My 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks posts this year center around families in Luxembourg and Germany. Unlike my U.S. research, there are very few Facebook groups I feel I can share my posts with. Rob Deltgen, president of my genealogy society Luxracines, has a Facebook group for his genealogy website Deltgen.com and this is where I’ve been sharing my weekly posts.
Hi, Cathy. I follow your research now every week and enjoy them a lot. I noticed you sometimes use the first names as they are used in the parish books such as Joannis, Caspari, Jacobi but these are the genitive forms of the names. In Latin, first names decline according to their role in the sentence. So the names in the example would be Joannes, Casparus, and Jacobus.
I had to read this twice before I replied. I may have been one of the best in my class while in school but sometimes I feel really dumb.
Well, Linda, as you can tell I’ve never learned Latin and this is new to me. I wondered why it was not always the same but didn’t think it had something to do with the grammar. Thank you so much for pointing this out to me. Now I may have a lot of correcting to do.
After sleeping on it, I checked online to see what Linda meant by genitive and decline in relation to the Latin language. As genealogists, we are always learning new things. I’m fluent in four languages but write only in English. For the generation I am presently working on, the records are mostly from church registers in Latin or indexed from the same. I thought I could get by without studying Latin. But, as I learned from Linda, it’s important to know at least some of the elementary rules of this dead language.
This is not a lesson in Latin
Linda’s well-intended comment showed me an error I’ve been making and, perhaps, you have too.
In grammar, genitive (abbreviated gen; also called the possessive case or second case) is the grammatical case that marks a noun as modifying another noun. ~ Wikipedia
Genitive refers to possession and decline or declension are the set of endings of words depending on their use in a sentence.
When I wrote the above sentence in my post yesterday, I included “Jacobus” and “Jacobi” in quotes as these were variations of his name I was seeing in indexed records. If I’d have paid a bit more attention I might have seen a pattern and realized my mistake.
Jacobus was the name seen on his death/burial record:
While Jacobi was found in records in which Jacob was seen as the father.
In the above example, Maria Anna was the daughter of Jacob Wolschett and Catharina Barthelmes. Maria Anna filia Jacobi et Catharinae. Or in the example of Jacob’s death, Jacob’s wife Catharina is seen as Catharinae (possessive). Wikibooks has a Latin lesson I plan to use for further reference.
Of course, I asked Linda’s permission to use her comment and after thanking her she sent this very enlightening comment:
It is sometimes quite useful when you read the parish books to be aware of the genitive, because in Latin all the words are just one after the other. In some cases you will have for example … baptisatus est Joannes Adamus Jacobi MULLER … Now you know that the child’s name is Joannes Adamus, and the father’s name Jacobus (and not child Joannes and father Adamus Jacobus).
If you are seeing several spellings of a name in Latin records or indexed information from Latin records, the difference is likely due to the rules which show who is being named: the child, parent, or spouse.
If you plan on checking out my last post, I’ve already fixed the error. From now on I will know the difference. I’ll also be making corrections in older posts, all thanks to Linda’s informative comments.
It’s National Women’s History Month! What better way to start the month than with a post about my latest genealogy *happy dance* find concerning an ancestress who has been featured in several posts with her husband. (see links at the bottom of this post)
It was a known fact that my 5th great-grandmother Catherine Barbara NOLL was still living at the time of her husband Henry RUPE’s death in late November 1845. It has been assumed by some researchers that Catherine died before the 1850 census as she was not listed. I have always thought this to be an error as her daughters Elizabeth Compton, Barbara Rupe, Mary Roop, and Nancy Roop were also omitted even though they are known to have been living at the time. Many of her son William’s children from his first marriage were also missing.
Catherine and Henry’s son Jacob ROOP was still settling his father’s estate in January 1860 when the Widow’s Dower went to the youngest son Joseph. Could this mean their mother was recently deceased?
Where could the answer be found?
I found the answer to this question in the Chancery Records of Virginia.
The Chancery Records Index (CRI) is a result of archival processing and indexing projects overseen by the Library of Virginia (LVA) and funded, in part, by the Virginia Circuit Court Records Preservation Program (CCRP). Each of Virginia’s circuit courts created chancery records that contain considerable historical and genealogical information.
Yesterday morning, while skimming through my Facebook News Feed, I noticed a post by my friend Ta Lee who I got to know when she recognized one of her enslaved families on my blog. Ta mentioned that new chancery cases are available and she was so excited. When I asked her which counties, she told me, Montgomery. I was a bit disappointed as I have been waiting impatiently for Amherst to come online.
This was the last update I saw on Montgomery: The bulk of this series runs from 1773 through 1913. 05/02/2016- These records are currently closed until they are digitally reformatted. The index remains available for research purposes.
