GILBERT CLARKE(c.1665 - c.1700)
We are indebted to William G. Scroggins for granting permission to include the below material. Minor edits have been made, primarily in the format of the endnotes and the indentation of the Thompson article. William G. Scroggins is the compiler and author of The Scroggins Papers A Genealogical History of The Scroggins and Allied Families. The Clarke family, a collateral line, is not included in The Scroggins Papers.
514. GILBERT CLARKE
Died before 15 Feb 1700/1 Charles County, Maryland
Married 515. Fantalena Joy c1697
Died after 17 May 1738
Children (order of birth unknown):
257. Jane Clarke
b. c1691 Charles County, Maryland
d. after 1742
m. 256. John Scrogin c1710
d. before 15 Jun 1720 Charles County, Maryland
m. apparently not
Gilbert Clarke of Charles County, Maryland, was a son of John and Ann Clarke.(1) The parents of Fantalena Joy have not been determined, but she undoubtedly was of the Joy family of St. Mary's County, Maryland, which adjoins Charles County.(2) The father of Fantalena Joy may have been named Joseph Joy. At that time couples usually named their first son for either his paternal or maternal grandfather. Since John and Jane Scrogin named their first son Joseph and his paternal grandfather was George Scrogin, perhaps the father of Fantalena Joy was named Joseph. That likelihood is enhanced by the fact that Fantalena named her first son, who may have been illegitimate also, Joseph Joy.(3)
Circumstantial evidence indicates that Jane, who married John Scrogin, was the illegitimate child of Fantalena Joy, by Gilbert Clarke, who was born about 1691 in Charles County, before their marriage. This child would have been 17 in 1708 which is considered to be the earliest birth year for Joseph Scrogin, the eldest son of John and Jane Scrogin. Joseph Scrogin named sons, Thomas Clark Scrogin and Philip Jenkins Scrogin, which substantiates this contention. The unusual given name of Fantalena Joy also provides a basis for the legend, among the descendants of Joseph Scrogin, that their immigrant ancestress was a Princess Fantalena. After reviewing new facts, subsequent to his article about Fantalena Joy, eminent genealogist Neil D. Thompson, who descends from her and her second husband Philip Jenkins, concluded from the preponderance of evidence that Jane Scrogin was the child born to Fantalena Joy and Gilbert Clarke before their marriage.(4) He had not identified her previously:(5)
"It often happens that the labors of the genealogist will articulate the dry bones of a story which might engage the novelist's imagination. Three years ago I noted in the pages of this journal (TAG supra 45:34) an appearance in 1714 in the county court of Charles County, Maryland, by my ancestor Fantelina or Fantalena Jenkins, and requested further information concerning her and her family. More recent researches among the records of the county, housed at the Hall of Records in Annapolis, have answered some questions while raising others. The many courtesies of the staff of the Hall of Records and the suggestions of Mr. George Ely Russell were of assistance to me in the development of this problem.
"The source of the unusual given name of Fantelina remains unknown to me, as does the parentage of the lady herself, who makes her first appearance in the court and land records of Charles County (hereafter abbreviated CCR) at the end of 1691 as Fantelina Joy. The surname Joy is not found in the county prior to that date, nor has it been possible to establish a connection by birth or marriage with the family of that name in neighboring St. Mary's County, where the local records of the period are missing. Because the only male Joy in the county records prior to 1740 makes his appearance at a later date than Fantelina, it is assumed that Fantelina Joy arrived in the county either unmarried or a widow, perhaps with a child or children.
