The Hamilton/ Hambleton Family of Colonial Charles County Maryland

"A Working DRAFT" - Comments, suggestions and input appreciated to

Mike Williamson


The Hamilton family/s of early Charles County Maryland can be a source of confusion and uncertainty owing to the availability of dwindling and deteriorated source material and subsequent translation, transcription and interpretation of "Old English" writing styles. One of the early 'crazes' in genealogical research resulting in widespread and concerted efforts to amass and compile original data was the 1930's where one main objective was to document ancestry to prominent forefathers and gain membership to the 'then' prestigious sons or daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). Such compilations dating closer to the original primary source documents, although secondary source, can be valuable especially to those of us with limited access to the local courthouses and archives. They become perhaps even more valuable as in the specific case of Charles County which has been plagued by numerous courthouse fires before the early 1900's where numerous original records have been lost. For the Hamilton Family of Charles County, one such compilation of about 76 pages and perhaps the first attempt to publish Hamilton family history is that of Mrs Maria Kelley and Mrs Inez Cherault (1930). Although their attempts to interpret and explain the information with respect to lineage may be flawed as discussed in Lamar Hamilton's (1997) recent book, we are indebted to them for their efforts in compiling and preserving material that may not otherwise be available or lost over the years.

  1. Marria Louisa Hamilton Kelley and Inez Bateman Cherault; "Hamilton Family of Charles County"; FHL 929.273 H18k, Book on Film, Houston TX Std Printing Co., 1930, 76 pp.
  2. Lamar Hamilton , "Alexander Hamilton of Spye Park", 1997, Charles Co Public Library, LaPlata, MD
  3. Dorothy S Hunt Jones, "The descendants of Benjamin J Hamilton", FHL 929.273 A1 no 4435, Book available, Grand River IA, 81 pp., 198_

With the publication of Lamar Hamilton's book (1997), considerable controversy and perhaps apprehension continues about the ancestry of one Alexander Hamilton (b. ca 1675) and his alleged ties with the immigrant, John I Hamilton of Nanjemoy. Nevertheless and fortunately, this issue does not apparently impact our ancestry to the immigrant, John of Nanjemoy from his son and grandson, John II and John III, respectively and his great grandson, Burditt Hamilton (ca 1730-1784) whom the later is well established from our passed down deeds and indentures and a family journal/diary compiled by Alice Church Lanham Wherry distributed to various branches of the family. However, the existence of verbal 'tales' and legends passed down to descendants of Burditt alluding to possible ties to Alexander is not surprising in light of the early 20th century interpretations. Although there are numerous people that share ancestry to John I Hamilton thru their maternal lines, others apparently would like to share similarly due to his marriage to Elizabeth 'Burdette' ca 1675 and her apparent well documented maternal lineage to the early Gloucester and Northampton Co VA Graves family immigrating ca 1608-1612 and other prominent English statesmen families of colonial Virginia. "Thomas Grave" has been said to have been an 'original Adventurer (stockholder) of the Virginia Company of London' and is apparently listed on page 364 of the records of the Virginia Company of London (vol. IV). He has further been said to be one of the very early planters who founded Jamestown, Virginia perhaps enumerated on the 1622 Jamestown Virginia census for the eastern shore. He maybe the Capt Graves and father of Anne, and possibly sisters, Verlinda and Catherine Graves who all apparently married prominent colonial Virginia figures such as Stone and Cotton families of 'Hungars Parish' Northampton County VA and Sprigg family of Prince Georges County MD. William Burdette, paternal grandfather of Elizabeth, is said to have been reported in colonial records as the 'godfather' to the son of Catherine Graves who is further the alleged sister to Anne Graves Cotton, the maternal grandmother of Elizabeth.

