Monday, August 22, 2016

Master Commissioner William Clarke Assigned to Hanger Chancery Cause, Augusta Co., VA



The Hanger family chancery cause chronicle continues in today’s blog post. The Plaintiffs’ bill of complaint was acknowledged in Staunton Superior Court of Chancery. Two of the Defendants answered the bill. Now the court officials have ordered Master Commissioner William Clarke to judge the case.

You’ll remember 5th Great Grandfather Frederick Hanger died in Augusta County, Virginia during the summer of 1799. Frederick’s last will and testament let the family how he wanted his estate distributed. See What you want and What you get.


Eighteen months passed; then the Staunton Superior Court of Chancery assigned this cause to Master Commissioner William Clarke on Dec. 15, 1817. It was Commissioner Clarke’s duty to settle the accounts and report to the Court. On Feb. 9, 1818, he invited any interested parties to meet at his office on Monday, May 11, 1818.

Augusta Co., VA Chancery Cause 1819-003, Image 64

Image 64, 1819-003 Augusta Co., VA Chancery Cause

The Plaintiffs Augustine Argenbright, Barnhard Lowman (executor Frederick Hanger Jr.), Molly Hanger (widow and executrix Frederick Hanger Jr.), Martin Hanger along with the Defendants Peter Hanger and wife Susanna attended the meeting.

Commissioner Clarke determined what should have happened according to Great Grandfather Frederick Hanger’s will.

Great Grandfather wanted sons Peter and Charles Hanger to pay their siblings 600 Pounds. Whether Peter and Charles were to get a share of the 600 Pounds was not yet decided. (They inherited the title to their father’s lands.) Commissioner Clarke prepared his tabulations including and excluding them. He calculated the siblings’ share should the 600 Pounds be split among all 13 children (including Peter and Charles) amounting to 46 Pounds, 3 Shillings and ¾ Pence each. If the 600 Pounds was divided by 11 siblings (excluding Peter and Charles), each legacy equaled 54 Pounds, 10 Shillings and 10 ¾ Pence and accrued interest.

Since nobody knew the exact date of Great Grandfather Frederick’s death, Commissioner Clarke used the will’s probate date, July 22, 1799, to set the annual payment due dates.

The youngest of the Hanger heirs, Catherine and husband John Wise would get the first annual payment July 22, 1800 followed by:

Peter Hanger July 22, 1801
Charles Hanger July 22, 1802
Betsey (Hanger) Thomas and husband Jacob Thomas July 22, 1803
Hannah (Hanger) and spouse Jacob Fridley July 22, 1804
Ann Eliza (Hanger) and husband Peter Eagle July 22, 1805
Martin Hanger July 22, 1806
Eve (Hanger) Joseph and 2nd husband Warner Peters July 22, 1807
John Hanger July 22, 1808
George Hanger July 22, 1809
Mary Eliza (Hanger) and spouse George Eagle July 22, 1810
Barbara (Hanger) and husband Augustine Argenbright July 22, 1811
Frederick Hanger, Jr. July 22, 1812

Peter was just 23 and Charles 25 years old when their father passed. The chancery cause ‘Augustine Argenbright & wife and others vs Peter Hanger, etc.’ wasn’t initiated by the Plaintiffs until 1813—14 years after Frederick Hanger’s death. I suspect Peter and Charles just didn’t have the cash to pay the brothers and sisters legacies. Perhaps the older Hanger siblings wanted to give the younger boys’ time to make good.

Next time the final decree ruling handed down. …

To view the 1819-003 Chancery Cause ‘Augustine Argenbright & wife, etc.
vs. Peter Hanger, etc.’ on the Library of Virginia website click here.


