Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Two Reported Death Dates for Peter Hagler

The second wife of Peter Hagler was Sarah ‘Sallie’ Dry my first cousin 5 times removed. No documented death date has been found for Sarah ‘Sallie” Dry but, she is believed to have passed away shortly after the birth of her second child in 1816.

I have found two reported death dates for her husband, Peter Hagler.  The first reported death date is recorded in the Barbour County Alabama Probate Records. This record can be found in Alabama, Wills and Probate Records, 1753-1999, Image 577 of 1751.

This record states that the heirs and legatees of Peter Hagler “sheweth unto your Honor that the said Peter Hagler dec'd on the 14th day of Feby 1852 made his last Will and Testament which was filed in office on the 14th day of April 1852 & admitted to Probate on the 10th May 1852...”

Peter Hagler wrote and dated his Will 12 February 1852. I’m reading the above statements to say that he died on 14 February 1852.

The State of Alabama
To the Honorable William R. Cowen Judge of Probate for Barbour County.
     The petition of the undersigned Jacob Hagler Thomas Hagler & Charles Long heirs and legatees of Peter Hagler deceased, sheweth unto your Honor that the said Peter Hagler dec'd on the 14th day of Feby 1852 made his last Will and Testament which was filed in office on the 14th day of April 1852 & admitted to Probate on the 10th May 1852, that according to the provision of said Will Sarah his last wife was to receive 120 acres of land, Slave Bill, Two Horses, two cows & calves Two Sows & pigs Two head of Sheep, Household furniture plantation tools. John his son the sum of five dollars, Charles his son Seven dollars, Martin Thomas his son-in-law the sum of Five dollars, Joel Thomas his son-in-law the sum of Five dollars, Margaret his first wife the sum of twenty dollars. Jacob & Thomas his sons and Betsey wife of Charles Long, his daughter (these being the petitioners this care) all the balance of his property consisting of lands, Bonds, Notes of hand, Beady, money, account &c Cattle, horses, Hogs & Sheep not before enumerated to be equally divided among them.
Your petitioner sheweth unto your Honor that Thos. S. Locke is the administrator of the said Peter Hagler with the will annexed of the Said Peter Hagler deceased, that the space of eighteen months and over have elapsed Since the granted of letters as aforesaid, that there is a Sufficiency of assets in the hand of the said administrator to pay the claims of your petitioner, after discharging the debts of the testator, Charges an and other legacies entitled to priority from such estate.
     Your petitioner therefore asks your Honor to issue a citation to the said Thos. S. Locke Administrator as aforesaid to be and appear before your Honor and make final Settlement of the Estate of Peter Hagler deceased & to take such other proceedings in the premises as may seem fit and your petitioners will ever pray &c.
                                                          M. B. Wellborn
                                                                for petitioners

The second recorded Death date is 21 May 1852 recorded on his FindAGrave memorial.

Again, I refer you to the statement in the above probate record.

This record states that the heirs and legatees of Peter Hagler “sheweth unto your Honor that the said Peter Hagler dec'd on the 14th day of Feby 1852 made his last Will and Testament which was filed in office on the 14th day of April 1852 & admitted to Probate on the 10th May 1852...”

If his Will was admitted to Probate on the 10 May 1852 then he was definitely deceased prior to 10 May 1852 and there is no way that the date of 21 May 1852 found on the FindAGrave memorial could be accurate.

There is no known tombstone available for Peter Hagler.  



[2] Find A Grave, Inc., Find A Grave, database and digital images, ( : accessed 3 July 2019); Memorial page for Peter Hagler; (1777–21 May 1852); Find a Grave memorial # 169465254, Citing Unknown; Barbour County, Alabama, USA.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Mr. Robert Deese Passes – One of Lumberton’s Oldest Citizen

Mr. Robert Deese Passes – One of Lumberton’s Oldest Citizen –Funeral Tomorrow at 3 P.M.
Mr. Robert Deese, one of Lumberton’s oldest citizens, died at his home, Seventh street, last night at 10:40 o’clock. Mr. Deese suffered a stroke of paralysis three weeks ago this morning and had been critically ill since that time. Deceased was nearing his 86th birthday. He is survived by his wife and six children---three daughters, Misses Ella, Mary and Mrs. J. M. Jones, three sons, Messrs.  Durham, Rowland and Owen---all of whom live here. Deceased had lived in Lumberton for more than a half century and had many friends. The funeral will take place from the home tomorrow afternoon at 3 o'clock and interment will be made in Meadow-Brook cemetery.
Deceased was a member of Chestnut Street Methodist church.

Robert Deese was born on 4 July 1830, a son of James Deese and Alice Bethea. Robert grew up in Anson County, North Carolina. He moved to Roberson County, NC where he married Julia Best on 22 July 1859.

They were the parents of six children; 3 sons and 3 daughters. Their children are:    

i.    Ellen Deese was born on 11 May 1862 in Lumberton, Robeson, North Carolina. She signed a will on 22 Mar 1947 in Robeson County, North Carolina.
ii.    Mary Eliza Deese was born on 7 Feb 1866 in Lumberton, Robeson, North Carolina. She died on 31 Oct 1942 at the age of 76 in Lumberton, Robeson, North Carolina.
iii. Durham Deese was born on 24 Nov 1867 in Lumberton,.Robeson, North Carolina; died on 1 Feb 1941 at the age of 73 in Lumberton, Robeson, North Carolina.
iv.    Dr. John Rowland Deese, born 24 Dec 1872, Lumberton, Robeson, North Carolina; married Lena Francis Hall, 10 May 1898, Robeson, North Carolina; died 2 Jul 1936, Lumberton, Robeson, North Carolina.
v.    Owen Clinton Deese, born 25 Nov 1875, Lumberton, Robeson, North Carolina; married Edith Moorer Rooser, 3 Jun 1908, Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina; died 11 Feb 1947, Lumberton, Robeson, North Carolina.
vi.    Amelia Virginia Deese, born abt 1878, Lumberton, Robeson, North Carolina; married John Monroe Jones, 1 May 1902, Robeson County, North Carolina; died 17 Jun 1959, Lumberton, Robeson, North Carolina.

Robert Clinton Deese died 25 June 1916; his wife, Julia, died 28 September 1919. They are buried in the Meadowbrook Cemetery, Lumberton, Roberson County, NC.

Robert Clinton Deese is my 1st Cousin 3 times removed.


[1] "Mr. Robert Deese Passes – One of Lumberton’s Oldest Citizen," Death Notice, The Robersonian, Lumberton, NC, 26 June 1916, Front Page, Column 2; Digital On-Line Archives, ( 3 August 2019).

Saturday, September 26, 2020

It's Family Time~The Family of Peter Hagler and his 2nd Wife~Sarah Dry

Peter Hagler, son of John “The Cripple” Hagler and his wife Catherine Seitz was born in 1777.  Before his death in 1852, Peter would marry at least 4 times. He first married about 1796/7. The name of his first wife is unknown but,  researchers have identified several children that are of this marriage.

His 2nd wife was Sarah “Sally” Dry. John Hagler and Sarah Dry were married on 22 November 1813 and had two known children. Their two children are:

  • Charles W. Hagler, b. abt 1814
  • Elizabeth Hagler, b. abt 1816

Sarah “Sally” Hagler died shortly after the birth of her daughter, Elizabeth. No death date or tombstone has been found for Sarah “Sally” Dry Hagler.

Peter Hagler then married Margaret “Peggy” Polk. The children of Peter and Margaret are:

  • Hiram Wilson Hagler
  • Mary Melinda Hagler
  • Lydia "Patsy" Hagler

It is not known when Margaret Polk Hagler passed away. The 1850 Census for Barbour County, Alabama is shown here but Margaret in this  Census seems too young to be his wife and marry in 1820 if her age is 40 as recorded. If, its 70, which I believe it is; then,  Margaret here could be Margaret Polk, his wife. It's obvious his next wife, Sarah Cooley is living in the household with Peter and Margaret. 

