The State of Spates

Remember how we’ve discussed the saga of Clara Mabry’s daughter, Irvinia, and the explosive 1856 legal case involving both she and Timothy Spates (Irvinia’s husband)?

What ever happened to Irvinia and Timothy after this legal victory? Irvinia’s fate, for the most part, has been elusive in the records of Greensville. Following the family ties via Timothy Spates; however, has provided more insight.

Ten years after the runaway incident of 1856, Timothy Spates was a merchant in Greensville. He appeared before the court to request a liquor license…During that session, Spates and another party, William H. Morris, were to be summoned before the grand jury during the next court term. Questions abound about the reasons.

Greensville County Court Common Law Book 12, page 284 In 1866, Timothy Spates, a merchant, applied to the Court for a liquor license. He was flatly denied. Later in that Court Session, Timothy Spates and William H. Morris were issued a Summons to appear before the grand jury.

In February 1866, Timothy Spates and his mother-in-law, Clara Mabry, received some type of levies against them, the ‘presentments’ were ordered to be certified and sent over to The Freedmen’s Bureau. As discussed here in the previous blog post, Clara Mabry and The Freedmen’s Bureau, this had everything to do with the liquor licenses being denied both to Clara, and as we have seen with this blog post, Timothy Spates.

Greensville County Court, 5 Feb 1866

Ordered that the presentments made this day against Clara Mabry and Timothy Spates Freedmen be certified to The Freedmen’s Court of this County to be disposed of.

Later, in late May 1866, Timothy Spates and his business partner, Andrew Carrington, were subject to a previous deed of trust and had to effectively sell their business in Hicksford, Greensville County, Virginia to one J.C. Sprigg because of debts. Apparently, the business partnership that Andrew Carrington dually operated with D.W. Cain also fell under this hammer that allowed the businesses to continue to operate, so long as payments were rendered on time.

This deed made this 29th day May 1866 between Andrew Carrington and D.W. Cain partners in trade under the style of Carrington and Cain, the said firm doing business in the city of Petersburg and the said Andrew Carrington and Timothy Spates partners in trade under the style of Carrington and Spates, the said firm doing business in Hicksford, Greensville County all of the one part and Charles F Collier of the city of Petersburg of the other part. Witnesseth that for and in consideration of the sum of five dollars by the said Collier to the said Carrington and Cain and Carrington and Spates paid the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged they the said Andrew Carrington D.W. Cain and the said Andrew Carrington and Timothy Spates partners as aforesaid do by these presents grant bargain sell and convey unto the paid Collier the entire stock of goods makes and merchandise and all fixtures in and about the said stores belonging to them or either of them in the store occupied by Carrington and Cain at the corner of Halifax and Gill Streets in the city of Petersburg and also in the store occupied by the said Carrington + Spates in Hicksford Greensville County Virginia In trust to secure the payment of a bond in the sum of three hundred dollars executed by the said Carrington and Cain and Carrington and Spates on the 29th May 1866 and payable to J.C. Sprigg in demand. But it is hereby stipulated and agreed that the said Carrington + Cain and Carrington + Spates shall enjoy the use and possession of the property hereby conveyed and continue the sale of said property in the conduct of said business and use the proceeds of sale for the purpose of replenishing their stock in trade from time to time. It is further agreed that the said Collier whenever thereto required by the said Sprigg shall take possession of the property hereby conveyed in the event said bond be not paid and make sale of the said property publicly or privately upon such terms of cash or credit as may in the opinion of said Collier be best and out of the proceeds of such sale or sales pay first all expenses incident to the execution of this trust including therein a commission of five per cent on gross sales tot he said Collier and then pay whatsoever amount may be due and unpaid of principal and interest on paid bond to the said Sprigg and the balance if any pay over to the said Carrington + Cain and Carrington + Spates. In testimony whereof the said Andrew Carrington of the two forms of Carrington + Cain and Carrington + Spates and D.W. Cain of the of the firm of Carrington + Cain and Timothy Spates of the firm of Carrington + Spates, have hereunto set hands + seals the day and year first herein written.

