The Riddle Newsletter

Genealogy is Heredity

Volume 8, Issue 2, June 2002

Contents:
• Adoniram Allen and Lucy Riddle
• John Riddle of Maryland
• Riddle Newsletter
• Importance of Saying Howdy
• In Memory of Velma Allen
• Laurel Branch
• Riddle Petition

Adoniram Allen II and Lucy Riddle Descendants Move to Kentucky
Richard Riddle

 Recently we added a number of descendants of Adoniram D. Allen II (1782-1846) and Lucinda "Lucy" Riddle (c.1787-1847) to our Riddle database.  As many of you will remember, Lucy Riddle was the daughter of John Riddle (c1764-1844) the first Riddle in western North Carolina and our family patriarch. 

Late last year I was contacted by Nancy Sparling Smith a third great-granddaughter of Adoniram and Lucy.  Nancy is descended from Nancy Allen (1815-??), the daughter of Adoniram and Lucy who married John Wilson.  Nancy Sparling Smith lives in Louisville, Kentucky and provided us with her lineage back to Nancy Allen and John Wilson.

In March of this year I heard from Ella Allen Gibson who is a 2nd great-granddaughter of Adoniram and Lucy.  Ella is descended from Irvin Allen a son of Adoniram and Lucy.  Ella was born in Greenville, Ohio who now resides in Dayton, Ohio.  Ella kindly supplied us with her pedigree to Irvin Allen.

Kathy Allen Fleming and Janice Allen Bertram have provided a portion of the following information about Teges Allen and his descendants.  It has been abstracted from the article
Blanchey Allen - Granddaughter of Capt. Teges Allen published in the Riddle Newsletter, Volume 3, Issue 2, June 1997.  

First a little background on the father of Adoniram D. Allen II (1782-1846).  Adoniram II was the son of Captain Adoniram Teges D. Allen I (1734-1838).  Capt. Allen was born in what is now New Hampshire near the Vermont border.  He was the son of David Allen born in 1714.  For the moment I'll call him Adoniram I.   

In 1761 David and his son Adoniram I were in Elizabeth Town, New Jersey.  The date Adoniram I married Martha Riddle is not known.  No relationship of Martha Riddle to our Riddle line has been established.  After 1771, they migrated from New Jersey to North Carolina.

They journeyed to North Carolina by way of the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road.  Adoniram I, his father David Sr., and younger brother David Jr., all fought in the Battle of Moores Creek Bridge, North Carolina in 1776 and the Battle of Kings Mountain, North Carolina in 1780 during the Revolutionary War.

At the Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge, Adoniram I served as a lieutenant under Col. Martin Armstrong.  Adoniram I was the commander of a company in which his brother, David Allen Jr. served.  David Allen Sr., the father of Adoniram I and David Jr., hauled provisions to Cross Creek (Fayetteville, North Carolina) for the expeditionary force that fought at Moores Creek Bridge.  During this period David Allen, Sr. operated an iron works and sawmill and at the mouth of the Big Elk on the Yadkin River.  I think that David Allen Sr.'s mill and iron works was located near the present Wilkes and Surry County, North Carolina line.

Prior to or during the Battle of Kings Mountain, Adoniram I was promoted to Captain and served with the South Carolina Partisan Rangers from 1780 to 1782.   When the Battle of Kings Mountain began, David was 66 years old and Adoniram I was 46.  After the Revolution it is believed that Adoniram I returned to Wilkes County, North Carolina and operated the Allen mill and iron works until after 1790.  He then moved to Augusta, Georgia where he managed an iron works.  In 1805 he and his family appear in Buncombe, now Yancey County, North Carolina.  The known children of Adoniram Allen 1 and Martha Riddle are John born 1787, Adoniram D. II born 1788, Allie born 1790, Morris born 1794, Phoebe and William.

A family tale claims that Adoniram I was awarded a land grant of five thousand acres on the south fork of the Kentucky River for his services during the Revolutionary War.  About 1807, at age 73, he and part of his family moved to Clay County, Kentucky.  Jess Wilson, Clay County historian states that Captain Teges Adoniram D. Allen was a remarkable man.  He was past seventy years when he migrated to Clay County, where he built his saw and grist mill, and his home.  He began a new life when most people his age were no longer able to work.

