Monday, September 30, 2013

Good Luck If It Hits

The Restoration had begun: Charles II was on the British throne. A lad named Edward Milstead (1656-1734) traipsed Bethersden, County of Kent, in England. He was listed as a ‘labourer’ when – at perhaps aged 15 – he is to have stolen "3 shillings in money" from the home of widow Martha Tapely. On the same day, 7 April 1671, Milstead is to have burgled the house of James Bateman and stolen two nutmegs (value 1 pence) and one pound of gingerbread (value 3 pence).

Young Edward was tried on both counts by a 12-man jury in August 1671 in the Maidstone Assizes. He was found guilty of larceny. [See Maidstone Assizes 35/112/5, item 1416.]

A 1671 crime would have followed the Great Fire of London by five years, and the outbreak of plague by six: it’s possible Edward Milstead had been orphaned. Some think the father of our subject was another Edward Milstead. A lath-cleaver of Bethersden, the elder Milstead was, on 22 June 1654 - at the beginning of Cromwell's reign during the Interregnum - indicted for trespass. This Milstead (likely christened 1627) and others had "assembled riotously at Pluckley, forcibly entered a close in the possession of Israel Tonge (1621-1680), rector of Pluckley, and cut down and carried away five oaks." [See Maidstone Assizes 35/95/12, item 1034.] Trees would have been useful to a Lath Cleaver, engaged as he was in splitting wood strips from timber, to be used as building materials. Being "much vexed with factious parishioners and Quakers," Tonge left Kent in the spring of 1657. Two who were indicted with Milstead - Elias, shovel-maker, and Stephen Tonge, Sr., yeoman - shared the Anglican cleric's surname.

One account has the young burglar, Edward Milstead (1656-1734), related to a churchwarden. In Kent stands the 'Milstead Manor House,' begun 1256. The nearby Milstead Church was erected by the pious in 1541. “Perhaps Edward Milstead’s ancestors helped to build these stately monuments,” posits another family historian, confronted by the idea that she descends from a convicted nutmeg thief.

Milstead "prayed Clergy." He had an Anglican priest intervene to commute his sentence. The lad was thereon "reprieved under condition of transport." His commutation was exile, to spend years in the status of indentured servitude. On 13 March 1674 Milstead's group of reprieved convicts were ordered transported to Barbados or Jamaica. [See Bonded Passengers to America, Vol. III & IV, by Philip Slaughter, pg. 54.] In July, 1674 Edward ‘was carted’ from Kent and sailed away.

To the New World
William Chandler presented “Edward Milstead, age 19” to the court in Charles County, Maryland in 1674. Records are pretty clear that Edward was indentured to the master of ‘Chandler's Hope,’ though I’ve found none to explain the young man's change of course. Maryland planters may have engaged agents to divert laborers north, to work their tobacco fields.

Milstead is likely to have arrived at Chandler's Town, which had in the not-too-distant past been renamed Port Tobacco. In the year of Milstead's arrival, the Charles County seat had been removed inland along a native trade route. The second courthouse in the entire Province of Maryland had just been erected, in the direction of Fort Zekiah, whence 'friendly' Piscataway peoples had been removed four years prior.

Chandler took Milstead on as a cobbler. “An immigrant with an actual trade obtained a much better indenture than unskilled laborers, who were put to work as field hands, so he likely had some previous training as a shoemaker,” says a researcher. “Interestingly, only two immigrants to the Tidewater area in the late 17th century gave their occupation as cobbler, of whom Edward was one.”

Declared a ‘freeman’ in 1680, Milstead completed his period of servitude when he was about 25 years old. "During the first period of convict transportation, convict servants who served out their terms generally enjoyed the same right to collect 'freedom dues' as indentured servants," declares Anthony Vaver, author of Bound with an Iron Chain, at his blog. It may be that Chandler provided Milstead with 50 acres of land as concluding compensation for his period of forced labor. I've found no land records indicating such.

Milstead may have been unique. Researchers report freed servants often promptly divested themselves of their parcels of land.

Milstead's new start was undoubtedly challenging: on 22 September 1682 he took a promissory note from one William Newman, likely for his first crops. It wouldn't be until November of the following year that the Sheriff seized Newman, and Milstead received a judgement of 1,400 lbs. of tobacco.
[See Charles County Circuit Court, Liber K; pp. 260, 266-7.]

