Petition to the Will 1844

Documents on this page transcribed by Mark Fleszar, Georgia State University, April 2008

The petition to the will made by Martha McNeill and others to Judge Farquhar Bethune, filed November 30, 1844. (M87-20, Florida State Archives, Tallahassee)

To the Honorable Farquhar Bethune Judge of the County Court of Duval County in the Territory of Florida in Probate sitting:

Humbly propounding sheweth unto your Honor your petitioners Martha McNeill, William Gibbs McNeill, and Catherine Palmer, late Catherine McNeill of Stonington in the State of Connecticut Anna Whistler, late Anna McNeill, & George W. Whistler her husband of St. Petersburg in the Empire of Russia, Isabella King, late Isabella Gibbs, and Ralph King her husband of New Orleans in the state of Louisiana and Sophia H. Cooper, late Sophia Gibbs of Fort George Island in Duval County aforesaid heirs of Zepheniah Kingsley late, and legal representatives of Fort George Island aforesaid in the County aforesaid deceased, That the said Zepheniah Kingsley departed this life in the City of New York in the State of New York in or about the month of September in the year of our Lord one thousand Eight Hundred and forty three leaving your petitioners and Kingsley B. Gibbs of Fort George Island aforesaid in the County aforesaid, George Cooper Gibbs of New Orleans aforesaid, in the State of Louisianna aforesaid and Charles J. McNeill San Jose of Duval County aforesaid (as your petitioners believe) his only heirs and legal representatives and also leaving a large estate consisting of Lands money slaves and other property a considerable portion of each of [which] [illegible due to tear] the time of the death of the said Zepheniah Kingsley [illegible] jurisdiction of this Honorable Court To wit in Duval County aforesaid And your petitioners further shew unto your Honor that the said Zepheniah Kingsley in his life time to whit: on or about the twentieth day of July in the year one thousand eight hundred and forty three at Jacksonville in the County aforesaid made and executed (a certain instrument of writing which he called) his Last Will and

[Page 2]

Testament bearing date same day and year last aforesaid (but which for reasons hereinafter stated your petitioners are advised and believe was and is entirely null and void by which same Instrument of writing he the said Zepheniah Kingsley after directing that all his true and lawful debts, funeral expenses and testamentary changes and expenses should be fully paid and discharged so soon as might be after his death; made, so far as by such [illegible due to tear and fold] instrument of writing—and [bequests] to divers persons viz:

To his Nephew Kingsley B. Gibbs whom your petitioners pray may be made a party defendant in this case he devised (so far as thereby he could devise) one half of his Two thousand acre tract (of Land) in Twelve mile Swamp which, when divided, into two parts would give one thousand acres of Land for the said Kingsley B. Gibbs, one half (be the same more or less to him, his heirs, and assignees; and did also bequeath to the said Kingsley B. Gibbs his (the said Zepheniah Kingsley’s) Schooner, North Carolina, with all its appurtenances, and his (the said Zepheniah Kingsley’s) books and arms not otherwise disposed of. And to his (the said Zepheniah Kingsley’s) nephew George Cooper Gibbs he (the said Zepheniah Kingsley) by the same instrument of writing did bequeath (so far as thereby he could bequeath) in fee simple absolute all the remaining one half of the aforementioned two thousand acre tract in Twelve mile Swamp which will be one thousand acres more or less. [illegible due to tear] nephew Charles J McNeill he the said Zephaniah Kingsley by the same instrument of writing did bequeath (so far as thereby he could bequeath) in fee simple absolute a certain tract or parcel of land situated at Beaucler’s Bluff between Cowen & Currie

[Page 3]

writing so called by the said Zepheniah Kingsley) his Last Will & Testament (so far as by the said instrument of writing he could confer such appointment) and that he (the said Zepheniah Kingsley) also by the same instrument of writing appointed the said Benjamin A. Putnam to act as legal attorney and advisor in all matters and things relating to the interests of his (the said Zepheniah Kingsley’s) Estate (so far as he thereby could confer such authority or make such appointments) with a fee to be paid to him, the said Benjamin A Putnam by it of one thousand Dollars.

