Will of Nelson Burruss 1777-1853 Louisa County, Virginia
I, Nelson Burruss of the County of Louisa, do make this my last will and testament.
1st - I lend to my wife Lavinia Burruss, two hundred and two acres of land being the lesser part of the tract I bought of the estate of the late David Bullock, to be taken off at the mouth of the Schoolhouse branch on the north side of the River, thence up the River, to the mouth of a branch making on the River on the south side of the base of the Hill on the east side of the branch to the line until it intersects with the outer line. She is not to cultivate the land oftener than once in three years in corn, not to clear more than three acres in any once year, not to pasture any stock but her own, not to commit any waste nor suffer it to be done by others. Should I effect the purchase of sixty acres of land from David T. Johnson, as is my present purpose, I add that to her use under the same restrictions and tennure I have the other land loaned her. I add that to her use under the same restrictions and tennure I have the other land loaned her. I lend to my wife my negro woman, Susan, and the five children she now has with the future increase of the females. I lend her also my negro man Martin Charles, big Nancy, and Daphnia. I will her as much corn as will suffice her family for one year, as much seed, wheat, and oats as she may want to sow besides fifteen bushels wheat for her table. One thousand pounds meat pork, one ox cat, two yoke oxen, two of my choice horses, four cows, ten stock hogs, ten head stock sheep. One third of my household and kitchen furniture, what plantation tools she may need. These I lend her as long as she remains my widow. Should she marry again, she will have put herself under the protection of another. In that event my will is that she be put to her thirds of the property I have herein designated for her.
2nd - In dividing a portion of my negroes amongst my children, my son Nelson alloted off and assigned to himself a lot of much larger amount than any of the rest of my children, as to this time, he refuses to pay the excess or give his gond to do so at some future day carrying interest. Now if he thus continues to refuse doing justice to the rest of my children, until the death of the survivor of myself or wife, my will is in the ahppening of that event, that the amount of the excess with legal interest, sahll be deducted from an equal portion he would otherwise get at the death of the survivor or me and wife. I have dded to my nelson that part of the land I have reserved a life estate in for myself and wife, as well as that in which he is now in possession of. I am not mistaken when I say that there was at least an implied agreement on his part, to redeed me, one hundred acres of the upper part in which I am now building, this he now refuses to do, unless I pay him more than what he is to pay me. Now my will is that upon the death of the survivor of me and wife, my executors get three judged of the worth of buildings, and let them value the building of every description, and he must pay the amount in addition to the price he is to pay me for the land, and it shall be deducted from an equal portion of the property reserved for the support of myself and wife at the final division to that amount. I perceive a clause in the deed that my son, Nelson, had it inserted, that if my wife survives me, he is to have the sole directiion and control of the land reserved for our support. He had as warrant from me to have this done, nor shall my wife be under the control and direction of any one as long as she remains my widow. Now if he obstructs or controls her in the use of this land other than the restrictions I have in this will laid her under my will and that he shall have
no lot or part of the property of any sort, that may be on hand at the final divisions. Should I not live to complete the building I am now about, for a residence for myself and wife, let it be done for her and should the necessary out building not be completed necessary for her convenience during my life, she may keep my negroes Henry and Sam two years to have this done. I appoint my son Clevears D. Burruss, William Gathright, and Jame Henry Melton to execute this my Will enjoining on them to attend to the interest and comfort of my wife.
Witness my hand and Seal this tenth day of May 1851
Witness E. W. Jones Jos W. Anderson Alphonso A. Gray
Nelson Burruss [seal]
I Nelson Burruss of the County of Louisa do ordain this to be a Codicil to a will hertofore made by me. I hereby ratify and confirm all and every clause and item contained in that will:
2nd - My will is that the property of every kind that may be on hand at the death of the survivor of me and wife shall be equally divided between my children: John P. Burruss, Cleavears D. Burruss, Richard H. Burruss, James T. Burruss, William B. Burruss, Roger D. Burruss, and my daughters Lucy Jane Gathright and Louisa Ann Melton
My will is that the portions that may fall to the lot of my son John T., Cleavears D., Richard H., and William B., be held in the hands of William Gathright and James Henry Melton in trust for their benefit during their lives. Should they leave wife to their benefit as long as they remain their widows, and then to go to their children.
