Avery Mustain Will

Here is the Avery Mustain will as another family researcher listed it from the Pittsylvania County will book. Spelling is unchanged.

The record of Avery’s Revolutionary War Service, from his pension request, is also on this blog. Grave location is listed under details of his military service.

Avery Mustain Headstone

Avery Mustain (1756-1833)

Pittsylvania County Virginia Will Book 1, 242-243

“I Avery Mustain of the County of Pittsylvania and State of VA.  First I and give unto my beloved, wife, Mary Mustain the tract of land whereon I now live containing upwards of 500 acres more or less….at her death…….to be equally divided between my 4 sons, Joel Mustain, Haley Mustain, Shadrack Mustain and Thomas Mustain.  But my said wife is not to interupt my sons Joel and Haley or interfere with them in the the cultivation of their respective plantations on which they now live, which constitutes a part of the aforesaid tract.

In the division after the death of my wife my son Joel’s 1/4 part is to be laid off as to include the plantation whereon he now lives, and my son Haley’s part so laid off as to include the plantation whereon he now lives, and the balance so divided equally between my sons Shadrach and Thomas as to give to my son Thomas the house in which I now live.  I lend to my wife during her natural life all my slaves.  After the death of my wife I direct that all my slaves shall equally be divided between my children, Drury Mustain, Haley Mustain, Shadrach Mustain, Polly Dove, Thomas Mustain and Elizabeth Shelton.  I lend to my daughter Elizabeth Shelton the tract of land whereon she and her husband Littleberry Shelton now live…..containing 100 acres during her life….at her death I direct that the same be equally divided between her children.

After the payment of my just debts by my executors I give unto my wife Mary during her life all the rest of my estate….at her death to be equally divided between my children, Drury, Joel, Haley, Shadrach, and Thomas Mustain, Polly Dove, and Elizabeth Shelton.  After the death of my said wife, if there be enough of the pershable part of my estate to do so, that my grandson, Clark Mustain, be paid the sum of $100…..I do appojnt my son Joel Mustain and my friend Abraham C Shelton my executors.  Signed Avory Mustain April 21, 1829.  Witnesses:  William A Easley, Vincent Shelton, Jr., David Glenn”.

NOTES:  He only gives land to four sons, no mention of Drury. After the death of his wife he wants all his slaves equally divided between my children DRURY, Haley, Shadrach, and Thomas, Polly and Elizabeth Shelton.  This listing excludes Joel, however, he is listed in the dividing of the “rest of my estate” after the death of his wife. His daughter, Saluda, had died in [year] before the date of the will.

Later Sale of 39 Acres

Abstracted this item from Virginia’s Descendants – Featured Family – Avery Mustaine

Pittsylvania County Virginia, Deed Book, “Sept 3, 1836, Mary Mustain widow of Avery., dec, Joel Mustain and William Pannill as commissioner who conveys Haley, Shadrach and Thomas Mustain to Joseph Younger and Armistead Younger 39 acres, sold for $234.00.”

NOTES:  This indicates that Haley, Shadrach and Thomas Mustain had left Virginia by 1836.

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Thomas Mustain Children

Thomas Mustain and Mary Haley Mustain had 11 children, born from about 1750 to 1774.

I’ve found that many family researchers have entered data on Thomas’ descendents into programs like myheritage.com, geni.com, or onegreatfamily.com…if you want to join any of those services. So far, I have not found an easy way to share details entered in those formats. However, rootsweb in ancestry.com and familytreemaker at geneology.com allow descending, clickable links. In this post, I’ll share a list of Thomas’ and Mary’s children from each, because the two lists are different (note that the familytreemaker list is from Carolyn Mckenzie’s excellent research).

Some differences in the two lists of Thomas Mustain children:

Children are listed in different order, and the details given are not complete in either. I checked dates for any difference. The rootsweb list does not include Tabetha, and the familytreemaker list has spelled her name as Tabitha. We see Rebeckah and Rebecca. If we look at Thomas’ will, we confirm Tabetha and Rebecca. Avery’s birth date is listed first as Feb 16 1756, then as Feb 26, 1756.

