Ralph T. Whitelaw was the author of "Virginia's Eastern Shore" It is a two volume set of books containing a history of the two counties comprising the land in Virginia which lies east of the Chesapeake Bay. The Eastern Shore was first settled in the early 1600's mainly by the English.
Whitelaw was a little different from most historians in that he wrote on the history of the land and its ownership as opposed to the history of people and their accomplishments. He traced the ownership of the each piece of land from its first patent in the 1600s to the mid 1800s. This is not a hard and fast rule but it was as far as it was practical for him to go. Over the several centuries through inheritance and sales the land was broken down into smaller and smaller pieces making it totally unfeasible for him to continue beyond that point. In some few cases he did continue but only because of the ease in doing so.
The work is a valuable tool for the genealogist as the ownership of much of the land descended from one generation to the next in the same family. Names and relationships are given. Let us look at one of those instances.
On page 1147 (in Vol. II) the last sentence is "John and his wife Elizabeth joins with sister Elizabeth Hope in the sale of their interest in 100 acres and a mill to his brother William K. Hope." This was undivided property that the three Hope children had inherited from their grandfather William Bundick. This land and the mill were described in his will. Rather than split the property into smaller increments, two of them (John and Elizabeth) decided to sell their share to their brother (William). Notice that John had a wife and a sister each of which were named Elizabeth.
The three of them agreed on a price for their individual shares of $500.00 each. So William agreed to pay $1000.00 for the other two shares and they had the legal papers drawn up. Please notice that even then that the lawyers were quite verbose in their legalese. The sellers also had to appear before two justices of the peace who questioned them about their decision to sell. Copies of those legal papers are presented here. They were scanned into a computer and both copies (the pictorial and its printed translation) are given.
Whitelaw had access to the official records at the courthouse and the county clerk's office but he probably never saw these papers as they were the personal property of the owners and were passed down through the succeeding generations. He certainly did not even mention in his book that they existed. But here they are.
They are now in the possession of T. Drummond Mason, a resident and retired businessman of nearby Parksley, a native of the Eastern Shore and a descendant of the persons involved. He is the one who graciously allowed them to be scanned and displayed in this way and the one who is preserving them.
The images of the four pages are contained in the following file: (deeds_all.pdf). They are depicted in the original handwriting of the clerks or individuals involved. The written translations are given on succeeding parts of this document
Deed Page One
This Indenture made this twenty fourth day of April one thousand eight hundred and forty five between John Hope and Elizabeth Hope of K. of the county of Accomack and the state of Virginia of the first part and William Hope of K. of the second part
Witnesseth: That the aforesaid John Hope and Elizabeth his wife and Elizabeth Hope of K. for and in consideration of the sum of one thousand dollars of good and lawful money of Va. to them in hand paid by the party of the second part the receipt whereof is hereby confessed and acknowledged hath bargained, granted, sold and confirmed and by these presents doth bargain, grant and confirm unto the said William Hope of K. in his actual possession now being and to his heirs and assigns forever all the rights, title and interest of, in, and unto a certain tract of land and water grist mill situate in the county aforesaid in the neighborhood of Gargatha containing one hundred acres be the same more or less bounded on the North by Gargatha branch which separates the said land from the lands of James T. Gibbons and James Fox, on the Northwest by the land of Edmund Baker, southerly by the land of James Rew ? ? Wm. T. Core and the lands which the said Wm. Hope lately purchased of Ann C. Taylor ? ? Easterly by the land of Wm. C. White, which said tract of land, was devised by William Bundick Gent. to the said Jno. Hope, Wm. Hope and Elizabeth Hope and whereon the said Wm. Hope now lives. Together with all and singular the appurtenances, and all the appurtenances thereto belonging or in any wise belonging or in any way appertaining and all the estate right, title, interest, claim or demand whatsoever of the said John Hope and Elizabeth his wife, and Elizabeth Hope either in law or equity, of, in, and unto the above described premises with the said heriditaments and appurtenancy: To have and to hold the said tract of land and grist mill above particularly mentioned and described to the said William Hope of K. his heirs and assigns, to the sole and only proper use, benefit and behoof of the said William Hope of K, his heirs and assigns forever.
Deed Page Two
And the said John Hope and Elizabeth his wife and Elizabeth Hope for themselves, their heirs, executors and administrators doth covenant, promise and agree, to and with the said William Hope his heirs and assigns the above bargain promises in the quiet and peaceable possession of the said William Hope of K., his heirs and assigns so far as our right extends against all and any person or persons, lawfully the whole or any part thereof, will forever warrant & defend by these presents.
In witness whereof the said John Hope and Elizabeth his wife and Elizabeth Hope have hereunto set their hand and affirmed their seals, the day and year aforesaid.
Signed and acknowledged
In the presence of us.
John Hope of K.
Accomack County Va.
We William Nock & Littleton A. Hinman justices of the peace for the county of Accomack in the state of Virg. do certify that John Hope a party to a deed bearing the date the 24th April 1845 and hereto annexed, personally appeared before us in our own said county and acknowledges the same to be his act and deed, and desires us to certify the said acknowledgement to the clerk of the county court of Accomack in order that the same may be recorded. Given under our hand and seals this 18th day of May 1845.
Litt A. Hinman
Deed Page Three
Accomack County Va.
We William Nock & Littleton A. Hinman justices of the peace for the county of Accomack in the state of Va. do certify that Elizabeth Hope the wife of John Hope parties to a certain deed bearing the date the 24th April 1845 and hereto annexed, personally appeared before us in our own said county and being examined by us privily and apart from her
husband and having the deed aforesaid fully explained to her, she, the said Elizabeth Hope acknowledges the same to be her voluntary act and deed, and declared that she willingly signed and sealed and delivered the same, and that she wished not to retract it, and desires us to certify the said acknowledgement to the clerk of the county court of Accomack in order that the same may be recorded. Given under our hand and seals this 18th day of May 1845.
Litt A. Hinman
Accomack County Va.
We William Nock & Littleton A. Hinman justices of the peace for the county of Accomack in the state of Va. do certify that Elizabeth Hope a party to a certain deed bearing the date the 24th April 1845 and hereto annexed, personally appeared before us in our own said county and acknowledges the same to be her act and deed, and desires us to certify the said acknowledgement to the clerk of the county court of Accomack in order that the same may be recorded. Given under our hand and seals this 18th day of May 1845.
Litt A. Hinman
Deed Page Four
Accomack County Clerk's office - Items 491845d
This day from John Hope of K. & Elizabeth his wife and Elizabeth A. Hope to William Hope of K with the certificates of acknowledgement and ________ thereof thereto annexed was received by me in the clerk's office & admitted to record.
Teste J. J. Ailworth Dy
For Thomas R. Joynes, Clerk
John Hope and wife
& Elizabeth Hope
William Hope of K.
Recording fee paid.