NEWSLETTER # 6
EDITED VERSION...STILL UNABLE TO UPLOAD ALL OF THE PHOTOS.
This newsletter will explore some of the relatives of Jane Hutchins of Henrico County, Virginia. Other names directly related to Jane include Cox, Trent, Sherman, Elam, Watkins, Crispe and Alexander.
Jane Hutchins, daughter of Strangeman and Elizabeth Cox Hutchins was born in Henrico County June 10, 1748. Jane married Athanacius Barnett in Hanover County, Virginia on December 12, 1767. She and her husband were both Quakers and had migrated first to Ohio and then to West Newton, Marion County, Indiana. Jane died in the West Newton area on November 30, 1833 and is buried in Easton Cemetery, West Newton, Indiana. Jane is one of my 4th great grandmothers on the Mendenhall side of the family. Again, I will tell you that the names of counties in Virginia changed during this period.
Some relatives of Jane’s father, Strangeman, insist that his name is pronounced Strong-mun. After reading some about the man, I prefer Strangeman. Strangeman was the son of Nicholas and Mary Watkins Hutchins and was born about 1707 near the James River in Henrico County, Virginia.
The following biographies from: http://home.earthlink.net/~glendaalex/strange.htm
Strangeman Hutchins and Slavery
Strangeman (pronounced Strong-mun) Hutchins was born in 1707 in Henrico County, Virginia. He married Elizabeth Cox in 1731 in Hanover County, Virginia. After their marriage, he and Elizabeth moved to Goochland County. However, Strangeman's name appears frequently in the records of the Cedar Creek Monthly Meeting of Friends in Hanover County, where he was an elder, from 1741-1786.
Strangeman Hutchins was prosperous. He was a planter who owned about 750 acres of land. Early Quakers, like people of other religions, often bought slaves to work their land and raise cash crops like cotton and tobacco. When slavery became a subject of debate in the Friends' meeting houses, Quakers began to free their slaves, with opposition from the states. Both Virginia and North Carolina passed laws against manumission. Strangeman
freed twelve slaves in Virginia, in 1782, when the law there was changed. This was accomplished by a deed of manumission, a legal document by which the state allowed a slave-owner to set someone free. Strangeman is listed on several DAR site as a patriot.
When Strangeman and his wife were in their seventies, they sold their land in Virginia and moved to Forbush Creek in Surry County, (now in Yadkin County) North Carolina about 1786. There, he joined the Deep Creek Friends Meeting.
Strangeman died February 10, 1792, in Surry County, North Carolina, at the age of eighty-five. His friend Sylvanus Hadley recorded his dying words, stating that Strangeman was taken ill about mid-October 1791 and suffered a good bit during the next few months. The evening before his death, Sylvanus wrote down his prayers for forgiveness and mercy and his expressions of faith, reporting that "He was heard to say that he had been afraid that he had displeased his Creator, that was the cause He continued him here so long in affliction." Strangeman said, "Oh that we might all be prepared so that when we come to lie upon a dying bed and a rolling pillow, we may have nothing to do but die."
His will was proved in Surry County Court in July of that year. In his will he names his wife, Elizabeth Hutchens, son Benjamin Hutchens, daughter Mary Brooks and her husband Samuel Robert Brooks, from whom she is apparently separated, his granddaughter Elizabeth Stanley, who is the daughter of Mary Brooks, daughter Edieth Stanley, grandson John Hutchens Stanley, sons and daughters John, Nicholis, Thomas and Benjamin Hutchens, Obedience Harding and Jean Barnett. He also names John Stanley, who is apparently the husband of Edieth.
Witnesses include Jonathan Johnson and John Johnson. John Johnson is the husband of Strangeman's daughter, Lydia. John and Lydia's son Jonathan was about 20 years old at his grandfather's death.
The Long Life of a Friend
Elizabeth Cox Hutchins was born in 1713 in Henrico County, Virginia. She was the great-granddaughter of William Cox, who is said to have come to the Jamestown colony on the ship Godspeed in 1610, at only eleven years of age. Jamestown was the first permanent English colony in America and had only been established in 1607. In spite of the hardships there, William prospered and eventually married to a woman named Elizabeth. Their son John was born in 1640 and was married to Mary Elam, born in 1645.
John and Mary Cox had a son named Richard in 1678, who was the father of Elizabeth Cox. Her mother was Mary Trent, born in 1682, daughter of Henry Trent, Jr. and Elizabeth Sherman.
