There are two branches of my family tree that harken back to Maryland. The one branch is my Earp family on my maternal side, and the other branch is my Tolbert (Talbot) family on my paternal side. A few years ago, I was researching an associated family through my Earp branch, which is the Baker family. My 5x great-grandmother, Ruth (Baker) Timanus, was born in 1785 in Baltimore Co., MD and died in 1849 in Van Buren Co., IA. The earliest mention of Ruth’s name is in her grandfather’s will, dated 20 Sept. 1795, and proved 11 Sept. 1799. Her grandfather was Nicholas Baker. Nicholas Baker and his wife Mary, at the time that this will was written had nine children, eight daughters and one son. They also had two grandchildren. Daughters Rachel Hamilton, Sarah Rowles, Rebecca Randal, Elizabeth Hamilton, and Susannah Hamilton (as their names were written in the will):
Son Nicholas Baker:
Daughters Mary Baker, Hellen Baker and Milcah Balderston:
Grandson Charles Baker and granddaughter Ruth Baker:
This is my “Baker’s Dozen” – 13 Bakers in one document.
There are times that you may be lucky enough just to see this amount of information relating to one of your ancestor’s families, but I had even more luck on my side. I was then able to find this indenture relating to Ruth (Baker) Timanus that took place in Baltimore Co. in 1838. (Note: An indenture is a legally binding contract between two parties, with this type of indenture being a land transaction):
This indenture was made on the 31st Aug. 1838 for a tract of land called “Tanyard” between Peter Karthaus and Ruth Timanus, formerly Ruth Baker, sister of Charles Baker. Charles died as a minor and as stipulated in the last will and testament of Nicholas Baker, 20th Sept. 1795, Charles’s sister Ruth was to receive the tract of land:
Images courtesy of FamilySearch©
So, here are two documents, the will of Nicholas Baker from 1795 and the indenture between Peter Karthaus and Ruth (Baker) Timanus from 1838, a little over 40 years apart, yet the indenture verifying the information in the will, and thus confirming my Baker ancestry.
Now, although I was so excited about this discovery a few years ago, I really hadn’t “put 2 and 2 together” yet. You see, over the last several years of researching, it was only in the past couple of weeks as I was revisiting this information, that it dawned on me that I had seen the name “Tanyard” before…multiple times, associated with multiple ancestors. The hunt was on!
I first found this when I did a search on Google. It is from a book called the “Colonial Families of Maryland, Bound and Determined to Succeed” by Robert W. Barnes, published in 2007 in Baltimore, MD:
I then found this…on page 244 in a Maryland Historical Magazine, Vol. XVI, published in Baltimore, MD in 1921, and my excitement began to build:
The reason for my excitement at this is, (Charles) Christopher Randall is a direct ancestor of mine through my Tolbert (Talbot) family. As the narrative continues, I grow even more excited:
The name of Edward Teale appears, another direct ancestor of mine through the same family (Edward Teale was married to Hannah Randall, daughter of Christopher Randall). As I read further down through the list of petitioners, I could hardly believe my eyes. Besides the Randall name, there is Thomas Earpe (direct ancestor), Maurice Baker (direct ancestor, father of Nicholas Baker), and Joseph Harpe (ancestral cousin, Harpe is a variation on the name Earpe).
The name of Emmanuel Teale (son of Edward, also direct ancestor) also appears. I couldn’t believe my luck in finding all these ancestors in one place, in one document, and it was all because of one piece of land called “Tanyard”:
With the appearance of the Ellicott brothers in 1771, and the conveyance of ancestral lands of my family to them, it appears that Ellicott City now has a little more meaning for me. My Clements family and Earp family came to know the Ellicott brothers and their offspring by having lived near them and worked in their forges until the great flood of Baltimore in 1868.
My 3x great-grandfather, Joseph Earp and family moved to Harrisburg, PA sometime after the flood and before the 1870 census. In 1878, my 4x great-grandmother, Lydia (Timanus) Clements sold the land she had been bequeathed from her husband Walter after he had passed and she then moved to Chesterfield, VA with her daughter.
A Story About the Tanyard
In researching the Tanyard, I came across two interesting documents. The first is an archeological report from the Maryland Historical Trust (unknown date) regarding this historic tract of land:
The second document is a newsletter from the Cantonsville Historical Society, from July/August of 2016, beginning on the 2nd page called “A Thrilling Tale of Old”:
I call “dibs”!
Also found this little “tidbit” from the Historical Society of Baltimore County, Vol. 42, Spring of 2011, page 4:
Lessons you can learn from this…
Keep revisiting your research and any documentation you may have come across that relates to your ancestors. The more you return to your research, the more likely you are to break down those brick walls. If you get burned out on it, just put it on the back burner and come back to it later.
Land inheritances are a great key to unlocking your ancestor’s secrets. If your ancestor had a piece of land and it had a name attributed to it, chances are there is probably a record of it. You’d be surprised what a basic internet search can turn up. Also, you may want to check with any online state libraries and historical societies besides your usual haunts of Ancestry and FamilySearch.
The Maryland Historical Trust
The Cantonsville Historical Society
The Baltimore City Historical Society
The Historical Society of Baltimore County
The Maryland Historical Society
The Maryland State Library
War of 1812 Society in Maryland
Shawn Gladden of the Howard County Historical Society, for his constant and unwavering support for my Maryland family ancestors
Special thanks to my wife who always loves me, and supports my work and gives great advise