An American Family History

Rachel Beard Stimpson Proctor Kilburn Freeborn

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves,
and, under a just God cannot retain it."
― Abraham Lincoln
Anne Arundel County, Maryland was established in 1650.
Kilburn is also spelled Kelbourn, Kilbon, Kilborn, Kilbourn, Kilbourne, and Killburn.

All Hallows or South River Parish, Anne Arundel County, Maryland was created in 1672.

In the 17th century jails were used as places to hold people accused of crimes until they were brought to trial, but not as places of punishment. A debtor could be held in jail until he paid his debts and political dissidents were also jailed. Punishments included execution, maiming, public humiliation and monetary fines.
A society's legal system reveals much about it. A broad spectrum of behavior was considered criminal in Colonial Maryland and punishment was harsh.
The town common (commons) was a small, open field at the center of the town which was jointly owned. It was used as a marketplace, a place for the militia to drill, or for grazing livestock.
The first European settlements in Maryland were made in 1634 when English settlers created a permanent colony.
Maryland was established with religious freedom for Catholics. The colonial economy was based on tobacco cultivated by Africans who had been enslaved.

Rachel Beard Clark Stimpson Proctor Kilburn Freeborn was born about 1650 in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Her parents were Richard Beard and Rachel Robbins.

Rachel's first husband was Neal (Neale) Clark (Clarke, Clerk). Neal was born about 1640. He was probably a son or close relative of Robert Clark for whom Clarke's Inheritance was originally laid out.

He owned part of the plantations Clarke's Inheritance (also known as Crouche's Gift or Clark's Inheritance) and probably, Clark's Luck which he no doubt turned over to Neal, Jr. before he died.

Neal's children included:
Elizabeth Clark Ridgely (about 1663, married William Ridgely),
Neal Clark, Jr. (about 1664, married Jane Jones),
Richard Clark (about 1665, married Elizabeth Mariarte),
Samuel Clark,
Rachel Clark Robinson (about 1668, married Thomas Robinson), and
Ruth Clark.

Some of these children may not Rachel's or she was a very young mother having been born about 1650.

In 1674, her step-grandfather, George Puddington, let 20 shillings each to her children and to her husband.

Neal, Sr.'s will was probated on July 3, 1678. Rachel was the executrix and she inherited the entire estate while she remained a widow or until their sons became 18. Samuel inherited the home plantation and Richard received Clarke's Inheritance. The daughters only inherited if her sons died. His will was witnessed by Richard Sidebottom and George Ardes.

She married her second husband, John Stimpson (Stinson), about 1680.

John and Rachel's children John, Rachel and Comfort are described detail in the section on John Stimpson.

John died in 1688 when he was only about 30 years old. Rachel received the entire estate during her life.

Her third husband was innkeeper and surveyor, Robert Proctor. Robert had been married before to Elizabeth Morley Freeman who was the widow of John Freeman and daughter of Joseph Morley. He was an heir of his father-in-law, Joseph Morley. He and John Gaither were the executors, and legatees of Morley's whole estate. He had a daughter, Rachel Proctor Cross (1667, married John Cross).

He owned Proctor's Landing on the South River, as well as a mill and 600 acres. Proctor's Landing.

Proctor's Landing which, among other things, served as a meeting place for legislators. Results of recent documentary research suggest that Proctor'sLanding was located in Londontowne on the South River. (from "Archaeological Excavations at the Sands House" (18AP47) - DRUM by C O'Reilly, 1994)

In 1681, Robert wrote a urgent letter to Colonel William Burgess saying that some of the indigenous people had attacked several homes and plantations.

In 1684, Robert donated land for the town of Annapolis.

The Acts of 1683, chapter 5 of the General Assembly, appointed commissioners to lay out a town at Proctor's. Prior to this time the town had not been surveyed. (from "Archaeological Excavations at the Sands House" (18AP47) - DRUM by C O'Reilly, 1994)

On January 30, 1687, Neal, Jr. sold Clark's Luck to William Griffith.

In May 1694, Robert assigned all his property to Rachel, and gave her power of attorney. He died in 1695.

Her fourth husband was Richard Kilburn. Richard's children included:
William Kilburn and
Elizabeth Kilburn.

Richard died in 1698.

Rachel wrote her will on March 4, 1700/01.

She left the mill at Proctor’s to her daughters, Rachel Greenberry and Comfort Stimpson. Comfort also was to inherit four lots on the town common. She also gave property to close associates.

Her daughters, Rachel Greenberry and Comfort Stimpson, received furniture, lots in Annapolis, a large silver "porring," a small silver tankard, a large silver cordial cup, silver punch cups, and silver spoons.

Her step-son and his wife, William and Elizabeth Killburne received several memorials.

Charles Carroll received twenty shillings for a ring.

Her granddaughter, Rachel Clark, received a silver bodkin and a gold ring.

