What is a chancery?
Various court records, organized by
the county it was filed in.
die without a will (intestate)
will isn’t being proved correctly
debts aren’t being paid
in VA, divorce cases
What kinds of things are in
Copies of wills
Copies of marriage records or
date of marriage records
Women’s maiden names
Dates of death
Proof of relationships, under oath
Notations if family moved away
Depositions by relatives
Sale of their estate
Where can I find chanceries?
In VA, Library of Virginia has an
Index online. Some digitized, online.
The rest, have to go to LVA to view.
first part of chancery:
Next: “answer” from
Language: siblings “sue”
eachother to divide the
estate, when really trying
to get the case to
chancery court & divided
Deposition of Newman Dortch- Taken Friday 1 Oct 1824
The deposition of Newman Dortch of lawful age taken at the store of Charles Baskerville & brothers in the
County of Mecklenburg on Friday the first day of October 1824. To be read as evidence in a suit in chancery
now depending in the county court aforesaid wherein Edmund Taylor Adm of Rebecca Taylor died, formerly
Rebecca Dortch are plaintiffs and Charles Baskerville & George Baskerville admin of David Dortch deceased
who was Executor of David Dortch the Elder are being defendants being duly sworn deposeth and saithThat he after the death of David Dortch his father, understood from his mother Lucy Dortch also deceased
that the 50 pounds legacies left in the will of the said David Dortch (the Elder) was done with adieu (?) to cert.
(the several legateez to whom the said fifty pound legacies were bequeath) and from any further proportion
on his estate-having before the date of the said will given and delivered over to some of these this respective
proportions in negroes; to wit Noah Dortch, Rebecca Taylor & Hillica Moss, = Lucy Dortch, now Lucy Ryland to
the least of this deponents recollection were given her by the will together with the fifty pounds- land of
which will be more fully seen by a reference to the said will- That this deponent while he wrote in the clerk
office had after sealed those legacies by the scale of deprecation and to the last of his present recollection the
scale at the date of the said will was seventy five for one or thereabouts- That a suit was instituted by Jessie
Dortch one of the legateez of said David Dortch the older against David Dortch the younger in the said county
of Mecklenburg and a decree entered in his favour about the year of 1802, in which decision the court sealed
the said legaceez and entered a decree in his favour for the one twelfth part of the remaining part of the remaining part of the estate- the answer of the said David Dortch Excr having set forth those legacies for his
own safety and which answer being drawn by George Craghead Esq of Lunenburg reference being had to the
said last will fully appear-
That he this deponent has after heard David Dortch the Executer of his father say that David Taylor who was
the husband of said Rebecca had purchased to a large amount at the sale of his father’s estate & his deponent thirty L. 150 for which he held said Taylor bond or bond & could not get payment and should have to
loose the amount as he had held up the bond or bonds to favour him tell said Taylor who together with the
security had become insolvent- That the said David Taylor died leaving the said Rebecca in loss and pecuniary
circumstances, -the he often heard this David Dortch say he had to aid and assist her to keep her from suffering- said that he had assisted her to the last of this deponents recollection with a Negro girl to aid & assist her
-the contracts of which statement this deponent has no right to doubt. –
Question by defendants- Were you not one of the twelve legatees mentioned in the above decree Jessie
Dortch apt said David Dortch Exr ?
Answer- Yes- I have long since received of said Exr my proportion of said decree
Question by same- Do you not know that David Taylor was insolvent some time previous to his death- And
had this pecuniary difficulty are such as to regrence any thing that might be due to him from the said David
Dortch as Exr aforesaid ?
Answer: I believe & have no doubt that they were as seen pretty certain that several executors were returned
against him by the sheriff “no effects aforesaid paid (?)” This deponent being appointed on deputy clerk from
Nov 1791 to Nov 1793 after which he acted in capacity of assistant Sheriff for several years.
Question by Plaintiff- Do you not know that these were a legacy due to my mother Rebecca Taylor (Question
would be by Edmund Taylor) from the said estate of David Dortch Sen. deceased of whom David Dortch
Adm the deft. was the Exr.
Answer: I know of no legacy or money due from the said Dortch only such as appears by the papers concerning said estate. The said David Dortch Exr having often said that said Taylor was indebted to him as Executor
aforesaid which by his surety (?) to said Taylor he should loose- And this deponent believes constitutes a part
of the court placed on the administrator amount of the testators estate as settled & reported by the commissioner , appointed for that purposeQuestion by defendants- Was not the said David Dortch at all times and at all times able & solvent to pay any
debts or legacees due from him in dep___ of executional bond?
Answer- The said David Dortch was at all times able as his estate since his death sufficiently testifies- and further this agreement saith not only that the said suit Jesse Dortch against David Dortch Exr he always understood from the parties was brought for the purpose of legally settling the point of the fifty pounds legaseez &
not from the unwillingness to settle the sum-lawfully with the parties concerned.Nm Dortch
Mecklenburg County Court
Sworn to & _entered by and before us justices of the peace for the said county by the above named by Newman Dortch this day and year aforesaid.
Thomas Taylor JP
EH Pute JP
Newman Dortch Deposition
Returned and presented in seal the 9th Oct 1824
Severe VA depression
Couldn’t prove wills
Couldn’t farm from battles in fields
Everyone calling in debts
Blacks also in chancery, not notated
Says street on property border is Nelly