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Neil's of Lee Co connected to TN and Scott Co. VA
Posted by: Sheila Winterberg (ID *****5316) Date: June 17, 2005 at 20:50:58
  of 2124

Here are the the results of what I found in the Chancery Court Records at the Virgina State Library in Richmond VA.

Sheila Allen-Winterberg

Scott County Chancery Court Records

On file at the Virginia State Library

Not all in full. My noted versions.

Index Number 1834-10 ( First 4 numbers is the year ie: 1834 is the year)

Grimes Neal vs. Isaac Dickenson Ect

It begins: “ To the Hon. Allen Taylor Chancellor of Wythe Dist. Orator Grimes Neil of Scott Co. VA.”

Orator states that, Nathan Ewing of Franklin Co. TN in fee of certain tract of land lying in the Co. of Lee, State of Virginia…containing 390 acres, sent George Daughtery to sell the said track of land…… He sold it to Grimes Neil for the sum of $1,800.00. Grimes paid up front $900.00 dollars and was to pay the rest when George Daughtery returned and got Nathan Ewing to procure the deed of conveyance.) Nathan Ewing died before George Daughtery got back to TN.

Then it goes on to say that: Nathan Ewing received the land from his wife Elizabeth’s father, by his will recorded in Franklin Co. TN. And that George Daughtery was the son in law of Elizabeth as he had married her daughter by her first marriage Ann Cartwright. Their children (George and Ann’s) were Nathan, John, and William Daughtery.

Grimes traded this tract of land to Isaac Dickerson for some land in Scott Co. at “ the ford of the Clinch River, “ which Isaac had got from George George.

( The problem was that since Nathan died, Grimes had never received his deed for the property in Lee Co. and Isaac would not give him the one for the land in Scott. So Grimes was trying to get the heirs of Nathan to make good on the transaction that had begun before Nathan died, and to get his deed from Isaac.)

There was also a note of : John Wallen of the State of TN, Claibourne Co. makes Deposition for



RE: Grimes Purchasing Lee Co. VA Land that belonged to Nathaniel Ewing.

Children of William Neill and Bathsheba Harrison of Lee County, Va, continued. Child No. 7, BELINDA, married James P. Ewing of Lee County and moved to Callaway County, Mo.

RE: The Scott County land that belonged to Isaac Dickerson which he had got from George George, that Grimes traded his Lee Co. land for.

Nancy England b. abt 1795 the daughter of John England and Mary Parsons married George George. Nancy was the sister to Martha England who married Williamson Carter, who was the brother to John Carter who married second to Mary Roller Neil, the widow of J.B. Neil of Lee County VA.

Index Number 1839-05

John Allen for Etc. and John Mann

Vs. Fielder Poston, and Miles T. Jennings

The only thing in this folder was a piece of paper that said Burkes Garden, Feb 19th, Clk of Scott Co. Allen for Mann. Then list the dates of several warrants to appear and one side said “Dismissed”.

No more information available.

Index Number 1843-02

John B. Agee vs. Exrs of Grimes Neill

Moses R. Richards who sues for John B. Agee:

Def. John A. Hall, Wm. B. Neil, and Hezekiah P. Neil, Executors of Grimes Neil. ( my note: John A. Hall was named in Grimes’ will, but he refused and did not qualify as an executor. John A. Hall was a business partner of Grimes Neil as well as Paschal Jones.)

“John B. Agee sold leather to Jones, surviving business partner of the late firm of Neil and Jones.. Firm originally comprised of Grimes Neil and Paschal Jones partners in the tanning business.”


Jones vs. Rhoton

Paschal Jones vs. Erasmus D. Rhoton of Lexington Ky.

“The Def. being on a visit to his relations in Scott Co. VA, and being sick and without funds and necessaries, wrote to his father Benjamin Rhoton of Lexington for a supply.”…….

(The father, Benjamin had relatives in Scott County to get him the money for which he said he would be responsible for.)

Orator (Paschal Jones) is the brother in law of Benjamin W. Rhoton, and Erasmus d. Rhoton got a blanket and saddle from Grimes Neil, and other necessities, but not until the orator gave security of $27.75 on Aug 29th 1836.

Erasmus Rhoton died abt Christmas of 1839 and Paschal Jones is asking that Elias, Ezekiel, and Elisha Rhoton should pay Benjamin W. Rhoton $85.00.

