Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History & Culture Enduring Connections: Exploring Delmarva's Black History

Record Detail

Record #13 from Free Black Families of Colonial Delmarva (abstracted by Paul Heinegg)

State Maryland
County (Primary) Dorchester
Other Counties Kent
Family Name Butcher
Family History Notes 1. Robert1 Butcher, born say 1670, was called "Robert Buchery negroe" of Great Choptank Hundred on 2 September 1690 when the Dorchester County, Maryland court ordered him to pay a fine of 500 pounds of tobacco for begetting an illegitimate child by Elizabeth Cobham, an indentured servant of Andrew Gray. The court also ordered him to pay Gray 800 pounds of tobacco for the nursing of the child. Andrew Gray, Jr., and Philip Pitt were his securities to pay for the tuition and bringing up of the child. Elizabeth Cobham received 25 lashes. In February 1691/2 he was accused of stealing nine deer skins, three new match coats and other items valued at 900 pounds of tobacco from Thomas Wells but was found not guilty. He admitted in February 1792/3 that he owed John Tyley of Talbot County for eight well-dressed deer skins [Judgment Record 1690-2, 176, 157, 156, 93, 87]. He recorded his earmark in adjoining Kent County, Delaware, on 13 February 1692/3 [de Valinger, Court Records of Kent County, Delaware, 1680-1705, 89]. He was sued in Kent County by Hugh Durborow on 11 August 1713. In August 1714 he testified that James Dean had counseled him to kill Timothy Hanson and burn his house. In November 1718 he confessed to the charge of battery and was ordered to be flayed and pay a fifteen shilling fine. He was sued by Griffin Jones about 1723 and by John Bland in August 1723 [General Court Records 1712-6, n.p.; 1718-22, 20; 1722-3, n.p.; 1722-5, 35]. He was taxable in Duck Creek Hundred, Kent County, in 1726, and his name was crossed off the Little Creek Hundred list in 1727 when he was listed with Robert Whud (Wood), Julius Caesar, Thomas Consellor, William Beckett, Winslow Driggers, Jacob Miller, Richard Poolin, and Daniel Francisco [RG 3535, Levy Assessment List, 1726-43, frames 341, 346]. He called himself a "yeoman" in his 26 July 1722 Kent County will which was proved 14 February 1731. He left his son Robert a shilling, left Phillis Asco (no relationship stated) a cow, calf, pewter plates, furniture and one of his three gold rings, and divided the remainder of his estate between his wife Susannah and son-in-law Richard Pulling [DB H-1, fol. 23-24]. His children were 2 i. ?Hannah, born say 1693. 3 ii. Robert2, born say 1695. iii. the unnamed wife of Richard Pulling. 2. Hannah Butcher, born say 1693, was convicted of felony by the Kent County Court of Quarter Sessions on 10 August 1714. She was publicly whipped, made to wear a Roman T, and ordered to pay the owner Timothy Hanson fourfold the 10 shillings value of the goods [Dockets 1680-1725, General Court Records 1712-16, n.p.]. She may have been the mother of 4 i. Susannah, born say 1722. ii. Elizabeth, born say 1725, indicted by the Kent County court in May 1743 for having an illegitimate female child which she charged to William Gonselah (Consellor). In November 1748 she charged George Hilton of Duck Creek Hundred, labourer, with being the father of another illegitimate child. Sarah Butcher was a witness. Perhaps this or a second case against Hilton was the one he submitted to in November 1752 [DSA, RG 3805, MS case papers, May 1743 indictments, November 1748 indictments; Dockets, 1739-79, frames 172, 214, 224]. 3. Robert2 Butcher, born say 1695, was called "Robert Butcher, Junr." in Kent County, Delaware Court on 11 August 1713 when he and Thomas Gonsoaly (Consellor) were fined 15 shillings for being "Deficients on the Highways." He was called "Robert Butcher ye younger" on 15 May 1716 when the Kent County court of Quarter Sessions convicted him of having an illegitimate child by Susanna Stephens [General Court Records 1712-6, n.p.]