To preserve your ability to click through to other details where available, I have not changed any format or content of either list. The rootsweb link also contains some research details for Thomas, two segments of which are included on this page. Links in the first list have a few spouses and more details for Avery, but clicking on links in the 2nd list of children will give you much more information and let you move into other generations. I have not compared dates or other details as one clicks though for more information.

Thomas Mustain House

Original fieldstone is still visible in the dining room.

As I looked closely at both lists of children and birthdates, I had to wonder where the family lived as each child was born.  Since Thomas’ first land grant was in 1753, it seems unlikely that any child before Milly (about 1755), Winifred (Winney – about 1756), or Avery (1756) could have been born in the historic home that is still standing. Some estimate the home to be built as late as 1769, but that date could refer to additions made by Jesse.

The first record of Thomas Mustain is in 1748, he is on the list of Tiltable. I could not find any information about him before this date.

Thomas received his first land grant Feb. 5, 1753 from King George II of England, signed by Robert Dinwiddle. It consisted of 400 acres in Luneburg co., on Poplar Branch of Mill Creek…

Thomas Mustain’s home is still standing in Pittsylvania Co., VA, even though it was built nearly 200 years ago. Thomas’s home was built ca 1769. Thomas, his sons Jesse and Avery, and his son-in-law-s father Littleberry Patterson built their homes within 15 miles of each other.

Marriage 1 Mary Haley b: WFT Est 1726

  • Married: WFT Est 1750 in Pittsylvania county, Virginia

Children

  1. Anna Mustain b: WFT Est 1750 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
  2. Jesse Mustain b: WFT Est 1750 in Gretna, Pittsylvania Co., VA
  3. Rebeckah Mustain b: ABT 1752
  4. Molley Mustain b: WFT Est 1752
  5. Milly Mustain b: ABT 1755
  6. Winifred Mustain b: ABT 1756
  7. Avery MUSTAIN b: 16 FEB 1756 in Camden Parish, Pittsylvania Co., Va.
  8. Salley Mustain b: ABT 1767
  9. Saludy Mustain b: 1772 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
  10. Mary Ann Mustain b: ABT 1774

Descendants of Thomas Mustain

Generation No. 1

1. THOMAS1 MUSTAIN was born 1725 in Halifax, Lunenberg Co., Virginia, and died 1791 in Pittsylvania Co., VA. He married MARY HALEY 1748-1750 in VA.
     
Children of THOMAS MUSTAIN and MARY HALEY are: 

 

i.

  MOLLEY2 MUSTAIN, m. JOHN PATTERSON, June 30, 1794, Pittsylvania Co., VA.
 

ii.

  MARY ANN MUSTAIN.
2.

iii.

  TABITHA MUSTAIN.
3.

iv.

  WINIFRED MUSTAIN.
 

v.

  REBECCA MUSTAIN.
4.

vi.

  ANNA MUSTAIN, b. Abt. 1750, Pittsylvania Co., VA; d. 186-1820, KY.
5.

vii.

  JESSE MUSTAIN, b. 1750, Gretna, Pittsylvania Co., VA; d. June 1794, Gretna, Pittsylvania Co., VA.
6.

viii.

  AVERY MUSTAIN, b. February 26, 1756, Camden Parish, Pittsylvania Co., VA; d. August 31, 1833, Camden Parish, Pittsylvania Co., VA.
 

ix.

  SALLEY MUSTAIN, b. Abt. 1767; m. PRICE SKINNER, June 30, 1794, Pittsylvania Co., VA.
7.

x.

  MILDRED MUSTAIN, b. 1770-1780, VA; d. August 1838, VA.
8.

xi.

  SALUDY MUSTAIN, b. 1772, Pittsylvania Co., VA; d. 1812, Chimney Rock, Gallia Co., OH.

If you can add information from your family stories or research, please leave a comment and share details and/or online links with our extended family.

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Revolutionary War History: Well-Researched Novel

To the women in our family, I can recommend Daughters of the Revolution and Their Times 1769 – 1776 (A Historical Romance).   

