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Duncan research files of
Mary Ann (Duncan) Dobson
the Genealogy Bug

Last revised January 27, 2004

GREENE CO. OH
COURT RECORDS Part 1, May 1842, first half
 

Greene Co. OH Supreme Court, Chancery Record Vol.B, 1840-1851 (FHL film 1,029,186) (MAD: I have frequently shortened the date, and have written the quantity of acres in numbers instead of words; spelling of names as given as best as I could read them; I have added paragraphing and some punctuation for ease in reading.)
      Pg.153-175: Proceedings in Chancery at Xenia in the County of Greene and State of Ohio before Ebenezer Lane and Nathaniel E. Rich? two of the Judges of the Supreme Court of the State of Ohio, on the 24 May 1842. Greene County, S.S. William D. Bell & Charlotte his wife vs. John Duncan and Daniel Dean et al, In Chancery.
      Be it remembered that heretofore on 3 June 1841 the said William D. Bell & wife filed in the Office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court of the State of Ohio within and for the County of Greene, the original papers and pleadings in a certain cause on the chancery side of the Court of Common Pleas of said county of Greene, wherein William D. Bell and Charlotte his wife were complainants and the said John Duncan and Daniel Dean et al were respondents and which cause was duly appealed to the Supreme Court aforesaid by the said William D. Bell and wife together with an authenticated transcript of the journal entries and final decree rendered in said Court of Common Pleas, which said papers, pleadings and transcript are in the words and the tenor following, to wit,
      [Margin: Bill] To the Honorable Judges of the Court of Common Pleas of the County of Greene and State of Ohio in Chancery sitting, your orators and petitioners William D. Bell and Margaret M. Bell his wife would respectfully represent and show to your honors that heretofore, to wit, on the 1st day of July 1784 John McAdam for his service as Lieutenant for three years in the Virginia Continental Line obtained a Virginia Military Land Warrant No. 3286 for 2666 and 2/3 acres of land to be located within the Virginia Military District, a copy of which warrant, duly certified by the commissioner of the General Land Office, is herewith shown marked (A) and to which is attached the depositions of Mary Lee and Catherine Edwards which are also herewith shown as evidence of the facts therein stated. That said John McAdam caused said warrant caused said warrant (MAD: sic) to be located within said Virginia Military District upon two distinct surveys of 1333-1/3 acres each, one of which said surveys is No. 1995 lies in the county of Greene and the other of said surveys lies in the same county and is numbered 2247. Survey No. 1995 is bounded and described as follows, beginning at the East corner of Warner & Adam Lewis's survey No. 2244 at 3 elms & hickory (MAD: part of description omitted here) crossing a creek, corner to William McGuires survey No. 1240, passing Lewis's corner, with his line crossing the creek, to the beginning. Survey No. 2247 bounded and described as follows, beginning at 2 elms and ash and white oak, east corner to said survey No. 1995, then north ... with said survey .. to the beginning. That said John McAdam caused his land warrant aforesaid to be located upon the land above described and caused the same to be surveyed and return thereof to be made at the proper land offices and nothing remained except the issuing of the patent in order to perfect the legal title in said McAdam.
      That said John McAdams afterward died, having first made his last will and testament in the form of law which was duly proven and is now of record in the County of Northumberland and State of Virginia and therein devised to his sister then Charlotte McAdams as residuary legatee, the said Land Warrant, Entry, Survey and real estate above described to her and her heirs forever, a copy of which will is herewith shown marked (B).
      Charlotte McAdams after the death of her said brother was legally married to one Thomas Taylor by whom she had three children and heirs, to wit, Sarah Ann Taylor, Charlotte McAdam Taylor, and Martha Conway Taylor, and died "surving" her husband intestate, leaving the said children her only heirs at law. Charlotte McAdam Taylor intermarried with one Robert Nutt by whom she had one child and heir, to wit, your petitioner Margaret M. and died "intested" having survived her said husband and leaving said Margaret M. her heir at law.
      Sarah Ann Taylor intermarried with one William Payne by whom she had four children and heirs, to wit, Nancy, William, James & Sarah Ann and died intestate having survived her husband leaving the aforesaid children her heirs at law.
      [Margin, pg.155: W.D. Bell & wife vs. John Duncan et al] Martha C. Taylor intermarried with Thomas Taylor by whom she had three children, to wit, Henry L. Taylor, Ann C. Taylor and Thomas Taylor and died intestate; the said Thomas her husband is also deceased.
