James S. Conway

Transcribed by: Patsy Finley Vinson

Note: George Conway, x/Register and one of the first settlers at Washington (Hempstead Co.), Arkansas is the 3rd great-grandfather of Patsy Finley Vinson and was a cousin to James S. Sevier the First Governor of Arkansas.

Last Will and Testament of James S. Conway
Record Book of Wills "B"
(pages 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52 & 53)
Lafayette County, Arkansas
One of the First Governors of Arkansas (ca 1836)

Know all me by these presents that I James S. Conway of Walnut Hills, County of Lafayette and State of Arkansas, gentleman, being in bad health and of sound and disposing mind and memory, do make and publish this my last will and Testament, hereby revoking all former wills by me at any time heretofore made.

First I hereby constitute my brother Elias N. Conway and my wife, Mary Jane Conway, to be my Executor and Executrix of this my last will, directing my Executor and Executrix to pay all my past debts and funeral expenses and the legacies herein after given, out of my estate, and that the Probate Court be requested not to require security to the bond of my said Executor and Executrix herein before named personally.

Second, I give my homestead place and the improved lands connected with it heretofore cultivated by me including the buildings and improvements thereon together with a suitable quantity of timbered land, connected there with as near the same, to supply timber for said place, unto my wife during her natural life, I also give to her all my household and kitchen furniture and wearing apparal (sp) for her sole use; and I also give to her in her own right to dispose of as she may think proper the following named slaves to wit: Ned, Milly, Ann, Sophy, Sard (sp) & Ralph, with the privilege of exchanging any of them for others of equal value on the plantation if she wishes so to do.

page 44
Third. Having heretofore given my daughter Ann J. Sevier two boys being slaves to wit: Nelson and Alford. I now give in addition a negro woman Juda, her daughter Sally, and her son Adam, and also her daughter Vicy. When the crop for the year 1855 shall have been gathered, and when my said daughter goes to housekeeping, she is to be furnished with two good mules from my plantation with two good ploughs, corn and meat sufficient to last one year and she is also to be supplied with some stock hogs.

Fourth. I give to my daughter, Martha Maria Sevier a Mulatto boy or man John Duffer, a Mulatto woman Molly, a copper colored girl Susan, a black boy, Sogan, and in addition to them after the crop for the year 1855, shall have been gathered I also give to my said daughter a negro man named Matt, and a negro girl named Matilda, and my said daughter is to be supplied with meat sufficient for one year and with some stock hogs, and next spring she is to have two good mules furnished her from the Plantation.

Fifth. I give to my daughter Frances A. Conway some one of the young negro women or girls on the plantation that she may select after consulting her mother and uncle, she is to have a good saddle horse, purchased for her, and when my said daughter Frances shall have been married or becomes of age give to her one negro man and

p. 45
I give her another negro man and a negro woman, and the second year after her marriage, I give to her one negro boy, and one negro girl, in selecting said slaves such as to be taken as my Executor and Executrix may deem equal in value to those give to either one of my older daughters, it being my intention and desire to give to each and every one of my children slaves of equal value those herein before enumerated and designated at the times and in the manner stated; and to my daughter, Susan Conway when she shall have married the slaves to which she will be entitled equal in value to those given to either one of my other daughters, and to my sons Frederick Elias, and William Nelson, the slaves to which each of them will be entitled when they respectively become of age, said slaves for each one to be of equal value to those given to any one of my daughters.

Sixth. I bequeath to my Brother Elias N. Conway, my negro boy Archy, being the only descendant of the old family servant George with the understanding that he is never to part with him unless to the family he is to take him any time he wishes after the 1855. And all the balance of my slaves, and their increase not herein before designated and otherwise disposed of, as well as all this property on the Prairie Plantation

p.46
As set apart to be used in raising crops keeping up said plantation and improvements, and from the proceeds from said plantation to defray all the expenses of supporting my unmarried children in good style, and in educating my then younger children, Susan, Frederick, Elias, and William Nelson, in the best manner.( I want neither money nor pains spared in giving them a good education and I injoin it on my brother, Elias most strictly to have this done and the expenses thereof and for their support may be paid out of any funds of my estate) and to pay the necessary expenses of said plantation and to pay the debts of my estate, until my daughter, Susan shall have married, or become of age when the slaves to which she will be entitled as herein before stated on to be given to her and the residue of said slaves and their increase, and the other property on said place, an to be kept in like manner, on the plantation until Frederick Elias and William Nelson both shall have become of age, when they are to receive the number of slaves to which they each are entitled, to be equal in value for each one of them to the slaves given to anyone of my daughters. After my sons, Frederick Elias and William Nelson both become of age the prairie plantation ___(several words missing) and