( Are Elias, Ezekiel and Elisha the son’s of Erasmus or his brothers, and that is why Paschal is asking for them to pay Benj. Back???)


James Caldwell vs. Christopher Haynes

James Caldwell had a “fine Mulatto girl” for sale, but did not want her taken out of the county of where he lived, as he said the his family was very fond of her. He sold her to Christopher Haynes who swapped her to Grimes Neil for a Negro Boy. Which was against the agreement that James Caldwell claims to have had with the said Christopher Haynes.

(my note: Grimes Neal named a son Lilburn Haynes Neal, and James Caldwell was a witness to the will of John Allen, who was married to the sister of Hezekiah P. Neal, executor of John’s will)


John A. Mann and John Humes

Vs. Hiram C. Carter and Samuel Neil

John A. Mann and John N. Humes were merchants and partners in trade under the firm and style of Humes and Mann. In April of 1845, a Judgment was obtained by Samuel Neil who sued for the benefit of Hiram C. Carter, the sum of $70.00, for the price of a certain Sorrell Mare, which Neil sold to Mann and Humes.

In June Mann and Humes are in counter suit, claiming that Samuel Neil sold them a lame Mare, and they are refusing to pay the note. They state that when they purchased the mare, that she had a limp, but that Samuel Neil had told them that she had stepped on something and bruised her foot, and that he had his BROTHER, to examine her and he found her to be sound. They also had a testimony of the original owner of the mare who stated that she was lame when he sold her.

The order also stated that Samuel Neil, was not an inhabitant of the county and was given until Sept. to appear.

There was also attached a list of witnesses for both the pltf. And defd. And what they were to be paid .


Joseph C. A. Newton 2 days $1.06

Henry R. Cox 2 days $1.06

Hester Allen (Esther) 2 days $1.06 (This is Esther Jane Neal Allen the wife of John Allen, sister of Col. Hezekiah Patrick Allen.)

Wm. Davidson 2 days $1.06

Joseph C. Mann 1 day .53 cents


Joseph Williams vs. Wm B. Neill

Joseph Williams on March 1st, 1838 executed a deed to Paschal Jones trustee, To secure a debt of $72.00 claimed owed by Grimes Neil against Joseph. Deed for a tract of land containing 250 acres, worth $700.00, being the only home of orator Joseph Williams, who is very old, infirm, and illiterate.

Joseph stated he did not owe even half of the $72.00 that was claimed, and the he had made his payments, and owed nothing to Grimes or his estate . Joseph said that Paschal Jones had moved to Jefferson Co. TN in 1843 and has not been to Scott Co. since….

Jones deeded the 250 acres to William B. Neil who sold it to William S. Webb for $700.00.

( a heck of a lot more than $72.00! my note)

Witness James Barrett testified: He was in the Store when Jones and Neil pulled Josephs bill and it was for $15.00, and they remarked “ Poor old uncle Joe, always s____ the hind t___.” at that time John A. Hall came in and remarked that he did not think that Joseph owed it as he had made payments.

Witness Randolph Dillion testified: John A Hall and Grimes Neil told Joseph Williams to give them a deed of trust to his land, for Peter Fields security to Mr. Bickman (Peter Fields was Joseph’s son in law. My note)

And if he did not the property was going to be sold to pay the debt. But they wanted to befriend him and would give him time to pay the debt in payments for the deed of trust.

Sept 13th, 1854, William Webb made a statement attested by Hezekiah Robinette Justice of the Peace that:

“ I heard Joseph Williams say he would not Rent the place from Neil any longer. That he would move to Ky where his people was.

My note:

Joseph Williams b. 1778 m. Sally ?

Ch. Andrew m. Nancy Willis, John m. Elizabeth Gibson, Thomas m. Sally Gilliam,

James m. Rebecca ? Brannon? , Neriah “Neri” m. 1st Matilda Head, 2nd Mary Elizabeth Carroll

Catherine m. Peter W. Fields, Phebe m. Theodore Ash.

His son James was the father of Thomas Jefferson Williams who had a daughter Julia Williams who married Owen Allen grandson of John and Esther Jane Neal Allen. Esther Jane was the sister of Col. Hezekiah P. Neil who was one of the executors of Grimes Neil’s will.

