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Virginia reports : Jefferson--33 Grattan, 1730-1880. Jefferson, Wythe, 1 and 2 Washington, and Gilmer
Virginia reports : Jefferson--33 Grattan, 1730-1880. Jefferson, Wythe, 1 and 2 Washington, and Gilme
Product Code: US0623-1
Number of CDs: 1
Pages: 1746
Qty in Cart: none

This volume brings together:
  • Reports of Cases Determined in the General Court of Virginia from 1730 to 1740 and from 1768 to 1772
    by Thomas Jefferson


  • Decisions of Cases in Virginia by the High Court of Chancery, with Remarks upon Decrees by the Court of Appeals Reversing Some of Those Decisions.
    by George Wythe.


  • Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Court of Appeals of Virginia, Volumes I. and II.
    by Bushrod Washington.


  • Reports of Cases Decided in the Court of Appeals of Virginia from April, 10th, 1820, to June 28th, 1821.
    by Francis W. Gilmer

The volumes being republished here are annotated. That is, later decisions are noted allowing the researcher to easily check later cases to determine what changes in interpretation or law transpired after the case currently being described was decided. For example, annotations for Turner v Stipp (Jefferson 319) regarding the validity of unrecorded deeds, include the following: For the proposition that, a deed, though unrecorded, is valid between the parties, the principal case is cited and approved in McCandlish v. Keen, 13 Grattan 630; Raines v. Walker, 77 Va. 95. See monographic note on "Deeds" appended to Fiott v. Com , 12 Grattan 564. [Citations are to case, volume, reporter's name, and page number.]

There are a number of decisions which provide explanations of various aspects of testate and intestate inheritance. Of interest are two cases which deal with whether a testator can devise land or slaves that he does not own at the time he makes his will (after acquired property). A case described in Jefferson provides a description of how the colonial law worked, the second found in Wythe describes the changes that occurred after the new inheritance law was passed following the Revolution. Other suits provide information on the eligibility of Virginia officers for half-pay for life; the 1785-1787 act of distribution of an intestate estate and the interpretation of various types of bequests; when land forfeited for non-payment of quit rents could be saved; and when Indians might be made slaves, when they could not, and which Indians could be made slaves.

Specific details about the law can frequently be gleaned from the cases, the following are a few examples:
The commission for taking the privy examination of the wife, must be directed to, and executed by those who are in fact justices of the peace; but they need not be so named in the commission or certificate: they will be presumed to be such unless the contrary appear.

A negro held in servitude in Ohio under a deed executed in Virginia, may assert title to freedom in the courts of Virginia, and servitude in Ohio under a deed executed in Virginia, may assert title to freedom in the courts of Virginia, and recover by operation of the constitution of Ohio.

A deed, though neither indented nor recorded, is valid between the parties under the act of 1748, and is sufficient to pass an estate.

Under colonial law the interest accruing to the husband in the wife's estate differs according to the nature and quality of that estate. In her lands, &c. the husband acquires a freehold during the coverture or an estate for life if there is issue between them. In chattels real (land such as a lease that is less than a freehold estate), he acquires a property and a power of disposing in his life-time, but not by will; if he dies first without disposing, they survive to her. If she dies first, they survive to him. But in chattels personal (moveable personal property such as furniture or animals) marriage is an absolute gift of all such to the husband whether or not he survives the wife.

A monograph on witnesses treats credibility based on age, interest in the case and relationship to parties involved; competency; and the examination of witnesses. A monograph on deeds of trust provides information on what is essential to create a valid deed of trust, who may be trustee; bonds, compensation, and liability of trustees; grantor's interest; enforcement by sale; what may be sold; and conduct and validity of the sale.

Scattered throughout are tidbits useful to the family historian. We learn that the wife William Carr (who died in 1760) as the sister of Walter Chiles; that James Maze and John Tackett first settled in Greenbrier County in 1764, and that Andrew Culbertson settled Culbertson's Bottom in present day Summers County in 1753. Some cases provide a great deal of family detail. For example, we learn that Richard Drummond of Accomack, son of Richard Drummond, died testate in 1750 leaving a wife Catherine, who married as her third husband Ralph Justice, and two daughters: Alicia, who died unmarried and without issue; and Anne, who married as her first husband William Justice, son of her step-father Ralph, and second, Thomas Bailey. The case also tells us that the widow Catherine had previously married John Shepherd by whom she had had two daughters, Margaret who married Edward Ker and Elizabeth who married John Harmanson.

Another case provides information on a family from a burned county: Timothy Vaughn made his will 1 December 1759 and died testate apparently in New Kent County, leaving a wife, Sarah (executrix; died 1772) sons Davis, Timothy and Henry, a daughter Mary, who married William Nance; and daughters Sarah and Cate Rably. David, Sarah and Cate died intestate and without issue. Timothy, died leaving a widow Lucy who married George Woodward. Other entries while providing information on individuals leave no clues to their residence. For example, James Buxton died in 1751 owning land part of which came to him in fee taile from Richard Bennett. He left bequests to sons John (eldest), Thomas, William, and Josiah. John died before 1793 leaving an only child, Nathaniel. Thomas and William were also dead, leaving as their heirs Grizzel, the wife of Miles Cary, and Josiah Buxton (who was heir to any of his brothers who died without issue).

These reports are a useful research tool whether one is looking for clues to relationships or a better understanding of the application of the law at a given time.


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Virginia reports : Jefferson--33 Grattan, 1730-1880. Jefferson, Wythe, 1 and 2 Washington, and Gilmer
Price: $19.95

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US0623-2
Virginia Reports, Jefferson -33 Grattan, 1730-1880: Volumes 1 and 2, Virginia Cases, Volumes 1 and 2 $19.95

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