HORNEY 1600s - 1700s


and allied families
Settlers of North America

Parents or guardians may want to approve that the content is age appropriate for children.   Dee Horney Gabler 2005

Many descendants of the colonial Maryland Horney's, including my family, still live in Maryland over 315 years after their arrival in the province. When researching the surname Horney in the United States today, take into consideration that not all Horney's are descendants of Jeffrey [Geoffry] Horney, who by 1685 was an adult living in Talbot County in the province of Maryland. In fact not all of the Horney's who settled in Maryland were descendants of Jeffrey Horney. From the 1800s to 1900, Horney's living in the United States of America were born in Austria, Canada, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and Wales.

During the 1700s, several families with the surname Horney settled in New Hampshire in North America. David Horney of Galway, Ireland married Elizabeth Broughton (Bratten) November 1720 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Elizabeth was the daughter of John Broughton (aka Bradden or Bratten) and Prudence Mitchell. David and Elizabeth Horney had at least one child, a daughter named Betty. David Horney married secondly to Hannah Buss, daughter of Joseph Buss. David and Hannah were Innholders in Portsmouth. Their Inn was used at times for auctions and estate sales.   [Dee's note: Click here to see newspaper articles regarding this family.]

Another New Hampshire settler was Captain Gilbert Horney of Poole, England. He was born in 1750 and became a Merchant Captain. In the autumn of 1786, when he was 36 years old, Captain Gilbert Horney was Master of the brig Pomona. On the 13th of September 1786, the brig was cleared from the Port of Piscataqua, Portsmouth, New Hampshire bound for Liverpool, England. Eleven days later, on Sunday the 24th of September 1786, a heavy gale of wind caused the Pomona to loose her main mast. Five men were washed overboard along with everything on deck. Two of the men were saved and the other three men drowned. It took almost three weeks for Captain Horney to get his battered brig safely to port. Finally, on Friday the 13th of October 1786, Captain Gilbert Horney, his brig Pomona in distress, put into Casco-Bay [Maine].   Six years after his brush with death on the Pomona, Captain Gilbert Horney married Theodora Heacock of County Cork, Ireland on March 28, 1792 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. At the time of their marriage, Gilbert was 42 and Theodora was 21. For three consecutive years, from 1794 - 1796, Gilbert Horney (with several others) was elected at the annual town meeting in Portsmouth as "Overseer of the Poor".   Captain Gilbert Horney died by September 14, 1802 at the age of 52 in Portsmouth, Rockingham County, New Hampshire.   Theodora Horney died almost six years after her husband on May 28, 1808. She was buried in Old North Cemetery, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.   Gilbert and Theodora had at least four children, three of whom died young or unmarried. Their deaths were mentioned in the New Hampshire Gazette.   One of their sons, Gilbert Horney II, married Rebecca and left many descendants in New Hampshire. They had at least six sons and one daughter. Gilbert II became a trader and moved his family to Rochester. Most of his sons would become shoemakers and/or shoe manufacturers in Rochester, Strafford County, New Hampshire.   [Dee's note: Click here to see newspaper articles regarding this family.]

Meanwhile in Pennsylvania, Benedict Horney [enumerated as Benedick Hurney] was living with his family in York County, Pennsylvania when the 1790 census was taken (M637 - 9, pg 288.)
Benedict Horney of Germany Township, York County, Pennsylvania died between June and September 1792. His will was dated June 19, 1792 and proved September 5, 1792 in York County. He mentioned in his will his wife, Elizabeth, and his son Henry Horney and a son-in-law, John Eckert, whose wife name was not given. Benedict Horney was the husband of Elizabeth and the father of Henry Horney and ______ who married John Eckert.

One unplaced Horney living in Kent County, Maryland in the spring of 1746 was James Horney. He was a servant to Richard Waters who was a tailor in Kent County, Maryland. Richard Waters had at least two other servants; Esther Anderson who was a West-Country Convict Woman and Hector Grant who was a Highland Papist. James Horney, reportedly Irish Papist, was Irish Catholic; Hector Grant, the Highlander, was Catholic and may have been born in Scotland; and Esther Anderson, the West-Country convict woman who was also Catholic, may have been born in South West England. Today, West-Country is known as the areas encompassing Bristol & Bath; Cornwall; Devon; Dorset; Gloucestershire & The Cotswolds; Isles of Scilly; Somerset; and Wiltshire in South West England. The three servants conspired together for about two months to murder their master. They hoped to ambush him on the road, but they failed after several attempts. On Saturday the 5th instant 1746 Richard Waters was murdered in his bed when he was overcome with liquor and sleep. The three servants, James Horney, Hector Grant and Esther Anderson were tried and convicted for the crime. Hector Grant received the Sacrament at Mass the Sunday before his execution. He was reported the first proposer, and principal actor in this tragedy. All three were executed on Friday the thirteenth of May 1746 in Kent County, Maryland. For their crimes, the men were hang'd, the woman burn'd. The disturbing details of the murder were reported in April and May 1746 in the Maryland Gazette.

