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An American Family History

 

The Briscoe Family

 
“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves,
and, under a just God cannot retain it."
― Abraham Lincoln
 
The first European settlements in Maryland were made in 1634 when English settlers created a permanent colony.

Philip Briscoe was born in 1648.

He married Susanna Swan. She was the daughter of Colonel Samuel Swan.

Philip and Susanna's children included:
George Briscoe
Edward Briscoe (1685, Susanna Gerard Slye)
John Briscoe
George Briscoe,
James Briscoe,
Philip Briscoe,
Sarah Briscoe Howard (married William Stevens Howard),
Susannah Briscoe Compton (married Matthew Compton),
Ann Briscoe Wood, and
Judith Briscoe Ashcomb.

Philip died in 1724. Susanna died died 1740.

Estate inventories give us a glance into the home life of Colonial Americans.
  In 1692 Henry Bonner was removed from the office of Clerk of the Council of Maryland. Henry told the Legislature that Secretary Lawrence had offered him half the Clerk's salary to resign so he could appoint his relative, Thomas Briscoe. Henry refused and Lawrence dismissed him and appointed Briscoe. Some of the colonists petitioned to have him continue in office, but were not successful.  
     
 

Edward Briscoe was born 1685 in St Mary's County, Maryland. He was the son of Philip Briscoe, Sr.

He married Susannah Gerard Slye. She was the daughter of Robert Slye and Priscilla Goldsmith.

John Briscoe (1705),
Edward Briscoe (1707),
Philip Briscoe (1712),
Lydia Briscoe (1713),
George Briscoe (1714),
Robert Briscoe (1718, marrid Ann Wood),
Priscilla Briscoe (1725)
James Briscoe (1726)

Edward owned Love's Enjoyment and Hitchin.

 
     
 

Captain Robert Briscoe was born about 1718 in Charles County, Maryland. He was the son of Edward Briscoe.

He married Ann Wood in 1736.

Gerard Briscoe (1737, married Ruth Perry).

His second wife was Mrs. Sarah Wilson. She had been married before to Thomas Wilson and had at least six children.

Robert died on May 15, 1798 at Rock Creek, Prince George's County, Maryland.

 
 

divider

 
 

Briscoe, Philip, Sr., Charles Co., 25th April, 1724; 29th Jan., 1724.
To wife Susannah, dwelling plantation Morris's Venture during life; at her decease to son John, ex., and hrs.; and ⅓ personal estate.
" son Philip and hrs., 80 A. had of Father Swann.
" son Edward and hrs., Hitchin, bou. of Thomas Davis; 111 A. of Loves Enjoyment.
" grandson Leonard [son of son George, dec'd], pt. of Chaptico Mannor during term of lease.
" daus. Sarah Leonard, Judith Ashcom, Susannah Compton and Ann Wood, personalty.
" son John, largest silver tankard.
" son James and hrs., 200 A. of Loves Enjoyment.
" sons John, Philip, Edward and James and daus. Susannah and Ann, residue of personalty equally.
Test: John Briscoe, Jr., Thomas Mercer, Robert Lang. 18, 339.

 
 
 
 

from Maryland Calendar of Wills, Volume 5
Briscoe, Edward, Charles Co.,
7th Dec., 1725; 19th Feb., 1725.
To sons Philip, Robert, Edward, John and George and 2 daus. Lydds and Priscilla and posthumus child, personalty.
To son Robert and hrs., Love's Injoyment.
To son Edward and hrs., Hitchin.
To wife Susannah, extx., residue of estate for support of children.
Test: Gillum (Wm.) Wood, George Saint Clare, Matthew Parlow.

 
     
 

John Thorn 41.213 CH £38.18.5
Jul 23 1749 Sep 2 1749
Appraisers: Samuel Love, Sr., Samuel Amery.
Creditors: Samuel Amery, Robert Briscoe.
Next of kin: William Thorn Benjamin Thorn.
Administrators/Executors: Susanna Thorn, Leonard Davis.

 
 
 
 

from Charles County Land Record Book G#3, 1756-1761; Page 534.

Nov 3, 1760
from Robert Briscoe of CC, to James Johnson. of Prince Georges County,
for 135 £ sterling and for divers other good causes,
part of a tract of land called Loves Enjoyment,
lying partly in CC and partly in St. Mary's County on the west side of Patuxent River,
a dividing tree between Peter Scallons and the sd Briscoe, containing and
now laid out for about 149 acres.
Signed - Robt Briscoe.
Wit - Mev Locke, Thos Greenfield.
This deed was acknowledged before Mev Lock and Thos Greenfield, two Justices of St. Mary's County; certified that Lock & Greenfield are MPs, by Richard Ward Key, Clk (St. Mary's County].
Recorded Apr 29, 1761.

