Ridgely Maryland’s 150th Anniversary 2017

 

Ridgely Placemat_150_Layout

The weekend started with the Oliver Downes Jr placing the ancestor’s dedication plaque on the property marker and the family decorating the parade float. Sisters Edwina Austin and Jean Downes preparing the food.

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One of the posters used on the float.

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Oliver Downes Jr (Black Hat) , Randy Boyce (White neck collar) and Oliver Downes Sr (Light blue Hat)

Downes parade today real _MG_0731

Acrees, Cephus, Downes, Flamers, Lockermans, Matthews and Pritchetts together for the first time. Their ancestors should be happy in heaven above.

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Four generations of the Downes: Oliver Downes Jr carrying his granddaughter Anaya, Oliver Downes Sr carrying his great granddaughter Kyrie, Pierre Downes carrying his son Jayden Downes and Marcus Downes carrying his daughter Serenity.

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Oliver Downes Sr. United States Navy (Ret.) Korea-Vietnam Wars

                       Oliver Downes Jr. United States Air Force (Ret.) Gulf War

    The Downes float won Best Representative of the 150th Festival Theme

Continue reading “Ridgely Maryland’s 150th Anniversary 2017”

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The Ten Percent:Free People of Color

Last night I was listening to Black ProGen Live, a group of professional genealogists who research and document African-American families, they have round tables setting (Webinar presentations) on YouTube. Black ProGen Live stated “That in 1860, there were more than 4 million enslaved people of African descent living in the United States. At the same time, there were nearly 400,000 free people of color (FPOC) living in the U.S.”   I was surprised about the 10 percent, since majority of my relatives on the Eastern Shore were free in 1860. So I went to research how many free people of color were counted in Maryland and then broken down to Caroline, Queen Anne, Dorchester and Talbot counties.

Maryland : 83,942 free people of color

Caroline County: 2,786   Queen Anne: 3,372  Dorchester:4,684  Talbot:2,964

The county with the majority of FPOC was Baltimore with a total of 29,911 FPOC

So Maryland had almost 1/4 of the 10 percent of FPOC living in United States. So here is  a list of my head of household relatives that were free people of color in the Eastern Shore Maryland.

Caroline County:

Matthew Johns and his wife Emily Ann Homer

Henrietta Lockerman

John and Sarah Lockerman

Benedict Wyatt and his wife Clementine Sarah Coker

Jame Flamer and his wife Lurette

Joseph Flamer and his wife Loretta

John Sparks and his wife Mary

Robert Matthews, he lived most of his life  in Caroline county, but in the 1860, he was working Anne  Arundel.

Wilson and Elizabeth Downes

Medford Pritchett and Mary Adeline Clark

Nathan Clark and his wife Mary Cooper

Dorchester County:

William Cephas

Those mention are head of lineages, this does not include children or siblings that are also FPOC

Prince Hall Masons

prince-hall-our-masonic-family-tapestry-throw

Prince Hall Masons of Maryland trace their history to Massachusetts and Prince Hall, who is believed to been born the year of 1735 and died on December 4, 1807. I am assuming my gggrandfather German Downes belong to the Seventh Masonic District which consist of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Annes’, and Talbot Counties. I had read an article in the newspaper that mention that members of the order which German Downes belonged to assisted in preparing his grave after someone had vandalize it several years after his death.

German’s grandson Wilson Downes was Past Worthy Patron of Olive Branch Lodge No. 93 in  Caroline County Maryland. German’s great-grandson had moved to Philadelphia and joined the Pennsylvania’s Prince Hall Masons.

                             

Uncle reginald

Reginald Downes

My uncle Reginald joined and was raised to a Master Mason in Light of Elmwood Lodge #45 in 1990. He went to Temple Lodge in 1994 and was appointed Senior Deacon and later became Worship Master of Temple Lodge #22. He served as Worshipful Master several times.He served as High Priest of King Solomon Chapter #1 Holy Royal Arch, Deputy Master, Hiram King of Tyre of Charles E. Gordon Consistory #65. He received his 33rd degree from Charles E. Consistory #65. He was Illustrious Potentate of Minaret temple #174. He received several outstanding achievement awards that included, Noble of the Year Award, Sublime Prince of the Year, Holy Arch Companion of the Year and many more to numerous to mention.

