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CHAP. LX. From Rev. Bilis of 1779, ch. XX.““”An act directing the course of descents. Descents,

s, I. Bc it enacted by the General Assembly, That course of.

henceforth when any person having title to any real estate of inheritance, shall die intestate as to such estate, it shall descend and pass in parency fo bis kindred male and female in the following course, that is to say:

II. To bis children or their descendants, if any there be:

III. If there be no children nor their desendants, then to his father.

IV. If there be no father, then to his mother, brothers and sisters; and their descendants, or such of them as there be:

V. If there be no mother, nor brother, nor sister, nor their descendants, then the inheritance shall be divided into two moieties, one of which shall go to the paternal, the other to the maternal kindred, in the following course, that is to say:

VI. First to the grandfather:

VII. If there be no grandfather, then to the grandmother, uncles and aunts on the same side, and their descendants, or such of them as there be:

VIII. If there be no grandmother, uncle nor aunt, nor their descendants, then to the great grandfathers, or great grandfather if there be but one.

IX. If there be no great grandfather, then to the great grandmothers, or great grand mother if there be but one, and the brothers and sisters of the grandfathers and grandmothers, and their descendants, or such of them as there be:

X. And so on in other cases without end; passing to the nearest lineal male ancestors, and for the want of them to the lineal female ancestors in the same degree,

and the descendants of such male and female lineal ancan in. cestors, or to such of them as there be. herit, except XI. But no right in the inheritance shall accrue to children, un. any person whatever, other than to children of the in

ns, testate, unless they be in being and capable in law to at intestate's death.

take as heirs at the time of the intestates death.

None

lesa

XII. And where for want of issue of the intestate, if no paternal and of father, mother, brothers and sisters, and their kindred, the

ers and Sisters, aliumca whole to ma. descendants, the inheritance is before directed to go by ternal; if no moieties to the paternal and maternal kindred, if there maternal, the should be no such kindred on the one part, the whole wo

hole whole to pa.

ī ternal. sball go to the other part: And if there be no kindred if none of eieither on the one part or the other, the whole shall go ther, to husto the wife or husband of the intestate. And if the wise bar

If wife or huaor husband be dead, it sball go to her or his kindred, band dead. in the like course as if such wife or husband had suryived the intestate and then died, entitled to the estate. XIII. And in the cases before mentioned where the Whole & hialf

i blood, how to inheritance is directed to pass to the ascending and col tibes lateral kindred of the intestate, if part of such collaterals be of the whole blood to the intestate, and other part of the ball blood only, those of the half blood shall inherit only half so much as those of the whole blood: But if all be of the half blood, they shall have whole portions, only giving to the ascendants (if there be any) double portions.

XIV. And where the children of the intestate, or his mother, brothers, and sisters, or his grandmother, un- Per capita. cles, and aunts, or any of his female lineal ancestors living, with the children of his deceased lineal ancestors male and female in the same degree come into the partition, they shall take per capita, that is to say by persons; and where a part of them being dead, and a part living, the issue of those dead have right to per partition, such issue shall take per stirpes, or by stocks, that is to say, the share of their deceased parent.

XV. And where any of the children of the intestate, Advance. or their issue, shall have received from the intestate in ments. his life-time any real estate by way of advancement, and shall choose to come into partition with the other parceners, such advancement shall be brought into hotchpot with the estate descended.

XVI. In making title by descent it shall be no bar Aliens, deto a demandant that any ancestor through wliam be de. tcent through rives his descent from the intestate, is or hath been an alien. Bastards also shall be capable of inheriting or Bastards. of transmitting inheritance on the part of their mother, through mo. in like manner as if they had been lawfully begotten of thers. such mother.

XVII. Where a man having by a woman one or Bastards le. more children, shall afterwards intermarry with such gitimated,

woman, such child or children, if recognized by him, shall be thereby legitimated. The issue also in marriages deemed null in law shall nevertheless be legiti

mate. Commence.

XVUI. This act shall commence and be in force from ment of act. and after the first day of January, one thousand seven

hundred and eighty-seven.

CHAP. LXI.

Prom Bills o ch. XXI.

An act concerning wills; the distribuBilopor Rention of intestales estates; and the

duty of executors and administra. tors.

1. BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That eveWills of lands

ry person aged twenty-one years or upwards, being of sound inind, and not a married woman, shall have power, at his will and pleasure, by last will and testa

ment in writing, to devise all the estate, right, title, and In writing,

interest, in possession, reversion, or remainder, which he hath, or al tlie time of his death shall bave, of, in, or to lands, tenements, or heredituments, or annuities,

or rents charged upon issuing out of them, so as such How attested. last will and testament be signed by the testator, or by

some other person in his presence, and by bis direction; and moreover, if not wholly wrillen by himself, be attested by two or more credible witnesses subscribing

their names in his presence.. Saving dower II. Saving to the widows of testators, their dower in of widows.

such lands, levements, rents, or annuities, according to
Such landa evements
the laws, which shall not be prejudiced by any devise

thereof. Revocation IIl. No devise so made, or any clause thereof, shall of such wills. be revocable, but by the testator's destroying, cancell.

ing, or obliterating the saine, or causing it to be done Wills made in his presence, or by a subsequent will, codicil, or dewhen testa.

claration ior writing, made as aforesaid. But every child. last will and testament, made when the testator had no

tor had no

child living, wherein any child he might have is not provided for, or mentioned, if at the time of his death he leave a child, or leave his wife enseint of a child, which shall be born, shall have no effect during the life of such after born child, and shall be void unless the child die without having been married, or before he or she shall have attained the age of twenty-one vears. When a testator shall leave children born, and his wife Posthumous enseint, the posthumous child or children, if neither bech

che children pre.

termitted. unprovided for by settlement, and be neither provided for nor disinherited, but only pretermitted by the last will and testament, shall succeed to the same portion of the father's estate, as such child would have been entitled to, if the father had died intestate; towards raising which portion, the devisees and legatees shall contribute proportionably out of the parts devised and beqaeathed to them by the saine will and testament.

IV. No person under the age of eighteen years shall Disposition be capable of disposing of his chattels by will. of chattels, V. No nuncupative will, shall be established unless

ed unless Nuncupative it be made in the time of the last sickness of the de- wille. ceased, at his habitation, or where he hath resided for len days next preceding, except where the deceased is taken sick from home and dies before he returns to such habitation; nor where the value exceeris ten pounds, unless it be proved by two witnesses that the testator called on some person present to take notice or bear testimony that such is bis will, or words of the like import. VI. After six months have elapsed from the time of Wher

' force. speahing the pretended testamentary words, no testiinony shall be received to prove a nuncupative will, unless the testimony, or the substance thereof, shall have been committed to writing within six days after ; making the will.

II. No will in writing or any devise therein of Revocation if chattels, shall be revoked by a subsequent will, codicil, tels. or declaration, unless the same be in writing.

VIII. Any soldier in actual inilitary service, or any Wills by sol. mariner or seaman being at sea, may dispose of his diers and sall.

ors. chattels as he might heretofore have done.

IX. If any person shall subscribe his name, as a wit. Witness, a ness to a will wherein any bequest is given to him, if legatec. the will may be not otherwise proved, the bequest shall be void, and such witness shall be allowed and com

When not of

pellable to appear and give testimony on the residue of the will, in like manner as if no such bequest had been made. But if such witness would be entitled to any share of the testator's estate in case the will were not established, so much of his said shares shall be saved to him as shall not exceed the value of the lega cy bequeathed him,

X. The several county, city, or corporation courts, Jurisdiction shall have power to hear and determine all causes, matof courts, as to prohats.

S ters, suits, and controversies, testamentary, arising

within their respective jurisdictions, and to examine and take the proof of wills, and grant certificates thereof according to the methods and rules following, that is to say: If any testator shall have a mansion house or known place of residence, his will shall be proved in the court of the county, city, or corporation where. in such mansion-house or place of residence is: If he hath no such place of residence, and lands be devised in the will, it shall be proved in the court of the county, cily, or corporation wherein the lands lie, or in one of them where there shall be lands in several counties: And if he hath no such known place of residence, and there be no lands devised, then the will may be proved either in the court of the county, city, or corporation where the testator shall die, or that wherein his estate, or the greater part thereof, shall be, or such will may

in any case be proved in the general court. When orobat XI. When any will shall be exhibited to be proved, may be re. the court having jurisdiction as asoresaid, may proceed ceived immediately to receive the proof thereof, and grant a

certificate of such probat: If however, any person inValidity of will, how

"terested, shall within seven years afterwards appear,

and by his bill in chancery contest the validity of the will, an issue shall be made up, whether the writing produced be the will of the testator or not, which shall be tried by a jury, whose verdict shall be final between the parties; saving to the court a power of granting a new trial for good cause, as in other trials; but no such party appearing within that time, the probat shall be

forever binding. Evidence, on XII. In all such trials by jury, the certificate of the Erial of issue. oath of the witnesses, at the time of the first probat,

shall be admitted as evidence, to have such weight as the jury shall think it deserves.

contested.

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