Requiem for Rachel | Slave Name Roll Project

Will, codicil, and inventory of slaves and property of William Lovett Balfour (1802-1857) of Bolivar, Claiborne, Madison, Yazoo, Warren Counties, MS and Carroll Parish, LA.

William Lovett Balfour
Source: The Issaqueena Genealogy and History Project
Answering the call to participate in the Slave Name Roll Project, we will continue to contribute records we have unearthed over the years in our research that mention the names of slaves.  Our team always documents all slave names, even if they are never determined as being members of our family or F.A.N. Club and we always post the information online, either through this blog, or through USGenWeb.  We have come across nearly 1,000 of them in just researching our family lines alone.  New posts contributed to the project be titled based on the ancestor we were looking for when we discovered the listing of the formerly enslaved.

Dr. William Lovett Balfour of North Carolina, Mississippi (Bolivar, Claiborne, Madison, Yazoo, Warren Counties), and Louisiana (Carroll Parish) was a wealthy planter in the Mississippi Delta.  We have verified that he was the former slaveholder of Rachel Day Atlas, wife of King Atlas, Sr.  Below is a transcription of his will, as transcribed in succession records, and a copy of his inventory of slaves residing in East Carroll Parish, Louisiana.  

Mound Bluff Cemetery, Yazoo County, MS
Burial location of William Lovett Balfour
Succession Record, Book I, 1857 – 1859, Page 1, William L. Balfour

East Carroll Parish Clerk Of Court - 10th Judicial District Of Louisiana Courts
Written: April 17, 1857
Recorded: June 3, 1857

To the honorable the judge of the Tenth Judicial District Court of the State
of Louisiana in for the Parish of Carroll; The petition of Horace G. Blackburn
*Should be Blackman* and John W. Balfour who reide in the county of Madison in
the State of Mississippi with respect shows that Dr. William L. Balfour who
resided in the said county of Madison in the State of Mississippi departed
this life on or about the 8th of May 1857 in the said county of Madison. That
on the 17th of April 1857, he made and published his last will and codicil
thereto were duly proved probated and ordered to be executed by the Probate
Court of the County of Madison of the state of Mississippi all of which will
more fully appear by the certified transcript hereto annexed made a part of
this petition marked “A”. Your petitioners show that part of the succession
of the said William L. Balfour consisting of a plantation and Negroes, mules,
horses and other property is situated in the parish of Carroll, the state of
Louisiana, which it is millpoing? To administer under the provisions of the
said will under the provisions conferred upon your petitioners as the
executors thereof, wherefore your petitioners pray that the said will probated
as aforesaid may be ordered to be recorded and executed: That an inventory
may be ordered to be taken of the property situated in this state and that
your petitioners have letter testamentary issued to them for general relief –
Short and Parham, Attnys for Ptr

State of Louisiana, Parish of Carroll
Upon consideration of the foregoing petition and the transcript thereto
annexed it is ordered that the will of the late William L. Balfour be recorded
and execute. That the said Horace G. Blackman and John W. Balfour be
confirmed as executors of said will and that letters testamentary issue to
them upon their giving bond and security conditioned according to the law. It
is further ordered that Sanders D. Oliver, Recorder and Ex-Officio Notary
Public be appointed to take an inventory of the said succession lying in said
parish of Carroll and to return the same to the clerk of said Tenth District
Court. Red and signed this 3rd day of June 1857. PW DeFrance Clk
The last will and testament of the William L. Balfour of the county of Madison
and the State of Mississippi – 

First – I direct that all my just debts and funeral expenses may be paid by my
executors hereinafter mentioned:

Second – I will and direct that all the meat, meal, flour, corn and their
provisions of every kind which shall be on my several plantations at the time
of my deceased shall be appropriated to the use of the respective plantations
and that the same shall not be inventoried by my executors or any account
taken of it in settlement of my estate

Gravesite of William Lovett Balfour, Mound Bluff Cemetery
Third – I will and direct that my plantation in Madison County Mississippi on
which I reside and my plantation in Yazoo County Mississippi and Carroll
Parish Louisiana shall be carried on my executors until my youngest son Horace
B. Balfour shall reach the age of twenty one years and the proceeds of these
places after defraying the necessary expenses thereof shall be applied to the
maintenance and education of my four sons vig: James, Joseph, Louis and Horace
or so much thereof as may be necessary until they severally reach the age of
twenty one years and when each one reaches his majority. I will and direct my
executors the survivors or survivor of them to pay to him fifteen thousand
dollars in cash and twenty first rate Negroes, ten males and ten females all
of whom shall be efficient hands.

Fourth – I will and bequeath unto my sister Eliza the sum of five hundred
dollars per annum until my son Horace arrives at the age of twenty one years
and then my executor are to pay her a sum of money which with the amounts
already paid her will make the sum five thousand dollars.

Fifth – I will and devise unto my brother Charles all my interest in a tract
of land in Sunflower County in the state of Mississippi which is now owned
jointly by us in the proportion of two thirds to me and one third to him.

