Name: William Walker
Given Name: William
Change Date: 31 Oct 2012
Birth: ABT 1726
Death: of "in his 85th year" 17 AUG 1810 in Botetourt Co., Virginia, U.S.A.
PARENTAGE OF WILLIAM WALKER
The custom among the Scottish and Scotch-Irish, especially before 1800, was to name the first-born son after the father's father, the second-born son after the mother's father, the first-born daughter after the mother's mother, and the second-born daughter after the father`s mother. Only after those people had namesakes would a man name a son after himself or a daughter after the mother. Of course when the father had the same name as his father, the oldest son would have the same name as the father and the grandfather.
William Walker of Botetourt County named one of his older sons Henry and one of his older daughters Agnes, which is a very strong indication that the William Walker, son of Henry and Agnes Walker of Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania, is our William Walker.
In this case these naming patterns take on especial significance because the names Henry Walker and Agnes Walker appear almost nowhere else in Virginia other than in our Walker family.
John Tracy Walker and I have, of course, checked to see if anyone else has a William Walker who claims to be the son of Henry and Agnes Walker above. So far, no other researcher says Henry and Agnes are the parents of their William.
I realize that not everyone will agree that we have proved our case, and I would love more definitive records. For me personally, the almost total non-use of the names Henry and Agnes by other Walker families in Virginia are adequate proof to accept Henry and Agnes of Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania, as the parents of William Walker of Botetourt Co.
Fortunately, DNA studies are beginning to provide proof of relationships where no written proof has been found. So far, the DNA of a living male Walker whose paper-trail leads back to James, who probably was the father of Henry Walker, who we think was the father of this William Walker, matches the DNA of several living male descendants of this William Walker. Moreover the DNA test of another male Walker whose paper trail goes back to Henry Walker also matches the DNA of our William Walker's descendants.
I use the term "whose paper-trail" instead of saying "who was a descendant of" because I have not yet seen and double-checked all the documentation that would prove their descendancy. Yes, DNA proves there is a relationship; no, DNA does not prove what the relationship is. In other words, DNA tests can prove that two living Walker men both descend from the same Walker ancestor -- somewhere back up the line. They do not, however, prove who the common ancestor was.
EARLY RECORDS OF WILLIAM WALKER
Early information about William Walker of Botetourt Co., VA, is highly tentative. His son, William Walker, Jr., was born in Bedford County, VA, in 1759 (according to his Revolutionary War pension application), which would place William Sr. there at that time. The earliest deed J. Tracy Walker and I have found for William Sr. in Botetourt County (at that time part of Augusta Co.) calls him William Walker "of Bedford County," which would confirm that he was living there before he moved to Botetourt. There is also an early lawsuit in Augusta Co. between an unknown person and "William Walker of Augusta County, Virginia and Bedford County, Virginia." This shows that William owned land in both counties at the same time. Unfortunately, early court records of Augusta County are in total disarray and in the basement of the courthouse in Staunton. At this time they are not accessible to researchers. The genealogical society of Augusta County hoped back in 1987 to sort and clean them, but I do not know if any progress has been made.
There was a William Walker who enlisted 24 Nov 1755 in a company of rangers in Augusta Co., VA, under the command of Capt. William Preston. William Walker is listed as being 18 years of age, 5 feet 4 inches tall, and his country is given as Pennsylvania. He was discharged 12 Dec 1755, making his term of military service only 18 days. In one of the Draper Manuscripts, there is a payroll for these rangers. William Walker did not receive any pay, but the reason for the non-payment was illegible on the film that I viewed. Unfortunately, if one is to believe the age given on his tombstone, William Walker was 30 years old in 1755.
The question then arises, is the tombstone inaccurate? It happened frequently in the days before driver's licenses and social security, that an old person became much older than his actual years, since after a certain period of time there was no one around who remembered his birth. We have tried to come up with an estimate for the ages of his children, (we have birth dates for only two, William and George), dates of their marriages, ages of their children, etc. It is very frustrating, however, due to lack of early censuses, lack of any information about some of William's children, etc. The best we can say, is that the birthdate indicated by the age given on his tombstone is consistent with what we know about his children, but on the other hand nothing proves that he could not have been the 18-year-old soldier in 1755.
EARLY RECORDS IN AUGUSTA CO., VIRGINIA
Hening's Statutes at Large (Hening)
vol. 7 - 1756-63:
In Sep 1758 a William Walker was allowed 15 pounds 12 shillings for provisions furnished to the county of Augusta.
[We need to check Hening's Statutes at Large to see the actual reference here, plus check for other Walker references.]
