Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Will of Robert Kernachan, Sr.

Before I move on to the Malones, in this trail of Mariah's, there was much more on the Kernchans to be found. The Kernachan's were truly a collateral family of the Booths. Not only was the matriarch, Martha, the daughter of Thomas Booth, several of her children intermarried with other members of the Booth family or of families who already had existing links to them, like the Jones, Simmons and others. There is quite a bit to record of the younger generations of Kernachans, and when looking at which Robert was given trusteeship of Mariah's estate, I would have to say it was Robert, Sr. , husband of her aunt. Her cousin Robert, had quite a bit of trouble in life and his son Robert, died young. 
The Will below is that of Robert, Sr., and it is the document, which clearly defines Abraham as his brother, by naming Robert, Jr. as his nephew, and also names another brother, John, surviving and living in Ireland. Andrew and other members of the family had already passed. 

I will not attempt to copy all of the 'legalese' as it gets sometimes boring and means little at this point in time, but will pull out that information which identifies persons and property and relationships. 

"The State of Alabama, Lauderdale County.   I, Robert Kernachan a Citizen of said County, being of sound mind and memory but knowing that all men are mortal do hereby make and last will and testament...Item 1...debts....Item 2 As I will leave no children I give and bequeath all my Estate both real and personal to my nephew Robert T Kernachan of said County of Lauderdale. Intending hereby to give to my said Nephew Robert T. Kernachan all my property of every kind and description whatsoever such as land, houses, horses, mules, cattle, hogs, household and kitchen furniture, cash on hand notes and accounts, and all other claims due including my Railroad stock and all my property without exception. 

Item 3rd  The land w Plantation which I have devised in the 2nd Item above is the tract of land on which I reside.......bounded on the south by Alexander Beckwith and on the West by the lands of Martha Koger and on the east by the lands of  Lawrence Thompson and on the North by the lands of Edmond Noel, situated in the County of Lauderdale.

I hereby bequeth to my nephew with a legacy of two thousand dollars which I direct to be paid to my brother John Kernachan of Carrigan County, Donegal, Ireland if then living, if not to his heirs at law by which I mean his children or their child or children of them who have died leaving a child or children, them being the grandchildren of said John Kernachan.
Item 4 Appoint Robert T Kernachan, nephew, administrator

5th of July 1864

Witnesses: James Simpson, James Boddie, A Kimmer

Robert Kernachan's will Continued
My nephew Robert T Kernachan to whom I bequeathed my property in my last will and testament having claimed the object of this Codicil is to give and bequeth to the children of the said Robert T Kernachan, all the property which is in the foregoing last will and testament made by me...given by my hand and seal April 2nd 1868

Witnesses: Francis Jones, G B Thompson, W H Jones

I hereby nominate and appoint A E E Kernachan, widow of Robert T Kernachan sole executrix of this my last will and testament....

Robert Kernachan  April 1868
Witnesses: W H Jones, H G Winborn, A W Beckworth.

Followed by several pages of statements from the witnesses of the signing of the will or to the Codicil stating how long they had known Robert Kernachan, how they knew him, did they know of his property and how old he was. All stated that they had known him in excess of 20 years, that he was about 72 years old and that he owned a plantation in Lauderdale County. 

The 1850 census showed Robert T Kernachan Sr and Robert T Kernachan Jr. living side by side. Robert T Kernachan, Sr died  January 14, 1869. His nephew Robert T. Kernachan Jr, had died the previous year, March 28, 1868.  Robert Jr. was a recent veteran of the Civil War.

              His death was not natural.


  1. Interesting. I am descended from John Kernachan from Carrigans as he is the only of that name listed there in the Griffiths valuation that would most likely make us kin. Two of John's daughters settled in Illinois but before they moved in land on of them returned with her family to Ireland to present John with a bible. Which was meticulously filled in with births, marriages and deaths until my generation. Interesting to read this blog about earlier emigration to America by Kernachan folk.

    1. I am a descendant of one of John's daughters that settled in Illinois, Mariah Caroline. I think maybe John named her after Abraham's daughter Mariah C. I have not been able to find out the middle name of Mariah C. Mariah C. was born in 1822. My Mariah Caroline was born in 1824. My Mariah Caroline named her daughter Mariah Caroline and she also had a son named William Bloomfield similar to the name Matilda Bloomfield. The Bloomfield name is used in later generations also. A son that died as a small child was called William Graham and that makes we wonder if the G in Muriel's middle name might have been Graham. It is very puzzling that Abraham and Robert came to America at such young ages and that John and their mother Martha stayed behind. I am also curious that they didn't seem to want to use the name of the mother of Abraham, Robert, Andrew and John (Martha) for their children since they seemed to favor using other names for family. Sarah Elizabeth did name a daughter Martha Ann. A puzzling family!