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An American Family History

Benjamin Ricketts

 
“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves,
and, under a just God cannot retain it."
― Abraham Lincoln
 
 
Queen Anne Parish, Prince George's County, Maryland
which became Montgomery County, Maryland
 
 

Ricketts is also spelled Rickeots, Rickeotts, Rickett, Rickets, Ricket, Rickel, Rickle, Rickels, and Rickles.

 
Maryland was established with religious freedom for Catholics. The colonial economy was based on tobacco cultivated by Africans who had been enslaved.
The first European settlements in Maryland were made in 1634 when English settlers created a permanent colony.
American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (or li) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.

Benjamin Ricketts Sr. was born on May 7, 1708 in Maryland. His birth was recorded at Queen Anne Parish in Prince George's County, Maryland. He was the son of Thomas Ricketts, Jr. and Rebecca Nicholson.

The identity of Benjamin's wife is uncertain. Many researchers believe that he married Eliza Maxwell. She was the daughter of James Maxwell and Mary Harmer. Eliza Maxwell married another Benjamin Ricketts who lived in Harford County, Maryland. Their daughters, Elizabeth Strong and Hannah Wilmer inherited her shares in Maxwell's Conclusion.

Some reseachers believe that Benjamin married Elizabeth McDougal, daughter of Hugh McDougal.

If the birth dates for Benjamin, Sr. and Benjamin, Jr. are correct, then Benjamin, Sr. was only 16 years old when Benjamin, Jr. was born.

It isn't clear which of their plantations was their home plantation. Jacob inherited "the home plantation."

Benjamin and Ann Eliza's children probably included:
Benjamin Ricketts, Jr. (1724),
Jacob Ricketts (1725),
Mary Ricketts (1726)
Drusilla Ricketts (1728), and
Martha Ricketts.

In 1736, Benjamin Ricketts was the administrator of Hugh McDugal's estate in Prince George's County.

About 1742 Benjamin, Jr. came of age so it is difficult to tell which Benjamin is mentioned after that date.

In 1744, Elizabeth Ricketts, wife of Benjamin Ricketts was listed as the executrix of Hugh McDugal's estate.

A Benjamin Ricketts patented (certificate 1728) Green Marsh, a plantation of 78 acres, on September 7, 1750.

In 1753, Elizabeth Ricketts, wife of Benjamin Ricketts was again listed as the executrix of Hugh McDugal's estate.

On December 13, 1756, John Banks of Frederick County, Maryland sold Benjamin Ricketts of Prince Georges County a tract called Banks Venture in Frederick County on the branches of Rock Creek for 3£ 10s. John's wife Martha gave consent.

Montgomery County, Maryland was established in 1776 from parts of Charles, Prince George's and Frederick Counties.

Benjamin signed the Oath of Fidelity to the state of Maryland in March, 1778 at Montgomery County, Maryland.

On May 20, 1778 Benjamin sold the 31 acres of Round Marsh and 5.5 acres of Green Marsh in Montgomery County, Maryland to John Cooke (Cook), Jr. for 35£ sterling.

Later that year, John Cooke, Jr. died and left his entire estate to his siblings. Nathan Holland declined to be executor and guardian of the minor siblings, Benjamin Ricketts was appointed in his place.

In the Assessment of 1783 of Montgomery County, Maryland, Benjamin Ricketts, Sr. had a number of plantations. In the Seneca Hundred he had Granby which was 15 acres, Needwood which was 19 acres, Rattlesnake Den which was 150 acres and Ricketts Folly which was 52 acres.

He left a will dated on November 16, 1787. The will was witnessed by Colonel Zadok Magruder, Benjamin Mcdugle, and Thomas Read (Zadok's son-in-law). He left Benjamin, Jr. Banker's Venture and Green Marsh. Jacob received the home plantation. Martha received Rickett's Folly.

He died before August 13, 1788 in Montgomery County when his will was proved.

About 1715 English, Scottish and German settlers found their way to the Montgomery County, Maryland area. It was officially established from Charles, Prince George's, and Frederick counties in 1776.

Queen Anne Parish, Prince George's County, Maryland was established in 1704 when St. Paul's Parish was divided. Queen Anne's town was created in 1706 on the Patuxent River.
Children of Thomas Ricketts, Jr. and Rebecca Nicholson:
  • Thomas Ricketts
  • John Ricketts
  • Edward Ricketts
  • Benjamin Ricketts, Sr.
  • William Ricketts
  • Rebecca Ricketts
  • Richard Ricketts
  • Margaret Ricketts
  • Susanna Ricketts
  • Nicholson Ricketts
  • Gunpowder Neck, was in Baltimore, County but is now in Harford County, Maryland. Joppa was a major seaport and the county seat of Baltimore County from 1712 to 1769. St. John's Parish was in Joppa, but later moved to Kingsville, Maryland. Robins Point, Rickett Point Road, Maxwell Point Road, and Ford Point are south of the current Joppatowne on Gunpowder Neck. Spry Shoal is just off Rickett Point.

