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Truitt Family History: 1066 to 1995

Compiled by Dr. William E. Groves, Ph.D.

Chapel Hill, NC

Last updated June 28, 2001

 

Derivation of the Truitt Surname

Over the years there have been many variations of the spelling of the name Truitt including Trewett, Trewhitt, Trewit, Truet, Truett, Trueitt, Truhyt, Truit, Truite, Trut, Tryut, Tyrwhitt, Trehitt, Treuit, Treuvit, Trewit, Truwhitt, Truehott, Trewhitt, and Truhitt. The spelling Trewhitt may be the true origin of the name, which means a place of "dry resinous wood", and a specific location associated with this name is that of High and Low Trewhitt, a Township in the Parish of Rothbury, County of Northumberland, England. High Trewhitt still can be found on a map of England. It is located northwest of Newcastle-upon-Tyne on the northeast coast of England.

The spelling of the name Truitt varied so much in the early days, even when on the same deed or will, that all Truitts, Trewitts, Truetts, and Trewhits are probably from the same original line. In some cases the name was even spelled Pruitt, Pruett, Trout and Trit in a few records [Terrell].

Trewhitt – Means the son of Troite. A variation of this is Trott. There is a High and Low Trewhitt, a township in the parish Rothbury, County Northumberland. Other variations are Tryut, Truhyt, Truite, Trut [Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames].

Tyrwhitt – Means ‘resinous wood at the bends (in Wreigh Burn)’. A place (now Trewhitt) located in Northumberland [Perguine].

Truitt, Truitte, and Truett: The dear beloved friend. One who came from Trewhitt (dry resinous meadow) in Northumberland [Smith].

Coat of Arms [Burke]

Troyte (Chidderliegh, County Devon - granted 1739).

A gold or yellow eagle displayed with two heads proper within bordure, a line of partition (invecked), ermine. Crest - A sable or black eagle's wing charged with five gold or yellow stars each with six waving points (estoiles) environed with a snake proper.

Trewent (Devonshire)

A silver or white "chev" located between three eagles displayed with two red necks. Crest - An eagle's head between two wings, issuing out of a gold or yellow ducal coronet. (A ducal coronet is composed of three leaves, all of equal height above the rim.) The caps of the coronets are of crimson violet turned up with ermine, with a button and tassel of gold or silver at the top.

Trevet or Trevett

Silver or white on a sable or black trevet. (A trevet is a tripod, or three-legged frame, of iron used to stand over the fire to support a pan or pot.) Crest - A silver or white castle masoned sable or black.

Chronological History

1066

From family tradition it is believed that originally the Truitts were inhabitants of France and some of them were soldiers in the army of William the Conqueror when he came to England about 1066 AD. Mention also is made that some Truitts came to England at a much later date because of their religion, being members of the French Huguenots, and thus they left France when they were victims of persecution [Terrell].

The first of the ancient "Truitt" family found upon record is Tructe or Truitte, a person of some rank in distinction, contemporary with King David I. Tructe, or his immediate forebears, came to Scotland from England with Edgar Aethling in the reign of Malcolm Canmore, 1066 AD, and established residence on two burton farms from which they eventually derived the name Burton. Surnames were rarely present before that time. [Douglas]

1100

Information from the Carlisle, England, area indicates Truitt's were living near Hadrian's Wall about this date [Boucher via Scheer].

1524

The first recorded contact of the white race with the Eastern Shore of America (possibly in Maryland) was the landing on the seaside in the spring of 1524 by Giovanni de Verrazano, a Florintine who was making a voyage of exploration for Francis I of France. De Verrazano is said to have spent three days on the Eastern Shore, going across to bayside, and he reported that he saw the Western Ocean (actually the Chesapeake Bay instead) [Whitelaw].

1558

Elizabeth I of the House of Tudor became Queen of England.

1590-1642

The half-century after 1590 was a time of profound, unprecedented, and often frightening social ferment for the people of England. During these years nearly every member of the lower orders in the countryside and in the towns knew deprivation and genuinely feared insecurity. And well they might, for close to a majority of the population found themselves living perilously near the level of bare subsistence.

Although conditions were steadily improving -- these were the years in which England was developing a capitalistic economy -- the old underdeveloped agrarian society did not adjust with sufficient rapidity to provide employment for the thousands of laboring poor. The period opened in a depression that lasted until 1603. Again and again, from 1619 to 1624, from 1629 to 1631, and from 1637 to 1640, hard times settled upon the countryside. The plague years of 1625 and 1636 caused further dislocation, and several bad harvests added to the widely held belief of the 1630's that adversity and evil days were the common and normal lot of all but a fortunate few.

By the end of the period there is ample evidence of a recognition of the need for moral regeneration, of a rising flood of religious concern, both rational and emotional, and an increasing awareness of the state of the poor.

In this period, so notable for change as well as stability, the English often found themselves frustrated and desperate. To most of them "Merry England" was but an empty phrase. In the countryside, large numbers of people had been deprived of their ancient rural security. They had no land to cultivate. Unemployment threatened the agricultural laborer and village artisan most of the time. At best their housing was inadequate. In cold or hot weather fuel was scarce, costly, and often unobtainable. Undernourishment and unbalanced diets sapped the strengths of thousands of the lower orders, and many fell victim to disease, notably tuberculosis. Periodically the plague decimated whole country villages. In the hearts and minds of respectable, if impoverished men, the payment of ship money, impressment, billeting and similar demands by government during the years of personal rule aroused bitterness and alienated not a few from the Stuart Kings. For human and often trivial offenses, the ecclesiastical courts meted out harsh punishments, but in spite of laws and sermons, people solaced themselves with drink, and, among the idle, bastards increased markedly. Approximately half of the peasantry lived in extreme poverty, and depressed conditions affected townsmen and city people everywhere from 1620 to 1642.

Helpless in the midst of the bewildering changes of an economy that never provided work for every man, beset by both private miseries and seemingly insurmountable public problems, the common folk had no ways for redressing matters because they did not rule. Looking upward and outward from their stations at the bottom of society, the invisible poor slowly began to realize that even with the vigorous enforcement of the Poor Laws by King Charles' ministers, the future held little for them.

Between 1620 and 1642 nearly 80,000, or 2 per cent of all Englishmen, left Britain. They forsook not only their homes but also their homeland in the quest for a better life. About 58,000 of them ventured across the Atlantic Ocean to the strange new lands on the continent of North America or to certain small, hitherto unoccupied, islands in the Caribbean Sea.

Permanent and profitable planting in Virginia required an abundant labor force. Although apprentices and journeymen from the towns and cities were much in demand in the plantations, Virginia needed farmers most of all. Since the urban poor in England had long since lost any knowledge of husbandry they might once have possessed, the promoters and merchants more and more turned their attention to the countryside whence came ultimately the majority of the young men sent to America.

For years the merchants had been dispatching agents (soon known as "spirits") into the English counties to collect and distribute cloth and other goods, and now they used these agents to recruit emigrants. The merchants resorted to all the familiar devices for creating and guiding opinion favorable to the idea of colonizing. Restless youths from 15 to 24 years of age were the chief targets of the "spirits", who probably worked for a commission of so many shillings for each individual they sent to a merchant at one of the ports of embarkation. Some of the lads were discontented or just plain fed up. Many were unemployed or else paid a starvation wage. Others had no immediate families. A few of the more intelligent among them wanted adventure or the chance to satisfy their curiosity about what they had heard and read of distant lands. Most of them sought fulfillment of vague hopes and ambitions. When there was so little to keep them at home, the honeyed words of the emigration agents stirred their imagination, and when small sums were offered to carry them along the road, usually on foot but sometimes on horseback, off they went to the nearest seaport. For all of these, the opportunity of making a promising change was well nigh irresistible.

Most of the young men went to the seaports voluntarily, some of them unsolicited. Many had sufficient private reasons for leaving the country, for emigration to the New World, like the wars, afforded an escape. Not a few married men cut themselves loose from family responsibilities and, incidentally, their wives. Masters now and then abandoned their trades to go overseas, leaving their apprentices to bound out again to other artisans. Country folk had long since grown accustomed to seeing relatives and friends leave the farm or village to join the great internal migration of the English begun in the previous century. To go one step farther did not seem as formidable to them as we might think it would.

By ruses and devices that will forever remain obscure, women were transported to America after 1629 in considerable numbers and by 1642 some women could be found in every plantation. In 1635 three ships carried 245 men and 42 women (aged 17 to 35) to Virginia, a ratio of 5.8 men to 1 woman, which was higher than the average before 1641. Few English women went willingly to any of the colonies except Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay before 1642.

Most of the people assembled by the emigration agents were too poor to pay their own passage, and many of them needed clothing. However, they were free persons. To transport them, the merchants borrowed from the apprentice system the well-known device of the indenture -- a contract entered into voluntarily before departure by the emigrant with a merchant, sea captain, or occasionally another and more prosperous emigrant, who needed labor for his plantation. The indenture, which could be transferred or sold to another master, usually stipulated that, in return for passage and clothing, the servant agreed to work for the master or his assignee in the colony for a period ranging from 3 to 7 years, commonly 4. During this time the indentured person was to be fed, clothed, and housed by the master. Further provisions, such as a promise of land, seeds, tools, or other freedom dues were often inserted in the indenture. Indentured servitude became the accepted means for peopling the private or "particular" plantations in Virginia after 1620. In 1620 the total population of Virginia was 1227 of which 441 men and 46 women were indentured servants.

The highly lucrative plantation trade, which included passengers quite as much as goods in freights for the outward voyage, attained the proportions of big business by 1629. Here was a new outlet for investment capital where, though the risks were great, the returns, when they came, were quick and handsome. According to one estimate, from the year 1629 onward during this period, an average of a ship a day departed from England with emigrant passengers bound for the Chesapeake, the Caribbean, or the New England waters.

After 1627 the cost of transporting a servant to the colonies settled down to 5 to 6 pounds Sterling a head and remained there for the entire colonial period. The total charge for procuring, equipping, and sending an emigrant to America came to 10 to 12 pounds Sterling so there were still huge gains to be made. To these profits should be added the value of the headright, usually 50 acres of land, awarded to anyone bringing an individual into one of the Chesapeake colonies.

A census taken in 1634 listed 5119 men, women, and children living in Virginia.

The emigrants to the Chesapeake Bay area were composed overwhelmingly of single individuals with proportionately few women and even fewer families. When one recalls that the plague was ravaging England in 1636 and the effect that it and enclosures [i.e. hedgerows] had on families, one should not wonder that the young and homeless survivors were ready and willing to emigrate. The entire emigration was typified by a concentration of youth (30 years or less in age) in the human cargoes.

The migration to colonies south of Maryland was not one of groups. No ministers led their flocks. However, nearly all of the young people who were lured away from England held ultra-Protestant religious opinions. Where they were not avowedly Puritans, at the least they entertained many puritan views that were more extreme than those of their parish clergy did. The majority of the emigrants - those who located in Virginia and established the Low-Church heritage among a population that included not a few Puritans - may be labeled non-separating puritans. The hordes of emigrants were by nurture and conviction Bible-readers, psalm-singers, and, before they left their homeland, great attendees of sermons [Bridenbaugh].

1603

James I of the House of Stuart became the King of England.

1607

In the spring the first English colonists landed on the southern cape of the Eastern Shore of Virginia, which they called Cape Henry, before they sailed up the James River to establish the first settlement in Virginia [Whitelaw].

1617

George Truitt probably was born during 1617 in perhaps Wales or Cornwall or Kent, England [Shannonhouse; Houston] (George's birthdate is inferred from [Houston] who mentions a deposition of George Truitt, age 46, in November 1663.

1619

Beginning at this time, patents for land in Virginia were granted on the basis of 50 acres for each person transported to the colony at the expense of the patentee, and such headrights might include the patentee himself, members of the family, indentured servants, slaves, etc.

The normal procedure was for the local County Commissioners to issue a certificate for land for the number of acres proven by the settler and this then could be exchanged with the governor for a formal patent. If a patentee did not plant or seat the land within three years, it became escheat land and could be granted to another. Seven years from the date of the patent, the patentee became liable to the Crown for an annual quitrent of about one shilling per 50 acres per year.

The Indians of the Eastern Shore were of Algonquin stock, owing allegiance to Powhatan in a loose confederation at the time of Jamestown (1607). Their brethren on the Western Shore called this section "Accomack" which means "on-the-other-side-of-the-water place." So far as records show, the Indians on the Eastern Shore were a timid, harmless, kind-hearted people. They numbered about 2000 in 1608 and were ruled by Debedeavon (The Laughing King) and by Okiawampe until 1657, when the daughter of the latter became Queen. The Accomack Indians proved their friendship for the whites during the massacres of 1622 and 1644, in which they took no part. The Indians' money was Roanoke or Rawrenoke, which was made of shells, with holes bored through them, and strung on buckskin thongs. They paid it out by the arm's length, and their chief article of traffic with the whites was beaver's skin [Whitelaw].

The Accawmacke Indians, though speaking the language of the Powhatans, were in other respects totally unlike their war-like and treacherous confederates across the Chesapeake Bay to the west. From this time forth there never was, not even at the time of the outbreak of the Savages in 1622 and 1644, any serious trouble between the whites of the Eastern Shore and the Accawmacke Indians [Wise].

An early record describes the Assateague tribe as composed of Assateagues, Transqualin, Choptico, Moteawaughkin, Quequashkecaquick, Hatsawap, Wachetak, Marauqhquaick and Manasksons, all under the Emperor of Assateague. It was these Indians who gave the Eastern Shore settlers so much concern in the early days. Then there was another tribe located along the Pocomoke River and the northern boundary of Accomack, which gave some trouble to the whites of the Eastern Shore. These Indians also sought aid from Maryland. There were five branches of this tribe: Pocomokes, Annamessex, Manoakin, Nassawattox, and Aquintica seated at a place called Askiminokonson [Wise].

It is generally accepted that the Dutch were responsible for the introduction of slaves into Virginia during 1619 [Wise].

1620

About this date a George Truitt was born in Kent, England, but it is not known if he is the same person who immigrated to Virginia in 1640.

Between 1620 and 1872 the LDS FHC IGI for Britain lists Truitts in the following localities: Bedford (23), Derby (4) Durham (3), Kent (1), Lancaster (2), London (2), Northampton (1) and York (10).

(NOTE: To describe the land holdings in Accomack and Northampton counties on the Eastern Shore of early Virginia, [Whitelaw] has constructed "tract maps", and for easier reference, he assigned entirely arbitrary numbers to each tract area, which may have involved several patents for land. Each County has a separate number series, e.g. A29 refers to tract 29 in Accomack County while N30 refers to tract 30 in Northampton County.)

The first official settlement on the Eastern Shore of Virginia occurred during 1620 upon Company Island (N40) when Captain John Wilcockes was sent over (from Jamestown) with tenants for it. Following closely upon this enterprise, tenants were sent over for the Secretary's Land (N39). The tenants were herded together and thus came into existence "The Towne" (N39A) which figured prominently in local history for the next half century or more. In this same year Ensign Thomas Savage (N49) and Governor Yardley (N51) settled upon lands given to them by Debedeavon [Whitelaw].

As for sustenance, the settlers on the Eastern Shore found the place an earthly paradise. In the light and sandy soil, corn, vegetables, and many varieties of fruit grew in abundance at the cost of but slight labor. Fish and shellfish of every description abounded in the ocean, bays and inlets. Wild fowl of many sorts, from the lordly goose to the tiny teal, swarmed in the marshes along the coast. Game in great abundance, furred and feathered, could be had for the shooting of it upon the land. The fig and the pomegranate throve upon this generous soil. The influences of the Gulf Stream, which in passing the Virginia Capes, approaches within 30 miles of the coast, and then turned abruptly eastward, made, as it still makes, residence upon the Eastern Shore of Virginia most charming and delightful [Wise].

1623

Thomas Graves was on a list dated February 16 of those living on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. This list shows nearly 80 settlers.

1624

In February, a census listed 76 men, women, and children living on the Eastern Shore of Virginia [Whitelaw].

In June King James I of England rescinded the charter of the Virginia Company and took over Virginia as a Crown Colony [Whitelaw].

1625

Charles I of the House of Stuart became the King of England.

The census of 1624-25 shows only 22 Africans in the Colony [Wise].

In February a new census of the Eastern Shore was taken, with only 51 people then there. One of those listed was Captain Thomas Graves who first sailed to Virginia in 1607 aboard the Margaret and Mary [Whitelaw].

The census of 1624-25 gives "The Eastern Shore over the Baye" a total of 51 souls and shows there were:

44 males

7 females

19 houses

16 storehouses, sheds, etc.

1 fort

221 1/2 lb. corn

5 boats including 1 shallop

150 1/4 lb. powder

601 lbs. lead and shot

30 pieces-fixt (match-locks)

1 pistol

3 swords

23 complete armors

4 coats of mail and head pieces.

At this time there were but 1209 colonists in all of Virginia, 269 of whom were women [Wise].

1626

Until this date only three patents of land had been issued, but from this time onward, land patents were issued in great numbers. Many of those then living on the peninsula received grants of land and many new settlers began to arrive. One of the first patents was to Captain Thomas Graves, ancient planter, on March 14 for 200 acres [Wise].

1628

Although an effort was made to constrain settlement of the Eastern Shore to an area around Old Plantation Creek (N17), new settlers could not be constrained. So the tide of immigration quickly flowed south and east of the Creek and in a few years all of the land down to the Cape was patented. The only means of transportation then was by water, so no one wanted inland sites (the "forest") as long as waterfront land was available [Whitelaw].

1629-1630

Captain Thomas Graves was one of the burgesses who represented the Western Shore in the Virginia Assembly [Wise].

1632

On January 7 Captain Thomas Graves was one of the Commissioners on the Court held at Acchawmacke [Wise].

In September Captain Thomas Graves, Captain Edmund Scarborough and others were appointed "Commissioners for the Plantacon of Acchawmacke" [Whitelaw].

The first slaves of which mention is made in the old records, were two West Indian Negroes, named Samson and Domingo, who came to the peninsula during this year [Wise].

1633

The meetings of the above-mentioned Commissioners were held at "The Towne" on the Secretary's Land (N39) [Whitelaw].

1634

The Colony of Virginia was divided into "8 shires that are to be governed as the shires in England." One of them was to be "Accomack" [Whitelaw]. At this time the population of Accomack numbered 396 whites, a rapid increase (when we consider the total number of inhabitants in the Colony of Virginia) during the 20 years since the first settlement on the peninsula [Wise].

As of this date, the peninsula forming the Eastern Shore of Virginia (from the Maryland-Virginia boundary line on the north to Cape Charles on the south) was one County by the name of Accomack [Torrence].

As of this date, bridges had not been built yet so crude scows ferried pedestrians on their way. More generally, inter-communication between various parts of the peninsula was carried on largely by means of boats, the smaller variety being patterned after the native canoe. As every early settler was forced to "paddle his own canoe," he became an adept sailor. Knowledge of the tides, the signs of weather, and things nautical became matters of second nature, for those who dwelt farthest from the coast were at most but a short walk from the nearest creek [Wise].

1635

The population of the Eastern Shore was 396, about 8 percent of the total in the colony of Virginia.

Christopher Kirke came to America, and in 1640 he sponsored the transport of George Truitt, "The Immigrant". (Because this is the first George Truitt of whom we currently know, because there were many later George Truitts, and because middle names were not common until about 1800, we will use the Roman numeral "I" as a middle-name-type descriptor in parentheses to identify this particular George Truitt.)

In his book, [Tepper] says: "Theis under written names are to be transported to Virginea, 21 Aug 1635, imbarqued in the George, Jo: Severne, Mr., (i.e. Joseph Severne was the Master or Captain of the ship named George) bound tither pr. examination of the Minister of Gravesend, etc." Gravesend is located east of London on the Thames River. Thus this ship would have sailed east on the Thames, then south around the tip of England before heading across the Atlantic for Virginia. In his book [Hotten] says the same thing in the section entitled "Passengers which passed from Ye Port of London." Christopher Kirke, age 23, and Alice Watson, age 30, were both on this ship.

1637

During this year there seems to have been a strong tendency on the part of the inhabitants of the Eastern Shore to move north into Maryland. Lord Baltimore was offering every inducement to draw people to his settlements and fabulous tales were spread concerning the liberties and great wealth of the new country to the north [Wise].

1640

On October 20 Christopher Kirke was granted 300 acres of land in tract N81 at Nassawadox Creek near the current town of Franktown, Virginia. Fifty acres of the land was for Christopher's own "personal adventure" and 250 acres for the transport of 5 persons including George (I) Truitt (spelled Trevett). Kirke sold all of this land shortly after being granted it [Nugent (Volume 1), Whitelaw, and Ames (1973a)].

On November 23 Christopher Kirke petitioned the court for 300 acres for the transport of himself and 5 others: John Geere, Charles Cube, John Dolby, Henry Morrecca and George Trewett [Ames (1973a) p44].

James Horn in Servant Emigration to the Chesapeake says that before 1650 as many as 80 to 90 per cent of Virginia’s servants sailed from London. The great majority of them came from "the southeastern part of the country, particularly London and the Home counties." Fifty-two percent of these servants who sailed from the River Thames identified their homes as London itself. The other 48% came mostly from counties to the west of London – Middlesex, Buckingham, Surrey, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Northamptonshire. Few came from East Anglia. After 1650, Bristol became more important in Virginia’s servant trade [Fischer, p237].

