By Nancy Jones
It has long been accepted, by Gaither and Beard families alike, that John Gaither married Ruth Beard. While there is circumstantial evidence supporting this claim, the absence of a record of their marriage has frustrated genealogists and invited doubt. Now, however, a newly discovered court case, from 1716-1717, establishes that Ruth Gaither is a Beard. This discovery, plus new, extensive research that we've undertaken into the Beard family, gives us the original source documentation needed to prove Ruth is a Beard and to refute claims to the contrary.
Richard and Rachel Beard, along with the Gaithers, were among the Non-Conformist community that, in 1649, was expelled from Virginia and invited by Lord Baltimore to re-settle in Maryland along the South and Severn Rivers. In this wilderness, these brave families started all over - - a daunting undertaking.
Records of births, marriages, and deaths are largely non-existent for the first decades in this community. The earliest extant church records begin forty years after their arrival, in 1692, with the establishment of All Hallows Parish, South River Hundred, Maryland.
We know, however, from Richard Beard's Will, dated 1675, that his children were: Neale, Richard, Rachel, Ruth, and Rebecca. Daughter Rachel Beard had married Neale Clarke by this time. Their first-born son Neale is, of course, the nephew of Rachel's sister, Ruth Beard. With Ruth's later marriage to John Gaither, Neale also would be his nephew. That is exactly what Neale reveals in depositions he gives before the 1716-1717 Anne Arundel County Maryland Chancery Court.
Neale Clarke's "Uncle John Gaither"
The newly discovered 1716-1717 Chancery Court case involves a boundary dispute between the owners of White's Hall and the owners of "What You Will;" properties that were neighbors to the Gaithers and Beards.
One of the many witnesses called in the case was "John Gaither, aged 40 years, son of John Gaither late of Anne Arundel County, deceased". Under oath, he describes his Father, old John Gaither, as "one of the oldest standers at the head of the South River and, that his Father told him so." Son John describes being with his Father when he told John Duvall that a particular white oak was the beginning tree of White's land when John Duvall was going to take up the land called "What You Will". John also stated that "he knew the said ground very well he being his Father's cowkeeper."
This 40-year old John is the son born to John and Ruth in 1677. Fortunately for us, John and Ruth Gaither recorded, in the All Hallows Parish record, the births of their 8 children, some of whom were born well before 1692: John b. 1677; Ruth b. 1679; Benjamin b. 1681; Mary b. 1682; Rachel b. 1687; Edward b. 1689; Rebeckath b. 1695; and, Susannah b. 1697.
Another witness in the case was Neale Clarke, "aged about 52 years," or born about 1665, to Neale Clarke and Rachel Beard Clarke, Ruth Gaither's sister. In depositions, Clarke refers to his "Uncle John Gaither," discussing how "old John Gaither" and he, Clarke, "went out together a hunting and coming to the aforesaid place that old John Gaither told him that the white oak which stood in that place, was Esquire White's bounded tree," and that his "Uncle Gaither had showed it to him several times".
Two additional witnesses who lived in the neighborhood refer to Neale's Uncle John in their statements. Both Benjamin Warfield, aged about 38 years, and William Angle, aged about 60 years, reference Neale Clarke's "Uncle John Gaither" in their depositions, thus confirming the community's awareness of that family relationship.
Disproving Claims That John Gaither Did Not Marry Ruth Beard
We can also disprove certain claims currently circulating that Ruth Beard did not marry John Gaither.
A claim has been made that Ruth Beard did not marry John Gaither because her Father, Richard Beard, in his 24 July 1675 Will, bequeathed to his daughter Ruth Beard and her sons forever "my part of ye piece of land called Timber Neck". The claim is that Ruth Beard did not marry John Gaither because "John Gaither and wife Ruth were not married in 1675, had no sons in 1675, and no part of Timber Neck was ever possessed by the Gaither family."
In fact, one cannot conclude from those facts that Ruth Beard did not marry John Gaither. Of course John Gaither and Ruth were not married as of 24 July 1675, or her Father, Richard Beard would have indicated so in his Will, as he did for daughter Rachel Clarke who was married to Neale by then. Based on Richard's Will, therefore, John Gaither and Ruth Beard married after 24 July 1675, and, we know, had their first child, son John, in 1677, as documented in the All Hallows Parish Register.
Second, the bequeathal to Ruth Beard "and her sons forever," is standard fee-tail language applied by Richard Beard in his Will to each of his sons and daughters. Neither Ruth nor daughter Rebecca were married at the time Richard applied the fee-tail language in his Will. The fact that Ruth and John Gaither were not married on July 24, 1675, does not prove that they did not subsequently marry, nor can Richard's use of fee-tail language, "and their sons forever," be used to prove whether grandsons had, or had not been born by that date.
Third, the reason why no part of "Timber Neck" was ever possessed by Ruth Beard and the Gaither family is that in the intervening 6 years between when Richard wrote his Will in 1675 and died, in 1681, Richard Beard sold his share of "Timber Neck" to Dr. William Jones. A thorough title search of Timber Neck's ownership reveals that is why Ruth Beard never received this inheritance.
In summary, 200 acres of Timber Neck were patented jointly to Richard Uggins (Uggams, Huggins) and John Wheeler on August 24, 1665. Each had a half-part, or 100 acres. It was Mr. Richard Uggins' 100-acre moiety that Richard Beard possessed and that Beard bequeathed to his daughter Ruth when writing his Will in 1675.