His son Neriah Williams was the father of Alza Williams who married James Large and had Corsenia “Sena” who married Samuel Neal Allen the grandson of John and Esther Jane Neal Allen.(my line) Alza had also had a daughter Ibby McClure by her first ?husband? Enoch McClure the brother to her brother Martin Williams’ wife Mary Ann McClure. As well as a son McClelland Large that both married grand children of John and Esther Jane Neal Allen.

Neriah’s daughter Sarah m. George Ash and had a daughter Martha Ash who married Hezekiah Peter Allen the brother of Owen and grandson of John and Esther Jane Neal Allen.

On Jan 14th 1871 Col. Hezekiah Patrick Neal sold to Neriah Williams 40 acres of land for $25.00 in Scott Co. VA which joined land Neriah owned.

Index number 1847-001

Jeremiah Starr & Peter Houseman

Vs. Hesekiah P Neil & Esther Allen

It starts out with descriptions of the lands:

Land John Allen bought from Samuel Wallace, “ was a tract of land situated in Scott Co. on the Clinch River at the mouth of Stoney Creek, 189 acres.” Also land he had purchased from Joseph Hagen, adjoining that land.

Note: The deed describes this land as “ lying on the North side of the Clinch River and the East Side of Stoney Creek.” Today the Mann family owns this land and operate a vegetable and Strawberry market there. John A. Mann (Squire John) is buried on this land.

“Conveyors were to be made by the 1st day of March 1843, paid by that time the Sum of $1800.00 ( being part of the purchase price of said lands) and paid to H.P. Neil.”

When it came time for Esther to move, she refused and claimed her dower rights to the property. She either wanted 1/3 of the property taken out of the deed or 1/3 of the money, which had been promised to her. They claimed to have already paid H.P. and he claimed that John’s bills took most of it. She did not believe this and would not sign. So Houseman and Starr were trying to make her sign over her rights.

It is proper to note here that when her husband John Allen died in 1841, she had 5 children, her oldest child was abt 10 and she was pregnant with my 3rd great grandfather James.

I did not copy every page of this case but did make copies of the letter from my 4x grandmother Esther Jane to the Judge. Such a sad story. May God have mercy on the souls of the men who took advantage of a woman with 5 infant children. It read as follows:

To the Honorable Benjamin Estill, Judge of the Circuit Superior Court of law and Chancery for Scott County.

The separate answer of Esther Allin to the bill of complaint of Jeremiah Starr and Peter Houseman exhibited in your honorable Court against her after answering to herself, all just and proper in ? to said bill for her answer saith, that it is true as stated in Complainants said bill that her husband John Allin departed this life on the _ day of 18__ (41) having duly made and published his last will and testament. A copy of which is filed marked (A) to which reference is herby made as a part of this answer by which it will be seen that the said John Allin decd. Seized and possessed of two tracts of land one of which was considered valuable, and beside which the said Allin had considerable other property, which together with the land was worth considerable more than the said Allin owed. And by said will full and ample provisioning was made for this respondent by her said husband John Allin, as was believed it will also be seen that this respondent was appointed by her said husband as executrix in the will but as this respondent was not desirous of taking upon herself the responsibility and trouble of administering: and as this respondent had great confidence in her brother Hezekiah P. Neil, who was also appointed by respondents said husband executor . This respondent did not qualify as respondent was told by said Neil that he would manage the estate and see that respondent should have her just rights: and from the unbounded confidence that respondent had in her brother Hesekiah P. Neal, knowing as respondent did that the said Neal knew the helpless condition she was in with a family of helpless children with out the means of support, if deprived of her portion of the estate.

