Updated March 17, 2016
The following records are part of Virginia Chancery Records collection. It should be noted that the Library of Virginia scanned a bill’s cover after the contents of the bill. I have posted the images in the order that they were scanned. In 1822 George McConnell sued the heirs of Samuel Casteel. In 1832 James Gillam and Agnes, sues the heirs of Samuel Casteel.
In 1822 the widow and heirs of Samuel Casteel sue George McConnell over 100 acres of land on Copper Creek. According to depositions George had paid in full for the tract, but had not received the title due to the fact the Casteel had been drafted in the militia and subsequently died at Norfolk before the title could be conveyed. When asked to produce evidence in their behalf the widow and heirs fail to give answer.
This suit is significant for it states that James Gillum of Scott County married Agnes Casteel (James married Agnes Casteel on 13 Dec 1815 in Scott County) the widow of Samuel Casteel and that Agnes’ maiden name was Fields as Casteel states that he sold this tract of land to satisfy a debt he had to father-in-law Fields. Tradition gives Agnes’ father as William Fields, who had a son named Obadiah. Samuel and Agnes name a son Obadiah.
It has been said that after the 1850 Census James abandons Agnes, removes to Carter County, KY and married Charity Boggs (a James Gillum does marry a Charity on 19 Nov 1853 in Carter County, KY). It is not known whether Charity is a widow or not, but in the 1850 Census she is enumerated with apparently sons, Franklin and James C. Boggs. In 1860, James C. Boggs enumerated as Calloway Boggs is living in the household of James Gillum with Charity along with James and Charity’s children.
Agnes is said to have remained in Scott County, and resumed the name Casteel. Her age has been much debated.
In 1820 household of James Gilliam contains female age 26 to 44.
In 1830 household of James Gilliam contains female age 40-49.
In 1840 household of James Gilliam contains female age 40-49.
In 1850 she is listed as Agnes Gillum, age 55, living with James and daughter and son-in-law
In 1860 she is listed as Agnes Gillum, age 90, living with daughter and son-in-law
The last of James and Agnes’ children, Jasper was born in 1838 (the 1850 Census gives his age as 12, the 1900 Census gives his birth date as Feb 1838). The first of Samuel and Agnes’ children, Sally was born about 1808 giving Agnes thirty child-bearing years. This would suggest that Agnes’ birth was more likely around 1790, instead of 1770 as reported in the 1860 Census. Agnes’ son William Casteel reported that his mother died in 1866 at the age of 90. It should be noted that William also reported that his father was Joseph Casteel and that his mother was the daughter of William and Sarah Fields.
1822 George McConnell vs. Heirs of Samuel Casteel
To the worshipfull the county court of Scott in chancery sitting, the bill of complaint of George McConnell of said county humbly represents that about the year 1806 he purchased form Samuel Casteel a tract of land lying in said county for the sum of $300 which he paid him and took his bond for a title herewith exhibited and prayed to be taken and considered as part of this his bill that he was put in possession thereof by the said Casteel and has paid the taxes and retained his possession ever since that the said Casteel neglected to make the said deed for several years until about he year 1814 he was drafted to Norfolk (in the militia of the Commonwealth) where he died intestate without having conveyed the said land and leaving Agness his widow since married to James Gillam and Sally, Obadiah, William and Joseph his infant children and heirs, your orator is then without and legal title to his land or any relief except inequity, the prayer then of your orator is that the said Sally, Obadiah, William and Joseph Casteel infant children and heirs of the said Samuel Casteel may be made defts hereto and fully and truly answer the same on oath, that they conveyed
The said lands to your orator with proper covenants of general warranty according to the tenor and effect of the said bond of their father, or that this worshipfull court appoint a commissioner to do it for them and grant such other and further relief in the premises as is just and suited to his case, may it please your worships to grant the Commonwealths writ of ________ etc.
Your orator by leave of the court further states that since the filing his bill administration of the estate of Saml Casteel decd has been granted by the county court of Scott to James Gilliam, the husband of the said Agness formerly the wife of Saml Casteel, that the said Agness has not relinquished dower in the said land and will probably assent her claim to it which will materially lessen the present value of the land to your orator. The prayer therefore of your orator further is that he said James Gilliam and Agness his wife may be made parties deft to this bill and fully answer the same on oath that if the said Gilliam and wife insist on dower in the said land and do not relinquish the same, that an issue be
directed to ascertain your orator’s damage thereby that the administrator shew the situation of the said estate and whether there will be assets sufficient to pay your orator said damages and the costs of this writ and that an app_____ be taken and that such other and further relief in the premises he intended to your orator is just and suited to his case
May it please your worships to grant the Comwths writ of _____ directed etc.
