Week 9 – 52 Ancestor Challenge – Where There’s A Will, There’s A Codicil

     “Where there’s a will, there are 500 relatives…..”

The Will of Giles Driver, Jr. offers a window into the dynamic of his family. Giles is very detailed in how he disposes of his estate, in some cases right down to the penny. He was specific regarding the circumstances surrounding who received what and the conditions that had to be met to receive the inheritance.  Two notes here – this is not an exact transcription as far as spelling and there are a few words that I couldn’t make out, thus the blanks. Where you see bold text, I have added information for clarification.

Will of Giles Driver, Jr
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Pike County, Georgia – Record of Wills, Volume C-D, 1844-1912, Page 492

19 July 1869

In the name of God Amen.  I Giles Driver of said State and County being of advanced age and knowing that I myself must shortly depart from this life, deem it right and proper, both as respects myself and family, that I should make a disposition of the property with which a kind Providence has blessed me. I therefore make this my last Will and Testament hereby revoking and annulling all others made by me heretofore.

Item 1st – I desire that my body be buried in a decent and Christian like manner, suitable to my circumstance and condition, but nothing unnecessary about it. My soul I hope and trust shall return to rest with God who gave it, as I hope for eternal Salvation through the blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Item 2nd – I desire and direct that all my just debts be paid by my Executors hereinafter named.

Item 3rd – I have given to my daughter Sarah R who intermarried with Charles B Hubble one thousand and thirty five dollars in cash, she leaving no child at her death my wish is for said Hubble to have no more interest in my estate whatever.

Item 4th – My wish and desire is for my youngest son Charles G to have one hundred dollars extra and more than the balance of my children this difference is made because he has not received his due proportion of education.

Item 5th – I give and bequeath to my wife, Mary, all the property that she was possessed of at the time of our marriage, to do with as she may think proper at her death. I also desire that three hundred dollars be laid out in hand of which she is to have full control during her natural life or widowhood but at her death or marriage for the lands to return to my estate and to be equally divided among my children or their children as the case may then be.

At this point in the will is a note “See Marriage Contract”. The placement is such that I don’t know if he is referring to his third wife, Mary M Carson, or to his son, Julius W, who is the subject of Item 6.

Item 6th – I throw (?) this restriction and qualification around the property or effects that may fall to my son Julius W, that is, it is not to be subject to any of his debts or contracts now made or hereafter made, but he is to use it for his support and benefit and that of his family and at his death to be equally divided among his children but his present wife and the Serepta Ann Rebecca Reeves wife neither of them is to have any interest in my estate or its increase whatever at the death of my son Julius W Driver I make this difference because he is divorced from the Reeves wife and I understand that the father of his present wife Sarah E Hogan intends to make a similar will.

Item 7th – My will and desire is for my Grandson Giles L Driver and my grand daughter Sarah F Driver (children of Julius W Driver and his 1st wife, Frances Jane Ussery) each to have one hundred dollars to be retained in the hands of my executors until these children become of age or marry. These amounts to be retained out of the portion falling to their Father.

Item 8th  – If any of my children die before or after me and have a child or children such child or children to draw their parents interest in my estate under this will.

Item 9th – I hereby put this condition and qualification upon the property or its effects that may be received by each of my children (to wit) if any of them die and leave no living or posthumous child then the property or its effects falling to such child to return to my estate and to be equally divided among all my children or their children as the case may there be in the manner herein specified for division observing the restrictions and qualifications in this will

Item 10th – My wish and desire is that each of my children that have not had a bed bedstead and furniture to have one after paying off all my just debts for each child to draw an equal share of my estate both real and personal, not counting (?) any old debts against any of them, observing the restrictions, qualifications and differences in this will

Item 11th – I have given my two sons Julius W and Robert P each a mule and each mule valued at one hundred and forty one dollars, sixty six cents, each of them have an extra cow which must be valued. I also paid Doyal & Nunnally fifty eight dollars for Julius ___ for cotton, twenty one dollars _____ due for that Thirty seven dollars these amounts I want counted against them without interest

Item 12th – I constitute and appoint my two sons Alonzo C Driver and James L Driver my lawful

Executors to this my last Will and Testament this 19 July 1869

Giles added a codicil that included the following –

First – Whereas I have understood that my son Julius W Driver intends to claim some property that he was in possession of at the time when he broke up house keeping and separated from his second wife Serepta Ann Rebecca Reeves and whereas I feel satisfied that I have fully compensated him for said property. Now if he claims said property and continues to contend for it then I want the five hundred dollars that I handed him when he started out to California counted against him without interest but if he relinquishes his claim to said property I want the will to be carried out without this codicil so far as he is concerned

Second – In lieu of the one hundred dollars mentioned in the fourth Item of my will to my youngest Charles G my wish is to alter it to Two hundred and twenty five dollars

Third – I also want my son James L to have two hundred and twenty five dollars These last two Items they are to have before there is any division made

Fourth – I want my wife Mary M Carson to have the bedstead and mattress that we lie on in lieu of her bedstead that she sold when she came here

Fifth – There is due from A C Driver Two hundred and twenty five dollars for his mare without interest

Sixth – My wish and desire is for the portion falling to my daughter Synthia E Pryor for her and her husband to have the use and benefits of the proceeds of the property but her present or future husband not to be allowed to trade off any of the property neither to be subject to any of his debts or contracts now or hereafter made the said property is to be exclusively for my daughter Synthia E and her children

Seventh – This I think will make my children as near equal as I can fix it


#52ancestors

Whispers from the Past……

Week 2 – 52 Ancestors Challenge – Favorite Photo

Sarah Jane Carroll 1844-1885

When I saw what the prompt was for week two, I had a small panic attack. “How in the world am I going to choose a favorite photo?”

