Aviation Historian and Interviewer, Columnist, Part Time Attorney, Author of Legal Publication, Pretty Good Golfer, Conspiracy Theory Enthusiast, Vintage Car Racer, Liberal Conservative, Happy Husband and Proud Granpa
THE SEARCH FOR CARRICO’S HOPE
From 1765 to 2012 is a long time period of time especially to be trying to find a parcel of land with an odd name from Colonial Maryland.
Many people are interested in genealogy these days and like many I have an interest in my family history. Now with the advent of the internet, digital libraries and websites like Genealogy.com we are now able to learn a lot about where we came from.
There are many genealogy researchers who seem to specialize in certain names. Fortunately, my last names has a few dedicate individuals who are reviewing records and texts and establishing links in family trees.
From this a few years ago I discovered that my most distant relative in the United States was a Peter Carrico who came on a ship with a group of about 13 English standard English names. He may have spelled his name with an “e” on the end and is often referred to as Peter “the immigrant Carrico”. Traveling forward in time I learned that a second Peter left a will in 1765 in Charles County, Maryland, which left at his death land to his wife and children known as “Carrico’s Hope” and “Maidstone”. These name do not appear in any recorded documents today but we know from land records that Peter “the immigrant” was granted land in the Bryantown 100 in 1681. We surmising that Peter immigrates as an indentured servant and after he served his time was granted land in or near the township of Bryantown about 30 miles southeast of Washington D.C..
When my wife and I visited DC a three years ago we visited Bryantown which turns out to be not much more than a Shell Gas station and a convenience store. Within two or three miles is St.Mary’s church which dates back to around 1700 which has a cemetery which is the final resting place of quite a few Carricos. Unfortunately none before about 1850. After we left we considered that the cemetery probably had been there for two hundred years but in early days perhaps all they had was wood to mark the graves which has long since disappeared. Incidentally, one prominent grave stone was Dr. Samuel Mudd and many others of the Mudd family.
Also within two hundred yards of the old Bryantown tavern, where the northern army established headquarters during the search for john Wilkes Booth, is Greentree Farm. A sign on the roadway says GreenTree farm was established in 1874 by Rudolph Carrico. His great grandchildren now own the property-but there is no reference to Carrico’s Hope or Maidstone. And when I asked the present day Rudolph Carrico, a lawyer who lives on the land and practices in nearby La Plata he was unaware of the terms.
On the internet it is possible to access the archives of Maryland which has extensive records of land transactions going back to colonial times. Unfortunately when the terms of Carrico’s Hope or Maidstone the legal descriptions and not by metes and bounds of lot number but are usually explained as “from the old oak tree by the river on old Mac Donald’s farm”.
Last week we met up with by cousin who lives near Annapolis Maryland, his wife and step daughter Katie. Katie has done much work on our family genealogy and made numerous studies of links including having my cousin, Robert Carico, (Cousin Bob’s father removed a “r” from our name) take a DNA test which links us back through several through Thomas Ignatious Carrico and thence to Peter the immigrant.
So the five of us armed with Katie and her iPad took trip down to Bryantown to see if we could get some ideas of where the land might be. Why? I don’t know but perhaps if we could find that original plantation we cold find some old grave sites on a hill somewhere and see where we started.
First we stopped at the Shell Station which is Bryantown. We asked about the Carrico’s. Of course she knew some Carrico’s they are all over the place in Charles County. And she pointed out that Rudy and his sister Eleanore had house right around the corner. I had spoken with Rudolph and he was involved with some baseball tryouts with his son-so we did not get together. Although I did speak with him yesterday and he is now becoming interested in this land hunt.
After the Bryantown cemetery we drove a bit farther south to Carrico MIll Road which runs east to west and parallels a creek for five of six miles. There was no obvious place where a mill would have stood-but obviously the name of the road probably represents what was once on the road. Someplace. We looked on Google maps and found a large pond which may be the spot where some remnants could be found but it was on private land.
We went through La Plata and passed the Carrico Building and while on the way back we decided to visit the Samuel Mudd farm. Dr.Samuel Mudd was the doctor who set John Wilkes Booth broken leg after he shot President Lincoln and jumped off the stage. Dr. Mudd was charged in the conspiracy and convicted and spent three years in prison before being released by President Johnson for his good deeds in helping prisoners with their medical problems. At the farm we asked about the Carrico name and it seemed everyone knew some Carricos one gentleman told us there was a Carrico House down past Bryantown with a picture on the wall of one on the 19th century Carricos.
Katie with her trusty iPad found that the house was not built by a Carrico but certain links showed that the land was tied to other land which was a Carrico plantation in the early 1800’s. Thereafter we found a copy of a deed in the Maryland archives from 1681 with some actual references with degrees north, south, east and west, Unfortunately they are not geographical coordinates. And so far we have not figured out what the refer to as a reference.
While at the Mudd farm we learned that the original grant to the Mudd family was in 1694 and encompassed over 2000 acres. We also learned the term “100” referenced to a parcel of land in a county which stood for 100 families. So how many acres of meadows, woods, streams and probably angry native Americans does a family need in to survive?
So the search will continue by Katie, myself and hopefully with Rudy Carrico as well. Maybe we can solve this mystery of where Peter the immigrant settled and where he and some of his family lie.