William Crumley’s Original 1792 Will Surfaces – 52 Ancestors #360

Generally late at evening, simply earlier than I am going to mattress, I examine MyHeritage for Report Hints and Ancestry for these little inexperienced leaf hints.

One current midnight, I observed a touch at Ancestry for William Crumley II. After all, I’ve to have three William Crumley’s in a row in my tree.

Clicking on this trace revealed West Virginia Wills.

After all, the very first thing I observed was that West Virginia wasn’t shaped as a state till 1863, however I additionally know that counties and their earlier data “go together with” their county into a brand new state. Berkeley County was shaped from Frederick County, Virginia in 1772.

Nevertheless, William Crumley II died between 1837 and 1840 in Lee County, Virginia, so I wasn’t very hopeful about this trace. Nonetheless, I clicked as a result of, hey, you by no means know what you may uncover. That’s why they’re referred to as hints, proper?

Trace 1 – The Will Ebook

I found the Berkeley County Clerk’s Will Ebook the place William Crumley the primary’s will had been dutifully copied into the Will Ebook on pages 185 and 186 after it was “proved” in courtroom by witnesses on September 17, 1793. Witnesses who proved a will swore that they noticed him signal the unique and the need submitted was that very same, unmodified, doc.

This William Crumley shouldn’t be William Crumley II, the place this trace appeared, however his father, who didn’t have this trace.

I’ve been in possession of that can data for a number of years, so there was no new data right here.

Whereas I all the time learn these wills, even when I’ve a typewritten printed transcription, I do know that the handwriting and the signature shouldn’t be unique to the one that wrote the need. The handwriting is that of the clerk.

To start with, the signature of the deceased individual can’t presumably be unique after he died. William’s will was written and signed on September 30, 1792, virtually precisely a yr earlier than it was probated on September 17, 1793. William was clearly unwell and fascinated by his household after his demise.

Provided that courtroom was held each three months, William possible died someday between June and September of 1793.

I actually want Ancestry wouldn’t present hints for a 1792/3 will for a person who died between 1837 and 1840.

My ancestor, William II who died in about 1840 is a minimum of talked about in his father’s will as a toddler. Nevertheless, if I saved this may to William II from this trace, Ancestry would have recorded this occasion as his will, not the need of his father, so I declined this trace. I did, nevertheless, later join this doc to William I, regardless that Ancestry did NOT present this doc as a touch for him.

Trace 2 – 1764 Tax Listing

I clicked on the following inexperienced leaf trace for William II. A tax record for 1764. Nope, not him both provided that William II wasn’t born for an additional three years.


Trace 3 – Executor’s Bond

One thing else from Berkeley County hooked up to the mistaken individual, once more.


What’s this one?

Executor’s bonds for William Crumley’s property who died in 1793. Now that is fascinating as a result of the bond contains the signatures of the executors, together with William’s spouse Sarah. I received VERY excited till I remembered that Sarah was William’s second spouse and never my ancestor.

To not point out this file dated in 1793 remains to be being served up on the mistaken William Crumley – the same-name son of the person who died in 1793.

Worse but, these hints did NOT exist on the proper William Crumley the first who I wrote about, here.

Okay, nice.

There’s yet one more trace for William II earlier than bedtime.

Trace 4 – Berkeley County AGAIN

What’s this one?

I noticed that it was from Berkeley County and virtually dismissed the trace with out trying. By that point, I used to be drained and grumpy and considerably pissed off with attempting to avoid wasting data to the proper individual and never the individual for whom the hints had been delivered.

Am I EVER glad that I didn’t simply click on on “Ignore.”

Unintended Gold

Gazing me was the ORIGINAL WILL of William Crumley the primary in a packet of Unfastened Probate Papers from 1772-1885 that I didn’t even know existed. I assumed I had beforehand exhausted all accessible sources for this county, however I clearly had not. I’m unsure the modern clerks even knew these unfastened data existed and even when they did, they most likely weren’t listed.

Fortunately, they’ve been each scanned and (partially) listed by Ancestry. They clearly aren’t good, however they’re adequate to be discovered and typically, that’s all that issues. I’d reasonably discover a trace for the mistaken individual so I can join the dots than no trace in any respect.

