Terisha Turner was my 7th great-grandfather. His granddaughter, Mary Catherine Turner, my 5th great-grandmother, was the wife of William McGuffey Rives.
Amherst County, Virginia records are unfortunately not available online, for the most part, so I have not been able to view the original will. However, there are several transcriptions floating around on the internet. I found this one here.
Amherst County was split in 1813, and the northern half became Nelson County. Given that Terisha mentions owning land in Albemarle County as well, which lies just north of Nelson County, it seems likely that the other parcels listed below were actually located in present-day Nelson County. In fact, this 1818 map of Amherst and Nelson counties shows a property owner named Turner on the eastern edge of Nelson county at a bend in the James River. This may well be one of Terisha’s sons. I will be researching Nelson County next, in hopes of finding more information on Terisha, his family, and the people they enslaved.
Amherst County, Virginia
Will Book 4, p. 34
In the Name of God Amen,
I Terisha Turner of the County of Amherst and State of Virginia being ancient and not knowing how soon I may Die yet being of perfect Sense and memory do make and ordain this my last will and Testament an… and form following that is to say my Will and Desire is that my just Debts be fully paid and Satisfyed and what worldly goods shall then remain of my Estate I give and bequeath in Name and form following Viz:
Item: I give and bequeath unto my Son James Turner two Negroes by name Jack and Bett, which Negroes he has now in Possession to him and his heirs for ever.
Item: I give and Bequeath unto my Son Stephen Turner [Note: this is Mary Catherine Turner’s father] Seven hundred acres of Land being in the County of Granville the State of North Carolina, and now in possession with one negro Girl Esther which is also in his possession with her increase to him and his Heirs for ever.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my son John Turner one Certain tract or parcell of Land lying in this County (Amherst) on Fry’s branch Saposed to contain five hundred and nineteen acres be the same more or less and the said Land in his possession with three negroes named Pheby, Sam and Sarah, with their increase to him and his heirs forever.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my Son Henry Turner one certain tract or parcell of Land lying on Savage ? Creek in this County Saposed to contain five hundred and nineteen acres be the same more or less, with four negroes named as followeth Vilet and her three children, Cate, Sambo, and Sam, with there increase which he has all in his Possession to him and his heirs for ever.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my Son William Turner one certain tract or parcell of land lying between the above mentioned Lands of my sons Henry and John Turner and in this County Soposed to contain five hundred and nineteen acres be the same more or less with three Negroes named Ben, Will, and Little Tom, all which he has in his possession with there increas to him and his heirs forever.
Item: I give and bequeath to my daughter Mary London three negroes named Bob, Sammy and Agg with there increas to her and her heirs forever.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my daughter Sarah Stovall one negroe girl named Nan, which she hass in her possession with her increas to her and her heirs forever.
Item I lend unto my beloved wife Sarah Turner during her natural life the uses of the following articles viz: that is to say four hundred and fifty acres of Land it being the Land and plantation I now live on also one hundred acres of Land lying on the briery fork of green Creek in Albemarle County with Seven negroes named as followeth, that is to say Ned, old Tom, Lina, Doll, Rachel, Cate the younger and Murphy, and I also lend my beloved wife during her life all the Residue or Remainder of my Estate of all kinds whatsoever that is after paying my Just debts and Legacies.
Item I give and bequeath to my Son George Turner after the death of my loving wife all and every part of my Estate that is to say particularly that part of my estate I have lent my wife during her life with the increase to him and his heirs for ever but my Will is should my son George Turner die without Issue that the Land and Plantation I now live on Which I have given to George be devided between my two Sons Henry and William Turner my son William to have that part bounded by Benjamin Dawson’s Spring Branch to ….. Branch down said Branch to the River my son William to have all the land lying between said Branch and Morrisons Mountain and the Remainder part of said Land to my son Henry Turner with the Land Mentioned in Albemarle County to them and their heirs forever, my will is farther that should my son George Turner die without issue as above mentioned, that the whole of the Estate that I have given him the Lands excepted be equally divided between my Children that is Stephen Turner, John Turner, and Sarah Stovall to them and their heirs forever.
And Lastly I constitute and ordain my two sons Henry & William Turner Executors of this my last will and Testament hereby revoking all former wills by me made ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and Testament in Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my Seal this Seventh day of May One Thousand seven hundred and ninety three.
Let it be observed that I think my Son George not capable to manage his affairs when it should fall to him for that reason appoint my executors as trustees for him.
Signed, Sealed, and pronounced, in presence of us
Terisha T Turner
At a Court held for Amherst County the 19th day of April 1802 This will was proven by the Oaths of Benjamin Payn and Joseph Smith two subscribing witnesses thereto & ordered to be Recorded and Certificate for obtaining a probate Processed in due form is granted to Henry & William Turner the Executors herein Named they having made oath, and given Bond with Stephen Watts, Henry Robinson and Benjamin Payn their Security in the penalty of ten thousand Dollars as conditioned as the Law directs.