Thursday, May 10, 2018

A Bed to Sleep In, $40 Per Year and a Horse

In a land agreement between Richard Wight and daughter Carrie P. Barr, Richard was promised $40.00 a year, a horse, and support for the rest of his natural life.

Richard Wight was my 2nd Great Grandfather born 1834 at McDonough, Chenango Co., NY to Jonas Sweetland Wight and Caroline Ackley. He was raised in McDonough and somehow met and married 2nd Great Grandmother Emily Brundage from Wawayanda, Orange Co., NY. They lived in New York, then spent some time in Waterloo, Black Hawk Co., Iowa and returned to Orange County, NY by 1868.

After Great Grandmother Emily died, Richard made his home in McDonough (1875) with his three older children—Carrie, Anna and Bertie. His two youngest daughters, Eleanor and Emily, remained with their grandparents, Orsamus C. Brundage and Phebe Kimber, in Wawayanda, NY.

By 1880, Richard was working as a farm laborer in Wawayanda close to the youngest Wight girls. Carrie was about 18 years old and had recently married Fred Barr in Chenango County.

Now that I’ve given you a little background, I’m ready to begin this post.

It wasn’t until I began researching Richard Wight’s mother, Caroline (Ackley) Wight that I learned Great Grandfather owned land in Smithville. Grandfather’s mother, along with his brothers and their wives sold the ‘Jonas Wight farm’ to him Nov. 23, 1889.

A few months later, Richard, received a $2,000 legacy owed him from his father’s estate.

Document from Jonas Wight’s estate packet

Later that year Richard sold his interest in a 122-acre tract originally part of the ‘Jonas Wight farm’ to his daughter Carrie P. Barr. I find it odd Richard did not include Carrie’s husband, Fred Barr, in the agreement. When the deed was written, Carrie was 29 years old and had already been married to Fred Barr for 11 years.

Carrie took over the mortgage payments held by Eli T. Wight. According to the indenture Great Grandfather was guaranteed a home for life living in the two north rooms in a house on the property where he already dwelled. Every January he would get $40.00. A horse and firewood were also included in the deal.

Excerpt Deed Book 181, page 599

A transcription of the deed follows:

Chenango County, New York Deed Book 181, pages 598-599

   This Indenture made this 17th day of November in the year of our Lord one Thousand eight hundred and ninety. Between Richard Wight of the town of Smithville Chenango Co. N. Y. party of the first part and Carrie P. Barr of the said town of Smithville N. Y. party of the second part.
Witnesseth that the said party of the first part in consideration of the sum of Forty Dollars to be paid yearly as hereinafter stated and also the convenants hereinafter stated, was sold and by these presents does grant and convey to the said party of the second part her heirs and assigns.
   All that tract or parcel of land situate in the town of Smithville Chenango County N. Y. and being in lot No. 16 in the second township of the Chenango Triangle and bounded and described as follows.
   Being the same premises deeded by Eli T. Wight, Hattie Wight et al. to the said Richard Wight by a deed dated the 23rd day of November 1889 and recorded in the Chenango County Clerks office on the 14th day of February 1890 at 11 o’clock a.m. in Book No. 181 of Deeds at page 254 and the particular boundaries and description in the said deed contained are hereby adopted as forming a part of this conveyance the same as if herein fully stated and the said premises hereby conveyed are the same premises deeded by Orlando F. Cowles to Jonas Wight by a deed dated the 1st day of Jany 1866 and recorded in the Chenango County Clerks office on the 15th day of Jany 1866 in Liber No. 24 of Deeds at page 237.
   This conveyance is made and accepted subject to a mortgage on the said premises of the amount of $3200 which mortgage is held by Eli T. Wight and the said party of the second part does hereby assume the payment of the said mortgage.
   The consideration of this conveyance is that the said party of the second part shall pay to the said party of the first part yearly and every year the sum of $40.00 to be paid on the first day of Jany of each and every year during the natural life of the said party of the first part, and also that the said party of the second part shall and will support the said party of the first part during the term of his natural life, and to thus support him in a good and suitable manner, and to well and properly care and provide for him.
   The party of the second part shall and will also keep for the use of said party of the first part one horse.
  The said party of the first part reserves from this grant during his natural life the two north rooms in the house on the above described premises now occupied by him and the free and uninterrupted use and enjoyment thereof.
   The party of the first part to have his fire wood from the above premises so long as he lives.
    With the appurtenances and all the estate title and interest therein of the said party of the first part and the said Richard Wight does hereby covenant and agree to and with the said party of the second part her heirs and assigns that the premises thus conveyed in the quiet and peaceable possession of the party of the second part her heirs and assigns he will forever warrant and defend against any person whomsoever lawfully claiming the same or any part thereof.
   In witness whereof the parties herein have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year first written above.
                                                                      Richard Wight
                                                                      Carrie P. Barr
State of New York
County of Chenango
          On this 18th day of November in the year one thousand eight hundred and ninety before me the subscriber personally came Richard Wight and Carrie P. Barr to me known to be the persons described in and who executed the written instrument and they severally acknowledged that they executed the same.
Recorded December 9, 1890
At 3:50 p.m.                                                   Charles Clinton
                                                                      Notary Public
Norman Carr
This arrangement lasted until Oct. 4,1899 when Carrie P. Barr and Richard Wight sold the property back to Eli T. Wight. By June of 1900, Great Grandfather (then 65 years old) and the Barr family relocated to Greene Village, Chenango County, NY.  

