Chapter 8 – John Mitchell II Family

St. Barnabas’ Church Marker

Chapter 8 – John Mitchell II Family[1]

John Mitchell II, the title character in this manuscript was the father of Sarah Mitchell, the widow of Robert Yacksley, who married William Atterbury, Immigrant, probably in Prince Georges County Maryland around 1738-40.

This chapter will endeavor to provide the ancestry and history of John Mitchell II’s family in Maryland back to the original immigrant, and perhaps even back to his European family roots.  The author has found only one published genealogy which, if it is to be believed, seems to provide a fairly complete lineage for the Maryland Mitchells backward to two generations before the first immigrant.  This referenced genealogy is located on a website owned by the Virginia Eastern Shore Public Library entitled MilesFiles, Vers. 16.3.[2]  This published genealogy appears to have been fairly thoroughly researched and spans six generations of this family from John Michell and Joane Delves of Harting, Sussex around 1562 [author doubts this connection] thru Captain William Michell and Anne Alwin of Harting (Maryland immigrants in 1647) [author doubts wife] to John Mitchell and Susanna Burgess [author doubts mother] of London Town, Anne Arundel, MD around 1710.  As a beginning point in our quest for the ancestry of John Mitchell II, let us acknowledge that many researchers identify John Mitchell and Susanna Burgess as the parents of John Mitchell II. 

Without considerable further investigation the author is unable to corroborate this purported lineage for John Mitchell II, but initial indications are that much of MilesFiles’s lineage from Captain William Mitchell backward is in doubt.  In fact, the “proof” of the averred connection to Captain William Mitchell, itself, is open to challenge and will be thoroughly investigated by this work.  We will commence our investigation into the John Mitchell II family by presenting the earliest known Mitchell immigrants and then attempt to trace John Mitchell II backward until an intersection or connection is identified with one of those early immigrants.   Utilizing the online database entitled The New Early Settlers of Maryland compiled by Dr. Carson Gibb[3], several early Mitchell immigrants have been identified as follows:

John Mitchells

  1. 1641 – Mitchel, John, AB&H:10 Film No: Transported 1641.  This was the earliest record found for anyone with the surname of Mitchell or near facsimile immigrating into Maryland.  This record indicates that this John Mitchell was “transported”, suggesting that he was an indentured servant [aka redemptioner], and that his transportation had been paid by someone else, who likely claimed him as a “landright” on a land patent filed in their own name.  No further trailing records could be identified with this John Mitchell, suggesting that he may have remained in service, or died before the end of his indentured period, typically four years from date of transportation.
  2. 1665 – Mitchell, John, CC:726 Film No: Transported by 1665; Transcript: 8:478; MSA SC 4341.  Given the interval of 24 years, this presumably was the transport of a different John Mitchell from the previous record.  This John Mitchell very likely was the same person referenced in the following record.
  3. 1667 – Mitchell, John; FF:525 Film No: Service by 1667; Transcript: 10:481; MSA SC 4341.  The author believes that this record was for the same John Mitchell identified as a transported “landright” in the previous record.  The notation of “Service by 1667” probably means that this John Mitchell had completed his obligated indentured servitude, even though only 2 to 3 years had elapsed from his presumed date of transportation. 
  4. 1673 – Mitchell, John; 17:450 Film No:SR 7358; Service by 1673; MSA SC 4341-1771.  There does not appear to have been a corresponding transportation record for this John Mitchell, unless, perhaps he as the same person claimed as a transported landright in 1765, Item 2, above.  Such connection does seem possible, when considered in context with the following Patent record.
  5. 1670 – Mitchell, John; JJ:393 Film No:; Of Talbot County by 1670, when 200 acres on the south side of Chester River were surveyed for him.  It is the author’s belief that this land patent record very likely was for the same John Mitchell identified in Items 2 and 3, above.  Given the fact that this patent was situated in Talbot County, it does seem possible that Items 2 thru 5 were all for the same person, who is discussed later as having originated a Mitchell branch in northern Talbot County in the vicinity of Kent Island.
  6. 1679 – Mitchell, John; LL:847 Film No:  Transported by 1679; Transcript: 15:568; MSA SC 4341.  This and the following record very likely were for the transport of the same person, but probably a different John Mitchell than appeared in the four previous records.
  7. 1680 – Mitchell, John; CB2:196 Film No:SR 7366; Transported by 1680.  This and the preceding John Mitchell may have been the same person, who was transported as an indentured servant with his landright being claimed by the person paying for his transport.

Of the foregoing listed transportation records, the author is of the opinion that the John Mitchells listed in Items 2 thru 5 may well have been for the same person, and that that person could have been an ancestor of John Mitchell II, pending further investigation. 

Other Transported Mitchells

In addition to the foregoing records pertaining to persons named John Mitchell, there were also several records for other Mitchell immigrants during the 17th century listed as follows:

  1. 1648 – Mitchell, Thomas; AB&H:184 Film No:SR 7344; Transported himself, his wife, & two children; Transcript: Q:149 [SR 7345]; MSA SC 4341-2256.  This Thomas Mitchell is believed by some researchers to have been a younger brother of Captain William Mitchell, whose immigration is documented in Item 9, hereinafter.
  2. 1649/0 – Mitchell, William, Esq; 3:86,112,408-10 Film No:; On 1 January 1649/0 undertook within 18 months to transport 30 persons including himself; MSA SC 4341.  This is an immigration record for Captain William Mitchell, purported eldest son of John Mitchell and Mary West [per MilesFiles] of Houghton, Sussex [now West Sussex], England.  This William Mitchell and his descendants are the main subject of the Mitchell family genealogy referenced above posted by the Virginia Eastern Shore Public Library.  If that genealogy is correct, his would be the lineage from which John Mitchell II descended.  Much more on Captain William Mitchell to follow.
  3. 1658 – Mitchell, Henry; Qo:212 Film No: Transported himself by 1658; Transcript: Q:317; 4:141; Original: R:65a; MSA SC 4341.  The identity of this Henry Mitchell is unknown to the author.  This Henry Mitchell went on to become a prominent resident of the Colony and left a fairly large footprint of his life and that of his descendants.  It is unknown whether there was any kinship connection between Henry Mitchell and Captain William Mitchell.
  4. 1665 – Mitchell, George; EE:219 Film No: Transported himself by 1665; Transcript: 9:229; 14:360-61; Original: KK:351-52; MSA SC 4341.  This George Mitchell very likely was a son of Captain William Mitchell named as a headright in a 20Dec1658 land certificate filed by Capt. William Mitchell in Northampton County, Virginia.  This George Mitchell is believed to have settled in Somerset County, MD (more to follow).
  5. 1667 – Michel (Michaell), William, GG:455 Film No: Service to Thomas Ropes [Roper?] in South River by 1667; Transcript: 11:500; MSA SC 4341.  In the forthcoming analysis, this William Mitchell/Michaell will be put forward as the probable grandfather of John Mitchell II.

It is the William Mitchell recorded in Item 9 above, that is identified in the MilesFiles genealogy as the immigrant ancestor of the John Mitchell, who married Susanna Burgess, and is purported to have been the father of John Mitchell II.  Three others of these Mitchells: Thomas, George and William Michel [aka Michaell] (Item 12, above) are believed by some researchers to have been kinsmen of Captain William Mitchell as brother, and sons, respectively.

This concludes the presentation of Mitchell immigrants “transported” to Maryland.  The author believes that the ancestor(s) of John Mitchell II is contained somewhere within these transportation records.  We will now endeavor to establish a linkage between John Mitchell II and that currently unknown immigrant ancestor.

In order to identify John Mitchell II’s immigrant ancestor, we will begin the search by working backwards through known church and civil records in an attempt to find his birth record and his parent’s identity.  Assuming that John Mitchell II’s birth record is extant, the author conducted a search of all Maryland births contained in an Ancestry.com database identified as All Maryland, Births and Christenings Index, 1662-1911 utilizing the given name of “John”, surname of “m*ch*l” and date range of 1680 to 1699.  This search returned only three hits abstracted as follows:

  1. 22Oct1694 – John Mitchell was born to John Mitchell and his wife, Sarah, in Saint Peters Parish, Talbot County.  The identity of this John Mitchell is not known with certainty, but he may have been descended from Captain William Mitchell.
  2. 9Dec1697 – John Mitchell was born to Jeofry [aka Geofrey] Michell and his wife, Elliner, in Somerset County.  Although not specifically identified in the MilesFiles genealogy, the author believes that Jeofry Mitchell may have been a kinsman of Captain William Mitchell.
  3. 30Jan1698 [O.S.] – John Michell was born to William Michell and his wife, Rosemond, in All Hallow’s Parish, Anne Arundel County.  According to the MilesFiles genealogy, this William Mitchell was a grandson of Captain William Mitchell, and 1st cousin of John Mitchell II.

The author is inclined to eliminate or give a very low probability to the John Michell born on 30Jan1698 on the basis of age (he would have been only about 19 years old when John III, eldest son of John Mitchell II, was born in Feb1717/8).  The author is inclined to give the John Mitchell born 9Dec1697 to Jeofry and Elliner a low to medium probability based on the age, and the relatively long distance between Somerset County and Prince George’s County.  However, the author is inclined to give the John Mitchell born to John and Sarah on 22Oct1694 a high level of probability based on both age and the relatively close geographic proximity between Talbot County and Prince George’s County.

Assuming that the John Mitchell born on 22Oct1694 in Talbot County was the same person as John Mitchell II, then we have now established that his parents were John Mitchell and Sarah (lnu).  Only one additional church record was found for this family, that being the birth of a daughter named Alice, abstracted as follows:

  1. 6Jan1696 – Alice Mitchell was born to John Mitchell and his wife, Sarah, in Saint Peter’s Parish, Talbot County.

However, there was another birth recorded three years earlier that may be connected to this John Mitchell abstracted as follows:

  1. 7Nov1693 – William Mitchell was born to John Mitchell and his wife, Elizabeth, in Saint Peter’s Parish, Talbot County.

Given the scarcity of records for anyone named Mitchell in Talbot County, and given the matching name of the father and the date of birth having been only one year prior to the birth of our presumed John Mitchell II, it might be assumed that the father of William Mitchell born 7Nov1693 in Talbot County was John Mitchell I.  However, other records from Talbot County around this same time period clearly establish the existence of two different John Mitchells.  The John Mitchell, married to Elizabeth, and recording the birth of a son named William in Nov1693, was not the same John Mitchell, married to Sarah, and recording births of children in 1694 and 1696 in Talbot County (more to follow).

No further records were found for John and Sarah Mitchell of Talbot County.  However, there was the marriage between John Mitchell and Susanna Burgess abstracted as follows:

  1. 14Jul1700 – John Mitchell married Susanna Burgess, daughter of William Burgess, at All Hallows Church, Anne Arundel County.

Contemporaneous with the foregoing marriage record at All Hallows Church was a corresponding Quaker Monthly Meeting record entry as follows:

  1. 31Jul1700 [31 d., 5 m., 1700] – John Mitchell, of Third Haven Monthly Meeting, was reported of having taken a wife by a “priest” contrary to discipline (QMES:21).  [This probably refers to the marriage of John Mitchell to Susanna Burgess in Jul1700][4]

It is known that the church records associated with John and Sarah Mitchell of Talbot County ended with the birth of their daughter, Alice, in 1696.  So, it is conceivable that Sarah Mitchell died sometime between 1696 and 1700, and that her widowed husband, John Mitchell, married Susanna Burgess on 14Jul1700.  Talbot County lies directly across Chesapeake Bay from London Town, Anne Arundel County, home of Susanna Burgess’ family.  It is not too difficult to imagine that John Mitchell may have moved across the Bay upon the death of his wife, Sarah.  The probability of the John Mitchell of St. Peter’s Parish, Talbot County, having been the same person who married Susanna Burgess on 14Jul1700 is a virtual certainty based on the Quaker Meeting record of Item 16, above.  The Quaker record is from the Third Haven Monthly Meeting at Easton in lower Talbot County, the same location as St. Peter’s Parish Church, known at that time as White Marsh Church.  Given the groom’s matching name, the fact that the Quaker record was dated just two weeks after John Mitchell’s marriage to Susanna Burgess, and the fact that their marriage was performed in the Anglican church, hence the reference to a “priest”, confirms that John Mitchell was a resident of St. Peter’s Parish, Talbot County around the time that he married Susanna Burgess.

Assuming that the John Mitchell, who married Susanna Burgess, was the same person, who recorded children born to a wife named Sarah in Talbot County in the mid-1690’s, then he almost certainly was the same John Mitchell, who appeared in other records of the Third Haven Quaker Meeting between 1697 and 1700.  From those records it would appear that John Mitchell had been affiliated with the Quaker Meeting in the latter part of the 1690’s, but perhaps only briefly, as he was recorded in Anglican church records in 1694, 1696 and 1700.  From these facts it might be interpreted that his 1st wife, Sarah, may have been a Quaker, and that he may have submitted to a Quaker marriage, but later reverted to his Anglican roots.  Be that as it may, we later discover that Susanna’s mother, Ursula, intermarried with Dr. Mordecai Moore, a Quaker.  So, there were clearly Quaker influences existing in the neighborhood around South River into which John Mitchell was born and reared.

One further record of a John Mitchell, contemporaneous with his marriage to Susanna Burgess is abstracted as follows:

  1. 9May1700 – John Mitchell’s Peticon read: It being for an Alloweance for attending as doore keeper to the honoble Councill.[5]

The foregoing petition by an unknown John Mitchell was entered into the colonial records of the General Assembly at Annapolis on 9May1700, just two months before the marriage between John Mitchell and Susanna Burgess.  The author has strong reasons for believing that this person, who was serving in the capacity of “Doorkeeper” for the General Assembly, was the subject of our investigation, namely the husband of Susanna Burgess and the father of John Mitchell II.  The basis for this conclusion is predicated on several factors (soon to be disclosed), the principal of which is the absence of any other candidates known to have been living in Maryland at that time.  A doorkeeper was a low-level functionary hired by the Council to stand guard at the entrance to the Council chambers and to monitor and regulate those persons entering and exiting the chambers.  Others on record as serving in this capacity at around this same time period were allowed compensation ranging between 1500 and 2000 pounds of tobacco per annum.

Assuming that the John Mitchell, who married Susanna Burgess, was the father of John Mitchell II, then the following birth records of his half-brothers are presented:

  1. 11Aug1701 – Burgess Mitchell was born to John Mitchell and his wife, Susanna, at All Hallows Church, Anne Arundel County.
  2. 13Feb1703 – Mordicai Mitchell was born to John Mitchell and his wife, Susanna, at All Hallows Church, Anne Arundel County.

These were the only records found for children presumed born to John Mitchell and Susanna Burgess, but the following abstract of the LWT of Mordecai Moore (Susanna Burgess’ step-father) suggests the existence of at least two more children born of John Mitchell I:

“Mordecai Moore, born 28Jun1663 in Anne Arundel County, MD, his LWT dated 2Sep1713, probated 29Oct1721, “Practioner in Physick and Chyrugery”.  To Deborah, Mary and Elizabeth he left ₤400 at age or marriages.  To kinsman, Mary Coleman and her heirs, he left plantation Arran in Prince George’s County.  To Mordecai, the son of Charles Burgess; to the children of his son-in-law [step-son], Charles Burgess, vtz.: Francis [prob. a daughter named Frances] Hanslop, Elizabeth Burgess, and to William, Ursula, Mordecai, Charles and Benjamin, ₤5.  To daughter-in-law [step-daughter], Susanna Mitchell and her children: Burgess, Mordecai, John and Henrietta Mitchell.  To Mordecai Burgess, 200 acres called Fortune.  To John [Mitchell], the son of his daughter [step-daughter], Susanna Mitchell, 100 acres, being part of Fortune.  Named son: Richard Moore (son of Mordecai Moore and Ursula [Painter Burgess], and wife, Deborah [Loyd] as executors.”

This could be a vital document in our effort to sort out the family connections of John Mitchell II.  First, it should be noted that this LWT of Mordecai Moore, husband of Ursula Painter Burgess, widow of William Burgess, named four children of his step-daughter, Susanna Mitchell, viz.: Burgess, Mordecai, John and Henrietta.  From the earlier discussion of John Mitchell and Susanna Burgess it was stated that only two records were found for their children: Burgess and Mordecai.  It is now time for the author to posit an hypothesis: 

The children of Susanna Mitchell identified in Mordecai Moore’s LWT as John and Henrietta were not the biological children of Susanna, rather her step-children from an earlier marriage of her husband, John Mitchell.  Moreover, the “son”, John Mitchell, was actually the son of John and Sarah Mitchell born on 22Oct1694 in Talbot County.

The basis for this hypothesis is predicated in part on the fact that no birth records were found for any other children born to John Mitchell and Susanna Burgess other than the two sons: Burgess and Mordecai.  Next, the fact that Mordecai Moore made a bequest of land to John Mitchell, son of his step-daughter, Susanna [Burgess] Mitchell, but no land bequests to the other two sons: Burgess and Mordecai, suggests that John was the eldest of these four children and perhaps 18 years or older in 1713.  If this John Mitchell were the son of John Mitchell and Sarah born 22Oct1694, he would have been almost 19 years old in 1713.  In fact, it is the author’s belief that this John Mitchell probably was already married when Mordecai Moore wrote his LWT in Sep1713.  It is the author’s belief that this John Mitchell named in the LWT of Mordecai Moore was in fact the same person as John Mitchell II, and that he was forced into a very early marriage because of calamitous events that had befallen his father.

However, before proceeding into a presentation of these “calamitous events” we need to regress for a moment to discuss one other factor yet presented relative to John Mitchell II.  In his LWT dated 4Jun1748 John Mitchell made a bequest to a presumably married daughter named Mary Lee as evidenced in the following abstract:

“LWT of John Mitchell; Liber 28, folio 385; 4 June 1748; MITCHEL, JOHN, Sr., Prince George’s Co., planter: To dau. Mary Lee, sons John & David Mitchel, & dau. Sarah Atterbary, 1 sh. apiece. To son John Mitchel, Jr., 55 apple trees, the 5 rows next the marsh. To sons John Mitchel, Jr. , & David Mitchel, equ. div. on my wife d., my pr. of hand millstones & irons, crosscut saw, & wedges. To grddau. Elizabeth Yaxley, on my wife d. or age 16, a heifer, a sow & pigs, & the bed she lies on, but if she d. before age 16 or my wife d., to my dau. Elizabeth Mitchel, Jr. To wife & extrx., Elizabeth, for life, the plntn. where I live & all my p. e., & on her d., s[aid] p. e. to dau. Eliz. Mitchel, Jr., but if she d. before s wife or before she is mar., to grddau. Elizabeth Yaxley. To son David Mitchel, (on s wife d.) the 59a I live on, not disturbing my s dau. Eliz. during the time of her celibacy. Witn: Joseph Peach, Mary Peach, John Varney. 26 Aug. 1752, sworn to by Joseph & Mary Peach.”

Let it be said that no birth record could be found for a daughter named Mary born to John and Elizabeth Mitchell.  Next, the reader’s attention is drawn to a deed abstracted as follows:

“folio 729, Indenture, 26 Apr 1726, enrolled 29 Apr 1726 – From: John Mitchell, planter of Prince George’s County, and Elizabeth his wife, To: William Callander, carpenter of Prince George’s County, For and in consideration of a marriage already had and solemnized between William Callander and Mary Mitchell, daughter of John Mitchell; for 5s a tract of land called ‘Mitchell’s Addition’ signed John Mitchell (mark & seal) Elizabeth A. [Ann?] Mitchell (mark & seal). Witnessed by [Rev.] Jacob Henderson, Rupert Butler, Richard Duckett; Acknowledged by Elizabeth Mitchell, wife of John.”

It is the author’s belief that the grantors in this deed: John [II] and Elizabeth Mitchell, were the parents of Sarah Mitchell, who married William Atterbury.  This belief is predicated on the names, dates and geographic location being in Prince George’s County.  That being the case, then this deed suggests that John had a daughter named Mary Mitchell, who was already married in Apr1726.  In fact, Mary Mitchell was already married to William Callander on 26Jan1724/5 as evidenced by the following marriage abstract:

  1. 26Jan1724/5 – William Callender married Mary Mitchel (2-PG [Prince George’s County]-4)[6]

The reader’s attention is further drawn to the following marriage abstract from the same Ancestry.com database:

  1. 29Dec1726 – William Calinder married Rebeckah Hutton (2-TB [Talbot County]-114)[7]

Given the rarity of the Callender surname in Maryland at that time [only these two records were found], the exact match of given names, the sequential dating of these marriage events, and the relatively close geographic proximity between Prince George’s County and Talbot County; the author is of the opinion that the William Callender named in each of these marriages was one and the same person.  Assuming this interpretation to be correct, then it would reasonably follow that William Callender’s first wife, Mary Mitchell, must have died sometime in 1725/6, possibly during the birth of her first child, and that her widowed husband intermarried with Rebeckah Hutton in Dec1726.  It may also be inferred that the sale of Mitchell’s Addition to their son-in-law, William Calender, for the token sum of 5 schillings may have been by way of a dowry and in contemplation of the arrival of their first grandchild.

It should further be noted that Mitchell’s Addition was acquired by John Mitchell as set forth in the following patent record abstract:

  1. 16Sep1720 – John Mitchell, Prince George’s County, “Mitchell’s Addition”, 150 acres, CE1/32.

The fact that Elizabeth was required to give her consent for the release of her dower right to the sale of this tract to William Callender is strong indication that she and John were married at the time of the patent filing in Sep1720.  However, there is nothing in the indenture with William Callender to confirm or disprove that Elizabeth was Mary Mitchell’s mother.  The abstract refers to Mary Mitchell as “daughter of John Mitchell”, not as daughter of John and Elizabeth Mitchell.  From this fact it might be inferred that Elizabeth may not have been Mary’s mother, but that Mary may have been John’s daughter from an earlier marriage.  This point may be important to any attempt to identify Elizabeth’s parentage.

If we are to believe that John Mitchell II was the same person as the John Mitchell born on 22Oct1694 to John and Sarah Mitchell in Talbot County, then we must be willing to accept several rather extraordinary events.  First, from the foregoing presentations on Mary Mitchell, daughter of John Mitchell, we know that she was married on 26Jan1724/5.  These events allow only 30-1/4 years to elapse between John’s presumed birth and the marriage of his first daughter.  Is it reasonable to think that these events could have occurred within such a short time frame?  In order for these numbers to work, John probably would have married by about age 16 or 17 [or by about 1710/1], and that his daughter would have married by age 13 or 14.  Such early marriages were not all that unusual in colonial times, so it does seem feasible to the author that this could have occurred.  For example, it is known that Mary’s younger sister, Sarah Mitchell, married Robert Yackley when she was only 14 years 10 months old.  Also, it should be noted that their was a ratio of about six men to each woman in the Maryland colony in the 17th century.  Such an extreme shortage of women created a need for young women to marry very early, and for younger men to take older wives than might be the present norm.

Next we draw the reader’s attention to the two following court filings:

  1. 15Oct1722 – The Petition of Susanna Mitchell a Languishing Prisoner in Prince Georges County was read And Ordered that her Creditors have Notice thereof That if they think fit they may Appear and make their Objections thereto this Sessions.
  2. 1724 – An Act for the Relief of Sundry Languishing Prisoners therein mentioned. Whereas John Medcalf and Susanna Mitchell of Prince Georges County … have by their Humble Petitions to this Present general Assembly Severally Sett forth that they have Continued Prisoners for debt in the Custody of the Severall Sheriffs of the Countys afd for some considerable time Past, and Still Continue in the like deplorable Circumstances not being able to Redeem their Bodies with all the Estate or Interest they have in the World Which they would readily … the said Petitioners and their families are fit Objects of Charity And that lying in Goal Can be no Benefit to their Creditors … give good Security to Pay the Imprisonment ffees at Ten Pounds of Tobacco per Day that shall or May become Due from the said Prisoners or Any or Either of them after the End of the said Twenty Days And Also to find the said Prisoners or Any or Either of them Sufficient Meat Drink and Cloathing during their future Imprisonment, etc, etc…

Also, the following land record abstract:

  1. Folio 712, Indenture: 2Feb1725/6, Enrolled 2Mar1725/6.  From: Susanna Mitchell, wife of John Mitchell, mariner, late of Prince George’s County To: Philip Lee, Gentleman, late Sheriff of Prince George’s County for sundry debts according to an act of Assembly in Annapolis in Oct and Nov1725 for the relief of languishing prisoners; a tract of land called Greenwood bequeathed by my mother [Ursula Painter Burgess Moore] for my natural life; containing 380 acres in Prince Georges County.  Signed and Sealed: Susanna Mitchell.  Witnessed: Ralph Crabb, Thomas Gantt.  Acknowledged by Susanna Mitchell.[8]

From the foregoing indenture between Susanna Mitchell and Philip Lee it can be stated unequivocally that this Susanna Mitchell, imprisoned in Prince George’s County for non-payment of debts, was the same person as Susanna Burgess, wife of John Mitchell I.  The property involved in this sale was bequeathed to Susanna in the LWT of Ursula Painter Burgess Moore, then wife of Mordecai Moore.  Greenwood and another tract named Westphalia were purchased by Ursula Burgess, widow of Col. William Burgess, sometime in the 1690’s, before her marriage to Dr. Mordecai Moore.  Greenwood abutted Westphalia immediately to the west and was situated to the west of the West Branch Patuxent River just south of the present day Prince George’s Community College campus, and as illustrated in Figure 8-1.  It is interesting to note that Susanna’s husband was described as a “mariner” and that he was “late of Prince George’s County”.  By the reference to his having been “late of the County” it may be surmised that he was deceased.

Susanna Burgess Mitchell appears to have been well-provided for from the estates of her father, William Burgess; her mother, Ursula Painter Burgess Moore; and her step-father, Mordecai Moore.  How could it be that someone from such a prosperous family background and with such substantial endowments would have fallen to such a low ebb as to be imprisoned for her debts?  Moreover, after the death of her husband (believed to have been in about 1716-18), why had she not remarried?

The answer to those questions might well lie in the “calamitous events” that the author believes may have befallen her husband.  Although the author has found virtually nothing in the records to connect the John Mitchell, who was convicted of “Chance Medley” [aka Killing in Self Defense] at Annapolis in 1710, with the husband of Susanna Burgess, it seems probable that they were the same person.  Although the case of Thomas Macnemara and John Mitchell fills volumes in the Maryland Archives, the author found nothing in those records on which to establish the identity of the defendant, John Mitchell.  He is simply described as “John Mitchell, Gentleman, of Anne Arundel County” or “John Mitchell of Annapolis”.  Volumes have been written about Thomas Macnemara and virtually nothing about his accomplice, John Mitchell.  Consequently, we are left with surmise and conjecture about this John Mitchell’s identity.  [Anyone wishing to read more fully the particulars of this case or of the fascinating character and life of Thomas Macnemara is commended to a book entitled Fortune’s Orphan: the Troubled Career of Thomas Macnemara in Maryland, 1703-1719 by C. Ashley Ellefson, 2012.[9]]

The Crown vs. Thomas Macnemara and John Mitchell

Allegedly, on 8May1710 Thomas Macnemara, occasionally an Attorney at Law and certified to practice in Anne Arundel, Talbot and Prince George’s County, and having been disbarred from practice, was retained to collect a debt from Thomas Graham, a merchant sailor and known Quaker from Philadelphia.  The author believes the debt in question was a sum of 2121₤ owed by Thomas Graham to William Fishbourne.  Macnemara became aware that Thomas Graham was aboard a sloop anchored in the harbor at Annapolis.  Macnemara had a writ sworn out for the apprehension and detention of Thomas Graham, which the High Sheriff, John Gresham Jr. declined to serve.  There are varying accounts of the events that ensued, but all tend to agree that Macnemara borrowed a couple of pistols and a skiff from his friend [Amos] Garrett, and in the company of John Mitchell rowed out to Graham’s sloop [probably with Mitchell doing the rowing].  Macnemara reportedly identified himself as a “friend”, perhaps intimating that he was a fellow Quaker, upon which announcement he was invited aboard by Captain Graham.  Having succeeded in boarding Graham’s vessel along with John Mitchell, Macnemara informed Graham of his real intent and purpose, which was to serve Graham with the writ and to take him into custody for conveyance to the Court House.  Graham rebuffed Macnemara’s request to accompany him peacefully, and reportedly threatened to throw Macnemara overboard [so much for Quaker pacifism].  A scuffle ensued during which Macnemara wounded Graham in the left shoulder with a “high swan shot” from one of his pistols.  Later statements given by witnesses suggest that both Macnemara and Mitchell came “armed with guns, pistols, daggers and swords”.  It was also alleged that Macnemara beat Graham with the handle of a pistol, splitting his scalp and fracturing his skull.  Graham was also reported to have received a broken arm, either during the scuffle or upon his falling to the deck after having been shot in the shoulder.

Macnemara and Mitchell loaded the injured Graham into their skiff and transported him to Macnemara’s home in Duke of Gloucester Street, Annapolis.  A doctor was summoned, Graham was treated for his injuries, but after lingering in recovery for almost two weeks, Graham ultimately succumbed to his wounds.  Macnemara was charged with inflicting the wound that resulted in the death of Thomas Graham.  John Mitchell was charged with “comforting, procuring, assisting and maintaining” Macnemara, i.e., aiding and abetting in the death of Thomas Graham.  Governor John Seymour ordered a grand jury convened to hear the case, which resulted in the issuance of an indictment for murder against both parties.  When the case was presented to the petit jury, on three separate deliberations they returned a verdict of “chance medley”, in present parlance, justifiable homicide.  Unable to obtain the desired verdict of murder, the Governor ordered Macnemara’s verdict changed [an illegal action, as would later be found] from chance medley to manslaughter, thus requiring forfeiture of Macnemara’s personal property, branding him with an “M” on the palm, and permanent disbarment from the practice of law in Maryland [which seems to have been Seymour’s principal objective].  John Mitchell’s conviction of “change medley” was allowed to stand, and he was fined and released from custody.

The debt for which Thomas Macnemara was retained to effect collection probably resulted from the following indenture:

6May1705 – “Know all men by these presents That I Thomas Graham of Philadelphia in Pensilvania Trader am held and firmly bound unto William Fishbourn of the same place Merch.t  In the sume of Two Thousand One hundred and Twenty One pounds ^& pence^ of unmarkt Mony of Pensilvania to be paid to the said William Fishbourn of his Certain attorny his Executors Administrator or assignes To which payment well and truely to be Made I binde me my heires Executors and Administrators firmly by these presents sealed with my seale Dated the sixth Day May In the sixth year of the Reigne of our Lady Queen Ann over England &c.a Anno Dm 1705.  The Condition of this obligation is such That if the above bounden Thomas Graham or his Certain attorney his heires Executors and Adm.rs or some of them shall and will well and Truly pay or Cause to be payd unto the above Named William Fishbourn or his Certain attorney his Executors adm.rs or assignes the full sume of one Thousand and sixty pounds Eleven shillings and Nine pence halfe penny at or before the sixth Day of October next Ensueing the Date hereof of Like Curr.t hher Mony aforesaid or other wise to his Content in One in the payment without any fraud or Covin Then this obligation to be void and of None Effect or Else the same to be and Remayne in full force and vertue Sealed and Delivered in the presence of Tho.s Graham  (seale) Alex.r Alsome Israel Pemberton Sam.ll Carpenter Jun.r Annapolis Maryland 10.th June 1710 Then Came Alex.r Alpine One of the Wittnesses to the above bound and Remayne Deposed on the holy evangelists of Almighty God that he saw the said Thomas Graham seal and Deliver the same to W.m Fishbourn of Philadelphia Merch.t, Alex.d Alpine Jurat Coram me, Amos Garrett”

Following is a list of the Crown’s witnesses who gave testimony at trial:

  • Crown Witnesses: Mr Amos Garrett, Madm Lloyd, Mr Jno Gresham Junr [Sheriff], John Lefong, Thomas Hill, Mr Charles Kilburne, Mr Evan Jones, Doctor Thomas Mape [probably the physician who treated Graham], Mrs Anne Noades, Mr Thos Bordley [Justice].

The petit jurors, who sat in judgment over the destiny of Macnemara and Mitchell included the following:

  • Petit Jurors: John Macklester, John Stoakes, Anthony Smith. Charles Ridgley [presumed son of Col. Henry Ridgely], Lewis Duvall [Sr.], Edward Willett, Abraham Taylor, John Mason, Caleb Dorsey, Prior Smallwood, William Smith, and Thomas Dawson.

It is interesting to note that Amos Garrett was called as a witness.  He purportedly was the friend who loaned his pistols and skiff, which were used by Macnemara and Mitchell in the writ service on Thomas Graham.  He was also a very prominent merchant and citizen of Annapolis at the time of the assault, having served as its first Mayor, when Annapolis was chartered by Governor Seymour in Aug1708, and later as a Justice of Peace.  As it turns out, Amos Garrett was also a friend of Thomas Graham, as evidenced by Graham’s following LWT abstract:

  1. 20May1710 – LWT of Thomas Graham, late of Anne Arundel County, MD, Merchant Recorded June 21, 1710. C. 212. Phila Co. Samuel and Sarah children of William Fishbourne.  Testator desires to be buried in Churchyard of St. Ann’s Church [in Annapolis], under direction of his friend, Amos Garrett. Proved at Annapolis,  Maryland. Executor: William Fishbourne of Philadelphia., merchant. Witnesses: Amos Garret, Thomas Macnamara, Evan Jones, John Michiel and  Margaret Macnamara.

So, while the trial records suggest an adversarial relationship between Mitchell, Macnemara and Graham, Graham’s LWT suggests that they probably had a prior amicable relationship.  Certainly, in the case of Amos Garrett, he and Graham must have been close friends.  Why else would Graham entrust his interment to Garrett?  Moreover, why would Graham countenance the witnessing of his LWT by his two assailants and the wife of one of those assailants, if they did not share positions of mutual friendship and trust?  In spite of reports of Macnemara having been a “rogue and scoundrel”, it would appear that he saw himself as acting under the authority of the Court [vis a vis. serving a legal writ], and under the authorization of his client, William Fishbourne, in an attempt to collect a long-overdue debt.  After all, the presumed “debt” that Macnemara was sent to collect was a five-year old indenture between two good “friends” and businessmen of Philadelphia.  Graham appears to have been acknowledging the legitimacy of that debt by his designating William Fishbourne as the sole executor of his estate, and naming Fishbourne’s children as its principal beneficiaries.

The actual extent of Graham’s estate may be inferred from the administration appraisal filed by Fishbounre the following year, abstracted as follows:

  1. 5May1711 – “Thomas Graham 33A.52 A AA £57.16.10 May 5 1711:  List of debts: Ruth Leeds, Mr. R. Tilghman, Amos Garrett, Col. Nathaniell Hynson, administrator of Mr. Earle.  Payments to: Mr. Amos Garret, Jasper Yeates for Vincent Hemsley, John Moore, Isaac Norris for bill of Earle (dead), Christopher Grayson, Isaac Norris for Giles Riddle, Charles Marshall, Henry Pinkney, Alexander Paxton for Edmund Mason and Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer for bill put in hands of Macnemara (runaway) [prob. living in Phildelphia at that time], Earle.  Mentions: Nicholas Farnham.  Executor: William Fishbourn.”

If we are to assume that the John Mitchell, convicted of chance medley, was the same person as John Mitchell I, husband of Susanna Burgess, it is reasonable to ask whether there is any other evidence of such a connection.  The following estate administration abstract may offer just such evidence:

4Apr1710 – “Susannah Beard (widow) 31.51 A AA £133.2.4 £138.16.4 Apr 3 1710:  Received from: Evan Jones on note from John Mitchel, Samuel Johnson, Amos Garrett for Cornelius White, Joseph Humphreys, Thomas Harris, Matthew Beard.”

This estate administration record from the settlement of the estate of Susannah [Puddington] Beard links together three of the characters involved in the Crown vs Macnemara and Mitchell affair, namely: Evan Jones, John Mitchell and Amos Garrett, just one month before the assault on Thomas Graham.  Note that Susannah Beard was the widow of Richard Beard Jr. of South River.  Susannah Beard is believed to have been a daughter of George Puddington and Jane [possibly Jane Cornish of Tiverton, Devon, England], one of the original settlers at South River, along with Richard Beard Sr. and Col. William Burgess, John Mitchell I’s father-in-law.  Further, note that Richard Beard Sr. and Col. William Burgess were brothers-in-law, having married sisters: Rachel Robins and Elizabeth Robins, respectively, daughters of Edward Robins and Jane Cornish of St. Mary Magdalen Milk Street Church, London.  After the demise of Edward Robins around 1640, his widow, Jane Cornish Robins, married George Puddington.  You guessed it, the George Puddington, who married the widow of Edward Robins, is believed to have been the same George Puddington, who settled at South River, Anne Arundel County in about 1752, and became the father of Susannah Puddington Beard.  If these “facts” are correct, then Susannah Puddington was the half-sister of her husband’s mother, Rachel Robins, they each having shared a mother in common, namely Jane Cornish.  With the Quaker’s prohibition of first cousins marrying, it is difficult to visualize their views on this union between Susannah Puddington and Richard Beard Jr. [aunt marrying her nephew]

These tangled genealogies aside, it would appear from the estate record for Susannah Beard, that this John Mitchell was engaged in business dealings with Amos Garrett, both men seemingly in residence in Annapolis at that time.  Moreover, some of their business dealings appear to have been involved with the Beard family of South River.  The extent of involvement of Susannah’s family at South River [home of Col. William Burgess and William Mitchell II] is evidenced by the following excerpts from a Beard family biography:

  1. Richard Beard Sr. -1681: Will: 24 July 1675.26 (QIAAC says he d. 1681, Page. 26:  Beard died in 1681 leaving a substantial estate.  He was literate.  Became a convinced Quaker 1656/7, described in a letter from Clarkson to Elizabeth Harris, as occurring in a field during a lightning storm:

“Richard Beard, was in a miraculouse way convinced in ye fore pt of the sumer, by a clap of thunder he being at worke in ye wood, and one neare w/ him in a rainy wether, and at that instant it thundered much as is usuall in ye summertyme in soe much that itt wrought a feare in him, and put him to the risk of his condition, and it did apeare to him to bee, unsafe, hee seeing nothing to trust to, theire being soe many opinions that hee did nott know wch to chuse hee then being in feare not knowing st would become of him in that condition; desired that ye Lord would manifest to him, concerning the way wch was knowne amongst us whether it was the true way of good or not yet it mought be maide knowne to him by thunder, and at that same instant theire came a clap of thunder wch was verry greate, in soe much that it broake a tree very neeare them and strooke him that was with him to ye ground, and himselfe could scarce recover from faleing and a porefull answer came to him at the same Instant, that that which hee had inquired, of was ye true way of god and forthwith he declayred it abroad and was convinced thereby wherein I hope he abides.” — Letter from Tobt Clarksonne to Elizabeth Harris, “From Severon ye 14th of ye 11th month 16(5)7”. Clarksonne letter documents the first meetings in 1657 as being at Clarksonne’s and Richard Beard’s. Richard Beard is also referred to in “A Testimony Concerning William Coale (London 1682) Original in Friends Historical Library, London. In 1657 Quaker Meetings, held at Richard Beard’s house on South River, were attended by prominent Anne Arundel County people and convincements were made there. William Coale spoke eloquently at some of those Meetings. In 1674, together with Wenlock Christison, another great Quaker, and William Perrie (Berry) and John Homeard (Homewood,) he presented to the General Assembly of Maryland a petition praying relief from the requirement of taking oath. [QITFOAAC]

Meetings were held at his house. Later, meetings were held at the home of Ann Covell [wife of John Covell, widow of John Mott].  PATENTS: “Poplar Neck” on south side of South River on 6 Jan. 1650. [Patents, 386, AB &H: 40] On August 1650 surveyed 250 acres Beards Dock on South River, Middle Neck Hundred. [This would have been on n. side of S. River) [Patents I : 61] Also, 700 acres Beards Habitation14 on South River on 4 January 1661, adjoining West Puddington. Sold 200 acre Populae Neck 28 Sept. 1663 To John Mott. (In c. 1677 “Ann Mott alias Lambert” had “lately sold” to Edward Maryarte (Mariarte) land bounded by Maureen Duvall and Patrick Dunkins.)QIAAC, page 26: “Poplar Neck”, his first grant, lay to the west of Londontone, (page) which was laid out in 1683 as a port of entry for South River and originally was a part of the property of Beard’s brother in law William Burgess. (Patents, LIber 4, f.39.} Sold Brampton to John McCubbin15 in 1666. On 1 Aug. 1668 Beard, called boatwritght of South River, sold to James Sanders of same, planter, his original grant dated 18 Sept. 1666 called Johns Cabin Ridge, on North side of Flat Creek, 30 acres. Rachel released dower. This tract contained 150 acres in the Calvert Rent Rolls. According to the source, he owned 200 acres Broome16 , surveyed 30 Aug 1659 on west side of Broad creek. [N. side of South River] Offices: Justice of County Court, Lower House for Anne Arundel Co. [Vol. 1 First Families of Anne Arundel Co., Md. by Donna Valey Russell]

Richard Beard Jr. m. Susannah [Puddington] . This Richard Jr. died in 1703, and wife Susannah [Puddington] Beard died by 1708. (This Richard Beard, Jr. described as “Sole heir of Richard Beard Dec’d” in rerecorded orig. date 6 Aug. 1681 Deed) This Richard Beard was named reversionary heir by John Wheeler of 200 acres “Timber Neck” on South River and 200 acres “Wheeler’s Lot” on the Magothey River if Wheeler’s son John failed; John Beard (inheritor w. Brother Richard of home plantation on mother’s death, may have died before Aug. 1681).  Richard Beard, Jr. and Susannah had: Matthew Beard, John Beard, and Rachel Beard.  Susannah Puddington Beard’s Will proved 15 Oct. 1708 naming son John and dau. Rachel Beard as heirs of her entire estate, son Matthew having been previously provided for. Richard Beard, jr. made the first map of Annapolis.  The successive Armourers, all residents of Annapolis were: Richard Beard Jr., May1701 to his death in Oct1703, and Matthew Beard [Richard Beard Jr.’s son], Oct1703 to Feb1704/5.

From the foregoing Beard family biography it was reported that Richard Beard Sr. was the original patentee of Poplar Neck plantation, the same plantation which enables us to link John Mitchell I to his father, William Mitchell II.  So, long before the above cited John Mitchell and his partner, Amos Garrett, had entered into a bond with the estate of Susannah Beard, John Mitchell I already had an indirect connection to the Beard family by way of his inheriting a moiety of Poplar Neck (more to follow).

While we are in the midst of discussing the Beard-Burgess-Mitchell connections, it may be an opportune time to air a bit more family dirty linen involving the case of the infamous pirate, counterfeiter and alleged traitor, Richard Clarke.

Crown vs. Richard Clarke, etal.

Rachel Beard, daughter of Richard Beard Sr. and Rachel Robins, married Neal Clarke, with whom they had a son named Richard Clarke.  We will first acquaint the reader with Richard Clarke through the following sketch:

“The leader of the band was a notorious desperado named Richard Clark from the South River region of Anne Arundel County. ‘A thick well Sett man, neare forty years old, short darke haire, a flat Nose, & [whose] under jaw overjuts his upper Lipp’, Clark had been involved in an assortment of criminal activities before turning to piracy. In 1704 he was wanted in Maryland for forgery and for “uncasing and altering the Quality of Tobacco”.  Arrested and thrown in the Annapolis jail, he and several accomplices, including an Indian jailed for murder, escaped when a file was smuggled in.  It was then charged that he and his accomplices were contriving “to draw down the Indians upon the Inhabitants of this Province and to Levy War against her Majestys Governour and Government.”  Clark and one of his fellow fugitives, Benjamin Celie, proceeded to initiate a veritable crime wave, roaming about the region, robbing homes, and threatening death to anyone getting in their way.  The government issued a ten-pound reward for their apprehension. Celie was eventually captured but Clark escaped.”[10]

May the 25 1705 : – An Act for the Outlawing of Richard Clark of Ann Arundell County. signed into law by Gov. Seymour.

“a very wicked and treasonable conspiracy begun and carryed on by Richard Clark of Ann Arundell County and his accomplices to Seize upon the Magazine and upon his Excellency the Governour and overturn her Majesties Government and to bring the heathen Indians together with the said Conspirators to Cutt off and Extirpate the Inhabitants of this Province and for as much as the said Clark flyes from Justice and Dares not Venture himself upon a faire tryall. In the late summer of 1705 five men outlawed in Maryland on charges of high treason seized the West River sloop Little Hannah and were ‘suspected to be going on a Pyratical design’.  The villains included one Thomas Sparrow; a Philadelphia mariner named John Stapes; John Taylor, described as a tall, thin brown man; a flaxen-haired youth of middle stature and clean complexion called Sterritt. The leader of the band was a notorious desperado named Richard Clark from the South River region of Anne Arundel County.”[11]

Clarke, with the assistance of his mother and numerous other relations in the South River region, hid out in a tobacco shed for several weeks before quietly making his escape across the Potomac River into Virginia.  He eventually found his way to the Neuse River area of North Carolina, where he is reported to have procured a 600 acre tract, from which he planned to launch his privateering ventures against Spanish and Dutch assets in the Caribbean.  In the summer of 1707 his “recruiters” had returned to Anne Arundel County and began to foment unrest among the lower classes.  The main purpose of this venture seemed to be the extraction of Clarke’s wife, children and moveable property from South River, for transport to his plantation in North Carolina.  His confederates succeeded in drawing in other malcontents from the slave, servant and indigent populations around Annapolis, who were enticed by the lure and potential lucre of a life of piracy on the high seas.  One such potential recruit was Amos Garrett’s servant:

“William Cooper: Amos Garrett’s servant, and a central instigator among the servants. Describes the Privateer as “an Artist”.  Appears to look up to Stimpson, who, when Cooper tries to drink with them in the tavern, sends him home.”

Even Charles Carroll Sr. became a pawn in this piratical farce when Clarke’s son and wife attempted to purchase provisions from Carroll’s store in Annapolis using counterfeit currency.  These provisions were intended to sustain them on their voyage to North Carolina.  Being a seasoned merchant, Carroll immediately recognized the currency as counterfeit and withheld the goods until legitimate monies were provided.  It is not known whether Clarke was successful in his plans to reunite with his family.  It is known with some certainty that his fellow conspirator, Thomas Sparrow, remained an exile in North Carolina until his death.  In addition to South River, Richard Clarke also had interests in Prince George’s County as evidenced by the following:

An indenture dated July 6, 1703, from Richard Clark to Aaron Rawlings, for “Roper’s Range”, in Prince George’s County, is recorded 18 Sept., 1704: folio 109 o Indenture, 6 Jul 1703 From: Richard CLARKE of Anne Arundel County, Gent. To: Aaron Rawlins, planter of Anne Arundel County Thomas ROPER of Prince George’s County by indenture 17 Apr 1702 did convey unto Richard CLARKE 200 acres of land part of a greater tract called “Roper’s Range“; Richard CLARKE sold this land for 243 pounds to Aaron RAWLINS; Bounded by land of Samuel DUVALL and Richard BUTTS. [Betts?]. Signed: Richard CLARKE. Witnessed: Edward MERIARTE [Clarke’s brother-in-law] and Mareen DUVALL [Jr.]. Memorandum: 26 Jul 1703 Elizabeth [MERIARTE] CLARKE was examined by Richard JONES, Jr. and Samuel CHAMBERS. Alienation: 10 Nov 1703 the sum of 8s for 200 acres paid by Aaron RAWLINGS. Certification: Richard JONES and Samuel CHAMBERS, Justices of the Peace in Anne Arundel County, acknowledged this deed before J. BOARDLEY, Cleark for Anne Arundel County. Recorded: 18 Sep 1704.

Thus far we have established that there was a person named John Mitchell living in the vicinity of Annapolis: first described as having served as doorkeeper to the Assembly in 1700, then as a business associate of Amos Garrett offering securities in Annapolis around 1705/6, and as an Annapolis gentleman charged and convicted of chance medley in 1710.  If the John Mitchell, who was convicted of chance medley in the death of Thomas Graham, was the husband of Susanna Burgess Mitchell, then it is fully understandable how Susanna may have been saddled with debt at the death of her husband.  Enough so, that she may have wound up in debtors prison in Prince George’s County in 1720. 

The author has no way of proving that John Mitchell, the associate of Thomas Macnemara, was the husband of Susanna Burgess, but the location, timing, and aftermath seems to fit with that having been the case.  There are also the secondary connections that John Mitchell was once a member of the Quaker meeting at Third Haven, and a “mariner”.  Both experiences would make him very useful to Macnemara in boarding the sloop, transporting the prisoner from ship to shore, and gaining the trust of a fellow Quaker, i.e. Thomas Graham. 

But these are not the only records believed by the author to have pertained to John Mitchell I.  Following is a complete chronological listing of all the records discovered by the author and believed to have involved John Mitchell I either directly or indirectly:

  1. 6Feb1684/5 – LWT of William Mitchell [aka Michel], of Anne Arundel County; to sons William and John and their heirs, Poplar Neck, to be equally divided at death of wife (unnamed, but identified elsewhere a Jane (lnu)), sons to be 18 years of age; son Edward and daughter Elizabeth and their heirs, 200 acres known as Mitchell’s Chance; four aforesaid children to receive all personalty equally.  Testimony of: Henry Pierpont and Thomas Bowles.  Bk. 4, Page 172.  It has already been established that this John Mitchell, son of William Mitchell II, was the same person who was married to Susannah Burgess in 1700.  A complete transcript of the LWT of William Mitchell II is contained in Appendix 9A.
  2. 22Oct1694 – John Mitchell was born to John Mitchell and his wife, Sarah, in Saint Peters Parish, Talbot County.  Through the Third Haven Quaker Meeting record (abstracted in Item 37, below) it has been established with a fairly high level of certainty that this was the birth record of John Mitchell II.
  3. 6Jan1696 – Alice Mitchell was born to John Mitchell and his wife, Sarah, in Saint Peter’s Parish, Talbot County.  Ditto.
  4. 9May1700 – John Mitchell’s Peticon read: It being for an Alloweance for attending as doore keeper to the honoble Councill.[12]  This very likely was a record of John Mitchell I.
  5. 14Jul1700 – John Mitchell married Susanna Burgess, daughter of William Burgess, at All Hallows Church, Anne Arundel County.  Clearly the marriage record of John Mitchell I with Susanna Burgess, younger daughter of Col. William Burgess and Ursula of South River.
  6. 31Jul1700 [31 d., 5 m., 1700] – John Mitchell, of Third Haven Monthly Meeting, was reported of having taken a wife by a “priest” contrary to discipline (QMES:21).  [This probably refers to the marriage of John Mitchell to Susanna Burgess in Jul1700][13]  The author believes this record provides irrefutable evidence that the John Mitchell of St. Peters Parish, Talbot County, was the same person that married Susanna Burgess at All Hallows Church, Anne Arundel County.
  7. 11Aug1701 – Burgess Mitchell was born to John Mitchell and his wife, Susanna, at All Hallows Church, Anne Arundel County.  First child known to be born to John Mitchell I and Susanna Burgess.
  8. 13Feb1703 – Mordicai Mitchell was born to John Mitchell and his wife, Susanna, at All Hallows Church, Anne Arundel County.  Second child known to be born to John Mitchell I and Susanna Burgess.  There were no other births on record for this couple.
  9. 31Mar1703 – Robert Mitchell, London Merchant, granted power of attorney to John Batey of Patuxent River in Maryland ” to aske Demand sue for and Recover and Receive of and from all and every such pson or psons Whome It Doth or may Concerne in Maryland aforesaid all sume and sumes of Money Wares goods Chattells Debts unto Me…”  More on Robert Mitchell and John Batey to follow.
  10. 6May1705 – Know all men by these presents That I Thomas Graham of Philadelphia in Pensilvania Trader am held and firmly bound unto William Fishbourn of the same place Merch.t  In the sume of Two Thousand One hundred and Twenty One pounds & pence, viz. [₤2121] of unmarkt Mony of Pensilvania to be paid to the said William Fishbourn of his Certain attorny his Executors Administrator or assignes…  This indenture and resulting debt is believed by the author to have precipitated the ill-fated attempt at debt collection by Thomas Macnemara and John Mitchell on 9May1710.
  11. 8Aug1705 – Return of Survey, 158 acres, Scott’s Lot, Collington Branch.  Ordered by the Prince George’s Court Clerk: Col. Ninian Beale and James Moore swore oath of the bounded tree.  Signed 22Aug1705 by Thomas Addison, Sheriff.  Commissioners: John Mitchell, Maureen Duvall, etal.  The author believes this John Mitchell, commissioner, to have been the same person named in all of these listed records.
  12. 23Aug1706 – John Mitchell and wife, Susanna, sold a tract of land in Anne Arundel County known as Poplar Neck to Seth Biggs.[14]  It is this land sale that enables us to connect John Mitchell, husband of Susanna Burgess, to his father, William Mitchell II.  Poplar Neck was originally patented by Richard Beard Sr., father-in-law of the Susannah Beard named in the estate record listed as Item 46, below.  Note that per the LWT of John’s father, dated 2Feb1684/5, this tract could not be sold until John’s 40th year of age.  Assuming that John Mitchell had just recently attained the age of 40, he would have been born sometime before Aug1666.
  13. 8Oct1706 – Indenture between Robert Michell (London Merchant) and Lewis Duvall [Sr.] and his wife (Martha) for the sum of 182₤ purchased? (perhaps mortgaged) a tract of land in Prince George’s County called Martha’s Choice, part of a tract called Darnell’s Grove, abutting tracts laid out for Henry Ridgly and Samuel Duvall containing 300 acres, and another tract Bourges [Burgess?] Choice situate in Anne Arundel County containing 143 acres…, Witnessed: Irsabell Moore [Ursula Moore?], and Philip Lynes, J.P.  Although this record makes no specific mention of John Mitchell, there are several elements of this mortgage which warrant further attention.

NOTES/COMMENTS:  The identity of this Robert Mitchell could not be ascertained by the author, but it should be noted that he was involved in several land transactions in the vicinity of Darnell’s Grove in the early 1700’s, some of which are listed below, and which involved Charles Carroll Sr. directly, and John Mitchell [aka Michiell] indirectly.  It is believed that this Lewis Duvall was the same person, who sat on the petit jury which convicted Thomas Macnemara and John Mitchel of chance medley.  Further, that this Lewis Duvall is believed to have been a son of Maureen Duvall [original Duvall immigrant to South River area and of Huguenot ancestry], and brother of Samuel Duvall, who married Elizabeth Clarke on 18Jun1697.  The only Clarkes known to exist in this region in the 17th century were descended from Neale Clarke, father of Richard Clarke.  It seems possible that Elizabeth Clarke was a descendant of Neale Clarke.  Lewis’s wife is believe to have been Martha Ridgly, daughter of Robert and Martha Ridgely, one time of St. Marys City [unknown connection to Henry Ridgely].  What is particularly striking about the property involved in this mortgage identified as Martha’s Choice is that it was in the immediate vicinity of the first tract known to have been acquired by John Mitchell II in Item 59, below.

  1. 19Jul1707 – Indenture from Rebecca Addison, relic of Honorable John Addison of Prince Georges County, deceased, to son, Thomas Addison for sum of 620₤, all rights to estate of John Addison.  Witnesses: William Hutchison, Hickford Leman, James Haddock, John Mitchell.  Sworn in open Court by John Mitchell and Hickford Haddock. Folio 187.  This is believed to have been the same John Mitchell as in all the other records in this list.
  2. 4Apr1710 – Susannah Beard (widow) 31.51 A AA £133.2.4 £138.16.4 Apr 3 1710:  Received from: Evan Jones on note from John Mitchel, Samuel Johnson, Amos Garrett for Cornelius White, Joseph Humphreys, Thomas Harris, Matthew Beard.  Already discussed in detail.
  3. 9May1710 – Thomas Macnemara and John Mitchell boarded sloop in Annapolis harbor with a writ for the arrest of Thomas Graham pertaining to debt owed William Fishbourne.  Macnemara wounded Graham in the shoulder with a shot from a pistol, leant to him by Amos Garrett.  Ditto.
  4. 20May1710 – LWT of Thomas Graham, late of Anne Arundel County, MD, Merchant Recorded June 21, 1710. C. 212. Phila Co. Samuel and Sarah children of William Fishbourne. Proved at Annapolis,  Maryland. Executor: William Fishbourne of Philadelphia., merchant. Witnesses: Amos Garret, Thomas Macnamara, Evan Jones, John Michiel and  Margaret [Carroll] Macnamara.  Ditto.
  5. 13Jul1710 – MARYLAND ss. Anne by the Grace of God of Great Brittain France and Ireland Queen defender of the faith etc. To the Sheriff of Ann Arundell County greeting Wee comand you that you do not omitt for any Liberty in Your ballywick but by the oath of twelve good and laufull men thereof You dilligently enquire what goods chatties lands or Tenements Thomas Macknemara of the City of Annapolis in St Anns Parrish in the County of Ann Arundell Gentleman otherwise called Thomas Macnemara of the Parish City and County aforesd Gentleman and John Mitchell of the City of Annapolis in St Anns Parish in the County of Ann Arundell Gentleman otherwise calld John Mitchell of the City of Annapolis in St. Anns Parish in the County of Ann Arundell Gentleman had in Your ballywick on the thirteenth day of July instant or at any time after on which said thirteenth day of July they were before the Honourable William Holland Esqr Chief Justice of our Provinciall Court of the Province aforesaid and his Associates Justices of the same Court convict of homicide by chance medley of A certain Thomas Graham late of Philadelphia Merchant and those goods chattles…  Ditto.
  6. 2Apr1711 – Robert Mitchell, London Merchant, assigned, through his attorney, John Batey, any and all interest in the mortgage between himself and Lewis and Martha Duvall to another London Merchant named John Hyde.  In this assignment it was disclosed that Lewis Duvall had already paid Robert Mitchell the sum of ~228₤, leaving an unpaid balance of ~28₤.  Witnessed by John Mitchell and Mike [Nicholas] Jacob.  Continuation of mortgage set forth in Item 44, above.  Note the witness, John Mitchell, believed by the author to have been John Mitchell I.  This was less than one year after his conviction for chance medley, and now he is witnessing a document for one of the jurors who found him guilty.
  7. 13Apr1711 – indenture from Nicholas Spence to Charles Carroll, Thomas Greenfield and Joshua Cæcill.  Witnessed by John Michiell and Nicholas Jacob.  This was the first of several legal documents witnessed by John Mitchell [aka Michiell], which involved Charles Carroll Sr., father-in-law of Thomas Macnemara.
  8. 14Apr1711 – indenture from John Hance Stillman of Cecill County Gentl to James Talbott of Castle Ruvy, Ireland by Charles Carroll his attorney that certain tract known as Steelman’s Delight containing 200 acres for the sum to 2000 pounds sterling.  Witnessed by John Michiell and Nicholas Jacob.  Ditto
  9. 5May1711 – Administration of estate of Thomas Graham 33A.52 A AA £57.16.10:  List of debts: Ruth Leeds, Mr. R. Tilghman, Amos Garrett, Col. Nathaniell Hynson, administrator of Mr. Earle.  Payments to: Mr. Amos Garret, Jasper Yeates for Vincent Hemsley, John Moore, Isaac Norris for bill of Earle (dead), Christopher Grayson, Isaac Norris for Giles Riddle?, Charles Marshall, Henry Pinkney, Alexander Paxton for Edmund Mason and Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer for bill put in hands of Macnemara (runaway), Earle.  Mentions: Nicholas Farnham.  Executor: William Fishbourn.  The demise of Thomas Graham has already been thoroughly discussed.  Simply observe the involvement of Amos Garrett and Thomas Macnemara in Graham’s estate.
  10. 11May1711 – indenture from Charles Carroll, Sr. to Charles Gorsuch Sr. 2 acres situated in Baltimore County.  Witnessed by Anthony Joy and John Michiel.  Ditto Item 51.
  11. 11Jun1711 – intenture from Sarah Clagett, widow, to John Hyde, London Merchant and Charles Carroll of Anne Arundel County 300 acres, part of a tract known as Greenland in Prince George’s County abutting land of Henry Darnell known as Woodyard for the sum of 55 pounds, three schillings.  Witnessed by John Michcell and Nicholas Jacob.  In this indenture we have Charles Carroll Sr. and John Hyde, London Merchant (assignee of Lewis and Martha Duvall’s mortgage from Robert Mitchell) joined as partners.  Charles Carroll was, among other things, an Annapolis store owner and merchant, described as the wealthiest man in Maryland at his death in 1718.
  12. 19Mar1715 – Indenture from Alexander Parran of Calvert County, Merchant to Charles Carroll, Esq. of Annapolis a tract of land in Calvert County known as Parran’s Parte containing 300 acres, another tract in Calvert County containing 90 acres, and 1000 acres lying in Baltimore County for the sum of ₤19, 12s 5p. sterling.  Witnessed by John Michiell and Richard Pansson.  Filed by Thomas Macnemara, Esq., acting as attorney for Alexander Parran.  In this document we have an intermixing of Charles Carroll, Thomas Macnemara and John Mitchell.
  13. 6Sep1716 – indenture from Capt. Richard Smith of Calvert County to Charles Carroll, Esq. of Annapolis 486 acres in Princes George’s County, known as Locust Thickett, for sum of 300 pounds sterling.  Witnessed by Thomas Cook, John Michiell and Charles Adams before Samuel Young, Justice.  Ditto Item 51.
  14. 10Sep1716 – indenture from Richard Smith of Patuxent to Charles Carroll, Esq. of Annapolis 1250 acres in Baltimore County for sum of 125 pounds sterling.  Witnessed by John Michell and Charles Adams before Samuel Young, Justice.  Ditto.
  15. 29Apr1717 – Indenture from Robert Tyler, Gentleman of Prince George’s County to John Mitchell [II], planter of Prince George’s County for sum of 3000 tobacco a tract of land called Tyler’s Pasture in Prince George’s County containing 101 acres.  Witnessed: Richard Keen and William Head.  Folio 6/533.  This almost certainly was a record for John Mitchell II.  Such belief is predicated in large part by the reference to his being a “planter”, the same occupation accorded John Mitchell II in later records known to be associated with him, and not his father.  Robert Tyler appeared on numerous records in this area of Prince George‘s County near the headwaters of Collington Branch.  Robert Tyler was married to Susannah Duvall, daughter of Maureen Duvall, and sister or half-sister of Lewis and Samuel Duvall, each of whom owned lands abutting Robert Tyler near or in Darnell’s Grove.  It is believed that John Mitchell II lived on this tract of land for more than 20 years.  There may have been no connection, but William Atterbury and his wife, Sarah Mitchell, lived for many years next to John and Richard Keen, near Keen’s Spring in Loudoun County, VA in the 1750’s and 60’s.
  16. 29Apr1717 – Indenture from Robert Tyler, Gentleman of Prince George’s County to Charles Hyatt, planter of Prince George’s County for sum of 30₤ a tract of land containing 174 acres known as Tyler’s Pasture, bounded by a tract of land formerly laid out for John Mitchell [Jr.], being the remainder of the whole tract.  Witnsessed: Richard Keen and William Head.  Folio 621   Ditto.

