Bullitt County History

James W. Simmons' 1850 Will

Matilda Ann (Lee) Simmons, widow of William W. Simmons, married James W. Simmons on 4 Jan 1848. Theirs would be a brief marriage when James died in late 1850. He left a complicated will that discussed both his estate and that of William, Matilda's first husband. James also identified his own son, Alfred W. Simmons, from a previous marriage.

Below is a transcription of his will, followed by an image of it.


Bullitt County Will Book D, pages 286-288

In the name of God amen. I James W. Simmons of Bullitt County, Kentucky, being weak in body, but of sound mind and memory, do make and publish this as my last will and testament. 1st I commend my soul to God, the father of my existence. 2nd that my body be buried in Christian manner. It is my will and desire that my just debts be first paid by my executor herein after named.

It is my will and desire that the estate of William W. Simmons shall be settled up and should there be a balance due from my estate to the estate of William W. Simmons it is my desire tht the same be paid up in like manner; that my other liabilities are directed to be paid, and should the estate of William W. Simmons on settlement be found indebted to my estate that the same shall be paid to my estate so soon as it can be done with convenience and without sacrifice to the estate of the said William W. Simmons, and after a final settlement of my estate and the settlement of my accounts as guardian of my son Albert W. Simmons should my estate be found solvent more than a sufficiency to pay all my liabilities over and above my servant Jack, purchased of Richard W. Deats as agent for Jon Ricketts, then it is my desire that said servant Jack shall pass to the estate of William W. Simmons and to be governed and pass as the slaves of his estate are willed and directed to pass under his last will and testament as recorded in the Bullitt County Court Clerk's office, provided nevertheless that before the slave Jack passes to the estate of William W. Simmons, said estate must first account to my estate for the sum of one hundred dollars.

It is my will and desire that the slaves that my wife Matilda Ann Simmons inherited from her father's estate with their increase be and remain with her as the law may direct under his, said Wilford Lee's will. It is further my will and desire that whatever amount of money that has or may come to my hand in right of my wife Matilda Ann, as heir of her father Wilford Lee decd from the sale of land or otherwise, that the amount so received by me shall be paid over by my executors in good cash notes to my wife Matilda Ann Simmons after first deducting from the amount that has so come to my hands any amount or amounts that I have paid out for the benefit of her my wife Matilda Ann in securing the estate for her or for articles purchased for her and charged to her in my account book by me, and the articles charged to her in my account book shall pass to her without any charge by my estate other than the charges as made against her in my account book being the purchase money.

The above devising are made to my beloved wife in lieu of dower right, and upon condition that she waives all right of dower in my estate, and after settling up my estate as above devised and as guardian to my son Albert. The balance of my estate, real, personal, and mixed, I will and desire to my son Albert W. Simmons forever, provided I shall have no other child or children then living or born hereafter and should I have other children or another child born hereafter then and in that case it is my will and desire that the balance of my estate not above devised be equally devised between all of my children then living or born hereafter to share and share alike. My wife is to take the rockaway buggy and to be charged in a settlement of my account with her, the sum of two hundred and twenty five dollars she is to be charged also with seventy five dollars paid French's heirs and eighteen dollars seventy five cents paid difference in division of negroes of Wilford Lee decd. I sold an old negro woman of my wife Matilda Ann for some forty odd dollars which I am not to be charged with, and iis to offset what work I have done on the farm of William W. Simmons decd, my executor or executors is directed to made deeds for the sale of any houses and lots or land that I have acquired title to as one of the administrators of Wilford Lee dec.

Lastly I do hereby appoint my brother George W. Simmons and Henry J. Craycroft executors of this my last will and testament. (signed) James W. Simmons

Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of R. F. Samuels, S. A. McKay, Jos F. Birkhead.

State of Kentucky Bullitt County Court, October 21st, 1850
This last will of James W. Simmons decd was this day produced in open court of said county for record by H. J. Craycroft, one of the executors therein named, and said will was duly proved in court by the oaths of S. A. McKay, Jos F. Birkhead & R. F. Samuels the subscribing witnesses thereto that the said decedent James W. Simmons signed and acknowledged said will in their presence as his last will and testament, and they signed the same in his presence and in presence of each other as witnesses thereto at his request, that at the time of so executing said will decedent was in his proper senses and mind. Whereupon said will fully proved was ordered by the court to be recorded, and thereupon said will and this certificate are truly recorded in my office. Teste R. F. Samuels, Clerk


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The Bullitt County History Museum, a service of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is located in the county courthouse at 300 South Buckman Street (Highway 61) in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. The museum, along with its research room, is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday. Admission is free. The museum, as part of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization and is classified as a 509(a)2 public charity. Contributions and bequests are deductible under section 2055, 2106, or 2522 of the Internal Revenue Code. Page last modified: 11 Sep 2020 . Page URL: bullittcountyhistory.org/bchistory/jw-simmons-will.html