Figure of the Week

Francis Jett

Born c.1735 - Died 1791

Francis Jett (c.1735-1791) was born in King George County (later Stafford), the son of Peter Jett (c.1717-1784) and Rebecca Bowen.  Francis married Barsheba Porch (c.1738-1818), the daughter of Richard and Mary Porch.  The Fredericksburg Circuit Court records include papers relating to the settlement of Francis Jett’s estate.  After he died at his White Oak home, his will disappeared under questionable circumstances and his heirs took the issue to court.  Archibald Rollow (1755-1829), Francis’ son-in-law, stated that two to three weeks after Francis’ death, he happened to be at the home of his widowed mother-in-law along with his brother-in-law, Thomas Jett, and several others.  “After drinking pretty freely and being a little lively with liquor, a paper was handed to him (by whom he doth not recollect) which he was requested to put in the fire.”  Archibald did as he was asked, “wholly ignorant at that time, of its contents, and without any fraudulent design whatever.”  Archibald claimed to have no objection to the will himself, but noted that “he can only account for his conduct from the insinuation of the defendant Thomas Jett, who having a legacy of five pounds only, left him by the said will could alone be dissatisfied therewith, and had frequently declared before the will was destroyed that his father was incapable in law of making any will and that consequently his mother (one of the complainants) would be put to her thirds and be deprived of so great an interest as her deceased husband had intended for her.”