 

 

FREE MIXED-RACE CHILDREN OF WHITE WOMEN LISTED IN INVENTORIES OF MARYLAND

FREE AFRICAN AMERICANS OF MARYLAND AND DELAWARE by Paul Heinegg stated that        ” During the colonial period in Maryland and Delaware: Over 600 free, mixed-race children were born to white women by African-American men. Fewer owned land than did their counterparts in Delaware, Virginia and North Carolina.They had closer relations with the slave population than did their counterparts in Delaware, Virginia and North Carolina. Although some claim Native American ancestry, the evidence indicates that most are direct descendants of mixed-race children of white women.”

 

white indentured_whipping

In 1661 Maryland enacted a law declared that “divers free-born English women, forgetful of their free conditions, and to the disgrace of our nation do intermarry with Negro slaves,” and to deter these “shameful matches” the law provided that women who so marry, and their off-spring, should themselves become slaves.

In 1692 Maryland enacted a law which punished white women who had children by slaves by selling them as servants for seven years and binding their children to serve until the age of twenty-one if they were married to the slave, and till thirty-one if they were not married.

In 1715 and 1728 the Maryland General Assembly made the mixed-race descendants of white women who had children by slaves subject to the same punishments as white women. They were sold as servants for seven year terms, and their children were bound until the age of thirty-one. However, if they had a child by a free person, they were usually charged with fornication and received the same sentence as if both partners had been white: a fine or lashes, and their children were bound until the age of twenty-one (for boys) and sixteen (for girls) [Archives of Maryland, 30:289-90; 36:275-76; Laws of Maryland, 1715, chapter 44, section 25, cited by Wright, The Free Negro in Maryland, 27-8].

Free Mixed Race Children of White Women Listed In Inventories of Maryland

Queen Anne’s County Maryland

Aldridge, Campbell, Cornish, Davis (2 children), Flamer, Gibson, Green, Hall (2 children), Harding, Hawkins, Hopkins (2 children), McDaniel (2 children), Miller, Morgan, Natt (2 children), Nicholson, Pritchett, Reed, Roberts (2 children), Robinson (2 children), Scott, Simiter (2 children), Southwood, Stewart, Suitor, Webber, Whittam. 35 children. Also: unnamed child left at Benjamin Denny’s, Chance, Dazey, Hoy, Lang, Lewellin, Neuth, Sarah, Sheahea. Total: 44 children.
Court records before 1709 and 1720-1727 did not survive.

 

Somerset County Maryland

Armwood, Barton, Bass, Buley, Butler, Cambridge, Conner, Dogan, Donaldson (2 children), Downs, Duffy, Fortune (3 children), Frost, Hodgskin, Jervice (2 children), Johnson, Magee (4 children), Miller, Nutt, Redding, Richards, Roach, Roberts, Shaver, Walker, Winslow. 32 children. Also: Blackbourne, Gloster, Heather, Jones (2 children), Leopard, Logan (2 families), Smith, Tiror. Total: 43 children

DOWNS FAMILY

1. Eliza Downes, born say 1708, was the servant of Sarah Dashiell of Stepney Parish on 15 March 1725/6 when the Somerset County court ordered that she be sold for seven years for having an illegitimate child [Judicial Record 1725-7, 97]. She may have been the ancestor of

i. Paddy, “N.” head of a Muddy Branch, Little Creek, Kent County household of 4 “other free” in 1800 [DE:31].

ii. James, “N.” head of a St. Jones Hundred, Kent County, Delaware household of 8 “other free” in 1800 [DE;46].

iii. James, head of a Little Creek, Kent County household of 7 “other free” in 1800 [DE:40].

iv. Isaac, head of a Dover Hundred, Kent County household of 3 “free colored” in 1820 [DE:35].

v. Charles, (Negro) head of a Caroline County household of 7 “other free” in 1810 [MD:194].

vi. Ben, “Negro” head of a Caroline County household of 7 “other free” in 1810 [MD:195].

vii. Daniel, “Negro” head of a Caroline County household of 5 “other free” in 1810 [MD:195].

