Thursday, September 8, 2016

“Court doth adjudge order and decree…”

Augusta County, Virginia Chancery Cause 015-1819-003:
Augustine Argenbright & wife, etc. vs. Peter Hanger, etc.

     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

     Peter Hanger, son
     Charles Hanger, son
     Charles Shaver, perhaps counsel
     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

Chancery cause 1819-003 began with 5th Great Grandfather Frederick Hanger and the distribution of his estate. Grandfather planned well for his family and wanted to leave his children cash legacies. That is except for sons Peter and Charles who inherited their father’s lands. These two sons were to pay their sibling’s legacies per a prearranged schedule stated in Great Grandfather’s will. Peter bought Charles’ land leaving him with the obligation to his brothers and sisters.

4th Great Granduncle Peter couldn’t or wouldn’t pay; thus the Chancery Court Cause. The suit dragged on for six years. You can read my earlier posts by clicking on the links at the end of this post.

Finally, in December 1818 the Staunton District Superior Chancery Court ruled Peter Hanger needed to fulfill his father’s wishes and pay the legacies. The District Marshall was instructed to sell his lands at public auction if necessary to raise cash.

Uncle Peter didn’t attend the December court session. His counsel represented him and “prayed for an appeal” in the Court of Appeals since the final decree was “adverse to his interests”. The Judge granted permission to take the suit to the Appeals Court.

Remember Peter wasn’t present when the final decree was pronounced. When filing an appeal, a security bond needed to be readied by the next court date of February 1, 1819. Uncle Peter didn’t know this and missed the deadline.

After realizing his error, Peter Hanger appeared before Judge John Brown of the Staunton Superior Court of Chancery explaining his ignorance of the bond requirement May 19, 1819. He filed a petition asking the Judge for more time hoping to get an appeal. The Judge allowed an extension, but it did Uncle no good. Although Peter made partial payments to several of his siblings, too much remained to be paid and Uncle’s lands would be auctioned off to cover the debt.

George Eskridge, Marshall of the Staunton Chancery Court, sold the Hanger land Sept. 20, 1819, to the highest bidders--Adam Grove and William Kerr. They paid $2,100 for the land. Interestingly, Peter Hanger’s wife, Susanna, was the daughter of Windle Grove and sister of Adam Grove. Susanna’s sister married a Kerr. It sounds as though Susanna’s family came to their rescue.

Martin Hanger's Receipt Augusta Co. VA Chancery Cause 1819-0003

Martin Hanger’s Receipt for $229.29 dated Sept. 25, 1819
Image 52, Augusta County, Virginia Chancery Cause 015-1819-003: Augustine Argenbright & wife, etc. vs. Peter Hanger, etc.

By 1830 Peter, Susanna and their children left Augusta County, Virginia heading to Ross County, Ohio where Charles Hanger was living. After visiting his brother, he moved his family to Harrison, Champaign County, Ohio.

Earlier Posts

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


  1. I just came upon your blog posts about the Hanger family. Thank you so much for your work in this area. If I would like to view these records where would go to have access to them? I descend from John Hanger one of Frederick's sons mentioned in the suit.

    1. I found the chancery cause 015-1819-003 online at the Library of Virginia web site among their digital collections. Sorry the link in my post doesn't work anymore. You can view the suit online or download it. The url is
      Thanks for visiting.

    2. I tried to fix the link to the chancery cause. Hope it works for you now.

  2. Ahh, thank you for your quick response. I've downloaded the zip file. Thank your for your work in this area.

  3. Hi Barb, sorry to bother you again with another question. Did you do the transcription from the court records or did someone else? The original is very difficult to read. I really appreciate the transcription. Thanks.

    1. Teresa I can't tell you how many times I read those documents. I made notes as I read. It took me quite awhile to get through the papers and figure out what was happening. That old handwriting is difficult but I don't know where else you can find those genealogical gems! Don't give up; it will get easier.

  4. So, you did the transcription. That really did require some persistence and determination. I hope to be able to use this to verify that John was the son of Frederick. The only other item I have found is supposedly a birth entry from a Bible owned by a Lillian Keller Peters. However, she is now deceased and I have no clue where I would find the Bible or even someone who knows where the Bible is.

    1. I think I can help. The late Peggy S Joyner searched for the bible for many years. She has an interesting tale as to how she came by a page that is just what you seek. Peggy donated it to Special Collections, Alderman Library, University of VA in Charlottesville. I the contacted Library and they kindly provided me with a photocopy. I digitized it (as best as I could). I can material to you. Just email me at so I have your address.