The remainder of this sketch will concentrate on the Horney family who settled in the Province of Maryland during the 1600s, the families they married into and a new religion which had an impact on their lives. The first settlers of Maryland did not live a genteel way of life in the province. The Commonwealth period (circa 1640 to 1660) was a significant time for Anglo-Saxon people. Throughout the Protestant Reformation, many families and religious dissenters found a safe haven in the Province of Maryland and settled on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay on the eastern and western shores of Maryland. Some of the earliest settlers married into Quaker families. Among them were two men living in Talbot County by 1687, Mortaugh Horney and Jeffrey Horney [II].

George Fox, founder of the Society of Friends, was born July 1624 at Drayton-in-the-Clay, Leicestershire, England. He was the son of a weaver, Christopher Fox and his wife, Mary (Lago) Fox. While a young man, George Fox began preaching that God speaks directly to each human soul... In 1648, a whole community in Nottinghamshire, England accepted his message and called themselves "Children of the Light" which evolved into "Friends" or "The Society of Friends." They were deemed "Quakers" by others who said "they Quake in the site of God." Fox spread his message throughout England, Scotland and Wales and in 1671 set sail for a two year voyage to North America. He sailed through Jamaica and Barbados and later in the Province of Maryland, he visited Providence [now Annapolis] in Anne Arundel County; Patuxent Meeting in Calvert County; Betty's Cove Meeting in Talbot County and a Dutch settlement in Delaware. When George Fox visited Betty's Cove Meeting, he wrote in his journal "...the 3d of Eighth month, we went to the General Meeting for all Maryland Friends...there were so many boats at that time passing upon the river that it was almost like the Thames" as Quakers came to meeting.

Another prominent Quaker, Wenlock Christison, settled in Talbot County, Maryland by 1668. His daughter and stepdaughter would both marry men with the surname Horney. Christison's daughter Elizabeth would marry Mortaugh Horney and his stepdaughter, Elizabeth Harwood, would marry Jeffrey Horney [II]. By 1656 Wenlock Christison was spreading George Fox's word in the Massachusetts Bay colony in New England, North America where he was imprisoned, punished and severely whipped for his Quaker beliefs. In 1665 he fled Boston for Barbados, but was imprisoned again in 1666 in England. By September 23, 1668 he was living in Talbot County in the Province of Maryland. William Lewis died leaving a will dated September 23, 1668 - and proven March 12, 1669 in Talbot County, Maryland. Besides leaving large estates to his family, William Lewis left personalty to Wenlock Christison, which may have been in the form of personal property.

In 1664 slavery was allowed by law in Maryland and Wenlock Christison was among those who brought indentured servants and slaves into the province. He came to Maryland during a time when the slave trade was becoming an integral part of the colonial economy. On the 12th of November 1669, Christison had three negro or mulatto men transported by contract to Maryland. Their names where Ned, Toby and Jack. They were shipped by Edward Oystin [Ostin] aboard a ketch from Barbadoes to the order of Christison at the port of Patuxent in Maryland. Among the indentured servants Christison brought into the colony, on September 24, 1670 the following persons were apprenticed in Bristol [England]: Thomas Harris to Winlock Christason, 7 years in Maryland and Elizabeth Shipboy to same, 4 years in Maryland. Plantation owners and planters used slaves and indentured servants to work their tobacco plantations. Tobacco was the main export as well as a form of currency in the mid-Atlantic colonial provinces.

Slavery became disfavored by Friends. Third Haven meeting minutes in Talbot County, Maryland recorded in 1684: Wm Dixon has in mind selling a Negro his freedom; seeks advice. Four years later in 1688, Friends took a public stand against slavery in Germantown, Pennsylvania. Almost a century later, slavery was outlawed by the Maryland Society of Friends in 1777. Some Friends who were tobacco planters and were still slave holders at that time would free their slaves and many would leave the area due to the change in their economy. Other Friends who refused to give up their slaves would become Episcopalian or members of another religion. By this time, the growth of the Friends [Quaker] movement had reached its peak and after the Maryland Society of Friends banned slavery in 1777, their numbers began to decline. Over the years, the slavery issue seemed to differ from person to person among the Friends. Seventy years earlier, Quaker William Dixon died by February 17, 1708 leaving a will in Talbot County in which he desired that his two old negroes, Mingo & Menekine, be given their freedom after they brought in the present crop. Dixon devised in his will that they would receive one young mare, one cow and cow calf and breeding sow and all their bedding. He also gave the executor of his will instructions to have a dwelling house and forty foot tobacco house built for their use on fifty acres of land. More about William Dixon later and how he would have an impact on the Horney family.

