The watery graves of Christ Church, Port Tobacco, Maryland



Kayakers on Port Tobacco Creek, in Charles County, Maryland, recently found a pair of very old coffins floating downstream.  It seems the coffins – which contained a mother and her child – surfaced after a major rainstorm further damaged the now-submerged Christ Church cemetery that used to lie on the bank of the creek.

The Christ Church parish formed before 1692 and has met in at least three churches.  The first of these was located just northwest of the once-thriving town of Port Tobacco, along the creek.  Following the destruction of the first, the congregation rebuilt its church on the Port Tobacco town square, and later moved to LaPlata as Port Tobacco withered economically.  But the original Christ Church cemetery interments (now underwater) were never moved from the site northwest of Port Tobacco.

One Maddox researcher believes that our Cornelius Maddox (1651-1705) and Benjamin Maddox (I) (1690-1773) were buried in the original Christ Church cemetery, but has provided no evidence.  We tend to believe the assertion, since Christ Church would have been the closest Anglican church to Cornelius’ and Benjamin’s lands and would be the logical place for burial.  But nobody has been able to produce a list of interments.

During a visit to the Port Tobacco Courthouse today, local historian Anita Barbour Gordon relayed her father’s account of hunting ducks while perching atop semi-submerged gravestones in the Christ Church cemetery.  Those stones are now fully submerged, and nothing remains of the place.


A sign near the current Port Tobacco Courthouse points toward the location of the second Christ Church location.  The original (Old Old Christ Church) location is in the opposite direction.


An 1895 photo shows Christ Church as it stood in Port Tobacco in the 19th century.  This stone church replaced the 17th-century original, which had stood to the northwest across Port Tobacco Creek.

The Inns of Port Tobacco


Three sons of our 8th great-grandfather Cornelius Maddox (1651-1705) – James, Edward and Walter – ran one of the inns in historic Port Tobacco, Maryland, before the Revolutionary War.  Numerous court records describe them as innkeepers in the town – once a thriving port, but now mostly overlooked by historians.  Port Tobacco had more than one inn, though, and we’ve never been able to pin the brothers to one specific inn.

I had the good luck of bumping into local Port Tobacco historians Anita Gordon and Sheila Smith at the historic Port Tobacco Courthouse today.  Sheila is a walking Charles County encyclopedia.  Anita and her father are responsible for the only collection of sketches of Port Tobacco’s buildings and layout (called “Port Tobacco, Charles County, Maryland, Prior to 1895”), and she’s now in the process of collecting the history of Port Tobacco’s inns.  Anita is trying to understand how many there were before the Revolution, and who ran them.  I was glad to add the Maddox brothers’ names.

We’re eager to know which of the inns that Jim, Edward and Walter might have run, and what dramas might have unfolded there (Port Tobacco attracted Declaration of Independence signers and other luminaries).  We’ve always assumed they ran the St. Charles Inn (a.k.a. Brawner Inn, a.k.a. Chandler Inn), which was closely affiliated with the Brawner family, since the Maddoxes and the Brawners were intermarried at the time.  But there were at least three inns in Port Tobacco at the time  and none of the inns is specifically mentioned in the Maddox records.


A map of Port Tobacco from the sketches in James Barbour and Anita Gordon’s book.  The St. Charles Inn is at the upper left.

The possible parents of Dr. Edward Maddox (d. 1694)


We’ve already linked Dr. Edward Maddox (d. 1694) to his son Cornelius Maddox (d. 1705) and his other children Edward, Elinor, John and Alice by the children’s baptismal records in the Munslow Parish record book.  This paternity is confirmed by Edward’s later interaction with Cornelius, Edward and Alice in Colonial Maryland and Virginia records.

Two more records in the Munslow Parish book show an Edward Maddox buried on 10 October 1658, and an Alice Maddox, widow, buried on 16 February 1662/3.  Edward and Alice could be the parents of our Dr. Edward Maddox.  While their paternity and maternity to our Dr. Edward Maddox remain uncorroborated, these records are so far the closest we’ve gotten to another link in our chain.