NOTE:  On the same date Robert Tyler subdivided and sold Tyler’s Pasture in two separate tracts: (1) containing 101 acres to John Mitchell II, and (2) containing 174 acres to Charles Hyatt, who two years later conveyed to Rev. Jacob Henderson, husband of Martha Ridgely, widow of Col. Henry Ridgely.  Robert Tyler acquired Tyler’s Pasture by patent abstracted as follows:

60.1 – “Tyler’s Pasture” of 265 acres, surveyed 8 June 1715 for Robert Tyler beginning att a bound white oake standing on the north side of a small branch being the head of the North East branch of the Eastern branch of the Potomack River. Patented 10 August 1715.[15]

Given the foregoing description of the location of Tyler’s Pasture it would appear to have been situated to the northwest on Darnall’s Grove, in that “a small branch of the North East Branch of the Eastern Branch of the Potomac” would place its location somewhere in the vicinity of the headwaters of present day Beaver Dam Creek, just west of Bowie.

  1. 27Jun1719 – Indenture from Charles Hyatt, planter of Prince George’s County to Rev. Jacob Henderson, Cleric, Prince George’s County for sum of 64₤ a tract of land called Tyler’s Pasture in Prince George’s County, bounded by tract laid out for John Mitchell, containing 174 acres.  Witnessed: Joseph Belt and Basil Waring.  Folio 194/781.  This tract abutted the land owned by John Mitchell II.  It should be noted that Rev. Jacob Henderson married Mary Stanton Duvall Ridgely, widow of Maureen Duvall and Col Henry Ridgely) in about 1712.
  2. 15Oct1722 – The Petition of Susanna Mitchell [Burgess] [widow of John Mitchell I] a Languishing Prisoner in Prince Georges County was read And Ordered that her Creditors have Notice thereof That if they think fit they may Appear and make their Objections thereto this Sessions.  Based on the indenture contained in Item 65, hereinafter, this Susanna Mitchell was almost certainly the widow of John Mitchell I.
  3. 27Nov1723 – Indenture from John Hyde, Merchant of London to Charles Carroll [Jr.], Physician of Annapolis.  Whereas Lewis Duvall of Anne Arundel County purchased a parcel of land from Robert Tyler in Prince George’s County called Martha’s Choice, part of a tract called Darnell’s Grove, bounded by Henry Ridgley and Samuel Duvall; Lewis Duvall and Martha, his wife, held mortgage dated 8Oct1706, mortgage then sold to Robert Mitchell; Mitchell’s attorney, John Batie, by assignment dated 2Apr1711 made over to John Hyde; for 75₤ paid by Charles Carroll [Jr.] to John Bradford, attorney for John Hyde, purchased Martha’s Choice.  Witnessed: John Bradford Jr. and Walter Hoxton.  Folio 561.  Charles Carroll Jr. purchased the tract of land called Martha’s Choice, formerly part of Darnell’s Grove, from John Hyde, London Merchant.  The basis for this acquisition may have had something to do with the fact that his mother was Mary Darnell, daughter of Henry Darnell, original patentee of Darnell’s Grove.
  4. 1724 – An Act for the Relief of Sundry Languishing Prisoners therein mentioned. Whereas John Medcalf and Susanna Mitchell of Prince Georges County …  Ditto, Item 62, above.
  5. ,:2Feb1725/6 – Indenture Enrolled 2Mar1725/6.  From: Susanna Mitchell, wife of John Mitchell, mariner, late of Prince George’s County To: Philip Lee, Gentleman, late Sheriff of Prince George’s County for sundry debts according to an act of Assembly in Annapolis in Oct and Nov1725 for the relief of languishing prisoners; a tract of land called Greenwood bequeathed by my mother [Ursula Painter Burgess Moore] for my natural life; containing 380 acres in Prince Georges County.  Signed and Sealed: Susanna Mitchell.  Witnessed: Ralph Crabb, Thomas Gantt.  Acknowledged by Susanna Mitchell.  Folio 712[16]  This was the last record found either directly or indirectly connected to John Mitchell I.  This indenture clearly involved John Mitchell I’s widow, Susanna Burgess Mitchell, who had been languishing in Princes George’s County jails for over five years.  It is not known exactly when John Mitchell I had died, but clearly he was deceased sometime before Feb1726, hence the reference to his having been “late of Prince George‘s County”.  The author believes that John Mitchell I had died around 1717/8, before his wife was imprisoned as a debtor.

We have now been presented with a relatively long string of records believed by the author to have involved John Mitchell I; from the death of his father, William II, to the birth of four (perhaps five) children to two different wives: Sarah (lnu) and Susanna Burgess, to his employment as a doorkeeper for the General Assembly in Annapolis, to a business partnership with Amos Garrett, former Annapolis Mayor, to his aiding and abetting Thomas Macnemara, son-in-law of Charles Carroll Sr., to his witnessing of numerous legal documents for Charles Carroll Sr., etal., and ultimately to his death probably in Prince George’s County around 1717/8.  This is much more information than is typically found for an individual of the middling class in colonial Maryland, particularly since he is known to have owned only one piece of real estate: PoplarNeck.  His wife described him as having been a “mariner”.  This was the only instance found among all the various records compiled for John Mitchell I, in which he was credited with an actual occupation.  Following is a brief description of the working class hierarchy in Maryland in the colonial period:

“At the base of the social ladder were the laboring classes, which included both enslaved and free persons ranging from apprentices to master craftsmen.  Next came the middling sort: shopkeepers, artisans, and skilled mariners.  Above them stood the merchant elites who tended to be actively involved in the city’s social and political affairs, as well as in the buying, selling, and trading of goods.”

It seems probable to the author that John Mitchell I became trained as a mariner at a relatively young age, probably while living at South River.  In its infancy, London Towne became an important shipping point on the Chesapeake, before losing prominence to Annapolis in the latter part of the 17th century.  That training probably allowed him to establish important commercial associations with the trading and mercantile interests along the Chesapeake, and particularly at Annapolis, which by 1685 had become the main trading center of the colony. 

He is known to have owned only one piece of real estate, that being his 100 acre moiety of Poplar Neck, which he and Susanna sold in 1706.  Given the timing of this sale, it seems likely that it occurred within only a few months of his having reached his 40th year of age.  That being the case, it suggests that he did not depend solely on the income from that property for his livelihood.  Most of his records suggest that he and Susanna lived in Annapolis following their marriage, yet the birth of their two sons were recorded at All Hallows Church near London Town.  Many of his business dealings appear to have been involved with the family of Charles Carroll, suggesting that he may have had some particular connection with Charles Carroll, or one of Carroll’s wives.  He may have owned a home in Annapolis, as he was referred to as a “gentleman” of St. Ann’s Parish, Annapolis in the murder indictment in 1710. 

At this juncture in our exploration of the John Mitchells of Ann Arundel and Prince George’s Counties it will be helpful to present some background on several pioneering families that immigrated to Maryland in the mid- to late-17th century, branches of which settled in the vicinity of William Mitchell II and John Mitchell I at South River, and of John Mitchell II near Collington Hundred [aka Calverton Manor].  But first, let’s set the stage with a quick overview of the provincial government during the first century of its existence:

“The province began as a proprietary colony of the English Lord Baltimore, who wished to create a haven for English Catholics in the new world at the time of the European wars of religion. Although Maryland was an early pioneer of religious toleration in the English colonies, religious strife among Anglicans, Puritans, Catholics, and Quakers was common in the early years, and Puritan rebels briefly seized control of the province. In 1689, the year following the Glorious Revolution, John Coode led a rebellion that removed Lord Baltimore from power in Maryland. Power in the colony was restored to the Baltimore family in 1715 when Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore, insisted in public that he was a Protestant.”[17]

These early pioneering families include the Darnalls, Carrolls, Ridgelys, Duvalls, Tylers and Rileys; for which brief family biographical sketches are presented in order as follows:

Darnalls

“At the time of the establishment of Prince George’s County, one of the most prominent men in the province was Colonel Henry Darnell, a cousin of the first wife of Charles, third Lord Baltimore.  Darnell had settled in Maryland prior to May1674, when he was elected to the Lower House of the General Assembly from Calvert County.  He was married to Mrs. Eleanor Hatton Brooke, widow of Major Thomas Brooke.  Darnell acquired large land holdings in that part of Calvert County which later became Prince George’s and lived at his estate in Prince George’s County called the Woodyard.  Colonel Darnell was a Roman Catholic.  Under proprietary rule he had been a member of the Council and was one of the Council of State and Board of Deputy Governors whom Baltimore left in charge of the province from 1684 to 1689.  He had also been Chancellor and Commissary General.  Since the Lord Proprietor retained control of the patronage of the offices administering his personal income during the royal governance of the province [1689-1715], it was Colonel Henry Darnall who was looking after the Proprietary’s interests in 1696, serving as His Lordship’s Agent and Receiver General, Keeper of His Lordship’s Great Seal, and Rent Roll Keeper.  Colonel Darnall held all of these important and profitable offices, except that of Rent Roll Keeper, until his death, 16Jun1711…  Although Colonel Darnall had moved to an estate in Anne Arundel County shortly before his death, he must have died at the “Woodyard” in Prince George’s County, as he was buried there… Henry Darnall, Esq. (son and heir of Colonel Henry Darnall) inherited from his father a vast estate of over 13,000 acres of land, together with the Negroes and stock on it.  He made his home at the “Woodyard“, where his father had lived before him.  Here he lived in such an elegant and lavish style, which coupled with the low price received at this time for tobacco, caused him to become so deeply indebted to his merchants in London, William Black and John Hyde, that he finally lost all of his holdings to them.  He died in 1737.”[18]

Part of the “large land holdings” acquired by Colonel Henry Darnell was a tract called Darnall’s Grove containing approximately 3,800 acres on 28Jun1682[19], which abutted Philip Calvert’s Collington or Calverton Manor in the freshets of Collington Creek generally situated as shown in Figure 9-1.  This figure contains an excerpt taken from a plat map reconstruction created by Louise Joyner Hienton[20] and overlaid onto a Google map of that area.  Several parcels relevant to our investigation of the John Mitchell families have been highlighted in light yellow, including Greenwood and Westphalia.  As evidenced by this map, Darnall’s Grove was situated along the west side of Collington Creek, and just west of Enfield Chase and Catton, which were acquired by Governor Samuel Ogle from the Rev. Jacob Henderson in Mar1737.  So, as we trace the families in this excursus into allied families, there will be frequent connections and references to Darnall’s Grove, Calverton and Brough.

Carrolls

Charles Carroll, the progenitor of the Carroll family in Maryland was born in about 1660 on a 136 acre tract called Aghagurty in Shirkyran Parish in the Irish midlands.  Having lost most of their ancestral estate of some 1773 acres during the Irish Revolt in 1641, Charles’ great grandfather, Daniel Carroll, his son Anthony, and his grandson, Daniel were able to negotiate a lease hold on Aghagurty, which ironically was a remnant of their former ancestral lands.  Charles Carroll, the 2nd son of Daniel, spent his boyhood in Ely O’Carroll. 

“Despite his family’s reduced circumstances, he managed to acquire a remarkable education.  Leaving Ireland at a young age for schooling in France, he studied the humanities at Lille and the civil and canon law at Douai.  In May1685 Carroll was admitted to London’s Inner Temple, and three years later, in Jul1688, he received a commission from Charles Calvert, third Lord Baltimore, as Attorney General of Maryland…  Carroll landed in Maryland on 1Oct1688…  Within a year of his arrival in Maryland, an anti-proprietary Protestant revolt known as Coode’s Rebellion deprived Roman Catholics [of which Carroll was one] of the right to hold office and confronted Carroll with the necessity of pursuing his goals as a private citizen…  Catholics accounted for approximately 25% of Maryland’s 25,000 inhabitants in the late 1680’s.  [In spite of the restrictions imposed on Catholics in Maryland after Coode’s Rebellion, with the Proprietor’s patronage Catholics continued to] monopolize the most powerful and lucrative offices in the colony’s government… Deeply angered by the course of events that so rudely thwarted his expectations, Charles Carroll the Settler did not accept the overthrow of the Proprietor with good grace…  Although his benefactor Charles Calvert had lost political control of the colony, he retained ownership of the land and rights to specific revenues…  Charles Carroll carved out a key role for himself in this organization, where he could serve without having to swear any objectionable oaths.  Indeed, his accrual of offices in the proprietary establishment … attests both to his ability and to his ambition. This then was the milieu into which Charles Carroll the Settler came — a society open enough to offer ample opportunity to a young man on the make.  His basic strategy was deceptively simple; he made a habit of marrying well…  In Nov1689 he contracted a marriage with a wealthy widow named Martha Ridgely Underwood.  Several years his senior and the mother of four young children, Martha had come to Maryland as an indentured servant, but by 1671 she had married the man to whom she was bound — Robert Ridgely, a prominent attorney and holder of several provincial offices.  Upon Ridgely’s death in 1681, Martha inherited a sizable estate consisting of two plantations – a dwelling plantation of 94 acres on St. Inigoe’s Creek in St. Mary’s County and a 1,200 acre tobacco plantation on Wicomico River in Somerset County — along with all of her husband’s personalty…  Into this convenient breach stepped the enterprising and ambitious Charles Carroll, who happened to be the executor of Martha’s late husband, Anthony Underwood…  In Nov1690, Martha Ridgely Underwood Carroll died in childbirth. Using his deceased wife’s estate as capital, Charles Carroll launched a trading venture from his home on Inigoe’s Creek, which became the impetus for the creation of a business enterprise unsurpassed by any other Marylander in his day.  Carroll’s unwavering support of the proprietor earned him the approbation and patronage of Col. Henry Darnell, the most powerful political figure in Maryland as described in the foregoing biographical sketch.  In Feb1693/4 he moved decisively to consolidate his gains by marrying Col. Darnell’s fifteen year old daughter, Mary.[21]

Carroll had hardly recited his wedding vows when his fortunes took still  another turn for the better. Darnall bestowed on his new son-in-law, whose abilities he recognized, two Prince George’s County tracts totaling  1,381 acres.  Far more important, three months later, in May 1694, when Maryland’s land office reopened, he appointed Carroll clerk, a position that carried a salary of approximately £100 a year and placed him at the strategic center of all land transactions. This was precisely where Darnall needed a “point man” whom he could trust to protect not only the proprietor’s interests but also those of Maryland’s beleaguered Catholic gentry.

Carroll’s economic career exemplifies the classic pattern of broadly diversified Chesapeake entrepreneurs who built fortunes by combining strategic marriages with the activities of a planter, banker, lawyer, merchant, and proprietary officeholder.  Land constituted the foundation of his wealth: when he died in I720, Carroll owned 47,777 acres and was the largest landholder in the province.  He also possessed a warrant for 20,000 additional acres, 10,000 of which were patented by his son Charles Carroll of Annapolis in I723.  Conservatively, the Settler’s acreage was worth ₤20,000.  He accumulated this estate by several methods.  Nearly  three-fifths of the land he held at the time of his death, 26,413 acres, he had acquired by patent.  He also owned 13,026 acres that he had purchased and another 12,249 obtained through mortgage foreclosures.  Additionally, the records show that during his lifetime Carroll sold 7,418 acres that he had either bought or acquired by foreclosure.

The next quantum leap in the Settler’s accumulation of land occurred in 1711, the year his father-in-law, Henry Darnall, died.  Once again,  Carroll’s personal loss was compensated by a distinct improvement in his economic position.  He immediately assumed both of Darnall’s important offices in the proprietor’s private establishment, becoming agent and  receiver general as well as keeper of the great seal, and he acted in these capacities for over a year until his official appointment to the posts in the  fall of 1712.  Collectively, the positions enhanced his potential income by ₤500 to ₤900 sterling annually and provided him with the resources to expand his planting and mercantile activities.

Within two years of assuming Darnall’s high proprietary offices, Carroll replaced [John] Hyde as the colony’s largest lender.  In 1712 and 1713 Hyde made substantial loans totaling ₤I,704, but the Provincial Court deeds record no further activity on his part.  By contrast, between 1711 and 1720  the Settler made twenty-four loans worth ₤4,464.[22]

The basis for John Mitchell I’s apparent affiliation with Charles Carroll Sr. is not clear.  That connection probably did not extend beyond a sporadic and tenuous nature.  It seems more likely that the closest connection with Charles Carroll was of an indirect nature facilitated through Carroll’s son-in-law, Thomas Macnemara.  Although John Mitchell was referenced as a “gentleman” in the court record, he very likely was nothing more than a minor merchant/mariner of Annapolis with good business connections, i.e., Amos Garrett, Thomas Macnemara and William Fishbourn.  But sufficiently well-connected as to be called on with some frequency to witness important business transactions for Charles Carroll, etal.

Ridgelys

During the early formation of the Maryland province there are found records to two different sets of Ridgleys: Robert Ridgley of St. Marys City, and Henry and William Ridgely (brothers) of Anne Arundel.  This biographical sketch of the Ridgelys will focus principally on Colonel Henry Ridgley, as it was he who had the greatest influence in the Collington area of Prince Georges County.  Yet there will also be references to Robert Ridgely of St. Marys, as some of his daughters intermarried with other key parties in this allied family analysis.  The ancestral origins of Col. Henry Ridgely is summarized in the following extract:

“From the manuscript of Judge Nicholas Ridgely, of Delaware, now in possession of Mrs. Henry Ridgely, of Dover, and from the records of Annapolis, I find the Ridgelys, of Annapolis, and of Delaware, descended from the “Hon. Henry Ridgely, of Devonshire, England, who settled in Maryland, in 1659, upon a royal grant of 6,000 acres. He became a Colonel of Militia, member of the Assembly of the Governmental Council, Justice of the Peace, and Vestryman of the Parish Church of St. Ann’s.”…  Henry Ridley demands lands for transporting himself, which is entered in Burles book, and Elizabeth Howard, his wife, and John Hall, Stephen Gill, Richard Ravens and Jane his servants, in the year 1659…  The next entry is 1661, when “James Wardner (Warner) and Henry Ridgely were granted a certificate for 600 acres, called ‘ Wardridge,’ on the north side of South River, joining a tract, ‘Broome,’ formally Richard Beard’s, adjoining Neale Clarke’s.” [23]  ” In 1679, Henry Ridgely, Sr., was commissioned associate Justice of Anne Arundel; in 1689, he was appointed “Captain of the Foote”; in 1692, he was a member of the Lower House; in 1694, he was promoted Major, and in the same year was advanced to Colonel in the Militia. In 1685, Colonel Henry surveyed “Ridgely’s Forrest.” It covered all the land surrounding Annapolis Junction and Savage Factory. In 1699, he granted to his son Henry, 220 acres of “Broome” and 200 acres of “Wardridge.” Upon this combined plantation, Henry Ridgely, Jr., having removed from his Annapolis homestead, died in early manhood, thirty years of age, in 1699. There in the reserved grave yard stood, for years, the well preserved tablet to his memory. In 1702, Colonel Henry sold Charles Carroll “the house and lot in Annapolis, lately in the tenture of my son, adjoining the lots of Charles and Rachel Kilburne.” In 1696, Colonel Henry Ridgely married Mary (Stanton) Duvall, widow of Mareen Duvall, the Huguenot, and with her administered on Duvall’s estate. He then removed across the [Patuxent] river to Prince George’s County, where he became a merchant. His will, written in 1705, with codicils, was probated in 1710. It reads: “I give to my wife Mary, my home, plantation, ‘Cotton‘ [Catton]; ‘Mary’s Delight‘ and ‘Larkin’s Folly,’ which I bought of Thomas Larkin…”[24]

So, from the foregoing biographical sketch we are informed that Henry Ridgely arrived in the Maryland colony around 1658, having transported himself, his wife, Elizabeth Howard and several other redemptioners, for which he received a grant of 6000 acres, probably on the north side of South River in Anne Arundel County.  He rose rather rapidly in the ranks of the local militia from “Captain of foote” to Major and ultimately to Colonel.  He served several years as a Justice of Peace, member of the Lower House, and vestryman for St. Ann’s parish, Annapolis.  Col. Ridgely’s second wife was named Sarah (lnu), who was the mother of several of Col. Ridgley’s children, including his son, Henry Jr.  After Sarah’s death, Col. Ridgley married Mary (Stanton) Duvall, the widow of Maureen Duvall, in 1696, after which they moved from Annapolis and settled on his plantation at Catton in Prince George’s County (see Figure 9-1).  Col. Ridgely’s LWT was written in 1705 and probated in 1710.  His widow inherited several key properties from each of her deceased husbands: Maureen Duvall and Col. Henry Ridgley.  A notable bequest was made in this LWT abstracted as follows:

“If ‘Mary’s Delight’ is not possessed by an heir, it is to be divided between John Brewer, Joseph Brewer, Thomas Odall and Henry Odall, sons of Thomas Odall, (elsewhere written Odell).”[25]

It would appear that these Brewer and Odall children were Col. Ridgely’s grandchildren by birth to his daughter-in-law, Sarah Warner, widow of his deceased son, Henry Ridgely Jr.  Thusly, it would appear that Sarah Warner may have been married to a Mr. Brewer before marrying Henry Ridgely Jr., and then married to Thomas Odall after Henry Jr.’s decease.  These facts may be important to tracing the chain of title to various portions of Darnall’s Grove, of which Mary’s Delight is believed to have been a part.  Soon after Col. Ridgley’s death his relatively young widow married Rev. Jacob Henderson.

Duvalls

Maureen Duvall was the progenitor of the Maryland Duvall family.  An extremely well-documented biography on this Duvall family may be found in Maureen Duvall of Middle Plantation by Harry Wright Newman published in 1952.  This Duvall family sketch and many other references to Duvalls in this chapter will frequently cite this work by Harry Wright Newman.  Maureen Duvall was transported into the Maryland Colony around 1652 by Colonel William Burgess.  Burgess was a shipowner and merchant and is credited with having transported upwards of 500 redemptioners into the colony in the 1650’s:

“It is known and proved by documents that he was a Jacobite or follower of James Stuart, the son of Charles II, thus proving his conservativism or opposition to the liberal elements which supported the Dutch claims of William and Mary of Orange. It is also proved that Mareen DuVall was brought into the Province by William Burgess, one-time Quaker and sympathizer of the Puritan regime in Maryland. Furthermore, it is proved that he served a certain period of indentureship under John Covell…  If his indentureship were for five years, being exiled in 1652 or 1653, it would bring him to the year 1657 [1659?] or about the time he became a freeholder, married, and begun life anew as a subject of Lord Baltimore under the British Crown…  By July 25, 1659, however, Maren Duvall had completed his period of service and as a freeholder applied for his rights to 50 acres of land. The following is an exact copy from the original entry:

“Marin Du Vail demands fifty acres of land having performed his time of service with John Covell* and brought in by William Burgess. Warrant issued for fifty acres return 25 December next…” [26]

Before moving forward with the history of Maureen Duvall, it is important that we expand a little on his master, John Covell:

“*…John Covell, a provocative Puritan who fought the conservatives or the followers of the Lord Proprietary. When Lord Baltimore regained his Province at the downfall of Cromwell, John Covell and his wife, Anne, refused to take the oath of allegiance to the Calverts. John Covell was deceased by April 10, 1659, and his widow even refused to administer upon his estate by which she would ipso facto recognize the jurisdiction of the proprietary court.  Nonetheless, the agents of Lord Baltimore did not withhold her rights to land and granted the widow “Covell’s Folly” which adjoined Middle Plantation…  The male [Covell] line definitely became extinct [with the death of John Covell Jr. in about 1674], but Ann Mott alias Lambert [Covell] who in 1684 was living at “Covell’s Trouble” on the north side of South River was in possession of the Covell plantations and exercised her rights of assignment. While the identity of Ann Mott alias Lambert is not clear, she was undoubtedly the one-time widow Ann Covell. In 1664 still the unreconstructed Puritan she refused to exhibit an inventory of the estate of John Mott. The latter died testate and named his daughter, Elizabeth Mott, and wife (unnamed). “

From the foregoing we have a somewhat disjointed history of John Covell’s widow, Ann Mott [aka Lambert], formerly, widow of John Mott.  In the next section we will learn that Elizabeth Mott, presumably the daughter of John Mott and Ann [aka Lambert], was the second wife of William Mitchell II and step-mother of John Mitchell I.  In fact, it was through a rather elaborate chain of title that Poplar Neck passed from William Burgess to Richard Beard to John Mott to Adam Mott, thence to William Mitchell II.  So, from this history of Ann (lnu, possibly Lambert), widow of John Mott, mother of Elizabeth Mott, and widow of John Covell, coupled with the chain of title for Poplar Neck, is intertwined connections to both William Michell II and John Mitchell I.  Moreover, we find that John Covell owned a tract immediately abutting Middle Plantation, the home plantation of Maureen Duvall.  The reader may also remember that in the brief presentation on Richard Beard it was stated that Ann Covell was a fellow Quaker, who held meetings at here home on South River.

“In 1664 he signed his name as Maren Duvall, the occasion being an inquest into the death of a servant of Joseph Fincher.  He was also accorded the title of “Mr.” bestowed at that period only on men of rank and fashion.  In his living room at Middle Plantation, there were two law books, so his intellectual attainments can not be denied…” 

“The name of his first Maryland wife, not altogether discounting the possibility of his having married first in France, has remained a mystery to her many descendants. She became the mother of his older children, but no evidence has been found to prove definitely her issue.  It is likely that his first Maryland wife was the Mary Dewall who was an heir in the last will and testament of Thomas Bouth, of Calvert County, who died without issue in 1672, dating his will February 15, 1671/2. Quoting from the instrument “I give to Mary Dewall the first Cow Calfe that is Calved of my Cowes and one Sow Shoot.” … And there is no foundation for the widely circulated tale that the older children were all born in France.”

Children of Mareen Duvall by Early Marriage or Marriages:

1. John Duvall married Elizabeth Jones, q.v.

2. Mareen Duvall [the Elder], born 1661, married Frances Stockett. q.v.

3. Lewis Duvall married Martha Ridgely [daughter of Robert Ridgely]. q.v.

4. Samuel Duvall, born 1667, married Elizabeth Ijams. q.v.

5. Eleanor Duvall married John Roberts, q.v.

“Invisible factors point to the conclusion that his [2nd] wife, Susannah, was none other than the third and Virginia-born daughter of his compatriot-in-exile, Benois Brasseur, and Marie his wife, one-time of The Clifts, Calvert County.”

Children of Mareen and Susannah Duvall

6. Susannah Duvall, born circa 1677, married Robert Tyler, q.v.

7. Mareen Duvall [the Younger, or Marsh Duvall], born circa 1680, married Elizabeth Jacob, q.v.

8. Catherine Duvall married William Orrick. q.v.

9. Elizabeth Duvall married Abraham Clarke, q.v.

10. Mary Duvall married Henry Hall. q.v.

11. Johanna Duvall, born circa 1685, married Richard Poole, q.v.

12. Benjamin Duvall married Sophia Griffith, q.v.

Land acquisitions included the following:

  • His first land patent was granted on January 1659/60, for 100 acres of land lying at the head of South River which he called “Laval“, after ancestral associations in the Old World.
  • In 1664 by an assignment of 250 acres from John Ewen, 50 acres from Thomas Parsons, and 300 acres from Andrew Skinner, he as “Marin Dewall Carpenter”* applied for a patent of 600 acres which was surveyed under the name of “Middle Plantation“.
  • In 1665 Mareen Duvall and William Young jointly received letters patent to “Rich Neck“, of 200 acres, which lay on the west side of Jacob’s Creek adjoining the lands of Richard Cheyney and John Clark. One hundred acres of land had been assigned Duvall by George Puddington, while William Young had received his assignment from Ann Covill.
  • Later he added to “Middle Plantation“, known as “Duvall’s Addition“.
  • On March 23, 1677/8, for 4,000 lb. tob. he purchased from Thomas Bowdle, then of Calvert County, 375 acres or one-half of “Bowdle’s Choice“, the other half having been purchased by Robert Tyler, Sr., of Resurrection Manor.
  • On January 13, 1679/80, Marine Dewall, Planter, purchased from Robert Proctor, Innholder, and John Gater, Planter, “Morley’s Grove” on a branch of the Patuxent River called Cattaile Branch and “Morley’s Lot“, a tract lying about three miles in the woods on the west side of South River, both tracts containing in all 770 acres.
  • On June 12, 1683, “Mareen Devall, Merchant”, purchased from John Larkin, of Anne Arundel County, Innholder, for 7,000 lbs. tob. “Howerton’s Range“, then lying in Calvert County (later Prince Georges) on the west side of the Patuxent River adjoining the land of Gabriel Parrott.
  • The Great Marsh which later became distinctive with a branch of Mareen the Younger was the plantation known as “[Wilson’s] Plaine” which had been patented by Robert Wilson, Gent., in 1670 and consisted of 300 acres on the west side of a branch of the Patuxent River

On October 11, 1687, Mareen Devall, Henry Ridgely, and Thomas Knighton appraised the estate of Colonel William Burgess, late of Anne Arundel County, deceased.  It is important to note the close affiliation between Maureen Duvall, Henry Ridgely and William Burgess.  Eight years after they appraised the estate of Col. William Burgess, Col. Henry Ridgely would marry Maureen Duvall’s widow, Mary Stanton Duvall.

At Middle Plantation Mareen Duvall, undoubtedly the most eminent and best beloved Frenchman to have settled in Maryland, lived the patriarchal life of a seventeenth-century Maryland planter, merchant, and country gentleman surrounded by his family and servants. That he was fastidious in dress is brought out by the appraisement at his death of his wearing apparel at £18/14/9… The silver plate consisted of 182 ounces, appraised at £46/5/2, a goodly sum in that day,  In his last illness he was administered by Dr. Mordecai Moore, and his death occurred about August 5, 1694.  At the time that Dr. Mordecai Moore was attending the ailing Maureen Duvall, Dr. Moore had already been married to the widow of Col. William Burgess for several years.

So, Maureen Duvall’s plantation home and country store were located on his 600 acre Middle Plantation, which was situated about three miles east of Governor’s Bridge across the Patuxent and in the freshes of Cattail Creek.  Maureen is believed to have lived on Middle Plantation from shortly after its acquisition in 1664 until his death in 1694.  There is uncertainty as to the mother and birth place of Maureen’s oldest sons, Maureen Duvall the Elder and John Duvall.  Some believe that Maureen the Elder and John may have been born before Maureen’s arrival in the Maryland Colony in 1652, but that seems unlikely.  Regardless, there is substantial evidence suggesting that he married a woman named Mary (lnu) shortly after completion of his indentureship around 1658/9, and that his first five children were born to Mary Duvall.  He may have married Susannah Brashears around 1675, as their children are believed to commence with the birth of a daughter named Susannah, with a total of seven children born to Susannah Brashears.  After Susannah’s death Maureen married Mary Stanton, who was named Executrix of his LWT in 1694.

When he filed the patent for Middle Plantation in 1664 Maureen was described as a Carpenter, which in that day referred to someone with extensive woodworking and design skills, including ship building.  In his early years in Maryland he was frequently called on to evaluate and appraise ships at anchor on the Chesapeake.  At Middle Plantation he established a substantial mercantile business that supplied a large part of central Ann Arundel County as well as that area of Calvert County that later became Prince George’s County.  His land holdings included several tracts in future Prince George’s County: Howerton’s Range, Bowdel’s Choice and Wilson‘s Plaine, all shown on Figure 9-1.

In his LWT dated 2Aug1694, probated 13Aug1694, Maureen Duvall makes bequests of land and money to his wife and each of his children summarized as follows:

  • Mary, his wife, named sole Executrix and guardian of children, bequeathed one half (300 acres) northwest part of Middle Plantation containing the main dwelling house and out buildings, if she refuses to administer, then to quietly possess “the thirds of my estate”, remainder to remain in control of Executors;
  • Lewis Duvall, son, the other half of Middle Plantation on which was the dwelling place of Maureen Duvall, the eldest son, plus the other half of Middle Plantation after wife’s decease, plus 150₤;
  • Elizabeth Duvall, daughter, Bowdel’s Choice (375 acres), plus 150 ₤;
  • Benjamin Duvall, son, moiety of Howerton’s Range (200 acres), plus 150 ₤;
  • Katherine Duvall, daughter, moiety of Howerton’s Range (200 acres), plus 150 ₤;
  • Maureen Duvall, the Younger, son, Wilson’s Plaine (300 acres), plus 150 ₤;
  • Mary Duvall, daughter, Morley’s Grove (320 acres) and Morley’s Lott (350 acres), plus 150 ₤;
  • Johanna Duvall, daughter, Larkin’s Choice (311 acres) and Duvall’s Range (200 acres), plus 150 ₤;
  • John Duvall, son, all my wearing apparel, and my silver tobacco box, plus 5 schillings;
  • Eleanor Roberts, daughter, wife of John Roberts, 5 schillings;
  • Maureen Duvall, the Eldest, son, 5 schillings;
  • In event of wife, Mary’s decease, then sons John Duvall and Lewis Duvall, and son-in-law, Robert Tyler to act as sole Executors.
  • Codicil: Susanna, daughter (and wife of Robert Tyler), one silver tankard.

Some researchers interpret the fact that Maureen Duvall the Elder received only a token bequest of 5 schillings, and was to be evicted from his home on the southeast moiety of Middle Plantation in preference to his younger brother, Lewis, to be evidence of an estrangement of Maureen the Elder from his father.  That may well have been the case.  He does seem to have been “cutoff” from his “rightful” inheritance.  Maureen the Elder was married to Frances Stockett in 1688:

“Before 1688 he married into one of the most fashionable and aristocratic families living on the Ridge in Anne Arundel County, and it was undoubtedly a union second to none of his brothers and sisters. He took as his bride Frances Stockett, daughter of Captain Thomas Stockett, Esq., a staunch supporter of the Stuarts who with his three brothers from County Kent after the execution of Charles I in 1649 in order to escape the rule of Cromwell and his ruffians followed Charles II to France and were members of his court at St. Germain during his nine years of exile.  Mary, the wife of Captain Thomas Stockett, was the daughter of Richard Wells, one of the ruling deputies of Maryland during the Commonwealth, whose wife Frances Whyte paradoxically was a daughter of staunch Catholic Royalists and the granddaughter of Richard, Earl of Portland, KG, the treasurer to Charles I. There was consequently a Montague falling in love and marrying a Capulet or a Royalist and High Churchman marrying a daughter of a Puritan and non-comformist.”[27]

It would appear that Maureen the Elder made a most auspicious marriage indeed.  It is difficult to visualize anything in this marriage of his elder son, with which either Maureen Sr. or his wife could have taken umbrage.  However, it should not be overlooked that John Duvall, another of Maureen Sr.’s older sons, was not accorded much respect in his father’s LWT.  Wearing apparel, a snuff box and 5 schillings hardly seems an appropriate share of the father’s estate for an older, if not the oldest son.  Make of it what you will, it does seem that both Maureen the Elder and John Duvall were clearly treated differently from the other nine children.  Perhaps this treatment is reflective of their having been the product of an earlier union, before Maureen Duvall’s arrival in Maryland in 1652.

The main point that should be observed is that it was with descendants of this Duvall family that John Mitchell II had the closest living proximity and with which he had the most noteworthy land transactions.  Shortly, we will observe that John Mitchell III both purchased and sold land to a Lewis and Alice Duvall in the early 1750’s.  In fact, because of the close living proximity and these notable land transactions, the author initially thought that there might actually have been a kinship connection between John Mitchell II and the Duvall’s, possibly through marriage.  After an extensive and fairly exhaustive search, no such kinship connection could be found.

Tylers

One need barely scratch the surface of records around Collington Hundred before encountering some transaction or another involving Robert Tyler Jr.  The Tyler family in Maryland originates from one immigrant, namely Robert Tyler Sr., born at Deptford, Kent, England in about 1637.[28]  He was recorded entering Maryland in 1649 at the age of 12, transported by Henry Catlin.  In 1650 Catlin was appointed one of seven Justices of the Peace for Ann Arundel County, a post he continued to hold until the creation of the Royal province in 1685.  Robert Tyler appears to have lived in the Broad and Town Neck Hundred, between the Severn and Maggoty Rivers in Ann Arundel County from his immigration until at least 1665 where he appeared in the rent rolls as owning four separate tracts of land:

  • 50 acres on Deep Creek Neck surveyed 20Oct1663 for Robert Tyler, on west side of Deep Creek, north of the Severn River purchased of John Worrall.
  • 100 acres surveyed 20Oct1664 for Robert Tyler on south side of Maggoty River, purchased from Alexander Gardiner.
  • 100 acres surveyed on 15Feb1664/5 for Robert Tyler on north side of Severn River, purchased of Charles Rivers.
  • 100 acres survey for Robert Tyler at Brushy Neck on north side of Severn River, purchased 50 acres from Col. Hammond, 40 acres from William Clark, and 10 acres from Alexander Gardiner.

A marriage record exists abstracted as follows:

  • “29Jun1663 – Robert Tyler of Deptford, Kent, Carpenter, bachelor, about 26, married Joane [Sprigg] Ravens.”[29]

NOTE: The reader is alerted to the fact that we will be revisiting this Sprigg family in a future blog post entitled The Miller-Blissett Story in which we will intersect with a descendant of Colonel Thomas Sprigg named Elizabeth Sprigg-Pyle, 3rd wife of Henry Vanmeter.

Joane was a daughter of Thomas Sprigg and Katherine Griffin.  She had been twice married, before marrying Robert Tyler: (1) George Reed, and (2) unknown Ravens.  Joane’s brother, Thomas Sprigg Jr. married Katherine Graves Roper, a daughter of Capt. Thomas Graves of Accomack, VA, and sister of Verlinda Graves, wife of Maryland Governor, William Stone.  Sometime between 1665 and 1670 Robert and Joane relocated from Ann Arundel County to Calvert County, in the area that would become Prince George’s County in 1696.  Commencing in 1667 Robert Tyler began appearing in records as an appraiser of ships, probably due to his knowledge and skill in ship building as a ship’s carpenter.  In Aug1670 Robert Tyler purchased a 750 acre tract in Resurrection Hundred (later called Collington Hundred) called Brough (see Figure 9-1).  Robert was appointed a Justice of the Peace for Calvert County in 1670, serving as Justice until 1673.  After establishing himself on Brough plantation, Robert Tyler became styled as a “planter”.  While living at Brough Robert and Joane were blessed with the birth of two children: Elizabeth ~1669/0, and Robert Jr. 1771.

Recognizing his mortality Robert Tyler wrote his LWT in Sep1673, proven in Apr1674, bequeathing as follows:

  • To wife, Joane, home plantation known as Brough, containing 750 acres, excepting 60 acres therefrom for son, Robert;
  • To son, Robert, 60 acres of Brough, plus 375 acres adjoining, called Bowdel’s Choice, plus two slaves named Anthony and Sue;
  • To daughter, Elizabeth, one slave named William;
  • To Thomas Sprigg [brother-in-law], Samuel Taylor and Robert Taylor, in event of Joane predeceasing the children, shall assume guardianship of the children.

Robert’s widow, Joan Sprigg Reade Ravens Tyler married John Beale shortly after 30Jul1674, and she moved along with her children to her new husband’s plantation at Norwood’s Beale in Ann Arundel, but not before Joan had a prenuptial agreement recorded to protect her and her children’s assets.  Joan gave birth to another son named John Beale Jr. and died between June and July 1675.  Per the terms of Robert Tyler’s LWT, guardianship of Elizabeth and Robert Jr. befell their deceased mother’s brother, Col. Thomas Sprigg Jr..  Brough plantation descended to Robert Tyler Jr., via the terms of his father’s LWT, once he attained his majority.  According to Don Corbly, Brough was situated in Henry Darnall’s land, known as Darnall’s Grove.[30]  This assertion is not correct.  Actually, Brough plantation sat separate and apart from Darnall’s Grove to the southeast, abutting Bowdle’s Choice to the southeast, Essington to the east, and Riley’s Lott to the west (see Figure 9-1).  The confusion with Darnall’s Grove may have arisen from the fact that Robert Tyler Jr. purchased 3,000 acres of the original 3,800 acre Darnall’s Grove on 24Jun1700, for 650₤ from Richard Marsham, and may have established his own home plantation upon part of Darnall’s Grove.

Robert Tyler Jr. (1671-1738) was reared from age four years until age 17 by his uncle, Col. Thomas Sprigg.  On reaching the age of 17 and per the terms of his father’s LWT, Robert Jr. inherited and became the master of Brough manor as well as the adjoining 350 acre tract called Bowdel’s Choice around 1689.  It is believed that Robert Tyler Jr. married Susannah Duvall, daughter of Maureen Duvall and Susanna Brashears sometime before 1694.  This belief is predicated on the fact that Maureen Duvall named Robert Tyler as one of the Executors to his LWT.  Susanna and Robert Jr. are believed to have had eight children abstracted as follows:

  1. Edward TYLER b: 2 SEP 1696 in Anne Arundel Co, Md
  2. Mary TYLER b: 1 FEB 1696/97 in Anne Arundel Co, Md
  3. Susannah TYLER b: 14 JUL 1700 in Anne Arundel Co, Md
  4. Elizabeth TYLER b: 22 NOV 1701 in Anne Arundel Co, Md
  5. Priscilla TYLER b: 12 JUN 1703 in Anne Arundel Co, Md
  6. Robert TYLER III b: 9 AUG 1704 in Anne Arundel Co, Md
  7. Mareen TYLER b: 20 FEB 1706/07 in Anne Arundel Co, Md
  8. Jane TYLER b: 20 MAY 1709 in Anne Arundel Co, Md

Susanna must have died sometime between May1709 and Jun1718, for on 10Jun1718 Robert Tyler was recorded marrying Mary Dodd abstracted as follows:

  • 12Jun1718 – Robert Tyler, Gentleman of Prince George’s County married Mary Dodd, widow of Annapolis. (4-AA-405).[31]

For the record it should be noted that many researchers misidentify the 2nd wife of Robert Tyler Jr. as having been Mary Stanton, the widow of Maureen Duvall and the widow of Col. Henry Ridgely.  This confusion is probably caused by the fact that Rev. Jacob Henderson married Mary Stanton Duvall Ridgley around 1712/3, and then almost 35 years later married Mary Tyler, widow of Robert Tyler in Ann Arundel on 2Nov1746 (9-AA-246).[32]  Even further clouding this issue is the fact that Robert Tyler III married a woman named Mary Wade abstracted as follows:

  1. 7Jan1724/5 – Robert Tyler Jr. [III] married Mary Wade (2-PG-4).[33]

So, in theory, the widow, Mary Tyler, who married the Rev. Jacob Henderson on 2Nov1746, could have been the widow of either Robert Tyler Jr. or Robert Tyler III.  Louise Joyner Hienton expressed the opinion that the Rev. Jacob Henderson married as his 2nd wife Mary Dodd Tyler, the widow of Robert Tyler Jr.  The author is inclined to accept this opinion, as there is evidence suggesting that Robert Tyler III was still living in Nov1746.  In fact, he appears to have still been alive in Aug1751 when Rev. Henderson wrote his LWT.  In his LWT Rev. Henderson made the following bequest:

“To Robert Tyler, son of Robert Tyler, [and?] my wife’s niece and his hrs. forever, after decease of wife, the afsd. tracts of land, provided he gives to his sister Mary Tyler and her hrs., 200 A. land out of the lands he has in the neighborhood…”

Because of the confusing entanglements of intermarriages involving the Duvalls, Tylers and Hendersons, the foregoing reference to the purported kinship between Rev. Henderson and his devisee, Robert Tyler, might be interpreted two different ways.  Either interpretation depends on an understanding of the meaning of the terms “niece” and “nephew” as applied in the 18th century.  Rather than meaning the offspring of one’s siblings, as is the common usage at present day, the terms “niece” and “nephew” in the 18th century typically referred to a step-child.  So, with that in mind, here are the two possible interpretations of the phrase “my wife’s niece”:

  1. It is possible that Rev. Henderson was referring to his first wife, Mary Stanton Duvall Ridgely, in which case he could have been referring to her step-daughter, Susanna Duvall Tyler, in which case this Robert Tyler would have been Robert Tyler III, son of Susanna Duvall and Robert Tyler Jr.
  2. Another, less likely interpretation, which gets us to the same conclusion, is that Rev. Henderson may have meant “nephew” in stead of “niece”.  In this case a reference to “my wife’s nephew” could have referred to his present wife, Mary Dodd Tyler, in which case Robert Tyler would have been her step-son, and son of Robert Tyler II and Susanna Duvall.

Either way, we are left with the likelihood that the Robert Tyler receiving the bequest from the Rev. Henderson was the son of Robert Tyler II and Susanna Duvall.  Consequently, the 2nd wife of Rev. Jacob Henderson would have been Mary Dodd Tyler, the widow of Robert Tyler II, as proffered by Louise Joyner Hienton.[34]

Although there are many very interesting aspects to this Tyler family, for the purposes of this “brief” excursus, we will focus our attention on Robert Tyler II and his wife, Susanna Duvall, and particularly on their land acquisitions.  Following is a list of properties that at some point in his life were in possession of Robert Tyler II:

2Jul1670 – Bowdel’s Choice of 750 acres in Patuxent Hundred, surveyed 2Jul1670 for Thomas Bowdle on the west side of the Patuxent River on the west side of land of Domerrius Cartwright.  Posession [in ~1707] 375 acres Robert Tyler; 375 acres Abraham Clarke.  This tract has a rather interesting chain of title.  In Apr1674 375 acres [a one-half moiety] was in possession of Robert Tyler Sr., which he bequeathed to his son, Robert Tyler Jr.  By Aug1694 one-half of Bowdel’s Choice was in possession of Maureen Duvall Sr., which he devised to his daughter, Elizabeth Duvall.  Probably the half of Bowdel’s Choice bequeathed to Elizabeth Duvall was the remainder, not in possession of Robert Tyler, since tax roll records show 375 acres in possession of Elizabeth’s husband, Abraham Clarke, with the other 375 acres in possession of Robert Tyler Jr.

30Aug1670 –          Brough, Robert Tyler, 1670, Prince George’s County, 750 acres, Liber 12, Folio 616, Liber 14, Folio 88.  “750 acres in Patuxent surveyed 30Aug1670 for Robert Tyler [Sr.] on the west side of the north fork of the Patuxent.  Resurveyed by said Tyler [actually Robert Tyler Jr.] 8Sep1704, found to be 720 acres.  Possession [in ~1710] 520 acres Robert Tyler; 200 acres Dr. [Mordecai] Moore.  18Feb1736/7 Tyler sold portion of Brough called Jacob’s Addition to Rev. Jacob Henderson.  Tyler had earlier conveyed a portion of Brough to Richard Duckett called Duckett’s Hope.  Brough, Robert Tyler, 1703, Prince George’s County, 720 acres, Liber C.D., Folio 232.  This was the tract acquired by Robert Tyler Sr., which became the family plantation home for several generations.  Brough was left to the use of Robert Tyler’s widow, Joane Sprigg, but on her death or his age of 17 years, it devolved to Robert Tyler Jr.

1695 – Tylers Chance, Robert Tyler, 1695, Prince George’s County, 210 acres, Liber B.B., No. 3, Folio 149.  Tylers Chance, Robert Tyler, 1733, Prince Georges County, 100 acres, Liber A.M., No. 1, Folio 320.  This may have been the very first tract patented in the name of Robert Tyler Jr.

1696 – Tylers Discovery, Robert Tyler, 1696, Prince George’s County, 204 acres, Liber D.P., No. 5, Folio 81.  [East side of Collington Creek]

1699 – Tylers Paster [aka Tyler’s Pasture], Robert Tyler, 1699, Prince George’s County, 275 acres, Liber E.E., No. 6, Folio 217. 

  • 8Jun1715 – Tyler’s Pasture 265 acres, surveyed for Robert Tyler beginning a bounding white Oak standing on the north side of a small branch being the head of the northeast branch of the Eastern Branch of the Potomac River, patented 10Aug1715. 
  • 29 Apr 1717 – Prince George’s Land Records 1710-1717 – Liber F – folio 621; Indenture, ; From: Robert Tyler, Gentleman of Prince George’s County; To Charles Hyatt, planter of Prince George’s County For 30£ a tract of land called Tyler’s Pasture; bounded by a tract of land formerly laid out of the same tract for John Mitchell; containing 174 acres being the remainder part of the whole tract Signed: Robert Tyler (seal).  Witnessed: Richard Keen, William Head.  Memo: Robert Tyler acknowledged deed.
  • 29 Apr 1717 – Prince George’s Land Records 1717-1726 – Liber F – folio Folio 6/633.  Indenture; From: Robert Tyler, Gent of Prince George’s County; To: John Mitchell, planter of Prince George’s County For 3,000 pounds of tobacco a tract of land called Tyler’s Pasture in Prince George’s County containing 101 acres.  le/ Robert Tyler (seal); Wit: Richard Keene, Wm. Head.  Acknowledgement by Robert Tyler; enrolled 8 Oct 1717
  • 6Mar1717/8, he [Jacob Henderson] purchased from Hugh Ryley, of Prince Georges County, Planter, for £15 “Ryley’s Hazard“, of 175 acres, and on the same day he purchased of Charles Hyatt a 100-acre portion of “Tyler’s Pasture“.
  • 4 Jul 1726 – Prince George’s Land Records 1726-1730 – Liber M, Page 86;  Enrolled at request of John Haymond 22 Dec 1726: Indenture Between Jacob Henderson and John Haymond, carpenter; Charles Hoyat [Hyatt] on 27 Jun 1719 140 acres of a tract called Tyler’s Pasture; this indenture from Henderson to Haymond for £35; 174 acres reserved for Seth Hyatt by Charles Hyatt when he sold sd. Jacob 100 acres by indenture dated 7 Mar 1717; /s/ Jacob Henderson; wit. Jos. Belt, Ralph Crabb; 4 Jul 1726; ack. by Jacob Henderson and Mary his wife.  This indenture between John Haymond and Jacob Henderson is a bit confusing.  It seems to imply that Charles Hyatt acquired 174 acres of Tyler‘s Pasture, from which he sold 100 acres to Jacob Henderson.
  • 30Jan1732/3 – Adjoined Pleasant Grove, 1635 acre tract granted by Rev. Jacob Henderson to Maureen Duvall the Younger.  “On 30Jan1732/3 the Rev. Jacob Henderson for the love, friendship and goodwill which he bore for his “well beloved kinsman, Maureen Duvall Sr. at ye Great Marsh, Planter” granted him the tract known as Pleasant Grove, adjoining Tyler’s Pasture, as laid out for 1,632 acres.”
  • 8Nov1742 Lewis Duvall conveyed by mortgage of 22₤ to John Mitchell 74 acres of Tyler’s Pasture, at which time his wife, Alice [Brown] Duvall, waived her dower.”  This 74 acre tract probably was the remainder of the 174 acres in possession of Charles Hyatt, after he sold 100 acres to the Rev. Jacob Henderson.  How this remainder of Tyler‘s Pasture came into possession of Lewis Divall is unknown to the author.  Note that this Lewis Duvall was a son of Maureen Duvell, the Younger.  This identity of this John Mitchell is unclear.  This could have been either John Mitchell II or John Mitchell III.
  • 15Mar1759 Lewis Duvall purchased of David Mitchell, of Frederick County, Planter, at which time Mary Mitchell waved dower, 129 acres of Tyler’s Pasture.”  This David Mitchell is believed to have been a son of John Mitchell II and Elizabeth (lnu).  Per the terms of his father’s LWT, David was to inherit 59 acres after his mother’s death.  It is conceivable that part of this 129 acres included the 59 acres inherited from John Mitchell II.
  • 22Feb1764 – Lewis Duvall, Gtlm. mortgaged to Henry Hall, of Anne Arundel County, Merchant for 64₤ 16s — Tyler’s Pasture which he had purchased of David Mitchell, also Mitchell’s Addition and an unnamed tract purchased from James Beck…”  In this record we now have Lewis Duvall in possession of both the 129 acres of Tyler‘s Pasture purchased from David Mitchell, as well as Mitchell’s Addition, which contained 150 acres when granted to John Mitchell II in 1720.
  • 13Feb1773 – Lewis Duvall conveyed to Joseph Boyd, of Prince George’s County, for 200₤ Mitchell’s Addition (adjoining Tyler’s Pasture), and a portion of Pleasant Grove.”

NOTE:  The foregoing chain of title of a 275 acre tract called Tyler’s Pasture presents a rather interesting interplay between Robert Tyler, John Mitchell [II or III], David Mitchell [son of John Mitchell II], Hugh Riley, Reverend Jacob Henderson, and Lewis Duvall [son of Maureen Duvall the Younger].  Later on, other land transactions between Lewis Duvall and John and Elizabeth Mitchell will be presented.  For the moment, let’s trace the foregoing chain of title of Tyler‘s Pasture through its various owners.  After its initial patenting in 1699, Robert Tyler II subdivided Tyler‘s Pasture into two parcels, which he then sold on 29Apr1717: 101 acres to John Mitchell, and 174 acres to Charles Hyatt.  On 6Mar1717/8 Charles Hyatt further subdivided his portion and sold 100 acres to Rev. Jacob Henderson, leaving 74 acres still in possession of Charles Hyatt.  30Jan1732/3 Rev. Jacob Henderson granted Pleasant Grove (containing 1635 acres) to Maureen Duvall the Younger (his wife’s step-son).  On 8Nov1742 Lewis Duvall [son of Maureen Duvall the Younger] sold 74 acres of Tyler‘s Pasture to John Mitchell, presumably this was John Mitchell II, but could have been his son, John Mitchell III., bringing a total share of Tyler’s Pasture to 175 acres into the Mitchell family. (It is not clear how this 74 acres came into Lewis Duvall’s possession.  (It may have been the remainder in the possession of Charles Hyatt.).  15Mar1759 Lewis Duvall purchased from David Mitchell (son of John Mitchell II, deceased) 129 acres of Tyler’s Pasture (presumably David had inherited the Tyler’s Pasture land from his father, although only 59 acres was specifically mentioned in John Mitchell’s LWT).  This may have left 46 acres of Tyler‘s Pasture still in possession of David Mitchell [175 acs. – 129 acs = 46 acs.].  On 22Feb1764 Lewis Duvall mortgaged to Henry Hall Tyler‘s Pasture (129 acres) purchased of David Mitchell, plus Mitchell’s Addition (presumably 150 acres patented by John Mitchell II on 16Sep1720), plus an unnamed tract purchased of James Beck [Lewis Duvall’s brother-in-law].  On 13Feb1773 Lewis Duvall sold to Joseph Boyd Mitchell’s Addition, plus part of Pleasant Grove, which abutted Tyler‘s Pasture.

From the original patent of Tyler’s Pasture it was described as being northeast of the Eastern Branch of the Potomac.  Such description is rather general, but suggests that Tyler’s Pasture may have been in the freshes of Beaver Dam Creek to the west of present day Bowie, MD.  From the foregoing chain of title it would appear that by 8Nov1742 175 acres (101 acres + 74 acres) of Tyler’s Pasture was in possession of the John Mitchell family.  Through the LWT of John Mitchell Jr. probated 26Aug1752, David Mitchell [son of John Mitchell Jr.] was to inherit 59 acres of his father’s plantation on the death of his mother.  Yet, on 15Mar1759 David Mitchell sold to Lewis Duvall 129 acres of Tyler’s Pasture.  From the various transactions involving Tyler’s Pasture and Mitchell’s Addition they were reported to have abutted one another, and to have abutted Pleasant GrovePleasant Grove is reported elsewhere to have contained Pleasant Grove Cemetery, which is situated on Springfield Road, about three miles northwest of Bowie, MD.  The author has approximated the site of Pleasant Grove on Figure 9-1, along with the approximate locations of Tyler’s Pasture and Mitchell’s Addition.

24Jun1700 – Darnall’s Grove for 650₤ Robert Tyler purchased from Richard Marsham, Gentleman, 3000 acres, an original tract of 3,800 acres surveyed in 1682 for Colonel Henry Darnall, lying on the west side of the Patuxent River in the freshes and on the west side of Collington Branch “where His Lordship’s Manor is”.  1714 – Darnell’s Grove, Part of, Robert Tyler, Prince George’s County, 2820 acres, Liber E.E., No. 6, Folio 215.  Commencing in that same year Robert Tyler began a series of alientations [sales] of divisions of Darnall’s Grove to various and sundry persons, many of whom later had intermarriages with the Duvall and Tyler families:

  • 1700 – Robert Tyler, Gntl. to Samuel Farmer, of Anne Arundel County, Planter, for 40₤, a 103 acre tract, portion of Darnall’s Grove, called Farmer’s Marsh.
  • 1702 – Robert Tyler sold to Colonel Henry Ridgley 500 acres called Mary’s Delight, a portion of Darnall’s Grove.
  • 1702 – Robert Tyler sold to Abraham Clarke [husband of Elizabeth Duvall] 400 acres, a portion of Darnall’s Grove.
  • 1702 – Robert Tyler sold to Lewis Duvall [son of Maureen Duvall] 412 acres, a portion of Darnall’s Grove.

By 1708 Rent Rolls the various proprietors of Darnall’s Grove were listed as follows:

  • 400 acres – Abraham Clarke
  • 675 acres- Robert Tyler
  • 500 acres – Colonel Henry Ridgely
  • 103 acres – Samuel Farmer
  • 103 acres – Richard Robson
  • 412.5 acres – Lewis Duvall
  • 206.5 acres – Richard Batt [Butt?]
  • 200 acres – Rawlings
  • 100 acres – [Thomas?] Sweringen
  • 300 acres – Duvall; and
  • 800 acres – Odall

Since the foregoing listing of the various owners of Darnall’s Grove totals to 3800 acres, it suggests that Mr. Odall may have acquired his 800 acres directly from Mr. Marsham, and that the other owners are reflective of subdivision and sale of the 3000 acres acquired by Robert Tyler.

1703 – Ridgley & Tylers Chance, Henry Ridgley and Robert Tyler, , Prince George’s County, 463 acres, Liber D.D., No. 5, Folio 82.

1705 – Harrisses Burches [aka Harrison‘s Purchase], Robert Tyler, , Prince George’s County, 103.5 acres, Liber C.D., Folio 229.  “103 acres in Collington Hundred surveyed 3Aug1705 for Robert Tyler at a bound white Oak standing on the south on the main branch of Collington Creek by the Marsh of the said branch.  Possession in ~1707 Robert Tyler.

4Sep1710 – Tyler’s Range  “200 acres surveyed for Robert Tyler, beginning at 2 bound white oaks standing in a fork of the northwest branch of the northeast branch of the Potomac River, patented 10Dec1714.” Tylers Range, Robert Tyler, 1714, Prince George’s County, 200 acres, Liber E.E., No. 1, Folio 128.  To LEWIS DUVAL. Lib. E.I. No. 9A (17259),  Deed, p. 628.

Robert Tyler II died testate before 24Aug1738.  His LWT is abstracted as follows:

1735 – Will of Robert Tyler Sr. gentleman, Prince George’s Co, written 29 dec 1735; probated 24 Aug 1738 (MCW VII.257; Wills, 21.911)

TO Mary, 1/2 of dwelling plantation, 375 acres BOWDELL’S CHOICE during life in lieu of her dower interest.

TO dau-in-law Elizabet Widow of son Edward, dec’d use of 350 acrew where she now lives, being pt of DARNALL’S GROVE, until grandson Samuel son of sd Edwards, arrives at age of 21, when land on west side of rowling road leading from John Swan’s plantation, through plantation of sd. son Edward to Queen Ann Town shall be equally divided bet. sd. dau-in-law and grandson Samuel, should she not live on her portion it is to pass to sd Samuel and hrs., should sd. grandson die without issue, sd. portion to other two grandsons, Edward and Robert sons of son Edward, and their hrs.

TO grandsons Edward and Robert and their hrs., land on east side of sd. rowling road, to receive same at age of 21; sd. grandsons dying without issue their portion to grandson Samuel and hrs., should sd. grandson die without issue, sd. portion to other two gransons, Edward and Robert sons of son Edward, and their hrs.

TO Mary Whitehead, 150 acres BROUGH during live, at her decease to grandson John Baldwin and hrs., he dying as afsd., to grandson Thomas Baldwin and hrs., he dyand as afsd., to grandson James Baldwin and hrs., he dying as afsd., to son Robert and hrs. Sd. tract called BROUGH being adj. to Demetrius Carthright’s land ISLINGTON, AMPLE GRANGE, in poss. of hrs of John Boyd, Sr., dec’d and line of John Anderson’s land

TO son Mareen and hrs., 260 acres BROUGH, being adj. to BOWDELL’S CHOICE,sd. son dying without issue, to pass to grandson William son of son Robert and hrs., he failing issue to grandson Robert son of son Edward and hrs.

TO son Robert and hrs. 1/2 of dwell. plan. and after decease of wife 375 acres BOWDELL’S CHOICE, pt of BROUGH, and 10 acrews abasin thorp hall, bou. of Thomas Harwood; sd son dying without issue to pass to son Mareen and hrs. he also failing issue to grandson Robert son of Edward; also 100 acres RILEY’S LOTT, of Thomas Pindell, lot in Queen Ann Town with houses theron, except that sold to Rubin Ross and ground whereon Michael Morrises house now stands, also 100 acres TYLER’S CHANCE, nw side of Sinneka Creek

TO daus. Susannah Lamar and Elizabeth Pottenger, and their hrs., 200 acres of HOWERTON’S RANGE, had of Benjamin Duvall, sd. daus. dying without issue, sd. lands to dau. Priscilla Wickam and hrs. should all three daus. die without issue, sd lands to grandson Tyler, son of Mary Baldwin and hrs. Son-in-law Samuel Pottenger to give the 100 acres of sd. tract to his sons, Robert, son of his present wife, dau. Elizbeth. None of hrs. t claim any right or interest in RIDGELY’S AND TYLER’S CHANCE now in poss. of Thomas Fowler’s hrs. Exs. empowered to sell 105 acres of land mortgaged by Thomas Rickets of AA Co., in case sd. Ricketts does not pay mortgage.

