return into my Estate and be divided in the same manner, as if they had not gone out.
Surveyors fees and other debts due to me must be collected (with moderation) the money to pay my debts, and the overplus, if any, to remain in the care of my Executors, or my wife if single--for contingent charges--perhaps Schooling our Children.
Now, I mean to cut of the force and effect of heir at Law in my Family, my Will is that if one or more of our Children die, under age, or without lawful heir, or without Will, in either of those three cases the Survivors shall be co-heirs.
I do hereby nominate and appoint Edmund Winston, John F. Patrick and Charles Cobbs, gentlemen, my Executors, I having confidence in you accompanied with warm friendship. I entreat you to accept of the Trust.--This is altered.
In witness whereof: I have to this my last Will and Testament set my hand and seal this
1st day of June 1782.
(Signed) Richard Stith
Signed, sealed and published by Richard Stith as for his Will and Testament in our prefence, who in the prefence of the said Richard Stith subscribed our names as witnesses thereto, June 1-1871.
A Codicil to my Will, the Will bearing date the 5th day of June, 1782. I give and bequeath to my son, Benjamin, 400 acres of Land, more or less, situate in Bedford County, on head branches of Enoch's Creek, according to the Patent bearing date the 14th day of August 1787 (this in lieu of part of the Stoney-fork tract otherwise dispos'd of) to him, his heirs and assigns forever.
I give and bequeath to Drury Hardaway, my Son-in-law, 1050 Acres, more or less, situate in Campbell County on Lawsons Creek according to the Patent dated May 16th 1786 (This is not altogether a gift--he hath made compensation) to him, his heirs and assigns forever.
I give and bequeath to Luke Morris Valentine, 80 acres, more or less, the same that Charles Talbot, Sen. Esq., acknowledged to me in Bedford Court, situate in Campbell County on Falling River including the little old plantation on Lick Creek, including the mouth of the Creek: to him, his heirs and assigns forever; and for This, he hath made compensation.
I give and bequeath to my Son, Richard 600 acres, more or less, situate in Campbell County on both sides of Narrowpassage Branch, including the head; being part of the tract of 1400 Acres by Patent bearing date the 20th day of August 1783.-and this to compensate Richard Stith, Jun'r, in the wear and tear already made and likely to be made on the Jacob tract and Plantation to him, his heirs and assigns forever.
Now, I appoint (her, who will then be) my widow, Lucy Stith, Executrix solus.
N.B.--So much of the aforesaid Will as is opposed, now made null by this Codicil.
Signed, sealed and published by Richard Stith, as a Codicil to his aforesaid Will, this
10th day of September 1792.
In Presence of Richard Stith (Seal)
The Will bearing date June 1, 1782, to which a Codicil dated Sept. 10, 1792, and now annexed tacked to the Codicil as followeth:
I give and bequeath to my son John the whole of the Land on Molly's Creek, according to the Patent 1460 Acres,--to him, his heirs and assigns forever.
I give and bequeath to my son, William, the 250 Acres on the East Fork of Jumping Run, being the remainder of a Tract by Patent for 400 Acres in Bedford.
Also to my son, William, beginning on Buzzard Branch; thence along the Island Road by the Cross roads and down the main Road toward the old Mill to Bell's line, all that Part to the W. & N.W., of the said Roads: in Campbell. Also to my son, William, the remaining 1150 acres at Narrow-passage Branch, Mulberry Creek, and Panter Branch; these three bequests to him, his heirs and assigns forever.
Sealed and Signed this 9th day of October 1795.
Richard Stith (Seal)
in good health
N.B.--So much of the aforesaid Will and Codicil, as is opposed, now made null by this Tack.
The Tack brought over and continued from the 9th day of October, 1795. I give and bequeath to my son-in-law, James Jones, the parcel of Land laid off for him in part of our daughter, Katharine's portion instead or in lieu of another negro,--by consent: 73 Acres, more or less, situate, bounded on the North side by the Island Old Road, on the South by his own line, in the West by Buzzard Branch and in the East by a division Line--to him, his heirs and assigns forever.
Given under my hand and seal: this 6th day of January, 1798.
Richard Stith (Seal)
N.B. -This is since conveyed by Deed.
Now, a Supplemental to the Will, codicil and Tack.