And your Petitioners further show unto your Honor that the said Zepheniah Kingsley did by the same instrument of writing (so by him called his Last will and Testament) revoke (so far as he thereby could) all other Wills by him (the said Zepheniah Kingsley) theretofore made. All of which will more fully and at large appear by the same instrument of writing now on file in this Honorable Court reference thereto being had.

And your Petitioners further shew unto your Honor that on or about the twenty fifth day of September in the same year one thousand eight Hundred and forty three William S. Donaldson and David McCuen two of the subscribing witnesses to the said instrument of writing—appeared before Isaiah D. Hart Esquire Clerk of this Honorable Court at Jacksonville in the County aforesaid and made oath that they (the said William S. Donaldson and David McCuen) saw the said Zepheniah Kingsley sign seal and deliver the same as his Last will & Testament, and that they verrily believed the writing exhibited to be the Last will and testament of the deceased Zepheniah Kingsley; but who presented or exhibited the said instrument of writing to the said Isaiah D. Hart Esq: Clerk as aforesaid for such proof on who produced or caused the said witnesses to attend then to make such proof your petitioners are not

[Page 4]

informed, but suppose it may have been the said Kingsley B. Gibbs. But your Petitioners are informed & believe and so they expressly charge and alledge that neither the said Kingsley B. Gibbs or Benjamin A. Putnam have at any time made oath before this Honorable Court or before the said Isaiah D Hart Esq: Clerk as aforesaid that he believed the said instrument of writing to be the Last will and Testament of the said Zepheniah Kingsley deceased.

And your petitioners further shew unto your Honor and also alledge and expressly charge that they were not nor was either of them present when the said instrument of writing was so presented or exhibited to the said Isaiah D Hart Esq. &c., & for probate thereof nor were they or either of them present when the said proof of the Execution thereof was taken; nor were they or either of them notified to attend or in any way informed that such proof was about to be tendered or taken. Nor were they or either of them even notified that Letters Testamentary were about to be applied for upon the said instrument of writing as the Last will and Testament of the said Zepheniah Kingsley, or otherwise, nor were they or either of them present at any time when any letters testamentary were granted or issued upon the said instrument of writing as such last will and testament or otherwise; nor were they or either of them notified to attend or informed that such Letters Testamentary were about to be applied for, or of the time when, or place where, they were applied for before the same were issued, nor was any opportunity afforded to them or either of them to attend & shew cause against the making of such proof or the granting or issuing of the said Letters testamentary and that the said probate and the said Letters testamentary are for that cause

[Page 5]

containing sixty two & a half acres of land (be the same more or less) and also his (the said Zepheniah Kingsley’s) three hundred acre tract situated at the head of six mile, saw mill creek flats; and also his (the said Zepheniah Kingsley’s) negro women Betty and Peggy, the daughter of Nancy and all their children & issue; and also one of his (the said Zepheniah Kingsley’s) Horses, saddle &c, at his (the said Charles J McNeill’s) choice. All the above mentioned property as bequeathed to the said Charles J McNeill to be in fee to him his heir &c.

And to George Kingsley (whom he the said Zepheniah Kingsley in the said instrument of writing called) his son by Anna Madgigine Jai Kingsly he (the said Zepheniah Kingsley) by the said instrument of writing did bequeath (so far as he could thereby bequeath) all of his (the said Zepheniah Kingsley’s) nautical instruments including Mapps, Charts &c to be sent out to him (the said George Kingsley) at Hayti by way of New York or otherwise free of expense to him, the said George Kingsley.