One hundred and fifty years after William Dixon gave Mingo & Menekine their freedom, slavery was still thriving in Maryland among non-Quakers. The 1850 slave schedules show at least eight heads of household with the surname Horney, who had black and/or mulatto slaves. Half were in living in Maryland and the other half were descendants of the Horney's who migrated from Maryland. Some of the Horney families and their descendants held slaves from at least 1782 until 1864 and some of those slaves were inherited by will and passed to the next generation. Black and mulatto families with the surname Horney began to appear with their families as free men in the 1850 census in Maryland, but it is unknown if they may have taken the surname Horney upon their freedom or whether their ancestors lived on one of the Horney family plantations and took the surname of their master after they were emancipated. One mulatto man, Carter Horney, was born about 1798 in Maryland and was living as a free man in Caroline County Maryland in 1850. Slavery would be legal in Maryland for two hundred years and would not end by law in Maryland until November 1, 1864.

On August 1, 1670 Dr. Peter Sharpe and his wife Judith, (relict of John Gary) gave Wenlock Christison one hundred fifty acres of Fausley on Fausley Creek (now Glebe Creek) called Ending of Controversy [TCLR 1:120]. Shortly thereafter, George Fox would visit Betty's Cove Meeting in 1672. About four years later, on the 24th day of the first month 1676, a "Men's Meeting" was held at the home of Wenlock Christison [Chrystison] where there was discussion about the finishing of Betty's Cove Meeting House. Bryan O'Mealy and John Pitt were to oversee and direct the completion of the building. Betty's Cove Meeting transferred to Third Haven Meeting House "at our joint Quarterly Meeting of ye First Month 1683, the Meeting decided upon "Ye Great Meeting House." Third Haven Meeting House was completed in 1684.

Wenlock Christison, did not live to see the Friends transfer from Betty's Cove to Ye Great Meeting House at Third Haven. He died in 1678/79 about two years after the meeting at his home concerning the completion of Betty's Cove and about five years before Betty's Cove merged with Third Haven. Wenlock Christison died at Miles River between February 27, 1678 - May 20, 1679 most likely at his home plantation, Ending of Controversy in Talbot County in the Province of Maryland. In his will, he mentioned his wife Elizabeth and three children: Mary, Elizabeth and an unborn son who would be named William Christison. William was born after his father's death between February 28, 1678 - February 1680 at Ending of Controversy and is believed to have died young. In Christison's will, he bequeathed his home plantation to his wife, Elizabeth which would pass to the unborn child if born male, and it not the plantation to pass to his daughter Mary at age 19. He left one hundred acres of middle ground to his daughter, Elizabeth.

In February 1678, when Wenlock Christison wrote his will, he first mentioned his wife, Elizabeth [Gary]. The first child he mentioned was his daughter Mary who was a minor child and had not yet met her minority to be reached at the age of 19. It is unclear at this time whether Mary was born at Ending of Controversy in Maryland or whether she was born in Massachusetts, England, St. Kitts, or Barbadoes, all places where Christison traveled between 1656 and 1668, before he settled in Maryland. Mary married first to John Dine who died before November 1699. She married secondly to Matthew Smith. Mary may have died before May 29, 1705 in Talbot County, Maryland or in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was not mentioned in her husband Matthew's will which was dated May 29, 1705 and proved June 6, 1705 in Philadelphia.

Wenlock Christison's second child named in his will was his daughter Elizabeth. She was born about or after May 13, 1674/6. She married Mortaugh Horney between 1691 - 1693. Mortaugh Horney and his wife Elizabeth had a daughter, Mary, who was born August 15, 1696 at Miles River and was baptised after her father's death in 1701 at, St. Michaels Parish, Talbot County, Maryland. Mortaugh Horney died in Talbot County, Maryland before February 20, 1698 when his inventory was dated. He may have been living as late as 1697. The Inventory of John Robins dated October 6, 1697 mentioned among the list of debts, Murtah Harvey. By June 26, 1699 Eizabeth Christison Horney, relict of Mortaugh Horney, married secondly to Thomas Hopkins who was another member of the Friends [Quaker] movement. In 1705, Matthew Smith, brewer of Philadelphia, [Pennsylvania] formerly of Maryland, died leaving a will in Philadelphia dated 29 May 1705 and proved June 6, 1705. In his will he mentioned among others the daughter of Murtaugh and Elizabeth Harney [Hauny] and Friend [Quaker] Thomas Hopkins and his chidren by his wife, the daughter of Wenlock Christison.

