Perhaps many will pass over an inventory as just a ‘list of old stuff’, being heartily disappointed that no will was left for descendants to peruse. Let’s take a closer look at the inventory of Moses Linton who died in Fairfax County, Virginia, in 1752, and see just what can be gleaned from the information left behind. (Note: Moses Linton, who married Susanna Hancock, was the father of Captain John Linton.)
The first item that jumps out is a violin. Just the fact that it is listed as a violin
instead of a ‘fiddle’ makes me think that Moses enjoyed music – and not just
for dances. Perhaps he played his violin at night when the work of the day was finished. Perhaps it instilled a love of music in his children – that was passed
down through the generations.
The set of china teacups is the next thing to catch my eye. I know how much I enjoy and savor my afternoon cup of tea. Might not Susanna Linton have done the same thing – and perhaps Moses with her? Possibly they were a cherished keepsake that were brought out only on special occasions.
The Bible and ‘parcel of old books’ give us an idea that Moses Linton enjoyed reading – possibly that he valued an education and wanted his children to attend university. I know for a fact that the son of his cousin John Linton graduated from college. And in the release of rights of 1775, Captain John Linton gave to his stepfather John Berkeley and mother Susanna Hancock Linton Berkeley his rights to his father’s estate ‘in consideration of my education and maintenance by John Berkeley’.
At the estate sale of his brother, William Linton, who died in Prince William County, Virginia, in 1733, Moses purchased several things, including a ‘horse skin trunk’. Could this be the same horsehair trunk that contained the letters of William Lewis Linton, Moses grandson through his daughter Catherine Linton who married Joseph Lewis? In a previous blog I wrote about these letters that are now contained at Duke University.
It’s interesting to have the names of some of the horses and cattle. These are small things, but I feel it makes this person seem real, they are just not a name and date on a piece of paper, but a real person who lived his life and left some small mark to let us know he was here. It’s a genealogist’s roll in life to collect these small marks and put them together to flesh out the person and make our ancestors come alive.
OCTOBER 18, 1752
FAIRFAX COUNTY, VIRGINIA
THE APPRAISAL & INVENTORY OF THE ESTATE OF
6 Feather beds and furniture, 1 oval table, 1 old clock, 1 desk, 7 old leather chairs, 1 old square table, 4 small trunks, 1 large trunk, 1 looking glass, 2 rifle
guns, 3 rifle guns smooth, 1 case & 7 bottles, 1 chest & two old boxes, 1 violin, 1 cupboard, 1 spinning wheel & cards, 9 old chairs, 12 grubbing hoes,
2 plows, 3 old casks, 1 cutsaw & some carpenter tools, 3 iron wedges, 1 iron square, 1 parcel of old iron,
1 pair of old shipyard (?), iron polks, 1 skillet, 1 iron spit, 2 old frying pans, pair of tobacco servers (?), 1 mans old saddle, 2 old grind stones, 2 hides, 2 old collars & hacos (?), 1 old dripping pan, parcel of wooden ware, 1 decanter, parcel of old earthern ware, 1 large china bowl, set of china tea cups, 3 silver spoons, 1 silver tumbler, spice mill, 1 old bible & parcel of old books, 1 pair of spoon molds, a parcel of old knives & forks, 2 old box ron & heaters, a parcel of tin, 1 old spice mortar, brass candlesticks, two candle molds, 3 pair of snuffers, parcel of old earthern butter forks, 1 tea kettle, parcel of shoemakers tools, 2 old pewter basins, 1 square table, 3 old tubs, 1 narrow ax, 2 old bells, 2 old razors & case of lanshots (?), 1 old stallion, 1 gelding called King, 1 gelding called Whitefoot, 1 old spayed mare (?),
1 old mare called Salley, 1 white horse, 1 horse called Pumps, 1 young horse called Bow, 9 cows & calves, 1 bull & 1 small steer, 2 horse bells, 8 small hogs, 1 shoat, 1 meal sifter & old ink pot, some nails, 1 pair of hand irons, 1 old negro wench called Nan, 1 young negro wench called Lettice, 1 negro wench called Flora, 1 negro child called Drissol, 1 negro girl called Jane, 1 old negro man called Will,
1 negro child called Aaron, 1 negro girl called Bess, 1 negro man called Cesar, 1 negro man called Dick,
1 negro man called Greg, 1 negro wench called Moll, 1 negro wench called Sarah, 1 negro boy called Jamy, 1 negro boy called Peter, 1 negro boy called Reuben, 1 negro boy called Jack, 1 negro girl called Rose, 1 cutting knife, 1 cart & wheels, 7 head of hogs, 1 horse called Stockings, 4 old table cloths, 1 young cow,
Totalled 233 pounds, 3 shillings, 71 pence
Prince William County Will Book C 1734-1744
pp. 432-434 Moses Linton is one of the executors for his
brother William Linton’s estate, sold at public auction. Moses purchased a silver tankard, a tumbler, three spoons and a pr. buckles for 12.18.-. 7 large dishes 31 3/4 lb. for 1.6.-. A horse skin trunk for -.7.-. A little trunk for -.4.-.