 

Prince George’s County

1. William Downs, born say 1765, was a “free negro” head of a Prince George’s County household of 8 “other free” in 1800 [MD:303]. He was probably the father of

i. Robert, born about 1792, obtained a certificate of freedom in Anne Arundel County on 3 September 1816: aged about twenty four years .. . brown complexion … free born and … raised in the County [Certificates of Freedom 1810-31, 89].

 

 

FLAMER/ FLAMES FAMILY

Members of the Flamer family were

i. John1, born say 1717, a “Molatto” servant man having “eleven months and 15” to serve and valued at 4 pounds in the inventory of the Queen Anne’s County estate of William Hernsley on 28 October 1737 [Prerogative Inventories 1737-1739, 45-6]. He had an illegitimate child by Elizabeth Grinnage in September 1736 [Judgment Record 1735-9, 344, 382]. He may have been identical to Jonathan Flamar who owed 994 pounds to the Queen Anne’s County estate of Solomon Clayton (who died in 1739) [Prerogative Inventories 98:18-22].

1        ii. Rachel, born say 1720.

2        iii. Judith, born say 1722.

1.    Rachel Flamer, born say 1720, a “poor old Woman,” was supported from public funds by the Queen Anne’s County from 12 December 1775 to 1787. She was called a “poor molatto woman” by the court when it approved her allowance for 1777 [Surles, and they Appeared at Court, 1774-1777, 65, 80; 1779, 1782, 1785, 1786, 1787, 35, 53, 89, 96, 117]. She may have been the ancestor of

i. William, a “Molatto” servant man having “eleven months and 15” to serve and valued at 4 pounds in the inventory of the Queen Anne’s County estate of William Hernsley on 28 October 1737 [Prerogative Inventories 1737-1739, 45-6].

2.    Judith Flamer, born say 1722, was the servant (no race indicated) of Mark Hargadine of Saint Paul’s Parish in March 1745 when the Queen Anne’s County court convicted her of having an illegitimate child named John in 1742 and another child in 1743. In August 1750 she confessed to having other children on 10 June 1747 and 10 December 1748 [Judgment Record 1744-6, 161-2; 1750, 40-2]. She was a spinster living in St. Paul’s Parish when she received 30 lashes and was ordered to pay four-fold the value for stealing a hog worth 40 pounds [Criminal Record 1751-9, n.p.]. She owed the estate of Thomas Kendall 4 pounds, 19 shillings on 10 August 1756 [Prerogative Inventories 73:243]. She was the mother of

i. John2, born on 10 October 1742, a “black” taxable in the Upper Hundred of Kent Island, Queen Anne’s County in 1776 [MSA 148], married to Sherry Grinnage‘s daughter Sarah on 1 November 1790 when Sherry gave her 5 pounds currency by his Caroline County will [WB JR B:168-70].

ii. ?Ann, mother of William and John Flamer (no race indicated) who were with George Sweat on 26 January 1774 when the Queen Anne’s County court ordered him to bring them to court [Surles, and they Appeared at Court, 1774-1777, 41], perhaps identical to the “Molatto girl named Nan” who was valued at 16 pounds in the inventory of the Queen Anne’s County estate of William Hernsley on 28 October 1737 [Prerogative Inventories 1737-1739, 45-6].

iii. ?Solomon, head of a Queen Anne’s County household of 9 “other free” in 1790 [MD:99] and 9 in 1800 [MD:341].

iv. ?William, head of a Talbot County household of 1 “other free” and 3 slaves in 1800 [MD:506].

PRITCHETT FAMILY

1.    Ann Pritchard, born say 1748, was a spinster living in Queen Anne’s County on 10 May 1767 when she had an illegitimate “Molatto” child by a “Negro man.” The court ordered that she be sold for seven years after she completed her service to James Sudler [Judgment Records 1766-7, part 1, CD image 100]. She was probably the mother of the five-year-old “Mulatto” girl serving until the age of twenty-one when she was listed in the Queen Anne’s County inventory of James Sudler on 8 April 1773 [Prerogative Inventories 113:199]. She may have been the ancestor of

i. Silas Pritchett, manumitted by Solomon Barwell in Kent County, Delaware, on 20 October 1786 [Delaware Archives RG 3555.55], head of a Kent County, Maryland household of 5 “other free” in 1800 [MD:63].

