Archiver > LOWER-DELMARVA-ROOTS > 2006-09 > 1159519421

Subject: Re: [LDR] Debt Books
Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2006 04:43:41 EDT

In a message dated 9/29/2006 1:58:55 AM Eastern Standard Time,
> Does the MSA have Debt Books for Somerset County for the years 1739 through
> 1744? I think I remember you saying they were not indexed, but just
> curious
> if these years exist and if this is something one could pay the archives
> researches to look through. I know my John REDDISH died between the years
> above,
> evidently without a will, so curious is he owned any land during the last
> years
> of his life, and then what happened to it.
> Susan Curelop

The surviving Somerset Debt Books are: 1733, 1734, 1735, 1745, 1748, 1755,
1759, 1761, 1764, 1768, 1769, 1774. So, no. There are no Debt Books meeting
your stipulation.

Even if there were, the MSA no longer provides research by its staff for this
sort of search, for any amount of money. Another abridgement of Archival

But I think your question is completely answered (or at least inferred) by
the following:

John Reddish appears in the 1734 Debt Book, p 81, charged for 150 acres of
the 200 ac DO BETTER and 40 ac of the adjoining 200 ac CASTLE HAVEN.

Land records show that in 1734 Alexander Fullerton owned all 200 ac of CASTLE
HAVEN, acquired on 31 Aug 1733 from Jonas Passwater (So Deeds AZ:107). There
may have been an unrecorded deed from Fullerton to Reddish conveying the 40
acres for which Reddish was charged (given that he was taxed, after all), and
there is a 1763 deed for 40 ac of CASTLE HAVEN from Fullerton to John Reddish
(So Deeds C:201, 21 Jan 1764), which may have been a belated recordation of a
sale or promise of sale made 30 years previously. There is also a mysterious
deed 19 months earlier for the same 40 ac: So Deeds C:126, on 31 May 1762,
from Hiram Reddish (of Worcester) to John Reddish, "where Elizabeth Reddish now

Though the deeds don't say so, this appears to me to be a situation in which
Hiram Reddish thought he had rights to the land, probably by primogeniture
from his (intestate) father John Reddish. But it was then learned that no actual
original conveyance from Fullerton had been recorded, so Fullerton then
proceeded just to make the sale whole by conveying any and all rights to the
younger John Reddish in 1764.

Given that Elizabeth Reddish was living on the land in 1762, we must believe
this is precisely where the elder John Reddish lived, too, until his death,
his widow remaining there into the 1760s.

This is consistent with another record that doubles as a Debt Book, for 1744:
"The Somerset County Rent Rolls of 1744", compiled by Becky Miller, which
says for CASTLE HAVEN:

80 ac held by Mr. Domk [Dominick] Jackson
80 ac by Alexr Fullerton
40 ac by John Reddish's heirs

As far as DO BETTER goes, in 1734 this 150 ac was supposedly in Crouch family
hands. Robert Crouch had purchased 150 ac of the tract from John Gilliss in
1710, and John Crouch sold the same to Joshua Turpin in 1747. I have to
believe that John Reddish leased this land, adjoining CASTLE HAVEN, from the
Crouches, and was taxed on its use in 1734. He may have continued to do so up to
his death (but we don't know). In the 1744 "Rent Rolls", DO BETTER is listed as
150 ac under John Crouch's name, with no mention of the Reddishes.

So I think all the Reddishes had in the 1740s (John Sr's, land) was the 40
acre CASTLE HAVEN plot. Sons Hiram, John and Nicholas did whatever they did
later (with the adjoining PLAIN DEALING and its mill land, REDDISHES LOT, POOR
QUARTER and RICH QUARTER, all clumped nearby). And Hiram bought COXES ADVICE
about five miles away (now in the heart of Salisbury) in 1763.

But CASTLE HAVEN was their mother's home for 20 years after John died.

At least, that's my guess.


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