1832: Elizabeth Brown v Admr of George Dent
Index #: 1832-064 Original Case Id: None
County: Fauquier
Scanned Images: Yes (79)
Filed: as early as 1811; Settled: 1832

(Source: Elizabeth Brown v Admr of George Dent, 1832-064, Library of Virginia Archives, Chancery Court Index: Fauquier County, original images from case file, abstracted, transcribed, and submitted by Sue Elfving)

Case Summary:

This case includes a deposition by Benjamin Combs, the grandson of Benjamin PRICHARD. The case is also interesting because of the relationships that are documented and might have value to other researchers.

The plaintiff is Elizabeth Dade BROWN, a daughter of Rose TOWNSEND and Robert KNOX of Charles Co., MD. After Robertís death, Rose married Major George DENT, also of Charles Co. who then, after Rose died, married his step-daughter Elizabeth Dade Knox. George and Elizabeth removed from Maryland to Virginia. George Dent died in 1801 and his widow Elizabeth married Enoch J BROWN who predeceased her. Elizabeth had to amend her Bill several times. She claims her motherís estate from Elizabethís father Robert Knox and her brother John Knox were mixed with Dentís estate and she did not receive what she was entitled to have and was requesting an accounting from the administrator of George Dentís estate. She claims George was only entitled to a life share. William DENT, the admr of his fatherís estate tried to prove Elizabeth and his father were never married which was incorrect as their marriage is of record in Charles Co., MD. Many of the questions in the depositions focus on proof or disproof of Elizabeth and Georgeís marriage; however, a copy of their Charles Co., MD marriage license is obtained to disprove the defendantís claim. Benjamin Combs, who was the executor of his grandfather Benjamin PRICHARDíS estate deposes his grandfather rented (1738) a farm in Stafford Co. from Robert Knox. This statement by Benjamin proves the lineage of his mother who is shown in other records to be Mary and appears to be the one who was married a Joseph Combs of Stafford Co. The depositions also document the movement of families from Charles Co., MD into Stafford Co., VA.

A record from our Combs &c collection:

On Sept. 1, 1784. Benjamin Combs & Sarah his wife of Frederick Co. to Joseph Combs of Stafford, 100 pds. for 190 acs. in Overwharton Parish, Stafford County, upon long branch, b/b lands of Robt. KNOX, John Combs and land leased to Richd. READ. (01 Sep - Nov 1784 (Stafford Co VA D&W Bk 8 May 1780-13 Mar 1786:348-349).

Note: Benjamin Combs (son of John Combs and Seth Bullitt) who married Sarah RICHARDSON. This deed shows he owned land next to Robert Knox. Benjaminís brother Joseph Combs also lived in Stafford and records show he is the father of the younger Benjamin Combs of the deposition. See Stafford Co., VA records for more information on Joseph Combs who married Mary PRITCHARD.

An interesting record from Montgomery Co, KY, with respect to the name Townsend:

07-18 Aug 1818 Montgomery County, Kentucky Deed Book 8, page 446. Power of Attorney. Leven LUCKETT and Townshend D. PEYTON to William F. LUCKETT. Deed. Leven LUCKETT of Loudoun Co, VA to John COMBS of Montgomery Co, KY, part of a tract entered and patented in the name of Francis PEYTON, bearing date the 24th of December 1785, which said tract with two other adjoining was by the said Francis PEYTON divided to _____ to William HALE, Leven LUCKETT and Townshend D. PEYTON and afterwards by written agreement between the said William, Leven and Townshend, divided all of which will appear by a reference to the said Francis (PEYTON'S) last will and testament and the will in agreement aforesaid both of which [are filed with the Montgomery Co KY Courts].

Notes: John COMBS' ancestry has not been determined as yet. According to the “Peytons of Virginia,” Townsend Dade PEYTON, b 1774, Loudoun Co, VA; d. 25 Aug 1852, Oxford, Butler Co, OH; m Harriet Colston BEAL (Partial Reference -- Seeking Ancestry of Townsend. Was he s/o John & Seth HARRISON Peyton, brother-in-law of Joseph COMBS (See Combs-Harrison Families)? According to a 15 Nov 1830 deposition given by Townshend D. PEYTON, he was the brother-in-law of Leven LUCKETT, father of William F. LUCKETT and others... (Loudoun Co, VA Estate file of Leven LUCKETT (1762-1829), Loudoun Co, VA GenConnect Wills Board)

Genealogical Information Gleaned:

Benjamin Combs, the deponent was the grandson of Benjamin PRICHARD of Stafford Co., Va. and the executor of his estate. Prichard had rented a farm from Robert Knox beginning in 1738.

Robert Knox of Charles Co., MD was married to Rose Townsend. They had children John and Elizabeth. Rose remarried to George DENT after Robert's decease and then her daughter Elizabeth married her stepfather 30 Dec. 1795 in Charles Co., MD, and they soon removed to Virginia. After Dent died, a young female acquaintance named Mary came to live with the widow Elizabeth in Virginia and she married Marmaduke B Sisson. Elizabeth then remarried to Enoch J Brown who predeceased her.

