m. ABT 1718
m. 25 MAY 1735
Facts and Events
Notes on Eleanor Hindman
John Hindman had died in Augusta County, Virginia in 1747. It would be really interesting to know just what he died from.
On 15 Feb. 1748 John Stephenson, friend and neighbor of John Hindman, made application and was awarded the administration of John Hindman’s quite profitable estate. He made and submitted an inventory of the estate as the law required. (Original records available)
Shortly after the death of John Hindman his sister, Eleanor and her family, “entered upon the premises” to claim the estate of John Hindman. (Court record from Rockbridge Co., VA)
The first thing Eleanor Fletcher had to do upon arriving in Augusta Co., VA was to prove her relationship to her brother, John. Without proof, they could not claim his estate. So on 25 May 1749 depositions were taken from Edward Partridge and Providence Scott in Chester County, Pennsylvania.
29 May 1750 - The Fletchers made bond as administrators of the estate of John Hindman whereof John Stephenson had been. The administration of the estate was given to John and Eleanor. (Original Augusta Co., VA record available)
Know all men by these present that we John Fletcher, Eleanor Fletcher, John Burton, Ray Borden, James Lockhart, John Matthews, Richard Woods, John Lyle, William Harbeson and Thomas English, the present justice in the commission of the peace for Augusta County, for and in behalf and to the sole use and behoof of the justice of the said County and their successors in the sum of five hundred pounds court money to be paid to said justice their successors, Ex; Adm., and assigns to us which payment well and truly to be made, we bind ourselves and every of us, our, and every of our heirs, Executors, and administrators jointly and severally firmly by those present sealed with our seal dated this 25th day of May 1750.
The condition of this obligation is such that if the above bound John and Eleanor Fletcher, administrators of all the goods, chattel, and credits of John Hindman, Clerk, deceased whereof John Stevenson was late admin. do make or cause to be made a true and perfect inventory of all and singular the goods, chattels and credits of the said deceased which have or shall come to the hands, possession or knowledge of the said John and Eleanor or unto the hands or possession of any other person or persons for them and the same so made to exhibit or cause to be exhibited unto the County Court of Augusta at such time as they shall be thereunto required by the said Court and the same goods, chattels and credits of the said deceased at the time of his death, which at any time after shall come to the hands or possession of the said John and Eleanor or into the hands and possession of any other person or persons for her do well and truly administrator according to law and further do make a just and true account of their acting and doing therein when the account required by the said court all the rest and residue of the said goods, chattels and credits, which shall be found remaining unto the said administrator’s account the same being first examined and allowed by the justice of the court for the time being shall deliver and pay unto such person or persons respectively as the said justices by their order or judgment shall direct pursuant to the law in that case made and provided and if it shall hereafter appear that any last will and testament was made by said deceased and the Ex; or Executor therein named do exhibit the same in the said court making request to have it allowed and approved accordingly if the said John and Eleanor being there-unto required do render and deliver up their letters of administration approbation of such testament being first had and made in the said court then this obligation to be void and of none effect or else to remain in full force and virtue.
Eleanor Fletcher (Her mark)
Sealed and delivered in the presents of James Patton
John Lewis – seal
William Hamilton – seal
John Graham - seal
At a court continued and held for Augusta county the 29th day of May 1750 John Fletcher, Eleanor Fletcher, John Lewis, John Graham and William Hamilton in open court acknowledged this their bond for said John and Eleanor Fletcher true and faithful administrators of the estate of John Hindman, clerk, deceased, which bond is ordered to be recorded.
During the time the Fletchers were working on getting the administration of the Hindman estate, the town of Staunton, Virginia was started. In 1749 William Beverley gave a parcel of his land in Augusta County for a town to be laid out. Mr. Beverley was a personal friend to the Governor Gooch and his wife, Rebecca. He named the town in honor of Rebecca whose maiden name was Staunton.
William Larkin, plaintiff, John and Robert Fletcher, defendants. “The defendants being summoned and failing to appear, the plaintiff produced their note of bond for two pounds, seven shillings and nine pence current money. Judgment is therefore granted the plaintiff against the defendant for the same together with cost.” (Original record available)
It is not known what this hearing was all about but the record is helpful in that it shows that Robert must have been old enough by 1754 to be named in a suit. He would probably have had to be eighteen years old to be considered an adult.
June or July 1758 - Fletcher vs. Stephenson - John Fletcher and Eleanor, his wife, complains of John Stephenson, past administrator of John Hindman, for an account. An account was filed of the effects and general charges of Rev. Hindman. (Chronicles vol. 1 page 320)
It appears from the above court record that John and Eleanor were hoping to settle the debt owed Stephenson by John but needed an account from Stephenson.
19 August 1758 - Fletcher vs. Stephenson - The bill for settlement of the estate of Rev. Hindman shows the cost of the wake of Hindman. (Chronicles vol. 1 page 325.)
