Monday, January 2, 2017

Found Great Grandma Mary Ann’s Siblings



The mention of the Shelly surname in Augusta Co., VA Chancery Cause 1878-070 ‘George Wagner & wife & others vs. Daniel Shelley & others’ piqued my curiosity. When I spotted Mary Ann (Shelly) White-Huffman and her 2nd husband George Huffman among the plaintiffs, I knew I was reading about 3rd Great Grandmother Mary Ann’s family.

The plaintiffs included George Wagner and wife Elizabeth; George Huffman and Mary Ann his wife; Sarah Ann Clarke; John H. M. Shelly; Martha E. Shelly; Mary S. Shelly; Jacob B. Cale and wife Margaret F.; Ann E. Shelly; John W. Whitsell and Sarah F. his wife. Daniel Shelley; Francis Lowman, wife of Jacob Lowman; and Simon Shelly were defendants; both plaintiffs and defendants were the sole heirs of Christian Shelley.  Christian died March or April 1870 in Long Marsh, Clarke County, Virginia. The complainants presented their case in Augusta County Circuit Court September 1870.

Christian owned a small piece of land in Augusta County, Virginia consisting of one undivided eighth of 69 acres (8 5/8 acres). Receipts in the chancery papers show taxes were paid for 9 acres in Augusta County from 1857 to 1866 and identified it as part of the John Shelly estate. (Great Grandmother’s father is John Shelly.)

Augusta Co., VA Tax Receipt for John Shelly's estate land belonging to Christian Shelly
Image 22 Augusta County, VA
Chancery Cause 1878-070

Gideon R. Smith was also named a defendant because he acquired seven-eighths of the 69 acres formerly part of John Shelly’s estate.

The plaintiffs agreed that Christian Shelly’s land was too small to be divided among them and asked the Court to permit a sale with the proceeds distributed among the heirs. All the complainants happened to be Augusta County, Virginia residents along with Defendant Gideon R. Smith. The other defendants resided outside the State of Virginia. Daniel Shelly was living in Fulton County, Illinois; Frances (Shelly) and Jacob Lowman in West Virginia; and Simon Shelly’s whereabouts unknown.  The plaintiffs wanted the defendants to answer the bill of complaint to proceed with the sale of the land.

Notice published in the Valley Virginian
Image 59 Augusta County, Virginia
Chancery Cause 1878-070
Published in the Valley Virginian

I don’t know whether the out of state people answered the Court but Adam Stover acted as an agent for the plaintiffs. He arranged to sell Christian Shelly’s small tract of land near Stribling Springs in Augusta County to Gideon R. Smith.

The relationship between Christian Shelly’s heirs wasn’t spelled out in the Chancery papers, but land deeds would put that right.

I mentioned earlier that Gideon R. Smith owned seven-eighths of the 69 acres previously owned by John Shelly. He didn’t buy the land from John Shelly or the seven heirs. It was Daniel Shelly Jr. alone that sold the tract to Mr. Smith Sept. 6, 1856, along with another 3-acre lot:

   “Daniel Shelly and his wife, Catherine, sell to Gideon R. Smith for $1 all their interest in parcels of land in Augusta Co. The first containing 3 acres that Daniel Shelly bought from his father, John Shelly, as shown by a deed dated Sept. 1, 1834. The second parcel is all interest of Daniel Shelly in 69 acres, belonging to the heirs of John Shelly dec’d. Said interest being seven-eighths of the whole tract; Daniel Shelly having bought all the heirs of his father John Shelly’s estate save one. Examined and delivered to Grantee, Gideon R. Smith, July 19, 1861.”     
Augusta Co., VA Deed Book 77, pages 136-137.

The deed states Daniel is John Shelly’s son—likewise my Great Grandmother’s brother. Daniel relocated his family to Fulton County, Illinois about 1856. Please note he did not own the entire parcel; one undivided eighth belonged to another.