TO dau. Priscilla Wickham and hrs., 200 acres TYLER’S RANGE, near head of Eastern branch Potomac R.

TO dau. Mry Whitehead, certain personalty and all her late husband James Baldwin’s personal estate

TO grandson John Baldwin, son Mareen, daus. Susannah Lamar, Eliz. Pottenger and Priscilla Wickham, son Robert and his son and dau. Robert and Mary, and grandson William Tyler, personalry. Residue of estate to wife Mary, extx., should she refuse to abide by above will son Robert to act.

TO grand-dau Ruth certain personalry in event of wife’s marriage

Test: Benja. Boyd, Phillip Pindell Jr., Abra. Boyd Jr., Henry Bryant

Robert Tyler, Prince George’s Co.; #669.15.10; 4 Sep 1736; 29 Aug 1741; nok: Mareen Tyler, Mary Tyler; extx. Mary Henderson, wife of Jacob Henderson (I&A 26.165)

Rileys

This genealogical excursus will focus on Hugh Riley Sr. and his descendants.  Many researchers claim that Hugh Riley Sr. of Maryland was a son of Miles Riley of Rappahannock, Virginia.  They present considerable record data to establish the existence of Miles Riley, including transportation and land grant records, but nothing concrete to connect with Hugh Riley of Maryland.  Miles Riley [aka Ryley or Rieley] was first recorded when he booked passage on 2Jan1634/5 aboard the Merchant Bonaventure from London to Virginia as Miles Riley, aged 20, along with his presumed brother, Garrett Riley, aged 24.  Researchers would have us believe that Garrett Riley returned to Ireland around 1650 to take advantage of the improved treatment of protestants under the Cromwell government, where he purportedly acquired land and lived out his remaining days:

“He purchased a six-room, thatched-roof house in the town of Kells, County Meath, Ireland. Garrett Reyley (Riley) appears on the Evaluation of Kells, a sort of tax roll, or census, in the years 1655 and 1665.”

According to these same researchers Miles Riley continued to live in the Virginia Colony until his death sometime in 1668 [age about 54 years].  He did not appear again on any colonial records after his first transportation in 1634 until he began filing land patents in the 1660’s in Rappahannock County in the vicinity of Totuskey Creek, record abstracts as follows:

  1. 21May1662 – Hugh Kinsey of Lancaster County, planter, mortgages to John Fisk of London, Fletcher and Merchant, plantation whereon the said Kinsey now liveth, 500 acres for 33 pounds six schillings to be paid 20Jan next.  Signed John Kinsey, witnessed Miles Riley, and Edward Dale.
  2. 20Feb1662/3 – William Mosley and John Hull received grant of 5,798 acres in Rappahannock County on north side of Rappahannock River, to NW side of Totoskey Creek for transport of 116 persons, including John Hull (3 times), Elizabeth Hull, Elizabeth Hull Jr., Miles Riles[sic], etal.
  3. 18Mar1663 – Miles Reily received grant of 200 acres in Rappahannock County, on west side of north branch of Totaskey Creek adjacent Robert Sisson, running NNE to land of Thomas Robinson. for transport of 4 persons.
  4. 3Nov1664 – Miles Reyly received grant of 400 acres on north side of Rappahannock River, eastward side of Totoskey Creek, easternmost branch of said creek adjacent land in joint tenure of Thomas Robinson and Quintaine Sherman, eastward to Edward Lewis for transport of 8 persons.
  5. 12Oct1665 – Miles Reily received 1100 acre grant in Rappahannock County in two tracts: 200 acres adjacent land of Thomas Robinson, and 900 acres adjacent land of John Hull, for transport of 22 persons, including John Hull, Elizabeth Hull, Mary Hull, six negroes, etal.
  6. 12Oct1665 – Miles Reily received grant of 1000 acres on north side of Rappahannock River, for transport of 20 persons.
  7. 23Sep1668 – Capt. John Hull granted 1400 acres in Rappahannock County on North side of River, including 1100 acres granted to Miles Riley on 12Oct1665, and devised by Will to John Hull.
  8. 30Oct1669 – Capt John Hull of Farnham Parish, Rappahannock County granted 650 acres adjacent Robert Sisson, etal., originally granted to Miles Reyley, deceased, devised by Will to John Hull.
  9. 10Oct1670 – Capt. John Hull petitioned for 1200 acres on east side ot Totoskey Creek, including 400 acres granted to Miles Reley on 3Oct1664, which was deserted.

From the foregoing records there was a 28-year gap from the presumed date of Miles Riley’s first immigration in 1634 to the date of his first known record in 1662.  It is difficult to imagine that Miles had been in Virginia all those years and not have filed for a land patent, witnessed a court document or have been recorded in a church register or vestry minutes, yet that is what other researchers would have us believe.  Of these records that the author was able to locate for anyone named Miles Riley, it appears that he was a fairly recent arrival in Rappahannock County in early 1660’s.  He was named as a headright by Capt. John Hull in Feb1662/3, and he, himself, claimed John, Elizabeth and Mary Hull as headrights on his own patent filing in Oct1665.  Many researchers claim that Miles Riley was married to Mary Hull, and that she was the mother of his presumed four sons, including Hugh Riley, born about 1652.  Although some researchers claim that it is “known” that Miles Riley had four sons, including Hugh Riley, none have offered one scintilla of proof.

From the last three records in which Miles Riley is named, Capt. John Hull was filing patents, which included tracts originally filed by Miles Riley, and devised to Hull by the Will of Miles Riley.  Such circumstance is strong suggestion of a kinship between John Hull and Miles Riley, but just what that kinship may have been is completely unknown to the author.  It might be reasonable to assume that Miles had married a daughter of Capt. John Hull, but where is the evidence?  Also, if Miles Riley married Mary Hull, the person named as a transportee by Miles Riley in 1665, then that marriage probably occurred after Oct1665.  Such event would render it impossible for that Mary Hull to have been the mother of Hugh Riley. 

To bring further closure to this puzzle, the author performed a thorough search of Maryland colonial records and found no listing anywhere for Miles Riley.  So, if Miles Riley was the father of Hugh Riley, we are left with virtually no record of such a connection.  Lastly, Miles Riley almost certainly was dead when Capt. Hull filed his patent for 1400 acres in Sep1668.  From the last three patent records filed by Capt. John Hull, it seems highly likely that Miles Riley died testate, but no record of a Will or estate administration has been found.  Such Will might be useful in establishing other family members, such as a wife and children, but the author was unable to find any trace of Miles’ Will.

We will seek no further to establish the ancestry of Hugh Riley, suffice it to say that his existence first came to notice in Maryland records abstracted as follows:

  • 4Apr1677 – Recct 335 by Hugh Riley: 500; by Tho: Roper: 150; by Midill Offly: 340 Expences
  • 3Nov1680 – Hugh Riley presented petition to General Councill with a schedule (claim) for goods taken from him by Northern Indians on 4Sep1680 with value of 12,020 ltb.
  • 1697 – At the September 1697 court Hugh Riley was indicted for stating of Thomas Holliday, one of the justices, that “All the beasts of the Forrest meaning the Suitors to the Said County Court are Come in to wait upon an Ass,” thus tending to a breach of the peace, contempt of the crown and royal dignity and against the form of the statute in that case made and provided. At the same time Joshua Hall was presented for saying that Holliday was a fool and a rogue, also tending to disturbance of the peace, etc. Both submitted to the judgment of the court and were ordered to give security (£20 and two sureties of £10 each) for their good behavior and appearance at the next court. At such court the recognizances were continued but no further entries are found.
  • Jan1697/8 – William Bladen of St. Maryes County Acknowledged himselfe bound unto Hugh Riley in the Sume of four thowsand pounds of tobaccoe to be Levyed on his goods and Chattles Lands and Tenements to and for the use of the Said Hugh Riley…
  • 5Mar1716 – PRINCE GEORGES COUNTY ss. Hugh Riley of the Said County Planter aged about Sixty four years being Sworn upon the Holy Evangelists…
  • 13Oct1722 – The Petition of Hugh Riley Prisoner now in Custody of Philip Lee Esqr High Sherriff of Prince George’s County being severally read are severally thus endorsed Viz.

The foregoing record abstracts are only a small representative sample of records on file in the Maryland archives for Hugh Ryley [aka Riley].  The affidavit filed on 5Mar1716 indicates that he was about 64 years old in that year, giving him a birth year of about 1652.  The earliest known record of Hugh Riley was his filing a claim for reimbursement of expenses on 4Apr1677, at which time he would have been about 25 years old.  From that date forward Hugh Riley appears in a wide assortment of Court and land records, including as a Jury foreperson in the 1710’s when he would have been in his late 50’s.  He apparently was not afraid to speak his mind, as he, along with Joshua Hall, were cited in 1697 for contempt of court for calling Judge Thomas Holiday an “ass”.  He variously was referred to in records as either a “carpenter”, “gentleman” or “planter”.  In various land records a Hugh Riley is reported in two different time periods with wives: (1) Mary – 1698 to 1710, and (2) Rebecca – 1716 to 1736.  However, before 1698 there is evidence that Hugh Riley Sr. was married to Margaret Ploumer, daughter of Thomas Ploumer and Elizabeth Stockett: 

  • Excerpt from LWT of Thomas T. Ploummer, dated 12Jul1694 – “2. I having formerly advanced my eldest daughter, Margrett, now wife of Hugh Reily, I now give and bequeath unto her the sume of five schillings sterling, and nothing more;”

From the foregoing LWT excerpt it is demonstrated that Margrett Ploumer was the eldest daughter of Thomas T. Ploumer, that she was married to Hugh Riley, and that her father had already provided (probably by dowry) for his eldest daughter’s welfare through earlier grants or gifts.  Plummer family records aver that Hugh Riley Sr. was married to Margaret Plummer, daughter of Thomas Ploumer and Elizabeth Stockett:

“Margaret Plummer, daughter: Margaret was born about 1670 and died about 1695. She married Hugh Riley about 1675 in Calvert County, Maryland. Hugh was born about 1652 or 1653 in Virginia and died between 1736 and 1741.”

Clearly, there is some sort of error in the foregoing bio. of Margaret Plummer.  She could not have married Hugh Riley at the age of 5 years (1670-1675=5), so we must assume that either Margaret’s purported year of birth, or her year of marriage is in error, or both.  The author is inclined to believe that Margaret and Hugh may have married around 1675, when he would have been about 22 years old.  The first child, who can be identified as born of Hugh Riley is recorded in the following record abstract:

“3Oct1697 – By his Exncy the Govr & Councill, October 3d 1697.  Sffe. of Prince Georges County Ordered that the Sherriff of Prince Georges County do (vpon sight hereof) Sumons Coll. Ninian Beal, Hugh Ryley & Thomas Ryley his Son to be & Appear before the Justices of the Indian  Provinciall Court the 12th of this instant October.”

This son, Thomas Riley, very likely was named for his maternal grandfather, Thomas Plummer.  Moreover, he very likely was at least 16 years or older in 1697, in order to be called as a witness.  Assuming that Thomas Riley was 16 years old in 1697, then he would have been born around 1680/1, which would comport with his parents marrying around 1675.  These dates fit fairly well, so the author is inclined to accept a marriage between Margaret Ploumer and Hugh Riley around 1675-78, and the birth of their first son at around 1680/1 or earlier.

At least one researcher questions whether Hugh Riley Sr. or Hugh Riley Jr. was the husband of Rebecca Pinson:

“There is some confusion here. There are two Hugh Rileys, one of the son of the other. One is the father-in-law of Thomas Swearingen, and is married to Rebecca, according to some land records. Currently my records show the father-in-law of Thomas Swearingen to be a different person than the one who is married to Rebecca.” [35]

In an effort to establish the true identity of the Hugh Riley(s), who continuously appear in Maryland colonial records between 1677 and about 1738, the author has compiled a spreadsheet containing abstracts of each of those records as shown in Table 8-1 (readable at 300% magnification).  Between 1688 and about 1705 he was a very active patent filer with approximately 16 separate patents totaling about 4600 acres.  After about a ten year hiatus, he recommenced patent filings between about 1716 and 1722 with eight more patents totaling about 2400 acres.  In addition to his acquisitions through the patent process, Hugh Riley actively purchased additional tracts.  It is difficult to establish the total acreage acquired by Hugh Riley in his lifetime, but it would appear to have been in excess of 8500 acres.  On the other side of the balance sheet, Hugh Riley almost continuously sold or gifted various parts of his acquisitions, presumably making a substantial profit from many of those sales.  Although he was frequently described as a “planter”, it seems clear from the land records that he was a very active land speculator.

Between 1698 and 1710 his wife, Mary, acknowledged many of the land sales.  Between Sep1710 and Jul1715 Hugh Riley processed nine deeds of sale or gift, none of which were acknowledged by a wife.  Commencing on 10Sep1715 and continuing to 10Dec1736 Hugh Riley filed numerous new deeds, many of which were acknowledged by his wife, Rebecca.  From these facts we can reliably conclude that there were one or more persons named Hugh Riley between 1698 and 1736, who were actively engaged in real estate transactions in Prince George’s County, Maryland.  It can also be concluded that during that same time period two different wives acknowledged many of these transactions, and that the dates of those wives acknowledgments did not overlap, there being a five-year gap between the last record of Mary and the first record of Rebecca.

From the LWT of Thomas T. Ploumer it was established that Margret Ploumer Riley, wife of Hugh Riley, was still living in Jul1694.  If there was more than one adult Hugh Riley (as suggested by at least one researcher) living concurrently in Prince George’s County between 1688 and 1736, then it is reasonable to assume that they would have been father and son, and that they were the spouses of these women, Margret Ploumer, Mary Moore Faulkner, and Rebecca Penson.  Since there is no overlapping in the records of these wives, that fact alone cannot be used as evidence of multiple Hugh Rileys.  Since there appears to have been a five year gap between the appearances of Mary and Rebecca, it might be assumed that the spouses of those wives may have been the same person.  The doubting researcher made reference to the son-in-law, Thomas Swearingen, as somehow offering a distinction between the two supposedly different Hugh Rileys.  Unfortunately, that researcher failed to provide any specific record citations that were the basis for such distinction. 

Suffice it to say, the author has thoroughly reviewed all of the records compiled in Table 8-1 and found nothing which suggests the involvement of more than one Hugh Riley in any of those records, except perhaps for the “Bill of Sale” dated 5May1733 in which a Hugh Riley mortgaged all his worldly goods to Robert Tyler for the meager sum of ₤8.  That transaction does not sound like the same Hugh Riley, who had been involved in a very robust real estate and agricultural business for over 40 years.  Moreover, just three years later on 10Dec1736 Hugh and Rebecca Riley were recorded in their final joint record appearance, when they sold Weston, a tract containing 412 acres.  Clearly, the Hugh Riley, husband of Rebecca Penson, still had considerable assets in his possession in Dec1736 when he sold Weston.  In fact, in spite of the numerous land sales by Hugh Riley over the decades, there were several tracts of land acquired through patent or purchase which do not appear to have been sold or gifted.

Moreover, when we follow the land trail, there are numerous instances of sales of lands acquired during the tenure of Mary, which sales were acknowledged by rebecca, clearly suggesting continuation of ownership in possession of the same Hugh Riley from one wife to another.  Unless we assume that Hugh Riley Sr. somehow devised (no LWT or estate administration on record) all of his land holdings to a son named Hugh Riley Jr., then it must be concluded that all of these various land records involving Hugh Riley were for only one person.  If there was a son named Hugh born to one of the earlier wives (Margret or Mary), there does not appear to be any record of such a son surviving to adulthood.  The only record found by the author (with the possible exception of the 5May1733 “Bill of Sale”) pointing to the existence of a son named Hugh Riley Jr. is in the LWT of Rebecca Rhily abstracted as follows:

“RHILY, REBECCA, Prince George’s Co. 24 Sep 1747 21 Jan 1747/8; To son Hugh Rhiley, plantation, 250 A., to be laid out by William Beall, and if he dies without heirs then to be equally divided between his elder bro Pharo and his two sisters Elizabeth (wife of John Mitchell III) and Hannah (wife of Thomas Elder). To son Pharoa, 151 A., pt of “Dan”. To dau Elizabeth (Mitchell), 100 A.  (This was tract sold to Hugh Duvall and Alice by John and Elizabeth Mitchell in Mar1752) Wit: Francis Abston, William Fraser, 25.245. Rebecca Riely 36.80 PG £307.9.0 Jun 1748 Jul 11 1748. Appraisers Magruder, William Beall. Next of kin: Thomas Elder, John Mitchell. Executors: Hugh Riley and Pharaoh.”[36]

From the foregoing Will abstract Rebecca (Penson) Rhiley identified four children, presumed to have been born of her blood: Pharoah Riley (eldest son), Hugh Riley (son), Elizabeth Riley (dau.) and Hannah Riley (dau.).  Assuming that the children named in Rebecca’s LWT were the heirs of her body, then all would have been born after about 1711/2.  Through a combination of land records and the foregoing estate record, the author is inclined to believe that all of the records contained in Table 8-1 involved only one person named Hugh Riley (with the possible exception of the cited “bill of sale”).  What is particularly important in Rebecca’s estate records was that she specifically identified a “next of kin” named John Mitchell.  Another indenture dated 10Mar1752 and abstracted as follows provides further elucidation:

“This Indenture Tripartite made the Tenth day of March in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven hundred and fifty two [10Mar1752] Between John Mitchell of Prince Georges County Planter and Elizabeth his Wife of the first part and Lewis Duvall of Prince Georges County Planter of the second part and Edward Dorsey of Ann Arundell County Gentl of the third part Witnesseth that the said John Mitchell and Elizabeth his Wife for and in Consideration of the Sum of five Shillings of Lawfull Money of England to them in hand paid by the said Lewis Duvall at or before the ensealing and delivery of these Presents the receipt whereof is hereby Acknowledged have Given Granted Released and Confirmed and by these Presents do Give Grant Release and Confirm unto the said Lewis Duvall One hundred Acres of Land lying in Frederick County on the West side of Rock Creek being part of a Tract of Land called Dan beginning at for the said One hundred Acres at a Bounded red Oak and running thence North by West One hundred and twenty Perches then North eighty six Degrees Westerly One hundred and twenty three Perches then South thirteen Degrees East One hundred and forty one Perches then East One hundred and fourteen Perches to the beginning Tree together with the Houses Buildings Orchards Cornfields and Improvements thereunto belonging late in the Tenure and Occupation of the said John Mitchell and Elizabeth his Wife…”

When the author first discovered this indenture, it appeared that the grantors: John and Elizabeth Mitchell, were John Mitchell Jr. and his wife, Elizabeth (lnu), whose Will was probated on 26Aug1752.  However, in view of the foregoing estate records for Rebecca Rhiley, it seems quite clear that the tract of land involved in the indenture with Lewis and Alice Duvall was the same tract devised by Rebecca Rhiley to her daughter, Elizabeth Riley.  Consequently, it would follow that Elizabeth Riley, daughter of Hugh Riley and Rebecca Penson, was married to John Mitchell III, eldest son of John Mitchell Jr. and Elizabeth (lnu).  The description of this tract as being part of a tract called Dann and being in Frederick County on the west side of Rock Creek comports with a tract devised to Rebecca (Penson) Riley by her father, William Penson, abstracted as follows:

“Penson, William, planter, Prince George’s County, 3rd May, 1741; 26th Aug., 1741. To Mary, dau. of bro. Thomas, £12. To Alexander Magruder, Jr., “Elizabeth” and “Partnership”‘. To Rebecca Ray (Rayley), extx., dwell. plan., 600 A. “Part of Dann” and residue of estate, To Thomas Elder, personalty. Test: Joshua Busey, Zach’11 Magruder, Sarah Magruder. 22.400.”[37]

From the foregoing Will abstract we have evidence that Rebecca Rayley [sic] was named as the executrix in her father’s LWT, and that he bequeathed a 600 acre tract of land which was part of a larger tract called Dann.  Rebecca, in turn, devised 501 acres of that tract to her children, with 100 acres going to her daughter, Elizabeth (Mitchell).

To place Hugh Riley’s family into some sort of geographic context, several of the earliest grants acquired by Hugh Riley are shown on Figure 8-2 (an inset of Figure 8-1), shaded in salmon color.  These tracts whose location has been identified on Hienton’s map by the author include: Riley’s Discovery, Ryley’s Range, Riley’s Horse Pasture, Larkin’s Forrest, Riley’s Lot, Riley’s Folly, The Beginning, Strife, Something, Hugh’s Labour, Scott’s Lot, and Poplar Thicket.  Many of these tracts are clustered in the same area immediately west of Swanson’s Lot, which is believed to have been owned by Thomas T. Ploumer, Hugh Riley’s first father-in-law.  The location of some of the earliest grants acquired by Hugh Riley suggests that he probably made his residence prior to 1700 in that area. 

Several tracts in possession of Hugh Riley could not be located on any map, but were situated somewhere within Prince George’s County, a few in the vicinity of the Eastern Branch of the Potomac or Piscataway Parish.  The location of one of the main tracks, HoggYard, discussed by other researchers as having been the “home plantation” of Hugh Riley could not be established by the author with any degree of certainty.  One researcher claims that Hugh Riley acquired HogYard around 1668, a contention that is clearly in error.  These same researchers claim that this tract was in the vicinity of present day Washington D.C., and abutted Duddington Manor.  There was a tract called Houp Yard which abutted Duddington Manor, but the author found absolutely no evidence to suggest that that tract had any connection to the HogYard, later found in possession of Hugh Riley.  In fact, the earliest record for HogYard found in connection with Hugh Riley was in two patents dated 10Dec1715, each for 557 acres, one called Hazard and another called Hogyard.  Given that these filings were on the same date and for the exact same acreage, it seems likely that they involved the same tract.  Probably Hugh Riley was filing on an older patent named Hazard, which he renamed to Hogyard.  In fact, there was an older tract called Hazard filed by William Barton on 8Feb1684.  That tract was situated below Upper Marlborough, just above Mataponi Creek as illustrated in Figure 9-1. 

Of the two filings by Hugh Riley on 10Dec1715, only the filing for the tract called Hazard had any specified geographic context.  It was described as abutting Thomas Swearingen, and the transaction was witnessed by Thomas Swearingen.  Thomas Swearingen was a son-in-law of Hugh Riley, having married Jane Lydia Riley, daughter of Hugh Riley and Margret Ploumer.  One earlier patent by Hugh Riley needs to be introduced to put these events into context: on 2Jun1702 Hugh Riley filed a patent on a tract called Forrest containing 259 acres.  On Hienton’s map adjacent to and immediately west of the tract called Hazard was another tract called The Forrest.  It is the author’s belief that Hazard was the same tract acquired by Hugh Riley, and later called Hogyard.  Moreover, the 259 acres acquired on 2Jun1702 and called Forrest was a part of a larger tract shown on Figure 8-2 as The Forrest

On 17Nov1716 Hugh Riley gift deeded 120 acres to his daughter, Leady [sic, Lydia] Riley called Ryley’s Gift, part of a tract called Hill’s Choice of 259 acres, witnessed by Samuel Swearingen, son of Thomas Swearingen and Jane Lydia Riley.  On 18Nov1716 Hugh Riley gift deeded 139 acres to Elizabeth Riley (daughter of Hugh Riley, and wife of William Chaplin) called Riley’s Gift, part of a tract called Hill’s Choice.  It seems probable to the author that Hill’s Choice and Forrest were one and the same tract.  Probably Hugh Riley renamed it when he acquired the 259 acres from the larger tract, which historically had been called The Forrest.  On 26Mar1717 Hugh Riley sold 100 acres, a part of the tract called Hogyard to Richard Clarke (presumed son-in-law of Hugh Riley, and husband of Ann Riley, Hugh’s daughter), abutting a tract called Forest owned by Swearingen [probably Thomas, another son-in-law].  On 24May1723 Hugh Riley sold two tracts: (1) 120 acres part of a tract called Forrest, and known as Riley’s Gift to Thomas Swearingen (Hugh’s son-in-law), and (2) 139 acres part of a tract called Forrest to William Chaplin (Hugh’s son-in-law).  On 26Mar1723 Hugh Riley sold three separate tracts to Charles Carroll, Esq. [Jr.] of Annapolis: (1) 457 acres part (remainder) of tract called Hogyard, (2) 72 acres called Gleaning, and (3) 130 acres called Beaverdam Neck.  This sale of the remainder of Hogyard just eight years after its original acquisition would seem to belie the researcher’s contention that Hogyard was Hugh Riley’s principal place of residence.  In fact, the author was unable to find anywhere in the records any reference to a principal, or home plantation occupied by Hugh Riley.

The frequency with which Hugh Riley acquired and disposed of real estate suggests that his acquisitions were for the principal purpose of profit.  Undoubtedly, Hugh Riley must have established at least one principal place of residency in his relatively long lifetime of 86 years, but just where those residences may have been does not appear in the record, other than having been somewhere within Prince George’s County.

We will leave this excursus into the Riley family by presenting his presumed wives and children, although the facts of some of these children must be considered in doubt:

HUGH4 RILEY was born 1653, and died 1740. He married (1) MARGARET PLOUMER 1675 in Parish, Calvert Co. MD, daughter of THOMAS PLOUMER. She was born 1655, and died 1696. He married (2) MARY MOORE-FAULKNER 1698 in Parish, Prince George’s Co. MD. She was born 1658, and died 1711. He married (3) REBECCA PENSON 1712 in Piscataway Parish, Prince George’s Co. MD, daughter of WILLIAM PENSON. She was born Abt. 1682, and died 1748

Children of HUGH RILEY and MARGARET PLOUMER are:

i.              THOMAS RILEY, b. 1676.

ii.             SAMUEL I RILEY, b. 1678; d. November 05, 1711.

iii.            LYDIA RILEY, b. 1680; d. February 24, 1764; m. SWEARINGEN.

iv.            ELIZABETH RILEY, b. 1682; d. 1726; m. CHAPLINE.

v.             BRIAN RILEY, b. 1685; d. June 1734.

vi.            ELIPHAZ I RILEY, b. 1688; d. May 1760.

Children of HUGH RILEY and REBECCA PENSON are:

vii.           PHAROAH RILEY, b. 1713; d. October 1762.

viii.          HANNAH RILEY, b. 1715.

ix.            ELIZABETH RILEY, b. 1718.

x.             HUGH JR. RILEY, b. 1726; d. March 14, 1806.

Well, we lied, there is actually a bit more information to be presented about Rebecca Penson, 3rd wife of Hugh Riley.  This added information may seem excessive to some readers, but may be of great interest to anyone descended from John Mitchell III and Elizabeth Riley.  Remember the abstract of the LWT of William Penson, hereinabove?  William Penson was the father of Rebecca Penson, by his wife, Elizabeth Sprigg.  Elizabeth Sprigg was a daughter of Col. Thomas Sprigg and his 2nd wife, Eleanor Nuthall.  Thomas Sprigg’s 1st wife was Elizabeth Graves Roper, daughter of Capt. Thomas Graves, Ancient Planter and original share holder in the Virginia Company.  Elizabeth Graves’ sister, Verlinda, was married to William Stone, Governor of Maryland.  Thomas Sprigg was recorded immigrating into Maryland Colony [probably from Accomack, VA] in Jan1658/9 abstracted as follows:

18Jan1658/9 –  Thomas Sprigg proved rights for transporting himself, Catherine [Graves] (wife), Verlinda Roper (presumably a step-daughter), Edward Bushell, Nathaniel Sprigg (probably a very young son of Thomas Sprigg and Katherine Graves Roper) & Hugh Johnson into the Province of MD and granted the above land (Sep 14, 1658 Laid out for Thomas Sprigg 600 ac more or less on Eastern Bay & on the East side of a River in the said Bay called Chester River & on the East side of a Creek in the said Bay called Sprigg’s Creek), Spriggley” (Lib 2, ff 309/10 Land Ofc)

It seems probable that Thomas Sprigg had been living in Accomack County, VA prior to moving into Maryland, as that was the residence of Capt. Thomas Graves until his death in about 1638.  Thomas Graves is on record as having had at least five children: (1) John Graves (married Elizabeth Perrin?), (2) Thomas Graves Jr. (may have died about 1640), (3) Verlinda Graves (married William Stone, Governor of Maryland), (4) Ann Graves (married William Cotton, cleric), and (5) Katherine Graves (married 1st Capt. William Roper, 2nd Col. Thomas Sprigg).  The estates of Capt. Thomas Graves and his son, John Graves, were administered by William Parry as evidenced by the following administration bond abstract:

  • On 30Apr1640 Nathaniel Oldis and William Parry, both of Kecoughtan, Elizabeth City County filed a bond for William Parry to assume the authority and power to administer the estates of Thomas Graves and John Graves, deceased, from William Cotton, William Stone and William Roper, “the late administrators”.  Recorded in Northumberland County on 10Feb1644 in the presence of John Trussell and George Dawe.[38]

It is the author’s opinion that William Parry had married the widow (Elizabeth Perrin Graves) after the death of her husband, John Graves, in about 1637/8.  It is further believed that both Thomas Graves and his son, John Graves, died intestate, and upon his marriage to John Graves widow, William Parry assumed a prerogative position in the estate of John Graves superior to that of his brothers-in-law: William Cotton, William Stone and William Roper.[39] 

One final note on the Sprigg family has reference to Joane Sprigg Reade Ravens Tyler.  Under our excursus into the Tyler family we introduced the wife of Robert Tyler Sr. as Joan Sprigg, widow of George Read and an known Mr. Ravens.  As it turns out, Joan Sprigg was a daughter of Thomas Sprigg Sr. and Catherine Griffin, and sister of Col. Thomas Sprigg, who married (1) Katherine Graves and (2) Eleanor Nuthall.  It was Col. Thomas Sprigg, whom Robert Tyler Sr. named as the guardian of his two children (Elizabeth and Robert Jr.) in his LWT in Sep1673, in the event of his widow’s death.  Thomas Sprigg and his wife, Katherine Graves Roper settled initially in Kent County, MD directly across the Chesapeake from future Annapolis.  By 1660 they had relocated to Calvert County in an area that later became Prince George’s County.  Thomas Sprigg acquired several large tracts of land above Mataponi Creek, including Northampton and Kettering, as shown on Figure 8-2.

This concludes our excursus into allied families associated with the John Mitchell family.  From the study of these various families we have discovered that there was a very close geographic connection between these families and all three generations of John Mitchells, from John Mitchell Sr. to John Mitchell III.

In order to achieve a broader understanding of John Mitchell I, it may be useful to have a better understanding of the Charles Carroll family with which he was associated:

Thus far we have been presented with considerable circumstantial evidence suggesting that the father of John Mitchell II was also named John Mitchell, and that his father had been the husband of Susanna Burgess.  It has also been inferred that his father was a mariner, who had been convicted of Chance Medley in the death of Thomas Graham and that he very likely died a financially ruined man around 1717/8.  It has further been inferred that John Mitchell II’s step-mother was sued for indebtedness, probably as a result of her husband’s trial costs, and was eventually imprisoned for her inability to discharge those debts.  It was also established that John Mitchell II very likely had two daughters named Mary, the first having been born in about 1711, married William Callendar in Jan1724/5, and died in 1726; the second born sometime after 1726 and married to an unknown Mr. Lee before 1748.  It was also established that John Mitchell II came into possession of at least two tracts of land by 1726: a moiety of 100 acres of a tract known as Fortune inherited from Mordecai Moore in 1721, and a 150 acre patent filed in 1720 known as Mitchell’s Addition, a part of which he deeded to his son-in-law.  It was also suggested with a fairly high level of certainty that his mother was named Sarah and that he was born in Talbot County on 22Oct1694.

Absent any other reliable leads, the author is inclined to accept that John Mitchell II was born on 22 Oct1694 in Talbot County to John and Sarah Mitchell.  Assuming that to be the case, we will now pursue the identity of John Mitchell I of Talbot County to ascertain whether his ancestry can be traced.  In order to place John Mitchell II and John Mitchell I into a broader landscape within late 17th and early 18th century Maryland, the author has compiled Table 8-2 containing all of the Mitchell birth records prior to 1700, of which there were a total of sixteen.

From these birth records it seems clear that the Mitchells in Maryland during the last half of the 17th century were few in number, and concentrated in only three counties: Somerset, Talbot and Anne Arundel.  In fact, these early Mitchell settlers can be identified by name: George, Jeffrey and Randall Mitchell of Somerset County, John Mitchell of Talbot County, and William Mitchell of Anne Arundel County.  The three births in Talbot County have already been presented and linked to John Mitchell II and his father, John Mitchell I. 

Suffice it to say that the author believes all of these Mitchells to may have been kinsmen, and descendants of Captain William Mitchell, with the possible exception of Jeffery Mitchell of Somerset.  Assuming that to be the case, then it now becomes our challenge to link these various Mitchell families into an ancestral construct.  First, we will endeavor to link John Mitchell I of Talbot County to William and Rosemond Mitchell of Anne Arundell County.  This connection will be achieved primarily through an Anne Arundel estate record abstracted as follows:

  1. 6Feb1684/5 – LWT of William Mitchell [aka Michel], of Anne Arundel County; to sons William and John and their heirs, Poplar Neck, to be equally divided at death of wife (unnamed, but identified elsewhere as Jane (lnu)), sons to be 18 years of age; son Edward and daughter Elizabeth and their heirs, 200 acres known as Mitchell’s Chance; four aforesaid children to receive all personalty equally.  Testimony of: Henry Pierpont and Thomas Bowles.  Bk. 4, Page 172.  [NOTE:  Poplar Neck was originally patented by Richard Beard, a 200 acre tract on south side of South River, west of London Town, part of patent originally granted to William Burgess, sold by Beard to John Mott, and by John Mott’s heir, Adam Mott to William Mitchell.]

From the foregoing Will abstract it is shown that there was a William Mitchell and his family living in Anne Arundel County in the latter half of the 17th century, who died in that county sometime after 6Feb1684/5.  Further, that his wife was still alive at the time he wrote his Will, that he had two children named Edward and Elizabeth, who may have reached their majority before their father’s death, and that he had two sons named William and John, who were still minors in Feb1684/5.  It is the author’s belief that the two minor sons, William and John, were the same as William Mitchell (married to Rosemond) of Anne Arundel and John Mitchell (married to Sarah) of Talbot County, whose children are shown in Table 8-2. 

Following is a description of the chain of title on Poplar Neck tract:

He [John Mott] acquired land [by purchase from Richard Beard] circa 1665 at tract Poplar Neck, Anne Arundel Co, MD. John & Susanna Mitchell of Pr Geo [conveyed] to Seth Biggs of AA [1706]. By patent dated 20 Sep 1663 Richard Beard, late of AA dec’d, was granted tract called “Poplar Neck” containing 200 acres, land conveyed to John Mott late of MD, planter. Elizabeth, daughter & only child of said John Mott, married William Mitchell, father of said John & surviving her father & becoming seized of the said land, died without any heir of her body, by means whereof Adam Mott of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, brother of said John Mott became & was (no other nearer heir living) the heir at law of said Elizabeth. Adam Mott viz attorney, empowered his son Adam Mott to sell the land. On Mar 9, 1674, Adam Mott, the son conveyed the land to said William Mitchell the father of said John Mitchell. By will dated 6 Feb 1684 William Mitchell bequeathed 1/2 to his son John and 1/2 to his son William. Wit: John Noades, Edward Mitchell.

We also have the following information taken from the MilesFiles history of the Mitchell family regarding this William Mitchell’s family of Anne Arundel:

Father Capt. William Mitchell (Michell), Esq.1 b. c 1605, d. b 22 Apr 1659
Mother Anne Alwin b. c 1610, d. c 1646
Last Edited 7 Feb 2016
Birth*circa 1634William Mitchell Jr. (Michell) was born circa 1634 at County Sussex, England. 
Headright*20 December 1658He was named as a headright on 20 December 1658 at N’hamp Co, VA. It was on this date that Capt. William Michell was granted 500 acres for transporting William Michell, George Michell, Elisabeth Michell, Margrett Michell, & Joane his wife.1 
Marriage*circa 1670He married Elizabeth Mott, daughter of John Mott, circa 1670 at Anne Arundel Co, MD.2 
Land acquired*9 March 1674/75William Mitchell Jr. (Michell) acquired land on 9 March 1674/75 at tract Poplar Neck, Anne Arundel Co, MD. John & Susanna Mitchell of Pr Geo to Seth Biggs of AA. By patent dated 20 Sep 1663 Richard Beard, late of AA dec’d, was granted tract called “Poplar Neck” containing 200 acres, land conveyed to John Mott late of MD, planter. Elizabeth, daughter & only child of said John Mott, married William Mitchell, father of said John & surviving her father & becoming seized of the said land, died without any heir of her body, by means whereof Adam Mott of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, brother of said John Mott became & was (no other nearer heir living) the heir at law of said Elizabeth. Adam Mott viz attorney, empowered his son Adam Mott to sell the land. On Mar 9, 1674, Adam Mott, the son conveyed the land to said William Mitchell the father of said John Mitchell. By will dated 6 Feb 1684 William Mitchell bequeathed 1/2 to his son John and 1/2 to his son William. Wit: John Noades, Edward Mitchell.3 
Marriage*after 9 March 1674/75He married Jane (—–) after 9 March 1674/75 at Anne Arundel Co, MD.3 
Will*6 February 1684/85William made a will on 6 February 1684/85 at Anne Arundel Co, MD. In his will William Michel or Mitchell gave sons William and John “Poplar Neck” equally at death of wife (unnamed); sons to be of age at 18 years. Son Edward and daughter Eliza 200 acres “Mitchell’s Chance.” 4 children as aforesaid all personalty equally. Witt: Henry Pierpont & Thos. Bowles.4 
Death*before 6 March 1685/86He died before 6 March 1685/86 at Anne Arundel Co, MD. It was on this date that his will was proved.4 
Family 1 Elizabeth Mott b. c 1640, d. b 9 Mar 1674/75
Marriage*circa 1670He married Elizabeth Mott, daughter of John Mott, circa 1670 at Anne Arundel Co, MD.2 
Family 2 Jane (—–) b. c 1650, d. a 7 Jul 1715
Marriage*after 9 March 1674/75William Mitchell Jr. (Michell) married Jane (—–) after 9 March 1674/75 at Anne Arundel Co, MD.3 
Children 1.William Mitchell III+4 b. c 1676
 2.John Mitchell+4 b. c 1678
 3.Edward Mitchell4 b. c 1680
 4.Elizabeth Mitchell4 b. c 1682

There is yet another land record which connects the John Mitchell who married Susanna Burgess to this William Mitchell family of Anne Arundel, abstracted as follows:

  1. 23Aug1706 – John Mitchell and wife, Susanna, sold a tract of land in Anne Arundel County known as Poplar Neck to Seth Biggs.[40]

So, with a considerable amount of effort, we have succeeded in linking the John Mitchell, who married Susanna Burgess, to John Mitchell, son of William Mitchell Jr. of London Town area, South River, Anne Arundel County.  That linkage has been accomplished through various land and estate records associated with a tract of land known as Poplar Neck plantation, which according to some researchers was located on the south side of South River, just to the west of London Town.  In fact, one researcher has suggested that Poplar Neck was actually part of a grant originally patented to Susanna Burgess’s father, Col. William Burgess.  What we have not yet been able to establish with any great degree of certainty is just when John Mitchell, son of William Jr., was born.  His date of birth is an important element needed to support the author’s hypothesis regarding the identity of the father of John Mitchell II.

If we were to assume the date of birth contained in the MilesFiles genealogy, John Mitchell, son of William Jr. was born in about 1678.  From his father’s LWT the only thing we can infer with certainty is that he was not yet 18 years old when the Will was written in Feb1684/5.  Based on that Will we can state with some certainty that John Mitchell was born after 6Feb1667 (6Feb1685-18 years = 6Feb1667).  We can’t even be certain of his mother’s identity.  MilesFiles has the current wife, Jane, as the mother of all four children.  Is that a reasonable assumption?  We cannot even be certain of the marriage dates of either of William Jr.’s known wives.  MilesFiles gives the marriage with Elizabeth Mott at around 1670, and the marriage to Jane (lnu) as sometime after 9Mar1674/5.  MilesFiles also indicates a date of birth for William Jr. of 1634, which means he would have been 36 years old when he married Elizabeth Mott.  Is it reasonable to assume that William Jr. had not been married before he married Elizabeth Mott?  It seems highly possible to the author that William Jr. had been married before marrying Elizabeth Mott, and that one or more of the children named in his Will may have been from that earlier marriage.

One final piece of evidence for us to consider are the terms expressed in William Jr.’s Will relative to the bequest of Poplar Neck.  The author has located a full copy of William’s Will, which has been transcribed and attached hereto in Appendix A.  In this Will Poplar Neck is bequeathed to William III and John on several conditions:

  • That they begin to work the land as soon as they are capable, and not later than age 18 years.
  • That their mother, during her widowhood shall retain ownership until each child reaches age 21 years, at which time they are to be entitled to their share of Poplar Neck.
  • If his widow remarries anytime before the sons reach the age of 18 years, they shall become entitled to their share of Poplar Neck  upon their 18th birthday.
  • That each child cannot dispose of the land until they reach age 40 years.

Assuming that John Mitchell adhered to the terms of his father’s Will, he would have been at least 40 years old on 23Aug1706 when he and Susanna sold the tract to Seth Biggs.  Assuming that John Mitchell had reached his 40th birthday just before selling the tract to Seth Biggs, he would have been born sometime in 1666 or 1667.  Such date comports with the earlier calculation based on age 18 in 1685.  Now we have zeroed in on an approximate date of birth for John Mitchell I using two different criteria per the terms of his father’s Will.  The author is inclined to believe that John Mitchell I was born sometime in 1667, and that he was the son of an unknown wife of William Mitchell Jr.

Why, might you ask, is it important to know John Mitchell’s date of birth?  In order for the author’s hypothesis regarding the identity of the John Mitchell of Talbot County having been the same person as the son of William Mitchell Jr. to be true, John Mitchell must have been born much earlier than the 1678 year of birth shown in the MilesFiles genealogy.  Now we have established that he very likely was born almost 12 years earlier, and would have been 28 years old when his presumed son, John, was born in Talbot County on 22Oct1694.  Such age fits very well with the author’s hypothesis.  So much so, that we are inclined to accept the John Mitchell, husband of Sarah of Talbot County as the son of William Mitchell Jr. of Anne Arundel County. 

Now having fairly reliably established the father and grandfather of John Mitchell II, it is time to present the grandfather and great-grandfather in greater detail.  However, before moving backward to those earlier generations, the author wishes to digress briefly to present some information on the apparent existence of other John Mitchells who appear to have resided in Talbot County approximately one generation earlier than John Mitchell I.  The existence of those John Mitchells is evidenced by the two following land patent abstracts:

  1. Mitchell, John; JJ:393 Film No:; Of Talbot County by 1670, when 200 acres on the south side of Chester River were surveyed for him.
  2. 7Dec1682 – John Mitchell, Planter, Talbot County, “Mitchell’s Lot”, 100 acres, 24/493;32/4

Both of the foregoing patents were taken out by someone named John Mitchell in Talbot County at a date well before John Mitchell I would have been old enough to receive a patent.  In the opening paragraphs of this chapter the author presented a list of early immigrants named John Mitchell, none of whom were known to have been near kinsmen of Capt. William Mitchell.  It seems entirely possible that each of the foregoing patents may have been taken out by one of those earlier immigrants.  In fact, it seems probable that the 200 acre grant awarded in 1670 was taken out by the John Mitchell listed as having completed his indenture in 1667 (Item 3, above), and that the 100 acre grant awarded in 1682 was taken out by the John Mitchell listed as having completed his indenture in 1679/80 (Items 6 and 7, above).

In addition to the foregoing patents granted to John Mitchells several years before John Mitchell I came of age, there is further evidence of an earlier John Mitchell in Talbot County as exhibited by the following indenture:

This Indenture made this twenty third Day of March In the Eleventh Yeare of the Dominion of the Right Honoble Charles Absolute Lord & prop.ry of the provinces of Maryland & avalon Lord Baron of Baltemore And In the yeare of our Lord One thousand Six hundred Eighty five [23Mar1685] Betweene John Mitchell of the county of Talbott planter of the one parte & Michaell Miller of the county of Kent of the other parte Witnesseth that he the s.d John Mitchell for & in Concideracon of the Sume of Six thousand pounds of tobaccoe to him in hand payd at or before the Ensealing & Delivery of these presents by Michaell Miller the receite whereof the s.d John Mitchell doth acknowledge himself fully Satisfied contented & payd And thereof not being parte & parcell thereof doth fully clearly & absolutely Exonorate acquite & discharge the s.d Michaell Miller his heires Executors & Adminis.rs for Ever Doth by these psents Bargaine sell alienate Conffess & confirme unto the s.d Michaell Miller his heires & assignes for Ever all that parcell of Land Lying & being in Kent County called or Known by the name of Chelines Delight containing one hundred Eight Eight Acres [188 acres] being parte of a tract of Land called Crazy Neck contayning four hundred acres [400 acres] formerly granted unto Hugh Leigh & Hanah his wife the Relict of Robert Huett by Pattent bearing date the thirtieth day of October One thousand Six hundred fifty one [1651] and remaining upon record in the Secretarys office w.ch s.d Land was Lately in the tenure & ocupacon of Franciss Lumber [aka Lumbard] Late of Kent Island decsd Bounding on The South with the Land of Thomas Hill On the west with Chesepeake Bay on the North with the Land of Edward Comminer on the East with Kent path Together with all & singuler the rights & Benifitts thereunto belonging with all Deeds writings Evidences or Manuscripts touching or in any way concerning the same or any part of parcell of them To have & to hold the s.d before bargained premisses to him the s.d Michaell his heires & assignes for Ever And further more I the s.d John Mitchell Doe for mee my heires Executors & Adminis.rn the s.d percell or tract of Land with all & singuler the before bargained premisses unto him the s.d Michaell Miller his heires & assignes from the s.d John Mitchell his heires & assignes or any other person or persons clayming by from or under him them or any of them and more Especially from the heir or heires of Rebecca Lumber [Lumbard] Late wife of the s.d John Mitchell Shall and will for Ever here after warrant & Defend [illegible] my hand & Seale the Day & Yeare above written. Sealed & Delivered —John Mitchell, before Css: Ebenez.r Blackstone, Tho Smyth. Acknowledged In March court 1685/6 & Recorded p. Elias King Clk, Com Kent.

The foregoing indenture involved the sale of a tract of land containing 188 acres and known as Cheline’s Delight, having been part of a larger tract of 400 acres known as Crazy Neck originally granted to Hugh Leigh and his wife, Hannah, relic of Robert Huett, on 13Oct1651.  The tract was located on Kent Island, and had been in the tenure of Francis Lumbard, deceased, then passed to his daughter, Rebecca Lumbard, deceased, which then devolved to her husband, John Mitchell, planter, of Talbot County.  Given the date of this indenture having been 23Mar1685/6, and given the identity of the seller as “John Mitchell, planter of Talbot County”, it seems highly likely that this was the same John Mitchell, who received the patent for 100 acres known as Mitchell’s Lot on 7Dec1682 abstracted in Item 25, above.  He may also have been the husband of Elizabeth, and father of William, recorded born in St. Peter’s Parish, Talbot County on 7Nov1693.

Francis Lumbard was among one of the earliest English settlers on Kent Island as evidenced by the following court record:

16Apr1647 – “Some few, however, took the oath of Fealty, and were pardoned, the 16Apr1647.  Their names were: Thomas Bradnox, Edward Comins, John Metham, Thomas Belt, Robert Short, Francis Lumbard, John Ayres, Zachary Wade, Richard Catesford, Edward Lannin and Walter Joanes [Jones].”

For those unfamiliar with the history of Kent Island, it was embroiled in a long-running territorial dispute between the Virginia Colony and Lord Baltimore’s Maryland Palatinate spanning almost 25 years from about 1634 to the restoration in 1660.  Governance of Kent Island alternated between Col. William Claibourne and the Clobery Company, and the fledgling Calvert government at St. Mary’s.  Each time the island fell under control of Lord Baltimore, the residents of Kent Island were required to swear an oath of fealty.  The above extract captures an instance of one of those oaths, which included Francis Lumard.  Francis held the office of High Sheriff in 1650 and 1652.  He fell into debt in 1652 and was discharged from his office of High Sheriff on charges of dereliction of duty.  Nearing financial ruin and in social disgrace, Francis Lumbard committed suicide in 1653, leaving his widow, Jane and daughter, Rebecca.  Jane Lumard was married to John Salter by 1656 when they were accused of stealing a hog from local landowner John Ringgold.  Out of respect for the services rendered by Francis Lumbard and care and concern for his orphaned daughter, mr Weeckes, Jn. Ringgold, & john Deare each gave a shote to Rebecca Lumbard for her future welfare.  Rebecca’s step-father, John Salter, later swapped the three pigs for one “Cow Calfe Coloured Broune”.

Rebecca Lumbard was born sometime before 1652.  It is difficult to estimate when she may have married John Mitchell, but very likely by 1665.  So, it seems entirely possible that Rebecca was married to the John Mitchell, who received the 200 acre patent on the Chester River in 1670.  The following Will abstract clearly establishes this John Mitchell as separate and apart from our presumed John Mitchell I:

31 Aug 1686 – LWT of John Mitchell, Talbot County, Maryland, probated 18 Sep 1688, viz:  To eld. dau. Rebecca, 350 A., “Cabin Neck,” on Kent Island. To sec. dau. Frances, 200 A., “The Shepherd’s Addition,” on s. side Chester R [probably same land as the 1670 patent]. To son William, plantation. To young. dau. Ann, 2 patents (both unnamed), containing respectively 185 and 215 A., at bd. of Michell’s R. To wife Ann, extx., personalty and use of plantation during life. Test: Geo. Craig, Ambrose Kinnamont, Geo. Aldridge. 6. 40.  Source: Land Office, Annapolis, Maryland, Will Book 6, Page 40.

Given the names, location and date matches, this John Mitchell was almost certainly the husband of Rebecca Lumbard.  It would appear that he took another wife named Ann after the decease of Rebecca.  It is important to note that he made no reference to a son named John.  However, given the continuity of the given names of John and William, it leads us to ponder whether this John Mitchell may not have been a near kinsman of Capt. William Mitchell, perhaps descended from Capt. William’s brother, Thomas, who is believed to have immigrated to the colonies about the same time as Capt. William.  Also, following is an abstract of the LWT of the above named son, William Mitchell:

12 Jul 1737 – LWT of William Michell, planter, Talbot, Maryland, probated 13 Mar 1737, viz: To wife Elizabeth, extx., dwelling plantation —– during widowhood; shd. she marry use of same during minority of next hrs. To eldest son Shadrek and hrs., dwell. plan.; and 5s. To dau. Rebecca, land bou. of Robert Morgan during minority of son John. To son John and hrs., land bou. of Robert Morgan and £4 of personal estate. To 4 daus. —– or the survivors of them, remaining pt. of personal estate after debts and wife’s thirds are paid. Sons to be for themselves at age of 18, to receive estates at 21. Daus, to receive their portions at day of marriage or age of 16. Exs.: Wife and dau. Deborah. Test: Roger Clayland, William Harper, John Scott. 21. 860.  Source: Land Office, Annapolis, Maryland, Will Book 21, Page 860.

Also, William’s probable marriage record:

13May1719 – William Michael married Elizabeth Herrington at Third Haven Monthly Meeting, Talbot, Maryland, source: Quaker Monthly Meetings Index, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.

The apparent affiliation of this Mitchell [aka Mitchel] family with the Quaker Church probably explains the reason no birth records were found for any of their children.  Note that Third Haven Meeting House was the same Quaker Meeting with which John Mitchell I was affiliated in the 1690’s.  In the next section it will be demonstrated that Col. William Burgess and Mordecai Moore had a strong affiliation with the Quakers, and particularly with the Third Haven Meeting in Talbot County and West River Meeting of Anne Arundel County.

No other Mitchell birth records were found in Talbot County from 1650 to 1750 besides the three mentioned heretofore for John Mitchell and wives: Elizabeth and Sarah.  So, whoever the John Mitchell was that married Rebecca Lumbard, they do not appear to have recorded the birth of any of their children.  In fact, the only other Mitchell church records found in Talbot County during that 100-year period was the marriage of William Callender in 1726 and a marriage of Susannah Mitchell to Samuel Walker in 1727.  Could this Susannah Mitchell have been the widow of John Mitchell I, who had been languishing in debtors prison in Prince Georges County in the mid-1720’s?

So, based on the elimination of any evidence of a connection between John Mitchell I and the earlier John Mitchells resident in Talbot County, it seems highly likely that the John Mitchell married to Sarah in Talbot County was the son of William Mitchell Jr.  The author is of the opinion that sufficient evidence has been discovered to conclude that John Mitchell, born in Talbot County on 22Oct1694, was the same person as John Mitchell II, and that his father was John Mitchell I, son of William Mitchell Jr. of South River, Anne Arundel County.

Now, having fairly reliably established the identity of John Mitchell II and John Mitchell I, it is time to present the William Mitchell of London Town:

William Mitchell Jr.

We will continue to refer to the father of John Mitchell I as William Mitchell Jr., even though we have not yet established any foundation for his ancestry.  The “Jr.” suffix has been applied in deference to MilesFiles’ assertion of our William Mitchell having been the son of Capt. William Mitchell of St. Mary’s County, MD and Northampton County, VA.  At this juncture let it be said that the author remains uncertain about William Mitchell Jr.’s parentage.  It is the objective of this section to present the “facts” that are known of William Mitchell Jr. in an effort to find possible connections to his past.

The earliest record the author was able to discover of the existence of this William Mitchell in Maryland is in the following abstracted Maryland immigration records:

  1. Michill, William: DD:107 Film No:SR 8202: Transported by 1665: Transcript: 8:88 [SR 7350]: MSA SC 4341-4324.
  2. Michel (Michaell), William: GG:455 Film No:: Service to Thomas Ropes [Roper?] in South River by 1667: Transcript: 11:500: MSA SC 4341.

The first record was for a person named William Michill, transported into the Colony in 1665, who may have been our William Mitchell Jr..  However, the second record leaves little doubt but that that record was for William Mitchell Jr., given that it specifically stated the location having been South River.  Further search of the same Early Settlers of Maryland database disclosed the following immigration record for Thomas Roper:

  1. Roper, Thomas: AB&H:174 Film No:: Of Anne Arundel County, [husband of Jane?], transportation 1650; service by 1663: Transcript: 6:80; 7:422; 11:96,99: Original: AA:364; CC:462; GG:123,125: MSA SC 4341-

This record for Thomas Roper indicates that he was transported into the Colony around 1650, and that he had completed an indentured servitude by 1663, a couple of years before William Michill’s [aka Michell or Michaell] arrival.  In the 1667 record William was reported in service to Thomas Roper.  So, from these records we have established an approximate date of 1665 that William Mitchell Jr. was transported [probably as a redemptioner] into Maryland, and that by 1667 he had completed service to Thomas Roper at South River.  Clearly, the association between Thomas Roper and William Michell was a strong bond as evidenced by the LWT of Thomas Roper, abstracted as follows:

  1. Thomas Roper, a planter of Anne Arundel, died testate. His last will and testament was probated on November 13, 1677, having been written only a few weeks previously. He made his wife, Mary, the sole executrix of his estate and devised her one-half of the unnamed dwelling-plantation. To his only child, Mary, he devised “Roper’s Increase,” of 300 acres, in Baltimore County, and one-half of the dwelling-plantation at majority. William Mitchell and Dr. William Jones were appointed the overseers.

Also:

  1. Administration Record:  Thomas Roper 6.418 A AA #55908 (no date. on a page of Aug-Oct 1679 entries).  Payments to: Col. William Burges, Richard Boughton, William Cromwell, Nicholas Gasaway, Robert Proctor, Thomas Lightfoot, Anthony Rawlings, William Roper, Thomas Bland, Thomas Jeffe.  Administratrix: Mary Hammond (relict) [Note: Thomas Roper’s widow had married John Hammond].

So, whatever the association between Thomas Roper and William Mitchell, it was one of the highest level of trust, as William Mitchell was appointed as a co-administrator over Thomas Roper’s estate.  Note that Thomas Roper was indebted to Col. William Burges and William Roper.  The reader may remember the name of Capt. William Roper (d. 1650 at Northampton County, VA), deceased husband of Katherine Graves, whose relic married Thomas Sprigg.  Also, that Col. Thomas Sprigg was named as the guardian of the children of Robert Tyler Sr., husband of Joan Sprigg.  The question then becomes, were Thomas Roper and his creditor, William Roper, kinsmen of Capt. William Roper, husband of Katherine Graves, who died at Accomack around 1650?  The reader may also remember that there was an earlier immigration record presented for Thomas Sprigg and his family, which we will reiterate here:

  1. 18Jan1658/9 –  Thomas Sprigg proved rights for transporting himself, Catherine [Graves] (wife), Verlinda Roper (presumably a step-daughter), Edward Bushell, Nathaniel Sprigg (probably a very young son of Thomas Sprigg and Katherine Graves Roper) & Hugh Johnson into the Province of MD…

Given the author’s frequent references to a nucleus of family names associated with the John Mitchell family of Prince George’s County, one almost expects there to be kinship among any parties having the same surname.  In the case of Thomas and William Roper, it would be easy to assume a kinship connection back to Capt. William Roper and Katherine Graves of Accomack County, VA, yet Thomas Sprigg’s transportation record makes no mention of any other Roper children, aside from the step-daughter, Verlinda Roper.  But, keep in mind, the transportation record for Thomas Roper predated that for Thomas Sprigg by almost eight years.  It is possible that the Thomas and William Ropers referenced in Thomas Roper’s LWT were older sons of Captain William Roper and Katherine Graves.  In fact, most Roper genealogical researchers claim this William Roper of South River as a son of Capt. William Roper.  A lesser number also claim Thomas Roper of South River as a son of Capt. William Roper.  Since Capt William Roper began appearing in Accomack records as early as 1633, and as a member of the Council by 1637, he certainly would have been old enough to have had a son named Thomas who was transported into Maryland in 1650 and in service until about 1663.  Capt William Roper died in the same year that Thomas Roper was transported into Maryland, perhaps signifying that Thomas Roper’s emigration may have been the result of his father’s death and his mother’s remarriage to Thomas Sprigg.  If Thomas Roper was a son of Capt. William Roper, then his uncle, William Stone, was in his 2nd year as Governor of Maryland when Thomas moved into Maryland.  It seems probable that Thomas was still a teenager when he moved to Maryland, and probably entered into an apprenticeship at South River, eventually becoming a shipbuilder and planter.  William Roper Jr. is identified in Maryland records as a shipbuilder.  The Ropers owned a tract of land at quayside on South River called Roper’s Yard from which it is reported that they conducted one of the first shipbuilding operations on the Bay.

The author is inclined to believe that William Michell’s close associate, Thomas Roper, was a son of Capt. William Roper, and that that association would tend to suggest an association for William Michell, himself, with the Eastern Shore of Virginia, before his migration to South River.  MilesFiles has claimed a connection to the Eastern Shore of Virginia in the 1650’s for William Mitchell [Jr.], as a son of Capt. William Mitchell, and now we have established a fairly strong basis for connecting William Michell [Jr.] of South River to that very region.

Before leaving William Michell of South River and following the trail back into Virginia’s Eastern Shore, the author wishes to present one further piece of information regarding the wives of William Mitchell [Jr.].  Through our earlier investigation of John Mitchell I, we hypothesized that he was a son of William Mitchell [Jr.], by an earlier unknown wife, and born around 1666/7.  Now we have presented immigration records for William Michell [aka Michaells] in 1665, and out of service by 1667.  These dates fit perfectly with William’s transport into Maryland having been paid by another (perhaps by Thomas Roper), and his having served a very short period of time to Thomas Roper at South River, perhaps in exchange for learning the shipbuilding trade.  The short duration of this obligation would comport with the lesser cost of transport from the Eastern Shore, as contrasted to trans-Atlantic transport.

It seems highly probable that William Michell of South River married his 1st wife at South River sometime in 1665/6, and that John Mitchell I was born to that unknown wife.  From other land and estate records it was established the William Michell married Elizabeth Mott as his 2nd wife sometime around 1670, with whom there were no surviving children born.  At the time of his death, William Michell was married to yet another wife named Jane or Mary.  The author will now posit an hypothesis regarding the identity of this third wife.  William Michell named William Gibbs and Edward Gibbs, “his loving brothers” as overseers of his estate.  The author believes it highly likely that William Gibbs and Edward Gibbs were sons of Nathaniel Gibbs, identified in the following immigration record abstracts:

  1. 28Apr1652 – George Kemp of Lynhaven Parish, Lower Norfolk County, VA received 400 acres on Elizabeth River due for transport of eight persons, including Nathaniel Gibbs. (p. 239)
  2. Gibbs, Nathaniel: AA:125, 318 Film No:SR 8200: Husband of Mary & father of William & Edward Gibbs, transportation in 1663 & service by 1663: Transcript: 5:467 [SR 7347]; 6:19: MSA SC 4341-3113.

It seems highly probable to the author that William Michell’s 3rd wife was related to Nathaniel Gibbs, and that his sons: William and Edward Gibbs were the same William Gibbs and Edward Gibbs, named in William Michell’s LWT as his “loving brothers” and overseers.  Although not named in the transport record, it seems possible that Nathaniel and Mary Gibbs had a daughter named Jane or Mary, who became the 3rd wife of William Michell, hence the reference to “loving brothers”, who would have been William Michell’s brothers-in-law.  Another possibility is that William Michell had married the widow of Nathaniel Gibbs.  It also seems possible that Mary Gibbs, relic of Nathaniel Gibbs, may have married Thomas Roper after Nathaniel’s death.  If that were so, then William Mitchell [Jr.] may have married the relic of Thomas Roper as his 3rd wife.  These intermarriages of Nathaniel Gibbs’ widow with Thomas Roper and William Mitchell [Jr.] are mere speculation by the author, but might explain the apparent close relationships between William Mitchell [Jr.], Thomas Roper and the Gibbs brothers.  It seems probable to the author that the sons: William and John named in William Michell’s LWT were born of the 1st (unknown) wife, and that the other two children: Edward and Elizabeth were born of the 3rd wife, Jane or Mary [Gibbs?].

