Willis Leath was not a relative. My curiousity about this will is that Willis Leath had an interest in some land owned by my fourth great grandfather William Cross the Revolutionary War drummer boy, and that interest is mentioned in this will.
Willis Leath's's son Adison A. Leath married William Cross's daughter Nancy Ann Cross. In 1845, Nancy Cross Leath inherited a 1/11 share in her father's land in District 8 of Anderson County, Tennessee. By some mechanism for which I have not found a record, Willis Leath obtained an interest in his daughter-in-law's land. It surely had something to do with Adison A. Leath's's death. Adison died between 1860 and 1865, probably closer to 1860. Willis Leath paid taxes on this land in 1860 through 1865. Anderson County tax records appear to be missing from 1865 through 1885, and Willis Leath died in 1865. It sure would be interesting to know who paid taxes on the Willis Leath interest in the William Cross land after 1865.
Also, Nancy Cross Leath was a party to an 1888 Cross family lawsuit in Anderson County concerning the same land.
The William Cross who witnessed this will was a different William Cross than Nancy Cross Leath's's father, either unrelated or only distantly related to my fourth great grandfather. Indeed, my fourth great grandfather William Cross died about 1845 and so could not have witnessed an 1865 will. The witness William Cross may or may not have had any connection to Leath family, and his involvement in the will may simply have been that he was an attorney in Anderson County. The witness John Black was the brother-in-law of the witness William Cross, William being married to John's sister Jane (Jennie) Black.
I Willis Leath of the county of Anderson and state of Tennessee Considering the uncertainty of this mortal life and being of sound mind and memory blessed be Almighty God for the same do make and publish this my last Will and testament in manner and form following (to wit) First I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Rutha all my Estate both real and personall during her natural life or widowhood including the farm on which I now live containing two hundred and fifty acres and at her death or marriage I desire my Estate shall be disposed of as follows. I give and bequeath to my son G.F.M. Leath the farm on which I now live on containing two hundred and fifty acres. I give and bequeath to my son George W. Leath my two land warrants containing one hundred and sixty acres each. I also give to my son G.W. Leath five hundred dollars out of my personal estate if so much there be. I also desire him to take into his possession the above undivided? land warrants at any time he may choose after my decease and dispose of them as he may choose. I give and bequeath to my Daughter Eliza Jane one hundred dollars out of my personal Estate. I give and bequeath to my Daughter A???? one hundred dollars out of my personal Estate. I give and bequeath to me Daughter Louzianah one hundred dollars out of my personal Estate. I give and bequeath to Nancy Leath Widow of my Deceased son Adison A. Leath the undivided interest in the tract of land heretofore owned by William Cross deceased and on which A.A. Leath lived on at his death. I also give to A.A. Leath’s children one dollar each out of my personal Estate. I give and bequeath to the three children of my daughter Elizabeth Wentworth? one dollar each out personal Estate. I give and bequeath to the two Children of my son Lester Leath one dollar each out of my personal Estate. I give and bequeath to A.J. Leath’s Daughter one dollar out of my personal Estate. My desire is if my personal Estate is not sufficient to meet the above ???? is ???? that Each one named shall receive in proportion to the above specifications but if there remains any remainder on my personal Estate after paying to those above mentioned sums my desire is that it be Equally divided between my two sons (to wit) G.W. and G.F.M. Leath and lastly I do hereby nominate and appoint my two sons George W. and G.F.M. Leath my Executors of this my last will and testament hereby revoking all former Wills by me made in witness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this Eighth day of August 1865. Willis Leath (seal) Signed seald published and delivered by the above named Willis Leath to be his last Will and testament in the presence of us Who at his request and in his presence have subscribed our names as witnesses thereunto. William Cross John Black Approved by the Court Daniel Daugherty, Chairman State of Tennessee ) County Court October term 1867 County of Anderson ) I, W.W. Wallace clerk of the County Court for the county aforesaid do Certify that the above Will was proven in open court by the oaths of William Cross and John Black the subscriber Witnesses to said Will and was ordered by the court to be recorded in the book of Wills and that the above is a true record of the same given under my hand at office in Clinton the 15 of October 1867. W. W. Wallace, clerk