4th - Lest my son Nelson shall trust himself overlooked or forementioned, I give and bequeath to him, and heirs, one dollar out of the property reserved for the maintenance for myself and wife, during our respective lives. But if he will abide by the provisions of my Will in every item and clause therein, to the letter and spirit, then and in that case, let him come in and partake equally with the rest of my children at the final division, but should he litigate my will by suit, then and in that event, let the dollar legacy be his portion. I appoint the same executors to execute this supplement, as I have in my will herein referred to.
Given under my hand and seal this twenty-fourth day of July, eighteen hundred and fifty one
Nelson Burruss [seal]
Teste F. W. Jones Jos. W. Anderson Alphonso A. Gray
With the view of providing for circumstance as they occured, I, Nelson Burruss, do add this Codicil to the Will and Codicil heretofore made by me. I satisfy and confirm all and every tiem therein contained
1st - Having at the beginning of this year given off to my children, a parcel of negroes, with the understanding that they should be equally divided amongst them, all as nearly could be this they have not done. Some have much larger portions than others and have refused to give their bonds, payable at a future day, or pay to those having the lesser poirtions. So as to make all equal as they ought have been done, I have been so much blamed and annoyed by some of them, as to render this year anything but a year of Jubilee to me.
2nd - In consideration of these circumstances, my will is that my executors will not divide any more of my property until those having the larger portions shall pay from their own resources, with interest from last January, to those having the lesser poirtions, so as to make all equal. Should this not be done duriing my life, and my wife survives me, let my two men, Henry and Sam be kept for her use untill it is done. At the death of my wife, or the survivor of us, my son Nelson will according to contract, be entitled to the 202 acres of land reserved for our maintenance, the purchase money falls due at the same time, my executors must withhold the possession of this land, until the whole of the purchase money is paid and cultivate or rent it, for the benefit of all my children. When this is done, add it to my other property and let one division suffice for all. I appoint the same executors to this Codicil as I have to my will and other Codicil.
In testimony I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this sixth day of November, One thouse eight hundred and fifty one (1851)
Nelson Burruss [seal]
Witness Thomas R. Walton Andrew W. Waller
Nelson Burruss born in 1777, was the youngest son of the Rev. John Burruss and Rachel Terrell Burruss. His father died when he was less than a year old. Nelson grew up in the home of his stepfather Thomas Hackett, and his 3 Burruss brothers, and 3 Hackett half brothers. In 1797, Nelson married Lucy Burnley Duke. The couple had six sons, all survived to adulthood, except one. Lucy Duke Burruss died in 1810 a month after giving birth to their sixth son, Nelson Burruss (infamously mentioned in this will). Their children were
John Pettus Burruss 1801-1875 who married Sarah Missouri Bass Clevears Duke Burruss born 1803 who married Mary Turner in 1825. Richard Henry Burruss 1805-circa 1865 who married his first cousin Elizabeth "Betty" P. Burruss in 1858 Chiles Terrell Burrus 1806 and died in 1821 at the age of 14 James Thomas Burruss born 1808 (nothing more is known) Nelson Burruss born 1810. Last appeared in Virginia in the 1850 census.
In 1816, Nelson Burruss married Lavinia Crawford. This couple had seven children:
Lucy Jane Burruss born 1818 who married William Gathright. William Byron Burruss born 1821 who married Mary E. Tinsley Louisa Ann Burruss born 1823 who married James Henry Melton Infant born 1825 died 1826 Roger DeCoverly Burruss 1827-1907 who married Elizabeth Ann Ragland Martha W. Burruss born 10-13-1830 died the same day Bickerton Overton Burruss born 1826 and died in his youth.
Nelson Burruss died 5-6-1853 at the age of 76. Lavinia died 2-22-1855 at the age of 61. A search for what became of Nelson Burruss, his son, remains a mystery. He last appeared in the 1850 census of Virginia. A search of other states, and other years did not locate him.