Virginia’s recruiting ground was a broad region in the south and west of England, running from the weald of Kent to Devon and north as far as Shropshire and Staffordshire trade [Fischer, p240].)

George (I) Truitt immigrated to Accomack County, Virginia, from England. He was sponsored Christopher Kirke, who may also have been the captain of the ship on which he sailed. Current thinking is that in the early 1640s George married Frances Graves, orphan of Thomas Graves, deceased, whose guardian may have been Henry Pennington (spelled Pedenden) of Nuswattocks Creek [Dale and Ammons].

Information from [Ammons] concerning Frances Trewett follows:

Over the years there has been much discussion concerning the life of "ffras Graves, Orphant of Captain Thos: Graves, deceased". After as thorough a search as possible of original documents and numerous articles about the family of Captain Thomas Graves, ancient planter, this is what I have found to make sense to me. Frances Graves was a daughter of Captain Thomas Graves and his wife Katherine born late in the year of 1621, after her sister Ann who from her own deposition was born about 1620 [Charles County Court Proceedings: 1662-1666, p281].

Frances' sisters, Katherine and Verlinda, were perhaps born in 1616 and 1618, respectively. Her brothers - John, born 1603-1604, and Thomas - are thought to have arrived in 1616 with their mother. Captain Thomas Graves is reported to have died in 1636 or 1637 [Susie M. Ames, County Court Records of Accomack-Northampton, VA: 1632-1640, xxxviii]. The first reference to Frances Graves I found was "At a Corte held in Accomacke the sixth day of May Anno 1639". Henry Pennington, as the attorney, guardian or perhaps even stepfather, reported "Received by me Henry Pennington the sum of one hundred pounds of tobacco and a cowe calf for the use of ffrancis Graves that is in full satisfaction for a parcel of land that Henry Wilson bought that did belong unto ffrancis Graves, the cowe calf and tobacco being paid by Alice Wilson, and received the twenty eighth day of December 1638". "I say received by me, Henry Pennington" [Northampton County Virginia, Book 1, p182]. This is followed several years later by the fairly well known reference: "Att a Monthly cott held in Northampton the 28th Day of November Ano 1642" Argoll Yardley, Esquire, Captain William Stone, et al ... "A certificate granted unto ffras Graves, Orphant of Captain Thomas Graves, deceased" [Northampton County, Virginia, Book 2:113-116]. By this date Frances Graves would be 21 years of age, as I understand she would need to be, to receive property in hew own name as an unmarried woman. Captain William Stone, one of those present at the Court was the brother-in-law of Frances Graves, he having been married to her sister Verlinda some years earlier. In his book, Virginia's Eastern Shore, Whitelaw calls this tract of land N30. It is also under discussion in 1645 in "The deposition of Henry Peddenden (Pennington) taken in open Cot. This deponent said that ffrancis Trewett being sick at this deponent's house desired this deponent that her husband, George Trewett, might sell her land at the old Plantation, whereupon this deponent answered saying: Do you know what you desire? And she replied saying: Yes, father, the land is myne and he is my husband and I desire that he might do with it as he pleaseth for there is not any man hath to do with it but himselfe" [Northampton County, Virginia, Book 3:p3]. On the following page of Book 3, but several items later, we find "A certificate granted unto Geo Trewett in right of his wife ffrancis Trewett, deceased, for 200 acres of land" [Northampton County, Virginia, Book 3, p4]. I do not believe that Frances Trewett was deceased at this time, but that the clerk in copying the certificate granted to Frances Graves in 1642 meant to say 'Orphant of Captain Thomas Graves, deceased'. In future descriptions of this land Captain Graves is mentioned, just as in repeating the headrights, it would be a means of identification. George Trewett did not patent this land until the 24th day of July 1651 and there we find the same description, same names in the same order [Northampton County, Virginia, Patents No.2, 1645-1651, p237]. Next, the same 200 acres of land is in a patent dated 1st September 1663 to William Melling and described as formerly granted to ffrances Trewett and lately found to escheat to his Majesty, etc [Northampton County, Virginia, Patents No.5, 1661-1665, p448]. George Trewett was a Quaker and I wonder if he could have sold the land to Melling. The deed just never has been recorded. In 1660 the Virginia Assembly passed a strict law against Quakers [Whitelaw]. It was certainly perilous to have much of a relationship with them. In a deed dated the 27th of June 1665 William Melling conveys 120 acres of this same land to William Sterling for the sum of 4000 pounds of tobacco and cash in hand, describing the land as formerly belonging to Captain Graves [Northampton County, Virginia, IX Wills and Deeds, No.7, 1657-1666, p219]. In 1654 John Watson and John Bagwell transport 78 persons including Alice Watson [Nugent, p291]. On the 24th of March 1655 George Trewett is granted 300 acres for the transport of 6 persons into the colony; Alice Watson is the first one named and I believe became part of his household [Northampton County, Virginia, Patents - Grants, No.4, 1655-1664, p32]. In 1660 John Elsey again transports Alice Watson [Nugent, p405]. In a deed dated April 28, 1662, George Trewett assigns to Michael Ricketts a patent of land and Alice Trewett relinquishes [Recorded June 4, 1662 in Northampton County, Virginia, Wills and Deeds, 1657-1660, Book IX, p69]. This was the 300 acres at Nandua that George Trewett received for transporting Alice Watson and 5 others in 1655. Of George Trewett's children, I believe Alice to be the mother of: (1) John, named for her father, born in 1662 (age 14 in 1676 when Robert Burton was named his guardian); (2) Elizabeth, named for Alice's mother; and (3) Job; with Frances the mother of all the earlier children. I believe Frances Trewett died in 1654. [Ammons]

The first sale of a slave occurred during this year when Nathaniel Littleton sold one to Garrett Andrews for 1200 pounds of tobacco [Wise].

1641

On September 13 Edmund Scarborough petitioned the court for 450 acres of land for the transport of 9 persons including John Truett [Ames (1973a) p118].

1642

As of this date Virginia had about 8000 inhabitants while Maryland had about 1000 persons, and of this total of 9000 more than three-quarters were recently imported servants. These indentured immigrants had to serve three or four years before they could setup as freeholders, and few had a chance to marry in the first years [Bridenbaugh].

The first horse in Worcester County, Maryland, was one conveyed to Colonel Argoll Yeardley by George Ludlow of the Western Shore, by a bill of sale dated January 30. None of the many inventories on record prior to this date include horses, but they do include steers and oxen, proving conclusively that these latter animals were used as beasts of burden in the pioneer days [Wise].

Sir William Berkeley became Governor of Virginia, and on March 18 by Act of the Assembly of Virginia, the name of Accomack Shire or County was changed to Northampton [Whitelaw and Wise].

A patent was issued to Christopher Kirke for 400 acres of land in tract N16 [Whitelaw].

On the Eastern Shore, tobacco and corn were the main crops and tobacco and beaver skins were the commodities that corresponded to silver and gold. All taxes, fines, and business transactions, except those of a large amount, were based upon these commodities. Occasionally sterling money was used.

There being no stone, and but little clay out of which to make bricks, the people of the peninsula were forced to content themselves with the abundant supply of pine at hand for building purposes. Even tombstones had to be imported from England or the Western Shore. Simple frame dwellings sufficed to house these primitive country people in a tempered clime, where the land afforded every inducement to outdoor occupation, and the early Eastern Shore people should not be judged by the character of their dwellings.

In the early days travel was exclusively on foot or in canoes, as the first horse did not appear until 1642. Of course there were no roads until a later period. The hard-beaten paths through the shady pinewoods and along the shores of the creeks comprised the sole overland thoroughfares [Wise].

During 1642 a plague occurred on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

The first settlers began to reside on the bank of the Pocomoke River in the area that was later to become Snow Hill, Maryland.

1643

The name of Accomack County, Virginia, was changed to Northampton County [Torrence].

Henry (<GeoI) Truitt is thought to have been born to George (I) and Frances (Peddenden) Truitt about this date at Muddy Creek Plantation, Accomack County, Virginia.

(NOTES:

(1) Because a certain first name, e.g. George, was used repeatedly by a family for successive generations and because middle names did not come into being until about 1800, the following scheme will be used to keep relationships more easily understandable. Henry, the son of George (I) Truitt, will be referred to as "Henry (<GeoI) Truitt."

(2) It is difficult to know with accuracy the exact date of birth of individuals in these early times. Therefore, when only the year of birth is given, the data is least accurate; when both the month and year are given, the data is more accurate; and when the month, day and year are all given, the data is most accurate.)

Christopher Kirke sold his 400 acres of land in tract N16 [Whitelaw].

The great popularity of Accomack peninsula is strikingly attested by the increase of population between 1634 and 1643. In those nine years there was a gain of over 600 inhabitants, making a total population in 1643 of about 1000 for the Eastern Shore as compared to a population of not more than 15,000 for the entire Colony [Wise].

In April gunpowder was appropriated to settlers on the Eastern Shore of Virginia due to "great and sudden danger" expected from the Indians.

1643-1696

The History of the Society of Friends, the Quakers:

Origins - Quakerism arose in Great Britain out of the religious ferment of the mid-17th century. It represents the extreme left wing of the Puritan movement. George Fox, its founder, was the son of a Leicestershire weaver and of a mother whom he described as "of the stock of the martyrs." At the age of 19 Fox became disillusioned with the way in which professing Christians were failing to live up to the standards they preached and for four years he traveled from one group of sectarians to another in search of spiritual help. In 1647 his Journal says "When all my hopes in them and in all men were gone, so I had nothing outwardly to help me, nor could I tell what to do then. Oh then I heard a voice which said 'There is one, even Christ Jesus, that can speak to thy condition'."

The year 1643, when Fox left his home, was also the year of the Solemn League and Covenant, by which parliament undertook to introduce into England the full presbyterian system, with its doctrinal rigidity and exacting discipline. In revulsion against this, a strong body of opinion attached itself to the Independents who favored some degree of religious liberty. In 1648, many who responded to Fox's message were Independents. The groups of Seekers "met together, not formally to pray or preach, at appointed times and places, but waited together in silence, and as anything rose in any of their minds that they thought savoured of a Divine spring, so they sometimes spoke." The ready response of various groups in northwest England about 1652 made Quakerism a significant movement.

17th-Century Expansion - The rapid spread of Quakerism in the north of England was followed by a vigorous expansive movement throughout the rest of the British Isles and to North America. Between 1655 and 1662 about 60 Quaker missionaries arrived in the New World (including Virginia and Maryland), where they made converts and established meetings. Sporadic local persecution gave way to more systematic efforts following Cromwell's proclamation of February 1655, which noted the "rude and unchristian disturbance" of ministers practiced by "Quakers and others" and required they "forbear henceforth all such disorderly practices," directing magistrates to proceed against offenders. During the turbulent year after Richard Cromwell's abdication in May 1659, some Quakers were deeply involved in Sir Henry Vane's attempts to bring about a "rule of the saints," and their complicity in this along with their other extremist views led to renewed and more violent persecution after the Restoration. The hostility of parliament found expression in the Quaker Act of 1662. Under this and other acts about 15,000 Quakers suffered various legal sentences, until widespread persecution was ended by the Toleration Act of 1689.

Though various experiments in church government had been made by the Seeker groups, and conferences or "general meetings" were arranged in both England and the New World, it was not until 1667-69 that any regular system of government was established in the Quaker community. During these years monthly meetings were established and grouped in County quarterly meetings, and these in turn were subordinate to a yearly meeting established in London. Fox wrote to America recommending that Quakers there do the same, and in 1671 he and 12 other Quakers crossed the Atlantic and spent nearly two years traveling among Quaker groups, establishing meetings for church affairs as well as "publishing truth" in evangelistic work. Yearly meetings were established in Maryland in 1672 and in Virginia in 1696 [Encyclopedia Britannica].

1644

The Indians killed about 500 settlers on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and Governor Berkeley led an attack against the Pamunkeys (Indian tribe?).

1645

The "Water Duck," of Rotterdam, a large trading vessel docked at Accomack. For wine one paid 22 pounds Sterling in tobacco at 3 pence per pound. This fact not only establishes the relative value of tobacco to Sterling money but also the value of wine at this time.

Until the latter part of the century Sterling money was used but rarely. Roanoke and Wampumpeake, Indian forms of currency, had legal circulation for many years.

The Chincoteague, Assateague and Assawaman Indians were noted for the manufacture of Roanoke and Peake. Roanoke was made from cockleshells wrought into small pieces like beads with holes drilled through them. It was of dark color and of less value than Peake. The latter was a long cylinder; the component pieces also perforated and carefully polished. Both pieces had exact values, reckoned sometimes by bulk measure, but more frequently by the yard after being strung on gut. These money beads often were made into belts or ornaments. The records show Roanoke was common in Accomack, and it was frequently paid out to the Indians for public services performed by them [Wise].

It is not know when George (<GeoI) Truitt was born or whether his mother was Frances (Peddenden) Truitt or Alice (Watson) Truitt. However, because he was married by 1672, it seems probable his mother was Frances and that he was born before 1655, when George (I) Truitt is thought to have married Alice Watson. George (<GeoI) Truitt probably was born at Muddy Creek Plantation, Accomack County, Virginia.

George (I) Truitt’s first wife, Frances (Peddenden) Truitt, is thought to have died near the end of 1645 [Dale].

1646

Shortly after 1646 Christopher Kirke bought 500 acres of tract N97 [Whitelaw].

In Northampton a law was enacted prescribing the amount of corn each planter should produce, apportioned according to his acreage [Wise].

By this date horses were beginning to appear in large numbers on the Eastern Shore, so bridges were constructed across the creeks, near the headwaters of navigation [Wise].

The first land grant in what is now the State of Delaware was made to four Swedish immigrants [Scharf: 150].

1648

During the last few years, affairs had come to a sorry pass in England. After having been a prisoner for several years, King Charles I was beheaded January 30 in front of Whitehall Palace [Wise].

1649

England came under the rule of Cromwell and became a Commonwealth.

In spite of the fact that a company had been organized at great expense 18 years before for carrying on slave trade, by 1649 there were not over 300 Africans in the Colony. During 1649 only 17 Negroes were imported into the Colony, a large majority of these by one planter in Gloucester County.

The slaves of the Eastern Shore in the seventeenth century were well taken care of and kindly treated. They were used almost exclusively as domestic servants, for the day of working great bands of Negroes in the fields had not yet arrived [Wise].

1650-1670

Early history indicates all Truitts in America descended from George (I) Truitt, who came to America from England about 1640. He is listed in Virginia Immigrants, Volume 5, State Land Office 20, in 1652. He initially settled in Northampton County, Virginia, but later moved to Accomack County. He was a Quaker and leading spirit among the people of that faith on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and Maryland. He was a prominent citizen of considerable means. George and his family were persecuted for their religious beliefs. So about the time of his death in 1670 and to escape persecution, some family members moved to an area of Somerset County, Maryland, which later became Worcester County (and still later Wicomico County) while others moved into southern Delaware, which later became Sussex County [Martin-Grubbs].

There seem to have been few homes on the Eastern Shore at this time in which musical instruments of some kind were not found [Wise].

1651

For the transport of four persons, on July 24 George (I) Truitt (spelled Truhett) was granted a patent for 200 acres of land in Northampton County, Virginia (tract N30). Known today as Old Plantation Neck, the Western Part, this land was on the bayside north of Fleet island. In 1628 this tract of 200 acres was first patented to Captain Thomas Graves, but it is not known when he first came to the Eastern Shore (although he was there in 1625). Graves is known to have had three sons: Thomas, Francis, and John; and three daughters: Ann, Katherine, and Verlinda. Neither of Graves' sons remained to claim the land and in 1651 a patent was granted to George Truitt [Nugent (Vol.1) and Whitelaw].

A patent was issued to George (I) Truitt (spelled Truhett) for 150 acres of the northern part of tract N115 just south of the mouth of Occohannock Creek on the bayside of the Eastern Shore [Whitelaw].

1652

During March, 116 people of Northampton County signed the following pledge: "Wee whose Names are subscribed; doe hereby Engage and promise to bee true and faithful to the Commonwealth of England as it is nowe Established without King or House of Lords." Christopher Kirke was one of those who signed this pledge, but the name of George (I) Truitt is not among the signers (probably because he was a Quaker and thereby refused to pledge allegiance to the King) [Wise].

1654

The number of cattle ranging at large in the salt marshes of the [Eastern Shore] peninsula before 1650 must have been great, for the cattle marks recorded in Northampton County for one period cover 36 pages in the Volume of Records 1651-1654. In fact all over the settled portion of Virginia at this time, great herds of cattle roamed almost at will and were at times hunted and shot as if wild animals. So wide and unrestricted was the range of the cattle in the marshes of the Eastern Shore that much trouble resulted to the owners, as only branded stock could be accurately identified. Not only cattle and horses roved over the peninsula, but also droves of hogs, which had become practically wild, were to be found feeding upon fish, crabs, and mollusca of the salt creeks.

Also, there seem to have been many dogs of mongrel breed on the peninsula at this time, whose chief use was in destroying the smaller kinds of animals running wild in the woods and fields. These dogs were necessary to protect poultry and young pigs from vermin such as wolves, mink, polecats and the like.

Foxes also were plentiful on the peninsula and no doubt foxhunting in a mild form was one of the chief sports of the people during this time [Wise].

It is thought that in the 1654/5 period George (I) Truitt paid for the transport of Alice Watson from England to America, and shortly thereafter they were married.

1655

On March 24 George (I) Truitt (spelled Truett) received a patent for 300 acres in tract A29 at Nandua Creek for the transport of 6 persons [Nugent (Volume 1) and Whitelaw].

After much debate and consultation, a vote was taken May 7. Occohannock Creek was selected as the place for the official port of Northampton County and as the site for the church or meeting house, the Clerk's and Sheriff's offices, and the prison and other public buildings directed by the Assembly of Virginia [Wise].

During the year, the Dutch captured the Swedes living in what is now Delaware [Scharf: 150].

It is thought that Jane (<GeoI) Truitt was born to George (I) and Alice (Watson) Truitt during 1655 at Muddy Creek Plantation, Accomack County, Virginia.

1656

Prior to this year there were but few slaves on the Eastern Shore; in fact there were but few in the Colony [Wise].

1657

In January the first order was entered for the construction of roads on the Eastern Shore, like the wharves, to be paid for at private expense [Wise].

Henry Vaux was arrested January 29 and brought before the court of Northampton for entertaining William Robinson, Quaker, at his house. Robinson was perhaps the most conspicuous Quaker Missionary in Northampton and held conventicles in many of the planters' homes [Wise].

It is thought that Dorothy (<GeoI) Truitt was born to George (I) and Alice (Watson) Truitt early during 1657 at Muddy Creek Plantation, Accomack County, Virginia.

George (I) Truitt sold his 150 acres of tract N115 [Whitelaw].

Toward the latter part of 1657 a ship arrived at Jamestown with Thomas Thurston and Josiah Cole, the first preachers of the Society of Friends to come to Virginia. They were promptly arrested as disturbers of the peace and imprisoned, but being soon released they repaired to Maryland. Soon after the arrival of Thurston and Cole, Quakers began in great numbers to make their appearance on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and in the northern part of Northampton, where population was comparatively scarce and where they could establish themselves without much interference [Wise]. (NOTE: It may be at this time that George Truitt (I) became a Quaker.)

It is thought Job (<GeoI) Truitt was born to George (I) and Alice (Watson) Truitt late during 1657 at Muddy Creek Plantation, Accomack County, Virginia.

1658

In July the Council of Maryland commented on "the insolent behavior of some people called Quakers who at Court ... would presumptuously stand Covered ... also refused to subscribe the engagement ... alleadging they were to be governed by God's lawe ... and not by man's lawe ... their principles tended to the destruction of governments." The Council complained that the Friends were dissuading the people from complying with the Militia acts and from giving testimony in court, or holding any Provincial office. This time the Council ordered that these "Quaker Persuaders be whipped from constable to constable until they had reached the bounds of the Province." For the next three years, some members of the Society of Friends suffered the wrath of a disapproving government [Truitt: 378].

It is thought that John (<GeoI) Truitt was born to George (I) and Alice (Watson) Truitt during 1658 at Muddy Creek Plantation, Accomack County, Virginia.

1659

The Assateague Indians of the lower Maryland Eastern Shore had been making depredations upon the scattered settlers in the upper part of Northampton County and the lower part of Maryland (then claimed by Virginia) and a punitive expedition against them was led by Colonel Edmund Scarborough [Whitelaw].

In 1646 a patent for 600 acres had been issued to Thomas Johnson for land tract N98 situated just south of the headwaters of Nassawadox Creek close to the current city of Exmore, Virginia, on the Eastern Shore.

James Jones sold 300 acres of tract N98 to Thomas Leatherbury, stating it was half of the Johnson patent that had been assigned to Christopher Kirke and George (I) Truitt (spelled Trewett). They assigned it to John Ellis, James Jones and John Taylor, and the other partners (Ellis and Taylor) had it assigned to Jones. (Therefore, land in tract N98 had been jointly assigned to Christopher Kirke and George (I) Truitt at some time between 1646 and 1659.)

In a deposition relating to tract N98 and recorded during the following year, it was stated "that a ten foot house should bee sett apart for a meeting house." The fact that the persons involved were known Quakers definitely indicates this was a Quaker Meeting House and is the first one mentioned in Eastern Shore records [Whitelaw].

