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:

     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:

     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

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.


  1. As much as I hate the idea of heirs scrapping over things, the documents those disagreements create do provide a lot of detail and I'm always secretly thrilled when I come across them.

    1. I know just what you mean. I'm looking forward to working with these chancery documents.