Samuel Pack (1779-1850) wrote his Last Will and Testament on 1 January 1850 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia. Three weeks later, on 23 January 1850, Raleigh County was formed. The will was the first item recorded in the Will Book for Raleigh County.
RELEASING Amy, Addison, and Henry
Saml Pack’s Will (in margin)
In the name of God Amen I Samuel Pack of the County of
Fayette & state of Virginia, calling to mind that is alotted (sic) once for
man to die do make and constitute this my last Will an (sic) testment (sic)
revoking all Wills or writings heretofore made by me in the manner
an (sic) form following (to wit)
first After my decease I desire my body may be buried in neat and
Christian like manner, that all my funeral expenses an (sic) just debts be paid
2 I give an (sic) bequeath unto my Deer (sic) Beloved wife Sally Pack absolutely
the whole of my estate both Real an (sic) personal and (sic) at disposal at her death
3rd The heirs of William Pack each one I give an (sic) bequeath One dollar
to Each one to be paid by my Executor
4th To my son Andrew Pack I give an (sic) bequeath One Dollar
5/ To my son Augustus Pack I give an (sic) bequeath One dollar
6/ To my daughter Rachel Honaker I give an (sic) bequeath One dollar
7/ With this special Reservation that my three Negroes Amy, Addison,
& Henry at the death of my wife Sally Pack shall have the
Liberty of chewsing (sic) ther (sic) own Master out of all my schildren (sic) or
grand schildren (sic) an (sic) if that dont suit they shall be at Liberty to
take some other master by him paying the valuation of said Negro
or Negroes over to said heirs.
I have omitted certain of my children with this my last will
testament which is in consequence of the Land conveyed to William
Pack at the mouth Greenbrier River. Land to Andrew Pack on Cole
River, Land to Augustus Pack on Cole River
I do hereby appoint James M. Byrnsides as my executor
at this my last Will & testament
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand
and affixed my seal this 1 day January 1850
Anderson Pack Samuel X Pack Seal
Washington H. Boyd his
At a Court held for the County of Raleigh on Monday the
28th day of October 1850.
The last Will and Testament of Samuel
Pack deceased was proved according to law by the Oaths of Anderson
Pack, and Jackson Vest, Witnesses thereto, and is ordered to be
Daniel Shumate clk
When doing genealogy research you realize how small the world really is. Samuel’s widow Sarah (Wyatt) Pack was living only a few households away from my 3rd great-grandparents Jordan N. Peters and Rachel Proffitt in 1850. Samuel and Sarah’s daughter Rachel Byrnside Pack was married to Henry Honaker (my 2C4R), grandson of my 4th great-grandfather Frederick Honaker‘s brother Henry. This led me to do a bit more research than usual on the slaves Amy, Addison, and Henry mentioned in Samuel Pack’s will.
After the Last Will and Testament
Samuel Pack died in July 1850 per the U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules Index. I found only one GEDCOM on RootsWeb with this date of death. All others have the day his will was proved in court as his date of death – 28 October 1850. On Ancestry there are over 550 trees and a little over 1/5 have the correct date of death. He was not on the 1850 census – a red flag that something must be wrong!
In 1850 his widow Sarah (Wyatt) Pack was living in Raleigh County and was enumerated on Schedule 2 for Slave Inhabitants with a 50 years old black female, a 29 years old black male, and a 25 years old black male. The schedule was dated 5 July 1850 and the three slaves mentioned are likely Amy, Addison, and Henry. As Samuel was not on the schedule his death must have been before July 5. Further, as the official enumeration day of the 1850 census was 1 June 1850 it is more likely he died before July or even June. Why else would Sarah be alone as of 1 June 1850 on the census?
By 1860 Sarah had moved in with her daughter Rachel and son-in-law Henry Honaker in Newbern, Pulaski County, Virginia. Once again she was enumerated on the Slave Schedule. This time with a 38 years old black male and a 35 years old mulatto male. From this I assume Amy may have died between 1850-1860. I believe the two males were Addison and Henry.
By the end of the year 1860 Sarah Pack was deceased. I have not found a record to confirm the 13 December 1860 date of death found on Find A Grave. Per her husband’s will at her death his Negroes should have the liberty to choose their own master out of his children or grandchildren or “take some other master.” I don’t know if they chose to remain with Rachel and Henry Honaker with whom they, as well as Sarah, were living. However I am sure Henry remained in Pulaski County. But what of Addison?
At this point I would like to note that I did not find any trace of Addison. “A cohabitation register, or as it is properly titled, Register of Colored Persons…cohabiting together as Husband and Wife on 27th February 1866, was the legal vehicle by which former slaves legitimized both their marriages and their children.” ~ Library of Virginia. Pulaski County is not included on the site and may be one of the counties for which this register does not exist. I checked the surrounding counties and none had a Pack or Addison on their register. Without Addison‘s surname it is nearly impossible to locate him in the census or other records or even to guess if he was related to Amy and Henry.