However, in the intervening 6 years between the date of Richard Beard's Will in 1675, and when it was proved in 1681, Beard sold his 100 acres of Timber Neck (Uggins' part) to Dr. William Jones, who pre-deceases Richard Beard, dying in 1678. Therefore, at the time of his death, Richard Beard no longer owned his half-part of Timber Neck, and that is why his daughter Ruth did not receive that inheritance. This fact is presented succinctly in the 1705 proof of title of Timber Neck for a Mr. Charles Tilly.
Fourth, the title search of Timber Neck also reveals how Matthew Beard came to inherit the other 100-acre half-part of Timber Neck patented by Mr. John Wheeler. In his Will, John Wheeler provides that if his own son, John Wheeler Jr., should die without issue, then Timber Neck is to descend to the sons "of my loving friend Richard Beard, Sr.," who are Richard Beard Jr. or, if he dies without issue, to Matthew Beard. If Matthew should die without issue, then the land was to go towards building or repairing the church.
A claim also has been made of a belief that: "the implication of what seems to be John Wheeler's intent," in his 1684 Will, is that Ruth Beard was John Wheeler's first wife. However, John Wheeler's Will speaks for itself. His stated wish is to leave his half of "Timber Neck" to the sons of his "loving friend Richard Beard" if his own son, John, should die without issue. Surely, if Richard Beard Sr. were his brother-in-law, and Richard and Matthew Beard his nephews, those relationships would have been established by Wheeler in his Will. Instead, Wheeler establishes that Richard Beard Sr. is a friend.
In conclusion, The Society of John Gaither Descendants is pleased to share the enclosed, newly found original source evidence and research that reaffirms the long- and widely-held understanding, by Gaithers and Beards alike, that Ruth Beard is the wife of John Gaither.
Exhibits re: Neale Clarke's "Uncle John Gaither"
Pertinent excerpts from the Anne Arundel High Court of Chancery:
"Richard Simsons Petition: To the Worshipful the Commissioners appointed for sealing the bounds of land within this county of Anne Arundel The humble petition of Richard Stimson of Ann Arundel County sheweth that your petitioner is seized in fee simple of a tract of land called "What You Will" lying in this County contiguous to and bounding on a tract of Land called "Whites Hall" whereof a certain Samuel Galloway and Gerard Hopkins are now seized that there being some dispute between your petitioner and the said Galloway and Hopkins about the bounds of the said land called What You Will. Your petitioner humbly prays your worships according to the directions and by virtue of an Act of Assembly of this province entitled An Act for Ascertaining the bounds of lands within this Province that you will be pleased to put the same Act in execution on your petitioners behalf in order to ascertain the bounds of your petitioners said land and to grant and order what may be necessary thereto and your petitioner shall be ready on his part to comply with the requisites of the said Act and as in duly bound shall ever pray. Richard Simson.
Whereas "Col. Samuel Young, Esq. and John Baldwin did examine evidences concerning the bounds of Whites Hall and that they the said Samuel and John Baldwin did examine several evidences on a spot of ground lying on the South side of the South Run of South River near a place they called the cow bridge where John Gaither son of John Gaither late of Anne Arundel County deceased did give his evidence."
"John Gaither, aged 40 years, being sworn, deposeth that he being with his Father and Richard Beard, Surveyor and John Duvall heard his Father tell John Duvall that the white oak, we are now at, was the beginning tree of Whites land and that John Duvall cut a notch in it with his lathing hammer and said there would grow a nable as it appears upon the said tree and that the occasion of their going to the said tree was that John Duvall was then going to take up the land called “What You Will” and his Father told John Duvall that he knew that to be the first tree of Whites land." When "the deponent was asked if his Father was one of the oldest standers near the head of South River, he answered yes he was and that his Father told him so." When the deponent was asked what knowledge he had of the said ground, "he answered he knew it very well he being his Father's cow keeper and further knew it by a certain notch that is upon the said tree."
"Benjamin Warfield aged about 38 years being sworn on the Holy Evangelist to declare the truth of his knowledge relating to the bounded white oak we now are at deposeth as follows. That he the deponent came along with John Gaither to look for the said tree about July last was four years when he found it and told the deponent that it was the tree as his Father had showed to John Duvall for the beginning tree of White’s land and in a day or two afterwards went to Mr. Snowdens and met with Mr. Samuel Galloway and Mr. Gerard Hopkins, Mr. James Carroll, John Gaither, and several others and came with them to the aforesaid tree and that John Gaither told them that the said tree was the beginning tree of White Hall. Some of them asked him the said Gaither if ever his Father had showed it to him privately he answered them no but he was with his Father when he showed the said tree to John Duvall and did show him the said Duvall the said tree for the beginning tree of White’s land. Either Samuel Galloway, Gerard Hopkins or James Carroll asked him the said Gaither if he could swear to the said tree but which of them asked him the said Gaither the deponent cannot tell but the said Gaither made them this answer that he would not swear to the said tree unless he could see a line run from a bounded tree of Freemans Fancy and then the said Gaither said he thought he could swear to the aforesaid tree. And the deponent in a short space afterwards happened in company with Neale Clark and the deponent asked him the said Clark if he knew anything of the beginning tree of White’s Hall. Then he the said Clark made his answer that his Uncle Gaither had showed it to him several times and he the deponent asked if he thought he could find it he the said Clark said he could if he were to look for it but it was a great while ago since he had seen it or to that effect."
