An American Family History

Hugh O'Neale

Charles County is in south central Maryland and was created in 1658. The first settlers were mainly English tobacco planters, their indentured servants and enslaved people. Many of of the settlers were Roman Catholic. The county, as originally laid out, also included parts of present day Calvert, Prince George's and St. Mary's Counties.

Captain Hugh (Hew, Hewgh) O'Neale (Nale, Neile, O'Neal, O'Nale, O'Neill, Neale, Oneal, Neal, Niele) was born about 1627 in England.

He lived in Long Island before coming to Maryland before 1659. In 1659 he, and others, petitioned the court for payment "for trouble & paynes wee tooke in taking Mr Hutts Vessell." He was paid 20 pounds of tobacco a day for eight days work.

He owned Oneals Desert which was 700 acres in St. Mary's (later Charles) County.

He had at least three children with his first wife, Mary:
Daniel O'Neale
Charles O'Neale
Joye O'Neale

Hugh was a supporter of Fendall's Rebellion. On February 8, 1660/61 he was among the 30 armed men with Captain John Jenkins who went to Josias Fendall's house to attempt to free him.

He married his second wife, Mary Doughty Vanderdonck, about 1662 and received a land warrant for 400 acres in 1667 for transporting them to Maryland.

Mary was a healer.

In 1661 and 1662 Richard Morris testified in court cases on Mary's behalf.

Hugh O'Neil took William Heard, the executor the Parker estate, to court to force him to pay the estate's debt of 1,000 pounds of tobacco that Mary O'Neale earned for Joane Parker's care. The court ruled in William's favor. During the case, William said that Joane Parker said that Mary posioned her. Mary sued William for slander. William asked for forgiveness. Again the court ruled in William's favor.

In a 1663 Charles County lawsuit, Hugh sued William Bowles "for the Care" of the defendant.

Old Style Calendar
Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.



The first European settlements in Maryland were made in 1634 when English settlers created a permanent colony.

Colonial Maryland used the headright system to encourage settlement. Land was granted to anyone who would pay fthe transportation costs of a laborer.




from Charles County Circuit Court, Liber A
October, 1661.

Richard Morrice, age ca 24 years, testified in a case of Mrs. Mary Vanderdunk, plaintiff vs Capt. Josias Fendall, defendant, that he was at Mr. Vanderdunkes when Capt. Fendall desired to have his man Hennery home and that he was asked to notice the condition of the leg.

22 Apr 1662;
Richard Moris, age ca 24 years, testified about tobacco Christopher Russel agreed to pay Mrs. Mary Vanderdounke.


A plaintiff (plt, plte, plt is a person who brings a case against another.
A defendant (def tf) is a person accused of a crime or someone challenged in a civil case.