Edward Maddox’s (d. 1658) and Alice Maddox’s (d. 1662/3) earlier residence at Munslow Parish also hints at a temporary geographic location for our Maddox line in Shropshire, England, during the 17th century.  One genealogist recently listed the handful of Maddoxes who took up residence in Munslow Parish shortly after 1600, all of whom were fathered by a John Maddockes.  However, Edward Maddox (d. 1658) is not listed as one of John’s children.

Munslow Parish Church of St Michael

A research trip to Munslow Parish’s Church of St. Michael is in order.


Did Edward have a brother in Virginia?


Some genealogists claim that Edward Maddox (d. 1694) had a brother named Rice Maddox (d. 1664) in Colonial Maryland and Virginia (Rice, pronounced “reese” is probably short for Richard).  So far there’s zero documentation of a link, but here are some places to start…

  • Rice Maddocke was called a “chirurgion” (surgeon) and Edward also was a surgeon. (Westmoreland County deed, 6 Dec 1653, in “Virginia Colonial Abstracts Vol. 23,” p. 15)
  • Rice received 200 acres in 1650 by transporting four people, including himself, Thomas Cockrill, Susan Hale, and Thomas Tillitt, into the Virginia Colony. (Northumberland County Deeds & ORDERS 1650-1652, p. 47)
  • Rice lived 36 miles down the Potomac River from Edward’s land, on a 300-acre tract at the mouth of the Nomini River in Westmoreland County. (Westmoreland County Deeds and Wills No. 1, p. 182, 29 October 1662, in “Westmoreland County, Virginia, Records 1661-1664,” abstracted and compiled by John Frederick Dorman)
  • Rice Maddox and Samuel Maddox  witnessed a 200-acre land purchase by Robert Coleman from Francis Carpenter, 22 Aug. 1659, recorded in Westmoreland County, Virginia.  Rice and Samuel could have been brothers or otherwise related.  It’s tempting to identify this Samuel with the Samuel Maddox (1638-1684) who lived in St. Mary’s, Maryland, around the same time; however, Samuel Maddox (1638-1684) reportedly immigrated to Maryland in approximately 1665.

Beyond that, Rice seems to have lived a complicated life, based on a few records:

  • Rice married Anne Dandy in 1657 or 1658.  She was the widow of John Dandy – a notoriously violent man who served as a hangman in Maryland, and who was himself hung in 1657 for murder.  Rice, along with Emperor Smith, both surgeons, examined the body of Dandy’s victim – and cut off his head to present it to the court.  Anne was tried by the Maryland Provincial Court for embezzlement because she did not properly administer John Dandy’s estate after his death, but Anne successfully argued that harsh punishment would affect her two (unnamed) children. (AOMOL, 10:546; 2:326; 10:559; 10:443; 10:432.)
  • Rice Maddox was arrested for failure to pay a debt in 1663. (Westmoreland County Deeds and Wills No. 1, p. 15, 24 June 1663, in “Westmoreland County, Virginia, Records 1661-1664,” abstracted and compiled by John Frederick Dorman)
  • Rice was murdered in January or February 1664 under unknown circumstances.  Edmund Goddard, John Fryer and William Webb were jailed for his “untimely death.”  Rice’s body was dissected by the surgeon Robert Noble. (Westmoreland County Deeds and Wills No. 1, p. 24, 24 February 1663/1664, in “Westmoreland County, Virginia, Records 1661-1664,” abstracted and compiled by John Frederick Dorman)

Rice’s wife Anne was left to work through the wreckage of Rice’s estate and relied on the court’s attorneys.  Rice’s wife was clearly the widow Anne Dandy in Maryland as of 1658.  In Westmoreland, County, Virginia, Rice’s wife is listed as Alice on 8 October 1662, but just 21 days later she is named Anne in the same record book, and she is named Anne consistently in all other known records. (Westmoreland County Deeds and Wills No. 1, p. 181-182, 8 October and 29 October 1662, in “Westmoreland County, Virginia, Records 1661-1664,” abstracted and compiled by John Frederick Dorman)

Pesky parson


Parson John Waugh was a notorious Protestant Whig in Stafford County, Virginia, in the late 1600s.  He incited Catholic-Protestant violence, officiated men’s marriages to preteen girls, and connived his way into free acreage from at least one rich woman.