My Ancestry
5th Great Grandfather Frederick Hanger and wife
4th Great Grandmother Eva Margaretha Hanger and Daniel Joseph
3rd Great Grandfather John Joseph and wife Elizabeth Piper
2nd Great Grandfather William Wilson Joseph and wife Eliza Jane Spitler
Great Grandfather Daniel Franklin Joseph and wife Flora Belle McFall
Grandfather James McFall Joseph and wife Lucy Leora Clemmer
My Father
Myself

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Peter Hanger Answers the Plaintiffs Bill of Complaint and Fires Back



My 4th Great Grandmother Eve and husband Warner Peters responded to the complaint filed in Superior Court of Chancery at Staunton, Virginia June 7, 1816 by some of her siblings. You can read my blog summarizing her answer here.

A few weeks later 4th Great Granduncle Peter Hanger got busy with his official answer to the Plaintiffs’ suit known as ‘Augustine Argenbright & wife, etc. vs Peter Hanger, etc.’

Peter admitted his father’s will in court June 25, 1816. (A court clerk prepared a transcription of Frederick’s will included in the chancery file.) Frederick Hanger bequeathed his lands to his two youngest sons Peter and Charles. They were supposed to pay their siblings the value of the land. Frederick Hanger instructed Peter and Charles to pay their siblings 600 Pounds. The 600 Pounds was to be divided equally among their 11 siblings payable on a yearly basis beginning with the youngest sibling continuing to the eldest.

In his answer, Peter states he purchased the land bequeathed to Charles. Peter told the Court he and Charles didn’t consider themselves bound by their father’s will; he had already paid sisters Catherine (and husband John Wise), Betsey (and husband Jacob Thomas), Ann Eliza (and husband Peter Eagle) and Elizabeth (and husband George Eagle).


John Wise Receipt, Image 76, 1819-003 Chancery Cause 1819-003 ‘Augustine Argenbright & wife, etc. vs. Peter Hanger, etc.


Jacob Thomas Receipt, Image 56, 1819-003 Chancery Cause 1819-003 ‘Augustine Argenbright & wife, etc. vs. Peter Hanger, etc.


Peter and Ann Eagle Receipt, Image 53, 1819-003 Chancery Cause 1819-003 ‘Augustine Argenbright & wife, etc.vs. Peter Hanger, etc.


George Eagle Receipt, Image 62, 1819-003 Chancery Cause 1819-003 ‘Augustine Argenbright & wife, etc. vs. Peter Hanger, etc.

As you can see from the receipts above, Peter’s statements were true. Although this doesn’t seem to be the full amount they were owed (about 54 Pounds plus interest). Peter reported he had paid his brother George Hanger 21 Pounds.

Peter further tested the boundaries of his father’s will when he proposed that Charles and he were entitled to an equal share reducing the legacies to each Hanger sibling. Since he bought Charles’ land, he wanted Charles’ share too.

Here’s what was written in Great Grandfather Frederick’s will:

“I order and appoint that my land be Divided between my two sons Charles and Peter so that the run or water Course Shall be the Dividing line and Charles to have the east side and Peter the west side    they paying as follows for the same that is to say Charles to pay two hundred and fifty pounds and Peter Three hundred and Fifty pounds to be divided Among my other children as is after Directed and the said Charles and Peter their heirs or assigns shall fully and freely Enjoy sd land for ever:”

Great Grandfather Frederick gifted his youngest sons with a clear title to his lands. It sounds like Frederick wanted his remaining 11 children to get an equal 1/11th share (rather than 1/13th) but you can decide for yourself.

Peter thought his father wished to postpone any payments to the legatees until after the death of his wife, Eva Margreta Mayer.  Great Grandfather’s last will and testament stipulated:

“To my well beloved wife Eve one third of the profits of my land During her natural life one horse and one Cow and one bed and furniture and six pounds yearly out of my Estate and one Iron Pot”

There’s no doubt Frederick wanted Peter and Charles to provide for their mother during her lifetime. When Peter answered the complaint June 25, 1816, Eve Margreta was then living.

Eve would have been entitled to dower rights; traditionally this was 1/3 of the estate. Who can say what Great Grandfather Frederick’s intentions were?  He passed almost 17 years earlier. Did he want all his children to wait for their inheritance? That’s a long wait.

