Benjamin Maddox (I), 1693-1770

Based on his father Cornelius’ ownership of the tract Tatshall, Benjamin Maddox (I) probably was born and grew up on the periphery of Charles County’s original courthouse (1674-1727) at Moore’s Lodge, north of the Wicomico River.  He was the fourth son of Cornelius and Mary, and his father died when Benjamin was just twelve years old.  His mother married again, to Robert Taylor.  Benjamin was entitled to less land by primogeniture than his older brothers James and Edward, but in his lifetime he acquired at least three known plantations in Charles County.

moores-lodge-buildings

Benjamin would have frequented Moore’s Lodge, the original Charles County seat of government, depicted here in an unusually descriptive drawing from 1697. (Image: Maryland Archives)

Benjamin was a tobacco planter in Charles County, Maryland.  He owned Posey’s Chance (100 acres located between modern-day Berry Road/Route 228 and Smallwood Drive just west of Waldorf, Maryland, and demarcated by a large oak tree in official deeds), which he purchased from his father-in-law John Posey for 20,000 pounds of tobacco in 1740,[i] Hornfair (150 acres, which he also purchased from his father-in-law for 20,000 pounds of tobacco the same year)[ii]  and Hornfair’s Addition (30 acres), and he was an overseer of the public road near his property.[iii] [iv] [v]  All of his tracts were connected geographically, such that Benjamin would have run a plantation totaling around 300 acres in size.

An 18th century plat map of Posey’s Chance, demarcated by a tiny hand-drawn tree.

Like his father, he was a planter focused on raising and selling tobacco to the demanding British market.  The Maryland tobacco, called Oronoco, was particularly desirable.[vi]

A typical 17th century tobacco barn in Charles County, Maryland.

Benjamin married Mary Wheeler, the daughter of Richard Wheeler[vii], and then by 1740 he married Frances Posey, the much younger daughter of John Posey and Lydia Shuttleworth,[viii] [ix] and they would produce 14 children in total.   His marriage to Frances is emblematic of the very strong Maddox ties to the Posey family of Charles County, some of whom would later accompany the Maddox family from Maryland to South Carolina.  In fact, after John Posey’s wife, Lydia, died in 1744, John married Elizabeth Maddox, the daughter of Benjamin’s brother Edward (in other words, Benjamin’s father-in-law married Benjamin’s niece) in February 1759.  The Posey family descends from the French Huguenot (prosecuted Protestant) Francois Pouchet, who fled northern France for Maryland in the 18th century.[ix.a.]  Based on Benjamin’s will, he had the following children.[x]

1. Thomas Maddox, married Frances Posey, the daughter of  John Posey Jr.;  served in Captain John Sinnett’s company in the 26th Battalion of the Maryland Militia in the Revolution.[xi] [xii]  In 1782, Frances Maddox was listed as a widow, with Thomas’s name scratched out beside hers, on a tax list for the newly formed state of Maryland, among the other tax payers of Durham Upper Hundreds (plantations) of Charles County.[xii.a.]

2. Mary Maddox, born 1718, married Humphrey Posey who died by 28 February 1784.[xiii]  Mary died before August 1785.[xiv] [xiv.a.]

3. Mary Anne Maddox, 1720 – 1776, married Rhodum Posey, 1725 – 1787, son of John and Lydia Posey, in 1750.  She may have been married to Thomas Dyson prior to marrying Rhodum.

