Monday, June 18, 2012

Alex Forgey Found? A twenty year court battle

I wrote in my last post that Alexander Forgey went missing several times in his life. I wondered whether anything else would surface for this elusive man. Wonder no more because a great find has been made! Nan continues to follow the roll-out of new records at Virginia Memory. She found a case referring to Alexander Forgey as defendant in a recently added Augusta County, VA Chancery Court collection. This digitized record contains an 8 page summary of his case. It likely stems from the sale of Alexander Forgey's wife's dowry back to her father Samuel Meek. I guess there was continued haggling over who owned what? In this case Alexander states he was coerced into turning over property which had actually belonged to him. All this led to a twenty year quarrel over property in dispute.
Thankfully, this twenty year feud led to the creation of records for this elusive man. What we've now gleaned is that Alexander Forgey lived at least until the early 1800's. I had lost track of him after 1796. Court records confirm he was in court in 1803, and probably was also in court in 1807. Alexander had sold his property in January 1796. He no longer appears on tax lists after that date. I don't know if he actually continued to live there and was exempt from paying taxes at that point? He may also have migrated to Tennessee where he had family. The 1810 Census for Tennessee is missing; so he could have lived there and not been recorded on any records. Hawkins County suffered serious early record losses, which could be why nothing has surfaced there for him? Another possibility is that the Knox County, Tennessee property purchased by Alexender Forgey was actually purchased by the Senior Alexander?
There are concrete facts in the documents from which inferences can be drawn. Here is a summary:
  1. It seems like a forgone conclusion, after reading through this, that Alexander Forgey lived into at least the early 19th century.
  2. Jacob Anderson is said to have provided security for Alexander. Don't know if he is a relation?
  3. Alexander Forgey was awarded a judgement against Samuel Meek for $66.67 (a lot of money then).
  4. Samuel Forgey planned to appeal the judgement against him to the Staunton District Court in Augusta County, VA.
It looks like the court papers being digitized for Augusta County Chancery Court Staunton District are loose case files. I don't think they are digitizing the order books? So I am thinking that anyone interested in Alexander Forgey and his line might want to order the court order microfilms available for borrowing through the LDS Family History Centers. There are order books for both Augusta District and Staunton District. Here is a very interesting blog post regarding these records
If Alexander Forgey did not live to collect his judgement his heirs may have collected. So the court orders may contain the names of his heirs?

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