Grand Pockets’s Blog

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Conaway John Settlement Decree Estate of Big John WV genealogy


This decree was to partition the estate of Big John Conaway between his children and settle disputes among them that had arisen. As a genealogy record it is important to Conaway researchers because it proves relationships among this entire Marion County family of Conaways. I’ve dreaded transcribing this document because of its length but it’s too important to put off.

West Virginia: SS

In the Circuit Court of Marion County

October 17, 1869

Grafton S. Conaway Complainant

Edmund M Conaway & others      Defendants

This cause came on this day to be heard on the paper heretofore read, orders and decrees herein heretofore made and upon the report of partition of commissioners Austin Merritt and Ambrose Shackleford, which is in these words “To the Hon & c” to which said report of partition there are no exceptions filed. and also upon the report of commissioner E. A. Bennett as to advancements to which there are no exceptions filed. and the first seen and inspected said reports and heard the argument of counsel.

On consideration whereof, it is adjudged, ordered and decreed that said report of partition and the partitions therein reported be confirmed. It is further adjudged ordered and decreed that Ida Bell Hibbs, James Hibbs, and Van C. Hibbs do hold in fee simple the two lots or parcels of land mentioned and described in said report of partition as lots No.1. and also lot No.38. in the plan of the town of Grafton, Taylor County, West Virginia. the first lot No.1. is situated on Pyles Fork of Buffalo Creek in Marion containing 5-1/2 acres, and bounded as follows to wit:

Beginning at a hickory thence N.55 E 8 poles crossing said Pyles Fork to pointers thence S48 E21 poles, thence S30 E.20 poles, thence S22 E31-1/2 poles to a willow log. Thence S67 W.43 poles to a fallen dogwood, thence S.51 W111 poles to pointers thence N15 E.7-1/2 poles to fallen poplar, thence N.25 W.45 poles to hickory & dogwood, thence N.70 E.83 poles to the beginning and the said lot No.1 is a part of a tract of land situate in said county known as the Batten farm and bounded as follows, to wit: Beginning at a hickory corner and thence S.29 W.72-3/4 poles to a stone corner thence N.29 W.31-1/2 poles to a stone thence N.29 E.55 poles to a stone thence S.61 E.25-1/2 poles to the beginning containing 10 acres more or less.

It is further adjudged, ordered and decreed that Hellen Hawkins, Eli Hawkins, and John W. Hawkins do hold in fee simple the lot or parcel of land mentioned and described in said report as lot No.2. containing 40-1/2 acres being the residue of said Batten farm and bounded as follows to wit:

Beginning at a stone corner to said 10 acre lot and thence N.20 W.18-1/4 poles to a sugar thence S. 65-1/2 W.86 poles to a chestnut oak. thence N.41 W.43-1/2 poles to a hickory corner to Jacob Snoderly thence N.64 E.90 poles to 2 Black oaks in a line of John Everhart, thence S.61 E.10-1/2 poles to a stone another corner of said 10 acre lot & thence with a line of the same S.29 W.55 poles to the beginning.

It is further adjudged, ordered and decreed that Nancy Hibbs, late Nancy Conaway do hold in fee simple the lot or parcel of land mentioned and described in said report of partition as lot No.3 containing 41 acres in this county and bounded as follows to wit:

Beginning at a stone in the Ohio River and Maryland Turnpike road and in a line of John S. Smith and running thence with the line N.29 W.15-1/2 poles to a stone in Ice’s Run corner to the heirs of Marion McCray, thence with the lines of the same N.63 E.28 poles to a stone near Old Mill damn, thence N.89 E.33-1/4 poles thence N.73 .14 poles thence N.64 E.6 poles, thence S.77 E.31-1/2 poles crossing and recrossing said run to a stone, thence North 38 poles to a dogwood, thence N.32 W.4 poles to a stone corner to W. B. Ice. thence with the same S.89 E.60 poles to a White Walnut in a line of the heirs of Abraham Ice and with the same S.15 E.32 poles crossing said run to a white oak corner to lot No.5 and with the same S.80 W21-1.2 poles to two small willows on the South side of Ice’s run S.4-1/2 W25-1/2 poles to a stone thence S.59 W.18 poles to a stone.