Virginia’s Eastern Shore

Now, it is time to immerse ourselves into that mystical and murky world of the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  Beverly Fleet described the lives of these early settlers at Accomack as “cruel, vulgar, trivial … comical”.  Granted, Mr. Fleet was viewing the lives of these brave and adventurous souls through the lens of a 1940’s Virginia gentleman and former Wall Street stockbroker, almost 300 years removed from the people who’s lives he was unveiling for the view and judgment of modern society.  Present day researchers can never repay Beverley Fleet for his candid, yet slightly editorialized transcription, abstraction and publication of an unimaginable body of work, the Colonial Records of Virginia in 34 volumes, mostly compiled from in-situ court and church records over a mere 11-year period.  The Eastern Shore records are described thusly: “in the case of Accomack County … the oldest continuous records of English-speaking America”.  What a treasure.

The “Eastern Shore” of Virginia comprises a narrow finger of land, a peninsula protruding from Maryland between the mouth of Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, roughly 10 miles wide and 65 miles in length, an area roughly the size of the author’s home county of Sacramento.  Accomack was established in 1633/4 as one of the original eight shires of the Virginia Colony.  Accomack shire or county was renamed Northampton County in 1644.  In 1661 Northampton was divided into two counties, the northern section (roughly 60% of the whole land mass) was formed into a new county called Accomack, the southern portion continuing as Northampton.  The 1661 county boundaries have remained virtually unchanged to present day.  When researching the records of the Eastern Shore it is important to keep these jurisdictional reformations in mind. 

A “census” of Accomack was compiled in 1666 which recorded the tithable population (basically all white males above age 16, and all other non-whites, regardless of age) and tabulated by name roughly 1600 residents, which, if extended to include women and children, approximates a total population of about 4500 souls.  From this baseline, it might be further extrapolated to include Northampton County, yielding a total population for the Eastern Shore of about 8000 inhabitants.

At its formation as a county in 1633/4 Accomack established a County Council and Court form of government and has required to elect and send representatives to Jamestown to serve in the House of Burgesses.  When the county was split into two counties in 1661, separate Councils and Courts were established in each county, and separate Burgesses selected.  The leading classes at Accomack were primarily Loyalist in political leaning, whereas the “mainland” population was predominantly Parliamentarian leaning.  During the Interregnum the Commonwealth government imposed an oath of allegiance upon the Virginia colonists in 1652.  More than 160 male freeholders of Northampton signed this oath, including Thomas Sprigg and John Nuthall, father of William Nuthall.  Yet, just a couple of months later, most of these same men signed another oath of allegiance to King Charles II, who was in exile in France.  If push came to shove, it is probable that the majority of the Northampton citizenry were anti-Puritan and believers in the sovereign right of the English Crown.  During Bacon’s Rebellion in 1675 the Royal Governor, William Berkeley, took temporary refuge at Accomack in the home of John Custis II at Arlington, and was strongly supported by Eastern Shore residents, until his restoration to power a few years later.

This was the social and political atmosphere into which Capt William Mitchell took refuge, after withstanding charges of atheism, adultery, murder and abortion in Maryland in 1652.  It is the author’s belief that the record footprint of Capt. William Mitchell in Northampton is not nearly as broad as Sherrie Mitchell Boone and Moody Miles would have us to believe.  In fact, there are a number of Northampton records which have been attributed to Capt. William Mitchell by Sherrie and Moody, which the author believes could have been for an entirely different William Mitchell [aka Michell/Michaells].  Analyzing these and other Mitchell/Michaell records in Northampton, Northumberland, Rappahannock and Lancaster counties will be the central focus of our investigation into the possible connections of William Mitchell [Jr.] in the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

We begin this investigation with the presentation of patent records connected with the Eastern Shore and Lower James River region for various persons named Mitchell, Michell, and Michaells during the first 50 years of settlement in Virginia.  These records were all extracted from Cavaliers and Pioneers, Vol. 1 contained as a database on Ancestry.com using the search term “mi*ch*l”.  This term returned hits on all reasonably possible variations on the surnames of Mitchell or Michaells, including Michil(l), Michel(l), Michal(l), Mitchel(l), and Michael(l)(s).  The one variation or corruption not detectable with this search term were names beginning with “Ma”.  Separate searchers were performed for this variation.  A total of 168 hits were returned on the “mi*ch*l” search term.  Unfortunately, the Ancestry search engine does not distinguish between given name and surname hits, when the given name field is left blank.  So screening the 168 hits required sifting through several hits on the given name, which were generally irrelevant to this searches purpose.  Additionally, hits on place names and religious holidays (i.e., St. Michael’s Day) were also returned, all of which were visually screened and filtered out.  And finally, women and geographically remote hits were also ignored.

  1. 20Sep1624 – John Taylor of Newport Newes (Kiccoughtan), Elizabeth City County, 50 acres abutting land of Francis Michaell… (p. 5)
  2. 19Jun1635 – William Spencer of Lawnes Creek upon Hog Island, 1100 acres for transport of 22 servants, including William Michaell, etal. (p. 28)
  3. 9May1636 – Elizabeth Hawkins of Charles River County, 150 acres on New Poquoson River and 150 acres on Harwood Creek for transport of six persons, including William Mitchell, etal. (p. 39)
  4. 18Jun1636 – George Travellor of Accomack County, 500 acres for transport of himself, wife and eight other, including John Browne, Jon. [Jonathan?] Michell, etal.(p. 43)
  5. 18Jun1636 – John Neale of Accomack County, 500 acres on Smith’s Island for transport of 10 persons, including Thomas Michell, etal. (p. 43)
  6. 12Feb1637/8 – Capt. Adam Thorogood of Lower New Norfolk 600 acres on Lynnhaven River for transport of 12 persons, including Thomas Mitchell, etal. (p. 80)
  7. 18May1638 – John Cookney of Henrico County 150 acres upon land of Joseph Chadd and Richard Taylor for transport of three persons, including Thomas Mitchell, etal. (p. 88)
  8. 21Oct1643 – Mrs. Elizabeth Hull on south side of Potomac 850 acres adjacent Christopher Copeland for transport of 17 persons, including Edward Mitchell, etal., (149)
  9. 19Apr1648 – Thomas Broughton (prob. New Kent County) up Pamunkey River to Matapony 1050 acres for transport of four persons, in addition to those claimed by Elizabeth Hull, including Edward Michaell, etal. (p. 172)
  10. 22May1650 – Richard Axom and Thomas Godwin south side of Rappahannock River in Breckneck Bay adjacent John Landman 1000 acres for transport of 20 persons, including John Michell, etal. (p. 187)
  1. 24Mar1652 – Richard Thomas of Henrico County 185 acres ob north side of Appomattox River for transport of four persons, including Henry Michell, etal. (p. 243)
  2. 10May1652 – Thomas Teakle of Northampton County 500 acres at Corattock abutting John Norton and Richard Hill for transport of 10 persons, including William Michaell, etal. (p. 260)
  1. 20Sep1652 – Mr. Thomas Curtis of North River at Mockjack Bay 1150 acres for 700 acres assigned from Custis [Thomas Curtis] and 450 acres for transport of nine persons, including Walter Michell, etal. (p. 261)
  2. 1Feb1652/3 – Northampton County, certificate was granted unto Thomas Leatherberry for 200 acres of land due by the rights for transport of four persons, viz.: Ellinor Lathberry, William Mitchell, Howell Gladeing and Mary Bachellor.[41]  Also: 13Dec1653 – Court of Northampton ordered Thomas Leatherberry to pay unto Mary Batchllor three barrels of merchantable Indian corn…
  1. 4Feb1653 – John Gillett of Lancaster County, southeast side of Rappahannock River 400 acres for transport of eight persons, including Henry Michell, etal., (p. 282)
  2. 25Feb1653 – Ferdinando Austin of Charles City County 1200 acres north side of James River east side of Queens Creek for transport of 24 persons, including John Mitchell, etal. (p. 314)
  3. 9Mar1653 – Edward Cole of Northumberland County 300 acres for transport of six persons (mentions land he sold to [John] Mitchell). (p. 234)
  4. 2Oct1655 – Thomas Letherberry of Northampton County 600 acres on south side of south branch of Anancock [Onancock] Creek abutting John Dorman for transport of 12 persons, including Ellynor Leatherberry, Howell Gladeine William Mitchell, Mary Batchellor, etal. (p. 324)
  1. 17Mar1655 – William Mellinge of Northampton County 600 acres on south branch of Anancock, west of Ekeks branch for transport of 12 persons, including Henry Mitchell, etal., (p. 329)
  2. 27Nov1657 – Thomas Bell of Northampton County 227 acres at head of Nuswattock Creek abutting John Tinley and John Johnson Jr. for transport of 5 persons, including Elinor Lathberry [Leatherbury? wife of Thomas?] and William Mitchell, etal. (p. 353)
  1. 9Aug1659 – Mr. Martin Palmer of New Kent County 1300 acres on north side of Mattapony River at Whorecock Creek for transport of 26 persons, including John Mitchell, etal., (p. 377)
  2. 20Sep1661 – Robert Bayly of Rappahannock County 300 acres on head of Farnham Creek for transport of 6 persons, including Henry Michaell, etal., (p. 397)
  3. 20Jul1662 – John Frumpton of Rappahannock County 800 acres on north side of westerly branch of Rappahannock River for transport of 16 persons, including Thomas Michell, etal., (p. 396)
  4. No date (prob. 3Nov1660) – John, Sarah and Margarett Machill in Northampton County 1000 acres on south side of Chiccanessex Creek abutting William Waters, towards Anancock for transport of 20 persons, including John Michaell Sr., John Michaell Jr., etal., (p. 405)
  1. 15Jan1662/3 – John Lewis and Thomas Michell in New Kent County 1680 acres beginning at Mr. Michells land, Westover Path, Col. Gooch’s corner for transport of 34 persons (p. 422)
  1. 10Mar1662 – John Haynie (Northumberland County?) 350 acres at head of Wiccocomico River abutting Gervaise Dodson, deceased and Henry Wickars, north on Col. John Matrom, deceased, for transport of seven persons, including William Michell, etal., (p. 462)
  1. 18Mar1662/3 – William Michaell and William Thatcher of Lancaster County 400 acres on north side of Corotoman River opposite Henry Davis and land of John Nichells called Now Perfect, dividing from Hale, bought of Hawker, granted to Thatcher Nov1656, part assigned to Michaell. (p. 487)
  1. 18Jul1663 – William Michaell of Lancaster County 50 acres on NW side of Corrotoman River abutting land formerly Nicholas George for transport of one person: John Stone. (p. 437)
  1. 15Jan1662/3 – Mr. Thomas Michaell of New Kent County 1500 acres on Chickahominy Swamp, corner of Col Gooch and William Pullams for earlier grant plus 10 headrights. (p. 464)
  2. 11Mar1663 – John, Sarah and Margarett Michaell of Northampton County 150 acres at Kings Creek abutting Edward Bibbey and William Melling and Capt. Reaper [William Roper?], granted Agnes Barnes on 4Jul1653, sold to patentees. (p. 482])
  1. 1Dec1664 – John Tingey of Northumberland County 1000 acres south side of Yeocomoco River abutting Anthony Linton for transport of 20 persons, including Robert Michell, etal. (p. 484)
  2. 23Jun1664 – Mr. Thomas Michaell of James City County 740 acres on branch of Chickahominy Swamp abutting Gooch and Pullman and said Michell for assignment. (p. 485)
  1. 12Jun1664 – Col. William Waters of Accomack 1350 acres south side of Gintotege (Cinckoteague) for transport of 27 persons, including Samuell Michaell, Alice Michaell, etal., (p. 517)
  1. 24Mar1665/6 – Mr. Thomas Morris of Stafford County 1280 acres on Quanticutt Creek for transport of 26 persons, incliding George Michell, etal. (p. 547)
  2. 26Jul1665 – William Thomas of Northumberland County 300 acres on head of land sold to Mr. [John] Michaell, Henry Smiths (granted to Edward Cole 9Mar1653), by him sold to Thomas Moulton and Thomas Tripe 24Feb1661, Tripe sold his part to Moulton 9Feb1662, Moulton sold to Thomas 20Jun1664. (p. 463)
  1. 5Apr1666 – Mr. John Michaell of Accomack 500 acres at Occocomson bounding Mr. Rideing for transport of 10 persons, including John Michaell Sr., John Michaell Jr., etal., (p. 551)
  1. 18May1666 – Nicholas Hale of Lancaster County 234 acres NW branch of Corrotoman River, bounded by land said Hale bought of Enoch Hawker, bounded SE by joint land of William Thatcher and William Michaell, now in the tenure of Henry Davies and John Arnold. (p. 569).

The author has boxed each record which would appear to have had some possible connection to persons named William Mitchell/Michaell or to Accomack/Northampton.  In the main these records fall into two primary groups: (1) William Mitchell/Michael records on the Eastern Shore or nearby Lancaster County, and (2) John Michaells records on the Eastern Shore or nearby Northumberland County.  There was one extraneous record that did not fit into either of these two groupings which should be noted:

  1. 12Jun1664 – Col. William Waters of Accomack 1350 acres south side of Gintotege (Chincoteague) for transport of 27 persons, including Samuell Michaell, Alice Michaell, etal., (p. 517)

This record involved two transportees named Samuel and Alice Michaell claimed as headrights by Col. William Waters on a patent situated at Chincoteague Island, adjacent to land patented by John Michaell at Occocomsom Island in 1666.  The author is unaware of any kinship connection between either Samuel or Alice Michaell and any of the other Mitchell/Michaell parties discussed in this section, but “time and place” convergence of persons with similar surnames generally warrants our notice.

Before launching into an analysis of the two primary Eastern Shore groupings isolated by the author, it is necessary to take some time to discuss and place into perspective the MilesFiles connection of William Mitchell [Jr.] as a son of Capt. William Mitchell.  This more detailed discussion is made necessary by the fact that MilesFiles has identified several of these Eastern Shore records with Capt. William Mitchell.  It is the author’s opinion that it is vitally important to our search for William Mitchell [Jr.] and his potential ancestry that we have a clear understanding of the “true” identity of these Eastern Shore records, particularly when they involve persons named William Mitchell/Michaell.

We will begin this discussion of Capt. William Mitchell by laying before the reader the basis for MilesFiles claim of kinship between William Mitchell [Jr.] and Capt. William Mitchell.  As near as the author has been able to ascertain, this purported connection between William Mitchell [Jr.] and Capt. William Mitchell can be traced primarily to Sherrie Mitchell Boone.[42]  According to Moody Miles, compiler of MilesFiles, he relied substantially on data and sources supplied to him by Sherrie Mitchell Boone, when he compiled the Eastern Shores Public Library web-pages on the Maryland Mitchells.  Be that as it may, we will now present the author’s interpretation of the MilesFiles Mitchell data, particularly as it pertains to two underlying yDNA tests and the resulting “paper trace” genealogical linkages. 

Sherrie Boone’s brother, John Bruce Mitchell III, participated in a Mitchell family DNA project hosted by familytreedna.com.  John Bruce Mitchell’s yDNA was found to match at 12th generation with +97% certainty the yDNA of a Scott Mitchell.  The reader needs to understand that a DNA “match” of this sort is virtually useless without having the ability to establish, with a fair degree of certainty, each matching person’s direct paternal blood lineage back to that unknown 12th generation ancestor.  Without that reliable “paper lineage” the DNA match only determines that those two parties shared an unknown ancestor in common in the 12th generation of their lineages.  It is the author’s opinion that neither John Bruce Mitchell III nor Scott Mitchell have been able to reliably establish their “paper trace” lineages to that unknown 12th generation person, with whom they share a common ancestry. 

First, it should be recognized that Scott Mitchell’s ancestral trace only goes back to an Allen Mitchell (b. ~ 1793, North Carolina), Scott’s 3rd great-grandfather (at generation five).  The purported seven preceding generations between Allen Mitchell and the unknown 12th generation matching ancestor are missing from Scott Mitchell’s own “paper trace”.  Those missing generations have been filled-in by Sherrie Mitchell Boone (according to Moody Miles) in order to provide a continuous lineage back to Capt William Mitchell.  Scott Mitchell appears content to accept those “fabricated” missing seven generations as fact, and avers that they provide “proof” of his yDNA match to Capt. William Mitchell.

Now, as regards John Bruce Mitchell III’s “paper trace”, he (or his sister, Sherrie) purport to have established a documented direct male blood lineage back to Thomas Mitchell, the “unproven” younger brother of Capt. William Mitchell.  If the “paper trace” genealogies of John Bruce Mitchell III and Scott Mitchell are correct, then their ancestor in common would have been the unknown father of Capt. William Mitchell and Thomas Mitchell, both of whom are believed to have immigrated into the Maryland Colony with wives and children between 1648 and 1651 (see the opening analysis of early Mitchell immigrants at the beginning of this chapter).  Unfortunately, the paper trail for Thomas Mitchell and his near descendants is virtually nonexistent.  Moreover, the Maryland colonial records do not state the kinship between Capt. William Mitchell and Thomas Mitchell, they merely imply a kinship of some sort.  Sherrie Boone points to the yDNA match between her brother and Scott Mitchell as “proof” of the kinship as brothers between Capt. William Mitchell and Thomas Mitchell.  However, any real kinship connection between Capt. William Mitchell and Thomas Mitchell is solely dependent on these “paper traces”.  If the paper traces are flawed or deficient, then there is no “proof” of the averred kinship between William and Thomas.  This is “bootstrapping” of the first order.

John Bruce Mitchell’s paper trace identifies two successive generations of Ignatius Mitchells at the 10th and 9th generations for whom absolutely no record documentation is provided, nor was found by the author to exist.  This two-generation gap, just downstream of the purported matching ancestor, Thomas Mitchell, is crucial to validating the averred ancestral linkage between John Bruce Mitchell III and Scott Mitchell. 

CAUTION: Absent even the barest of “paper trace” evidence to bridge this gap, the author must issue a very strong word of caution to our Mitchell family descendants.  Do not blindly accept the conclusion of a linkage between our “proven” ancestor, William Mitchell [Jr.] and Capt. William Mitchell based solely on the yDNA match between John Bruce Mitchell and Scott Mitchell.  Much more “proof” is needed.  Moreover, since the Capt. William Mitchell lineage propounded as the missing seven-generation gap in the Scott Mitchell paper trace incorporates William Mitchell [Jr.], our Mitchell ancestry has been joined (rightly or wrongly) with the MilesFiles Capt. William Mitchell ancestral tree. 

Moody Miles has offered one additional piece of “evidence” to support the connection between William Mitchell [Jr.] and Capt. William Mitchell as father and son, that being a land grant certificate from Northampton County, VA dated 20Dec1658 abstracted as follows:

“Certificate granted to Capt. William Mitchell for five hundred acres of land due him for the transportation of ten persons into the County whose names are as followeth:  William Mitchell, Joane his wife, George Mitchell, Margritt Mitchell, Elizabeth Mitchell, Edward Davis, Nicholas Berkeley, Thomas Fowkes, Robert Hill, Joane his wife.”[43]

Moody interprets this record to have contained the names of two sons (William Mitchell and George Mitchell) and two daughters (Margritt and Elizabeth) of Capt. William Mitchell.  The author, on the other hand, thinks it more probable that the William Mitchell listed as a transportee was actually Capt. William Mitchell, himself.  This opinion is based on the fact that the name of William Mitchell was followed immediately by the listing of “Joane, his wife”, identical to the manner and sequencing in which Robert Hill and his wife were recorded in that same record.  Figure 8-3 contains a digital image of the record from which Mackey and Groves are presumed to have transcribed the above abstract.[44]

Note the sequence in which the names of the listed headrights were presented.  They are listed in two columns, but the ordering of these names is clearly intended to be read from left to right, in the same manner and ordering transcribed by Mackey and Groves.  The sequencing of these names is important to deciphering their probable respective kinships.  The typical fashion in which such records are displayed in Cavaliers and Pioneers (probably because they were listed in that order in the original record) was to list the male head of household first, followed by the spouse, and trailed by the children or other family members, servants or craftsmen/tradesmen.  Since William Mitchell was listed first in this record ordering, followed by “Joane, his wife”, followed by George, Margarett and Elizabeth Mitchell, it seems clear to the author that the listed William Mitchell was the head of household, namely Capt. William Mitchell.  If Moody’s interpretation is assumed correct, then this record could provide evidence of the existence of a son of Capt. William Mitchell named William Mitchell [Jr.?].  But, if the author’s interpretation is correct, then this land certificate record lends very little support to our search for William Mitchell [Jr.].

Now, before we can return to our quest for William Mitchell [Jr.] we must undertake some rather “heavy lifting”, and analyze all those various records pertaining to Capt. William Mitchell, which have been cited by MilesFiles as support for Capt. William Mitchell’s connections to the Eastern Shore.  Toward this end the author has compiled a chronological timeline of those records, and appended a cryptic analysis where deemed necessary.  That chronology has been serially numbered and appended hereto as Appendix 9-2.  An abbreviated timeline has been extracted from Appendix 9-2 and inserted hereinafter to provide the reader with a ready reference for the following analysis of Capt. William Mitchell.

Capt. William Mitchell Excursus

Since MilesFiles has identified Capt. William Mitchell as the father of William Mitchell [Jr.], it behooves us to perform a thorough analysis of the relatively short life of Capt. William Mitchell in the colonies in order to differentiate him from other possible candidates for the origins of William Mitchell Jr.  Be prepared for a relatively lengthy excursus.  Even though Capt. William Mitchell’s existence in the colonies spans less than 10 years (eight years in Maryland and one year in Virginia), the volume of records pertaining to his existence is extensive.  Perhaps more than half of these records are connected with lawsuits brought by William Smith and his daughter, Susan Warren, widow of Humphrey Warren.  The remainder of these records are related primarily to business dealings associated with Capt. Mitchell.  Let’s first dispense with those records pertaining to the Smith/Warren suits, as they only tangentially or indirectly relate to the movements of Capt. Mitchell in the colonies, such movements being essential to the separation of disputed Virginia records, of which the author believes some could have been related to William Mitchell/Michaells Jr.

We won’t burden the reader with all the volumes of Court records involving the Smith/Warren lawsuits, but reference Appendix 9-2 for the gory details.  Instead, the author will do his best to summarize those events in his own narrative.  First, as an aid to the reader, we have compiled an abbreviated timeline of key events related to Capt. Mitchell as follows:

  1. 21Feb1649/0 – William Mitchell letter to William Smith, father of Mrs. Susan Warren
  2. 4Mar1649/0 – Letter from Lord Calvert to Maryland Council introducing William Mitchell
  3. 4Apr1650 – William Mitchell addressed a letter to the Maryland Council
  4. May1650 – 1st Mitchell expedition sailed for Maryland
  5. Aug1650 – 1st expedition arrived, and 2nd expedition set sail for Maryland
  6. Nov1650 – 2nd expedition arrived in Maryland
  7. 19Nov1650 – letter from Mitchell to Maryland Council entered into record
  8. 8Jan1650/1 – William Mitchell sworn as member of Maryland Council
  9. 16Feb1650/1 – Thomas Hatton sued Capt. Mitchell for cost of boarding servants.
  10. 4Mar1650/1 – Capt. Mitchell petitioned for 2200 acres due for transport of 22 persons.
  11. May-Jun1651 – Capt. Mitchell departed for Holland
  12. 20Jun1651 – William Smith sued Capt. Mitchell through his attorney, Cuthbert Fenwick.
  13. 21Jun1651 – Mrs. Warren swore in Court that she was pregnant with Capt. Mitchell’s child.
  14. 22Jun1651 – Mrs. Warren deposed re: Capt. Mitchell’s alleged murder of his wife.
  15. 9Jul1651 – Lawrence Coughen (Amsterdam) letter to John Browne (Northampton) re: account of Capt. Mitchell.
  16. 22Mar1651/2 – Capt. Mitchell back in Maryland; sued by Robert Kadger re. rental of servants, etal.
  17. Jun1652 – Robert Brookes arrested Capt. Mitchell on various criminal charges.
  18. 30Jun1652 – Capt Mitchell convicted of adultery, murder, blasphemy and atheism.  Fined 5000 lbt and released.
  19. Jun1652 to Apr1653 – Capt. Mitchell in Maryland, appears numerous times in Court.
  20. 20Apr1653 – Capt. Mitchell granted POA to Henry Fox and William Johnson to oversee his estate in Maryland
  21. ~May1653 – Capt. Mitchell sailed for Holland.
  22. May1653 to Mar1655/6 – Capt. Mitchell absent from Maryland records for almost three years.
  23. Jun1656 to Sep1656 – Capt Mitchell not appearing at various Court hearings.
  24. 24/5Sep1656 – Capt. Mitchell appeared/filed suits in Court.
  25. 8Jan1656/7 – Capt. Mitchell appointed jury foreman.
  26. 15May1657 to 31Dec1657 – Capt. Mitchell acts as attorney for various clients.
  27. Jan1657/8 – Capt. Mitchell made no further appearances in Court.
  28. Mar1657/8 – Capt. Mitchell appointed Burgess from Northampton County Virginia.
  29. 20Oct1658 – Capt. Mitchell filed certificate in Northampton County, VA for 500 acres of land.
  30. 25Apr1659 – Capt. Mitchell died.

The saga commences with a letter from Capt. Mitchell (probably from The Savoy in London) to William Smith (possibly at Bedfordshire) dated 21Feb1649/0 in which Mitchell invited Mr. Smith to join his imminent expedition to Maryland, entirely at Mitchell’s expense, and ostensibly to act as a chaperone for Smith’s widowed daughter, Susan Warren.  Mitchell suggested that Mr. Smith might choose to bring commodities and supplies on the voyage to help sustain his daughter’s needs both in transit and in Maryland.  Mitchell persuaded Mrs. Warren to adopt the alias of Elizabeth Williams, and to pass herself off as his (Mitchell’s) sister.  Mitchell further agreed to pay for Smith’s transport, and boarding costs both in transit and on the ground in Maryland, as well as the full cost of his return voyage to England.

On 4Mar1649/0 Mitchell procured a letter of introduction from Lord Baltimore to Lieutenant William Stone in Maryland, which identified him as “our trusty and well Beloved William Mitchell Esqr” who intends to “transport himself and family and divers others: Artificers, Workmen and divers other very useful Persons in all to the Number of twenty”, along with the requisite supplies necessary to establish a manorial plantation.  In exchange for his adventure, Mitchell was to receive an appointment to the Proprietor’s Privy Council, and Peace Commission.  Although this letter from Lord Baltimore identified Mitchell with the title of “Esq.” there was nothing found in the record to support his having been a qualified attorney.

On 4Apr1650 Mitchell penned a letter in his own hand addressed to the Maryland Council, which he personally delivered on 19Nov1650.  In this letter Mitchell identified himself as a gentleman from Chichester, Sussex, and informed the Council that his own departure had been delayed, but that he was sending an advance party (probably consisting of 12 to 13 individuals) including two of his children, a cook, and various servants and craftsmen in the charge of his agents: Mr John Henshawe, Mr Richard Hodgkins and Christopher Gery, and Anne Boulton as governess to his children.  The fact that Mitchell’s children were in the care of a Governess suggests that they were still quite young, probably between six and 12 years of age, and most likely both girls.  The author believes this advance party arrived sometime in early-Aug1650.  Pending the arrival of the 2nd expedition, Mitchell’s servants and children were boarded by Thomas Hatton.  Upon Mitchell’s arrival (sometime early-Nov1650) a dispute arose between Hatton and Mitchell over the cost claimed by Hatton for the boarding of his 1st expedition.  An arbitrated settlement was awarded by the Court.  The two children sent with the advance party were the only children known of Capt. Mitchell until his filing a land certificate in Northampton VA in 1658, at which time he appears to have had either two, three or four children, depending on one’s interpretation.  In a dispute with James Langworth over the services of a maid servant in the summer of 1656 William Mitchell claimed that the loss of that maid’s services had caused damage to himself and his children.  That case suggests that Mitchell’s children were still quite young in 1656, and still in need of a maid servant, again suggesting daughters or very young son(s).

From the testimony of several of Mitchell’s servants deposed in the suits filed by William Smith and his daughter, Susan Warren, it was averred that Mitchell’s residence in the months prior to May-Jun1650 was on the Strand, in The Savoy, in London.  One witness, Elizabeth Boulton, mother of Anne Boulton, testified that she was of St. Martin’s in the Field, a parish located nearby to The Savoy.  The Savoy was described by John Strype in 1755 as follows:

“In the Savoy, of how ruinous soever is, are divers good houses. First, the king’s printing press, for proclamations, Acts of Parliament, gazettes, and such-like public papers; next, a prison; thirdly, a parish church and three or four other churches and places for religious assemblies, viz., for Dutch, for High Germans, and Lutherans, and lastly, for Protestant Dissenters and Quakers. Here are also harbours for many refugees and poor people.”

The Savoy was a royal manor and liberty situated on the north bank of the Thames River between Westminster and London, which attracted a variety of protestants from the Continent, including Dutch, German and French refugees.  Inhabitants of the Savoy were subject to governance by the court leet of the Duchy of Lancaster, and, therefore not generally subject to regulation by the City of London.  Liberties were frequently inhabited by persons seeking asylum or relief from prosecution in more restrictive parts of the realm, i.e., debtors, religious dissenters, and foreigners.  The approximate boundary of the Savoy Liberty is demarked by the dashed black line in Figure 8-4. 

It may have been the unique legal independence and continental character of the Savoy Liberty that drew Capt. William Mitchell to this part of London.  It may also have been the Savoy’s convenient proximity to the Law Inns and the waterfront that attracted William Mitchell to this area.  There is some suggestion in Lord Baltimore’s letter of introduction that William Mitchell may have had some legal training, perhaps preparing for the bar at nearby Lincoln’s or Gray’s Inn.  Mitchell may have considered the vicinity of the Savoy to be a good recruiting ground for his planned expedition to the colonies.  For example, as testified by her mother, Anne Boulton, the governess hired to teach Mitchell’s two children was drawn from the nearby St. Martin’s-in-the-Field parish.

From various Maryland Court records the author has compiled a list of persons believed to have been part of William Mitchell’s expedition to Maryland:

  1. John Henshawe, Richard Hodgkins, Christopher Gery, Anne Boulton, Elizabeth Boulton, William Smith, Susan Warren, William Hemstead, Anne Hemstead, Martha Webb, Vincent Atkinson [aka Atcheson], Edward Philpott, Mary Clocker, Daniel Clocker, Thomas Cole, John Baily, John Wheeler, George Howes, William Mitchell, two Mitchell children, and Mrs. Mitchell. 

This list contains the names of 18 persons for whom Capt. William Mitchell very likely claimed transport.  Most of these parties at one time or another between Jan1650/1 and Dec1652/3 gave depositions at court, most testifying against Capt. Mitchell in support of either William Smith or Susan Warren, but a few actually supported Capt. William Mitchell’s claims of innocence.  If we add William Mitchell, his two children and his deceased wife to this list, we have accounted for 22 persons, which is the exact number Mitchell claimed in his patent application. 

The expedition departed from Deptford, Middlesex in two separate ships leaving England about three months apart.  One of the vessels was identified by William Mitchell in his letter to the Maryland Council as being the Thomas and John believed to have been owned by the Culpeper brothers: Thomas Culpeper and John Culpeper, Lawyers and Merchants:

  1. 2 March 1649/50 – Committee of the Council of State on the Affairs of the Admiralty to permit the Thomas and John to go to Virginia giving security not to carry arms and ammunition.
  2. 25 March 1650 – above Admiralty Committee permits the Thomas and John and the Flower de Luce to go to Virginia giving security to the Mayor and Justices of Gravesend (the Flower de Luce had been going to Virginia since at least the 1630s)

It was not recorded which of the two parties traveled aboard the Thomas and John, but it likely was the advance expedition, since Mitchell related his initial intent to travel aboard the Thomas and John but was unexpectedly delayed in his own departure.  Not much is known of the voyage of the advance expedition, but considerable information about the 2nd expedition can be gleaned from the various depositions.  Generally, the 2nd expedition was reported to have put in at Gravesend, Deale and Portsmouth, before setting out across the ocean.  More than one deponent mentions having been at Deale, when Capt. Mitchell reportedly purchased opium.  Further reference was made to “the Downs”, which was in reference to the coastal waters in the Channel just off Deale.  Another deponent, Thomas Cole, made mention of Mrs. Warren’s request to borrow money to pay for her lodging at Portsmouth.  Cole declined the loan on the basis that he required his funds for Capt. Mitchell’s business pending his arrival in Portsmouth.  This testimony suggests that the stop at Portsmouth may have been of several days, perhaps a week.  Long enough for Mrs. Warren to have come ashore and taken lodging, and for Capt. Mitchell to have traveled inland outside of Portsmouth, perhaps to Chichester, a distance of about 15 miles.

Financing the Expedition:

Because the life of William Mitchell prior to 1649 is virtually unknown, it is difficult to imagine from what source he may have acquired the capital necessary to launch his expedition to Maryland.  The size of his initial capital investment need not have been very substantial, and did not necessarily require his own personal commitment of funds to any great extent.  As evidenced by the testimony of witnesses deposed in the Susan Warren and William Smith cases, William Mitchell was a master of extortion and fraud.  Mitchell purportedly defrauded Smith and Warren of property valued in excess of 1000₤ sterling.  Given that the average cost for transporting an individual aboard ship (including diet) from England to Maryland was valued at about 6 to 7₤, the cost to transport the 22 persons claimed by William Mitchell would have been less than 150₤.  If Capt. Mitchell was loaned 500₤ by Susan Warren before their departure from England, that amount, alone, may have been sufficient to pay for the expedition’s transport costs, leaving a substantial reserve for other expenses.  According to William Hemstead and his wife, Ann Hemstead, Captain Mitchell had on several occasions stated within their hearing, that he would not have been able to undertake the expedition to Maryland, but for a loan of 500₤ from Mrs. Warren.  Capt. Mitchell was also overheard requesting Mrs. Warren to pay him 6₤ 10s for her own passage, and that Mrs. Warren had also paid for the passage of her maid, Martha Webb, at Gravesend. 

To further illustrate Mitchell’s personal dire financial position in the months leading up to the expedition, Anne Hemstead testified that she overheard the following conversations between William Mitchell, Mrs. Warren, and Mrs. Mitchell:

“Cap’ Mitchell at the Downes aboard the Ship caused Mrs Williams to fetch the bond wherein he Stood ingaged to her for the Said ffive hundred pounds to Shew the Same to the Master of the Ship upon his desireing to know whether She had Such a bond and that the Said bond was carried a Shoar at Deale to be Shewed to Mrs Mitchell, and likewise that he was to give her a Rideing Suit which She brought to Sea with him, in liew of a Watch and a ring which he had Sold of her’s in England and that he was also to give her a Mantle which he brought in with him hither in Satisfaccon of a Mourning Cloak wch he had of her, and which he had disposed of in England.”

It is not absolutely clear from this record just whose personal property it was that Capt. Mitchell had sold, whether that of Mrs. Warren or of Mrs. Mitchell, but it clearly establishes the fact that Capt. Mitchell was scrambling to raise funds for the Maryland expedition.  Operating almost exclusively with borrowed monies, Capt. Mitchell began to amass the assets that would become the foundation of his “business plan” in Maryland.  This is not to say that Capt. Mitchell didn’t have wealth of his own, but that the record provides virtually no evidence of the source or amount of any personal wealth.  In addition to his “business” dealings with Warren and Smith, Capt. Mitchell had somehow managed to obtain a letter of introduction from Lord Baltimore dated 4Mar1649/0.  This letter could not have been obtained without the demonstration of some capacity to deliver on his promise to finance a party to Maryland to the number of 20 or more persons.  It may well be that Mitchell obtained this letter from Lord Baltimore’s Secretary solely on the weight of the 500₤ borrowed from Mrs. Warren. 

At the time of the organization of this expedition William Mitchell had been married for a number of years and had a wife and at least two children in the Spring of 1649/50.  For some inexplicable reason Mitchell determined to split the expedition into two separate voyages, with his two children and principal agents on the first transport which is believed to have sailed sometime in late-Apr1650 and arriving in Maryland in early-Aug1650.  The second transport ship sailed sometime in early-Aug1650 and arrived in Maryland in mid-Nov1650, stopping at Gravesend, Deale and Portsmouth before setting out across the Atlantic.  This second voyage included Mrs. Mitchell, William Mitchell, Mrs. Warren, William Smith, Anne Hemstead, William Hemstead, Thomas Cole, Martha Webb, etal. 

Why would Mitchell decide to send his children on a transport separate from his wife and himself?  Was this because his “business plan” included the murder of his wife, and did he not want his children to be witness to this evil act?  Regardless, it is clear from the record that a conscious decision was made to separate the children from the parents.  Moreover, it is clear that Mrs. Warren believed that Capt. Mitchell meant ill-will toward his wife during the voyage, and warned Mrs. Mitchell of her husband’s evil intentions.  Mrs. Mitchell acknowledged an awareness of her husband’s potential threat to her well-being and that he had told her he did not love her.  Although vowing to Mrs. Warren that she would not accept any medication from her husband for fear that it might contain poison, Mrs. Mitchell became violently sick and died. 

Mrs. Warren claimed that Capt. Mitchell had asked her to marry him, even while his wife was still living.  Mrs. Warren had declined his offer of a bigamous marriage.  After their arrival in Maryland, only a few months after his wife’s suspicious death aboard ship, Mitchell and Mrs. Warren engaged in an illicit relationship between Nov1650 and Apr1651 during which she became pregnant.  Witnesses testified that Capt. Mitchell administered a “physick” to Mrs. Warren with the intention of inducing abortion of her unborn child.  During Mrs. Warren’s pregnancy and birth of her still-born child, Capt. Mitchell had sailed for Holland.  On his return to Maryland in about Mar1651/2 Capt. Mitchell purportedly commiserated with Mrs. Warren over the plight of her pregnancy and the shame it must have wrought on her.  Yet, per the testimony of John Baily, he was at the home of William Mitchell on 20Apr1652 when Rev. William Wilkinson performed a marriage ceremony between Capt. Mitchell and Joan Toast.  This rather sudden marriage within a couple of months of his return to Maryland suggests that Joan Toast may have accompanied Capt. Mitchell on his return voyage.  A travel visa issued in England is abstracted as follows:

“30Sep1651 – These are to will and require you to permitt and suffer the bearer hereof to transport himselfe and necessaries without any your Letts or molestations he carrying nothing with him prejudiciall to the State. Of which you are not to faile and for which this shall be your Warrant given at the Councell of State at hall this To all Customers Comptrolers and Searchers and all other Officers of the Ports and Customes. Hccre followeth of all such as have had Passes the Name Place Tyme Wm Mitchell to Maryland 30 Sepr 1651 with his Company their families servants 3 goods and necessaryes they takeing the Engagement.”

The foregoing warrant establishes that William Mitchell was traveling at his own expense, and in the company of several other parties, families and servants.  It seems probable to the author that Joan Toast was a member of his (Mitchell’s) “company”, and that they had already established a personal relationship prior to passage to Maryland.  Capt. Mitchell had already demonstrated his propensity for illicit liaisons.  He had to be aware of the impending storm that was brewing on the horizon from the complaints of Susan Warren and William Smith.  Perhaps he thought his marriage to Joan Toast might in some way diffuse some of the sting of these charges hanging over his head.  If so, he was mistaken, as the Court added a charge of an adulterous relationship with his “pretended wife”, Joan Toast, to the already extensive list of charges.

Even the most generous and tolerant of readers cannot deny the strong appearance of amorality and lack of ethics in the behaviour of Capt. William Mitchell.  If the testimonies of the various witnesses in the case of Susan Warren vs. Capt. Mitchell are to be believed, his actions during the run up to and during the first year of his Maryland expedition exhibited total disregard for the value of human life, and the sanctity of marriage.  He abused the trust of Susan Warren and her father in the most egregious fashion, and stalled judgment for these misdeeds to the maximum allowed by law.  He even appears to have perjured himself in the suit brought by William Smith, when Mitchell alleged the existence of a collateral agreement which committed Smith to Mitchell’s service, only to have his witness, Thomas Hatton, deny knowledge of any such secondary agreement.  Perjury, larceny, extortion, fraud, murder, abortion, adultery, bigamy, battery, blasphemy; was there any crime against man or God which Capt. Mitchell would not commit in order to achieve the execution of his “business plan”?

MilesFiles would have us believe that Capt. Mitchell was born of a Sussex family of some considerable means and that he was financially independent.  However, information testified in Court by more than one deponent gives the impression that Capt. Mitchell was substantially dependent on Susan Warren for the monies required to fund his Maryland adventure.  William Hemstead testified that “he heard Cap’ Mitchell say that he could not have come this Voyage hither if he had not borrowed five hundred pounds of the Said Mrs. Warren…”.  Anne Hemstead testified that she “Saw the Sd Cap’ Mitchell borrow of Mrs Susan Warren … Six pounds ten Shillings”.  Mrs. Warren was also reported to have paid Capt. Mitchell for the passage of her servant, Martha Webb, as well as given a bond to Capt. Mitchell valued at 100₤, aboard ship in transit to Maryland.  Beyond these infusions of funds by the Widow Warren, her father was reported to have paid for his own transport as well as a cartload of household items intended for his daughter’s usage in Maryland.

Mitchell’s first stint in Maryland was of rather short duration since he is reported to have returned to Europe as early as 20Jun1651 (little more than six months after his arrival) when William Smith and Susan Warren filed their first complaints against Capt. Mitchell abstracted as follows:

  • 20Jun1651 – William Smith vs. Capt. William Mitchell, by his attorney, Cuthbert Fenwick: Smith presented letter from William Mitchell dated 21Feb1649/0 along with an account of his expenses incurred on the promises made by Mitchell in said letter, viz., 28₤ for his transport to Maryland, plus 50₤ for household goods purchased for his daughter, plus his expenses since arrival in Maryland, estimated at 10000 pounds tobacco.  Smith claimed that Mitchell had refused to pay reimbursement for said expenses, and retained property of Smith’s purchased for Mrs. Warren.  Cuthbert Fenwick, on behalf of his client, requested continuance until Mitchell’s return, or until he had received instruction from Mitchell.  Fenwick pledged to stand good for the 10000 pounds of tobacco out of his own estate, should his client’s estate be found lacking.  Court agreed to reprise the case to the next Court after Christmas.
  • 21Jun1651 – At the same Court Mrs. Susan Warren petitioned the Court that she might be allowed maintenance and accommodation from the estate of Capt. William Mitchell, in recognition that she was with child by Capt. Mitchell.  Court ordered Cuthbert Fenwick, attorney for Capt. Mitchell to pay the room and board of Mrs. Warren during and following her pregnancy until Court issued further orders.
  • 21Jun1651 – Court ordered Secretary to obtain depositions from witnesses in connection with Mrs. Warren’s allegation that Mitchell had administered a “physick” with intent of inducing abortion of her child.
  • 20Jan1651/2 – William Smith vs. Mitchell: Court took up reprised case first heard on 20Jun1651, at which time Capt. Mitchell still had not returned to Maryland, and Smith, claiming want of a bed, i.e., room and board, Fenwick, as Mitchell’s attorney, ordered to pay Smith 600 pounds tobacco, respited until next Court.
  • 20Jan1651/2 – At same Court Smith filed claim against Capt. Mitchell 5 barrells of corn per presented bill.  Court agreed bill was due, and ordered Fenwick to pay Smith 5 barrels of corn from Mitchell’s estate.
  • 22Mar1651/2 – Mitchell filed complaint in Court against Phillip Land for debt of one heifer plus increase, due since Apr1651. (This filing shows that Mitchell had returned to Maryland between 20Jan and 22Mar.  Further, this debt may have involved partial payment for Land’s purchase of Rich Neck from Mitchell.)
  • 22Mar1651/2 – Secretary took depositions from various witnesses relative to Mrs. Warren’s pregnancy.
  • 22Apr1652 – Susan Warren vs. William Mitchell (servitude):  Susan Warren petitioned Court to release her from obligation of service to William Mitchell based on claim she had paid her own passage directly to Capt. Mitchell.  Respited to next Court.
  • 23Apr1652 – William Smith vs William Mitchell (contd.): Smith renewed his claim for reimbursement from Capt. Mitchell amounting to approximately 10000 pounds tobacco.  Mitchell argued the existence of a subsequent agreement in which Smith committed to be his servant in Maryland, Mitchell’s claim depending in witness by Thomas Hatton.  Hatton, called into Court following day, gave testimony contrary to Mitchell’s claim.  Court ruled Smith entitled to reimbursement for 16 months boarding, plus cost of return to England and Bedfordshire, amounting to 2600 pounds tobacco.  Other elements of Smith’s claim, i.e., reimbursement for goods purchased for daughter, respited to next Court.
  • Jun1652 – Numerous depositions were collected from various witnesses regarding claims/charges filed by William Smith and Susan Warren.
  • 29Jun1652 – Capt. Mitchell petitioned the Court that he had been arrested and reposing in gaol since the previous Saturday on a warrant signed by Robert Brooke, Esq., wherein he stands charged with murder, atheism, blasphemy, etc., for which he pleads his innocence and requests a speedy hearing.  Thomas Hatton, Lordsproprietor’s Attorney read charges “so many and so heinous, that I have not known or heard of the like…”.  The indictment included the following charges:
  • professed himself an atheist, and encouraged others to his way of thinking,
  • committed adultry with Susan Warren,
  • murderously endeavored to destroy or murder the child of Susan Warren in her womb, and suspected to have brought about the death of his late wife during voyage to Maryland,
  • fornicated with Joan Toast.
  • 30Jun1652 – Following consideration by a grand jury Capt. William Mitchell was found guilty on this date of all charges contained in the indictment.  For his crimes Capt. Mitchell was charged with payment of a 5000 pounds of tobacco fine to the Proprietor, required to post a bond for his continued good behaviour, and ordered to cease habitation with Joan Toast until they had been properly married.
  • On this same date Susan Warren was found guilty of adultery and fornication with Capt. Mitchell, and having made blasphemous expressions much dishonoring God.  For her crimes Susan Warren was sentenced to receive 39 lashes upon her bare back.

Thus ends the affair between Capt. Mitchell and Susan Warren, but certain matters pertaining to the suit of Susan’s father, William Smith, would linger on for another year in the colonial Court.  On 25Sep1657 Captain Mitchell filed a petition in Court claiming an “Error in Judgment” to set aside a judgment against Mitchell in the last of Jun1652.  This would appear to have been an attempt by Mitchell to have his conviction overturned in the case involving Susan Warren.  This filing does not contain the basis for Mitchell’s claim, but the Court found it sufficient to order a rehearing of the case.  Mitchell was ordered to present his arguments at the next General Provincial Court in Mar1657/8.  No further records were found in connection with this petition.  In Mar1657/8, instead of arguing his petition for “Error of Judgment” in Maryland, Capt. Mitchell was elected as one of five members of the House of Burgesses of Virginia representing Northampton County as follows:

  • Mr. William Kendall, Mr. William Mellinge, Capt. William Michell, Mr. Randall Revell, Mr. John Wilcox.[45]

Planter, Trader, Agent/Factor and Attorney

Although initially identified with the title of “Esquire”, William Mitchell wore the title of “Captain” [probably a self-proclaimed title] almost continuously throughout his known existence in the colonies.  Since much of his known existence involved connections to ships and shipping, it might be inferred that his title of “Captain” was an outgrowth of his command of shipping operations, and the commerce related thereto.  However, it might also be a title conferred by his having qualified for a seat on the Privy Council.  So, what were his principal means of income?  How did he make his living?  No specific reference was found by the author in either the Maryland or Virginia records which unequivocally named an occupation, enterprise, business, profession or any other form of industry pursued by Capt. Mitchell during his nine-year residence in the colonies.  However, by sorting the wheat from the chaff in the Court records, it is possible to gain an understanding of the main essence of his employment.  It is the author’s impression that Capt. Mitchell was, in modern parlance, principally an entrepreneur.  He appears to have had a “business plan” that involved an extremely high level of risk, one that relied heavily on his own personal ability to persuade others to trust in his abilities and resources to achieve their common objectives.  However, that same record is intermixed with a number of complaints alleging that he failed to perform on his promises or commitments.

Even before Capt. Mitchell’s arrival in Maryland, his agent, John Henshaw, had entered into an agreement on Mitchell’s behalf, for the rent of services of two of Mitchell’s servants: Edward Philpott and Vincent Atkinson to Elwyn Buskin, Esq., who then sublet said servants to Robert Brookes.  The agreement between Buskin and Brookes was dated 20Aug1650 for a term of 13 weeks, so the 1st expedition had arrived in Maryland sometime before 20Aug.  On 25Nov1650 Capt. Mitchell sent a letter to Mr. Buskin demanding the immediate return of Mitchell’s servants, so Mitchell had arrived in Maryland sometime before 25Nov1650.  The 13-week agreement would have expired on 19Nov1650, which comports with Mitchell’s request for the return of his servants on 25Nov.  This case (adjudicated 19Feb1650/1) gives us our first glimpse of Capt. Mitchell’s “business plan”.  He apparently had instructed and empowered his agent, John Henshawe, to immediately put some of his assets to work on their arrival in Maryland.  While Atkinson and Philpott’s services rented out for 13 weeks may not have yielded much income (about 120 lbt), at least Mitchell would not have to pay for their boarding cost during a period in which they might otherwise have been sitting idle. 

As regards boarding costs, Thomas Hatton filed a suit against William Mitchell in Dec1650 for payment of costs incurred in the boarding of members of Mitchell’s advance party.  Thus begins a long history of William Mitchell’s failure to honor his commitments.  The Court found in favor of Hatton, and Mitchell was ordered to pay Hatton 2750 pounds of tobacco for room and board of his servants, agents and children totaling 73 person-weeks.

By 4Mar1650/1 Mitchell was already converting his headrights into real property.  Per the colonial rules in operation at that time he was entitled to 100 acres for every person transported into the province.  Thusly, Mitchell claimed a right to 2200 acres due for the transport of 22 persons, including himself.  Part of this claim included a patent on 1000 acres in the upper Chesapeake Bay area known as Rich Neck.  Within a matter of a few months Mitchell had assigned the Rich Neck patent to William Land, High Sheriff of St. Mary’s.  So, in this land transaction involving Rich Neck we have William Mitchell converting part of the “headrights” which he claimed to have transported, but which cost was paid by loans from Susan Warren, and which very likely included the “headrights” of Susan Warren, William Smith and Martha Webb, who had paid for their own transport.  Mitchell then converted 10 of those headrights into liquid assets, which he undoubtedly used to establish his “business” in Maryland.

So, what was this business?  Before answering that question, let’s analyze his land grants in greater detail:

Maryland Land Grants

The author was able to locate only one record related to any land grants to Capt. Mitchell in Maryland, that being in the form of a petition to the Council dated 4Mar1650/1 in which he claimed right to 2200 acres due for the transport of 22 persons into the Province.  From various sources Capt. Mitchell is reported to have received a grant of uncertain size known as Rich Neck Manor situated at the extreme northern tip of a peninsula between the Eastern Branch of Chesapeake Bay and Miles River, above the present day town of Claibourne.  On 20Oct1651 Capt. Mitchell is reported to have assigned the Rich Neck grant to Phillip Land, High Sheriff of St. Mary’s County.  Since Mitchell had already left the province for Holland around Jun1651, he probably had signed over Rich Neck to Land before his departure, and Land may not have recorded the assignment until Oct1651.  Some researchers contend that the Rich Neck grant constituted Mitchell’s entire entitlement of 2200 acres.  However, other researchers indicate that the original Rich Neck grant contained only 1000 acres, which title descended to the Tilghman family[46].  So, if Rich Neck contained only 1000 acres, what became of the other 1200 acres to which Capt. Mitchell was entitled?

Within the deposition testimonies there were frequent references made to Capt. Mitchell’s place of residence at White House or St. Thomas in St. Mary’s County.  In fact, in a deposition on 28Apr1658 John Lewger testified that in about Feb1656/7 he heard Henry Fox demand of Capt. William Mitchell, the White House standing at St. Mary’s.  Mitchell replied that Fox had no title or interest thereto, and therefore bade him leave.  Mitchell allegedly took Fox by the shoulders and forcibly turned him towards the door.  From these depositions it might safely be construed that Capt. Mitchell possessed the White House property at St. Mary, and that it was still in his possession in Feb1656/7.  The White House tract originally contained 63 acres and was granted to Giles Brent, surveyed in 1639 and patented in 1642 as described by the following Metes and Bounds:

  • White House, a portion of town land lying nearest together about the smith’s forge lately built by Giles Brent, Esq., whereof the N bound beginning at a marked tree on the top of the hill on the S side of the Key Swamp, and running by a straight E line above the head of the said swamp 105 perches, the E side beginning at the end of the said 105 perches and running through the forest by a straight line 110 perches, the S side beginning at the said 110 perches and running by a straight line WNW (or near that point) to the corner of a close now hedged in by said Brent, and along that hedge to a bank of the St. George’s River (St. Mary’s River) a distance of 110 perches, and the W side along the bank of St. George’s River to the beginning marked tree a distance of 80 perches laid out for 63 acres.

The White House manor was situated between Church Point and Chancellor Point at the approximate location shown in Figure 8-5.  The White House was excellently situated within about one mile from St. Mary’s City, and on the bluff above St. George’s River [aka St. Mary’s River].  The White House undoubtedly became available to Capt. William Mitchell by virtue of the misfortunes that befell Giles Brent and his sister, Margaret Brent, on the death of Leonard Calvert.  Giles Brent had married Princess Mary Kittomaquand, daughter of the Piscatway Emperor in 1644.  Although previously a favorite of the Calvert family (appointed Lieutenant Governor in 1643-4), Giles fell into disfavor as a result of his marriage, which the Calverts suspicioned was motivated by his desire to obtain larger land grants from the Indians in his wife’s name.  None-the-less, his sister continued to serve as the Proprietor’s Attorney General in the province until the death of Leonard Calvert on 9Jun1647.  Leonard Calvert named Margaret Brent his sole executrix.  Fearing mutiny by the militia, Margaret proceeded to sell the Calvert’s assets in Maryland to pay the soldier’s salaries.  This action may have averted a revolution, thus securing the Proprietor’s hold on the province, but it rankled Lord Baltimore to the point that the Brents were forced to flee Maryland for the Northern Neck of Virginia.  Before her departure, Margaret Brent gave a power of attorney on 13Apr1650 to George Manners, to oversee the management of her brother’s (Giles’) estate in Maryland.  The date of this POA closely coincides with William Mitchell’s arrival in Maryland, and may have been the channel through which Mitchell came into possession of Giles’ White House property.

This location would have been at the center of government and commerce in the Maryland Province at that time.  It would have been an ideal location for conducting a mercantile trade along the Chesapeake and trans-Atlantic shipping lanes.  More background on the “White House” manor is as follows:

  1. Two other forts are mentioned in the early records, St. Inigoes and St. Thomas’s Forts. The first references to St. Inigoes Fort occur in Leonard Calvert’s order of 28 August 1642, that required settlers who lived between St. Inigoes Creek and Trinity Creek to remove because of Indian alarms.  Cannon that must have been mounted in a fort were recovered from the river off Fort Point in the early nineteenth century and it seems certain that this was the location of St. Inigoes Fort.  By 1646, indeed if not by 1638, the Fort of St. Mary’s was certainly on or near the traditional site, but it could have replaced an earlier defense near the head of St. Peter’s Key Creek, which could then have been renamed St. Thomas’s.  Another possibility is that St. Thomas’s Fort was on the southern edge of Giles Brent’s tract, The White House. In 1705, Charles Carroll had surveyed a tract of 224 acres or more that included Chancellor’s Point and began at “the bound red oake now bounded, standing near the old Fort in the white house field to the westward of the said fort and on the bank of St. Mary’s River then down & with the said river. . . .”  Since The White House was also called St. Thomas’s Freehold, possibly the “old Fort” was St. Thomas’s Fort. We know also that when Giles Brent had The White House surveyed in 1639, part of the southern bound was along a “Close now hedged in” that ran to the river. Perhaps he had hedges and fortifications sufficient to lend the title “fort” to his close and house; or perhaps this was not St. Thomas’s Fort, but the remains of his close and its buildings had come to be called “the old Fort.”

The southern portion of western Maryland between the Potomac and the Chesapeake and below St. Mary’s City was divided by Leonard Calvert into baronial manors which were granted to several of the original adventurers as illustrated in Figure 8-6.  Many of these baronies were further subdivided and leased as smaller tenancies.  The White House tract was part of the St. Mary’s City town lands, less than a mile south of Old Fort and Council House.  It seems probable that William Mitchell established a small farming operation at the White House and may have patented land elsewhere for which no records were found.

There are several records which imply that Mitchell began almost immediately after his arrival to establish himself as a factor/agent to Maryland and Virginia planters around the Chesapeake region.  Before presenting these factor/agent records, it will be useful to present the state of transcontinental trade between the colonies, England and Europe as it existed in the 1650’s.

Life of a Colonial Factor/Agent:

“There were hardly any towns in the seventeenth century Chesapeake except the ‘capitals’ of Jamestown and St. Mary’s City, and they were places of little commercial importance. Early trading ventures to the Chesapeake had often been entrusted to captains and supercargoes who could travel about and seek out business where settlers were to be found. The practice, however, was inefficient in its utilization of ship time and by mid-century had largely yielded to the factor system. The English [or Dutch] merchant desiring to trade to the Chesapeake would either by himself or as part of an ad hoc syndicate or ‘adventure’ send out an agent, usually known as a factor, who would sell goods and buy tobacco on the account of his principals, the metropolitan merchants, and receive in return a salary or a commission of ten percent (five percent for selling the trading goods and five percent for buying tobacco). The factor normally rented a room from a planter at a place convenient for keeping his goods; most of his time, however, was spent traveling about, meeting planters, arranging sales and purchases, and related details. He might be at his “store” as seldom as one day a week. Most of the factors appear to have remained in the colony only a few months… or at most a few years. But some settled permanently. As members of this last group accumulated capital of their own, they became the peddlers, country traders and even merchants of the colony….”[47]

The foregoing description of a factor during the mid-17th century in the Chesapeake region seems to fit very closely with the “business” records related to William Mitchell.  Since some of these “business” records make reference to connections with Holland, it may also be useful to understand the role and presence of the Dutch within this colonial Chesapeake setting:

The Dutch in Virginia and Maryland

“Dutch traders seem to have had a preference for the Eastern Shore, a peninsula that had been permanently settled from about 1619.  Jan Michielsz [John Michaells] (much more on John Michaells to follow) and Amsterdam merchant, John Cornelius settled on the peninsula after having traded there for a number of years.  John Johnson [Jan Jansson], Hugh Cornelius Corneliuson, Hendrick Wageman, Daniel Derrickson, Peter Jacobson, Abram van Slot, and Abraham Jansen [Jan Janssan’s father?], all residents of the Eastern Shore in 1660, may have arrived in the same way…  The brothers Dirck Cornelisz Stam and Arent Cornelisz Stam became the leading Dutch merchants present in the Chesapeake…  By the late 1630’s they had settled in Virginia with their families and bought 860 acres of land in Elizabeth City County as well as a parcel of land on James Island.  These investments and their year-round trading operations in Virginia laid the foundation for a very advantageous trade between Virginia and Amsterdam in the years to come, when the Stam brothers shipped more tobacco to Europe than any firm in England.  In 1640 alone they shipped at least 60,000 pounds of tobacco from Virginia to Holland…  In Virginia, Dirck Cornelisz Stam acted as an agent for Amsterdam merchants, bartering… linen, sugar and other commodities for at least 10,000 pounds of tobacco in 1640, although the cargo never arrived in Amsterdam, as the ship was seized by a privateer from Dunkirk.”[48] 

“The English Civil War had a profound effect on Virginia-Dutch commercial relations, both in the short and long run, and both in scope and in character.  During the War, navigation between the mother country and the colony was severely hampered.  While Parliament had the upper hand in England, Virginia remained firmly royalist, at least until 1652.  Dutch merchants like the Stam brothers dominated tobacco exportation during the war years.  In the long run, many different commercial ties were established between the Dutch Republic and Virginia.  They involved elite Virginians, London Merchants, English and Dutch merchants operating in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, and Dutchmen settling in Virginia.  During the 1640’s royalist Virginia planters and republican Dutch entrepreneurs worked closely together.  These contacts were so well developed by 1652 that in spite of the Commonwealth’s assumption of control over the colony, the removal of the Dutchy ally, Governor William Berkeley, from office, and the onset of the First Anglo-Dutch War, Dutch ships were still sailing to Virginia. By the end of the 1650’s, closely integrated networks relied on Dutch, English and Virginian contacts.  The character of the trade also changed dramatically.  By using their overseas contacts, Dutch merchants who had previously gambled in the hope to arrive at the right moment could now conduct their year-round trading operations.  If necessary, their agents used warehouses to store the tobacco when no Dutch ships were available.  Deals could be made in advance, and the planters could order any kind of commodity in the Netherlands.  By the time a ship left a Dutch port, it was already clear where the goods were to be taken and what kind of tobacco could be fetched where and in what amount…  In 1651, for instance, John Brown sent 31 hogsheads of tobacco (weighing 9759 pounds) to Laurence Coughen in Amsterdam (more on John Browne and Lawrence Coughen to follow).  For freight, offloading, and storing the tobacco, Brown owed Coughen 924:11:08 guilders [probably the reverse].  The account had to be settled through a Capt. Mitchell (our Capt. William Mitchell), who would sail from Rotterdam to Virginia [Maryland].”[49]

Capt. William Mitchell – Factor/Agent

Now for the records which appear to involve Capt. William Mitchell as a factor/agent:

  1. 26Dec1650 – Contract between William Mitchell, Esq. and Robert Kadger, both of the Province of Maryland, viz., Robert Kadger will pay Mitchell, before his departure to Holland, 1400 pounds of tobacco, plus 1100 pounds of tobacco (in possession of Edward Hall), likewise, Kadger shall deliver into the hands of Richard Hodgkins to and for the use of William Mitchell three steers, plus, following Mitchell’s return from England three grown barrow hogs and 25 shoats (young hogs); in consideration for which Mitchell shall deliver to Kadger, his servant, Vincent Atkinson, to remain in Kadger’s service until Mitchell’s return, whereupon Mitchell shall to Kadger three able men servants, such as Kadger shall choose from all the servants then being transported upon Mitchell’s account (excepting Tradesmen), to serve Kadger for term of four years.  Failing the transport of the said three servants, Kadger shall retain the services of Vincent Atkinson and two other of Mitchell’s servants of Kadger’s choosing.  Witnessed by William Eltonhead, Richard Hodgkins and John Henshawe.  This agreement clearly shows the basic essence of Mitchell’s business at that time.  He was preparing to sail for Holland and planned to transport 2500 pounds of tobacco to a merchant in Amsterdam.  He also received livestock from Kadger, presumably which Mitchell intended to put to market or to rear at White House for his own use.  In exchange for the tobacco and livestock, Mitchell committed the services of his servant, Vincent Atkinson, during Mitchell’s absence from Maryland, and that Mitchell planned to bring more servants out of England on his return voyage, three of which he would deliver to Kadger, in exchange for the return of Vincent Atkinson.  From the travel visa presented hereinabove, it appears that Mitchell did have three servants in his company on his return voyage, dated 30Sep1651.
  2. 20Oct1651 – Robert Clarke, Surveyor General of Province, surveyed Rich Neck tract for Capt. William Mitchell, which contained 1000 acres.  Capt. Mitchell sold this tract to Phillip Land, High Sheriff of St. Mary’s County.[50]  This survey of Rich Neck was performed while Capt. Mitchell was at sea on his return voyage to Maryland.  He must have filed a certificate for the survey before leaving the Province around Apr1651.  If Swepson is correct, this tract contained only 1000 acres.
  3. 20Jan1651/2 – Capt. William Mitchell via Attorney, Cuthbert Fenwick vs. Rebecca Manner, executrix of George Manner.  William Mitchell, through his attorney, Cuthbert Fenwick, sued the estate of George Manners, deceased, for a debt of five barrels of corn and 800 pounds of tobacco.  Court ordered payment.  The exact nature of the debt between George Manners and William Mitchell is not known, but may have been somehow associated with Mitchell’s purchase [lease?] of the White House Tract.  George Manners had been granted a power of attorney by Margaret Brent to administer the disposal of her brother’s (Giles’) estate in Maryland, of which the White House was included.  At this same Court several other creditors filed claims against the estate of George Manners as follows: William Stone, Anthony Rawlings, Edward Hall, John Hatch, Skipper Abraham Johnson (Dutch Merchant), Henry Pountney, Capt. Edward Hill, George Mee, Thomas Daynes, Capt. William Hawker, and Walter Beane.  [There probably is no direct relevance to this investigation, but it should be noted that Anthony Rawlings was listed as a creditor in the administration of Thomas Roper’s estate in Aug-Oct 1679.]
  4. 22Mar1651/2 – Robert Kadger vs. William Mitchell:  Kadger complained against Mitchell that he had failed to deliver on their covenant of 26Dec1650 in which Mitchell had promised to deliver to Kadger three male servants upon his return to Maryland.  Mitchell testified that he had been unable to transport the servants as previously planned.  Court ordered that Kadger shall retain the services of Vincent Atkinson, and that Mitchell was to have delivered by next Court day five servants from which Kadger could choose two.  Here is another instance of Mitchell not honoring his commitments.  He claims to not have been able to transport the three servants, as planned when he entered this covenant with Robert Kadger, yet the travel visa clearly showed three servants among his company.
  5. 22Mar1651/2 – Francis Van Enden [Dutchman] vs. Capt. William Mitchell: Upon Mitchell’s petition, case respited to next Court.
  6. 22Mar1651/2 – Capt. Mitchell vs. Phillip Land: Re. a covenant dated Apr1651, Phillip Land failed to deliver to Mitchell at his house at St. Thomas (White House) one heifer plus increase as promised.  Court ordered that Land deliver one cow plus calf to Mitchell within one month, or pay 800 pounds tobacco.  Land’s obligation to Mitchell in this case may have been partial  payment for the Rich Neck tract.
  7. 25Mar1651/2 – Power of Attorney dated 21Mar1650 from Levin Bufkin to Cuthbert Fenwick was entered into Court record, witnessed by William Mitchell and Obedience Robins.  This is a most curious document for the following reasons:
    1. The filing of this POA was slightly more than one year after its execution.  Why the delay in recording?  Is it possible that the date of this POA may have been transcribed in error, and that it may have actually been dated 21Mar1651/2?
    2. Levin Bufkin, Cuthbert Fenwick and William Mitchell were all of St. Mary’s County Maryland, yet Obedience Robins was a long-standing resident of the Virginia Eastern Shore.  This was the only instance found by the author involving Obedience Robins in the records of colonial Maryland.  Why would Obedience Robins, a resident of Northampton, VA, be called on to witness a document involving two Marylanders?
    3. Capt. William Mitchell is believed to have been in the process of returning to Europe in Mar1650/1.  Is it possible that this POA may actually have been executed in Northampton, VA, given that Fenwick was being authorized to collect debts due Bufkin in both Maryland and Virginia?  Is it possible that this William Mitchell was not Capt. William Mitchell, but rather a different person, who was actually redsiding in Northampton, VA?