1624 Jamestown, Virginia census:
Thomas GRAVES, Eastern Shore, 73 total people
George GRAVES, James City County, 224 total people

The Burdette family of Nanjemoy, originally from colonial Northampton County with the Stone and Cotton families, appeared to be prominent associating themselves with others of similar class such as the Stone, Calvert, Brent, Chandler, Fowke, Greene and Boughton families to name a few. A list of documents passed down in the family, some of which we do not yet know the complete significance, by Susanna Page Lanham Bryan to her granddaughter ca 1893 displays a note at the bottom with apparent emphasis by a different annotation style portraying the inclusion of one presumably very important document: ['Calvert of "Calvert Manor" is among the above']. As large and influential as the Stone family was in early Charles County at about the time of inception ca 1658, intermarriage with other prominent southern Maryland families is not surprising. Nevertheless, the Burdette family were tied by marriage thru the Graves family with the Stone and Cotton families in 'Hungars Parish' of Northampton County VA which may have led to their alleged transportation to Maryland by Capt. William Stone ca 1650. Prior to then, the Stone and Cotton families and perhaps the Burdettes, had resided on adjoining plantations in Hungars Parish. Once in Maryland, some say a son of Leonard Calvert married a daughter of Capt William Stone (some say b. 1603 in Lancaster, Lancashire, England (or Somerset, England)).

    WILL OF JANE WATTS OF CHARLES COUNTY, MD. To William Neale, 50lbs sterling, part of a bond from John Muschett and Mr. Ralph Falkner payable to me. The remainder of the bond and the whole interest to be divided equally between Ralph Falkner's children. Grandson, Henry Brent, Nephew, William Matthews Thompson, Friend, Jane Hanson, alias Thompson, personality. Nephew, Richard Matthews Thompson, the residue. Extr.. my nephew, Richard Matthews Thompson. Witnesses: William Hanson, Elizabeth Pye, Margaret Chapman. Will dated October 19, 1749. Proved December 19, 1749.

    NOTES: She was Jane Thompson, born November 13, 1689, daughter of Victoria Matthews and William Thompson, of William Thompson. She first married Henry Brent, died 1709, Charles Countv, Md., of Capt. Geo. Brent, of Virginia, by his wife, Mary, who died March 12, 1693-4, widow of Col. Wm. Chandler and daughter of Henry Sewall by his wife, Jane Lowe. Jane (Lowe) Sewall later married Charles Calvert, Lord Baltimore. This testator had one child, viz: Wm. Brent, died 1745-6, Charles County. She secondly married Capt. Jno. Watts, whose will made in England and whose acct. passed Charles County, Md., 1739.-R. T. Semmes. 1918

Our first evidence of possible ties to the Stone family comes from a passed down document with the appearance of very early John Stone, perhaps a said son ( 1642) of Capt William Stone who is first said to have married Elizabeth Warren followed by Eleanor Bayne. This document is the earliest and largely deteriorated document (Deed? or Court record?) we received in our family dated 1676. Other names mentioned and not known to be significant in our lineage are John Hutchinson, John Fanning and John Allen. John Hutchinson was already deceased by that date, a John Stone is reported dying between ca 1697-1703 and John Allen 'by' 1678 and perhaps the time the court met in 1676 and reported Allen as "failed to appear". Johns Stone and Hutchinson were the original patentees with John Fanning being the awardee in 1676 until his apparent reported death of 1685. The retention of this document by the family might have significance to further maternal connections to the wives of either John III Hamilton or his son, Burditt neither of which are yet known. An apparent abstract of this document from the 1642-1753 Rent Rolls Charles County MD [Hundred - Riverside: Rent Roll page/Sequence: 346-24: WOODSBERRY HARBOUR] with the original at

    300 acres; Possession of - 300 Acres - Lampton, Mark: Surveyed 27 July 1667 for James Lee on the North Side Potomac river near a march called the half way between MARYLAND POINT and Nanjemoy Creek this land was vested in John Hitchinson who died without heir. Whereby it came to be escheated to his Lordship and granted John Allen who assigned the same to John Fanning & patent in Fanning name 1677 yearly rent. : Other Tracts Mentioned: MARYLAND POINT; ; ; other notes - ,

  1. 20 Jun 1676 - 15 Jun 1678; Maryland Provincial Court Proceedings; Coomes Purchase, John ALLEN is the tenant in possession of the land, but failed to appear in court even though subpoenaed
  2. Land Records: Charles County Hundred Rent Rolls Tract Index (1642-1753)