Case File Inventory: (79 pages)

p. 3 Bond dated 22 Dec 1806 by Enoch J Brown and Stanton Slaughter
p. 5 Answer of William DENT admr of George DENT decd [William was s/o of George] dated 17 Sept. 1817.
Plaintiffs are listed as Enoch J BROWN and wife Elizabeth D BROWN. “…In the beginning of the year 1796 or 1797 Elizabeth D commenced living together with his intestate as man and wife until death of said George Dent which took place in Aug. 1801…before they began living together she was possessed of an undivided interest share of a tract of land in Fauquier County and an undivided interest in sundry slaves she inherited from her brother John KNOX and was also possessed of a small tract of land in Stafford County held by a tenant…that George as husband possessed himself of the said land in Fauquier County and the slaves but the deponent does not know if he received the rest of the land the Stafford County land…after the death of Dent the complainant continued to live on the farm the (Dent) had occupied which was entire tract John Knox died seized & held all the slaves of said Knox as those belonging to the said Dent & incurred benefit of 2 years of crops plus year he died…”

p. 9 Answer of William DENT admr of George DENT decd to amended Bill. William Dent states George Dent had intermarried with Rose TOWNSHEND = KNOX the mother of said complainant and that after her death he and the said complainant did live together as man & wife and did occupy and enjoy their respective estates and he believes they never ever were married. He further states the complainant has no right to accounting if they were not married.

[Researchers show Robert Knox was married to Rose Townsend]

p. 13 Bill

p. 16 Amended Bill dated 27 Nov. 1820. Complainant states she intermarried with George Dent in 1796 and lived with him until his death in Aug. 1801. Oratrix purchased some of the estate and she gave a bond. She states her brother was John Knox and she says George only had a life estate and says George was in debt at the time of his death. She claims the funds were mixed and she wants an accounting.

p. 24 Complainants Enoch Brown and Elizabeth Dade. The court had awarded an injunction against proceeding further. States Enoch BROWNE as the late husband Enoch Browne and their injunction against Dent is dissolved. Dated 28 Nov. 1820. Mentions an amended bill. Lists the history of the chancery suits. Sets a hearing for Oct 1831.

p. 33 Newspaper notice of chancery suit. States the defendant is not an inhabitant of Virginia, court date 27 March 1817, newspaper dated 18 July 1817.

p. 39 Deposition of Benj N BARRETT

p. 44 Deposition of James EMMONS dated 8 Oct. 1827. Deponent stated that in 1798 or 1799 he purchased of the sale Majr George DENT who emigrated from Maryland to Virginia and went on a visit back to Maryland where he died, about 96 or 97 acres of land, that Alexander M CONCHEE purchased about the same time which said land was laid off, out of the estate of John KNOX on the headwaters of little Persimmon Run in Fauquier County.

p. 54 Copy of certification of the marriage license for George Dent and Elizabeth Knox 30 Dec. 1795 by the Clerk of Charles Co., Md.

p. 57 Deposition of Samuel GORDON taken on 17 March 1827 in the tavern of James Young in Fredericksburg. He deposes about wheat he received from the George Dent estate.

p. 59 Deposition of Benjamin Combs of lawful age taken at the house of Thomas HOMES…”and said that from the year 1738 that his grandfather PRICHARD paid the rent of the farm in Stafford called Burlap to Maj. George Dent up to his death Between Sixty and one hundred Dollars for year Rent for the same as for receipts now in his possession which was formerly the property of Robert KNOX of Maryland and the said Benjamin Combs being the Exr of Benjamin Prichard decd found the principal part of the receipts to that affect and after the death of Maj Dent his widow received the rent of said Farm 25 pounds as for receipt now shown dated 1802. Signed Benjím Combs who made oath to the within in Stafford County on 19 Oct. 1827.

p. 65 Deposition of Mary A SISSON of lawful age taken at the house of William Thompson at Morrisville 5 Nov. 1827. “I lived in the State of Maryland about two miles from the residence of the late Maj George Dent, when he was married to the Elizabeth D KNOX in the year 1796, after which the said Dent and his Lady removed to Virginia where they remained until 1801.” Mary states Dent came to Maryland sometime in Aug. 1801 on a visit where he died. “In the year I came to Virginia to reside with his widow until I married Marmaduke B SISSON I have lived a near neighbor and been a constant visitor ever since…” Mary states that Georgeís two daughters Grace and Rebecca Dent lived with Elizabeth for two years and upwards and that she boarded and clothed them. Mary stated Elizabeth was the daughter of Rose Townsend KNOX, former wife of Major George Dent. [There were many questions asked about the marriage of Elizabeth and George]

(Source: Elizabeth Brown v Admr of George Dent, 1832-064, Library of Virginia Archives, Chancery Court Index: Fauquier County, original images from case file, abstracted, transcribed, and submitted by Sue Elfving)