Governor Matthews of the Virginia Colony died in January and on April 22 Richard Cromwell resigned the Protectorate. Thus England was without a King and Virginia was without a Governor. Therefore, the supreme government of the Colony rested with the Virginia Assembly [Wise].

It is thought Elizabeth (<GeoI) Truitt was born to George (I) and Alice (Watson) Truitt during 1659 at Muddy Creek Plantation, Accomack County, Virginia.

1660

On May 8 Charles II was proclaimed King of England, and he sent a new commission dated July 31 to his faithful adherent, Sir William Berkeley. From this latter date, the Colony was put back under a royal Governor and no longer had its own representative executive [Wise].

For the transport of 10 persons George (I) Truitt (spelled Trewett) on November 3 received a patent for 500 acres in tract A61 on the lower end of the neck on the south side of Nandua Creek. However, apparently that much land was not available and a later record reduced this to 350 acres [Nugent (Volume 1) and Whitelaw].

Quaker's on Virginia's Eastern Shore:

In colonial times, the holders of the Quaker faith were the first dissenters from the Established Church of England to attempt to gain a foothold in Virginia. However, the going was hard for them, as the government was not only unfriendly to non-conformists, but also actually passed laws for their prosecution. In spite of these difficulties, shortly after the middle of the seventeenth century Quakers were on the Eastern Shore in considerable numbers. They were an earnest, proselytizing group, and their zeal led them into many conflicts with the authorities, both Church and State, and as early as 1654 the Quakers refused to pay the Church of England parish tithes. There may have been other earlier Quaker missionaries, but the County records prove that William Robinson was on the Eastern Shore in that capacity in 1658, when he was arrested and sent across the [Chesapeake] bay for trial. In addition, many local people who had harbored or entertained him were fined or otherwise punished.

In 1660 the Virginia Assembly passed a strict law against Quakers, describing them as "an unreasonable and turbulent sort of people, who daily gather together unlawful assemblies of people, teaching lies, false visions, prophecies, and doctrines tending to disturb the peace, disorganize Society, and destroy all law, government, and religion."

Shortly after 1660 and the resulting prosecutions, many Quakers looked kindly upon the religious freedom offered by the Maryland proprietors and moved up the peninsula across the state line [Whitelaw]. Lord Baltimore seized upon the opportunity thus presented him and organized a territorial unit near the boundary line between his province and Virginia. He gave every encouragement to the Virginians who would come to Maryland and settle. In the beginning Quakers and non-conformists made up a goodly part of the population, but there also was a large -- and strong -- element of Church of England men. Seeking refuge, the Quakers were first to arrive and make homes. These Quakers who settled largely along the south bank of the Great Annemessex River (near its mouth) within a short time proved themselves the most stalwart defenders of his Lordship's rights in this quarter when most powerful interests sought to rob him of many square miles of his territory. This part of Maryland was the objective and the scene of a conflict which gravely endangered a large and valuable area of Lord Baltimore's territory when Colonel Edmund Scarborough, "Surveyor-General and Treasurer of his Majesty for Virginia," sought by every means within his power to relocate the first marker of the Maryland-Virginia boundary line, transferring it thirty miles to the north of its actual location. But, in this attempt, Colonel Scarborough was not successful, though he waged relentless warfare in behalf of his unscrupulous contention [Torrance].

Colonel Scarborough hated Quakers intensely, and was unscrupulously jealous of Virginia's rights and his own [Wise].

People in these days married while young and hence had more time in which to repeat the act. Three or four wives for an Eastern Shoreman was not a record to excite comment [Wise].

1660-1680

During this twenty year period there was a depression in the tobacco market and as a result there was a rise in debt cases in the 1660 and 1670s. The market remained depress until the 1680s.

1661

George (I) Truitt (spelled Truett) sold his 300 acres in tract A29 at Nandua Creek [Whitelaw].

In accordance with Lord Baltimore's directions to colonize the lower part of the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Colonel Edmund Scarborough of Accomack and two others were appointed Commissioners to grant lands there to such people as would take the oath of fidelity to Lord Baltimore. About this time, settlers were taking up the land on the Accomack side and driving the Quakers across the boundary. This line was really not well defined and had been a subject of dispute for years [Wise].

After 1661 the Council of Maryland reversed its opposition to Quakers and the families of that sect came into the Worcester territory, in fact, to the upper Shore and elsewhere in the Province in increasing numbers [Truitt: 378].

It is thought Susanna (<GeoI) Truitt was born to George (I) and Alice (Watson) Truitt during 1661 at Muddy Creek Plantation, Accomack County, Virginia.

1662

It is thought that during 1662 Northampton County was divided into two counties, Accomack and Northampton. The relative portions of the peninsula allotted to the two counties were 243,314 acres to Accomack and 103,225 acres to Northampton [Wise].

1663

Edmund Scarborough at this time had a precious pet scheme of his own. His uncontrolled and ungovernable love of power, his almost maniacal genius for being a law unto himself and bending men to his own will, had just brought about the disruption of the territory of the County of Northampton in Virginia and the creation of the new County of Accomack out of its northern portion, which was immediately south of the Maryland boundary line [Torrence].

It is thought that James (<GeoI) Truitt was born to George (I) and Alice (Watson) Truitt during 1663 at Muddy Creek Plantation, Accomack County, Virginia.

A patent for tract N30 was issued to William Melling as the previous patent was deserted by Frances (Peddenden) Truitt, deceased, the former wife of George (I) Truitt (spelled Trewitt) [Whitelaw].

During 1663 the English took possession of what is now Delaware, and all persons holding land there without titles were required to obtain them [Scharf: 151].

1666

In August the dispute between Virginia and Maryland over the location of the boundary between the two colonies finally was settled. Maryland created two counties on the Eastern Shore: (1) Dorchester (from the Choptank River south to the Nanticoke River); and (2) Somerset (from the Nanticoke River south to Watkin's Point at the mouth of the Pocomoke River) [Torrence].

The total population of Accomack and Northampton counties was estimated to be 3180 of which 2790 were whites and 390 blacks. Now if we add several hundred Indians, and the shifting element of 'longshoremen and Islanders, it will be seen the Eastern Shore was more densely populated than any other portion of Virginia [Wise].

1667

In January Somerset County initially was divided into five "Hundreds," Pocomoke, Annemessex, Manokin, Great and Little Monie, and Wicomico. Later four additional "Hundreds" were created: Nanticoke (to the north of Wicomico), Bogerternorton (to the east and north of Pocomoke and extending along the seaside), Mattapany (in the extreme southeastern section of the County), and still later, Baltimore (to the north of Bogerternorton and extending to the seaside) [Torrence]. In addition to "Hundreds," some localities were referred to as "kills", e.g. Broadkill (in the Dutch language, "kill" means "creek") [Torrence].

During 1667 there was a smallpox epidemic on the Eastern Shore which killed many whites and Indians [Whitelaw].

1668

George (I) Truitt (spelled Trewett) purchased the western 1000 acres of tract A110 at the mouth of Guilford Creek, including "Hill's Choice", a peninsula or island between Young Creek and France Creek [Whitelaw].

1670

Due to an epidemic of smallpox during the next few years following 1666, the mortality was great. It is thought that a stricken seaman, the cause of whose illness was at first unknown, imported the germs of the fatal malady. Large numbers of whites died during the plague, and the disease became general among the Indians, who had been driven together upon reservations in remote sections of the peninsula. Panic-stricken, the Indians sought relief among the whites, thus spreading the disease with the most disastrous effects. At last the epidemic abated, having ravaged the land for several years, but not until the population had been seriously reduced and numbers of the best citizens had perished [Wise]. As a Quaker, George (I) Truitt was respected by the Indians and in their time of distress they may have sought him out for help, which may have led to his death perhaps from smallpox.

George (I) Truitt died in Accomack Co, Virginia. His will was proven October 16, 1670. His family was as follows:

Wife: (1) Frances Peddenden and (2) Alice Watson

Sons: James, Henry, George, John, and Job

Daughters: Jane, Dorothy, Susanna, and Elizabeth [Shannonhouse].

Assuming that he was born in 1617, George (I) Truitt would have been about 53 years old at the time of his death.

The practice of the Quakers was to take the dead person's body from the residence to the grave, where it was interred amid profound silence. After the burial the company adjourned to the Meetinghouse, where there was speaking and praying [Scharf: 183].

George (I) Truitt (spelled Trewett) left 350 acres in tract A61 along Nandua Creek to his son, Henry (<GeoI) Truitt. He bequeathed the land in tract A110 at Guilford Creek to his sons as follows:

James (<GeoI) Truitt: 200 acres at the east end of tract A110 and 50 acres of marsh

George (<GeoI) Truitt: 200 acres and 50 acres of marsh

John (<GeoI) Truitt: 200 acres and 50 acres of marsh

Job (<GeoI) Truitt: 50 acres to John, then 100 acres of "Hill's Choice", and 100 acres of marsh. The present name, "Job's Choice", perhaps comes from this bequest [Whitelaw].

Most of the early and substantial settlers in Worcester County came from Virginia because of that colonies' legislation in 1642 requiring banishment of dissenters while providing that all clergy should give adherence to the Church of England. In fact there were no ministers at all in early Somerset County (thus Worcester) prior to 1670. The first minister in residence was either Quaker or Churchman (Church of England), although supposedly he was the latter denomination [Truitt].

1671

The population of Lewes, Delaware totaled 47 persons [Hancock (1976)].

1672

During 1672 Henry (<GeoI) Truitt married Elizabeth Robinson, probably in Accomack County, Virginia.

Somerset County, Maryland, became the scene of a most remarkable experiment in religious unity. In March the Grand Jury rendered an "opinion" that there should be regular religious services in the County, and designated the preacher and four preaching stations at which such services should be conducted successively on four Sundays of the month. Quakers, Churchmen, and Presbyterians joined in this plan of worship and instruction [Torrance].

On October 9 Henry (<GeoI) Truitt was reissued a patent for 350 acres in tract A61 along the south side of Nandua Creek. After elder patents were surveyed, this 350 acres was all that could be found of 500 acres granted his father George (I) Truitt on 3 November 1660, which was due Henry as son and heir [Nugent (Volume 2) and Whitelaw].

Also on October 9 a patent for 100 acres in tract N123 on the south side of Occohannock Creek at the Northampton/Accomack County line just northeast of the current city of Exmore, Virginia, was issued to George (<GeoI) and Eleanor (spelled Elianor) Truitt (spelled Trewett). This land originally had been deeded to Eleanor (spelled Ellynor) in 1656 by her mother, Ellinor Meredith (widow of Phillip), effective upon the mother's death [Nugent (Volume 2) and Whitelaw].

George Fox, from England, the founder and apostle of the Society of Friends, made a visit to Old Somerset [Truitt: 378], and he also visited with Governor Lovelace in the Delaware area [Scharf: 159].

During the winter of 1672-1673 disease killed about 50,000 cattle on the Eastern Shore.

1673-1676

Occasionally in the spring and summer one yielded to the call of the sea. It was in April, yet Henry (<GeoI) Truitt was presented [to the court] "for fishing on the Lord's day" [Ames].

1674

By 1674 all land in Accomac County, Virginia, had been patented.

1675

Henry (<GeoI) Truitt, and his wife, Elizabeth (Robinson) Truitt, sold 350 acres in tract A61 along Nandua Creek and purchased 200 acres in tract A126. The present village of Bloxom, Virginia, is about in the center of this latter land [Whitelaw].

1676

Henry (<GeoI) Truitt died at Muddy Creek Plantation in Accomack County, Virginia, and his land in tract A126 was assigned to his son, George (<Henry<GeoI) Truitt [Whitelaw]. Henry's family was as follows:

Wife: Elizabeth (Robinson)

Sons: George and Henry [Shannonhouse].

(NOTE: We now begin to use a further expansion of the middle-name-type descriptor. The George referred to above was the son of Henry who was the son of George (I), thus "George (<Henry<GeoI) Truitt".)

1679

George (<GeoI) Truitt (spelled Trewet) and five other men, as trustees, purchased one acre of land in the extreme northwest corner of tract A112. This is the historic site of the Guilford Quaker Meetinghouse [Whitelaw].

1680

George (<GeoI) and Eleanor (Meredith) Truitt (spelled Trewett) sold 100 acres of tract N123 [Whitelaw].

James (<GeoI) Truitt (spelled Trewett) sold 50 acres of marsh in tract A110 [Whitelaw].

After the ravages of marauders from Maryland, only five or six families remained in Lewes, Delaware [Hancock (1976)].

Maryland claimed the area south of Indian River (in what is now Delaware), and the Sheriff of Somerset County attempted to collect taxes from the inhabitants [Hancock (1976)].

The great majority of the population in Delaware -- probably 95%, as in other colonies -- was engaged in agriculture. Principal crops in Sussex County included tobacco, corn, wheat and rye. Most farmers raised sufficient food for family use and a small surplus for sale or exchange for a few luxuries. Almost every farmer kept a few cattle, hogs, oxen and poultry. Trapping and fishing supplemented a plain diet based particularly on pork and corn. To earn extra money, farmers sometimes worked for their neighbors, prepared cypress shingles and dressed timber, and worked on shallops carrying produce, corn and lumber to Wilmington and Philadelphia [Hancock (1976)].

Elizabeth (<GeoI) Truitt probably married about 1680, but whom she married is uncertain. The following information from Robert Davidson relates to this issue:

When George Truitt made his will in 1670 he specified that his sons

Henry and George were to hold the legacies for all the other children because they were under 18. He names children in this order: Jane, Dorothy, James, Susannah, John and Elizabeth. Thus six of his children were under 18. Assuming this to be the order of birth, Jane would have been born about 1653-54, and James WAS born in 1659. The two youngest, John and Elizabeth, were "of age" in 1681 - could be age 18 or 21 - so both were born 1660 or soon thereafter. Of the daughters, the only known marriage is that of Dorothy to William Jarman.

James Watts and John Awbrey were both transported into Accomac County between 1664 and 1666 with large parties of indentured servants. Presumably they were young men. They would then have spent some time working off their indentures. It is known they married sisters (see later): James Watts married Elizabeth and John Awbrey married Jane.

Beginning in 1689, or maybe earlier, all of the surviving children of George Truitt moved into Somerset County, Maryland. I have not looked for a record of John Awbrey in Somerset County, but James Watts was a resident there as of 1695 when he bought land in the same locality as the Truitts. He kept this land, which he later left to his sons (who sold it in 1713), but by 1698 James Watts was in Westmoreland County, Virginia, where he died leaving a will in 1699.

John Awbrey also moved to Westmoreland County, Virginia, and died there by 1693, when his widow Jane married William Chandler. It is the Will of William Chandler which establishes that Jane and Elizabeth were sisters, because he left Elizabeth "his ... wife's sister" a legacy.

Elizabeth, widow of James Watts married again, probably twice after his death. Her will, proved February 1729/30 in Westmoreland County, mentions son Spencer Watts, son William Walker, daughter Maria Taylor and grandson George Mullins. She was by this time Mrs. Elizabeth Cooper. That this is the same Elizabeth who was the wife of James Watts in Somerset County, Maryland, is established because it is their son Spencer who sold his father's land there. There was another son, John Watts, who died before his mother. His inventory and estate papers are dated 1720 in Somerset County, Maryland.

I hope someday to find more to establish this as fact, but that's all I have now. The Accomac County, Virginia, court records have survived for 1660-1680 but they are EXTREMELY difficult to read. Someday I'll try again. There should be guardianship records for George Truitt's younger children.

I do suspect that the Elizabeth Truitt who married John Rickards is the widow of Henry, and not the youngest daughter of George. The daughter, Elizabeth, might have been 15-16 in 1676, not too young to marry certainly, but borderline!

1681

The Charter of Pennsylvania was signed, and the first body of colonists arrived in Pennsylvania.

1682

William Penn arrived at this time and began the practice of dividing the three counties of Delaware into political subdivisions known as "Hundreds." Roughly equivalent to townships in neighboring counties such as New Jersey, the term "Hundred" is generally believed to have been an ancient Anglo-Saxon political subdivision referring to the area in which ten families lived [Carter: 21].

On October 27 William Penn traveled to New Castle County, Delaware. Later he changed the name of the middle County of Delaware to Kent and of the southern County from Deal to Sussex, names of Shires with which he was familiar in England. The southern boundary of Sussex County was fixed at Assawoman Inlet, old Cape Henlopen, which was named Cape James. The town of Deal, formerly known as Swanendael and Hoerenkil (Whorekil), was named Lewes. After the arrival of Penn, Quakers appeared in Sussex County [Hancock (1976)].

In the seventeenth century the Sussex County area was rugged country covered with forests and swamps. Settlers naturally preferred to use the waterways such as the Mispillion River, Cedar Creek and Indian River Inlet along the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean for transportation rather than follow the rough trails that began to connect the farms of settlers. Only occasionally would a traveler see a clearing with a log house and small fields of corn, tobacco and wheat. Most of the cultivated land and settlements were in the vicinity of the only town (Lewes) and along waterways in the eastern part of the County rather than in the disputed area in the west whose boundary had not yet been decided [Hancock (1976)].

Sussex County, Delaware, was created from Deale County and Durham County, Maryland [LDS FHC microfilm catalog info].

1682-1775

During this period Pennsylvania’s governor controlled much of Delaware, although Delaware had its own provincial assembly after 1703.

1683

Before this date, part of the Hundred lying north of Cedar Creek in Delaware formed part of St. James County (now Kent County) [LDS FHC microfiche catalog]. Also during this year William Penn gave Sussex County its name [deValinger: 5].

The Quakers first assembled in a ten-foot building in Northampton County, Virginia. However, by 1683 there was standing near Guilford Creek in Accomack County a small Meetinghouse. At this time the owners of the remainder of tract A112 confirmed with George (<GeoI) Truitt and five other trustees the conveyance of an acre of land "where now there is a small house standing by the name of The Meetinghouse. The People of God commonly called Quakers shall have right and privilege from time-to- time to meet upon said ground and in the aforesaid Meetinghouse and there at pleasure to meet and bury their dead." A later deed for the balance of the patent definitely placed the lot on the branch of Guilford Creek in the extreme northwest corner of the tract [Ames and Whitelaw]. (NOTE: Jim Crouch recently located the Cemetery associated with this Meetinghouse.)

As of this date rewards were still offered on the peninsula for the destruction of certain beasts such as deer, bear and wolves, which must have greatly encouraged the pursuit of them [Wise].

1684

James (<GeoI) Truitt (spelled Trewett) sold the remaining 200 acres of his land in tract A110 to his brother, George (<GeoI) Truitt [Whitelaw]. James then may have moved to the Broad Creek Hundred area of Sussex County, Delaware, after the sale. However, because of the Maryland/Delaware border dispute, James' family and heirs may have been considered to be living in Maryland until 1775 when the dispute and the boundary line were settled (see below).

On February 23 in Sussex County, Delaware, the administration of Paul Marsh’s estate was granted to George (<?) Truitt of Somerset County, Maryland [deValinger (1964): 10]. (In law, "administration" used in this sense means: The management and disposal, under legal authority, of the estate of an intestate, or of a testator having no competent executor.)

On September 18 George (<?) Truitt, a planter, obtained 300 acres of land called "Truitt's Harbor" in Somerset County, Maryland [Coldham].

When Penn left the province during 1684, his government was fully established, his chief town had been laid out, and his province was divided into 6 counties and 22 townships. The population exceeded 7000 people, of whom 2500 resided in Philadelphia, which had already 300 houses built, and the city had established considerable trade with other countries [Scharf: 160].

The first Quaker Meetinghouse in Philadelphia was built during 1684 made of brick [Scharf: 169].

1684-1686

Sometime during this period the town of Snow Hill, Maryland was chartered [Torrence]. (As of 1995 Snow Hill is the seat of Worcester County, and many people with the Truitt surname live in the area.)

1684-1736

The colonial government of Maryland laid claim to southern and western Delaware, including the Broad Creek Hundred area.

1685

George (<GeoI) and Eleanor (spelled Elinor) (Meredith) Truitt sold 50 acres of marsh and 400 acres of tract A110 [Whitelaw]. From here George and Eleanor probably moved to Somerset County, Maryland. The area where they probably settled was about five miles northeast of Snow Hill, Maryland. It was called Bogerternorton (also spelled Pockerternorton, Poccatynprton, Pockytanorton, and Pocatinorton). The name Bogerternorton is thought to have been the Indian's corruption of the Spanish name Boca del Norte, which may have been applied to this area by Verrazano in 1524 [Whitelaw and Torrence]. The name of the Pocomoke River, which is in this area, derives from the Indian name Pocquemoke that means "place of shell fish, clams, etc" [Whitelaw].

1686

The Swedes living in Delaware had no roads. They followed bridle paths on foot or on horseback, and carried their freight by water. However, during this year the people of Philadelphia moved for better highways. The first control of the roads was by the courts, which appointed overseers and fence-viewers, the grand jury laying out the roads [Scharf: 165].

In 1686 an Act was passed by the Virginia Assembly to establish the town of Snow Hill in Somerset County, Maryland. Several big productive plantations were near the town including Fairfield (owned by the Purnell family) and Mulberry Grove (owned by the Truitt family) [Truitt].

1686-1688

During this period, especially the winters, an epidemic killed a large number of people on the Eastern Shore.

1688

During 1688 King James II was forced out and William and Mary took over.