And your petitioners further shew unto your Honor that the said Zepheniah Kingsley did by the same instrument of writing so by him called his Last will & Testament as aforesaid direct that as soon after his (the said Zepheniah Kingsley’s) decease as should be convenient to his executors; All the specified Legacies and devises aforesaid should be sepera-ted set apart and received by his (the said Zepheniah Kingsley’s) Executors for the specified purposes aforesaid. And that all the remaining parts of his (the said Zepheniah Kingsley’s) property Real & Personal including what sums might be received from the Government in compensation for losses (sustained) in the years one thousand eight hundred and twelve, and one thousand eight hundred and thirteen, or since; of what nature or kind so ever, after the payment of his (the said Zepheniah Kingsley) just debts, should by
[Page 6]

his executors be sold and converted into money and the nett amount be divided into twelve equal parts or shares; one of which parts or shares (the divested should be paid to his (the said Zepheniah Kingsley’s) nephew Kingsley B. Gibbs in full compensation for all the claims which he the said Kingsley B. Gibbs might have or devise against his (the said Zepheniah Kingsley’s) estate; and that one Twelfth part should be paid to his (the said Zepheniah Kingsley’s) nephew Charles J. McNeill in full compensation for whatever the said Charles J. McNeill might claim or devise against his (the said Zephaniah Kingsley’s) Estate; And that one twelfth part should be paid to Anna Madgigne Jai Kingsley; or to her heirs or assigns, two parts to John Maxwell Kingsley (whom he, the said Zepheniah Kingsley in the said instrument of writing called) his son by Anna M Jai. Four parts to be paid to the said George Kingsley; Two parts to be paid to Flora H. Kingsley her heirs or assigns; and one part to Micanopy the son of Sarah M. Kingsley should he (the said Micanopy) live until the years of discretion[.]

And your petitioners further shew unto your Honor that the said Zepheniah Kingsley by the said instrument of writing so by him called his Last will & Testament as foresaid further declared that all the foregoing legacies and bequests therein were granted in fee simple absolute on condition that no further claim or action of Law should be instituted or suggested by any of the parties against his (the said Zepheniah Kingsley’s) Estate except the usual lawful charges and commissions.

And your petitioners further shew unto your Honor that the said Zepheniah Kingsley by the same instrument of writing so by him called his last will and testament as aforesaid appointed Kingsley B. Gibbs and Benjamin A. Putnam of Florida; and the said George Kingsley Executors of (the said instrument of)

[Page 7]

his death as aforesaid; and that the said John H. McIntosh and Albert G. Philips did on the same day & year last aforesaid make and file in this Honorable Court an appraisement of certain of the said personal property & slaves amounting to the sum of thirty thousand and eighty Dollars, as will more fully and at Large appear by reference to the records & proceedings in relation to said Estate now remaining on file in this Honorable Court reference thereto being had, and your Petitioner for greater certainty beg leave to refer to all the records and proceedings on the hearing of this matter.

And your Petitioners further shew unto your Honor that the said Kingsley B. Gibbs and Benjamin A. Putnam who are so acting as such Executors as aforesaid have not filed in this Honorable Court any inventory of any of the personal property and slaves belonging to said Estate except what is contained in said appraisement, and your Petitioners are advised and believe that said appraisement does not contain such an inventory as is required by Law in such cases; and that such as it is, it does not contain any list or item of notes, bonds, accounts, or other claims due to the said Estate, of which, your Petitioners are informed & believe that these are a very considerable number, amounting to a very large sum; but what number or to what sum they amount your Petitioners do not know; nor does the said appraisement contain any item or account of any monies recovered of the Government of the United States (as will appear by reference thereto) although your Petitioners are informed and believe and so state the fact to be, that the said Kingsley B Gibbs and Benjamin A. Putnam, as such Executors as aforesaid have received, or have to theircredit in some bank in the City of New York or elsewhere at least Forty Thousand Dollars. of money which has been recovered of the Government aforesaid for losses sustained by the said Zepheniah Kingsley by the operation of the

[Page 8]

entirely defective and invalid, and ought to be revoked and annulled.