Last year I had gone through the index and noted several cases which looked promising due to the names listed. One of these was John Roop, etc. vs. Jacob Roop,Exr, etc. from 1870. I was not expecting to make the find I made!
Chancery Causes: John Roop, etc. vs. Jacob Roop,Exr, etc.(transcription of the first 4 images of 36)
Chancery Causes: John Roop, etc. vs. Jacob Roop, Exr, etc. (286 in corner) 1870-012 Montgomery County CA estate dispute T property Deed Names: Roope, Compton, Paris, Akers, Faris, Smith, Chandler, Chandlin, Silvers, Roupe Will: 1845 Henry Roope : Montgomery County
To the Hon. Andrew S. Fulton Judge of the County Court of Montgomery Your orators John Roop and Henry Roop respectfully represent unto your Honor that Henry Roop Sen. departed this life in the year 1845 in the County of Montgomery having made & published his will in due form of law whereto was admitted to probate in the County Court of said County at the December Term in said year. By his said will the testator appointed his son Jacob Roop his executor who duly qualified as such and entered into bond for the faithful discharge of his duties with Samuel Lucas, William C. Taylor & Joseph Roop as his securities. A copy of said will is herewith filed and prayed to be taken as a part of this bill. It will be seen by reference thereto that the testator devised to his widow Catharine Roope one third of his real estate for life & directed his executor his executor (sic) to make sale of the residue upon a credit of one and two years & the proceeds to be divided among his children of whom there were thirteen entitled to distributions. Your orators further represent that sometime after the qualification of the said executor as aforesaid – he commenced a negotiation with the devisees under said will for the purchase of their interests in two thirds of said real estate which finally resulted in a sale on the part of most of them to him of their interests aforesaid. Among those who thus sold were your orators. Your orator John Roop sold his interest in said real estate at the sum of $100 and in the personal estate at the sum of fourteen dollars and your orator Henry Roop received for his interest in the real & personal estate the sum of $110. Your
his interest in said real estate at the sum of $100 and in the personal estate at the sum of fourteen dollars and your orator Henry Roop received for his interest in the real & personal estate the sum of $110. Your orators ? that the said Jacob Roop effected this purchase from them by representing the title to a portion of the land as defective that much of it was worn out and without timber & that the land sold at public auction would not bring as much as he was willing to give. Your orators having entire confidence in the integrity & judgement of said Jacob Roop made the sale of their interest aforesaid & afterword in June 1851 conveyed the same to him. Your orators further represent that said Roop held possession of said land until the year 1850 when he made a pretended sale of the same & purchased it in himself at the sum of $8-01 cts per acre. Your orators believe that the time & place of sale was known to but few persons – that there was but little competition and the conduct of said Roop was such as to discourage bidding from the bystanders – Sometime after this, in Oct 1851, the said Jacob Roop made a sort of settlement of his executorial accounts, a copy of which is therewith filed and prayed to be taken as a part of this bill – It will be seen by reference thereto that the testator owed no debts – that the few items of credits claimed by the executor were for charges attending the administrations of said estate & for various sums paid the legatees for their interest as aforesaid – And although the said executor charges himself with 2/3ds of said land at the sum of $8-01ct per acre – yet he has only paid your orators the several sums here in before mentioned – nor has he ever acc?iled in any wise for any portion of the rents & profits of said land between the death of the testator in 1845 & the time of sale in 1850. Your orators further represent that the said Catharine Roop departed this life in July or August of 1859 – Since which time the said Jacob Roop puts up the extraordinary claim that the sale & purchase aforesaid embraced the one third given to said Catharine Roop. But your orators and that they only conveyed & intended to convey their interests in the said two thirds as herein before stated. But they are advised that this is wholly immaterial in as much as a fiduciary will not be permitted to speculate upon those he represents – that the executor in this case will be held to account for the said two thirds at the price per acre bid by him – and as to the residue of said land he will be required to make sale of the same in the manner directed by the will or to account for its market value – Your orators are informed & so over that the said tracts of land contain 440 acres of land instead of 400 acres as represented to them by the said Jacob Roop for which he will also be held accountable intended consideration of the premises the prayer of your orators is that the said Jacob Roop in his own right & as executor as aforesaid
George Roop – James Roop – Barbara Roop – Nancy Roop – JamesComptin & Elizabeth his wife late Elizabeth Roop – Polly Roop – John Pharis & Racheal his wife formerly Racheal Rupe – Linch Akers – Wm Silvers & Ruth his wife, Narcissa Akers, Jackson Silvers & Lucinda his wife, Minnis Chandler & Catherine his wife – William Smith administrator of Samuel Roop & Joseph Roop deviseesundersaid will, may be made parties defendant to this bill & required to answer the same on oath – Let the said Jacob Roop answer & say what amount he paid your orators severally for their interest in said estate whether he did not buy in said land at the price aforesaid and let him full & specific answer make to all the allegations in this bill as though the same were herein especially repeated – And may it please your Honor to grant your orators a ?? for the amount due them upon the sale made by said executor herein before mentioned – and also for a sale of the said one third of the real estate in the manner provided for in said will – and grant your orators all such further and general relief as the nature of their case may require and the principles of equity & good conscience dectable? Staples & Wade
When did Catherine Barbara Noll die?