    WOODSBERRY HARBOUR                    Allen, John               Riverside               346    24   MARYLAND POINT
    WOODSBERRY HARBOUR                    Fanning, John             Riverside               346    24   MARYLAND POINT
    WOODSBERRY HARBOUR                    Hutchinson, John          Riverside               346    24   MARYLAND POINT
    WOODSBERRY HARBOUR                    Lampton, Mark             Riverside               346    24   MARYLAND POINT
    WOODSBERRY HARBOUR                    Lee, James                Riverside               346    24   MARYLAND POINT 
One of the earliest apparent colonial documents of Hungars Parish portraying the close interactions of the Stone, Burdette and Cotton families in Northampton County lies within an alleged court transcript apparently in 1644. Thomas Burdette's father, William Burdette had presumably left a will in 1643 and died 1644 at the time Col/Capt William Stone met at the home of Peter Walker in 1644 to discuss the estate of the late William Burdett. William Burdette had apparently requested in his will: "Mr. John Rozier, Capt. William Stone and Mr. Thomas Johnson take special care of the education of my Tender Sonne".

  1. Graves Family by Marsha Graves
  2. John Graves died intestate in Elizabeth City County, possibly in April 1640. His death was between 29 May 1639, when he patented land, and 30 April 1640, when William Parry was named his administrator and bond was made (Northampton Co., Book 2, p. 281). Capt. Roper, William Cotton and Capt. Stone, brothers-in-law of John Graves and administrators of the estate of Capt. Thomas Graves, were originally appointed administrators of John Graves' estate, but in April 1640 they resigned and William Parry was appointed.
  3. William Roper; given a calf in the will of his godfather William Burdett.
  4. Hungars church history by Mike Graves
  5. William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Papers, Vol 1, No. 3. (Jan., 1893), pp. 155-156; NORTHAMPTON COUNTY 20 Sept., 1644 stmt by Luke Stubbins
  6. Will of William Burdett, gent. dated 22d July 1643, Rec. 7 Aug.,1643.
  7. Graves Family website
  8. John Stone of Accomac County upon whose estate the Rev. William Cotton administered is believed to be a brother of the Governor. In a letter dated 1644, signed by Weston and written to Governor Stone, Weston mentions a parcel of tobacco which "your brother Mr John Stone had of me many past". John Stone, however, was dead by 1634, for the administrator of his estate, the Rev. Cotton, brother-in-law of Governor Stone, acknowledged to the court that no tithes had been paid by the estate of John Stone, deceased. [src. Family tree maker website] - data at this location maybe suspect (MLW)
  9. It is sometimes said that Anne, born 1622, who married Nathaniel Eaton and in 1657 married Francis Doughty, of Accomac County, and who in 1662 during a law suit named Elizabeth (Stone) Calvert as her cousin, was a sister to Governor Stone. The word "cousin" signified merely kinswoman, for it is proved that the Rev. Nathaniel Eaton by 1642 had married Anne, the widow of the Rev. William Cotton. She was therefore born Anne Graves whom William Cotton transported into Virginia and whom he acknowledged as his wife in 1637. [src. Family Tree Maker] - data at this location maybe suspect (MLW)

Col/Capt William Stone is said to have been the justice and high sheriff of Northampton County to apparently include the Justice of the Peace in 1651. This may have been a factor in subsequent similar legislative-type appointments of the Chandlers, Folkes and John I Hamilton in Charles County ca 1660-1700 following Stone's selection by Calvert to be the first Maryland Protestant governor as he upheld religious freedom. The religious and nationality affiliations of these and most other families in early Nanjemoy Hundred have been said to be 'English and Anglican' and perhaps non-catholic.

