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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

New Orleans Will of James Jones

Greetings Researchers:

I always remember Del Jupiter's important caution when researching family history. "Cast a wide net."

Although James Jones, a merchant in New Orleans is not a name that I research, I thought that the content of Jones' will might help someone.

I found the will below in the Cornell University's collection entitled New York State Historical Literature. James Jones frees and names free people of color. It reads:

Title: Abstracts of wills on file in the Surrogate's Office, City of New York (Volume XV. Feb 15, 1796-Jan 14, 1801)
Author: New York (County) Surrogate's Court.
Collection: New York State Historical Literature

ABSTRACTS OF WILLS LIBER 43. 167 LIBER 43. Page 11. JAMEs JONES, New Orleans, Merchant, an inventory of my estate has been made and signed and is now in the hands of my brother and late partner, Evan Jones, as I am about to depart for Europe; I bequeath Twenty dollars to be paid to the Reverend Vicar or other presiding pastor of this Colony, to be employed in such charitable purposes as he or they may think best; to my brother Evan Jones, all my estate, consisting of lands, houses, slaves, cash, bonds, notes and book debts; excepting the two following legacies, which shall be paid within a year after my decease; to my nephew, James Jones, son of my brother, Thomas Jones, New York, the sum of Five hundred dollars; in case of the death of my brother Evan Jones, all my estate to be equally divided among his children, John, Matilda, Evan, Maria, Thomas and Lise; my executor to pay five hundred dollars to James, a child of color, thirteen months, son of Aggy a mulatto woman, lately my slave but now made free, and this sum, I desire my executor to put out at interest on the terms she shall judge most prudent for the support and maintenance of the said James until he arrives at legal age when he shall receive the principal. I appoint my brother, Evan Jones, executor. Dated New Orleans, June 8, 1791. Witnesses not given. CoDIcIL. By way of supplement to that which I made in New Orleans, lodged in the office of Dr. Pedro Pedeschaux, City Notary, that I do by these presents at my decease give liberty and freedom to a slave named Edward a mulatto man, my present domestic; also I give him one hundred dollars to be paid him in four quarterly payments by my executor, within one year after my decease.

Dated New York, April 3, 1793. Proved February 43. 4 e 6, 1799, upon the testimony of Mathew Picardo, translator, and John Foley, merchant, who knew the testators handwriting.

Good Luck

K Wyer Lane


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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