Before his death in 1852, Peter would lose Margaret and married Sarah Colley. We know because he left a Will in Barbour County, Alabama. In his will is this item:

Partial Transcription: 

1st I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife, Sarah, my present place of residence the plantation where I now resie [reside], containing one hundred and twenty acres, (120) be the same more or less.  My wagon, two horses, two cows & calves, two sows & pigs, Two? head of sheep.  All my household furniture, my plantation tools, also my man Bill, a slave, to have and to hold for her exclusive benefit owning her lifetime and widowhood.

Peter Hagler died 14 February 1852. The date on his FindAGrave memorial is wrong according to his probate file. No known tombstone exists for Peter Hagler.  

Sarah “Sally” Dry Hagler, 2nd Wife of Peter, is my 1st Cousin 5 times removed.


1. 1850 U. S. Census, Barbour County, Alabama, population schedule, Division 23, Barbour, Alabama, Page: 220A(Stamped); Line 24, Dwelling 1685, Family 1730, Household of  Peter HAIGLER; digital images, ( : viewed 3 July 2019); citing  National Archives Microfilm M432 Roll 1.

2. Find A Grave, Inc., Find A Grave, database, "Record, Peter Hagler (1777–21 May 1852), Memorial # 169465254.

3. "North Carolina, Marriages Index, 1741-1868," database, Ancestry ( : viewed 3 July 2019), Marriage: Peter Hagler & Sararah 'Sally' Dry, Bond Date: 22 Nov 1813.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The Last Will of Jacob W. Sides

Last Will and Testament of  Jacob W. Sides


State of North Carolina, Iredell County.

I, Jacob Sides, being of sound mind, but realizing the uncertainty of my earthly existence do make this my last will and testament.
1st. I will to my two sons John L. Sides and Charlie E. Sides all my land estate short 165 acres.
2nd. I will that my two daughters Laura J. Sides and Minnie E. Sides shall have a home and support from my land while they remain unmarried.
3rd. I will that my two daughters Sallie S. Crawford and Flora A. Watts $50.00 each to be paid in 4 years after my death no interest.
4th. I will my son D. W. Sides $100.00 to be paid in two years after my death no interest.
5th.  I will my son James A. Sides $100.00 and one mule named Jack provided he returns to the State in two years after my death otherwise said property to go to my two sons John L. Sides & Charles E. Sides.
6th I will the remainder of my estate to my two sons John L. Sides & Charles E. Sides after the above amounts named are paid with all my just debts.
I appoint D. W. Sides & John L.Sides executors of this will
Witness my hand and seal this 28th day of Oct 1905.     J. W. Sides {Seal}
Witnesses; L. C. Stevenson   
                  W. F. Sharp

North Carolina,
         Iredell County.    In the Superior Court, before the Clerk
A paper-writing purporting to be the last will and testament of J.W.Sides, deceased is exhibited before me, the undersigned, Clerk of the Superior Court for said County, by D. W. Sides and John L. Sides the executors therein mentioned, and the due execution thereof is proven by the oath and examination of L. C. Stevenson and W. F. Sharpe the subscribing Witnesses thereto. Who being duly sworn doth depose and say, and each for himself deposeth and saith that he is a subscribing witness to the paper-writing now shown him purporting to be the last will and testament of J. W. Sides that the said J.W. Sides in the presence of this deponent, subscribed his name at the end of said paper-writing now shown as aforesaid, and which bears date of the 28th day of Oct, 1905.    
     And the deponent further said, that the said J. W. Sides testator aforesaid, did, at the time of subscribing his name as aforesaid, declare the said paper-writing so subscribed by him and exhibited, to be his last will and testament, and this deponent did thereupon subscribe his name at the end of said will as an attesting witness thereto, and at the request and in the presence of said testator. And this deponent further saith, that at said time when the said testator subscribed his name to the said last will as aforesaid and at time of deponent's subscribing his name as an attesting witness thereto, as aforesaid, the said J. W. Sides was of sound mind and memory, of full age to execute a will and was not under restraint to the knowledge, information or belief of this deponent. And further, these deponents say not.
Severally sworn and subscribed this 2nd day of March   W. F. Sharpe {Seal}
1905, before me J. A. Hartness, Cl'k Superior Court.   L. C. Steveson {Seal}

North Carolina,   
Iredell county             In the Superior Court
It is therefore considered and adjudged by the court that the paper-writing, and every part thereof, is the last will and testament of J. W. Sides, deceased, and the same with the foregoing examination and this certificate are ordered to be recorded and filed.
                                                           J. A. Hartness, Clerk Superior Court.
This 7th day of May 1905

All the known children of Jacob W. Sides and his wife Emily C. Lewis are named within the Will above. There were 8 children; 4 sons and 4 daughters.

Emily, his wife, died in February 1885; Jacob W. Sides died on 2 January 1906 in Iredell County, North Carolina.

Jacob W. Sides is my 1st Cousin 4 times removed.


[2] Iredell County, North Carolina, Will Books:Vol. 6, page 501 Will of Jacob W. Sides; Probate Office, Statesville, Iredell County, North Carolina.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Tombstone Tuesday~James “Jim” Morris

James “Jim” Morris

b. 10 June 1853

d. 15 November 1918

bu. Brock Cemetery

James Morris was the 9th child born to Wiley Morris and his wife Charity Short. 

At age 21, James Morris married Susan Pressley.Her death certificate show her father as Levi Pressly; Mother No Record.

James Morris and Susan Pressley had 10 children of which 7 survived. All their known children are daughters.  

No known tombstone exists for James and Susan Morris. Death certificates for both have been cited.

James “Jim” Morris is my 2nd Great Grand Uncle.


1. Find A Grave, Inc., Find A Grave, database and digital images, ( : accessed  3 December 2019); Memorial page for James Morris; (10 June 1853–15 November 1918); Find a Grave memorial # 116824605, Citing Brock Cemetery; Brocks Mill, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, USA.
2. 1860 U. S. Census, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, population schedule, Chesterfield, South Carolina, Page: 128 (stamped); Line 12, Dwelling 490, Family 489, Household of and Wiley MORRIS; digital images, ( : viewed 11 June 2017); citing  National Archives Microfilm M653_1217.
3. 1880 U. S. Census, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, population schedule, Cheraw, Chesterfield, South Carolina, enumeration district (ED) 002, Page: 287 (stamped); Line 48, Dwelling 526, Family 530, Household of  James MORRIS; digital image, ( : viewed 3 December 2019); citing National Archive  Microfilm T9, Roll 1225.
4. 1900 U. S. Census, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, population schedule, Cheraw, Chesterfield, South Carolina, enumeration district (ED) 017, Page: 6B/25 (stamped); Line 100, Dwelling 110, Family 110, Household of James MORRIS; digital images, ( : viewed 3 December 2019); citing National Archives Microfilm T623_1523.
5. South Carolina, Death Records, 1821-1961,  Images. Ancestry, (  3 December 2019), South Carolina, Death Records, 1821-1961, Columbia, Richland County, South Carolina, Susan Morris; Certificate number 9740, 30 March 1942.

6. South Carolina, Death Records, 1821-1961, Images. Ancestry, ( 3 December 2019), South Carolina, Death Records, 1821-1961, Columbia, Richland County, South Carolina, James Morris; Certificate number 025425, 15 November 1918.
7. Find A Grave, Inc., Find A Grave, database, "Record, Susan Pressly Morris (28 July 1852–30 March 1942), Memorial # 133822397.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Final Sale of Mark Huneycutt Estate Lands

Back on 10 April 2020 I wrote about the Estate Lands of Marcus I.  “Mark” Huneycutt. The blog post can be read here:

In this Land Deed R. W Simpson, Commissioner, of the Superior Court of Stanly County sold the 100 acres owned by Marcus at his death to his son Martin Irenus Honeycutt. No exact date has been found for Marcus I. “Mark” Huneycutt death; but, we know he died after the Census was taken in 1860 and before the 1870 Census was enumerated.  The posting of the above land deed dated 9 April 1903, I thought, was the end of probate for Marcus I. Huneycutt estate and the end of the lawsuits against the estate.

