Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Harvey and Hariett

Last week Edmond‘s name was released from the last will and testament of Elizabeth Clark written in 1841 and recorded in 1844. Elizabeth mentioned Frances C. Harrison and her husband John in the will.1

As I tried to follow Edmond either forward in time or back, I found John Harrison was listed in the 1840 census of Mason County. In his household were one male 10 thru 14, one male 50 thru 59, one female 50 thru 59, one female 70 thru 79, and 4 slaves. The enslaved persons in the household were 2 males under 10, a male 24 thru 35, and a female 10 thru 23.2

Was the older woman in the household Elizabeth Clark? If this was the household Elizabeth was living in, would Edmond be the young man age 24 thru 35? Or was John Harrison the holder of all four slaves?

There is a reason I looked into the Elizabeth Clark will. In 1850 my 4th great-grandmother Nancy Beasley, widow of Dennis Clonch (also seen as Claunch), was enumerated as Nancy Clonch age 75 in the household of John W. Clark age 56. Also in the household was her 12 years old grandson Dennis Clonch.3 Nancy died in the 1850s. John W. Clark was seen in the household of her son William Clonch in 1860.4 Who was this John W. Clark and was there a family connection between him and the Clonch family? Could there be other records which would clear up the matter? Those were the questions I asked as I searched for other Clark persons in the county.

At this point, I found the will of Elizabeth Clark and the census record in which she may have been enumerated. Who were John Harrison and his wife Frances C. and why were they mentioned in the Clark will?

A marriage record was found in Mason County for John Harrison and Frances Oldakers. They were married by B. K. Craig in 1834.5 As both persons were in their 50s in the 1840 household, there was the possibility one or the other was widowed prior to 1834.

Off to the Will Book for another will

John Oldaker wrote his last will and testament in June 1833 and it was recorded in November 1833.6 Did he leave a widow?

The Last Will & Testament of John Oldaker of Mason County, Virginia – 1833

I John Oldaker of the county of Mason & State of Virginia do hereby make my last will & testament in manner & form following that is to Say.
I give and bequeath all my estate that shall remain after my Just debts are paid to be disposed of as hereinafter mentioned. I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Frances C. Oldaker all my estate real & personal (except Items hereinafter disposed of) for & during her natural life & after her deceas (sic) I give and bequeath the same to my grandaughter (sic) Frances J. McMullin (except Items hereinafter disposed of). I give & bequeath to my beloved wife Frances C. Oldaker in fee Simple to make any disposition of (during her natural life or at her Decease) she may think proper my negro man named Harvey & my Negro Girl named Hariett with her future of spring together with the sum of one Hundred Dollars.
I give and bequeath to my friend & brother in law Benjamin K. Craig my Rifle gun with the aparatus thereto belonging. In case my Grandaugher Frances J. McMullin should die under the age of twenty one years old & without a Servicing heir of her body, I give & bequeath all that otherwise would be her right & title in and to my estate to my friends Benjamin K. Craig & Polly A. Craig, his wife & their heirs. It is my will & I do hereby give & bequeath to my beloved wife Frances C. Oldaker the wright & power to convey by warrantee Deeds certain tracts of land sold by me viz. one tract to Carter Newcomb lying on Eighteen mile creek for which the said Newcomb holds my Title Bond with conditions, one other Tract to Robert Summers lying also on Eighteen mile creek for which the Said Summers holds my Title bond with conditions on their the Said Newcomb & Summers complying with the conditions in Said title bonds their Deeds are to be made. And Lastly I do hereby constitute and appoint my friends Benjamin K. Craig & Matthew D. Brower executors of this my last will & testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my Seal this 15th day of June 1833.
. . . . . his
John X Oldaker Seal
 . . . .mark
Signed Sealed published & declared by John
Oldaker, as & for his last will & testament
in the presence & hearing of us at his request and in his
presence here subscribed our names as witnesses.
Henry Harriss
R. Summers
Wiliam Wallace
At a court held for Mason county Nov. 4th 1833
The last will and Testament of John Oldaker decd was proved by the oaths of Henry Harriss and William Wallace subscribing witnesses thereto. And is ordered to be Recorded. Upon the motion of Benjamin K. Craig an executor named in the will of Jno. Oldaker decd who made oath thereto & together with James Craik his Securety who entered into & acknowledged their Bond in the penalty of Two thousand dollars conditioned as the law directs certificate is granted him for obtaining a probat of the Said will in due form of Law.
Teste
Thos. Lewis clerk

