Category Archives: The Slave Name Roll Project

William Dungee vs. Charles Williams, 1799, Cumberland Co., VA: Releasing David & Mourning

I am always on the search for details to fill in the lives of my husband’s Williams ancestors in the pre-1800 time period, especially as they lived in Virginia and migrated to eastern Tennessee about 1805.

The Virginia Memory Chancery Court records are a huge favorite of mine. More and more files are being digitized and added to the online collection of the Library of Virginia.

Recently, I came across a new record – Charles Williams was sued by William Dungee in Cumberland County Chancery Court in 1799. It’s interesting because I think Charles knew he was wrong (whatever the circumstances were) because it is noted that he didn’t bother to show up for court in spite of the fact that the sheriff had served him notice.

William Dungee vs. Charles Williams, 1799, Cumberland County, VA
Virginia Memory: Chancery Court Records, File 1799-003

Cumberland July Term 1799

William Dungee Pltff
Charles Williams Deft. In Chancery

On hearing the Pltfs bill, the defendant having failed to answer the same altho duly served with process – the Court are of opinion and the (?) is accordingly decreed and ordered that the defendant be forever foreclosed of all equity of redemption to two negroes viz: a boy named David & a girl named Mourning which said negroes were mortgaged to the plaintiff by the said deft. to secure the payment of £96 with its Interest. unless the Defendant makes payment thereof or unless he answers the plaintiff’s bill on or before the 4th Monday in October next.

A Copy
J. Woodson D.C.

By the beginning of the 19th century, the Williams clan had spread far and wide in Virginia with ties not only to Cumberland County, but to Amelia, Buckingham, Bedford and Campbell Counties. I’m familiar with many of the surnames in the Williams FAN club, but Dungee is not a name I’ve ever come across until now.

Apparently, Charles Williams owed £96 to William Dungee. Since there are no further papers decreeing an alternate outcome to this case, it appears Charles must have accepted the court’s decision.


Will of Capt. John Scott, Revolutionary War Veteran, born Culpeper County, VA, died 1815, Scott County, KY

While reading probate records in Scott County, Kentucky, I came across the will of John Scott, written on 19 November 1815 and proved less than three weeks later on 6 December 1815.

John Scott is NOT an ancestor, although my husband does have a Scott line. However, this man is in the DAR Patriot Index and found in online family trees, of course with varying information.

DAR cites his birth date as 256 June 1748 in Culpeper County, Virginia, while others state he was born in Madison or Orange County, Virginia. Here is the scoop with the counties. Madison County was formed in 1792 from Culpeper, while Culpeper was formed on 28 March 1748 (three months’ before John Scott’s birth) from Orange County. Therefore, at the time of John’s birth, Culpeper County would be the correct county name.

However, I don’t know the source of John’s exact birth date, so if you are one of his descendants, further research should be done. DAR might have a family Bible entry – it’s worth checking out.

DAR also cites John Scott’s place of death as “near Frankfort, KY.” Frankfort isn’t in Scott County, but it is in the county just west of Scott County so it is close to Frankfurt.

While I see mentions of John Scott online, I did not see any mention of his will or a transcription of it. Scott County has lost some records and some are fire-damaged. This will is a transcription from the original book, which was either damaged or the ink faded so badly, it was impossible to read:

Will of John Scott, 1815
Scott County, KY Will Book B:236-237
Source: FamilySearch

In the Name of God Amen I John Scott of the County of Scott & Stae of Kentucky being indisposed in body but sound Judgment & recollection do make and constitute this to be my last will & Testament revoking all other wills heretofore made by me

Item all the property that I have given & delivered to my sons and daughters prior to this date I will to possess forever

Item I will that my son Joel Scott pays to my daughter Nelly Branham the sum of five hundred dollars in case my son Joel should (re?) or neglect to give his note to my said daughter Sally (sic) payable in twelve months after my death in that case. . . . . . said Joel shall forfeit all future Claims to the balance. . . my Estate as hereafter directed and my said daughter Nelly shall in that case possess the proportion of my Estate as hereafter. . . .to my son Joel for his neglecting to pay her the five hundred dollars as directed above

Item at my death I lend unto my beloved wife Hannah Scott during her natural life the farm whereon I now live (except it may be hereafter divided) Negro man Ben, Dennis, Charles Susanne, and her two youngest children, (Horn?) Rob, Ann bald. . . . Blake Household & Kitchen furniture, also one third part of all the ballance of all my Stock divided according. . . . . . .

at my death my will is that my son Ezekiel Scott. . . .have one hundred acres of land taken of the tract wheron. . . .live at the corner lower end joining Toliver Craig Junr.. . . . . .at a white oak tree that is a side line between myself. . . . . . .near the Corner of my meadow, from thence along. . . . the corner where moore and myself Corner from thence. . . . .thence up the same for quantity but to be. . . .

