in Court & proven by the oaths of James Murrell & Paschal J. Kirtley to be in the hand writing of said King. Whereupon the same was ordered to be recorded as the true last will of said John King deceased.

Tho. J. Helm CBCC"


Routine Court Orders

Jan Term 1842, Page 143
"A writing purporting to be the last will and testatment of John King decd was produced in court and proven by the oaths of James Murrell and Paschal J. Kirtley whereupon the said will was ordered recorded as the true last will of said John King decd."
[Note the slight difference from the Will Book entry. There, it was stated the oaths included the statement that the will was in the handwriting of John King.]

Jan Term 1842, Page 145
Jesse Smith, who was named in the will of John King, Decd, to serve as Executor, was granted a certificate of probate. Bond was set at $1500, with Edward T. Ballenger and Isaac Smith serving as his security.

Jan Term 1842, Page 145
Schuyler H. Murrell, William Dishman, Simeon Lewis and William Browning were appointed commissioners and they or any three of them were ordered to appraise the personal estate and slaves of John King, Dec'd.

Feb Term 1842, Page 148
Appraisal of estate of John King, Dec'd was returned to Court and ordered to be filed.

July Term 1845, Page 283
List of Sales of the estate of John King, Dec'd was returned to Court and ordered to be recorded.

July Term 1845, Page 284
Nancy King, John B. King, Alexander King and Thomas King, orphans of John King Dec'd over the age of 14, chose Elizabeth King to be their Guardian. Bond was set at $500, with Isaac H. Farris serving as her security.

July Term 1845, Page 284
Elizabeth King was appointed Guardian of Caroline King and Francis King, infant orphans of John King Dec'd. Bond was set at $500, with Isaac H. Farris serving as her security.

Then after the death of Elizabeth King, the following additional orders were made:

Nov Term 1851, Page 36
Wm Lyon, E. J. Ballinger, Wm Murphy and Thos Smith were appointed commissioners and they or any three of them were ordered to appraise the personal estate and slaves of John King Dec'd and return an inventory to the Court.

April Term 1852, Page 73
An Inventory and Appraisement of the estate of John King Dec'd was returned to the Court and ordered to be recorded. Same with respect to the List of Sales.

Jan Term 1853, Page 139
A Settlement of the accounts of Jesse Smith, Executor of John King Dec'd, was returned to Court and filed for examination.

Feb Term 1853, Page 151
Settlement of Jesse Smith was confirmed, there having been no objections.

March Term 1856, Page 444
A Settlement of the accounts of Wm G. T. King, Trustee under the will of John King Dec'd, was returned to Court and filed for examination. Same for each beneficiary of the trust.


Possible Litigation Challenging Validity of Will

Eva Coe Peden's transcription of the Will of John King, Dec'd, contains some additional paragraphs which are not part of the will. These paragraphs were added at the end of the actual will and are as follows:

"My good friend I lend you the Instrament purporting to by my last Will and Testament which I wish you to reduce into proper manner and form not losing my principal and intention put it in good Language & form and make any alteration in the Composition and words without altering the substance or the drift of my intention. I am very low and cannot hold out for long without Great alteration for the better. I was very Bad yesterday & sent for Col Ford, he came but was unwilling to undertake it in consequence of which I had to undertake it myself. I have scribbled of what you see, and send to you for proper Adjustment. I trust my Good Friend perform my request and send me word when I may send for it, which I hope you do as soon as possible. Your ever Respected Friend, /s/ JOHN KING

"We the Jury find the within instrument to be the Will of JOHN KING. /s/ JEREMIAH D HARBOUR.

"June 17th 1841. My respected friend upon reflection and Conversation with my wife I have thought it best to change the places of the Two Janes named in the will. I wish to put MARY JANE to my daughter JANE, and JANE to the Dower showing a husband in the neighborhood and MARY JANE none. I am some better now than when you was to see me. I am your sincere friend and well Wishes. /s/ JOHN KING."

These paragraphs, at least the first and third, appear to be transcriptions of some loose records that were with the original will. Efforts to locate these records have not been successful. The second paragraph, dealing with a jury finding, has also not been found in either County Court or Circuit Court records. The only court record found was from the Jan Term 1842 of the County Court, Page 143, which is set forth above. While it is conceivable the signed jury finding was a backup loose paper for the Jan Term 1842 order, I rather doubt it, given the absence of pleadings. I don't believe there would have been a jury trial unless the will was challenged after being proven before the judge by the above referenced oaths.

Note the will was not witnessed, so in order to be valid as a holographic will it had to be signed by the testator and in his handwriting. Thus, the will was potentially subject to challenge on grounds it was not in his handwriting. It may be that the first added paragraph by Coe was from a letter offered as evidence that someone else was directed to write up the will. But, such letter would also have served as a sample of John King's handwriting, which could have been compared to the purported will produced in court. The third added paragraph, which appears to be from another letter, may have been offered as another handwriting example. It may also have been offered as a codicil to his will.

Almost anyone who felt shortchanged by the will might have challenged its validity. While I can think of several possibilities, it would be an idle exercise to do so, especially since the apparent challenge was not successful. What needs to be found to answer the question of who brought the apparent challenge are the pleadings for the court record cited by Peden.


Inventories

[There were two inventories for the Estate of John King, Dec'd: the first was taken shortly after his death and the second after the death of Elizabeth, his widow. The first inventory did not include items specifically bequeathed, including those items bequeathed to Elizabeth for her life. The second inventory is of the property bequeathed to Elizabeth, which reverted to the Estate of John King, Dec'd upon her death. It appears the slaves who were not specifically bequeathed were never inventoried because they were left in trust to William G. T. King.]