Andrew Carrington {Seal}
D.W. Cain. {Seal}
Timothy his Spates {Seal}
X
mark



State of Virginia
City of Petersbug to wit
I Cas. F. Collier a Notary Public in and for the city and state aforesaid do certify Andrew Carrington and DW Cain whose names are signed to the above writing bearing date on the 29th May 1866 have acknowledged the same to be their act and deed. Given under my hand-
Chs. F. Collier
Notary Public


State of Virginia
County of Greensville
I Wm A Moss a Justice of the peace and in and for the County and State aforesaid do certify that Timothy Spates whose name is signed to the foregoing writing bearing date on the 29th May 1866 has acknowledged the same to be his act and deed. Given under my hand this 1st day of June 1866.


In the Clerk’s office of the Hastings Court of the city of Petersburg June 20 1866. This deed of trust from Carrington + Cain and Carrington + Spates to Charles F. Collier for etc was this day lodged in said office and with the certificates annexed admitted to record

Teste.
John A. Armistead C.C.

Clerks Office Greensville County Court June 14 1866
This deed of trust from Carrington + Cain of the city of Petersburg and Carrington + Spates



Page 44

Spates of Greensville County to C.F. Collier trustee for the benefit of J.C. Sprigg was received certified according to law and together with the certificates thereto annexed admitted to record.
Teste.
Jno: W. Potts C.C.

Eleven years after the runaway attempt, Timothy Spates and his three children; George Washington, Clara Ann, and William Henry, received a land deed from local Greensville businessman and later clerk of court, William H. Judkins and his wife. (In 1869, Judkins also sold land to Clara Mabry.)

This deed made this 22nd day of January 1867 between William H. Judkins and his wife Narcissa Judkins of the first part and John W. Potts Trustee for Timothy Spates and his three children to wit: George Washington, Clara Ann and William Henry of the second part. Witnesseth that for and in consideration of the sum of one hundred dollars the parties of the first part do hereby bargain, sell, release and confer unto the party of the second part a certain lot or piece of land lying near the village of Hicksford containing by estimation about (1/4) of an acre and bounded as follows beginning at the N.W. corner of said Judkins garden thence along the garden fence to the Spring branch thence down the Spring branch 50 feet to a new corner thence a line parallel with the garden fence to the Halifax road thence up said road 50 feet to the beginning upon trust for the benefit of said Timothy Spates during his life but not subject to the payment of his debts and at his the said Spates death it is for the benefit of George Washington, Clara Ann, and William Henry children of said T. Spates; with general warranty.

W.H. Judkins

Clerks office Greensville County Court January 22 1867
This deed was received and acknowledged by Wm. H. Judkins and admitted to record.

Teste
Jno: W. Potts C.C.

Ironically, or not, the old familiar face of John W. Potts resurfaced as trustee of this deed between Judkins and the Spates’. Potts or “Captain Potts”, as he was named in the news articles surrounding the runaway attempt, cuts an odd figure of alliance as he was the ‘owner’ of Irvinia during the time.

The question begs, where was Irvinia, Timothy’s wife, with all of these turn of events?

The answer was delivered in the form of an 1867 marriage record, between a widowed Timothy Spates and his young bride, Cornelia Cooper.

Irvinia was gone…

Marriage Record of Widowed Timothy Spates and Cornelia Cooper 9 Jun 1867

Let’s recall that earlier in 1867, that January, Timothy and his three children received the land deed from William H. Judkins. From this we can surmise that Irvinia was the birth mother of George, Clara, and William.

From a practical standpoint, Timothy needed a mother for his children. His marriage later that year, in June, to Cornelia made no delay in that.

Thanks to the records of The Freedmen’s Bureau, we know a bit about what Timothy was doing in the early part of 1868. A certain man by the name of Henry Robinson brought a labor complaint to the Bureau for working for but not being paid by Timothy Spates:

1 Feb 1868 Freedmen’s Bureau Letter Concerning Timothy Spates and Payment Due His Purported Employee, Henry Robinson p.1
Spates is living near “Barnesville” P. Office Westmoreland Co. Va.p.2

We learn that Timothy Spates was living in Westmoreland County, Virginia in 1868. A letter to the Bureau dated February 8, 1868, documented that Timothy Spates was “authorized to employ all the labor…”.

8 February 1868 Freedmen’s Bureau Letter: Employment Description of Timothy Spates “…the Timothy Spates referred to is a colored man who is authorized to employ all the labor…”

Well, a few months later in May of 1868, the Bureau said that they had spoken with our Timothy Spates and he basically told them that he’d never heard of Henry Robinson. More facts are revealed by this letter; we learn that Timothy Spates was working as a foreman at the company, Robinson + Hunter.

