Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Proving Susannah Rucker Moved

Two deeds (one in 1776 and one in 1778) mention the "line" of Susannah Rucker in Amherst County, Virginia. The problem is that there is no deed showing Susannah purchased property in Amherst County, before this time. The lack of a deed showing Susannah purchased property is not surprising--married women could not purchase property during this time period. Of course, this is assuming she was married.

Who was Susannah? Initially one would assume she was a widow and that her husband had owned property in Amherst County before her death.

Susannah's situation was apparently a little different. The only known Susannah Rucker was a Susannah who was the widow of John who died in Orange County, Virginia, in the early 1740s. There were no other Susannahs in the Rucker family in the 1770s who would have been of an age to have had their "lines" mentioned. John Rucker was not known to have been in Amherst County or to have purchased or owned any land there.

It turns out that Susannah did not purchase any property in her own name in Amherst County--her children apparently purchased it for her after the majority of them had moved Amherst County from Orange County.

In an upcoming issue of Casefile Clues, we'll examine the deeds involving these heirs (there are actually three deeds of interest) and look at the metes and bounds description to determine (as best we can) if the Susannah whose line is mentioned is actually living on the property apparently purchased by her children.

Susanna's apparent property in Amherst is an interesting study of how land records can tell us more than they appear to on the surface. In this case, they document the widow's apparent move in 1769 from Orange County into Amherst County and her apparent residence there until approximately 1791 when she apparently dies.

Stay tuned. I've scanned all five deeds in question and will include limited illustrations in the article and on the blog.

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