p.47
the Bradly and the Bill Duffer hill places is to be equally divided between them including the timbered land embraced by said places so as to supply them with all necessary timbre. (In relation to my landed estate not given to my wife nor designated to be divided between my sons. I wish my Executor and Executrix to lay off and assign to each of my daughters Ann J. Sevier, and Martha Maria Sevier such portion of my hill land as will make each of them a good plantation containing four hundred acres as nearly (sp)as may be and as nearly equal in value as they can and that in providing said place for Ann J. Sevier the lands purchased by me of David H. Hickman may be included in the place given to her (and whenever my daughters Frances and Susan shall want plantations after they respectively marry or become of age a place equal in value to either of those given to my older daughters is to be percured (sp) for each of them as an equalant (sp) in money shall be paid to each of them out of the proceeds of the residue of my estate which may then be undisposed of). It is my request that none of my prinshable(sp) property shall be sold, but my Executor and Executrix may at any time if they think it will benefit my estate sell any or all of my lands & farms & city lots in the state of Arkansas at private

p.48
sale if they think it best: and may make all necessary Deeds and conveyances therefor and this authority to sell lands is intended to apply to all of my lands, not given to my daughters Ann J. Sevier and Martha Maria Sevier so that my said Executor and Executrix may be visited with proper discutionary (sp) person to be what they may deem best to promote the interest of my estate in regard to said Real Estate; but the place given to my wife is not to be sold during her life time without her consent & should the crops raised by my wife on her place not be sufficient to supply her with all the necessaries and comforts for her support bountifully she is to be supplied from the products of my prairie plantation or out of any funds of my estate. After the sale of the present crop of cotton already gathered the sum of five hundred dollars is to be paid to Dr. James M. Sevier in compensation for medical services rendered by him and next summer he is to be helped to build a neat and comfortable hewed log double house and alow (sp) to move all the buildings he now occupies except the kitchen and the large dwelling house which two buildings are to remain where they are for the sum of them of Ann J. Sevier's Negroes then will be due her three hundred and ______ (last line missing)

p.49
1855 which I wish to draw interest at the rate of ten per cent per anum(sp) from due(sp) till paid by my estate. I wish a note and the interest on it, being for eighty dollars, given by James M. Sevier to Ann J. Sevier as administratrix of the Estate of Val Sevier dec' to be paid out of my Estate out of the proceeds of the crop to be raised this year. When the note due from Andrew Mitchell which my Brother Elias is authorized to collect is paid he is authorized to pay upon my indebtedness to the late Samuel W. Rayburn out of said money five hundred dollars and to retain the balance of said money for his own use and give my estate credit therefor upon my indebtedness to him and he is authorized to have all necessary repairs made on my property at Little Rock and to rent the same and to collect the rents therefor that are or hereafter may be due and to apply the money toward paying for any such repairs and in paying taxes on my lands and town lots. In all matters and things connected with my estate not herein specially provided for my Executor and Executrix are hereby visited with full discutionary(sp) power to do and perform all things which they may deem best for the interest of my estate. And they are authorized to make to Andrew Mitchell a deed of conveyance for the Cove land sold by me to him upon his making full payment thereof

p.50
in accordance with the bond which I and my wife heretofore executed to him. It is my request that a Mill to grind corn for meal be attached to the cotton gin at Walnut Hills on the place given to my wife for her lifetime, the mill which I now have at said place will be used for that purpose, this is to be done at the expense of my estate, should the prairie plantation be kept up as hereinbefore requested until my two sons become of age after giving to them respectively slaves equal in value to those given to my daughters respectively and the division of the prairie plantation and the hill places hereinbefore designated as connected with it equally as before stated between my two sons, all the residue of my slaves and their increase and all other property which shall then belong to my estate must be equally divided between my four daughters and two sons. And after my son Frederick Elias becomes of age he shall be entitled to an advance out of my estate at the rate of five hundred dollars per anum until the final distribution of the property of my estate, which advances shall be charged to him as a part of what he will be entitled to out of my estate, but should my Executor and Executrix deem it best for the interest of the estate to sell the prairie plantation the places connected with it and to invest a portion of the proceeds in some of the other plantation and to have

