MILLISCENT JOHNSON         
Her Story as I know it
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Milliscent Johnson was born Oct. 14, 1724 “about 8 of the clock in the evening”.  She was the daughter of a successful planter and political leader of Cecil County, Maryland  Thomas Johnson Jr. and his wife Milliscent.  Her mother’s maiden name is unknown, but when she married Johnson she was the widow of  Nicholas Hyland, also of Cecil County.   This was recorded in the  St. Mary Anne’s Parish records, North East Maryland.  The records were compiled into Early Anglican Church Records of Cecil County by Henry C. Peden, Jr., page 80.

The family lived on the plantation Triumph on the Elk River.  During Milliscents childhood it grew from 300 to over 1000 acres.  We know there had been a cider mill, and from that we deduce an orchard.  When Milliscent was 10 years old her mother died on August 6, 1734.  Thomas soon married again, a woman by the name of Rebekah, last name unknown.  The marriage is not recorded in the parish records, but the births of Thomas and Rebekah's two  children are in 1735 and 1737. page 60 & 61

1738 was a hard year for the family.  Thomas Johnson died and was buried Jan. 7, 1738.   In Nov of 1738 his youngest child, Thomas Jr. died.  By the direction of Thomas’ will, Milliscent’s brother, Edward Johnson, who was 12-years-old when his father died was to “remain and be under the care and guardianship of my beloved brother Edward Johnson until he shall be one and twenty years of age.”.  It is not known where young Edward’s uncle lived or why he was separated from his sister Milliscent. Milliscent was 14-years-old at the time and was to “remain under the Guardianship of his wife Rebekah until she was 16-years- old.  Rebekah and Thomas’ 3-year-old daughter, also named Rebekah was not named in the will but would have also remained with her mother.  The widow, Rebekah was given the plantation with permission to sell, if needed to pay debts.  If she did not sell, she could live there and upon her death the estate reverted to his son Edward.

A few months before she was 16-years-old, Millliscent Johnson wed John Currier on June 16, 1740.  This is recorded in the St. Mary Anne’s parish records, and listed in Peden’s book on page 62John Currier was just 23 at the time of their marriage and had inherited his father’s dwelling and plantation in the spring of 1738.  The plantation was called Helena by John's grandfather, William Currer and was about 1/2 mile south of the present boundary of Charlestown on the west side of the North East River.  Cecil County Wills Vol 14, will of John Currier folio 345.

In 1740 Cecil County had many Plantations, though some of the land was already in decline because of the continual cultivation of tobacco.  There were active furnaces and milling operations and the need was felt for a real town, with shipping capabilities.  Hence in 1742 Charlestown Maryland was incorporated.  The town was laid out on a point the west side of the North East River.  The design of the town was complete in the spring of 1743 to contain 500 acres.  200 acre lots were laid out with 7 streets laid out at right angles to the river and five crossing streets.  300 acres were set aside for the communal use.  Sale of the lots began on May 10, 1743.   A wharf and warehouse were erected, the county court house was erected and for years two town Fairs attracted people from all over the east coast.  It eventually became rather rowdy in nature.  This town history is from the History of Cecil County, pages 265 – 269, by George Johnston written in 1881.   The County seat eventually moved to Elkton and the commercial wharf closed.  Today Charlestown remains much as it was laid out.  A quiet, pleasant bay-side town with many marinas along the river edge and historic buildings a careful 3 blocks from the river.

Nicholas Hyland, Milliscent Johnsons half brother,was one of the original town Commissioners assigned the task of creating a town.  He purchased a ½ lot deed to lot #11.  This lot was 2 blocks north of the warehouse and on the river.  On June 12, 1744 John Currier, "Innholder in Charlestown" bought for 12 shillings 6 pence ¼ of lot #11 from his brother in law, Nicholas Hyland.  The deed goes on to say “it being the quarter part of the said lot that the said Currer now lives on”.
Charlestown Land Records 1744-1801 Vol 1, page 6.

On July 28, 1750 John Currier and wife Melisant of Charlestown sold the ¼ lot #11 for 129 pounds 15 shillings, 7 ½ pence.  He made a tidy profit on that sale.
Charletstown LR., Vol 1, pg 129.

John Currier made two other lot purchases in Charlestown that we know of.  On Nov. 6, 1746, he purchased ¼ lot #133 for 3 pounds.  This is on the interior of the town on a public square. . He was still listed as Innholder in this deed. on page 50  And on Nov. 11, 1748, John Currier purchased from another town Commissioner ¼ of Lot #1 for 15 pounds.  This lot was either next to or shared the site of the Warehouse. page 89 Sale of either of these last two properties has not been found. So we know that by 1743 John and Milliscent Currier had moved to Charlestown where he may have been the Innholder, but she probably had a huge hand in running the Inn.  The Inn may well have been where they lived on Lot #11. 

The Cecil County Historical Society has a family group sheet for this family that lists 8 children with their names, birth dates and for some young death dates.  The only ones that are also in the St. Mary Anne Records is the eldest and the youngest. Page 62 & 67
Thomas Currer  born July 23, 1741
Augustine “Leny” Currer born Sept 15, 1743, wed Jacob Jones Dec 10, 1759
Sarah Currer      born Aug. 2, 1746
John Currer        born Jan 28, 1747/8
Rebecca Currer  born May 10, 1750 died Aug 20, 1751
Lihichay Currer  born Aug 21, 1752, died May 26, 1754
Nicholas Currer  born March 16, 1754, died March 26, 1754
Bennoney Currer born Oct. 4, 1755

Milliscent Johnson Currier died just a few days after the birth of Bennoney or Benoni.  According to the family records kept in the Currier Sermon book, she died Oct. 7, 1755. She was 31-years-old.  Some records have her living until Oct 1775.  I’m sure this is a mistake.  It is not known where she is buried. Her husband married in Nov. 24, 1756 Rosamund Pennington.

In the Cecil County Historical Society library Surname File on Currier there is a letter from Mrs. Oliver M. Currier of Havre de Grace, Maryland dated 1975.  In it she describes a Sermon Book given to  Mrs. Loreen Buffum Robinson of Long Beach CA.  The Sermon Book was given to Mrs. Robinson by a 95 year old cousin.  “The Sermon Book is the remains of a book of sermons preached by a Currier preacher in England at the time of Cromwell.  Augustine Currier Jones used this book as a family bible. I believe the birth and death dates were found in the Sermon Book. Mrs. Robinson had already sent the genealogical sheets and sermons to the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore in 1975.  
 
RESEARCH QUESTIONS
If you know the answer please CONTACT US
1. What was the maiden name of Milliscents mother?
2. Look at original St. Mary Anne’s church records.  Perhaps some were missed by Peden.
3. Find the Sermon book at the Maryland Historical Society
4. Were John and Milliscent still living in Charlestown at the time of her death?


 
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Date created: 3/12/2009
Date Edited 12/14/2014
Date edited 1/7/2021