Big Auction at Dry Fork – Estate of William Ricketts 1833

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.

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