4. Elizabeth Maddox, born circa 1727,  married Joseph Evans in 1745, and died circa 1776.

5. Ignatious Maddox, born 1730, married Sarah Gray, served in Captain Francis Mastin’s company in the 26th Battalion of the Maryland Militia in the Revolution, and possibly died in 1777 after fighting in the tide-turning Battle of Princeton, N.J.[xv] He owned the plantations Billsound, Ignorance Passion, Partner’s Mistake, Talford’s Passion, and Maddox’s Venture.[xvi]   He sold Maddox’s Venture to Richard Robeson on 26 March 1774.[xvii]  His probate was proven on 27 February 1779.[1]

6. Cornelius Maddox, 1730-1797, married Susannah Ware (daughter of militia officer Francis Ware), served in Captain Walter Hanson’s company in the 12th Battalion of the Maryland Militia in the Revolution,[xxiv] and owned 680 acres called Blue Plains (now worth billions of dollars in Washington, D.C.) and a smaller plot called Squares Adventure.[xxv]  He left his possessions to the heirs of his brother Leonard.[2]

7. Walter Maddox, 1733-28 June 1778, served in the 7th Maryland Regiment of the Continental Army as a fifer and drummer in the Revolution.  He died during the Battle of Monmouth on 28 June 1778.  His regiment was part of the Main Army’s Right Wing, commanded by Major General Nathanael Greene, and in the 1st Maryland Brigade, commanded by Brigadier General William Smallwood (Walter’s great uncle).  The brigade spent the “Valley Forge Winter” at Wilmington, Delaware.  The commander of the 7th Maryland was a Colonel John Gunby, and Walter served in the company of a Captain John Courts Jones.[xxviii]  At his death in 1778, his wife was Elizabeth and they had eleven children – Eleanor, Anne, Mary, Phebe, Cornelious, George, Sarah More, Calista, Benjamin (19 y.o.), Elizabeth (13 y.o.), and Theophillus (11 y.o.).[xxix]  Walter may be buried in the churchyard near (probably east of) Freehold (formerly Monmouth Courthouse), New Jersey.

8. Phoebe Maddox, first married Francis L. Evans[xviii] (1735 – 1771) in 1746 and after Francis’s death married Samuel Hudson (1746 – 1813) on 18 June 1773.[xix]

9. Benjamin Maddox (II), circa 1735-1811, served in the 12th Battalion of Maryland Militia under either Captain Walter Hanson or Francis Mastin in the Revolution and took the Oath of Allegiance on 2 March 1778.[xx] [xxi] [xxii] [xxiii]  Benjamin (II) is our direct ascendant and his full biography can be read here.

10. Leonard Maddox, served in Francis Mastin’s company in the 26th Battalion of the Maryland Militia in the Revolution.[xxvii]  Leonard and Benjamin (II) were witnesses to Humphrey Posey, Sr.’s will on 13 March 1783.  Humphrey Posey’s wife was Benjamin (II)’s sister, Mary.  Benjamin II was appointed executor of the estate.[xxvii a]  In 1783, Leonard Maddox was listed as the owner of the 150-acre plantation Horn Fair in Charles County, Maryland – a plot of land that was originally willed to Leonard’s brother Benjamin Maddox (II) in 1770 and would be sold by Benjamin Maddox (II) in 1790.[xxvii.b.]

11. Lydia Maddox married Clement Kennedy.

12. George Maddox, served in Captain Francis Mastin’s company in the 26th Battalion of the Maryland Militia in the Revolution and was discharged on 6 April 1782.

13. Anne Maddox

14. Richard Maddox, served in the Maryland Militia in the Revolution.[xxvi]

It’s apparent from this list that all of Benjamin’s sons were committed to the fight against the British in the Revolution from its beginning – whether they wanted to be or not (the Oath was mandatory for free white men).  Although Benjamin Maddox (I) would not live to see his sons join the militia, the relationship between the British and the Colonists certainly would have soured during Benjamin’s lifetime.  This was a major change from his father Cornelius Maddox’s time.  The tobacco planters of Charles County were particularly affected by the tax increases levied on the colonies by the British to fund their war with the French.  Throughout Benjamin’s time, the Maddox family interacted with numerous famous American patriots and politicians who would lead the colonial uprising, including the Stone family, St. Thomas of Jenifer family, Smallwood family, and Dent family.  This interaction almost certainly would have influenced their loyalties.[xxx]

A rendering of the area of Benjamin’s Hornfair plantation, which lay just west of Nanjemoy in Charles County, Maryland.  Artist: Anne McGraw.