The Chancery Court will decide ….



To view the 1819-003 Chancery Cause ‘Augustine Argenbright & wife, etc.
vs. Peter Hanger, etc.’ on the Library of Virginia website click here

Earlier Chancery Cause 1819-003 blog posts


My Ancestry
5th Great Grandfather Frederick Hanger and wife
4th Great Grandmother Eva Margaretha Hanger and Daniel Joseph
3rd Great Grandfather John Joseph and wife Elizabeth Piper
2nd Great Grandfather William Wilson Joseph and wife Eliza Jane Spitler
Great Grandfather Daniel Franklin Joseph and wife Flora Belle McFall
Grandfather James McFall Joseph and wife Lucy Leora Clemmer
My Father
Myself



Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Great Grandmother Eve Answers the Plaintiffs

In June of 1816 my 4th Great Grandmother Eve (Hanger) Joseph and 2nd husband Warner Peters thought it would be wise to answer a Bill of Complaint exhibited against them in Superior Court of Chancery at Staunton, Virginia by Augustine Argenbright and others. (See earlier post What you want and What you get.)

The Plaintiffs wanted Peter and Charles Hanger to pay their siblings legacies and give Augustine Argenbright the money he advanced his brother-in-law Daniel Joseph.

4th Great Grandfather Daniel was Eve Hanger’s 1st husband and my ancestor. During the last years of his life, he was heavily in debt. In his will 5th Great Grandfather Frederick Hanger (Eve’s father) ordered that Daniel Joseph’s debt to Augustine be honored:

   “And whereas Augustine Argenbright was sued and had a certain sum of money to pay for Daniel Joseph the husband of my daughter Eve I order that be paid to said Argenbright out of said Eve’s share”

In their answer Warner and Great Grandmother Eve acknowledged that the Plaintiffs’ statements about them were true. Neither knew how much money Augustine Argenbright paid on Great Grandfather Daniel’s behalf. They requested he produce evidence to prove his claims.

Augustine brought the notes to Court and yes, they are in the chancery case file.

I instantly knew I was looking at 4th Great Grandfather Daniel Joseph’s signature as he wrote his name in the “Old Hebrew” style. But I was more surprised to see seventeen notes signed by both Daniel Joseph and Augustine Argenbright promising to pay George Craig. All the notes were dated April 26, 1788 and valued for 20 Shillings each. The notes’ due dates were staggered daily beginning July 14, 1788 until July 29, 1788. James Buchanan (and sometimes James Frazer) witnessed the notes.


 Two notes exhibited in Augusta County, Virginia Chancery Cause 1819-003

I’m as pleased as can be to have these documents. But they certainly bring to mind new questions.

Did Daniel and Augustine share a business partnership? When these notes were written, Daniel and Eve ran an ordinary in neighboring Rockingham County. Augustine was said to be a blacksmith. Was Augustine a co-signer for Daniel? And who is George Craig?

Great Grandfather’s debts were mounting and soon he would experience legal problems in Rockingham County. You can read more at Tough Times for Daniel Joseph in Rockingham County, Virginia. 

Now let’s get back to Eve and Warner’s deposition. They never received one cent from Frederick Hanger’s estate. Just like the Plaintiffs, they hoped Judge John Brown would make a decree compelling Peter and Charles Hanger to pay Eve’s legacy with interest. They denied any fraud on their part and ‘prayed’ to be dismissed from any court costs.


My Ancestry
5th Great Grandfather Frederick Hanger and wife
4th Great Grandmother Eva Margaretha Hanger and Daniel Joseph
3rd Great Grandfather John Joseph and wife Elizabeth Piper
2nd Great Grandfather William Wilson Joseph and wife Eliza Jane Spitler
Great Grandfather Daniel Franklin Joseph and wife Flora Belle McFall
Grandfather James McFall Joseph and wife Lucy Leora Clemmer
My Father
Myself


To view the 1819-003 Chancery Cause 1819-003 ‘Augustine Argenbright & wife, etc.
vs. Peter Hanger, etc.’ on the Library of Virginia website click here. 







