An American Family History

Henry Gifford

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

Henry Gifford (Giffard, Gifferd) was the son of William Gifford. He was a carpenter.

He married Sarah Douglas. Their children and life together are described in detail in the section on Sarah.

In 1694 Henry bought Gibson's Close from Thomas Gibson. He also owned Gibson's Neck, Gibson's Pound. The plantations were in Charles County, Maryland.

In 1696 Henry administered Hugh Gardiner's estate.

In March 1703/04 Henry registered cattle marks for himself and his son, Douglas.

Henry Gifford died on December 6, 1714. His estate documents named Joseph Douglass as his brother and Benjamin Douglas as "one of nearest of kin."

Cattle were vital to a household and an important legacy.
Unweaned cattle are calves.
Female cattle are heifers and cows (had a calf).
Male cattle are steers (castrated) and bulls.
are trained draft animals and are often castrated adult male cattle.

Rent rolls were lists of landowners showing whether they had paid their annual quit-rents to the Crown. A quick-rent was a feudal remnant and was paid by a freeholder in lieu of services that might otherwise have been required.




Gibson's Close: 115 acres; Possession of - 115 Acres -

Gifford, Henry:
Surveyed 1669 for Thomas Gibson in Pykawaxon at a pock hickory at the head of Bowles branch SE by the back creek:


Charles County Circuit Court Liber S, Page 420
17 Jul 1694;
Indenture from Thomas Gibson to Henry Gifford; for 12,000# tobacco; a parcel called Gibson's Close;
signed Thomas Gibson (mark);
wit. Jno. Harrison, Ralph Smith (mark);
ack. by Elizabeth Gibson

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.


Charles County Circuit Court Liber S, Page 423
8 Mar 1694/95; Indenture from Thomas Gibson to Henry Gifford, carpenter; for 6,000# tobacco; a parcel.
signed Thomas Gibson (mark), Elizabeth Gibson (mark);
wit. George Tubman, John Wilson


1642-1753 Rent Rolls Charles County, Maryland Hundred - Piccawaxen or William & Mary: Rent Roll
Gibsons Neck: 20 acres;
Possession of - 20 Acres - Gibson, Henry:
Surveyed 29 May 1667 for Thomas Gibson in Smoote's Creek Pykawaxon:


1642-1753 Rent Rolls Charles County, Maryland Hundred - Piccawaxen or William & Mary:
Rent Roll page/Sequence: 299-85:
Gibsons Pound: 42 acres;
Possession of - 42 Acres - Gifford, Henry:
Surveyed 3 Oct 1684 for Thomas Gibson:


Hugh Gardiner 13B.9 A Charles County £19.4.4 #9053
May 15 1696
Received from: Mr. Land, Daniell French, James Keay, Robert Powell, William Timothy.
Payments to: Cleborne Lomax, John Gimlet, John Ratcliffe, Thomas Whichaley, Thomas Tansell, James Turner, Benjamin Ward, Mr. Tubman, Mr. William Dent,
Mentions: 1 orphan (unnamed).
Administrator; Henry Gifford.


Charles County Maryland Land Records, Liber Z, Page 80
Henry Gifford, registered cattle mark; 22 Mar 1703/4
Douglas Gifford, cattle mark registered by his father Henry; 22 Mar 1703/4


Henry Gifford 36B.214 I Charles County £146.18.1
Dec 6 1714
Servants mentioned: John Kyte (boy), John Bye (boy), William Mathews (boy).
Appraisers: John Gwinn, Thomas Harriss.
Creditors: William Harbert.
Next of kin: Joseph Douglasse, Benjamin Douglasse (Douglas)

Bound children were indentured servants whose master provided training in a craft, board, lodging, and clothes for seven years or until the child came of age.



Henry Guiford 37A.131 A Charles County 2146.18.1 2122.9.6
Jul 23 1716
Received from: John Penn, John Chandler [Sr.].
Payments to: Jo. Doughlasse, Philip Briscoe, Sr., John Tomkins, Mr. Robert Hanson, George Belons, Thomas Court, Capt. William Harbert.
Administrators: Matthew Barnes and his wife Sarah Barnes.


Charles County is in south central Maryland and was created in 1658. The first settlers were mainly English tobacco planters, their indentured servants and enslaved people. Many of of the settlers were Roman Catholic. The county, as originally laid out, also included parts of present day Calvert, Prince George's and St. Mary's Counties.

Charles County Court Records,
March 1742/3
Court, Liber T#2, Page 502.
Pursuant to an order of last Aug Charles County Court,

Commission issued to Robert Yates, John Maddox, William Penn, & William Douglass, Gent, to examine such witnesses as to them should be produced in relation to a tract of land called Gibson Neck, in the possession of Jacob Andrew Minitree, as follows, viz - To Robert Yates, John Maddox, William Penn, & William Douglass, Gent.

Whereas Jacob Andrew Minitree, seized of a tract of land called Gibson Neck, lying in Charles County, did on Aug 10 in the 28th year of our Dominion, prefer his petition to Charles County Court on the day afd, before Robert Hanson, Gent, and his associates, our Justices in Charles County, for Commission to examine witnesses to prove and perpetuate the memory of the bounds of the sd tract of land, know that we have given you (not being any way related to the petitioner, contiguous proprietor, nor interested in sd land) powerd to examine witnesses as af d.
Signed Aug 14, 1742 - Edm Porteus, Clk.

And now here, John Maddox & William Penn, two of the Commissioners af d, return to the Court here the Commission afd, with a certificate and deposition thereunto annexed, viz -

We certify that we have examined all such witnesses as were offered to us, with all other, the necessaries, pursuant to the Commission to us directed.
Signed Dec 15, 1742 - John Maddox, William Penn.

Charles County. The deposition of Joseph Douglass, age about 66, who deposes that Henry Gifford showed him a bounded white oak, and said it was his bound[ary] tree, the sd tree being now felled and much decayed where now stands at the stump of the sd tree, a bounded locust post near the house of Benjamin King's, by a small branch, and near Pickawaxon main Road, and this deponent further says that he understood the sd Gilford that the land was called Gibsons Neck.

A gentleman had no title, but descended from an aristocratic family, was of the landed gentry, and had a coat of arms.
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.
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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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