During his voyage to Holland in the Spring of 1651 Capt. William Mitchell had similarly given a POA to Cuthbert Fenwick to act as his attorney in his absence from Maryland.  So, the connection between William Mitchell and Cuthbert Fenwick in this POA from Bufkin is understandable.  Further, the connection between Bufkin and Mitchell is likewise understandable, as they appear in other records in various business associations in Maryland.  The oddity is the witnessing by Obedience Robins.  Aside from this single document, the author has been unable to locate any further documents connecting Obedience Robins with activities in Maryland in the 1640’s or 1650’s.  He does appear to have had indirect associations with Kent Island in the 1630’s during its use as a trading post by William Claibourne.  But those associations were only tangential, and completely out of time context with this record.  This record might be construed to suggest some sort of business involvement of Capt. William Mitchell with the Northampton, VA region as early as 1650/1, however, the author found only one other record during this general period connecting Capt. William Mitchell to that area.  [Estate administration of John Browne of Northampton referencing a tripartite agreement involving William Mitchell, Lawrence Coughen and John Browne]

On the other hand, if we consider the broader geo-political context of the year 1650, the presence of Obedience Robins in St. Mary’s City may not be considered extraordinary.  William Stone, a former resident of Northampton, had been a fellow Burgess and member of the Council at Accomack along with Obedience Robins, before his appointment by Lord Baltimore to serve as of first protestant Governor of Maryland.  As part of Stone’s appointment it was agreed that he would facilitate the resettlement of Puritans from Virginia into central Maryland.  These Puritan transplants included in-laws of Obedience Robins: Richard Beard, husband of Rachel Robins, and William Burgess, husband of Elizabeth Robins.  We have already had extensive discussions of both Richard Beard and William Burgess, husbands of Obedience Robins’ nieces.  It may well be that Obedience Robins had business connections with his former neighbor, Lieutenant Stone, which caused him to travel to St. Mary’s.  It seems more likely that Obedience Robins had traveled to St. Mary, than for William Mitchell, Cuthbert Fenwick and Levin Bufkin to have traveled to Northampton.  Consequently, this POA, by itself, cannot be construed as evidence of Capt. William Mitchell having had any particular connections with Northampton, VA in 1650/1.

  1. 22Apr1652 – Francis Van Enden vs. Capt. William Mitchell (continuation):  Van Enden presented the Court with a covenant entered between himself and Capt. Mitchell by oath of Mary Glahay, wife of Arthur Glakay, who deposed on 14Mar1651/2 that she had witnessed a transaction between Van Enden and Mitchell, at Van Enden’s residence.  The bargain consisted of an agreement by Van Enden to deliver to Mitchell a parcel of pork, in consideration of which Mitchell was to pay Van Enden with livestock and tobacco: one cow, one yearling bull, one yearling heifer, and one calf, plus 700 pounds of tobacco.  Mitchell petitioned the Court for further continuance, so that he could gather his witnesses.  Court denied continuance on ground that Mitchell had already been given time from previous continuance.  Mitchell then requested trial by jury.  A jury was convened and found in favor of Van Enden.  Mitchell was ordered to pay his side of the bargain.  Since the covenant between Van Enden and Mitchell appears to have been unwritten, no date of that agreement appears in the record.  However, it seems highly probable that Mitchell made the agreement with Van Enden in the Spring-1651, prior to his departure to Holland.  Mitchell’s stalling tactics are apparent in this case, as he had been given fair warning of the case being rescheduled to next Court, but came into Court unprepared.  His request of a trial by jury further delayed the Court’s judgment, but only by a few days, and to no avail.  Note that Van Enden was Dutch.
  2. 20Nov1652 – Capt. Mitchell vs. Major Levin Bufkin: Capt. Mitchell filed a claim in Court for an account due him from Major Bufkin.  This account consisted of a relatively long list of building materials, including various quantities and sizes of nails, stocklocks, hinges, latches, anchor sack, single tens and double tens valued at 841 pounds of tobacco.  From this account filing, it would appear that Capt. William Mitchell’s business had not been substantially deterred by his recent conviction for murder, abortion, adultery and blasphemy.  In a later continuation of this suit it was made clear that Mitchell was an apparent renter of the White House property from Bufkin, as the materials claimed in this suit had been used by Mitchell for repairs to that property..
  3. .25Nov1652 – Robert Kedger [aka Kadger] by attorney, Capt. William Mitchell vs. Phillip Land:  By earlier judgment Kadger due 200 pounds tobacco from estate of Thomas Gerrard,  Phillip Land having been Sheriff at the time of judgment, was held responsible to assure payment of judgment.  Court ordered Land to pay tobacco to Kedger.  This was the first of several cases in which William Mitchell was acting as attorney for complainant.  Mitchell appears to have added his services as an attorney to his “business plan”.
  4. 25Nov1652 – William Mitchell vs. Estate of George Manners:  Mitchell petitioned Court to assign debit accounts against the estate of George Manners in value equal to his claim of five barrel of corn plus 800 pounds of tobacco, in view that liquid assets had already been depleted by payment to persons with more senior position.  Court deferred action to next Court, where it will make assignments to remaining creditors.
  5. 25Nov1652 – William Mitchell vs. Levin Bufkin by attorney Cuthbert Fenwick:  Mitchell petitioned for an “Extent” of the house and plantation called St. Thomas [White House], where Mitchell now dwelleth, for satisfaction of servant due from Bufkin to Mitchell for more than one year, plus account of materials used about the said house.  Attorney acknowledges his clients obligation for claims by Mitchell.  Court orders “Extent” of house and plantation until such time as Bufkin pay debt owed Mitchell.  This suit answers a couple of questions: (1) Mitchell appears to have been a renter of the White House property, which, per this entry would appear to have been owned by Levin Bufkin, (2) afore listed suit by Mitchell against Bufkin for various building materials would appear to have been a claim by Mitchell for materials required in the maintenance of the White House and not merchandise sold to Bufkin by Mitchell.
  6. 25Nov1652 – Covenant entered between William Boreman and Francis Van Enden of the one part, and Capt. William Mitchell and Francis Brookes of the other part, wherein Boreman and Van Enden agree to pay Mitchell and Brooks 2000 pounds of tobacco as final settlement of all differences between the parties.  Signed by Boreman and Van Enden on 21Jan1652/3(?).  This agreement appears to have been entered 60 days before it became effective.
  7. 24Jan1652/3 – Edward Scurfield by attorney William Edwin vs Nicholas Cuseen by attorney William Mitchell:  Scurfield petitioned for payment by Cuseen for various articles of clothing valued at 410 pounds of tobacco sold to Cuseen for which payment has not been made.  Mitchell argued for his client that Scurfield, acting as attorney for Mr. Muns was privvy to a prior agreement between Muns and the defendant in which the clothing in question was payment for a servant, delivered by Cuseen to Muns.  Court ruled Complainant’s case null and ordered Scurfield to pay defendant’s Court costs.  Score one for Capt. Mitchell.  He appears to have won this case for his client.
  8. 23Mar1652/3 – Capt. William Mitchell vs Henry Cox [Fox?]: Case respited to next Court on account of defendant’s illness.
  9. 23Mar1652/3 – Power of Attorney from Thomas Bushell to Capt. William Mitchell in matter between Bushell and Cuthbert Fenwick.  Again, Mitchell is acting as an attorney for a client.
  10. 23Mar1652/3 – Capt. William Mitchell vs. Mr. Robert Clarke:  Plaintiff acknowledged debt owed Capt. Mitchell arising from an agreement dated 25Dec1650 for 900 pounds tobacco and three sow pigs valued at 750 pounds tobacco.  Court ordered defendant to pay Mitchell 1650 pounds tobacco. 
  11. 24Mar1652/3 – Robert Clarke vs. Capt. William Mitchell:  Claim of debt from Mitchell for 637.5 pounds of tobacco.  Mitchell refutes claim.  Respited to next Court. 
  12. 24Mar1652/3 – Robert Brooke petitioned Court for payment by Mitchell of debt arising from Brookes having supplied Mitchell’s “people” divers goods for necessary clothing per order of Mr. Henshawe, Mr. Geary and Richard Hoskins.  Mitchell promised payment but has not performed.
  13. 24Mar1652/3 – Francis Brookes by attorney Capt William Mitchell vs John Dandy:  Mitchell acting as Attorney for Francis Brookes, son of Robert Brookes.  Francis Brookes married Anne Boulton, governess to Mitchell’s children.
  14. 24Mar1652/3 – Capt. William Mitchell vs. Lt. Nicholas Gwyther, Sheriff:  Mitchell alleged that the Sheriff had acted contrary to “the laws of England” when he appraised Mitchell’s estate and seized an item of clothing, i.e., waistcoat, causing the complainant “great damage”.  Gwyther testified that he was acting under orders of Lt. Richard Banks, one of the Lords Proprietor’s Commissioners, believing he was acting in accordance with law.  Gwyther further testified that he had taken the waistcoat into custody along with one of Mitchell’s children, finding the child in some distress and believing it to have been abandoned by the father, who was conceived to have fled the Province.  Court found Mitchell’s complaint to be “troublesome, vexatious and impertinent” and acquitted the Sheriff of Mitchell’s charges.  Governor was not satisfied and respited to next Court.  From the tone of this complaint it would appear that when William Mitchell sailed for Holland around Apr1651, he had not fully provided for the maintenance of his children.  The fact that only one child was mentioned leaves one to ponder the fate of the second child sent in the advance expedition.  Did that child perish during the voyage, or was it perhaps in the care of others when the Sheriff made his appraisal?
  15. 25Mar1652/3 – The Governor this day declared in open Court that he had remitted 2000 pounds of tobacco charged upon Capt. William Mitchell by an order of 30Jun1652 for offenses in the said order expressed.  This was a residual from the conviction and judgment against Capt. William Mitchell on 30Jun1652, in which he was ordered to pay the Court 5000 pounds of tobacco.  It is unclear whether this 2000 lbt was the remaining amount due, or simply an installment payment, with balance outstanding.
  16. 10Apr1653 – Francis Van Enden gave deposition saying that upon an order made against Capt. William Mitchell 22Apr1652, he, this deponent gave the Sheriff an order to take the body of Capt. Mitchell for the satisfaction of his debt, further saying that he gave no such order for a second execution.  On Mitchell’s return to Maryland, he appears to be beset with old, unsettled obligations.
  17. 10Apr1653 – Capt. William Mitchell vs. Thomas Cole:  Mitchell filed petition for restitution against Thomas Cole, who had committed to three seasons of service, but completed only two seasons.  Court found that Thomas Cole owed Mitchell one additional year of service, valued at 800 pounds of tobacco.  Henry Fox acknowledged judgment of Court to Mr. Thomas Hatton for payment of 800 pounds of tobacco, in part of 2000 pounds owed by Mitchell, remainder of fine against Mitchell (5000) pounds per conviction and judgment of 30Jun1652.  Fox agreed to assign said 800 pounds to account of Thomas Cole, thus clearing Cole’s debt to Mitchell and giving Cole his freedom.
  18. Jun1653 – A Covenant was entered in Court dated 29Apr1652 [prob. 1653] between Thomas Gerrard and Capt. William Mitchell.  Gerrard is to deliver to Mitchell upon his return from England four cows or heifers each with calf.  In case of Mitchell’s decease or failure to return the next year (1654) Gerrard shall deliver for the use of Mitchell’s children such one cow as any authorized person shall choose, not exceeding a total of four cows.  Although this covenant made reference to William Mitchell’s children (plural) it is not sufficiently explicit as to suggest the number of children living in Apr1652.  The author suspects that this covenant was actually dated Apr1653 by virtue of the reference to “his return from England”.  From the foregoing sequence of records it is clear that William Mitchell was continuously in Maryland between about Jan1651/2 and Apr1653.  It seems doubtful that he would have entered an agreement with this kind of stipulation unless he planned to be sailing for England in the immediate future.  Gerrard may have decided to record this covenant in Jan1653/4 in anticipation of Mitchell’s return within the next few months.
  19. Jun1653 – Power of Attorney dated 20Apr1653 was entered in the record from Capt William Mitchell to William Johnson and Henry Fox to oversee his estate in Maryland.  Again a reference to his children.  This POA was executed in preparation for William Mitchell’s imminent departure for Holland.
  20. 7Jun1653 – Phillip Land deposed that he had heard that Francis Brookes had bought of Capt. William Mitchell, Miss Anne Boulton, his the said Brookes now wife, and that Brooks said he had paid two cows to Mitchell.  Per Phillip Land, William Mitchell had entered into an agreement for the sale of Anne Boulton, governess of Mtichell’s children, presumably for the consideration of two cows.  Thereafter, Francis Brookes and Anne Boulton were married.  This same date Francis and Anne Brookes sued William Mitchell for 20₤ sterling, alleged back wages due Anne nee Boulton.
  21. 7Jun1653 – Double Filing: Francis Brookes vs. Capt. William Mitchell by attorney Henry Fox, and Capt. William Mitchell by attorney Henry Fox vs Francis Brookes.  These suits arose over the marriage of Anne Boulton to Francis Brooke, which triggered a claim from Mrs. Boulton for back wages due her from Capt. Mitchell.  Mitchell’s attorney declaims responsibility for wages, and asserts Phillip Land’s deposition of two cows due Mitchell from Francis Brookes.  Mrs. Brookes obtained an affidavit from a Major John Wildman, Esq. of London, who claims to have witnessed the agreement between William Mitchell and Anne Boulton in which Mitchell agreed to pay 20₤ sterling per annun, plus cost of return transport to England.  Does this sound familiar?  Mitchell was very easy with his promises, but not so firm with his commitments.  Court reprised to next Court after Christmas, or next Court following Mitchell’s return to Maryland.
  22. 19Jul1653 – Cuthbert Fenwick vs Capt. William Mitchell by attorney Henry Fox:  Reprised to Oct1653 Court.
  23. 3Mar1653/4 – Continuation of Fenwick vs Mitchell:  Fenwick complains that he had sent 1415 pounds of tobacco to Holland via Capt. Mitchell with instruction that proceeds from sale of tobacco should be paid into hands of Lawrence Coughen of Amsterdam, per agreement between Mitchell and Fenwick dated 4Mar1651/2, which Mitchell never performed these four years (maybe two to three years) to the plaintiffs great damage.  The said Mitchell being arrested, the defendant’s attorney did engage himself to be responsible.  Court ordered that Fox pay the debt with damages in amount of 2000 pounds tobacco, and that engagement between Mitchell and Fenwick be cancelled.  This record supports the author’s belief that part of William Mitchell’s “businss plan” included acting as a broker/agent for Maryland planters for transport and sale of their tobacco in Holland.  Fenwick and Mitchell had been on very good terms when Mitchell first arrived in Maryland, Fenwick actually acting as Mitchell’s attorney during Mitchell’s first voyage to Holland.  From this record it would appear that either Mitchell failed to deliver Fenwick’s tobacco to market, or had withheld the produce of that sale for his own purposes.  Regardless, he is now on his second trip to Holland, and still has not settled with his client from the first voyage.  Moreover, Michell now has a new attorney in the person of Henry Fox, who has had to cover Mitchells debt from two to three years previous.
  24. 11Apr1654 – On motion of William Eltonhead, Henry Fox petitioned Court to be released of obligation as Attorney for Capt. William Mitchell any longer, albeit he were arrested at the said Mr. Eltonhead’s suit to answer upon that account.  Court ordered that Eltonhead shall have attachment against the estate of Capt. William Mitchell for the claims due.  Henry Fox is a quick study.  He was stung by Capt. Mitchell in the previous case, and already has petitioned the Court to be relieved of his responsibilty under his POA with Mitchell.
  25. 28Apr1654 – Francis Brooke vs Capt. William Mitchell:  Court resumed hearing case reprised from 7Jun1653.  Francis Brooke testified that he had received information from England that Capt. William Mitchell was not expected to return to Maryland until 1655.  Court reprised case to next Court (23May1654), wherein they would issue an attachment against the estate of Capt. William Mitchell in the amount of 2500 pounds of tobacco.  Capt. Mitchell is still out of country and unable to defend himself, his attorney having resigned.
  26. 29Apr1654 – Court issued an attachment against the estate of Capt. William Mitchell at suit of Francis Brookes.
  27. 23Mar1654/5 – Henry Fox vs Capt. William Mitchell by attorney William Johnson: Henry Fox having sued out an attachment in value of 4000 pounds tobacco against the estate of Capt. William Mitchell, 2000 pounds due for Fox payment of judgment to Cuthbert Fenwick.  William Johnson, Luke Gardiner and Capt. William Mitchell petitioned Court for reprisal until Nov1655 at which date anyone of them committed to make good on Henry Fox’s claim.  Henry Fox is seeking his vengence against Capt. Mitchell for having exposed him so carelessly.  However, Mitchell’s other attorney, William Johnson, has stepped into the breach.  From the motion for continuance it suggests that Johnson believes Mitchell will have turned by Nov1655, and will answer to Henry Fox.
  28. 23Mar1654/5 – Francis Brookes vs Capt. William Mitchell by attorney William Johnson:  Continuation of suit respited 28Apr1654 wherein complainant, Brookes, presented two depositions to Court: one from Maj. John Wildman, Esq., and other from Elizabeth Boutlon, mother of Anne Boulton.  Court agrees with Brookes claim and awards judgment of 2400 pounds of tobacco against estate of Capt. William Mitchell.  Capt. Mitchell has lost the suit brought by Francis and Anne (nee Boulton) Brookes for Mrs. Brookes’ back wages.
  29. 20Mar1655/6 – Capt. Mitchell petition the Court for an Error of Judgment in the case of Francis Brooke vs Capt. Mitchell dated 25May1654.  Court decided no action against Capt. Mitchell until he is able to secure witness statements by next shipping (probably 6-7 months minimum delay).  Mitchell has returned to Maryland after an absence of almost three years.  He is up to his old tricks of stalling for time.
  30. 21Mar1655/6 – Court vacated judgment of Henry Fox against Capt. Mitchell at St. Mary’s on 25May1654.  This entry did not provide the basis for vacating the judgment of 2000 lbt awarded Henry Fox against the estate of William Mitchell, but it appears that Mitchell wins again.
  31. 10Apr1656 – William Mitchell testified in Court that his Power of Attorney to Henry Fox and William Johnson dated 25Apr1653 did not extend to his property beyond the Province of Maryland.  Reference was granted to William Johnson until next Court regarding any differences between Johnson and Mitchell.  This filing by Mitchell implies that he had property outside of Maryland, that may have been appraised as part of his estate for attachment by the Maryland Court.  Since Mitchell had been gone from Maryland for almost three years, it is reasonable to assume that he had business operations ongoing outside of Maryland.  Just where those business operations may have been does not appear in any records found by the author.  No records were found in Virginia during this time period (May1653 to Apr1656) related to any business activities involving Capt. William Mitchell.  It seems more likely that his business dealings during that three-year period would have been in either Holland, New England, or England, or all three.
  32. 10Apr1656 – Capt Mitchell bound himself by recognizance in amount of 3000 pounds tobacco that he will not dispose Jane Witten until next Court.
  33. 10Apr1656 – Jane Witten deposed in Court that she did agree to be transported to Maryland by Capt. Mitchell to serve as governess to his children, on his promise that he would not sell her to another master.
  34. 16Jun1656 – William Johnson arrested Capt. William Mitchell to Court, Mitchell not appearing.  Court ordered that, if Mitchell did not appear by next Court, Johnson shall have order against Sheriff concerning suit.
  35. 16Jun1656 – Court issued order of non-suit in case against Capt. Mitchell, and William Johnson, James Langworth and Luke Gardner to be allowed damages.
  36. 16Jun1656 – Non-suit granted Mrs. Fenwick in case against Capt. Mitchell. (Cuthbert Fenwick recently deceased).
  37. 16Jun1656 – Mitchell failing to appear, or to post 3000 pounds bond in case of servant, Jane Witten, Court ordered servant to remain with William Langworth, until and unless Capt. Mitchell appears to prove his claim.  As usual, Mitchell made a promise he could not fulfill.  He had promised to post a bond for 3000 lbt at 10Apr Court, and then disappeared.  As regards matter of Jane Witten, Mitchell had lured her to join his Company to Maryland, probably on his return from his first voyage to Holland.  He reportedly promised to retain her as governess to his children for an annual salary, not to sell her to another, and to pay her return voyage, if she so chose.  When Mitchell left town for three years, his attorney, William Johnson, sold Jane Witten’s services to James Langworth..
  38. 23Sep1656 – Henry Potter vs Capt. William Mitchell attorney of Thomas Orley: Case reprised to next Court.  Elizabeth Claxton deposed same date that she had witnessed conversation between Potter and Orley in which Potter demanded a bond from Orley to install fencing around the entire property occupied by Orley.  Orley replied that he would provide bond.  It appears from this record that William Mitchell had returned to Maryland.
  39. 23Sep1656 – Capt. William Mitchell vs. James Langworth attorney of William Johnson:  Mitchell summoned to Court by Langworth regarding a maid servant sold by Johnson unto Langworth, contrary to orders of Mitchell.  According to Mitchell the servant, Jane Witten, was transport by Mitchell to serve as governess to his children.  Langworth admitted knowledge of condition of Witten’s obligations to Mitchell.  Court ordered return of Witten to Mitchell, plus 200 pounds tobacco damages.  Again, Mitchell wins.
  40. 24Sep1656 – Capt. Mitchell vs James Langworth:  Matter regarding another servant named John Gee sold by William Johnson (acting as Mitchell’s agent) to Langworth.  Mitchell’s letter to Johnson limited the rental of servant to one year or until his return to Maryland.  Court ordered return of servant to Mitchell, and damages assessed against Johnson’s estate.  Again, Mitchell wins.
  41. 24Sep1656 – Capt. Mitchell vs Luke Gardener:  Matter concerning a man servant named John Spurdance sold by William Johnson (Mitchell’s agent) to Gardener.  Mitchell’s letter to Johnson limited the rental of servant to one year or until his return to Maryland.  Court ordered return of servant to Mitchell, and damages assessed against Johnson’s estate.  Again, Mitchell wins.  It seems probable to the author that the three servants involved in the foregoing cases: Jane Witten, John Gee and John Spurdance were the three servants he transported on his 2nd voyage, see travel visa dated Sep1652.
  42. 25Sep1656 – William Johnson vs Capt. William Mitchell (continuation):  Court ordered non-suit and Johnson to pay costs.  The original teflon don.  He wins again.
  43. 25Sep1656 – Capt. Sampson Waring attorney of John Hatch vs Capt. Mitchell attorney of Thomas Orley:  Suit of 17Apr1656 in which Hatch claims debt of 1100 pounds tobacco from Thomas Orley, administrator of estate of Edward Hall.  NOTE:  Orley had married widow of Edward Hall.  Hall’s widow had been wife of George Manner, before their marriage.  Court ordered reprisal to next Court.
  44. 20Oct1656 – Capt Mitchell vs Mrs. Fenwick (widow of Cuthbert): Matter referenced to 20Mar1656/7 Court.
  45. 21Oct1656 – Potter vs Orley (continuation):  Potter arrested Orley concerning lease of land whereon Potter now lives.  Orley obliged to repair house and fence property.  Mitchell requests non-suit, and commits to bond of 1500 pounds tobacco to secure Orley’s part.  Court ordered non-suit, awarded Orley 300 pounds tobacco damages, Mitchell to proffer bond.  Mitchell gave bond and suit was vacated.  Mitchell, acting as Orley’s attorney, wins again.
  46. 20Oct1656 – John Hatch vs. Capt. William Mitchell attorney for Thomas Orley:  Mitchell requested trial by jury.
  47. 13Jan1656/7 – Potter vs Orley (continuation):  Henry Potter entered a covenant (in consideration of another covenant between Thomas Orley and Samuell Scott) promised to indemnify Thomas Orley of Chickakoane, VA and his attorney, William Mitchell in amount of 1500 pounds tobacco, re. fencing and house repairs on plantation late of Thomas Allen.  (Too complicated to sort out all the parties, but Mitchell was relieved of his bond given at Court on 21Oct1656.)  Mitchell wins again.
  48. 8Jan1656/7 – William Mitchell, Esq. acquitted and discharged James Gunnion of all debts, etc.
  49. 8Jan1656/7 – William Mitchell appointed jury foreman.  A convicted murderer, adulterer, blasphemer and atheist as a jury foreman?
  50. 10Mar1656/7 – Clement Hinton was deposed saith that when he went to Potomac River to receive John Cornelius’ goods, where, upon arriving found that Cornelius had already placed his goods aboard Col. Smith’s ship, causing Hinton to leave his own tobacco (at warehouse?) until they should return again.  Hinton informed Mitchell of the damages incurred in lost wages and ship’s usage.  Mitchell replied that he was engaged, and must perform his bargain, whatever he lost by it.  Also, same date Henry Chapin deposed that when Capt. Mitchell had taken freight for John Cornelius goods, he informed Mitchell that it would be 40 pounds tobacco “out of his way”.  Mitchell replied that he could not help it, having engaged himself, and must prove himself an honest man in performing his promise.  Col. Smith not having arrived, Chapin was forced to return again to take in their tobacco.  This case was too involved for the author to sort out.  It seems that Capt. Mitchell had dispatched a sloop to pickup goods (tobacco) of John Cornelius (Dutchman, planter, and brother-in-law of John Michael.  More on Michael later.), but arrived too late as goods had already been loaded aboard Col. Smith’s ship.  This event caused Mitchell to incur the cost of a second voyage to the tune of about 120 lbt.  The protestation by Mitchell that he must “perform his bargain, whatever he lost by it”, seems out of character.  Particularly when he adds that he “must prove himself an honest man in performing his promise”.  Who is this guy, and what did they do with Capt. Mitchell?
  51. 21Mar1656/7 – Mrs. Jane Fenwick vs. Capt. William Mitchell: Mitchell not appearing, Court ordered non-suite, and Mitchell to pay charges.  He is gone again, and this time loses.  From a POA between James Jones and Capt. William Mitchell, filed in Northampton County, VA on 30Mar1657 it would seem that Capt. Mitchell may have been in Virginia at the time of this hearing.
  52. 15May1657 – Capt. Mitchell, attorney for Thomas Orley appeared in Court stated that Edward Hall did in his lifetime administer fully the estate of George Manner, deceased, and paid out more value than the estate contained, and that Thomas Orley at Court on 10Apr1656 disclaimed administration of the estate of George Manners, Court ordered Thomas Orley and Rebecca , his wife (relic and administratrix of George manners) Quietus Est.  Mitchell is back in town.
  53. 24 August 1657    Randolph [aka Randell] Revell gift deed to his son, Edward Revell, certain livestock, horses and cattle, witnessed by William Michel and John Elsey.[51]  Also, note on 3Nov1660 John Ellsey of Northampton County 1200 acres for transport of 24 persons, which was assigned by John Allsey [Ellsey] to Thomas Leatherbury by patent dated 10Mar1663.  Since Maryland court records show that Capt. William Mitchell continued to appear in court through Dec1657, it was the author’s initial impression that the William Michel, who witnessed this deed in Northampton County along with John Elzey, was not Capt. William Mitchell, but another, unknown William Michell/Michael.  However, later records were found for Capt. William Mitchell in the Northampton County court records in 1658 and early 1659, which caused the author to alter this opinion.  As will be presented hereinafter, Capt. Mitchell and his wife, Joan Mitchell, appeared in records with other persons having known connections with the Quaker religion.  In fact, the unique nature of those records suggest that Capt. William Mitchell and Joan Mitchell may have been practicing Quakers, themselves.  The significance of that discovery in contrast with this immediate record is that Randall Revell, John Elzey and Thomas Leatherberry are also believed to have been Quakers.  Given that the preponderance of these referenced records involved Quakers, it seems probable that the William Michell, who witnessed this deed of gift between Randall Revell and his son, Edward Revell, was actually Capt. William Mitchell.
  54. 24Aug1657 – Northampton County: Nicholas Waddelow sold a tract of land to Richard Teague of Occahanock for the consideration of one heifer and 1200 lbt.  Witnessed by William Michell and John Elzey, recorded 4Apr1659.  Ditto.  Nicholas Waddelow has been identified by several researchers, including Grady Gordon Brickhouse, as having been a Quaker.  Moreover, when Nicholas Waddlow died in 1659/0 his widow married Thomas Fouckes, a person claimed as a headright by Capt. William Mitchell on the land certificate filing in Nov1658.  Given those associations, this witness almost certainly was Capt. William Mitchell.
  55. 22Sep1657 – John Lewger vs. Thomas Mitchell:  John Lewger stands indebted to Thomas Mitchell in sum of 200 pounds of tobacco.  Henry Hall, attorney for Lewger, confessed a judgment upon debt, Court ordered that Lewger shall satisfy debt.  This was the first record found by the author involving Thomas Mitchell.  He was reported by Skordus having immigrated with wife and children in 1648.  Where has he been for the past nine years?
  56. 22Sep1657 – Thomas Gerrard granted non-suit in case with Capt. William Mitchell, plaintiff to pay 50 pounds of tobacco.  Mitchell loses another.
  57. 22Sep1657 – Capt. Mitchell petitioned Court for Error in Judgment in case of 30Jun1652.  Court agrees that there may be grounds for a traverse upon said judgment, granted Mitchell right to plead at next Provencial Court.  It seems probable to the author that Mitchell was in the process of removing from Maryland to the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  He may have been attempting to have his conviction for murder, adultery, blasphemy and atheism overturned.  It may well be that his future plans were being constrained by his being a convicted felon, i.e., public office in Virginia.  It seems possible that his periodic absences from Court over the past several months may have been caused by his orchestrating his move to the Eastern Shore.
  58. 6Nov1657 – William Mitchells witnessed a covenant between John Billingsley of Chucatuck, VA and George Reade, planter of Patuxent.  This was only the second record found in Maryland in which William Mitchell witnessed a legal document for another.  Since this record did not identify this William Mitchell with the title of “Capt.”, it is not possible to state with certainty that this person was Capt. William Mitchell, or perhaps a different William Mitchell.  As an aside, it is worth noting that Joan Sprigg, sister of Col. Thomas Sprigg, had been married at one time to this George Reade of Patuxent.  It is also worth noting that John Billingsley was a Quaker from the Chuckatuck settlement of first Upper Norfolk County in 1637, and later Nansemond County in 1646.  John Billingsley and Robert
  59. 29Dec1657 – Thomas Gerrard vs Capt. Mitchell:  Gerrard sued for debt of 883 pounds of tobacco.  Mitchell presented accounts showing Gerrard indebted to Mitchell for 883 pounds tobacco.  Court ordered Gerrard pay Mitchell 883 pounds tobacco.  Mitchell wins again.  Thomas
  60. 29Dec1657 – Mitchell vs Cornwallis:  Case referenced to next Court.
  61. 31Dec1657 – Mitchell vs Thomas Phillips:  Mitchell appealed case to Provencial Court next Mar1657/8.
  62. 31Dec1657 – Mitchell vs Gerrard:  Defendant appealed case to Provencial Court next Mar1657/8.
  63. 31Dec1657 – Coursey vs Seamor and Edlow by attorney Capt. Mitchell:  Compainant moved this Court that said William Mitchell was not a man to be permitted as an Attorney in any man’s Cause, being a man not qualified to that purpose according to Statute 3rd James, 7th Chapter in clause therein specified concerning the qualifications of Attorneys.  Court deferred decistion on Mitchell’s acting as an attorney to next Court.  Apparently Mitchell had been at some point disbarred from representing other men’s cases, only those of his own making.  “In 1609 such Catholics were barred even from serving as executors, guardians, physicians, or apothecaries, and their right to prosecute suits in court was practically abolished.” [52]  Try as he might, the author was unable to find the statute referenced by Mr. Coursey, but did find numerous references to it as “ Statutes 7 Jac. 1 (1609) cc.1″, i.e., 7th Year of reign of King James I (1609), Article c.1.  It seems likely that he was required to sign a statement at the time of his conviction on 30Jun1652 to cease acting as an Attorney in the Province.  It is important to note that there is no record of any further consideration of either this case, or of the disqualification of Capt. Mitchell as an attorney.  However, it should also be noted that he did not appear as an attorney on the part of another party after this date, and that on at least two occasions he was represented by another in matters involving himself.  This suggests that he may have moved out of Maryland shortly after this Court of 31Dec1657.  It is the author’s belief that Capt. William Mitchell had been taking on cases as a means of augmenting his income after his return to Maryland in Apr1652.
  64. 1Jan1657/8 – Mitchell vs Gerrard (continuation):  Luke Barber deposed stating that after Capt. Mitchell’s return to Province (Jan1652/3), he had informed Gerrard of Mitchell’s return, Gerrard in turn requested Barber to inform Mitchell that his cows were ready for delivery.  Edmond Phillpott was deposed this same date stating that at the end of Apr1652 Mitchell had sold the said Phillpott to Gerrard at which time Phillpott was obligated to serve Mitchell for a term of about 26 months.  If Mitchell did not return before end of indenture, then Gerrard to pay Phillpott 20₤ sterling of species.  If remanded by Mitchell before end of indenture, then Gerrard relieved of payment, and Mitchell to pay Phillpott per terms of indenture.
  65. 1Jan1657/8 – Mitchell vs Gerrard (continuation):  Court entered actuall covenant between Mitchell and Gerrard, dated 27May1652.
  66. 14Jan1657/8 – Thomas Cornwallis vs Capt. William Mitchell:  Petitioned Court for debt owed by Capt. Mitchell of 1000 lbt, attached in hands of Thomas Mitchell.  Defendant not appearing, and much more due by Mitchell to Cornwallis than contained in petition, and Mitchell’s attorney, Capt. Thimbleby having been given ample notice, Court ordered Mitchell to pay Cornwallis 1000 lbt previously attached in hands of Thomas Mitchell.  Thomas Cornwallis filed suit against the estate of Capt. William Mitchell in the amount of 1000 lbt.  As Thomas Mitchell owed William Mitchell’s estate 1000 lbt, Cornwallis was granted an attachment against Thomas Mitchell for the 1000 lbt.  This would seem to be clear evidence that Capt. William Mitchell was no longer resident in Maryland, hence the attachment against his estate (meaning assets of Capt. Mitchell still remaining in Maryland).
  67. 29Jan1657/8 – Cornwallis vs Mitchell (continued): Per petition of Cornwallis, case remanded to next Provencial Court in March.
  68. 29Jan1657/8 – Power of attorney entered from Capt. William Mitchell to Capt. William Stone to represent Mitchell in all matters pertaining to suit against William Boreman for debt amounting 2160 lbt due Mitchell, POA dated 29Jan1657/8.  Boreman countered with receipts to Mitchell amount to 850 lbt, Boreman acknowledges balance due Mitchell of 1310 lbt, defendant ordered to pay Mitchell 1310 lbt.  Per this POA it would appear that William Mitchell may not have been living in Maryland, and had authorized the former Governor to act in his absence.  Mitchell was appointed to the Virginia House of Burgesses from Northampton in 1658.
  69. 5Apr1658 – Walter Hall vs Capt. Mitchell:  Hall demanded attachment of estate of William Mitchell in amount of 727 lbt, due by covenant dated 1653, plus costs and damages.  Court ordered payment from Mitchell’s estate in amount of 1450 lbt., remanded to Provincial Court in Sep1638 for attachment.  Mitchell does not appear to be in Court.  Another old debt is catching up with Mitchell.
  70. 29Apr1658 – John Reade vs Capt. Mitchell: Plaintiff alleged that he and Capt. Mitchell each held half interest in a mare, the petitioner’s share being valued at 1600 lbt, and that said Mitchell had disposed of the entire mare, contrary to agreement with petitioner.  Mitchell not appearing, Court ordered the plaintiff may attach estate of Capt. Mitchell, thereby being allowed to sue Mitchell for satisfaction.  Attachment given to Sheriff of Calvert County, according to Order of Ret. next Provincial Court, Sep1659.  In spite of his expressed desire to prove his honesty and trust, Mitchell appears to be up to his old tricks by selling another persons property.  The complainant, John Reade, is believed to have been a brother of George Reade, husband of Joan Sprigg.  The fact that this complaint was referred to the Calvert County Court, suggests that the transaction involving the mare may have been entered between Reade and Mitchell within the jurisdiction of the Patuxent Court.  That being the case, it seems possible that the William Mitchells, who witnessed the covenant between George Reade and John Billingsley (Item 63, above) may in fact have been Capt. William Mitchell.
  71. 30Apr1658 – Phillips vs Mitchell:  Plaintiff complains unjust molestation and trouble by suit of Mitchell.  Mitchell not appearing, Court ordered non-suit and awarded Phillips 470lbt for costs related to suit.  Mitchell loses.
  72. 30Apr1658 – Mitchell vs Gerrard (continuation): Mitchell had submitted bill to Court last Dec1657, Mitchell not appearing, Court dismissed suit and awarded defendant costs and damages.  Mitchell loses another suit.
  73. 30Apr1658 – Clarke vs Mitchell:  William Mitchell ordered to pay 2500 lbt on behalf of Cawsons [Causeen’s] children.  Mitchell suffers another judgment.
  74. 30Apr1658 – John Lewger, gentleman, aged 30, deposed that about Feb1656/7 he was at the White House when he heard Henry Fox demand of William Mitchell, the White House standing at St. Mary’s, to which the said Mitchell replied that the said Fox had no interest thereto.  Further, that Mitchell order Fox to leave, thereupon refusing, Mitchell did seized Fox by shoulders and forcibly directed him toward the door.  This deposition may have been taken on behalf of Henry Fox.  It seems probable to the author that in Feb1657 Henry Fox was attempting to lay claim to the White House as settlement of his judgment against Mitchell.  It is interesting to note that John Lewger was also recorded on 22Sep1657 as having been indebted to Thomas Michell (presumed by some to have been the younger brother of Captain William Mitchell) in the amount of 200 lbt.
  75. 30Apr1658 – Mitchell vs Gerrard (continued): John Shirtcliff, aged 40, deposed before Robert Slye on 4Jan1657/8.  Richard Bennett deposed before Robert Slye on 4Jan1657/8.
  76. 20Aug1658 – William Stone vs Capt. Mitchell:  Stone petitioned Court to attach the estate of William Mitchell the value granted by Court to Sheriff of Charles County.  Remanded to next Provincial Court Oct1658. 
  77. 2Oct1658 – Recorded Convenant: Phillip Hide (of Patuxent) sold his plantation on North side of Patuxent River to Stephen Gary (Mariner) for sum of 3000 lbt., dated 20Jan1657/8 and witnessed by William Mitchell, Thomas Semar and Thomas Fowkes.  This record was witnessed by William Mitchell, etal.  Note the other witness, Thomas Fowkes, as he was one of the persons claimed as a headright by Capt. Mitchell in the land certificate filed in Northampton County, VA in Oct1658.
  78. 2Oct1658 – Clarke vs. Mitchell:  Court ordered that attachment against Mitchell’s estate be continued to next Court.
  79. 2Oct1658 – Matthews vs Mitchell: per agreement dated Apr1657 in which Mitchell was to deliver a mare and her increase to Thomas Matthews and Henry Adams, trustees of Causeen’s children, Mitchell failing to deliver, Court orders judgment against Mitchell’s estate, remanded to next Provincial Court.
  80. 7Oct1658 – Hall vs Mitchell:  An indenture was entered into the record dated 20Apr1653 wherein Mitchell mortgaged his property known as St. Thomas [aka White House], for sum of 727 lbt.  Presumably it was this indenture that led Henry Fox to believe he had right to the White House property.  Since Mtitchell appears to have permanently relocated to Northampton at this time, Fox probably was attempting to claim title to the White House, former residence of Capt. William Mitchell in Maryland.
  81. 7Oct1658 – Stone vs Mitchell:  Stone suing Mitchell’s estate, probably due for obligations arising from their POA.  Stone ordered to present an exact account of claim, and Court will proceed with judgment.
  82. 23Oct1658 – Cornwallis vs Mitchell:  Attachment of 2000 lbt against estate of Capt. Mitchell, Court requests account of claim by Cornwallis.
  83. 24Jan1658/9 – Mitchell vs Boreman:  Capt. Stone, acting as attorney for Capt. William Mitchell, demanded warrant against Boreman.  Remanded to next Provincial Court.
  84. 25Feb1658/9 – Adams and Matthews vs Mitchell (continuation):  Court issued judgment in amount of 2500 lbt against estate of Capt. Mitchell.  The hits just keep on coming.
  85. 27Feb1658/9 – Cornwallis vs Mitchell (continuation):  Cornwallis demanding 1000 lbt from Thomas Mitchell per note to Capt. Mitchell for said amount.  Court ordered attachment for 1000 lbt.
  86. 28Feb1658/9 – Cornwallis vs Mitchell:  Cornwallis petitioned Court for attachment against John Bateman in amount of 1000 lbt, due out of estate of Capt. William Mitchell.
  87. 22Apr1659 – Cornwallis vs Wade: Cornwallis petitioned Court to issued warrant against Zachary Wade, purportedly in possession of a servant belonging to the estate of Capt. William Mitchell.
  88. 23Apr1659 – Thomas P. Mitchell, mariner, aged 38 years deposed that 29Mar1658/9 he went up the Potomac in a vessel commonly known as the Mayflower (Daniel Hutt, Master (Dutchman)) unto the Indian Towne, where he took in corn of unknown quantity, in presence of Mr. Dodman and a stranger.  MilesFiles has identified this Thomas Mitchell as having been the brother of Capt. William Mitchell, and the same Thomas Mitchell named in the suits brought by Capt. Thomas Cornwallis against the estate of Capt. William Mitchell.  The author is in agreement that these Thomas Mitchells were very likely the same person.  However, nothing has been found in the record which establishes any kinship connection between this Thomas Mitchell and Capt. William Mitchell.
  89. 25Apr1659 – Waring etal vs Mitchell Estate:  Capt. Sampson Waring and James Veitch demanded writ of attachement against estate of Capt. William Mitchell, deceased, in sum of 2000 lbt.  This was the first record found by the author indicating that Capt. Mitchell had died.
  90. 14May1659 – “I, Richard James of James City do hereby constitute, ordain and appoint my friend, Randall Revell, attorney, to ask demand… a debt due by bill from Capt. William Mitchell, Esq., deceased… 1075 lbt.”[53]
  91. 6Oct1659 – Thomas Mitchell vs Estate of William Mitchell:  Acknowledged debt of 1000 lbt due estate of William Mitchell, amount formerly attached by Thomas Cornwallis.  Thomas Mitchell committed to pay 1000 lbt, provided that Court returns or voids indenture which used Thomas Mitchell’s son as collateral.  Court ordered Cornwallis to deliver Thomas Mitchell’s son’s indenture, or post bond in amout of 1000 lbt.  This is a most revealing record.  It would appear that Thomas Mitchell had borrowed 1000 lbt from William Mitchell, for which Thomas’ son was used as security.  If Thomas Mitchell and William Mitchell were brothers, as proferred by Moody and Sherrie, one must ponder the strength of a sibling relationship that required the indenturing of a nephew as security for such a modest debt.  As very few other records were found for Thomas Mitchell, it is difficult to measure the extent of his financial worth.  As a mariner, he probably was relatively poor.  Now, for the other shoe to drop.  If Capt. William Mitchell had taken in his nephew as an indentured servant, it stands to reason that he would have taken that newphew to Virginia, when he relocated to the Eastern Shore.  Knowing that Capt. Mitchell was not one to miss an opportunity to captialize on every advantage, why would we not consider the possibility that the George Mitchell named as a headright in the Northampton land certificate may actually have been William Mitchell’s nephew, rather than his son?  The timing of these events and the past ruthlessness of William Mitchell in all of his business dealings leaves the author with a strong sense that George Mitchell may well have been a nephew, and not a son.
  92. 1Mar1659/0 – Teague Corwin vs Thomas Mitchell and William Smoot:  Teague Corwin, mariner, aboard the ship Golden Fortune in St. George’s River, gave power of attorney to Robert Cole dated 29Jan1659/0.  Robert Cole, attorney for Teague Corwin this date filed complaint to collect debt owed by Thomas Mitchell and William Smoot amounting to 1900 lbt.  Mitchell presented accounts showing debt had been overpaid by 26 lbt.  Court ordered non-suit.  In this record Thomas Mitchell submitted as part of the account paid to Teague Corwin, the cost of three weeks room and board, Mitchell then operating a licensed ordinary.

In addition to the foregoing Maryland court records, there were also several records from Northampton County, VA abstracted as follows:

  1. 29Jun1658 – Northampton Court: “It is ordered by the Court that the persons mentioned in an order from the honorable Governor and Council shall give sufficient security to the Sheriff for their good behavior toward the Lord Protector and all his lege people the persons are these: John Hudson, William Stephens, Jone [wife of William Michell], Mary Denwood [wife of Levin Denwood, known Quaker] and Barbara (wife of John Winborow).”[54]  The reference to Jone, wife of William Michell, almost certainly identifies these persons as Joan Toast and Capt. William Mitchell.  It is not known exactly which order of the Governor and Council this Court order referenced, but may well have been directed toward a specific class of citizens, i.e., Quakers, dissenters, atheists.  A review of records pertaining to these four persons did not disclose anything specifically relevant to this order, except in the instance of Barbara Winborow, who was charged with “witchery”:

100.1  28May1658 – “Upon the petition of Francis Doughty, Minister, concerning the behaviour of Barbara Winborow.  Certificate was granted wherein was inserted [asserted?] that she hath been as fame reports her one of an ill life and conversation and supposed guilty of witchery.”[55]

  1. 29Nov1658 – “Enter Lt. Col. Kendall, Capt. Tilney, Exit Capt. Whittington, Enter Maj. Stratton.  In the difference depending between Mr. Thomas Teakle, plaintiff, and Mr. Levin Denwood, Capt. William Mitchell, Stephen Horsey, and Ambrose Dixon, defendants, it is ordered that the parties abovesaid shall each of them pay unto Mr. Thomas Teakle 53 lbt for themselves and families per pole, which Court charge according to an order of Vestry, except Capt. Mitchell, who pleadeth priviledge as Burgess.”[56]  This is the second consecutive record from Northampton County involving Capt. William Mitchell, in which he is associated with religious dissenters.  Levin Denwood Sr., Stephen Horsey and Ambrose Dixon are all known to have been affiliated with the Quaker religion.  The fact that Capt. William Mitchell was named in conjunction with these three known Quakers, and charged with not paying church tithes, suggests that Capt. Mitchell, himself, may also have been affiliated with the Quakers at this point in his life.  Given the preceding record involving Mary Denwood, Barbara Winborrow and Joan Mitchell, it seems possible that at least Joan Mitchell was affiliated with the Quakers.  This is not absolute proof of such affiliation, but is a strong suggestion.  Note that Capt. Mitchell was granted an exemption from taxation based on his position as a Burgess.  It should further be noted that around this time a group of citizens from the Eastern Shore, being Quakers or strong anti-tax advocates, began relocating from the Accomack area into Maryland described as follows:

“Somerset County was settled and established in part due to a response to the Province/Dominion of Virginia passing a law in 1659/1660 requiring Quakers in the colony to convert to Anglicanism or leave the colony. A group of Virginia Quakers living in Accomac County, Virginia on the southern tip of the future Delmarva Peninsula, petitioned Charles Calvert, third Lord Baltimore in 1661 to migrate further north on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay to the territory under his governance, and the governor saw the opportunity to fortify the borders of his territory on the Delmarva Peninsula against the pressing encroachment of the Virginians. The Royal Charter that Lord Baltimore had received from King Charles I in 1632 had granted Maryland the land north of the entire length of the Potomac River up to the 40th parallel. Later surveys authorized by Baltimore on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay indicated that the southern boundary would continue across the peninsula at the mouth of the Pocomoke River marked on the north shore by a rock outcropping labelled as “Watkins’ Point”. The Virginian Quakers settled just a bit north of that point, on the southern bank of the Annemessex River in November, 1662, and a separate group of Anglican Virginian settlers were granted permission to make a second settlement further north along the Manokin River.”[57]

Stephen Horsey, Ambrose Dixon and Levin Denwood were among those Quakers who relocated into the Annemessex area.

  1. 28Dec1658 – “A writ of error is granted to Capt. William Michell in the behalf of Mr. Levin Denwood, Stephen Horsey and Ambrose Dixon.”[58]  This would appear to have been a continuation of Item 101, above.  The issuance of this writ suggests that Capt. Michell had filed an action in behalf of the three Quakers, further suggesting a connection of Capt. Michell to the Quaker religion.  This record also suggests that Capt. Mitchell was again acting as an attorney, this time in Virginia.
  2. 29Jan1658/9 – “Whereas Capt. William Mitchell on behalf of Jenkin Price obtained a writ of error at the last Court in the suit depending between Mr. John Custis, planter, and the said Jenkin Price, and upon rehearing of the business this present Court finds the said writ of error is void.  It is therefore thought fit by the Court that the former order of judgment stand good.”[59]  Again, Capt. Mitchell appears to have represented another known Quaker, further strengthening connection between himself and known Quakers in his community.  In fact, one Quaker researcher contends that Capt. Mitchell, himself, had become a Quaker:

” Although, we cannot say for certain how large the Quaker congregation on the Eastern Shore was, we do know, that; among their leaders were: Henry Vaux, Levin Denwood, Ambrose Dixon and Henry White. Among their members we know the following: Stephen Horsey, John Parsons, of Muddy Creek, George Johnson of Muddy Creek, Jonas Jackson of Ocahanock, Thomas Price, the leather dresser; Henry Boston, the cooper and former Burgess; George Brickhouse, who gave the land for the meetinghouse; Mrs. Judith Patrick, who gave money for its repair; Henry White who was imprisoned for his staunch defense of his faith; Levin Denwood, father and son; Robert Harris of Savage Neck; Thomas Leatherbury, Thomas Brown and his wife Susanna Denwood; Capt. William Michell, the Burgess; James Jones, Sara Jones, William Knox of Matchaprague; Richard Waters and wife; John Hale, Nicholas Waddelow and his three daughters, Comfort, Temperance and Patience; Timothy Coe, Sara Coe, the widow, John Drummond, Rogers Mikell, Thomas Everden, George Drewitt of Mulberry Grove; Daniel Ayers, Thomas Fookes, George Truitt, Christopher Mather, William Nock, Richard Moore, Mary Johnson of Muddy Creek and her son, John; John Eyre and Robert Hutchinson, the first clerk of Accomac county; and the wife of Walter Lane at Nassawadox. Perhaps the most prominent name both socially and politically on the roster of the Eastern Shore Quakers was that of Matilda West, widow of Lt. Col. John West and the daughter of Colonel Edmund Scarbourough, who, almost a hundred years before, had hardly been able to bear his own contempt of the sect.  Others who seem to have been Quakers and yet whose identity as such is not positive are; John Winborrow, John Hudson, William Stephens, Jane [Joan] the wife of William Micholl, Barbara the wife of John Winborrow, Edward Southerne, Mary Denwood and William Colbourne. All these were brought before court for some dissent in religious matters and the indications are that they were Quaker sympathizers if not official professors.”[60]

  1. 1Nov1659 – There were a series of judgments entered against the estate of Capt. William Mitchell, summarized as follows:
  1. Col Edmund Scarburgh – 2000 lbt
  2. Randall Revell – 15,585 lbt
  3. Capt. George Parker, attorney of John Gunry – 2000 lbt
  4. Christopher Stanley – 640 lbt
  5. Dr. George Hack [German] – 510 lbt
  6. Randall Revell, attorney of Richard Jones – 1757 lbt[61]

From other sources it is established that Capt. Mitchell had died sometime around Apr1659, and that his widow, Joan Mitchell had been appointed Administratrix over settlement of his estate.

  1. 29Nov1659 – “It is ordered that the Administratix of Capt. William Michell, deceased, shall forthwith according to priority pay unto Allen and/or Mattocks thirty-three ells of canvas…”[62]  This is an interesting record, given the method of payment.  Tobacco was the established currency of that time period.  Consequently, payment in the form of a quantity of textile suggests perhaps that the canvas was the actual merchandise for which Capt. Mitchell had obligated himself.  The unit of measure, an ell, was an accepted standard in operation throughout much of western Europe, but which actually varied in length from country to country.  The English “ell” was established at about 1.25 yards in length, whereas a Flemish “ell” was generally about .75 yards in length.
  2. 29May1660 – Hugh Stanley was forthwith ordered to pay unto Randall Revell, attorney of the Administratrix of Capt. William Michell 490 lbt; having already paid the sum of 1220 lbt…”[63]  This was the last record entry found in the Court records of Northampton County related to Capt. William Mitchell or any known member of his family.  Again, we have a known Quaker, Randall Revell, associated with the Mitchell family.

This completes the presentation of Maryland and Northampton records relating to the business activities of Capt. William Mitchell.  From this wide array of records we can deduce that Capt. William Mitchell, very soon after his arrival in Maryland, set about capitalizing on the assets he had transported into the colony (financed principally by Susan Warren), by renting out the services of his servants/craftsmen, and conversion of his headrights into real property.  He also used the cachet associated with the letter of endorsement from Lord Baltimore (probably obtained on the weight of his bond from Susan Warren) to secure a position of high status on the Privy Counsel, as well as on the Commission of Peace.  He then parlayed the appearance of integrity accorded to a member of the Privy Council to secure the trust and cooperation of several Maryland and Virginia planters, who assigned their produce by way of covenants for transport and sale in the Eurpoean market (mainly in Amsterdam).  He made at least two voyages to Holland, ostensibly for the furtherance of his business as an agent/broker of tobacco and other commodities.  During each voyage he issued Powers of Attorney to his Maryland associates to represent his interests and to answer for his failed promises.  He also directed his agents in Maryland to lease or sell several of his servants, presumably to raise the funds necessary for his family’s support during his absences.

Capt. Mitchell’s second voyage to Holland was of some duration (almost three years) suggesting that he had other business, possibly in Holland or England, which required his attention.  Whether his wife or children traveled with him on the second voyage is not clear.  At least one of his children remained in Maryland during the 2nd voyage, as one record indicates that the sheriff felt obliged to assume guardianship over that child due to its apparent distress, and perceived abandonment.  In spite of his entitlement to 2200 acres of land, he is known to have filed for only one patent, that being the 1000-acre Rich Neck tract, which he assigned to Phillip Land.  He appears to have established the 63-acre tract called White House or St. Thomas as his primary residence and base of operation in Maryland.  That tract was conveniently situated within the St. Mary’s City lands in easy access to both the Court and trading center of the Province at that time, as well as on the banks of the St. George River, where he could moor a sloop and erect a warehouse in support of his trading and mercantile business.

Capt. Mitchell was a predatory, ruthless, unethical and duplicitous businessman.  His social and moral shortcomings aside, he demonstrated a propensity to make promises which he either had no intention or capacity to fulfill.  He used his knowledge of the law and the legal system to intimidate, confound, deter and, when all else failed, delay actions taken against him.  In one instance he would appear to actually commit perjury, claiming to have a witness who would support his case, only to have that witness the very next day come into court and testify against him.  When matters became most dire, we conveniently absented himself.  When he found his paramour to be pregnant with his child, he allegedly administered a “physick” to induce abortion, then set sail for Holland.  On his return to Maryland, even though he had previously promised marriage to Susan Warren and sworn himself an atheist, he arranged his marriage to Joan Toast by a certified Anglican minister, William Wilkinson.  Before leaving Maryland on his second voyage to Holland, he was convicted of murder, adultery, blasphemy and atheism and fined 5000 lbt, only to leave his attorney, Henry Fox, having to account for his debts.  Ironically, during his last few years in Maryland he took up the practice of law, representing numerous clients before the bar.  He appears to have been more successful in representing his clients’ cases than he was in his own cases (of which there were many). 

In 1657-8, when his business fortunes appear to have reached their nadir, he decided that Virginia might offer a more receptive and favorable climate.  His right to act as an attorney had been challenged and was under consideration by the Provincial Court.  In spite of his checkered past, Capt. Mitchell somehow managed to secure a seat in the Virginia House of Burgesses representing Northampton County in 1658.  In Oct1658 he undertook the filing of a land certificate for 500 acres in Northampton County.  By 25Apr1659 Capt. Mitchell was dead.  In the course of administration of his estate and settlement of outstanding debts in Maryland, it was disclosed that he had made a loan of 1000 lbt to Thomas Mitchell (his presumed brother), security for which he demanded an indenture of one of Thomas’ children (possibly William Mitchell’s nephew).  There is a good chance that Capt. Mitchell took that child into Virginia, and claimed him as a headright.  His behaviour was scurrilous to his last breath.

Capt. Mitchell a Quaker?

