Friday, January 28, 2011

A Friend of Friends Friday: African American Slaves Named in the 1788 Will of DRURY WOODSON of Cumberland Co VA

Note: "A Friend of Friends" was a password used on the Underground Railway

DRURY WOODSON was my great X 5 grandfather. He was born about 1722 in Cumberland Co VA, the son of WILLIAM WOODSON (died June 27, 1785) and his wife SARAH ALLEN.

His grandparents, BENJAMIN WOODSON & SARAH PORTER, had been Quakers in Henrico Co VA. But apparently DRURY's father WILLIAM did not adhere to that religion. By the time DRURY died in 1788, he owned many slaves. (Note:  BENJAMIN WOODSON & SARAH PORTER are ancestors of the outlaws JESSE WOODSON JAMES and his brother FRANK JAMES)

DRURY WOODSON married LUCY CHRISTIAN of Goochland Co VA. His will was written May 7, 1788, and probated Nov 24, 1788 in Cumberland Co VA.

Will of DRURY WOODSON, Cumberland Co VA; Lend to wife LUCY WOODSON six negroes viz: DANIEL, SAMPSON, SAM, HANNAH, EASTER and ISAAC and the land whereon I now live with all estate both real & personal not hereafter particularly given by Legacy to my children to have and to hold and peaceably enjoy the term of her life; then the negroes above mentioned to be equally divided among all my children and the Rest of Estate to be equally divided among all my children except JUDITH JOHNSON and CHARLES WOODSON, after my wife's deceased. To daughter JUDITH JOHNSON negro boy named JOE for the term of my wife's life and said negro boy after her decease to the said JUDITH JOHNSON. To son CHARLES WOODSON five shillings sterling. To daughter MARY WOODSON two negroes ROSE and PEYTON. To daughter NANCY KING two negroes NED and JANE. To son DRURY WOODSON three negroes BEN, SAL and JAMES and land whereon I now live, after my wife's decease. To daughter ELIZABETH WOODSON two negroes JACOB and FANNY. To daughter MARTHA WOODSON two negroes MIMI and DAVID. All of which Legacies to be received as the children come of age except the land which is left to my wife the term of her life and then given to my son DRURY WOODSON. Wife LUCY WOODSON and son CHARLES WOODSON Executors. Dated May 7, 1788. Witnesses: Jesse Tally, Agness Tally, Susana Foster. Proved Nov. 24, 1788. Ibid. p.442.

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

Matrilineal Monday: Cruisin' Down the mtDNA highway: EMMA GRAVES

My great X 9 grandmother was EMMA GRAVES born June 20, 1659 at Andover, Essex Co MA, the daughter of MARK GRAVES Sr and his first wife AMY of Lynn, Ipswich and Andover, Essex Co MA.

EMMA (who is sometimes listed as "Amy" in records) married 1st) JOHN BOND II on Nov 21, 1681 in Beverly, Essex Co MA. All of their three children were born in Beverly, according to town birth records:

ELIZABETH BOND born Feb 28, 1683 married JOSEPH PRIDE (my great X 8 grandparents)
MARTHA BOND born Aug 26, 1686 married ?
EDWARD BOND born March 4, 1688 married ELIZABETH COY

On April 16, 1694, JOHN BOND II died in Beverly Essex Co MA.  EMMA then married BENJAMIN HASKELL  on June 10, 1698 in Gloucester, Essex Co MA.

At this point in my research, I have not discovered whether EMMA had children with BENJAMIN HASKELL, or whether she lived in Gloucester for the remainder of her life and died there. I am hoping in the coming months to discover more about my ancestor EMMA GRAVES.

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Friend of Friends Friday: African American Slaves Named in the 1813 Will of JOHN WOFFORD Sr of Spartanburg SC

JOHN WOFFORD Sr was my great X 5 grandfather.  He was born 1730-1750 in (supposedly) Prince Georges Co MD, and died 1813 in Spartanburg, SC.  He is generally thought to have married ELEANOR,  her maiden name supposedly BUSHROD-- but I have never been able to find any records to support this. Other researchers indicate his wife as SARAH.

Two of his four brothers,  JOSEPH WOFFORD and WILLIAM WOFFORD,  had land in Mecklenburg/Tryon Co NC 1766-1772 (which parts later became Anson Co NC, and then Spartanburg Co SC). Their land was on the Pacolet River; Lawson's branch,  tributary of the Pacolet, runs through the city of Spartanburg.