p.51
The Estate they may do so and after my two sons become of age and after giving them slaves respectively equal in value to those given to my daughters each of my sons shall be entitled to money equal in amount to the value to each one of the plantations given to my two oldest daughters and this event-all the residue of my sales and their increase and all other property which shall thus belong to my estate must be equally divided between my four daughters and two sons.
It is expected the place given to my wife will be cultivated in part by the negroes given to her and as heretofore by the plantation force but I would advise that there should not be so much cotton planted on it. It is my request should any suitable person go to New Orleans next spring that a new family carriage shall be purchased for the use of my family. That my present crop of cotton be assigned to Robert W. Estlin Land Co. New Orleans and it is my wish they may continue to do the business of my Estate in New Orleans as long as they do it as faithfully as they have heretofore. It is my wish if my wife considers the legal advise and assistance in business Mr. W. L. McCarty at anytime that she will call on him. It is my wish that my negroes shall be well fed, well clothed and humanly treated. It is my advise to my children that they treat there

p. 52
slaves in like manner and that they sell none of them but endearm(sp) to make them good servants, my Executor and Executrix are authorized to buy such small tracts of land as adjoin my hill lands and as necessary to square out the tracts and to pay for the same as well as for any other land which may be purchased by them to supply any of my daughters with plantations not exceeding for each four hundred acres in quantity. In the name of God Amen.

Witness my hand and seal this the 27th February AD 1855.
J. S. Conway (seal)
Witnessed by us on the day of the }
date thereof by request of the }
Testator.
John D. Jones }
T. R. McClintock }

 

p. 52 continued
State of Arkansas }
County of Lafayette}
Be it remembered that on this the 14th day of March 1855 at the county aforesaid before me James M. Montgomery Clerk of the Circuit Court and Ex officio Clerk of the Court of Probate for the county aforesaid personally came and appeared John D. Jones and Thomas R. McClintock subscribing witnesses to the amended will of James S. Conway

 

p. 53
deceased who being by me first duly sworn for that purpose on oath state that James S. Conway the Testator signed said will in their presence and acknowledged the same to be his last will and Testament that he was of sound mind and memory at the time of signing the same and that they subscribed their names thereto as witnesses is at said Testators request.
J. D. Jones
T. R. McClintock

To certify that the foregoing affidavit
was sworn to and subscribed before me
on the day and year herein mentioned.
{Seal} I have hereunto set my hand as Clerk
and affixed the seal of said county at my
office in Lewisville this the 14th day of
March 1855.
Jas. M. Montgomery Clerk

State of Arkansas }
County of Lafayette}
I, James M. Montgomery Clerk of the Circuit Court and Ex officio Clerk
of the Court of Probate for the county aforesaid do hereby certify that the amend and foregoing will of James S. Conway deceased with the Probate thereof amend was filed in my office for Record in the 14th day of March 1855 and the same is now duly recorded in Record Book of Wills "B" pages 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, & 53.


In Testimony whereof I have here unto set
my hand as such clerk and affixed the seal
{ Seal} of said county at my office in Lewisville this
the 14th day of March 1855.
Jas M. Montgomery Clk.

Other Facts published about James S. Conway in Newspapers:
Conway, James S. ...ex-Gov-------Conway settled plantation at head of Long Prairie on Red River, Lafayette Co. c 20 years ago. Ark Gaz Sept 18, 1844. \\ James S. Conway, x/Governor and x/Surveyor-General. Relatives:/ Elias N. Conway, Auditor, brother; Sam'l H. Hempstead, bank attorney, married a cousin; William Pelham, Surveyor-General married a sister; Henry Conway, land Agent, cousin; Henry M. Rector, US Marshall, cousin; Elias Rector, bank director, cousin; Wm Conway B, x/Judge, brother; John Conway, surveyor of line between US and TX, brother; George Conway, x/Register at Washington, AR, cousin; Frederick Conway, recorder of Land titles at St. Louis, MO, brother. Ark Gaz June 7, 1843.


____________


Genealogical Records of Arkansas Vol I 1804-1830 p. 4
Bradley, John
Joshua Morrison, Richard C. Poston, and James S. Conway, "as heirs of....John Bradley, " to Eliza Ann Woodward, 1829 (DR B-13). Joshua Morrison and J.S. Conway, as heirs of John Bradley to Richard C. Poston, heir; 1829 (DR B-14) James S. Conway, heir to Joshua Morrison, 1829 (DR B-28). Richard C. Poston, heir, to James S. Conway and Joshua Morris 1829 (DR B-28) Joshua Morrison, heir, to James S. Conway 1829 (DR B-29).

Descendants of James Sevier Conway

It is noted that only 7 children were named in JS Conway's will, but you will note that several children died between 1842 and 1846. Mary Elizabeth and James Sevier died within 15 days of each other. If you find errors in the outline, contact me. Patsy Vinson

1 James Sevier Conway b: 09 Dec 1796 in Tennessee d: 03 Mar 1855 in Lafayette Co. Arkansas Burial: Conway Cemetery, Lafayette Co. Arkansas
. +Mary Jane Bradley b: 31 Aug 1809 in Tennessee m: 21 Dec 1826 in Hempstead Co. Arkansas d: 15 Feb 1878 in Lafayette Co. Arkansas Burial: Conway Cemetery, Lafayette Co. Arkansas (list 68 yrs, 5mo15da) Father: John Bradley
.... 2 Ann Jane Conway b: 1828 in Arkansas
........ +Valentine Sevier b: 08 May 1823 m: 1848 in Lafayette Co. Arkansas ( Bk MB p. 108A) d: 08 Jan 1854 in Lafayette Co. Arkansas Burial: Conway Cemetery, Lafayette Co. Arkansas Father: Alexander Green Sevier Mother: Elizabeth A. Hunter
.... *2nd Husband of Ann Jane Conway:
........ +Turner m: Aft. 1854
.... 2 Martha Maria Conway b: 30 Jan 1830 in Hempstead Co. Arkansas

d: 29 Dec 1919 in Walnut Hill, Lafayette Co. Arkansas Burial: Conway Cemetery, Lafayette Co. Arkansas
........ +James M. Sevier b: 19 Jun 1827 in Greene Co. Tennessee m: 11 Nov 1852 in Lafayette Co. Arkansas ( Bk 1 p. 50) d: 10 Mar 1867 in Walnut Hill, Lafayette Co. Arkansas Burial: Conway Cemetery, Lafayette Co. Arkansas Father: Alexander Green Sevier Mother: Elizabeth A. Hunter
.... 2 Margaret Elizabeth Conway b: 1832 in Arkansas d: 06 Dec 1842 in Magnet Cove, Hot Springs, Arkansas
.... 2 Mary Elizabeth Conway b: 13 Jan 1833 in Hempstead Co. AR

d: 17 Oct 1845 in Lafayette Co. Arkansas Burial: Conway Cemetery, Lafayette Co. Arkansas
.... 2 James Sevier Conway b: 23 Mar 1838 in Hempstead or Lafayette Co. AR d: 31 Oct 1845 in Lafayette Co. Arkansas Burial: Conway Cemetery, Lafayette Co. Arkansas
.... 2 Sarah Juliette Conway b: 05 Mar 1843 in Lafayette Co. Arkansas

d: 11 Oct 1846 in Lafayette Co. Arkansas Burial: Conway Cemetery, Lafayette Co. Arkansas
.... 2 Susan P. Conway b: 03 Jun 1846 in Lafayette Co. Arkansas

d: 20 Jan 1924 in Lafayette Co. Arkansas Burial: Conway Cemetery, Lafayette Co. Arkansas
........ +Joseph Edward Logan b: 30 Dec 1835 m: 05 Dec 1866 in Lafayette Co. Arkansas ( Bk 1 p. 594) d: 09 Mar 1894 in Lafayette Co. Arkansas Burial: Conway Cemetery, Lafayette Co. Arkansas
.... 2 Frederick Elias Conway b: 1850 in Lafayette Co. Arkansas d: 1924 in Arkansas
........ +Alice Moore Curran b: 18 Feb 1855 in Curran Hall m: 28 Mar 1878 in Rosewood, Lafayette Co. Arkansas d: 1928 in Arkansas Father: Judge James M. Curran Mother: Sophie Fulton
.... 2 William Nelson Conway b: Bef. 1855 in Lafayette Co. Arkansas Burial: Conway Cemetery, Lafayette Co. Arkansas

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