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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Kentucky: Green County

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the Mary Thear / James Skaggs myth debunked
Posted by: Wilene (ID *****7608) Date: February 15, 2007 at 08:59:01
  of 588

What A Find !!!

I ran across this revelation when searching for various Scaggs / Skaggs names in Maryland and the newer version with Mary Kear's name that's in the 3rd paragraph of my document below came up with either a Richard or a John search, and I just sat and stared at the name! The rest was easy.

I will send this to anyone who asks as an attachment. I have it as a Rich Text Document in WordPad which includes bold highlights and book titles properly done in italics. Just ask.



Mary THEAR / KEAR in Kent County, Maryland
Wilene Smith (ChloeQCumber@aol.com), February 14, 2007
posted online at http://genforum.genealogy.com/skaggs/messages/2751.html
James and Rachel Skaggs of Draper's Meadows and the New River area of early southwest Virginia.
http://wc.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=thomaswilene&id=I0309


The Lyman Draper Manuscript Collection archived at the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison, Wisconsin, tells us that "Henry, Charles, and Richard Skaggs and three other brothers were grandsons of an Irishman who fled from Ireland of Londonderry in 1688-'89, when so many of the hardy Scotch-Irish race emigrated to the shores of the New World. We find his adventurous descendants, natives of Maryland, living on the frontiers of New River and sharing largely in the toils and hardships of the Long Hunters in 1770-'71." [note 23, p.277: "MS. statements of Capt. John Barbee, derived from Thomas and Moses Skaggs, son of Charles Skaggs; MS. notes of conversations with Morgan Vardeman of Kentucky."] --Lyman C. Draper, The Life of Daniel Boone, Ted Franklin Belue, ed. (Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1998), 268.

Many years ago, perhaps several decades ago, a book was discovered that contained the names of Mary Thear, age 60, Richard Scaggs (Scago), age 29, and John Scaggs (Scago), age 25, identified together in a lease dated April 10, 1753, in Kent Co., MD. One entry on page 9 has the code, (M), in front of Mary Thear's name and a few researchers jumped to the conclusion that this meant she was Richard and John's mother.
However, page 2 of this book lists the abbreviation codes used on its pages:
(A) date of lease -- 1753, April 10; (B) to whom leased -- Mary Thear;
(D) tenant in possession -- Annas Glenn; (C) number of acres -- 15;
(E) annual rent -- 0.2 0; (L) now held -- Richard & John Scago (Scaggs) & Lessee;
(M) ages of the persons mentioned in the lease & other remarks --
Mary Thear 60; Richard 29, John 25.


Several days ago, through Family Tree Maker's GenealogyLibrary.com online, I stumbled on another interpretation of the above Mary Thear record derived from a different source and published in Robert W. Barnes & F. Edward Wright, Colonial Families of the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Vol. 1 (Westminster, MD: Family Line Publications, 1996), page 224:
KEAR, MARY, on 10 April 1753, had a lease from Benjamin Tasker of Annapolis, Agent and Receiver General for the Lord Proprietary, for part of His Lorships Manor, 15 acres. The lease was to run for the lifetimes of said Mary Kear, Richard Scaggs and John Scaggs, all of Kent County. Mary Kear, widow, assigned the land to John Knock. {KELR JS#28:301} [KELR refers to Kent County Land Records.]


Kear? and not Thear? Picture in your mind for a moment how Kear in the old handwriting might be misconstrued as Thear.


Also available through Family Tree Maker's GenealogyLibrary.com are the actual pages containing Mary Thear's name published in "State of His Lordship's Manors," 1766, 1767, 1768. Rent Rolls--Partial Census. I was unable to access the actual title page if there is one. Family Tree Maker includes it in Maryland Settlers & Soldiers, 1700s-1800s / Maryland Records, Volume II.


The following records* were then easily located at Family Tree Maker's GenealogyLibrary.com online:

From Maryland Marriages, 1634-1777, page 101:
Kear, Benjamin, 4 Sept. 1747, Mary Grownoho : 2 KE-286
This record can be found at the Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore, MD.

Maryland Eastern Shore Vital Records, Book 2, 1726-1750 (copyright 1993)
Shrewsbury South Sassafras Parish (Kent County), copied 1898 by Miss L. H. Harrison.
From Maryland Eastern Shore Vital Records, Book 2, 1726-1750 , Shrewsbury Parish, Kent County, page 16:
Benjamin Kear and Mary Grownohow m Sep 4 1747
Sarah Kear dau of Benjamin and Mary Kear b Oct 8 1748
Cathrine Kear dau of Benjamin and Mary Kear b Aug 27 1750

From Robert W. Barnes & F. Edward Wright, Colonial Families of the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Vol. 1 (Westminster, MD: Family Line Publications, 1996), page 84:
1748 Dec. 25, Benjamin Kear witnessed the will of John Denning, Kent Co., MD.

From Prerogative Court Abstracts, 1751-1756, page 5:
Benjamin Kear : 48.147 : -- : 2.14.6 : 1751
List of debts.
Administratrix/Executrix: Mary Kear (widow)

From Prerogative Court Abstracts, 1751-1756, page 103:
Benjamin Kear : 47.116 : KE : 66.6.1 : Feb 8 1750 : Apr 30 1751
Appraisers: John Burgin, Samuel Norris.
Creditors: William Rasin, Daniel Bryane.
Next of kin: Mary Davis, Mary Dening.
Administratrix: Mary Kear.


From Robert W. Barnes & F. Edward Wright, Colonial Families of the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Vol. 1 (Westminster, MD: Family Line Publications, 1996), page 223:
Benjamin Keare, son of Thomas, was named as the youngest son in his father's will. He and Mary Grownohow were married 4 Sep 1747. {KESH}
On 23 March 1722/3 Benjamin Kear conveyed to his brother James Kear a parcel of land, one-half part of the tract called Ash Point and one-half of the tract called Keer's Addition and after his death to revert to the said Benjamin Kear. {KELR JS#W:292}
At March Court, 1728, Benjamin Kear of Shrewsbury Parish, planter, was found guilty of assaulting Jane Tannen in Dec 1728 and fined 500 lbs. of tobacco. {KECR JS#22:62} At August Court, 1731, Benjamin Keare of St. Paul's Parish, was found guilty of assaulting John Howell on 19 July 1731. He was fined 250 lbs. of tobacco. {KECR JS#WK:231}
On 19 Aug 1743, Benjamin Kear of Kent County, cordwinder, conveyed land to James Masling (Maslin) of the aforesaid county, joyner. The deed stated that: whereas Thomas Kear of Kent County, deceased father of the said Benjamin owned a tract called Ash Point, 42 acres, granted in a patent to him in 1688 and Thomas Kear by his will devised the tract to said Benjamin his son. {KELR JS#24:469}
Benjamin died by 8 Feb 1750, when his estate was appraised by John Burgin and Samuel Norris, and valued at 66.6.1. William Rasin and Daniel Bryane signed as creditors. Mary Davis and Mary Denning signed as next of kin. Mary Kear, admx, filed the inventory on 30 April 1751. {MINV 47:116}
On 18 March [1754] Mary Kear was convicted for bastardy which she swore was begot by Richard Norris. She was fined 30 s. {KECR JS#25:206A} At August Court, 1754 Mary Kear, widow of Shrewsbury Parish, made oath that the child of which she was lately delivered was begotten by Richard Norris to which he confessed and paid the fine of 30 s. and entered into security to keep the child called Hannah from becoming any charge of the county. {KECR JS#25:132B}
At March Court, 1757 Richard Norris was fined 30 s. for committing fornication with Mary Kear. The child was dead. Each was fined 30 s. {KECR JS#25:215B}
Benjamin and Mary were the parents of: Sarah, born 8 Oct 1748; and Cathrine, born 27 Aug 1750. {KESH}


Archives of Maryland online : March Court 1728, Kent County
Benjamin Kear charged and fined for the assault on Jane Tannen.
http://djs.state.md.us/megafile/msa/speccol/sc2900/sc2908/000001/000567/html/am567--62.html


Benjamin Kear, Mary Grownohow, Mary Kear, and Mary Thear were not found in the many records and books available through Ancestry.com.


It has now been proven beyond any doubt whatsoever that Mary Thear never existed and therefore could not possibly be the mother of, or in any way related to, James Skaggs of Draper's Meadows and the New River area of early southwest Virginia, and the father of the famed Long Hunters, Henry, John, Moses, James, Charles, Aaron, Jacob, and Richard, and their sisters, Mrs. Susannah Whitt, Mrs. Nancy Meredith, Mrs. Lydia Harman, and Mrs. Elizabeth Hankins.


*When it was possible to find the title page / copyright page, the full citation is given. Otherwise only the bare bones citation provided by FTM's GenealogyLibrary with each page is given.


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