Your respondent would further state that at the sale of the personal property that she was induced to take out $300 worth of the property at the appraisement price which was much higher than the other property sold in proportion, which respondent would not have done but for the representation made to this respondent by the said Neal, that there would be enough to pay all the debts and leave respondent over third part of the land; from this representation felt satisfied; that she would get at least her thirds of said estate made no inquiry further upon the subject. And on the - day of - 18 - at the request of Hesekiah P. Neil and the aforesaid complainants, this respondent signed the title bond attended to in complainants said bill; but with this express understanding, that complainants was to pay this respondent one third part of the purchase money of said lands; which respondent was induced from the undue influence exercised over her by complainants, and said Neal to believe that the money would buy her a better house than one third of the lands would make for her if divided; respondent was induced to believe that her portion of the land sale would be $833.33 1/3 and respondent relying on thee promises rested satisfied until she was ask to convey her interest in the said lands; when respondent asks for her portion of the money, respondent was then told that the debts of the estate would take it all or nearly so; respondent is not willing to admit that such is the case; until it is clearly shown and respondent denies that said complainants, have completed with their contract or that they have made all the payments for said lands; and respondent would further state that owing to the induced influences exercised over her and her ignorance of her wrights as well as the express understanding that one third part of the purchase money was to be paid to her this respondent was induced to sign the title bond; respondent is advised that not withstanding she did not renounce the provisions of the will; that she will not therefore be deprived of her rights as she was not apprised of her duty and was prevented from doing so by the statements of said Neal that is was not necessary for her to make inquiry about her interest that he would attend to it for her. Respondent would further state that she did not qualify as executrix to said will and as at least on third part of the purchased money of said land is still un paid as respondent is informed; and that no injury can be done to anyone by canceling of said title bond; she hopes the same will be done and she allowed her third of said real estate; or if that right by your Honor she may be permitted to have the one third of the money. And respondent hopes the said Neal may be required to answer the said Pltfs. Bill and that he be requested to state fully every circumstance connected therewith as well as the amount of over plus; that will be due said estate after the payment of all just debts; respondent having fully answered complainants said bill prays that she may be hence dismissed with her reasonable cost.


Scott County to wit:

This day Esther Allin personally appeared before me the undersigned Justice of the Peace for the said County and made oath that the statement contained in the forgoing answer is true so far as they depends upon her own knowledge and so far as they depend upon the information of others she believes them to be true.

Given under my hand this 26th day of August 1845 John A. Mann

Note: In a case that John and Esther’s daughter brought against Hezekiah re: his handling of the estate, Joseph Hagan gave testimony. In it he stated that at the sale of John’s personal property , H.P. Neil requested him to advise the widow to assign her dower in the land belonging to said Allen, saying that there would be about $1300.00 coming to her and ask him, the witness, if he could not give her a pretty good place for that amount. That at the time the land’s were sold witness thinks that they would have sold for $2000.00 or $2400.00 on a credit of one, two and three years.

Index Number 1849 - 001

John A. Hall and Wm. B. Neil (The firm of Neil and Hall)

Vs. Abraham Lane

States that Abraham has departed from the Commonwealth of VA, debt unpaid, owed $244.62

50 Acres, in being the same land that James Lane bought of Abraham Lane and he from Robert Speer.

Conveyance made from Speer to Abraham but not from Abraham to James Lane.

Neil and Hall bought for $490.00

I am confused exactly what this one was about. Something to do with needing Abraham to make the deed to his son James, so he could convey to them, but I don’t know exactly what the 244.62 debt was all about.

I think some papers must have been missing.

Index Number 1850-008

Kane and Robinette

Vs. Patrick Neil and Henry Tarter

Henry S. Kane Complains: “ Patrick Neal, formerly of said Co. is indebted the sum of (originally had been written $99.00 but had $85.00 written over it.) Orator further states that the said Patrick Neil is no longer a Resident of this Commonwealth and at this time is non resident of this State.

William Horton, Enoch and Elisha Pendleton owed Patrick money and Kane wanted the court to transfer what they owed Patrick to him for what Patrick owed him, since Patrick was not living there any longer.

Patrick Neil answers: He has been a resident of TN. ever since some time about the yr. 1839, and says note was for $25.00 on the 12th day of June 1849 he Paid him $40.00 but Kane mis- recited on the receipt what the money was for so he could cover his extravagant charges.

15th Jan 1850, Patrick Neal and H.P. signed a bond unto Henry S. Kane for $100.00

Index Number 1857- 011

John Powers vs. George Francisco and Peter K. Neil

John Powers purchased from George Francisco March 9th 1840, His interest of 75 acres that George Francisco and Peter K. Neil had purchased from Michael Robinette.

They got Joseph Hagen to Survey and divide the land giving 37 acres to Peter and 37 to Powers.

John Powers complains that: “ it was divided in the most awkward and inconvenient manor.”

Hiram Kilgore J.P.

Will of Grimes Neil, 1839 Scott Co. VA

I Grimes Neil of Scott County and State of Virginia being in feeble health but sound of mind, do make this my last will and testament.