LAND IN BEDFORD CO., VIRGINIA
In 1761 William Walker bought a tract of land in Bedford Co., Virginia. This deed is recorded in Bedford Co. Deed Book ?, pages 429-430:
This Indenture made the twenty seventh day of April in the year of our Lord one Thousand seven Hundred and sixty one Between William Callaway of the County of Bedford of one Part and William Walker of the same County of the other Part Witnesseth that the said William Callaway for and in consideration of the just and full sum of thirty two Pounds cur't Money of Virginia to him in hand & paid by the said William Walker... do give grant bargain sell deliver & confirm to him the said William Walker... one certain tract... of Land... in the county aforsaid on the branch of Little Otter Containing four Hundred acres more or Less and Bounded as Follows viz:
Beginning at Williams's Corner on Little Otter fell [?] down Thence along his Line North thirty-five degrees East one Hundred and Ten Poles to a Hickory
Thence New Line North seventy five degrees East one Hundred and fourteen Poles to a Locust
thence South thirty eight East two Hundred & twelve Poles to Pointers of Bushes
thence South forty five west two Hundred and four Poles to the said Little Otter River
Thence Crossing the same Course Continued to Randolphs Line
thence along his Line North Forty five degrees west to the said Little Otter River and
thence down the same as it Meanders to the first Station
Together with all and singular the Priviledges and Appertenances... in witness whereof the said William Callaway hath hereunto set his Hand and seal the day and year above Written
Memorandum That on the day & year first within Mentioned Quiet and Peacable Possession and d___ of the within Mentioned Land and Premises with all the appurtenances was given and Made by William Callaway to William Walker agreeable within the written Indenture.
At Court held for Bedford County April 27th 1761 this Indenture & Memorandum of Livery of ___ herin Indorsed was acknowledged by Wm. Callaway Party thereto & Ordered to be Recorded.
Teste Ben. H__ward.
SALE OF BEDFORD LAND
In Bedford Co. Deed Book ?, pages 48 & 49, there is the deed dated 23 Nov 1762, whereby William Walker sells the above described land to William Mead for 60 pounds. The deed was recorded the 23rd of Nov 176_. Either 1763 was written, then the 3 was overwritten by a 2, or the 1762 was written and then the 2 overwritten by a 3. The same thing was done on the preceding deed. I would say that it should be 1762, since otherwise it is quite a coincidence, that it was recorded the exact same day and month that it was signed, only one year later.
There is no wife's name mentioned in this deed, and yet William Walker was having children born during this period, hence the need to check what the legal requirements were at that time. An earlier deed from Bedford Co (1755) has a William Walker and wife Elizabeth selling to William Mead a tract of land containing 400 acres, on both sides of Little Otter River. If the 1762 sale of land is by our William Walker, then why isn't his wife's name on the deed? This is definitely the land purchased 7 Apr 1761 by a William Walker from William Callaway, both listed as "of Bedford County."
LEASE & RELEASE
In the 18th century, Virginia had a law about land sales that made it difficult in some way for anyone to sell land except to someone who was already leasing the land in question. To get around this law, people used a system of double transactions, called "lease and release." The first deed signed was the "lease," in which the land was leased, usually for a very small amount of money or for one peppercorn (meaning an actual, real peppercorn, which was the smallest item that had a standard monetary value, and that could be and was used as money). The second deed, signed 24 hours later, was the actual sale (called the "release"), in which the owner sold the land (for cash) to the person leasing the land. In most cases the two deeds, the "lease" and the "release" were identical except for the date and the price paid.
LAND IN AUGUSTA CO., VIRGINIA
Augusta County Deed Book ??,pages 101 & 102:
This Indenture made the nineteenth Day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Sixty five Between Hugh Hays and Mary his wife of the County of Augusta of the one part and William Walker of the same County of the other part Witnesseth that the said Hugh & Mary Hays for... the sum of five shillings... paid by the said William Walker...do grant bargain and sell unto the said William Walker a certain tract of Land Containing one hundred and Seventy six acres by the same more or less lying and being in the County of Augusta in Beverley Mannor & bounded as follows viz
Beginning at a white oak & Elm Corner to said Hays runneth thence with his line
North sixty one degrees West one hundred & ten poles to three white oaks in Henrys line thence with Henrys & Purris Line South twenty nine degrees West two hundred and fifty two poles to a white oak in the patent line thence with said Line
South Sixty degrees East one hundred & twenty poles to a black oak & hiccory thence
north thirty four degrees East one hundred & thirty four poles to a hiccory & black oak saplin thence
north fifty four degrees West twenty one poles to a Chesnut thence
north twenty nine degrees East one hundred & fifteen poles to the beginning...
Tot Have and to Hold the said tract of land... from the day before the date hereof for and during the full Term and Time of one whole year from thence next ensuing fully to be complied & ended Yielding and Paying therefore the rent of one Pepper Corn on Lady Day next if the same shall be be lawfully demanded... In Witness whereof the sd. Hugh & Mary Hays have hereunto set their hands and seals the Day and Year first above written
Signed and Delivered in the presence of Mathew Huston James Henry John Weir
At a Court held for Augusta Count August 20th 1765 Hugh Hays acknowledged this his Lease for Land to William Walker which is ordered to be recorded.
There follows immediately the second deed (the release), again dated the next day, this time for seventy three pounds sixteen shillings, which was the actual sale price.
PURCHASE OF LAND ON CRAIGS CREEK
On 8 Jul 1762, William Walker "of Bedford County" bought 275 acres of land on Craigs Creek from Robert Williams, as shown in the deed below, which was recorded in two different counties.
