Case of Henry Council and wife vs. Executors of James H. Carney

This case[1] was filed in chancery court in Norfolk Co., VA, by complainants Henry B. Council and Sarah Frances his wife. Wright Carney died in Norfolk about 1832, intestate, leaving a widow named Susan and an only child named Georgianna. But Susan thereafter married Jacob H. Kelley and is now dead. Wright Carney left a tract (74 acres) of valuable land called “Carney’s Old Place” lying in Norfolk Co., on the Western Branch of the Elizabeth River. Upon Susan’s death, the tract became the property of Georgianna Carney. Georgianna died in 1849 being younger than 21 years of age. The tract then passed to James H. Carney[2], her uncle, and her father
S brother and Mrs. Lorena Croft[3], the widow of John Croft, and sisters of her father and Stephen W. Lewelling, a son of Nancy Lewelling deceased, who was Nancy Carney.

Stephen W. Lewelling died in Mississippi in 1857, intestate, but leaving a nuncupative will which does not address property in Virginia or Mississippi. He left no children and a widow named Ann who since married to Chamberlin Jones and are both non-residents of Virginia. Sarah Francis Council was his cousin.

The land could not be conveniently divided, and the solution was to sell the land with Ann having dower rights (one third).

Stephen W. Lewelling’s Will

I, Stephen W. Lewelling do make this my last will and testament. After the payment of all my just debts, I give to my beloved wife the entire residue of my estate of every description. I wish my friend Thomas D. Cheairs to act as my executor. Feb the 12th, 1851.

The undersigned were called on by Stephen W. Lewelling to witness the above as his will and subscribed their names in his presence and in the presence of each other. Feb the 12th 1851.
Wm Taylor
Geor R Grant
M P Webb

Proven at March term, 1851 and recorded March the 11th 1851. Wm. L. Dewoody, Clerk.

State of Tennessee, County of Shelby.
I John P. clerk of the county court of the said county do certify the forgoing to be a full and true copy of S. W. Lewelling’s will as the same app=ears of record and on file in my office. Given under my hand and seal of said court at office this 10th day of October AD 1854. Signed John P. , Clerk

Other papers in the folder include one petition from William B. Smith, Marshall Co., MS. This document shows that Stephen W. Lewelling had received $757.69 from the sale of the land by Thomas Hume (Executor of James H. Carney). The said wife of Stephen H. Lewelling (Rachael Ann Lewelling) was now due this money.

Another paper, Article of Argument, reveals that Stephen W. Lewelling owned land, negros, stock notes, that she sold to William B. Smith of Marshall Co., MS. This included debts due Stephen W. Lewelling and Woods Lewelling. The document does not state the relationship between Woods Lewelling and Stephen.

  1. Norfolk Chancery Court Records – 1857-007, Folder 337 ↩︎

  2. Died early in 1854 ↩︎

  3. Lorena was an aunt of Georgianna’s. She died intestate in 1854 ↩︎