Benjamin (I) died in 1770.  In his will, dated 23 August 1770 and probated on 19 September 1770, he gave his wife, Frances, one third of his estate and two “Negro men,” Boson and Will.  He gave his son Benjamin (II) both Hornfair and Posey’s Chance and one grey horse and saddle.  He gave Hornfair Addition to Thomas.  The remainder of his estate was divided equally among his 10 children, not including Mary Posey, Elizabeth Evans, Phoebe Evans, and Ignatious Maddox.  The executors were his wife, Frances, and his oldest son, Thomas.  Walter Hanson, Benjamin (II)’s infantry company commander in the Revolution, witnessed Benjamin (I)’s will.[xxxi]

If geography determined participation in a particular church, then Benjamin (I) probably would have been a member of Durham Parish in Ironsides, along with his uncle Edward’s family and the Smallwood family.  His known properties are very close by.  This probably would have been where Benjamin (I) was buried, too.  But one researcher claims that both Benjamin (I) and his father Cornelius were buried in the Christ Church cemetery in Port Tobacco – a claim worth some additional research.[xxxii]

Benjamin (I)'s mark 1770

Benjamin’s 1770 will included an unusual cross-like signature mark.

 

This family narrative was written and placed online by Narratio Vitae.


[1] The choice of “Ignatious” as a name is possibly religiously derived.  Maryland was a Catholic safe haven at the time and the choice of Ignatius as a son’s name could have been a sign of membership in the Catholic church.  The Society of Jesus (Jesuits) were Ignatians, and the nearby church was called St. Ignatius.  However, the evidence of Benjamin’s family’s membership at Durham Chapel – an Anglican church – conflicts with this Catholic theory.

[2] A Cornelius Maddox is listed as a prisoner “languishing” in the Charles County gaol (jail) along with John Lucket in 1768.  The jails were notoriously awful scenes populated by debtors and criminals.  Perhaps Uncle Cornelius ran into some trouble before his successes.  Source: Archives of Maryland, 296 Assembly Proceedings, May 24-June 22, 1768, liber #36, p. 384.


[i] Charles County, Maryland Land Records, 1733-1743, page 345, dated 26 May and recorded 17 June 1740.

[ii] Abstracts of Charles County, Maryland, Court and Lands Records O#2.343 & O#2.345.  Hornfair sale recorded 17 June 1740.

[iii] Benjamin’s land was listed in his will – Madox, Benjamin, willed 23 August 1770, probated 19 September 1770, Charles County, MD, Liber 38, folio 169-170, Hall of Records.  Also listed were two slaves names Boson and Will.

[iv] Charles County Court Records, November 1742 Court, Liber T#2, Page 485.

[v] Ignatius Maddox’s Final Account, dated 27 February 1779 is on page 304 of Charles County Maryland Wills, Administration Accounts, Inventories and Orphan Court Proceeding 1777-1780.

[vi] Tobacco Culture: The Mentality of the Great Tidewater Planters on the Eve of Revolution, T.H. Breen, Princeton Paperbacks, 1987.

[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”.

[ix.a.] See CALVERT R. POSEY, SR., b. 1924, November 13, 2001, Interviewed by Michael Kline with Rick Posey (Mr. Posey’s son), Peggy Palmer, Carrie Kline at the Nanjemoy Creek Environmental Center in Charles County, Maryland.  Southern Maryland Folklife Project, St. Mary’s College of Maryland.  The transcript is available at http://smcm.cdmhost.com/cdm/ref/collection/p4105coll5/id/320.

[x] Benjamin’s children were listed in his willMadox, Benjamin, willed 23 August 1770, probated 19 September 1770, Charles County, MD, Liber 38, folio 169-170, Hall of Records.

[xi] Revolutionary service recorded in The Maryland Militia in the Revolutionary War, S. Eugene Clements and Edward Wright, Heritage Books, 2006, pp. 158-164.