They were all supposedly the sons of ABSALOM WOFFORD b 1703 & SARAH HOSEA, who supposedly died in Rock Creek, Montgomery Co MD--although I have never been able to find any records to support this, either.

JOHN WOFFORD Sr fought in the Revolutionary War;  he served as an enlisted man in the 6th Carolina Regiment (SC) enlisted June 1, 1778--Sept 11, 1778 in Lt Col William Henderson's & Capt John Buchanan's Company.

That is the earliest SC record I have for him.

JOHN WOFFORD Sr and his wife had eleven, possibly twelve  children, most born in Spartanburg--but he only mentions two children by name in his will.

The children of JOHN WOFFORD Sr & ELEANOR his unverified wife as per the book "History of Spartanburg SC" by J B O Landrum were:

DORCAS WOFFORD born Dec 6, 1766 Spartanburg SC m ENOCH BRUTON (my line)
JOHN WOFFORD Jr b 1770s-1780s  m MARY A unknown
ELEANOR WOFFORD b 1770s-1780s
CLARA / CLARY WOFFORD b 1770s-1780s
WILLIAM BUSHROD WOFFORD b 1780s-1790s m MARY unknown

WILL OF JOHN WOFFORD SR Spartanburg, SC written 1808; probated 1813.
In the name of God Amen, I, JOHN WOFFORD Sen., of the State of So Carolina and District of Spartanburgh, being weak in body but of sound memory blessed be God do this 3rd day of May in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred & eight make and publish this my last will and Testament in manner following, that is to say,

First, I give and bequeath to my son ISAAC WOFFORD one Negro man named CYRUS. I also give and bequeath to my son WILLIAM WOFFORD two Tracts of Land, one of the thirty six acres taken up by myself, the other two hundred & forty more or less, purchas'd by myself from Joseph Lannom, one negro woman named TEMPEY, all my stock of Cattle, hots & sheep, farming tools, household furniture, with this injunction that he take care of his mother & provide for her, her lifetime. 

And in respect of the rest of my children, I have given them and each of them in my lifetime what I designed to give them.

And lastly I do make and constitute my well beloved son WILLIAM WOFFORD & my trusty friend WILIE WILLFORD (
note: difficult to decipher on original. Surname likely WILLIFORD, i.e. WILIE/WYLIE WILLIFORD, son of BRITTAIN WILLIFORD; both are in numerous records in Spartanburg) Executors to this my last will and Testament, in witness whereof I the said JOHN WOFFORD Sen have hereunto set my hand and seal the day & year above written.

Signed, Sealed & published by the said JOHN WOFFORD Sr as & for his last will & Testament in the presence of us who were present at the signing & sealing thereof--WILIE WILLFORD (

South Carolina Spartanburgh District. Personally appeared before me WILIE WILLFORD (
WILLIFORD), MARK BENNETT & JAMES BENNETT who being duly Sworn on the Holy Evangelist of Almighty God, doth make oath and say that they saw JOHN WOFFORD sign, seal & publish , pronounce and declare the same to be and contain his last will and testament,that he, the said JOHN WOFFORD, was then of sound and disposing mind, memory & understanding, to the best of the deponents knowledge and belief; and they the said WILIE WILLFORD (WILLIFORD), MARK BENNETT & JAMES BENNETT did sing their names as witness thereto, at the request of the testator in his presence; at the same time qualified WILLIAM WOFFORD Executor. Given under my hand this 25th day of November, 1813. W. LANCASTER, Ord. Of Spartanburg Dist.

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: General Appraisal Company, San Francisco, CA 1911

Staff of the General Appraisal Company, San Francisco, CA 1911
My grandfather RANDOLPH BENJAMIN "ROLLA" MARTINE 2nd from right.
Copy of original, my collection

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

Matrilineal Monday: Cruisin' Down the mtDNA highway: ELIZABETH BOND

My great X 8 grandmother was ELIZABETH BOND born Feb 28, 1683 Beverly, Essex Co MA. She was the daughter of JOHN BOND II and EMMA GRAVES.

