Tuesday, March 15, 2016

What Happens to the Dower of the Second Wife

By Jeannette Holland Austin

Jeannette Holland AustinWhen a widow remarried, a Marriage Contract was written to protect the assets bequeathed to her by her deceased husband. Such contracts are generally found in deed records. These deeds need to be examined to follow the inheritance of the land and other items of value. Also, the estates and inventories should list the property owned by the widow before she re-married and specify how it was disposed of. In the instance of Reuben Thornton who died in 1768 owning a large number of slaves which were named and mentioned in the will and plantations in Caroline and Culpeper Counties, he bequeathed to his (second) wife the land located on Green Swamp as well as the mill pond which she had received from the dower of the estate of her former husband. In other words, when the widow remarried, her property became the legal property of Reuben Thornton.



Caroline County, Virginia Genealogy, Wills, Estates, Marriages


Old Schoolhouse in Caroline County, VirginiaCaroline County was established in 1728 from the counties of Essex, King and Queen and King William. It was named for Caroline of Ansbach, the wife of King George Ii of Great Britain. John Penn, a native of Caroline County, was a signer of the Declaraton of Independence.

Caroline County Wills, Estates, Marriages available to members of Virginia Pioneers

Miscellaneous
  • Baylor, John (1706), LWT
  • Estes, Abraham (1757), LWT, transcript
  • Mickleburrough (abstract from burned records
  • Mills, Matthew (abstract from burned records
Marriages
  • Caroline County Marriages 1787-1852
Digital Images of Wills 1742, 1762 to 1830

Testators: Buckner, William; Chandler, Robert ;Coleman, Richard ;Collins, Thomas ;Dismukes, James ;Gatewood, James ;Gray, John; Hornsby, Reuben ;Kidd, William ;Landrum, Thomas; Moore, Augustine, Land Grant ;Moore, Augustine; Moore, Richard; Murdock, Joseph ;Robinson, Benjamin ;Ship, Lemuel ;Stuart, Henry ;Teal, David;Thompson, John ;Yates, John 

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County Records of 8 Genealogy Websites

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