Caroline County Maryland, Certificates of Freedom, 1827-1857

Volume 834, Page 352

To Capt.n Joseph Richardson Clerk of Caroline County Court
The undersigned a free negro of Caroline County wishing to visit Philadelphia for the purpose
of seeing his brother and sister   By an Act of Assembly of this State it is necessary my intention
of leaving this State should be known to you   It is my intention to return here again within four
months from this date   Given under my hand this 21.st day of April 1835
Test                                                                                                   his
William Councell                                                              Wilson + Downes
mark

Volume 834, Page 349

 

are permitted to travil out of this State upon the obtention of a certificate of being free born
and whereas also upon the oath of Curtis Andrew of Caroline County that the said negro
man named Joshua Downes for whom this certificate is made was free born, I do therefore grant
his said application and hereby certify that from his own account he was twenty two years
of age the twenty ninth day of August last six feet one and a quarter inches high or
thereabouts of a bright mulattoe complexion was born and raised in Caroline County
and has no notable marks or scars that I can discover
(seal) In Testimony whereof I hereto subscribe my name and affix the public seal of
my office this 21.st day of April Anno Domini 1835
Cost $1.00 Jo Richardson Clk of
Caroline County Court

State of Maryland Caroline County to wit; Whereas application hath been made to me
by a negro man named Wilson Downes for a certificate of his freedom agreeably to the
Acts of Assembly in such case made and provided by which said act free negroes and
mulattoes are permitted to travil out of this State upon the obtention of a certificate
of being free born; and whereas also upon the oath of Curtis Andrew of Caroline
County that the said negro man named Wilson Downes for whom this certificate is
made was free born I do therefore grant his said application and hereby certify
that from his own account he was twenty one years of age the first day of April
Instant five feet eleven and one quarter Inches high or thereabouts of a brown complexion
born and raised in Caroline County and has a scar of a cut on the top of his
right foot extending obliquely across the big toe and the middle finger of his right
hand a little crooked and has no other notable marks or scars that I can discover
(seal)   In Testimony whereof I hereto subscribe my name and affix the public seal
of my Office this 21.st day of April Anno Domini 1835
Cost $1.00                                                                        Jo Richardson Clk of
Caroline County Court

Volume 834, Page 356

M.r Richardson
The undersigned a free negro of Caroline County wishing
to visit the City of Philadelphia for the purpose of seeing his relations &.c
By an act of this state it is necessary my intentions of leaving this state
should be made known unto you               It my intention to return here
again            Given under my hand this 14th day of June 1836
Test      Tho. V. Bishop                                   his
Edwin + Downes
mark

M.r Richardson
Sir, The undersigned a free negro of Caroline County
wishing to visit Philadelphia for the purpose of seeing her relations &c
By an act of this state it is necessary my intentions of leaving this state
should be made known unto unto you   It my intention to return
here again within one month from this date   Given under my
hand this 14th day of June 1836                           her
Test   Tho. V. Bishop                                    Phebe + Downes
mark

 

State of Maryland Caroline County to wit; Whereas application hath been made to me by a negro
man named Jefferson Downes for a certificate of his freedom agreeably to the act of assembly
in such case made and provided by which said act free negroes and mulattoes are permitted
to travel out of this state upon the obtention of a Certificate of being free born; And whereas
also upon the oath of William Price of Queen Anns County that the said negro man named
Jefferson Downes for whom this Certificate is made was free born I do therefore grant his
said application and hereby certify that from his own account he was twenty one years
of age the seventh day of July Instant five feet eight inches high or thereabouts was born
and raised in Caroline County of a black complexion has no flesh marks that I
have observed
(seal) In Testimony whereof I hereto subscribe my name and affix the public
seal of my office this 30th day of July Anno Domini 1831
Cost $1.00 Cts Jo Richardson Clk of
Caroline County Court

 