Edward Maddox willed about 500 acres in King George County, Virginia, to the parson and we’ve always wondered at the circumstances.  Edward, as a Stafford justice of the peace, personally ruled against the parson for one of his preteen marriages and must have understood his character.  So why would he give land to Waugh?  We know that Edward was politically aligned with the Waughs and their Mason allies, but the 500 acre conveyance seems unusual.

Today we discovered that John Waugh not only received 500 acres from Edward’s estate, but also was appointed to directly administer Edward’s estate (Westmoreland County Order Book 1690-1698, Part Three (1694-1698), p. 178-179).  No conflict of interests there, right?  Something stinks.



We’re perplexed by Alice, the wife of Charles Cale in King George County in the early 1700s.  We believe she’s the daughter of our Edward Maddox because we know Edward had a daughter named Alice of the same approximate age and he gave 200 acres in King George County, Virginia, to Alice Cale in his 1694 will.

Today we discovered that Alice Cale was married to at least three men: (FNU) Watts, William Strothers, and Charles Cale, based on Westmoreland County deed 1:635, dated 5 December 1729.  Of course records don’t provide her maiden name, so we have no way of corroborating her Maddox origins from that particular document.  But her inheritance of 200 acres from Edward would otherwise lock it in.  Sigh.

Locating Edward Maddox’s early Maryland properties



Dr. Edward Maddox owned numerous tracts in the Maryland Colony in the mid-1600s, mostly along tributaries of the Potomac River in Charles County and modern Prince George County.  A recent survey conducted by the Broad Creek Historic District provides estimates of the locations of Edward’s Stone Hill, Lyon’s Hole and possible Athey’s Hopewell tracts.  See the map below.  The Vainall tract, which is used as a reference in some of Edward’s deeds, was centered on 38.756851, -76.985385.

Edward Maddox land locations 1696

Deeds/sources of Edward’s tracts:

Lyons Hole: Charles County Circuit Court Liber R, Page 144: 31 Dec 1690; Indenture from Daniell Smith of St. Mary’s County, carpenter, to Henry Goodridge; for 6,000# tobacco; a tract called Lyons Hole; bounded by Richard Fowkes’ Vaineall; containing 100 acres; formerly granted to Edward Maddocks by patent; /s/ Daniell Smith (mark); wit. John Wilder, Cleborne Lomax; ack. by Elizabeth Smith, wife of Daniel. [Note: Edward is untitled in this transaction (normally he’s called “apothecary”), and it’s possible that this Edward Maddocks is the younger Edward.]

Doges Neck: Charles County Circuit Court Liber H, Page 132: 5 Sep 1678; Indenture from Edward Maddock, apothecary, to John Reddick; for 30,000# tobacco; a parcel of land called Doges Neck; on the south side of the Piscataway River to the mouth of Chingamuxon Creek; laid out for 200 acres; /s/ Edward Maddock; wit. Rando. Brandt, Geo. Godfrey; acknowledged by Margery wife of Edward Maddock.

Cheshire: Charles County Circuit Court Liber I, Page 125: 5 Jun 1681; Indenture from Edward Maddock, apothecary, and Margery his wife, relict of Matthew Stone, to William Chandler, Gent.; a tract called Cheshires being part of Poynton Manor; inherited by Margery from the will of William Stone; containing 500 acres; for 40,000# of tobacco; /s/ Edward Maddock, Margery Maddock; wit. Tho. Hussy, John Richards.

Greene’s Purchase: Charles County 1671-1674, Vol. 60, Pg. 532-534: “Luke Greene acknowledged the ensueinge Conveyance unto Edward Maddock for two hundred acres of Land called Greenes Purchase in open Court Vizt…”

Stone Hill: Charles County Circuit Court Liber F, Page 22: 29 Oct 1674; Indenture from Henry Aspenall, planter, to Edward Maddocke, apothecary; for 20,000# of tobacco and 300 acres of Stone Hill; a tract called Doegs Neck on the south side of Piscataway River, bound by Chingamuxon Creek; laid out for 450 acres; also a parcel on the east side of the said neck by the sd creek containing 200 acres by patent granted Walter Hall 26 Apr 1658; Isl Henry Aspenall; wit. Richard Edelen, Stephen Murry