[xii] Revolutionary Patriots of Charles County, Maryland 1775 – 1783, Henry C. Peden, Jr.

[xii.a.] The Maryland Society of Sons of the American Revolution has provided the Maryland General Assembly’s 1782 “Charles County, Maryland, Assessments in Different Monies,” at http://www.mdssar.org/sites/default/files/archives/1783taxlists/Charles_Co_MD1782OPT.pdf.  Frances is listed on page 21.

[xiii] Charles County Maryland Will Book B-1, 1782-1785; Page 278. Humphrey Posey Sr. Will.
I, Humphrey Posey of CC, am weak of body but of sound mind and memory. Firstly, I want my just debts paid.
To my sons Prier Posey, Benja Posey, Been Posey, & Roger Posey, and to my daughters Elizabeth Posey, easter Posey, Mary Posey, Sarah Posey, & Ann Posey – 1 english shilling each & no more.
To my wife Mary Posey – the rest of my estate, and at her
death, to my son, Wheeler Posey, and if he dies without an heir, to my son Roger Posey.
Executor: Benja Maddox.
Signed Mar 13, 1783 – Humphrey (HP his mark) Posey Sr. Wit – Leonard Maddox, Benja Maddox.
Probated on Feb 28, 1784 by the oath of the executor, Benjamin Maddox Sr and by the oaths of both witnesses.

[xiv] Charles County Wills, 9.69 dated 9 August 1785 states “Wheeler Posey (Mary’s son) an orphan 14 years and 3 months of age is by this Court bound to William Norris…”

[xiv.a.] Ref:  Maryland wills 30: 641-642, PHL microfilm 0,012,853. Benjamin II and his brother, Leonard, were witnesses of Humphrey Posey, Sr.’s will on 13 March 1783.  Humphrey Posey’s wife was Benjamin II’s sister, Mary.  Benjamin II was appointed executor of the estate.  On 11 June 1784, Benjamin II renounced and gave up administration of Humphrey Posey’s estate.  Ref: Charles County Wills 8.338.  On 9 August 1785, Wheeler Posey, the youngest son of Humphrey and Mary Maddox Posey was an orphan and therefore his mother, Mary Maddox Posey, had died.  Ref:  Charles County Wills, 9.69

[xv] Revolutionary service recorded in The Maryland Militia in the Revolutionary War, S. Eugene Clements and Edward Wright, Heritage Books, 2006, pp. 158-164.

[xvi] Abstracts of Charles County, Maryland, Court and Land Records (3 volumes, 1658-1722), Elise Greenup Jourdan, Family Line Publications, 1994, 1995, S#3.55, S#3.70, S#3.566, S#3.591.

[xvii] Charles County Land Record Book S#3. 1770-1775, page 591shows 109 acres “bounded by a path that leads from John Maddoxes into Chickamuxon Road, the west line of Lucketts Addition in possession of Ignatius Lockett”.  Also lists his wife as Sarah.

[xviii] Charles County Land Record Book S#3, 1770-1775, page 70 shows Francis Evans with wife Phebe buying 44 acres of land from Ignatius Maddox on 7 August 1770.

[xix] Abstracts of Charles County, Maryland, Court and Land Records (3 volumes, 1658-1722), Elise Greenup Jourdan, Family Line Publications, 1994, 1995, S#3.70.

[xx] Evidence of Benjamin (II)’s birth date: Benjamin was older than 45 in 1800, according to the 1800 Federal Census, Abbeville, SC, pp. 20 & 22.