I found Henry in the 1870 census as Henry Pack with wife Margaret Ann, five children, and an older woman named Jane Hall. All were listed as mulattoes except Jane Hall who was black. Henry was a carpenter and owned 60 acres of land. By 1880 his family had grown to nine children. His place of birth as well as his parents’ were listed as West Virginia which supported my assumption that this was the same Henry as seen in Samuel Pack’s will. The 1880 census included the relationships missing on the 1870 census and prove Jane Hall (b. 1800-1802) was the mother of Henry’s wife Margaret Ann Hall.
I began following the children of Henry Pack using the nine names found in the census and their mother’s maiden name. A tenth child was born after 1880. Several death records found had years of birth which did not match the census and suggested that Henry fathered more than one child in the 1880s. I found a couple of trees on Ancestry which have confused him with another Henry Pack who lived in Wythe County and died in 1925. Because of the conflicting information I decided to input all information into a family tree on Ancestry and attach the records found. This is something I have never done. I always work directly from my genealogy software, downloading the records and attaching them to the correct individuals in my GEDCOM file. But I was not sure I was following the correct persons and decided to try a different approach, i.e. a family tree on Ancestry.
Amy Was Henry’s Mother
It was while attaching all the records that I found the indexed death record of Henry Pack.
There is no image for this record however the indexed information matches on several points.
- The age at death and estimated year of birth match with the ages seen for the younger male slave of Sarah Pack in 1850 and 1860.
- Although Raleigh County did not exist in 1825 it is where Henry lived in 1850 and likely where he was born. Pre-1850 census records of Samuel Pack were found and with changing county lines taken into consideration he lived at the same place in 1825.
- Henry’s occupation matches the occupation seen on the 1870 and 1880 census.
- Although seen as mulatto on the 1860 slave schedule, 1870 and 1880 census the death index has black.
- His wife is a match with Margaret Ann Pack, her married name.
- But the most important entries are the names of father and mother and confirm that Amy was Henry’s mother. Mr. Pack who is listed as his father very likely was not a black man as Amy was black and Henry was mulatto.
Henry’s Children, Enslaved and Free
As I researched Henry’s children I was so fixed on the three slave names in the last will and testament of Samuel Pack that I did not consider that some of Henry’s children were born into slavery. Two were born before the Emancipation Proclamation on 1 January 1863 and another was born before the abolition of slavery in Virginia in 1865: Louis, Mary Belle, and Henry Ollie.
A daughter was born two months after Henry’s death bringing the total children of Henry Pack and Margaret Ann Hall to ten:
- Louis PACK b. 20 January 1860 d. 8 December 1942
- Mary Belle PACK b. 18 March 1862 d. 4 April 1913
- Henry Ollie PACK b. 14 November 1864 d. 10 January 1943
- James Warren PACK b. 17 January 1867 d. 27 March 1940
- Lucy Ann PACK b. abt. 1869 d. 4 September 1881
- Joseph William PACK b. 27 January 1872 d. 25 Feb 1941
- Thomas Philip PACK b. 28 Oct 1874 d. 29 Dec 1950
- Walter A. PACK b. Feb 1877 d. 27 Feb 1944
- Creasy Jane PACK b. abt 1879 d. bet. 1917-1920
- Henrietta PACK b. Dec 1881 d. 3 May 1955
A death record was not found for Margaret Ann Hall. The unmarried children are missing from the 1900 census. Was their mother still living? Had she remarried? Could they be enumerated with a different surname? The family does not appear to have stayed in Pulaski County as marriages were found in Montgomery County for nearly all the children beginning in 1886. Most spent their entire lives in Auburn, Montgomery County.
The connection to Montgomery County may go back to Margaret Ann Hall’s side of the family. There were no Hall slave owners in Pulaski County in 1850 and 1860 but several in Montgomery County including Asa Hall Jr., son of Asa Hall Sr. a Revolutionary War soldier.
After inputting all information found I had 143 persons in the family tree for Amy, Addison, and Henry. I temporarily attached Addison as the son of Amy and brother of Henry. This can easily be undone if and when more information is found on Addison to prove or disproves his relationship to Amy. The tree includes ten children of Henry Pack, 32 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and counting. I did not do an exhaustive search for the second and later generations of Henry Pack’s descendants.
This exercise of using Ancestry to build a family tree was a first for me. I plan to keep the tree private as I am not a fan of the ability to click and add information from other public trees. I will reach out to those who have Henry’s children in their public trees and will give them access if they are interested. If you are related to this family, please feel free to get in touch with me by leaving a comment below.
Many thanks to my blog sister True Lewis of NoTeS To MySeLf for her feedback on my draft.
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The Slave Name Roll Project page can be found on
Schalene Jennings Dagutis’ blog Tangled Roots and Trees
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Following my three part series on the slaves of my 5th grand-father James Sims during Black History Month in February 2015 I made a commitment to write a post on a monthly basis until I’ve RELEASED all of the names of slaves owned by my ancestors or owned by persons I’ve researched who were relatives or neighbors of my ancestors. These posts are part of the Slave Name Roll Project.
© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.