A 1,000-acre parcel called Blew Plane is mentioned in an indenture to Giles Blizard, recorded 4 August 1684. [See Charles County Land Folio, Liber unk., #1.1] At age 28, Milstead leased this newly-acquired tract, variously called 'Bow Plain' or ‘Bow Plane,' from Blizard. Milstead made it produce. In June he took a note from a Thomas Kearsey, whereupon Kearsey agreed to pay Milstead 633 lbs. of tobacco 'in cask' on 10 October the following year. [See CCCC, Liber L; pp. 10, 73-74, 127-8.]

A Thomas Kersey had in 1681 petitioned the state Assembly for "Maintenance being Cripled in the Susquehannah Warr." [See Archives of Maryland, V. 7, pg 148, here.] Milstead may have been trusting the wrong caliber of men. When it came time for Milstead to collect, the Sheriff found Kearsey had "absented himself out of Maryland." Milstead won a judgment against Kearsey's estate for the tobacco and court costs, but was ordered a while later to post bond of 1,000 pounds of tobacco, in case Kearsey should reappear and contest the ruling.

Enter Susannah Clarke
In February 1685/86 (a period of double-dates in chronology), a John Butcher “acknowledged to be indebted to ye Lord Proprietary in £5 and Susan Clarke in £10 to be levied against them in case ye said Susan shall not appear at ye next court to prosecute Edward Milstead for a bastard child begotten on her body." [See CCCC, Liber M; pg. 90.]
[The Third Lord Baltimore, Charles Calvert (1637-1715), here as Maryland Proprietor, in 1669 introduced ancestor William Calvert (c1642/3-1682) to Provincial Council at This Moderate and Less Shamefull Way.]

I can’t tell you much – definitively – about Susannah Clarke (b c1658). The first birth recorded in Charles County Circuit Court, Birth, Deaths & Marriage Records is that of "William Millsteade [sic], son of Edward and Susanna Millsteade," born 20 July 1685. [See CCCC, Liber Q.]

As recorded, Susanna’s last name is surprising ... for it is not at all certain that William’s parents married. Without giving a source, an online post (likely by a descendant) states: “Trinity Parish Vestry records of Charles County, Maryland show birth registry of child William Milstead, son of Edward and Susanna Milstead, born 20 July 1685.” Church records establish legitimacy, and perhaps would not be recorded without an actual marriage between parents.

It is likely that Susannah Clarke was born in England, and also transported to the New World. Hargreaves-Mawdsley surveyed English records for his Servants to Foreign Plantations and reported a Susannah Clarke was a ‘primary immigrant’ from Bristol (not traveling with other family members). [See Bristol And America; A Record Of The First Settlers in The Colonies of North America, 1654-1685; London: R.S. Glover; 1929. Reprinted 1978.] No skills or point of origin are listed in the entry for Susannah Clarke: she was destined for the island of Nevis, location of the grueling but immensely profitable sugar trade. It was not unusual for children to be placed in bondage, their labor was at times used to pay parents’ debts. Though surname of Susannah’s parents is unknown to me, researchers think it likely that a John Clarke was her brother. Several named John Clarke were transported to Maryland.

Recorded 14 January 1675, agent Edward Yeamans arranged a 4-year indenture for a Susannah Clarke. On 11 January 1675, Clarke had been “presented as a servant” to Robert Thompson, in Charles County. It is this record [See CC Land Folio #1; pg. 63.] that gives Susannah’s age as 16, and from which I estimated her date of birth. Citing a slightly different page number [pg. 163] another researcher indicates Clarke was "dau. of Robert and Mary," and bound to Henry Robert Thompson.

The Marriage that Wasn't
Two weeks prior to this indenture, “Roger Boyden and Susanna Clarke was not lawfully joined in matrimony [sic] at Mr. Robert Thompson's house by Mr. Robert Barrott, in ye presence of Mr. Robert Doyne and his wife, Mr. John Fanning, Mr. James Boreman on ye first day of January Anno Dom. 1675.” This cryptic document reflects a decision by the Charles County Circuit Court, made subsequent to the ceremony. [See CCCC, Liber F.] It is not understood how long Clarke and Boyden thought themselves married. [See note on secret marriages below.]