John (<GeoI) and Mary (Atkins) Truitt, who already were living in Somerset County, Maryland, sold 200 acres of land and 50 acres of marsh along Guilford Creek in tract A110 [Whitelaw].

As early as this date, the Quaker Meetinghouse at Bogerternorton in Maryland first appears in the Minutes of the Society of Friends.

1689

On May 1 George (<?) Truitt obtained 140 acres of land called "Truitt's Purchase" in Somerset County, Maryland [Coldham].

In July George (<GeoI) Truitt purchased a 600-acre part of the "Mulberry Grove" tract situated just south of the headwaters of the Pocomoke River and about 6 miles northeast of Snow Hill and he proceeded to settle and make his home there. The Mulberry Grove area seems to have been the center of the "Bogerternorton Meeting" and George was indeed the great benefactor of this Meeting [Torrence].

1690

George Johnson, the elder, was one of the most influential Quakers remaining on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. In his will, dated December 27 he speaks of his dwelling house as being at Muddy Creek, "alias Guilford Creek." Among the overseers of his will was George (<GeoI) Truitt [Ames].

A great increase in the number of blacks on the Eastern Shore began about 1690 [Wise].

1690-1695

During this period James (<GeoI) Truitt married Mary Riley in Somerset County, Maryland (in the part that later became Worcester County) [Virkus].

Perhaps early in the 1690's the Bogerternorton Meeting was started. Members of the Meetings were generally referred to as "People called Quakers." John Goddin, a founder of the Bogerternorton Meeting, had moved to Rochester's 2900 acres near Snow Hill after having been affiliated with the Annemessex Meeting. It is assumed he was instrumental in locating George (<GeoI) Truitt (of Accomack County, Virginia) at Mulberry Grove, a plantation next to his. Together Goddin and Truitt founded the Meeting, the latter taking the leadership locally and broadly. In his home George Truitt entertained prominent Quaker leaders [Truitt: 378].

1691

About 1691 Thomas (<James<GeoI) Truitt was born to James (<GeoI) and Sarah (Riley) Truitt in Somerset County, Maryland.

1692

Job (<GeoI) Truitt (spelled Truett) of Somerset County, Maryland, sold his island ("Hill's Choice", also known as "Job's Choice") in tract A110 along Guilford Creek in Virginia as 250 acres [Whitelaw].

An affidavit in Accomack County, Virginia, in 1692 reads: "Whereas the late act of Parliament does Injoyne all Protestant dissenters from the Church of England to Signifie to the quarter sesions where they live, the places of their meetings to performe divine worship. In obedience to which Act wee the people comonly caled quaker doe hereby Informe all persons conserned that we doe constantly meet on the first day of the weeke called Sunday at our meeting house built for use neare Guilford in this County and on the fifth day of the week called Thursday either at the house of Sara Coe widow or at the house of George Johnson deceased and our monthly and quarterlie meteings at the house of said Geo Johnson. Signed in the behalfe of the meting" [Whitelaw].

1693

During 1693 there was a measles epidemic on the Eastern Shore.

1694

"This day William Nock on behalf of the persons commonly called Quakers and himself requested that in regard to the meeting house at Muddy Creek (Guilford) for the exercise of their Religion was lately burnt, they had selected Thomas Fowkes his house at Onancock [tract A72 site B] for their place of meeting and desired that according to the Law of England in such cases provided that the same might be Recorded as a manifest thereof" [Whitelaw].

1695

On November 11 John (<GeoI) Truitt obtained 300 acres of land called "Truitt's Lot" in Somerset County, Maryland [Coldham].

1696

The Rehoboth Hundred in Delaware was created. Now it is called Lewes and Rehoboth Hundred. The Broadkill Hundred also was established during this year as an original Hundred, part of the area called "Old Sussex." Part of the original Hundred now is the Georgetown Hundred. The variant name for the Broadkill Hundred is Broadkiln [LDS FHC microfiche catalog].

During 1696 there was a smallpox epidemic on the Eastern Shore.

1697

We journey now to the southeastern section of "Old Somerset", about the headwaters of the Pocomoke River, several miles east of the town of Snow Hill, Maryland, where we find the third of the Somerset Quaker Meetings in existence before the end of the seventeenth century. The date of the formation of the Bogerternorton Meeting is not now known, and the first reference to it (so far discovered) is 1697 [Torrence].

James (<James<GeoI) Truitt was born in Somerset County, Maryland [Virkus].

John (<GeoI) Truitt obtained 100 acres of land called "Wolf's Den" in Somerset County, Maryland [Coldham].

1698

In his own sloop, Thomas Evernden brought Thomas Chalkley, the celebrated Quaker missionary preacher, across the Chesapeake Bay for a visit to Somerset County where Chalkley visited George (<GeoI) Truitt and his brother near the head of the Pocomoke River [Torrence]. In his "Journal" Chalkley says: "We went to George Truit's at whose house we had a meeting. This Friend and I went to an Indian town not far from his house, because I had a desire to see these people, having never seen any of them before. When we came to the town they were kind to us, spoke well of Friends and said they would not cheat them, as others did. From George Truit's in Maryland we went down to Virginia and afterwards I had a meeting at George Truit's brother's." This was the Askiminokonson (also spelled Askiminiconson) Indian Town near the head of the Pocomoke River, on the north side, and was only a short distance from George (<GeoI) Truitt's home place, "Mulberry Grove", on the south side of the river. After a brief trip to Accomack and Northampton counties in Virginia, Chalkley returned for a meeting at "George Truit's brother's house" [Torrence].

Thomas Chalkley, a missionary of note, visited Mulberry Grove, listing the visit in his account as follows: "We went to George Truitt's at whose house we had a Meeting. This Friend and I went to an Indian town not far from his house, because I had a desire to see these people, having never seen any of them before." Later, returning to Philadelphia from Virginia, Chalkley entered the following in his journal: "I had a Meeting at George Truitt's brother's (James)..." [Truitt: 378].

1699 and Before

Meanwhile, in the Northwest Territory of America successive groups of Indians lived in Indiana before the arrival of Europeans in the 1600’s. The earliest Europeans to reach Indiana probably were French fur traders.

Quaker Meetings on the Eastern Shore of Virginia: There were three Quaker Meetings whose history will never be known in detail because all the records are lost. The first is that monthly meeting (if indeed it ever was such) which included all the Meetings on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. It is here that the Quakers were first found in Virginia though they may have also appeared at the same time in Nansemond County where they were to be the strongest. Of these Eastern Shore Quakers we know almost nothing except that they did exist as early as 1656-57 having settled in Accomack County where the population was thin and the country remote from the seat of government which was at Jamestown across the Bay. Here in Accomack County they had hoped to live unmolested, but such was not their destiny. The charges brought against them, and sworn to an oath in the court of Northampton County, sound ridiculous to those knowing the true tenets of the Society of Friends, but the charges were typical of the misunderstanding and even fear the people of that day had of this sect. Nothing was too fantastic to be laid to their charge. Because these Quakers were so harshly treated, a large number of them fled across the border into Maryland where they formed a colony. They went at the invitation of Maryland's Governor Calvert who granted each person 50 acres. Colonel Edmund Scarborough's dealing with them is a matter of interesting record. While some fled, others remained and declared in their misery that "the Indians, whom they judged to be heathen, exceeded the whites in kindness, in courtesies and love and mercy unto them who were strangers." Among their members were George (<GeoI) Truitt of Mulberry Grove, Maryland. In Accomack County in 1683 there was standing near Guilford Creek another small Meetinghouse. These houses, like those people who built them and worshipped in them, have disappeared behind the veil of unrecorded years. It is doubtful these Quakers were ever officially associated with the Virginia Yearly Meeting. However, in 1702 an "order" was sent to Friends in Maryland at the West River and in 1707 the Yearly Meeting quoted the request of the Friends of Patowmac to give advice concerning rules of discipline [Hinshaw].

1699

On February 20 George (<?) Truitt of Virginia obtained 250 acres of land called "Forlorn Hope" in Somerset County, Maryland [Coldham].

In October and early November Thomas Story -- "who was the Paul among the Friends (i.e. Quakers) of America" -- while making a tour of the Eastern Shore of Maryland visited George (<GeoI) Truitt's (spelled Drewett) home twice and held meetings there [Torrence].

Of the early worship groups, one third were Quakers. It is not clear whether or not they built a Meetinghouse, but many references are available concerning prominent citizens of the Quaker faith, which in cases elsewhere was the most persecuted on American soil. George (<GeoI) Truitt gave land for a Meetinghouse site and burying ground at Mulberry Grove. (NOTE: This site has been maintained intact on Mulberry Grove, now the grounds of the former Worcester County High School at Five Mile Branch near Snow Hill, although grave markers, never popular among Quakers, and remnants of a one-time structure are not discernible in 1976 [Truitt].)

During 1699 the Bogerternorton Meeting became the "Mulberry Grove Meeting."

The peaceful Indians of the Eastern Shore had greatly diminished by 1699, and the dying out of the Savages was followed by the arrival of blacks in large numbers, of whom up to this time there had been but few [Wise].

When Penn returned to Pennsylvania during 1699, the population of the province exceeded 20,000, and Philadelphia and its liberties had nigh 5000 people [Scharf: 161].

By this date there were no deer, bear, wolves, nor other wild animals left on the Eastern Shore peninsula [Wise].

1700

Still another Quaker missionary, Thomas Story, visited George (<GeoI) Truitt's home twice about 1700 and held Meetings there [Truitt: 378].

In 1700 the population of Sussex County, Delaware, was probably less than 1000 persons [Hancock (1976)].

Between 1681 and 1700 at least 15,000 men, women and children sailed from Great Britain to the Delaware and Pennsylvania area. Mostly they sailed from London and Bristol, and the voyage was tedious and could seldom be made in less than two months. The vessels in which they sailed were ill appointed and crowded [Scharf: 161]. Leaving out clothes for the family, the cost of immigration and one year's keep until the land began to produce crops was about 30 pounds Sterling [Scharf: 162].

1700-1735

By this date Quakerism had spread to all areas of territorial Worcester County, Maryland. Settlers including George and James Truitt at Five-Mile Branch, and others were prominent in the movement. Although information about local Quakers at this time is fragmentary, it is known that under the leadership of the Truitt family and others, membership was forwarded. Followers of the "Inner Light" centered on the Bogerternorton Meeting (also spelled Pocotynorton and Pocatinorton) at George Truitt's Mulberry Grove Plantation. The movement was accelerated by the Virginia Quakers seeking refuge from harsh persecution resulting from the 1659-60 session of the Virginia Assembly that passed "An Act for the Suppression of Quakers". In addition to the Bogerternorton Meeting, during the early years, older and stronger Quaker organizations were active in Old Somerset, the Annemessex and Monie Meetings. Bogerternorton became the Mulberry Grove Meeting, still at George Truitt's place, in 1699 [Truitt: 377].

In the early 1700’s the only white people in what is now Indiana were the roving French fur traders and the Jesuit missionaries. All of the Indians of Indiana belonged to the Algonquin stock. The Ouiatenons (or "Weas" as they were called) were a small tribe of Indians situated near what is now the city of Lafayette, Indiana.

1700-1776

From the beginning of the eighteenth century to the Revolutionary War there were few outstanding incidents contributing to the general history of the Eastern Shore of Virginia. There were economic cycles, as always, but altogether it seems to have been a period of healthy growth and prosperity. The numerous docking of entails by the Assembly during this period indicate many of the earlier large estates were being broken up through economic necessity or a desire to move elsewhere. Many tracts were sold at this time and there was a general consolidation into the hands of a new group of owners.

Because of the lightness of the soil of the Eastern Shore of Virginia and its constant deterioration through the growing of tobacco, corn gradually became more of a staple. Until the Revolutionary War, tobacco continued to be the official medium of exchange, although pounds Sterling in hard cash or through bills of exchange began to appear more frequently as the consideration in deeds [Whitelaw].

1702

The Cedar Creek Hundred in Sussex County, Delaware, was established; part of the area was known as "Old Sussex". The variant name is Cedar Hook [LDS FHC microfiche catalog].

1703

By this date a Church (or Chapel of Ease) had been erected in the section of the Bogerternorton Hundred called "Seaside" in the neighborhood called St. Martin's River. This Chapel was located in the northeastern section of the present Worcester (at that date Somerset) County. All the extreme eastern side of the original Somerset County was referred to as "Seaside" (or the "Seaboardside"). However, instead of this so-called "Church" being technically a "Church", the building was most probably a "Chapel of Ease" erected in this remote section of the parish for the benefit of the residents there [Torrence]. The present St. Martin's Church in Worcester County (about five miles north of the town of Berlin) was erected in 1755 on the site of the former Chapel [Torrence]. Several of the Truitt daughters were married St. Martin's Chapel.

1704

The will of William Cutting provides: "I give ten shillings to be paid into the hands of the overseers for the [Guilford] Meetinghouse to be by them disposed off to the Friends as to them shall seem meet and fitting." This suggests the Guilford meeting house had been rebuilt, or the matter was in contemplation [Whitelaw].

In June "the house of George Truitt (spelled Trewett) upon Pocomoke" was, upon petition, approved and recorded by the court of Somerset County as a "Meetinghouse for the people called Quakers to worship god in pursuant to an act of Parliament and the good Lawes of the province." (NOTE: The former location of George (<GeoI) Truitt's house may today (1973) be found on a tract of land about five miles northeast of Snow Hill in Worcester County, Maryland, on Highway 113 on the way to Berlin [Torrence].)

On this date the Court recorded that "the house of George Truitt (spelled Trewetts) upon Pocomoke was upon petition, approved for the people called Quakers to worship God in pursuant to an act of Parliament and the good Lawes of the Province" [Truitt: 378].

1706

The Indian River Hundred in Sussex County, Delaware, obtained its name at this time. It was part of the area called "Old Sussex". It also was called Indian Creek Hundred [LDS FHC microfiche catalog].

1707

Job (<GeoI) Truitt (spelled Trewitt) of Somerset County, Maryland, sold the remainder of his upland inheritance (about 150 acres) in tract A110 [Whitelaw].

1709

There was a long dry summer on the Eastern Shore and as a result an embargo was placed on the export of corn.

1713

Richard Stevens, a loyal Quaker who died at this time while living on the north side of Wicomico Creek in Somerset County, named George (<GeoI) Truitt and John (<GeoI) Truitt, amongst others, as "overseers" of his will to assist his wife. George and John were members of the Bogerternorton Meeting of the Quakers [Torrence].

1714

On August 1 Queen Anne of England died and George I then became King.

1715

On February 24 John (<GeoI) and Mary (Atkins) Truitt sold "Wolf’s Den" (100 acres) in what became Worcester County, Maryland, to Stanton Adkins [Batchelder: 4].

1717

Meanwhile, in Indiana the governor of New France sent an ensign to establish an outpost among the Wea Indians, a branch of the Miami tribe, near the mouth of Wea Creek on the Wabash River. The French constructed a Post on the north bank of the Wabash River near where the Ouiatenon Indians lived. Post Ouiatenon was the first permanent settlement in Indiana.

1718

James (<GeoI) Truitt died in Somerset County, Maryland. His Will was proven May 30, and his family was as follows:

Wife: (1) Mary Riley

Sons: James

Daughters: Sarah Mumford, Mary Collings, and Tabitha Kellum

Wife: (2) Sarah Riley

Sons: John, Thomas, and George

Daughters: Elizabeth [Shannonhouse; Baldwin (1988): 156].

James left to his wife personalty (i.e. personal belongings) specifying 12 pence each should go to his daughters, Sarah Mumford and Mary Collins, the residue of the estate (no land indicated) to be divided equally among his five (?) sons and youngest daughter [Truitt].

On September 4 John (<GeoI) Truitt was a witness to a neighbor's Will in Somerset County, Maryland [Baldwin].

1720

The families comprising the early settlers of Worcester were many. The families who arrived during the major period of settlement (1670-1720) are too numerous to be listed. With some exceptions they came mainly from or through Accomack County, Virginia, or sparsely settled "Old Somerset". Among them were such current family names as Truitt, which was the final spelling for what had been Trewett or Truet [Truitt].

1721

On June 22 the Will of Wantsee McClemmy of Somerset County, Maryland, was proven and George (<GeoI) Truitt and his son, George (<Geo<GeoI) Truitt, both were witnesses [Baldwin].

George (<GeoI) Truitt, a planter, died in Somerset County, Virginia, and his Will was proven November 21. Presumably he was buried in the Quaker cemetery mentioned in the next paragraph [Torrence]. His family was as follows:

Wife: Eleanor Meredith

Sons: George, Samuel, and Philip

Daughters: Sarah, Tabitha, Mary, Susannah, and Elizabeth [Shannonhouse].

To the Quakers he left one acre for a burying ground and Meetinghouse where the burying ground now is. We do not know what he left his wife. To his son George he left 300 acres of "Mulberry Grove" and 100 acres of "Truitt's Harbor." To his son Samuel he left 300 acres of "Hoggsden" (on the north side of the Pocomoke River) or to his son George. To his grandson Philip he left 300 acres of "Mulberry Grove." To his daughter Sarah Mumford he left 140 acres of "Truitt's Purchase" during life, but at her death it was to go to her son George. To his grandson George (the son of Philip who was deceased) he left 95 acres of "Truitt's Harbor" adjacent to his son-in-law James Mumford's property. To his grandson William he left 95 acres of the same tract. To his daughters Susannah, Tabitha, Mary Shahannais, and Elizabeth Davis, and sons George and Samuel he left ? [Baldwin (1988b): 80].

Now we come to George (<GeoI) Truitt's munificent gift to the "Bogerternorton Meeting". Having thrown himself wholeheartedly into the work of this Quaker Meeting, and living to a good old age, he, by his will dated August 15, 1720 (proven November 21, 1721), devised to "the Quakers one acre of land for a burying ground and a meeting house where the burying ground now is; and personalty and dwelling house for a meeting place until the meeting house shall be built". Of the creation of this intended meeting house we have no record; but we do not doubt that it was finally constructed at the location directed in [George] Truitt's will. Though the records do not afford us the information we should like to have in regard to this building, yet through the years the spot hallowed by the burying of the Quaker dead has remained in the tradition of the community. In 1867, [Neill] writes in his book Terra Mariae: "There still exists [1867] an old Quaker graveyard about five miles above that place [Snow Hill] on the road that leads to Berlin". Bowen, in his Days of Makemie, wrote in 1885, "A hill between Snow Hill and Berlin is called the 'old Quaker Burying Ground'..." [Torrence].

In the oral tradition of the Truitt family in the early twentieth century it was held that the Meetinghouse was constructed and used. The site indicated in the above Will has been maintained intact on Mulberry Grove, now the grounds of the former Worcester County High School at Five Mile Branch near Snow Hill, although grave markers, never popular among Quakers, and remnants of a one-time structure are not discernible in 1976 [Truitt].

1722

John (<GeoI) Truitt died in Worcester County, Maryland and his Will was proven May 7. His family was as follows:

Wives: (1) Mary (and (2) Rachel?)

Sons: Benjamin, Joseph, Solomon, George, and Hezekiah

Daughter: Rachel

Granddaughters: Rachel and Eliza (Elizabeth?)

In his Will he mentions "Spittlefield" and Pocomoke River. [Shannonhouse and Baldwin (1988b)].

1723

In the tax list for Bogerternorton Hundred of Somerset County, Maryland, Stanton Adkins and James (<GeoI) and George (<GeoI) Truitt are listed as adjacent, and Adkins and the Truitts continued to be close neighbors through the 1720’s and 1730’s; Job Jarman lived next door to Adkins [Batchelder: 4]. George (<GeoI) Truitt was the Bogerternorton Hundred constable whose duty it was to collect the tithables [Wright (1986): 14]:

Benjamin Truitt

Joseph Truitt/2

Job Truitt, Jr./1

Job Truitt, Sr., Mordica Truitt/2

... Truitt, Carpenter, ... Truitt

George (<John) Truitt

Broughton, Sr., Stephenson, John Truitt/3

John (<John) Truitt /1

Phillip Truitt/1

Eliner Truitt, widow, Negro Ben

Samuel Truitt, John Porter/2

James Truitt, George Truitt/2

George (<George) Truitt /1

Tithables belonging to Pocomoke Hundred:

John Harris, Thomas Truitt/?

[Wright (?): 2].

George (<?) Truitt is listed as one of the troops under the command of Captain Joseph Mitchell. (This is in Box 1, Folder 19, Colonial Wars of Somerset County) [Wright (1986): 79].

1724

Riley (<Thomas<James<GeoI) Truitt was born to Thomas and Mary (Mumford) Truitt about this date.

1727

King George II of England died June 11 and George III then became King.

1728

In a deed for a part of the patent for tract A112, the description of the property conveyed stated the lines were "to begin at the [Guilford] meeting house", so it had definitely been rebuilt and was still in use. This is the last record found on the matter, and the use of the Meetinghouse may have been discontinued shortly thereafter [Whitelaw].

It was estimated the inhabitants of Sussex County, Delaware, were divided as follows: Church [of England] people, 1075; Presbyterians, 600; and Quakers, 75; or a total of 1750. The number of free and slave black inhabitants was estimated as 241. Lewes was the only town in the County and it contained 58 families [Hancock (1976)].