Elizabeth Gary was the daughter of John Gary and Judith his wife. John and Judith Gary may have married in England or in Virginia. Their daughter Elizabeth, who was born about 1633, may have been born on the south side of the Nansemond River in Nansemond County [now Norfolk County] Virginia where her father, John Gary [ Garey / Gearie ] had land in 1637. The Gary family were Puritans in the early 1600s, but they became members of the new Friends [Quaker] movement. In 1651 John Gary relocated his family and settled on a plantation he named Gary's Chance, comprising six hundred acres of land located on shore west of the Chesapeake Bay at The Cliffs in Calvert County, Maryland. He died by 1655 in Calvert County, Maryland. After his death, his wife Judith married an early Puritan chirurgeon [surgeon] Peter Sharpe, who also became a member of The Society of Friends. At a Friends meeting held at the home of John and Judith Gary's son, John Gary [II] gave land for a burying ground of Cliffs Meeting on the 29th day of 9th month, 1677. John Gary [II] died by the 30th day of 10th month, 1679 when the Cliffs Meeting was moved from his house - William Mears assists in holding Patuxent Meeting. John Gary [II] died leaving a will dated September 12, 1681 and proved October 9, 1681. Among others in his will, he mentioned his mother, Judith Sharpe, his sister Elizabeth Dixon and the Harwoods, children of his sister Elizabeth. In 1683, The Cliffs meeting house was built on Gary's Chance.

Elizabeth Gary married first to Robert Harwood about or after September 26, 1657 at The Cliffs in Calvert County Maryland. Robert and Elizabeth had at least five children, Judith; Samuel; John; Peter and Elizabeth Harwood who would marry Jeffrey Horney [II]. Between 1658 and 1662, Robert and Elizabeth Harwood moved their family from The Cliffs at Calvert County to Talbot County, Maryland. They most likely left the port of Patuxent in Calvert County and sailed in a northeastern direction across the Chesapeake Bay and into the Choptank River which separated Talbot and Dorchester Counties, before anchoring in the third branch or haven at Third Haven [Tred Avon] river on Maryland's Eastern Shore in Talbot County. Robert Harwood died between May 27 and June 1675 when his will was dated and proved in Talbot County. Elizabeth Gary's courtship with Robert Harwood, was one of the most controversial courtships in colonial Maryland history.

Elizabeth Gary married secondly to Wenlock Christison by April 14, 1676. They had a child together who was not yet born when his father died. The baby was born a boy and is believed to have died young. It is still unclear to me whether Elizabeth Christison [who married Mortaugh Horney] was the daughter of Elizabeth Gary or whether she was the daughter of Wenlock Christison from a previous marriage. Elizabeth Gary's daughter from her first marriage, Elizabeth Harwood, married Jeffrey Horney [II]. Depending upon their relationship Elizabeth Gary's daughter or stepdaughter from her second marriage, Elizabeth Christison, married Mortaugh Horney. I believe Wenlock Christison's daughter Mary was from a previous marriage.

After Christison's death, Elizabeth married thirdly to William Dixon in 1680 on the eighth day of the fourth month, called June, at the home of Elizabeth [Gary] Christison. Their marriage took place at Elizabeth's home plantation, Ending of Controversy. Elizabeth Gary-Harwood-Christison-Dixon died between October 30, 1696 - April 16, 1697 in Talbot County, Maryland. In her will she named her eldest son, John Harwood; her son, Peter Harwood; and her eldest daughter, Harney [Elizabeth Horney]. I believe the daugher Harney named in her will was Elizabeth Harwood Horney who married Jeffrey Horney [II].

