An American Family History

Bridget Yowkins Heard

Tobacco is a native American herb that is cultivated for its leaves which are prepared for smoking, chewing or snuff. In parts of colonial America, it was used as money. Tobacco plantations in the colonial south fueled the need for enslaving people.
The first European settlements in Maryland were made in 1634 when English settlers created a permanent colony.

Bridget Yowkins (or Yawkins, Yemkin, Yonkins) Heard was born about 1630. Her mother was named Katherine. She had at least one sister named Mary who died young.

She married William Heard. Their children and life together are described in detail in the section on William and Bridget Heard.

She was left a widow in January 1664/1665.

On February 4, 1664 she bought goods from Walter Story and became indebted to him for "sixteene Thowsand pounds of good sound merchantable leafe tobacco and Caske."

She was appointed the administratrix, but died in April, 1665 in Charles County, Maryland.

She made her will on March 4, 1664 and it was administered April 22, 1665. So she died in her mid thirties.

Her bequests name some family members.

Item I give and bequeath to my sonn William Heard the one half part of my estate both reall and personall

Item I give and bequeafth to my Sister Mary Yemkins and John Duglas Junr and each of them their parts of the estate upon demand to be deliverd them after my decease.

We know that she was cared for by Jemima Long during her illness because her estate was billed 400 pounds of tobacco for the care.

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.

Old Style Calendar
Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.
Maryland was established with religious freedom for Catholics. The colonial economy was based on tobacco cultivated by Africans who had been enslaved.



Charles County Gentry by Harry Wright Newman

In 1679 he [George Newman] was a juryman of the chancery court in the lawsuit over 1,000 acres of land which Bridget Heard died seized. The court decided that John Douglas, Jr., aged 15 was the rightful owner, he being the son and heir of John Douglas, Sr., who was named executor in the will of Mistress Heard.

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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