Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Thomas Cates' Estate

In a continued effort to learn more about Thomas Cates and his circle of family and friends, I took a look at his estate records and particularly the sales of his property after his death. 

Not unexpectedly, the most prominent purchaser was his wife, Nancy Cates.   She bought a bedstead and furniture; a pine chest, table and stool; table furniture; a coffee mill; one lot of books; two spinning wheels; a club ax; a barrel and tub; a pot and pot hooks; 3 sitting chairs; and a keg.

His son, Turner Cates, was more restrained, just purchasing a tea kettle; a rod and chair; a hatchet (can't read the first word describing it); a man's saddle; and a sorrel horse.

Mary Dies is the only woman besides Nancy to appear on the list of purchasers.  Considering that it was unusual for women outside the immediate family to come to these sales and the type of things that she bought, it is likely that she is connected to the family but how is not known.  In the 1840 census, as Mary Dyes, she is two entries away from Turner and 3 from Thomas, she is aged 30-39 and has 3 young girls (age 5-9)  in the house, indicating she is probably a widower.  She is also probably the woman who in 1844 married Wiley Cates, whose connection to Thomas has also not been established but is probably not a son.    Mary purchased a bed & cot, 2 sitting chairs & frame.

V. Nichols, based on his location, is probably Vincent/Vinson Nichols, married to Eliza McCook. He has an odd 1840 census entry, where his listing includes 125 scholars.  Either he was running a school or the census taker got something wrong.  He was a prominent person in the county and, among other things, donated the land for Old Bethel U.M. Church.  He was also the JP involved with the estate.  He purchased a clock, which must have been a very nice one since it was one of the most expensive items on the inventory at $8.   He also purchased a side-saddle.

Isaac Mills was probably not a near neighbor (per the 1840 census) but he was one of the two men to sign as security on the admin bond.  (The other was Joseph Wilder).  He was married to Elizabeth Dun, or possibly Dies.  He purchased an augur and a hand saw.

Thomas Striplin appears to have been a neighbor.  He purchased a frying pan & streaker, a cow, and a yearling.

Nimrod Lewis, was I believe Thomas' son in law.  He purchased one set of plow gear, a tub of plows and sundries, a cowhide, a bay filly, and 4 head of geese.

John Hancock, a neighbor, purchased a set of plow gear and a halter chain.  John was one of the men who inventoried the estate.

John Perry, not a neighbor but closely associated with John Hancock and Nimrod Lewis, so possibly with the Cates as well.   He purchased a tub of plows and sundries, as well as 2 swingletrees (used for beating flax) and a bridle.  John as also one of the men who did the inventory.

B. Surtivant, not further identified, purchased a reel.

?Saml? Vining bought a pair of cart hubs.

Larry or Lamy Dies (unidentifed, not in the 1840 census) purchased 1 small trunk.

Not accounted for in the sale were the two young slaves listed in the inventory of his estate.   They were Laurah, age 8, valued at $300 and Grace, age 5, valued at $275.  In the 1840 census, Thomas Cates showed 3 slaves, who were the two young girls as well as a female in her 20s, possibly their mother.  The older slave was not listed as part of the estate so presumably had died or been sold by that time. 

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