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Heite Consulting's Reports

CONTENTS

1. Delaware's Invisible Indians, part I   by Dr. Louise Heite

2. Delaware's Invisible Indians, part II by Edward Heite

3. Searching for Invisible Indians by Edward Heite

4. Bloomsbury by Edward Heite

5. Mitsawoket, the Community on Pumpkin Neck by Edward Heite

6. Biographical Directory by Edward Heite

7. References

 

 

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Delaware's Invisible Indians, part I

 

Introduction and statement of historical problem

 

Dr. Louise Heite
Heite Consulting
Camden DE 19934

Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is indeed a privilege to be here before you today, and I thank the D.H.C.A. for giving us the opportunity to share this research with so many people.

The research project in which my husband and I are involved came about almost by accident. About twelve years ago we received a contract for an extremely ordinary archaeological survey, part of the highway planning process. The bit of land in question was the original tract which nestles into the northwest corner of the junction of St. Jones River and Mudstone Branch, and bounded today by Salisbury and Denney's Roads.

As I was the person in our firm who did not have a project currently on my desk, it became my job to handle this research. Besides some rather ordinary archaeological survey, I did a pretty thorough documentary history of this plot, and of the people who lived on it. Jolley's Neck, as the property was called, was the home of William Handsor, a prosperous farmer who for all intents and purposes was exactly like all the other prosperous farmers who settled on fertile land at or near the headwaters of Kent County's navigable streams in the early years of the eighteenth century. As I began this research, I had absolutely no indication that Handsor was in any way different or unlike his neighbors.

It was not until I ran the successions to the property of his children and grandchildren that I realized that this piece of land represented a completely different historical dynamic than the one I had originally thought I was dealing with. I was astounded to find that Handsor's family split in the second generation into two branches. One, apparently white, disappeared from our study only because the daughter married into a neighboring family of mill owners, somewhat inconveniently named Miller, and documented to be German. But later, the man she married was recorded as a "free person of." This branch moved off the property, while the descendants of the other branch stayed on the property, and were identified as mulatto or free persons of color in the latter part of the eighteenth century.

This was a real surprise. Racial mixing has always occurred, but it is difficult to document at such an early period. Our mythology, and to a large degree, our truth, is that it was considered to be a very negative behavior (forgive the jargon) in earlier times. So, of course, I began to explore this family and its relationship to its land much more closely. I wondered what on earth could have prompted this apparent mixing: passion, crime, great liberality, or perhaps some kind of idiocy? Did I have the makings of an eighteenth-century soap opera here in my hot little hands?

But another question kept nagging me. Who kept the records? Perhaps nothing was going on, and perhaps the phenomenon I was witnessing in the records was an artifact not of the deeds and events described, but of the description itself.

A document is evidence only of itself. Those who keep Documents document what they see, and they document the information they need. When a historian approaches the records it is imperative that he or she put that principle in the forefront. Nobody kept records to make the doing of history easier for the historian. They kept records of the phenomena that mattered to the society in which they lived. Although documents tell us wonderful things, they almost always only tell us about the society which the record-keeper lived in. While dealing with marginal groups, the documents impose the perceptions of the dominant society upon what might well be an altogether different reality within the minority society.

So, as a double-check on the apparent picture of a family which split according to racial alliance of the children, I decided to consciously question the assumptions of the record-keeper. What did the tax collector or the writer of deeds see when he wrote down names, and how did that compare with the reality, and the unrecorded identity of the people being recorded? Would they have written the same as the records that were taken down?

A small digression: the history of racial relations in America is full of sorrow and sadness, prejudice, and unfairness. In the course of this presentation, Ned and I must necessarily discuss matters that may be irritating or upsetting to some listeners, and to describe past prejudices which are offensive and anathema to all of us. That is the nature of history, and we must look at the ugly along with the beautiful if we are to appreciate its wholeness, and eventually to forgive our forebears. That must not be taken as evidence that we share these old prejudices, or that we condone the behavior of our ancestors. But sweeping these behaviors under the rug will not change the past, and only understanding the past will allow us to remedy and avoid its mistakes.

There are a number of studies that explore the growth of racial prejudice in America, which are in total rather contradictory about the nature of that prejudice at the time of contact. It is perhaps enough to call the settlers naive, and to point out that color prejudice has a long, long history in European culture in general. Native American culture was totally alien to European expectations, and I am sure vice versa. Nearly everything we know about Native American society at the time of contact with the Europeans is filtered through European eyes, and translated into European concepts. And at all periods, in all places, the dominant culture tried to shoehorn Native American behavior and customs into some concept that they, the dominants, could understand. Thus developed the land grabs, the early and unsuccessful attempts at enslavement, and hostage-taking disguised as Europeanization and Christianization.

Some Natives and some Colonists got on very well, This is especially true of relations between Native Americans and Continental Europeans. French, Dutch, and Swedes all had good relations with the Indians, even at the times when Native Americans were actively engaged in warfare with the English in New England and Virginia. The so-called "Long Finn" who fomented a rebellion among the Swedes, hid and recruited among the Native community, probably the Lenape or the Minquas, in the seventeenth century, approximately concurrently with King Philip's War in New England. The Nanticokes apparently had a friendly relationship with the Mennonites who settled in the area inland from Lewes, and who may have in fact "gone native" during the Anglo-Dutch Wars and the years on either side of it, in which Maryland was trying very hard to establish hegemony over the entire Delmarva Peninsula.

The final attempt of Continental Europeans and Native Americans to expel the English took the form of the French and Indian War, which marks, for all intents and purposes, the functional end of Native Americans as active players in the area east of the Appalachians. Our common cultural mythology is drawn from James Fenimore Cooper, whose Chingachcook calls himself "the Last of the Mohicans" — despite the fact that there are several thousand Mohicans living today in New York. Conceptually, and mythologically, Chingachcook was the end of a long line.

The relationship of English and Anglicized Americans with persons of color took another, related but separate, turn during the seventeenth century as well, as race-based chattel slavery grew quickly out of the old customs of indenture and bondage. The original Black settlers were in fact no more slaves than the common indentured Englishman, but very quickly their color and their different culture branded them, and left them unable to claim the freedom due them under the law. Color prejudice and chattel slavery married, and produced an economic system as firmly bound to human bondage as the Medieval feudalism from which it ultimately derived.

Concurrent with the French and Indian War, but unrelated to it, one can see the beginnings of changes in the nature of American race relations. On the one hand, there was a hardening of attitudes towards Blacks, and towards those of mixed Black and other parentage. On the other hand, there was a new and growing interest in the abolition of human slavery, particularly among the Quakers of the Middle Colonies. On a third hand, the economic importance of slavery made it almost inevitable that those with vested interests would seek to extend the status of slave as far down the family tree as possible. Thus, early on, any taint of Black blood was taken as proof of slavery.

And in this whole mix, one must also acknowledge that at least early on, runaway slaves and indentured servants alike found homes among the Native population. The relative similarity of hunting and subsistence agriculture in the African and Native American cultures must have made it particularly easy for African-born runaways to slide into Native society. But the records of both Virginia and New England are also full of accounts of white runaways said to have "gone to the Indians."

The Revolution, with its talk of liberty and equality, caused some unrest among the slave populations, who justifiably hoped that the rhetoric might extend to them. Runaway slaves and indentured servants found the social turmoil and physical mobility at the end of the Revolution to be an ideal cover. Incidents of running away became very common for a few years during the 1780's. Small slave rebellions also began around the end of the Revolution and occurred with increasing frequency until Nat Turner's unsuccessful rebellion in Virginia in 1830.

Now, let's review. By the end of the eighteenth century, there was an idea among the white population that the Indians were virtually gone from the original Colonies, particularly in the coastal areas. There was a hardening of slave laws, partly in reaction to the increasing incidents of runaways and rebellions. It became increasingly important to document race, as abolitionists were putting a lot of pressure on slaveowners to free their slaves.

As these factors came together, the perceptions of white record-keepers changed. Where they had once seen simply farmers and neighbors, they began to see people of color. What color was often in doubt, as certain families who had never been slaves were also obviously too brown, too exotic, and somehow too different, to be any more just like the rest of the neighbors. As law and expectation began to demand the classification of these people by race, record-keepers grasped at whatever terminology their society and their prejudices allowed. As the record-keepers assumed that the Indians had all "gone west" there had to be a category for these people. The category of convenience was "free mulatto." Slightly more careful record-keepers used the alternative term, "free person of color" when classifying. But classify they did, and that classification had a virulent effect on the future of the undocumented, settled Indians.

Now I shall turn the platform over to Ned, who will describe in some detail the evidence which has amassed over the last decade or so that the so-called Moors are the descendants of the settled Indians of Delaware. And as you listen you might ponder the unanswerable: What was it that allowed these people to settle in among their European neighbors — exceptional adaptability, open-mindedness, or some event of Native American politics during the colonial period, which we may never recover no matter how far and how hard we look.

 

 

Delaware's Invisible Indians, part II

 

Research and research findings

 

Edward Heite (1937 - 2005)
Heite Consulting
Camden DE 19934

 

This paper reflects inquiries into the history of a local Native American remnant population often misnamed "moors" historically centered around the town of Cheswold (formerly Moortown) in Little Creek and Duck Creek hundreds of Kent County.

From the end of the seventeenth century, until the last decades of the nineteenth century, no Native Americans were legally recognized in Kent County.

Census, tax, and school records contain no record of any race other than black or white during that period. What happened to Kent County's original Indian population? Why were the local Indians invisible for more than 200 years? The history of "invisible" Indians, and the context in which they lived, is essential to an understanding of today's Kent County Indian population.

During the eighteenth century, a free person's race was seldom if ever reflected in the public records. Not until the end of that century do we find any regular system of designating free people according to their race. This official absence of references to race during the eighteenth century has complicated the historian's task of making a racial or cultural identification.

During the decades immediately after the American Revolution, the economic, legal, and social status of the Native American community was slipping from a largely undifferentiated white or "not black" to a status called "mulatto" that was indistinguishable in the public record from the status of free Negroes. Partly as a consequence of this change in designation, the people became poorer, less literate, and almost invisible.

Isolate Groups = Indians?

Racially ambiguous communities, sometimes collectively called isolates or tri-racial isolates, are found throughout the United States, but they are best known in the upper South. These groups frequently are self-defined and have maintained a separate identity for centuries.

As details have fallen together, it has become obvious that the isolate groups are, in fact, Native American remnant communities that have remained outside the official system of recognized tribes.

Removals

The concept of a tribe was fostered by the European colonizers, who needed a Native American organization to mirror their own national bodies. Without tribes, there could be no negotiations between sovereign nations. Thus the modern idea of an organized Indian nation is largely a creature of European society, rather than a natural development of native culture.

Almost immediately after the beginning of colonization, the European and Native communities recognized the need to keep space between themselves.

By about 1718, Southern Maryland Piscataway had established Conoy Town on the Susque-hanna in Pennsylvania, near the present Bainbridge as a refuge from the advancing frontier. To this location came other Piscataway from the present Washington metropolitan area, as well as other Maryland Indians. By 1742, there is mention of Nanticokes among them.

In the next year the Conoy and the Nanticoke moved to the mouth of the Juniata, following advice from the Iroquois with whom they had become associated. By 1753, the Nanticoke and Piscataway were a single people. During the Revolution, 120 Nanticoke and 30 Piscataway took refuge at Fort Niagara. Thereafter some went to Canada, while others left to join the Lenape on the trek that eventually took them to Oklahoma.

A native community remained here in Delaware, outside the organized tribal group that moved to the west. Those who stayed behind melted into the dominant culture, but they retained ties with the emigrants, sometimes for generations.

Some Delaware community members evidently retained connections with the emigrants. In 1892, a Philadelphia newspaper reported that a man of the Cheswold community born at Cheswold in 1811 had lived as a young man among the Lenape emigrant group in Indiana. He claimed to be a full-blooded Indian from the Nanticoke area of Sussex County, nearly forty years after Lydia Clark had testified under oath in court that none had survived except herself.

Most of the surviving Native Americans along the eastern seaboard live outside the "recognized" or "reservation" groups. More than a hundred identifiable tribal groups are not recognized by the Department of the Interior. Without government recognition, tribal groups have had little success in asserting their Indian identity. Ironically, the "non-reservation" Indians, descendants of "removed" tribes along the east coast, probably number more than 115,000.

Indians in the east are here because their ancestors consciously renounced their native culture. During the removal period, Indians who chose to retain their traditional way of life were packed off. Those who chose to stay in their home territories adopted European ways as quickly and completely as possible. Rather than live on tribal reservations, they acquired property in the European system, and became landowners indistinguishable on the record from their white neighbors.

Because it was not prudent to proclaim Indian identity, remnants allowed themselves to be called "mulatto" or even "negro," but more often "colored." Until 1830, free nonwhite communities were tolerated or ignored in most localities by the dominant European culture.

The late John Witthoft suggested that, in the Penn colonies, native groups survived on the personal manors of the Proprietors, which were effectively baronial estates exempt from local political forces. There was a manor, called Frieth, on the upper reaches of Duck Creek, in Kent County, Delaware, immediately northwest of the area where the progenitors of the Cheswold community lived during the eighteenth century. This tantalizing clue deserves to be followed.

Definition of isolate groups

Racial definition is a relatively new phenomenon in American law. During the entire first half of European-American history, there was little or no incentive to legally define the precise racial origin of a person who was otherwise culturally indistinguishable from the European-American community. Before the American Revolution, only Virginia and North Carolina legally defined race in terms of ancestry.

A Virginia law of 1705 defined the child of an Indian as a mulatto, but it stated that the child, grandchild, and great-grandchild of a Negro would be a mulatto. For Indian/white unions, the taint of mulatto status would disappear when the issue of such a union married a white person. For Negro/white unions, the taint was effectively permanent. As long as the progeny of Indian/white unions mated among themselves, Virginia law would identify the offspring as mulatto, unless they lived on a reservation. Maryland had a similar definition, but it was not explicitly stated. This universally applied mulatto label caused the Indians to disappear officially from the Delmarva Peninsula.

The Maryland state historic preservation plan assumes that Native Americans ceased to exist in the colony at some time. A research questions in the plan is, "Why did indigenous Native American populations largely disappear from Maryland after European settlement began?" A recent state-sponsored study of "free blacks" in the Eastern Shore of Maryland included documented Indians, including the Puckham and the Cambridge families, among the black population, on the basis of their being described as "mulatto" in the public records, even though the evidence overwhelmingly points to their being Indians.

Public policy in Maryland and most of the southeastern states was essentially biracial. One was either white or nonwhite, which meant black.

Between the Revolution and the Civil War, racial definitions became more detailed and more important, as legal restrictions on non-whites became progressively more oppressive. Those who were defined as Negroes or mulattos found their civil rights eroded, while Indians were forced off their land and into the west. Racial definition became a matter of survival. After 1831, in response to the perceived threat of the Nat Turner rebellion, the slave states, including Delaware, passed restrictive laws forbidding mulattos and blacks to own arms, to congregate, or even to attend church, except under white supervision.

Legally many attempts at defining race are obsolete, because race no longer defines a person's access to voting, schooling, marriage partner, or public facilities. Released from the specter of legal repercussions, researchers can now ask questions that previously were taboo, sometimes even inside the community.

The first hurdle facing researchers is the issue of historical, legal, and documentary ambiguity. Racial isolate groups share a lack of documentary history, a legendary past that is impossible to verify, and a tradition of reticence about their true origins. All these problems will confront anyone studying the Kent County community.

The name "moor" is not particularly favored by the community it designates, since it denotes North African or Iberian origins for people who consider themselves Native Americans. Nonetheless, the name has existed for more than a century, and must be confronted historically.

The Cheswold Enclave

A separate identity for the Kent County community can be documented genealogically as early as the first half of the eighteenth century, when free persons were not customarily identified by race in the public record. Members of the group were marrying among themselves during the first identifiable generation around 1720. Separate group identity is implied by the genealogical facts, but not explicitly stated on the official record, during most of the eighteenth century.

Scharf's 1888 History of Delaware states that the group claimed that their community began about 1710, maintaining a separate society from the start. Historians have never definitively established the origins of the community, but the date 1710 is not without some justification.

Weslager traced the Hansor family to Aminidab, son of Aminidab and Rose Hansor, born in 1688. In 1716, a William Handsor owned land in Indian River Hundred, and was listed as white, or at least not black. The elder Aminidab Hansor is said to have been the illegitimate son of Mary Vincent, the English wife of John Okey of Mulatto Hall and a servant called Aminidab "Haw" of Nandua Creek, Virginia.

William Hansor typifies the founding Cheswold generation. He patented Jolley's Neck, on Chance's Branch of St. Jones River, in 1737. When he died in 1768, he left effects that speak of a decidedly prosperous life, including a sword, a fiddle, shoemaker tools, and carpentry tools. His children and grandchildren intermarried with the same families that constitute the community today.

The other "core" families appear in the Kent County records at about the same time, about a generation after the same names appear in Sussex County documents. Where their origins can be traced, each original family can be identified as having family ties among the Indian River community in Sussex. Even there, less than a third of the community surnames appear in the court records before 1710.

When racial labels began to appear consistently in the public record, early in the nineteenth century, members of the community were haphazardly assigned such labels as "mulattos" or "free persons of color" and sometimes "Negroes." The same individual might be found with all three labels. In large part, racial designation depended upon wealth. A wealthy Indian might be described as white, while his dirt-poor cousin might be described as a Negro. If he could read and write, he was more likely to be described as white or mulatto. It is useful to consider these labels, remembering that they reflect the bias of the observer.

Although it today is taken to mean mixed black and white, the word "mulatto" in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries generally applied to anyone with dark skin who was not a Negro. In the West Indies, the term was applied to mixed black-Indian individuals. Another meaning was a person who was "half-Christian," born of a union between a Spaniard and a non-Christian. In one 1709 example, cited in the Oxford English Dictionary, a person was described as both a mulatto and an Indian. Definitions in Delaware official documents were no more precise.

The Pennsylvania Assembly set terms of service for [white] indentured servants whose indentures could not be found. Those who came into the colony without papers were presumed to serve five years if they were between seventeen and twenty-two years old [later changed to sixteen and twenty-one] , or until the age of twenty-two if they were under seventeen. The law, which was at first disallowed by the Crown, would not apply to Africans. A taint of African blood would therefore significantly alter a servant's status. In this regard, "mulatto" status was legally independent of any African connection, as the case of Jacob Frederick illustrates.

In June, 1698, a "Molattoe Boy" named Jacob Frederick complained to the Sussex court that "hee Came Not of nigroe Parentage." Frederick argued that he had been bound as an apprentice for a term, and could not be held as a slave for life under Delaware law. He succeeded in his plea, but in 1704 he was again in court, sentenced to twenty lashes and six weeks of additional service to his mistress for beating John Morgan. Frederick was a witness in 1709 for the defense when Samuel Dickinson was accused of horse stealing.

The 1800 manuscript census is the oldest official extant documentation of an attempt (the 1790 census being lost) to define everyone in Delaware by race. Three categories of nonwhite people were identified: Indians not taxed, free colored persons, and slaves. In each hundred, the local census taker applied his own system. The census was tallied differently in each county, too. In Sussex County, the tally contains a list at the end of each hundred list titled "Free Negroes & Mulattos & C," while in Kent, the letter "N" was placed after certain names. If anyone was considered to be an Indian, he was not to be listed. The results were ambiguous and confusing to the point where the 1800 census serves only to cloud the issue.

The ambiguity is well illustrated by the cases of Elizabeth LaCount and Mary Durham. Mary, widow of Isaiah Durham, is listed in the 1800 census of Little Creek Hundred with the letter "N" after her name, with only free persons of color in her household. When she married John Sisco, also listed as "N" in the census, her surety on the administration of Isaiah's estate, a white man, demanded to be released from his bond because she had married a mulatto! Clearly Mary was perceived by a white neighbor as belonging to a "superior" racial group, above the mulatto Sisco, while in another record both are described as negroes. In the 1800 census, Isaiah's brother William Durham is listed as white, or at least not nonwhite. Moreover, they both were cousins of John Sisco. William Durham's sisters married members of the inter-related Sisco, Conselor, and LaCount families.

Elizabeth LaCount is listed without the "N" after her name in the Duck Creek census, but with only free persons of color in her household. Samuel LaCount appears as white in the Mispillion Hundred census of 1800. Thomas LaCount married Letitia Durham, sister of the allegedly not nonwhite William, in 1789.

The progenitors of the community appeared in the Kent County records without racial identification, generally literate and financially well off, early in the eighteenth century. Within the next few generations, their descendants declined in wealth and status. Perhaps most significant was the decline in literacy among the community. Male literacy was a powerful indicator of a household's economic prospects. In those days before free public education, literacy was a commodity that required disposable income and access to schools. A poor family in the backwoods, unable to reach or afford access to private schools, had few prospects of improvement.

When Delaware began offering free public education in 1829, it was reserved for the white population. Benjamin Tharp was engaged to set up the districts, and his field notes have survived at the Delaware Archives. Tharp counted the white households and allocated them to districts for tax and school attendance purposes. No black households were counted, and neither were the Native families. Creation of a public school system resulted in a white monopoly, while private schools were dissolved or absorbed. Private academies in Dover, Camden, Newark, Middletown and other towns became public schools with a strict color line. Private education, in which nonwhites might have found a place, shriveled away as free public education matured.

After the Civil War, Delaware reluctantly instituted free public education for nonwhites on the biracial model, which excluded the possibility of a third racial school system. A few "moor" or "Indian" schools eventually were established within the state system, but only at the elementary level. Some went without education rather than attend segregated schools; others moved away to less segregated states, or sent their children to schools in unsegregated jurisdictions.

Relationships Among Groups

"Isolate" groups have not been isolated from one another. Circumstantial and anecdotal evidence points to a long interrelationship among the various groups over centuries. Some migrations can be traced in the genealogical record, connecting Native American communities across the Delmarva Peninsula and beyond.

As the stigma of "inferior" racial status has waned, and concurrently Indian ethnic pride has increased, there has been considerable genealogical work directed toward identifying the Native American remnant groups. Most recently, tenuous claims to tribal status have been advanced by groups hoping to cash in on federal laws permitting reservation gambling casinos. The gaming phenomenon has not touched Delaware, but native self-awareness flourishes on its own.

Sussex County Nanticoke

One such self-defined group is today's Sussex County Nanticoke organization.

Even though the original Nanticoke tribe of Sussex County is said to have emigrated to Pennsylvania and eventually to Canada, a remnant group claims to be a branch that is still in place on Nanticoke ancestral ground. These people are historically and genealogically identical to the Kent County remnant around Cheswold who choose to call themselves Lenape.

The Nanticoke during the seventeenth century were a powerful tribe, who received tribute from communities as far afield as Northampton County, Virginia. In times of unrest, they appear to have been a magnet for refugees and malcontents of all races from other parts of Delmarva.

Maryland colonial authorities established reservations in the present western Sussex County, Delaware, and nearby Dorchester County, Maryland. Nanticoke and Choptank people complained that these reservations did not actually protect them against encroachment from land seekers and wandering livestock. Eventually the friction became too great; seasonal subsistence migrations were not compatible with the more sedentary European ideas of land ownership and subsistence.

Faced with further restrictions on their traditional subsistence activities, many of the Nanticokes decided to move north to the Pennsylvania and New York frontier. Eventually a Nanticoke remnant settled among the Six Nations in Canada, where they remain.

Frank Speck, an anthropologist who studied the Nanticoke in Delaware and Canada, concluded that in 1748, when the Nanticoke emigrated, they left behind some of their people in Delaware. He identified the Sussex County remnant as an authentic Nanticoke community, even though their documented connection with today's Canadian Nanticoke tribe is tenuous. Only one family name is found both among the remnant groups in Delaware and the emigrant community.

In April 1762, Maryland officials reported that about 120 Indians still lived on reservations. These people, almost certainly Nanticokes, reportedly lived in good relations with their European-American neighbors, and no longer traded with other Indians. Soon they would be completely forgotten by government officials.

Attempts to regain recognition as Indians suffered a serious setback in 1855, when Levin Sockum sold powder and shot to his son-in-law Isaac Harmon. Sockum was charged with violating a law that forbade supplying firearms to Negroes and mulattos. Harmon and Sockum both denied any Negro ancestry.

The charges may have been politically motivated, since the two men were the wealthiest members of their community, and among the largest landowners in Indian River Hundred. They eventually came to own the area now occupied by the core of the Nanticoke community.

A relative of the two men, Lydia Clark, claimed to be the last full-blooded Nanticoke. She testified that Harmon's ancestor was an enslaved African who had married his white mistress. The half-breed offspring of this union, Lydia Clark testified, had intermarried with some of the remaining Nanticoke. As a result of her testimony, the "moor" and "Nanticoke" communities were subjected to all the restrictions imposed on blacks until the end of segregation.

Judge George Purnell Fisher, who as a young man prosecuted Harman and Sockum, wrote an article titled "The So-Called Moors of Delaware," for a newspaper in 1895, which was reprinted by the Public Archives Commission, of which his granddaughter was chairman, in 1929. This article supported the Lydia Clark testimony of a tri-racial origin, even though Fisher declared from his own observation that Harmon was "a young man, apparently about five and twenty years of age, of perfect Caucasian features, dark chestnut brown hair, rosy cheeks and hazel eyes; and by odds the handsomest man in the court room, and yet he was alleged to be a mulatto."

Judge Fisher described Noke Norwood, an old man who had lived north of Lewes during the third decade of the nineteenth century, as "a dark copper-colored man, about six feet and a half in height, of splendid proportions, perfectly straight black hair (though at least 75 years old), black eyes and high cheek bones." This "Noke" Norwood may have been Noble Norwood, who is listed in the 1800 census of Indian River Hundred as having three "colored" persons in his household.

Northampton County, Virginia

Racial segregation and legal nuances of race played a major role in the history of minority populations in Northampton County, Virginia.

Virginia law, beginning in 1705, defined a person's racial status in terms of African admixture. After 1873, Virginia law defined anyone with Negro blood as "colored," and declared that Indian status could not be extended to colored persons. As late as 1975, any taint of Negro blood was enough to classify a person as "colored," except Indians living on the Pamunkey and Mattaponi reservations, who could have as much admixture as one Negro great-grandparent.

Northampton is the southerly of the two Virginia counties on the Eastern Shore. Its racial history is complicated, but has been painted in broad characterizations. Early in the nineteenth century, politicians were circulating claims that the Indian blood had dissolved into the black population. This argument was politically necessary in order to force the dissolution of the local Indian reservation, but it has been repeated uncritically by historians for two centuries.

Ralph Whitelaw, the historian of land in the Eastern Shore counties, concludes for example, that "Today, their blood remains only as a mixture with that of the Negro race." This statement still is repeated by historical researchers as a cultural and racial epitaph for the Indians of the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

During the seventeenth century, there were families identified as Negro whose backgrounds and surnames appear to indicate Iberian cultural, if not racial, origins. Among these "Negro" families were people named Rodriggus (Driggus or Drighouse), Ferdinando, and Francisco (Sisco), as well as such non-Iberian names as Payne and Harman. The possibly Portuguese surnames have been interpreted to indicate a Dutch connection, since the Dutch were contending with the Portuguese in Brazil and Angola.

All three races lived intimately together, both inside and outside of wedlock, during the seventeenth century in Virginia's Eastern Shore. White servant women not infrequently married or bore children by fellow servants of other races during the seventeenth century.

In 1640 a group of Indians on the Eastern Shore of Virginia were given a 650-acre reservation by the colonial government as a reservation.

The Gingaskin tribe of Indians dwindled and became destitute. Their neighbors considered them a nuisance, and charged that they had become mixed with the local black population. Trustees were appointed to protect them, and finally in 1786 the tribe petitioned the Virginia legislature for relief against encroachments. In 1792, the Virginia General Assembly ordered the Indian town land to be divided among surviving members of the tribe. This was finally accomplished in 1813, after a second law was passed. The 690-acre tract was divided into 27 lots that were allocated to the surviving tribal members, among whom were people named Drighouse and Francis, which may be corruptions of Driggus and Francisco.

A few allotments were sold immediately, but by 1830, half the reservation remained in the hands of the tribal members. That year, the Nat Turner rebellion occurred in Southampton County, and the remaining Gingaskin sold their land.

Over the years, Indian and mulatto families from the Eastern Shore of Virginia migrated northward. Recent scholarship indicates that these migrants included families named Harman, Johnson, Driggus, Carter, Okey, Hansor, Francisco, and George, that were found among the Nanticoke and Kent County groups. When the genealogies of these families are examined, however, the picture is never so simple.

Some Maryland Indian Families

Recent historians, obsessed with the popularity of black history as a subject and a funding source, have mistakenly assumed that every mulatto mentioned in the public record was a person of African descent, even though the mass of evidence leads to another conclusion. For example, there were the Puckhams.

The Puckham family of Worcester and Somerset Counties, Maryland, is one of the few that can be identified with a documented seventeenth-century Maryland Native American ancestor. The Cambridge family is almost as clearly documented, and probably could be verified with a small amount of research.

There may be dozens of families in the lower Eastern Shore counties whose Indian origins have been hidden uncritically behind the mulatto label by historians who were looking for free blacks and not Indians.

John Puckham, an Indian, was baptized in 1682 and married Jone Johnson shortly thereafter. The name Puckham may be an anglicized version of the name of his village, in northern Somerset County. Because Joan Johnson was a mulatto, the Puckhams have been classified by subsequent historians as "Free Blacks."

Their sons, John and Richard, aged 13 and 10, were bound as apprentices in 1699. During the eighteenth century, Puckhams appear on the public records in Stepney Parish of Somerset County. Abraham Puckham was called a "planter" in 1723 and was married to a transported white felon named Honor Norgate. This was not the family's only white liaison; at least two Puckham females had illegitimate children by white men in Somerset County. It can be determined from the tax rolls that Richard Puckham's wife was either white or mulatto, and not black.

Even though their only documented non-white liaison was the mulatto Joan Johnson, the eighteenth-century Puckhams have been grouped by historians among the free blacks, possibly because later members of the family were classified as blacks or mulattos. Matthew Puckham, called a carpenter, sold his Maryland farm in 1771.

Matthew may have moved to Kent County and joined the Native American remnant. One Matthew Pucherm, called a "free negro," appears in the St. Jones Hundred tax records in 1782, while Matthew and Richard Puckham were listed in Broadkill Hundred without racial designation. An Ellinor Puckham witnessed John Durham's will in 1788.

In 1748, a free mulatto named William Cambridge Hunt, later known as William Cambridge, patented land that had been part of the Askibinakansen Indian town near the present settlement of Taylor Gate in Worcester County. The Indian town tract had been occupied during the same decade, and may have still contained some Indian remnants; another patentee on the town lands was Samuel Collick, also identified as a "mulatto".

Because of the "mulatto" label, Cambridge and Collick have been described as blacks by historians, in spite of the fact that they appear to have been Indians claiming their shares of a dissolved reservation.

The Cambridge family sold their Worcester County farm in 1801. The name Cambridge appears early in the nineteenth century in the Cheswold community. Even though Thomas Davidson included the Cambridge and Puckham families in his study of "blacks" on the lower Eastern Shore, the circumstances recited in his study indicate a probable Indian origin for both families, with white intermixture.

The name Driggus, associated with people of color throughout Delmarva, provides an example of the confusion in the records. A Driggus family is reported as white, or at least not nonwhite, in the 1800 census for Murderkill Hundred, Kent County, Delaware. Davidson lists the Driggus family of the lower Maryland shore as blacks, but the same name, spelled Drighouse, was a major component of the Northampton Indian tribe when the reservation was distributed in 1812.

All probably were descended from Emanuel Driggus (Rodriguez). He and his first wife, Frances, came into the Virginia colony as bondservants. She died before attaining her freedom and he was free in 1660. His second wife, Elizabeth, was white. Emanuel's pedigree is unknown, but he may have come from a Portuguese or Spanish colony through Dutch traders.

His grandson, Azaricum, died a well-off slave-owning planter in 1738. The name became Drighouse in some areas, including the Indian reservation, and Driggus in other areas. All members of the family, including the ones who lived on the reservation, were called mulattos or negroes in Virginia and Maryland. One can only imagine why the Delaware census canvasser thought they were white.

Historical Questions

Native American remnant groups exist in all parts of the Middle Atlantic, but their historical records are nearly invisible. Historians have tended to uncritically accept old racial labels, so that the history of these people has been masked. Some writers, notably Deal and Davidson, have swept the study of local Native Americans into black history, continuing a long tradition.

There is, clearly, a need for in-depth revisionist histories of the Native American remnants. A few steps have been taken along this path, by genealogists, by tribal organizations, and by a few academic historians whose points of view are neither afrocentric nor eurocentric.

 

 

 

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Searching for Invisible Indians

 

Finding Assimilated Indian Populations in the Middle Atlantic Area

 

Edward Heite (1937 - 2005)
Heite Consulting
Camden DE 19934

Prepared for the Eastern States Archaeological Federation annual meeting

Mount Laurel, NJ, November 1997

Throughout the eastern coastal states, dozens of communities claim descent from the contact-period Indian population. They certainly look like Indians, and most of them can trace their ancestry back two or three hundred years in the same locality. But they speak English and they are fully integrated into the European-American society. Aside from the fact that they tend to keep to themselves, these eastern Indians are indistinguishable from the surrounding population.

The central Delaware Indian community is typical. For more than two centuries, the community existed without formal organization, and without recognition. Not a single member of the community was officially described in any public record as an Indian throughout the eighteenth, nineteenth, and part of the twentieth centuries.

Within the past few generations, the community has achieved organization and popular recognition as an Indian tribe and has retrospectively defined itself as a continuing community. But there is not a single historical document to indicate that these people or their ancestors are, or were, Indians. Any attempt to define an Indian community in the eastern states will be hampered by the forces that created this phenomenon of invisibility.

During the colonial period, Indians gradually adopted an Anglo-American way of life, native languages died out, and most of the community members were living away from the few reservations, without any legal status other than citizenship rights of property and equality before the law with their other free neighbors.

It isn't easy to hide an entire ethnic group, but for the Indian population, the process of joining European society included renunciation, or at least subordination, of Indian identity. In the minds of many settlers, one could not be a Christian Indian, or a civilized Indian. Those who converted normally became mulattos in the eyes of law and society.

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, there was little stigma to being a mulatto, as long as one was not a Negro as well. Some people, classified as "mulattos," fought to retain Indian identity after their tribal identification had been dissolved. In 1747 and 1792, mulatto individuals named William Bass obtained certificates from Virginia courts to the effect that they were descended from whites and Indians, and not from Negroes. As the traditional Indians died off or moved away, their acculturated cousins tried to melt into the dominant white culture while studiously avoiding wherever possible the perceived taint of African admixture. Instead of being called Indians, they were identified merely as "colored," even using the term themselves.

A Delaware law of 1740 acknowledged that Indians were still present, since they were specifically permitted to hunt deer out of season. Implicit in the exemption was the proposition that an Indian was, among other characteristics, a person who depended upon wild meat. Thirty years later, the legislature no longer acknowledged an Indian presence. In 1770, the Delaware legislature declared, in response to a letter from other colonies about regulating Indian trade: "...Upon which we beg Leave, to observe, that the Inhabitants of this Government have at present no Commerce or Intercourse whatsoever with the Indians, and from their Situation cannot expect to have any with them hereafter; ..." The official position, then, was that there were no Indians in or near the three Delaware counties by 1770. Two years earlier, the legislature had paid a bill for accommodating "a Parcel of Indians” who were just visiting.

The 1770 communication reflects a further definition of an Indian, not only as a person subsisting on wild meat, but as a person living far from Delaware, on the frontier. But there were in fact persons of primarily Indian descent in Delaware, living in all three counties, and actually doing quite well, financially if not socially, in the Anglo-American economy.

During the seventeenth century, landowning families named Butcher and Consealor settled in Kent County. Their descendants formed the nucleus of the mixed race community that still clusters around the village of Cheswold. The story begins in 1693, when Thomas Conselor bought 120 acres. He died in 1720. Daughters of his son, the second Thomas Conselor, married men named Butcher and Francisco, or Sisco. By the end of the eighteenth century, these three families and their relatives had established an intergenerational pattern of marriage and exclusivity shared with "mulatto" kinfolk in Sussex County.

Francisco (Sisco) is the only name in the early generations of the community that clearly is associated in other documents with Native Americans. Specifically, it appears among the Nanticoke leadership. The name was present in this community before 1739, intermarried with the Consealors and Butchers.

When William Handsor of Sussex County moved to the neighborhood in 1735 he brought a second documented Indian family connection. John Durham and William Handsor, were prosperous farmers and brothers in law who lived near the head of St. Jones River and controlled some of the best farmland in the county. We cannot know precisely their racial origins, but most of their grandchildren were identified as mulattos when racial designations began to appear in the record. By the beginning of the Revolution, the community of interrelated families had grown to include people named Butcher, Consealor, Durham, Loatman, Dean, Handsor and Hewes.

Some families who later joined the community had both Native American and white ancestry. Members of the Indian-descended Puckham, Norwood, Ridgeway and Cambridge families from Sussex or from Eastern Shore Maryland, intermarried with the Kent County community early in the nineteenth century. These new additions brought documented Indian relationships into the community, at a time when racial divisions were beginning to grow in American society.

The Federal Constitution contained the first legal requirement that all Americans be classified by race. In order to carry out the requirements of the Constitution, each census taker was required to classify each and every person as either white, slave, free person of color, or an Indian not taxed. Indians who were not taxed, in that sense, were all out in the west, in treaty relationships with the federal government. Slaves were counted because they were not fully represented in Congress. White people were enumerated, and every other free person was a "free person of color."

Unfortunately, too many historians have interpreted that "free persons of color" column on the census return to be equivalent to "free blacks," when in fact it enumerated many more persons of different racial stocks. Among the free colored persons where the resident acculturated Indian population, generally classified as mulattos, who frequently had no African ancestry.

Thus that first great racial division of America lumped all the free nonwhites into a single category from which only the most dogged research can unscramble them.

Archaeology can help identify the Indian strain in a culture, as Cara Blume will demonstrate in her study of worked glass at Bloomsbury, but the key to finding the invisible East Coast Indian is genealogy.

Other tribal groups have successfully documented their Indian origins. The Nansemonds, in Virginia, were able to construct a genealogy back to documented Indians in the seventeenth century that irrefutably proved their ancestry.

During the period when race designations became commonplace, late in the eighteenth century, many factors contributed to race perception, or to the lack of pejorative designation. Rich folks could be defined as white, or at least not called mulattos, regardless of their color or ancestry. John, Charles, and Lydia Francisco are a case in point. They were well-off and generally literate.

John Francisco was the son-in-law of John Durham the elder, who apparently was white. Both appear in the 1782 state census and assessment without racial designation. When John Francisco died in 1791, his estate was worth more than a thousand pounds.

John's son Charles lived in a six-room house and left an inventory worth more than £700 when he died in 1800. John's daughter Esther called herself a "free woman of color" in her 1810 will. Their sister Lydia left silver spoons and an indentured boy's time. These are all decidedly indicators of middle-class economic status as well as education and gentility.

Other Francisco family members, who were not so well off, were treated as mulattos and looked down upon. Another descendant of John Durham, who apparently was regarded as white, died and left a substantial estate. When his widow remarried a poor and illiterate Francisco, the person who had signed a bond for the estate administration was able to get his bond canceled because the widow had married a "mulatto," who probably was a cousin of her "white" husband.

These contradictions provide a clue to the racial nature of the mixed race community at the end of the eighteenth century. The interrelated community consisted of lines with varying degrees of white and Indian lineage, and race perception was tempered by a certain deference to wealth and status.

Some recorders, notably the census taker in 1800, recorded every nonwhite as a Negro. The 1805 tax assessor was similarly inclined. Aside from Negro, the only nonwhite category available for listing was "mulatto," which they chose not to use.

The ambiguous term "mulatto" is the most frequent label used to describe the "yellow" people of the Indian remnant communities throughout the Middle Atlantic. While each colony and state had its own racial definitions, there was a certain consistency among them.

The Oxford English Dictionary cites an example from 1709 in which a person was both a mulatto and an Indian.

Virginia described Indians' children by white partners as mulattos in a 1705 law that also identified white/African mixtures as mulattos. While African-descended persons were always mulattos (the "one drop" rule), a person with three European and one Indian grandparent was not a mulatto. A similar rule was followed in Maryland.

In colonial Delaware, a person could be a mulatto without African ancestry, as the case of Jacob Frederick illustrated. In 1699, Frederick successfully argued in court that he was a mulatto without any African ancestry, and he was treated before the law the same as a white person.

During the eighteenth century, the term "Indian," as a rule, did not appear in the Delaware public records. The exceptions were militia muster rolls, where two members of the Norwood family are listed, one of them described as an Indian. A decade later, the "Indian" Norwood became a "mulatto" when his child was baptized at St. George's Chapel. The "mulatto" label is consistently applied in the records of this church to the Indian community.

The fallacy of accepting "mulatto" as equaling "Negro" has led to serious misperceptions by scholars, up to and including the present generation who have cited Indian examples to illustrate statements about free blacks. The cumulative effect of this top-down lumping of nonwhites has been to eliminate from the historical literature all distinctions among "mulatto" groups, including Indians.

During the first half of the nineteenth century, as racial tensions increased, the Indian community drew into itself. Young people married within their local community, or traveled to live among similar communities up and down the coast. Carefully avoiding contact with the free blacks and the whites around them, they kept a low profile. When they suffered a setback, their response most frequently was to move away or draw back. Some families crossed into New Jersey, where racial conditions were more congenial, and some families moved to Canada. Others moved west to be with their emigrant cousins.

One is struck instantly by the intermarriage among the families that began early in the eighteenth century and continues to the present. When members married outside the local group, they tended to find families of known Indian heritage and incorporated them into the community. During the nineteenth century, a number of already-related Indian families joined the Central Delaware group from Sussex County and farther south.

The decline of the community's status was documented by Louise Heite in her study of Fork Branch . During the middle years of the eighteenth century, the core families were prosperous and literate. The generation that died around 1800 included several well-off and literate individuals, who represent a high point in the community's history.

Our Bloomsbury site was occupied by the next generation, which was the first to feel the full pressure of downward mobility. John Sisco and Thomas Consealor were sons of well-off farmers, who undoubtedly had been raised in middle-class surroundings at the beginning of the race-perception slide. Consealor enjoyed good store credit but was identified as "mulatto" in the merchant's accounts.

Stylish shell-edge pearlware plates were on the table, but only a few. Stylish shoes with pointed toes were mended at home, and there were a few silver spoons. The assemblage speaks of downward mobility of a young family with a genteel landowning background, reduced to farming the land of a wealthy family friend and patron. Ultimately, Thomas was evicted by the next generation of landlord and moved to New Jersey where the racial climate was more benign.

Elsewhere, the second and third generation heirs of William Handsor and John Durham were losing their ancestral lands by subdivision and sale, without acquiring new property. When the free school act was implemented, they were denied public education, and were further marginalized as race codes became more strict on the heels of slave rebellion after 1830.

Some voted with their feet against these laws, moving to New Jersey or to Canada as well as to other parts of the north. Those who stayed would wait another century before the first glimmerings of public recognition separated them from the larger nonwhite population. Their perseverance through this period before they were "rediscovered" by twentieth-century anthropological researchers has never been publicly documented, but its results can be seen today in the form of a homogenous community in which the same families continue to live together and intermarry, although to a lesser extent than before.

Ironically, it was the end of oppressive legally-sanctioned discrimination and segregation that caused the community to begin dispersing and losing some of its definition. As housing, marriage, and employment opportunities have expanded, the need to band together has faded away. In response to this perceived loss of community, a small band of descendants have organized a corporate body with the avowed purpose of uniting the community into a recognized tribe.

 

 

 

Bloomsbury

 

Introductory Remarks

 

Middle Atlantic Archaeological Conference

March 7, 1997

Edward F. Heite (1937 - 2005)

This is a story about a site, where the wells were shallow and the poverty was deep. In spite of their poverty, the inhabitants owned stylish creamware and pearlware teawares , but they mended their precious trailed-slip decorated red earthenware.

Bloomsbury was occupied during the last third of the eighteenth century by a series of three or four tenant families, some of whom were people of Native American heritage.

Kent County’s Native American community was in the process of change. The last villages and reservations on Delmarva were dissolved during the decade preceding 1750. People from Delmarva were relocating to the north and the west.

Nanticokes took refuge with the British army at Fort Niagara during the Revolution.

But some Indian families stayed behind, merging invisibly into the larger society. In Kent County, a new community developed, attracting Native people from other parts of Delmarva, and probably from other parts of America as well. The newcomers included members of the Puckham, Cambridge, Sanders, Dean, Sammons and Sisco families who originated farther south on the eastern shore of Maryland and Virginia.

Historians are hampered in their study of these Native American families by a peculiarity of local terminology. Indian people who accepted baptism ceased to be Indians in the eyes of the larger community. Once they were baptized and became taxpaying landowners, former Indians became mulattos in the eyes of the law. In those days, one could be a mulatto or a colored person, regardless of ancestry.

Indeed, it appears from our research that many, if not most , of the people who were called mulattos in eighteenth-century records had no Negro ancestry whatever. The only way for a modern historian to determine the racial origin of a person is to analyze their status before the law. Certain laws and customs applied to free blacks, and a different set of rules applied to whites.

Because the law was basically bi-polar, a person was treated either as black or white, which for centuries was a cause of vexation and difficulty for people who happened to belong in the middle.

In most cases, we have discovered that Indian people were treated before the law as whites, while mulattos with Negro ancestry were treated as blacks.

The two communities kept apart, so that the witnesses on an Indian document are likely to be Indian or white, while the witnesses on a Negro document are likely to be black or white. As early as 1720, the Indian community in Kent County had closed ranks, creating a closed society that has persisted to this day.

The actual origin and status of a so-called colored person can be determined only by examining the way he or she interacted with the larger society. For example, William Cambridge was identified as a mulatto when he took up land during the abandonment of a Maryland Indian town. He was a pew holder in the local Presbyterian church, and apparently was a mainstream member of the larger community. Shortly after the Revolution, members of the Cambridge family joined the Kent County Indian community, together with members of the Puckham family from the same area.

Another newcomer family was the Francisco or Sisco family, who originated on the lower Shore. People named Sisco were among the Nanticokes who moved north after the 1742 Winnesocum disaster, and our current research indicates that they have left a string of living relatives stretching from Virginia to Canada. John Sisco, a member of the third generation of his family in Kent County, occupied the Bloomsbury property around 1800, and probably was the person who demolished and cleaned up the site around 1806.

When we approached the site, therefore, we were faced with the problem of detecting ethnicity, even though we were unsure of the exact origins of all the families that had lived on the site.

 

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Mitsawoket

 

Edward Heite (1937 - 2005)
Heite Consulting
Camden DE 19934

 

 

The Pumpkin Neck community was the geographical context of the Bloomsbury site, which we have been investigating for nearly four years. For better or for worse, the people of Pumpkin Neck were thrown together by virtue of land tenure and lines of communication. Some of these people were members of another community, the "small race" of Indian descendants who already had formed a separate community in Duck Creek and Little Creek hundreds of Kent County.

This community was, and still is, a tightly-woven self-selecting web of kinship, social obligations, patronage, and solidarity that survived without an institutional focus, or even a proper name, through more than two centuries (Heite and Heite 1985).

What is a Community?

A community is more than a mere collection of people and houses. A community is more correctly described as a collection of relationships among people who are somehow connected by proximity, origin, blood, language, or some other tie, tangible or intangible, expressed or tacitly assumed. Some communities are easily recognized; a town, or a professional society, or a church are obvious communities that declare their own definitions for all to see.

But by such a definition, community may also exist beyond public view, or it may be invisible even to its own members. Because they can be both ambiguous and ubiquitous, communities must first be defined, before they can be examined. The Kent County remnant Indian community falls into this category. For more than two centuries, the community existed without formal organization, and without recognition from the community at large. Within the past few generations, the community has achieved organization and popular recognition as an Indian tribe and has retrospectively defined itself as a continuing community.

Since it historically issued no membership certificates or kept a tribal roll, or even named a recognized leader, the "Cheswold" community defies definition in the heavily formalized environment of tribal recognition. Admission to the Delaware Indian corporate bodies today is achieved by demonstrating genealogical connection to people who are generally accepted as being past members of the community.

The nearest approach to a published roster has been the genealogy of early descendants of William Handsor, published in an earlier report in this series (Heite and Heite 1985) and a useful but anecdotal community history published more than a half-century ago (Weslager 1943).

In order to provide more solid documentation of the community, it was necessary to adopt proven techniques from community studies in other areas. To find evidence beyond the traditional narrative sources, social historians draw inferences from vital statistics, tax, probate, and similar aggregated records.

Community historians in other localities have developed methods that involve new approaches to the historical records. In their pioneering study of relationships, researchers at the St. Mary's City Commission in Maryland have compiled biographies of the county's earliest settlers by "stripping of relevant record series" for all proper names. This technique allows the researcher to identify each individual's personal relationships at all levels, and to place him in a community context (Walsh 1988:219). A similar approach is being used by the Delaware Bureau of Museums and Historic Sites for their seventeenth-century project (Charles Fithian, personal communication). A similar, if much less ambitious, method was used to develop a definition of the local Native community during the period when Bloomsbury was occupied. The resulting biographical directory follows.

Who is an Indian?

Any attempt to define an Indian community in the eastern states will be hampered by the invisibility factor. Cultural disappearance seems to have been a survival strategy for remnant communities throughout the east during the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries.

In Virginia, Indians gradually adopted an Anglo-American way of life, native languages died out, and most of the community members were living off the few reservations. The communities kept to themselves and were lumped for government purposes with other "free persons of color" until after the Civil War (Rountree 1990, 1996: 187-189). Precisely the same course of events occurred in Delaware. No individual in the Kent County community was identified as an Indian until 1892, and then only in a newspaper article.

It isn't easy to hide an entire ethnic group, but for the Indian population, the process of joining European society included renunciation, or at least subordination, of Indian identity. In the minds of many settlers, one could not be a Christian Indian, or a civilized Indian. Those who converted became mulattoes in the eyes of law and society. This is well demonstrated by the descendants of John Puckham of Maryland, the Christianized Indian , and his wife, Jone Johnson, "mulatto," granddaughter of Anthony Johnson and his white wife.

The best-documented seventeenth-century Indians in lower Delaware were the ones who sold the territory to European settlers. Between Duck Creek and the St. Jones, land was sold by an Indian with the curious name of Christian, also known as Petticoquewan, who claimed to be lord, owner, and chief sachem of Mitsawokett. Between 1677 and 1684, he conveyed thousands of acres to settlers, often in trade for powder and shot or for drink, or for clothing (Kent County Deed Books A-1: 10, 14; B-1: 2, 8 10-13, 20-21, 36).

The territory of Mitsawokett became northern Kent County, encompassing the hundreds of St. Jones, Little Creek and Duck Creek, but the name of Christian or Petticoquewan is missing from the records after about 1684.

For another century, references to people identified as Indians in Delaware are sparse and fleeting. An Indian named Samuel Boarman was bound by the Kent County court in 1719 to serve three years as payment for medical care following a gunshot wound (Hancock 1974:49). He may have been the last officially identified Indian in the county records for another two centuries.

Some people in the community bore family names that are firmly documented as Indians, but few Kent County residents claimed that heritage in any public document. People named Francisco (Sisco), Norwood, Cambridge, and Puckham are known from records elsewhere to have been identified as Indians during their lifetimes, but their relatives in Mitsawokett did not press the claim.

Indirect references to "Indian" origins are found in personal physical descriptions, including the narrative of Judge Fisher. A James Dean of Smyrna was described in an affidavit filed in 1853 as "of Indian descent" as part of the program of seamen's protective papers (Macdonald 1992). Other people with surnames found in the community were identified as Indians, or persons appearing to be Indians, in these papers.

Between 1790 and 1862, American seamen could protect themselves against impressment by the British by carrying protective papers issued by the federal government. These papers included physical descriptions. Betty Harrington Macdonald has abstracted Delaware entries (Macdonald 1992):


Applicant's
name
Date of
declaration
and age
Computed
date of
birth
Place
of
birth
Physical
description
Witness
Nathaniel Clark
1827 23
1804
Sussex Co.
a colored man of the
Indian race
James Lord
James Hansor
1831 17
1814
Sussex Co.
Indian complexion
Cary Hansor
Elihu Ridgeway
1846 28
1818
Indian River
Indian complexion
William Shorter
Benjamin Norwood
1853 30
1823
Indian River
Indian complexion
Capt W. H. Lingo
John Dean
1853 27
1826
Smyrna
of Indian descent
Capt W. H. Lingo
Eli Herman (Harmon?)
1853 24
1829
Indian River
Indian complexion
Indian, black straight hair
(crew list)
George Brown
T. Robinson Hanzar
1858 19
1839
Indian River
Indian complexion
****
Charles Dunning
1859 28
1831
Dagsboro
Indian complexion
****
Stephen Morris
1860 21
1839
Lewes
Indian complexion
****
Thomas Harmon
1860 28
1832
Sussex Co.
Indian complexion
****

 

It is apparent that remaining Indians quietly merged into the surrounding populations, without raising a fuss. Only on rare occasions do we have information about the mechanics of their transition into the new economic and social system.

One of the earliest Indians in the Middle Atlantic region who was known to join the European economy was Ned Gunstocker of Virginia, who patented 150 acres on the Rappahannock by virtue of transportation of three European settlers into Virginia. In 1699, a Virginia court confirmed that an Indian living outside a tribal reserve could in fact own property under the English system of land tenure (Rountree 1990:136). Other Indians made the move from the native society to the European system, but their activities are not so well documented as Gunstocker's.

From the last quarter of the seventeenth century, the non-tribal Indian population is lost in historical limbo as they merged into the mulatto segment of mainstream Anglo-American society.

Some people, classified as "mulattoes," struggled to retain Indian identity after their ties to tribes had been cut. In 1747 and 1792, individuals named William Bass obtained certificates from Virginia courts to the effect that they were descended from whites and Indians, and not from Negroes (Rountree 1990: 160). The Bass who married into Kent County's Durham family soon thereafter made no such declaration and cannot be tied genealogically to William. As traditional Indians died off or moved away, their acculturated cousins tried to melt into the dominant Christian white culture without acquiring the perceived taint of African admixture. Instead of being called Indians, they called themselves "colored." Some fell off this racial-perception tightrope, but a surprising number kept their balance.

A Delaware law of 1740 (13 George II Chapter LXXIV) acknowledged that Indians were still present, since they were exempted from deer-hunting regulations. Implicit in the exemption was the proposition that an Indian was, among other characteristics, a non-Christian person who depended upon wild deer meat. A Christian farmer who kept livestock and ate beef and pork presumably could not be an Indian, regardless of ancestry.

In 1770, the Delaware legislature declared (Minutes : 270), in response to a letter from other colonies about regulating Indian trade:

...Upon which we beg Leave, to observe, that the Inhabitants of this Government have at present no Commerce or Intercourse whatsoever with the Indians, and from their Situation cannot expect to have any with them hereafter;

The official position, then, was that there were no Indians in or near the three Delaware counties by 1770. Two years earlier, the legislature had appropriated 16/6/1 to pay for accommodating "a Parcel of Indians." (Minutes : 151) who were just visiting.

The 1770 communication reflects a further definition of an Indian, not only as a non-Christian person subsisting on wild meat, but as a person living in a "Situation" far from Delaware, on the frontier.

Settlement of the disputed boundary with Maryland in 1760 had brought into Sussex County areas where the last official Maryland Eastern Shore Indian towns had existed, but the Delaware legislature ignored any remaining Indians in the new territories.

Defining this Community

In spite of the official denials, a tight-knit community began to develop during the first half of the nineteenth century. Because genetic background was not an issue, nobody bothered to identify these people by race, even though they obviously identified one another.

During the seventeenth century, landowning families named Butcher and Conselor (Gonsela, etc.) settled in Little Creek Hundred. Their descendants formed the nucleus of the interrelated community that still clusters around the village of Cheswold.

The story that emerges from the cumulative biography begins before 1693, when Thomas Conselor (Gonselah), already a resident of the county, occupied 120 acres on the north side of Little Creek, in Little Creek Neck. He died in 1720.

As early as the second decade of the eighteenth century, families that later became the core community had begun to intermarry among themselves. Folklore, cited by Scharf (1888) identifies the same era for the community's establishment.

Daughters of the second Thomas Conselor married a Butcher and a Francisco. A third daughter had an apparently illegitimate or orphaned son, named William, and became the chief beneficiary of the grandfather's will. This William Conselor probably was to become the grandfather of the Thomas Conselor who later lived at Bloomsbury.

Francisco (Sisco) is the only surname among the early Kent County generations that was then associated in other contemporary documents with Native Americans. Specifically, the surname appears among the Nanticoke leadership when the tribe was living on the upper Susquehanna. The name appears in the Kent County community before 1739, intermarried with the Conselors and Butchers.

When William Handsor moved to the neighborhood in 1735 he brought a second documented Indian connection. He is believed to have been an Indian, but the first official reference to him as a "mulatto" occurred a generation after his death.

William Handsor moved to Kent County in 1735, but he left grown sons in Sussex. In Kent County, he was married at least once, possibly twice again. One wife John Durham's sister.

John Durham and William Handsor were prosperous farmers who lived near the head of St. Jones River and controlled some of the best farmland in the county. We cannot know precisely their racial origins, but most of their grandchildren were identified as mulattoes when racial designations began to appear regularly in the record. Some of John Durham's descendants, however, were identified as white, which has led some researchers to speculate that the Native American element entered his family through some of his children's marriages into the existing community of interrelated families who were, by implication, nonwhites.

By the beginning of the Revolution, the community of interrelated families around the head of Fork Branch had grown to include people named Butcher, Conselor, Durham, Loatman, Dean, Francisco, Miller, Handsor and Hewes.

Some families who later joined the community had primarily Native American ancestry. Members of the Puckham, Norwood, Ridgeway and Cambridge families, for example, from Sussex or from Eastern Shore Maryland, intermarried with the Kent County community during the antebellum period. The Sparksman family are known in New Jersey as Indians, and one member of the community is known to have moved across the river when he married one. According to a tradition in the modern Morris family, members of the Owens family of Lenape Indians moved to Kent County from Delaware Water Gap.

Descendants of the eighteenth-century Kent County community are today generally acknowledged to be Indians, even though none were legally recognized as such until quite recently. Proving Indian ancestry is very different from merely "knowing" that one is Indian.

Archaeology can provide hints concerning the Indian strain, as demonstrated in the study of worked glass at Bloomsbury, but the key to legally acceptable documentation is genealogy. Other tribal groups have successfully documented their Indian origins to the satisfaction of public agencies. The Nansemonds, in Virginia, constructed a genealogy back to documented Indians in the seventeenth century that irrefutably proved their ancestry (Rountree 1990:267).

Factors in Race Perception

During the period when race designations became mandatory, late in the eighteenth century, many factors contributed to race perception, or to the lack of pejorative designation.

Rich folks could be defined as white, or at least not called mulattoes, regardless of their appearance or ancestry. John, Charles, and Lydia Francisco are a case in point. They were well-off and generally literate.

John Francisco was the son-in-law of John Durham the elder, who apparently was considered to be white. Both appear in the 1782 census and assessment without racial designation. When John Francisco died in 1791, his movable estate was worth nearly a thousand pounds.

John's son Charles lived in a six-room house and left an inventory worth more than 700 when he died in 1800. John's daughter Esther called herself a "free woman of color" in her 1810 will. John's daughter Lydia left silver spoons and an indentured boy's time. These are all decidedly indicators of substantial middle-class economic status indistinguishable from their well-off white neighbors.

Other Francisco family members, who were not so well off, were treated as mulattoes and looked down upon. Another descendant of John Durham, who apparently was regarded as white, died and left a substantial estate. When his widow remarried a poor and illiterate Sisco, the person who had signed a bond for the estate administration was able to get his bond cancelled because the widow had married a "mulatto," who probably was a first cousin of her "white" husband.

Elijah Conselor, another well-off member of the community, is listed in the 1800 census without "n" after his name, in a household of 11 free nonwhites. Another "free person of color" with no "n" after her name was his sister-in-law Elizabeth (Letitia) LaCount, John Durham's daughter.

These contradictions provide a clue to the racial nature of the community at the end of the eighteenth century. The interrelated community consisted of lines with varying degrees of white and Indian lineage, and race perception was tempered by a certain deference to wealth and status.

Evolving Race Terminology

Some recorders, notably the census taker in 1800, recorded virtually every nonwhite as a Negro. The 1805 tax assessor was similarly inclined. Aside from Negro, the only nonwhite category available for listing was "mulatto," which has evolved through several different meanings over time (Heite and Heite 1985: 18).

The ambiguous term "mulatto" is the most frequent term used to describe the "high yellow" people of the Indian remnant communities throughout the Middle Atlantic. While each colony had its own racial definitions, there was a certain consistency among them.

Virginia described Indians' children as mulattoes in a 1705 law that also identified white/African mixtures as mulattoes. While African-descended persons were always mulattoes (the "one drop" rule), a person with three European and one Indian grandparent was not a mulatto. A similar rule was followed in Maryland (Cissna 1986: 204-205).

The Oxford English Dictionary cites an example from 1709 in which a person was both a mulatto and an Indian. In colonial Delaware, a person could be a mulatto without African ancestry, as the case of Jacob Frederick illustrated (Horle 1991: 1049, 1195, 1291).

Rarely were people explicitly labelled "Indians" during the eighteenth century in Delaware. An exception was on a militia muster roll (McClughan 1858), where two members of the Norwood family are listed, one of them as an Indian, and another person's occupation was given as "Indian." A decade later, an "Indian" Norwood became a "mulatto" when his child was baptised at St. George's Chapel, the home church to many in the community. The "mulatto" label is consistently applied in the records of this church to the Indian community.

All free nonwhites were classified in the 1800 census as free persons of color, lumping blacks, mulattoes, Indians all together in a category. Subsequent historians have erroneously chosen to lump all the people in this category as "free blacks." The fallacy of interpreting entries labelled "mulatto" as synonymous with "African" has led to serious misperceptions among scholars, up to and including the present generation (Davidson 1991: 7), who have cited Indian examples to illustrate statements about free blacks.

In 1740, the Delaware legislature declared that " it is found by experience, that free Negroes and Mulattoes are idle and slothful, and often prove burthensome to the neighbourhood wherein they live, and are an evil example to slaves; " (13 George II Chapter LXXVII).

A member of this community, Stephen Sparksman, otherwise described as a mulatto, was classified as a Negro by modern historians on the basis of his inclusion in the nonwhite census category and his identification as a mulatto, even though his probable family in New Jersey were Indians (Grettler, Miller, Catts, Doms, Guttman, Iplenski, Hoseth, Hodny and Custer 1996: 104).

Another historian, laboring under the same misperception, counted the entries for free persons of color in the 1800-1850 census, and presumed that all were black. He then used these totals to derive statistics regarding freedom and slavery, and to quantify the relationship of free versus slave blacks (Bendler 1993).

So universal is this misperception that it casts doubt on any compiled historical statistics dealing with race in Delaware, and any conclusions derived from such compiled statistical reports.

In another recent report, a historian described a household as containing whites and African-Americans in the 1840 census, when in fact the census described whites and free persons of color , without specifying the color. This misinterpretation masked not only the true ethnic nature of a mixed-race household but the racial dynamics of a family's evolving racial history (Andrzejewski 1995:75).

The cumulative effect of this top-down lumping of all nonwhites has been to mask from the historical literature all distinctions among "mulatto" groups who may have been Indian or part-Indian.

Part of the ambiguity in Delaware may derive from the fact that its legal code came rather late to the game of defining rights in race terms. The 1734 election law (7 George II, Chapter 41) made no mention of any voter qualifications except residence and property. The 1792 state constitution narrowed the franchise to white male freeholders or their young sons over 21.

Discovering a Community

The Pumpkin Neck community on Duck Creek Neck can be characterized in terms of proximity, genealogy, and commercial relationships. The social and economic dimensions of the community are fairly clear and well documented. Essentially the Pumpkin Neck community structure was imposed by the white landowning class who decided everyone's place of residence and defined the economic structure within geographical boundaries.

But the people who lived at the Bloomsbury site were not, then at least, landowners.

The original objective of this exercise was to categorize John Sisco, Thomas Conselor, and Agness Sappington in terms of ethnicity, and then to place them within their own ethnic community. Conselor and Sisco were called "mulatto" in contemporary records, which then effectively meant "not-white-not-black" and nothing more. The first job was to trace their genealogies, to find their relatives. This done, a community could be inferred. Unfortunately, the eighteenth-century history of the community did not exist, even though many genealogists had traced lineages through it.

A biographical directory was the chosen vehicle for sorting the community. Each probate record was abstracted in order to produce a list of names and fixed dates (i.e. death dates) for a maximum number of individuals. Within this structure it was possible to flesh out the individual biographies.

In addition to related community members, the directory includes persons who witnessed documents or signed bonds for members of the community. These were trusted friends and business associates, who constituted the unrelated periphery.

One is struck instantly by the intermarriage among the families that began during the first third of the eighteenth century and continued to the present. When members married outside the local group, they tended to find families of known Indian heritage and incorporated them into the community. During the nineteenth century, members of already-related Indian families joined the local group from Sussex County and farther south.

During the period studied, only one person, John Lockerman, appears to have been regarded by his wife's relatives as a Negro, and he left no descendants. None of the group's legal documents were witnessed by blacks. While black admixture can never be denied, there is no evidence that it took place in Kent County's "Cheswold" community after the beginning of the eighteenth century. As Blakey (1988) has pointed out, other similar communities have not followed this exclusionary practice so rigidly.

Community members today report a tradition of extreme cultural revulsion against intermarriage with blacks. By the same token, mixing with whites was not forbidden but was discouraged.

Institutional Continuity

After the seventeenth century, there is no record of an organized Native American body in Kent County. About 1850, Rev. Silas Murray of the Smyrna circuit of the Methodist Episcopal Church organized a class at duPont's Mills, with eleven members. Robert Carney, who is said to have come from Sussex County, was the class leader. From a slab shanty, the group moved to a log church and finally to a frame chapel, which opened in 1883 (Scharf 1888:1087). This church, known as Little Union or Fork Branch, still stands. A short distance away, at Bishop's Corner, Sutton's Chapel was built about 1830. This church was regarded as "African," by white contemporaries, including the Beers Atlas of 1868. A new church was built in 1876 and renamed Manship. In 1886, the trustees obtained a quarter-acre on the west side of the churchyard for use as an extension to the burial ground.

The deed identified the church as Methodist Episcopal, and the trustees were Absalom Saunders, Cornelius Ridgeway, Elisha Durham, John Morgan, William Morgan, Clifton Durham, John Carter, Jr., and John Carter, Sr.

A few years later, in 1892, David and Mary Hoar of Philadelphia laid out an addition to the plan of Cheswold, along the west side of the railroad and south of the original townsite. A building lot on the south end of the plot was conveyed to the trustees of both Little Union and Manship Methodist Episcopal churches as tenants in common. Trustees named in the deed were Absalom Saunders, James R. Brown, James H. Seeney, Charlie H. Saunders, James K. Morgan, Cornelius Ridgeway, Moses Coker, Elisha Durham, Hopewell Carter, Allen Reed, Samuel C. Johns, George W. Mosley, Tilghman Ridgeway, David W. Mosley, William M. Carney, Burton Johnson, and Edward Reed.

Manship, now known as Immanuel, is still active at Bishop's Corner. The Little Union church building still stands, but the congregation no longer exists. A congregation of Seventh-Day Adventists was later organized in the community, and some of its members moved to the Battle Creek area of Michigan, a center of that denomination.

Native American people were excluded from the free universal public school system established in 1829, even though all races had attended the previous, less universal, free schools (Hancock 1971:210). They eventually were able to establish schools for their own people, separate from both blacks and whites. The 1921 school code recognized "moors" as separate group, without identifying them as Indians. With integration, such legal distinctions were wiped out.

Recently the local community has incorporated a body called the Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware. Some in the community are members of the Nanticoke-Lenape Tribe, based in Bridgeton, New Jersey. In Sussex County, the Nanticoke are organized, with membership overlapping. All three organizations hold pow-wow gatherings.

Bloomsbury in this Context

Material culture from the Bloomsbury site suggests some of the downwardly-mobile forces that were acting upon the community around the end of the eighteenth century.

Decline of the community's status was documented by Louise Heite in her study of Fork Branch (Heite and Heite 1985: 16-23). During the middle years of the eighteenth century, the core families were prosperous and literate. The generation that died around 1800 included several well-off and literate individuals, who represent a high point in the community's history. By the time of the Civil War, their economic and social status had dropped significantly.

John Sisco and Thomas Conselor, the tenants at Bloomsbury, were sons of well-off farmers, who undoubtedly had been raised in middle-class surroundings at the beginning of the race-perception slide. Conselor enjoyed good store credit but was identified as "mulatto" in the merchant's accounts.

Stylish shell-edge pearlware plates were on the table, but only a few. Stylish shoes with pointed toes were mended at home, and there were a few silver spoons. The assemblage speaks of downward mobility of a family with a genteel landowning background, reduced to farming the land of a wealthy family friend and patron. Ultimately, Thomas was evicted by the next generation of Francis Denney's heirs and moved to New Jersey where the racial climate was more benign.

Elsewhere, the second and third generation heirs of William Handsor and John Durham were losing their ancestral lands by subdivision and sale, without acquiring new property. When the free school act was implemented, they were denied public education, and were further marginalized as race codes became more strict on the heels of slave rebellion after 1830. The law that later snared Levin Sockum and Isaac Harmon was only one of the racist regulations that lumped the "mulatto" Indians with the blacks.

Some voted with their feet against these laws, moving to New Jersey or Canada as well as to other parts of the north. Those who stayed would wait another century before the first glimmerings of public recognition separated them from the larger nonwhite community. Their perseverance through this period before they were "rediscovered" by twentieth-century anthropological researchers has never been publicly documented, but its results can be seen today in the form of a homogenous community in which the same families continue to live together and intermarry, although to a lesser extent than before.

Ironically, it was the end of legally-sanctioned discrimination and segregation that caused the community to begin dispersing and losing some of its definition. As housing, marriage, and employment opportunities have expanded, the externally imposed need to band together has faded away. In response to this perceived loss of enforced traditional community, small bands of descendants organized corporate bodies with the avowed purpose of uniting the community into a recognized tribe.

On the Internet, a nationwide community of Mitsawokett descendants have been sharing genealogical notes, creating a body of documentation that crisscrosses the United States and Canada.

The Community

On the following pages are capsule biographies of the founding generations of the community, and their associates. Primary entires were compiled by copying first the probated records of each person. Each person was identified first by death date, and a biographical entry was created with that information. Then a separate biographical entry was created for each child and spouse named in a probate record.

Associated, but unrelated, individuals were given an entry. Each person who witnessed a document or posted a bond received an entry. A picture of a community emerged, and individuals took shape in the record.

The resulting biographical directory chronicles the community's memberships and relationships from the seventeenth century through the early nineteenth century. The directory surprised even the genealogists who have been researching these families for many years, because it provides a cross section rather than the vertical view of the families that genealogies usually provide. Some gaps still exist, for other researchers to fill.

Aside from its genealogical interest, the directory, for the first time, allows researchers to "eavesdrop" on the inner workings and relationships within an eighteenth-century Delaware community. It is not finished, nor will it ever be.

 

 

 

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BIOGRAPHICAL DIRECTORY OF KENT COUNTY, DELAWARE

An eighteenth-century Delaware community in the Pumpkin Neck community of Duck Creek Neck and surrounding areas of Kent County, Delaware, its Native American-descended members and persons associated with them.

 

Edward Heite (1937 - 2005)
Heite Consulting
Camden DE 19934

Abraham Allee was the landlord of Bloomsbury, son of John Allee, and son-in-law of Francis Denney. In 1814 he went bond for the executor of George Francisco and evicted Thomas Conselor.

Jonathan Allee was administrator of the estate of Benjamin Loatman in 1768-1771.

John Allee (c. 1748-1787) went surety for his brother, Jonathan Allee's, administration of the estate of Benjamin Loatman in 1768-1771. He inherited the eastern third of Bloomsbury that his son Abraham later inherited.

Robert Arthurs with John Rees made the inventory of the estate of Isabel Hewes (Hughes).

Phillis Asco was the principal heir of Robert Butcher, Sr., of Little Creek Hundred, named in his 1722 will probated in 1731.

Abraham Barber prepared Daniel Durham's estate inventory in 1815.

Dorothea Miller Barber, daughter of John Miller, Married John Barber around 1795.

Griffin Bass married Unice, widow of Daniel Durham. He signed the account of Daniel's estate in 1801.

Unice (Nicey) Durham Bass widow of Daniel Durham married Griffin Bass around 1801.

Adam Butcher of Kent County recorded an earmark in 1686.

Benjamin Butcher, was the son of the Robert Butcher who died in 1733.

John Butcher ( - 1761), of Duck Creek Hundred, was a tenant of Thomas Collins. His inventory was dated February 19, 1761. Account filed February 24, 1762, was submitted by Thomas Murphey and Sarah, his wife, formerly Sarah Butcher, administratrix of John Butcher, deceased. The accounts were passed May 26, 1762.

Moses Butcher ( -1749), was the son of Robert, Jr. who died in 1733, and is named in his will.

The administrator of his estate was also named Robert Butcher.

Moses Butcher ( - 1822) of Little Creek Hundred was assessed in 1782 as a Negro. In his will he named his wife Phoebe and sons Henry and Whittington of New Castle County and daughter Rebecca, wife of Isaac Macklin.

Robert Butcher, Sr. ( -1731), of Little Creek Hundred, called a yeoman, left a will in which he named his son Robert, wife Susannah, son in law Richard Pulling, and a person called Phillis Asco. Robert, his son, is called a "laborer" in the bond, and Nicholas Loockerman was the surety. The will was dated July 26, 1722, and the administration bond was dated 1731. Witnesses to the will were Sarah Lowder, Ann Tilton, and John Tilton. The administration bond was signed by Margaret Shurmer, David Rees, and Nicholas Loockerman. In 1693 the Kent County court recorded an earmark for Robert Butcher.

Robert Butcher Jr. ( -1733) was the husband of Sarah, daughter of the second Thomas Conselor. He left a 190-acre farm to be equally divided among sons Moses Butcher, Benjamin, and Robert Consealah. His will was made 14 November 1722 and proved in 1733. Witnesses were Grace Morgan and Will Morgan.

Robert Butcher ( - post 1749) administered the 1749 estate of Moses Butcher. He signed the bond with his mark.

Sarah Butcher was the widow the Robert Butcher, whose will was proved in 1733. She was the daughter named in the will of Thomas Conselor who died in 1739.

Selah Butcher ( -1795), of Little Creek Hundred, administration granted in 1795 to Thomas Butcher, who signed with his mark. The surety was Jesse Dean, who signed his name.

Susannah Butcher, widow of the Robert Butcher, Sr., who died in 1731.

Thomas Butcher was a witness to the will of Samuel Whitman in 1776 of Kent County. Whitman was the last husband of Agness, widow of John Loatman and William Sappington. In 1786, Benjamin Durham petitioned the Court of Common Pleas for permission to convey an acre that his father, Daniel, had sold to Butcher. He signed his name to the Whitman will. In the 1782 tax roll and the 1800 census, he was identified as a Negro.

Thomas Butcher ( - c. 1823) of Appoquinimink Hundred, New Castle County, had a wife named Rachel. In 1795 he administered the estate of Selah Butcher. His grandsons, Thomas Butcher and Elias Conselor, inherited a five-acre lot in Little Creek Hundred. He asked to be buried in the John Durham burial ground near the present Bishop's Corner.

Thomas S. Butcher was the administrator of the estate of Jesse Dean, who died in 1839. There is a marriage bond of a Thomas Butcher and Mariah Durham dated 1829.

Thomas H. Butcher married Eliza Jane Morris in 1846.

Charles Cambridge ( - 1806) was mentioned in the estate accounts of Daniel Durham. His estate was administered by Walter Douglass, and the people mentioned in his accounts apparently are from southern Kent County. The largest item in his estate account was with the ironworks firm of May and Douglass. He owned two anvils, a bellows, steel, 15 bushels of charcoal, books, an oval tea table, and a writing desk. The presence of blacksmith tools indicates that, like Douglass, he was in the iron trade.

Mary Cambridge was named as a legatee in the estate of Benjamin Durham.

Sally (Sarah) Ann Cambridge was the heir of Gilico Ann Handsor, whose will was made in 1848.

William Cambridge [Hunt] in 1748 patented a property called Williams Choice, which was expanded by an additional grant in 1754 from 60 to 128 acres. The property was part of the recently vacated Askinabinikansen Indian Town, around Nassawango Creek in Worcester County, Maryland. He was described in the Worcester records as a mulatto. His widow Esther and son Levin sold the farm in 1798.

William Cambridge married Mary Dean, daughter of Hester Carney and Jesse Dean.

Mary Loatman Carey was daughter of John Loatman and sister of Jeremiah Loatman. She married Joseph Carey.

Robert Carney, said to be from Sussex County, was a Methodist class leader who led the organization of Little Union Methodist Church, around 1850.

Sarah Cork Carney, daughter of Perry Cork (d. 1833) predeceased her father and left children named Robert, Elizabeth, James, and William.

Thomas Carney (c.1776 - ) Helped recover the body of Jesse Dean after a tree fell on him in 1842.

Ann Handsor Clark, wife of Miers Clark, was a daughter of Thomas Handsor (d.1821).

Mary Durham Clark, daughter of Elisha Durham, married George Clark and inherited the five-acre tract where her father's house stood near Cheswold.

Thomas Collins was landlord of John Butcher who died in 1761.

Thomas Comerford was a creditor of John Sisco, whose wife's share of the estate of John Durham was assigned to Comerford.

Patrick Conner of Pumpkin Neck married the daughter of the Widow Axell and managed the Bloomsbury property on several occasions. He went bond on the estate of Thomas LaCount. He was also on the bond of the administration of the estate of Sarah Axell in 1782. He was related by marriage to the Allee family.

Benjamin Conselor (c. 1778-1846) was named in the administration papers of his father Elijah in 1801. His mother was Hannah Durham, daughter of the elder John. He married Rachel Sparksman and died at Salem, New Jersey in 1846. They had three children. His son Elisha married Sarah Sisco.

David Conselor had an account at the Allee store in Smyrna in 1811.

Eleanor Conselor witnessed the will of John Durham the elder in 1788.

Eleazer Conselor was a grandson of Thomas Butcher of Appoquinimink Hundred, named in his will probated in 1823.

Elijah Conselor (1762-1801) of Duck Creek Hundred, son-in-law of John Durham, obtained a tract of 50 acres from Francis Denney, administrator of John Durham (deed book A-2, page 155). In 1782, he was listed in the state census with "N" after his name. His estate was administered in 1801 by Hannah (widow) and Jeremiah, of Little Creek Hundred. His estate was appraised on December 31, 1801. Children were Jeremiah, Elijah, Sarah (Mrs. Debrix) Miller, Elizabeth Conselor and Benjamin.

Elijah Conselor ( -1826) was named in the 1812 final settlement of his father, Elijah, who died in 1801. He was executor of the estate of Daniel Durham in 1801. His estate was administered in 1826 by Elisha Durham, who signed his name, and by his widow, Elizabeth Conselor, formerly his brother's widow, who signed with a mark.

Elijah Conselor was the son of Jeremiah Conselor (d. 1811). He lived until after 1867

Elisha Conselor (c. 1778-1864), son of Benjamin, married Sarah Sisco. His son, Benjamin, died in Michigan in 1921, and his death certificate listed him as "Ethiopian."

Elizabeth Durham Conselor was the daughter of John Durham and wife of Thomas Conselor, named in her father's 1788 will.

Elizabeth Conselor, widow of Jeremiah in 1811, married her brother-in-law Elijah Conselor before the estate was settled in 1814.

Hannah Durham Conselor ( -1840), daughter of John Durham and wife of Elijah Conselor, named in her father's 1788 will, administator of her husband's estate in 1801

Henrietta Conselor, was the daughter of Jeremiah who died in 1811. She died without issue before reaching her majority.

Jemimah Conselor (b. after 1797- ), was the daughter of Jeremiah who died in 1811.

Jeremiah Conselor (1779-1811) of Little Creek Hundred was named in the settlement of the estate of his father Elijah in 1801. He signed the administration bond of Benjamin Durham's estate in 1810. His estate was administered in 1811-1814 by his widow, Elizabeth, and by his brother Elijah Conselor, who later married Elizabeth. Children were Esther or Hester, who married first Jesse Dean and then Elisha Durham; Elijah; Hannah, who married Perry Cork; Henrietta; and Jemimah, all of whom were below the age of 14 at the time of his death. Henrietta and Jemimah died without issue before obtaining their majority.

Jeremiah Conselor married Mary and died about 1867. His brother Elijah was his only surviving sibling.

Johannah Conselor was the widow of the Thomas who died in 1720.

John Conselor (c. 1753 - 1849) is listed in 1782 in Murderkill Hundred. He appears in the Allee store accounts in association with Thomas Conselor of Bloomsbury, who may have been his son. He died in New Jersey at the age of 96, having lived there for many years.

Mary Conselor, daughter of Thomas, named in his will of 1739.

Mary Conselor, wife of Thomas, witnessed John Durham's 1788 will.

Mary Conselor (1792- wife of Thomas of Bloomsbury, accompanied her son to Indiana, where she died.

Margaret Conselor married Handsor Durham, bond dated June 1, 1815

Rachel Sparksman Conselor married Benjamin Conselor (c. 1778-1846) and moved with him to New Jersey.

Robert Conselor was named in the will as the son of Robert Butcher who died in 1733.

Thomas Conselor (Gonseala) ( - c. 1720) was already a Kent County resident in 1698 when he bought 120 acres on the north side of Little Creek from Griffith Jones. He recorded an earmark in the court book April 30, 1700. The 1693 Kent assessment mentions a 200 assessment in Little Creek Hundred in the name of "Thomas Genssels for Griffith Jones." William Morton in open court recorded a conveyance from Griffith Jones to Thomas Gonseala for 120 acres, described in Deed Book C-1, page 243; and Thomas filed a suit against Dennis Dyer (de Valinger 1959: 90, 150, 239). His letters of administration were granted to his widow Joanna, August 6, 1720.

Thomas Conselor ( -1739) His will, dated 26 September 1739, was proved October 20, 1739. He mentions a grandson, William Conselor, a daughter Elizabeth Francisco, a daughter Sarah Butcher (wife of Robert Butcher, Jr.) and a daughter, Mary Conselor, who was to be sole executor and virtually sole heir.

Thomas Conselor, husband of Elizabeth, daughter of John Durham (d.1788), is listed without racial designation in the 1782 state census and is listed with two nonwhites in his household in the 1800 federal census.

Thomas Conselor (1784-1853) was born March 7, 1784. He was the administrator of the estate of Charles Durham in 1812. In 1805, he and his brother offered to rent Hillyard's Adventure from Ann Moore Ridgely for $200 a year. According to a letter in the Ridgely papers, a "Mr. [William?] Killen" reported that the brothers were "the only honest tenants he ever had." His father (probably John) had been a tenant on another Ridgely farm, possibly Fox Hall in Murderkill Hundred. He was the tenant on the Bloomsbury property until Abraham Allee ejected him in 1814, and eventually moved to New Jersey, where his children were born, beginning in 1815. He died October 22, 1853, and is buried in the Baptist churchyard in Salem, New Jersey.

Whittenton Conselor was an heir of the William Conselor who died in 1780.

William Conselor ( -1780) letters of administration were issued May 1, 1780 to John Durham, who signed by a mark, and William Durham, who signed. He and Daniel Durham were sureties for Sarah Handsor and John Durham in the administration of the estate of William Handsor. He was the grandson of Thomas Conselor, and possibly the son of Mary Conselor. His widow, Mary, was a witness to John Durham's will. His will mentions supporting Whittenton Conselor and William Conselor.

William Conselor was an heir of the William Conselor who died in 1780.

Hannah Conselor Cork, wife of Perry Cork, was the third child of Jeremiah Conselor who died in 1801.

Perry (Peregrine) Cork ( - 1833) of Duck Creek Hundred, was survived by his son Perry and his daughter Ann, wife of William Dean. Judging from his inventory, he was probably a carpenter. His daughter Sarah Carney had died and left four children named Robert, Elizabeth, James and William Carney.

Perry (Peregrine) Cork (c. 1800 - 1865), son of Peregrine Cork the elder, was said to have been the last full-blooded Indian in Kent County, married Hannah, daughter of Jeremiah Conselor. A newspaper article dated 1943 contained a photograph of his grandson, Perry Hughes, with his hominy mortar, fashioned out of a gum log. His son John married Mary Viney in 1857. His daughter Harriet was born in 1834. His daughter Deborah married John Hughes. His daughter Hester (1841-1904) married James H. Munce in 1862.

William Corse was a neighbor who inventoried Sarah Handsor's estate in 1771.

Deborah Durham Cott was named as a daughter of William Durham in his estate settlement of 1797.

John A. Cott (c. 1774 -1854) was the father of John D. Cott.

John D. Cott (1804-1876) Married Sally Ann, the daughter of Jesse Dean (d.1839). He dug the grave of the Jesse Dean who died in 1842 when a tree fell on him. His son was John Wesley Cott.

Lydia Dean Cott (1844-1929) was a daughter of Jesse Dean (1804-1868). She married John Wesley Cott.

Sally Ann Dean Cott (1813-1867) was a daughter of the Jesse Dean who died in 1839 and wife of John D. Cott.

Thomas Cutler, who married Sara VanGaskin, was tenant on Bloomsbury from about 1775 until 1801.

Ann Cork Dean was wife of William Dean, married in 1824.

David Dean (before 1775-1827) appears in the 1820 Murderkill Hundred census with three in his household.

Elizabeth Durham Dean, wife of the elder Jesse, was the daughter of William Durham the younger, named in his 1797 estate account.

Enoch Dean was the son of Jesse Dean (d.1868).

Hester Carney Dean was the wife of Jesse Dean the younger.

James Dean ( - 1720) left a widow Mary, who died the following year.

James Dean (before 1740 - 1787) appears on the Kent County tax list by 1755. He bought land from Jeremiah Rees of Little Creek Hundred. He married Sarah Hewes, daughter of Isabel Hewes, who died in 1757. In the 1782 state census he was shown without racial designation. He appears in the estate accounts of neighbor Samuel Whitman in 1783. He wrote his will in 1787 and signed with a very shaky hand. His wife, Sarah, and his daughter, Rebecca, were to share the house by the great road, and his son Jesse was to receive land on the east side of the road. Jesse was to receive the property after the death of his wife and daughter. There was also a daughter Keziah.

James Dean (before 1775 - ) appears in the 1798 tax list with three acres in Little Creek Hundred. In the 1820 census he is in Duck Creek Hundred as a head of household.

Jeremiah Dean was the son of Jesse Dean and his wife Hester, daughter of Jeremiah Conselor who later married Elisha Durham. He was born between 1814 and 1818.

Jesse Dean ( - pre 1818) in 1814 married Hester, daughter of Jeremiah Conselor, who bore a son

Jeremiah Dean. After his death, Hester married Elisha Durham.

Jesse Dean ( - 1839) signed the administrtion bond of Thomas Butcher on the estate of Selah Butcher. He inherited land from his father, James, in 1793. His first wife, Elizabeth, was the daughter of William Durham, and is named in his 1797 estate account. In the 1800 federal census he is listed with five nonwhites in his household. He died in 1839, leaving sons William and Jesse and a daughter Sally Ann (1813-1867), who married John Cott (1804-1876). He states in the will that his sons are not legitimate because they were born before his marriage to their mother, Rebecca. He also married Esther Conselor, mother of Elijah Conselor. The administrator of his estate was Thomas S. Butcher.

Jesse Dean ( - 1842) was killed when a tree fell on him. His household included Fanny Jackson, housekeeper. The administrator of his estate was Thomas [S.?] Butcher.

Jesse Dean (1804 -1868), son of the Jesse who died in 1839, married Hester Carney. They had eight children.

John Dean (c. 1826 - ) of Smyrna was identified as being "of Indian descent" on a passport application in 1853.

Robert Dean was the son of Jesse Dean (d.1868).

Sarah Dean was the daughter of Isabel Hewes and wife of James Dean.

Keziah Dean was the daughter of James Dean and sister of the elder Jesse, mentioned in the James Dean will of 1787.

William Dean (c. 1803 - ), son of the Jesse Dean (d. 1839), married Ann Cork in 1824. With their six children they were shown in the 1850 census).

William Dean was the son of Jesse Dean (d.1868), and died before his father. He left children named Josiah, Ellen, and Mary.

Francis Denney (1738 - 1812) was the executor of the estate of John Durham in 1788 and owner of the Bloomsbury property when John Sisco and Thomas Conselor were tenants there. He was the first husband of Sarah Nash, and son of Philip Denney III of Benefield. Abraham Allee was his son-in-law. He also conducted the evaluation of John Allee's holdings, including Bloomsbury, 1787-1791.

John Denney, with George Hall, appraised the estate of Gilico (Angelica) Hansor in 1852.

Thomas Denney appraised the estate of William Durham in 1797 and the estate of Benjamin Durham in 1810. He bought part of Jolley's Neck from Benjamin Wells in 1802.

Hester Durham Driggus. wife of David Driggus, was a daughter of Elisha Durham who died in 1864

Benjamin Durham is buried at Fork Branch churchyard. In 1863 he conveyed his home place, now the Dover Products Company and an original part of Jolley's Neck, to Mary Shores. He died 25 years later, leaving his widow, Sarah A., and children Margaret Norwood, Daniel Durham,

Enoch Durham, Jeremiah Durham, Henrietta Morgan, Amanda Salmon (Sammons), Clem Durham, Mariah Durham, and Harvey Durham.

Benjamin Durham ( -1810) of St. Jones Hundred, was the son of Daniel Durham who died in 1786. His deed, as his father's administrator, to Thomas Butcher, was witnessed by Brinckle Roe and Mark McCall. In the 1800 federal census he was listed with eight nonwhites in his household. He signed his name with a firm hand. He left a widow Elizabeth. Thomas Denney and Lewis Gano appraised the estate. The administration bond was signed February 8, 1810 by Elizabeth, Daniel Durham, Jeremiah Conselor, and John Hughes, all of whom signed by marks. There was a payment to Mary Cambridge in the disbursements. The 1805 assessment calls him a Negro and the 1810 census identifies him as a mulatto.

Charles Durham ( -1812) died in 1812. His administrator was Thomas Conselor, and Thomas Hawkins went his bond.

Clayton Durham received a legacy in the will of John Durham the elder who died in 1788.

Daniel Durham ( - 1786) left a wife Eleanor who administered with his son Benjamin in 1786.

Daniel Durham was listed in the 1744 and subsequent Little Creek Hundred assessments. In 1783, he agreed to sell an acre on the west side of the great road to Thomas Butcher. He died before the last payment was made, and his son Benjamin petitioned the court for permission to make a deed. John Huse and Thomas Keith witnessed the agreement. The will was written 7 December 1779. His sons were Daniel, Benjamin, and Thomas. His six daughters named in the estate records were Joannah, Hester, Rachel, Mary, Elliner, and Sarah. The will mentions a servant boy named George who was to serve to the age of 21 years. Thomas Keith, Joseph Smith and James Wells were witnesses. Thomas Keith and Stephen Mercer made the inventory. Accounts mention Charles Cambridge, James Harmon, and Labellow Hansor.

Daniel Durham ( - 1801) estate probate in 1801, will written in 1795 mentions a wife Unice or Nicey who later married Griffin Bass. Elijah Conselor was executor. Lewis Gano and Benjamin Durham were witnesses to the will. Peter Stout went bond for the administration of his estate. Sons were Hugh, Parker, and Joseph. Daughters were Hannah and Sarah. By the time the estate was settled, Hannah was called "Williams," indicating that she had married.

Daniel Durham ( - c. 1815) son of Daniel (d. 1786) was one of the sureties on the administration bond of his brother Benjamin Durham in 1810. In his noncupative will of 1815, transcribed by John McCoy, he ordered that his estate be divided between his sister Elizabeth and his half-sisters Hannah and Eleanor. Hugh Durham was his administrator, and the inventory was made by Benjamin Simpson and Abraham Barber. He was identified in the 1805 and 1815 assessments as a Negro and as a mulatto in the 1810 assessment.

David West Durham was a son of Elisha Durham, named in his will of 1864.

Eleanor Durham was the wife of Daniel Durham (d.1786).

Eleanor Durham was a daughter of Daniel Durham (d.1786) and was half-sister of Daniel Durham (d. 1815).

Elijah Durham was the son of Maria and Isaiah Durham. After his father's death, about 1801, his mother remarried John Francisco (Sisco).

Elijah Durham, son of Elisha Durham, predeceased his father, who died in 1864. His children were named in their grandfather's will, as Isaiah, Elijah, and Mary.

Elisha Durham (c.1794-1864) married Hester or Esther, daughter of Jeremiah Conselor and widow of Jesse Dean, who bore him ten children, one of whom died in infancy. He left a widow Priscilla in a will he signed. He owned 15 acres on the road from Dover to Kenton purchased of John Moore. The will mentions a grandson Robert John Durham, son of his daughter Elizabeth Williams, wife of Baynham Williams of New Jersey. To his daughter Mary Clark, wife of George Clark, he left the five acres where his house stood. The will mentions a share to the heirs of his son Elijah, deceased, who were minors named Isaiah, Elijah, and Mary Catherine. Other children were sons Joel Durham, Isaac Durham, Elisha West Durham, John West Durham, David West Durham, and Hester who was the wife of David Driggus.

Elisha West Durham was a son of Elisha Durham, named in his will of 1864. He was a trustee of Manship Methodist Church in 1886.

Elizabeth Conselor Durham ( - 1815) daughter of Elijah Conselor and his wife Hannah Durham, was named in her father's estate papers in 1801. She married John Durham; their sons were Ezekiel and Enoch. Their daughter Mary died young.

Elizabeth Durham daughter of Daniel Durham (d. 1786) was full sister of Daniel Durham (d. 1815) and half-sister of Hannah and Eleanor Durham.

Elizabeth Handsor Durham, daughter of William Handsor, was the wife of Benjamin Durham of St. Jones Hundred who died in 1810. She died before 1816, when Handsor Durham made a deed for her dower lands. She was identified as a mulatto by the county assessor.

Elizabeth Hewes Durham was the wife of John Durham the elder and daughter of Isabel Hewes. They were married before 1756, when they both signed a deed.

George Durham ( - 1845) was the son of Maria and Isaiah Durham. He was tenant on the Henry M. Ridgely farm, Fox Hall. After his father's death, about 1801, his mother remarried John Francisco (Sisco) of Bloomsbury. His wife was Susan, who received a bequest from the estate of Esther Sisco in 1815. A tombstone at Manship Church records Rev. William Durham, son of George and Susan Durham, 1819-1857. Other children were the infant son Isaac, and sons Henry and Elijah. His daughters were Rebecca and Hannah Jane. His will also mentions John Hanzer, an orphan boy he had raised. Cornelius Handsor witnessed the will by making his mark.

Handsor Durham, son of Benjamin Durham, married Margaret Conselor in 1815. In 1816, they conveyed to Hugh Durham his mother's dower in the estate of her grandfather Nehemiah Handsor. Margaret and Handsor signed by marks.

Hannah Durham was half-sister of Daniel Durham (d. 1815).

Hester Conselor Dean Durham (post 1794-1840) daughter of the Jeremiah Conselor who died in 1811. She married first Jesse Dean in 1814, who predeceased her, and then Elisha Durham. Her surviving children were Jeremiah Dean, Joel Durham, Isaac Durham, Elijah Durham, John Durham, Elizabeth Durham Williams, David Durham, Mary Durham Clark, Hester Durham Driggus, and Ann Durham.

Hester Durham was a daughter of Daniel Durham who died in 1786.

Hester Sisco Durham married Whittington Durham in 1817.

Hugh Durham was the son of Daniel Durham who died in 1801. He received six acres by deed from Handsor Durham in 1816. He signed the administration bond on the estate of James Handsor in 1819. The 1805 and 1830 assessments define him as a Negro, but the 1815 assessment identifies him as a mulatto.

Isaac Durham was a son of Hester and Elisha Durham.

Isabella Durham was the daughter of William Durham who died in 1797.

Isaiah Durham was the son of Maria and Isaiah Durham. After his father's death, about 1801, his mother remarried John Francisco (Sisco).

Isaiah Durham ( - 1801), son of John Durham the elder, left nine children: Pheby, William, Elijah, Margaret, Isaiah, Rebecca, Jeremiah, John, and George. His estate inventory made May 6, 1801 showed a value of 195/11/10, and the widow's third was 35/11/0. His widow was Maria, who administered the estate, and her bondsman was William VanStarvon of Little Creek Hundred. Mary signed by her mark and William signed his name. Mary, or Maria, later married John Francisco. When Maria remarried John Sisco, VanStarvon complained that the new husband was a "mulatto" and demanded to be released from his bond.

Jeremiah Durham was the son of Maria and Isaiah Durham. After his father's death, about 1801, his mother remarried John Francisco (Sisco).

Joannah Durham was a daughter of Daniel Durham who died in 1786.

Joel Durham (1818- ) was a son of Hester and Elisha Durham. He married a daughter of Robert Munce

John Durham was the son of Maria and Isaiah Durham. After his father's death, about 1801, his mother remarried John Francisco (Sisco). A John Durham "n" appears in the 1800 census for Carroll Town Neck with three nonwhites in his household. He married Sarah, daughter of William Durham.

John Durham married Elizabeth, daughter of Elijah Conselor, who bore three children: Ezekiel, Enoch, and Mary. This probably is the John Durham who helped dig the grave of Jesse Dean in 1842

John Durham ( before 1733 - 1788) was the son-in-law of Isabel Hewes, and is named in her will. Administered William Conselor's estate in 1780. Apparently anticipating his death in 1788, he conveyed tracts in the present Cheswold area to his sons-in-law. He signed his April 1788 will with a mark. It was proved May 14. Robert Holliday was named executor. His sons were William, Isaiah and Whittington. Daughters were Sarah Sisco, Letitia La Count, wife of Thomas, Elizabeth Conselor, wife of Thomas, and Hannah Conselor (wife of Elijah). Mary Conselor and Eleanor Puckham witnessed the will. People mentioned in the estate account included John Cott, Ephraim Francisco, William Songo, Daniel Songo, Jesse Dean, Mary Conselor, Robert Durham, Elijah Conselor, and Stephen Sparksman.

