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.

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