Art. 1 I herby appoint William B. Neil, Hezekiah P. Neil and John A. Hall, Executors, to this my last will and testament, to do and act as I shall herein after prescribe.

(Note: Notice here that he does not call Hezekiah his son. And he is never mentioned in the rest of the will. However William B. is named as a son later and is given control of Grimes’ firms and estate and the responsibility of the care of his mother and siblings.)

Art. 2 My will is that all my just dues be collected and all my just debts paid.

Art. 3 My will is that all my property both personal and real be kept together and my farm carried on as usual conducted by an overseer.

Art. 4th My will is that my Children be educated out of the proceeds of my farm and as MY SON JAMES A. NEIL desires to become a professional man my will is that he shall chose his profession; and my will is that MY SON WILLIAM B. NEIL Shall have the third of the Neil proceeds of the firm of Grimes Neil and Co. and my Will is that he be a good and industrious agent for his mother and brothers and that he shall not permit any spirits to be kept on the place to be sold either direct or indirect. And my will is that MY SON HOUSTAIN G. NEIL shall have five hundred dollars of my money next fall, if he desires it, to trade in cattle of which he shall have the whole proceeds and also that he shall return the five hundred dollars to the estate when the youngest child becomes of age, and my will is that my children after the expiration of five years from the present date shall each one as he becomes of age if he desires it draw his proportional part of the estate and my will is that MALINDA DOBS be paid two hundred dollars by my executors out of my estate, as soon as can conveniently be done. And my will is that MARY NEIL shall have fifty dollars paid to her in twelve or eighteen months.

(Note: Here he does not call Mary his daughter either, and the amount he leaves her is considerably less than the amount he leaves Malinda Dobs, his illegitimate daughter by Phobe.)

Art 5th. My will is that my beloved wife Elizabeth Ann Neil, shall lie on and have her support off of my farm during her natural life.

Art. 6 My will is that so many of my sons as may not see fit to lift their proportional part as he or they become of age, shall work on to gether till my youngest son becomes of age at which time an equal division of all my personal estate shall be made amongst them, my will is that my slaves when my youngest son becomes of age shall be equally divided amongst my children which division the children themselves shall make if they can agree, if not the slaves shall be sold and the proceeds of the sales equally divided amongst them.

Art 7th My will is that the Firm of Grimes Neil & Co. suspend its operations for the term of twelve months during which time it shall collect all its dues and pay all its debts and then given till the expiration of the five years specified in the articles of the contract and it be conducted under the name of WILLIAM B. NEIL AND CO. Thence forward, and that after the expiration of the five years the capital of the firm shall be managed as the executors and the firm may agree for the benefit of my estate.

Art 8th My will is that the firm of Neil and Pain be managed which is to be WILLIAM BE. NEIL AND PAYNE.

Art 9th My will is that the firm of Neil and Jones which embraces a tanyard, shall work out the stock of leather that is on hand as soon as possible and pay over the amount due me in stock to my executors, my will is that the yard with five or six acres of land around it shall be sold if can be, if not rented out.

Art 10 My will is that my surplus cash on hand shall be appropriated to the payment of the debts herein allowed to and given under hand the 13th day of September, in the year of our Lord, One thousand eight hundred and thirty nine.

Upon Reflection, My will is that my farm shall be equally divided between MY TWO SONS, ANDREW JACKSON NEIL AND LILBURN HAYNES NEIL when Lilburn Haynes Neil becomes of age if their Mother shall have decd. If not the division is to be postponed till her death, if the land estate upon being valued do not make them equal sharers in my estate, they shall be made equal by money or stock.

Joshua Speer jr.

Robt. Shankland Grimes Neil


At a court held for Scott County the 13th day of October 1839.

This last will and testament of Grimes Neil deceased was proven by the oaths of Joshua Speer jr. and Robert M. Shankland. Witness thereto and is ordered to be recorded.

Atteste John S. Martin CSC

The personal property of Grimes appraised for a total of $8,582.90

Scott County Chancery Court Record


Hamilton Neil ECT

Vs. Exrs. Of Grimes Neil

Complaint of Patrick Neil for the Heirs of Hamilton Neil decd.

