Virginia Memory, Library of Virginia
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THIS DAY IN VIRGINIA HISTORY

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July 26, 1842

Will of Ann (or Anna) D. Bolling, Petersburg, 26 July 1842 (fair copy) Petersburg Court Cases, Chancery Causes, Accession 37621, Box 55, 1848-012–1848-019 [1848-014], Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia. Will of Ann (or Anna) D. Bolling, Petersburg, 26 July 1842 (fair copy) Petersburg Court Cases, Chancery Causes, Accession 37621, Box 55, 1848-012–1848-019 [1848-014], Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.

Ann D. Bolling Signed Her Will

In her will, Ann Dade Stith Bolling of Petersburg left most of her estate to her married daughter. Bolling carefully added caveats to protect the property from the debts of her daughter's current or any subsequent husband, and she left special bequests to her granddaughter. In Petersburg at this time, the percentage of propertied women who wrote wills was higher than the percentage of propertied men who did. Women also tended to divide their property unequally between inheritors, often according to need. Writing wills was one way for women to exert control of their property and legally to protect their descendants' welfare.