My ancestry
2nd Great Grandfather Richard Wight and wife Emily Brundage
Great Grandmother Emily Wight and husband Lewis Penny Doty
Grandfather Frank Leroy Doty and wife Viola L. Wilson
My Mother

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Beloved Caroline AKA Mrs. Wight

Jonas S. Wight stated in his will “I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Caroline all the use improvements and income of Dwelling House, Lands, and the appurtenances thereto, and all my real and Personal property in Smithville, to have and to hold the same to her for and during her natural life.”

Jonah’s beloved wife was Caroline Ackley, daughter of Henry Ackley and Ruth Purple born March 15, 1809 at East Hampton, Middlesex County, Connecticut. Carolyn’s father died 1814 in Connecticut when she was about four years old. Sometime between 1820 and 1830, Caroline’s mother brought the family to Chenango County, New York where other Purple family members migrated from Connecticut.

Caroline married Jonas Sweetland Wight Dec. 19, 1830 most likely near McDonough, Chenango County. Six sons were born to them. Orange Henry Wight born in 1833 died a few months after birth. Richard (my 2nd Great Grandfather) was born 1834 followed by Hiram in 1837. (Hiram died a young man in 1859.) George Tarbell Wight arrived in 1839, Morris B. in 1846 with Eli T. Wight the youngest born in 1848.

Jonas farmed land in McDonough. He and Caroline bought and sold several 100-acre tracts along with a few smaller lots during their years in McDonough. In 1865 they sold some properties and by Jan. 1, 1866, Jonas and Caroline purchased 120 acres in the Town of Smithfield, Chenango County.

The 1875 New York State census enumerated Jonas and Caroline at home in the 2nd Election District of Smithville. Their son, Morris, wife Miranda, and daughter Lena shared their home. Caroline’s youngest son Eli lived in the Wight house too.

Jonas Wight died May 8, 1878. Great Grandfather left everything he owned to his ‘beloved wife Caroline’ for as long as she lived. He planned for her well-being; eighteen months after Great Grandmother Caroline died, the sons would get the following monies: Richard $2,000, Eli T. $5,000, Morris B., $4,000 and George T. $2,000. Any remaining real and personal property was to be divided in equal shares among them.

The 1880 federal census enumerator found Caroline living with her son and wife, Morris B. and Miranda Wight in Smithville. 

On November 23, 1889, the Wight’s sold 237 acres of Jonas Wight’s land. Eli T. Wight and wife Hattie L., Caroline Wight, all of Smithville; George T. Wight and wife Julia residents of Waterloo, Iowa; and Morris B. Wight of Niles Valley, Pennsylvania sold their interests to son and brother Richard Wight of Pharsalia, Chenango Co., NY.

A few months later, Richard, received his $2,000 legacy (prior to his mother’s death) Feb. 3, 1890.

Caroline Wight passed March 21, 1894 at her son Eli’s home in Coventry, Chenango County.

Chenango Semi-Weekly Telegraph, Wednesday, March 28, 1894

   The body of Mrs. Wight, widow of the late Jonas Wight, an old resident of this place, was brought to this village for burial, on Friday last, from Coventry, where she lived with her son, Eli Wight.

My ancestry
3rd Great Grandmother Caroline Ackley and husband Jonas S. Wight
2nd Great Grandfather Richard Wight and wife Emily Brundage
Great Grandmother Emily Wight and husband Lewis Penny Doty
Grandfather Frank Leroy Doty and wife Viola L. Wilson
My Mother

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Taxing Times for Daniel Joseph in Rockingham County, Virginia, #52 Ancestors Week 15

#52 Ancestors Week 15 writing challenge is devoted to taxes. I hold tax records in high regard. Once I located 4th Great Grandfather Daniel Joseph among them, I realized what a valuable resource they are, especially coupled with court records. They provided me with a wealth of information about Daniel’s final years. I originally published the post below July 7, 2014.

