Old Wills

1734 Will of Richard Wheeler – Charles County, Maryland

Richard Wheeler, born about 1685 in Charles County, Maryland, was the son of Thomas Wheeler. Thomas Wheeler was the son of John Wheeler and Mary, his wife. John Wheeler’s will was written November 11, 1693. He gave his son Thomas 200 acres of land on which he lived in 1693. He was given an additional 130 acres of adjoining land called Wheeler’s Rest and Wheeler’s Adjoining. Lovely thing about the Commonwealth of Maryland – in the early days they named their plots of land, listing these names in deeds and other official paperwork, making it easy to follow the land back to the original owners. Richard was also named in his grandfather’s will. John Wheeler gave him the 165 acres of land called Wheeler’s Delight, willed to granddaughter Ann Wheeler, if she died without heirs. Richard was also given one filly.

Richard Wheeler does not mention a wife in his will, therefore I believe she predeceased him. There is a mention of a woman named Kindrick Bane and her children. She was to have the dwelling plantation and the surrounding seventeen acres of land until son Richard comes to the age of eighteen years – he must have been the youngest child, or at least the youngest son. Was this a woman who lived with Richard Wheeler? Was she a housekeeper? There is mention of ‘her children’. And Kindrick also receives half of Richard’s moveable estate. Very interesting.

Thomas Mitchell is also mentioned in Richard Wheeler’s will. Thomas is to be given a yearly amount of 500 pounds of tobacco for the education of Richard’s two sons, Thomas and Richard. An additional 500 pounds of tobacco was given him yearly for the purchase of a slave and for repairs to the mill. At the end of the will Thomas Mitchell is named executor.

Richard Wheeler’s daughter, Ann, is my ancestor. Ann Wheeler Elder received one mill shilling according to her father’s will. I have searched online, but can find no definition for a ‘mill shilling’. Perhaps this was money to be taken from the profits of Richard’s mill? Ann married William Elder in 1728, and with him had five children – William Elder, born September 15, 1729; Charles Elder, born 1730 (my ancestor); Guy Elder, born 1731; Richard Elder, born 1734; and Mary Elder, born 1735. In 1732 William Elder received a patent for land in Frederick County, Maryland. He moved his young family there in the spring of 1736. Ann Wheeler Elder was not used to the rugged life of the frontier and died August 11, 1739, at the age of 30 years. It is said there were no boards for a coffin and she was laid in a hewned out chestnut log for her final resting place. Years later her body was transferred to the burying ground on the farm William Elder then owned, Ogle’s Good Will.

Richard Wheeler’s children mentioned in his will:

  • Thomas Wheeler, under the age of 18
  • Richard Wheeler, under the age of 18
  • Elizabeth Wheeler married to a Mr. Brawner
  • Martha Wheeler – no mention of married name
  • Mary Wheeler – married to a Mr. Made?
  • Ann Wheeler – married to William Elder
  • Anastasia Wheeler – married to Mr. Kean (perhaps the youngest daughter?)

Will of Richard Wheeler

Will Book AC 4, Pages 13-15

In the name of God, amen.  I, Richard Wheeler, of Charles County, in the Province of Maryland, being of perfect sense and memory, and calling to mind the frailty of human nature and that it is appointed once for all men to die, do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following and first of all I commend my soul into the hands of almighty God that gave it, hoping that through the merits of Jesus Christ for a full pardon and remission of all my sins, and my body to be buried in a decent manner at the charge of my

Executor, hereafter named, and as for this worldly estate with which it has pleased God to bless me, I give and bequeath the same in manner and form following.

Item.  I give and bequeath unto Kindrick Bane my dwelling plantation and the seventeen acres of land joining to it to her use until my son Richard comes to the age of eighteen years old, then to him and his heirs forever. 

Item.  I give and bequeath unto my son Thomas twenty acres of land and the mill that is upon the said land, and furthermore that Kindrick Bane shall have five hundred pounds of tobacco paid to her out of the mill’s wages, yearly till the aforesaid Thomas arrives at the age of eighteen years old and furthermore that Thomas Mitchell shall be paid five hundred pounds of tobacco yearly out of the mill’s wages for the education of my two sons, Richard and Thomas, till they arrive at the age of eighteen years old and furthermore, that Thomas Mitchell shall be paid five hundred pounds of tobacco yearly out of the aforesaid mill till the expiration of my son Thomas comes of age, to lodge in his hands for to purchase one of my sons a slave and further that all the punches of the mill is to repair her as necessity requires and then to my son Thomas and his heirs forever.

Item.  I give and bequeath unto my daughter Elizabeth Brawner, one thousand pounds of tobacco to be paid to her after my decease.

Item.  I give and bequeath unto my daughter Martha, one Negro boy named Tom, and two cows and calves, and two sows and pigs, and one young mare.

Item.  I give and bequeath unto my daughter Mary Made, one mill shilling to be paid to her after my decease.

Item.  I give and bequeath unto my daughter Ann Elder one mill shilling to be paid to her after my decease.

Item.  I give and bequeath unto my son Richard my Negro woman Juda and the increase to him, excepting the first to my daughter Anastasia Kean, and then the remainder part to my two sons Richard and Thomas. 

Item.  I give and bequeath unto my two sons and my daughter Anastasia Kean, half of my moveable estate to be equally divided amongst them.

Item.  I give and bequeath unto Kenrick Bane and her children, half of my moveable estate to them and furthermore, if Elsworth Bane or any other person or persons comes to take any part or parcel thereof, then I empower Patrick Connelly to secure the above said estate to Kendrick Bane and her children in his possession for their use and furthermore I desire that Thomas Mitchell should be Executor for my sons, Richard

and Thomas and Anastasia Kean, of this being my last will and after all my debts and funeral charges as aforesaid and I do hereby declare void all former will and testaments by me made and do hereby appoint this to be my last will and testament, to which I set my hand and seal the first day of April 1734.  Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of William Nelson, Charity Smallwood, Ignatius Mitchell

                             Richard Wheeler

On the back of the foregoing will was endorsed the following

Charles County, May 1st 1734

William Nelson, Charity Smallwood and Ignatius Mitchell, subscribing witnesses to this will, being duly and solemnly sworn on the holy Evangelists of almighty God, depose and say that they saw Richard  Wheeler, the testator, sign the foregoing will and heard him publish and proclaim the same to be his last will and testament and that at the time of his so doing he was to the best of their apprehension of sound and disposing mine and memory, and that they subscribed their respective names as witnesses to the said will in presence of the testator, and at his request.

Sworn before L. Hannah

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