Archive for March 15th, 2020

The Estate of Capt. William Lawton

March 15, 2020

There’s a collection at that has been digitized by subject name, and it is right up my alley. “South Carolina, Charleston District, Estate inventories, 1732-1844” is the name of the collection, and it is searchable. Some of the collections are “browsable”, which means the images have been saved but not searchable by name. Before this particular collection was searchable, you could look at, or “browse”, the individual images in the collections. Can you read cursive? You’ll need that skillset if you want to look at those old images. The searchable feature allows you to save hours when looking for a particular person’s estate. If you can imagine that volunteers who are able to read and transcribe cursive have been responsible for making these old collections searchable, you realize that it takes a collective effort to aid perhaps only one person. Today, I am that person.

Here’s the estate of Captain William Lawton as recorded by the court on December 19, 1757.


The Appraisement of the Estate of Captain William Lawton deceased Decr. 19th 1757.

To 7 Wedges

A Lot of Coopers Tools

Do Chisels Augurs etc.

Reap Hooks

2 Brand Irons

A Lott of Corking Do

Files Square and 2 Saws

1 Pair of Sheep Sheers

4 Spades etc

A pair of Sheep Sheers 12 Axes

11 Hoes

1 Corn Mill

1 Do Do

Tea Kettle

Bell mettle Do

Negroes Fetters & Chain

(?) & Casting Nett

pr (?)

Lance & pair grains

Sadle Bridle & Housen

2 Spinning Wheels & a Rim

a pair Looking Glasses

3 Chairs

(Page torn on bottom left corner)



Tea Table

Large Do


4 Pictures

Hand Bell

A Lott of China Ware

A Lott of Large Dressing Table

A Looking Glass

Old Deske

Bed Bolster 2 Pillows & Bed Stead Pair of Sheets Blanket & Quilt

Sugar Box

3 Trunks 1 Old Cedar Chest

1 Bark Seive

1 Gun with Silversight

1 old Do

1 Cuttoe

1 Warming Pan

Old Bellows & (?)

Bed Mattress 2 Pillows 2 pr Sheets Bed quilts Blanket Head Cloth Teaster Bed Stead

4 large Trunks

1 Do Poplar Chest with Lock & Hinges

Bed Bay Dressing Table

1 Do Cedar


2 old Bed Quilts

1 New Do

a Suit old Cotton Curtains


Damask Table Cloth & (?) Do

3 pair ozna Sheets

2 Old Do

3 Sheets

6 pr ozna Pillow Cases

8 ozna Table Cloths

4 Tea Cloths

5 Towels

8 White pillow Cases

Head Cloth Teaster & Valiant

2 Tea Boxes Bags

1/2 made Shrimp Nett

A Lott of Books

2 Volums Family Instructer

Pilgrims Progress

Driling Court

A Dixionary

1 Large & 2 Small Bibles

Burket on the New Testament

Walz Sermon

4 Duffell and 2 Negroe Cloth Blankets

Baby Basket

Wigg and Wigg Box

2 Hats

3 Fustian Coats

An old Watch Coat

Mans Broad Cloth Coat



A Suit Broad Cloth

Coat & Breches (?)

Riding Coat

Lott of Old Cloths

Mans Callico Rapper

2 Razors Hone & Strap

2 Spindles, 2 Butcher & 1 Clasp Knives

1 Large Poplar Chest

New Bed Stead

A Narrow Stript Cotton bed 2 pillows, pr ozna Sheets & old Quilt

1 Holland Do Do

1 Bed & Bolster Holland Stript narrow & 1 pair Ozna Sheets

1 Old Narrow Stript Bed 2 Bolsters

1 old Chest & Do Box

1 Silver Table Spoon

6 Do Tea Spoons

4 Do Do & pr Tongs

1 pt Silver Shoe Buckles

1 pr Gold Sleeve Buttons

66 Bottles

3 case Bottles & Decanter

Coffee pott & Sause Pan

Juice Mortar

1 Lott of Tinware


An Old Trunk

Claw Hamr

A parcel Stone Cotton

1 Case with 9 Bottles

6 Juggs and Funnell

Scales & 4 Weights

Part of a Cask of Flower

a Large Chest

a pair Single Channel Pumps

1 pair Wool 1 pr Cotton Cards

1 Saw Sett par Pinchers & parcel Fish Hooks

1/2 Dozn Knives & forks New

Lot of Old Do

7 Old Dishes

Do Plates

5 Candlesticks

Lott of 65 Head of Cattle in 3 marks of Wm. Lawtons @ 4 Sterling per head

1 Large Cannoe with Sail & Oars

1 Small Do

3 Smoothing Irons

7 Jars

A Lott of Pails, One Churn & Keelers

1 Negro fellow name Syrus

Do Abraham

Do Amos

Do Scipio

Negroe Wench Sue & Child Scipio



Little child Sue

Negroe fellow Argusass

Do Jenn & child Bellon

Boy Tom

Girl Peggy

Girl Tamere

Do Daphney

Negroe Fellow Sambo

Wench Philis, & Child Malia

Boy Jacob

Fellow Cato

Wench Venus

Fellow Sancho

Do Bowswain

Do Samson

Do Primus

Do Cuff

Do Harrey

Wench Diana

Fellow Pompey

Child Cloe

Girl Hannah

Boy Peter

Do Adam

Young Fellow Dilf

Old George

Fellow Walley

Wench Millinda


72 # Indigo @ Pound 1 #

36 Head of Sheep at 30/#

1 Horse called Frisk

Do White

Do Stallion

1 Black Mare

Old Gray Horse

32 Bls Rice @ Pound 5/#


2 Stocks

8 Rice Mills

a parcel Black Eyed Pease

25 1/2 Brls Rice @ Pound 5 # Barl

A Parcel of corn

Cart and Wheels & Sadle & Collar

Large Copper Kettle

Grind Stone

1 Large Iron Pott

2 Biggest Do

3 Iron Do one Size

2 Do Small

3 pr Hooks & 3 Trammels

1 Frying Pan

1 New Corn Mill

Coopers Ware

Hair Scive

1 Iron (?)

Earthen Dye Pott

4 Bee hives



1 Pair Doggs, Tongs and Shovell

1 Do Do old

Cloth Brush & Tooth Drwer

Quilting Frame

Indian Looking Glases

3 Fishing Lines

15 Geese

31 Fowls

28 Turkies @ 7/6 each

Parcel of Wool

a Quarter Cash

2 old Bedsteads

a Whip Saw and 1 Cross Cutsaw

English Horse Whip

2 oza Bags

Small Trunk & Ink Stand

Small Trunk & (?) Iron

51 Head of Hoggs

1 Black Horse named Jockey & Sadle

butter Pott

Silver Watch

Mills & Mortars

Saw Sett

The above is a true appraisement

Signed by us

Joseph Seabrook

Daniel Townsend

David Adams

Some thoughts on my transcriptions…

I believe that “osna” refers to a fabric called Osnaburg. Years ago, I made custom window treatments, commonly called draperies, curtains, valances, etc. Osnaburg was a loosely woven fabric in a variety of solid colors, not prints, with fewer threads per inch than most fabrics but more than cheesecloth.

Remember that “Do” stands for “Ditto”, which means to insert the word used in the previous line. It’s like a shortcut for copy & paste.

I am amused when I see an item referred to as “old” in 1757. How old must some of those items really be?

What happened to the 3 Bibles?

I was horrified when I realized the purpose of “Negroe fetters & chain”.

I think the next course of action would be to compare this inventory to his actual will. You can view his will here.