      Sometime previous to the death of the said Robert Nutt and Charlotte M. Nutt, one Thomas Watson then of the county of Greene and State of Ohio and now of the State of Indiana for some trifling consideration or promise of consideration induced the said Robert Nutt to sign and by threats and putting in fear to compell his said wife to sign the instrument of writing now on file in the General Land Office of the United States, a copy of which (with the certificate of its having been acknowledged before a Justice of the Peace by said McNutt and wife and other authentications) thereto attached and duly certified by Commissioners of the General Land Office and herewith shown marked (C). This instrument of writing is under seals purports to have been executed for value received and purports to be an assignment by the said Robert Nutt and Charlotte M. Nutt to said Thomas Watson of all the interest, right and title of them the said Nutt and wife of, in and to both of the surveys of land above described, but your petitioners expressly charge that the said Charlotte M. Nutt never did freely and voluntarily sign said instrument of writing and that she never was examined separate and apart from her said husband touching the execution of the same. That she never received any consideration therefor and that the above is the only instrument of writing ever executed by which it is pretended that the said Charlotte M. Nutt divested herself in said lands and that said writing so acknowledged is not her deed but the deed only of the said Robert Nutt. On the same paper marked (C) is a copy of an instrument of writing under seal by which it is pretended said Watson acquired the interest of the said Thomas Taylor and Martha Conway Taylor his wife in said survey but which is in fact wholely invalid and insufficient to transfer her interest of the said Martha Conway Taylor in said lands for the same reasons that the instrument subscribed by the said Charlotte M. Nutt is insufficient to transfer her interest in said lands. That neither of said assignments of Nutt & wife or Taylor & wife could confer on said Watson any estate or interest in said land except during the lives of said assigns. These instruments of writing thus executed were laid before the commissioners of the General Land Office by said Watson who induced the said commissioners to improperly and without lawful authority and under a mistaken view of his duty to cause patents to issue for both of said surveys to heirs of the said Watson and the said heirs of Sarah Ann Payne in the proportion of two thirds to the said Watson and one third to said heirs, a copy of which patent are herewith shown, the one for Survey No. 1995 is marked (D), and the one for Survey No. 2247 is marked (E). That said Watson after obtaining said patents as aforesaid, towit, on the (blank) day of (blank) 1820, filed in the Court of Common Pleas of Greene County Ohio his petition against the said heirs of Sarah Ann Payne deceased, praying for a partition of said surveys between himself and said heirs. That such proceedings were had upon said petition. That there was by the order of said court set off to said Watson two lots of land in said surveys between himself and said heirs, one lot and survey No. 1995 bounded and described as follows: Beginning at 3 elms and a hickory, east corner to Warner and Addisons Lewis' survey No. 2244 thence ... (MAD: more not included here) crossing a branch, crossing a bend of Ceasar's Creek, ... to a stake in the line of Survey No. 2249, ... to ... in the line of William Chroghan's Survey No. 3912, thence with his line ... to said Lewises survey, thence ... to the beginning, containing by survey 1097-9/100 acres. The second lot set off to said Watson lies in Survey No. 2247 and is bounded and described as follows, beginning ... at east corner to said McAdams survey No. 1995, running North ... crossing a small branch and Ceasars Creek ... north corner to McAdams Survey, thence with said McAdams line ... to side of the road leading from Xenia to Washington, thence ... to the beginning, containing 1203-66/100 acres. That portions of said surveys were set off to the heirs of said Sarah Ann Payne as their equal third of both of said surveys, but your petitioners charge that a portion of said surveys of land were never was divided (MAD: sic) under the order of said court, but so far as said partition was made, your petitioners have no wish to disturb the same. Your petitioners represent further that the said Robert Nutt and Charlotte M. Nutt his wife were never in the state of Ohio either by themselves or by their agent, and that neither of your petitioners were ever in the state of Ohio nor had they ever any agent in the said state until within the last three years, but that they and their deceased parents always resided in the State of Virginia. Your petitioners state Daniel Dean, Robert Dean, William Dean, Joseph Dean, Hugh Campbell, James Moore, Walter Perry, John Bicket, Moffet Brownley, William Struthers, Thomas Blakely, John McFarland, Thomas Spencer, John Duncan, Abel Janney, Henry Deardoff, William Hendrick, (blank) Hagler, (blank) Hagler, (blank) Hagler, the last named of whom are children and heirs of (blank) Hagler deceased and all of whom are under the age of 21 years, reside upon said survey of land and claim to own the same or all that part of said two surveys which was not set off and aparted to the heirs of said Sarah Ann Payne dec. under and by virtue of title derived from Thomas Watson. Your petitioners pray that all the above named resident upon said land as aforesaid may be made parties defendants to this bill and that process against them and that they may each under oath answer this bill.
