Rewriting the Biography: The James SIMS Tract of Land – SOLD!

On Monday, I finally found the land deed for the sale of the James SIMS property in Nicholas County, West Virginia. The land he bought from John JONES in 1800 on Little Elk Creek in what was then Kanawha County.

If another researcher has found it before me then it has been a well-kept secret.

The transcription of the partition suit filed in 1848 seeking to have the court provide for the sale of the 125-acre farm was helpful in naming the children of James SIMS.1 It was found among Virginia Bondurant Johnson’s application papers for membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

It is not a transcription of the entire proceedings of the chancery case. It has errors. For example:

…James Sims, the father of your orators and oratresses departed this life on the ___day of ___1836 intestate and leaving no widow…

James did not die in 1836. I have since found records proving he died after 12 August 1845 and before 10 March 1846. See my post: Rewriting the Biography: When Did James Sims Die?

The Keys to Open the Door in this Brick Wall

FamilySearch is adding new collections at a faster rate. I’m always checking the catalog to find new material to search through. Nicholas County Order Books for Chancery and Law are online. Unfortunately, Law orders volumes 1-5 (pre-1871) are missing at the courthouse and not in the FamilySearch collection.

There is a general index to law and chancery records for plaintiffs and for defendants for the years 1818-1944. An index can be found in the front or back of each order book. It must be noted that some entries in the order books were indexed under the name of the instrument (Admr., Bill of Sale, Inventory, Bond, etc.) instead of the surname making it difficult to use the index. So as to not miss anything I skimmed through the entries in the order books searching for familiar names during specific time periods.

I found entries which appear to concern the proceedings in the partition suit from 1851 to 1855. If the suit was filed in 1848 why am I not finding entries for 1848-1850? I was not expecting to find records from 1853 to 1855 as, at the end of the transcript of the partition suit, this line was included:

The matter was finally settled in the spring term of court 1853. It sold for $183 and the costs approximated $160, thus leaving about $22.50 to be distributed.

I saved the entries, noting the page number and the FamilySearch link to the image, and will be adding the source citations to my database. I compared the page numbers of the entries I found to the page numbers in the index of the book and of the general index – they match. I did not find any entries which were not in the index.

From the entries, I discovered who the grantor and the grantee were as well as the year the sale of the land owned by the deceased James SIMS was finally recorded.

On the first read-through the entries, I became aware that there must have been a bit of wheeling and dealing going on. Interesting! Now I would love to get my hands on the entire chancery case.

With the names of the grantor and grantee, I was able to locate the deed transferring the land to the new owner on the Nicholas County, West Virginia County Clerk’s website.

I couldn’t keep this wonderful find to myself but I won’t be sharing the records today. I believe I’ve left enough clues. It’s up to you to try and solve this if you want to see the records before I get around to writing about them in depth.

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. Eve Hughes, e-mail dated 13 June 2001. This information was passed to her by another researcher. I am still trying to find the original record from which this transcription was taken. 
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Rewriting the Biography: Martin SIMS in the U.S. Federal Census

Rewriting the Biography is an ongoing theme for the rough draft notes of a new/updated biography of my 5th great-grandfather James SIMS (1754-1845) of Nicholas County.

Martin SIMS (abt. 1781-aft. 1853) was the third son of James SIMS and his first wife Phebe. He was the father of six known children, possibly 2-3 more (unknown) children, and at least 34 grandchildren.

The 1790 U.S. Federal Census

In 1790 when the first census was taken, Martin was living with his father James SIMS whose census records were discussed in Rewriting the Biography: James SIMS in the U.S. Federal Census in Bath County, Virginia. They would move to Kanawha County before 1800.

The 1800 U.S. Federal Census

Martin SIMS had married Susannah JOHNSON, daughter of William JOHNSON and Amy NELSON, in 1800 in Greenbrier County which bordered on Kanawha County at the time. The marriage bond for Martin SIMS and Susanna JOHNSON dated 28 March 1800 is on file with the Historical Society of Greenbrier County. There is also a permission slip dated 24 March 1800 signed by Susanna’s father William JOHNSON.1

As he was found on the 1802 tax list of Kanawha County he would have been 21 in 1802, i.e. born about 1781 or earlier.2

The 1810 U.S. Federal Census

In 1810 Martin and Susanna had three children, sons Nelson and John and daughter Sarah.

1810 U.S. Federal Census – Martin SIMS in Kanawha County, Virginia

1810 U.S. Federal Census 3
Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Kanawha
Sheet 207A, Line 24
Name: Martin Simms
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 2 (Nelson & John)
Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44: 1 (Martin)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 1 (Sarah)
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25: 1 (Susannah)
Number of Household Members Under 16: 3
Number of Household Members Over 25: 1
Number of Household Members: 5

The 1820 U.S. Federal Census

The part of Kanawha County in which Martin lived became Nicholas County in 1818. He likely lived on the same land as his brother William. They were deeded 135 acres on the Gauley River in 1816 and were paying tax on the land in Nicholas County at the time of the census. The tract was the other half of an original tract of 260 acres which was not deeded by John JONES to James SIMS in 1800. [Land records will be discussed at another time.]

In Martin’s household were his wife, four known sons, an unknown son, and an unknown daughter. Also seen in the age range of his wife Susannah is another young woman. This may be Elizabeth JOHNSON, sister of Susannah, who was not yet married. Martin and another person, likely his oldest son Nelson, were engaged in manufacturing.

1820 U.S. Federal Census – Martin SIMS in Nicholas County, Virginia

1820 U.S. Federal Census 4
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Page No. 204A, Sheet 152, Line 18
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Name: Martin Sims
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 3 (unknown, James J., and Lewis)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15: 1 (John)
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25: 1 (Nelson)
Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44: 1 (Martin)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 1 (unknown daughter)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 1 (Sarah)
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 2 (Susannah and unknown)
Number of Persons – Engaged in Manufactures: 2
Free White Persons – Under 16: 6
Free White Persons – Over 25: 3
Total Free White Persons: 10
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 10

The 1830 U.S. Federal Census

Martin SIMS and his wife Susannah JOHNSON had five sons and a daughter in the 1830 census. The ages of the sons in later census year vary a great deal. However, when comparing to the 1830 and 1840 census it would appear that the unknown son seen in 1820 is likely now in the 15 thru 19 age group. Anderson was the only child born in the 1820s. Lewis, who is seen here as 5 thru 9 (1840 in 15 thru 19), may have been born very late in the 1810s or in 1820 before the census. The unknown daughter born between 1810-1820 is no longer in the household.

1830 U.S. Federal Census – Martin SIMS (bottom) in Nicholas County, Virginia

1830 U.S. Federal Census5
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1830
Name: Martin Sims
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1 (Anderson)
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1 (Lewis)
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19: 2 (James J. & unknown b. 1811-1815)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (John 20-25)
Free White Persons – Males – 40 thru 49: 1 (Martin)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Sarah 20-25)
Free White Persons – Females – 40 thru 49: 1 (Susannah)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 4
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 4
Total Free White Persons: 8
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 8

Nelson SIMS and Nancy JONES

Martin and Susannah’s oldest son Nelson had married Nancy JONES in 1828. Before the census, they had one son they named Martin.

