Susan Huffman and James Young, Prenuptial Agreement

The information on this page was originally part of the Genealogical Society of Page County (GSPC) website. GSPC was dissolved in 2005. Permission has been granted for use by Teresa Kelley


GSPC Newsletter, Vol. 7, No. 2, Spring 1996

Mr. William Young of Harrisonburg, VA, found the following document while doing research in the Deed Books in Page County Courthouse. It is an agreement made between Susan HUFFMAN and her husband to be, James YOUNG just prior to their marriage. According to Mr. Young, Susan HUFFMAN was a widow with at least three children, she was in possession of some real estate as well as personal property. James YOUNG was apparently not considered a man of means in spite of his having acquired 350 acres of land which was comprised mostly of steep mountain slopes and a small portion of cleared land along Nake Creek. The traditional perception of the era was that the husband was head of the household and had the last word in matters concerning land, animals, and personal property. This was apparently not Susan's perception and she must have had some misgivings as to how her children would fare in case of her premature death which was not uncommon in those times. As a consequence, the following Article of Agreement was entered into by James YOUNG and Susan HUFFMAN:

Article of Agreement made and entered into this 6th day of June 1844, by and between Susan HUFFMAN of the County of Page and State of Virginia of the one part and James YOUNG of the County and State aforesaid of the other part. Witnesseth, that the said Susan HUFFMAN and James YOUNG for and in consideration of a marriage that is shortly to take place between them, the said Susan HUFFMAN and James YOUNG haved entered into the following marriage contract, that is to say, whereas the said Susan HUFFMAN has a tract of land lying in the County of Rappahannock, State of Virginia, the tract containing about thirty acres, be it the same more or less and the following personal property to wit, 2 beds a Negro named Risser, 2 horses, bedding for 2 beds, 2 bedsteads, 1 cow, 10 sheep, 3 hogs, 2 plows, 6 chairs, 1 table, 2 pots, 2 skillets, 7 blankets, and the said parties being desirous that the said Susan HUFFMAN shall retain her present right and title in her land and personal property as above named have agreed that the said James YOUNG is to have no control over the said real or personal property as is above named, nor is said real or personal property to be subject to his, the said James YOUNG's debts nor is said real or personal property to be subject to any debts the said James YOUNG may contact in the future, but the said Susan HUFFMAN and James YOUNG do agree that the said land as is above named shall remain and continue in the possession of the said Susan HUFFMAN alone and subject to her control alone as long as she shall live and the profits and rents arising from the said land and personal property named shall belong to the said Susan HUFFMAN alone as long as she the said Susan HUFFMAN shall live, and at her death the land and property as above named and the rents and profits arising from the same shall be equally divided among all the children of the said Susan HUFFMAN as shall be living at her death as witness our hand and seals this 6th day of June 1844.

Her Mark
Susan Huffman

His Mark
James Young

Attest:
St. Clair Kirtley
Daniel Merica

As it turned out, Susan's caution was unnecessary, James died before 1870 and she outlived him. Susan married Vincent WOOD for her third husband. It is not known at this time how Susan shared in the estate of James YOUNG who died intestate. However, we do know that at least some of James' land was acquired by his son, Thomas, who was living on it in 1885.