      [Margin, pg.157: W.D. Bell & wife vs. John Duncan et al] Your petitioners expressly charge that the said Margaret M. Bell is the true owner of one half of all the land in both of said surveys not set off to said heirs of Sarah Ann Payne and that the same on final hearing may be decreed to her and for such other and further relief in the premises as may be just and equitable.
      Your petitioners further charge that although the said assignments or pretended assignments made to said Watson alone and the patent issued to Watson alone for two thirds of said surveys, yet that in truth and in fact the said Watson acted in obtaining said assignments and said patent as the trustee of said Daniel Dean and that said Dean furnished the money to said Watson to purchase for said Dean the one equal third of both said surveys of land and that said Daniel Dean was in truth and in fact the real party for whose benefit said assignment was obtained by Watson to the amount of one third of the land. Your petitioners have demanded possession of their property aforesaid to which they are entitled as the heirs of Charlotte M. Nutt and they alledge that the said tenants have refused to surrender the possession or right of said premises and your orators say they are without remedy at law and pray relief in this Court. A. Harlan and R.C. Poland solicitors for complts.
      [Margin: Exhibit (A)] The following is a copy of the Exhibit marked (A) refered to in the foregoing bill to wit,
         Land Office Military Warrant No. 3286. To the principal surveyor of Lands set apart for the officers and soldiers of the Commonwealth of Virginia. This shall be your warrant to survey and lay off in one or more surveys for John McAdam his heirs or assigns the quantity of 2666-2/3 acres of land due unto the said John McAdam as by a resolution Assembly in consideration of his services for three years as a Lieutenant in the Virginia Continental Line agreeable to a certificate from the Governour and Councel [L.S.] received into the Land Office. Given under my hand and the seal of the said office this 1st day of July in 1784. John Harris, R.L. Off.
         State of Virginia, Northumberland County. The depositions of Mary Lee & Catharine Edwards of lawful age, taken before me a Justice of Peace for said County this 3 Dec. 1816 deposeth and saith that Charlotte McAdam sister of John McAdam intermarried with Thos. Taylor by whom she had three children (viz) Sarah Ann Taylor, Charlotte McAdam Taylor & Martha Conway Taylor. That the sd. Sarah Ann Taylor intermarried with William Payne & died leaving four children, viz, Nancey, William, James & Sarah Ann, infants under the age of 21 years. That Charlotte McAdam Taylor intermarried with Robert Nutt & that Martha Conway Taylor is of lawful age. Farther these deponents saith not. Sworn to before me the day & date above written. Given under my hand, Jo. Ball Jr., J.P., N.C. Virginia. Northumberland County, to wit, I Fleming Bates Clerk of the Court of said county do hereby certify that Joseph Ball Jun. before whom the above mentioned affidavits were made and who hath subscribed his name to the certificate thereof was and is one the Justices of the Peace in & for the said county duly commissioned and qualified. In testimony of which I [L.S.] have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of said County the 15 July 1817. F. Bates. Virginia, Northumberland County, towit, I John H. Fallin one of the Justices of the Peace in and for the said County and President of the Court thereof do hereby certify that the foregoing attestation of Flemming Bates who is clerk of the said Court is in due form. Given under my hand the 19th day of July 1817. John H. Fallis.
         General Land Office, 14 Sept. 1838. I hereby certify that the foregoing are true copies of the originals on file in this office. In testimony whereof I have hereunto [L.S.] subscribed my name and caused the seal of this office to be affixed at the city of Washington on the day & year above written. Jno. M. Moore, Acting Commissioner.