Dated 28 Jan 1842, Recorded Feb Term 1842, Inventory Vol. 4:519
The following inventory and appraisal of the personal property of the Estate of John King, Dec'd, was made by S. H. Merrill/Murrell, Simeon Lewis and Wm Browning:

Bay mare mule, $40
Sorrell mule, $35
Brown yearling filley, $18
Bay yearling horse colt, $20
Black mare mule 4 years old, $50
Black mule 2 years old, $40
Brown Colt 2 years old, $25
Old sorrell horse, $10
Old pickel(?) ox, $7
Pickel(?) cow, $7
Red Side cow, $5
White muley cow, $7
White muley cow, $6
Red cow, $7
Red steer, $2.50
Pi____ steer, $8
Br___ble steer, $7
Red steer, $6
Bell cow, $8
Red steer, $6
Red steer, $4
White back steer, $4
White back steer, $3
Red back steer, $3
4 calves in a C___, $7
1 lot of sheep 26 in number, $20
1 lot of hogs 54 in number, $50
Cash Notes:
One note on John Allen due 25 Dec 1840, $100
One note on same due 25 Dec 1841, $200
Credit on above 2 notes __ Dec 1841, <$150>
One note of H. W. Hatcher & Co. due 30 Dec 1941, $30
Credit for payment 25 Dec 1841, <$16.50>
1 R. F. Jamesons & Co. due 23 March 1838, $20
1 Isaac Weiberfield due 1 January 1842, $80
1 Isaac Monfer(?) due 20 January 1838, $38
1 Simeon Lewis due 1 March 1841, $50
1 Saml S. Faris due 16 Jun 1841, $273
1 Jacob Wrigh due 4 March 1841, $326.80
1 R. D. M__prin due 25 January 1837, $10
1 Thomas H. Crump due 22 June 1841, $86.43
1 P. J. Kirkley due 5 Feby 1840, $850
1 on same due 25 Dec 1849, $130
1 on Simeon Lewis due 21 July 1841, $200
Cash on hand in Kentucky Bank paper, $187
Cash on hand in Tennessee Bank paper, $15
TOTAL APPRAISED VALUE, $2,836.23

Dated 29 Nov 1851, Recorded Apr Term 1852, Inventory Vol. 6:354
The following inventory and appraisal of personal property, which reverted to the Estate of John King, Dec'd upon the death of Elizabeth his widow, was made by Jesse Smith, Exr, and certified by W. Murphy, Thos. Smith and E. T. Ballinger:
Bed, bedstead and furniture, $15.00
Bed and clothing, $10.00
Bed, bedstead and clothing, $12.00
6 coverlids and 3 white comterfines(?), $18.00
9 chairs, $4.50
Bottle case, $0.75
1 cupboard, $12.00
Bureau and book case, $12.00
1 lot of books, $3.00
2 pair hand irons, $1.00
1 flax wheel, $1.00
1 cupboard, $2.50
1 dining table, $2.50
1 sugar chest, $5.00
1 long chuck [possibly clock], $3.00
2 tea boards, $1.50
1 looking glass, $0.25
1 set teaspoons and 1 set tablespoons, $12.00
Smoothing iron and steelyards, $1.75
1 large dish, 2 pitchers and others, $2.00
Trunnel bedstead and bed, $8.00
Bed, bedstead and furniture, $8.00
1 bedstead, $1.00
2 side saddles, $9.00
1 lot of cooking vessels, kettle and others, $6.00
1 loom, $3.00
1 lard stand and coffee mill, $.75
1 log chain, $1.00
Cotten real(?) pail and piggins and others, $2.00
1 candle stick, $0.25
TOTAL APPRAISED VALUE, $159.25


Sale Bills

Dated 29 Jan 1842, Recorded July Term 1845, Inventory Vol. 5:222.
The following results of the sale of personal property of the Estate of John King, Dec'd, were certified 29 Jan 1845 by Jesse Smith, Exr: [There appears to have been an attempt to alter the date of sale to read 1845, perhaps to conincide with the date of the certification and recording. Most likely the sale occurred in 1842, shortly after the inventory was made. Query why the certification and recording were delayed.]

N. H. Parrish, 1 two year old mule, $40.00
Wm Cannon, 1 sorrel mule, $40.50
Jas B Jameson, 1 black mule, $45.0
Jas B Jameson, 1 brown mule, $50.00
E. King, 1 yearling horse colt, $23.00
Wm Cannon, 1 brown horse colt, $20.75
E T Bullinger, 1 bay colt, $10.50
Wm Redford, 1 sorrel horse, $20.50
Edwd White, 10 first choice sheep, $8.50
Joel Hulsey, 16 the bal of sheep, $11.37
Will Jackson, 20 choice hogs, $25.87
L. B. Hall, 10 choice hogs, $5.50
Jame W_nis, 10 choice hogs, $3.00
Jas Chapman Jr, 10 choice hogs, $2.25
John Lock, 1 sow and pigs, $1.75
Neal Hall, 1 old oxen, $4.37
Jacob Wright, 1 cow, $4.00
Wm Duncan, 1 cow, $5.25
Will Chapman, 1 steer, $5.00
Will Chapman (B__k), 1 steer, $4.25
Jacob Wright, 1 heifer, $4.00
Jacob Wright, 1 red steer, $3.00
E. King, 1 white muley cow and calf, $6.68
E. T. Ballinger, 1 muley cow, $5.37
P. J. Kirtley, 1 steer, $6.37
P. J. Kirtley, 1 steer, $6.13
P. J. Kirtley, 1 steer, $5.12
E. T. Ballinger, 1 steer, $6.75
Jos Lessenberry, 1 cow and calf, $7.00
David Owen, 1 red steer, $2.00
David Owen, 1 brown steer, $2.00
Saml Leckey, 1 muley calf, $1.56
E. T. Ballinger, 1 calf, $2.50
TOTAL SALE PROCEEDS, $389.83

[Note that E. King, presumably Elizabeth his widow, was the only family member to purchase property.]