I know little of groom Boyden, other than that he was likely born before 1654, in Saint Mary’s Parish, Maryland ... and that he may have been the youngest of four brothers.

Robert Barrott/ Barrett, who performed the ceremony, was likely in his mid-twenties at the time, and went on to marry a prosperous widow. In 1697 he and Clarke's master Thompson will have an outstanding debt settled in the George Plater estate ... administered by non-wedding guest Robert Doyne.

Witness John Fanning (bef 1641-1688) would, in 1679, have an outstanding debt to the estate of one Charles Gregory. So would Barret, who couldn't be found by then. Also in the list of debtors were Thompson and Chandler, masters of Clarke and Wilstead; and witness to the non-wedding, Robert Doyne.

Robert Doyne (c1640-1689) was, by the time of the non-event, a man of rising influence. He was a Justice and High Sheriff in Charles County. He and his brother Joshua had been transported to Maryland from Ireland about 1670. They may have spent time in Barbados. According to one descendant, “They were an Anglican family from County Wexford.” This source speculates the court ruled the Boyden-Clarke marriage illegal because it was a Catholic service.

In his 2007 text, All of the Above, Cook reports, “Both Robert and Joshua Doyne may have been Catholic. Or perhaps Robert was Anglican and Joshua was Catholic,” a stratagem employed to avoid making the family’s fortunes “too dependent on only one allegiance.” [See pg. 358.] Cook identifies Robert Doyne’s first wife as the former Mary Stone (c1656-1682). Mary, witness to the Boyden-Clarke non-wedding, was daughter to William Stone (1603-1660), Maryland’s third Colonial Governor and its first Protestant Governor. Catholic Lord Baltimore had appointed Stone Governor in 1654, at the conclusion of the Third English Civil War. Oliver Cromwell sent an armed squad to Maryland and ordered Stone replaced. Stone emerged from exile in Virginia; a Protestant backed by Cavalier forces. He was defeated and taken prisoner the following year.
[See This Moderate and Less Shamefull Way for Maryland Catholicism. Stone and his daughter Elizabeth appear.]

Court ledger, Charles County MD, March 1685/86
A Grand Jury was convened more than ten years after Clarke's non-wedding ... in March 1685/86. Sheriff Robert Doyne returned a panel of 15 men that included a John Clarke and Robert Thompson, likely the non-wedding host who went on to be Clarke's master. The body “do present Edward Milstead for getting Susannah Clarke with child of which she of said [illegible] is delivered.” [See image, right.] As one researcher posted: “Edward payed a fine of fifty pounds of tobacco for siring a bastard child.”

In November 1686 the Charles County Circuit Court ordered, “William Milstead, son of Edward Milstead, begotten on ye body of Susannah Clarke by ye said Edward, be bound to Thomas Craxton of Nangemie in Charles County till he comes to ye age of 21 years." [See CCCC, Liber M; pg. 226.] Young Willliam Milstead (1685-1742) was not yet a year-and-a-half old. This decision makes it unlikely that William’s parents had wed. Susannah was perhaps 26; the economically viable Edward Milstead, thirty years old. Their baby went into long-term bondage among Craxtons in Nanjemoy Parish.

I’ve lost Susannah’s paper trail at this point, but the rascal Edward Milstead’s legacy plays out over volumes of court records. He’d been involved in lawsuits since before leasing ‘Bow Plain.’ He’d had more success prior to Susannah Clarke’s accusations, but Milstead's fortunes continued to accumulate. An Edward Millsteed [sic] signed a statement “in support of The King,” in Prince George's County, Maryland, c1693.

Other family history researchers have difficulty assigning maternity for the Milstead daughter and three sons who followed William, for Edward Milstead did marry. Early estimates for Milstead’s marriage to Elizabeth ‘Eliza’ Ward (1667-c1719) come in around 1694.

Enter the Bitch Whore
The bride's father, John Ward (bef 1630-1687) had died: her mother, Damaris (d aft1699), had twice remarried before Elizabeth wed Edward Milstead. Ward's legacy contained more than 1,300 acres. Damaris and a son were executors of Ward's will and, despite language about her having rights to the 112-acre tract ‘Angerstone’ “during widowhood,” she and third husband, William Serjeant, were administering considerable Ward holdings when Milstead entered the family. Eliza and two sisters were to equally divide Damaris’ portion of the estate in the event of their mother’s death; it could be inferred from the will that their inheritance came due when Damaris remarried.