Nancy Smith related to us how Adoniram I may have earned the name Teges. "He was considered by his neighbors to be a tedious old man and in the way of mountain dialect, it became Teges."  From what has been discovered about Adoniram D. Allen I, he certainly was indefatigable and continued performing tasks others of his age would never attempt.  A town in Clay County, Kentucky is named Teges in his honor.  In 1838, at the age of 104, Captain Teges Adoniram Allen finally rested in the family cemetery in Clay County, Kentucky.

Shortly after John W. Riddle, Sr. moved his family from Stokes County, North Carolina to Buncombe, now Yancey County, his daughter Lucinda Lucy Riddle married Adoniram D. Allen II.  Adoniram II became a well-known hunter and guide.  On July 28, 1835, he and William Wilson guided Professor Mitchell to the summit of what is now known as Mount Mitchell the highest peak east of the Mississippi River.  See the article
Guide for Dr. Elisha Mitchell Vol. 4, Issue 2, June 1998.  Adoniram II was also a member of the party that found Dr. Mitchell’s body following his tragic death on June 27, 1857.  It was Adoniram II that pointed out Dr. Mitchell's footprint to Big Tom Wilson who led the search party looking for Dr. Mitchell.    

Adoniram II and Lucy had fourteen children.  Their children in order John born in 1805,  Blanchey born about 1808, Benjamin and Margaret born 1811, William born 1813, James born 1814, Nathaniel and Nancy born 1815, Mary Polly born 1819, Adoniram III born 1823, Job or Jobe
Squirrelman Irvin born 1824, Jane Jensy and Lucinda. 

Adoniram II died on November12, 1846 and Lucy in August of the following year.  Following their death several of their children moved to Kentucky and joined other members of their family in Clay County.

While updating the information from Ella Allen Gibson I was intrigued by a few of the nicknames given to the descendants of Adoniram II and Lucy.  A few examples follow:

 Job
Squirrelman Allen, William Squinty Bill Allen, Lewis Lucky Allen, Adoniram Adlows Allen, MorrisCotton Allen, Bill Beardy Allen, Thomas Straight Tom Allen, George Crooked George Allen, Irvin GunAllen, and William Easy Bill Allen. 

Ella was unable to explain all of these nicknames but she was able to provide a few explanations.  It is believed that Job
Squirrelman received his nickname because of his enthusiasm for squirrel hunting. William Squinty Bill got his nickname because of his missing eye. 

Irvin
Gun was known as Gun because he almost always carried one.  He was an avid fox hunter, and an expert banjo player.  We can only speculate on how Lucky, Cotton, Beardy, Straight Tom, Crooked George and Easy Bill received their nicknames. 


John Riddle of Maryland
Jim Hartung

In the last issue we explored the new evidence that connected our Stokes County Riddle brothers, Randolph and John as the grandchildren of John Riddle (1) born circa 1680 and a resident of Prince George's Co., Maryland.  In this issue I will add some additional information about the progenitor of our Riddle family and his descendants.  Please keep in mind that some of this information has not been confirmed but is suggested by strong circumstantial evidence.

John Riddle (1) was born in 1680 in what is now part of Washington, DC but was at that time a section of Prince George’s County, Maryland.  The parents of John are unknown but he was probably from England, Scotland or New Jersey and his name could possibly have been William.

John (1) married his first wife, Elizabeth Bowman of Prince George’s County on 2 Sep. 1700 in Prince George’s County.  Elizabeth was born about 1683.  John and Elizabeth had the following children all born in Prince George’s County.
1.    Benjamin Riddle born about 1703 and died 1750 in Frederick County, Maryland.
2.    Elizabeth Riddle born about 1704.
3.    John Riddle (2) born 25 July 1708 and died 1794 in Prince George's County.
4.    George Riddle born 10 Sep. 1710.

John (1) married a second time about 1720 to a woman named Margaret.  Together they had two children.
1.    Elizabeth Riddle born 13 Dec. 1721.
2.    John Riddle born 1730.