1830 U.S. Federal Census – Nelson SIMS (top) in Nicholas County, Virginia

1830 U.S. Federal Census6
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1830
Name: Nelson Sims
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1 (Martin)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (Nelson)
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1 (Nancy)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 2
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 1
Total Free White Persons: 3
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 3

The 1840 U.S. Federal Census

Martin’s wife Susannah died before 6 June 1840. Her widower Martin married Margaret HUGHES on this date.

The official enumeration day of the 1840 census was 1 June 1840. All questions asked were supposed to refer to that date. The count was due within nine months, but the due date was extended by law to allow completion within eighteen months. ~ Ancestry.com

Margaret appears to have been counted in the household even though the marriage took place after the official enumeration date. Martin’s daughter Sarah was not yet married but she had a daughter Mary J. born about 1839 (she was 17 in 1856 when she married) who may be in the grandfather’s household. The possibility that Margaret HUGHES brought a child into the marriage or that she and Martin had a child should also be considered. The unknown male seen in 1820 and 1830 is not in the household. Was he deceased or had he married and moved to other parts? Without a name or a document listing the names of the children of Martin, it is probably impossible to trace this person.

All of the males in the household were engaged in agriculture. There was one female slave age 36 thru 54 counted. None of the adults in the household could read or write.

1840 U.S. Federal Census – Martin SIMS in Nicholas County, Virginia

1840 U.S. Federal Census7
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 10, Line 5
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1840
Name: Martin Sims
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14: 1 (Anderson)
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19: 1 (Lewis)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (John)
Free White Persons – Males – 50 thru 59: 1 (Martin)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 1 (Mary J. Sprinkle, daughter of Sarah)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Sarah)
Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39: 1 (Margaret, md. June 1840)
Slaves – Females – 36 thru 54: 1
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 4
No. White Persons over 20 Who Cannot Read and Write: 4
Free White Persons – Under 20: 3
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 3
Total Free White Persons: 7
Total Slaves: 1
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 8

Nelson SIMS

Martin’s son Nelson’s family had grown to include a son Thomas and daughters Sarah Jane and Virginia. Nelson was engaged in agriculture and he did not have any slaves.

1840 U.S. Federal Census – Nelson SIMS in Fayette County, Virginia

1840 U.S. Federal Census8
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 147, Line 30
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1840
Name: Nelson Sims
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1 (Thomas)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14: 1 (Martin)
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 1 (Nelson)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 1 (Virginia)
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 1 (Sarah Jane)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Nancy)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 1
Free White Persons – Under 20: 4
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 6
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 6

There was a second census listing for a man named Nelson SIMS in 1840 in Kanawha County. His age is too young to be a match for Nelson seen above. Several tick marks were X-ed out. There were 4 persons in the household: a man and a woman aged 20 thru 29 and one girl and one boy under 5. Three persons were engaged in agriculture, most likely not correct as there was only one male over 20 in the household.

1840 U.S. Federal Census – Nelson SIMS in Kanawha County, Virginia

1840 U.S. Federal Census9
Kanawha County, (West Virginia)
Page 60, Line 29
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1840
Name: Nelson Sims
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 1 marked out with an X (looks like *)
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1 marked out with an X (looks like *)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39: 1 marked out with an X (looks like *)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 3
Free White Persons – Under 20: 2
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 4
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 4

James J. SIMS and Elizabeth DARLINGTON

Martin’s son James J. SIMS married Elizabeth DARLINGTON in 1832. By the time the census was taken they had three daughters under 5 years of age. James J. was engaged in agriculture.

1840 U.S. Federal Census – James J. SIMS in Fayette County, Virginia

1840 U.S. Federal Census10
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 147, Line 3
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1840
Name: James Sims
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (James J. Sims)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 3 (Nancy, Mary J., Amanda)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Elizabeth)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 1
No. White Persons over 20 Who Cannot Read and Write: 1
Free White Persons – Under 20: 3
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 5
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 5

The 1850 U.S. Federal Census

1850 U.S. Federal Census – Nelson, James, Martin, and Lewis SIMS in Fayette County, Virginia

In 1850 we see Martin SIMS and all of his children except for his youngest son Anderson on the same page of the census. One household after the other suggesting they lived on the same land or very close to each other. Only Martin has the value of real estate listed which likely means his sons were living on his property. On the census page, they are listed in this order: Nelson, James, Martin, and Lewis but are discussed below by age.

Note: In households #171-171 to #174-174 are Martin’s brother William and his son Edward and Martin and William’s half-brothers George W. and Charles. William and Charles own land. The land owned by the SIMS family was originally in Nicholas County but with the formation of Fayette County, a large part was on the Fayette side of the Gauley River.

Martin SIMS

Martin was 60 years old and a farmer. He owned real estate valued at $1000. In his household was his daughter Sarah, seen here as Sally, with her two daughters Mary and Hannah. Sarah had married George W. Sprinkle in 1840.  No trace has been found of her husband.

Also in the household was Martin’s second oldest son John who had not yet married. Missing is Martin’s second wife Margaret.

1850 U.S. Federal Census11
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
14th District
Enumerated on the 2nd day of August 1850
Sheet 343B, Lines 22-26, HH #177-177
Martin Sims 60 M Farmer $1000 cannot read & write
Sally Sprinker (sic) 40 F cannot read & write
Mary Sprinker (sic)  8 F
Hannah Sprinker (sic) 7 M
John Sims 40 M Laborer cannot read & write

Margaret was seen in the 30 thru 39 years group in the 1840 census listing. She would be 40 thru 49 years in 1850 if still living. On 19 November 1849 Martin and his wife Margaret sold two tracts of land to Fenton MORRIS. This establishes her being alive without a year of the 1850 census. She was not found on the Mortality Schedule in 1850.

1850 U.S. Federal Census – Margaret SIMS in the KINCAID household in Fayette County, Virginia

Four households away from Martin SIMS (a McNutt and an O’Dell family are listed in between) were Francis KINCAID and his wife Ann HUGHES. In their household was Margaret SIMS age 49. Was she Martin’s wife? Why was she with the KINCAID couple? Ann was Margaret’s younger sister. Ann’s husband Francis would die before March 1852 after making his will in April 1851. Was Margaret helping out at her sister’s or was she separated from Martin?

1850 U.S. Federal Census12
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
The 14th District
Enumerated on the 2nd day of August 1850
Sheets 343B+344A, Lines 42 and 1-2, HH #181-181
Francis Kincaid 41 M Farmer Virginia
Ann Kincaid 40 F Virginia cannot read & write
Margaret Sims 49 F Virginia cannot read & write

Nelson SIMS

Nelson and his wife Nancy had three more daughters in the 1840s. Nelson was working as a farmer but not on his own land as he did not own real estate. His sons were laborers.