      [Margin: Exhibit (B)] The following is a copy of the exhibit marked (B) refered to in the foregoing bill to wit,
         In the name of God Amen, I John McAdam of St.Stephens Parish and county of Northd. of sound sense and judgment but considering my own mortality & the uncertainty of seaman life, make this my last will & testament in manner and form as follows. Viz, I resign my soul to God my Creator and my body to the earth its original hoping for a remission of all my failings and offences and a happy immortality-- Its my desire that if my father should die before me & buried at Coaw that I shall be intered near him and a tomb stone put over me, and if he survives me, I desire that he may take my gold sleave buttons and such of my cloathes that will suit him & he may incline to ware. Item, it is my desire that each of my non married sisters shall have as genteel a mourning ring as can be got. I also desire that my sister Janett Brown should have my diamond ring, but if she dont incline to have it herself that she shall take it for her daughter Anna. Item, I give to my brother George Thomas McAdam my silver mounted pistol and steel mounted gun and its my desire that after my father has taken such of my cloathes as he me want (MAD: sic), that Tommy & Charles McAdams may divide the balance between them, Tommy taking the best. Item its my desire that if there can be as much money raised by the sale of my Kentucky land my other property and the debts that due me as will pay all my just debts and legacies that it shall be done without breaking on the plantation my father gave me which he purchased of Capt. John Fonshell? (Foushell?) but if there cannot be money enough raised without, its my desire that my executors hereinafter mentioned may sell as much of that as will discharge all my debts. Item its my desire that my earthen & glass ware shall be kept by my father or mother for the use of the house as long as they live, at their death what may remain of it shall be Charlots property. Item I give and bequeath all the rest & residue of my estate of what nature soever after my just debts and legacies are paid to my sister Charlotte McAdams & her heirs forever. Lastly I nominate & appoint Col. Edwin Conway & Col. Thomas Gaskins Jun. executors of this my last will and testament. (signed) John McAdam (SEAL).
         At a court held for Northumberland County 13 December 1784, this last will & testament of John McAdam dec. was presented in court by Edwin Conway Gent., one of the executors therein named who made oath thereto according to law according to law (MAD: sic), and the court being satisfied the same was all in the own hand writing of the testator was admitted to record and on motion of said executor giving security a certificate is granted him for obtaining a probate thereof in due form. Teste, Cabesly Jones Cl. Court. A copy, Teste. M.B. Crall C.C.
      [Margin, pg.159: Wm. D. Bell & wife vs. John Duncan et al]
      [Exhibit (C)] The following is a copy of the exhibit marked (C) refered to in the foregoing bill, to wit,
         For value received we Robert Nutt and Charlotte M. Nutt was? Charlotte Taylor representatives of Charlotte Taylor who was Charlotte McAdams sister and devisee of John McAdam (deceased) do hereby assign unto Thomas Watson all our interest right title claim and demand to two surveys of land for 1333-1/3 acres each, No.1995 & 2247 on a Virginia Continental Land Warrant No. 3286 for 2666-2/3 acres our respective interest being one third of said land or surveys. As witness our hand and seals this 20th day of December 1819. (signed) Robert Nutt (SEAL), Charlotte M. Nutt (SEAL).
         The certification of Fredericksburg, to wit, Robert Nutt and Charlotte M. Nutt this day personally appeared before me Claibourne Wiglesworth a Justice of the Peace for the said Corporation and acknowledge the above instrument of writing to be their act and deed. Given under my hand this the 20 Dec. 1819, Claiborne Wiglesworth.
         Virginia, Corporation of Fredericksburg, to wit, I, Robert Smith Chew, Clerk of the Hustings Court of the Corporation aforesaid do hereby certify that Claiborne Wiglesworth whose name is subscribed to the foregoing certificate is a Justice of the Peace for the corporation aforesaid, duly commissioned & qualififed, to all whose official acts full credit ought to be given. In testimony whereof I hereunto subscribe [L.S.] my name and affix the seal of the said corporation this 20th day of December 1879 (MAD: sic) and in the 44th year of the Commonwealth. R.S. Chew C.C. H.F.
      For value received we Thomas Taylor and Martha C. his wife, representatives of Charlotte McAdam who was divisee of John McAdam decd. do hereby assign unto Thomas Watson all our interest right title claims and demand to surveys of land for 1333-1/3 acres each No. 1945 & 2247 on a Virginia Continental Land Warrant No. 3286 for 2666-2/3 acres, our respective part being one third of said land or surveys. Witness our hands and seals this 14th day of December 1819. (signed) Thomas Taylor (SEAL), Martha C. Taylor (SEAL).
