A Winn query

This query is from a reader’s comment. Anyone out there have anything they can share on the issue?

“Looking for evidence that Tabitha Oliver, wife of Durrett Oliver, was the daughter of Benjamin Winn and the sister of Benjamin Winn, Jr. of Caroline County, VA Their daughter Martitia Oliver married Joel Stodghill and went to Elbert County, GA. I’m descended from their son Durrett Stodghill. Be cause it is a burned county, wills don’t exist. Benjamin Winn Jr.was guardian to the Oliver children when the estate of their grandfather Nickerson Oliver was settled. No record of Tabitha’s birth or their marriage. They lived in Orange County, VA. Does anyone have any ideas?”

Meanwhile, William G. Rankin aka Willie G. is waiting in the wings.


20 thoughts on “A Winn query”

  1. There’s an ancestry.com tree with extensive info about the Winn’s, including dates of birth and death for Tabitha. francfortson is the person who has the tree.

    1. Katherine, thanks for the comment and reference! Does francfortson’s tree cite to evidence, or is it one of the many trees that copies other trees? I have a jaundiced eye about Ancestry trees! 🙂

      I will pass on the citation to the reader with the query.

  2. The Stodghill family is mentioned in the books compiled by Michael Martin Farmer – “Elbert County, Georgia Deed Books”. There are 3 books. Deed Books A thru J, 1791-1806 mention Durratt, Joel, Martitia, Willis
    K – R 1806-1819, Durrett, Fanny, Martitia, Polly, Willis
    R – W, 1820-1835, Durrett, Willis
    There are numerous entries in each book.

    The books are still in print, I have copies and they are many libraries. If you don’t have access, let me know and I’ll scan the relevant pages.

    Interesting, I am a Winn descendant on my paternal side and a Collett/Kennedy descendant on my maternal side. The Colletts and Kennedys were in Elbert County at the same times.

  3. I am a descendant of Sarah “Sally” Bacon Winn, daughter of Joseph Samuel Winn and Elizabeth Bacon, and resident of Lunenberg County, Virginia (?1784- ?1830). She married Robert Hayes, son of Henry Hayes, on 20 Nov 1800. By reviewing Federal Census records for 1810 and 1820, Sarah (or rather a woman of her age) appears to be a part of his household. There is no female of her approximate age in the Federal Census for 1830. In 1838, Robert Hayes and a number of his children are living in Williamson, Tennessee. One of their sons, and my great, great, great grandfather, Joseph Henry Hayes (1806-1861), is married and living in Breckenridge, Kentucky in the Federal Census of 1840. The information that I have found for Sarah Winn through Ancestry.com does not seem to fit. Any ideas on what happened to her, or where I might look for good information?

    1. Donna, I’m not familiar with Joseph Samuel Winn, and I thought I had a good handle on the Lunenburg Winns. Can you please tell me a little bit more about him?

  4. Joseph Samuel Winn, I believe is Captain Joseph Winn (1739-1800). The middle name was provided by someone on Ancestry.com. I have not been able to find any documents with the middle name of “Samuel” for Joseph Winn.
    In Find A Grave, I found an excerpt from the Will of Joseph Winn that identified Sarah B. as his daughter. I believe that the information was pulled from this website. I did finally find and read the original will as recorded by the County Clerk. There is also a reference to Sally B. and Robert Hayes as Executors following the death of her mother, Elizabeth Bacon Winn. “Executors to be wife Elizabeth, Minor and wife Elizabeth, Robert Hayes and wife Sally B., Richard Elliott and wife Keturah, and Joseph Winn of Lunenburg Co. all party of first part, to Bannister Winn of Lunenburg Co., party of second part. Deposition of property made following death of Elizabeth Winn, their mother, in accordance with will of Joseph Winn.”
    I believe that I was able to confirm the marriage of Sarah B. Winn to Robert Hayes with the following:
    “Hayes, Robert and Sarah B. Winn. Married 20 November 1800 by John Neblett. WB 5/35. (Matheny and Yates, Marriages of Lunenburg County, Virginia, 1746-1853)” Do you have any information on John Neblett? Was he affiliated with a church? I have found church records to be helpful and am hoping to find something that will let me know when or where she died. I appreciate any help that you can give me. Donna

    1. Donna, I checked my records and didn’t track Sarah B. Winn and Robert Hayes. So sorry! However, I do have that Nov 1800 marriage record showing her middle initial as “B.” It may have stood for Bannister rather than Bacon. Putting it another way, I found no evidence for Bacon. Have you seen any? I would love to know it.