Damaris was not without notariety. With second husband Charles Shepherd, Damaris had brought slander charges against Elizabeth Brett and her husband. On 3 October 1691 - at Mattawoman in Charles County - Brett is to have called Damaris "an old satchell arse bastard bearing bitch whore," referring to Damrais' daughter, wife of John Gray [the former Ann Ward (1667-c1710)] as a bastard. Brett is to have made "several such like scandalous and malicious expressions." It was alleged that Brett's accusations of fornication and adultery “were false, maliciously made and were designed to injure Damaris' reputation," (which it was alleged had been good), and "to cause her to be forsaken by her husband.”

I've been unable to cull reference to a marriage record for John Ward and Damaris. Researchers tend to give a wedding date concurrent to the birth of first child Ann(e) (5 February 1663/4), who had died prior to the birth of namesake sister Anne, on 10 April 1667. Land records were being maintained in these primitive conditions, however: John Ward was living on James Lee's tract; acknowledged in November 1663 to have been legally purchased from Winganetta, native 'King of the Nanjemoy.' Damaris is not mentioned in this entry.

At the Court of 8 March 1691/2, "ye said action is abated by occasion of ye death of ye said Charles." [See CCCC, Liber R; pg. 384.] Perhaps the accusations had been hard on Charles Shepherd.

Damaris did not get the 5,000 pounds of tobacco she was suing for. However, I will say genial family historians – without being aware of this case – puzzle over several of the John and Damaris Ward children's birth dates, including Ann (Ward) Grey’s. 

By the end of 1696 Edward Milstead and Elizabeth had taken Damaris to court, alleging the mother, together with subsequent husbands, “failed to file an inventory or administration account for John Ward's estate, and have converted to her and their use and failed to protect the estate, in violation of John's will and the law, to the detriment of the children.” The court found in favor of the newlyweds. It appears that Milstead began administering John Ward’s properties, and carried on until all of Elizabeth’s siblings reached their majority; and perhaps until Damaris’ death.

Milstead's Ascent
Thus begins a string of victorious litigation. A Prince George's County Court finds Cornelius Hunt has trespassed against Milstead in January 1696/7. Milstead's wealth increases. By the turn of the century he’s acquired a 190-acre tract, ‘Good Luck if it Hits.’ His character is considered such that the one-time convict sits on juries, making judgments in the name of The King.

Then, in November, 1700, Milstead is tried in the name of The King for assault on the body of William Grey. Milstead pleads not guilty, and a jury concurs in January, 1701. [See CCCC, Liber Y, p. 127.] William may have been a relative of Milstead's brother-in-law, (Ann Ward's husband) John Grey. It probably doesn't help William's case that John Grey was an informer in 1686/87, accusing Sheriff Robert Doyne of receiving stolen goods, and that the Lord Proprietary had declared Doyne “to be free and clear of the crime above imposed on him.” [See CCCC, Liber N; pg. 166 & pp. 286-7]

Milstead is – by 1701 – styled ‘Planter.’ He’s squarely in the landed gentry. By 1707 he holds the 100-acre tract called 'Nonsuch' (or 'Nonesuch') in Nanjemoy Hundred. He becomes associated with tracts named ‘Ignatius' Winter,’ ‘Ward’s Addition,’ and the 150-acre parcel, ‘Milstead Range.’

It appears that Milstead’s relationship with his former master was amicable. On 31 March 1707 Chandler had surveyed a 160-acre tract adjoining Milstead’s ‘Good Luck.’ Chandler whimsically called it ‘Orphan’s Loss.’ [See 1642-1753 Rent Rolls Charles County, Maryland, p. 380, sequence 28.]

Following a brisk regimen of mostly successful lawsuits, culminating with the elder Milstead being found in contempt in 1715, the former 'transported convict' has gained serious financial clout by age fifty. (A documented Loyalist, he perhaps had the means to bribe corrupt royal officials to help achieve his goals.) Quite wealthy; Milstead provides surety for a string of estates as they are being settled. He knows property values and has learned whom he can trust ... so as not lose the financial guarantee he’s made. Milstead is a lender: I've discovered at least eight estates that, when settled between 1698 and 1728, make payments to Edward Milstead.

