John Tankersly purchased the horse of Thomas Sledd in the early 1800s in Amherst County, Virginia, but he was not the first person to use the horse that Thomas apparently had no personal use for himself. Before Thomas Sledd sold his horse in Amerst County, Virginia, in the early 1800s, he had loaned it to the Tinsley family to use on their property in 1799.

The testimony the Tinsleys gave about the “dark Bay horse” provided more information that just about the horse’s health and physical description.

Affidavit of Robert Tinsley made out in April of 1803–Amherst County, Virginia.

Robert Tinsley’s testimony in April of 1803 also indicated that he had used the horse up til a few days before Sledd sold it to Tankersly and that it had performed “well” and would “eat hearty.” Lindsey’s testimony confirmed what Robert’s did, but added a few details as well–information that was not about the horse.

Affidavit of Lindsey Tinsley made out in April of 1803–Amherst County, Virginia.

Lindsey indicated that Robert Tinsley was his brother, that John Tinsley was Robert’s father and that Robert was the overseer for John Tinsley’s farm. The familial relationships were already known, but had they not been the testimony would have helpful in working out the family relationships. The fact that they made out affidavits in April of 1803 also indicated that Robert and Lindsey were of the age of majority at that time. If the ages of the Tinsley men were not already known, that would have been helpful as well.

What is not stated in the affidavits is that Thomas Sledd was also related to the Tinsley family by marriage. He had married Sally Tinsley, daughter of John Tinsley, and sister of the affiants, in Amherst County, Virginia, in 1798. A good reminder that while records may state some relationships without stating them all.

The affidavits serve as a good reminder that it is always important to search for everyone in the entire family/social network. The Tinsleys were not even being sued and yet the testimony provided by them gave significant genealogical information.

All because of a horse.




2 Responses

    • Neat. He’s not related to me, but Thomas Sledd is. You can find the entire file on the Library of Virginia Chancery Court records web page.

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