Mathias Steelman, Delaware to Surry County, North Carolina

Mathias Steelman is my husband’s 6X great grandfather. He was born before 1726, as he applied for land in Murderkill Hundred, Kent County, Delaware in 1747.  He perhaps was born there.

His parents and siblings have never been identified, although it has been suggested that he is descended from the Stille/Mansson/ Steelman family of Great Egg Harbor, New Jersey.

Mathias left a will, which was probated in Surry County in 1793, clearly identifying his family. It is possible that he married wife Ruth (maiden name totally undocumented as “Thurston”) and that at least some of his children were born in Kent County, Delaware, where he was living as late as 1770.

However, by 1772, he appeared on a list of tithables in Rowan County, North Carolina and by 1774, he was on the Surry County, North Carolina tax lists.

Will of Mathias Steelman (3:12)

In the name of God – Amen. I Mathias Steelman being weak of body but of sound and perfect sense and memory, thanks be to AlmightyGod for the same, do make and ordain this my Last Will and Testament.

First and foremost I recommend my soul into the hands of Almighty God who gave it me and my body to the earth to be decently buried after the discretion of my Executors hereafter mentioned. As for what worldly goods it hath pleased Almighty God to bestow upon me I give and bequeath as follows. My Will and desire is that all my debts and funeral expenses be first paid and discharged.

Item. I lend to my beloved wife Ruth Steelman two hundred and thirty acres on Turner’s Creek beginning at a white oak sapling on the East side of Buttens branch runs North thirty-five chains to a black oak, thence West fifty-seven chains & twenty links to a pine, thence South thirty-five chains to a post Oak thence East to said Creek thence down the same as it meanders to the mouth of the Green branch & thence North at an East course will go to the beginning.

I also lend to my beloved wife Ruth Steelman all my stock and household furniture during her widow hood or natural life, and when she either marries or dies to return to my beloved son James Steelman all the said two hundred and thirty acres and all the good(s) and chattels before mentioned and if my son James Steelman die without issue then the whole of my land and Estate to be sold at public auction & the money to be equally divided between my son William Steelman, Sealah Cain, John Steelman, Ruth Speer, Rachel Creson, Charles Steelman, George Steelman, and Elizabeth Speer.

I do hereby constitute and appoint my beloved sons William Steelman and James Steelman whole and sole Executors of this my Last Will and Testament and I do hereby revoke and disallow and make all former will(s) by me heretofore made or spoken.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand this 16th day of February, 1789.

Mathias (X) Steelman (SEAL )

Do anyone have any current research of the origins of Mathias Steelman? The suggestion that he is the grandson of Peter Steelman doesn’t fit with his applying for land in 1747 because the earliest identified marriage for Peter’s children is 1730, unless one of those marriage dates was for a second marriage.


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