Old Wills

1804 Will of Guy Elder – Frederick County, Maryland

William Elder, the immigrant, from Lancashire, England, married Elizabeth Finch, the daughter of Guy and Elizabeth Finch in 1705.  They owned 50 acres in Calvert County, called “Good Will” later part of Prince George’s County.  William and Elizabeth had two sons – William and Thomas. 

Son William, came to Frederick County, Maryland in 1734.  He was the first white man settled in the area and gave the name St. Mary’s Mount to a portion of Carrick’s Knob.  His place was known as “Pleasant Level.”  In his home he reserved the largest room for religious services.  William Elder was a dedicated Catholic and his home was used for church services until St. Mary’s Church was built in 1807. 

William Elder’s first wife, Ann Wheeler, died in 1739.  She was the mother of five children – William, who married a Miss Wickham; Guy who married Eleanor Ogle (who first married Ninian McGruder Beall and had one child, Sarah), Guy and Eleanor had 14 children; Charles who married Julia Ward of Charles County; Mary, married Richard Lilly; and Richard who married Phoebe Deloyvier.  In 1744 William Elder married Jacoba Clementina, daughter of Arnold Livers, an Englishman who favored James II, and upon his collapse had been obliged to flee from his native land and became owner of a large estate in Maryland, called “Arnold’s Delight.”  Arnold had vowed that his first child should be called James, and when he had a daughter she was given the name Jacoba.  In his flight from England he carried this child with him.  As the wife of William Elder, Jacoba bore him four sons and two daughters – Elizabeth, Arnold, Thomas, Ignatius, Ann and Aloysius.  In the cemetery at St. Mary’s Church William and wives Ann and Jacoba Clementina are buried.  I descend from William Elder and Ann Wheeler through their son Charles and wife Julia Ward, through their daughter Mary Ann Elder who married William Peter Montgomery.  Mary Ann and William moved to Washington County, Kentucky, in the later 1790’s.

Today I share with you the will of Guy Elder, son of William and Ann, born about 1732 in Frederick County, Maryland, died there November 9, 1805, almost a year after writing his will.  All children, including his step-daughter Sarah Beall (who married a Mr. Willett), are mentioned in his will except son George, who died at the age of 20 in 1798, leaving no heirs.


  1. Joseph Elder, April 5, 1762, Frederick County, MD, died 1800 Washington County, KY
  2. Martha Elder, December 25, 1763, Frederick County, MD, died 1790 Frederick County, MD
  3. James Elder, October 25, 1765, Frederick County, MD, died Aug 14, 1845, Marion County, KY, married Mary Ann Elder(?), December 3, 1762, MD, January 8, 1857, Nelson County, KY
  4. Judith Elder, October 25, 1765, Frederick County, MD, October 31, 1829, Meade County, KY, married Thomas Livers, 1760-
  5. Benjamin Elder, July 12, 1768, Frederick County, MD, 1808 New York City, NY – mentions his father has not heard from him for a long time
  6. Guy Elder, March 2, 1772, Frederick County, MD, December 20, 1846, Frederick County, MD
  7. Edward Elder, July 1, 1774, Frederick County, MD, May 4, 1846 – to the care of Guy, Eleanor and Thomas
  8. Rebecca Elder, December 21, 1775, Frederick County, MD, 1802, Alleghany County, MD
  9. Priscilla Elder, November 20, 1777, Frederick County, MD, April 17, 1852, Cambria County, PA, 1850 census living with James and Mary McAteer, aged 73
  10. George Elder, October 15, 1778, Frederick County, MD, 1798
  11. Thomas Elder, 1780, Frederick County, MD, March 23, 1853, Frederick County, MD
  12. Mary Polly Elder, 1782, Frederick County, MD, 1850, Fancy Farm, Graves County, KY, married Joseph “Jesse” Hobbs, 1780-1830 – youngest child 
  13. Eleanor Elder, married Mr. Blaire
  14. William Elder

Sarah Willett daughter of wife Eleanor and Ninian Magruder Beall – her heirs as she had passed away

Deceased daughter Martha – her children

Will of Guy Elder

Frederick County, Maryland, Will Book G.M. & R.B. No. 1, 1803-1809, Pages 153-156

In the name of God, amen.  I, Guy Elder, of Frederick County and State of Maryland, being in perfect health and of a sound and disposing mind and understanding, but considering the certainty of death and the uncertainty of the time thereof, and being desirous to settle my worldly affairs and thereby be the better prepared to leave this world when it shall please God to call me hence, do therefore make and publish this my last will and testament in manner and form following.

First and principally I commit my soul into the hands of almighty God and my body to the earth to be decently buried at the discretion of my executor, hereinafter named, and after my debts and funeral charges are paid, I devise and bequeath as follows

Imprimis.  I leave and bequeath unto my three children, Guy, Thomas and Eleanor Blaire, their heirs, executors, administrators and assigns forever the plantation I live on now with all the improvements there of, to be divided amongst them in three equal shares by two or three neighbors, chosen by themselves or the majority of them, unless it should be divided by myself during my lifetime.  I leave and bequeath also to the same all the

personal property which I will possess at the time of my decease to be sold and divided equally amongst them three, unless they choose to make a friendly division themselves.

