Wills of Japheth Towler 1791/1798 and Elizabeth Towler 
1818/1821

     Submitted by Ed Dolan 3 Jun 1999

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WILL OF JAPHETH TOWLER

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, VA. WILL BOOK 1, pp. 438-39. 

     In the name of God Amen. I Japheth Towler of Charlotte 
County and parish of Cornwall being sick and weak in body, but of 
perfect mind and memory do make and ordain this my last will and 
Testament, Towit: first and promptly of all I commend my soul to 
God. And as for my body I commend it to the ground to be buried 
in a Christian manner at the discretion of my executors, nothing 
doubting that at the general resurrection I shall recieve the 
same again by the mighty power of God. And as to my temporal 
Estate I dispose of it in the following manner. Item the whole of 
my estate both real and personal left to my beloved wife 
Elizabeth Towler during Natural life or widowhood with power to 
sell a slave or slaves in order to pay my lawfull debts or 
reserve for the legatees. Other part of my slaves I hereby give 
her full power by her will conform according to law; to manumit 
any one, more or all the slaves now delivered to her by my will, 
and also that may be born from her during her life; my children 
to be educated at her discretion; also the young negroes taught 
to read plain books of divinity at her discretion; should she 
marry, the estate both real and personal to be divided, one third 
of which she is to take, during her life, and after her decease 
the said one third to the other two thirds then to be equally 
divided amongst the legatees; the above two thirds during such a 
division as above to remain in the hands of the Executors for the 
legatees; continuing my wife the above authority of selling or 
manumitting the slaves as above. I constitute and appoint my 
beloved wife, Elizabeth Towler Executrix, Paul Carrington, [?], 
Thomas Spencer Junr., Thomas Pettus and James Towler Executors to 
this my last will and Testament. In witness whereof I have 
hereunto I have set my hand and affixed my seal this twenty third 
day of May one thousand seven hundred and ninety.  
 Tho. Pettus, Edm. Keeling [?spelling], Benj. Towler 


At a Court held for Charlotte County the 3rd of January 1791. 
     This last will and Testament of Japheth Towler [?] was 
Executed in Court by Elizabeth Towler the Executrix and Thomas 
Pettus one of the executors therein named and the said Thomas 
Pettus [re?] in open court the [?] of Executor of the said will 
and the same was proved by the oath of the said Executrix who 
made oath according to law, certificate is granted her for 
obtaining a probate of the said Will, she giving security 
whereupon she with Thomas Pettus, William Thweatt, and Henry Haly 
[?spelling] her securities entered into and acknowleged their 
bond for that purpose, reserving liberty to the other Executors 
to join in the probat [?] of when they shall think fit.  
                                 Teste Thomas Read 
 At a court held for Charlotte County the 5th day of February 
1798. Paul Carrington Gentleman one of the executors named in 
this will came into court and renounced the burthen of the 
execution of the said will. 
                                 Teste Thomas Read 
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WILL OF ELIZABETH TOWLER

     (Wife of Japheth. Family history records her maiden name as 
Bradley, daughter of James and Elizabeth Bradley (county 
unknown); no marriage record between her and Japheth has been 
found). 

 
(Charlotte Co. Will Book 5, p. 88)

     In the name of God Amen. I Elizabeth Towler of Charlotte 
County, calling to mind the uncertainty of life and the certainty 
of death, think it proper to make, constitute and ordain this my 
last will and testament in manner and form following. 
     To wit, Item 1st. I give and bequeath to my son Edward 
Towler one tract of land containing fifty six acres which I have 
purchased since the death of my husband as by reference to a deed 
to me for the same by Charles Noell and wife [illegible] also one 
third part of horses, cattle, sheep, and hogs, to him and his 
heirs forever. Item 2nd. I lend to my daughter Elizabeth Collier 
during her natural life one fifth part of my remaining estate, 
and after her death to be equally divided between the lawful 
heirs of her body. Item 3rd. The balance of my estate not herein 
before devised both real and personal or whatever it may consist 
of I wish equally divided between my four sons, James, William, 
Luke and Edward, to them and their heirs forever. Item 4th. It is 
my will and desire that each of the above named legatees, to wit, 
James Towler, William Towler, Elizabeth Collier, Luke Towler and 
Edward Towler should pay to my grandson Joseph B. Green ten 
pounds Virginia currency which I give to him and my heirs 
forever. Item 5th. I do not consider the heirs of my son Benjamin 
Towler dec'd. legatees of this my last will and testament and I 
do hereby (disannull?) all wills heretofore made by me. In 
testamony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal 
this twenty sixth day of September 1818. 
 Signed and delivered	                       her
 in presence of B.W. Lester	       Elizabeth   X    Towler 
 Richard Dabbs, Lewis Garnett                mark 
  At a Court for Charlotte County the 4th day of June 1821 
 This last will and testament of Elizabeth Towler was presented 
in Court the ? was proved by the oaths of Bryan W. Lester and 
Lewis Garnett witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded. 
                           Teste 
                           Winslow Robinson 

  [Note: The Edward Towler in this will emigrated to Marion Co., 
Mo. Married Ann Friend; James Towler married Lucy Ragsdale and 
went to Greene Co., Ohio; William Towler mar. Hannah Watson and 
settled in Mecklenburg Co., Va.; Elizabeth (Towler) Collier mar. 
Hamlett Collier in Charlotte Co. in 1802, and they moved to 
Nicholas Co., Ky.; Luke Towler married a sister of Hamlett 
Collier, Martha-they also went to Nicholas Co., and later, ca. 
1820, to Henderson Co., Ky.; I don't know what the problem was 
with Benjamin-he mar. Clarissa Cousins]. Ed Dolan.