Immigration records provided by show a Mr. Thomas Burdett and wife, 'Violinda' immigrating in 1659 just after their alleged marriage on 1 Sep 1658. This may have been the initial transportation from VA by Stone others have alluded to after Stone's apparent arrival in MD ca 1653 or perhaps a subsequent return(s) to England for purposes of securing 'headright' money as was heavily practiced until about 1680. By his death on 2 Mar 1668, Thomas had acquired considerable land in the Nanjemoy region possibly suggesting the acquisition of such funds. The Maryland immigration records for 1663 has Francis Burdette being transported by a Thomas Burdette. Thomas and Verlinda/ Violinda? Cotton Burdette are said to have had a Francis (ca 1661), Elizabeth (b. ca. 1662), Sarah (b. ca. 1665), Catharine (b. ca. 1669) and Parthenia (b. ca. 1663) all allegedly reported in colonial records.

  1. BURDETT, Mr THOMAS 4 48 Imm 1659 & Violinda his wife; src.
  2. BURDETT, Francis 5 307 Transp 1663 by Thomas Burdett [src:
  3. Land Records: Charles County Hundred Rent Rolls Tract Index (1642-1753):
    MEEKS ADVANTAGE Burdit,Thomas Riverside 416 271
    MEEKS ADVENTURE Meek, Francis Riverside 405 186
  4. Charles County Hundred Rent Rolls Name Index (1642-1753):
    Burdit, Thomas Nanjemoy 335 13 BIRDS NEST, THE
    Burdit, Thomas Nanjemoy 336 19 BURDITS REST
    Burdit, Thomas Riverside 416 271 MEEKS ADVANTAGE
    Ashton, Burdett Nanjemoy 336 19 BURDITS REST
  5. 1642-1753 Rent Rolls Charles County MD Hundred - Nanjemoy or Durham Parish: Rent Roll page/Sequence: 335-13:
    BIRDS NEST, THE: 300 acres; Possession of - 300 Acres - Fowke, Gerard: Surveyed 25 July 1661for Thomas Burdit on the South side of a West branch of Nanjemoy creek: Other Tracts Mentioned: ; ; ; other notes - 226 Acres - Roger Fowke from Gerard Fowke & Sarah; 18 Dec 1725, 75 Acres - Roger Fowke from Burdett Ashton; 25 April 1726
  6. 1642-1753 Rent Rolls Charles County MD Hundred - Nanjemoy or Durham Parish: Rent Roll page/Sequence: 336-19: BURDITS REST: 700 acres; Possession of - 425 Acres - Burdett, Thomas: Surveyed 17 March 1665 for Thomas Burdit on the Westernmost branch of Nanjemoy Creek in Burdits Creek.: Other Tracts Mentioned: ; ; ; other notes - 229 Acres - Roger Fowke from Burdett Ashton; 31 July 1722, 229 Acres - Roger Fowke from Gerard Fowke & Sarah; 18 Dec 1725
  7. On March 2, 1668, a warrant was issued to John Stone and his brother Thomas to appraise the estate of Thomas Burdit, deceased, late of Charles County. Verlinda Burdit, the relict, was granted letters of administration, and her oath was duly recorded before Joseph Harrison, Gent. A return of the inventory was made on May 14, 1668, at which

Family Lineage

There are records in the Maryland archives apparently documenting the 'union' of Elizabeth Burdette to John Hamilton but apparently only 'rumblings' as to his alleged 1674 immigration from Scotland and birth ca 1648. A 1652 immigration of a John Hamilton to the Maryland area obtained from may have been another John Hamilton as he would have been only about 3 years old or perhaps the 1648 birth date is inaccurate. John, as mentioned in 'Spye Park' by Lamar Hamilton as 'upper middling' may have been of that stature as a consequence of his marriage to Elizabeth Burdette. His land transactions throughout Nanjemoy Hundred stayed with his descendants, although few, to at least 2 additional generations. His granddaughter, Elizabeth Hamilton married Robert Wade Jr of Prince Georges County, and a grandson of an early Charles County/ Prince Georges County land patentee, Zacchariah Wade whose tract is illustrated in 1695 in Kelloggs ….. as …. Adjoining the immigrant John Lanham/Lannum's tract of 'Oxmonton'. Two generations later, the Lanhams and Hamiltons would unite in marriage ca 1800.

