Amanuensis Monday – The Will of Richard Joliff
“A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.”
A few weeks ago I mentioned that my Grandfather had a match on his DNA to a Smith Family Descendant in Perry County, Kentucky. He graciously shared some of his research materials with me, which included the will of one Richard Joliff of Norfolk County, and state of Virginia. This will is important because it establishes that Samuel Smith was the husband of Richard Joliff’s daughter, Eunice Joliff, and that at the time Richard wrote his will in 1774 Samuel Smith was deceased. Although it is very clear that Eunice Smith was the mother of Richard Smith of Perry County, Kentucky (my DNA match’s 4th Great-Grandfather), many researchers of this family believe her husband to have been William Smith. I wrote of this discrepancy and my DNA match’s response in my last post. This will invalidates those beliefs and confirms that Samuel Smith was the husband of Eunice Joliff, not William Smith, and that Richard Smith was the grandson of Richard Joliff.
This is an image of the will of Richard Joliff, not in its entirety. This image shows that Richard Smith was mentioned as Richard Joliff’s grandson. This copy was mailed to me by Mr. Smith, 20 June 2011. He obtained this copy from a paid researcher who obtained the copy from the Norfolk County Will Book No. 2 1772-1788: 133, microfilm reel 48, no. 13851, Sargeant Room, Kirn Memorial Library, Norfolk, Virginia.
This is an image of the will of Richard Joliff, not in its entirety. This image shows that Eunice Smith was mentioned as Richard Joliff’s daughter and Samuel Smith as his deceased son-in-law. (see above description for provenance).
The following is a transcript of the will:
The Will of Richard Joliff
Written 26 April 1774, proved in Norfolk Co., VA court March 1779.
The following will of Richard Joliff was transcribed by Ginger R. Smith,grs3275(at)yahoo(dot)com, on 25 June 2011. A copy of this will was mailed to me by Mr. Smith on 20 June 2011.
In the name of God Amen, I Richard Jolliff of the county of Norfolk being at this time in a tolerable state of health and of perfect sense and sound mind and memory do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner And form following Imprimis I leave to my loving wife during her natural Life the use of Four negroes to witt Will, Bess, Vince, and Leggy [?] also one Cest bed and furniture and also an Equal part with my Children of all my household furniture and after the decease of my said wife, I give and Bequeath the said Negroes and household furniture to be equally divided am ongst all my Children Item My lands and plantation at Ireland I leave to be sold and I do hereby imp____ [?] my Executors, hereafter named to sell the same to the highest bidder and the money arising from such sale, I give to be equally Divided amongst my five grand children to witt, Richard Jolliff, Richard Smith, John Bray, James
[this is the end of the first page copy I received – there is some part of the copy missing here – according to the research report by the paid researcher the rest of the grandchildren are James Smith and Joliff Holstead. His son James Joliff was mentioned; ]
Item I leave one negro Peg and negro Jack to be hired out for the Bene fit of James Bray, John Bray, Sarah Bray, and Elizabeth Bray, during the term or time until the youngest shall be of age, and then give and bequeath the said negro Peg together with her increase as also the said Negro Jack to be Equally divided amongst them or the survivors of them Item the Negroes I have formerly given to my Children by word of mouth I now confirm as they have had them in possession Whom I formerly lent to my Daughter Mary which Negro I have sence taken home and have given and bequeathed to the our children of my said daughter Mary I give to my Daughter Eunys Smith a Bond which was giv en me by her late Husband Samuel Smith for the sum of Eighteen Pounds I leave four negroes to witt, Boatswain, Emanuel, Tim, and Amy To be equally Divided amongst all my children
Source: Richard Joliff will (1774), Norfolk County Will Book No. 2 1772-1788: 133, microfilm reel 48, no. 13851, Sargeant Room, Kirn Memorial Library, Norfolk, Virginia.