    Baltimore County, Maryland was founded in 1659 and included most of northeastern Maryland. The original county included parts of Cecil, Frederick, Harford, Carroll, and Baltimore Counties.

    The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) was between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the 13 colonies which became the newly formed United States.

     

    divider

     
     
    Name Where Original owner Ben's
    Acres
    When Benjamin had it What happened to it.
    Bank's (Banker's) Venture Upper Newfoundland and Seneca Hundred was in Frederick County, later Montgomery patented by John Banks  

    Bought in 1756

    1783 Montgomery County Assessment-Benjamin, Jr.
    Granby Seneca Hundred - Montgomery County was Frederick then Baltimore County. Next to Needwood and Rattlesnake Den 300 acres patented by William Dent in 1762-sold to Ambrose Cooke in 1772 15 1783 Montgomery County Assessment, Benjamin, Sr.  
    The Green Marsh Upper Newfoundland and Seneca Hundredwas in Frederick then Montgomery County was owned by John Banks 78 patented in 1750

    5 acres sold to John Cook

    1783 Montgomery County Assessment, Benjamin, Jr

    Needwood (Need Wood) originally in Frederick County, then Baltimore and then Montgomery 1000 acres patented by John Cook in 1760 19 1783 Montgomery County Assessment, Benjamin, Sr.  
    Rattlesnake Den Seneca Hundred Montgomery County was Baltimore County 1744 James Norris 60 acres/1761 97.5 acres 150 1783 Assessment willed to Jacob Ricketts
    Ricketts Folly Seneca Hundred Montgomery County was Baltimore County   52   1787 Will to Martha Ricketts
    Round Marsh was in Frederick County, was owned by John Banks     31 acres sold to John Cooke
    Snowden's Third Addition   Richard Snowden 134 deeded to Benjamin 1743 1776 to William Ricketts
     
     
     
     

    from Year Book of the American Clan Gregor Society written by William Edwin Muncaster

    . . .John Cooke, who, as the pioneer of the family, came and acquired large tracts of land, by purchase and patents. Some of them were near where is now the village of Redland, and others a few miles beyond the present town of Gaithersburg, in all amounting to 4,307 acres. These were obtained at different dates, running from 1741 to 1787. . .

    In 1760, he patented a tract of 1,100 acres under the name of Cooke's Range.
    . . .There is an old Bible. . .in which there is written a list of John Cooke's children, being John, Sarah, Basil, Ruth, Nathan and Rachel, giving the dates when they were born, but there is no record concerning John, Sr., and his wife.. . ..

    There is a very interesting will in the office of the register of wills at Rockville, Montgomery County, Md. It is the first will recorded after Montgomery became a county, and is that of John Cooke, whose name I have given in the list of children of John Cooke, the pioneer.

    This will was made the 14th of March, 1778, and probated July 31, 1778. By it he appears to have acquired all the lands his father owned. It must have been through primogeniture, as the old English law must have been in operation when his father died.

    He divides 4,307 acres of land between his two brothers and three sisters. He gives to Basil the dwelling and 1,613 acres, to Nathan 1,256 acres, to Sarah 469 acres, to Ruth 500 acres, and to Rachel 469 acres. At the time this will was made Sarah was 18 years old, Basil 14 years, Ruth 12 years, Nathan 10 years, and Rachel 8 years.

    He appointed Nathan Holland sole executor of the will and guardian of his brothers and sisters until they became of age. On looking further on in that record book we find that Nathan refused to take the trust, and Benjamin Ricketts was appointed in his place.

     
     

    Montgomery County Land Records, 1777-1781
    Page 144. May 20, 1778 from Benjamin Ricketts of M, to John Cooke (Cook) of M, for 35£ sterling, a tract of land called Round Marsh, lying in M on the north side of Thompsons Spring Branch, which branch falls into Rock Cr, containing and laid out for about 31 acres.

    Also, another parcel of land, being part of a tract of land called the Green Marsh, lying in M, containing and now laid out for about 5-1/2 acres.
    Signed - Benjamin B (his mark) Ricketts.
    Wit - Henry Gaither, John Kennedy, Joseph Wilson. Elizabeth Ricketts, wife of the sd Benjamin Ricketts, relinquished her right of dower to the within mentioned land.
    Recorded Jun 22, 1778

    When a mark is used for a signature, the person was probably illiterate, but may not have been able to sign because of age or infirmity.