Botetourt Co. Deed Book 5, page 252 & also Augusta Co. Deed Book 12, page 176:
This Indenture made the Seventh Day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand Seven hundred & sixty three Between Robert Williams of the Province of North Carolainia [sic] of the one part and William Walker of the County of Bedford in the Colony of Virginia of the other part Witnesseth that the said Robert Williams for and in Consideration of the Sum of five Shillings Current Money of Virginia to him in hand paid by the said William Walker at or before the Sealing and Delivery of these presents the Receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged Hath Granted Bargained and Sold and by these presents Doth Bargain and Sell unto the said William Walker one Certain Tract or parcel of Land Containing two hundred and Seventy five acres as appears by Deeds of Lease & Release to him made for the same by James Patten bearing Date the Sixteenth & Seventeenth Day of December 17_3 Lying and being in the County of Augusta on a branch of James River Called Craigs Creek & bounded as followeth to Wit
Beginning at three black oaks on a banck & Running thence South fifty two poles to two hiccorys & a poplar on the west side of the creek & up the Creek
North Eighty Degrees West Sixty two poles
North Seventy Degrees West one hundred poles
North fifty Six Degrees West Fifty four poles to a hiccory & Walnut on the West Side of the Creek
North Seventy two deg's West Eighty four poles Crossing the Creek to a white oak
South twenty five Degrees West one hundred poles to a black oak and white oak
South thirteen Degrees East Sixty poles to two Spanish oaks and a Walnut
South Eighty Degrees West fourty four poles to a white oak and hiccory on the East side of the Creek thence Down the same
North twenty three Degrees West one hundred & fifty four poles
North fifteen deg's East one hundred and twenty poles
South Eighty five Degrees East fifty Six poles
South Sixty five deg's East Eighty six poles to an ash and Walnut on the bank of the Creek thence
East Sixty poles & South Sixty Degrees East two hundred & twenty poles to the beginning
& all Houses Buildings Orchards Ways Waters Water Courses profits Commodities Hereditaments and Appurtenances whatsoever to the said premises hereby granted or any part thereof belonging or in anywise appertaining and the Reversion & Reversions Remainder and Remainders Rents Issues & profits thereof To Have And To Hold the said tract of Land & all & Singular other the Premises hereby Granted with the appurtenances unto the said William Walker his Executors Administrators and Assigns from the Day before the Date hereof for and during the full term and time of one whole year from thence Next Ensuing fully to be Compleat & Ended Yielding and paying therefore the rent of one pepper Corn on Lady Day Next if the same shall be Lawfully Demanded to the intent and purpose that by Virtue of these presents & of the Statute for transferring Uses into possession the said William Walker may be in actual Possession of the premises & be thereby Enabled to accept & take a Grant and Release of the Reversion & Inheritance thereof to him and his heirs In Witness whereof the said Robert Williams hath hereunto set his hand and seal the Day and Year first above written.
Sealed & Delivered in the presence of John Mills Jno. Buchanan David Looney
At a Court Cond'd & held for Augusta County November the 21st 1764 this Lease for Land from Robert Williams to William Walker was proved by the oaths of John Buchanan Gent and John Mills two of the Witnesses thereto & ordered to be Certified.
At a Court Cond.d & held for Augusta County August the 21st 1765 This Lease for Land from Robert Williams to William Walker was this day further proved by the oath of David Loony the other witness thereto & ordered to be recorded.
Immediately following this lease is the release. Here are the only differences:
the Eight Day of July... Robert Williams of the province of North Carolainia of the County of Orange...for the sum of thirty three pounds Eighteen Shillings and three pence Current Money... doth hereby acknowledge and thereof doth release acquit & discharge the said William Walker his heirs Executors and Administrators by these presents he the said Robert Williams Hath Granted... unto the said William Walker in his actual possession now being by virtue of a bargain and Sale to him thereof made by the said Robert Williams for one whole year by Indenture bearing date the Day next before the Day of the Date of these presents and by force of the Statute... by James Patton bearing Date the sixteenth & seventeenth Days of December 1753... etc.
DISPOSITION OF LAND ON CRAIGS CREEK
Charlou Dolan: William Walker first deeded 100 acres of this land to Henry Walker (Deed Book 5, page 252) and later deeded the other 80 acres to "my son Henry Walker" (Deed Book 6, page 300). The deeds of Henry Walker and Martha Walker need to be checked to see if Henry (the son) was in possession of the entire 180 acres, or if another, as yet unidentified, Henry Walker owned part of it.