New Relationships

Frances C. Oldaker was the widow of John Oldaker. What was her maiden name? John Oldaker mentions his brother-in-law Benjamin K. Craig and his wife Polly A. Craig. Was this the same B. K. Craig who married Frances C. Oldaker and John Harrison in 1834?

Benjamin K. Craig married Mary A. Clark in 1826.7 If Benjamin was John’s brother-in-law, could his wife Polly A. (Mary A.) have been Frances’ sister?

This would explain Frances C. Harrison aka Frances C. Oldaker being mentioned in the will of Elizabeth Clark. There was no mention of children in the 1841 will nor did Elizabeth include a relationship descriptor for Frances other than her being the wife of John Harrison. Was Elizabeth an unmarried sister of Frances and Polly? Or an aunt or even their mother?

John Oldaker left Harvey and Hariett to his wife Frances C. in his will in 1833. Frances married John Harrison the following year. In 1840 enslaved persons were found in the household of John Harrison – a man and a woman along with two young boys. Could this couple be Harvey and Hariett whose fate was left in Frances’ hands per her first husband’s will? Or could the man be Edmond mentioned in Elizabeth’s will and the other three enslaved persons of Harrison?

The Census and Slave Schedules

No entry was found in the index of the will books of Mason County for John Harrison or Benjamin K. Craig. Neither were found in Mason the 1850 census.

Polly A. Craig died in Putnam County, West Virginia, on 10 November 1865. Her death was reported by her son Lewis Craig. He gave her deceased husband’s name as Benj. K. Craig and her parents as William & E. Clark. Polly, per her son’s information, was born in Culpepper County, Virginia.8

With this information I located the widowed Polly A. Craig in Putnam in 1850 with three children.9 She was also on the Slave Schedule with two children, an 8 yo male mulatto and a 6 yo female mulatto.10

While browsing the schedule I noticed the name John Harrison with a 32 yo black female, 11 yo black male, and a 3 yo black female. 11 Checking the census, I found John and Frances C. were living in Putnam County in 1850.12

There is a known anomality on the 1860 census of Putnam County. The enumerator recorded all persons with an initial instead of first name and middle initals. This makes it difficult to find persons when searching for first names. However by limiting the search to the surname only, I found Polly A. Craig with her children13 as well as John and Frances C. Harrison. 14 Polly and John were also on the slave schedule. Polly with a 15 yo female mulatto (possibly the 6 yo from 1850)15 and John Harrison with a 12 yo female black (possibly the 3 yo from 1850).16

The will of John Harrison was written 11 April 1867 and recorded 10 May 1867 in Putnam County.17 He mentioned his wife Frances C. Due to the lateness of this will he did not mention enslaved persons.

Edmond, who was supposed to be freed per the 1841 will of Elizabeth Clark, was not with either the Craig or Harrison families as a free person. There is no male old enough to be Edmond on the slave schedule for either Polly A. Craig or John Harrison.

From the numbers found on the slave schedules in 1850 and 1860 for John Harrison it is possible Harriet named in the Oldaker will was with John and Frances C. in 1850 with two children. She is not with them in 1860. As with Edmond, there were no males old enough to be Harvey.

Frances was found in the 1870 census in the household of her step-son Josiah Harrison.18 Frances’ first husband had given her in fee Simple to make any disposition of (during her natural life or at her Decease) she may think proper my negro man named Harvey & my Negro Girl named Hariett with her future of spring. It would seem that Harvey and Hariett were no longer with Frances C. at the time of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.

