Yes I think it's the same man, no proof without a will from Richard(II) or possibly his wife/her next husband.
The fact that "My" John Nelson named his first (known) son Richard is significant to me. These people kept reusing the same names.
John Nelson sold his portion of Howland in 1777, then drops out of the property records. "my" John Nelson died in 1778, in Charles County. Other ancestors I've looked at had a habit of selling land and then buying land soon thereafter. "My" John Nelson's youngest son Frederick was placed in the guardianship of Joseph Nelson, son of William Nelson, Richard's (II) brother. So there is obviously a family relationship. William Nelson died in 1781 and his will makes no mention of John Nelson or the children of John Nelson.
John Nelson had to acquire a portion of Howland somehow, I've found no records to say he bought it. So I conclude that he must have inheirited it from Richard (II).
By the way, I agree that a Richard Nelson arrived in Maryland in 1679. Have you considered that it could have been Richard(II)? All we know about that Richard in 1679 is someone paid for his passage. It's possible that it could have been his father Richard(I). I mention this because, I can't get past the fact that Richard(I) specifically says Mary Beck was his daughter in law. What do you have on the marriage of Richard Nelson and Mary Beck? I've now copied the court records on the lawsuit over Howland (thanks), but is there anything else?
Thanks for your info and thoughts.
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