Husband: William Rowland
Father: Capt. Thomas Rowland (will probated in Botetourt County,
Mother: Mary Rowland
Died: 1824? (see below)

                                         Wife: Sarah (Sally) (Wood) Rowland
Father: Joseph Wood [R002]
Mother: Martha (Epperson) Wood [R002]
Born: 6/1/1783
Died: 1856 in Fincastle Va.

Married: 10/3/1819 [S081]. Sarah’s nephew James Morton Wood
    [R251] signed the marriage bond

Eliza G. Rowland, m. William S. Davis; their dau. Lucy Emma Davis
    m. Branch O. Wood (see [R264]) 12/16/1874. Other ch. named in
    Sarah’s will are, Mary E. (Davis) Robinson; James R. Davis; Sarah E.
    Davis; Josaih P. Davis; Eliza V. (Davis) Robinson; Ora L. Davis;
    Mariah W. Davis
William Robert Rowland ran a general store in Fincastle, m. Isabella
    Ferguson in 1850, s. David Robert Rowland (probably Isabella’s child
    by a previous marriage); William d. ~1853

William Rowland disappeared in 1824. In the words of his widow’s lawyer [S111], “...in the fall of the year 1823 her husband (having previously sold his land in the county of Botetourt) left with Edward Wood [R003] (the Plaintiff) for the County of Randolph or Pocahontas, both of whom wished to purchase land. Her husband returned, having made a conditional contract with a certain Brown Jenks, for several thousand acres of land in a large survey. Jenks at that time she thinks had not procured the title to the land & had to make a trip to the north for that purpose. When he returned he was to write to this respondent’s husband. He waited until the 2nd March 1824 & not having heard from Jenks and being extremely anxious to move in a short time, he left on that day for Jenks’ residence, to see if he was to get the land & if so to procure the title for it.—This respondent waited anxiously for her husband’s return—he came not—she became uneasy—the community at large sympathized with her—the waters were exceedingly high at the time—at length she sent a Negro Man to her brother Edward (the Plaintiff) with a message to him that the Boy could remain & work in his place, & that respondent trusted he would go in search of her husband. He done so [sic], proceeded to the residence of Jenks & not being able to trace him further than to a certain point in Pendleton [County] & not finding or hearing of him at Jenks he returned. Upon his return, several Gentlemen, to wit, Silas Rowland, James Shurkey, John Beale, Maddison Gilmore, Tanus [?] Woods & William Poage, went in like search—They could not trace respondent’s husband further than the point aforesaid, & coming to the conclusion that he was no longer in existence, having lossed his life—in some way or other—upon their return, it was thought best, that letters of administration should be obtained. Silas Rowland, Charles Beale & the Plaintiff became the Administrators...”

Presumably Rowland was carrying a large sum of money to pay Jenks with, and in [S111] Edward Wood minces no words in concluding that he was robbed and murdered. As an Administrator of Rowland’s estate, Edward was charged with securing the partly-purchased property in Pocahontas County. This he did, paying $500 of the estate’s money to Jenks for it. Twenty years after the fact (1/17/1844), Edward sued his sister to recover the expenses he incurred ($87) on his trips (“no less than fourteen”) to West Virginia to consummate the purchase, and also over two other financial disputes, one involving a slave [S111]. Edward pointed out that the property had appreciated tenfold in value, and Sarah had been able to sell it for $5000.

[S111] consists of formal statements by all parties, including Sarah’s son, and transcripts of the testimony of involved parties. The above quotation is from Sarah’s Separate Answer. The defendants argue that Edward did not travel to West Virginia only for their sake, as he was busy acquiring land there for his own purposes at that time; that the land appreciated in value along with West Virginia land in general as it became settled, not because of any exertions of Edward; and that anyway Edward had received his $87. ([S111] includes two receipts for $87 signed by Edward Wood, one dated 12/30/1836.) Unfortunately the Chancery Court records do not reveal how the case was decided.

William Rowland died intestate; his estate was settled 9/1/1826 (WBD-303). Sarah’s will [S156], written in 1853, left practically her whole estate, including eight slaves, to her daughter Eliza G. Davis. Sarah said she had already “in the lifetime of my son William Robert Rowland advanced to him in cash and paid for him debts to an amount...equal to the legacy herein bequeathed to my Daughter...”

Sources: [S077, S081, S083, S111]