One final note for anyone searching for Edmond, Harvey, and Hariett. The Craig and Harrison families likely did not move from the time of the above mentioned will until 1850 as Putnam County was created on 11 March 1848 from Kanawha, Mason and Cabell Counties.

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.

© 2019, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. “West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-HN9N-LP?cc=1909099&wc=Q8B7-1YB%3A179687901%2C179707301 : accessed 19 March 2019), Mason > Will book, v. 001 1834-1880 > image 36 of 206; citing Jackson County, County Clerk, West Virginia. 
  2. 1840 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, FHL Film 0029689; NARA Roll M704_571, Virginia, Mason; image 44+41 of 69, Sheet 232A+B, Line 9, John Harrison. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 19 March 2019). 
  3. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration,Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll: M432_959; Image 297; Virginia, Mason, District 38, image 47 of 165, Sheet No. 385A, Lines 28-30, HH #333-334, John W. Clark household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 January 2019). 
  4. 1860 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Eighth Census of the United States, 1860 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls, Roll: M653_1361; FHL Film: 805361; Virginia, Mason County, District 2, image 25 of 68; Page No. 46, Lines 21-30, HH #345-316, Wm Claunch household. “.” (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 January 2019). 
  5. West Virginia Vital Research Records Project (database and images), West Virginia Division of Culture and History (A collaborative venture between the West Virginia State Archives and the Genealogical Society of Utah to place vital records online via the West Virginia Archives and History Web site accessible at http://www.wvculture.org/vrr), West Virginia Marriages 1853-1970. Marriage of John Harrison and Frances C. Aldakers (sic, spelling per index) (http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=12175291&Type=Marriage : accessed 20 March 2019) 
  6. “West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-HN9F-9Z?cc=1909099&wc=Q8B7-1YL%3A179687901%2C179729801 : 22 June 2016), Mason > Will book, v. 001A 1833-1875 > image 26 of 165; citing Jackson County, County Clerk, West Virginia. 
  7. WVCulture.org, (http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_mcdetail.aspx?Id=12175454 : accessed 24 March 2019) and http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=12175454&Type=Marriage : accessed 24 March 2019) 
  8. WVCulture.org, 1865 Death Record of Polly A. Craig (http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_dcdetail.aspx?Id=4787281 : accessed 26 March 2019) and (http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=4787281&Type=Death : accessed 26 March 2019) 
  9. Ancestry.com. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Year: 1850; Census Place: District 46, Putnam, Virginia; Roll: M432_971; Page: 272A; Image: 213 
  10. Ancestry.com. 1850 U.S. Federal Census – Slave Schedules, Virginia, Putnam, District 46, page 8 of 8 
  11. Ancestry.com. 1850 U.S. Federal Census – Slave Schedules, Virginia, Putnam, District 46, page 3 of 8 
  12. Ancestry.com. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Year: 1850; Census Place: District 46, Putnam, Virginia; Roll: M432_971; Page: 280B; Image: 230 
  13. Ancestry.com. 1860 U.S. Federal Census, Year: 1860; Census Place: District 4, Putnam, Virginia; Roll: M653_1373; Page: 893; Family History Library Film: 805373 
  14. Ancestry.com. 1860 U.S. Federal Census, Year: 1860; Census Place: Buffalo, Putnam, Virginia; Roll: M653_1373; Page: 794; Family History Library Film: 805373 
  15. Ancestry.com. 1860 U.S. Federal Census – Slave Schedules, Virginia, Putnam, District 4, page 3 of 4, right line 32 
  16. Ancestry.com. 1860 U.S. Federal Census – Slave Schedules, Virginia, Putnam, District 4, page 2 of 4, left, line 14 
  17. “West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-H19H-5?cc=1909099&wc=Q816-MNG%3A179687101%2C179700701 : 21 June 2016), Putnam > Will book, v. 001 1847-1937 > image 45 of 204; citing Putnam County Clerk, West Virginia. 
  18. Ancestry.com. 1870 U.S. Federal Census, Year: 1870; Census Place: Buffalo, Putnam, West Virginia; Roll: M593_1698; Page: 248A; Family History Library Film: 553197 

Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Edmond

The Last Will and Testament of Elizabeth Clark of Mason County, Virginia – 1841

1841 Will of Elizabeth Clark of Mason County, Virginia

I Elizabeth Clark of the county of Mason & state of Virginia do hereby make my last will & testament.
I give and bequeath all my estate except Edmond who shall be free at my decease & a bond against Zachariah Garten of twenty five dollars with interest for three years to Frances C. Harrison.
The above named bond I bequeath to John Harrison husband of the said Frances C. Harrison of the county of Mason & state of Virginia. In witness whereof I hereby set my hand and seal this 30th day of Sept. 1841.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . her

. . . . . . . . . . .Elizabeth + Clark Seal
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . mark
Signed Sealed & publicly declared by Elizabeth Clark as & for her last will and testament in the presence & hearing of us, at her request & in her presence have subscribed our names as witnesses.
James Koontz
William Harrison
William Oldakers

At a Circuit Superior Court of Law & Chancery for Mason county held at the Courthouse thereof April 16, 1844.
The last will and testament of Elizabeth Clark deceased was proved by the oaths of James Koontz and William Harrison two of the subscribing

1841 Will of Elizabeth Clark of Mason County, Virginia

witnesses thereto and is ordered to be recorded.
And there being no executors named in said last will & testament, and the said testatrix having died more than three months ago, and no person applying for administration it is ordered that administration of the estate of said decedent with her will annexed in due form be committed to Peter H. Steenbergen sheriff of this county.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .A Copy Teste
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Georg W. Stribling clk

The Last Will and Testament of Elizabeth Clark was written in 1841 in Mason County1 during the time when the county was part of Virginia. Mason County borders on Ohio, a state which abolished slavery in its original constitution when it was formed in 1803.

Edmond who shall be free at my decease

I found it heartwarming that Elizabeth Clark did not give any further description of Edmond as was usual in records of the time. She wrote simply that he should be free after her demise.

No trace of Elizabeth Clark was found in the 1840 census. John Harrison was found in Mason County in 1840.2 Both he and his wife were 50 thru 59 years old. There was a young boy aged 10 thru 14 as well as four enslaved persons in the household: 2 males under 10, 1 male 24 thru 35, and 1 female 10 thru 23. There was also an older woman, age 70 thru 79 years. Could this have been Elizabeth Clark?

Also on the same census sheet are Thomas Garton mentioned in the will, as well as two of the three witnesses, William Harrison and William Oldakers.

Mrs. Clark died about the end of 1843 or the beginning of the year 1844. Was Edmond mentioned in her will still living? Did he have family living with a slaveholder in the area? What became of him when she died?

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.

© 2019, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. “West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-HN9N-LP?cc=1909099&wc=Q8B7-1YB%3A179687901%2C179707301 : accessed 19 March 2019), Mason > Will book, v. 001 1834-1880 > image 36 of 206; citing Jackson County, County Clerk, West Virginia. 
  2. 1840 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, FHL Film 0029689; NARA Roll M704_571, Virginia, Mason; image 44+41 of 69, Sheet 232A+B, Line 9, John Harrison. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 19 March 2019). 

52 Ancestors: #41 Sally CRISP – Parentage PROVEN!!

“The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

This is entry #41 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

#41 Sally CRISP, daughter of William and Lucy CRISP

For 175 years the names of the children of William and Lucy CRISP remained hidden in the Chancery Records of Nelson County, Virginia.

chancery“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. Because the records rely so heavily on testimony from witnesses, they offer a unique glimpse into the lives of Virginians from the early 18th century through the First World War.”1

Early Crisp Research

Virginia J. Murphy, author of The Purvis Family, by George! (Manchester, Tennessee : V.J. Murphy, 1990), sent some information she had on the CRISP family by email in July 2000. David Howard was included in the conversation. Virginia shared bits and pieces she had taken from Nelson County deed books. Virginia, David, and I looked at marriages of CRISP individuals in Amherst and Nelson counties from 1795 to 1820. We came up with a list of six proven children and one possible child, my 4th great-grandmother Sally CRISP, for William and Lucy CRISP. There were a couple we weren’t certain about and didn’t include on the list.

