The Middleton family history will be started with the birth of a daughter to Major John and Mary Wheeler on the 22 March 1658, of Charles County, Maryland. This daughter married Robert Middleton and thus we find the name Middleton in Maryland for the first time. He was born about 1651 but the place of his birth has not yet been established as this time. It is believed he is from Somersetshire, England because correspondence is on file in the Maryland Archives between residents of Charles County, Maryland and the above-mentioned place in England. The late Hugh C. Middleton of Augusta, Georgia, expressed the opinion that this Robert Middleton was one of the sons of Anthony Middleton who was, he said, of Charles City, Virginia, in 1623, and that this Anthony was a son of Thomas Middleton who married in England in the late 16th century to a daughter of Dedrick Anthony. (File Case: Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania)
Robert Middleton was in Charles County, Maryland as early as 1671. In that year he was transported into Maryland by Col. Benjamin Rosier, along with Benjamin Arnold and Thomas Thornton. From the time of his arrival in Charles County, Maryland until his death in that part of Charles County that had become Prince George County, he was active in advancing both his own and his county's interests in military, civil and church affairs. His wife's parents, Major John and Mary Wheeler were in Charles and St. Mary's counties, Maryland in the 1640's; however, when he settled in Maryland he recorded that he was "from Virginia." He probably went to Virginia where some of his children were born and returned to Maryland. His first child, John Wheeler, was born in 1654. It is not known who Major John Wheeler's wife was, but either she was, or he was a Catholic, or maybe both since the Wheeler family in Maryland ever since this period has been Catholic and some of our Middletons still in Maryland are Catholics. Robert Middleton was an Episcopalian and remained so and most of his children.
Land Transactions and Certificates
Robert Middleton had extensive land interests in Charles and Prince George Counties. Below are listed all the real estate transactions to which he was a party except a few concerning which there is doubt whether it was Robert Sr. or Robert Jr. who was the interested party.
On 14 July 1679, "Wickham" a tract of 112 acres at the "easternmost (end) of Panguaya Manor" was conveyed for him (Charles Co. Rent Rolls, 2:88). On 18 July 1692 or 1693, Robert Middleton, planter, and Mary, his wife, both signed a deed of conveyance to John Clements, "tayler," the consideration being 8000 pounds of tobacco. (Charles Co. Deed Records S-1:127)
In 1683 "Hard Shift," 160 acres, in Charles County, was patented to Robert Middleton. (Land Office Records, cb-3:328) This property was located on the south side of Goose Bay. On 13 March 1688, Robert Middleton and Mary, his wife, sold this tract to Philip Lynes, merchant, of St. Mary's County for 2250 pounds of tobacco. (Charles Co. Deeds PH-1:97)
In 1686, "Saturday's Work," 500 acres in Piscataway Hundred, was patented to Robert Middleton. (Land Office Records 22:227). On 12 March 1688, he sold this tract "on the north side of the Maine Run of Kisconto to Robert Doyne, Gentleman, also of Charles County, for 10,000 pounds of tobacco. The following day "Robt. Middleton & Mary his wife...acknowledged ye within written Indenture to be their act & deed...." (Charles County Deed Records, P-1:99). This valuable tract is situated about 12 miles below Washington on the Oxon Hill Road over Anacostia Bridge and adjoins the estate where Sumner Welles, former Under Secretary of State of the United States, has his home.
On 22 March 1687, the following entry was made: "By virture of a Warrant for 2000 acres we have granted unto William Hutchinson dated 7th of this instant and by assignment to Wm. Middleton, son to Robert Middleton for 123 acres "Godfather's Guift" on Eastern Branch of the Potomac about 4 miles of the Riding Place of the Eastern Branch." (Ref. Land Office Records, 22:379)
Later it was "possessed by Robert Middleton" (Rent Rolls of Piscataway Hundred, Prince George County:148)
On 5 July 1687 "Apple Hill," a 552 -acre tract "in the woods above Piscataway" was surveyed for John Wheeler and Robert Middleton and patented to them 12 June 1688 (Prince George Co. Rent Rolls, I:96). Later Major John Wheeler transferred his interest in this real estate to William Hutchinson. Then on 8 January 1699, "William Hutchinson and Sarah his wife, and Robert Middleton and Mary his wife, all of Prince George County" sold to Francis Marbury this tract for 20,000 pounds of tobacco. (Prince George County Deed Records, A:295).