Now, normally that might not be a big deal but, having recently added several thousand photos to my collection….. well, you get the problem.

Fortunately, a cousin made this decision fairly easy for me. Recently I received a message asking if I knew who was in a picture she’d come across while scanning lots of family photos to share.  I hate to say that I forgot to answer her, but I did. We were out of town and when we got home first one thing and then another came up. Two weeks later she reminded me about the picture and I determined to stop right then and figure this out. I knew the woman looked familiar but I had never seen this particular photo.

After asking some questions about where she found the photo and if there was anything on the back, the light came on. I immediately pulled up a picture along with the one she was inquiring about and started doing semi transparent overlays.  Perfect match.

Nancy Boultinghouse Carroll Letter
Murder of Daniel Carroll

Sarah Jane Carroll, my maternal great-great-grandmother, was born in 1844 in Scott County, Arkansas to Nancy Boultinghouse and Daniel Carroll, she was the oldest of their four children.  When Sarah Jane was only six, her daddy was murdered in Scott County. She, her momma, and siblings, moved to Williamson County, Texas, following her grandfather and other family members.  At the early age of 16, Sarah Jane married Ebenezer Smith and they had 17 children including three sets of twins and a set of quadruplets. It should come as no surprise that she passed away at the age of 41 when her youngest daughter, Louise, was only two.

For over 55 years, I’ve known her face, I always thought that she had such a serene look about her.  Her portrait and that of her husband, Eb, hung in my grandmother’s home until they were passed to me. It was such a pleasant surprise to find that 50 years after her death, we could finally see her face as she looked shortly before she died.

I had often wondered if after giving birth to 17 children and burying seven of them, she would look old beyond her years, somehow haggard.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that the serenity of her youth was still present in her eyes. #52ancestors

Whispers from the Past…..

Week 1 – 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge

 

When I first read about the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge, I thought, “Wow, what a great idea, for someone else.”  After all, my projects are bigger than that.

I was still thinking about it a couple of days later and hadn’t deleted the email from my Inbox.  It kept nagging at me.  I got to thinking about how it might be fun.

So, here we are.  I may be the only person in the world that ever reads this, hopefully not.  I may not make it through 52 weeks, hopefully so.  However it turns out, I’m going to give it a whirl and just maybe I’ll make some new discoveries along the way.

Briefly, the challenge is – “To develop the habit of writing/recording our family history discoveries and getting them into a format that can be shared.  The data that we’ve accumulated in our genealogy software and in our binders and folders doesn’t do a whole lot of good just sitting there. We need to do something with it.

Blog. Write in a journal. Send an email to your cousins. Create a scrapbook page.  Make a copy of a photo and write (in pencil) on the back. Make a video.”

Each week you’re given a different prompt or assignment and it’s up to you what you do with it.

The prompt for Week 1 is – Start.  Forty-two years ago I began this crazy journey of researching my family.  Many people know this started with a school project when I was 14.  The genealogy bug bit and boy did it bite hard.  I recently had a fellow researcher tell me how nice it was to meet someone so consumed with researching their family.  Hmm, I wonder if there is a genealogy detox group?

The thing is, I don’t just enjoy researching my family, I enjoy researching your family, and his, and hers, etc.  Seriously, if I get bored or frustrated with whatever branch of my tree I’m currently working on, I have a “Miscellaneous Tree” that I play with.  It contains people my husband or I grew up with, Historical figures, people I just wonder about.  Yeah, I know, I’m ‘consumed’.

If I had to point my finger at one relative and say, “This person is why I do this.”, I couldn’t.  I would have to say it is because of three amazing women,  My Momma, my MamMaw, and my great-aunt, Ruth.  She was my paternal grandfather’s only sister.  I never knew my Grandpa Bill, he died when my Momma was four, so he always was a mystery to me.  Anyway, Aunt Ruth would come see my MamMaw every once in a while and it seemed like she and her daughter always got here about 10 pm.  My Momma and I would go over to see Aunt Ruth and Bernice and visit until the wee hours of the morning.  I would get to miss school because Momma always thought what I could learn from those visits was far more important than anything I would have learned in a classroom.

Family Stories by Ada Ruth Grantham Storm

Aunt Ruth and my MamMaw, gave the foundation that I’ve built on for these 42 years.  My Momma was my cheerleader.  No matter how small my discovery might be, she was always excited.  As my collection of information has grown to Titanic proportions, I often think back to a small red folder.  In the early 1960s, Aunt Ruth wrote down what she knew of her family.  For years, Momma guarded that folder as one of her most prized possessions and reminded me that I better make sure it got back to her.  Whenever I would question a piece of research or need to verify the path I was on, I referred to that folder.  For well over 20 years, I thought the red folder was lost.  MamMaw and Aunt Ruth had both passed, Momma had gotten ill and lots of things were thrown away when she passed.  From time to time it would cross my mind and I’d wish I could look at it one more time.  Christmas 2017 brought a wonderful surprise.  My oldest sister presented me with that little red folder.  She had put it away years before when Momma was ill and had come across it recently.  It was time for me to have it, she felt.

People ask me why I love genealogy, after all, they’re just a bunch of dead people.  I guess the best answer I can give is that while many of the people in my research are indeed dead, who they were and how they lived had a hand in who I am today.  Oh yeah, the added bonus is that in 42 years, I’ve “met” hundreds of cousins that I otherwise would never have known.

So, there you go, that’s my start……. #52ancestors

Whispers from the Past …..