But, I was wrong. Since finding the 1903 deed I have found another Deed executed on 21 September 1905. 


THIS INDENTURE, made this the Twenty-First day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and five between M. I. Huneycutt & wife Nicey Huneycutt said M. I. Huneycutt acting as Agent for Mark Huneycutt heirs of the County of Stanly and State of North Carolina, of the first part and Dr. J. R. Jerome of the County of Cabarrus, and State of North Carolina, of the second part:
WITNESSETH. That the said parties of the first part, for and in consideration of the sum of Twenty five Dollars, to the said parties of the first part in hand paid, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged hath bargained, sold and conveyed, and by these presents doth bargain, sell and convey unto the said party of the second part his heirs and assigns, the following
described real estate, lying and being in the County of Stanly, and State of North Carolina, bounded as follows, to wit:

    Beginning at a post oak by 2 post oaks Leonard Tuckers line and runs S. 65 W. 31 chains and 75 links crossing Stony Run Creek 3 times to a stake by two post O. & a red oak; thence S. 30 E. 31 chs. & 75 links to a red oak by a pine and post oak; thence W. 65 E. 31 chs. & 75 links to said Tuckers line; thence with it 30 W. 31 chs. and 75 links crossing the creek to the beginning containing 100 acres

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD, all and singular, the above-granted premises with the appurtenances, unto the said party of the second part, his heirs and assigns forever.
And the said M. I. Huneycutt, Agt. & wife Nicey Huneycutt parties of the first part, for their heirs, executor, and administrator doth hereby Covenant with the party of the second part his heirs and assigns, that they are seized of the premises in fee-simple; that the said premises are free from all encumbrances; that they have good right and lawful authority to sell the same; and that they will warrant and defend the said premises unto the said party of the second part, his heirs and assigns, against the lawful claims of all persons whatsoever.
     IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, The said parties of the first part hath hereunto set their hands and seals, the day and year first above written. 
Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of}

J. A. Little J. P.}                             M. I. X his mark Huneycutt {Seal}

                                                        Nicey x her mark Huneycutt {Seal}

Stanly County,   }

Be it remembered that on this, the 21 day of Sept. 1905, before the undersigned, personally appeared M. I. Huneycutt & wife Nicey Huneycutt the grantors named in the foregoing Deed, and acknowledged the due execution thereof by them as their act and deed; and thereupon the said Nicey Huneycutt wife of M. I. Huneycutt being by me privately examined, separate and apart from her said husband, touching her free consent to the execution of Said Deed* Nicy Huneycutt on such private examination declared that she executed the same freely, of her own free will and accord, and without any force, fear or undue influence on the part of her said husband, or any other person, and doth still voluntarily assent thereto.
     Therefore, let the said Deed, together with this certificate, be registered.
     Witness my hand and private seal, date above written.
                         J. A. Little, J. P. {Seal}

Unused section skipped

Stanly County}  Superior Court, Nov. 8th, 1906
     The foregoing certificate of J. A. Little a Justice of the Peace of Stanly County is adjudged to be in form and according to law. Therefore, let the said Deed, with the certificates, be registered.
                     H. A. Cromwell   Clerk Superior Court

Stanly County}
I hereby certify theta the foregoing Deed was filed in this office for registration on the 9th day of November A. D., 1906, at 9 o'clock A. M., and registered.
                         s/J. M. Vanhoy Register of Deeds
*Insert the words "EACH ONE FOR HERSELF" if more than one is examined.

In the Deed, Martin the youngest son of Marcus, and his wife Nicey (2nd Wife) are acting as Agents for the Mark Huneycutt heirs to sell the estate lands (100 Acres) to Dr. J. R. Jerome. Since the land is now ”out of the family” it's almost certain there will be no more land deeds concerning this land within the Huneycutt family.

As a final note to put this sale in perspective – the 100 acres was Sold in 1905 for 25 Cents/an acre. 

Marcus “Mark” Huneycutt is my 3rd Great Grandfather.

Martin Irenus Huneycutt is my 2nd Great Grand Uncle.


[1] Stanly County, North Carolina, Deed Book 35: Pages 352 & 353, M. I. Huneycutt & wife Nicey Huneycutt tp Dr. J. R. Jerome; 1 September 1905, Register of Deeds, Albemarle, Stanly County, North Carolina.

Friday, September 18, 2020

SC Deed Recorded in Baldwin County, Alabama Deed Books

We have all seen the public notices, posted at the time of death, in the Newspapers naming our ancestors who are presumed to be not within the bounds of this state. This week while researching my Davis‘s who migrated from Marion County, SC to Baldwin County, Alabama I ran across something I had not experienced before this time.

Baldwin County, Alabama Deed Book “D, Page 407 contains a Marion District, South Carolina Deed referred to as a “Power of Attorney.”  The Deed/Power of Attorney appoint Joseph P. Davis to act as an attorney for Francis M. Davis and Sarah Ann Davis to collect any interests they may be entitled too from Joseph W. Davis the Executor of the Last Will and Testament of Benjamin Davis. The Deed/Power of Attorney is dated 14 March 1840. 

State of South Carolina }
Marion District} Know all men by these presents that we Francis M. Davis and Sarah Ann Davis of the District and State aforesaid do make constitute and appoint Joseph P. Davis of the said State and District our true and lawful attorney for us and in our names to collect from and with with <sic> Joseph W. Davis the Executor of Benjamin Davis last will and testament who resided in the Baldwin County the State of Alabama previous to his death, and to collect recover and with, by any means of sale or otherwise all the property real and personal coming to us or in any belonging to or due us by virtue of the said last will and testament of the said Benjamin Davis dec'd. with power also an attorney or attorneys under him for that purpose to make and substitute and to do all lawful acts for effecting the provisions hereby ratifying and confirming all our said attorney or his substitute shall do therein, by virtue thereof. In witness whereof, we have hereunto set our hands and Seals this fourteenth day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand Eight hundred and forty.
Sealed and delivered in}                Francis M. Davis {LS}
the presence of}                           Sarah A. Davis {LS}
Henry Davis }
Mary A. Davis}

        Be it known that on the fourteenth day of Match one thousand Eight hundred and forty and in the Sixty-fourth year of the Independence of the United States of America before me William W. Harllee Notary Public by Letters  Published under the Great Seal of the State duly commissioned and Sworn came Francis M. Davis and Sarah Ann Davis above named, and acknowledged the foregoing Power of Attorney to be their act and Deed. In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal of Office art Marion Court House in the State of South Carolina the day and year last mentioned.
                                                William W. Harllee {Seal}
                                                Notary Publick
                                                        (Ex Off illegible)

The State of South Carolina}
By his Excellency Patrick Noble Esq. Governor and Commander-in-Chief in and over the State aforesaid. To all to whom these presents shall come. Know ye that Wm. W. Harllee Esquire whose seal and Signature appears to the instrument of writing, hereto annexed, is one of the Justices of the quorum, assigned to Keep the peace for the said State, and notary public, commissioned by letters patent under the Great Seal of the State. Therefore all due faith, credit, and authority is and ought to be had and given to his proceedings and certificates as such. In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Seal of the State in the Town of Columbia the thirtieth day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand Eight hundred and forty, and in the Sixty-fourth year of the Independence of the United States of America. 
{LS}        Rec'd and Recorded the 2nd December 1840
Patrick Nabb By the Governor}        W. H. Gasque, Clk
                     M. Laborde Secretary of State

The repetitiveness of names within the Davis Lineage makes sorting out these Davises very difficult at times. A case in point is this Power of Attorney -

  • Which Benjamin Davis is Joseph W. Davis the Executor of/for?
  • Joseph William Davis is the Son of Henry H. Davis. Henry H. Davis migrated to Baldwin County, Alabama where he died, date unknown.
  • Francis M. Davis and Sarah Ann Davis, brother and sister, are the son and daughter of  Francis “Frank Davis and Sarah M. Port.
  • Joseph P. Davis is the brother of  Francis M. Davis and Sarah Ann Davis, and a son of  Francis “Frank Davis and Sarah M. Port.