"In any event, Fantelina Joy was presented by the county's grand jury to the county court on 8 March 1691/2 for having borne a bastard child (CCR R:369). Apparently she failed to appear and Sheriff Humphrey Warren was ordered to find her and bring her in on 13 June 1693. The following month, 12 July 1693, one Gilbert Clarke, a planter and sometime Sheriff, gave bond for her appearance but she again defaulted on 8 Aug. 1693 (CCR S:130). There is set forth at length the fact that the Provincial Court, having general jurisdiction throughout the colony, had issued a writ to Gilbert Clarke and Fantelina Joy directing them to appear at the May term of that Court but that the colony's Attorney General had suggested to the Sheriff that he refrain from serving the writ 'to see whether ye Justices of this Court would take any notice of ye said offense.' It is probable that this nudge from higher authority, with respect to a matter which was within the usual jurisdiction of the county court (one or more women were tried for bastardy at virtually every session), was responsible for its revival after more than a year.
"Gilbert Clarke forfeited his bond to the Sheriff in the following year (CCRS:290, 12 June 1694) and at the same session of court Fantelina Joy was presented again (ibid. S:280). At a later session a bail bond was assigned and Clarke also posted a bond to prosecute his appeal from the forfeiture (CCR T:4, 15). Because Liber T is missing from a generally well-preserved series, its contents being known only by virtue of a valuable general index to all the records compiled in 1722, it is impossible to be sure whether this second presentment, and two others which took place the following year (T:173, 215), resulted from a series of alleged births out of wedlock or from one offense for which the punishment was constantly being postponed. It does not appear that Clarke ever went forward with his appeal. The minutes of the Provincial Court make no reference to it or to Fantelina Joy at all. At the same time, it does not seem that she was ever punished, by fine, whipping, or otherwise, for her alleged offenses. Clarke's influence may have had something to do with this, or the offense may have been deemed to be purged by his subsequent marriage to her. The fact of their marriage and the association of their names in the unserved Provincial Court writ is strong evidence that he was, or was thought to be, responsible for at least one of her children.
"However that may be, there was recorded in 1697 or 1698, in another volume of the records which is now missing, a deed of gift from Fantelina Clarke 'to her children' (CCR W:209). The marriage may have occurred that year, for Clarke had made two conveyances in 1696 without the participation of any wife (CCR Q:101, to William Digges, 16 July 1696; D-2:78, to John Bayne, 28 Oct.1696, recorded 4 March 1713/4). It was not to endure long. Fantelina Clarke's bond as administratrix of her husband's estate is dated 15 Feb.1700/01; her name was misread by the clerk as 'Parthenia' (Maryland Testamentary Proceedings, 18-B:69, 28 April 1701). Two days after the execution of the bond, an inventory of the decedent's property in the hands of 'Fantolany, his wife who is administratrix' was taken by Walter Story and Thomas Dixon. Her account is incomplete, showing no balance for distribution and no reference to heirs. She requests a maintenance allowance 'at amoderate rate' (Maryland Inventories & Accounts, 20:171, 17 Feb. 1700/01; folio 267, dated 10 July 1701, filed 14 Sept. 1701).
"That year the administrator of the estate of Sheriff Humphrey Warren had execution against Gilbert Clarke's estate in the amount of 5,000 lbs of tobacco (CCR Y:229, 1 April 1701). It seems that the forfeited bond had lain uncollected for almost seven years. At the same term of court Fantelina Clarke acknowledged a debt of the estate to one George Muschamps (ibid. 238). The following year there is a judgement against the estate in the Provincial Court (Prov. Court Judgments WT4: 52), and then the records are silent for more than a decade.
"During this period Fantelina met, married and lost her second husband Philip Jenkins or Jenkinson, a Charles County planter. He appears on the county rent rolls as the holder of 290 acres of a tract in Wicomico Hundred; no date is given, but it was prior to 1709 and the death of Peter Ord or Oard who held ten acres of the same tract (Maryland Rent Rolls 8:284; CCR B-2:684). As Philip Jenkinson he was a witness to the will of Justinian Tennis, made 23 Jan. 1698/9 (Maryland Wills 6:251). He served on juries in 1707, 1708, and 1712, the latest date being 11 Nov. 1712 (CCR B-2:457, 534, 9 March 1707/8, 9 Nov. 1708; Prov. Court Judgments TP2:635, 12 Aug. 1712; IO-1:153, 11 Nov.1712). On 15 April 1714, as the widow of Philip Jenkins, Fantelina Jenkins recorded the ages of her two sons Philip and John Jenkins and provided for the inheritance of their father's property upon their coming of age at eighteen years (CCR F-2:10). Hence Philip Jenkins must have died during this hiatus of seventeen months.
