I realized quickly that I’d have to “think outside the box” to learn about my ancestors. I LOVE to interview people, and listen to stories about "the older days" when life seemed a little slower and simpler. I study USGS maps, plats, read chanceries, look for long forgotten cemeteries and try to help preserve memories people share with me. This blog is ad free, so it's easier to focus on sharing stories. Feel free to sign the guestbook, or join the FaceBook group. Even if we aren't related by DNA, I'd still love to hear about your research efforts and family stories. I am interested in posting (to this blog) stories relevant to the Mecklenburg-Brunswick families.

27 December 2016

1819: The Complicated Will of Thomas Steagall, Brunswick VA

Thomas Steagall will
Part of: 1836-029, Walker vs Smith, Brunswick chancery (Julie’s files image 126, 130, 131)
Photographs (of the chancery) and transcribing by Julie Cabitto. Photographed with permission at LVA, 25 July 2015. Transcribed 27 Dec 2016. Note: Julie is descendant of Martha Newman, daughter of Dorothy Steagall, who is daughter of Thomas Steagall.
Family History info:
I.                     Will written 18 Jun 1819
II.                   Will proved 12 Sep 1820
III.                 Will copied & taken to chancery in 1836
IV.                Thomas Steagall recognizes his grandchildren as:   (marriage info included if known)
                        Children of Dorothy Steagall married to Abner Newman, as spelled in will:
1)      Elizabeth McKinney (m. Samuel McKinney 1808 Warren, NC)
2)      William Newman (m. 1819 Ann S. Tarvin Campbell, KY)
3)      Nancy Newman (m. George Newman 1837 Orange, VA)
4)      Emma Newman (m. Edward Walker ______ d. 1835 Mecklenburg, VA)
5)      *Patsy Newman (Martha, m. James B. Jones 1821 Warren, NC)
6)      Virenda Newman (m. David Walker 1824 Brunswick, VA)
7)      Parthenia Newman (m. Freeman Walker 1826 Warren, NC)
                      Children of Patsey Steagall Ingram:
8)      Robert W Ingram
9)      William Ingram

V.                  Note: Thomas Steagall’s wife Elizabeth was first married to John Ingram. The had a son named Benjamin Ingram. Benjamin is not listed as an heir.
VI.                Note: Thomas Steagall had 3 children: Edward, Dorothy and Patsey Steagall. All 3 children are recognized in the will. This will was taken to chancery because two executors died and the estate was held up in court. Edward married after his father died and had children Thomas in 1820 and Henry in 1821.
VII.               By 1836, the Ingrams and Dorothy’s son William Newman are in KY. Patsey Ingram died in 1841, her husband Samuel preceded her in death and was deceased by the 1836 chancery case. Edward died in 1836, and Dorothy is unknown. William married in KY one month after the will was written. Only one of Thomas’s grand children were married at the time of this will, Elizabeth McKinney. By 1836 they were all married and grand daughter Parthenia Newman Walker and Emma Newman Walker had died. The chancery case complaint explained that items in the will were contradictory so the estate was held up and not being given to the heirs for about 20 years. Also Edward’s children weren’t born at the time of the will so they were not recognized as Thomas’s heirs. The chancery case which included this will is 131 pages.

In the name of God Amen. I Thomas Steagall of the County of Brunswick, do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament, in manner and form following to wit:
1st I give and bequeath to my son Edward Steagall the tract of Land whereon I now live and all moneys that he may be indebted to me, to him and his heirs forever.
2nd I will that my two negro fellows Dick and Cato be sold on twelve months credit and the proceeds of such sale to be applied as herein after directed.
3rdly It is my desire that all my stock of every kind, household and kitchen furniture, plantation utensils etc. be sold and the proceeds to be applied as herein after directed.
4 Item, Out of the proceeds of the sale above named, I give to my Executors, their heirs, Executors admin or assigns the sum of twenty pounds annually to be by them paid, laid out or expanded in any manner they may think most proper for the support and maintenance of my daughter Patsey Ingram during the life of her husband Samuel Ingram. And provided she should survive her said husband I give her the like sum of twenty pounds to be paid out of the funds aforesaid, during her widowhood and no longer.
5 Item, I wish my negroes to be kept together and finish the crop that may be on hand at the time of my death, which crop I will to be sold and the proceeds of such sale to be funds in the hands of my Executors jointly with the sales above named.
6 Item, At the expiration of the year after my decease my Executors are requested to call on any three respectable neighbors to value all my slaves, and assign to each of my Grand Children that may be then of age, or the heirs of such as may have died, leaving issue, one equal proportion of such valuation in slaves as near as can be in kind and the deficiency in such division if any to be paid to such legatee by my Executors out of the sales aforesaid, and if such  legatee or legatees should draw a lot of more value than the equal proportion such overplus to be by them paid, or secured to be paid to my Executors before the delivery of the property by them drawn.
7 Item, After the delivery of such proportions to the legatees that may be of age as aforesaid, and any that may have married being underage, I will the balance of my slaves to be annually hired out by my Executors and the proceeds of such hire with the proceeds of the sales aforesaid after paying the sums aforesaid or so much thereof as my Executor think necessary be applied to the support of my Grand Daughters, Nancy, Emily, Martha, Varenda and Parthenia Newman until they arrive of age or marry at either event a division is to take place as before stated.
8 Item, If any surplus should remain in the hands of my Executor from the sales and hire aforesaid, after paying the legacies and support of my Grand Children aforesaid, the same is to be let out on interest annually, which interest is to constitute a part of the capitol stock.
9 Item, As my Grand Children severally arrive to the age of 21 years or marry, my Executors are to call on three neighbors as aforesaid to value the remaining slaves that may be undivided and allot to such Grand Child an equal proportion thereof until the whole is divided.
10 Item, I recognize as my Grand Children Elizabeth McKinney, William Newman, Nancy Newman, Emma Newman, Patsey Newman, Virenda Newman and Parthenia Newman children of my Daughter Dorothy Newman, and Robert W and William Ingram sons of my daughter Patsy Ingram.
11, I nominate and appoint my son Edward Steagall together with my friends Green Hill and Jordan Malone, whole and sole Executors of this my last will and Testament hereby revoking all former wills by me made. In witness whereof I have hereinto set my hand and seal this 18th June 1819.
Thomas Steagall (seal)

Sealed and delivered in presence of Green Hill, Clement Mitchell, Gray F, Dunn
At a Superior Court of Law held for Brunswick County the 12th day of September 1820. This last will and Testament of Thomas Steagall deceased was proved by the oaths of Green Hill and Gray F Dunn two of the witnesses thereto and ordered to be accorded. And on the motion of Jordan Malone one of the Executors therein named who made oath thereto and together with James Malone, Henry Lewis, and John Clarke his securities entered into and acknowledged a bond in the penalty of fifteen thousand dollars with condition as the law directs, certificate is granted him for obtaining a probate in due form, liberty being reserved the other Executors therein reassured to be joined in the same probate when they think fit.
Teste R. Turnbull, CB_

A copy teste R.R. Randolph, D.C.

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