1729

Andrew Collins of the Bogerternorton Hundred in Somerset County, Maryland, died and his Will was proven June 4. His family was as follows:

Wife: Mary (<James<GeoI) Truitt

Sons: Andrew, John, Levin, Thomas and William,

Daughters: Mary, plus two unnamed daughters

Thomas (<James<GeoI) Truitt was a witness to the Will. Andrew's sons, Andrew and John, were to have certain privileges during minority of their young brothers [Baldwin (1988c): 116; Batchelder: 56; Skinner, Worcester Will Book: 142].

The Quakers resolved against "the vanity and superstition of creating monuments and entombing the dead with singular notes or marks of distinction, which is but worldly pomp and grandeur, for no encomium nor pompous interment can add worth to the deceased". Therefore, they ordered that the erection of tombstones over the graves of Friends should stop, and that the tombstones already so placed should be removed. However, this order was not generally obeyed [Scharf: 183].

1730

There were an Anglican Church and two chapels, and two Presbyterian and two Quaker Meetinghouses in Sussex County, Delaware [Hancock (1976)].

There were few settlements made in the Broad Creek Hundred of Sussex County, Delaware, prior to 1730, and those mainly on the streams in the southwestern section. The early settlers came from Maryland and Virginia [Scharf: 1285].

1732

The town of Salisbury, Maryland, was established at the head of the Wicomico River [Torrence].

The Will of Eleanor (Meredith) Truitt, the widow of George (<GeoI) Truitt, of Somerset County, Maryland, was proven June 21. Her family was as follows:

Sons: George and Samuel Truitt

Daughters: Susanna (Truitt) Nicholson, Sarah (Truitt) Mumford, and Tabitha (Truitt) Parker

Granddaughter: Sarah Nicholson (daughter of Susanna (Truitt) Nicholson)

[Baldwin (1988c): 226].

1735

The Reverend Paul Palmer, a dissenting Baptist minister, obtained permission, with restrictions, from the Court to preach in private homes and teach in Somerset County, including that of Quaker leader George (<Geo<GeoI) Truitt (spelled Trewitts) at Mulberry Grove, amongst others [Torrence and Truitt: 377].

1736

On November 5 George (<?) Truitt sold "Forlorn Hope" (200 acres) in Somerset County, Maryland, to Stanton Adkins [Bacthelder: 4].

1739

On June 15 the English government authorized and empowered Governor Ogle "to issue forth and grant commissions of Marque and Reprisal to any of our loving subjects against the King of Spain and his subjects". War was not formally declared until October 19. A list of troops under the command of Captain Joseph Mitchell shows the name of George (<?) Truitt (also mentions Purnal's and Brittingham's [From article entitled: Colonial Militia, 1740, 1748, Somerset County, Maryland in "Maryland Historical Magazine", Volume 6].

1740

The Nanticoke Indians faced harassment from white settlers who found the Indian's cleared lands attractive for settlement. As a result, Maryland gave the Indians tracts of land along Broad Creek (Laurel) in what is now (1976) Sussex County, Delaware, but at that time was claimed by Maryland [Hancock (1976)].

1741

In September Thomas Pointer of Somerset County, Maryland, made his Will and George (<?) Truitt was a witness [Baldwin (1988e)]

On November 29 Thomas (<James<GeoI) Truitt patented 40 acres of land in Worcester County, Maryland, called "Long Delay" [Dryden (b): 375].

1742

Worcester County, Maryland, was created out of the section of Somerset County lying south of the Pocomoke River and east of Dividing Creek [Torrence].

1744

St. Martin’s Protestant Episcopal Church, Worcester County, Worcester Parish, was erected out of the Parish _____? St. Martin’s is the name of the Parish church [Wright (1983b): 27].

1745

St. Martin’s Protestant Episcopal Church Parish Register, Worcester County:

? Truitt, b. 11/28/1744

? Truitt, b. 2/13/1745

? Truitt, b. 4/21/1750 [Wright (1983a): 115].

In August Tabitha Parker of Worcester County, Maryland, made her Will and Elizabeth (<?) Truitt was a witness [Baldwin (1988e): 46], and

Margaret Boone of Queen Anne’s County, Maryland, made her Will and Thomas (<?) Truitt (spelled Truet) was a witness [Baldwin (1988e): 67].

1746

Meanwhile, in Indiana, Post Ouiatenon consisted of 20 Frenchmen and 600 Indians. Social segregation was practiced -- there was a Post (or Fort) for the French and a village for the Indians.

1748

In February the Will of James Thompson of Worcester County, Maryland, was made and George (<?) Truitt and his son, George Truitt, were witnesses [Baldwin (1988g)].

1749

During the year Richard Bennett of Maryland made his Will and James (<?) Truitt was a witness [Baldwin (1988g): 256].

John (<?) Truitt patented 200 acres of land called "Truitt’s Chance" in Worcester County, Maryland [Dryden (b): 646].

On June 12 Thomas (<James<GeoI) Truitt patented 200 acres of land called "Truitt’s Chance" in Worcester County, Maryland (in Coulbourns, District 9, Map 32) [Dryden (b)].

1750

On January 27 Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, was created from part of Lancaster County.

1751

On August 5 Thomas (<James<GeoI) Truitt sold 40 acres of land called "Long Delay" located at the head of Sasango Creek [Dryden (b): 375], and he purchased 100 acres of land called "Land of Promise" located on the south side of the Nanticoke River [Dryden (a): 235].

Deed for conveyance of land "Bashan" in the Great Neck of Nanticoke Hundred says on December 12, 1749 same was assigned to John (<?) Truitt who on July 14, 1751 assigned it to someone else [Mason].

1752

The Georgian Calendar was not adopted in Delaware and other English colonies in America until this date. Under the old Augustine Calendar the year began on March 25th and December was the tenth, rather than the twelfth, month of the year [deValinger (1964): 6].

1754

According to St. Martin’s Register, ?__na Truitt was born on March 17

[Wright (1983b): 28]. (NOTE: Naomi Truitt was born on this date.)

The French and Indian War had by this time merely become a question of time. The French encroachments in the West had already stirred the people into activity, and all the colonies were taking whatever measures they were able to assist in the common defense. The Assembly of the lower colonies on Delaware had provided for raising a thousand pounds Sterling for His Majesty's use [Scharf: 140].

1755

With the French and Indian War crisis still nearer, the Assembly passed an act establishing a militia. General Braddock had by this time arrived and was already in the west. Everyone was eager to assist in any way possible to decrease the hardships of the journey. The lower counties (Delaware), not feeling themselves able to render any great assistance, but yet desirous of doing all within their power, sent a load of provisions to the General and also a herd of cattle for the army [Scharf: 140]. The Sussex County militia was organized, and one of those who enlisted for the northern military district of the Lewes and Rehoboth hundred was Captain David Hall [Scharf: 141].

On September 7 Thomas (<James<GeoI) Truitt patented 100 acres of land called "Truitt’s Chance", a re-survey of "Round Pole Thicket", in Worcester County, Maryland [Dryden (b): 647]

1756

On November 2 James (<?) and Riley (<Thomas<James<GeoI) Truitt each purchased from Charles Parsons 50 acres of "Chestnut Oak Ridge" on the southeast side of the Nanticoke River at the head of Windiscomb Neck [Dryden (a): 70].

The Seven Years War with France -- and Pitt's Trade War -- began about this date.

Kittaning, the largest Indiana town in western Pennsylvania, was destroyed.

1758

George (<?) Truitt was a witness to the Will of Nathaniel Bradford of Worcester County, Maryland [Baldwin (1988h)]. This Nathaniel Bradford may have been the grandson of Anderson Parker (d.1760) and the brother of Sarah Bradford (1729-12/6/1784) who married Micajah Truitt about 1750. Alternatively, this Nathaniel Bradford may have been the father of Sarah Bradford.

1760

About this time gentlemen's costumes suffered a few alterations, and these for the better. The coat -- no longer of velvet, silk, or satin, except for full dress, but of strong cloth -- was square-cut, with some simple trimming and black lining; the long-flapped waist coat descending low, and the stockings drawn high over the knee; large hanging cuffs to the coat sleeves, and lace ruffles. The skirts of the coat much less distended with wire; stocks of blue or scarlet silk; square toed, short-quartered shoes, with high red heels and small buckles. All wore wigs, but of smaller size than before. The small three-cornered hat was laced with gold or silver galloon, and sometimes trimmed with feathers [Scharf: 181].

On July 30 Thomas (<James<GeoI) Truitt patented an addition of 250 acres to "Long Delay" [Dryden (b)]

Parker (<Riley<Thomas<James) Truitt probably was born about this date in Delaware or Maryland to Riley and Mary (Mumford) Truitt.

King George II of England died during this year and his grandson, George III, became king.

1761

British troops captured Fort Ouiatenon located on the banks of the Wabash River where Lafayette, Indiana, now is situated.

1763

In Indiana, the Indians took Fort Ouiatenon during Pontiac’s Rebellion. Following the French and Indian Wars (1689-1763), the Treaty of Paris (1763) ceded to England the entire region (including Indiana) which soon came to be known as the Old Northwest territory.

English occupation of the Old Northwest territory was nominal.

Thomas (<James<GeoI) Truitt willed 100 acres of "Land of Promise" located on the south side of the Nanticoke River to his son Riley (<Thomas<James<GeoI) Truitt. At the same time Thomas willed land to his son James (<Thomas<James<GeoI) Truitt [Dryden (a): 235] and 100 acres of land called "Truitt’s Chance" to his son William (<Thomas<James<GeoI) Truitt [Dryden (b): 647].

1764

Two surveyors from England, Mason and Dixon, were summoned to re-survey the boundary line between Maryland and Delaware and to place markers along it. They placed a double crownstone with the arms of the Penn family on two sides and those of the Calvert family on the other two sides at the southwest corner of Delaware. (This stone is still in existence and is located in a small park operated by the State Roads Commission of Maryland) [Hancock (1976)].

John (<?) Truitt in Worcester County, Maryland, served as a witness to the Will of Thomas (<James<GeoI) Truitt in the 1764-1768 date range [Baldwin (1988j): 61].

Thomas (<James<GeoI) Truitt, a planter, of Worcester County, Maryland, died and his Will was proven March 6. His family was as follows:

Wife: Mary (Hewn?) Truitt

Sons: James, Micajah, Riley and William Truitt

Daughters: Mary Truitt and Hanna (Truitt) Thompson

Thomas’ Will made the following bequests to son, Riley Truitt, one shilling. To wife, Mary Truitt, the dwelling plantation where I live, land called "Promise." To son, James Truitt, the same tract. To son, William Truitt the same plantation whereon he lives and 100 acres called "Truitt’s Chance." To son, Micajah (spelled Myaciah) Truitt, 50 acres of land, it being on entry under Pennsylvania Government to him and heirs. To son Micajah (spelled Micage) Truitt, stock. To daughter Mary Truitt, furniture at decease of wife; daughter Hanna Thompson, daughter Mary Truitt, grandson Joshua Truitt, son of Riley Truitt [Baldwin (1988i): 4 (Maryland Calendar of Wills, Volume 13, 1764-67, page 4); Heise; Skinner: 73; Worcester County Wills, 1759-1769].

1765

On February 12 William (<Thomas<James<GeoI) Truitt and his wife, Charity (Givens), sold 100 acres of land in Worcester County, Maryland [Dryden (b)].

The Stamp Act was passed March 22 by Parliament and the first authentic notice received of its passage came from Boston about May 9 [Scharf: 184].

The first shadows of the Revolution had by this time cast themselves plainly in the light of the people. The Stamp Act stirred up the righteous indignation of the colonists to the highest pitch. After having put forth every effort in the French and Indian War, to be thus ungratefully treated in return was more than they could quietly bear [Scharf: 144].

Around this date 12 to 14 families lived in Fort Ouiatenon in Indiana.

1766

On March 18 the Stamp Act was repealed by Parliament [Scharf: 185].

1768

John Thompson's Will was written during this year in Maryland and it says that one of his children was Priscilla (Thompson) Truitt, the wife of James (<Thomas<James<GeoI) Truitt [Baldwin (1988j): 138].

On August 23 William (<?) Truitt patented 4.5 acres of land in or near what is now Wicomico County, Maryland, and called it "William’s Lot" [Dryden (a): 438].

1769

John (<?) Truitt and his son John (<John<?) Truitt were witnesses to the Will of John Hudson that was made in Sussex County, Delaware, on January 30 [deValinger (1964): 94].

1770

The estimated total number of people in "Old Sussex" County, Delaware, was 5000 [Hancock, 1976].

Anderson (<Riley<Thomas<James) Truitt was born February 2 to Riley and Sarah (?) Truitt (spelled Trewet) at an unknown location, most probably in Delaware. He was baptized April 13 in St. George's Chapel, Indian River, Delaware [St. George's Chapel (Protestant Episcopal), Indian River, Delaware. Records from 1708-1899, page 52 (LDS FHL microfilm 0441424)].

Concerning Indian River Hundred: Near the central part of the Indian River Hundred is the new hamlet of Fairmount, which consists of the Unity Church, store, shops and a few houses, nearly all the buildings being new and presenting an attractive appearance. A Grange Hall, in this neighborhood, is a two-story frame building in which public meetings also are held. In the vicinity of St. George's Chapel, there were, besides the mills, two taverns and a small store [Scharf: 1273].

St. George's Chapel (Protestant Episcopal) is the representation of the earliest organized religious effort in the Indian River Hundred. As early as May 8, 1706, Roger Corbett "made over to the public, for a religious place or church, one acre of land situate on the south side of Love's Branch" for the building of a chapel. It is said that about 1706 a small log church was built on this tract of land, but the account appears to be purely traditional. In a report of the missionary, Reverend William Beckett, on October 11, 1728, is an authentic statement of the Chapel as follows: "In Indian River, nine miles from Lewes, was raised in December of 1719, an oak frame, twenty by twenty-five feet, and twelve feet high. The walls and roof were covered with red oak boards, and so remained until 1725 when fifteen feet were added to the length of the building, but this part was not finished. In the old part were the pulpit, gallery and floor. In 1728 it was proposed to cover the whole building with cypress shingles and otherwise improve the appearance of the Chapel. About 200 people steadily attended the services of the Chapel".

In subsequent years this building was further repaired and was used until about 1792 when it was destroyed by fire, the flames being communicated from a burning building nearby. In 1794 a new edifice was erected of bricks burned near the church. It was built two-stories high, having double rows of windows and galleries all around the church. The pulpit was tulip-shaped and was supplied with a sounding board. In this condition it was a well-kept place of worship for nearly a hundred years; but the walls becoming badly cracked, it was deemed unsafe, and, in 1882, it was determined to rebuild the church. [Scharf: 1274]

About 1770 there was an entry in [Skinner] concerning Riley (<?) Truitt; something about a Will and Major (<?) Truitt was the executor; the bond was March 16, 1770. John and Thomas Newbold were mentioned.

1771

The wits in the gazettes made fun of those effeminate individuals who used umbrellas to protect their heads against the fierce rays of a July sun. The umbrella, even as a shelter from rain, was a new article. They were heavy, clumsy things made of oiled linen stretched over rattan sticks, in imitation of the "guittasol" (the predecessor of the parasol), which came from India, and was made of oiled silk in every variety of color. The ladies used them to keep off the rain, but the men were satisfied with the protection of a heavy cloak or a sort of cape [Scharf: 182]

During this year Bedford County, Pennsylvania, was created from part of what had been Cumberland County.

1772

During this year part of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, was created from part of Cumberland County.

1773

On July 31 Micajah (<Thomas<James<GeoI) Truitt, a yeoman, purchased land in the Broadkill Hundred of Sussex County, Delaware, from Mary Annet [Wright (1994): 82].

1774

As a result of the survey work of Mason and Dixon, the inhabitants of south Sussex County, Delaware finally were certain as to whom to pay taxes (Maryland or Delaware) and from whom to receive deeds for their holdings [Hancock (1976)].

On May 28 Micajah (<Thomas<James<GeoI) and Sarah (Bradford) Truitt of Sussex County, Delaware, purchased land on the south side of the Beaver Dam branch and on the north side of the Broadkill Creek about 2 miles north from the draw bridge in the Broadkill Neck containing 160 acres and also 25 acres of marsh at the bottom of Walker’s Neck being the north side of the Broadkill Creek [Wright (1994): 97].

1775

Before this date, virtually all of Sussex lying south of a line running from Farmington to the mouth of the Rehoboth Bay had generally been considered a part of Maryland [Carter: 17].

The Bogerternorton Meeting ceased to exist somewhat prior to the Revolutionary War while the several Meetings of the Delmarva Peninsula south of the Choptank River had long since disappeared. Third Haven in Easton, still active in 1976, was the last of these lofty, exalted and highly religious institutions due in part to basic tenets in which Quakers, with their eyes for the inner voice of conscience, would not swear an oath but would affirm. They were against slavery, fought tithing to support established churches, and opposed the bearing of arms [Truitt: 379].

The American Revolutionary War began.

The population of Delaware was estimated to be composed of 35,000 white inhabitants and 2,000 black (which probably is too low) [Hancock (1987)].

The long boundary dispute which continued in the English courts for nearly a century between the Proprietors of Pennsylvania and Maryland was finally settled and ratified by them during this year. However, during the dispute, citizens living in the border counties were uncertain of the boundaries and did not know where to record their documents. This was especially true of the southern and southwestern parts of Sussex County, Delaware, which had previously been considered as belonging to Maryland [deValinger: 7].

With the settlement of the controversy over the western and southern boundary between Maryland and Delaware, new areas for settlement opened. To the five hundreds in "Old Sussex" named Lewes and Rehoboth, Broadkill, Cedar Creek, Northwest Fork and Indian River were added five hundreds in "New Sussex": Baltimore, Dagsborough, Little Creek, Nanticoke and Broad Creek [Hancock (1976)].

When the line between Maryland and Delaware was settled, it became necessary for all the old settlers in what is now Delaware to have warrants of re-survey granted by members of the Penn family [Scharf: 1293].

Little Creek Hundred originally was claimed as part of Somerset County, Maryland, but it became part of Sussex County, Delaware during this year.

Northwest Fork, Baltimore and Broad Creek Hundreds in Sussex County, Delaware, were established from Worcester County, Maryland.

Deep Creek Hundred became part of Nanticoke Hundred in Sussex County, Delaware [LDS FHC microfiche catalog].

The population in Sussex County (both "Old" and "New") was estimated to be 13,928 [Hancock (1976)].

James (<James<GeoI) Truitt died in Sussex County, Delaware, and his Will was proven July 25. His family was as follows:

Wife: Sarah Williams

Sons: Riley and Peter Truitt

Daughters: Mary (Truitt) Brittingham, Tabitha (Truitt) Crippen (wife of John Crippen), Casa (Truitt) Jarman, and Rachel (Truitt) Donoho (wife of Thomas Donoho), plus one unnamed daughter

Grandson: James, Riley, and Purnall Truitt (sons of James' son Riley)

Granddaughter: Elizabeth and Lovey Kelly (Daughters of James Kelly); and Elizabeth Sharp (wife of William Sharp)

Brother: Purnall Truitt

[Batchelder: 166; deValinger (1964): 103; Shannonhouse; Virkus; Delaware Arch. vol. A102, p.124; Reg. of Wills, Liber B, folios 556-558].

Because the Maryland/Delaware border dispute was settled in 1775, James probably did not move but instead was considered to be living in Maryland in 1770 and in Delaware in 1775. Nevertheless, in 1775 he probably was living in the Broad Creek Hundred area in southwestern Sussex County, Delaware. The Nanticoke River in this area, which flows into the Chesapeake Bay, was important for transportation and for fishing, and the soil was well suited for agriculture. By this time most of the Indians had disappeared from this area [Hancock (1987)]. James left the "Late at Night" plantation and part of "Truitt's Adventure" tracts to his son, Peter (<James<James<GeoI) Truitt. To his grandson James Truitt he left where the boy's mother lived plus a small tract of the Pennsylvania survey. And to his grandson Riley Truitt he left the south end of "Truitt's Adventure." Maja Truitt also was mentioned in James' Will.

In June the people of western Sussex County, Delaware, indicated their patriotism when they met to discuss the possibility of forming a fourth County at Broad Creek, Head of Indian River. The new County would have been formed from land recently established as belonging to the Penn family rather than to the Calvert family. A committee sent a copy of the proceedings to a Pennsylvania newspaper and explained the tardiness of the inhabitants in not cooperating in the patriotic effort by reason of the unsettled boundaries, rather than because of the influence of Tories among them. Now that the lines had been determined, they hoped to raise 1500 militia and to demonstrate their patriotism. This newspaper notice is the last thing heard of the new County idea [Hancock (1976)].

1776

By this time the population of Delaware was 37,500 [Scharf: 184].

The Penn family never exercised their authority in the Broad Creek Hundred of Sussex County, Delaware, prior to the settlement of the division line, and there does not appear of record any mention of land granted by them prior to 1776 [Scharf: 1285].

It has been variously estimated that anywhere from half to four-fifths of the 14,000 people living in Sussex County at this time were loyalists, committed, if not absolutely to the King, at least to a cautious approach to independence. During this year and the years that followed, for the people of Sussex the struggle was all too real. It was a time of confusion and terror, a time when the established patterns of generations were quivering and falling into ruins about the feet of the men and women whose lives had been governed by those patterns. It was a time when men who had exercised the greatest authority and leadership in the County suddenly found themselves outlaws, their views declared illegal, and those they had considered dangerous radicals leading the colonies toward what they believed was the wildest sort of folly [Carter: 12].

