This section marks the beginning of history and the end of mythology for this Perrin genealogy. I hope to convince you at its conclusion that there is a real connection between the Perrins discussed so far and our current subject.
Geography of Central Maryland
Before beginning I think it is helpful to review some geography. Until 1749 all of central Maryland was part of Prince Georges County. It therefore included the Monocacy Creek Valley (site of present day Frederick, Maryland), South Mountain to its west, and the Maryland portion of the Great Valley further westward still. In 1749 the new county of Frederick assumed these three regions; then in 1776 the Great Valley portion of Frederick County became Washington County.
The Great Valley, which extends from Pennsylvania to North Carolina through Maryland and Virginia, became in the eighteenth century a major migration route for immigrants from Pennsylvania to points south. The bedrock of the Great Valley is Cambrian and Ordovician limestone, rock which can easily become carved out by water, leading to the formation of caves and underground streams. While in Maryland the Conococheague and Antietam Creeks drain the west and east sides of the Valley respectively, the middle portion of the Valley does not have well established drainage. The only stream there, Marsh Creek, does not have a significant valley until its last mile to the Potomac
Settlement before 1739
Before 1736 there was essentially no legal white settlement in Maryland west of the Monocacy River. There was some European activity there, however. For example, Israel Friend, an early fur trader, received a deed from the Indians for land at the mouth of Antietam Creek in 1727 Prince Georges County Deeds Q: 169:
Att the request of George Beall the Following Deed was Enrolled November the Twenty Seventh Anno DM. Seventeen hundred and thirty whereas be it known to all Manner of persons to whom it may concern That We Cunnaw cha ha la, Taw we Maw, Capt. Sivility, Toile Flangee, She Hays, Callakahahatt, being Kings and rulers of the Five nations for naturall Love and we bar to our Brothers Israel Friend we give unto him...
and Heirs Executors Administrators and Assign's a certain piece of Land lying and being upon potomock River beginning at the mouth of Andietum Creek at Box Elder marked with three notches on every side and to run up the said river two hundred shoots as fur as an arrow can be slung out of a bow and yn. to be one hundreed shoots right back from the river so containing its square till it intercedes with the said Creek again with a I'land against the mouth of the Creek which said Land we the said Indians and our heirs Doe warrant and for Ever Defend unto the said Israel Friend ... with all the appertenences thereunto belonging, as fishing, hawking, Hunting, and all other privileges thereunto belonging with paying unto some of us two [eares] of Indian Corn for ever, this tenth day of January One thousand seven hundred and twenty seven. Signed, sealed, and Delivered in the presence of Humberston Lyon, g.h. Margalith.
One of the signers of Friend's deed, Captain Civility, was a Susquehannak chief from Conestoga. He later wrote to the Governor of Maryland concerning settlements in the west; whether he was referring to the area contested in Cresap's war, or to present day Maryland, is not entirely clearArchives of Maryland (Proceedings of the Council of Maryland, 1732:1752) 28: 10-11:
To Your Excellency the Governor living in Annapolis with Great Care These
January the 12, 1731/2
To your Excellency of Maryland and Esqr Lloyd, and if it please You Sir I Captain Civility makes bold with these few Lines, for I am heartily sorry to hear as Maryland should deprive us of that Spot of Land as we have held hitherto for I certainly did hear as their Intention is to take it from Us if possible but I hear You intend to come and run Land out above Andahetem, and I heartily desire you not to do it for You have already run Land out at Cohungaruto and put your family to live there which We are very much disturbed and I would have you not to press too much upon Us for We have give no body Land yet but Israel Friend at the mouth of Andahetem and I shall consider with the rest of my Brothers what to do for as We are but Indians You must not think to force Us out of Our own No more at present but We remain Your Servants all the five Nations
Captain + Civility
Toyl HT Hangue
Stories told later indicate Indian activity in the Antietam valley in the 1730s Samuel Kercheval, A History of the Valley of Virginia (Woodstock, VA: John Gatewood, Printer, 1833; republished Westminster, MD: Heritage Books, 2007), 31-32. "At the mouth of Antietam, a small creek on the Maryland side of the river [Potomac, or Cohongoruton], a most bloody affair took place between parties of the Catawba and Delaware tribes. This was probably about the year 1736. The Delawares had penetrated pretty far to the south, committed some acts of outrage on the Catawbas, and on their retreat were overtaken at the mouth of this creek, when a desperate conflict ensured. Every man of the Delaware party was put to death, with the exception of one who escaped after the battle was over, and every Catawba held up a scalp but one. This was a disgrace not to be borne; and he instantly gave chase to the fugitive, overtook him at the Susquehanna river, (a distance little short of one hundred miles,) killed and scalped him, and returning, showed his scalp to several white people, and exulted in what he had done.
"Another most bloody battle was fought at the mouth of Conococheague, on Friend's land, in which but one Delaware escaped death, and he ran in to Friend's house, when the family shut the door, and kept the Catawbas out, by which means the poor fugitive was saved.". Indeed, Samuel Blunston,Justice of the Peace in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania wrote to Governor Gordon of Pennsylvania in August, 1734 to explain the following incident Pennsylvania Archives Series 1, I: 437:
About a month Agoe a party of the Six Nations, Warriors, came to the Connoi Town in their way to the Southward, & in the name of the rest, five or Six came to my house & Brought a List of forty, the number going to war. They told me they wanted a paper to take with them through Virginia, to Show the Inhabitants that their Intentions towards the English were peaceable, which paper I supose they Intended to be for the passport mentioned in the Governour of Virginia's Letter; made Nessessary by the treaty, (tho' this I knew not Before,) upon their Application to me I advised them to wait upon thee who only had the Right & power to give them such a paper; but that they said was so far out of their way they could not goe & Insisted upon Something from mee, So Considering if I denyed them a paper they would go without, I rather Chose to write to Edmd Cartlidge a few lines to this Effect, "that forty of the Six Nation's Indians Intending to go to the Southward, Desired a Certificate from me to Show the white people that their Intention was not to do them any hurt, but to pass peaceably along, & that they need not be afraid of them," And I desired Edmund Cartlidge to let them know they must Suffer no Violence to be used towards any person, nor that they shd not forceably take any thing, And that if He thought propper he might give a Certificate of their peaceable Intentions, which they proposed by sending one person Before to Show the Inhabitants that they might not be frighted. If in this I acted Amis or Inadvertantly I shal be Sorry, for I Intended it for Good.
More information concerning Europeans in western Maryland before 1738 can be found in two articles written by Corinne Hanna for the defunct journal Western Maryland Genealogy. Early Traders of the Upper Potomac is the best piece (as it mentions the Perrins:), but I have also included an earlier piece, New Look at an Old Map, which deals specifically with the persons shown (and not shown) on the earliest accurate drawing of the region, rendered for Lord Farifax in Virginia in 1737.
The above section of this map, from the Darlington Collection at the University of Pittsburgh, shows the names of several families living on the Potomac. In addition to Friend, the names Chaplain and Spurgeant are shown; these names will come up again later in this and other sections. The map also demonstrates the "Waggon Road to Philadelphia". This road passed through the Monocacy valley and South Mountain, crossed the lower Antietam Creek and met the Potomac at present day Shepherdstown, Virginia. Thus it would be a continuation of the road from Lancaster and York described in the last section.
However, the most clear evidence of settlement in this region before 1736 can be found in the Pennsylvania records. Here is a petition written to Samuel Blunston and dated the 28th day, 5th month (July) of 1734 Pennsylvania State Archives Series III, 1: 39; from Minute Book K:
Mr. Samuel Blunston Sr. this is to let you understand that the Inhabitants about the great Marsh where Edmund Cartledge does live have met and made a general Conclusion for to get grants from you for to settle any where upon the Waters of Conehecheegoe and likewise upon the Waters of Andiatom on the North side of the line that George Noble and John Smith did run.