      FYI, you are correct — there is zero evidence in the Lunenburg records that Capt. Joseph Winn had a middle name or ever used a middle initial. Likewise, I found no middle initial for Joseph’s wife Elizabeth … her birth surname was also Winn. She was a daughter of Col. Thomas Winn and his first wife Elizabeth, reportedly Elizabeth Bannister. The only evidence for Elizabeth Winn Winn’s mother’s birth surname was the fact that she and Col. Thomas named a son Bannister.

      Was that sufficiently confusing? My bad! Sorry.

      I will turn your issue into a query and publish it on the blog as soon as I finish working on another article. And good luck!


    1. Donna, I just sen you an email with a proposed query to post. Meanwhile, you lost me with this:

      “There is also a reference to Sally B. and Robert Hayes as Executors following the death of her mother, Elizabeth Bacon Winn. “Executors to be wife Elizabeth, Minor and wife Elizabeth, Robert Hayes and wife Sally B., Richard Elliott and wife Keturah, and Joseph Winn of Lunenburg Co. all party of first part, to Bannister Winn of Lunenburg Co., party of second part. Deposition of property made following death of Elizabeth Winn, their mother, in accordance with will of Joseph Winn.”

      Do you have a citation to a county record or other source for that? Thanks!

      1. I found the following information attached to the Find A Grave narrative for Daniel Winn (1721-1799):
        Will book 5 page 20, Will of Joseph Winn, 28 March 1800, pr. June CT. 1800.

        Wife Elizabeth to have during her natural life… Negroes…. the land and Plantation whereon I now live, also, the Plantation called “my father’s old place” lying on great Hounds Creek adjoining the land of Benjamin Bridgeforth and William Haktrue, also the land whereon my son Benjamin Winn now lives….
        At the death of my loving wife Elizabeth Winn, the property lent her in this will, be equally divided between my eight children: Minor Winn, Daniel Winn, Joseph Winn, Banister Winn, Mourning Winn Gunn, Elizabeth Winn Brown, Sarah B. Winn, and the children of Benjamin Winn by his wife Cresssey Winn. (Note: Daughter Keturah Winn previously mentioned in the will, seems inadvertently to have been omitted at this point, though included in the count)…….Executors to be wife Elizabeth, Minor and wife Elizabeth, Robert Hayes and wife Sally B., Richard Elliott and wife Keturah, and Joseph Winn of Lunenburg Co. all party of first part, to Bannister Winn of Lunenburg Co., party of second part. Deposition of property made following death of Elizabeth Winn, their mother, in accordance with will of Joseph Winn.
        In doing research on the website for the State Library of Virginia, I saw where the children of Joseph Winn filed suit in the Chancery Court against their brother, Bannister Winn, for problems settling the estate when their mother died in September 1800, about five months after their father had died. While I read most of the documents, I believe that Bannister Winn was having trouble settling the estate of his mother and father because of the number of debts that were outstanding when the parents died. If I read everything correctly, Robert Hayes et al were given some responsibility to resolve the debts and complete the provisions of the will. From what I gathered, the final outcome after debts were paid was that the heirs of Joseph Winn received very little. Donna Olsen

        1. Ah!! Whoever posted the Find-a-Grave comment somehow merged two documents, apparently Joseph’s will and a DEED. Here is my abstract of Joseph’s will, which is recorded in Lunenburg Will Book 5: 20 (image available at Family Search.org). Joseph’s will names his wife, son Daniel Winn, and Edmund Winn as EXECUTORS.

          “Will of Joseph Winn dated 28 Mar 1800 proved 12 Jun 1800.

          Wife Elizabeth during life or widowhood, nine negroes, land & plantation where Joseph now lives, also plantation called his fathers old place on Great Hounds Creek adjacent land of Benjamin Bridgforth & Wm Hatchett, also land where son Benj Winn lives.

