Re: Back to school

Peter W. Pesterhaus III wrote:
I'm telling you the truth--

Absolutely when Diana Dale died she had something. So Vickie Elam
says the probate record must be lost. But is that really the case?

She may have died before being able to make a will.

An entry from the Sparacio court order book for Lancaster Co., VA
1695-1699 p.4 shows that on March 11, 1695/6 Edward Carter, Katherine
Carter and Elizabeth Carter came into court and were granted probate
of Major Edward Dale's will.

Since Diana Dale died after her husband, I can assure you there is no
entry in the court orders granting anyone probate or administration on
her estate. And there would have been. This is what I meant when I
said you can die without leaving a will and yet not die intestate.

You cannot use that phrase, "you can die without leaving a will and yet not die intestate." Because to die intestate means to die without leaving a will. It doesn't mean anything else.

You are trying to say that because Diana Dale had something, even if it was only the knickers she wore, that she was "testate" or "the opposite of intestate" and that "testate" means "in possession of an estate, personal or landed". It doesn't. To die intestate means to die without making a will, regardless whether you own a pair of knickers, or 10,000 acres.

Perhaps no one took out administration on her estate because it had already been dealt with by other legal means, or because she had very little personal estate. Not everyone's estate is liable for letters of administration.

Therefore there was no such estate. When a woman's husband died, she
became "feme sole," or a legal entity capable of independent action.

Indeed, but that does not mean she had time to make a will or that her estate required letters of aministration.

It's obvious Diana Dale disposed of her property before she died.

No, it isn't. Edward Dale's will tells us nothing about his wife's estate and the lack of Diana Dale's will or letters of admin on her estate also tell us nothing about it.

you have but one heir, who said she couldn't? If she wanted to give
Elizabeth Rogers 100 pounds, who was going to stop her? Cite me a
single law which says somebody just can't give their property away
before they die. The Carters were just happy to get Dale's property
without thermonuclear war in the courts.

Marriages among landed people (even up to the 19th century) were more business arrangements than love affairs. It might make it easier if you think of the families' landed interests as businesses and that marriages were business mergers, because that is exactly what they were. That is why it was so important to marry into the right family, to make the best business deal.

So what Vickie thought was a devastating argument is actually powerful
supporting evidence for me.

It's no evidence at all. It is wishful thinking.

Of course a will is full of legal technicalites. What is the matter
with you?

And Will, you know absolutely nothing about marriage contracts. I'm
surprised you had the nerve to stick your snout out of you hole after
the drubbing I gave you.

You guys think it's smart to say "This could mean this" or "That could
mean that." None of you have cited anything in support of your
position. What you are really saying is "I don't know and I'm too
lazy to find out." Do you think you're fooling anybody?

No, because you are doing exactly that.

It's interesting to me that in Linda Sturtz's book she doesn't say
"This could mean this" or "This could mean that." She says "This is
what that means." Why? Because unlike you people she spent many
years researching the topic.

No, because that's the way she writes her analysis, and it's not the right way. Historical writing is a matter of interpretation of the evidence. Not everyone will agree on that interpretation. As someone once said: there are no facts in history. There are only interpretations. Based on the evidence.

What's happening here is that some people have seen the bibliography I
put together and some of them are going to buy and read those books.

Your bibliography is irrelevant. Some, with interests in Colonial Virginia history might be glad of your list and rush out an buy some of the books. Others may already have the read the books.

And when they do, in less than a month, they're going to see you
idiots for the charlatans you are. Sturtz has forgotten more about
the subject of women and property than all of you know put together.
Her readers will be able to come on this board and wipe the walls with

MichaelAnne is gone. This isn't "Les Miserable"--I wish her luck in
future endeavors. But for you guys it's just beginning. Good luck.

Beginning? Personally, I've been at it for 30 years.