Fourteen years later…

When I learned about the Chancery Records on the Library of Virginia’s  Virginia Memory on the Library of Virginia’s site, I didn’t immediately check for records in Nelson County. Mostly due to the fact that Sally CRISP married in Amherst County in 1803 and I never associated her closely with Nelson County, formed in 1807 from Amherst. Last May I finally searched and found case files dated between 1809 and 1851 that prove William and Lucy CRISP were the parents of eleven children.

eleventh
…the said James Wright is entitled to one eleventh part as a distributed of the estate of Wm Crisp Dec?d by an intermarriage with one of the daughters of the said Dec’d…

I got in touch with David Howard and Robert N. Grant, a Wright researcher, about the discovery but have not been able to make contact with Virginia J. Murphy.2

It took a lot of time to read through the records and find a document that actually lists 10 of the eleven children…3

10children
…the said William & Lucy Crisp dec’d had several children who are the persons entitled in revision to the aforesaid slave – to wit, John Crisp, Simon Crisp, William Crisp, Elizabeth Crisp, Mary Crisp, Sally Crisp, Frances Crisp, Lucy Crisp, Stella Crisp & Catherine Crisp

and then continues to list the names of the daughters’ husbands.4

crispmarriages
Charles Purvis md. Mary; Richard Bryant md. Catherine; Thomas Melton md. Stella; Land (sic) S. Going md. Sally; Thomas Harrison md. Elizabeth; Thomas Alford md. Frances; and James Wright md. Lucy

Peggy, the eleventh and youngest child, died before September 1815. She is documented in the 1814 case file as being underage and in the 1820 case file in a document dated September 1815 in which her mother Lucy was seen as “admr of Peggy dec’d” or administratrix of Peggy’s estate.5,6

We’d gotten seven of them right! Mary (proven by consent), Lucy (proven by consent), Frances (proven by her widower Thomas & her sons John C. & Wm R. Alford’s attempt to get her part in Wm Crisp’s estate after the death of Lucy), William (proven by land deed), Peggy (proven by administration), John (proven by association*), and Sally (not proven, assumed).
* John CRISP married Milly ALFORD and Frances CRISP married Thomas ALFORD. Family tradition is that the CRISPs and the ALFORDs had been brothers and sisters.

The names found in the chancery records prove the parentage of ELEVEN children. The four other children who can now be included in the count are Stilly, Elizabeth, Catherine, and Simon. Better yet, the records tell the stories of the persons involved! I would love to be able to give all the details here but Sally is the one in the spotlight. The others will have to wait their turn. And I need some time to transcribe and arrange the circa 250 images in chronological order. If you are curious or can’t wait, go for it! Update (30 September 2022): There are also records in Lynchburg City for this family, i.e. many more images to view and transcribe.

Sally and her siblings

My 4th great-grandmother Sally CRISP was the daughter of William CRISP who died about October 1806 in Nelson County, Virginia, and his wife Lucy who died before 29 June 1818. It’s difficult to write about Sally’s life without giving a short summary of her siblings, who must have influenced her life as she did theirs.

Although it is now known that there were eleven children, we can only calculate their order of birth. Four of Sally’s siblings married before her. However, she may have been the oldest as she was seen in the 1820 and 1830 census as being older than her husband Landon S. GOWING who was born about 1777.