I desire and hope that the Widow Lady and her son, Richard, will agree well together in One Common Stock after I have left them in such comfortable circumstances,--But, if not, then-our Son Richard must have and take immediate possession, in the Lady's lifetime, of Land, beginning at the mouth of Pompy's Branch, up the same passing by the mouth of Saucor and one more fork, to the mouth of a drain at the old road: up the drain to the head of the same; thence to the S. W. Corner of the Detach 'd Field; and along the path towards Mr. West's Mill to the Land line; All that part of the Land lying to the Westward
of those lines (not to interrupt his brother William) also two negroes, his choice of the then remaining number (but not his Mother's house servant). These to be accounted, dealt out to Richard in manner as hath been to the other children,-here I mention again, 'Her who will then be my Widow Lady to be my Executrix alone '--and our Sons Joneph, Benjamin, Thomas, John, William and Richard, Her Securities--with powers of control in extreme occasions (but not otherwise).
N.B.--So much of the aforesaid Will, Codicil and Tack, as are opposed, made null by this Supplement.
Given under my hand and Seal this 7th day of April, 1798.
(Signed) Richard Stith (Seal)
Witnessed this 11th of Sept. 1800
And further I give and bequeath to my widow Lady and her son Richard Stith, Jun'r, the Still-House and its appurtenances, and all the stock, horses, etc., except one horse and 1 cow for our Son William
(Signed, this 8th day of Jany., 1801.)
At a Court held for Campbell County, Virginia, December 13, 1802, the within Last Will and Testament of Richard Stith, gentleman, deceased, together with four codicils thereto
annexed, was proved by the oaths of Dennis Kelley and Adlar Avinton, two of the witnesses thereto subscribed and the last Codicil to the said Will proved to be the handwriting of the said Richard Stith, deceased, by the oaths of Robert Alexander and Williston Talbot, all of which is ordered to be Recorded. Liberty being reserved the Executrix in the said Will named to take probate thereof when she shall think fit.
Ro. Alexander, C.C.C.
And at a Court continued and held for the County of Campbell the 12th day of April, 1803, on the motion of Lucy Stith, the Executrix in the said Will named who made oath thereto according to Law, certificate is granted her for obtaining probate thereof in due form, giving security, whereupon she together with Joseph Stith, Benjamin Stith; Thomas Stith, John Stith, William Stith, Richard Stith, Denny Hendaway; I. Saunders, her securities, entered into and acknowledged their bond in the Penalty of Twenty Thousand Dollars, conditioned as the Law directs for the said Executrix's due and faithful administration on said decendant's Estate and performance of his will.
Ro. Alexander, C.C.C.
C O P Y
The following was inserted between pages 51 and 52
By John D. G reene
If it relates to music, Laurence Stith has done it all, from singing commercials to conducting and accompanying such stars as Mimi Benzell of the Metropolitan Opera Company and Andy Griffith.
This continued but did not scan well.
The Kentucky Branch
Dr Lee S. Stith, University of Arizona, writes that Shacklett, and Hardaway families left Virginia and moved to Meade County Kentucky. There is documented evidence that all five of Richard Stith's sons migrated to Meade County Kentucky and that several of his daughters and their families made the trek. There is also strong evidence that Richard Stith made the trek to Kentucky but later returned to Virginia.
Christopher Johnston wrote that a Thomas Stith, son of Buckner Stith and Anne Dade, "went to Kentucky," and nothing more.
There is fragmentary evidence that numerous other Stiths migrated to Kentucky during the late 1700s and early 1800s so the author makes no assumption that the four brothers mentioned were the sole Stith family immigrants to Kentucky. Baldwin Stith was in Kentucky by 1789. His connection to the main line has not been established to date.
The Kentucky and Midwestern Branch
A possible reason as to why the Stith families migrated to Kentucky is evident when one studies American history. There was plenty of homestead land available in Kentucky and the Stiths by this time had pretty well exhausted the land in Virginia by planting tobacco (as did thousands of other planters). Also,
many families still believed in the rule of primogenitor (first born son inherits all, or most, of the estate). We can only conjecture that they came through the Cumberland Gap on the southern border and then moved to the northwest toward the area around Elizabeth Town and what is now Louisville, Ky. It does not take too much imagination to realize that they must have suffered many hardships along the way as did other pioneer families. There is also enough evidence to indicate that other Stiths entered Kentucky in the northeast from West Virginia.
