The Will of Richard Joliff

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.

RichardJoliffWill-1

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.

RichardJoliffWill-2

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; ]

[page 2]

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.

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3 Responses to “The Will of Richard Joliff”

  1. Great job Ginger, I know it was not easy transcribing this Will. I really appreciate it. And thank you for setting history straight about who Eunice was married to….Samuel Smith rather than William, as many researchers have copied over and over.

  2. Thanks Linda! The transcript is on our Facebook page, by the way :-) But now this is on the internets!!!

  3. Mike Freels Says:

    Thanks for posting this. Very interesting! I think we are slowly closing in on our Smith ancestors!

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