Elizabeth Cox married Strangeman Hutchins in 1731, at about age eighteen. If their marriage was typical, they declared their intentions to a monthly meeting and were investigated by a committee of members to determine their suitability. In Elizabeth's time, Friends were disowned for marrying outside the church membership. Disownment could mean being cut off from family and friends, as well as any inheritance.
Over the next twenty-five years, Elizabeth gave birth to at least eleven children whose names are given in the chart above. Miscarriages and still-births were common in that period and were rarely recorded. She survived her husband by twenty-four years and was reported by one of her grandsons to have lived to the age of 103. She died in Surry County.
NANCY B DAVIDONIS firstname.lastname@example.org
Following is my transcription of the will of Strangeman Hutchins. His daughter Jane married Atha(nacius) Barnett. Their son, Atha Barnett, married Margaret Mendenhall 12/19/1813 at "Mendinghall's MM" in Green Co., OH. I have made two notes (in brackets) and the rest is translation with spelling etc. intact. The original copy came from the probate Archives, State of NC. He is a (great-) grandfather to a Mendenhall (decendant). It is so delightful that he was really upset with son-in-law!! and that the problem lives 200 years later!
STRANGMAN HUTCHINSLast Will and Testament1791
I Strangman Hutchens Surry county and State of North Carolina
being desirous to settle my outward estate while in my sound sences and memory & to prevent disputes after my death do make this my
last will and Testament in manner following~~~~~~~
First I give to my Beloved wife Elizabeth (Cox) Hutchens all my Personal Estate not hereafter given to any of my children or grandchildren hereafter named to dispose of as she may think proper amongst my children and grandchildren~~~~~
2ly it is my will and Desire that John Stanley shall have the tract of land he now lives on containing seventyfive acres being in the
county abovesaid for his own Property provided he pay me or my Executor the sum of twentyfive pounds Virginia money by or before the twenty fifth day of december anno 1791 agreeable to a verbil contract made between him the said John Stanley and myself. If the money is not paid by that time~~then it is my desire that my son Benjamin Hutchens sall have the said seventyfive acres of land By setling and paying some demands that are against me in Virginia and paying the Ballance of the above mentioned sum of twentyfive pounds Virginia money to his mother.~~~~~~
3ly I lend to my Daughter Mary Brooks a tract of land containing
fifty five acres lying in goochland county in Virginia it being
the land whereon my said daughter Mary now lives during her natureal life provided she lives seperate and apart from her husband Samuel Robert Brooks it is not my intent the said Brooks should live on my land or have any part of my estate whatever & after the death of my said Daughter Mary then I give the said fifty five acres of land to my grand
Daughter Elizabeth Stanley Daughter of my said daughter Mary Brooks to her & her heiers forever
4ly I lend to my daughter Edith Stanley one feather Bed which she has now in posession during her natural life and then I give the said Bed to my grandson John Hutchens Stanley.
5thly it is my will and desire that whatever I have already given to my sons and Daughters hereafter Named the same remain in their
posession forever (To Wit) John Nicholis Thomas and Benjamin Hutchens Mary Brooks Edith Stanley Obedience Harding and Jean Barnett (aka Jane)
and last I appoint my son Benjamin Hurchens Executor to this my last will and testament Revokeing all wills heretofore made By me in Witness whereof I have hereunto sit my hand and seal this 23th day of ye 11th month 1791
Signed seald publised and declaired the last will and
Testament of Strangman Hutchens in
Jonas Reynolds } his
Jonathan Johnson} Strangman X Hutchens
John Johnson mark
The next few pages are wills that involve our family. I have included these wills because they prove the family connection and show what property these individuals possessed. The first will is for Richard Cox, father of Elizabeth Cox Hutchins above. Don’t ask me what a peid cow is…….
I, Richard Cox, Ser., of the parish and County of Henrico, being Sick and Weak but in perfect sence and memory, I thank almighty God for it, I do make this my last Will in manner following;
Imprimis, I give and bequeath to my Son, John Cox, and to his heirs and assigns forever all my outward Land it being one hundred and five acres where he now liveth.
Item: I give devise and bequeath to my Son Henry Cox all my Lands it lying and being on the North side of Cornelious Creek containing fore hundred Acres, to the Said Henry Cox and his heirs forever, only I give to my Loving Wife Mary Cox, one hundred Acres of it during her life, where the House is.
Item: I give and bequeath to my Daughter Mary Fore and to her heirs one bell-mettle Skillett, a small Iron pott.
Item: I give and bequeath to my Daughter Elizabeth Hutchens one peid Cow and all her increass to her and her Heirs forever.
Item: I give and bequeath to my grandson Hickenson Cox one hundred and five Acres of Land where my Son Richard Cox now liveth bynding upon Will Fermer and Mich:ll Turpin line to him the Said Hickenson and his Heirs forever.
