Ed. note — This is the will used by the author of Our Heritage to establish a connection between Thomas Howell Craton and the Craytons of South Carolina. Believing Samuel Crayton to be the father of Thomas Howell, the author proceeded to trace Thomas’s ancestry back to Cork County, Ireland. However, it is my firm belief that the author was mistaken in making the assumption of a direct descent from Samuel Crayton. The date of the will (1828) shows that it was written when Thomas Howell Craton was at least 44 years of age. Yet items nine, ten, and eleven in the will clearly indicate that the children of Samuel Crayton (of whom Thomas was the youngest) were all under the age of twenty-one. The will is presented here simply to show that it is highly unlikely to reference the ancestor of the Paulding County Cratons.
THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN
I, Samuel Crayton, of the District of Greenville and State of forsaid, being of sound mind and disposing memory, and calling to mind that it is appointed for all men to die, do make this my last will and testament and revolk all former wills by me made and established this and only this to be my will and testament.
In the first place I yield my soul to God, who gave it and my body to be decently buried by my executors herein after named.
In the second place as to the goods of this world with which I have been blessed, I dispose of in the following (VIZ).
First it is my will that my executors pay all my just debts.
Secondly: It is my will that my executors sell two small tracts of land lying in Greenville District, one containing on hundred and thirteen acres purchased by me at sheriffs sale and other lies on Enoree, adjoining lands of Street Thouston, containing sixty acres also purchased by me at sheriff's sale, either at private or publick sale, as they may deem advisable and full power and authority are hereby given them to make titles to the said tract of land.
Thirdly: I have five shares purchased from five of the heirs of Matthew Waynne deceased, in the tract of land whereon Mrs. Susannah Waynne lives which is to be divided at her death at which division I authorize my executors to bid a reasonable price for the land and if proper to purchase more shares at their discretion before the death of Mrs. Susannah Waynne, and take titles for my heirs and representatives.
Fourthly: It is my will and desire that should the above name tract of land be purchased by my executors that it as well as my plantation lying in Pinkens District and on the waters of GEORGE’S CREEK, should be rented out from year to year at the discretion of my executors till a partition be made of my estate among my heirs.
Fifthly: I have four negroes at my Mothers in Abbyville namely Clair and her three children Kitty, Tilda and Jackson, which it is my will and desire should remain with my Mother during her life, free from charge for her assistance and support, and which at her death are to be returned into my estate and made a part thereof.
Sixthly: It is my will and desire that my wife, Mary Crayton, be permitted first to take as many slaves for use about the house as she may deem necessary and that all the rest be hired out from year to year at the discretion of my executors or should they deem it proper to sell one or more of them on account of bad habits or bad qualities, full power is hereby given them to do so.
Seventhly: It is my will that all the surplus property not before dispose of after my wife shall take such stock of horses, cattle, hogs, and household and kitchen furniture as she with my executors shall deem necessary and proper for her convenience, maintenance and support, should be sold on a credit of twelve months.
Eightly: It is my will that my wife Mary Crayton do live on and occupy my house and lots in the town of Greenville for an during her natural life or widowhood and in case she maries they are to constitute a part of my estate for distribution.
Ninthly: It is my will that all my three children namely Balis F., Mary Jane and Thomas Crayton, be educated out of the estate before any portition is made and it is my desire that Balis I Earle, Esq’r direct the manner in which my sons shall be educated and that they be educated as he shall direct and in case of the death of the said Baylis I Earle Esq’r, as William Chaise Esq’r shall direct.
Tenthly: I give and bequeath to my son Balis F. Crayton, my gold watch, which is to be kept in the family by his mother till he shall arrive at the age of twenty-one years, then to be his right and property forever.
Eleventh: It is my will and desire that when my wife shall claim a portation of my estate or anyone of my children shall arrive to the age of twenty-one and claim a division that the whole of my estate shall be valued by my executors or three persons by them be named for that purpose, so they do not value and property herein before dispose of, and that then one-fourth of the whole to be set apart for my wife which is to be in full of her share and in lieu of her dower and one fourth for each of my children. Share and share alike. That after one fourth is taken out the rest returns as common stock till another claims partition, and should any one or more of my children die without issue before arriving to twenty-one years of age his, her or their share to go to the survivors or survivors of my children forever.
Lastly: I constitute, nominate and appoint my beloved wife Mary Crayton, executrix and Baylis I Earle and William Chaise Esqr's executors to this my last will and testament reposing confidence in them that they will execute it strictly.
Signed Sealed Acknowledge
and declared the 15th day of
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