Sixth – I will and direct that my four sons above named shall have their homes
at my daughter Mrs. Mary Blackman, until they attain their majority. I
hereby direct my executors to deliver to my said daughter any two of my slaves
that may selected to be held and possessed by her without hire or charge of
any sort until my son Horace arrives at the age of twenty one years.

Seventh – I will and bequeath my gold watch to y son Horace and will and
direct my executors to purchase one for each son Louis and Joe, above named.

Eighth – I will and bequeath my portraits and other pictures to my daughter
Mrs. Mary Blackman.

Ninth – I will and direct my executors to pay my son Louis the sum of three
thousand dollars when my son Horace attains his majority this is intended to
cover and be in lien of the thousand dollars which my mother in law and
directed me to hold and pay to Louis.

Headstone of William Lovett Balfour, Mound Bluff Cemetery
Headstone of William Lovett Balfour, Mound Bluff Cemetery
Tenth – I will and bequeath to my son Horace a like sum of three thousand
dollars when he reaches his majority in addition to the bequeath mentioned in
3rd article.

Eleventh – It is my desire that year a plantation shall be commenced on my land in Bolivar County and I hereby direct my executors to in their discretion and good policy and direct that for this purpose some of the Negroes be taken from Madison and Yazoo Counties.

Twelfth – I will and direct my executors invest any of the proceeds of my
plantations as they may deem judicious and wise and calculated to advance the
purpose of this will and to also empower them to sell and dispose of any
property by me owned not specifically devised for the purpose of carrying out
the bequeaths herein contained or direction herein given.

View of the gravesite of William Lovett Balfour,
Mound Bluff Cemetery
Thirteenth – I will and direct that after the payment of the above mentioned
legacies and the performance of the above directions and when my son Horace
has reached the age twenty one years that then my executors or the survivors
or survivor of then shall divide all the rest and residue of my property real
and personal equally amongst all my children namely: Mary Blackman, William
S., John W. Charles R., James R., Joseph D., Louis G. and Horace B..
Fourteenth – If my son Horace B. shall die before he reaches his majority then
it is my will that the legacies bequeath and directions made contingent upon
his arriving at the age of manhood shall be all paid discharged and performed
when the youngest of my youngest son should attain that age.

Fifteenth – I will and bequeath my excellent friend Mrs. Emma Balfour wife of
Dr. WT Balfour of Vicksburg as a mark of my affectionate appreciation of her
the sum of one thousand dollars to be paid by my executors without unnecessary

Sixteenth – If my daughter Mr. and Dr. Blackman shall prefer to occupy my
residence then I will and direct that they shall have the house Garden and
Stables and free of any costs or charge whatever until the general
distribution as herein provided for shall be made.

Seventeenth – As my grown children during their minority and allowance of
pocket money, I desire that my minor children have a like indulgence. I
direct therefore my executors to allow each of them a sum not exceeding three
hundred dollars which their receipt individually to them is a sufficient

Eighteenth – I bequeath my old carriage horses called the William Balfour
Carriage Horses to my sister Eliza.

Lastly, I do hereby nominate and approve my son in law Horace G. Blackman, my
son William and John executors of this my last will and testament in witness
thereof. I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 17th day of April AD,
Eighteen Hundred and Fifty Seven.

William L. Balfour –Seal-

Signed, sealed, published and declared by the said William L. Balfour as for
his last will and testament in the presence of us who in his presence of each
other have hereunto set and subscribe our names as witness hereto this 17th
day of April AD 1857. E. Mason, J. Roach, WH Lake.

Codicil of William L. Balfour Will

Whereas I William L. Balfour of County of Madison and the state of Mississippi
have made and duly executed my last will and testament in writing bearing date
17th day of April 1857. Now I do hereby declare this present writing to has a
codicil to my last will and direct the same to be annexed thereto and taken as
a front thereof whereas I have heretofore given to my children that have
attained their majority certain property some real and some personal to which
I have made them no other title than that of more alleging possession. Now I
hereby confision? to my daughter Mary Blackman all that property of the giving
tract of land situated in Yazoo County near Kibbley’s Ferry on Big Black and
lying south or west of the road leading from said Ferry to Satartia? And now
consisting of a part of the “hope on” plantation recently sold by my son in
law to Henry Allen, this bind I have given to my said daughter and she and her
husband Dr. Blackman put in possession of the same. I also devise to Dr. HG
Blackman my son in law a thousand acres of land or thereabouts which he bought
of me in the year 1844 or 1845 formerly a part of the Gobsey tract and lying
west of the road heading from Kibbley’s Ferry on Big Black to Yazoo City and
north of the road heading from the same Ferry to Satartia? The said land was
paid for by Dr. Blackman and never conveyed to him – I also devise to my
daughter Mary all that tract of land in Madison County known as Sherwood Place
now occupied by Dr. Blackman and adjoining my Homestead. I also give and
devise to my sons John and Charles the place respectively on which they at
present reside in Madison County and to my daughter Mary and my sons William,
John and Charles the personal property that I have heretofore put them in
possession of and intended as a gift to them. In witness thereof I have
hereunto set my hand and seal this 30th day of April in the year of our Lord

WL Balfour – Seal-

Signed, sealed, published and declared by the said WL Balfour as and for a
codicil to his last will and testament in the presence of us who in his
presence and at his request and in the presence of each other have hereunto
set and subscribe our names as witnesses hereto this 30th day of April AD
1857. WA Lake, J. Roach, John Willis.


