Bryan Ward Nowlin

#836, b. 8 October 1740, d. 16 July 1810
Father*James Nowlin b. 13 Nov 1715, d. 18 Jul 1808
Mother*Martha Collins
     Bryan Ward Nowlin was born on 8 October 1740 near Boone, Pittsylvania County, Virginia. He was the son of James Nowlin and Martha Collins. Bryan and Lucy Wade, daughter of Edward Wade and Mary Clement, were married circa 1764 Bryan Ward Nowlin married Lucy Wade of Pittsylvania County, Virginia, about 1764. She was a daughter of Ed Wade, an English scout and hunter. Lucy Wade, our dear revered and something more of a Rebecca-like mother as to posterity, was maternal ancestor to all the Southern families. Her name has been perpetuated by many of her line who knew not its origin, but thought it only a family name. In personal appearance and looks many of her children and grandchildren had more of the Wade impress than the Irish Nowlin; smooth features, arched, heavy brows, eyes black or brown, clear complexions, with a conture all indicating a noble disposition which belongs to the English Wade family.
From Bryan Ward and Lucy Wade sprang the many branches of the name that are scattered over the Southern states and some in Utah, Idaho and Canada. Like Ephraim of old, their seed have become a multitude of people who are leaders in enterprise, adventure, mechanics, teachers—which abound in great number—lawyers, divines, many bankers, doctors in any amount, editors; all filling places of usefulness in their several callings.1 Bryan and Mildred Hutchings, daughter of Christopher Hutchings, were married 21 October 1790. Bryan Ward Nowlin died 16 July 1810, in Chatham, Pittsylvania County, Virginia at age 69 years, 9 months and 8 days.
     He left a will on 11 December 1806.

IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN. I, Bryan W. Nowlin, of Pittsylvania Co., being in perfect
health and sound judgment, do make, constitute, and ordain this My Last Will and Testament in Manner following:

I bequeath my soul to God my maker, and my body to the earth, to be decently interred at the discretion of my Executors hereinafter named.

Imprimis, I Will and desire that all of my just debts be duly paid out of a rising crop and the sale of my stock of all kinds and household furniture, except that I leave to my beloved wife during her life. If that should be deficient, I desire that my mill and three acres of land whereon the mill stands be sold at usual credit for as much money as will be wanting for the payment of my debts, and the balance to be credit until my son, Sherod, becomes to the age of twenty-one years which will be November the thirteenth day in the year 1810. The three acres to begin at a Spanish Oak corner tree in the dividing line between Thomas Thompson and me and run a straight line to the East side line for the three acres and should the said line have any part of the dam on the south side of the Creek, the purchaser to continue the Sam and dig dirt and rock for the use thereof on the land I now possess adjacent to the dam.

Item, My will and desire is that my estate be kept together until my son Sherrod becomes of age, at which time there may be a division. If a division should be necessary
before, his part to be kept in the hands of the Executors until he does come of age.
Item, I give to my Beloved Wife, Mildred Nowlin, one Negro Woman named Suna with her future increase, to her and her heirs forever, also all my right and title of a Negro Woman named Esther which she has received of her father with her present and future increase, the present increase as follows to wit: Isaac, Mary, Jane, Lucretia, and Ben, at her death to go to the Will of her father Christopher Hutchings. Also one bed, bedstead, and furniture, one side-saddle, two pine chests, clothing & etc. which she brought with her, to her and her heirs forever.
Item, I lend to my Beloved Wife, Mildred Nowlin, one hundred and fifteen acres of land beginning on the East side line on the first Branch below the Plantation, crossing the Creek at the mouth of the Branch, hence a straight line to the dividing line between the widowThompson and myself, including the houses and as much of the Plantation as will be within that boundary, whereon I now live, with the following furniture to wit: one bedstead and furniture, one black walnut desk, one walnut chest, two black walnut tables, one corner cupboard and all furniture belonging thereto, all table and kitchen furniture; also two work horses and gear, two ploughs, a yoke of oxen and cart, four cows and calves, a beef, four ewes, two sows and pigs, six hundredweight of pork, two axes, four hoes, which she is to be peaceably possessed with during her life and widowhood. At her death or marriage to be sold at twelve months credit and the money arriving from the sale thereof to be equally divided among my children hereafter named.