Secondly.  I leave and bequeath unto all my other children who are now gone from me, namely, William, Joseph, James, Judith Livers, Rebecca Devilbiss, Priscilla or their heirs, assigns and to the heirs of Sarah Willett, the daughter of my late wife Eleanor, the sum of one hundred and fifty pounds each, including what I have already paid or may hereafter pay to any of them, and to prevent any difficulty which might arise amongst my children for a settlement.  I declare that all I have paid or may hereafter pay to any of them has been or shall be recorded by myself or my son Guy in a book kept for this purpose and if disputed it is my will that no further proof should be required of its being written by myself or under my authority than a declaration on oath by my son Guy that every part thereof has been written by my will and during my lifetime.  And should any of my children after that object to their respective balances as stated in that book, it is my will that he or they should take what they have received already as their full share and proportion in my estate.  The said legacies shall be paid by my three children Eleanor Blaire, Guy and Thomas, without interest at the time and in the manner hereinafter mentioned, my said daughter Eleanor and my son Thomas being answerable for their proportion only to my executor hereinafter named who shall make all the payments as directed by me hereafter.

Thirdly.  As for my son Benjamin, of whom I did not hear for many past it is my will that the balance which come to him to give him an equal share with my other children who are gone from me, should remain in the hands of my son Guy, to be disposed of by him as directed by me by word of mouth, but so as to secure the principal without interest to my son Benjamin if he should ever return himself and apply for it.

Fourthly.  I recommend my son Edward to the care of my three children Guy, Eleanor Blaire and Thomas, it is my desire that they should let him stay with one of them three with whom he will choose to life, if possible, the two others paying five pounds yearly for his maintenance as long as he lives, to the one who will take care of him, but should neither of them three agree to keep him it is my will that my executor, or if he is dead the oldest survivor of my two other children, Eleanor and Thomas, should provide a place for him and each of those three, namely Guy, Eleanor Blaire and Thomas, their heirs or whosoever

Should become owner or owners of the landed property which I bequeathed to them, paying ten pounds yearly for his maintenance as long as he lives.

Fifthly.  As for the balance coming to my deceased daughter Martha, in order to make her share equal to that of her brothers and sisters who are gone from me, it is my will that it should be applied to the use of her children of any of them by my executor as he and my two other children, Eleanor Blaire and Thomas or the majority of them shall think most proper.

Sixthly.  I leave and bequeath to my youngest daughter Mary, four hundred pounds to be paid to her by my above children Guy, Eleanor and Thomas, after all the shares of my other children are paid, without interest and in the same manner in which the other children are to be paid as I will direct hereafter – but as she will be kept from her money for a long time it is my will that at the expiration of five years after my decease, my aforesaid children Guy, Eleanor and Thomas, should pay her independent of the above legacy four pounds each yearly making in the whole an annual sum of twelve pounds for her maintenance until all the other children who are gone from me are paid off.  At which time the payment of her four hundred pounds is to begin in the manner hereinafter mentioned for the other children, or in case of failure on their part they shall pay her the full legal interest of her money, each one for his proportion until complete payment.

Seventhly.  In order to enable my three children Guy, Eleanor and Thomas to make the above payments without selling the land, it is my will that each of them should contribute thirty pounds only yearly making in the whole a sum of ninety pounds to be applied every year by my executor towards discharging gradually all the aforesaid legacies until all are paid, beginning by the oldest of my children and ending with the youngest, excepting my daughter Judith Livers, whose balance I wish to be paid the first of all on account of her situation.

I do hereby appoint and constitute my son Guy sole executor of this my last will and testament, revoking and annulling all former wills and testaments by me heretofore made, ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and testament.  In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 29th day of December eighteen hundred and four.

Guy Elder

Signed, sealed, published and declared by the above named testator to be his last will and testament in the presence of us, who at his request and in his presence and in his presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses thereto – Richard Elder, Nathaniel Elder, William Brawner

Frederick County December 3, 1805  Then came Guy Elder and made oath on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God that the foregoing instrument of writing is the true whole will and testament of Guy Elder, late of Frederick County, deceased, that hath come to his hands and possession and that he doth not know of any other.

Richard Butler, Registrar

Frederick County December 3, 1805, then came Richard Elder and Nathaniel Elder, two of the subscribing witnesses to the foregoing last will and testament of Guy Elder, late of Frederick County, deceased, and made oath on the Holy  Evangels of Almighty God that they did see the testator therein named sign and seal this will, that they heard him publish, pronounce and declare the same to be his last will and testament, that at the time of his so doing he was to the best of their apprehensions of a sound and disposing mind, memory and understanding, that they respectively subscribed their names as witnesses to this will in the presence and at the request of the testator, and that they did also see William Brawner, the other subscribing witness sign his name as a witness to said will in the presence and at the request of the testator and all in the presence of each other.

Richard Butler, Registrar

I, Guy Elder, the appointed executor in the last will and testament of Guy Elder, late of Frederick County, deceased, do hereby refuse to act as executor to said will by virtue of said appointment and do therefore renounce all my right, title and claim to said executorship accordingly, as witness my hand this 3rd day of December 1805

Guy Elder

Teste. Nicholas Haner, Jr.

To the Registrar of wills, Frederick County

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