Arterburn DNA Project
Maryland State Archives: Guide to Government Records (Charles County Court)
(Maryland State Archives has yet to be thoroughly searched and
not all records are online, although Paul Heinegg's research of the
Archives appears to have been very thorough (see links below).
The following leads are presented in addition to the ground work
previously laid in my books, and may serve as a starting point
for further research.)
Additional to Supplemental Notes: RE: "Peter Atturburn alias Williams"
and "John Williams" (see Appendix #1 of Supplemental Notes):
Was John Williams first in Talbot County, Maryland as the servant of "Mr. [Edward] Mann?"
"East Indian servant John Williams" in Charles County Court (search/find
"John William/Williams") (Heinegg)
Persons named "John Williams" in Maryland State Archives (MSA online)
Persons named "John Williams" transported to Colonial Maryland (MSA online)
Persons named "John Williams" in Colonial Maryland (RootsWeb)
"Edward Mann/Man" in Talbot County, Maryland (MSA online)
"John Williams (?) and Edward Mann" in Stafford County, Virginia (RootsWeb)
"Richard Booker" (of Virginia) in Talbot County, Maryland (MSA online):
ST. PETER'S PARISH-TALBOT COUNTY (Register) 1681-1744 [19,989-1;0-8-6-32], p. 6 Richard Booker and Sarah, married 5 December 1700 . 01/09/89. Tracking No.: 47750. PD No.: 89-01431.
LAND OFFICE (Patent Record) 7 [MdHR 17,340;1-23-1-10], p. 474 Richard Booker of Virginia, 4 November 1664. 03/30/89. Tracking No.: 51896. PD No.: 89-02177
LAND OFFICE (Patent Record) 9 [MdHR 17,342;1-23-1-12], p. 75 Richard Booker of York River in Virginia, 7 February 1664. 03/30/89. Tracking No.: 51896. PD No.: 89-02177.
"Capt. Richard Booker (I) and Johanna Hudson [Hodgson]" in Gloucester County,
Virginia and Charles County, Maryland (Booker identified himself in one of these
court records as a "militia captain") (RootsWeb)
Historical Society of Talbot County, Maryland
Talbot County, Maryland GenWeb
Charles County, Maryland Genealogical Society
Did John Williams have more than one wife/family in Maryland?
"Benjamin Guy alias Williams" (search/find "Guy") in St. Peter's Parish, Talbot
County, Maryland (Heinegg)
"March 1730/1 ... John Edmondson agt. Benjamin Guy als. Williams for that
Benjamin is a freeman prayeth your worships release and judgment against
the said Benjamin...." (Underline and italics added)
This formulation of "Benjamin Guy alias Williams" used by Talbot County
Court is identical to that used about the same time by Charles County Court
(1736) to refer to "Peter Atturburn alias Williams." Talbot County Court
also recognized "Guy alias Williams" as a "freeman," thus making a clear
distinction about his legal and political status. This formulation may link
Guy's status to that of the East Indian servant, John Williams, who was
declared free of his indenture (i.e., a "free man") in Charles County Court
(1706/7). John Williams may have resided in Talbot County while formerly
indentured to Edward Mann, and might possibly have returned to Talbot
County after the court granted his freedom from Richard Hodgson of
"Guy" Families (search/find "Guy") in Talbot County, Maryland (Heinegg)
"Joseph Williams alias Guy" (1732/5)
"Richard Guy alias Williams" (1732/5; 1735/7)
"Williams" Families (search/find "Williams") in Colonial Maryland (Heinegg)
"Guy Williams," identified as a "Negroe planter" (i.e., a free man), was sued
in Anne Arundel County Court in 1711/2.
Other "Williams" Families (search/find "Williams") in Virginia, North Carolina
and South Carolina (Heinegg)
"John Williams" (?) was identified as the "Molatto" servant of Mr. Martin
Gardner (?) on 26 April 1675 in York County (Virginia) Court.