1850 U.S. Federal Census13
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
The 14th District
Enumerated on the 2nd day of August 1850
Sheet 343B, Lines 5-13, HH #175-175
Nelson Sims 40 M Farmer cannot read or write
Nancy Sims 30 (sic) F cannot read or write
Martin Sims 20 M Laborer
Thomas Sims 17 M Laborer
Sarah Jane Sims 15 F
Virginia Sims 12 F
Nancy A. Sims 9 F (sic, Margaret in later years)
Jinnetta Sims 7 F
Unice A. Sims 2 F

James J. SIMS

James J. SIMS and his wife Elizabeth had three more children in the 1840s. Charles, William A., and Manerva. Daughter Amanda is seen here as 9. I counted her in the 1840 census as, later in 1860, she was enumerated as being 20 years old, i.e. born 1840. James is working as a farmer but like his brother Nelson, he did not own property.

1850 U. S. Federal Census14
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
The 14th District
Enumerated on the 2nd day of August 1850
Sheet 343B, Lines 14-21, HH #176-176
James Sims 36 M Farmer Virginia
Elizabeth Sims 36 F Virginia
Nancy Sims 14 F Virginia
Mary J. Sims 12 F Virginia
Amanda Sims 9 F Virginia
Charles Sims 8 M Virginia
William A. Sims 4 M Virginia
Manerva Sims 1 F Virginia

Lewis SIMS and Caroline J. TUCKER

Lewis SIMS married Caroline J. TUCKER on 16 June 1849. They had an unnamed child born in May 1850 (1-month-old at the time of census enumerated as of 1 June 1850). The gender of the child is blank but looks like ditto marks close to the lower line indicating female. However, Lewis and Caroline’s oldest known child was a boy who died of croup in 1857. His age at death (which may not be correct) place his birth in January 1849 before his parents’ marriage.

Lewis worked as a farmer and did not have real estate.

1850 U.S. Federal Census15
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
The 14th District
Enumerated on the 2nd day of August 1850
Sheet 343B, Lines27-29, HH #178-178
Lewis Sims 29 M Farmer Virginia
C. J. Sims 23 F Virginia
__ Sims 1/12 ” (not named) Virginia

 Anderson SIMS and Elizabeth UNDERWOOD

Anderson SIMS is the only child of Martin and Susannah not living in Fayette County in 1850. Anderson married Elizabeth UNDERWOOD on 11 March 1850 in Nicholas County where they lived at the time of the census. The column for married within the census year was not checked.

Was Elizabeth a widow and did she bring three children into the marriage? Why are they enumerated as SIMS in 1850? No trace of Ann after 1850 and none of the boys James and John after 1860 was found.

Anderson was a farmer and did not own real estate.

1850 U.S. Federal Census – Anderson SIMS in Nicholas County, Virginia

1850 U.S. Federal Census16
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
The 43rd District (Western crossed out)
Sheet 382A, Lines 19-23, HH #548-548
Anderson Sims 26 M Farmer Virginia
Elizabeth Sims 35 F Virginia
Ann Sims 12 F Virginia
James Sims 8 M Virginia
John Sims 6 F Virginia

The 1860 U.S. Federal Census

Martin and his second wife Margaret have not been found in the 1860 census. No record of death was found for either of them.

“Martin V. Sims, son of the pioneer James Sims, owned about 200 acres of land extending from Rich Creek to a point on the opposite side of the river from Swiss. Nelson, James, Anderson and Lewis Sims, sons of Martin Sims, inherited this tract of land but afterwards disposed of same and moved elsewhere.”17

The information quoted from a history of Fayette County published in 1926 does not indicate when Martin SIMS died. An entry two paragraphs prior to this one concerning his father James SIMS is exaggerated. Can this statement be taken seriously?

The Fayette County will book for the years 1832-1866, as well as the Nicholas County will book for the years 1820-1899, were checked for a possible will, inventory, appraisement and/or sale bill of personal property which would help to narrow down the possible death of Martin SIMS. Nothing was found.

Land deeds of Nicholas County were consulted. In 1849 Martin and his wife Margaret sold 190 acres to Fenton MORRIS. In 1850 Martin was seen with real estate valued at $1000. This land must have been entirely in Fayette County as there is no record in Nicholas for a tract of land sold by the sons of Martin as noted above. Land records for Fayette County are not online.

On the  1860 census, Nelson SIMS was found in Nicholas County, James J. SIMS was still in Fayette County, and Lewis SIMS was in Kanawha County. Anderson SIMS, who was already in Nicholas County in 1850, was still there in 1860. John SIMS, who was not mentioned in the above statement, has not been definitely found (1860 and 1870 census records found are inconsistent). Daughter Sarah SPRINKLE, not mentioned above, was in Nicholas County.

The statement appears to have a notion of truth about the sons moving elsewhere after they disposed of the land. As the children were not living in Fayette County, with the exception of James J., I believe Martin must have died in the 1850s and before the 1860 census.

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. Larry Heffner, email dated 10 August 2004 in reply to a request for information on marriage papers of Martin Sims and Susanna Johnson in the archives of the Greenbrier Historical Society. 
  2. 1790 / 1800 Virginia Tax List Censuses (Binns Genealogy, original records from Library of Virgina, Richmond, Virginia or Family History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah), Kanawha, Personal Tax List, page 21, line 1. Martin Sims.(http://www.binnsgenealogy.com/VirginiaTaxListCensuses/Kanawha/1802Personal/21.jpg : accessed 13 March 2018). 
  3. 1810 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Third Census of the United States, 1810 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M252, 71 rolls, FHL 0181429, roll 69, image 405, Virginia, Kanawha, Kanawha, page 129, sheet 207A, line 24, Martin Simms (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 February 2018). 
  4. 1820 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, 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 388, Virginia, Nicholas, page 204A, line 18, Martin Sims. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 February 2018). 
  5. 1830 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, FHL Film: 0029677, NARA Rol M19_198, Nicholas, Virginia, image 35+36 of 42, page 189A+B, line 16, Martin Sims. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 March 2018). 
  6. Ibid., Nicholas, Virginia, image 35+36 of 42, page 189A+B, line 15, Nelson Sims. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 March 2018). 
  7. 1840 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, 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 0029690, NARA Roll M704_571, Virginia, Nicholas, image 26+27 of 67, page 10A+B, line 5, Martin Sims. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 March 2018). 
  8. Ibid., FHL Film 0029689, NARA Roll M704_566, Virginia, Kanawha page 60A+B, line 29, Nelson Sims. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 March 2018). 
  9. Ibid., FHL Film 0029689, NARA Roll M704_566, Virginia, Kanawha page 60A+B, line 29, Nelson Sims. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 March 2018). 
  10. Ibid., FHL Film 0029685, NARA Roll M704_555, Virginia, Fayette page 147A, line 3, James Sims. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 March 2018). 
  11. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, 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_943 image 292, Virginia, Fayette County, Western District, image 28 of 91, page 343B, lines 22-26, HH#177-177 Martin Sims. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 April 2018). 
  12. Ibid., Virginia, Fayette County, Western District, image 28+29 of 91, page 343B and 344A, lines 42 and 1-2, HH#1817-181 Francis Kincaid. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 April 2018). 
  13. Ibid., Virginia, Fayette County, Western District, image 28 of 91, page 343B, lines 5-13, HH#175-175 Nelson Sims. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 April 2018). 
  14. Ibid., lines 14-21, HH#176-176 James Sims. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 April 2018). 
  15. Ibid., lines 27-29, HH#178-178 Lewis Sims. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 April 2018). 
  16. 1850 Census, Virginia, Nicholas County, Western District, image 85 of 93, sheet 382A, lines 19-23, HH#548-548 Anderson Sims. “.” (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 April 2018). 
  17. J.T. Peters and H.B. Carden, History of Fayette County, West Virginia, copyright Fayette County Historical Society, Inc., 1926, printed by Jarrett Printing Company, Charleston, West Virginia, p. 610 

