Ancestral Family Topic 460

 460   Benjamin Abbott (c.1730-1804)
Pedigree Chart 08

Benjamin Abbott, in his own words
If he could speak to us today, Benjamin Abbott might describe his life as follows.

I was no less than sixteen in 1750 when my name appeared on a Lunenburg County tax list. I lived between Difficult and Terrible creeks in what became Halifax County in 1752 and near my brother Joseph Abbott who came to Halifax County from King and Queen County about 1765.
Court records reveal that I got off on the wrong foot in Halifax County. I was charged once with the colonial equivalent of tax evasion and twice for assault and battery. Although convicted on neither assault charge, I did have to put up a peace bond. Just after Mr. Clement Read, the first attorney licensed to practice in Halifax County, defended me against a charge of resisting arrest, the court ordered the construction of the county stock and pillory.
I settled down and got married about 1760 when my first son, Elisha, was born. My wife, whose name never appears in any records, brought me seven children before she died about 1770. My legal problems behind me, the court summoned me to serve on juries and put me in charge of maintaining some roads in my neighborhood.
Although too old to fight during the Revolution, I did provide the army some provisions, including 1,200 pounds of beef. 
After some of my Halifax neighbors began planning to move to North Carolina, I decided to join them. So beginning in 1795, I sold my land and “Negroes” to my sons and daughters. Having never learned to write my name, I marked my deeds with B.
In Stokes County, I lived with my son Joseph. He was a fighter like his dad, and he drank too. I died in 1804, never to see what became of him.

In 1750 Benjamin Abbott appeared as a tithe in Lunenburg County, in that area that became Halifax County in 1752. Among his neighbors on the list was Richard Brown,  whose deed places Benjamin on the branches of Terrible Creek next to Richard Brown, Marston Green, and Thomas Tunstall. 

While some place Benjamin as the son of Joseph Abbott, they were more likely brothers.
No wife relinquished her dower right when Benjamin sold land in 1771. Nor have we found any hint who his wife may have been. Although they named a son Armistead Abbott, we can find no connection to that family.

His appearances in court
Since he was at least 16 in 1750, Benjamin was born by 1734. He was certainly old enough for both William Marable and William Mayes to sue him in Halifax County Court in 1752.  When the sheriff could not find him, the court awarded an attachment against his estate. 
This was not the only appearance for Benjamin in the court system. In 1753 a Halifax County grand jury indicted him for trespass, assault and battery,  and the attorney for the King heard he was evading taxes by “concealing tithables.”  They dismissed the assault charge.  The same year Robert Sims brought a complaint against Benjamin that was evidently very serious. The court ordered the sheriff to hold Benjamin until he gave security for his good behavior for one year. To ensure his performance, they demanded a bond of £20 from Benjamin, £10 from his securities, and they made him pay the costs of the court proceedings. 
Benjamin was obviously uncooperative. Thomas Nash, “Prosecutor for the King,” informed the court that “Benjamin Abbot is guilty of opposing the Sherif in the execution of his office.” Benjamin employed the county’s prominent attorney and Nash’s brother-in-law, Clement Read, who reported to the court that Benjamin plead “not guilty” to the charges. 
Benjamin went ahead and gave a £20 recognizance bond and Nathaniel Hunt and Benjamin Wade each put up a £10 bond. It is perhaps only coincidental that on the same court record page that described Benjamin “opposing the Sherif” the court “Ordered the Sherif to agree with workmen to erect stocks & pillory for the use of the County.”
In 1753 Benjamin was in court again, but this time as a plaintiff. His attorney, Clement Read, successfully argued for a judgement against James Anderson for £2.13.1.  Through the fall of 1753, Benjamin twice declined to appear to respond to the assault and battery charges.  In Oct. 1753 Mary Green brought assault and battery charges against Abbott. In Feb. 1754 the county dropped these charges at the consent of both parties and Benjamin agreed to pay the court costs.  Yet his earlier trespass, assault and battery case continued. We do not know the outcome.
John Owen sued both Benjamin Abbott and Richard Brown for a debt in March 1758 but the court dismissed the suit in June 1759.  Benjamin successfully sued Thomas Forsythe for £6.14 in Sept. 1760. 
In 1763 Benjamin was summoned as a juror and was appointed the surveyor of the road from Difficult Creek to Chandler’s Bridge.  The next year the county justices ordered Benjamin, Richard Brown, and others to appraise the personal estate of John Smith. 
Illiterate, Benjamin marked all legal documents with a B.  Both Benjamin Abbott and Joseph Abbott witnessed a deed with Thomas Tunstall of King William County in Halifax County 16 July 1767. 