But your Petitioners further shew unto your honor & so they Expressly charge that notwithstanding they had no notice as above alleged Letters testamentary were on the same day & year last aforesaid issued by the said Isaiah D Hart Esq: Clerk as aforesaid to the said Kingsley B Gibbs upon the said instrument of writing as the Last will & Testament of the said Zepheniah Kingsley decd. and that afterwards To wit on or about the thirteenth day of December in the said year one thousand Eight Hundred and forty three Letters Testamentary were granted and issued to the said Benjamin A. Putnam upon the said instrument of writing as the Last will & Testament of as aforesaid by the Honorable John L. Doggett the Judge of this Honorable Court at his Chambers, but that neither of the said Letters testamentary were issued under the seal of this Honorable Court and that they & each of them are, for that cause, as well as the cause above alleged wholly invalid[.]

And your Petitioners further shew unto your Honor than the said Kingsley B. Gibbs and Benjamin A Putnam each took the oath prescribed by Law as Executors of the said supposed Last Will and Testament of the said Zepheniah Kingsley deceased at the time when the said Letters Testamentary were respectively issued to them, as aforesaid, and thereupon respectively took upon themselves the execution of the said Last Will and Testament and entered upon the discharge of their supposed duties as such Executors.

And your Petitioners further shew unto your Honor that on or about the thirteenth day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand Eight Hundred and forty Four one John H. McIntosh and one Albert G Philips were appointed by the Judge of this Honorable Court (at his Chambers) to appraise the personal estate & slaves which were of the said Zepheniah Kingsley deceased at the time of

[Page 9]

American troops in Florida in the years one thousand Eight Hundred and twelve and one thousand eight Hundred and thirteen or since, but although your Petitioners have deemed it right & proper for them to bring these facts to the notice of this Honorable Court they are not wish to be understood as charging and do not charge the said Kingsley B. Gibbs and Benjamin A Putnam or either of them with any culpable negligence or with any disposition to conceal or hold back the monies or other property of the said Estate; and have only mentioned the facts for the purpose of shewing the magnitude of the said Estate and that a full and complete inventory and account thereof may hereafter be made.

And your Petitioners further shew unto your Honor that the said Anna Madgigne Jai Kingsley is a negress; and that the said George Kingsley, John Maxwell- Kingsley, Flora Kingsley, Sarah M. Kingsley and Micanopy are mulattoes: and that the said Anna Madgigne Jai Kingsley, George Kingsley, John Maxwell Kingsley, Flora Kingsley, Sarah M. Kingsley & Micanopy belonged to, and each and every of them was (as your Petitioners believe and expressly charge) a slave of the said Zepheniah Kingsley (in his life time) and that he the said Zepheniah Kingsley held every and each of them as such slave in the Territory until in or about the month of July in the year of our Lord one thousand Eight Hundred & thirty nine, when he the said Zepheniah Kingsley took or caused them to be taken to Hayti an Island without and beyond the limit of this Territory formerly called St. Dominigo where they (as your Petitioner are informed & believe) have all and each of them ever since remained & still remain; and that they have not, nor has either of them, ever returned to the Territory[.]

And your Petitioners further shew unto your Honor & expressly charge their belief to be, that the said Anna Madgig-

[Page 10]

ine Jai Kingsley, George Kingsley, John Maxwell Kingsley, Flora Kingsley, Sarah M Kingsley and Micanopy were and each and every of them was and continued to be a slave of the said Zepheniah Kingsley until the time of his death as aforesaid: And that they and each of them were therefore wholly incapable of taking and could not take any devise or bequest under the said supposed Last will and Testament of the said Zepheniah Kingsley deceased, or otherwise: and that they were and each of them was and is for that cause alone incapable of taking or holding in their own right or in the right of either of them any property whatever in this Territory unless they, the said Anna Madgigne Jai Kingsley, George Kingsley John Maxwell Kingsley, Flora Kingsley, Sarah M Kingsley & Micanopy obtained their freedom by their said removal to Hayti as aforesaid; But your Petitioners are advised and believe that they could not, and did not, and that neither of them did or could so obtain his or her freedom by such removal to Hayti as to enable him or her, or any, or either of them to take any property or interest by devise or bequest made the said supposed Last will and Testament of the said Zepheniah Kingsly deceased, and that their inability & incapacity thus to take property in this Territory by devise or bequest was in no way removed or lessened by their said removal to Hayti, but continued and still continues, the same since as it was before their said removal.