In an earlier post, I mentioned I thought 4th Great Grandfather Daniel Joseph lived in Augusta County, Virginia with a business interest in Rockingham County, Virginia. Contrary to what I said, a Feb. 12, 1791 land deed does indeed place his residence in neighboring Rockingham County. The Personal Property Tax Lists for Rockingham County include Daniel as early as 1789. He didn’t own any taxable items in 1789. In 1790, 1791, 1792 and 1794, he was taxed for a horse. Daniel was taxed for an ordinary in 1795. An ordinary is a tavern, inn or saloon.

When I was researching at the Rockingham County Court House some years ago, I found an entry in an unmarked notebook which appeared to be a tax list for 4th Great Grandmother Eve (Hanger) Joseph dated 1787.

    Eve Joseph from Snid V D to lot Kes; quarterly rent of lots

The 1787 Rockingham County land tax lists indicate Eve Joseph was the owner of 1 lot which was rented yearly for a total of 3 Pounds with tax @ 1 1/2% for 3 shillings. It looks like D. Snider rented the lot. Now I would like to point out it is unusual for a woman with a living husband to own land in her own name.

In 1788 Daniel was taxed for his 85 acres in Augusta County, Virginia while his wife Eve was taxed for 1 lot of land on yearly rents in Rockingham County. Between March and April 1788 when taxes were assessed, Eve Joseph's lot in Kesle Town, Rockingham Co., VA was assessed 3 shillings for yearly rent of her lot totaling 3 pounds and 10 shillings.

Daniel’s name started to appear in Rockingham County court records June 24, 1783 while living in Augusta County. Let’s say he was no stranger to a courtroom. Daniel was involved in court cases too many times for me to give details each instance his name appeared in the proceedings. Great Grandfather was involved in numerous court cases as both the plaintiff and defendant. Most of the time he was in court to either collect or pay a debt.

Daniel Joseph and John Hanger were in debt to George Keisle May 28, 1788. Leave was granted to Daniel Joseph to ‘keep ordinary’ in Rockingham Co. July 28, 1788. The court realized he couldn’t pay his debts without running his business. (Remember an ordinary is a tavern or inn and this might be the lot Eve Joseph owned. If Daniel and Eve Joseph were tavern keepers, this would explain why they were in court regularly.) In August the case was dismissed when Daniel agreed to pay all the costs involved. More serious legal issues would erupt with George Keisle some years later. On August 24, 1791 a jury trial found Daniel and Eve not guilty of theft after accusations initiated by Keisel.

Daniel was fined by the Commonwealth for selling ‘spiritous liquors’ Dec. 24, 1792. A few years earlier on August 23, 1790, he was fined 5 shillings perhaps for a similar offence. In April of the same year in Augusta County, Anthony Mustoe filed a slander charge against him.

It wasn’t until March/April 1793 that Daniel appeared in a Rockingham County land tax list owning 1 lot that was assessed for 6 Pounds and taxed at 1 1/2% for 1 shilling, and 3 pence. I don’t know whether this is a different lot than what Eve owned but she isn’t included in any more land tax lists. He still owned the lot per the March/April 1794, 1795 and 1796 land tax lists.

March of 1793 found Daniel facing another jury trial. He was being sued by John Kring for a debt and he needed to pay twenty-six pounds ten shillings. In most of the court cases from this date forward Daniel was the defendant showing he was having some financial difficulties. 

When Jacob Harshberger filed a petition against Daniel for a debt owed Feb. 25, 1794, Daniel appeared in court and took an Oath of Insolvency since he didn’t have any property. Things became worse for him on July 27, 1795. He was taken into custody by the sheriff because of his debts.

Rockingham County, Virginia Minute Book 2, page 270

Rockingham County, Virginia Judgments, page 43 (con’t on page 44)

Rockingham County, Virginia Judgments, page 44

I learned of Daniel’s death in a Feb. 22, 1796 court action ‘Andrew Jamison Plaintiff against Eve Joseph executrix of Daniel Joseph Deceased’. Eve didn’t appear in court when summoned. On June 27, 1796 the Sheriff was ordered to sell Daniel’s estate after Eve had refused to serve as administratrix. The Sheriff provided a statement and vouchers to the court after the sale of the estate Feb. 28, 1797.

