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The Will of David Doak, written 12 February 1787:

Montgomery County, Virginia - Will Book ?, pages 123-4 

In the name of God, Amen. The 12th day of February one thousand Seven Hundred & Eighty Seven.

I David Doack of the County of Montgomery and State of Virginia being Very sick & weak in body but of perfect Mind & Memory thanks be to God for his mercies; And calling to mind the mortallity of my body & knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die I Do make & ordain this my Last Will & Testament that is to say principally & first of all I Give & Recommend my Soul into the hands of Almighty God Who gave it & my body to the dust to be buried in Decent Christian Burial at the Discretion of my Execs Nothing Doubting but at the General Resurrection I Shall Receive the same again from Almighty God Who gave it & as Touching such worldly Estate as it hath pleased God to Bless [me] with In this Life I Give Devise & Dispose of it in the following Manner & form: that is to say that all my Just Debts and Funeral Expenses be first paid. Item I give & bequeath to Mary My Beloved Wife the use of the mentioned house during her Life or Widowhood & also A childs part of all my Pesonall [sic] Estate & thirty pounds in money to be paid out of the Debts Due to my Estate When the same can be got by my Executors if not otherwise Directed by my Exrs Imprivis I Give & bequeath to my Son David Doak the Land whereon he now Lives Agreeable to the Division Made by Danl Smith being a part of the Black lick Survey. I give & bequeath to my Son Samuel that part of the Black Lick Survey Formarly [sic] I did section off to him; & I give & Bequeath to my sons John & Nathaniel that part of my Old Plantation that Lies on the north side of Reed Creek Whereon I now live Except such Lands as is or shall be Disposed of to some other of My Heirs together with the right of a survey adjoining my Plantation aforesaid on the north side of the same to have & hold the said Land Upon this Condition that they [sic] said John & Nathaniel shall settle themselves on the Land Above Mentioned & shall provide for & keep the family together Untill [sic] they come of age & shall give my children who is under their care common Education & the said John & Nathaniel to have the stock on the Plantation Untill [sic] My Daughters Elizabeath Sarah & Jean shall arrive at the age of Eighteen years At which Time they shall have such a part of the stock as my Executors Shall think proper to Direct & if the said John & Nathaniel Shall Refuse to do for my family as is above Directed it is my will & order that David Doack James Doak & Wm Ward Whom I appoint to be my Exrs to make sale of the Land above mentioned & all My Personal Estate & the Money arising from such sale to be Equally Divided Amongst My Wife Mary & my Sons John & Nathaniel & my Daughters Elizabeath Sarah & Jean Except that my Wife Mary shall have fifty pounds Current more than an Equeal [sic] part & it is my Will & order that my Executors sell that Tract of Land Whereon My son William fomaly [sic] Liv'd on & pay to the Estate all Debts Due from the said William to the Estate & to pay the Surplus to the said William which Shall be considered as his part of my Estate And it is my will & order that my Daughter Mary be given by my Exrs the sum of four Pounds to [be] paid out of Debts Due to the Estate & it is my will that my Daughter Margarett have one Horse of Twelve Pounds Value & a good Side Saddle & is my will that My son James have one cow & a calf Tis further Will & Order that my Sons Robert & Thomas have that part of the Patent Land that Lies on the South side of Reed creek to be Equeally [sic] Divided Between them & it is my will & order that My Alexander have One grey mare two Years Old & a Rifle gun formaly [sic] claimed by him & I do hereby make null & Void all other or former wills & acknowledge this to be My last will & Test 

In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal the Day & year Above writ.

Signed sealed & acknowledged before us David Doack /seal/

Willm Davis

Henry Newman 

Jno Wilson

From the above document, the children:

Captain ROBERT Doak, d 1774 A licensed surveyor, Robert (i) was elected to the Fincastle County House of Burgesses but was "unseated" because he had been deputy county surveyor at the time of his election. Letters of Administration for his estate were granted to his (presumed) brother William. Another (presumed) brother, David (ii), was one of the securities. No marriage record has yet been found but some claim he married Jane Breckenridge and left 3 young children at his death, all of who "are said to have married Thompsons". The difficulty here is that the Doak brothers who married Lydia and Rachel Thompson were sons of David (ii), and Jean Doak did not marry her Thompson, with whom she did cooperate in the production of one James Doak Thompson.  Read more about this Robert Doak on this page .


An executor of his father's will, James received very little in the form of a bequest, indicating perhaps that he, like his brother Alexander, had received a settlement when he married. This, if the analysis can be verified, would have happened in 1786, when he married Janet Fulton, née Dunn.


