Friday, October 24, 2014

Pension File Posted

I have been checking the War of 1812 Pension files on Fold3 regularly since they began posting pensions from the J series for Tennessee. Today they posted the pension file of my 5th-great-grandfather Thomas Jones. I will have a full post later describing the file and his service in the War of 1812, but wanted to start with the opening page of the file:
Source:, War of 1812 pensions
Corporal Thomas Jones, of Captain Gregory's Tennessee Militia. More to follow later today.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Inventory of Bryant Thornhill's Estate

The inventory for the estate of my 7th-great-grandfather Bryant Thornhill is filed in the Culpeper County Court records (Will Book B, pages 379-380, 387-388). Just like the inventory for John Wheatley's estate, Bryant's provides a fascinating view into a Colonial household in 1780. Depending on the records, Bryant either died on 8 December 1779 or 22 May 1780. The inventory of his estate was appraised and recorded with the Culpeper County Court on 19 June 1780, and contained the following:

Two ewes and lambs ($40)
Eight head of cattle ($640)
Six head of hogs ($80)
One black horse ($260)
One gray mare ($75)
One bed and furniture ($200)
One bed ($60)
Two chests ($20)
Four chairs ($4)
One gun ($10)
Three quart mugs and two bowls & tea pot, one wine glass and three quart bottles ($16)
Four jugs and one butter pot & metal pan ($14)
One table ($1.40)
One flask, one funnel and half pint bottle ($3)
One parcel of books ($15)
One candle stick and pair of wool cards ($7)
One sythe ($9)
Eight pewter basons ($60)
Three pewter dishes ($20)
Nine pewter spoons ($3)
Twelve pewter plates ($30)
Iron pots (-)
Iron skillet, griddle and three pairs of pot hooks ($40)
One flask of oil, ladle, iron spoon and frying pan ($7)
Five knives and eight forks ($6)
Two flat irons ($6)
A parcel of woodenware ($6)
One wood spice morter ($1.10)
Amount brought forward ($1633.14)
Three brass hooks ($4.10)
A parcel of old irons ($6)
Axes and prow and hammer ($9)
One hemp sack ($2)
One pair of iron wedges and five hoes ($16)
Prow irons ($9)
One saddle and bridle ($7)
One small grindstone ($3)
Six casks ($9)
One woollen and one linen wheel ($45)
Total - ($1726.40)

Returned into Court and ordered to be recorded. Witnessed by William Bradley, Reuben Zimmerman, John Bowlley.
It is interesting to see the value of everyday items from this period of Virginia and the value put on the pewter kitchen utensils.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Back in Virginia

After a week of meetings in Los Angeles, I'm settled back into the day-to-day between travel. More meetings occur in DC starting tomorrow, so I took some time yesterday to visit the County Court Record Rooms in Culpeper and Fauquier Counties. I'll share some findings on the Thornhill, Wheatley, Read and related families over the next couple of days.

Inventory of John Wheatley's Estate

I previously wrote about the land of my 7th-great-grandfather, John Wheatley, back in July. John died in Fauquier County, Virginia in September 1795. The inventory of his estate was appraised on 27 June 1796 and is recorded in Fauquier County, Will Book 3, pages 10-11.

From reviewing the inventory, it is clear John Wheatley was a wealthy land owner. He had six slaves named on his inventory - Will, Lucy and Edmond, Patt, Ashby and Sally. His three horses were distinguished by type - two sorrel horses (1 male, 1 mare), and one bay horse. He also had 16 sheep, 6 cows, 6 yearlings, 6 hogs, 17 "shoats" (sheet-goat hybrids), a "fat hog", a sow and seven pigs. The inventory also describes John's farm tools - plows, hoes, axes - kitchen utensils, furniture, 6 beds and furniture.

Other interesting items included two smoothbore guns, a parcel of books, a looking glass, one cask and two rundlets. A rundlet was a small cask (see English units of cask measurement via Wikipedia). Given the known whisky producing skills in the Wheatley family, it looks like John Wheatley made his own whisky as well.

At the bottom of the page was a list of sales from the inventory. John's older brother George Wheatley Junior bought "one negro boy." Perhaps this was Edmond, who was listed with the slave Lucy on page 10. It would be interesting to see if Edmond shows up in the records with George Wheatley's household in Wilkes, North Carolina, where George moved after leaving Fauquier County.

The list provides a practical view of a Colonial household and insight into how the Wheatley family lived in Fauquier County.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

LA Sunrise

Two views from the Century Plaza looking toward downtown Los Angeles - one shortly after sunrise, the other from this afternoon. We've reached the last day of meetings. It has been a long but good week.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Downtown LA, 16 Oct 2014.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Downtown LA clearer in the afternoon.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

California From Above

These pictures taken were on the descent into LAX yesterday. The first shows the Salton Sea, the towns of Thermal, Coachella and the desert hills that sit between I-10 and the Joshua Tree National Park. The second shows Los Angeles from above (probably the 710 toward Long Beach). I normally don't get a window seat, but this provided a chance to see California on approach. A great view.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Salton Sea, 8 Oct 2014

Photo by Patrick Jones. LA looking toward Long Beach.