The Will of

John Rodes


Albemarle County, Virginia

Will Book 14, p. 167

I, John Rodes of Albemarle County and state of Virginia do hereby make my last will and testament in manner and form following – that is to say;

First, I desire that my just debts be paid.

Secondly, I lend to my wife Francina Rodes all my Estate, both real and personal during her widowhood; and in case she marries I leave her one third part of my Estate both real and personal during her life.

Thirdly, I give to my four sons Ryland, John, William, and Tyre all my lands jointly to be divided as they can agree, but if they cannot, then I wish the County Court of Albemarle to appoint such men as they may think proper to divide the lands equal in quality & quantity which division so made shall be valid and binding on my said four sons, by their paying to my five youngest daughters Five thousand dollars, within three years after the marriage or death of my wife, at which time my sons will have possession of the Land except my wife's dower, in case of her marriage, and should my wife be willing to relinquish her claim of her life Estate to any part of her land to my sons at any time, then they may sell the said land and divide the money equally amongst them, or if they can agree upon a division of the whole lands within themselves it may be done at any time. But if they cannot agree a majority of them may call on the County Court of Albemarle to appoint Commissioners to divide for them, and such division shall be valid on them.

In case any one or more of my five youngest daughters die under age without a lawful heir I wish then that survives to heir the five thousand dollars in equal proportion, and also if any one or more of my sons die under age, or without a lawful heir, the surviving sons to heir the lands in equal proportion.

Thirdly, I desire all my perishable property be sold at my wife's death or marriage, as the case may be, and my negroes divided into as many lots as there are legatees, by such men as my executors shall one cause to appoint to value the negroes. I wish families put as much together as the nature of the case will admit, and each legatee draw for their lot or the men that allot them draw for them: the lots to be made equal either in money or accounts by the said men that allot them.

Fourthly, I wish all my estate equally divided amongst all my sons and daughters except my land, which is already devised at the death or marriage of my wife. I also wish that the lands devised to my four sons be held bound to my five youngest daughters, for the payment of the Five thousand dollars.

Fifthly, My desire is that my wife shall be vested with the same power that I now stand in, with regard to my five youngest daughters, after my death; in the event of their marrying unfortunately by securing the right of their property to them and their children, by lending them property their life time, and giving it to their children after their death or by not giving them anything during her life and binding what is devised by my will to them and their children, as I have given my wife full control over my Estate during her widowhood. I wish her to have the same power to give my children such property as she thinks she can spare, or lend as she sees cause – and such gift or loan shall be as valid, as if it was done by myself in my life time. In case my wife marries I wish a division to take place, but for her still to have the same control over my five youngest daughter's estates, as if she was not married, in regard of securing the right of their property should they marry unfortunately, & I do hereby vest the whole and sole right of my five youngest daughter legacies devised by this will to them, in my wife, during her life time in trust for my said five youngest daughters and leaving it to her discretion to relinquish her claim to their estate when she sees cause.

In the event that any of my children, after becoming of lawful age and dying without a lawful heir, they shall have power to convey any thing they receive of my will to whoever they think proper. And in case my wife shall be willing to remove to any part of the Western Country, my desire is that she may take any part of her life estate with her, and enjoy the right of the same during her life or widowhood, as if she had remarried in Albemarle County and to authorize any one or more of my sons to sell my land in Albemarle County and invest the money arising from the sale of the land in other lands wherever they may think proper & the lands so purchased shall belong to my four sons in the same manner as the lands did here in Albemarle County – the expense of moving to be charged to my four sons, and taken out of the sale of the lands in Albemarle County.

My daughter Sidney has received Four thousand dollars agreeable to my own judgment, this sum I wish her charged with in a final division of my estate, without any interest on the same, and any advancements that my wife shall make to any of the children, I wish them charged with the same without interest at a final division. I intend to keep an account of what advancements I make in my life time, and leave it in the care of my wife, which I wish her to keep, and likewise to keep an account of what she gives away, agreeable to our estimation of the property & leave it in the hands of my executors. I wish my wife to confer with my friends Micajah Woods and Dr. Charles Brown as to the value of the property she gives away, but what she says is the value, she shall charge them with.

Lastly, I appoint my wife executrix, and all of my sons executors of this my last will, but my sons not to qualify in my wife's life time unless at her request, and to close their business at her request at any time, and any of them may quality that she may choose to act for her from time to time. I wish no appraisement of my Estate, but an Inventory returned, neither do I wish my wife to be held to security if she wishes to qualify as Executrix, nor any of my sons held to security in my wife's life time unless she wishes it done. Given under my hand & seal this 15th day of May 1825.

John Rodes (seal)

P.S. If any majority of my sons wish a division of my Estate any time after three years after my death it may be divided.

J. Rodes


Nathaniel Thompson

Micajah Woods

Charles Brown

May the 13th – 1840-

I make this codicil to my last will and testament hearing date the 15th of May 1825, and witnessed by Micajah Woods and Dr. Charles Brown to the following effects viz. The entire legacies of every kind whatsoever that would devolve from my said will to my two daughters Virginia D. Smith and Lucy Ann Payne, I hereby vest the right and title of said property in my two sons Ryland and William as trustees for my said two daughters for their exclusive benefit and separate maintenance, during their life, and then to go to their children equally. I wish a division of my estate to take place as soon after my death as the nature of the case will admit. Given under my hand and seal the day and date above written.

John Rodes (seal)


Charles Brown

Nathaniel Thompson

(NOTE: This section was struck through)


N.B. As my daughter Lucy Ann Payne has but one child, if she dies and leaves no offspring, I want all the property and money arising from my estate to be equally divided between my other five daughters and their heirs – Ryland & William to have the entire management of it all.

At a Court held for Albemarle County 5th April 1841

This last will and testament of John Rodes together with the codicil was produced into Court, and proved by the oaths of Charles Brown and Nathaniel Thompson and ordered to be recorded.

Teste: Ira Garrett C.C.

_ The above erasure was made by myself ---

(Transcriber's note: I accidentally cut off the bottom of the page.)