Item, I lend to my Daughter, Elizabeth Devin, a Negro Girl named Hannah and her increase during her natural life, and at her death my will and desire is that the said Negro increase be equally divided by lot of sale, as may best suit, among the children of my daughter, Elizabeth Devin, which she now has or may hereafter have lawfully begotten, to them and their heirs forever, which she agreed to take for her part of my estate forever. Item, I have formerly given to my son, Bryan Ward Nowlin, as much of my estate as he was satisfied with, for his part thereof forever, but as a token of love that I bear to him, I will him five pound Virginia currency to be paid out of money arising from the sale of my stock when sold at the division of any estate.

Item, I Will and desire that my eleven Negroes to wit: Pat and her daughter Esther with her two children, to wit, Peter and Liza; Phyllis and her five children, Candace, Wheeler, Brancer, Milley, and Carter, and Davie with the future increase of the females be divided by equal lot, having them valued separately by lot, as the case may best suit at the time, between my eleven children: Peyton Nowlin; Lucy Bennett; Sucky Devin; James Nowlin; David Nowlin; Mary Mahan; Richard Wade Nowlin; Caty Berger; Samuel Nowlin; Anne Nowlin; and Sherod Nowlin; and their heirs forever, the division to t ke place as before mentioned. At the division these eleven children must account for what they have or may hereafter receive of my estate before the division to being it equal, to prevent disputing on that day. I will endeavor to estimate what each child has received:

Item, My son, Peyton Nowlin, has received twenty-three pounds, thirteen shilling value.
Item, My daughter, Lucy Bennett, has received twenty-three pounds value.
Item, My daughter Sucky Devin, has received sixteen pounds value.
Item, My son, James Nowlin, has received fifteen pounds value.
Item, My son, David Nowlin, has received twelve pounds value.
Item, My daughter, Mary Mahan, has received eight pounds value.
Item, My daughter, Caty Berger, has received twelve pounds value, not charging her for the Negro that died on her hands, as she was sick when she received her.
Item, My son, Richard Wade Nowlin has received four pounds value.

Item, My will and desire is that when the division takes place that the lower part of my land with the mill, if not sold, be rented from year to year until the whole of the land can be sold which may be in two lots, as may best suit the purchaser or purchasers.
Item, I desire that my father be kindly treated and continue to have his house and bed and be supported as usual, and should he survive until a division takes place among my children, then to be supported out of the rents of the land before mentioned.
Item, After the death or marriage of my wife, I desire that my land, the residue of all stock, household and kitchen furniture, Plantation utensils lent to my wife be sold and the money arising from the same be equally divided among my before mentioned children, with the residue of money arising from the rents of my land after the maintenance of my father.
Item, My Will and desire is that at the division of any estate my wife shall have forty barrels of grain with sufficient fodder and forage for her stock until she can raise another crop.

Item, And lastly, I do here constitute appoint my three sons, James Nowlin, David Nowlin, and Samuel Nowlin, Executors of this my Last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all other former Wills and Testaments by me heretofore made.
IN WITNESS WHEROF, I have set my hand and affixed my seal the Eleventh day of December in the year of 1806.
Item, No surety required of my Executors. (Signed) Bryan Ward Nowlin Seal
Signed, sealed and delivered as and for the Last Will and Testament of the above
named Bryan Ward Nowlin in the Presence of ----
Isham Hardy, Lewis Atkinson, George Berger, John Heeisu

At the Court held for Pittsylvania County the 16th day of July 1810. This last will and
testament of Bryan Ward Nowlin dec’d was presented in court proved by the oath of two of
the subscribing witnesses thereto and by the court ordered to be recorded and on the motion
of James Nowlin, David Nowlin, and Samuel Nowlin the executors therein named who made
oath according to law and entered into and acknowledged their bond in the penalty of thirty
thousand dollars contained as the law directs certificate is granted them for obtaining a
probate thereof in due form. The said Testator having mentioned in his said will that no
security should be required of his said executors.
(Signed Will Tunstall Clk.)
Note from Mrs. Mary Nowlin Reif, Salt Lake City, Utah. Mrs. Reif was the daughter of James
Edmund Nowlin, author of the Nowlin-Stone Genealogy.
Daughter “Sucky” is Susanna Deven
Daughter “Caty” is Catherine Berger.

Children of Bryan and Lucy

Family of Bryan and Mildred

Last Edited=9 Feb 2021


  1. [S293] James Edmund Nowlin, Nowlin Stone Genealogy (n.p.: Martha Webb Nowlin, 1916), p 35.
  2. [S170] Judith McGhan, Virginia Vital Records, from the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, the William and Mary College Quarterly, and Tyler's Quarterly. (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., 1984), Death given as 23 Dec 1830, age 50 yrs. 11 mos. 27 days; Virginia Vital Records.