Headen v. Headen

Decision Date31 December 1850
Citation42 N.C. 159,7 Ired.Eq. 159
PartiesJOHN B. HEADEN v. WILLIAM HEADEN et al.
CourtNorth Carolina Supreme Court
OPINION TEXT STARTS HERE

A. died, intestate, in 1848, leaving a widow and six children surviving him, to-wit: John, Susan, Rachel, Temperance, Elizabeth and Dolly.-- Three other children died in his lifetime, Sarah, Mary and Rebecca, each of whom left children, surviving the intestate. The intestate in his life time gave and conveyed to John two slaves, and a tract of land in fee.--The slaves were of less value than one tenth part of his personal estate; but they and the land together exceeded one ninth of the whole estate, real and personal. The intestate also by deed conveyed certain slaves to his daughters. He also put other slaves, without conveying them in possession of his three daughters, who afterwards died in his lifetime, and after their death conveyed them to his daughters' children respectively. There is a surplus of money and slaves remaining for distribution.

Held, first; that the grand-children, taking in right of their mothers, were not bound to bring into hotchpot the slaves put in possession of, but not conveyed to, their mothers, but conveyed to themselves, but they were bound to bring in those conveyed to their mothers respectively. The statute of distributions is restricted to gifts from a parent to a child, and does not include donations to grand children.

Held, secondly; that under the act of 1844, ch. 51, in the distribution of the personal estate of an intestate among his children or those who represent them, advancements, made to one of the children, of real as well as of personal property, are to be brought by such child into hotchpot, even where the intestate has not died seized of any real estate; and that in this case, John, having received in real and personal property more in value than his share of the personal estate remaining for distribution, is entitled to claim nothing more.

Held, thirdly; that though the widow is entitled to the benefit of advance ments of personalty, made to the children; yet she is not entitled to any benefit from advancements of real property, but, in estimating her distributive share, advancements of personalty are alone to be reckoned.

Held, therefore, that, in this case, the widow's share is to be first ascertained, upon the basis of a division of the personalty, by itself (including partial advancements,) between her and all the children, under the Act of 1784; and, after taking out her share, the remaining fund is divisible among the other eight children or such of them as were not fully advanced, and their representatives.

Cause removed from the Court of Equity of Chatham County, at the Fall Term 1850.

Upon the pleadings the case is this: Aaron Headen died intestate in 1848, leaving a widow and six children surviving him, namely, John, Susan, Rachel, Temperance, Elizabeth and Dolly. He had three other children who died in his life time, namely, Sarah, Mary and Rebecca. Sarah married one Brooks, and had five children, viz.: Elizabeth, Sarah, Jane, Thomas, and Susan. Mary also married and had one daughter, Elizabeth Fooshee; and Rebecca married one Adams, and had three children, viz: Agnes, James, and John; and all those grand-children survived their grand-father.

The intestate in his life time gave and conveyed to his son, John, two slaves, and also a tract of land in fee.--The slaves were of less value than one tenth of his personal estate; but they and the land together considerably exceeded one ninth part of his whole estate, real and personal. He also made sundry gifts of slaves by deeds to some of his other children, as follows: to Susan, two; to Rachel, six; to Temperance, four; to Elizabeth, three; to Dolly, three; to Sarah Brooks, one; and to Rebecca Adams two. He put into the possession of his daughter, Mary, a female slave, who had two children, and upon the death of Mary, her only child, Elizabeth Fooshee, took them. The intestate afterwards made an oral gift of another slave to Elizabeth Fooshee, and in the life time of the intestate she sold that slave for $700; and the intestate likewise conveyed to her by deed of gift the woman and two children, which had been in the possession of her mother, Mary. Besides the slave conveyed to his daughter, Sarah Brooks, the intestate put into her possession another female slave, who had issue four children in the life time of said Sarah; and after her death the intestate by deeds of gift conveyed one of those slaves to each of her said five children for life, with remainder to his other children.

John, the son, administered on the intestate's estate; and, after discharging the debts and charges, he has a surplus in money and a considerable number of slaves for distribution. He filed this bill against the widow, the surviving children, and also the grand children, praying that the rights of the parties may be declared in several particulars mentioned, and the plaintiff made safe in the distribution of the personal estate under the direction of the Court.

W. H. Haywood, for the plaintiff .

No counsel for the defendants.

RUFFIN, C. J.

One of the points stated is, whether the slaves, which were conveyed to the respective grand-children, and had been in the possession of their mothers, are to be brought into hotchpot as advancements, either to the grand children or the mothers. They are not.--The grand-children are not entitled to a distributive share in their own rights, but as representing the respective mothers. They are therefore bound to bring in the gifts to their parents, but not those to themselves. There was no effectual gift of these slaves to the mothers, according to the Act of 1806; but they were conveyed directly to the several grand children. The statute of distributions is restricted to gifts from a parent to a child, and does not include...

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5 cases
  • King v. Neese
    • United States
    • North Carolina Supreme Court
    • February 2, 1951
    ...personal, amongst his children, excepting only, that no property given by a parent to a child is in any case to be taken away.' Headen v. Headen, 42 N.C. 159. Nevertheless, the personal property is made the primary fund for the equalization of advancements in personalty, and the real proper......
  • Atkinson v. Bennett, 670
    • United States
    • North Carolina Supreme Court
    • June 30, 1955
    ...alike." It does not appear that she owned any other property at the time of her death and it cannot be presumed that she did. Headen v. Headen, 42 N.C. 159. Assuming, but not deciding, the mother made an advancement in June or July, 1948, to her daughter, Eleanor B. Bennett, as found by the......
  • Parker v. Eason
    • United States
    • North Carolina Supreme Court
    • March 2, 1938
    ...not gifts to themselves. This rule is restricted by the statute to gifts from a parent to a child, N.C.Code (Michie) § 138. Headen v. Headen, 42 N.C. 159, 161. Joseph D. Eason had died intestate without a will, the plaintiff in this action, his granddaughter, before she could inherit from h......
  • Daves v. Haywood
    • United States
    • North Carolina Supreme Court
    • June 30, 1854
    ...V. MEADOWS, 11 Ired. Rep. 148,) yet they are not to be extended to grand-children, as was distinctly held by this Court, in HEADEN v. HEADEN, 7 Ired. Eq. 159. The exceptions to the report of the commissioner are all overruled, and the report is in all respects confirmed: and a decree must b......
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