Thursday, October 6, 2016

Robert Lancaster Estate: A Very Large Inventory–Part I

This is a series of blog posts about my fifth great-grandfather, Robert Lancaster. In this previous post, I wrote about the bond of $20,000.

His youngest son, Josiah Lancaster was appointed administrator and ordered to conduct an inventory of the goods, chattels, and debts of Robert Lancaster.

From the Shelby County (Kentucky) Superior Court, October 1840 Term, James Neal, William A. Hamblin, and Arthur Chambers were ordered to  appraise the slaves if any and personal estate of Robert Lancaster, deceased, and then return an appraisement to the court.[1] They appeared in court and returned a “true and just inventory and appraisement of all the personal estate of Robert Lancaster” which was “produced to us by Josiah Lancaster his administrator.”

The appraisement went on for four pages and totaled $10,638.53 ¾. Some items were difficult to determine because of the “creative” spelling.  There were farming equipment, household items, furniture, food and drink stuff, farm livestock, notes owed to the estate, and the biggest ticket items were the ten slaves.

I’ll start with the livestock. He had 118 fat hogs appraised at $894, 75 stock hogs worth $150, 52 sheep at $64, 1 yoke of oxen at $35, 4 calves for $15, 21 head of cattle worth $285, and 11 horses worth $585, described as follows:

1 brown mare                        50 00
1 chestnut sorrel mare            40 00
1 Gray mare                          55 00
1 bay mare                            60 00
1 roan mare                           20 00
1 gray horse                        100 00
1 sorrel horse                        80 00
1 cream horse                       85 00
1 bay horse bald face             50 00
1 bay horse colt                    15 00
1 brown horse one eyes         30 00

Interesting that different horses have different values. It could be because of the kind of horse or because of their age. The total value of the horses were $605. The value of the horses on Robert's 1840 tax record was $500 for ten horses.[2] For the inventory, he has eleven horses, so perhaps he obtained the $100 gray horse between the tax listing and inventory.

There were also equipment such as a saddle and bridle worth $4, three side saddles and bridle worth $6, and a pair of saddle bags at $2.  But there was no mention of the carriage that was worth $300 on the 1840 tax list.

The farming equipment included a wagon, hind gear, spreaders, a barouge (??) & harness, jack screw, old gear, 14 plows and 2 large harrows, a lot of brick axes, hoes, scythes and cradles, a lot of tools, saw, angers, and drawing knife. This totaled $282.00. The item that looked like “barouge or baronge” is probably spelled really creatively but I cannot figure out what it is. That and the harness were worth $180 so it was something of value.

Next up will be the household goods.

[1] Shelby County, Kentucky, Probate, Bk 14, p. 63-68, 1840, Robert Lancaster, digital images, FamilySearch ( : 22 Sep 2016); citing FHL film 259254, item 3.
[2] Shelby County, Kentucky, Tax Record, 1840, p. 11, Robert Lancaster, FHL film 08229.

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family


  1. Lisa,
    What a great find in this treasure trove of a record. There's a sub-story about the horses alone. --Denise

    1. Thank you, Denise, for stopping by. Yes, these estate papers are a treasure. It certainly leads me to many more ideas, too!


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