Pattie Virginia Richardson
1886 – 1923
Relationship to Fawn: great grandmother

My maternal grandmother was Pattie Virginia Richardson.  She died when my mother was only two.  The story of my mother’s siblings can be found in the essay, The Bondurants: Keeping a Family Together.

This essay is meant to look at how my grandmother’s family came to this country and how they ended up in North Carolina.  One of the most surprising discoveries in my family research was finding out there were Quakers in the family line.  It had never been mentioned as I was growing up. I assume my mother and father did not know.  When I was growing up I thought of myself as Irish, Welsh, and North Carolinian, and knowing that some of our family had come from Scotland.  As an adult, the Scottish part of my heritage became more central.  I find now that the Quaker lines in our family were partially rooted in Wales. Despite my early consciousness of being part Welsh this aspect of our family history was never known to me.

Patti’s parents, James Pierce Richardson and Mary Eliza Wilson were farmers in Beaver Island Township, Stokes County, North Carolina. They married on 6 January 1875. This land seems to have been the family farm since 1830, but it may have been the last generation to be there.  Family were still in Beaver Island Township in 1908.  By 1915 Patti and her husband, James Abram Bondurant, were tenant farmers about 40 miles east around Reidsville, North Carolina.


James Pierce Richardson gravestone

James Pierce’s father, Joseph was wounded at the Battle of Chancellorsville on 4 May 1863, was admitted to General Hospital #21 in Richmond, Virginia  on 7 May 1863, and died there on 10 May 1863 from “Gunshot Wound Through Body”.  James was only 10 at the time.

General Hospital #21

General Hospital #21  – Civil War era photo – poor quality

General Hospital #21 Today

General Hospital #21 as it looks today

Civil War Richmond Hospital_Map

Joseph was 37 when he enlisted on 22 February 1863 as a Private in Company L, 21st North Carolina Infantry  Given his age and the fact that he did not enlist earlier, it might be that he was conscripted.

Joseph’s parents were Green Lee Richardson and Judah Ladd Ward.

It was Green Lee’s father, William Richardson, who moved to North Carolina from Virginia with his parents, Joseph Richardson and Sarah Compton. William married Sarah Watson of Guildford County, North Carolina on 14 February 1795.

Joseph Richardson and Sarah Compton married on 12 January 1769 in Loudon County Virginia.  Joseph was pat of the Cherokee Expedition of 1776 under Captain Morgan, after which he enlisted as a sergeant in the Continental army under Captain Rawlins at Battecourt County Virginia.  By July 1777 he was 2nd Lieutenant. He enlisted for a three year term in the North Carolina 6th Battalion, and was a lieutenant under Captain Gillespie.

Joseph & Sarah moved about 1795, with most of their children, settling on the North Beaver Island Creek on or near the Stokes County/Rockingham County, North Carolina line.

Joseph’s father and mother were William Richardson and Anne Harris.  They were from Coles Mill, Anne Arundel Maryland.  this part of the family seem to have left the Quaker communities of southern Maryland before 1750 when William died in Frederick, Maryland.  It seems to have been Anne who moved the family to Virginia.

It’s in Maryland where we find the American roots of this part of our Quaker story.  Williams father, Joseph Richardson, married Rebekah Johns on 6 January 1722.  The Johns family line is the clearest of the two lines and reaches back into Wales.

Prior to the Johns marriage, the Richardsons were intermarried with the Ewen family.  It is this grouping of Richardson, Johns, and Ewen families that form the nucleus of our Maryland Quaker story.

The Ewens

The Ewens seem to have come to the American Colonies from Yorkshire, England.  However, the immigrant ancestor, Major Richard Ewen, was granted  600 acres on the Chesapeake Bay near the Severn River on 26 November 1652.  He named the property “Scotland”, which might be indicative of the family”s origins prior to residing in Yorkshire.

The Ewens arrived in Maryland in 1649.  On 17 May 1650, “Richard Ewen demandeth One Thousand Acres of land for transporting himself and nine persons into this province the last year Vizt. Sophia his wife Eliza Davy, Richard Ewen Jr., John Ewen, Suzanna Ewen, Ann Ewen, William Davies, John King and James Brown at his own Charges. Tester James Cox. John Hall Warrt. to lay out One Thousand Acres of Land for Richard Ewen at Parson’s Neck upon Kent County or in any part of that or Anne Arundel County rct by Michas next.” (Baltimore: Its History and Its People, Vol. III pp. 794-5:)

Richard Ewen was active in the affairs of Maryland for about ten years in a variety of roles.  During a period of about four years, he served as a member of the board of commissioners which controlled the affairs of the Colony;.  At nearly every General Assembly he was one of the representatives of his county, and at least twice was speaker of the house of Burgesses.  He was sheriff of the county in 1664 and 1665, and served as an officer in the militia.

Though the Ewens married into the Richardson family, ” . . . there is no proof that Richard Ewen became a Friend, it is known that in 1657 he refused to take an oath and declared it unlawful to do so.”  (Quakers in The Founding of Anne Arundel County, Maryland, by J. Reaney Kelley, page 14)   In fact, he was fined on 10 November 1662 for not taking an oath. Quakers would not take oaths, so the refusal to take an oath indicates a possibility that he had become a Quaker.

The Richardson and the Johns Families

The Richardsons were based in the West River area of Anne Arundel County.  The Johns were from Calvert County. There is a Johns burial ground referred to as being in Calvert Cliffs or Scientist Cliffs.  Both families appear regularly in Quaker meeting records.

The Richardson Family

Several sources show William Richardson, Sr. as born on 3 April 1640 in Cumberland, England, possibly in Penrith.  He immigrated from London, England to Virginia on the “Constant Friendship” in 1655 with Captain Tilghman as captain of the ship.  Some genealogies show that he arrived as an indentured servant to Richard Preston, a prominent Quaker on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay.

Elizabeth Scarborough Ewen and William Richardson, Sr. were married in 1667 in West River, Anne Arundel, Maryland.   Elizabeth, was the widow of Richard Talbott of ‘Poplar Knowle,’ now ‘Tulip Hill,’ and daughter of Richard Ewen of nearby ‘Ewen Upon Ewenton,’ today known as ‘Cedar Park.’   The marriage brought William his first property, “Talbott’s Ridge” adjoining “His Lordship’s Manor,” surveyed originally in 1662.

William Richardson, Sr. was a Quaker, and, in the course of time, Minister of the West River Meeting in Anne Arundel, Maryland, and a planter and merchant.  From 1676-1684 he was a Member of the Maryland Lower House from Anne Arundel County, serving at times on the Committee of Security and Defense of the Province, and on the Committee upon Laws for the Province.

“On 10 May 1677 [William] Richardson paid L150 to Jonathon Watkins for the original 300 acre tract Watkins Hope, granted to the latter on 22 February 1674, on the north side of West River.” Quakers in The Founding of Anne Arundel County, Maryland, by J. Reaney Kelley

Several genealogies tell the story that on 19 December 1682, William Penn met Lord Baltimore at West River, and after a discussion of the divisional line for Maryland and Pennsylvania, Penn set out to the house of William Richardson, Lord Baltimore accompanying him several miles, and from there two miles further to a Quaker meeting at the house of Thomas Hooper.

The following is drawn from Quakers in The Founding of Anne Arundel County, Maryland, by J. Reaney Kelley (page 37):

“William Richardson was the first signer of this Testimony. Prior to 1680 he acquired a tract of land in the West River Hundred named ‘Watkins Hope.’ A part of this land is now known as ‘Woodstock, and is located between Owensville and the Old Quaker Burying Ground. An historic roadside marker, indicating the general location of his house, calls attention to a visit by William Penn to Richardson in 1682, after the memorable conference between the former and Charles, Third Lord Baltimore, ‘at the house of Col. Thomas Tailler,’ where the two had discussed the boundaries of Maryland and Pennsylvania. Colonel Taillor’s home was only a few miles away, just below South River. The tract now known as ‘Etowah Farm’, on State Route 2, includes a part of the Taillor plantation. From Richardson’s house Penn traveled a short distance to attend a Meeting at the house of Thomas Hooker, Sr., near West River Landing, and from there he embarked for the Eastern Shore. Quaker Meetings were held at the house of William Richardson, who was a Quaker minister, until his death in 1697.

“In 1683, at a meeting of the General Assembly at John Larkin’s house, now ‘Larkins Hills,’ in the area called The Ridge, Richardson argued in favor of making West River Landing a port of entry for that area, a development not accomplished until the next year. Richardson was appointed as one of the commissioners to survey and manage the building of a courthouse at Londontowne on South River.”

