New York City Coal Philanthropist Died in Montgomery County, North Carolina
By Jeannette Holland Austin
The New River Gorge Mine. Apparently, the Fayette County investment was ongoing during 1888 when Fayette County was the first county to produce more than a million tons of coal in a single year, and the total amount of coal production for the entire state for that year was 5,498,800 tons. Just slightly less than 1/5 of the all the coal produced in West Virginia during 1888 was coming from mines located in Fayette County, most of them located deep within in the New River Gorge along the Chesapeake & Ohio mainline. When John Halstead of New York City died in 1899, he was in North Carolina where his last will and testament was recorded, with New York listed as the Surrogate Court. He bequeathed much of his estate fo Hannah Werbert "who became a member of my mother's household about the year 1848." Interestingly enough, he bequeathed $300 to the perpetual care of his burial plot in Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn. Also, he gave largely to New York Charities and real estate interests. Apparently, he owned some coal property in Fayette County, West Virginia with the instructions to purchase the Diamond property also. West Virginia Coal Mines (1899) mentions Peter Cooper of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, founded by him in New York City (chartered in 1857). Cooper was also named in Halstead's will. The Annual Report of the Company dated May 31, 1900 recorded a gift of valuable coal lands in West Virginia, given by the late John Halstead, estimated to be worth between $200,000 and $300,000. Andrew Carnegie was also part of this coal enterprise on the Muskingum River. The Diamond purchase mentioned by John Halstead became the Black Diamond Mine.
The genealogy lesson here is to read old documents, particularly wills and estates, then research the persons mentioned. The inventories list a vast storehouse of information and provide clues as to the occupation, family members, in-laws, relatives in other places, and the neighborhood.
Montgomery County was formed in 1779 from Anson County. It was named after Richard Montgomery, an American Revolutionary War General who was killed in 1775 while attempting to capture Quebec City, Canada. Later, in 1841 the part of Montgomery County west of the Pee Dee River became Stanly County.
Genealogy Records available to members of North Carolina Pioneers
Indexes to Probate Records
- Wills and Estates 1868 to 1905
Alexander, Robert |Andrews, Wilson |Batton, James |Blake, Joseph |Boles, Benjamin |Boyd, Robert |Brenton, William |Butts, William |Chisholm, Malcolm |Christian, John |Clark, Sarah |Crawford, William |Dell, Benjamin |Delmonte, Henry | Elliot, James |Elliot, NelsonGaines, James |Gaines, John |Green, Joel |Green, Robert |Hall, William | Harris, Elizabeth | Hicks, Joshua | Martin, Angus | McArthur, Martin | McCallum, Edward | McCallum, Malcolm | McCauley, John | McCauley, Kenneth | McLennon, Kenneth | McLennon, Roderick | McLeod, Christian | McRae, Alexander | McRae, Calvin | Merrett, Sally | Monroe, Daniel | Parker, Garret | Parker, Mary | Parson, Nancey | Pool, Colwell | Reynolds, Nicholas | Rush, Benjamin | Russell, Joseph | Simmons, James | Simmons, Pleasant | Smithson, Joseph | Steele, John | Taylor, Thomas | Thompson, Elisha | Wilson, Joseph | Wright, Edward | Yarborough, Joanna
Images of Wills and Estates 1868 to 1905
Baldwin, Hiram | Baldwin, Rebecca | Barringer, E. G. L. | Batten, Eliza Ann | Batten, James | Benton, David | Boroughs, John | Brown, John | Burton, James | Burkhead, John F. | Byrd, James | Cagle, Rhoda | Cagle, Sarah | Callicott, P. C. | Chambers, Mary | Chandler, C. W. | Chandler, Kendrick | Christian, Eliza | Christian, Wyatt | Clark, Sarah | Coggins, Abraham | Coggins, B. T. | Coggin, Nancy Cathrine Cook, John | Cornielson, Goodman | DeBerry, Benjamin | DeBerry, Margaret | DeBerry, Mima | DeBerry W. G. | Denton, Dison | Dunn, Juriah | Ellis, W. R. | Ewing, John | Ewing, J. W. | Frasier, Pleasant | Freeman, Amy | Gillis, Martin | Green, Jackson | Green, James M. | Green, Peter, colored | Green, Samuel | Halstead, John | Hamilton, I. J. | Hamilton, William | Hardiston, Ezekiel | Harper, Mary | Harris, Bansey | Harris, Mary | Harris, Wiley | Harris, W. T. | Haywood, William | Henley, Joshua | Hicks, Melissa | Hill, Eliza | Hill, William | Hudson, William | Hulin, Nancy | Human, Vicy | Kearns, C. S. | Kearns, Mary | Kellum, Elizabeth Ann | Lassiter, William | Ledbetter, Henry W. | Little, Benjamin F. | Livingston, E. T. R. | Lucas, Louisa | Ludwig, Martha | Mann, Edward | Martin, Angus | Martin, Daniel | Mason, John | McAulay, James | McCaskill, Hugh | McCaskill, Sarah | McCollum, Edward | McCollum, Neill | McDonald, Tempe | McKinnon, Charles | McKinnon, John | McLeod, John | McMillan, Angus | McQueen, Alexander | McRae, Frederick | McRae, G. M. | Montgomery, Wyatt | Moore, Joseph Spencer | Morris, John | Morton, James R. | Mulinix, J. M. | Musk, John M. | Nichols, Gilbert R. | Palmer, Henry | Parker, Mason | Parnell, Amos | Pennington, Emmer | Pool, Charity | Pool, David | Pool, John S. | Revill, Noah | Reynolds, Jeremiah | Rich, John | Rich, M. A. | Robinson, William H. | Ross, A. D. | Rusk, Mariah | Rusk, Martin | Sedberry, Harrison | Sheffield, William J. | Simmons, Locky | Smith, C. C. | Smith, N. J. | Smith, Richmond | Smitherman, Jesse | Strickland, John | Suggs, Isaac | Thayer, Cassandra | Thomas, Louis R. | Thompson, Patrick | Tyson, G. D. | Usher, Samuel | Wade, Lucy J. | Walton, Tamer | Ward, Eli | Wooley, A. C.| Wright, David | Wright, W. L.
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County Records of 8 Genealogy Websites
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