Custom maps are one of the best ways to imagine the whereabouts and chronology of ancestors’ activities:
Custom maps are one of the best ways to imagine the whereabouts and chronology of ancestors’ activities:
It took years, but we’ve documented the descendants of Dr. Edward Maddox (d. 1694), who were born in Shropshire, England and baptized at the Munslow Parish Church of St. Michael. Finding Edward’s parents, though, may take us as many more years. Below is the latest information we have:
We’re happy to announce that we’ve published the story of Edward Maddox (d. 1694) in the Magazine of Virginia Genealogy, Vol. 7, Number 4. The article explains in detail the life of Edward — a planter, justice of the peace, wilderness doctor and sometime bounty hunter in the Maryland and Virginia colonies. The article corrects numerous misinterpretations of the records of his life, unites his previously disconnected records from England, Virginia and Maryland, offers historical context for his decisions, and supplies the best evidence yet for his descendants.
We’re indebted to Barbara Vines Little for her extraordinary effort as editor of the magazine. Her attention to detail guaranteed the accuracy of our article.
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
A collection of Stafford County, Virginia, courthouse papers called “Record Book, 1686-1693/4” documents numerous transactions involving Dr. Edward Maddox around 1687. The record book is not indexed, requiring researchers to scan each of the 552 hand-written pages for names and details. It’s only available in person at FamilySearch research centers. Here are some summaries of proceedings from pages 1-355, listed by page number:
Edward’s gift of the cow to Godfrey could help explain a family relationship, but I don’t have any insights into the Maddox-Godfrey relationship yet.
Another researcher has claimed that Edward was paid a bounty on 16 November 1687 for joining the militia’s effort to find some Oneida Indians, and cited the Record Book. I have so far been unable to confirm this claim.
Source: Record Book, 1686-1693/4, Family History Library microfilm #1445833
In 1684-1685, our 8th-great grandfather Cornelius Maddox sued our 9th-great grandfather Edward Maddox for one thousand pounds of tobacco in a series of court appearances in Charles County, Maryland (Charles Co., Md. Circuit Court, Liber L, pp. 15; 69; 106-7). Cornelius is described as a merchant and Edward is described as “chyrurgion” (surgeon) and doctor. We’ve obtained a full copy of the two-page court document, which we had hoped would provide more evidence that Cornelius was the son of Edward. Instead, we’re having trouble deciphering a few letters of Colonial-era script that might offer clues to the duo’s identities.
The above excerpt from the second paragraph of the 2-page court record clearly says, “Maddock Merchant of…” what? The next word seems to begin with the letters a and p, but then becomes a hot mess. Is it “apples”? Is it “a plea”? Is it shorthand for something entirely different?
We’ve been trying to understand how the Maddoxes of Shropshire, England, might have been affected by the English Civil War (1642-1651) and the Restoration (1660). These events almost certainly played a role in Edward Maddox‘s emigration from England sometime after 1661. In America, Edward’s records demonstrate strong anti-Papism, possibly implying that he was aligned against King Charles II (who was in favor of religious freedom) during this tumultuous period.
A fellow Maddox researcher, David Pugh, recently found evidence that an Edward Maddox was ejected from England in 1670 after spending time in London’s infamous Newgate Prison. A 14 February 1670 warrant offers to set him free if he “gives security for his good behavior and transports himself abroad.”
Newgate was known for its horrifying conditions – including dungeons, starvation, exposure, extortionist guards, and more. Public punishments such as hanging, drawing and quartering attracted 17th-century crowds, and sealed the prison’s reputation. London-In-Sight offers a description.
Edward Maddox might have been among allies at Newgate. During the late 1600s the prison housed a number of well known anti-monarchists and anti-Papists, such as Titus Oates, who had fabricated the 1678-1681 Popish Plot and instigated violence against Catholics. Oates alleged that there was an extensive Catholic conspiracy to assassinate Charles II.
Oates’ Popish Plot sounds very similar to the conspiracy by Edward Maddox’s friend, Parson John Waugh, in March 1688/9. Waugh falsely claimed that Maryland Catholics were crossing the Potomac River with Seneca Indians to murder Virginians in their sleep. Waugh and Edward Maddox’s other friend George Mason (grandfather of the Founding Father) would be punished for the subterfuge. Perhaps Waugh and his friends were copying Oates?
We visited Thonglands, a small rural hamlet in Shropshire, England, this week. Edward Maddox‘s (d. 1694) parish records note that he lived at Thonglands with his wife Ellinor, but there’s little more to explain the place or its significance.
We drove along high hedgerows and forded a river to find the place. We were welcomed by the owner and his wife, who showed us around the place – including the dovecot, moat, ancient loo (outhouse, complete with a small gargoyle above the door), and the various segments of the home. The place has been inhabited since before the Domesday register of the 11th century, and it bears numerous architectural styles.
Although it remains unclear whether our ancestors lived in the house itself or lived nearby, it is certain that they would have interacted with the owners and would have visited it in the routine of their lives.