Item: I give and bequeath to my Daughter Obedience Purkins, one shilling.
Item: I give and bequeath to my Daughter Edith Wirtler my Book and Specttels.
Item: I give and bequeath to my loving Wife Mary Cox all my hoggs and Sheeps and my mare bridle and Sadle and all rest of my estate and lastely constitute and appoint my Loving Wife Mary Cox my Whole and Sole Executor of this last my Will and Testament disannulling and making void all other Wills hereunto by me made. In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my Seal this 13 day of July, 1734. I also give to my Said Wife Mary my Negro man Daniel during her Life and then to return to my Son John Cox.
Richard Cox (his mark) (seal)
In presence of us
James I. Whitler
The will of John Cox, father of the above Richard Cox.
10 February 1691
In the name of God, Amen!
I John Cox, of Henrico County, in Virginia, planter, being sick and weak in body, but in perfect and sound memory, Blessed and praised be Almighty God, therefore I do make, ordain, constitute, and appoint this my last will and testament in manner and form following;
First, I bequeath my soul to God that gave it, hoping through the merits and meditation of my ever blessed Savior Jesus Christ, to obtain pardon and remission of all my sins and inherit life everlasting. I order my body to be decently buried at the charge and discretion of my executor hereafter named, and for such worldly goods as it hath pleased God to bless me with, I give and dispose of in manner and form following;
Item: I bequeath unto my son, John Cox, the plantacon called by the name of New plantacon -beginning at a white oak out the river being Bartholomew Cox, so up the bottom to a slash at the headline and so long the pond to Captain Cardner's crick's mouth, to him and his heirs forever.
Item: I bequeath unto my son, Bartholemew Cox, the plantacon as he now liveth on, beginning at a white oak by the river at a bottom and so up the bottom to a wett slash and so along my head line to Captain Davis's. to him and his heirs forever.
Item: I bequeath unto my son, Richard Cox, a negro called Robin, to him and his heirs forever.
Item: I bequeath unto my son, Henry Cox, the bed I ly on with all belongings to it as it stands, and one negro child called Molly, to him and his heirs forever.
Item: I bequeath unto my son, George Cox, the plantacon I now live on and all the neck of land from Jarrett's Spring to the mouth of captain Gardner's Creek, running along the ponds and up the river to a hickory at bote's landing, and one bed with all as belongs to it standing in the best room, one negro woman called Betty, and one chest and all that is in it, one chest of drawers and one cupboard and a great table as it stands and two yoak of oxen and cart with spoak wheels and ox chains and plow irons, six leather chairs four high and two low, to him and his heirs forever.
It is my will and pleasure for Henry to live with George and he to let Henry have ground to tend and menure and housing for it and Henry to repair the housing he makes use of either with him or by himself, and George to be a help to him.
Item: I give and bequeath to my wife, Mary Cox, one silver spoon.
Item: I bequeath all other of my personal estate after my debts are paid to be equally divided between my six sons, John Cox, William Cox, Bartholomew Cox, Richard Cox, Henry Cox and George Cox.
I also hereby ordain, constitute and appoint my said son, George Cox my executor of this my last will and testament. Lastly, I hereby revoke forever all other former wills written or verbally by me at any time heretofore made, confirming this to be my last will and testament. Witness whereof I have set my hand and seal this day and year above written.
John Cox (his mark) (seal)
The will of Henry Sherman, great grandfather of the above Elizabeth Cox Hutchins.
September 2, 1695
I, Henry Sherman of ye County of Henrico being sick and weak of body but of perfect sence and memory make this my last will and testament. First bequeath my soul to God that gave it to me and my body to the ground, and after my soul and bnody shall be united both in one and enjoy the eternall bliss where my redeemer liveth. All the world goods that it has pleased God of his mercy to bestow upon me I give and bequeath in manner and form as followeth:
Imprimis - I give and bequeath to my well beloved wife - Sisly Sherman all my negroes and Slaves and the halfe part of all my Estate within doors and with out for ever.
Secondly - I give to Ellicksander Trent all my wearing Apparrell, and what money he owes me I freely give to the Said Ellixsander Trent for ever.
Thirdly, I give the other moiety of halfe part of Estate to be equally divided between my Daughter Elizabeth wife to Henry Trent, my Daughter Ann wife to Christopher Branch and Ellixsander Trent, sone of the said Elizabeth Trent.
