I, John Merritt of the County of DeKalb and State of Tennessee, farmer, do make and publish this my last will and testament, hereby revoking and making void all former wills by me at any time hereto fore made.
And first, I direct that my body be directly interned at my family burying ground in said County in a manner suitable to my condition in life. And to such wordily estate as it hath pleased God to entrust me with; I dispose of the same as follows:
First, I direct that all my funeral expenses be paid out of any money that I may die possessed of or may first come to the hands of my executors, from any portion of my estate, real and personal.
Second, I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Nancy, my home, farm, where I now live to have full control of the same during her natural life. Also all the money that I may die possessed of. Also all the debts that are owing me, at my death, for her own use and benefit. Also as much other of my personal estate as she may see proper to keep but after he decease for all and every part thereof that may remain to be equally divided between our children.
Thirdly, I here state that I have already given my three sons, William H., Albert V., and Benjamin M. Merritt five hundred dollars worth of land and have executed to each of them my deed which deeds I desire to stand. I have also giv en each of my four daughters, Mary Haile, Elizabeth Conger, Sarah Garner, and Josephine wester, from time to time certain property for which I charged them in a book. I have also given my daughter Jane Johnson some prop erty which is also charged. I now give and bequeath to her the said Jane Johnson and her bodily heirs, a certain tract of land adjourning the land where on John Johnson now lives, beginning on a beech in a low gap on my line, running north course to Johnson's line. Thence up a branch to a mouth of a small hollow. Thence a west course to W.H. Merritt's corner, a beech and sugar trees. Thence south east with said line to two beeches. Thence to a stake in A.V. Merritt's line. Thence a south east corner with a conditional line between John Merritt's and A.V. Merritt's line. Thence a south corner with a conditional line between John Merritt's and A.V. Merritt's to the beginning, containing thirty six acre s more or less for which I charged him three hundred and sixty dollars. I also hold a certain note on her husband that I want her to have for which she is to be charged but she is not to have interest on said.
I now further direct that my tract of land adjoining B.M. Merritt's with all my personal estate except what my wife wishes to keep, be sold to the highest bidder on such time as will be to the best interest to the heirs out of which I want a settle ment made according to my book with my five daughters and each of their heirs, and be made up equal to five hundred dollars cash. Then at the decease of my wife, Nancy I desire the land on which I now live to be sold in like manner and all and eve ry part of my estate be sold by my executors without any decree of court, and that my heirs all join in making the title to the purchaser or purchasers, as the case maybe.
I do here by make, ordain and appoint my two beloved sons, William H. and Benjamin M. Merritt executors of my last will and testament.
I witness whereof I John Merritt the said testator have on this my will written on one sheet of paper set my hand and seal, this twenty-fourth day of January A.D. 1876.
Jas. M. Lee
J. G. Burton
Z. P. Lee
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