Dated 2 Dec 1851, Recorded Apr Term 1852, Inventory, Vol. 6:355
The following results of the sale of personal property of the Estate of John King, Dec'd were certified by Jesse Smith, Exr:

J. B. King, big kettle, $1.35
J. B. King, oven, $0.45
Neri Brown, oven and lid, $0.10
James Dickenson, oven and lid, $0.50
J. B. King, skillet and lid, $0.50
J. B. Cockrill, coffee mill, $0.55
Henry Allen, pot hooks, $1.30
Nery Brown, 1 book and ?, $0.10
Thos King, water pail, $0.10
Thos Brown, water pail, $0.10
Edward Smith, loom, $0.15
Thos Smith, log chain, $2.55
Nancy Crenshaw, bedstead, $0.20
I. H. Farris, pitcher, $0.10
Jesse Smith, large dish, $0.40
Thos Smith, 1/2 dozen [tea spoons?], $9.05
Ann Farris, 1/2 tea spoons, $6.50
Jas Farris, candle stick, $0.20
Jane Overby, Sugar Bole, $0.45
Jane Overby, pitcher plate, $0.40
J Overby, small water, $0.65
J. B. King, large water, $1.50
J. B. King, clock, $0.90
J. B. King, foaling loaf, $3.35
Jesse Smith, looking glass, $0.25
J. B. King, cubboard, $4.25
J. B. King, wheel, $3.25
Thos King, sugar chest, $4.60
Nancy Crenshaw, bed sted and furniture, $15.10
I. T. Chapman, small bed and ?, $6.05
By Hatcher, bed sted furniture, $10.00
Jas. Farris, fire iron, $1.00
Caroline King, 1 side saddle, $2.25
Elizabeth King, side saddle, $2.00
Ann Farris, 1 real, $1.05
Berry Peers, fire iron, $1.50
Jesse Smith, pass(?), $5.00
Thos KIng, cubboard, $8.50
G. W. Neville, bed stead, $12.00
By Hatcher, tick and pillow, $7.15
T. I. Chapman, box sundries, $0.25
Thos King, 1 chest, $0.05
Ann Farris, comter fine (?), $4.00
Wm Palmoro, comter fine, $0.60
Elizabeth King, comter fine, $3.65
J. B. King, comter fine, $3.45
W. H. Ballinger, coverlid, $5.15
W. H. Ballinger, coverlid, $6.70
Jane Overby, coverlid, $6.10
W. H. Ballinger, iron, $0.05
Neri Brown, stliards, $1.30
Wm Jackman, rack hook, $0.25
J. B. King, 1/2 chairs, $2.00
Thos. King, 3 chairs, $0.35
J. B. King, 1 Bible, $1.35
Edward Berry, book, $0.50
Edward Smith, grammar book, $0.10
Jas Dickinson, books, $0.10
Jas Farris, books, $0.65
Wm Jackman, 1 book, $0.25
Wm Palmore, 1 book, $0.15
Jas Dickenson, lot books, $0.75
TOTAL SALE PROCEEDS, $141.95

[Family members who were purchasers included J. B. King, Thos. King, Nancy Crenshaw, Ann Farris, Jane Overby, Caroline King and Elizabeth King. It is not known what happened to the Bible purchased by J. B. King.]


Estate Settlements

[Two Settlements have been found: one by Jesse Smith, Executor, and another by William G. T. King, Trustee. A Settlement for the sale of slaves should have been made, but it has not been found.]

Dated 13 Jan 1853, Recorded Feb Term 1853, Inventory Vol. 7:9
A Settlement of the accounts of Jesse Smith, Executor of John King, Dec'd.

The Executor was charged with the following:

Amount of Sale Bill, $389.84
Second Sale Bill, $141.95
Cash on hand, $202.00
Cash Notes inclusive of interest, $2,227.73
Interest collected on said notes, $164.72
Negro ___ for 1852, $161.70
Negro ___ for 1 month of 1853, $24.50
TOTAL CHARGES, $3312.44

The Executor was allowed the following credits:

P. J. Kirtley's note per judgment, $600.00
Simeon Lewis' note per judgment, $127.50
Insolvency of Jacob Wright, $178.45
Isaac Moore, __ ____, $38.00
B. Sawless certificate, $4.12
Tax Recpt, 1847, $0.30
Tax Recpt, 1850, $0.35
Tax Recpt, 1851, $10.35
Tax Recpt, 1852, $10.46
So___ t___fer Mary, $1.00
Wm Murphy, $1.00
Wm Sy__, $1.00
C. T. Ballinger, $1.25
Tax Recpt, 1851, $12.36
G. T. Wood for bill, $1.12
Crutcher McDowell & Co., recpt, $159.64
Settled with King in his life, Manfin note, $10.00
G. T. Wood for bill, $1.46
Sheriff Hart Co. for bill, $0.63
L. B. Cad__, $2.75
Tax Recpt, 1848, $0.30
W. D. Jordan recpt, $8.50
John Lock recpt, $9.90
R. Tapscott recpt, $5.00
Lock & Dickey recpt, $7.79
I. T. Dunavans recpt, $0.50
Clerk for bill [suit] for Wright debt, $5.91
James M. Culp recpt, $9.00
Jno. King, note to I. Cardin, $110.00
I. W. Depp recpt, $18.50
B. N. Crump for bill, $4.25
B. B. Crump & Co., $1.25
Martha Wright recpt, $6.00
I. Westerfield recpt, $52.25
Jno King, note Joel Holden, $49.83
O. Beard acct, $2.00
Jesse Smith acct, $18.11
W. Gardeners acct, $2.50
W. Garnett for bill, $3.77
W. D. Gardner recpt, $14.50
Jno Miller, $10.00
Yancy & Wood, $2.19
B. T. Douglass, $7.30
Roger Jones order, $15.67
S. H. Merrill, $3.00
Crenshaw & Ritter recpt, $68.50
R. L. Jameson, $24.00
B. B. Crump ___, $5.00
W. Garnett for bill [case] vs. Wrights, $1.41
John King, note, $5.25
John King, note & interest ____ Ford, $645.42
Tax recpt 1846, $0.30
Wm Jackman, $3.05
Munford & Jeffries recpt, $2.17
M. S. Sele for shroud(?), $4.50
T.Cockrills for bill, $3.05
B. G. Douglass recpt, $14.06
John Bybes, $6.00
Jno B. Jameson, $5.11
John King, note E. Ballinger, $106.75
C. Ford recpt, $2.00
Three fee bills, I. J. Helen (?), $9.11
I. J. Helen for bill, $8.79
Bates & Garnett recpt, $10.00
Expenses of Settlement of Jno King, Exr of Billy Snead, Decd [see note below]:
4 days, $6.00
41 affidavits, $4.10
Notice or summons, $0.25
Clerk's recording fee, $2.50
Compensation to Exr., $200.00
Comss fees for 3 days, $4.50
7 certificates, $0.70
Summons, $0.25
Clerk's recording fee, $2.50
T. Smith for bill, $2.50
W. E. Munford for bill, $0.18
TOTAL CREDITS, $2,665.94

