edward_maddox cornelius_maddox stafford_county nanjemoy john_reddich john_reddish greenes_purchase maddocks_folly maddox_folly sonehill doegs_neck atheys_hopewell tatshall nuthall maddoxs_venture hope
There’s a guy named Dr. Edward Maddox who shows up in Colonial records as a major landholder, apothecary and merchant. There’s no doubt that he was of some means. His first wife was Margery Stone, the widow (“relict”) of Matthew Stone, the son of the Governor of Maryland, and a progenitor of Thomas Stone, one the Declaration of Independence signers. His second or third wife – in Virginia – was Frances Norgrave, the widow of George Mason I, the great-grandfather of America’s founding father George Mason IV. Many amateur genealogists and hopeful family historians claim this Edward as the father of our Cornelius. Professional genealogists maintain that his link is “circumstantial,” and thus should be subject to more scrutiny.
I’ve seen numerous family trees that link Cornelius to Edward, and some family trees that go as far as including siblings for Cornelius and dates of birth and death for everyone involved. The goal of most of these family trees is to link the bloodline even further back, to a man names Thomas Maddox who lived and quickly died (1620-1623) near Jamestown as one of the first 1000 Englishmen in Virginia. But I can’t find an inkdrop of hard evidence in any Colonial records to prove the Cornelius-Edward link. Still, there is something about Edward that deserves attention.
Edward owned numerous tracts of land around 1660-1690 in the northern part of Charles County, Maryland, called Nanjemoy. His tracts generally lay along the Piscataway River (now just a stream due to sediment runoff). Their known names were Greene’s Purchase, Maddocks Folly, Stonehill (after his first wife’s deceased husband), Doeg’s Neck, and Athey’s Hopewell.
Cornelius would also own land in Nanjemoy, but a little further south, closer to Nanjemoy Creek. His known land in the late 1600’s was Tatshall and Nuthall. Cornelius’ descendants would own tracts that sounded very similar to some of Edward’s properties, such as Maddox’s Venture and Hopewell, but these were also close to Nanjemoy Creek (not Piscataway River). I don’t think they’re the same tracts, so I don’t think Edward handed them down to Cornelius.
Another way to look at the possible Cornelius-Edward/son-father link is through shared relationships. We know that a John Reddich/Reddish was paid for Cornelius’ 1680 transport into the Colony. John Reddish also is named on one of Edward’s property records in 1678 as a purchaser of his large tract of land called Doeg’s Neck for 30,000 pounds of tobacco (a cash crop at the time). It looks to me that Edward was buying and selling land regularly and had a standard set of purchasers and sellers. I wonder if John Reddish and Edward Maddox had a relationship that would have supported Reddish’s sponsorship of Cornelius into the Colony. But why wouldn’t Edward just sponsor Cornelius himself?
Another shared relationship between Edward and Cornelius could be the other Edward Maddox who was active in Nanjemoy at the same time. Land records indicate that two Edwards were active at the same time in Nanjemoy at a period when only a few hundred landowners were living there. Certainly there was some sort of familial bond. Cornelius would even name one of his own sons Edward. But what of Cornelius? Was one of the Edwards a brother to Cornelius? Again, family historians have run with the notion, but none has proof.
A more tantalizing clue to the Edward-Cornelius relationship is Cornelius’ link to Stafford County, Virginia. Edward Maddox left Charles County in the late 1680’s for Stafford County – just across the Potomac River. This is clear from abundant land records. He would go on to marry George Mason’s widow there, inheriting her land. Cornelius, too, is mentioned in one Stafford County court proceeding, and then he’s later mentioned in a Charles County document as “formerly of Stafford County” – a confusing description.
I think the solution probably lies in an obscure Stafford County record. Someone please find it.
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