◉ Sally CRISP born Cal 1770 in Virginia
◉ Sib 2: Mary “Polly” CRISP (1775-1830) born Cal 1775. Polly married Charles PURVIS (1763-1853) on 1 August 1795 in Amherst County, Virginia.7 She may have died before 1830 as Charles PURVIS is seen in the 1830 and 1840 censuses without an older woman in his household. Polly and Charles were the parents of eight children.
◉ Sib 3: Frances CRISP (1775-1836) born Cal 1775. Frances married Thomas ALFORD on 10 October 1795 in Amherst County, Virginia.8 She died on 26 October 1836 in Bedford County, Tennessee. Frances and Thomas had two sons, William R. and John C. who are documented in the chancery records concerning the estate of Thomas’ father William ALFORD.
◉ Sib 4: John CRISP (1778- ) born Cal 1778. John married Milly ALFORD (? -1809) on 16 December 1799 in Amherst County, Virginia.9 John died before 1839 and his sons Anthony Jefferson and William Madison are mentioned in the 1839 case file.
◉ Sib 5: Lucy CRISP (1780-1839) born Cal 1780. Lucy CRISP married James WRIGHT (d. 1824) on 1 February 1800 in Amherst County, Virginia.10 She died before 1839 and her children George WRIGHT, Mahala COVENT, and Elizabeth SKIDMORE are mentioned in the 1839 case file.
◉ Sib 6: William CRISP born unknown. He was seen as the son of William and Lucy and died without issue before 1839 per the case file of that year.
◉ Sib 7: Stilla B. “Stilly” CRISP (1784-1850) was born about 1784. Stilly married Thomas MELTON ( -1829) on 1 November 1804 in Amherst County, Virginia.11 She died after October 1850. Per early census listings, she may have had at least 8 children.
◉ Sib 8: Elizabeth “Betsy” CRISP (1786- ) born before 1786. Betsy married Thomas HARRISON on 10 April 1820 in Nelson County, Virginia.12 Betsy and Thomas both died before 1839 without issue.
◉ Sib 9: Catherine CRISP (1789- ) born Cal 1789. Catherine married Richard BRYANT  on 11 November 1809 in Nelson County, Virginia.13 Catherine became the stepmother of 5 children and the mother of 4 children per the 1810-1830 census.
◉ Sib 10: Simon CRISP (1790-1850) was born about 1790. Simon married Susan FLOYD (1805-1874) on 15 September 1828 in Nelson County, Virginia.14 He died between 1850 and 1860. His only child, a son William C. CRISP died in 1862 leaving no issue.
◉ Sib 11: Peggy CRISP was born after 1790 and died before September 1815. She was never married.

1829marriage
1829 Marriage Bond (photocopy courtesy of Geraldine Dempsey Workman)

Sally CRISP married Landon S. GOWING on 17 January 1803 in Amherst County, Virginia.15 Nearly four years later, about October 1806, her father William CRISP died. Her mother Lucy is seen on the 1810 census with her unmarried children: Simon, Elizabeth, and Peggy.16

Sally’s husband Landon was not a head of household in 1810. Without the names of members of households on the pre-1850 census, we can only speculate about where Landon and Sally may have been. What we do know is that Sally did not have any children born between 1803 and 1809 who lived. This has been determined by analyzing the 1820 census.17

1820censusgowing
1820 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Nelson [ancestry.com]
1820 U.S. Federal Census
Nelson County, Virginia
Landon S. Gowing
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44: 1 (Landon)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 2 (Clementine and Martissa C.)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 1 (Emmeline)
Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over : 1 (Sally)
Number of Persons – Engaged in Agriculture: 1
Free White Persons – Under 16: 3
Free White Persons – Over 25: 2
Total Free White Persons: 5
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 5
Note: No sons listed. Sally and Landon were married 17 yrs at the time of census.

Did she miscarry, give birth to a stillborn child, or have babies who died young? It seems strange that she didn’t have any children in the first 6-7 years of her marriage and then had three daughters spaced about two years apart.

