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John Rawlings Estate

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 1762 to 1820
Location: [unknown]
This page has been accessed 40 times.



Many thanks to Tim Rawlins for his hard work researching John Rawlings. The following information is his original work, used with permission. For more details, visit: https://www.colonial-settlers-md-va.us/getperson.php?personID=I37027&tree=Tree1


Jan 27, 1787. Susannah Holladay to John Rawlings. 65a, which descended to sd. Susannah from her father, Benj. Hollady, and which he purchased of Wm. Dawson and wife Mary, who was the late widow of Thos. Rawlings, decd., in Spots. W. Dawson, Rawlings Pulliam, Austin Sandidge. Feb 6, 1787.[1]

Oct 31, 1789. Jno. and Nancy Rawlings of Berkely Par. to Nathan Tally of Louisa Co. 200a in Berkeley, formerly belonging to Benj Holloday, decd., and assigned to the sd Nancy. Wit. Lewis Holloday, Beverley Winslow, Nicho. Payne. June 2, 1790.[2]

March 11, 1796. John and Nancy Rawlings of Spots to John Lipscomb of Spots. 209a in Berkeley Par, Edwd. Hyde, Ben. Rawlings, Jno. Andrew, Thos. Towles, Rob. Hart, Austin Sandidge, Jas. Holladay. April 5, 1796.[3]

March 16, 1796. Bond of Jno. Rawlings of Spots. Co and Nancy, his wife, to convey to Joseph Pulliam, their right in a certain tract of land known as Molls Pines, which sd. land has fallen to the legatees of Benj. Holaday, Senr., decd, by the death of Benj. Holladay, jr., etc. also bond dated Sept 28, 1795, from John Holladay of Clarke Co, Kentucky to the sd Pulliam of Spots. Co, Va for the same purpose, etc. Rec. Sept 6, 1796.[4]


In 1818, John bought land in Howard County, Missouri Territory from Robert Irvine for $50, but John had to have it patented. (A search of the Bureau of Land Management Patents does not find a patent sold to Irvin/Ervin or Rawlings.) The sale did not list any location of the property other than "north of the Missouri River" and after the patent, John must divide it in half on a horizontal line from the Missouri river and give the improved half to Robert[5]

The exact agreement read:

"This agreement entered into and concluded the seventh day of October in the year eighteen hundred eighteen by and between Robt. Irvine of the one part and John Rawlings of the other, both of Howard County in Missouri Territory. Witnesseth that the said Robert Irvine in consideration of the sum of fifty Dollars to him paid by the said John and that the said John will further pay the legal price for all the land to the right of pre emption in the purchase of which the said Roberts entitled in consideration of his, the said Roberts, settlement and improvement on the North side of the Missouri River in the County aforesaid & that the said John will with due diligence obtain a patent for the said land and defray all the necessary expenses both of establishing said Roberts said claim to said land and of obtaining the patent, therefore, promises and hereby binds himself, the said Robert to give to him, the said John, his heirs & assigns in fee simple one half of all the land for which the said John shall as aforesaid obtain a patent and this half of said land which I have above promised to give to said Robert, if possible, all of the improved land where be the said Robert lives as aforesaid, and, if all cannot be secured, then a line shall be redrawn as to secure to him the said Robert as much of said improvement as can be and the said Robert further obliges himself to repay to said John the above named sum of Fifty dollars with interest from this date if it shall be found by the competent authority that the said Robert has no claim to any land at the place aforesaid, and for the fulfillment of his above undertakings, the said Robert hereby binds himself, his heirs, executors & administrators to the said John his heirs and assigns forever.

And the said John on his part in consideration that the said Robert will convey to the said John his heirs and assigns in fee simple so soon as may be convenient & also in consideration of the above undertaking of him the said Robert hereby binds himself to pay the legal price of all the land that may be obtained as aforesaid and to do all other things that may be necessary to obtain a complete title for the same and a patent for it and for the performance of these promises the said John hereby binds himself his heirs executors & administrators to the said Robert his heirs and assigns forever. And the said Robert further binds himself hereby to give to said John any conveyance that may be necessary to vest in him the said John a complete title as before required to the premises in case said land shall be obtained as aforesaid. In testimony whereof the two contracting parties here unto set their hands and seals the day & year aforesaid. The words "with interest" underlined on 3rd page before the execution hereof. Signed sealed and delivered in the presence of N. S. Burckhardt, Herod Coreum.