John (1) later took a third wife, Eleanor Thompson and they produced two more children.
1.    John Riddle born 1740.
2.    Elizabeth Riddle born about 1742.

You will notice that John named three of his children John and three Elizabeth.  Stella Cotrill informed me that this is a custom that was then followed by the Quakers.  This could be a clue as to the origins of John Riddle as there were many Quakers living in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware area.

Family tradition as stated by Stella claims that there was a land grant issued to John Riddle in London, England but as of now no one has produced it.

Significant evidence indicates that John Riddle (1) had a sister named Elizabeth born about 1675 in Prince George's County and died in Upper Marlboro, Prince George's County in 1731.  She married William Linton/Lentall/Lendall about 1697 in Prince George's County.  They had seven children, two girls and five boys born in Prince George’s Co.

1.    Rebecca Linton born 14 Jan. 1697/98.
2.    William Linton, Jr. born 1 Oct. 1701.
3.    George Linton born 14 Dec. 1703.
4.    Mary Linton born 5 Jan. 1710/11.
5.    James Linton born about 1713.
6.    Samuel Linton born 15 Jul. 1715.
7.    John Linton born about 1717.

The descendant line to our North Carolina Riddle brothers, John and Randolph, is as follows.  Due to space limitations I will not include siblings.

John Riddle (2) born 25 July, 1708 and died 1794 in Prince George's Co., MD was the second son of John Riddle (1).  John Riddle (2) married Elizabeth Linton in 1729 at St. Barnabas Church in Prince George's Co., MD.  They had eight sons and three daughters all born in Prince George's Co., MD.

1. George Riddle born about 1729 and died about 1766.
2. Jeremiah Riddle born about 1731.
3. Sarah Riddle born about 1732 and married Francis Nicholson of Frederick Co., Maryland.
4. John Riddle (3) born 16 Nov. 1734 and died before 1795.  He was the third son of John Riddle (2).
5. Samuel Riddle born 7 May 1736 and died 1772.
6. Basil Riddle born 20 Sept. 1737.  He later moved to North Carolina.
7. Zachariah Riddle, Sr. born 20 Sep. 1737 and died in 1822 in Loudon Co., Virginia.  Basil and Zachariah were twins.
8. Richard Jacob Riddle, Sr. born 15 Aug. 1739 and died about 1807.
9. James Clinton Riddle born 10 Dec. 1740 and died 26 Feb. 1816 in Tucker Co., West Virginia.
10. Elizabeth Riddle born about 1741 and married Anthony Beck.
11. Susanna Riddle born about 1743.

John Riddle (3) married Lucy Edmonston of Prince George's Co., MD but produced no offspring.  He later married a woman named Mary and had two sons.
1. Randall (Randolph) Riddle born about 1762 in Prince George's Co., MD.
2. John Riddle (4) born about 1764 in Prince George's Co., MD.

As mentioned in the previous article both Randall and John appeared in Surry Co., North Carolina in Feb. of 1788 marking a road from the Virginia line to Rockingham Co.  They next appeared on 1 Dec. 1786 in Stokes Co. were Randolph applied for a land grant for 100 acres located between Hawkins' Mill Creek and Town Fork Road, the old road from Virginia to Salem, North Carolina. 

John Riddle and William Hawkins also applied for a land grant on the same date for 200 acres located on the waters of Mill Creek adjoining William Hawkins' land.  They paid 10 pounds per 100 acres.  John's land was located near Raccoon Creek and Hawkins Mill Creek.  Both grants were issued 10 Dec. 1790.

Randolph and John lived about one mile from each other in the northeast corner of what is now Stokes Co. 

Both John and Randolph are enumerated in the 1790 Federal Census for Stokes Co. along with Tyre Riddle, who is almost certainly related.  On 10 Oct. 1790 Tyre Riddle bought 300 acres of land from John Chinault on the waters of Bigg Creek and North Double Creek adjoining Western Nunn on the west end of Brown Mountain.  Tyre’s land was about 15 miles southwest of John and Randolph.