William Dixon, Quaker by faith as well as glover and plantation owner by trade, was a member of The Society of Friends at Third Haven Meeting. He was the third and final husband of Elizabeth Gary and he would outlive his wife Elizabeth by about eleven years. William seemed to be a most honorable man. He had at least two negro slaves who may have come to him by his marriage to Elizabeth, who may have in turn inherited the men from her late husband, Wenlock Christison. William Dixon tried on several occasions to give the slaves their freedom. On the 26th day of the seventh month 1684, four years after Dixon's marriage to Elizabeth, Wm Dixon has in mind selling a Negro his freedom; seeks advice. (Third Haven Meeting Minutes)

Twenty three years later at June Court 1707 William Dixon appeared in court to defend the honor of Elizabeth Horney. He deposed that at his house was Elizabeth Horney, daughter of Geoffry Horney, a poor decrepid woman who can neither stand nor go since about 4 years ago and her said father being gone and her mother dead was left helpless until he the petitioner took charge of her; she being deluded by some wicked person has delivered of a bastard child and is unable to care for it. However, Elizabeth died within the next five months. In November 1707 William Dixon appeared in court again when payment was made to him for keeping and caring for Elizabeth Horney and her child at his home and for burying Elizabeth after her death.

William Dixon died only three to six months after he appeared in November Court 1707 in defense of Elizabeth Horney. Among other deponents mentioned in his will was John Pitts of Pitts Chance. He was the same John Pitt who was directed in 1676 by the Friends to be one of the overseers of the completion of Betty's Cove Meeting. John Pitts, who was born about 1648, was about 60 years of age when he gave a deposition regarding the will of William Dixon. He deposed on February 17, 1708 that he knew William Dixon for over 30 years and that about 3 or 4 days before the date of the within will, William Dixon had taken sick and sent for him [John Pitts] in order to write the within will. William Dixon died leaving a will in Talbot County, Maryland which he dated this 16th day of the 3 mo may 1708. On February 17, 1708 Peter Harrod [Harwood], son-in-law of William Dixon and Executor of his will, caused the said will to be provided. The will was proved by May 16, 1708. In his will he left two old negroes Mingo & Menekine their freedom and he directed his executor to errect for their use a forty foot Tobacco house and one dwelling house according to the dimensions of a house which we call "Cannons house" which are to be built as soon as he conveniently can. Upon their deaths, the fifty acres of "Dixon's Lott", to be passed to Wm Horne, also known as Wm Horney, son of young Jefry Horney [II]. [Dees note: The dates are a bit confusing because it appears that William Dixon dated his will before it went to probate. This small date conflict may have been due the differences in the Gregorian calendar and the Julian Calendar, or the fact that the fist month in the year in this time frame was the month of March.]

William Dixon's will may have gone undetected by Horney family researchers or was perhaps waiting to be rediscovered. Jane (Cotton) Baldwin's Maryland Calendar of Wills originally published in 1904 were and still are a great help to genealogists. However, she or the publisher made a transcription or printing error in the will abstract for William Dixon. In every subsequent edition published, Jeffrey's surname was published erroneously as Jeoffery House instead of the correct Jeffrey Horney. The publication error also lead one to believe that Jeoffery's son William had the last name House.

Baldwin's 1904 abstract for William Dixon who died leaving a will in Talbot County dated February 17, 1708 and proved May 16, 1708 was published as follows:
" To Isaac Dixon and hrs., son of brother –– dwelling plantation and lands 50 A., “Barnit's Hill,” 150 A., part of “Dixon's Outlett,” 60 A., part of “Ashby Asteemee.”
To 2 old negroes, Mingo and Minkine, personalty and residue 50 A. of “Dixon's Outlett” during life and at their decease land afsd. to pass to Wm., son of young Jeoffery House and hrs. To sister's son Joseph Ash and sister's dau. Eliza: Watt, of Bramton, personalty.
To son-in-law Peter Harrod or Harwood, ex., and hrs., residue of estate, real and personal, including land “Comwhitton” adjoining Richd. Carter, deceased, and 360 A., “Cumwhitton” on Chester River. Part 2–12. 13. Proved by affidavits of John Petss, aged 60 yrs.; Thos. Taylor, Merchant, aged 45 yrs.; Jos. Rogers, Merchant, aged 57 yrs.; John Havnam, aged 66 yrs."

[ Dee's Note: I transcribed and translated William Dixon's original will. Since Jeffrey was styled in the will as young Jefry Horney, I believe that William Dixon's will reaffirms that William Horney's father, Jeffry, was the son of Jeffry Horney [I]. I am also trying to prove or disprove whether the fifty acres of Dixons Lott which William Dixon left in his will to William Horney, son of Jeffrey was the same or a part of the one hundred acres patented in 1707 to Geffry Horney of Tallbott County called Dixons Gift. Dixons Gift appears again in the will of Jeffrey Horney [II] which was dated January 11, 1737 and proved March 27, 1738 when he leaves one hundred acres called Dixons Gift to his son, William.]