Before closing this excursus into the life of Capt. William Mitchell, it may be relevant to our search for William Michell/Michaell Jr. to elaborate further on the apparent Quaker influence in the Captain’s life.  It is not clear from the record just when William and Joan Mitchell may have become “converts” or sympathizer of Quakerism, but beginning in the Spring of 1657 there are several court records in Northampton County which suggest a strong Quaker influence in their lives:

  1. 1Feb1652/3 – Northampton County, certificate was granted unto Thomas Leatherberry for 200 acres of land due by the rights for transport of four persons, viz.: Ellinor Lathberry, William Mitchell, Howell Gladeing and Mary Bachellor.[64]  Thomas Leatherberry was a known Quaker sympathizer, and it was on his land that the first known Quaker meetinghouse was erected in Northampton County.  The true identity of this William Mitchell is uncertain, but may have been Capt. William Mitchell.
  2. 30Mar1657 – Northampton County: “Know all men by these presents that I, James Jones of Northampton County, VA, planter (Executor in trust of William Moulte, deceased) do constitute, ordain and make my loving friend, Capt. William Mitchell, my true and lawful attorney to agitate and act such thing or things which shall be necessary to be performed (on my behalf as I am Executor in Trust of the said William Moulte), and what my said attorney shall grant and think fit to be effected (in this testamentary cause), I, the above said constituent do ratify and confirm…  Witnessed Edmund Matthews and Stephen Horsey, recorded 30Mar1657.”  James Jones and Stephen Horsey were strong Quaker adherents, who relocated to the Annamessex, MD area following issuance of the Quaker Ban edict in Virginia in 1660.
  3. 24 August 1657    Randolph [aka Randell] Revell gift deed to his son, Edward Revell, certain livestock, horses and cattle, witnessed by William Michel and John Elsey.[65]  Also, note on 3Nov1660 John Ellsey of Northampton County 1200 acres for transport of 24 persons, which was assigned by John Allsey [Ellsey] to Thomas Leatherbury by patent dated 10Mar1663.  Randall Revell and John Elzey were also strong Quaker adherents, who relocated to Annamessex, MD.  Given the preceding record, this may well have been Capt. William Mitchell.
  4. 24Aug1657 – Northampton County: Nicholas Waddelow sold a tract of land to Richard Teague of Occahanock for the consideration of one heifer and 1200 lbt.  Witnessed by William Michell and John Elzey, recorded 4Apr1659.  Ditto, re. Nicholas Waddlow.
  5. 8Oct1657 – (Old) Rappahannock County Deed Book 1656-1664: A patent granted to Samuel Matthews, gentleman to Clement Herbert for land in Rappahannock County.  An assignment of the foregoing patent from Herbert to William Mitchell dated Nov1657.  There was nothing specific in this record that could be clearly associated with Capt. William Mitchell, other than the date and relatively close geographic proximity of Lancaster County to Northampton County.  Consequently, the author is not inclined to specifically identify this person as Capt. William Mitchell.
  6. 6Nov1657 – Provincial Court held at Patuxent: Know all men by these presents that I John Billingsley of Chuckatuck in Virginia Gent for and in Consideration of the full and just Sume of two thousand and five hundred pounds of Tobacco and Caske being to me already in hand paid and secured by George Reede Have Given Granted bargained sould and Confirmed And by these presents do give, Grant, bargaine Sell unto George Reede of Putuxent River planter one Light bay mare, To Have and to Hold the Said Mare with her Increase from hence forward unto the Said George Reede his Executors Administrators, and Assignes to and for his and their onely Sole, & proper use and benefitt, and to and for no other use or uses Intent or purpose whatsoever, and I the Said John Billingsley the Sd mare with all her increase as above said unto the Said George Reede his Executors Administrators and Assignes against all person and persons whatsoever Shall and will warrant and for Ever defend by these presents. In Wittness whereof I the above said John Billingsley have hereunto Sett my hand and Seale this September 1657 John Billingsley The words and Secured by George Reade was interlined before Signing Court and Testamentary Business, 1657.  Signed Sealed and Delivered in the presence of us & acknowledged in open Court in the presence of us: William Mitchells and Gruff Standen.  Again, the author is uncertain as to the identity of this William Mitchell.  It is conceivable that this may have been Capt. William Mitchell.  After all, he did appear in another record around this same time period that was recorded at the Patuxent Court.  One immediate association that should be recognized was the grantor, Major John Billingsley, was a known Quaker from Chuckatuck, Nansemond County, VA.  John’s parents were Quakers, who moved from Shropshire England to Rotterdam. Holland after John’s birth, to escape persecution for their religious beliefs.  Maj. Billingsley and another fellow Quaker, Col. Thomas Burbage, had begun to establish there mercantile trade along the Chesapeake as evidenced by the following records:

(1) 24Jun1652 – “William Parker of the Severn in Ann Arundell County, planter, is possessed of 800 acres of land upon the cliffs adjoining the land of Richard Bennett: I, said Parker, do fully grant — to Col. Thomas Burbage and Maj. John Billingsley both of Virginia, merchants — 600 acres of the said 800 acres…  The tract of land involved in this deed of conveyance between William Parker and  Col. Thomas Burbage and Maj. John Billingsley was located at the Cliffs on the Severn River.

(2) 2Jun1652 – Lancaster County, VA:  Maj. John Billingsby [sic] and Col. Thomas Burbage appraised estate of Epaphroditus Lawson, deceased.

(3) 2Jun1652 – Lancaster County: A bond from Epaphroditus Lawson to protect Richard Bennett from a debt of 40000 lbt due Symon Curzee [Dutchman].

(4) 10Jan1652/3 – Lancaster County: Estate of Epaphroditus Lawson owes John Cornelius [Dutchman and father-in-law of John Michaell] 1095 lbt.

(5) 20Jan1652/3 – Northumberland County: Maj. John Billingsby, executor of LWT of Robert Atkinson, deceased…

(6) Jul1653 – WHEREAS the ship Leopoldus of Dunkirk, for the importation of prohibited goods contrary to the act of Parliament, for the increase of navigation, has been adjudged fforfeited, with her tackle, apparel, and ffurniture to this country, ffor the use of the Common-wealth of England, and appraised at four hundred pounds sterling, This Assembly upon consideration thereof had her disposed of the same as ffolloweth, (vizt.) two hundred and ffifty pounds to our agent Coll. Sam. Mathews and one hundred pounds to Coll. William Clayborne, sec. thirty pounds to the speaker, ten pounds to Coll. Cornelius Loyd, and ten pounds to major Billingsley for their several services done to the country in the said business.

(7) Mar1661/2 – WHEREAS William Burg hath been proved to live scandalously in ffornication with the relict of major John Billingsley, it is ordered that the said Burgh be committed and continued in prison untill he give bond with good security, that he shall not keep company with the said Elizabeth, and if the said William Burgh shall without security given, offer to go beyond the bounds of prison, or if the said Elizabeth shall come to him there, then the sherriffe of Nanzemund by a (habeas corpus) to be removed to James Citty.  From this Virginia record it is disclosed that Maj. John Billingsley was deceased by early 1662 by which time his wife, Elizabeth, had already remarried to William Burg.  The charges of fornication are based on the fact that Virginia Law did not recognize Quaker marriages.  While there were clearly Quaker connections at play involving John Billingsley and his widow, that is not sufficient to establish the identity of this William Mitchells with certainty, but it seems probable to the author that this was Capt. William Mitchell.

One further factor to consider is the involvement of George Reade, the grantee.  The author has strong reason to believe that this George Reade was the former husband of Joan Sprigg, sister of Col. Thomas Sprigg and future wife of Robert Tyler Sr.

  1. 6Nov1657 – Lancaster County: An assignment from Oliver Spry to James Bagnall.  A certificate was issued that same date by Commissioners: Richard Owen, Phillip Thomas, and Richard Woolman, confirming the assignment from Oliver Spry to James Bagnall.  9Feb1657/8 Oliver Spry grants a Power of Attorney to William Mitchell acknowledge the above mentioned conveyance, and as certificate of the acknowledgement by the above named William [Mitchell] for record, witnessed by Thomas Sampson, and others [unreadable].[66]
  2. 29Apr1658 – John Reade vs Capt. Mitchell: Plaintiff alleged that he and Capt. Mitchell each held half interest in a mare, the petitioner’s share being valued at 1600 lbt, and that said Mitchell had disposed of the entire mare, contrary to agreement with petitioner.  Mitchell not appearing, Court ordered the plaintiff may attach estate of Capt. Mitchell, thereby being allowed to sue Mitchell for satisfaction.  Attachment given to Sheriff of Calvert County, according to Order of Ret. next Provincial Court, Sep1659.  There seems little doubt that this was Capt. William Mitchell.  Is it possible that the mare involved in this transaction was the same mare previously sold by John Billingsley to John Reade’s brother, George Reade in Item 6, above in Nov1657?  By the reference to this person as “Capt.” Mitchell, it seems highly likely that he was Capt. William Mitchell, and the same person who witnessed the sale of the mare between John Billingsley and George Reade in Item 6, above.
  3. 29Jun1658 – Northampton Court: “It is ordered by the Court that the persons mentioned in an order from the honorable Governor and Council shall give sufficient security to the Sheriff for their good behavior toward the Lord Protector and all his lege people the persons are these: John Hudson, William Stephens, Jone [wife of William Michell], Mary Denwood [wife of Levin Denwood, known Quaker] and Barbara (wife of John Winborow).”[67]
  4. 2Oct1658 – Recorded Convenant: Phillip Hide (of Patuxent) sold his plantation on North side of Patuxent River to Stephen Gary (Mariner) for sum of 3000 lbt., dated 20Jan1657/8 and witnessed by William Mitchell, Thomas Semar and Thomas Fowkes.
  5. 29Nov1658 – “Enter Lt. Col. Kendall, Capt. Tilney, Exit Capt. Whittington, Enter Maj. Stratton.  In the difference depending between Mr. Thomas Teakle, plaintiff, and Mr. Levin Denwood, Capt. William Mitchell, Stephen Horsey, and Ambrose Dixon, defendants, it is ordered that the parties abovesaid shall each of them pay unto Mr. Thomas Teakle 53 lbt for themselves and families per pole, which Court charge according to an order of Vestry, except Capt. Mitchell, who pleadeth priviledge as Burgess.”[68]
  6. “Certificate granted to Capt. William Mitchell for five hundred acres of land due him for the transportation of ten persons into the County whose names are as followeth:  William Mitchell, Joane his wife, George Mitchell, Margritt Mitchell, Elizabeth Mitchell, Edward Davis, Nicholas Berkeley, Thomas Fowkes, Robert Hill, Joane his wife.”[69]
  7. 28Dec1658 – “A writ of error is granted to Capt. William Michell in the behalf of Mr. Levin Denwood, Stephen Horsey and Ambrose Dixon.”[70]
  8. 29Jan1658/9 – “Whereas Capt. William Mitchell on behalf of Jenkin Price obtained a writ of error at the last Court in the suit depending between Mr. John Custis, planter, and the said Jenkin Price, and upon rehearing of the business this present Court finds the said writ of error is void.  It is therefore thought fit by the Court that the former order of judgment stand good.”[71]
  9. 29May1660 – Hugh Stanley was forthwith ordered to pay unto Randall Revell, attorney of the Administratrix of Capt. William Michell 490 lbt; having already paid the sum of 1220 lbt…”[72]

Finally, we have reached the point where we will investigate the possible origins of William Mitchell Jr. on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  But, before launching into that investigation there are a couple more Virginia records possibly associated with Capt. William Mitchell which require our attention:

  1. John Browne, Northampton Planter – On 22Apr1656 Ursula Browne of Accomack, relic of John Browne, deceased, granted a Power of Attorney to Capt. Peter Wraxall of Bristol to recover monies due her husband’s estate from Lawrence Coughen of Amsterdam.  Recorded with this POA was a covenant dated 9Jul1651 between her husband and Lawrence Coughed abstracted as follows:  “You are to receive of Capt. Mitchell: (if he will stand to his bargain which I question not) £308-18-6 he being to pay you 12d sterling for every 10 stinres(?) Holland money by agreement between you. The 924 guilders, 11 stinres (?) 8S which you me, I have put down to Capt. Mitchell’s account & made him debtor for it (as by his & your order)…”  The Capt. Mitchell named by Coughen in his letter to John Browne is believed to have been Capt. William Mitchell of White House Maryland.  The tenor of this Jul1651 letter implies that both Lawrence Coughen of Amsterdam and John Browne of Accomack each had established business relations with Capt. Mitchell.  On Coughen’s end, he had an open account with Capt. Mitchell to which he credited the value of the proceeds from a shipment of tobacco transported from John Browne in Virginia, probably under the agency of Capt. Mitchell.  On Browne’s end, it is suggested that Capt. Mitchell and John Browne had an agreement for Mitchell to act as Browne’s agent, under which agreement, Mitchell would act as a conduit for transport of Browne’s tobacco, and payment of monies received from the sale of Browne’s tobacco on the Dutch market.  The fact that John Browne’s widow was authorizing the collection of the monies directly from Coughen suggests that Mitchell received the credit for the funds, but failed to deliver on his promise to pay Browne.  The importance of this record to our search for the origins of William Mitchell Jr. is that it establishes the fact that Capt. William Mitchell did have business dealings in the Eastern Shore of Virginia, almost from the very outset of his arrival in the Colonies.  However, the fact that he failed to deliver on his promise to pay Browne suggests that Mitchell’s dealings in Virginia probably were not very widespread, and certainly not of an auspicious character.  It seems doubtful that Mitchell would have been able to carryon further business dealings in the Eastern Shore, having stiffed one of the leading planters of the region.  So, even though this record documents Mitchell being engaged as a tobacco agent/broker on the Eastern Shore in 1651, his failure to perform would belie the possibility of an on-going business activity in that community.
  2. 10Mar1652/3 – Northumberland County Records 1652-1655 (p. 12): Mr. [John] Hallowes vs Mr. [Thomas] Speke, Administrator of Edward Tempest’s estate:  Edward Tempest owing Mr. John Hallowes, assignee of Capt. William Mitchell, 500 lbt.  Speke ordered to pay from the deceased’s estate.  This record taken from the Court records of Northumberland County, VA dated Mar1652/3 indicates that John Hallowes, acting as assignee (prob. via a Power of Attorney) for Capt. William Mitchell, was awarded 500 lbt from the estate of Edward Tempest.  This was the only record referencing Capt. Mitchell found in the Northumberland records.  Consequently, we are not provided with the basis for the debt between Edward Tempest and Capt. Mitchell.  It probably was somehow associated with Capt. William Mitchell’s early attempts to establish himself as an agent/broker for tobacco planters in Maryland and Virginia.  Northumberland County was directly across the Potomac River from St. Mary’s City, and would have been in easy access to Capt. Mitchell.  It is interesting to note that Thomas Speke originally immigrated to Maryland (circa 1639) before moving across the river to the Chickacoane area between 1645 and 1649.  Thomas Speke’s second wife was Frances Gerrard, daughter of Thomas Gerrard of Maryland, the same Thomas Gerrard who sued Capt. Mitchell over the sale of a servant.  Further, Thomas Speke’s mother was Margaret Tempest, very likely an ancestor of Edward Tempest.  Thomas Speke named Edward Tempest as a headright in a patent filed in Northumberland County on 11Sep1653.  John Hallowes had also been a resident of St. Mary’s County, MD before settling in Northumberland County as a near neighbor of Thomas Speke.

Having fairly thoroughly researched and analyzed the record history of Capt. William Mitchell in both Maryland and Virginia, it is now time to address the remaining records associated with person(s) named William Mitchell/Michaell in the vicinity of the Eastern Shore of Virginia during the mid-1600’s which have not yet been specifically identified as having been either Capt. William Mitchell or a different person entirely.  Let it be said that Sherrie Boone and Moody Miles have identified some of these records as having been Capt. William Mitchell.  The author cannot agree with that assertion without further analysis.

William Mitchell/Michaell of Virginia circa 1645-1653

  1. 22Mar1646/7 – Northampton County Records:  It is ordered that the administrators of Thomas Anstire [aka Anstice], deceased, shall forthwith make payment unto William Mitchell 600 lbt due per bill and 300 lbt for wooden heels (with cask), or one gross of heels.[73]  This was the earliest record found for a William Mitchell or near facsimile in the vicinity of the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  The identity of this William Mitchell is not certain, but the nature of the debt involving “wooden heels” suggests someone involved in some form of mercantilism.
  2. 10May1652 – Thomas Teakle of Northampton County 500 acres at Corattock abutting John Norton and Richard Hill for transport of 10 persons, including William Michaell, etal. (p. 260) 
    1. ~Apr1654 – Richard [George?] Parker 350 acres in Northampton County; originally granter to Mr. Thomas Teagle [Teakle], Minister, 12Oct1652; by him sold to George Parker and John Elzey [Ellsey]; by Elzey, whole assigned to Parker.
    2. 20Oct1661 – George Parker 350 acres in Northampton County at Pungoteage Creek beginning at a small branch issuing out of Pocomeck Branch; granted to Thomas Teagle [Teakle] 12Oct1652 and assigned by him to said Parker and John Elzey, who assigned his right to said Parker.

Neither Sherrie Boone nor Moody Miles made any reference to this record in there presentation of Capt. William Mitchell, yet there were two later headrights claimed for a William Mitchell in 1655 and 1657 in Northampton County, which they assert were for Capt. William Mitchell (more discussion of those records below).  The author is at a loss to explain the reason Boone and Miles ignored this record, but claimed the other two records.  If there were some logical reason for assuming that Capt. William Mitchell would be claimed as a headright by a person filing a patent on the Eastern Shore in 1655 and 1657, then why not for this record in 1652?  From our analysis of Capt. Mitchell’s records, we have fairly reliably established that he was continuously a resident of St. Mary’s County MD from his initial entry into the Province in Nov1650 until his disappearance from that County around Dec1657, presumably when he relocated to Northampton County VA.  We also established that after his arrival in Maryland, he embarked on two separate voyages to Holland, one around May1651, and again around Apr1653.  Mitchell returned to Maryland from the first voyage to Holland around Mar1651/2, and from the second voyage to Holland around Mar1655/6.  It is difficult to imagine how Capt. Mitchell could have been claimed as a headright by someone in Northampton County in 1652, 1655 or 1657, given his known dates of travel to Europe as outlined above.

Having said that, let’s evaluate each one of the patent records in which a William Mitchell/Michael was claimed.  The current patent record was filed by Rev. Thomas Teakle, the first licensed Anglican minister on the Eastern Shore.  There are several elements related to this patent which do not align with Capt. William Mitchell:

  1. Date:  Even though the date of this filing does align with Capt. William Mitchell’s first return voyage from England, wherein he appears to have arrived in Maryland in Mar1651/2, the customs visa issued to Capt. Mitchell does not fit with this patent.  Capt. Mitchell was identified in that visa dated Sep1651 as having several other persons in his Company, including three servants.  If Capt. Mitchell were departing England under his own transport, and with several other persons in tow (probably being transported at his own expense), why would he be claimed as a headright by the Reverend Teakle in Northampton
  2. Surname/Title:  The headright claimed by Thomas Teakle was named William Michaell, not Capt. William Mitchell.  The surname spelling of this individual may be very important to our task of establishing the identity of William Mitchell Jr.  There are instances in colonial records and English records wherein the same person appears with various corruptions of the Mitchell surname, including Michaell and Michell.  However, the Michaell surname is most frequently associated with persons originating from Dutch, German or French ancestry.  It is also significant that this person was not recorded with the title of “Capt.”.
  3. Religion:  Although not an impossibility, it is difficult to imagine that the Rev. Thomas Teakle would pay for the transport of an avowed atheist.
  4. Location:  The location of this patent is important to establishing the identity of this William Michaell.  First, it seems highly unlikely that someone known to be a resident of St. Mary’s County MD would be claimed as a headright for a land patent at Pungoteague in Northampton County.  Further, the location of Pungoteague will later be shown to have a very close geographic correlation to the other two patents which claimed a William Mitchell as a headright.
  5. Allied Parties:  Note that the author appended two additional patent records associated with Rev. Thomas Teakle.  These records were for the same 350 acre grant awarded to Rev. Teakle on 12Oct1652, which he in turn assigned to George Parker and John Elzey [Ellsey].  From these patent records it can be established that John Ellsey (tailor) had a close association with Rev. Teakle.  We will soon be introduced to two Northampton deed records filed in Aug1657, which were witnessed by John Ellsey and William Mitchell.  Sherrie and Moody claim that these deed records pertained to Capt. William Mitchell.

It is the author’s belief that sufficient evidence has been presented to conclude that the William Michaell named as a headright in the foregoing patent filed by Rev. Teakle was not Capt. William Mitchell.  Moreover, the author has strong reason for believing that this William Michaell was the same person as William Mitchell Jr. (More to follow)

  1. 1Feb1652/3 – Northampton County, certificate was granted unto Thomas Leatherberry for 200 acres of land due by the rights for transport of four persons, viz.: Ellinor Lathberry, William Mitchell, Howell Gladeing and Mary Bachellor.[74]  Also: 13Dec1653 – Court of Northampton ordered Thomas Leatherberry to pay unto Mary Batchllor three barrels of merchantable Indian corn…  Note that this certificate contained four of the same headrights claimed by Thomas Leatherberry in Item No. 4, below.  Given the relatively close proximity between the date of this land certificate and the filing of the patent by Rev. Thomas Teakle in Item No. 1, above (only nine months apart), it seems highly probable that these headrights were for the same person.  If the headrights claimed by Rev. Thomas Teakle and Thomas Leatherberry were for the same person, if would appear that whoever these William Michaell/Mitchells were, they were making trips outside of the colony of Virginia.
  2. 2Oct1655 – Thomas Letherberry of Northampton County 600 acres on south side of south branch of Anancock [Onancock] Creek abutting John Dorman for transport of 12 persons, including Ellynor Leatherberry, Howell Gladeine, William Mitchell, Mary Bachellor etal. (p. 324) This patent filed in Northampton County VA by Thomas Leatherberry contained four of the same headrights listed in the land certificate granted on 1Feb1652/3, Item No. 3, above.  The location of this patent filed by Thomas Leatherberry was situated on the south branch of Onancock Creek, about six miles north of the plat filed by Rev. Teakle at Pungoteague.  It seems probable that Thomas Leatherberry did not complete a patent filing on the certificate received in 1652/3, rather combined those headrights with eight additional people to establish this claim for 600 acres.  The date of this patent filing was about six months before Capt. William Mitchell returned to Maryland from his second voyage to Holland.  The whereabouts of Capt. William Mitchell between Apr1653 and Mar1655/6 is unknown to the author.  There are several reasons to believe that this was not Capt. William Mitchell:
  1. Location:  For the same reasons expressed relative to the Rev. Teakle record, it is difficult to imagine that Capt. William Mitchell would rely on someone else to pay for his transport, and certainly not to the Eastern Shore, at a time when his residence was still firmly established at White House in St. Mary’s County.  Moreover, the location of this patent was in very close proximity to the earlier patent filed by Rev. Teakle.  It seems more probable that this William Mitchell would have been the same person as William Michaell (Item 1, above).
  2. Title:  Capt. Mitchell appears to have prized very highly his title of “Capt.”.  If this were truly a record of Capt. William Mitchell, why would he not have been identified with his treasured title?
  3. Religion:  Thomas Leatherberry is known to have been a staunch Quaker, who established the first Quaker meeting at his home at Onancock.  Just as one would no expect an association between Capt. Mitchell and an Anglican minister, it seems equally unlikely that a known Quaker would be paying for the transport of a sworn atheist.
  4. Date:  The original recording of these four headrights by Thomas Leatherberry was in Feb1652/3, at a time fairly contemporaneous with the filing by Rev. Teakle, and out of sync with the known travel dates and circumstances related to Capt. William Mitchell.

In spite of the claims by Sherrie Boone and Moody Miles, the author is inclined to believe that this headright was not Capt. William Mitchell.  Moreover, the author is inclined to believe that this record was for the same person claimed as a headright by the Rev. Teakle, possibly William Mitchell Jr.

  1. 27Nov1657 – Thomas Bell of Northampton County 227 acres at head of Nuswattock Creek abutting John Tinley and John Johnson Jr. for transport of 5 persons, including Ellinor Lashberry [Leatherberry, wife of Thomas], Hoell Gladeinge, William Mitchell, Mary Bacheller, and Elizabeth Roseer. (p. 353) This patent was situated in essentially the same area as the patent filed by Thomas Leatherberry two years earlier.  Note that this patent named the same four headrights previously claimed by Thomas Leatherberry.  It seems fairly obvious that these four persons, including someone named William Michael/Mitchell were all the same persons, and that somehow Thomas Leatherberry had been able to assign these headrights to Thomas Bell.  The author is inclined to believe that the William Mitchell named as a headright in these land records was not Capt. William Mitchell, who is known to have been actively engaged in business activities in Maryland between Nov1650 and Dec1657.  For all of the same reasons already argued, the author is inclined to believe that the William Mitchell named as a headright in this patent was the same person named in the two previous patents, and may have been the same person as William Mitchell Jr.

There is one additional patent record involving Thomas Leatherberry which the author will introduce at this juncture, and which has some rather interesting secondary connections worthy of discussion:

  1. 20Oct1655 – Major William Andrews, 500 acres in Northampton County, north side of Old Plantation Creek, bounding southerly and easterly on same, westerly part by the main Bay and a line of trees running northerly from the Cowpen Branch, dividing it from land of William Starling and others, and the land of George Traveller, deceased.  200 acres granted to Mr. Peter Walker 28Sep1645, who sold to Thomas Letherbury 7May1652, and by him sold to said Andrews 26Nov1662; 100 acres granted to Henry Fleet and by him sold to Jonathan Gylls 20Sep1634, and lately inherited by Francis Gylls, only daughter of said Jonathan, and by her sold to said Andrews 20Sep1665; 100 acres granted to Capt. Thomas Graves and since escheated to his Majesty, and granted to Mr. William Melling 1Sep1663, who sold to Robert Hutchenson 20Jan1663, and by him sold to said Andrews 5Apr1665; 100 acres granted to Francis Stockey and Henry Wilson by patents of 29Oct1637, and at length became inheritance of Obedience Johnson, son and heir of Col. Thomas Johnson, deceased, who sold to Robert Hutchenson, and by him sold to the said Andrews.

The foregoing record is of interest to this investigation and search for the ancestry of William Michaell/Mitchell on several levels:

  1. This record demonstrates that Thomas Leatherberry had purchased 200 acres on Old Plantation Creek in May1652, just eight months before he filed a land certificate for 200 acres, which named William Mitchell as a headright.  Later in this chapter we will be introduced to the family of John Michaell, who established his home on Old Plantation Creek in 1651, on land immediately abutting Capt. Thomas Graves old grant of 100 acres.
  2. This patent filing included the 100 acres originally granted to Capt. Thomas Graves, which abutted the earliest tracts acquired by John Michaell.  As already discussed, Capt. Thomas Graves was the father-in-law of Governor William Stone, Capt. William Roper, Col. Thomas Sprigg, and Rev. William Cotton.
  3. This patent also included a 100 acre parcel granted to Henry Fleet.  As shown below in a patent filed by a William Michaell in Lancaster County on 18Jul1663 for 50 acres on the northwest side of Corrotoman River, Michaell claimed John Stone as a headright.  That John Stone is believed to have been a son of George Stone and Mary Vernon, born about 1630/1, probably in Nansamond County, VA.  That John Stone settled in Lancaster County and went on to become Col. John Stone, whose LWT was recorded in Richmond County, VA on 7Jun1699.  Col. John Stone is believed to have married a widow of Col. John Walker, and widow of Capt. Henry Fleet in about 1672.

Although the above described secondary connections involved in the foregoing land patent are somewhat tenuous, they do demonstrate possible connections between William Michaell/ Mitchell and John Michaell (much more on John Michaell to follow).

  1. 30Mar1657 – Northampton County: “Know all men by these presents that I, James Jones of Northampton County, VA, planter (Executor in trust of William Moulte, deceased) do constitute, ordain and make my loving friend, Capt. William Mitchell, my true and lawful attorney to agitate and act such thing or things which shall be necessary to be performed (on my behalf as I am Executor in Trust of the said William Moulte), and what my said attorney shall grant and think fit to be effected (in this testamentary cause), I, the above said constituent do ratify and confirm…  Witnessed Edmund Matthews and Stephen Horsey, recorded 30Mar1657.”  Capt. William Mitchell had an item on the docket in St. Mary’s County Maryland on 21Mar1656/7, for which he failed to appear.  It seems likely that Capt. Mitchell was in Virginia during Mar1656/7, perhaps promoting his services as an attorney, hence this POA with James Jones.  It should be noted that no further filings were found in Northampton on this estate filing involving Capt. Mitchell, nor on any other filings other than the land certificate filing in Oct1658.  So, this is the absolute earliest record found in Northampton County that can be unequivocally linked to Capt. William Mitchell, and, as usual, he does not appear to have followed through on his commitment as James Jones’ Attorney.  Trailing filings on this estate in Apr1657 were filed by James Jones, himself.  On 16Mar1658 James Jones was relieved of his obligations as Executor in Trust for the estate of William Moulte.  Given these circumstances, it leaves us to ponder whether Capt. William Mitchell’s POA may have been restricted to Moulte’s accounts in Maryland, and may not have been evidence of Capt. William Mitchell’s presence in Virginia in Mar1657 after all.
  2. 8Oct1657 – (Old) Rappahannock County Deed Book 1656-1664: A patent granted to Samuel Matthews, gentleman to Clement Herbert for land in Rappahannock County.  An assignment of the foregoing patent from Herbert to William Mitchell dated Nov1657.  A power of attorney from William Mitchell to More Fantleroy to demand of Herbert an acknowledgement of the said assignment dated 18Dec1657.  The afore listed deed records from Lancaster County are contemporaneous with the timing of Capt. William Mitchell’s removal from Maryland into Virginia, however, these records do not use the title of “Capt.” for the listed William Mitchell, so it cannot be established with certainty whether these references were for Capt. William Mitchell or for a different William Mitchell.  Clarification of the identity of this William Mitchell is important to our search for William Mitchell Jr., as the dates of these records were only about four years before William Mitchell Jr.’s presumed immigration into Maryland.  The fact that Mitchell granted a POA to More Fantleroy to act on his behalf in the matter of this land patent is suggestive of someone either not present in Lancaster County in Dec1657, or not qualified to appear in Court.  Capt. William Mitchell is known to have still been in Maryland in Dec1657 where he appeared in Court at St. Mary’s.  It was on 31Dec1657 that Henry Coursey challenged Mitchell’s qualifications as an attorney.  We will shortly return to discussion of this record in context with other contemporaneous records related to other unknown William Mitchell’s.
  3. 6Nov1657 – Provincial Court held at Patuxent: Know all men by these presents that I John Billingsley of Chuckatuck in Virginia Gent for and in Consideration of the full and just Sume of two thousand and five hundred pounds of Tobacco and Caske being to me already in hand paid and secured by George Reede Have Given Granted bargained sould and Confirmed And by these presents do give, Grant, bargaine Sell unto George Reede of Putuxent River planter one Light bay mare, To Have and to Hold the Said Mare with her Increase from hence forward unto the Said George Reede his Executors Administrators, and Assignes to and for his and their onely Sole, & proper use and benefitt, and to and for no other use or uses Intent or purpose whatsoever, and I the Said John Billingsley the Sd mare with all her increase as above said unto the Said George Reede his Executors Administrators and Assignes against all person and persons whatsoever Shall and will warrant and for Ever defend by these presents. In Wittness whereof I the above said John Billingsley have hereunto Sett my hand and Seale this September 1657 John Billingsley The words and Secured by George Reade was interlined before Signing Court and Testamentary Business, 1657.  Signed Sealed and Delivered in the presence of us & acknowledged in open Court in the presence of us: William Mitchells and Gruff Standen. 

First, the grantor in this document, John Billingsley, was not originally from Maryland.  As stated in the Bill, Billlingsley was of Chuchatuck, VA, a small area in Nansemond County.  If of Chuckatuck, what was John Billingsley doing selling a horse to George Read at Patuxent?  To answer this question we need to understand the geopolitical forces at work in Virginia and Maryland at that time.  In the first half of the 17th century the Norfolk/Nansemond County area had become an attraction for Dutchmen and religious dissenters, including Puritans, Quakers, Separatists/Independents and Mennonites.  However, following the execution of King Charles I and the emergence of the Puritan faction led by Oliver Cromwell, Virginians became less tolerant of other dissenter factions, particularly the Quakers.  Beginning in about 1652 there was a strong push to force dissenters out of the Colony.  At this same time, Lord Baltimore had appointed William Stone as Lieutenant and then Governor of Maryland, with the expectation that Stone would be able to attract protestants into that Province.  Accordingly, Stone did succeed in relocating large groups of dissenters from the Norfolk-Nansemond region into the upper Chesapeake Bay.  Some of those transplanted dissenters settled along the Patuxent as well as the Severn and South River areas. 

By Nov1657 John Billingsley had already begun to expand his interests from Chuckatuck to the Patuxent River area.  Following is one Billingsley researcher’s description of this migration:

“Born County Salop, England, circa 1612, [Billingsley] moved to Holland with his parents, who were Quakers, and forced to leave England.  The exact date of his coming to America is not known, tho’ there is evidence it was prior to 1649, and that he was located in Nansemond County.  Evidence shows his brothers: James and Francis were with him in this locality…  The date is evidenced by a grant of land in Maryland some years later and from a record in Richmond Land Office from which it appears he was granted 500 acres of land at Chuckatuck…, said land was wholly escheated.  This occurred during the period of 1649-1656 when all Quakers were forced to leave the colony of Virginia.”[75]

By 1652 John Billingsley had already begun to set down roots outside Nansemond County:

(1) “William Parker of the Severn in Ann Arundell County, planter, is possessed of 800 acres of land upon the cliffs adjoining the land of Richard Bennett: I, said Parker, do fully grant — to Col. Thomas Burbage and Maj. John Billingsley both of Virginia, merchants — 600 acres of the said 800 acres…

(2) 2Jun1652 – Lancaster County, VA:  Maj. John Billingsby [sic] and Col. Thomas Burbage appraised estate of Epaphroditus Lawson, deceased.

(3) 2Jun1652 – Lancaster County: A bond from Epaphroditus Lawson to protect Richard Bennett [Virginia Governor 1652-5] from a debt of 40000 lbt due Symon Curzee [Dutchman].

(4) 10Jan1652/3 – Lancaster County: Estate of Epaphroditus Lawson owes John Cornelius [Dutchman and father-in-law of John Michaell] 1095 lbt.

(5) 20Jan1652/3 – Northumberland County: Maj. John Billingsby, executor of LWT of Robert Atkinson, deceased…

(6) Jul1653 – WHEREAS the ship Leopoldus of Dunkirk, for the importation of prohibited goods contrary to the act of Parliament, for the increase of navigation, has been adjudged fforfeited, with her tackle, apparel, and ffurniture to this country, ffor the use of the Common-wealth of England, and appraised at four hundred pounds sterling, This Assembly upon consideration thereof had her disposed of the same as ffolloweth, (vizt.) two hundred and ffifty pounds to our agent Coll. Sam. Mathews and one hundred pounds to Coll. William Clayborne, sec. thirty pounds to the speaker, ten pounds to Coll. Cornelius Loyd, and ten pounds to major Billingsley for their several services done to the country in the said business.

(7) Mar1661/2 – WHEREAS William Burg hath been proved to live scandalously in ffornication with the relict of major John Billingsley, it is ordered that the said Burgh be committed and continued in prison untill he give bond with good security, that he shall not keep company with the said Elizabeth, and if the said William Burgh shall without security given, offer to go beyond the bounds of prison, or if the said Elizabeth shall come to him there, then the sherriffe of Nanzemund by a (habeas corpus) to be removed to James Citty.  From this Virginia record it is disclosed that Maj. John Billingsley was deceased by early 1662 by which time his wife, Elizabeth, had already remarried to William Burg.  The charges of fornication are based on the fact that Virginia Law did not recognize Quaker marriages.

The other party to this Bill of Sale was George Read.  Following is a brief description of George Read’s connections along the Patuxent:

(1) “In the description of Robert Tylor’s land it shows it to be next to Capt. John Bradford. Robert Tylor lived next to George Reade. The Uncle of Capt. John Bradford. Also Robert Tylor’s sister Alice [Tyler] was married to George Reade. And later when Robert Tylor died his wife Joan Spriggs Tylor married her brother in law George Reade. All of whom lived just across the Patuxent River from John Read, Thomas Reade, and Alexander Magruder.”[76]

The reader may remember our excursus into allied families of John Mitchell II in Prince Georges County, MD in which we discussed the Robert Tyler family.  At the time we identified Joan Sprigg, the wife of Robert Tyler, as the sister of Col. Thomas Sprigg, and as having been previously married to a Mr. Ravens, and to George Read.  If the foregoing description of George Read is accurate, it would appear that Joan Sprigg may have married George Read after Robert Tyler.

Lastly, William Mitchells’ co-witness on this Bill of Sale was Griffith [Gruff] Standen.  Griffith Standen, whoever he was, left a very small footprint in the colonial records.  The author was only able to find two other references to Griffith Standen:

(1) 14Apr1657 – Col. Francis Potts Northampton County granted 2000 acres, of which 1000 acre moiety relinquished by his hand and rights thereof transferred to another patent.  Testimony of Griffith Standen.

(2) 16Nov1657 – Northampton County: Thomas Burditt appointed John Custis as Attorney to collect on all accounts, witnessed by Griffith Standen and George Traveller, recorded 28Feb1664/5.

It may be mere coincidence, but perhaps not, that William Mitchells should witness this Bill of Sale recorded at Patuxent Court, MD (future Calvert County) between Maj. John Billingsley, whose parents lived in Rotterdam, Holland, who was Quaker, and who had holdings in Nansemond County, Lancaster County and Ann Arundell County.  As well as George Read, the future husband of Joan Sprigg, sister of Col. Thomas Sprigg, husband of Elizabeth Graves Roper, presumed mother of Thomas Roper, William Michaell/Mitchell Jr.’s close associate at South River.  When taken in the totality of contexts disclosed in this chapter, William Mitchell Jr. had many more things in common with the parties to this Bill of Sale than did Capt. William Mitchell.

  1. 6Nov1657 – Lancaster County: An assignment from Oliver Spry to James Bagnall.  A certificate was issued that same date by Commissioners: Richard Owen, Phillip Thomas, and Richard Woolman, confirming the assignment from Oliver Spry to James Bagnall.  9Feb1657/8 Oliver Spry grants a Power of Attorney to William Mitchell to acknowledge the above mentioned conveyance, and as certificate of the acknowledgement by the above named William [Mitchell] for record, witnessed by Thomas Sampson, and others [unreadable].[77]  The identity of this William Mitchell is not known with certainty, but the author believes it likely that this was William Michaell/Mitchell Jr.  However, it should be noted that Capt. William Mitchell disappeared from St. Mary’s County Maryland in Dec1657 and reemerged in Northampton County in the Spring of 1658 as an elected burgess representing that County in the Assembly.

Although this record appears in an Old Rappahannock register, it was situated within Lancaster County.  Following are several land records pertaining to Oliver Spry.  It should be noted that two of these patents abutted lands of Capt. Daniel Gookin.  Later in this chapter it will be demonstrated that Daniel Gookin married Sarah Offley, the widow of Capt. Adam Thoroughgood, the father-in-law of John Michaell.

(1) 16Sep1636 – Oliver Prye [Sprye] of Warrisquick County [aka Nansemond] 50 acres lying near unto land granted to him by patent, extending toward the river mouth, due for his personal adventure.

(2) 24Oct1637 – Oliver Sprye granted 300 acres in Upper New Norfolk County, being called by the name of the Thickett, being upon land of Mr. Daniel Gookins, southwest along main river, due by order of Court dated 6Jun1635 for transport of six persons.

(3) 26Nov1638 – Oliver Sprye granted 600 acres in Upper New Norfolk County, beginning at Daniel Gookins, extending southwest up a long bank of the main river, granted by order of the Court dated 6Jun1635 (Item (2), above) and six additional persons.

(4) 3Oct1639 – Richard Parsons 450 acres in Lower New Norfolk County near head of eastern branch of Elizabeth River, adjacent land taken up by Thomas Davis.  300 acres by assignment from Thomas Burbage, merchant, and due him by assignment from Oliver Sprie [Sprye], all due for transport of nine persons, including Oliver Sprye (his personal adventure).  It should be noted that Thomas Burbage was the co-patentee with John Billingsley on the 600 acre tract on the Cliffs in Ann Arundell County, MD.

(5) 6Mar1653/4 – Rawleigh Travers granted 300 acres in Lancaster County of south side of Rappahannock River, about two miles southerly of the plantation of Mr. James Bagnall, due for transport of six persons; and 100 acres by assignment from Mr. [Oliver] Spry to Mr. Bagnall, which was found less than bounds of former patent.  This very likely was the tract assigned by Oliver Spry to James Bagnall on 6Nov1657.

  1. 8Oct1657 – Lancaster County: A patent granted by Samuel Matthews, Gentleman, to Clement Herbert for land in Rappahannock [Lancaster] County.[78]  Nov1657 – Foregoing patent was assigned by Clement Herbert to William Mitchell, witnessed Pitt.  18Dec1657 – William Mitchell granted a Power of Attorney to More Fantleroy to demand of Clement Herbert an acknowledgement of the above assignment.  Again, the identity of this William Mitchell is not known with certainty, but the author believes it likely that he was William Mitchell Jr., and not Capt. William Mitchell.  Following are several patent records associated with Clement Herbert.  Given the matching filing dates, it seems probable that the tract assigned by Clement Herbert to William Mitchell was the 500 acre tract described in (3), below.

(1) 21Apr1657 – Clement Herbert granted 300 acres on south side of Rappahannock River, opposite to point between Nancemond and Nansatiquond towne, and northwest upon Cedar Creek, which divides this from John Gillett; due for transport of 6 persons.  NOTE: Later deserted by Herbert, and taken up by Capt. Alexander Fleming.  [NOTE:  Alexander Fleming, a Quaker, would marry Ursula Brown, widow of John Brown, the planter from Accomack, who contracted with Captain William Mitchell in 1651 to transport and sell Brown’s tobacco at market in Amsterdam by broker, Coughan.

(2) 21Apr1657 – Clement Herbert granted 150 acres on south side of Rappahannock River, due for transport of three persons.

(3) 8Oct1657 – Clement Herbert granted 500 acres in Rappahannock County on northwest side of Morraticon Creek, beginning at land formerly surveyed for Thomas Glascock, extending to land of William Whitby, southeast on land of Nicholas Freemen and Thomas Stephens, originally granted to John Sharp Sr., deserted, now due for transport of 10 persons.  The date of this patent corresponds with the date of the subject tract, which Clement Herbert assigned to William Mitchell.  The geographic feature referred to as “Morraticon Creek” very likely had reference to Morritico Creek, which is located on the north side of the Rappahannock River approximately 15 miles downstream from Naylor’s Hole, the home plantation of Moore Fauntleroy.

(4) 19Mar1657/8 – Capt. Edward Streater was granted 3000 acres in Westmoreland County, upon south side of Potomeck River at the head of Niopsco Creek, northeast upon Ochaquim River, southeast to Freston Point to Mussell Island; granted to Elizabeth Burbage on 30Mar1655, but now deserted; due for transport of 60 persons, including Clemence Herbert, etal.

The identity of the William Mitchell referenced in this set of Lancaster County land records involving Clement Herbert is not known with certainty, but, given the dates and geographic proximity, this William Mitchell and the previously mentioned William Mitchell associated with Oliver Spry, were probably the same person.  From the foregoing record, it would appear that this William Mitchell actually acquired this 500 acre tract on Morratico Creek and may have retained its ownership for sometime period of time.  The fact that he retained the services of Moore Fauntleroy to represent his interests in Court in Lancaster County suggests that he may not actually have been a resident of that County at that time.

In 29-31Dec1657 Capt. William Mitchell was across the Bay at St. Mary’s, where he appeared in Court on behalf of himself and the behalf of clients: Edlow and Seamor.  It is possible that Capt. William Mitchell could have been in Lancaster County on 18Dec, when this POA for Moore Fauntleroy was signed, but it seems improbable to the author.  Neither of these records (Spry nor Herbert) referred to “Capt.” William Mitchell, rather they simply referred to him as William Mitchell, sans any title.  Given the fact that the three following records are connected with a William Michell/Michaell in or nearby to Lancaster County, there is a strong basis for believing that these William Mitchells (in items 11 and 12, above) were not Capt. William Mitchell, and more likely were William Michaell/Mitchell Jr.

  1. 10Mar1662/3 – John Haynie (Northumberland County?) 350 acres at head of Wiccocomico River abutting Gervaise Dodson, deceased and Henry Wickars, north on Col. John Matrom, deceased, for transport of seven persons, including William Michell, etal., (p. 462)  Given that Capt William Mitchell was deceased in Apr1659, this headright could not have been Capt. Mitchell.  Absent any other known candidates in the area, the author believes this William Mitchell to have been William Mitchell Jr.
  2. 18Mar1662/3 – William Michaell and William Thatcher of Lancaster County 400 acres on north side of Corotoman River opposite Henry Davis and land of John Nichells called Now Perfect, dividing from Hale, bought of Hawker, granted to Thatcher Nov1656, part assigned to Michaell. (p. 487)  It is important to this investigation to note that the person named in this patent was William Michaell.  This patent was situated in Lancaster County on the north side of Corrotoman River, just across the peninsula from Fleets Bay, the location of the deed recorded in Item 13, above.  Given the relatively close geographic and date proximity between the record in Item 13, and this patent, there is good reason to believe these were the same persons, namely, William Mitchell/Michaell Jr.
  3. 18Jul1663 – William Michaell, 50 acres in Lancaster County on the northwest side of Corrotoman River, beginning northeast side of land formerly in the occupation of Nicholas George.  Due for transport of John Stone.  Ditto.  Note that the transportee in this record, John Stone, is believed to have been Maj. John Stone, who settled in Lancaster County.
  4. 26Jul1665 – William Thomas of Northumberland County 300 acres on head of land sold to Mr. Michaell, Henry Smiths (granted to Edward Cole 9Mar1653), by him sold to Thomas Moulton and Thomas Tripe 24Feb1661, Tripe sold his part to Moulton 9Feb1662, Moulton sold to Thomas 20Jun1664. (p. 463)  The Mr. Michaell referenced in this record dated back to a transaction that occurred before 1653 as evidenced by the following abstract:
    1. 9Mar1653 – Edward Cole, 300 acres in Northumberland County (record incomplete).  Mentions land he sold to Mr. Mitchell.  Due for transport of six persons.

This tract that was sold to Mr. Mitchell would have been located in the Chickacoane area of Northumberland County.  Shortly we will introduce record from Northumberland County in the early 1650’s associated with John Michaell [Dutchman].  Those records will clearly establish the fact that this record was in reference to John Michaell, and not to Capt. William Mitchell.

  1. 18May1666 – Nicholas Hale of Lancaster County 234 acres NW branch of Corrotoman River, bounded by land said Hale bought of Enoch Hawker, bounded SE by joint land of William Thatcher and William Michaell, now in the tenure of Henry Davies and John Arnold. (p. 569).  This patent situated on Corrotoman River in Lancaster County makes reference to the previous land patented by William Mitchaell and William Thatcher.  It is particularly important to note that the Michaell/Thatcher tract was in possession of Henry Davies, indicating that William Michaell had assigned his interest to another person sometime before May1666.  No other records were found for anyone named William Michael/Mitchell in this region.

This concludes our presentation of records related to William Mitchells/Michaells from the vicinity of the Eastern Shore area of Virginia during the 1650’s and 1660’s.  It is important to note that the last active record found for a William Mitchell/Michaell during this period in this area was the patent for 50 acres granted to William Michaell on 18Jul1663 (Item 15, above).  As already articulated, it is the author’s opinion that most of these records relating to a William Mitchell/Michaell between 1652 and 1663 were not for Capt. William Mitchell, rather for William Mitchell Jr.  The fact that these records ended in 1663 fits perfectly with the notion that William Mitchell Jr. migrated from the Northampton County VA area to Anne Arundel County MD around 1665.

If we accept the author’s conclusions regarding the foregoing records from Northampton and Lancaster Counties, it is possible to build a general scenario regarding William Mitchell Jr.’s activities during the roughly 13-year period that he was resident in Virginia.  When William Michaell was transported into Northampton County in 1652 by the Rev. Thomas Teakle, he probably was only 16 to 18 years old.  He probably was indentured for a period of time to payoff the cost of his transportation (typically 4 years).  During his indentureship he may well have been taught a craft or trade.  For example, it is believed that Thomas Leatherberry was trained by Randall Revel as a cooper.  It seems possible that William Michaell was trained in an occupation that involved shipping, either as a builder of casks, or in maritime trade.  The records suggest that by 1657 William Michaell had sufficiently advanced in his community around Onancock-Pungoteague that he was trusted to witness deeds along with his neighbor, John Ellsey.

By Nov1657 William Michaell appears to have relocated across the Bay into Lancaster County, where he began to appear in court records, first representing Oliver Spry, then purchasing a 500 acre tract of land from Clement Herbert.  In Mar1662 he appears to have reentered Northumberland County as a headright to John Haynie.  Later that same month he filed a patent in partnership with William Thatcher on a 400 acre tract on Corrotoman River in Lancaster County.  His last transaction in Virginia is believed to have been a patent filed on 18Jul1663 for 50 acres on Corrotoman River, due for the transport of John Stone.  The author believes it probable that William Mitchell Jr.’s business activities in Virginia, after he fulfilled the obligation of an indenture may have been connected with shipping.

If the author’s conclusion relative to the identity of William Mitchell Jr. having been the person in the records of Northampton County and Lancaster County VA between 1652 and 1663 is correct, then the next obvious question is, where did he come from, and did he have any other kinsmen in the region?  Given the yDNA match of Scott Mitchell and John Bruce Mitchell, we might expect to find William Mitchell Jr’s. kinsmen in this same geographic region.

John Michaell (Dutchman)

The author did not have to cast a very wide net to identify at least one very viable candidate.  Remember that rather lengthy list of Mitchell/Michaell headright records complied by the author from Pioneers and Cavaliers, Vol. 1?  The following is an abstract of a record contained in that list:

  1. 22May1650 – [Northumberland County]: Richard Axom and Thomas Godwin south side of Rappahannock River in Breckneck [Brecknock] Bay adjacent John Landman 1000 acres for transport of 20 persons, including John Michell, etal. (p. 187)  The author believes it possible  that this was the immigration record for Jan Michael [or Makule], a Dutchman, who established an agent/broker business in the Eastern Shore and established the family of John Michaell.  The location of this patent was described as being on the south side of the Rappahannock River in Breckneck [Brecknock] Bay.  Brecknock Bay is situated on the upper Rappahannock River in present day Essex County near Mountain Landing Creek, just across the River from Naylor’s Hole, home plantation of Moore Fauntleroy.  In 1650 this tract would have been located in Northumberland County.

This John Michell transported into the area that became lower Lancaster County in 1651 two years before William Michael was transported into Northampton County, was the only other Mitchell/Michael believed to have established a family in the vicinity of the Eastern Shore around that same time period.  There was a Henry Michell transported to the south side of the Rappahannock River in Sep1652, but no further records were found of his continued existence in the Colony.  The author has reasons to believe that this John Michell may have been a kinsman of William Mitchell/Michael Jr.  In order to establish the foundation for a possible kinship connection between John Michael and William Michael, who was transported by Rev. Thomas Teakle, it is necessary to present John Michael to the fullest extent possible.  First, it should be acknowledged that other researchers have presented genealogies for John Michael.  One of the most detailed biographies found by the author was written by Thomas Teakle Upshur as follows:

  1. “The Michael family came from Graft, Holland, but were supposed to be originally from England. Captain John Michael was the first of the family who came to the Eastern Shore of Virginia. He was a prominent colonist and a man of wealth. The Records of Northampton County, Virginia, mention his name a number of times in ways indicating his prominence. He was a Commissioner of Accomack; a Justice of the Peace, etc.. 1665, and subsequent dates, (Vol. IX., p. 3, Northampton County Virginia Records). He came to Virginia from Graft, Holland, having been a merchant at that place; see agreement between the “Master of the Farewell and Rowd — from Amsterdam of the one part, and John Johnson and John Makule [aka Michael], both of Graft, of ye other part, that the vessel now (1652) lying at Accomack shall go to Holland and load, etc..” (Northampton County Virginia Records, Vol. 1651-54. July 3, 1652, p.9 5. quoted by Bruce’s Virginia, Vol. 1, p. 351; Power of Attorney dated April 12, 1649. Vol. 3, p. 184, Northampton County, Virginia Records). He married Elizabeth Thorogood, daughter of Capt. Adam Thorogood and Sarah Offley, and niece of Sir John Thorogood, of Kensington. (See extract of will of Adam Thorowgood, quoted in Va. Carolorum, p. 134 previously quoted. See deed of exchange dated April 9, 1866, Vol. 1657-66, p. 124 Northampton County Records; Richmond Critic Sept. 21, 1889, quoting land patents 162-163, etc.) Their children were, so far as are known; a. Adam, who married Sarah, (born 1655, died 1720) daughter of Southey Littleton, and left descendants. Sarah subsequently married John Custis, of “Wilsonia”* b. Margaret, who married John Custis, of “Wilsonia,” and left descendants. (See will dated March 13, 1713. Vol. XIV. p. 57, etc., Northampton Co. Va. Records.) See inscription on his tombstone at “Wilsonia,” Northampton Co. Virginia. He was a son of Major General John Custis, of Arlington,  c. Sarah who married Argall Yeardley, son of George Yeardley and Temperance West, d. John Michael Jr.  e. Simon Michael. He subsequently married Mary [Yeardley?], the widow of John Culpepper. (Vol. X, p. 107 Northampton County A’a. x, P- Records) and had; f. Yeardley Michael. (See deed of gift August 27, 1672, D. B. to, p. 35; deed of gift, August 29, 1678. D. B. to, p. 167: will dated Jan. 2.8. 1678-9 W. B. |to. p. 336). See note No. 5.”[79]

The author believes the details presented in this genealogical work written by Thomas Teakle Upshur regarding the John Michael family to be generally correct.  However, there is one particular detail which warrants clarification/correction. 

“The Michael family came from Graft, Holland, but were supposed to be originally from England.”

It is possible that “the Michael family” may have originally been from England, however, there is clear evidence in the Virginia archives to support the notion that John Michael, himself, was not English born, but rather an alien.  See the following act of the General Assembly:

  • LAWS OF VIRGINIA, APRIL, 1679:  An act for the naturalization of Abraham Vince, John Michael, Jacob Johnson, John Pimmitt (a) and John Keeton (b):  WHEREAS at a grand assembly holden at James Cittie the twentieth day of September, in the twenty third yeare of the reigne of our soveraigne lord king that now is, and in the yeare of our Lord God 1671, It was enacted and ordained that any stranger [aka foreigner] desireing to make this country the place of their constant residence might upon their petition to the grand assembly, and takeing the oathes of allegiance and supremacy be admitted to a naturalization, whereupon Abraham Vince, John Michael, Jacob Johnson, John Pimmitt and John Keeton, aliens making humble suite as afforesaid; It is therefore enacted by the governour, councell and burgesses of this present grand assembly, and the authority thereof, that the said Abraham Vince, John Michael, Jacob Johnson, John Pimmitt and John Keaton, and every of them be and are by vertue hereof, and the afore recited law whereon this is grounded capeable of free traffique and tradeing of takeing up, purchaseing, conveying, deviseing and inheritting of lands and tenements, and from henceforth be, and are declared, deemed and holden, and in all constructions of law, stated, vested and indulged with all priviledges, liberties and immunities whatsoever relateing to this collony that any naturall borne Englishman is capeable of according to the true intent and meaning of the said act.[80]

John Michael would only require naturalization if he were foreign born.  Further evidence of his foreign birth may be inferred from his LWT in which he made a bequest of his “Dutch books”.  It seems unlikely that he would be in possession of Dutch books unless he could read Dutch.  It is the author’s opinion that John Michael was born at Graft, Noor Holland around 1625.  Further evidence of his business connections to Holland may be found in the following records:

  1. 8Sep1651 – POA at Amsterdam:  Peter Peterson, merchant of Graft, Holland to Skipper John [Johnson] Bestevar (in case John Macheele happens to decease) to collect debts and accounts in Accomacke (or elsewhere in Virginia)…, witnesses Peter Stosslshs and Joseph Styne, notary; recorded in Virginia 15Oct1653.  This POA was executed in Holland in Sep 1651 and recorded at Accomacke in Oct1653.  Since it makes reference to John Macheele having the principal position to act on behalf of Peter Perterson, it clearly establishes that John Macheele [Michaell] was in Virginia as early as 1650 or before.
  2. 1Dec1651 – Account of debts due the estate of George Clarke, including amounts paid to Obedience Robins: John Macheele, Capt. Roper, etal.
  3. 3Jun1652 – Skipper John Johnson and John Macheele, merchant (of Graft, Holland) entered into an agreement with John Clawse DeBolt, master of the ship Farewell which leased the entire freight capacity of the ship to Johnson and Macheele for the transport of tobacco from Virginia to Holland.  In Jul1652 a dispute arose between Johnson and Macheele, and Captain DeBolt and Rowland Savage, Amsterdam merchant, in which DeBolt and Savage disputed the terms of the agreement, suggesting a misinterpretation of the language, and claiming they had the right to load freight from parties other than Johnson and Macheele.  Court ruled that Johnson-Macheele agreement was valid, and ordered that DeBold and Savage keep the Farewell at anchor for 21 days and assist in the lading of tobacco, that they transport Johnson and others to Holland at no cost, and that they deliver the tobacco to port(s) specified by Johnson.  This item is actually a compilation of several records entered at Accomacke in 1652 which clearly establish John Macheele as a Dutchman and merchant living and conducting business at Accomacke.  It also speaks to the complexity of the tobacco trade at that time.  Skipper John Johnson was also a resident at Accomacke during this period, but he appears to have been functioning in a business capacity similar to that of Capt. William Mitchell, wherein he actually accompanied the shipments to Holland to oversee their delivery to market.
  4. 1Jul1652 – Deposition of Capt. Lt. William Whittington: saith that upon the 30Jun1652 being at the house of Col. Argoll Yardley, Esq., in company with Rowland Savage belonging to the ship Farewell (now lying at anchor in Christon Creek [Cherrystone], Northampton County) took notice that the said Savage, upon question demanded of him “where is John Macheele?”  Savage answered “it is no matter where he is, he is a rogue…”.  Court ordered that John Clause de Bolt, John Johnson and John Macheele, all three of them, post a bond of 2000 pounds sterling.  Capt. William Whittington was a close neighbor and business associate of John Macheele, as evidenced by this record and others wherein he witnessed the POA between John Johnson and John Michaell.  Argoll Yardley was the husband of Ann Custis, and father of Argoll Yardley Jr., future son-in-law of John Michaell.
  5. 10Aug1652 – It is ordered by the Court that John Macheele shall make his appearance at the next Court to answer what shall be obstructed against him concerning a scandal published against Mrs. Jane Johnson, the wife of Capt. Thomas Johnson.
  6. 1Mar1652/3 – Deposition by John Tilney (being Attorney for John Machaell) stated that he carried a bill of Lt. Col. Edmund Scarburgh (belonging to the Dutchman [aka Machaelle], and demanded tobacco due there upon; Scarburgh replied that he had already paid the bill, and suggested that he [Tilney] review the account; Scarburgh further stated that since he had a sword in his hand he would make the Dutch to rue for it. 

Also, this same date Thomas Lumberton deposed that Lt. Col. Scarburgh, being aboard a Bristol ship anchored as Chireyston Creek [Cherrystone] stated that if he had not been hindered by a crew of overgrown puppies, he had before this time, brought the state of the commonwealth of England 10000 pounds of sterling…  

Also, this same date Charles Scarburgh deposed that coming on board Capt. Peter Wraxall’s ship, there finding Mr. Edmund Scarburgh, he did question the said Scarburgh why he should threaten the Dutch inhabitants in this county to plunder them, he answered, he would maintain what he said and justify the plundering of them…  Col. Edmund Scarburgh was an imperious presence on the Eastern Shore from about 1640 until his death in 1671, dominating virtually every aspect of colonial life.  He demonstrated many of the same amoral attributes as Capt. William Mitchell, but to much greater effect.  In this record is illustrated some of Scarburgh’s bullying tactics used to achieve his ends.  Capt. Peter Wraxall was the same Bristol mariner to whom John Browne’s widow granted a POA for the collection of monies due her husband’s estate for tobacco transported to market by Capt. William Mitchell, and sold by Lawrence Coughen.

