Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Aggy, Nancy, and Sampson

This is the third installment on the slaves owned by the Johnston family of Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia.

Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Giles, Litt, Eby, Sampson, Bridgett, and Levill featured slaves named in the 1802 last will and testament of William Johnston of Greenbrier County, Virginia (present-day West Virginia).

Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Aggy and her daughter Nancy featured slaves named in the 1825 last will and testament of  Jane Johnston of Greenbrier County, widow of above William.

The last will and testament documents of William Johnston and his wife Jane included the names of eight slaves. To find out if any of them could be followed I searched for wills of the children of William and Jane.

Following Jane’s death, her sons George and William remained bachelors, lived together, and cared for their sister’s orphaned Terry children as can be seen in the will of William Johnston written in 1849.

1849 Last Will and Testament of William Johnston

“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-HRHP-5?cc=1909099&wc=Q8BW-M4Q%3A179686201%2C179746301 : 11 October 2017), Greenbrier > Will book, v. 002 1825-1853 > image 212 of 337; county courthouses, West Virginia.

I William Johnston of the County of Greenbrier State of Virginia do make this my last will & Tesament as follows. Viz.
I give and bequeath to my brother George Johnston the whole of my estate of every kind & description whatever, commanding to his care & kindness my nieces, Rebecca, Martha & Sally Tyree.
I appoint my said brother George executor of this my last will & Testament.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal this 29th day of October 1842.
……………………………………………………………………..William Johnston *Seal*
Signed sealed & delivered by
Wm Johnston as for his last
will & Testament in our
presence
John A. North
Samuel Price
Johnson Reynolds

Greenbrier County Court
September Term 1849
This paper perporting to be the last will & Testament of William Johnston decd was produced in Court and proved by the oaths of Samuel Price & Johnson Reynolds two of the subscribing witnesses thereto, and ordered to be recorded and on the motion of George Johnston the Executor therein made who made oath and together with James Withrow & John A. North his securities entered into and acknowledged a bond in the penalty of $ 14,000 conditioned as the law requires. Certificate is granteed the said Geo. Johnston for obtaining probate of said will.
……………………………………………………………………A copy Test
………………………………………………………………………………..John A. North (Clerk)

William’s entire estate went to his brother George who wrote his will in 1859 when slavery was still practiced.

1859 Last Will and Testament of George Johnston, proven 1866

“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-HGST-4J?cc=1909099&wc=Q8BW-M91%3A179686201%2C179805001 : 11 October 2017), Greenbrier > Will book, v. 004 1863-1877 > image 122 of 373; county courthouses, West Virginia.

I, George Johnston, of Greenbrier County, Virginia, being of sound and disposing mind and memory, do make this my last will and testament, hereby revoking all former wills by me at any time heretofore.
1st It is my will that all my funeral expences (sic) and just debts be paid as soon as my executors hereinafter appointed shall be able to collect money enough from others due me to do so.
2nd I give and bequeath to Marth (sic) Wills (former Marthe Tyree) one hundred dollars to her and her heirs forever.
3rd I give and bequeath to George Tyree my three slaves Aggy, Nancy, and Sampson, with this understanding, that he take good care of them so long as they live, and farther that the said George Tyree pay to Samuel Tyree the sum of two hundred and fifty dollars.
4th I give and bequeath to my brother, Andrew D. Johnston all the residue of my estate, personal, real or mixed, or of whatever kind it may be, to him and his heirs forever.
5th I hereby appoint my said brother, Andrew D. Johnston and his son, James William Johnston, executors of this my last will and testament, and hereby request the court not to require of them surety.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal, this 27th of May, 1859.
…………………………………………George Johnston *Seal*
Signed by us as
witnesses in the presence of
each other, and in the pres-
ence of the testator and at
his request.
……………James Withrow
……………Mark S. Spotts

Recorder’s Office of Greenbrier County, July 9th, 1866:
A paper purporting to be the last will and testament of George Johnston, decd, was produced to the Recorder in his office, and proved by the oaths of James Withrow and Mark S. Spotts, subscribing witnesses thereto, and admitted to record.
…………………………………….Teste
…………………………………………Joel McPherson
…………………………………………………………Recorder

George Johnston lived until after the end of the Civil War and the will presented to the court in July 1866, after slavery was abolished, included the names of Aggy, Nancy, and Sampson. The same names seen in the last will and testament of his father William Johnston (Sampson) and of his mother Jane Johnston (Aggy and Nancy).