Francis “Frank” Davis had a brother Benjamin Davis, born about 1781 that I think is the Benjamin Davis referred to within this Deed/Power of Attorney. More digging will be required to prove this point.

These Davises are all Distant Cousins. 

DEED BOOK D, page 407, Image 215
Baldwin County, South Carolina

Thursday, September 17, 2020

The Perils of a Pandemic

One hundred and two years ago, our ancestors were dealing with a pandemic much like what we are experiencing today.

It interesting when you view the headlines from that time period. All of you will be able to relate to this headline from “The Sacramento Star (Sacramento, California) · 9 Nov 1918, Sat · Page 4."

Other related headlines were:

Now, I don’t know if China did it then or if China did it today but this reflects significantly on our thought process both today and in nineteen eighteen. 

I do know that families were devastated back in 1918 just as they are today with this Covid-19 pandemic that we are experiencing. The Family of James Eagle Huneycutt, Sr., and his wife Annie Valette Beattie is one of many families that experience tragedy during the epidemic.

Former Alderman James Huneycutt and his wife Annie lost their eldest son on 25 October 1918. James Leonard, age 19, was a military student who contacted pneumonia followed by Influenza.

“James Leonard Huneycutt, eldest son of former Alderman James E Huneycutt and Mrs. Huneycutt,  and one of the popular young men in the city, died yesterday afternoon at 4:45 o'clock at the home of his parents on North McDowell street of pneumonia, following Influenza. Mr. Huneycutt was taken ill October 16. Each day his condition grew worse and for three or four days it was realized he could not recover...” 1

James Leonard Huneycutt was born on 3 October 1899 and died 25 October 1918. He lived his entire short life in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. He was the oldest of 9 children. He is survived by his siblings; 3 sisters, Misses Margie Valette, Bonnie Kay, Dorothy May Huneycutt, and five brothers, Charles Herbert, Teddy Rufus, James Eagle Jr., William and Wesley Clay Huneycutt.

James Leonard Huneycutt is my 3rd Cousin once removed.


[1] "Death Came to Popular Youth After 10-Day Illness," Obituary, The Charlotte Observer, Charlotte, North Carolina, 26 October 1918, Page 7, Column 6; Digital On-Line Archives, ( : viewed 14 August 2020).

[2] Headline snippets courtesy of

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Military Tuesday~Maj. Charles Jerome “Jerry” Huneycutt, Jr.

Maj. Charles Jerome “Jerry” Huneycutt, United States Air Force Vietnam veteran was the only son of Rev. Charles Jerome Huneycutt, Sr. and Alice Alberta Piner and the Grandson of Rev. Rufus Franklin Huneycutt, Sr. and Nora Janie “Jane” Smith.

After participation in the Duke ROTC program and graduation in 1965, Jerry joined the Air Force. Upon completion of both flight school and parachute school, Jerry was assigned to the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing, Da Nang, Airbase, Vietnam. He had been in-country about a month when his F4C aircraft was shot down. 

“On November 10, 1967, 1st Lt. Charles J. Huneycutt, navigator, and his Pilot were the crew of one F4C in a flight of two which departed Da Nang Airbase, South Vietnam on an operational mission to Dong Hoa in North Vietnam... All contact was then lost... All four men aboard the two aircraft were classified as Missing in Action.” 1

Initially, Jerry, his pilot, and the crew members of the second aircraft were declared “Missing in Action”. At some point, one of the aviators was listed as a “Prisoner of War (POW).”

The 1973 Paris agreement contained a clause that required the North Vietnamese to return the men or bodies of any POW in their possession and make a dedicated attempted to repatriate the remains of all personnel lost during the war.

“In 1988, the Vietnamese discovered and returned to U.S. control the remains of 1st Lt. Charles J. Huneycutt Jr. The other three pilots lost on November 10, 1967 remain missing...” 2

Vietnam veteran, Maj. Charles Jerome “Jerry” Huneycutt, United States Air Force, is buried at Arlington Cemetery, Washington DC.  He was 24 years old when shot down, in North Vietnam, that cold November day.

Maj. Jerry Huneycutt, tombstone at Arlington.  

Image courtesy of

Maj. Charles Jerome “Jerry” Huneycutt is my 3rd Cousin Once Removed.


[2] Ibid.

[3] Image courtesy of

Monday, September 14, 2020

Born After Father’s Death

RootsMagic 7.0 is my program of choice for managing my rather large genealogical database. One of the major features of the program is its Problem List identified by an Exclamation Point inside a red triangle. 

While doing research this past week I noticed that a 4th Cousin once removed had a Red triangle by his name. Clicking on the triangle told me that my Cousin was born after his father’s death.

This in turn led to more research that turned up a really tragic event within this family leaving a Mother with 6 children and a baby on the way that would arrive within the next 3 months.

John Adam Huneycutt was born on 24 April 1875, a son of Thomas Franklin Huneycutt and Elizabeth Jane “Betsy” Dry. He was the last of seven children born to this union; 3 sons and 4 daughters.

Thomas Franklin Huneycutt and Elizabeth Jane “Betsy” Dry were married 3 February 1856 and their firstborn, a son, arrived 1 June 1857.

The night of 10 January 1875 was a very tragic night for this family. Betsy, 6 months pregnant with her seventh child, spent the night wondering where her husband was. Her husband, Thomas was at the home of Ezekiel Brooks until he left there, heading home, in an inebriated state. I know this from the news posting presented below.

Mr. Thos. Huneycutt
Monroe Enquirer: We learn that Mr. Thos. Huneycutt, of Stanly county, froze to death on the night of the 11th inst. The particulars, as we hear them, are as follows; Mr. Huneycutt was at the house of Mr. Ezekiel Brooks, in a very intoxicated condition, but started for his own home some two miles distant. Failing to reach home that night, search was made for him the next morning and he was found dead frozen to death on the road, Mr. H. leaves a wife and several children to mourn his very untimely death.  He was said to be a very hard working and well-to-do citizen-- with but the one failing of too ardent a love for liquor. Another great temperance lecture.

Sadly, this left the widow, Betsy, with 6 children and a baby about to be born. The children are now fatherless and again, sadly, in just a few years the children would lose their mother in November 1888.

The baby, John Adam Huneycutt, borne after his father’s death is just a mere 13-year-old teenager when he loses his Mother.

Thomas Franklin Huneycutt is buried in Brooks-Hill Cemetery, Stanfield, Stanly County, North Carolina.

Elizabeth Jane “Betsy” Dry is buried in Big Lick Baptist Church Cemetery, Stanly County, North Carolina.

Thomas Franklin Huneycutt is my 3rd Cousin twice removed.

Elizabeth Jane “Betsy” Dry is my 2nd Cousin 4 times removed.


[1] "Mr. Thos. Huneycutt," Death Notice, The Charlotte Observer, Charlotte, North Carolina, 21 January 1875, Page 2, Column 3; Digital On-Line Archives, ( : viewed circa 12 September 2020).

Saturday, September 12, 2020

It’s Family Time~The Phillip Hardy Sellers, Sr. Family.

Phillip Hardy Sellers was born 30 October 1875, a son of Phillip Albert Sellers and Anna Jane Douglass of Chesterfield County, South Carolina. Phillip Hardy was the middle child of 9 children.

About 1914, Phillip Hardy Sellers married Ethel “Effie” McManus of Georgia. Her father is thought to be Henry J. McManus of Richmond County, Georgia.

By 1920, Phillip Hardy and Ethel, aka “Effie” had married and migrated to Boca Raton, Palm Beach, Florida where they remained the rest of their lives.

Phillip and Ethel had two known children:

i.    Dixie Rosalie Sellers, born 17 Apr 1916, Palm Beach County, Florida; married Raymond Aloyusis Thomas Hillegass, 6 Feb 1937, Broward County, Florida; died 5 May 2006.
ii.    Paul Hardy Sellers, born 15 Apr 1917, Palm Beach County, Florida; married Elouise Deen, 6 Jun 1939; died 6 Jun 1968. Retired Police Lieutenant.