Botetourt Co., VA, Deed Book 6, page 300:
This Indenture made this 11th day of April in the year of Our Christ 1797 between William Walker of Botetourt County & State of Virginia of the one part & his son Henry Walker of the county and State aforesd. of the other part...sum of $300...tract of land it being part of a Grant of 275 acres granted to James Patton by a patent bearing date the 3rd day of November 1750 & conveyd. by said Patton to Robert Williams by a Deed admitted to record at Augusta March Court 1754 and conveyed by said Williams to William Walker by a deed admitted to record at Augusta Court 1765 said tract or parcel of land containing Eighty acres be the same more or less as is contained in the following boundries to wit
Beginning at three Sycamores on the South Bank of Craigs Creek on a line of said grant thence with said line North 73 degrees West 90 poles to a White Oak corner to the land of Henry Walker & to said Grant
thence, a Division line, North 70 west 125 poles crossing Craigs Creek to a Hickory & Mulberry on a line of sd. Grant
thence with the line of the same North 15 East 60 poles to a stake
South 85 East 50 poles to near the Creek
thence down the Creek 124 poles to a double Ash & Walnut on the South bank of the Creek corner to said Grant
thence, division lines, down the Creek with the Several Courses thereof 78 poles to the Beginning...
In testimony whereof the said William Walker hath hereunto set his hand and Seal the Day and Year above written.
[signed] William Walker
(witnesses) Jas. Heavin Hugh Caldwell William Givens
At July Botetourt Court 1797
This Indenture of Bargain & Sale was Exhibited in Court and proved by the oath of James Heavin, Hugh Caldwell & William Givens witnesses thereto
Subscribed and thereupon ordered to be Recorded.
A copy teste Hy. Bowyer C.B.C.
MORTGAGE OF LIVESTOCK
Botetourt Co., Virginia, Deed Book 1, page 391:
Whereas David Loony stands Security for me in a Bond ___ to Col. John Buchanan on the eighth day of December 1763 for the sum of Thirty three pounds eighteen shillings and three pence Current Money of Virginia with Interest from that time, which Bond is now in the Possession of Wm. Preston, and whereas the said Looney may suffer if a suit is brought for the said Money, To prevent which I do hereby make over in open market to the said David as his Counter Security and to keep him Indemnified on said Account the following Effects,
one Gray Horse a Trotter
one Bright Bay mare branded with a W on the near Shoulder with some white Round her Eyes,
also a Bay mare with a Star & a white foot,
likewise a Brown three year old mare, has a large Star & two white feet,
and a Bright Bay filley two years old this spring,
also seven head of horned Cattle and
twenty five Hoggs
which several Articles I do hereby make over to the said David Looney on the terms above mentioned and have delivered the above sd. Gray Horse to Abraham & Wm. McClellan as Attorneys of the said David Looney in Confirmation of the above Bill of sale & should the said Looney have any part of the above sum to pay I hereby agree that the said Looney sell all or part of the above Stock for ready money to repay himself what he may advance with all Charges he may be at & the remainder if any to return to me In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal this nineteenth Day of March 1772.
Sealed & Deliverd in the presence of Wm. Preston Robt. Breckenridge
At a court held for Botetourt County 13 May 1772 This Bill of Sale was proved by the oath of Colo'o Robert Breckenridge a witness hereto and Ordered to be recorded.
[Charlou Dolan: The first thing my mother and I noticed was that the original bond mentioned in the above document was made on the exact day and for the exact sum as the first land purchased by William Walker in Augusta (later Botetourt) Co., which would explain where William got the money to buy the land. What puzzled us, however, was why William didn't just sell the animals and pay off the bond? Don Strong explained that in effect William Walker was just mortgaging the animals to David Looney, and William got to keep them as long as he did not default on his payment to Col. John Buchanan.]
EARLY BOTETOURT COURT RECORDS
Charlou Dolan: When my mother and I were in Botetourt Co. in 1986, we were told that people had thought for a long time that no early Botetourt County Court records existed. But just a few years before we were there, cardboard boxes filled with early court records were discovered in the basement of the courthouse, stacked up against the concrete walls. Due to the moisture they had absorbed, they were sent to the State Library in Richmond, where they were in a long line of records waiting for rehabilitation. Although these records were not accessible to the public, my mother and I got permission from the Botetourt County Clerk to look at them. When the records were brought to us, however, their condition was even worse than we had been told. They were disintegrating to the point that removing one piece of paper from the top of the stack caused that piece to disintegrate completely. The only hope for salvaging them that we could see would be to have someone film each one before removing it from the stack. At the end of this filming, to be sure, the documents would no longer exist, but there would at least be a film record of them. I can only hope an expert on restoration of such severaly damaged papers knows a better process that will allow the documents to be filmed without destroying them in the process.
GRANT OF LAND
William Walker received 60 acres of land (date ?) from a new grant, on a southeast branch of Craigs Creek, on the Fincastle to Sweet Springs Road. (Deed Book 14, page 649). In his will, this land is called "The Sulpher Springs Place." He willed this land to his grandson William, son of his deceased son Henry Walker.
WIVES OF WILLIAM WALKER
William Walker was apparently married twice. On a deed in 1772 when he sold some land to Samuel Carson, his wife is listed as Mary. On 25 Apr 1785 he signed a marriage bond to marry Mary Walker. Originally we thought that this marriage was William Jr., his son, but the signature on the marriage bond matches the other known signatures of William Sr., namely the ones on the marriage bond of his daughter Esther to Thomas Wilson in 1791, and on his will and the codicil to his will in 1810.
