Tuesday, January 31, 2017
What Happens to the Dower of the Second Wife?
When a widow remarried, a Marriage Contract was written to protect the assets bequeathed to her by her deceased husband. Such contracts are generally found in deed records. These deeds need to be examined to follow the inheritance of the land and other items of value. Also, the estates and inventories should list the property owned by the widow before she re-married and specify how it was disposed of. In the instance of Reuben Thornton who died in 1768 owning a large number of slaves which were named and mentioned in the will and plantations in Caroline and Culpeper Counties, he bequeathed to his (second) wife the land located on Green Swamp as well as the mill pond which she had received from the dower of the estate of her former husband. In other words, when the widow remarried, her property became the legal property of Reuben Thornton. Caroline County VA Genealogy Resources