. His suit against John Harding was dismissed in May 1727 [DSA, RG 3815.031, 1722-1732, frame 154]. He was called "Robert Bucher Junr." when he was taxable in Little Creek Hundred, Kent County in 1729. He was called the administrator of Robert Butcher in May 1732 when Coffey Hilton and Richard Pullin brought separate suits against him in Kent County court. Julius Caesar sued him in court as the administrator of Robert Butcher claiming that he had paid Robert 10 pounds for two steers which had not been delivered. Julius withdrew the case in May 1733, and Robert sued Julius in August 1733 but the case was agreed in November that year [DSA, RG 3515.031, 1722-32, frame 604; 1733-40, frames 3, 60; MS Case papers, May 1733]. His 14 November 1733 Kent County will, proved 6 December 1733, named his wife Sarah (daughter of Thomas Conselah), and left 190 acres of land to his sons, Moses, Benjamin, Robert, Conselah, and Thomas [WB H-1:77]. Sarah was head of a taxable household in Little Creek Hundred, Kent County, from 1740 to 1754. William Rees sued Sarah, Moses, Robert and Consella Butcher for a debt of 65 pounds which they confessed judgment to in March 1747 [RG 3815.031, Common Pleas, Dockets 1744-1750, p.29]. His children were i. Moses1, born say 1715, taxable in Little Creek Hundred from 1740 to 1748, sued by Hugh Durburow for debt in Kent County in May 1742 and in December 1743 he admitted he owed Cornelius Empson 8 pounds [Delaware Archives RG 3815.031, Dockets 1740-4, frames 255, 319, 507]. He died before 12 September 1749 when his brother Robert was appointed administrator of his Kent County estate [WB K-1:2-3]. ii. Benjamin, born say 1718. iii. Robert3, born say 1720, taxable in Little Creek Hundred from 1745 to 1748, sued Moses Butcher in Kent County court in November 1748 [RG 3815.031, Common Pleas, Dockets 1744-1750, frame 499, 549]. He was appointed administrator of the estate of his brother Moses on 12 September 1749. 5 iv. Conselah, born say 1722. v. Thomas1, born say 1723, sued James Maxwell for debt in Kent County court in May 1744 [Docket Volume 1736-85, 43]. He was taxable in Little Creek Hundred from 1754 to 1756. 4. Susannah Butcher, born say 1722, was a "Molatto free & single woman" who declared in Kent County court on 26 April 1743 that the base born "Molatto" female child which was begotten on her body was by "Negro Jack," who had been the slave of Mrs. Rachel Collins and was then the slave of Mr. James Tybout [DSA, RG 3805, MS case files, April 1743 indictments]. In 1743 Joseph Clayton was allowed 13 shillings for her maintenance [RG 3200, Levy Court minutes]. She may have been the mother of i. Martha, born say 1743, a "free Mulatto," indicted by the Kent County court in August 1771 for having an illegitimate child [DSA, RG 3805, MS case files, August 1771 indictments]. 5. Conselah Butcher, born say 1720, called "Selah" Butcher, was taxable in Little Creek Hundred, Kent County from 1752 to 1780 [RG 3535, Kent County Levy List, 1743-67, frames 87, 143, 520, 566; 1768-84, frames 26, 103, 334, 366, 368]. Administration on his Kent County estate was granted to Thomas Butcher, his "next of kin," in 1795 with Jesse Dean surety [WB N-1:117]. He may have been the father of i. Thomas2, born say 1750, taxable in Little Creek Hundred from 1773 to 1776, in Duck Creek Hundred from 1777 to 1782, also in Dover Hundred in 1782, a "Negro" taxable in Little Creek Hundred from 1782 to 1785, taxable in Dover Hundred in 1785, a "Mulatto" taxable in Little Creek Hundred in 1797, taxable on an acre and a log house in 1798 [DSA, RG 3535, 1768-84, frames 184, 222, 262, 299, 336, 370, 491, 522, 533, 539, 541, 570, 582, 619; 1785-97, frames 8, 24, 71, 74, 106, 136, 176, 190, 226, 267, 337; 1797-8, frame 14, 53, 473, 480]. On 14 April 1771 he admitted in Kent County court that he owed Archibald Duglass 129 pounds [DSA, RG 3815.031, 1769-71, frame 423]. He witnessed the 11 May 1776 Little Creek Hundred, Kent County will of Samuel Whitman [de Valinger, Kent County Probate Records, 347]. In November 1792 Mary, Cynthia and