There were trials and tribulations early on for the Horney's. Before he married and had the influence of a Quaker wife, Mortaugh Horney, laborer, along with Jeoffrey Horney, planter, were charged at court in March 1687 for stealing a barrow hog from Obadiah Judkins at Mill Hundred in Talbot County. They were ordered to restore four fold the value of the hog and ordered to stand in the pillory for two hours. Obadiah Judkins was a devout Quaker who married Joan Davis November 9, 1669 at Betty's Cove.

Jeffrey Horney [I] was found in early records as Geoffry, Jeoffery, Jeoffrey, Jeof, Jeof Horney Sr, Jeffry Horney Sr and Jeffrey Honey. He died intestate before February 21, 1711. His wife predeceased him and may have died before 1703. No record [that I have seen] for Jeffrey Horney mentioned his wife by name, but she could not have been the Julianna Horney who was a testator in the will of Sophia Scott, which was dated November 16, 1717 and proven January 14, 1717. In addition to Julianna Horney and Thomas Neale, another testator to the will of Sophia Scott was Thomas Hopkins, Sr. [most likely the second husband of Elizabeth Christison who was the relict of Mortaugh Horney.] Jeffrey Horney's wife died at least ten years earlier when she was deposed as dead by June 1707 when William Dixon appeared in court on behalf of Geoffry Horney's daughter, Elizabeth. It is unclear where Jeoffrey Horney had gone when his daughter Elizabeth was in the care of Wiliam Dixon from 1703 to 1707, but he died by February 21, 1711. Jefry [II] was the administrator of his father's Administration Account dated January 16, 1712. John Horney and Phillip Horney were approvers of his Inventory dated February 21, 1711 - September 23, 1712. Both the Administration Account and Inventory were settled in Talbot County, Maryland. Although their exact relationship is unknown, Mortough Horney may have been the son of Jeof Horney [I] even though Mortough died at least nine to twelve years earlier by February 20, 1698.

Jeffrey Horney [II] married Elizabeth Harwood about 1695 in Talbot County. Elizabeth was the daughter of Robert Harwood and Elisabeth Gary. On November 20, 1712, Jeffry Horney [II], purchased 50 acres, part of Cottingham on the north side of the eastern branch of the St. Michael's River (now called the Miles River) in Talbot County, Maryland from Isaac Abrahams. (Talbot County Land Records, V12, pps 113 - 114). Jeffrey Horney [II] died at his dwelling plantation, Cottingham between January 11, 1737 and March 27, 1738 when his will was dated and proven.

Jeffrey Horney [III] was born before 1720 in Talbot County, Maryland. He married Deborah Baynard outside of the Quaker faith without the consent of the Friends. Their marriage license was dated October 6, 1739 in Talbot County, Maryland. Eight years later in 1747, Jeffrey and Deborah Horney would sell their land in Talbot County and move to Dorchester [now Caroline] County. On the 27th of October 1747, Jeoffery and Deborah Horney sold fifty acres of Cottingham in Talbot County to William Thomas, Gentleman. Less than one month later, on the 12th of November 1747, Jeffrey Horney of Talbot County purchased Piersons Chance [Pearsons Chance] from John Pierson of Dorchester County, formerly laid out for Thomas Pierson. The property was in two parts; one part contained 100 acres and the other part contained 50 acres. The land was located on Watts Creek, off of the Choptank river just south of Denton in what is now Caroline County, Maryland. As the crow flies, Piersons Chance was less than 15 miles northeast of Cottingham and was about 5 miles from the Delaware line of Kent County, Delaware.

Nov 12, 1747 John Pierson of Dor Co, planter, to Jeofrey Horney of Talb co, planter: two parts of a tract formerly laid out for Thomas Pierson called "Piersons Chance," conveyed by said Thomas to said John by separate deeds, on Watts Creek, one part containing 100 a. and the other part containing 50 a. more or less. Wit: T. Waite, Jno. Caile, Hall Caile. Ackn by John Pierson and Elizabeth his wife before Thos. Foster abd Benj Keene, Justices. (See receipt, Dorchester County Land Records 14 Old 169).