At the time of his death John Hindman still owed Stephenson money that he had borrowed to make his trip to England. He might have owed even more considering all the horses he owned and on a pastor’s salary at that. John was ill for five weeks before he died. Stephenson and his wife took care of him and then took care of his burial. Chalkey, in his Chronicles, does not list each cost for the wake but it may be assumed that it could have been a considerable amount. Beverley Ruffin states in ‘Augusta Parish’ that many people made request to the vestry to cover the cost of the wake of persons who died on their hands. Some cost included doctor’s fee, medicine, coroner’s fee, making the coffin, providing linen or a bear skin to lay the body on, digging the grave, and as Ruffin says; “purchasing liquor to serve at the funeral.” In some cases as much as seven gallons of liquor was provided for burials. This is not to say that all these are recorded in the account that John Stephenson filed against the estate. Evidently the settlement John Stephenson presented was for a greater amount than John and Eleanor expected. It appears that John Stephenson was going to press for payment from John and Eleanor and this pushed them into bankruptcy. To substantiate this is the record that John Fletcher is insolvent or bankrupt. Also after the death of John, just a few days after the bill for settlement was filed, Eleanor, being an object of charity, was allowed five pounds by the vestry. Attempts to obtain a copy of John Stephenson’s settlement have been unsuccessful at this time.
19 August 1758 - Commissioners report that the courthouse is completed except a door, which the Indians broke (Chronicles, vol. 1, page 325.)
1758 - John Fletcher is insolvent (Chronicles, vol. 2, page 400.)
“The sale or recovery of the estate of any insolvent debtor shall be paid or distributed among the creditors of such insolvent person in proportion to the debts due to them who shall have dully proved their respective debts, and if any over plus shall arise after all debts are paid, it shall be delivered to the debtor whose estate it was." (Henning’s Statutes At Large vol. 7, pages 551 and 556.)
21 August 1758 - The death of John Fletcher abates the suit against John Stephenson. (Original record available)
21 August 1758 is the date recorded that the suit had been abated by the death of John Fletcher. John could have died this same day or on 20 August which was on Sunday, or on 19 August, which was Saturday the day John Stephenson filed the bill for settlement of the account of John Hindman. No record has been found as to how John Fletcher died. He may even have been killed during an Indian attack, which was a common occurrence at the time.
Ca. 1759/60 - Somewhere around this time, Robert Fletcher Sr. and Christiana B. Kinder were married. Their children are listed below.
There was one daughter whose name is unknown. She was probably born about 1761/62. Her birth is judged by the birth of her son Matthew who was born in 1780. She married a Walkup.
Daughter, Mary born about 1763/64. The Chronicles list her as Mary Flatcher. Since Fletcher was often spelled Flatcher in the colonial records and usually turned out to be Fletcher, this Mary was probably a daughter of Robert and Christiana. She was. Her birth is judged from her marriage date, which was 12 September 1783. Her full name was probably Mary Elizabeth. (see record dated April 1791)
Robert Jr. was born about 1766. (Draper Papers concerning Col. William Casey settlement)
John was probably born about 1771. His birth is judged by his marriage date, which was 30 August 1791.
Several records indicate that Christiana’s father was Peter Kinder and her mother Christiana (Maiden name unknown). Peter Kinder died in 1749. The following is a list of the records submitted:
30 November 1749 – Chatherine, Christiana, Sarah, and Peter Kinder to be bound out by Church Wardens.”
2 June 1750 – Catherine Kindort, orphan of Peter is bound to Wm. Armstrong. Kinder is spelled various ways in these records)
27 Nov. 1773 – Christiana was bound to Adam Dickison. (Christiana was thirteen years old.)
20 Dec. 1773 – The will of Christofull Kislen, stepfather of Christiana.
17 - Nov. 1798 – A suit was brought against Christiana Flatcher “otherwise Kinder” in Rockbridge County, Virginia.
The above records offer the most promising proof of a maiden for Christiana than any other to date. Christiana was spelled in various ways: Christian, Christianiah, etc.
10 February 1763 – A deed to James, son of John Stephenson, from Robert and Christiana Fletcher. They gave James fifty pounds current money of Virginia and a lease of two hundred acres of the four hundred and sixty acres of land inherited from John Hindman. By this time James Stephenson was living on and farming the land. This indenture enabled James Stephenson to accept and take a grant and release of the revisions of inheritance from Robert on the following day. This division of the land was probably the decision of the bankruptcy Court. The fifty pounds paid Stephenson for thirty of the remaining sixty acres. (Deposition of Jean Martain dated 19 June 1795) Both Robert and Christiana made their mark, Robert with an R and Christiana with a C. Most people could not read or write but had their ‘mark’, which was used in transactions. The County clerk recorded all records. Each had his idea of how a name was spelled, thus the difference in spellings. (Original record available)
Now the debt of John Hindman had been paid. This left the Fletchers with two hundred and sixty acres of the John Hindman land. Evidently the land was in Robert’s name as heir of John Hindman. In 1747 John told William Elliot that he had a half sister married to John Fletcher who had a little boy called Robert that he would give the land to.
11 February 1763 - “The release deed to James Stephenson from Robert and Christiana." (Original record available)
15 February 1763 - Commissioner examination of Christiana, wife of Robert Fletcher. (Chronicles vol. 1, page 103) In such transactions as conveying land a wife was privately, apart from her husband, ask if she is willingly and without force signing the transaction.