Athey’s Hopewell: Charles County Circuit Court Liber F, Page 180: 12 Apr 1676; Indenture from Edward Maddock, apothecary, to Philip Carey; for 3,000# tobacco; a parcel called Athey’s Hopewell; containing 100 acres; /s/ Ed. Maddock; wit. Philip Lines, Luke Greene

Maddock’s Folly: Charles County Circuit Court Liber F, Page 200: 8 Aug 1676; Indenture from Edward Maddock, apothecary, to Philip Lines; for 8,000# tobacco; a parcel called Maddock’s Folly; on the east side of Piscataway River; containing 350 acres; /s/ Edward Maddock; wit. Henry Bonner, Joshua Guibert, John Hamilton

Nanjemoy: Charles Co., MD, Land Record L #1, folio 142: 17 February 1684, Edward Maddock and wife Margery of Stafford Co., VA, conveyed 500 acres called “Nanjemoy” in Charles co. to Gerard Fowke.


Locating Cornelius Maddox’s Tatshall tract


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)

Maddox land patents in Colonial-era Charles County, Maryland


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Numerous Maddox and Maddox-associated tracts are described in the Charles County Circuit Court Land Survey, Subdivision, and Condominium Plats, including a few we haven’t seen before.

The following tract was owned by Cornelius Maddox and we’ve never seen the original description:

Totsall, 60 Acres; Patent Record CB 3, p. 163; Date: 1682; Developer/Owner: Ashford, Michael.

The first three of the following tracts were owned by Benjamin Maddox (I) and Benjamin Maddox (II), and the rest are associated with their sons:

Horne Faire, 150 Acres; Patent Record 17, p. 522; Date: 1674; Developer/Owner: Nevill, William.

Horn Fair Addition, 30 Acres; Patent Record BC and GS 2, p. 182; Date: 1755; Developer/Owner: Maddox, Benjamin.

Poseys Chance, 100 Acres; Patent Record LG B, p. 73; Date: 1739; Developer/Owner: Posey, John.

Posey, 450 Acres; Patent Record AB and H, p. 170; Date: 1651; Developer/Owner: Posey, Francis Burlane, John.

Batchelors Hope, 184 Acres; Patent Record C 3, p. 166; Date: 1695; Developer/Owner: Smallwood, James.

Blue Plains, 680 Acres; Patent Record BT and BY 3, p. 565; Date: 1747; Developer/Owner: Maddox, Edward.

Maddoxs Trouble, 236 Acres; Patent Record EI 2, p. 666; Date: 1738; Developer/Owner: Maddox or Maddux, John.

The following tracts were wholly or partially owned by Edward Maddox:

Mannor of Poynton, 5000 Acres; Patent Record AB and H, p. 425; Date:  1658; Developer/Owner: Stone, William.

Doags Neck, The, 450 Acres; Patent Record AB and H, p. 437; Date: 1658; Developer/Owner: Hall, Walter.

Hopewell, 80 Acres; Patent; Patent Record CB 2, p. 44; Date: 1680; Developer/Owner: Athea, George.

Why would you ever name a kid Napoleon?


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Thanks to research by Joe Holland, we now know that Joseph Maddox‘s second wife was Susan M. (Hargraves) (Jones) Maddox, whom he married on 7 March 1871 in Christian County, Kentucky.  Susan was born in Tennessee to Young and Charlotte Hargraves, according to the 1850 census.  She was married to James Jones from 4 October 1856 until James’ death in 1869.  Susan gave birth to John Napoleon “Napy” Maddox on 21 May 1872.

We’ve always wondered why Joseph and Susan would give John the unusual middle name of Napoleon.  Thanks to Joe, we know…

“From my preliminary research, John Napoleon Maddox got his middle name courtesy of his mother. Susan Hargrave(s) Jones Maddox had a brother, Napoleon B Hargraves. He is buried in Cave Hill National Cemetery, ‘Napoleon B Hargraves, Co H 48th Kentucky Infantry. Died June 17, 1864, Munfordville, Ky.'”  The 48th Kentucky Infantry Regiment was a Union unit and Napoleon Hargraves’ service record is available on the NPS site.