         Lancaster County, Sct?. Thomas Taylor and Martha C. Taylor this day personally appeared before me Onesephous? Harvey a Justice of the Peace for the said County and acknowledged the above instrument of writing to be their act and deed. Given under my hand this 14th day of Dec. 1819. (signed) Ones. Harvey.
         Lancaster County, Sct. This day appeared before me Onesephous Harvey a Justice of the peace for the said County, Richard Cundiff and made oath on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, that Charlotte Taylor who was Charlotte McAdam departed this life in Lancaster County in the year of our lord 1800. Given under my hand this 15th day of December 1819. Ones. Harvey.
         Virginia, Lancaster County, to wit, I James Towles Clerk of the said County do hereby certify that Onesephous Harvey Gentleman who hath signed the foregoing certificates and at the time of signing the same and now is one of the Commonwealth Justices of the Peace for the County aforesaid duly commissioned and qualified according to law and that to him as such & all certificates by him given full faith and credit are due and ought to be given and I do further certify that there is Will of Charlotte Taylor decd. who was Charlotte McAdam late the wife of Thomas Taylor decd. recorded in the Clerk's Office of the said Count[y]. In testimony whereof I have hereunto [L.S.] set my hand and affixed the seal of the said County this the 15th day of December 1819 in the 44th year of the Commonwealth. J. Towle.
         General Land Office, Sept. 14th, 1838. I hereby certify that the foregoing are true copies of papers on file in this office. In testimony [L.S.] whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name and caused the seal of this office to be affixed at the City of Washington on the day and year above written. Jno. M. Moore, Acting Commissioner.
      [Margin: Exhibit (D)] The following is a copy of the exhibit marked (D) referred to in the foregoing bill.
      James Monroe President of the United States of America. To all to whom these presents shall come. Greetings; Know Ye, that in consideration of military service performed by John McAdams (a lieutenant for three years) to the United States in the Virginia line on Continental establishment, and in pursuance of an Act of the Congress of the United States, passed on the third day of March in the year 1807, entitled "An act authorizing patents to issue for lands located and surveyed by virtue Virginia resolution warrants, and another Act of the said Congress passed on the 11th day of April in the year 1818" there is granted by the United States unto Thomas Watson and also unto Nancy Payne, William Payne, James Payne and Sarah Ann Payne the minor children and heirs at law of Sarah Ann Payne (deceased) (formerly Sarah Ann Taylor) a certain tract of land containing 1333-1/3 acres situate between the Little Miami and Sciota Rivers Northwest of the River Ohio as by survey bearing date 10 April 1793, and bounded and described as follows, to wit, survey of 1333-1/3 acres on part of a Military Warrant No. 3286 (the whole thereof being for 2666-2/3 acres) in favor of the said John McAdams whose right has been assigned in part unto the said Thomas Watson by Thomas Taylor and Martha Conway Taylor his wife and also by Robert Nutt and Charlott M. Nutt his wife (formerly Charlotte McAdams Taylor) which said Martha Conway Taylor and Charlotte M. Nutt together with the aforesaid Sarah Ann Payne (formerly Sarah Ann Taylor) are the only children and heirs of Charlotte Taylor deceased (formerly Charlotte McAdams) the sister and residuary legatee of the said John McAdams deceased, on Ceasars Creek a branch of the Little Miami, beginning at the East corner of Warner of Warner & Addison Lewis' survey No. 2244 three elms and hickory, thence north ... crossing the creek ... William McGuire's survey No. 1240, thence ...
      [Margin, pg.161: Bell & wife vs. J. Duncan et al]
... passing Lewis's corner and with his line crossing the creek ... to the beginning, with the appurtenances, to have and to hold the said tract of land with the appurtenances unto the said Thomas Watson and unto Nancy Payne, William Payne, James Payne and Sarah Ann Payne, and their heirs and assigns forever, as tenants in common and not as joint tenants in the proportion of two thirds to the said Thomas Watson and one third to the above named children of Sarah Ann Payne deceased. In witness whereof the said James Monroe President of the [L.S.] United States of America hath caused the Seal of the General Land Office to be hereunto affixed and signed the same with his hand at the City of Washington the 22 Dec. 1819 and of the Independence of the United States of America the 44th, by the President James Monroe, Josiah Meigs, Commissioner of the General Land Office.