John Riddle remained in western North Carolina and died on 18 Mar. 1844.  Randolph on the other hand had moved his family to Franklin Co., Tennessee by 1811.  In 1827 Randolph and his family again decided to move on and settled in Jackson Co., Alabama where he later died.  Tyre remained in Stokes Co. for the remainder of his life and passed away about 1840.



Riddle Newsletter To Be Discontinued
Richard Riddle

The first Riddle Newsletter was published in December 1994.  After eight years and some seventeen issues later, I have elected to discontinue the publication of the newsletter because I feel that our Riddle family information has been exhausted.  The last issue of the newsletter will be published in June 2003, one year from now.  The reason for extending the newsletter to two more issues is because some of our subscribers have paid their subscriptions through June 2003.  Effective with this June 2002 issue, I will not accept any further subscriptions.  During the last eight years we have discovered numerous new cousins that compose our extended family.  When I began our Riddle database we had recorded less than 2,000 descendants of John W. Riddle, Sr. (1764-1844) and related individuals.  Now the database consists of over 5,000 people.  We will continue to welcome updates and new information about your Riddle family and will continue to add that information to our database.       

I would like to thank our faithful readers for their support, kind words of encouragement, and the many contributions of information about their families which made this newsletter possible.  


The Importance of Saying Howdy
Richard Riddle

The tradition of acknowledging one another on first encounter is as old as history itself and has taken many forms.  A major reason for acknowledgement was to determine the intent of the other individual.  Was he friend or foe?  As societies became more civilized these acknowledgments became expressions of greeting or salutations. 

In the area where I was raised the traditional greeting was the word howdy. 
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines the word howdy as a contraction of how do ye.  If you greeted someone with a loud howdy you expected a response if the person meant you no harm. 

About 70 years ago, my Uncle Bob and his father were picking blackberries at the headwaters of Big Creek near the Pisgah National Forest that adjoined the Riddle Place.  For a description of the Riddle Place see the article
Big Ivy the Way I Remember It published in the June 1996 issue of the Riddle Newsletter

When Bob and his father had picked several buckets of blackberries, Bob begin picking berries from the side of a large blackberry bush and heard a noise on the opposite side.  He could see his father picking berries behind him so Bob called out a big loud howdy to the person on the other side of the bush. 

He waited and no howdy was returned.  He again extends the traditional greeting but this time much louder.  He waited and still no reply.  He then charged around to the other side of the bush and exclaimed “by damn it I said howdy.”  At that a large black bear reared up and growled.  Right away Uncle Bob knew that it was going to be a long day.


In Memory of Velma Allen
Richard Riddle

It is with deep sadness that I inform our readers that Velma Moleta Allen died on December 22, 2001 at age 84.  Velma was the daughter of Joseph Jennings Bryan Allen (1897-1988) and Mattie Lou Wheeler (1899-1972) and the grand daughter of John Allen (1852-1916) and Mary Jane Riddle (1859-1905).  Velma's niece Janice Allen and Janice’s husband Brent Bertram provided much of the information in the article The Children of Mary Jane Riddle and John Allen in the June 1997 Riddle Newsletter.  

Mary Jane Riddle was the daughter of John Riddle (1836-?), son of Benjamin Tyre Riddle (1800-1875).  Velma was born 8 November 1917 in Burnsville, Yancey County, North Carolina.  She moved to Michigan with her family when she was about twelve years old. 

In 1937 she married John Howard Fitzgerald and had two children, son Dennis and daughter Doreen.  John died in 1983 and she later married her second husband Thad R. Crump and they lived in Morganton, North Carolina until her death.
 
Velma was an avid genealogist and historian and was the author of
The Mountain Years 1917-1929 Memoirs of Velma Moleta Allen published in 1996 by Academy Publishers, Morganton, North Carolina.

I met Velma and her husband Thad at a Ray Family Reunions in Burnsville.  She graciously contributed several articles for publication in the Pensacola North Carolina History Book. 

We published one of her articles
The Cabin in the Wells in the December 1998 issue of the Riddle Newsletter.  That article was an insight into the love she had for her family and the mountain way of life.

