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Estate of Baton Hattaway (ca. 1792-1876)


Newspaper Obituary

Petition for Letters Testamentary

Probate, Baton Hattaway: Will

State of Georgia
Washington County
     In the name of God Amen: 
          I Baton Hataway of said State and County being of advanced age, but of sound and disposing mind and memory knowing that I must shortly depart this life deem it right and proper both as respecting my family and myself that I should make a disposition of the property with which a kind providence has blest me. I do therefore make this my last will and testament hereby revoking and annuling all others heretofore made by me: first: I desire and direct that my body be buried in a decent and Christian like maner suitable to my circumstances and condition in life. My Soul I trust will return to God who gave it - as I hope for Salvation through the merits and atonements of the Blessed Savior Lord Jesus Christ. Second I desire all my indebtedness be paid without delay and all that is due me collected by my executor hereinafter named and appointed: Third I give and bequeath unto my wife Martha five dollars. Fourth: I give and bequeath unto my daughter Frances one bed : Fifth I give and bequeath unto Wm H May my Shot Gun: Sixth: I desire direct all the balance of my property equally divided among all my heirs to wit: my land and stock and rent due. Seventh: I hereby constitute and appoint my Son Nathan Hataway Executor of this my last will and testament, this Apr 23d 1875
                                                                          Baton   x   Hataway 
Signed Sealed declared and published by Baton Hataway as his last will and testament in the presence of us the undersigned who Subscribed our names  hereto in the presence of our testator at his Special instance and request and in the presence of each other this Apr 23- 1875
                                                                                                Kincheon May 
                                                                                                George W. Staveley
                                                                                                A B Hataway

You George W. Staveley do swear that you saw Baton Hataway sign declare and publish the within and foregoing instrument as his last will and testament. That at the time of the execution of the same he was of sound and deposing mind and memory that he signed the same in the presence of Kincheon May, George W. Staveley and A B Hataway who each signed the same as witnesses the presence of Testator and in the presence of each other that the same was done voluntarially without compulsion or any undue influence whatever. Sworn to before me this 7th February 1876
Clement C Brown                                           George W   x   Stavely 
               Ordinary WC                                                       mark

Source: Washington County Georgia Court of Ordinary, Will Book B, p. 335

Newspaper Obituary of Baton Hattaway

From the Thursday, Jan 27 1876 issue of the Sandersville Herald and Georgian: "Baton Hataway, one of the oldest citizens of this county, died on the night of the 20th instant. He professed faith in Christ last summer and joined the Methodist church. He was about 85 years old."

Source: Evans, Tad. Washington County Georgia Newspaper Clippings. Vol. II (1867-1880), p. 232. 1506 Stillwood Drive, Savannah, GA 31419: Self-published, 1994. (Also available on microfiche from the LDS Family History Library.)

Probate, Baton Hattaway: Petition for Letters Testamentary

February Term 1876
Georgia, Washington County

To the Court of Ordinary of Said county
The petition of Nathan Hataway respectfully showeth that Baton Hataway late of said county died testate leaving a will bearing date 25 April 1875 That he died on      January 1876 leaving a wife and Nathan Hataway, John Hataway, Benj O Hataway, Alfred B Hataway, Penny Hataway Ann Giles wife of N B Giles Polly Curry widow of John Curry Francis Hataway and the wife and children of Jack Hataway residing in the State of Alabama Lee Hataway's widow residing in the county of Washington where all the Legatees other than Jack Hataways children also reside.

That his property consists of notes and accounts, House hold & Kitchen funrature all of the aggregate value of Six Hundred Dollars-- And your petitioner is the Executor duly named in said Will and he is desirious of proving the same in common form upon the testimony of Geo W Stavely one of the subscribing witnesses-- And your petitioner prays that upon such proff being had that Letters Testamentary do issue to him in terms of the Statute.

Langmade & Evans Atty for Excr.

Upon hearing the above petition and upon the testimony of George W Stavely who came into open court and was examined as to the competency & execution of the paper purporting to be the Will of Baton Hataway says that Baton Hataway at the time of the execution of said Will was of sound and deposing mind and memory, that the same was executed voluntarilyand without any undue influence or compulsion whatever, but the same was his free and voluntary act & deed and that he signed the same in the presence of the Testator with the other witnesses who saw said Testator sign the same in the presence of said witnesses and all done at his special instance and request.

Whereupon it is ordered and considered by the court that the same be admitted to record as proven in common form and that letters Testamentary do issue to said Nathan Hataway in terms of the law.

Clement C. Brown Ordny W C

Whereas the Cash in the county Treasury is insufficient to pay off the Pauper Scrip of the county and whereas the holders of said scrip can get provisions at cash prices on said said where 12 percent per annum is allowed.

It is therefore ordered that 12 percent per annum be allowed on pauper scrip from the date of its issue and that the Treasurer is hereeby authorized to pay said interest with the principlal out and any county funds coming into his hands.

Feb 7th 1876

Clement C. Brown Ordinary

Source: Washington County Georgia Court of Ordinary, February Term 1876, p. 320

The list of legatees is interesting. Baton's surviving sons appear to be listed in birth order: Nathan, John, B. O. and A. B. The wife of his eldest son David J ("Jack"), who is known to be deceased, is listed as is the widow of Leonidas ("Lee"). Thomas L. M. Hattaway is not mentioned at all. Jack's wife Elizabeth is known from census records and probably died about 1884, as a quitclaim deed was filed in January 1885 by B. O., A. B. and Francis Hattaway and Ann Giles. The deed is in favor of Mary Ann Joiner, unknown except from that document. Jack's children are not evident from Alabama census records; however the family has not been found in the 1860 census. 

The name after "Alfred B Hataway" has been previously transcribed as "Henry" but the initial letter is nothing like the numerous other H's in the document. The only known Penny Hattaway in Washington County was Penny Stavely Hattaway, probably the widow of John B. Hattaway; this information is from her son John Penny Hattaway's death certificate and I have no other information on John B. Hattaway. Baton and Martha Hattaway had some daughters whose marriages/fates are not known so it is not impossible that the Penny Hattaway mentioned in this document is an unmarried older daughter. Other transactions and census records show that Penny Hattaway and her children were very close to Baton and Martha but her exact relationship is unknown. If she is not a daughter, she is the only person listed who is not a member of the immediate nuclear family.

While the sons appear to be listed in birth order the same does not appear to hold for the daughters. Ann Giles (b. 1827) is younger than Mary Curry (b. 1819) but by 1876 Mary Curry had been declared an imbecile and was under a guardianship. In addition, Ann's husband N. B. Giles seemed to have a very high standing in the community, based on numerous newspaper references. Francis is the youngest daughter and is the only child left a specific bequest in the will. Jack and Lee's widows are not named, although as stated previously Jack's wife Elizabeth is known from census records. Leonidas appears on the 1850 census as a 19 year old but no other reference to him has been found, nor is his wife's name known. 

Curiously, Baton's presumed daughter Martha Hattaway Amerson is known to be alive, married and living in Washington County in 1876 but she and her family are not mentioned, nor is she listed on the Alabama quitclaim deed (neither is John Hattaway). There is the possibility that one of Baton and Martha's unknown daughters was Lucresia Hattaway, who married John Giles and bore a son, Andrew, before dying at a young age. Andrew Giles is also not mentioned as a legatee. By 1876 he was the 26 year old son of a well-to-do Bibb County farmer.


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Last updated: Wednesday, March 26, 2003 09:16 AM
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