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Brown family of Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties

In November 1709 Eleanor Brown, the servant of Thomas Ricketts, confessed to the Anne Arundel County, Maryland court that she had a child by her master's "Negroe Will."

"Mallato" children John (10 years old), Margaret (7 years old) and Philemon Brown (4 or 5 years old) were listed in the Anne Arundel County estate of Thomas Ricketts in 1723, valued at the remaining time they had to serve until the age of thirty one. This connects Margaret Brown to the "Mallato" Margaret Brown who was the servant of Meredith Davis in adjoining Prince George's County when she had several children between 1739 and 1748. The family spread throughout the Western Shore of Maryland.

From the records I have read, I estimate there must have been well over 1,000 mixed-race African American children born to white women in Maryland and Virginia during the colonial period, but I have heard of only one or two cases in which the story was handed down to modern times.

As historian David Thelen wrote in Memory and American History, People construct memories in response to different circumstances, and therefore "the important question is not how accurately a recollection fitted some piece of past reality, but why historical actors constructed their memories in a particular way at a particular time." [quoted by Martha Hodes, White Women-Black Men].

Messages In This Thread

Brown family of Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties
Re: Brown family of Anne Arundel and Prince George's countie
Re: Brown family(sarah lawrence lightfoot)

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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