We’re touring our Maddox sites in Shropshire and Wales this week, and one of the most impressive has been St. Michael’s Church in Munslow, Shropshire, England. St. Michael’s is a 12th-century Norman-style Anglican church with an intricate interior, including 15th-century stained glass windows, a 15th-century baptismal font, and original pews. Our ancestors attended this church in the 1600s. They were baptized in the same font, sat in the same pews, and stared at the same stained glass windows. It was an impressive visit. We’re indebted to Reverend John Beesley for allowing us to join his congregation for Evensong.
We’ve established that our 9th great grandfather lived in southern Shropshire, England, before emigrating to Maryland in the mid-1600s. As we begin to dig into local Shropshire records in search of more data and stories, it’s useful to place the family in the historical and etymological context of Shropshire and their presumed earlier home of Wales.
Madog/Madoc is the original spelling of our name, as used in Wales as a forename by ethnically/culturally Welsh ancestors at least as long ago as the 6th century. Saint Madoc established a monastery in the 6th century at the eponymous Llanmadoc, on the Gower Peninsula, but that doesn’t mean he was the first Madog/Madoc in the area and it doesn’t give us a clue to the earlier origins of the name. One writer has made a speculative claim that Saint Madoc’s DNA is similar to DNA found among the Gaulish Medulli people, including a Medulli group that lived in Medoc, France.
The Madog/Madoc lines in Wales are famous for their short-lived kingdoms and their rebellions against Norman and English invaders. Kings bearing the Madog name had a part in the establishment of the Powys kingdom after the Romans left Wales in the 5th century, and kept the Powys kingdom going for centuries. Our known 17th-century ancestors might have descended from Powys’s Mathrafal dynasty, which included the 12th-century founders of the Powys Fadog kingdom (Fadog means Madog) and the Powys Wenwynwyn kingdom some decades later. These kingdoms once held the majority of Wales and parts of Shropshire. The Powys Fadog kingdom was politically centered on Dinas Bran and spiritually centered on Valle Crucis. The Powys Wenwynwyn kingdom included Munslow, Shropshire, where our Edward Maddox lived in the 17th century. Perhaps the Powys Wenwynwyns deposited Edward’s grandfathers there.
The Powys Fadog kingdom fought with the Gwynedd kingdom to the north, which included numerous prominent Madog/Madoc relations. The Gwynedd kingdom would defeat the Powys Fadog kingdom in the 12th century. The most famous Madog/Madoc to come from the Gwynedd line was Madoc ab Owain Gwynned, who legendarily sailed to the American continent in the 1100s, and whose descendants would purportedly be found living among Native Americans in the 1600s and speaking Welsh.
When American Maddox researchers claim ancestry in Wales via 17th-century Maryland and Virginia colonists, it’s usually a claim to the Maddoxes of the Powys Wenwynwyn kingdom, whether the researchers know it or not. This claim was propagated by Fredonia Maddox Webster in the first four pages of her 1957 book, The Maddox Family of Maryland. She relayed a romantic British description of the Madogs of Llanfrynach (a few miles southeast of Brecon), whose ancestors rebelled against the Crown before being reduced to minor local nobles. Webster’s four-page genealogy of the Madogs of Llanfynach begins with King Arthur and ends with John Maddox, progenitor of Maryland colonist Samuel Maddox.
Many hopeful family historians have claimed that their Maddox line includes a Thomas Maddox, who settled near Jamestown, Virginia, in 1620 and died by 1623 (possibly due to injuries after the Indian Massacre of 1622). They claim that this Thomas is identifiable with “Thomas Lord Scethrog,” and again they refer to Webster’s book, even though Webster writes that Thomas died in 1620. Webster claims that Thomas Lord Scethrog was the father of John Madog, who was the father of Maryland colonist Samuel Maddox. One researcher has found a 1607 gravestone for a “Gwladis, married Thomas Maddock, Lord of Scethrock” in Saint Meugan’s Church in Llansantfraed, providing perfect evidence for a geographic location… if only the genealogical link to the Maddox colonists could be proven. But so far it has been impossible to actually document known Colonial ancestors into the royal Madog/Madoc lineage in Llanfrynach.
While hopeful Maddox family historians may claim links to Fredonia Webster Maddox’s 16th-century Madogs of Llanfrynach, our own Maddox ancestors were living 60 miles to the northeast in Munslow, Shropshire, at that time. Our Maddoxes were geographically closer to the extraordinarily beautiful Powis Castle, where the last of the Powys Wenwynwyn heirs lived in the late 13th century. But the illegitimate son of the last Powys Wenwynwyn prince sold the castle to the Herbert family soon thereafter. The Madogs of Powys Wenwynwyn were dispersed throughout the modern area of Powys.
The name Madog did not originally serve as a static surname. It was a forename. Parents could name their sons Madog for many reasons, and the use of the name didn’t necessarily mean a blood relationship to any of the Madogs that came before. For this reason, not every Madog in Wales should be considered a relative. One researcher provides a deeper explanation here and another expresses frustration here.