  1. 16Apr1653 – Power of Attorney:  David Sellicks, merchant of Boston granted POA to John Macheele of Accomacke to collect debts/accounts in Virginia, signed aboard a ship at anchor in Northampton, witnesses: William Whittington, John Bennett and John Lord.
  2. 25Aug1653 – Know all men that I Argoll Yardley, Esq., have sold and delivered unto John Custis two black cows…, witnessed Francis Yardley and John Machaell.  Francis Yardley was John Michaell’s father-in-law, Yardley having married the widow of Adam Thoroughgood.
  3. 3May1653 – These are to certify that John Machell of the County of Northampton in Virginia hath been for diverse years and still is an inhabitant of this Colony, hath taken the engagement to the commonwealth of England is liable to all duties and services in this country and therefore ought to have equal privilege and protection here (as well as others) and as is and hath been used towards all strangers of what nation so ever until it shall be otherwise determined and declared by the Grand Assembly of the colony given under my hand at Wicocomoco in Virginia…  This record acknowledges that John Michaell had taken the oath of fealty to the Commonwealth government of Oliver Cromwell.  It also suggests that John Michaell had been living and conducting business in Virginia for several years, even though his presence was first recorded in 1650.
  4. 3May1653 – “Know all men by these presents that I, John Motterum of the County of Northampton for diverse good causes and considerations, me thereunto moving and more especially for the sum of 30 pounds sterling to be paid in certain goods expressed in another writing of this date, have bargained and sold unto John Machaell of Accomacke, one bay mare…, witness Francis Clay and William Bacon.”
  5. 18May1653 – John Michael power of attorney to William Thomas:  POA John Michael of Northampton, County in Virginia to “my trusty friend Mr. William Thomas” to collect debts in Northumberland County.  Dated 18May1653.  Signed John Michael.  Witnesses: Edward Coles, Joseph Harrison.  The author believes this John Michael to have been the same person transported into Northumberland County in 1650 (Item 18, above).  By May1653 John Michael had established himself in Northampton County, but this POA suggests that he also had established some form of business interests in Northumberland County.  Such rapid establishment of business on both sides of Chesapeake Bay suggests that John Michael entered the Virginia Colony with some considerable financial capacity and business acumen. 
  6. 20May1653 – John Jansson power of attorney to John Michael:  POA from Skipper Jacob Derickson to Jansson, assigned over to “my loving nephew, John Michael”.  Dated 29Jul1652.  Signed John Jansson.  Witnesses: William Wittington, Cornelius Cornelison.  This record contains a wealth of genealogical data relative to the identity and ancestry of John Michael.  John Jansson [aka Johnson, or Jansz], Jacob Derickson, Cornelius Cornelison and John Michael were all Dutchmen.  William Whittington, from all accounts, was of English ancestry, however, he had established a very close relationship with these Dutchmen, as he traveled to Graft, Amsterdam, Noor Holland in 1659 where he became ill, died and was buried in the churchyard of that small Dutch community.  This POA describes John Michael as the “loving nephew” of John Jansson, which, if literally accurate, suggests that John Michael was, himself, Dutch, one or two generations younger than John Jansson [Johnson], and likely related through blood or marriage.  Jansson assigned authority for Michael to act in his behalf in matters associated with Jansson’s POA from Jacob Derickson.
    1. 7Sep1651 – Abraham Janssons power of attorney to John Johnson Bosteware [Jan Jansz Bestevaer]:  POA, Abraham Jansson of Grast [Graft], Holland to my trusty friend, skipper [Captain] John Johnson Bosteware to receive from Captain Vane in Kent [Island] of John Hodge in Maryland and of Mr. Strange in Accomack, all of them living in Virginia, all and singular such debts as they owe.  Dated at Amsterdam 7Sep1651.  Signed Abraham Jansson.  Witnessed: John Bec, Henry B–ne, Joseph Styne.[81]  This POA, executed in Sep1651 between Abraham Jansson of Graft, Holland and Skipper [ship’s captain] John Johnson [aka Jansson] authorized Johnson to collect debts for Abraham Jansson from three separate parties all living in Virginia, but Capt. Vane being of Kent Island, John Hodge of Maryland, and Mr. Strange of Accomack.
    2. 20May1653 – — Jannsen, his — attorney to — Michael.  POA John Jansson [Jan Jansz Bestevaer] unto my loving friend John Michael to transact business in Virginia.  Signed thus: Witness my hand and seal 29Jul1652 aboard the ship Farewell in Virginia ready to set sail from Accomack, John Janssen.  Witnesses: William Whittington, Cornelius Cornelison.  This POA appears to be another version of the parent agreement (Item 30, above) between John Jansson and John Michael.  Note that this version indicates that it was executed aboard the ship Farewell, about to depart from Accomack, presumably sailing for Holland.
    3. 20May1653 – Jacob Derickson power of attorney to John Johnson Bosteware [Jan Jansz Bestevaer]:  POA Skipper Jacob Derickson, late master of the Honey Barrel to “my trusty friend John Johnson Bostware” to collect debts from John Hodge of Maryland and John Haynie of Chickacone.  Dated 7Sep1651.  Signed Jacob Derickson.  Witnesses: John Ber, Joseph Steynes.  This is the POA which John Jansson assigned to John Michael.  Note that this POA gives authority to collect debts from John Hodge of Maryland (presumably the same debtor named in the Abraham Jansson POA), and John Haynie of Chickacoane.  It may be remembered that John Haynie was the same person who claimed William Michell as a headright in the patent filed in Northumberland County on 10Mar1662/3 (Item 13, above).
  7. 6Jun1653 – Bill of sale dated 23Aug1651 for one black cow from Edmund Bibby of Accomacke to John Pott was assigned  by John Pott to John Machaell…”
  8. 12Jul1653 – 12Jul1653 – “Be it known unto all men by these presents that I, John Cornely [Cornelius], merchant for a valuable consideration already received have sold and bargained and do by these presents bargain and sell unto John Machaell his heirs… five ewes of two years old and upwards a piece, and one young lamb…”  John Cornelius is believed to have been the father-in-law of John Michaell, Michaell having married an unknown daughter of Cornelius, before he married Elizabeth Throroughgood, daughter of Adam Thoroughgood.
  9. 23Jul1653 – Power of Attorney:  John Machaell and loving friend my request to you is that you would be pleased to manage my business, first with David Dale, he hath under taken to carry the vessel before Mr. William Waters his house (or there abouts) at a good place, be pleased to agree with him what he is to havfor it and remember he oweth me three hundred and sixty pound of tobacco…  Be pleased to sell my part of the vessel to John Johnson, joiner…, signed Barnes Johnson aboard the ship John Hoy Fale.  Witnessed John Johnson and Peter Perterson.  The kinship of Barnes Johnson is not known with certainty, but he almost certainly was a Dutchman, and possibly a kinsman of Abraham Johnson and John Johnson.  Note that the ship involved in this transaction was anchored in front of Col. William Waters residence.
  10. 25Aug1653 – Know all men by these presents that I, Argoll Yardley, Esq., have unto John Custis one bay mare…, witnessed Francis Yardley and John Michaell.
  11. 25Aug1653 – Know all men by these presents that I, Argoll Yardley, Esq., have bargained and sold… unto John Custis, merchant, one ngro girl…, witnessed Francis Yardley and John Michaell.
  12. 20Sep1653 – Edward Coles his sale of land to John Michael:  Coles sells above land to John Michael, excepting 80 acres to Henry Smith.  Dated 20Sep1653.  Signed Eward Coles.  Witnesses: George C– , Richard Flint.
    1. 20Dec[1652] – Edward Coles and Thomas Kingwell patent:  494 acres adjacent land of Capt. William Claibourne, Esq., upon Coles Creek.  300 acres due by assignment from John Gamblin, and 194 acres due for transport of four persons.
    2. 9Sep1653 – Thomas Kingwell sale of land to Edward Coles: Kingwell sells his share in foregoing [patent] to Coles.  Dated 8spe1653.  Signed Thomas Kingwell.  Witnesses: Richard Flint, Thomas Sheapard.

Even though it would appear that John Michael was based in Northampton County in May1653 when he signed the POA with William Thomas of Northumberland, it would appear from this deed dated 20Sep1653 that he purchased a 414 acre tract of land from Edward Coles, probably situated in the Chickacoane area of Northumberland County.  This tract would have been directly across the Northern Neck from Brecknock Bay.

  1. 20Sep1653 – John Michael, attorney for Jacob Simonson [prob. a Dutchman] against Edward Hull:  The Court doth order that if Edward Hull do not — the next Court, then ordered to pass against his — for the payment of 580 lbt.[82]  In this Northumberland County record John Michael acted as the attorney for Jacob Simonson (probably another Dutchman) for the collection of a debt due Simonson from Edward Hull.  It seems possible that John Michael may have temporarily established residency in Northumberland County in order to act as an attorney in that Court.
  2. 4Jul1653 – Agnes Barnes granted patent for 150 acres in Northampton County on Kings Creeks abutting lands of Edmund Bibby, William Melling and Capt. [William] Roper, due for transport of three persons.  15Apr1653 [prob. 1657] Thomas Stratton and Agnes Stratton assigned tract to John Michaell; witnessed by William Andrews and William Melling; recorded 16Apr1657.  Deed of conveyance from Thomas and Agnes Stratton to John Michaell, said 150 acre tract, which abuts tract on which Michaell then dwelleth, having a 99-year lease from Edmund Bibby.  From the deed of conveyance it appears that John Michael had already acquired a tract of land on Kings Creek by lease from Edmund Bibby.  He was now adding to his lands by purchasing this adjoining 150 acre tract from Agnes [Barnes] Stratton and Thomas Stratton.  This tract was situated in the Old Plantation on Kings Creek, nearby to the tract owned by Capt. William Roper, presumed father of Thomas Roper, close associate of William Michell [Jr.].
  3. 12Sep1653 – This presents witnesseth that I, Argoll Yardley, Esq., have sold and bargained and do here by these presents sell and bargain unto John Machaelle one negro girl named Denis, aged 12 years next November… for sum of 4000 pounds of tobacco…, witnessed Benjamin Jordan and Ann Yardley.
  4. 4Oct1653 – Ordered that John Macheele, attorney for Barnes Johnson within 20 days pay William Westerhouse [another Dutchman] the sum of 304 lbt. out of estate of Barnes Johnson.

Also, same date Court ordered John Macheele, attorney for Barnes Johnson to pay unto John Custis, attorney for John Holland, 218 lbt from next crop.

  1. 28Nov1653 – John Macheele, merchant granted non-suit in complaint against Mary Scarburgh, agent for her husband, Edmund Scargurgh.
  2. 6Jan1653/4 – At Accomacke Richard Bunducke purchased from John Macheele one cow for sum of 360 pounds tobacco; signed at Naswattocks Creek, witnessed Timothy Granter.
  3. 3Feb1653/4 – At Accomacke Arthur Whitehead of Northampton, planter, sold to John Machell assorted livestock (three cows, five yearlings and eleven hogs), for an unspecified sum…, witnessed William Waters and Thomas Bentall.
  4. 7May1654 – Power of Attorney:  Peter Jacobson of Manhatas [Manhattan?], New Netherlands, mariner, granted POA to John Macheele of Accomacke, County of Northampton, merchant, to collect debts/accounts in Virginia; witnessed William Kendall and Andrew Pope; recorded in Northampton, Aug1654.
  5. 1654 – William Whittington of Northampton County, planter, sold to John Machaell of same, one mare colt aged about 16 months, witnessed Sampson Robins and John James, recorded 30Aug1654.
  6. 20Jul1654 – William Thomas, attorney of John Michael, administrator of Jacob Simonson against Thomas Hawkins:  Edward Hull owing John Michael, attorney of Jacob Sinonson, 580 lbt.  Hull not appearing and a former order granted against Thomas Hawkins for the said Hull’s bail, the Court orders Hawkins to pay Thomas by 20Nov1654.[83]  In this record it appears that William Thomas was acting under the authority of his POA from John Michael to collect on the debt approved in the Court hearing in Sep1653.
  7. 20Jul1654 – –Thomas, attorney — Michael, his — ent of at patent Coles.  [Entry stained and blurred].  William Thomas, attorney of John Michael, assigns right in patent to Richard Coles.  Dated 20Jul1654.  Signed William Thomas.  John Michael appears to have sold his interest in the 414 acre tract purchased of Edward Coles (Item 36, above).
  8. 19Nov1655 – Dispute between John Michall (debtor) and Robert Tillghman (creditor) over the exchange rate due on accounts dating from 1653, 1654 and 1655; elected Capt. William Waters and John Custis to arbitrate.
  9. 1Jul1656 – Thomas Stratton conveyed to John Machaiell and his heirs on cow named Rose from the estate of Timothy Gunter, who received of Thomas Higby for wages.; witnessed Fr. Waters and Charles Harrison; recorded 22Nov1656.
  10. 30Nov1656 – Estate record filed at Amsterdam.  Referenced a Power of Attorney dated 6Jul1655 from Alse Janse to John Michiallis, merchant, at Accomacke, to received of the widow and Executrix of John Cornelius van Aghthore [aka Aghthove or Agthoven?], his brother-in-law, indebted to the estate of Cornelius Tenisse van Agthoven [author’s interpretation], deceased; witnessed by Otto van Hallmall and Brighert Justne Vollenhof.  This estate filing referenced a POA dated 6Jul1655 granted by Alse Janse to John Michaell, merchant of Accomacke, in which John Michael was identified as the brother-in-law of John Cornelius, also of Accomacke, presumably the deceased husband of Alse Janse.  John Cornelius was identified variously as being “van Aghthove” or “van Aghthore”.  It is the author’s belief that this may have been a reference to a village or manor southwest of Leiden called Agthoven.  It may be remembered that John Michael had also been identified by John Jansz [Johnson] in the POA in Item 30, above as Johnson’s “nephew” in 1653.  So, it would appear that John Michael was married by 1653 to a kinsman of both John Johnson and John Cornelius.  The identification of John Michael as the “brother-in-law” of John Cornelius suggests that that kinship may have been through marriage to a sister of John Cornelius, and that Alse Janse and Jan Jansz may have been related by blood; perhaps siblings.  It should be kept in mind that kinship descriptors during the colonial period did not necessarily hold the same meaning as at present, i.e., “brother-in-law” might actually mean “step-brother”.
  11. 30Jan1656/7 – Matthew Pippin and his heirs bound to pay John Michael and his heirs 384 lbt by 31Oct1657, in event of crop failure, Pippin to commit to Michael all his goods, moveable and unmovable.  Witnessed by John Marshall, recorded 25Mar1656/7.
  12. 22May1650 – Power of Attorney from Wybrant Johnson to Thomas Dimmer [Dimor] to collect debts in Northampton County, Virginia; witnessed by John Michneill and John Simpson; recorded 11Jul1657.  It seems highly possible that the witness to this POA, John Michneill was the same person as John Michaell.  Although not stipulated, this POA very likely was executed in Holland.  It further seems possible that Wybrant Johnson was a kinsman of Abraham and John Johnson, and John Michaell.  If the author’s interpretation of the identity of John Michneill as John Michaell is correct, then it would appear that John Michael was already active in the transatlantic mercantile trade in Virginia even before he immigrated.
  13. 26Mar1662/3 – John, Sarah and Margaret Mitchell [Machill], 1000 acres in Accomack, at Chichanessecks Creek, 500 acres bounded on the west by the Bay, on the north by Chichanessecks Creek, east by land of Major Waters, and running southerly towards Anancock [Onacock Creek]; the other 500 acres bounded on west by land of the said Waters, north by Chichanessecks [Chesconessex] Creek, and running southerly into the woods.  Due for the transport of 20 persons, viz: John Mitchell Sr., John Mitchell Jr., Lawrence Jacob, William, a negro, Bando, a negro, Rowland Irish [?], Derman Adonneway, John Flinte, Rachell Metkalfe, Elizabeth Bansby, Mary Teage, Abraham Rogers, Robert A. Chewe, John Jennings, William Morgan, John Cannedy, Ellis Appaie, Thomas Irish, George Scotch, and Mary Greenwood. (p. 455).  NOTE:  This same patent sans date appears on pp. 405-6 in Cavaliers and Pioneers, Vol. 1, following a list of patents dated Nov-Dec1660.  Does this suggest that this patent may have been filed more than two years earlier than hereinabove shown?  Note the three individuals with surnames of either “Scotch” or “Irish”.  These seem more likely a reference to their national origin, rather than an actual surname.  Also, the two co-patentees: Sarah Michael and Margaret Michael were minor daughters of John Michael Sr.  Further, the headright named as John Michael Jr. was a minor son of John Michael Sr., and brother [or half-brother] of Sarah and Margarett.  This tract was situated on Chesconessex Creek, about two miles north of Onancock, the location of the patent filed by Thomas Leatherberry naming William Mitchell as a headright in 1655.
  14. 26Mar1662/3 – John, Sarah and Margarett Mitchell, 200 acres in Accomack County, beginning at land of William Burditt, along land formerly belonging to George Smith. (Granted to Mr. John Custis, 8Oct1657, by him deserted and granted by order of General Court, 16Oct1660 to said Mitchell).  Due for transport of four persons, viz: William Appy, Thomas Irish, George Sith and Mary Greenwood [Ellis Appaie (or was this William Appy?), Thomas Irish George Scotch (or was it George Sith?) and Mary Greenwood were already claimed in preceding patent].  Ditto.  This tract was situated at Old Plantation in the southern part of the County.
  15. 11Mar1663/4 – John, Sarah and Margaret Michael, 150 acres in Northampton County, westerly on Edward Bibby, easterly on William Melling, northerly on Kings Creek southerly on Capt. Reaper [Roper?], granted to Agnes Barnes 4Jul1653 and sold to said patentees.  This tract was located at Old Town between Hungars Creek and Kings Creek.  The adjoining tract identified as Capt. Reaper very likely was the 150 tract patented by Capt. William Roper in 1636.  Capt. Roper had died in 1650, but his estate may not yet have been liquidated.  This tract was originally granted to Agnes Barnes, wife of Thomas Stratton, and sold by Agnes and Thomas to John Michael on 15Apr1653[7?], recorded by John Michael on 16Apr1657 (see Item 18, above).
  16. 5Apr1666 – Mr. John Michael, 500 acres in Accomack County, at Occocomson [Island] bounded southward by Mr. Riding, running from sea, separating land of Edward Smith, Milright, etc.  Due for transport of 10 persons, viz.: John Michael Sr., William Gray, Peter Fantaine, John Aleworth, John Michael Jr., and five negroes.  The John Michael Jr. named as a headright is believed to have been a son of John Michael Sr.

Some researchers claim that John Michael married four times: (1) Unknown Cornelius, daughter of John Cornelius about 1645, (2) Helen Cornak at Accomacke on 24Mar1660/1, (3) Elizabeth Thoroughgood in Virginia about 1652, and (4) Ann, widow of John Culpepper about 1673.  Clearly, at least one of these marriages does not fit with John Michael Sr., that being the marriage to Helen Cornak on 24Mar1660/1.  There are several deeds on file in Northampton County referencing Elizabeth [Thoroughgood] between 1660 and 1666 as the wife of John Michael.  So, whoever, the John Michael was, who married Helen Cornak, it was not John Michael Sr.  It seems probable to the author that the husband of Helen Cornak was John Michael Jr.  It is also clear from deed records that Margaret Michael (wife of John Custis III) and Sarah Michael (wife of Argol Yeardley Jr.) were the children of Elizabeth Thoroughgood and John Michael Sr., and that they were born in the latter half of the 1650’s.  As for the first wife of John Michael Sr., it seems probable that she was a daughter of John Cornelius..  It seems entirely possible that John Michael and Miss Cornelius were married and that she died in Holland, before John Michael immigrated to Virginia..  And, lastly, it seems probable that John Michael Jr. was a son from that first marriage to Miss Cornelius.  Some researchers suggest that John Michael Sr. and John Michael Jr. were brothers, but there is no evidence to support that contention.

Thoroughgood Family

We begin this allied families analysis with a presentation of the Thoroughgood family, since a daughter of Adam Thoroughgood was the first known wife of John Michael.  Capt. Adam Thoroughgood (1603-1640) was a son of William Thoroughgood and Ann Edwards of Norfolk County, England, and brother of Sir John Thoroughgood of Kensington.  He married on 18Jul1627 at St. Anne’s Blackfriars Church, London, Sarah Offley, daughter of Robert Offley and Anne Osborne.  Sarah Offley was baptized at St. Benet’s Church, London on 16Apr1609.  [FYI: William Atterbury/Arterbury, Maryland immigrant, was baptized at St. Andrews by the Wardrobe, (just two blocks from St. Anne’s Blackfriars Church) on 15Jul1711].  Adam Thoroughgood was elected a Burgess from Elizabeth City County, 1629 to 1632, and a member of the Council of Virginia, and presiding Justice in 1637.  Capt. Thoroughgood received several grants in the lower James River area as follows:

  1. 30Dec1626 – John Gundry sold 150 acres to Adam Thoroughgood situated near Back River in Elizabeth City County, originally granted to Gundry (an ancient planter) by Gov. George Yeardley and surveyed by William Claibourne.  This was the first land found in possession of Capt. Thoroughgood.  This tract was situated on Back River at Kechoughtan, Elizabeth City County.
  2. 12Mar1634/5 – 200 acres to Capt. Adam Thoroughgood in Elizabeth City County on Back River abutting John Robinson and Thomas Bolding, and his own land due for purchase from Capt. Richard Stephens.  At Kechoughtan.
  3. 18Dec1635 – 600 acres to Capt. Adam Thoroughgood in Lower New Norfolk County on Lynn Haven Creek, due for transport of 12 persons, including Thomas Michell.  South side of James River in Lynn Haven Parish, Lower New Norfolk.
  4. 25May1637 – 700 acres to Rev. William Wilkinson in Lynn Haven, abutting land of Capt. Thoroughgood, 500 acres due for transport of eight persons, including Naomy Wilkinson, John Johnson, etal.  While this tract did not directly involve a tract granted to Adam Thoroughgood, the author included this record because of the grantee, Rev. William Wilkinson.  He is believed to have been the same Rev. William Wilkinson, who performed the marriage between Capt. William Mitchell and Joan Toast at White House, St. Mary‘s Maryland in 1652.  The fact that Rev. William Wilkinson was a near neighbor of Capt. Adam Thoroughgood , father-in-law of John Michael, at Lower New Norfolk probably does not signify any connection between Capt. William Mitchell and Capt. John Michael, but is worth noting.
  5. 9Aug1637 – 600 acres to John Graves in Elizabeth City County on Back River, abutting land of Adam Thoroughgood, due for transport of Capt. Thomas Graves, John Graves, Thomas Graves Jr., etal.  The grantee, John Graves, was a son of Capt. Thomas Graves of Accomack, and brother of Katheryn Graves, wife of Capt. William Roper and Col. Thomas Sprigg of Accomack, as well a brother to Verlinda Graves, wife of Capt. William Stone, Governor of Maryland.  The abutting tract owned by Adam Thoroughgood is believed by the author to have been one of the tracts presented in Items 1 and 2, above.  The fact that Adam Thoroughgood owned a small tract adjacent to the brother-in-law of Capt. William Roper and Capt. William Stone probably has no specific connection to Capt. John Michael, but it does underscore the relatively close proximity and interaction between persons of the lower James River and the Eastern Shore.
  6. 19Sep1637 – 5350 acres to Capt. Adam Thoroughgood in Lower New Norfolk County on Chisopeian Bay, due for transport of 107 persons, including himself, Sarah, his wife, Thomas Thoroughgood, etal.  This was far and away the single largest tract acquired by Adam Thoroughgood, and probably was the location of his principal seat of occupation.
  7. 19Sep1637 – 200 acres to Capt. Adam Thoroughgood in Elizabeth City County on Back River and Hampton River abutting land formerly John Gundry’s, now Thoroughgood’s, due by purchase from Capt. William Claibourne.  More land on Back River.
  8. 19Sep1637 – 200 acres to Capt. Adam Thoroughgood in Elizabeth City County on Back River near Little Otter Dam for transport of four persons.  More land on Back River.
  9. 8Feb1637/8 – 200 acres to Capt Adam Thoroughgood in Lower New Norfolk on Bennett’s Creek, due for transport of three negroes, plus 50 acre divident due John Gundry.  More land on Back River.
  10. 10Feb1637/8 – 200 acres to Capt Adam Thoroughgood in Elizabeth City County on Hampton River, formerly Capp’s Landing.  More land on Back River.
  11. 22Nov1648 – 500 acres to Robert Hayes in Lower New Norfolk County in Lynnhaven Parish abutting lands of Capt. John Gookin, deceased and of Adam Thoroughgood.  This tract was acquired by Robert Hayes eight years after the death of Capt. Adam Thoroughgood.  It is worth noting that this tract abutted the lands of both Capt. John Gookin and Capt. Adam Thoroughgood, both deceased.  Sarah Offley Thoroughgood married Capt. John Gookin after Adam’s death in 1640. 

The foregoing land records associated with Adam Thoroughgood clearly demonstrate a man of means.  His holdings were centered at two specific geographic areas: (1) about one mile north of Kechoughtan on Back River and Hampton River in Elizabeth City County, and (2) on Chisopeain River in Lynn Haven Parish, Lower New Norfolk County.  The general proximity of Adam Thoroughgood’s properties in relationship to Northampton County is illustrated on the map in Figure 8-5.  Some researchers attribute the naming of New Norfolk County to Capt. Thoroughgood, as that was his county of origin in England.  A grandson of Capt. Thoroughgood is believed to have built The Thoroughgood House on land devised by Adam Thoroughgood, its construction occurring originally in about 1680, and still existing today as a registered historic property as illustrated in Figure 8-6.

Adam Thoroughgood and Sarah Offley are believed to have had four children as follows:

  1. Anne Thoroughgood: b. 30Oct1630, Lower Norfolk County, Virginia; d. Aft Mar1702/03, Westmoreland County, Virginia (Age > 73 years); married (1) Job CHANDLER, son of Unknown CHANDLER and Sarah Yeardley. He was born BET 1580 AND 1630 in Norfolk, Virginia, and died 24 AUG 1659 in Portobacco, St. Mary’s City, MD.  He served as Receiver-General of Maryland, and Member of the Council, June 9, 1651; and was a Member of the Council, 1651-1654 and 1656-1659 (2) Gerard FOWKE 12 JAN 1660/61 in Charles County, Maryland, son of Roger FOWLKE and Mary BAYLEY. He was born 1634 in Gunston Hall, Staffordshire, England, and died 1669 in VA.  NOTE:  Gerrard Folke is believed to have been the brother of Thomas Folke, very likely one of the headrights claimed by Capt. William Mitchell on his land certificate filed in Oct1658 in Northampton County.
  2. Sarah Thoroughgood: b. 1631, Lower Norfolk County, Virginia; d. 9Oct1658, Charles County, Maryland (Age 27 years); married Symon OVERZEE, a native of Rotterdam, South Holland. He died FEB 1658/59.
  3. Elizabeth Thoroughgood: b. Abt 1633, Lower Norfolk County, Virginia; d. Abt 1670, Northampton County, Virginia (Age ~ 37 years); married John MICHAEL. He was born ABT 1625 in Graft, Noor Holland, died 28Jan1678/79, Northampton County, Virginia.
  4. Adam Thoroughgood: b. Aft 1638, Lower Norfolk County, Virginia; d. 1 Feb 1685/86, Lower Norfolk County, Virginia (Age < 46 years); married Frances YEARDLEY, daughter of Argoll YEARDLEY and Anne CUSTIS. She was born ABT 1638 in London, England [more likely at Rotterdam], and died 1 FEB 1685/86 in Norfolk, Virginia.

Given the relatively close geographic proximity between Lower New Norfolk, Elizabeth City and Northampton Counties, it is not difficult to visualize how John Michael could have come into contact with an orphaned daughter of Adam Thoroughgood.  But close geographic proximity was not the only factor drawing this young couple together.  There were also strong mercantile and cultural influences at play.  As early as the 1630’s Dutch traders had established a robust business in the James River and Chesapeake Bay regions.  Operating through English syndicates based in London, Dutch merchants captured a large segment of the tobacco trade in Maryland and Virginia, thereby establishing themselves as the suppliers of refined personal, household and consumer goods in growing demand by the colonial planters and only available from European craftsmen.  Inevitably, increased growth in trade between the Dutch and colonial English led to the immigration and settlement of Dutch and Dutch-English citizens to Maryland and Virginia:

“Among these recruits were two young recent arrivals to Virginia named Symon Overzee and Job Chandler, both protestants (but not Puritans).  Even at this early point in their careers, the fortunes of these two men had become tightly linked.  Born in 1623 in Stratford-upon-Avon, Chandler came to Virginia in the spring of 1648.  He was the younger brother of influential merchant Richard Chandler, one of Lord Baltimore’s associates and subsequent critics.  A former apprentice to Thomas Stone [uncle of Gov. William Stone], whose tobacco syndicate had benefited from connections with Holland’s merchants, Richard was now capitalizing on his own connections with Dutch traders.  Political allies of Overzee would later claim that he, too, was born in England, but in fact he grew up in a prosperous Rotterdam family.  Overzee’s father, Cornelius Symonsz Overzee, a prominent ship owner, sea captain, and tobacco importer, likely traded with both Richard Chandler and Thomas Stone.  As early as 1647, Symon was living up to his name, which means “overseas” in Dutch: only 21 years old, he was actively trading as the contractor or owner of ships plying the Virginia-to-Rotterdam tobacco trade.  He probably settled in Virginia around 1650, his immediate task the promotion of his father’s business interests.  By 1651 both Symon Overzee and Job Chandler were living in Lynnhaven, Lower New Norfolk County, in the southeastern corner of Virginia, where Chandler had already established himself as county Sheriff, Justice of the Peace, and Burgess.  The area was the site of a thriving Dutch trading post that supplied the English planter elite with exotic foods and spirits, fine furniture, luxury goods such as linens and laces, and for a wealthy few, enslaved workers.  Shortly after their arrival in Virginia, Overzee and Chandler married two Lynnhaven women, the Thoroughgood sisters, Sarah (born 1631) and Anne (1630), respectively…  At the time of their marriage, the sisters were the step-daughters of Francis Yeardley, the younger son of Virginia’s governor, the Protestant  Sir George Yeardley.”[84]

The foregoing narrative description of Symon Overzee and Job Chandler, and their Dutch trading connections, might just as easily included an introduction to John Michael [born Graft, Noor Holland ~1625] and John Custis [born in Rotterdam around 1630], Michaell becoming brother-in-law to Overzee and Chandler by marrying the other Thoroughgood sister, Elizabeth (born ~1633) in about 1650.  We pick up Ms. Jones’ continued narrative description of this family as follows:

“In 1647 the 21-year old [Francis] Yeardley had made an excellent match with a 36-year old Lynnhaven widow.  Her new name, Sarah Offley Thoroughgood Gookin Yeardley…  Francis Yeardley took up residence with his new wife at her Lynnhaven estate, where she was living with her children, including (at this point) her unmarried daughters, Sarah and Anne [and Elizabeth].  After Overzee and Sarah Thoroughgood wed, Yeardley and his step-son-in-law parlayed their kin relationship into a financial one.  The two men jointly bought the sloop Wittepaart … and embarked on a trading business facilitated by Overzee’s ties with other Dutch merchants on both sides of the Atlantic…  In 1649 Lt. William Lewis, a Catholic landowner, signed over his patent for 2000 acres on Portobacco Creek in Maryland’s Western Shore to Overzee and Chandler, jointly…  Arriving in 1650 with his bride, Overzee named his portion of the tract … “Rotterdam”.  For a while at least, the Thoroughgood sisters would live on adjoining estates in Charles County MD.”[85]

Francis Yeardley, John Michael’s step-father-in-law, abruptly died at his Lynnhaven plantation in Feb1655/6.  By that date all of his Thoroughgood step-children were married and living on their own.  Lest we forget, there was a rather curious event involving Francis Yeardley abstracted as follows:

  • 6Feb1653/4 – John Johnson & Thomas Adams pltes  Upon Complaint this day  Coll ffrancis Yardley & Nathanll Batts defts made by John Johnson and Thomas Adams Craveing reliefe against Colonell ffrancis  Yardley Nathan” Batts and others for that Contrary to all Law and Justice and in affront of the Government here they had lately by force of Armes taken and Surprized a Vessell riding in Patomock River within this Province belonging to them the Said Compits to their great Damage. The Said Coll Yardley in Answer hereunto Saith that he did take the Said Vessell as prize for that as he alledged She came lately from trading at the Movadoes or Dutch Plantacon But the Said Colonell,  Nathaniell Batts, mr Charls Thurston now present in Court nor any other their Complices or confederates in this Rebellious Unwarrantable Action Makeing any thing appeare to the Court that the Said could be a lawfull prize nor that they or any of them had any Lawfull Warrant or Authority to make prize of her, And it appearing to the Court that the Said Vessell had lately ridd about two months together at Accomack in  Virginia which the Said Colonell could not deny, and Comeing from thence to this Province fraighted with Cattell and Goods belonging to Some Inhabitants here, one or both the owners being Inhabitants of Virginia, and Comeing up (as it Seems) with intent to Seate in this Province and none of the Dutch Nation (So far as appears to this Court) having any interest in the Said Vessell, and the Court (for Very Sufficient reasons) apprehending that this Enterprize was meerly undertaken and grounded upon a Malitious quarrell. It is therefore Ordered that the Said Vessel with all furniture and Goods belonging to her be forthwith restored to the Said Johnson and Adams,  and for any thing belonging thereto (goods or otherwise) which Shall be made appeare by proofe to have been imbeazeiled by the Said Colonell or his Complices in their late Enterprize aforesaid the Said Coll Yardley (who takes the busieness wholy upon himself) when the Same Shall So appeare upon  proofe, is to give the owners trebble Satisfacon And the Said  Colonell ffrancis Yardley for his offence herein and affront to the  Governmt is Ordered to pay forthwith three thousand pounds of Tobacco and Caske for a ffine to the Lord Proprietary, And the Said Nathaniell Batts appearing to be a Mayne Instigator and Actor in this busieness in Respect of his offence therein is forthwith to pay as a ffine to his Ldp one thousand pounds of Tobacco and Caske or else be whipt with Thirty nine Lashes & as is till then to Stand Committed, And upon the Said Charles Thurstones acknowledgmt of his offence alledging he was ignorantly Drawne into the Attempt upon the Colonells information that the Same was approved of by the Governour and Justifyable, the Court giving Credit to his relation in that par ticular, and his Carriage having been formerly in his tradeing here faire and unreproveable for ought appears to the Contrary (the Governor being pleased to remitt this his offence) he is by the Court discharged thereof, And upon the Sheriffs motion for an allowance for his Extraordinary pains taken upon this occasion the Court thinks fitt to allow him 300 lbs. of Tob: & Caske wch the Said Colonell Yardley is Ordered to pay unto him accordingly and also the other Court Charges in this Suit.

The foregoing record demonstrates that the business operations of Dutch merchants within the colonial waters of the Chesapeake were not always warmly received.  In this complaint we have Capt. John Johnson, Dutch mariner, probably the same John Johnson, who identified himself as a kinsman of John Michael, had his vessel and its contents commandeered by Francis Yeardley, step-father-in-law of John Michaell.  The location of this alleged pirating occurred within Maryland waters, as the matter was presented before a Maryland Court.  It was about this same time period that Francis Yeardley seemingly abandoned his properties and business interests (including creditors) in Maryland, and returned to his plantation at Lynnhaven.  It is interesting to note that the Court sided with Capt. Johnson, and ordered full restoration of his ship and property.  Further note that in Mar1654 Capt. John Johnson and Col. Francis Yeardley, being aboard Yeardley’s vessel on the Chesapeake, swore and oath of friendship, shook hands, and drank a toast to one another’s good health, as attested in Court by both Henry Fox and Phillip Land, who were witnesses to this reconciliation. 

Yeardley Family

George Yeardley was the progenitor of the Yeardley family in America.  He reportedly was born 28Jul1588 in St. Saviour’s Parish, Southwark, to Ralph Yeardley, a London haberdasher.  He sailed for Virginia in 1609, served three terms as Governor of the Virginia Colony, married Temperance Flowerdew in 1618, died in 1627, leaving a wife and three children.  A biography from Wikipedia is presented as follows:

“Sir George Yeardley (1588 – 1627) was a plantation owner and three time colonial Governor of the British Colony of Virginia. A survivor of the Virginia Company of London’s ill-fated Third Supply Mission, whose flagship, the Sea Venture, was shipwrecked on Bermuda for 10 months in 1609-10, he is best remembered for presiding over the initial session of the first representative legislative body in Virginia in 1619. With representatives from throughout the settled portion of the colony, the group became known as the House of Burgesses. It has met continuously since, and is known in modern times as the Virginia General Assembly.

Yeardley was baptized on July 28, 1588, in St. Saviour’s Parish, Southwark, Surrey. He was the son of Ralph Yeardley (1549-1604), a London merchant-tailor, and Rhoda Marston (d. 1603). He chose not to follow his father into trade, but instead became a soldier and joined a company of English foot-soldiers to fight the Spanish in the Netherlands. As captain of a personal bodyguard, he was selected to serve Sir Thomas Gates during his term as Governor of Virginia.

Yeardley set sail from England on June 1, 1609, with the newly appointed Gates aboard the Sea Venture, the flagship of the ill-fated Third Supply expedition to Jamestown. After seven weeks at sea, and eight days from expected landfall, the convoy ran into a tropical storm and the Sea Venture was shipwrecked in the Bermudas. No lives were lost, and despite numerous problems and civil unrest among the former passengers, causing Gates to declare martial law, in 10 months time two small ships were built, the 70-80 ton Deliverance and the 30 ton pinnace Patience. The ships arrived at Jamestown on May 23, 1610.

In 1613 Yeardley married Temperance Flowerdew, daughter of Anthony Flowerdew of Hethersett, County Norfolk, and his wife Martha Stanley of Scottow, County Norfolk. Temperance had also sailed for Virginia in the 1609 expedition aboard the Faulcon, arriving at Jamestown in August 1609, and was one of the few survivors of the Starving Time.

In 1616 Yeardley was designated Deputy-Governor of Virginia. One of his first accomplishments was to come to an agreement with the Chickahominy Indians that secured food and peace for two years. He served from 1616 to 1617. Yeardley was appointed Deputy-Governor again in 1625.

Sir George Yeardley was knighted at Newmarket, England, on 24 November 1618, and six days later he was commissioned Governor of Virginia. He was granted 300 acres (1.2 km2) of land to help defray the cost of maintaining himself as governor.

In 1618, he patented 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) of land on Mulberry Island.[1] He owned another private plantation upriver on the south side of the James River opposite Weyanoke, named Flowerdew Hundred. Yeardley named the property after his wife, Temperance Flowerdew. The plantation elected two representatives to the first General Assembly in Jamestown in 1619: one was an ancestor of President Thomas Jefferson. With a population of about thirty, the plantation was economically successful with thousands of pounds of tobacco produced along with corn, fish and livestock.

Yeardley paid 120 pounds (possibly a hogshead of tobacco) to build the first windmill in British America in 1621. The windmill was an English post design and was transferred by deed in the property’s 1624 sale to Abraham Piersey, a Cape Merchant of the London Company.

Yeardley led the first representative Virginia General Assembly, the legislative House of Burgesses, to meet on American soil. It convened at the church in Jamestown on July 30, 1619. One of the first acts of this representative body was to set the price of tobacco. Yeardley was appointed Deputy-Governor again in 1625.

He served a second time as Governor from March 4, 1626/27 until his death on November 13, 1627. He is buried in the church at Jamestown, Virginia.”

The author cannot vouch for the accuracy of this biography, but believes it to be sufficiently reliable for this genealogical research.  The children of George Yeardley and Temperance Flowerdew are listed as follows:

  1. Col. Argoll Yeardley (I) (Burgess)+ b. 31 Aug 1618, m. (1) 9Mar1636 Frances Knight, (2) Ann Custis, daughter of Henry Custis and Joan Whittington (widow), circa 1649 at Rotterdam, Holland, d. b 29 Oct 1655 Northampton County, VA.  Note that other genealogists report Anne Custis to have been a daughter of John Custis I and Joan Powell.
  2. Elizabeth Yeardley b. 1619
  3. Francis Yeardley b. 1623, m. ~1642 Sarah Offley Gookin Thoroughgood, d.

Col. Argoll Yeardley (I) (Burgess) b. 31 Aug 1618, d. b 29 Oct 1655

Family 1:  Frances Knight b. c 1620, d. 1648, m. 9 March 1636; He married Frances Knight on 9 March 1636 at St. Stephen, Coleman, London, England.5

Children:

  1. Rose Yeardley b. c 1640
  2. Frances Yeardley+ b. c 1642
  3. Argoll Yeardley (II)+ b. c 1644, d. 29 Aug 1682, m. He married Sarah Michael, daughter of Capt. John Michael (Sr.-N’hamp) and Elizabeth  Thorowgood, on 23 January 1671 at Northampton Co, VA.

Family 2:  Ann Custis b. c 1633, d. b 1686, m. circa 1649; He married Ann Custis, daughter of Henry Custis and Joan Whittington (widow) [or, alternatively: John Custis and Joan Powell], circa 1649 at Rotterdam, Holland.

Children:

  1. Edmund Yeardley b. 1651, d. 1675
  2. Henry Yeardley b. 1653, d. 1669

Argoll Yeardley (II)

Family:  Sarah Michael b. 1654, d. b 29 Mar 1697

Children:

  1. John Yeardley b. c 1673
  2. Argoll Yeardley (III) b. c 1675
  3. Frances Yeardley+ b. c 1677, d. a 1714.  She married Maj. John (13) West (the younger), son of Lt. Col. John (2) West (Burgess) and Matilda Scarburgh (Quaker), circa 1695.
  4. Elizabeth Yeardley+ b. c 1679.  She married George Harmanson, son of Thomas Harmanson Sr. (Burgess) and Joane Andrews, circa 1700.
  5. Sarah Yeardley+ b. c 1681, d. b 19 Nov 1718.  She married John Powell, son of Walter Powell (Quaker) and Margaret Berry, circa 1700.

Of the Yeardley family marriages, the most significant to this research into the family of John Michael were the marriages of Argoll Yeardley II to Sarah Michael, daughter of John Michael and Elizabeth Thoroughgood, and the marriage of Argoll Yeardley I to Ann Custis, daughter of Henry Custis and Joan Whittington [or alternatively: John Custis and Joan Powell].  The Custis family connections are presented next.

Custis Family

The Custis family in America traces its roots to Edmond Custis (alias Cliffe or Clift) of Cirencester, Gloucestershire, England, born about 1570.  This connection to Edmond Custis-Cliffe is established through the LWT of John Smithier [aka Smithers] made 16Feb1618/9, proven 31Oct1626 at Arlington Parish, Bibury, Gloucestershire, abstracted as follows:

“John Smithier of Arlington in the parish of Buybury and County of Gloucester, yeoman, 16 February 1618/9, proved 31 October 1626. All my lands of inheritance &c to John Smithier, eldest son of my son John Smithier deceased, next to my cousin (sic) Henry Smithier, his brother, then to my niece Johan Powell, then to my niece (sic) Thomazine Smithier, daughter of said son John deceased, then to my cousin John Custis als Cliffe, then to my cousin Henry Custis als Cliffe, then to my right heirs forever. I give and bequeath my lease of Camdens unto my son in law Edmond Custis als Cliffe and to his son John Custis and to the survivor or longest liver of them, the said John to pay, during the natural life of the said father, towards the maintenance of Elizabeth, his sister, twenty shillings yearly, and after the decease of his said father, if he survive, forty shillings yearly during his own natural life. Bequests to Thomas Howse, son of my daughter Anne Howse late of Colne Rogers deceased, to Richard Howse, his brother, to my cousin William Howse, their brother, to James Howse, their brother, to Margaret Howse, their sister, and to Bridget Howse, their sister. I give to John Custis als Cliffe and Henry his brother, the sons of Edmond Custis now of Cirencester, ten pounds apiece. To William Custis, their brother, thirteen pounds six shillings eight pence and my best shirt. To Nicholas Custis, their brother and to Edmond Custis, their brother, each, thirteen pounds six shillings eight pence. Bequests to Elizabeth and Mary Custis, their sisters. To my sister Jones forty shillings. Thomas Smithier and his children. Richard Smithier. Matthew Smithier and his children. Ellianor Peirson and her children. William Smithier of Northletch [Northleach]. Mary Powell, the daughter of my niece Joane Powell, and Elizabeth, her sister. My cousin Joane Powell to be sole executrix. A codicil was written 12 November 1619, modifying some of the bequests made in the will. Hele,j 133.” [The foregoing will I deem well worth saving, associating together, as it does, the family name Custis and the place name Arlington. Henry F. Waters.] [86]

This Will used several different terms of kinship, including: cousin, niece, and son-in-law, which may not comport with contemporary kinship terminologies.  Consequently, in order to decipher the various relationships between the parties named in this Will, it is necessary to translate these arcane terms into modern parlance. 

First, we will take a stab at deciphering the term “cousin”.  The first instance of the usage of this term is presented in such a manner and context as to render its translation relatively straight forward: “to John Smithier, eldest son of my son John Smithier deceased, next to my cousin (sic) Henry Smithier, his brother”…  in this context cousin is used to describe a “grandson” in modern terminology, i.e., a son of a son.

Next, we have the term “niece” used several times in reference to various female relations.  Following is an instance of the usage of “niece”, which may assist in translating its meaning: ” to my niece (sic) Thomazine Smithier, daughter of said son John deceased”… in this instance the usage of the term “niece” would appear to refer to a “granddaughter” in modern terminology, i.e., a daughter of a son.

Lastly, we have the term “son-in-law”, used only in one instance in reference to Edmond Custis/Cliffe of Cirencester as follows: “unto my son in law Edmond Custis als Cliffe and to his son John Custis”.  Also, the following reference: “to my cousin John Custis als Cliffe, then to my cousin Henry Custis als Cliffe”, and “to John Custis als Cliffe and Henry his brother, the sons of Edmond Custis now of Cirencester.”  The author interprets the foregoing references to Edmond Custis (alias Cliffe) to be in reference to one person, and the references to John Custis (alias Cliffe) and Henry Custis (alias Cliffe) to be to the eldest sons of Edmond Custis.  Since John and Henry were identified as “cousins” of John Smithier, it would follow that they were his grandsons in modern parlance.  Therefore, it would appear that the usage of the term “son-in-law” in reference to Edmond Custis-Cliffe probably had the same meaning as in modern parlance.  It would appear that Edmond Custis was married to an unidentified daughter of John Smithier.  Some researchers identify Edmond Custis Sr.’s wife as Bridget Smithier.  This may or may not be correct, but in any case, the author believes that Edmond Custis Sr. was in fact a son-in-law of John Smithier, having married a daughter of John Smithier.  One other possible interpretation of the usage of “son-in-law” may have been the more traditional meaning of that era, i.e., “step-son”.  In this context it is possible that John Smithier had married Edmond Custis’ mother, and that Emond Custis was born of an earlier husband surnamed Custis.

Also, from John Smithier’s LWT we have the identity of several of Edmond Custis’ children, presented hereinafter in the order in which they appear in the Will: (1) John Custis-Cliffe; (2) Henry Custis-Cliffe; (3) William Custis; (4) Nicholas Custis; (5) Edmond Custis; (6) Mary Custis; and (7) Elizabeth Custis.

John Custis I was the progenitor of the Custis family in America.  Genealogists have his place of birth in Gloucester County, England sometime between about 1595 and 1599.  He is purported to have married a woman named Joan or Jane Powell.  Some researchers even aver that he married the Johan (aka Joan or Jone) Powell named in John Smither’s LWT variously as a niece or cousin, either designation probably translating into a granddaughter.  If a granddaughter, she probably would have been of an age compatible with the wife of John Custis.  If the author’s kinship interpretations for Joan Powell and John Custis are correct, they would have been first cousins.  Given that Joan Powell was identified with two daughters in the John Smithier LWT, then she probably was widowed by Feb1619, as there was no mention of a husband.  John Custis I is believed to have married at Cirencester around 1620-5, and to have moved to Rotterdam prior to 1630.

The only church records found for a Custis family member in the Cirencester area during this time period were those of a Henry Custis listed as follows:

  1. 29 Jun 1620 – Bridgett Custis, daughter of Henry and Jone was baptized at Cirencester, Gloucester, England.
  2. 23 Dec 1621 – Judith Custis, daughter of Henry and Jone was baptized at Cirencester, Gloucester, England.

It seems highly probable that these were records of children born to John Custis I’s brother, Henry Custis.  It is interesting to note that Henry appears to have married a woman named Jone or Joan.  Is this a coincidence, or is it possible that Henry Custis may have been the husband of Joan Powell, and not John Custis I?  Some researchers actually identify Henry Custis and a Joan Whittington or Whittingham having been the parents of the Virginia Custis immigrants, instead of John Custis and Joan Powell. 

Additionally, there is an estate record for Mrs. Joan Custis abstracted as follows:

  1. “5Jan1675/6 – Whereas a Contraversy is dependinge at Law undecided att Rotterdam on ye prtence of a proportion of the Estate left by Mrs. Joane Custis which her son Edmond as also her son John Doe Individually lay claime unto, Now bee it knowne unto all men by these prsents That the above Said Edmond have Agreed and Consented Unto my above said Brother John; To Renounce unto him my whole Title & prtence to any thinge left by our Said Mother beinge Satisfied with my proportion of that gift of our Said Mother duringe her life in Two hundred pound Sterlinge paid by Mr John Smithes [Smithier] many yeares past. Whereunto I Sett my hand & Seale this 5th of January 1675 in London. Signed & Sealed in the Edmond Custis”.  This estate settlement for Mrs. Joan Custis, widow, dated 5Jan1675/6, for property at Rotterdam, filed at London, does not identify the husband.  Consequently, even though this record and the following record identify three separate sons of Joan Custis, we are left pondering the identity of Joan’s husband.  Was he John Custis I or his brother, Henry Custis?
  2. “5Jan1675/6 – Whereas by the hand writinge of Robt Custis my Brother of Rotterdam, as also under ye hand of Mr Richard Banks Merchant in London it doth appeare there is due unto me fifty pound Sterlinge at Such time when the duties of Custome paid on ye Ladinge of the Carolus Secundus (cast away) should bee repaid Againe. Of which fifty pound I Doe Acknowledge Whale recd Tenn pound in part. These are to Certifye That for ye remaineinge forty pound I Doe Acknowledge to bee fully Satisfyed by my Brother John Custis and Doe hereby resigne up Unto him my whole Interest therein for his proper use. In witnes whereof I have hereunto sett my hand & Seale This 5th January 1675 London. Signed & Sealed in the Edmund Custis.”  NOTE:  This record dated 5Jan1675/6 in London identifies three Custis brothers: Robert [of Rotterdam], John [II] [of Virginia] and Edmund [of London].  It is interesting to note that the 50₤ claimed by Edmond Custis, was for outfitting the Spanish warship “Carolus Secundus”.  In 1680 the Carolus Secundus was taken captive by the Brandenburg navy off the coast of the Netherlands containing a valuable shipment of Dutch lace.  After its capture, the Carolus Secundus was re-outfitted and placed into service of the German Navy.

From the foregoing estate records we have evidence of three sons of Mrs. Joan Custis, namely, John II, Edmond and Robert.  Most researchers claim this Joan Custis to have been Joan Powell, Administratrix of the LWT of John Smithier and the widow of John Custis I.  By reference to a portion of the estate of John Smithier valued at 200₤ having been devised to Mrs. Joan Custis, it does seem likely that Joan Custis was the heir, Joan Powell, named in Smithier’s LWT.

For whatever reason, at least two generations of Custis’ also took on the alias of Cliffe.  The Virginia Custis’s even adopt the coat of arms of their English Cliffe ancestors:

Arms: Argent, three popinjays vert. Crest: An archer proper, coat vert, shooting an arrow from a bow of the first.

“JOHN CUSTIS, an Englishman, born about the year 1599, was a resident of Rotterdam, Holland, previous to his settlement in Virginia. It has been stated by Bishop Meade, in his Old Churches and Families of Virginia, that John Custis was of Irish birth; but the record of naturalization of his sons John and William Custis, in 1658, sets forth that they were by descent, but not by birth, natural Englishmen. It is most probable that John Custis was of a family of [Arlington] Gloucestershire, England.”[87] 

The author is inclined to believe that the Virginia Custis immigrants were descended from John Custis I, son of Edmond Custis.  All of the presumed children of John Custis I and Joan Powell are believed to have been born in Rotterdam.  Two of the children: John and William Custis filed for naturalization in Virginia as evidenced in the following act of the General Assembly:

“Mar1657/8 – Pursuant to the CXVIIIth act of the last session, commissions of denization issued to William Westerhouse, George Hacke, Lambert Grooten, Minor Dowdas and John Abraham, all Dutchmen; and a commission of naturalization to William and John Curtis, born of English parents.”[88]

From the foregoing record it is established that there was yet another son of John Custis I named William Custis.  In addition to William, John II, Edmond and Robert, there was also a sister named Anne Custis, who married Argoll Yeardley as his 2nd wife in about 1648 at Rotterdam.  Other researchers credit John Custis I and Joan Powell with two additional sons: Thomas Custis of Ireland, and Joseph Custis of Virginia.  Following are some of the earliest records found for Custis’s in Virginia:

  1. “10Apr1652 – Lower New Norfolk Court:  John Custis “who intermarried with the relic and Administratrix of Robert Eyer, deceased” and Simon Overzee, merchant, hereby engage themselves in open Court in the sum of 20,000 lbt to satisfy orders against the estate of said Eyer, amounting to 7510 lbt…”  This John Custis is believed to have been a son of John Custis I and Joan Powell, born in about 1630 at Rotterdam, Holland.  This was the same John Custis, who was granted naturalization status in 1657/8.  John Custis II is believed to have married twice: (1) Elizabeth Robinson, widow of Robert Eyer, and (2) Tabitha Scarborough, daughter of Edmund Scarborough.
  2. 12Oct1652 – John Robinson Jr. 700 acres in Northampton County at Anancock [Onancock], beginning at a point of land where Ambrose Dixon and Stephen Horsley do end their divident, due for transport of 14 persons, including John Custis, Mrs. Anne Yardley, etal.  This tract was located at Onancock, the same area as the tract filed by Thomas Leatherberry in 1655, which included William Michell as a headright.  This transportee could have been either John Custis I or John Custis II.  Mrs. Anne Yardley clearly was Anne Custis, who had recently married Argoll Yeardley Jr. in Rotterdam.
  3. “25Oct1652 – Lower New Norfolk Court:  On petition of William Jeremy an order that Simon Overzee, merchant, pay 499 lbt to Jeremy, being in debt due from the estate of Robert Eyer, deceased, for Clerk’s fees.  Overzee having formerly engaged himself in open Court to pay in behalf of John Custis, merchant, who married relic of said Eyer.”  By the reference to having married “the relic of Robert Eyer”, this would have been a record of John Custis II, who is already being referenced as a “merchant”.. 
  4. “16May1653 – Lower New Norfolk Court:  Certificate for 100 acres in Northampton County, south side of Naswattocks Creek to John Custis for transporting Davy Thompson and George Such.  Patented 15Oct1653.  Also, sold to Sampson Robins (dated unknown).  This is believed to have been the first tract of land acquired by John Custis II in Northampton County.
  5. 24Nov1654 – John Curtis [Custis] 200 acres in Accomack County on north side of Nuswattocks Creek, due for transport of four persons: John Wapp, Hugh Creeye, Alexander Hall and John Glamfield.  Assigned to Custis by Capt. William Whitington.  This tract was in the same general vicinity as the 100 acre tract described in Item 6, above.  Note that this tract was originally granted to Capt. William Whittington, the same person who witnessed the POA between John Michael and Jan Johnson in 1652.
  6. 22Nov1655 – John Custis Sr. and John Custis Jr. served on a jury together in Northampton County.  This record demonstrates that there were two adult male John Custis’ in Northampton by Nov1655.  From record No. 3, above, it was demonstrated that John Custis II was already in Northampton by Apr1652, probably as early as 1650.  It is the author’s belief that the John Justis Sr. shown in this record was John Custis I.  Just when John Custis I arrived in Northampton is uncertain, but he may have been the person named as a headright in Oct1652 in Item No. 4, above.
  7. 19Feb1655/6 – Joseph Custis, late in Virginia, deceased, administration awarded to Edward Miles, principal creditor.  This William Custis is believed to have been the brother of John Custis II.
  8. 5Oct1657 – John Custis, Jr., 250 acres in old plantation creek, easterly on Bagwell’s Creek, due for transport of five persons, including Joseph Curtis [or Custis].  The fact that this John Custis was given the designation of “Jr.” suggests that there was another, more senior, John Custis present in Northampton County in 1657.  Note that this tract was situated on “Old Plantation Creek”, an area situated not too distant from the two earlier tracts at Nasawattox [Nasawaddox] Creek, and also nearby to John Michael’s tracts.
  9. 8Oct1657 – John Custis Sr. 200 acres in Accomack County, beginning at land belonging to William Burditt, deceased, upon land formerly belonging to George Travelor, deceased, due for transport of four persons.  Three days after the previous tract recording by John Custis Jr. we have this recording of another tract by John Custis Sr., clearly establishing the fact that their were two adult John Custis’ on the Eastern Shore in 1657.  Further evidence of these two John Custis’ is shown by the jury convened in Northampton County on 22Nov1655, which included John Custis Sr. and John Custis Jr. (Item No. 8, above).  This tract was adjacent to tracts formerly in the possession of William Burditt and George Travelor.  It should be noted that John Custis II is reported to have married as his 2nd wife Alicia, widow of (1) George Travelor, (2) William Burditt, and (3) Peter Walker, in 1657.  Given the proximity of this tract to lands formerly owned by the deceased husbands of John Custis II’s 2nd wife, it seems possible that this John Custis Sr. was the same person as John Custis II.  However, many researchers claim that both John Custis I and John Custis II migrated to the Eastern Shore around 1649/0.  If that were so, then this John Custis Sr. very likely was John Custis I, father of John Custis II.
  10. 26Mar1662/3 – John, Sarah and Margarett Mitchell, 200 acres in Accomack County, beginning at land of William Burditt, along land formerly belonging to George Smith. (Granted to Mr. John Custis, 8Oct1657), by him deserted and granted by order of General Court, 16Oct1660 to said Mitchell).  Due for transport of four persons, viz: William Appy, Thomas Irish, George Sith and Mary Greenwood [Ellis Appaie (or was this William Appy?), Thomas Irish George Scotch (or was it George Sith?) and Mary Greenwood were already claimed in preceding patent].  This was the same tract patented by John Custis I in Item 11, above.  It is interesting to note that John Michaell, and his two minor daughters filed this patented jointly.  About 15 years later Margarett Michael would marry John Custis III, son of John Custis II and Elizabeth Robinson Eyer.  Even though this tract was not patented until 26Mar1662/3, the certificate was filed in Oct1660.
  11. 1Oct1664 – Mr. John Custis, 400 acres in Accomack County at bay side, on south of Boleman’s Branch, corner tree of John Trotman, due for transport of eight persons.  The fact that this patent filing by Mr. John Custis did not include a clarifying designation of either “Sr.” or “Jr.” suggests that one of the earlier John Custis’ was not longer living in Northampton.  Many researchers report that John Custis I died sometime in the 1650’s, whereas others report that he returned to Europe where he died at Rotterdam in the 1680’s.  It seems probable that John Custis Sr. had either died or returned to Europe before the recording of this patent, and that this patent was filed by John Custis II.

The main purpose for presenting this biographical information about the Custis family was because of the intermarriage between John Custis III and Margarett Michaell, daughter of John Michaell and Elizabeth Thoroughgood.  It was Daniel Parke Custis, grandson of John Custis and Margarett Michaell, who married Martha Dandridge, the future wife of General George Washington.  This is only one example of several intermarriages between descendants of John Custis I and first families of the American Revolution.

John Michael Resumed

Having presented brief genealogical studies of three of the most important allied families to have interacted with the John Michael family, it is now time to return to our analysis of the Michaells family and its possible connection to William Mitchell/Michael Jr.  From the foregoing analysis of William Michael/Michell in Northampton and Lancaster Counties it was demonstrated that this person, whoever he was, had a continuous presence in that region for about 12 years between his arrival in 1652 and his disappearance in about 1663/4.  For most of that time period this William Michael lived in very close proximity with John Michael of Graft, and associated with some of the same parties as John Michael.  Although no records were found to directly link William Michael with John Michael, it is the author’s opinion that they could have been kinsmen.  There are several similarities to be considered:

  1. They both arrived on the Eastern Shore at about the same time period (1650-1652).
  2. For the most part, they spelled their surnames exactly the same: Michael(l), Michel(l) or some close variation.
  3. They both appear to have been engaged in maritime shipping trade:  William Michaell appearing to have travelled out of the Colony on at least one occasion (1652 and 1663), and John Michaell acting as an agent/factor for various planters between Virginia and Holland.  Additionally, William’s son, John Michaell I, was described as a “mariner” in 1725 and in numerous records spelled his surname as “Michielle”.
  4. In 1653 John Michaell received a POA from John Johnson to collect debts from John Haynie of Chickacone, etal.; whereas William Michaell was named as a headright by John Haynie in Mar1662/3 on a patent filing at Chickacone.
  5. John Michaell purchased adjoining tracts at Old Plantation, immediately abutting a tract granted to Capt. William Roper on King’s Creek in the early 1650’s.  Even though Capt. Roper is believed to have died at about the same time that John Michaell immigrated to the Eastern Shore, Michaell’s family would have lived right next door to the Widow Roper’s family, even after she married Thomas Sprigg.  William Michaell appears to have been briefly indentured to Thomas Roper, and became a close associate of Thomas Roper and William Roper Jr. at South River, Anne Arundel County in the 1660’s.
  6. William Mitchell Jr. is believed to have named his eldest son, John Mitchell, and his second eldest son, William Mitchell.  If William Mitchell Jr. followed the naming conventions in vogue in the 17th century, he would have named his first born son after his father, i.e., John Michaell.

Final Analysis/Conclusions

In the preceding +100 pages we have presented a fairly comprehensive paper trail linking John Mitchell II to John Mitchell I and to William Mitchell of South River.  During the course of this presentation the author found strong linkages suggesting that William Mitchell very likely originated from the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  Having laid that groundwork, the author then set about trying to establish a linkage between William Mitchell and any other possible kinsman from that region.  Based on the reported yDNA match between John Bruce Mitchell and Scott Mitchell, it is reasonable to believe that one should be able to find William Mitchell’s kinsman, either a brother or father, residing in that same region, assuming that either John Bruce Mitchell or Scott Mitchell are in fact connected by blood to William Mitchell of South River.

Since Sherrie Boone and Moody Miles have concluded that Captain William Mitchell was the father of our William Mitchell of South River, a fairly comprehensive and exhaustive research and analysis was performed by the author on Captain William Mitchell and his associates.  This analysis demonstrated that Capt. Mitchell did live during the same time period and in the same general geographic region as our William Mitchell.  However, there were several factors discovered about Capt. Mitchell which did not comport with our William Mitchell:

  1. On his arrival in Maryland, Capt. Mitchell is on record as having had only two children, both of whom were very likely youths aged 8 to 12 years old, as they were in need of and cared for by a governess.
  2. None of these children were ever identified by name, until the filing of the land certificate in 1658.
  3. There is only very limited evidence of Capt. Mitchell having had any direct connections to Northampton County, VA before 1658, when he was elected as a Burgess from that County.  He did establish a business agreement with John Browne, a Northampton planter, in 1651, but he appears to have reneged on that agreement, as Browne’s widow was forced to seek legal assistance to collect Mitchell’s debt directly from Lawrence Coughen in Amsterdam.
  4. Aside from the election to a seat as Burgess and the land certificate in 1658, there are no other records in Northampton County that can definitely be linked to Capt. Mitchell.  Miles and Boone have cited various records of a “William Michell” in Northampton County in the 1650’s and claimed them to have been for Capt. William Mitchell, i.e., headrights, and deed witnesses, without offering one scintilla of proof of the identity of that “William Michell”.
  5. Moody has proffered the 1658 land certificate as “proof” of the existence of a son named William Jr.  The author has presented strong arguments suggesting that the William Mitchell, named as a headright in that certificate, was actually Capt. William Mitchell, himself.
  6. There is absolutely no proof that Thomas Mitchell was a brother of Capt. William Mitchell.  The only linkage between Thomas Mitchell and Capt. William Mitchell was a loan of 1000 lbt, for which Thomas Mitchell was required to indenture his son to Capt. Mitchell as collateral or security for the loan.  Moreover, Thomas Mitchell’s son was still indentured to Capt. Mitchell when the land certificate was filed in Northampton County in 1658.  Given Capt. Mitchell’s ruthless business practices, there is no guarantee that the George Mitchell, named as a headright in the land certificate, was not actually Thomas Mitchell’s son, and not a son of Capt. Mitchell as has been assumed by numerous researchers.
  7. No proof has been found by the author that Capt. William Mitchell had a son, let alone a son named William Mitchell Jr.