In memory of Velma Allen (1917-2001) here is another of her articles.


 Laurel Branch
Velma Allen Crump

Jen Allen took a contract to cut a “Boundary” of timber up in the mountains on Laurel Branch.  This was near Pensacola in Yancey County, North Carolina.  The time was early 1920’s and the lumber business was booming in the area.

He sold the house near Barnardsville.  There was much to do.  He bought oxen, horses, and a Reo truck.  His wife agreed to cook for the men he would employ.  They located a house, hired a woman to help cook and found men to cut the trees, drive the oxen and horses and use the tools of logging.  His family now consisted of his wife, Mattie Lou, daughter, Velma, age 5, son Bryan Fay, age 3, and the baby, Jenny Lenora.

The house was large enough for the family and had room for those men who could not get home at night.  So the job began.  Sometimes the baby was placed in a box on the table while the women cooked the meals.  The other children played in and around the house.  They were warned to stay away from the creek and to watch out for snakes.

Jen had a contract with the Patton Lumber Company of Asheville to sell the logs.  He would deliver the logs to the railroad siding by pulling them out of the woods and rolling them down the mountain.  There they would be lifted onto the log train.

In the evening after supper the family and the workmen would gather around the fireplace if it was cold or go to the porch on warm evenings.  They created their own entertainment.  Most had a good story to tell.  Ghosts and Bears were the favorites.

Often someone would bring out a guitar and a “mouth organ” (Harmonica) and an evening song would begin.  Jen played the “Jew’s Harp” which he called a “juice harp”.  His sister, Ona, when she was there would harmonize with Mattie Lou.  They sang, “Who will shoe her pretty little feet when I am in a foreign land?”  And many old mountain ballads.  Sometimes there was a lively tune, especially if someone brought a fiddle.  Then the children would dance and often they were given small coins by the workers.

Velma and Fay heard the men talking about going to the Bank.  They had no way of knowing about a bank as they had not yet been to town.  The only “Bank” they knew was the bank of the creek in front of their house.  The change accumulated in a sugar sack.  One day they decided that they should put their money in the “bank”.  They dug out a hole in creek bank and deposited their money.

There came a heavy rain in the mountains and afterwards the children went out to check on their money.  The branch had become a raging river and their “bank” was gone.

Some very happy times were enjoyed “on Laurel Branch”.  But Jen’s timber cutting enterprise suffered.  An accident took the life of one of the oxen and the pay for the logs was not what he expected.  He said, “I gave the workers too many canned peaches”.  At any rate they ended the business in debt.  They sold the truck, horses and other equipment.

They decided to go visit Mattie Lou’s parents.  Whether for advice or just have time to figure out the next move is not known.  Her parents had also taken on a job of cutting timber on the other side of Asheville near Davidson’s River.   Preparations were made for the trip.  They had new clothes which had been ordered from Sears-Roebuck.

When all was ready the family walked down the road to Pensacola.  They crossed the swinging bridge over Cane River and waited for the train.  Apparently the place they waited was not the regular stop because Jen waved a white handkerchief when the train was in sight as a signal for it to stop.  This train took them to Asheville where they spent the night.  It was the first time the children had been in the city and all was new and exciting.  The hotel was filled with new sights.  They were shown that a real Bank was a building.  They marveled at the street lights and the gas lights in their rooms.  The bathroom was down the hall and shared with other rooms.  However it was a new experience for the little ones to see the water come from a faucet and to see it swirl around the toilet.

It was arranged with the Wheelers that as soon as all business was finished on Laurel Branch the Allen’s would move into the Wheeler house back over the mountain.  The days on Laurel Branch were soon over.  Jen and Mattie Lou left the Pensacola area never to return except to visit.  The children kept memories in their heart for a lifetime.


John Riddle Petition

The following is a transcript of the John Riddle Petition filed for his grandchildren which identifies John and Randolph Riddle as grandchildren of John Riddle born 1680.

September Term 1795

Be it remembered that heretofore to wit as a County Court of the State of Maryland begun and hold for Prince George County at Upper Marlborough Town in the said county on the first Monday in April in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety four Zachariah Riddle of Loudon County in the state of Virginia referred to the Court hear his petition in the following words to wit.