◉ Emmeline born about 1810, died aft. 1880
◉ Martha C. “Martissa” born about 1812, died aft. 1880
◉ Clementine M. born about 1814, died aft. 1880

By the birth of her third daughter Clementine, Sally was most likely close to 45 years old and coming to the end of her childbearing years. A few years later, before the end of June 1818, her mother Lucy died.

Towards the end of the 1820s, Sally’s daughters were courting and marrying. Her oldest, Emmeline married William Dison LAWHORNE on 16 June 1828.18 Her youngest, Clementine married Seaton Y. DEMPSEY on 3 January 1829.19 Both marriages took place in Amherst County, Virginia.

In 1830 Landon, Sally, and their middle daughter Martissa were living in Amherst County near their daughter Clementine and her husband Seaton Y. DEMPSEY. Landon was in the 50 & under 60 age group, Martissa in the 15 & under 20, and Sally was in the 60 & under 70.20 As in 1820, the listing consistently shows that Sally was older than Landon.

From the chancery records, I learned that Sally must have died between 1830 and 1838. Was she living when her middle child Martissa married Wyatt F. LILLY (1811-1880) on 29 May 1833 in Amherst County, Virginia?21 Or did Martissa care for her mother, being the last child to leave home, and married only after her mother died? Further study of the chancery records may help to narrow this range. Amherst’s chancery records, which are not online, may be hiding more information on her and her family. Update (October 2022): Digital images for Amherst are available for the years 1779-1869.

This Post was Updated on 9 October 2022Missing source citations were added, images were scaled, and some corrections were made to the text and format.

