[APG Public List] Age 21 as legal mandate for sale of land in 1814Virginia

CL Swope (alfonsa) alfonsa at cynthiaswope.com
Sun Oct 25 14:59:10 MDT 2009

Richard, Thanks for your response.
 I have been told that  a person could pretty much purchase land at any 
age in Virginia, but during some periods you had to be 21 to sell it.  I 
am wondering if this (again, April and May 1814) was one of those 
periods and how to ascertain if in fact this was the case at this 
particular time, or if, in fact, it was not.
 I'm only asking this one question. Specifics aren't required I don't 
think.  I have no idea where to look for the answer, and hope someone 
might know!

Richard A. Pence wrote:
> If the question is, was the legal age 21 in Virginia in 1814, the 
> answer is probably yes.
> If the question is, did the family have to wait until the youngest 
> child was 21 before they sold the land, the answer is probably no.
> You didn't say what county in Virginia, nor did you tell us the 
> circumstances under which the land was inherited. Did both parents die 
> at the same time? Or did one survive? Did the surviving parent 
> remarry? Have you checked the orphans bonds?
> In looking for reasons why the land was put up for sale in 1814, check 
> for migrations involving other relatives. It may be that a group 
> decided to go to, say Ohio, at that time. There is such a movement 
> among my ancestors, nearly all of three family groups began selling 
> their lands about the same time and all moved to Ohio over a 
> relatively short period.
> I have always thought that queries such as this would be earlier to 
> follow and might bring better results if real names and places were 
> used instead of using labels such as "target" and "sibling group." 
> After all, this happened nearly 200 years ago and I don't think the 
> principals would mind if their names got on the Internet! <g>
> Richard A. Pence
> 3211 Adams Ct, Fairfax, VA  22030-1900
> Voice 703-591-4243 / Fax 703-352-3560
> Pence Family History <www.pipeline.com/~richardpence/>
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "CL Swope (alfonsa)" 
> <alfonsa at cynthiaswope.com>
> To: <apgpubliclist at apgen.org>
> Sent: Sunday, October 25, 2009 2:18 PM
> Subject: [APG Public List] Age 21 as legal mandate for sale of land in 
> 1814Virginia
>> The date of birth of my target is said to be Jan 1793, and he is said
>> the youngest of the sibling  group. His only brother died in the early
>> 1800s.
>> In April of 1814 the target and his four sisters advertised their
>> inherited land (Virginia) for sale, and in May of that year sold it. By
>> this time, my target was 'of Pennsylvania', but his siblings, and the
>> land, were in Virginia.
>> I suspect the sibling group waited until 1814 to sell as he had just
>> turned 21 and that  the  decision to sell at that time supports the
>> reported (and so far unverifiable) birth year as well as his position as
>> youngest in the sibling group.
>> Am I correct that there is a legal precedence for this assumption in the
>> time frame? Google Books turns up quite a few references to court
>> proceedings seeming to support my thought, but I'd like to be certain. I
>> can think of no other reason the sibling group would have waited, and
>> the coincidence of age seems a strong indicator to me. Am I in error?
>> Thanks in advance,
>> Cynthia Swope
>> http://apgen.org/publications/publiclist/ 

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