Dr. Lee Stith obtained the following information from Mrs. Francis Fast of Brandenburg, Kentucky. Mrs. Fast has contributed greatly to the compilation of information on this branch of the family. She also has submitted data on the family to the William and Mary Quarterly.
"In a small notebook (4 1\2 x 7) bound in calfskin, very old and somewhat worn, that belonged to Richard Stith, Sen., then to his son, Richard Stith, Jun'r, and lastly to Jesse Jones Stith, with the names 'Richard Stith, Henry Stith and J.J. Stith' crudely lettered on the cover, with beautiful copperplate writing of Richard Stith, Sen., not quite so beautiful of the younger Richard, listing slaves, their births and some deaths. Also there is a list of the children of Richard Stith, Sen. with their birth dates. This book is now in the possession of Mrs. W. A. Stith, Sen. Guston, Ky., of the Stith Farms in Stith Valley."
"An important birth, that of Richard Stith, 30th Sept 1727, is omitted from Dr. Johnston's account. (Author's comment: this is one of many errors that Dr. Johnston made. The author is in sympathy with Dr. Johnston as there are probably numerous errors in this current history. Well, at least we took the time to write it down and get it published. "We" is inclusive Dr. Lee Stith, Joyce Morrison Stith, Iris Stith Reed.) He belongs between John, 1724 and Bathurst, 1729. An explanation for the omission from the Bristol Parish Register is given in Douglas Register, pages 5-6. "
From Byrd's Diary we find that there was much changing about of ministers, that they were scarce and much changing was done, preaching was conducted alternately and the Stiths attended another parish. It is evident that the records were not well kept during this period and that when the Rev. William Douglas came to the Parish in 1750 he found the records in a sad state. He stayed until 1777 at Goochland.
Dr. Christopher Johnston's account of the Stith family from this point on takes up in detail the other descendants of Drury Stith and his wife, Elizabeth Buckner and other generations, but does not mention Richard Stith, their son, who married Lucy Hall, and was a prominent man in the history of Virginia, living in Brunswick County, Campbell County and Bedford County, Virginia.
A Hornbook of Virginia History on page 21 shows information of the counties of Virginia, with which we are concerned:
Charles City County, 1634; in 1703 Prince George County was formed from part of Charles City. In 1722 Brunswick County was taken from Prince George; Lunenburg was taken from Brunswick 1732; Bedford from Lunenburg in 1754, and Campbell from part of Bedford in 1782. Therefore, it was possible for a family to have lived in all of these counties, yet not have moved from the physical spot where they had first acquired land.
Richard Stith, with whom we are now concerned, was a surveyor by profession. He surveyed Campbell County, 1782 and laid out the city of Lynchburg, 1786.
In William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 16, page 1907-1908 a letter from Richard Stith to William and Mary's College about surveyors giving new bonds says business demands his presence in Bedford County and asks them to send the bond to him, He was licensed from Bedford County, Oct. 24, 1772, date of letter.
An account listed in the Tyler's Quarterly Magazine and submitted by A. G. Stith of Louisville, Kentucky lists genealogical information on the family and also states "It is noted in the Bible that Joseph Stith was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Ensign Bedford Co. Militia. Sworn in August 28, 1780." The same article also states "John Stith, called "Jack" Stith to distinguish him from his uncle, Dr. John Stith, immediately after his marriage, at the age of
sixteen, removed to Kentucky, Hardin County, where he became a distinguished preacher. Died in 1833 (Bedford's History of Southern Methodism).
His father, Joseph, also removed to Kentucky with other brothers and died about 1836, being buried in Meade County, near Vine Grove."
Meade, Hardin, and Breckinridge Counties seem to have been the common areas of settlement for the Kentucky Stiths. The author has been informed that there are many Stiths still in these areas. It has also been reported that there are many Stiths in or around Covington, Kentucky.
Dr. Lee S. Stith also advises of his great Uncle, William Allen Stith in Kentucky, who "was a teacher, was in the Legislature of the sate of Kentucky for several terms, had a large Hereford ranch and was a producer of hybrid seed corn."
As the reader will note, Dr. Lee S. Stith's name is interjected from time to time in this history. He will be discussed under the Western Branch, however, his immediate ancestors came from Kentucky and his lineage is traced directly to the early American Stiths in Virginia. Dr. Stith writes that his grandfather,William Lee Stith, migrated to Texas while the rest of his immediate family remained in Hardinsburg, Ky. (in Breckinridge Co.). It is worth noting that one of William Lee's great aunts, Nannie Stith, was married to Dr. Kinchelo who was publicized by Life Magazine as the "Father of 1000 Babies."