Volume 834, Page 50  State of Maryland Caroline County to wit Whereas application hath been made to me by a
negro man named William Flamer for a certificate of his freedom agreeably to the act of
assembly in such case made and provided by which said act free negroes and mulattoes
are permitted to travel out of this State upon the obtention of a certificate of being free born
And whereas also upon the oath of Isaac Vinson of Caroline County that the said negro
man named William Flamer for whom this certificate is made was free born. I do therefore
grant his said application and hereby certify that from his own account he is about thirty
three or thirty four years of age five feet seven and three quarter inches high or thereabouts
of a dark mulatto complexion born and raised in Caroline County and has a small
scar of a cut nearly perpendicular in the middle of his forehead and another small scar caused as he says by the bite of a dog on his left arm and no other notable marks orscars that I have observed

(seal) In Testimony whereof I hereto subscribe my name and affix the public seal of
my office this 11th day of July Anno Domini 1831
Cost $1.00 Cts Jo Richardson Clk of
Caroline County Court

Volume 834, Page 165

State of Maryland Caroline County to wit; Whereas application hath been made to me by
a mulatto man named Benjamine Downes for a certificate of his freedom agreeably to the
acts of assembly in such case made and provided by which said acts free negroes and
mulattoes are permitted to travel out of this state upon the obtention of a certificate
of being free born; and whereas also upon the oath of Jonathan Nicols of Caroline
County aforesaid that the said mulatto man named Benjamine Downes for whom
this certificate is made was free born; I do therefore grant his said application
and hereby certify that from his own account he was twenty seven years of age
on the twenty fifth day of December last past six feet and three quarter of an
inch high or thereabouts was born and raised in Caroline County Complexion
Mulatto and has a scar of a cut on the back of his right hand and another scar
of a cut just above the instep on his left leg and his face scared by the small
pox and has no other notable marks or scars that I have observed, In Testimony
(Seal)                   whereof I hereto subscribe my name and affix the public seal
of my office this 16th day of December Eighteen hundred and
forty one                                           Jo Richardson, Clk
Cost $1:00                                          Caroline County Court

285

State of Maryland Caroline County to wit Whereas
application hath been made to me by a negro man named
Isaac Downes for a certificate of his freedom agreeably to Law
And whereas upon the oath of John S. Connelly has been
proven that said negro man was born free I do therefore
grant this Certificate. He is about 27 years of age 5 feet
11¾ inches high or thereabouts of a light Chesnutt Complexion
and has a small scar on the upper lip just under the nose and
no other notable marks or scars that I have observed
In Testimony whereof I hereunto subscribe
my name and affix the seal of the Circuit
(Seal) Court for Caroline County this 28th day
of February Anno Domini 1853
Thomas F Garey Clk

State of Maryland Caroline County to wit; Whereas application hath
been made to me by coloured woman named Rachel Downes for a certificate
of her freedom agreeably to the act of assembly in such case made and
provided by which said act free negroes and mulattoes are permitted to
travel out of this state upon the obtention of a certificate of being free
born and whereas also upon the oath of Lidia Stanton of Caroline County
that the said coloured woman named Rachel Downes for whom this
certificate is made was free born I do therefore grant her said application
and hereby certify that from her own account she was nineteen
years of age in February last five feet three and a quarter inches high
or thereabouts of a dark mulatto complexion was born and raised in
Caroline County has a scar of a cut crossing obliquely the back of her

left little finger between the middle and hand joints and no another fine
scar as of a scratch on the back of her left hand extending nearly from
the hand joint in a straight direction towards the wrist and no other notable
marks or scars that I have observed
(seal) In Testimony whereof I hereto subscribe my name and affix the public
seal of my office this 20th day of August 1829
Cost $1.00 Jo Richardson Clk of
Caroline County Court

tate of Maryland Caroline County to wit; Whereas heretofore to wit; on the twelfth
day of June in the year of our Lord Seventeen hundred and ninety a certain Solomon
Kenton of Caroline County by Deed of manumission duly executed acknowledged and
recorded among the land records of Caroline County did manumit and set free a
certain negro man named Charles now calling himself Charles Downes to be free
from and after the first day of January Eighteen hundred and five and the said negro
man named Charles now calling himself Charles Downes having made application
to me for a certificate of his freedom agreeably to the act of assembly in such case