ELIZABETH BOND married JOSEPH PRIDE on Dec 17, 1703/1703 in Beverly Essex Co MA. They continued to reside in Beverly for about eight years.  Their three eldest daughters, ELIZABETH, JANE & AMY PRIDE were born there.  A baptismal record for the eldest daughter ELIZABETH was recorded in the records of the First Church in Beverly:

1704 July 25. Beverly MA First Church Records. This day ELIZABETH [Bond] PRIDE Wife of JOSEPH PRIDE did publickly & Solemnly own ye Covenant of Gd  & had her child baptized, named ELIZABETH. SOURCE: Essex Institute Historical Collections Vol 37, Peabody Essex Museum

Sometime between 1710 and 1712, the PRIDE family moved to Gloucester, Essex Co MA. There two more children were born: JOHN PRIDE in 1712, and MARY PRIDE on April 30, 1716.

Just a short time later, on May 8, 1716,  ELIZABETH BOND PRIDE died of child bed fever in Gloucester, Essex Co MA.  She was 33 years old.

Apparently her husband JOSEPH PRIDE remarried to SARAH, and had three more children. In 1726 he moved with wife & several of his children to Falmouth, York (now Cumberland) Co, Maine.

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2011

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Friend of Friends Friday: African American Slaves Named in the 1812 Will of THOMAS SANDERS (SAUNDERS) of Buckingham Co VA and Davidson Co TN

THOMAS SANDERS (also spelled SAUNDERS) was my great X 4 grandfather.  He was the son of JAMES SAUNDERS b VA, of Orange Co NC, who died May 1776,  and an unknown first wife.  I wrote extensively about my research on the SAUNDERS / SANDERS family in one of my previous blogposts from 2010.

THOMAS married MARY MITCHELL, who I have not been able to trace. They had nine children:

3) FRANCIS SAUNDERS / SANDERS b abt 1762 m his first cousin ALETHIA SAUNDERS
7) MARY "POLLY" SAUNDERS / SANDERS b 1774 m WILLIAM FRANCIS MOSELEY (see blogpost for Jan 7 2011)

The family lived  in Buckingham Co VA from the 1770s until the early 1800s, according to records.  By around 1800, several of THOMAS' adult children began to migrate to Tennessee, settling in Sumner & Davidson Co. THOMAS & his wife MARY sold their house & land in Buckingham Co VA and moved there sometime shortly before his death in 1812. They undoubtedly took many of their slaves with them to Tennessee.

--Davidson County Tennessee, Wills and Inventories, Volume One 1783-1816, Page 200.  

November 28, 1812 Will of THOMAS SANDERS, deceased To my beloved wife MARY SANDERS all my property both real and personal and at her death to be divided among the foll owing, to my granddaughter AMANDA CLAY negro girl named SOPHIA to be delivered when she arrives to lawful age or marries;  to my daughter MARTHA TRIGG four negroes, namely, LUCY, JENNY, CAROLINE, and MARY, and also my riding horse;  to my four daughters ELIZABETH JONES, SALLEY WATSON, POLLY MOSELEY , and JUDITH MOSELEY and my son EDWARD SANDERS, five pounds of Virginia money each. To my son JAMES SANDERS my negro man named WILL. To my son FRANCIS SANDERS all the residue of my whole both real and personal except two negroes named GEORGE and ROSE which I do set free. I appoint my sons JAMES SANDERS and FRANCIS SANDERS my executors. This 26 Jan 1812. Wit: Nathaniel Sanders and Meridith Wilkerson.

For more information on the SAUNDERS / SANDERS family of Buckingham Co VA and Sumner & Davidson Co TN, see my Rootsweb online family tree "Moseley, Miller & Related Families of Colonial Virginia"

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

Matrilineal Monday: Cruisin' Down the mtDNA highway: MARY PRIDE

MARY PRIDE was by great X 7 grandmother. She was born April 30, 1716 in Gloucester, Essex Co MA, the daughter of JOSEPH PRIDE & ELIZABETH BOND, who were both born in Beverly, Essex Co Massachusetts. Both were the grandchildren of immigrants from England, who settled in various places in Essex Co Massachusetts.

ELIZABETH BOND died in Gloucester, shortly after giving birth to MARY.  I have not been able to discern whether or not MARY's father JOSEPH PRIDE remarried. Some sources indicate he had a second wife, SARAH.  At any rate, JOSEPH PRIDE became one of the first settlers of Falmouth, Maine, arriving there in around 1728.  It appears that some of his children, including MARY, accompanied him to Maine.