Friday, July 15, 2016

Sheriffs Served Summons and Subpoenas

Last week I told you how 5th Great Grandfather Frederick Hanger’s children and spouses needed the Augusta County, Virginia Chancery Court to help settle his estate. (See What you want and What you get.)

Brothers Peter and Charles inherited their father’s lands and were supposed to pay each sibling an equal share in annual payments. No legacies were paid so Augustine Argenbright, the husband of Barbara Hanger, acted as the spokesman for his fellow Plaintiffs

Frederick Hanger Jr.’s executors and executrix,
George Hanger,
Martin Hanger and
Jacob Fridley and wife Hannah

in Staunton Chancery District Court.

The rest of the Hanger siblings were named Defendants in the suit.

The Bill of Complaint presented in Court wasn’t dated leaving me to wonder when this action was initiated. I know the bill was filed in the court records April 3, 1816 but suspect the Plaintiffs planned well before this date.

My instincts were right. William S. Eskridge, a clerk in Judge John Brown’s Chancery Court, authorized the Sheriffs in Augusta and Greenbrier Counties to summon

Peter Hanger
Charles Hanger
Charles Shaver (perhaps counsel or lawyer, not a Hanger sibling)
John Hanger
John Wise and his wife Catherine
Peter Eagle and his wife Ann Eliza
George Eagle and his wife Mary Eliza
Warner Peters and his wife Eve and
Betsey Thomas

to appear at Superior Court of Chancery January 3, 1814 to answer a bill in Chancery. The clerk’s summons was dated Nov. 17, 1813.



Peter Hanger, John Hanger, Catherine and John Wise, Eve and Warner Peters were those Defendants living in Augusta County when the citation was issued. Mary Eliza and George Eagle were the Greenbrier County residents. After selling his lands to his brother Peter, Charles left Virginia and moved to Ohio. Betsey Thomas and the Peter Eagle family made their home in Ohio too. Just to let everybody know about the summons would take time.

1814 was a quiet year for the brothers and sisters. No documents, receipts or vouchers of any kind were found in the Chancery cause. Could this mean the Hanger brothers and sisters were hoping to handle things out of court? Or are papers missing from the file?

After publication of a legal notice requesting the Defendants appear in Court April 1815, more summons came out of Judge John Brown’s courtroom. The Greenbrier County Sheriff served Mary Eliza and George Eagle a summons dated April 10, 1815. 

Peter Eagle and wife Ann Eliza Hanger were paying attention to the proceedings from Montgomery County, Ohio. On June 12, 1815, they prepared a signed deposition giving Jacob Argenbright permission to receive and hold any legacy owed Ann Eliza.

No one else answered the Plaintiffs Bill of Complaint. This time William S. Eskridge sent a subpoena rather than a summons Sept. 13, 1815. The document stated “the bill of the plaintiff is taken for confessed”. In other words, if the Defendants didn’t answer to the bill of complaint, the Court would make a final decree on the 10th day of the next court term.


Three months passed with still no answer from the Defendants. More subpoenas were prepared ordering the defendants to appear in Court. They were risking a penalty for non-appearance.



To be continued …..


My Ancestry
5th Great Grandfather Frederick Hanger and wife
4th Great Grandmother Eva Margaretha Hanger and Daniel Joseph
3rd Great Grandfather John Joseph and wife Elizabeth Piper
2nd Great Grandfather William Wilson Joseph and wife Eliza Jane Spitler
Great Grandfather Daniel Franklin Joseph and wife Flora Belle McFall
Grandfather James McFall Joseph and wife Lucy Leora Clemmer
My Father
Myself


To view the 1819-003 Chancery Cause 1819-003 ‘Augustine Argenbright & wife, etc.
vs. Peter Hanger, etc.’ on the Library of Virginia website click here

Monday, July 4, 2016

What you want and What you get

In the summer of 1799 5th Great Grandfather Frederick Hanger died in Augusta County, Virginia. Frederick’s last will and testament let the family how he wanted his estate distributed. What you want and what you get can be two different things; it took 30 years to settle his estate.