In early Virginia there were two ways to get married. One was by calling banns three Sundays in a row in the Church of England. The purpose of calling banns was to let other people know that the two people intended to get married. If anyone then had an objection (such as that one of the couple was underage, or a bound servant, or already married to someone else), they would find out about the upcoming marriage in time to voice their objections.
Many of the people living in the Shenandoah Valley, however, were seeking religious freedom, and therefore they did not want to have banns called in the Church of England. As an alternative to banns, one could post a bond guaranteeing that both parties to the marriage were of age (or if not, that they had the consent of their parents or guardian), and that there was no other impediment to the marriage. As is done with a bail bond today, only a small amount of money was actually paid, with the people posting the bond guaranteeing to pay a much larger sum if the parties to the marriage were found to be not free to get married. Two people were required to sign the bond. One was usually, but not always, the groom. The other was usually a relative. I have been told that in general, if the bride was underage, her father would sign the bond, but if she were over the age of 21 her brother or uncle would sign. Sometimes, however, the other person signing as "surety" on the bond would be a friend or relative of the groom. There were usually one to three witnesses to their signatures.
If one of the parties was under the age of 21, the written consent of the responsible person (father, mother, or guardian) was needed. At other times an affidavit was signed by someone who gave oath that the person concerned was over the age of 21. Sometimes the bride herself signed such an affidavit, although the more usual case was for a relative or neighbor to swear that the bride (or in some cases the groom) was of age. The affidavits and consents were also usually witnessed by one to four other people. Because the bonds obligated the signers to pay the state of Virginia a certain sum if the conditions were not met, the county clerks kept the actual bonds, consents, and affidavits (as compared to land records, where the owners got to kee[ the actual deeds after the clerk copied them into the deed books). These bonds, affidavits, and consents are therefore a good source of original signatures, and they offer the genealogist the opportunity (if he is lucky) to prove that two people with the same name were the same person, or alternatively to show that they were two people.
As an example of the wording on a bond, we will include here the marriage bond of William Walker, which is typical of such marriage bonds, the first part being the bond, and the second part being the conditions under which the bond would have to be paid off:
"Know all Men by these presents that we William Walker and Joseph Snodgrass are held and firmly bound unto the Commonwealth of Virginia in the Sum of fifty pounds Current Money To the which paiment well and truly to be made we Bind our Selves our & Each of our Heirs Executors & administrators firmly by these presents Sealed with our Seals and Dated
this 25th day of apl. 1785
The Condition of the above Obligation is Such that Whereas there is a marriage Shortly intended to be had & solemnized between the above bound Wm. Walker & Mary Walker both of this parish If Therefore There shall be no Lawful cause to Obstruct the said Marriage then the Obligation to be void otherwise to remain in full force & virtue
[Note: In this particular case, Joseph Snodgrass is the son-in-law of William Walker, and there were no witnesses.]
REVOLUTIONARY WAR SERVICE
At a Court held in Botetourt County March 14, 1782, William Walker was allowed £3 6s 8p for 400 lbs of beef for the Militia. At a Court held April 11, 1782, William Walker was allowed 6 Shillings for pasturage and 6s 6p for 12 bundles of fodder for Com'ny Department.
[Charlou Dolan: I have not yet seen the originals of these records, but they are listed on the DAR application of a descendant.]
MORTGAGE OF LAND
In Botetourt Co., VA, Deed Book 3, page 461, William Walker mortgaged some of his property to his sons-in-law Joseph and Isaac Snodgrass.
[Charlou Dolan: We need to check and see if William redeemed this land, and if it was still in his possession when he died. It would also be interesting to find out why William Walker needed cash so badly that he mortgaged the land he was actually living on. As far as we know, this was the only time he borrowed against his land.]
WILLIAM WALKER'S WILL
[Transcribed by Charlou Dolan]
Botetourt County Will Book B, pages 246-249, 261:
In the name of God Amen, I William Walker of Botetourt County and state of Virginia, Tho weak in body yet (through the Mercy & Goodness of God) Sound in Mind and Memory do constitute this my last Will and Testament and desire it to be received as such.
Imprimis, I most humbly bequeath my soul to God who gave it and my body to the earth from whence it was taken, as for my burial I desire it to be done in a descent and Christian manner. Touching Worldy affairs I will that all my Just debts be first paid and the surpless of my Estate to be divided as follows,
Imprimis, I give to my son John one certain tract of land called the Iron Spring place containing about 250 acres to him and his heirs forever, to whom I leave also one hundred and twenty five pounds which is now in his hands, also two bonds on George Hardy the first bond for one hundred dollars due in April 1812 the other bond calls for two hundred and fifty dollars due in the year 1815, he paying as follows, to my daughter Esther fifty pounds lawful money within two years from this date. To my daughter Agnes five pounds within three years from this date. To my daughter Mary five pounds within three years from this date.
Item. To my son George and James equally I give my land on Barbers Creek above Greenlees to them & their heirs forever.
To my son George I also give one half of the tract of land which is in dispute between Nathin Eakin and myself, he looking after the title at his own expense.