Catharine Roop departed this life in July or August of 1859 –
RELEASING: Matt, Egg, Judge (Jude), Jinny, Jack, Rachel Mose, Mary, George, Franky (Frank), and Wilson
The names listed above were found in the Appraisement Bill of the Estate of James Robinson of Nicholas County, (West) Virginia as well as in his Last Will and Testament.
The estate was appraised on the 23rd day of November 1831 by Samuel Price, Samuel McClung, and R. Kelly.
Included in the appraisement (below) were:
Wilson a negro man $450.- Frank a negro girl $300 (sic, Franky per will below) Mary a negro girl $50
The personal property of James Robinson was sold on the 24th and 25th of November 1831. The Bill of Sale was presented to the court held for Nicholas County January Term 1832. No slaves were sold.
The Last Will and Testament was presented and proven during the March Term 1832 and April Term 1832.
James Robinson Will
I James Robinson of the County of Nicholas do hereby make my last will and testament in manner and form following that is to say. 1st I desire the perishable part of my estate be immediately sold after my decease and out of the monies arising therefrom all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid. Should the perishable part of my property prove insufficient for the above purpose then I desire that my executors hereafter names may sell my land that lies between the land of James Reed and David McCay’s survey of five hundred acres on Glade Crick and out the monies arising from the sale of said part of three hundred acres pay and satisfy such of my just debts as remain unpaid out of the sale of the perishable part of my estate. 2dly After the payment of my debts and funeral expenses, I give to my wife Elizabeth Robinson one third part of my estate both real and personal which is to include four negroes to wit my negro man Matt & two black women Egg & Judge her youngest child & Jinny for and during her natural life and after her decease I give the three first mentioned negroes Matt, Egg and Jude to my children herein after mentioned to wit Cynthia Callison, Rebecca Hamilton, Peggy Perkins, Miriam L. Robinson, Agness Robinson and Elizabeth Robinson the three negro’s above mentioned to be sold and the proceeds of their sales to be equally divided among my sid children daughters above named to be enjoyed by them forever. And the last mentioned negro woman Jinny after the decease of my wife Elizabeth Robinson may go to any of my heirs that she the said Jinny may choose to live with. 3dly Whereas I have conveyed to my son John H. Robinson three several parts of land and one negro boy named Jack which is more than his equal part of my estate with my other heirs I therefore or give give no part of my other estate either real or personal to him the said John H. Robinson more than the
three tracts of land & the negro boy Jack before mentioned which I conveyed by deed of gift to him but will the residue of my estate to my other heirs in manner following that is to say. 4thly I give to my daughter Cynthia Callison wife of Isaac Callison the part of land whereon the said Isaac Callison now lives containing two hundred acres and all the property & stock which I before gave her for her share of my estate. 5thly I give to my daughter Rebecca Hamilton wife of John McKee Hamilton one negro girl named Rachel. 6thly I give to my daughter Miriam L. Robinson one negro boy named Mose. 7thly I give to my daughter Peggy Perkins wife of David Perkins one negro girl calld Mary. 8thly I give to my daughter Agness Robinson one negro boy called George. 9thly I give my youngest daughter Robinson one negro girl calld Franky. 10thly I desire that my yellow boy Wilson be hired out and and the hire of said Wilson to be applied by my executors to the benefit of my wife Elizabeth Robinson & my youngest daughter Elizabeth. 11thly I desire that all the rest of my estate both real and personal of what nature and kind so were it may be not herein before particularly disposed of may be equally divided between my six daughters Rebecca, Miriam L., Peggy, Agness & Elizabeth (sic, only 5 names) herein before named which I I (sic) give to them their heirs & forever. And lastly I do hereby constitute and appoint my friends John Boggs and Thomas Callaghan Executors to this my last will and testament hereby revoking all other wills and testaments heretofore made. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this twenty fifth day of February in the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty eight signed sealed and delivered as and for the last will of the above named James Robinson in presence of us
E. R. Hutchison James Robinson *Seal* Samuel Hutchison At a court held for Nicholas County March Term 1832 The execution of this the last will and testament of James Robinson deceased was duly proved by the oath of E. R. Hutchison a subscribing witness thereto and at the April Term of said Court 1832 it was duly proven by the oath of Saml Hutchison the other subscribing witness thereto and ordered to be recorded accordingly. Teste Saml Price *Seal*
Notes for further research
The will was written in 1828, James Robinson died 9 October 1831. In 1830 the census included 3 slaves while in 1820 4 were listed:
1830 U.S. Federal Census
Slaves -Males – 24 thru 35: 1 (Wilson)
Slaves – Females – Under 10: 1 (Mary)
Slaves – Females – 10 thru 23: 1 (Franky)
The appraisement and sale of the estate of the widow Elizabeth Robinson were noted in the same Will Book on pages 73 and 74. No slave names were found.