"It was more than two years before an administration bond was executed and filed for the estate of Philip Jenkins by one William Penn (Maryland Testamentary Proc. 23:33, 27 June 1716, dated 30 May 1716). Apparently Fantelina Joy had taken her third and last husband. The estate inventory, taken 5 June 1716, calls the decedent Philip Jenkinson, and it is signed by Frances Loften and William Jenkinson as next of kin (Md. Inventories & Accounts, 37A:53), while the scanty account calls him Jenkins again (Charles Co. Accounts 1708-38, f. 112, 6 Aug. 1716). William Penn is recorded as the father of two children, William and Elizabeth, by his first wife Elizabeth Dutton (CCR H2:86, 88, Nathaniel and Eleanor Hubbard to William Penn, 8 and 9 Aug. 1717). Together with Fantelina he conveyed land to Charles Yates in 1720, both signing by mark (CCR H2:349, 4 June 1720).
"The will of William Penn (Md. Wills 21:749, made 9 Feb. 1736/7, proved 14 March 1736/7) indicates that he had no surviving issue by Fantelina. To her he left one third of his personal property; to his daughter Elizabeth, the wife of Joseph Joy, he left one guinea. The balance passed to his namesakeand executor, William Penn, whose account (Md. Accounts, 16:179, 17 May 1738; CCR T2:541, 17 May 1738) shows that Fantelina Penn received her legacy on or shortly after its execution. No further record of Fantelina Penn has been found, and, while she may have married again, it is more likely that her estate was divided after her death by agreement among her surviving children without formal administration.
"It has been possible to determine the relationship of four of Fantelina's children and to add at least two others in a more tenuous and speculative manner. I have attempted to discuss each in the likely order of his or her birth.
"A. JOSEPH JOY: Whether an illegitimate son of Fantelina, or the offspring of a marriage which cannot yet be traced, is not clear. Probably this is the Joseph Joy for whom a mark for hogs and cattle was recorded in 1698 (CCRW:226) and the livestock may have formed part of the previously mentioned gift, recorded at the same term of court or the one just prior, by Fantelina Clarke to 'her children'; the liber being missing, it is impossible to be sure. He would be of age when he offered security for giving evidence at the November 1718 term of court (CCR I2: 140). In 1720 he was administrator of the estate of his half-brother Thomas Clarke and claimed a share in the balance of the estate. He married Elizabeth, daughter of William Penn, as early as 1729, when he arranged for a survey of Poppleton, the plantation which she had received in her own right from her mother's relatives (CCRY2:11. 30 April 1744, deposition of John Hamill). The guinea which her father left her in his will may be symbolic of his disapproval of her marriage with his wife's son, or it may be merely a practical recognition of the fact that she was well provided for in other ways.
"In his old age Joseph Joy signed the inventory of his half-brother John Jenkins as a relative (Md. Inventories 78:27, 21 June 1762). His widow executed her bond as administratrix of his estate on 22 Nov. 1766 (Md. Testam. Proc. 42:43, 27 Dec. 1766). She herself died in 1775 (Md. Wills 40:685, Elizabeth Joy, made 24 Nov. 1770, proved 14 Nov. 1775). The proceedings of administration of the estates of Joseph and Elizabeth (Penn) Joy do not reveal further useful information concerning his origin. It is possible that there may be, somewhere in the possession of a descendant, a family Bible or other record which might shed more light.
"B. THOMAS CLARKE: This son of Fantelina by Gilbert Clarke makes his appearance on the scene only after his death, probably in 1720, since Joseph Joy executed a bond as administrator of his estate on 15 June 1720 (Md. Testam. Proc. 23:195, 28 June 1720). While the estate was a small one, the inventory and two accounts are key documents for the student of this family. Fantelina Penn and Mary Jenkinson signed the inventory as relatives (Md. Inventories, 4:81, 26 June 1720). In the second of the two accounts (Md. Accounts 3:126, 327, 9 Aug. 1720, 2 March 1720/1) appears this endorsement: 'Balance belongs to ye accountant & ye dec'd mother ye wife of Wm. Penn & 5 brothers and sisters several of which are minors.' This is the sole documentary proof, if proof outside the most unusual given name were required, of the identity of Fantelina, wife of Gilbert Clarke, with Fantelina, wife of William Penn. It is also a clear indication that Joseph Joy had the right to administer the estate, probably as the eldest half-brother. Finally, it shows that there were, whether or not they survived to adulthood, at least five other children of Fantelina (the reference to minors, given Gilbert Clarke's death twenty years before, can only be to the Jenkins half-brothers and sisters). No proof has as yet been unearthed that there were other living children of Gilbert Clarke and Fantelina.
"C. MARY JENKINSON OR JENKINS: Because an examination of the possible candidates seems to exclude other possibilities, I suggest that Mary Jenkinson, who signed the inventory of Thomas Clarke's estate as a relative,was the oldest surviving daughter of Philip and Fantelina Jenkins. She would have been at least sixteen to be of age in 1720. At present nothing more is known of her.
"D. ELIZABETH JENKINSON OR JENKINS: Here we are on firmer ground, largely because of the generosity of Elizabeth's godfather, the bachelor tailor George Bellows. Bellows gave a mare to Elizabeth and requested that its mark be recorded (CCR H2: 404, 21 Dec. 1720), an indication that she was not yet of age. Elizabeth was married to John Shaw, Jr. of Charles County by the end of 1724, when she was bequeathed personal property in the will of her godfather (Md. Wills, 18:338, made 28 Dec. 1724, proved 13 Jan. 1724/5). Her brothers Philip and John Jenkins were the sureties of her bond, dated 8 March 1748/9, as executrix of the will of her husband (Md. Testam. Proc. 32:241, 10 April 1749). In turn, she signed the inventory of the personal property of her brother John Jenkins thirteen years later (Md. Inventories 78:27, 21 June1762). Her husband's will names six children (Md. Wills, 25:547, made 3 Dec.1748, proved 29 Jan. 1748/9). The eldest John Shaw, was of age; the exact ages of the others are set out in Elizabeth Shaw's account (Md. Accounts 27:194, 9 Sept. 1749): Elizabeth, born 20 Sept. 1739; Joseph, born 9 Feb. 1742/3; Charles, born 20 Aug. 1745. The given name of Fantelina was carried on in the Shaw family. Mr. James Barrow Brown Jr. of Spring Hill, Tennessee, a Shaw descendant, has called to my attention Fantelina Joy Shaw, unmarried daughter and executrix of the will of Joseph Shaw of Charles County, Maryland, and Orange County, North Carolina, (1742/3-1826), fourth son of John and Elizabeth (Jenkins) Shaw, and her cousin Fantelina Shaw, wife of Dr. James Thomas of St. Mary's County and daughter of Joseph Ford Shaw, son of Neale Hamill Shaw and grandson of the same Joseph Shaw. Apparently Joseph Shaw had reason to suppose that Fantelina's maiden name was Joy when he named his daughter. As for his mother Elizabeth, no record of her death or of an administration of her estate seems to have survived.
