A nuncupative will is an oral will declared or dictated before witnesses by the testator in his last illness. Afterwards, the will is reduced to writing and presented to the county court. A nuncupative will is often called a "death bed" will.
In 1833, Stephen Bennett declared his nuncupative will in Caldwell County, Kentucky. It was located among original wills of that year in the Caldwell County Clerk's Office in Princeton. This is what it says:
"Isaac B. McElroy declared on oath that Stephen Bennett died 23d day of June 1833, at his own house in Caldwell County - that in his last sickness and in the early part of the day on which he died he called the said Isaac and one Rowland M. Langston to take notice of his wish and request as to the deposition of his property; that the said Bennett did then, while in his perfect senses, and while he was of sound and disposing mind, say and declare that he wished as much of his property sold, including his crop of tobacco, and such as his family did not [crossed out] would not particularly need, be sold to pay his debts, that he wished the balance of his estate to be kept together for the purpose of raising his family or until they came of age; that his negro girl Viced he wished his wife to have as long as she lived; and that he wished David Perry to be his executor.
Rowland M. Langston came into Court and being duly sworn declared on oath that the said Stephen Bennett died on the 23d June 1833 at his own house in the sd. county, that in the last sickness of the sd. Bennett and in the forenoon of the day on which he died, while he was of sound and disposing mind, the sd. Bennett called on the said witness and one Isaac B. McElroy to take notice of his wish and request as to the deposition which he wished made of his property ...
It is ordered and considered by the Court that the foregoing be established the nuncupative will of Stephen Bennett dec'd. "
Letters testamentary were granted to David Perry.
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by Brenda Joyce Jerome, CG
Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog