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This story is complex and not complete.  There are numerous documents that refer to William Boswell.  But the pieces that we have, create shadows of pieces we don't have.  If you think you can bring light to the shadow places, please CONTACT US

William Boswell,  was born 1682 probably in Charles County Maryland.  His parents are believed to be John Boswell and Marie or Mary birth name unknown.  He was 1 of 6 children born to the couple before his father died by 1686. Charles County MD Court Records Liber N, page 151.  His mother remarried soon after to George Pouncy Charles county MD Court Records Liber N, page 209

At the time of William's birth his father, John Boswell already owned land in Charles County, Maryland. Abstracts ,Inventories and Accounts of Prerogative Court Of MD.1677-1682 by Vernon L. Skinner

William Boswell married Mary Ann McAtee , but it is not known when.  "Mary Boswell" was left a child's share in her mother's will.  Rosamund McAtee. Maryland Probate Records 1714-1721, SLC Family History Center Library Microfilm #0012846 .   There are 2 dates in the transcription,  one reads she wrote the will March 3, 1716, the other March 3, 1717.  Either way, we know they were married by March 1717, and maybe much earlier. 

There was a Charles County Will made May 4th 1742 by Allen Hewton, widower who specified that his daughter, Mary would be under the care of Mary Ann Boswell until she was 16.  We believe this to be the Mary Boswell named in Rosamund's will. 

William Boswell, planter bought a parcel of land called Mudd Hole, Jan 21, 1712.   Mary was not mentioned in the purchase, but William Boswell sold Mudd Hole on Nov. 15, 1721 and his wife Mary released her dower rights.  Abstracts of Charles County MD court and Land Records 1694-1722, Vol 3 by Elise Greenup Jourdon.  In the deed Mudd Hole was described as being "on northeast of first run that falls into Mattawoman Creek".   In 1712, Charles County was separated from Prince Georges County by Mattawoman Creek.  As the deed was made in Charles County, I looked for the first stream that fed into Mattawoman Creek that was solely in Charles county.  It would be between present day state rd 227 and Billingsley Rd, This is where Mattawoman becomes the dividing line, 10 +/- miles north or Port Tobacco.   However there is the possibility that it was in Prince George's County.  The final deed dated Aug. 1 1712, "from Thomas Robins of Pr. George's Co. Md., planter to William Boswell of Charles County Md. planter. Price 2000 lbs. tobacco, part of tract called ,"Mud Holes", in the woods near Mattawoman River. 30 acres, including buildings, formerly owned by Henry Robins Sen., recorded January 21 1712."  The Mattawoman is 30 miles long.  On today's Google map the source is just south of Brandwine in Prince George's County.  So Mudd Hole could have been to the north of Mattawoman, Md.  Considerably further from what is considered the home base of the Boswell family, ie Port Tobacco.

On Dec. 6, 1720, William Boswell gave a Deposition regarding a track of land, Friendship.  In that deposition he gives his age as 38, hence the 1682 birth year.  Charles county MD Land Records M2, page 107

The land called, " Boswell's Desert", was surveyed for William Boswell, July 20 1719 in Charles County Maryland. Liber H, folio 470. He received Patented certificate #153 on Oct. 17, 1724.  In the Patent it states that was on a small branch that falls into the main branch of Portobacco. It also specified that it was near the land of Alexander Hamilton.  A, Hamilton's Spye Park is just west of White Plains MD on Tobacco Creek.  This Hamilton was not related in any known way to the A. Hamilton of Revolutionary war fame.
This would have been due east of Mudd Hole about 4 miles.

By May 1725 and maybe earlier, William Boswell had patented Mary's Delight of 74 acres.  Patent 8/221 ILB 466, from Settlers of Maryland 1731-1750 by Peter Wilson Coldham

The Charles county 1733 Tax List of Boswells has William Sr. on the West side, upper part of Port Tobacco River. So west side, upper part on a small branch could put the land just west of White Plains, MD.

William Boswell  had 5 known sons:  they are all mentioned in his will below.  However, it is not known whether the eldest 2 sons have the same mother, ie Mary Ann McAtee, as the younger sons.  One website stated that William married Mary Ann McAtee in 1712, but no documentation was attached.  However, it makes sense, as you will see.
1.  Matthew Boswell born about 1705
2.  John Boswell born 1707  from the Horrock's family history website re John Boswell.  Land Book 40 Folio 337 1744-45 --- In defining bounds of a tract of land for Edmund Mackatee, John Boswell Sr. made a deposition 13 M ay 1745 and gave his age as 38 years, he also deposed he was the son of William Boswell. John Boswell was the administrator of the estate of John Harris , late of Charles County, deceased, gave an account on Feb 10 1755, ( Liber 37 folio 86)
3. William Boswell born c 1717 -1725
4. Thomas Boswell born c 1722-1725
5.  George Boswell born 1726   from Maryland Historical Magazine, Volume 23 Issue 2 (1928) MSA SC5881-1-90, p. 111 Index to Chancery Depostions 1668-1789.   "Boswell, George, aet. 26 in 1752", Chas. co., xlvii, 205.