His plantations
In 1770 Richard Brown sold Benjamin 200 acres on Difficult Creek next to Thomas Tunstall, among others, for £50, which Benjamin sold to William Clark of Halifax County 20 May 1771.  Witnesses were Paul Carrington, Isaac Read, Haynes Morgan, and R. Williams.
On 20 May 1773 Benjamin purchased 404 acres on the south side of the Banister River from the estate of Clement Read Jr. 
When Benjamin gave his son Elisha 170 acres on Bye Creek in 1783 again no wife relinquished her dower right in the land.  We presume Elisha was Benjamin’s eldest son and was born about 1760. Later deeds reveal that Benjamin had at least 7 children and we know he was head of a household of 7 in 1785. 
When William Pearman sold a tract of undisclosed acreage to Benjamin Abbott in 1788, William Goodwin, Elisha Abbott, and Nanny Abbott witnessed the deed.  Nanny was Benjamin’s daughter who would marry Goodwin the next year.
When John Dyer sold Benjamin 242 acres on Coles Road in 1793, 4 sons, Elisha Abbott, Armistead Abbott, James Abbott, and Joseph Abbott, witnessed the deed,  and Elisha, Joseph, and Jacob were witnesses when Benjamin sold 165 acres on the south side of Terrible Creek to William Goodwin in 1794. No wife relinquished her dower right. 
In 1795 Benjamin sold land on the Banister River to two sons: Joseph got 155 acres on the south side and Jacob 200 acres on the north.  Likewise the next year, Benjamin sold 119 acres on the river to James and 100 acres to Armistead.  To “do equal right and justice to the rest of my children” Benjamin gave one slave each to James, Elizabeth, and Jacob Abbott in 1796. 

Off to North Carolina
Benjamin Abbott moved to Stokes County, N.C., with some Priddys and Carrs and died in North Carolina in 1804.

Descendants of Benjamin Abbott
Information about the children of Benjamin Abbott, their descendants, and allied families previously found at is now available as Southside Virginia Genealogies. Learn more 
Names found in this topic include the following.
 Elisha Abbott (c.1760-1837),  
 Armistead Abbott (-1840),  
Frances Priddy,  George Priddy,  Penelope Davis,  
Jane Abbott,  Fewell Fulton,  
Alice Abbott,  John Reddick,  
Mary Frances Abbott,  Joel Fulton,  
Elizabeth Abbott,  Henry M. Burton,  
John Jenkins Abbott,  Martha Ann Shackleford,  
William Abbott,  Milly Fulton,  
Davis Abbott,  Elizabeth Cinderella Abbott,   
Mary Abbott,  James George Bowman,  
Jacob L. Abbott,  Elizabeth Young,  
 Nancy (Abbott) Goodwin,  
William Goodwin,  
Elizabeth Goodwin,  
Joan Goodwin,  
Anne Goodwin,  
 Joseph Abbott (-1818),  
Elizabeth Priddy,  George Priddy Sr.,  Penelope Davis,  Jane Priddy,  John Carr,   
Moses Lawson,  
Dr. Andrew Bowman,  
Nancy Abbott,  Ezekiel Shelton,  
Benjamin Abbott,  Elizabeth Wood,  
Joseph Abbott,  Alice Abbott,   
Elizabeth Cinderella Abbott,  Davis Abbott,   
Elisha Abbott,  
Frances Abbott,  
George Abbott,  
Levinia Abbott,  William Bibb Priddy,  
Jane Abbott,  Samuel Shackleford,  
Margaret Abbott,  Peter Smith,  
Martha Jane Smith,  Hill,  
William A. Smith,  Emily J. Reddick,  
Nancy Catherine Smith,  Gideon A. Simmons,  
 Elizabeth (Abbott) Wyatt,  
Jasper Wyatt,  
 James Abbott,  
Allen Whitehead,  
 Jacob Abbott,  
Benjamin Hubbard,  
Polly Dickson,   

Selected sources
The Priddy Family Association, The Priddy Family in America, Elizabethtown, Kentucky: The Priddy Family Association, 1981:32-35, 145-148. • Includes family of Frances Priddy and Armistead Abbott, Elizabeth Priddy and Joseph Abbott, and Jane Priddy who married John Carr.

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