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I've done some research to determine if the John Walker who witnessed (signed) Richard Byrd's 1803 will in Hawkins Co. was in fact HCJW. Attached below is part of the (partial) 1811 tax list for Hawkins Co. which lists Richard's widow, Betsy Bird. While HCJW doesn't appear on this list, Jesse Creech is the father of Moody Creech, who married Nancy Walker, daughter of Joshua Walker and granddaughter of HCJW. Likewise Joseph Epperson is the husband of Jane Walker, daughter of HCJW. The Wests are most likely relatives (one is probably the father) of William West, who married Sarah Walker, youngest daughter of HCJW. In short, Richard Byrd's widow appears to have resided in HCJW's neighborhood. My conclusion is that the will was witnessed/signed by HCJW.
Hawkins Co., TN
Captain Allen's Company 1811
Original Message -----
From: Randy Walker To: Willis, Bill ; Brimberry, Jerry Sent: Saturday, September 23, 2006 3:53 PM Subject: Re: [WALKER_SHORTLIST] Middle Fork John Walker Signature
Here we go gents. A will in Hawkins Co. dated 1803 that appears to have been signed by a John Walker. I need to get a copy of the original to see if the signature matches the 1777 petition. I hope this isn't a document that was re-copied by the clerk at some point in Hawkins Co. history. Even if the document on file isn't the original, and the signatures therefore can't be compared, it does add weight to the theory that HCJW could write, at least before the 1818 will. (Yes, I know that this could be yet another John Walker in Hawkins Co., but there is no evidence to suggest that at this time.)
WILL OF RICHARD BYRD
Page 31 Dated: March 5, 1803 In the Name of God, Amen. I, Richard Byrd of the County of Hawkins and State of Tennessee South of the River Ohio, planter, being in and of imperfect health of body, but in and of perfect mind and memory, thanks be given unto God. Calling to mind the mortality of my (blank space), and knowing that it is once appointed for all men to die, do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament. That is to say, principally and first of all, I give and recommend my soul into the hands of Almighty God that gave it and my body I recommend to the earth to be buried in decent Christian burial at the discretion of my Executor, nothing doubting but at the general resurrection, I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God. And, as touching such worldly estate wherewith it has pleased God to bless me in this live, I give, devise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form. My three eldest sons, naming first, William Byrd, second, John Byrd, third, David Byrd. I also give to my son David Byrd 17s10s in the form of his land, and two daughters, Jean McDaniel and Ann ___day and my two younger sons, Michael byrd & Richard Byrd, I, Richard Byrd, do consider that they have equally received of my estate one hundred dollars each. And I give and bequeath to my four younger children--two sons and two daughter: first, Elizabeth Byrd, second, Mary Byrd, likewise, James byrd and Charles Byrd, one hundred dollars a-piece as they come of age. Also, I bequeath to Elizabeth, my dearly beloved wife all the remaining horses, cattle, sheep, hogs and slaves and household goods and movable effects, together with the land and plantation on which I now live containing 200 acres, to be by her freely possessed during the term of her widowhood, at the expiration of which time, or at her death, I will the said land to my two youngest sons, James and Charles Byrd--the plantation to be divided. The hollow the wagon road runs up shall be the line betwixt them. THe end of the land which I now live on I do will to my son Charles and the other and to my son James. If the title of the land stand good, or is mad good by the substances of the place when they receive the said hundred dollars before mentioned and said land they are to have no part of the balance of the property: if the land is lost they are to have an equal part in the balance of the estate. The slaves that I will to my wife during her life or widowhood, my will is that she shall give them at her decease to her children that she thinks will use them well, and they are to be valued and they that receive them is to pay up the value of them in good trade at cash price with reducing their own part out. I say my will is that my five eldest sons and four daughters: William, John, David, Michael and Richard, Jane, Ann, Elizabeth and Mary shall have an equal part in my estate at the death of my wife, Elizabeth, that is left in her hands. I also constitute, make and ordain my dearly beloved wife Elizabeth, and my son William Byrd the sole Executors of this my last Will and Testament, and I do hereby utterly disallow, revoke and dis-annul all and every other former testament, wills, legacies, bequeaths and Executors by me before named, willed and bequeathed--ratifying and confirming this and no other to b my last Will and Testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 5th day of March in the year of our Lord, one Thousand eight hundred and three. Richard Byrd (seal) Signed, sealed and published, pronounced, declared by the said Richard Byrd as his last Will and Testament, in the presence of us who in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names. Test John Walker
Original Message -----
From: Randy Walker To: Jerry ; Bill Willis Sent: Saturday, September 23, 2006 3:42 PM Subject: Re: [WALKER_SHORTLIST] Middle Fork John Walker Signature
Yep, if MFJW isn't HCJW, then my HCJW is hiding somewhere else (I still think the case for HCJW is a strong one though). Seems like there was some document in early Hawkins Co., or the area from which it was formed, that was witnessed by a John Walker. More to ponder and sort out.
I'm still amazed and very inspired by the data you found on the Joseph Walker/Susan Willis line in Botetourt/Rockbridge Co., Jerry. Sometimes its easy to think that everything that can be found, has been found, and that's simply not the case. There's a lot out there that has yet to be discovered, as well as mistakes that have been made that are masking the truth. Let's hope we're not adding to the latter.