It is further adjudged, ordered and decreed that John C. Conaway do hold in fee simple the lot or parcel of land mentioned and described in said report of partition as lot No. 4. situate in this county containing 18 acres and bounded as follows to wit:

Beginning in said Turnpike on  a line of the heirs of Marshall T. Fleming and running with a line of the same S.59-1/4 W.55-1/2 poles to a hickory corner to Ruben Fleming, thence with the same N.10 W.10 poles to a white oak stump thence N. 69-3/4 W.73 poles to a white oak thence N 27-1/4 W. 11-1/2 poles to a white oak on a ridge corner to J.S. Smith. and with the same N. 78-1/2 E.29-1/2 poles to a stone thence N. 18 E. 20 poles to a stone drain pike. and with the same N.37-1/2 W.5 poles to a stone corner to Lot No.3. thence with a line of the same reversed N.74-1/2 E.47 poles to a stone corner to Lot No.5. thence with the same S.28-1/2 E22-1/2 poles to a stone thence S.53 W. 22 poles to a stone in said pike thence with the same S.3 E.10 poles thence S.42 E.28 poles thence N.73 E.46 poles thence S.76 E.4 poles to the beginning.

It is further adjudged, ordered and decreed that Grafton S. Conaway do hold in fee simple the lot or parcel of land mentioned and described in said report of partition as Lot No.5. containing 30 acres, and bounded as follows to wit:

Beginning at a white oak corner to Marshall T. Fleming’s heirs and running thence with a line of the same in part S.59-3/4 W.14 poles to a stone in said Pike and comes to Lot No.4. and with said Lot and said Pike N76 W.4 poles, thence S.73 W46 poles, thence N42 W28 poles thence N3 W10 poles. thence leaving the Pike N.53 E22 poles to a stone thence N.28-1/2 W22-1/2 poles to a stone corner to lot No.3. thence with three lines of the same reversed N.59 E.18 poles to a stone. N4-1/2 E25-1/2 poles to small willows on the south side of Ice’s Run N.80 E.21-1/2 poles to a white oak corner to said Ice’s heirs, thence with the same N.86 E.5 poles to  a stone in said Ice’s Run corner to Lot No.6. thence with the same S.21 E55 poles to a stone pile, thence S.15 E.32-1/4 poles to the beginning.

It is further adjudged, ordered and decreed that Andrew F. Conaway do hold in fee simple the lot or parcel of land mentioned and described in said report of partition as Lot No.6. situate in this County containing 48 acres. bounded as follows to wit:

Beginning at a stone pile corner to Lot No.5. and running thence with a line of the same reversed N21 W.55 poles to a stone in said Ice’s Run thence down the same with its meanders 117 poles to a stone. thence leaving said run N.33 E.8 poles to a stone on a low sharp ridge corner to said Abraham Ice’s heirs and with lot No.7 S.63 E.30 poles to a stone in the Fairmont and Wheeling Turnpike road and in a line of the heirs of Allen Hall. thence with the same S.10 E. 64 poles to a stone thence with Jesse Hall’s line S.73 W.128 poles to the beginning.

It is further adjudged, ordered and decreed that Edmund M. Conaway do hold in fee simple the lot or parcell of land mentioned and described in said report of partition as lot No.7. situate in this county containing 15 acres and bounded as follows to wit:

Beginning at a sugar and thence with two of Hall’s lines S45 W.26 poles to  a sugar thence S.10 E.28 poles to a stone in said Fairmont and Wheeling Pike and corner to lot No.6. thence with the same reversed N63. W.30 poles to a stone corner to said lot and said heirs of said Abraham Ice. thence with the same N.22 E.31-1/2 poles to a stone and pointers, thence N28 E. 14 poles to a stone thence N.36 E.9-3/4 poles to two small hickorys, thence N.20 E.58 poles to Buffalo Creek. thence down the same with its meanders 83 poles to the beginning.