Henry Davis, Sr. received a memorial.

Her granddaughter, Anna Hammond, daughter of Charles and Rachel Greenberry, received a negro girl.

In 1701, she married her fifth husband, Thomas Freeborn (Freebourne). Thomas was born on December 8, 1650 in Catherington, Hants, England. He owned Freeborne's Progress.

Thomas's children included:
Richard Freeborn,
Sarah Freeborn Sampson,
Jane Freeborn Thomas
Priscilla Freeborn, and
Anne Freeborne Peverell Smith Thomas (about 1680, married David Peverell, George Smith, and David Thomas).

In the early 1700s, Rachel's son, Richard Clark, terrorized Annapolis.

On May 18, 1705 Rachel was jailed.

Ordered that the Sherriff of Ann Arundell County take
into his Custody Rachell the Wife of Thomas Freeborne so that he have her before his Exncy & this board at tenn of the Clock on Monday next to answer to such things as on her Matys behalf Shall be Objected agt her and to be dealt with According to Law.

On May 21, 1705 Rachel was convicted of treason.

Orders that he should not Suffer any Persons to Converse wth or any Messages to be sent to Mrs Rachel Freeborne this Day Comitted for Treason & Treasonable practices unless some of her Matys honble Councill be present. . .

On May 23, 1705, Charles Stevens, who was Dr. Robert Hooper's servant, testified that Benjamin Celie's jail break in fall, 1704 was planned and instigated by Rachel.

[Rachel's step-daughter] Sarah Freeborne on Monday last told this Deponent that Mrs Rachell Freeborne told old Mrs Story and [her sister] Mrs Rebeccah Nicholson that she Asked Humphrey if he Could not Contrive a way to let the Prisoners out and Humphrey answered

Lord Mistress No I canot do it it's a hanging matter

to Which she Replyed

No can't you do it you are a Smith and have Files to gett their Irons of and may do it that no body may know it. It will be a means for you to gett Ridd of your Slavery for Celie and Richard Clarke know all the Country over.

This Deponent veryly believes Mrs Rachel Freeborne Advised Humphery to let out the Prisoners for that before the Prison was Broke She said in his hearing It was pitty Celie should be in Prison so long. And ffurther Humphery told him she was very kind to him in sending or Carrying him Drachms of the Bottle more than usuall.

In 1708, her son, Richard Clark, was hung without a trial.

Rachel's fifth husband, Thomas Freeborn, died on January 4, 1713.

In 1716, Rachel sold a house and lot adjoining Colonel Henry Ridgely to Charles Carroll and deeded Turkey Quarter to her son, Neal Clark.

Thomas Freeborn's will was probated on January 13, 1717. His son, Richard, inherited Freeborne's Progress along with his daughter, Sarah Sampson. His daughters, Sarah Sampson, Jane Thomas, Priscilla Freeborn, and Anne Freeborn and his granddaughter, Freenater Thomas, inherited his personal property. The witnesses were Daniel Beaver, John Beale, and John Moore.

Rachel died in 1724 when she was in her mid 70s.

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.
European and indiginous American fought fierce battles as the Europeans expanded their territory.

A bodkin is a thick blunt needle with a large eye used to draw cord through a hem.

Planter is an archaic term for a settler. Plantation was a method of colonization where settlers were "planted" abroad. A plantation is also the kind of large farm that was the economical basis of many American Colonies and owners of these farms were also called planters.

Personal property can be called personalty (personality), goods, chattels, articles, or movable property. It includes both animate or inanimate property.

In 1688, during the Glorious Revolution, the Protestant king and queen,William and Mary, took the English throne from Catholic King James II. The bloodless revolution profoundly impacted the American colonies.




The Maryland Calendar of Wills, Volume I
Wills from 1635 (Earliest Probated) to 1685
Pages 166-179

Clarke, Neale, Anne Arundel Co., 26th Sept., 1675; 3rd July, 1678.
To wife Rachel, execx., entire estate during widowhood or until sons attain age of 18 yrs.
To son Samuel and hrs., home plantation.
To son Richard and hrs., 400 A. of Clarke's Inheritance on South R.
To 3 daus. (unnamed), sd lands equally in event of death of sons afsd . without issue.
Test: Richd. Sidebottom, Geo. Ardes. 5. 73.

In contracts and pleadings usually people and things mentioned before are designated by the term said (sd ) for clarity. Aforesaid (afd, afsd, aforesd ) means it was already mentioned.
Testis (Test) is latin for witness. Testes is the plural.


Anne Arundel Gentry, Vol. 3, Henry Ridgely, Page 128

John Taillor, merchant of London, Hickory Hills 300 acres which bordered White Wine & Claret, in the fork of the Pautuxent, bought from Neal and Jane Clark on September 9, 1724.


