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Thomas Mackelfish Family
 

From a family group sheet on Family Search– last update was by Jill Shoemaker shoefam@xmission.com  on 24 September 2015, primarily unsourced.

Thomas Mackelfish (K2V3-BR9), b. ca. 1740, Prince George Co., MD, son of Thomas Macklefish & Susanna Cheney, d. 1805, in Flintstone, Allegany Co., MD, m. 1763, in MD, to Mary Powell (KLV3-QG4), b. MD, d. MD, daughter of Thomas & Sarah Powell.  
Issue:  1.  Martha, b. ca. 1764, Allegany Co. ,MD, m. ca. 1784, in Allegany Co., MD, to Jared Dannison
2.  Susanna, b.1765, Washington Co., MD, m. 1785, Reistertown, Baltimore Co., MD, to John Twigg, d. after 1840, Twiggtown, Allegany Co., MD
3. Thomas, b. 1771, Allegany Co., MD, m. 27 October 1808, in Allegany Co., MD to Drusilla Johnson, d. Allegany Co. MD
4.  Sarah, b. 1777, Allegany Co., MD, m. 1795, in Allegany Co., MD, to Asa Wilson, d. 1828, Perry Co. OH
5.  David, b. ca. 1780, MD, m. 3 January 1804, in Allegany Co., MD, to Rachael Willison, d. 4 September 1844, Allegany Co., MD
6.  John, b. 1785, Washington Co., MD, m. 8 July 1815, in Allegany Co., MD, to Annie Wilson, d. 25 August 1834
7.  Joseph, b. 1789, Reistertown, Baltimore Co., MD, d. 25 April 1875, at Dewitt, Illinos.

Thomas’s parents: Thomas Macklefish, b. 1705, m. Anne Arundel Co., MD, to Susanna Cheney, b. 1700.  Besides Thomas their children were:
1.  Ann Cheny Mackelfish, b. 1724
2. Richard Mackelfish, b. 1732
3. Susanna McElfish, b. 1735

As sources, this Family Tree offers the 1800 federal census returns for Thomas, and probate files of his estate, both available online at Family Search.  Some of this information is questionable, especially the references the marriage and birth in Reistertown.  Although they are contemporary in date – Susanna’s 1785 marriage and Joseph’s 1789 birth, there is no evidence of a move to Baltimore County at that time. 

The earliest mention I have found of Thomas Mackelfish (Thomas2, David1) is a deed in Frederick Co., MD, when his brother Richard deeds him 34 acres of land, part of a tract called “Macklefishes Ridges,” for £5, on 14 March 1768.  (Fred. Co., MD, Deed Book L, pp. 200, 201).  This seems to be as much a gift as a sale; 34 acres of land for only £5.  “Macklefishes Ridges,” had been patented.

Land - "Cheney's Delight", 100 acres (previously in Prince George's County) had been patented by Richard and Thomas’ father, Thomas Macklefish, in Frederick Co.; the procedure started with the warrant being granted in 1749, but was not finalized until 4 April 1760, when the composition money was finally paid.  Thomas also had to pay 10 years back rent on the land - £1-7-6, after which the patent was issued, but appears to have been backdated to 26 April 1750, the date of survey.  After Thomas, the father’s death, this land would have become the property of Richard (primogeniture was the law in Maryland until 1786).  Through this deed, he is granting his brother an equal share. 

One month later, 12 April 1768, young Thomas looked to expand his holdings, and purchased from Greenbury Cheney, Senr. of Prince George Co., MD, all that tract of land in Frederick Co., called “Cheney’s Lott,” with all houses, buildings, etc; for £40.  Greenbury Cheney signed the deed; there was no dower release.  (Frederick Co., MD, Deed Book M, pp. 176, 177).  “Cheney’s Lott,” was surveyed on 10 November 1751, on a warrant granted to Thos. Powell, of Frederick Co., MD, on 31 August 1751, “Beg. At a Bounded White Oak, Standing by Cave Run…” 50 acres held of Conigocheige (sic) Manor.    Thomas Powell assigned this certificate of survey to Greenberry Cheaney (sic) on 20 November 1751, and it was patented to him on 4 May 1752.  (Washington Co., MD, Patents, MSA S1197-883, Pat Certificate # 819)  There was some controversy over this sale and a suit by Charles Chaney followed:

State of Maryland, Chancery Court, 1713-1853 – (MSA Chancery Papers (S512) Accession # 17,898-1255 ½ S512-2-1321, Location 1/36/1)
4 April 1770 – Frederick & Prince George Counties
Charles Cheney vs. Greenberry Cheney & Thomas Mackelfish: Contract to purchase Cheney’s Lot in Frederick & Cheney’s Delight in Prince George County: #1255

From “Frederick County Chancery Index; County Records at MidMdRoots;”  Website by Dorinda Davis Shipley

Charles CHENEY vs Greenbury CHENEY and Thomas MacELEFISH 
- Contract to Purchase - 4 Apr 1770
[MSA S512- 1321; 1/36/1/39-1255; 2 folders ]

Charles CHENEY, Sr, a planter, from Prince George's, but now Frederick County had

son - Charles CHENEY, Jr, also a planter in Frederick County, deceased by 1770;

grandson - Charles CHENEY III (s/o Jr), also a planter

Charles CHENEY, Sr. moved from his plantation to now Frederick County about 1740 and rented out the plantation to his brother, Greenbury CHENEY of Prince George's County, a planter. 

In 1758, Charles Sr. agreed to sell the land to his son, Charles Jr. for two thousand pounds inspected tobacco.  Charles Jr made an agreement with Greenbury in 1758 (piece of paper is torn but it appears Charles Jr. was trading "Cheney's Delight" for all of Greenbury's land in Frederick County along with two thousand weight of tobacco.

Greenbury CHENEY owned two tracts in Frederick County: - "Hopewell", 100 acres; conveyed to Jacob FUNK - "Cheney's Lott", 50 acres.   Greenbury had conveyed it to Thomas MACKELFISH, a planter. 

Petition is to recover tracts from Greenbury to Charles CHENEY III, s/o Charles Jr.

Greenbury CHENEY claimed he had a verbal agreement with his brother for the absolute purchase of the property for 12 pounds sterling, to be paid to William CHAPMAN of London Town, now deceased.  He further states that Mordecai JACOB and Robert TYLER were appointed arbitrators, who on the 8th day of Jun 1768, awarded in Greenbury's favor.  He also claimed he made an agreement with his brother (Sr) after his nephew's (Jr.) death and sold the land to Jacob FUNK at Charles Sr.'s request. 

(No final statement in file as to the outcome.)

Perhaps to clear the title to this piece of land, another deed was made on 29 November 1773, from Greenbury Cheney, Senr. of Prince George Co., MD, to Thomas Mackelfish, of Frederick Co., for 50 acres of land, “Cheney’s Lot,” by Cave Run, with houses, buildings, etc., for £40.  Signed by Greenbury Cheney, with no dower release.  (Frederick Co., MD, Deed Book U, pp. 409-411).  (Greenbury Cheney was probably Thomas Macklefish’s uncle, his mother being Susanna Cheney, both probably the children of Richard Cheney of South River, Anne Arundel County.)

Chronologically, the next information was for Thomas and his brother Richard’s service with the Frederick County Militia during the Revolutionary War.

Capt. Jacob Sarer – Maryland – Privates- 1777 (I believe this was actually Sharer)

Capt. Jacob Sarer/Lieut. Goerge Sarer/ 2 Lieut. John Fink / Ensign John Bowlen /1. Sergent Joseph Pruce (Pence?) / 2. Do. Isaac Sharer / 3. Do. Bausten Baker / 4. Do. Edmond Rutter, Jr. / 1. Corperel Christopher Lilhart / 2. Do. Jacob Pence / 3. Do. John Monninger / 4. Do. Thomas Brooke, Junr. 

1 Class …

2 Class: Phillip Bright / Thomas Mackelfish / Robert Martin / David Smith / James Swinders / Daniel Whetstone / Daniel Cyster / Abraham Eversole / Jacob Hoover, Junr.

3 Class …

6th Class: George Bower/ Phillip Gable / Richard Mackelfish / Jacob Root / Garrett Stonebraker / John Swank / Jacob Zacharias / James Craton

7th Class …

(Revolutionary War rolls 1775-1783/ Maryland Jackets 18-1-35-3 1775-1783 [NARA Series M246/Roll 34] Family Search Image 360, 361)


In 1783, Thomas and Richard were assessed for taxes to support the war, living in Upper Antietam Hundred, of Washington County.  No mention is made in the assessment of Thomas’ 50 acre “Cheney’s Lott” tract, so perhaps the title was still not clear to that property.

1783 Tax Lists  - Maryland – Washington County Supply Tax
Maryland Society, Sons of the American Revolution http://www.mdsar.org/sites/default/files/archives/1783taxlists/Washington_Co_MD1783OPT.pdf

Supply Tax Assessment for Upper Antietam and Jerusalem Hundreds for Washington Co., MD

p. 59  Thos. Macklefish – Land = Macklefish Riches (Ridges), ¾ acres woods; 40 acres arable; 40 ¾ acres total; value £40-15-0; value of improvements £7-10-0; no slaves; 2 horses, 11 black cattle, value £23; value of other property £5; total = £75-5-0

Richard Macklefish – Land=Do (Mackelfish Ridges), 33 acres wood; 5 acres arable; 38 acres total; value £38; value of improvements 38; value of improvements £7-10-0; no slaves; 1 horse, 5 black cattle, value £12-10-0; value of other property £1.10; total £59-10-0

(Doing the math, Thomas’ 40 ¾ acres & Richard’s 38 acres, totals 78 ¾ acres, 10 ¾ acres more than the original tract was surveyed for.  It is interesting to note that in the division of this land, Thomas seems to have acquired the majority of the arable land, while Richard had mostly woodlands.)

On 29 September 1783, Thomas Macklefish purchased two other pieces of property, both part of the tract “Cadiz,” from Nathan Chaney (son of Ezekiel Cheney), of Washington Co. MD, for £132 specie.  A 19 acre part began at the beginning trees of “Macklefishes Ridges;” a 28 ½ acre piece began at the fifth line of “Macklefishes Ridges,” and adjoined “Partners.”  (“Partnership”?)  Nathan signed the deed by his mark, and his wife Susanna, relinquished her dower rights to the land.  (Washington Co., MD, Deed Book C, pp. 482-484)  “Cadiz” was originally patented to Ezekiel Cheney, in 1760 (Frederick Co.), as a 483 acre resurvey of part of the tract “Strife.” (Washington Co., MD, Patents, MSA S1197-790, Patent Certificate #726)  Thomas and Richard seemed to have located right in the middle of a Chaney settlement on the Antietam Creek, claiming kinship to these Cheneys, through their mother, Susanna Cheney.

In 1784, Thomas completed the patent process for two pieces of property, an 8 ½ acre piece called “Fish Pott Hill,” that adjoined the tracts “Chaney’s Chance,” “Strife,” & “Cadiz;”  and a 1 ½  acre tract he named “Macklefishes Small Bit.” The warrant for these tracts land was granted on 3 December 1782, for 10 acres of land.  “Fish Pott Hill” was surveyed on 16 January 1783.  (Washington Co., MD, Patents, MSA S1208-371, Patent Certificate #324).  “Small Bit” was surveyed on 31 October 1783, adjoining the tracts “Very Cold,” and “Second Resurvey on First Choice.” (Washington Co., MD, Patents, MSA S1208-615, Patent Certificate #567).   Patents for both of these tracts were issued on 31 December 1784. 

Six months later, Thomas completed the patent process on a 36 acre tract he named “Partnership,” that adjoined “Mackelfishes Ridges.” The Special Warrant of Survey for this tract was issued 6 February 1782; surveyed on 11 November 1782, the £6-4-0 caution money was paid on 30 January 1783.  The issuing of the patent was probably delayed by the caveat that John Gassaway entered, but later withdrew. A patent was not issued until 23 May 1785.  (Washington Co., MD, Patents, MSA S1208-735, Patent Certificate #685)

In April 1786, Thomas both bought and sold land.  On 19 April, he sold Jeremiah Cheney, of Washington Co., his 1 ½ acre tract, “Macklefishes Small Bit,” and an 18 acre part of the tract “Partnership,” which he recently patented.  Jeremiah paid him £100 for this piece of land.  Thomas signed the deed, Alexander Clagott and John Stull witnessed it and Thomas acknowledged it before them, while his wife Mary relinquished all her right to dower in these lands.  (Washington Co., MD, Deed Book D, pp. 735, 736)  One week later, on 22 April, Thomas bought 19 acres from Nathan Cheney – almost the same amount of land as he had just sold.  For £86-2-6, Cheney sold him a 7 ½ acre part of the tract “Cadiz,” adjoining Antietam Creek, a 5 ½ acre piece of the same tract, that adjoined “Macklefishes Ridges,” and a 6 acre part of a tract called “Stulls Forest” that adjoined Thomas’ patent, “Partnership.”  (Washington Co., MD, Deed Book D, pp. 736-738)

The 1790 federal census shows Thomas’ growing family – himself and his wife, Mary, three young sons under 16 (David, John & Joseph, just recently born), one son over sixteen (Thomas, about 19 years old), and two females, besides Mary.  (Daughters Martha and Susanna had both probably married before this census, so one of these females was Sarah, who would later marry Asa Wilson – who was the other female?  Was there another daughter not yet accounted for?

1790 Federal Census for Washington County, Maryland
 (NARA  M637, roll 3)  p. 30
Thomas Macklefish – Head of household
Free White Males - Under 16 - 3
Free White Males - 16 and over – 2
Free White Females - 3 
Slaves  - 2
Total Number of Household Members  = 10

p. 32
Richard Makclefish – head of household
Free White Males – Under 16 – 1
Free White Males – 16 and over – 2
Free White Females – 1
Total Number of Household Members = 4

On 7 May 1791, Thomas Macklefish sold to John McCoy & James McCoy, of Washington Co., MD, part of a tract of land “called Cheney’s Lott now in possession of them the said John McCoy and James McCoy that clear of elder surveys be the quantity more or less…,” for £189-22-6.  Thomas signed the will, and Mary, wife of Thomas Macklefish relinquished her right to dower in this land.  (Washington Co., MD, Deed Book G, pp. 391, 392)  Although this deed does not give a specific amount of acreage being sold, it does not appear to have been the whole of the 50 acre tract that Thomas bought from Greenberry Chaney.  An overview of all of Thomas’ property transfers suggests that his that this deed was probably for one-half of the tract. 

Thomas obtained a warrant for three acres of land on 19 December 1791.  On 9 March 1792, he had a 1 ½ acre tract surveyed, beginning at the beginning trees of “Macklefishes Ridges,” and adjoining both “Cadiz,” and “Cheney’s Chance.”  The survey was examined and passed and Thomas paid the fourpence & half-penny caution money on 3 April 1793, but no patent was ever issued for it.  (Washington Co., MD, Patents, MSA S1231-389, Unpatented Certificate #377)

Nathan Cheney again sold land to Thomas on 14 April 1792, conveyed title to “all the land that lies within the following lines and limits that have not heretofore been conveyed by the said Nathan Cheney to Thomas Macklefish (to wit)…”  here follows a series of metes and bounds, “containing exclusive of the parts heretofore conveyed the quantity of three acres of land…”  The deed was signed by Nathan, and his wife Susannah relinquished her dower rights to this land.  (Washington Co., MD, Deed Book G, pp. 668, 669)  Was Thomas beginning to think about moving westward and consolidating his holdings to facilitate a sale? 

Six months later, Thomas bought his first property in Allegany County.  On 19 October 1792, he purchased parts of two tracts, “Addition to the Two Springs,” 50 acres, and “Content,” 42 acres, both lying near to Murley’s Branch, from Moses Robinett, farmer, of Allegany County, for £281.  Moses signed the deed before John Reid and James Prather, his wife Ann relinquished her dower right.  In this deed, Thomas is still designated as “of Washington County,” so he had not had made a move west.  (Allegany Co., MD, Deed Book A, pp. 254, 255).  The men believed to be the husbands of Thomas’ two oldest daughters, Jered Dannison and John Twigg (of John), had already established themselves in the Murley’s Branch area, as well as members of the Cheney family with whom Thomas was so interknit.  Besides the idea of new lands to be acquired, and the “grass being greener,” one can understand what may have brought Thomas and his family to Allegany County. 

The next spring, Thomas, still called a resident of Washington County, disposes of all his property in Washington County.  On 7 February 1793, he executed two deeds; one to Jacob Rohrer, of Washington Co., MD, conveys all the land that he has any title to in Washington County, “to the Eastward of the fifth and sixth lines of the Land called “Macklefishes Ridges,” containing 61 acres...,” for £366.  The other, to Henry Smith, of Washington Co., conveys all the land that Macklefish “hath any right or title to, lying and being in Washington County, to the Westward of the fifth and sixth lines of the land called “Macklefishes Ridges…,” 74 ½ acres, for £330.  Thomas signed both of these deeds before Alexander Clagett and Adam Ott, and Mary relinquished her dower rights before them.  (Washington Co., MD, Deed Book H, pp. 120, 121 & 139-141)

Not losing any time, Thomas begins to enlarge his holdings in Allegany County.  On 3 April 1793, called a resident of Allegany County, he is granted a Special Warrant of Resurvey, to resurvey the lands he had recently bought of Moses Robinett, “Content,” and “Addition to the Two Spirngs,” amend any errors and add any contiguous vacancies, and reduce the whole into one tract.  Surveyed on 2 November 1793, the 92 acre piece becomes a 240 ½ acre tract, adjoining the lands of Edward Wilson and Jeremiah Chaney.  Thomas paid £22-6-3 caution money on 1 April 1794, and was issued a patent on 20 October 1796.  (Allegany Co., MD, Patents, MSA S1188-708; Patent Certificate #674)

Over the next few years, Macklefish continues to acquire land by patent from the Land Office of the Western Shore of Maryland.   On 1 April 1794, he obtained a Special Warrant for 100 acres of land.  Thirty acres of this was surveyed into a 30 tract on the west side of Fifteen Mile Creek, called “Part of the Shades of Death.”  Thomas assigned this certificate to Edward Wilson, Junior on 18 March 1795, but by that time William Johnson had taken the land up by a survey of his own.  A seven acre part of the warrant was used to survey , on 13 March 1795, a 44 ½ acre tract “on the North East side of Flintstone Run…” called “Robert’s Delight.”  (Allegany Co., MD, Patents, MSA S1211-643, Unpatented Certificate #597; MSA S1188-2415, Patent Certificate #2347)

On 23 March 1796, Thomas was issued a Common Warrant for 10 acres of land.  Surveyed on 12 May 1796, into an 11 ¼ acre tract “about ten perches East of the Waggon Road leading from said Mackelfishes to Flintstone Creek…” and called “Good Timber,” this tract was patented to Thomas on 11 May 1797.  (Allegany Co., MD, Patents, MSA S1188-1018, Patent Certificate #597)  A Special Warrant of Proclamation was issue Macklefish of 16 October 1797, to resurvey a tract called “Walnut Bottom,” originally surveyed for Frederick Donnoldson.  This was resurveyed on 13 October 1798, in two parts, one part 30 ½ acres, and the other 41 ½ acres.  Beginning “on the South end of the Warrior Mountain in the Warm Spring Gap…” this tract continued to be called “Walnut Bottom.”  (Allegany Co., MD, Patents, MSA S1188-2963; Patent Certificate #2885)

Thomas then disposed of some property.  On 16 August 1797 he sold a 27 ½ acre part of his 44 ½ acre tract, “Roberts Delight,” to John Roberts, of Allegany County, for £15.  (Allegany Co., MD, Deed Book B, pp. 392, 393).  Three weeks later, on 9 September, he sold a 22 acre part of “Dear” (“Deer Park”) to George Robinette, Senior, for £5-10-0.  (Allegany Co., MD, Deed Book B, pp. 432-434).  The next month, he made a deed on 19 October, to John Willison, for a 22 ½ acre part of “Deer Park” for £5.  (Allegany Co., MD, Deed Book B, pp. 451, 452)  Finally, on 23 December 1797, perhaps as an early Christmas present, he made deeds to Jarrot Dannison, and Asa Wilson (two of his sons-in-law?) for parts of the tract “Deer Park.”  To Dannison, he deeded the fifth piece, 18 ¾ acres for £3; to Wilson, he deeded a 43 ¼ acre piece for ten shillings.  (Allegany Co., MD, Deed Book B, pp. 447, 448; 48-450). 


Different Justices of the Peace witnessed and acknowledged this series of deeds made in 1797: John Reid, Daniel Fetter, James Prather, John Beatty & John Hays.  None of these deeds make any mention of Thomas’ wife, no separate interview, no relinquishment of her dower rights.   If Thomas had a living wife, this seems strange.  These Justices of the Peace had all acknowledged previous deeds, and all knew what the Acts of Assembly required as to a separate interview of the grantor’s wife, and the relinquishing of her dower right in the lands being sold.  No right-thinking grantee would accept a deed without that relinquishment, because after the grantor's death, the law would allow his widow to claim her dower in the conveyed lands.  But this series of deeds seems strange in another way – the price paid for the land transferred.  When Thomas bought the property that the resurvey on “Deer Park” was based on, from Moses Robinett, he paid £281 for 92 acres of land – a little over £3 per acre.  Yet when he sold these parts of it, 5 years later, he getting at the most 11 shillings on the acre; for the deed to Dannison he was getting little more than 3 shillings an acre, and Wilson’s property was little more than pennies an acre.  With this is mind, these deeds have more the appearance of deeds of gift, rather than deeds of sale; because of the connection between the buyer and the seller, the buyer was not concerned that the seller’s widow would assert a claim on the land conveyed to them.  The connection between Jarrot Dannison and Asa Wilson has been mentioned; John Roberts, apparently the person “Roberts Delight” was named for, but his connection, as well as that of George Robinett and John Willison remains unclear.

Thomas’ next deed begins a series of three deeds over four years, involving Nicholas Gassaway, of Anne Arundel County.  For £95-12-5, Gassaway conveyed to Thomas 42 ½ acres of the tract “Resurvey on St. George.”  The deed was signed in Anne Arundel County, on 12 May 1800, before Justices of the Peace therw:  Milly Gassaway relinquished her dower right to the land. (Allegany Co., MD, Deed Book C, pp. 228, 229)

1800 Federal Census for Allegany County, Maryland (Census Day: 4 August)
(NARA M32/Roll 9)

p. 7 – Murley Branch
Thos. Macklefish – Head of household
Free White Males 10-15 = 2
Free White Males 16-25 = 1
Free White Males 26-44 = 1
Free White Males over 45 = 1
Free White Females over 45 = 1
Number of Slaves = 6
Number of inhabitants under 16 = 2
Number of inhabitants over 25 = 3
Total Number of Household members = 12

1800 Federal Census for Allegany County, Maryland (Census Day: 4 August)
(NARA M32/Roll 9)

p. 7 – Murley Branch
Thos. Macklefish – Head of household


Free White Males 10-15 = 2
Free White Males 16-25 = 1
Free White Males 26-44 = 1
Free White Males over 45 = 1
Free White Females over 45 = 1
Number of Slaves = 6
Number of inhabitants under 16 = 2
Number of inhabitants over 25 = 3
Total Number of Household members = 12

The 1800 census of the United States found Thomas and his family living in the Murley’s Branch district.  Thomas would be the male over 45; presumably the only female in the household, also over 45 years old, would be his wife, Mary – if she is still living.  All of Thomas’ daughters have married – Sarah, the supposed youngest daughter, had married Asa Wilson in 1795.  Four other males are in the household would be the four unnamed sons of Thomas’ will – Thomas, who would be about 29 years old; David, about 20 years old, and John and Joseph – about 15 and 11 years old, respectively.  In addition, there were six slaves of unspecified age or gender. 

Here may be an appropriate place to discuss Thomas’ other household: his slaves.  He had two at the time of the 1790 federal census, and now in 1800 he has six. Thomas’ estate papers help us to identify these people – not for an exact age, but at least as to name and gender.  Listed in the inventory of his estate, taken on 21 (24?) November 1805, presumably by order of age, were: Negro Mary, valued at $120 / sold at the sale, with a child, for $270 to David Mackelfish
                       James, valued at $250 / sold at the sale for $501 to John Mackelfish
                       Minty, valued at $160 / sold at the sale for $285 toThomas Mackelfish
                       Lydia, valued at $155 / sold at the sale for $256 to Thomas Mackelfish
                       Rebecca, valued at $100 / sold at the sale for $216 to Thomas Mackelfish
                       Milly, valued at $80 / sold at the sale (as Amelia) for $190 to Joseph Mackelfish
                       Jinney, valued at $50 / not named in the sale bill, but evidently the child sold
                                      with Mary, who must have been born after the 1800 census was taken.
(Allegany Co., MD, Register of Wills; Thomas Mackelfish Estate/Original Papers – Box 32; and Original Papers – 1805-1807, now at the Maryland State Archives – viewable online at Family Search – Digital folder 004559036)

Since Mary is listed first in both the inventory and the sale report, and the following females are of a greater and then lesser value, one would assume that Mary is the oldest female, and that those following are listed in order of age, with James being second oldest.  Since Mary has apparently had a child since the 1800 federal census, she would still be in, or just out of, her child-bearing years – considering her appraised value, probably around forty years old.  James higher assessed value, and the price he brought at the sale, suggests that he is still in his prime.  Although we have no bill of sale to evidence this, it might be that Mary and James were the two slaves were in Thomas’ 1790 household, and the five other females were daughters born to them.  The descending values suggest that Mindy and Lydia were just coming into their highest period of productivity, while Rebecca, Milly and the baby Jinney were still relatively young, and their years of greatest value were still relatively ahead of them.  Having only one male slave, it is clear that Thomas and his four sons worked on their land and in their mill, right along with their bondsman. Thomas having no daughters at home now to help with the women’s work , the three older females were probably kept busy not only with normal household chores – cooking and cleaning - but also with spinning, weaving, and cultivating the kitchen garden that provided food for all of them.  The value the Macklefishes placed upon their slaves is apparent in the prices they gave for them at the sale of Thomas’ property – each brought nearly twice, or more than twice, their assessed value.

A Special Warrant of Resurvey was granted Thomas Macklefish on 29 May 1801, to resurvey the following contiguous tracts of land, amend errors and add and contiguous vacancies, making it into one whole: part of “St. George,” part of “Addition to Two Springs,” part of “Deer Park,” part of “Content” (which was taken in by “Deer Park” on a previous resurvey), and part of “Walnut Bottom.”  Surveyed on 27 March 1802, totaling 488 ½ acres, this tract was named “The Resurvey on Deer Park.”  Because Thomas’ original warrant cited a tract of land called “Saint George,” rather than “The Resurvey on Saint George,” there was a holdup at the land office, and Thomas had to petition the Chancellor of Maryland, explaining the mistake, before a patent was finally issued on 6 October 1803.  (Allegany Co., MD, Patents, MSA S1188-2303; Patent Certificate #2238)

The next deed is from another of those men presumed to be Thomas’ sons-in-law, John Twigg of John, farmer, of Allegany County.  John Twigg had purchased the 50 acre tract “Abebnegoe’s Choice” from Thomas Gassaway on 15 September 1791, although Gassaway had never completed the patent process.  John petitioned the Chancellor to have the patent issue to him.  At the same time, Twigg obtained a Special Warrant of Resurvey to have “Abednegoe’s Choice” resurveyed and take in any adjoining vacant lands.  It was surveyed on 17 October 1792, and on 3 April 1793 he paid £37-3-9 composition money. Patent was issued on both of these tracts, the first swallowed up by the resurvey, on 25 May 1801. (Allegany Co., MD, Patents, MSA S1181- 21, Patent Certificate #3; MSA S1188-2286, Patent Certificate #2221; no deed for this transfer from Gassaway to Twigg is on record at Allegany Court House.  The petition of John Twigg to the Chancellor  states that the deed was recorded at the General Court.  Those records are available at Maryland State Archives.)  Less than a month after his patent was issued, on 20 June 1801, John conveyed 80 acres of the tract called “Abednegoe’s Choice,” on the waters of Murley’s Branch, to Thomas Macklefish, for £40.  John Twigg signed the deed, and his wife Susannah relinquished her rights in dower to this land. (Allegany Co., MD, Deed Book C, pp. 399, 400)  This seems like another sweet deal; 80 acres of land for less than 10 shillings an acres.  Relationship must have played a part in this bargain.

On 1 July 1801, Thomas Macklefish, of Allegany County, was issued a Proclamation Warrant to  resurvey a tract of land called “Swingles Claim,” originally surveyed for George Swingle on 3 March 1783.  Thomas had it surveyed on 7 December 1801, and then assigned the certificate to John Clagett on 15 December.  Clagett received a patent on this tract on 12 October 1803.  (Washington Co., MD, Patents, MSA S1208-613, Patent Certificate #565)

Thomas Beall of Samuel, the land speculator who laid out the city of Cumberland, sold Thomas a 34 acre tract of land called “Point Lock,” on 27 August 1802.  Thomas paid $60 for this piece of property “on the East side of a Hill about Eight perches north seventy degrees east from where a certain Dickenson Jadwin lives…” (Allegany Co., MD, Deed Book C, pp. 537, 538)

Edward Wilson (Junior) assigned a ten acre part of a common warrant granted him on 18 May 1802, to Thomas on 9 September 1802.  Thomas had a tract surveyed on 10 January 1803, adjoining his “Walnut Bottom” tract.  For some reason, the 10 acre tract, called “Pleasant Hill,” was never patented.  (Allegany Co., MD, Patents, MSA S1211-669, Unpatented Certificate #622)

On 11 October of that year (1802) Thomas acquired two more assignments on survey certificates.  Dickeson Jadwin assigned Thomas the certificate on a six acre tract, “At the Point of Two Hollows” and an adjoining 22 acre tract, “I Am Glad I Got It.” Thomas received the patent to both these tracts on 9 November 1802.  (Allegany Co., MD, Patents, MSA S1188-205, Patent Certificate #184; MSA S1188-1208, Patent Certificate #1158)

Thomas had another survey done on 20 January 1803, for a 93 acre tract called “Fortune;” surveyed on a warrant of Isaac Wilson dated 7 May 1799, assigned to Joshua Wilson, and assigned to Thomas on 28 September 1803. Patent was not issued on this tract during Thomas’ lifetime.)  (Patented to Thomas’ son, Thomas Mackelfish, on 3 December 1810 – Allegany Co., MD, Patents, MSA S1188-928, Patent Certificate #888)

The second deed in the series of deeds from Nicholas Gassaway was made on 21 January 1803.  This is a curious deed, in that Thomas is selling to Nicholas the exact piece of land (42 acres of “The Resurvey on Saint George), for the exact same amount of money, which Nicholas had sold to him three years earlier.  Once again, there was no dower release for a wife of Thomas Macklefish.  (Allegany Co., MD, Deed Book C, pp. 592, 593) The lack of dower release may suggest this had not been an actual transfer of land, but given as security for a debt owed by Gassaway to Thomas Mackelfish for £95-12-6.  Once the debt was paid, the title was passed back to Nicholas, much the way a mortgage and release works today.

Frederick Dannison assigned Thomas a common warrant for five acres, on 15 March 1804, the same day that it was surveyed.  The 24 ½ acre tract, called “Pine Tree,” on the southeast side of Flintstone Creek, had its survey examined and passed and on 18 June 1804, Thomas paid £2-15-0 caution money, but Thomas never patented the tract.  (Patent was granted to his son Thomas, on 6 March 1826)  (Allegany Co., MD, Patents; MSA S1188-2118, Patent Certificate #2056)

On 23 October 1804, Thomas had his will written, Thomas’ short will is a most exasperating document, genealogically speaking, as it names no one specifically but only by relationship.  The support of his wife, unnamed, is charged to his four sons, unnamed, who are to divide the estate between them, all four being appointed as executors.  Whether the will was signed on the same day as it was written is uncertain; John Reid (the Justice of the Peace who witnessed many of his deeds), Frederick Danison ( son-in-law Jarrot Dannison’s brother), and John Ward witnessed Thomas’ signature.  The will is written in a competent hand, such as would have been written in a lawyer’s office; Thomas may have taken it home and signed it at a later date. (Allegany Co., MD, Will Book A, p. 79; original filed in Thomas Mackelfish Estate Original Papers, now at MSA; available online at Family Search, Probate Estate & Guardianship Files, 1796-1940, Digital Folder 004559036, image 3)  Thomas may not have been expected to die when the will was written, since at least one of his sons was still a minor when the will was written, and therefore would have been ineligible to act as an executor. 

Three weeks after his will was drawn, Thomas was party to another deed with Nicholas Gassaway of Ann Arundel County.  On 19 November 1804, Gassaway conveyed title to parts of two tracts, “Loss & Gain” and “The Resurvey on St. George,” totaling 55 ½ acres, for £124-17-6.  This deed was again signed in Anne Arundel County, and acknowledged before Justices of the Peace there, with Milly Gassaway releasing her dower.  (Allegany Co., MD, Deed Book D, pp. 301-03)  (When Thomas’ estate was settled, there was a 15 shilling payment made to Nicholas Gassaway, for rent on “a few acres of Land inclosed in a field of his,” due on 1 November 1805 – Allegany Co., MD, Register of Wills, Thomas Macklefish file, Original Estate Papers, now at MSA; available online at Family Search, Probate Estate & Guardianship Files, 1796-1940, image 48 of 106)

On 6 December 1804, Thomas made his last land purchase,  buying “Hickory Swamp,” 83 ¾ acres of land that had been surveyed for Mark Brayfield, of Bedford Co., PA, but not patented before his death.  Brayfield bequeathed the land to Simon Houser, also of Bedford County, who obtained a patent for it on 9 November 1804.  Houser sold it to Thomas for £125; Elizabeth Brayfield, the widow of Mark Brayfield joined in signing the deed, relinquishing any right to dower in the land.  (Allegany Co., MD, Deed Book D, pp. 300, 301.)

Jared Danison, believed to be Thomas’ son-in-law, assigned to Thomas his certificate of survey for a 15 ¾ acre tract called“Ivy Bank,” on 3 May 1805.  Jared had this tract surveyed on 1 May 1805, on a warrant for 20 acres that was issued to him on 28 May 1804.  The composition money, 25 shillings, 7 ½ pence, was paid on 15 May 1805, but the patent was not completed in Thomas lifetime. (This tract was patented to Thomas’ son Thomas, on 3 December 1810.  Thomas’ sons petitioned the Chancellor to have this patent issued; David, John and Joseph assigned their rights to it to their brother, Thomas.  Also contained in this folder is an attestation from John Reid, dated 19 May 1809,  that Thomas , David, John, & Joseph, were the four sons of Thomas Mackelfish, as mentioned in his will.) (Allegany Co., MD, Patents, MSA S1188-1246, Patent Certificate #1195)

 A Special Warrant of Resurvey was issued to Thomas Macklefish, on 1 August 1805, to resurvey a tract called “Tiptons Venture,” originally granted to him on 2 March 1792, for 36 acres, to correct errors and add any contiguous vacancies. Thomas died before this warrant could be executed.  (Resurvey was made in the name of his heirs, on 18 December 1805, for a tract called “MacKelfish’s Venture,” totaling 210 ½ acres.  £21-16-3 caution money was paid for this  on 4 August 1806.  David, Thomas and John, on 19 May 1809 transferred their shares to their brother, Joseph MacKelfish. Patent issued to him on 2 December 1813.) (Allegany Co., MD; Patents: MSA S1188-1776, Patented Certificate #1717)

On 23 September 1805, Thomas took a note from John Twigg (of John), for $100, and the following day, took one from him for $5.   A note from John Dannison, for $4.68, and one from Elijah Barker for $1.07 were dated 10 October 1805. Was Thomas himself still conducting business on this day, or were these notes given for purchases from the powder mill?  On October 4, Daniel Lantz charged Thomas account for “a fine hat p. Thomas” at ten shillings.  On that same day, Dr. Benjamin Murrow made his first visit to Thomas – trying to interpret his bill, it looks like he may have been given an emetic and perhaps catherized (Benjamin Franklin invented the first flexible catheter tube in 1752).  The doctor visited again on the 6th, the 7th (catherized again?) on the 10th and a final visit on 18 October 1805.  His total bill was £4-3-6; one assumes he travelled from Cumberland to make these visits.  (Dr. Murrow, from Allegany County was one of the first members of the state medical society, established in 1798 by the legislature, along with Drs. James Forbes & George Lynn, of Allegany County).

