From the records of Accomack County Virginia and Somerset County Maryland hints of a 1700 family feud can be found. The "feud" started when George Parker's will was proved in Court on 16 February 1711/12. He was the son of John and Amy Anderson Parker and approximately 48 when he died (Wills 602). NOTE: See the Will of George Parker.
On October 3rd, 1711, four months before, his widow Mary Parker had appeared in court to request that Letters of Administration of her late husband's estate be granted to her. An attorney for George's daughter, Eliabeth Bradford, the wife of Nathaniel Bradford, appeared in court and stated that Mary was hiding the will of her deceased husband George and asked the court to suspend administration til next court to gather the proof that Mary had a will in her hands (Abstracts 1710-1714 52).
At the next court session, Mary had the case postponed (54). On 7 February 1711/12 Mary, now the wife of Arthur Donas, again petitioned the court for administration of George Parker's estate. At this time Nathaniel Bradford and his wife Elizabeth proved that George Parker made a will, and that they saw him sign it (61).
On 16 June 1712 Nathaneil Bradford and his wife Elizabeth brought suit against both Arthur Donas and Mary Parker Donas (64). The will was not proved until 2 June 1713 (Wills 602)
A note at the bottom of the will stated:
This day John Parker appeared in Cort togeather with ye Clerk and produced a Copa: of the Last Will & Testament of the Abovesd: Geo: Parker decd as farr as they Can make vizable According to an order of Cort date June ye 2d 1713 and made oath to the same to be a true Copa: as far as they could make vizable to them.
In a Court session held 1 October 1716 Nathaniel Bradford and Elizabeth his wife again come to Court to petition Arthur Donas and his wife Mary to produce an inventory of the Estate of George Parker so that the Estate could be divided. A bond was granted and the Donases were given til January to produce one. At the January Court the Donases failed to do so and the court ordered the sheriff to take both Arthur and Mary into custody until they could post bond (Abstracts 1710-1714). On 4 February 1716/17 Arthur Donas again came into to court without the inventory stating there weren't enough appraisers to view the estate (98).
Finally in the June court of 1718 Arthur and Mary Donas presented an inventory and appraiement oof the estate of George Parker (108).
The records of Accomack show that between 1712 and 1718 both Arthur and Mary Donas were summoned to court for payment of debts besides the matter of George Parker's will and his estate.
By 31 August 1718 the Donases and three of Mary's children are living in Somerset County, MD, and again appearing in court there (Walczyk 234). A trancription of the case reads:
Auther Donus vs Steven Warrinton-Stephen Warrington of Baltemore Hundred in the County of Somerset, Planter was attached to answer unto Auther Donus and Mary his Wife Exec'rx of the last will and testament of George Parker deceased of a plea of trespass upon the case.
And where upon the said deft. in their capacity by David Hudson their attorney sepecially conscripted and by Francis Allen their attorney complains that whereas the said George in his lifetime to wit 7 March 1709 at Allhollows Parish aforesaid in the County of Somerset was possessed of one pair of hand millstones of the value of nine hundred pounds of tobacco of his proper goods and chattles and died of the same possessed as after whose decease the said hand millstones to the hand and possession of the said Steven 16 May 1711 by finding came. Nevertheless the said Steven well knowing the hand millstone to be the proper goods and chattles of the aforesaid in his lifetime and to them the said Auther Donus and Mary his wife in their capacity after the decease of the said George of right belong and appertain contriving and fraudulently intending them the said Auther Donus in that part craftilly and subtilly to deceive and defraud of the goods and chattles aforesaid afterwards to his own proper use did convert and dispose to the damage of the said Auther and Mary eight hundred pound of tobacco and ther of they bring suit and bring into court here their letters of testament by which etc.
It seems that Steven Warrington had a millstone that belonged to the estate of George Parker and was concealing it from Arthur and Mary. David Hutson had become the husband of Amy Parker, one of George's daughters.
Arthur Donas wrote his will on 18 October 1721. It was proved 6 March 1721/2 (Nottingham 70).
An abstract of his will reads:
Donos, Arthur, Carpenter - 18 Oct. 1721 - 6 Mar. 1721/2 - To wife (no name) To Even Edwards. To Jacob Lear. To Rannals Badger. To Frances Alaston - John Warrinton, Sr. Exec. To Mary Chace. Witt: Thomas Lurton, Jacob Lurton, Stephen Warrinton .
Mary wrote her will on 2 December 1725. It was proved 3 September 1733 (Somerset County Liber EB9:155). See the Will of Mary Donas.
The feud didn't end with Mary's death. (Worcester County Maryland Liber JW 1688-1742:237-238). At the bottom of the inventory of the goods of Mary Donas dated 23 February 1833/34 appears this statement:
Somersett County sett Those are one humbly may come before that Thomas Burkins came before me one of his Lordships Justices of the peace and made oath one the Holy Anangles of almighty God that he went to the dwelling house of David Hustson and theire [-----] of the said Hudson to asigne the within Inventories and the sd Thos Burkins reed the within.
David Hudson refused to asigne the Inventory but he said dont know what hurt it may do and he also refused if I go over the bay for one thing I go for all . . . . . . . . .
febry ye 23 day 1733/4 taken pr me Jno Smith . . . . . . . . .
December ye 4th 1733 Came John Linch and Abigal Linch Administrators of Mary Donases Estate and made oath on ye Holy Evanglels of almighty God yt the within is a Just and perfect Inventory to the best of their knowledge of all and Singular the goods & Chattels that were of the deceased at the time of her death that has yet to come to their hands and that if anything shall hereafter come to their hands or possession they will return an Additional Inventory thereof & what they know of no concelment of any part of parcell thereof by any person whatsoever & yt if they do discovery any conceilment or suspect any to be they will Acquaint the Comissary General for the Counties deputy being with such discovery or cause of Suspetion that it may be Enquired into & yt they will and truly give an acount of all and every part of yt deceased (personall)
See also the Inventory of Mary Donas.
_____. Accomack County Virginia Wills &c 1692-1715.
_____. Somerset County Maryland Liber EB9 Folio 155.
_____. Worcester County Mayrland Liber JW15 237-238
McKey, JoAnn Riley. Accomack County Virginia Court Order Abstracts 1710-1714, Volume 11. Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, Inc., 1996.
McKey, JoAnn Riley. Accomack County Virginia Court Order Abstracts 1714-1719, Volume 12. Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, Inc., 1996
Nottingham, Stratton. Wills and Administrations of Accomack County, Virginia 1663-1800. Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, Inc., 1990.
Walczyk, Frank V. Somerset County Judicals 1713-1715. Coram NY: Peter's Row