Earlier land records locate another Shelly brother:

     “Jan. 18, 1838 Jacob Shelly and his wife Dorcas paid $75 by Daniel Shelly Jr. their undivided interest in the land left to Jacob Shelly by his father, John Shelly, dec’d, containing 69 acres with Jacob and Dorcas conveying one-eighth of said tract to Daniel Shelly Jr. Examined and delivered to Grantee Sept. 8, 1856.”
Augusta County, VA Deed Book 59, pages 208-209.

Jacob died in 1869 leaving his children, John H. M. Shelly; Martha E. Shelly; Mary S. Shelly; Margaret F. Cale; Ann E. Shelly; Sarah F. Whitsell with his share of the 69-acre parcel.

Daniel acquired more of his father’s land from a Shelly sister:

     “Feb. 7, 1838, Jacob Lowman and Frances, his wife, sell (for $80) to Daniel Shelly their undivided interest in the land left to Frances by her father, John Shelly, dec’d, containing 69 acres. The said Frances and Jacob Lowman only entitled to one-eighth of said land. Examined and delivered to Grantee, Daniel Shelly, Sept. 8, 1856.”
Augusta County, VA Deed Book 59, pages 215-216.

Daniel continued buying his father’s property in August of 1838. A deed records a land sale from Samuel Shelly to Daniel Jr., both sons of John Shelly. I noticed there was no margin notation that the deed was delivered to Daniel Shelly. I believe ‘Samuel’ was Christian Shelly. Perhaps his name was Christian Samuel or Samuel Christian:

     “August 21, 1838, Samuel Shelly sold to Daniel Shelly Jr. ($70) his interest in land conveying his undivided eighth of a 69 acres tract seized of John Shelly, the father of Samuel. No notation this was examined and delivered to Grantee, Daniel Shelly.”
Augusta County, VA Deed Book 59, pages 430-431.

Sister Sarah Shelly sells her interests to Daniel. Sarah would marry Hatch Clarke soon afterward:

      “August 3, 1839, Sarah Shelly sold to her brother Daniel Shelly one-eighth of undivided of about 70 acres, being the land of their father, John Shelly. Examined and delivered to Grantee, Daniel Shelly Sept. 18, 1856.”
Augusta County, VA Deed Book 60, page 391.

A few years later Daniel acquired another sister’s share:

     May 28, 1841, Elizabeth Shelly sold to Daniel Shelly Jr. for $75, one undivided eighth part of sixty-nine acres left by John Shelly (Elizabeth and Daniel’s father) Examined and delivered to Grantee, Daniel Shelly. Sept. 8, 1856.”
Augusta County, VA Deed Book 62, pages 151-152.

Elizabeth became the wife of George Wagner, and they raised a family in Augusta County.

After my 3rd Great Grandmother had married Grandfather William White, she conveyed her property rights to Daniel Jr. too.

     “March 21, 1846, William White and Mary Ann, his wife, nee Shelly, sell to Daniel Shelly Jr. for $100 all interest in the land of her father, John Shelly, which is an undivided interest containing 69 acres. Examined and delivered to Grantee, Daniel Shelly Jr. Sept. 8, 1856.”
Augusta County, VA Deed Book 66, pages 151-152.

Two years later Simon Shelly sold his undivided eighth of John Shelly’s 69 acres:

     “April 27, 1848, Simon Shelly sells for $100 to Daniel Shelly Jr. undivided eighth part of 69 acres inherited by the heirs of John Shelly.”
Augusta County, VA Deed Book 68, page 415.

Twenty-six years later, Oct. 27, 1874, Adam Stover sold Christian Shelly’s one-eighth share of his father’s estate to Gideon R. Smith.

Thanks to the Library of Virginia digitized Chancery records and telling land deeds; I’m adding 3rd Great Granduncles Daniel, Jacob, Christian, and Simon and Aunties Frances, Sarah, and Elizabeth to my family tree.


P. S. Dear Shelly Family and Friends,
   I have digitized copies of the land deeds and glad to share if you need them. You can view the Chancery File 1878-070 here. It would be wonderful to see photos of the family and hear about your Shelly ancestor. Please share.
   Barb


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