The same names but were they also the same persons?

The information on the number, gender, and ages of slaves owned by George and William Johnston on the 1820 through 1860 census records did not help to identify Sampson, Aggy, or Nancy in their household. Hopefully, a descendant will recognize their ancestor and be able to answer this question.

bestwishescathy1

True's statementFollowing my three part series on the slaves of my 5th great grandfather 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 (About the Project) administered by Schalene Jennings Dagutis who also blogs at Tangled Roots and Trees.

© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Aggy and her daughter Nancy

In Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Giles, Litt, Eby, Sampson, Bridgett, and Levill documents were presented which included the names of slaves held by William Johnston of Greenbrier County, Virginia (present-day West Virginia). On 25 September 1802 he made up a will which was presented to the court on 25 January 1803 dating his death at between September 1802 and January of 1803.

The 1810 census of Greenbrier County was “lost” as were those of the counties of Cabell, Hardy, and Tazewell. [Source: Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920 by Wm. Thorndale and Wm Dollarhide]

By 1820 the only Johnston household in Greenbrier County with slaves was that of William & George Johnston. The men were in one household with both names listed together on the census sheet. They were likely the two oldest of the younger sons of William Johnston (see post). Their mother Jane, the widow of William Johnston, appears to be in this household as well as her two youngest sons and another male. There were 5 slaves in the household: 2 males under 14, 1 male 45 and over, and 2 females under 14. Only the male 45 and older would have been living when the 1802 will was written.

On 7 August 1825 Jane Johnston made her last will and testament. She names her sons William and George Johnston with whom she was likely living in 1820, a daughter Polly Feamster, and son Andrew Johnston. She also names two slaves: Aggy and her daughter Nancy.

“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-HG9T-1J?cc=1909099&wc=Q8BW-MMZ%3A179686201%2C179702201 : 11 October 2017), Greenbrier > Will book, v. 001 1777-1833 > image 323 of 400; county courthouses, West Virginia.

In the name of God amen I Jane Johnston of the County of Greenbrier and State of Virginia being of sound & disposing mind and memory but sick in body do make & ordain this my Last will and Testament. In the first place I will and bequeath to my son George and William Johnson (sic) my Negro Woman Aggy to them & their heirs forever. In the second place I bequeath to my daughter Polly the wife of Johan Feamster and to Andrew Johnston my son my Negro Girl Nancy daughter of said Aggy to them & their heirs forever. I do hereby appoint my sons George and William Johnston Executors of this my Last will and Testament & do hereby revoke any and Every former will heretofore made by me In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 7th day of August Eighteen Hundred & Twenty five.
Jane X (her mark) Johnson *Seal*
Signed Sealed and acknowledged
in the presence of us
Ballard Smith
Polly Smith
Greenbrier County Court October Term 1825
This paper purporting to be the Last will and Testament of Jane Johnston decd. was presented in Court & proved by the oath of Ballard Smith and Polly Smith the subscribing Witnesses thereto to have been duly Executed & acknowledged by the within decedent and the same is ordered to be recorded.
Teste Lewis Stuart CGC (Clerk Greenbrier County)

Was Aggy one of the two females under 14 years old in the 1820 census listing for Jane’s sons George and William? Was her daughter Nancy born between 1820-1825? Or were they older and living in a different household?

Did any of the Johnston siblings mentioned in Jane Johnston’s will also leave wills or other documents which can be used to trace Aggy and Nancy?

More to come next month….

bestwishescathy1

True's statementFollowing my three part series on the slaves of my 5th great grandfather 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 (About the Project) administered by Schalene Jennings Dagutis who also blogs at Tangled Roots and Trees.

© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.