  1. HAMILTON, JOHN Lib ABH Fol 311 Immig Dec 1652 [src:]

According to abstracted records in the Maryland archives, John and Elizabeth Burdette Hamilton's son, John II Hamilton married Elizabeth Harrison. The will and estate papers of Richard Harrison in 1710 specifically refers to his daughter 'Elizabeth Hamilton' and 'grandchild.', [Abbreviation for grandchildren] John and Elizabeth 'Hambleton' with no mention of his son-in-law, John II Hamilton who had just died in 1709. John II Hamilton inherited (src: wills) land from his mother's sister, Parthenia Burditt in 1697 nearly the time his son, John III was born and from his step-father, Richard Chandler also in 1697 (src: 1686 will) whom his mother married after the death of his father, John I ca 1682/83.

  1. BURDITT, PARTHENIA, Mrs of Nanjemy - In her will left to John Hamilton s/o testatrix sister, all lands. To sister Catherine Boughton, personalty. (INV. 16.18, 14 Apr 1698; WILL 6 75 , 17 Feb 1697; 13 Mar 1697)
  2. 'John Hamilton son of testrix sister' in 1697 [Charles Co Settlers 1658-1745 by Bates & Wright MF187.C5 B329]
  3. Richard Chandler, step-brother of Gerard Fowke, willed to John Hamilton 'at age 21' in 1686 [MARYLAND CALENDAR OF WILLS: Volume 5].
  4. MD Calendar of Wills; Will of Richard Harrison, Charles Co. ____________ 25 July 1710; To son Joseph, 4 tracts, viz., part of "Delahey's Chance" 150 A., "Woodberry's Hope," 150 A., "Holy Spring," and 200 A. "Carpenter's Square." Son Joseph afsd. to purchase for son Benjamin at 18 years, 150 A. of land or to convey to him one of tracts afsd., and he, Joseph, is also instructed to build a house for his mother on one of sd. tracts. To son Richard, "Lane's Land" near Maryland Point, and sloop "Indian Princess," jointly with his brother Joseph. To grandchild. John and Eliza: Hambleton at majority and hrs., lacking whichto pass to any hrs. of their mother, Eliza: Hambleton, and to dau. Tabitha (Harrison), at 18 yrs., brothers Francis and Joseph Harrison, and son Thomasat 21 yrs., personal estate. Testator desires a debt to Capt. Fitzhugh, of VA, to be paid. To Child., Eliza:, Joseph, Richard, Tabitha and Benjamin afsd., residue ofestate. Exs.: Wife Jane and sons Joseph and Richard. Test: Nicholas Cooper, John Griffen.
  5. John Fanning decd. 28 Feb 1685; Mrs. Parthenia Burditt decd 4 Apr 1698; John Stone decd. 15 Dec 1697; John Stone decd 19 Jul 1703; Richard Boughton decd. 26 Jun 1706; Richard Chandler decd 9 Sep 1697 Gerrard Fowke adm.; Mark Lampton decd 4 Mar 1708/9; John Hambliton decd 16 1709; Richard Harrison decd 14 Aug 1710 - nearest kin Jos Harrison, Elizabeth Hamilton; [Charles County Maryland Probate Records, Inventories, 1673-1753]

Records for John and Elizabeth Burdette Hamilton's grandchildren, John III and Elizabeth Hamilton are not as prevalent to us at this time but sufficient to warrant certainty in our ancestry. John III's wife is unknown but he apparently remained in Nanjemoy as did his father, John II, selling his inherited land in 1729 to Francis Meek at approximately the time of the birth of his presumed only son, Burditt Hamilton. The Meek family may be a source to look for the wife of John III Hamilton. The deed specifically refers to and as has been abstracted as "1729, John grandson of John conveyed 100 acres on Nanjemoy Creek'. John III's sister, Elizabeth Hamilton presumably moved to Prince Georges County on land of her husband, Robert Wade, Jr (ancestor Zacchariah Wade, 1670) which had at least once adjoined the immigrant John Lannum/Lanham's original 'Oxmonton' shown on the 1696 'Kellogg map of Piscataway Hundred' and his subsequent ca. 1700 ‘Lanham addition' later referred to as 'Lanham Farm' by an 1865 John Lyons deed. Two well-deteriorated documents on 'sheepskin' referring to a Robert Wade, one dated early 1700's and the other dated 1776, were passed down in our family. Although these documents are difficult to read, the earliest document refers to a date of 1691 and probably to Robert Wade Sr's acquisition of "Stony Harbour' from his presumed father, Zacchariah Wade who patented it in 1670.