         General Land Office, 4th May 1833, I hereby certify that the within is a true copy of the Patent on Record in this office. In testimony whereof [L.S.] I have hereunto subscribed my name and caused the Seal of the office to be affixed at the City of Washington on the day and year above written. Elijah Hayward, Commissioner.
      [Margin: Exhibit (E)] The following is a copy of the Exhibit marked (E) refered to in the foregoing bill, to wit,
         James Monroe, President of the United States of America. To all to whom these presents shall come. Greetings; Know Ye, that in consideration of military service performed by John McAdams (a Lieutenant for three years) to the United States in the Virginia line on Continental establishment, and in pursuance of an Act of the Congress of the United States, passed on the third day of March in the year 1807, entitled "An act authorizing patents to issue for lands located and surveyed by virtue of certain Virginia resolution warrants, and another Act of the said Congress passed on the 11th day of April in the year 1818" there is granted by the United States unto Thomas Watson and also unto Nancy Payne, William Payne, James Payne and Sarah Ann Payne the minor children and heirs at law of Sarah Ann Payne deceased (formerly Sarah Ann Taylor) a certain tract of land containing 1333-1/3 acres situate between the Little Miami and Sciota Rivers Northwest of the River Ohio, as by survey bearing date 10 April 1793, and bounded and described as follows, to wit, Survey of 1333-1/3 acres on part of a Military Warrant No. 3286 (the whole thereof being for 2666-2/3 acres) in favor of the said John McAdams whose right has been assigned in part unto the said Thomas Watson by Thomas Taylor and Martha Conway Taylor his wife and also by Robert Nutt and Charlott M. Nutt his wife (formerly Charlotte McAdams Taylor) which said Martha Conway Taylor and Charlotte M. Nutt together with the aforesaid Sarah Ann Payne (formerly Sarah Ann Taylor) are the only children and heirs of Charlotte Taylor deceased (formerly Charlotte McAdams) the sister and residuary legatee of the said John McAdams deceased, on the waters of Ceasars Creek a branch of the Little Miami, beginning at ... the East corner to said McAdams Survey No. 1995, thence ... crossing a large branch ... corner to said McAdams, thence with his line ... crossing a branch to the beginning, with the appurtenances, to have and to hold the said tract of land with the appurtenances unto the said Thomas Watson and unto Nancy Payne, William Payne, James Payne and Sarah Ann Payne, and their heirs and assigns forever, as tenants in common and not as joint tenants in the proportion of two thirds to the said Thomas Watson and one third to the above named children of Sarah Ann Payne decd. In witness whereof [L.S.] the said James Monroe President of the United States of America hath caused the Seal of the General Land Office to be hereunto affixed and signed the same with his hand at the City of Washington the 22 Dec. 1819 and of the Independence of the United States of America the 44th, by the President James Monroe, Josiah Meigs, Commissioner of the General Land Office.
         General Land Office, 4th May 1838 (MAD: sic), I hereby certify that the within is a true copy of the Patent on Record in this office. In testimony whereof [L.S.] I have hereunto subscribed my name and caused the Seal of the office to be affixed at the City of Washington on the day and year above written. John M. Moore, Acting Commissioner.
      [Margin: Subpoena] And therefore was issued out of the office of the Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas aforesaid one writ of subpoena in Chancery in the words and of the tenor following towit,
         The State of Ohio, Greene County, S.S. To the Sheriff of said County, Greeting; you are hereby commanded to summon Daniel Dean, Robert Dean, William Dean, Joseph Dean, Hugh Campbell, James Moore, Walter Parry, John Bicket, Moffett Brownlee, William Struthers, Thomas Blakeley, John McFarland, Thomas Spencer, John Duncan, Abel Janney, Henry Deardoff, William Hendricks, (blank) Hagler, (blank) Hagler, (blank) Hagler to be and appear before the Court of Common Pleas of said County at the Court House in Xenia forthwith, to answer unto a petition in chancery exhibited against them by William D. Bell and Margaret M. Bell his wife and this they shall in no wise omit under the penalty of one thousand dollars. Witness my hand and the seal of said Court at Xenia the 25th day of November A.D. 1839. T. Marshall, Clerk.
      [Margin: Sheriffs Return] And afterwards, towit, on the 26th day of November in the year last aforesaid, the sheriff of said county, towit, William C. Robinson Esq., to whom said writ or form aforesaid was directed, returned said writ to said Court endorsed thereon as follows, towit, November the 26th 1839. This Subpa. served by reading and giving each defendant herein named a true copy as commanded. William C. Robinson, Shff.