Three suits would be filed in Augusta County Chancery Court by the Hanger heirs dated 1819, 1826 and 1830. (The Library of VA has digital images on its website.)

It’s too bad the Hanger siblings needed a judge settle their business. BUT…I must admit I’m pleased because I know I’ll find genealogical goodies in the records.

The 1st Hanger chancery suit unfolded April 7, 1815 when a newspaper notice was published in the Staunton papers and posted on the front door of the Court House. Sixteen years had passed since Frederick’s death and his estate was not yet settled.

Augustine Argenbright & Others Vs Peter Hanger & Others

Clipping from
1819-003 Augusta County Chancery Causes
Augustine Argenbright & wife, etc.
vs. Peter Hanger, etc.

His children were divided about how to proceed.

Those in favor of getting a court order to settle the estate included:

Plaintiffs
     Augustine Argenbright, executor and husband of Barbara Hanger, daughter
     George Baylor, Bernhard Lowman and Molly Hanger,
          executors and executrix of Frederick Hanger Jr., deceased son
     George Hanger, son
     Martin Hanger, son
     Jacob Friedly and wife Hannah Hanger, daughter

Those against the idea:

Defendants
     Peter Hanger, son
     Charles Hanger, son
     Charles Shaver, perhaps a lawyer
     John Hanger, son
     John Wise and wife Catherine Hanger, daughter
     Peter Eagle and wife Ann Eliza Hanger, daughter
     George Eagle and wife Mary Eliza, daughter
     Warner Peters and wife Eve (Hanger) Joseph, daughter
     Betsy (Hanger) Thomas, daughter

The plaintiffs’ bill of complaint addressed Frederick Hanger Sr.’s will and his wishes. Great Grandfather wanted his land divided between 2 sons—Charles and Peter. It was a 250 acre tract lying on Smoky Row Creek 6 miles west of Staunton. Charles was to get the east side and Peter the west side. According to the will, Charles had to pay 250 Pounds and Peter 350 Pounds which would be divided among Frederick’s children. One share was to be paid yearly beginning with the youngest child and continue to the oldest according to their birth.

Peter and Charles took possession of the land after Great Grandfather died. The plaintiffs often asked Peter and Charles for their legacies but received no money.

Another complaint involved my 4th Great Grandparents Eve Hanger and Daniel Joseph. During the last few years of Daniel’s life, he was heavily in debt. His creditors must have sued his brother-in-law, Augustine Argenbright, to get their money. Frederick ordered that Daniel Joseph’s debt to Augustine be paid out of Eve’s legacy. By this date Eve had married a 2nd time to Warner Peters.

The plaintiffs wanted Peter and Charles Hanger to pay their siblings legacies and to pay Augustine the money he advanced Daniel Joseph. Augustine Argenbright acted as their Orator and presented the bill to Judge John Brown in Chancery District Court at Staunton. The petition was filed April 3, 1816.

To be continued ….


My Ancestry
5th Great Grandfather Frederick Hanger and wife
4th Great Grandmother Eva Margaretha Hanger and Daniel Joseph
3rd Great Grandfather John Joseph and wife Elizabeth Piper
2nd Great Grandfather William Wilson Joseph and wife Eliza Jane Spitler
Great Grandfather Daniel Franklin Joseph and wife Flora Belle McFall
Grandfather James McFall Joseph and wife Lucy Leora Clemmer
My Father
Myself


To view the 1819-003 Chancery Cause 1819-003 ‘Augustine Argenbright & wife, etc.
vs. Peter Hanger, etc.’ on the Library of Virginia website click here.