In Charles County, Maryland, Cornelius Maddox owned a 60-acre tract called Tatshall in 1684-1688 (Charles County Circuit Court Liber L, Page 51, 26 Dec 1684). His presence there would have put him in frequent contact with Piscataway and Susquehannock Indians.
Early descriptions place Tatshall east of Portobacco Fresh (now called Port Tobacco Creek) and west of Zekiah Swamp (sometimes called Allens Fresh), “adjoining to the land called Moores Ditch [aka Moore’s Lodge] at the exterior bound thereof,” and abutting land owned by Hussey, Shaw, Lindsey and Smallwood. After a century of searches, the Moore’s Lodge site was found and excavated in 2008, revealing the locations of buildings owned by Maddox relatives Thomas Hussey and Samuel Luckett. On modern maps of the surrounding area, a stream called Maddox Branch, just south of the Moore’s Lodge site, flows west-east from 38.46744, -76.981926 to 38.475227, -76.957444, into Zekiah Swamp Run – and Tatshall probably lay along Maddox Branch. This means that Tatshall was almost certainly centered at about 38.481510, -76.968192. The tract was also called Tatall, Totsall, Tattsall, Tasch Hall and Nuthall in various records.
Zekiah Swamp was the location of a Piscataway Indian fort during Cornelius’ land ownership and until the Piscataways’ departure in 1692. The Indian fort, now called Zekiah Fort, was recently excavated by archeologists at approximately 38.569746, -76.872085 – about 8 miles northeast of Maddox Branch. Zekiah Fort was a last defense for the Piscataway, whose enemies the Susquahannock were seeking revenge for the Piscataway alliance with the British. The fort attracted frequent Indian skirmishes in the 1680s and 1690s.
Cornelius’ father-in-law James Smallwood served as an Indian agent, and had frequent contact with the Piscataway at Zekiah Fort. Cornelius’ neighbor and family business partner Thomas Hussey, who owned Moore’s Lodge, also had contact with the Piscataway, as evidenced by his September 1681 “statement that the raiding Indians had carried away eleven Piscataway (one man and ten women) from his plantation,” and that “Hussey had all of his linen, blankets, clothing, and rings stolen by a band of Indians.” (Md. Archives 17:20, cited in “A Place Now Known Unto Them:” The Search for Zekiah Fort)
Joe Holland said:
Very cool outcome of your research Professor Maddox. Until I correlated the google map with your blog posting, I had not realized that Port Tobacco was as close to LaPlata as it is.
Port Tobacco is also the site of a number of members of my family history as well, especially the Wheeler clan.
Professor Maddox said:
I’m guessing you already know that Benjamin Maddox (I) married Mary Wheeler, the daughter of Richard Wheeler, according to Richard Wheeler’s will. We’re waaay too related, Joe. Ha.
I am part of the Maddox line with Benjamin Maddox and wife as the direct line. I have his wife’s name was Frnces Wheeler is that correct? I also have notes saying her name was Posey. Could she have married a Posey before Benjaminz? thanks for you help.
Professor Maddox said:
Hi there! Benjamin (I) first married Mary Wheeler, the daughter of Richard Wheeler[vii] and then Frances Posey, the much younger daughter of John Posey and Lydia Shuttleworth,[viii] [ix] and he produced 14 children. Sources:
[vii] Will, Wheeler, Richard, Charles County, 1st Apr., 1734; 1st May, 1734. “To dau. Mary Madox”, MCW 21.57
[viii] Charles County, Maryland land records) 2:343-345. John Posey and wife Lydia acknowledge a deed dated 26 May 1740 selling Horn fair to Benjamin Maddox and wife Frances.
[ix] Maryland wills 30: 641-642. John Posey’s will written 6 Jan 1759 and proved 17 Feb 1759, “I give to my Daughter Frances Madox one shilling Sterling & no more”.