"Neale Clark, aged about 52 years, being sworn on the holy Evangelist deposeth as follows that the place we now are at, where two hickorys are bounded, that old John Gaither and the deponent went out together a hunting and coming to the aforesaid place we now are at that old John Gaither told the deponent that the white oak which stood in that place it being then a living stooping tree was Esquire White’s bounded tree which the deponent did see was bounded with 12 fair notches with three of each side but how the said Gaither came by his knowledge of it he the deponent cannot tell and further saith that he and Mr. Richard Beard and the said Gaither run a line from the said tree to see how much of Parrets land was taken away by White Hall and Mr. Beard in some time after told Parrett White Hall would take away a great deal of his land to which Mr. Parret made answer he would cut and run as he formerly had done for he believed it would not be run out in his time."
"William Angle, aged about 60 years being sworn on the Holy Evangelist to declare the truth of his knowledge relating to the white oak we now are at deposeth as follows that he the deponent heard Neal Clark say that he was to have 5 pounds of the Quakers that bought the land now in dispute to prove the bounded tree of White’s land and that the said Clark said his Uncle Gaither had showed it to him and that the said Clark told the deponent that as the said Clark and Mr. Galloway and Mr. Hopkins and several others when they came to prove the bounds of the land in dispute that the said Clark told the deponent that he seemed to be unwilling to show the tree before he had received his pay and further the said Clark told the deponent that as he was a going to the tree some of them gave him an item not to ask for his pay not at that time because it would look as if he was hired and further saith not. "
Source: Maryland State Archives; Anne Arundel Co.; Chancery Court; Land Commission Record; MSA #C94-1; Liber NH 1; pages 5-11, and 44-51; 01/01/06/33.
Exhibits Re: "Ruth Beard and Her Sons"
Will of Richard Beard, Sr., Made 24 July 1675. Proved 10 August 1681 - "I Richard Beard of South River in the County of Anne Arundel being in perfect mind and calling unto mind ye mortality of my body do make my Last Will and Testament. I give bequeath and dispose of my worldly estate in manner and form as followeth -
Imprimis I give and bequeath unto my two sons Richard Beard and John Beard all ye land that I do hold possess and enjoy excepting only my half of ye Indian Range and my half of ye piece of land called Timber Neck: ye land which I give unto my two sons is already divided by a line beginning at a marked Gum standing upon ye Southwest side of my now dwelling plantation so running to ye main branch of Jacobs Creek so running up ye branch to a marked beech which stand near ye head of ye branch and ye said beech so marked RB on ye North side of ye tree and so ye South side of ye tree marked JGB and all ye Land that is mine of ye North side of ye line and branch also I give and bequeath unto my son Richard Beard and all ye land that is mine of ye South side of ye line and branch also I give and bequeath unto my son John Beard this I do give to my two sons to both and each of them and their sons for ever After my decease only my wife Rachell Beard is to have her self my now dwelling plantation and she is to have ye orchard only to her self so long as she continues a widow but in case she should marry then she is to have but one half of ye fruit of ye said orchard and my two sons Richard Beard and John Beard is to have ye other half of ye fruit of ye said orchard equally to be divided betwixt them both and further I do give unto my wife Rachell Beard liberty to clear as much ground as she has occasion for during her natural life and she is to do so without molestation or hindrance and after my said wife's decease my plantation is to be equally divided betwixt my two sons Richard Beard and John Beard that is to say for what privilege or convenience may be upon ye said plantation to one shall have as much right to it as ye other and further I do give my sons wives their last my land if in case they have issue but if in case they have no issue by my sons then they shall enjoy ye land but at twelve months and a day after my sons decease and if in case either of my two sons should die without issue their part of ye land shall fall to ye other son which is yet alive and his sons forever and if in case both of my two sons should die without issue that is to say without male or female then ye said land shall fall to my two daughters namely Ruth Beard and Rebecca Beard and their sons forever and if in case one of my two daughters should die without issue then ye other daughter shall have all ye land and her sons forever (rest cut off by binding) and if it should please God that both of my two sons should be deceased without issue and both of my daughters should be alive to possess ye land then my daughter Ruth Beard shall have my son Richards part of ye land and my daughter Rebecca Beard shall have my son Johns part of ye land and if in case both of my two before mentioned daughters should die without issue then my other daughter Rachel Clark shall have all ye land and her sons for ever but if in case she hath no sons nor no issue of her sons alive then her daughters shall possess it and further I do give and bequeath unto my daughter Ruth Beard my part of ye piece of land called Timber Neck and her sons for ever after my decease and Likewise I do give and bequeath unto my Daughter Rebecca Beard my part of ye Indian Range and her sons for ever after my decease And if in case one of my two daughters should die without issue then her part shall fall to my other daughter which is yet alive And if in case both of my two daughters should die without issue then ye said pieces of land shall fall to my sons if they be alive Ye Indian Range and Timber Neck and ye aforesaid Timber Neck shall fall to my son Richard Beard and y aforesaid Indian Range to my son John Beard and if in case my Sons be dead then shall fall to their sons forever and further I give and bequeath unto my wife Rachel Beard one feather bed as a legacy and to my son John one feather bed as a legacy and to my daughter Ruth Beard I do give one feather bed as a legacy and to my daughter Rebecca Beard I do give one feather bed as a legacy and to my daughter Rachell Clark I do give and bequeath one cow as a legacy and whatsoever more can be found of my personal estate after my decease I first give and bequeath to my wife Rachell Beard her share of it and ye rest which is left I give and bequeath to my two sons and two daughters namely Richard Beard, John Beard, Ruth Beard and Rebecca Beard equally to be divided amongst them all. And I do constitute and appoint my Brother-in-Law William Burgis and my two sons all thereof of ye County of Ann Arundel in ye Province of Maryland to be overseer of this my Will to see that my Estate be equally carried and my Brother Burgis is to end all ye disputes that shall or may arise between my wife or any of my children after my decease And of this my last Will and Testament I do utterly disallow and annul all and every other former Testaments, wills, legacies, bequeathals and Executors Ratifying and Confirming this to be my Last Will and Testament and whereof I herein hereunto set my hand and seal this 24th day of July in ye year of our Lord God 1675. Signed RB, the mark of Richard Beard. Signed sealed published pronounced and declared by ye said Richard Beard as his Last Will and Testament in ye presence of us - - George Greene, John Rutter, Elizabeth Corriton, Thomas Purthwicke. On ye back side of ye aforesaid Will was this written - - August ye 10th Anno Dom 1681 came before me John Rutter and Elizabeth his now wife and made oath to this Will. Signed Henry Stockett. Source: Maryland State Archives, Level of Government=State, Agency=Prerogative Court, Record=Will, MSA Collection= S 538-4, Liber 2, folio 143, Location=01/11/01/003.