Phillip Hardy sellers was a carpenter by trade. On 30 April 1946, at the age of 70, he passed away. Effie, his wife, died 27 April 1969 at the age of 77. Phillip and Effie are buried in the Boca Raton Municipal Cemetery and Mausoleum, Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, Florida. 

Phillip Hardy Sellers is my 2nd cousin 3 times removed.


1. 1900 U. S. Census, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, population schedule, Court House, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, enumeration district (ED) 0020, Page: 9A/81 (stamped); Line 38, Dwelling 164, Family 164, Household of  Annie J. SELLERS; digital images, ( : viewed 16 April 2015); citing National Archives Microfilm T623_1523.
2. 1920 U. S. Census, Palm Beach County, Florida, population schedule, Boca Raton, Palm Beach, Florida, enumeration district (ED) 136, Page: 19A/165(Stamped); Line 30, Dwelling 59, Family 60, Household of Philip H. SELLERS; digital images, ( : viewed 1 September 2019); citing NARA publication Roll: T625_229.
3. 1930 U. S. Census, Palm Beach County, Florida, population schedule, Boca Raton, Palm Beach, Florida, enumeration district (ED) 43, Page: 2B/172(Stamped); Line 89, Dwelling 63, Family 64, Household of Philip SELLERS; digital images, ( : viewed 1 September 2019); citing NARA publication Roll: T625_328.
4. 1940 U. S. Census, Palm Beach County, Florida, population schedule, Boca Raton, Palm Beach, Florida, enumeration district (ED) 50-59, Page: 8A/814 (Stamped); Line 21, Household #179, Household of Philip H. SELLERS; digital images, ( : viewed 1 September 2019); citing NARA publication Roll: T627_607.
5. State of Florida, death (30 April 1946), Phillip Hardy Sellers; Florida Department of Health, Office of Vital Records, Jacksonville, Florida.
6. Find A Grave, Inc., Find A Grave, database and digital images, ( : accessed  20 October 2013); Memorial page for Phillip Sellers; (1875–1946); Find a Grave memorial # 6164113, Citing Boca Raton Municipal Cemetery and Mausoleum; Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, Florida, USA.
7. State of Florida, death, (27 April 1968), Mrs. Ethel Sellers.
8. Find A Grave, Inc., Find A Grave, database, "Record, Ethel Sellers (1898–1969), Memorial # 119000151.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Husband and Wife Dies Suddenly

Mrs. G. M. Matthews Dies Suddenly Funeral this Afternoon 3 P. M.

Mrs. Gertrude Brock Matthews, wife of Mr. Green M. Matthews, died yesterday afternoon at 6 o'clock at her home, 301 Polk avenue, Elizabeth Heights, following an Illness of only a few hours. She was 27 years of age and is survived by her husband and an infant son, who was born yesterday. Mrs. Matthews, became suddenly ill about the middle of the afternoon and grew rapidly worse until the end came about 6 o'clock. 
Mrs. Matthews, prior to her marriage was Miss Gertrude Brock, of Cheraw, S. C. Her father, Mr. P. H. Brock, now lives here. Her mother died some years ago. Four sisters and two brothers also survive, namely, Mrs. W. H C. Barkley. of Charlotte; Miss Connie Brock, of Charlotte; Mrs. W. W. Coker, of Columbia, S. C.; Mrs. William Brock, of Birmingham, Ala.; Mr. Alva Brock, of this city, and Mr. William Brock, of Fayetteville. A stepson, Mr. Edwin Matthews, also survives.
Mrs. Matthews was a woman of many splendid qualities of character. Kindly and considerate of others and of a disposition that won others to her, she had made many friends during her residence In Charlotte, who will sincerely mourn her untimely death and who will extend heartfelt sympathy to her bereaved husband and friends.
The funeral services will be held this afternoon at 4 o’clock at the residence on Polk avenue and will be conducted by Rev. W. B. Lindsay, pastor of the First A. R. P. church, of which Mrs. Matthews was a loyal member. The remains will be sent this afternoon at her former home at Cheraw, where the interment will take place tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock. 1

Rosa Gertrude Brock was born in October 1880, a daughter of Peter Haley Brock and his wife Mary Ellen Lyles. Rosa Brock and Green Matthews were married on 9 January 1912.

Rosa Gertrude Brock Matthews suddenly died on 17 January 1916. She had just given birth to their first child, a daughter, the day before.

Sadly, thirteen months after the death of Rosa Gertrude Brock Matthews, the widowed husband, Green M. Matthews died suddenly of a Stroke leaving two children:2

The deceased is survived by two children, Master Edwin and little Miss Alva Matthews: 3

  • Edwin Matthews, age 18, son of Green M. Williams
  • Alva Matthews, age 13 months, daughter of Green & Rosa Brock Matthews  

Rosa Gertrude Brock Matthews is my 2nd Cousin twice removed.


[1] Mrs. G. M. Matthews Dies Suddenly Funeral this Afternoon 3 P. M. obituary, The Charlotte News, Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, United States, 18 March 1916, Page 3, Column 1.

[2] MR. MATTHEWS A STROKE VICTIM obituary, The Charlotte News, Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, United States, 26 February 1917, Page 9, col 2.

[3] From Obituary of Green M. Williams

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Military Tuesday~Capt. Benjamin Thomas Davis

Benjamin Thomas Davis was born in 1828, a son of William Davis and Julia Thurman. He was the sixth of ten children born to William and Julia. He had six brothers of which one died young,

Benjamin Thomas Davis married Mary Jane Knight, daughter of Moses Knight and Temperance Eddins. No known children were born to this union.

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, William and Julie had five surviving sons of eligible age to serve their Country. Four of the five brothers did serve during the Civil War.

Benjamin Thomas Davis enlisted on 20 December 1861 and served Captain of Co. E, 21st. SC Inf. C.S.A. As Commanding Officer of Co. E, 21st. SC Inf. Capt. Davis became the Commanding Officer of three of his 4 surviving brothers.

Capt. Benjamin Thomas Davis was killed in the battle at Bermuda Hundred/Ft. Stevens on 28 May 1864.

After the death of  Capt. Benjamin Thomas Davis, his brother, Maj. Alfred W. Davis was promoted to command Company “E”, 21st Infantry.

It is not known what happens to the Widow, Mary Jane Knight, of Capt. Benjamin Thomas Davis after the War.

Capt. Benjamin Thomas Davis was buried on the battlefield but a cenotaph in his honor/memory can be found in The Chesterfield Cemetery, Chesterfield, South Carolina. 

Capt. Benjamin Thomas Davis is my 1st Cousin 4 times removed.


[1] Johnson Hagood, Memoirs of the War of Succession (Camden, SC 29020: Jim Fox Books, 1997 (Reprint)), page 402.

[2] Randolph W. Kirkland Jr., Broken Fortunes: South Carolina Soldiers, Sailors and Citizens Who Died in the Service of Their Country and State in the War for Southern Independence, 1861-1865 (Columbia, South Carolina: Univ of South Carolina, 1997), page 87.

[3] John V. Rigdon, Historical Sketch & Roster: The SC 21st Infantry Regiment (Cartersville, GA 30120: Eastern Digital Resources, 1997), page 78.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

It’s Family Time~Amelia Emily "Milly" Rivers

Amelia Emily "Milly" Rivers was born about 1800 in Chesterfield, SC to Mark Rivers and one of his three wives. Milly married, about 1817-1818, Moses Holifield of Anson County, North Carolina. Shortly after 1830, Milly and her sister Elizabeth who married John Dryman migrated to Jones County, Mississippi.

A few years later, her brother Mark and his wife Irena Catherine Hancock joined the Holifield's and Dryman's in Mississippi. Then in late 1850, abt 1857, their brother Luke Rivers and his wife Mary Selena Johns also migrated from Chesterfield to Jones county, Mississippi.

Moses Holifield and his wife Milly raised a family of eight children; seven sons and a daughter.