Rewriting the Biography: The Windsor Connection

Rewriting the Biography is an ongoing theme for the rough draft notes of a new/updated biography of my 5th great-grandfather James SIMS (1754-1845) of Nicholas County.

In my last post Rewriting the Biography: William SIMS Sr. in the U.S. Federal Census, I left a doubt I had concerning the wife of William SIMS Sr.:

William married Elizabeth WINDSOR around 1805 or earlier. No record of the marriage has been found nor any record confirming her maiden name.

I questioned her maiden name being WINDSOR as I have not found a marriage record nor did I have any records which include her maiden name. Also, the fact that her son Jonathan married Elizabeth WINDSOR, daughter of Benjamin “Benijah” WINDSOR and Mary “Polly” CHILDRESS, had me wondering if there may be a case of mistaken identity.

I did not expect to find the answer in the near future. Over the years my group of SIMS researchers has gotten smaller. Several members are now deceased while others are not as actively working on their genealogies. We’ve kept in touch but in recent years little new information has been exchanged.

In 2002 David Fridley, one of my original SIMS researchers, was the first person to read my draft of the biography of James SIMS and made a dozen or so comments, mostly editorial, which were very helpful. He also encouraged me to share it by offering to post it on his website. I admire David and his influence has made me a better genealogist. He is amazingly meticulous about citing his sources and re-evaluating information in his family tree.

In 2014 during my first year blogging, David wrote to me following my post 52 Ancestors: #36 William JOHNSON Jr. 1793-1845 about a correction he felt I should know about:

At the time you were posting this, I was trying to tie some Phillips lines together, and one in question was a woman who had married Charles C. Windsor (b. c. 1830), son of Charles and Elizabeth Windsor. I hadn’t worked on the early Fayette Co. Johnsons in quite some time, but I decided to flesh out the census information on Charles C.’s early years, since I had in my database that Elizabeth (or as I had it “Mary Elizabeth ‘Polly’ Childress Windsor”) was the second wife of John Brown Johnson. I found, though, that Charles and Elizabeth (Childress) Windsor appeared in the Fayette Co. censuses up through 1860, so I was a bit confused as to how she could have been John Brown Johnson’s second wife. I have a number of other Windsors intermarried into the Sims, Johnsons, Blakes, Treadways, etc., so I spent a bit of time trying to figure out their relationships so I might determine where this discrepancy over John Brown Johnson’s second wife came from.

What I found was that my information was wrong: Charles Windsor married Elizabeth Childress, while his brother Benjamin Windsor married Mary ‘Polly’ Childress, sister of Elizabeth. Benjamin died in 1829 in Kanawha Co. (probate material available) and it was his widow who remarried to John Brown Johnson. Although I can’t find her or John in 1860, she is listed as Mary Johnson, age 82, b. VA, with her daughter Emeretta Windsor Brown in Gallipolis, Gallia Co, OH in 1870.

I’d filed away this email without following up on the correction. David had also included two attachments to support his corrections. One was a post by James Windsor to the Windsor Family Genealogy Forum on the old Genealogy.com website. James Windsor’s information helped David correct the errors he (we) had concerning Polly WINDSOR who had married John Brown JOHNSON after the death of his wife Elizabeth SIMS, a daughter of James SIMS. Mr. Windsor also noted in his post that William “Billy the Gunsmith” SIMS married Elizabeth WINDSOR, daughter of Jonathan and Mary WINDSOR. Benjamin, Elizabeth, and Charles were all children of Jonathan WINDSOR, born 1750 in Charles County, Maryland, and died after 1837 in Kanawha County.

The second attachment was even more interesting. David wrote:

I’m also attaching a transcript of Jonathan’s Revolutionary War application, which has some interesting items as well, including mention of “William Sims, the Son in Law of Windsor,” establishing that Elizabeth was his daughter. It also notes that James Sims was familiar with him and his service in the Revolution.

How could I have overlooked inputting this important information into my genealogy database? How did I happen to find it so quickly after writing my last post?

Amy Cohen of Brotmanblog: A Family Journey gets the credit for my checking David’s emails. She has the most interesting questions when commenting on my posts. I wanted to mention David Fridley in my reply to her and went into his email folder to be sure I remembered all my dates correctly. That’s when I found his email with the subject line: Windsor-Sims-Johnson.

As the information concerning William SIMS being the son-in-law of Jonathan WINDSOR was found in a transcript of the pension file, I wanted to confirm this by finding the original record.

On Ancestry, I found the entire Revolutionary War Pension Application File for Jonathan WINDSOR (Service Number R.11703).1 Forty-two images for a pension which in the end was rejected. His claim was not allowed as he did not render six months military service in a regularly organized corps as was required by the pension laws.

Even though the pension was rejected the file holds the answer to the parentage of William SIMS Sr.’s wife Elizabeth WINDSOR.

Jonathan WINDSOR’s pension application begins as follows:

On this eighteenth day of February 1834 personally appeared before me William Sims a justice of the peace in and for the county of Nicholas in the state of Virginia and as such a member of the County Court of Nicholas which is a court of record, Jonathan Winsor aged eighty four years on the 8 day of October next who being first duly sworn according to Law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June 7th 1832.

The declaration continues with his service during the war, his birth date and place, and how he came to live in Nicholas County. He gave character witnesses:

He is known to James Sims and Isaac Collins of his neighbourhood, there being no clergyman of his neighbourhood who can testify to his character for veracity and their general belief of his services as a soldier of the revolution.