BALANCE due the Estate, $646.50

[John King had served as Executor and Trustee under the Will of Billy Snead, Dec'd, since 1837. Apparently he did not keep up with the record keeping and settlements. It was left to Jesse Smith, Executor of the Estate of John King, Dec'd, to settle the estate of Billy Snead. Said settlement immediately precedes that of his settlement for the Estate of John King, Dec'd.]

Dated March 1856, Recorded April Term 1856, Inventory Vol. 8:75-81
A Settlement of the accounts of Wm G. King, Trustee under the will of his father John King.

The Trustee was charged as follows:

Negro hire for 1842, $202.50
Interest 13 years, $157.95
Same for 1843, $192.50
Interest 12 years, $136.60
Same for 1844, $180.50
Interest for 11 years, $119.13
Same for 1845, $188.50
Interest for 10 years, $113.10
Same for 1846, $202.50
Interest 9 years, $109.35
Same for 1847, $187.75
Interest 8 years, $90.12
Same for 1848, $206.10
Interest 7 years, $86.56
Same for 1849, $226.75

Interest 6 years, $81.63
Same for 1850, $246.50
Interest for 5 years, $74.25
Same for 1851, $241.00
Interest for 4 years, $57.84
Same for 1852, $268.50
Interest for 3 years, $48.33
Same for 1853, $297.50
Interest for 2 years, $38.70
Same for 1854, $365.50
Interest for 1 year, $21.93
TOTAL CHARGES, $4,148.59 [Any discrepancy is probably due to my misreading of the individual entries.]

The Trustee was credited as follows:

_ Sampson's recpt, $5.00
Compensation to Trustee, $412.50
Comms fees 4 days, $6.00
Clerk's fee for recording Settlement, $2.00
TOTAL CREDITS, $425.50

BALANCE TO BE DISTRIBUTED, $3723.09

[At this point, the Settlement sets forth certain advancements to the beneficiaries, the objective being to equalize the total distributions to the beneficiaries from the will and the trust. These advancements were, except for Sarah Legg, the value of the specifically bequeathed slaves. This equitable adjustment, while not provided for in the will, may have been seen by the beneficiaries as the fairest method of determining their respective shares. No objections were made with respect to the subsequent Settlements for each daughter.]

Previous Advances to Beneficiaries:

Sarah Legg, $1000
Jane Overby, $950
Ann Farris, $950
Mary E. Farris now Mary E Petijon, $500
Nancy Lively, $725
Elizabeth Sanderson, $650
Caroline B. King, $400
Fanny M. King, $400
TOTAL ADVANCEMENTS, $5,575

The total of the balance to be distributed and the advancements amounted to $9,298.09. This sum was divided by eight to come up with an amount of $1,163.51 [should have been $1,162.26?] due each daughter. [Note that this equal division seems to ignore the fact that the bequest to Mary E. W. Farris gave her only a limited interest in the slaves specifically bequeathed in trust for her and her children. It also provided one dollar to her as her full share of the estate, which is shorthand for being disinherited. Query, then, why she received a full share from the trust. Perhaps the other daughters thought her father had been unfair to her. Again, note that no objections were made with respect to the subsequent Settlements for each daughter.]

Settlements for each individual beneficiary of the trust were then made as follows:
[In the case of each daughter, the amount she was entitled to was referenced as an amount due the "Cestigne" trust. The word is difficult to read and is not a familiar legal term, but I can't come up with any other legal term that fits.]

Settlement for Nancy Lively, Dated 12 Mar 1856, Recorded April Term 1856, Inventories Vol. 8:77
Entitled to $1,163.51
Credits:
Two negroes advanced by her father's will, $725.00

Recpt and interest, $405.94
Comms fee for Settlement, $1.50
Clerk's fee for recording same, $1.00
Total Credits, $1,128.44 [total does not quite match up with individual entries]
Balance due, $35.07

Settlement for Fanny M. King, Dated 12 Mar 1856, Recorded April Term 1856, Inventories Vol. 8:77
Entitled to $1,163.51
Credits:
Two negroes advanced by her father's will, $400
Cash pd B. F. Dickey ward as per his receipt including interest filed in the Settlement of C. B . King, $119.10
Comms fee, $1.50
Clerk's fee for recording same, $1.00
Total Credits, $526.60
Balance due, $641.91

Settlement for Jane Overby, Dated 11 Mar 1857(?), Recorded April Term 1856, Inventories Vol. 8:78
Entitled to $1,163.51
Credits:
Two negroes advanced by her father's will, $950.00
Debts owing to Trustee and interest, $175.00
Comms fee, $1.50
Clerk's fee for recording Settlement, $1.00
Total Credits, $1,127.50
Balance due, $36.01

Settlement for Sarah J. Legg, Dated 10 Mar 1856, Recorded April Term 1856, Inventories Vol. 8:78
Entitled to $1,163.51
Credits:
Advanced by her father's will, $1000.00
Sarah Legg's recpt to trustee including interest, $309.50
Comms fee for Settlement, $1.50
Clerk's fee for recording same, $1.00
Total Credits, $1,312.00
Balance overpaid, $148.49, which she is to refund to the trustee.
[Note that although Sarah was also specifically bequeathed two slaves, they are not referenced in the advancement from her father's will. Such slaves were probably not delivered to her since she lived in Missouri. An in lieu cash payment appears to have been made.]