Widow Rachel Beard Clarke marries John Stimson by 6 December 1677:
6 Dec 1677 - The Account of Rachell Stimson of Anne Arundel County, the Relict and Executrix of the Last Will and Testament of Neale Clarke late of the same County, deceased submits the following expenses, payments and disbursements. The said Executrix chargeth herself with all and singular the goods, chattels and debts of the said deceased comprised in an Inventory thereof taken and exhibited into the Court for probate of Wills and an amounting to the sum of 30312 tobacco And humbly prayed allowance of these following sums of tobacco expended paid and disbursed for the said deceased since his death in execution of his said testament by due order of law - viz. Of tobacco due to Dr. William Jones for Phisicke administered to the deceased which said debt was by the said Jones ordered to be paid to Richard Beard Sr. and by the said Beard assigned over to Colonel William Burgess and by the said Executrix to the said Burgess paid and as his receipt appeared pounds tobacco 1200. Of tobacco due to the Judge in testamentary caused from the estate of the said deceased for fees of administration upon Execution and paid to Colonel William Burgess the assignee of the said Judge paid and the said Burgess his receipt appeared pounds tobacco 368. Of tobacco due to Capt Richard Hill by bill from the said deceased and paid to Colonel William Burgess the assignee of the said Hill as the said bill appeared the sum of pounds tobacco 339. Of tobacco due to John Larkin by account from the said deceased for Ordinary expenses and paid as per receipt the sum of 174 pounds tobacco. Of tobacco due to Robert Gillingham by account from the said deceased for carpenters work done for the deceased in his life time amounting to 3500 pounds tobacco the major part whereof the deceased discharged before his death and the remainder since paid by the said Executrix 440 pounds tobacco. Of tobacco due to John Gater by account from the said deceased and paid him the sum of 100 pounds tobacco. Of tobacco due to Robert Sidebottome by account from the said deceased for part of his crop lent to the deceased in his life time when Robert was a servant to the said deceased in time past and after being free wrought upon the deceased plantation for a share and is since paid for his loan by the Executrix the sum 220 pounds tobacco. Of tobacco due to Robert Wade by account from the said deceased for Smith work done for the deceased's use in his life time and paid the sum of 180 pounds tobacco. Of tobacco due Francis Hopkins from the said deceased in balance of all accounts between him and the deceased formerly created in his life time and paid to the said Hopkins for the same 100 pounds tobacco. Of tobacco due to Richard Beard Senior by account from the said deceased and paid as the said Beard his receipt may and do appear 228 pounds tobacco. Of tobacco due to John Stimson the now husband of the said Executrix by account for his share of the crop 340 pounds tobacco. Of her Itinerant charged by her now husband in running down upon citation to sue out commission for her account to be proved in the said County 4 days funning and returning at 30 pounds tobacco/day 120 pounds tobacco. Of tobacco due to the Sherriff by account for his fees out of the deceased's estate for serving the said citation and returning the same the sum of 35 pounds tobacco. Of tobacco which will be due to the Judge for probate of Wills for granting said commission for recording this account when proved and for her letters of discharge when granted 356 pounds tobacco. Of tobacco paid the clerk for drawing this account and putting the same in form to be registered 60 pounds tobacco. Sum discharged 4260. Receipts in her hands and her own right by the words of the will after all debts paid and discharged is 26052. Sum charged 30312. Rachel Stimson the said Executrix proved this account by her oath before me Signed by her mark "R". Signed by virtue of a Commission from the Judge Testamentary me thereto empowering Signed William Burgess. Source: Maryland State Archives, State, Prerogative Court, Inventories and Accounts, MSA S 536-6, Liber 5, p. 58-62, Location 01/11/02/015.
