Thursday, March 23, 2017

Beatty - Towles Marriage Contract 1857

A marriage contract was designed to protect the property of each party, especially the property acquired during a previous marriage or by inheritance from family. Marriage contracts are found in the deed books.

The following document[1] provides valuable information. It tells us that a marriage is shortly intended between James Beatty and Judith Towles and gives us the name of her previous husband and the names of their children. In addition, it provides the name of  her father.

This Indenture made this the 19th day of May 1857  Between James Beatty of the first part & Judith T. Towles of the second part and both of the county of Henderson and State of Kentucky  Witnesseth that whereas the parties have agreed this day to unite in marriage, and whereas James Beatty is desirous to secure to  Judith T. Towles & her children by Thos. Towles, dec'd   towit: Mary Towles, Ann T. Towles, Martha Towles, Thos. Towles & Betty Towles such as she may have by the sd. James Beatty the means of support & maintenance. Now, in consideration of the agreement to marry,  James Beatty hereby covenants with Judith T. Towles that she shall hold for her own separate use and benefit &  support of James Beatty & her children , all of the property which she now owns real, personal and mixed and whether held for life or in fee & which has come to her by gift or devise or in any other way whatever from Thos. Towles Jr. dec'd, Thos. Towles Sr. dec'd or from her father Henry Dixon Sr. or which may hereafter come to her from the estate of either of the three persons last named.  That the property its increase & proceeds shall in no way be liable for any debts  contracts or obligation of  James Beatty now existing or which may hereafter be contracted by him & that the property shall not be subject to the control or disposition of James Beatty, but by the consent of Judith T. Towles & for the purpose heretofore expressed. And the parties hereto in consideration  of the agreement & their love and affection for the afore named children of Thos. Towles Jr. dec'd mutually bind themselves to provide for their maintenance & education in a manner suitable to their rank and condition in life so far as the proceeds of the property herein secured will suffice. And it is further agreed that should any of the children of Thos. Towles Jr. dec'd marry in the lifetime of Judith T. Towles she shall have the same right to make to the children so marrying any advance out of the sd. property she may deems proper as though she had remained sole & unmarried. And the parties agree & mutually bind themselves to each other & to the children that they will hold all the property in Trust for the purposed herein expressed.  In witness whereof the parties have hereunto set their hands & seals this the day and date above written.  [signed]  James Beatty (seal)  Judith T. Towles (seal)

State of Kentucky = Henderson County, Sct:
I William D. Allison clerk of the County Court of Henderson County do certify that this marriage contract & agreement between James Beatty and Judith T. Towles was this day duly acknowledged before me in my county by James Beatty & Judith T. Towles to be their act and deed and thereupon the same together with this certificate was truly recorded in my office - Witness my hand this 19th day of May 1857.  [signed] Will D. Allison C.H.C.C.  By John Young  D.Clk.

[1] Henderson County, Kentucky  Deed Book R, pages 238-239, Henderson County Clerk's Office, Henderson, Kentucky.

Published 23 March 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

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