Anderson Williams Property Sale 1801: Sadly Separating Family

Anderson Williams is one of the hundreds of collateral ancestors in my husband’s very extended Williams family. Anderson Williams was born c1767, probably in Cumberland County, Virginia, the son of Samuel Williams and Susannah Ligon.

Anderson married Mildred Shepherd on 18 December 1786 in Cumberland County, but she apparently had family members living in Caswell County, North Carolina. By the early 1790s, Anderson and Milly had removed to Caswell County and several of their children were born there.

While I was following the paper trail of Anderson, I came across a deed filed in Caswell County:

Anderson Williams to James Webb (right side)
Caswell County, North Carolina Deed Book M:67

Know all men by these presents that I Anderson Williams of Caswell County & State of North Carolina for & in consideration of the Sum of one Hundred & fifty pounds Virginia Currency to me in hadn paid by James Webb of Granville County and State Afforesaid do by these presents Bargain Sell & deliver unto the said James Webb four Negros one named Hanner & her three youngest Children – Jacob Doll & Sam which said negros I do hereby Warrant and for ever defend to him to him the Said James Webb his heirs Executors Administrators & assigns from me & my heirs Exers Adm & assigns or any other person or persons whatsoever. In Witness where of I have hereunto Set my hand & Seal this 23 day of July 1801.

Anderson Williams (seal)

Test:
John Webb
Lewis Shepard (?)
Booker Shepard

There must have been a question as to whether or not Anderson Williams, or his father Samuel Williams, owned the enslaved people as Lewis Shepard made this deposition:

Caswell County July Court 1801
This Bill Sale was duly proved in open Court by the Oath of Lewis Sheppard one of the Subscribing Witnesses there to & on motion ordered to be registered.

Test (? Clerk

The State of North Carolina Caswell County
This day Lewis Shepard Came before me one of the Justices of the peace for said County and made Oath that he was at Samuels Williams House in the State of Virginia in the Cumberland County about the Last of February or the first of March last an (sic) mentioned to said Samuel Williams a bout the right of a Sartain Negro woman named Hanner that his Son Anderson Williams had in his possession and was about to sell the Said negro & Samuel Williams Saith that he gave the negro to his Son Anderson Williams and Saith that he had no objection to his Selling her. Lewis Shepard

Sworn to Before me the 23rd day of July 1801.

David Gooch J.P.
Capt. Somers will register the Deposition immediately Suceeding the Bill of Sale from Williams to Webb.

I had noticed several years earlier while reading the personal property tax lists of Cumberland County, Virginia that for a single year, 1783, the tax man included the names of enslaved persons along side the name of their master.

Samuel Williams was taxed for eleven enslaved persons, six adults and five children (Cumberland County, Virginia Personal Property Tax List, 1783)

Samuel Williams – himself – Neptune, Peter, Peg, Aggy, Sarah, Hannah; 6 Moll, Bella, Nancy, Jacob, Joi (?), 5

If this Hannah is the same Hannah in the 1801 bill of sale, then she was likely at least 18 in 1783, so born no later than 1765. Given that there are three other females named before her, and perhaps in birth order and older than her, it is impossible to determine whether any of the five children are hers. My best guess would be that they are not since Hannah and her children were valued at but 100 pounds Virginia currency 18 years later.

What became of James Webb? The records are silent at this point. No James Webb is found in Granville County in either the 1800 or 1810 censuses, although there is a James Webb living in Orange County, North Carolina, which at the time bordered Caswell County on the south and extended eastward to touch part of the southwestern portion of Granville County.

In any case, Hannah and her three youngest children were taken far from a home they had long known in Cumberland County, Virginia to Caswell County (over 100 miles away) to Granville County and then towho knows where. It is doubtful that they ever saw other family members still in Virginia ever again.

 

 

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