Births of John and Ruth Gaither's children:
John Gather and Ruth parents of John Gather, son, born 15 January 1677/8; Ruth born 8 September 1679; Benjamin born 20 February 1681; Rachell born 19 April 1687; Edward born 28 September 1689; Mary born 13 April 1682; Rebeckath born 24 May 1695; and, Susana born 1697. Source: Anne Arundel County Church Records of the 17th and 18th Centuries, p. 1 and p. 4 by F. Edward Wright, Family Line Publications, Westminster, Maryland, 1989.
Births of John and Rebeckath Beard Nicholson's children:
John Nicklisson & Rebeckath parents of Rebeckath b. 19 Ap 1681; Elizabeth Nicklisson b. 20 Feb 1683; John b. 30 Dec 1686; Rachel b. 20 Sep 1688; Susanna b. 22 Nov 1690, Richard b. 24 Aug 1693. Source: Anne Arundel County Church Records of the 17th and 18th Centuries, by F. Edward Wright, p. 1, Family Line Publications, Westminster, Maryland, 1989.
Exhibits re: Timber Neck's Chain of Title
Chain of Title for Richard Uggins' Half-Share, or 100 acres, of Timber Neck:
- Richard Uggins' sells his 100 acres of Timber Neck to Richard Foster.
- Richard Foster exchanged the same for another parcel of land with Richard Beard,
- Richard Beard Sr., sold the same to Dr. William Jones, father of Susanna.
- 1678 Dr. William Jones dies and Timber Neck is in his possession.
- By 1705, Susanna Jones Rawlings, and her husband Aaron, sell the same to
Chain of Title for John Wheeler's Half-Share, or 100 acres, of Timber Neck:
- John Wheeler's Will proved 13 Dec 1684, bequeaths his 100 acres of Timber Neck to only son John. If son John dies without issue then unto Richard Beard, eldest son of "my loving friend" Richard Beard and his heirs forever. If Richard Beard the younger shall die leaving no issue then unto Matthew Beard the other son of "my said loving friend" Richard Beard and his heirs forever. And, if Matthew Beard should die without issue then towards the building or repairing the Church.
- 1708 Matthew Beard sells same to Stephen Wright.
- 1711 Stephen Wright sells same to Samuel Chambers.
- 1715 Samuel Chambers perfects the Title of same.
Exhibits of the Chain of Title for Richard Uggins' Half-Part of Timber Neck
Original Timber Neck Patent to Richard Uggins and John Wheeler:
24 August 1665 - "Richard Uggins and John Wheeler, Patent 200A, Timber Neck." "To all persons to whom these presents shall come Know ye that we for and in consideration that Richard Uggins and John Wheeler hath due unto them 150A of land within this Province by assignment from George Puddington to the said Wheeler out of a Warrant for 800 acres and 50 acres more being the Remainder of a Warrant of 100 acres granted to the said Uggins as appears upon Record and upon such conditions and terms as are expressed in our Conditions of Plantation of our Province of Maryland under our Great Seal bearing date 2 July 1649 with such alteration as in them is made by our declaration bearing date the two and twentieth day of September 1658 and remaining upon Record in our said Province do hereby grant unto him the said Richard Uggins and John Wheeler a parcel of land called Timber Neck lying in Ann Arundel County on the South side of South River on the West side of a creek called Jacobs Creek beginning at a marked red oak standing upon a point and running for breadth West South West up the Creek 160 perches to a marked red oak by a marsh side being a bounded tree of Richard Beards on the West by Beards line drawn West and by North 200 perches to a marked pohickory and by a line drawn North and by East from the said pohickory 20 perches to a marked red oak in the line of Richard Cheynes land and by Cheynes line East South East 25 perches to a marked white oak bounded on the North by a line drawn N NE from the said oak 100 perches to a marked pohickory and from the said pohickory NE by N to a marked oak by a branch in the line of the land laid out for Marren Duvall and William Young on the last by the said land on the South by Jacobs Creek containing and laid out for 200A more or less Together with all rights, profits and benefits Royall mines excepted To have and to hold the same unto them the said Richard Uggins and John Wheeler their heirs and assigns forever to be holden in the Mannor of Ann Arundell Given this four and twentieth day of August 1665. Source: Maryland State Archives, Land Office Patent Record 1664-1665, pp. 150-151. Series SM 2, MSA SR7350, Image 96 (out of 312) available on Archives Computer.
In 1678, Dr. William Jones Pre-deceases Richard Beard, Sr. who dies in 1681:
28 Nov 1678 - (Note: We know of no Will of record for Dr. Jones; however, the following Inventory helps establish an estimated year of death.)
An Inventory of William Jones Physician late of Anne Arundel County, deceased, taken 28 November 1678 by Samuel Lane and Francis Stockett Appraisers appointed and sworn for that purpose, total estate amounting to 27008 pounds tobacco. In addition, "Debts Hopeful and Desparate" from: Leonard Wayman, Robert Conqut, Edward Brock, Francis Collier, Coll. Wm Burgess, John Foster, Richard Everyway, John Gather, Richard Beard, Jr., Richard Beard Senr., Peter Barnard, John Thomas, Wm. Parker, Andrew Norwood, John Simpson, William Roper, John Gresham, Anthony Rawlins, John Beard, Anthony DeMowhdiee, Capt Thomas Beason, William Boman, Cornelius Howard, John Whelor, James Frissall, Benjamin Lawrence, John Gray, John Purdew, Edward Parish, Samuel Garland, James Saunders, Robert Sidebotham, Robert Harvey, Hugh Reiley, William Fergasson, Edmon Purdew, John Balding, Tobias Sumero, Ninian Bell, John Powell, John Dring, John Longman, Nicholas Moridge, Thomas Plumer, John Jones, John Durden, Nathaniel Heathcott, William Ramsey, Francis Crismas, Edward Dorsey, John Bannister, Thomas Seaborne, George Westall, John Carpenter, Joane Gailor, John Peale, Thomas Madox, George Coape, William Ridgeley, Walter Phelps, Henry Kid, Edward Foster, Thomas Lunn, John Armstrong, John Jacobs, Robert Procter, Edward Reesetate. Source: MSA, Level of Govt = State, Agency = Prerogative Court, Record= Inventory & Accounts, MSA S 536-6, Liber 5, p. 429-435, Location 01/11/02/015.
