Thursday, October 20, 2011

US-Records Study Group: Assignment 2 (Part 1)

This part of the month's assignment has three goals.

1. I've not yet been able to find a will for a direct line ancestor, but I have found a few for their siblings. The will I chose for the transcription is for Aaron Rice, son of Aaron Adam Rice and Ellenor Rhoden and brother to my maternal 6th great grandfather John Rice.
Will of Aaron Rice
    In the name of God amen, I Aaron Rice of the state of South Carolina and District of Barnwell, being infirm in body and yet having sound memory and disposing mind do make this my last will and request. First that my funeral expenses be paid. Secondly that the remainder of my Estate be kept and owend (sic) by my beloved wife Rebecca Rice during her natural life and after her death equally divided between my children, namely Sarah Simmons, Ellenor Sanders, Elizabeth Dyches, Rosanna Rice, Calvin Rice, Louisa Sanders, Milford Rice and Jasper Rice, the children of such as may be dead taking the part of their parents. I also will that portion which my daughter Elizabeth Dyches gets or receives be hers for life and after death her children and not to be under the control of her present husband or any future one, Elizabeth Dyches having received of me a negro girl, Mely, should she not be returned to me nor my Estate I will that her value be deducted from the part which my daughter Elizabeth Dyces (sic) shall receive or that negro girl, Mely be considered as so much of her share. I now appoint my sons Calvin Rice and Milford Rice Executors and give to them full power to execute this last will. Given under my hand and seal this the twenty sixth day of August in thy year of Our Lord eighteen hundred and fifty nine and in the eight fourth year of American independence.
                                                    Aaron Rice
Delivered in the presence}
Of WB Sanders               
      WP Dowling             

This was the first time I transcribed a will so it was definitely a learning experience. I find it curious that he made it a point to say that Elizabeth's husband, present or future, was not to have control of the inheritance, even if she had passed and it had been passed to her children. At first, I thought maybe he didn't care for Elizabeth's husband, but if that was the reason, then why note that the same applies to any future husband.

I wasn't aware that any of my family were slave-holders so the reference to Mely came as a surprise. However, it does give me another avenue of research to consider. If he owned other slaves, there may be records of them. I need to try to find an estate file, which will probably have an inventory of all of his property.

It was interesting that the will notes the length of time since American independence was gained. Like I said before, this is a new area of research for me so I don't know if this was common or not. If it isn't, perhaps this was a homage to his father Aaron Adam Rice and uncle William Rhoden who both served in the Revolutionary War.

Since two of his daughter's married names were Sanders, I assume WB Sanders was probably a husband of one of the girls. I haven't placed WP Dowling yet, but I do know that Aaron's sister Elizabeth was married to an Elijah Dowling so he was probably related to the family in some fashion.

2. I chose to make a chart for another one of my surnames, Radcliff. Variations of this surname include Radcliff, Radcliffe, Radliff, Radliffe, Ratcliff, Ratcliffe, Ratliff and Ratliffe. Soundex codes include R324 and R341. My plan is to make charts for each of my surnames to be placed in their file.

3. I created a reference file in my genealogy filing system. I printed out copies of the following pages for inclusion in my reference file.

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