. . . . . .I leave to my said son Ezekiel after my wife. . . .Whereas there is fifty acres of land laid off and if. . . . .of John Brooking who married my daughter Polly deceased I have not deeded to the said John Brooking I do hereby give Said land & premises to my Grandson John Samuel Brooking.

Item At my death I will that the remaining part of my Estate thats not named above shall be equally divided among my children (to wit) Early Scott, Thomas Scott, Joel Scott, Ezekiel Scott, Na. . . .Branham and my Grandson Samuel Brooking. . . . . .lotted by disinterested men or sold among the legatees this. . . .Estate sold at public sale.

Item I also will that at my wifes death all of her proportion of my. . . . . . . as lent above shall in like manner be divided among all my sons & Grandson

Item I do constitute and appoint Rodes Smith my sons Joel Scott & Ez. . . .Scott Executors to this my last will and Testament Given under my hand and seal this 19 day of November 1815

John Scott (seal)

R. McCalla (McCauly)
Toliver Craig
Joseph Minor
Edmund Huring

Scott County December Court 1815
The foregoing Instrument was this day proved by the oaths of all the subscribing witnesses to be the last will and Testament of John Scott deceased & ordered to be Recorded & thereupon Came Rodes Smith & Ezekiel Scott the within named Executors & took the Oath & Entered into bonds as the law directs & thereupon probate of the same Will was granted them in due form.

Attest Cary L. Clark C.S.C.C.

Know all men by these present that we Ezekiel Scott Toliver Craig and James Connally are held and firmly bound unto the Commonwealth of Kentucky in the Sum of Ten thousand dollars current money to be paid to the said Commonwealth the payment wherof will and trul to be made we bind ourselves our heirs Executors & admins Jointly and Severally firmly by these presents Sealed and dated the 6 day of December 1815

The DAR Ancestor Index states that John Scott married Hannah Early. A DAR Lineage Book, volume 134, from 1916 states that John Scott commanded in the Virginia State Line.


1. Early married and had a family in the 1820 census of Scott County, but no marriage record has been found for him.
2. Thomas; married Rhoda Parker, 19 December 1807, Bourbon County, Kentucky
3. Joel; married Rebecca Ridgley Wilmot, 23 December 1805, Bourbon County, Kentucky
4. Ezekiel; married Dorothy P. Hawkins, per the DAR Ancestor Index
5. Eleanor (Nelly); married Mr. Branham, said to be Harlan Branham
6. Mary (Polly); married John Brooking. They had at least one child, Samuel, named in John Scott’s 1815 will.

Descendants now have a documented starting place to continue research into the family of Captain John Scott.




1723 Will of Rev. Increase Mather: Releasing Spaniard

Increase Mather was born 21 June 1639 in Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts. He was the son of Rev. Richard Mather, who left Lancashire, England to settle in Massachusetts.

Increase Mather was a highly educated man, attaining the title of Reverend and Doctor. He published numerous articles, sermons and books. Reverend Mather not only graduated from Harvard, he served as its president. He was an influential Boston minister and a force for moderation of actions during the Salem witchcraft hysteria.

However, the man called the Last Puritan was also a slaveholder.

Reverend Doctor Increase Mather died on 23 August 1723 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Several years before he died, he added a codicil to his lengthy will.

Probate File of Rev. Increase Mather, 1723
Suffolk County, MA Probate File #4791
Source: American Ancestors

I do hereby signify to my Executor:

That it is my Mind and Will that my Negro Servant Called Spaniard Shall not be Sold after my decease; but I do then give him his Liberty: Let him then be Esteemed a free negro. June 4 1719

It appears that Spaniard was given to Increase Mather by his son, Cotton Mather, who also owned a slave named Onesimus, possibly in the 1690s. Spaniard likely came to Massachusetts from the West Indies and possibly from an island where Spanish was spoken, like Cuba.

Freed slaves lived and worked in the community, but left little in the way of written records unless problems developed. What became of Spaniard after Increase Mather’s death, I have not been able to find out.