Joseph Hickman Edward Parnell John Dobkin James Conron John Hodge Redman Fallen James Gill Thomas Cherry John Williams William Clarke William Varnell Thomas Owen Charles Friend Abraham Fish James Hendrica William Sherwell Peter Hart Humbleston Lyon Thomas Oncall Nicholas Hammon Richard Spencer Samuel Baldwin John Surfurance Samuel Owen Francis Hickman Joseph Hickman Jun'r John Stull Edmund Cartledge Jun'r John Nicholas Edward Nicholas John Gosedge Neils Friend John Friend John Gladin Charles Smith John Ryle James Coborn William May John Sawphorus James Williams
I have not been able to conclusively find where the Noble & Smith line ran; it may have approximated the later Mason & Dixon line, or have been further south. But the "great Marsh" referred to is the upper section of present day Marsh Creek in Maryland. Edmund Cartledge was responsible for the survey of Fountain Rock in 1737 MSA S1226-152; Unpatented Certificate: 143 (Prince George's County); this location is labeled in the 1877 Washington County atlas at present day St. James Lake, Griffing & Stevenson, Illustrated Atlas of Washington County (Philadelphia: H. J. Toudy, 1877) . Later land tracts, such as Marsh Head, surveyed for Redmund Follens in 1737 Surveyed September 1, 1737 on a warrant from Thomas Owen,MSA S1203-1495; Patent recorded LG C: 193; Patent Certificate: 1413 (Prince George's County), June 30, 1741 to Redman Falling, and Water Sink, surveyed for Joseph Tomlinson in 1739 stated explicitly later during Land Commission testimony; see Frederick County, Maryland Deeds M: 7, delineate by their names the extent of the Marsh. Later in this section I will show why I believe that there was no visible drainage from the Marsh at Water Sink, implying that the next section of Marsh Creek was underground.
The inclusion of Cherry, Stull, Nicholas and Friend on the list above suggest that the area in which the petitioners lived extended from the Potomac River north above present day Hagerstown. Why did they petition the Pennsylvania authorities for permission to obtain land grants? This being the time of the Pennsylvania/Maryland boundary dispute, and given how far west the region was from the Susquehanna, no one actually knew for certain which colony they were in, or to put it more cynically, which colony would prevail in the dispute. In that sense the petitioners were just covering their bases; indeed, fifteen of the above petitioners had payed taxes to Maryland in 1733 Maryland State Papers No. 1, The Black Books, paragraph 272. The persons on both lists were Edmund Cartledge, Thomas Cherry, William Clarke, James Coburn, John Dobbin (Sr.), Redmond Fallen, Charles John and Nicholas Friend, Humburston Lyon, Edward and John Nicholls, John Royal, William Sherwell and John Stull.. I believe that the petitioners were searching for a legitimate way to settle in the region. Maryland was not issuing warrants for land that far west to ordinary people. Indeed, by 1734 huge land grants had been surveyed in the name of Lord Baltimore (Conococheague Manor) or for well placed members of the ruling class (Chews Manor), so that the persons already in the land had every reason to fear that Maryland would never sell them land, but try to rent it to them as tenants.
Significant to me is the fact that many of the signatures on the 1734 petition came from families originally found in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The trading escapades of Edward or Edmund Cartledge were discussed in the last section; it is probably he who took of residence in the Great Marsh, with his son also signing the petition. James Hendrica was probably James Hendricks; he, as well as William Sherwell and Samuel Baldwin, were all listed in the tax records of Conestoga, Lancaster County, in 1718. The movement of people from Lancaster County west to this region was facilitated by the presence of the "waggon road", which allowed for more migration in this direction from Pennsylvania than from coastal Maryland. This continued to be the case for some time, by 1755 the original road from Canestoga to Shepherdstown had been supplanted with a new road through York to Williamsport; the new road avoided a significant climb over South Mountain between the Monocacy and Antietam watersheds.
I am fascinated by the fact that after Maryland lost the boundary war with Pennsylvania in 1738 the issuance of warrants for western Maryland land immediately increased. One of the first to benefit from this change in policy was Thomas Cresap, but in 1738 the Maryland Land Office also issued warrants in quick succession to Charles Higginbothom, John Charleton, George Bond, James Henthorn and Thomas Scarlet, all of whom were participants in the "Chester County Plot" Maryland Land Warrant Index Libers FF and LG A, MSA SM129-2; Pennsylvania Archives Colonial Records IV: 101-2. (Doubtless you will tire of hearing about Cresap, but his flamboyant life resulted in a lot of published information about this part of the world which I will continue to cite. He ultimately settled at the forks of the Potomac, at the site of an abandoned Shawnee Indian village called Oldtown.) But others who had already been living in the region of the Great Marsh now succeeded in buying warrants, either directly or through others, so that by 1739 there began a sustained increase in freehold settlement in the Valley.
Earliest Records of John Perrin
The first record I have for a John Perrin in Maryland comes from the Prerogative Court of Maryland. On October 24, 1737 Prince Georges County filed the following document with them Prince George's County Register of Wills, Original Administration Bonds, Samuel Finley, MSA C1147-10, box 10, folder 5:
Know all Men by these Presents, That We Henry Enoch, John Upton, and John Perrin of Prince Georges County Planters are held and firmly bound unto the Right Honourable the Lord Proprietary of this Province, in the full and just Sum of Three hundred Pounds Sterling Money of Great-Britain, to be paid to His said Lordship, his Heirs and successors:
To which Payment well and truly to be made and done, We bind our selves, and every of us, our and every of our Heirs, Executors, and Administrators, in the whole, and for the whole, jointly and severally, firmly, by these Presents. Sealed with our Seals, and dated this Twenty fourth Day of October in the twenty third Year of His saids Lordship's Dominion, &c. Annoq; Domini 1737
The condition of the above Obligation is such, That if the above bound Henry Enoch Administrator of all and singular the Goods and Chattles, Rights and Credits, of Samuel Finley late of Prince Geroges County, Deceased, do make, or cause to be made, a true and perfect Inventory of all and singular the Goods, Chattles, and Credits, of the said Deceased, together with a List of the Debts, sperate and desperate, which have or shall come to the hands Possession or Knowledge of the said Henry Enoch or into the Hands, Possession, or Knowledge, of any other person; for him and the same so made, do exhibit or case to be exhibited, into the Prerogative Court at Annapolis, at or before the Twenty fourth Day of January next ensuing. And the same Goods, Chattles, and Credits, and all other the Goods, Chattles, and Credits, of the said Deceased, at the Time of his Death, that shall come to the Hands, Possession, or Knowledge, of the said Henry Enoch or to the Hands, Possession or Knowledge, of any other Person, for him do well and truly administer, according to Law, viz. Shall pay the Debts of the said Deceased, so far forth, as his Personal Estate shall extend, and the Law will charge, as also all such reasonable Charges and Fees as have arisen, or shall arise or become due to His Lordship's Officers, from the said Henry Enoch on Account of the said Deceased, or his Estate: And further, do make, or cause to be made, a true and just Account of his Administration, at or before the twenty fourth Day of October next. And all the Rest and Residue of the said Goods, Chattles, and Credits, which shall be found remaining upon the said Administrators Account, the same being first examined and allowed of by the Judge or Judges for the Time being, shall deliver and pay unto the Person or Persons appointed by Law to receive the same. And if it shall hereafter appear that any Last Will and Testament was made by the said Deceased, and the Executor or Executors therein named, do exhibit the same into the said Court, making Request to have the same allowed and approved accordingly, if the said Henry Enoch being thereunto required, do render and deliver the said Letters of Administration, (Approbation of the said Testament being first had and made,) in the said Court: Then this Obligation to be void, and of no Effect; or else to stand, remain, and, be in full Force, Power, and Virtue, in Law.
Sealed and delivered Henry Enoch (seal) in Presence of Us John Upton (seal) John Perrin (seal) John Gibson Wm Rogers
Even if you read the entire document, it may not be clear that it confirmed Henry Enoch as administrator (executor) for the estate of Samuel Finley, deceased, and that Enoch as well as Upton and Perrin were liable for a three hundred pound bond if he did not perform this task within a year. Below is a photograph of the signatures from the original document.
