By Jeannette Holland Austin
The Laws of Inheritance in the American Colonies followed those of Great Britain. Generally speaking, when a father left a last will and testament, his married daughters could not inherit. This situation was frequentlly resolved by the father bequeathing the items to her husband to be used for the care and support of his daughter. In certain instances, he is more specific and employs such phrases as "The husband of my daughter is to have no control over her inheritance. " One might suppose that such traditions were unfair, but gentlemen were responsible for the affairs and well-being of ladies. It was the tradition of a more gentile era. Another example is that it was customary for the eldest son to inherit the home plantation. Irrespectively, the widow was not to be excluded the comforts of her home. A frequent statement in an old will "my wife shall have the use of the plantation, tools, furniture, etc. so long as she lives." In the event no provision was written into the will for the care of the widow, then she applied to the court for a year's support. The result was usually that certain assets were set aside for her, such as furniture, animals and land. Annual Returns, receipts, vouchers and sales of estates should be thoroughly examined for clues as to burial, business in other regions, to whom the debts were paid, receipts from in-laws and others, and so on. Plantation life was a huge undertaking. It involved crops, supplies, animals other collateral and debt. The inventories usually listed money owed to the deceased in the form of promissory notes as well as the debts of the testator. In those days, tobacco was easily grown and served as a popular form of payment. One might assume a certain cruelty in providing the eldest as the major recipient of the plantation, however, such an inheritance was an enormous responsibility. While other sons inherited lesser amounts of land, it respresented farms in other regions. Thus, it was incumbent upon younger sons to either find respectible positions of honor, like that of a clergyman, or to migrate into other regions of the country. Although the colony of Virginia was highly successful in the tobacco business at home and abroad, by 1800, the land was pretty well worn out. Therefore, the driving force of immigration from Virginia was the search for fertile land elsewhere, particularly with the removal of Indians and drawings in land lotteries and such.
Bath County Genealogy, Wills, Estates
Bath County was created in 1790 from parts of Augusta, Botetourt, and Greenbrier counties, and it was named for the English city of Bath.
Bath County Records available to members of Virginia Pioneers
Images of Bath County Wills, Estates, Inventories, Bonds, Deeds 1791 to 1813
Testators: Anderson, Thomas | Arlane, Joseph | Armstrong, John | Armstrong, Robert | Armstrong, William | Barnet, Robert | Baxter, John | Baxter, Polly | Bell, William | Benns, John | Benson, George | Benson, Matthias | Benson, Nelly | Black, Alexander | Blake, Samuel | Bracken, James | Brown, Henry | Brown, John, sheriff | Brown, Joseph | Burnsides, John | Carlile, James | Carlile, John | Carlyle, Robert | Cartwell, Thomas | Casebott, Hannah | Clack, Christopher | Clark, James | Cleck, Jacob | Cochran, Thomas | Cowardice, John | Crawford, John Henderson | Crawford, William | Cury, Richard | Danner, Thomas | Davis, Jesse | Davis, Richard | Dean, John | Dean, John to John Bollard (deed)| Dean, John to John White | Dickinson, John | Dickinson, Martha | Dinwiddie, Elizabeth | Dinwiddie, Robert | Dinwiddie, William | Elliott, James | Ewing, James | Ewings, Joshua | Fenster, Thomas | Garnet, Absalom | Gatewood, Thomas | Ginn, Abraham | Gittington, Andrew | Given, George | Givens, Robert to George Poage (deed) | Givens, William | Graham, James | Green, William | Green, William to John Berry (deed) | Griffin, Abner | Guin, John | Guin, William | Hamilton, Charles | Hamilton, John | Hannah, David to William Hutchison (deed) | Harrison, Charles | Harrison, Charles to Jacob Warrick (deed) | Harrison, Nat | Hicklin, Hugh | Hornig, Leonard | Hutchison, William | Jackson, Abel | Javins, Daniel | Johnson, B. | Johnson, R. | Kelly, Owen | Kenison, Nathaniel | Kimes, Henry | Kincaid, Elizabeth | Kincaid, John | Kincaid, William | Kiser, Solomon | Laverty, Ralph | Lewis, John Banks to David Cochran, Agreement | Lewis (deed) | Lewis, John | Lewis, Margaret | Lewis, Thomas | Littlepage, John | Lockman, Thomas | Macon, William | Mann, Archibald | Mann, Thomas | Massingbird, George | Mayse, Richard | McAllister, James | McAvey, John | McCallour, John | McClintock, Alexander | McClinton, William | McDonald, John | McCloughlen, Hugh | McFarm, Samuel | McGuffin, Peter | McOliver, Michael | Moore, Mary | Moore, William | Morris, Robert | Morris, William | Nance, Samuel | Nottingham, William | Nutting, William | OHare, Daniel | Oldham, William | Oliver, John | Oliver, John, Sheriff | Oliver, John to Moses Mann (deed) | Patton, Matthew | Peebles, John | Piles, Francis | Poage, James | Pullin, John | Pullins or Puttin, Ann | Pullins, Loftis | Rabb, Andrew | Rackey, Henry | Rartley, Lugursus | Rhea, Elizabeth | Rhea, John | Rhea, William | Right, Nancy | Rittin, Ann | Roberts, John M. | Roberts, John (deed) | Robinson, William | Rurstan, Nelly | Sexton, William | Shrewsbury, Samuel and John (deed) | Shrewsbury, Samuel | Sittington, John | Slaveris, John | Smith, Alexander | Smith, Sally | Sprowl, John | Sprowl, Robert | Steele, James | Stewart, William | Stiff, John | Stone, James | Stuart, William | Thompson, John | Thomson, John | Townsend, Ezekiel | Trogg, Elizabeth | Trogge, John | Tullis, Elizabeth | Vance, Samuel | Wade, Edward Wallace, Thomas | Whitman, Catherine Wilson, William | Wiseman, Mary | Woods, Stephen | Wright, James
Images of Bath County Wills, Estates, Inventories, Bonds, Deeds 1813 to 1822
Testators: Benson, Margaret | Benson, Mathias | Berry, John | Boller, John | Callaghan, Dennis | Caryle, Robert | Cavendish, William | Click, Jacob | Crawford, William | Dixon, William | Donavan, Charles | Dougherty, Michael | Edmiston, John | Freel, Susannah | Friel, Jeremiah | Galford, Thomas | Gillespie, John | Gittington, Elizabeth | Givens, Joseph Sr. | Gwinn, David | Knox, John | McCansland, Robert | McClintie, William | McDonald, Samuel | McDuff, John | McKee, James | Miller, Patrick Holland, Thomas | Morris, George | Morris, James | Mouge, Moses | Piles, Francis | Redding, James | Rider, William | Slowers, Jennet | Tallman, William | Thomson, Benjamin Warrish, Andrew | Williams, Elisha | Wilson, John | Wooddall, Alice
Images of Bath County Wills, Estates, Inventories, Bonds, Deeds 1822 to 1830
Testators: Bratten, James | Dinwiddie, William | Gain, Mary | Gatewood, William | Given, Joseph | Gwin, David | Hamilton, Osbourne | Harnest, William | Knox, John | Mathany, Daniel | McDonnald, Hugh | McGriffin, Robert | McKee, James | Morris, George W. | Ruckman, David | Shaw, George | Surber, Joseph | Wade, Otho | Warwick, Andrew | Warwick, Jacob | Williams, Hazel | Wilson, Barbara | Wilson, Elizabeth | Young, William
Need to know if your ancestors left a will or estate record? An easy, quick (and free) way to find out is to click on the links below.
County Records of 8 Genealogy Websites
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