made and provided and whereas also upon the oath of Joshua Cranor of Caroline County
that the said negro man named Charles (now calling himself Charles Downes for whom this
certificate is made is the same person mentioned in the said manumission I do therefore
grant his said application and hereby certify ^that^ from his age as expressed in the said manumission
he is fifty years of age or thereabouts five feet nine and three quarter inches
high or thereabouts of a dark brown complexion born and raised in Caroline County
has a small scar of a sore on his breast and has no other notable marks or scars
that I have observed
(seal) In Testimony whereof I hereto subscribe my name and affix the public seal of
my office this 3.d day of September Anno Domini 1834
Cost $1.00 Jo Richardson Clk of
Caroline County Court

15 Minutes of Fame of Wilson Downes, Flamer, Cephas

15 MINUTES OF FAME

Church                Afro  American Newspaper Jan 8,1927

Community section article of Ridgely, Maryland

Replanted Zion M.E church, Rev. J. H. Stevenson, pastor. On Saturday morning union services were held at Trinity A.M.E. church, Rev. T.F. Chaney, pastor. The history of the birth of the Christ Child was given in a gospel message by the pastor, Replanted Zion M. E. church Rev. Stevenson.                                             Saturday evening between six or seven, the members from both churches met in town and sang Christmas songs around the community Christmas tree in commemoration of the birth of Christ. Many whites were present to hear the singing, in spite of  the increment weather.

Replanted Zion M. E. church was my father’s and his parents home church in Ridgely.

Wilson

 

My paternal ancestors were listed in the same article about town visitors or trips.

Elwood Mason of Wilmington, Del. visited his mother Mrs. Ella Cephas.

Misses Mary Blake and Reba Dunn of Philadelphia, visited their aunt and mother, Mrs. Hattie Stanford.

Mrs Maggie Seth, of Philadelphia visited her mother and sister, Mrs. Sarah Flamer and Mrs. Amanda Henry.

Wilson Downes and Mrs. Hattie  Stanford are home after several weeks in Philadelphia and Germantown.

King and Queen County, Virginia

SpringAncestor2014-WHTBK_BadgeMINI

I was in high school and my first impromptu interview about my ancestors was with my paternal grandmother Mary Grace Acree. We were in her sitting room and I started to ask her questions. I don’t remember how it came up, but she told me that her father Oliver Acree was Cherokee Indian. Since my father nor neither one of the vast amount of paternal family members had never mention this to me, I pretty much disregard it, I even remember telling her that just because your father had straight black hair did not make him Indian. Everybody and his brother insist that they have Cherokee in them. I told her that most likely that you have a White overseer as an ancestor, Years had past and all my elders had died, when I heard the whispers again to find my ancestors. I was not listening when they were whispering when I was younger and my elders were living. No I had to tune my ears, when there was no one to ask. Two years ago I google my grandmother’s great-grandfather Ruffin Acree,  I found an old post on  Acree Family Genealogy Forum dated December 25, 1998,

Merry Christmas greetings from Canada.

I am doing Powhatan genealogy, and I am looking for ancestors/ descendants of Ruffin Acree (b. 1821) of King and Queen County, Virginia, and his wife Peggy Ann (b. 1830). They had one son, Leroy/Lee (b. 1861 – d. 1910) who had two marriages, both with women named Byrd. I see a lot of Acrees today named Cathy Lee and Deborah Lee, etc., which curiously indicates some affinity for “Lee” among the Acrees. Any information you have will be gladly received and reciprocated. Best regards.

Rarihokwats

There it was my first connection to what my grandmother had told me. So I doubted that the email address that Rarihowats had left was still valid. But I wrote him anyways. To my surprise he wrote me back. Rarihowats is the Powhatan nation’s historian/genealogist, He had enlighten me that the expression that someone has Native American in them is not correct. The expression is that I had ancestors that lived the life as Native Americans. My Acree lineage was of the Rappahannock nation, Most live in Essex, Caroline and King and Queen counties.  The next few blogs will be about my voyage with the Acrees.