Ben Ponzoo's Granted Freedom in Will 1851

When I first started this work as a teenager, I was
disenhearted to learn that my ancestors were slaveowners. 
In my search I found stories about one of the slaves of my
5th great grandfather - a man named Ben Ponzoo. They lived
in Monongalia county Virginia (Now West Virginia). I always
wanted to know more about Ben and his family and have always
wondered where they came from and what ever became them.  I
had heard that Ben was buried next to Peter and that his
grave was marked with a huge stone.  When I was a boy my
grandfather and I finally discovered Ben's gravestone in the
family cemetery next to Peter and Elizabeth. It was a
forgotten cemetery out in the country all grown up in the

Last Will and Testament of Elizabeth Tennant

Monongalia County, Virginia ( now West Virginia)
Wills, Book 2 p 131
27 August 1851

I Elizabeth Tennant of Monongalia County and State of
Virginia do hereby make my last will and testament in manner
and form following, that is to say after all my honest debts
and funeral expenses be paid -

1st I desire after my death all my Negroes shall have their
freedom Namely CHARLES, MILLEY and BENJAMIN.  I desire that
my servant BENJAMIN shall have at my decease one three year
old bay horse and one yearling horse colt and also one gray
mare and also to have all of his clothing, beds and bedding
and also the moneys that belong to him.

Further.  I desire that MILLEY shall have one cow at my
death also I desire that my servant CHARLES have all that he
took away with him further I desire that my servant MILLY
shall have thirty dollars out of my estate after my decease.

Further. I desire that if I should drop off with my present
illness that my Negroes shall have one year's provisions out
of the present crop growing on the farm and also that the
above named property, bequeath to my Negroes shall be kept
on the farm one year free of costs further I desire that my
Negroes shall have all the bees that they claim.

I desire that after the above distribution is made that the
balance of my estate be equally divided among my several
heirs namely Richard D. Tennant, Adam Tennant, Nimrod , Enos
and Rebecca. further I desire that  my son Enos Tennant be
appointed to execute this my last will.  In witness whereof
I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 27th
day of August in the year 1851.

               Elizabeth (her X mark) Tennant

Witnesses: Joseph Eddy and Jacob G. Haught

Ben and Milley as family tradition says remained in the area
and Charles was said to have moved to Canada.  I have more
traditional stories - some of them very entertaining about
Ben's life on the farm.     To learn more E-mail me - John
M. Price at BlackOak59

Contributed by:  blackoak59@aol.com "John M. Price"