The other half of which, if gained, I give to my son William and my daughter-in-law Martha Walker equally.
To my son William I also give all that is now in his hands.
To my son James I also give all that is now in his hands, my riding mare excepted, also two bonds on George Hardy of one hundred dollars each, one of which is due in the year 1813, the other in the year 1814. He paying out of said bonds when collected to my son George ten pounds, provided he can not gain the above mentioned disputed land, if the land is gained said James must pay ten pounds in good property to my daughter Esther, also, my son James is to take good care of me while I live and at my death to give my body a decent burial.
To my son-in-law Isaac Snodgrass [husband of daughter Sarah Walker deceased], I give one French Crown.
To Henry Walker's son William I give and bequeath the Sulpher Spring Place containing about sixty acres to him & his heirs forever, he paying to his mother five pounds.
To John Walker's son William, I give my riding mare.
I also give to my son John my saltpeter cave in Greenbrier County, he looking after the title at his own expense.
I also constitute my son John sole Executor of this my last Will & Testament and I desire that he shall collect all debts due to me except such as are herein remited & a few small claims which I have assigned to James Walker and that he the said John shall pay all my just debts prior to this date except doctors bill which my son James shall pay & if any thing remains I allow him the said John to keep it for his own benefit.
To my son-in-law Thomas Harmon I remit all that is due to me from him by bond or otherwise...
If the bonds herein mentioned on George Hardy are not paid according to bargain I desire that John Walker my Executor shall sell the land for which said bonds were executed or as much thereof as will be requisite according to my contract with said Hardy and that he apply the money as herein before directed.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty eight day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ten. Sealed and declared by the above named William Walker for his last Will and Testament.
Interlined before signing in presence of us.
Jacob Wagener John Taylor (his mark) Andrew Walker
- - - - - - - - - -
I the said William Walker on this thirty first day of July 1810 do authorize & empower my said Exr. John Walker to convey by proper deed or deeds any land that I may be bound to convey & more expressly the land sold to George Hardy. And in the event of sd. Hardy's not fulfilling complying with his purchase & its becoming necessary that my sd. Exr. should make another sale of sd. land, he is hereby empowered to make a conveyance therefor to the purchaser or purchasers, & this provision I declare to be a part of my aforesd. last will & Testament
William Walker Sinr.
witnesses: Andrew Walker John (his mark) Taylor Zadok Nutter
- - - - - - - - - -
A memorandum of Articles not mentioned in my last will and testament which I dispose of among my children as follows
To my son John I give my Cross cut saw 1 pewter dish 1 kettle 1 pot 1 pair Stilyards 2 woolen reeds 1 pair 5 hund.d gears 1 foot adz, Croze, crooked drawing knife, butcher knife, inshove and Iron wedge.
To his son William 1 tomahawk.
To his daughter Polly my looking glass & some teacups & saucers.
I also allow my son John to take my cotton webb of 30 yards warp and about 14 dozen filling and get it wove soon, and give to my sons William, George, & James each 4 yards & a half for coats, and keep the ballance himself.
To my son George I give one eleven hundred reed [part of a weaving loam], my silver watch, 1 falling axe, mounting for a chest, a Book the auther David Linsey, and 1 Twell'd bagg [= twilled bag].
To my son James I give my Double barrel gun, whip saw, broad axe, 5 dozen seven hundred flax thread, some thread on big spools, 1 pairing chissel some tow yarn, my Bible, 3 table spoons, 1 pewter bason, 1 water bucket, 1 seven hund'd reed & gears 1 pair 5 hund'd gears, a pair compasses.
To my daughter Polly Snodgrass [Mary, wife of Joseph Snodgrass] I send 1 Feather bed & bedding, 1 bedstead, 1 weavers loom, 1 six hundred reed, 1 four hundred & fifty reed.
To Henry's son William I give a small oven & potrack which he now has, 1 drawing knife, and 1 three gallon jugg.
August 3rd, 1810
Witnesses present Henry Myars (his mark) Jacob Wagener Nimrod Crawford"
Charlou Dolan: When I first read the above will, I had hopes of finding the family Bible willed to James. Unfortunately, when I later got the inventory of James Walker, it did not include a family Bible, which means it may have been lost or accidentally destroyed before his death. There still exists the slight possibility that he might have given it to one of his children before he wrote his will. Although one would think that the oldest son or oldest child would be given the family Bible, in most cases the Bible went to the youngest child, as he or she was the last one to leave home, and most often the one the aged mother or father would be living with at the time of his or her death.
INVENTORIES OF WILLIAM WALKER'S ESTATE
Charlou Dolan: There are two inventories available for the estate of William Walker. The first one below is in the handwriting of his son, John Walker. The second is the official one done by Henry Holstine, Philip Caist?, and Isaac? Hannah. Because there are slight differences in the items, I have included both inventories.