Micajah (<Thomas<James<GeoI) Truitt, a yeoman, died during this year and his Will was proven March 9. At the time of his death Micajah and his family apparently were living in the Broadkill Hundred of Sussex County, Delaware. Micajah’s Will says Parker (<Riley<Thomas) Truitt was his nephew. It is assumed this is the same Parker who served in the Second Delaware Militia Regiment in 1780 and who moved to Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, with Anderson Truitt in the 1790s (see below). Micajah Truitt's family was as follows:

Wife: Sarah (Bradford) Truitt

Sons: Peter and Bradford Truitt

Daughters: Naomi and Mary Truitt

Tax assessment data show both Parker (<Riley<Thomas) and Peter (<Micajah<Thomas) Truitt were living in the Broadkill Hundred in the late 1780s, and presumably this Peter was Micajah’s son [deValinger (1964): 107; Arch. vol. A102, p.152; Reg. of Wills, Liber C, folios 35-37].

On April 23 a deed of partition was recorded of land in Broadkill Hundred on the north side of Broadkill Creek and the Broadkill Neck between Sarah (Bradford) Truitt (widow of Micajah), Nathaniel Bradford, and Comfort Wright [Mason].

On May 1 in Sussex County, Delaware, a land warrants patent was issued to James (<?) Truitt [Dryden (a)]

Delaware declared its independence from Britain and established a government that was separate from that of Pennsylvania.

On July 4 the United States declared its independence from Great Britain.

During the summer, affairs became turbulent in Sussex County. Congress had recommended that colonies without satisfactory governments should draw up new constitutions, and the members of that body began consideration of a motion for independence. In the Three Lower Counties (of Pennsylvania, i.e. Delaware) the Whigs or friends of the American Cause circulated petitions favoring a change of government, while the Tories or conservatives in favor of the status quo contended that the existing government was "competent and adequate" and opposed any change. In Kent and Sussex Counties the Whigs were successful in securing only 300 signatures to their petition while the Tories gathered 5000 signatures in opposition. This counter-petition was destroyed after a turbulent session of the Committee of Inspection and Observation of Kent County in Dover in June, and its destruction and the mistreatment of an elderly member of the Committee, who had opposed change, led to conflict between Whigs and Tories in both Kent and Sussex Counties [Hancock (1976)].

The Third Maryland Independent Company muster roll of August 20, 1776 shows that some of the Privates with their enlistment dates were:

George (<?) Truitt 2/02/1776

James (<?) Truitt 2/18/1776

Samuel (<?) Truitt 4/01/1776

These enlistments were in Worcester County, Maryland. Although enlistment began early in the year, the Company was not ready for duty until August 20, when it was activated. The captain of this Company was John Watkins. Third Company was one of seven Independent Companies placed under the command of Colonel William Smallwood. During that desperate summer, the Battle of Long Island unfolded. Colonel Smallwood was ordered to join General George Washington but found himself assigned to a court martial board, so he relinquished the Maryland contingent on August 27th to his subordinate Major Mordecai Gist. Gradually retiring in the face of overwhelming odds, the Marylanders gave a good accounting of themselves in several initial bayonet charges [Truitt].

As the Revolutionary War unfolded, Snow Hill, Maryland - representative of Worcester County, indeed, of the Lower Peninsula - experienced a divided loyalty among its people as to the crown and the cause of freedom with as many loyalists as patriots [Truitt].

The Baltimore Hundred, which was located in what is now Delaware, was in Worcester County territory almost up to the time of the Revolutionary War [Truitt].

1777

Not until 1777 was there any English authority on Indiana soil.

1780

During the Revolution only white males were permitted to join the militia or to enlist in the Delaware Regiment [Hancock (1987)].

The Second Delaware Militia Regiment was formed for garrison duty along the Hudson River and Henry Neill of Lewes, who had acquired a reputation for patriotism, was placed in command [Hancock (1976)].

During the spring, the American revolutionary war effort reached one of its lowest points during the first five years of the conflict. The British enjoyed virtually complete control of the seas about most of the important points along the coast. To meet this new threat General Washington was forced to divide his under-manned army and send its veteran core of Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia regulars south to reinforce the local defenders. At the same time the enemy retained their firm grip on New York City and Long Island. To strengthen the Continental Army, it was decided that all States from New Hampshire to Maryland must supply militia troops (equivalent to our current National Guard troops). At this time the population of Delaware was 37,000, and one-fifth the population of New Castle County, one half of Kent County, and four-fifths of Sussex County were loyalist. Recruitment for the Second Delaware Militia Regiment in the late summer was difficult because most of the eligible recruits were farmers and the crop season was at hand, but enlistment was compulsory for all able-bodied freemen between the ages of eighteen and fifty-two. Under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Neill, the Second Delaware Militia Regiment, comprised of six Companies, assembled in Wilmington in August, and Parker (<Riley<Thomas) Truitt of Sussex County, Delaware, served in a Company commanded by Captain George Smith. The Regiment was commanded to proceed to Philadelphia for supplies. On August 20 the Regiment left Philadelphia marching north through Trenton, Princeton, Brunswick, and Springfield. The unit of 279 men reached General Washington's Headquarters at "Liberty Pole tavern" (Englewood) on August 27, and they then were assigned duties to guard and build fortifications at Dobb's Ferry on the west side of the Hudson River (just west of the current city of White Plains, New York). They were to build "a strong blockhouse" with "a battery near it," and "a strong redoubt round it". Since this was the post most advanced to the south along the Hudson River toward the British position, it was a significant patrol base and observation post. Lack of proper clothing, food, salt, and soap were continual problems for the troops of the Regiment.

On September 11 the post became the scene of a dramatic, historically significant episode. During the morning of that day a barge, carrying Major Benedict Arnold sailed south down the river from West Point and landed at Dobb's Ferry. He secretly had been trying to rendezvous with his British co-conspirators, but instead his barge was forced into the western landing at the Ferry by gunfire from uninformed British sailors. So he spent the day inspecting the fortifications built by the Regiment and then, under cover of darkness, returned up river toward West Point. As a result of his inspection tour of Dobb's Ferry, Arnold ordered that two "Nine Pounder" cannons be transferred there from West Point (thus depleting the armament at West Point). On September 21 he left West Point reputedly to see if the cannons had been successfully installed at Dobb's Ferry, but in reality his mission was to meet with his British contact, Major Andre, aboard the latter's ship "Vulture" located on the Hudson River north of Dobb's Ferry. In the early morning hours of September 22, the Continental forces opened fire on the "Vulture". Arnold and Andre had begun meeting on shore near the Vulture about 1 AM that day, and when the ship was forced by the gunfire to retreat southward, Andre was forced to travel overland to return to it after the meeting ended. During this return journey, Andre was captured near Tarrytown on September 23, and two days later the conspiracy with Arnold was realized. Although Arnold was forewarned and escaped, Andre did not and was transported to Mabie's Tavern in Tappan where on September 29 a court of 14 general officers meeting in the old Dutch church condemned him to death. Although the British sent an envoy to Dobb's Ferry with fresh clothes for Andre and an offer to exchange Andre for Arnold, this offer was rejected, and on October 1 Andre was hanged at Tappan.

The discovery of the plot caused the British to abandon their Hudson River offensive allowing General Washington to redeploy the forces of the Continental army, and on October 7 the Regulars marched into Dobb's Ferry and the Second Delaware militiamen marched out. The Delawareans hiked first to Tappan, then on to a new station near Totowasy, New Jersey, and to Trenton to return the equipment they had been issued. After a short layover, they moved on to Rockway Bridge and Troytown before reaching Morristown on October 18. On October 22 all 256 men of the Regiment turned up in Philadelphia [Jackson].

On October 31 Parker (<Riley<Thomas) Truitt appears with the rank of Private on a payroll of Captain George Smith’s Company in the Second Delaware Militia Regiment while in the service of the USA, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Henry Neill [R & P 488296, State of Delaware].

There is no further record of the Second Delaware Regiment as a unit, and thus it is presumed the men all returned home before the expiration of their enlistment on November 3, after three months and twenty-three days of duty [Jackson].

1780-1800

A thorough study of housing in Delaware at the end of the 18th century was conducted using computers to aid in the production of statistics relating to building form, size, material, and condition, in part using probate inventories of deceased persons. From this study it was concluded that living conditions in Sussex County at this time were as follows:

Sussex Countians were not particularly concerned with the seashore. Of more interest to these early settlers were the marsh hay meadows along tidal creeks and the great timber resources contained in the Burnt Swamp. Agriculture for much of the County was an unpromising pursuit requiring intensive labor for few rewards. In some Hundreds, such as Broad Creek, over 50% of the land was still in timber as late as 1850. Where land was cleared and improved it was enclosed with post-and-rail or worm fence and the fields within the enclosure tilled by hand or with oxen pulling wooden plows and harrows. Most farmers tilled there land on a three or four field rotation setting aside two fields for corn, one for wheat or some other grain, and one for pasture. Close to the house were peach and apple orchards and a fenced household garden furnished with bee gums. The only notable crop was flax cultivated for the home manufacture of linen. Situated away from the house was an "outfield" -- a small fenced plot of land set aside for hard usage and occasionally for a resident tenant's steading.

There were typically few buildings in these early Sussex County farms. The average number of four included the house, a separate kitchen, smoke or meat house, and a corn house or barn all of which were grouped into a line or open courtyard. Over three-quarters of all farm dwellings in the early 1800s contained less than 400 square feet of living space under one roof. These dwellings (often listed in court records as mansion houses) were packed with an average of three beds, two blanket chests, six chairs, two tables, two spinning wheels, loom, corner cupboard, and seven inhabitants. Outside the house the same number of pigs as people ran loose in the woods. A cow for milk, sheep for wool, oxen for heavy work and plowing, and geese for meat and feathers added to the general confusion around the house. With few outbuildings in use, tools, farm vehicles, and household debris tended to be left out in the winter.

In spite of the forests, the inhabitants of Sussex County were not that isolated, and they engaged in much trade with the outside world. Corn was the principal crop and there was a significant amount of it shipped out of streams in the County; from sheep came wool, which could be spun and woven into cloth for sale; and from the forests came wood to be manufactured into planks, barrel staves, and shingles to be shipped to urban areas. Inventories of stores reveal the great array of British hardware, textiles, and spices for sale. Generally the farms in the County had 5 to 16 cattle and 4 to 11 pigs.

The average return on crops was 5 bushels of wheat per acre, 10 of corn, and 15 of oats. Although experiments with fertilizers had demonstrated much higher yields, people in Delaware were slow to benefit from the improvements and thus many young people migrated to the west in search of more productive land.

Many people were victimized by the poor economic conditions of the 1780s. While bad times continued for some elements of the population in the 1790s, for others life improved.

The best farmland was in New Castle County, and the poorest in Sussex County, while that of Kent County was mixed. Farmers in Sussex County often supplemented their income by preparing planks and shingles in the nearby forests.

In Sussex County less than 1% of 3000 had incomes estimated at more than 50 pounds Sterling, while 70% owned property valued at less than 5 pounds Sterling. Thus it is evident the vast majority in Sussex County were farmers and laborers with low incomes.

Farms often were located in isolated places, as in the forests of Sussex County, and so it was a treat to visit the general store in the nearest village or to attend Methodist services where one could mingle with friends and neighbors and participate in singing and listen to soul-stirring sermons. Education was limited to a few short terms in a one-room school.

While more than 90% of the Delaware population in the 1780s lived in the country, a small number of persons lived in towns and villages, and in Sussex County this meant living in Lewes, which was the only town of any size. It benefited from its location at the mouth of the Delaware Bay, as the headquarters of pilots, and as the County seat. Pleasantly situated on Lewes Creek, it contained about 100 houses, 2 churches, a courthouse, and a jail. From the town one could look out upon the Delaware Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, and Cape Henlopen lighthouse. However, it was afflicted with inconceivable swarms of mosquitoes and sand flies.

But Sussex County was changing, and crossroads, fords, wading places, and mills became nuclei around which hamlets were developed. Bridgebranch (Bridgeville) put down roots before the 1780s. In 1789 the town of Laurel was laid out near the "wading place" on Broad Creek. When Georgetown was founded in 1791, the County seat was moved there since it was more centrally located. By 1795 the map also included such places as St. Johns (near Greenwood) and Dagsbury (Dagsborough), close to the Maryland line in southern Delaware. Before 1800 a hamlet on the Broadkiln was known variously as Osborn's Landing, Conwell's Landing, Upper Landing, and Head of the Broadkiln. In 1807 the village was chartered as Milton.

Before the Revolution iron had been extracted from the swamps of Sussex County, but whether forges and furnaces continued to operate during the war is uncertain. Lumbering also was important in Kent and Sussex Counties, and on the eve of the war, it is estimated more than a million shingles and a million staves were shipped from these two counties annually.

Travelers in the 1780s had to choose to travel by land or by sea and also by what means. The sea was probably safer, except in wintertime. Steamboats did not come into common use until the early 1800s. Roads could be bumpy, hilly, crooked, swampy, and filled with ruts. Some travelers walked, while others enjoyed the convenience of a chair, sulky, phaeton, or stagecoach, but riders on horseback were numerous. Maps show the King's Highway began down in Sussex County and ran northward through Milford, Dover, and Duck Creek on to New Castle and Wilmington. From Lewes one could journey southward by way of Dagsborough into Maryland.

The religious heritage of the state reflected the diverse backgrounds of the settlers. The desire for religious freedom had been the principal motivation for many to immigrate to the New World. On the eve of the American Revolution, the colony of Delaware contained 29 Presbyterian churches, 12 Anglican, 12 Quaker, 1 Lutheran, and 1 Baptist. In spite of the efforts of William Penn, Quakers remained a minority in Delaware. More Quaker Meetinghouses were located in New Castle County than in Kent and Sussex counties. Quakers were treated badly by both sides during the war. They refused to serve in the militia or the Delaware Regiment, pay taxes to support the war, or to accept Continental currency. At the end of the war, Quakers remained, just as at its beginning, a small influential minority, particularly in business, education, and commerce in Wilmington.

The most striking religious change during the Revolution and immediately thereafter was in the number of Methodists. On the eve of the war, Methodist itinerants had just begun to preach in the colony. A study of Methodists on the Delmarva Peninsula lists 253 Methodists in 1775 and 4604 in 1784 (practically 6% of the population). By this latter date there were at least 20 Methodist houses of worship.

Barrat's Chapel near Frederica is the "Cradle of Methodism" in America [Hancock (1987)].

In the early 1700s large quantities of tobacco were grown in the southeastern section of the Broad Creek Hundred, Sussex County, Delaware, on the banks of the Nanticoke River and Broad Creek, but after 1780, no mention of its cultivation can be found [Scharf: 1285].

1782

The population of Delaware probably had grown to about 50,000. Most of the population was of British descent with only few traces of the Dutch and Swedish settlers left from the seventeenth century. Many of the inhabitants of Kent and Sussex counties had migrated there from nearby Maryland counties, seeing an opportunity to acquire good land inexpensively. The figures in the state census of 1782 as well as the national census of 1790 reveal that more women than men lived in Delaware. Most of the inhabitants of the state were farmers of varying degrees of prosperity [Hancock (1987)].

1783-1816

Meanwhile, during the early 1780’s the soil of Indiana was devoted to violence and savage wars. By the Treaty of Paris of 1783, title to the Old Northwest territory passed from Great Britain to the United States, and the first authorized settlement was made at Clarksville, located between the present cities of Jeffersonville and New Albany (opposite Louisville). The Indiana area was a Territory of the United States.

1784

On December 6 in Sussex County, Delaware, administration of Micajah (spelled Micage) (<Riley<Thomas) Truitt‘s estate was granted to Peter (<Micajah<Riley<Thomas) and James (<?) Truitt [deValinger (1964): 162; Arch. vol. A102: 151]. On the same day and in the same County, administration of Sarah (Bradford) Truitt‘s estate was granted to Peter Truitt and this latter record mentions decedent’s children Naomi, Bradford and Micajah (Mary?) Truitt [deValinger (1964): 162; Arch. vol. A102: 158)]. Since Micajah died in 1776, this presumably involves Sarah, who died intestate, and with some of the matters concerning Micajah’s estate not yet settled. The James mentioned here presumably is Micajah’s brother who lived in the Broad Creek Hundred.

During 1784 part of Franklin County, Pennsylvania, was created from part of Cumberland County.

1785

On July 28 Thomas (<?) Truitt witnessed a Will involving land in the Nanticoke Hundred area [Mason].

From Assessment Lists for Landowners in Delaware Hundreds [Scharf]

Kent County:

North and South Murderkill, West Dover, and all that part of East Dover lying west of St. Jones' Creek (p1145):

Truitt: George, Samuel

Milford and Mispillion (p1175):

Truitt: William

Sussex County:

Baltimore (p1341)

Truitt: Collins

Broad Creek (p1287, also embraced Gumboro hundred at this time)

Truitt: James (2), Jarman (spelled German), Thomas

Broadkill (p1258)

Truitt: John, Sarah

Cedar Creek (p1250)

Truitt: Benjamin, Boaz, Collins, John, Joseph (2), Solomon, Zadock

Nanticoke (p1296)

Truitt: George, Jesse, John, Peter, Samuel, Sarah, Thomas, and William

1787

James (<Thomas<James<GeoI) Truitt, a planter, died in Sussex County, Delaware, and his Will was proven March 30. His family was as follows:

Wife: Priscilla Thompson

Sons: Thomas, John, Josiah and James Truitt

Daughters: Priscilla Truitt, Mary (Truitt) Matthews, and Esther (Truitt) Short

He gave the "Arthur's Choice" tract to Thomas and "Chestnut Oak Ridge" to James. James, the deceased, was a Private in the Revolutionary War from Maryland [DAR records]. The estate was settled March 1, 1790 by Priscilla (Thompson) Truitt, as executrix [Will; deValinger (1964): 184; Arch. vol. A102: 125; Reg. of Wills, Liber D, folio 136].

On July 28 Thomas (<?) Truitt was a witness on a land transaction in Nanticoke Hundred in the Hines Neck area [Mason].

1789

During this year part of Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, was created from part of Cumberland County.

1790

According to the census, the population of Worcester County, Maryland, was 11,600 [Truitt].

The population of Delaware had reached 59,096, almost equally divided between the three counties of New Castle, Kent, and Sussex; there were 46,310 whites, 8,887 slaves, and 3,899 free blacks. Delaware, the smallest slave state, had a higher percentage of free blacks than any other state -- 6.6 percent of the total population [Hancock (1987)].

There were 20,488 persons living in Sussex County, Delaware, of which 4,025 were listed as slaves and 690 as "free colored" [Carter: 20].

After the Revolution the inhabitants of Sussex County had a difficult time adjusting economically to the changing times. Accustomed to raising corn and wheat by traditional methods, they faced the competition of western farmers raising crops on virgin soil. Thus some Sussex Countians gave up and migrated westward or to the cities, but others stuck it out. The population of Sussex County in 1790 was 20,488, while in 1800 it was 19,358 [Hancock (1976)]. It was during the 1790s that Anderson (<Riley<Thomas) and Parker (<Riley<Thomas) Truitt moved westward to, or toward, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania.

About this date, Riley (<Riley<Thomas) Truitt probably married Sarah (Burton?), perhaps in St. George's Protestant Episcopal Chapel in the Indian River Hundred of Sussex County, Delaware [Scheer].

Census data for 1790 shows that there was a Philip Mathis in the Broad Creek hundred of Sussex County, Delaware, and that there was the Estate of Teague Mathis. Since Anderson (<Riley<Thomas) Truitt married Sally Matthews (spelled Mathus), probably in the early 1790s, one of these families could have been hers. There were no other Mathis of any spelling in Delaware at this time. The Truitts living in the Broad Creek Hundred at this time were James, Jarman, Sr., Josiah, and Thomas [deValinger].

1791

The Sussex County seat was moved from Lewes to Georgetown [Hancock (1976)].

1793

On December 27 Andrew (<?) and William (<?) Truitt were witnesses to James Murray’s Will in Sussex County, Delaware [deValinger (1964): 257].

1794

Thomas (<Anderson<Riley) Truitt was born February 18 in Delaware (perhaps) to Anderson (<Riley<James<Thomas) and Sally (Mathus) Truitt [Beer]. Because the 1790 census for the Broad Creek Hundred in Sussex County, Delaware, has a listing for the Estate of Teague Mathis and for a Phillip Mathis, it is assumed this is where Sarah "Sally" Mathus (or Mathis? – it may be Matthews)) lived prior to her marriage to Anderson Truitt, probably in the early 1790s. The 1790 census for this same area lists four Truitt families: James, Jarman, Josiah, and Thomas. Anderson probably named his oldest son Thomas in honor of his grandfather, Thomas (<James<GeoI) Truitt. (Over the years Anderson and Sally had at least six children: Thomas, James, Elizabeth ("Betsey"), Polly ("Mary"), Sarah and Anderson. James married and settled in Illinois. Betsey married and had one daughter, Fannie. Polly, Mrs. Black, had two daughters and lived somewhere along the Ohio River. Sarah married a Mr. Eastburn and moved to Michigan. And Anderson, Jr. married Julia A. Cornbest and settled in Perry township, Clinton County, Indiana, perhaps with his parents Anderson, Sr. and Sally) [Beer].