Charles Tilly Perfects Title of Uggins' Half-Part of Timber Neck:
19 March 1705 - "Be it remembered that this day to wit the nineteenth day of March 1705 here into Court came Charles Tilly of Anne Arundel County and gave the Court to understand and be informed that he is in possession of a tract of land called Timber Neck by him formerly purchased of Aaron Rawlings of AA Co. Planter and Susanna his wife heirs of Wm. Jones, deceased, who purchased the same of Richard Beard Senior who was the Grantee of Richard Foster who purchased it of Richard Huggins the Original Patentee thereof but further shows that as well the record as the original cert of the said land are burnt whereby he comes therefore to prove his title so that this Court may equitably decree in his favor he produces the following evidence - - Walter Phelps Senior of AA Co. who being sworn on the holy Evangelist to declare the truth concerning the matter Deposeth that he well knew Richard Huggins to be the taker up of the land called Timber Neck containing 100A now in possession of Charles Tilly of Anne Arundel County and that he conveyed the same to Richard Foster which Richard Foster to the certain knowledge of the Deponent did exchange the same for another parcel of land with Richard Beard And that the said Richard Beard did sell the same to Doctor William Jones Father to Susanna the wife of the said Aaron Rawlings. Charles Tilly being sworn deposeth that he had in his possession all the conveyances belonging to the said land from the original patentee to the several purchasers and that the same were burnt in his house. Aaron Rawlings here in Court doth acknowledge that for a good and valuable sum he together with his wife Susanna did convey to the said Charles Tilly all that tract called Timber Neck in AA Co., on South side of South River on the North side of a Creek called Beards Creek also Jacobs Creek on the East side of a cove called Shepherds Cove Beginning at an oak and running West SW 82 p to a white oak of the land called West Puddington and from the said oak West and by North 145p to a red oak and from the said oak N 82p to a hickory and from the said hickory 65p NE thence 25p NE by N from thence SE to the first bounded tree containing 100A more or less And that he did likewise convey unto him 50A of land adjoining to the 100A being part of a tract called West Puddington for which he did likewise receive full satisfaction And doth now again acknowledge the said lands to him Charles Tilly his heirs and assigns forever And that he the said Aaron Rawlings will forever warrant and defend the said lands to him the said Charles Tilly his heirs and assigns from any Person whatsoever - - Wherefore and in order to invest the said Charles Tilly in an indefeazable Estate of inheritance in the said Lands according to the Acknowledgment of the said Aaron Rawlings It is adjudged and decreed by the Court here this nineteenth day of March 1705 that the aforesaid acknowledgment of the said Aaron Rawlings shall to all intents and purposes be taken as a good and sufficient bar against the said Aaron Rawlings or his heirs from Claiming any Estate to the said lands And the said lands are hereby decreed to the said Charles Tilly his heirs and assigns forever according to the true intent and meaning of the said acknowledgment. [Signed] John Collins Clerk. Vide the return of the survey by Walter Phelps, Leonard Wayman and Richard Baxter in Page 330. Source: mdlandrec.net, Anne Arundel County Land Records, Book IH 1, p. 217-218.
We whose names are hereunto subscribed have run out the land of Charles Tilley called Timber Neck according to ye metes and bounds known and proved to belong to the said land which he the said Tilley bought of Aaron Rawlins who had it by his wife Susanna daughter of Dr. William Jones, deceased which Jones bought the said land of Richard Beard Sr. who had it of Richard Foster who bought it of Richard Huggins which land in AA Co. is on the South side of South River on the North side of a creek called Beards creek alias Jacobs Creek on ye east side of a cove called Shepards Cove Beginning at an oak and running West SW 82 p to a white oak of the land of West Puddington and from ye said oak West and by N 145p to a red oak and from the said oak North 82p to a hickory and from ye said hickory 65p North East from thence 25p NE by N from thence SE to the first bounded tree being 100A more or less. Likewise 50A of land which he the said Doctor Jones bought of the said Richard Beard Sr. taken out of a certain tract of land called West Puddington which bounds begin at ye aforementioned white oak and runs West and by N 145 perches to ye red oak aforementioned on ye one side and a certain branch being the bound on ye other side. Signed Walter Phelps (his mark), Leonard Wayman (his mark) Richard Baxter (his mark). The above mentioned being omitted to be entered with ye other proceedings relating thereto by John Collins pursuant to ye minutes of that Court is entered here therefore and reference there from had for want of room. [Signed] Tho. Jones, Clerk. Source: Maryland State Archives on-line, mdlandrec.net, Anne Arundel County Land Records, Book IH 1, p. 330.
