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Mary Stevens McKeel md. Benjamin Keene, ca. 1766
Posted by: Linda (Noland) Layman (ID *****8388) Date: March 23, 2006 at 16:20:38
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I am not researching this family, just entering information from the Maryland Historical Magazine, 1998:

Sometime between 1765 and 1765, probably several years after the death of Mary Travers Keene, Benjamin married a second time. His new wife, mary Stevens McKell, a cousin of Mary Travers, was the daughter of Priscilla Hooper Stevens Howe and the deceased planter John Stevens. Mary McKeel was the widow of the Dorchester County planter and justice of the peace Captain Thomas McKeen, who died in 1762. Mother of the three McKeel children, Mary, Thomas, and John, Mary was comfortably well off with land, slaves and home furnishings. Indeed, following the settlement of accounts, McKeel's personal property, valued at 406.1.10 lbs was divided between Mary and her children. Bequeathed four slaves by her husband, Mary also had custody of those slaves willed to her children until they married or reached the age of eighteen. 'Spocott,' McKeel's home, and 'Wormer's Chance' were to be shared by Mary and son John in equal partnership during Mary's lifetime."

"Almost from the beginning something was amiss in the marital relationship between Benjamin and Mary McKeel. It was openly expressed on July 30, 1765, when Benjamin's item that Mary Keene had eloped appeared in the 'Maryland Gazette.' Nothing further is known about the incident, although in 1769 the Keenes were living as man and wife. The apparent hostility of Mary's mother, Priscilla Stevens Howe, toward Benjamin was frankly stated in her will of March 30, 1769."

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