To the Honorable Benjamin Estill, Judge of the Circuit Superior Court of law and Chancery of Scott County. The Bill of Complaint of Hamilton Neill, Henry Montieth and Mary his wife, Charles Hays and Elizabeth his wife, and Patrick Neill, humbly represents that in 18__ One Hamilton Neill now deceased ( who was the husband of the Plf. Mary and the father of the Plfs. Hamilton, Patrick, and Elizabeth) having been for a number of years theretofore, a merchant in Greenville East Tennessee, determined to return to Ireland upon business, from which Country he had originally migrated to the United States. That at the time contemplated for his departure from the United States, non of the Plfs were capable of settling up or attending to the said Hamilton Neill’s business, all of them being infants or minors except the Plf Mary who was herself incapable of settling up a mercantile business as extensive as that of her husband Hamilton Neill the was.

The said Hamilton therefore in order to place his business in the best probable condition to be settled up and adjusted for the benefit of his family in the court of death or accident during his absence , sent for his brother Grimes Neill now Decd. For the purpose of placing in his hands all his mercantile business to be closed and settled up by him the said Grimes Neill in whom he placed the utmost confidence as a brother and friend. The said Grimes Neill being thus sent for by his brother Hamilton for the purpose aforesaid, went to the said Hamilton’s residence in Green County Tennessee for the purpose of taking possession of the books accounts, notes, ect. Which the said Hamilton desired to place in his hands for settlement and upon his arrival there the said Hamilton (having then made his arrangements to start on his journey in a day or two) in the presence of Struthard Neill and perhaps other disinterested persons placed in the hands of said Grimes Neill for collection all his mercantile books, accounts, notes, amounting to about $4,000.00.

The said Grimes neill at the same time stated that is was necessary and proper that a transfer of said books accounts notes , should be made by assignment from his said brother to him, to enable him more effectually to make the collections and close the business and it is helieve3d that all or most of them were thus transferred by assignment and the said Hamilton Neill took from him a receipt or memorandum therefore and it was distinctly agreed upon and understood that the said Grimes Neill was to have the sole control of said business and was to collect6 all the said book accounts, notes, and in the court of death or accident preventing the said Hamilton’s return he the said Grimes was to occupy the condition of Trustee, in the relation to said funds, to be applied to the sole use and benefit of his, the said Hamilton’s, said wife and children. The said business being thus arranged to the entire satisfaction of said Hamilton the said Grimes returned to his residence which was then in Claiborne County Tennessee and the said Hamilton on the next day set out upon his journey, taking with him some private papers among which was the said memorandum or receipt of said Grimes Neill for said debts. The said Hamilton Neill was taken sick in a few weeks after he left home and died near the Canady line before he departed from the United States, and you Orators have been unable as to yet to get possession of the said papers that he had with him at his death, but they expect to be able to prove the contents of said last receipt taken by Hamilton from said Grimes for said debts. A portion of the debts placed by Hamilton Neill in Grimes Neill’s hands for collection as aforesaid were not of the mercantile business. There was one note of $100.00, a part of the purchase money of a house and lot which was collected by Struthard Neill and paid over to Grimes as agent or Trustee aforesaid. There was also a debt of $120.00 due from Daniel Neill to Hamilton Neill unconnected with the mercantile business which the said Grimes collected and it is believed that there were various others, not at present recollected.