On 18 October Thomas Stallings sold the Macklefishes 48 feet of plank, and on 19 October 1805, Edward Ward assisted in making a coffin.  (Allegany Co., MD, Register of Wills, Thomas Mackelfish file, Original Estate Papers; viewable online at Family Search, MD. Probate Estate & Guardianship Files, 1796-1940, image 41, 57, 59, 98, 103 of 106) Taking this things into consideration, it feels safe to posit that Thomas died sometime on October 18 or 19, 1805.

Thomas Mackelfish’s will was offered for probate and proven by two of the witnesses, Frederick Danison and John Read on 16 November 1805. (Allegany Co., MD, Will Book A, p. 79)  On the same day, Thomas Mackelfish, David Hoffman and Frederick Danison signed a £1,500 bond for Thomas Macklefish’s performance as executor of his father’s estate. (Allegany Co., MD, Register of Wills, Thomas Mackelfish file, Original Estate Papers; viewable online at Family Search, MD. Probate Estate & Guardianship Files, 1796-1940, image 2 of 20)

As mentioned earlier, Thomas’ will was very brief, mentioning the support of his wife, charged to his four sons, who were to divide the estate equally between them, all of them mentioned only by their relationship to him, and not by name.  The question of who this wife was, as raised by the series of deeds which include no relinquishment of a wife’s dower, remains.  He obviously had a wife at the time he composed his will – October 1804.  Did a wife actually survive Thomas?  There would have been no need to change his will, as no specific bequests had been made to her, only her support provided for.  If a wife did survive Thomas, was it Mary Powell.  It is pretty certain that Mary, who is mentioned in the earlier deeds, was Mary Powell.  Mary Mackelfish is named as the daughter of Thomas Powell, of Frederick Co., MD, in his will, proven in 1776. (Frederick Co., MD, Register of Wills, Will Book 1, pp. 562-564)   If Mary, or any wife, did survive Thomas, she was poorly advised by her family.  One might not expect the sons to advise her thus, as it would affect their own inheritance, but her daughters or sons-in-laws could have advised her to renounce the provision for her in the will, and to elect her dower.  Rather than being dependent upon her sons for the support they gave her, which would have been entirely at their discretion, not mandated by the will or any Orphans Court order, she would have received one-third of all the considerable personal property, and a life-time estate in one third of the real estate.  As it is, no mention is even made of her in the administration of Thomas’ estate, and no provision made for pin money, so she was totally dependent upon her sons.  Most widows appear in the sales reports of their husband’s personal property, buying things that they will need to continue living – with the sales being charged against their dower or their legacy.  No trace of Thomas’ widow appears in the list of sales made of his personal property.  In the 1810 federal census of Allegany County, District 6, in the household of David Macklefish, there is a white female, 45 years or older, and a white male of 16 years but under 26, who could have been Thomas’ widow and his youngest son, Joseph, neither enumerated in a household of their own. (1810 U. S. Census, Allegany County, Maryland, District 6, p. 3, NARA M252, Roll 14 – Rachael’s mother, Elizabeth Willison was still living in the household of her husband, John Willison, Sen., three households preceding David’s, so this older female would not have been her.)

On 10 December 1805, Thomas’ youngest child, Joseph, appeared at the Orphans’ Court of Allegany County, and elected his oldest brother, Thomas, as his guardian, to which post the court appointed him accordingly.

An inventory of the personal property of Thomas Macklefish was taken by Thomas Pratt & Edw. Willson, Junr., on 24 November 1805, and certified by the assessors on 7 December 1805, with the personal property valued at $2,920. 23 (Allegany Co., MD, Register of Wills, Thomas Mackelfish file, Original Estate Papers; viewable online at Family Search, MD, Probate Estate & Guardianship Files, 1796-1940, image 27 of 106)   Three days later, Thomas Macklefish, Jun., acting executor of the estate of Thomas Macklefish, deceased, applied for an order for the sale of his father’s personal property.  The court ordered the sale, to take place on 5 January, after being advertised for three weeks, offering credit of twelve months on the purchases.  (Allegany County, MD, Register of Wills, Orphans Court Proceedings, Liber A (1791-1820), pp. 76, 77)
The sale of personal property was held on January 6- 8, with total sales reported at $4,005.94; the majority of the property was purchased by Thomas, David and John.  Joseph purchased 3 books for $1.50, and 4 books for $1.60, which appears to be the total of his purchases. (The sale of the slaves has been discussed earlier.)  (Allegany Co., MD, Register of Wills, Thomas Mackelfish file, Original Estate Papers; viewable online at Family Search, MD. Probate Estate & Guardianship Files, 1796-1940, image 4 to 14 of 20)

Thomas Macklefish, guardian to Joseph, applied to the Orphans’ Court again on 11 February 1806, this time for an order for the valuation of the real estate of their father.  The court ordered John Reid and Thomas Pratt to conduct this valuation of the real estate and report it to the court. .  (Allegany County, MD, Register of Wills, Orphans Court Proceedings, Liber A (1791-1820), pp. 77)  On 5 April 1806, Reid and Pratt made an estimate of the annual value of Thomas Macklefish’s real estate in Allegany County, in dollars and cents.  The real estate was valued as
The Dwelling Plantation   $80
The Powder Mill              33 1/3
Jurdens Place (?)            10 –
Braefields Ditto               30_
                                  $153 1/3
(Allegany Co., MD, Register of Wills, Thomas Mackelfish file, Original Estate Papers; viewable online at Family Search, MD. Probate Estate & Guardianship Files, 1796-1940, image 18 of 20)