Rockingham County, Virginia Minute Book 3, page 182

The Rockingham County land tax lists continued to include a lot owned by the estate of Daniel Joseph in 1797, 1798, 1799, 1800, 1801 and 1802. I don’t know whether the lot is the one originally owned by Eve Joseph in 1787/8 or if the Sheriff sold enough of Daniel’s estate to pay his debtors without the lot being touched.

Eve (Hanger) Joseph remarried Jan. 5, 1799 to Warner Peters in Rockingham County.

Previous Daniel Joseph posts:

My line of descent:
4th Great Grandparents Daniel Joseph and Eve Hanger
3rd Great Grandparents John Joseph and Elizabeth Piper
2nd Great Grandparents William Wilson Joseph and Eliza Jane Spitlar
Great Grandparents Daniel Franklin Joseph and Flora Belle McFall
Grandparents James McFall Joseph and Lucy Leora Clemmer
My Father

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Joseph Miller’s Probate Estate Feb. 3, 1873, Rockbridge, Virginia

Joseph Miller farmed land in Walkers Creek District, Rockbridge Co., Virginia. The land was the 70-acre parcel he bought in 1823 from Michael and Ann Wardlow which he kept throughout his lifetime.  When a young man, Joseph married Sarah Hawpe Nov. 13, 1813. They would become the parents of eight children:
          John, born ca 1815           
          Eliza Catherine, married Joseph Groah           
          Henry, married Elizabeth Bosserman               
          Nancy Jane, married William K. Clemmer        
          Joseph Andrew, married Frances Ellen Dull               
          Sarah, married John A. Lucas               
          Rachel, married John Cunningham        
          Ananias, married Margaretha Jane Bosserman

By 1840, Sarah Hawpe died, and Joseph remarried July 16, 1846 to Isabella (McKenny) Kennedy in Rockbridge County. Isabella mothered the younger Miller children. Joseph became a widower once again when Isabella passed in June 1858. 4th Great Grandfather Joseph Miller died Jan. 11, 1873 at the age of 82 years.

Great Grandfather didn’t prepare a will so when his time came, the family needed to petition Rockbridge County, Virginia Court to appoint an estate administrator.

   Know all men by these presents, that we Robert D. Firebaugh, Henry Miller, and Wm. K. Clemmer, are held and firmly bound unto the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the just, and full sum of Twelve Hundred Dollars, to the payment whereof, well, and truly to be made to the said Commonwealth of Virginia, we bind ourselves and each of us, our, and each of our heirs, Executors, and Administrators, jointly, and severally, firmly by these presents, Sealed with our seals, and dated the 3rd day of Feby. one Thousand – eight hundred and seventy three. The condition of the above obligation is That if the said Robt. D. Firebaugh who has been appointed administrator of the Goods, Chattels, and Credits of Joseph Miller deceased, shall truly, and faithfully discharge the duties of his office or trust according to law; then the obligation to be void, else to remain in full force.
                                                                      R. D. Firebaugh
                                                                      Henry Miller
                                                                      W. K. Clemmer
   At Rockbridge Court Feby. 3rd 1873
   This bond was acknowledged in Court by the obligors thereto, and ordered to be recorded.
                                                                      J. P. Moore C. C.
[Source Augusta Co. VA Will Book 20, page 567]

The three men named in the bond were family. The appointed administrator, Robert D. Firebaugh, was a grandson-in-law. Son Henry Miller and William K. Clemmer, a son-in-law, promised the Court Robert D. Firebaugh would settle the estate.

The administrator presented an appraisal of Great Grandfather’s personal estate in Rockbridge County Court March 3, 1873. The appraisers, Joseph McFaddin, Enos Ott, and John W. Beard, might have been friends or neighbors of the Miller family. They determined Joseph’s personal belongings worth $804.52.

Appraisal, Rockbridge Co. VA Will Book 20, page 575

Appraisal and Sale, Rockbridge Co. VA Will Book 20, pages 576-577

In case you happened to visit Great Grandfather, there were plenty of beds to sleep in and a good stock of apple butter and honey, bacon, apples, beets, and potatoes to eat.

Feb. 13, 1873 a sale of Joseph Miller’s personal estate was held. The sale brought $1,032.79 to the estate. Remember this is Great Grandfather’s personal holdings, not his lands.

Sale, Rockbridge Co. VA Will Book 20, pages 578-579

Sale, Rockbridge Co. VA Will Book 20, pages 580-581

Sale, Rockbridge Co. VA Will Book 20, pages 582-583

Sale, Rockbridge Co. VA Will Book 20, page 584

The appraisal provided me with a peek inside Great Grandfather’s home and farm. I recognized many names in the sale bill belonging to family members. No doubt the neighbors and acquaintances picked up some bargains too.

