Family Stories

John Berkeley 1809 Will


John Berkeley 1809 Will

Fairfax County, Virginia

John Berkeley married Susannah Hancock Linton, the widow of Moses Linton in 1752/3.  He was the step-father of my Captain John Hancock Linton.  John Berkeley married first Elizabeth Longworth, with whom he had at least two children, John Longworth and George Berkeley.  John and Susannah Hancock Linton had at least two children, Scarlett and Elizabeth Berkeley.  I do not know in which book you would find this will, since it is from a very old copy, in with the information given to me by Garwood Linton.  I knew the will existed, but didn’t have an actual copy.

In the name of God, amen. I, John Berkeley, of Fairfax County do declare this to be my last will and testament in manner and form following. Imprimis. I give my soul to almighty God who gave it to me, and my body to be buried at the discretion of my Executor, hereafter mentioned, in full hopes of a blessed resurrection. Item. I give and bequeath to my son, John Longworth Berkeley, my land to him and his heirs forever. Item. I give and bequeath to my daughter, Elizabeth Lewis, one negro woman named Tabitha to her and heirs. Item. My will is that Susanna Lewis, wife of Dan P. Lewis,


have one young negro four or five years old, also John Linton to have one young negro five years old. Item. My will is that the rest of my property, Susanna Shackelford have one sixth part of after my just debts are paid. Item. My will is that the remainder of my property be equally divided between my son, Scarlett Berkeley and my son George Berkeley and my daughter Elizabeth Lewis. My will is as my son Scarlett Berkeley is dead, his five oldest children have his part. Lastly, I ordain and appoint my son-in-law James Lewis whole and sole Executor of this my last will and testament in confirmation here of I have hereunto set my hand and seal this fifth day of August 1808.

John Berkeley

In presence of Moses Hopewood, William Hancock, James Lewis, Jr.

At a court held for Fairfax County the 16th day of January, 1809

The last will and testament of John Berkeley, deceased, was presented in court by James Lewis, the Executor herein named, who made oath, and the same being proved by the oaths of Moses Hopewood, William Hancock and James Lewis, Jr. Witness hereto is admitted to record and the said Executor having performed what the law requires, a certificate is granted him for obtaining a probate hereof in due form.

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  1. Taken from: “The Roman Catholic Diocese of Owensboro, Kentucky” History


    In 1861 the Reverend Ivo Schacht was sent by the Most Reverend Martin John Spalding, Bishop of Louisville, to care for the Catholics settled in the Green River hills of Daviess County.

    The new pastor soon saw the need for a school and persuaded his parishioners to build a 20 X 50 foot log schoolhouse. He then employed two lay teachers to conduct the classes. Unfortunately the remained for only one year.

    Father’s next recourse was to Mother Berlindes Downes, Superior of the Sisters of Loretto in Marion County who agreed to send four Sisters to conduct a boarding and day school. This foundation experienced some of St. Paul’s perils–perils of weather at the beginning and perils of fire on ending. While on their way, a terrible storm arose that threatened to carry boat and passengers to the bottom of the river. Seven years later fire was to put an end to the mission.

    Having survived the ordeal of the journey the four Sisters, Sister M. Agnes Carrigan, Superior, Sisters Agnes Tucker, Harriet Moore and Francisca Pike, experienced another shock when they beheld the little log cabin in the woods. Their first night in this new home was to produce further surprises. There was no such thing as a fence to protect the house from animals in the woods. The hogs that foraged under the trees for acorns seemed to think that they owned the shelter of the convent floor, little more than two feet above the ground, for their nightly shelter. Whether or not they were the cause of the plague of fleas that infested the house, the Sisters spent the next day clearing away debris and undergrowth around the convent school and endeavoring to discourage any further nightly visits from the unwanted “guests”.

    The fleas, as well as the pigs, were soon dislodged and school was opened on October 1, 1863. In December, Mother Agnes made a trip to Loretto to see if she could get another Sister to help in the growing school. Sister Athanasius Wathen was chosen for the mission, and it is from memoirs that we receive our information about the St. Joseph foundation.

    The two westward bound Sisters left Loretto on the afternoon of December 31. Once again the hazards caused by the weather threatened to make this their final journey. Because of ice in the river, the Sisters spent two days and two nights aboard the Gray Eagle before they were able to begin their perilous journey to Owensboro.

    Sister Athanasius writes:

    On arriving at Owensboro some time before noon we took dinner with the good Sisters of Charity. Mr. Billy Clark was waiting with his two horse wagon to take us out to St. Joseph. Sister Isabella wrapped us up in two large double blankets and put hot bricks to our feet, but not long did they remain there for the ground was so rough we could scarcely keep on our chairs. After fifteen miles jolting, we arrived at our cold home in the woods. Father Schacht was just ringing the Angelus bell which he was faithful to do three times a day.”

    For the next six years the efforts of the Sisters were blessed and St. Joseph Academy in Daviess County enjoyed a period of success as both school and community increased. Mother Agnes Corrigan was replaced as Superior by Sister Agnes Tucker and Mother Matilda Drury later took her place. Five more Sisters were added to the community.

    When the school was more flourishing and affairs were assuming the permanence that time alone can give, fire destroyed the building on December 30, 1870. St. Joseph Academy was a complete loss and the Sisters were stranded. Grateful that their pupils were at home for the holidays, and therefore not endangered by the fire, the sisters were ordered to return by boat to Loretto, but the Ohio was frozen over and no boat could run.

    The nine homeless ones: Mother Matilda Drury, Sister Francisco Pike, Sister Januarius Quigley, Sister Anselm Handley, Sister Concordia Henning, Sister Rosine Green, Sister Mary Clement Hamilton, Sister M. Joseph Dennis and Sister Athanasius Wathen were given shelter in the homes of Mr. Rodman and several other good friends in the vicinity for the next three weeks while they awaited instructions from Loretto. They would gladly have continued their arduous work at St. Joseph, but the Superiors recalled them to the Motherhouse. Thus ended the Loretto mission at Daviess County.

    On Wed, Aug 27, 2014 at 5:01 AM, Kentucky Kindred wrote:

    > Kentucky Kindred Genealogical Research posted: ” John Berkeley 1809 > Will Fairfax County, Virginia John Berkeley married Susannah Hancock > Linton, the widow of Moses Linton in 1752/3. He was the step-father of my > Captain John Hancock Linton. John Berkeley married first Elizabeth > Longworth, with whom”

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