If these research results of Mr. Heinegg for "Guy alias Williams" are of
the East Indian John Williams' family or of his relatives, the references to
"Negro" and "Mulatto" in some of the records suggest that there may have
been intermarriages with African Americans within this family. If so, this
would seem to be in accord with the fact that some East Indians are known
to have intermarried with and blended into the free African American
population of Maryland, as noted by Heinegg and other historians. Also,
some East Indians and Africans may have intermarried and subsequently
identified with members of one or more of the local Native American
tribes, as well.
(Note: Heinegg makes clear that his attempt to construct lineages for
many of these families is conjectural (e.g., "born say") in part and not
fully documented. Also, distinguishing between African and East Indian
(and Native American) intermarriages, in families such as "Guy" and
"Williams" that appear to have been mixed, may be problematic if
relying on public records alone.)
Evidently, Peter Arterburn pursued a different course, since his final marriage,
at least, was with Sarah, described by John Elsea as a "fair skin woman." Peter's
mother may also have been European, whether British or German. Either Sarah,
or Peter's first wife, or Peter's mother could have been the source of our family
tradition of a German (or Swiss) ancestry, and also the source of our surname,
If Peter's surname came from his mother, could she have been the
daughter of "William and Jane Arterburn" who were married in London,
in 1676? We still have no clue about what happened to William and
Jane. Neither do we know with certainty that this William was even our
relative, nor any real clue of where he came from. The similar renderings
of "William Arterburn" in London and "Peter Atterburn/Arterburn" (two
generations later) with a son named "William" in America, and the rendering
of "Peter Arterburn/Arturberner" in Shenandoah County compared with
"Peter Arter, Peter Bern," and "Peter Berner" in Switzerland are all certainly
suggestive, but we cannot be sure of any real connection—Fred Painter's
claim to have had proof that the ARTERBURNS were Swiss notwithstanding.
On the other hand, that the majority of ARTERBURN descendants across the
country who were interviewed by the authors of The Arterburn Cousins
believed they were of "German" descent should not be discounted. (It should
also be understandable to us that an "East Indian" ancestry may have been
quietly suppressed by descendants for obvious reasons, although a tradition
of "Indian" ancestry did survive among some descendants.) German-speaking
Swiss immigrants (e.g., Spillman/Spielmann, Booker/Bucher, Stover/Stauffer)
and their descendants were also present in Shenandoah County, and were
associated with the families of Peter and William (cf. Some Research Notes).
South Germans and German-speaking Swiss shared similar cultures and
languages, and commingled easily in America. At least two Swiss families
in Shenandoah County, represented by Samuel Stover and Philip Booker,
are known to have first migrated to the Palatinate of Southwest Germany
before coming to America and Shenandoah County. Neither Germany nor
Switzerland were modern nation-states in the 18th Century, and the turmoil
of religious wars had uprooted people and spurred migration. All of these
factors could have resulted in a blurring of the distinction between German
and Swiss self-identity among those who came to Shenandoah County, and
might explain how both German and Swiss origins have been attributed
for the ARTERBURNS.
There must be some truth in this widespread family tradition of a German
(or Swiss) ancestry for the ARTERBURNS. However, both the genetic and
documentary evidence appear to agree: Peter Arterburn's patrilineal ancestors
were almost certainly not German or Swiss (or West European). Thus, either
Peter's mother or one of his wives seems the most likely candidate as the
source of this tradition. The origin of Peter's surname may or may not be
directly related to the source of this tradition, but this seems the most
reasonable hypothesis—currently, given what we now know.
The most recent SNPs (Z93, Z2123) of our Y-DNA that identify the
ARTERBURN Y-Haplogroup agree with these findings in the documentary
record that point toward a more recent Indian (Asian) ancestry for Peter
Arterburn—through his father’s line, and not African or Native American.
Although Z93 and Z2123 have been found outside of India, Peter's
physical description and attributed origin (i.e., "from the East India"),
coupled with a probable link to the East Indian, John Williams, in the
public records of Charles County, Maryland (i.e., "Peter Atturburn alias
Williams"), seem a compelling argument against the likelihood of a
later migration of Peter's (paternal) ancestors beyond South Asia.