Owing to its isolation for nearly two hundred years, the Eastern Shore was more purely English in origin than any part of the world with the exception of England itself [Wise].

1794-1800

During this period of time Anderson (<Riley<Thomas) and Sarah (Mathus or Matthews) Truitt and their family, perhaps along with Parker and Riley Truitt and their families, moved to the Cumberland Valley, probably in Pennsylvania near the present city of Harrisburg and the Susquehanna River [Beer].

(The Cumberland Valley (75 miles long, 15-20 miles wide) in northwest Maryland and southern Pennsylvania, part of the Great Appalachian Valley and northern continuation of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, sweeps in a great SW-NE arc between the Potomac in Maryland and the Susquehanna in Pennsylvania. On NW are Bear Pond, Cove, Tuscorora and Blue Mountains and on SE is South Mountain. Drained by affluents of Potomac and Susquehanna Rivers. Fertile agricultural area. Hagerstown, MD, Chambersburg and Carlisle, PA, are chief centers. In MD called Hagerstown Valley. Primary counties to search for further information are (in order): Cumberland co, PA; Franklin co, PA; and Washington co, MD.) If, as is hypothesized, Anderson and Parker Truitt lived in the Broad Creek Hundred in Sussex County, they might have lived close to the Nanticoke River, and thus they could have sailed down it, across the Chesapeake Bay, and up the Susquehanna to the Cumberland Valley area. The Nanticoke River was navigable its entire length along the west side, there being a varying depth from 11 to 30 feet. Broad Creek was navigable for small vessels to Laurel and for those of larger draught, to Bethel [Scharf: 1285]. The Cumberland Valley was noted for its cherry and apple orchards [Scharf: 156]. Perhaps the Truitts did not live in the Cumberland area for long, because the 1800 census shows both Andrew (Anderson?) and Parker Truitt (spelled Truet) living in Buffalo township, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. They could have traveled overland to Armstrong County from the Harrisburg area by way of a trail or roadway beside the Juniata river to Franks T and then on to Buffalo township. At this latter location they settled on Crooked Creek, a tributary into the Allegheny River, just south of the current city of Kittaning [Beer].

1795-1815

The Settlement of Western Pennsylvania: The period of early immigration saw the development of one generalization concerning the pattern of settlement that was to remain important within the colony throughout the period of initial settlement. This was the importance of rivers and stream courses as routeways.

In the early 1700s Philadelphia had become the center of the indentured servant trade in the colonies. Under this trade the immigrants agreed to serve a master in Pennsylvania for from three to seven years in return for passage to America. This system was in effect until 1820.

Individuals from Maryland moving into what they felt was a portion of Lord Baltimore's colony probably made the settlements along the lower Susquehanna River in Lancaster County in the early- to mid-1700s. (The exact location of the boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania was not settled until 1767). Around 1730 southern York County was an area of struggle between Maryland and Pennsylvania over the boundary between the two states and many Maryland settlers moved into the area.

As early as 1760 the commander of Fort Pitt began granting military permits for settlement around the Fort and along the military trails leading to the Fort. This meant primarily along the old trail from Cumberland on the Potomac River by way of the Youghiougheny River or along Braddock's or Forbes' military roads. Beginning in 1765 settlers from Virginia and Maryland began coming in far larger numbers, settling first along the valleys of the Youghiougheny and Monogahela and on the Ohio in the vicinity of Pittsburgh.

With the end of the French and Indian War in the early 1760s a new stream of people, consisting of Virginians and Marylanders, moved into southwestern Pennsylvania, an area claimed by the colonial governments of both Virginia and Pennsylvania.

In 1779 squatters began staking out claims north of the Ohio River. With the announcement of peace [with the Indians] in the fall of 1782 people began flocking across the river in increasing numbers.

However, it was not until 1784, when the Scotch-Irish began their heavy immigration into the southwestern part of the state, that Pennsylvania settlers began to predominate there. One cause for this sudden influx of Pennsylvania settlers was the completion by the state of an improved Forbes' Road to the Ohio River in 1784 or 1785. Until that time most Pennsylvanians moving to this area had to travel first into Maryland and then pass along the same trails as were used by the Virginians.

The Land Act of 1792 opened all of Pennsylvania north of the Ohio River and west of the Allegheny River to settlement. Portions of this area had been given away earlier under two separate legislative acts. In 1780 the Assembly had set aside parts of the area as "Donation Lands" and "Depreciation Lands". Once these lands were distributed, and because the state needed money, it threw open the remaining land for sale under the 1792 act. The next two years were the busiest in the history of the Pennsylvania land office, with over 5000 warrants issued.

A final major extension of settlement developed in the 1790s with the opening of all of northwest Pennsylvania to settlement [Florin].

In the early settlement of the western part of Pennsylvania, the manner of life of the settlers, and the hardships and privations they were called upon to endure, rendered them capable of bearing up under fatigue and exposure, which those more tenderly reared would be unable to surmount. At this date, panthers, wolves, bears, elk, deer, and other wild animals filled the forest, and fish in great abundance, the streams [Tome].

1795-1820

The movement of the Quakers out of the New England and Delmarva area took a relatively short time. It started about 1795 and by 1820 was virtually complete. In addition to a large movement southward, there was a substantial movement into the Northwest Territory [Gormley, 10/6/96: G6)

1796

German and Scotch-Irish pioneers permanently settled Kittaning, PA.

1797

Charles Newbold, an American, patented the iron plow.

1800

There were 19,358 people living in Sussex County of whom 2,830 were slaves [Carter: 20].

During the early generations of European settlement in America, farmers and planters had depended on the richness of the virgin soil to produce bountiful harvests, but by this date in Sussex County and other plantation areas the soil was becoming exhausted. Since it was to be decades before such progressive methods as crop rotation and the liberal use of fertilizers would repair the early abuses to the land, many farms which once had been productive fell into decline and their owners were reduced to little more than subsistence farming, augmenting their crop yields with the still rich products of the waters surrounding the County and the game filling its forests [Carter: 23].

According to the census, the Truitt households in Sussex County at this time were:

Distribution by sex/age

Name Page Male Female

Andrew 401 10010-41010-00

Bashaba 303 10000-00001-00

Collins 401 01001-00101-00

David 303 00211-00200-00

Elizabeth 303 10000-00021-00

James 389 11110-12110-03

Jarman 389 21010-02010-00

John 303 20201-51301-01

John 422 11001-20201-01

Jonah 389 20010-20010-03

Joseph 303 10120-20200-02

Joseph, Jr. 303 00010-10010-00

Polly 303 20000=00010-00

Sarah 303 00000-21010-00

Thomas 389 11201-11001-00

Thomas, Sr. 340 01010-12010-01

William 340 01010-11100-02

(Age distribution: 0-10, 10-16, 16-26, 26-45, >45; other persons; slaves)

The census for Delaware shows no Mathis, but the following Truitts were living in the Broad Creek hundred:

James 389 11110-12110-??

Jarman, Sr. 389 02101-00201-00

Jonah 389 20010-20010-03

Thomas 389 11201-11001-00

Thomas, Sr. 340 01010-12010-01

(Ages: <10, 10-16, 16-26, 26-45, and >45; free except Indians; slaves)

[Jackson (1972)].

The census for Pennsylvania shows that both Andrew (Anderson?) and Parker Truitt (spelled Truet) were living in Buffalo Township of Armstrong County. This is near the present city of Kittaning, Pennsylvania. They appear in the 1800 and 1810 censuses for Pennsylvania, but not in 1820. Because his eldest children were shown in later censuses as having been born in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, it also is thought that Riley Truitt lived in this area from ca 1790 to 1809, but there is no reference to him in the census [Scheer]. The census data shows Andrew's family consisted of: 2 males age 0-10; 2 females age 0-10, and one 26 to 45 years; no other persons or slaves were shown; no male in the 26 to 45 age range was shown. The data shows Parker's family consisted of: 2 males age 0-10 and 1 age 26 to 45; 1 female age 0-10, 1 age 10 to 16, and 1 over 45; no other persons or slaves were shown.

Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, was officially formed on March 12 from parts of Allegheny, Westmoreland and Lycoming counties. It remained attached to Westmoreland County until 1805. Kellersburg, Pennsylvania, is in Armstrong County.

By an Act of Congress, the territory of Indiana was organized on May 7, and Vincennes was designated to be the seat of government [Irk].

The first known inhabitants of Clinton County, Indiana, were the Miami Indians. However, it is conjectured that their predecessors were the Mound Builders, but there are no known Indian Mounds in Clinton County [Irk].

As of this date the Miami Indians still lived in the area where Clinton County, Indiana, is now located. During this year the Northwest Territory was divided into a smaller eastern area (Ohio) and a larger western area (the Indiana territory). Other than Indians, the residents of the Indiana territory were mostly French at this time. The census showed the total population of the Indiana territory to be 5641, about evenly divided between Indiana and Illinois, i.e. only about 2500 whites lived in the present Indiana area at that time.

Low shoes with metal buckles remained in fashion until this time when they were succeeded by high boots, which were worn with high breeches. A curious fact is that, until this time, there was no distinction made by shoemakers between the right and left feet [Scharf: 182].

1800-1850

This was the pioneer period in Indiana. Settlement moved across the state mainly from south to north. The pioneers of Indiana came principally from Virginia, Maryland, North and South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York, but more came from southern or slave states than from northern or free states. Only a limited number came from New England. Typically, the first settlers who came down the Ohio River settled along that river, the Whitewater River, or the Wabash River. By 1805 there were 28,000 people in Indiana, and land was being surveyed and offered for sale to settlers. Beginning on July 4, 1800, Vincennes became the capital of the Indiana Territory.

1802

Jeffersonville, Indiana, was first laid out to plans suggested by Thomas Jefferson, then President of the United States [Irk].

1803

Ohio was admitted as the 17th state.

Julia A. Cornbest, the future wife of Anderson (<Anderson<Riley) Truitt, was born January 22 at an unknown location.

1804

On January 20 Anderson (<Anderson<Riley) Truitt was born in Pennsylvania and he was of English descent. Anderson probably was born on the farm along Crooked Creek in Buffalo Township, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. This County is a short distance northeast of Pittsburgh, and the township is just southwest of Kittanning. It lies between the Buffalo River on the west and the Allegheny River on the east.

(NOTE: The name Anderson is a patronymic form of Andrew, meaning "son of Andrew" [Kolatch]. The term patronymic means: "A name formed by the addition of a prefix or suffix indicating relationship to the name of one’s father or parental ancestor".)

Congress established three land offices for the sale of lands in the Indiana Territory: one was located in Detroit, Michigan; one in Vincennes, Indiana; and one in Kaskaskia, Illinois [Irk].

1807

A fourth land office was opened at Jeffersonville, Clark County, Indiana [Irk]

1808

The city of Corydon, Indiana, was laid out. The capital of Indiana was located here later.

1809

The Illinois Territory was detached from the Indiana Territory. At the time of this separation there were about 28,000 people in the Northwest Territory: 11,000 west of the Wabash River and 17,000 east of it.

1810

The census gave the Indiana Territory a population of 24,526. Around this date hundreds of boats loaded with immigrants were floating down the Ohio River.

The Truitts living in the Broad Creek Hundred of Sussex County, Delaware were James, Jarman, Sr., John, Joseph, Josiah, Micajah and Thomas.

1811

The Indians were defeated by William Henry Harrison and his troops at the Battle of Tippecanoe, near Lafayette, Indiana.

1812-1814

The War of 1812 was fought against England and both Anderson (<Riley <Thomas) Truitt and his son, Thomas (<Anderson<Riley) Truitt, served with the United States troops. Anderson was stationed at Buffalo, New York, at the time the war ended [Beer].

1813

The capital of Indiana was moved from Vincennes to Corydon.

After returning from military service, Thomas (<Anderson <Riley) Truitt married Lydia Williams.

1814

About 1814 Anderson (<Riley<Thomas) Truitt (and perhaps Parker (<Riley<Thomas) Truitt), along with several neighbors built a boat and sailed with their families down the Allegheny and Ohio Rivers toward Cincinnati. However, instead of going that far, they stopped at the Scioto River, and shortly thereafter Armstrong and his family settled in Pike County, Ohio, while Parker and his family settled in Adams County, Ohio. Anderson's oldest son, Thomas Truitt and his new wife, Lydia, stayed in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, perhaps because that is where her parents and other relatives remained. Thomas and Lydia formed the nucleus of a large Truitt "clan" which still (as of 1995) lives in Armstrong County and (primarily now) Clarion County, Pennsylvania. (The village of Truittsburg exists in Clarion County just off highway 28 about 20 miles northeast of Kittaning.)

As shown in the Return of Detached Militia of the State of Delaware (War of 1812-1814), the following served:

5th Regiment, Infantry: Samuel and Anderson Truitt

6th Regiment, Infantry: Zadock, Walter, and David Truitt

9th Regiment, Infantry: Jarman Truitt

[Delaware Archives, Military Records, Volume V].

1815

By 1815 the Indians had ceased to be a major obstacle to white settlement in Indiana, and by the end of the year the population of Indiana was 63,897.

Convening in December, the last session of the Territorial Legislature was held at Corydon, [Irk].

1816

Abraham Lincoln’s family moved to Indiana. He was seven years old at this time.

Before Indiana was organized as a State on December 11, fifteen of its counties had been established under Territorial Government. They were Clark in 1801, Dearborn in 1803, Franklin in 1810, Gibson in 1813, Harrison in 1808, Jackson in 1815, Jefferson in 1810, Knox in 1790, Orange in 1815, Perry in 1814, Posey in 1814, Switzerland in 1814, Warrick in 1813, Washington in 1813 and Wayne in 1810 [Irk].

1818

By 1818 the National Road existed from the east to Wheeling, West Virginia.

Settlers began to locate in Clinton County, Indiana.

1820

After victory in the Revolutionary War, Snow Hill, with the rest of Worcester County, Maryland, suffered with the depression which followed, a situation which persisted through the War of 1812 and on until about 1820, there being practically no market abroad [Truitt].

At this time the population of Indiana was 147,178, and on March 3 Indiana was admitted to statehood as part of the Missouri Compromise.

The Truitts living in the Broad Creek hundred of Sussex County, Delaware, were Anderson, Elendor, James, Jarman, Jr., Jarman, Sr., John, John (<James), John (<John), Josiah, Micajah and Thomas.

During this year Perry County, Pennsylvania, was created from part of Cumberland County.

1821

The sale of lots in Indianapolis began.

1822-1823

Presumably by this date Anderson (<Anderson<Riley) Truitt and Julia A. Cornbest were married, but neither the exact date nor location of the marriage is yet know. Both Anderson and Julia would have been 18 years old by this date.

1823

Henry C. (<Anderson<Anderson) Truitt, son of Anderson and Julia A. Truitt, was born December 30 in Pike County, Ohio.

The Indiana Land Office opened in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Land sales commenced and a permanent Land Office was established. Crawfordsville became the converging point for all settlers in Indiana northwest of the capital. Land usually sold at Congress’ price of $1.25 per acre.

The first whites settled in Tippecanoe County, Indiana.

1825

Sarah (Sally) M. (<Anderson<Anderson) Truitt, daughter of Anderson and Julia A. Truitt, probably was born about this time in Pike County, Ohio.

John Quincy Adams, sixth president of the United States, was inaugurated on March 4.

1826

Tippecanoe County, Indiana, was formed, and steamboats began arriving at Lafayette on the Wabash River.

1827

Nicephore Niepce secured the first camera image, thus after this date we might expect to begin to see photographs of our ancestors.

Parker (<Anderson<Anderson) Truitt, son of Anderson and Julia A. Truitt, was born April 1, perhaps in Pee Pee township, Pike County, Ohio.

The natural wilderness of what was to become Perry township, Clinton County, Indiana, was encroached upon by a white man named Elijah Rogers, whose rude log cabin appeared in the dense forests on section 25 [Irk].

1828

By an Act of the General Assembly of Indiana on January 24 the lands included in Clinton County were added to Tippecanoe County [Irk].

The first religious meeting held in what was to become Perry Township, Clinton County, Indiana, was at the cabin of Elijah Rogers, and it was also among the first meetings in the County [Irk].

The first steamboat to navigate the Pocomoke River to its head waters, a boat called the "Norfolk", arrived from Baltimore, starting a new transportation system [Truitt].

1829

On March 4 Andrew Jackson became the seventh president of the United States and served from 1829 to 1837.

1830

The General Assembly of Indiana approved an act on January 29 that created Clinton County. Previous to this, all of what is now Clinton County was united under the name of "Washington Territory" and was attached to Tippecanoe County for judicial purposes [Irk].

The Ohio census shows an Anderson (<Anderson<Riley) Truitt (spelled Truit) living in Pee Pee township of Pike County, which is near the Ohio River in south central Ohio about mid-way between Cincinnati and Portsmouth. The County is bisected by the Scioto River. The census data shows Anderson's household consisted of:

2 males age 0-5; 1 5-10; 2 20-30; 1 30-40; and 1 40-50;

2 females age 0-5; 2 15-20; 1 20-30; and 1 50-60.

There were 13 total in the household and no slaves or colored people.

According to the census, the total population of Indiana was 344,508 and the census for some counties of interest was:

County Population

Boone 622

Clinton ` 1423

Montgomery 7386

Tippecanoe 7167

The Truitts living in the Broad Creek hundred of Sussex County, Delaware were Anderson, James, James (<James), Jarman, Sr., John, John (<James), Josiah, Micajah, Thomas and William.

1831

The Methodist Church is the oldest religious organization in Colfax, Indiana, having been established there about 1831. But the original organization was across the line in Montgomery County at the house of Rolla Kendall, and Anderson Truitt and his family were among the first members [Claybaugh: 346].

1832

Sixty steamboats arrived at Lafayette, Indiana, during the spring of 1832.

On June 6 Anderson (<Riley<Thomas) Truitt purchased a patent from the U.S. Government for 80 acres of land in Perry Township, Clinton County, Indiana. President Andrew Jackson signed this patent. At the time when Anderson and his family settled in Indiana, one or both of his or his wife’s parents may have been living with them. When Anderson purchased this patent, it says he was living in Tippecanoe County, Indiana.

NOTE: An entry in [Clinton County Tract Book, p.1] entered September 8, 1831 says Andrew Truitt patented 80 acres of the ESE section of Section 10, township 20, Range 2W. The discrepancy in dates may be due to the different dates of recording the patent in Indiana and in Washington, DC. Furthermore, the June 6 date was on a certificate prepared by the Department of the Interior around 1990 required by a land transaction in that time period.)

1833

By 1833 the National Road existed from the east to Columbus, Ohio.

1834

Cyrus McCormick patented the first reaping machine thus farmers could begin to harvest wheat, oats, etc in a more efficient manner from this time onward.

Perry Township of Clinton County, Indiana, was organized at the September term of the County Commissioner's Court [Irk].

1837

The John Deere steel plow was introduced in America, which by virtue of its scouring quality greatly facilitated the conquest of the prairies.

On March 4 Martin Van Buren was inaugurated as the eighth president of the United States.

On May 15 Anderson (<Anderson<Riley) Truitt purchased a patent from the U.S. Government for an additional 40 acres of land in Perry township, Clinton County, Indiana. President Martin Van Buren signed this patent. On this patent certificate the name is shown as Anderson Truitt, Junior, therefore this land appears to have been purchased by Anderson (<Anderson<Riley) whereas the previous 80 acres appears to have been purchased by Anderson (Riley<Thomas).

(NOTE: An entry in [Clinton County Tract Book, p.1] entered March 1, 1836 says Andrew Truitt patented 40 acres of the SENE section of Section 10, township 20, Range 2W. As above, the discrepancy in dates may be due to the different dates of recording the patent in Indiana and in Washington, DC. Furthermore, the May 15 date was on a certificate prepared by the Department of the Interior around 1990 required by a land transaction in that time period.)

1839

On March 11 Clarion County, Pennsylvania, was officially formed from parts of Armstrong and Verango counties. It was named for the Clarion River. No counties were formed from Clarion County.

1840

The census showed an Anderson (<?) Truitt living in Perry township, Clinton County, Indiana, but we do not know if this represents Anderson (<Riley<Thomas) or Anderson (<Anderson<Riley). Nevertheless, whoever it was probably lived in a house located where Gretchen Holloway’s house now is on County Road 630W (just north of 700S), and he owned 120 acres of land on the northeast side of the intersection of 700S and 630W. Anderson's household consisted of:

1 male age 0-5; 1 5-10; 1 10-15; 1 15-20; 1 30-40; and 1 60-70;

1 female age 0-5; 2 15-20; 1 30-40; and 1 age 60-70.

There were 11 total in the household and no free colored or slaves.

In the August general election for Perry township, Clinton County, Indiana, Anderson (<?) Truitt's name is listed.

Only the urban centers of New Albany, Madison, and Indianapolis, Indiana, had a population of at least 2500.

Sir William R. Grove invented the first incandescent light.

The Truitts living in the Broad Creek Hundred, Sussex County, Delaware were Anderson, Betsey, Jarman, Sr., John, Micajah and Peter N.

1840-1849

Most of the Miami Indians left Indiana during this period.

1841

Isaac W. (<Anderson<Anderson) Truitt probably was born in February or March to Anderson and Julia Truitt.