          Specific bequests to children Daniel Winn, Joseph Winn, Bannister Winn, Sarah B. Winn, Kitturah Winn; son Minor Winn; son Joseph Winn; daughter Mourning Gunn; daughter Elizabeth Brown; “to executors for support of son Benjamin Winn, 2 negroes but not liable for payment of any of his debts, and after son’s death said negroes and their increase to be divided equally among son’s children by present wife Creasy Winn when they are 21 or marry; at wife’s death, property lent her by this will divided /b/ 8 children Minor Winn, Daniel Winn, Jos Winn, Bannister Winn, Mourning Gunn, Elizabeth Brown, Sarah B. Winn, and children of Benjamin Winn by his wife Cressey Winn. “Sell testator’s one-third share of mill and land belonging to mill.” Wife, son Daniel Winn, and Edmund Winn, executors. Witnesses: Alexander Winn, James Macfarland, Asa Barnes, Covington Hardy”

          So the part on Find-a-Grave beginning with “Executors to be .. Minor and wife Elizabeth, Robert Hayes,” and so forth must be part of a DEED. That is indicated by the language “”party of the second part,” which denotes the grantees in a deed.

          Whew! I was just confused, not going crazy!!! LOL …

          I’ll look for that deed and the chancery suit against Benjamin. Can you please tell me where you found all the documents about that suit?


        2. Here is my abstract of the deed to Bannister that may have been garbled by the Find-a-Grave poster. I still haven’t located the chancery court lawsuit papers in the suit against Bannister.

          Lunenburg Deed Book 19: 1, deed dated 10 Sep 1801 from grantees James Gunn & wife Mourning, Minor Winn & wife Elizabeth, Daniel Winn & wife Patsey, George Brown & wife Elizabeth, Robert Hayes & wife Sally B., Richard Elliott & wife Ketturah, and Joseph Winn, sell to Bannister Winn, all of Lunenburg, for £44.11, 99 acres where Benjamin Winn lives, being part of tract to be equally divided among dec’d Joseph Winn’s 8 children and the children of his son Benjamin Winn after death of Joseph’s widow Elizabeth, now sold at public sale by the said heirs. Signed Minor, Eliz, Daniel, Patsey, George, Eliz, Robert, Salley B, Richard, Keturah, and Joseph. Elizabeth Winn, Patsey Winn, Eliz Brown, Sarah Hayes, & Keturah Elliott relinquished dower.

  5. I searched on the Website for the State of Virginia Library – typed Robert Hayes (Sarah B. Winn’s husband). When I am home I will use my Computer to give you more exact information. I appreciate your efforts. Donna

    1. Donna, good luck! If you happen to find online images to that chancery court suit against Bannister Winn, please send me a link!

  6. I was incorrect about Robert Hayes et al filing suit against Bannister Winn. The suit was filed against the Executor of Joseph Winn’s Last Will and Testament. Referring to the will and the suit the Executor was Edmonds Winn. Not sure of his relationship with Joseph Winn, could not find him as a child or sibling. Donna Gore Olsen

    1. Donna, Edmund Winn was a son of Col. Thomas Winn, which would make him Elizabeth Winn Winn’s half-brother. Elizabeth WW being Joseph’s wife. Edmund was something of the Winn family caretaker, turning up in a lot of supporting roles. He was his brother Washington’s administrator in the famous chancery suit that allowed us to untangle Col. Thomas’s children and identify his daughter Elizabeth as the wife of Joseph Winn. There is a lonnnng article about that suit somewhere on this blog. 🙂


      1. Thank you. I will search for the article. I find this all very interesting. I am still trying to find documentation on my great grandmother, Susan B. Winn Hayes. I read the email that said that they moved to Kentucky which may be possible because three of her children appear to have ended up in Breckenridge County, Kentucky, including her son Joseph Henry Hayes who was one of my great grandfathers. Even though Kentucky is still an option that does not explain her absence from the 1830 Federal Census for Robert Hayes’ household which was done in Virginia. I have documentation that he ended up in Williamson County, Tennessee, with a will that documents all of their children and some of their grandchildren. I am having very little luck with the Methodist Church Conferences in Virginia and Tennessee which I believe may have been their religious affiliation. Donna Gore Olsen

        1. Donna, here is a link to the article with the lonnnngggg explanation of the chancery lawsuit.https://digupdeadrelatives.com/2021/10/28/how-many-times-was-col-thomas-winn-married-for-petes-sake/

          I am sorry that you did not have any luck with Sarah B. Winn Hayes. When all else fails, census error is always possible. Sounds like your 1830 VA census may have failed to count her. I’ve seen frequent errors in the pre-1850 census, when they used the columns with numbers. Too easy to make an error.


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