I have to admit I thought I was going to be whipping through the Ransone family very quickly, as I wrote up the posts for the first several generations of the family, who settled in Virginia by 1642.
I was very wrong, but am thrilled because of the reason for my slow progress. I’ve already shared the abstract of the will of Flemstead Ransone.
Today, I will share a discovery that I made while trolling more of those fabulous Virginia Memory chancery records. While researching primary Ransone documents, a hit came up for Ambrose Ransone in Cumberland County, Virginia as a defendant in a lawsuit filed in June 1761. The plaintiffs were Thomas Davenport & wife Lucy and Catherine Ransone, spinster. At issue was the failure of Ambrose Ransone to give possession of several enslaved persons to his children, as they were willed to Ambrose’s wife by her father.
Readers, here is where it definitely pays to do your own research. I had seen the name Catherine Keeble online, but the only documentation was other online trees. We know how that goes. This Catherine Keeble was shown as the wife of Ambrose Ransone. There were only a handful of websites that pop up when the Ransone surname is searched and most say Ambrose’s wife’s name is unknown.
Well, she WAS Catherine Keeble and I have the proof!
Gloucester County, Virginia is one of those Virginia counties that you hope your family missed, as it lost all its records in 1820 and again in 1865 in courthouse fires.
The proof I found identifying Ambrose’s wife was the will of Walter Keeble, proved in court in 1743 – in GLOUCESTER COUNTY! How did I manage that if the county lost all its pre-1865 records?
Let’s go back to my Chancery Court record discovery and the case of Thomas Davenport & Wife v. Ambrose Ransone. The will was found among the pages of the lawsuit, which was not in Gloucester, but in Cumberland County.
Will of Walter Keeble, written 23 March 1743
Proved in Gloucester County, VA Court 28 April 1748
Source: Virginia Memory, Cumberland County, VA Chancery File 1761:002
[Torn off] Keeble, being well of body but in sense and perfect memory. Imprimis, I bequeath my soul to Almighty God, my Heavenly Father, in hopes and full assurance of joyful resurrection to eternal life at the last day. My body to the earth from whence it came to be decently buried at the discretion of my friends. And all my worldly goods as followeth: – I give and ordain that depts be first paid.
Item, It is my will and I do freely give to my son, Humphrey Keeble, him and his Ares forever four hundred and forty three acres of land lying and being in the County of King and Queen, joining John Gwyns land hard by Potobaco path.
Item I give to my Son Humphrey, one Negro man named Jemes one Negro woman named Abigal.
I lend to my daughter, Joye Brookes, one Negro wench named Letty, and her Children during her life and afterwards I give to be I give (sic) Equol divided amongst her daughters. I lend to my daughter Joce Brookes two negro boys named Minney and Harry Peg’s Children during her life and afterwards I give to be Equally divided amongst her daughters.
I lend to my daughter, Katherine Ransom, two Negroes, one boy named Bob, Fann’s boy and one Gerl named Letty. Then I give them to be equally divided amongst her Daughters.
Then my will is that the rest of my Estat shall be Equally Divided amongst my three sons, George, Walte and Humphrey and my will is that my three sons shall give their sisters ten pounds apiece in Clous, to be paid five pounds apece the first yere and five pounds the yer following.
my will is and I do ordain and appoint my Loving sons, George Keeble, Walter Keeble, Humphrey Keeble Exors of this my last will and testament. I put my hand and Seale 26 March Anno Domini, 1743.
Walter Keeble (seal)
At a Court held for Gloucester County, the 28 day of April 1748
This will was this day proved in open court by oaths of John Wedmore John Hunley witnesses thereto and admitted to record and is recorded. John Clayton, Ct. Cur.
Here we have the proof that on of Walter Keeble’s daughters was C/Katherine Ransone.
Tomorrow, we will look at the rest of the lawsuit and also provide a family sketch of Ambrose Ransone and his wife, Catherine Keeble.