Will of James Parsons
Transcribed by Tim Harrison
[James Parsons was born in North Carolina in 1796. A James Parsons married Massey Church in Wilkes County, NC on February 3, 1817. Shortly thereafter, James and his wife moved to South Carolina. By 1850, James was living in Marshall County, MS, and his wife had already died. Those living with him in 1850 were: Joseph Parsons (b. 1820, SC), Hester N. Parsons (b. 1832, SC), William L. Parsons (b. 1834, SC), Sarah J. Parsons (b. 1836, SC), Susan E. Parsons (b. 1838, SC), Robert J.F. Wilson (b. 1841, SC), Laura A. Tindal (b. 1846, FL), Mary Parsons (b. 1830, NC), and Susan F. Parsons (age 3/12, MS). Prior to his death in December, 1859 by bronchitis, James Parsons and family had moved to DeSoto County, where the following will was probated. His children are listed in the 1860 DeSoto County Census, where William L. Parsons is head of the family and owns 18 slaves and three slave houses.]
JAMES PARSONS LAST WILL
I, James Parsons, of DeSoto County State of Mississippi being of sound and disposing mind and memory and knowing the uncertainty of life and the certainty of Death do make Publish and declare this to be my last will and Testament hereby revoking all others heretofore by me made. First I assign my spirit to God who gave it and my body to the dust from whence it came to be decently interred by my Executor herein aftermentioned.
Second It is my will and desire that all of my Just Debts be paid as soon as can conveniently be done.
Third I give and bequeath to my beloved son William L. Parsons my Boy Dick as a compensation for his services and attention to my farm and business since he has arrived to Manhood.
Fourth It is my will and desire that all of my Property be kept together on my farm under the immediate control and management of my Executor & that the family remain together on the farm and be provided for by Executor as heretofore by me until all of my Debts are paid off and my Executor is hereby authorized to retain out of the Proceeds of each crop a reasonable compensation for his services for the farm and attention to my family.
Fifth It is my will and desire that after my Debts are paid off & discharged that my land be sold at Public Sale to the highest bidder in three equal payments One cash in hand and the Balance in one and two years from the date of sale And that all my Slaves except fhe one herein before Provided for in the third article of his will be equally divided by lot among all of my children my two Grand Children now living with me representing their Mothers Share in the Division, and the residue of my Property to be Sold on a credit of twelve Months and then collected together with the Proceeds of the land to be qually divided among my children the two Grand Children Still representing their Mothers Share.
Sixth I hereby appoint my beloved Son William L. Parsons my sole Executor of this last Will and Testament and it is my will and desire that no Security whatever be required of him for the faithful performance of the duties and Trust herein conferred.
Signed Published James Parsons
by the aforesaid
James Parsons in our presence as his last will & Testament and we hereby Singed and witnessed the same in his Presence and in the presence of each other and at his request November the 10th 1859.
H. M. Thompson
H. O. Allen
A. G. Sandidge
The State of Mississippi ) Probate Court
DeSoto County ) Febry Term 1860
This instrument of writing purporting to be the last will and Testament of James Parsons late of said County and is Produced and H.M. Thompson, H.O. Allen and A.G. Sandridge submitting witnesses appearing and after being . . . on the day of its date as and for his Last Will and Testament before them and at his request by them in his presence and in the presence of each other attested as Witnesses. That at the time said Testator was of sound and disposing mind and memory more than twenty one years of age and a citizen of DeSoto County in the State of Mississippi.
Sworn to and subscribed before me) H. M.. Thompson
in open court Feby. 20th 1860.) H. O. Allen
R. R. West, Clerk ) A. G. Sandidge
DeSoto County Coordinator: Tim Harrison
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