Of equal importance in-current family history is Dr. Milton Chandler Stith. A description in the "Who's Who in the South" states as follows: "Clergyman born Louisville 17 May 1904 son of Jessie M. and Ruby (Chandler) Stith; student Stetson Uni. 1921-22, A.B. Davidson Coll. 1923-24. Th. M. South. Baptist Theological Seminary 1929, D.D. Stetson U. 1946; married Elizabeth Brownlee in 1924; children: Hugh Chandler, Robert Jesse, James Logan, Sandra Beth. Pastorates: Orange Glade Church, Miami, Fla. 1930-31, Brentwood Church, Jacksonville, Fla. 1931-37; Brookland Church, Washington, D.C. The author has corresponded with Dr. Stith and finds that he has been serving with noteworthy honor and efficiency as the Executive Secretary for the District of Columbia Baptist Convention. He is the proud grandparent of some eight grandchildren Dr. Chandler is a descendant of John (called Jack) Stith, a distinguished preacher, previously mentioned as having migrated to Kentucky when he was sixteen years old.
"Chan" writes that "Percy Stith who owned a jewelry store in Louisville for many years had voluminous family records." In view of information available to the author, these records might be in the family of Glen Stith as "Chan" indicates that Glen was a brother of Percy. (Author's comment: Records maintained by the city library, New Orleans, La. indicate that a Percy Bertrand Stith, died in that city in 1961. Will some Stith please try and tie this in?)
The records are probably as valuable from the standpoint of family history as the records compiled by Estie (Stith) Crabbe, a fine lady and an ardent family historian who will be discussed under the Western Branch.
"Chan" also advises, "I remember that in the middle twenties, when I was a student at the Seminary in Louisville, I had an opportunity to look over these records in Percy's home. Among them were photostat copies of wills of the members of the family for many generations, including a map of the area now occupied by Fort Knox, which apparently was the center of a large plantation and farm area of the Stiths. As a matter of fact, there was a station there called "Stithton."
The author believes that notice should be taken of "Dr. Chan's" accomplishments for in a country of so many churches and ministers of all faiths, he,"Chan," has risen above the ordinary and excelled in that field. He has furthered the family name with honor and dignity and deserves the praise and respect of each member. Individuals and organizations have made public testimonials to Dr. "Chan's" ability and character so in the opinion of the author, Dr. M. Chandler Stith is more than worthy of all the praise and respect bestowed on him.
Dr. "Chan" writes that he still retains some of his Kentucky traits in that he bagged a non-typical whitetail buck in Maine and received a national trophy for his prize.
He is an ardent hunter and makes an annual trek to Maine in quest of deer and bear.
The author would also like to focus again the family spotlight on A. Glen Stith, Louisville, Ky. Glen submitted valuable family historical information to the Tyler Quarterly Magazine years ago. The author discovered this information while accomplishing a records search at the Univ. of AL. The will of Richard Stith previously recorded for the reader's perusal was submitted by Glen. In the information Glen listed a Percy Stith and indicated that he had no children so it is from this information that the author, as previously written, conjectures that Glen probably inherited Percy's records, if this is the recordkeeping "Percy" of whom Dr. "Chan" writes.
Glen Stith was the son of Richard Luther Stith, attorney, Elizabethtown, KY (1846-1920) and Eugenia Carrico Stith. Other children of this marriage were: Hugh Claude' who died without issue; Ada who married, one, Jno. T. Blakeley, and, two, Mr. Leftwich, Percy B.-no children, Lynn B.-no children.
The children of Glen and Ruth Brewer were: Mary E (b. Apr 19, 1910); Theodore B. (b. July 20, 1911); Richard G. (b. Aug 31, 1917; Ruth B. (b. Feb. 27, 1920). Currently, Richard G. is located in Wichita Falls, Texas. Theodore B. is in Overland Park, Kansas. Ruth married Ray Bunch and lives in Dothan, AL. Mary Stith, a librarian is located at the Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma.