Children of Moses Holifield Sr. and Amelia Emily "Milly" Rivers are:

i. Joshua Holifield was born 15 MAR 1818 in Chesterfield District, SC, and died 29 JAN 1894 in Jones Co, MS.

ii. Bay or Ray Holifield was born bet 1819-1825 in Chesterfield District, SC.

iii. Charlotte Holifield was born 4 Mar 1826 in Chesterfield District, SC, and died 14 JUN 1902.

iv. John C. Holifield was born 1827 in Chesterfield District, SC.

v. Mark Holifield was born ABT 1830 in AL.

vi. Jonathan Holifield was born ABT 1833 in Green Co, AL, and died in Jones Co, MS.

vii. James Holifield was born 1835 in Green Co, AL.

viii. Moses Holifield Jr. was born 1837 in Jones Co, MS, and died BEF 1872.

Recently while networking and corresponding with a fellow researcher I came across this photo of Milly Rivers Holifield and obtained permission from the owner to use the photo (made from a tintype) in one of my blog posts. I want to congratulate and thank “tholifield” for the use of this photo. Mr. Holifield inherited the Tintype from his great grandfather Bart Bradford Holifield.

Photo Courtesy of tholifield

Based on this notice that I found back in January 2017, I’m pretty certain that Samuel Rivers, brother to Milly, Elizabeth, Luke, and Mark Rivers was out of State may have been in Mississippi though I have not yet found him. 


Chesterfield District.
John B. Rivers applicant vs Ann Rivers (Widow), Wm. Rivers and wife Elizabeth, Moses Holifield and wife Amelia, Matthew Rivers, John Dryman and wife Elizabeth, Mark Rivers, Luke Rives and Samuel Rivers Defendants.
It appearing to my satisfaction that Ann Rivers, Moses Holifield and wife Amellia, Matthew Rivers, John Dryman and wife Elizabeth, Mark Rivers, Luke Rivers and Samuel Rivers reside without this State, it is ordered that they do appear and object to the division or sale of the Real Estate of Mark Rivers deceased on or before the 12th day of April next or their consent, will be entered off record.
T. Bryan
January 27, 1831
[Farmer Gazette and Cheraw Advertiser, February 03, 1841, page 47, image 3]

Milly Rivers Holifield died about 1865/1867; an exact date has not been found.

After the death of Milly, Moses married  Nancy M. Sumrall (nee McCary). She was the widow of J. Elisha Sumrall. Moses and Nancy had three children; two sons and a daughter.

Moses Holifield, Sr died sometime after 3 August 1872. His Widow, Nancy McCary Sumrall Holifield, re-married on 23 September 1883.

Amelia Emily "Milly" Rivers Holifield is a distant cousin.


[1] Land Deed - Moses Holifield to Mrs. Kitty Sumrall; 3 August 1872; Deed Book #A1; Page(s) 571; The Chancery Clerk's Office; Ellisville, Jones County, Mississippi; 3 September 2020.

[2] Chronicling America website -
[Farmer Gazette and Cheraw Advertiser, February 03, 1841, page 47, image 3]
[Farmers’ Gazette, and Cheraw Advertiser, May 26, 1841, Page 112, Image 4]

[3] Special Thanks to my fellow researcher “tholifield” for the use of this proto of his Great Great GrandMother passed to him by his grandfather (Bart Holifield). After his death (Bart) the tin type was lost. 

Saturday, September 5, 2020

The Death of Moses Holifield, Sr.

There are 474 on-line trees for Moses Holifield, Sr. born about 1795 in Chesterfield County, SC. Moses married into my lineage when he married Emily Rivers about 1817 in Chesterfield, South Carolina. Moses, Emily and many other Chesterfield families moved from Chesterfield to Jones County, Mississippi after 1830.

It is not known exactly when Moses died but most of the unsourced trees on Ancestry has him passing away on these dates with the majority showing Aug 1870. As far as I can ascertain they are all wrong. Like I said they are unsourced and having a source doesn’t seem to be a criteria for entering a date. 

I looked at about half the trees and these seem to be the prevailing death dates.

  • Death    Aug 1870 Jones, Mississippi, USA
    Death    1870 Jones, Mississippi, USA
    Death    1860 Jones, Mississippi, USA
    Death    Aug 1875 Jones, Mississippi, USA
    Death    1875 Jones, Mississippi, USA

I have researched this family for 40 plus years without finding a death date, an obituary or a tombstone. I did once upon the past run across a posting that said “The obituary of Moses Holifield stated he was buried "next to Thomas Lyons." I have not found an obituary for Moses Holifield or Thomas Lyons.

  • I do know that Moses Holifield was alive and well on the date that the 1870 Federal census for Jones County, Mississippi was enumerated - 29 July 1870.

I do know that Moses Holifield was alive and well on 3 August 1872 when he appeared before T. C. Bryant an acting Justice of the Peace for Jones County, Mississippi.


The State of Mississippi Jones County}
Know all men by these presents that this Deed of Conveyance was made and entered into on this 3rd day of August A. D. 1872 between Moses Holifield of the first part and Mrs. Kitty Sumrall of the 2nd part all citizens of the County and State aforesaid.
Witnesseth that the party of the first part do for the sum of one hundred Dollars the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged have bargained granted and sold do by these presents sell the following described tract or parcel of Land lying and being in the County of Jones and sate of Mississippi and designated as follows to wit the NW 1/4 of NE 1/4 and twenty acres of SE 1/4 of SW 1/4 all of Section 11 Township 8 Range 12 west containing Sixty acres subject for correction together with all and singular the rights privileges and appurtenances thereto belonging or in any wise incident or appertaining to have and to hold all and singular the premises above mentioned unto the party of the second part her heirs and assigns forever all and I bind my self my heirs Executors and Administrators to warrant and forever defend the right titles and interest in and to the premises aforesaid from the claim or claims of any person or persons whomsoever Lawfully claiming or to claim the same or any part thereof. Witness my hand and seal this the 3rd day of August AD 1872. 
                                                               Moses X (his mark) Holifield

            The State of Mississippi Jones County}
On this the 3rd day of August AD 1872 personally came before me T. C. Bryant an acting Justice of the peace for said County and State Moses Holifield and has acknowledged that he signed sealed and delivered the foregoing deed as his act and deed on the day and date therein mentioned for the express purpose therein contained.
Witness my hand and seal this the 3rd day of August AD 1872.
                                                                  T. C. Bryant J.P. (Seal)
I certify that the above is a true and correct copy as appears of record in Deed Book "D" page 736 of the record of Jones County, Mississippi.
Witness my signature this July 21st. 1914 W.H. Bumpkin
Transcriber & Clerk of the Chancery Court

Image 538 of 1254 LDS Film #2131647

Moses Holifield also appeared on the 1872 Tax List for Jones County, Mississippi. The execution of Land Deed, Deed Book A1, page 571, dated 3 August 1872 is the last known date that Moses appears in any official record to the best of my knowledge. Still, I have no idea when he died; just, that it was after 3 August 1872.

Related Article:

Millie Rivers, 1st wife of Moses Holifield, is a distant cousin.


Thursday, September 3, 2020

Eddings-Birckhead Marriage -1943

Margaret Eddings and Edward Francis Birckhead Jr. were married on 8 May 1943 in New Hanover, North Carolina.

Margaret was the daughter of Robert Thomas Eddings, Sr. and Henrietta Marion Richards. She was the youngest of two children born to this union arriving on 14 June 1923.

Margaret Eddings Birckhead, 83, died 29 November 2006 in Indialantic, Brevard County, Florida, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia. Her husband, Edward Francis Birckhead, was a retired US Army Captain; a veteran of World War II and the Korean conflict.

They were the parents of two daughters and a son.  

Margaret/Margot Eddings Birckhead is my 3rd Cousin once removed.


[1] Find a Grave Memorial 22918283; Originally Created by: CRBurkhead; Maintained by: SsjD

Find A Grave, Inc., Find A Grave, database and digital images, ( 1 September 2020); Memorial page for Margot Eddings Birckhead; (14 June 1923–29 November 2006); Find a Grave memorial #22918283, Citing Arlington National Cemetery; Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA.

