Early Colonial Settlers of Southern Maryland and Virginia's Northern Neck Counties

Thomas Bruce

Male Bef 1799 - Aft 1854  (> 57 years)


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  • Name Thomas Bruce 
    Born Bef 1799  Charles County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died Aft 1854  Marlboro, Prince George's County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I104660  Tree1
    Last Modified 26 Jul 2020 

    Father William Bruce,   b. 1752, William & Mary Parish, Charles County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Nov 1825, Charles County, Maryland - Probate Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 73 years) 
    Mother Elizabeth MNU Bruce,   d. 26 Nov 1832, Charles County, Maryland - Probate Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married Charles County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F10773  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Mary Ann Laidler,   b. Abt 1797, Charles County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 2 Apr 1835, Prince George's County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 38 years) 
    Children 
     1. Mary Bruce,   b. Abt 2 Apr 1835, Prince George's County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Jul 1908, Aquasco, Prince George's County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 73 years)
    Last Modified 26 Jul 2020 
    Family ID F41357  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • 1828 Tax List, PGCGS one entry for a Thomas Bruce on p. 14.
      Mattapany, Washington & Prince Frederick Hundreds
      Bruce, Thomas
      no slaves or plate
      Other-Property, 158.59.
      ===
      PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, MARYLAND
      JUDICIAL BRANCH
      SHERIFFS
      Elected by Voters to 3-year terms (Constitution of 1776, sec. 42):
      1831-1833 Thomas Bruce
      ===
      Maryland Historical Trust Inventory No. PG: 82B-029
      Maryland Inventory of
      Historic Properties Form

      STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE

      The Cooksey House was constructed in the early nineteenth century at what is now known as 16307 Tanyard Road in the unincorporated community of Nottingham, Maryland. At the time the building was constructed, the property was owned by Captain Robert Bowie. The much-altered vernacular building is one of six extant historic structures dating from the turn of the nineteenth century in Nottingham, a thriving port community and tobacco inspection site founded in the first decade of the eighteenth century. Although the Cooksey House is a rare example of a domestic building type constructed in Nottingham in the early 1800s, the building no longer retains sufficient integrity to illustrate its original construction techniques and hall/parlor plan because of substantial alterations and additions.

      HISTORIC CONTEXT

      The Cooksey House is located in the unincorporated rural community of Nottingham, Maryland. Located in southeastern Prince George's County, Nottingham was established when the General Assembly of the Province of Maryland passed the "Act for the Advancement of Trade and Erecting Ports and Towns" in 1706 and 1707 in order to establish commercial centers along the rivers in Maryland. In 1747, Nottingham was designated as an inspection site for tobacco. In order to protect the quality of tobacco being shipped to England, all tobacco grown in Maryland had to pass through inspections sites at Nottingham, Piscataway, Upper Marlboro, or Bladensburg before it was allowed to be publicly sold. Between 1791 and 1801, Nottingham exported more than 8,340 hogsheads of tobacco. These small landing communities grew as commercial activity was drawn to tobacco warehouses located on the banks of rivers and creeks. It was during this period of prosperity in Nottingham that the Cooksey House is believed to have been constructed.

      The property was owned in the eighteenth century by Gunder Erickson and his daughter Martha Roundell. The land that Roundell inherited from her father was part of "Mansfield," a tract patented in 1663. Roundell sold two parcels of land in August 1785 to Captain Robert Bowie, a prominent merchant. Both parcels were historically part of two tracts known as "Mansfield" and "Collins His Comfort." Consisting of 77-1/8 acres, Parcel 1 was specified in the deed of sale as "part upland and part marsh." Parcel 2 contained just over 19 acres. It was on this tract of land that the one-and-a-half-story vernacular dwelling at what is today 16110 Tanyard Road was constructed, presumably during the ownership of Captain Robert Bowie. The construction date of the Cooksey House cannot be precisely ascertained, although the construction techniques and the original hall/parlor plan suggest it was erected in the early nineteenth century when Nottingham was flourishing as a port community and tobacco inspection site.