© 20142022, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. Introduction to the Chancery Records Index on the Library of Virginia website (https://www.virginiamemory.com/collections/chancery/ : accessed 10 October 2014). 
  2. Chancery Records of Virginia, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia, Local Government Records Collection, Virginia Memory (https://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/), Nelson County (Va.) Chancery Causes 1808-1912, Thomas Hawkins vs. James Wright etc., 1809-010. (https://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/full_case_detail.asp?CFN=125-1809-010#img : accessed 30 September 2014). 
  3. Ibid., Nelson County (Va.) Chancery Causes 1808-1912, Rives & Murphy vs Thomas Harrison etc., 1839-006, image 3, left page. (http://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/case_detail.asp?CFN=125-1839-006 : accessed 19 May 2014). 
  4. Ibid., image 3, right page. 
  5. Ibid., Nelson County (Va.) Chancery Causes 1808-1912, Charles Purvis vs. Peggy Crisp etc., 1814-001. (http://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/case_detail.asp?CFN=125-1814-001: accessed 19 May 2014). 
  6. Ibid., Nelson County (Va.) Chancery Causes 1808-1912, Charles Purvis & WIFE vs. ADMX OF Peggy Crisp ETC, 1820-022. (https://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/full_case_detail.asp?CFN=125-1820-022#img: accessed 19 May 2014). 
  7. “Register of marriages, Amherst County, Virginia, 1763-1853” (browse-only images), <i>FamilySearch</i>, citing microfilm of original records at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia, Film 30273, DGS 7578824, image 388 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 102, 1 Aug 1795, Charles Purvis and Mary Crisp both of Amherst parish, Crisp father personally (sic) gave consent, William Crisp and Reuben Crawford sureties. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89XF-NZF8?i=387&cat=680855 : accessed 7 October 2022). 
  8. Ibid., Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 104, 10 Oct 1795, Thomas Alford and Frances Crisp, John Crisp brother, securities John Crip, W.R. Crawford, and Saml. Meredith. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89XF-NZFH?i=389&cat=680855 : accessed 7 October 2022). 
  9. Ibid., Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 137, 16 Dec 1799, John Crisp and Milly Alford, securities John Camm and S. Garland . (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-NZQR?i=422&cat=680855 : accessed 7 October 2022). 
  10. Ibid., Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 140, James Wright and Lucy Crisp, parents of bride William Crisp and Lucy Crisp, securities John Crisp, S. Garland, and Lucy Crisp. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9XF-NC9C?i=424&cat=680855 : accessed 7 October 2022). 
  11. Ibid., Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 179, 1 Nov 1804, Thomas Melton & Stilly B. Crisp, consent John & Mary Melton, consent William & Lucy Crisp, sec. Wm Crisp Jr., John Wright, John Melton Jr. & Jno Crisp. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-NZ9J?i=465&cat=680855 : accessed 7 October 2022). 
  12. “Marriage registers, 1808-1985 ; indexes to marriage registers, 1808-1985,” browse-only images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/361788), citing microfilm of original records and photocopies at the Nelson County Courthouse in Lovingston, Virginia, and photostat copies at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia, Film, 32714, DGS 7724886, Marriage register 1808-1878 (photostat copies), image 216 of 402, A list of marriage licenses issued of [from] the clerks office, page 14, 10 Apr 1820, Thomas Harrison and Betsy Crisp, security Landon S. Gowing, married by James Boyd. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9BK-G77C?i=215&cc=2134304&cat=361788 : accessed 29 September 2022). 
  13. Ibid., Marriage register 1808-1878 (photostat copies), image 204 of 402, A list of marriage licenses issued of [from] the clerks office, page 2, 11 Nov 1809, Richard Bryant and C. Crisp, John Crisp security, married by William Wright. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9BK-G7S3?i=203&cc=2134304&cat=361788 : accessed 7 OCtober 2022). 
  14. Ibid., Marriage register 1808-1878 (photostat copies), image 226 of 402, A list of marriage licenses issued of [from] the clerks office, page 24, 15 Sep 1828, Simon Crisp and Susan Floyd, security [illegible]. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9BK-G7SD?i=225&cc=2134304&cat=361788 : accessed 7 OCtober 2022). 
  15. “Register of marriages, Amherst County, Virginia, 1763-1853,” Film 30273, DGS 7578824, image 450 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 163, 5th entry, 17 Jan 1803 Landon Going and Sally Crisp, Philip Going and S. Garland in the column for security and witnesses. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89XF-NZ6G?i=449 : accessed 11 January 2022). 
  16. 1810 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7613/), citing Third Census of the United States, 1810 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M252, 71 rolls, Roll 70, FHL Film 0181430, image: Vam252_70-0124, Virginia, Nelson County, page 682, line 11, Lucy Crisp (accessed 10 October 2014). 
  17. 1820 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7734/), citing Fourth Census of the United States, 1820 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls, NARA Roll: M33_130, image: 371, Virginia, Nelson County, page 194A, line 15, Landon S. Gowing (accessed 19 May 2014). 
  18. “Register of marriages, Amherst County, Virginia, 1763-1853,” Film 30273, DGS 7578824, image 586 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 298, 7th entry, 5 Jul 1828, Dison Langhorne and Emmeline Gowing, Landon S. Gowing – father, witnesses: Robert Langhorne Jr., Robert Tinsley, Arthur B. Davies. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89XF-NDW2?i=585 : accessed 15 May 2022). 
  19. Ibid., Amherst County Register of marriages, page 301, entry 2, 3 Jan 1829, Seaton Y Dempsey and Clementina Gowing, security and witnesses: Landon S. Gowing, Philip Smith Sr., Ro. Tinsley. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99XF-N8WJ : accessed 26 February 2022). 
  20. 1830 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8058/), citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, Nara Roll M19_194, FHL Film: 0029673, Virginia, Amherst County, page 519 (double-page spread), line 12, Landon Gowing (accessed 19 Feb 2013). 
  21. “Register of marriages, Amherst County, Virginia, 1763-1853,” Film 30273, DGS 7578824, image 611 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 323, 3rd entry, 29 May 1833, Wiatt Lily and Martha C. (Martissa) Gowing, Landon S. Gowing – father, witnesses: James Fitzgerald and Robert Tinsley. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89XF-ND36?i=610 : accessed 15 May 2022).