Baptist Preacher, Caroline
County, Virginia
In the name of God amen,

I, John Burrus of the county of Caroline, do make and constitute this my last will and testament to be
aforesaid of in manner and form following.

Item - I give and bequeath to my beloved wife, Rachel Burrus, my land and house with my part of my
wet mill, during her widowhood.  Provided that she make provisions therefore, to educate my children fit
for county business.  Otherwise, I direct that my hereafter named executor shall have power to dispose of
so much of the aforesaid estate as shall be sufficient to make full provisions for their education, after my
wife's death or intermarriage, I direct that whole to be sold and qually divided between my then
surviving children and their respresentatives.  I leave all the rest of my Estate being personal to my wife
during her widowhood or until my first child arrives at age or marries, then I direct a division to be
made at the period and equal parts be given that child, after my wife's dower be taken out and in a like
manner to every child as they arrive at age.  I also direct that in case of my wife should intermarry, that
she should be allowed only the Dower of all my estate, both real and personal during her life and after
her death, to be sold and equally divided between my children.

I appoint my friends Samuel Temple, John Thompson, and William Burruss, executors of this my last
will and testament.  I also direct that in case I die before I acknowledge my rights to Pleasant Terrell, of
half of the aforementioned mill, that they are empowered with my wife, to make a sure title of the same.  
Given under my hand, this 15th day of September, 1777.

Signed and delivered

In the presence of us

John  Burruss [seal]

Joseph Campbell
Jas. Gatewood, Jr.
Robert Terrell

cgm notes:

John Burruss at the age of 33, died April 8, 1778 about 7 months after writing his will.  He was a farmer, a
miller, but is most recognized as one of the first Baptist ministers in Virginia, and more specifically in
Caroline County.  John Burruss married Rachel Terrell, a Quaker, in 1765 or 1766.  They were the parents
of four boys,  Henry F. Burruss born 1769,  Thomas Burruss born 1772;  John Burrus born 1776;  and
Nelson Burruss born  April 12, 1777.  Nelson was 4 days shy of his first birthday, when his father died.    
Rachel was 29 years old, a widow with three small sons.    In 1780, Rachel remarried to Thomas Hackett,
and became the mother of four children; Chiles Hackett, Pleasant Hackett, Garrett Hackett, and Early
Hackett who died in infancy.  John Burruss left behind a well documented bible, land records, and three
well educated sons, who wrote
letters about their lives in Caroline County.