Archive for January, 2009

Big Auction at Dry Fork – Estate of William Ricketts 1833

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

William Ricketts’ will was written on November 2, 1826 and he died shortly before June 20, 1832.  The date of William Ricketts is not certain, but when census taker Thomas W. Wooding (1800-1869) came around in 1830, William was listed as being between 90 and 100 years old.  That would make his birth date in the 1730s.   

 

Following the name of the heads of families are 48 collumns.  William Ricketts is 90-100 years old, second wife Nancy Davis Ricketts 70-80, and one female slave, later identified as Izabell, is 24-35 years old. 

William’s son Nathaniel, who was our great, great grandfather was living separately in 1830.  The neighbors are different and he is not living close to his parents.  He is shown to be between 20 and 30, but other censuses list his birth date at 1795.  He has one child under five, which is probably our great grandfather Reuben B. Ricketts who was born in 1830. 

The writing in the census records is that of Thomas W. Wooding (1800-1869) who later built “Meadowwood” near Chalk Level.  He was captain of a company of militia during the War of 1812.  He served with the 4th Va Militia and was discharged at Norfolk in 1815.  Thomas W. Wooding also was the census taker in 1820 when the entire report was hand written.  In 1830, a printed form was used.  Thomas W. Wooding reported that there were 26,022 persons in his district as of December 2, 1830.  Coleman Echols assisted him in 1830. 

William Ricketts’ 205-acre plantation, part of which he owned since 1780, and all his personal property, was sold for a debt of $37.90 the year following his death.  Robert Wilson of Dan’s Hill held a deed of trust for the real estate which was sold separately. 
 
William Ricketts’ personal property was sold on September 23, 1833.  Fourteen of his Dry Fork neighbors came made purchases.  Apparently none of the Ricketts descendants had the money to buy anything at the auction.  It is too bad that someone in the family did not have two cents to buy the old family Bible. 
 
(1) Robert Hutchings purchased a small trunk and toilet for 35 cents, a hand saw, reep hock, drawing knife and culling knife for 50 cents.  His total purchase was 85 cents.
 
(2) Ambrose Jackson made the following purchases: a jug, crock and coffee pot 30 cents, a lady’s saddle $1.00, a cotton wheel and cards 80 cents, a loom and barrel 31 cents, two bee stands 50 cents, a cupboard $5.05, six barrels @ 12 ½ cents $5.17 ½, one spotted sow and five pigs $1.50, a small spotted hog 55 cents, one bay mare $25.00, and a large pot and hooks.  His total was $36.13 ½.
 
(3) Henry Emmerson bought a lot of pewter 25 cents, a pewter basin 31 cents and a pewter dish $1.01 for a total of $1.57.
 
(4) Thomas S. Jones (Sheriff) bought one flax wheel for 84 cents.
 
(5) Mary Waller bought a pair of sad irons and a pair of scales for 54 cents, a pine table for 87 ½ cents, one bed and furniture for $3.05. Her total was $4.46 ½ cents
 
(6) Jesse C. Carter (lived at “Oakland” on Banister River) bought a pair of steel guards $1.37 ½.
 
(7) John Dickson bought a coffee mill 12 ½ cents, a taylors goose (A taylors goose is an iron for pressing the seam of clothes) 54 cents, one set plow gear 62 ½ cents, an axe, plow, hoe and hilling hoe 92 cents, one chest and rumlet 40 cents, one lot earthen ware $1.00, one looking glass (mirror) 31 cents for a total of $3.92.
 
(8) Matthew Hall bought one yearling $3.65.
 
(9) Robert Chattin bought a pair of tongs, a skillet and one pot &c. for $1.00
 
(10) John Thompson bought a spice mortar for 77 cents.
 
(11) William Walton bought one Bible and Testament for two cents.  (Boy would I love to have that.  It was probably the family Bible with birth and death dates.)  (In 1826, when Wiilliam Ricketts’ will was written, William Walton was a member of the House of Delegates in Richmond, Virignia.  See a separate post on the Walton family of Pleasant Gap).
 
(12) Henry Mitchell bought a decanter and tumbler for 30 cents.
 
(13) Ephraim Jackson, Junior bought one bed and furniture for $5.05, three bed covers $1.30, one cow and bell for $8.00 and one white sow and seven pigs for $2.56.  His total was $16.91.
 
(14) Abel Jackson bought one fat cow for $10.65.
 
The sub total for these sales is $88.40 ½.
 
