Family Stories

Will of Benjamin Mason

Note by Phyllis Brown:  Benjamin Mason is the father of Captain John Linton’s wife – Ann Nancy Mason Linton.  He was first married to Elizabeth Berkeley, who preceded her husband in death, and second married Ann – I have no record of her last name.  I believe his children to be from Elizabeth Berkeley.  There is no mention of any child going with wife Ann who may leave after a year and receive thirty pounds current money.

Benjamin is listed in several legal documents as “the son of George Mason, Deceased”.  But which George Mason?  I have tried and tried to come up with a conclusive answer, but to no avail.  I believe him to be the son of the George Mason who died in 1729, who married Ann Anaple Wigginton.  After the death of her husband she married Abram Farrow.  This would have occurred in Stafford County.  This is just my hunch, there is nothing I have to verify this George and Ann to be the parents of Benjamin Mason.

Benjamin Mason took care of the poor house in Loudoun County, Virginia.  There is mention of this in his will, but I also found an old newspaper article while researching at the Thomas Balch Library in Leesburg, that mentioned Benjamin Mason had been keeper of the poor house and since his death John Linton had taken on that duty.  An interesting thing about this article – they called the poor people who lived in this house ‘inmates’.  My great-grandmother Frances Barber Linton Montgomery wrote in her notes that “Captain John Linton brought an inmate named William Frost to Kentucky with him, and was given $1,000 to feed, clothe, give medical attention and bury. He built a one room cabin for him and he is buried in the family burying ground.”  In the 1850 Washington County Census William Frost is living with William Linton, Captain John’s son.  William Frost is listed as 56 years old, an idiot.  He must have been 24 when he came to Kentucky with the captain.  He is not listed in the 1860 census.

Most of Benjamin’s sons moved to Nelson County, Kentucky.  They, in fact, moved to Kentucky before Captain John Linton.  Perhaps having family there encouraged him to come, also.  Caty Linton Mason, Benjamin’s youngest child, came with her brothers.  Her marriage record to Anthony Thomson can be found in the Nelson County records, September 12, 1803.

Loudoun County Wills 1793-1797, pp. 118-120

In the name of God Amen.  I, Benjamin Mason, of the County of Loudoun, being in a weak and low state of health, but in good sense and memory and being desirous as far as in me lies to prevent all disputes about my temporal Estate that it hath pleased God to bestow upon me, do make this my Last Will and Testament in manner and form following:  First, I give to my Wife Ann, thirty pounds current money to be paid her when received for the Rent of the Poor House on condition she stays with my family during one year and takes care of family affairs as she has hither done, but if she chooses to leave my family within said year, then she is to have Ten pounds like money and she and all her effects she brought with her to be removed back where she chooses to go without any expense to her.

Item.  I give to my son, George Mason, one Negro man named Jere to him and his heirs forever.  Item.  I give to my son, Burgess Mason, three parts out of five of the price of my Plantation when it shall be sold.  Item.  I give to my son, John Mason, one Negro man named Harry which I give to him and his heirs and no more of my estate.  Item.  I give to my daughter, Ann Linton, one Negro woman named Ally and her increase to her and her heirs forever.  Item.  I give to my daughter, Margaret Carter, the following slaves, Hannah, Amy and Jasper and the increase of the female slaves to her and her heirs forever and no more of my Estate.

Item.  I give to my son, William Woolverton Mason, one Negro man named David to him and his heirs forever.  Item.  I give to my daughter, Elizabeth Gist, one Negro woman named Sall and her future increase to her and her heirs forever.  Item.  I give to my daugher, Mary Mason, fifty pounds current money to be raised out of my moveable Estate when sold.  Item.  I give to my daughter, Margaret Mason, one Negro girl named Bess and her increase to her and her heirs forever.  Item.  I give to my daughter, Caty Linton Mason, one Negro boy named James to her and her heirs forever.

Item.  My will and desire is that my Lease for the Plantation whereon I now live shall be sold as can be convenient after my daughter, Caty Linton Mason, shall arrive to the age of fifteen years and the money arising from the sale thereof to be divided in the following manner:  George Mason to have one fifth part and Burgess Mason to have three fifth parts and Ann Linton to have the other fifth part and at the time my Lease is sold, my other Estate of all my moveables be sold and after my daughter, Mary Mason’s Legacy is paid her, the residue of the money arising from the sale of my moveable Estate be equally divided between my children William Woolverton Mason, Elizabeth Gist, Mary Mason, Margaret Mason and Caty Linton Mason and their heirs.  Also I desire that my two youngest daughters have their maintenance and schooling out of my Estate and further my will and desire is that my Negro man Joe be hired until my daughter Caty Linton arrive to the age of fifteen years then set free and the money raised by his hire applied to the support and schooling of my two youngest daughters.

Lastly, I nominate, constitute and appoint my son William Woolverton Mason my Executor of this my Will, revoking all others and confirming this as my Last.  In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 1st day of November 1791.  Sign’d Seal’d and pronounced to be his Last in presence of Jer. Hutchinson, Chas. Duncan, William Beaty, Edward B. Edwards

Benjamin Mason

At a Court held for Loudoun County July the 13th 1795
This Will was proved by the Oaths of William Beaty and Edward Edwards and ordered to be recorded and on the motion of William Woolverton Mason who made Oath and together with Sandford Remy, Thomas Clagget and Thomas Gist his securities entered into and acknowledged their Bond in the penalty of one thousand pounds conditioned as the Law directs.  Certificate is granted him for obtaining a probate thereof in due form.  Teste Chas. Bins, Clerk

4 replies »

  1. I love your website. You have done a wonderful job.
    I would like to ask if you have done any DNA testing.
    I recently did the Family Finder test for cousins and it is really worth the money. I was totally surprised at the results.

  2. Phyllis–re: the Masons: I’m fairly certain you’re right that Benjamin’s father was George Mason of Aquia and his mother Anaple Wigginton, but she did not marry Farrow (that was a widow of a William Mason). She married James Butler and had six Butler children to go with her three or four Mason children, some of whom went to Nelson Co. KY and some whom went to Edgefield SC (with one of the Mason sons.
    There iis evidence that Benjamin belonged to this family that lived primarily in Prince William and Loudoun. Gary Yourng (descended from one of her Butler children) and I spent years working through PW documents. No definitive proof, but certainly suggestive material; See my gedcom at

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