[2] "Index to North Carolina Marriage Bonds, 1741-2011," database, Ancestry ( 1 September 2020), Marriage: Edward F Birckhead & Margaret Eddings; North Carolina Division of Archives and History, 1977; Marriage Date: 8 May 1943.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Lawsuit, Estate of Lt. Joseph B. Davis

Page 177

2 Stroh. Eq. 334
G. COLEMAN and Wife v. A. G. DAVIS et al.
(Columbia. Nov. and Dec. Term, 1848.)
[Infants 3-572.]
Plaintiff, while an infant, executed a receipt as a discharge in full of a legacy, to which he was entitled in right of his wife, and when four years had elapsed after the attainment of his majority, filed his bill against the executors to have the receipt set aside, held that he was barred by the Statute of Limitations.
[Ed. Note.—Cited in Motes v. Madden, 14 S. C. 491: Roberts v. Johns, 24 S. C. 588.
For other cases, see Infants, Cent. Dig. §§ 180–185; Dec. Dig. 3~72.]
[Limitation of Actions 3-102.]
     When an act is performed by a trustee purporting to be an execution of his trust he is thenceforth to be regarded as standing at arms length from the cestui que trust, who is put to the assertion of his claims, at the hazard of being barred by the Statute of Limitations.
[Ed. Note.—Cited in Long v. Cason, 4 Rich. Eq. 63; Langston v. Shands, 23 S. C. 153.
For other cases, see Limitation of Actions, Cent. Dig. § 505; Dec. Dig. 3-102.]

Before Caldwell, Ch., at Marion, February Sittings, 1848.

Caldwell, Ch. This was an original and amended bill, filed by the Plaintiffs against
A. G. Davis and Daniel H. Davis, *the surviving executors of Joseph Davis Sr., and against the administrators and heirs of Benj. S. Davis, a deceased executor, for the recovery of a legacy, and to make nine negro slaves, Doll, Stephen, Lisett, Becky, Frank, John, Peggy, Aley and Sarah Ann, of whom it is alleged he died intestate, liable for the legacy. The testator made a last will and testament on the 12th February, 1832, in which there is the following clause: “I give and bequeath unto Mary and Elizabeth, (the plaintiff) daughters of Aley Whaley, one negro girl each, to be purchased by my sons herein before mentioned, the property of my sons herein before mentioned to be subject to the purchase and payment of the said legacies; the said negroes to be of or about the age of the said Mary and Elizabeth severally, the one to Mary to be of or about her age, and the one to Elizabeth to be of or about her age, to them their heirs and assigns forever.” The testator died in 1833, and Abraham G. Davis and Benjamin S. Davis qualified as executors on the 11th of February, 1834, and took possession of his effects; but they did not purchase a negro girl between nine and ten years old (the age of the plaintiff Elizabeth) agreeably to the directions of the will. That the plaintiffs intermarried in 1837, and Griffin Coleman admits that he received various small sums of money from Huge P. Fladger, which amounted in the whole to $125, and he executed a receipt, while he was an infant and unapprised of his rights, as a discharge in full of the legacy to which he was entitled in right of his wife, in 1838; that he placed the most implicit confidence in the statements of Fladger, who told him that the $125, was the one half of the proceeds of Pat and Cain, two old negroes which were the only property given by the will subject to the payment of the legacies bequeathed to Elizabeth and Mary, and believing that he was not entitled to anything more, on account of the failure of assets, he executed the receipt. That at the time the legacy should have been paid, (twelve months after the decease of the testator,) a girl of the age of the plaintiff Elizabeth, would have been worth from $350 to $400. Plaintiffs insist they are entitled to either the value of the negro girl, at the time above mentioned, with legal interest, after deducting payments, or to be paid in Specie, taking into consideration the loss of time. The bill further states that Benj. S. Davis, one of the executors, died in 1843, leaving the other two surviving, and that Julian Davis administered on his estate. The amended bill states that Joseph Davis Sr., died intestate as to nine negroes, and that after his death the executors took them into their possession and management, or Benjamin S. Davis took them into his possession and management with the consent of the Other executors, without the warrant or authority of the law, and proceeded to appraise
and allot them out among themselves and certain other persons claiming to be the distributees of Joseph Davis, Sen., thereby making themselves executors de son tort, for said slaves.
The answer of the surviving executors admits the will, and that they and their brother, Benjamin S. Davis, qualified as executors; that testator died considerably indebted, and that all the personal estate was exhausted in paying his debts, but the negroes Pat and Cain, whom the executors sold, and divided the proceeds between Elizabeth and Mary Whaley. That the negro left in the will to the defendant D. H. Davis, and Peter, left to A. G. Davis, had been the property of them respectively, and in their possession, long before their father's death, and that there remained nothing out of their individual funds or property, bequeathed them in the will, charged with the satisfaction of their legacy; and that all the assets of testator ought to be marshalled and applied to the due course of administration, and to pay this legacy, and that others ought to be made par ties, &c. Their answer states that the heirs at law contested the Will, and the executors effected a compromise by giving up a portion of their individual estates to them, to let the will stand, and they insist that if the plain tiffs are allowed any thing from them, that their shares should abate in proportion of property allowed them respectively. Defend ants do not admit that plaintiff executed the receipt to Fladger, (who bought the negroes