Settlement for Mary E. Faris now Mary E. Petijohn, Dated 12 Mar 1856, Recorded April Term 1856, Inventories Vol. 8:79
Entitled to $1,163.51
Credits:
Two negroes advanced by her father's will, $500.00
Comms fee for Settlement, $1.50
Clerk's fee for recording same, $1.00
Total Credits, $502.50
Balance due, $666.01

Settlement for Elizabeth Sanderson, Dated 12 Mar 1856, Recorded April Term 1856, Inventories Vol. 8:79
Entitled to $1,163.51
Credits:
Two negroes advanced by her father's will, $650.00
Recpt and interest, $313.04
Comms fee, $1.50
Clerk's fee for recording same, $1.00
Total Credits, $965.54
Balance due, $197.97

Settlement for Anny Farris, Dated 12 Mar 1856, Recorded April Term 1856, Inventories Vol. 8:80
Entitled to $1,163.51
Credits:
Two negroes advanced by her father's will, $950.00
Recpt of her husband, $314.00
Total Credits, $1,264.00 [Comms and clerk's fees not listed]
Balance overpaid, $100.49, which is to be refunded to trustee.

Settlement for Caroline B. King, Dated 12 Mar 1856, Recorded April Term 1856, Inventories Vol. 8:80
Entitled to $1,163.51
Credits:
Two negroes advanced by her father's will, $400.00
Cash pd B. F. Dickey, guardian, $119.10
Comms fee, $1.50
Clerk's fee for recording, $1.00
Total Credits, $521.60
Balance due, $641.91


Other Estate Litigation

John Allen vs. E. King and Others -- In Chancery

[The basis for this lawsuit is unclear, although it was obviously related to John King's purchase of three tracts from the Estate of James Allen, Dec'd. See deed dated 28 Sep 1840. The cause of action may have been based on the impropiety, due to a conflict of interest, of John King being a bidder at a sale which he conducted as a commissioner for the Court. Perhaps, John Allen would have been high bidder were it not for John King. Another possibility is suggested by the receipt filed by Jesse Smith, Executor of the Estate of John King, Dec'd, which is mentioned in connection with the June Term 1844 proceeding. It may be that John Allen purchased the property from the Estate of John King, Dec'd, but for some reason the heirs of John King would not cooperate with the sale.]

March Term 1842, Circuit Court, Vol. 10:108
John Allen vs. E. King and Others -- In Chancery
Defendants Washington G. Faris and Mary his wife and Joseph Berry and Sally his wife failed to enter appearances. Determining that they were not inhabitants of the State of Kentucky, Court ordered them to appear and answer complainant's bill on the first day of the next term of Court. [Note the transposition of George Washington Farris' given names, suggesting he may have been known by his middle name.]

June Term 1842, Circuit Court, Vol. 10:244
John Allen vs. E. King and Others -- In Chancery
Defendants George W. Faris and Mary his wife and Joseph Berry and Sally his wife still failing to appear and answer complainant's bill as previously ordered, Court ordered the clerk, on behalf of the nonresident defendants, to admit all facts alleged in the complainant's bill that were in their favor and to deny all allegations that were prejudicial to their interests. Cause was then continued to the next term.

Sept Term 1842, Circuit Court, Vol. 10:346
John Allen vs. Elizabeth King and Others -- In Chancery
Complainant filed an amended bill and cause was continued until the next court.

Nov Term 1842, Circuit Court, Vol. 10:380
John Allen vs. E. King and Others -- In Chancery
Cause continued until next court. Ordered an alias to be issued.

March Term 1843, Circuit Court, Vol. 11:23
John Allen vs. E. King and Others -- In Chancery
Cause continued until next court. Ordered an alias to be issued.

Sept Term 1843, Circuit Court, Vol. 11:104
John Allen vs. Elizabeth King and Others -- In Chancery
Complainant filed an amended bill and submitted three documents into evidence, which were proven and certified by William Garrett. Cause continued until next court.

Sept Term 1843, Circuit Court, Vol. 11:112
John Allen vs. Elizabeth King and Others -- In Chancery
Cause continued until next court.

Nov Term 1843, Circuit Court, Vol. 11:161
John Allen vs. E. King and Others -- In Chancery
Cause continued until next court. Ordered an alias to be issued.

Mar Term 1844, Circuit Court, Vol. 11:239
John Allen vs. John E. (B.?) King and Others -- In Chancery
Cause continued until next court.

June Term 1844, Circuit Court, Vol. 11:292
John Allen vs. E. King and Others -- In Chancery
Complainant proved by Scott Newman the receipt from Jesse Smith to complainant. The cause was then submitted to the Court for a final decree.