MARY was  married to BENJAMIN SKILLINGS II on March 16, 1740 in Falmouth, York/Cumberland County, Maine.  They settled in Gorham, Cumberland Co Maine, and  had nine children, all born Gorham:

Deliverance Skillings born Oct 15, 1741, died Sept 25, 1821; married Thomas Irish
Isaac Skillings born Jan 22, 1744, died Oct 1779; married Susanna Watson
Susanna Skillings twin of Isaac, born Jan 22, 1744, died 1843; married Benjamin Frost, Lemuel Hicks
John Skillings born March 2, 1746
Thomas Skillings born May 8, 1748, died May 12, 1810; married Mary Burnell
Abigail Skillings born March 30, 1753, died Oct 8, 1744; married Moses Whitney, Caleb Kimball
Anna Skillings born May 2, 1755; married Benjamin Cates
Martha Skillings born March 2, 1750
Benjamin Skillings III born April 2, 1763; married Elizabeth Silla

As with most of my early colonial maternal ancestors, I don't know much about the life of MARY PRIDE, beyond what I have written here. She died sometime after 1763 in Gorham, Cumberland Co, Maine.

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2011

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday Supper: Grandma Ruby's Custard Pie

When I was very young, my maternal grandparents lived next door to us in a small house that my father built. We lived out in the country. I think the transition to country living was difficult for my grandparents, for they had lived in cities most of their adult lives. So they stayed next to us for only a few years, then took an apartment in Seattle.

Ruby enjoyed hosting dinners while they lived next to us, and although I don't remember much about the menus, being quite young, I do remember her custard pie.  It was my favorite dessert as a child!

Here is the recipe for Grandma Ruby's Custard Pie

1 Graham Cracker Crumb pie crust
1 cup sugared Graham Cracker crumbs


2 cups milk
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbs cornstarch
dash vanilla


2 eggs whites
3 Tbs sugar
pinch cream of tartar

Whisk together filling ingredients and cook over low heat (double boiler?) until thick. Pour into pie shell.

Beat the egg whites with sugar & cream of tartar until stiff. Spread over the custard and sprinkle the sugared graham cracker crumbs over the top. Bake slowly for 25 minutes (325 degrees?).

Better to serve when completely cool (refrigerate?).

Before she passed away, my mother and I made this pie for old times' sake.  We both agreed that it was too sweet for us now.  But it did bring back lots of good memories.

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2011

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Friend of Friends Friday: African American Slaves Named in the 1852 Will of WILLIAM FRANCIS MOSELEY of Hickory Shade Plantation, Buckingham Co VA

My great X3 grandfather WILLIAM FRANCIS MOSELEY was born May 10, 1774 and died 1852, and lived most of his life in Buckingham Co VA on a plantation called "Hickory Shade".  He was married twice, 1st to MARY "POLLY" SAUNDERS, and after her death, to a widow, SARAH BROWN WILSON.

I knew that WILLIAM was a slave owner, and that his descendants, including my great great grandparents, continued to hold slaves until emancipation at the end of the Civil war (unlike many of my other southern ancestors, who gave up the practice early on). But I did not know exactly how many slaves he held until I discovered a copy of his will, written 1846, probated 1852. I have to say that I was completely shocked.

In the name of God Amen: I , WILLIAM MOSELEY, of the county of Buckingham do make this my last will and testament as follows to wit:
Item 1st: I direct that my executor hereafter named at a convenient time after my death sell all property both real and personal not herein disposed  of for the payment of debts and for division 
Item 2nd: I lend to my wife (2nd wife SARAH WILSON MOSELEY) for life one third of my home tract of land, and if she wishes it laid off, I request that it be so done as to include seventy five acres of that which I give (appears to be part of the will missing here??; continues with slave names):  CLARK, ELIZA JOHN, HENRY, LUTIE, LAWSON, ELISHA, MARTHA, PALSEY, SAM, LIVINIA and BETSEY, and PLEASANT;  and my smith tools, and to dispose of as she chooses my carriage and carriage horses.

Item 3rd:  I have heretofore given to my son GRANDERSON (Grandison Moseley):  land;  $700;  ELICK, CELIA, EDWARD, ROSE and POMPEY; $2350; and I now give him and his heirs, executor & etc, the following slaves, viz:  HARRIET, MAY, MARGARET & DAWSON.

Item 4th: I have heretofore lent to my son JAMES (James Saunders Moseley):   CHARLES, ROSE, PAMELIA, and EMALINE; $2100, and given to him and paid for his cash $2500.

Item 5th: I have heretofore given and paid for my son WILLIAM (never married) a negro man LEWIS and cash $2900.

