John S. Magruder & McGregor slaves

Pages in this cluster: Will of John S. Magruder d.1825Will of Roderick McGregor d.1857, William & Matilda Bowie, Medical Records for R. McGregor Plantation, and Conditions & Interrelations. See also, (in the Af-Am Magruders pages) Washington McGruder.

See also the cluster of pages called Magruder-Hamilton Slaves. The Elizabeth Magruder in that cluster was John S. Magruder’s sister and Charles B. Hamilton was executor of his will.

John Smith Magruder was the son of Nathaniel Magruder and Margaret Magruder. Nathaniel and Margaret were first cousins. Nathaniel’s father was John Magruder of Dunblane, son of Samuel and Sarah Magruder. Margaret was the daughter of  Barbara Coombs and another of Samuel and Sarah’s sons, James Magruder. Samuel’s father was Alexander Magruder, the Immigrant. Sarah probably was a close relative of Ninian Beall (but not as was once believed, his daughter).

In 1821, by special act of the Maryland legislature, John S. Magruder changed the names of all his living children to McGregor. So his children were Nathaniel M. McGregor, Roderick M. McGregor, Henry M. McGregor, Alaric or Alerick M. McGregor, and Margaret Ellen McGregor (called Ellen). All the boys bore the middle name Mortimer, in honor of an older brother who died in infancy.

Movement of slaves among family members in Upper Marlboro & Washington D.C.

Alaric McGregor appears on the census as a farmer, but also kept a school for boys (attended by my great-great grandfather), and I have found no record that he ever owned slaves. None was left to him in his father’s will.

Ellen married Jessie Ewell in 1827, and in 1831 they moved to Prince William County, VA, at that time a frontier area. She inherited one slave, Washington, whom she took to Virginia. See page on George Washington “Wash” Magruder. Two skilled carpenters belonging to Roderick McGregor were sent to Virginia temporarily, around 1832 or so, to oversee the building of the Ewell plantation house, Dunblane. There is reason to think one of those men was William Bowie. See William & Matilda Bowie

Several slaves left to Henry McGregor by his father’s will were later purchased by his brother Roderick McGregor.  Records, including his will, indicate that Henry McGregor died in 1851, but he does not appear on the 1850 census. That census shows his wife/widow, Eliza or Elizabeth (Berry) McGregor living in P.G. County with an African-American (“mulatto”) family headed by William Wedge. See Conditions & Interrelations page.

Others left to Nathaniel McGregor show up in Roderick’s estate inventory (1858). Nathaniel was in business in Washington, D.C. Roderick operated the family plantations in Upper Marlboro, MD, in adjoining Prince George’s County. I have found only one record related to the movement of these slaves. In 1835 Roderick obtained permission to bring a slave named William into Maryland. See William & Matilda Bowie.

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