For Magruders seeking white ancestors, or folks with a DNA match that fizzles out when you look at the published genealogies, here’s a wee discovery. An upcoming post will include how this and related discoveries may impact the search for enslaved ancestors in Prince George’s County, Washington, D.C., and possibly even Baltimore.
Fielder Magruder Sr. (1780-1840, s/o Haswell Magruder & Charity Beall) and his wife Matilda Magruder (~1789-1839, d/o Dr. Jeffrey Magruder of Montgomery County) are commonly reported to have four sons—Fielder Jr., Edward E., Lewis, and William T. (who was killed at Gettysburg), but no daughters. Both Fielder and Matilda died intestate, eliminating the most common source for verifying parentage.
Sales from Fielder Sr.’s estate turned up the name Henry Phillips, so I looked at land records for him, and discovered that his wife, Susannah B. Phillips, was Fielder’s daughter. A marriage record for 1828 confirmed her maiden name as Susannah B. Magruder.
The key deed is from 1846, clearly stating that Susannah B. Phillips is the daughter of the late Fielder Magruder. This deed, and another from 1844, record the sale of land by Henry and Susannah to her brother Lewis, and refer to the parcels as land that was distributed to Susannah by the court, at the division of Fielder’s property. So far, this deed is the only record I’ve found that states that she was Fielder’s daughter.
Find this deed in Prince George’s County Court (Land Records), Liber JBB 4, p.768, which you can access on MdLandRec.net. You’ll need to create an account, but it’s free. If you need help getting started searching that site, click my Contact tab & shoot me a line. (Please do not request help by commenting on this post.)
What a handy illustration of why you should read and compare all the sources you can find. I haven’t made an exhaustive search for Susannah, so maybe there is something I’ve missed? Let me know, and please include your sources.
Some have proposed another sister, Ida Magruder, living with Fielder Magruder Jr. and his wife, Ann Truman Greenfield Young, in 1850 and 1860. The entries for her age are inconsistent, but would place her birth in 1822 or 1825. I have looked at her only superficially, but it is a confusing case.
Some identify her as both Fielder Jr.’s sister and the Ida Magruder who married Jeffrey Phillips in 1864, and have identified Jeffrey as the son of Henry and Susannah B. Phillips. This would mean Ida married her nephew, when she was 39-42 years old and he was 29. However unlikely, it’s not impossible. Others, however, have identified the Ida who married Jeffrey as the daughter of Matilda Magruder’s brother Lewis.
Neither the 1850 nor the 1860 census recorded each person’s relationship to the head of household, so it has only been assumed that Ida is Fielder Jr.’s sister. If this Ida is actually his cousin, daughter of his uncle Lewis, his mother’s brother, her marriage would look far less strange.
It is unclear if all census records for Ida Phillips are for the same woman, or same couple. In 1870, we have an Ida born about 1828, and just five years older than her husband Jeffrey, a farmer in Bladensburg born about 1833. His personal property is recorded as just $560, with no real estate. In 1880, this or another Ida Phillips is born around 1830, and ten years older than her husband Jefferson, a farmer in Marlboro born about 1840. Values for property were not recorded in that census year, so can’t be compared. The Ancestry transcription says this Ida and her parents all were born in Pennsylvania. The census image clearly says Henry and his parents were from Pennsylvania, with faint ditto marks for Ida and her parents. If that is accurate, this is almost certainly a different couple. Notice, too, the creeping birthdates. It’s plausible that because she was older than her husband Ida sometimes misrepresented her age, but we would need some hard evidence to reconcile the Pennsylvania births with origins in the Magruder and Phillips families we’ve been looking at.
Have you done a thorough search to identify Ida and her husband? I’d like to say start with the probate records of Matilda’s brother Lewis, looking for the name Jeffrey Phillips. However, Lewis and his wife, Rebecca Duvall (also a Magruder descendant), appear to have died before Ida’s marriage. You could start with records left by their children, siblings of the Montgomery County Ida.