It was a year ago today that I first introduced my family to the blogosphere and began sharing about my search for my roots. So, it was a nice little anniversary surprise to receive a message from the Historic Society in Kent County, Maryland with more information about my family.
A few weeks back, I sent an email to the Historic Society inquiring about a piece of property that used to belong to my third great-grandfather, William R. Stuart. Stuart lived most of his life in Kent County and wrote about his property, Denbeigh or Denby (he spells it both ways) several times in his voluminous letters. In them, he states that his wife and several sons are buried at Denbeigh. From his letters, it seems he lost the property because he could no longer afford it. At one point, he even asks my great, great-grandfather, Col. W.R. Stuart to buy it back for him. From subsequent letters, it’s clear that his son never fulfills this wish.
Since learning about this property earlier this year, I’ve tried to locate it. I think the Historic Society of Kent may have found it. According to the voice mail their staffer, Joan left for me, they found a place called Denbeigh in Queen Anne County mentioned in a book written by someone named Emory. The book cites the property being owned in Centerville in 1806. The book also mentions a William R. Stuart owning a packet business in 1805, describes him as a noted horse breeder in 1822 and as an elected representative to the legislature as well as an officer of the public lottery.
Horses come up several times in Stuart’s letter as does his public service as both a legislator and President of Maryland’s State Senate. I think this is my William Stuart referred to in the book. But I’ll have to wait until Monday when Joan is back at work before I can find out how to get my hands on that book and pinpoint the location of Denbeigh.
What a great anniversary present. And what a great year of discoveries. I thought it couldn’t get much better than finding out that my great, great-grandmother, Tempy Burton went from slave to property owner. But I’m realizing each new discovery is sweet in its own way. Thanks to all of you geneabloggers for sharing your stories. It inspires me to share mine too and thanks for the anniversary wishes!