Amanuensis Monday: Will of John Robertson of Washington, IA

One of the many cool finds I had while on my trip through Iowa was the probate records for my 4th great-grandfather, John Robertson.  He’s one of my longest standing brick walls and I was really hoping that I would find something that would help me identify him in Kentucky (where he was from originally).  No smoking guns in the will, but I am still very happy to have it – especially since I now have his signature.  It looks like he was ill when he signed it, don’t you agree? 

The will was written a few days before he died.  I have scanned it in here and will transcribe it below.


Know all men that I John Robertson of Washington County Iowa being of sound mind and Memory do make and publish this my last will + testament as follows to wit
Item 1st
It is my will that all my Just debts be first paid.
Item 2nd
I give and bequeath to my son Alexander C. Robertson all that part of the North East quarter of section No. thirty four (34) in Township No seventy five (75) North of Range No. (8) Eight west lying East of the railroad also the timber lot commencing at the North West corner of the North East quarter of teh south west quarter of L__ No 18 in Township No 74 north of Range No Eight west thence south 44 rods thence East 40 rods thence North 44 rods thence west 40 rods to the place of beginning
Item 3rd
It is my will that the portion of the North East quarter of section No thirty four (34) in Township No seventy five (75) North of Range No 8 west lying west of the rail road also the timber lot beginning at the south East corner of the North west quarter of the South East quarter of section 29 in Township 74 North of Range No seven (7) West together with my personal property be sold and out of the proceeds there shall first be paid to my daughter Mary Glenn the sum of four hundred dollars + the remainder after paying expenses of executing this will shall be equally divided between my daughter Mary Glenn and the heirs of my deceased daughter Rachel A Lynn
Item 4th
It is my desire that Walter McKinnie act as executor of this my last will + testament
In testamony wherof I have hereto set my hand this 25th day Feb AD 1879
John Robertson [signed]
We the undersigned in the presence of Each other and the above signed testator have at his request signed as wittnesses of the above proper by him declred in our presence to be his last will +testament this 25th day of Febuary 1879

Walter McKinnie [signed]
Joshua Ca__ [signed]

State of Iowa SS
Washington County} J.J. A Cunningham
Clerk of the Circuit
Court in and for said County to hereby certify that on the 16th day of September 1879 before the Circuit Court in and for said county the forgoing instrument of [?] was duly proven and admitted to Probate as the last Will and Testament of John Robertson deceased.
Witness my Signature and Seal of office this 30th day of September 1879.
J A Cunningham Clerk Circuit Court

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