John Durham, Jr. ( -1776), died young, and his father, John, administered his estate. Whittington and Daniel Durham went bond for the administration. His daughter Hannah married Elijah Conselor. John West Durham was a son of Elisha Durham, named in his will of 1864.

Joseph Durham was a son of Thomas, who died in 1795.

Joseph Durham was a son of Daniel Durham who died in 1801.

Margaret Durham was the daughter of Maria and Isaiah Durham. After her father's death, about 1801, her mother remarried John Francisco (Sisco).

Mariah Durham married Thomas Butcher in 1829.

Mary Durham was a daughter of Daniel Durham who died in 1786.

Parker Durham was the son of Daniel Durham who died in 1801.

Pheby Durham was the daughter of Maria and Isaiah Durham. After her father's death, about 1801, her mother remarried John Francisco (Sisco).

Pierce Durham married Ann Hewes in 1824.

Priscilla Durham was the widow of Elisha Durham who died in 1864.

Rachel Durham was a daughter of Daniel Durham who died in 1786.

Rebecca Durham was the daughter of Maria and Isaiah Durham. After her father's death, about 1801, her mother remarried John Francisco (Sisco).

Robert John Durham was the son of Elizabeth Williams, who was the wife of Baynham Williams of New Jersey. He is mentioned in the 1864 will of her father, Elisha Durham.

Ruth Durham was the widow of Whittington, who died circa 1793.

Sarah Durham was a daughter of Daniel Durham who died in 1786.

Sarah Durham was a daughter of Thomas, who died in 1795.

Sarah Durham was a daughter of Daniel Durham who died in 1801.

Sarah Durham, wife of John Durham, was the daughter of William Durham who died in 1797.

Susan Durham ( - post 1815) was the daughter of Rachel Handsor, according to her 1815 estate papers. Her husband was George Durham, according to the estate papers of Esther Sisco, also dated 1815.

Thomas Durham ( -1795) left a widow named Mary when he died in 1795. He was the son of Eleanor and Daniel Durham (d. 1786). His administrator was Thomas Hughes and his children were Joseph, Sarah, Whittington, and Thomas. Mary Durham, widow of Thomas was shown with one nonwhite in her household in the 1800 census, which indicates that she was living alone without her children. The estate was finally distributed in 1805. She later married Thomas Hughes.

Thomas Durham was the son of Thomas Durham (d. 1795).

Whittington Durham was the son of Thomas Durham (d. 1795) and grandson of the Daniel Durham who died in 1786. In 1817 he married Hester Sisco.

Whittington Durham ( - 1793) son of John Durham the elder and Elizabeth Hewes Durham, died about 1793, leaving a wife named Ruth who renounced her right to administer the estate, which was administered by James Morris. The inventory was valued at 132/10/3. Heirs were Benjamin and Isabelle.

William Durham was the son of William named in his father's estate's 1797-1805 papers. He is listed in the 1800 census of Little Creek Hundred as a white person.

William Durham was the son of Maria and Isaiah Durham. After his father's death, about 1801, his mother remarried John Francisco (Sisco). Benjamin Francisco (Sisco) and William are mentioned in the estate papers of Jeremiah Conselor in 1811.

William Durham ( - 1797) was a son of John Durham the elder. He signed a bond May 1, 1780 appraisal.

Rev. William Durham (1819-1857) was the son of George and Susan Durham. He is buried at Manship Church.  

Joseph Farrow was the appraiser of Cornelius Handsor's estate in 1814, with Andrew Naudain. His wife's sister was married to William Van Stavoren, who went bond for Maria Durham's administration of her husband Isaiah's estate. Farrow's Meeting House, later replaced by Bethel Methodist Church, was established in his home in 1780. His property lay in the southwest corner of the intersection of the Fast Landing Road and the State Road, now known as Bishop's Corner.

Jane Handsor Foster wife of Woolsey Foster, was daughter of Thomas Handsor (d. 1821).

Catherine Francisco (Sisco) was the widow of John Sisco's unnamed brother, mentioned in his 1756 petition.

Charles Francisco (Sisco) ( - 1798) of Little Creek Neck, signed his name to his will. He is listed without racial designation in the 1782 assessment of Little Creek Hundred. Cornelius Van Stavoren was a witness of the will. The inventory of his house describes six rooms, a kitchen, and a cellar. His father was John Francisco, son-in-law of John Durham the elder. His sister Lydia was his executrix who filed papers in 1798, but Elizabeth Francisco eventually administered both estates after Lydia died. He was executor of his father, John Francisco. At the time of Charles' settlement, his father's estate was still worth 888/12/4.75, and his own inventory was 706/5/2.5. The final account was passed November 1800.

Daniel Francisco (Sisco) appears in the 1733 Little Creek assessment with a value of 12/8/0

David Francisco (Sisco) ( - c. 1732) died around 1732. An inventory dated 22 September 1732 survives at the archives in the form of a copy made in 1752 for unknown purpose. The estate was valued at 27/1/6. Thomas Irons and William Maxwell made the inventory.

Elizabeth Conselor Francisco (Sisco) was the daughter of Thomas Conselor who died in 1739. She may have been David's widow.

Elizabeth Francisco (Sisco) was daughter of Lydia Francisco (Sisco).

Ephraim Francisco (Sisco) paid 40 to the estate of Samuel Whitman of Little Creek Neck in 1784. He is listed without race designation in the 1782 Little Creek Hundred census. He is mentioned in the 1788 will of John Durham.

Esther Francisco (Sisco) ( - c. 1811) of Little Creek Hundred, a "free woman of color" made her will "3rd day 12th month 1810," which indicates she may have been a Quaker or at least Quaker educated. Her 1811 inventory describes her estate as worth $96, including "a lot of books." She was the daughter of John Francisco and granddaughter of John Durham. Witnesses to the administration were John McCoy and John Sanders.

Esther Francisco (Sisco) ( - c. 1815) signed her will by mark in 1815. She gave all her personal estate and four and a quarter acres of land to Angelica (Gelico) Lockerman. The will mentions a payment to Susan Durham, George Durham's wife.

George Francisco (Sisco) ( - 1814) signed his will 10 November 1814, and it was proved 21 November. Luke Rickards apparently wrote the will. His administrator was William Sisco, his brother, and Abraham Allee was surety. He mentions his brother William and his sister Emilia Handsor as his heirs. The inventory includes a loom and a warping mill.

Hannah Francisco (Sisco) was named as the widow of William, of Appoquinimink Hundred, who died in 1829

John Francisco (Sisco) petitioned the Kent County Orphans Court February 26, 1756, stating that his brother had died "some years ago," leaving an infant. His brother's widow, Catherine, also had died and the child was in the care of John "Swaney," who is unable to care for it. John asks, and receives, permission to take the child. He was listed in the 1744 and 1755 Little Creek Hundred assessment lists.

John Francisco (Sisco) ( - 1791) married the daughter of John Durham the elder, Sarah. In the 1782 assessment he is shown without a racial designation. He died in 1791. His son, Charles, was his executor. The estate was valued at 942/6/3. The children were Esther, Lydia and Charles. Elizabeth, Lydia's daughter, filed as administratrix DBN in 1798, after Lydia and Charles were dead. She was also executrix of Lydia, who was executrix of Charles, who had been John's executor.

John Francisco (Sisco) is listed with seven nonwhites in his household on the 1800 census. He married the widow of Isaiah Durham, about 1803. In the 1803 assessment he is named as Francis Denney's tenant on 134 acres of the Bloomsbury tract.

Lydia Francisco (Sisco) ( -1798) of Little Creek Neck, signed her will with a mark 7 November 1798. She left all her estate and the residue of her father's estate to her daughter Elizabeth Francisco. When the papers were filed December 18, 1798, Elizabeth signed the bond herself. The inventory, taken in 1799, describes a walnut desk with cash therein, a woman's saddle, a half dozen silver teaspoons, earthen and queens ware, and a "boy's time." The estate was valued at 157/7/8. Her father's estate was valued at 430/12/5

Maria Durham Francisco (Sisco), widow of Isaiah Durham, married John Francisco before 1803. She appears in the 1800 Little Creek Hundred census with ten nonwhites in her household

Mary Francisco (Sisco) ( -1809) died in 1809, the date when interest began on a debt owed by James Selby to her estate, which was settled in 1817.

Patience Francisco (Sisco) was the widow of Thomas Francisco, who died about 1748.

Rachel Francisco (Sisco) was the wife of Isaiah, who died around 1826. Her administrator was Thomas Carney of Appoquinimink Hundred and his surety was Simon Sherman.

Sarah Durham Francisco (Sisco), daughter of John Durham, is named in her father's 1788 will, married John Francisco (Sisco)

Thomas Francisco (Sisco) ( - 1748) was the husband of Patience, who was his executrix. His inventory is dated July 14, 1748. The estate settlement accounts are dated 1750. The accounts mention John Francisco, Elizabeth Francisco, and Daniel Durham. Witnesses to the will were Frances and James Keith and John Houseman.

William Francisco (Sisco) ( - 1829) was the brother of Emilia (Amelia) Handsor and George Francisco. An administrtion account in Appoquinimink Hundred mentions a widow Hannah and six children.

Lewis Gano appraised the estate of William Durham in 1797 and the estate of Benjamin Durham in 1813. The Gano family were well-known Baptists at the time. Lewis and Ruth Gano witnessed the will of Nehemiah Handsor in 1785. In 1797, Lewis Gano married Sarah Pearson. Jehu Gray was a witness to the 1776 will of Samuel Whitman. Benjamin Greenage ( - 1865) married Rachel, daughter of Deberix Miller. His estate was distributed in 1867, but the widow's dower was not settled until her death and the estate was closed 1 September 1898. Children were Josiah, James, John, Washington, Frances and Ann.

Rachel Miller Greenage daughter of Deberix Miller was the wife of  Benjamin Greenage.

George Hall, with John Denney, appraised the estate of Gilico Hansor in 1852.

Alexander Handsor was the son of Thomas Handsor (d. 1821) of Sussex County.

Amelia (Emilia) Francisco Handsor was the sister of George Francisco, who died in November 1814. Another of her brothers was William Francisco.

Aminidab Handsor (c. 1664 - ) was born c. 1664, possibly in Accomack County, Virginia. He was in Sussex County by 1679. In 1683 he recorded a cattle earmark. He was referred to in 1687 as "Hanger Alias Hamsworth."  In 1688 he married Rose [Matthews?]. Their children were Aminidab, Samuel, Ann, and Mary. A document filed in 1773 is the earliest one that describes him as a mulatto. He is thought to have been the father of William of Jolley's Neck, on the basis of William's frequent association in legal documents with Samuel.

Aminidab Handsor (c. 1688 - 1717), son of Aminidab and Rose, was born January 23, 1688/9. He died in 1717 and left his parents, brother Samuel, and sisters Ann and Mary.

Ann Handsor was the daughter of Aminidab and Rose Handsor.

Bridget Handsor was the widow of William.

Cornelius Handsor, son of William of Jolley's Neck, inherited the patented lands from his father. His mother was Mary Handsor. In 1773 he conveyed the southeastern part to his half-brother Nehemiah.

Cornelius Handsor ( - c. 1814), described as a mulatto in his estate papers, died around 1814. The 1800 census describes his household with five nonwhites. His administrator was William Collins. His possessions included a hominy mortar valued at only twenty cents but listed separately. Joseph Farrow and Andrew Naudain made the appraisal.

Eleanor Handsor was identified as the daughter of the Thomas Handsor who died in 1821. Elizabeth Handsor was a granddaughter of named in his 1785 will. When she was 14, she chose William Pierce as her guardian. Joshua Fisher, counsel for Saunders Oakey, objected and Pierce was removed.

Gilico (Angelica) Ann Handsor ( - c. 1852) received a bequest from Esther Sisco in 1815. She married first John Loockerman. She described Sally A. Cambridge as "a girl I raised" in her 1848 will. The will was drafted by Elisha Durham and witnessed by James Carney and George Hall. The appraisal was carried out in 1852 by John Denney and George Hall. She conveyed to William Durham a lot at the fork bridge in 1848. In 1856   William and his wife Mahala conveyed it to John Kimmey. As administrator, William Durham conveyed a tract to Elisha Durham.

James Handsor ( - 1819) died about 1819, leaving a widow Ann, who administered the estate. He was a tenant of Thomas Denney, on whose ground he had a corn crop at the time of his demise. Hugh Durham was surety for the administration bond. He was identified as a mulatto by the assessor.

Jemima Handsor was a daughter of William, named in the 1785 will of her grandfather, Nehemiah I.

Johannah Handsor was the widow of Nehemiah Handsor who died in 1785. She later married Saunders Oakey.

John Handsor was the son of Thomas Handsor (d. 1821) of Sussex County.

Jonathan Handsor, son of William, inherited his grandmother's iron pot and served in the Revolution.

Mary Handsor was daughter of Aminidab and Rose Handsor.

Mary Handsor was the second wife of William Handsor and mother of Cornelius.

Mary Butcher Handsor Married Peregrine Handsor in 1812 in Kent County.

Naomi Handsor, daughter of William, died before the estate was settled.

Nehemiah Handsor ( -1785), son of William Handsor, born about 1716-1720, appears in the tax list for Sussex County in 1739. Made his will in 1785. Witnesses were Lewis and Ruth Gano and Daniel Billiler. To his son Nehemiah he left property in tail. His other son was William. His wife Johannah and Peter Miller, Sr., were named executors. He left the west part of the property to his widow Johnannah in trust for granddaughters Elizabeth and Jemima.

Nehemiah Handsor received a farm through the will of his father, Nehemiah, dated 1785.

Nehemiah Handsor was a brother of the elder Peregrine Handsor, named in the 1821 will of his father, Thomas Handsor of Sussex County.

Peregrine Handsor, Sr. (1792 - ) was born 5 February 1792 and baptised August 12, 1792 in St. George's Chapel, son of Thomas (d. 1821) and Priscilla Handsor. He married Mary Butcher of Kent County in 1812, according to a marriage bond countersigned by William K. Lockwood.

Peregrine Handsor, Jr. (1822 - ) of Appoquinimink Hundred was born about 1822, married Sarah Sammons, daughter of Benjamin, and moved to Canada.  The 1850 United States census lists children Sarah, Prudence, Henry and Nancy. There were ten children in all, born both in the United States and in Canada. A son, William, lived in Wallaceburg, Ontario, in later years.

Priscilla Handsor was the wife of Thomas and the mother of Peregrine, Sr.

Rachel Handsor, daughter of William and Sarah Handsor, inherited one seventh part of her father's estate. Her sisters Naomi and Rhoda died while John Durham was serving as her guardian and renting the family farm from the estate. An account was finally settled in 1793 by Francis Denney.

Rachel Handsor died about 1815. She was called a mulatto widow in the

1804 tax list. Hugh Durham was her administrator. His sureties were Susan Durham and Angelica Lockerman. Susan Durham was Rachel's daughter, and shared the estate equally with George Puckham.

Samuel Handsor was the son of Rose and Aminidab Handsor. In 1733 he sold land to John Overton of Somerset County that he had bought from the estate of Aminidab Oakey.

Sarah Durham Handsor ( - c. 1771) third wife of William Handsor, patentee of Jolley's Neck, died around 1771, and her brother John Durham was her administrator, but the final account was not passed on the estate until Francis Denney, John Durham's administrator, passed it in 1793. William Corse and John Torbert appraised her estate February 9, 1771.

Sarah Sammons Handsor ( - 1894) daughter of Benjamin Sammons, married Peregrine Handsor, Jr., and moved with him to Dover East, Ontario, Canada.

Susannah Handsor was named as a daughter of William Durham in the 1797 administration of his estate.

Thomas Handsor ( - 1821) of Sussex County probably was the son of William, and grandson of William of Jolley's Neck. His will was probated in Sussex May 18, 1821. His sons were "Peary" (Peregrine), John, Alexander, Nehemiah, and William. His daughters were Sarah Lack, Jane Foster (wife of Woolsey), and Ann Clark (wife of Miers). Grandchildren were Elija Rigawah, Jesse Handsor, Nathaniel Handsor, and Cornelia Handsor. His wife was Elizabeth.

