An American Family History

The Howard Family of Charles County, Maryland

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves,
and, under a just God cannot retain it."
― Abraham Lincoln
The first European settlements in Maryland were made in 1634 when English settlers created a permanent colony.

Edmund Howard was born about 1659.

He married Margaret Dent.

Their children included:

Rebecca Howard,(1683),
William Stevens Howard (1684, married Sarah Briscoe),
Thomas Howard (1690, married Elizabeth Douglas),
John Howard, (1691-1742, married Rebecca Brooke),
Elizabeth Howard (1693),
George Howard (1696),
Edmund Howard, Jr. (1696)

The life and children of Thomas Howard and Elizabeth Douglas are described in detail in the section on Elizabeth Douglas.

In 1716 Elizabeth died and left the residue of her estate to her nephew, Thomas Howard, Jr.

Maryland was established with religious freedom for Catholics. The colonial economy was based on tobacco cultivated by Africans who had been enslaved.



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

Edmund Howard's Will
I give bequeath and confirm unto my well beloved eldest son Wm. Stevens Howard one hundred acres of land where upon he now lives to have & to hold the same during his natural life and after his decease to his heirs lawfully begotten or td for default of such heirs

then I give the same unto my dear only daughter Elizabeth Howard of the heirs of her body lawfully to be begotten and for default of such heirs

then I give the same to my son John Howard and to his heirs forever.

I also give and bequeath to my said well beloved son Wm. Stevens Howard and his heirs or assignees one negro lad named Peter already in his possession also one mulatto man and woman named Scipio and Florence also one mulatto girl named Bess, one gold seal ring & my silver headed cane.

I give and bequeath unto my four sons & daughter and my little Grand Daughter Margaret one silver spoon it being marked with MH and one gold ring to each of them it being a legacy left each of them by their late dear & tender mother

I give & bequeath all the remaining part of my estate of what sort so ever and where so ever it shall or may be found not already given & bequeathed I give the same to be equally divided amongst my four, son's and my little Daughter ae

and if it should happen that either of my son's or my Daughters husband (if married) should play the prodigal or extravagant (which God of his infinite mercy forbid) if it should so happen my will & pleasure & also my humble request & desire is that two Gent. members of Charles County court be epowered appointed to enter upon the Tract or parcel of land by me given to such extravagant child as aforesaid & be assess and let aprell there on to gather with natural negroes shall be left & what other part of estate shall be left belonging to such Prodegate and award of the said two gent. to be final & after it is applied some one of my sons to have the referral to the said land & premises he paying so far fourth as the price assessed of time of payment given my said son for payment of the same for

it is my expressed will & desire that none of my land doe pass out of the name of the Howards while there is a male surviving.

son's William Stevens & Thomas Howard to be jointly the executors

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.


Charles County Land Records, Liber C#2, Page 130
9 May 1709;
Deed of gift from Thomas Howard to his brother George Howard; a roan mare;
signed Thomas Howard;
wit. William Howard, John Howard



Howard, Elizabeth, Charles County,
7th July, 1716; 8th Oct., 1716.
To niece and god-dau. Elizabeth [dau. of eldest bro. William Stevens Howard], personalty.
to: god-daus. Rebecca, dau. of cousin Geo. Dent, and Ann
to: dau. of Thos. Skinner., personalty.
to: nephew Thomas, ex. [son of bro. Thomas Howard], residue of estate.
Test: Benj. Douglass, Jno. Groves, Anne Dent, Jno. Scrogin,
Edw. Gardiner. 14.187



Thomas Howard 11.421 Charles County £227.9.3
Mar 23 1726 Jul 11 1726
Appraisers: John Fendell, John Gwinn.
Creditors: John Chandler.
Next of kin: William Howard, John Howard.
Administratrix: Elisabeth [Douglas] Howard.



Thomas Howard 9.247 A Charles County £227.9.3 £36.8.5
Oct 19 1728
Received from: Catherine Compton, James Penny, Mr. Daniel Jenifer.
Payments to: Dr. Brown, John Chandler [Sr.], William Howard, John Speake, Edward Anderson, Edward Ford, Mary Wilder, William More, Capt. George Dent, Charles egton, Samuel Hanson, executrix of James Cottrell, John Parnham.
Administratrix: Elisabeth Howard.



Howard, William Stevens, planter,
Charles Co.,
15th Dec., 1733
29th Apr., 1734. 
To eld. son Edmund and hrs., plantation at Mattawoman; and personalty. 
To wife Sarah, extx., dwelling plantation during life, at her decease to young. son William and hrs., he dying without issue to eld. son Edmund and hrs. 
To dau. Rachel wife of Mathew Compton [1702, son of Matthew Compton], personalty. Residue of estate, after wife's thirds are deducted, to four young. child., viz.: William, Elizabeth, Susannah and Sarah. 
Test: Benjamin Douglas, Sr., Philip Jenkins, Benjamin Douglas, Jr. 21. 55.



Wm. Stevens Howard, planter, Chas. Co.,
pr. 29 Apr. 1734...
Wit. Benjamin Douglas, Sr. & Jr., & Philip Jenkins

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.



Charles County, Maryland Liber L#2, Page 311.
At the request of Anne Dent of Charles County , widow, the following deed was recorded Dec 14, 1726.
I, John Howard of Charles County, Gent, greeting.

sd John had assigned to him, out of the estate of Mr. Thos Dent,.,late of Charles County, Gent, decd,
7 ewes and 1 ram, which have since increased to 15 ewes and a ram.

Now know that I, sd John Howard, for the natural love I have for my cousin, William Dent of Charles County and for divers other good causes, I have given sd Wm Dent all my right to the afd 15 ewes and ram, with their-future increase. I have put Wm Dent in possession of the 15 ewes & ram.
Signed Sep 14, 1726
John Howard.
Wit John Courts, Rich: Bell.

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.

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.

Howard, John, Charles Co., 2nd Feb., 1742; 22nd March., 1742.
To son Thomas Partners Purchase on Potomac R. Shd. he die without heirs to pass to son Baker.
To son John, dwelling plantation being part of Three Brothers, shd. he die without hrs. to pass to Baker afsd.
To daus. Elenor, wife of John Dowglass, and Jane, grandson John DawgIass, and son Baker, personalty.
To wife Rebecca Brooke, extx., personal estate.
Son Baker to be kept at school bet. the ages of 6 and 14 and then be bound as apprentice at sea or at some trade that he may prefer,
Test: Joshua Allford, William Howard, Bartholomon Gisbitsky. 23. 51,
Widow makes her election and claims legal third [dower],

Testis (Test) is latin for witness. Testes is the plural.

The Potomac River flows into the Chesapeake Bay and is about 405 miles long.



John Howard
20.356 A CH
£1161.4.6 £128.0.6
Jul 27 1744
A second inventory is cited in the amount of £2.0.0 & Virginia currency.
Sureties: Benjamin Douglass, Sr., Jacob Brandt.
Received from: Charles Bruce, Joshua Allfow, John Hamill, David Ross.
Payments to: Henry Trueman, Edward Lee, Mr. Samuel Hyde, John Diggs, Mr. Henry Brook, Nathaniel Gray, William Oan, Joshua Alford, William Duglas, Dr. Riddel, George Slacum, John Doncaster, Col. George Dent, William Potts, Thomas Marshall, Baptist Boarman, William Dwam, Margaret Jenkins, John Duglass, Robert Froget, Benjamin Fendall & Co., William Robinson, executors of Richard Tarvin, Daniel Dulany, Walter Hanson.
Executrix: Rebecca Howard.

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 2020
An American Family History is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program,
an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.