Milstead’s wife Elizabeth died, likely in 1719. We soon find evidence of collaboration between Edward Milstead and his bastard son William, who'd completed his indenture to Craxton a dozen years earlier. On 19 March 1719/20, William (then perhaps 35 years of age, married and a father) was made administrator of the estate of his father-in-law Henry Blanchard/ Blanksheat/ Blankshot. William's father gave surety, which might indicate that Edward trusted and esteemed his illegitimate son.

By October, 1720 Edward had remarried. Third wife, Mary Lemaster (1665-c1733), had – in 1718 – been widowed by her (perhaps second) husband, John Shekertie/ Shaklet/ Sherklie. Mary would draw income from the 100-acre tract ‘Ingothorp’[likely 'Inglethorp'] for the rest of her days.

It’s more likely that Milstead's 20-something son, Edward Milstead Jr. (c1693-c1783), carried out the task, but in November, 1717 the court “allows Edward Milstead 180 lbs. of tobacco for 45 squirrel heads (4 lbs. each) and 12 lbs of tobacco for 2 crow heads (6 lbs. each.).” [See: CCCC, Liber I, #2; pp. 35-6.] At this rate of exchange, Milstead Sr. could have paid his fine for siring a bastard child by securing the heads of eight crows and a squirrel.

1671 - Northerne part of Virginia
I’m just reminded by the pest control account that, absent in my post is sufficient reference to pioneer conditions. The Crown’s administrative authority over the Chesapeake basin had only (and likely, nominally) been established five years before Milstead’s arrival: in fact, the Dutch controlled territory we now think of as Maryland. It was an unsettled place with indistinct boundaries.

In 1729 Edward Milstead’s vigor seems to subside. On 11 Febrary, Edward Milstead Sr., Planter, conveyed the 190-acre tract ‘Good Luck if it Hits’ to Edward, “for the natural love that he has for his son ... and for divers other good causes” “And likewise, another tract of land called Nonsuch … laid out for about 100 acres.” Edward, Sr. made his mark (an ‘E’) on the document. [See CCCC Liber M No. 2; page 194.] Milstead’s second (by most accounts) legitimate son, Thomas Milstead (1696-1737), likely with his father’s backing, had also been acquiring land. He was already styled ‘Planter’ when on 24 June 1727 he bought “for 3,200 pounds of tobacco in cask and for divers other good causes,” a tract called ‘Winter's Employment’ from (likely his uncle) Walter Winter and William Godfrey. [See CCCC, Liber L, #2; pg. 448.]

By 1707 Edward Milstead and Susannah Clarke’s ‘out of wedlock’ son William had concluded his parent's indenture. Thomas was in relationship with his illegitimate, half-brother: on 12 June 1733, Thomas conveyed to “William Milstead of Charles County, Planter, and his now wife, Elizabeth, for divers good causes and for the yearly rent of 500 lbs. of tobacco each Nov 10, 130 acres … called ‘Winter's Imployment [sic],’ including the house and plantation, with free liberty of cutting down timber for the plantation's use, provided he makes no waste thereof,” during the natural lives of said William and Elizabeth. [See CC Land Folio, Liber M, #2; pg. 344.]

Edward Milstead, Sr. made out his last will on 13 December 1733. He was dead before mid-January, having lived about seventy-six years:

In the name of God Amen. I Edward Milstead, Sr. of Charles County in the province of Maryland ... being sick of body but of sound and ... memory thanks to God ... do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following, that is to say first and ... I commit and commend my soul and spirit into the hands of Almighty God hoping through his mercy and the merits of my dear Saviour's blood which he hath shed for me and all others who through faith and belief in His name do obtain ... and ...

My body I commit unto the earth and to Christian and ... burial to the discretion of my well beloved wife Mary if she survives me or my eldest son if he die before and touching the disposal of my temporal estate which God hath blessed me with all my will is to dispose thereof as followeth:

Item: I give unto my son Edward Milstead my wearing apparel also an orphan boy Jno Ettil?? and one pair of hand millstones and one pair of iron ... at my decease.

