Will of Benjamin C. Spiller, Died 1801, Lancaster County, Virginia

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.
B.C. Spiller
In presence of us
Martin Shearman [Sherman?]
Walt Jones
Lorimer Chowning [Chewning?]
Tho. James
John Steptoe
John Flowers

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.
B.C. Spiller
Test.
Tho James
John Steptoe
John Flowers

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.

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8 Responses to Will of Benjamin C. Spiller, Died 1801, Lancaster County, Virginia

  1. Kim Townsend Spangrude says:

    Hello – I found this post and was interested in seeing that you also had an early ancestor by the name of Benedictus. I am a Townsend family descendant and we are trying to find out information about a Benedictus Townsend who lived in Pennsylvania around 1725-1800. Do you have any background as to why families used the name “Benedictus”, and what it meant/implied when one of the sons were given that name?
    Thanks, Kim

    • spotisadog says:

      Hi, Kim
      Benedictus is Latin and means ‘blessed’. It sounds like a really old-fashioned name even for the late 1700’s. I guess both families felt blessed to have healthy boys!

  2. Walter Borda says:

    Hello:

    I am researching the background of a “Benjamin Spiller” who is listed as the original proprietor of Virginia Military Survey 2358 for 1480 acres and Survey 3910 for 1300 acres. These properties are located in the former Virginia Military Reservation, which became part of the State of Ohio in 1803, near what is now the town of Xenia, Ohio.

    It is logical that your “Benjamin C. Spiller” could be the same person as the proprietor, as the will suggests that the decedent had received lands as a grant for military service: “it being part of my military lands which was granted to me for my services for and under the Commonwealth during the last war.” It is also possible that the identification of Kentucky in the will is/is not accurate, as at the time of the death, the State of Ohio had not been created. Ohio became a state in 1803. The southern parts of Ohio were called by some “Kentuck” prior to it becoming a state in 1803.

    Do you have any information on the disposition of the 4000 acres willed to his sons?

    Do you know what was the rank and military organization Benjamin C. Spiller served in that got him the warrants to acquire military land?

    Thanks for your help.

    Walter J. Borda

    • spotisadog says:

      Hi, Walter
      Thanks for your note. It is always nice to know someone is reading! Below is a reference tells Benj. C. Spiller’s rank and service.
      Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army During the War of the Revolution, Francis Bernard Heitman, p. 511
      Spiller, Benjamin C. (Va). 2d Lieutenant 7th Virginia, 26th February, 1776; resigned 10th October, 1776: Captain 2d Virginia State Regiment. 9th May, 1777; resigned 12th August, 1778.

      Journal of the House of Delegates of the State of Virginia
      p. 31 SATURDAY, November 20, 1784. On a motion made,
      Mr. Carter Henry Harrison reported, from the committee of Propositions and Grievances, that the committee had, according to order, had under their consideration the petition of Benjamin Spiller, to them referred, and had agreed upon a report, and come to a resolution thereupon, which he read in his place, and afterwards delivered in at the clerk’s table, where the same were again twice read and agreed to by the House, as followeth:
      It appears to your committee, that the petitioner entered into the service in the month of September 1775, and continued therein till January 1776, when he was promoted to a lieutenancy in the 7th Virginia regiment; and in the month of January following, got the command of a company, which command he held till he left the army, which happened in the month of September 1778.
      Resolved, that it is the opinion of this committee, That the petition of the said Benjamin Spiller, praying that he may be allowed the same bounty in lands as is given by law to a captain in the continental service, is reasonable.
      Ordered, That Mr. Carter Henry Harrison do carry the resolution to the Senate, and desire their concurrence.

      p. 84 Mr. Richard Lee reported, from the committee of Claims, that the committee had, according to order, had under their consideration the petition of Elizabeth Lovell to them referred, and had agreed upon a report, and come to a resolution thereupon, which he read in his place, and afterwards delivered in at the clerk’s table, where the same were again read, and are as followeth:
      It appears to your committee, from a certificate under the hand of Mr. B. C. Spiller late a captain in the second Virginia State regiment, that Robert Lovell, (the petitioner’s late husband) was a lieutenant in the said regiment during the late war, and died in the service the 11th ol August 1778, and that he believes there was pay due to him from the 1st of March in the said year.

      I think you are absolutely correct that what was once called Kentucky later became part of Ohio. In fact, what was once Virginia later became Kentucky.

      I don’t know about the disposition of the land. I live in Va. which makes research here easier, but I think you would almost need to be in Ohio (or hire someone who was) to do some kind of title search.

      Would love to hear about your research. Thanks for your note.

  3. George says:

    Thank you for the posts. I have been researching my wife’s side of the family, and she is a descendant of William Spiller. She and her father have thoroughly enjoyed reading the information you have compiled.

  4. spotisadog says:

    Thank you, George, for your encouraging words! I am happy to oblige. This is not my line at all. They are a side line for a side line, but when I started trying to find information on them, there didn’t seem to be a lot on the internet so I decided to see what I could find and post it. They are an interesting group. I am intrigued by how the King William line might or might not be related to the other early Virginia but have not been able to find any links between them other than the similarities in naming patterns.

    I am teaching school and don’t have a lot of time to devote to this but will try to get another post together soon as I have plenty of information that I haven’t put out there.

    Thanks for reading!

  5. spotisadog says:

    Oops! I didn’t read that carefully enough before I hit send!
    I meant to say “I am intrigued by how the King William line might or might not be related to the other early Virginia Spiller lines . . .

  6. Hello….I enjoy reading your Spiller post. My Brother in Law is a direct decendant of Capt B. C. Spiller….he’s his 4th Great Grandson. I have never seen this item posted…but I came across on the net, records from Tufts that B. C. Spiller from Lancaster Co., Va was elected to the Va House of Delegates in 1800-1801 just before he died. Have you seen this? Thanks,

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