The Charles County court case (1706/7) of the East Indian, John Williams,
suggests that he may have been a youth when first indentured. For example,
compare the following from the court record:
"[A]bout fifteen or sixteen years since Discourseing [sic] with
Mrs. Johannah Hodgson about buying the said East Indian ...,"
and "In a Matter Depending Between John Williams an East
Indian and Richard Hodgson, Henry Tanner Deposeth on the
Holy Evanjelist [sic] that about fourteen or fifteen yeares
agoe[sic] he had the papers of Mrs. Johannah Hodgson in
his hands amongst which was an assignment Written in
These Words: a Negroe Girle [sic] Slave and an Indian Boy
for the Time he had to Serve ... [underline and brackets added]."
That he was clearly and consistently identified as an East Indian in the court
record by the principals in his case, together with the implication that he may
have been very young when first indentured, suggest that John Williams was
an immigrant and not likely to have been born in America. But, of course,
we can't at present be absolutely certain of this.
His apparently English name suggests the possibility that John Williams'
journey to the New World might have been via London, but we really have
no clue about how he got to America or the source of his name. If a child
when first indentured, though, John was probably not marriageable until
after he arrived in America (see also Supplemental Notes, Appendix #1).
All of the dates (1676, 1706, 1711) we have seem to accommodate the likely
ages of majority for John Williams and his wife, vis-a-vis the date of marriage
of William and Jane, and Peter's date of birth. John Williams was likely of
majority age (21 or older)—we know for certain that he was over 16—when
he sued for his freedom in 1706, which suggests a birth year of 1685 or
earlier. However, this possible scenario about the identity of Peter's mother
and the origin of Peter's surname remains conjectural, since we have no
solid evidence that confirms any of it.
Peter apparently lived among and was accepted by Europeans in Maryland and
Virginia. He was always listed as "White" and never as "Black" or even "Mulatto"
in tax lists and censuses, even though a close family friend, John Elsea, testified
in court in Tennessee (1843) that "James Arterburn's father" was a "very dark skin
man, as dark as a Cherokee Indian," who "came from the East India." (A dark or
olive complexion has also been reported among some later descendants.) Peter's
"White" status may have derived from this distinctive difference of an Asian origin
rather than African, in combination possibly with a (maternal) European ancestry,
or because of his intermarriage(s), or both. The tradition that the ARTERBURNS
were "Indian" persisted into the 20th Century not only among some descendants
(notably of William's family) but also—and more importantly—locally in Warren
County, Virginia (e.g., the origin of "Otterburn School" and Mrs. Good's account),
the latter of which attest that Peter's ethnic heritage was apparently known to his
contemporaries there (cf. Some Research Notes and Supplemental Notes).
If pursued, further SNP testing of ARTERBURN Y-DNA as new and more
recent SNPs/subclades are discovered and established (which could also
reveal closer STR matches of more recent relatives) could serve to locate
more precisely the region or locale that Peter's immediate ancestors called
home. Unfortunately, DNA cannot be of much help for clues about the
identity of Peter's mother.
(See also: Free African Americans of Virginia, North Carolina, South
Carolina, Maryland and Delaware. / by Paul Heinegg.
East Indians in Colonial Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina
Acknowledgements and List of Families
Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina
Photos of some "Indian" Families)
Who exactly was the "William Davis" who provided "security" initially for Peter Atterburn's
credit in Prince William County?"
"Henry Tanner" and "William Davis" and "Priscilla (True) Davis" in Charles
County, Maryland (RootsWeb)
Benjamin, son of William & Priscilla (True) Davis, later married
"Elizabeth Hodgson," granddaughter of Johanna Hodgson—who
initially purchased John Williams' contract from Edward Mann,
and daughter of Johanna's son, Richard Hodgson—master of John
Williams when Williams sued for his freedom in Charles County
Court. Although William and Priscilla Davis were neighbors of
Henry Tanner who testified in support of John Williams in Charles
County, we have no proof of a link to "William Davis" of Prince
Comment added to the above "William Davis" file from Tim Davis
"[A] 'William Davis,' age 13, appeared before Charles County Court in
Jan 1682, and was 'adjudged 13 years old' to be a servant for tobacco
planter and justice of the peace Major John Wheeler. While there is
no definite proof this is my William Davis, the age fits; I haven't yet
found another Wm. Davis in Charles County which matches this
situation so closely. Wheeler’s property, described as being on the
upper Nanjemoy River, would have been close to that of Richard True.