Baptised in 1747, William was already in what became Tennessee when his father's will was written in 1787. In common with his brothers Samuel and David he had served in Captain Robert Doak's company of Fincastle County militia in 1774. During the Revolutionary War he fought at King's Mountain and probably also at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, holding the rank of Captain. He settled in Knox County,  "territory south of the river Ohio", and a deed in the Wythe County, Virginia records gives his wife's name as Elizabeth. In 1804, his name appears among those of the first justices appointed in Dickson County, Tennessee. Two of his sons, Thomas and William, settled in Lincoln County, Tennessee and then moved to Madison County, Tennessee.  William, who had married Jane Wilson and was a Captain in the War of 1812, died in Madison County in 1849. Thomas had moved to Dyer County, Tennessee, where he died in 1852. His widow, née Elizabeth Edmiston, survived him.  The daughters of the elder William included  Mary, who married William McMillen in 1792, and Amelia (Milly), who married John Gibson in 1800.

SAMUEL Doak    Samuel joined his brother William in Knox County by 1789. He was married to Annas (Agnes), and he fathered at least four sons and three daughters. John, of Lincoln County, Tennessee, died during the War of 1812 at New Orleans in 1815 and his brother Samuel S. Doak was one of two administrators.  The other, William Shaw, was a brother of his widow Sarah. Samuel S. Doak died in 1817 and it was David, then of Adair County, Kentucky, who administered his estate rather than either Thomas or William.   His known daughters were Betsy, Peggy - both unmarried in 1813, and their sister who had died in 1795 in Knox County,  Mary Weakly Doak.

DAVID Doak (ii)   He was married in 1773 to Mary Hanna, an older sister of Margaret, who would marry his brother Alexander.  Their mother, Martha, was "reputed" to have been née Doak - it is an intriguing puzzle as to whether she was a daughter of John Doak of North Carolina, which seems more likely, or of David (i).  Two of David (ii)'s sons married the Thompson sisters, Lydia and Rachel. John spent some time in Campbell County, Tennessee, before moving on to Pike County, Missouri and then to Pike County, Illinois. In 1850, John's age is given on the census as 69. Robert, however, died in Tazewell County, Virginia, in 1818 and his widow Rachel appears on the 1820 census as a head of household with children.

ALEXANDER Doak  Alexander, born in 1763, married Margaret Hanna of Surry County, North Carolina, where he lived for a few years. After the death of his father-in-law John Hanna in 1793, he and his family were in Washington County, Tennessee, before moving to Warren County, Kentucky, where he died in 1820.

JOHN Doak    John was born in 1764;  he was 81 in 1845.  He married Rebecca Wilson and lived in Wythe County, Virginia.

NATHANIEL Doak    He witnessed the 1793 will of John Hanna of North Carolina.  Nathaniel died intestate in 1794, resulting in a family settlement under which the land he had inherited was transferred to his brother John by his siblings and their spouses ... and perhaps also his step-mother.

MARY Doak    She married Robert Breckenridge. Robert, the son of George Breckenridge and Ann Doak, was Mary's first cousin. Mary and Robert moved to Kentucky, where they raised their family - 14 children, 6 of whom were still living in 1814.

MARGARET Doak  A marriage or death record has yet to be found for Margaret. Some folk insist she was the wife of Robert Breckenridge, others marry her off to Francis Beatty ... the usual confusion of our expert Doak research. :-(

The above are thought to have been the "first family" of David Doak (1710-87), or the children he had with his first wife, who is believed to have been Mary Breckenridge

At his death, 5 of the 14 named children were still minors and they are presumed to have been children of his second wife, Polly, who outlived him by nearly forty years.  Those five were:

ROBERT Doak (ii)   Born between late 1779 and 5 Aug 1780, he was in Washington County, Tennessee in 1803. With a wife named Polly, he was listed in Campbell Co, Tennessee by 1808. In 1820, "of Campbell County, Tennessee",  he and his then wife, Nancy H Doak, sold a third interest in land in Jefferson County, Tennessee,  inherited from Nancy's father, John Pope. Robert moved to Madison County, Arkansas with his third wife, Rachel Pharis, and then to Osage Twp, Carroll County, Arkansas,  where he confused the census-takers in 1850 before dying prior to the 1860 census

THOMAS Doak   Born by 17 Oct 1781, his age was an issue in lawsuits with James Graham, as were "metes and bounds" and the lack of releases of interest by both Robert and Thomas in each other's half-share of the land willed to them by their father. In 1803, Thomas married Elizabeth Pope, and in 1812 they sold their third share of the land in Jefferson County, Tennessee, which was inherited from Elizabeth's father John. Thomas moved to Putnam County, Indiana,  and then on to Polk County, Missouri, where he died in 1840.

ELIZABETH Doak   Elizabeth married Francis Starr.  He was the coroner for Campbell County, Tennessee.  We have yet to document this marriage with certainty.

SARAH Doak  Sarah died in 1823, unmarried.  Her estate was administered by her brother-in-law, Francis Starr

JEAN Doak   Jean married James Starr.  Jean/Jane was 74 at the 1850 census in Newton County, Missouri.  She and James had previously lived in Campbell County, Tennessee.

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