Four months later Henry provided more information to the Court, allowing us to make sense out of what was happening here Maryland Will Book DD1 21: 846.
Henry Enoch & Joseph Metcalf of Prince Georges County Planters being duly Sworn severlly depose & Swear tht they were at the late Dwelling house of Samuel Finnly late of the said County Merchant Dec'ed on the Sixteenth day of October last past & that the said Finnly then lay sick in bed & desired this Deponent Henry to mind what he the said Finnly was then going to say And afterwards said Henry afsd I leave all I have to Johny Aldridge or words to that effect Which words the Dep. Joseph heard the said Finnly speak. That there was no other present when the said Finnly spoke the said words but these Deponents And that he the said Finnly died of that sickness with four or five days after speaking the said words And that the best of their judgement & Apprehension the said Finnly at the time of speaking the said words was perfectly in his Senses
Sworn to Feb 2 1737 [1737/8] before me D Dulany Commsr.
Signed Henry Enoch, Joseph Metcalf (his mark)
The above deposition was taken at the Instance of Joseph Chaplin to avail as much as in law & Justice it might, which to that end I hereby order to be Entered in the Porceedings of the Perogative office
Feb 2 1737 D Dulany Commsr
On the same date that Enoch deposed Finley's will, he relinquished his position as Administrator for the Finley estate Prince George's County Register of Wills, Original Administration Bonds, Samuel Finley, MSA C1147-10, box 10, folder 6, giving it to Joseph Chaplin. I imagine somebody pointed out to him that he could not administer an estate when he was one of only two persons who had actually heard Finley's will.
Now I would like to analyze this event in detail, as I believe that describing what is known of the characters in this case will allow us to guess as to what John Perrin was up to in 1737.
- The deceased Samuel Finley was originally from Chester County, Pennsylvania. On October 29, 1737 brother Robert Finley filed a bond there as administrator of Samuel's estate in Pennsylvania Chester County, Pennsylvania Archives, Probate File 614, October, 1737 - Samuel Finley, Nottingham, administration bond and inventory. Samuel's inventory there consisted of 124 yards of linen and 36 deek skins, plus some cash. The Maryland estate inventory included household goods, another 180 yards of linen, 23 horses (including 5 colts) and other livestock Prince Georges County Register of Wills PD: 399-400, MSA C1228-3. I think it was likely that Finley dealt in deerskin from the frontier in exchange for basics such as horses and cloth. He paid taxes as a landowner in Chester County from 1718 until 1732, so I suspect he was living on the frontier after that time Chester County Archives, Tax Index.
- The heir Johnny Aldridge can be identified as John Allred, a minor of Chester County, according to records filed in Orphans Court there Chester County, Pennsylvania Orphan's Book III:69. He petitioned to have Joseph Chaplin become his guardian. Nothing else is known of this person.
- First witness and initial estate administrator Henry Enoch will remain a relative mystery. Better known are John and Gabriel Enochs, who probably resided in Chester County before patenting land in the Salisbury Plain region in 1739 (see the above map for the location of Ennochssons Lott)Enochsons Lott, to , surveyed April 16, 1739 for Gabriel Enochson, MSA S1203-843; Ptent record LG C:47; Patent Certificate: 771 (Prince George's County), July 12, 1739. And they settled early; a survey for the neighboring tract Astills Delight, made in June, 1737, referred to the Enochsons Branch of Conococheague Creek Astills Delight, surveyed for Isaac Astill June 11,1737, MSAS1203-253; Patent record BY & GS 5: 626; Patent Certificate: 191 (Prince George's County), Sept 29, 1750 to Hugh Parker. The Swedish - American genealogist Peter S. Craig has written that this Henry Enochs was a cousin of Gabriel and John Peter S. Craig, "The Enochson Brothers and Their Swedish Descendants", Swedish Colonial News, 3 (3) ,2005, but I can imagine it is equally likely that he was the son of either John or Gabriel. In any case these documents assert Henry was living in Western Maryland in 1737, resurfacing in the historical record ten years later in Virginia Henry G. Enoch, The Enoch Family in Hampshire County, (West) Virginia and Washington County, Pennsylvania (1999: privately publishied), 3-55 . Oh, and there was one more reason why Henry was so eager to get Finnley's estate in order — the accounts later show he was Finley's biggest creditor. Finley owed Enochs 35 pounds, or the equivalent of seven of Finley's best horses Prince Georges County Register of Wills (Administration Accounts, Original) Box 1, folder 56, MSA C1145-1.
- Second witness Joseph Metcalf patented land in Maryland in 1740; the 1739 survey states that it was "by ye Side of a little Spring within half a mile of ye Waggon Road that goes from Stulls Mill to ye Mountain" Midcafs Meadow, 100 acres, surveyed for Jos. Midcaf Sept 21, 1739, MSA S1203-1536; Patent record EI 5: 509; Patent Certificate: 1453 (Prince George's County), October 3, 1740. I know nothing more about this man.
- John Upton, the other guarantee for Henry Enoch's administration bond, was living in western Maryland as of 1733 Maryland State Papers No. 1, The Black Books, paragraph 272 and had land surveyed in 1739 "on the South Side of the Eastern branch of the great marsh of Cogonocege and below the Dweling house of the said upton" It is Well100 acres, surveyed for John Upton May 4, 1739, MSA S1226-194: Unpatented certificate: 181 (Prince George's County). The surveyor noted that "on this Land is one loggd dwelling house & a dry fundement and two small Corn Fields under tenie". The location of this tract would need to be near Water Sink, given its shape, but as the land was never patented, it is not possible to relate it to other properties for a precise location. But it establishes that he also lived in the region when Finnly died.
- Finally, the the Court Commissioner noted the will was "at the Instance of" Joseph Chaplin. The meaning of this phrase is somewhere between request and insistence. As noted above, Chaplin became the administrator of Finley's estate as well as guardian of John AllredChester County, Pennsylvania Orphan's Book III:69. The whole story points to Chaplin as being the voice of reason in this whole affair. But Joseph Chapline, born 1708, also had connections back at the county courthouse. His family had been on the western shore of Maryland since 1651 Maria L. Liggett Dare, Chaplines from Maryland and Virginia (privately printed, 1902). We have already seen his name on the 1737 map above; he took out patents in the west as early as 1734, and ultimately settled at Mount Pleasant, as marked on the map above.
I believe that this episode demonstrates that John Perrin had already settled in the Great Marsh region by the fall of 1737, and was probably a neighbor of John Upton and Henry Enoch.
In early 1739 a petition was circulated in the region around the Great Marsh requesting the formation of a new county. The records of the House of Assembly in Maryland show that this petition was received in May, 1739 and subsequently not acted upon Archives of Maryland 40: 219. At great effort I have transcribed it below Calendar of Maryland State Papers. The Black Books, IX, 61; the text is taken from the original document at the Maryland State Archives. The original resides at the Archives of Maryland, and a scan of a copy from there can be viewed here.
To his Excellency Samuel Ogle Esq Governor of Maryland and To the Hon'ble: the Upper and Lower Houses of Assembly now Convened ____
The Petition of the Subscribers hereof Freeholders and Inhabitants of the back Parts of Prince Georges County ____________
Most Humbly Sheweth.
That some of the back Inhabitants of the said County Did by their humble Petition at the Court Convention pray for a Division of the same County, but did not set forth where the Town & Courthouse for it should be erected; but your Honours being Informed most of the Petitioners were not Freeholders nor persons of any repute, and also for other Causes, Your Honours were pleased to Deferr the Conisderation thereof to this assembly.
Wherefore your said Petitioners being all Freeholders of the back Settlements and a Place (of by your Honours Incouraged) will in a small time Arise to such perfection as will be a Perfect Service as well to the right Hon'ble the Lord Propr't of the Province in general Inasumch as their sole Aim being based upon Farming Corn Industry of great [record torn here] altho' little followed in this part / and not on Tabacco / altho' a Country very Capable of producing the same which would Consequently Glutt the Merketts more than they now are.