There is added the sale of a Negro woman “Izbell” on May 19, 1834.  Abner Bennett paid $209.00 for the only slave owned by William Ricketts.  In his will written in 1826, William intended that “One Negro woman Izabelle shall go to either of my four younger children, and if, after going to either of them she should become dissatisfied, that she may go from one to the other as she may think proper.”  Apparently, Izabelle was born between 1795 and 1806.  She is shown on the 1830 census along with William Ricketts (he is between 90 and 100 years old – born in the the 1730s), and two females, one of which is 20-30 and the other 70-80 years old.  William’s second marriage in 1789 was to the much younger Nancy Davis, daughter of William Davis of Cherrystone Creek.  William Davis was operating a grist mill on Cherrystone Creek during the Revolutionary War.  They lived in the old Davis Rock House which is still standing. 
 
The total sales for William Ricketts estate of $297.40 ½ was recorded at the Pittsylvania County Court on September 15, 1834. 

  

See a separate post about the land on White Oak Mountain on the Dry Fork of White Oak Creek.

 See blog index at:   http://rdricketts.com/blog/

 http://beaversmill.ieasysite.com

website: http://www.rdricketts.com 

Contact: dan@rdricketts.com

See other blogs: http://megiddofirstlast.blogspot.com/

History posters:

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William Ricketts Cabin & Barn on White Oak Mountain at Dry Fork

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

Well, Bobby just relocated these ancient pictures of grandson Joey, Bobby and I on our excursion looking for the cabin our 3rd, 4th and 5th grandfather William Ricketts.  According to Bobby, these pictures are ten years ago in 1996, before we moved to Broken Arrow, Oklahoma for two years of Bible School at Rhema.

 The year after William Ricketts, 3rd great grandfather, died in 1832, the family lost the 205-acre farm on the Dry Fork of White Oak Creek for a debt of just over $37.  The Ricketts men did not own land for quite a while and lived as “share croppers.”  I think the land owner got three fourths and the share cropper got one fourth.  But they did get a place to live and plenty of firewood.  They could have a garden and not much more, but their only risk was the fertilizer.  Sometimes that was a problem in years when tobacco prices were down.   

Willam began obtaining land at Dry Fork, just a short distance south of where the Depot and Post Office were built, in 1780.  The Revolutionary War was still raging when he settled about six miles due south of Pittsylvania Court House.  This was only three years after the courthouse was moved from Callands to the present county seat of Chatham. 

As often happened we had done our homework (or Clerk’s Office work).  I located a 1910 map after tracing the land down to 1910.  The Branch running east into the Dry Fork of White Oak Creek was identified as Ricketts Branch.  We followed a road south off the Dry Fork Road (sr 718) for about a mile where it crossed Ricketts Branch.  When we reached the fork of the branch shown on the map, we hiked up the hill.  We came upon very large rocks which were the foundation and walls of the root cellar of the old Ricketts plantation house.  There was nothing left except the foundation.  We found no metal objects with the metal detector in the surrounding area.  Before we got back to do more exploration, a housing development was build which destroyed the site. 

My grandmother Lucy James Ricketts wrote about living in an old cabin in the 1800s in this area (see: http://family.rdricketts.com/lucysketch.html ).  It was near the railroad and not far from her sister who lived on the old Edward Robertson place north of the cabin below.  I think ii is very likely that, without knowing it, they lived in the old 1700s cabin where her husband Charlie Edward’s great grandfather lived over a hundred years before.

William Ricketts had 55 acres surveyed in 1780 and purchased an adjoining 150 acres in 1786.  He lived here until he died in 1832.  He is probably buried in a community type cemetery just north of his land.  The cemetery is on property owned by Revolutionary veteran Edward Robertson who was born in 1755 and died in 1826, shortly before William Ricketts.

Here is Bobby and Joey at the old foundation of William Ricketts cabin.  Joey is now six feet plus and this is a few feet ago. 

Here is Joey in 2009.  He is an 18-year old senior at Brookville High School in Campbell County, Virginia.  Bobby, Kim and Joey live at Forest, Virignia. 

Back down on Ricketts Branch, we found the rock foundation of an old tobacco fire box.  Most old log barns for curing tobacco had two of these fireboxes. The two walls were usually capped by a single stone about as wide as the box was high.  Often soapstone which was easily shapped, was mined and cut to fit on top of the firebox. Wood was burned here and the heat circulated through flues inside the barn to dry and cure the tobacco.  The resulting product is a golden brown, pliable tobacco which was not entirely dried out in the week-long continious heating process.  The tobacco that I see today is very dry and brittle.  Danville was the main auction market for this “golden leaf” for over a hundred years. 

See blog index at:   http://rdricketts.com/blog/

 http://beaversmill.ieasysite.com

website: http://www.rdricketts.com

Contact: dan@rdricketts.com

See other blogs: http://megiddofirstlast.blogspot.com/

History posters:

http://rdricketts.com/blog/history-posters-danville-pittsyvlania-co-va/