Your Orators expect to prove that the said Grimes Neill has collected a large portion of said debts thus placed in his hands by Hamilton his brother, perhaps $2,000.00 or $3,000.00, entirely violated the trust reposed in him by his brother and wholly failed to apply the funds to the use of the Plfs or to pay over to them any portion of the money collected by him. And your Orators contend that a court of equity in protesting the rights of the Plfs, most of whom were infants, will compel the Defts. To account not only for the amount collected by their Testator together with the interest thereon but also for all the notes and accounts that were collectable, which have been lost through the neglect of said Grimes Neill who alone had the control of and power to collect them. You orators would here by leave to State that they are informed that the Exrs. Of said Grimes Neill are setting up some paper or receipt which is intended to prejudice their rights, purporting to be a writing signed by Hamilton Neill Decd. In relation to said business or transferred debts, and your orators answer that no such paper was ever executed by said Hamilton , and if such a one is held by the said exers. Your orators pronounce it a forgery and a base fabrication to defraud them of their just rights and as evidence as it Your Orators would state, that Struthard Neill was present and witnessed the transaction aforesaid and transfer of debts, and no such paper was then executed by said Hamilton, and after said Grimes Neill returned home from said Hamilton’s residence the said Struthard Neill still remained in company with Hamilton and went with him some distance on his journey from which he never returned. You Orators however hope that the said Exers will not expose their testator by exhibiting a paper which you orators can show from facts and circumstances is a forgery. The said Hamilton Neill died while the said business and papers were in the hands of Grimes and before any portion of the debts were collected by said Grimes and the said Grimes was for several years after the death of said Hamilton making collection of said debts, a portion of which he collected not more than three or four since about twelve months after the death of said Hamilton Neill. You orators Mary who was the widow of said Hamilton intermarried with the Plt. Henry Montieth and has remained “feme covert” ever since, not capable of enforcing her rights. Your orator Elizabeth was an infant at the death of her father Hamilton Neill and intermarried with the Plf Charles Hays before she attained the age of twenty and has remained a “feme court” since her said marriage and you orators Patrick and Hamilton Neill were infants at the date of their father and you orator Hamilton attained the age of twenty in June 1835. You orators most of them residing in the State of Tennessee and the said business having been transacted there made arrangements and procured counsel to bring suit against the said Grimes Neill, in that State to coerce payment of the money aforesaid. But although he frequently had business in your orators County he artfully avoided their suit. He reportedly promised fair to you orators, and seemed to desire to put off the evil day as long as possible upon one occasion when your orator Patrick demanded of him the money and debts of his father Hamilton, he the said Grimes handed to him the said Patrick a note of $250.00 executed by Valentine Sevier and (Deaderick?) To said Hamilton Neill being one of the notes transferred to him by said Hamilton. Upon all other occasions the said Grimes did not deny having the money, but artfully waived and put off the matter. You orators finding that they could not get hold of him in Tennessee determined to sue him in Virginia, previous to his death and you orator Patrick spoke to counsel for that purpose, but Struthard neill being sent for by Grimes induced your orators to believe that Grimes would adjust the matter as soon as all the Heirs could be brought together and under that hope the matter was delayed until his death. The said Grimes Neill departed the life on the ___ day of ___ 1839. Having by his last will and testament appointed Hezekiah P Neill, William B. Neill and John A. Hall his executors. But the said Hall refused the executor ship and did not qualify and therefore does not act in the execution of said will. So that the said H.P and Wm. B. Neill are the only acting executors under the said will of Grimes Neill Decd. And the said Exrs. Although requested by your orators have not accounted with them for any portion of the said monies collected by their testator which he also failed to pay over and account for.

Your Orators would here by leave to State that they believe there are many other transactions in this business calculated to charge the estate of said Grimes Neill Decd. And which would be proper for them to state in their bill but which from their want of information at present they necessarily omit to state, trusting to elicit those facts from the evidence that they may be able to procure. And Your orators being without, are adequate remedy at common law and reliable only in a court of equity their prayer therefore is that the said Hezekiah P. Neill and William B. Neill acting exrs. Of the last will and testament of Grimes Neill decd. May be made parties Defts. To this bill and that they be required fully and truly to answer the same on oath. That the said exrs set forth in their answer how much their testator received of the debts aforesaid of Hamilton Neill Decd, and how much he collected thereof, and what disposition he has made of the books accounts, notes aforesaid, and when he received the different sums collected by him of said debts, and what in that the said exrs be required to exhibit the said books and such of the notes and accounts as remain uncollected and every other paper and account of their testator upon the subject of said business. That any account be directed of all the transactions and that such other and further relief be extended to your orators as is just and equitable and suited to their case. May it please you Honor to grant the Commits writ of ??.(Spad….)


Two Depositions were taken from Struthard/Stodart/Stoddard. Neil. In one William B. ask him questions, and the other the Plaintiffs ask him questions. The person taking the depo. Spelled his name Struthard, but he signed his name Stodart.

I have copies of the depositions, but will list here the highlights of important information.

Deposition for Patrick and others:

Taken on the 30th of March 1840,

Struthard Neill a witness of lawful age after being duly sworn deposeth and saith:

That 4 or 5 months before the death of his brother Hamilton, his brother Grimes was sent for, by Hamilton.

And Grimes came to his house in Greene Co. TN, and Hamilton was about starting to North Carolina with a drove of horses and expected to go to Ireland before he returned.