Burditt Hamilton (ca 1730-1784) and his wife, Eleanor Ann (maiden name unknown) raised a family of at least four girls and one boy in the Nanjemoy area of the'7th District' of Charles County known then as 'Durham Parish Lower Hundred'. Burditt is taxed in 1783, the year he wrote his will, with a partial of 'Woodberry Harbour' along with Andrew Bailie, another possible relative of his wife. He is also taxed with another tract of 237 acres, likely the known 'Mt Joy', another passed down deed/survey to our family. This tract was 'escheated' by William Beck in 1738. According to TLC Genealogy [Enoch Pratt Lib], Beck sold the tract to Burditt's great grandfather's brother-in-law, Gerard Fowke/Folke Sr. who in turn sold it to Robert Knox. The deed/survey is dated 1764 prior to the purchase by Burditt in 1779. Interestingly, Col. John Hoskins Stone (before he became MD Gov 1794) purchased between 1784-1790 a total of about 4 x 62.5 (mathematical total about 250) acre partials of 'Mt Joy'from Burdette's widow, Eleanor and children in separate transactions presumably as part of the estate finalization. Col. John H. Stone also apparently purchased a tract 'Burdette's Rest' from Sarah Fowke, 'a relict of Cap Gerard Fowke' in 1786. Were these tracts all part of the large quantities of land originally given to Stone (Capt. William?) ca 1650's, redistributed to family members and recaptured by Stone decendants?

  1. 1775 HAMILTON BURDIT Charles County MD Durham Par.Lower Hun. MD Early Census Index MD5343291 [src:]
  2. 1778 HAMILTON BURDIT Charles County MD Lower Hundred Fidelity Oath MD Early Census Index MDS1a1406844 [src:]
  3. 1778 HAMILTON BURDIT Charles County MD Lower Hundred Fidelity Oath MD Early Census Index MDS1a1406846 [src:]
  4. 1783 Tax assessments - Charles Co; Burdett Hamilton, 237 acres CH 7th District, General p. 6. MSA S 1161-5-4 1/4/5/48
  5. 1783 Tax assessments - Charles Co; Andrew Bailie. Woodbury Harbour, pt, 150 acres. CH 7th District, Land p. 11. MSA S 1161-5-5 1/4/5/48
  6. 1783 Tax assessments - Charles Co; Burditt Hamilton. Woodbury Harbour, pt, 175 acres. CH 7th District, Land p. 11. MSA S 1161-5 1/4/5/48

The name 'Pliny' first apparently observed and given to Burditt Hamilton's son is interesting to contemplate as it was repeated used by Burditt's eventual large and expanded descendant lineage. According to a Carolyn Lundgren, Pliny was a Captain at the Wharf in Baltimore and had a daughter, Sempronia (after her aunt), another perhaps even more commonly used name in Burditt's decendancy tree. Pliny's sister, Sempronia who married George Horatio Lanham had a Pliny Lanham who is further reported to have died at sea, an occupation possibly acquired through connections of his uncle. Sempronia's daughter, Susanna produced the well known civil war captain and confederate spy, Edward 'Pliny' Bryan who apparently died of Yellow fever (possibly promulgated in 1855 in tidewater VA) ca 1865 in South Carolina. In Apr 2007, a letter dated 24 Feb 1798 referencing Capt Pliny Hamilton in Nanjemoy was observed on Ebay Pliny Hamilton Letter on Ebay 2007 via Worthpoint.