In 1840 John H. Robinson (Jack) had two slaves, a female under 10 and a female 36 thru 54; Isaac Callison, husband of Cynthia Robinson who received no slave, had no slaves; John Hamilton, husband of Rebecca Robinson (Rachel), had one male slave 10 thru 23; Margaret Perkins, possibly Peggy Robinson (Mary), had no slaves; Miriam (Mose) and Agnes (George) married Rader men who did not have slaves in 1840.
Included in the collection of church records are the Tables des mariages 1700-1798 (index organisée par l’époux/l’épouse), a card index of marriages performed in parishes in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg before 1800.
How this neat tool came to be
The Luxembourg Association of Genealogy and Heraldry (ALGH) was founded in 1984 and has its headquarters in the castle of Mersch. It does not have an internet presence. ALGH launched a huge project when the association was still young. A team of volunteers extracted all marriage information from the 156 old parish registers from before 1800 onto index cards.
The project took years to finish. The original aim of the ALGH was to make xerox copies of the index cards by parishes for members to consult in their headquarters making it unnecessary to go to the original.
FamilySearch microfilmed the marriage index cards in 1995 and included them in the church records collection for Luxembourg when they were digitized in 2012 and finally went online in 2015. The cards are in alphabetical order by groom’s and by bride’s surnames for each parish. They are also accessible in alphabetical order by groom’s surname for the entire country in Grand Duché du Luxembourg.
Why did I have to use a back door?
As I’m now working on the paternal 5th great-grandparents of my children in Luxembourg, I’ve gotten into an area which is no longer covered by the civil records kept in the country. Most of these ancestors were born, married, and had children before 1800. These can only be documented by searching through the church records.
Records after 1800 are relatively easy to access as civil records are indexed in the tables décennales, decennial tables produced every ten years since 1802. However, church records are not indexed and very hard to read.
I check the card index for marriages first as they make it easy to search for marriage records in the church records collection. Most of the time. In the example at the top, for the marriage of the SCHWARTZ-HAALER couple, the volumes and page numbers of the records are notes. Not all persons who filled out these index cards gave this information but the records can still be more easily found as the cards include the date and place of marriage.
However not all ancestors married in the town they lived in, so finding the card is not always easy. Some married in neighboring towns or in the town a bride was from. To be sure I didn’t miss anyone, I checked all persons (this works for grooms only) of a surname in the cards for the entire country.
And this is where I had a problem. The links for marriages of grooms with surnames from BIVER to HEISDORF are missing.
I went to the FamilySearch catalog to find out where they might be found. I refined the search with Luxembourg as the place and church records as the subject. Under Luxembourg Church Records Indexes I found 8 entries including Fichier des actes de mariage avant de 1800 (index cards of marriages before 1800).
Scrolling down to the Film Notes I found the collection is divided into 30 films including the missing ones (outlined in red).
The camera icon is my back door to access the cards for grooms with the surnames BIVER through HEISDORF.
This back door at FamilySearch can be used for any and all of their collections. When you go in through the front door, the name of a collection may not reflect the complete content of a collection. Not all records are indexed and not all browse only records may be showing up in a list as seen in my example above of the missing marriages for Luxembourg. Get into the habit of checking the FamilySearch catalog for the town, county, state, or country you are working on. Happy Huntings!
De Vältesdag, deen den 14. Februar a ville Länner gefeiert gëtt, ass deen Dag vun den Verléiften.Ouni déi Koppelen, déi virun eis gelieft hun géifen mir net existéieren.
Valentine’s Day, which is celebrated in many countries on the 14th of February, is the time for people to show feelings of love and affection. Without the couples who came before us, we would not exist. Most were married, some cut it close, and at least one lady gave us a non-paternity event.
The names of 43 new ancestors were added to my family tree database during the year. This is nearly five times more than those added in 2016. Many of these are due to my now having access* to the Family Books of German towns where my ancestors lived and the recent work I’ve been doing with the church records of Luxembourg. The new additions are in the 5th to 8th great-grandparents’ generations. The new ancestors who lived in areas which are now Germany have names and dates. Records are being found in the church records of Luxembourg for those who lived in these German towns which belonged to parishes in Luxembourg at the time.
* Thanks to our newly opened Luxracines library in Walferdange, Luxembourg.