R. D. Firebaugh’s final settlement was presented to the Rockbridge County Clerk March 27, 1874. After debits and credits were taken into account, $751.84 remained to be shared equally among Joseph Miller’s heirs and children--$93.98 for each.

Joseph’s parents aren’t known to me. I do know of a Henry Miller who died in Rockbridge 1826 whose will reveals he had a son Joseph. Could this be my Great Grandfather Joseph?

Questions and more questions! Dear Readers if you can help, please do.

Settlement, Rockbridge Co. VA Will Book 21, pages 110-111

Settlement, Rockbridge Co. VA Will Book 21, pages 112-113

My Ancestry
4th Great Grandfather Joseph Miller and wife Sarah Hawpe
3rd Great Grandmother Nancy Jane Miller and husband William K. Clemmer
2nd Great Grandfather Joseph Henry Clemmer and wife Sarah Jane Snyder
Great Grandfather James Clyde Clemmer and wife Ella Virginia White
Grandmother Lucy Leora Clemmer and husband James McFall Joseph
My Father

Monday, April 2, 2018

#52 Ancestors: Miss Maggie, The Maiden Aunt

I’m joining Amy Johnson Crow’s Week 14 writing prompt ‘The Maiden Aunt’. Most of my grandparents’ sisters married; I had to look back to the 2nd Great Grandaunts before I found a few maiden aunties.

I selected my 2nd Great Grandfather James Addison McFall’s sister, Margaret Jane McFall, to be the subject of today’s post. Aunt Maggie lived with her mother and unmarried brothers in the McFall home for most of her life at Mt. Solon, Augusta Co., VA.

An obituary published in The News Leader, Staunton, VA is a great McFall family read and I’m anxious to share it with you.

   The funeral services of Miss Maggie McFall, who died at her home in Mt. Solon, on Tuesday, March 12, were held on Thursday, March 14, from the Methodist church. The Rev. J. M. Harris, of Mossy Creek Presbyterian church, of which she was a member, was in charge, assisted by the Rev. J. B. Grimes, the resident Methodist minister. A large concourse of friends, relatives and neighbors was in attendance.
   The music was remarkable for the selections made and the sweetness of the singing. With Prof. James Clarke, at the organ, the singing was rendered by the choir, composed of Mrs. George Chapman, Messrs. Guy Stoutamyer, Russell and Mansen Baylor.
   The remarks of the officiating clergymen embodied little in the wav of eulogy. “Miss Maggie,” as she was familiarly known, had spent her entire life in the community in which she died and had left a record which, in itself, was laudatory of her life and character.
   In early life she was united with old Mossy Creek Presbyterian church and to the end held her membership in that church. During her later life, she was unable to attend her own church with regularity. But she was regular in her attendance at all the services of the nearby Methodist churches.
   She was born May 5, 1842, and had she lived until May 5 next, would have rounded out the 87th year of her age.
   Her father was David McFall, a prominent merchant of Mt. Solon, who died many years ago. Her mother was Mrs. Catherine Todd McFall, who lived to a ripe old age, having died in February 1908.
   Miss McFall leaves two brothers, Hamilton B. McFall, one of Augusta County’s most widely known citizens; and Stewart B. McFall, formerly of Harrisonburg, but now of Indianapolis, Ind.
   James A. McFall, another brother, died at Mt. Solon in 1887 and David Chambers, the youngest of the family, preceded her to the grave a few years ago, having died during September 1924.
   She is also survived by a number of nieces and nephews, among them being Mrs. Clara Irvine, of Avon; Mrs. Knizer Richcreek of Staunton; Paul McFall, of Waynesboro; Lawrence McFall, of Chicago; James McFall, of Philadelphia; Mrs. Weldon Berry, of Harrisonburg and Walton H. McFall with whom Miss McFall had long made her home in Mt. Solon.
   Beside the above there is a number of grand and greatgrand-nieces and nephews.
   The body was buried in the old Mt. Solon burying ground beside those of her mother and other members of the family.
   The following friends and neighbors acted as pall-bearers. Messrs. Charles Hanna, Bernard Reeves, Eugene Reeves, Chambers Kiracoffe, Frank Reeves, Emmett Wilberger, Harry Denkle, and Edward Hogshead.
   The flower-bearers were grand-nieces of Miss McFall, as follows: Mrs. Robert Dickson, Misses Mary McFall, Martha Hope McFall, Frances McFall, Charlotte McFall and Catherine Hanna.
          The News Leader, Staunton, Virginia, Thursday, March 21, 1929 edition