Robert, I am adding some comments to your original message.
(Robert)The first mention I have found of Richard Nelson is on 10 Nov 1695 Richard Nelson (I) bought Cole/Coal plantation mentioned in his will. On the SAME day, John Nelson bought Gilliards Begining in Charles County, Later John bought Dumfrese in Prince George County. I think it looks like two brothers traveled together to record their purchases in Nov. of 1695. All three plantation/farms are close together near the county lines, they may be adjacent property. So I think these two could be brothers, I have no proof of it, nor do I have a suspect for the father.
(Betty)Richard Nelson(I) arrived in the province of Maryland in 1679. He married Mary Beck, daughter of Richard Beck. In May 1678 Richard Beck's three daughters filed suit against George Godfrey to win their right to Howland which had been purchased by Nicholas Emerson, husband of Richard Beck's widow. The daughters won the suit. I agree that is likely Richard(I) and John are brothers.
(Robert) Richard Nelson and his wife Mary acquired Howland (farm/plantation) in 1704, 334 acres. (source: Settlers of Maryland 1701-1730 by Peter Coldham)
(Robert)Will of Richard Nellson(I) (Nelson) Source Maryland Calendar of Wills. 9 Feb 1708; 18 Apr 1709(proved date or inventory date)To eldest daughter Barbry and daughter Eleanor personalty. To daughter Margaret, 117 acres adjoining Christian Temple Manor, it being 1/2 of Cole (farm/plantation) To daughter Alice, 117 acres, residue of Cole. To Daughter in law Mary Beck, personalty. To sons Richard and William, jointly, 224 acres, Howland, where George Britt lived. To son John, dwelling Plantation at decease of wife, it being the residue of Howland afsd. To wife Mary, extx, Plantation afsd and personalty.
Approvers: Margaret Nelson (daughter), Alice Nelson (daughter)
Legatees: Barbry Nelson paid to her husband Thomas Robbins. Elinor Nelson, Margaret Nelson, Alice Nelson. extx Mary Gray, wife of John Gray. Inv. 23 Apr 1709; 4 Oct 1710.
From the above I get: The same Richard Nelson acquired Howland in 1704 and died in 1708. Both father and son have a wife Mary. Mary (wife of Richard the elder) remarried after his death to John Gray. His daughter Barbry died before his will was final, her legacy was paid to her Husband and she is not an approver of the will but her younger sisters are. The children are divided by sex, then listed in birth order. So the oldest to youngest girl is Barbry to Alice. The oldest boy is Richard to John. John being the youngest stayed with his mother on the home plantation, it is possible he needed more help to run it. How the birth order would be if the sexes were mixed is anybodies guess.
(Betty) I have no idea who the daughter in law Mary Beck is. Maybe she was a relation of Mary Beck Nelson. Barbary married Thomas Robins. Margaret married William Warden. Eleanor married Thomas Robins after her sister Barbary died. Alice married David Parsons. Richard (my line, I think) married Ann (Booker, I think.)William married Alice, John married Mary. Ann may have died young.
(Robert) Richard Nelson (II) acquired Nelson's Walk's (farm/plantation) on 16 Sep 1720 (source: Settlers of Maryland - Coldham)
When Richard Nelson died in 1727 his next of kin were listed as William Nelson (brother) Ann Nelson (wife??) administrator of his estate was Ann Nelson (that's why I think it's his wife, we know it's not a sister, they were all named in his fathers will)
Here's the break, I haven't found a copy of Richard Nelson(II)'s full will.
(Betty) I have not found the will of Richard Nelson(II)either. His will was probated 20 Nov 1727, but where is the will? I know this Richard had three children and one was Thomas. The other two are unknown to me.
(Robert)I am assuming John Nelson is his son because:
4 Jul 1777 from John Nelson of Charles County, Planter, to William Smallwood of Charles County, Gentleman, for 207 pounds and 15 shillings, about 112 1/2 acres in Port Tobacco Parish in Charles County, and being part of a tract of land called Howland and bounded by Mattawoman Creek. Signed John (his x mark) Nelson Witness: Walter Hanson, Robert Young. Recorded 5 Jul 1777. (Source: Charles County Land records 1775-1782)
(Betty) There are several John Nelsons and I have not been able to sort them, but I think the one who paid quit rents on Howland from 1754-74 was the one who was the son of William of Richard. And it was this John who died in 1778 and was the father of Richard, Chloe, Ann, Mary, John, Frederick, Sarah, and Margaret.
(Robert)112 acres of Howland would be 1/2 of the joint inheiritance of Richard Nelson(II) and his brother William. It looks like Richard (II) was married to Ann, so we can assume children. The simplest explanation is Richard (II) had a son and left him his part of Howland. This also neatly explains why Howland is not mentioned in the will of John Nelson in 1778.
Final account of John Nelson's estate. 26 Jun 1779.
Richard (III) and Anne Nelson, two of the administrators of John Nelson, late of Charles county, decd. (Chloe Nelson, the other, being removed out of state)...
8 children viz., Richard, Anne, Cloe, Mary, John, at age, Frederick, Sarah, and Margaret under age.
Chloe was paid a fee from the estate, no mention as to why. (source: Charles County Maryland wills administration, accounts, inventories, and orphan court) This source also lists Joseph Nelson as a guardian to Frederick.
(Robert) From this I get: Only Frederick was appointed a guardian, why not his younger and also under age sisters? The fee paid to Chloe could have been in return for her taking her two younger sisters to North Carolina, which is what we think she did. (see story Sarah Nelson's probable father was John Nelson.)
(Betty) I think we have too many unanswered questions and much of what we have is hopeful speculation.
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