My irritation just about evaporated.

There’s extra data offered by Ancestry which is definitely incorrect, so by no means presume accuracy with out checking for your self. The date they’re exhibiting because the probate date is definitely the date the need was executed. If I had been to avoid wasting this file with out checking, his loss of life/probate can be proven as September 30, 1792. That’s clearly NOT the probate nor William’s loss of life date.

To not point out, there have been many greater than 3 extra folks listed on this doc. There was a spouse, 15 youngsters, and the 4 witnesses to the need itself. I truly discovered one other two names buried within the textual content for a complete of twenty-two folks.

All the time, all the time learn the unique or a minimum of the clerk’s handwritten copy within the Will Ebook.

Originals are SELDOM Obtainable

I’ve solely been fortunate sufficient to seek out unique wills in uncommon circumstances the place the need was saved along with the Will Ebook copy, a later lawsuit ensued, or the need surfaced someplace. The unique will doc is generally returned to the household after being copied into the e-book after being confirmed in courtroom.

For some cause, William’s unique will was retained within the unfastened papers that included the unique property stock as nicely. That stock was additionally copied into the need e-book a few months later. Sadly, I’ve by no means discovered the sale doc which incorporates the names of the purchasers.

Usually, the unique will is strictly the identical because the clerk’s copy within the Will Ebook. It ought to be precise, however typically there are variations. Some minor and a few vital. The need e-book copy is generally precise or very near a duplicate transcribed by somebody years later. Each time one thing is copied manually, there’s a possibility for error.

Due to this fact, I all the time, all the time learn the need, which means the doc closest in individual and in time to the unique, simply in case. You by no means know. I’ve found youngsters who had been omitted in later copies or paperwork.

In his will, William acknowledged that he had bought his plantation from his brother, John Crumley. Their father, James Crumley had willed adjoining patented land to his sons, John and William. I used to be not conscious that William had bought John’s portion, most likely when John moved to South Carolina about 1790.

William states that his plantation ought to be offered by the executors. The purchaser was to make funds however the land “to not be given as much as the purchaser until the 26th of March within the yr 1795 which is the expiration of John Antram’s (?) lease upon it.” It’s unclear whether or not William was referring solely to the plantation he bought from John, or if he’s referring to the mixed property that he obtained from his father and that he bought from John as “his plantation.”

This additionally tells us that William clearly didn’t count on to reside till the top of that lease. The truth that the land was leased was most likely a results of his poor well being regardless that he wasn’t but 60 years outdated. This additionally makes me marvel how lengthy he had been unwell.

William additionally explicitly says he has 15 youngsters, then proceeds to call them. Sadly for everybody concerned, William’s youngest 10 youngsters had been all underage, with the child, Rebecca, being born about 1792.

William most likely wrote his will in his brick residence, above, with a new child toddler crying within the background. Sarah, his spouse should have been distraught, questioning what she would do and the way she would survive with 10 mouths to feed, plus any of his older youngsters from his first marriage who remained at residence. The excellent news, if there may be any, is that the older youngsters might assist. Sarah was going to want a variety of assist!

I certainly would like to know what occurred to William.

I can shut my eyes and see the boys gathered collectively, sitting in a circle That September thirtieth in 1792. It was Sunday, most likely after church and after “supper” which was served at midday. William may need been too unwell to attend providers.

Possibly one man was making ready a quill pen and ink at a desk. William spoke thoughtfully, maybe sitting on the porch or perhaps even underneath the tree, and the person inked his feather and wrote. You possibly can hear the feather scratch its means throughout the only crisp sheet of paper. William enunciated gradual, measured phrases, conveying his needs to the somber onlookers who would bear witness to what he mentioned and that, on the finish, when he was happy, that they had seen him signal the doc

Infrequently, somebody would nod or clear their throat as William spoke. At one level, the scrivener made a mistake and needed to scratch out a pair phrases. Or maybe, it wasn’t the scrivener’s error. Possibly William misspoke or somebody requested him if he actually meant what he mentioned. It’s heartbreaking to put in writing your will with a home filled with younger youngsters. He knew he was dying. Males of that place and time solely wrote wills after they knew the top was shut at hand.