The text was very helpful to me in understanding not only the well-researched events, but how these events might have affected the daily lives, actions and feelings of colonists. This is a source that can help bring history to life.*

For example, I had no idea that Parliament had passed legislation to make each colony a separate trade entity. Someone in New Hampshire with goods to sell to Boston could not simply transport them to Boston. He had to find an English ship and transport goods to England. Then the goods had to be transferred to another English ship and transported back to Boston…with the seller paying all costs and duties. Colonists had withstood these sorts of rulings from Parliament since 1696…more than 50 years!

1765 Broadside

This 1765 Broadside calls for the resignation of Andrew Oliver, Distributor of Stamps. Public Domain image from Wikipedia

With the Stamp Act, windows were broken by angry Boston citizens at the home of a British official. This resulted in the first two British Regiments being sent to occupy the city. Solders marched, idled away their time, drank and generally were rude, disruptive and dangerous to the colonists.

When the tax on tea was proposed, it was not excessive…the principal of taxation without representation was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Many mothers and daughters of Boston signed an oath to drink no more tea, and most were faithful for three years before the tax law became official. This resulted in huge surplus supplies of tea in London warehouses and hundreds of thousands of pounds in loss for the British-owned tea company. Several ships arrived with loads of tea, which the Boston colonists refused to be unloaded. A stalemate prevented ship captains from leaving without their ships being confiscated and themselves perhaps prosecuted for treason. British governors were deaf to firm negotiation from The Sons of Liberty…all of which escalated into the Boston Tea Party.

Through this novel, I better understand the early years of conflict that lead into Avery Mustain’s Revolutionary War service.

Here’s another resource that I look forward to viewing:

Sons of Liberty is a 1939 American short drama film directed by Michael Curtiz, which tells the story of Haym Solomon. It won an Academy Award in 1940 for Best Short Subject (two reels).

If you have favorite books or links, please leave a post and share with our family.

*I read the Kindle version, which was available at no cost when I downloaded. If you don’t own a Kindle, Amazon.com offers free apps for computers and mobile devices. I really love the Kindle for iPhone app, which is with me anywhere I’m waiting with a few minutes to read.

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Hooked on My Family History: Rebecca Musteen Johnson

I can tell you exactly when I became entranced with my family history.

One month before my 12th birthday, I was resting fretfully at St. John’s Hospital in Tulsa, OK after surgery to remove my right kidney (due to a birth defect, which had been undetected earlier). The actual procedure was far more fearful to Mother than me…I was greatly relieved to be done with weeks of irritating and painful tests.

My main problem was entertainment. I’d read ALL the classic Nancy Drew mysteries on the top shelf of our Candy Striper’s gray rolling trolley, and Mother had gone back to Northwest Arkansas to tend my three younger siblings.

Grandma Musteen Came and Shared My Family History

Dad’s 76-year-old Mama* arrived to sit with me and told me stories we had never enjoyed the solitude to share. While I dined on broth, weak tea and any flavor of Jell-O that my heart desired, she shared tales that were far more flavorful.

Jennie Brown Musteen

Jennie Brown Musteen with the 6th of her 12 grandchildren…me.

Her grandfather was a solid Ozark farmer with eight children. For his main livelihood, he tanned hides in an earthen pit, filled with tanning chemicals. Northwest Arkansas was just slightly south of the Mason-Dixon Line, so his pit was covered with branches and leaves to conceal it from armed bands of post-Civil War raiders from both sides.  

Food was precious. One story told of his youngest, Mary, crying for the warm bread her mother had just taken from the oven…after “Bushwhackers” rode into the yard and rudely stole it away.

Butterfield Overland Trail

Butterfield Overland Trail

To supplement his family income before the Civil War, John drove a Butterfield Stage from a point in MO to Fort Smith, AR on a regular route. Great-Great-Grandpa’s route went right through that upper corner of AR, which you can see in the official trail map. Grandma specifically mentioned that he stopped at the Elkhorn Tavern. I’ve searched the Butterfield records and found that it was an unofficial, but popular stop.  