Generation 6 is still hanging in there at 30 of 32 ancestors. I continue to search for the key to the door of my most frustrating DEMPSEY brick wall. Who were the parents of William A. W. DEMPSEY 1820-1867 of Fayette County, West Virginia? As the administrator of my youngest brother’s DNA, I’m beginning to see several cousins, with shared matches, who descend from his daughter Mary Virginia DEMPSEY and son-in-law John A. SNELL who married in 1872.
My Children’s Ancestor Score
My children have 355 more known ancestors than I do. Their paternal ancestry, being mostly Luxembourgish, helps to bring in a whopping 95% score for the first 8 generations – up to their 5th great-grandparents. Even at 10 generations they have 61% compared to my 39%.
I’ve included the stats for previous years in both tables above but here is a list of my posts from the previous years if you are interested in reading them.
Rob DELTGEN, president of luxracines a.s.b.l. has announced the publication of the family book of ECHTERNACH by Thomas WEBERS (in German). Period 1796-1923, 5,862 families, 31,120 births, 751 pages.
Finally, researchers will have a family book for the commune of Echternach. For the longest time Echternach was the second largest town in Luxembourg. Even in the 1960s it had more hotel beds than Luxembourg City. No town in Luxembourg has a richer history.
Thomas WEBERS, an experienced author of numerous Luxembourgish and German family books, has embarked on this very extensive work and has mastered it with diligence and endurance.
Without the participation and support of the municipality of Echternach, this publication would not have been possible.
Please find below, the announcement made in German by Rob DELTGEN.
Familienbuch der Gemeinde Echternach
Neuerscheinung Anfang März lieferbar
Familienbuch der Gemeinde ECHTERNACH
Autor: Thomas WEBERS
Gemeinde Echternach und luxracines asbl
5.862 Familien, 31.120 Geburten, 15.265 Todesfälle
Vorverkauf 59 Euro (bis 28. Februar)
Ladenpreis ab 1. März: 69 Euro
Versand: Porto 15 € Inland, 25 € Ausland
Bitte angeben ob Versand oder SelbstabholerÜberweisung auf unser Bankkonto luxracines.lu asbl
IBAN: LU97 1111 2992 8237 0000
Abholbar bei der Buchpräsentation in Echternach (Termin wird mitgeteilt)
oder in unserem Lokal in Walferdingen während der Öffnungszeiten
Endlich liegt uns das Ortsfamilienbuch der Gemeinde ECHTERNACH vor. Diese Ortschaft war lange die zweitgrößte Ortschaft des Landes und noch in den sechziger Jahren besaß Echternach mehr Hotelbetten als die Hauptstadt Luxemburg. Es gibt keine Ortschaft in Luxemburg, die reicher an Geschichte ist. Funde aus der Stein- und Römerzeit belegen dies.
Thomas WEBERS, routinierter Autor zahlreicher Luxemburger und Deutscher Familienbücher, hat sich an diese doch sehr umfangreiche Arbeit herangewagt und sie mit Fleiß und Ausdauer bewältigt. Nicht immer war es für Thomas einfach, die Namen der Orte korrekt wiederzugeben. Wie schwer ist es für einen deutschen Forscher zu wissen, dass z.B. die in der Urkunde bezeichnete Ortschaft Siebenbrunnen identisch ist mit Septfontaines. Wir haben versucht die Orte-Datei soweit wie möglich zu berichtigen. Mein Dank geht hier auch an unsere fleißige Sekretärin Christiane OTH-DIEDERICH, welche mit großer Kompetenz vieles korrigiert hat.
Ohne die Beteiligung und Unterstützung der Gemeinde Echternach wäre diese Publikation nicht möglich gewesen. Dieses Buch ermöglicht nicht nur der Gemeinde die Originaldokumente zu schonen, denn jede Fotokopie schädigt die Tinte, sondern darüber hinaus ermöglicht dies den Unerfahrenen im Lesen der Akten, welche ja größtenteils in der alten deutschen Schreibweise, Spitzschrift genannt, verfasst sind, an exakte Daten zu kommen.
Wir danken der Gemeindeführung für die Zusammenarbeit.
Robert Kelly was found on the Nicholas County, (West) Virginia, slave schedule in 1850 but he was enumerated in his son’s household in the neighboring county of Braxton.
Cato was a young man in 1821 and would have been at least in his late 40s in 1850. From the above slave schedule listing, Cato was very likely no longer owned by Kelly who had 8 slaves in 1850. Robert Kelly’s last will and testament was located in Braxton County and names 8 enslaved persons and mentions one unnamed man.
RELEASING:Mary and her husband; their children Washington, Granville (a girl), Catharine, and Lucinda; Maddison, Callohill, and Granville (a woman).