 To the Honorable the Justices of Prince Georges County Court.  The petition of Zachariah Riddle of Loudon County Virginia humbly ______ that your petitioner father John Riddle late of Prince Georges County deceased and who died intestate was at the time of death ____ & possessed of a tract of land in said county consisting of several small tracts all contiguous viz. part of the Addition to Hope Enlarged containing 76 ½ acres poplar thicket containing fifty three and a half acres more or less.  That he left issue Jacob Riddle, James Riddle, your petitioner, Basil Riddle & Sally Nicholson she having intermarried with Francis Nicholson and several children to wit the children of George Riddle his eldest son; the children of John Riddle another son, the children of Samuel Riddle another son; and the children of his daughter Elizabeth who intermarried with John Beck of Prince Georges County, two of which to wit Jeremiah Beck and James Beck are minors under the age of Twenty one years.  Your petitioner therefore prays your Honor to appoint five discreet persons to proceed according to the act of 1786.  To direct descents to divide or otherwise value the said lands or any other of which he may have been seized at the time of his death, and he will pray as of ____.             George Duvall for Pet.

And thereupon the Court ordered and directed Commission to issue to James Beck, Joseph Beck, Richard Walker, Thomas Duvall and Joseph Cheney five discreet sensible men of the county aforesaid and which said commission was accordingly issued on the words and figures following to wit.

 Prince Georges County to wit.  The state of Maryland, Joseph and James Beck, Joseph Beck, Richard Walker, Thomas Duvall and Joseph Cheney of Prince Georges County Gentlemen Greeting.  Where as Zachariah Riddle of Loudon County Virginia referrers to the Justices of our County Court held for the County aforesaid at Upper Marlborough Town in said County on the first Monday last his petition setting forth and alleging that his father John Riddle late of Prince Georges County deceased, and who died intestate was at the time of his death seized and possessed of a tract of land in said County consisting of several small tracts all contiguous Viz. part of the addition to Hope Enlarged containing seventy six acres and a half acre Poplar Thickett containing fifty acres; and addition to Poplar Thickett containing sixty three acres and a half more or less.  That he left same Jacob Riddle, James Riddle, the Petitioner, Basil Riddle and Sally Nicholson (she having intermarried with Francis Nicholson) and several Grand Children, to wit the children of George Riddle his eldest son, the children of John Riddle another son, the children of Samuel Riddle another son, and the children of his Daughter Elizabeth who is intermarried with John Beck of Prince Georges County, two of which viz. Jeremiah Beck and James Beck are minors under the age of Twenty one years and praying the Justices of the same Court to appoint five discreet persons to proceed according to the Act of seventeen hundred and eighty five entitled “An Act to direct ___”- to divide or otherwise value the said land or any other of which he maybe may have been seized at the time of his death.  Know ye that we have given you or a majority of you and by these present do give you or a majority of you full power and authority to enquire whether the first allegations be true; and if true to go to and enter upon the aforesaid lands of the said John Riddle deceased or any other land of which the said John Riddle may have been seized at the time of his death and if the family will admit of division with out loss and injury to the parties interested.   That you or a majority of you first taking the oat hereunto announced and giving notice to all parties interested, value and appropriate the same in current money and proceed to divide and make partition of the said lands amongst the representatives of the deceased according to Law in shares equal according to situation, quality, and every kind of advantage; and you or a majority of you shall cause the respective shares if necessary to be ascertained, bonded, and laid off by the county surveyor or other persons properly qualified and you or a majority of you shall allot to the said Representative their respective shares of the said lands and after such attention or partition make return of your proceedings under hand and seal to us at our next Court which shall happen thereafter and of you or a majority of your are of opinion, that the said lands cannot be divided without loss and injury to all parties interested herein you or a majority of you shall under hand and seal make return to us of your judgment and reason upon which the same is formed and the real value of the said lands in current money so defining to the representatives of the said John Riddle deceased and this shall be your authority Witness Michael Jenifer Stone Esquire –––Chief Justice of our said county court at the town aforesaid the 27th day of June and anno Domini seventeen hundred and ninety four-

Heard the 1st day of July 1794.                        Jno R. Magruder Clk.