After all, we discover the compulsory language about Sarah remaining his widow. He tried to supply for Sarah even after his loss of life. Sarah was 15 years or so youthful than William and died in 1809 when she was about 59 years outdated. Her child would have been about 17 years outdated, so she was about 40 or so when William wrote his will and died, with an entire passel of children.

William appointed one David Faulkner, most likely associated to his brother John’s spouse, Hannah Faulkner, alongside together with his spouse, Sarah Crumley, as his executors. Sarah’s stepfather was Thomas Faulkner, who was additionally her bondsman. David could have been her brother, so William most likely felt safe that Sarah’s pursuits can be sorted.

The choice of executors could inform us not directly that son William Crumley II had already left for the following frontier, Greene County, TN. William II was listed on the Berkeley County tax record in 1789, however not once more, suggesting he had already packed up and moved on, most likely earlier than his father grew to become unwell.

However right here’s the very best half, on the following web page…William Crumley’s precise unique signature.

I’m wondering if this was the final time he signed his identify.

Signature Doppelganger

It’s extraordinarily ironic that the signature of his son, William Crumley the second, appears virtually an identical to the signature of William the primary, above. We all know completely that this was the signature of the eldest William, and we all know positively that later signatures in 1807 and 1817 in Greene County, Tennessee had been his son’s.

This almost an identical signature of father and son means that maybe William Crumley the eldest taught his son write.

The household was Quaker. We all know William’s father, James Crumley was a rather roudy Quaker, and William the primary married Quaker Sarah Dunn in 1774, after his first spouse’s loss of life. That marriage is recorded within the Quaker minutes as a result of Sarah had married “opposite to self-discipline” which tells us that William Crumley was not at the moment a Quaker, or had beforehand been dismissed.

Quakers had been forbidden from many actions. For those who had been a Quaker, you couldn’t marry non-Quakers, marry a primary cousin, marry your first partner’s first cousin, marry your former husband’s half-uncle, administer oaths, do one thing unsavory like altering a be aware, buy a slave, dance, take up arms, struggle, recreation, transfer away with out permission, encourage playing by lending cash, prepare or take part within the militia, rent a militia substitute, attend muster, and even slap somebody. Yearly, several people were “disowned” for these violations together with failing to attend conferences, failing to pay money owed, shifting away with out settling enterprise affairs, or serving to another person do one thing forbidden, like marry “opposite to self-discipline.” Heaven forbid that you just’d attend a type of forbidden marriage ceremonies or worse but, be part of the Baptists or Methodists!.

It’s unknown if William returned to the Quaker Church though it’s uncertain, as a result of in 1774 Sarah is listed as one of many individuals “disowned” for marrying him, and there’s no reinstatement be aware or date. Moreover, in 1781, William was among the many Berkeley County residents who offered provides for using the Revolutionary armies.

One certificates (receipt) dated September 30, 1781 indicated that he and three others, together with his spouse’s brother William Dunn and her stepfather Thomas Faulkner had been entitled to 225 kilos for eleven bushels and a peck of wheat.

We additionally know that William Crumley owned a slave when he died and Quakers had been prohibited from proudly owning slaves primarily based on the assumption that every one human beings are equal and worthy of respect. Regardless, many Quakers continued to personal slaves however buying a slave, a minimum of at Hopewell, induced you to be “disowned.”

Nonetheless, William could have despatched his youngsters to be educated on the Quaker faculty provided that the Quaker faculty was the one academic possibility aside from instructing your youngsters your self. Quaker colleges had been open to non-Quaker youngsters. We all know, primarily based on the books ordered within the 1780s for native college students in a number of languages that the varsity was educating and welcoming non-Quaker youngsters too.

The Hopewell Quaker Meeting House (church) constructed an official schoolhouse in 1779, however it’s possible that faculty had been being performed within the Assembly Home earlier than a separate faculty constructing was constructed. By that point, William Crumley the second would have been 12 years outdated and had possible already been taught the fundamentals, maybe by his father.

