Why would a father's will make a stipulation about a daughter's future widowhood?

+5 votes

In the will of Thomas Moore, quoted in full in another question, he writes (https://www.wikitree.com/g2g/412945/anyone-access-wills-mecklenburg-county-virginia-ancestry?show=412945#q412945):

Item, I give to my daughter PRECILLA NUNN the seventh part of my estate hereafter mentioned provided she does and shall save harmless the estate of the said THOMAS MOORE, SENR in consequence of his being security for the obtaining Letters of Administration on the Estate of ELIJAH STONE, Dec’d, in time of her widowhood otherwise my will is that she my daughter PRISILLA NUNN shall have the sum of five shillings current money and no more to her and her heirs forever.

If the ancestry is correct, Priscilla (Moore-1586) Nunn wasn't a widow, and never would be (prob. pre-deceased Carlton Nunn-49).  Thomas Moore was guardian of Elizabeth Stone.  I'm not sure if 'Thomas Moore, Senr' is referring to him or his father.  There were several other daughters who weren't mentioned in this fashion.

Why would Thomas Moore say something about Priscilla "in her widowhood"?

WikiTree profile: Thomas Moore
asked in Genealogy Help by Kerry Larson G2G6 Mach 7 (77.5k points)
I'm thinking she was married to Elijah Stone before she married Nunn.
Control from beyond the grave.
Interesting idea.  One problem with that theory is Alvahn Holmes' "Some Farrar's Island Descendants", p. 143, says, "On 11.9.1776, Thomas Moore was appointed guardian of Elizabeth Stone, orphan of Elizabeth Stone."  I wonder if the second Elizabeth Stone was a typo instead of Elijah Stone.  More importantly, she wouldn't be an orphan if Priscilla was her mother (unless there was a different meaning of orphan back then).
An 'orphan' frequently just meant the father was dead.  Women weren't considered competent to manage either their children or their money so guardians were appointed by Orphans' Courts.
Thomas must have felt that Priscilla had some sort of claim (valid or not) against him for his administration of the estate of Elijah Stone.  Perhaps she expected some sort of legacy from that estate and did not receive it.

Is it possible that Priscilla was first married to Elijah Stone?  If so, it is plausible that Priscilla's father could be appointed administrator of her husband's estate and guardian of her minor children.

Ah, the good old days.  ;^}  That does open back up RJ's surmise.  Confirmation of what kpf said here:  http://www.genfiles.com/articles/orphans-guardians/

1 Answer

+5 votes
Best answer
Possibly because he disapproved of her husband and did not want him to have any part of the inheritance. The husband would have had control of her share. By only allowing her to inherit if she was widowed the father was ensuring that the husband could never get his hands on any of the money.
answered by Lynda Crackett G2G6 Pilot (618k points)
selected by Jerry Dolman
Linda I think that you are right. This might  have went on more than we would think. He probably did not approve of her husband for one reason or another. In the time period being discussed the husband controlled the money and he did not want the husband to get any of it. I would imagine that he found some way to get some money to his daughter, maybe even when he was alive.

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