Item 6th: I have heretofore given to my son JOHN (John Arthur "Jack" Moseley) the following: SPENCER, BETSEY, JIM, JUDY, GARLAND, MAY and TOM; $2800, and cash $1400.

Item 7th: I have heretofore given to my daughter LETICIA (Letitia Victoria Moseley) the following: GEORGE, FANNY, PAMELIA and child; $1800 land, $800, and loaned her WILL and/or MANDA, and $750.

(Item 8th missing? Items left to daughter Mary Magdalene "Polly" Moseley?)

Item 9th: I have loaned to my daughter ELIZABETH (Elizabeth Trabue Moseley) the following: PHIL, CALY, SUCY, HENRY, SEAN, and NED;  and cash and land in Missouri $2900.

Item 10th: I lend my wife for life one third of my plantation, tools, household, and kitchen, furniture, stock of cows sheep & hogs at Home. But I am in hopes she will not divide, but work all together and aid my son GRANDERSON to educate my sons DANIEL and BEN (children by William's 2nd wife Sarah Wilson Moseley).

Item 11th: I give to my son GRANDERSON and JOHN the following property for the following uses & purposes, viz: A negro boy JIM, the land and negroes in Missouri in the possession of my son JAMES and the future increase of the females thereof in time for the benefit of my son JAMES during life and then to his children.  Also one hundred acres of my home tract of land adjoining the East John A Glover line, to be run by my son GRANDERSON as he chooses; my lot in the town of Maysville;  one hundred acres of Mary or Wilson  land (this might be referring to land inherited by first wife Mary Polly Saunders Moseley, and 2nd wife Sarah Wilson Moseley??); BEN; lumber; (illegible) & bedstead; books & etc now in his possession, in trust for the benefit of my son WILLIAM, for life and then to his children as he may designate by will or deed.

Also, my land in Missouri, in possession of Mr MILLER (William Frederick Miller, husband of Elizabeth Moseley); PHIL, KATY, LUCY, HENRY LEANE, and FRED, now in Missouri; GRACE WATEMAN, and two or three hundred dollars to finish paying for said land and the further sum of three hundred dollars to be paid out of my sons' DANIEL & BEN's portion when my son GRANDERSON (thinks?) they can best do it, to be held out in property by my son GRANDERSON;  and the future increase of the females thereof in trust for the benefit of my daughter ELIZABETH for life and then to her children.

 Also one half of the balance of my home tract of land, one half of the balance of the Mary & Wilson land, one half of my Kinna (Kanawha VA)  land, kitchen, furniture, stock of cows, sheep & hogs at home; one half of my interest in a lot at Hardwicks and a horse colt, and the future increase of all the females thereof; and BOB, LYDIA, PETER, MARIA, and POLAND and their future increase in trust for the benefit of my son DANIEL for life and then to his child or children.  

Also one half that is the balance of my home tract lf land, the lines to be so run (as to include the dwelling and improvements by my son GRANDERSON, as well be convenient to each of them, the balance of the Wilson & Mary tract of land, one half  of my Kannana (Kanawha VA)  Land, one half of the property loaned to my wife for life, one third of my plantation tools, household, kitchen, furniture, stock of cows, sheep and hogs at home; one half of my interest in a lot at Hardwicks, and a young mare; POCAHANTAS, WASHINGTON, JANE, LUCY, MONROE & TYLER, ALICE, CARTER and the future increase of the female slaves thereof in trust for the benefit of my son BEN for life, then to his child or children.  

The rents and heirs of the property in this item to be applied by trustees or one of them for the uses and purposes in this item specified , and they or either of them may rent the land or rent the negroes for the purpose above, and they or either of them may sell andy of said property in this item or any part thereof, and invest the proceeds in other property, when so invested to be held as that which was sold was held, for the same purposes free from the control of the person for whose benefit it is left and free from the control of the husband of my daughter (Elizabeth Moseley Miller?), and in case liable to their debts now or thereafter.

Item 12th: I hereby authorize my son GRANDERSON at any time that he may think proper by deed to annul and set aside and vote (veto?) any or all of the trusts created in this will --and I also exonerate and discharge him and my son JOHN from all liablilites that they or either of them may incur in the execution of the trust in this will.

Item 13th:  All of my old negroes, that is ROBIN, POLLY and old HANNAH, which I give to my son DANIEL, and GEORGE, MILLY and old PHIL, which I give to my son BEN, are to occupy their present homes and be taken care of in their present situation, until the old negroes choose to change.