Let’s venture to the year 1870 via the U.S. Census of that year. Will we find Timothy Spates?

Timothy Spates, Cornelia née Cooper, and Family in 1870 U.S. Census

According to the 1870 U.S. Census, the Spates household in Montross, Westmoreland County, Virginia included Timothy Spates and his wife, Cornelia. The children listed in the January 1867 deed from William H. Judkins and his wife, George and Clara (Clarie), were also in the 1870 household, per the census record. Additionally, two children named Lucinda and Laura were enumerated in the 1870 Spates household.

Here’s what I’ve been fortunate enough to learn about Timothy Spates’ children with his wives, Irvinia and Cornelia, respectively:

George Washington Spates (b.1858) was single and living with his sister, Clara Ann, and her husband (Edward Tate), and children (James, Willie, and Lucy), in the 1910 U.S. Census. George was working as a steamboat operator and he owned his own boat, according to the census record. In the 1900 U.S. Census, George was the head of a household that included two brothers, Joseph (b.1876) and Arthur (b.1879).

Clara Ann Spates (1863–1944) married Edward Tate (b.1859) in Westmoreland County, Virginia in 1880. Clara and Edward had at least three children: James H. Tate (b.1883), Willie E. Tate (1891), and Lucy Jane Tate (1894-1976).

William H. Spates (1864-1921) married Rhoda Alice (Rhodie) Mills in 1897, in Greensville County, Virginia. William and Rhodie had at least three children: Mamie D. Spates (b.1899), Floyd William Spates (b.1901), Howard G. Spates (1904-1990).

Lucinda Spates (b.1862) married Thomas Carter Roane (b.1865) in Westmoreland County, Virginia in 1889.

Laura Jane Spates (1867-1950) married Walter E. Tate, Sr. in 1888. They had at least seven children: May E. Tate Tolson (1889-1971), Victor Tate (1893-1946), Walter E. Tate, Jr (b.1895), Andrew H. Tate (b.1899), Charles Tate (1904-1924), Willie Tate (b.1905), Allie Tate (b.1909), Alexander R. Tate (b.1913).

Joseph Spates (b.1876) appeared in the 1900 U.S. Census with brothers George, Arthur and other extended family members.

Annie Cornelia Spates (1878-1965) married William H. Thompson, Sr. in 1894. They had at least three children: Lucy Thompson Smith (b.1901), Clara Ann Thompson Mahoney (1905-1979), and William H. Thompson, Jr. (1905-1979).

Arthur Spates (b.1876) appeared in the 1900 U.S. Census with brothers George, Joseph and other extended family members.

What about the Spates progeny?

As I was researching my Joyner family in Emporia, Virginia, the Google search results directed me to the website of R.E. Pearson and Son Funeral Home. This mortuary is no doubt an important community touchstone for a number of reasons and I have found that in viewing their website, the obituaries are often replete with virtual genealogical treasures. What a labor of love by the families who share their history in the final narratives of their departed loved ones.

I discovered one such treasure of information via the recent obituary of Mr. Alvin B. Spates (September 10, 1967 – December 23, 2021). 🕊

Alvin Spates’ parents were listed: Lewis B. Spates and Mabel H. Spates.

The family graciously shared the names of Alvin’s grandparents: “Hubert and Lula Hickman, Howard and
Otelia Spates all of whom were from Emporia, VA.”

As soon as I saw Alvin Spates’ name, I had a feeling that he was connected to our Timothy Spates. With poignant resolve, I decided to check Ancestry. Sure enough, the records spoke.

In fact, the October 22, 1990 Virginia death certificate of Howard G. Spates (1904-1990), paternal grandfather of Alvin B. Spates, revealed that he was the son of William H. Spates and Rhodie Mills.

William H. Spates was the son of our own Timothy Spates and his first wife, Irvinia Mabry…

An amazing discovery, tempered by the reality that this connection was because of the loss of Alvin B. Spates. May his soul rest in peace and may his family be comforted in knowing that his loss is Heaven’s gain.

What a journey it’s been! From 1856 to the twenty-first century and beyond, the state of the family Spates is proof positive that we need to find our people, learn their stories, and be ever proud of an enduring legacy.

The Genealogy Situation Room

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