Prior to the Civil War, the house was used for many purposes, although it was well-known locally as a stop for the Overland Stage. Although the Butterfield Stage passed by on the Telegraph Road, the Elkhorn Tavern was not an official stop on the Butterfield line. During this period, the Tavern was described as a place “of abundant good cheer”.

Wait! While Grandma was describing the tavern, I knew something about it. In my 5th-grade class, the silver-haired granddaughter of the tavern’s Civil War-era managers came to share her mother’s unforgettable, youthful memories from The Battle of Pea Ridge. The tavern was occupied as the field hospital by Army surgeons, who worked tirelessly to remove shattered limbs and save as many lives as possible.

Now, my region’s history, my country’s history, was also my family history! (Dad’s mamma was born in 1887 and would have been close in age to the kind woman who shared her mother’s Civil War memories with our class.)

It was Cox, who later renamed it Elkhorn Tavern. Under Cox’ management, the structure served as a trading post, an unofficial Butterfield Overland Mail stop, post office, voting place, eating establishment, church of the Benton County Baptist Society and inn. As the war moved near, Jesse Cox left the tavern to the care of his son and daughter-in-law Joseph and Lucinda Pratt Cox and went to Kansas.


The last time I visited Pea Ridge National Military Park, a stretch of bare-earth ruts from Telegraph Road were still visible near the tavern. I stood and thought of my great-great-grandfather driving his coach and team over those ruts.

By a quirk of fate, my only granddaughter now attends Butterfield Trail Elementary School in Fayetteville, AR. Even stranger, the first successful Butterfield stage run was finished on her birth date of September 19—148 years and six family generations before she was born.

The first Butterfield stage entered Forth Smith on Sunday, September 19, 1858, at 2:00 a.m. Its route took it over Fort Smith’s old Washington Street, which today is 2nd Street. Even at that hour, its arrival was greeted with music, cheering, and cannon fire, which continued until the coach left for California.

While it thrills me to know something of my family history, I wish I knew so much more! The last Musteen in my dad’s direct siblings is gone now. My cousins and I never sat down with her and captured her rich trove of memories. We intended to do it “next visit,” “when we get the chance.”

Time didn’t wait for us. If you’re interested in your family history, please grab any opportunity NOW to capture family stories…those treasured memories can live forever.

I’m very fortunate to have history for several generations on three of my grandparents. The main focus of this blog is my dad’s Mustain lineage. I begin with this history because our ancestor, Thomas Mustain, built a home that has stood for more than 250 years. I love that tangible reminder of my heritage. I have no idea why Thomas received a royal land grant, so that’s a subject for future research.

Any blood descendent of Thomas is eligible to join Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). Click here for details about Thomas donating a firearm, and you can also find more information on all requirements at www.dar.org.

Avery and Jesse were both enlisted in the Revolutionary War, so their service records can be used, too.

According to Delores M. Mustaine’s book, The descendents of Thomas Mustain of Pittsylvania County, Virginia; Thomas’ daughter Molley’s father-in-law, Littleberry Patterson, was also a veteran of the Revolutionary War. So far, I’ve found this reference. The online photo archive of Delores’ book has page numbers in the upper right corner…details about Molley and the Patterson family begin in the middle of page 5.

Dad’s grandfather, Nathaniel Baxter Mustain, fought in the Civil War, waited for wages that didn’t come and endured a Union prison camp…more about that in a later post.

Please comment and share this blog with your family members. The details of our family histories are too precious to lose!

*Jennie Lee Brown married Nathaniel Baxter Musteen when she was 23. Only the oldest of Nate’s four surviving children, Walter, raised his own family. More about this in a later post. Four of Jennie and Nate’s seven children gave Jennie 12 grandchildren. Nate died in 1946, so we grandchildren have photos and a few minutes of video made by my Uncle Hubert in the handful of years before Grandpa’s death.  

