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Home: Surnames: Wailes Family Genealogy Forum

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Benjamin, d. 1789, PG Cty, MD; had wives Sarah and Susannah, children by each
Posted by: Duane Boggs (ID *****6286) Date: May 11, 2011 at 15:22:37
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Benjamin Wailes was born about 1726 in Maryland, son of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Covington) Wailes. Benjamin wrote a Will in 1788 and later died, and the Will was probated in June 1789. See Mayland Wills; Liber T, No. #1; 1784-1789;
Folio 279. I have been trying to reconstruct his family, and below is my best estimate.

In about 1753, Benjamin married Sarah Howard, born ca. 1734 to William Stevens Howard and his second wife, Sarah (Briscoe) Howard. Benjamin and Sarah had the following children.
Elizabeth Covington Wailes, b. 16 January 1754 (likely named for Benjamin' mother, Elizabeth (Covington) Wailes, but not named in Ben's 1788 Will).
Henry Truman Wailes, b. 1 September 1756 (likely named for Sarahís older uterine half-brother, Henry Truman, and he died before Benís 1788 Will).
Edward Lloyd Wailes, b. 25 September 1758 (likely named for Benís uncle, Edward Lloyd, married to Sarah Covington, sister of Benís mother, Elizabeth (Covington) Wailes, and he witnessed Benís 1788 Will but received no bequest). He is almost certainly the "Edward Loyd Wales" who was the head of a household in Prince George's County, Maryland at the time of the 1790 census. His household was 2-0-4 and 1 slave.
William Howard Wailes, b. 16 February 1761 (likely named for Sarahís father, and he died before Ben's 1788 Will).
Levin Covington Wailes, b. 9 March 1768 (likely named for either/or/both Benís uncle, Levin Covington, brother of his mother Elizabeth (Covington) Wailes, OR for Benís brother, Levin Covington Wailes; and he received a legacy of land in Benís 1788 Will). I believe this is the "Levin Wales" who was the head of a household in Prince George's County, Maryland at the time of the 1790 and 1800 censuses. According to a submission to the Latter Day Saints IGI ( that says Levin named a daughter Sarah Howard Wailes in 1804, I conclude he was Sarah's son. His household in 1790 was 1-1-6 and 14 slaves. See my interpretation below.

At this point, some ambiguity enters in. SOME of the following children could be Sarah's OR they might be children of Ben's second wife, Susannah (maiden name unknown, but who was named in Ben's 1788 Will).

John Wailes, b. 12 September 1771 (received a contingent and conditional legacy in Ben's 1788 Will). A submission to the LDS IGI states he died in 1789.

Hezekiah Bussey Wailes was named in Ben's 1788 Will, and Ben provided that, as a condition for Ben's giving his land to Levin, Levin was charged with the duty to educate Hezekiah with "a liberal education such as will Qualify him for the practice of Physick". From this, I infer that Hezekiah was old enough to have expressed his interest in such a career to his father, but was still young enough that he could receive such an education. Therefore, I estimate his birth as between 1773 and 1778. Hezekiah was almost certainly the son of Susannah, and I believe his name is a clue that Susannah was a descendant of the Hezekiah Bussey, Sr., who had died in Prince George's County, MD in 1715, and possibly of the Hezekiah Bussey, Jr. who died in MD in 1745.

The remaining children named in Ben's 1788 Will were:
Ann Wailes (because Ben's Will did not state a married surname for Ann, I infer that she was still single, so likely born in/after 1766, but before 1787).
Rebecca Wailes, ditto on inference on date of birth, so between 1766 and 1787.
George Wailes, b. 1753-1787
Catherine Wailes, b. 1766-1787
Sarah Wailes, b. 1766-1787.

My own belief is that these last-named children were all by Susannah, not Sarah.

In the 1790 census, Levin "Wales" had a household of 1-1-6, just one year after Ben had died. It is possible that Levin was married, but having been born in 1768, he could not have fathered many children by 1790, so this household requires interpretation. I believe the 1 male over 16 was Levin himself (obviously), and the male under 16 (born after 1774) could have been either George or Hezekiah (but Hezekiah might have been sent to school/appenticeship elsewhere by then). The six females, of unspecified ages, COULD be widow Susannah and the four daughters Ann, Rebecca, Catherine and Sarah, all living with their older brother in the family home. This indicates the sisters were still single, so likely under age 22 in 1790, and so born after 1768, so, again, more likely children of Susannah (rather than Sarah).

By the 1800 census for PG County, MD, Levin Covington "Wailes" had 1-0-1-1-0; 1-0-0-2-0. I interpret this to mean he had married and had two children, a son and a daughter, each under 10, and that he still had a younger brother and a sister living with him. Some researchers report that Levin married an Eleanor Davis on 28 November 1796, and that would be consistent with the census data. Also in the census as head of her own household was Susannah Wailes, with 1-0-0-0-0; 0-0-1-0-1. I interpret this to mean that one of her daughters was still single and at home, and that perhaps a grandson, under 10, was living with her to help with chores.

Also in the 1800 census was a Samuel P. Wailes with 5-0-0-0-1; 0-1-1-0-1. I believe this was Ben's nephew (son of Ben's brother, Levin Covington Wailes and his wife, Ann (Perrie) Wailes).

Does anyone have any different or better information, or any different interpretations of the evidence on the family of Benjamin Wailes? Does anyone know HOW Ben's second wife, Susannah, was related to the Hezekiah Bussey, Sr., who died in 1715, or possibly to Hezekiah Bussey Jr., who died in 1745? Please share by posting here, or by contacting me directly at

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