State of Louisiana, Parish of Carroll
Succession Book I, Page 4, June 8, 1857
Estate of William L. Balfour of Madison County, MS
Samuel Bond and William Sutton, residents of Carroll Parish, LA – Appraisers
Sanders D. Oliver - Clerk

Item 1st – The following described slaves:
Sam, aged about 30 years appraised at 1300.00
Lydia Porter 25 1050.00
Angeline 6 months 100.00
George Porter 28 years 1250.00
Emily 19 950.00
Labe 28 1200.00
Caroline 35 700.00
Hannibald 45 450.00
Nancy 45 500.00
Matilda 14 850.00
Henry Huddle 49 200.00
Sarah Porter 22 1000.00
Tom 4 250.00

*Next Page*

Sally Ann aged about 6 mo. 100.00
Nick 65 500.00
Caraline 45 300.00
Milton 27 1300.00
Ruben 40 750.00
Eliza Broks 30 600.00
Robert 12 800.00
Julius 35 700.00
Louis Bell 49 550.00
Lydia Bell 45 400.00
Rose 15 900.00
Cain 40 650.00
Sarah Brooks 42 800.00
Little Louis 16 1100.00
William 9 700.00
Horace 7 500.00
Richmond 5 350.00
Lizett 3 250.00
Infant __ 100.00
Wash Sorter 26 1300.00
Cleming 22 1050.00
Tom Talbert 23 1000.00
Green 18 1350.00
Shirley 45 250.00
Bailey ___ 600.00
Louisa Bailey 35 600.00
Katey 13 600.00
Priscilla 4 300.00
Cornelius 2 200.00
Billy 0 months 100.00
Jerry 43 1100.00
Aimy 30 850.00
Mary Jane 13 900.00
Peter 38 900.00
Harriett 35 750.00
Cap 31 1300.00
Wesley 32 1050.00
Minerva 25 500.00
Adison 3 250.00
Minerva 2 months 100.00
George Brady 35 200.00
Ike Gutty/Cutty 30 300.00
Martha 23 1000.00
Big Ann 35 800.00
Dandridge 35 1050.00
John Henry 14 750.00
Dennis 8 300.00
Lucinda 5 300.00
Dick 36 1000.00
Little Ann or Arm 37 800.00
Lavilia 9 600.00
Andrew 10 500.00
Harriett 3 250.00
Fred 42 900.00

*Next Page*

Mary Rogers aged about 35 years 200.00
Tom Monk 70 500.00
Little Liza 70 *Idiot* 100.00
Charles Cotton 31 1400.00
Susan 31 800.00
Labe 7 450.00
Clarrissa 10 months 100.00
Stephen 28 years 1300.00
John Young 28 1300.00
Nelson 33 1250.00
Felix 22 1350.00
Mary Felix 22 1000.00
Amos 2 months 100.00
Ike Brown aged 30 years 900.00
Bash 28 1350.00
Catharine 23 1000.00
Prince 3 months 100.00
Mack 27 years 1350.00
Little Mary 23 1000.00
Essick 42 1000.00
Louisa Essick 34 800.00
Isabella 10 500.00
Joe 5 350.00
Caroline 2 200.00
Louisa 7 100.00
Callis 56 years 500.00
Libey or Tibey 34 1000.00
John Jacob 23 1350.00
Dilly 18 1000.00
Maria 14 months 100.00
Anica 16 years 1000.00
Little Henry 18 1350.00

TOTAL: $69,350.00

Item 2nd – Land

Lots 71-75 in township 22 north range 13 east and lot 30 in township 21 north
range 13 east in the aggregate of 1,203 acres; also north ½ of lot 77 in
township 22 north range 13 east containing 86 36/100 acres; and south ½ of
lot 76 and south ½ of lot 77 in township 22 north range 13 east containing 172
45/100 acres; south ½ of lot 76 in township 22 north range 13 east containing
85 75/100 acres; as purchased from John B. Byrne and wife; recorded in
notarial book D folios 25,26, 27, 28, 29, 30. Fractional section 81 in
township 22 north, range 13 east containing 90 70/100 acres as purchased from
Pamela A. Kerr and husband recorded in notarial book E folios 500 and 501 –
altogether 1638 21/100 acres appraised at $65 per acre - $106,483.65


Item 1st – Slaves appraised at $69,350.00
Item 2nd – Land appraised at $106,483.00
Item 3rd – Horses, mules, cattle (*oxen and wagons*) appraised at $5,247.00
TOTAL: $181,080.65


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