by L. H. Hart
The original was located in Chesterfield County Dead Papers, 17989, and a photocopy is on file in the Virginia State Library and Archives. The following is an abstract:
May 24, 1743
Robert Poythress of Martins Brandon Parish, Prince George County, in perfect senses and memory.
To my son Robert Poythress and his heirs forever all my lands on which I now live containing 1100 acres and also 291 acres adjoining the Butterwood Swamp.
To my son Peter Poythress and his heirs forever my lands containing about 600 acres lying on the Nottoway River and known by the name of Tanotoro and 297 acres lying on Butterwood, which I bought of James Glover.
To my son William Poythress and his heirs forever all my lands lying between Monkoes Neck and Nottoway which I bought of Capt. Thomas Bolling and all my lands in Amelia Co. contiguous to William Stoneís land.
To my wife the use of 12 negroes: Harry, Hunt, Tom, Jamey, George, Nilsy, Sarah, Lucy, Nick, Hannah, Matt, Nan, Penelope and the use of 1/3 of my lands during her life or widowhood and 1/4 of my house furniture and stocks to be divided between my wife and my 3 sons and any of my daughters that are unmarried at the time of her motherís death and their heirs respectively. The division to be made by my brother, William Poythress, Col. Richard Bland, and Mr. John Gilliam or the survivors.
I give to my son Robert and his heirs 9 negroes: Tom boy, Mingo, Charles, Judy, Bett, Jenny, Sarah, George, and Boatswin.
I give to my son Peter and his heirs 9 negroes: Prince, Sterling, Cimon, Jack, Sarah, Bett, Agnes, Aneky, and Harry.
I give to my son William and his heirs 9 negroes: Phillis, Seanah, Gambia, Caesar, Pheby, Kate, Pat, and Pompey.
If either of my sons dies before he comes of age, the whole estate - real and personal - to be divided equally between the surviving sons or their heirs.
I confirm to my daughter Elizabeth Gilliam all the negroes already given to her.
I give to my grandson Robert Gilliam a negro boy Johnny and a girl about the same age.
I give to my daughter Mary Anna Minge negroes: Abbah, Sawney, Jenny to her and her heirs and thirty pounds current money to be laid out in negroes.
I give to my daughter Agness Harwood 98 pounds, 10 shillings current money which her husband has already received.
I give to my grand-daughter Tabitha Harwood one negro girl Amy now in the use of her father.
I give to my daughter Tabitha Poythress 130 pounds current money and negro girl Sue.
I give to my dauthter Susanna Poythress and to her heirs 5 negroes: Pheby, Jack, Hannibal, Nan, and Tom.
I give to my daughter Jane Poythress and her heirs 5 negroes: Phillis, Nan, Titus, Scot, and Phillis (sic).
All the remainder of my estate I give and devise to be equally divided between my wife and 3 sons. I appoint my wife and sons Robert and Peter to be my executors.
Robert Poythress (L. S.)
Recorded at court held at Fitzgeralds for Prince George County 13 Sept. 1743. The widow and executrix Elizabeth Poythress exhibited the will with Robert Poythress qualified as executors. All witness proved will.
Summary Bill of Complaint. Elizabeth Poythress possessed herself of 12 slaves according to the will of Robert Poythress. She died many years after her husband, surviving her sons Robert and William. The slaves then devolved to their brother Peter. Until her death, Elizabeth Poythress lived with or near said Peter and he had management of her affairs. He was entitled to 3/5 of the slaves at her death in behalf of himself and his two deceased brothers - William and Robert. At that time only 2 of the testatorís daughters were unmarried - your oratrix, Tabitha Randolph, and her sister Elizabeth Gilliam. Peter continued to keep under his care the 8 negroes of which he was 3/5 owner. He died a few years past. William Mayo, Esq. is the acting executor of said Peter Poythress and continues to hold possession of said 8 slaves, though often requested to give your oratrix her share. She desires an accounting of the 8 slaves and their issue and sex given - then her 1/5í of said slaves and 1/5 of labor since death of said Peter Poythress to be allotted to her.