William Richardson, Sr. died in December 1697 in West River, Anne Arundel, Maryland, and was buried at the Quaker Burying Grounds in West River, Maryland.  All that remains today of the West River Meeting is the old burial grounds.

Why the Richardsons left southern Maryland and when they ceased to be Quakers we do not know.  The 1850 U. S. Federal Census shows no slaves on the Richardson property.  it’s possible the Richardsons that left southern Maryland were among those that rejected slavery but could no longer manage a southern Maryland plantation.  The family seem to have become yeoman farmers (i.e., family farmers).  That still would not explain why they ceased to be Quakers, but by the last half of the 19th century Richardsons were buried in Methodist and Baptist cemeteries.

The Johns Family

It was Rebekah Johns’ grandfather, Richard Johns, who moved from  Llanwddyn, Montgomeryshire, Wales, arriving in Maryland via Virginia in 1672.  As a side note, Llanwddyn, Montgomeryshire was also the area where Sybil ferch Hugh Gwyn lived after marrying John Powell.  Two of their daughters had children who became Quakers.  I introduced them in the essay, Gwyns and Powells.

Richard Johns married Elizabeth Sparrow Kensey on 18 June 1678.  Her father, was Hugh Kinsey, who arrived in Maryland in 1659.

Though Richard Johns came from Montgomeryshire, the Johns and related families seem to have been more rooted in Pembrokeshire, Glamorganshire, and Carmarthenshire, based on a review of his parents, grandparents, etc.

The family of Richard Johns lived on a property in Calvert County called Angelica Knoll.  Excavations gave been conducted on this site to research early colonial Maryland history.

Angelica Knoll

“The main occupation of the Angelica Knoll site most likely represents the residence of Richard Johns and his family and descendants. Johns acquired the property at some point between 1677 and 1717. Though the exact date is uncertain, the presence of pipes made by Llewellyn Evans at the site indicates that there must have been an occupation there by 1689. Richard Johns was a successful planter and a member of Maryland’s early Quaker community. The Calvert Cliffs area where Angelica Knoll is located was a center of Quaker activity, and monthly meetings took place there for over 100 years from c. 1672-1771.

“When Richard Johns died, the portion of the tract with the plantation home descended to his son Isaac. At Isaac’s death in 1734, a probate inventory taken of his goods describes where they were physically located on the plantation, leading to some hints about the architecture there. The main house had a hall, closet, room, and porch, each with a chamber above. This indicates a probable two-story cruciform structure. Outbuildings mentioned include a milk house and a kitchen, which also had a chamber.  Isaac left the Angelica plantation to his sons Richard and Samuel to be divided equally. Richard got the first choice of land and most likely selected the area with the structures. Since there were so many Johns family members named Richard, Isaac’s son Richard was referred to as ” Richard Johns of Angelica” when he witnessed his cousin Richard’s will in 1748.”

(The above information was drawn from a site summary of the Angelica Knoll excavation recorded at the Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum.  For more more information on the site, go to 18CV60 Angelica Knoll c. 1650 – 1770

The Cliffs meeting house in Calvert County was built in 1683 upon a tract near the Chesapeake Bay in Calvert County, called “Gary’s Chance”.   Among the Friends involved were the Sharpe family and Richard Johns. Some of these early Quakers were buried in a cemetery close to Scientist’s Cliffs in Calvert County.

The Archives of Maryland contains a document dated 1681 in which a merchant from Bristol, England, Edward Perrin, references Richard Johns as a Planter, places him at the Clifts (Cliffs) in Calvert County, and gives him power of attorney.  This indicates that Johns probably had possession of Angelica Knoll prior to 1681.  The Perrin document reads as follows:

To all Christian People to whome these pr’sents shall Come to be seen read or heard I Edward Perrin of the Citty of Bristoll within the Kingdome of England Merch’t and now resident att the Clifts in Calvert County in the Province of Maryland send greeting

Whereas I the said Edward Perrin being now bound out of the said Province of Maryland to the Citty of Bristoll aforesaid the place of my abode And whereas I the said Edward Perrin doth thinke it needfull in my absence to put some person in trust with my affaires in the said Province of Maryland

Therefore know yee that I the said Edward Perrin as well for and in Consideracon aforesaid as also for diverse goods causes & valueable Consideracons me thereunto especially moving

Have made assigned constituted and ordeined and by these pr’sents Doe make assigne Constitute ordein and in my place and stead put my welbeloved Friend Richard Johns of the Clifts aforesaid Planter my true and lawfull Attorny as well for me and in my name and to my owne proper use

Several RootsWeb archives contain references that indicate Richard Johns enjoyed luxuries: “He was a Quaker, but did not fully comply with the Quaker philosophy in his personal life. He had over 1,000 gallons of cider and 20 gallons of brandy in his cellar at the time of his death. He also had silver table service and an extensive library. He did not confine himself to the plain, austre black garb of the sect.”

The Quaker Meeting at the Clifts/Cliffs was mentioned in George Fox’s journal when the Quaker leader visited America from 1671 to 1673.  His journal contains interesting details about a trip of that time period from England to Maryland via the West Indies, and of the landscape between Maryland and New York.  You can read parts of Fox’s journal online at Journal of Fox.

Records in the Maryland State Archives show that there was an active Friends meeting house at this location as early as 1672.  This Meeting took place at Johns’ residence at the Clifts/Cliffs until at least 1710 . The Clifts//Cliffs, bluffs along the west side of Chesapeake Bay in Calvert County, can be seen on this portion of the 1673 map.

Map - Calvert Cliffs

Maps of 1724 showed evidence of a Quaker presence in Calvert County, e.g. locations of Quaker Meeting Houses, “Quaker Road” and “Quaker Swamp” (at the headwaters of St. Leonard’s Creek).

St. Leonard Creek

Quakers & Slavery

Part of the purpose of this website project was to understand our family in historical context, including the conditions of the times, historical events, and other circumstances that shaped the lives of our ancestors.  Given the southern Maryland roots of the Richardson and Johns families, the relationship of the Quakers to slavery is important to understand.

In the early years of the American colonies, Quakers in southern states who had plantations had slaves.  According to David Hackett Fischer, writing in Albion’s Seed, “. . . 70% of Quakers owned slaves in the period from 1681 to 1705; however, from 1688 some Quakers began to speak out against slavery until by 1756 only 10% of Quakers owned slaves.” In Slavery in Colonial America, 1619-1776, Betty Wood wrote that most Quakers considered that “slavery was perfectly acceptable provided that slave owners attended to the spiritual and material needs of those they enslaved.”

George Fox, the founder of the Quaker movement, spoke against chattel slavery, but not necessarily all forms of slavery.  Fox’s position was that slaves should be freed after a certain number of years.  Many Quakers followed this teaching, though not all freed their slaves after a set number of years.  American Quakers struggled with slavery over the 1750s and 1760s, prohibiting the sale or purchase of slaves, and other restrictions.  It was not until 1777 that the Maryland Society of Friends finally outlawed slavery. Quakers with slaves could free their slaves or leave the Quaker community.  Those who wanted to hold on to their slaves became Episcopalians.  Others freed their slaves but sold off their lands and left the area because tobacco growing was seen as not profitable.

“William Richardson, Sr. left an estate that included 13 slaves, merchandise worth 119.5.6 lbs., and 975 acres in Anne Arundel Co. . . . His will was dated 21 Jan. 1691 and proved 28 May 1698. He devised to sons Daniel and Joseph Hickory Hills and Franklin’s Enlargement located between South River and the branches of the Patuxent River, totaling 600 acres; Daniel to have the moity where Hugh Abrahams now lives and Joseph the next plantation. To wife Elizabeth: use of my plantation Watkins His Hope for life, but if eldest son William needs to use any of the land, he may. To grandson William Richardson: 50 acres of the same at age 21, to be located at the southeast end adjoining William Cole’s plantation. To daughter Sophia: 75 acres of The Diligent Search on Rhode River and negro girl, Mary at age 16 or her marriage. To youngest son Joseph: negro Cargoo at age 19. To grandson William Richardson: negro girl Rowena after wife’s death and a calf. To Elizabeth, daughter of John Talbot: cow. To three children of Edward Talbot: calf each. To Margaret Richardson, wife of William: heifer. To the Friends at Severn: L4. The ressidue of my estate, whether here, in England, or at sea or elsewhere, is to be divided on third to wife and the rest in four parts to William, Daniel, Joseph, and Sophia. Wife and son William executors, with help from friends Richard Jones, Richard Harrison, John Talbot, and William Coleson. Witnesses: James Elphinstone, John Westnutt, John Elsey.” (First Families of Anne Arundel County, Md., by Donna Valley Russell ).