Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sarah’s Surprise, Part 1

My ancestor Daniel Moore (died about February 1792) wrote a will, in which he mainly allocated rights to his land. It was dated January 1, 1792 and proved March 24, 1792 in Washington County, Maryland [Washington Co., MD Wills A:279-280]. Here is what it said:

In the Name of God Amen. I Daniel Moore of Washington County, Maryland, being in an advanced stage of life & infirm of body, but of sound & disposing mind and memory & being desirous to settle all my worldly affairs while my Judgment is sound, do hereby make and ordain this my last Will & Testament in manner following In the first place I give and Bequeath unto my loving & faithfull Wife Mary the whole of my Land and Plantation on which I now live, Containing One Hundred and thirty-Eight Acres together with all my personal Estate of every sort & Denomination during her natural life, she paying my Just Debts & funeral Charges. Secondly I Will and devise unto my Daughter Nancy now the wife of John Griffith my said Land containing One Hundred & thirty-Eight Acres as aforesaid & with all its Appurtenances to be entered upon by my said Daughter Nancy after my said Wifes Decease to be by her held and enjoyed, as her perfect Estate in fee Simple, not subject to the contract or disposal of her said Husband or of any other, but with this express proviso, that she the said Nancy shall pay unto my Son Richard the sum of Seventy pounds Current Money of Maryland, within One year After my said Wifes Decease, or in case of her failure of the said payment, or at her Option she shall cause to be laid off in some part of the said Land thirty Eight acres for the said Richard & in that case I hereby Will & devise the said thirty-Eight acres to my said Son Richard in fee simple forever. Thirdly I Will and ordain that in case my said Daughter Nancy shall depart this life before my said Wife in that case my Land shall be sold After my said Wifes Death and the money arising therefrom equally divided among all my Children or their Representatives. Lastly I hereby Constitute Appoint & ordain my said Wife Mary my Sole and only Executrix of this my Last Will & Testament. In Testimony that this is my only last Will & Testament, I have hereunto set my hand and Seal this First Day of January One thousand Seven hundred & ninety two in presence of the
undersigned Witnesses
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
her . . . . . . . . . . . . her . . . . . . .) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . his
Daniel Gueting & Rachel N Benson Mary // Gueting .) . . . . . . Daniel D M Moore { seal }
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .mark . . . . . . . . . . mark . . . . . . ) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .mark

On the Back of the Original Will of the aforesaid Daniel Moore are the following Endorsements to wit, Washington County Ss: On the 24th day of March 1792 Came Mary Moore and made Oath &c. that the Within Instrument of Writing is the true and whole Will & Testament of Daniel Moore late of said County Deceased, that hath come to her hand or possession and that she doth not know of any other. And at the same time came Daniel Gueting & Rachel Benson, two of the Subscribing Witnesses to the within last Will & Testament of Daniel Moore late of said County Deceased & made Oath on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God, that they did see the Testator herein Named Sign & Seal the Will, that they heard him publish, announce and declare the same to be his last Will & Testament, and that to the best of their Apprehension he was at the time of his so doing of sound and disposing mind, memory, and understanding, and that they respectively subscribed their names as Witnesses to this Will in the presence and at the request of the Testator, and in the presence of each other and that they saw Mary Gueting the other Subscribing Witness do the same. Recorded 24th day of March 1792 Certified by
(6 sides). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Thomas Belt, Reg'r.

On the face of it, that’s clear enough. Daughter Nancy, wife of John Griffith, and son Richard Moore were to have provisional rights to the land, except if Nancy did not outlive widow Mary.

This Richard Moore had been candidate for my ancestor who arrived in Harrison County, WV about the year 1801, when one of his daughters married there. He bought land there by a deed recorded in 1802. Two of his children’s 1850 and 1860 US Census enumerations stated they were born in Maryland – one in about 1777 and the other about 1780.

Among the MD heads of household for the 1790 enumeration was a Richard Moore in Lower Antietam Hundred, Washington County, Maryland. And was the same one enumerated for 1800 in Georges Creek Hundred, Allegany County, Maryland?

A deed was found in Washington Co., MD, where Richard Moore, of Allegany County, MD, made a Power of Attorney to son Daniel Moore of Washington County, MD to recover Richard's interest in the estate of Richard’s father, Daniel Moore dec'd. [Washington Co., MD Deeds N-13:547, recorded 3 Jul 1801 by Daniel Moore].

So evidence found in the enumerations and this 1801 Power of Attorney pointed to the Richard Moore named in Daniel Moore’s 1792 will. Was the land disposed of by heirs? How was the will implemented? No accounting or other administrative records were found concerning the estate of that Daniel Moore. But deeds again had answers.

The first deed was dated April 19, 1812, by Richard Moore of Harrison County Virginia “Son of Daniel Moore formerly of Washington County....and Margaret, his wife,” who sold to Solomon Dedie Richard’s interest in 138 acres of said Daniel Moore, for $300. The deed was proved May 6, 1812 in the Harrison County, (West) VA Superior Court of Law by the deed’s witnesses, Benjamin Reeder, Richard Moore and Joseph Cunningham, and certified by Benjamin Wilson Junior, Clerk of Court and by Daniel Smith, Judge of General Courts (attesting to Wilson’s identity and authority) [Washington County, Maryland Deeds Y-19:217, recorded May 29, 1812 at the request of Solomon Dedie]. The certification was also recorded on May 29 in the Superior Ct. of Law Order Book 1:178 [Harrison County, West Virginia County Clerk’s Office, Clarksburg, WV]. The Superior Court proceeding was required because the deed’s grantors, Richard and Margaret Moore, lived in a different State from that in which the instrument was to be recorded.

This deed was very useful. It was indexed under the Moore surname as grantor, and I already knew that a Richard Moore was possibly involved in selling the land of Daniel Moore; it gave Richard’s residence in Harrison County and the name of his wife; it gave an approximate date around which other heirs’ deeds would be made, and – most important – it gave the name of the grantee. That meant I could look in the Washington County Deeds Index to find who else had been involved in selling Daniel Moore’s land.

Under Solomon Dedie’s name were several entries:

~To Be Continued in Sarah’s Surprise Part 2~

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