Decree to be entered at September 1822
Casteels Heirs, etc
This cause came this 9th day of Sept in the year of our Lord 1822 to be heard on the bill amended, bill exhibits, expositions of witnesses, the answer of the deft by their guardian ad litem and was argued by counsel and at appearing to the court that the conditional decrees made in the cause have been duly executed and the defts Gilliam and wife still failing to appear and answer the Complts bill, the court doth therefore consider the said default as a waiver of her right of dower to the lands in complt’s bill is therefore ordered adjudged and decreed by the court that the infant defts heirs at law of the said Samuel Casteel to who the legal tithe to the land in the bill mentioned have descended do as they severally attain the age of twenty one years convey the lands in the bill mentioned on the complt with covenants of general warranty against themselves and all others claiming by through or ______ them and against all persons whomsoever as far as ____ by descent from the _________ Saml Casteel have come to their hands: and it is further ordered, adjudged and decreed by the court the said Agness Gillam late Agness Casteel be forever ____ of all claim of dower in the said land derived from her former marriage with said Saml Casteel and it is further ordered adjudged and decreed that the administrator James Gillam out of the assets of said Saml Casteel in his hand to be administered pay to the Complt the cost of this suit if there is so much in his hand, if not that the deft Gillam pay the same out of his own proper goods and chattels and it is further ordered adjudged and decreed that the infant defts have until six months after they severally attain full age to shew course against this decree.
November Bill filed
December Rule for answer and cont
1818 January Cont
Febr, March, April, and May same
Jany, Feby, March Cont, April, May
June, July Augt, Sept and Oct cont.
Nov guardian ad litum to heirs appt and _____ filed
Decr and Aprl
______ and Genl ______ ______
1822 Jany, Feby, March, April _______
1822 _______ Decree, July, Augt, Oct, Sept, _____________
Novr, Final Decree
To the worshipfull the County court of Scott in Chancery sitting. The answer of Peter Mayo guardian ad litem of Sally, Obadiah, William and Joseph Casteel infant heirs of Samuel Casteel decd to the bill of compliant of George McConnell exhibited in this court against his word and others. This deft saith that he is not informed of any defense which will avail the defts in this case and if the complts satisfies the court that he has paid the purchase money of the land in his bill mentioned, he see no reason why a conveyance should not be decreed him. And having fully answered he prays to be hence dismissed, etc.
Filed 14th Nov 1831
Sworn to in Court
Jno S. Martin
At a court continued and held for Scott County the 15 day of December 1819
The respondents not having filed their answers within three months after the pltff had filed his bill having also been served with a subpoena at least three months before the said time for filing their answer on motion of the pltff by his attorney the court doth take the said bill for confessed and will proceed at a future day to decree the maters thereof unless the said defendants shall file their said answers on or before the next court after they shall have been served with a copy of this order.
Teste Richardson, SC
Exd by copy
_____ ______ ______
of October 1819
At a Court held for Scott county the 11th day of June 1822
George McConnell, Complt
James Gillam, admins of the estate of Saml Casteel deceased & Agness his wife, Deft.
The defendants not having file their answer within three months after the complt had filed his bill having also been served with a subpoena at least three months before the said time for filing their answers on the motion of the complainant by his counsel the court doth take his bill for confessed and will proceed at a future day to decree the mater therein contained unless the said defts on or before the second day of the court next after this shall have been served with a copy of this shew cause to the contrary.
A copy Teste
John S. Martin, DC
Gilliam et al
Exd by a copy left with Gillam and wife the 24th of Sept 1822
______ for Jonathan Wood
State of Tennessee
Pursuant to the annexed commission to us directed we has this 12th day of January 1822 at the house of Housen Kenner in said county the said parties mentioned in the said commission being present proceeded to take the deposition of the aid Housen Kenner a witness in behalf of the said George McConnel who being lawfully sworn deposeth and saith
Some years past now I don’t recollect came Samuel Casteel to my house and received his last payment for a tract of land he sold to sd McConell in a mare valued to him by me and Abraham Childers and the sd McConell would not give up the mare till he got a title bond for sd land and I my self drew sd bond for sd McConell and sd Casteel promised to make sd McConnell a title to sd land in a short time or the next court I believe the sd Casteel being called to Norfolk and there died I supposed prevented his compliance, the mare that Childers and myself valued to sd Casteel over paid him I think 16 dollars for which I think I drew Casteel’s note myself said Casteel in my presence told McConnell to pay Fields no more for he was his father-in-law and he could not get it out of his hand if he got any more for he was paid all he owe him and it was to pay that debt chiefly he sold the sd land to sd McConnell, further I know not as witness, my hand and seal this day and date above mentioned.
Sig: Howsen Kenner
Casteels heirs, etc.
Know all men by these presence that I Saml Casteel am held and firmly bound unto George McConell in the just and full sum of six hundred dollars both residing in the county of Russell and state of Virginia to which I bind myself, heirs, executors, administrators, etc., etc.
