Monday, February 20, 2017

The GREERS Begin

                                                   Part one James 1600's England to Maryland  
(Some spelling variations: Grear,  Grier, Greer, Greyer)
        Legends say James was a son of Grierson of Capenoch.   His birth was about 1627 so his immigration  at the age of 47 would not be unreasonable, though one must question why he would come as an indentured servant.
       However, research by Richard Miller found a James Grierson of Capenoch buried on 23 January 1662 in Greyfriars Church, Edinburgh The Scottish Genealogical Society in Edinburgh  seemingly confirms that the burial was of James Grier(son) of Capenoch who was an MD (Apothecary) and died unmarried in Edinburgh.
 (source )
Also DNA evidence appears to indicate that our American branch of the Greer family does not match with the Greers and Griersons of Scotland.

      James  ancestry will remain a mystery for now.

     We know nothing about James Greer before his first appearance  as an indentured servant transported in the ship Batchelor of Bristol to America by Samuell Gibbons of Bristoll, 1674.

   " Samuel Gibbons, who proved his right unto four thousand-five hundred acres of land due him for transporting ninety persons, herein mentioned into the Province to inhabit. Before me.....Charles Calvert.” 
      Samuel next cashed in over a quarter of his acreage for cash.

"Know all men by these presents that I Robert Ridgely of St. Mary's City for a valuable consideration to me paid by Thomas Selby of Somerset County do Assign, Sell and make over unto the said Thomas all my right, Title and Interest of, in and to Twenty five Rights to Land to me due by assignment from Samuell Gibbons of Bristoll, merchant, due the said Samuell for Transporting Robert Hutchins, Robert Mackahee, Agnes Sincler, John Grey, Thomas Mercer, Anthony Winslow, William Winslow, James Winslow, John Miller, James Grear, John Lynsey, John Keane, John Macknamerry, Jeffery Mackvey, Mathew Shaw, John Bradshaw, John Tarneck, Alexander Wallis, Daniell Henry, John Mackelman, Robert Orr, Hugh Maynard, James Feilding, Andrew Agnew, and Daniell Macknele into this province to Inhabit. To have and to hold the Said five and Twenty Rights to Land to him the Said Thomas Selby, his heirs and Assigns forever, Witness my hand and Seale this Sixth of November 1674  Witnesses: John Blomfeild    Robert Ridgely {Seale} 
Robert Ellis" 
      Presuming he served a seven year indenture contract, James would have been a free man for 6 years before his next appearance.  Oddly no records seem to have been located for those years. James did marry Ann Taylor, daughter of Arthur Taylor and Margaret (Hill) Taylor, date unknown.  On "June 6, 1687. To all Christian people, to whom these presents shall come ... I, Arthur Taylor, of Gunpowder River, in Baltimore County, Maryland, Planter, for and in consideration of natural love and affection which I have and do bear unto James Grear and Ann, his wife, as also for divers and other good reasons and considerations..." 75 acres... part "Arthur's Choice" on Bird Run  (in Maryland) This is NOT Arthur's will, some believe it to be a wedding gift.  This is 13 years after James arrived in British America.
      In 1688 James and Ann had a son named John.  There is no will found on James but his name disappears at about this time.  Often when a person dies without a will it was due to sudden illness or accident. (TL NOTE If he was the Grierson of Capenoch he would have been mid 60's and less likely to have failed to write a will.)

      Ann, James wife, is next found married to Lawrence Richardson.  He was listed as " custodian for ye Orphans of James Grear"  Much discussion about how many children Ann and James had, but it could have been just a misreading of the record.   At the very least, no evidence of any adult children making a claim to the "Arthur's Choice" property, besides John, has been located.
      Ann Taylor Greer Richardson  is believed to have had at least one child with Richardson named Thomas. b. about 1692.

      About Ann's 2nd Husband, Lawrence Richardson
On the 19th of May, 1680, a small party of Indians attacked the house of Thomas Richardson at the head of Gunpowder River, but were put to flight by Richardson [Later Lt. Col .Thomas Richardson, Chief Ranger and Surveyor for County] and his brother Lawrence Richardson. 
In 1693, Lawrence Richardson was named as a vestryman of old St. John's Parish in Baltimore County, Maryland.

      Ann was widowed again.  She married a third time, now to Oliver Harriett.
                                                                                                                             to be continued

FAMILY PATH  Watkins to Lewis, to Greer.