Jonathan WINDSOR’s statement and signature are followed by my 5th great-grandfather James SIMS and Isaac COLLINS’ sworn statement:

We James Sims and Isaac Collins residing in the neighbourhood of the aforesaid Jonathan Windsor hereby certify that we are well acquainted with the said Jonathan Windson who has subscribed and sworn to the above declaration that we believe him to be about eighty four years of age that he is reputed and believed in the neighbourhood where he resides to have been a soldier of the revolution and that we concur in that opinion. Sworn to and subscribed the day & year aforesaid.
James Sims    Isaac Collins

Also in the file is this statement concerning Jonathan WINDSOR’s son-in-law William SIMS:

I called at the Home of William Sims, the Son in Law of Windsor – haveing understood that the Windsor was to be found there. Windsor however was from home distant 40 or 50 miles and not expected to return soon – Sims informed me that he had frequently heard his father in Law Windsor detail his services as a soldier. the detail in substance was that during the war of the Revolution he was forted at different forts in Greenbrier county – at the several forts at which he was stationed the inhabitants cult their families land – the people of the Forts excludeing himself were clearing lands & cultivateing corn and would beat off the Indians when assailed by them which attacks of Indians were frequent. Sims never heard his father in Law say he was in regular service or under any regular officer — the neighbourhood opinion so far as I could collect it is decidedly against Windsor –
W. G Singleton
Jany 15, 1835 

The WINDSOR Connection

James SIMS and Jonathan WINDSOR knew each other. Their children, William SIMS and Elizabeth WINDSOR married. Jonathan also had a son Benjamin who was the father of the younger Elizabeth WINDSOR. Elizabeth, daughter of Benjamin, and Jonathan, son of Elizabeth, were first cousins and married on 30 December 1832 in Kanawha County.

It is interesting to note that on the same day Jonathan WINDSOR came before William SIMS, Justice of the Peace, to make his declaration for his Revolutionary War pension, my 5th great-grandfather James SIMS did the same. Jonathan WINDSOR testified on James’ behalf along with Isaac COLLINS.

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. “U.S. Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900,” (index and images), <i>Ancestry.com</i>, citing original data: Records of the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15. National Archives, Washington, D.C. (NARA microfilm publication M804, 2,670 rolls), Roll 2614, images 220 thru 262. Jonathan Windsor, pension file number R.11703. (Ancestry.com : accessed 17 April 2018). 

Rewriting the Biography: When Did James Sims Die?

Many of my West Virginia cousins and genealogy acquaintances know my 5th great-grandfather James SIMS (1754-1845) of Nicholas County is one of my favorite ancestors to research. I worked with a group of descendants sixteen years ago and wrote a lengthy biography which is attached to hundreds of trees on Ancestry. It is now time to review the information I used in writing the biography and attempt to find more of the missing pieces.

One question which has not been settled is the year of death of James SIMS. The exact location of his grave in the Simms Memorial Church Cemetery in Swiss is in doubt as the original stone marker was displaced and lost many years ago. Two memorial plaques are in the cemetery.

James Sims, Sgt VA Militia, Revolutionary War, 1754-1838
Revolutionary Soldier, James Sims, 1754-1845

The marker with the year 1838 was secured from the Veterans Administration in 1979 by George R. Penick, Jr. Mr. Penick who compiled information on the descendants of James Sims spoke with some older family members who assumed James SIMS died in 1838. Mr. Penick did his research over 40 years ago and did not have the resources we have today. He likely did not consult the 1840 census as James SIMS age 80 thru 89 was enumerated with his wife, his youngest son George Washington Sims, and a younger male – perhaps a grandson who was helping on the farm.

I have not been able to find out who placed the marker with the 1845 year of death which is more likely as James was living in 1840.

In 1848 a bill of complaint was filed by attorney John Reynolds in the Circuit Supreme Court of Law and Chancery for Nicholas County with George H. Lee, Judge, seeking to have the court provide for the sale of the 125-acre farm near Beech Glen left by James SIMS when he died. The transcript names heirs who would have been living at the time and has also been referred to as a partition suit. The date of death of the deceased was given in the bill as 1836 which cannot be correct due to his being alive at the time of the 1840 census.

Although FamilySearch now has many records online for Nicholas County, I have yet to locate the original partition suit. The transcript was found by Willard E. Simms of Cozaddale, Ohio, in the DAR file of Virginia Bondurant Johnson and shared in a letter to John T. Simms, of Charleston, West Virginia, in 1947. Without a copy of the original record, I cannot be sure that the information in the transcript is correct.

When did James SIMS die?

FamilySearch now has many “new” browse-only record collections available for Nicholas County, West Virginia.

In the Order books, 1844-1928 I found four documents which mention James SIMS in the volumes for the years 1844-1871.

At a Court continued and held for the County of Nicholas on Wednesday the 13th day of November 1844 present William D. Cottle, Bernard Hendrick, John Mc Hamilton.

A power of attorney from James Sims to John McClung was presented in court and ordered to be recorded.1

This now places the death of James SIMS at after this date, 13 November 1844. Eight months later another record was recorded in the Order Book.

August Term 1845

At a Court held for the County of Nicholas at the Court house by the Justices thereof on Tuesday the 12th day of August 1845. present Bernard Hendrick, William Sims, James G. Neil, David Hanna, Jeremiah Odell & William D. Cottle Gent. Justices.2

James Sims Senr. is released from the payment of County & parish Levies in future.3

As we see here on 12 August 1845 James SIMS was still living. Was he exempted from paying the levies due to his age or infirmity? James was born in 1754 per his own declaration made in 1834 and would turn 91 years old on 8 October 1845.

The last two records found add a new date to the equation.

At a Court held for the County of Nicholas at the Court house by the Justices thereof on Tuesday the 10th day of March 1846 present John M. Hamilton, William D. Cottle, William Sims & James G. Neil Gent Justices & John McClung Gent Justice.4

On the motion of William Sims who made oath & together with Joshua Stephenson and Dryden Sims his securities entered into and acknowledged a bond in the penalty of Two hundred Dollars conditioned as the Law directs certificate is granted the said William Sims to obtain Letters of administration on the Estate of James Sims decd in due form.

On the motion of William Sims administrator of the Estate of James Sims Decd. George Hardway William Summers & John Morris are appointed appraisers of the personal Estate of the said decd. after being first duly sworn for that purpose and that they return the appraisment under their hands to the Court.5

Sometime between 12 August 1845 and 10 March 1846, James SIMS passed away. He did not leave a will and letters of administration and the appraisement of his estate were ordered.

His son William SIMS was one of the justices of the court. How long after his death would he have waited to start proceedings to have his father’s estate administered and appraised? Previously the court was held on 10 February 1846, 13 January 1846, and 12 November 1845? Could it be he died in 1846 and the year 1836 seen in the partition case was an error of ten years?

For now, I will list the death of James SIMS as between 12 August 1845 and 10 March 1846. Previously I had between 1840-1848 as these were the last census year he was found and the year the partition suit was filed. I am quite happy with the range I have been able to narrow down to.

The next question I have may not be as easily answered. If the estate of James SIMS was appraised6 then the appraisement would be found in the West Virginia Will Books collection at FamilySearch. Although I have not checked page by page, I found that at one point in the Nicholas County will book for the period there are records missing between July term in 1844 and 1865 with one will from the October term in 1857 serving as a placeholder between the 1844 and 1865 records. Are the records out of order? Where could the missing years be?