"E. PHILIP JENKINS: He was born, according to his mother's statement, on 7 March 1708/9 (CCR F2:10, 15 April 1714). John Scroggin gave him a mare and requested that the mark be recorded, noting that he was a minor (CCR H2:413,23 Jan. 1720/1). He was twice married. His share in certain plantations owned by Capt. Walter Story prior to the latter's death in 1726, as shown by a deed of division of these plantations into which he entered with hisbrother John Jenkins and John Chandler (CCR Z2:72 , 29 Oct. 1745), augmented by a further share obtained by conveyance from Elizabeth, unmarried daughter of Col. Story (CCR O2:320, 16 Oct. 1739), can be explained only on the assumption that his first wife was Sarah (Story) Douglass, second daughter of Col. Story and widow of Joseph Douglass. They had three children: John, Mary and Sarah. Philip's second wife was Ann, the widow of George Thomas (Md. Accounts 38:89, 28 April 1755), who also survived her second husband and executed a bond as administratrix of his estate (Md. Testam. Proc. 38:151, 6 July 1761). John Jenkins, son of Philip, did not long outlive his father. The inventory of the estate of John Jenkins, Jr. was signed by Samuel Smith, husband of his sister Sarah Jenkins, and by his half-brother Benjamin Douglass, only son of Joseph and Sarah (Story) Douglass, as relatives (Md. Inventories 75:304, 30 Nov. 1761), while the inventory of Philip Jenkins was signed by his daughters Mary Jenkins and Sarah Smith as relatives (78:10, 24 Sept. 1761). After the death of Philip Jenkins his lands were resurveyed (CCR L3:588, 24 Jan. 1765) and half given to Benjamin Douglass (probably in right of his mother) while the other half was divided between Ann Jenkins, Philip's widow, and the two daughters' husbands Samuel Smith and John Rose (husband of Mary Jenkins). Within two months these lands were sold to Benjamin Gwinn, owner of an adjoining tract. The deeds clearly show the various relationships (CCR L3:599, 640, 7 March, 20 March 1765).
"F. JOHN JENKINS: He was born, according to his mother's statement, on 2 April 1711 (CCR F2:10, 15 April 1714). Little is known of him. He married Jane, youngest daughter of Col. Walter Story, and shared in the Story family lands; he signed the deed of division with a mark, as he signed a deposition concerning the boundaries of a certain plantation (CCR Y2:223, Nov. 1744). He died shortly after his brother Philip and his widow Jane or Jean Jenkins filed her administration bond (Md. Testam. Proc. 38:311, 9 March 1762). The inventory of his estate, signed by his half-brother Joseph Joy and his sister Elizabeth Shaw as relatives, has already been twice cited. His widow's account mentions that there were six children (Md. Accounts 49:571) but only four, all sons, are mentioned in the account of his eldest son Thomas as administrator of the widow's own small estate after her death on 20 Oct.1771 (Md. Accounts 68:42, 9 Aug. 1773): Thomas, John, Philip and Story Jenkins, the last of whom might not have been of age at his mother's death. Of the children it is known that Thomas Jenkins sold his father's share of the lands inherited from Col. Walter Story to Theophilus Yates, his wife Abigail renouncing her dower rights (CCR V3:320 , 24 Nov. 1778), and Philip Jenkins, the author's ancestor, married Elizabeth, daughter of Barton and Jane (Warren) Hungerford on 8 June 1779 in William and Mary Parish, CharlesCounty. Their eldest daughter Jane Story Jenkins was born there 18 April 1780. By the summer of 1783 Philip Jenkins and his growing family had removed to Mountain Creek, Pittsylvania County, Virginia (Pittsylvania Co. Deeds 7:88, Edward Warren to Philip Jenkins, 19 Aug. 1783). He later lived in Richmond County, North Carolina, and Maury County, Tennessee, where he took a second wife, Matilda, widow of John Campbell, in his old age (marriage bond, Maury Co. Bonds, p. 61, 1 Dec. 1821). Letters of administration on his estate were granted in September 1835 to his son Walter Story Jenkins (Maury Co. Minute Book 2, 1830-36, p. 481).
"There remains for solution the problems of the parentage of Fantelina Joy, the origin of Joseph Joy, and the names of other children of Fantelina by her various husbands (or otherwise). Further information relating to these questions will be welcomed. (Neil D. Thompson, 420 Riverside Drive, New York N. Y. 10025)."
