by Donald Dent
In 1930, my grandfather Albert E. Dent, in answer to queries about the Calvert family connection to the Dent family, wrote to my father: “I haven’t forgotten that you, Donald and Carol*, are interested in early Dent and Calvert history. Your Great Grandmother, Sarah Calvert Dent was a descendant of “Lord Baltimore” or “Sir Richard Calvert”, who was granted large tracts of land in Kent and Calvert Counties, Maryland, and the City of Baltimore, some 300 years ago by King George of England…”.
On December 31, 1932, Albert wrote further of this connection:
“….My Grandfather Dent’s name was George Eli, he died in early life . Afterwards my mother’s brother, Joe Chynoweth and she [Sarah] were married . Her [maiden] name was Calvert, a descendent of Sir Richard Calvert, who came to this country near the time of the Revolutionary War, settling on a large grant of land near Baltimore. During the War between the U.S. and Britain of 1812, a great fire in the Capital at Washington destroyed records, ...[which] could link our family with that of the Calverts…..”
Sarah (Calvert) Dent was born in Ohio, about 1815. The 1850 Census for Monroe County lists “Sarah Dent” as a 35 year old widow, with six children, the oldest, William Y. Dent, age 18, and the youngest, Isabella Dent, age 4. The census also lists a 27 year old widow, Sarah Calvert, with two small children, ages 7 and 2. This latter Sarah may have been related to Sarah (Calvert) Dent, through marriage.
Sarah (Calvert) Dent was known to have a brother, Fletcher Calvert, of Morgan County, Ohio, and a sister, Tabitha (Calvert) Marshall, of Brunswick, Missouri.
The two Calvert families that crossed the plains in the Buroker train in 1864, had come to Davis County, Iowa, from Champaign County, Ohio. In that train was one John Calvert, who was born in 1854 in Champaign County, where both Jonas and William H. Buroker were born.
The connection of the Ohio Calverts to the Maryland Calverts may be speculative, but the tradition has been carried down through the Dent family for over 180 years.
About 1965, my father, Donald R. Dent, Sr., wrote a brief sketch of the early Calvert family in Maryland, which will supply background to the foregoing, although not direct evidence of a connection:
“The appearance of the name Calvert in family trees of Lord Baltimore and the Dents gives credence to the word handed down of a relationship of the two families. However, early records were destroyed when the British burned the capitol at Washington, D.C., in the War of 1812 [the fire took place in August, 1814]. Following is a sketch of the family of Lord Baltimore.
“Sir George Calvert of Yorkshire was born in 1580. He was educated at Oxford and traveled widely. He was an ardent Catholic. After being knighted and accorded peerage in Ireland, he assumed the title of Lord Baltimore.
“In 1623, he planted a Catholic colony in Newfoundland, under a patent from King James. As he found colonization there, impossible, he visited Virginia in 1629, but refused to take the oath of allegiance to the governing body, and returned to England. He obtained a charter for a state on the Chesapeake [Bay] from King Charles I, [which was] bounded by the ocean, by the 40th parallel of latitude, south to the western source of the Potomac [River], by the river from its source to the bay, and due east to the Atlantic. The area included part of [present] Delaware, part of Pennsylvania, and New Jersey and Maryland.
“Sir George died in 1632, and the title and charter went to his son, Cecil, who named the state Maryland, after Henrietta Marion, daughter of Henry IV of France and wife of Charles I.
“In November, 1633, a colony of 300 was organized, but Cecil stayed in England, and his brother, Leonard, went as Deputy Governor. In March, 1634, the colony arrived at Old Point Comfort and made a settlement, naming it St. Mary’s. In 1645, Leonard’s government was overthrown, and he escaped to Virginia. He returned in 1646 and recaptured the government (this was when Cromwell ruled England). In 1660, the rights of Baltimore were set aside, but when the monarchy took over England again, these rights were restored and Philip Calvert came over as Deputy Governor.
“Sir Cecil died in 1676, and his son, Charles, took over the title and estates, but in 1691, the charter was taken away by King William. In 1715, it was restored to the Calverts as proprietors by Queen Anne, and it continued until the Revolutionary War.”
My Grandfather, Albert, referred to his Grandmother, Sarah, as a “descendant of Lord Baltimore or Sir Richard Calvert”. History doesn’t record a “Richard Calvert” as a “Lord Baltimore”. With Richard’s assumed entry into America, before the Revolutionary War, he may have been a relative of Frederick Calvert, 6th Lord Baltimore.
The Calverts, listed as “Lord Baltimore”, or Governors of Maryland were as follows:
GEORGE CALVERT (1580/1632), 1st Lord Baron of Baltimore. Died before the Maryland Charter was a reality. His title passed on to his son, Cecil.
CECIL CALVERT (c.1605/1675), 2nd Lord Baltimore, 1st Lord Proprietary (1632-1675).
LEONARD CALVERT (c.1606/1647), brother of Cecil, 1st Governor 1633-47.
PHILIP CALVERT, Cecil’s half brother, was Governor 1659-61.
CHARLES CALVERT (1637/1715), only son of Cecil. Was 3rd Lord Baltimore, 2nd Lord Proprietary 1675-1715. Charles was Governor 1661-75, until he succeeded to the Proprietaryship in 1675.
BENEDICT LEONARD CALVERT (16xx/1715), 4th Lord Baltimore, 3rd Lord Proprietary. Died 2 months after his father, Charles, in 1715.
CHARLES CALVERT (16xx/1751), eldest son of Benedict Leonard Calvert, 5th Lord Baltimore, 4th Lord Proprietary 1715-51. Was last Lord Proprietary to visit the Province, 1732-33.
CHARLES CALVERT, a relative, was Governor 1720-27.
BENEDICT LEONARD CALVERT, a younger brother of Charles (the 5th Lord Baltimore), was Governor 1727-31.
FREDERICK CALVERT (1731/1771), 6th Lord Baltimore, 5th Lord Proprietary 1751-71. Was the worst of the Lord Proprietarys. He bequeathed the Proprietary rights to his illegitimate son, Henry Hartford.
Sir ROBERT EDEN, brother-in-law of Frederick. Was the last Proprietary Governor, 1768-76. Eden left for England on a British Man-of-War in 1776, after the Revolutionary War had started. In England, he was created “Baronet of Maryland”, which is still worn by his descendants. Anthony Eden, Prime Minister of England, 1955-57, is one of Robert’s descendants.
Provided by Don Dent