Good Day, I’m Doris P. Magruder Johnson
My Father’s name is William C. Magruder, born July 13th, 1924 in Aquasco, Maryland. My mother Doris Cole, born April 19th, 1926, died March 29th, 1982. His mother was Sara E. Magruder, born in 1900 died December 1969.
His Father was George Contee, born July ?
My Father’s grandparents were Rinaldo Magruder & Rebecca Gray Glascoe. His great grandparents were Robert & Margaret Magruder in 1867 census, Robert was a laborer for Thomas Rawlings. Rawlings was a large landowner. There were many Magruder tobacco farms in Aquasco Maryland.. I know my ancestors were slaves..my father didn’t have his father’s last name, he had his mothers….Alexander Magruder lived in that area, married twice or three times and had large families with all wives..I’m drawing a conclusion that my families name was given to my ancestors because Magruder had them as slaves on his plantations. Please assist / help me to resolve this, thank you.
Hello Doris. Thank you so much for writing. The source I have for Magruders who were claimed by Thomas Rawlings (and other Rawlings men) is the 1867 Slave Statistics for Maryland, a compilation of claims made by slave owners who hoped they would received government compensation for their emancipated slaves (and/or those who joined the Union army). Is this your source as well? I would very very interested to know all the sources you have found, as it would help me piece things together.
In the Slave Statistics, I see a Margaret Magruder, who appears to have a son named Rinaldo. I don’t see Robert Magruder (or any Robert) listed there, but all such records are partial and the fact that a name is there or not there is rarely definitive (as I’m sure you know). (Also: slave owners could only file for compensation if they could prove they had been loyal to the Union, so many families are simply not here.) Do you know if this Rinaldo is your great grandfather?
As to the Magruder connection: Maryland is different from other states, b/c emancipated slaves rarely shared a surname with the last slave owner. This makes it very difficult to trace a family back through the barrier of slavery. You are lucky to have as much information as you have. So, yes, I am sure the Magruder name comes from an ancestor being owned by a Magruder, but I don’t know which Magruder. Because Alexander (the immigrant) had so many descendants, there were dozens of Magruder families, in Maryland and beyond. The name could have come from a recent association with white Magruders, or a very old one. One thing I can do (when I find the time) is look for the name Rinaldo in Magruder wills and estate inventories. Names tend to be re-used, and it’s always hopeful when there’s an unusual name like that.
I have also researched a family named Gray who were held by Magruders for many generations–some as slaves, some technically free but held in indentured servitude for increasingly long periods. So I am very interested in the fact that Rinaldo married a woman with Gray in her name. “Glascoe” is also likely a phonetic spelling of “Glasgow” (like the city) which I have seen elsewhere as the name of a Maryland slave.
There is a lot to investigate here, and I will do my best to help. Right now I am moving across the country, so I don’t have much time, but I won’t forget–I keep a list of what to return to when I have time. Would you send me a message via the “Contact” tab on the web site, so I will be able to reach you directly? If you don’t have the 1867 Maryland Slave Statistics with the Rawlings information, I will send that immediately.
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