For over a millennium, the ethnically/culturally Welsh used the Madog forename as a patronymic, meaning that a man would identify himself with his father’s name (or rarely his mother’s name). For example, Madog ap Dafydd meant Madog son of Dafydd. A woman would use matronymics, placing the term ferch (daughter of) before her mother’s name. This was intended to establish genealogy for legal proceedings, but records and genealogies among the ancient Maddoxes are few and questionable.
While Welsh ancestors called themselves Madog/Madoc, ethnically/culturally English ancestors just to the east simultaneously spelled their name Madocke/Maddocke, based on a study of thousands of 16th-century records.
The use of patronymics generally ended in 1536, when Henry VIII passed the Act of Union, which put an end to the tradition in favor of Anglicized surnames. Some families then incorporated the ap at the front of their surnames. For example, the Rice surname became Price. Other families added a possessive s to the end of their surname. For example, Jone became Jones. In England, Madog/Maddock became Maddocks/Maddox. But the Welsh continued to use Madog/Madoc.
The transition to Anglicized surnames in the mid-16th century can help us establish geography and distinguish between families. Our known ancestor Edward Maddox and his children used English spellings as early as the 1640s in Munslow Parish baptismal, marriage and burial records, implying English cultural/ethnic identity. This could also imply an eastward aspect: they probably had been doing business with the English, whose centers of commerce were to the east toward London.
Among the intriguing records we’ve already found in the Shropshire Archives is the 1630/1 will of John Everall of Wentnor, Shropshire, referring to his son Edward Maddox and his grandson Edward Maddox. The dates match our Edward Maddox’s chronology, location, and son’s name in Shropshire. But why a man with the surname Everall would have a son and grandson with the surname Maddox is… confusing. But if we reverse-engineer Everall’s name into his original patronymic (for example, the name Evans was originally ap Ieuan), we see that he might have been called ap Iarll before surnames were fixed. Ap Iarll translates to “son of Earl.” Perhaps – just speculation – he was derived from the Powys Wenwynwyn royal line, and had a complex series of wives and children, as many of the royals did. Or maybe the story is much more basic. Lots more work to do.
We’ve been trying to understand our Edward Maddox‘s (d. 1694) origins in Shropshire, England, and add any more evidence to our assessment of his migration to the American Colonies. Most evidence of such early migration is oblique, so maybe it shouldn’t be surprising to find hints of Edward’s origins in obscure write-ups about the 17th-century English cloth trade…
It turns out that the town of Shrewsbury, in Edward’s County of Shropshire, was the center of trade (export) for woolens and the headquarters of the Drapers Guild. Edward lived just south of Shrewsbury in the town of Munslow, placing him ideally for involvement in the cloth trade. Perhaps he was warehousing locally grown wool. Other towns in the area were used as markets or warehouses.
One author explains that “The ‘proud Salopians’ of Shrewsbury, as their rivals termed them, achieved the high-water mark of their prosperity in the century before the [1642-51] Civil War: the town’s population rose from 3,000 to 7,000, the urban area was largely rebuilt, and the borough evolved from a county seat into the economic and social focus of an area stretching from the Wrekin to Cardigan Bay. Shrewsbury’s urban growth mirrored developments at neighbouring Chester and Worcester, but the simultaneous expansion of its hinterland gave it a regional significance comparable to that of much larger centres such as York, Norwich, Bristol or Exeter. This expansion was partly due to Shrewsbury’s location at the head of the Severn navigation, which facilitated communications to Gloucester, Bristol and beyond, while Shrewsbury’s proximity to the upland pastures of southern Shropshire [where Edward’s town of Munslow is located] made it the entrepôt for top-quality March wool coveted by broadcloth weavers from Gloucestershire to the Low Countries.” (Source: http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1604-1629/constituencies/shrewsbury)
The Drapers Guild fell apart in the mid-1600s after the Glorious Revolution. According to a Wikipedia article, “after the English Civil War (1642–51) regulations were made in 1654 ‘for preventing the Drapers forestalling or engrossing the Welsh flannels, cloths, etc.’ Many of the drapers supported Parliament during the civil war, and as a consequence the Company was not given royal support after the monarchy was restored in 1660 under Charles II (r. 1660–85). The cloth trade went into a gradual decline after this date. The number of drapers had fallen back to 61 in 1665.” (Source: The Shrewsbury Drapers and the Welsh Wool Trade in the XVI and XVII Centuries, T.C. Mendenhall) Edward migrated to Virginia at about this time.
The cloth trade suggestion is particularly compelling as an explanation for Edward’s migration because he imported “fuetiane” (a kind of heavy cloth) to Maryland in 1675 . It was enough cloth to be reported in official Colonial records (Source: Colonial Survey Report #3964, p. 16). His son Cornelius would be called a merchant in some records and this might have been because of a cloth import business. We’ll have to continue pulling this thread. The Shrewsbury archive contains records of the Guild.