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JOHN CHENOWETH 1682-1746



According to J Richard Buckey: John, the progenitor of the Chenoweth family in America, is thought to have emigrated from Cornwall sometime before 1704. He married Mary Calvert, the daughter of John Calvert and Judith Stamper, about 1705 (or as early as 1702), probably in the home of one of her relatives in Pennsylvania. (Note: family tradition has always given her name as Mary Calvert, but no existing document of that time period has been found that supports or proves this name). This corresponds with early listing of the name John Chenoweth in Bristol, Bucks Co., PA and neighboring Burlington, NJ. Early family tradition presented by Cora Hiatt in her 1925 book had placed the marriage in England, as well as the birth of the first two to four children. This same tradition placed the wife, Mary, in the line of the Lords of Baltimore. But this early family tradition is not supported by known facts, and even though Buckey's version has no firm proof, it does have the merit of supporting evidence. The origins of John, his immigration and marriage are shrouded in the mists; and no one has been able to place his real beginnings.

Cora Hiatt said they settled on a tract of land by the Gunpowder River in Baltimore County, Maryland near the thriving seaport of Joppa. This too is wrong. There is no record of John Chenoweth ever owning land in Baltimore County. Whatever the size of the land where the family resided, it surely was not the immense estate described by Cora Hiatt in her 1925 book. The earliest recording of the Chenoweths in Baltimore Co., MD is the marriage of the oldest son John in 1730 at St John's Parish. In 1737 John(1) and family are recorded on a tax roll in Back River Upper Hundred on leased land. See background notes: [Gunpowder Manor] and [Where did John Chenoweth live?].

They had at least 8 children, known by John's will: 5 sons and 3 daughters. The lines of the daughter, Mary, who married John Watson, are basically unknown to family researchers at this point, but all other seven children can be traced to descendants today. John Chenoweth was a "gentleman" blacksmith by trade and died in Frederick County, Virginia in the spring of 1746, where his will was proven. What happened to his wife Mary is unknown. It may be that Mary Calvert died before John and that he remarried. There is an early-recorded marriage in Maryland in 1736 of a John Chenoweth and a Jane Wood that would only fit this John. That may be why his wife is not mentioned by name in the will and why she did not receive the traditional 1/3 share. His 8 children are, however, mentioned and the resultant family of John and Mary is large and thriving.

One should keep in mind though that the 8 mentioned children in the will are all children who not only survived to adulthood, but also survived their father, John. It is probable that John may have had additional children. For those times, it would be unusual to have all one's children survive to adulthood. Early records of Church of St. Ann (later known as St. Mary's), Burlington, New Jersey have a son, William Chenoweth, who was baptized by Rev. John Talbot and recorded during the year of 1704. This location is consistent with general locations theorized by Marie Eberle in her research of John. If so this is the first recorded record we have of the Chenoweth family in America and this William would have had to have died before the William of the will was born in 1718. Of the families of John's 8 children in the will, 18 of their sons and grandsons would serve in the American Revolution.

Recent work by Marie Eberle seems to indicate that John and Mary lived first in Pennsylvania and New Jersey before moving to Maryland and went to Virginia probably between 1739 and 1744. For more detail see [Harris Text: John Chenoweth-Immigrant To America], [Marie Eberle: John Chenowith,The Immigrant] and [Site Notes: Who was John Chenoweth?]. These same early records can be found in J. Richard Buckey's book, "The History of the Calverts who were Quakers"

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