Page 178

Pat and Cain, as the agent of defendants in disbursing the fund) when he was in ignorance of his rights or while he was under age, and insist upon strict proof of the same. Defendants set up the receipt as a bar to any further claim to the legacy. That they have administered the estate of the testator more than four years before the filing of plaintiff's bill, and have ceased to act as executors, and they rely upon the Statute of Limitations, and upon the lapse of time and the acquiescence of plaintiffs, &c., and insist that if their legal defence be overruled, that whatever may be decreed for the plaintiffs be settled upon Elizabeth for her sole and separate use. Their amended answer denies that Joseph Davis died intestate as to the negro slaves claimed, or that he died possessed of any other property than that contained in the appraisement of his estate; that the negro slave Lissett was given verbally to the defendant A. G. Davis's wife before the deed which testator, in his lifetime, made to these defendants, of said negroes, and that they were the property of defendants at his death. That having proved the will in common form after his death, some of his other children instituted proceedings to set aside the same, on the ground of mental incapacity and to avoid a family feud and difficulty, and to 1)reserve harmony with their brothers and
sisters, and also the will of *their father, they consented and agreed to divide said negroes amongst them ; but although A. G. Davis gave up his interest in them for the purpose aforesaid, he did not receive any distributive portion of them. They aver that they have administered the estate, and insist that plaintiffs' claim, if they have any, ought to abate in favor of them, who have made sacrifices in giving up their own property to save her rights under the will. That defend ants have exhausted the assets of their testator, left for the payment of his debts, and they insist they are not liable to account as prayed for in the amended bill. The answer of Julia F. Davis, administratrix of Benj. S. Davis, denies that he had the negroes Doll and her family, but has been informed and believes that the same were given to A. G. and D. H. Davis, as stated in their answer, and insists upon the same grounds of defence in her answer to the original and amended bill, and relies up on the same defence as the surviving executors. There are two questions presented in this case; first, is the receipt given by Griffin Coleman, Jr., a bar to his wife's legacy? He alleges he was under the age of twenty-one years, and was ignorant of the extent of his rights. Giving a receipt by an infant is like any other contract, and is voidable after he arrives of age; and the first inquiry is, what was his age when he gave it? The personal recollection of the witness, Dozier, who stated to the best of his recollection he was born. in the latter part of the year 1819, about a month before his daughter, who was born on the 1st of Nov. 1819; and he says the entry of his age was made in the “Saints Rest,” and resembles witness's hand-writing a little; and the witness Rowell made an entry of Griffin Coleman's age, which he transferred from the “Saints Rest” to the Bible in 1821, when Griffin Coleman, Jr. was a child, and appeared to be about two years old, establish the fact conclusively, that he was an infant at the time the receipt was given, and the executors must account for the legacy unless the claim be barred by the Statute of limitations, the lapse of time, or some act of confirmation. As to the Statute of Limitations, it cannot affect a direct, declared, or express trust, it is only applicable to an implied or constructive trust: a legacy is not within the Statute, and length of time Only produces a presumption of payment; here the defendants do not pretend they have paid the legacy, but only $125, by way of satisfaction, and they contest their liability to pay it. There is material difference be tween a legacy and a debt; the executor has notice of the former by the will which he qualifies to execute, and no further notice is necessary; but debts of the testator may be either dormant or not discovered, and it is incumbent on the creditor to give the notice. The period that has elapsed since Grif
  fin Coleman, Jr. has arrived at age, is not sufficient to make it a stale claim. The lapse of 40, 35 or 30 years, has been held to afford a presumption that a legacy has been paid, but it appears that presumption, when applied to the last period, may be repelled by circumstances. There has been no act on the part of the plaintiffs since the disability of the husband has been removed to confirm his receipt, and it must be held null and void as a discharge in full, and can only be considered as payment of the amount admitted in the bill; and the executors must account for the legacy (subject to. the payment pro tanto) which Ought to be settled upon the wife for her sole and sepa rate use, as the husband is insolvent. The second question arises under the amended bill, are the plaintiffs entitled to the claim they have set up to make the nine slaves liable for their legacy? The first clause of the will is evidently defective, and one word, at least, must be implied before a clear and sensible construction can be given to it; it is as follows: “It is my will and desire, that my executors hereinafter named, in their possession and management all my estate, both personal and real, my personal estate to be kept on my plantation and man aged by my executors, until all my just debts be fully paid and satisfied, which my executors are requested to do With all convenient
Page 179
dispatch.” It is apparent that something important has been omitted, and as a single Word may make the sense complete, it is probable that the word “take,” or “keep,” Was Omitted between the Words “named” and “in ;” if this construction be given to the will, it is then plain that the testator gave them all his estate, and from his subsequent devises and bequests, it may fairly be inferred that he did not consider the negro slaves Doll, Stephen, Lissett, Becky, Frank, John, Peggy, Aley, and Sarah Ann, part of his estate as they are neither specified nor alluded to, in any clause of the will. The parties offered much evidence on the subject of these nine slaves, and the weight of it is, decidedly, that the testator, for a very strong reason, did not desire these negroes to be disposed of like his other property, or put to hard Service. He said he intended to leave these negroes in Abraham and Daniel Davis’ hands, to let them be as free as they could, although he could not liberate them. It was also proved that he said he had left them in their hands to take care of them ; also that he had said that “he had given them to Abraham and Daniel Davis.” Lissett was, for several years, during the lifetime of the testator, in the possession of Abraham G. Davis, and the proof establishes that the others were sometimes under the control of Benj. S. Davis, and of Daniel H. Davis. The repeated declarations of testator, taken in connection with the acts of his sons, and the fact that not one word is said in his will about these slaves, (who if they had been his property, would have Constituted the most important and valuable part of his es-
tate,) leave no *doubt not only that it was not only his intention to give them, but that he actually did give them to his two Sons, Abraham G. Davis and Daniel H. I)a vis. After much deliberation on the subject, such declarations, independently of other proof, have often been held sufficient to establish a gift, even in cases where the property has not gone out of the donor's posses sion; but as one of the negroes went into one of the donees' possession, and the others were under his and Benj. S. Davis’ control, and their names are not mentioned in the will, connected with the testator's declarations, makes the inference irresistible, that these slaves had been given by him to these two sons.
The last question is, what property of the testator is liable to make up the legacy to the plaintiff? The will expressly provides that “the property of my sons hereinbefore mentioned to be subject to the purchase and payment of said legacies.” It therefore plainly follows, that all the property (specified in the will) which he devised or bequeathed to his sons, is charged with the purchase and payment of this legacy; as it is a demonstrative legacy, entitled to a preference over the specific devises and bequests to the sons, the executors were bound to make good the legacy, either specifically or in value. The doctrine of election must be applied in this case; every son who received a legacy under this will, took it subject to the liability of contribution ; had the debts been sufficient to exhaust the whole real and personal estate devised and bequeathed to them, SO as to leave a balance barely sufficient to purchase the two negroes and pay for them as provided in this clause, the executors would have been bound to have appropriated the balance to these purposes. Those to whom the testator had personally given property, might have declared to take under the will, and could have held what had been given them in opposition to the will, but they cannot take any thing under it without making themselves liable for the contribution it requires. The principle is clear, that no one can claim under, and against a will ; and although the testator has no interest or estate in the property he devises or bequeaths, if the owner is one of the legatees, he cannot claim under the will, without giving up his right to the property it disposes of ; if he takes the benefit he must bear the burden.
It is therefore Ordered and decreed, that the receipt of Griffin Coleman, Jr., mentioned in the pleadings, is null and void as a dis charge in full of the legacy bequeathed to Elizabeth his wife, and that the same is only a payment pro tanto, in part of said legacy; that it be referred to the Commis sioner to ascertain and report what is the specific value of such a negro girl as the testator directed to be purchased for the said Elizabeth, or the value of the same in cash and interest from the time when the executors
of his will ought to have made *the purchase and delivered the negro girl, or paid the legacy, after deducting the payment heretofore made to Griffin Coleman, Jr., in part ; and that the Commissioner do report what estate, real and personal, the testator left which is liable to purchase and pay the Same, and into Whose possession the estate aforesaid has come ; and that he do ascertain and report who is a fit and proper per son to act as trustee of said Elizabeth Cole man, and that the said Commissioner do re port upon what terms the said legacy should be settled upon the said Elizabeth Coleman. It is also ordered and decreed that the said executors do account for and pay over and deliver the said legacy to the trustee that may be appointed by this Court for the said Elizabeth Coleman; and that the property of the testator's sons, mentioned in his will, be subject to the purchase and payment of the said legacy (after deducting the payment as aforesaid.) Wherever the said sons have received a legacy under the said will, they (or their lawful representatives) shall respective
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ly and proportionally contribute to the payment of the same.
The defendants moved to reverse the decree of the Chancellor, in this case, on the following grounds, viz:
1. Because the receipt and discharge executed by complainant, G. Coleman, in 1838, purported to be, and was, according to the proof, a full and final settlement with defendants as executors of Joseph Davis, Sr., and the rights of complainants to any further claims were barred by the Statute of limitations, as more than four years had elapsed, by complainants own shewing, after he came of age, before filing the bill in this case.
2. Because the acquiescence of complainant in the settlement for the length of time, after coming of age, was a confirmation of the settlement, and the discharge is a bar to any further account by the defendants.
3. Because if the executors are liable to account at all, they are not bound to account for more than the personal assets of the testator which were left in their hands after the payment of testator's debts; and the legacy to complainant creates no specific lien upon the real estate devised by the testator.
4. Because his Honor erred in admitting the testimony to prove the age of the complainant at the trial, When it is submitted the said testimony was not the highest evidence. W. W. Harllee, defendants's solicitor. JOHNSTON, Ch., delivered the opinion of the Court. The doctrine is well established that when an act is performed by a trustee, purporting to be an execution of his trust, he is, thence forth, to be regarded as standing at arms length from the cestui que trust; who is


put to the assertion of his *claims, at the hazard of being barred by the Statute of limitations.1 This change in the relations of the par ties in this case was produced by the release of the plaintiff, Coleman, when he received the $125. The release was a void contract by reason of his infancy. But the transaction out of which it arose gave currency to the Statute: and having neglected his remedy for four years after he attained majority, he is barred.2 It is ordered, that the decree be reversed and the bill dismissed.
DUNKIN, Ch., and DARGAN, Ch., concurred.
Decree reversed,
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1 Moore v. Porcher, Bail. Eq. 195. Stark v. Stark, Car. Law Journ. 503.
2 Glover v. Lot, 1 Strob. Eq. 79.

Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of South Carolina: Book 26
South Carolina. Supreme Court
Elihu Hall Bay
Jan 1917
West Publishing Company

Pages 177, 178 and 179