      Construction of the Cooksey House in the early nineteenth century coincided with a period of tremendous growth in Prince George's County, largely because of tobacco. "Tobacco provided modest livelihood for small farmers and even served as legal tender for debts. Tobacco also created a prosperous, sophisticated society which traded its staple with English and Scottish merchants for goods from all over the world." Yet, "beginning in the 1790s and accelerating after 1800, the importance of the small landing towns in the County diminished." The decline of such communities as Nottingham after 1800 also accounts for the modest form and the lack of ornamentation of the Cooksey House, which was completed at a time when many local families were relocating to other more economically stable areas.

      The property remained in the Bowie family until 1829, when Bowie's grandson, Robert Ghiselin, sold it for
      $3,000 to Thomas Bruce, who was acting as trustee for Henry M. Chew. The 1829 deed of sale described the property as being "that parcel of land left of the road from Nottingham to Magruder's Ferry" The deed also specified the property was to be held in trust for Sarah P. Chew, wife of Henry M. Chew, and their children upon her death. In 1854, Thomas Bruce devised the property to Bettie A. (Chew) Williams and Sara Jane (Chew) Isaac, when they had come of age. William W. Isaac, husband of Sara Jane Chew, was granted one-half interest in the property from Bettie A. and Andrew G. William in 1858. Upon his death in 1861, Isaac devised the property to his sons, Richard Isaac and William W. Isaac. The property was described in that 1861 indenture as "containing 124-1/2 acres including 6 acres of marsh. Another parcel containing 248 acres in the same area including 5 acres of marsh." The census records for 1860 identify the Isaac brothers as farmers.
      ===
      COUNTY OFFICIALS – 1839
      The Maryland Pocket Annual, printed by John Hughes in Annapolis, was a predecessor of the Maryland Manual, edited by Frank F. White, Jr. of the Hall of Records.
      The following listing of Prince George’s County officials is for the year 1839.
      CORONERS
      Samuel Coe Thomas Bruce Samuel Duvall
      William Hall Elisha Perry Judson W. McKnew

      JUSTICES OF THE DISTRICT COURTS
      For the 1st District – Truman Belt, Richard B. Walker, Joseph I. Jones
      For the 2nd District – Robert Wright, Hanson Penn, John Bowie
      For the 3rd District – Thomas Bruce, Leonard H. Chew, Wm. G. Carter
      For the 4th District – Wm. N. Dorsett, Thos. Holland, Wm. Hall
      For the 5th District – Richard L. Jenkins, J. W. Ward, Benedict I. Semmes
      For the 6th District – Notley Maddox, Thos. Berry, Henry Tolson

      === PG County MD
      Folio 239 WALTER BRUCE 03/02/18I9 04/06/1819
      "Being at this time of sound and disposing mind, memory and understanding"
      Bequeaths to:
      I. William Bruce --brother
      -to have Negro man "Horatio" and Negro woman "Nancy" and all her children.
      -to have the testator's riding horse and all the household furniture and the note which Philemon Chew owes the testator and Edmond Key's notes and also to have the testator's stock of horned cattle
      2. Children of niece Rebeccah Young
      -to have Negro woman "Milley" and all her children and future increase to be divided among them and to have Negro man "Oswald"
      3. Walter Barber (?) --nephew
      -to have Negro boy "Samuel" and the 4 youngest children of Negro woman "Sophia" to be divided among the children of testator's niece Jane Barber
      4. Elizabeth Kent --niece
      -to have Negro woman "Mary" and her 3 sons "Henry" "James" and "Robert" and Negro man "Edward."
      5. John Yates
      Mary Yates {children of deceased nephew Townley Yates -to have Negro woman "Alice" and her children and increase and also Negro man "Townly"
      6. Children of deceased brother John Bruce
      -to have Negro man "Chades" and Negro woman "Sophia" and her increase to be divided equally among them.
      7. "Charles" --old Negro man
      -to be liberated by the testator's executor and furnished with the sum of $20.00 per year for his natural life
      8. Thomas Bruce --nephew
      -named executor and instructed that the testator's dwelling plantation to be sold and the money applied to the payment of debts and any money left over to be divided among testator's brother William, the children of niece Rebeccah, Elizabeth Kent and the children of Townley Yates and the children of Jane Barber
      Witnesses: Henry Boswell
      Alexander Philpott
      Josias Young
      Then came: Josias Young and Henry Boswell
      Note: the testator signed the will in his own hand
      ===
      Folio 299 HENRY BOSWELL 08/05/1821
      "being weak in body ..."
      12/08/1821
      Bequeaths to:
      1. Eleanor Boswell --wife
      Elizabeth Ellen Boswell --daughter
      Priscilla Jane Boswell --daughter
      -to have the testator's houses and lot in the town of Nottingham where the testator now lives .
      -wife to have Negro woman "Nelly"
      -testator's wife to have 2 feather beds and fum., and one third pmt of the household and kitchen furniture
      -Elizabeth to have Negro boy "Washington"
      -Elizabeth to have 2 feather beds and fum., and one third part of the household and kitchen furniture
      -Priscilla to have Negro girl "Oliva"
      -Priscilla to have 2 feather beds and furn., and the other third part ofthe household and kitchen furnitur.e
      -wife and daughters to have the testator's riding horse, 1 cow and 2 calves, 1 cart, 1 hand mill, the house clock and silver watch
      2. William Boswell --son
      -should the testator's 2 daughters die w/out heirs, then to have the lot and houses in Nottingham left them and testator's widow
      -to have Negro boy "Headly"
      -to have 1/2 of the ferry boat, the billiard table, 1 iron pot, and 1 dutch oven
      -to make the collection of all bonds, notes, etc. and settle the testator's debts and the remaining Yz of the money to be for the testator's wife and daughters for the daughters' maintenance and education and he to have the other 1/2
      -named executor of the will with testator's widow
      Witnesses: Fielder Bowie
      Walter B. Worthington
      Thomas Bruce
      Then came: Walter Worthington
      Note: the testator signed the will in his own hand
      ===
      Folio 339 PRISCILLA BOWIE 01/31/1822 07/02/1823
      "being sick and weak in body ..."
      Bequeaths to:
      1. Mary Bowie --daughter
      -to have Negroes "Hansen" "Nick" "Diannah"
      -to have all the fumiture in the testatrix's drawing room, 1 pair of large lamps, 2 silver salt stands, 2 silver cans, the testatrix's watch, the old sorrel mare and sulkey requesting that the old mare be buried when she dies.
      2. John Bowie --grandson
      -to have Negroes "Perry" and the 2 daughters of "Diannah"
      -to have the testatrix's pony and I colt, 1 bed and fum., 1/2 dozen silver table spoons, Yz dozen silver tea spoons, 2 silver tumblers and 2 coasters
      3. Elizabeth Waring --daughter
      -to have Negroes "Charles" "Peter" and the girl the testatrix purchased from Elizabeth
      -to have silver coffee pot, carriage and horses, and Yz of the corn
      4. Priscilla Waring --granddaughter
      -to have 1 dozen silver deselt spoons,
      5. John H. Waring --grandson
      -to have Negro "Daniel"
      -to have I bed and fum, 4 cows, 2 oxen, 1 sorrel colt, 1 mare and colt the testatrix's little sorrel horse
      6. Margaret A. Ghislin --daughter
      -to have Negroes "Phill" "Matthew" "Clem" "Lin"