Robert (his mark) Irvin J. Rawlings

Rec. 27 May 1819 Mo Territory Gray Bynum clk"

Audited inventory of John's estate, debts and credits, Jane Rawlings administratrix, John F. Ryland auditor. Audit mentions boarding expense for children William, Elvina, and Julia for two years and seven months, Jane Rawlings from 4 Mar 1820 to 4 May 1822 (perhaps proving that the Jencey/Jincey RAWLINGS who married David MANCHESTER on 7 Feb 1822 is daughter Jane), plus Nancy Rawlings one year and six months from 4 Mar 1820 14 Probate: 09 JUN 1823 Howard County, MO Note: when his will was introduced:

David Manchester of Clay County presented a deposition from Wm Lawkosh (hard to read) to prove the will of John Rawlings, 24 Feb 1823, and proved in court on 9 Jun 1823 15 Probate: 16 JUN 1823 Howard County, MO Note: when Jane Rollins was named administrator for the estate of John Rollins. Subsequent court actions named James Rawlings administrator 16 Probate: 1825 Howard County, MO Note: and [daughters] Elvina and Julia Rawlings chose Jane Rawlings as their guardian 17 Note: J. W. Rollins and Owen Rollins, sons of John and Nancy H. Rollins, petitioned the Circuit Court of Howard County to break their father's will. The case was initially rejected and upon second petition, they withdrew their petition. No reasons were given for the petition, or why it was withdrawn 18 Note: Son Owen is still trying to break his father's will, the one produced three years after his death when he introduced the following petition in Howard County:

"State of Missouri County of Howard Circuit Court July Term 1827 Owen Rollins, vs. John W. Rollins, Thomas Rollins, Benjamin Rollins, James D. Rollins, Jane Rollins, intermarried with David Manchester; Elvira Rollins, Julia Rollins, William Rollins, the unknown heirs of Levi Rollins deceased; the heirs of Mary Rollins, who intermarried with Jonathan Bush, the said Mary Bush being dead, leaving Owen Bush, Nancy Bush, Robert Bush, Wyat Bush, James S. Bush, & John Bush, her heirs, and Jane Rollins, the widow of John Rollins, deceased, who was the father of the above named John W. Rollins, Thomas Rollins, Benjamin Rollins, James D. Rollins, Jane Manchester, Elvira Rollins, Julia Rollins, William Rollins, Levi Rollins, deceased. 1st Chancery. This day come the complainant by his solicitor, and it appearing to the court that Benjamin Rollins, one of the above defendants, has failed to enter his appearance in the above cause, and that he is not a resident of this state - and also that the above named Jonathan Bush, Owen Bush, Nancy Bush, Robert Bush, Wyat Bush, James S. Bush and John Bush are not residents of this state & they having failed to enter their appearance herein, according to law and the rules of this court; and it also appearing to the satisfaction of this court that the heirs of Levi Rollins, deceased, are unknown to the complainant; and they having failed to enter their appearance herein agreeably to law. It is therefore ordered that the following notice be published in some newspaper printed in this state for eight weeks successively...[names defendants again]. Take notice, that I have filed in the Howard Circuit Court, in the state of Missouri, my petition in chancery against the above named persons, praying the said court to grant me leave to contest the validity of the supposed will of the said John Rollins, deceased, the father of the above defendants, and to direct an issue to be made up between the complainant and said def.endants to try whether a certain writing which was produced by Jane Rollins, widow of said deceased, to the county court of Howard county, (which is vested in complainant's petition) and which was by said court ordered to be recorded as the last will and testament of the said John Rollins, deceased, is the last will and testament of the said John Rollins, deceased, or not; and for such other and further relief as the case shall require. You the said Benjamin Rollins [et al] are hereby required to appear in said court on the first day of the next term thereof, being the first Monday in November next, and answer the petitioner's bill of complaint, or the same will be taken as confessed. Owen Rollins"

This must be the "25 acres from Irvin" mentioned in John' s will 8 Will: 13 JAN 1820 Note: proven 9 Jun 1823 and recorded 16 Jun 1823. John's will mentioned his daughter Mary Bush as if she were alive. He undoubtedly knew she died in 1814, probably before the Rawlings family left KY. John also mentions all of his children except Julia, Susannah, and Robert including a blank name. Susannah died in 1795, Robert died in 1813, and the blank must have been Julia. A transcript of the will reads:

"In the name of God, Amen. I John Rollins of the County of Howard and Territory of Missouri calling unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men ever to die, do make and ordain[?] this my last Will and Testament, that is to say principally and first of all I give and remand my soul to the hand of Almighty God that gave it, and my body I remand to the earth to buried in a decent Christian burial nothing doubting but at finnal resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God, and as touching such moldy estate exhummeth it has pleased God to bless me in this life. I give dismiss and dispose of the same in the following manner and form -

first I wish all my just debts to be paid by my wife a bring[?] out of the Negroes.

Item I leave and bequeath to wife Jane Rollins three negroes namely Pompy, Peter, and Easter together with all my stock of horses, Cattle, and hogs with the farming utensials and house hold and kitchin furniture to be hers during her natural life and at her death to be Equally divided among my six last Children.

I leave and bequeath unto my son Thomas Rollins our negro girl named Siller, our bed and bed and furniture, horse, and saddle.

Item I leave and bequeath to my daughter Mary Bush our negro woman named Libby, her bed and furniture.

Item I leave and bequeath to my son Benjamin Rollins our negro Boy named Hiram, horse and saddle, bed and furniture.

Item I leave and bequeath unto my son Levy Rollins our negro Boy named Sam, his horse, bed and furniture.

Item I leave and bequeath to my son John Rollins our negro Boy named bill, his horse, bed and furniture.

Item I give and bequeath to my son Owen Rollins our negro boy named Aaron[?], his horse, bed, and furniture.

Item I give and bequeath to my six last children namely James D. Rollins, Nancy Rollins, William Rollins, Jane Rollins, Elvina[Elvira?] Rollins and (blank) [probably Julia] Rollins all the rest of my negroes namely Jos, Dury, Milly, Harrison, Squire, and Aney and as they come of age let them have a negroe, horse and saddle, and bed and furniture and when the youngest child comes of age let the six last named negroes be equally divided amongst the six last children.

Item I leave and bequeath to my two youngest sons namely James D. Rollins and William Rollins that twenty five acres of Land that I bought of Irvin to be Equally divided between them and I do hereby utterly disallow revoke and disown[?] all and every other former Testaments, Wills, ? bequests and Enscutors by me in any wise(?) before made wills and bequesthes, ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and testament . In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the thirteenth day of January one thousand Eight hundred and twenty.

Page 140 State of Missouri County of Howard

Recorded the foregoing last will and testament of John Rollins deceased on the 16th day of June 1823. John B. Clark clr

State of Missouri County of Howard Be it remembered that on the ninth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand Eight hundred and twenty three the last will and testament of John Rollins deceased was pronounced by David Manchester to the County Court of Howard County, and the Same, after being proven as the Law directs, was ordered to be recorded, and upon the sixteenth day of June 1823 James Rawlings made application to the office of the Clerk of the County Court of the County aforesaid for letters of administration upon said Estate with the Will as read there being no Executor named in said will which upon the said James Rawlins together with James Jackson and George H. Delany having Executed a bond as the law directs and having taken the oaths required by Law and granted him.

Page 141 State of Missouri County of Howard John B. Clark Clerk of Howard County Court. To all who shall see these presents Greeting. Know Ye that whereas John Rollins deceased having made his last will and testament without having appointed any Executor or Executrix thereof and James Rawlins having given satisfactory security and complied with the requirements of the law, I do by these presents give and grant unto the said James Rawlings full power and authority to administer all and singular the good Chattels Rights and credits of the said John Rollins deceased and demand and legally require and secure all manner of debts and demands due and owing to the said deceased and truly and faithfully to dispose of the Same according to Law and the true intent and meaning of said last will and testament of said deceased, and lastly I do by these presents constitute and appoint the said James Rawlins administration (with the will of the said deceased ann???) of all and singular the good Chattels rights and Credits of the said deceased. Witness my hand and seal of office at Franklin this sixteenth day of June Eighteen hundred and twenty three - John B. Clark clr

State of Missouri County of Howard Recorded the foregoing Letters of administration with the will annexed On the day of the date and before the acting ?. John B. Clark clr" 9 Death: 20 JAN 1820 in Howard County, Territory of Missouri Note: with his death date surmised from the date of his will, and the date of first probate of his estate. In addition, this same date is given by various researchers of the Embree family without attribution of its source, and in the transcript of the Rawlins Bible 10 2 Burial: Rawlins\Chorn Cemetery, Howard County, Territory of Missouri Note: according to notes kept by Kingsberry, in the same cemetery as his wife Jane, but his tombstone has not been found 1 Note: John initially died intestate which began probate of his estate administered by his wife Jane Rawlings, and a legal battle between John Jr. and Jane over unpaid debts. A will was found in 1823 three years after his death which ended the intestate proceedings and began administration of his will.

Probate: 14 FEB 1820 Howard County, Territory of Missouri Note: when Jane Rawlings was named administrator for John who died intestate 11 Probate: 26 FEB 1821 Howard County, Territory of Missouri Note: when James G. Rolings, Nancy Rolings, Elvina, Julia, William, and Jane Rawlings had John Rawlings appointed as their guardian. [It is believed this John is the deceased's son.] William and Jane did not appear and the court appointed their guardian in their absence 12 Probate: 27 NOV 1821 Howard County, MO Note: when William and Jane chose David Manchester as their guardian 13 Probate: 06 NOV 1822 Howard County, MO Note:when administratrix Jane Rawlings entered an audited inventory:


  1. William Armstrong Crozier, Virginia County Records: Spotsylvania County, 1721-1800 (New York, New York: Fox, Duffield, and Company, 1905), Spotsylvania County, 1721-1800, p. 402. https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=B0REAQAAMAAJ&pg=GBS.PA402&hl=en.
  2. Spotsylvania, Virginia, Deeds, Vols. M-N 1788-1795, v. M, p. 285 : accessed 23 Feb 2022. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSKV-T4VD?i=148&cat=401538.; digital images, Familysearch.org (www.familysearch.org).
  3. Spotsylvania, Virginia, Deeds, Vols. O-P 1795-1802; v. O, p. 276. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSKV-R9MQ-9?i=152&cat=401538.; digital images, Familysearch.org (www.familysearch.org).
  4. Spotsylvania, Virginia, Deeds, Vols. O-P 1795-1802; v. O, p. 365. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSKV-R1BC?i=197&cat=401538.; digital images, Familysearch.org (www.familysearch.org).
  5. Recorder of Deeds, Howard, Missouri, Deed Record v. A-C 1816-1819; v. C, p. 284. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSHM-SS9F-R?cat=215752.; digital images, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Family Search (www.familysearch.org).

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