Sept Term 1844, Circuit Court, Vol. 11:326
John Allen vs. Elizabeth King and Others -- In Chancery
Defendant Jesse Smith [Executor of the Estate of John King, Dec'd] appeared and filed his answer to complainant's bill. The Court first noted the opportunity given to Washington G. and Mary Faris and Joseph and Sally Berry, the non-resident defendants, to appear and the order entered to traverse for them [deny the charges], and next noted that regular process had been served on the remaining defendants, to wit: Elizabeth King, Ludwell and Jane Overby, Henderson and Ann Faris and William G. T. King. Thereupon, the Court found in favor of the complainant and appointed William Garrett as commissioner to convey to the complainant the land described in Exhibit B of the bill. It was further ordered that the infant defendants, to wit, Nancy, John B., Alexander G., Thomas H., Elizabeth C., Caroline B. and Fanny M., be allowed six months after they severally arrive at lawful age to object to this decree.

[The deed from William Garrett to John Allen recites it was pursuant to an order issued at the June Term 1844. That appears to be the case, notwithstanding the record indicates this order was made at the Sept Term 1844, because the deed was dated 21 Jun 1844, was acknowledged and certified by the Circuit Court on 21 Jun 1844, and was recorded at the County Court on 2 Jul 1844. See deed at Vol. R:173. Accordingly, it appears the Sept Term 1844 proceeding was primarily intended to deal with the issue of non-resident and minor defendants. The land conveyed to John Allen was described as "the old tract of land whereon James Allen died." The stated consideration was $1.00.]

Ludwell Overby and others vs. Jesse Smith, Executor of John King, Dec'd, and others -- In Equity

[This protracted litigation appears to have been instituted by Ludwell and Jane Overby and Isaac and Ann Farris with the objective of forcing the necessary actions that needed to be taken to bring the administration of the Estate of John King, Dec'd, to a close. Their objective also appears to have been to achieve an in-kind distribution of their share of the slaves rather than a share of the proceeds from the sale of the slaves.]

April Term 1853, Circuit Court, Vol. 16:207
Ludwell Overby vs. Jesse Smith, Exr -- In Equity
The Court, having determined that Albert G. King, Mary E. W. Pettyjohn and Sally J. Legg, defendants, were nonresidents of the State of Kentucky, ordered them to appear by the next term of the court and answer the plaintiffs' petition. It was further order that service of process be made on defendants Eliza C. King, Caroline B. King and Fanny M. King, infants. Isaac Smith asked to be made a party defendant, which was done. [The reference to Albert G. King must be an error. Presumably the reference should have been to William G. T. King, who although he did not live out-of-state, did live in neighboring Hart County.]

Jan Term 1854, Circuit Court, Vol. 16:403
Ludwell Overby vs. Jesse Smith, Exr -- In Equity
A report by Jesse Smith, Exr on negro hire was filed. The Court thereupon made several orders regarding the Estate of Billy Snead, Dec'd. The Court noted that the County Court had determined that John King, who was the Executor of the Snead Estate, was at his death indebted to the estate in the sum of $1,385.78, including interest. The Court noted, however, that the County Court Settlement had not allowed an Executor's fee. Thus, the Court allowed a deduction in the indebtedness of $110.78, leaving a balance of $1,275. Jesse Smith, Executor of the Estate of John King, Dec'd, was ordered to pay Isaac Smith, Administrator of the Estate of Billy Snead, Dec'd, $646.50, being the amount of money on hand as found by his Settlement with the County Court, and $159.40, being the amount received by him for the hire of slaves since his Settlement, as per the report filed. The Court further ordered the sale of the tract of land mentioned in John King's will, so long as it could be sold for $200 or more. After the sale of said land, then as many slaves were to be sold as necessary to raise the balance of the indebtedness owing Snead's Estate. The Court further ordered Jesse Smith to pay Isaac Smith, Adm, the sum of $144.53, the amount due by him to Snead's Estate per his Settlement. The Court, having been advised that the slaves belonging to the King Estate had been hired out for the present year, indicated other questions would be reserved for future adjudication. B. F. Dickey, Guardian of Fanny M. King, was directed to choose a young negro for his ward to replace the slave of hers who had died, as per the Will of John King.

April Term 1854, Circuit Court, Vol. 16:415
Ludwell Overby vs. Jesse Smith, Exr -- In Chancery
Continued until next Court.

April Term 1854, Circuit Court, Vol. 16:476
Ludwell Overby vs. Jesse Smith, Exr -- In Equity
Jesse Smith, Exr, made a report, which was ordered to be filed.

April Term 1854, Circuit Court, Vol. 16:506
Ludwell Overby vs. Jesse Smith -- In Equity
William E. Murphy [Munford? -- see below] was appointed Commissioner to convey the land sold pursuant the decree earlier entered.

Oct Term 1854, Circuit Court, Vol. 17:19
Ludwell Overby vs. Jesse Smith Exr -- In Equity
H. P. Curd proved an account against the estate.

Oct Term 1854, Circuit Court, Vol. 17:23
Ludwell Overby vs. Jesse Smith Exr -- In Equity
Case submitted to Court for decree.

Oct Term 1854, Circuit Court, Vol. 17:35
Ludwell Overby &o vs. Jesse Smith Exr &o -- In Equity
William E. Munford [Murphy? -- see above], a commissioner appointed to convey land per the decree of the Court, presented to the Court a deed to Garland Ford, which was certified to the County Court for recording.

[Dated 22 Sep 1854, Recorded 18 Nov 1854, Vol. W:413
William E. Munford, commissioner, to Garland Ford, tract of land known as the "Lair Tract," which had been sold 20 Feb 1854 by Jesse Smith, Executor of estate of John King, Dec'd for $247.35, per decree of Circuit Court. Deed recites it was made pursuant to the decree of the Circuit Court and that it was made on behalf of Jesse Smith, Executor, and the heirs of John King, Dec'd, to wit, Jane S. Overby and her husband Ludwell Overby, Ann Farris and her husband Isaac H. Farris, Sally J. Legg and her husband . . . . Legg, William G. T. King, Nancy Crenshaw, John B. King, Alexander G. King, Thomas H. King, Mary E. W. Pettyjohn, Elizabeth C. King, Caroline B. King and Fanny M. King.]