For the first seven years of their marriage, Jeffrey and Deborah Horney lived at Cottingham, and any of their children born within the first seven years between 1740 and 1747 were born at Cottingham in Talbot County. After November 1747 when Jeffrey and Deborah purchased Piersons Chance in Dorchester County, any subsequent children they may have had were born in Dorchester County, Maryland. This land now lies in Caroline County Maryland which was not established until 1773 from parts of Dorchester and Queen Anne's Counties. This explains why Jeffrey and Deborah Horney and their children are subsequently found in Caroline County records. The land on which they were living from November 1747 onward, Pierson's Chance, was once in Dorchester County in an area that became Caroline County in 1773. At least three of their children, John, Philip and William Horney, left Maryland between the 1780s and 1790's when they may have followed the Nicholite movement into the Deep River section of Guilford County, North Carolina. Some lines would remain in North Carolina while others would move onto Ohio, Illinois and beyond.

There is a local legend surrounding the area on Watts Creek where Jeffrey and Deborah settled. It was believed that in the 1600s and early 1700s notorious pirates and privateers, such as Captain William Kidd and Edward Teach [Thatch, Thach, Thache], otherwise known as Blackbeard, may have hid or buried treasure along the shores of Watts Creek. A local legend began to circulate (or re-circulate) in 1916 when Swepson Earle wrote Manor houses on the Eastern Shore. He claimed that “Tradition says [Watts Creek, south of Denton] once provided refuge for Captain Kidd, whose ‘buried treasure’ has been sought on its banks.” Later, in the 1940s when Hulbert Footner wrote his book, Rivers of the Eastern Shore, he related that "There is such a hole near the mouth of Watts Creek that is ninety feet deep. It is called Jake's Hole. Its exact depth is known because it's been sounded often enough, and I'll tell you why. There was aplenty pirates round here in the old time. The one that mostly cruised in these waters was Blackbeard; Edward Teach was his right name. Well, Blackbeard picked Jake's Hole for one of his caches, and dropped an oaken chest bound round with copper bands in there. It's still there. God knows what's inside it!" However, according to Donald Shomette who more recently wrote Pirates of the Chesapeake, neither Blackbeard or Captain Kidd ever sailed into the Bay, but their legends did.

Whether or not the legends of Watts Creek spun by the old-timers were fact or fiction, there were pirates and privateers who sailed in and around the Chesapeake Bay. Among them, Roger Makeele, was found in Maryland records in 1685 when he and his band of pirates lured the crews of tobacco sloops to their camp on Watts Island. They would seize the crew and confiscate their sloops before leaving the men in the Marshes of Dorchester County. Makeele sailed the Choptank river which separated Dorchester County from Talbot County where the early Horney's lived. Incidentally, that same year Jeffrey Honey [Horney] was testator to the will of Emanuel Jenkinson of Talbot County Maryland. It is likely the early Horney men, as well as other settlers in the area, heard of these pirates and were in peril of loosing their tobacco crops and their sloops to the pirates of the Chesapeake.

During this time, local Indians lived in the area. Their ancestors arrived in the area long before the European settlers. When John Burnyeat appointed a general meeting for all of the Friends in the province of Maryland. George Fox wrote about that meeting in his journal, (Two Years in America 1671-1673 Chapter XVIII) It was upon me from the Lord to send to the Indian emperor and his kings to come to that meeting. The emperor came and was at the meeting. His kings, lying further off, could not reach the place in time. Besides the Horneys who married into Quaker families, other religions would later play a part in their lives. Among the early churches and societies, early Horney families were or became Puritans, Anglicans and Episcopalians. In 1760, when Joseph Nichols of Kent County, Maryland and Delaware founded the Nicholites [New Quakers], at least one branch of Horney's were found in Nicholite Petitions. [Most likely Jeffrey and Deborah Horney and/or their descendants.] The early Horney's also became Methodist and Methodist-Episcopal. On June 17, 1703 John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, was born in Epworth, Lincolnshire, England. By 1771, John Wesley's teachings reached the Eastern Shore of Maryland. When Francis Asbury came to Maryland to spread Wesley's word, the Methodist religion took a strong hold in Maryland. More than a few Horney families converted to Methodism. However, Wesley's Tory beliefs may not have sat well with the Horney's who served [on the American side] in the Revolutionary War.

The rivers on Maryland's Eastern Shore defined the early transportation routes of religion. During their lifetime, the settlers of the area, did much of their traveling on the rivers, tributaries, creeks and branches which crossed the Eastern Shore of Maryland, east of the Chesapeake Bay. They lived near and traveled many of these waterways including the Choptank, Wye, St. Michaels, (now Miles), Tred Avon (Third Haven), and Tuckahoe Rivers. The Tred Avon was and still is the location of Third Haven Meeting House near what is now Easton, Talbot County, Maryland. The St. Michaels, (now Miles) River was the location of Betty's Cove Meeting House.