Hubert: Martha Jane and Sarah Lee Musteen
Mary: Lisle Gene, Bennie Joe and Gail Lou Stevenson
Jack: Debbie, David and Margie Musteen
Joe: Rebecca Gail, Jennie Lynn, Michael Wayne and Barry Twan Musteen

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Avery Mustain Revolutionary War Record and Grave

With Thanksgiving 2012 days away, I count many blessings. Not least of which is that my forefather, Avery Mustain, lived through 5 years of Revolutionary War battles, so that I could one day be born.

Until I found the sworn statement of Avery’s war experience, I had no details of his service or that he was present at the Siege of Yorktown. I wonder if he was aware of George Washington’s presence or the greatness of this event. Avery was 20 years old when he volunteered on Jul 11, 1776 and was detailed to march to Noland’s Ferry on the Potomac river with the prisoners from the Siege of Yorktown.  At Leesburg he received a discharge about the last of Nov 1781.

Surrender of Lord Cornwalis at the Seige of Yorktown

Surrender of Lord Cornwallis at the Seige of Yorktown. Public domain image courtsey of Wikipedia.

The Siege of Yorktown, Battle of Yorktown, or Surrender of Yorktown, the latter taking place on October 19, 1781, was a decisive victory by a combined force of American Continental Army troops led by General George Washington and French Army troops led by the Comte de Rochambeau over a British Army commanded by Lieutenant General Lord Cornwallis. The culmination of the Yorktown campaign, it proved to be the last major land battle of the American Revolutionary War in North America, as the surrender by Cornwallis of his army prompted the British government to negotiate an end to the conflict.

Avery (born Feb 26, 1756 to Thomas and Mary Haley Mustain) served in the Revolutionary War and was allowed pension on his application executed Aug. 22, 1832. STATE OF VIRGINIA – COUNTY OF PITTSYLVANIA (National Archives File 7488 Rev. War). Avery had lost his discharge papers from Nov. 1781 and did not file for pension benefits until age 76. He forfeited all claim to back payments. From this online post, it seems that Avery’s delay was not his own, but the U.S. government’s inaction to accept pension applications. “The government waited until 50 years after the war (1832) to accept pension applications.”

Reproduced below is the full text of Avery’s pension application statement, which can be found in PDF form at this site. I have not altered spelling or punctuation of the statement. Nowhere in the document is Avery’s regiment name. We know he enlisted under Captain Thomas Dillard. In this family history by Lucy Henderson, we read on page 58 that in June of 1776, Captain Dillard’s force marched in hunting shirts to Gwynne’s Island. Avery would have been on that march, since he volunteered about June 1 of 1776. Lucy writes that Captain Thomas Dillard was of “the Continential line of the Pittsylvania County regulars.”  I’ve found no online match for that term.

Pension Application of Avery Mustain: W7488
Transcribed and annotated by C. Leon Harris

State of Virginia}
County of Pittsylvania} Sct

On this 22nd day of August 1832 personally appeared in open Court before David H. Clark, Wm S. Pannill, Coleman D. Bennett & John A. Clark the Court of Pittsylvania County now sitting Avery Mustain a resident of Camden Parish in the County of Pittsylvania and State of Virginia aged 76 years who being first duly sworn according to Law doth on his Oath make the following declaration in Order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June 7th 1832. That he was born 26th February 1756 near where he now lives, about 1st June 1776 he volunteered under Thomas Dilliard [Dillard] Capt., John Heard Lieut, Robert Dalton Ensign and marched to Guyns [sic: Gwynn] Island Va near the mouth of the Peanketank [sic: Piankatank] River and assisted in driving off Lord Dunmore, the then Governor of Va [11 July 1776]. There was no officer of higher grade than Capt. on the side of the River he was stationed. While there an express arrived and he marched with his Company to the Tennessee River in the [now] state of Tennessee against the Cherokee nation of Indians. in this expedition Heard was Capt. (Capt. Dilliard having thrown up) Dalton was Lieut. & Turly [sic: Tully] Choice Ensign.