In due course, the above article came to the attention of this compiler, who submitted data about the Scrogin family to the author, from which he concluded that Jane Scrogin must have been the illegitimate child of Fantalena Joy by Gilbert Clarke, who was born about 1691. The five brothers and sisters of Joseph Joy and Thomas Clarke, mentioned by Joseph in the second account of the estate of Thomas, which he prepared on 02 March 1720/21,(6) would be:
Jane Clarke, born about 1691, married John Scrogin about 1708 and died after 24 Jun 1743
Mary Jenkins, born by 1704
Elizabeth Jenkins born after 1704, married John Shaw, Jr. by 1724 and died after 21 June 1762
Philip Jenkins, born 07 March 1708/9, married (1) Sarah Story Douglass (2) Ann ------ Thomas and died before 06 July 1761
John Jenkins, born 02 April 1711, married Jane Story and died before 09 March 1762
Fantalena Joy obviously is the source for the legend of Princess Fantalena Scrogin, a romantic story common to many branches of the family descending from Joseph Scrogin of Somerset County, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Perpetuated largely, no doubt, by its publication,(7) the tradition begins with the War of the Spanish Succession, when Princess Fantalena, a daughter of King Philip V of Spain, fell in love with Captain Joseph Scrogin, an Irish sea captain in the English Navy. Disapproving of the romance, the king locked Fantalena in a castle tower near the sea, from which Captain Joseph rescued her. They eloped to England and then migrated to America, where they settled at Snow Hill, Maryland, in 1718 to start the family line. Being a hot-tempered Spanish woman, Fantalena threw the deeds to large land holdings into a fire, in a fit of pique, considerably reducing the financial position of the family.
Official Spanish historical records refute the legend. Philip V had three daughters, all of whom married European royalty. (8)
Furthermore, Joseph Scrogin of the Eastern Shore of Maryland, who married Sarah Ann Caldwell, daughter of John Caldwell, Jr., a successful businessman of Salisbury in Somerset County, lived near that town and is not known to have had property near Snow Hill, which is in the part of Somerset county that became Worcester County in 1742. Documentary evidence proves that Joseph Scrogin of Somerset County was the eldest son of John and Jane Scrogin of Charles County, Maryland.(9) John Scrogin of Charles County was born there and not known to have been in the English Navy, but his marriage to a daughter of Fantalena Joy provides a basis in fact for the romantic tradition of a Princess Fantalena.
A modified version of the legend fits the facts more closely. Princess Fantalena, whose parentage was not stipulated, escaped from a tower in Spain with jewels and ended up in Maryland, where her daughter fell in love with and married John Scrogin against her wishes. Fantalena disinherited the daughter. Fantalena married a widower and all of her property accrued to him.(10) This scenario could apply to the marriage of Fantalena Joy to William Penn who was a widower. The obsession with wealth, that underlies both traditions, must be based on understandings that the Scrogin family came from affluent origins. Facts seem to indicate that the Scrogin family was associated with affluent families in Charles County, but had no wealth of its own.
William Penn, Jr. and Elizabeth (Penn) Joy were named as kin of Matthew Dutton in a probate record dated 17 August 1734. Judith Dutton was executrix.(11) Matthew Dutton must have been a brother of their mother Elizabeth Dutton Penn.
Frances Loften, who signed the estate inventory of Philip Jenkins (Jenkinson), Sr. as next of kin with William Jenkinson on 05 June 1716,(12) was a sister of Philip. She undoubtedly was related to, perhaps the second wife of John Loften who married Susanna Scrogin, widowed mother of John Scrogin, before 1700. The will of Frances Loften, widow, of Charles County, was dated 11 October 1722 and proved on 20 November that year. Her legatees were son John, who was under 18, daughter Oriah (Onah) and nephew William Jenkins, all of whom received personalty. Sons-in-law Francis Brown and John Newman were appointed executors and inherited the residue of her estate equally. Her will was witnessed by Elizabeth Hanson and John Brown.(13) On 24 November 1722 an estate record of Frances Loften (Lofting) gave Oriah Loften, who signed with her O mark (Iriah O Lofting) and William Jenkinson as next of kin.(14) Frances must have been the widow of John Loften (Lofting) whose estate probate record was made on 22 March 1717/18 (15) Even though two of her daughters were married, her son was not 18, so her children could have been born after 1700 and her husband could have been married previously to Susanna Scrogin.
