Saturday, February 20, 2016
Great Grandmother Catherine Sells Grandpa’s Whiskey Stills
4th Great Grandmother Catherine (Thomas) Snyder became a widow Oct. 16, 1822 when her husband Martin Snyder died in Augusta County, Virginia.
Martin mapped out Catherine’s financial future in his will. See my post, I, Martin Snyder, of the County of Augusta and State of Virginia Make my Last Will and Testament for details. Grandfather’s executor, Joseph Brown, presented an inventory and accounts in Augusta County Court 1825, 1827 and 1836.
The 1836 accounting proved interesting and yes, that’s how I know Grandmother sold the whiskey stills Grandfather left her. You can see from the image below, she sold the stills along with ‘sundry tools and farming utensils’ for $104.78 on April 29, 1829.
I first noticed the stills in Martin Snyder’s inventory and wrote an earlier blog post Found Great Grandfather’s Whiskey Stash in the Estate Inventory. The Snyder’s kept the stills running after Martin’s death and Grandmother Catherine made some cash for herself selling whiskey.
Executor Joseph Brown noted the estate received a legacy owed 4th Great Grandfather Martin from his father’s estate. 5th Great Grandfather Michael Snyder died before Martin, but Great Grandfather Michael stipulated Martin’s $200 legacy would be honored only after the death of Michael Snyder’s wife. She must have died around April 1829. Great Grandfather Martin only expected $200, but the family received more--$515.02.
Grandfather wanted his 740 acre plantation sold 4 years after he died. His plan was that his 7 sons would get their legacies from the sale proceeds. This isn’t what happened.
Let me give you a little background. Martin purchased the land from Rev. William Wilson and his wife Elizabeth May 23, 1814 for 1,750 Pounds (Deed Book 39, pages 119-122). The 740 acre tract didn’t sell for $7,000 as Grandfather hoped in his will. Two of his sons bought portions of their father’s land. Michael Snyder purchased 320 acres for $1,900 and brother John Snyder claimed 245 acres at a selling price of $1,470 Oct. 24, 1833. A third grantee, Jacob Showalter, acquired 175 acres for $1,050 the same day (Deed Book 55, pages 265-268). Years later Martin and Catherine’s daughter, Sarah Snyder, married Jacob Showalter’s son Nimrod. The sales brought $4,447.40 to the Martin Snyder estate.
Joseph Brown attended to notes and bills as needed. During the years Great Grandmother Catherine received money for her support.
By August 23, 1836, the obligations on the land were met, and it was time for Martin’s sons to receive their legacies; John, Michael, David, Jacob, Martin, Joseph and Adam Snyder each got $615.34 ½ cents.
Partial Image from Accounting of Martin Snyder’s Estate
Augusta Co., VA Will Book 21, page 157
Family History Center, Microfilm #30323, Item 2
4th Great Grandfather Martin Snyder and wife Catherine Thomas
3rd Great Grandfather Adam Snyder and wife Hannah Hull
2nd Great Grandmother Sarah Jane Snyder and husband Joseph H. Clemmer
Great Grandfather James Clyde Clemmer and Ella Virginia White
Grandmother Lucy Leora Clemmer and James McFall Joseph