This will of James "the yeoman" was contributed by David Moore, who transcribed it from the Maryland records. A written transcription of the will can be found in Maryland Wills, Liber C. C., Folio 10.
Elkton, Cecil County Maryland
Maryland Wills. Liber C. C. Folio 10
I, James Alexander, of Ciecil County, in Mariland, yeoman, being of sound mind and memory thanks to god, but caling to mind my mortal state do make and ordain this my last will and testament, viz. I give my soul into the hand of God who gave it and my body I recommend to the Earth to be buried in a Decent maner at the Discretion of my Executors, and touching such worldly goods wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me with I dispose of the same in the Folowing maner. Imprimis: I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Abigail my bed and beding and one cow, and whereas there is a contract of marriage in writing between us wherein I oblidged myself to give her the sum of sixty pounds at my death & she oblidged herself to take it in room of her dowry, it is my will and pleasure that she have it with the things above mentioned as also House room and firewood leave, and the use of a small meadow before my door, as also my barn meadow as long as she pleases to occupy them herself.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my beloved grandson George Alexander his Heirs and Assigns all the folowing part of my land, to wit: begining at a marked chestnut tree standing on the east side of the great road about eight perches to the north of the head of my orchard, thence running south Eighty-Nine degrees to the mouth of a small run that falls into Christeen, thence north seventy degrees east until it intersects the outside line of my land, thence north along my line to a marked chestnut standing on the south bank of the Christeen, thence north-northwest to a marked chestnut, thence west by lands of John Alexander to the above said great road, thence southward along said great road to the place of begining, together with all the improvements and appertainances theronto belonging, Except a dam and drean for watering meadow as it now stands on the lower part of Christeen within the above premises and is here excepted.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my beloved son Josiah Alexander his heirs and assigns all the folowing part of my land, to wit, begining at the Mouth of a small run on the east side of Elk River next above Huckleberry Hill, thence runing on a streight line to a Mulbery tree standing on the great road and bearing due East fifty-three perch for the spring of the above ad. Run, thence northward by ad. road untill it intersects the outside line of my land, thence west by land of John Robison and Joseph Young to a marked whiteoak on the Bank of Elk River, thence down the same the several courses thereof to the first begining, together with all the improvements and appurtenances thereunto belonging, and also the bed and beding he now lies in, and also one-third part of all the Pewter Dishes and Iron Pots about my house, and also one black heifer and also one black horse.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my beloved son Amos Alexander his heirs and assigns all the remaining part of my lands and tenements lying in New Monster with all the improvements thereon with water leave above excepted.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my beloved son, Sezekiel [Ezekiel] Alexander, his heirs and assigns all that tract of my land lying on Long Creek in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina togather with all the improvements thereon together with one year old horse colt and also ten pounds in money. And it is my will that if my son Ezekiel dies in his minority then the above ad. land given him to be the property of my two grandsons, viz. James [R.] Alexander son of Hezekiah Alexander, and Amos Alexander son of Amos Alexander, and given to them when they shall arive to the age of twenty-one years. and to be equally divided between them according to quantity and quality.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my beloved son Hezekiah Alexander the sum of five pounds.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my beloved son John McNit Alexander the sum of five pounds.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my beloved daughter Jemima Sharp the sum of forty pounds.
[Item: I give and bequeath unto my beloved daughter Abigail Bradley five pounds. -- missing from the copy on p.25 of “The Alexanders Who Stayed in MD”]
Item: I give and bequeath unto my beloved daughter Margaret McCoy the sum of five pounds.
[Item: I give and bequeath unto my beloved daughter Elizabeth Sample the sum of 5 pounds--missing from p.25 of “The Alexanders Who Stayed in MD”] and it is my will and pleasure that all the remainder of my estate be equally divided among all my children, viz. Hezekiah, Amos, John, Josiah, Ezekiel, Jemima, Elizabeth, Abigail, and Margaret, and I do hereby constitute and apoint my two sons, Amos Alexander and Josiah Alexander, and Hezekiah South my only and sole executors of this my last will and testament, hereby revoking all former wills and testaments, gifts, legices, ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will & testament
James Alexander (SEAL)
In the presence of John Alexander Andrew Work John McGregor
David Moore notes:
1) this will is said to have been made on June 17, 1772; it was proved (probated) on May 31, 1779, and recorded and examined on July 15 of that year
2) the punctuation has been modernized, but the original spelling has been retained [e.g., “leave” = levee, “drean” = drain, “Christeen” = Christiana, etc.]
3) of the 15 children James had by his two wives, six, namely Theophilus, Jemima (1), Edith, Keziah, Ezekiel (1) and Margaret (1) had predeceased him and therefore are not mentioned in the will
NOTE from JFA: Jemima(1), Ezekiel(1), and Margaret(1) mean that James reused these names for later children.
4) the George to whom a large parcel of land was bequeathed is the son of Theophilus, who apparently chose to stay in Cecil Co. MD and not move to Mecklenburg Co. NC with his mother and siblings after Theophilus died
5) James and his wives’ graves' location is unknown, presumably at New Munster