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

Record Detail

Record #48 from Free Black Families of Colonial Delmarva (abstracted by Paul Heinegg)

State Maryland
County (Primary) Somerset
Other Counties
Family Name Horner
Family History Notes 1. George1 Horner, born say 1690, was the common-law wife of Matilda, a "free mulatto woman," in Somerset County, Maryland. She was the servant of Captain Arnold Elzey of Monacan Hundred on 10 March 1707/8, 8 November 1710, and 7 March 1710/11 when she was presented by the Somerset County court for having an illegitimate child. She identified George Horner as the father in each case. The court ordered her to serve her master additional time for the trouble of his house and fined George 600 pounds of tobacco for each offense. She was called "Martilldo ... a certain Mollato Woman servant to Capt. Arnold Elzey" when she petitioned the Somerset County court on 26 November 1713 stating that she was about twenty-two to twenty-three years old and should have been free at age sixteen. The court ruled that she serve six years for fines, court costs, and the trouble of her master's house (for having children). They had another child before 12 November 1714 for which Martildo was ordered to receive ten lashes and serve another six months [Judicial Record 1707-11, 69, 100-1, 431, 451, 453; 1711-13, 299-300; 1713-15, 12, 127-8, 176; 1715-17, 57]. George was living on land belonging to John Bozman on 26 April 1716 when Bozman made his Somerset County will. He was taxable in Manokin Hundred from 1723 to 1740: taxable on William Horner in 1725, on Martilder and William in 1727, on Martilder, William and George Horner in 1728. He was called George Horner, Sr., in 1739 when he was head of a household with Mertildo and John and Arnold in Manokin Hundred. He died before 14 April 1744 when the inventory of his Somerset County estate was valued at over ?112. The June 1745 account of the estate divided the proceeds among his wife Matilda, adult children: Arnold, Elizabeth, and Charles and his underage children: Samuel, Robert, and Mary [Land Records Liber AC-25:12; Baldwin, Maryland Calendar of Wills, 4:88; Maryland Inventories, Liber 29:207; Maryland Accounts, Liber 21:413; Davidson, Free Blacks on the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland, 52]. Matilda was head of an Annamessex Hundred household with Samuel and Robert Horner in 1749. George and Matilda's children were i. ?George2, Jr., born say 1710, taxable head of his own household in Somerset County in 1733, not mentioned in the distribution of George Horner's estate in 1744. The Somerset County court indicted him for stealing 30 pounds of tobacco from William McClemmey on 1 August 1740, and in November 1749 the court convicted him of stealing a calf which belonged to George Irven and ordered him to pay four times the value [Judicial Record 1740-2, 36; 1749-51, 15]. ii. Arnold1, born say 1712, taxable in Manokin Hundred in 1739. He was living on "Manlowe's Lot" in 1748 when he was sued in Somerset County court for four years back rent [Judicial Records 1747-49, 161, 232]. In March 1749/50 David Wilson sued him for ?4 due by promissory note [Judicial Records 1747-49, 161, 232; 1749-51, 59, 156]. iii. Elizabeth1, born say 1716. iv. Charles, born say 1722, taxable in John Rigsby's Somerset County household in 1748. v. Samuel, born say 1728, underage in 1744, taxable in his mother's household in 1749. vi. Robert, born say 1730, underage in 1744, taxable in Somerset County in 1749. vii. Mary, born say 1732, underage in 1744. Their descendants were i. William, born say 1720, a planter who was convicted by the Somerset County court in 1742 of stealing hogs worth 500 pounds of tobacco and given 15 lashes [Judicial Record 1742-4, 87]. ii. Arnold2, Jr., charged in Somerset County court on 16 June 1767 with assaulting William Luke. he was called Arnold Horner, Jr., planter on 20 August 1771 when he admitted owing John Bell ?10.15 [Judicial Record 1766-7, 160; 1769-72, 208]. iii. Elizabeth2, confessed to the Somerset County court on 5 August 1766 that she had a child by James Shingwich and confessed to a child by James Ring on 17 March 1767. She was acquitted of stealing petticoats from Mary Caldwell in March 1769 but convicted of stealing articles worth 992 pounds of tobacco in June 1769. The court ordered that she stand in the pillory for thirty minutes, receive thirty-nine lashes and be sold for fourfold the value of the articles [Judicial Record 1766-7, 14a, 106; 1767-9, 257; 1769-72, 50]. She was sentenced to death by hanging but pardoned by the Governor on condition she leave Maryland [Archives of Maryland 32:315].
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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.