And your Petitioners further shew unto your Honor that they are informed and believe that the said Anna Madgigne Jai Kingsley, George Kingsley, John Maxwell Kingsley, Flora Kingsley, Sarah M. Kingsley, & Micanopy: although they were slaves of the said Zephaniah Kingsley as aforesaid at the time they went to Hayti as aforesaid were not forced or compelled by the said Zepheniah Kingsley to leave this Territory, or to go to Hayti as aforesaid, but that they and each of them went there voluntarily and of his or her own free will

[Page 11]

and accord without any coercion whatever of the said Zepheniah Kingsley or of any other person or persons; and that they and each and every of them have ever since remained there To wit at Hayti aforesaid, of their own respective free will and accord and without any compulsion or coercion of any person or persons whatever.

But your Petitioners aver and insist that if the said Anna Madgigne Jai Kingsley, George Kingsley, John Maxwell Kingsley, Flora Kingsley, Sarah M Kingsley & Micanopy and each of them were free and not slaves at the time when they so respectively went to Hayti as aforesaid and have ever since continued to be free and not slaves and are now free: they cannot nor can either of them return to and become domiciliated in this Territory, nor could they or either of them at the time of death of the said Zepheniah Kingsley, or at any time since have returned to and because domiciliated in this Territory: on the contrary by the Laws and Statutes of this Territory now in force all free negroes and mulattoes are expressly prohibited from migrating to or becoming domiciliated in this Territory; and that all negroes and mulattoes have for a long space of time last past: To with for more than fifteen years last past been thus prohibited from migrating to or becoming domiciliated in this Territory; and during all that period the migration of free negroes and mulattoes into this Territory has by the Statute Law of the Territory been rendered & is now rendered unlawful. And that the said Anna Madgigne Jai Kingsley, George Kingsley, John Maxwell Kingsley, Flora Kingsley, Sarah M Kingsley and Micanopy and each and every of them at the time when the said supposed Last will and Testament of the said Zepheniah Kingsley was made and executed as aforesaid were and ever since have been and now are therefore wholly incapable of taking any property or interest by devise

[Page 12]

bequest or otherwise under the said instrument of writing, so called and pretended to be the Last will and Testament of the said Zephaniah Kingsley decd. as aforesaid[.]

And that the said George Kingsley was and is for the same cause, and because he is and was a slave as aforesaid Equally incapable of taking upon himself the office of, or being made or appointed Executor of any Last will and testament or of acting as Executor thereof in this Territory[.]

And your Petitioners further shew unto your Honor that for the reasons above stated and set forth the said instrument of writing so called and pretended to be the Last Will and Testament of the said Zepheniah Kingsley deceased is entirely null and void and that no probate thereof should have been made, allowed, or taken, and that no letters Testamentary should have been granted or issued thereon[.]

And that the said Kingsley B Gibbs & Benjamin A Putnam should not nor should either of them have been permitted to take or have taken upon himself the Execution of the said instrument of writing as the Last will & Testament of the said Zepheniah Kingsley deceased, or otherwise.

And your petitioners further shew unto your Honor that the said Zepheniah Kingsley by the said instrument of writing so by him called his Last will & testament as aforesaid appointed (so far as he thereby could appoint) the said Kingsley B Gibbs & Benjamin A Putnam and George Kingsley Guardian of his (the said Zepheniah Kingsley’s) infant natural children amongst which he by the said instrument of writing acknowledges all those of Flora H. Kingsley of Camp New Hope, and also Sarah Murphy’s mulatto child, Micanopy then & (at the time of the Execution of the said instrument of writing) in Hayti (aforesaid)[.]