Original inventory in the Botetourt Co. Courthouse:
An inventory of all the Personal Estate of William Walker Deced. which is come to my hand as an Executor of the same
four bonds on George Hardey Executed by the said Walker on the 19th Day of December in the year of 1809 and Due as follows
first bond due on the first Day of aprle in the year 1812
Second bond Due on the first day of aprle in the year 1813
third bond due on the first Day of aprile in the year 1814
fourth bond due on the first day of aprile in the y 1815
one bay mare . . . one Enshave
one black horse . . . one crows
two cows . . . one water bucket
one heifer . . . five Dozen flax thread
one silver watch . . . some tow thread
one eleven hundred reed . . . one chissel
one twiled bag . . . one pair compasses
one faling axe . . . one halter chain
one pair hinges . . . two woolin reeds
mountain for Drawers . . . one puter [= pewter] Dish
one looking glass . . . three plain stocks & bits
one book title David linsy . . . one Stock lock
three cups & sassars . . . two Drawing knives
one stone Jugg . . . two pair five hundred gears
one pair money Scales & waits . . . one weavers loom
one Bible . . . one Six hundred reed
one Double barreld gun . . . one hogshead
one pair of Steelyards . . . one feather bed
one whipsaw . . . two blankets
one crasscut Saw . . . two quilts
one broad axe . . . three sheats
one foot adze . . . one under bed tick
one Iron wedge . . . one bed stid
one kittle [= kettle] . . . two Small augers
money in the hands of William Walker Son of the Deced by his will and other curcomstances
money in the hands of James Walker
money in the hands of John Walker by the will
Several balances of bonds and other accounts against Thomas Harmon
money in the hands of Mrs. were [= Weir] by account
money in hands of Martha Walker by account
one Small proven account against Isaac Huit
an acct. against William Walker Junr.
an acct. against William Snodgrass
an accompt against Alexander Hanley
an acct against John Huet
an acct. against James Gray Junr
an account against Robert Ferrier
an account against Nimrod Crawford
an account against Abraham Nidy
an account against John Summerfield
an account against Jacob Hons
one Smoothe Gun
one seven hundred reed & gears
one hand saw 1 chissel & 1 howel
one mans Saddle
one frow two gimblets two old Rasps
19 1/2 yards cotton cloth one butcher knife
an account against Nathan Eakins
one puter bason [pewter basin] two table Spoons
June 11th 1811
John Walker Executor
The following is the official inventory, recorded in the probate records in Botetourt Co. The money amounts are given in pounds, shilling, and pence:
"Pursuant to an order of the Botetourt October Court last we whose names are hereunto subscribed have this day met in order to view and appraise the personal estate of William Walker decd. having been first duly sworn for that purpose before Joseph Hannah a Justice of the peace for the county aforesaid and we do find the same to be as followeth, to wit:
Sundry Bonds against Thomas Harmon ammounting to . . . 37-19-11
One proven acct. of Isaac Hewet . . . 00-10-
one acct. against Wm. Snodgrass . . . 00-11-11
money in the hands of Jno. Walker . . . 125-00-
one Silver watch . . . 2-08-
one reed . . . - 6-
one pair hinges & mounting for drawers . . . - 6-6
one sack bag & falling axe . . . -10-
one Book entitled David Lindsay . . . - 1-
one Looking Glass . . . - 1-6
Three cups & Saucers . . . - 1-6
One Stone Jugg . . . - 4-6
One pair money Scales & waits . . . - 6-
One Bible . . . - 2-
one double Barreled Gun . . . 2-10-
one pair Steckyards? . . . -10-
one whip Saw . . . 1- 4-
one crasscut Saw . . . 1-16-
one broad axe . . . - 5-
Sundrie tools foot adze Iron wedge etc. . . . -12-
one kittle . . . - 9-
One bucket thread etc . . . -12-
one chissel & compasses . . . - 2-
Sundry carpenter tools & Stock Lock . . . -18-
One halter & chain . . . - 7-6
Two woolen Reeds & one pewter dish . . . - 8-
One drawing knife . . . - 3-6
Two pair 500 Gears for Loom . . . - 9-
One Hogshead . . . - 6-
One six hundred reed . . . - 4-6
One feather bed, bedsted & bed cloths . . . 4-10-
one loom . . . 1-
One bay mare . . . 18-
19 1/2 yards Cotton Cloth . . . 3-12-7 1/2
An accompt against William Walker Jr. . . . 1- 4-5
An accompt vs. Alexander Hanly . . . -12-6
An accompt against John Hewit . . . -18-
An accompt against James Gray Jr. . . . -12-
An accompt vs. Robert Ferrier . . . -10-
An Accompt against Nimrod Crawford . . . -11-
Four Notes on George Clapsaddle ammounting to . . . 105-00-
Money in the hands of Martha Walker . . . 3-00-
Money in the hands of Mrs. Weir . . . 5- 6-6
One smooth Gun . . . 1-00-
An accompt against John Sumerfield . . . -18-9
An account against Abram Nidey . . . -16-6
Money in the hands of James Walker . . . 7- 4-
An Accompt against Jacob Hans . . . - 8-1 1/2
One Seven hundred Reed & Gears . . . -10-
One hand saw, chissal & Howel . . . - 6-
One Saddle mans . . . 1-10-
One black Horse . . . 12-
One black & white cow . . . 3-
One red & white cow . . . 3-15-
One Small Heifer . . . 1-10-
Given under our hands the 8th day of February in the year of our Lord 1811.