To see photos of the Choptank and Tuckahoe river areas in Talbot and Caroline counties where the Horney families lived and traveled, select the pdf file from the Upper Choptank and Tuckahoe River Cultural Resources Inventory. Another helpful tool is the Choptank and Tuckahoe Rivers Sections Map.   Take a two day canoe trip on the Choptank River Sojourn, a journey of Maryland's Eastern Shore through areas where the earliest Horneys settled and the route that Jeffrey Horney III and his wife Deborah Baynard traveled and settled after 1747. Areas mentioned throughout this river journey are Choptank, Denton, Dover Bridge, Greensboro, Hillsboro, Tuckahoe and Watts Creek. All of these locations were found in 1600 - 1700 HORNEY records in Caroline, Talbot, and Dorchester Counties, Maryland. The journey described was a likely route traveled by Jeffrey Horney III and his wife, Deborah Baynard and their children as they left Talbot County, Maryland and settled in Dorchester [now Caroline] County, Maryland.

Despite early troubles in the courts at the beginning of the 1700s, the descendants of the colonial Maryland Horney's would become among other things, land owners, farmers, sheriffs, doctors, teachers, lithographers, clergymen, merchants, politicians, ship builders, mariners, bankers, soldiers and a Judge, all who would play an integral part in shaping their country.

Maps & Gazetteer of areas where the Horney's lived
1795 Map of Hillsborough, Caroline County, Maryland
1876 Maps of Maryland's Eastern Shore
1877 Kent & Queen Anne's Counties Maryland
Maryland County Formations
1904 Gazetteer of Maryland

References & Research:
Evelyn Vohland
Dee Horney Gabler
The Maryland Gazette
The Pennsylvania Gazette
The George Fox Journal
Maryland State Archives
Third Haven Meeting Minutes
Talbot County Land Records
Dorchester County Land Records
Choptank River Heritage Center
Provincial Court Records of Maryland
N.E. Historical Genealogy Register, Vol. 24, p. 14.
Philadelphia Wills, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania B.433
Talbot County Free Library - Maryland Reading Room
Baptisms of St. Michaels Parish, Talbot Co., MD., 1672-1704, page 6.
York County Pennsylvania Wills. York County Archives, York, Pennsylvania
The History of Caroline County, Maryland, From Its Beginning, 1920, pp. 105-119
Maryland Calendar of Wills by Jane Baldwin Cotton. Boston, Massachusetts, 1904.
History of Talbot County 1661-1861 Origin of Talbot Geographical Names Talbot County Free Library
Evelyn Halkyard Vohland. Betenbower - Horney and Allied Families. The Clipper Publishers, Shelton, Nebraska. 1981.
Everett S. Stack and Winthrop S. Meserve. History of the Town of Durham New Hampshire (Oyster River Plantation)
Elise Greenup Jourdan. Early Families of Southern Maryland Volume 3 Including Some Eastern Shore Families pages 117 - 118.
James A. McAllister, Jr. Abstracts from the Land Records of Dorchester County, Maryland Volume D 1740 - 1756. 1962. page 20.
Proceedings of the Provincial Court 1681 - 1683. Volume 70. Pages xx - xxii. Elizabeth Merritt, Editor. Maryland Historical Society.
Ralph E. Eshelman & Carl W. Scheffel, Jr., Maryland's Upper Choptank River and Tuckahoe River Cultural Resource Inventory, April 1999.
Henry C. Penden, Jr. Quaker Records of Southern Maryland Births, deaths, marriages, and abstracts from the minutes, 1658 - 1800. Page 67.
Charles Thornton Libby, Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire with Genealogical Notes In Two Volumes. Volume Two Genealogical. Portland, Maine: The Southward Press, 1928. Pages 213 - 216.

More Research Sites

HORNEY family researchers:
Dee's Horney Genealogy & Records webpage

Josh Jenkins Webpage - Horney Sewell Blunt etc

James William Harney's Horney Family Homepage
James W. Harney's HORNEY Rootsweb World Connect

Surname Variants
Brief History and Genealogy of the Hearne Family... by William T. Hearne Independence, Missouri, 1895-1898 and 1907.
Brian Cragun's Hearne History
Mike Hearn Hearne/Hearn
SarahRose Werner's Hearne/Hearn
Linda Harney MacDonald's Harney Family Research



home button

© March 22, 2005, updated April 8, 2005 by Diana "Dee" Horney - Gabler
For historical and genealogy purposes. Commercial use of any portion of this site is prohibited.