Elizabeth Ridgeway charged him in Kent County court with assaulting them. Jesse Dean was his surety [DSA, RG 3805.002, Court of General Sessions, 1787-1803, frame 226; MS case papers, November 1792 indictments]. He was head of a Little Creek Hundred household of 8 "other free" in 1800 [DE:33] and 6 "free colored" in 1820 (called Thomas B. Butcher [DE:20]. Other members of the family were i. Richard Butcherly, born say 1712, held as a servant by John Stevens of Dorchester County contrary to law in August 1733. The court ordered him set free [Judgment Record 1733-4, 48]. ii. Peter Butcherly, born say 1714, servant of Bartholomew Ennalls in November 1733 when the Dorchester County court required Ennalls to pay security of 10 pounds not to transport him outside the province [Judgment Record 1733-4, 178]. iii. John, born say 1720, taxable in the upper part of Duck Creek Hundred from 1741 to 1743. His inventory dated 19 February 1762 named his wife Sarah. iv. Caesar, born say 1740, taxable in Little Creek Hundred in 1761. v. Robert3, say 1750, taxable in Little Creek Hundred from 1772 to 1781, in Duck Creek Hundred in 1785, and a delinquent Murderkill taxable in 1787, perhaps the Robert Bucher who was a "free" head of a Queen Anne's County, Maryland household of 4 "other free" in 1790 and a Kent County, Maryland household of 7 "other free" in 1800 [MD:157]. vi. Jacob, born say 1752, taxable in Little Creek Hundred from 1776 to 1780, died before 23 March 1792 when George Frazer was granted administration on his Kent County estate. He was apparently the father of Susannah Butcher since Frazer wrote a letter saying he was too sick to take the inventory on the appointed day and that "her father owes me nothing" [RG 3545, Probate Records, reel 28, frames 174-177; WB N-1, fol. 15]. vii. James, a "Negro" taxable in Little Creek Hundred from 1786 to 1789, also listed as a "Free Negro" in Dover Hundred from 1789 to 1794 [DSA, RG 3535, Assessments 1785-97, frames 48, 74, 106, 153, 224, 265, 310]. He was called a "Negro" when Robert Hall and Caleb Sipple were granted administration of on his estate on 11 August 1808 on $500 bond [DSA, RG 3545, Probate Records, frame 179]. viii. Rachel, a "free Negro" taxable on a cow in Dover Hundred but struck off the list in 1797 [RG 3535, Kent County Levy List, 1785-97, frame 410]. ix. Moses2, born say 1758, taxable in Little Creek Hundred from 1779 to 1787, listed as a "free Negro" starting in 1781, head of a Montgomery County, Pennsylvania household of 5 "other free" in 1790. x. Moses3, born before 1776, a "free Negro" taxable in Dover Hundred, Kent County, on 4 acres of land in 1797 [RG 3535, Kent County Levy List, 1785-97, frame 411], head of a household of 4 "free colored" in 1820 [DE:37]. xi. William, Sr., born say 1760, enlisted in the Revolution on 24 April 1777 and was listed in the Muster of the Independent Company of Foot raised for the safe guard of the...persons...residing near the Town of Lewis and the Coast of Delaware Bay, commanded by Captain William Pary [NARA, M246, roll 31, frame 322 of 658]. He was a "Mulattoe taxable on 2 horses in Kent County in 1797. xii. Peter, head of a Little Creek Hundred, Kent County household of 10 "other free" in 1800 [DE:10]. xiii. James, born 1776-1794, head of a Duck Creek Hundred household of 5 "free colored" with one woman over 45 years old in 1820 [DE:48]. xiv. Henry, head of a New Castle County household of 2 "free colored" in 1820 [DE:199]. xv. John, head of a New Castle County household of 6 "free colored" in 1820 [DE:108]. xvi. Whittington, head of a New Castle County household of 2 "free colored" in 1820 [DE:199]. xvii. Eli, head of a Little Creek Hundred, Kent County household of one "free colored" in 1820 [DE:28].
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[Author (if known)], Free Black Families of Colonial Delmarva (abstracted by Paul Heinegg), [Date (if known)], Enduring Connections: Exploring Delmarva’s Black History, Nabb Research Center, Salisbury University.