On 27 March 1688, "Apple Dore," 607 acres, was surveyed for Robert Middleton and Henry Boteler, 367 acres to Middleton and 240 acres to Boteler. The next day "Middleton's Lott," 96 acres, "on the north side of the maid fresh of the Piscataway" was surveyed for Robert Middleton and patented to him on 12 June 1688 (Prince George Co. Rent Rolls, I:96).
Finally, mention should be made of the "Middleton's Kindness," owned by John Clement and Elizabeth his wife, which they conveyed to Thomas and Elizabeth Plunkett, and which the latter couple conveyed to Robert Middleton 14 January 1695.
Robert Middleton's wife: Mary Wheeler
Documentary evidence of the identity of his wife is found in the following quotation from part of a deed of gift from Major John Wheeler to Robert and Mary Middleton. (Ref. Charles Co. Deeds Records, L-1:52)
"This Indenture ye thirtieth day of jany in ye tenth yeare of Dominion of ye Right Honble Charles L. Baltimore Ld Prop of the Province of Maryland etc and in ye yeare of Lord one thousand six hundred eighty and foure Between Jno Wheeler of Charles County in ye province of Maryland gent of ye one part & Robert Middleton & Mary his wife of ye aforsaid County & province of ye other part Witnesseth ye sd Jno Wheeler for and in consideration of ye fatherly love and naturall affection which he hath and bearth towards his naturall borned daughter Mary the wife of the aforesd Robt Middleton and also for divers other good causes & considerations him hereunto more especially moving hath given granted and confirmed and by these....all that tract called Wheeler's Hope (in Charles County) on a fresh run which runneth into Piscataway Creek, laid out for 365 acres...."
John Wheeler came to Maryland about 1659. He was Captain of the Charles County Militia, 1676, and its Major, 1689, and was Justice of the County Court in 1685. (Ref. Record of John Wheeler as noted by the Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Maryland in its 1940 publication, Genealogies of the members and Record of Ancestors: 389). John Wheeler gave his age as 21 years in a deposition dated 22 January 1652. (Maryland Archives, X: 226). As Major John Wheeler he deposed on 22 October 1691 that he was 61 years old. (Charles County Land Records, R-1:275). Mary, his wife, gave her age as 40 years in court on 9 March 1669/70 (Ibid, R-1:275). His will dated 11 November 1693 was probated 9 January 1694/95 (Maryland Wills, 7: 70). By its terms he left bequests or legacies to his 5 sons, but none to his daughters, Mary and Winifred. One of the properties he mentioned was Middleton's Lot, 96 acres, which he devised to his son Francis Wheeler.
Robert Middleton's Military Record:
An Act of Assembly of November, 1678, directed the Treasurer of the Eastern Shore of Maryland to pay Robert Middleton as reimbursement of his expenses incurred in this services against the Nanticoke Indians. (Maryland Archives, VII:100). His rank was not stated.
At the request of Captain Randolph Brankt, dated 20 June 1681, Robert Middleton was that day commissioned cornet (second lt.) in a troop cavalry. (Maryland Archives XV:382,385).
His Civil Appointments:
Robert Middleton was juror at the November 1680 and August 1698 terms of the Provincial Court, (Provincial Court Judgements, WC: 258 and IL:59) and a witness in numerous other cases heard between September 1692 and September 1707.
On 10 September 1689, he demanded 200 pounds of tobacco as the price of one wolf head. (Charles County Land Records P-1:187).
He was commissioned one of the two coroners for Prince Georges County 15 May 1696. (Land Records B:338 and Maryland Archives, XX:546). On 14 June 1697 he was again elected coroner. At the November 1704 term of Court he took again the required oath as coroner. (Land Records B:335). He was still serving when at the September 1706 term of Court was heard. (Provincial Court Judgements, PL-1:17).