Exhibits of the Chain of Title for John Wheeler's Half-Part
of Timber Neck
1684 Will of John Wheeler:
Dated 21 Nov 1684/Proved 13 Dec 1684 - Will of John Wheeler, of AA Co., Planter, To my only son John Wheeler my 100A of land called Timber Neck in AA Co., near So. River together with my now dwelling plantation, houses, edifices and buildings with the appurtenances thereunto belonging as also all that my other 200A called Wheelers Lott lying near Magothy River in AA Co. Provided in case my son John shall happen to die leaving no issue then the two parcels and premises shall go unto Richard Beard the eldest son of my loving friend Mr. Richard Beard of the County aforesaid and his heirs forever. But if it should happen that the said Richard Beard the younger shall die leaving no issue then my will is that my before mentioned two parcels shall go unto Matthew Beard the other son of my said loving friend Richard Beard and his heirs forever. But if it should happen that the said Matthew Beard should die without issue then my will is that the two parcels shall go towards the building or repairing the Church in the Town or Port to be on the land of Col. William Burgess near South River for the use of Christian Protestants and for and towards the maintenance of a Protestant minister in the same Church and his successors forever. I give and bequeath unto my now wife Christian Wheeler 2 cows and 2 breeding sows and also one iron pot, one frying pan, one grid iron. I give unto my 3 friends the aforesaid Richard Beard the Elder, Henry Hanslap and John Belt 5 shillings each as a remembrance of me earnestly requesting their care in seeing this my will well and truly performed and executed. My mind and will further is that after my just debts be in the first place paid my funeral charges and legacies likewise satisfied the residue of my estate I give and bequeath unto my said son John Wheeler whom I do hereby make constitute and appoint sole and only Executor of this my Last Will and Testament whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year above written. Signed John Wheeler (his mark). Witnesses: Henry Hanslap, Richard Beard, Robert Wade, John Skinner, Samuel Gray. Proved 13 Dec 1684 by Robert Wade, John Skinner, and Samuel Gray. Signed William Burgess. Source: Maryland State Archives, Level of Government=State, Agency=Prerogative Court, Will, Book G (1682-1688), p. 170-171, MSA S538-9, Location=01/11/01/006.
Matthew Beard Sells His Part of Timber Neck to Stephen Wright
12 Nov 1708 - This Indenture made this 12th day of November in the seventh year of the reign of our Sovereign Lady Queen Anne 1708 Between Matthew Beard of Anne Arundel County in the Province of Maryland Carpenter of the one part and Stephen Wright of the same County and Province Planter of the other part Witness that the said Matthew Beard for and in consideration of the sum of 25 pounds sterling to him the said Matthew Beard by him the said Stephen Wright in hand paid or secured to be paid at or upon the ensealing and delivery of these presents the receipt whereof he the said Matthew Beard doth hereby acknowledge and thereof doth acquit the said Stephen Wright his heirs, executors and administrators by these presents hath given granted bargained sold and confirmed and doth by these presents for himself and his heirs give grant bargain sell and confirm unto him the said Stephen Wright his heirs and assigns forever the one moiety or half part of that tract or parcel of land called Timber Neck lying in Anne Arundel County on the South side of South River on the West side of a creek called Jacobs Creek Beginning at a marked red oak standing upon a point and running for breadth West South West up ye creek 160 perches to a marked oak by a marsh it being a bounded tree of Richard Beards on the West by Beard's line drawn West and by North 200 perches to a marked pohickory and by a line drawn North and by East from the said pohickory 50 perches to a marked red oak in the line of Richard Cheenys land and by Cheenys line East South East 25 perches to a marked white oak bounded on the North by a line drawn North North East from the said oak 100 perches to a marked pohickory and from the said pohickory North East and by North to a marked oak by a branch in the line of the land laid out for Murren Duvall and William Young on the East and by the said land on the South by Jacobs Creek containing and laid out for 200A more or less being formerly to wit the 25th day of August 1665 by the Right Honorable Cecilicus Absolute Lord and Proprietary of the same Province by His Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the said Province granted unto Richard Uggins and John Wheeler that is to say that moiety or half part of the said tract of land called Timber Neck formerly occupied by the said John Wheeler and late in the occupation of William Bateman of Anne Arundel County late deceased together with all and singular the benefits and privileges to the same moiety or half part aforesaid belonging or in any wise appertaining To have and to hold the same moiety or parcel of land aforesaid together with all and singular the benefits, privileges and improvement to him the said Stephen Wright his heirs and assigns forever. Signed Matthew Beard and Stephen Wright.
On the back of the foregoing deed was thus endorsed vizt. That the within mentioned tract called Timber Neck was patented as in this mentioned to Uggins and Wheeler which they held jointly. Wheeler who by his last Will dated the 21st of November 1684 devised the within mentioned moiety of the same conditionally to the within grantor as the same will more fully appear by virtue of aforesaid Will the grantor claimed under the said Wheeler. 12 November 1708 Then came into open court the within mentioned Matthew Beard the grantor and acknowledged the within instrument as his act and deed to the uses therein mentioned according to Act of Assembly and also the same day Mary the wife of the said Matthew being secretly examined out of the hearing of her husband acknowledges her free consent so as to bar her of any claims of dower in the same granted lands within mentioned without any fear or threat of her husband. Signed Thomas Bordley, Register Anne Arundel County. Source: Maryland State Archives on-line, mdlandrec.net, Anne Arundel County Land Records, Book PK, p. 482-485.