William Handsor ( -1767) Moved to Kent County from Sussex County until 1735, when he patented Jolley's Neck in Kent County. He left a widow, Sarah, and minor children to be cared for by John Durham, her brother. He signed his own will when he made it in 1756. His son Cornelius, by his earlier wife Mary, received his land in Kent County. His son William received his gun. His son Jonathan received his grandmother's iron pot. His son Nehemiah was to receive his shoemaker's tools. Witnesses to the will were John Darling, Esther Darling, and Hannah French. The administration bond was signed by Daniel Durham and William Conselor.

William Handsor ( - 1801) was the son of William Handsor the patentee of Jolley's Neck. His wife's name was Jane, named in his will dated 26 October 1784. He died in Sussex County in 1801, and named three sons, David, Thomas and Peter, four grandsons, Aaron, Thomas, Nehemiah, and William, and three granddaughters Elise, Isabel, and Cary. Other legatees were Elizabeth Roads, Agnes Hanzer, Easter Hanser, Jane Rigeworth, and Ann Salmons.

William Handsor ( - 1784) son of Nehemiah I, was the father of Jemima and Elizabeth. He died in 1784. His widow's name was Bridget. Two inventories were taken, one by William Rigway and Burton Waples, the other by William Butcher and James Wilkins. These may have been first in Sussex and then in Kent.

William Handsor, brother of Peregrine and son of Thomas was named in his father's 1821 will and his grandfather's 1801 will.

Gabriel Harmon received Rhoda Handsor's share of the estate of her father, William.

Peter Hawkins took the inventory of the estate of Thomas LaCount with Robert Thompson.

Robert Holliday was originally named to be the executor of John Durham's 1788 will, but Francis Denney eventually administered it.

John Houseman witnessed the 1748 will of Thomas Francisco.

Benjamin Hugh (Hewes) in 1829 married Maria, daughter of Deberix Miller, and was father of John and Rachel.

Isabel Hughes ( - c. 1763) of Little Creek Hundred made her will in 1757. It was probated January 19, 1763. She named a son, John Hughes and a son-in-law John Durham, in her will. Her daughter Sarah was her executrix, and she married James Dean before filing the final papers on her estate. Sarah was also the major legatee. Inventory was taken by John Rees and Robert Arthurs. She may have been the same Isabel Hughes who attended the birth of Caesar Rodney in 1728 (Hancock 1962:37).

John Hughes was the son of Isabel Hews (Hughes) and brother-in-law to both John Durham and James Dean. He was one of the signers of the administration bond on the estate of Benjamin Durham in 1810. He witnessed Daniel Durham's contract to sell an acre to Thomas Butcher.

John Hughes (Hews) was the son of the deceased daughter of Deberix Miller, named in his 1841 will.

Maria Miller Hughes (Hewes) ( - before 1841), daughter of Deberix, married Benjamin Hughes and died before 1841, leaving children John and Rachel.

Mary Durham Hughes, wife of Thomas Hughes and earlier widow of Thomas Durham, was named as a daughter of William Durham in his estate administration of 1797.

Rachel Hughes (Hews) was the daughter of the deceased daughter of Deberix Miller, named in his 1841 will.

Thomas Hughes was administrator of the estate of Thomas Durham, 1795, which was distributed in 1805. His wife was Mary Durham, daughter of William Durham and widow of Thomas Durham, who he married about 1800.

Frances Jackson (c. 1798- ) was the housekeeper for Jesse Dean when he was killed by a falling tree in 1742.

Griffith Jones was the original owner of the Gonseala farm.

James Keith and Frances Keith witnessed the 1748 will of Thomas Francisco.

Thomas Keith was surety for Margaret Murphey when she administered the estate of Thomas Murphey. He witnessed Daniel Durham's contract to sell an acre to Thomas Butcher.

Rebecca Dean Kimmey was a daughter of Jesse Dean (1804-1868) and wife of John Kimmey.

Sarah Handsor Lack was the daughter of Thomas Handsor (d. 1821).

Letitia Durham LaCount was a daughter of John Durham the Elder, named in his 1788 will, and wife of Thomas LaCount.

Thomas LaCount ( - 1796) of Duck Creek Hundred died in 1796. Hester LaCount signed the renunciation with a mark. William LaCount, his son, administered the estate. Patrick Conner went bond, which he signed January 12, 1796. Peter Hawkins and Robert Thompson made the inventory.

William LaCount was a son of Thomas and grandson of John Durham.

Robert Leatham married Letitia Durham, 1827.

Philip Lewis was one of the sureties on the administration bond of the estate of John Loatman in 1747.

Alexander Loatman was son of John Loatman and brother of Jeremiah Loatman. When he conveyed his part of the New Years Chance tract to Abraham Moor in 1758 he referred to himself as a shoemaker.

Benjamin Loatman ( - 1768) died in 1768, and his widow Ann renounced administration of the estate. The administrator was Jonathan Allee and John Allee was surety. John Vangaskin and Jonathan Raymond made the inventory.

Elizabeth Loatman was a daughter of Jeremiah and Agness Loatman. She witnessed the 1776 will of Samuel Whitman and signed with a mark.

Hester (or Esther) Loatman was the widow of John who died c. 1747.

Hester Loatman was a daughter of Jeremiah and Agness Loatman.

Jacob Loatman (c. 1705 - ) was a longtime resident of Pumpkin Neck in 1767, according to depositions taken in 1785. He was born about 1705. Thomas Tilton called him a "poor and inoffensive man."

Jeremiah Loatman ( - c. 1761), son of John Loatman of Kent County, died around 1761, and his wife very soon remarried William Sappington. Samuel Whitman went bond for the widow, Agness, as administrator. Accounts of Alexander Loatman are found in the estate papers. Children were Elizabeth, Susannah, Martha, and Hester. He signed his name to his father's administration account.

John Loatman ( - c. 1747) was the father of Jeremiah Loatman and a yeoman farmer on the main branch of St. Jones River. He bought 100 acres from Nicholas Powel in 1739. When his estate was settled in 1747, his widow Esther and his son Jeremiah were administrators. His children sold his land to Abraham Moore in 1757. His children were Jeremiah Loatman, who married Agness; Mary, wife of Joseph Carey; Elizabeth, wife of George Steward [Howard?], and Alexander. The administrator's bond on his estate was dated 12 March 1747. His widow, Esther or Hester, signed with a mark. Sureties were Philip Lewis and William Rees.

Martha Loatman was a daughter of Jeremiah and Agness Loatman.

Susannah Loatman was a daughter of Jeremiah and Agness Loatman.

John Lockerman ( - c. 1810) first husband of Gelico was consistently identified as a negro in assessment records. He died around 1810.

Nicholas Loockerman witnessed the administration bond on the estate of Robert Butcher, Jr.

Sarah Lowder witnessed the will of Robert Butcher the elder.

Sally Conselor Mall. daughter of John Conselor, in 1796 married David Mall (d. 1813) in Salem County, New Jersey.

Mark McCall, surveyor, witnessed the deed of Benjamin Durham to Thomas Butcher in 1786. He made one of the resurveys of Bloomsbury.

Deberix Miller ( -1840) married Sarah, daughter of Elijah Conselor. When he died in 1840, Abraham Allee and James Robinson inventoried the estate. He mentions land bought of Benjamin Conselor. Their children were Josiah; Elijah; Rachel, wife of Benjamin Greenage; Enoch; Maria, wife of Benjamin Hughes; and Robert. He mentions the children of his deceased daughter, John and Rachel Hughes (Hewes).

Peter Miller, Sr., was executor of the estate of Nehemiah Handsor. He was son of John Miller, who owned the 771-acre Maidstone tract. In his 1749 will, John Miller ordered the land to be divided equally among his six sons. They conveyed it to their brother Cunrod. He married Rachel, widow of Abraham Barber, circa 1793.

Sarah Conselor Miller wife of Deberix, was identified in the administration of the estate of her father, Elijah Conselor, in 1801. She was still living in 1845.

Grace and Will Morgan witnessed the will of Robert Butcher the younger in 1722 and the will of James Dean in 1720.

Savory Whitman Morgan was the daughter of Samuel and Agness Whitman. She married Stokely Morgan.

William Morton conveyed land from Griffith Jones to Thomas Gonsela during the seventeenth century.

Hester Cork Munce (1841-1904) daughter of Perry Cork the younger married James H. Munce in 1862.

James H. Munce, husband of Hester Cork.

Robert Munce appears first as a Kent County resident in the 1800 census listed as a free person of color. His son married Jemima Handsor and his daughter married Joel Durham.

Caroline Dean Muntz daughter of Jesse Dean (1804-1868) was the wife of Josiah Muntz.

Elizabeth Murphey was widow of Thomas Murphey who died in 1782.

Sarah Butcher Murphey widow of the John Butcher who died in 1761, married Thomas Murphey before February 1762.

Thomas Murphey ( -1771), a blacksmith, and Margaret his wife, in 1753 conveyed to Jeremiah Loatman a share in a tract adjoining the Concord tract on the main branch of St. Jones. Margaret was the administrator of his estate in 1771. Sureties were James Raymond and Thomas Keith. His estate received cash from Stephen Macey, administrator of William Long, and from James Dean.

Thomas Murphey ( - 1782) married John Butcher's widow, Sarah, between February 1761 and February 1762. When he died in 1782, his administrator was Elizabeth Murphey and her cosigner was another Thomas Murphey. She signed with handwriting while he used a mark. Among the accounts were transactions involving Stephen Sparksman, Elliner Pookham, and Ephraim Pookam.

Andrew Naudain appraised the estate of Cornelius Handsor in 1814.

Saunders Oakey married Johannah, the widow of Nehemiah Handsor. He and his earlier wife Mary had a daughter Rhoda, born October 20, 1771, who was baptised at St. George's Chapel in Sussex County.

William Pierce was chosen as guardian of Elizabeth Handsor, over the objections of stepfather Saunders Oakey, who prevailed.

Eleanor Puckham was in Kent County as early as 1782, when she is found on one of the accounts of the estate of Thomas Murphey. She witnessed the will of John Durham.

Ephraim Puckham was in Kent County as early as 1782, when he is found on one of the accounts of the estate of Thomas Murphey. The history of the Puckham family begins with the baptism of John, an Indian, in 1682, and his marriage to Joan Johnson. George Puckham was either the son or son-in-law, or heir to one of them, in the estate settlement of Rachel Handsor of Kent County in 1815. Hugh Durham was the administrator.

Richard Pulling was Robert Butcher's son-in-law.

James Raymond (1742-1817) prepared the inventory of the estate of Samuel Whitman in 1784. His wives were daughters of John and Henrietta Moore. He was surety for Margaret Murphey as administratrix for the estate of Thomas Murphey in 1771. He was stepfather of John Allee, whose son Abraham inherited both parts of Bloomsbury. He also served as guardian to John's sons, Abraham, Presley, and Jonathan. He witnessed the 1793 will of Silas Snow.

Jonathan Raymond helped prepare the inventory of the estate of Benjamin Loatman in 1768.

David Rees was a witness to the will of Robert Butcher the elder. He was a family friend of the Rodneys (Hancock 1962:37) and mentor of young Caesar.

Jeremiah Rees sold land to James Dean.

John Rees made the inventory of Isabel Hews with Robert Arthurs.

William Rees was one of the sureties on the administration bond of John Loatman.

Letitia Dean Ridgway was a daughter of Jesse Dean (1804-1868) and wife of Slayter Ridgway.

Brinckle Roe witnessed the deed of Benjamin Durham to Thomas Butcher in 1786.

Benjamin Sammons was the father of Sarah, who married the younger Peregrine Handsor.

William Sappington (1721-1767) married the widow Agness Loatman around 1761-1763. He probably was the son of Nathaniel Sappington II, born in 1721 at their home in Cecil County, near the present Warwick. In 1742, he witnessed the will of Ann Day in Kent County, Maryland. He died in 1767 at Bloomsbury.

John Saunders ( - 1824) Was tenant of Jesse Dean. His widow Ann renounced her right to administer the estate.

John Saunders in 1892 provided press information about the Indian community and about his early career, which included a visit to Lenape people in the vicinity of Peru, Indiana. His wife, Martha, was a daughter of Jesse Dean (1804-1868). He was one of the first members of the Cheswold community to publicly assert Indian ancestry.

Martha Dean Saunders daughter of Jesse Dean, was the wife of John.

Simon Sherman was surety for Thomas Carney when he administered the estate of Rachel Sisco.

Silas Snow ( - 1793) was one of the executors of the last will and testament of Samuel Whitman in 1783 and was named as guardian in the will.

Daniel Songo was mentioned in the estate accounts of John Durham's estate in 1788. The Songo family were later allied by marriage to Durham's descendants.

William Songo was mentioned in the estate accounts of John Durham's estate in 1788.

Stephen Sparksman was in Kent County as early as 1782, when he is found on one of the accounts of the estate of Thomas Murphey and on the assessment. He was listed as a mulatto in the 1800 census. The surname is known among Indian remnant populations in New Jersey.

James Sterling Joined John Durham in a purchase of 692 acres in 1754, and in 1776 appraised the estate of John Durham, Jr. In 1767 he was commissioned with Thomas Tilton to review the boundaries of Hillyards Adventure, adjacent to Bloomsbury.

Elizabeth Loatman Steward (Howard?) was daughter of John Loatman and sister of Jeremiah Loatman. When she conveyed her share of New Years Chance to Thomas Murphey, she was married to George Howard. She is also described as being married to George Steward, who may be the same person.

Asa Street married Rebecca, daughter of Isaiah Durham, in 1811.

Rebecca Durham Street daughter of Maria and Isaiah (d. 1801), married Asa Street in 1811.

Robert Thompson helped prepare the inventory of the estate of Thomas LaCount in 1796.

Thomas Tilton was one of the commissioners appointed by Orphans Court to evaluate John Allee's share of Bloomsbury in 1787. He died before the report was completed in 1791.

John and Ann Tilton were witnesses to the will of Robert Butcher the elder.

John Torbert was a neighbor who appraised Sarah Hansor's estate in 1771 with William Corse.

John Vangaskin took the inventory of the estate of Benjamin Loatman in 1768. His daughter was married to Thomas Cutler, the tenant on Bloomsbury.

Cornelius Van Stavoren was a witness of the will of Charles Francisco, who died in 1798.

William Van Stavoren ( - 1810) asked to be relieved of his bond for administration of the estate of Isaiah Durham because the widow had married John Sisco, a mulatto. His wife was Sarah Snow Morgan, former widow of David Morgan and daughter of Joseph Snow. Joseph Farrow and Robert Denney married her sisters. He was mentioned in the 1796 account of the estate of Silas Snow.

Benjamin Wells, a blacksmith, bought part of Jolley's Neck from Cornelius Handsor in 1773.

Jonathan Whitman was the son of Samuel and Agness Whitman.

Agness Loatman Sappington Whitman married, in succession, Jeremiah Loatman, William Sappington, and Samuel Whitman.

Samuel Whitman ( -1783) of Little Creek Hundred was the third husband of Agness, with whom he had helped settle the estates of her earlier husbands, Jeremiah Loatman and William Sappington. With Agness he had a son Jonathan and a daughter Savory. Witnesses to his 1776 will were Thomas Butcher, Jehu Gray, and his stepdaughter Elizabeth Loatman.

Elizabeth Durham Williams was a daughter of Elisha Durham who died in 1864 and his wife Hester Conselor. She was the wife of Baynham Williams of New Jersey.

Hannah Durham Williams was a daughter of Daniel Durham who died in 1801.  At about that time she married Williams.

Hester Wiltbank (Saunders) died in 1824, and Elizabeth Wiltbank was her administrator.

James Wood married Rhoda Handsor, daughter of William Handsor.

Rhoda Handsor Wood daughter of William and Sarah Handsor, assigned her one-seventh share of his estate to Gabriel Harmon. She was born between 1756 and 1769. She married James Wood.

 

 

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References

 

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Primary Documentation
Delaware Archives
Census returns microfilms
Court dockets and loose papers
Laws of Delaware and legislative minutes
Kent County Recorder of Deeds
Deed Books
Plot Books
Kent County Register of Wills
Will Books
Loose probate files
Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Muster roll of John McClughan in the pay of the Delaware Government, May 22, 1758.

The "Invisible" Indians of Central Delaware, Edward Heite and Cara Lee Blume

 

 

 

 

KUSKARAWOAK & MITSAWOKETT

"The History and Genealogy of the
Native American Isolate Communities
of Kent County, Delaware, and
Surrounding Areas on the Delmarva Peninsula
and Southern New Jersey"

 

 

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