 
 
 
 

Will of Robert Briscoe, 29 May 1788, pr. 28 May 1798. To wf. Sarah, exx., dw. plantation. Land in Harrison Co., Virginia on the Ohio R. to wife's grandsons James, Elexander, & Robert Caise, sons of Margaret Caise, d/o Sarah...

 
     
 
 
 

from Race, Slavery, and Free Blacks

(Accession # 21680807). Frederick County, Virginia.

In 1788, Robert Briscoe published his will in Montgomery County, Maryland, and bequeathed a slave family (John, his wife Catharine and their daughter Charity) to Sarah Briscoe, his wife.

In 1798 Sarah Briscoe published her will and gave her daughter Margaret "one half of all her estate of whatsoever kind or nature."

Following Sarah's death, Anthony Rickets, Margaret's husband and executor of Sarah's estate, asks that the said slaves "be delivered up to him for the purposes expressed in & by the Wills of the aforesaid Robert and Sarah."

 
     
     
 
 
 
 
Personal property can be called personalty (personality), goods, chattels, articles, or movable property. It includes both animate or inanimate property.

from Colonial Virginians and their Maryland Relatives by Norma Tucker
Col. Philip Briscoe ([b. 1648] died about 1724) married Susanna Swan (died 1740) daughter of Col. Samuel Swan.

Issue:
I. George Briscoe
II Edward Briscoe who married Susanna Gerard [Slye]. . .
III. Capt. John Briscoe of Charles Co., MD,. . .

Briscoe, Philip, Sr., Charles Co., 25th April, 1724; 29th Jan., 1724.
To wife Susannah, dwelling plantation Morris's Venture during life; at her decease to son John, ex., and hrs.; and ⅓ personal estate.
" son Philip and hrs., 80 A. had of Father Swann.
" son Edward and hrs., Hitchin, bou. of Thomas Davis; 111 A. of Loves Enjoyment.
" grandson Leonard [son of son George, dec'd], pt. of Chaptico Mannor during term of lease.
" daus. Sarah Leonard, Judith Ashcom, Susannah Compton and Ann Wood, personalty.
" son John, largest silver tankard.
" son James and hrs., 200 A. of Loves Enjoyment.
" sons John, Philip, Edward and James and daus. Susannah and Ann, residue of personalty equally.
Test: John Briscoe, Jr., Thomas Mercer, Robert Lang. 18, 339.

Testis (Test) is latin for witness. Testes is the plural.
 
 
 

from Maryland District Property Review Form

Robert Briscoe acquired the first piece of this land by 1761. A saddler by trade,he may have constructed the original section of the house by 1780, By 1799 Thomas Beall of George had purchased 300 acres and the house. . .

Robert Briscoe, the son of Gerard, was himself a saddler.

When the new county of Montgomery was formed in 1776, Gerard Briscoe was one of its first justices. His relative wealth is documented by the assessment levied against him in 1777 for building the courthouse. In all of Seneca Hundred, only one land owner, his neighbor Joseph Wilson (one of the Lamar son-in-laws) had a higher assessment. Also assessed 1/12 of Briscoe's tax was "Baltus Fouts" (Baltus Fulks) the one Logtown resident that owned his own lot and house, rather than a tenant.

When Gerard Briscoe decided to sell his lands, he advertised 1,000 acres in two parcels in the September 1777 Maryland Journal. His house was described as "elegant and convenient for a large genteel family". The house was further described in the Chancery Court records as a "commodious brick dwelling house." Gerard Briscoe's house lay on the grant called Belt's Desire, and is now (partly) the site of the Bureau of Standards.

In the meantime, Robert Briscoe was marrying again; His new wife was the widowed Sarah Willson (Wilson). The Briscoe-Wilson pre-nuptial agreement made provisions for Sarah's welfare, but also included provisions for a Wilson stepson, Alexander, to assume ownership of the tannery at Logtown [Gaithersburg]. Robert and Sarah had their own farm, but the buyer of the senior Briscoe's 1,000 acres insisted on a new survey to separate the nuptial lands and clear up the boundaries of the several overlapping lands. The survey was made in 1783, and was found to contain 1,238 acres. It was patented under the new name of Zoar.

A dispute between the Briscoes and the buyer Roger Ponsonby resulted in the land being assigned by Ponsonby to Edward Burgess while the suit wound its way through the local and Chancery courts. The 1783 tax assessment records clearly show that Col. Burgess was then already in posession of the assigned land, including the later site of Summit Hall, the unsold Logtown lots, and Gerard Briscoe's house on Belt's Desire. On the part of Robert's Delight that later became Summit Hall there were two log dwelling houses and two old cabins, but their location on the 412 acres is unknown.

 
 
 
 

Wilbur Zelinsky, “The Pennsylvania Town: An Overdue Geographical Account,” in The Geographical Review 67:2, April 1977.

Recruiting German artisans of Montgomery County to work in his tannery, Gerard Briscoe laid out a town called Germansburgh by 1773. Descendants of this community later resided at near-by Summit Hall Farm, Gaithersburg.