But your petitioners believe and alledge that all of the said infant natural children are mulattoes & slaves;

[Page 13]

and they are advised and believe that the said appointment is wholly illegal and void and that it were legal and valid it would not confer upon said infant natural children any right which they did not before possess or in any way enlarge those that they had before possessed and did then possess. And that the said George Kingsley was and is wholly incapable of taking upon himself or of exercising the office of Guardian in this Territory for the reasons above stated in relation to his Appointment as executor and that his appointment of Guardian is equally void as is that of his appointment of Executor.

And your Petitioners further shew unto your Honor than the said Zepheniah Kingsley by the said instrument of writing so by him called his Last will & Testament as aforesaid authorized (so far as he thereby could authorize) his Executors to allow to any of his (the said Zepheniah Kingsley’s) slaves the privilege of purchasing their freedom at one half the price of their prospective valuation on condition of their emigrating to Hayti if they cannot be allowed to stay as free in this Territory (as will more fully appear by reference to the said instrument of writing) which provision your petitioners are advised and believe is in contravention of the Laws and Statutes (and against the policy of the Government) of this Territory, dangerous to the peace and safety, and hostile to the interests of the community, and that the said instrument of writing so called the Last will and Testament of the said Zepheniah Kingsley deceased is for these reasons also, null and void.

And your petitioners further shew unto your Honor that they are advised and believe that slaves cannot be manumitted and set free in this Territory either directly or indirectly except upon contain conditions restrictions & limitations for which conditions limitations or restrictions the said

[Page 14]

instrument of writing does not in any manner provide nor does it provide for any of the conditions restrictions or limitations by the Statutes of this Territory in such case required[.]

And your petitioners further shew unto your Honor that the said Probate of the said instrument of writing as such Last Will and Testament as aforesaid or the granting issuing of Letters Testamentary thereon as aforesaid have ever been approved or confirmed by this Honorable Court and they must solemnly aver and alledge that neither the said probate of the said instrument of writing or the said granting or issuing of letters testamentary thereon as such Last will and Testament ever ought to be approved or confirmed by this Honorable Court[.]

And your Petitioners hereby most solemnly protest and enter their case at against any such approval or confirmation of the making of the said probate or the said granting or issuing of Letters Testamentary thereon as aforesaid and pray that the said probate may be disapproved revoked and annulled and that the said Letters Testamentary may be revoked and set aside and that the said instrument of writing so called (& pretended to be) the Last will and Testament of the said Zepheniah decd. may, by the order and decree of this Honorable Court be declared to be null & void and that Letters of Administration upon the Goods and Estate which were of the said Zepheniah Kingsley deceased at the time of his death may be granted to the next of kin to the said Zepheniah Kingsley deceased: or to such other person or persons as the said next of kin may nominate for that purpose according to Law and the practice of this Honorable Court and that the said Kingsley B. Gibbs and Benjamin A. Putnam may be required to render to this Honorable Court a true and perfect inventory and accounts of all the said

[Page 15]

Goods and Estate which may at any time have come into their hands or within their control or into the hands or within the control of either of them, and that they and each of them may be required and compelled to turn over all the said Goods and Estate to the Administrator or Administrators to be appointed by the Honorable Court to administer the same within such time as shall to this Honorable Court seem fit & proper[.]

And your petitioners further shew unto your Honor that the said Kingsley B. Gibbs and Benjamin A. Putnam as execcutors as aforesaid under the said Letters Testamentary so improperly granted & issued to them respectively as aforesaid have a large amount of money & other property of the said Estate in their hands or within their control; and that they threaten to pay out the said money; and your petitioners have reason to apprehend and do apprehend unless they the said Kingsley B Gibbs and Benjamin A. Putnam shall be restrained by the order and decree of this Honorable Court they will pay out and distribute the said money and other property to the said Legatees or denizens under the said pretended Last will & Testament of the said Zepheniah Kingsley deceased or other person persons not entitled to receive the same or any part thereof. Your Petitioners therefore pray that the said Kingsley B Gibbs and Benjamin A. Putnam & each of them may, by the order & decree of this Honorable Court be prohibited restrained and enjoined from paying out the said money or any part thereof & from distributing or delivering any of the other property of the said Estate to the said Legatees or denizens or any or either of them or to any other person or persons whomsoever until the further order of this Honorable Court.