The author's grandfather Albert Stith (1846-1891) who was born in Brandenburg, Ky., married Mary Elliott Hodges (1850-1940) and migrated to Moran, Kansas. Other relatives of both the Stith and Hodges' family accomplished similar moves to the same general area between Moran and Iola, Kansas. Albert's father was Buckner Jones Stith (1807-1856) who married, 2nd Mary Cofer (1814-1851). Buckner's first marriage was to Cinderella Moorman (1812-1841). The Stith Genealogical Chart shows that Cinderella had at least five children while Mary had three children.
While in Kansas Belzora Stith Hodges (1856-1945) and other relatives made several treks back to the Bradenburg, Ky. area in covered wagons to visit relatives. This was related to the author by his father, Charles W. Stith.
Albert Stith was described as a very capable farmer; very neat and trim in his dress. He was a small, slightly built man and died of appendicitis at the early age of 45. If there were any family records or history in this, the author's branch, they died in the memory of Albert. The author's father Charles W. Stith (1886-1973) had only meager knowledge of the Stith family having been only five years old when his father, Albert, passed away.
Dr. Lee S. Stith advises that all descendants of the original Stith families that migrated to Kentucky hold a family reunion on the last Sunday in August in a place called
Doe Run which is west of Louisville, Ky. There were other related families in the migration.
The following is a letter the author's grandfather, Albert F. Stith, received from his brother in Brandenburg, Ky. The letter will give us some insight into the day-today events of the lives of Stiths who were ordinary people.
C O P Y
Oct 6th 1884
Yours of the 14th Sept. was received a few days since, was very glad indeed to hear that you and yours were all well and so well pleased with your new home and country. Do you think that I could rent a good farm near you? I would like for it to contain as much as two or three good men. Could work--or I would prefer to find a good man with a good farm well improved, that would be willing to furnish everything, and give me a certain portion of the crop. Do you think that could be done in your neighborhood? I would prefer to rent or work for someone the first year. What time do you sew wheat, and is there a big crop being put in this fall? Don't you think there would be money in hogs at 5¢, and corn at 20¢. Are hogs plentiful in your country? Do you think it would pay to take horses from this state to yours--freight and everything being considered? What is the name of your county, also your rail road station? What does farm hands get for
months with you--or in your county? Do you use all kinds of machinery in the cultivation of your crops?
I have lost money ever since I have been on this place. I only made about 6 bushels of wheat to the acre this year, but little more than enough to pay for the fertilizer and the seed, and for one to work as hard as I have to and not get any returns from my labor I am tired of that sort of farming and so have considered if I can't sell I will away and leave the place any way. Write soon and tell me what you think of my conclusions. Love to all
(The author traced a Charles Moorman Stith to Athens, Alabama in 1964. No doubt the son of C. M. Stith)
As a means of giving the feelings of the distaff side of the same era, the reader is given an insight of a letter written by Mary Stith, wife of Charles Moorman Stith in Brandenburg, Kentucky to Mary Stith, wife of Albert F. Stith, near Moran, Kansas. The date of the letter is obliterated but it seems to be within the time period of September or October 1884.
C O P Y
I was very glad indeed to hear from you and to know that you were so well pleased. I have had sickness in my family all summer and am not well myself. The dear babe is
better now and I hope as soon as the weather gets cooler she will be well--she has two teeth. Merrie is chilling and I am afraid she will have fever of some form--she complains of her head & bowels all the time. I think Charlie has Kansas fever and you need not be astonished at anytime to see us-or him--at any rate--we are not satisfied here and not making anything either--and I guess we will make a change soon. Eva's health is not good at all and we all have been more or less sick since we have been here. Tell me about the weather! Can you raise good gardens--and have plenty of fowls: I don't like wind and rain--but I don't mind cold clear weather! Tis as warm here now as it was in August and of course we feel weak and bad. Our babe is considered a beauty here--she is very fair, has dark brown hair, inclined to curl and very large blue eyes and just as good as she can be. Write soon
The proceeding letters are copies of the orginal letters found in the Albert F. Stith family bible. Rex Stith, a first cousin of the author has the bible. Mayna E. Stith, a sister to Rex, made the copies for Joyce Stith and the author. Rex had previously extracted family names, marriages, and pertinent dates and forwarded the material to the author in 1964. Mayna whom the author remembers as having beautiful red hair has long been a favorite cousin of the author as has Dick Stith, her brother. Dick, a blonde, stands around 6 feet, 5 inches and
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