He thinks the amount of the papers Hamilton gave to Grimes were about Nine Hundred dollars, and that Grimes was supposed to collect and pay himself for his trouble and return the remainder to Hamilton’s children.

Stodart also said that John A. Hall told him that Grimes had named him executor, but he did not qualify, but that Grimes had told him to pay all his just debts, and no unjust debts. And that he knew of no unjust debts unless it be the one Patrick and Charles Hays had placed on him.

Stodart told him that a great deal had been placed in Grimes Neil’s hands for them, weather they would get it or not.

Witness for this deposition were, David F. Hall and Charles Bright both Justice’s of the Peace.

Deposition for William B. Neil was taken in the State of Tennessee June the 19th 1841.

Says his age is about 59, and it was taken at the house of Struthard, in Greene Co. TN.

Present were William B. Neil, Patrick Neil, and Charles Hays.

Wm. 1st question was: Are you acquainted with the hand writing of you brother Hamilton Neil and if so , why you are acquainted with it?

Answer: I am not acquainted with his hand writing

Question: Did or did not Hamilton Neil execute a receipt to Grimes on or about the 8th day of August of 1815, and if so is the receipt hereto amended the one he did execute.

(I did not get his answer to that , it must have been on the back side of the paper, and I missed it.)

There is a news paper article attached to this deposition, where Wm. B and H.P ran an add that they would be taking the deposition of (the way they spelled it in the article) Stouthard on June 19th 1841.

Then there is also attached a record made in Washington Co. VA, saying that CLERK C.R. BAIN personally appeared before Daniel Symith Justice of the peace and made oath that the annexed notice had been published 4 weeks successively in the SOUTH WESTERN VIRGINIAN, a paper published by JOHN N. HUMES. ( Remember from previous records that John N. Humes was also a business partner with John A. Mann)

If Hamilton sent for Grimes in August of 1815, and was first taking a herd of horses to NC, then had to go all the way back up to the Canada line this probably took a while. Making his death abt the end of 1815 or beginning of 1816.

The record in the book History of Rockbridge Co, re: family of Patrick that had married the widow Mary Beers, had an entry that simply said. Hamilton Neal, Greene Co. TN 1816. I now believe it was the record of this Hamilton’s death.

The nitty gritty of the 5 pages of answer to the complaint by Hezekiah P.and William B.

The don’t admit to any of the matter of the bill to be true.

They have no personal knowledge of the transaction of the bill alleged, and believing anything claimed unjust they plead the statute of limitation.

Not only do they have no personal knowledge of any debts due the pltfs, but have no knowledge of the statement of their testator in his lifetime which would stand to such a result.

They claim to have found in Grimes papers, that on the 8th day of August 1815, any debts that might have been transferred or assigned by Hamilton to Grimes were paid for and fully settled on the date last aforesaid. They tell of 5 notes that Grimes collected (small ones) and then go on to say that they have not been able to find any more in the possession of their testator, and they have no knowledge of any others, or the account books , and they believe they are still in Greenville Tennessee.

They also deny that a receipt was ever given to Hamilton by Grimes , and that they believe that Hamilton was in such need of money to pay the expenses of his contemplated journey, that Grimes Neil was induced by him to take some of his debts and advance him money and that their testator has lost money by it .

They say that Patrick lived with or near Grimes in Scott County about 12 years before his death, and so far as they know , said Patrick never set forth any such claim, until Grimes death. That in 1833 or 1834 the Grimes and Patrick settled their accounts .

They also mention that they believe Patrick is upward of 38 years of age and that Hamilton jr. attained the age of 21 about the year 1831 or 1832. That Hays is now 31 yrs old and has been married to Elizabeth for 5 yrs before the institution of the suit.

Then Hezekiah has a statement witnessed by Robert Speer J.P that says:

That over the last 15 years he has heard Patrick say that Grimes was indebted to him and the other heirs of Hamilton, something like $600.00

But that he heard Grimes say at different times he owed them nothing and that he held a clear receipt from Hamilton Neil, and that he showed the same to Hamilton Neil Jr. when he on a certain occasion demanded of him his portion of the Estate of his Father. And said Grimes told him that he owed him nothing and if he go anything out of him he would get it according to law, given under my hand this 14th day of July 1840.

Robert Speer J.P.

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