Item 14th: All my estate both real and personal after payment of my debts not herein disposed of, I wish to be equally divided between my children GRANDERSON, JAMES, WILLIAM, JOHN, LETICIA, POLLY and ELIZABETH for the uses and trusts as stated in Item 12, or to the child or children of such as may be dead.

Item 15: Should my son WILLAM die having no child or children or their representatives mentioned in the 14th item or the trustees to convey the same as the said WILLIAM may direct to either of my children or grandchildren.

Item 16: Should one or both of my sons DANIEL and BEN died under the age of 21 years leaving no child or children, then what is given for their use is to be equally divided between my children in the 14th item numerated, and if after the age of 21 years they or either of them should died leaving no child or children in that event what is given for their use is to be divided between my children enumerated in the 14th item or to such of children or grandchildren as he or they may designate by deed or will.

Item 17th: Should my wife decline the provision made for her in this will and resort to dower, then the Mary & Wilson land given to DANIEL and BEN to go to my children in the 14th item enumerated.

Item 18th: Should any of my negroes misbehave or act in such manner as good order cannot be had, I direct that my executor sell such and purchase others in their stead.

Item 19th : My executor with the consent of my wife may defer dividing my estate or that part of it employed in making a crop for two years or more and if kept together the last year my executor is to have of wheat for my wife, DANIEL and BEN, and furnish the plantation a year's supply of corn, if as much be made the last year.

Item 20th: my smith JACK is to remain with my wife two years after my death, and to do the work of my son GRANDESON, DANIEL and BEN without charge at the end of two years, or at the death of my wife.  I give the said Jack to my son GRANDESON for his attention to my wife and two sons DANIEL and BEN.  

Item 21nd:  All negro children born after this time is (are) to go with their mothers.

Item 22nd: I hereby constitute and appoint my son GRANDESON  Executor, to this my last will and testament, and guardian for my sons DANIEL and BEN, dispensing with an inventory; and I request the County Court of Buckingham to permit him to qualify in both capacities without security.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal, this 26th day of February, 1846.
Signed, sealed & acknowledged as the last will and testament of WILLIAM MOSELEY, in presence of W F Moseley, and N D Morris

Codicil:  I make this codicil to my last will and testament, to wit: my son DANIEL wants to go to work on the Kanawha land, and wants my grandson LANGDON to go with him.  I therefore give to my grandson LANGDON C MOSELEY, his heirs & forever one equal third part of my Kanawha land called "Pocahontas", hereby reducing the portion of my sons DANIEL and BEN of the Kanawha land to one third each, instead of one half as mentioned in the forgoing will, as witnessed my hand and seal above.  Signed WILLIAM MOSLEY; witnessed W F Moseley, N D Morris

Codicil:  I make this further codicil to the foregoing my last will & testament viz: I wish KOSEAN to be put in the place of ELIZA, child of LYDIA.  ELIZA, child of LYDIA to put in the place of SALLY.  JIM LUN to take the place of WASHINGTON, and WASHINGTON to take the place of LUN GILMORE.  CLARISSA and child ANN to take the place of GRACE; and WILLIAM and my smith JACK is taken from the son GRANDISON, and to be subject for debts and distribution under the 14th clause of the foregoing will as witnessed my hand and seal this 7th of July 1847. Signed WILLIAM MOSELEY, witnessed Th M Bondurant and W F Moseley. 

At Court held for Buckingham County the 9th day of February, 1852, this writing purporting to be the last will and testament of WILLIAM MOSELEY, deceased, with two codicils annexed was produced in Court and ths said will and codicils were proved by the oath of W F Moseley, and of the wintesses thereto and the said will and the first codicil was also proved by the oath of N D Morris, and the other witnesses thereto and at another court held  for the said county on the 8th day of March following the 2nd codicil to the said will was further proved by the oath of Thomas M Bondurant, the other witness thereto, and the said will and codicils were thereupon ordered to be recorded; and on the motion of GRANDERSON MOSELEY, the executor named in said will, who made oath thereto and to the codicils entered into acknowledged bond in the penalty of $30000 conditioned as the law directs (without security the testator decreeing that none should be required). 