The Last Will and Testament of Robert Kelly of Braxton County, (West) Virginia
Know all men by These presents that I, Robert Kelly of the County of Nicholas and State of Virginia do hereby make my last will and testament in manner and form following, That is to say, 1st. I desire that the perishable part of my Estate be immediately sold after my decease (with the exception of such property as is hereafter willed) and out of the monies arising Therefrom all my Just debts and funeral expenses be paid. 2ndly. I will and bequeath to my two sons John McH. Kelly and Charles William Kelly my farm on Elk River lately purchased from George Molahon and bind my said two sons to pay to said Mollahon five hundred dollars being the last installment of the purchase money due forsaid land, and also to board, clothe and take care of my daughter Mary Virginia Kelly during her natural life and in the event of my Daughter Mary Virginia Kelly being unwilling to live with either of them then in that event they shall out of the value of my land this day willed to them pay to such person as may board clothe and take care of her in a genteel manner a reasonable amount for such board and clothing. 3rdly. I will and bequeath to my son John McH. Kelly my negro man slave Maddison to him and his heirs forever. 4thly. I will and bequeath to my son Charles William Kelly my negro slave Callohill to him and his heirs forever. 5thly. I will and bequeath to my daughter Rebecca Jane Ann Duffy Two negro girls named Catharine & Lucinda The children of my negro woman slave named Mary to her and her (sic) and the heirs of her own body forever together with the future increase of said negro girls to her and her heirs forever. 6thly. I will and bequeath to my son David O. Kelly my negro boy Washington and my negro girl named Granville two children of my slave Mary. The said negro boy Washington to serve my said son David O. Kelly or his heirs until he arrives at the age of thirty years, and at that age the said negro boy Washington to be free, to him and his heirs forever. 7thly. I will and bequeath to my Daughter Mary Virginia Kelly my negro slave named Granville, one feather bed and bedding to be enjoyed by her during her natural life and at her death I will and desire that the negro woman slave Granville share be free, in consequence of her kindness and attention to my family. 8thly. I will and order that any executors herein after named and my heirs shall if atall in their power conveniently to try and prevent the seperation of my negro woman slave Mary & her husband. 9thly. I will and bequeath to my two sons John McH. Kelly & Charles William Kelly each of them one feather bed and bedding to them and their heirs forever. 10thly. I will and bequeath that all my Estate both real and personal not herein before willed shall after my death be sold and out of the monies arising therefrom first my two sons John McH. Kelly & Charles William Kelly are each to have one hundred dollars and the balance of said proceeds of said sale to be equally divided amongst all my children or their heirs.
And lastly I do hereby constitute and appoint my two sons John McH. Kelly and Charles William Kelly Executors of this my last will and testament hereby revoking all other or former wills or Testaments by me heretofore made. In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 2nd day of August 1849. Signed sealed published and declared by R. Kelly *Seal* Robert Kelly as and for his last will and Testament in the presence and hearing of us who at his request and in his presence have subscribed our names as witnesss. David Eagle John McD. Grose Ro. Hamilton Codicil to the foregoing last will & testament of Robert Kelly, viz. when the foregoing will was made I thought that the two slaves viz. Washington and Granville could be freed by me, at the time mentioned in said will without any confliction with the laws of Virginia. But on mature reflection, I have concluded that if the new constitution of Virginia shall be adopted, which I believe it will that in that event the said Washington‘s freedom is hereby revoked by me, and that he shall be and remain the property of the said D. O. Kelly to him & his heirs forever, and the said Granville‘s freedom is revoked so far as this, that she shall remain & live with my daughter Virginia so long as she lives, and at her death she shall have a right to live with any of my children that she choses during her lifetime. And it is my desire that whichever child of mine that she should make choice to live with to pay her revenue tax as a slave, so as to secure to her a right to live in the state, without her being molested or disturbed by the laws of the state. This codicil signed & sealed by me on this 26th day of September 1851. Teste R. Kelly *Seal* Jno. P. Byrne W. Newlon Braxton County Court September Term 1853. The last will and testament of Robert Kelly Deceased, with a codicil Thereto [illegible] was this day produced in Court, and the will was proved by the oaths of David Eagle and John McD. Grose subscribing witnesses thereto, and the codicil was proved by the oaths of William Newlon & John P. Byrne subscribing witnesses thereto, which will together with the codicil thereto is ordered to be recorded. Teste Jno. P. Byrne Clk
Due to blog format I transcribed without line breaks in the main text of the will and placed numbered items at the beginning of a new line.
Robert Kelly a Resident of Nicholas and Braxton Counties
Robert Kelly appears to have lived in the part of Nicholas County which became Braxton County – his land likely lying in both counties. Note: Braxton County was formed in 1836 from parts of Lewis, Kanawha and Nicholas counties.