Oct Term 1854, Circuit Court, Vol. 17:52
Ludwell Overby & Jane his wife, Isaac H. Farris & Ann his wife vs. Jesse Smith, Exr of John King Decd &o -- In Equity
The Court noted that plaintiffs desired to have their interest in the slaves allotted to them and the defendants desired a sale and division of the proceeds. The Court appointed Jno S. Barbour, S. P. Bowdry and W. B. Rogers as Commissioners to take action as follows: first, to value all the slaves and their increase, if any; then to divide the slaves into eleven lots; then to allow each plaintiff to draw her lot; then if the lot of slaves so drawn was worth less than the value of a plaintiff's share, the deficiency was to be made up out of the proceeds of the sale of the rest of the slaves, provided, however, that if the sale proceeds exceeded the value determined by the Commissioners, the plaintiff would not share in the excess (if instead the lot of slaves so drawn was worth more than the value of plaintiff's share, the excess was to be paid to the Commissioners and added to the shares of the other heirs). Isaac Smith was appointed a Commissioner to sell the slaves remaining after the plaintiffs drew their lots. The Court then noted that per the Will of John King his daughter, Mary E. Farris now Pettyjohn, was not entitled to a share of the sale proceeds. Thus, the proceeds from the sale of the slaves was to be divided among the other heirs, excluding plaintiffs and Mary E. Pettyjohn. The Court further ordered that before any allotment or sale, B. F. Dickey, Guardian of Fanny M. King, was to select a choice little negro for her, which was to be excluded from the allotment and sale. As the slaves were then hired out, the Court ordered they not be sold or divided before the 25th of Dec. Jesse Smith, Exr, reported that he would be due the further sum of $242.50 for the hire of slaves. The Court ordered that he be allowed to retain $20 as additional allowance for his services, $25 for his attorney, John G. Rogers, and $16 to pay for keeping negroes. Out of what remained, he was directed to pay the cost of this suit, including $9.80 to James G. Hardy as Master Commissioner, to pay H. P. Curd the sum of $12.80, the amount of his fee bill previously filed, and to distribute the residue among those entitled thereto. The case was then continued until the Commissioners filed their report.

Jan Term 1855, Circuit Court, Vol. 17:173
Ludwell Overby &o vs. Jesse Smith Exr &o -- In Equity
Isaac Smith, Commissioner appointed to sell the slaves of the King Estate, made a report of the sale. He was allowed $35 for his services.

Jan Term 1855, Circuit Court, Vol. 17:193
Ludwell Overby vs. Jesse Smith Exr -- In Equity
Continued until next court.

April Term 1855, Circuit Court, Vol. 17:235
Ludwell Overby &o vs. Jesse Smith &o
Commissioners appointed to value and divide the slaves made a report.

April Term 1855, Circuit Court, Vol. 17:355
Ludwell Overby vs. Jesse Smith Exr -- In Equity
Ordered Isaac Smith serve as a Commissioner to receive the proceeds from the sale of the slaves.

Oct Term 1855, Circuit Court, Vol. 17:446
Ludwell Overby vs. Jesse Smith &o -- In Equity
Isaac Smith was directed to distribute the proceeds from the sale of slaves, after paying costs of the suit, among the persons entitled thereto per the previous decree of the Court.

Sept Term 1858, Circuit Court, Vol. 19:243
Ludwell Overby &o vs. Jesse Smith &o -- In Equity
On motion of plaintiff, rule granted to require Isaac Smith to make a report. Also, Jesse Smith was ordered to show cause why he has failed to distribute funds in his hands as per the Court's previous decree.

March Term 1859, Circuit Court, Vol. 19:341
Ludwell Overby & others vs. Jesse Smith, Ex & others -- In Equity
Isaac Smith filed a report. He was allowed $35 as additional allowance for his services. Jesse Smith also filed a report.

March Term 1859, Circuit Court, Vol. 19:415
Ludwell Overby & others vs. Jesse Smith & others -- In Equity
A rule was granted against Isaac Smith requiring him to file with his report his vouchers or evidences of payment to the several persons to whom he was directed to distribute money. A rule was also granted against Isaac H. Farris and Ann Farris his wife to show cause why they have not paid over to Isaac Smith $29.55. the excess of the value of the slaves received over their share.

March Term 1860, Circuit Court, Vol. 19:593
Ludwell Overby & wife vs. Jesse Smith & others -- In Equity
A rule was granted against Isaac Smith requiring him to file his vouchers and also report specifically how much money he collected and received and when and from whom collected.

[Although Vols. 20 and 20B for 1858-1864 were reviewed, no further proceedings for this case have been found. Hopefully, the remaining funds were finally distributed to the heirs. Note, however, that court cases in the early 1860s show that Isaac Smith and Jesse Smith were inundated with claims, all their assets were liquidated and not all claims were satisfied. John B. King and Alexander G. King were among the claimants. It cannot be determined whether their claims related to the estate of their father or how they ultimately fared.]


A Final Thought on the Will of John King

John King obviously put a lot of thought into his will. He no doubt died thinking he had planned his estate to provide maximum benefits to his heirs. What he failed to realize was that complexity has its costs. What would he have thought about the fact that in 1860 the administraton of his estate was still ongoing? What would he have thought about the extent to which administrative fees eroded the value of his estate? What would he have thought of the behavior of his friends, Jesse and Isaac Smith? I suspect an early sale of property and slaves not specifically bequeathed and a division of the proceeds would have left his heirs in better financial shape. I can't help but think he overplanned his estate. Probably everyone would have been better off had the will contest succeeded.


John married 1st Mrs. John King. (1st Mrs. John King was born in Virginia 32 33 34 and died in 1819-1820 in Barren County, Kentucky 9.)