[xxi] Evidence of Benjamin (II)’s birthplace: Benjamin (I)’s will in Charles Co., MD, 1770, lists Benjamin (II): MCW XIV.157; Wills 38.169, sourced in “Early Families of Southern Maryand,” Volume 9, Elise Greenup Jourdan, Heritage Books, 2007, pp. 196-197.  Benjamin received Hornfair and Posey’s Chance properties.  Also, Benjamin (II) gains his “senior” title by 28 Feb 1784, in Charles Co., MD, according to CC Wills, 1780-1791.278, sourced in “Early Families of Southern Maryand,” Volume 9, Elise Greenup Jourdan, Heritage Books, 2007, p. 202.

[xxii] Evidence of Benjamin (II)’s death after 1811: Benjamin (II)’s land in SC is sold in 1811 and his wife Elizabeth [Donaldson] releases her dower rights, according to 15 Feb 1811 Laurens Co, SC deed book, p. 195.  Both Benjamin II and III are in the 1800 Federal Census, Abbeville, SC, pp. 20 & 22.

[xxiii] Revolutionary service recorded in The Maryland Militia in the Revolutionary War, S. Eugene Clements and Edward Wright, Heritage Books, 2006, pp. 158-164.

[xxiv] Revolutionary service recorded in The Maryland Militia in the Revolutionary War, S. Eugene Clements and Edward Wright, Heritage Books, 2006, pp. 158-164.

[xxv] Abstracts of Charles County, Maryland, Court and Land Records (3 volumes, 1658-1722), Elise Greenup Jourdan, Family Line Publications, 1994, 1995, 1752-1756.280; O#3.181; N#4.1.

[xxvi] Revolutionary service recorded in The Maryland Militia in the Revolutionary War, S. Eugene Clements and Edward Wright, Heritage Books, 2006, pp. 158-164.

[xxvii] Revolutionary service recorded in The Maryland Militia in the Revolutionary War, S. Eugene Clements and Edward Wright, Heritage Books, 2006, pp. 158-164.

[xxvii a] Maryland Wills 30: 641-642, PHL microfilm 0,012,853.

[xxvii.b.] The Maryland Society of Sons of the American Revolution have provided the Maryland General Assembly Assessment Record for Charles County, 1783 (and other years), at http://www.mdssar.org/sites/default/files/archives/1783taxlists/Charles_Co_MD1783OPT.pdf.  Leonard is listed on page 144.

[xxviii] Walter is listed as a fifer early in the war, but as a drummer toward his end.  Muster of Maryland Troops, Vol. II, page 231 lists him as a fifer. A company payroll for the month of December 1777 lists him as a drummer.  Military unit information is from a 26 July 2012 email from Dr. Glenn F. Williams, Senior Historian, U.S. Army Center of Military History.  Revolutionary service also was recorded in The Maryland Militia in the Revolutionary War, S. Eugene Clements and Edward Wright, Heritage Books, 2006, pp. 158-164.

[xxix] Walter Maddox’s final account on 20 February, 1779, page 301, Charles County, Maryland Wills, Administration Accounts, Inventories and Orphan Court proceedings 1777-1780.  Charles County Register of Wills, Book AF 7. In Walter Maddox’s 1779 will (Charles County MD Will Book 1777-1780, p. 301), Elizabeth Maddox was listed as Walter Maddox’s widow with their 11 children – Eleanor, Anne, Mary, Phebe, Cornelious, George, Sarah More, Calista, Benjamin (19 y.o.), Elizabeth (13 y.o.), and Theophillus (11 y.o.).

[xxx] The Price of Nationhood: The American Revolution in Charles County, Jean B. Lee, W.W. Norton & Co., 1994.

[xxxi] Charles County Maryland Wills, Liber #38, Fol. 169-170.

[xxxii] Find A Grave researcher Blanche Keating Collie claims that Benjamin (I) and his father Cornelius were buried at Christ Church in Port Tobacco.  We are attempting to verify her claim as of June 2014.  See http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSob=c&GScid=2524460&GRid=124588563&.

