Hamilton County Ohio
Genealogy and History

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Wills and Probate Documents

Date: Dec.27,1852
State of Ohio: Hamilton County} SS.
I, Thomas Lawson, late of Hamilton county, Ohio, died leaving a last Will & Testament
(a true copy whereof is hereto attached), which said.
Will and Testament has been duly proven and admitted and recorded by our Probate Court, within and for the County aforesaid on the 27th of December, 1852.
Know ye therefore, that the said Probate Court has granted unto Fenton Lawson, the Executor in said Will & Testament, named Letters Testimony therein, hereby granting to said Executor all and singularly the power necessary and by law required to enable him, to take inventory of, collect, sue for and recover all and singular the goods, chattels and credits of said deceased. And out of the same or such part thereof as shall come to his hands, the debts of the said deceased and the legacies in said Will named to pay and discharge according to law, and to the Will of the said Testator. And the same fully to administer in all things, as required by law.
And the Court have appointed Benjamin Bruce, J. J. Barlow and W. G. Coffin as appraisers on oath or affirmation, all and singularly the goods, chattels and credits of the said deceased.
In testimony whereof I have hereto set my hand and affixed the seal of the said Probate Court at Cincinnati, this 27th of December, 1852 . N.B. Warren Probate Judge.

Copy of the last Will & Testament of Thomas Lawson, Deceased.
I, Thomas Lawson of Cincinnati, Ohio of lawful age and of sound mind and memory in view of the uncertainty of life and of the certainty of death.
Do hereby make publish and ordain this my last Will & Testament.

1st. It is my will and desire that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid by my Executor hereinafter named.

2nd. I do hereby give, devise and bequeath unto my beloved sister Hannah Sargent, the use during her natural life of the following described Real Estate, viz:
All that certain lot of land situated lying and being in Cincinnati, and numbered !, on the plat of subdivision of part of original entire Lot # 89, on the plat of the said city of Cincinnati. Said subdivision made by H.G. Phillips & David Gwynne and John G. Washington. The said lot #1 beginning at a point on the last side of Main street, 31 feet from the North West corner of said entire lot. Number 89, Southward running thence along said Main Street southwardly 16 feet, thence Eastward on a line parallel with 4th Street, 60 feet to a span of 8 feet, designated on said part of subdivision thence Northward 16 feet along said space, then Westward on a line parallel with 4th Street, 160 feet to the place of beginning, with the appurtenances , and all the rents, issues, and profits thereof, to have and hold the same to her own separate use and maintenance as long as she shall live.

3rd, At the death of the said Hannah Sargeant , I do hereby give devise and bequeath the Real Estate described in Item 2nd, above, unto the children of the said Hannah Sargeant, who shall be living at her decease, and if any of the children of the said Hannah shall die before the said Hannah died, and leaving children living at the decease of the said Hannah, then such Grandchildren of the said Hannah shall take the shares to which their parents would have been entitled under this clause had the survived the said Hannah, to have and to hold the same to them, their heirs and assigns forever.

4th, I do hereby give and devise and bequeath all the other Estate of which I may die seized, either real or personal of mixed, not embraced above unto my beloved mother Fenton Lawson and to my beloved sister Emma Rogers, them, their heirs and assigns forever. The same to be equally divided between them, except as reserved and directed in item 5th. Following. And for the purpose of making such division equal between the said Fenton and Emma. I do hereby direct my Executor hereinafter named to convert all my said estate not embraced in Items 2nd and 3rd above into money, as soon as the same can be done advantageously for the said devisees, and for that purpose. I do hereby authorize and empower my said Executor to sell such Real Estate as is embraced in this article at private sale to such person for person and upon such terms, as to him shall seem proper, and to give contacts or deed of quit claim or generally warranty therefore as shall be proper and right in the premises and also to sell and dispose of at public or private sale to such person or persons and upon such terms as to him shall seem proper, any part or all of my said personal estate.

5th The above bequest and devise to the said Fenton Lawson and Emma Rogers in Item 4th is made and this exception. viz:
I do hereby direct the said Fenton Lawson and Emma Rogers each of them to pay or cause to be paid out of the proceeds of my estate thus above devised to them the sum of $50 each, per annum unto my aged Aunt Elizabeth Miller during the natural live of her the said Elizabeth Miller, said sums of $50 each to be paid in equal sums of $25 each on the 1st days of January and July of each year she shall continue to live.