Philip (x) Crist
We have been able to identify some of the people owing money to William Walker. As time goes on, we may be able to identify some of the others as well.
[Relationships of debtors to William Walker]
Thomas Harmon was his son-in-law
Isaac Hewit was ?
Wm. Snodgrass was a grandson
John Walker was his son and executor of his estate
William Walker Jr. was his son
Alexander Hanly was ?
John Hewit was ?
a James Gray (possibly the same one) purchased land in Madison Co., Indiana, from Theodore Walker as executor of the estate of George Walker. Also, William Gray was the one whose wife slandered Sarah (Walker) Snodgrass
Robert Ferrier may have been related to the John William Ferrier who later married Jane Susan Walker (Andrew 3, Henry 2, William 1).
Nimrod Crawford was ?
Martha Walker was his daughter-in-law
Mrs. Wier was ?
John Sumerfield was ?
Abram Nidey was the son-in-law of a John Snodgrass, who was the first cousin of the Joseph Snodgrass and Isaac Snodgrass who were the sons-in-law of William Walker
James Walker was the son of William
Jacob Hans was ?.
AGES OF WILLIAM WALKER'S CHILDREN
In the 1810 census, James Walker has both a male 26-45 and a male over 45 in the household . In the 1820 census James Walker again has a male 26-45 but no older male. Since William Walker specified in his will that James was to be the one who looked after him until his death, we can assume that James is the male 26-45 in each case, and William is the male over 45 in 1810. This would make James the youngest child of William Walker. James has to have been born between the years 1775 (not over 45 years old in 1820) and 1784 (already 26 by 1810). Since he married Jane Cardin in 1803, and was at that time probably at least 21, we can narrow his estimated birth down even further, to sometime between 1775 and 1782. Due to the fact that none of the other children were born anywhere near that late, he was probably born closer to the 1775 end of the range than to the 1782 end. Unfortunately, James died before the 1830 census, so we can't narrow his date of birth down any closer than that unless we find a gravestone for him.
It would appear then, that William Walker's children were probably born in the 20-year span from 1755-1775, although the range could easily be from 1750-1780. This makes the year of his birth as given on his tombstone (ca. 1725) completely reasonable. It does not, however, eliminate the William Walker who was 18 on the 1755 list of Rangers from consideration.
I have tried to estimate the ages of William's children as accurately as possible, based on censuses, year of marriage, ages of children, etc., but the estimates are too inaccurate to do more than tell us which of the children were probably the older ones and which were probably the younger ones. The only children for whom we have birth dates are William Jr. (from his pension application) and George (from his tombstone). Even in these cases, however, the year of birth when given by an old man or by a descendant is not considered a primary source, and is subject to possible error.
There do not, however, appear to have been any children born at all late enough to have been the children of his second wife, Mary Walker, if indeed it was William Sr. who married Mary Walker.
WILLIAM WALKER'S GRAVE
William Walker died 17 Aug 1810, and is buried in the Caldwell/Walker Cemetery in Craig Co., VA (right on the line of Botetourt Co, VA). His stone is still standing (tilted slightly forward) and legible (as of October 2007) and reads:
THE 17 1810 IT
BEING THE 85
YEAR OF HIS
The stone is quite small, perhaps one foot by one and a half feet. We can assume his age is accurately given because he owned a family Bible at the time of his death.
The other stones in the cemetery appear to have suffered from damage rather than from erosion. The stones are made out of the kind rock where pieces can easily sheer off, plus cows have been wandering around breaking some of the stones. In April 1986 J. Tracy Walker and I read all the stones in the cemetery that were still legible [and as soon as I find the piece of paper I wrote the list on, I'll type it in here!]
The following people met in Craig Co., Virginia, in October 2007 and erected a fence around the Caldwell/Walker Cemetery:
John Tracy Walker III, 4th great-grandson of William Walker
John Tracy Walker IV, 5th great-grandson of William Walker
Larry R. Walker, 5th great-grandson of William Walker
Orin Lee Walker, 4th great-grandson of William Walker
Russell Allen Walker Sr., 4th great-grandson of William Walker
Father: Henry Walker b: EST 1686 in possibly, Ireland
- Agnes Walker b: ABT 1755
- William Walker b: MAR 1759 in Bedford Co., Virginia, U.S.A.
- Henry Walker b: ABT 1760 in Bedford or Botetourt Co., Virginia, U.S.A.
- Mary Walker b: BET 1760 AND 1762 in Virginia, U.S.A.
- Sarah Walker b: ABT 1762 in Botetourt Co., Virginia, U.S.A.
- John H. Walker b: ABT 1765 in Botetourt Co., Virginia, U.S.A.
- George Walker b: ABT 1764 in Botetourt Co., Virginia, U.S.A.
- Esther Walker b: ABT 1773 in Botetourt Co., Virginia, U.S.A.
- James Walker b: ABT 1777 in Botetourt Co., Virginia, U.S.A.