11 thoughts on “Benjamin Maddox (I), 1693-1770”

  1. Thank you so much for all the valuable information. While researching the Ignatius Maddox & Sarah Gray line for a DAR supplemental application, I have hit a wall on Ignatius’ daughter, Athelia Arlotta Maddox. I believe she married Allen Matin, and in fact have found several mentions in books about Allen Martin and his wife, Athelia Maddox Martin. However, I can find no proof of their marriage or the fact Athelia Arlotta Maddox Martin, is in fact, the same Athelia Arlotta mentioned in Ignatius’ will. He left his daughters a slave, and later when the slave was sold, the two unwed daughters signed the document as well as Allen Martin and Joseph Brawner. I thought this would prove the marriage, especially if I could find proof of Joseph’s marriage to Embly Maddox, the fourth sister in the will. Unfortunately, I have not found anything about Joseph Brawner and Embley Maddox’s marriage. Have you come across anything about Athelia Arlotta Maddox in your research? Thanks.

    • Thanks Donna! I haven’t looked deeply into Ignatius’ children, but I know someone who has and I’ll ask for any details.

    • Kathleen Brown said:

      Hello Donna, Allen Martin and Athelia Maddox left Charles Co. Md. around 1805 and settled in what is now Preston Co. WV. They ran the Reeder Tavern between Kingwood and Morgantown. See Oren Morton’s History of Preston Co. WV for details. Allen died in 1817 and his Will in Monongalia Co. mentions Athelia and children Aquilla A., Horatio, Samuel G., Turner D., John A., and Athelia S. all born in Charles Co. Aquilla mar. Mary Byrne Fairfax. I am descended from Aquilla and Samuel G. Many Martins in Preston Co. are descended from this pair.

      Kathy Martin Brown, Norrisville Md.

  2. I am looking for information of Benjamin Maddox 1693-1770 son Ignatius, and his son Ignatius Lamberthand and grandson Ignatius. B. Maddox. Do you have any information on this branch of the family? All 3 Ignatius lived in Charles Co Maryland. Ignatius B moved to Barren Co Kentucky before 1802.

    Any help would be appreciated.
    You web site is beautiful. Thanks Gayle

    • Hi! My info on Ignatius, son of Benjamin (I), is pasted below. I haven’t followed his children down the line, but you might take a look at Early Families of Southern Maryland for more info.

      Here’s my own research on Ignatius, son of Benjamin (I):

      Ignatious Maddox, born 1730, married Sarah Gray, served in Captain Francis Mastin’s company in the 26th Battalion of the Maryland Militia in the Revolution, and possibly died in 1777 after fighting in the tide-turning Battle of Princeton, N.J.[xv] He owned the plantations Billsound, Ignorance Passion, Partner’s Mistake, Talford’s Passion, and Maddox’s Venture.[xvi] He sold Maddox’s Venture to Richard Robeson on 26 March 1774.[xvii] His probate was proven on 27 February 1779.

      [xv] Revolutionary service recorded in The Maryland Militia in the Revolutionary War, S. Eugene Clements and Edward Wright, Heritage Books, 2006, pp. 158-164.

      [xvi] Abstracts of Charles County, Maryland, Court and Land Records (3 volumes, 1658-1722), Elise Greenup Jourdan, Family Line Publications, 1994, 1995, S#3.55, S#3.70, S#3.566, S#3.591.

      [xvii] Charles County Land Record Book S#3. 1770-1775, page 591shows 109 acres “bounded by a path that leads from John Maddoxes into Chickamuxon Road, the west line of Lucketts Addition in possession of Ignatius Lockett”. Also lists his wife as Sarah.

  3. Donna Griffith said:

    Thanks so much for the information. My brick wall is I can’t prove the Athelia Arlotta Maddox in Ignatius’ will is the same Athelia Arlotta Maddox married to Allen Martin. I have to find a wedding certificate or bond with Ignatius’ name, land he gave the two of them, or a source that links the three of them. Have you found anything like this? I’ll check out History of Preston County again, but I don’t think it linked the couple to Ignatius. Thanks so much for the info. If you find a link between the three please let me know. Donna

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s