In 1820 Robert Kelly had 5 slaves in his household: 1 male under 14 and 4 females 14 thru 25. In 1830 he had 7 slaves in his household: 2 males under 10, 1 male 24 thru 35, 2 females under 10, 1 female 10 thru 23, 1 female 24 thru 35. In 1840 he had 6 slaves in his household: 1 male under 10, 1 male 10 thru 23, 1 male 24 thru 35, 1 male 36 thru 54, 2 females 10 thru 23.
From the information on the 1850 slave schedule and the will of Robert Kelly, I believe these are the names and ages of the enslaved persons. The name Granville was mentioned twice in the will, for a girl and for a woman. Mary’s husband’s name was not given.
I analyzed the ages of the slaves in the pre-1850 census, compared with the 1850 schedule and the will. I believe it is possible Cato was the father of Granville, Mary, and Callohill and may have died before the will was written. This is an assumption on my part and I have no documentation to back it up.
In 1860, several of Robert Kelly’s children are on the slave schedule of Braxton and Nicholas counties:
Braxton: Charles William Kelly with a 23 yrs old male mulatto (Callohill)
Braxton: Mary Virginia Kelly with a 40 yrs old female mulatto (Granville) and a 3 yo female mulatto
Braxton: John McHamilton Kelly with a 33 yrs old male black (Maddison)
Nicholas: David Oliver Kelly with a 30 yrs old female mulatto, a 23 yo male mulatto (Washington), a 6 yo male mulatto, 4 yo male mulatto, and a 2 yo male mulatto.
Robert Kelly, at the time he wrote his will, believed he could easily arrange for two of his slaves to be freed. Within two years he was writing a codicil to the will as he expected a new constitution to be adopted by Virginia which would make it impossible to carry out his wishes.
This codicil makes me wonder how many slave holders changed their minds about freeing their enslaved people because of the laws of their state?
I love numbers! Once upon a time, I wanted to be a math teacher and worked as a credit analyst for a few years before becoming a stay at home Mom. I still get to play with them, in genealogy and when analyzing the stats on my blog.
Exactly 20,500 visitors came to my blog during 2016. Total views on were 37,046 compared to 27,673 in 2015. The increase was about the same as from 2014 to 2015. If all goes well I will be celebrating 100,000 total views since I began blogging by mid-2017.
Viewers came from 98 countries compared to 84 in 2015. Below are the top 10 countries.
I don’t know if I should be surprised or not with the success of my two top posts. Writing posts on DNA, a subject I have only started learning about, was not planned. I haven’t done the test but have been administering my brother’s DNA results for the past seven months. There is so much I need to learn about DNA and how it will help in my genealogy research. I’d like to be able to write at least one post in 2017 about a great discovery made through DNA. Don’t we all?
The success of my posts for the Slave Name Roll Project helped me to continue searching for more names to write about each month and this will be continued in 2017.
The Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can series will soon be coming to an end. Fifty posts were written in 2016 from #37 to #84 with a couple being done in two parts. Each week I learned more about vintage photography and fashion of the era. I think this shows in the latest posts I’ve written. Before completing the series I may re-visit some of the earlier photographs which did not include descriptions.
During the last few days of 2016, my WordPress followers went over 200. At the end of the year, I had 203 WordPress followers (compared to 126 in 2015) and 77 email followers (compared to 45 in 2015).
Top 5 Referrers
The top five referrers were Facebook, search engines, RootsWeb, Tangled Roots and Trees, and the WordPress Reader. #1 Facebook is not surprising as I use it to promote my blog. #3 RootsWeb reflects how often people view my GEDCOM file and then visit my blog. #4 is Schalene Jennings Dagutis’ blog. Without her, we would not have the Slave Name Roll Project. I get a lot of traffic from her blog since she mentioned my blog in her introduction to the project.
Not all search engines reveal search terms due to privacy, however, it is still interesting to see what may have brought people to my blog. Many search terms are places and ancestral names.
What’s Coming in 2017?
I began blogging in January 2014 when I joined Amy Johnson Crow‘s challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. In 2015 I did the 2015 Edition and by the end of the year, I had written about my children’s ancestors from their grandparents to 4th great-grandparents as well as 1/4 of the 5th great-grandparents. During 2017 I am going to do a NEW SEASON of the challenge, working on the rest of their 5th great-grandparents and posting on Fridays instead of Mondays.
On Christmas Day, one hundred and ninety-five years ago, Sophia and her child as well as a boy named Cato were sold in estate sales in Nicholas County, (West) Virginia.
William Hamilton (1795-1821) died about a month after his sister Jane. His inventory and sale were recorded at the same time as Jane’s which were shared last month in the post releasing Sophia and her child.