Thomas nominated all of his sons as executors of his will – Joseph, as a minor, would have been ineligible to act.  His older brothers, David & John also ceded their position to their eldest brother, Thomas, who acted as sole executor for the sole estate.  Thomas submitted eight accounting of his father’s estate, collecting money due him, and paying accounts which he or the estate owed.  The first accounting was submitted to the Orphan’s Court on 10 February 1807, and the eighth and final account on 10 August 1813, at which time Thomas and his brothers received their final payments from the estate. (Allegany Co., MD, Register of Wills, Administrator’s Accounts, Vol. A (1792-1830), pp. 96, 99, 102, 108, 113, 121, 127, 152)

Thomas’ heirs made the first deed to dispose of his real estate on 8 March 1808, when they sold 83 acres of land to Jesse Chaney, part of the tract “The Resurvey on Abednegoes Choice,” for £40 (Allegany Co., MD, Deed Book E, p. 298, 299). One would assume that Joseph had reached his majority by this time, since Thomas did not sign as his guardian and a deed made by a minor could lead to a questionable title to the land.  The following year, on 19 May 1809, the sons made five deeds, which in effect, divided their father’s remaining real property amongst them. The land was apparently sold at the market value, and then the proceeds were apparently divided between them (Allegany Co., MD, Deed Book E, pp. 44, 449, 450, 451, 470, 471).  These deeds close Thomas’ presence in the official record.

Data compiled by Don Nazelrod

Early Church Records



Some extracted records from All Hallows Parish (South River), Anglican (Church of England) / Episcopal Church, Anne Arundel County, Maryland


Digital download taken from microfilm – Maryland State Archives – Special Collections
<msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/speccolm/scm200/scm221/000001/000001/pdf/msa.scm221.pdf>


First page number refers to number written by writer of record; second number refers to digital copy number in a file of 227 pages;

MACKLEFRESH and Variants

p. 2 (2/227) Richard, ye son of David & Alice Mackelfresh his wife was borne ye 17th day of July Anno Domini 1695 in ye parish of All hallows & Baptized
p. 20 (11/227) John, ye son of David & Alice Mackelfresh his wife was borne ye 1 day of July Anno Domini 1697 in ye p’ish of All hallows & Baptized ye 15 August 1697
p. 27 (14/227) Mary, ye Dafter of David & Allies Macke----, his wife was born ye 15th Day of July Anno Domini 1699 & Baptized ye 5th day of November 1699 by Mr. Coalbach, Min.
p. 38 (24/227) Marriages Anno Dom. 1711 &c
Rich: Dixon & Alee Mackelfresh were married by Ly (license) Jan. ye 5th 1711
p. 37 (25/227) Marriages Anno Dom. 1707 &c
August ye 30th 1711 – Were married Wm. Purdy & Ann Macklefresh  Banns
p. 31 (28/227) Births & Baptisms 1705
December 22, 1705 was born Thomas ye son of David Mackelfresh & Allis or Alie his wife
Jan. ye 2nd 1705 (remember under the Julian Calendar, the year changed on March 25) was baptized Thomas ye son of ye sd. David & Alee Mackelfresh
p. 25 (31/227)  Births & Baptisms Registered Ano Dom. 1703
(???)ber 27 1702 was born David ye son of David & Alice Mackelfresh
June 13 1703 and was baptized David son of ye sd. David Mackelfresh and wife Alice
p. 22 (32/227) Burials Anno Domini 1701
September ye 15 1702 – Was buried Will’m Hayes (sev’t of David Macklefresh) born nigh Edenbourough
p. 19 (35/227)
September ye 14 1702 – Was baptized Jane ye daughter of David & Alice Macklefresh
(43/277)  A Register of Names of Persons Baptized or Married in South R. at All hallows Parish since July 7, 1700
(44/227)  Jane, D. of David Macelefresh & W. Alice was baptized Sept. 14, 1701
(45/227) David Son of David & Alice Mackelfrish was baptized June 13, 1703
(47/227)
 ----------- Purdy & Anne Macelefresh were married by Banns August ye 30th 1711
Richard Dixon & Alice Macclefrish were married by License Jan. ye 5th 1711
(53/227)
John Burgess and Jane Mackelfresh were married by Lycenes December 15 1720
(54/227)
William, S. of John Burgess & Jane his wife was baptized 8 Nov. 1721
(55/227)
David Macelefresh  & Mary Leek were married by Banns Jan. 3, 1722
(56/227)
Ann, D. of John Burgess and Jane his wife, was baptized April 7th 1723
(93/227)
David Mackelfresh & Mary Leeke were married by Banns Jan. 3, 1722
(94/227)
Ann, Daug’r of John & Jane Burgess was born March 1, 1722
(96/227)
Rich’d, Son of David and Mary Macklefresh was born June 27, 1724
p. 17 (98/227)
Elizabeth – Daughter of David & Mary Macklefish was born March 2, 1725
p. 19 (99/227)
Jos. Son of John Burgess and Jane his wife was Bap. Mar. 5, 1726
Joseph, Son of John & Jane Burgess was born Jan. 27, 1726
William, Son of John & Jane Burgess was Born Oct. 9, 1721
Mary, Daughter of David & Mary Macklefish was born ---------- bap. June 26, 1727
p. 20 (100/227)
Thomas Macklefish and Susanna Cheney were marr’d by Banns  Jan’y 11, 1727
p. 22 (101/227)
Sarah, Daughter of John Burgess & Jane his wife was born Feb. 2, 1727 & Bap. March 25, 1728
p. 26 (103/227)
David, son of David & Mary Macklefish was born Sept. 26, 1730
Mary, daug’r of John Burgess and Jane his wife, born ----------  Bap. April 7, 1731
p. 31 (105/227)
--------------------  Daug’r of John Burgess and Jane his wife was buried Oct. 19, 1732
p. 32 (106/227)
Mary, the wife of David Macklefish was buried Feb.  Feb. 19, 1732
David Macklefish and Martha Sellman were married by Banns Oct. 8, 1733
p. 34 (107/227) Jane, the wife of John Burgess was Bur. Mar. 11, 1733
p. 35 (107/227) John Burgess & Matilda Sparrow were married by Lycense – Jan. 27th 1734

(Courtesy of Don Nazelrod)


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