And in their present Situation they Labour under great Hardships and Difficulties the present Court of Judicature being from most of your Petitioners & sundry other of the Inhabitors is from 120 to 200 Miles Distance, & that even by the articles lately Entered into between the People of the Province & Pensilvania the distance will Extend 100 Miles more back than any of the now Inhabitants,
and that many Idle Vagabonds Come among us & Steal Horses Cows & other of our Goods & properties & altho' some of them should be Detented in the Jail the party would rather Chose to be our the loss of such goods or Chattels so Stole or Suffer the fellon to Escape than to be out the great trouble & Expance to come to Piscattaway to prosecute such Fellon as well as be Subject to the loss of any Debt / without any Consideration / rather than be at the fatigue & Expence in Applying to the new Court of Judicature for Justice besides the great Trouble & Expence to Journey to Attend also great a distance & paying Taxes
Especially the Clergy where we have not the Happiness of having the Gospel read or preached to us which is partly a Means of persons of a Single Parish not Setting Among us & also that many of the back Inhabitants are much Disatisfied by Sheriffs who never come or Send to their Houses nor Demand or Deliver any account of Officers fees or other Taxes but if they should happen to Come to Court about their lawfull Occupation that then they are taken in Question or otherwise Committed for fees placed & which till then they know nothing of & are there Detained until they pay such Exorbitant price for such fees placed being in Tobacco as the Sheriff shall please to Demand besides the great Expence of Prison and other Officers fees on that Account we can be manifestly made appear by many of the back Inhabitants settled always ready & willing to pay any Demands that is lawfully due from them & many other Hardships & Difficulties we now Labour under which would be too tedious to Inumerate herein ____________
Your Petitioners therefore most humbly pray your honours to take the Decision into your most prudent Consideration & give them relief by a Division of the said County where & in what part and in Your Wisdom shall seem meet & that if your honours should agree to pass an Act for such Division Your Peti'ers humbly pray the Town and Courthouse may be Erected on or about a place Called Salsbury Plain near Connogoeling & Your Peti'ers humbly apprehending the same to be the most Convenient Inasmuch as where the Divisional Line / as your Peti'ers humbly presume / may & will not Exceed 45 Miles from the now Proposed Courthouse & that the Distance win as far as the Settlements now are back is not less than 100 Miles ___________
And Your Petitioners are in Duty Bound will Ever Pray
Ch[arles]s Higinbotham Van Swearingen Isaac Simonet Redmond Follon George Forbush John Enochs Jacob Yarbbi John Hullum Edward Doson (M) John Jones John Georgarnel Humberstone Lyon Flower Swift Nic[hola]s Catton John Stoll John Charlton Peter Bamgarner (M) Adam Shirrell (M) John Frend Arthur Charlton Sam[ue]ll Quick Nelle Frend Edward Charlton Isaac Arttrell(?) Johann Härp Kirshner John Charlton, Junior James Bassford Willi[a]m Wyvill Peter Rentch(?)
[with more signatures on the back of the petition]
Gabriel Enochs Ja[me]s Dickson James Walen Richard Christian (M) Geo[rge] Bond John Rutter Samuel Harwood (M) John Darling Richard Lain James Spurgin (M) John McCoy Tho[ma]s Anderson John Perins Daniel McCoy Charle[s] Chaney James Bedliome (M) Charles Frend (M) Miles Roberts Enoch Enochs son Jerimyah Jack Vail McGullian Nicholas Rhoades George Parker George Mills (M) Thomas Waller Thomas Harges David Jones Robert Kendle Charles Poke James Posththwait Tho[ma]s Jones Thomas Neale Thomas Cherry Joseph Tomlinson Tho[ma]s Barwick David Cox David Kannady Rich[ard] Christian Peter Studenbaker Richard Vormemaur(?) W[illiam] Allexander Henry Friggs George Derumpel John Davis Elisiah Allexander Joseph Chapline William Blear John Williams John Heller Providence Williams Charles Keller William Ramey Felty Crowl John W Smith Phillop Davy Reice Price Roberd Downe William Downy Joseph Perry
The first person to sign this petition was Charles Higginbotham; judging from the script he also wrote it. The signatures extend to the back of the document, and I include here a portion of that page.
The signature of John Perins is particularly clear. Note that the first name in his signature is identical to that found in the 1737 administration bond above. However, now (and from now on) the rendering of his last name includes a final "s", and only one "r". I do not have a ready explanation for this, but will point out that other official documents referring to Perrin (for example, the survey for Perrins Adventure, and the 1757 militia rolls discussed in the next section) continued to spell his name with two "r"s and no final "s".
For those of you who tried to read this peculiarly worded document, I applaud you. There are some interesting points made. This petitioner noted that this was not the first request made by the region. He also stated that no tobacco was grown there; the significance of this argument is that, as tobacco was accepted as currency in the colony, there would be no inflation as a result of more settlement there. There is one woman, Providence Williams, who signed the petition; she would become Joseph Chapline's sister-in-law. The place proposed for a new court house was Salisbury Plain; it will not be built until thirty five years later, when Washington County was formed from Frederick County in 1776.
Later on November 20, 1739 a one hundred acre tract was surveyed for John Perrin. On October 28, 1740 it was patented as Perrins Adventure MSA S1203-1766; Patent record E1 6: 201; Patent Certificate : 1672 (Prince George's County), October 20, 1740. The warrant for the land was assigned over from Richard Snowden; I can't put too much significance on that, as Snowden transferred assignment for six other warrants in late 1739. It may have been a way for him to make money (although he was a very rich man), or it may have been the right political thing to do.
Below is a complete transcription of the patent, which I include in case you wish to see how land patents were written; I do not advise reading it for fun.
Know ye that for and in consideration that John Perrin of Prince Georges County in our said Province of Maryland hath due unto him one hundred acres of land within our said Province whereof an Assignment for that Quantity from Richard Snowden part of a warrant for thirteen hundred and sixty nine acres granted the said Snowden by renewment the sixth day of June seventeen hundred and thirty nine as appears in our Land Office upon such conditions and terms as are expressed in our conditions of plantations of our said province bearing date the fifth day of April sixteen hundred and eighty four and remaining upon Record in our said province together with such alterations as in them are made by our further Conditions bearing date the fourth day of December sixteen hundred and ninety six
Together also with the Alterations made by our Instructions bearing date at London the twelfth day of September seventeen hundred and twelve and registered in our said Land Office of our said Province
We Do therefore hereby grant unto him the said John Perrin all that Tract or parcel of Land call Perrin’s Adventure
Beginning at a bounded White Oak standing near the end of Chew’s Mannor and running thence south fifty degrees east one hundred and thirty perches then north thirty degrees east eighty perches then north twenty six degrees west two hundred and seventeen perches then by a straight line to the beginning Tree containing and now laid out for one hundred acres of land according to the Certificate of Survey thereof taken and returned into our Land Office bearing date twentieth day of November seventeen hundred and thirty nine and there remaining together with all Rights profits benefits and privileges thereunto belonging Royal mines excepted
To have and to hold the same unto him the said John Perrin his heirs and assigns forever to be holden of us and our heirs as of our mannor of Calverton in fee and common soccage by fealty only for all manner of services
Yielding and paying therefore yearly unto us at our Receipt at our City of St. Mary’s at the two most usual feasts in the year viz ~ the feast of the Annunciation of the blessed virgin Mary and St. Michael the Arch Angel by even and equal portions the rent of four shilling sterling in silver or Gold and for a fine upon every Alienation of the said Land or any part or parcel thereof one whole years rent in silver or Gold or the full value thereof in such Commodities as we and our heirs or such Officer or Officers as shall be appointed by us and our heirs from time to time to collect and receive the same shall accept in discharge thereof at the choice of us and our heirs or such Officer or Officers aforesaid provided that if the said sum for a fine for Alienation shall not be paid unto us & our heirs of such Officer or Officers aforesaid before such Alienation entered upon Record either in the provincial Court or County Court where the same parcel of land lyeth within one month next after such Alienation then the said Alienation shall be void and of no Effect
Given under our Great Seal of our said Province of Maryland this twenty eighth day of October Anno Domi seventeen hundred and forty
Witness our trusty and well beloved Samuel Ogle, Esq. Lieutenant General and Chief Governor of our said province Chancellor and Keeper of the Great Seal thereof
Sam Ogle, Chancellor
While the survey merely stated that the land is near the end of Chews Manor, later resurveys of Perrins Adventure and the adjacent tract Charlemount place it precisely on the east side of the lower portion of Marsh Creek. For a map showing metes and bounds, please see the later section regarding land sales. The resurvey of Perrins Adventure on March 22, 1744/5 by Thomas Cresap MSA S1203-1767; Patent record BT and BY 3: 729; Patent Certificate: 1673 (Prince George's County), December 4, 1747 was actually done on the same day as the resurvey of CharlemountMSA S1203-548; Patent record FI 1: 461; Patent Certificate: 479 (Prince George's County), December 4, 1747. Regarding the latter property it is stated that its beginning line is about fifty perches east of the "Deep Spring", which I imagine is the place where Marsh Creek, having gone underground at Water Sink, resurfaces.
