Ann Fry, Appalachia, Barbara Eley, Charity Eley, Charles Duncan, Christiansburg, genealogy, George Fry, history, John Fry, Joseph Benlay, Lincoln County, Mary Adkins, Mary Lucas, Montgomery County, Montgomery County Courthouse, Susanna Byars, Susannah Adkins, Thomas Kirk, Virginia, West Virginia
During a recent visit to the Montgomery County Courthouse in Christiansburg, Virginia, I viewed the Last Will and Testament of my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather George Fry (c.1725-1793).
In the Name of God, Amen: I George Fry of the County of Montgomery and State of Virginia, Farmer, Being very sick and weak in Body But of Perfect Mind and Memory thanks Begiven unto God for his Mercy Calling unto Mind the Mortality of my Body, and Knowing that it is appointed for all men once to Die; do Make and ordain this my Last Will and Testament that is to say Principally and first of all I give and Recommend my Soul into the Hand of Almighty God that gave it. My Body I Recommend to the Earth to be Buried in Decent Christian Buriel at the Discretion of my Executors Nothing Doubting but at the general Resurrection I shall Receive the same again by the Mighty Power of God. And as Touching such Worldly Estate wherewith it hath pleased God To bless me in this Life I give Devise and Dispose of the same in the Following Manner and Form, First I give and Bequeath to Anna Fry, my Dearly Beloved Wife one Mare and Two Cows, her Choice out of My Stock to be her own Right and Property to Dispose of as She Shall think Proper…
Also I give and Bequeath to Ann Fry my Dearly beloved Wife for Dureing the time she Continues my Widow My Dwelling Houses and Household Furniture With Five Head of Sheep and My Stock of Swine and my insuing Crop, also the Present Meet and Grain which is provided for Family Use and My Garden and Meadow and Meadow Orchard Likewise the Sixth part of Grain which is Raised on the said Land For During her Widowhood Continuence on the Sd. place. Then on leaving the Sd. place or at her Decease the Sd. property to be Equally Divided Between my Four Daughers…
Also I give and Bequeath to George Fry My Beloved Son all My Iron Tools and Two Suits of Cloaths, To Dispose of as he Shall think proper…
Also I give and Bequeath to Barbary Eley Two Cows to Dispose of as she shall think proper…
Also I give and Bequeath to Susanna Byars Two Cows to Dispose of as she shall Think proper…
Also I give and Bequeath the Balance of my property to my Dearly Beloved Daughters viz Mary Adkins, Chaty. Eley, Barbary Eley, Susanna Byars to be Equally Divided Then to Despose of as they shall think proper…
And I do Hereby Utterly Disallow Revoke and Disannul all and Every Other Former Testaments Wills Legacies Bequests and Confirming this and no other to be my Last Will and Testament, In Witness whereof I have here unto set my Hand and seal this Twenty Seventh Day of March in the year of our Lord one Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety three–
George Fry (My Mark)
Signed sealed and published pronounced and Declared by the Sd. George Fry, as his Last Will and Testament in the presence of us in his presence & in the presence of Each other have Here unto Subscribed our Names…
Source: Wills Box 1791-1799, Circuit Clerk’s Office, Montgomery County Courthouse, Christiansburg, VA.
Note: I descend from George Fry through his granddaughter Mary (Fry) Lucas and his grandson John Fry, who settled in present-day Lincoln County, WV. John and another granddaughter Susannah (Fry) Adkins are buried near my residence.
Katherine Wikoff said:
I love reading all the old documents you post. Am I wrong in thinking that the son seems to get very little of the fathers bequest in this will? Or
were the iron tools worth quite a bit maybe?
Brandon Ray Kirk said:
I found it peculiar, too, that George, Jr., did not receive more. Even in the case of Widow Fry’s death, family property and possessions were to be evenly divided among the four daughters (excluding George). Perhaps this was typical in 1700s Virginia, or perhaps George, Jr. lived comfortably on his own. Or perhaps it indicates a rift in the family (note that a stepmother was involved). I descend from the son, so I certainly noted his paltry inheritance. It may help explain why some of his family were migrants to my area in present-day West Virginia.
Sherrie Morgan said:
He is my 5th great grandfather, too.
Brandon Ray Kirk said:
I found the initial wording of his Will to be very inspiring, the way he wrote of God.
What a treasure! And also signed by a Kirk! Also related I wonder?
Brandon Ray Kirk said:
I descend from Thomas Kirk, too. Very nice find!
Kellie Chafin said:
George Fry was my 6th Great-Grandfather. Descended from the 3 Georges and then James Fry and then his daughter Martha Fry who married Lafayette Cole. My dad’s side of the family is from Man, WVA and my dad was born in Logan at Logan General Hospital been in that neck of the woods many times. We must be distant cousins, I don’t know how many times removed. Enjoyed your website. Working on my family history and am a member of the DAR here in Raleigh. George Fry, Sr. DAR Ancestor Number is A043012.