      And thereupon, it being at the November term of said Court of Common Pleas A.D. 1839, further process of and upon the premises aforesaid between the parties aforesaid was by order of the court here thereon continued until the next term of said Court.
      [Margin, pg.163: Bell & wife vs. J. Duncan et al] And afterwards, towit, on the 27 Jan. 1840, the said Robert Dean, William Dean, Joseph Dean, Hugh Campbell, James Moore, Walter Parry, John Bicket, Moffet Brownlee, WIlliam Struthers, Thomas Spencer, John Duncan, Abel Jenny, Henry Deardorff, Thomas Blakely, defendants in this suit filed in the Clerk's office aforesaid there joint answer to said in the words and of the tenor following towit:
         [Margin: Answer of D. Dean et al] The Joint Answer of Robert Dean, William Dean, Joseph Dean, Hugh Campbell, James Moore, Walter Parry, John Bicket, Moffet Brownlee, WIlliam Struthers, Thomas Spencer, John Duncan, Abel Jenny, Henry Deardorff, and Thomas Blakely, defendants to the Bill of Complaint exhibited against them by William D. Bell and Margaret M. Bell his wife in the Court of Common Pleas of Greene County, Ohio. The said defendants now come and for answer to the said bill of the said complainants and say that they are purchasers of part of the lands mentioned in said bill, some from Watson, some from Daniel Dean, and some from purchasers under Dean and Watson, and claim title under the Patent issued to Thomas Watson and the partition mentioned in said bill, and have no knowledge of the proceedings prior to the obtaining of the patent under which they hold. They are informed and believe that a military warrant issued to John McAdams as stated in the Bill, that surveys and returns were made as therein stated No.1995 and 2247 in Greene County Ohio, that John McAdams died having made his last will and testament and devised to his sister Charlotte McAdams the land warrant entry and surveys above described and that the will was duly proven and recorded and the[y] suppose that the copy marked (B) and exhibited with the bill is a true copy. They are informed and believe that Charlotte McAdams was legalled (MAD: sic) married to Thomas Taylor and had issue as stated in said Bill and died surviving her husband and that Charlotte McAdams was legalled married to Thomas Taylor and had issued (MAD: sic) as stated in said Bill and died surviving her husband and that Charlotte McAdams Taylor intermarried with one Robert Nutt as to their deaths and the heirship of Petitioner they have no knowledge and neither admit nor deny it but call for Proof.
         They are informed and believe that Martha C. Taylor intermarried with Thomas Taylor as to their death and the issue inheriting they have no knowledge and can neither admit or deny but ask for Proof.
         They are informed and believe that Ann Taylor intermarried with William Payne and left issue as stated in said bill.
         These respondents dening (MAD: sic) all knowledge and do not believe that Thomas Watson for a trifling consideration induced Robert Nutt to sign and by threats and putting in fear to compel his wife to sign the instrument of writing marked (C) as mentioned and avered in complainant's Bill. They also deny all knowledge and do not believe that the signing of said paper assignment of Thomas Taylor and wife was procured by the means alleged in said bill or for a trifling consideration. And as these gross? and as they believe false and unfounded allegations of fraud and force used upon the husbands and wives of all from whom Watson derived title they ask for proof.
         And your Respondents not only denying their belief in this fraud but for further answer they say that they are informed and belief in consequence of litigation and answer of Watson, filed in said Greene Com. Pleas. which have brought out these facts, that Daniel Dean and Thomas Watson had long before this purchased this land of claimants in Kentucky and entered into possession and paid taxes &c but discovering their defective title and believing the right to be in the devisee of John McAdams of Virginia.
         Thomas Watson as early as 1816 went into Virginia to secure the title and believing from information that Robert Nutt and Charlotte Nutt, Martha C. Taylor and William Payne had title as stated in the bill, did in July 1816 purchase of them the two surveys for the consideration of Fifteen hundred dollars and took from them a contract for an assignment and transfer of said warrants so that a patent might issue. When the contract was made, Martha C. Taylor was not of age by a few months and on that account the actual assignment of the warrants was postponed until December following at which time an assignment was to be made. Watson was to attend at a Washington City and receive his title and pay his fifteen dollars (MAD: sic) and that their agreement was evidenced by a written contract on the part of said Nutt and wife, Robert Nutt as Guardian of Martha C. Taylor, and William Payne, and for the fifteen hundred dollars said Thomas Watson executed his bond payable in January 1817-(10th).