 And now here at this day to wit the first Monday in April in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety four Four of the commissioners aforesaid make return to the Court of the commission aforesaid with the following certificate of the qualification to the commissioners thereon written to wit:

On the 11 day of October 1794 came James Beck, Joseph Beck, Richard Walker, Thomas Duvall and Jose Chaney Commissioners within named before me one of the Justices of the peace for Prince Georges County and made Oath on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God that in pursuance of the written commission they could well and duly make a true and just partition of the lands herein mentioned between all the parties interested according to the law equal as may be having regard to quantity, quality and every kind of advantage without favor or partially to the best of their judgment or otherwise in all things conform themselves to the direction of this commission  ----- Sworn before me this day and year above written.     
           
Gabriel P. Vanhorn

 And the said Commissioners return with the said commission their report and return in the words and figures following to wit:

Prince Georges County to wit: We whose names are hereunto published being appointed commissioners by the Honorable the Justices of Prince Georges Court, by the announced commission, and having taken an Oath well and true and without favor, partiality or prejudice to adjudge and determine whether the estate of John Riddle deceased will admit of being divided, and to ascertain the value of such estate in current money do hereby certify and return that we have examined the said land in question and have enquired into the number of persons involved and we find that the said land John Riddle left children who are now living viz. Jacob Riddle, James Riddle of Prince George County, Zachariah Riddle of Loudon County Virginia, Basil Riddle of North Carolina, and Sally his daughter who intermarried with Francis Nicholson of Frederick County that he also left grand children in George Riddle, Samuel Riddle, Jeremiah Riddle, Mary the wife Benjamin Hutchinson, Elizabeth Walker (the wife of Joseph Walker, and Ann Riddle all children of George Riddle eldest son of said John Riddle and all living in Loudon County in Virginia,  Randall Riddle and John Riddle sons of Jno Riddle second son of John Riddle dec; living in Grandville County in North Carolina.  John Riddle and Sarah Riddle, children of Sam Riddle the son of said John Riddle the intestate, of Montgomery County and John Beck, Anthony Beck, Jeremiah Beck and James Beck, children of Elizabeth his daughter who intermarried with Anthony Beck now dec. that John lives Kentucky, Anthony and Jeremiah in Montgomery County, and James Beck Prince Georges County with Joseph Beck his guardian that the said Jeremiah Beck and Joseph Beck are both minors under the age of twenty one years, that John Beck son of James is guardian to the aforesaid Jeremiah & with whom he lives.  We also find that the said lands contain the quantity of one hundred and ninety acres and that the land is of inferior quality; and we are of the opinion hat the said land cannot be divided without the loss to all the parties interested because of the smallness of the quantity, the inferior quality, it’s situation and the number of persons interested, we further certify that we are of the opinion that the real value of the said land in current money is worth our opinion three hundred dollars per acre.  Given under our hands this 16 day of October 1794.

                                 James Beck     

                                 Joseph Beck

                                Rich. Walker

                                ? Cheney

Whereupon the return of the Commissioners aforesaid being considered, and  mature deliberation thereon had it is considered by the court here that the judgment of the Commissioners and return aforesaid be confirmed and for further proceeding in the premises day is by the court here given until the first Monday in September next.

 And now here at this day to wit the first Monday in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety five aforesaid Jacob Riddle the eldest son of John Riddle deceased appears in the county court aforesaid in proper person and declines taking the land at the valuation and signs the same in writing and James Riddle the second son of the said John Riddle also appears here in court in his proper person and declines taking the same at the valuation and also signs the same in writing.  And it appearing to the court here that Zachariah Riddle is the third son of the said John Riddle who now also appears in court and elects to take the land at the valuation made by the Commissions under this edit to direct  ___ and to pay to the other representatives their several and respective proportions.  The court accordingly gives the said Zachariah the preference he paying to the other representatives of the said John Riddle their several and respective proportions of said valuation.

            John Read Magruder Jr. Clk.