From time to time, we will be featuring articles from our newsletter here on the DGS home page. The following is from September 2016.
by Mary Lou MacIntyre
While researching at the Delaware Public Archives in Dover, DE, I picked up a recently updated Probate Records binder to look for my two Delaware family lines. I was trying to pin down my relative John McIntire’s Delaware birth and any siblings he had. I knew John had four wives during the 40 years he lived in Cecil County, Maryland. The 2nd wife, Patience Pierce, was the mother of my great-grandfather. I was lucky to know her maiden name. Looking through the Probate Records index looking for various forms of McIntire and Pierce, I found Patience’s name on the list. I filled my request slip and waited for the several Probates and Wills I had asked for that day.
I am still laughing today about my reaction to what I was about to read. Jumping up and down and screaming for joy was not a good thing to do in the quiet Archives, but what a fabulous find I had.
The Probate document was created originally because the elder father of the Cedarcreek Hundred, DE Pierce family had died. Like other Probate Records and Wills, the deceased’s “worldly possessions” were listed. So were all of his nine children and their spouses (with maiden names) and all the children of each family member and all of their ages as well as his surviving wife. My Patience was the youngest of nine children. I now had her birthdate. I now had another confirmation that she was married to my John McIntire....there was his name in this official record and there were the names of their three children. I also now knew that she was still living at the date of this Probate Record filing. I did not know when she died. I only knew that by the next census, John had a 3rd wife. 27 individuals were listed in this document. So much detail to help me move further along.
From time to time, we will be featuring articles from our newsletter here on the DGS home page. The following is from September 2015.
by Lloyd Maier
Deeds written during the Colonial Period in America often contain multi-generational information. Fortunately, I have a number of examples. I will share three of these examples below.
The first is a Loudoun County, Virginia deed. On September 3, 1760, Margaret Harrison Blackburn and her husband Edward Blackburn sold their portion of a tract she had inherited. The deed, found in Loudoun Deeds C:255, connects the family. It says: "tract taken up by William Harrison and devised to William H. Harrison his son.....The Northern Neck Grant was to Sarah Lewis, then Sarah Harrison, widow and relict of William Harrison the elder and mother of William the son. The tract was devised to his (William - the son) four daughters, Margaret who married Edward Blackburn, Sarah who married John Monroe, Susanna who married Robert Slaughter and Mary who married John Waler."
Would that all deeds contained so much valuable information! The deed was not recorded until July 10, 1762.
I have a number of family lines that spent time in Cecil County, Maryland. Many of their Colonial Deeds have similar information. There was a time you could pull the old books off the shelf, but they are now all in the Maryland Archives. However, all Maryland Deeds are online. You must get a password to access them, but it is not hard to do. Go to https://mdlandrec.net/main/
and follow the process. My experience is that the counties are uneven in ease of access. Cecil has been easy for me, after I practiced a bit.
One of the wonderful Cecil County deeds lays out the generations. Cecil County Deeds Vol 6, page 383 states:
"John Currer of Cecil County, Innholder, to James Paul Heath, Merchant, for part of Susquehannah alias New Connaught Manor which was sold by George Talbot on 5/31/1687 to William Currer and Jane his wife, grandfather and grandmother of said John Currer; Land is named Helena, lying on the North East River in Cecil Co. bounding tract of land called Cavan, 300 acres, witnesses Nicholas Hyland, Nathan Baker. 10/29/1744."
Finally, an incredible find this summer in a Cecil County Deed added three new surnames to our family tree. Cecil county Deed Book 7, page 222 was written Aug. 30, 1750 and states:
"Elizabeth Manadow wed Samuel Philips, and had a son Manadow Philips. It further states that she was the daughter of Peter Manadow and Peter's wife Peternella Carr, daughter of Captain John Carr."
Knowing this led to additional information at Old Swedes about Peternella's family.
I encourage you to read the deeds, not just the summaries. You may find a treasure hidden there.
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