William didn't appear (again) in any known records 'til after 1694,
around the time of Wheeler's death." (Underline added)
Persons named "William Davis" in Colonial Maryland (RootsWeb)
Persons named "William Davis" in Colonial Maryland (MSA online)
Published genealogies of Davis Families of Prince William County, Virginia
Other "Davis" Families (search/find "Davis") in Colonial Maryland (Heinegg)
Persons named "William Davis, Isaac Davis, Jesse Davis, and Thomas Davis"
in the 1790 Tax Lists (pp. 1 & 2) of Virginia (Binn's Genealogy)
"William Davis" named in Netherton’s 1775 Census of Dunmore County,
located in the district adjacent to that of Peter and William Arterburn
(see Supplemental Notes, Appendix #7, exhibit p. 598).
What connection if any between "Presley Davis" and Peter's "William Davis"
and "Presley Arterburn?"
Jesse Davis (1751-1818), b. Prince William County, VA d. Nelson County, KY.
Sons "Presley Davis" and "Elijah Davis" (executor) and "William M. Davis"
were named in his Will. Nelson County is adjacent to Jefferson County,
where William Arterburn moved his family, ca.1798. Note reference here from
Charles County land records to
"Jesse Davis of CC [i.e., Charles County]."
From The Arterburn Cousins:
Presley Arterburn (pp. 308, 371)
Elijah Arterburn (pp. 104, 371)
William Davis Arterburn (pp. 199, 380)
Is Peter Arterburn’s distinctive personal mark a clue that he himself had once been a seafarer
(sailor or fisherman) while a young man in Maryland?
"John Gardiner" (1668-1742) of "None Such" in Charles County ["There
may be a connection here as Julian Gardiner married Thomas Mudd. Maybe
John Gardiner was a brother. That means he and possibly William d. 1674
were brothers and sons of Richard Gardiner." Mike Marshall] (RootsWeb)
Another and contemporary "Capt. John Gardiner" (1709-1743) in Charles
County identified as a "mariner"—son of "John Gardiner" (1683-1717) who
was son of "Richard Gardiner" (ca.1650-1687)—probably related to John
Gardiner of "None Such." (RootsWeb)
Tobacco Coast: A Maritime History of Chesapeake Bay in the Colonial Era
About Peter Arterburn’s tax exemption in Shenandoah County, from Some Research Notes
"Shenandoah County Court Minutes has the following entry, dated December 25, 1783:
'On motion of Peter Arterburn, he is henceforth exempted from the payment
of the County Levy.'
From Supplemental Notes (p. 28):
"'[A poll] tax [or county levy] of ten shillings by every free male person, above the
age of twenty-one years, who shall be a citizen of this commonwealth, and also upon
all slaves, to be paid by the owners thereof, except such free persons and slaves as
shall be exempted on applications to the respective county courts through age or
infirmity [enacted, 1781].'
(Henings Statutes, v. 10, p. 504)"
[Underline and bracketed contents and bolded italics added]
Additional to Peter Arterburn’s tax exemption in Shenandoah County (1783), from The Arterburn
Cousins (p. 192):
"Jeffery [Collins, who married Peter's daughter, Jemima] was a revoluntionary [sic] war
soldier and is listed in the Census of Pensioners in 1840, his age was 85. Warren County,
Virginia Minute Book A, Page 189, Dec 26, 1839, On motion of Jeffrey [sic] Collins, an old
and infirm man, released from payment of parish and county levies in the future. Jeffery's
will was administered 17 Nov 1851, which lists him as 96 years old. In the Russell family
Bible, there is an entry: 'In 1832, living in Shenandoah, born there 1756, and volunteered
1777, served with Russell.'"
[Underline and bracketed contents added]
(See "Results" page.)