Item: I give unto my wife Mary Milstead the one third of my cattle and of hoggs and of the ... during her life and after her depose to fall to Jno (?) Milstead and William Milstead also appoint my well beloved wife Mary Milstead the whole executor of this my last will and testament.

Item: I give unto James Mordock one cow and calf at my decease.

Item: I give and bequeath the residue of my personal estate which is not here mentioned to be equally divided in three parts between William Milstead and John Milstead and John [likely Grew, perhaps Grey]

And there it is, Edward Milstead, Sr. Planter and once-convicted thief, ultimately claimed his illegitimate son William as next-of-kin. Milstead may have fathered other children out of wedlock. In addition to not naming his daughters, the document concludes:

“All my children that are not here mentioned I give unto them one shilling.”

Freedom Denied
While the rise of Edward Milstead, Sr. (1656-1734) - plucked from his laboring class life in England and rising to higher status as landed gentry in the New World - is inescapable in this account, indentured servitude weaves its way throughout this cast of characters.

Five years after committing his ‘out of wedlock’ son William to two decades of bondage, Milstead contracts for a servant. In 1691 Francis Hanby is to have bound his son, John Hanby, “which he had by Elizabeth Harleton,” to Edward Millstead [sic]. In 1695 Francis bound out his wife Alise's seven-year-old son Samuel Barker - born to a previous marriage. Under the right circumstances, indentured servitude in Maryland may have brought social and economic advance. By 1725, Charles Countian John Hanby is also styled 'Planter.'

Perhaps eight years after his father's death, James Ward, "son of John Ward (dec'd) and Dameris, his wife, alias Damaris Sarjeant, the natural mother of James Ward," forms his own indenture. On 17 July 1694 James "bounds himself to Robert Edmondson." [See Charles County Land Folio S, #1.430]

In November 1710 Margaret Smith, age 19, would also be bound to Edward Milstead, Sr. [See CC Land Folio, Liber M, #2.200] 'Indenture' was a term used interchangeably in contracting for humans, crops and land leases.

"Indentured servants resembled other groups of colonial migrants, including African slaves and transported convicts. Indentured servants, in fact, often were called "white slaves,'" declares Murphy, in his Origins of Colonial Chesapeake Indentured Servants. "All three groups experienced mistreatment. The groups also differed. Convict servants were the only group whose emigration and unpaid labor were penalties imposed for criminal behavior. Whether indentured servants were voluntary or forced laborers, their indentures were temporary, unlike the Africans, who were enslaved for life."

Until just prior to Edward Milstead, Sr.'s arrival in the new world, slaves were "treated as indentured servants, and given the same opportunities for freedom dues as whites. However, slave laws were soon passed ... and any small freedoms that might have existed for blacks were taken away, declares History Detectives. Only two years after his arrival, Maryland passed an act making importation of convicts much more difficult. Smith, in his Colonists in Bondage, indicates Milstead may have been one of only 200 to arrive in Maryland under such circumstances. [See page 104.]

Being indentured did not have the ruptive effects on family I imagined. Edward Milstead, Sr. left "orphan boy John E [illegible]" to his son Edward in 1733. A John Elgin witnessed Edward Jr.'s 1771 will. If this is the same John, it might indicate that being received as property did not close the pathway to subsequent trust and affection. Edward Sr.'s son Thomas left the tract 'Mountain' or 'Mountaine' to his illegitimate, half-brother William in 1737. Familial bonds were more resilient than I expected. There was far less stigma in 18th century Maryland - surrounding illegitimacy and indentured servitude - than I imagined.

My People
I went into this work with the understanding that Jane Milstead (1705-1776), my 5th great-grandmother, was the product of union between William Milstead and wife Susannah Blanchard/ Blanchet/ Blanshot. It came as quite a surprise to discover William born in such inauspicious circumstances. However, through developing this post, I've learned William and Susannah did not marry until 1717. Jane may have been born out of wedlock to a twenty-year-old William, but I find it more likely that she descends - as others contend - from William's father, Edward Milstead, Sr., and wife Elizabeth Ward (daughter of the satchel-assed bitch).