Fourthly, I give to my Grand Children Ellixsander Trent and Henry Trent all the land that is really mine to be divided between them. Ellixxander to have that part whereon I now live and Henry to have the upper part of Said land. To have hold and Enjoy the Same for them and their heirs for ever after the death of my above said wife.
Lastly, I nominate and appoint my well beloved wife, Sisly Sherman to be my Sole and absolute Exectx. of this my last will and testament.
Signed and Sealed in ye presents
Henry Sherman wrote his will in Henrico County 2 Sept. 1695, perhaps anticipating that he would die soon for they recorded his will 1 Oct. 1695. He left Cicely all his slaves and half his personal property. The rest of his personal estate he left to be divided between his daughters and grandson Alexander Trent. His sons were already dead. After the death of Cicely, his land would descend to the two Trent grandsons (Henrico Co. Deeds & Wills 1688-97, p. 595). Peter Field, Francis Epes, William Farrar, and William Soane inventoried Henry’s estate and the court recorded the division of his estate in Dec. 1695 (Henrico Co. Deeds & Wills 1688-97, p. 609)."
Summary of the will of Henry Trent, grandfather of the Elizabeth Cox Hutchins above.
April 1, 1701: Will of Henry Trent recorded (written Jan. 8, 1700). He leaves each of his sons, Alexander, Henry, John and William, 109 acres in Varina Parish. William gets first choice when the land is divided. Henry gets a cow at Richard Cox's. His daughter, Mary Cox, wife of Richard Cox, receives a gold ring; daughters Rebecca Trent and Susanna Trent receive 2,000 pounds of tobacco each. His widow, Elizabeth, gets three servants
I could not find a will for Henry Watkins, the great grandfather for Strangeman Hutchins, but did find some interesting facts.
1677: assisted Richard Cocke, Col. Ligon, and Gilbert Jones in the survey of "Mawburne Hills," which he owned. 1678: Henry Watkins paid tithes in Varina parish.1679: Deed patented for 170 acres of land on the north side of the James River in Henrico County. Henry Watkins held land in the "Turkey Island" district of eastern Henrico County, north of the James River, when a militia roll was taken in June 1679.1684: Fined for continuing in his Quakerism. 1690: Purchased 360 acres of land in Varina Parish, Henrico Co, south side of Chickahominy Swamp from Lyonel Morris. That same year, he bought 60 acres of land adjoining his own land and touching a run of Turkey Island Creek. 1699: Subscribed 500 pounds of tobacco towards building the Friends meetinghouse at Curls1703: Paid 50 pounds of tobacco towards furnishing the Friends building. 1704: Quit Rents of Virginia lists Henry Sr. with 100 acres in Henrico CountyHis religion, at times, caused him to clash with the ruling authorities in Virginia. In 1660, the Virginia Assembly passed a strict law against Quakers, who they described as ""... an unreasonable and turbulent sort of people, who daily gather together unlawful assemblies of people, teaching lies, miracles, false visions, prophecies, and doctrines tending to disturb the peace, disorganize Society and destroy the peace, disorganize society and destroy all laws, and government, and religion." You’ll find many mentions of Henry Watkins in "Quaker Records of Henrico Monthly Meeting" by F. Edward Wright. When his wife was assaulted, he refused to prosecute the criminal because the law required actions contrary to the Quaker doctrine (Henry‘s wife, Katherine Watkins, was raped by a slave from adjoining property. A copy of the testimony is available , just GOOGLE, Katherine Watkins and 1681.) . In 1661 an act was passed that anyone who failed to attend services of the established church for a period of one month would be subject to a fine. And again in 1666 an act was passed imposing fines on 'refractory persons' for failure to comply with the militia laws and regulations. In 1684 Henry Watkins was fined by the court for "continuing in his Quakerisms." His fine was later remitted. .
Henry Watkins disbursed his lands to his children prior to his death. He mentions his love
or his children when he gave land to each of his sons on the south side of Chickahominy Swamp in 1692. The tradition of primogeniture was still common in the early colonies.
However, by making a will you could distribute your property as you saw fit. Henry went even further than this when he partitioned his land to his sons prior to his death. I feel it showed a great deal of confidence in the ability and integrity of his sons. Our direct relative Henry (II) Watkins was gifted in January 1691, with love and affection, "the tract where I now live".
AFTER THOUGHTS. If you do go to the trouble to GOOGLE Katherine Watkins 1681, keep in mind that Virginia passed a law against Quakers, who they described as ""... an unreasonable and turbulent sort of people, who daily gather together unlawful assemblies of people, teaching lies, miracles, false visions, prophecies, and doctrines tending to disturb the peace, disorganize Society and destroy the peace, disorganize society and destroy all laws, and government, and religion."