His Church Offices:
Robert Middleton was one of the Wardens of St. John's Church, and was present at a Vestry held at Broad Creek for Piscataway Parish 26 August 1704, and attended all Vestry meetings through 9 April 1705. It was noted that on 25 March 1706, "Robert Middleton was present as vestryman & took the required oaths." He was last in attendance as vestryman 10 May 1707. Then among entries 5 April 1708 being Easter Monday was this one: ..."This day likewise was Mr. John Langham chosen in the room of Mr. Robert Middleton late, deceased...."
The other official record of Robert Middleton's decease is found in a bond dated 6 May 1708, "being the seventh of Her Majesty's Reign," described as follows: "Robert Middleton of Prince Georges County; Mary Middleton (widow) administratrix; John Midddleton (eldest son) administrator; Thomas Middleton (second son) surety; Edward Willett, witness, and William Middleton (youngest son), witness." (Ref. Box 2, Folder 20, Prince Georges County Bonds).
Under the date of 16 June 1708, the following entry appears in the records of the Prerogative Court: "The following proceedings returned from Prince Georges Co: ...Mary Middleton and John Middleton adms to Robert Middleton, their administrators bond in common form, with Thomas Middleton their surety in one hundred forty pounds sterling, dated the sixth of May 1708."
Children of Robert and Mary (Wheeler) Middleton:
John Wheeler Middleton was the fist son of Robert and Mary Middleton. He was born 1675-6; died in Fairfax County, Virginia 1754; married Mary_____, and had a daughter, Charity Middleton, who was married to William Luckett. She was born about 1717. He was vestryman of St. John's (Piscataway) Church 1707-1709, 1728-1731; heir to "Wheeler's Hope" 1709; Captain in Colonial forces, 1728-1731; Constable of Piscataway Hundred in 1719.
Thomas Middleton was the second son of Robert and Mary Middleton, bon 1674; died 1744, Prince Georges Co., Maryland; married first Penalope Hatton, daughter of William and Mary Hatton, and had issue: Hatton, Thomas, Mary (wife of William Hawkins), Penelope, Sarah, Elizabeth, Elinor, and Susannah.
He married the second time to Alice, widow of Thomas Smallwood and the third time to Susannah, widow of Geroge Brett. Thomas Middleton was patentee of "Long Point." Their son, Hatton, died in Maryland about 1733; son, Thomas, married Ann____, and moved to Fairfax County, Virginia about 1744-5 to join his Uncle, Captain John Middleton, who had moved there about 1740-41. They left a large descent. Their daughter, Mary, born 1730 in Maryland married Thomas Owsley in 1746 in Fairfax County, Virginia and they had 12 or 14 children, moving to Lincoln County, Kentucky in 1782 where their son, William's son, William Owlsey, became Governor of Kentucky in the 1840's. Congressman Graves and Chilton of Kentucky were descended from Thomas and Mary Middleton Owsley, as was Albert Bledsoe, the great Kentucky orator, writer and Asst. Secretary of the Confederate Navy.
Thomas and Penelope Hatton Middleton had a number of daughters. Mary married William Hawkins. She died ca 1730. One daughter, Sarah, married her cousin, Holland Middleton. (Note: This is our line and will be continued later.) She and Holland Middleton also had daughters named Sarah and Susannah.
Robert and Mary Wheeler Middleton's third son was named Robert, born 1682 and married Elizabeth Smith, daughter of John Smith. They had a son, William, but he apparently died young. Robert seems by Maryland records to have been dead in 1734.
James Middleton, born 1689; died 1769; was another son of Robert and
Mary Wheeler Middleton. He married Sarah Smith, sister of Elizabeth
who married his brother, Robert. This family has been Catholic
ever since and are now in Charles County, Maryland. They had many
children: Smith, James, Ignatius, Ann who married 1st Thomas Jenkins,
and 2nd Charles Deavin, Mary who married a Hawkins, Charity who married
a Davis, and Martha who married Marmaduke Semmes. (Thomas Stone,
Governor of Maryland and Signer of the Declaration from Maryland was from
this James Middleton family.)
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