6th, I do hereby constitute and appoint Fenton Lawson my Executor of this my last Will & Testament and do hereby specially ex---pt him from giving the Bond as such Executor as is required by the ____.
In witness whereof I have hereto set my hand and seal this 15th December, 1852
Thomas Lawson (seal)

Signed, sealed and acknowledged by the testator in our presence to be is last Will & Testament and signed by us as witnesses and in his presence and at his request.
William H. Hopkins & Timothy O’Connell

State of Ohio, Hamilton County} SS.
Probate Court:
Be it remembered that at a session of the probate Court held within and for said Hamilton County, at Cincinnati, on the 27th of Dec. 1852, The following proceedings were then and there held to wit:
In the matter of the last Will and Testament of Thomas Lawson, deceased.
[Source: Submitted by Barb Ziegenmeyer]

John Cleves Symmes (1742 - 1814)
A Remarkable Will—The following is a correct transcript of the singular will of the founder of Cincinnati, Judge John Cleves Symmes, who died in Cincinnati on February 26, 1814 and was buried at North Bend, Ohio, according to his desire:

The last will and testament of John Cleves Symmes.
In the name of God, amen.
I, John Cleves Symmes, of North Bend, in the county of Hamilton and State of Ohio, being grievously afflicted with a cancer in my under lip, chin, and throat, which will undoubtedly shortly put an end to my life, while as yet I remain of sound mind and memory, do think it my duty to make and publish this my last will and testament, not so much, for the disposition of the small personal property which I shall possess at my Death, as the constitution and laws of the State of Ohio anticipates the necessity of my making will in that respect, my will being the same with the law quo ad goods, chattels, rights, and credits; but the circumstance which renders it necessary that I should make and publish this my last will and testament is to authorize my executors herein after named, and the survivor of them, to sell and dispose of and make title to the purchasers of those few fragments of land which I have never sold, and which as yet has not been torn from me under color of law, as by the laws of the State administrators cannot dispose of the real estate of their intestate without a rule of court authorizing them so to do. Therefore I, the said John Cleves Symmes, do hereby declare and appoint my worthy son-in-law William Henry Harrison, Esquire, and my beloved grandson John Cleves Short, Esquire, and the survivor of them, my true and lawful executors to this my last will and testament, hereby giving unto them and the survivor of them full power and lawful authority to sell all or any part of my lands and real estate, wherever any part or parcel thereof may be found or discovered within the said State of Ohio, and proceeds or monies arising from such sales equally to divide between them for their reward, in compensation for their trouble and services; first, however, paying thereout for all deficiencies in contents or number of acres that may be found wanting in the several tracts of land which I have heretofore sold and been paid for, but which on a re-survey may have been deeded by me for a greater number of acres than there really is in the tract. On the other hand many sections, quarter sections, fractions of sections, tracts and parcels of land, by me heretofore deeded for a given number of acres, strict measure, on a re-survey will appear to be larger, and contains a surplusage of land over and above the quantity of land sold or ever paid for. It is therefore my will and desire that my executors and the survivor of them seek after and enquire out these surplus lands by the assistance of the county surveyor, and that my executors dispose of such surplus lands at the same price with which they remunerate those whose deeds from me call for more land than is embraced within the limits or boundaries of my deeds to them. And my further will and request is, and I do hereby enjoin upon my said executors and the survivor of them, hereby investing in them and the survivors of them all lawful authority and full power for the purpose, to carry [out] all my special contracts with individual persons into full effect and final close, according to the tenor of each respective contract; provided, however, that the other party named in each several contract faithfully fulfill the conditions on their part stipulated to be performed, which conditions will appear on having recourse to their respective contracts. And my will is that my said executors have and possess, and I hereby give unto them, and the survivor of then all further necessary and usual powers to sue for and collect all or any part of my dues and debts, whether owing to me on bond, on note, or book debt; and also to pay all such debts as I justly owe; but there are some unjust claims against me founded in the deepest conspiracy, fraud and perjuries.
I hope I need make no apology to my children and grandchildren for not having so much property to leave to them as might have been expected from the earnings of a long, industrious, frugal, and adventurous life, when they recollect the undue methods taken, as well by the Government of the United States as by many individual private characters, to make sacrifice of my hardly earned property at the shrine of their avarice. It has been my particular lot to be treated with the blackest, blackest ingratitude, by some who now laugh at my calamity but who would at this day have been toiling in poverty, had not my enterprise to this country, my benevolence, or the property which they have plundered from me, have made them rich. How dark and mysterious are the ways of Heaven! I shall add nothing further save that it is my particular desire to be buried in the graveyard at North Bend, where the last twenty-five years of my life have been chiefly spent.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand to this, my last will and testament, on the thirty-first day of December, in the year eighteen hundred and thirteen.


Subscribed and sealed in presence of
Thos. Sloo, Junr.
[Source: "Greater Cincinnati and its People", 1927 - tr. by K. Ortman]


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