William Hamilton owned a man named Cato as seen in the Inventory & Appraisal of his personal estate:
William Hamilton Inventory & Appraisal (in margin)
We the Subscribers agreeable to an an order of the Worshipfull the County Court of Nicholas County, the November term 1821 of Said Court being first Duly Sworn have proceed to appraise the personal estate of William Hamilton Dec’d as produced to us by Robert Kelly & John Mc. Hamilton the administrators on said Estate to wit, on the 18th day of December 1821 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ – Cts one Negro man named Cato . . . . . 400 – 00 Watch & Chain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 – 00 one pair of Saddle Bags . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 – 00 one horse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 – 00 one Bed & furniture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 – 00 one Book History of America . . . . . . . . – 75 one Sword & Belt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 – 00 tow appletts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 – 00 one pair of spears . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . – 75 one Saddle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 – 00 two Books . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 – 50 Razor Box & Razor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 – 00
Jane Laverty Hamilton (1793-1821) and William Hamilton (1795-1821) were two children of John Hamilton (1748-1818) and Rebekah Laverty (1765-1811). In 1820 their older married brother Robert Hamilton had three slaves in his household, two males under 14 years of age and one male 45 years or older. There were several white adults in the household but since Jane had a female slave she was probably not in this household. Robert was the only Hamilton on the 1820 census. One or more of his unmarried brothers, perhaps William, may have been in this household.
Jane and William’s older sister Margaret was married to Robert Kelly who had five slaves in his household, one male under 14 years of age and four females between 14 and 25 years of age. As in Robert Hamilton’s household, there were several white adults in Robert Kelly’s. It is more than likely that Jane was in this household as it also included a female enslaved person who may have been Sophia who was released in last month’s post.
William may have been in either household as both included male slaves under the age of 14 years. As Cato was seen as a man in the inventory and then as a boy when he was sold, he could have been nearly 14 in 1820. It is more than likely that William and Cato were in the household of Robert Kelly as the brothers-in-law were partners in the firm Kelly & Hamilton. The inventory and appraisal of the estate of the firm Kelly & Hamilton followed the inventory and appraisal of the estate of William Hamilton and did not include any slaves. As seen above in the sale of the estate, Robert Kelly became the slave holder of Cato.
I’ve wanted to try a new theme for my blog for quite some time. I’ve seen a few themes I like but not enough to go through the “work” of switching. Too many format changes to the content would have to be made to make the theme work well for my blog.
I have a wiz-ee-wig 😉 obsession when writing my posts in draft mode. I know I should just write until I’m finished and then format. I’m always using the Preview button to see what the post looks like and to read through it searching for errors or possible re-writes.
From Twenty Ten to Twenty Sixteen
The year is nearly over and I decided to try the WordPress default theme for 2016: Twenty Sixteen. It took me several hours to customize the widgets, background, menus, headers, and fonts. I didn’t do it in one sitting. I put it aside several times, never closing the dashboard. There may be an easier way but I wanted to keep my old theme, Twenty Ten, active until I was satisfied with the new theme.
I became quite frustrated with the logo feature. Here I have what I think is a great logo – mainly because I made it all by myself – and it wasn’t showing up in the upper corner during the customization. In the end, after I had made all the changes to the menu and widgets, I went back to the headers and logo section, tried again, and it finally worked. The new theme went live last Wednesday and on Sunday I tweaked the size of the title to the dimensions available in the image field. Instead of using a picture I chose to make an image with the name of my blog in the fonts I used for my logo and hid the default title.
Some things which will have to be fixed
I haven’t gone through each post but I have found two issues that I will have to deal with.
My sources (endnotes) no longer appear in small print. They are now in a larger size bold print. This will have to be fixed as most of my posts from last year, when I did the Luxembourgish families, have between 20-50 items in the endnotes. This does not look “neat and clean” like the rest of the blog.
I’ve fiddled around with solutions and have decided to switch the formatting to Paragraph (same as the rest of content) and then change the font color to a middle gray to set it off from the rest of the post.
Another difference I will have to get used to is the numbering in the Twenty Sixteen theme hangs the numbers or bullets to the left and places the text flush with the other content. I was used to the numbers/bullets being flush to the text and the rest being indented to the right. My boxes with the Genealogy Sketch have this numbering and the numbers are nearly attached to the left side of the box. I’ll be fixing these over the next few weeks.
Some things I love about this new theme
When quoting the old theme used indentation of the italicized text, This new theme still used italics, although the font size is a tiny bit larger. The text is flush with the rest of the content and sets it off with a thick vertical line to the left.
The featured image in a post now shows up at the top of the post. I have a few ideas of how I am going to use this to my advantage. For example, a recurring image for posts in a series or using my collection of photographs of doors (like the one at the top of this post) or photos of signs of the towns an ancestor lived in. I think this may work really well since I am not using a photo at the top of my blog.
I’m ready for the New Year and my blog is ready for another year. If you are a blogger, have you recently updated or changed your blog’s theme? To all of my readers, I’d love to hear what you think of the new look.