And that they & each of them and the said Charles J McNeill, George Cooper Gibbs Anna Madgigne Jai Kingsley

[Page 16]

George Kingsley, John Maxwell Kingsley, Flora Kingsley, Sarah M Kingsley, & Micanopy may be cited and admonished to be & appear before this Honorable Court at a day and place to be named by your Honor to shew cause if any they have or can shew why the said probate of the said instrument of writing so called the Last will & testament of the said Zepheniah Kingsley deceased as aforesaid should not be disapproved annulled and set aside and why the granting and issuing of the said Letters testamentary should not also be disapproved and the said Letters Testamentary revoked and annulled; and why the said instrument of writing so called the Last will and testament of the said Zepheniah Kingsley deceased should not by the order Judgement and decree of this Honorable Court be declared to be null and void; and why Letters of Administration should not be granted to the next of kin of the said Zepheniah Kingsley deceased or to such person or persons as the said next of kin may nominate for that purpose according to Law and the practice of this Honorable Court; And why the said Kingsley B Gibbs and Benjamin [A] Putnam and each of them should not render a true & perfect inventory of the said Goods & Estate which were of the said Zepheniah Kingsley deceased at the time of his death which have come into their hands or within their control or into the hands or within the control of either of them; and why they should not turn the same over and deliver them to the Administrator or Administrators so to be appointed by this Honorable Court to administer the same as aforesaid: and generally to do, perform,

[Page 17]

and abide by whatever this Honorable Court shall order direct and decree in the Premises. And your Petitioners will ever pray &c.
Tho. Douglas
Proctor for the Petitioners

Territory of Florida
Duval County
The foregoing Petition having been read and duly considered a motion of Thomas Douglas Esquire Proctor for the Petitioners is hereby ordered & directed that a citation be issued therein to each of the Defendants therein named (agreeable to the prayer of the Petitioners) returnable on the first day of the next Term of this Court to beholden at the Court House in the Town of Jacksonville in the County aforesaid on the first Monday in April next, and that the respective citations to the Executors in said Petition named be accompanied by a copy thereof: And that all and each of said Executors be admonished not to pay out or distribute, and they, and each of them are hereby strictly prohibited from paying out or distributing; and ordered not to pay out or distribute any money or monies or other property of the said Estate of the said Zepheniah Kingsley deceased, which may now be in their hands or within the power or control, or in the hands, or within the power or control of either of them: or which may here after came into their hands, or into the hands, or within the power or control of either of them, to the Legatees or Denizens in the said Petition mentioned, or to any other person or persons whomsoever until the further order of this court. And it is hereby further ordered and directed that the said Defendants and each of them answer the said Petition at least ten days before the said first day of the next term of this Court to beholden

[Page 18]

as aforesaid.

And further that they and each of them be and appearbefore this court on the said first day of the next term thereofto beholden as aforesaid, and then and there shew cause if anyhe or she may have or can shew why the prayer of the saidpetitioners ought not to be granted, or why they should notbe held or required so to do[.]

Given under my hand at chambers this 19th ADOctober 1844.
Farquhar Bethune Judge
Duval County Court

Territory of Florida
County of Duval

I, Isaiah D. Hart Clerk of the County Court of
said County hereby certify the above to be a correct copy of [the original] Petition filed October 21st A D 1844 and of the order in said
[matter?] the date last aforesaid

Witness my hand and the seal of Court
Isaiah D Hart Clerk
By Oscar Hart D.C.