Moody Miles has counseled the author that one should not expect absolute proof from genealogical investigation.  The author is fully onboard with this reality.  Most genealogical research relies heavily on interpretation of limited facts, and drawing conclusions based on analysis of facts which frequently fall short of absolute “proof”.  The author has devised an interpretive model comprised of three basic elements: (1) time and place convergence, (2) allied party connections, (3) social and cultural similarities.  Absent absolute “proof”, time and place convergence is perhaps the single greatest test that can be applied.  Basically, in order to draw inferences about kinship, we must first be able to demonstrate that the parties in question had the opportunity to be connected by blood, marriage, adoption, etc.  Consequently, dates, ages, and geographic proximity become vitally important to establishing kinship.  If the parties cannot be shown to have existed contemporaneously and in close geographic proximity, the probability of kinship connection is greatly diminished, if not outright negated.  The old adage that “we cannot be in two different places at the same time” could not be truer than in genealogical research.  Allied party connections is a very strong secondary tool, as it can provide evidence of indirect connections that might otherwise be overlooked.  Business associates in common may be an indirect and secondary indicator of kinship.  Perhaps an even stronger indicator of kinship, or the possibility of kinship, may be found by comparing the social and cultural similarities between parties.  Economic and social status, nationality, business and fraternal affiliations, and religious and political connections often are shared values or attributes within the same family.

So, when we compare Capt. William Mitchell to John Michaell as possible kinsmen of William Mitchell of South River, we should ask ourselves, which of these two parties seem to have the best fit with the author’s evaluation model? 

Time and Place Convergence

Capt. William Mitchell, from all accounts, never owned land in Virginia, and only took steps to acquire land in Virginia in the last few months of his life.  He does not appear to have ever resided in Virginia.  Even his widow, though claimed as a headright by Capt. Mitchell on his land certificate, may not have been living in Northampton County in Nov1659 when she granted a POA to Randall Revell to collect debt owed to her deceased husband’s estate:

  • “Know all men y’ I Jone Michael Adm’stratrix of my late deceased Husband Capt. William Michael do p these presents appoint my loving friend Randall Revell my true & lawful Attorney to Act & do for me & in my name, Stead & place to ask demand & receive of and from any person or persons that are anyways owing or Indebted unto my aforesaid Husband Giving & giving my aforesaid Attorney as full power as if I were personally present And what my Attorney Shall lawfully do I certify & Confirm as Witness my Hand the  27th of November 1659 Joan Michael Witness Hugh Yeo John Goddin Recorded the 4th of December 1660 p Robt: Hutchinson cl cur coun North.:[89]

This language in Joan Mitchell’s POA suggests that she may not actually have been present in the County at the time of the recording of the POA.  Aside from the land certificate, no other record was found during this period for either Joan Mitchell or any of her children anywhere in Virginia.  On the other hand, John Michaell is on record as having lived almost continuously in Northampton County from his first arrival in the Colony around 1650 until his death in 1679.  John Michaell purchased tracts of land at Old Plantation on Kings Creek where he is believed to have lived much of his life.  William Michael/Michell resided in the same neighborhood as John Michael as evidenced by the location of the patents on which he was claimed as a headright.

Allied Party Connections

John Michaell was a merchant and agent/factor for person’s engaged in the tobacco trade around the Eastern Shore as was Capt. William Mitchell, yet they never appeared in records together, either directly or indirectly.  In the first couple of years following Capt. William Mitchell’s arrival in Maryland, he appears in a few records in Northumberland County, at the same time that John Michaell appears to have had a few business activities in that same county.  Yet from those few records there was no evidence, either direct or indirect, connecting Capt. Mitchell with John Michaell.  Similarly, there were absolutely no records found to connect Capt. William Mitchell with William Michaell.  However, in fairness of full disclosure, there were a few “allied party” records involving tertiary connections between Capt. William Mitchell and John Michaell listed as follows:

  1. 11Feb1650/1 – Whereas Mr Robert Clarke stands engaged by Bill to pay vnto John Hatch Attorney of Skipper Abraham Johnson Two thousand twoe hundred and eighty pounds of Tobacco and Caske or thereabout being the debt of Mr Phillipp Land. Hee the said Mr Land for the said Mr Clarkes security and saving harmeles of and from the said Ingagemt doth hereby make over assigne and deliver to the said Mr Clarke his the said W Lands whole estate within this Province or elswhere to bee answerable for the purpose aforesaid. Witnes his hand this 11th of ffebruary 1650 Testor Tho: Hatton, Phillip Land.  Robert Clarke was the Surveyor General of Maryland, and Phillip Land was the High Sheriff of St. Mary’s County, both of whom were associates and neighbors of Capt. William Mitchell, whereas Skipper Abraham Johnson was a fellow Grafter [native of Graft, Holland] along with John Michaell.
  2. 30Nov1651 –  Memorand that I George Manners engage my Self to bear Henry Pountney harmless from a bill of Six hundred pounds of Tobacco of the Said Henry Pountneys due to Skipper Abraham [Johnson] as Wittness my hand the 19th of Aprill 1651 Wittuess Friendship Tongue George Manners.  George Manner was granted POA by Margaret Brent, sister of Giles Brent, original grantee of White House plantation, subsequently the residence of Capt. William Mitchell.
  3. 13Sep1652 – Westmoreland County: The account of Abraham Johnson [Jansen] with Major Hallowes:  This is a long list of goods imported by Johnson who evidently was a Dutch sea Captain.  Items are omitted excepting those that show names of individuals, etc.  The account totals 7224 lbt.  It is witnessed by Cuthbert Fenwick and signed by Abraham Janse.  In 1653 Westmoreland County was created from the northern part of Northumberland County, and was situated directly across the Potomac River from St. Mary’s City.  Abraham Jansen [aka Johnson] was the Dutch sea captain whose POA was granted to John Johnson, who then assigned it to John Michaell.  Abraham Johnson, John Johnson and John Michaell are all believed to have originated from Graft, Holland.  Major John Hallowes was a planter with lands in both St. Mary’s County, MD and Northumberland County, VA.  Cuthbert Fenwick was a near neighbor and close associate of Capt. William Mitchell, even acting in the earlier days as Attorney for Capt. Mitchell.  There is nothing in this record to suggest any connection between Capt. William Mitchell and John Michaell.  This record simply demonstrates that the Dutch traders along the Chesapeake had many contacts in common.
  4. 6Feb1653/4 – John Johnson & Thomas Adams pltes  Upon Complaint this day  Coll ffrancis Yardley & Nathanll Batts defts made by John Johnson and Thomas Adams Craveing reliefe against Colonell ffrancis  Yardley Nathan” Batts and others for that Contrary to all Law and Justice and in affront of the Governmt here they had lately by force of Armes taken and Surprized a Vessell riding in Patomock River within this Province belonging to them the Said Compits to their great Damage.
  5. 1Oct1655 – Westmoreland County Records:  Deposition:  “Thomas Youell aged 40 stated that Abraham Johnson’s ship, with my father, Sturman and John Sturman heard Abraham demand tobacco of the said Sturman, and he made him answer he had paid Mr. [John] Hallowes and had to — in his bill.  The said Abraham demanded what he had paid it in, and the said Sturman said that Mr. [Thomas?] Gerrard came over to Mr. Hallowes and said that he had a great many debts upon this side [of the Bay?] and could not tell how he could come by them.  Again this record demonstrates that Capt. Abraham Johnson was engaged in trade along the Chesapeake, and came into contact with some of the same persons with whom Capt. William Mitchell associated, i.e., John Hallowes and Thomas Gerrard.
  6. 10Mar1656/7 – Clement Hinton was deposed saith that when he went to Potomac River to receive John Cornelius’ goods, where, upon arriving found that Cornelius had already placed his goods aboard Col. Smith’s ship, causing Hinton to leave his own tobacco (at warehouse?) until they should return again.  Hinton informed [Capt. William] Mitchell of the damages incurred in lost wages and ship’s usage.  Mitchell replied that he was engaged, and must perform his bargain, whatever he lost by it.  In addition to Abraham Johnson, Capt. William Mitchell had established a business relationship John Cornelius, the presumed brother-in-law of John Michaell.

   John Michael and William Michael were recorded in the company of several parties in common, including: John Ellsey, John Haynie, Reverend Thomas Teakle, Thomas Leatherberry, George Parker, and William and Thomas Roper. 

Appendix 8-1

LAST WILL and TESTAMENT

William Mitchel [aka Mitchell]

(Transcribed by Robert Atteberry at Carmichael California, 24Oct2016)

In the name of God Amen, I William Mitchell of South River of Anne Arundel County in Maryland being sick and weak of body but of a sound mind and perfect memory do make this my last will and testament.

First, I commit my soul to the all mighty God my creator hoping to obtain a blessed and glorious resurrection by the merit of suffering of Christ Jesus alone whom shall change my file body and make it I hope like his glorious body according to the working of his mighty power, also commit my body to the earth to be interred in a decent manner as my loving wife, whom I make whole and sole executrix shall think meet and convenient.

Next my will is my just debts may be fully paid and satisfied;

item, I give unto my beloved sons William and John that tracked or dividend of land called by the name of Popular Neck to be equally divided between them after my wife’s decease and that they the said William Mitchell and John Mitchell shall be at age to work themselves upon the aforesaid land when they come to the heirs of 18 provided my loving wife death Mary, but if my wife be disposed to remain a widow they shall not be free to work for themselves until the age of 21 years, likewise my will is that my two sons shall not have power to sell or make away any part or parcel of the land before disposed until they come to 40 years of age and then not to sell it out of my own generation, likewise I give unto my son Edward and my daughter Elizabeth 200 acres called Mitchell’s Choice to be equally divided between them, my son Edward shall be before to work for himself upon his own land at 18 years of age but if my wife remains a widow he shall work for her until the age of 21 years but have no power to make sale until 40 years, but my will is that my daughter Elizabeth shall possess her 100 acres at the day of marriage and shall be to her and her heirs for ever;

my will is that my four children shall have six cows and two calves delivered to them apiece as they come of age;

my will is that my three sons shall have one horse apiece at my daughter a mayor such as my loving wife thinks meet and convenient;

my will is that my loving brothers William Gibbs and Edward Gibbs may be overseers of this my last will and testament, that my loving wife and children may not be wrong and to this I have duly set my hand and seal this sixth day of February 1684. Signed William Mitchell

witnessed by us: Henry Pierpont and Thomas Bentley

the said will was thus endorsed vitz by virtue of a commission to and directed by the honorable judges for probate of wills this day being the sixth day of March 1685 come before me Henry Pierpont and Thomas Bentley both of Anne Arundel County witnesses to the within will and made oath that the said will was the last will and testament of William Mitchell late of the said County deceased and that the said Mitchell was a perfect mind and memory when he signed and sealed the within written will.

Jurat Com me diez anna ut sufra George Yate.

Appendix 8-2

Capt. William Mitchell Timeline

This chronological timeline for Capt. William Mitchell of 17th Century Maryland has been taken almost entirely from extracts of the Maryland Provincial Court[90] records and supplemented with other allied records from Maryland and Virginia.

  1. 21Feb1649/0 – Letter from William Mitchell to William Smith from London:  “To his very loving friend William Smith these presents:  Sir: Since I had the happiness to see you in London I have taken resolution for a more speedy voyage than I formerly intended, by means whereof your daughter’s departure is very near at hand.  This hath occasioned me to request that you would afford me the happiness of discoursing with you in London more particularly than I have yet had opportunity to do in a thing that so nearly concerns your child.  Sir, if you so please to come, it must be suddenly, and, if it be your pleasure to adventure yourself at Sea to be an eye witness how your child is disposed of, I will willingly make fit and competent provision for your journey, stay and return at pleasure without charge at all to yourself… And if you and Mrs. Smith think fit to bestow and household stuff on your daughter which will be a commodity will there turn her to a considerable advantage, I do engage myself upon my honor and reputacion that it shall pass upon her account…  Your affectionate friend, William Mitchell”[91]  From this letter to William Smith it can be surmised that Capt. Mitchell’s voyage to Maryland had been several months or a year or more in its planning.  This letter was sent from London to William Smith’s home in Bedfordshire.  Presumably, William Mitchell had become acquainted with Mr. Smith’s daughter, Susan Warren, in London and made arrangements for her to join his entourage to Maryland.  The inducements promised by Mitchell in this letter became the basis for a long-running dispute in the Courts in Maryland.  Mitchell would later renege on his promise to pay William Smith’s expenses incurred in transport to and from the Colony, his maintenance during the voyage and on the ground in Maryland, and delivery of the household stuffs purchased by Smith for his daughter.  So, Mitchell’s “honor and reputation” proved of little worth.
  2. 4Mar1649/0 – Letter from Lord Calvert to William Stone, Lieutenant of Maryland Province and Privy Council and Officers introducing “our trusty and well beloved William Mitchell, Esq.” who plans to transport himself, family and diverse other artificers, workmen, and useful persons, numbering at least 20 into the Maryland Province with intent of establishing a considerable plantation.  Further stipulated that “we have good experience of the honor and good abilities of the said Mitchell”.  Also, appointing Mitchell to be one of the Privy Council, and a Justice of Peace.  Again, this letter of introduction and authorization from Calvert’s Secretary to Governor Stone and his Council in Maryland appears to have been the product of considerable effort by William Mitchell.  The weight and worth of this warrant was virtually equivalent to the bounty and reward granted to one of the original adventurers aboard the Ark and Dove fifteen years earlier.  Based on the numbers of transportees and value of the investment promised by William Mitchell, he was to be given a seat on the Privy Council, a judgeship and plantation.
  3. 19Nov1650 – Letter from William Mitchell to the Maryland Council dated 4Apr1650 abstracted as follows: “Whereas I, William Mitchell of the City of Chichester in the County of Sussex, Gentleman, did formerly intend a Voyage in person to Maryland or Virginia in the ship called the Thomas and John.  I have provided myself with servants and other necessaries, and shipped two of my children, but shall for some time remain myself in England, I do therefore depute and trust as my assigns to dispose of all my men servants and boys shipped upon my account unto the charge of Mr. John Henshaw, Mr. Richard Hodgkins and Christopher Gery [Gray?], (my children and cook excepted), together with all my iron ware and other truck and commodity (my household stuff excepted), which together with my women servants, I leave totally to the ordering and disposing of Anne Boulton, my servant…  Sealed and delivered in the presence of Thomas Robinson and Richard Dorrington.  At Court held at St. Mary’s, present Gov. Thomas Greene, Esq. Capt. John Price, Sec.”[92]  William Mitchell penned this letter from England on 4Apr1650, which was introduced to the Maryland Assembly on 19Nov1650.  In the letter Mitchell states that he has dispatched servants, two of his children and his designated agents/assignees to Maryland along with iron ware and other truck and commodity, but that he will follow on a later voyage.  He designated John Henshaw, Richard Hodgkins and Christopher Gery to take charge of his property, men servants and boys, excepting his children and cook.  Anne Boulton was charged with care of the children, cook and other women servants.  The document does not specify the total number of persons transported.  It seems probable that Mitchell’s property, servants, agents and children arrived in Maryland sometime shortly before 19Nov.  Mitchell’s children were never identified by name, age, gender or otherwise in any of these colonial records.  However, since these two children were left in the charge of Anne Boulton, it might be assumed that they were either females, or relatively young males.
  4. 8Jan1650/1 – Court at St. Mary’s: Present: The Governor, Capt. John Price, William Mitchell, Esq., William Eltonhead, Esq., and Mr. Thomas Hatton.  William Mitchell, Esq. was this day sworn of his Lord Proprietor’s Council in open Court.[93]  It would appear from this record entry that William Mitchell had recently arrived in Maryland, perhaps only a month or two after his children, and was sworn that day as a member of the Privy Council.
  5. 13Feb1650/1, 19Feb1650/1 – William Mitchell, Esq. sat as member of Council.
  6. 16Feb1650/1 – Suit entered between Capt. William Mitchell and Mr. Thomas Hatton re. Hatton’s boarding Mitchell’s servants, sent to arbitration by Cuthbert Fenwick and Barnaby Jackson.  Arbitrators valued costs incurred by Hatton for Mitchell’s servants’ boarding at Hatton’s table for 32 weeks and his servants table 42 weeks  = 2570 lbt.  Mitchell ordered to pay Hatton.[94]  Apparently Mitchell’s agents had arranged for the boarding of his servants, agents and perhaps his children, for a total of 73 person/weeks.  If we assume about 90 days boarding between arrival of servants, etal., and arrival of William Mitchell, this would translate into about seven servants and five non-servants for a total of 12 transportees in the first voyage.
  7. 4Mar1650/1 – Capt. William Mitchell (Michell), Esq. demandeth 2200 acres of land for transport of 22 servants into the Province.  Later that same year Mitchell assigned this grant to Phillip Land, Sheriff of St. Mary’s County, who then transferred 1000 acres to Gregory Fox.  On 20Oct1651 Phillip Land and Gregory Fox were issued a patent for the land assigned them by William Michell, containing all that tract of land lying on the eastern side of Chesapeake Bay called Rich Neck Manor (upper part of Kent Island), property later inherited by Henry Fox.  From the foregoing patent certificate, it is demonstrated that Mitchell was credited with the transport of 22 persons, probably including himself.  If our earlier estimate of 12 persons transported in the first voyage was anywhere near correct, then it would appear that between about 10 persons were transported in the second voyage.  This was the only record found for any land grants to William Mitchell in Maryland, and he assigned this entire 2200 acres within six months to Phillip Land, High Sheriff of St. Mary’s.  It might be assumed that William Mitchell received payment for his assignment of this grant, since he had committed the landrights accrued from his recently transported company of servants, etc.  From this act it might be inferred that William Mitchell had no intention of establishing a plantation, but probably had plans for some other form of commerce, probably as a factor, importer, exporter, trader.  Take note of the fact that William Mitchell has now traded in his title of “Esq.” for that of “Capt.”  We have no explanation for the basis for this title change.  It might suggest that William Mitchell may have been acknowledged as a ship’s Captain, or assumed the title in connection with his having qualified for a manorial grant.  From this date forward, he is almost always referred to with the title of “Captain”.
  8. 20Jun1651 – Suit of William Smith (Cpl) vs. Capt. William Mitchell (Dft) by his Attorney, Cuthbert Fenwick:  Smith complained that he was induced by a letter from Mitchell, to travel from his home in Bedfordshire to London, and from thence to Maryland.  Further, that he laid out to Mitchell’s use 23-1/2 pounds sterling, plus an additional 5-1/2 pound sterling for his passage to Maryland, plus 50-1/2 pounds sterling for commodities (probably the commodities requested by Mitchell for use of Smith’s daughter).  The defendant denied responsibility for Smith’s expenses incurred in transit, and for his keep and care in the Province.  Further, defendant detained to goods and household stuff purchased and shipped to the Province at the defendant’s behest.  Claiming reimbursement of 10000 lbt.  Fenwick requested deferral until next Court (after Christmas) (Spring 1652), or until defendant’s return to Province.  Plaintiff given permission by Court to collect witnesses and depositions.[95]  Now the games begin.  William Mitchell is being called to task for his dishonest dealings with Mr. William Smith and his daughter, Susan Warren.  Apparently, William Smith had taken William Mitchell at his word, and had accompanied Mitchell to Maryland as a member of the 2nd party, which probably sailed from England around July-August, 1650.  Moreover, Smith had purchased a cartload of goods and chattels for the use of his daughter aboard ship and after arrival in Maryland.  After his arrival in Maryland, Mitchell denied responsibility for Smith’s transportation costs or for his maintenance in Maryland, moreover, Mitchell would not release the goods purchased by Smith for his daughter.
  9. 21Jun1651 – Mrs. Susan Warren (daughter of William Smith and widow of Mr. Warren) confessed in open Court that she was pregnant with the child of Capt. William Mitchell, and requested Court that she might be allowed maintenance and accommodation out of said Mitchell’s estate.  Fenwick (as Mitchell’s attorney) was ordered to provide for Mrs. Warren as requested, during her pregnancy and beyond.  Barring Fenwick’s payment, Sheriff authorized to foreclose assets from Mitchell’s estate as necessary to defray costs.  Court also directed Secretary to examine witnesses touching on allegation that Mitchell administered a potentially lethal physic to Mrs. Warren while pregnant.[96]  The plot thickens.  From this and other depositions given in later Courts, it becomes clear that “Capt.” Mitchell planned to take Susan Warren as his mistress, and to cover his infidelity by passing her off as a sister named Elizabeth Williams.  The father was induced to join the voyage to lend the appearance of propriety to his daughter’s presence.  The fact that Mitchell was being represented by his attorney, Cuthbert Fenwick, suggests that he still had not returned to the Province from his latest voyage to England.
  10. 22Jun1651 – Susan Warren was deposed and swore that Capt. Mitchell would have married her when she was in England, notwithstanding his wife was living, but she would not, so, he coming to Deale there I saw him buy a quantity of Opium, which he told me he would give his Little Devil as much as would give her a long sleep…  at which saying Mrs. Warren gave warning to Mrs. Mitchell of taking any physick offered her by her husband, for he did not wish her much good…”[97]   According to this testimony given by Warren, Mitchell had offered to marry her before their departure for Maryland, notwithstanding the fact that his wife was still living.  Warren reportedly declined the offer to enter a bigamous relationship.  This testimony, if true, implicates Mitchell in the premeditated murder of his wife.  Mrs. Mitchell did die on the voyage to Maryland.
  11. 9 July 1651 – He [Mitchell] was named in a power of attorney on 9 July 1651 at Northampton Co, VA. On 22 Apr 1656 Ursula Browne of Accowmacke in Virginia, widow & Extr of her late dec’d husband Mr. Jno. Browne, made a power of attorney to her well beloved friend Capt. Peter Wraxall of Bristol to recover money due her husband’s estate from Mr. Lawrence Coughen of Amsterdam in Holland. Recorded with the power of attorney was a letter dated 9 July 1651 to Mr. Jno. Browne from Lawrence Coughen stating that “You are to receive of Capt. Mitchell: (if he will stand to his bargain which I question not) £308-18-6 he being to pay you 12d sterling for every 10 stinres(?) Holland money by agreement between you. The 924 guilders, 11 stinres (?) 8S which you [owe] me, I have put down to Capt. Mitchell’s account & made him debtor for it (as by his & your order). I desire to hear from you with what speed you can; there is a ship going from Rotterdam towards Virginia; with the first easterly wind I suppose she runs more than ordinary danger I have not else but rest.”[98]  This record was of a power of attorney from Ursula Browne of Northampton, widow of John Browne, to Capt. Peter Wraxell of Bristol dated 22Apr1656, to recover money due her husband’s estate from Mr. Lawrence Coughen of Amsterdam.  This POA references a letter dated 9Jul1651, itself the equivalent tri-partite agreement between her deceased husband, Lawrence Coughen, merchant in Holland and Capt. Mitchell.  The 9Jul1651 letter authorizes John Browne to collect from Capt. Mitchell “£308-18-6 he being to pay you 12d sterling for every 10 stinres(?) Holland money by agreement between you”.  From this rather intricate agreement (9Jul1651) it is learned that a Capt. Mitchell was doing business with John Browne of Northampton, and that John Browne was doing business with Mr. Lawrence Coughen, merchant of Holland.  It would further appear that Capt. Mitchell was, himself, engaged in business with Lawrence Coughen.  Accordingly, Coughen had transferred a debt owed to John Browne to the account of Capt. Mitchell.  The fact that Ursula Browne authorized Capt. Wraxall to collect this debt from Coughen suggests that John Browne had not collected the debt from Capt. Mitchell.

Analysis:  First, it should be pointed out that this record has been included with the records posted on MilesFiles as related to Capt. William Mitchell.  This record stands in isolation from all other records known to be associated with Capt. William Mitchell during this time period.  Note that this record does not identify Capt. Mitchell by his given name, so we are left only with conjecture as to the identity of the Capt. Mitchell named in this record.  None of the other parties associated with this power of attorney are known to have had any direct associations with Capt. William Mitchell.  Why should we assume that this record had reference to Capt. William Mitchell, and not to some other yet identified Capt. Mitchell?  Thus far in this investigation into the timeline of Capt. William Mitchell we have seen inferences suggesting that he was engaged in the mercantile trade between England and the Province of Maryland.  However, by 9Jul1651 Capt. William Mitchell had only been in the Province about 18 months.  Moreover, by the preceding Court record dated 9Jul1651, it would appear that Capt. William Mitchell still had not returned from England.  The fact that this POA infers a capacity for Capt. Mitchell to exchange Dutch currency for English currency, bespeaks someone having established mercantile connections in Holland and England.  Does this sound like Capt. William Mitchell?  As of Jul1651 he appears to have been operating on funds extorted or defrauded from Susan Warren.  Where is the evidence that he had the financial wherewithal to enter an agreement with Coughen and Browne in the amount suggested by this POA?  Moreover, we will later present evidence of the presence of a John Mitchell/Michaell in doing business Northumberland at this time, who had known connection with Holland.

  1. 19Dec1651 – William Hamstead aged about 23 years, planter, deposed that about six weeks to two months before coming to sea for America, he then being servant to Capt. William Mitchell in the Strand near London, overheard a certain gentleman telling Capt. Mitchell of some other man that had a servant that would swear to anything that his master would have him, though it were a lie, Capt. Mitchell then asked Hamstead whether he would do the same, whereunto Hamstead said he would not, at which Mitchell replied what a pox should I do with thee…”[99]  This testimony placed Mitchell in residence at the Strand almost two months before their departure from Deptford for Maryland.  From this testimony, it would appear that Mitchell was anticipating the need for witnesses who would give false testimony at some point in his future.
  2. 26Dec1651 – Entered a Memorandum dated 12Feb1650/1 between William Mitchell, Esq. and Robert Kadger, both of Maryland that Kadger shall pay unto Mitchell, before Kadger departs for Holland, sums of tobacco and livestock, in exchange for three of Mitchell’s servants including Vincent Atcheson during Mitchell’s absence from the Province, and three others of Kadger’s choosing after Mitchell’s return from England.[100]  This was one of several records indicating that Mitchell either sold or leased the services of several of his servants within his first months in Maryland.  It gives the appearance that he was redeeming part of the investment he had in his human cargo, perhaps to establish his business in Maryland, or to finance his return voyage to England.  This Memorandum suggests that Mitchell had already debarked for England sometime before 26Dec1651.
  3. 19Jan1651/2 – William Hemstead aged about 23 years was deposed and stated that while at Deale he heard Capt. Mitchell tell his wife that Mrs. Warren, whom he then called Betty Williams, had sent abroad a cartload of goods and a servant named Marke [Martha?] Webb, which goods Hemstead believed were those complained of by William Smith.  Hemstead further stated that he believed Capt. Mitchell did not want it known that William Smith was Susan Warren’s father, and referred to Mrs. Warren as his sister.  Hemstead further stated that while at Portsmouth he had seen Mrs. Warren give 6 pounds sterling to Capt. Mitchell for her own passage.  He further reported that Capt. Mitchell had informed him that he (Mitchell) would not have been able to make the voyage to Virginia, if he had not borrowed 500 pounds from Susan Warren.  Hemstead also stated that he had seen Mrs. Warren deliver a bond for 100 pounds sterling into the hands of Capt. Mitchell, at which time she stated that she did so for her own peace and welfare and that she owned Capt. Mitchell not one penny.[101]  If this testimony was true, it not becomes evident that Mrs. Warren played a much larger role than simply being Mitchell’s mistress.  Hemstead’s testimony suggests that Mrs. Warren may have been the principal financer of the voyage.  If she did in fact lend William Mitchell 500 pounds sterling, that may well have been sufficient funds to outfit and fund the expeditions transport to Maryland.  It also indicates that Susan Warren paid Mitchell in advance for her own passage.  As for the matter of the 100 pound bond that was entered between Warren and Mitchell during the voyage, there is much confusion and uncertainty.  It begs the question, why Mrs. Warren would give Mitchell her bond for 100₤ if she had already leant him 500 ₤?  This witness, William Hemstead, was the same person who had testified in Court one month earlier that he had incurred Mitchell’s rather at the Strand in Mar-Apr1650 for saying he would not lie for his master. 
  4. 20Jun1651/2 – Anne Hamstead, wife of William Hamstead was deposed stating that when she and the rest of the company were at Portsmouth before coming to Virginia she saw Capt. Mitchell borrow six pounds sterling of Mrs. Warren to pay for her passage.  Further, that Mrs. Warren had also paid Capt. Mitchell for passage of Martha Webb.  Plus Mrs. Warren had given a bond to Capt. Mitchell for 500 pounds sterling.[102] 
  5. 20Jan1651/2 – Suit of Capt. William Mitchell by attorney, Cuthbert Fenwick, and Rebecca Manners, widow for 800 lbt and five barrels of corn, due Mitchell out of estate of George Manners.  Widow Manners ordered to pay Mitchell.[103] 
  6. 21Jan1651/2 – Continuation of complaint filed in Jun1651: William Smith vs. Capt. William Mitchell.  Apparently Mitchell still had not returned to Province, so Court ordered his attorney, Fenwick, to provide Smith with lodging and clothes of 600 lbt value.  Further action respited until next Court.[104]
  7. 21Jan1651/2 – William Smith filed claim against Capt. Mitchell for five barrels of corn due be bill dated Dec1650, which appearing to be due, Fenwick ordered to pay Smith from Mitchell’s estate.[105]
  8. 22Mar1651/2 – Robert Kadger filed against Capt. William Mitchell per previously referenced memorandum, alleging that he had performed on his part of the bargain, but that Mitchell had failed to deliver the promised servants, even after his return to the Province from England.  Court ordered that Kadger shall retain Vincent Atcheson for the duration of his indenture, and that Mitchell shall bring to Court the following day five other servants from which Kadger shall choose two additional servants per the terms of their agreement.[106]
  9. 22Mar1651/2 – William Van Enden vs. Capt. William Mitchell: respited to next Court.[107]
  10. 22Mar1651/2 – Capt. William Mitchell vs. Mr. Phillip Land:  suit for heifer and her increase due be Covenant dated Apr1651.  Mitchell dispatched servant to Land’s home to convey heifer to his (Mitchell’s) dwelling place at St. Thomas.  Land ordered to comply, or pay 800 lbt in lieu thereof.[108]
  11. 22Mar1651/2 – Depositions in Susan Warren Case:  Mary, wide of Daniel Clocker swore that not long after Capt William Mitchell’s arrival in the Province in the year 1650, that while in the Chamber at the White House (Capt. William Mitchell’s quarters) conversed with Mrs. Susan Warren (who at that time went by the name of Mrs. Williams, when the Mrs. Warren confessed being with child, but inspired by the Holy Ghost and not by man.
  12. 22Mar1651/2 – Depositions in Susan Warren Case: Richard Hoskins aged 30 or thereabouts, overheard and confirmed the alleged conversation between Mary Clocker and Susan Warren.
  13. 22Mar1651/2 – Depositions in Susan Warren Case: Martha Webb aged about 22 years swore that when she lived with Capt. William Mitchell at St. Thomas (aka White House) she and Susan Warren (aka Elizabeth Williams) lodged together in the same chamber, and that she had seen Capt. Mitchell and Mrs. Warren together in bed naked.  She further stated that on an later occasion, just before Capt. Mitchell was due to depart for Holland, that he asked her whether she thought Mrs. Warren was pregnant.
  14. 29Mar1651/2 – William Smith aged about 60 years deposed that about 3 to 4 weeks before coming to sea for Virginia (or about one years since) he was in the company of Capt. William Mitchell at his lodging in the Strand (London), near the Savoy, when the said Capt. Mitchell desired him to call his daughter by the name of Elizabeth Williams or Betty Williams, even though her real name was Susan Warren, widow of Humphrey Warren.[109]
  15. 22Apr1652 – Francis Van Enden vs. Capt. William Mitchell: suit for parcel of pork owed by defendant in exchange for a three cows plus 700 lbt.  Case went before a jury, which found in favor of Plt.  Mitchell ordered to immediately deliver cattle and tobacco.[110]
  16. 22Apr1652 – Thomas Gerrard acknowledged in Court owing debt to Capt. Mitchell.[111]
  17. 23Apr1652 – Continuation of Smith vs. Mitchell: Smith now claiming 16-months boarding costs due to delays in judgment, plus transportation costs.  Smith presented Mitchell’s letter as evidence.  Mitchell acknowledged letter, but pled a later agreement signed by Smith, pledging to be his servant before coming to England, and referred to Mr. Hatton for affirmation.  Mr. Hatton being absent from home, respited to following day.  Hatton appeared in Court next day, but did not corroborate Mitchell’s statement.  Court found in Smith’s favor, and ordered Mitchell to pay 1600 lbt for 16-months diet, plus 1000 lbt for Smith return voyage to England and Bedfordshire.  A for the commodities and funds advanced by Smith to Mitchell, reprised to next Court session.[112]
  18. 24Apr1652 – Susan Warren, widow, aged about 21 years deposed that when Capt. Mitchell perceived that the was pregnant, prepared a potion of Pysick overnight, unknown that he intended it for herself.  In the morning he called Martha Webb and bid her poach an egg and bring to him presently, which she did.  He put this physick into that egg and came to her as she was in bed, and bid her to take it, and she requesting to know what it was, he said that if she would not take it that he would thrust it down her throat, upon which threat she drank the physick.  Capt. Mitchell pretended that he was the one that had taken the physic, so as to cast suspicion away from himself…[113]
  19. 24Apr1652 – Susan Warren aged about 21 years deposed that when Capt. Mitchell came to the Crosse after his last voyage, he said to Mrs, Warren that he had heard she had had a child.  She confirmed that she had had a child, and that he had been its father.  He then said that he was aware she had suffered much disgrace from it, and that he would make amends by marrying her.  She agreed, having heard that his wife had died…[114]
  20. 27Apr1652 – Martha Webb aged about 22 years was deposed and stated that while at Capt. Mitchell’s dwelling house, just before his departure for England on a very cold morning, and when neither Capt. Mitchell nor Susan Warren were sick, he commanded her to poach him an egg and to bring it to him, along with a box of pills, saying that he was to take physick.  When she opened the box she found the smell so strong she was almost overcome, and told Cpt. Mitchell that she would not handle the pills.  She was bade to leave the room.  Later, on her return to the room, she found Susan Warren to be very sick, and Capt. Mitchell perfectly well.[115]
  21. 18Jun1652 – Susan Warren, widow, was deposed and saith she had been sick calling on God for help, Capt. Mitchell queried “what was that which she called God, did she know him, had she ever any conference with him…”.  After leaving Mrs. Warren alone for a while, Capt. Mitchell return to her and asked “how now hath your God helped you, Ah thou mayest well be called a woman that will believe anything that is told you, such a thing as God believe it not thou art merely led away with what your parents hath told you, that if you do amiss, O, it is a sin, O thou art a fool, I will for half a penny answer for all your sins past or to come…”[116]
  22. 22Jun1652 – Richard Hoskins deposed that while at the home of Mr. William Eltonhead about one year since he heard Mrs. Warren say that she would be revenged of Capt. Mitchell.  Also, that he heard Capt. Mitchell, before his return to England, in the presence of George Manners and Mr. Friendship offer to give him (Hamestead) Mrs. Warren, which offer he refused.[117]
  23. 22Jun1652 – Further depositions in Susan Warren Case:  Thomas Cole, aged about 32 years deposed that before coming out of England he was at Mr. Edmond Plowden’s Chamber when he asked with whom he lived.  Cole answered that he lived with Capt. Mitchell, to which Plowden persuaded him not to go with Mitchell to Virginia, and asked Cole of what religion he (Mitchell) was and whether Cole had ever seen him go to Church.  Cole answered that he had never seen Capt. Mitchell go to church, at which Plowden replied that Mitchell being amongst a company of Gentlemen told them that he wondered the world had been so many hundred years deluded with a man and a pigeon, which Plowden took to mean Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost.[118]
  24. 23Jun1652 – Further depositions in Susan Warren Case:  Thomas Cole aged about 34 years claimed there was a bond made and signed from Susan Warren to Capt. William SMitchell during their voyage coming to Virginia in which Mrs. Warren acknowledged being indebted to Capt. Mitchell for 100 pounds sterling, to repay the bond once settled in Maryland, and to be Capt. Mitchell’s servant until such time as money was repaid.  Further, that while at Portsmouth (awaiting departure for America) Mrs. Warren asked the deponent to lend her money so that she could discharge her boarding debt in order to go onboard the ship.  Cole informed Mrs. Warren that he did not have the money she requested.[119]
  25. 23Jun1652 Further depositions in Susan Warren Case:  Mary Clocker further deposed that in Aug1651 Mrs. Warren was delivered of a stillborn child.  Further that child appeared well developed with hair on head and nails on fingers and toes.  Dr. Waldron being present observed the child and opined that it was “full term”, but appeared to have been dead about three weeks before birth.[120]
  26. 27Jun1652 – Anne Hemstead, wife of William Hemstead was deposed, saying that while at Deale, before departing for Virginia, being at the Sig of the States Arms, she heard the wife of Capt. Mitchell pray that her husband (William Hemstead) would not buy any Opium, and further that she would not take any Opium.[121]
  27. 29Jun1652 – Joan Toast (the pretended wife of Capt. Mitchell) that since her joining together with Capt. Mitchell by Mr. Wilkinson in way of marriage, they had been as man and wife in reference to the marriage bed.[122]
  28. 29Jun1652 – Capt. Mitchell submitted petition to Assembly complaining that on Saturday last he had been comitted to prisoner to the common gaol upon warrant of Robert Brooke, Esq., charged with murder, atheism, and blasphemy, crimes which he denied, and requesting speedy trial.
  29. 29Jun1652 – Formal charges were entered in Court by the Prosecutor, William Hatton against Capt. William Mitchell for the crimes of blasphemy, adultery, and murder.  Charges were also entered against Mrs. Susan Warren for adultery and blasphemy.[123]
  30. 30Jun1652 – John Baily deposed that at the White House sometime after Capt. Mitchell’s return from England he overheard Mrs. Warren say she would damn her soul if she did not revenge Capt. Mitchell.[124]
  31. 1May1652 – Rev. William Wilkinson aged about 50 years was deposed and stated that on 10Apr1652 he had been invited by Capt. Mitchell to come to his home whence Capt. Mitchell brought forward a young woman and requested that Wilkinson and Mitchell servant, John Baily bear witness that he took that woman to his wife, and that they were formally contracted together. [125]
  32. Aug1652 – Grand Jury returned verdict of guilty against Capt. Mitchell.  He was fined 5000 lbt, ordered to submit bond for his continued good behavior, and to refrain co-habiting with Joan Toast until that had a proper marriage performed.. following which he was released from custody.
  33. 11Novb1652 – Capt. Mitchell deposed that he had never received a servant of Levin Bufkin, Esq., nor any other payment due Mitchell for nails and other materials disposed of by the House in St. Thomas, valued at 841 lbt.
  34. 25Nov1652 – Capt. Mitchell appeared in Court as attorney for Robert Kadger re: debt of 200 lbt owed Kadger by Thomas Gerrard.  At same Court Capt. Mitchell entered motion re: attachment of estate of George Manners for accounts due Mitchell.  At same Court Capt. William Mitchell entered suit against Maj. Levin Buskin re: debt of 841 lbt.[126]
  35. 26Mar1651/2 – Suit entered Susan Warren vs. Capt. William Mitchell regarding Capt. Mitchell’s claim of Mrs. Warren’s servitude.  Court found in favor of Mrs. Warren, that she entered the Province a free woman, under no obligation to Capt. Mitchell, ordered Mitchell to pay for damages during her time of imprisonment.[127]
  36. 21Jan1652/3 – William Boreman and Francis Van Enden enter bond in favor of Capt. William Mitchell and Francis Brooke in amount of 2000 lbt as full settlement of differences.[128]
  37. 19Jan1652/3 – Mrs. Susan Warren deposed that when Anne Boulton (now wife of Francis Brooke) were at Capt. William Mitchell’s dwelling house called St. Thomas, Anne Boulton gave to Capt. Mitchell various pieces of fabric used to make clothing for Mitchell, he then promising to reimburse Ms. Boulton.[129]
  38. 22Jan1652/3 – John Baily deposed re: continuing suit of William Smith against Capt. Mitchell.[130]
  39. 22Jan1652/3 – John Wheeler deposed, ditto.[131]
  40. 22Jan1652/3 – George Howes deposed, ditto.[132]
  41. 24Jan1652/3 – Capt. Mitchell appearing as attorney for Nicholas Cuseen re: debt to Edward Scurfield.[133]
  42. 24Jan1652/3 – William Eltonhead deposed in suit of William Smith against Capt. William Micthell.[134]
  43. 23Mar1652/3 – Suit of Capt. William Mitchell vs. Henry Fox respited to next Court.
  44. 23Mar1652/3 – Suit of Capt. William Mitchell vs. Robert Clarke re: debt owed Mitchell of hogs.  Brookes countersued, claimed no agreement.[135]
  45. 23Mar1652/3 – Smith vs. Mitchell and Mitchell vs. Smith.
  46. 24Mar1652/3 – Capt. Mitchell appeared as attorney for Francis Brooke in suit against John Dandy.[136]
  47. 24Mar1652/3 – Capt. Mitchell vs. Lt. Nicholas Gwyther, Sheriff.[137]
  48. 24Mar1652/3 – Court remitted 2000 lbt to Capt. Mitchell in case of Mitchell vs. Brooke, respited to next Court.[138]
  49. 11Apr1653 – Francis VenEnden swore warrant for arrest of Capt. William Mitchell for debt from judgment entered 22Apr1652.[139]
  50. 11Apr1653 – Mitchell vs. Thomas Cole: Cole to pay debt.[140]
  51. 25Apr1653 – Capt. Mitchell gave power of attorney to William Johnson and Henry Fox to represent any business related to himself or his children in Maryland.[141]
  52. 7Jun1653 – Francis Brooke vs. Mitchell and Mitchell vs Francis Brooke, Henry Fox as Mitchell’s attorney.[142]
  53. 8Jun1653 – William Smith vs. Capt. Mitchell: Mitchell’s attorneys agreed payment of 225 lbt to Mrs. warren, daughter of complainant, being balance due of prior judgment.[143]
  54. 8Jun1653 – Cuthbert Fenwick vs. Capt. Mitchell: respited to next Court.[144]
  55. 26Sep1653 – Cuthbert Fenwick vs. Henry Fox, attorney for Capt. Mitchell: Fox, as Mitchell’s surety, ordered to pay Mitchell’s debt to Fenwick.[145]
  56. 2Mar1653/4 – Cuthbert Fenwick vs. Henry Fox, Attorney for Capt. Mitchell:  Continuation of filing in Jun1653 Court.  Plaintiff declared that he sent via Capt. Mitchell 1415 lbt into Holland with direction that said Mitchell should pay produce [sales proceeds] thereof to Mr. Lawrence Coughen of Amsterdam per engagement between Fenwick and Mitchell dated 4Mar1651, which said Mitchell never performed to plaintiff’s great damage, and said Mitchell being arrested, his Attorney (Henry Fox) did engage himself to be responsible for debt.  Court ordered Fox to pay the Complainant 2000 lbt in full satisfaction, and ordered Mitchell’s engagement cancelled.  Engagement read as follows:

“Know all men whom it may concern that I, Capt. William Mitchell, Esq. do acknowledge have transported 4 hogsgeads of tobacco of Mr. Cuthbert Fenwick’s containing 1415 pounds neat tobacco, which I do engage myself to be accountable for at such value as shall be made thereof (upon account of Mr. Lawrence Coughen of Amsterdam, Merchant) for the produce as witness my hand the 4Mar1651.  William Mitchell, Witness: William Eltonhead”[146]

  1. 4Mar1653/4 – William Eltonhead vs. Capt. Mitchell: Henry Fox refusing to act as Mitchell’s attorney any further, Court ordered judgment against the estate of William mitchell.[147]
  2. 28Apr1654 – Francis Brooke vs. Capt. William Mitchell: Mitchell still out of Province (in England) and not expected to return this year, suit is respited to next Court.
  3. 29Apr1654 – Attachment issued against estate of Capt. Mitchell in favor of Francis Brookes.[148]
  4. 25May1654 – Henry Fox vs. Capt, William Mitchell by defendant’s attorney William Johnson.  Also, same date Francis Brooke vs. Capt. William Mitchell by attorney William Johnson.[149]
  5. 30May1654 – Henry Fox acknowledged satisfaction in judgment against William Johnson, Luke gardner and estate of Capt. William Mitchell in amount of 3850 lbt.[150]
  6. Patuxent Court 20Mar1655/6 – Capt. William Mitchell sued for Writ of Error in case of Francis Brooke vs. Mitchell (judgment passed 24May1654).  Court agrees an error in previous judgment, and no further action taken against Mitchell until Mitchell has examined witnesses on his next passing to England.[151]
  7. 21Mar1655/6 in case of Henry Fox vs. Capt. William Mitchell, judgment of 25May1654 ordered vacated.[152]
  8. 10Apr1656 – Capt William Mitchell appeared at Court held at Patuxent and swore that his power of attorney to Henry Fox and William Johnson of 25Apr1653 extended only to his property in Maryland, and not beyond.
  9. 10Apr1656 at Patuxent – Jane Witten aged about 22 years swore deposed that she had agreed with Capt. Mitchell to come to Maryland and for her transport to serve Capt. Mitchell’s children in Maryland, and not to be sold any other.[153]
  10. 16Jun1656 – William John vs Capt. William Mitchell: Johnson having warrant issued for Mitchell’s appearance, and neither Mitchell nor attorney appearing, reprised to next Court.[154]
  11. 17Jun1656 at Patuxent – In case brought by James Langworth against Capt. William Mitchell regarding a maid servant in possession of Langford, in which Mitchell claims an interest and injury to himself and family and children for loss of service, Court allows Langworth’s continued possession of servant, pending Mitchell’s proof of claim.[155]
  12. 23Sep1656 – Henry Potter vs. Thomas Orley and his attornet, Capt. William Mitchell: reprised to next Court.[156]
  13. 23Sep1656 – William Mitchell vs. James Langworth, attorney of William Johnson: Court concurs that Johnson sold servant to Langworth contrary to orders from Mitchell, and that Langworth return servant to Mitchell and pay damages of 200 lbt.  Also, same date in another suit, Court ordered return of a different servant named John Gee to be returned by Langworth to Mitchell.  Also, in another suit same date against Luke Gardner, Court ordered Gardner to return yet another srvant named John Spurdance to Mitchell.[157]
  14. 25Sep1656 – William Johnson vs. Capt. William Mitchell: Court found non-suit, ordered dismissed and John to pay Mitchell damages.[158]
  15. 25Sep1656 – Capt. Sampson Waring attorney of Mr. John Hatch vs. Capt. Mitchell attorney of Thomas Orley: Continuation of suit filed 17Apr1656 wherein claimed Orley owed debt of 1100 lbt to John Hatch from estate of Edward Hall.  Reprised to next Court, Orley or his attorney failing to appear, judgment to Hatch.[159]
  16. 20)ct1656 – Capt. William Mitchell vs. Mrs. Fenwick: Reprised to Mar1656/7.
  17. 21Oct1656 – Henry Potter vs. Thomas Orley: Case involved land leased by Orley to Potter in which Orley agreed to certain improvements, but failed to deliver.  Court ruled in favor of Potter, and Orley ordered to pay damages,  Capt. Mitchell, as Orley’s attorney, ordered to give performance bond.  Mitchell gave Court bond of 1500 lbt.
  18. 21Oct1656 – John Hatch vs. Thomas Orley (Capt. Mitchell attorney): Mitchell requested jury trial. So ordered.[160]
  19. 13Jan1656/7 – Henry Potter vs. Thomas Orley: Henry Potter petitioned the Court to discharge Capt. William Mitchell from his performance bond on basis that his complaint had been answered.  In this petition Potter was described as a planter of Maryland, Orley as planter of Chickokoane (Chicocoan) Virginia, and Mitchell as attorney of Maryland.[161]
  20. 8Jan1656/7 – William Mitchell, Esq. discharged James Gunnion from all debts due said Mitchell.[162]
  21. 26Jan1656/7 – Capt. William Mitchell named as foreman of Jury at St. Mary’s.[163]
  22. Apr1657 Patuxent Court – Mrs. Jane Fenwick vs. Capt. William Mitchell: Neither Capt. Mitchell nor attorney appearing, Court declared a non-suit and discharged with costs.
  23. Apr1657 Court – Jane Eltonhead deposed that on 6Jan1653 she and her brother and sister Fenwick, being at the Crosse, entered at St. Inegoes unto Capt. Mitchell’s to deliver up his [Fenwick’s?] estate and perfect his accounts, then perfecting their accounts Mitchell did acknowledge to owe a certain sum of tobacco about 500 or 600 lbt due to Brother Fenwick.[164]
  24. 14May1657 at Patuxent – Thomas Michell aged about 43 years deposed that in Jun1655 being at Robert Robins’ house, in company with some others, there fell a difference between Robert Robins and Robert Hunley…[165]
  25. 11May1657 – Capt. Mitchell appeared as attorney for Thomas Orley, claimed that in his lifetime Edward Hall, deceased, fully administered the estate of George Manners, deceased, and paid more than estate’s actual value, and Thomas Orley at Court on Apr1656 disclaimed the estate of George Manners.  It is ordered that Thomas Orley and Rebecca, his wife, formerly relic and administratrix of Manners, shall have a Quietus Estate of the late George manners.[166]
  26. 22Sep1657 – John Lewger vs Thomas Mitchell: Court found in favor of Mitchell and ordered payment of debt (200 lbt) plus costs.[167]
  27. 23Sep1657 – Capt. William Mitchell vs. Gerrard: Court declared non-suit and ordered Mitchell pay costs.[168]
  28. 25Sep1657 – Order granted Capt. William Mitchell error in judgment issued Jun1652.  Mitchell admitted to make his plea at next Court in Mar1657/8.[169]
  29. 6Nov1657 – William Mitchell witnessed Indenture between John Billingsley of Chucatuck, VA and George Read of St. Mary’s for sale of one Bay mare.[170]

[1] The John Mitchell II referenced in the title of this chapter refers to the father of Sarah Mitchell, who married William Atterbury around 1740/1.

[2] http://espl-genealogy.org/MilesFiles/site/p743.htm#c74455.1, accessed 22Oct2016.

[3] http://earlysettlers.msa.maryland.gov/, accessed 15Oct2016.  This research database lists individual settlers who are named in the Maryland land patent volumes from 1633-1683 and one land warrant volume from 1681-1685. The New Early Settlers of Maryland comprises 34,326 entries from Gust Skordas’ Early Settlers of Maryland and Carson Gibb’s Supplement to the Early Settlers of Maryland.  All citations in the entries refer to government record microfilm at Maryland State Archives.

[4] Maryland Marriage Evidences, 1634-1718, Robert W. Barnes, 2005, p. 381.

[5] Archives of Maryland, Volume 24, p. 82.  http://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc2900/sc2908/000001/000024/html/am24–82.html, accessed 3Nov2016.

[6] Ancestry.com, All Maryland, Marriages, 1634-1777

[7] Ibid.

[8] The Land Records of Prince George’s County Maryland 1717-172, abstracted by Elise Greenup Jourdan, 2008, p. 108.

[9] http://aomol.msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc2900/sc2908/000001/000847/pdf/am847.pdf, accessed 22Oct2016.

[10] Pirates on the Chesapeake, Donald G. Shomette, Tidewater Publishers, 1985: pg. 167

[11] Ibid.

[12] Archives of Maryland, Volume 24, p. 82.  http://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc2900/sc2908/000001/000024/html/am24–82.html, accessed 3Nov2016.

[13] Maryland Marriage Evidences, 1634-1718, Robert W. Barnes, 2005, p. 381.

[14] Anne Arundel County, Maryland Land Records, 1703-1709– by T.L.C. GENEALOGY (Author),1994, p. 78.

[15] Maureen Duvall of Middle Plantation, Harry Wright Newman, 1952m p. 164.

[16] The Land Records of Prince George’s County Maryland 1717-172, abstracted by Elise Greenup Jourdan, 2008, p. 108.

[17] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Province_of_Maryland, accessed 8Nov2016.

[18] Prince George’s Heritage, Louise Joyner Hienton, 1972, pp. 111-2.

[19] Darnall’s Grove Property Deed:  Prince George’s County, Maryland – Land Owners at Time PGCo Was Formed – 1696: Tract Name: DARNALLS GROVE; Owner: Darnall, Henry (Col): Orig County = V {Charles = C, Calvert = V}; Patent Date: Mar 8, 1682 : Ref: Liber 21 f 398 : Map Location: V-08

[20] Mrs Louise Joyner Hienton researched the Patent Records at the Maryland Archives to determine the surveys and land grants that preceded the formation of Prince George’s County, but were included within the boundaries established for the new county in 1696. She listed each tract, including the owner, the date, the reference for the record and any helpful notes regarding the tract of land. Then Mrs Hienton prepared a map of these tracts of land.

[21] The William and Mary Quarterly Vol. 45, No. 2 (Apr., 1988), “Marylando-Hibernus”: Charles Carroll the Settler, 1660-1720, Ronald Hoffman, pp. 207-236

[22] Ibid.

[23] The Founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Maryland, Joshua Dorsey Warfield, 1905, p. 77.

[24] Ibid., p. 78.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Maureen Duvall of Middle Plantation, p. 20.

[27] Maureen Duvall of Middle Plantation, p. 97-8.

[28] The Families of Elizabeth Betsy Tyler Corbly, Don Corbly, 2014, p. 11.  CAUTION:  This is not a very reliable genealogy, and needs to be read with care and “facts” need to be vetted.

[29] Ibid., p. 14.

[30] Ibid., p. 27.

[31] Maryland Marriages, 1634-1777, Ancestry.com.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Prince George’s Heritage, Hienton, pp. 79-80.   “he [Rev. Jacob Henderson] was married to Mrs. Mary Tyler, second wife and widow of Robert Tyler, one of the first vestrymen of the parish, who died in 1738.”

[35] http://woodlin.net/lindley/4410.htm, accessed 28Nov2016.

[36] http://www.colonial-settlers-md-va.us/getperson.php?personID=I017119&tree=Tree1, accessed 29Nov2016.

[37] Ibid.

[38] Northampton Record Book 2, p. 281.

[39] Anyone interested in the history of William Parry and his connection to the Capt. Thomas Graves family may contact the author at battebe@yahoo.com for a copy of his manuscript entitled William Parry, 1610-1662, Welshman, Merchant and Trader.

[40] Anne Arundel County, Maryland Land Records, 1703-1709– by T.L.C. GENEALOGY (Author),1994, p. 78.

[41] Northampton County VA – Orders, Deeds and Wills, 1651-1654, Book IV, Frank V. Walczyk, 1998, Folio 158 (p. 132)

[42] Sherrie Mitchell Boone to M.K. Miles. Emails of Jan 2016 Roanoke, VA

[43] Northampton Record Book, Volume 8, Dr. Howard Mackey and Marlene A. Groves, p. 60.

[44] Image supplied to author courtesy of Moody Miles, who was gracious enough to reproduce from the County Archive.

[45] Hening’s Statutes at Large, Volume 1, William Waller Hening, 1823, p. 431.

[46] Maryland’s Colonial Eastern Shore: Historical Sketches of Counties and of Some Notable Structures, Swepson Earle, 1916, pp. 31-2.

[47] Perry of London, by Jacob M. Price, 1992, p. 30.

[48] Early Modern Virginia: Reconsidering the Old Dominion, edited by Douglas Bradburn, John C. Coombs, p. 104-5.

[49] Ibid., pp. 105-6.

[50] Maryland’s Colonial Eastern Shore: Historical Sketches of Counties and of Some Notable Structures, Swepson Earle, 1916, pp. 31-2.

[51] Volume 7, p. 3.

[52] https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/American_Communications_Association_Cio_v._Douds_United_Steel_Workers_of_America/ Dissent_Black, accessed 3Jan2017.

[53] Volume 7, p. 71.

[54] Northampton County, Virginia, Record Book, Court Cases, Volume 8, Dr. Howard Mackey and Marlene A. Groves, CG, 2002, p. 35.

[55] Ibid., p. 29.

[56] Ibid., p. 60.

[57] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somerset_County,_Maryland#, accessed 14Feb2017.

[58] Volume 8, p. 63.

[59] Ibid., p. 71.

[60] Quaker History, Eastern Shore Quakers, Grady Norman Brickhouse, http://ourlineage.tripod.com/3quakers/E_Shore_Qkrs.html, accessed 14Feb2017.

[61] Ibid., p. 89-90.

[62] Ibid., p. 95.

[63] Ibid., p. 116.

[64] Northampton County VA – Orders, Deeds and Wills, 1651-1654, Book IV, Frank V. Walczyk, 1998, Folio 158 (p. 132)

[65] Volume 7, p. 3.

[66] (Old) Rappahannock County Deed and Will Book Abstracts 1656-1664, Ruth and Sam Sparacio, 1989, pp.15.

[67] Northampton County, Virginia, Record Book, Court Cases, Volume 8, Dr. Howard Mackey and Marlene A. Groves, CG, 2002, p. 35.

[68] Ibid., p. 60.

[69] Northampton Record Book, Volume 8, Dr. Howard Mackey and Marlene A. Groves, p. 60.

[70] Volume 8, p. 63.

[71] Ibid., p. 71.

[72] Ibid., p. 116.

[73] Northampton County Virginia Record Book; Orders, Deeds, Wills, etc., Volume 3 1645-1651, Dr. Howard Mackey and Marlene Alcona Hinkley Groves, 2000, p. 137.

[74] Northampton County VA – Orders, Deeds and Wills, 1651-1654, Book IV, Frank V. Walczyk, 1998, Folio 158 (p. 132)

[75] The Billingsley family (Billingsly-Billingslea) in America, Part I, Harry Alexander Davis, 1936, p. 12.

[76] http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=heathall&id=I2063, accessed 5Feb2017.

[77] (Old) Rappahannock County Deed and Will Book Abstracts 1656-1664, Ruth and Sam Sparacio, 1989, pp.15.

[78] Ibid.

[79] Sir George Yeardley, or Yardley: Governor and Captain General of Virginia, [reprinted from American Historical Magazine, Nashville, TN, Oct1896, Thomas Teakle Upshur, Nassawaddox, Northampton County, Virginia, p. 6.

[80] Henings Statutes at Large, Volume II, pp. 447-8.

[81] Ibid., p. 384.

[82] Northumberland County, Records, 1652-1655, p. 347

[83] Ibid., p. 356.

[84] A Dreadful Deceit: The Myth of Race from the Colonial Era to Obama’s America, Jacqueline Jones, 2013, pp. 12-3.

[85] Ibid., p. 13-4.

[86] Genealogical Gleanings in England, Volume 1, Henry F. Waters, A.M., 1907, p. 700.

[87] Harrison, Waples and allied families: being the ancestry of George Leib, William Welsh Harrison, 1910, p. 88.

[88] Hening’s Statutes at Large, Volume 1, William Waller Hening, 1832,  p. 499.

[89] Northampton County, Virginia, Record Book… Vol. 7, Dr. Howard Mackey and Candy McMahan Perry, 2002, p. 115.

[90] Judicial and Testamentary Business of the Provincial Court 1649/50 – 1657, William Hand Browne, Editor, 1891.  Extracted pages have been generously provided to the author by Moody K. Miles.

[91] Ibid., pp. 49-50.

[92] Ibid., p. 44.

[93] Ibid., p. 52

[94] Ibid., pp. 67-9.

[95] Ibid., pp. 78-9.

[96] Ibid., pp. 80-1.

[97] Ibid., pp. 175-6.

[98], Northampton County, Virginia, Record Book, Orders, Deeds, Wills &c, Volume 05, 1654-1655, Dr. Howard Mackey and Marlene A. Groves, p. 168-170.

[99] Ibid., p. 175.

[100] Ibid., pp. 120-1.

[101] Ibid., pp. 177-8.

[102] Ibid., pp. 179-0.

[103] Idib., p. 130.

[104] Ibid., p. 136.

[105] Ibid.

[106] Ibid., p. 145-6.

[107] Ibid., p. 146

[108] Ibid., pp. 146-7.

[109] Ibid., p. 174-5.

[110] Ibid., p. 160

[111] Ibid., p. 266.

[112] Ibid., pp. 164-5.

[113] Ibid., p. 176.

[114] Ibid., p.p. 176-7.

[115] Ibid., p. 178.

[116] Ibid., p. 173.

[117] Ibid.

[118] Ibid.

[119] Ibid., p. 170.

[120] Ibid., p. 171.

[121] Ibid., p. 177.

[122] Ibid., p. 173.

[123] Ibid., pp. 182-4.

[124] Ibid., pp. 181-2.

[125] Ibid., p. 174.

[126] Ibid., pp. 207-10.

[127] Ibid., pp. 185-6.

[128] Ibid., p. 211.

[129] Ibid., p. 215.

[130] Ibid., p. 225.

[131] Ibid., p. 226.

[132] Ibid., p. 226.

[133] Ibid., p. 227.

[134]

[135] Ibid., pp. 250-1.

[136] Ibid., p. 256.

[137] Ibid.

[138] Ibid., p. 257

[139] Ibid., p. 258.

[140] Ibid., pp/ 258-9.

[141] Ibid., p. 167.

[142] Ibid., p. 268.

[143] Ibid., p. 273.

[144] Ibid., p. 276.

[145] Ibid., p. 331.

[146] Archives of Maryland, Volume 10, p. 331.

[147] Ibid., p. 343.

[148] Ibid., p. 378.

[149] Ibid., pp. 387-9.

[150] Ibid., p. 380.

[151] Ibid., p. 438.

[152] Ibid., p. 441.

[153] Ibid., p. 446.

[154] Ibid., p. 450.

[155] Ibid., p. 451.

[156] Ibid., p. 460.

[157] Idib., pp. 461-2.

[158] Ibid., p. 463.

[159] Ibid., p. 464.

[160] Ibid., p. 469.

[161] Ibid., p. 477

[162] Ibid., p. 479.

[163] Ibid., p. 480.

[164] Ibid., p. 496.

[165] Ibid., p. 503.

[166] Ibid., p. 505.

[167] Ibid., p. 521.

[168] Ibid.

[169] Ibid., p. 529.

[170] Ibid., p. 563.

One thought on “Chapter 8 – John Mitchell II Family”

  1. This is amazing info! I am trying to determine the physical location of the property you mention known as “poplar thicket.” Originally owned by Hugh Riley, then sold to John Prather and then sold to John Riddle, my great, great, great, great, great, great, grandfather born in 1680 in Prince Georges County.

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