      -to have the carpet in the testatrix's lodging room and the country cloth carpet below stairs and also 1 bed and fum., Yz dozen silver table spoons, 1/2 dozen silver tea spoons, ox cart, oxen, 4 cows, 4 of the best candlesticks, 1 pair of decanters, 1 pair coasters, 1 mare and colt.
      7. Priscilla Ghislin --granddaughter
      -to have Negroes "Allen" the daughter of "Mary"
      8. Robert Bowie --son
      -to have Negroes "Ben" and his wife "Peg" "John" "Randall" "London" and "Bridget"
      -to have 1 old family silver coffee pot, 4 old silver spoons, the testatrix's wagon, cooking stove, book case, bacon and tobacco
      -remainder of the estate to be divided among testatrix's 4 children
      -named executor of the will
      9. Dr. R. Ghislin --son-in-law
      -to have the testatrix's blacksmith's tools, and coal in the shop and 1/2 of the com.
      10. Robert Watson --overseer
      -to have 4 cows, 4 steers, 10 head of sheep, 1 colt and the choice of 2 work horses and also 4 hogsheads of crop tobacco.
      11. Vestry -for the use of8t. Paul's Church
      -to have the sum of$200.00 to be paid out of her crop of rye and tobacco
      12. Rev. Mr. Gillis
      -executor to pay him the sum of $50.00 her contribution for his services as rector
      Witnesses: Mary M. Bowie
      Josias Young
      Thomas Bruce (?)
      B. Oden, Jr
      Then came: Thomas Bruce (?)
      Note: the testatrix signed the will in her own hand
      ===
      Folio 491 RICHARD H. BROOKES 01/23/1832 02/01/1832
      "being sick and weak of body ..."
      Bequeaths to:
      1. John Brookes --brother
      -to have the testator's sorrel colt
      -named executor of the will
      2. Walter Brookes --brother
      -to have the residue of the estate real, personal and mixed with exception and to have the testator's stock in the Planter's Bank of Prince George's Co. which stands on the books of the bank in the name of the testator's brother John Brookes the same being the stock purchased by the testator from John Gault in part and the balance from Thomas Duckett
      3. Edwin M. Dorsey
      -to have the testator's double barreled gun
      Witnesses: Thomas Bruce
      John H. Bruce
      Turner Wootton
      Then came: Thomas Bruce and John Bruce
      Note: the testator signed the will in his own hand
      ===
      Charles County Maryland Will Book WDM-15, 1825-1833; {Abstract by Mike Marshall}; Page 484.
      Elizabeth Bruce, Will, October 12, 1830; November 26, 1832
      I, Elizabeth Bruce of CC, being sick and weak of body, but of sound and disposing mind, memory and understanding;
      To daughter Jane Bruce, negroes Nace and Charity, 1 feather bed, bedstead and furniture, ½ dozen silver tea spoons, 1 pair sugar tongs.
      To grandson William Bruce Matthews, negro Charles.
      To granddaughter Elizabeth Ann Matthews, 50 dollars.
      All the rest and reside to daughters Maria Matthews and Sarah Chew, sons John Bruce, Thomas Bruce and Henry C. Bruce, and grandson William Bruce son of Walter Bruce, equally divided.
      Executor: son-in-law John Matthews
      Signed: October 12, 1830 Elizabeth Br
      ===
      Charles County Maryland Will Book DJ-16, 1833-1850; {Abstract by Mike Marshall}; Page 320.
      Jane Bruce, Will, January 6, 1844; February 9, 1844
      I, Jane Bruce of CC, being sick and weak in body, but of sound and disposing mind, memory and understanding;
      To Elizabeth Ann Fergusson wife of Doctor John R. Fergusson, all my wearing apparel, my bed, bedstead and bed furniture.
      To the two infant children of Doctor John R. Fergusson, 50 dollars each.
      Item: my old negro Charity, manumitted, and to receive 20 dollars annually.
      The balance of my estate I give as follows:
      1/6th to brother John H. Bruce
      1/6th to the children of my deceased sister Maria Matthews.
      1/6th to the children of my deceased sister Sarah P. Chew.
      1/6th to brother Thomas Bruce.
      1/6th to the children of my deceased brother Henry C. Bruce.
      1/6th to the son of my deceased brother Walter Bruce.
      Executor: friend Doctor John R. Fergusson
      Signed: January 6, 1844 Jane Bruce
      Wit: John J. Hanson, Elijah W. Day, John Matthews
      ===
      Charles County Maryland Will Book DJ-16, 1833-1850; {Abstract by Mike Marshall}; Page 364.
      John H. Bruce, Will, February 18, 1845; April 21, 1845
      I, John H. Bruce of CC, being sick and weak in body, but of sound and disposing mind, memory and understanding;
      To the children of John Matthews namely; Elizabeth Ann Fergusson, William Matthews and Amelia Matthews and to the children of my late brother Henry C. Bruce to wit; John Fergusson Bruce, William Henry Bruce and Mary E. Bruce, and to William Bruce the son of my later brother Walter Bruce, and Mary Bruce daughter of my brother Thomas Bruce, the whole of my estate real personal and mixed, equally.
      Executor: friend John R. Fergusson
      Signed: February 18, 1845 John H. Bruce
      Wit: Elijah W. Day

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