The condition of this obligation to such that if I the sd bound Samuel Casteel doth well and truly make the sd George McConnell a ____ and lawful deed to a certain tract or parcel of land laying on Copper Creek and in Rusell county and state of Virginia joining lines with Esqr John McClinning and my lines then this obligation to be void and of none affect other wise to remain in full force and ____ as the meaning of the contents containing one hundred and thirty nine acres as witness our hand and seals this fifth day of Novr one thousand eight hundred and eight, signed, sealed and delivered in presence of us
Sig: Samuel [his X mark] Casteel
Bond for Title to land
The Commonwealth of Virginia to the sheriff of Scott County you are hereby commanded to summon Sally, Obadiah, William and Joseph children and heirs of Samuel Casteel decd to appear before the justices of our said court of Scott County at the courthouse thereof on the first day of the next term to answer a bill in chancery exhibited against them by George McConnel and this you shall in no wise omit under the penalty of £100 and have then these this writ
Witness John McHenry, clerk of our said Court this 12th day of Aug 1817 and of the Commonwealth the 42nd
Sig: John McHenry, Clk
Exd by me
September 2, 1817
The Commonwealth of Virginia to
Gentlemen justices of Hawkins County, Tennessee, greeting.
Know you that we trusting to your fidelity and provident circumspection do require you, that at such certain times and places as you shall appoint to call and cause to come before you
Witness on behalf of George McConnel
In a certain matter of controversy in chancery in our court of Scott county depending between the said George McConnel complaint and the heirs of Samuel Casteel decd et al defendants.
& he diligently examine touching the same in solemn form on oath or affirmation & having receive his examination as aforesaid, that you distinctly, plainly and without delay send and certify the same enclosed into our said court together with this writ.
Witness John McHenry Clerk of our said court at the courthouse this 22nd day of November 1821 in the 46th year of our foundation.
Sig: John S. Martin, DC
Casteel heirs, et al
Mr. James Gillum and Aggy Gillum
You will please to take notice that on the 12th day of January in the year 1822 at the dwelling house of Housen Kenner in Hawkins County, Tennessee I will proceed to take the deposition of the said Housen Kenner to be read in evidence in a suit now depending in the county court of Scott County in Chancery therein same complaint and you and the infant heirs of Samuel Casteel deceased are defendants when and where you may attend etc. cross examine if you see proper so to do
December 29th 1821
Scott County to wit
This day Stephen Elliott made oath before me George McConnel, Jr., a just of the peace of the county aforesaid that he did on the 31st day of December 1815 give James Gillum and Aggy Gillum his wife a true copy of the within notice given under my hand this 5th day of January 1822
Sig: George McConnel, Jr.
Jas and Agnes Gillum
The Commonwealth of Virginia to the Sheriff of Scott bounty greeting. We command you to summon James Gillum, administrator of all and singular the rights, credits, good and chattels of Samuel Casteel decd and Agnes his wife, late Agnes Casteel
To appear before our justices of our court of Scott County at the courthouse, on the second Tuesday in December next to answer a bill in chancery exhibited against them and others by George McConnell
And this they shall in no wise omit under the penalty of 333 dollars and 34 cents each and have then there this writ. Witness John McHenry, Clerk of our said court at the court house this 14th day of November 1821inthe 46th year of our foundation.
Sig: John S. Martin, DC
Gillum and wife
1832 Gillam and Wife vs. Casteel, etc.
Gillam and wife
1832, Nov Bill filed, rule from answers
Dec court for answers
1833, Jan 9, Feb 4, March Court, April dismissed by ___
To the honorable Benjamin Estill of the Circuit Superior Court of law and Chancery for the County of Russell, the bill of complaint of James Gillam and Agness his wife, against Hiram Lawson and Sally his wife and Obadiah Castel, William Casteel and Joseph Casteel (William and Joseph being infants) all the heirs of Samuel Casteel deceased, Nathan Adams and John Strong humbly represents that your oratrix Agness was originally the wife of Samuel Casteel who died at Norfolk in the late war about the year of 1814 or 1815 leaving your oratrix his widow the defts Sally, Obadiah, William and Joseph his heirs, he died intestate, seized of the following tracts of land to wit 100 acres now in the possession of the deft Nathan [?] who got it as these plts understand form King, another tract of 100 acres now in the possession of these plts and another tract of 39 also in said Adams possession which also came to him through the said King; your oratrix never assigned away any of her dower in said lands. She sometime after the death of her first husband Samuel intermarried with the def James Gillam. Now the prayer of your orator and oratrix is that dower be assigned to the deft Agnes in the said lands and that they have any further and general relief that
Commonwealths writ of subpoena may issue and that guardians be assigned to said infants.
The commonwealth of Virginia to the sheriff of Scott County greeting we command you that you summon Hiram Lawson and Sally Lawson his wife, Obadiah Casteel and William Casteel and Joseph Casteel infant heirs of Samuel Casteel deceased, Nathan Adams and John Strong
To appear before the judge of our circuit superior court of law and chancery for Scott County at the courthouse in the Clerk’s Office on the Rule day in November next
To answer a bill in chancery exhibited against them
In the said court by James Gillam and Agness Gillam his wife
And unless they shall answer the said bill within four months thereafter the court will take the same for confessed and decree accordingly and this they shall in no wise omit under the penalty of £10 and have then there this writ witness John S. Martin, Clerk of our said court at the courthouse this 20th day of September 1832 in the 57th year of the Commonwealth
John S. Martin, Clk
- Library of Virginia. Scott County, Chancery Suits.