Historical record 1740 - 1769
On June 21, 1740 Perrin received payment of a debt owed him by the estate of Robert Ratcliffe Administration Accounts, Prerogative Court of Maryland 17: 487; abstracted in V. L. Skinner, Abstracts of the administration accounts of the Prerogative Court (Westminster, MD: Family Line, 1995). Ratcliffe, like Upton, had been taxed in Monocosie Hundred in 1733 Maryland State Papers No. 1, The Black Books, paragraph 272 ; the survey for his land in 1737 began at a walnut tree "Standing in the Edge of the Great marsh & near the mouth of the Spring that the s'd Rattclif now lives by " Unnamed property, 109 acres, surveyed for Robert Ratcliffe, October 20, 1737, MSA S1226-102; Unpatented Certificate: 95 (Prince George's County).
From 1740 until 1747 I have no records concerning Perrin. But from then until his death in 1769 his name appeared in numerous government documents . What follows is a selection of what I believe are the most relevant. I have for example left out the reports of stray horses (the reporting of them was mandated by law), and any court judgments concerning debtors who had John Perrin as a cosigner. I apologize for incomplete references, as many of these come from secondary sources.
|March, 1748/49||John Perrin served as grand juror in the first grand jury of Frederick County.||Millard Milburn Rice, This Was the Life: Excerpts from the Judgment Records of Frederick County, Maryland, 1748-1765 (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2002), 1|
|March, 1751||John Perrin served as grand juror, Frederick County.||Millard Milburn Rice, This Was the Life: Excerpts from the Judgment Records of Frederick County, Maryland, 1748-1765 (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2002), 91|
|November, 1753||John Perrin served as grand juror, Frederick County.||Millard Milburn Rice, This Was the Life: Excerpts from the Judgment Records of Frederick County, Maryland, 1748-1765 (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2002), 126|
|1758||John Perins signed a petition requesting government money to reconstruct the local church (called a Chapel of Ease)||Calendar of Maryland state papers. No. 1 The Black Books (Annapolis, Md.: Hall of Records Commission of the State of Maryland, 1943), 194-5|
|August, 1760||The Court appointed Joseph Helmes and John Perrin to view the roads approaching the chapel of ease and report to the next County Court.||Millard Milburn Rice, This Was the Life: Excerpts from the Judgment Records of Frederick County, Maryland, 1748-1765 (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2002), 209-10|
|June, 1762||John Perrin served as grand juror, Frederick County.||Millard Milburn Rice, This Was the Life: Excerpts from the Judgment Records of Frederick County, Maryland, 1748-1765 (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2002), 235|
|March 5, 1766||John Perins signed a petition in 1766 complaining of the scarcity of money in the frontier||Archives of Maryland Black Book No. 10, Letter 108|
The 1766 and 1758 petitions will prove useful in identifying who else was in this region on those dates. Perrin’s service over four separate years on the grand jury is notable. With the formation of Frederick County in 1749, Thomas Cresap was appointed justice of the peace for that region, and he may have been responsible for putting Perrin as well as Charles Higginbotham on the original grand jury Millard Milburn Rice, This Was the Life: Excerpts from the Judgment Records of Frederick County, Maryland, 1748-1765 (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2002), 1.
Deeds, wills, inventories
Perrin’s name appeared in a surprising number of legal documents as a witness or as a person who conducted inventory of estates. I believe that, through an analysis of the names associated with John Perrin in the list below, one can get an idea of what he did or how he fit into frontier society.
|April 21, 1747||John Roberts estate appraised by Thomas Kelley & John Perrin.||Prerogative Court of Maryland Book 40: 230; abstracted in V. L. Skinner, Abstracts of the inventories of the Prerogative Court of Maryland (Westminster, MD: Family Line, 1988)|
|October 9, 1749||William and Lidia Flitham in Antietam Hundred, sold Neglect for 100 pounds to Charles Higginbotham. John Perrins and Thomas Scarlett witnesses to deed.||Frederick County Deed Book B: 82-84|
|October 25, 1749||The will of Daniel Stull (Antietam creek area, 2 miles south of Hagerstown) witnessed by John Perins, Jonathan Heger and Ja. Smith. Will proved by Perin and Hagar in November 1749.||Maryland Prerogative Court Book 27: 107; Abstracted online at http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/stagser/s500/s538/html/s538-27.htm|
|January 17, 1750||The will of Theodores Malott, John Perrin named executor. Will witnessed by Joseph and Joseph Jr. Lazer.||text at http://files.usgwarchives.net/md/frederick/wills/malott-t.txt|
|October 24, 1750||William Foster estate appraised by John Perins & John Moor.||Prerogative Court of Maryland 44: 208; abstracted in V. L. Skinner, Abstracts of the inventories of the Prerogative Court of Maryland (Westminster, MD: Family Line, 1988)|
|June 3, 1751||John Mitchell estate appraised by John Perins & Van Swearingen. It was then seized by Captains Charles Higginbotham and Robert Debuttes (as they had set bail for Mitchell)||Frederick County Deed Book B: 369-370|
|June 15, 1752||Peter Studebaker estate appraised by John Perins & William Alexander.||Prerogative Court of Maryland 54: 110; abstracted in V. L. Skinner, Abstracts of the inventories of the Prerogative Court of Maryland (Westminster, MD: Family Line, 1988)|
|January 27, 1754||Charles Polbg [Polke] estate appraised by John Perins & Joseph Flint.||Prerogative Court of Maryland 58: 99; abstracted in V. L. Skinner, Abstracts of the inventories of the Prerogative Court of Maryland (Westminster, MD: Family Line, 1988)|
|June 19, 1754||Charles Higgenbothom estate appraised by Ken. Farrell & John Perins.||Prerogative Court of Maryland 58: 158; abstracted in V. L. Skinner, Abstracts of the inventories of the Prerogative Court of Maryland (Westminster, MD: Family Line, 1988)|
|August 18, 1756||Hugh Parker estate appraised by John Perins & John Heulhorne [?Henthorne].||Prerogative Court of Maryland 61: 446; abstracted in V. L. Skinner, Abstracts of the inventories of the Prerogative Court of Maryland (Westminster, MD: Family Line, 1988)|
|December 12, 1760||Capt. John White estate appraised by Van Swearingen & John Perrin.||Prerogative Court of Maryland 72: 91; abstracted in V. L. Skinner, Abstracts of the inventories of the Prerogative Court of Maryland (Westminster, MD: Family Line, 1988)|
|March 19, 1760||Rev. William Williams estate appraised by Joseph Smith & John Perrins.||Prerogative Court of Maryland 72: 184; abstracted in V. L. Skinner, Abstracts of the inventories of the Prerogative Court of Maryland (Westminster, MD: Family Line, 1988)|
|August 13, 1762||Will of Moses Chapline witnessed by John Perins, William Good and John Waller.||Maryland Prerogative Court Book 31: 995; Abstracted online at http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/stagser/s500/s538/html/s538-31.html|
|July 11, 1763||Isaac Baker and John Perrin served as Attorneys in Fact for sale of Hickory Tavern by Edmond Cartlidge of Georgia to Joseph Chapline. Cartlidge’s assignment of power of attorney was witnessed by George Downs, Van Swearingen and William Chapline.||Frederick County Deed Book H: 534-5|
|October 30, 1765||Nathaniel Tomlinson estate appraised by Joseph Helms & John Perrins.||Prerogative Court of Maryland 87: 32; abstracted in V. L. Skinner, Abstracts of the inventories of the Prerogative Court of Maryland (Westminster, MD: Family Line, 1988)|
|August 22, 1767||Hugh Campbell estate appraised by John Perins & James Kenthorne.||Prerogative Court of Maryland 94: 203; abstracted in V. L. Skinner, Abstracts of the inventories of the Prerogative Court of Maryland (Westminster, MD: Family Line, 1988)|
That was a long list and a heterogeneous list as well. For some of these records, Perrin may have been a neighbor, as he was for Malott. He may have been asked by the court to inventory estates in cases where there was no will, as with Studebaker. I have not researched all of the people mentioned in this list but there are some who stand out.
