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designated as Mecklenburg … later became known as Shepherdstown. Land on the Maryland shore across from Mecklenburg was being granted to settlers as early as 1715. One of these early tracts was ‘Antietam Bottom’ located near the ford and adjoining ‘Sprigget’s Delight’ (sic, Spriggen’s Delight, purchased by James’ brother William).”52


Both James and his brother William bought land in Monocacy. The Monocacy Valley


and the mountain country to the west that eventually became Frederick County was the location of the first significant settlements away from Maryland’s tidewater area. The public records here are important because most of them predate even the normally early Church records for individuals. The name Monocacy is derived from the Shawnee Indian name Monnockkesey, and the river and adjoining area became known more simply as Monocacy and referred to the surrounding geographic area instead of a specific location. The area is picturesque and to the east of the river is gentle rolling countryside of rich farmland abundantly supplied by tributaries of the Monocacy River. In the west, the hills rise and form a range of elevations that parallel the River from north to south. The procedure for acquiring land in this area was laborious. First, one had to apply for a warrant for a given number of acres and present a down-payment of ‘caution money.’ Then a certificate of survey had to be taken that validated the land description and made sure that it did not infringe on other property and with it, a plat diagram of the parcel was made. If all was in order, the information was recorded in bound volumes and a patent was issued granting title in fee simple. From this point on, the land was owned by the individual who was free to do with it as they pleased. One of the distinctive features about land tracts in Maryland was the custom of naming tracts which when sold and/or divided, to which new names could be given. These changing names can cause confusion in trying to follow them by name instead of by land description. In Benjamin Winslow’s 1736 survey of the “Upper Potomac” he lists two “Spurgeant” residences on the Settlement, Antietam Bottom, Maryland “Waggon Road to Philadelphia” on opposite sides of the river (slightly southeast of present day Sharpsburg- Shepherdstown highway, then Frederick, now Washington County), and of which, a portion of is presented following (adapted and not to exact scale):53


W E S


N Sharpsburg [Antientam] waggon road to Philadelphia Spurgeant • = Settlements Spurgeant Sheperdstown Virginia


A Plan of the Upper Part of the Potomack River, called Cohjongorooto. Surveyed in year 1736. Benj. Winslow.


Harper's Ferry Maryland


52Gerald I. Sword, “Three Aspects of Washington County’s History: Pack Horse Ford and Swearingen’s Ferry,” (1972), Washington County Tourism Division, Hagerstown, Maryland [located in Western Maryland Room of Washington County Free Library. 53“Western Maryland Genealogy,” Vol. 2, No. 2, April 1986, Catoctin Press.


© 1993 Spurgeon Family History by Dr. Gary Alan Dickey, 1546 Devonshire Avenue, Westlake Village, CA 91361 • p. 21


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