It’s commonly asserted that my 5th great-grandfather, Virginian Thomas Ford (1704-1776), married Jane Milstead at her father’s home. I’m now willing to posit that the couple were likely wed on the plantation ‘Good Luck If It Hits.’

In 1725, Ford begins amassing land grants from Lord Fairfax, including tracts on Pope’s Head Creek, off the Occoquan River and almost due west, across the Potomac from Milstead holdings at Charles County. Ford attains the stature of Vestryman in Truro Parish. Notes from February 1776 show him in deep planning with another member of the parish: Ford and Col. George Washington are laying out the plans for a new church building … with the exacting detail I've come to expect from the nation's first President. [See The History of Truro Parish in Virginia, by Peter Coldham, pg. 137.]

The Fords bear, as their 2nd son and 7th surviving child, Edward Ford, Sr. (1734-1814). Edward also marries well: the mother of his bride, Elizabeth Keith (1745-1821), was a Randolph. Edward too becomes Vestryman in Truro Parish and - despite doubling the size of landholdings he’d inherited - brings his children onto thousands of fresh, uncultivated Kentucky acres he (with a Charles Morgan) had surveyed for him on the Licking River. With them is daughter Susan Tarleton Ford (1770-1830). She will marry James Rogers (1771-1840) in 1810. To them will be born Adeline Ford Rogers (1812-1887) and she will marry Dr. Joseph Early (1800-1871) in 1838. They will give birth to my great-grandfather, Rogers Randolph Early on 1 March 1852. I derive my first name from Rogers' son, subsequently styled Roger Randolph Early.
[Young Fellows upon Wrong Pursuits centers on Elizabeth's mother, Mary Isham (Randolph) Keith (c1718-1753)While She Was Laughing Them To Scorn introduces Elizabeth's father, Rev. James Keith (1696-1753).]

Discovering I descend from a man for years denied his freedom was initially startling. I now understand at least a quarter of those arriving in the Province of Maryland, contemporary to Edward Milstead and Susannah Clarke, were contracted into forced labor. Despite Milstead's eventual success, Crown policy sticks in my craw. Europe's economy was depressed, and both skilled and unskilled laborers were without work. Drawing income from New World lands, obtained by conquest, would have been attractive to royal investors. But the family rupture with preceding Milstead generations was significant, whether due to shame or the difficulty of a likely illiterate communicating with his European family in primitive conditions.
Though Susannah Clarke's soon-to-be master was a 1675 wedding guest, it is interesting to see that Virginia Law weighed in on secret marriages:
"WHEREAS many greate abuses and much detriment have been found to arise both against the lawe of God and likewise to the service of many masters of ffamilies in the collonie, occasioned through secret marriages of servants, their masters and mistresses not any waies made privie thereunto, As also by comitting of ffornication; for the prevention of the like abuses hereafter, Be it enacted, and confirmed by this Grand Assembly that what servant soever hath since January, 1656, or hereafter shall secretly marrie with any maid or woman servant without the consent of her master or mistresse, (if she be a widowe) hee or they soe offending shall in the first place serve out his or their times with his or their master or mistresse, and after shall serve his or their master or mistresse one complete yeare more for such offence comited, And the maid or woman servant so marrying without consent as aforesaid shall for such her offence to her master or mistresse serve one year after her freedom by indenture ..."
I managed, initially, to find the wrong Susannah Clarke; but in so doing, learned something about colonial practices tending to anchor marriage.

By custom, Maryland couples married in the mid-17th century were awarded a flitch of bacon (side of salted and cured pork) ... if they could swear to not having regretted their marriage for a year and a day. In 1659 Susan and James Atchison gave depositions in a Calvert County, Maryland case involving Cornelius Abrams: "Susan Acheson wife unto James Atchison aged 27 yeares or thereabouts, Sayth That John Knap did deliuer unto Two of Cornelius Abrams seruants ffowre fflitches of Bacon, for the use of their Master, & to the best of her remembrance they weighed One hundd & fifty pownds ..." Susannah Clarke - subject in this Milstead account and likely born in 1658 - was not yet in the New World. The maiden name for Susan Atchison (referenced here) is unknown. She was born c1632 and later took her final surname from a fourth husband, Richard Clarke.

I am indebted to the 96,000 entries Mike Marshall has compiled at 1658-1758 Charles County MD Families: The first 100 years.