- Capt. Charles Higginbotham has already come up many times in this section. The genealogy of this man is up in the air but I think it likely he was the son of the Joseph Higgenbotham also mentioned in the previous chapter. Although he patented a number of tracts in 1739, he sold all but one, Charlemount, and therefore was probably living next door to Perrin for nearly ten years. Regarding the purchase of Neglect, I am quite stumped. This tract was patented by John McCoy in 1742 Maccoy, John, Neglect, 150 acres, surveyed June 8, 1739, MSA S1203-1624; Patent record LG B: 588; Patent Certificate: 1589 (Prince George's County), November 9, 1742 and never sold. Higginbotham's estate inventory included three wigs, an unusual item of clothing for the frontier Prerogative Court of Maryland 58: 158; abstracted in V. L. Skinner, Abstracts of the inventories of the Prerogative Court of Maryland (Westminster, MD: Family Line, 1988).
- I have already called your attention to the Cartledge family. Edmund Cartledge moved from Pennsylvania to "the Great Marsh" by 1734, dying in 1740 (with Thomas Cresap and Van Swearingen responsible for his estate inventory). John Perrin must have had a particularly good relationship with Edmund's son Edmund (Jr.) in order to be responsible for the sale of Edmund (Jr.)'s property after he had moved to Georgia. Charles Polbg (usually spelled Polk or Polke) was Edmund, Jr.'s brother-in-law; initially working as an Indian trader out of Conestoga Township in Lancaster County, he moved to present-day Hancock, Maryland on the Potomac by 1737 The life and times of Polk are best summarized in John G. Kester, "Charles Polke, The Indian Trader of the Potomac, 1703 - 1753", Maryland Historical Magazine 90 (1995): 443-63. George Washington stopped there in 1747 George Washington, The Writings of George Washington (G.P. Putnam' Sons, 1889), 3. His dwelling is on the 1755 map above labeled "Pope".
- The John Roberts who died in 1747 may or may not be the same as the John Roberts who signed for Thomas Perrin when he applied for a trader's license in 1724 in Pennsylvania. He was listed on the tax list for Monocosie Hundred in Prince Georges County in 1733 Grace L. Tracey, John Philip Dern, Pioneers of Old Monocacy:The Early Settlement of Frederick County, Maryland, 1721-1743 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Com, 1987)346-8. His estate inventory included a still.
- Both Hugh Parker and John White were captains in the Maryland militia, having been nominated to these posts by Thomas Cresap in 1749 Calendar of Maryland State Papers, No. 1, The Black Books, 4: 180. Parker, described as from the "city of Philadelphia" in a 1745 deed Prince Georges County Deed Book E E: 18, was active in trading with the Indians further west through the Ohio Company. His name will surface again in the next section.
- Captain John White had married Martha Stull, John Stull's widow, whose mill on Antietam Creek probably formed the nexus for the city later named Hagerstown. John's son Daniel Stull died shortly after his father in 1750, and John Perins also witnessed his will in 1749 along with Joseph Hager, who is considered the actual founder of HagerstownPrerogative Court of Maryland 72: 184' abstracted in V. L. Skinner, Abstracts of the inventories of the Prerogative Court of Maryland (Westminster, MD: Family Line, 1988).
- The name Joseph Flint appeared in an affidavit in Pennsylvania in 1736; he was part of Cresap's gang of thugs along with one Joseph PowellPennsylvania State Archives First Series, I: 533-4. He is said to have operated a trading post in what would become Flintstone, Maryland. While I have been unable to find documentation for any such entity, he did have a commercial relationship with Cresap Lyman Chalkley, Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County 1745 - 1800 (Roselyn, VA: The Commonwealth Printing Co., 1912), v. 1, 470. This particular entry concerns a suit between Thomas Cresap and Dr. Thomas Walker of Virginia concerning debts from 1754; it includes a receipt (unknown for what) from Joseph Flint to Cresap. Flint bought land west of Hancock using Perrin's warrant in 1753, as discussed in the next section.
- Van Swearingen, James Spurgeon’s neighbor, had settled on the Potomac next to the wagon road before 1733. He was born around 1695. One of his daughters married Joseph Tomlinson, two other daughters married sons of Thomas Cresap, and two of his sons married daughters of John Stull This family is very well documented; see for example Henry Hartwelll Swearingen, Family register of Gerret van Sweringen and descendants compiled by a member of the family (Washington, DC: 1894).
- There are a number of references to the Chapline family. Moses Chapline was the younger brother of Joseph. The Rev. William Williams was his father-in-law Maria L. Liggett Dare, Chaplines from Maryland and Virginia (privately printed, 1902). Williams appeared to be responsible for the development of the town of Sharpsburg, and his inventory contains several pages of debts, presumably by persons who had bought lots in that town.
- The names Tomlinson and Volgamot will appear again in the French and Indian War, as discussed in the next section. Joseph Tomlinson was a neighbor of John Perrin on Marsh Creek, as mentioned above. His son Nathaniel was the first constable of Marsh Hundred, Frederick County in 1749. (The boundaries of Marsh Hundred were "from the mouth of Andietum to the mouth of Conococheague and up that to Vulgamot's mill and from thence with the road that leads from Vulgamot's mill to Stull's mill") Millard Milburn Rice, This Was the Life: Excerpts from the Judgment Records of Frederick County, Maryland, 1748-1765 (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2002), 7. Nathaniel died in an altercation with Indians in the Brownsville, Pennsylvania area in 1762 Maryland Gazette, April 29, 1762, 3. His estate mentioned Thomas Lazear as next of kin Prerogative Court of Maryland 87: 32; abstracted in V. L. Skinner, Abstracts of the inventories of the Prerogative Court of Maryland (Westminster, MD: Family Line, 1988).
|August, 1761||Court appointed Thomas Prather, Jonathan Hagar, John Perrin and John Swearingen to hear testimony concerning Piles' Delight & Hunting The Hare as purchased by Joseph Chapline.||Frederick County Deed Book G: 158-160|
|August, 1762||Court appointed Jos. Smith and John Perrins to hear testimony concerning Charltons Forest as purchased by John Charlton..||Frederick County, Maryland Deed Book H: 334|
|March, 1769||Court appointed Col. Thomas Prather, Mr. John Perrin & Wm. Good to hear testimony concerning Water Sink as purchased by Samuel Volgamot and Christian Ebersole.||Frederick County Deed Book M: 7-9|
Important information from the above documents may come from the two land commissions. These commissions were ad hoc committees set up by the court. Typically four persons were invited to gather testimony and submit it within a given period of time. Perrin was selected for five such commissions, but only served on three. In two of the commissions above John Perrin offered his own testimony, and by extension, his age. After all, credibility in establishing land boundaries would come from being able to state that you could have personal knowledge of the past. In the 1761 commission there is the following testimony Frederick County Deed Book G: 158-160:
March 13th 1761.