After all, the William Crumley household sooner or later, most likely in 1764 when William’s father James Crumley died, if not earlier than, had moved up the highway and throughout the county line to Berkeley County which was about seven and a half miles from the Hopewell Meeting House (and faculty). That was fairly a distance, so William the primary could have been instructing his personal youngsters, ensuring they knew learn and write and signal their names.

No marvel his son’s signature appears precisely like his.

Training and the Hopewell Assembly Home

In 1934, the Hopewell Friends History was published to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the church which offered an excessive amount of historic details about the church itself, that a part of Frederick County and the Quaker households. Sadly, the notes from 1734 to 1759 had been misplaced when the clerk’s residence burned, together with many of the 1795 minutes later.

Based mostly on his will, William clearly positioned a really excessive worth on training. He instructed that his “widdow Sarah Crumley shall rays my youngsters collectively to provide them studying out of the income that arises from my property, the boys to learn, write and cifer, the ladies to learn and write.” Apparently, females weren’t perceived to want “cifering.”

William himself would have attended faculty at Hopewell after his household moved from Chester County, PA in 1744 when he was 9 or 10 years outdated.

William’s youngsters, following in his footsteps, could nicely have attended the Hopewell Faculty or maybe one other brick faculty that existed close to White Corridor, about midway between The Crumley residence and the Hopewell Assembly Home, though it’s unclear precisely when that faculty was established.

Many Quakers talked about within the 1800s within the church notes are buried at what’s now the White Hall United Methodist Church on Apple Pie Ridge Street. The earliest burial there with a stone is 1831 which appears to be when headstones started for use within the space.

William additionally directed his funeral bills to be paid, in fact, and his executors offered a steer to pay for his coffin.

It’s uncertain that William is buried right here, within the Hopewell Cemetery, except he reconciled with the church. William’s mother and father are most certainly buried right here. His father, James, died in 1764 and his mother, Catherine, died about 1790. William would have gazed throughout this cemetery as a toddler attending providers and stood right here throughout many funerals, presumably together with the service of his personal first spouse, Hannah Mercer, and maybe a few of their youngsters.

I’m wondering if it ever occurred to him as a toddler that he may at some point relaxation right here himself.

No early marked graves stay earlier than the 1830s, however folks had been buried right here for a century in unmarked graves by that point.

I can’t assist however consider William the primary, as a toddler, most likely attending faculty on this constructing, peering out these home windows, after his household moved from Pennsylvania within the early 1740s. He worshiped right here on Sundays. Maybe his son, William II and his older youngsters attended faculty right here some three many years later.

This stately tree within the cemetery was possible a sapling when William was a younger man.

Provided that William appears to have left the Quaker Church, willingly or in any other case someday earlier than 1774 and possibly earlier than 1759, it’s more likely that William is buried within the cemetery proper throughout the highway from his residence in an unmarked grave adjoining and behind what’s now the Mount Nice United Methodist Church.

I don’t know, however I’d wager that that is the outdated Crumley household cemetery.

Maybe William was the primary individual to be buried right here, or perhaps his first spouse or one in all his youngsters. His brother, John, could have buried youngsters right here too.

Nearly Too Late

Thank goodness William’s unique will was microfilmed when it was, as a result of the pages had been torn and needed to be rigorously unfolded and repaired. William’s will may need been past saving quickly. In any case, his will had been folded a number of instances and saved in what was most likely a steel doc field, simply ready to be freed, for greater than 225 years.

There’s data on these unique paperwork that simply isn’t accessible elsewhere.

It’s fascinating to notice the authorized course of that passed off when wills had been dropped at courtroom when somebody died. The clerk wrote on the again of the need, beneath William’s signature, on what would possible have been the surface of the folded doc that the need had been confirmed in open courtroom (OP), he had recorded and examined the need and that the executors had complied with the regulation and a certificates was granted to them.

I consider the underside proper writing is No. 2 Folio 185 which correlated to the e-book and web page.

It’s nothing in need of a miracle that William’s unique will nonetheless exists and received tucked away for posterity. I’m ever so grateful to Mr. Hunter, that long-deceased Clerk of Courtroom who’s chargeable for resurrecting William’s signature, the one tangible private merchandise of William’s left at the moment, save for just a few DNA segments in his descendants.

Flowers, trying into the window of the Hopewell Assembly Home.


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