After arriving at New London Va. [in present Campbell County] they were attached to the command of Colo. Charles Lewis of Albemarle Va. He forgets his Maj’r. Capt. [Joseph] Martin (afterwards Gen’l. Martin of Henry Cty Va.) commanded a company in the expedition. After arriving on the Holston River, Colo Wm Christian being the oldest officer was first in command. after arriving in the Indian Territory (the enemy having deserted their homes) they burnt up their Houses and Corn and Eat their Potatoes. all of his Company returned thence home. No discharges were given and all returned with their Captain a few days before Christmass 1776.

About the first of May 1780 he was drafted to go to the South. Isaac Clement Capt (forgets the name of Lieut. and Ensign) he marched by Peter Perkins on Dan River Va where he met several companys, by Hilsboro [sic: Hillsborough] N.C. where he met with manny troops and the following officers, General [Edward] Stevens who was the Commander, Colonels Richerson [sic: Holt Richardson] & [Ralph] Faulkner and Maj’r Henry Conway. thence he marched towards Camden S.C. crossing the Big & Little Peedee [sic: Pee Dee] and a few miles this side of Camden he met with General’s [Horatio] Gates, DeKalb and [William] Smallwood and next day was in the Battle in which the Americans were defeated [Battle of Camden, 16 Aug 1780]. He then returned home about the last of August 1780 and received a discharge.

In February 1781 he volunteered under Gabriel Shelton Capt., James Waid Lieut. & Vincent Shelton Ensign. Capt Shelton left his company and he was then commanded by Capt Thomas Smith, crossed Dan River at Boyds Ferry, crossed Haw river in North Carolina & after marching to & fro for a while returned home after being absent 4 or 5 weeks & was not in the Battle of Guilford [15 March 1781]. In August 1781 he was drafted to go to the siege of York Town Va [28 Sep - 19 Oct 1781]. William Dix Capt., David Hurt Lieut, Clem McDaniel Ensign. after arriving at York Town, Capt Dix was succeeded by Capt. Charles Willliams. He assisted in raising breast works & Batterys; after the surrender of Lord Cornwallis, he was detailed and marched to Nolands Ferry on the Potowmac [sic: Potomac] river with the Prisoners and at Leesburg he received a discharge about the last of November 1781 which he has lost. He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a Pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on the Pension roll of the Agency of any state – Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid – Avery Mustain

NOTE: On 18 Mar 1839 Mary Mustain, 74, applied for a pension stating that she married Avery Mustain in March 1783, and he died 31 Aug 1833. A typed summary states that her maiden name was Mary Barber. With her application is a family record with the names and dates of birth of their children and apparently some grandchildren.

Avery’s Grave Stone and Location

Avery Mustain Headstone

Avery Mustain (1756-1833)

This Find a Grave link has a photo of Avery’s headstone, with name misspelled, and details about the cemetery.

Please note that it’s on private land.

Cemetery notes and/or description:
Located on private property down behind the barn.
36 56.673N 79 18.520 W
Thanks to Mike K. Williams for the GPS coordinates.

According to a pittsylvaniacountyhistory.com, Avery’s grave is located at 2277 Rockford School Road in Gretna, VA. (5 mi. N of Ray’s Mill). This discussion thread from ancestry.com gives details from someone who has visited the grave.

I have to wonder why Avery’s spouse, Mary, waited until 1839 to file for her rights to Avery’s pension, after he died in 1833. Here are other online references to Avery’s war service:

Roster of Revolutionary War soldiers from Pittsylvania Co., in alphabetical order:
http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~vapittsy/revolutionary.htm#list

Also:

http://en.rodovid.org/wk/Person:108720

 

Littleberry Patterson, Molley Mustain’s Father-in-Law Also Was in the Revolution

According to Delores M. Mustaine’s book, The descendents of Thomas Mustain of Pittsylvania County, Virginia; Thomas’ daughter Molley’s father-in-law, Littleberry Patterson, was also a veteran of the Revolutionary War. So far, I’ve found this reference. The online photo archive of Delores’ book does not show numbers on each page. If you begin with the page titled “Pioneer, Thomas Mustain of Virginia,” details about Molley and the Patterson family begin in the middle of the 5th page.

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