October the 6th 1696.
Rich: Kilbourn Dep: abt Mr Cood &c
Richard Kilbourn of the port of Annapolis being Examin'd d before his Exncy in Councill, upon his Oath doth say that abt Six weeks ago being in Company with Mr John Cood at Mr Spourns House, where he was forced by the sd Cood to drink he heard the sd Cood amongst other extravagant talk Say that he believed a dog or a Cow or a Swine had souls as well as men, and being weary of Such company and for his horrible cursing and Swearing he went his way and did not stay a Quarter of an hour in the House, but that he left Mr Bouye, Mr Bonner, Mr Stanley & one Samll Turner a Taylor in his company

Mister ( Mr.) was derived from master and Mrs. and Miss were derived from mistress. They indicated people of superior social status in colonial America.

From Maryland Calendar of Wills
Freeborne, Thomas, Anne Arundel. Co., 3rd Jan., 1713;
13th Jan., 1713.
To dau. Sarah Sampson and hrs., personalty, and jointly with son Richard, 600 A., Freeborne's Prograce, on Elk Ridge, Balto. Co.
To daus. Jane Thomas, Priscilla Freedborne and Anne Freedborne and granddau. Freenater Thomas, personalty.
To son Richard, ex., residue of estate, personal.
Test: Dan'll Beaver, Jno. Beale, Jno. Moore. 13. 621.


from The Founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Maryland by Joshua Dorsey Warfield

[Richard Beard's] daughter Rachel Clark, and her son, Neal Clark, [were mentioned in his will] who married Jane, daughter of Captain George Puddington.

Mrs. Rachel Clark next married Thomas Stimpson, and by him had two daughters, Rachel and Comfort. The former became Mrs. Colonel Charles Greenberry; the latter, wife of John Dorsey, only son of Joshua.

Mrs. Stimpson next appeared as Mrs. Rachel Killburne. In 1701, she deeded to her daughters, Rachel Greenberry and Comfort Stimpson, furniture, lots in Annapolis, large silver porring, small silver tankard, large silver "cordiall" cup, silver punch cups, and silver spoons. To her son-in-law, Wm. Killburne, and her daughter-in-law, Elizabeth, his wife, she gave several memorials. To Charles Carroll she gave twenty shillings for a ring. To her granddaughter, Rachel Clark, a silver and a gold ring. A memorial was also given to Henry Davis, Sr.

During that same year, 1701, she became Mrs. Rachel Freeborne. Her daughter, Comfort, was now named Comfort Dorsey. She gave to Anna Hammond, daughter of Charles and Rachel, his wife (Mrs. Greenberry), a negro girl.

In 1716, Mrs. Freeborne sold to Charles Carroll a house and lot adjoining Henry Ridgely. She deeded Turkey Quarter to her son Neale Clark.

Thomas Freeborne took up Freeborne's Progress, in Howard County. It was later held by Robert Ridgely, of Elk Ridge, through his wife, Sarah. This tract passed through several transfers, finally deeded by Mrs. Margaret Cumming to Rachel Hammond.


From Maryland Calendar of Wills: A. A. Co., 3rd Jan., 1713;
13th Jan., 1713.
To dau. Sarah Sampson and hrs., personalty, and jointly with son Richard, 600 A., Freeborne's Prograce,on Elk Ridge, Balto. Co.
To daus. Jane Thomas, Priscilla Freedborne and Anne Freedborne and granddau. Freenater Thomas, personalty.
To son Richard, ex., residue of estate, personal.
Test: Dan'll Beaver, Jno. Beale, Jno. Moore. 13. 621.

It was common for bequests to include wearing apparel.

from The Founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Maryland by Joshua Dorsey Warfield

. . .One more surveyor, destined to be better known in history, was Robert Proctor, who took up Proctor's Chance, in 1679, at a beginning tree of Intact, on the west side of the Severn River. This tract became Proctor's Landing and was his residence in 1681, when he then designated his place as "town."

. . .In 1681, Robert Proctor, from his town on the Severn, Thomas Francis, from South River and Colonel Samuel Lane, from the same section, all wrote urgent letters stating that the Indians had killed and wounded both negroes and English men "at a plantation of Major [John] Welsh's," and "had attempted to enter the houses of Mr. Mareen Duvall and Richard Snowden." . . .Robert Proctor wrote that Mr. Edward Dorsey had come to him very late in the night, with the news of robberies by the Indians upon the Severn.

Upon such information, followed the decisive order to Colonel William Burgess and Colonel Thomas Tailler, "to fight, kill, take, vanquish, overcome, follow and destroy them."


Colonial Maryland
Colonial New England
Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
Quakers & Mennonites
New Jersey Baptists
German Lutherans
Watauga Settlement
Pennsylvania Pioneers
Midwest Pioneers
Jewish Immigrants

©Roberta Tuller 2023
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