Stephen Wright Sells Timber Neck to Samuel Chambers
16 May 1711 - This Indenture made the 16th day of May 1711 between Stephen Wright of AA Co., Planter, and Samuel Chambers , Gent. of the same County, MD, Witnesseth that the said Stephen Wright hath sold to Samuel Chambers one moiety or half part of that trace of Land called Timber Neck lying in AA County on the south side of South River Beginning at a marked red oak standing upon a point and running for breadth West South West up the Creek 160 perches to a marked oak by a marsh side it being a bound tree of Richard Beards land on the West by Beards line drawn West and by North 200 perches to a marked pohickory and a line drawn North and by East from the said pohickory 50 perches to a marked red oak in the line of Richard Cheneys Land and by Cheneys line East Southeast 25 perches to a marked white oak bounded on the North by a line drawn North Northeast from the said oak 100 perches to a marked pohickory and from the said pohickory NE by N to a marked oak by a branch in the line of the land laid out for Mareen Duvall and William Young on the East by the said land on the South by Jacobs Creek containing and laid out for 200 acres more or less being formerly to wit on the 25th day of August 1665 by the Right Honorable Cecilius Absolute Lord Proprietor of the Province by Patent unto Richard Uggins and John Wheeler that is to say that moiety or half part of the said tract of Land called Timber Neck formerly occupied by the said John Wheeler and from him descended to a certain Matthew Beard deceased together with all and singular the benefits, privileges and appurtunances in any wise appertaining To have and to hold all the said moiety or half part unto him the said Samuel Chambers. Mary the wife of Stephen Wright waives dower. Recorded 23 July 1712. Source: Maryland State Archives on-line, mdlandrec.net, Anne Arundel County Land Records, Book PK, p. 485- 488.
Samuel Chambers Perfects Title of Timber Neck
April 1715 - "An Act to supply certain defects in the conveying of lands from Matthew Beard to Stephen Wright and from Stephen Wright to Samuel Chambers of AA County, Gentleman. Whereas Matthew Beard late of AA Co. Carpenter, by his deed of bargain and sale bearing date 12 November 1708, for 25 pounds sterling granted and sold to Stephen Wright of AA Co., Planter and to his heirs and assigns forever, the moiety or half part of a tract or parcel of land called Timber Neck lying in AA Co. on the South side of South River on the West side of Jacobs Creek, Beginning at a marked red oak standing upon a point and running for breadth West South West up the Creek 160 perches to a marked oak by a marsh side it being a bound tree of Richard Beards land on the West by Beards line drawn West and by North 200 perches to a marked pohickory and a line drawn North and by East from the said pohickory 50 perches to a marked red oak in the line of Richard Cheneys Land and by Cheneys line East Southeast 25 perches to a marked white oak bounded on the North by a line drawn North Northeast from the said oak 100 perches to a marked pohickory and from the said pohickory NE by N to a marked oak by a branch in the line of the land laid out for Mareen Duvall and William Young on the East by the said land on the South by Jacobs Creek containing and laid out for 200 acres more or less being formerly to wit on the 25th day of August 1665 by the Right Honorable Cecilius Absolute Lord Proprietor of the Province by Patent unto Richard Uggins and John Wheeler that is to say that moiety or half part of the said tract of Land called Timber Neck formerly occupied by the said John Wheeler and late in the tenure or occupation of William Bateman of AA Co. late deceased as by the same Deed duly executed and acknowledged and now remaining upon the land records of AA C. in the Book marked PL page 482 reference being thereto had may more at large appear and whereas the said Stephen Wright by his Deed of bargain and sale bearing date 16 May 1711 for the consideration of 35 pounds sterling granted and sold the said moiety or half part of the tract of land aforesaid unto Samuel Chambers of the same County and Province and to his heirs and assigns forever as by the Deed thereof duly executed and acknowledged and now remaining upon the same land records and in the same Book aforementioned, p. 485 reference being thereto Likewise had may more full appear. But foreasmuch as the said Stephen Wright omitted to get his aforementioned Deed from Matthew Beard recorded in time so that by the Act of Assembly of this province for quieting possessions enrolling conveyances and securing the Estates of purchasers no Estate in the said land past thereby and for that the said Matthew Beard and Stephen Wright are both since deceased And for that the said Samuel Chambers on finding the said first mentioned deed not recorded omitted recording recoding the said deed from Wright to himself well knowing the Recording the said Deed would avail him nothing unless he could procure a confirmation of the aforementioned first Deed so that neither of the said Deeds were recorded within the express time limited by the Act aforesaid Whereupon the said Samuel Chambers being otherwise remediless has petitioned this General Assembly for relief in his behalf and for that the truth of the premises is sufficiently made appear and that the considerations of the said respective sales have been duly paid and that the petitioners case most properly requires an equitable relief by an Act to be passed in his favor. It is therefore humbly prayed that it may be enacted. And be it enacted by the Kings most excellent Majesty by and with the advice and consent of his Majesty's Governor Council and Assembly of this Province that the Deeds and aforementioned Records shall be deemed and held as effectual in Law to all intents, constructions and purposes whatsoever as if the same deeds had been duly recorded according to the directions of the aforesaid Act.
Source: Maryland State Archives on-line at aomol.msa.maryland.gov, Acts of the General Assembly, Volume 38, pp. 183-185.