    About 1715 English, Scottish and German settlers found their way to the Montgomery County, Maryland area. It was officially established from Charles, Prince George's, and Frederick counties in 1776.

     
     
     

    Assessment of 1783 Montgomery County, Maryland

    Benjamin Ricketts, Sr. Granby, 15 acres. Upper Newfoundland and Seneca Hundred, p. 6. Maryland State Archives S 1161-8-5    1/4/5/51

    Benjamin Ricketts, Sr. Needwood, 19 acres. Upper Newfoundland and Seneca Hundred, p. 8. Maryland State Archives S 1161-8-5    1/4/5/51

    Benjamin Ricketts, Sr. Rattlesnake Den, 150 acres. Upper Newfoundland and Seneca Hundred, p. 11. Maryland State Archives S 1161-8-5    1/4/5/51

    Benjamin Ricketts, Sr. Ricketts Folly, 52 acres. Upper Newfoundland and Seneca Hundred, p. 11. Maryland State Archives S 1161-8-5    1/4/5/51

     
     
     
    American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (or li) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.
    Slavery is an immoral system of forced labor where people are treated as property to be bought and sold. It was legal in the American Colonies and the United States until the Civil War.

    Benjamin Ricketts’ Will
    In the name of God Almighty – I Benjamin Ricketts, Sen of Montgomery County and State of Maryland being in a low state of health but in my perfect senses thanks be to Almighty God do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament in the following:

    Infinito I commend my soul into the Hands of Almighty God to be dealt with according to his pleasure and my body to be Christianly and decently buried.

    Item I give and bequeath to my son Benjamin Ricketts the following Lands vis Banker’s Venture and Green Marsh

    Item I give and bequeath to my son Jacob Ricketts the plantation I now live on during his natural life and after his death to my grandson Robert Ricketts son of Jacob to claim and his Heirs forever

    Item I give and bequeath to my daughter Martha Ricketts a parcel of Land called Ricketts Folly containing fifty two acres to her and her Heirs forever

    Item I leave to my grandson Jacob Elliott forty pounds currency Money of Maryland.

    Item I leave to my grandson Robert Ricketts son of Jacob forty pounds currency Money of Maryland in the hands of my son Benjamin Ricketts for the purpose of schooling the son of Robert Ricketts.

    Item The Residue of my personal estate I leave to be equally divided among my children Viz Benjamin Ricketts, Drusilla Ricketts, Martha Ricketts and Jacob Ricketts and Mary Ricketts wife of Anthony Ricketts.

    It is my desire that my son Benjamin Ricketts should have a negro fellow named Lindy given him by me appraised with the rest of my personal estate and shall discount the value of him as grant of his grant of my personal estate

    Lastly I ordain my son Benjamin Ricketts sole Executor of this my Last Will and Testament.

    In witness where of I have here unto set my hand and seal this sixteenth day of November and one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven.
    Benjamin Ricketts (Seal)
    Signed, sealed and delivered in Presence of
    Zad K. Magruder
    Benjamin Mcdugle (B his mark)
    Thomas Reade

     

    The first European settlements in Maryland were made in 1634 when English settlers created a permanent colony.

    Seals were used to authenticate documents and men were expected to have a personal die. Records in deed books are copies and signatures are usually in the clerk’s handwriting. The clerk drew a circle around the word “seal” to indicate that the original document was sealed.

     
     
     

    from Montgomery County, Maryland, Record Book B, ff. 372-373.

    Montgomery County August 13the 1788 When came Zadock Magruder and Thomas Read two of the subscribing witnesses to the within Last Will and Testament of Benjamin Ricketts late of said County, deceased and generally made with the holy angels of Almighty God that they did see the testator therein name sign and seal this will and that they heard him publish pronounce and declare the same to be his last will and testament and at the time of his so doing he was to the best of their apprehension of sound and disposing mind memory and understanding and that they and Benjamin Macdugle the other subscribing witness subscribed their names to this will in the presence and at the request of the testator and in the presence of each other

    Certified by G. Gunner Register

     
     

    from Eminent and Representative Men of Virginia and the District of Columbia in the Nineteenth Century. With a Concise Historical Sketch of Virginia

    Thomas Read, who was born on Gwynn's Island opposite Gloucester county, Va., was an Episcopal clergyman ordained in England by Richard Terriclc, bishop of London, at his palace of Fulham, in the county of Middlesex, September 19, 1773, and was ordained to the priesthood by, the same bishop at the same place September 21, 1773. He was ordained for "the province of Maryland." The Rev. Thomas Read married the daughter of Col. Zadok Magruder, one of the early settlers of Montgomery county, Md.

     

     

    Bauman & Dreisbach
     
     
     

    ©Roberta Tuller 2017
    tuller.roberta@gmail.com