Julia A. (Cornbest) Truitt, wife of Anderson (<Anderson<Riley) Truitt, died March 3 at 38 years, 1 month, and 12 days of age and was buried in Loveless Cemetery east of Colfax in Perry township of Clinton County, Indiana. It appears Julia died shortly after giving birth to Isaac, who was Parker (<Anderson) Truitt’s youngest brother. Anderson and Julia had at least 7 children and Anderson did not remarry.

William Henry Harrison was inaugurated as the ninth President of the United States on March 4, but he died on April 4, and John Tyler, then became the tenth President.

1842

In August a man by the name of Jesse Truitt (perhaps spelled as Jesse Trewit) witnessed the Will of Henry Whitsell of Colfax, Indiana. His signature can be seen in Will Book 1, page 62, dated 7/18/1841. (Anderson Truitt’s signature can be seen in the Clinton County Clerk’s Office in Will Book 1, page 11, on the Will of Isaac Duke.)

1843

The population of Lafayette, Indiana, was 2600.

1845

Anderson (<Anderson<Riley) Truitt is thought to have died about this date, possibly in Perry Township, Clinton County, Indiana.

On January 2 Sarah (Sally) M. Truitt married Thomas N. Holloway.

On March 4 James K. Polk was inaugurated as the eleventh President of the United States.

1846-1848

The War with Mexico, in part over the annexation of Texas, started on March 1, 1845.

1847

One of the two early towns in Perry Township was Manson, an unincorporated village that was laid out on June 30 on the Penn-Central railroad [Irk].

On September 15 Parker (<Anderson<Anderson) Truitt married Ellenor Toomer in Perry Township, Clinton County, Indiana. She was born December 17, 1828. When they married, he was 20 years old and she was 19. Her widowed mother and brothers and sisters lived nearby.

1848

On January 24 gold was discovered at Sutter’s Fort in California and the gold rush began.

Sarah M. (<Parker<Anderson) Truitt was born July 22 in Indiana to Parker and Ellenor (Toomer) Truitt.

1849

On March 4 Zachary Taylor became the twelfth President, but he died on July 9, 1850, and the Vice President, Millard Fillmore, then became the thirteenth President.

Colfax, Indiana, was laid out during this year and originally was given the name Midway, since it was on the railroad about halfway between Lafayette and Indianapolis [Irk].

1850

By 1850 more than half of Indiana's population was made up of Quakers -- generally from the Carolinas [Gormley, 10 6/96: G6].

Anderson (<Anderson<Riley) Truitt (age 46, a farmer, born in Pennsylvania in about 1806) was living in Perry Township, Clinton County, Indiana. Living in the same house with him were Jasper (age 12) and Isaac (age 9). Also living in this same household were Thomas Holloway (age 24), Sarah (Truitt) Holloway (age 23), and Enoch Holloway (age 1).

The City of Frankfort, Indiana, was laid out.

By 1850 the population of Lafayette, Indiana, was 6129, and there were 988,416 people living in the entire State of Indiana.

Until well after 1850 most Hoosiers lived in log cabins.

The data suggests Ellenor Toomer’s (widowed?) mother was Sarah Toomer (spelled Tumor in 1850 census), and at this time she and her children were living beside Parker, Ellenor, and baby Sarah. Ellenor was born in Ohio. In 1820 there was a John Toomer living in Ross County, Ohio, apparently in Huntington Township. In the 1840 census there is a Sarah Toomer and she had one daughter in the 10 to 15 age range. In 1850 the Toomer household consisted of:

Name Age Sex Place of Birth

Sarah 35 F Ohio

George 22 M Ohio

Thomas 19 M Ohio

Nancy A. 18 F Ohio

Richard 15 M Ohio

Mary 13 F Ohio

Eliza 11 F Indiana

Julia (<Parker<Anderson) Truitt was born June 29 in Indiana to Parker and Ellenor (Toomer) Truitt.

1851

Smooth galvanized wire that kept fences from rusting was invented, which made it more reasonable to replace wooden rail fences with wire ones.

Scott Archer introduced the wet collodion process for film development. This process revolutionized the photographic process and made it even more possible to begin to see photographs of ancestors.

Henry (<Anderson<Anderson) Truitt, son of Anderson and Julia Truitt, died May 11 at age 27 years, 4 months, and 12 days old. He was buried in Loveless Cemetery located east of Colfax.

1852

By 1852 the National Road existed from the east to Vandalia, Illinois, though it was not improved much beyond Indianapolis, Indiana.

1853

The Land Office in Crawfordsville, Indiana, was closed

Rail connection was established between New York and Chicago.

Anderson (<Parker<Anderson) Truitt was born February 11 in Indiana to Parker and Ellenor Truitt. Parker was 25 at this time and may have been living near his father, Anderson (<Anderson<Riley) Truitt. However, neither the Indiana nor the Iowa 1850 census data shows a Parker Truitt, other than one in Switzerland County, Indiana, who was too old to be this Parker.

On March 4 Franklin Pierce became the fourteenth President of the United States.

1855

On February 15 Jasper T. (<Anderson<Anderson) Truitt married Elizabeth Chizum in Clinton County, Indiana.

1856-1857

The dry collodion process in photography was developed making it possible for amateurs to begin taking their own pictures.

1857

Sarah (Sally) M. (<Anderson<Anderson) (Truitt) Holloway died about this date. She was the wife of Thomas Holloway and they had 5 children: Enoch, Jefferson Parker, John T., I. N., and Mahala.

On March 4 James Buchanan became the fifteenth President of the United States.

When the original citizens of what is now Colfax, Indiana, wanted to initially incorporate their town as Midway, Indiana, they could not because there already was a town named Midway in Indiana. So they chose the name Colfax instead [Irk]. This latter name was for Schuyler Colfax, a prominent Indiana politician who became Vice President of the United States.

1858

The Farm View (Farmer’s Chapel) Protestant Methodist Church existed on the Anderson Truitt property from the mid-1800s to around 1900, when it probably was supplanted by the New Hope Church. When the Farmer's Chapel was no longer used as a church, the building was moved to Julia Clark’s place and used as a barn.

Anderson (<Parker<Anderson) Truitt died May 15 at 5 years of age.

Ellenor (Toomer) Truitt, wife of Parker (<Anderson<Anderson) Truitt, died May 24 at 29 years of age.

On July 8 Parker (<Anderson<Anderson) Truitt married Mary Ellen Freeman, who was born 1837 in Indiana. Shortly after their marriage, Parker, Mary Ellen, Sarah, and Julia moved to Iowa, probably by covered wagon. Many pioneer families of the east participated in the fortune seeking westward migration of the 1850s.

In August the Lincoln-Douglas debates took place.

1859

Isaac W. (<Anderson) Truitt, son of Anderson and Julia Truitt died February 1 at age ? years, 11 months, and ? days and was buried in the Loveless Cemetery east of Colfax, Indiana.

Albert P. (<Parker) Truitt was born April 4 in Marion County, Iowa, to Parker (<Anderson) and Mary Ellen (Freeman) Truitt.

1860

Parker (<Anderson<Anderson) Truitt (age 33 and a farmer) was living with his wife, Mary Ellen (age 22), their daughters Sarah (age 11) and Julia (age 9), and their son, Albert (age 1), in Pleasant Grove Township, Marion County, Iowa. This Township is about 25 miles southeast of the current city of Des Moines, Iowa.

At this time Nicholas Earp, father of Wyatt Earp (then 12 years old), and his family also were living in Marion County, Iowa. These were the days of wagon travel, wagons drawn by oxen. The Earp’s, who had been living in Monmouth, Illinois, may have crossed the Mississippi River at Burlington, at Nauvoo, or at Fort Madison, Iowa. They settled near Pella, Marion County, Iowa. Wyatt was only one year old when they moved there in 1849. They probably traveled northwest along the Des Moines River, pulling into camp near relatives on the rich soil and grasslands of Marion County. They settled on a small farm in Lake Prairie Township, near Pella. They built a cabin, toiled the soil, and split fence rails. The 1850 census lists Nicholas Earp as a "cooper and farmer". In 1857 or 1858 he headed to Missouri. The heavy wagons crossed the river on a ferry. However, he did not stay long and returned to Lake Prairie Township by 1859. They rented a farm near Pella both times. Young Virginia Earp died in 1861. Nicholas Earp resigned as Provost-Marshall in 1863 and headed west toward California in May of 1864, arriving in San Bernardino Valley in December of that year.

Anderson (<Anderson<Riley) Truitt (age 56) still lived in Perry township, Clinton County, Indiana, but the census shows him living alone. Living in the next house listed in the census were Anderson’s son Jasper Truitt’s family: Jasper (age 24), Elizabeth (age 25), Parker (age 8), Ezra (?) (age 4), Ida (age 2) and Sarah L. (age 2 months).

Isaac N. (<?) Truitt and Emma Truitt (perhaps Isaac N.’s wife) were living in Washington Township, Clinton County, Indiana, which includes the town of Jefferson. Of what relation they are, if any, to Anderson Truitt is not yet clear.

1861

About this time kerosene lamps were invented so people no longer had to light their homes by lard- or tallow-burning lamps.

Eliza Ellen (<Parker<Anderson) Truitt was born January 7 (perhaps in Iowa) to Parker and Mary Ellen Truitt.

The Civil War started January 9 as the ship Star of the West was fired upon by a battery at Charleston, South Carolina. About 200,000 Indiana men served in the Union military forces. Few Hoosiers were disloyal to the Union.

On March 4 Abraham Lincoln became the sixteenth President of the United States.

1863

In a book entitled Clinton County Roster of Civil War Soldiers there is a listing for John W. (<?) Truitt, Private, 116th Regiment, County I, Mulberry, who mustered in on August 17, 1863 and mustered out on March 2, 1864. His relation to the Anderson Truitt line is not known.

Mary Ellen (Freeman) Truitt, wife of Parker (<Anderson) died September 30 (presumably in Iowa). Parker and his children moved back to Indiana shortly after the death of Mary Ellen.

1864

On January 25 Parker (<Anderson<Anderson) Truitt married Harriet Freeman, Mary Ellen’s sister. Harriet, the daughter of Harden and Anna Eliza Freeman, was born February 25, 1843, near Wesley in Montgomery County, Indiana. The current city of Crawfordsville is in the center of Montgomery County.

1865

Abraham Lincoln was assassinated April 14 and Andrew Johnson, the Vice President, succeeded him as President.

1865-1873

Serious and recurring epidemics of smallpox, typhus, typhoid, cholera, scarlet fever, and yellow fever occurred in the eastern United States.

1866

George Marley Harden Freeman Truitt was born April 23 to Parker (<Anderson<Anderson) and Harriet Truitt.

1867

On April 3 Sarah Truitt married Joseph T. Chizum in Clinton County, Indiana.

1868

Barbed wire was patented.

Anderson (<Anderson<Riley) Truitt and Parker (<Anderson<Anderson) Truitt are shown in a real estate listing for Perry township, Clinton County, Indiana.

Mary Viola (<Parker) Truitt was born November 18 to Parker and Harriet Truitt.

1869

On March 4 Ulysses S. Grant became the eighteenth President of the United States.

Anderson (<Anderson<Riley) Truitt died intestate May 3 at 65 years, 3 months, and 14 days of age and was buried in Loveless Cemetery. Data indicate he and his wife, Julia, may have had as many as seven children: Henry, Parker, Sarah M., Jasper, Isaac, and two children of unknown name.

Parker (<Anderson<Anderson) Truitt was the administrator of Anderson Truitt’s estate. The court record for settlement of the estate says: "Parker Truitt says that Anderson Truitt departed this life in said County, intestate, as he believes, on the 3rd day of May, 1869". Anderson Truitt left an estate of $1200.

From the Partition Record Book B, June 1864 to April 1874, p 254: "Partition of the Real Estate of Anderson Truitt, died. Parker Truitt versus Thomas A. Holloway, Jefferson P. Holloway, John T. Holloway, Isaac N. Holloway, Mahala Holloway, Elizabeth Chilcott, James H. Chilcott, Grief Truitt, John Truitt, Lucy J. Truitt. Parker Truitt complains of John M. Truitt, Edward H. Truitt, Thomas N. Holloway, Enoch Holloway, Jefferson P. Holloway, John T. Holloway, Isaac N. Holloway, Mahala Holloway, Elizabeth Chilcott, James H. Chilcott (her husband), Grief Truitt, John Truitt, and Lucy J. Truitt. Plaintiff would further show that the above named Anderson Truitt died seized of the above described land on the 3rd day of May 1869 of his sons and daughters surviving him only Parker Truitt, plaintiff herein named, that Henry C. Truitt, son of Anderson Truitt, died leaving John M. Truitt and Edward H. Truitt, his children, and the only heirs of Henry C., and were entitled to 1/4 interest in the premises, but have since conveyed their interest to plaintiff as hereinafter set out. That Sallie Truitt, daughter of Anderson Truitt, intermarried with Thomas N. Holloway, and died leaving as her children and heirs at law, Enoch, Jefferson P., John T., Isaac N., and Mahala Holloway together with her said husband, who are her only heirs at law and are entitled to 1/4 interest in the land, Enoch Holloway having sold his interest to Jefferson P. Holloway now has no interest herein. That Joseph Truitt, son of Anderson, died leaving as his only heirs at law his widow Elizabeth Truitt who has since intermarried with James H. Chilcott, and his children Grief, Ida, and Lucy Truitt, who together with their mother are entitled to 1/4 interest in the land. That Parker Truitt, son of said Anderson, plaintiff herein in his own right as son of Anderson is entitled to 1/4 of the land and since the death of Anderson has purchased of and from John M. and Edward H. Truitt, sons and heirs of Henry C. Truitt, son and heir of Anderson, therefore Parker is entitled to 1/2 interest in the land. That the above named persons are the only heirs of Anderson Truitt deceased and the only persons with interest in this real estate. Plaintiff would further show that the above named John T., Isaac N., and Mahala Holloway are minors; also Grief, Ida, and Lucy Truitt. Enoch Holloway was the guardian of Isaac N. and Mahala Holloway. Oliver C. Cosby was the guardian of Grief, Ida, and Lucy J. Truitt. ... Of the land that was deeded by Anderson Truitt to the Methodist Episcopal Church."

1870

The original schoolhouse in Colfax, Indiana, had early given way to a frame building, but this was outgrown, and a church building was pressed into service. During this year a substantial brick schoolhouse was erected at a cost of $7100, exclusive of grounds and appurtenances. Several years later an addition was erected which included a gymnasium and a large assembly room on the upper floor [Irk].

The census showed Parker (<Anderson<Anderson) Truitt (age 43), Harriet (age 25), Julia (age 19), Albert (age 11), Eliza (age 8), George (age 4), and Viola (age 1) all living in Perry township, Clinton County, Indiana. They apparently had traveled back to Indiana by covered wagon sometime during the 1860s. Parker had the original house in front of where the white barn now stands and Parker B. Truitt now lives on County Road 700 South built for himself and his family.

The population of Lafayette, Indiana was just over 13,000.

On June 11 Julia A. (<Parker) Truitt married Louis C. Dukes in Clinton County, Indiana.

1871

In the real estate listing for Perry township, Clinton County, Indiana, Parker (<Anderson<Anderson) Truitt, age 43, is shown.

Julia A. (Truitt) Dukes, daughter of Parker and Ellenor Truitt died April 15 at age 20 years, 9 months, and 14 days. She was buried just north of the woods at the south end of the 40 acres on the south side of the road across from the old "west barn" where Albert lived.

On October 13 a guardian was appointed for Grief, Ida, and Lucy J. Truitt, minors of Jasper Truitt, deceased.

1874

A practical machine for making barbed wire was contrived.

1875

The Order of Patrons of Husbandry, "The Grange", a secret society set in a rural locale, was an organization which tried to speak for the farmer, to improve his lot, and to break down his social isolation. By this date the Indiana Grange had 60,000 members. A Grange Hall was built along the road east of Parker and Harriet Truitt's house. In later years when it was no longer used by the Grange, the Hall was moved adjacent to the east end of Parker's original barn, where it served as a tool shed until it burned down with the barn about 1935.

1876

On March 10 the first intelligible sentence was transmitted by telephone by Alexander Graham Bell.

1877

Grief Truitt and his wife, Milla, lived in Huntington County, Indiana.

On March 4 Rutherford B. Hayes became the nineteenth President of the United States.

1878

On September 8 Emma J. (<?) Truitt married James Cummings in Clinton County, Indiana.

Earnest Winter (<Parker<Anderson) Truitt was born October 23 to Parker and Harriet Truitt in Perry township, Clinton County, Indiana.

1880

By 1880 the population of Colfax, Indiana, had increased to 638 [Irk].

Ann E. Freeman, age 70 and born in Maryland, was living in the residence of Parker and Harriet (Freeman) Truitt in Perry township, Clinton County, Indiana.

Eliza E. Truitt and Orlando Joyner were married January 20 in Clinton County, Indiana.

1881

On March 4 James A. Garfield became the twentieth President of the United States, but he was shot July 2 and died September 19. Chester A. Arthur succeeded him.

1882

Harry Summer (<Parker<Anderson) Truitt was born December 4 to Parker and Harriet Truitt.

1883

On October 3 Albert P. (<Parker) Truitt married Anne Haworth. He later built the house which was adjacent to the "west barn".

1885

Parker (<Anderson<Anderson) Truitt died January 2 of dropsy (edema, perhaps due to a pulmonary problem) at the age of 57 years, 8 months, and 2 days. According to the Frankfort Saturday Banner dated January 10, he had been confined to his house since August. He was a faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and left a wife and seven children. He was buried in Loveless Cemetery east of Colfax, Indiana, but later his son, Ernest, had him re-buried in Plainview Cemetery northeast of Colfax. At the time of Parker’s death, Ernest W. Truitt was 7 years old and Harry S. Truitt was 3.

On March 4 Grover Cleveland became the twenty-second President of the United states.

Mary V. (<Parker) Truitt and Jesse Davis were married December 20 in Clinton County, Indiana.

1886

The first automobile was built.

George M. H. F. (<Parker) Truitt and Nettie C. Long were married September 2 at the home of her father, Samuel Long, in Clinton County, Indiana. Nettie was born October 21, 1866, and George later operated a store and meat market in Colfax located on the southeast corner across from the current Chatterbox Cafe and NBD Bank.

1889

On March 4 Benjamin Harrison became the twenty-third President of the United States.

Albert P. (<Parker) Truitt died April 23 and was buried in the Plainview Cemetery near Colfax, Indiana.

1890

Earnest W. (<Parker) Truitt probably attended school at the one-room Truitt School at least through the 5th grade but not beyond the 8th grade. This school was located near where Gretchen Holloway now lives and existed from the mid-1800s through the early 1900s. It was constructed of brick and had a bell.

Anna Eliza Freeman, mother of Mary Ellen (Freeman) Truitt and Harriet (Freeman) Truitt died February 3 at age 80 years, 11 months, and 3 days.

1892

The New Hope United Brethren Church was established in 1892.

1893

On March 4 Grover Cleveland became President of the United States for a second time.

A financial depression existed from 1893-1897.

1897

On March 4 William McKinley became the twenty-fifth President of the United States.

1898

The Spanish-American War, involving Cuba, was declared April 25.

On December 10 a treaty of peace for the Spanish-American War signed in Paris.

1899

Jacob T. (<?) Truitt married Lettie J. Hall March 15 in Clinton County, Indiana.

Harriet (Freeman) Truitt, third wife of Parker (<Anderson), died October 18 at 56 years, 7 months, and 23 days of age in Perry township, Clinton County, Indiana. She passed away after a long illness and was buried in Plainview Cemetery. Her son, Earnest, was 21 years old at this time.

1900

At this time the population of Indiana was 2,516,462, while that of Frankfort was 7100, that of Lebanon 4465, and that of Lafayette 18,116.

Earnest W. (<Parker) Truitt and Lela Ethel Bailey were married May 1. "Earnest" later changed the spelling of his given name to "Ernest." Lela, the daughter of Burr and Lenora Bailey, was born January 1, 1882.

1960

Lela E. (Bailey) Truitt died October 10 in Perry Township, Clinton County, Indiana, at 78 years of age and was buried in Plainview Cemetery near Colfax, Indiana.

1965

Ernest W. (<Parker<Anderson) Truitt died September 9 at 87 years of age and was buried in Plainview Cemetery near Colfax, Indiana.

1994

As of this date the Truitt International Registry shows where Truitt families have migrated [Halbert]:

 
Total

Total

Total

Number

Most

 

Estimated

Households

Estimated

Household

Populous

 

Households

In Registry

Population

Locations

Locations

United States

4,551

3,251

10,021

49

Texas

Canada

27

19

59

4

British Columbia

Australia

3

2

7

1

Queensland

Great Britain

3

2

8

2

Norfolk

Germany

4

3

10

1

Bayern

France

1

1

3

1

Alpes-Maritimes

(NOTE: A "location" is a county, state, territory or province.)

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Volume 1, 1623-1666

Volume 2, 1666-1695

Volume 3, 1695-1732

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A Roster of Revolutionary Ancestors of the Indiana D.A.R., Volume I, Part 1, p. 259; and Volume II, p.142, 1976.

DAR Patriot Index (1966):

Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames

Indiana Marriages: Early to 1825

Omitted chapter's from Hotten's original list of person of quality and others who went from Great Britain to the American plantations (CS69.O45 1982)

Pioneer Ancestors of Members of the Society of Indiana Pioneers, 1983, Indiana Historical Society

Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Indiana, Volume IV, 1861-1865, p.271