John next married Elizabeth S. PRIEST on 31 Dec 1822 in Barren County, Kentucky.1 (Elizabeth S. PRIEST was born in 1797 in Virginia,2 35 died on 29 Aug 1851 in Barren County, Kentucky 2 and was buried in King Family Cemetery, Barren County, Kentucky 2.)
Marriage Notes:
King John to Elizabeth Priest. Bond dated 30 Dec 1822, with Nathan Smith as surety. Married 31 Dec 1822 by Jacob Locke. 1


Sources


1 Martha Powell Reneau, Marriage Records of Barren Co., Kentucky, 1799-1849, FHL Fiche No. 6,093,804, Page 151.
2 Family Records of Margaret Lester Hill, citing tombstone inscription. Margaret "Peggy" Lester Hill is a great great granddaughter of John King and his second wife, Elizabeth Priest, through their daughter, Elizabeth Carrington King Sanderson. Her mother was born in Barren County, Kentucky, so she is not far removed from her Barren County roots. She is an exceptional researcher who has lovingly preserved the history of our King family. She and her mother registered the John King Cemetery with the South Central Kentucky Historical Society. Peggy's e-mail address is hillsqtr15@keyisp.net and her postal address is 489 Middle Gate, Irvington, VA 22480.
3 Ibid, citing Vivian T. Rousseau, Background of a Bank, Citizens Bank & Trust Company, Glasgow, KY, undated, pp. 71-73 (Republished May 1995 by Sandra K. Gorin as The Way We Were).
4 Kentucky African American Griot's, http://www.rootsweb.com/~kyafamer/Barren/mt_tabor_church.htm, citing Barren’s Black Roots Volume 4, Michelle Gorin Burris, Gorin Genealogical Publishing, (c) February 1995.
5 Family Records of Margaret Lester Hill.
6 Gladys Farris, "King Family," History of Rover and the 10th District of Bedford County, Vol. I (Turner Publishing Company, Paducah, KY, 1 May 1999), Page 223.
7 Willard Rouse Jillson, The Kentucky Land Grants, Vol. I (Louisville, Kentucky, Filson Club Publications, 1925), Page 614 (online at Ancestry.com).
8 Tax Books, Barren County, Kentucky, 1817-1834, FHL Film No. 7866.
9 1820 Census, Barren County, Kentucky, Roll M33_17, Page 18 (Ancestry.com Image 18 of 32).
10 Deeds, Vols. H-I, 1820-1822, Barren County, Kentucky, FHL Film No. 209,723.
11 Deeds, Vols. J-K, 1821-1828, Barren County, Kentucky, FHL Film No. 209,724.
12 Circuit Court Order Book, Vols. 3-4, 1819-1826, Barren County, Kentucky, FHL Film No. 209,775.
13 Circuit Court Order Book, Vol. 5, 1826-1831, Barren County, Kentucky, FHL Film No. 209,776.
14 1830 Census, Barren County, Kentucky, Roll 33, Page 162 (Ancestry.com Image 93 of 130).
15 Tax Books, Barren County, Kentucky, 1835-1847, FHL Film No. 7,867.
16 Deeds, Vols. N-O, 1830-1838, Barren County, Kentucky, FHL Film No. 209,726.
17 Deeds, Vols. P-Q, 1838-1843, Barren County, Kentucky, FHL Film No. 209,727.
18 Circuit Court Order Book, Vols. 8-9, 1838-1842, Barren County, Kentucky, FHL Film No. 209,779.
19 1840 Census, Barren County, Kentucky, Roll 103, Page 153 (Ancestry.com Image 7 of 79).
20 Willard Rouse Jillson, The Kentucky Land Grants, Vol. I (Louisville, Kentucky, Filson Club Publications, 1925), Page 1420 (online at Ancestry.com).
21 Wills, Vol. 3, 1828-1856, Barren County, Kentucky, FHL Film No. 209,741, Will of John King, Page 189.
22 County Court Order Books, Vols. 7-8, 1838-1857, Barren County, Kentucky, FHL Film No. 209,737.
23 Sandra K. Gorin, Barren Co KY Will Book 3, October 1828-May 1852, Including Rejected & Unrecorded Wills From the unpublished works of Eva Coe Peden (July 1991), Page 75.
24 Inventories, Vols. 4-5, 1835-1848, Barren County, Kentucky, FHL Film No. 209,742.
25 Inventories, Vols. 6-7, 1849-1855, Barren County, Kentucky, FHL Film No. 209,743.
26 Inventories, Vols. 8-9, 1855-1863, Barren County, Kentucky, FHL Film No. 209,744.
27 Circuit Court Order Book, Vols. 10-11, 1842-1845, Barren County, Kentucky, FHL Film No. 209,780.
28 Deeds, Vols. R-S, 1843-1850, Barren County, Kentucky, FHL Film No. 209,728.
29 Circuit Court Order Book, Vols. 16-17, 1853-1856, Barren County, Kentucky, FHL Film No. 209,783.
30 Deeds, Vols. W-X, 1853-1856, Barren County, Kentucky, FHL Film No. 209,731.
31 Circuit Court Order Book, Vols. 18-19, 1856-1860, FHL Film No. 209,784.
32 1880 Census, Vernon County, Missouri, Henry Twp, E.D. 210, Page 15, Family 130 at Lines 8-15 (Ancestry.com image 15 of 24).
33 1880 Census, Barren County, Kentucky, Roll T9_402, E. D. 10, Page 16 (Ancestry.com Image 16 of 46).
34 1880 Census, Andrew County, Missouri, Roll T9_671, E. D. 42, Page 11 (Ancestry.com Image 11 of 22).
35 1850 Census, Barren County, Kentucky, Roll M432_191, Page 320 (Ancestry.com Image 29 of 179).









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