[Page 19]

In the name and by the authority of the Territory of Florida To the Sheriff of Duval County: Greeting:

You are hereby commanded that you immediately cite and admonish Kingsley B. Gibbs one of the Executors of the Last will & Testament of Zepheniah Kingsley late of Fort George Island in the County of Duval deceased to answer the petition of Martha McNeill William Gibbs McNeill, Catherine Palmer, Anna Whistler & George W. Whistler, her husband; Isabella King & Ralph King, her husband; and Sophia H. Cooper heretofore filed in this court and of which the annexed is a true copy, at least Ten days before the first day of the next term of this Court, to beholden at the Court House in the Town of Jacksonville in said County on the first Monday of April next ensuing; and that he be and appear in said court on the first day of said Time (to beholden as above mentioned) then & there to shew cause if any he may have, or can shew, why the prayer of the said Petitioners ought not to be granted, or why he should not be held & required so to do.

And also that you cite and admonish the said Kingsley B. Gibbs Executor as aforesaid that he do not pay out any money or monies or distribute any property Goods or chattels of the Estate of the said Zephaniah Kingsley deceased, and that he is hereby strictly prohibited from paying out any money or monies or distributing any Goods or chattel or other property: at his peril; which may be of the said Estate, in his hands, or within his power or control, or in the hands, or within the control of any other person or persons for him, or which may hereafter come unto his hands, or within this person control, or into the hands or within the power or control of any other person or persons for him to any of the Legatees or Denizens of the said Zephaniah Kingsley deceased, or to any other person or persons whomsoever until the further order of this Court. And make due return of your doing herein, and the same you are not to omit at your peril[.]

Witness the Honorable Farquhar Bethune Judge of our County Court and the seal of said Court at the Court House aforesaid this 24th day of October AD 1844

Isaiah D. Hart, Clerk

Tho. Douglas. Esq: Proctor for petitioners [\] By Oscar Clark D.C.

[Page 20]

[Left-hand side]
County Court D.C.
Petition of Martha McNeil & others filed Nov 27th 1844

[Right-hand side]
Received this document Oct. 28th 1844 Oct. 31st Served Kingsley B. Gibbs within named with a copy of the same at his residence on Fort George Island also exhibited to him this document.
H. R. Blanchard Sheriff D.C.
Fees Service .50
Copy 9.84
G. Gelliles Travel 2.64
______
$12.98

[Page 21]

In the name and by the authority of the Territory of Florida To the Sheriff of Duval County: Greeting: You are hereby commanded to cite and admonish George Couper Gibbs, that at least ten days before the next Term of the County Court for the County aforesaid to beholden at the Court House in the Town of Jacksonville in said County on the first Monday of April next ensuing he answer the petition of Martha McNeill, William Gibbs McNeill and Catherine Palmer, late Catherine McNeill of Stonington in the State of Connecticut, Anna Whistler late Anna McNeill, and George W. Whistler, her husband of St. Petersburg in the Empire of Russia, Isabella King, late Isabella Gibbs and Ralph King of New Orleans, in the State of Louisiana and Sophia H Couper, late Sophia Gibbs of Fort George Island in Duval County aforesaid, heretofore filed in said Court. And that laying all other business aside, and notwithstanding any excuse he personally be, and appear before the Judge of Our said Court at the Term so to beholden as aforesaid on the first day thereof: And that he then and there shew cause if any he has or can shew, why the prayer of the said Petitioners ought not to be granted, or why he, the said George Couper Gibbs, should not be required so to do. And further to do and receive what our said Court shall order and decree in the premises And this you are in no wise to omit. And have then there this writ

Witness the Honorable Farquhar Bethune
Judge of our said Court and the seal of said Court at the Court House in Jacksonville aforesaid this 28th Day of October AD 1844
Isaiah D. Hart, Clerk
By Oscar Hart D.C.
Tho. Douglas Esq Proctor of Petitioners

[Page 22]

I acknowledge Service of the within this 22nd day of November 1844
[signed] G Couper Gibbs
County Court D.C.
Martha McNeill et. al.
vs Petition in Probate Exrs of Kingsley decd Et. Al
To April Term 1844 filed Nov 30th AD 1844

Return to Florida History Online - Zephaniah Kingsley.

Last updated: April 14, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

12713 Fort Caroline Road
Jacksonville, FL 32225

Phone:

904-641-7155

Contact Us