Then Came John Perrin aged about fifty years being duly sworn Deposeth and saith that a certain Henry Enochs Shwed him a bounded white ash that stood about thirty feet to the west ward of a small Walnut that is now marked for the beginning tree of a tract of land called Piles Delight Pattened to Richard Sprigg and told him that that ash was the beginning tree of Richard Spriggs Land and further saith not.
Sworn Before John Perrins, John Swearingen
Notice that Henry Enochs' name comes up again. Unfortunately we don't know when he showed Perrin the white ash tree. Then the March, 1769 commission document contains the following testimony Frederick County Deed Book M: 7-9:
March the 18th 1769
The Deposition of John Perins about fifty Eight years of age being Duly sworn Deposith and Saith that he hath been showed showed two Bounded red oak Saplings to be the Boundry of a tract of Land Caled the Resurvey on Water Sink and this Deponant thinks to the best of his knowledge that said boundrys was showed him either by Capt. Joseph Chapline or Nathaniel Tomblinson about fifteen or sixteen years ago for the Beginning tree of a tract of Land Called Water Sink where is now Lime Stone set up and marked there CES and 1769 and S.W. about three feet Eastward of said boundrys and further this Deponant saith [not]
[signed] Thomas Prather, John Perrins, Wm. Good
Both of the commissions agree in terms of the arithmetic; John Perrins birth date must have been between March, 1710 and March, 1711 (using the modern calendar terminology). Other portions of this second deposition confirm that the property in question is on Marsh (well Marſh) Creek southwest of the Great Marsh. The limestone that says CES refers to Chews Manor. In a later section I can tentatively show how both Water Sink and Chews Manor were located relative to Perrins Adventure.
Will and children
In October 1769, shortly after the land commission mentioned above, John Perrin wrote his will Maryland Prerogative Court, MSA S538, 562-4:
In the Name of God Amen. I John Perrins of Frederick County in the Provance of Maryland Farmer Being in health & of sound mind & memory and Understanding, but considering the uncertainty of this transitory life Do make publish & declare this my Last Will in Manner and Form following. First of all I give and bequeath unto my three sons Edward Perrins, John Perrins & Joseph Perrins all my real Estate to be equally divided amongst them in Manner and Form following, (Vez) that all my Lands shall be sold, and the money arising therefrom to be equally divided amongst them my said three Sons to each an equal third part there of their Heirs or Assigns. Also I give and Bequeath unto my Daughter Susannah fifty pounds Current Money to be paid unto her, her Heirs or assigns out of my Estate in one year after my Demase. Also I give and bequeath unto my Daughter Mary Fifty pounds Current Money to be paid unto her, her Heirs or Assigns in one year after my Demase. Also I give and bequeath unto each of my Grand-Children (Vez) to each of my Sons-Children and Duaghters-Children five pounds Current Money to be paid unto them in one year after my Demase. Also all of the Remainder of my personal Estate after paying my just & Lawful Debts above Legalies, I give and bequeath unto Edward Perrins, John Perrins & Joseph Perrins my three Sons equally between them and do hereby nominate and appoint the said Edward Perrins, John Perrins & Joseph Perrins Executors of this my Last Will and Testamint hereby revoking all former Will or Wills by me heretofor made in Witness whereof I have hereunto sit my hand & Seal this eighth Day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred & sixty nine.
Signed and sealed John Perins
Witnessed by Jos. Smith, John J Reynolds, Robert Smith Joseph Smith and Robert Smith proved will 7th January 1770.
The following inventory of the estate is also available Maryland Prerogative Court Accounts, MSA S531, 361-2. This shows a fairly prosperous farm.
February the 26th 1770, An Inventory of the Goods & Chattles of John Peryn, late of Frederick County appraised by us the Subscribers
Item Value To his Riding horse & waring app’l 12, 7, 2 One Bay horse £9,,15 / two mares £16,,8 / Two Horses £19 45, 3, 0 One Mare £4,,15 Two stears £4 & 4 Cows £13,,5 18, 0, 0 Two heifers one steer one cow & 4 calves £9 Hay £5,,3,,6 14, 3, 6 Nine sheep £3,,10 seventeen hogs £9,,4 a quantity of corn £4 11,10, 0 a Quantity of Rye £4,,8 Ditto of wheat £1,,4 Oats....C/ 5,18, 0 Gees 18/ a Quantity of Pork & beef £9...Salt...../4 10, 2, 0 Peutear £1/15 Pails & Earth’nware £8 Hogs fatt & honey 13/ 2,16, 0 Toungs fier shovel & pottauk Iron pots pan & skilletts 1,14, 0 Bees wax a peper mill Tallow a chest & Trunk 1, 3, 0 Old Casks 7/16 Iron Traces 1/4 Two grind stones.....8/ 1,19, 6 Three bees hives 18/ Carpenters tools 15/ 1,13, 0 Old axes mattocks Rings and wedges a belt a pr of shoemakers Pinchers Two plows & Irons £4,,0 a harrow & wagontier 1/12 5,12, 0 One pistel &scisers 4/6 knives & forks 3/ Caggs 1/ [?kegs] 1, 7, 6 Books & a pair of spectacles 10/ bed & furniture £11/ 11,10, 0 Bedstead & a gun £2/10 one horse £7 9,10, 0 The whole am’t 154, 8, 8
We the Subscribers hereunder Written Do hereby Certyfie that we do approve of the above Inventory being the Two next of Kinn to the above mentioned Decased --- signed Thomas Lazear &Joseph Lazear The two greatest Creditors Edmund Rutter Sarah Joans
The subsequent sections will discuss the "Lands to be sold" mentioned in the will, and John Perrin's sons. Here is a good place to introduce his two known daughters. (Please see another section for speculation about a third.)
The Cherry family states that Mary Perrin married Thomas Cherry, Jr., with her first child Thomas Perrin Cherry born June 19, 1759 Fairfield Trace 10 (Fall 1988): 63-4. That this Mary Perrin is John Perrin, Sr.'s daughter will be clear from the subsequent migration west of this family.
You may recall Thomas Cherry, Sr. on the 1734 petition quoted earlier in this section. Thomas Cherry was listed as taxed in 1733 and 1734 in the Monocacy Hundred, Prince Georges County, Maryland Grace L. Tracey &John Philip Dern, Pioneers of old Monocacy (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Com, 1987), 368. By 1736 he had moved to Virginia, living along the Potomac at the site of present day Cherry Run, Morgan County, West Virginia, as shown by both deed records and on some old maps Corinne Hanna Diller, "A New Look at an Old Map", Western Maryland Genealogy, 16 (2000): 146-64. Thomas Sr.'s will, written in 1759, mentioned sons William, Aaron, Moses, John, Thomas, Jr. and Ralph, and daughters Honour and Rachel. Deed records then show that following Thomas Cherry, Sr.'s death around 1760, Thomas Jr. was still in Virginia for a whileCecil O'Dell, Pioneers of Old Frederick County, Virginia (Marceline, MO: Walsworth Pub. Co., 1995), 63-65. He then took a Virginia patent on land in present day Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1774 National Genealogical Society Quarterly 45: 133, and according to the deed language in Virginia he and his wife Mary were living there as of 1779 Cecil O'Dell, Pioneers of Old Frederick County, Virginia (Marceline, MO: Walsworth Pub. Co., 1995), 63-65. More will be said about Thomas and Mary (Perrin) Cherry in the section about her brother Edward in Washington County, Pennsylvania.
An interesting entry occurs in a biography of Hubert Paxton Wiggins of Indiana County, Pennsylvania, in 1904 Hubert Parry, Memoirs of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania (Madison, WI: Northwestern Historical Association, 1904), I: 274-5:
Mr. Wiggins is descended, on his mother's side, from the Craigens of Scotland, one of whom, Robert Craigen, fought in the battle of Culloden, March 16, 1746, and the ancestral line is as follows: Robert Craigen, born in Scotland, emigrated to Maryland and finally located in Winchester county, Va.; ... Susanna Perrin, native of Maryland, married Robert Craigen;
The information from the biography cited above is consistent with the other available historical data on the Craigen family. Robert Craigen was in Virginia contiguous to Frederick County, Maryland after 1753. His first son, John Craigen, died in 1827, with his will mentioning a daughter named Susan Perrin Ross B. Johnston, West Virginia Estate Settlements. An Index To Wills, Inventories, Appraisements, Land Grants, and Surveys to 1850 (Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, 1978), 135. Unfortunately, this name is actually spelled either Paron or Parran in this will Will images kindly provided by Virginia Kerr Stultz Fowler, personal communication, making it uncertain to me if there be a relationship here.