And the court doth ascertain and adjudge that said John Conaway deceased in his lifetime made advancements to his children and heirs with which they should be charged in the partition and distribution of his real and personal estate and the Court doth charge them therewith as follows, to wit:

To Edmund M. Conaway $89.50

To Lydia Ann Hawkins, late Lydia Ann Conaway the mother of Hellen Hawkins, Eli Hawkins and John W. Hawkins, with which the said Hellen Hawkins Eli Hawkins and John W. Hawkins as chargeable and the Court doth charge them $483.00

To Nancy Hibbs late Nancy Conaway the mother of the said Ida Bell Hibbs, James Hibbs and Van C. Hibbs, with which the said Ida bell Hibbs, James Hibbs and Van C. Hibbs are chargeable and the court doth charge them $540

To Elizabeth Hibbs. late Elizabeth Conaway $255.00

To John C. Conaway $49.00

To Andrew F. Conaway $22.00

And the court doth herein and hereby reserve to itself the right to charge the lands above to whom the same is assigned and decreed herein before in proper manner with said advancements & as to equalize the said heirs of said John Conaway deceased in the partition of his estate owing them.

It is further adjudged, ordered and decreed that said Edmund M. Conaway and Andrew F. Conaway as administrators of said John Conaway do pay the costs of this suit also the costs of said partition amounting to $52.39 out of the assetts in their hands as such administrations for which they shall be allowed on settlement of this administration account.

It is further adjudged, ordered and decreed that this cause be recommitted to commissioner E. A. Bennett and that he settle the administration account of said administrators of said John Conaway deceased, that he convene the creditors of said John Conaway before him and take and hear proof of their debts at their costs and that he report such debts as are proven which have not been paid with the amount of each. And that he also ascertain and report what amount is due each of the legal heirs and distributees of said John Conaway deceased who are parties to this suit after paying the debts of said John Conaway deceased and the proper costs of administration together with the costs of this suit and after charging them with the advancements with which they are charged in this decree And if the personal assets is not sufficient to equalize the said heirs in the partition and distribution of the real and personal estate of said John Conaway deceased and it is ordered that said Commissioner Bennett de before executing this decree give at least four weeks previous notice of the time and place of executing the same by publishing the same in some Newspaper published in this county and by advertisement posted at the Courthouse door of this county which shall be in lieu of personal service of notice and shall be a sufficient notice to all parties in interest. Said Commissioner Bennett is ordered to report his proceedings under this decree to the court at a farther term.

A Copy

Teste: R.B. Loth, Clerk

West Virginia, to wit:

Be it remembered that on the 22d day of November 1869 the foregoing decree bearing date on the 27th day of October 1869 attested by the Clerk of the Circuit Court of marion County was presented to me, John B. Crane, Recorder for the County of Marion and admitted to record.

Teste: John B. Crane, Recorder

Deed Book 19 Pages 506-510 Marion County Courthouse

John Conaway’s children named (7):

Nancy Hibbs (married Peter), John C. Conaway, Grafton S. Conaway, Andrew F. Conaway, Edmund M. Conaway, Lydia Ann Hawkins (married Josiah), Elizabeth Hibbs (married Eugenus)

John’s Grandchildren named (6):

Hellen, Eli, and John W. Hawkins (of Lydia and Josiah)

Ida Bell, James and Van C. Hibbs (of Peter and Nancy)

2 of John’s known children were NOT named in the settlement: Nathan P., who died in the Civil War, and Marvin V. who died in 1866

Grafton brought the suit and was the only heir not charged with advancements, so it was pretty obvious the arrangement laid out initially by Edmund and Andrew didn’t make him any too happy. In the dollars of those days, though, 2 of the heirs – the Hibbs & Hawkins grandchildren had between them over $1000 which was worth 10-15 times that in those days (at least). A Consumer Price Index chart here shows $1 having $38.00 in value in 1870, this Dollar Inflation Chart shows the value of a dollar as $14.83 in 1870. So Grafton wasn’t upset about small change here. His father’s estate had shrunk considerably by advancements of sizeable amounts. Estimating dollar values is difficult across time, though, but the point is this was a lot of money. Some of the neighbors are the same families through Marion & Monongalia History, Snoderly’s, Everharts, Ice’s and Flemings. All in all an interesting document. The Fairmont and Wheeling Turnpike mentioned is today’s Route 250 with a curve or two taken out. The Maryland Turnpike mentioned was part of the old National Road that followed Indian Trails when it was first surveyed and connected Cumberland Maryland with Wheeling.

~Grandpockets~

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