Mary F. Crittenden brought a lawsuit against her brother, Elias B. Edmonds, in 1857 for her portion of the estate belonging to her mother, Grace Spiller Edmonds. This suit was concluded in 1860 after the death of her brother. It contains lots of information about this family, most especially there being a copy of the will of her grandfather, Benjamin C. Spiller on pages 98-100.
Benjamin C. Spiller was the son of William Spiller of King William County, Virginia. He had six sons, two from a first marriage and four from his second, and four daughters, all from the second marriage. His first wife was probably a Hickman. His second wife was Ann Frazer.
The ‘ C ‘ in his name stands for either Clevias or Claverius or some variation fairly close to that. I will write more on him later.
Will of Benjamin C. Spiller Of Lancaster County
26 Mar 1801, codicil 11 Apr 1801, proved 20 July 1801
In the Name of God, Amen
I Benjamin Spiller of Lancaster County being sick of body, but of perfect sense and memory do make and publish this my last will and testament in manner and form as followeth.
Item. My will_desire is that my estate shall remain undivided for the use of my loving wife Ann Spiller and the support of my children (who is to pay no board) for and during the life of my said wife, except my executors, to be hereafter named should think that it would be for the advantage of my estate to divide it sooner or my said wife should again marry in either case my desire is that my loving wife Ann Spiller shall have and receive one third part of my estate both real and personal which she shall have and enjoy as dower, for and during her life.
Item. My desire is that should my daughters Susanna, Ann Frazer, Grace, Rockseylany or either of them marry before the death or marriage of my said wife Ann Spiller, that they or either of them shall have and receive her or their share or portion of my estate at such time as they shall choose, which shall be in full of and for their part or parts. And that should either of my children die without lawful issue of their body begotten, that his her or their part or parts of my estate shall then return and go to such child or children of mine, or their heirs, as shall then be living.
Item. I lend unto my loving wife Ann my negro woman Hannah & all her children, that she now has or hereafter may have for and during her my said wife’s life, and do hereby give her full power to give or dispose of her the said negro woman Hannah and her future increase among my children as she may think proper.
Item. I give unto my two sons William and Hickman Spiller, one thousand acres of land each lying in the state of Kentucky, it being part of my military lands which was granted to me for my services for and under the Commonwealth during the last war, which amounts to four thousand acres which said one thousand acres of land each & what I have already given to them my said sons is in full, of and for their parts in my estate.
Item. I give unto my son Benedictus Spiller my dwelling plantation whereon I now live, which land I purchased from Thomas Pinckard [ Indian Creek Farm] provided my said son shall pay unto his brother James Spiller when he comes of age 250 pounds and in case his said brother James shall die before he comes of age, that the said sum of two hundred and fifty pounds shall be paid unto my son Patrick Spiller.
Item. I give unto my son Benjamin Spiller all that part of my land I purchased of Mr. Hudson Muse & also my mill I bought from Mr. William Eustace, after death of my said wife.
Item. I give unto my son Patrick Spiller my land lying in Northumberland County I purchased from Mr. Tho Hull after death or marriage of my said wife.
Item. I give I give unto my son James Spiller two thousand acres of land lying in Kentucky, it being part of the four thousand acres of land before mentioned and which I give two thousand acres of between my two sons William and Hickman Spiller.
Item. My desire is that should my executor recover the land that is in dispute between Mr. Peter Tankersley and myself that it shall be equally divided between my two sons Benedictus and Benjamin Spiller.
Item. My desire is that my daughters before mentioned shall have a negro girl each out of my estate which my said wife shall point out which shall not be counted in their parts or shears (sic) of my estate.
Item. My will and desire is that the balance of my estate not already given shall be equally divided between my following children to wit Benedictus, Benjamin, Susanna, Ann Frazer, Grace, Patrick, Rocksylany and James after death or marriage of my said loving wife Ann Spiller or sooner as aforesaid in the first clause of this my said will.
I hereby appoint my son Benedictus Spiller, my friend William Kirk and my friend John Carpenter executors of this my last will and testament.
In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand and affix my seal this 26th day of March 1801.
In presence of us
Martin Shearman [Sherman?]
Lorimer Chowning [Chewning?]
Item I hereby give and authorize my executors with full power to dispose of any part of my personal estate that they may think proper for the payment of my just debts and also appoint my friend Martin Shearman an exor. of this my last will and testament in addition to those before appointed. In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand and seal this 11th day of April 1801.
At a court held for the county of Lancaster on the 20th day of July 1801. This last will and testament and codicil of Benjamin C. Spiller was proved by the oaths of Thomas James and John Steptoe two of the witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded.
Teste. James Towles
A copy Attest
Warner Eubank C.C.