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COTTON William Henry

Male Abt 1795 - 1842  (~ 47 years)


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  • Name COTTON William Henry  [1
    Born Abt 1795  Sussex County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Will 1842  Sussex County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    • William M. Cotton's father died in 1842, when William was 16 years old. His brothers and sister were apparently also underage. In his will he leaves one-third of his estate to his beloved wife, Sally Cotton, and two thirds to his four children, to be divided equally among them. He specifically leaves one negro girl, Mason, to William Madison; another, Harriet Jones, to daughter Caroline; and still another, Viney, to Gary. He then specifies that each of the three negro girls shall be loaned to his beloved wife until each of the children shall arrive to lawful age or marry.
      The inventory of William Henry Cotton's estate taken on the 15th of December 1842 indicates that this was a family of some wealth. In addition to four pages of personal possessions, farming implements and stored crops, twenty four slaves are listed by name: Allen, Willis, Jim, Hubbard, Isham, Jacob, Jesse, John, Dick, Henry, Little Harriet, Liza, Dolly, Sarah, Malinda, Lewis, big Harriet and her 3 children Mary Chesman and Samson, Viney, Harriet Jones and Mason. The slaves are valued at $5275, the rest of his possessions at $1877. Land and buildings are not included in the inventory. They must have been substantial to support such a large number of people.

      He did leave a will dated 10/4/1842, two months before it was probated. His wife Salty is named executor. The provisions of the will are as follows:
      William Madison Cotton - One negro girl named Mason(?). To him and his heirs forever.
      Daughter Caroline ~ One negro girl named Harriet Jones to her and her heirs forever.
      Cory - One negro girl named Viney to him and his heirs forever.
      Item: It is my will and desire that the three negro girls to wit Mason, harriet Jones and Viney disposed of above be loaned to my beloved wife until each one of my children named above shall arrive to lawful age or marry.
      Item: I leave to my beloved wife Sally Cotton my watch and at her death to my son Cory. Item: It is my will and desire that the remainder of my estate be equally divided into three parts; one-third part of which I loan to my beloved wife Sally Cotton during her life, the other two-thirds to be equally divided between my son Albert R. Cotton, William M. Cotton, Caroline Cotton and Cory Cotton to them and their heirs forever.
      The inventory of the estate included 23 slaves: Lewis, John, Sarah and Dolly, who were inherited from his father, plus Allen, Willis, Jim, Hubbard, Isham, Jacob, Jessee, Dick, Henry, Little Harriet, Liza, Dolly, Malinda, Viney, Harriet Jones, Big Harriet and her three children Mary, Cheeseman and Samson. The total value of the slaves was estimated at S 5275. Livestock, stored crops, farm equipment and supplies were valued at $ 1014. Furniture and personel possessions had a total value estimated at $ 261. Household items of significant value included a sideboard $ 40,dining tables $ 25, three beds at $ 25 each, one bed at $ 15, a trundle bed $ 3, a watch $ 25, a large pine chest $15, buffet $ 8, etc. The plantation was first and foremost a business enterprise. What we do not see is value of land and buildings, slave cabins, etc. Why this is so is not clear to me.
      Between the death of William Henry Cotton in 1842 and the Civil War we have no information about the family. We do not know whether the plantation was sold and the proceeds divided among the children. We do not know what education they received. William Madison Cotton is said to have been a teacher, but where and of what we do not know. Gary Cotton became a doctor, and was a surgeon in the Army of the Confederacy. We know nothing of the lives of Albert and Caroline Cotton.
      pg. 26
    Died 1842 
    Notes 
    • William Henry Cotton 1795 - 1842
      William Henry Cotton was the only son of Gary and Nancy Anne (Harrison) Cotton. He was born about 1795 and was but 10 years old when his father died. It seems clear that he inherited the same plantation which his father, Gary, had inherited from his grandfather, Richard. Four of the slaves named in William Henry Cotton's will in 1842 are the same as those named in the inventory of the estate of his father thirty-seven years later.
      He married Sarah "Sally" Weathers Parsons on 3/7/1816. They were both about 21 years old. She was the daughter of Henry Parsons (1749-? ) and his second wife Hannah Stacy (1769-1826), whom he married in 1793. Her half brother was Col. William Parsons, who had been a captain in the Continental Cavalry and was a prominent figure in Sussex County. The Parsons were also very early settlers in the Virginia Colony [2]
    Person ID I3022  Booth Family
    Last Modified 28 Mar 2014 

    Father COTTON Carey-Cary,   b. 12 Mar 1765, Sussex County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1805  (Age 39 years) 
    Mother HARRISON Nancy Ann,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married 11 Dec 1792  Sussex County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F1070  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family PARSONS Sarah (Sally) Weathers,   b. 1795-1796, Sussex County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1860  (Age 65 years) 
    Married 7 Mar 1816  Sussex County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • He married Sarah "Sally" Weathers Parsons on 3/7/1816. They were both about 21 years old. She was the daughter of Henry Parsons (1749-? ) and his second wife Hannah Stacy (1769-1826), whom he married in 1793. Her half brother was Col. William Parsons, who had been a captain in the Continental Cavalry and was a prominent figure in Sussex County. The Parsons were also very early settlers in the Virginia Colony

      William Henry and Sally seem to have had no children in the early years after they were married. William Madison Cotton, who is believed to be the oldest child was not born until after they had been married ten years. Unfortunately, like his father Gary before him, William Henry Cotton died at the relativelyyoung age of 47, in 1842, while all his children were still under age.

      On March 7,1816, at age 20, she married William Henry Cotton, also aged 20 or 21 [2]
    Children 
     1. COTTON Alert R.,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. COTTON Caroline,   d. Yes, date unknown
     3. COTTON William Madison,   b. 3 Jun 1826, Sussex County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Jun 1883, Surry, Surry County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 57 years)
     4. Dr. COTTON Gary,   b. 1837, Sussex County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 5 Mar 2014 
    Family ID F1055  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - Abt 1795 - Sussex County, VA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 7 Mar 1816 - Sussex County, VA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsWill - 1842 - Sussex County, VA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Sources 
    1. [S296] Rogers Family Assoc, Rogers Family Assoc (Reliability: 3).

    2. [S1212] Cotton family tree, Owner: Pat Reynolds, (Compiled and Supplied by Robert L. Bartlett of Juno Beach, FL to Pat Johnson Reynolds) (Reliability: 3).