I asked this question in the Nicholas County WV Genealogy group on Facebook. One researcher has been to the Nicholas County courthouse several times to do research. She was told at least two wills books may be missing and was lead to believe they are unsure of what became of the books.

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. Nicholas County (West Virginia), County Court, Order books, 1844-1928 (images), <i>FamilySearch</i>, (11 microfilm reels of original records at the Nicholas County courthouse, Sommersville, West Virginia), DGS 7617649, Film 1639161, Vols. D,E,D 1844-1871, p 3, image 37 of 840. 13 Nov 1844 Power of attorney from James Sims to John McClung,(https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9V1-FJ1R?i=36&cat=99534 : accessed 6 February 2018). 
  2.  Ibid., DGS 7617649, Film 1639161, Vols. D,E,D 1844-1871, p 40, image 54 of 840. 12 August 1845 James Sims exempt from levies (page with date court was in session), (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9V1-FJB1?i=53&cat=99534 : 7 February 2018). 
  3. Ibid., DGS 7617649, Film 1639161, Vols. D,E,D 1844-1871, p 41, image 55 of 840. 1845 James Sims exempt from levies (left page, last entry), (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9V1-FJB6?i=54&cat=99534 : accessed 7 February 2018). 
  4. Ibid., Vols. D,E,D 1844-1871, p 65, DGS 7617649, Film 1639161, image 67 of 840. 10 March 1846 date court was in session, (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9V1-FJY3?i=66&cat=99534 : accessed 7 February 2018). 
  5. Ibid., DGS 7617649, Film 1639161, Vols. D,E,D 1844-1871, p 69, image 69 of 840. Letters of administration and appraisement order for estate of James Sims decd, (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9V1-FJY6?i=68&cat=99534 : accessed 7 February 2018). 
  6. William Sims adm. of the Estate of James Sims decd. presented in Court an appraisment & Sale Bill of the Estate of the said Decd. which being seen and inspected by the Court is ordered to be Recorded.
    Ibid., DGS 7617649, Film 1639161, Vols. D,E,D 1844-1871, p 92, image 81 of 840. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9V1-FJY4?i=80&cat=99534 : accessed 7 February 2018) 

Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Henry, a Slave in Nicholas County, (West) Virginia

John S. Roberts of Nicholas County, Virginia (present-day West Virginia) owned one negro boy named Henry as seen in the appraisal of his estate recorded during the March 1832 term of Nicholas County court.

John S. Roberts – 1832 Appraisement Bill

“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18231-22608-67?cc=1909099 : accessed 20 January 2016), Nicholas > Will book, v. 001 1820-1899 > image 48 of 158; page 68 ; county courthouses, West Virginia.

Nicholas County to wit
In pursuance of the within order of Nicholas County Court We Robert Kelly, Robert Hamilton and William D. Cottle after having been duly sworn proceeded to appraise the Estate of John S. Roberts dec’d and make the following return.
One Cow $8.00
Two bed & furniture at $25 each $50
One folding leaf table $5.00
One dressing table $3.00
One shot gum $10.00
One cupboard furniture knives etc. $6.00
One negro boy named Henry $250.00
One set of bed steads $1.00
One ditto ditto $2.00
A pile of corn in the ears $2.50
4 Bushels of potatoes at 25 cts $1.00
One barrel and boxes $0.50
Half a Doz chairs $3.00

“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18231-22608-67?cc=1909099 : accessed 20 January 2016), Nicholas > Will book, v. 001 1820-1899 > image 48 of 158; page 69 ; county courthouses, West Virginia.

One big wheel $2.00
One weeding hoe $0.50
One pot and hooks $2.00
Two skillets and lids $2.50
One oven and lid $2.25
One tin kettle $2.00
. . . . . . (total) $343.25
all which is respectfully submitted by ous (sic)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . R. Kelly
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . R. Hamilton
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wm. D. Cottle
At a court held for Nicholas County March Term 1832 This appraisement bill of the estate of John S. Roberts was returned duly certified by the appraisers and ordered to be recorded.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Teste
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Saml Price C??

Who Was John S. Roberts?

John Shelton Roberts was the son of Alexander Roberts and Sarah Shepherd of Nelson County, Virginia. He married Adeline B. Landcraft, daughter of Nathaniel Landcraft and Sarah B. Hardin, on 6 September 1829 in Nelson County. They very likely came to the Fayette/Nicholas counties area with Adeline’s parents. By 1830 John was living in Nicholas County where he (male 20 thru 29) was seen on the census with his wife (female 20 thru 29) and two young slaves under 10 years of age. Following his death, his widow remarried.

How Did John S. Roberts Become A Slaveholder?

A quick check turned up the names of more slaves as both John’s and Adeline’s parents were slaveholders, as was Rev. Edwin Washington Woodson who married Adeline after John’s death. The names will be shared in several Slave Name Roll Project posts to come.

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 which can be found on Schalene Jennings Dagutis’ blog Tangled Roots and Trees

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

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Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING Letty, Cyrus, and Nelson

RELEASING: One old Negro woman, 1 Negro woman named Letty, one Negro boy named Cyrus, one Negro boy named Nelson, and a child born to Letty.
In Nicholas County, (West) Virginia, William Bell died before 10 August 1825. He did not leave a will. An appraisement and inventory of his estate were ordered on 10 August 1825 and a list was made on 24 August 1825 by four commissioners.
“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-4L57-N?cc=1909099&wc=Q8B7-1PJ%3A179686001%2C179686002 : 22 June 2016), Nicholas > image 23 of 158; county courthouses, West Virginia.
“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-4L56-X?cc=1909099&wc=Q8B7-1PJ%3A179686001%2C179686002 : 22 June 2016), Nicholas > image 24 of 158; county courthouses, West Virginia.

On the second page of the inventory and appraisement are four slaves who were held by William Bell.

1 old Negro woman valued at nothing from old age
1 Negro woman aged 30 named Letty valued at 250
1 Negro boy named Syrus 150
1 Negro boy named Nelson. Deformed (value blank)

The estate sale took place on 17 November 1825.

“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-4L56-X?cc=1909099&wc=Q8B7-1PJ%3A179686001%2C179686002 : 22 June 2016), Nicholas > image 24 of 158; county courthouses, West Virginia.

The enslaved people of William Bell were not sold at the estate sale and the estate was not settled until 1833.

“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-4L59-V?cc=1909099&wc=Q8B7-1PJ%3A179686001%2C179686002 : 22 June 2016), Nicholas > image 51 of 158; county courthouses, West Virginia.
“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-4L5R-F?cc=1909099&wc=Q8B7-1PJ%3A179686001%2C179686002 : 22 June 2016), Nicholas > image 52 of 158; county courthouses, West Virginia.

On the second page of the 1833 settlement of the estate two slaves named in the inventory, Letty and Cyrus, were found.