Because of the estate inventory, where Thomas and Joseph Lazear state they are John Perrin's next of kin, others have thought that one or both of John Perrin's daughters married a Lazear. I have vacillated between two possibilities. First, Susannah Perrin may have married a Joseph Lazear, and he and brother Thomas conducted the above estate inventory. But one can also make an argument that John Perrin, Sr. had married a daughter of Joseph Lazear, Sr., perhaps as a second wife, with at least one child (Joseph) resulting. The arguments are both complex and convoluted, and they have come to reside in their own section. There are, however, no facts to back up either of these assertions.
Whence John Perrin?
To explain where John Perrin came from it is necessary to conform to a few hard facts:
- His birth date was between March 1709/10 and March 1710/11 (old nomenclature).This comes from the land commission testimony above. There are no John Perrins in America, and perhaps three in England, who have birth dates recorded in this time interval.
- Two of his sons were born before 1741, according to the militia roles discussed in the next section. Likewise his daughter Mary would have been born before 1742 to be 18 when she married.
In addition there are some soft data, based on family stories, which come up in later sections:
- His first son Edward was born around 1730
- His second son John was born around 1734
If all of this information is true, we are limited in what can be hypothesized regarding John Perrin's life before 1737. Certainly he must have married by 1737 to fit the hard facts we have, and much earlier if the family stories are true.
There are essentially three possibilities concerning John Perrin's arrival in Maryland.
- He came from a family of Perrins already in America. However, a review of the known Perrin families in America, in New England and Virginia, and the Perrine's of New Jersey, does not reveal a possible Perrin who might have migrated to Maryland.
- He arrived as an indentured servant, moving to the frontier after his indenture was finished. That is consistent with a record from the Agreements to Serve in the Plantations Registrar in London, where a John Perrin was indentured to Maryland in November, 1732 Peter Wilson Coldham, The Complete Book of Emigrants: A Comprehensive Listing Compiled from English Public Records of Those Who Took Ship to the Americas for Political, Religious, and Economic Reasons; of Those Who Were Deported for Vagrancy, Roguery, or Non-Conformity; and of Those Who Were Sold to Labour in the New Colonies, 1700-1750 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. 1992), 471 citing Corp London Record Office, Agreements to Serve in the Plantations Registrar, 61v. It would be necessary to posit that he arrived in early 1733, served a three indenture (short for the time), and immediately moved from plantation Maryland west. This could be possible if he was indentured to someone like Richard Snowden, and would explain why he received a warrant from Snowden to obtain land. It would require that he married right after his indenture was over, and would not be consistent with the soft data concerning his children mentioned above. However, I cannot dismiss this possibility, even if I do not favor it.
- He came to America as a free man, married and possibly with a child or children. For this to be a possibility, it is necessary to come up with a way for Perrin to get to the frontier quickly. For it is clear from the history above that most settlers in the Great Marsh region by 1737 came from families already established in Maryland or Pennsylvania, not from recent migrants.
The connection that John Perrin had with various persons originally from Pennsylvania, and had with persons active in Indian trading, as well as the general migration routes of the times, support the notion that he may have arrived in western Maryland via Pennsylvania. It is therefore easy to imagine that he was the son of Thomas Perrin of Lancaster County, discussed in the last section, whom I assume was the same person as Thomas Perrin of London, Merchant. But the list of Thomas' children two sections ago did not include anyone named John. But it did include a Thomas Perrin, born February, 1710/11, placing him at precisely John Perrin's age.
I have only two, maybe three facts about this Thomas Perrin, Jr.
- He was born February 7, 1710/11, while his parents still lived on Mark Lane in London.
- On February 21, 1725/6, he was a guest at the wedding for Susannah Perrin and Nicholas Frankland, vintner, of Wapping. His entry on the guest list is not with his mother and sisters, but further down in the register with John Burroughs, Jr., his cousin Register of Marriages belonging to the Monthly Meeting of Ratcliffe, Middlesex and Barking, Essex from 1657 to 1727, RG6 / Piece 674 / Folio 0; Register of Marriages belonging to the Quakers in and about the Cities of London and Westminster in the County of Middlesex and the Borough of Southwark in the County of Surrey from 1705 to 1727, RG6 / Piece 496 / Folio 0. They would have been fifteen and ten years old, respectively.
- On March 14/15, 1734/5 Thomas Perrin and Sarah his wife were said to have sold their Haverhill property share to H. Sperling. This record is suspect: it is from a deposition, not the original deed of sale. Given that several sons of Thomas Perrin were listed in the deposition, and in all cases there was reference to their wives named Sarah, it is entirely possible that this reference refers to Thomas Perrin, Sr. and his wife Sarah Groom and not Thomas, Jr.Essex Record Office Document D/DGd L8.
I can imagine that Thomas Perrin, Jr. grew up in Stepney after his father's imprisonment and the confiscation of the Mark Street house by the Crown. After all, this was the address given by Susannah Perrin at the time of her wedding in 1725/6. It would not surprise me if he went by the name John, rather than be identified with his infamous father. I don't know if this name change needs to occur early or later in his life to make sense; legal documents such as deeds would not be a place to see an early unofficial name introduced -- but America would.
This is a good place to mention a marriage record from May 21, 1728 at Fleet prison: London Marriages from the Fleet Registers performed according to the Rules of the Fleet, London from April to September 1732, with Baptism records from 1714 to 1728 by Ministers Ashwell, Gaynam, Wigmore & others, RG7/Piece 34/Folio 145; also Marriages and Baptisms from Floud’s Register of the Fleet Registers performed according to the Rules of the Fleet, London from 1722 to 1729 by Ministers Floud & Gaynam, RG7/Piece 87/Folio 17.
John Perrin of Stepney, ship carpenter, to Mary Coeskey of St. George’s in the Martyr, Southwark
Anyone could marry at "the Fleet"; there were no questions asked. By the middle of the eighteenth century I have read estimates that a quarter of all marriages in the London region were officiated there. In this case I can guess that the Mary Coeskey was in fact Mary Cox, born in the St. George the Martyr parish and baptized on April 27, 1707. Her father, Charles Cox, was a horse courser St. George the Martyr Parish Registry, viewed on ancestry.com. A horse courser is a person who sells horses.. It is interesting that the John Perrin here did not give a parish name for his address, only the town from which he hailed. Indeed, I have reviewed the birth records for the Stepney parishes from 1705 until 1715, and there is no birth for anyone named John Perrin recorded. It therefore becomes possible that this John Perrin, while from Stepney, was not baptized in the Church of England.
My belief is therefore that Thomas Perrin, Jr. started using the name John in England, and it was only in an official document such as the Quaker wedding list that his original name might be found. His marriage at the Fleet was necessary, since he 1) was below the age for marriage without consent (although not too young for marriage by English customs at the time, given that he was employed), 2) was not using his real name, and 3) could not marry within the Church of England in any case. Subsequently he came as a free man, with wife and possibly family, to the New World, probably after his father's pardon in 1731. He may have initially stayed at his father's residence in Pennsylvania, during which time he became acquainted with the fur trading community and the agitators in the Maryland/Pennsylvania boundary war. Like Edmund Cartledge and others he moved to frontier Maryland, somewhere between 1734 and 1737.
But no matter what his origins, it is clear that John Perrin associated with some of the more commercially and politically successful people in western Frederick County. Whether he supported himself and his family as an Indian trader, or chiefly practiced agriculture, or was a supplier to people moving south along the Great Waggon Road or to the frontier to the west, can not easily be determined. But the scope of this man's activities take on more clarity when looking at the Indian Wars, and his purchases of land in western Maryland, as described in the next section.