The small stone cottage at the easternmost end of the Hague-Hough house may be the earliest surviving dwelling in Waterford. The one-room stone dwelling was constructed by Francis Hague circa 1744.

Much can be learned by observing the things a person owns. Long ago, when people owned many fewer things than is now the case, lists of possessions were recorded in will books at the settling of someone’s estate. As you might imagine, such lists are valuable to historians, as they paint a picture of a life at its conclusion. They reflect daily life at a point in history, when our country and culture were very different than they are today. Wills enable historians to track transfers of significant property such as land and home sales, and they are important sources for genealogical information, especially for persons whose ancestors were enslaved and may have been transferred from one owner to another in the settlement of an estate.

Consider the personal estate of Francis Hague, one of Waterford’s founders. His personal effects are transcribed from the Loudoun County Will Book in this excerpt from When Waterford and I Were Young:

“Personal Estate of Francis Hague

“The things a man leaves behind provide insight into his life and times. These few animals, simple tools, and utilitarian furnishings are the material legacy of one of Waterford’s founders and leading citizens:

Sundry wearing apparel

1 Riding mare Saddle & Bridle

1 Bed Bedstead & Furniture

1 Bedstead of furniture

1 Warming Pan

1 Woman’s Saddle

1 Old Desk

4 Old Tubs

1 Old Chest

1 Armed Chair

Small bundle toe [tow]

21 Large Spools

1 Pr Scales and Weights

1 Hone & Whetstone

1 Side soal [sic] leather

1 Calf Skin

1 Pair Upper Leather

1 Razor

1 pr. Stillyards [steelyards]

1 Flax Heckle [hackle]

1 Old Box Iron

1 Brass Heckle

2 Pair Sheep Shears

1 Lanthorn [sic]

1 Looking Glass

1 Smooth bore Gun

7 Old Chairs

4 Old Water Pails

2 Tables

1 Sieve

1 Hair Sifter

Sundry Books

Sundry Pewter

Old Earthen Ware

4 Tin Cups

5 Trenchers

11 Still Tubs

4 Gheggs [sic]

Two Saddles

1 broken Iron Pott

1 pair Iron Tongs

1 Bake Iron

1 old Shovel

2 Pott Racks

1 Wheel/2pr. Cards

1 Iron Skillit

1 Frying Pan

1 Sow and 8 Piggs

6 large Hogs

18 Head Sheep

1 Bay Colt

1 Grey Horse

1 Iron Kettle

2 Old Scythes

1 Old Bedstead

1 Old Tubb

1 Dough Trough

1 Bowl

1 Pair Hand [sic] Irons

1 Crow Bar

3 Axes

1 Piece of Steel

1 Pr. Hinges & Hammer

3 Augurs

Sundry Old Iron

1 Pr. Candlemoulds

1 Plough Clevices

2 Collars & Swingletree

1 Plow & Ditto

1 Iron Tooth’d Harrow

1 Old Barrel

1 Old Waggon

2 Rye Stacks

2 Iron Spaids

1 Pewter Funnel

1 Hoe & Harrow

1 Stack Hay

1 Hogshead

Sundry Horse gears

1 Ox Chain

2 Bells

Rings & Wedges

1 Tea Kettle

1 Steer

1 Heifer

1 Brindle Cow

2 Spring Calfs

1 Red Steer

1 Brindle Steer

1 Swarm Bees, 3 Bee Gums

1 Cross Cut Saw

2 Baggs

1 Fox Trap

Old gears

2 Pitch Forks & Rakes

2 Broad Hoes

2 Barrells

2 Old Hogshead

1 Ghegg

Sundry Old Tubbs

1 Brass Cock

1 Raw Hide

1 Old Hogshead

Broke Hemp

Cart Iron

1 Cutting Box & Knife

1 Half Bushel

1 Mattock

1 Still & Worm

1 Dutch Fan

1 Mow Hay

1 Brindle Cow

2 Tubbs

3 Pails 1 Tub”

This excerpt and other interesting bits of Waterford history can be found in When Waterford and I Were Young, by John Divine with Bronwen and John Souders, available online here: