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Pennsyvania Mason-Dixon Line


Frederick County


Catoctin Valley area


Frederick N


W E S


Maryland


court at Salsbury Plain.68


James Spurgin appears as a petitioner in 1739 in Prince George’s County to establish a This court was to hear cases in the immediate area because before this


time, most inhabitants were anywhere from 120-200 miles from the county seat court house.69 On 23 June 1741, living in Prince George’s County (from which Frederick was formed in 1748) James Spurgeon purchased 50 acres from a John Moore on the Potomac River near Teaggs Ferry called, “Spriggens” which was part of a larger tract of land called Antietam Bottom. His brother William is also recorded as having bought 50 acres, called “Spriggens Delight,” on the same date next to James’ property, the two tracts being purchased from the same person. In the Frederick County Debt Books for 1756-1757 we find listed “James Spurgeon, Trenton 120 acres, pt. Stony Hill 50 acres, Res. on Tumbling 226 acres; and William Spurgeon pt. Antietam Bottom 50 acres.”70


A note about these debt books is appropriate here. From its founding in 1623 to 1776,


Maryland was under a proprietary form of government. The Proprietors, the successive Lords Baltimore, owned all the land. Even though an individual could buy and convey land, he did not own it, but held it in socage from the Lord Proprietor who received revenues from the land holders. The debt books contain the same information as the rent rolls, but they are arranged by name and list all the holdings within a county. At the beginning of the Revolution all land not allocated was assumed by the state.71


William’s son sold “Spriggens Delight” in 1758 (his wife Jane, and his mother, Mary


signing, releasing her rights). William’s three sons and his widow Mary then traveled south, likeliest along the old wagon road just east of the Blue Ridge and arrived in Rowan County, North Carolina about 1759, eventually purchasing 166 acres of land 2 October 1759 along Abbotts Creek in present day Davidson County near Highpoint, North Carolina.72


Mary and her sons, Samuel, William, and John were Loyalists during the Revolutionary War, with John and Samuel dying during this period, John being killed in battle 31 March 1779 near the Savannah River crossing at Beach Island, and William apparently in hiding as a result of his


68“Accelerated Indexing Systems 1607-1819.” 69“Spurgeon Quarterly,” Special Edition, January 1988, p. 1. 70“Western Maryland Genealogy,” Vol. 7, No. 4, October 1991, p. 163. 71Debt books are available for Frederick County from 1753 to 1773. Original records are at the Maryland State Archives [Debt Books, Liber 22 (1753-1757), MdHR 17,682-3]. By studying all the books one can often learn or confirm relationships as land passed between successive debt books to sons or sons-in-law. 72Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Spurgins of Colonial and Revolutionary Times in Rowan County, North Carolina,” as appearing in the “Spurgeon Quarterly,” Issue 4, August 1985, p. 81.


© 1993 Spurgeon Family History by Dr. Gary Alan Dickey, 1546 Devonshire Avenue, Westlake Village, CA 91361 • p. 25 It is said that


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