I think it is very possible that William had a first wife that died sometime after John was born in 1707.  There is a gap of 10 years before another child is known of.  We don't have exact birth years for William II or Thomas but in William's will he designated his son William and his wife Mary to be the executors of his estate.  So I believe he would be the oldest of the second set of sons.

William Boswell wrote a will, dated June 3, 1741, proved Sept. 9 1741, Charles County Maryland liber 22, page 384.  This was transcribed on the Horrcks Genealogy webpage.  I am very grateful for the clear presentation. And their site lead me to find the will in the Charles County Wills Book AC 4, page 140.  If you would like a copy, CONTACT US.

 The will has very specific designations, but uses unspecified place definitions. There are 9 "Items", which are
1.  son George inherited a yearling mare and a cow heifer. 
2 & 3.  William's son, George Boswell was to inherit Boswells Desert and Mary's Delight when he became 19 years of age.
4.  Son John and son Thomas "may be at 19 years"
5.  If George should die, then William's name sake son, William would inherit Desert and Delight.
6.  Son Matthew, of this story, was granted "his dwelling place for the term of eight years."
7.  Son John was granted "his dwelling place for the term of eight years."
8.  Beloved wife Mary was granted "My dwelling house and plantation" during her life, and all remaining assets.
     At her death those left to Mary would be divided by his children equally.
9.  Mary and son, William would be his executors.

The will does not name the 3 dwelling places mentioned:  one where Matthew dwells, one where John dwells and one where William and Mary had dwelled.   There were the two  tracks named that were to become George's when he turned 19.  Are they where Matthew and John were dwelling?

From the Calvert Papers P 105, Part 2, Rent Rolls, May 7 1725,  "Mary's Delight", surveyed for William Boswell, beginning at bounded Red Oak, 74 acres, Rent 2 shillings 11 and one half Pence, in possession of Matthew Boswell. Calvert papers p 77 Part 2 , Rent Roll, Oct 11 1731, "Mary's Delight", patented for 74 acres, PG #8 Folio 221,  same rent as above, in possession of Matthew Boswell."  Perhaps the residence was a wedding present for Matthew and Anne.  They were still there in 1731.

So Matthew had been "in possession" of Mary's Delight from at least 1725 - 1731.  If he was still there that would be much longer than 8 years.  If he was there and the will gives him 8 years before he had to vacate, then how would George take possession at 19? or was he to get the rents paid by Matthew and live at Boswells Desert.

We don't know where John Boswell was dwelling. Nor do we know the name of the estate on which William had lived with his wife Mary.

George was born in 1726 so in 1741 was 15 years old.  He would turn 19 in 4 years. 

The other strange bit in the Will is stipulating that John and Thomas "may be at 19 years"   It sounds as if, they were not yet 19, but William wished them to be treated as if they were adults?  However, that does not correlate to the statement noted above re John Boswell son of William was 38 years old in 1745.  So is there another John son of William not in this family???  This stipulation is the main reason I believe George to be the youngest of the 5 sons. 

Further, we know that Matthew was born in the first decade of the century, re his "possession of "  Mary's Delight in 1725.  and we know that John was born in 1707.  which leaves a gap of 10 or more years, when there were no births recorded.  Therefore, we believe it possible that Matthew and John were the sons of a first wife who died 1707 - c1717.  As William is named executor, we believe him to be the eldest of Mary Anne McAtee's sons.

I know there are some areas of Germany where the youngest son did inherit, but I had not run into it in America before.

                                Well, Matthew Boswell contested the will in court in October 1741. The Horrocks' have the whole story.  Bottom line is                                             on  Page 320 Prerogative Court Charles County  November 9 1742. The Judge rules that the will is, " Void to the lands.                                             and valid to the personal estate".  So Matthew, apparently being the eldest son, ended up with both Boswells Desert and                                             Mary's Delight. 

                                        Mary Anne Boswell,  died in 1754. The Inventory of the estate of Mary Boswell, late of Charles County, deceased, was                                         presented 30 Dec. 1754 by  James Keeth and William Middleton, appraisers. Signing as kindred were George Boswell                                         (his mark) and John Boswell (his mark). William Boswell, administrator of the estate swore to the  accuracy and                                                     completeness of the inventory on Feb. 6 1755. (Charles County Inventory Liber 60, Folio 137).



If you know the answer please CONTACT US

    1. Confirm his parents to be John Boswell and Mary.
    2. What was his mother's birthname
    3. Were their daughters that were never mentioned?
    4. Get birth dates on his children.
    5. Was there a first wife, mother to Matthew and when did she die?
    6. What was the 3rd property mentioned in William's will, ie "his dwelling house and plantation.
    7. Are there 2 John's son of William we need to consider?

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Date created: 11/20/2014
Date edited 8/20/2019
Date edited 11/5/2021