ELIZABETH TRABUE MOSELEY, the daughter of WILLIAM FRANCIS MOSELEY, was my great great grandmother.  She married WILLIAM FREDERICK MILLER, a lawyer.  By 1844 they-- along with ELIZABETH's brother JAMES SAUNDERS MOSELEY-- had settled in what would become Spring Hill, Livingston Co Missouri.  According to this and other documents, both ELIZABETH and her brother JAMES took a number of slaves from Hickory Shade plantation with them to Livingston Co Missouri.  It is also clear that ELIZABETH's father did not approve of or trust her husband WILLIAM FREDERICK MILLER.  Probably with good cause.

WILLIAM FREDERICK MILLER fought with the the CSA and was captured at Pea Ridge, Arkansas March 1862 and subsequently imprisoned in Gratiot Prison in St Louis.  With the help of his lawyer son-in-law, JOHN A WILSON, he was released from prison in exchange for Union prisoners, but banished from his home in Missouri.  WILLIAM FREDERICK MILLER was returned to Virginia and remained in Richmond for the duration of the war, working as a clerk at the Confederate treasury (unverified by me).  His letters home show a particularly callous attitude towards his wife ELIZABETH, who, along with their children, was left alone to starve & scrape by back in Missouri.

Here is a link to transcribed Civil War Era letters for this family on my Betty's Boneyard website.

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2011

Monday, January 3, 2011

Matrilineal Monday: Cruisin' Down the mtDNA highway: DELIVERANCE SKILLINGS

Well Good Morning everyone, and Happy New Year!

Previously I wrote about my direct matrilineal line for Surname Saturday.  But I didn't want to wait until Saturday for my first post of 2011!  So I have switched to Mondays for this particular subject and will continue with it on Mondays until I have exhausted my info on my direct maternal line.

DELIVERANCE SKILLINGS was my great X 6 grandmother. She was born Oct 14, 1741 in Gorham, Cumberland Co Maine,  the daughter of Benjamin Skillings II and Mary Pride of Gorham.

On July 22, 1756 Deliverance Skillings married Thomas Irish in Falmouth, York/Cumberland Co Maine. Thomas was from Falmouth, but after marriage they chose to settle in Gorham, and had ten children, all born in Gorham:

Susanna Irish Oct 22, 1760 married Ebenezer Morton
Isaac Irish March 7, 1763
Benjamin Irish June 20, 1766
Jacob Irish Sept 14, 1768
Emma "Amy" Irish  April 3, 1770
Abigail Irish May 6, 1773
Gamaliel Irish Oct 15, 1776
Deliverance Irish May 20, 1779
Mary Irish Dec 1, 1780
Elizabeth "Betty" Irish May 1, 1784

I have not yet found any historical references to Deliverance Skillings Irish, so I don't have much insight into her character or the particulars of her life. However, she did live during the time of the American Revolution, and according to DAR records, her husband Thomas Irish enlisted in 1775. In 1779 Thomas Irish was a sergeant in Capt. McLellan's Company, Col. Mitchell's Regiment and took part in the Penobscot Expedition.

So it appears that Thomas Irish may have been away from his home &  family off and on between 1775 and 1779. Deliverance would have had to run the household while he was away.

The surname SKILLINGS is of particular interest to me in that it apparently is a very ancient surname. According to the Internet Surname Database website:

This unusual and interesting name is of Norse-Viking pre 7th century origins. Although first recorded in England the surname is now most numerous in County Down, Ireland, where it was amongst the early 'Planters' sent from England to occupy Ulster. In ancient times the name was baptismal and a developed form of 'scela' meaning summer. It was probably given to somebody born on Mid Summers Day or a feast day which commemorated summer. There are several spelling forms including Skilling and the patronymic Skillings.

Another page on the same website says:

Recorded as Skilling, Skillin, Skillen, Skeland, Skelland, Skellen, Skellin and the very rare Skillanders, this unusual surname much associated with the English county of Lancashire is of pre 7th century Norse-Viking. It is also popular in most spellings in Northern Ireland and specifically County Down. Its origins are confused but it may be locational from a place such as Skillion in the Isle of Man, or Skillington in Yorkshire, the place of the Scela people. Scela has the literal meaning of summer, and may have been given as a baptismal name somebody born on Mid Summers Day. It is unclear as to when the surname was first recorded, but it is certainly medieva.

My maternal haplogroup  H1a1 bears witness to the Norse roots of this surname, as the haplogroup seems to have originated in far Northern European areas of Scandinavia and the British Isles. 

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2011