Ole Larson's Folks

After the debacle over Baltimore county land owned by some other Lawrence and Philip Myers, I turned my attention to two other purported brothers of “our” Philip, guessing that they may have stayed in Frederick county, MD, after the Revolution: Michael and Henry.

You may recall a gravestone in Frederick Town of a Michael Myers (1768-1815), whom at least one casual anecdote indicates is the Michael we are seeking. I searched MDLandrec.net for Frederick County documents naming any Michael Myers, with dates approximating the “gravestone” Michael’s adult life. So far, I have only studied the first four (out of more than ten I have found; I have yet to search from 1803 to 1815). From here on, when I say “Michael Myers,” I mean any of them (if there were indeed several).

The earliest transaction is dated 1 Mar. 1790, when Michael Myers purchased a lot in Woods Town from the original grantee of the entire area, Col. Joseph Wood. Woods Town is now known as Woodboro, a village several miles north of Frederick, and just east of Creagerstown. The price for this lot was six pounds, plus an annual rent of 7 shillings 6 pence to be paid Col. Wood “forever.” It seems that it was a common practice to charge a purchase price plus an annual rent for a town lot.

The next transaction is the only one so far discovered in which Michael Myers sold any land. After only a year, in 5 Oct. 1791, Michael “flipped” his lot in Woods Town, selling it for 18 pounds and change (plus the same rent to Col. Wood). Presumably, he built a house or made other improvements to treble its value. The buyer’s name – get this – was Philip Henry Myers! How coincidental that the Michael Myers we are looking for had one brother named Philip and another named Henry. I won’t let this coincidence spin me like the last one did. While it is possible (and could be significant) that Michael was somehow related to Philip Henry, it would appear they were not brothers.

There is an interesting detail in this 1791 transaction, one that is not included in the few other documents I have studied so far. Here, Michael Myers’ occupation is given, as “Blacksmitti” [sic].  This will assume some importance in connecting him with the next documents, even though his occupation is not stated in them.

The next two transactions (dated 1793 and 1795) show Michael Myers buying two parcels of a certain tract of rural land, named “Lisbon,” just a few miles from Woods Town. We will look at those more closely in the next post.

By the way, this is hard work, and is going to take some serious time. To begin with, the website (MDLandrec.net) is slow, unintuitive, and rather difficult to search. Then, when the document images are found, they are no cinch to read. At least they are in English; but for example, look at the surveyor’s description of the first parcel of “Lisbon” that Michael bought, only 1-3/4 acre in size:


Still, I am having fun. Much more to come about these real estate deals.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Myers' in the news (c. 1800)
Michael Myers, Part 2

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