I have transcribed below the full text of the Will of James PORTER (d ca May 1824 - Washington, PA), which appears in Washington County Will Book No. 4 at Pages 72,73:
"Will of James PORTER, Deceased.
I James PORTER of East Bethlehem Township, in the County of Washington and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania do make and constitute this to be my last Will and Testament, concerning my estate, (revoking all other wills) in the words following:- That is to say, I will that my funeral expences and all other of my just debts, be paid as conveniently may be. It is my will that within a reasonable time after my decease, and appraisement of my personal property may be made, and so much thereof be exposed, to public sale as is not hereinafter excepted, and the proceeds thereof, together with the debts due me be applied to the payment of my debts, it is also my will, that my widow Anne PORTER, should remain in full possession of all my real estate, on the proceeds whereof to support herself, raise and educate my children George-John and Nancy. I also will that all wearing apparel, all household furniture all beds and beding one horse creature and two head of cattle, the choice of my widow be reserved for the use of the family, and not to be exposed to sale if the payment of my debts will not require it.
It is also my will that the benefits above bequeathed to my widow, should remain in her full possession, untill my sons be of the age of twenty-one years, and my daughter eighteen years if so long she remains my widow, and in that case she shall have a house and support out of the proceeds of my said estate during her natural life, but in case she should marry again she shall thereby forfeit the above mentioned benefits and shall be liable to be entirely dispossessed of all the real estate, by my children or their guardians, which may be appointed in that case nevertheless, should she by so marrying come to want, the children or their guardians shall, from the proceeds of the said estate, provide for her own personal support. It is also my will, that as soon as may be after the decease, of my wife or widow, my estate in lands and appurtenances be judiciously sold, and the proceeds thence arising together with all other of my effects then existing be equally divided amongst my several children, if the same cannot be advantageously divided. Lastly, I nominate and appoint Thomas BURSON Esq., of Greene County and Alexander STEWART of Millsborough in Washington County, sole executors of this my last Will and testament. Clothing them with the full power to execute the same in all things necessary to carry the same into effect. In Testimony whereof I James PORTER the Testator, have hereunto set my hand and seal, this ninth day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty four.
James PORTER (seal)
Signed, sealed, published and declared, by the above named James PORTER as his last Will and testament in the presence of us, who at his request, and in his presence, have subscribed our names as witnesses thereunto this 9th day of May 1824.
John BOWER, Willm. SCOTT.
Washington County ss: Be it remembered, that on the 28th day of June, Anno Domini 1824, before me Robert COLMERY, Register for the probate of Wills and granting letters of administration in and for said county, came James BOWER Esq., and William SCOTT, the subscribing witnesses to the within last Will and testament of James PORTER decd. who being duly sworn as the law directs, do depose and say, that they were personally present, and did see the testator therein named sign this Will and did hear him publish pronounce and declare the same, as and for his last Will and Testament. That at the time of his so doing he was to the best of their apprehensions of sound and disposing mind memory and understanding; and that they respectively subscribed their names as witnesses to this will in the presence, and at the request of the testator, and in the presence of each other.
John BOWER, Willm. SCOTT.
And sworn to and subscribed before me
R. COLEMARY, Regr.
July 28th 1824, Letters of Administration Testaments annexed issued to John BOWER Esq., who after giving bond with sureties was duly sworn.
R. COLEMARY, Regr.
Registered and compared with the original July 28th, 1824.
R. COLEMARY, Regr."
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NOTE: I attempted to faithfully transcribe the recorded will and associated entries EXACTLY as they appeared including spelling errors and punctuation (or sometimes lack thereof) EXCEPT for CAPITALIZING surnames and adding a few carriage returns for readability.
Though the Will identifies this James PORTER as being of East Bethlehem Township, Washington County, this Will almost surely is the instrument of the James PORTER enumerated in Cross Creek Township, Washington County, PA, in 1820:
James PORTER: 0 - 2 - 0 - 0 - 1 - 0 -- 1 - 0 - 0 - 1 - 0 -- 1 - 3 - 0 - 0
Wm. SCOTT: 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 1 - 0 -- 0 - 0 - 1 - 0 - 0 -- 0 - 1 - 0 - 0
[Page 225a, Microfilm Frame 0213, Roll M33 113, Image 7 of 39 for HANOVER Township, Washington County, PA in the Ancestry.com presentation of the Census data.]
Note that this James PORTER (b ca 1776-1794) has as his neighbor the William SCOTT who witnessed his Will. And this James PORTER also shows a wife, two boys age 10 to 17 (b ca 1803-1810) and one daughter under age 10 (b ca 1811-1820). These presumably are sons George and John and his daughter Nancy.
It would appear then that we can more precisely identify this family as:
James PORTER (b ca 1776-1794, d bef June 28, 1824)
m Anne ---- (b ca 1776-1794)
i. George PORTER (b ca 1803-1810)
ii. John PORTER (b ca 1803-1810)
iii. Nancy PORTER ((b ca 1811-1820)
I AM TRYING TO SORT OUT VARIOUS EARLY PORTERS IN WASHINGTON COUNTY, PA, AND JEFFERSON COUNTY, OH. IF ANYONE CAN FURTHER IDENTIFY THIS PARTICULAR JAMES AND ANNE PORTER AND THERE CHILDREN, PLEASE POST THE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AS A REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE!