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William Townes Probate Records

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 18 Mar 1775 [unknown]
Location: Charlotte, Virginiamap
Surname/tag: Townes, Virginia
This page has been accessed 37 times.

Full transcript of Will and Chancery Record relating to the probate of William Townes who died 1775 in Charlotte County, Virginia.

William's will was signed 18 Mar 1775 in the presence of P. Carrington and James Boulden. Francis Robertson, William Townes, Thomas Townes and Ann Townes were appointed Executors/Executrix in the Will. On the 4 Aug 1777 Thomas Townes and Ann Townes waived their right to be Executor/Executrix. This Will can be found in Charlotte County Will Book No. 1 (1765-1791)


In the Name of God Amen. I William Townes of the County of Charlotte being sick and weak in body but of perfect mind and memory thanks to Almighty God for the same do make and ordain this to be my last Will and Testament revoking all former wills and Testament and declaring this present to be in force. Then I give and bequeath to my son Thomas and to his heirs forever a negro fellow [not legible] by the name of Bowser, my will and desire is that my son Thomas shall have the benefit of my whole Estate both real and personal for four years provided he make satisfaction to my creditors for what debts I am owing, and also to maintain my family during the time, and if he does comply as above mentioned my will and desire is that he my said son Thomas and his heirs shall forever enjoy the Tract of Land I now live on, but if he shall fail making payment to satisfying to my creditors as I have before mentioned, then my will and desire is that my Executors Co sell the said tract of land for the payment of my debts, Item I give and bequeath to my Daughter Elizabeth and to her heirs forever a Negro girl known by the name of Chloe, I item I give and bequeath unto my four sons John, Henry, Joseph and Halcot twenty pounds a piece to be paid them by my Executors at the division of my Estate the remainder of my whole estate I lend to my beloved wife during her natural life and after her decease to be divided equally between my son William, my Daughter Mary, My Daughter Lucretia, my son John, my son Henry, my son Joseph, my son Halcot, Item I have paid Twenty four pounds for Charles Jones in the year one thousand seven hundred and sixty nine. My desire is that if he pay the sum above mentioned to my Executors with interest that he shall then share an equal part with my seven children last mentioned. It is my desire is that what I have paid for him may be his part of my Estate and last of all I appoint my sons Francis Robertson, William Townes and Thomas Townes my Executors and my wife Ann Townes Executrix of this my last will and Testament. I request the Court of the County may appoint no appraisers. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal the 18th day of March in the year of our Lord 1775. William Townes, L.S Signed seal’d published and declared by the Testator to be his last will and testament in presence of P. Carrington James Boulden

Chancery Suit

Below is a partial transcript of a Chancery suit filed by Halcott Townes and Joseph TownesI against William Townes II regarding the Will of their father. This suit includes a list of money owed by William Townes II to both of his brother. Included in the list of money owed to Halcott is reference to money that was paid to William Townes II's daughter, Martha Townes MacBeth.

Only a partial transcript of William's will is included in this suit and reference is made that there were several other legacies and devises in the Will. This suit can be accessed at https://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/case_detail.asp?CFN=083-1792-006

1792-006 Chancery Cause Halcoat Townes, etc vs William Townes; Halifax County

CA: Estate Dispute T: Slavery; Property

Slave names: Peter, Jude, Bracher, Stepney, Anacha, Edith, Nancy, Lucinda, Harry, George

To the worshipful Court of Halifax County in Chancery setting: Humbly complaining shew unto your whorships your orators Halcoat Townes and Joseph Townes that on or about the _____ day of _____ in the year of our Lord 1775 their father William Townes departed this life leaving his last will and testament properly published, proved, and admitted to record in the County Court of Charlotte. That after several legacies and devises in the said will the Testator expressed himself in the words following to wit:

“The remainder of my whole estate then to my beloved wife during her natural life and after her

“decease to be equally divided between my son William

“my daughter Mary, my daughter Lucretia, my son

John, my son Henry, my son Joseph, my son Halcoat

Which will more fully and at large appear reference being had to the said will which your orators pray may be taken as part of this bill. That in a short time after the death of the said Testator Anne Townes the widow of the said William and the mother of your orators Halcoat and Joseph (two of the legates mentioned in the above recited clause of this will) took possession of the remainder of the said Estate, composed of household furniture and a number of slaves, which slaves now in her possession including the original stock and the increase and as follows, Peter, Jude, Brancher, Stepney, Anacha, Edith, Nancy, Ludinda, Harry, Peter, and George. That aforesd William Townes one of the sons of Testator mentioned in the above recited clause of the will and whom your orators pray may be made Defendant to this bill [not legible] to the aforesd Halcoat Townes one of the Complainants in the sum of fifty two pounds, four shillings and three pence current money of Virginia for cash advanced and paid by the said Halcoat for the said William at various times and places by loan and as security for the said William, which will more particularly and at large appear reference being [not legible] to the account stated against the said William and which yr orator Halcoat prays may be taken as part of this bill. That the said William also [not legible] to the other compl Joseph Townes in the just sum of fourteen pounds, seven shillings, and nine pence half penny which will appear [not legible] and at large references being had to his account [not legible] against William, which yr orator Joseph prays may be taken as part of this bill. Now so it is may it please yr Worships that the said the William [not legible] how to [not legible] and refuse your orators in the principles hath removed his property out of the state of Virginia, so that the proceeds of law cannot be served upon his body or upon any other part of his estate saving his interest as a legatee in the division of the remainder of the aforesd slaves and furniture. That the compl accounts being apprised of the removal of said William would have possessed him by an Attachment and seized his effects before he could have reached the boundaries of another state, but he compls were deluded and deceived by the [not legible] and fair promises of defendant William that he would leave sufficient property to indemiify and pay the compls and by the orders of the ocft on several previous which were protests by same, and the money drawn by defendant from other after he had drawn his said [not legible]. And for as much as the Complts are without redress in a court of common law and are properly relievable in chancery where attachments may be accrued to bind property in the hand of others, and protected. To the end therefore that justice may be done. The Complts pray that the Deft. may upon his corporal oath full, true and perfect answer make to all and [not legible] the premises as fully and particularly as if the same were repeated and interrogated and and especially whether the two accounts above referred to are not just? What re the number of slaves, and the furniture in the possession of Anne Townes the widow of the William belong to the estate of the William? Whether he has not came out of the state all of his estate saving his interest in the above mentioned slaves and furniture? And whether he did not deceive and defraud the Complts as the bill above states? The Compls pray that by a decree of this court the defendants interests in the division of the said slaves may be attached to answer the claim of the Complainants at the death of the said Anne and that the courts grant any other and further relief in the [not legible] as may be agreeable to equity and good conscience. J L Townes H Townes

Townes v Townes } Bill

1791 Bill and Pub. In Virginia Gazette June…Cont’; July….Same; Aug Court for Pub; Sep. Cont’d; Oct Cont’d; Nov Cont’d; Dec Cont’d. 1792 Jany same; Feb same; Mch [not legible]

Wm Townes in a/c with Jos Townes Dr.


  • to balance due on settlement
  • To cash fr Dannie Cain

Dec 1785 To cash going to Petersburg

June 86 To cash paid Thos Townes

1788 Cash pd Harod Overby; Doc Hopkins Arder 1790 To work done on your houses 1791 To ch. Js. Wm Baskerville assn of Doc Hopkins

By Jos Townes May 1791 [There is an additional note below this that is not clear.]

Mr William Townes in acct with Halcott Townes

April 1791} To balance of Smiths Executors Exc on acquisition [not legible] exclusive of the stage wagon

To Hix & Bowman [not legible]

To John Hughs [not legible]

To Doct Thd Brough

To your asst to me for the balance due from you to Mrs. Ann Townes

To cash lent

To one [not legible] yr self

To one ditto of Daughter Martha

To [not legible] st in chancery Delongs Exct

To ditto vs Smith Exors same

To [not legible] Bart Vaughan

To ditto same vs Chas Edwards

By C: Chairs & one table

By H sash lights [not legible]

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