Gilbert Clarke was the sole heir of his cousin Thomas Coates of Portobacco in Charles County, whose will was dated 23 June 1681. The executor of the will was John Clarke, father of Gilbert.(16) The term cousin frequently was used to denote nephews and nieces. Gilbert must have been young, perhaps unmarried, since he did not have children at the time the will was written. Thomas Coates named another cousin, Conyers Clarke, as secondary legatee, if Gilbert died without issue. The will, which contains no proof date, was witnessed by Ralph Shaw and Cleborne Lomax.
Gilbert Clarke was of age before 10 November 1687, when the undated will of Hugh Marshall was proved in Charles County Court. Gilbert was co-executor of the will with Edward Naper and witnessed it with Richard Leman. The legatees were wife Mary and Thomas Breeding who inherited personal property. This suggests that Gilbert Clarke was born about 1665 which would have made him about 16 when Thomas Coates wrote his will in 1681.
On 18 July 1700 Gilbert Clarke and William Jenkins appraised the estate inventory of George Scrogin, father of John, who later married Jane Clarke. The report was returned to Charles County Court the following day.(17)
Gilbert died between the time of the inventory and 15 February 1700/1, when Fantalena Clarke obtained a bond as administratrix of his estate.(18)
The names Coates and Courts may have been the same. They were occasionally spelled interchangeably in court records. Cleborne Lomax, who witnessed the will of Thomas Coates, also witnessed the will of Robert Henly of Pyckyawaxon in Charles County on 15 February 1683. Robert Henly made a bequest of personal property to his granddaughter Charity Coates, daughter of John Coates (Courts) and Charity Henly. Son-in-law John Coates (Courts) was appointed executor. Edward Lee, Richard Gent and Margaret Maystis also witnessed the will, which was proved on 31 March 1684.(19) If, as a cousin of Thomas Coates, Gilbert Clarke also was a cousin of John Courts, it could account for the seeming familiarity of John Courts with the property of George Scrogin, when he made an inventory of it on 20 August 1700.(20)
Thomas Coates witnessed the will of Thomas Corker of Charles County on 17 November 1676, which was proved on 12 May 1677. Clement Theobald and John Theobald inherited personalty.(21) Previously Thomas Corker, Clement Theobald and Bartholomew Coates witnessed the will of Robert Perkins of Portobacco in Charles County on 30 December 1668.(22) Thomas Coates was a son of Bartholomew Coates. Bartholomew Coates had a special warrant for 500 acres in Maryland in 1661.(23) Bartholomew died before 1673. Mary Coates, widow of Bartholomew, and Thomas and William Coates, sons of Bartholomew, were living in 1673.(24) Mary Coates and Thomas Coates were transported to Maryland in 1673.(25)
Ralph Shaw, who witnessed the will of Thomas Coates, in which John Clarke was named as executor, on 23 June 1681, also witnessed the will of John Clarke in Charles County on 17 April 1698.(26) John Clarke did not include his son Gilbert as a legatee, perhaps because he was dissatisfied with Gilbert's involvement with Fantalena Joy. It was about this time that Gilbert and Fantalena finally got married. On the other hand, Gilbert, who appears to be the eldest son, may have already received his legacy from his father.
(1)Maryland Calendar of Wills, Volume I, Jane Baldwin, Baltimore, 1914, reprinted Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, 1968, Liber 2, folio 169.
Prepared by William G. Scroggins 03 Jan 1990, 718 Mill Valley Drive, Taylor Mill KY 41015-2278
Reprinted here with the author's permission.
22 January 2003