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