By the sale of Letty and her child under a Trust deed 100.-
By sale of Cyrus under Trust deed 100.-

I checked the 1820 census and found William Bell was over 45 years old, with a woman who was also over 45 years old (wife), and seven other persons (2 females under 10, 1 female 10 thru 15, and 4 females 16 thru 25. Slaves in the household were: 2 males under 14, 1 male 14 thru 25, and 1 female 14 thru 25 (Letty).

By 1830, after William Bell had died, there were 2 females 15 thru 19 and 3 females 20 thru 29 in the household of Mary Bell who was 60 thru 69. I assumed Mary was the wife of William Bell. Further research shows this to be the correct household. In her household were five slaves: 2 males under 10 (Cyrus age 9), 1 male 10 thru 23, 1 female 24 thru 35 (Letty), and 1 female 55 thru 99 (old unnamed woman).

In 1840 Mary Bell was found in the newly formed Braxton County. She had 2 females 30 thru 39 in her household and she was seen as 60 thru 69. She still owned slaves: 2 males under 10, 1 male 10 thru 23 (Cyrus age 19), 1 males 36 thru 54, 1 female 10 thru 23, and 1 female 24 thru 35 (Letty).

In 1842 Elizabeth Bell, a daughter of William Bell, married William Hutchison. He was previously married and had children. In 1850 the Hutchison household included Jane T. Bell age 53, Hutchison’s wife Elizabeth age 50, and his children from the first marriage. On the slave schedule, William Hutchison and Jane Bell are listed one after the other. Jane Bell appears to have Cyrus age 33 and Letty age 52 as well as another male age 54, likely the male seen in her mother’s household in 1840.

Ancestry.com. 1850 U.S. Federal Census – Slave Schedules > Virginia > Braxton

In 1860 Jane Bell was still living in the household of her brother-in-law William and her sister Elizabeth. Although there was an entry for William Hutchison, there was no entry for Jane Bell on the 1860 Slave Schedule. The possible names of the slaves of William Hutchison will be shared in a later post.

Ancestry.com. 1860 U.S. Federal Census – Slave Schedules > Virginia > Braxton > page 1 of 2

In 1866 Hannah J. Hutchison was the informant on the death of her step-mother Elizabeth on 28 February, for Jane T. Bell on 21 March, and for her father William on 16 May.

The last will and testament of Jane T. Bell was located in Braxton County, West Virginia. She mentions Letty and Cyrus.

“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-HY21-J?cc=1909099&wc=Q8BW-MZJ%3A179688701%2C179750901 : 21 June 2016), Braxton > Will book, v. 003 1862-1879 > image 52 of 215; county courthouses, West Virginia.

                                               Jane T. Bell’s Will
I, Jane T. Bell of Braxton County, Virginia being of sound mind do make this my last will & testatment. First. I give and bequeath unto my two slaves Letty and Cyrus their freedom if they will accept of it according to the laws of Virginia. And if the said slaves do no make choice of Emancipation my will and desire is that they may have the right to make choice of their masters. 2nd. I give and bequeath unto my sister Elizabeth Hutchison all the real and personal property of every kind that I may have at the time of my decease & all money or bonds that is due me at that time except the two above named slaves. Signed and sealed this first day of November 1858.
In the presence of                                                            Jane T. Bell *Seal*
Nathan Hutchison                                                                 her + mark
Felix Hutchison
Braxton County SS.
Recorders Office October 9th 1866. A writing purporting to be the last will and testament of Jane T. Bell decd was this day proven before the undersigned Recorder of Braxton County by the oaths of Nathan Hutchison & Felix Hutchison the subscribing witnesses thereto who declared on oath that the testator acknowledged this will in their presence and that each of said witnesses subscribed the said will in the presence of the testator. And thereupon the said will is admitted to record.
                                                                Teste. M. H. Morrison Recorder

By 1870, Cyrus and Letty were free persons and using the Bell surname. Although not free at the time Jane wrote her will, they became free people with the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865 when slavery was abolished. In 1870 Cyrus was seen with Sarah E. 34 and children Eliza A. 15, Mary J. 12, Margaret E. 6, and Cora 2. Also in his household were John Alexander age 68 and Letty B. Bell age 70.

Year: 1870; Census Place: Clay, Braxton, West Virginia; Roll: M593_1685; Page: 400A; Image: 140850; Family History Library Film: 553184 (Ancestry.com : accesssed 26 March 2017)

Letty‘s 1876 death record shows she died at the age of 84 years 4 months in October 1876. Her parents were unknown and she was born in Augusta County, Virginia. She was a farmer and died of old age. Cyrus Bell was the informant and his relationship is seen as son of the deceased.

By 1880 the family of Cyrus Bell had increased by four with the births of William 1871, Ruskia 1874, Julia 1877, and Alison 1880. Sarah and Cyrus were not legally married until 11 May 1877. Sarah died 6 October 1887. Marriages were found for several daughters, three married men with the surname Johnson. I was not able to find them in 1900 or later. No death record was found for Cyrus who died after the 1900 census.

After finishing this post, I did a quick search for Letty and Cyrus to see if I had overlooked any kind of information already on the internet. I found a page with information on Braxton County African Americans in the Census and African Americans in the Braxton County 1880 Census.

I began this post, intending to share only the transcription of the documents with the names of the slaves. However, I could not leave it there. The genealogist wanted to follow the people. And because I did, I learned Letty was Cyrus’ mother. And this in turn makes me wonder if the older woman mentioned in the inventory and appraisement may have been Letty’s mother.

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 which can be found on Schalene Jennings Dagutis’ blog Tangled Roots and Trees

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

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Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING Matt, Egg, Judge, Jinny, Jack, Rachel, Mose, Mary, George, Franky, and Wilson

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.

1831jamesrobinsonappraisementbill1
“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-4LPR-7?cc=1909099&wc=Q8B7-1PJ%3A179686001%2C179686002 : 22 June 2016), Nicholas > image 45 of 158; county courthouses, West Virginia.

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

1831jamesrobinsonappraisementbill
“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-4L5N-2?cc=1909099&wc=Q8B7-1PJ%3A179686001%2C179686002 : 22 June 2016), Nicholas > image 46 of 158; county courthouses, West Virginia.

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.

1828jamesrobinsonwillproved1832part1
“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-4LR3-V?cc=1909099&wc=Q8B7-1PJ%3A179686001%2C179686002 : 21 June 2016), Nicholas > image 48 of 158; county courthouses, West Virginia.
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

1828jamesrobinsonwillproved1832part2
“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-4L58-S?cc=1909099&wc=Q8B7-1PJ%3A179686001%2C179686002 : 22 June 2016), Nicholas > image 49 of 158; county courthouses, West Virginia.

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.

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 which can be found on Schalene Jennings Dagutis’ blog Tangled Roots and Trees

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

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Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING 9 Slaves of Braxton County, (West) Virginia

RELEASING: Mary and her husband; their children Washington, Granville (a girl), Catharine, and Lucinda; Maddison, Callohill, and Granville (a woman).