         That in December 1816 Watson went to Washington City, met Robert Nutt who had procured an assignment of the Warrants by Wm. Payne, Martha C. Taylor and in which assignments Robert Nutt and Charlotte his wife had joined. The assignment was acknowledged before a Justice of Peace but without any evidence of his official character and for this informality the Commission of the General Land Office refused to receive the assignment and issue a Patent to said Watson. That Robert Nutt then agreed to return home and have the assignment properly made, acknowledged and certified and transmit the same to the Land Office. That Nutt then recieved nearly the whole amount of said Fifteen hundred dollars in cash and rec. a new bond for the balance. The fifteen hundred dollar bond was then taken up by said Watson and filed with his answer in a case in this Court wherein Anna E. Payne & others were complainants and said Watson & others defendants. And to which bond defendants refer a copy of which marked (A) is herewith filed as an exhibit. That Watson returned home to Ohio. William Payne died, and Martha Taylor intermarried with Thomas Taylor and Nutt failed to comply with his arrangement.
         This failure caused Watson after some time to go again to Virginia and it was then that the assignment refered to in complainant's bill and marked (C) were procured upon which they are informed and believe the patent issued, and at this time said Watson took up the last bond given and to induce Taylor to sign, paid some three or four hundred dollars more than by said contract he ought to have paid. All of which actings and doings of Thomas Watson these defendants have no other means of knowing but from the answer of said Watson under oath in the cause above refered to, and they aver that they believe it to be true. And all which has come to their knowledge of recent years since this matter has been agitated by the unjust, inequitable and fraudulent claim of the Petitioners.
         These defendants are wholly unacquainted with the views of the Commissioner of the General Land Office in issuing said Patent. They do not believe that said Thomas Watson induced said Commissioner "improperly and without lawful authority and under a mistaken view of his of his duty to issue said Patent" (MAD: sic) because they believe said commissioner to be more conversant with his official duties, and that the assignments refered to are good and sufficient in Law and Equity to transfer to said Watson the rights of said parties and to Warrant the issue to Thomas Watson. Defendants admit that a partition took place by order of the Court of Common Pleas of Greene County as stated in said Bill & that
      [Margin, pg.165: Bell & wife vs. Duncan et al]
one thousand and Ninety Seven acres of survey No. 1995 and Twelve Hundred and Three acres 66/100 of Survey No. 2247 were set off to Watson. They can neither admit nor deny that Nutt & wife never were in Ohio either by themselves or their agents for they are wholly uninformed thereon. These defendants admit that they claim title to the land under the Patent to Watson in different parcels. Some are in possession and others are the grantors of those in possession. That large permanent and valuable improvements have been made in faith of said Patent and without any knowledge of these defendants of any defect of title. They claim to be innocent purchasers (if indeed there is any defect in title) without notice, and that neither Robert Nutt nor Charlotte his wife have to their knowledge ever questioned these titles. Without this that there is any other matter or thing to answer unto not herein answered, traversed or denied is true or admitted, all which these defendants will aver and prove as this court may direct, and having answered pray to be dismissed with their costs most wrongfully sustained. (signed) Odlin & Schench, Sols. for Defts. Abel Janny, Henry Deardorff, Moffett Brownlee, Thomas Spencer, Robt. Dean, John Bickett, Joseph Dean, James Moore, Walter Parry, William Dean, Hugh Campbell, Thos. Blakely, Wm. Struthers, John Duncan.
         State of Ohio, Greene County, S.S. Personally appeared before a Justice of the Peace in said County the above named Abel Janney, Henry Deardorff, Moffett Brownlee, Thomas Spencer, Robt. Dean, John Bicket, Joseph Dean, Jas. Moore, Wm. Dean, Hugh Campbell, Thomas Blakely, William Struthers, John Duncan & Walter Parry, who being duly sworn, state that the above answer so far as stated from their own knowledge is true and so far as stated from the knowledge of others they believe to be true. Sworn & Subscribed this 27th day of January 1840 before Me. Edo. Bennet J.P.
 

Go to the Greene Co. OH Court Records Part 2, May 1842, 2nd half, pg.165 continued

Go to the Greene Co. OH Court Records Part 3, December 1842 and June 1849

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