Last month I wrote about Cato who was sold on Christmas Day in 1821 to Robert Kelly.

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.

1850robertkellycensus
Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Year: 1850; Census Place: District 4, Braxton, Virginia; Roll: M432_937; Page: 211A; Image: 82
1850robertkellyslaves
Ancestry.com. 1850 U.S. Federal Census – Slave Schedules [database on-line]. Year: 1850; Census Place: District 43, Nicholas, Virginia.
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
r-kellywill1
Citation: “West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-HYK7-4?cc=1909099&wc=Q8BW-MZL%3A179688701%2C179712101 : 21 June 2016), Braxton > image 160 of 177; county courthouses, 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.

r-kellywill2
Citation: “West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-HYV1-D?cc=1909099&wc=Q8BW-MZL%3A179688701%2C179712101 : 21 June 2016), Braxton > image 161 of 177; county courthouses, West Virginia.

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.

1850slavenames
Ancestry.com. 1850 U.S. Federal Census – Slave Schedules [database on-line]. Year: 1850; Census Place: District 43, Nicholas, Virginia.
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.
The Codicil

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?

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 which can be found on Schalene Jennings Dagutis’ blog Tangled Roots and Trees

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING Cato, Sold on Christmas Day 1821

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:

williamhamiltoninventory500
Citation: “West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18231-21772-76?cc=1909099 : accessed 20 January 2016), Nicholas > Will book, v. 001 1820-1899 > image 18 of 158; county courthouses, West Virginia.

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

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Samuel Neil
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Groves
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nathaniel Foster
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Fitzwater
. . . . . . . . . . . . Sworn to before me Edward Rion
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . R. Kelly . . . . . . . . . .adminst
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . J. Mc. Hamilton . . adminst.

At the time of the sale of the estate which took place on Christmas Day in 1821, Cato was described as a boy and sold to William Hamilton’s brother-in-law and partner Robert Kelly:

williamhamiltonestatesale500
Citation: “West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18231-21768-88?cc=1909099 : accessed 20 January 2016), Nicholas > Will book, v. 001 1820-1899 > image 29 of 158; county courthouses, West Virginia.

W. Hamilton . . . .An account of the Sale of the Estate of William Hamilton Dec’s on
account of sale . . . . . . .the 25th of December 1821 to wit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $
Robert Hamilton . . . . 1 Saddle of the appraisement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 – 00
. . . . . ” . . . . . . . . . . . . . .History of America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  – 75
Robert Kelly . . . . . . . . .one negro Boy named Cato . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 505 – 00
. . . . . ” . . . . . . . . . . . . . .one Bed & furniture, the head & Layings Excepted . . 15 – 00
. . . . . “. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Two Books . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 – 75
Miss Mary A. Hamilton . . one Horse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65 – 00
Edwar Rion Guardian . . 1 Watch : . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 – 00
of David Hamilton
Robert Kelly . . . . . . . . . 1 Pair Saddle Bags by appr. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 -00
. . . . . ” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Appaulett. . . . . . . . .do. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 – 00
. . . . . ” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 pr.  Spears. . . . . . . . .do. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . – 75
John Hamilton . . . . . . . 1 Sword & Belt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 – 00
. . . . . ” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Epauten . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 – 00
                                                    R. Kelly
                                                    J. Mc. Hamilton administrators

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.

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 which can be found on Schalene Jennings Dagutis’ blog Tangled Roots and Trees

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING Sophia and Her Child

Releasing one Negro Woman and child mentioned in the inventory of the estate of Jane Hamilton presented to the Court of Nicholas County, (West) Virginia, during the November term of 1821.

jane-hamilton-estate-inventory-1
Citation: “West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18231-21651-60?cc=1909099 : accessed 20 January 2016), Nicholas > Will book, v. 001 1820-1899 > image 17 of 158; county courthouses, West Virginia.

In the left margin:
Jane Hamilton
Inventory & appt

We the Subscribers agreeable to an order of the Worshipful the
County Court of Nicholas at the November term 1821 of
Said Court being first duly sworn have proceeded to appraise
the personal Estate of Jane Hamilton Dec’d – as produced
to us by Robert Kelly & John Mc. Hamilton The administra-
=tors on said Estate to wit, on the 18th day of December 1821
                                                                  $ – Cents
one Negro woman & child                  425=00
Saddle Sddle (sic) bags & Bridle           17=00
Bed Stead Bed & beding                        40=00
one Wheel                                                 3=00
one Set of Silver tea spoons                    6=00
one trunk                                                     2=00
Morses Geography                                    0=75
Wool & Cotton & thread                         11=00
Callico for a quilt                                       3=00
one Umbrilla                                               2=50

jane-hamilton-estate-inventory-2
Citation: “West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18231-21772-76?cc=1909099 : 22 June 2016), Nicholas > Will book, v. 001 1820-1899 > image 18 of 158; county courthouses, West Virginia.

                                                  Samuel Neil
                                                  John Groves
                                                  Nathaniel Foster
                                                  John Fitzwater
Sworn to before me Edward Rion

The inventory of the Estate of Jane Hamilton was sold on 25 December 1821. The enslaved woman and child are seen as Sophia & child and were sold to Jane’s brother John Hamilton for $585.

jane-hamilton-estate-sale
Citation: “West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18231-21768-88?cc=1909099 : accessed 20 January 2016), Nicholas > Will book, v. 001 1820-1899 > image 29 of 158; county courthouses, West Virginia.

Jane Hamilton
a/c                                     Jane Hamilton’s Estate, an account of the sale thereof
Sale                                    on the 25 of December 1821 by the Admtr. to wit
                                                                                                            $  Ct.
Polly Hamilton . . . . . . . . 1 Spindle Wheel Inventry . . . . . . . . . . .3 00
John Hamilton . . . . . . . . Sophia & Child . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 585 00
Polly Hamilton . . . . . . . . Saddle wo. Bridle & Saddlebags Inventry . .17 00
      ” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bed & furniture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 00
      ” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Set of Tea Spoons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 87 1/2
      ” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Trunk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 00
      ” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wool & Cotton thd. Invy . . . . . . . . . . . 11 00
Robert Hamilton . . . . . . Morses Geography Invy . . . . . . . . . . . . . .75
Miss Mary A. Hamilton . 1 Umbrella . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 50
      ” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Callico for a quilt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 00
                                                                                 R. Kelly
                                                                                 J. Mc. Hamilton   Adtrs.

Jane Laverty Hamilton (1793-1821) was the daughter of John Hamilton (1748-1818) and Rebekah Laverty (1765-1811). In 1820 her 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 may have been in this household.

Jane’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.

William Hamilton died about a month after his sister Jane. His inventory and sale were recorded at the same time as Jane’s and will be shared 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 which can be found on Schalene Jennings Dagutis’ blog Tangled Roots and Trees

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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